Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Welcome to Hell

I think I may have been taking this over/under training week a little too lightly. I got up nice and early again this morning to force down a power bar (I am out of Newtons), have a huge cup of coffee and head to the pool for the second day of my over/under work out. Here was my workout:

1000 warm up (ok now seriously that is a really long warm up)
5 x (300 (at 800 TT +5), 300 (at 800 TT + 10))

I got in the pool and halfway through my warm up I was already tired! Then it was into the main set. Much like the run during the first two sets my confidence was pretty high. I thought this doesn't hurt too much. And as I have mentioned a million times before, being under water, let's me think in peace and quiet. And it let's me deal with all the things I try to avoid dealing with normally. So I pushed through the first two sets, having arguments in my head and bringing my brain a little peace. Third set, well the faster portion, not so bad. The slower one, slowed a bit more than it should. Fourth set, this time the faster one I pushed too hard on, and so the slower one was slower by a decent amount. Fifth set, good lord, I thought I was going to die. My shoulders were burning, I was breathing so hard, I think I was distracting others in the pool, and there was nothing in brain to sort out, so I just swam with a bunch of tired angst.

When I was done, I was happy to be done that is for sure! I got out of the pool and felt a feeling reminiscent of getting off the treadmill yesterday. My world was spinning. I had to sit down for a few minutes to get my bearings and I continued to have little spinning moments all the way to the locker room.

I got back to the house to shower and get ready for work and it was actually challenging to get my hands up to my head to shampoo my hair! And now I have a full day of work ahead of me.

So here I go! Until tomorrow my friends, when I attempt to do it all over again, this time on the bike.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Death by Over/Under

This weekend I did not race which was nice, but even better, I was surprised by my mother with my bridal shower on Saturday. It was a fantastic time and a nice break from focusing on racing and instead focusing on time with friends and family. I came home with tons of gifts (thank you everyone!) and it took us 5 hours on Sunday to open all of the boxes and find places for it all. But with the bridal shower surprise, since I thought I was just going out for a bit and would have time to come home and ride, I ended up missing my Saturday long ride. Again, I really can't say I minded that much. I kind of needed a break and this one came as a nice surprise.

This week, on the other hand, will be the exact opposite of a break. I have over/under sets everyday. And after this mornings, set I am not looking forward to any more! This morning I did a 1:00 over/under run with a quick Z1 warm up, followed by .5 miles at 9:30 pace, .5 at 8:30pace, and I did this 4 times. Now the first two I was thinking, this is nothing, I should have gotten faster paces to work with. The third time through I started to feel it and by the fourth time, that 8:30 .5 mile never felt so long in my life. When I was done, I actually thought that there was a good chance that the over/under was going to take me down, and I was going to pass out on the carpet next to the treadmill.

After the almost passing out debacle I headed home for a quick 1:30 ZR ride, because, well because why not right? I mean, I had already almost passed out 1 time today, let's push the envelope! But as always, the early morning workouts have made my day incredibly productive with lots of work and cleaning. But I am looking forward to sitting on the couch tonight and relaxing, oh wait, that is after I teach spin. Booooo Hissssss!

Tomorrow is my over/under swim set, let's see if we can avoid drowning!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Red Bank Olympic Tri Race Report

This past weekend was the inaugural Red Bank Olympic Triathlon and I was one of the 400 to try out this new event. I went to bed on Saturday night at around 10pm, thinking if I feel asleep quickly I would get enough sleep to be wide awake by 4am. Well needless to say, my body decided that I would not sleep, but I still popped out of bed at 4:15am. But it was to the sound of a torrential downpour outside of my window. Now I am all about attending every race I sign up for, but really, would they even have the race in this kind of weather? All I could do was drive the hour to find out.

I arrived at Marine Park as check in was opening, which was great, because I avoided all of the lines and it gave me about 2 hours to eat, poop, set up, poop, walk around, poop, etc. before my wave went off at 8am. I got everything set up, used the port-o-john and that is when I realized the first and really only amateur planning issue, four toilets for 400 people. Really? How the hell was that going to work? We would later find out, not so well.

Either way I headed back to the car, woke up nick who was sleeping in the back seat and got my breakfast. On the way back I noticed a very familiar sign that read "Riverview Medical" and I thought, I know that name for some reason. Well yeah, because that is who I have been paying back for the past few months for my last hospital stay. Well with that I realized the emergency room was right down the street and emergency room and hospital = clean bathrooms. So I got my money's worth and decided I would use opt for the emergency room bathroom over the 400 person line for the rest of my morning.

