Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I am finding it challenging to balance my life with Ironman. Not challenging in a bad way. Challenging because I am crazy and I follow a regimented schedule. Whenever this schedule is thrown off by something (getting stuck late at work, doctor's appointment, etc.) I start panicking about how I am going to get my workout in. When I was self-coaching, I would end up skipping it. And i felt bad but I never had to justify it. Having a coach look at my weeks is a HUGE motivator for me to do all of my workouts and not cut anything short. Because sometimes I am tired and I don't feel like doing it. Or I am late coming home and doing the workout would mean missing my daily sit on the couch and chill time. But all of those workouts that I do when I'm tired are going to benefit me because on July 25, 2 hours into that marathon, I am going to be f-ing TIRED.

I try my hardest to schedule things on easy days (Mondays and Fridays) or on weekends when I have the entire day, but it's not always possible. I have to go to the doctor when they have space. Tomorrow at 3 I have to go to Geneva and get my bike fit done because that's when they could squeeze me in. Next week I have to pick Andy up from a doctor's appointment because he needs a ride home. All of these things are things in my life that I can't blow off, and I need to be able to work my training around them instead of freaking out. So tomorrow I will go to work early, get to Geneva by 3, do my fit, and then go to the gym late. I won't like it, but I need the fit to be done so I will do it.

I think I do things like marathons and Ironman because I am an introvert. I like to stay busy but I don't like to be around tons of people all the time. This way, I get my solitude with all of my training but I get human interaction with the best kind of people out there - other triathletes! And the few friends that I do see on a regular basis are people who are similar to me and who understand what I do and why I might have time constraints. And they don't constantly pester me to go clubbing or something else ridiculous that I would never do.

sweatpants are awesome

I was walking with Kim and Travis at the race on Sunday and I commented on how Travis wore jeans to the race and I found that odd. I don't wear pants unless I absolutely have to.. And Kim agreed! I just kind of thought it was funny. The moment I get home from doing something, sweatpants go ON! I just like to be comfy I guess!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Forward 15K

So yesterday I raced the Spring Forward 15K in Mendon. I went through all of my nutrition on Saturday to make sure it sat well (protein shake and applesauce for breakfast and then gels/shot blocks/powerbars throughout the ride).

Sunday morning I got up at 5:45 am and made my shake - without the applesauce - and drank it, ate the applesauce, then took a shower and headed out at 7 am for Mendon. I got there and almost immediately ran into pretty much everyone else in the beach parking lot - Kim/Travis, Matt, Alan, Ken, Eddy (and Jackie at the start line) which verifies that as a group we are smart and get there early unlike idiots who show up at 8:15 and have to park 5 miles away! NOTHING pisses me off more than people who show up late for races and then expect everyone else to part the fricken sea to allow them to park close to the start/register/get a good spot in transition/etc. etc.

I put all of my lovely stickers on my car Saturday evening so she was decked out as the triathlon-mobile at this race! My car worked awesome as a changing/nutrition center because I could just pop open the back and throw all of my crap in there without worrying about hitting the car next to me with my door or dropping things and having them roll under one of the seats. It's AWESOME!

I opted to wear shorts, a long sleeved tech shirt, a visor, gloves, and my new fuel belt for the race. It was mid 40s but cloudy so it wasn't particularly warm out. Once I warmed up I was fine and then we all walked up to the start together. My goal (per Mary) was to try to keep my average pace between 7:30-7:40. I set my Garmin to average pace so I couldn't see my actual speed. I actually really liked doing this because I have a habit of focusing on how fast I am going NOW.

Now this race is f-ing hilly. I have never done it before but I've heard about the course. And of course I was like "psssh I run in Mendon every week, it can't be THAT bad!" WRONG! At first I was doing great! I was holding steady right in the middle of my goal pace and then once I hit mile 4 or 5 (and the big hills) I saw my pace start to get slower. And there were some huge-ass hills. I think all of miles 7 and 8 were uphill. I drank some of my Powerbar Endurance that was in my fuelbelt and at 40 mins (once again, per Mary) I ate my Powergel (and took off my gloves). Historically I wouldn't have eaten anything during a race of this length but this is why I have a coach.. to teach me things and help me. So I follow her directions because she is smart. I actually only ate ~1/3 of the Powergel because immedately after I ate some, my stomach started getting twisty and gurgly. I know it's not possible for my stomach to digest something that quickly, but it did NOT like that gel. I am going to switch back to GU for my long runs. I have been using GU for a few years and they are gross - Powergels are runnier and less gross to me - but I've never had a GU do anything weird to my stomach so.. back to GU we go.

