29 April 2008

Never Quit on Your Music

Over the weekend, I watched the movie "August Rush" and have been pondering a few of the thoughts and lines in the film. At the beginning, the main character (August) talks about hearing the music all around us, in every part of our life. When I thought about this concept, I was reminded of the statement "marching to the beat of your own drum." I've been thinking about the music that I hear in my own head.

Now, most of you who know me, know that I'm not musically talented or inclined, but I do enjoy music. I sing loudly in my car and I sometimes sing along with my ipod, but only in my head. I don't hear music in the same way that a musician might, but I do know and listen to the music of my life. The music of my life includes interactions with my family, the fun times I have with Simon and Sassy, all of my races, the music that I associate with training, the sounds of the wind and weather, the voices of my students, and the other experiences of life. All of these things make up my music. I think that everyone's music is completely individual and unique to them, and while I really don't have a song or tune to attribute my music to, I do know it when I hear it.

Another line in the movie says, "Never quit on your music." This really struck me because I think that often it's easy to give up on things in life when things get difficult. Sometimes, life is just plain awful and it really does take everything we have inside of us to get out of bed and go through the motions. I think that during the hard times is when we find it easy to forget about or quit on the music of our lives. Perhaps, the challenges we face provide more depth to our music, so that when we overcome them, our music is more beautiful and meaningful. I think it's important to remember our music and to use it to strengthen us, to remind us of the joys of life, to push us through when we're struggling, and to help us savor the victories and celebrations.

Never quit on your music. Never quit on the things in life that truly bring you joy. Remind yourself of the music of your life, even if it doesn't sound like a song to anyone but you. This music is part of what makes us individuals and allows us to become who we're striving to become. When we look back at our lives, this symphony will remind us of who we are and how we came to be. Never quit on your music and remember to use it to push you forward.

26 April 2008

Week 6 Utah 1/2 IM Training

I've been working on rearranging my training schedule this week because of the Indy Mini 1/2 Marathon on Saturday. I'm hoping to use some of my lessons from the St. Louis 1/2 marathon this week, so hopefully, I'll have fresh legs on Saturday morning. The training goal this week is to go all out in my swim time trial on Thursday morning.

April 27, 2008

BIKE - Well, I learned a very important lesson tonight. Do not eat a box of Hot Tamales before getting on the bike. I made it 35 min. before the nausea stopped me from riding. I did keep my average HR at 140 and burned 478 calories.

Foundation ride (1 h. 30 m.) steady ride at moderate aerobic intensity

April 28, 2008

SWIM - I was so sleepy this morning that it took me awhile to get going. It's the allergies that are making me feel so groggy and I'm definitely ready for them to be gone. The swim went well and I worked on my TI drills, which of course drew alot of stares. I finished the swim in 43:13, which wasn't fast, but I wasn't hurrying during my drills. The sprints felt great and I think my base intervals were all around 1:50, so I think I might be seeing some improvements. I was also able to spend my warm-up and cooldown working on breathing on both sides. I just have to remember to turn with my hips!

Warm-up (300 yds), Drill set (8x25 yds), Base intervals (7x100 yds), Sprint intervals (10x25 yds), Kick set (8x25 yds), Cooldown (300 yds) - Total 1950 yds

BIKE - I know this workout was on the schedule for tomorrow, but the weather is kinda yucky and I really didn't want to run outside in the cold, so I flip flopped my workouts. I actually enjoyed my trainer ride today. For the hill intervals, I put my bike in the highest gear, and stood up and pedaled hard. It was seriously tough. I actually considered putting some books under the riser, but thought that might be a bit unsafe. I rode for 1:15, my average HR was 138, and I burned 1002 calories. My max HR was 164.

Short Hill Climbs 10 x 1 m. (1 h. 15 m.) - 1 min. hill climbs at VO2 max/speed intensity with 2 min. active recoveries; warm-up and cool down long enough to reach total time

April 29, 2008

SWIM - I got to the pool on time this morning and had a pretty good workout. The intervals were tough today, but I took my time on my drills and kick set. I'm really liking the drills I learned at tri-camp. I finished the workout in 44:44. Oh, and sneezing while you're swimming...interesting experience. I actually sneezed about 20 times this morning, sometimes while swimming, sometimes during rest breaks.

Warm-up (300 yds), Drill set (6x50 yds), Fartlek intervals (6x150 yds) 50 build, 25 descend, Kick set (8x25 yds), Cooldown (300 yds) - Total 2000 yds

April 30, 2008

BRICK - The brick workout went really well this morning. I had no trouble on the bike and managed to keep my average HR at 140 for the entire ride. I listened to my ipod and definitely absorbed some energy from the music. I transitioned 1:06, which meant I slipped off my cycling shoes, slipped on my new running shoes, through on my long sleeve shirt, and literally ran out the door. I ended up running 20:33 and ran farther than I did my last brick, so I guess I was running faster. I felt like my stride was shorter, but apparently it worked. My average HR on the run was 161. For the entire workout, I burned 1259 calories and I remembered to drink my recovery drink after the workout.

Bike 1 h. 5 m. - Run 20 m. - Bike ride followed by immediate run, both at moderate aerobic intensity

RUN - Well, I was feeling good and looking forward to the speed workout, but this afternoon, I've been having some sciatic type pain, which is pretty annoying. I'm not super concerned, but I do not need to start down this road, so I'm going to skip this workout, and work on stretching instead.

Speed intervals 12x30 s. (50 m.) - 30 s. intervals run at speed intensity with 2 m. active recoveries; warm-up and cooldown long enough to reach total time

May 1, 2008

SWIM - I was psyched up for this workout and looking forward to seeing how fast I could go. However, once again, I felt like I was swimming in mud and I had a really hard time staying focused on counting my laps. I think that I got all of my yardage in, but my times seem mighty fast, so I'm guessing I may have missed some. I did my warm-up in 7:01, my time trial in 28:23 (which seems WAY fast), and my cooldown in 7:16. I'm looking forward to resting until the race on Saturday morning.

Warm-up (350 yds), Time trial (1650 yds), Cooldown (350 yds) - Total 2350 yds.

May 2, 2008

REST - I'm really glad that today is a rest day. I slept until I woke up this morning with no alarm. Of course, I still woke up around 5:30am, but I dozed for awhile. I think I'm all packed for Indy and ready to go. Now, if I can just find someway to control the weather... I really don't want to run in severe thunderstorms tomorrow morning.

May 3, 2008

RUN - Indy Mini 1/2 Marathon - Indianapolis, IN

25 April 2008

Open Water Swims

Some of you may know that my very first (and most recent) open water swim occurred during my first triathlon last August. I got in the water and started swimming, realized that there was no ground beneath my feet, and promptly began to hyperventilate. I ended up breaststroking with my head above water until I got to the first buoy and somewhere between the shore and the first buoy, I turned around and considered swimming back because I really wasn't sure what I was thinking swimming in a lake... Anyways, once I passed the first buoy I was fine, and I actually started swimming well (relatively speaking) and even started passing people. I got to shore, transitioned well, and then headed off on the bike. This was my last open water swim.

