Thursday, June 7, 2007

Just an Over-reaction?

I know it has been a really long while since I have posted. Basically I have been taking it easy the last couple of weeks. I have been biking and swimming but I am trying not to overdo those activates to compensate for the lack of running. The lat thing I need is another injury.

Got to love the fact that I have a world famous surgeon at my disposal (aka Dad). When my Dad got back from vacation he carefully looked at my MRI. In his opinion, I don’t have a stress fracture, just a “stress reaction.” Apparently, that’s not as bad as a fracture. He then threw out some medical terms I didn’t understand about things like edema…whatever that is. My Dad is pretty strict when it comes to his athletes and he thinks my current plan of starting to run in a few weeks is completely within reason. Yes, the marathon is a no go but it look like I will compete in the NYC-tri this summer. That is such a relief.

In other news I entered the lottery for the Nike half-marathon in August. I also entered Running Coach without his knowledge. I thought it would be a great way to get him back in shape (so hope he doesn’t read this). Well, wouldn’t you know it…he got in and I didn’t! He isn’t even a RoadRunners member. Not fair. But it’s prob. for the best. If I got in I would have stubbornly done it.

Last week my niece and I were swimming in the pool. Actually I was doing laps and she was perfecting her underwater gymnastic routine. Not sure how we got on the topic but I told her that I hurt my leg to which she replied, “but you did all that training…that sucks.” Yes, Grace it does…

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Poor Baby

Bad news loyal readers: it’s a stress fracture. To be exact it is 18.5cm below the knee joint and 7.5cm in dimension. Definitely on the bad side of the news I was expecting scale but what can I do? It is what it is. It is not the end of the world. Yeah, yeah I have told myself every single cliché. I kind of already knew that it was pretty serious so I wasn’t so surprised. The doctor said that if I really behaved I could be back running (albeit on a very limited basis) in July. So it’s not disastrous news by any means.

In the meantime I am going to put my online coaching on hold and possibly sign up for some deep water running classes offered near my apartment through NY RoadRunners. Right now I have three goals for 2007: 1) Get better!; 2) Complete a triathlon; and 3) run three more RoadRunners’ races. As I told my tri-friend Elisa all doable and all SANE. I have the rest of my life to complete tri’s and marathons. This “break” will only make me appreciate the sport so much more.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Yesterday I went for an MRI so the doctor could find out whether or not I in fact had a stress fracture. Oh wait, I didn’t write about the doctor visit, did I? Yeah, not something I necessarily wanted to dwell on. In a nutshell the doctor had an X-ray done which showed nothing but he thought there was a chance it was a stress fracture. Also, he thought if he could show me real proof that something was wrong then maybe I would finally take a break (er wrong word) from training. Therefore, an MRI was in order.

This is actually the third time I have had an MRI. About 6 years ago I slipped two discs in my back. Actually the whole back incident is one of the main reasons I take fitness so seriously. Let me share with you a little sob story. One day I was in kickboxing class convinced that beating the crap out of a punching bag would totally make me feel better about getting dumped (sad but true). It was there on the sixth floor of the Reebok Gym where I literally heard my back “pop.” Two surgeries and a year of physical therapy later I was back at the gym. If I could go from walking with a cane to almost reaching Jennifer Garner perfection a stress fracture has nothing on me.

I am actually pretty good with pain, shots, hospitals etc but the MRI is really a test of your patience. First off the imaging center was running an hour late, and then I get into the freezing cold MRI room. I lay completely still while magnetic beams clicked and clanged all around me at a deafening pace. Your eyes are essentially left to watch white paint dry. Yeah, that’s what an MRI is like. Good times. While I was about 75% in the tube I was left to think….how the hell did I let this happen? At the same time my leg was so happy in its new immobilized state. I thought to myself during the next week you will do nothing to the leg. I will not bike and will only moderately swim with a pull buoy. Leg, you have won. Congrats. You can stop screaming now.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Just Like Normann

In the 2005 Kona Ironman Normann Stadler basically lost it after suffering two flat tires during the bike 112 mile bike ride on the Queen K (I actually biked on the same road!). The footage of the breakdown is pretty awesome and I can totally understand where he was coming from. That really had to suck. Think of all the hard work he put in just to be felled by two flats!

