Thursday, December 20, 2012

2012 Racing is Done

On Sunday I took a friend up on the offer of using her bib (thanks Catie) and joined some friends for the Jingle Bell 5k. The plan was for J and I to bring up the rear. We had Lauren join us. We had a great time chatting and running. I even commented how nice it was that a 30min 5k which use to be killing myself was now a fun run. I think I even have some new 5k PR pace buddies!

And the week before I even got to go meet a World Champion Ironman! Craig Alexander aka Crowie did a book signing in Boston. I got a book signed listened to a great 2 hour Q and A session. And even bent his ear a little about triathlon after having hip surgery when he signed my book. He is a great down to earth guy and a fantastic ambassador for the sport.

I am really trying to take a fresh look at things lately, really trying to be grateful. I can't believe the great season I had. Just about every race I did was a new PR my times just continued to drop. I am shocked that with the exception of Timberman I placed in every triathlon I did this year- to include Quassy 70.3. I flat out was a top 3 finisher in a swim race- how effin cool is that!

I had fun this season and had a great year! I luckily got to train with friends and race with them. I have even started to challenge in my own mind what my run speed actually is, which is a pretty cool thing. I have far surpassed my goal of 2000 miles for the year- almost 2400 already. I have started taking at least weekly bikram yoga. And even started another weekly class of computrainer classes! I think (hope) this bike work pays off next year! Can't hurt right?

I am grateful for an awesome season of great results, injury free and even some wins! I am so excited about the new challenges I have pushed myself to try. I am excited to see what the 2013 season will hold. I have started coming up with ideas since my 30th Birthday falls in there!!!

How did your season turn out? Are you trying new things this off season? What are your plans for next year? Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Winter Training- Bikram Continues

Following Thanksgiving starts the month of not so structured training! I THINK I AM IN LOVE! Okay let's start with I am having a hard time with this whole not structured training but I am trying to get used to it. So there are a few swim bike and run with some new plyo workouts each week. I am doing weekly Computrainer classes on Saturday morning. I am really liking this- WAY better than the trainer!! And seeing the gains in my power! Sundays have become NO SBR (swim bike run). So I have been trying to get creative. I have a few ideas But my fall back is always- BIKRAM!

So I really wanted to go at least once a week this winter. I have been doing pretty good. Even with the start up of swim team. Which luckily coincided nicely with the new Bikram Challange at the studio- do 25 classes in 32 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Well I know that isn't going to be possible with my coaching schedule but I figured it was a good excuse to try to come a little more.

On the first night of my swim team practice I somehow convinced a few of my Luna Run team ladies to join me at Bikram. I had been all amped up all day with practice so may not have been the best idea. Especially since I ended up being the kid who had to leave the room and puke! LOVELY! They all did well. And have mentioned going back!

I have noticed I have gotten to the point where I finish class and don't have the OMG that was awful feeling! I kind of just zone out and do the postures. I am really working the standing series stuff my damn legs just don't want to lock! But doesn't mean I won't try!

The spine strengthening series on the floor I am starting to learn a lot about, but I think it is paying off! My Fixed Firm Pose has finally gotten so my hips are touching the ground between my knees and I am so close to the floor with my head.... I am willing it to get there!! SOON!! It has taken YEARS for my hips to touch so I will take it!

My camel has gotten to the point now that I can do both arms both times through the postures! Maria even took a picture for me. I'm gettin' somewhere. Everyone says I should try and do more days. I wish I could make it work. So for now I will keep doing as much as I can!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanks4Giving 10k

My pre-thanksgiving post detailed the things I am thankful for and the goals I had for my 10k on Thanksgiving. I had hopes of breaking 1 hour so I set my goal for 59 at a 9:30 pace. I was nervous driving up to Lowell, hoping I could push to a new PR.

I know this Lowell course VERY well. It is where we run 2 races a year and at least 1 or 2 triathlons so I know every rise in the road and every turn. As usual Thanksgiving races are packed! This year there were about 5 lines of pickups for 5k numbers and 1 line for us crazy 10k folks. We grabbed our numbers and met up with friends. D had offered to pace me. I was psyched to have the help! Our friend Matt offered to stick with us too, which was very sweet of him.

We went through the first loop dodging all the 5k folks. And as always the second loop was sparse with runners. D started talking me through pushing to the finish. Talked me through form, talked me through the upcoming parts of the course. It was great. I could barely breathe, I had a cramp on my side pretty bad. Which seems to happen when I push my pace. I tried to squeak out I can't breathe in response to his coaching. My muscles didn't hurt much, I get used to the little twinges here and there but the breathing is the thing that gets me. D kept pushing me, telling me to stop looking at my watch and just run.

Well with all the coaching and pushing through the slight lack of oxygen I did it- 58:28 to be exact. I didn't just barely go under 1 hour. I smashed that idea. I'm so psyched! It brings me into a whole new 10k pace! With D talking in my ear the whole time I was able to shut up a lot of the voices in my head of you need to catch your breath. For my next 10k I will be sure to have those words running through my head. I can't wait to run the course again on New Years! I think I might be able to push it again! Thank you all for your words of encouragement for the goals I set before the race. And I owe a HUGE thank you to D for his awesome job pacing!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving: Gratitude and Goals

I have been having a lot of gratitude lately for my situation. I went last week and bought a car. First time! With a little help from D but I did a lot of it by myself. I am pretty proud riding around in my new Scion! I own a home and can pay my bills. I am lucky enough to work with a great group of people and really enjoy what I do. I have a FANTASTIC support network starting with D! And I am happy to say that I am just about as healthy and fit as I was when I was a USA swimmer in High School. When I start thinking about things I have to be thankful for this Thanksgiving I think I've got a pretty good list!

Now as for Thanksgiving, in keeping with tradition we will be running the 10k in the morning, come home and deep fry a turkey! I am hoping that I can have a nice new 10k PR to talk about while passing that turkey round the table. My goal is 59 SOMETHING! I just want to break an hour! I did my track work with the goal of my 10k pace being a 59- so 9:30 pace. I am hoping to maintain the 9:30 pace and end up with a 59:00 but I'd be happy with a 59:anything!

So here are the numbers:

Last year: 1:00:48
1st Run (same course): 1:03:09
BAA 10k: 1:00:18
Tufts 10k 1:02:38 (the day after the BAA Half Marathon)

Goal: 0:59:00 9:30 Pace

Well- CHEERS folks! Happy Thanksgiving! And with the positive vibes I've got going here's hoping for a 59!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Winter Training- Bikram Yoga

In my End of Season Thoughts I mentioned I would like to do Bikram Yoga at least once a week. As many of my readers know I travel A LOT so I figured once a week was a reasonable goal with my schedule. I figured some weeks I'll be able to do more but that is a attainable goal. So at the end of September I started doing this once a week or so yoga, so I have had about a month of "regular" practice. The other limiter of me only going once or a few times a week is over the winter I just can't stop swimming, biking and running completely.

