Sunday, February 21, 2010

Last 3 Days in Photos

Dave Friday morning. In just over a month, he's lost 17# and 6% body fat (per the Tanita Ironman scale we have) by eating cleaner.

Later on Friday, a new tri club blog I created went live. (Some of you may recognize the template from another blog I used to have but have decided not to pursue as I am just too busy!)

Saturday morning I helped out at a local race by doing some data entry. My fingers are actually my fastest body parts :-)

Afterwards, Dave and I went for a 2-hour ride. In 55-65 deg temps, he cruised along at 20-21 mph while I struggled to keep up. Grrr.

Sunday morning he set out to demolish me again, this time on a 30-mile ride. Lean MEANIE!

At least Sunday temps got up into the 70's.
(My apologies to all who are snowbound)

We saw some new bicycle-friendly signals on our route. YAY!

After the ride, a 7 mile brick run. Ended up with an 8:41 avg pace, not bad but a 168 AHR was higher than expected. Hmmm.

Then I went to a Total Immersion freestyle swim clinic for my tri club. Since I do a different style of freestyle, I volunteered to take photos/video and be there for support.

But some things are universal no matter what style of freestyle you do, like good head position and balance in the water. I must continue working on these things myself lest I be left in their wake.

And that pretty much wraps up my weekend. Hope you all had a good one too!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

In Case Anyone Was Wondering ...

No, I wasn't taken away by the M-dot police for my last post.

No, I've not been glued to my TV watching the Winter Olympics.
(Though I will take up a little space on my blog to root for Team USA)

So, what's been happening? Have I been training the past week??

Well, yes, BUT ...... Surprisingly, NOT the grueling type of training that we all love to hear about and that I thought I'd be doing in order to shoot for a PR at the Gator Half Iron (1.2 mi swim, 56 mi bike, 13.1 mi run) next month. Darn!

And it's not because of the unusually "cold" weather we've had here in Central Florida recently. Although sub-50 deg F temps does make it much harder for me to go outside, especially wearing all sorts of extra layers of clothing that makes me look like I've gained 10# -- UGH!

It's because Coach thinks I only need base miles to keep me fit while trying to help me rebuild (from the two irons last year and calf injury in December) and get stronger. So for this half iron training cycle thus far (and there's only 4 weeks left!), there's been NO 2200+ yard swim workouts, NO bike rides close to 50 miles, NO runs even 8 miles in length. YES, I'm going freakin' CRAZY!!!

Instead, I've been on a new diet of shorter, higher quality workouts. The last couple weeks, my total hours training per week has been less than 10. LESS THAN 10 hrs/wk -- OMG!!!!!!! Quite possibly the least I've ever worked out since I got into working out (excluding periods of major illness).

But many workouts have been with members of my tri club who are training for shorter races (and quite speedy). And nearly every one has been like a treat: Ooh, a 1500-2000 yard swim workout? Yummy! A 30-mile bike ride? Cold, but very tasty! 5-6 mile run? Thank you, may I please have another?

It'll be interesting to see how well I race with this Less is More type of training. To be honest, I've never really done it before. My idea of less is more has been doing LESS of some things and a whole lot MORE of something else ;-)

So we shall see. God help me if this works ...........

PS - Very busy week for me otherwise. I'll be catching on you guys starting tomorrow!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ironman Schmironman

Caution: This post may contain some material that may be viewed as offensive to some. If you have no sense of humor or are affiliated with WTC/Ironman, I recommend you skip it.

DC Rainmaker's recent post made me realize how much I LOVE non M-dot (non Ironman brand) races. Gasp! Horror!! Shame!!!

I really do. Why???

Well, besides lower cost, less crowds, hassle and hoopla, and, to me, a more rewarding race experience, I think athletes get much better treatment at smaller, independent races. For example, I recently got two emails from the race director (RD) of the Gator Half Iron, which I'm doing next month:

One had this picture of their trapper doing her job to ensure we have a nice race.

