Saturday, March 29, 2008



By way of numbers...

2 bottles of Fruit Punch Accelerade consumed
2 bags of Sport beans consumed
2 gels consumed
1 frantic bathroom trip, 3 stories up
4 fast transitions
0 wasted time
4 times I wondered why I was watching Keeping up with the Kardashians
2 episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians watched in the entirety (chickens? like, really?)
3:10 training in the bank
1 Lance Armstrong movie watched
2 times the remote fell to the floor and split open
1 time I came deese close to falling off the back of the treadmill
12 cuss words spoken at Z4 run interval, a mere 2:25 into the brick
2713 calories burned
0 shortcuts

which leaves us with...

... 1 well earned burger and monster salad to be consumed by yours truly.

Peace out, girlscout.

Dream a little dream

I'm not dreading today's workout, but my subconscious is.

Today I have the last big prep workout for the big duathlon next weekend. It's a Du Brick of the likes I've never tried before. All my bricks have been in the bike to run format...worked pretty well for me. This one, is different.

45 on the bike with increasing levels of HR
30 minute run with increasing levels of HR
45 bike repeat (build, build, build!)
30 minute run repeat (build, build, build!)
30 minute bike spin out


That'll be new.

And my knee has been flaring again. All the way up to the hip. My new fancy refreezable icepack and I have become close friends. My roller and I are in an intense lovehate relationship and DEESE far away from an ex parte restraining order. It's been fun at my house this week.

Last night I had a dream I was down at the local university's athletic center and had lost a chunk of my left calf and (much more recently in the dream) lost another huge chunk of muscle out of my right calf. I was climbing endless stairs with the swim team, trying to find the upstairs exit. (Huh?) Once I did, I had a long hill to climb to get back into town and it was the slow trudgery that only a dream can bring you. Heavy legs, walking through molasses, cant. walk. faster. At the top, I ran into my hockey coach from high school who was at the finish line of a running race that I had missed. She was decidedly not impressed with my chunked out calves.


So, if I don't get my butt in gear and down into the basement for this brick my subconscious will have some more to say about it, I'm sure.

Damnable Freud.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I gots potential, beebie

Guess what, guys?

Guess what I get to do next weekend?

Huh? Huh?

Yeah...that's right, baby...

I GET TO RACE!! Wahoooo!

No joke -- race season has finally begun and not a moment too soon. I was totally enjoying my time in the basement, but it will be seriously fun to take these legs out on a real course and see what they can do.

I literally have no idea what times to look for. LITERALLY. I've spent the whole winter inside working on cycling efficiency and running form and keeping things within proscribed heart rate zones.

Not complainin' in the least bit, either. I think I'm MUCH stronger today than I was this time last year. No joke.

But your mph on the trainer really doesn't give you an accurate idea of your real potential out there on the road. I've seen it creep up and up in the same HR zone, but the true power is still yet to be translated.

Same with the run. With the exception of one really, really stupid run I did last week wherein I spent (no joke) 25 minutes in Zone 3 and AN ADDITIONAL 25 minutes in Zone 4 (!) .... I have yet to let lose on my run.

Next Sunday is my first Duathlon.

5K, 13.5 mile, 5K

Spells FUN in my book.

Bring on the pain people. Bring on the pain!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Viscious Torture Device Available at Target, Suburban Shoppers Unaware

Just patiently waiting there for its next victim. A mere $22.24 for a world of hurt.

Who knew?

How to completely mess up a rest week AND blow your knee, all in one easy lesson.

Sometimes, training isn't great. Sometimes you don't get to daydream about strong finishes and hear your own soundtrack in your head, urging you forward. Sometimes you don't get what you want, and sometimes you probably should have stayed home.

Yup. Sometimes it just sucks.

And such is life.

From whence this melancholy come? Last week. Or, more specifically, 1:15 PM last Saturday.

Here's the deal. My coach dialed me back for the week for a couple of reasons. First, I have a build coming up for a STUPENDOUS EARTH SHATTERING PEAK for my first race of the season. Okay, I kid a bit with the shattering stuff, but there will be a peak involved I'm told.