For those of you that haven't done Bikram Yoga let me set the stage a bit. 90 min. 26 postures. In a room that is hot and HUMID, essentially the equivalent to the worst workout day in the summer (probably running not biking). I have used Bikram off and on over probably the last 4 years to help with recovery and just have a different workout in the mix. Just to be clear this isn't your typical relaxing yoga experience. It is hot, you sweat like crazy, sometimes you feel like you could pass out, and I have even puked after class. I am always sure to wear my heart rate monitor, I burn anywhere from 500 to 700 calories in the 90 min class. This is a screen shot of my heart rate data from one of the classes.

I want to see what a "regular" practice will show for benefit. So far I have the usual things I get from every yoga class:
- skin feels great
- increased flexibility
- stretching
- GREAT workout

The other things I am starting to notice is a change in my ability to control my breathing. I ran the Army Ten Miler all out, a new 6 min PR. I kept my breathing under control the whole race. I think it is because if I can breath normal in that hot sweaty room pushing in postures I can do it running on a nice cool day.

Like I said I have been doing yoga off and on for about 4 years. There have always been a few postures that I attempt but haven't gotten very far. Over the last couple weeks I have been able to get my elbows down in fixed firm pose, I am still working to get my head and back down on the ground. I had always only been able to do the start of camel. A couple weeks ago I started putting one arm down on my foot  then the other arm on the other foot for the second set. Yesterday for the first time I got both arms down on my feet. Maybe someday it will look like this. But for now I am taking my little wins day by day with my postures in my PRACTICE.

I find that the standing series is really tough. I think it is the balancing on one leg trying to lock my knee. And everyday I go to yoga I have either ran or biked or done some workout using my legs lately. I hope that the standing series will help build my leg strength for my biking, and running and I will see improvements in my standing postures.

My mom has gotten hooked on Bikram Yoga too and goes with me to almost every class. It is pretty sweet to spend time sweating it out with her! The yoga studio I go to Bikram Yoga Natick is doing a bring a friend for free for November so if any of you want to come join.....

I am sure this is just the start to what a regular practice will provide for benefit. I will keep you posted on the other benefits I am seeing over the course of my winter training and hopefully this coming season I can do a better job of keeping the yoga in the mix.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

End of Season Thoughts

The Army Ten Miler was a couple weeks ago and that is the official end of my planned season. I did well- 6 min PR from last year on the course- 1:39:13! According to my watch I ran about a 9:41 pace. That is pretty fast for me for distance.

A couple weeks prior to that 7 Oct was the BAA Half. I had a Half Marathon PR of 2:16:59. I desperately wanted to be 2-2:15- SO CLOSE! Then Monday I ran the Tufts 10k with the plan of it being a fun run. Well ended up 1:02:58 which was a course PR and pushed J to a 10k PR! The weekend after there was a 5k in memory of a college friend's sister so why not right?! NEW 5k PR 27:05!

I had a season filled with PRs and course PRs! Every triathlon I did with the exception of Timberman I received an division award at least. And lets be honest a 35 min PR at Timberman- PRETTY AWESOME! I even was the female OVERALL winner at a swim race! As I look back at my races this season I had a really good season. I had some hard days of training, hard days of racing but it was the hard work that pushed me and brought results.

This was the first season I went into with a full winter of training. I put in the preparation early to set me up for a long season. I thought taking on 2 half iron distance events in one season was going to be too much. I ended up with great results at both! By the end of the training for Timberman I was ready for a break.

The start of my winter training has been a bit tough. I am just getting off 3 straight weeks on the road. It was really tiring and long days so my training suffered. I have a hard time keeping the pressure on when I don't have big races on the horizon. In talking with O, my coach, the training for November and December are kind  of a break. A reset time. Which right now is nice. I plan to add in at least one day a week of Bikram Yoga. I am already starting to see the benefits of a somewhat regular practice again! Adding in some plyometric training. And of course swim, bike and run.

My big goal I am working toward this off season: RUN THE WHOLE HALF MARATHON AT MY NEXT HALF IRON. I run the whole thing at a stand along half marathon but after the swim and the bike my body just hasn't had the steam. We are going to work on run training a lot starting in January.

I know for now I won't be doing Hyannis Half in Feburary- but never say never! For right now the next race is the Thanks-4-giving 10k our annual tradition. Maybe I can break 1:00! But mostly for now I am just enjoying a little time with not such intense training to get ready for what will surely be an awesome 2013 Racing Season! In a new Age Group- EEEEEK!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Athena Continued Struggle

Upon the suggestion of D I thought I would throw this out and see if anyone could help. If anyone has suggestions I am open to testing things out.

I went my PCP last Friday, I haven't been in 2 years. And since I am generally healthy it isn't an issue- though I did get scolded for it! As expected clean bill of health! But I went in with a specific purpose. 2 years ago I tried to talk to my doctor after receiving clean blood work and clean bill of health about my weight struggles. She told me that since my results didn't show anything she didn't have much to offer.

Well fast forward 2 years- I have now finished countless running races, swim races, multiple sprints, olympic distance and 3 half irons! My results continue to improve, which is great news but for some reason my weight stays constant. Tons of training hours, tons of calories burned and lots of watching what I eat isn't amounting to squat. Now I know I use the term weight I mean it in terms of the scale not moving and the fact that I am wearing the EXACT same size I have been for the last probably 3 years.

I am baffled. I went into my doctor to ask her for help on Friday and her response to me was "its muscle not fat" well any of you that have ever seen a picture of me know I am not 6% body fat asking for another 1%. She told me if my blood test showed nothing again I would not be able to go to the endocrinologist, "they won't see you for nothing". So if my blood test shows nothing again her only suggestion was Nutritionist. Well- 3 years ago I went to one of the top sports nutritionists in the country (maybe even the world) and it helped with a lot of things but I didn't see a change in my weight/shape.

I will be going in early next week for my blood test which I am 99.9% sure will show the same thing as always- NOTHING! I am very frustrated. Frustrated that I feel like my PCP didn't even entertain my issues when I told her "I came to you hoping you would help me with this." I am wondering if anyone has any ideas/thoughts/suggestions?!

Right now my plan is:
1. get my blood tests done
2. focus on nutrition
3. take the new herbs my acupuncturist recommended (at least she listens when I say I want to fix this)
5. add in weight training and bikram yoga in hopes of changing things up will kick start things.

I would really appreciate it if anyone has any suggestions. As you all know I train like crazy. I eat a balanced diet. I have been the same size for the last 3 or 4 years. I even have gone so far to take the  ice cream/yogurt treats and pizza after big races out with my training this year!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mighty Merrimack 1 MI Swim- 1st Place Female!

I don't get many just swim races in a year so last year when they cancelled the Mighty Merrimack swim at the last minute because of bacteria levels I was bummed. But I did get automatic entry into this years race! So this one was on the schedule for a while. I convinced my friend Jen that had done Timberman with me to join me. And D was still on the fence about racing, even on race morning.

2 years ago when I did this race I didn't wear a wet suit, bad idea. A ton of local high school and college kids show up to swim this wetsuitless. They are so fast! So I went wetsuit this year learning my lesson and for competition purposes. D decided at the last minute to join us and race. It was going to be his first swim only race! A great way to see how that half iron swim would go.