So...knowing that I'm registered for 4 triathlons, and am thinking about registering for two more, I've been thinking about this whole open water swim thing. I've decided that I absolutely must overcome this panic and in order to do this, I've been working on a plan. I've purchased a couple of wetsuits, one sleeveless, one with sleeves. Over the past several weeks, I've been working on my swimming. I went to tri-camp and learned that I'm actually a pretty good swimmer which gave me alot of confidence. Here's the big plan...I called my brother Eric last night and asked him if he would be willing to take his little boat out to some open water once a week, and follow along with me while I swim. I figure if I'm swimming in the water, that race days shouldn't be a big deal at all, other than the washing machine effect at the start. There is a plan in place, and I'm feeling good about the plan, so hopefully, there will be some pretty good/cool improvements in my open water swims this year.

23 April 2008


Today, at lunch, I was reading my USA Triathlon Life magazine, and on the last page there was an article called, "buy a BIGGER BOWL," by Jeff Matlow. In this article, the author speaks about imagination and the "reality box" that we live in, which traps us within our boundaries and limitations. He says that for most people, the "reality box" limits our reach and that we are stuck to the box by a rubber band that we only stretch by imagining ourselves in a different reality. He uses the example, "If we feel overweight, we dream of being thin." He then goes on to say,

"But for those who dare, imagination can be extended beyond the limits of our elastic band reach. We can leverage our life experiences as a means to further stretch our imagination and expand our after day we travel down the same road, until one day we dare to imagine a different route to a different destination. On that one day we suddenly decide to veer left rather than stay our course to the right. We take the path less traveled, believing and dreaming that it will lead us somewhere new: somewhere better."

He goes on to give examples of people who stretched their imagination, including Roger Bannister, the first man who ran a sub-4 minute mile. He explained the Bannister effect and mentioned that Bannister expanded the mind of the world and his record was broken in 46 days. He says that dreaming is the first step towards accomplishment, but is also the first step down a long road, and that "We can challenge ourselves every day to continually dream bigger dreams, but without a plan for our body to follow our dreams will lead to nothing."

I think my favorite part of the article is at the conclusion, when the author states,

"In a funny way we are like goldfish - we will always expand to the size of our bowl. No matter how big the challenge set before us, we will find a way to succeed. Don't think you can go faster? Convinced you can't go longer? Think you can't do an Ironman? I think you are wrong. Buy a bigger bowl. Dare to dream. Dare to peek outside the confines of your imagination. Stretch your mind, reach your arm, and put your hand through the fire. Grab hold of the other side with convincing fortitude and pull yourself through. I promise, you won't get burned."

So many times in life we let our fear define our limits. We allow ourselves to stop progressing because we don't believe that we can accomplish our dreams. We let our lives define the person we are, rather than living the way that we want to and the way that we dream about. What the author says is true...if we truly want to achieve something, all we really have to do is trust ourselves, and we will make it through, without getting burned, and while we're pulling against that rubber band attached to our "reality box," we may get lucky and it will snap. Then, we're free to truly explore our own limits.

21 April 2008

Tri-Camp Takeaways

Because my tri-camp report ended up being so VERY LONG, I decided to do a shorter list of my takeaway points from the camp and why it was so meaningful to me. I've already written about my reasons for deciding to attend the tri-camp, so I guess I need to address whether the camp met my expectations (it did) and how the expectations were met.

I had such a great opportunity to learn from Chris S. and Chris D. I was completely intimidated to think of even speaking to either one of them, and to be totally honest, I'm still pretty intimidated by Chris D. Both of these guys are amazing triathletes and have such a vast breadth of knowledge and it was so awesome to be able to ask them questions and to hear about what works for them. I learned so much and while I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with the knowledge, I think I could e-mail or call either one of them to ask a question.

I also wanted to test my training and in some respects I was pleasantly surprised, like in my swimming, but in other respects I was completely discouraged, like in my hill cycling. My endurance is there, but my speed and power are not and I need to do alot of work to get to where I want to be. I'm willing to put in the work and I think it was a real eye-opener to me on where I am in this whole triathlon adventure. I had a great opportunity to learn my weak areas and now I can take away that knowledge to become a better triathlete.

This weekend was rewarding to me because I showed myself quite a few things. First, I can stay on a bike for 3 hours. I was comfortable and not totally wiped out at the end. I learned that I'm a pretty darn good swimmer and that while I definitely have things to work on, my fundamentals are pretty good and I can make alot of improvements with some pretty small adjustments. I learned that while I'm pretty hard on myself, that it's that part of my personality that will help me to achieve my goals and to accomplish what I truly want to.

While the Utah 1/2 IM is not until August (3 1/2 months away), I know that attending this camp will prepare me for that race. When I get to that start line and when I cross that finish line, I know that I will be able to look back on this experience at camp as one of the defining points of the season.

There were points during the weekend that I really struggled and got angry with myself. Why in the world can all of these other people make it up this hill multiple times and I can't even get halfway up? Why am I so slow? Those were some of the questions that I was asking myself, but I realized that I have what it takes to accomplish my goals, because I'm willing to push myself. Instead of saying, "Wow, this hill is really hard." I said, "I really need to get over here and start training in the hills, so that I can be prepared for IM Wisconsin." This was definitely a good lesson for me and I need to make sure I remembered it.

I think that the final takeaway, and perhaps the most meaningful right now today, was earning that "Most Potential" award. I guess I should have mentioned that the award was a visor, which was cool, but hearing two amateur elite triathletes say that I was the female camper with the most potential is something that I will definitely be carrying with me over the next several months if not years. It's fine when my parents say, "You can do it" or whatever, but hearing two people that I really respect, who are pretty much strangers say that was truly a fantastic experience. I'm still glowing inside just thinking about it.

So, I guess this was not as long as the report, but I think I hit the high points. I will definitely be making it a priority to head back to tri-camp next year (if they decide to do it) and I'm really looking forward to seeing how all of this knowledge that I gained will benefit me.

C&C Triathlete Factory Report

Well, I arrived back from my tri-camp weekend and I have to say that I'm definitely feeling fatigued. Here is the website, if you want more info on the coaches, the workouts, the schedule, etc. The weekend workouts were tough, but doable and I learned so much, so it was definitely a success. I told several of you that I would be writing a "report" and while I'm sure that I'll forget some things, at least I'll have some sort of idea of how the weekend went. I should also mention that I had every intention (I even took a notebook) of writing down workout information, HR data, calories burned and tips, etc, but I didn't have time, so I'll be working from memory. I should also warn you that this will probably be a VERY LONG entry.

April 18, 2008

I arrived at Camp Wokanda ( in Chillecothe, IL around 5pm on Friday afternoon. I checked in at the lodge and then started hauling all of my stuff up to the cabins. The weather was a little rainy, but not cold. At around 6pm, we headed out for our first workout. Chris Sweet took us on one of his favorite trail runs around the camp. I think that we ran on the Red Trail for a little while ( Who knew that IL could have such incredibly steep hills! I had decided to take it easy on the run, because I knew there would be alot more workouts to come and I thought I might want to spare my legs. My calves were definitely working during the hills.

