Monday, May 31, 2010



I can't get rid of it! No amount of water, caffeine, advil, sleep, or food has helped. :(

slowly dying

This was a big weekend. 138 miles on the bike and over 16 miles of running in 2 days. Thank god I have today off from work AND Ironman.

Yesterday morning I ran a 5K in Waterloo. It's a typical small canal town and there was the typical 5K crowd. One super fast chick, a lady in a hot pink LiveSTRONG running outfit, a creepy guy with the creepiest mustache I have ever seen, a guy wearing cutoff American flag Zubaz pants and a bandana, a 60 year old friendly dude with a Boston Marathon shirt on, and tons of kids. I ran my 5K in 22:25. That's typical for me - not a PR. I don't bring a lot to a 5K race, but I did do it the day after a 105 mile bike ride so I feel ok about it. I was 4th OA and 1st in my AG so I got a medal. Also, don't tell Mary but after the race (~9:30 am) I was so hungry and I was surrounded by typical carnival food.. I ate some mozzarella sticks. They were DELICIOUS and I don't regret it at all.

I did my 2 hr bike/long run workout later in the day. The bike was ok but my crotch hurt so bad I could barely sit. I'm ok in aero but every time I had to get out of aero to climb a hill I wanted to die. My bike pace was sloooow. I ran long off the bike to test my nutrition, and that went fine. I'm working on combating the heat by stuffing ice under my hat and in my sports bra, and by drinking a TON, and that worked also! My quads blew up at the end of the run so I hobbled it in not feeling so great.

I have realized that I now look like the typical Ironman when I run. I am a runner transformed into a dorky Ironman. This is my outfit from yesterday: blue Train-This tri shorts, pink sports bra, white hat, sunglasses, HR monitor and Garmin, fuelbelt filled with Gatorade and M&M container of S-caps.. all that's missing is the compression socks. Am I Iron enough?

I slept like shit last night. I was incredibly tired and went to bed at like 9 pm and just couldn't get comfortable. My legs were killing me and my toe was tingling :( No matter how many advils I took, I couldn't get comfortable. I also thought I was going to puke all night. Seriously, I might be dying.

Today I am going to get new sneakers to see if I can fix my tingling toes.

I swam this morning at 7 am at Kershaw. I can't believe I got up at 6 after getting like 3 hours of sleep to swim for 20 mins. It was fun though. The lake was kind of gross, and not really that cold! We were all at the pavilion getting ready to swim and these 3 dudes came walking over to us dressed in complete race outfits. They are sponsored by Crank Skin? None of us had ever heard of a Crank Skin before. Mary was dying (apparently Crank Skin = condom in Mary world!). Anyways, I knew one of the guys from a ride I did last Memorial Day, and one of the other guys knows my friend Ari. I guess they're doing Keuka so keep your eyes peeled for team Crank Skin!

I have Keuka Lake Olympic distance tri in 6 days so this week is sort of a mini-taper. I go from just doing a 16 hr week to a 7 hr week. Can't say I'm upset about that :P

I am dying now. I want to go do things because it's Memorial Day but I am exhausted. :( I think I will nap.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


I will leave you tonight with this awesome song!

The Galway Girl by Steve Earle

mental fortitude

Stats from today's workout:

time: 6:12
distance: 105.3 miles
speed: 17.0 mph

30 min run = crap.

I need to work on running better in the heat. I need to bring water with me even on 30 min T-runs. It was the hottest part of the afternoon and I had just ridden for 6 straight hours in the sun. I'm an idiot.

I got mega sunburnt. I even wore a jersey in order to keep my shoulders covered and I was roasting the entire ride. So now I have a farmer's tan. Awesome. Parts of my body that are sunburnt include: nose, quads, forearms, hands. Sunscreen just doesn't last that long.


That's my Garmin strap tan burn line. Not sexy.

Anyways. Putting the bad run aside for the moment, I am very happy with today's ride. Firstly, I hit 100 miles again (and maintained a 17 mph average!) and it was much hillier where we rode today. And more importantly, at around 4.5 hours we stopped at the good ole Hess Station in Canandaigua to regroup and refuel. We being Ken, Kim, and myself. We were stopped for a good 20 min. Then I went right into a 20 min tempo block. Probably not my smartest move but I had pushed it back because I didn't know if I could fit 20 mins in before getting to the Hess Station once I hit 4 hours. Once we got onto 5/20 heading back towards Rochester, my quads melted. There are some pretty big rollers there and I just couldn't ride them. I am not great at rollers as it is and I watched Ken and Kim get farther and farther ahead of me. It was discouraging and I got upset that I continue to die more than an hour before my ride is over. I didn't know if it was the stopping for so long, or that the hills were just besting me today. Then I realized I had 2 options, give up right then and have a hellish rest of the ride and feel terrible about myself, or suck it up and push through it. I chose #2, and it worked. I spun through the rollers, not very quickly, ate a mini Snickers, and then I turned onto 444 to head back to Fairport, and my legs came back. I finished the ride feeling strong and at my normal speed.

