Sunday, April 25, 2010

big weekend! (big ride/race report)

I haven't blogged at all this weekend because I wanted to wait and do a recap once this weekend was over. This was probably my biggest training weekend so far this year. On Saturday I had a 4 hour ride with the last 90 minutes at tempo pace, with a 30 min T-run at 7:45 pace afterwards. Sunday I had the Flower City Challenge Inaugural 1/2 Marathon. I was to run this as a training run to practice pacing and nutrition. More on this later.

Friday evening I did a breakfast-for-dinner carbo load at Jines. I ate 2 chocolate chip pancakes (I can only eat pancakes if they have choc. chips in them!), 1 egg, hash browns, and 2 slices of toast. Yummmm.

Saturday morning I had a protein shake 2 hours before my ride and some shot blocks 1 hour before. I met Ken and Kim in Victor at 11. We rode through Bristol, around Canandaigua Lake and then back to Victor. It was the perfect weather - 70 degrees. I wore shorts, a jersey and armwarmers. Pulled the armwarmers off maybe halfway through. I ate shot blocks every 45 mins and drank Powerbar Endurance throughout my ride. Kim gave me some salt tabs to try and a mini Snickers bar. I'm going to start riding with both of these things. I also am going to experiment with what I'm drinking as I still think I'm not taking in enough calories. Let me tell you, I think I need to pick it up on my training rides. Kim toasted me and I usually feel pretty confident on the bike. I think I'm doing my E-rides too slowly. This is the great thing about group rides- they motivate you to HTFU! I also hit my tempo pace for the first time ever (on the bike) and got in a good hour at tempo effort. Then we hit Victor (arriving 30 mins ahead of schedule) and that's when I started to unravel. I think it was a combo of losing "the zone" on the bike, and having to go past my car which is where I thought I'd be stopping, and probably not having enough calories. I need to figure out how to tough it through this because I need to be able to ride strongly past the 3.5 hour mark! Lake Placid is only 3 months away so that's like 10 or so long rides left for me to figure this out on!!!!! Did about 70 miles at 17.2 average mph or so. Then I was a mess on the run. My legs were dead and I only pulled an 8:15 pace. Left me feeling discouraged after what had started out as such a good ride. It was sooo good to ride with people.. even if we were spread out at times due to Ken's and my tempo and our slightly differing paces. I'm hoping to make riding with teammates a regular thing on Sundays! So things I learned: need to put in a little more effort on Zone 2 rides, need to eat more on the bike, need to be more confident towards the end of the ride so I can finish strongly.

I ate pasta for dinner and relaxed on the couch (with the cat of course) with my legs up!

I got up at 5:15 this morning, ate a protein shake and some toast for breakfast. Had some shot blocks at 6:30. I picked up Andy and we drove over to the War Memorial. Race started at 7:30. I wore shorts, short sleeved shirt, armwarmers, and a visor. I was feeling pretty sluggish so I did absolutely no warmup. I had a gel at the start. I was instructed to go out at 8:20 pace and then maintain an average pace of 8:05 - 8:35 throughout the race. I went out in about 8:00 (opps). I was feeling pretty crappy for the first 5 or so miles - my legs were super tired. Good thing I had gotten the idea of a PR out of my mind when I saw my race plan because even if I was told to go race my ass off, it wouldn't have happened today. I saw Mary M. on the course a few times and she is an awesome cheerer! I drank a few sips of Gatorade at every aid station. Jason W. caught me on Park Ave. and we ran together til the cemetary. I took some of a gel here but then at that point I had to go to the bathroom (of course) so I picked it up to try to get to a porta-potty. Had to run through the entire cemetary before finding one at like mile 9. In and out in a minute or so. Then I tried to make up some time. Caught back up with Jason and finished feeling pretty good. I dropped my 2nd gel after only having a little bit of it. I really need to switch to shot blocks on the run - it might make me do better at eating. This was my main goal for the race and I did not execute that very well. My chip time was 1:50 but my Garmin says 1:48:something. I think overall pace was 8:14. Other than the first mile I think my pace was pretty good. I started a little too fast which is easy to do. The race was well organized and I loved running through the cemetary! I wish I could have enjoyed it more instead of worrying about a porta-potty! Running with Jason was nice but I think we both slowed down a little, but there were hills when I was running with him so it could have been that (up Goodman and then in the cemetary). It was a nice distraction from my achy legs! I got a nice finisher's medal and a plastic beer cup thing. I am all for supporting the city of Rochester!