After the run, I grabbed a shower, changed into some comfy clothes and then headed to the lodge for dinner. We had a yummy dinner of pasta with red sauce, baked potatoes, salad, garlic bread and green beans. This was only the beginning of some really delicious meals that gave us something to look forward to before and after our workouts. After dinner, we had our first clinic which was on changing a tire. I had changed a tire on my mountain bike before, but not on my road bike, so this was a great opportunity to learn the tricks from some experts. Chris demonstrated first and then we all got to change our tires. I discovered that I have a pretty tight bead on my tires, so it took a bit of effort to get the tire off. I took the tube out and then put it back in, and then got my tire back on with the help of Flip. Then, as I was trying to re-inflate my tube, I was having alot of trouble getting the pump to stay on the stem. I ended up having to change out my tube for my new tube that had a longer stem, so I got to change my tire twice. I was really hoping that I wouldn't get a flat on the rides, since I didn't have another tube. I also learned what I should keep in my tire changing kit and got some really good practice on changing tires. After the clinic, we all headed to our cabin to get some sleep. It ended up being an incredibly long night as very few people actually slept, which we all discovered on Saturday morning.

April 19, 2008

We all got up around 6am on Saturday morning to prepare for the long bike ride (3 hours). The weather was kind of sketchy, but Chris and Chris Daniels thought we would be able to have a good ride, in spite of the light rain. We had a great breakfast of pancakes and fruit, loaded up the bikes, and then headed over to Germantown Hills where we would be riding. As we were driving, it started to downpour and I was thinking in my head, "I really don't want to ride in the rain. I really don't want to ride in the rain." We arrived at the parking lot, unracked our bikes, and then split into our groups. The rain had slowed down to a slight drizzle, so I wasn't worried about riding in the rain anymore. I was in the slower group, which is exactly what I expected. I wasn't sure what to wear, but after talking with Chris S., I decided to wear my tri-shorts with running tights over them, a long-sleeve tech shirt, and my warm running jacket that's water and wind resistant. We headed out for our ride with Chris S. and Stan Watkins, who is a level 3 USA cycling coach.

I'm always a little (or alot) nervous when I head out for a bike ride. I hadn't been on my bike outside since last September, so I wasn't sure how this was going to go. I was also a little worried about my saddle and how I would feel after riding for an hour or so. We did a nice slow warm-up and the light rain stopped. As we got going, I learned several things, including: my bike didn't fit very well, so I needed to meet with Andy Sweet during the weekend to work on that; I'm a toe-down peddler, which is not good for triathletes because it makes you use the same muscles you use when running; how to ride fast down a hill without losing control of my front wheel; that I'm not so good at riding up the hills; that I need to learn to stand up and pedal; and that I'm not terribly fast or slow, but that I have ALOT to work on in my cycling. I spoke with both Chris S. and Stan about some tips and things I can work on. I really have no idea of the route that we rode, so I don't have a map. However, I will tell you that we rode alot of hills. I actually think that I want to start driving over there once a month or so and practice riding the hills. I should also mention that while we were riding, I looked down and had worm guts on my jacket. I was totally grossed out. By the end of the ride, there were also worm guts all over the underside of my bike, which means I need to do some serious bike washing tonight!

After the ride, we headed back to camp and I headed off to the showers. I had no saddle issues on the ride, which was definitely a good thing. Lunch was a very yummy sandwich bar and salad. It tasted so good after the ride. Of course, the sun came out at this point so it was feeling quite nice to be warm. After lunch, we had a nutrition clinic that was incredibly helpful. I don't know how many times I've sat through nutrition clinics, and thought, "but I already know this stuff." Chris D. spent alot of time talking about how to plan your nutrition on race day, for training, and for both pre- and post-race. He talked alot about calories, when to take them in, what type of calories to take in, and he also said that we need to try new things and not just stick with what works, because there may be something that works better for us. We talked about sports drinks and Chris S. mentioned the importance of fueling your body before and after workouts. I've decided that I need to embrace this and really work hard on this idea of keeping my body properly fueled. It was definitely helpful and I'm looking forward to trying some of the strategies that were mentioned and discussed.

After the clinic, we headed to Detweiller Park to run on the cross-country course. We started off with a 20 min. warm-up, then a 20-min. tempo run, and then a 20 min. cooldown. I struggled to run on the uneven surfaces and I'm not sure if I did the 20 min. tempo run. However, I did stay on the grass and I did run the entire time. My lower leg muscles are definitely sore from that, but I realized, as I was running, that I need to spend more time working on my stabilizing muscles because I think that will pay off, especially with my balance. I was in the middle of the group with my running, but I think only because I'm a slow runner and I can run for a long time when I'm fatigued.

After the run, we headed back to camp, and I headed to the showers again. I was definitely the cleanest camper, but only because I HATE being sweaty, and I also wanted to be warm. I grabbed a snack and then we headed off to the pool at the Pearce Community Center in Chillicothe, IL. We worked on the Total Immersion drills for about 2 hours, which are focused on learning your balance in the pool. We also had our freestyle strokes analyzed. These drills were incredible and I finally feel like I can breathe on both sides comfortably when swimming. I was so excited when I realized this. I'm definitely looking forward to incorporating these drills into my workouts. When I jumped out of the pool, all I kept thinking was, "I've finally figured this out!" I also learned that I don't need to kickboard for my kicking drills anymore and that these drills will definitely help me become a better faster swimmer.

After the swim, we were all ready to take long, hot showers. We headed back to the camp for some really yummy Monical's pizza. I think it might have been the best pizza I've ever had, although I'm sure it was just because I was starving. We had dinner, socialized, and then we watched our swim stroke and got tips for improving. I was first, and I learned that I swim pretty well, but that I need to be lower in the water. So, I need to focus on pushing my chest down into the water. My pull looks good, but I do want it to be stronger, which means I really need to start using my core. It was also helpful to watch the other participants' swim and to see what they do right and things not to do. I also need to work on "finding new water" with my pull.

At this point of the day, I was feeling so exhausted, from both the training, and the lack of sleep. I thought for sure I would sleep great. I headed back up to the cabin, crawled into bed and ended up lying there for awhile. Finally, about an hour later, I fell asleep. However, I ended up waking up an awful lot (I think every time I moved). I would fall right back to sleep, but I never really stayed asleep for a long time.

April 21, 2008

I woke up at around 5:45am, I think and ended up lying in bed just resting for awhile. We got up, got ready to swim, and then headed to the pool. I did grab a cereal bar before swimming, so I had a little bit of energy. I was excited to get back into the pool and to practice the skills from the night before. I was tired, but not from swimming since the night before was almost all drills. Chris S. had us do a traditional swim workout. He split us into two groups, a faster group and a slower group, and I was in the faster group, which totally made me happy. Who knew that I was a good swimmer! I'm pretty sure that I've forgotten some things, but I think the workout looked something like this. Warm-up (300 yds) - Drills (3x100 yds, each drill) - Intervals (8x100 yds, 20 sec rest) - Speed (8x25 yds, 30 sec rest) - Cooldown (100 yds) I felt so great after the swim and was very happy with my swimming overall.

After the swim, we headed back to camp for breakfast and I was starving. We had the best french toast ever, eggs, hashbrowns, fruit, juice and milk. It tasted so good and I ate too much, but I was feeling hungry. We got changed and packed up our bikes, and headed back to Detweiller Park for a clinic on transition, and then the Hill Brick of Death. Before we left, I spoke with Andy about working on my bike fit while we were at the park.