As usual, with this race director, the race started late! Which always throws off my fuel plans. This is one of the HUGE downfalls of local races, start times are kind of suggestions. The race has a 2mile option, eventually I would like to try that. So the turn around point is supposed to be a half mile out for the one mile swim. It was a mass start, I seed myself toward the front but let those young kids GO! I found smooth water and felt pretty good. Before I hit the turn around my tummy was grumbling.  I had breakfast and a gel but it was a bit too long between.

My 1st place award
I hit the turn around at about 15min. Schweet- on track for about 30min. I had hoped to be like 25 but given that half way point I thought 30 was a good call. I saw a woman out of the corner of my eye with a yellow- 1MI cap and a wetsuit. OH HELL NO! I drafted off her for a bit. Then her sighting was AWFUL so I just stuck to my own and kept an eye on her.

I made sure I came out of the water before she did- she ended up finishing 30 seconds after me! I got out of the water and did the short beach run with a time of 31: 38. Like I said I had hoped for a 25ish but when I looked at the results I was the 2nd person out of water and 1st place Female! I was so excited! I have never WON a race! It was an exciting day- I won, Jen took 1st in our AG and D finished his first 1MI swim race in 38 min, totally proving he can finish the half iron swim before the cut off!!!

Jen and I after the race with our awards
Note: not just because my time was off but I think the 1MI swim course was long. Considering no one had a time less than 28. And it really didn't make sense when the 2mi times were almost all sub 1 hour?! That math doesn't compute for me. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Timberman 2012- 70.3 NUMBER 3!

Post Race with my Medal
Timberman was set to be 70.3 Number 3. I had rode the course about 5 times before getting up to NH to race. I knew the swim, I knew every turn on the bike, and I knew that run course. Last year I just barely finished before the course was closed for weather, timberman 2011 recap. This year after doing Quassy in June and getting myself ready to do 70.3 number 3 at Timberman I felt really ready. I had a great pre race plan in place and AMAZING prep talk with my coach, Olivia. I had time marks to hit the turn bouys on the swim. The bike plan was to take the hilly start and hilly finish easy and HAMMER the flats! The run plan- aim for a 10:30 pace and if I was falling off it take a 2 min walk break compose myself then go again.

We drove up to NH Friday. D decided to sign up for the Timberman Sprint on Saturday. He had a great race and it was so much fun to be support there for him. I really liked the double race weekend as a couple. After race support duties were done I got the bike ready and headed out for my pre race spin she rode great and I racked her up. We got in a good pre race meal with my parents and headed to bed early. I kept saying I had this eerie calm. I felt really ready. Coach said it was the calm before the storm. That I was ready to go!
The Game Face was on

Race Day: We got up and hit the parking lot EARLY- by 4:30 and got a great spot. Transition didn't open till 5 so just hung out a bit- kinda slept. Got everything ready in transition. It was really nice one of my oldest friends, Jen, was 512 and I was 513. Pretty awesome to have a friendly face right across from you in the morning. I told her as I walked away from my set up transition "Hey- don't EFF with my stuff and make a mess!" Her response "I can't make any promises." and I walked away. Then I quickly realized no one around us knew I knew her, I am sure everyone was like WOW what a BIATCH! haha :) Whatever. The calm continued I felt great.
Okay maybe a Smile haha :)

Swim: Timberman 2011: 36:52 Goal: 35 min Timberman 2012: 35:14 
I felt great in the water. I got myself out in front and hit my comfy stroke pace with no problem. I was passing the waves before me. I love passing previous waves cap colors! I got out of the water in 8th in my AG. Swimming really is my thing. And a new half iron swim split PR!!

T1: Timberman 2011: 3:16 Timberman 2012: 3:19
 I had forgot Everstride before the swim. I luckily set up petroleum jelly in my transition and SLATHERED it on before heading out on the bike. BTW- LOVE WETSUIT STRIPPERS!!!

Bike: Timberman 2011:3:35:26 Goal: 3:15-3:30 Timberman 2012: 3:18:20
Heading out of T1
I went with the plan- easy up the hills at the start. I took the nasty hill at 11 nice and comfortable. I felt good. I took water at each aid station to fill my aero bottle and stuck to the salt tab plan (~1 every 20min it was warm) ate every 45min or so. I hit the flats on RT106 and I started hammering. I mean I was hitting 20+mph with ease. I hit the turn around with a 18+mph pace. I  felt good. But I knew the course was hilly on the way back but I hit the turn around close to my half way time goal. I knew I would be close to the lower end of my bike goal time. This was such a great improvement from last years ride and felt so much better than Quassy. I really worked the bike this season and in the winter training and I felt it paid big time. It was really nice to get off the bike knowing I worked hard and got the results I was hoping for. Last year I was around 15mph this year avg 17mph- that my friends is some hard work paying off. That is a nice shiny new bike split PR!! 

T2:  Timberman 2011: 3:27 Timberman 2012: 3:15
Fairly uneventful T2. Psyched I got to see D in the transition and didn't feel like I wanted to quit like at Quassy. Grabbed my stuff and headed out :)

Run: Timberman 2011: 2:51:54 Goal: 2:17-2:30 Timberman 2012: 2:36:37
Coming down the finish chute
I really wanted to stay on my goal pace. I wanted to have a great run. I focused on trying to stay on the target pace and when it got off took my 2 min to walk then got back on the wagon. I think this paid off - tho I didn't end up with the 10:30 pace I had hoped I didn't have that just deteriorate and degenerate the whole run pace. It was really nice to see my friend Jen out on the run course. I really wanted to run the whole thing but I had walk breaks. This is def going to be my focus for next season- get that running down be in RUN shape! I can't fight with the fact that I was only 6 min off the goal time I had set and almost 20 min faster than last year. The last mile was tough. I was having bad cramping across my core. I had a hard time catching my breath and even had to walk about a half mile out. I gave myself the suck it up you are so close you can fight thru this and run thru the finish talk. And I did. I ran through that finish chute. So happy to see D right there smiling and cheering.

UGLIEST post race photo- I'm Crying and I gave it my all!
As I crossed the cramps across my abs got worse. I got really short of breath. I was having a hard time catching my breath and it didn't help that I was crying a bit because I worked so hard and gave it my all and the result showed. My mom tried to convince me to go to medical. I just knew I needed to calm down and get some air. D worked on getting me to calm down and walk a bit. Man that is what putting it all out for 6+ hrs feels like. I finally calmed enough to give D a hug and get out my "I DID IT! I hit my goal and I did it! My hard work paid off!"

When Jen crossed I had finally gathered myself. I went over to give her a hug and I started to cry AGAIN! It really is a great thing to have someone you have known since childhood, went to HS together then trained together for the race. I hope next season we can race again together.