At 7:55, they started getting us into the water. We were to do a quick loop around the Navesink River. We were the 2nd wave and when we got in I was pleasantly surprised that the water was not that cold. Two minutes of treading water and we were swimming. I felt the first half of the swim was good and I was consistently passing people in my wave and wave before us. The 2nd half was a bit choppy and I drank a bit of water, but all in all it was a good swim. I got back to the dock and was feeling good. Swim time 28:08, I was ok with it.

Then it was into T1 for a quick costume change (1:33, getting better) and off on the bike. Now the bike course was interesting. I knew from checking that morning, that the highest point was between miles 11 and 13 so I was prepared to hurt for those two miles. And hurt I did! It sucked, I feel like I kicked my own ass for 2 miles and when the climb was over, I had a lot of trouble getting back up to speed, my legs would just not get back into it. It took about 3 minutes to get back to a steady pace with my legs feeling ok. One thing I will say though was that the bike course was beautiful. As beautiful as it was, I was glad when it was over. I made it into T2 with a bike time of 1:25, averaging approximately 17.5 mph.

I ran into T2 happy to off the bike, but not happy about the hill I had to climb out of the park to start the run. But hey, at least I knew the end was near! I was out of T2 in 0:51 (nice!) and began my run. Now just to back up a bit, the night before when Coach P gave me my goals, I was quite surprised. I was supposed to ride the bike 2 heart beats over the top of Z2, which I had no problem doing. But I was also supposed to run at a 7:41 pace. Now to recap, last weekend I ran my fastest ever at 8:14, a week later I was supposed to drop :33? I was not sure how I was going to do it, but I said I would try.

I headed up the hill and into the run and here is where the first feelings of doubt creeped in. I had massive cramps. My right side and my chest felt like they were filled with air pockets. I pushed out a 7:58 on my first mile, but I was dying. I felt like I couldn't breathe and the uphill climb was not helping. Then came the next cluster-fuck. As we passed mile 2 I noticed everyone veering off into a field, now we were trail running? I didn't hear anything about trail running! Yup, .5 miles of a gradually climb on trails. This is when I thought I might just give up. But of course I didn't.

I made it to the turn around point and the only thing that kept me going and sped me up a bit was that we now were running down hill, all the way back! Thank god! I picked up the pace and before I knew it I was back at the park. I finished my run in 51:48 with a pace, per my Garmin of 8:17.

The full race looked like this:

Swim: 28:08
T1: 1:33.9
Bike: 1:25 approx 17.5 mph HR 169
T2: 0:51
Run: 51:48 8:17 min/mile HR 181

With a final finish time of 2:47:50, which actually placed me 4th in my AG. I looked and I was only 1:20 off from the 3rd place girl! Damn trail running! I could have had it, if it weren't for that!

I have to say it was a great race and a fun time. I walked away having learned a few lessons:

1) I need to perfect my climb
2) I need to be prepared for any terrain in a run or bike
3) I must keep believing in myself and get out of my head when things get hard.
4) It might be best to put at least a week in between races, because I could still feel last weeks race when I started.

Till next year Red Bank!

Friday, May 13, 2011


Productivity in my house is at an all time high. This week started out a bit sluggish but for the past few days I have been kicking some ass. Today I got up at 6am for a quick 6 mile run. Then made it home in enough time to clean my racing kit and get in a quick breakfast before my calls started for the day. I took a quick break to run some errands and pick up my tomato and basil plants so I can plant my garden this weekend on my fun Saturday off. Well it isn't totally off, I have a 40 min ZR ride, which in all honestly might as well be a day off.

Then it was back to work and then off to the pool for a quick 30 min swim during my lunch break. I have been totally over worked this week and I am looking forward to this weekend. I plan on doing nothing on Saturday and then getting up at around 4am to get ready to head down to Red Bank for my Olympic tri. I was thinking today, I don't think I have done an Olympic distance event in forever! I am glad that I started out with a decently long race so maybe Sunday won't feel too bad.