Chris S. and Chris D. talked about how they approach transition and gave us several tips on getting our transitions down in time. They spoke about how to lay out your transition area, how to think about transitions, and then tips to speed up your transition times. I think the takeaway for me from this session was to keep your transition as simple as possible. Think about transition, practice it, and realize that while you're saving seconds in transition, sometimes it's better to take those seconds in transition, and then make them up on the bike or run. For me, those seconds aren't really important right now because I'm certainly not competitive yet. However, later on, I will definitely be trying things like the cyclocross dismount, taking my shoes off on the bike, etc.

While the others were practicing transitions, I met with Andy and we started working on my bike fit. The first thing that he did was work on my saddle height which was way high. I was surprised by that because I thought that it might need to be up higher. However, he made some adjustments after watching me spin and then got the seat height and saddle position where he wanted it. I do need to order a new seat post to get my saddle a bit more forward. Then, we started working on the dropbar and aerobars. My stem is a little long, so Andy tried switching it out with another stem, but the stem he had pushed my bars up to high, so he put my stem back on and traded the risers around a bit. He also talked me into putting my clipless pedals back on the bike. I didn't have them with me, but he said he would take care of it back at camp. I also talked to him about bike maintenance and what I could be doing to take care of my bike to make it operate better and more efficiently.

During my bike fit, the others had started the Hill Brick of Death workout, so I headed off for a short warm-up and started my first climb up the hill. I made it about a third of the way up the first hill, before I was in my lowest gear and still pedaling as hard as I could, but going like 3 mph. I ended up stopping, which was a bad idea, because of course, you can't just start riding up in the middle of the hill. My quads were toasted and I was tired, so I rode down the hill, propped up my bike by a tree and decided to run instead. I made it around a 2 mile loop and then decided to be done. I was tired and my stomach wasn't feeling great and I mostly just wanted to be done, so I finished.

I racked my bike and drove back to camp, grabbed another shower (see, I really was the cleanest camper), and then packed up my car. Andy came back and changed out my pedals so I now have "big girl" pedals on my bike. I spoke with Chris S. about what I can do to really improve over the next year and he said that I need to work on my limiters, which are cycling and overall speed. Because I've been doing marathons, I have the endurance base there, but I need to switch gears and really start working on my intervals and power to become a better triathlete.

Lunch was grilled hamburgers and they were absolutely delicious. Food is always so much better when you're starving. I can't believe how hungry I was throughout the weekend! I spoke with some of the other campers about training and we all thought it might be fun to meet up and ride the hills over near the river. I definitely need hill work, so I will have to take advantage of that. We talked a little about training and how to recover from the hard weekend. Mostly, we were all just tired and ready to sleep.

Chris and Chris took us out to the steps of the lodge for some more group pictures and then preceded to answer more questions about training. They both talked alot about recovery and the importance of rest, as well as taking care of injuries before they become a problem. Chris S. talked about skipping "recovery workouts" and just taking the time to rest and catch up on life. Both of them discussed the importance of training plans based on "A" races, and that you should really make the most of your workouts.

Finally, (see...I told you this was VERY LONG) Chris and Chris thanked us for coming and they even had some awards. They had awards for Most Improved Swimmer, Hardest Worker, Best Tire Changer, etc. The best part of the camp was when they said that I got the "Most Potential Award." I'm sitting here with a big silly grin on my face just thinking about that. It meant alot to hear two guys who are doing what I want to eventually do, say that I had potential. Now, I just have to live up to it. After the awards, I headed back to my car, and drove home, feeling incredibly exhausted, but so happy!

Here is another report from Chris Daniels re: the tri-camp.
Here is another report from Chris Sweet re: the tri-camp.

20 April 2008

Week 5 Utah 1/2 IM Training

April 21, 2008

Last night, after arriving home from tri-camp, I typed up my weekly workouts, knowing full well that today would be a rest day. You'll see why when you see what my weekend looked like. I'm pretty fatigued from the weekend, so while I actually did consider going swimming this morning, I reminded myself that I was in the pool for 1:45 yesterday and I didn't need to swim. I'll probably do alot of stretching tonight and some work on the foam roller.

SWIM - Warm up (300), Drill set (8x25), Base Intervals (6x100), Sprint Intervals (9x25), Kick set (3x25), Cooldown (300) - Total 1825 yds.

BIKE - 9x1 m. hill climbs (1 h. 10 m.) - 1 min. hill climbs at VO2 max/speed intensity with 2 min. active recoveries; warm-up and cool down long enough to reach total time

April 22, 2008

SWIM - My swim got cut short this morning for a variety of reasons. I arrived at the pool a little late. I got through the warm up, drills, and intervals, but as I was doing my kick set, with the new TI drills I learned at camp last weekend, a couple of the ladies stopped me to ask how to do them because, "I looked like a fish." So, I showed them and then ended up doing a 50 yd cool down. I think I ended up doing 1600 yds in 31 26.

Warm up (300), Drill set (6x50), Fartlek intervals (8x100), Kick set (8x25), Cooldown (300) - Total 1900 yds.

RUN - I left work with the intention to head out for a run, but by the time I drove home, I realized how tired I was that my lower legs are still a little achy from the camp, so I decided to skip the run.

Speed intervals 11x30 sec. (50 m.) - 30 s. intervals run at speed intensity with 2 m. active recoveries; warm up and cool down long enough to reach total time

April 23, 2008

BIKE - I did this ride using a spinervals dvd and my clipless pedals. I had a little bit of numbness in my feet, so I'll have to watch that. My average HR was 135 and I burned 995 calories.

Foundation ride (1 h. 15 m.) steady ride at moderate aerobic intensity

YOGA - Yoga was tough tonight and I really struggled to get through the workout. I think I am getting stronger though. Swimming should be interesting tomorrow morning...

April 24, 2008

SWIM - Here I was all proud of myself for having a great swim, and I realized I cut it short 150 yds. Once again, I need to remind myself to LOOK at the workout before I get to the pool. However, I did feel good in the water this morning. I completed 2150 yds in 40:15 and felt great. Of course, now I'm feeling sleepy, but that's because it's 86 degrees in my office.

Warm up (250), Base intervals (1800), Cool down (250) - Total 2300 yds.

RUN - I ran out of time and energy yesterday so I skipped this run. I did buy some new running shoes and yankz laces, so I'm all ready to go for tri-season and Saturday.

Foundation Run (45 m.) - steady run at moderate aerobic intensity - Running strides (2x20s.) - 20 s. relaxed sprints at speed intensity with 40 s. active recoveries

April 25, 2008

BIKE - I struggled with this ride this morning and actually tried a variety of things to get through it. I started off by watching "Pride and Prejudice" but that wasn't working for me, so I turned on my ipod, which got me through about 28 min. Then, I decided to try a spinervals dvd which got me through an hour. By the time I got to this point, I had to get ready for work because I spent too much time fooling around trying to find a way to stay on the trainer. So, I did 1:28, my average HR was 130, and burned 1058 calories. I think I'll be on the bike tomorrow after my run.

Long bike ride (2 h. 15 m.) - long, steady ride at moderate aerobic intensity

April 26, 2008

RUN - I ran with the team this morning and ended up running 1:22. I think that we got in a little over 6 miles, maybe more. We headed east on the trail which felt great, but when we turned around, we were running smack into the wind, which was tough. My average HR was 145, so I guess I wasn't really working very hard. I burned 1207 calories.