Overall: Timberman 2011: 7:10:55 Goal: Sub 7 hrs Timberman 2012: 6:36:34
Recovery Margaritas with Jen and her friend Jackie with our Medals OF COURSE
I had a great race day! The hard work I put in from last year shows in each leg. I PRd not only for a 70.3 but on the same course! I had a PR for each leg of the race- swim, bike and run! Really there isn't much more you can ask for. I want to work on my run this winter and that is the plan with my coach but I really can't be more proud that I took 35min off my time! I can't be more proud of the fact that I worked hard all season and all day long. I finally crossed the finish line at a 70.3 with nothing left in the tank and can say I gave it all I had today and that paid off to a 35min PR!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Refining my Race and Training Fueling

A year or so ago I wrote this post training and race nutrition and still as I am about to toe to the line of my 3rd 70.3 I am refining my race and training nutrition. One thing I do know for sure still- I CAN EAT then immediately go train. I still have that IRON stomach! Another steadfast rule- NO WHEY PROTEIN! Whey Protein Isolate is okay- but regular is not.

So in my figuring out what works for me with my triathlons this is what I am going with for Timberman in a couple weeks:
Pre Race- Oatmeal w dried fruit and bagel and sports drink (Clif Electrolyte)
Swim- 10-15 min before my swim start I do a Hammer Gel
Bike- Every 45 min to 1 hour a serving of Clif Shot Blocks- leading to 2 packages of Blocks in my bento box. Every 45 min on a normal day, every 20min on a hot day salt tab (Salt Stick). I consume 2 bottles with 1.5-2 scoops of Heed (Orange is my flavor of choice right now). I have an Aero Bottle that is full to start and at aid stations I plan to get water and top off. Back up fuel I bring in my pockets- 2 gels and 1 pack of Chomps
Run- I have now determined I like having a handheld on the run. I start with Heed in it but keep topping it off with water at aid stations so it gets diluted. I have also become a fan of gels only for the run. They seem to be easier on the stomach so one of those every hour of the run is the plan. Again I plan with some back ups!
Transition- I keep a gel and a package of chomps there and a bottle of water just in case kinda thing.

After I go with Recoverite (strawberry). AND LOOOOOTS of food... when my stomach will let me. I have to wait a while usually. I don't know why this happens to me. But for a day or 2 after I am RAVENOUS!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Blogger-versary and Perspective

This July is 3 years since I started this blog. I started this blog as I was heading out on the journey of my first Sprint Triathlon. My journey into triathlon was a follow on to a year or so of working with a trainer to lose weight. I still remember huddling over a trash can fighting throwing up at my first trainer session. Following a horrible break up I became addicted to working out after running 5ks I was ready to take a plunge into triathlon.  My first triathlon was an off road triathlon (haven't done an off road since).

Yesterday I did my 3rd bike ride before Timberman of the full bike distance. I have rode the course twice with a friend I have known since I was a child. She is doing Timberman as her second 70.3 so it has been nice to have someone to ride course recon with. Both rides went well and shockingly I remembered the course very well.

Yesterday I hopped on my bike to do another 3 and a half hour ride without even taking a deep breath. A year ago each long ride came with anxiety and that nervous am I going to make it through this?! I not only got through the 56 miles again and added a nice 15min run after. I felt good. When I stepped off the bike I had 2 thoughts:
1. my first workout I was huddled over a trash can and now... holy crap! Look at me now!
2. last year D had to pick me up on my last long ride before Timberman. I was bonking bad and so happy to see him! And now I think I've got nutrition dialed in and my fitness level is a lot higher.

I can't believe how much things have changed since my first workouts. And even more so that I have done 3 rides of the full distance of my next half iron. I think all my hard work is paying off! Lets hope the results at Timberman show it.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Great Week and Weekend

Last week I was traveling for work, I had some awesome meetings and work related stuff happen. But I also had a great first real training week back since Quassy. I had to play around with the schedule a bit to make it work with my meetings and the crazy hot weather but I got everything except a swim on Friday done. I even got to enjoy a fun training session in DC at Revolve Fitness. I go to their spin classes when I am in town to use them as my hill training days. I went with a friend and we got dinner after win win!

Mon- swim 1600 yds
Tues- Spin (hill workout) 1hr
Weds- Long Run- 8mi
Thurs- Ride/Run brick- 1hr
Fri- stupid travel didn't get home in time to swim

Saturday I knew I just needed a little time to relax and recover from my week. So I took my time getting going and hung around the house w D. We even got some stuff done. By the time I was ready to tackle my 2:45 ride the weather was typical summer storm so I rode inside. But luckily I got to run outside for my brick. 3 hours of training- CHECK!

Sunday I had the BAA 10k. My brain was not in this race at all. At the start line I gave myself the permission to just run how I felt and whatever the result it was just a run and another one done in the Medley Distance. It was hot way warmer for 8am than I had planned. I am happy I stashed 1/2 a container of chomps in my bra before the run because I needed them at the 5k point. I hit my watch at the 5k and realized it was 30 something. Woah if I keep this up I can PR..... today?! I just focused on trying to keep the sub 10min mile pace I was doing. As I got close to the common where the finish was my watch was getting to 58. I was like crap I wanna get 59 something. I dug in. Screw it might as well try right?! As I ran down the finish chute D was screaming and tried to give me a high five but I just replied with "Close to a PR!" My watch said 1:00:08- BAA had me at 1:00:10. It wasn't the 59 something I had hoped- would've been nice to break 1hr. But when I looked it was still a PR by almost 40s. The awesome thing I am pretty psyched about is I negative split the 5ks- first one was 30:24 second 29:43.D had a great race- almost a PR- too especially since he was sick this week!

After the race we headed over to Hopkinton state park to get in an OWS. I think the swim area there is about 200 yds so we got in about 1200yds in the 30min we were there. I think the swim really helped with my recovery I am feelin pretty good today. Another big training week ahead and it looks like a lot of rain and of course I have meetings all week! Oh well just another day in the Full Time Career trying to be a competitive triathlete life.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Recovery and Ramp Back Up

Following Rev3 Quassy I have spent the last almost 2 weeks in recovery. Its strange! I am not used to having no heavy workout on the schedule. A lot of swims and a lot of biking last week. Yesterday was my first run back. I went out and ran with Boston Luna Chix. I felt super sluggish. My legs felt like I was running thru mud. I did 4mi in 42min- which isn't a super slow pace but no land speed record. My heart rate was thru the roof. I couldn't run in a zone 2 if I needed too. Even though I wasn't feeling great it was really nice for my first run back to be with a supportive group of ladies. They were all full of congratulations on finishing my race which somehow made the run not soooooo bad.

Next week I ramp back up. This weekend I am going to do a 1mi swim open water just a small local event. I want to get more swim races in. You just can't simulate the open water swim of a triathlon in the pool. Sunday is going to be a fun ride I think I am goin to try to get D to join. I have Timberman in August and it is time to ramp back up! The goal for Timberman sub 7 hours! Time to train for it starts Monday!!!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Triathlon Bubble- My Ideal Society

So I thought a lot this weekend about this awesome bubble of triathlon and racing I live in. While down at Quassy I was surrounded by and even talked with WORLD CLASS athletes. Then there is the literal sea of people you are surrounded with at races that are your weekend post work warriors- those of us that work the 9-5 job and still somehow train and compete in events. Looking around at the people around you at an event like Quassy it is hard to believe that the United States has an obesity issue! My twitter feed is full of other people just like me who train countless hours- enough for some people to consider it a second job.