So all in all..

Nutrition: I sucked. I HATE gels. I need to stop trying to force myself to eat them and switch to something that I know I will eat. I did that on the bike and maybe I will have to do it on the run as well. Gels are convenient but they are horrible.

GI Issues: This also wasn't good. I couldn't go before the race and that was my problem. If I could have gone I would have been fine for the race. I was out of applesauce which is totally my fault. I will try the applesauce thing next time.

Pacing: OK, but could have been better if I had gone out more slowly.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

no job/$ = no triathlon

Tuesday morning after my shift I had my 4th interview for the job that is posted for the contract job I am currently in - 2 HR phone interviews and 2 interviews with my supervisor. They are supposed to be making a decision by the end of next week. I truly hope they hire me. I have been a contractor for almost 3 years which means 3 years of buying my own health insurance, and 2 of those 3 years I did not get any sick days, vacation days, holidays, etc. Being a contractor is not fun although I have always been thankful to have a paycheck. Being hired would mean job stability (THANK GOD) because our lab has only 5 people to support 3 shifts/5 days per week. We can't afford to lose anyone. That's why they are turning this contract position into a permanent one - because every 2 years when a contract is up, they have to hire a new one and train a new person.

If I could do one thing in my life over, I would go back to 2004 and not drop my pre-PT major. I was such an idiot. Out of all of the stupid things I have done in my life (believe me - there are a lot), me saying "..but I want to be a biologist" was the dumbest. Being a physical therapist would have gotten me a doctorate, a job wherever I wanted, and a really good salary, plus I would get to work with athletes which would integrate perfectly with my lifestyle. But I couldn't see that at the wonderful age of 20 at which no one should be forced to make a life-changing decision (not that I'm any better at them at 26).

But.. that's what happened, and 6 years later, here I am. A B.S. in Biology which is virtually useless, half of an M.S. in Wildlife Biology that I didn't want to finish. And sometimes I wonder that if this progression (moving to Syracuse for grad. school, moving to Rochester for my thesis, dropping out of grad. school, riding my bike because I only knew 2 people and I was bored) is what let me to triathlon but then again, I am not one of those "everything happens for a reason" kind of people. I made all of those choices and that led me to where I am today - it did not happen because of "destiny." That is complete bullshit.

So I guess what I am trying to say is I really need this job because I need to buy things for my bike and pay for race entries. They say money doesn't buy happiness but I say whoever said that never met a triathlete!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

dating and the Ironman

I have been thinking lately how people balance a social life with Ironman preparation. I recently had a boyfriend who was a runner and a cyclist and it was awesome because we could go to races together, we did our marathon program long runs together for the Philadelphia Marathon (which we both did), and I never had to worry about feeling selfish for needing to get a workout in because he felt the same way that I did. We had each other to talk to about how our workouts went, or niggling injuries that were bothering us, or a run gone sour. We split up due to reasons that are unimportant, however now I find myself wondering if I am ever going to find myself in a similar dating situation with another like-minded person or if I am doomed to eternal singledom because I am too selfish to sacrifice my training schedule for the sake of some dude I am dating.