The hardest part is mental. Ironman is long. It is tedious. It is slow. It is difficult. And if I can't push away the negative thoughts I'm never going to be happy with how I race and I am never going to be able to race well with bad thoughts in my brain. Everyone deals with self doubt about SOMETHING. I KNOW I am doing the appropriate training. I know that I am fit. I will have a race plan, a nutrition plan, and a coach on course in case I have issues. The hardest part is getting rid of the mental demons. If something bad happens, so what? I need to be able to assess a situation and deal with it the best that I can. I can't just freak out and give up. So today was a big testament to overcoming a challenge. So.. my legs got jello-ish up some hills.. Well I spun up them and I got my rhythm back. Coming back from a low point in a ride to riding strongly is more important to me than nailing a 20 min tempo segment. I succeeded. :)

On a lighter note, I realized that Kim and I talk about our crotches way too much. Maybe this is what we were doing at the Hess Station for so long.

Kim: my crotch hurts
me: so does mine
Ken: mine is good (probably some eye rolling here because I know Ken thinks we're ridiculous)
me: I don't think guys have crotch/saddle issues like girls do
Ken: ya think?
Kim: it's surprising because they have more stuff down there
me: well they can move their stuff around!

Friday, May 28, 2010


You know you're a triathlete when you clean your apartment and find 10 Powerbars scattered between the bedroom, living room, and kitchen.

At least I cleaned. Sort of. Then I got distracted by watching Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. And then I realized that it is Friday night, and I am super lame.

book nerd

Yesterday I finally finished reading "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall. It's basically about ultrarunning and these crazy guys who run in sandals down in Mexico. My parents got me this for my birthday after I had already bought it for myself! So I returned mine to Barnes & Noble.

Then I started reading "A Walk in the Woods" by Bill Bryson which is amazingly awesome. It's about 2 out of shape dudes who hike the Appalachian Trail. I'm a fast reader - I'm about halfway through and it's funny enough to make me giggle like an idiot while I'm reading it. He's talking about all of the equipment he has to buy for a 5 month hike up the east coast and this is what he has to say, "I hadn't expected to buy so much--I already owned hiking boots, a Swiss army knife, and a plastic map pouch that you wear around your neck on a piece of string, so I had felt I was pretty much there..." Once I am done with this book I am going to read all of his other books! That's how much I love it and I highly recommend it!

I love to read. I'm pretty much a reader of 3 types of books: fantasy (ie Harry Potter and other nerdy books), sports/adventure (anything running/cycling related or anything outdoorsy by authors such as Jon Krakauer), and Dan Brown/Michael Crichton-ish types (stuff that is super easy and entertaining). These are the genres that I seek out but I will read mostly anything. :)

So anyways, now I REALLY want to hike the Appalachian Trail (even more than I already did). This is why I shouldn't read books like this. When I read Into Thin Air I wanted to go climb Mount Everest, but I'm pretty sure I would die in an avalanche so I scrapped that idea (plus I don't have an extra 100 grand lying around to fund an Everest expedition). I'm not sure how normal people actually do hike the AT. It takes months and you have to have a lot of money for gear, hotels, food along the way, etc. Plus how does anyone take 5 months off of work? I get 2 weeks of vacation. Not gonna happen! Then I thought well maybe I can RUN the AT and that will take less time.. but it's 2000 miles. Hmm. Hmmmmmmm..

On the IM forefront.. I forgot to do my freakout on May 25th so I will do it now. TWO MONTHS UNTIL LAKE PLACID!!!!!!!!!!!! And I'm done.

I had a horrible run yesterday in a heat wave. 10 min/miles if not slower and some overheating. I do not sweat much until I'm done and in my apartment, and then it looks like someone dumped a bucket of water on me. I got yelled at by Ari and Mary for running in a not so nice area of the city in my sports bra and "tiny shorts" which are not tiny! They are regular length running shorts! I'm sorry that my big butt fills out my shorts and makes them look shorter! haha!

I have a weird thing going on with my toes. I started to get a weird tingling in my middle toe on each foot about 2 weeks ago. My first thought was "OH MY GOD I HAVE MS." But really, I'm sure I don't have MS. I switched to a new pair of running sneakers. They are exactly the same as my last ones but they are nice and new and hot pink! So I will see if that fixes it. If it doesn't work, I might try a new model of sneakers. If THAT doesn't work then I have no idea what to do other than see a doctor and see if I have a pinched nerve or something. It doesn't bother me to run but it's bothering me sitting here right now with my toes all tingly!

