Monday, April 28, 2008

De Plan, Part I

Okay...time to start thinking ahead to this weekend.

Here's the coach approved nutrition and hydration plan for Sunday. Since we've been practicing, I've learned that (a) solids early is better than solids later, (b) I'm a salty sweater, so I need tabs, (c) I dehydrate before I realize it, so I need to be better about drinking, and (d) accelerade, beans, and bloks are my friends.

I need to get some equipment fixed up (my aero bottle needs a new straw and brace) and I need some tubes for insurance. So, there might be a lunch trip to Performance Bike in my future. I'm also considering a hotel room for the night before, since a 2 hour trip to the site eats into my sleep schedule and sleep is goooood. Still not sure if it's worth the extra $100.

HIM Nutrition/Hydration Plan



Plain Bagel, Tbsp Peanut Butter, Tbsp Nutella
30+ oz Water


1 ripe banana




1 GU


@ 0:10 – ¼ power bar + 2 salt tabs
@ 0:40 – ¼ power bar
(1st hour: 20 oz accelerade, sip water)
300 cals

@ 1:20 – ½ bag beans + 2 salt tabs
@2:00 – ½ bag beans
(2nd hour: 20 oz accelerade, sip water)

@ 2:40 – 1 bag clif bloks (w/sodium)
(3rd hour: 20 oz accelerade, sip water)

In case of exceeding 3 hours…
@ 3:00 1 GU + 2 salt tabs
@ 3:40 nothing
(4th hour: 20 oz bottle exchange sport drink, sip water)

Calories per hour average: 290 (320/hr for first 3 hours)
% from food: 45%
% from fluid: 55%

Need on bike: 3 bottles Accelerade (rear cages and aero bottle), 1 large water (bike cage), ½ power bar, 1 bag beans, 1 bloks, 2 GU’s, 6 salt tabs (min)


1 GU + 2 salt tabs


@ 0:30 – 1 GU
@ 1:00 – 1 GU + 2 salt tabs
@ 1:30 – 1 GU
@ 2:00 – 1 GU + 2 salt tabs

(Hydration – sports drink on course, water on course)

Need on run: 4 GU’s, 4 salt tabs (min)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A special hell

There is a special hell that comes in the form of event planning. It's filled with late rsvp's and indecisive diners, missing tables from the floor plan and sponsor ads that have outdated CEO info on it. For those who do it full time, I salute you. And want to pass you some Prozac. You must need it.

Thankfully, it only comes as part of my job, otherwise I'd have committed myself long ago.

But when it comes, it swallows your life whole. Your personal life, your sleep, your training, your everything.

Remember that scene from Men in Black, when the alien spits Will Smith out and he's covered in gastric alien slime, but terribly proud of himself?

Yeah. The event is now done. I've been slimed.

The great news? Our sponsors are very pleased with the result, people enjoyed themselved and connected with our mission, and nobody barfed on the dessert table. The good news is that I'm finally out from under the constant pressure of endless details that don't care that you have a swim planned or a brick to finish. Key or not key. No event? I'm in the pool at 7 am. Event? I'm on the phone with board members at 7 am.


I slept most of the day today. Literally. Mighty M let me sleep in (love him) until 10 (good grief!) and we noshed on some breakfast together. Watched tv and then napped.

For 4 hours.

Seems I was tired.

Finally around 8 I realized I should return to the land of the living and actually do some training, so I completed a bike session on the schedule. This event has pooped all over my taper plans for the half next weekend, but I don't think I've completely killed my preparations at all.

Now I'm packing a bag for tomorrow's return to the pool and will be thrilled to be doing a smooth set of 4 x 500 rather than trying to convince resistent board members that really, no really, I actually do need the final text for the program. Like yesterday.

All I have to say's nice to be back.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I'm totally effed

I just discovered this.

I blame Nicole.

Yes you, Nicole. I blame you.

And my sister.

Nobody warned me.

I fear the worst.

(wanna be my friend?)

Monday, April 21, 2008


That's pathetic.

My last post was like eleven days ago. And it wasn't even a FUNNY post. I've been giving you NOTHIN' recently, friends.


But, it's only because I've been pulled in seventy different directions from all the things I love (and hate) in the world. Lots of it has been good, some tiresome, and a shred (an important shred) barely tolerable.


I'm still in the midst of this joy.

