Friday, April 30, 2010


Well, turns out that I had one hell of a taper week. And by taper, I mostly mean didn't work out at all. I guess that means that I should be well rested come Sunday! After spending a good portion of last night laying everything out and then checking and re-checking my list to make sure I had everything, we were off! This morning Drew and I flew into San Francisco and despite my worst fears that our checked baggage (containing 90% of my tri gear) would somehow not show up, it was there!

After riding BART into the city, we were walking to our hotel and I told Drew that I didn't know what all the fuss was about, everything where we were looked mostly flat. Then I turned my head and saw it. A huge hill. Eek! Turns out there are lots of them here! We checked into our hotel and set out for lunch. After a tasty lunch of a crab quesadilla followed by a lunch dessert of a wine and cheese flight, we set off in search of my bicycle. Our hotel is just under three miles from the race site and the bike shop where my bicycle was being held hostage is about a mile from there.

We decided that we would just walk until we were tired and then if we had to we'd jump in a cab to go the rest of the way. We were walking along the Bay and I decided that Alcatraz doesn't really look that far away! After getting some directions from a Postal Worker, we happened to run into another triathlete (Sarah) and spent about an hour walking and talking with her.

Turns out that she's from D.C. and this is her third triathlon. She's done a sprint and an Olympic before -- just like me! I have to say that even if I never see her again (although hopefully we'll be able to meet up on race morning!), it was awesome to get to talk to her for a while today. It really seemed that although she's hoping to have the best race possible, she's also someone similar to me who is just in this for fun. It was really nice to know that I won't be the only person like that out there on Sunday.

We talked about logistics and what to wear on race day (unbelievably, she doesn't even own tri shorts!). I think it's really nice to have someone to obsess about all these last minute details with.

Finally, we parted ways with Sarah - she's staying about 2 blocks from transition. We were pretty close to the bike shop at that point, so we decided to just keep walking. The bike shop (Sports Basement) is huge! It was a former grocery store and every square inch of that store is covered in sporting goods. And their prices were amazing (at least to New Yorkers like us)!

I was finally reunited with my bicycle! I had brought along my pedals and shoes they put the pedals on and I was able to pump up my tires. The pump wasn't the best, but we got it to work. Another triathlete was there picking up his (very orange) bicycle and he told me that if I can find him and his stand-out bike on race day, I'm welcome to use his pump if I need it. That made me feel a million times better.

I rode the bike back to the hotel. I didn't have to go up any crazy hills on the way back to the hotel, but I discovered that the roads here leave a little something to be desired, so while I'm going to stick to the right ... maybe not quite all the way right where the road seems to be worst. Everything seems to be in working order with the bike, so I'm super relieved about that.

The funny thing is that when I got back from the bike shop, my jeans had rubbed off on my bike seat (which is white) and turned the sides of it blue. Oops. I'm not sure I really like it that way, but maybe it'll come off on Sunday?

The plan for the rest of the weekend? Tonight - get to bed! Tomorrow - Giants baseball game and dinner with my uncle & cousins. Oh, and in between the game and the dinner ... just a quick trip to the Expo to pick up my race packet and finally I'll get to know my number! And a mandatory race meeting. I have a couple of questions, so hopefully they'll be answered there. Then it'll just be a matter of making sure I've got everything organized for the race and the multiple transitions I'll be doing. I can't wait until Sunday!

Edited to Add: I am feeling better, although still not 100%. I think I'm the best I could hope for and at this point my cough seems to be more productive in getting rid of the junk that's hanging around (gross, I know, sorry) than anything else. I'm hoping tomorrow continues on this path and that my breathing gets just a tiny bit better before Sunday!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I Should

To be perfectly honest, I'm having a pretty hard week so far. Sunday morning I woke up with a tickle in the back of my throat and that has turned into an actual cold that is not going away. I had always planned on taking Monday off this week. Tuesday our Terrier run got canceled because of the bad weather we've been having. I was going to go running after work on Tuesday, but I felt horrible.

I ended up taking today off work because I knew the best thing for me would be to take a day to rest and try to recuperate. Except I've done nothing for the past two days but think about what I should be doing. I wanted to workout yesterday. I wanted to workout today. I think I should have done both. But breathing isn't the easiest thing for me to do right now and I don't know how much I'd really be gaining by pushing myself at this point.

So, I'm going to wake up tomorrow and see how I feel. I think that mentally I need to do something before I leave on Friday morning. If for nothing else, I need to know that I can bike and run and breathe all at the same time.

About the only piece of good news I have is this right here:

Good weather (fingers crossed) for the race!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Good Leader

Well, I guess I should preface and say that I think we all know this isn't going to happen this week (Week 4 Planned workouts):

I think that 9 hours of training just isn't going to happen this week. And I'm 100% okay with that. I got an hour in today, I'll take tomorrow off most likely, get in another 3-4 hours Tuesday-Thursday and then travel/rest up for next Sunday's race.

I did some resting today as well. I was out late again last night, so Drew and I slept in. By the time I was up and had eaten something, I just didn't feel like doing two workouts today. Instead, I went grocery shopping, made homemade granola and started on dinner before heading to the Terrier swim.

I got to practice a little bit early and was talking to Sarah (one of our swimming coaches) about doing Alcatraz next weekend. I'm really glad that I ended up saying something because she definitely threw in a couple of things in the workout that I think will really help me on race day.

This was our workout:

15 Minutes Continuous Swimming
8 x 75 (0:10 Rest)

Main Set
6 x 200 Descending (0:15 Rest)
8 x 25

50 easy

Total: 2850 Yards

During the warm-up, I did a total of 800 yards (400 swim/100 kick/300 swim). The 75s were 50 swim with sighting and 25 kick. After I had done a couple of the 75s, Sarah came over and told me to really think about being at Alcatraz and trying to reach my head further out of the water as if there were high waves in the water. It definitely helped to think about that while I was in the pool.

I started in the slowest lane today (I just wasn't feeling like I was that fast) and by the time we got done with the warm-up, Sarah made me move over two lanes to workout with the "fast" people. I was in a lane with one other girl and she told me that I should go ahead and lead the lane.

Our first part of the workout was 6 x 200. On the very first one I forgot and only did 100. Oops. I didn't start out on a good foot leading my lane. The 200s were descending, so we got faster for the first three and then repeated for 4 through 6. I really pushed myself to get faster as we went on with the workout. Knowing that someone was behind me really helped me to push harder than I would have if I had been in a slower lane or not the leader.

When we finished up that set, the girl that was in my lane told me that I was a great leader, which was nice of her to say. I felt like I was having a really great swim and I know for a fact that it was because Sarah moved me over and then I ended up leading our lane. I'd been going to the later swim option at 4:30 on Sundays because it's more convenient for me to procrastinate longer, but there are fewer people there than there are at 3:30. Maybe I should reevaluate this?

We finished up with 8 x 25. On the way down the pool, we had to do head-up freestyle (another good thing to practice pre-race!). And on the way back, we had to do some breath control. The first one we got three breaths, the second two breaths, the third one breath and the last no breaths. The head-up freestyle isn't easy and I was definitely breathing hard by the end. All I wanted to do was put my head in the water and swim normally. It also made it harder to turn around and come back with so few breaths, but I managed to do it!

All in all, this was a fantastic workout for me today. I think it was a good confidence booster going into the race, which is exactly what I think I needed.

Time: 1:00:00
Distance: 2850 yards / 1.62 miles
Pace: 37:30/mile
Calories: 632
Maximum HR: 182
Average HR: 163

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Leg Cramps

Drew and I spent the afternoon running errands, but I knew that I desperately needed to squeeze in a swim today. Somehow, I conned him into coming along and swimming with me. When we got to the pool there was a girl that was just getting into an empty lane. Since one of us would have had to swim with her no matter what, I asked her if she'd mind moving over one and sharing with someone else so that Drew and I could swim together. Luckily for us she agreed!

I had brought along a workout and I figured that I'd just try to get as much done while still keeping an eye on Drew and giving him a couple of pointers on his swimming. I don't hold out any hope that he'll turn into a triathlete, but I think it could be a good thing for him to be better at.

This is the workout I ended up doing:

Warm-Up: 16 Lengths
Drills: 12 Lengths drills
Kick: 12 Lengths kick
Main Set: 3 x 6 Lengths

Total: 1116 yards (0.63 miles)

For the drills, I practiced doing something that I had read about somewhere recently (unsure where at the moment). Apparently, a good way to know how often you need to sight is to close your eyes, start swimming and then see how long it takes for you to run into the lane line. It turns out that I'm naturally a fairly straight swimmer, although I have a slight tendency to drift left. But it would take me about the whole length of the pool before I ran into the lane line.