So how does this work? Do Ironmen only date other Ironmen? I am not even an Ironman yet but I am on the road and I will either become an Ironman in July or I will die trying. Can someone who dedicates hours of their life and (in my case) all of their money to a sport be able to date someone who doesn't? Would the non-Ironman think that the Ironman is just completely insane? Would the non-Ironman's eyes glaze over while the Ironman excitedly talked about their tempo ride, or how they nailed their nutrition in a long run, or about the newest carbon fiber accessory for their bike? Would the non-Ironman protest when the Ironman wanted to drop some money on new equipment? Or when the Ironman spent half of their Saturday doing a 5 hour brick and the other half recovering in an ice bath and then lying on the couch? These are things that I don't want to sacrifice but is that going to lead to my inevitable loneliness?

Ugh I am getting depressed writing this! At least I have a cat. I will be the crazy cat-lady/Ironman.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

sleeping is important

There are 5 of us who rotate through the 3 shifts in the lab where I work. I was amazed (and horrified) when everyone warned me that I would get 3-5 hrs of sleep when I was working overnights. This is not acceptable. I am the type of person who needs 8 hours of sleep per night. I can get by with 6 or 7 but by the end of the week I'm dragging. There is NO WAY I can function getting 4 hours of sleep a night. There is no way that I would be able to do a good job at work, much less get in quality workouts on that much lack of sleep. Last week I was freaking out about it.. worrying that I was going to lose practically 2 weeks out of every month of workouts due to pure exhaustion.

So I make sure that I try my best to get a full "night's" sleep. I do this by going to bed immediately when I get home (after I eat something), turning my cell phone on silent, turning on a fan, blocking the light from my window, and wearing one of those dorky eye masks. I also have earplugs if it's loud outside. I feed the cat and so far she has not been annoying at all (she sometimes is when I try to sleep past 6 am - she crawls all over me because she thinks I should be awake!).

I made getting sleep a priority. Sleep is so important to many many things - stress levels, weight, general health, plus things like mood.. they are all affected by sleep. I know that working these overnight shifts probably isn't the healthiest thing in the world but I am going to try to combat that by getting my proper hours of shut-eye. I know the other people at work think I'm crazy for getting all this sleep but I don't understand how they can NOT do that. I'm as busy or busier than all of them and I still make time to sleep. It's nothing to skimp on!

Monday, April 19, 2010

weekend recap

Well I am back to work as of 11 pm on Sunday night. I recovered quite nicely from last week's overnight shift hell. I got home at about 7:30 am Friday morning. I didn't want to sleep til 4 because I needed to be able to sleep Friday night, so I just let myself nap until I woke up. I actually slept til about 12:30 which really surprised me! I had a short 50 min run that I did in Mendon and I got a good night's sleep (at night!!).

Saturday morning I had a 4 hour endurance ride that I was determined to do outside for several reasons. 1) I cannot do anymore long rides on my trainer. It gets too hot in my apartment and it's soooo boring. 2) I really want to get my new saddle broken in! 3) It's April for christ's sake - time to be outdoors! So even though it was gray and raining as I drove to Mendon, I went anyways. I parked at the Beach and did 2 circuits of a new loop I discovered. I rode from Mendon to Rush on 252, then to E. River Rd. to Lehigh Station Rd., then back to Mendon and then did it again (65 miles for the total ride)! I had to add a little on the end which is the worst, but I didn't want to stray too far from my car in case the weather turned worse. It was hailing a bit on and off and the wind really picked up towards the end but I wasn't cold at all so it wasn't too bad. I did a 30 minute T-run which I couldn't hold my pace on (7:45s) booo. Got home at about 5 pm, ate some pizza, snuggled Fiona, and watched a movie - "Moon" - it's good and I recommend it.

Sunday morning I did a solo 1:30 run in Mendon which wasn't great but I slogged my way through it. Weather was crap until I finished, and then it was gorgeous out for the rest of the day! Ari and I tried to go to Full Moon Vista but it was closed. Napped for maybe 30 minutes before coming into work. Perhaps that's why I'm basically a zombie right now..