So, in bulleted form, a summary:

  • I rode my bike outside this weekend. Like for 4 hours. Somewhere around 57 miles and 3,700 feet of climbing. And it was good.
  • I now have some basic bike handling skills. Seems riding a bike is exactly like riding a bike. Who knew?
  • In mile, say, two during this epic ride, I managed to pinch a nerve in my forefinger of my left hand. Still have a bizarre pins and needles effect all the way up the finger. Don't worry, I still managed to waggle it at Might M more than once or four times this weekend.
  • I've finally used my nifty little Profile aero bottle for my bars that I bought somewhere back in the 70s. Seems it helps to not cut the straw quite so short. Also seems it makes for a nice, refreshing shower every time you hit a bump. Good to know.
  • If you've had that lovely shower of fruit punch flavored Accelerade for about 25 miles and choose to stop at the local Gas'n'Sip for some supplies, don't be surprised by the swarm of bees. It's your fault for coating yourself in crack before you got there.
  • I'm a salty sweater. Gross if you know me. Grosser if you live with me and I make you touch it.
  • I have a tiny little race coming up in a week and a half. It's a half ironman. Yeah, I know. 70 miles or something like that. It just occurred to me how freaking close it is. I panic on the inside.
  • I have finally found the perfect pair of cycling shorts. And the perfect top. And in case I forget which ones they are when dressing in the morning, I can just line them up with the ridiculous tan lines I got last weekend. Also good to help position my Garmin on my wrist. In case I, you know, forget.

And here are the things that made it 110% necessary for me to blog the lazy man's way, through bullets.

  • My fabulous job, at my fabulous nonprofit, is hosting its annual gala this weekend. The board of directors, me, and my crack team of... well, just me. Typically a three ring circus that makes oxygen deprivation days in the pool look like recess.
  • Between now and next Tuesday -- in addition to hosting our big fundraiser -- I will write a grant request for $5,000. And another for $15,000. And, for kicks and giggles, a third for $20,000.
  • If you didn't already know, writing that many grants in that period of time sucks monkey balls.
  • I owe a race report for the local cycling club from a race that was over two weeks ago. That's a long time for a race report. I'm a total turd.
  • Apparently "taper" in the real world is not like "taper" in my imaginary world. Seems I have to train this week, too. Bloody hell.
  • Incidentally, training this week will be the only thing that gets me through the stress. That, a ton of Dunkin Donuts, and some sleeping pills.

Last year, I had heart palpitations and night terrors from this month of deadlines and responsibilities. So far, neither have crept in.

But it is, of course, only Monday.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Keeping healthy

Y'all know how much I love my coach. She's changed the sport for me and opened me up to a million new skills, angles, insights, and abilities. And it's only April.

If you didn't know, in addition to her faaaahbulous blog, she also has a website devoted to her coaching business, Multisport Mastery. She posts really helpful things on training, recovery, and the head games that triathlon can plan on even the most unassuming of athletes.

Take, for instance, this week's article on staying healthy. Some excellent advice. Check it out.

* * *

You all know how happy I've been working with the Elf -- it's all chronicled here. So you already know I'm very, very biased. But I just wanted to nudge those of you who read my little blog here, who don't already work with someone, to consider hiring a coach. I cannot say enough how I have progressed leaps and bounds with my coach's help. I approach my training and my racing with more confidence and my fitness has never been so strong.

Since the season has just started and you're likely refining your schedule for the year and, maybe, searching through online training plans for justtherightone (dude, you know you're doing it!) ... just consider coaching. It's an investment in yourself that pays great dividends. And you already know, of course, who I would recommend. (wink)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

What 700 miles in the basement is *really* good for

LEST y'all think I'm poopoohing the benefits of my trainer sessions in the basement, I'm going to share a little nugget with you.

Yesterday I walked up the stairs. Normally. As in not hunched over, stiff legged and awkward. Just a normal, lahdeedah pace up stairs. Lots of stairs. All day long.

Normally, two days after a hill-filled race I would be all bent over and old lookin'. But not now.


Because I worked my a** off in the basement this year. And while I didn't smack the hills around on Sunday as secretly hoped, I certainly didn't need a week to recover from them either.

How about one day to recover.

And THAT, my friends, is a good thing.

So don't start worrying that this complicated relationship you've developed with your trainer in the belly of your home is for naught.

It's all good.


In only marginally related news, I was out looking for a "flat" course last night to do a recovery ride on. And since I can no longer claim frostbite risks for outdoors riding, I was on the road. And within a half and hour, I got an industrial sized staple directly in my back tire.

And what did I do?

I promptly called Mighty M.

I know, I know. I could have changed it, but it already needs to go into the shop because the tire isn't sitting properly in the wheel, so it goes thunkthunkthunkthunk the whole time I ride. Like a flat tire when I don't have one.

Until, of course, I did.

Rather than get greased up and dirty changing a tire that was going into the shop the next day, I decided for the rescue call instead.

Oh, and since you asked, lazy is spelled a-b-l-e.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Race #1: Brandywine Valley Duathlon

Ah...let's see. The race. Shall we talk about the race?

Shall we?