While we were doing the kicking, Drew's legs started cramping. He's not a very good kicker in general and I'm sure that this morning's workout had something to do with it. I've noticed that it's mostly boys that get these leg cramps. That's what it always seems like at the Terrier swims. Whenever I get a cramp (mostly in my toes), I just swim through it. I always figure I'll have to do that in a race, so I might as well get used to it.

I did part of my main set, but Drew's legs were still really cramping up, so I cut my workout a couple of minutes short and got out with him. But, like Sarah told us a couple of weeks ago at practice, there are no junk laps and getting in and getting wet is better than not swimming at all.

Here are my actual workouts from the week:

Oops. Not the best effort ever. Mainly on the biking front. But I blame the bike shipping for that one. I do just need to remind myself that I'm currently training for an Olympic and 6+ hours of training for the week before an Olympic triathlon isn't bad at all. On the swimming front, I'm not quite as bad as it looks. I should have have done 5500 yards - did 3132 instead (missing 2368 / 1.34 miles). I just can't worry about this. I'm excited for the race and I feel pretty ready, so I'm going to keep that feeling and go with it!

Time: 25:12
Distance: 1116 yards (0.63 miles)
Pace: 39:44/mile
Calories: 200
Maximum HR: 158
Average HR: 138

Playing Outside

This morning I had been planning on heading to the gym for a really boring and long spin bike ride in order to keep up with the half-Ironman training plan. I have to tell you that I thought it sounded pretty hideous to spin for two hours. Although I would have been quite happy to ride my real bike for two hours today! The weather was gorgeous!

Since the weather was so nice and I wasn't so keen on heading indoors anyway for a workout, I decided to go with Drew today. His personal trainer, Billy, leads a Park class every Saturday at 10:30 (which, frankly, is a little late for me to go on a regular basis). But, since I didn't have a bicycle, I decided to just get outdoors and skip out on the real plan for today.

Drew and I walked to the meeting spot on the Upper East Side. Once we got there and Billy arrived, the group headed over to a grassy spot near the Metropolitan Museum of Art. And that's when the fun started! Billy had us form a circle and immediately we started doing a circuit of squats, jump squats and squat thrusts. Since that wasn't enough fun, he then had us lie down on the ground and go up into a pike position and then from there, we had to flip-around to a push-up. Don't ask me how that worked. It was a lot easier than it sounded.

In that initial circle we also did a push-up circle where we would all do 5 push-ups, but do them one at a time so that you had to wait for everyone else in the circle to do their push-ups, while holding yourself up. I think we did the push-up circle at least 2 times, but maybe it was three. It's hard to keep track. There was also a ridiculously long holding of plank position.

I have to say that as a kid, circles were always really fun. They generally involved story time or sometimes a parachute. Today's circle wasn't so much fun. Maybe Billy should buy a parachute for these classes? That might make it better.

Once we were done with the circle stuff, he had us do a couple of sprints along the road. The first one was shorter than it was supposed to be because when Billy said "run to the orange cone" the leader did the natural thing and ran to the first orange cone. Not the second orange cone, like Billy had wanted us to do. I have to tell you, I felt bad for the other bikers and runners out there on the road. Here was a group of 20 or so people jogging into traffic and then turning around and sprinting all out. And we were doing it on the wrong side of the road (the non-running side).

When I got done with my second sprint, I was standing next to Drew and I thought he said, "I'm not even breathing hard!" I immediately told him to pipe down! I didn't want Billy to hear that Drew wasn't breathing hard. I wasn't in the mood for another long (slightly uphill) sprint. Except what Drew actually said is, "you're not even breathing hard". He was paying me a compliment. Either way, I didn't want Billy to overhear the whole exchange!

After that, we headed over to the Great Lawn. Billy had us line up in 4 lines while he set up a series of small orange cones (the start and finish lines). We had to do various things - sprints, karaoke, side shuffle, bear crawl, bunny hopping backwards and forwards and try to have our group come in first. Except that it turned out that there wasn't really an incentive to come in first because we all ended up having to do the same amount of push-ups after each round.

Then Billy broke us down into two groups and had us do some more sprints and things. The first one, I was sprinting against Drew -- and I beat him! Okay, technically Billy held Drew back for a couple of seconds while I got a head start, but I think that if he had tried harder, Drew could have beaten me. So I'm still going to put it as a win in my book!

I should also say here that both Drew and Billy were keen to point out that I am a very bad bunny hopper (backwards or forwards - doesn't really matter). Seriously, I have to be about the worst jumper of all time. I am totally incapable of jumping with both feet at the same time. This is why I stunk so badly when Drew and I did our own stair workout and he kept wanting me to jump up the stairs. I am pretty sure it's all a mental block, but whatever it is, it makes me a very bad jumper.

After all this stuff with the cones, we went out onto the loop around the Great Lawn and Billy told us that we'd have to run around the Loop, do 50 push-ups (using a park bench) and 40 dips (also using the bench). I opted to be in the first group and get the running over with. Gmap Pedometer says that the loop is 0.53 miles around and Billy told me that I finished in 4:12, which is super-de-duper fast and I'm not really sure I believe that time, but I'll go with it! I finished up with the push-ups and dips and that was the end of class.

Drew and I went to get Coconut FrozFruits with two other people from the class and we all chatted for a bit. Then Drew and I decided to jog home from the Great Lawn. He'd been asking me for a while now to show him the Bridle Path, so we ran on that for about half of the way home. When we got to Tavern on the Green, I decided that we should run on the Road so that I could show Drew where the "S" was (where we start our speed work in Terrier). I said that once we got to the S, we should sprint the rest of the way to the bottom of the Park. I actually was pretty close behind Drew - he didn't pull that far away from me - so I was pretty proud of that.

All in all, a pretty good workout for skipping a bike ride. I'm just going to go ahead and say that the cross-training will help me in San Francisco and leave it at that!

Park Class
Time: 1:07:40
Calories: 660
Maximum HR: 191
Average HR: 155

Run Home
Time: 11:01
Distance: 1.20 miles
Pace: 9:10/mile
Calories: 126
Maximum HR: 194

Friday, April 23, 2010

Refuse To Lose

So, I took an unplanned rest day on Thursday. All I can say is that life got in the way. We were out really late on Thursday and I had gotten too little sleep to get up and go to the gym at 6 AM (as it was, I only got 4 hours of sleep before going to work). Except I just couldn't let myself go two days in a row without a workout, so all day at work today I convinced myself that I would head to the gym right after work.

I went home, changed clothes and went to the gym right away. I hopped on a computerized spin bike and spun my heart out as hard as I could. I did the Endurance Program, Level 10. I really pushed the resistance as hard as I could while keeping it in the cadence range that the program tells you. It wasn't easy, that's for sure.

While I was biking, a girl got on the computerized spin bike next to me and set up a program for 20 minutes. Except that she got off after only 8 minutes. I have to say that I was a little disappointed that she didn't stick around for the entire program, since I had told myself that once she got off I'd only have 15 more minutes to go. Her leaving early threw me all off!

When I was walking home from the gym, I saw a girl wearing a Nike "Refuse to Lose" shirt:

I see now after some quick Google research that this seems to be some sort of University of Kentucky thing, but at the time, I was thinking that the slogan was probably for a game or a race, but on this particular girl, it looked like she meant "refuse to lose the weight". I realize that this sounds pretty harsh, but sometimes I wonder what people are thinking when they get dressed!

Spin Bike
Time: 57:04
Distance: 17.00 miles
Pace: 17.87 MPH
Calories: 547
Maximum HR: 171
Average HR: 155

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I Want To Play Outside!

Last night I was too lazy to walk downstairs to get my telephone to set the alarm so I told Drew that he was responsible for making sure I woke up. He woke me up at the appointed time and I didn't want to get up and go. I snoozed for another 25 minutes or so (and at some point, Drew left for the gym). I couldn't figure out why I didn't want to get up and go to the gym. And then I realized that was the issue. It wasn't that I didn't want to get up and work out. I just didn't want to have to do it at the gym.

I don't even particularly love my bicycle. I don't have a pet name for it or anything. I just call it my bicycle (and lots of times I simply refer to it as my bike). But, I miss it! I'm sad that it's already on a truck on its way to California! I want to ride outside and not in the sweaty gymnasium!