Other than racing, this weekend will thankfully be pretty uneventful, which is fine by me. I will be sure to check in with a race report on Sunday or Monday. Good luck to all those who are racing this weekend!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Devilman Half Lite Race Report

First things first, I am writing this report, so I survived! Now onto the report. On Friday night I taught my spin class, well I stood in front of the room and told people what to do, then we ate some pasta and chicken and hit the road. Nick and Hailey came to keep me company and supply me with some confidence when I needed a little boost. We made it down to Vineland, to our lovely hotel (sarcasm at it's best) at around 10:30pm and I was out like a light by around 11pm. I then proceeded to wake up every hour or so to check my phone to make sure I hadn't overslept.

At 5am it was time to get up and get ready. So I got up, fed the dog, and put on my kit. Then it was off to register. Last year we showed up with what we thought was ample time to register and set up transition and we were sorely mistaken so this year I decided we would just show up early and then I would take care of my nutrition and all that good stuff after I had my transition area set. Good choice on my part. Before I knew it, I was sitting in the car eating my applesauce, then sitting in the port-o-john getting rid of my applesauce.

The water was 66 degrees so we were wet suit legal. After another 20 trips to the bathroom I was ready to suit up and head to the water. The one complaint I had with the swim, was that they because they were trying so hard to stay on time and have the entire women's wave of the half lite start at 8:30, they shot the starting gun, while some of us where still on the dock. So we had to walk the doc, go down the stairs and swim to the start, after half of our wave had already begun the swim. Either way, it was into the water and swimming we went.

The swim was pretty uneventful. I got bitch slapped once, considered retaliating and then decided why bother and got shoved a few times by stragglers from the last two laps as I passed them. All in all it was a good swim and I came out at .80 Swim: 21:23. The only awful thing about the swim is that it was dirty! Begin the last wave all the dirt had gotten kicked up and we got out of the water with faces covered in dirt to the point that in T1 people were yelling at us to wipe our faces.

T1, was again uneventful, but kind of slow for me. I think it was due to my new gloves, it was the first time I wore them and they were hard to get on with my wet hands. I was in and out of T1 in 2:19 and off to the bike course.

Here is where I thought the challenge would be. But thankfully after giving myself a quick pep talk on my way out of T1 of "You can do this, let's go!", I got on the bike, clipped in and off I went. I remembered from when I did this ride last year the out portion of the two loops you could fly on. So I got into the big ring and took off. My cateye was averaging about 21 mph, before it stopped working (fantastic little mishap) and I was feeling great. On the way back, the wind picked up a bit, but I just forced myself to keep pushing. I made through the first 20 in a little over an hour and headed back out for Lap #2. It was a little more of the same, fast on the way out and windy on the way back.

As I was pushing it on the bike, I started to think to myself, "Is pushing it this hard a good idea? Would I be able to maintain the 8:12 pace on the run if I killed my legs on the bike?" But I said fuck it! I mean this was the part I was the most worried about all along. I was afraid to start and now that I was in it, I really wanted to attack it with all the frustration I felt for the past few months. So I did the best my body would let me do. I can in at 2:11:51, approx 18.5 mph, and about 13 minutes faster than last year.

As I got off my bike I saw Nick and Hailey hanging at the dismount area taking pictures and cheering me on. I ran into T2 and again got slowed down a bit. The girl next to me had taken my spot, and thrown her shit everywhere, so I had to push her bike out of the way in order to rack mine. Then I had to find all of my stuff that she knocked out of the way. I was in and out of T2 in 2:03. A little slow for my liking.

Then came the challenge of finding my legs and getting up to speed. I ran out of T2 and saw Nick an Hailey cheering me on again. He said, "I will see you in an hour! Keep smiling!" and that was all I needed, I was off. Again the run was quite flat, with only a little bit of wind, and as soon as I got on the course I began to remember all of the turns and landmarks from last year. I was on pace, well around pace, until about mile 7 and then I started to get really strange stomach pains. And the best part is, for the whole entire race, there is not 1 bathroom. So you are either going in your pants or pulling over in plain view and going in a field, which probably contains vegetables you may very well purchase and eat in the near future! So I decided I would slow it down a tiny bit until the pains figured themselves out.

Luckily they disappeared in about a half of a mile and I was back in business. I rounded the last corner and headed towards the finish line. My run clocked in at 1:14:45, 8:14 min miles, approx 13 min faster than last year. Only two seconds off per mile, but hey it beat pooping in my pants!