Now onto a new week! I can't wait to go home and SLEEP! Flower City Challenge Half Marathon this coming Sunday so keep your eyes peeled for a race report.. AND it's following (day after) a 4 hour bike w/ 90 mins tempo sooooo probably not going to be a PR race for me! Who knows how this race will play out, but all in all it's not my A race so I am not concerned with my time; I am concerned with how I execute the race because that is what is important.

Friday, April 16, 2010

oh so random

Just a couple random thoughts..

I posted my race schedule as a sidebar of this blog. Looks a little menacing with them all listed out like that! It's obviously not final. My coach has the ability to veto anything on there (except for the races I've already registered for HA).

I passed up a mountain bike ride today. I am a truly horrific mountain biker. I cannot ride anything technical at all (AKA steer), I cannot climb steep hills without falling over, and I can't go down hills with turns without crashing. All this aside, I STILL love to mountain bike. I love riding in the woods and through the mud. It is so fun and I feel so freaking hardcore when I go! Also it's an awesome workout. But I didn't go because I had to lift and swim and I really don't think it's a good idea to do something where there's a very good likelihood of me breaking my leg.

I have a 4 hr ride this Saturday and I REALLY want to nail it! I was originally going to ride the Syracuse 70.3 course (plus a little extra) but the weather is not looking so good (40s and rainy) so I will stay close to home this time. I'm heading outside but that way if I get too cold/wet/miserable I can head inside and finish it up on the trainer. I'm really looking to have a good 4 hr ride where I follow my nutrition protocol, don't bonk, don't have saddle issues, and at least stay somewhere near my HR Zone 2. I am gunning for this ride. Sucks that the weather isn't going to cooperate but hey - the weather doesn't always cooperate on race day either!

Mary told me in my podcast last week that I am super fun to coach because I always stay positive regardless of what happens. This makes me very happy because I don't always view myself as a super positive, happy-go-lucky kind of person. I'm more cynical about life in general and usually lean towards the pessimistic side of things. Maybe this is just how I deal with my personal life - who knows. What I do know is that I have never been more excited in my life to do something (Ironman Lake Placid and basically this entire season) and maybe that is what is making me so happy! :)

Also - new people are commenting on my blog! This excites me! So a big HELLO to everyone who I don't know!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


One of the things that I am really excited about - being a relatively new member of Train-This - is making new friends. When I was in college I had a really great group of friends who were mostly other biology majors. It is so easy to fall into friendships with people who have similar interests.. in that case it was a shared major (and since biology is tough.. misery definitely loves company). We were constantly in class or labs or at the library and the stress level of being a bio major brings times when you are just completely ridiculous - either so tired from studying for a huge lab practical or geeking out over a crazy professor/fellow student. And then I moved to Syracuse, and then 9 months later I moved to Rochester and really I haven't found those kinds of friendships yet.

I have a few local friends.. Ari who is my mountain bike extraordinaire friend, and I have Andy, although he is my ex-boyfriend, and some friends from J&J but really not too many with which I can really relate. So it makes me excited for all of these people who love triathlon and are committed to Ironman to be on my doorstep. Even though our Sunday group runs are somewhat sporadic and at 7 am, I love them because it provides some interaction with people with similar interests. This past Sunday I met Kim in Mendon and we ran together and that was fun also. I am excited to do races with other Train-This teammates and wear matching kits!

Maybe I am lame for not having a booming social life but really, with working (especially these stupid rotating shifts) and Ironman training, I don't have time to go out. I am exhausted all the time and I need to sleep or just do something relaxing at home. Ironman is my priority and I am working on building the rest of my life around it! Slowly but surely I am figuring out how to get everything done while maintaining my sanity.

