Wednesday, April 27, 2011

PR time?

I am running a half marathon this Sunday (the Flower City Challenge). The race is held within the city limits of Rochester and is put on by the local Fleet Feet. I also ran this race last year, its inaugural year.

Last year I ran a 1:50. I was plagued with some "bathroom issues" midway through the race and I did a big ride the day before. The course is relatively flat except for one decent hill up Goodman St. (I have run this hill 100+ times since I lived in that neighborhood for 3 years) halfway through that brings you into a large cemetery that you then run though (sadly enough, this cemetery is actually an attraction of our city). (Check out the elevation profile). Seriously.. 100 ft elevation gain - that's it.

My current marathon PR is 1:41 from 2009. As is everyone else, I am always gunning for PRs. However, I am realistic and know that it's not always possible. Depending on where you are in a training cycle, the race may be better suited as a training run at tempo pace. Sometimes, you race either having run beforehand or knowing you have to add on miles afterwards. Sometimes, the weather sucks, or you have equipment failure, or you have an off day. Sometimes, it's just not possible to PR. Last year, it was not possible for me to PR. I was coming off a big bike ride and my legs weren't fresh. Add to that the fact that I barely made it into a porta-potty in time.. yeah.. not a PR day for me. And I didn't expect it to be.

But this year?

I am coming off a rest week last week. The week before that I ran 40 miles. 40 SOLID miles. I am practically tapering into this half-marathon with NO long ride on Saturday (seriously, how is that even possible). I am friends with the 1:40 pace leader.

I think I am gonna go for it!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone! (Yes, I know it's Monday). Lent is over, so get back to enjoying your desserts, cursing, dairy, facebook, and whatever else you may have given up (these are all things that my friends gave up!). Personally? I never give up anything for Lent because a) I am not religious and b) I am totally self-indulgent.

I went to my parents' house in Pennsylvania for Easter weekend. I arrived home on Friday evening after napping and swimming post-work. While sitting at the dinner table, I was facing the wall and saw this plaque with my brother's robotics medals hanging from it. Except the plaque had a triathlon picture painted on it. Apparently, after watching the video of my apartment that I posted a few weeks ago that showed what I currently do with my race medals (they're in a cardboard box in a drawer), my dad MADE this for me! How awesome is that!? I hung it up when I got back to my apartment and put 4 of my prettiest medals on it: Philly marathon, Syracuse 70.3, Flower City half-marathon, IMLP. This is perfect for me because I love my new apartment so much and I am trying to make it look nice by actually hanging things on the walls. But I don't want to just buy random generic crap from Bed, Bath and Beyond; I want to hang art that is either locally made, done by friends/family, or has some significance to me. So far I have a painting done by a friend, my framed IMLP poster, this plaque, and a few photos. It's a start!

I also ran for an hour while at home - not a big deal. Oh, and my mom did all my laundry, and there was a LOT of it! Saturday night I went out to a local redneck bar with my high school friend, Denise. I talk to Denise quite a bit but I hadn't seen her in a few years because I live in Rochester and she lives in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area. She came home on Saturday and we went to this bar called PJs. There are only 3 bars in town and this one is an old standby (of the other two: one is scary and the 3rd I have never been to). We ended up having a LOT of fun; another guy that we graduated with came with his fiancee - I hadn't seen him in 9 years. I ended up staying out much too late (and by late I mean 12:30) and after drinking 6 beers between the 2 of us (I had 2, Denise had 4) our tab was $13. Aaaaaand that's what happens in a small town! Also, my 10 year reunion is next year. Denise was our class president so it's her job to plan that thing! Yikes..

I drove back to Rochester on Sunday morning after not enough sleep and with a living room chair stuffed in the back of my car (a hand-me-down from my parents). I managed to find someone willing to come to my apartment at 9:30 pm (before I had to go into work) to help me carry the chair from the car to the apartment! How awesome is that!? Here is the new chair in its new home with an ottoman! You can see how fun my medals look on the wall behind it.

I need to STOP eating Easter candy!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day!