Since I didn't have the motivation to get up and go at the crack of dawn this morning, I was running a little bit late to the gym. In my haste to get out the door, I realized that I forgot to eat anything. I grabbed a water bottle, but I forgot to eat. Oh well. It's only the spin bike, how bad could it be?

I got to the gym and hopped on a computerized spin bike and started spinning away. I chose the Interval Program, Level 8. I was also sporting some new tri shorts that I picked up after work on Monday. I just started realizing that there was no way that I was going to make it through this season of triathlon with my sanity intact if I only had two pairs of tri shorts. So, I got two more! One is a pair of Zoot shorts and the other is Pearl Izumi. Nothing too fancy - just basic black shorts, but desperately needed.

I am happy to report that after a couple weeks where it was a bit touch and go, my rear end seems to have re-acclimated itself to sitting on a bicycle seat. Of course, the spin bikes aren't as comfortable as my real bicycle, but sitting down doesn't make me want to yell out in pain anymore, so I think we're on the right track.

I pedaled my little heart out for slightly shorter time today than I would have hoped for, but it was still a good and sweaty workout and I managed to actually do it instead of just griping about missing my bike. Okay, technically, I did still do the complaining, but I worked out too! That's gotta count for something.

Towards the end of my ride, Drew hopped on the (regular) spin bike next to me and he insisted on taking these pictures. So, here I am, hair unbrushed and all sweaty post-spin. And Drew's in the middle of his spin (and also quite sweaty!).

I also took this picture for posterity's sake for my ride stats today:

Again, I'm still so shocked by how high the calories are! Especially compared to what my HR monitor says I'm burning. I don't think any of this is an exact science, but since I usually go off my HR monitor, that's what I'm going to use as reference, even if it's not perfect.

Spin Bike Biking
Time: 52:04
Distance: 16.10 miles
Pace: 18.55 MPH
Calories: 441
Maximum HR: 160
Average HR: 143

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Two Amys

Tonight I had made myself a reservation at the pool at 8:30. I wasn't overly excited about how late that was, but I know I need to get in some good swims over the next two weeks and the only way to do that is to get in the pool. Once I thought about it, though I was actually thinking that 8:30 (PM) wasn't the worst time. Our gym pool closes at 9:15 and that meant that there wouldn't be anyone getting in the pool after me, so if my workout ran a little bit over, it wouldn't be the end of the world.

I figured that I would just try to do the 2000 yard workout that was on the training plan from Sunday that I didn't do then. It was pretty simple: 250 Warm-Up / 1500 yards / 250 Cool-Down. The only hitch is, of course, that our gym's pool is only 18 yards, so that meant that I was planning on doing 112 lengths of the pool (2016 yards).

I got to the pool a little early in the hopes that it wouldn't be too crowded and I could just get in early. Not the case at all. It was crazy busy! I checked in with the lifeguard and as I was sitting there waiting for it to be 8:30, the lifeguard called over to me and told me that there were two people named Amy that had a reservation at 8:30. Great. Typical. All I could think of for the next 5 minutes was that I wouldn't even be able to swim.

Except, I got really lucky. The lifeguard had both of us (the two Amys) go into the same lane at 8:30. And she was an awesome swimmer! And by awesome, I don't mean Olympic quality, but she was definitely a swimmer, she stuck to her side of the lane, and she didn't float around and get in my way the whole time. Which let me just put the pedal to the metal and swim swim swim. I don't think I took any rest breaks, I just swam straight through.

At some point, a guy got in the lane next to me and I found him to be really distracting. He was pretty much the same pace as me, so we'd turn around and push off the wall at the exact same second, but that wasn't the distracting part. The distracting part was his stroke. I just couldn't stop staring at it. He was swimming freestyle, but his arms looked like was swimming backstroke. He never bent his elbows. It was the weirdest thing. I just kept watching him, he probably thought I was the creepy girl at the pool.

At 9:00, I had managed to do most of my workout, but I still had a few more lengths to go to reach my goal for the night. I peeked around and noticed that the lifeguard wasn't on the pool deck (he was in the office), so I figured that I'd just finish up as quickly as I could and then head out. I only went a couple minutes over my allotted time and there wasn't anyone waiting to get in, so I don't feel bad about it.

I actually thought that I had a really good swim while I was swimming, although it felt like I was slower than I had been on Saturday when I was wearing my wetsuit. The funny thing is that I did actually swim faster today, but I attribute that to the fact that on Saturday I took a few more rest breaks, which all add up and today I just swam straight through.

Time: 32:33
Distance: 2016 yards (1.14 miles)
Pace: 28:24/mile
Calories: 326
Maximum HR: 169
Average HR: 159

10 Out Of 12 Ain't Bad

Sunday after the NYRR race, I went home, showered, ate breakfast and then Drew got home from his weekend in Florida. We ended up going together to drop my bike off, so it's on its way to California as we speak! I really can't believe that I'll be without my bike for such a long time, but it is what it is and there's nothing I can do about it now. After dropping off the bike, we ran a couple errands and then headed home. We ended up taking a nap and I decided I was too tired to go to the Terrier swim on Sunday.

I know that I probably should have gone, but I think that the triathlon I did for myself on Saturday tired me out a little bit more than I thought it would and it didn't seem like the end of the world to skip a swim. I also took yesterday as a rest day, which is usual. That meant that this morning I was ready and raring to go to the Terrier run!

I ran there and we did our normal strides, although we did a few less than normal, so the total distance was about 0.40 miles for the strides. At some point I really will time them, mainly because I'm interested about my heart rate while we're doing them, but for now I'm content to just run forward, backward and sideways on my own.

After the strides, we all ran around to the "S". I had looked at the workout yesterday, so I knew that it was going to be speed work. I have to tell you, being in the half-Ironman group isn't quite as much fun as I wanted it to be. Our workout today was to do 12 x 440 yards (0.25 miles) with a 440 yard recovery jog. I noticed on the very first one that we were starting the main portion of our workout a bit on the later side and I was probably not going to be able to do all 12 and get home in order to get to work on time.

I have to say that I really tried my best and ran as hard as I could on the first 440s. The problem was that my recovery jogs just kept getting slower and slower as time went on. Last night when I was talking to Drew about today's workout, he accused me of being a cheater on the recovery portion, so let me just say right now that there were a couple of times (three, I think?) where after running the 440 hard, I did count to 5 and walked a couple steps before starting my recovery jog back to the start. So, I jogged 99% of the time during the recoveries.

I managed to get 10 out of the 12 done before I was pushing it on getting home and being able to eat breakfast, shower, make lunch, get ready for work and get there on time. I don't feel bad about skipping out on that last mile since it was still quite a good workout!

It turns out that it doesn't get any easier to do this speed work. I was pretty beat by the end, but I still managed a nice slow jog home. Didn't hurt that I got caught at a couple of lights and was forced to stand there for a minute! Coach Spencer said that we're done with the "build" phase of the season and we're going to be doing more and more speed work in the coming weeks, which I'm not sure that I'm 100% excited about, but I don't hate it either. I think what I actually do like about it is the fact that the whole group sort-of stays together in the same area so we're constantly passing each other, which is a little bit nicer than watching everyone else sprint off into the distance with me bringing up the rear!

I've been thinking a lot about my plan for this week and next week leading up to Alcatraz. As of right now, my plan for this week is to stick with the half-Ironman plan. I'll take my usual rest day next Monday, hopefully get in some good workouts Tuesday-Thursday of next week and then take next Friday (travel day) and Saturday (SF tourist day/Giants baseball game) as rest days in order to be all ready for next Sunday's triathlon. Not your typical taper, but then again, this hasn't been the typical training nor is it really a typical triathlon!

Run To Meeting Point
Time: 12:40
Distance: 1.30 miles
Pace: 9:44/mile
Calories: 132
Maximum HR: 176
Average HR: 162

Run To S
Time: 9:03
Distance: 1.00 mile
Pace: 9:03/mile
Calories: 114
Maximum HR: 189
Average HR: 180

Running 10 x 440
Time: 49:11
Distance: 5.00 miles
Pace: 9:50/mile
Calories: 653
Maximum HR: 225 (What? Can this be right? It was hard, but not sure it was that hard!)
Average HR: 185

Run Home
Time: 7:38
Distance: 0.70 miles
Pace: 10:54/mile
Calories: 83
Maximum HR: 184
Average HR: 168

Total running mileage, including strides: 8.40 miles

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Running For The Parks

First - I just need to say that I did figure out the elevation map on iMapMyRide, so I'm feeling a little bit better about the app as a whole. Although it wasn't the easiest thing to figure out, I don't think. But it's probably more user error than anything else. Here's the elevation map from my Saturday ride:

Of course I'm still panicked when I compare the above map to the Alcatraz map, but in order to keep my panic at bay, I'm not going to re-post the Alcatraz map.