Long run (1 h. 5 m.) - long, steady pace at moderate aerobic intensity

18 April 2008

Triathlon Camp: What was I thinking?

Tonight, after work, I'm headed to triathlon camp. I did laundry last night to make sure that I had the necessary workout clothes. I spent an hour or so packing or at least putting stuff into piles this morning. I have a list on my desk of things that keep popping into my head that I haven't packed yet...things like water bottles. I put my bike rack on my car this morning so I wouldn't have to do that in the rain. I'm planning on a trip to the bike shop to pick up a tube and some cycling gloves, and possibly some new running shoes. As you can probably tell, my mind is racing about a million miles a minute and I've got some anxiety about this weekend. What was I thinking signing up for a triathlon camp?!?

Last night, I sat down and thought about all of the different fears and worries that I have about this weekend. I have alot of worries that I can do nothing about, so I need to accept them and move on. In fact, most of the things that I'm apprehensive about are completely out of my control, which means that I'm wasting time and energy on worrying about them. As I mentally listed the things I was worrying about, I also made another mental list of why I decided to sign up for this camp. I figured I should probably write them down so that I can remember them when I arrive home completely wiped out on Sunday evening. So, here's my list...

1. I signed up for triathlon camp because I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to learn from Chris Sweet and Chris Daniels, our local amateur elite age-groupers. They are both headed to Kona in October and I figured they would be able to help me along the path to achieving that goal of mine.

2. I signed up for triathlon camp to test myself and my training. I've been training diligently for 7 weeks for my "A" priority race. I want to see if I'm making progress and how I measure up to my expectations.

3. I signed up for triathlon camp to work on the little things that will make me a better triathlete. I want to work on my bike fit. I'm looking forward (with some nervousness) to having my swim stroke analyzed (I hope it's not too atrocious) and then taking that feedback with me to improve over the next few months. I want to become a better cyclist and swimmer, and I think this camp will help me to do that.

4. I signed up for triathlon camp as a reward to myself for making it through maybe the hardest winter ever.

5. I signed up for triathlon camp so that I can stand or tread water at the start of the Utah 1/2 IM knowing that I have done everything in my power to physically and mentally prepare for that race.

So, I'm still sitting here working on my list of things I probably shouldn't forget to pack, and I'm smiling because I get to go to triathlon camp this weekend. I get to learn from some awesome guys about how to be a better triathlete. I get to test my physical limits and see how I hold up. Oh, and did I mention that this will definitely be fun!

16 April 2008

How do you stand to be in your head for so long?

Last weekend, fellow triathlete and I were talking about long-course triathlon and she said something like, "How do you stand to stay inside of your head for so long? I think I would go crazy." I've been thinking about that comment quite a bit over the past few days and I've decided that I think I like being in my head. I know I've mentioned this before, but one of my favorite things about racing and training is the mental break that comes only during those times. I welcome the moments of peace and clarity that only come during racing, which is probably one of my main reasons for continuing to race/run/train, etc.

This actually reminds me of a question that my mom asked me during the Walt Disney World Marathon back in January. This was our second day of running together and she noticed that I didn't have my ipod. I had purposefully left it back at the house because I wanted to start practicing running longer distances without the distraction of music, mostly because the USAT does not allow headphones during their sanctioned events. Anyways, she said, "You don't have your ipod." I said, "I know." She said, "What are you going to think about for the next 6 hours?" I think I smiled and said, "I don't know." After the race, she asked me what I thought about during the race and I really couldn't tell her.

Most of the time, I just allow my thoughts to flow in and right back out without really taking the time to actually think about them. Sometimes, it's enough for me to just "be" in the moment and enjoy the sound of my feet on the pavement and of my breathing. If I do find myself becoming bored, there are plenty of people around to make up stories about, which can be incredibly entertaining. I don't mind being inside my head for so long. I think that my thoughts work for me and I wouldn't trade any of the insights that I gain from these moments of complete clarity. I'm hoping that this will end up being one of my strengths as I embark on the long-course triathlon events.

Perspective and the Bigger Picture

Sometimes it takes some time and conversation and distance to gain perspective on the things that happen in life. If you read my race report for the St. Louis 1/2 Marathon, you know that while I had some really good things happen during the race, I was pretty disappointed in the end result. On Monday afternoon, I had the opportunity to sit down with my good friend Sherry and discuss the race and to gain a little perspective about the big picture. Sherry did a fantastic job of listening and offering perspective and helping me to see how what I learned before, during, and after the race can have some pretty significant effects on my future racing, specifically my 1/2 IM in August, and IM Wisconsin next September. So, in an effort to remember these great lessons, I've decided to write them down, and to share them with others in hopes that my experiences can help those of you who find yourselves in similar situations.


  • Create enough alone time so that I can collect my thoughts and rehearse my plan for race day.
  • Eliminate unnecessary stress by being prepared with necessary information.
  • Know where I'm going to eat and what I'm going to eat for my pre-race meal and have a back-up plan.
  • Have my race day plan ready to go, with the necessary contingency plans.
  • Take the time to clear my head by writing down my thoughts and fears and then accepting them.
  • Make sure that my expectations match my plan to avoid any disappointment.
  • Arrive at the start with enough time to check my gear and get to my starting corral with no unnecessary stress.
  • Take enough time to collect and gather my thoughts and rehearse my plan.
  • Carry out plan to the best of my abilities.
  • Have fun and remember that I LOVE to race.
  • Celebrate my finish, as well as the other finishers.
  • Take some alone time to decompress and reflect on my race.
  • A few days later, evaluate the race and how my plan worked, didn't work, and examine if any changes are necessary.
  • Write my race report!

I will probably think of more as I go and add them to this. Ultimately, the race in St. Louis taught me that I can make a plan and follow it, and it taught me alot about what to do and what not to do before and after the event. I also learned that the mental focus training I've been doing is working and that I have the ability to focus and take my racing to another level (not competitively, but internally). As Sherry pointed out, these lessons will truly benefit me as I start completing other events, especially my long-course triathlons.

One more thing...I should also mention another thing that Sherry pointed out. She told me that my disappointing time allowed me to stop and think about the positive things that I learned from the race. If my time would have been in my acceptable range, I probably would have just chalked the race up as a good, fun experience, and wouldn't have realized alot of the important lessons that were there to be learned.

13 April 2008

Week 4 Utah 1/2 IM Training

This week's goal is recovery, which I'm totally looking forward to. According to the training plan, I'm supposed to absorb my recent training and finish the week feeling rested and ready to harder training next week. Also, I'm heading off to Triathlon camp this weekend, so it should be a great way to test my training and see if I'm making any progress.

April 14, 2008

SWIM - I struggled to get out of bed this morning, but did make it to the pool to get this workout done. It was nice to have a shorter workout. I did the 1300 yds in 26:46 and my 100 yd intervals were all right at 1:59. Now I just have to get them a bit faster.

Warm up (300 yds), Drill set (8x25 yds), Base intervals (5x100 yds), Cool down (300 yds) Total 1300 yds

BIKE - I had a packed evening, so I ended up cutting this workout 15 min. short. I did get all of my intervals in, but I did a shorter warm up and cool down. I had no problems with my saddle tonight, which was a nice feeling. My average HR was 142 and I burned 634 calories. I almost skipped this workout because of time constraints, but it felt good to get it done and to push myself.