As triathletes, we tend to appreciate the outdoors.

We bitch and moan when we are relegated inside (for whatever reason) on our trainers, treadmills, and gym pools.

Given the opportunity..

We run through snow, rain, wind, and sunshine. We run on roads, sidewalks, trails, and through parks, neighborhoods, cities. We run when it's hot and when it's cold. We embrace all weather conditions.

We observe the scenery while on the bike. We ride up and down mountains. We fight headwinds and love tailwinds. We see wildlife on the side of the road.

What we also tend to see is garbage all over the side of the road. Oversized vehicles that practically run us OFF the road.

What do I want everyone to do on Earth Day? Pick up litter! Plant a tree! (Is this 5th grade?) Ask yourself, "can I walk to my destination?" Drink tap water instead of buying bottled water.

Conservation isn't a joke. It's something that everyone needs to participate in! It's not so difficult to contribute in small ways. Can you drive a car or a small crossover SUV instead of a giant truck/SUV? Can you walk to the post office instead of driving 0.5 miles to get there? Can you carpool to destinations (such as races)? Can you stick your gel wrapper in your pocket instead of throwing it on the ground? Can you buy a Nalgene bottle to fill with water rather than using disposable cups? Or a travel mug for your coffee rather than a cup from Starbucks every day?

Ridiculous things happen when people continue to look to non-renewable resources (natural gas, coal) to obtain energy. Instead of looking at ways that we can reduce fuel use and implement the use of renewable energies (solar power, wind), we discover new ways to simultaneously destroy the world and obtain more oil and gas because we fail to acknowledge the consequences. We burn the rainforest, oblivious to the millions of animals that die. We refuse to embrace wind turbines because they are "ugly." We "frack" even though it contaminates the watershed.

This fracking spill (see a more informative article here) happened in the county in Pennsylvania where I grew up. Our county sits on the (very large) Marcellus Shale which is a giant deposit of basically untappable gas because the rock is not porous enough. Enter hydraulic fracturing - a horizontal drilling process that allows access to the trapped natural gas. Unfortunately, this process is controversial because there are many steps that can lead to errors, spills, contamination, etc. It wasn't around for very long before it was implemented. Regardless of the consequences, tons of people are leasing their land to the gas companies so they can make a buck. Because it's a big dairy farming area, people where from where I grew up own hundreds of acres and can make thousands and thousands of dollars off of this drilling. They see the dollar signs and ignore the dangers. I am from a very rural, conservative area in Pennsylvania. In places like Syracuse - where it is more liberal and there is more money - people are fighting the fracking and refusing to lease their land. Demographics play such a big role in whether or not drilling is going to take over a town. Everyone in my hometown refers to these gas drillers as "gasholes" because they have overrun the area. Their water trucks are destroying the roads and traffic is ridiculous. This is a small town so the impact is HUGE. My view? I see no benefits to this situation.

Instead of battling the raising gas prices with smaller cars, better public transportation, and general awareness, we continue to exploit natural resources as an "easy way out."

I know, I am a hippie. And I know everyone knows this stuff. And this is probably not the audience that even NEEDS this lecture. But it's Earth Day.. so, I'm doing it anyways. :) Thanks for listening!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

the countdown begins

less than..
2 weeks until Flower City Half Marathon
6 weeks until Memorial Day weekend in Lake Placid
7 weeks until Keuka Lake Tri
10 weeks until IMCDA!

I also hope to be at IMLP to watch/cheer for everyone that I know who is racing. I am still waiting to see if I am able to take that Monday off of work but as long as that is ok, I shall be up there for the weekend! Hopefully I can find someplace to stay, otherwise Solveig and I might be squeezing in between Jeremy and Glenn in the Element! I have never spectated an Ironman before so it should be exciting! I will be there armed with my bright green Train-This t-shirt and visor, my iPhone for updating facebook and the google group, my camera for taking photos, and my little video camera for taking ridiculous videos! Oh.. and my outdoor voice for yelling!!!!! (I always have an outdoor voice).