When I was in Hawaii I halfheartedly paid attention during our flat lesson all the while thinking in the back of my mind, “that will never happen to me.” But what if it did? Now, I am ready. First, Running Coach wanted to change his mountain bike tires to slicks but he had no idea how to do it. Yep, I did it for him. First beating him at RoadRunners and now this? My Mom would be appalled.

Then, last Thursday I was all excited (not) to do some hill repeats. After biking in Greenwich I definitely needed to put some air in the tires. I really have no idea how I managed to do it but I broke the valve off the tire making it inoperable. Great, I was going to have to change the tube. After changing Running Coach’s tires I was able to change mine pretty easily. Then I went to blow the new tire up…..and BAM! I blew the tube. I was really frustrated at this point. It was Thursday, the day I usually run. However, due to painful shin splints I was biking. And then it looked like I wasn’t even going to get to bike due to a second flat. Here’s the internal debate I had: I could say screw it (who am I kidding? My language is never that clean) take the bike to Toga, throw it and say fix it. Or: I could calm down do it again and manage to salvage part of the workout. Unbelievably, the latter won out. I changed the new tire in minutes and was off on my ride. If you know me at all it’s a miracle that I didn’t throw the bike, order fries and watch the three episodes of Gilmore Girls saved on my DVR. I did manage to get seven hill repeats done (the aggressive plan set by Coach Mikael was for nine). I also learned some very useful info that might change my life (ha ha you are going to have to wait for that post).

And as for Normann, he came back the next year and won the whole darn thing!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Special Likes to Travel

I have a weird habit of naming everything. In high school I named my car Dave to piss of my best friend who was dumped by a guy named Dave. Well, the name stuck and to this day some of my high school friends still bring up Dave. I even wrote to him on my senior page in the yearbook. And there is also running coach, aka Matt.

My bike’s name is Special because I just couldn’t think of anything better. See Special is Specialized. Clever, huh? Also, Special is white with purple accents (yuck), making her a little precious - hence the name. Now that I am a Biker Chick in training the demands on Special have increased. This past weekend Special went on the subway twice! I know I hate when people bring their bikes on the subway but it was late on a Saturday night (over to Running Coach’s apt) and Sunday midday (after the bike tour). This week Special also made her first trip out to Greenwich, CT where I work. I loaded Special into the back of my car and somehow managed to break off my antenna (real nice). I don’t think Special liked the drive or the car too much (she’s used to the posh bike room off Central Park West) but she did like the roads in Greenwich. Lots of stretches of flats and some hills. Plus, the roads are really well-paved. So get used to it Special, you are going to commute from now on.

And if this post hasn’t confirmed I have totally lost my mind I don’t know what will…

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Biker Chick

According to my personal Orthopedic surgeon, my Dad (his specialty is actually sports medicine, how convenient, right?); I won’t be running for at least a month. But I have been given the green light to swim and bike. I am trying to be as positive as I can be. Yes, I am super bummed I can’t run but truth be told biking is definitely my weakest sport. My focus for the next month is just to get really good on the bike. My coach Mikael also changed my entire schedule in TrainingPeaks…basically it’s filled with swim, bike and swim/bike brick combos for the next month. So I can stay on track even though I can’t run.

That also means no NY RoadRunners races which is a bummer because 1): I have already paid for a bunch; and 2) I love them. Hey if anyone out there wants to run the next few RoadRunners races using my chip/bib number free of charge and take the t-shirt be my guest (yes, that’s probably totally against NYRR rules). My goal is still to complete nine races to qualify for the 2008 marathon (I have already done six races). I am glad started so early because I still have many races left in the year to complete that goal.