Second - Here's this week's workout plan:

Third - on to today! This morning was the NYRR Run for the Parks, a 4-mile run in Central Park. The last couple of NYRR races have started at 10 AM, but today's started at 8 AM, which was pretty early for me. I was pretty tired at the start of the race and just felt very tired all throughout the run as well. I'm guessing that yesterday's triathlon took a little bit more out of me than I thought that it did initially.

The weather was also pretty cool - about 43 degrees. I ended up wearing capris and a long-sleeved shirt. I also wore my race t-shirt over my other shirt, just because it seemed like I should wear it to the race. Plus, I don't really care about pinning my number to that t-shirt, but I sort-of do care about pinning it to my other shirts for some reason.

I was fine temperature wise during the race, but was freezing on my way home. The other issue I had was that yesterday while I was swimming in my wetsuit, I realized that the velcro from the pull-tab on my wetsuit was chafing my neck. I did fix it so that it wouldn't do that anymore, but the damage was done. For the first mile of the running race today I was convinced that I was going to have to take off my long-sleeved shirt (since it comes up further on my neck) in order to continue running - it was not comfortable.

I knew as soon as I started running today that I wouldn't be setting any PR's. I was fine with that. I was just hoping to run a fairly steady pace and get my run in for the day. I really was quite tired while running, so I was glad with the pace that I ended up with was still under 10 minutes per mile. Right as I was nearing the finish line, a guy came sprinting up behind me and a spectator was yelling at me to not let him beat me. At that point, I didn't really care too much and didn't feel like sprinting. All I really wanted to do was go home and eat breakfast. I just wanted to take my post-race bagel home and toast it and eat it with peanut butter. Priorities, right? Maybe I should have sprinted in order to get my bagel faster? I will say that they also passed out Terra Chips and an under-ripe plum as well as bagels. The plum was a bit of a bust. I'd like to suggest that they go back to apples!

All in all, certainly not my best effort, but I am still proud of the fact that I got up and went to the race. This is my sixth NYRR race this year and I guess that now is as good of a time as any to announce the fact that the reason I'm doing all of these races is in order to qualify for the New York City Marathon in 2011. I still have three more races to run and I need to volunteer at one race, but I am really excited at the prospect of running the NYC Marathon next year!

Run To Race
Time: 10:01
Distance: 1.05 miles
Pace: 9:32/mile
Calories: 108
Maximum HR: 175
Average HR: 166

Running Race
Time: 39:30
Distance: 4.00 miles
Pace: 9:52/mile
Calories: 485
Maximum HR: 189
Average HR: 177

Saturday, April 17, 2010

iMap My Ride - Westside Path Ride

My Very Own Triathlon

Yesterday was a total bust. I can't even blog about it. I had a very bad half-hour on the spin bike at the gym. I forgot my strap, so I have no heart rate data and I didn't even get one of the computerized spin bikes, so I literally have zero data. You might think that I didn't do anything, but I'm a really bad liar and I don't even think I could do it on the blog. I feel like I can't even count it towards my weekly workouts since I couldn't even really force myself to change the resistance on the bike.

Today, however ... today is a new day! Today was a day to do a triathlon on my own. Although I'm not clear if you can actually call what I did a triathlon. I did do all three sports today, so I'm going to go ahead and count it. I started out with quite a lazy morning watching bad reality TV. I finally got my butt in gear and headed out on the bike. It was somewhere in the low 50s. I debated back and forth about wearing tights or only wearing shorts, but I decided in the end to wear the tights. I think it was the right call.

I wasn't really sure what my bike plan was going to be, except to know that it was too late to go riding in the Park. I decided to head out on the Westside Path and see how crowded it was. Luckily, thanks to the cool and overcast weather, it ended up being pretty decent for a weekend. I ended up just riding to the end of the path and back home.

I tried something new to me on my ride - I downloaded the iMapMyRide app for my iPhone to keep track of the route. That was a total failure. The whole reason I downloaded it was because it says "this app will effortlessly mark out your ride along an interactive map and record essential metrics including duration, distance, pace, speed and elevation." See how it says elevation? Total lie. Unless someone can explain it to me (I'll post it separately in a second post). I keep clicking on the link that says "view elevation" and nothing happens!

The bike itself was really windy, especially heading north towards the George Washington Bridge. At the turn-around point on the bike, I stopped for a few seconds to open up the Balance Bar I had brought along with me and I ate the whole thing while I was riding home. Having a bento box (new to me this year) is very handy! Coming home wasn't nearly as bad wind-wise. I made it home and brought my bike upstairs to the apartment, dropped it off, switched shoes and headed out for a run. All in less than 3 minutes I believe. There was some debate on Beginner Triathlete about how soon you should run after biking to have it constitute a brick, but I did my best and I think it still counts.

The run was really tough. I thought that I wanted to run for 30-40 minutes. Of course, as soon as I started running, I was thinking that I'd be fine with 30 minutes. But, I really stuck it out to get closer to 40. I ran south on the Westside Path for the very first time ever. I just kept saying to myself "only 2 more blocks", which was pretty effective. When I reached my turn-around point (at about 19:30), I stopped for a minute and thought about running vs. walking home. I asked myself out loud, "Do you love triathlon?" The answer was a resounding YES! and that was enough inspiration to keep running and run the whole way home.

The whole time I was biking and running into the wind, I just kept thinking of these two songs. Not too original, I know. But it kept me going when the going got tough. That seems like enough for me.

After my run, I immediately pedometered it and was so happy to see that I had run over 4 miles and was still pretty speedy, even if it was a tough run for me mentally on the first half. I then made a big (late) lunch and sat on the couch for an hour.

Then it was time for the final leg of today's triathlon - a wetsuit swim! That's right, I wore the wetsuit by myself to the pool. I also decided to wear two swim caps, since they recommend that for Alcatraz to see how it would be. I wanted to be as close as possible to race-day conditions (while swimming in a swimming pool). I also wore my watch and my Road ID under my wetsuit, which I hadn't done the last time I donned my new wetsuit. Both worked out just fine and I'm still really happy with the suit.

I did one of my actual swim workouts today, which was a good thing for me. The only thing is that since the pool at the gymnasium is 18 feet long, I have to do some weird amount of yards to make it even lengths of the pool. This was today's workout:

Warm-Up: 16 Lengths (288 yards)
Drills: 12 Lengths (216 yards)
Main Set: 6 x 6 Lengths (6 x 108 yards)
Kick: 12 Lengths (216 yards)
Cool-Down: 16 Lengths (288 yards)

Total: 1656 Yards (instead of the 1600 it should have been)

The pool was actually pretty crowded at 4 PM on a Saturday, which was fairly surprising to me. I wouldn't have expected that, I don't think. As soon as I got my lane I just started swimming and basically didn't stop until I was done with the workout. You only get 30 minutes at my pool, so I had to make the best use of my time and I knew I would feel bad if I didn't get the whole workout in. Luckily, I did it in time to spare. That suit must make me speedier. But I'll take it! The two caps worked out fine, except that it's really hot. But I think that's the point and I'll be glad for it in San Francisco, I'm sure.

There was one thing in common with all three legs of this do-it-yourself triathlon today. Retractable dog leashes and Yorkshire Terriers. As far as I'm concerned, those leashes should be outlawed in New York City and today was just further proof. I think that because those dogs are so small a lot of owners just let them run all over the sidewalk. I have to tell you dog owners in New York -- beware! I will run your dog over if you are using one of those leashes and your dog gets in my way. (As a side note, I do really love animals, I just loathe those retractable leashes).

And, because doing a triathlon isn't enough - here are the stats from this week:

Again, I'm short on the swimming - but not as short as it appears. I should have done 5200 yards and I did 4056. I know I'm going to have to stop making excuses some time soon on that, but my master plan is that will change next week, since I'll be bike-less starting tomorrow (!), I'll hopefully get in some more swimming and running in the next two weeks. All in all, I'm pretty happy with my totals for the week, though. I think I'm definitely on the right track to be building a good base for Timberman.

