Monday, June 26, 2006

Sunday Ride

This Sunday Robo Stu and I planned to go on a nice little bike ride around Palos Verdes. I wanted to show him a route that involved a tougher hill than we normally do, but the distance would be slightly less. I was figuring we would end up doing about 25 hilly miles, in about 2 hours. For some "strange reason," the Kahuna decided NOT to join us on this ride.

When I got to his house, Robo Stu was finishing getting everything together so we chatted about training. He asked if I had done my planned run and swim the day before. I had actually switched my schedule around so that I had done those events Friday and taken Saturday off so I could have some family time. This seemed perfectly reasonable to me, but somehow when I explained it to Robo Stu I could just tell he was aghast. I know he was thinking "What kind of wanna-be ironman triathlete opts to take days off and spend time with their family?" I couldn't blame him for thinking this, afterall he had been programmed this way, and yet I felt guilty.

Our ride ended up being super great. I was able to show him a new route around Palos Verdes. I was slightly stronger on the way up the hill, but not surprisingly he is a better descender. Once we reached the top, we realized that we were going to return home faster than the two hours expected, so Robo Stu asked if I wanted to extend our ride and head to Venice Beach. This is pretty much a rhetorical question because I am pretty sure that whenever one of us suggests going longer/harder, the other will always agree and go along with it. This second half of our ride was mostly flat with a few little rollers. I have to warn all of you IMFL people that RS is awesome on this type of course! I was working hard to keep up and it seemed fairly easy for him. He was super strong and I just know that come November he will be amazing!

By the time that we returned home, we had completed 47 miles! Our total ride time was almost exactly three hours. Our average was 15.4, but that is a little deceptive because the hills in the beginning were so tough and we had to go super slowly through some of the more congested beach sections. My legs felt like mush by the end, but I have promised myself to try to do runs after every long ride, so I headed to the local track. My heart rate was pretty high after the ride, so on the run I had to go so slowly to bring it down. I think I ended up running four miles at a 12 minute pace. Like I said, it was SLOW! My husband brought the boys to the track to cheer for me, so that was fun. Nothing like having two four year olds running by saying "Wow, look how much faster I am than you mommy! I am going to play on the grass for a little bit, but I will come back and race you when you come back around." I was tired for the rest of the day, but felt great about the brick workout.

***Anyone want to place bets on whether Robo Stu took a long way home just so he could add three more miles for an even 50? Hmmm....

Friday, June 23, 2006

Technology Question

My mother finally upgraded to a Garmin 305, which means I am now the proud owner of a garmin 201. I installed the regular software and it looks pretty cool, but I know there is even better software out there that some of you use. So, if you can, please point me in the direction of some cool programs that I can use with my new garmin. Soon I should be able to dazzle you all with really interested graphs. :) I feel so high-tech now.

As a continuation of my foray into technology I am finally getting digital video recording! We have been looking at TIVO for a long time, but we kept putting it off because we didn't want to spend the money to watch more tv then we already do. I think my husband in particular was worried about me having easier access to shows like "Real World/Road Rules Challenge" and "The Hills." Not that I watch those shows... However, when it became apparent that the only time he could go on vacation would be during the first week of the Tour de France, even he had to give in. We are getting it through our Cable company which means we can cancel it at any time.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Any Race Suggestions?

Picking a page from the Kahuna's registration manual, I apparently screwed myself out of registering for my next race. I was supposed to race the Camp Pendleton Olympic Tri in July, but it is sold out. To add misery to my pain, it apparently just sold out YESTERDAY! That's right, I waited exactly one day too long. UGH I am going to blame my husband on this one because he kept delaying telling me when he could get vacation this summer. Finally, on Monday night he told me we would be gone the first week in July. So, technically I only procrastinated one day.