Back to my new goal. I am going to bike like crazy. I want to give a shout out to my new tri-friend Elisa. Elisa was nice enough to include me in her group for the 5 Borough bike tour. I also have to thank her father for wearing an awesome bumble-bee like biking outfit which made it super easy for the group to stay together. Like me Elisa shares: 1) a newfound and completely surprising love of training and 2) a secret suspicion that a certain red clad tri-club are really scientologists.

Now I just need to find long training rides in the New York City area. SkiRough posted that she is doing the Ride to Montauk which I am now seriously considering (running coach also mentioned he might be interested. This weekend I also plan on making my first ever attempt to bike cross the GW bridge (does anyone have any good info or tips on this??). I am also going to try and check out some of the NYCC rides.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Shin Splint Hell

My legs were feeling much better and I really tried hard to stay away from running. I knew it was a bad move but I went running yesterday. To quote Julia Roberts character from Pretty Woman, “Big mistake. Big. Huge.” (The picture is of the actual place where that scene took place in the movie. It’s actually very near where I grew up. The sales staff has never been anything but nice). I felt fine during the first four miles. However, during the last mile my shin just started to throb.

Think I am not going to run again for at least a week. It’s probably a good thing as I really do need to focus on the bike and the swim. Also, I recently set in motion plans to run the NYC Marathon in November (more on that later). I need to learn how to manage this before I really start focusing on the next adventure.

As a funny side note my office has all these small first aid cabinets located throughout the building. I have stripped them clean of these awesome little instant ice pack pouches they have. Score!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

My Suunto is Back

On the last day on my last run in Kona my watch decided to die, completely. At first I heard it beep while I was swimming and then on the run it just gave up. I definitely gave it a beating in Kona (even though I still don’t know how to use half the functions) but I had only used the watch for a few months. However, when I got back to the mainland Suunto was more than happy to fix it even though they said I probably shouldn’t have been pushing all the buttons underwater. OK so it was a little my fault.

A word on Suunto. I know most people have Polar HRMs but Suunto sponsors my coach Mikael so he highly recommended them (and even found me a great deal through Datavision in NYC). Although I think it does all the same things as the Polar it looks much cooler…and that’s what counts, right?

Suunto was unable to fix it but they were more than happy to replace the entire watch and throw in another heart rate monitor. So excited to have it back. In the interim I was wearing the lovely watch I got for my 18th birthday but the pretty clasp was just not made for biking. Plus, you can’t even get it near water. I also like wearing the big Suunto watch. It makes me feel like an athlete.

Going to do an easy flat run today so I don’t aggravate the shin splints. Then meet with alex for some weights. Then running coach is coming over to welcome Veronica Mars back to prime time television. I think he might be more excited about this than I am.

Monday, April 30, 2007

I Finally Beat Running Coach

I have been trying to get Matt (aka Running Coach) to join me at a RoadRunner’s event. After many unsuccessful attempts I finally got him out there. It only took four months!

The race was only four miles. The last time we ran five miles together running coach smoked me at the end but not this time. For the first mile running coach pushed a little too hard and I was doing my best to keep up (and not ask him to slow down). At about mile 2 I was losing him so I just kept going. At about mile 2.5 he caught up to me, his face completely red. Shortly, thereafter he said he needed to walk. So I finished the last mile or so alone. I ran it in 34 minutes flat or an 8:30 mile – that’s a new personal best for that distance. Running Coach took another few minutes to finish the race. I just hope he wants a rematch as it was fun to run a race with him there.

Got a question for all my loyal readers. Seems as though I can’t quite seem to shake this shin-splint on my left leg. Anyone have any tips? I am going to try substituting my run workouts with some extra spin classes/ swim session for now. Also, I have to give running coach a chance to work on his running.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Blatant Product Placement

I go through a lot of hair elastics. I break them, I lose them, my sister steals them. About six months ago I bought some Goody hair elastics and as an added bonus they included two of their new StayPut elastics. Those things are in a word: awesome. They stay in place, don’t rip out your hair, nor do they break. Shortly after my training began I received a promotional email via from Goody. They were looking to start a women’s triathlon team. Did I have a chance of making it? No. Did I sign up anyway? You betcha. I wanted free stuff. Also, I couldn’t find more of these amazing elastics anywhere.