Monday was a rest day (thank god) and after being up for 27 straight hours (workouts all day on Sunday and then had to work all night) I was a mess when I got home in the morning. I took an ambien (because often, regardless of how tired I am, I just cannot sleep) and was getting ready for bed when a friend of mine start talking to me on facebook chat. Weird for 7:30 am but whatever. Between being exhausted and the ambien kicking in, I can hardly remember what we even talked about, but I do remember barely being able to type anything coherent (I sound like I have some kind of substance abuse problem but I assure you that I do not).

I still am tired, although I have slept better as the week has gone by.

I was watching an episode of The Big Bang Theory, and Sheldon describes Penny's apartment as "..a swirling vortex of entropy." He MIGHT actually be talking about my apartment. I still need to clean Hedwig from Saturday's ride (her gears are dirty), wash the clothes that got wet and yucky over the weekend, and a whole bunch of other things. Ugh, I hate housework. I think I am a boy.

Mary has been basically out of touch for a week straight because she was at QT2 camp and she is now playing catch-up at work. I think I am going through withdrawal. And I am a moody lunatic this week due to the catastrophic combination of no sleep because I am working nights, lack of human contact, rest week, and PMS.

Thank god Kim has the best idea ever of going to get cupcakes yesterday. Unfortunately, our favorite cupcake place RAN OUT of cupcakes (WHAT!?!?!) so we had to improvise.

I realized that my transformation into cat lady has been completed as I caught myself taking this photo on Monday morning. My cat waits for me on the window sill. Kim witnessed this when she dropped me off after dinner/cupcake eating. She thought it was adorable (actually Fiona waits for me on the window sill and then when she sees me walking up the sidewalk, she will jump down and greet me at the door). It is pretty adorable.

Urgh.. is it bedtime yet?

Monday, April 18, 2011

hats off to my training partners

I made it through my biggest training week of 2011 thus far. Actually, this was probably my 2nd biggest training week EVER in terms of hours. The actual week was normal volume - I was working days so I did everything in the afternoon/evenings. I had one really off day on Tuesday where I cut a swim a little short and had a run that was 1/3 bad and 2/3 good.

Saturday was when the real adventure began. And also one of the top 10 stupidest decisions I have ever made. The weather forecast was atrocious typical(??) for mid-April: 40 degrees, 100% chance of rain, 50 mph wind. I had a 5 hour ride schedule. There is no f*&%ing way I was gonna do that on my trainer. Nope. So I devised a plan of riding loops from a local park (I did something similar last year on another dreary day) so that if the weather was unrideable, I could hightail it back to my car and not be stranded somewhere 50 miles away. I posted my plan on the google group and FOUR other people showed up to this thing at 7 am. Ken (who called me in the morning to make sure I was still going), Greg (who I didn't even know was riding til he showed up), Don (who had said that he would go if we started later but then rode over!), and Matthias (one of Jackie's athletes that I had never met before). I was sooo happy to see these guys! Going through IMLP together was like being inducted into a family and I'm always so excited to hang out with them (plus sometimes it's a nice change to stare at someone else's ass besides Kim's during a long ride. Not that Kim doesn't have a nice ass..).

The minute I got to Mendon Ponds Park, it started raining. We started out regardless, even though Ken was shivering, and the first 45 minutes weren't too bad. I remember thinking, "so the rain is lousy and it's kind of windy but I think I could deal with this for 5 hours." That feeling did NOT last long. By this point, Greg and Don were too far ahead to see, Matthias was right behind me, and Ken was behind him. We lost Ken at the red light. For the remainder of the loop, I rode and chatted with Matthias, who is a scientist and has a fun accent!

The weather was getting worse and as my hands and feet started to go numb, I started to REALLY worry about everyone else. I didn't know where any of them were, and I was really worried about Ken because he was so cold at the beginning and it was his first outdoor ride of the year. We stopped and waited for him for a bit but it was just too cold to not keep moving. I think riding with someone else was what actually got me through the loop because we could talk and sort of ignore the fact that our hands no longer had the ability to move, or grip the handlebars, or brake.