Time: 1:28:13
Distance: 17.40 miles
Pace: 11.83 MPH
Calories: 807
Maximum HR: 190
Average HR: 150

Time: 39:23
Distance: 4.20 miles
Pace: 9:22/mile
Calories: 465
Maximum HR: 184
Average HR: 173

Time: 28:01
Distance: 1656 Yards (0.94 miles)
Pace: 29:45/mile
Calories: 290
Maximum HR: 175
Average HR: 162

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Making It Up On My Own

When my alarm went off yesterday morning, I checked the weather and saw that it was a little bit cooler than I think I like it to be when biking and I decided to sleep in. I think it was the right call. My legs were exhausted just walking around yesterday, I can't imagine what they would have been like if I had gone biking too. I thought about it while I was at work and I thought that a swim might be just the thing that my legs needed. However, for the first time all year (I think) I had to stay late at work. I figured that the universe was just telling me that it should be a rest day! I don't feel bad about this at all since I skipped my normal rest day on Monday.

This morning I had a minor alarm clock malfunction (read: I pressed snooze one too many times) and was running about 10 minutes late to the Terrier brick. I have to say that I feel like it's a miracle that I got up and went this morning. I think that I normally would have told myself that since I was running late that it wasn't worth it, which definitely isn't the case. Granted, I didn't bike or run for quite as long as I did last week, but it was still a solid workout and I'm glad that I went.

Since I was late, I missed the part where Robert explained the workout. Although he had said last week that we would be doing the same thing for a while until it started to get lighter a bit earlier in the mornings. I assumed that meant ride for 50-60 minutes and run for about 20. I didn't really have a clear plan of attack on the bike this morning, so instead of heading south on the bike (from 72nd Street), I headed north. I did one full loop and then wasn't sure if I'd have quite enough time to do a second, so I (conveniently) cut off the Harlem Hill on the second loop.

I think now (of course hindsight is 20/20) that I would have had time, but I was a little nervous because I didn't want to be the last one back to pick up my gear when I was done with the run! Of course, it turned out that I was actually one of the first people to transition from bike to run, but I didn't mind. I just went out to do my quick run of the Lower Loop in the Park.

And it really was quick. Seriously - where did these legs come from? It seems like recently I've been a lot faster (unless there is some sort of traffic issue like running to/from the Park). I'm not complaining, but I'm just wondering where all this speed is coming from. I hardly remember the last time I was over 10 minutes/mile and that used to be fairly common.

When I was coming back from my running loop, it definitely appeared that I had missed the memo on running today as everyone else appeared to be doing something a little different (maybe sprints on the Mall?). But I don't think that really matters. I'm just glad that I actually got up and went, even though I was running late. And even if my workout was 10 minutes shorter than it should have been, I don't think those 10 minutes will be the make it or break it moment at any point during a triathlon.

Time: 48:48
Distance: 11.50 miles
Pace: 14.14 MPH
Calories: 464
Maximum HR: 169
Average HR: 153
Total Biking Distance: 14.50 miles

Time: 16:44
Distance: 1.80 miles
Pace: 9:17/mile
Calories: 187
Maximum HR: 178
Average HR: 169

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dressing The Part

Last night on our way home from dinner, there was a guy in the elevator who was dressed in some workout gear and carrying an iPod. I asked him if he was heading out for a run and he said that he was, but that he was going to the gym and wasn't going to run outside in the dark. I then made some sort of comment about feeling like a badass because I do run in the dark. Not all the time, not every day, but I do in fact run while it's still dark outside quite often. I think I'm often quite smart about where I run while it's dark and this is New York City! You're never alone here!

I have to say that once we got off the elevator I felt bad for making my comment to that guy. Drew said I basically called him a wimp. So, sorry guy! But, in fairness, he was wearing a cotton t-shirt and I just couldn't take him very seriously as a real runner.

This morning I got up and headed off to the Terrier run (in the dark, I might add). I knew before I got there that today's run was going to be hill repeats, which I figure can't be the worst thing for me for San Francisco training. We did our normal strides (about 0.50 miles) and then instead of having us just run right over to the hill, which is maybe 0.1 mile away from where we do our strides, Spencer had us run a small warm-up of 0.75 miles around to the hill.

And then we did 40 minutes of hill repeats. I have to say that I actually felt pretty good about the 40 minutes part, mainly because that was the half-Ironman workout. I guess I'm officially in that group now! Eek! I did 4 miles in my 40 minutes, which was not easy. By the end of it, my calves were screaming out to me to give them a break!

I did walk for just about 2 minutes after finishing the hill repeats and then jogged the rest of the way home. When I was leaving the Park, I saw three girls all decked out in running gear, but they were carrying Starbucks cups - the plastic kind where you can clearly see that they all had gotten whipped cream drinks. They were walking along the path very leisurely. I guess that just goes to show that you can dress the part of a runner, but you can't always be the part. I'm guessing the guy in the cotton t-shirt was a bit more of a runner that the Starbucks girls. Goes to show you can't judge a book by its cover.

I went home and showered as quickly as possible since I was dying to put on my compression sleeves on my calves. They were definitely needing some special attention after five straight days of biking and a nice long run today!

Run to Park
Time: 12:06
Distance: 1.30 miles
Pace: 9:18/mile
Calories: 125
Maximum HR: 173
Average HR: 163

Running (Cat Hill Repeats)
Time: 45:43
Distance: 4.75 miles
Pace: 9:37/mile
Calories: 563
Maximum HR: 188
Average HR: 178

Run Home
Time: 14:25
Distance: 1.35 miles
Pace: 10:40/mile
Calories: 159
Maximum HR: 180
Average HR: 168

Total Running, including strides: 7.90 miles

Monday, April 12, 2010

It Smells Delicious!

This morning I decided in the interest of really sticking with this biking as much as I can before I lose my bike plan, I should skip the usual Monday day off and go for a bike ride instead. I had a doctor's appointment before work, so I had to leave the apartment at 8:10 (instead of my usual 9:00), so I got up early and planned on riding for about an hour.

I got to the Park around 5:30 and it was so peaceful and quiet. The weather was 54, according to my phone. After yesterday's overheating, I decided to wear shorts and two long-sleeved shirts. I think for about the first five minutes of riding my hands were cold, but I warmed up pretty quickly and was then perfect. Of course, the sun wasn't shining - it was pretty dark when I got to the Park!

The thing I noticed most about my ride today is that there was hardly anyone else out and about. There were probably the same amount of runners as usual, but the big "biker gangs" (as Drew calls them) weren't out on a Monday morning. All the birds were chirping and everything is in bloom in the Park and it just smells delicious. It'll be hard to remember that in a couple months when it's really hot and everything has the faint smell of garbage to it.

Not a very exciting ride this morning, I just did two loops in the Park and headed home. Nothing particularly noteworthy to mention. I stood up a couple times on the downhills to get my rear-end out of the seat. I seriously have to force myself to sit down when I first get on the bike. I try to hold myself up and just lightly rest my rear on the seat until my quads get tired of that and I sigh and resign myself to sitting down. Overall I think my rear is getting more and more used to sitting in a bike seat and I'm now determined to not have to break it in again, so hopefully I won't ever have to complain about all of this ever again!

Time: 53:59
Distance: 12.10 Miiles
Pace: 13.45 MPH
Calories: 450
Maximum HR: 159
Average HR: 142
Total Distance Biking: 13.50 miles

Sunday, April 11, 2010

This Looks Like Fun

While I'm not sure I love two-a-days, I'm definitely getting better at them, at least on Sunday. I didn't even really mind going swimming this afternoon. Of course, when I got there and saw what the workout was, I changed my mind. There are two intermediate group swim sessions on Sundays - one at 3:30 and one at 4:30. I tend to go to the later one as it seems like there are typically fewer people there, which I like. It also means that I usually get to see the last couple minutes of the workout ahead of me.

Before we even got in the water, Coach Sarah said that she wanted to talk to all of us - those who were about to get into the water and the people who were getting out. She said that we should all be swimming at least twice (and preferably three times) a week. She told us that she's just as guilty of this as everyone else, but we should all remember that there are no junk laps. The most important thing is just getting into the water, even if we only have 20 or 30 minutes. We don't have to feel obligated to always be doing really long sets in the water.

I think that this was a really good reminder for me. I often think that I don't want to go swimming at the pool at my gymnasium because you can only reserve a lane for 30 minutes and I often worry that it's not enough time to get in a decent workout, but the point is that I should just get in and swim and the workout will take care of itself.