Power intervals 6x20s. (1 h.) - 20 s. intervals done in a high gear at speed intensity with 2 m. active recoveries; warm up and cool down long enough to reach total time

April 15, 2008

SWIM - I had a great swim this morning and finished my workout in 30:43. I worked on my breathing every 3 strokes during my drills and I'm still struggling with that. I haven't figured out the roll to breathe on my right side very well. My 100 yds were right at 1:50 this morning, so I guess the speed work is starting to pay off.

Warm up (300 yds), Drill set (8x25 yds), Fartlek intervals (8x100 yds), Cool down (300 yds) Total 1600 yds

RUN - I had a pretty good run this afternoon considering the conditions. I headed out for my run in shorts and a long sleeved t-shirt which was so nice. My first 20 m. went really well, and then I turned around and was running smack into the wind. However, I did manage a negative split. I did my route in 39:59, kept an average HR of 166, and burned 702 calories. It was definitely nice to have that negative split into the wind.

Fartlek intervals 6x30s. (40 m.) - Foundation run with 30 s. bursts at VO2 max/speed intensity

April 16, 2008

BIKE - Well, I had the best of intentions this morning to ride the bike. However, when I woke up with a pounding headache, I ended up lying in bed for an hour debating whether or not to do the workout. I finally got up, got dressed, set the bike up on the trainer, got on, and 2 m. later decided that I really wasn't feeling good and that I needed to either skip that workout, or possibly fit it in tonight, depending on how I feel.

Foundation ride (45 m.) - Steady ride at moderate aerobic intensity

YOGA - I struggled through yoga tonight and am feeling wiped out, which meant no bike ride tonight. Apparently, taking two weeks off of yoga really effects balance and flexibility.

April 17, 2008

SWIM - I woke up this morning with an achy shoulder, so I think I must have slept on it wrong. I decided to swim thinking it would work out the kinks and thankfully, it did. However, I felt like I was swimming through mud. It was almost like every stroke was a struggle. At the end of my swim, I was completely surprised. I swam the yardage in 31:33, in spite of feeling like I was swimming in mud. Definitely weird...

Warm up (250 yds), Base intervals (1200 yds), Cool down (250 yds) Total 1700 yds

RUN - I've decided to skip this workout and take advantage of a good 36 hours of rest before tri-camp this weekend.

Foundation run (40 m.) - Steady run at moderate aerobic intensity

April 18, 2008

RUN - 45 m. Trail Run - I will write more about the workouts from the tri-camp in my report, but I did make it through this trail run with some very steep hills. I meant to track my HR data and calories burned, but I did not.

April 19, 2008

BIKE - 3 h. - I made it through this very hilly ride, with only one slip-up.

RUN - 1 h. - This run was tough because we were running on a cross-country route and the grass was pretty muddy.

SWIM - 2 h. Clinic with stroke taping - This felt great after the other two workouts. We worked on the drills from Total Immersion and I'm finally feeling good about my swimming. I'll write more about the workout and video analysis later.

April 20, 2008

SWIM - 2 h. - This workout was awesome. We did: 300 warm-up, 4x50 drills, 8x100 intervals, 8x25 sprints, 100 cooldown, and I think some other drills.

BRICK - Hill brick of death 2 h. - I struggled with this workout, mainly because of fatigue. I made it halfway up one hill and then ended up running the 2 mile very hilly route.

11 April 2008

Knowing When to Get Off or When to Stay On...

This morning was my dreaded 2 hour trainer ride. All week long, I've been dreading this, mostly because I've been having saddle issues and sitting on the bike has definitely not improved them. The good news is that I have a new saddle on its way and I get 2 weeks to try it out to make sure that it works. I've also learned the value of some good Chamois Butt'r as well. I decided to do a Spinerval workout today, thinking that might help keep me motivated to stay on the trainer for the entire two hours and while I did get the workout done, by the end of the dvd, I just wanted off. In fact, I think I wanted off at around 90 minutes. However, I knew that I needed to get this ride in and done for a variety of reasons.

So, while I was struggling to stay focused and get this ride done, I reminded myself of a few things. I have a 1/2 IM coming up in August that will require me to ride for 56 miles. In my more ambitious mindsets, I'm hoping to carry 18mph during the race, which means I'll be sitting on my bike for 3 hours. Today, I only had to ride for 2 hours, so this was just a warm up and/or time to build up those necessary callouses. I reminded myself that I'm going to tri-camp next weekend ( and that we will be riding for 3 hours, so I really needed to get at least one longer type ride in so that I will be able to complete the long ride with the other campers. I reminded myself that completing endurance events usually means dealing with and working through pain, so perhaps today was a good mental/physical training day teaching my body that it's tough and completely able to handle long rides that are pretty uncomfortable. I reminded myself that I'm not a quitter. One of my goals is to train well for this 1/2 IM, so I'm working hard to get my workouts in and to do them well. While I was thinking of all of the reasons for staying on the bike, I was reminded that stubbornness is probably a good thing to have when training for endurance type events.

Because I've found that training and racing usually mirror life, I was also thinking about how sometimes we have to decide when to stick with something and when to walk away from it. I'm certainly not at all good at walking away from something, mostly due to my stubbornness, but I think that there are probably points and times in life when it becomes necessary to give up some things, in order to enjoy or achieve other, maybe bigger things.

Today, I consciously chose to tough out a workout that wasn't going well for me. I finished the workout for a variety of reasons. I decided that today was a day that I needed to stay on the bike and get the workout done. I'm sure there will be days when I decide to get off and be done, and perhaps, I need to learn to do a better job at that. However, I'm hoping that pushing myself through these hard workouts will help me be more mentally prepared for not only race day, but for life. It's always a good feeling to know that you've stuck with something, especially when the going gets super hard.

Now, if I can just make it through my 10 mile run in the the snow and rain and wind...with my heavy legs.

09 April 2008

How to Get Inspired and Motivated

On the days when I'm feeling tired or bummed, I pull up these clips from youtube and gather some inspiration and gain some serious motivation. I figured it might be good to put these all in one spot because I have a feeling that they may come in handy... Enjoy!

07 April 2008

St. Louis 1/2 Marathon Race Report

April 6, 2008
Chip Time 2:13:25
Overall place 4258/9747
Gender place 1968/5501
Division place 446/1084

Well, I am really struggling to write this race report because I have some very mixed feelings about this race and I haven't really resolved them yet, so I'm not sure how great of a race report this will be. It will also probably be edited as I re-read it and as I hopefully start to resolve some of my feelings surrounding this event. Oh, and it will probably be very long, so be warned...

When I signed up for this race, it was an A-priority race and I had very high hopes of posting a PR, with one of my goals being to finish in under 2 hours. I was sick through the end of December, all of January and February and didn't feel completely "well" until the middle of March, so my training was seriously lacking. I knew this going into the race, but I was also hoping that I might surprise myself. I did change my goals before the race and decided that I wanted to try to run a negative split and I even had a plan to use my HR monitor to help me gauge my intensity.

I should also mention that this race was a TNT Winter 08 season reunion event. Several of the participants, their families, the coaches, and myself decided that we wanted to race together and we ended up picking St. Louis. We arrived on Saturday afternoon, carb loaded on Saturday night at a great restaurant called "Ragazzi's," raced together Sunday morning, and spent the afternoon at the Arch (yes, we rode to the top) before heading back home. It was so fun and there were several people who PR'ed the course. I think we're planning on racing together each year, so we'll be at the Indy Mini in 2009.