We made it back to Mendon, freezing cold, soaking wet, covered in grit, and unable to move our fingers. Ken's car was gone, and I had a text from him saying that he and Don had stopped at the same gas station and had ridden back via a shortcut. Greg was in the parking area in his mom's car, who he had called from a gas station to come rescue him (P.S. he was bundled in a sleeping bag). I was SOOOO happy that everyone was ok, being that this ride was my idea in the first place, and I don't want to subject half of the Train-This team to hypothermia or have them lose any digits to frostbite! Don, Ken and I are used to this sort of crazy stuff by now, and Greg is an IM newbie who seems to be dealing with the crazy pretty well, but I was worried that I scared Matthias off from EVER wanting to ride with us again! He said he "had fun" but I think he was being nice! :) I love making new friends!

Anyways, I ended up riding ~38 miles outside (2 hrs 22 mins.. SLOW) and had to do 2:38 inside on my trainer - I watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Pt. 1! Then I did a transition run on the treadmill which was awful due to improper fueling on the bike - totally my fault (I blame the numb hands on the outdoor bike ride for the calorie deficit).

On Sunday I had my 19 mile long run/experiment thing. I have had several people comment that they thought that jumping from 13 miles to 19 miles was crazy/risky/etc. but I trust my coach and I really wanted to try it. I knew it was going to be mentally challenging for me so I lined up my dear friend Rae to run the 2nd loop of this brutally hilly course with me. Then later in the week I got an offer from my friend (ex-boyfriend if you want to be specific about it) Andy to run the first loop with me. (He is a much faster runner than I am so kudos to him for slowing it wayyy down to help me out). I met Andy at Mendon Ponds Park at 8 am and we set out at a nice, easy, conversational pace. I have not had the greatest experiences with marathon-length training runs so I wanted to be super careful and conservative. The first loop flew by and the next thing I knew, we were back in the parking lot in 1:30 (which was the exact predicted time I had given Rae). That loop was 9.4 miles. It was windy and a little chilly but I was dressed ok (long sleeved shirt, shorts, gloves) so I didn't change. I peed, said farewell to Andy, and Rae and I set off for loop 2.

myself and Rae post long run!
 I would say that the 2nd loop went really well until about mile 17, which is also where the course goes uphill for the last 2 miles. My legs started to get a little tired/heavy at this point but otherwise I was feeling pretty good and was able to continue the same pace. I didn't look at my garmin during the run other than to periodically check mileage. I didn't look at HR or pace at all. I just ran by feel. I hit 19 miles in 2:59. The second loop was 9.6 miles. So, I ran the 2nd loop slightly faster than the 1st loop which is AWESOME for me - the girl who can't pace. This was easily the best long run (18 miles or more) that I have ever had. My quads didn't blow up, my pace didn't drop, I finished the run stronger than I started it, and I had zero GI issues during AND after the run.

I finished out the day with a swim and a recovery bike. My legs feel a little sore but they don't have that blown out feeling that I usually get after a run of that length. My hamstring is also pretty tight. It probably doesn't help that I did all of these workouts and then went right to work with barely 1 hour of sleep because I am working nights this week. I wonder what that does to recovery?

All in all - busiest weekend ever!

I really owe a lot to both Andy and Rae for helping me through that run.. they occupied me and totally kept me from cracking. (Rae and I tend to talk about some pretty questionable, X-rated topics that will remain a secret, hehe). Also, I would never have made it 38 miles in that shit on Saturday if I hadn't had Matthias as a riding buddy.

In total: 18 hrs of training. 9 hrs on the bike. 6:05 running (I RAN 40 MILES). 2.5 swimming. 30 strength.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

tailwind love

Apparently I started this post on Monday and forgot to finish it, so I will post it now!

I had a really crazy weekend. 17.28 hours in the books last week. Feeling strong! Also feeling very tired. I am in my last week of this build and then I get a rest week.