Sarah gave us her go-to 1500 yard workout when she's not really feeling into swimming. She does 500 swim, 400 pull, 300 drill, 200 kick and 100 swim. I have to say that I feel a little bit bad now for not just finishing up the last 800 yards that I should have swum last week. Oh well, that's in the past and I'm not going to lose sleep over it.

This was today's workout:

200 swim
100 kick
200 swim
100 kick

Main Set
4 x 100-75-50-25 (Rest: 0:10)
4 x 150 Deck-ups
1 x 100 Deck-ups

100 swim

The warm-up is pretty self explanatory. The Main Set was pretty tough. The 4 x 100-47-50-25 were increasing effort as the distance decreased. So, the 25 was supposed to be really hard and the 100 would then be used as an active recovery. I really tried to pay attention and not cheat on the rest times as I wanted to get in as much swimming as possible.

The Deck-Ups were the part that I was not looking forward to. It was the part that I had seen the previous group doing when I arrived to practice and as soon as I walked in, I told Sarah, "this looks like fun!". She then kept asking me while I was actually doing it if I was having fun or not. I gotta tell you, it wasn't all that much fun, even if it was a good workout.

The purpose was to simulate coming out of the water and heading into T1 and going from horizontal to vertical rather quickly. So, we would swim 150, pull ourselves up onto the pool deck, stand up, take a couple breaths and jump back into the water and swim again. I think that the best part of the workout was the jumping back into the water. I was a little nervous that my goggles might pop off, but they stayed firmly in place. Great to know for the jumping off the boat bit at Alcatraz!

The total yardage for this week is supposed to be 5200 yards swimming. I've already done 2,400, so that leaves 2,800 to go. I'm not 100% I'll fit it all in this week, especially since I want to spend more time biking, but it's good to know that I've got a good chunk of it done.

Time: 48:38
Distance: 2400 Yards (1.36 Miles)
Pace: 35:39/mile
Calories: 483
Maximum HR: 171
Average HR: 158

Another Day In The Saddle

I can't believe I'm already done with one week of Half-Ironman training. Only 19 more weeks until the race! Here is the workout schedule for Week 2 (click to enlarge):

Of course, since on today's schedule it says run and swim, I started out with a bike ride. I gotta tell you, my rear end is getting better after all this biking, but it's still not super excited to sit down when I first get on my bike. I figure if I just keep making myself get on the bike, I'll hopefully just get used to it over time.

When I checked the weather, my telephone said that it was 52. I'm still not sure I've figured out dressing for the bike quite yet, so I wore tights, shorts and two long-sleeved shirts. I think I would have been okay if the weather had actually been 52, but instead it was 60 and super sunny and I was getting pretty hot after only biking for about 10 minutes. I stopped and took off one of my shirts and tied it around my waist. After that I felt just about perfect. I probably could have done without the tights, but getting them off was too much of a production, so I suffered through it.

There was a race in Central Park today, but I didn't think it would interfere too much with what I had planned. I rode to the Park, and then did Harlem Hill repeats. I rode the Hill 4 times and then headed for home. I know that these shorter rides might not seem like a lot and really, they're probably not in the scheme of things, but I figure that any time that I can just get my butt in the saddle and ride isn't a waste of time. All of these little things add up and while I know I still need to work on longer rides and longer runs, I think I am pretty much on par with some of the other workouts for this week in terms of bike riding.

Time: 59:25
Distance: 11.75 Miles
Pace: 11.87 MPH
Calories: 446
Maximum HR: 165
Average HR: 142

Saturday, April 10, 2010

He Who Must Not Be Named

First things first - the blueberry cake that didn't look so good tasted great. As requested by Joel, here's the link to the recipe. The only thing I would say is that I'd maybe wait more than the 10 minutes listed on the recipe to flip onto a rack to cool since that's how long I waited, but obviously, it wasn't quite ready to leave the pan yet!

So, after lunch today, I walked over to Toga and bought lots of flat supplies. I bought 3 tubes and when I asked for three, the person helping me asked "how many wheels do you have?". But, it wasn't all for me. Drew never bought flat supplies when he bought his bicycle last year and I figured that if we're going to be going on longer rides this year and not just doing loops in the Park, I thought that he should have everything he needed in order to fix a flat if we were out riding.

I got home from Toga, put the new tube on my bike, crossed my fingers and headed out for a bike ride. I went to my secret spot, that I'm now afraid to talk about given that every time I wanted to go there I ended up getting a flat and since I didn't want to mention where I went, I feel a little bit Harry Potter-ish with the "He Who Must Not Be Named" title of the post!

But, in order to properly document my ride, I guess I'll break down and tell you that I rode up the Westside Path. At the base of the George Washington Bridge, there is a decent hill to ride up and down. However, if you keep going north, you'll have to conquer a much steeper hill. Neither is particularly long, but they are pretty much one after another and I thought that it'd be a good thing to practice going up and down.

After I rode up the hills the first time, I thought that I really wanted to be done with the whole thing and skip the hill repeats. However, I then thought that I might not get a chance to do them again, especially since I keep getting flat tires every time I even think of heading up there and since I was already there, I should just suck it up and do it.

After you get up the steep hills, there is about a mile left on the bike path. The first time, I decided to ride there and back in order to get my heart-rate down. That 181 maximum was definitely from the ride up! On the first pass, there was a girl on a bike ahead of me and she was pedaling up the hill. However, she stopped maybe 10 feet from the very top of the path. I couldn't believe it! She was so close!

When I was starting to head down the first time, I practically had to force myself to ride down the hill. It's pretty steep and when you get to the bottom, you have to make a left turn through a short tunnel and I just don't trust myself (or my brakes) sometimes. But, I did force myself to go down. I think I was going like 8 miles and hour down the hill, which was faster than I was going up the hill, but not by much!

On the way down, I noticed that there was some sort of photo shoot being set-up with a (nearly nude) male model. There were just some flowers covering the family jewels. I then realized that since this was only my first pass, I'd probably start to look like a perv to the photographer and model since I was just going to keep riding by again and again.

Even though I might have looked like a perv, I learned a great deal about hills and my ability to climb up them this morning. On the steepest hill, I could make it up in the middle ring if I stood up and pedaled out of the saddle. However, if I switched into the granny gear, I could make it up staying seated in the saddle. It's good to know that I can do it either way and I'm sure that Drew's glad that I got some standing practice. For some reason, he really worries about that it seems.

I ended up doing the hills 4 times. Twice in the middle ring and twice in the small ring. Then I headed back home. When I got home, I had gotten an email from TriBike Transport saying that my bike now has to be dropped off next Monday (April 19th) by noon, so I really only have a week left of riding before San Francisco! I'm thinking that perhaps this Monday I might take it in for a tune-up, but if that doesn't happen, I don't think it'll be the end of the world.

Here are my actual workouts from the week:

I think I did pretty well. Granted, I didn't get in quite enough swimming, but I was only 800 yards short - the time is a little deceiving, which I think will continue to be the case throughout the course of the training season. I also went way over the biking time, which I'm really happy about. I think that while I've got my bike here, I've got to take advantage of that fact and I can work on picking up more swimming and running once the bike has been shipped. Maybe I'm approaching this all wrong, but that's what makes sense to me.

Time: 1:38:45
Distance: 19.45 miles
Pace: 11.82 MPH
Calories: 810
Maximum HR: 181
Average HR: 141

Girl vs. Bike Round 2

Oh, what's that? You're surprised that I could get another flat so soon? Ha. This is the story of my life. Here's the flat tire in all of its glory (the front wheel again):

(That's Drew's bike in the background looking all smug and perfectly pumped up).

Since I was hoping to do the same route that I was planning on doing on Wednesday night when I got a flat, I'm thinking that I should never want to do that route ever again. I'm not even going to mention it here. Drew told me that he thinks that someone is trying to tell me that I should just stop riding my bike. Maybe I should only do aquathons from now on?

After this failure and because the bike shop wasn't open yet for me to go buy a new bicycle (okay, okay, I would have probably only gotten a new tube and maybe a tire), I did what any good triathlete would do. I made a cake. Oh, and how did that go you wonder? Here it is baking in the oven (it's blueberry buttermilk cake):

And here it is out of the oven:

Looks good, right?

Um, yeah, except this is what happened when I flipped it to take it out of the pan. I try to keep it clean on the blog, but I promise you that the were many curse words floating around when that happened.