Here are what my laps looked like:
Lap 1 8:20
Lap 2 8:13
Lap 3 8:11
Lap 4 8:15
Lap 5 8:11
Lap 6 8:07
Lap 7 8:13
Lap 8 8:23 (gotta go to the bathroom)
Lap 9 8:18 (still thinking about it)
Lap 10 7:22

So it is safe to say the race was a total success. I had a 26 minute PR and I felt great. I smiled the whole drive home and have been on Cloud 9 since. And the great part is, I am not sore and ready for my next race this weekend. This weekend is the Red Bank Olympic Tri and Coach P has warned we are pacing the bike this time! BRING IT!

Friday, May 6, 2011

It's Full Speed Ahead!

Tomorrow I race and I think I am ready. Coach P sent over my goals and they are good, I think. He is leaving my bike pace up to me. So I can do whatever I feel comfortable with. So that was good. But I think since he was being nice to me with the bike he is trying to kill me with the run. I am to try to maintain 8:12 min/miles for the 9 mile run. Let' see how that goes! Hopefully the same girl that ran the 7:46 repeats will show up tomorrow.

So far I have spent my day carb loading and getting my ass kicked at work, and then it is home to finish up the carb load and get my shit together for the race. Then it tomorrow it is time for me to strap on a pair and go for it. I have been there before, I know how to race, I just have to stay out of my head and have a good time.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and I will be back on Monday with a race report.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I Think Mother Nature Has It Out For Me

I woke up today to clear skies, which by midday had turned nice and sunny. I decided to let myself sleep in this morning and that I would do an afternoon ride followed by an outdoor run. Well I rode in my house and while I rode, I stared out the window thinking about how gorgeous it looked outside. My ride was a 1:30 Z1 Ride and I used the time to read my Lava magazine that had been living on my coffee table for months.

About halfway through I came to the conclusion that my turkey sandwich, although low-salt turkey was just too salty for me to eat before I tried to tackle a 2.5 hour workout. I was so thirsty I was drinking about a half of a water bottle of Gatorade at a time and my HR was way too high. So switched to a lower gear and kept on pedaling, reading and drinking.

After my ride was done, I got changed and got ready for my run. I decided since I was so thirsty and I had a 1 hour Z1 run ahead of me that I would wear a fuel belt. Bad idea!! I haven't worn one in so long, that within 1 minute of my run, with the bottles bouncing around and the belt pushing into my stomach, I turned around and abandoned my hydration.

This is where mother nature attacked. It was so windy it was crazy. I was running across a street and the wind was so bad that I managed to trip myself. Have you ever done that? When you lift the foot off the ground and the wind blows and you basically kick your other foot out from under yourself! Yeah that was a site to see. And that was in the first 3 minutes of the run. I did an out and back and it seemed like on both the way out and the way back the wind was at my face. How is that possible? Shouldn't I get it pushing me at least in one direction!? Mother nature had no remorse today!

I finished my out and back covered in salt and incredibly thirsty. I then took my bike into the bike shop for a quick once over before my race. I actually rode it there. And that was my first time riding outside this season. Yup Saturday should be interesting for this girl!

I also received my racing kit in the mail today. I tried it on and it fit, but I gotta say it added to the nerves. I made it very real. I think I am ready though. My confidence is up and I feel physically good. So let's hope that can get me through it!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

T Minus 3 Days

Yup, that's right, 3 days until race day! How do I feel you ask? I honestly don't know. I have been thinking about it a lot and I am hoping I just go right back into it naturally, no thinking involved. I am glad that I get to swim first because that will get me focused on my goal, the finish line, so we will see how it goes.

Last weekend away in Sarasota with my girlfriends was fantastic and just what I needed. They are such an amazing group of women. We are all in different places in our lives right now, but when we get together it is like everything stops, and we go right back to where we left off.

My flight on Thursday got cancelled I ended up arriving on Friday morning. We all hung out poolside and that night I was surprised with an small bachelorette party. It was very sweet and I was totally surprised. Then we went out for our one night out. We hit up a Tapas Bar and filled up with food and then went in search of a bar to hang out at. Well we soon found out that Sarasota's hot spots are very likely located within the retirement communities, so we headed back to our home base. The rest of the weekend was spent on the beach and relaxing. I got home early enough on Sunday night head out to dinner with Nick and get up bright and early to get back to training.

This week so far has been a mixture of recovery workouts with some Z1 rides and runs interspersed. I have a 1:30 ZR bike followed by a 35 ZR run on the agenda for tonight followed by my best friend's birthday drinks.

I can honestly say I am looking forward to this weekend's event. At least for right now! Let's see how I feel tomorrow.