Also stupid Ironman switched the on course sports drink 8 weeks before Lake Placid. However I shouldn't be complaining because it switched from Gatorade Endurance to Powerbar PERFORM. And what have I been using on my bike? Powerbar Endurance. Although I JUST BOUGHT a big tub of GE so I could start practicing with it. So apparently no one knows what is in this PERFORM stuff but we are all getting a free case of it to test out. And I do like free stuff!

And finally, I am racing a 5K on Sunday. Mary has us run 5Ks to see how our running is progressing and also so she can figure out our IM marathon pace. I'm not sure how she does that (perhaps magic?) but I hate 5Ks so I just want to get it over and done with. So my 5K is in Waterloo and is called the Celebrate Commemorate 5K. I picked it because it has a free t-shirt AND a free finish line photo! I've never heard of a race doing this before! I always steal legally obtain my race photos off of Brightroom. So I will be there adorned in my new Train-This singlet and my apparently too-short running shorts (or perhaps I will wear my running skirt!) ready to strike a pose at the finish line! Unfortunately, racing alone is just not as much fun as racing with friends but I am no stranger to going solo so I will just have to make new friends in Waterloo! do my usual antisocial race behavior and speak to no one.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


OK, I promised Ari that I would write about a guy at Chipotle giving me his phone #. It's not really anything exciting! I went to Chipotle last week to get dinner after a workout but before I had to go into work at 11pm. I was in the parking lot at my car and this guy in a car stops right behind me and starts asking me about tri. (I have a bunch of running and tri related stickers all over the back windshield of my car - obnoxious? maybe. awesome? definitely!). So this guy is talking and talking and talking and I'm standing there holding my burrito which is getting colder by the minute. And he's talking about how he trains alone and he hates it and blah blah blah and he's asking me when I train and who I train with. So I tell him I ride long with other IM friends and I do my shorts rides solo (this is the first year I have ever had consistent training partners on the bike). So he gave me his phone number so I could call him to ride together. Whatever, I took it. And then I got home and cyberstalked him. Get over it. I'm a girl. That's what the internet is for. Girls cyberstalk, boys watch porn. I looked up his race results for a race he told me he did. AGE GROUP 50-55!!! Yikes. I am a bad judge of age. I had no idea this guy was 50+. What's even creepier is that I am 26 but I look young. Like really young. Let me emphasize -- people think I am in high school. So I don't know if this guy really just wanted to ride with someone THAT BADLY or what. But it creeped me out so I threw his phone number away. I'm not an ageist.. but I am leery of strangers. Especially older dude strangers.

Guys almost never talk to me or ask me out or give me their phone numbers. This could have been cool if the guy was like 30. Not 50.

I don't know what it is with creepy guys and me. I went on a few dates with this one guy and thought he was normal (he was cute enough and he was a mountain biker) and then one night we were watching a movie at my apartment and I got up to go to the bathroom. When I came out he wasn't in my living room. Weird.. HE WAS IN MY BED! Under my covers! (Thank god his clothes were still on). You don't get in my bed without asking me! Then when I told him I wanted him to leave, he begged me to let him stay, and when I said no, HE CRIED!! Seriously I can't make stuff like this up.

Another guy that I did not know well at all (triathlete) wanted me to text him sexy photos. NO WAY! There is no way I would ever do this, I don't care if freaking Brad Pitt was asking.

Maybe I am a prude? Not really. Maybe these guys are weirdos? Yeah.

the chubby triathlete

I feel like talking about something a little more serious today and probably something to which everyone can relate: body image. Now I can only talk about the female perspective on this, and honestly I think women are more affected by body image issues and disorders, but I am NOT saying that men are not. Maybe men are just better at hiding it - who knows, I don't have a penis so I can't even begin to unravel the many mysteries of men.

I don't want to go around pointing fingers or anything but I think a lot of female body image disorders stem from the media. We look at magazines (where everything is airbrushed) and celebrities/models (many of them are severely underweight) and compare ourselves to these women when most of the time, they are not even presented how they really look in real life. The only way I can even show this is to link a Candies ad done by Britney Spears. Now I know that BSpears is a little (ok very) crazy but there is no denying that she it hot. Even after she had babies and went nuts and was allegedly chubby (ie: normal weight) she still looked hot.

So here is a before airbrushing and after airbrushing photo shoot of Britney for a Candies ad.