So, I need help from the tri community. Can anyone suggest a good Olympic+ race in the So Cal area for the mid-July through August time frame? I would also be up for going to Arizona in August, but cannot really do that in July. Please help!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Weighing In

Every morning I weigh myself. I know I shouldn't do this, but I have done it for years, and frankly I have a tough time stopping. When my weight is low, the morning weigh-in provides proof that I am doing something right. However, when it is high let's just say it can be a real bummer. For the last couple of weeks my weight has been high. In fact, I weigh more now than I ever have my entire life. Well, except those wonderful pregnancy months when I eventually weighed more than my 6'2" hunk-a-hunk-a-burnin'-feet husband. But I digress...

So, now I am in a quandary. Should I care? I mean, in the last six weeks I completed two marathons, and one of the toughest half-ironman races around. Clearly I am in pretty kick-ass shape. Most of my clothes fit, although the legs on some are getting tight. Could this be cycling muscles? Or am I overcompensating for my exercise and eating too much? I don't really know.

I have an older Tanita scale at home that tells me each morning my body fat is between 22 and 23%. Okay numbers, but not great for a triathlete. At the San Diego marathon, I visited the Tanita booth where the scales there said my bf was 20.5%. I want one of those new scales. Or maybe I don't. Maybe I just need to get over this and learn to move on.

For those of you that are curious, here are the numbers from the Tanita BC554 Ironman scale:
Weight: 135 up one more lb today :(
Body Fat: 20.3%
% Today Body Water: 55% (normal female range was 45-60%, so I was well hydrated)
Muscle Mass: 102
Physique Rating: 8 (This meant "This and Muscular-Athlete)
Bone Mass: 5.4
BMR: 1441 Cal
Metabolic Age: 13 ("Age level the user's body is rated at according to the BMR")
Visceral Fat Rating: 1 (this was the lowest # possible, so at least that is good)

FYI: I am 5'7.5"

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Feeling the Burn

Yesterday I went out for a 6 mile run, with some rough hills thrown in around mile 3 and 5. Although it was a very warm day, I felt pretty good on the run. I was able to keep my HR in a reasonable zone, although admittedly I wish I had been faster than my 11 min pace. Oh well.

That afternoon my husband wanted to go for a short run. He has been dealing with a lot of knee problems and has been doing everything he can think of to try to fix them. Well, everything other than going to a doctor, because well... I don't really know. Maybe its MFDAS (male factor doctor avoidance syndrome). One of the things he has read is that running barefoot will actually strengthen the feet and legs and help cure some knee problems. So, yesterday we drove him to the soft track so he could attempt a barefoot run while the boys and I played on the grass. Since it was hot, he did a scientific test to determine the track wasn't too hot. After feeling it with his hand, he declared he was good to go. Exactly two laps into the run he hobbled off the track saying his feet hurt too much to run any more. The bottom of his feet are now badly blistered and he can barely walk. When he shakes his foot, he can feel the skin moving underneath. Ewwww.....The good news is that his knees didn't hurt at all!

We have determined, he will not be running the Badwater 135. If you don't know what I am talking about, rent the movie. If you think Ironman Triathletes are crazy, then these people will help change your definition. It is inspiring, amazing, and disturbing at the same time. Given her well documented phobia of ugly feet, Iron Will should avoid this movie.

Btw, if you haven't already, check out "Get Your Geek On" podcast #22. Kahuna does a piece on last week's open water swim. He actually called me Robo Bridget! I am so flattered!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Feeling Tired

This morning I went for a thirty minute jog. The goal of the run was just to stretch my legs, but I planned to keep my HR very low which subsequently meant a painfully slow pace. I thought this would be a super easy run but instead I was so tired. I just didn't have any energy and when I was done I was just thankful I hadn't decided to run further. Maybe this is my body's way of telling me that it still is not recovered. After Wildflower I really took things easy and cut back on training a lot. -Of course I did the two marathons, but in between them I did not do very much. I really want to do "active recovery" since my inactive recovery was leading to weight gain and general sluggishness. I was pretty discouraged that I felt so bad, but hopefully it was just an off day.