Given that I had never done a triathlon I was negged - which was ok. In time I was able to find the product line at local drugstores including headbands that don’t slip off during sweaty spin sessions. I also wore the products the entire time I was in Kona from swim to bike, to run to dinner and they held up fabulously. Here’s a tip. Buy the girl size headbands as they tend to fit better.

The other night when I got home from my Florida trip there was a package waiting from me from Goody as a thanks for applying. It was filled with loads of StayPut products. Tons of different elastics and headbands and even scrunchies that make me want to revisit the eighties. A sincere thanks to Goody for making my day.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Q: Why Did the Cookie Go to the Doctor?

A: Cause he felt crumby.

That’s just how I feel right now. That joke is courtesy of my nephew Alex. He told that joke and some others that either a) don’t make sense or b) should not be repeated; this past weekend in Florida. My siblings and I all headed down to Florida for my mom’s birthday. I made sure to get in an extra spin class at the gym Friday morning before I left because I would miss out on precious weekend bike time. However, after that my training basically fell off a cliff.

You know when you are on an airplane and you just know you are getting sick? Yep, I had that feeling. And I was right. I caught some icky cold. On top of that my left shin started bothering me. Now I know why people complain about shin splints. They suck and now I’ve got ‘em. I am not a happy camper.

But I am trying to be positive. Yesterday I walked (gently) over to Super Runners with my $165 Asic Gel Kinsei’s. “I hate these!” The saleswoman watched me walk and she immediately agreed the shoes were all wrong for me. “Those shoes provide only cushioning, no support, and you over-pronate. No wonder you are in pain.” $165 down the drain (times two as I rotated pairs). But the good news is the new shoes she set me up with are $95. Running or otherwise, $95 for shoes that make me happy….it’s a good thing.

Now I just need to get rid of this cold. I am actually kind of glad I got sick when I need to take a load off my legs because it has really forced me to rest. I plan to be back on track by Thursday. I probably could manage Wednesday but I have a very important carbo-loading session at Babbo.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Taking It Up a Notch

Friday was my first swim since I came back from Kona and I decided to be a good girl. I printed out all the drills that were listed in training peaks and put them in a plastic sleeve (I have seen other at the pool do this so I am not THAT big of a dork). I planned to finish it top to bottom which I rarely do. As soon as I hit the water I could already tell that I was so much faster and all the open water swimming I did in Kona made a huge difference. I finished every drill and yard requirement listed and in less than an hour. It was an awesome workout. Oh, how little things can make you happy.

For those of you that care:

Warm-up/drills: 600yds
Kick (w/ kick bd): 300yds
Main: 5x 100yards (w/ 30sec rest bwtn),
4x 50yards near race pc (w/20sec rest)
300yards easy with hand paddles
Cool-dn: 300yds

Saturday was not as stellar as I had to cut my bike ride short since my sister needed a last minute babysitter. I probably only got in an hour and a half and since I broke my Suunto watch I have no idea how far/fast I went. I really need that thing back fast! It dies on my last run in Kona – but hey, it least it bonked before I did.

Sunday it was pouring. However, I was prepared. I brought my ugly purple Asics bag to the Running Coach’s dojo with everything necessary for my brick workout. I managed to get out the door at 8:30 (a miracle since we were out late). I scored the second to last spot in the double spin class (which filled up 45 minutes before class even started!). Powered through the class then stayed after to basically kill my legs. Then I waited for everyone to leave the room and then I sprinted out holding my running shoes. I had a slight altercation with a spin bike (and now a cut and large bruise) but was able to put my shoes on with ease. While I was doing this some annoying guy who was in the class was mocking me telling me to hurry to the treadmill. I smiled cause I didn’t want to waste my much needed energy being mean. Despite staying late in the spinning room I did not suffer from “bike legs.” I know I pushed myself…could it be that I am just more used to it?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I’m a TriDiva – And That’s a Good Thing