Because we all know gators are a possibility in FL lakes, although in March they are most likely hibernating or inactive and oblivious to any neoprene clad triathletes sneaking into their territory. In late May, however, when the water temps are 80+ degs, well, that's another story (and one you won't likely hear about from the Florida 70.3 RD).

The other had a photo of one of their volunteers to do body marking for the ladies.

Because we all know what a special and sensual experience it is to expose your arms and legs to be tickled by a big black felt marker, and how the person doing it can make or break your race. At M-dot races, chances are that all the hotties are doing the race so that the folks doing the marking are, uh, let's say, less hot.

It's these little things that make a race special to me. That personal touch from RDs, a race shirt or logo that every other triathlete is NOT wearing, the satisfaction of gutting things out when there was NO ONE around to carry you to the finish, that look of awe in others when they find out you went 140.6 (or 70.3) miles just for fun, NOT for a label.

But I have nothing against those who do M-dot races and wear their logos. In fact, I welcome them. Just beware, especially if you're in my age group, I find M-dots to be exceptionally motivating targets when I'm racing ;-)

PS - I also think there are a lot of great marathons besides the biggies: Boston, New York, Chicago, Marine Corps, the RnR series ... EEK, please don't hate!

Monday, February 08, 2010

What's Driving You?

Last week was my first real week back in tri training this year. It was fun but also frustrating. I've definitely lost some gears and endurance in swimming so that anything faster than ironman pace feels hard and I'm feeling fatigued after just a 500 warm-up. My bike Garmin trilled and stuck its tongue at me as I fought winds gusting to 30 mph. My HR monitor cackled as I hit zone 4 on my first brick run in months.

Where's the fun, you ask?

Well, the truth is that I'm happy to have just gotten out there. My local tri club held their kickoff meeting on Saturday and I saw my old self in many of the newcomers there. The fear of having to put their face in the water to learn to swim. The terror of having to ride a bike on a road with cars or deal with a flat tire. The anguish at having to run on tired legs after a bike ride.

Yep, I remember all those feelings when I first got into tris and I've come a long way. But now with two ironmans under my belt and no plans to do another one this year, why am I continuing to set new goals for myself when I don't really feel there's anything left to prove? Why don't I just relax and play with my grandkids, host Longaberger or Pampered Chef parties, or maybe even clean my house for a change?

Well, besides the fact that I don't have grandkids yet, am an introvert who hates selling things and would rather do just about anything else but clean house, I have some other things to get me off my duff:

New friends to train with -- YAY!!!
(Me in orange with hubby Dave, left, and some folks from my tri club)

A hubby who drops me like a bad habit in 50 deg weather. Grrr...BRRR!!

Thoughts of warm weather, the ocean and beaches in my future.
(mile 9 of Kona 1/2 Marathon)

What's driving you to get out there???

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Tag, Tag, Tag!

OK, I was tagged awhile back by folks and need to come clean. The first one was from Leana. Answer the following questions with one word answers:

1. Where is your cell phone? Bookshelf.
2. Your hair? Thick.
3. Your mother? Japanese.
4. Your father? Hardworking.
5. Your favourite food? Salmon.
6. Your dream last night? Weird.
7. Your favourite drink? Coffee
8. Your dream/goal? Kona.
9. What room are you in? Breakfast.
10. Your hobby? Blogging.
11. Your fear? Injury.
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Hawaii.
13. Where were you last night? Home.
14. Something you aren't? Tall.
15. Muffins? OK.
16. Wish list item? Empty!
17. Where did you grow up? California.
18. Last thing you did? Emailed.
19. What are you wearing? Ponytail.
20. Your TV? Off.
21. Your pets? Fish.
22. Your friends? Few.
23. Your life? Good.
24. Your mood? Even.
25. Missing someone? No.
26. Vehicle? Mazda.
27. Something you're not wearing? Shoes.
28. Your favourite store? TrackShack*
29. Your favourite color? Teal.
30. When was the last time you laughed? Morning.
31. Last time you cried? October?
32. Your best friend? Hubby.
33. One place that I go over and over? Y.
34. One person who emails me regularly? Dave.
35. Favourite place to eat? Home.
*Not really much of a shopper but I love working there!