I'm giving up for the moment and I'm going to go take a shower and go to lunch with a friend who is in town. One could only hope that I can't screw that up too. I will regroup on the workout front later on today.

To recap, it's Bike = 2 / Girl = 1

Friday, April 9, 2010

Only 10 More Seconds

This morning there was a chance that I was going to go swimming with Laura, which would have been great as a second chance to test out my wetsuit, but she ended up being up late doing work, so we canceled our swimming date. I had actually really wanted to go swimming because they were forecasting that the weather this morning would be rainy. And they were right.

I woke up to rain and decided that could only mean one thing - heading to the gymnasium. Again, I'm grateful that I decided to renew my gym membership! I guess I probably could have swam there this morning, but it's really better if you make a reservation, otherwise you can get stuck waiting for quite a while, so I didn't really feel like taking my chances and waiting around forever this morning. Instead, I decided to go for a quick spin.

On the computer spin bike, of course. I decided to do the "Race Day" program, Level 8. I've done the Race Day program before and I remembered that it's not just all sitting down, so I wasn't quite sure what was in store for me, but it ended up being a really good workout, I think. There were lots of seated flats (on high resistance) as well as a lot of standing climbs, so all in all, I think it was pretty representative of what my race day will be like.

Here are my stats for the ride (I'd just like to mention that these calories were WAY off, which is a little weird to me):

After the bike ride, I still had a few minutes before I had to head home, so I decided to head over to the stair mill. San Francisco's run course has a Sand Ladder, which is basically some old railroad ties covered in sand that you have to climb up. In the newsletter I was e-mailed yesterday, they recommend practicing climbing stairs, so I figured what the heck and climbed some stairs.

I did the Fat Burner program on the stair mill for 15 minutes on Level 12. The nicest thing about this was that each segment was only 10 seconds long. I mostly spent that 15 minutes staring at the monitor on the machine thinking "only 10 more seconds" over and over again. I haven't done the stair mill in quite a while and I forgot how sweaty it is!

I checked the results from the Sand Ladder from 2008 and it looks like most people complete it somewhere between 2 and 3 minutes, so it seems like 15 minutes of constant stair climbing was good practice! I'll definitely have to do it again as I really noticed that my calves were a little bit sore while climbing.

Time: 55:06
Distance: 17.10 miles
Pace: 18.62 MPH
Calories: 468
Maximum HR: 157
Average HR: 142

Stair Mill
Time: 15:27
Distance: 1.70 miles
Pace: 9:05/mile
Calories: 143
Maximum HR: 163
Average HR: 153

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Where Are You Water Bottle?

This morning I got up and got ready for the Terrier brick. I have to say that after getting dressed, the first thing I did was check my bike tire, but this tube I put in seems to be holding out just fine. The problem with the other tube, I discovered, is that the hole in it is too close to the nozzle and I don't think that it's fixable no matter how many patches I put on. At least it wasn't user error! Of course, I was paranoid about it the entire time I was riding today.

I got to the Park and Robert told us that our workout would be the same as last week. Ride for 50-60 minutes pedaling the entire time, run for 20 and then do a half-mile loop running with your bike. I have to say that I was glad he told about the running with our bike part from the beginning. Last time I felt like it snuck up on me and I wasn't too happy about it.

The other thing I wasn't happy about? When I was riding today and reached for my water bottle only to discover that I had left it on the kitchen counter. Okay, not the end of the world, but a little bit annoying nonetheless.

Since we were supposed to pedal the entire time - uphill and downhill - I really tried to stay focused on that. I will admit that I did stop pedaling three times. The first time was when I was going up the East side by the 72nd Street Transverse at about 5:45 AM. The street lights were off and it was pitch black, so I stopped pedaling to slow down a little bit. It's actually a good thing I did because right after I had crossed 72nd Street, a biker came from the left and almost crashed right into me. The second time was just before 90th Street on my second loop of the Park. I could hear a lot of yelling before I could see who was doing the yelling. At first I thought that maybe someone had fallen, but it turns out that it was just a bunch of drunk kids yelling at the bikers and runners. The third time was at the 102nd Street transverse when a construction worker was telling everyone to stop so that a large dump truck could cross the street. I think that in all three instances I was justified in not pedaling and it was probably about a minute total that I wasn't pedaling, so I'm okay with that.

So, of course, I'm always paranoid about getting a flat while riding. I'm especially nervous after having just gotten a flat. Which meant that today, I was a nervous wreck. To add to that, I kept hearing a weird noise while I was riding (a metallic sound) and I couldn't figure it out. I was nervous that something was wrong with my bike. But, it wasn't until the end of the workout when I was running with my bike that I realized my CO2 cartridges and multi-tool were the culprit. Without a tube in my saddle bag (my spare is on my bike right now), they make a lot of noise rattling around in there!

After the bike, I changed shoes quickly and headed off on my run. I decided that I don't want to spend the whole season doing loops around the Lower Loop of the Park, so I decided to run north for 10 minutes, see how far I got, and then see if I could run back in the same amount of time. In 10 minutes, I had gotten to the Reservoir Path (so just over a mile). I turned around and ran back even faster than I had ran there. I have to say that I really felt like I was not moving at all while running, but I keep being surprised by my speed (not that I'm speedy by any stretch of the imagination) running off the bike.

As soon as I got back to the transition area, I grabbed my bike and headed off for my half-mile loop. I definitely remember last year the first time we did this, I could barely steer my bike at all. Now it seems like no big deal. (I should mention that when we do this, we can only use one hand and have to push our bike holding onto the saddle). This always seems like such a silly thing to practice, but it's extremely helpful transition practice!

I finished the workout with about 2 minutes to spare (the watchdogs are only there from 5:30-7:00), so I packed up my gear and headed home. And the best part of all about today is that (a) I wore shorts & a short-sleeved shirt on the bike and (b) I didn't get another flat! Whew!

Time: 55:06
Distance: 13.90 miles
Pace: 15.4 MPH
Calories: 528
Maximum HR: 174
Average HR: 155
Total Biking Distance: 16.95 miles

Time: 24:26
Distance: 2.62 miles
Pace: 9:19/mile
Calories: 277
Maximum HR: 178
Average HR: 172

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Girl vs. Bike

My bike hates me. Maybe it's good that we only have a few more days together before it gets shipped off to California. I came home from work today so excited to go for a bike ride, which doesn't normally happen. I should have known right then that something was wrong. The worst part is that I was even excited to do hill repeats on the hills near the little red lighthouse by the George Washington Bridge. So, I get dressed in my biking gear, including my special Marilyn Monroe socks. I fill up my water bottle. I put a bar in my bento box. And that's when I see it.

The flat tire. Sigh. OK, not a big deal. I can fix that. So, I find the hole in the tube and patch it. I put the tire back on the wheel and pump up the tube. And I'm still leaking air. Sigh again. Take off the tire only to find that there is a kink in the patch, which is letting air out. Okay, I can fix that too. I remove the first patch and re-patch with a new one, using my very last patch from my kit (I've had a lot of flats, okay?).

I probably should mention some other facts right about now. This flat was on my front tire and it's my very first front tire flat. Kind-of nice not to have to get the chain involved! Last year after I got so many flats in the back, I got an armadillo tire, which has been working great. I wonder if it's time for an armadillo on the front?

Anyhow, after re-patching the tube, I put the tire back on and pump up the tube. It seems to be holding air, which is awesome. I put the wheel back on my bike frame and put my bike in the corner. By this point, I've wasted the good chunk of my daylight riding time and I think I could get in about a 20 minute ride, which seems ridiculous to me to even drag my bike downstairs.

Since I've now wasted a perfectly good day for bike riding, I figure that maybe I should try to use my multi-tool to see if I can get my pedals off my bike. I push and pull at them using this really small Allen wrench to see if I can get them off (I need to get them off to ship to CA). They won't budge. I Google everything to make sure I'm twisting the right direction. I try watching a You Tube video. Turns out those puppies are on the bike very snugly! I'm not too worried about this, since I had planned to go to Toga and buy a longer Allen wrench anyway, so I can buy that and ask them to demonstrate just to make sure I have it all down.

So, after the pedal failure, I decide that I won't mope around and I'll make myself some dinner instead so I can get to bed at a decent hour and get lots of sleep before tomorrow morning's brick workout. And then I hear it. The telltale "psssssssssssssss". Argh!! All the air just let itself out of my tire! I'm all out of patches and the bike stores are closed. Luckily, I do have another tube, so I'll have to take the tire off again (for the third time today, in case you lost count) and put in the other tube. Let's hope this one holds up at least until after 7:30 tomorrow morning!