I saw this and it was just completely shocking. I honestly give her a lot of credit for demanding that Candies release both sets of photos. I think that something like this is great for young girls (and women my age!) and maybe it will help them maintain a healthy body image. And I know that a huge percentage of Americans are overweight (this is a whole different issue) but there is a HUGE DIFFERENCE between being a healthy weight and being freakishly skinny. I still think Britney is hot in the before photos, but she is more normal girl hot with "body imperfections". The after photos are just unrealistic, unattainable, and plasic-looking and that is STILL what women want to look like!!! I say women and I include myself in that generalization although I'm sure that there are women who are totally happy with how they look, and kudos to them! Seriously!! But there are tons of women like myself that see these photos and are just completely delusional by thinking that real women look like that. So it's just a never ending cycle of the media playing up flawless/photoshopped photos of women, and women thinking that real women are supposed to be flawless AND thinking that men only are attracted to women like that.. and body image starts to go south. Realistically I think most men like women who are healthy and curvy but there are always jerks out there who call anyone over 105 lbs fat. These men deserve to be eaten by rats.

It makes it even harder being in a sport like triathlon where there are SO MANY ultra-fit women, and we are all running around in completely skintight outfits. It makes it easier to see our own flaws AND compare ourselves to other women (guilty!!!!!) rather than focusing on what we like about ourselves, or just the fact that our bodies are allowing us to do a freaking Ironman. I bet Kate Moss couldn't do an Ironman! And if we're worried about whether our thighs are jiggling while we are running, we probably aren't running to the best of our abilities!

I have no solution to this problem. I struggle with it just as much as the next girl. Even though most of the time I KNOW I am being irrational, negative thoughts still creep into my brain. It doesn't matter that I just rode 6 hours on my bike or that I can run a 4 hour marathon, man I need to lose the chub! Completely ridiculous!

On a totally unrelated note, I had a super crappy swim on Tuesday. So crappy that I gave up halfway through. I was tired, dizzy, and my arms felt like jello. I was swimming like 15 seconds off my 200 yd time. Perhaps that's what prompted this post because I always feel like a chubby, lazy POS when I scrap a workout. Like I should have fought through it and that this one messed up workout is going to be what keeps me from finishing Placid. I know that this is not the case, but I am bad with the negative thoughts. Once they get in they are hard to get out!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

if they catch us, they WILL rape us!

I am a big fan of "The Office." This is the best clip from this entire season. (I may be partial to it since I am a cyclist).

Dwight takes control of a spin class.

Enjoy! :)

open water swim, tan lines, and the situation

Today's announcement is that I am organizing an open water swim in Canandaigua Lake on Memorial Day. I always go down there on Memorial Day (I think that's the first day Kershaw Park opens) so that I can get at least one open water swim in before the Keuka Lake tri which is the following weekend. I extended the invite to the entire Train-This team and like 10 people are in! So I guess I'm not the only one that wants to get the shock of 60 degree water over with before race day - because the water is ALWAYS FREEZING at Keuka!!! So I am posting the invite here also. Probably less than 5 people read this (I know Mary reads it but I do pay her to be my friend) so this is most likely pointless.. but if anyone is interested, post a comment and I can contact you with the info (it has yet to be determined when/where we are meeting). Also, I need tips on cleaning my wetsuit. I think it's kind of mildew-y.. :(

Aside from that, Day 1 of my new training block is complete.. and it was a rest day for some reason. In my training plan Mary said that I would hate it. I don't hate rest days (I normally love them) however I feel like I have had almost 2 weeks off now and I'm starting to get anxious! Even with this rest day I still have a 16 hour week, which at first I couldn't figure out how that was even possible, but I took a closer look at my Sunday. Normally I have a 1:45 run. This Sunday - 2 hr bike/2 hr run. Apparently we are putting my nutrition to the test starting now! Which is definitely a good thing. The longer run is a good thing too. I need to get some long runs in.. I did not have a great marathon experience at the Philadelphia Marathon in November, especially after mile 18 so I'm worried about this Ironman marathon now. I'm really just trying not to think about how awful it's going to feel. On the complete opposite end of running, I have to find a 5K to do. I'm not sure how soon, but Mary wants all Musselmen and Placid racers to do a 5K test. I don't even want to know how slow this is going to be.. I finally PRed in the 5K last year (first fast 5K since freaking high school XC) and I know I won't be able to touch it. Oh well.. at least I have a recent PR and not a 2001 PR like before!

Summer is officially here. Warm weather brings fun things like flip flops, tan lines, running in a sports bra, and race season (maybe I am delusional about what types of things are fun)! Unfortunately it also brings some things that I do not care for such as a sweltering hot apartment, people walking (loudly) past my apartment at all hours of the night (and by people I mean drunken hos with no pants on and guys who resemble "The Situation" from The Jersey Shore). This is what I get for living a block from the horrible bar scene in Rochester.. I did install my air conditioner in my bedroom window today so sleeping should be less gross and sticky, but that does nothing about the temperature of the rest of my apartment so I am left to just suffer. And I feel bad for my cat. She has longish fur and I know she is hot. I keep finding her sprawled out asleep in weird places - like the bathroom floor - and I think it's because the tile is cooler than the carpeting. Poor kitty :( (I'm sure it is obvious by now that I am obsessed with my cat, but at least I only have 1).