When I get involved in anything I tend to give it my all. My training has definitely been proof of that. My free time is now consumed with workouts, my dreams filled with training, my net searching dedicated to triathlon, my apartment a land of misc. gear, my closet full of hi-end workout gear, and my credit card bill full of charges for races and Toga Bikes’ purchases. I usually take a vacation in the spring of each year and in keeping with the theme my vacation became a tri-cation. While searching on I came across the TriDiva training camp in Kona, Hawaii. Sometimes I can be really shy but when it comes to something I want to do I have no problem just randomly emailing people or putting myself in a completely foreign situation. And that’s exactly what I did. I emailed Kelly, the amazing coach/owner of the TriDivas, and inquired about the camp. Two weeks later I had the trip booked and paid for.

Last week I made the ten hour plans trek (2 five hour flights) over to Kona. When I first got there and arrived at the Hotel I had a brief freakout. “What am I doing here? I don’t know anyone! I am going to spend a whole vacation training! I must be insane.” But after I picked up my beyond sweet rental bike from Oliver at Cycle Station and swam for about an hour I felt a lot better. That night I might the crew who would be sharing this awesome experience. About half of the women there trained with Kelly in So Cal. And as I soon found out why her athletes would follow her anywhere: Kelly beyond rocks. Just check out her bio here. Kelly was always there to provide encouragement, tips, or tell us for the fiftieth time what it was like to compete in an Ultraman (yep – she did it twice). Kelly genuinely cares about promoting the sport of triathlon for woman and I only wish she could be cloned.

I don’t want to give away the itinerary from our trip (you need to experience it for yourself) but needless to say we probably trained for a solid 4-5 hours a day. Our training included all three disciplines as well as brick workouts and transition drills. Although I feel so well prepared for my first race (The Philly Tri) I did learn that I have a ways to go on the bike (not surprising). On the flipside I rock on the run (who knew?). The crew actually gave me the nickname “7” because I ran a mile in seven minutes midday on the hot volcanic surface. Shoutout to Suzanne from Colorado Springs. She pushed me so hard by giving me someone to catch up to and (even sometimes) beat. On a side note: Suzanne came with her Mom, Chris. How freaking cool is that???

One of the coolest things about the trip was that we were training where the Kona Ironman takes pace. We swam in the same water, biked along the same roads, ran down the same streets. I vaguely remember some of the sights from watching on TV but I can’t wait to see it again now that I have been there.

I would be remiss if I did not mention all the awesome women that joined me in this great camp. From Sheila, who made sure I did not bike alone, to Chris, who did not let four flat tires get her down. I hope to run into you all again – On the finish line.


The day before the More Half-Marathon (which I never completed) I was talking to my coach about my upcoming races. He mentioned to me that after the March Madness Biathlon in Central Park he was going to do the 10K Roadrunner’s event. I thought he was seriously out of his mind. Two races in one day – that’s insane. But the seed had been planted…

He sent out an email later in the week to our club once again mentioning that he was doing both races and wanted to know if anyone had any interest. I don’t know what came over me: I signed up for the second race. I was super careful this time to give my body some rest before the double race day so we wouldn’t have a repeat of the Half-Marathon that never was.

I woke up at 5:15am on Sunday while running coach was sound asleep. I did my pre race ritual: two kashi go loan waffles, small coffee and major water. I had never done a duathlon before and I had no idea what to expect. NYTC runs a really organized race for anyone interested. I set up my bike shoes, etc and then just waited (I also went to the bathroom about three times due to nerves + major water intake). My coach was in the race and totally holding court. All the NY clubs were there including the infamous team that was so rude to me a few months back.