Preschool is out for the summer which is good and bad. The downside is that I don't have any time alone during the week (I really only had about 4 hours while they were in school because it is a co-of preschool). However, on the plus side we are having so much fun. So far this week we have gone to the beach, a wilderness park and the La Brea Tar Pits. Today will be a bit more mellow because we need to do some Father's Day shopping. However, I am going to try to squeeze in a trip to the YMCA later for some pool time and weights.

Like TriDaddy, I have been working on putting together my training plan for the rest of the year, including gearing up for IMAZ. I more-or-less followed the beginner half-ironman plan for Wildflower, and now I am wondering if I should roughly follow the same plan for my next half, the Soma Half in Tempe in October. There is also another half-ironman plan on BT, but I would have to be Gold or Silver member to acess it. This other plan is more detailed and is more of an intermediate level plan. Has anyone followed this training plan?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Crashing

I have always known that one day my time would come. I have thought about it often. In fact, on virtually every ride I have envisioned a scenario. Usually I imagine crashing on a downhill since those tend to scare me. Well, this morning the inevitable happened. I was happily pedaling, giving myself kudos for riding so early, when I heard a pop. I had no time to unclip, when I fell completely on my side still attached to the bike. Luckily I was riding my old bike, and neither of us were injured. The worst part was just trying to stop the DVD, lift of the fan I had knocked over and hook myself back on the trainer. I was a bit shaken but determined to finish my workout ("Spinnervals: Mental Toughness 5.0" in case you were wondering). Of course, when I fell a second time I was just embarrassed. Who the heck crashes on a trainer TWICE in one workout? What a lame-O! Btw, I figured out the problem so future trainer-crashes should be avoided.

Other than that things are really back on track. If you read the Kahuna's blog, you know I joined in his open water swim this past weekend. I had an awesome time! Although I got sea-sick, it was wonderful being back in the open water. The run afterwards was good. Robo-Stu and the Kahuna like to talk as though they are not fast runners, but believe me it was a tough pace. I was working to keep up with them. In my case, I needed the fast run, but unfortunately Kahuna injured his calf. Hopefully he will be better soon. It was awful seeing him in pain.

Yesterday I went to spinning and lifted weights. Today I did about 1 hour of the spinnervals DVD but due to the crashes I ran out of time to finish. Then I did about 2100 yards at the pool. It was my first pool workout in weeks and really tired me out. I had hoped for 2500 yards, but my body was just telling me that was too much. Tomorrow is a run day.

Btw, if you haven't already, make sure you listen to the "Get Your Geek On" podcast #20. I was the surprise-a-triathlete!! I feel famous now!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

RNR Marathon

This last week has been absolutely crazy! About ten days ago my sister arrived with her 5 year old twins and three year old from Tucson. Their lives for the last few months have been crazy. Her husband moved to Seattle in January and since that time she has been a single mom trying to sell her house, raise her daughters and train for her first marathon. In between all of that she developed painful kidney stones and learned that most people's urine does not reflect the color of gatorade they drink! (OUCH!) When she arrived at my house, her van was almost comical because it was stuffed full of their needed belongings. Her plan was to play here for a few days, run a marathon, and then drive, with my ever devoted/supportive mom, up to Seattle to begin her new life. She is crazy, funny, and wonderful. Five years ago she watched my first marathon and said "There is no way in hell I would ever do that." famous last words. It is with great pride that I am posting her first ever marathon race report on my blog (I also have a bunch of pics but for some reason blogger isn't too into posting those right now):


Hi everyone!
On Friday before the race, my husband flew in to LA and then on Saturday morning we drove to San Diego. We went to the marathon expo where they have booths set up from various vendors. We were able to get a huge bag full of stuff, including a few t-shirts, some frisbees for the kids, some hair bands, sports drinks and hats. They even had some fun t-shirts that you could buy that said things like:

At mile 22 I thought I was dead,
At mile 24 I knew I was dead and
At mile 26 I knew nothing could kill me. or Why couldn't Phidipedeas have died at mile 20!