This thing is supposed to be about races and training and here I am rambling on about my cat. I have never been very good at stickng to a "theme." Next time I will write about the guy who gave me his phone number in the Chipotle parking lot (because that really is triathlon related!!!).

Sunday, May 23, 2010

lazy girl

The series finale of LOST is on tonight from 7:00 - 11:30. I am supposed to be at work at 11 pm but I got permission to come in late (how awesome is it to be me?). Many Train-This teammates watch LOST and are freaking out because something they have been invested in for 6 years is ending - and I don't blame them. My situation is a little different. I started watching LOST back in Feb. for several reasons: people on the Train-This google group wouldn't shut up about it, it was still winter-ish and I was bored and newly single, and I had a LOT of 3+ hr trainer rides to suffer through. I managed to watch 5 1/2 seasons of LOST in a very short time span (maybe a month?) and I'm pretty sure that's a testament as to how lame I really am. Regardless, I am now as hooked on this TV show as anyone else and I am also quite sad that it is ending. Unfortunately, watching TV means sitting in my ungodly hot apartment. It feels like the 7th circle of hell in here. Every winter I freeze and every summer I sweat my ass off. I have taken to sitting around in my underwear in order to deal with it! So that is how I will be watching LOST.. On my couch in my underwear with my cat (probably crying because it's over). :)

Anyways, that is my night tonight. I just finished up a nice easy hour ride on my bike. I really need to get it to the shop for a tune-up. It's not shifting very well, the chain fell off on my ride last weekend, I think it needs new brake pads (it will definitely need new ones for the Keene descent in Placid!), and both wheels need to be trued. So basically, my bike is a mess and I have a tri in 2 weeks. Way to procrastinate Alexa. I just hate giving it up! It's better to do it early in the season when the bike shops aren't busy, but I wanted to wait until I was close to the start of my season to get it done. I will call my friends over at Park Ave Bike Shop and see if they can squeeze it in somewhere! I'll probably bring my Zipps too because let's face it, I'm never going to switch those tires myself. LAZY!

I was talking to Gretchen yesterday and she said she mostly has a coach to rein her in and keep her from overtraining. I have a coach for the opposite reason.. I am lazy and I need motivation! As long as I know someone is looking at my training plan, I will do everything on it (and no I don't lie about anything!!!). If I was responsible for only satisfying myself, I'd be skipping workouts all over the place!

Anyways, lazy recovery week is over and it's back to regular training hours next week!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Spring Classic Du

I like to write up my race reports ASAP so that nothing gets forgotten. I just got home from the Spring Classic Duathlon (Formula 1 distance) in Mendon, NY. Now I love Mendon Ponds Park. I run there all the time, I ride there all the time, I've done both road races and trail races there.. but that being said, it is hilly there!

Last night my internet/cable went down for several hours. Of course I freaked out for 2 reason: 1) what if my cable didn't come back on for the LOST series finale!!! and less importantly (haha) 2) I needed to get my race plan for this morning! I called Andy and had him log into my trainingpeaks account to see if the plan was in there but it wasn't, sure I figured it was in my email. I had to go to the Great Harvest Bread Co. (which sucks ass by the way) to use their free Wifi in order to look at it! There was a guy in there with boxes of Dungeons and Dragons cards and a trophy sitting on his table, but hey, I try to pee on myself - I don't judge.

Back to the race. Saw Solveig, Gretchen, and Joe C. there. The 3 of us girls wore our new unis (Joe does not have one). Here we are after the race!

Here we are with Joe C. who did not match and who is WAY TALLER than any of us!

Got there early, racked my bike. This duathlon is early in the season and is super laidback. I didn't put my race wheels on or anything because the road is pretty bumpy in places. It's a 2 mile run/10mile bike/1 mile run/10 mile bike/2 mile run. The run course is partially on trails. I don't care for duathlons but I really wanted to get out on my bike for a race, and I did this race last year so I would be able to compare my times. I do enjoy setting PRs :).

Here is the start of the race. You can tell it's me from the kit (green top/blue shorts) and my big ass.

I tried to hold back a little on the first run. It went fine. I came into transition with at least 5 women ahead of me. Last year I was 5th OA women and I wanted to better that this year. Unfortunately all of these women were pretty far ahead of me. And one was right behind me on the run who just flew away from me on the bike. I remember her from last year and the same thing happened. I managed to pass 2 women on the first bike leg. They both passed me back during the 2nd run (it was only a mile!). I caught one on the 2nd bike and then ANOTHER chick passed me and kept going. I started getting annoyed. Who were all of these women!? I usually go top 10 in olympic distance tris and I very rarely get passed by chicks and 3 passed me at a duathlon in freaking May! Anyways, I managed to hold this position for the final run (although the fast runner girl who was wearing GIGANTIC shorts that passed me in run #2 was right behind me) and I booked it in. I think I was 7th overall (official results will be posted later) and 1st (out of 2 - yuck) in my AG. So this is the 2nd year in a row I've won my age group. I can add another plaque to the dresser. I still LOVE getting awards but I have 3 plaques from the 3 Fleet Feet duathlons that I've done.