At the start of the race up cat hill I pushed it way too hard. What was I thinking? I guess I just got a little carried away. I finished the first leg in 17:56 (two miles). Next came the bike. I had no problem with the transition since my late signup for the race scored me a sweet spot near the bike exit. My two loops took me 53 minutes. Not great but on par with what I have been doing. Then came the second run. I have never before experienced bike legs and man do they suck. The first mile was pure pain. Then my legs came back to me and I actually started passing people. The second two-miler was only 2 minutes back of the first one not bad.

Then I met my coach and we parked our bikes in my bike room and headed back to the park. We met up with some friends of his for the second race: The Scotland 10K. The race was beyond crowded. I kept up with my coach for about the first 3.5 miles and then I just had to drop back. I did manage to finish in 53:51, which equates to an 8:40ish mile. That’s only 20 seconds off my killer four mile pace.

Afterwards I hobbled home to meet running coach and my friend Liza for carbs. I demolished some pancakes. Running coach and I spent the rest of the day glued to the couch. Later we headed out to watch the Cards game and get some burgers. Then about two hours after my body went crazy and I threw up. Good Times!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Two Loops

I never considered myself a swimmer, biker or runner; however, I was always athletic. In elementary school I was placed in Boys PE because I was too good to play with the girls (or was that what they just told me because I sometimes had a slight “attitude” problem). Nevertheless, I come from a long line of athletes so I like to think that I am an athlete. Why I chose a sport that involves three disciplines that I never excelled at is still beyond me. Little-by-little though I have been chipping away at each sport. Last week a newbie swimmer at the gym told me I looked awesome in the pool as I easily circled the intermediate lane with two male swimmers. In running I have gone from a 9:30/minute four mile race to a 9:00/minute 9 mile race.

Biking, well biking has eluded me. I know I dragged a bit on getting my bike and now it is catching up on me. I hate getting smoked by every single rider on the Central Park loop. The new shoes made a world of difference but I still have a ways to go. However, yesterday there was another female triathlete (I know she’s a triathlete cause she lives in my building) and I smoked her on the nasty incline at the top of the loop coming down the west side (if you have ever biked or run the loop you know what I am talking about). However, a few minutes after the uphill stretch she smoked me on the downhill. That’s ok. My two loop time is now 51 minutes down from 60 a few weeks ago. Making a little progress…

Monday, March 26, 2007

No ‘More’ For Me – How I Finally Listened to My Body

The last time I posted I was all nervous/excited/scared for the “More Half-Marathon” which I had just signed up for last minute. I knew the distance would be tough but doable. The longest I have ever run was a little over nine miles for the Colon Cancer Challenge. I felt good during that race and was very happy with my time. Also, with NYC marathon dreams dancing in my head I thought this would be great training.

I recently picked up “4 Months to a Four Hour Marathon” at the local library and poured through it in one day. I liked it so much that I got my own copy from amazon the next day. What really resonated with me was how critical it was to rest before a race and rest in general. That is something I have not been doing. I have not taken a real “day off” in weeks opting instead to hit the pool for a short workout or a jog in the park. Big mistake. Also, the few days before the race I was running myself ragged. Staying out late, running all over the city, not taking a much needed nap.

At about 5am the morning of the half marathon my body woke me up. My left knee which flares up every now and gain was sore when I laid on my side. I then had an internal fight with my body. One part of me was saying: Five minutes into the race it will totally ease up. Come on, you can do this. Pain is for sissies. The other part was saying: Is this race worth potentially messing up all of your training? Is this worth missing your training vacation in Kona? For the first time I listened to the “right” side and turned the alarm off and went back to bed. I knew I had made the right decision but it was tearing me up inside. I missed a race! I love races. I am not a quitter. I just have to keep telling myself it was the right decision. Important lesson learned.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Yeah, I Know It’s Been a While

I am sorry about my lack of posting. I bet my three loyal readers are up every night wondering about how my training is going. When I last posted I was gearing up for a super-training weekend and I did not disappoint. With running coach away skiing and almost breaking a rib I had time to concentrate on training and lots of “The Hills,” “Gilmore Girls,” and “Anthony Bourdain” nuggets saved on my DVR and yes, lots and lots of training. How’s that for one disaster of a sentence?