I got in a really solid 5 hour ride on Sunday. I rode from Coach Mary's house at 8 am with Mary, Kim, Greg, and Karin (who was riding 3 hours). We had a little pace line going for a while but then Mary and Greg broke off ahead, Karin turned around, so Kim and I were riding together and I stayed with her MUCH better than during last weekend's ride. She's still way faster than me but I could see her most of the time.

I also maintained a good attitude despite pretty heavy winds on the way out. That lead to some really fantastic tailwinds on the way home that we just CRUISED with. I really don't think there is anything better in life than a tailwind. Maybe chocolate..

Attitude really does determine everything. On Saturday I got up early, and forced myself to be excited to run for 1:45. Not dreading it. Not just getting it done. Being happy to do it. Because it is a privilege to be able to run for that long. It is also a privilege to get to race. What is the point in doing any of this if I'm just going to whine that my legs are tired or that my crotch hurts. I should be happy that my legs move and have the strength to run for 13 miles, to pedal a bike for 5 hours, and that I have the time available to me to do these types of things without feeling guilty.

I ran for 2 hours and it was grand!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Pt. 1 comes out on DVD tomorrow. You can bet your ass I will be in Target buying that shit at 3:30 pm - the minute I can get there after work!

On tap for this weekend: 5 hour ride (solo & in the rain) on Saturday and (!!!!!!) 19 mile run on Sunday. I have a wonderful friend who is going to pace me for the 2nd half of this run. I have only run this far three times in my life - one 20 mile training run pre-marathon, the Philadelphia Marathon, and Ironman Lake Placid. It will be nice to have her company and the motivation because I know she will keep me running!

Looking forward to my rest week and going to my parents' house for Easter weekend!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

quick and easy

So it is 9 pm, and I am getting ready to crawl into bed, after a very busy day, in preparation for a 5 hour ride with Mary and some teammates bright and early at 8 am tomorrow!

This training week has been amazing so far. I have been nailing my workouts. My crotch is healing and hopefully should be ok for 5 hours tomorrow. Today I ran 13 miles in just under 2 hours which is really good for a training run for me - and felt GREAT while doing it. I even got a little lost and wound up running 13 extra minutes (I was supposed to run 1:45) and did so with a giant smile on my face! I also swam for an hour and did an hour of recovery on the bike. So 4 hours today and 5.5 for tomorrow is exciting in early April!

After my awesome run today I filled in my Training Peaks and gave Mary some details on how good I felt, and then requested a few longer runs (3 hour-ish) because I feel that my weakness with running isn't that my cardiovascular system gets tired, but that my legs tend to blow up after 2 hours (and shocker, how long do I normally run for - 2 hours!). So I ran the idea past her and she suggested that next Sunday I run 2 loops of the super hill Spring Forward race loop equaling 19 miles total! Next Sunday! Dang! But I want to do it - I will be at the end of a build going into a rest week and it's perfect timing.

I really, really, really want to run a solid Ironman marathon.

So this was just a quick update because I am feeling good and I want to hang onto that feeling for as long as possible!

Good luck to everyone racing tomorrow! We have some teammates racing in Texas tomorrow and I know I have a few blogfriends doing the same! PEDAL HARD PEOPLE!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I am the fashion police

One of the more ridiculous things that I saw during the Spring Forward race was a man running in red and blue Buffalo Bills Zubaz pants. (I'm sorry, but NO ONE can possibly love the Bills THAT much..) I saw him in front of me at around the 7 mile mark and (accidentally) exclaimed out loud that there was no way in hell I was letting a man wearing Zubaz beat me. So I passed him and I am pretty sure I inspired the entire group of people around me to pass him as well. (I know this because one of those people that heard me facebook stalked friended me and told me so).

Now as a triathlete, I know that I am not setting any kind of fashion statements. I regularly wear spandex and compression socks. I often go the entire day on the weekend without showering until right before bed. I wear race shirts & yoga pants/running shorts everywhere possible. I run with a fuel belt and visor. But I draw the line at anything from the 90s.

Zubaz should have all spontaneously combusted on Y2K.