I tried in vain to keep my pace at 7:40.. and then it crept to 7:41.. and 7:42 and then all the way to 7:45. Crap. I was running as hard as I could but there were SO MANY hills and my legs were dead! I seriously felt like I was sprinting and going nowhere. Afterwards I looked at the splits on my Garmin and I really wasn't going that slowly. I think the slowest mile split was 8:00 even so really that's pretty good if you compare my pace to last year at the Mountain Goat (a hilly 10 miler in Syracuse in April). The last mile I managed to get my average pace down to 7:43 using the combination of downhills and sprinting my ass off.

I finished fairly strong (nice long downhill finish) with a time of 1:12:24 (Garmin time reads 1:12:20) and a pace of 7:47 (Garmin says 7:43). I was 19th female and 5th in my AG. I did not finish the race feeling like I held back in order to practice pacing. I finished feeling like I raced my ass off to try to get my pace and couldn't. I was close - I don't feel like I failed, but it was difficult to try to stay within those limits. It was a wakeup call for what hills do to a race pace. If it was flat I would have had no problem maintaining a 7:30 pace. The hills kicked my ass. Today I hurt from the waist down - especially my butt and my shins. I am not unhappy with how I executed the race. I followed my instructions and did the best that I could have done. When Jackie passed me perhaps I should have tried to hang with her but I didn't and she never came back to me. I would never have been able to run at that pace last year so I am thrilled with my improvements!

Today I have a recovery ride of 45 mins which I may try to do outside if it clears up. And I need to clean my apartment because it looks like a bomb went off. And that's it!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

stupid bike and heart rates are evil

I nailed my nutrition today! BAM! I ate the shake this morning (er.. choked it down). Next time I will eat the applesauce separate. I ate every 30 mins on the bike and drank (alternating between water and Powerade Endurance) although no pounding fluids because that comes back to haunt me on the run. My run off the bike was great even though my legs were DEAD for the last hour on the trainer and my ass was killing me from the friction of a wet chamois against a bike saddle (probably too much info right there). I have never been a huge fan of bike shorts and I may stop wearing them period and just switch to tri shorts that have a much smaller pad.

I am having some issues though.. I can hit run tempo pace no problem and keep it up with not a lot of effort but bike tempo kills me. It killed me last week outside and it kills me inside. I'm not sure if it's my inexperience on the bike or what. Maybe it's not fair that I compare it with running which I have been doing for 15 years vs. 3 or so of cycling but it really frustrates me because I am fairly fast on the bike leg - my splits are always right up there with some of the top women and I am strong at climbing hills but man I can not nail these heart rates on the bike and it's starting to annoy me. Maybe I am just not working hard enough? But the same heart rate zones on the run come naturally and I can't figure out why I should have to hammer on the bike to hit a zone 2 where I can run a 9 minute pace (which is my regular long run pace even before I looked at HR) and hit it.. I NEVER go under zone 2 on the run.. I would have to seriously try to run super slow but it seems that I can barely get into zone 2 on the bike, and zone 3 - forget it. UGHHH :(

Friday, March 26, 2010


I know this guy has brought a ton of media attention to ultrarunning and he raises money for sick kids and stuff, but I personally think he's a wang. And then you add this ridiculous bike thing and the outcome is just unbelievable. Do people actually ride this thing???

a well laid strategy

So I am gearing up for Spring Forward 15K this weekend! I have all of the ingedients to concoct a semi-gross sounding protein shake for both Saturday and Sunday morning. I also have to find my blender. I know I have one. I wanted a Magic Bullet one year for Christmas and got a regular less pricey blender instead. I think I've used it once..

I have another biggish ride (for March!) on Saturday. I am going to try to do it outside again if the weather cooperates. I also have a very strict nutrition plan to follow so maybe I won't die (bonk?) like I did last weekend. Hopefully it will also be less painful. I'm hoping to solve the painful riding next week by borrowing an Adamo saddle from Jason (and if I like it I will buy my own) and getting a fit done on Thursday by Jim Hogan at Geneva Bicycle Center. I have needed a fit for the last year (ever since I started doing higher mileage on my bike) but just never got around to it due to schedule, laziness, money, etc. I KNOW I cannot ride an Ironman bike leg on my ill-fitting bike right now because of massive amounts of uncomfort. So I am fixing it. Money be damned, it's necessary! If I can get a saddle that is comfortable I will be fine in aero, although I do think I need my aero position adjusted as well because my neck and back start to hurt towards the end of a long-ish ride. Regardless, it's getting done! Yay!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

it's never sunny in Rochester..