Monday, April 12, 2010

holy crap it is late

Alright, well it's 2:00 am. I am at work. This is a time of day that I NEVER see. Sometimes, I'm up til midnight on the weekend (not often). I get up at 5 am quite frequently for work and group runs, and at 4 am for races. But 2 am - NEVER. But now that I am working overnights.. 2 am is going to occur for 2 weeks out of every 5 weeks, which, I'm not gonna lie - pretty much blows. And I would rather get up at 5 am every day than stay up this late. I LOVE going to bed early - like 9 pm early. I have the bedtime of an 8 year old and I don't care. Even on Friday night I am in my PJs ASAP and in bed before 10 pm when everyone else is out at the bar (believe me, I can hear them walking past my window all freaking night).

When I get home at 7:30ish I get to tackle the problem of sleeping during the day. Regardless of how exhausted I am, I am worried that I won't be able to sleep. I have earplugs, an eye mask, a fan, an AC unit that I need to put back in my window, and if all of that fails, I will buy a black blanket and hang it over my bed. Dear god I just hope I can sleep. Because I do NOT do well on less than 8 hours of sleep and I need to get quality training in.

Friday, April 9, 2010

swim test!

Yesterday I had my swim test. Two 400 yd time trials. Previously the fastest I had swum (swam?) this was in 6:17 - sometime in February I think. Yesterday I did both 400s at 6:12. So I've improved by 5 seconds in less than 2 months. I'm not sure if this is a big improvement or not, and really I don't care, I am just happy to be seeing results.. ESPECIALLY in the pool where I pretty much always feel like a slug.

On Monday my bike got all cleaned up (thanks Andy!) and today I am going to take her back to Geneva so I can get my real saddle put on. I will probably get some new tires for my Zipps and I may as well bring the Zipps along because I sure as hell cannot get the tires on myself. I STILL have not gotten my new M&T Bank card yet, but I got my new credit card in the mail yesterday so I may have to use that. I don't like using credit cards because they freak me out, but this having no available money thing is getting super old.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Today I ran without my Garmin for the first time in 2 years or so. I felt naked without the huge thing on my wrist! It was kind of nice though not having to worry about my pace because I had absolutely no idea what it was. I just ran for 30 minutes in the rain. I love getting to this point in my training where I feel like I can run forever. Swimming is somewhat of a chore for me, and although I do love cycling I get uncomfortable being in the same position for hours on end; running will always be my first love. I love to run in a sports bra and my favorite shorts - Brooks Epiphany Stretch - and just sweat it out in the summer. And I am more experienced as a runner so I am better able to pace and set realistic time goals for races.

Things have not been going very smoothly for me for the past few months and honestly having Lake Placid as this huge goal is really the only thing that is keeping me positive. I just have to always remember to see the light with the dark. I lost my job in December, but now I have a better paying job that I like more and that doesn't frustrate me. I broke up with my runner boyfriend in Feb. which really sucked but now I am cultivating new friendships and I am no longer frustrated in a relationship. I totaled my car in March but now I have a wagon which holds all of my bike gear much more easily. And I lost my wallet last weekend however I really can't see anything positive coming out of that! But I can handle that - that's NOTHING. I canceled my credit cards, replaced my license and I am off and rolling again.

With the bad.. comes the good. And the good is that I am going to Lake Placid no matter what happens to me and I'm going to kick its ass. I am 100% sure. I have waited my entire life to discover something that I connect with like this and I am never going to stop.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

glorious rest

Rest week is off to a good start. A glorious 4.5 hours this week and that is IT! Sunday night I couldn't sleep at all. But I had a day off from training yesterday and today was just an easy swim. Tomorrow is a bike and run but with no data.. I don't think I have ever gone out for a run or ride and not recorded SOMETHING! haha! I am planning a cruise around the streets of Rochester on my mountain bike with my friend Ari. I'm assuming this fun ride is just to keep my legs moving so it will be super fun. Poor mountain bike did not get a lot of use last year. I think I was on it 3 times. And Andy replaced my grip shifters with trigger shifters so it's a little nicer now - still super heavy though! So other than being slightly bored with no workouts to do, things are A-OK (I'm a nerd)!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

1st puke!