I did not get any of those, but I think I might at some point.

That evening my dad had tickets for us to go with him to his Team in Training dinner. Team in Training is a group with the Leukemia society that raises money for Leukemia and then helps people train for various events like this marathon. There were 4500 people that were at this dinner that had raised money for the Leukemia society. I wish I knew the exact amount they raised but it was in the millions. They had pictures of people (mostly kids) that were the honorees people we were running for. And a couple people that were in Memory of. I think I spent the whole dinner crying. They had various speakers, including a woman that had finished her treatment for Leukemia a couple of years ago and one of the side effects of her treatment was that it made her skin and muscles very tight. She said until last year she couldn't even put socks on without help. She was planning on doing the half marathon the next morning. It was all very inspiring.

That night we went back to our hotel and met a guy in the lobby who was looking for a way to get to the starting line. His finance didn't want to have to get up at 4 in the morning. So my sister and I offered to give him a ride. The next morning we were up and met Cody (our new friend) in the lobby. It took us a while to get to the start there were so many people on the off ramp of the freeway that we were not even really moving. One car pulled up to us and asked if we could take the guy in the car (Jorge) to the start. Jorge and his brother were from Mexico and did not know the area and Jorge's brother was afraid he would never get back to the hotel. So we ended up taking Jorge and Cody to the starting line.

At the starting line we met my sister's friend Raciel (pronounced Rachel) and my dad. Bridget had agreed to pace Raciel and I throughout the race. My dad ended up going faster than us from the start so we did not see him much. I was doing pretty well until I think mile 9 or 10 where we went over a couple of overpasses. The slant in the overpass caused my left knee to really start hurting. I kept running as much as I could but ended up having to walk a bit more. At a couple of the places my husband and my mom were there with extra gatorade and some friendly cheers. At around mile 17 I started crying because I hurt so much. At mile 18 I asked Bridget if we were going to break my husband's time and she kindly broke it to me that we were not. I started crying more and Bridget told me that my brother in law who was watching the kids really was not going to charge me to watch them. (Note from triathleteb: my husband had jokingly agreed to watch all five kids, five and under mind you, for the weekend if my sister promised to beat her husband's time) I knew that but it made me laugh to hear it. I pretty much cried the entire time from mile 17 to mile 22. Bridget and Raciel would keep me entertained with stories. Bridget had even read a people magazine the night before so that she could give me all the juicy details on the celebs.

For the final half mile I decided that I should run. There was no way I had worked this hard and I was going to walk across the finish line. Bridget and I ran in holding each others hands up high. We even crossed the finish line with the exact same time 6 hours 12 minutes and 47 seconds. When I crossed the finish line I crossed laughing and crying. I was so excited that I had done it. I did not even care that my husband's first marathon time was well over 20 minutes better than mine or that I had had to walk it much more that I had wanted. I had done it! Bridget was an awesome pacer. She did this marathon an hour and a half slower than her Palos Verdes marathon 2 weeks earlier because she stayed with me. As we crossed the finish she even turned to me and said "You just ran your first marathon, now what are you going to do?" At which point I was able to respond "I am going to Disneyland!!"

As tough as it was I feel such a great sense of accomplishment I can't wait to try it again. (Which is good since my second marathon is going to be in Bellevue on July 9th!!!) According to my sports watch I burned 4573 calories! When we got back to LA my brother in law had the kids make signs for us and it was wonderful. They were so impressed to see my finishers medal. The nice thing about marathons is getting a medal because if you do a marathon you are a winner. My knee was very sore yesterday but I think walking around Disneyland really helped. It is a little sore today but not too bad.

It was really nice to have Bridget running with me and husband and Mom cheering me on. I don't think I could have made it without them!