Sunday was the first race of the season. I was excited. Nervous. But more so stupid excited. I didn't realize how much I missed lining up at the butt-crack of dawn to run/bike/swim or any of the above. I LOVE tethering my bike to the roof when it's dark and setting up transition when the light is peeping out.

Love it.

Anyway, the race. So I went in with some expectations. And, in my typical fashion, I had reasonable ones that I shared with everyone and patently unreasonable ones I kept tucked under a fold of my heart, out of sight. It's the later that usually makes me cry after races. It's all good. I wouldn't trade the secret goals for anything, even when they mean a few tears.

But I'm getting ahead of myself, no?

The night before I was UNCHARACTERISTICALLY organized and together. No, seriously folks. I had my bags packed, bike de-wheeled and waiting by the door, b'fast made in advance, and directions written out for me AND Mighty M. I even had his camera ready. All by 8:00.

I know. It was like aliens had inhabited my body and brought good judgment and forethought with them.

(Don't worry, they have since left.)

So Sunday brought an excellent night of sleep, totally organized little Able and THANKFULLY no rain. Cause there had been rain in the forecast and there had been rain on the streets when I woke and there had been a fear that I wouldn't be able to stop my bike on my new tires in the rain. Apparently, no worries.

The duathlon was held at Hibernia Park, a mere 20 minutes from my house. Which meant time for coffee. Which brings up this important question -- how come the Dunkin Donuts on Rt. 30 cannot EVER seem to make my coffee right on race day?? Huh?? (Which, of course, begs the question of why I keep going back there on race day. I guess it's my faith in humanity. Or something like that.)

Mighty M joined me a little later (I graciously let him sleep in) and we got the transition set up properly, met some fellow racers, and M and I did a warmup together.

(As a total aside, Mighty M is getting back into running. NO JOKE. He is hell bent in not doing it even close to the way I would (do), instead opting for the purist route. Did he buy a new outfit? No. Did he use it as a reason to upgrade his shoes? No. Does he even write down his training? NO! He doesn't even keep track! I know. Blasphemy. But he just wants to run. Damnable purists.)

By the time we lined up for the race I was super excited and just happy to be there. HAPPY TO BE THERE. Take that, life!

First 5K went totally fine. Took me a little while to get my heart rate down to something resembling normal, but the route was through some wooded areas and the first half was soft dirt, a godsend for my knees.

Transition was totally uneventful and lots of fun. Michael was right there chatting with me, taking pictures. He's a peach, you know. I love seeing him when I race -- keeps me centered.

I mounted without any embarrassing falls (WHEW!) and hit the road. And, may I remind you, this was my first time with the bike out on the road.


Just love my new bike. A little squirrely, yes. MUCH lighter, yes. Totally different experience, yes. Best way to spend money I didn't have? Totally.

The ride was uneventful and I had a smile plastered all over my face the whole time. Talked to volunteers, talked to fellow riders, was a wee bit surprised at the hills, and generally had fun.

And a note about the hills. I had a little edumacation this weekend. Here it is: 700 miles on the trainer in the basement is NOT a viable replacement for training outside, on the hills. I was under the illusion that my intervals downstairs would get me up and over these little nuggets with ease. Ain't happenin'. No way.

In order to do well on hills, you have to ride hills. Period.

Excellent lesson, no? I thought so, too.

Okay, back to the Race. Came into T2 well over my estimated time, so I knew I was blown. I was happy with the bike, but my mph was seriously lower than I had hoped for. (You know, those hopes tucked up in hiding.) But, I was ready for the last leg of the race.

Or so I thought.

About 100 yards into the second run my left leg started barking at me. YES, YOU HEARD RIGHT. LEG. NOT KNEE. LEG.

My knee (outside and underneath), the outside of my leg, my butt, and the top of my hamstring. A chorus of pain. Screaming at me from below the border.


Knowing my finishing time was already blown, I decided to just run through it and get to the finish line. And I did. There was much more walking than I ever do, and some bad words. And lots of frustration.

But I finished. I hobble/ran across the finish line in 2:19. Not my best performance by far. But, as I later realized after much drama, it was fine for the beginning of the season. I have lots of room to grow this year and I'm not going to reach my goals in April.

Right now, I'm sore but my head is in a good place. I have an appointment with an ART therapist next week to literally pay for pain. I'm hoping she'll be able to help me with this so I can keep plugging along.

In the mean time, I have a race to look forward to in under a month. Another one, I know. I'm spoiled.

And it's a half.

And it's flat.

I know you're jealous.

It's okay, I'm used to it.


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

One sure sign you're hitting the road for the first time since, like, October

You approach the intersection for a right hand turn.

You unclip your right foot and place gently on the pedal.

You look to your left, right and ahead for oncoming cars.

You check over your left shoulder for additional traffic.

You lightly apply the brakes, and...

...reach for your turn signal.