Some other things that no man should EVER wear in the year 2011 include: jorts, an earring in one ear, cotton tank tops, or any shirt that is made of mesh fabric. (For the complete list please email me at: and I'd be happy to provide it to you). If you bought in in 1982 or Wham EVER wore it, THROW IT AWAY. Burn that shit.

Onto more pressing issues..

I think that I talk about my crotch wayyyy too much.

Regardless, my 5+ hour ride on Saturday resulted in a saddle sore. I'm not sure what exactly caused it because I rode in clean tri shorts, used chamois cream, and took a shower immediately after. I was wearing tights over the shorts so perhaps the 2 layers of rubbing plus the fact that it is early in the year and I have not yet developed any resistance to bike saddle chafing is the culprit. I am slated to ride 5 hours again this Sunday with Mary (maybe if she rides her mountain bike and I ride my Cervelo equipped with my Zipps, I will be able to keep up) so I have been doing everything I can to try to heal this mess.

This = dropping $40 at Rite Aid yesterday on every type of ointment, antiseptic, and cream available in the store. My crotch is now equipped to scrub in and perform surgery. That saddle sore picked the WRONG chick to mess with. If I find a tried and true way to battle saddle sores I will post it, but right now I am just experimenting. And I will leave it at that because no one needs that mental image.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spring Forward 15K 2011!!

It's Sunday, so in pre-Ironman training frenzied Alexa-land, it's long run day. Or this particular Sunday, it's race day! On tap: the Spring Forward Distance Run (read my race report of this race from 2010!) After yesterday's long ride fiasco adventure I was exhausted, which is possibly the best part of long ride Saturday - collapsing into bed, which I did, but then could not sleep. I'm pretty sure I got 1-2 hours of sleep, tops. I was up at 6:15 tired, annoyed, and pissed that I had to race.

me and Mark, my tall, directionally challenged friend
I ate breakfast and made my way to Mendon Ponds Park. On the way there, I got a phone call from Mark O. asking me how to get to Mendon Ponds Park. (And since I opened this door, I have to tell the backstory). Mark is my friend with 5 children, a wife, and a PhD. You would think he would be able to drive from his house to Mendon Ponds Park by reading a map, or using the GPS in his phone, or just by memory since I KNOW he has been there before. But EVERY TIME there is a race there he has to call me and ask me how to get there. Or text me at 10 pm the night before a race. (Or do both!!!). The same day that he called me to ask me what time the race started. Use the internet, Mark! (Alas, he is still my buddy).

showcasing Matt Kellman's absolutely RIDICULOUS
compression socks! (and Kim with her mountain bike)
Anyways, I show up, see Ken, get my chip, and then sit in my car with the heat on because it was 34 degrees out! I did a half-hearted warmup and then ran into Mary and Kim who were riding their mountain bikes, and then some other TT-ers congregated. I was having "issues" because of my 5 hour ride the day before - major chaffage and swelling in a not-so-pleasant area. The fact that I wear underwear underneath my Lulu running shorts (that already have underwear in them) just makes this situation worse. Note to self: in the future, go commando to avoid a "rebellious crotch" (term coined by Greg).

me, Tim, Mark, Greg.. quite possibly discussing crotches and underwear.

I'm not going to bore anyone with the details of the race other than it's a very hilly 15K. The last 2 miles are the absolute WORST. I ran slightly slower than last year.. 1:13 something vs. 1:12 something. Maybe a minute and change slower? I'm not surprised because I am still getting my run back to where it should be. If I cared more I would be annoyed but I really don't care. I rode 80 freaking miles in a tornado yesterday! Getting out of bed was a success in itself.

Mary and Kim were cheering at the halfway point!
The one really stupid thing I did during this race was neglect my nutrition. I had a gel which I was going to take at 45 minutes. But this course is so hilly and I was trying to push myself that 45 minutes came and I just couldn't stomach trying to take it, so I didn't. So now, hours later, my stomach is going all sorts of crazy and it is NOT fun. I napped and now I am dreading getting on my bike for an hour recovery ride (because I haven't yet figured out a way to cushion my poor crotch!!!).