The second one was from Maria. Name 10 Things That Make You Happy (I'm choosing to list things that don't happen everyday):

1. New running shoes.
2. Getting back to the pool after a hiatus. But NOT seeing how slow I've become!
3. A firm bike tire before heading out on a bike ride.
4. Having Dave home during the week. He usually travels a lot for work but is actually home this week - YAY!
5. Sleeping in on weekends.
6. Helping/supporting friends and fellow athletes.
7. Seeing "0 new items" in my Google Reader.
8. Coloring in a state on my 50 states marathon map.
9. Hearing the flight attendant say "Welcome to Kona."
10. Getting a $300 airline voucher to be voluntarily bumped from a $10 award flight. This happened last trip!

The third one I tagged myself to Name 10 Specific Goals for 2010:

1. Finish my 50 states marathon quest. (8 7 more marathons to run)
2. Run my first-ever 10K, ideally 46:00 (7:24 pace) or better.
3. PR in a half iron tri, ideally 5:40 or better.
4. Swim 100 yds in a pool in less than 1:40. Fastest to date: 1:43.
5. Work out with more people. (Except cycling with Dave on weekends, I trained alone for the most part last year. This year I want to do things differently.)
6. Help out at a minimum of 10 local races. (Should be easier since I'm not training for an iron tri and having to go so long on weekends; 2 so far)
7. Stretching and/or foam rolling at least 2x a week.
8. Help Dave get down to 200#.
9. Read one book. Eek, NONE last year!!! **
10. Play 2 piano pieces I used to be able to play well. Can I even still read music?!?
**Parts of Trizophrenia or other books I read don't count. Must be a whole book.

Not sure who has done these tags already or not but if you haven't and want to play, consider yourself tagged. I think the second and third ones, in particular, are a great way to kick off 2010, even in February ;-)

Monday, February 01, 2010

Fun 5K and Indoor Marathon Afterthoughts

Saturday I ran the Deerwood 5K, a small out-and-back race held just 2 miles from my house. YAY! But having run a marathon the weekend before, I had no plans to run it hard so I brought my camera to take some photos and video of my awesome fellow Blanchard Y Tri/Running Club members. The event was NOT chip timed so they let me watch the race start from the spectator side and then I went around to be one of the last starters. That was a first!

Below is what I got. To hide the video controls, move your cursor outside the window. To view a larger version directly on the Vimeo website, click here. (TRT 2:16)

Sorry for the bouncy running segments. Obviously, I don't have as smooth a stride as I thought!

Blanchard Y Tri/Running Club (Click to enlarge)

Me and a couple coworkers from Track Shack, one of the race sponsors.

Final race time: 22:54 (7:22 pace). Shh, Don't tell Coach ;-)
1/23 F40-49, 5/89 Females.


Also, there were a couple of good questions in the comments of my previous InStep Icebreaker Indoor Marathon race report that I thought I'd post here in case anyone else might have been curious:

1. Which indoor marathon did I like better, Instep or Zoom Yah Yah (ZYY)? (from Lindsay & RoadBunner)
Ooh, TOUGH question. Both are GREAT events but I'd have to say I liked Instep a bit more, because of the bigger track, more interesting venue, automated lap count/timing system and volunteers handing you fluids & fuel (vs. self serve). But ZYY's runner camaraderie and spectator enthusiasm are unmatched.

2. Do you do anything specific in training to get ready for them? (from Petra)
In training for ZYY last year, I ran quite a few laps during my long runs thinking I'd have to prepare myself mentally, but the laps flew by during the race and I realized I didn't have to. So for Instep this year, I did just my usual marathon training.

3. Do you find them harder? Easier? (also from Petra)
Easier! No worries about the weather, hills, when the next aid station or porta potty will be and much more runner & spectator interaction (--> fun!). Just put your legs in automatic and enjoy the ride :-)

Happy February, ya'll!