The other thing I love about triathletes (more than any other race I am in) is the encouragement. From the caring about each other while setting up transition to words "you look great!" out on the course. It is really nice to be surrounded with this bubble that reminds you people actually do care about other people.

But man a step away from the race course I am reminded of the reality of the society I live in, the harsh real world. A world where I get beeped at and nearly run off the road by people every day- not just while on my bike. Where I rarely get so much as a Thank You for holding open a door. A world where EVERY ONE is special- can't single anyone out as being better than anyone else. Where we can't keep score in soccer games because there can't be a winner and a loser. I am quickly reminded in the real world of the obesity issue in this country and the harsh reality of the health problems it causes.

Today I read a great article about a teacher who told his students the truth- "you are not special."  I have to say I am glad to hear someone telling the next generation the truth!

I really would give anything to live in the triathlon bubble. Maybe make my own world filled with other athletes who care about themselves and the people around them. Where it is okay to have someone win and someone else not take home a medal. I think that is the society I want to be a part of! At least for now I can visit it now and then and have my faith in humanity restored!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Rev3 Quassy Race Report- Half Iron AGAIN and 3rd?!

I am struggling with how to write this- my brain is still a bit frazzled from the race. I call it 70.3 swiss cheese brain- you have 1/2 a brain and 1/2 a body when you finish. I decided since there was nothing I could do to check in on Friday we would drive the 2 hours on Saturday morning. After a couple gear checks we were off. It was POURING rain Saturday- so glad that wasn't my race day. When we arrived I saw Matty Reed- we stopped to chat with him and D snapped a quick picture. The check in process was a bit off from the typical one stop shop at a larger event. Ran into some friends at check in and once I was all set I headed off for a practice swim. It was nice to get in the water and calm my nerves and get in a little ride with a friend of mine Eric who was racing. We checked in to the hotel after the mandatory meeting and racking the bike. Got some decent food in me and it was early to bed with a 4am wake up call for race morning.

Race Morning- Got up at 4- eh who am I kidding I beat my alarm up I was up at 330. Had oatmeal with nuts and dried berries and went down to the breakfast area to toast my bagel. I actually had this creepy calm. Stuff was packed up and we were in the parking lot before 5am. I set my transition and headed to the truck to get off my feet. I put on the wet suit and got ready to head to the water. Before heading to the water I stopped to be sure transition was all good. Did a little hop in the water to get the wet suit wet and ate my gel. Quickly the pros were headed out and I was in the first wave.

Swim- 36:25- I have never been in a wave with men! WOAH! Watch out ladies they throw elbows. Luckily I got out to the front and only got in the bunches at the turn bouys. It was a bit choppy in the middle of the pond/lake whatever we were in. I am pretty happy with my time- it is about my usual. I quickly realized I was one of the first women out of the water.

T2- 2:47- Even without wet suit strippers I was faster than Timberman. I grabbed some water on the way out of the water. That was nice to grab on the fly. It was nice to see D and Jules when I was coming thru transition. I grabbed the extra fuel I wanted for my back pocket and everything else was on the bike.

Bike- 3:58:24- The cheers were really loud coming out of transition. I guess that's b/c I was the second non pro woman thru. I was hungry like the MINUTE I sat down on the bike. I don't know if I didn't eat enough before hand or the day before... I'm kinda leaning toward the day before. I knew the bike was challenging. Hilly and technical! It was great to see Joe and Eric out on the bike. Joe passed me in the middle of the super insane hills 24-31ish. The fist bump was much appreciated and what girl doesn't like to be called sexy in the middle of a horrible climb?! I tried my best to take on my liquid calories but it felt like I was always either climbing or decending. When we were flat was when there was aid stations and I focused on refilling my aero bottle. I was disappointed with the aid stations on the bike- I would have liked to have a few more and have them where they said they would be- one was on the wrong side of the road on a loop. Tho the volunteers were great. I got what I needed when I called for water. I went thru a million emotions on the bike. It was really hard to start so early and it felt like the WHOLE race went by me and I was the last cyclist! I knew going into this race I would cross the finish line even if I had to crawl and that was always in my mind but man it is a bummer to watch everyone blow by. On a bike it seems like NO one else is suffering- or at least I haven't been able to figure out how to tell! This was a lot slower than I had hoped my bike would be- I was shooting for like 3- 3:15- the course got the best of me. Consumed: aero bottle of water (topped off 3 times), 2 bottles of heed, 2 sleeves of clif shot blocks, 2 hammer gels. (approx. 600cals). I was so hungry the whole ride- I tried to stick to the plan but I needed more fuel. Salt- I think I had 5 maybe 6.

T2- 2:34- Faster than Timberman by about a minute. I came into transition completely deflated and angry. Realized that bike was all as hard as people had said and if the run was going to be too I was in for a long run. D tried to keep my spirits up but I was pretty deflated.

Run- 2:46:16- Slightly faster than Timberman and if you have seen the Quassy course profile I am elated! I ducked into one of the first porta potties I saw on the run to finally pee. After a mile or 2 into the run I started to realize maybe I was okay. Everyone around me was walking within the first tiny bump they called a hill. I was like wow okay just stick to an easy pace and keep chuggin. O and I had come up with a nice easy pace that we thought I could maintain for the run 11:30-12. In all honesty some miles were 10s some were 13s it all evened out to a 12:20 pace so not bad on the plan there. I had a really hard time with consuming fuel on the run. My stomach didn't want to work while I was running. If I wanted to eat or drink or take salt- I had to walk. It was like my stomach went we can't do two things at once right now.  Me the girl with the iron stomach! Luckily I thought there wasn't going to be coke and there was on the course. I LOVE COKE when I do half irons! The little shot of sugar and caffeine is heaven! The bagged water they had on the course had a really funky taste- luckily I had my hand held and I could mix it with the little heed flavor that was left in the hand held. I had to make myself eat and made sure to take on salt. The aid stations were supposed to be every mile they just weren't always at the same point in the mile so I don't think it really worked out to one every mile. I was glad I had planned to have my hand held to carry water. The course was well shaded in spots and blaring sun in others. It was really hard mentally to keep myself chugging up the hills with just about every person in front of me walking. I just kept doing my form checks and just kept thinkin Keep Going! The hills were tough. I had no idea the course went on unpaved roads for a while. But I knew I was going to chug my way thru. It was kinda nice around mile 10 when I realized I am going to be able to finish this at my pace- not with someone chasing me off the course to finish (see my Timberman report)! Consumed: who knows how much water, handheld had some heed in it to start, one package of chomps a few sips of coke (approx 200 cals) epic fail for the amount of time but I just wasn't able to eat.

I came into the finish and my friend Jordan was pointing the way. He gave me an awesome high five and I could hear the LOUD BOOMING screams of D! It was so amazing to hear them announce my name as I crossed. I collected my medal and finisher shirt and headed over to give a HUGE hug to D. I cried again!" I DID IT AGAIN I DID IT AGAIN!" That was all I could say. I was so emotional again. D told me "I am SOOOO proud of you!" That doesn't get old. The emotion and the high at the end, it is probably one of the best feelings in the world. I set out on a day where just about anything can go wrong and to actually finish what you set out to do. I crossed the line at 7:26:26- 16min slower than Timberman. And on that course- I am happy with the result!

