Monday, May 28, 2012

What to wear in that dirty water...

Let’s talk about the swim. In a moment of panic (well several moments last night) I decided that there was no way I could swim the 1.2 miles in under the hour and 10 min cut off. So I hit the pool this morning to prove myself that I can. I can and I did, the time spent in the pool has paid off. The US Olympic Team wouldn’t be impressed with me, but considering it was less than 2 years ago when I could barely manage a dog paddle I’m happy. So now that I don’t have to worry about time constraints, let’s discuss my other concerns:

1. Fashion. In previous tri’s I’ve gone with tight running shorts under a wet suit with a sports bra. I finish the swim, peel off the wet suit and throw on a tank top and hop on the bike. It’s a system that has worked for me and kind of how I planned to roll for the 70.3. Here’s the issue, last year the water was something like 79 degrees and they outlawed wetsuits. I guess people could wear the suits if they desired but that wave started dead last. Meaning they were the last ones on the bike and run course as well. I’m questioning my performance enough that I don’t need to voluntarily be in the last wave that hits the water. I think I have to train and prepare as if I’m not going to wear a wet suit. I can’t swim in just my running shorts and a sports bra, and I’m not running 13.1 miles in a bathing suit. It might be time to start looking into tri specific clothing but I’m wincing at the thought at having to admit to Joe that I’ve spent one more dollar on this whole thing….

2. Open water swims. Yes, I know that I need to break up with the Y at least once a week and hit the open water. This is going to be slow going similar to forcing myself to the dentist. I’ve got the pool down; I hop right in and start swimming to no where. It’s not exactly clean but I can see the bottom and there’s a happy little life guard to yank me out if needed. Oh…I forgot…they also provide free babysitting during my swims; I won’t be able to leave him on the beach. The open water requires a change in my schedule. It also requires that I force myself to be friendly with strangers. Not one of my strong points, but swimming alone is just stupid and I have yet to convince a friend to join me.

Trained for 1.2 miles in the pool and a 3 mile run

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Lessons learned today

1.  Pinning GU to my waist line is a terrible idea when wearing shorts that ride up during the bike ride, leaving me with cuts all over my upper thighs.  This is why you are encouraged to pratice in the clothes you will race in.  Have I admitted yet that I have no idea what I'll wear come race day?

2.  It is just as easy to fall out of cleats and straps as it is clips when you are daydreaming and miss your right onto Lexington and try to take the turn too sharp.  Luckily no injuries were sustained.  Can't remember what I was thinking about.

3.  I'm anxious about this race, that anxiety isn't going to go away.  I have to accept it.  I will freak out before the start and during the first part of the swim.  Today it took about a half hour to settle down when I started my ride, and my heart is still racing after hitting "confirm registration" on the site.

4.  I'm going to have to pee.  Not sure I have it in me to let it all go on the bike, thinking about researching the porta-potty layout for race day.  To get off and get back on the bike will be terrible, can I make it to T2 and pee there?

5.  The run is going to hurt.  It's going to be hot.  There is a b*tch of a hill that has to be tackled twice.  There is not much shade.  Did I mention that this will be after surviving a 1.2 mile swim in a dirty lake and biking up and down 56 miles hills all over RI?  So I'll need some real crowd support, since I can't have an epidural to make it easier.

5.  I'm a mediocre swimmer, middle of the pack runner and suck on the bike; not meeting cut off times is a real possibility.  I've trained and will do the best I can. That said, how many other competitors can say they will have a 13 month old waiting for them at the finish line?

6.  When registering for the 2012 Amica Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island, I was asked for and provided my health insurance information.  Jesus, what did I sign up for?

Trained for 55 miles on the bike followed by a 5.5 mile run.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Any chance they will clean the lake in time?

So the more I think about this race the more my anxieties grow.  I was in the pool this morning going back and forth like it was nothing.  I started to think about race day and now NASTY the swim is really going to be.  I'll be completely honest, I really enjoy Lincoln Woods.  I love walking there, running there, fishing there, kayaking there....basically doing anything but swimming there.  A friend once told me she had taken the kids swimming there a while back and I was disgusted.  I'll admit to being a beach snob but the lake/pond at Lincoln Woods is just gross.  It's often closed due to high bacteria counts in the summer and the color of dark iced tea.  I've never been in but bet the bottom feels slimey and grimey.  I'm making myself sick just thinking about it.  I won't be able to see the bottom and any pond/lake swim brings out an illogical fear that a giant snapping turtle will grab several of my toes.  That said I chose it over a race with an ocean swim; I won't have to worry about any chop or current so should just stop freaking myself out about it.  But it's really going to be just gross, grosser than swimming next to the water aerobics group at the pool.