Here I am coming in from the first run.

I did not feel great racing today. I've had a week of recovery but my legs felt heavy, tired, and stiff. And I'm groggy from coming off stupid overnights. Instead of lining up at the start I wanted to crawl in the back of my car and take a nap. It was pretty humid during the race and definitely warm enough, and the new tri top does not breathe as well as my old one did. I wish we had been able to order the crop tops! Also I think my tri shorts are too big! I ordered smalls instead of XS because I have big quads and big ass, but I think I need to get smaller ones (especially since when they get wet they will be flopping around). It was still fun to run in the kit though! I saw Mary with her banner heading back into the park, and Kim and (I think) Ken at bike in.. so thanks to the 3 of you who came out to cheer!!

My time this year was 1:44:23 and last year it was 1:45:55. So although I do not feel like I raced well today, at least I did better than last year. I KNOW I am in better shape this year! However I am concentrating on long course and a setup like today favors people who can really hammer for a short amount of time. I can't. A 10 mile bike course and a 2 mile run course are just not long enough for me.

My 2 mile runs were 16:30 and 16:32 ( the first run was longer due to the starting line placement) with paces of 8:00 and 8:16. My 1 mile run was 8:56 (YUCK - I should have picked it up here). My first 2 runs were faster last year but last year I felt like shit on the 2nd bike, today I didn't.

My bike legs were 29:46 and 32:12 (19.7 mph and 18.2 mph). I was alone for a lot of bike 2. I was supposed to get these bike splits within a minute of each other. Whoops. These are similar to last year's times (30:xx and 31:xx).

So apparently I am just not getting any faster. I'm more fit, I can ride for longer, my swimming has improved, my weight is down. I SHOULD BE FASTER! :(

Thursday, May 20, 2010

superb day!

I had a very good day today. Very very VERY good! I think it's the rest week. I have physically and mentally recovered from my big 4 week block! I have a duathlon on Saturday and I am so ready to rock the shit out of it!

I woke up at around noon (please keep in mind that I am not sleeping until the afternoon because I am super lazy - I am working overnights!) and checked facebook/email in bed via my ipod touch (addiction, anyone?). I saw emails and facebook posts with photos of our NEW UNIFORMS! They had arrived! We have been waiting on these uniforms since like February so you can imagine how excited everyone on our team is! I was so excited that I could barely fall back asleep! I picked mine up when I met with Mary at Starbucks (more on this later) and they are frickin SWEEET! Not quite lime green/blue, more of a kelly green/blue, but they are sharp looking. I tried all of the pieces on when I got home and everything fits really well! I ordered a tri top, tri shorts, jersey, running singlet, and arm warmers. I do think I am going to order a jacket because I saw Mary's and it's REALLY NICE! I will post photos when I get some good ones.

Before all of this uniform trying on happened, I had to do my swim test. Our swim test is 2x400 yds at max effort. 4 weeks ago I did it in 6:12. Today, I did it in 6:02 (actually the first one was 6:09 and the 2nd one was 6:02). Holy FREAKING 10 second improvement!! I am shocked and psyched and stunned! As much as I dread swimming every Tues/Thurs I will NEVER skip a swim (I've only skipped 1 swim since I started in January anyways) because it's obviously working! I am feeling better about the Ironman swim distance; I am still a little worried about the mass swim start because I tend to panic in situations like that (it took me an entire season of triathlon to calm down during the swim). But I was on a serious high from the swim test, and I went to Starbucks to meet with Mary just because I had some questions and whatnot.

She answered my questions which were mostly about what was coming up training-wise, training camp, and Tinman (because they are a week apart). I am still a bit worried FREAKING OUT about my nutrition. I am ok on the bike but still not so much on the run. Mary told me today that she thought I was the type of athlete who would "continue racing with shit running down your legs"(her words, not mine). Now I know that this is disgusting and probably you people don't want to hear about this. Believe me, I know it's gross. But we are triathletes. We strip down to our underwear (and beyond) in public, we pee on ourselves while clothed going 20 mph on a bike, we drink out of water bottles that get washed once a year (maybe that's just me), we shoot snot rockets, and we have GI problems in 12 hour races. You race for 12 hours eating nothing but freaking Gatorade and gels and tell me what happens to your body. So don't judge me. I have GI issues. Everyone knows that. Lots of Ironman athletes struggle with it because your disgestion slows way down when you're racing for that long. And believe me, it SUCKS. I am doing my best to figure it out so that I won't have issues on race day. We're going to work on incorporating some longer runs after long rides so I can see how my bike nutrition affects my gut on the run. But when the time comes, I would rather finish the Ironman covered in my own crap/vomit/something else disgusting than not finish. Not finishing is much, much worse.