Slowly the high ended and I realized how badly I had chafed my arms- I hit medical for a little TLC for my skin. O had been watching the results live on Quassy's site and told D I came in 3rd. I didn't believe it- so much so that I wouldn't go over to the tent to check my results. A storm rolled in as they started the awards presentation and part of me just wanted to leave because I didn't believe I could have come in 3rd with the day I had. They went thru the awards and called my name- I got up and accepted my award. Took a great pic with my fellow Athena ladies.

Honestly I am still in shock that not only did I finish my second half iron but I placed in my division. I never in a MILLION years would have thought I would place at a half iron distance race! As always D was the most phenomenal support and those hugs at the end of my half iron races go down in history as best EVER!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

3 Things Thursday

I always see everyone do this 3 Things Thursday. I was thinking of a group of 3 things I could do one on...

My triathlon survival pills

1- Immodium- OMG this stuff is the best. If you aren't taking it before big races and big training days you don't know how much better you could feel. I don't know where I originally read it but somewhere I saw someone did this as a pre race ritual like a just in case just to be sure. I started doing it last season. It has made races and when I forget to take it races have been tough! It also is great a few days before and a few days after with anxious tummy and runners tummy after.

2- Pamprin- I swear by this stuff for post hard workout. The little bit of caffiene with the pain relievers makes my muscles feel much better than just regular advil. It is a huuuuuge help. Thanks D for this tip- apparently this is a cycling trick of the trade.

3- SALT TABS!- They are my magic pills. I have had swelling issues forever! Everyone was telling me it was too much salt. BOY were they wrong! It is not enough! I can start cramping and pop a pill and in a few minutes I am feeling better. I don't have to wait to finish a whole drink or eat a whole sleeve of margarita blocks to get the effects. These things are the best! I tweek the amount based on weather heat and humidity make for me sweating more make me need more- but generally it is one tab every 45 min to an hour.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Season Opener Sprint- Improvement

So my triathlon race plans this year include 2 sprint triathlons and 2 70.3s. The first of the sprint triathlons was Max Performance's Season Opener in Hopkinton. Last year I did 2 races on this course- Season Opener and Title 9. The Season Opener last year equated to me learning A LOT about nutrition- I threw up on the bike. So I had hoped to have a better performance.

The race plan with my coach was to focus on the bike- ride the 10miles like it was a time trial. On Saturday I did a 3 hour ride so my legs were pretty DONE! But that was the goal- tired legs would simulate well for the 70.3 training. Obviously Quassy in June is the goal- THE A! The swim plan was get used to the wet suit feel, and the run plan give it what you have left after a hard ride.

It was Mother's Day and the race was right near my parents house so my Mom and Dad came to see me race. D was great support as always.

Swim-9:14- I wanted to be in the 7-8min swim time. I honestly think my swim was 8min but then I had to run across the beach to get to the timing mats. Btw- why isn't it my actual swim time? Put the timing mat right near the water! Had my usual pre race gel. Water was cold. Started a bit fast. Had a little sight problems just the bouy's were hard to see- and I didn't know if I was supposed to go R or L of the last bouy. So all in all a decent swim. Last year- 9:11- Consistent

T1- 1:55- I tried to catch my breath from the swim and the run to transition. With a couple deep breaths I was able to get my brain screwed on okay get the wet suit off and get everything on for the bike. Last year- 2:07- little better with the wet suit I think

Bike- 38:10- Again my time was off from my goal of 35min buuuut I had 35min for the actual bike stupid running to transition. The bike course for this sprint is pretty challenging. I felt a lot better on it than I have in the past. I rode my road bike since the roads are tough and the racks at the Max Performance race's scare me with my nice new tri bike. I had Heed on the bike and a water bottle just in case. I ate 1/2 a sleeve of blocks. My thought was this would fuel me thru the run and the bike. Last year- 40:43- little faster still not exactly what I had hoped.

T2-1:14- OMG so slow! Need to work this one- get shoes on and grab the rest of the stuff to get it on while running. Last year 1:28- so getting better want to be sub 1min

Run- 29:54- wanted to be sub 30. Made that happen!  I hate the hill out of transition on this run. It is a crusher to your legs. I went out with the focus of just get thru the run its only a 5k. The run course is tough on this sprint. It isn't on road it isn't on trail it is all over. I had met a friend in the Athena division and saw her hot on my tail a turn around so that was a little push to suck it up buttercup. I am pretty happy with the run I was tired. But to be expected since this was just in the middle of training. I had enough left at the end to give it the kick to the finish- woman came up to me after and said she tried her hardest but she couldn't get me at the finish. I heard her there so I knew I wasn't gonna let her by. Last year- 32:13- met my goal and beat last year by a lot :)

All in all the final 1:20:24. Enough to earn me 3rd in the Athena's- only 12 seconds away from 2nd! YAY! Not bad considering I don't train for short distances! I really feel like I have become more of an endurance athlete than the short distance athlete needed for the sprint! Well have another sprint in July we will see how that one goes :)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Not so CWX ULTRA Bra- Review of Sports Bra for Long Runs

In October I decided to try out another sports bra that I have heard is great for the well endowed running crowd. I was willing to swallow the almost 70 dollar price tag if this thing was as good as everyone said it was. The CWX Ultra I was told was going to be my new favorite bra. I love my CWX compression shorts so I was totally willing to give them a shot.

I know I am not the average athlete being a large chested- actually I think I am a small anomaly in the running/tri world. That being said I want my chest STRAPPED down! Like don't budge not even move in the least kind of strap down. I quickly will degrade a bra from running bra status to ride/lift/yoga status as soon as there is the slightest movement detected in a run.

This is the CWX Ultra Bra. It offers fully adjustable hook/clasp closures in the back (4 clasps) and on the shoulder (2 clasps). I did like the fact when I first looked at it there were 2 separate cups. For once strapping em down might actually mean having something other than the "uni-boob" It does have a very nice mesh as opposed to being the one lycra all over.

When I first put the bra on I was getting a bit irritated by the shoulder clasps and the material that was used to cover them.  It seems that the material has softened a bit over time but now the bra doesn't hold em down like it used to. I think the separate cup thing might be the problem- they just aren't as strapped down. And now I have tried wearing the bra more frequently to see if I was just so bias about my other bras to not give this one a chance. But- now I am nursing a nice couple cuts on my left shoulder where the clasps sit.

This bra may work out perfectly for some people. I am really starting to realize they are a to each their own thing. This one cuts me and I don't think it holds em down as much as I would like. I am gonna stick to my Moving Comfort- Fiona. It works and it is cheaper than this CWX.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Team Luna Chix- Runner with the Cyclists?