Trained for 50 mins in the pool and 29 mins on a run.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Something is better than nothing

So as I’ve previously gone on about, nothing is the same since the arrival of the kid…today was no different. I had hoped to get on the trainer while he napped, too bad he didn’t want to nap. I got about 15 minutes into my ride when I realized I was going to loose this battle. So I hopped off the trainer, scooped him out of bed and off we went to the Children’s Museum. One of the nicest things about Providence is how close everything is, so when we are sick of the living room it’s never more than 10 minutes to an alternative distraction…great on rainy days! I did manage to get him into a clean diaper; I did go in my grubby workout clothes and hoped that no one noticed any smell that might follow me. I don’t even want to admit about how many places I will go now in my nasty workout gear. Look when we are on the move it already takes too long to get him ready…I can’t worry about changing in and out of my workout stuff. Fast forward several hours and finally he’s sleeping allowing me to finish my workout. Nothing special, still feeling my weekend workout so skipped any structure in favor of some easy spinning. I did feel guilty about starting and stopping the workout (although it’s not really my fault) so when I got off and the monitor was still silent I scooted off to the basement and ran an easy 1.5 miles. I figure a broken workout is better than no workout at all.

Trained for an hour on the trainer and 14 mins on the treadmill

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Those dastardly computers

I headed out solo today for my ride.  Had a route planned and pretty quickly ran into trouble when I found out that 116 was closed.  I'll admit there was a moment of "maybe I'll just go home", but I pressed on.  Decided to get lost in northern RI.  Literally get lost, very lost.  I started to just ride around, trying to stay on secondary roads.  Quickly I got sick of the hills (note the clips are going back on this week) so started to pick roads that appeared to go downhill.  Then started to follow the road marks from the NBW - I know from following their routes in the past that they are typically pretty and very low traffic.  I would stop periodically to check the map on my phone.  I have to say I was having a really good time, had no clue where I was for the most part.  Started to head back to the city when I hit 44 (part of this was hill avoidance) and felt good.  That was until I realized I was WAY too close to the brother and sister in-law's house in Cranston.  I feel like sometimes there place is a bit of a ride in a car, never mind on my phat whip.  Quickly made a course correction before landing in their living room in a puddle of sweat.  Then something happened, I don't know what, but I got horrifically lost in the Providence/Johnston area.  I've lived here long enough that it's a bit embarrassing how lost I got, it was like I hit a black hole or something.  Just when I was about to call for help I saw the public safety complex in the distance and headed into downtown.  Now this is where the confusion sets in.  I was hoping to ride about 50-55 miles and the computer on my bike put me at 30ish.  I thought it was weird but knew I was ambling along so called Joe and arranged for him and the kid to meet me in Colt State Park for a picnic.  I'll admit when I got onto the bike path I was a little bummed about my distance, I really felt like I had covered more ground.  Oh well, it was beautiful.  So I hummed along, weaving in and out of the bike traffic on the path.  I've learned that after about 35/40 miles on the bike I start to loose it.  Loose it like I have around mile 18-23 of a marathon.  Loose it like whipping skittles at gets ugly and it happened.  I convinced myself I was getting the equivalent of a bedsore on my ass from the ride and was in need of urgent medical care.  Then just before I get off and toss my bike in the woods, the GU I just consumed starts to act and I begin to resume my sanity.  I roll into the park, call the husband who is just leaving home and we agree to meet at Haines Park.  Yes, I'm double backing but again that fucking computer has my mileage low so I'm kind of ok with it.  On the way back I decide that regardless of the final # I'm getting off the bike when I meet up with them.  Finally just as I'm approaching the entrance to the park, I can see them pull in.  The damn computer has a final count of 40 miles which doesn't make sense but there is no time to debate it.  We're off on the rest of the afternoon activities.  It's only when I get home and sit down to retrace my path that I confirm my suspicions.  The fucking computer was wrong.  I didn't ride 40 miles, I rode 58!  Next time I'm bringing my Garmin as a backup.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Gotta give it up for a hard workout

I've been neglecting my blog but not my training.  Things are moving forward, in that I haven't given up.  Still haven't fully committed, not sure when that will happen.  I don't know if I'm waiting for a red envelope to arrive in the mail with a note stating, "It's time, you've done enough.  Please register for the 70.3".  I will admit I've hit that funk that sometimes happens with training.  I've done a lot and am tired but still have quite a ways to go.  I've stopped bringing workouts to the pool, just doing my own thing and the same on the trainer.  Just chugging along, going through the motions.  The weekends have the majority of my focus as my long runs, rides and bricks happen then.  During the week, I'm recovering from or gearing up for the the weekend and have really lost sight of what these week-day workouts should feel like.  I made the mistake of mentioning this to a friend who so nicely shared what she had done yesterday on the trainer.  Why not, I'll try it....famous last words.  It was only an hour, but man I worked harder this afternoon on the trainer than I had in quite a while.  I will admit to staring at the baby monitor WILLING it to go off so I could cut things short.  It didn't happen and I emerged from the mudroom drenched in sweat really looking like I had finished a pool workout and not a bike workout.    Here's the link if anyone is interested in trying them out:  It's time to refocus these workouts during the week, both on the trainer and in the pool.