Looking at all of the photos that Mary posted of our team at the race today.. I just love them. I love all of them! I love that we can talk about crotches. I love that Don sits in his warm car as his warmup. I love that Kellman wears neon yellow compression socks (and rocks the shit out of them). I love that Mary and Kim rode over on their mountain bikes to cheer for everyone who was racing. I love that Tim and Mark race and have families. I love that Rich is a vegan. I love that Greg is hilarious and that Ken is super sarcastic. They are the best! They are my Rochester family! :)
Don, Greg, Kim.. friends, teammates, family! love them!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

no one likes a bad attitude

If I were to write this post about how I am currently feeling, it would be plagued with negative thoughts, whining, and a bad attitude. Instead I am going to try to focus on the positive aspects of today's workout because Ironman is so much a mental sport. If you have a bad attitude, you aren't going to succeed. I tend to get a very, very bad attitude when it comes to riding long because I let things affect me that shouldn't. And then, since I tend to be an emotional person and ride, race, and live my life with my heart on my sleeve, my ride is directly affected by my bad attitude.

With that said..

I had a 4 hour ride and a 30 minute run on the schedule for today. Since it is now April and the forecast was in the 40s, Kim and I decided to ride outside. I showed up at her house at 10:30 (we wanted to give it time to warm up) and a 3rd girl, Caillie (who is doing Ironman Lake Placid this year and whose boyfriend I met yesterday at the bike shop and he sent her to us) met us there to tagalong on part of our ride. We left at 11 am sharp dressed in tights, wool socks, toe covers, gloves, hats, and several layers on top. We planned to ride from Kim's house, around Canandaigua Lake, back to Kim's - about a 4:30 ride (a little longer than what was on tap). I was excited to finally be off the trainer!

It became quickly apparent that my bike fitness has a LOOOOOOOONG way to go before my Ironman which is 12 weeks away (if you missed that somehow). Climbing hills was.. interesting. Kim was destroying me. We made all of our regular stops at our regular gas stations to refuel, recaffeinate, and rest. I was doing ok for the first 3 hrs and 30 minutes of the ride. After that, my attitude went downhill. Instead of bitching, I am going to list my issues and how I am going to try to resolve them by positive thinking.

1) 3:30 into this particular route (that I ride ALL the time) is my least favorite part - riding west on routes 5&20 which is a road that goes from west of Rochester, through all the Finger Lake villages, out to who knows where it ends. At around Canandaigua, it goes up and down these really big rollers that I just HATE. I know that this part is coming and I dread it. What I need to do to get past this mental block is drive out to 5&20, leave my car, and ride up and down this road for several hours just tackling these stupid hills. If I could get past the mental block of this section of the ride I think I would be happier and mentally in a better place.

2) Kim destroyed me on this ride. Kim has always been faster than me on the bike which is fine. Everyone has good and bad days and we are usually not too far away from each other. But today, it took her all of 5 minutes to leave me in the dust, over and over and over again. This is a huge issue for me because it makes me feel like I am slow, that I suck, that I am going to get passed by 1000 people at Ironman, and that I am out of shape and won't be ready. What I fail to get through my brain is that Kim has a year more long course experience than I do, she currently is not running due to a sprained ankle so is doing WAY more volume on the bike than I am (which makes her way fitter on the bike than me), and that everybody is different. I cannot let the green-eyed monster destroy my confidence. Plus, Kim has her own issues to deal with concerning her ankle and shouldn't have to deal with giving me 50 pep talks during a ride.

3) It was windy as shit. There is nothing I can do about this. I can't control the weather. What if it's windy in Coeur D'Alene? I should use training rides like this to my advantage. It's not always 65 and sunny at Ironman!

4) I'm slow as shit. It's April 2nd. It's been a long winter on the trainer. We rode for over an hour longer than we were supposed to due to the loop we did (5:10 instead of 4:00). My fitness will return. I need to get OVER it and just focus on what I need to do in order to get in shape. I'm slow now? I have 12 weeks. Suck it up Alexa!

Race tomorrow, stay tuned!