Earlier this year I was asked to join Team Luna Chix on their Boston Run team. Team Luna Chix is made up of Pros and Local Teams. Local Teams are Run, Bike and even Tri. I had been running with this great group of women for a year or so and they asked me to be a member of the team. I was psyched to be a part of the team and super pumped at the thought of going to Summit. Summit is a weekend in the Spring in the Bay area in CA spent training and learning about Luna- are you kidding where do I sign up?!

The weekend was planned at a hotel just outside San Francisco. I flew out with and we met up with the other Boston Luna Run ladies, Ashley and J. Friday night had a great dinner at Clif Headquarters. Saturday was your sport clinic. We did a tempo run. I was actually surprised how much I knew of what the coach was telling us. I guess my coach has trained me well and I have learned A TON! We ran along the Bay in the pouring rain. It was a ton of fun though. Everyone was super supportive even the Pro's that were with us.

Bike Maintenance Class
Bike Maintenance goodies and Recipe Card
Saturday afternoon I decided to do the Bike Maintenance class. Now I will be perfectly honest- I rely too much on D to take care of my bikes and I really shouldn't. So time to grab this one by the horns and LEARN. The instructor wrote up an awesome Recipe Card  of step by step instructions on how to do Bike Maintenance.  Her theory was if a recipe doesn't come out perfect you make changes next time so why not write the instructions like a recipe. The steps include: How to clean the chain, clean the gears, the wheels and the whole bike were on there. Also how to grease the chain These step by step instructions with a little demo and I feel like I can totally take care of my bike next time it needs a little TLC. This is the awesome stuff I got to take home. I actually now have a box in my house with all my bike maintenance stuff in it. I am proud of myself for taking the time to learn a little more about taking care of my prized possessions.

Me at one of the rally points- in my new jersey from England
Sunday was my day to do something that scared me a bit. I was going to ride with the cycling team members and the Pros on their 2.5hr EPIC ride. Honestly I have never rode with a group- not racing obviously. My nerves were even higher since I hadn't really been on a bike outside this season yet.  But when the leader assured me the ride was set up to be an easy 11mph pace with plenty of stopping I wasn't as nervous. Oh who am I kidding I was still scared. We rode through town then made our first stop before hitting the major climb of the route.  The Pro that was with us Allison Dunlap offered great pointers on climbing. Make sure your fingers are lose enough even when climbing so you could almost play the piano. Try it- it totally makes your whole arm up to your shoulders not as tight. Also- change your position often on a long climb. Sitting in the saddle and spinning or getting up to climb- move around a bit. Well I made it up the first set of climbs and to my own shock I wasn't the dead LAST woman. Which is where I figured I would be for the whole ride.

Some of the ladies at the pretty view point
After a great set of climbs we gathered ourselves again for our decent. Allison gave us some more pointers. Most of us took it easy since we didn't know the roads and played it safe with the braking. I asked why all the cyclists didn't pedal on the decent. She told me that with the speed you would have to pedal most cyclists don't- which lead me to believe the reason my coach told me to pedal on decents is for after getting off the bike- because I still have to run in triathlons! We had beautiful views on our ride some of em are here in the picture. I honestly learned a lot about riding with a group and the fact that I am completely capable of keeping up and handling my bike enough to be with the group. This ride was a HUGE confidence boost. Just what I needed getting into a tri season. I was even told by quite a few people how awesome it was that I did the EPIC ride having not been on a bike at all this season.  I really enjoyed the ride and most of all what I took away from it will be with me for a looooooong time. I am already repeating my climbing and decent pointers to myself when riding at home.

The ride was pretty much the end of the weekend. After some closing words we headed off to Wine Country to take a couple days vacation. Summit was a great time. I look forward to using what I learned all year and most definitely look forward to attending again next year.

I got my leg good on the rental bike- YOUCH!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Racing Anniversary- 3 years!

I am coming up on the anniversary of my racing- 3 years ago I signed up for my first 5k- Jay Lyons 5k. It ended up being an INSANELY hot day. Since the race is in April in Mass they start late in hopes that it will be warm. My goal for the 5k was just to finish and NOT walk! My parents and D ran the race too. This is my mom and I near the finish. I survived 32:28 was my finish time and I have not come to learn that is one of the hilliest 5ks I know about. (wow who is that girl in that photo?)

Coming up on 3 years of racing has me thinking. I have come a long way from just hoping to survive a 5k to I can just go out and do one kinda whenever I feel like it. My time for a 5k has changed a lot- current PR is a low 27. And the other thing is I have raced a LOT of races since then. This 5k was the start of me running and by the end of the season in 2009 I was racing in my first sprint tri- Hale Off Road Tri . And now I have even finished a 70.3!

I have a hard time thinking of myself as an athlete. I STILL see myself as a slow, fat runner and triathlete. I have a very hard time seeing all the things I have accomplished. I really need to realize what I have done and what I can do is way more than that girl 3 years ago running that 5k would have ever thought was possible.

The other thing that has happen a lot lately is having friends either thank me for being an inspiration, asking me for pointers for training for their first 5ks and training and gear pointers for triathlons. I have to say when people that are the non racing friends in my life are asking for my advice I have that moment of "wow I guess I do know a lil bit about this stuff". I think when I am constantly surrounded by people in my life that are immersed in racing I end up feeling like I am not as good as all of them but when a friend who you have known from HS or childhood asks for your help makes you realize maybe you really do know a thing or 2. I even had a random woman come up to me at the grocery store and ask me what I do to stay so fit. Coming up on this anniversary I am going to try to use this as a stepping stone for focusing on the accomplishments I have thus far and looking forward to an exciting 2012 season!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

How I Train on the Road

Since some people asked me to put out some of my pointers I figured I'd throw down some of the ways I manage to train for my first 70.3 on the road and continue to train on the road.

1. BE FLEXIBLE- be sure you aren't too stuck in your training plan and be sure you coach is flexible too. I try to let my coach know when I am going to have to play around with the plan but my schedule is so busy sometimes I don't tell her ahead of time. For this last trip I emailed her to let her know I may not be following the plan and her response "Take me with you." This is why we are a good match. My flexibility paid off on this last trip when TriRunner302 asked me to join her at a spin class. It wasn't my speed bike day but with a switch from swim to bike I ended up getting in a great ride.

2. HAVE GYM MEMBERSHIPS- I have 2 nationwide memberships. That doesn't mean I always have a gym near me to use so I suck it up with hotel gyms and sometimes even pay a couple bucks to guest membership at a gym. It is less than ideal to spend more money but sometimes when it is the only option.

3. RESEARCH OPTIONS- a lot of areas have community pools that I have used for 2 bucks. I do a little google research and ask some people who are from the area. I have really lucked out in some areas finding great pools.

4. MAP A ROUTE- some hotels have mapped runs for you. But if you map your own be flexible to enjoy a slightly different route. I had a planned route one time came across a bike path and ended up getting to enjoy running with deer that morning. PLEASE- make sure you tell someone where you are headed and have someone know you are going and when you get back. Safety is important.

This past week I got to enjoy one of my favorite travel run routes- the national mall. It wasn't the hill repeats on my plan but it was a great run with the little bit of cherry blossoms left.