Friday I met with Boris for a swim tune-up which was very much needed. I feel like an actual swimmer when we work together…then I feel like I pile of mush when I drag my sorry butt home. Saturday I was a biking madwoman. First I biked to Toga and got there right when it opened…which was a good thing because all the “Team in Training” mentors decided to bring their mentees there. A side note, Team in Training is awesome and I would have done it for the NYC Tri but it didn’t fit in with my schedule. I really hope to join it and train for the NYC Marathon. I finally got real biking shoes for my bike. For now I am using mountain bike cleats because I am a clumsy fool who can barely walk without doing damage to myself. Let’s not even talk about how I walked into a table at Barney’s last week….yep, I still have the bruise from that one. Eventually I will upgrade to look cleats. Baby steps, Baby steps.

Armed with my super cleats I set out for an hour and a half ride in the park and what do you know…the cleats made me super fast. No more grannies on schwinns passing me by! Locked up the bike at home (how I love living half a block from the park) and then jogged across the park to Road Runners to pick up my race crap.

Sunday was the Colon Cancer Challenge. I ran the 15k which is 9.3 miles for those of you that don’t know. I ran it in about 1:30. I was very pleased with that….and also very sore the next day.
Last week my training left much to be desired. Between numerous client dinners, a colleague in from London and a massive snow storm I left maybe one or two workouts out. But not much I could do about it. I am looking forward to an awesome week of training culminating in the More Half-Marathon on Sunday. Deathwish meet Stacey, Stacey meet Deathwish…you two are going to become very good friends.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

80 Laps in 50 minutes

With Running Coach out of town this weekend I decided that it would be great to catch up with my swim coach for a lesson. Actually, my swim coach is a real coach. Boris is the real freaking deal. He is an accomplished triathlete as well as a former member of the Russian swim team. I cannot even begin to explain how lucky I am to get time with Boris and how much he has improved my stroke. Unfortunately, I have only been hitting the pool about once a week. That’s unacceptable for Boris. He thinks on my day off I should be hitting the pool. In anticipation for my lesson tomorrow I decided to forgo the Wednesday bike session (actually will do it on my day off, today) and hit the pool. Also, you can’t swim on Tuesdays/Thursdays at Reebok. That’s when the jazzercise/fatty/water aerobics class takes place…don’t even get me started. Let me just say this: if you are wearing a shower cap how can it be considered exercise?When I got to the pool last night it wasn’t that crowded. I was able to get the single private lane and for some reason no one kicked me out even though I was way over the 30 minute time limit. I started off with 250 yards free swim. Took a minute break then another 250 yards. Then I did 250 yards of drills (catch up, pull buoy, kickboard). The last 250 was a full on sprint. I was so tired I couldn’t even walk straight. I headed over to running coach’s apartment and we picked up some Chipotle for dinner. I took it down like I had never seen food before and like Chipotle is actually good.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

The Running Coach Will Go Down!

A popular character on this blog has been Matt, aka Running Coach. Running Coach works very, very hard and because of that (and a love of the cleverly named cuisine of “carnival food”) he does not get out all that often to enjoy a good run. This past weekend I nearly killed Running Coach. On Saturday after I had already biked for an hour and spent another hour at the gym lifting with Alex I convinced Running Coach to go biking with me. We made it one loop around Central Park and then Running Coach started to complain. We went back home and ordered wings while UCLA’s pathetic performance against the Huskies nearly killed me.