I have no shame. I am ready to race.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

the Ironman tattoo debate

I think there are 2 opposing parties when it comes to the stereotypical "M-dot" tattoo. Either 1) you love them, have one already, or you only aspire to do an Ironman so that you can brand yourself, or 2) you can't believe that someone would tattoo a corporate trademarked label on their body.

Now I love tattoos. I have 3. I would have more if they didn't cost so much money or keep you out of the pool for 2 weeks while healing. My tattoos aren't anything artistic or meaningful. I have 2 horse tattoos (one is a MY LITTLE PONY!) and a Harry Potter one. I know. Nerd alert. Whatever - I don't care. Most of the time people don't even notice my tattoos for months.

I am probably the first person you would expect to go out and get an M-dot tattoo the day after my first Ironman. And I'm not going to deny that I have the urge. But I just do not want that stupid M-dot. Everyone has it, some of them are crappy, and I don't want to be that girl with the M-dot tattoo on my calf because I have to brag about my Ironman (that's what Ironman-relate facebook status updates are for). It's not even cool looking. I don't judge people with M-dot tattoos, unless it looks like you scratched it on with your fingernail. I considered one for a while but I personally like my tattoos to be more original (hello, My Little Pony anyone?).

I thought for a while about getting an actual Ironman tattoo (you know, the comic book character played by the ever-so-dreamy Robert Downey Jr.). Which would be badass but I just don't have the balls to do that.

I think I have actually come up with my real Ironman tattoo idea which I am keeping a secret until I do it. First I have to finish the stupid race!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

my first love

I started this blog post several weeks ago and never finished it. Couldn't connect 2 sentences together for some reason but today I'm going to try it again..

I am a recent triathlon convert. Before triathlon it was strictly running, and before running it was horses.

Horseback riding is probably my favorite thing to do in the entire world. I have been riding since I was 10 and I have owned my horse Cherry since I was 11. I've dabbled in a lot of disciplines. For most of my childhood I was a barrel racer, and then for a few years I was a 3 day eventer. I did all of this on my crazy pony, Cherry. Now, Cherry has been retired from horse shows and for the past year I did not ride at all. I'm slowly trying to resurrect my riding because I miss it. It's hard to balance with triathlon. I don't think it's possible to excel at one thing when you're trying to do too many activities, and because of that I let my riding fall by the wayside.

I've ridden Cherry twice in the past 2 months, which is better than nothing but still not enough. The last time I hopped on her I automatically went to start my Garmin (which I was not wearing). Apparently just straddling something (although it was a fat horse and not a bike) was enough to make me think I had to keep track of what I was doing!

I see photos of friends jumping cross country courses or I catch some of the Rolex Kentucky 3 day event on TV and it honestly makes me ache, because that is how much I miss it. You have no idea what a rush of adrenaline feels like until you're galloping a horse across a field and jumping over shit, BIG shit and you know that if that horse decided that it didn't want to jump, you'd be screwed. But let me tell you, owning a horse is ridiculous and I already own one. I'd have to get ANOTHER horse if I wanted to event again.. just won't happen.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ironman 1, Alexa 0

I just finished up a big 4 week training block. Big for me at least! I finished it up with a 6 hour ride/30 min run yesterday and a 1 hr 45 min run today. All I can say is.. my legs are DEAD. Unfortunately I had to come into work at 11 pm Sunday night so I don't feel like my legs are getting adequate recovery at the moment. I am sitting at my desk and wearing my compression sleeves (I wear them every day at work) and my legs are just ACHING. I'm hoping I can sleep well when I get home. Then I have a 20 minute WALK to do after I wake up, which is very exciting and the start of my REST WEEK! Thank god for the rest week.

I could tell it was time for a recovery week. I just cannot get my heart rate down on any runs. Usually I have no problem running in my zone 2 but today (and mostly the past 2 weeks) I couldn't do it! I averaged 9 min pace on my long run today and my HR was tempo zone the entire time. Alternatively, I could not hit tempo on the bike on Saturday to save my life..

I have nothing inspirational or introspective to add. I am basically a zombie and have been like this since my run. I had to go to Park Ave Bike Shop to get a new tire (to replace the one that has a huge chunk missing from my flat last weekend) and I knew the girl that was working and she was talking to me and I was just staring blankly at her. I lost 5 lbs over the weekend and I am just exhausted. I am sunburnt, windburnt, chafed, sore, and just completely drained in every possible way. Only 6 more hours until I can go to bed. :(

I do have some plans for my rest week. My apartment looks like a tornado hit it (this is the norm) but it's even worse than normal. Clothes, mail, and empty Gatorade bottles are EVERYWHERE. So I am going to clean like I have never cleaned before. Nobody has been in my apartment (except me) in ~3 months until yesterday when I had to let my neighbor in and I almost died of embarassment. I also am going to get my Zipp wheels set up with my new tires. Perhaps I will even venture out of my tri-cave and see some people (or perhaps not; I am quite the hermit).