5. KNOW YOUR STROKE COUNT- if you know your 25 yd stroke count you can estimate how big a hotel pool is. I know I am about 16 strokes in a 25 yd pool so if I can get in about that many its around a 25yd pool but less I can estimate how many yds each length is. This has paid off even this past week at my hotels- one was a shorter pools and one was about 25 yds.

6. PACK OPTIONS- pack your workout planned clothes and equipment but be sure you pack the just in case stuff and don't forget the gels and nutrition. If you don't have a run planned pack the run shoes just in case. Its a bummer to have time to do the workout but not have the gear.

While talking about swimming in hotel pools- Since most hotel pools don't have the markings for walls and the pool floor to know where you are. It is best to practice your open water sighting to know where you are and help sight a flipturn. Also- probably one of the only times I actually work on my open water sighting.

It helps if you realize you do the best you can while training on the road. Sometimes the recumbent bike is the only option but at least I am movin my butt. Some days it is best to get up early and get the workout out the way. Some days the sleep is what I need and I'll get it done later after working. I find on the road it is usually nice to have it out of the way since you never know what will happen. Though some days if I haven't gotten a great nights sleep it is nice to get the extra hour of sleep.

I know my travel schedule isn't going to change much anytime soon so I will keep mulling around any more pointers I can think of. Please feel free to add any that help you when you travel.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Coming Days....

Since I got a lot of comments about the last post I thought I would share some thoughts...Its Monday. I slept like garbage all weekend. I got my training in and it went really well. I was home all last week. Which as usual equates to me running around like a chicken with my head cut off to get everything done I didn't do the week before and in anticipation of being gone again. I try to squeeze in every appointment and errand I can think of but inevitably I end up coming up short.

I ended up having a long day at work Friday- missing out on dinner with friends. But D and I did get to the Hunger Games on Saturday, I got in a good training run and Sunday we got in some long training miles. I did a 1:50 ride on the bike inside and then a short run. Somehow in there I did get in a nail appointment so that is off the list for the next couple weeks.

I packed a bag this morning for the next few days in DC. I had a plan to run this morning but I couldn't get out of bed. So I'll do it down there tonight. The nice thing is I know the area well. I have a decent gym and pool at the hotel. I have a run, swim, bike and swim planned. I hope I might get to see my Uncle and Aunt while in town. So I'll work Mon thru Thurs in DC. Hop an evening flight home and head home to unpack, do laundry, and pack up again.

Friday morning I catch a flight to California for a training event with a lil vacation tacked on. As a part of the Boston Luna Chix I get to head to attend their summit in CA. Saturday I will be doing running clinics and Sunday I get to go for a 1.5+hr ride. Should be fun. The great chaser is the fact that the girls and I are heading to Wine country for a bit as a lil vacation. I know it will be a good trip once I am in the midst of it but right now it just all seems a bit daunting.

I hope I got all my errands done! I hope I will have clothes to wear! I hope I actually packed the right clothes for this week! I hope I turned off the coffee maker!

The kicker to all of it is the one night I am home- D is gone- he is traveling. Gonna be a whirlwind. Ladies and Gentlemen be sure your seat belt is secure and tray tables are in the upright position.

** Note: I'm getting my notes together for the training on travel and fueling on travel posts but I think the next week or so will help shape those posts a bit more ***

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Triathlete, Fulltime Career Woman, Friend, Girlfriend, Daughter.... URGH so many titles!

Lately I have been thinking a lot about how I somehow manage to keep 10,000 glass balls in the air. As all of you know I train and race. I am a daughter, I am a friend, and sometimes I am a half decent girlfriend. I am also a full time career woman with a career that lately has me on the fast track. I love what I do for my full-time job. I work hard and I am starting to get the punishment (sorry reward) for my hard work.

My job lately has me on the road at least every other week. Looking at my calendar the total days I am home in the month of March is 12! YES folks 12! That includes work trips and then weekend trips of being the half decent girlfriend and trying to be a good friend. This life can be a little hectic to say the least! A friend of mine beyond limitations put it very well in a blog post- the grass is always greener. She suggested I explain my situation since it might help some others.

Honestly do you think I want to be a diamond member at the hotel and have 40K plus miles on 3 airlines under 30? I will be on the west coast not once but TWICE this month. I spend enough time in the DC area for most people in my life to believe I live there. I joke I should just get a hotel when I get home whats the point of paying a mortgage. It is hard to eat healthy when you are rushing through an airport to catch a plane much less fuel your body for training and even harder when you are Gluten Free. I have quite a few pointers if anyone is interested!

All this being said I feel like my life of travel and training and all my other million titles is something VERY few understand. I have a few friends that travel like I do and even less that travel with the last minute schedule I have. I am lucky if I know on Monday where I will be till Friday. Sometimes trips come up with less than 24 hour notice. There have been many things I have missed out on in my personal life thanks to my travel schedule- some of them I am still trying to forgive myself for.

But I keep doing it. Like I said my career lately has been on a fast track and I can't be more thankful- I really truly love what I do. And I am currently staring a season in the face where I plan to tackle not 1 but 2 half iron distance races. Somehow training has become the sanity to get me through all of this. It is the steady thing that no matter what I know there is a plan because lets be honest the rest of my life has little to no plan. I have become pretty adapt at training on the road (another post for another time of pointers). I have done many a swim in a hotel pool getting dizzy with the zillion flip turns, attempted zone 2 rides on recumbent bikes, and mapped run routes starting and ending at my hotel.

The other thing no one really can account for on the road is the "on factor". How utterly exhausting it is to be "on" all day long. Whether you are giving a presentation or intently participating in a meeting the "on factor" takes its toll. And there is the lovely lack of sleep when you aren't in your own bed. I tell ya it gets old trying to get used to a new bed, pillows, temperature, and of course the changing schedule while on the road. Needless to say somedays I am exhausted and a workout is tough to drag myself through but sometimes its just the pickup I need.

Then there is the joy of being home. It is great to be back home- but me- I take a day or 2 to get settled back into life. I also spend the days when I am home (12 this month) doing all the crap everyone else gets to do when they get home from work everyday. The haircuts, nail appointments, paying bills, cleaning my house, and all the other glamorous tasks come rushing in and fill up my time home. I would love to spend my days when I get home just lounging and getting caught back up with friends- but sadly this doesn't happen. Actually a friend of mine who I recently talked to about this was like- "and that's why I don't really have friends. They just don't get it!"

I luckily have found a coach that is very understanding of my schedule and is supportive. She goes with the quality over quantity principle. I have a very supportive partner in D, who is pretty willing to just go I get it its our job! My friends understand I think as much as they can... to be honest I don't blame them. You don't get it if you don't do it.

I guess I just wanted to get some of my thoughts on this out. It has been a brewing idea for a while. I know my schedule isn't going to change in the coming months. I will continue to travel and continue to train, try to be a decent friend, a half decent daughter, and make my sorry attempt at being a good girlfriend. As I said I will continue to keep the 10000 balls in the air- because that is my life!

*note: Like I said I have some pointers on food and training while traveling. I also think this subject won't be going away- so please let me know what you think.