I have recently been watching the TV show "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." It's basically about 5 slackers who own a bar and come up with slimy schemes in order to make money, screw someone over, get out of doing something. It's ridiculous and hilarious and I love it. I actually love the city of Philadelphia so I get excited when it references things that really exist that I have been to!

This really has nothing to do with triathlon other than making me wonder what my life would be like without all of the swimming, cycling, and running and in general being interested in staying fit. What if I just sat around after work drinking beers? I'd probably have WAY more friends but I'd probably also be super chubby. But I would have free time to relax unlike now. But really it is impossible for me to even think about a lifestyle like this because I would never consider dumping the lifestyle that I have now for an "easier" one. I don't want to sit around and be lazy all the time! I want to train and do races because I LOVE them and I love the community in Rochester that surrounds all sorts of races. I can't imagine how people can live without exercise! I cannot imagine my life with racing!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

stupid B-shift

I have been at my new job for 2 months and I am now fully trained and released to test real samples in the lab. They put me on B-shift (3 pm - 11:15 pm) this week with a more senior lab tech to see how I do on my own. I am not a big fan of B-shift. My bedtime on average is between 9 pm and 10 pm.. probably closer to 9 most nights. This week, I am not even getting home until after 11:30. I dragged myself out of bed this morning at 9 am feeling groggy and sleepy. These rotating shifts are going to be rough and it's definitely going to take some adjusting. I already don't sleep very well.. I'm just hoping that it doesn't negatively affect my training. I guess we will see.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Today starts a recovery week! And at the end of this recovery week is the Spring Forward 15K in Mendon! I am excited for both! Last week wore on me both physically and mentally. But now I have my new car and some job prospects so I am good on the transportation front and less worried on the job front. After this race I will be ready to go again.. I love spring because I love the beginning of race season! I like going to races with new friends, and meeting new people at races, and seeing other friends there too! I still get recognized as "the girl from the bike shop" so that's kind of fun. I thought racing would make me sad since Andy and I split up but it's ok. We even ran to Johnny's together, but then I did a cool down with Train-This. It's a new year and my life is different but I am focused and on-track.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

PSSSH. I got a 2nd wind and did my 1 hr recovery spin! Less failure now.


Yessss. So I am reviving this blog. I have been at this IM training for almost 3 months. It has gone quite smoothly up until this week. I ran Johnny's Runnin' of the Green last weekend. I ran over to the start with Andy. It was chilly and rainy. I felt GREAT during the race.. much much more in shape than last year. Mile 1 was pretty quick, 2 and 3 were a little slower, but then I picked it back up for miles 4 and 5. I was a minute faster than my time last year. I finished in 36:11 and I think that puts my pace somewhere around a 7:07.. which is great! Lots of Train-This teammates there!

So that was good news.. bad news is that I totaled my poor Ford Focus 2 weeks ago by pulling out of my driveway and into an oncoming car. So I freaked out for a week about how I was going to buy a car. Then my dad found me a car in Vestal and I wound up getting it. I just picked it up yesterday! It's an '09 Hyundai Elantra Touring (in the USA, touring = wagon but apparently Americans don't like wagons so they try to make it more appealing. Here in the US of A we only like giant SUVs and not sensible, practical cars). It's bright red, has TONS of room in the back for bikes/gear, can play my ipod.. I love it!
This week was my biggest training week so far but unfortunately I was just overloaded with things.. car shopping, appointments, going to pick up my car, and lack of sleep. I made it through Thursday and then I was so fried that I skipped my workout, intending to make it up today (Sunday). Just didn't happen. Ran 1:45 this morning and then my stomach started acting up and I am just exhausted. So Thursday's makeup workout didn't happen, and neither did my 1 hr recovery spin on the bike. This is what I hate. I hate missing workouts. I always feel super guilty but I know I have to listen to my body. It's still early. Missing a few hours in March is not going to screw up my Ironman. I know that. I just hate when I mess things up. I know I should at least do the hour on my bike but I am so tired and I have a very persistent headache and honestly I would just rather lie on my couch. I'm lazy, and I suck. :(