P.S. I'd like to add that as enjoyable work is on overnights (sense the sarcasm) it just got even better as the smell of skunk is somehow wafting into our lab.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

sweet sweet burnout

Today was just one of those days. A day where all I want to do is stay in bed. I did not want to go to work. I did anyways. When I got home, I just wanted to lay on the couch in my sweatpants. I seriously considered skipping my workouts and doing just that. But I knew I would regret it. I had no legitimate reason - no injury, no illness, and I've recovered from my big miles this weekend. It was just kind of dreary and chilly, but shit happens. I am attributing it to a slight burnout. But I need to push through this burnout! So I got dressed and forced myself out the door for my bike ride. Once I was on the bike, I was fine. My ride was only so-so but I FINALLY had a good run. 8:40 pace for a little over 5 miles and I felt good. Heart rate was right where it was supposed to be. My legs felt a little tired but nothing too bad.

I came home from work to find a package from Amazon waiting for me. It contained the book "Duel in the Sun" which is about an epic Boston Marathon, and the movie "American Flyers" which is a 1980s movie (with KEVIN COSTNER) about cycling. Yes I know "Breaking Away" is the requisite cycling movie but I hated Breaking Away, I thought the kid was annoying and I was bored throughout the entire movie. American Flyers is a zillion times better and if you haven't seen it - Netflix it! It's got cycling, sweet 80s tunes, ridiculous slang, and Kevin Costner with the most awesome mustache you've ever seen.

I'm still waiting for my Michelin Pro3 race tires to arrive! Tonight I think I will order a LOST shirt for the LOST finale party that BETTER HAPPEN! Also I registered for the Formula 1 Spring Classic Duathlon in a week and a half!

Also can I say I got a straight up shout out in Mary's blog. Not about training, or Ironman, or about how I am such a hardcore athlete that I am going to win Lake Placid as an amateur and dominate Kona. No no.. about my obsession with LOST. Mary is the cause of this obsession. And I thank her for it because TV does not get any better than this show. It has everything. Time travel, love triangles, monsters, hot guys, people shooting people, I could go on and on and on.. (which I have already done enough of in this blog post)..

Monday, May 10, 2010

long time

I have not written a post in a long time. Mainly because I have been very busy and nothing interesting has happened to me in a while.

Until last week. Which is when I got offered a full-time job at OCD! I took it! Totally un-related to tri but it's a big relief that I FINALLY have a stable job and I won't have to constantly worry that I may not have a paycheck. So I'm psyched about all of the benefits that come with a full-time job.

I went to my parents' house for Mother's Day weekend. So did my brother. I had a 6 hour ride scheduled for Saturday. My brother and I rode together. It was windy as hell but at least it was 70 degrees or so out when we started.

It was super flat for a while and we were keeping a really good pace (I rode the first 56 miles of the ride in under 3 hours, compared to my bike split at Musselman 1/2 IM last year when I biked ~3:02 or something similar). So I was pretty psyched because I figured we would go 112 miles, or more. And then we turned around. And then we realized the the wind was blowing even harder on the way back AND we had a big hill to ride up. And then it started to get colder. We were 5 hours in and we realized how late it was and Grant (my brother) had to be on a train to go back to NYC at 6:35. So we called my parents and had my mom come get him ASAP, and I instructed my dad to come get me at 5 pm which is when my 6 hrs was up (we had slowed down a lot due to the wind and by this time there was NO WAY I was going to make it back to the house in 6 hours). And then it started to rain. And then I ran over a wire and got a flat tire, which I had Grant change because I figured he'd be faster. While he was changing the tire, it started to SLEET. It was nuts. My mom picked up Grant at 100 miles. I made it 106.5. I was dead by the end. At the end of my 20 mins of tempo at the 5 hr mark, I just did NOT want to pedal anymore.

Although the weather did not fully cooperate, I think it's good to ride in all sorts of conditions. You never know what is going to get thrown at you in a race! Also, this was my first century ride! I hit 100 miles in about 5:33. I'm pretty psyched about that! Now I just have to work on getting a little more comfortable with the distance so I can finish feeling a little stronger!

My bike was a filthy mess which I cleaned today.

And that is the story of my life. Work, sleep, train. That's pretty much it. It's 9:40 pm and this is the last thing I'm doing before I go to sleep. Hopefully I will have more interesting posts sometime soon..