And second, I had a 2 hour run on the schedule for Saturday. It's my longest so far on deck since last season and a source of a little consternation about being properly rested and whatnot. But *I* was confident that it would be *just dandy* and *don't worry* about me because 2 hours sound *peachy.* I can do it in my sleep.

Ah, bravado. How did I make it through my 20s without you?

So (warning: admission coming ahead), I'm not really - um - all that great at the rest week thingy. Actually, I'm pretty craptastic at it. Here's why.

"Rest week" in my world (apparently) is translated "everything is optional week."


(I know, I know.)

My poor coach. I should have warned her that I have two speeds -- training or sittinginbedwatchingtveatingbonbons.

(no, not really bonbons. maybe berry gelato. but that was just ONCE.)*

I was peachey for my swims, but that quick run on Tuesday? My headache had an easy time of convincing me otherwise. The bike on Wednesday? Notsomuch.


Huh? Huh, genius?

That would be knee pain. AND YES, I know, it has happened before. Um, can we say the 2006 Philly Marathon? Yeah, my ITB hates trying to throw out there a 2 hour run when I haven't given it the time of day for a week.

So, Saturday was a day of no lollipops and nary a rainbow. Just one p-ed off runner walking dejectedly home an hour early. And in pain. And really angry with the world (read: myself and my knee).

I iced and I moped and I complained and moped some more. And this tempermental triathlete tantrum didn't end until I finally got on the bike on Sunday to finish up the week's plan.

And you know what? That. Sucked. Too.


It can't all be lollipops and rainbows, I guess. Sometimes it just doesn't work. Sometimes I've gotta just remember the good runs and shut up and move on.

And for right now, I've gotta find a local place that sells foam rollers. Because I needs me one. Pronto.

* okay, twice.

Friday, March 14, 2008


Effective, no?

(don't worry -- okay for work...I mean, not that you'll be blogging at work...or surfing the internet...OF COURSE NOT...cause I'm not, you know. ah, sugar.)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Every Last Minute

"I can do anything for 5 minutes."

That's how it started. I was reaching the end of a gut wrenching, find the wizard, leave your guts on the floor bike test and there were five minutes to go. So I decided I could finish this if I could convince myself I could do anything for five minutes.

"I can do anything for 5 minutes."

I said it outloud. I had no reason to trust it. I just wanted it to be true enough, so I forced its existence.

And I could. Managed my focus, kept my form, found some patience and gave the test a little bit more. And I finished and was fine. No blood, lots of sweat, and only a couple tears. I really could do anything for five minutes.

I didn't really think about it until a few weeks later and I was in the pool and desperate to be done with the swim. I was tired and cranky and I still had 15 minutes to go. Only 7:45 and no excuses to get out of the pool. More intervals and a cool down, and I wanted out. But, I decided I could do anything for 15 minutes.

And I did. And I was fine afterwards. And my trust in this little process was growing a little.

Fast forward to that same week on the bike. My toes on my right foot were cramping from my too-tight shoes and I still had 15 minutes to go. Again with the intervals. Again without excuses. But I can do anything for 15 minutes, including that.

So I did.

And now I've come to trust this little tool. I really can do anything for these little periods of time. Even with the pain and the effort and an intense desire to get the hell out of there, I can do this training thing if it's broken up into trusted increments.

I whip out the rule on longer runs, when I'm far enough away from home to want to walk but too close to let myself. I really can get home in one piece because I can do anything for 5 more minutes.

In the water, on the bike, on the road...I've taken the concept out a million times now and it holds up each time. 5 minutes, 10 minutes, another 1/2 hour and those last three miles home.

And yesterday, during my 3:15 on the trainer, I pulled it out one more time. It was well over 2 hours into the ride and my coach put in 2 minutes standing @ 60 rpm, 3 minutes seated @ 70 rpm. Big gear. Zone 2. Repeat.