Trained 45 mins in the pool and 60 mins on trainer.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

I am here. I will finish. I am strong.

I have to talk about this and I mean visualization and mantra's; I really think it's the reason I've been kicking ass on the roads lately.  Today I finished my ride, packed up the bike and immediately turned around and started to run.  The first mile was all about getting loose.  Getting off the bike, I often feel a bit like the tin man.  Things are very choppy and short so I have to be intentional about my gait and arm swing.  Today was tough and I was pretty wiped out and my 2nd mile sucked and was duly noted by my trusty Garmin.  So for the last 2 miles I was very focused.  Repeating over and over again: 

I am here.  I will finish.  I am strong.  

Also being mindful of my spine, really bringing my yoga tools into my run.  Feeling my spine lengthen and keeping my shoulder blades down my back.  Pushing off of my back foot and feeling the strength.  Imagining the finish line on race day, as well as what my truck was going to look like when I finished today.  Rather than allowing my exhaustion to take over, I took back my run and really owned it.  It's too bad I wasn't more aware of some of these tools when I was running marathons, maybe if I had been they wouldn't have been so terrible.  A few weeks ago when I PRed at a 5 mile race, I was doing the same stuff.  Staying present during my run and really focusing my energy. The athlete guide for the 70.3 clearly states, "this is an individual endurance event".  If my mind isn't in it nothing else is going to matter.

Trained 45 miles on the bike followed by a kick ass 4 mile run.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Saved by nap time

So I'll admit that when I made the decision to be home with the kid during the day, I figured that I would have him on the schedule of all schedules.  I read the books and felt well prepared; my life before the kid was planned by 15 minute increments and I lived by it.  To my dismay, I've failed at this and have decided that babies who are on a schedule just don't exist in real life (if yours is, please don't share that with me, it won't help at this point).  They are like those weight loss actors on TV who lost 79lbs in 2 weeks by eating salt and vinegar chips and taking a pill; they exist only to make those of us based in reality question our sanity.  I suck at nap administration, if it were a college class I would have withdrawn by now.  I swear the kid plays mind games with me, he's up at night texting his pals about the mayhem he caused by refusing to bend to my wishes that he lay his head down for a planned nap.  I've kind of given up.  I don't have it in me to claim complete defeat but accepted that the kid is far more skilled than myself and I can only learn from watching his maneuvers.  So yet again today...he schooled me and showed me that reading those books was a complete waste of time.  I figured we'd go for a run after lunch, he's been staying awake for them (until today).  Sure enough, I get to the car and he's out.  So now, do I keep running so he can get some beauty rest or do I stop and we both pay the price?   As you can guess, I grabbed some water and kept going for a while longer, the whole time cursing him under my breath.  Yes, I said I was cursing him. In the end I should thank him, (I won't b/c I'm a stubborn ass and his mastery of the english language is lacking) because my 3 mile run turned into a 6 mile run which was actually what I should have done according to that plan that I'm loosely following at this point.

Swam for 40 minutes and ran for 6 miles.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I know that training plans are just that, plans.  Not meant to be followed to the exact minute or mile but used as a guide and tailored accordingly.  Nothing irritates me more than having to get used to the adjustments.  And I'm not talking about going a little less b/c my hip is sore or swapping a run for a swim.  It's the adjustments that come with the kid.  I've been trying to get my mid week rides to around 90 minutes.  In addition to being cute and licking everything in our house, he's also a germ factory and giving my immune system a run for it's money.  After succumbing to get another cold thanks to him and having to take yesterday off I was back at it today.  Not knowing how I would feel this morning I didn't get the alarm to get up at 6 and ride, leaving me to be a slave to the nap schedule.  I had given up on the idea of riding for 90 minutes but figured I could get in a good hour.  Then right at the 32 minute mark he started to squawk for management over the baby monitor.  Not only was this bad news for my ride, but bad news for his mood.  I decided to wait it out and by the 35 minute mark he was back to snoozing and all was silent.  There was a moment of debate, if I'm on borrowed time do I shower in peace or keep going to the hour mark??  In the end it didn't matter.  Not only did I get an hour in but he continued to sleep for my shower and it continues now.  Had I known, then I could have gotten in the whole 90 minutes!  He's mastered crawling but still lacking in the communication department.  

Trained for an hour on the trainer.