At the moment, it's Bike = 1 / Girl = 0

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Is It Raining?

This morning I woke up bright and early and headed off to the Terrier run. I will say that I chose a new alarm on my phone and set it on the dresser so I'd have to actually get up to turn it off, which might have been part of the reason that I actually managed to get up and out of bed even earlier than I needed to!

When I left the apartment at 5:40 AM, it was 63 degrees outside. I wore shorts and a t-shirt, which is an awesome change from all those other winter clothes! Of course, that meant that lots of my teammates thought that it'd be a good idea to join in the run this morning. I think that there were about 50 people there, which is probably twice the size that I'm used to seeing! But, the more the merrier.

We did our normal strides and drills and then headed off for a tempo run. I forgot to keep track of how many strides we did exactly, so no additional mileage there today. For the tempo run, I decided to run from 72nd Street north up to the 102nd Street Transverse and then down the Westside and home.

I have to tell you, I'm still not used to this heat. I know that a couple more times and I'll be back into the swing of things, but I was sweating like crazy this morning. So much, in fact, that I actually thought it was raining because it was dripping off my head and hitting my arms randomly. I guess it's good to know that I'm working out.

I will say that today's run wasn't as much my favorite as some of the other ones have been recently. I don't know if it was the heat or lack of sleep (I was up late babysitting for my cousins who were visiting), but today I didn't love running like I have been recently. I'm not too worried, it'll come back, I'm sure of that!

Time: 57:53
Distance: 5.80 miles
Pace: 9:58/mile
Calories: 670
Maximum HR: 185
Average HR: 173

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Let's Stick It To The Man

To keep accountable from now on, I'll be posting my weekly workout schedule. My half-Ironman training officially starts on Tuesday of this week, so this is what Week 1 will look like (click for larger image):

My current plan is to post the week's plan and also post what I actually did during the prior week. I'm hoping that this keeps me accountable and on track to completing the training as it's laid out. I should mention, however, that I know that I will not be doing these things on the days that they're listed. My main goal it to make sure the totals at the bottom add up. The only thing about the totals for swimming is that I put in an hour of time for the swimming in the log no matter what the distance was. So, my times for swimming might be short each week, but I am going to try to go the distances that the plan calls for.

After eating lunch and taking a short nap this afternoon, I headed off to Terrier swim practice. I was actually looking forward to testing out my goggles again! I got to the pool and noticed that there had only been about 5-6 people for the 3:30 swim (I went to the later swim at 4:30). That didn't seem so surprising given the holiday weekend.

I changed into my swimsuit and went out onto the pool deck. And I was the only person there! I asked the lifeguard if the coach had left for the day and he said that no coach showed up at 3:30. I checked to make sure we could still swim and after he said yes, I hopped in the pool. I figured I might as well make the most of my hour.

There was a work-out posted on the dry-erase board by the pool, so I started doing the warm-up listed there. I didn't know if it was a Terrier workout or something else, but I figured it was better than nothing and I didn't have any great ideas of things to do. After I had started swimming, two more guys came to the workout. One of them told me that the earlier group had done 12 x 100 at race pace as the main set. We figured we'd do that too.

Except when I was about to start the main set, I commented that I thought it didn't sound fun (I think I actually said, "that sounds sucky"), so the guy asked if we should do 6 x 200 instead. He said that we should "stick it to the man" and do what we felt like doing. We both thought that 6 intervals sounded better than 12, so that's what we did.

This was my workout:

300 Swim, every 3rd length breaststroke
6 x 75 Swim/Drill/Kick (Rest: 0:15)

Main Set
6 x 200 Swim at Race Pace (Rest 0:30)

200 Kick
200 Swim Easy
100 Breaststroke

Total: 2300 yards (1.30 miles)

For the drills in the warm-up, I did a mixture of one-armed drills and fisting drills. I also did the kicking with a board since it worked out to leave it at one end and pick it up on the next set. For the main set, I finished the 200s around 3:30/3:40 each time, which I was pretty happy with. There was some discussion about what defines "race pace" and how impossible that is to duplicate in a pool.

After I was done with the main set, I still had some time left, and I thought I should use up the whole hour as best as I could instead of sneaking out early, so I did some kicking, easy free and then some breaststroke. Seemed like a good way to get another 500 yards in.

Even though there wasn't a coach there today, I'm still really glad that I went and had such a good long swim. I think working at "race pace" really made me think about being tired in the water and pushing through. I also think that the 200s were better than 100s would have been in that situation.

Time: 56:59
Distance: 2300 yards (1.30 miles)
Pace: 43:47/mile
Calories: 521
Maximum HR: 168
Average HR: 150

Drew's New Shoes

This morning Drew and I got up and putzed around for a little bit this morning and then I pumped up our bike tires so that we could hit the road. This was Drew's first bike ride of the year and I was starting him out with a ride to New Jersey. I should mention that it's less than 9 miles from our apartment over the George Washington Bridge and into New Jersey. I mentioned to Drew's sister that we were going on this bike ride and she said that it sounded really far away. It's not.

We rode up the Westside Bike Path to 95th Street and from there rode up Riverside Drive until the turn off for the bridge. Today was a big day for me because the first time I went to New Jersey, someone had warned me that the hill going up 165th Street might be a little steep for my first time. So, today was the first time that I ever rode up that hill. I know it's not that bad (and I realize it now having done it), but it seemed like a big accomplishment just to know that I can do it.

We got onto the bridge and rode into New Jersey. Our plan was not to go too far, but instead to just go to the Palisades Park. You ride down a hill into the Park and then it's pretty much downhill from there to the Marina. Which was great for me because it meant that we'd have to climb back up if we wanted to get home! When we got to the Marina, Drew made a quick pit stop and had one of his bars that he'd brought along as a snack (I snuck a bite or two). Then we headed back up the hills!

I will admit, I am not fast uphill. But I can make it just fine. And I did it all in my middle gear. I like to think that this gives me some leeway for San Francisco. I still have my granny gear as a back-up and I also can stand up if I need to. Drew thinks I should really practice standing up, and he's probably right, but I really like digging deep and pedaling myself uphill while sitting down. Something about standing up makes me feel all wobbly on my bike, which isn't a great feeling. I will practice this before the race, though.

As we were heading home and making our way off the George Washington Bridge, Drew took a little spill on his bike. For those of you who have never ridden here, the ramp up to the bridge is maybe 4 feet wide - just barely enough clearance for two bikes to pass each other. And half-way up the ramp (or down the ramp, as the case may be here), there is a hairpin turn. I was still coming off the actual bridge, so I looked down and thought, "oh, that's weird, did Drew drop something?" because I saw him leaning down on the ramp and pick something up.

Turns out that at the turn, he wasn't going fast enough and because he was basically stopped, he just pretty much fell over. And he did in fact drop something - his Balance Bar had fallen out of his Bento Box. Luckily, since he wasn't really going fast (or at all) he only came away with some scraped up knees:

Right knee

Left knee

On our way home, we made a stop at Toga. Drew had a big purchase to make and I needed them to check out my front brake. The brakes were working fine on my bike, but the whole mechanism was a little loose so from time to time one of the brake pads would rub on my wheel. Luckily, that was like a 2 minute fix!

Drew's purchase turned out to be a bit lengthier time-wise. He got cycling shoes!

They're pretty much my same shoes, except for boys and his shoes have a lot more red than mine do. Of course, the new shoes meant that he had to get new pedals as well, so it took the bike shop a while to switch out his pedals. While we were waiting for them to switch the pedals on his bike, he used the pedals on my bike to practice clipping in and out. By the time he got on his bike, he was an old pro at the clipping in and out and was ready to head home!

I think we had gone about two blocks before we were stopped at a stop light and Drew stuck his brand new left shoe into some road tar! Luckily he noticed it right away and it was totally fine, but it was definitely good for a laugh (or maybe two!).

After we got home, he spent the rest of the afternoon saying how much he likes his new shoes, so it seems like it was a good purchase for him! He's got a lofty mileage goal for this year on the bike, so we'll see if these new shoes inspire him to get out and ride a lot. I'm hoping it does. It's really nice to have company!

Time: 1:52:41
Distance: ~20.0 miles
Pace: 10.65 MPH
Calories: 854
Maximum HR: 169
Average HR: 135