The first one I cracked at 1:30 and sat down with a thud. Ground my way through the next 3 minutes and stood again. This time at 0:55 my quads were shaking and I leaned into my aeros for support. I sat at 1:30 again. But then I remembered.

I can do anything for 2 minutes.

And I did. I shook and dripped sweat all over the floor and cursed my bike and I wanted to stop at each second that passed, but I made it through the full 2 minutes.

Because I believed that I could. Because I knew that the pain of those two minutes would dissipate soon after and I would be left with a lingering trust of my body and my instincts. The pain always feels like it will stay forever and is larger than you are. And you always have the choice to sit down, cry uncle and give up.

But the pain never really is larger than you are and it's never better to sit down. Because you always can finish if you trust your guts. If you prove to yourself each day that you can do anything for two minutes, it's only a matter of time before that two becomes five, which becomes 90 and then 200.

And then, you're free to do it all. Every last minute of it.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

We're gonna need a bottle of peroxide, some gauze, and a lot of duct tape.

Last year, I gots me a bike.

A fancy, dancy bike.

With bullhorns and bar-ends and a cut out...OH MY!

Not only is she FREAKING GORGEOUS, she's wonderful to sit on, shift on, and stand next to.

And she and I have already spent over 700 miles together, me in her somewhat uncomfortable seat (I didn't want to mess up the fit I got by messing around with putting my Terry saddle I've learned to just deal) and her propped up on the trainer.

Yes. You read that right.

I have a new bike that I've logged 700+ miles my basement.

What does that get me? Season 1 and 2 of Rescue Me and the knowledge that interval training and reading subtitles do not play well together.

What does it NOT get me?


So, there you have it. I'm not sure I can ride my bike. With all the ass kicking my coach has been handing me in the name of "you're the one who signed up for an early season half, remember?" I know that I'll be stronger going up all those hills out there.

If I don't fall off on my way to them, that is.


Here's the good news.

This week it broke 50 degrees. It felt like bathing suit weather. Bad news was it did this lovely feat while I was at work and recovering from a throat infection. (Yucky. I know. It's over now...let's not discuss it.)

But hand-to-God, the first time it breaks 50 and I'm not at the office, I'm dropping everything and heading out on the road.

You see if I know how to work my breaks. And turn corners.

Watch out, world. Get the peroxide ready.

[Update: You know what? I lied. It's more like 550 miles. Not so good with math here. But that's still a LOT to do without touching asphalt.]

Monday, March 03, 2008

Oh no...

...I did it.

I went there.

I blame it on Mighty M. It's his fault.

Two weekends ago, my friend Nicole was in town for a visit and we took total advantage of it as an excuse to sit around in the living room and gab. Like girls. For as long as the boys tolerated us.

(it was about 2 hours before M broke and claimed exhaustion. dad only made it 1 hour, mumbling something about being too old for this on the way up the stairs.)

One of the long list of things that makes Nicole one of THE most interesting people you'll ever meet is that she's a marathoner. And a spin instructor. And a new kick-boxing convert. And a bazillion other interesting things.

She always picks such great things to try and then she goes 110%.

So, clearly, I'm going to try to convince her to do a triathlon.


And, of course, I'm going to encourage her to do one with me. Wouldn't that be fun?

Of course.

And Nicole never goes small and she's already a killer runner and strong on the bike. Just a little time in the pool and I have a(nother) partner in crime.

(rubbing hands together with glee)

And then Mighty M -- amidst all this fun talk of what race to do -- mentions the Ironman.

And I, like, do a double take. Wait, I think, he looks all casual. The word just tumbled out of his mouth. Must be careful at this juncture...

"An Ironman, M? You're crazy. You mean next year?"

His response: "Of course. I figured that would be the plan for next year."


And you know what? He's totally right. We will have all the wedding (and wedding planning) behind us. I will be coming off of a solid year with 3 half irons and over a half dozen other races. And I have found the perfect coach. And we already know we want to wait for a little before starting a family, and moving from our current house. And if I were to wait until the following year, I would have other issues to contend house hunting and baby making and those kinds of things.

Oh my.



Is it time for some...gasp...Iron?