On Sunday morning, I woke up feeling a little tired, but not any more tired than I've been feeling most every other day. I got dressed (I grabbed my tri-shorts instead of running shorts, so I ended up wearing them), ate my blueberry bagel, drank some water, met the team, and then we headed off to the start. I checked my gear and found my corral and was feeling very zen about the whole race. I did experience my normal pre-race euphoria and was totally excited to be there doing one of my most favorite things in the world. The race started and we headed towards the Arch before heading out to the Anheuser-Bush properties.

View Interactive Map on

My plan was to run the first half of the race with an HR of 160 and I was carrying out this plan. In fact, my first mile my HR was 157, which was a small victory for me, since I always start off too fast. My time at the first mile marker was right at 10 min, so I figured I was doing okay. I missed mile marker 2 and grabbed some water and gatorade, while continuing on to mile 3. At mile 3, I was feeling like a port-a-potty might be nice, but it was definitely not an emergency. Miles 4 and 5 were good and I was right on the 10 min/mile pace, so I was moving steadily along. At mile 6, I stopped to use the port-a-potty, and to take off my UnderArmor. I ended up being there for about 3 min.

From mile 6 to mile 10 was the never-ending hill. I should mention that the course is full of rolling hills and since I dig the hills, I was totally enjoying the race. Between 5 and 6 I took my first Gu of the day and was feeling good. I started cruising up the hill and was feeling good. I was passing people and felt very strong. I wasn't struggling to breathe and I didn't feel like I was pushing too hard, so I kept up the work. At mile 10, we got to turn around and head back down the 3 mile long hill and I started to pick up the pace. I took my second Gu right before mile 10. I was feeling great and was totally in the zone. I should mention that I missed mile markers 7, 8 and 9, so I have no idea what my splits were.

At mile 10, I knew that I had a 5k left, so I picked up the pace a little more, and really was completely focused on my running, so much so that I don't remember much of the course. Around mile 11, Coach Terry picked me up and pushed me a little harder, but definitely not puke pace harder. I was still cruising up the hills and was feeling very strong. My split for mile 11 was 9:47 and mile 12 was 9:45. I finished the race feeling great, except for my incredibly disappointing time of 2:13. This was my slowest 1/2 marathon that I had run for time. I was baffled and frustrated and angry and puzzled.

The finish line had lots of goodies, but not much organization. I couldn't find where to pick up my medal or where chip removal was, and I wandered around for quite awhile in the runners area trying to find a way out. Finally, I saw a very small gate with lots of people crowded around and headed that way. By this point I was shivering something fierce and was very glad for the mylar blanket. I headed back to the court house to pick up my gear, changed clothes and hit the port-a-potties, then went to the TNT tent to meet my teammates. Most of them had outstanding days and there were some good PRs on the course, which of course made me even more frustrated.

So, that was my race. Last night before I went to bed, I sat on the couch and thought about the positives and the negatives from the race and came up with this list. As far as negatives go, I'm not happy with my time. I obviously should have worked harder since my average HR for the race was 162. In my head, I've gone back over what went wrong as far as pacing went and all I can come up with was that I got lazy at some point. It could also be general fatigue from the 1/2 IM training, although I did try to change my training around so that I would be recovered for the race. My other negative was the chafing around my waist that of course wasn't discovered until I got in the shower. I just to need to remember to use the BodyGlide liberally there since this has happened in the past. I now have a nice line of scabs across my waist.

There were quite a few positives from the race and I am trying to remind myself of them because I'm really struggling with the results of this race. So, here's my list of positives. I nailed the nutrition on the course perfectly. I took my Gu at the perfect times and never had that "Gu hitting the bottom of my stomach" feeling at all. My fluid intake was great and I actually skipped the last fluid station because I was feeling so good.

Another positive moment during the race was not starting off too fast. I really held myself back (apparently too much) and tried to make my plan happen. My first mile was about 20 sec. slower than my last mile, so I am pleased with that.

I also totally rocked the hills. I passed people up every hill and never had to stop and walk except to get my fluids in. Someday, I'll master the art of drinking and running, but for now it's better to get the gatorade in then on my shirt. While I was running up the hills, I felt strong and even had some bounce to my step and actually never felt poorly on the hills. The long 3 mile hill was can you not notice when you're running uphill and you can't see the top, just people running and running up and up, but wasn't painful, which means I probably wasn't working hard enough.

My biggest victory for this race was that I was able to center and focus myself for the entire race. The only negative thoughts I experienced were when I realized that my time was not where I wanted it to be, but even then, out on the course, I accepted it and kept moving forward. I never hit the wall and felt strong throughout the entire race. I actually don't remember much about the course because I was totally in my zone. In fact, I almost missed some of my teammates at the turnaround because I was completely focused on my running. When I started to feel something aching or sore, I accepted it and then forgot about it. I was able to turn up the intensity on the last 2 miles and have faster times then at any other point during the race. I have been working on my focus and obviously it's paid off, but I'm wondering if being in my zone contributed to not working as hard as I could have/should have or wanted to.

So, there's my very long race report. I will be running this course again because now I have this need to defeat it or something. Perhaps I need to prove to myself that I can push myself harder or that I can really eat up the hills. So, I guess that means next year, I'll be running the hills of St. Louis, with hopes of actually setting a PR. Oh, the other good news is that I have two 1/2 marathons in May, along with the start of tri-season, so hopefully, there will be some improvements on the time!

06 April 2008

The Night Before the Race ~ April 5, 2008

I've been thinking about mental training and the role that it plays in endurance sports. While I've been running marathons for 3 years, I don't think I've spent enough time on my mental training and I think that has definitely played a role in my performance. One of the tasks that I'm trying out is the idea of clearing my mind, so here goes...

Tomorrow morning, I'm running the St. Louis 1/2 Marathon. This race was supposed to be an A priority race and I was hoping to break the 2 hour mark, which would be a PR for me. However, while my 1/2 IM training has started out well, I haven't been able to spend as much energy and effort on speed training as I had hoped (mainly because I was sick for 10 weeks and on antibiotics for 6 weeks). So, my race tomorrow has a new goal. I am going to run negative splits, which means I will run the second 1/2 of the race faster than the first 1/2. I'm not running for time, but I am hoping to run strong and to finish feeling good.

Right now, I'm feeling sleepy and tired and my legs are achy. I'm not sure if it's from the run this morning or from my training this week or from sitting in the car. However, I know that if I sleep well tonight, I'll wake up with strong legs that are ready to run the hills around St. Louis.

Right now, I'm wondering whether or not I'm ready to run and if my training was done well enough. There is nothing I can do about that now, so I am going to let it go.

Right now, I'm feeling very grateful for the opportunity that I have to run. I'm grateful for the ability that I've been given to run. I'm grateful for the mental clarity and peace of mind that will come as I run tomorrow.

Right now, I'm going to climb into bed, listen to "Beautiful Day," visualize my race and fall asleep smiling because I get to do one of my very most favorite things tomorrow.