Today was a bust. I felt great after yesterday's workout but today I had a 1:45 run and it was terrible. I ran the Spring Forward loop which is 9 miles and then tacked the extra time on the end. I was supposed to do the last 45 mins at tempo pace but that just didn't happen. By that point I was just struggling to continue running. I wanted to lie down in the road and nap. I got a ton of sleep last night so it's not as if I was tired.. my legs were just done. They refused to move. Oh and I also threw up 4 miles in and I have no idea why. I'm not a puker. I've never puked on a run before. And I didn't feel queasy at all - no GI trouble whatsoever. I just burped and it came up, and then it surprised me so much that I swallowed it back down. But my mouth was definitely full of stomach acid (nothing chunky) so I classify that as puking. Lovely, right?


So yesterday was good AND bad. The bad first.. I lost my wallet. :( I got gas and left it on the roof of my car and then drove off with it still up there. When I realized it was gone 4 hours later I went back to the gas station and asked about it, looked around, but nothing. So I canceled my credit cards and posted an ad on craigslist. I'm sure it's long gone. I lost 2 credit cards, my license, my USAT card, my Eddie Bauer rewards card, and $40 along with other cards I care less about. So now I have no credit card, no way to register for Tinman until my new card comes, no way to pay for the new Adamo saddle that is en route to Geneva, no way to register the EZ Pass that I bought on Friday.. ugh.

Then the good.. Cherry is at her new home and I think I am going to love it. People are normal and friendly and they do group trail rides! And it's bright there, not dark like Camille's barn. I am going to ride her today - first time in a year.. YIKES.

I also did a mega workout. I had a 4 hour bike scheduled which Mary broke into 2 2 hour bikes due to my recent fit/saddle change (I am riding an Adamo Typhoon on loan from Geneva). I did the first one at 1 pm after moving Cherry and the wallet fiasco. I rode up to Webster along East Lake Rd. and then turned around after an hour. Felt ok. Then I squeezed in a swim that I missed on Friday. Then I did ride #2 at 5:30 - I rode to Mendon and did the duathlon loop - felt awesome for the last hour surprisingly. Then I did a 30 minute T-run.. supposed to be 7:30 pace, I averaged 7:35. Not too bad considering my day and I had to dodge Park Ave. foot traffic. Long day!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

bike fit

Today was the day! I got fit on my tri bike! I got up at 4 am so that I could be into work by 5:30 am. They are already getting slammed at Geneva Bicycle Center (which is where I got my fit done) so I was pretty limited as to when I could go. It wound up being today at 3. Luckily we are on a shutdown week at work so our hours are more flexible and I was able to flex my hours forward so I could leave early. I took my bike to work with me and she fits perfectly in the back of my car - front wheel on and everything!

I won't through the whole process that Jim Hogan went through to fit me because I'm not sure how everything works but I will tell you that first things first - we got rid of my god-awful Ponzo saddle and found an Adamo Road saddle that I think will work! The Race was too hard and the Typhoon was really squishy, but the Road model was right in the middle. Then we adjusted my seat height up, we put a longer stem on, and we took out 2 spacers which dropped my handlebars down. He also adjusted the cleat on my left shoe. Nothing too drastic was done, just fixing some of the angles that my body takes. He said I ride with a very straight back which is good! So hopefully this will fix my saddle chafing crotch horrible issues and make me not dread my long rides.

He didn't actually have the saddle in stock (we borrowed one off someone else's bike to do the fit) but it's coming in tomorrow so I left my bike there and I'm going to go pick it up tomorrow after work. A lot of driving but oh well. I have a 4 hr ride on Saturday and I know it's not a super great idea to take a newly adjusted bike and brand new saddle out for a 4 hour ride but honestly, I don't think I could get more uncomfortable than I already was, and if it's awful I can always come back early and finish up my ride on my trainer/road bike combo.

I'm excited for this fit! The more comfortable I am on my bike the better and I think it will make me faster!