Week 3 Utah 1/2 IM Training

April 7, 2008

SWIM - I got my swim done this morning in 39:03, which was a little slower than I expected, but I did run a 1/2 marathon yesterday, and I was awake for a couple of hours in the middle of the night, so I'll take it. My hamstrings were tight and I could really feel them while I was swimming. It did feel good to get in the cool water and work out some of the soreness.

Warm up 300 yds, Drill set 8x25 yds, Base Intervals 7x100 yds, Kick set 8x25 yds, Cool down 300 yds Total 1700 yds

BIKE - I got my ride done tonight by doing a Spinerval workout that was 80 m. long. My average HR was 136 and I burned 1050 calories. It felt great to spin my legs out after the race yesterday. I almost skipped this workout, but decided to go ahead and press forward. I'm definitely glad that I got on the bike and gained a little perspective.

Foundation ride (1 h. 15 m.) steady ride at moderate aerobic intensity

April 8, 2008

SWIM - My swim this morning went well. I finished the workout in 36:22, which means I was moving slow yesterday morning. It felt good to be in the water and stretch out after the bike workout last night.

Warm up 300 yds, Drill set 8x25 yds, Fartlek intervals 8x100 yds, Kick set 8x25 yds, Cool down 300 yds Total 1800 yds

RUN - I skipped this workout tonight, mostly because of the weather. Since I don't have yoga tomorrow night, I can do the speed workout with the TNT team.

Fartlek run 8x30s, (45 m.) Foundation run with 30 sec. bursts at VO2 max/speed intensity

April 9, 2008

BIKE - I woke up early this morning to get this workout done so that I could be somewhat fresh for speed work tonight. I struggled today on the bike and actually got off the bike, stared at it, and tried to decide if I really wanted or had it in me to complete this workout. I really struggled with the warm-up, mostly because of saddle sore issues. (I did go to the bike shop last night, bought some chamois butter and ordered a new saddle...hopefully, this gets resolved soon.) I did get all of my power intervals in, but after the last one, I pedaled for about 3 min. and then hopped off the bike and headed for the shower. So, I only rode for 51:30, had an average HR of 121, and burned 530 calories. Definitely not my finest moment, but I did get the important part of the workout in.

Power intervals 7x20s, (1 h. 10 m.)

RUN - Since there was no yoga tonight, I headed to the IWU track and ran with the team. It was nice to be on the track, but I my legs were feeling heavy from my bike workout. I did the workout in 53:08, average HR was 165, and burned 967 calories. It was definitely nice to be running on the track.

TNT Speed Workout - 1 mile warm up 6x400 speed work, 6x400 recovery, 1 mile cool down.

April 10, 2008

SWIM - This was my long swim workout for the week and while my legs were tired from yesterday's workouts, I finished in 44:46, which I'll take. I could tell I was feeling tired towards the end and tried to keep my form as clean as possible, and I was passing the people in both lanes next to me, so all in all it was a good workout.

Warm up 300 yds, Base intervals 1500 yds, Cool down 300 yds Total 2100 yds

RUN - I didn't get this workout done today mostly due to the wacky weather, but partly due to the fact that my legs are tired. Tomorrow's trainer ride should be interesting, along with the 10 miles I'm hoping to get in on Saturday morning. I'm definitely looking forward to the recovery week coming up.

Foundation run (45 m.) steady run at moderate aerobic intensity

April 11, 2008

BIKE - Well, this was not a pretty workout, but I did get it done. I'm still dealing with that blood blister saddle sore and while I used the chamois butt'r liberally, I was SO ready to get off the bike at about 90 min. I used a 2 hr. Spinerval workout for this one which did make being on the trainer more tolerable. I was distracted by pain during the workout, so my focus wasn't great, but I did tough it out and finish it. My average HR was 134, which needs to go up, and I burned 1516 calories.

Long ride (2 h.) long steady ride at moderate aerobic intensity

April 12, 2008

RUN - I had a good slow run this morning with the team. I ended up running 10 miles with Carolyn, nice and easy. My time (including water breaks and time it took to decide whether to keep going) was 1:58, my average HR was 153, and I burned 1895 calories. It was raining the entire time and windy when we got out around the siloes, but it wasn't too bad. I'm definitely looking forward to my rest day tomorrow, although I'm in serious need of some good long stretching.

Foundation run (1 h.) steady run at moderate aerobic intensity

April 13, 2008

I didn't do much stretching yesterday, but I did do alot of resting. I think knowing it was a rest day provided me with some much needed mental rest, along with not having to do any planned workouts.



02 April 2008

Do Brick Workouts Occur in Life?

This morning, I completed my first brick workout of the season. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, a brick workout consists of completing back-to-back sessions of at least two sports in triathlon. My brick workout consisted of a 60 min. ride on the trainer at moderate aerobic pace, followed immediately by a 20 min. run. I hopped on the trainer at 5:40am and proceded to pedal for 60 min. and then I grabbed long sleeved shirt and headed outside for the 20 min. run. It took 1:35 min to make the transition between the two.

The reason triathletes complete brick workouts is to teach our bodies to quickly move from cycling to running and to improve your race day performance. Generally, my transition from cycling to running consists of a very awkward stride while my legs try to remember how to run. Usually my HR goes up because although, cycling and running use the same muscles they use those muscles differently, and it takes the body a moment to make those necessary changes in blood flow. For me, the brick workouts are helpful because I learn what I need to do to have my cycling legs strong enough that when I head out for the run, I know that I have enough left in my legs to get me through the rest of the race.

This morning, when I headed out for my run, I was cruising. There were none of those awkward wobbly leg moments or cramping or "geez, this is tough" sorts of moments. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised at how well I transitioned from the bike to running nice and evenly. I felt totally empowered and strong and actually could have and wanted to run alot longer than the 20 min. on the training plan. I decided to follow the training plan because I'm certainly not an expert on training yet, but also because I have a race this weekend and would like to have somewhat fresh legs. Perhaps I need to pedal harder on the bike or perhaps my body is liking this 1/2 IM training, so it will be interesting to see how these brick workouts progress over the course of the season.

While I was riding and running this morning, I was thinking to myself do we do brick workouts in our daily lives? My answer to that is yes. How many different hats do we wear each day? Yesterday, I woke up, headed out the door for a swim, went straight to work, worked all day, ran home to grab my laundry, headed over to help out some friends, did homework with a couple of kids, read stories, fed animals, did bedtime stuff, went home and crawled into bed feeling very exhausted. I think that we've all had days where we've had to transition from our different roles or wearing our different hats, and while those days are exhausting, there is something about them that is empowering.

Of course, every day should not be a brick workout, but on the days that are, perhaps we should be celebrating our ability to adjust from role to role seamlessly or sometimes not so seamlessly, and our ability to accomplish the tasks that make up our life. While we finish those days exhausted (and I am definitely feeling the fatigue from the brick workout this morning), I think there is something to be said about recognizing and being grateful for our different roles, for our talents that allow us to be successful in our roles, for our ability to do the work that is necessary to make our lives "go" and to definitely appreciate that those days don't have to be "brick workouts" all the time.

Today, I learned that my body is on its way to being prepared for the Utah 1/2 IM in August. Today, I was reminded of how often the endurance training that plays such an important role in my life, actually mirrors my life in a variety of ways. Today, I was reminded to be grateful for my ability to survive "brick days" and to be grateful that I can choose when and how to spend my time so that everyday is not a "brick day."