After a fun night drinking I was dealt the dubious task of getting Running Coach out of bed to go well running. It was a miracle that I got him out of the apartment. We made a deal that if he beat me in his still inebriated state I would: 1) have to buy breakfast; and 2) give him a back massage. I have been running a lot lately and thought I had a decent shot. All during the run I kept up pretty well. Let me just say that few months ago I could have never kept up with Running Coach, even if he was running while drinking a beer. We started on the bottom loop and Running Coach was the one this time asking for breaks. With about a quarter mile left to go we threw down the gauntlet…this would determine the winner. I thought I had a pretty good shot. After about 20 yards I pulled to an early lead and then we hit the hill, the last painful 20 yards to the run. I tried to draft him and fake complained that I couldn’t do it all while plotting my move. Little did I know that Running Coach was totally onto me. When he got about 6 feet ahead I dropped the bomb and came out of nowhere. But unfortunately my best was not good enough as Running Coach beat me by just a few feet. He may have won the race but I killed him for the rest of the day.

*The picture above is not of us….I just liked it.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Triathlon Beauty Tips

I really love having long hair but since I have started training I have had to cut my hair a few times due to damage caused by swimming in a heavily chlorinated pool. I love swimming but seriously it has done a number on my hair. Last time I was in LA getting my hair cut I told Nobu (my hairstylist extraordinaire) about this problem. He told me he has lots of clients who swim and it really helps if you put baby oil on the ends before.

Thursday night I had a party to go to with my sister. Since it wouldn’t be starting until late and since I had plans on Friday I was forced to move my swim to Thursday. This meant packing all my belongings for the next few days into my ugly Asics gym bag (I purposely bought an ugly bag so no one would steal it). I decided to take Nobu’s advice before my swim and carefully coated my ends with baby oil. Swim went fine and I showered at the gym to save time. However, when I was blow drying my hair I noticed that it wasn’t drying. Actually, it only looked wet, the truth was that the oil was still on my hair and wouldn’t come off. So I ran to the bathroom and tried to wet it again – No Luck. Already running massively later for my party I threw it into a bun as there was nothing else I could do. The oil finally came out after about another two shampoos. Oh, the trials and tribulations of being a triathlete. But seriously, does anyone out there have any good tips on this one???

Thursday, March 1, 2007

To the Left

I just can’t seem to get that darn song out of my head. I am not a huge Beyonce fan. Sure, she has a good voice and I even saw her at my gym once logging hours on the stairmill (the stairway to hell as I like to call it). But this song just annoys me to no end. Last week during spinning the instructor put it on during the toughest part of the workout. This really seemed to bother me cause: 1) Beyonce does not inspire me; and 2) at this point in the workout we were turning resistance up, or to the right, not to the left. I am usually not so anal but the fact that we were turning left and Beyonce was fighting with us to turn it the other way was so distracting.

Then on Saturday I had my second road runners’ race in Central Park. Fortunately, it was not as cold as the last time when the water completely froze. I started off slow because I was battling to get out of the pack. After about the first mile I really picked up the pace. Then the volunteers kept yelling at us to keep "to the left." Man, it really pissed me off cause then I had that song in my head the entire race. However, I was really happy with my time. I averaged an 8:34 minute mile over four miles which is significantly better than my last time of 9:30 per mile. Maybe there is something to Beyonce…

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

What’s With the Attitude?

Last night I had my usual Tuesday workout: 3 Miles on the treadmill and an hour of strength training. The combo used to be dreadful but now I am used to it (so much for that as training peaks is showing I need to run five miles next week instead of three). On the way home from the gym I stopped to pick up some diner for me and the running coach. Behind me in the sandwich line was one of the New York Triathlon Teams I have heard so much about and not because of their welcoming attitude. They were all dressed in matching outfits: tights and jackets that were covered in logos from their sponsors. It was seriously out of Dodgeball. Cool, I thought, I will totally talk to them about triathlon.

Me: So you guys are part of a triathlon team?
Them: Yes
Me: That’s great. I am signed up for the New York City Triathlon. I am so excited.
Them: Are you on a team?
Me: I train with Cadence Multisport.
Them: Never heard of it.
Me: So what race are you training for?
Them: We are all doing Lake Placid.
Me: Wow, that’s great.
Them: New York’s a nice little race, you will enjoy it.
Me: Does your team have a website? I would love to look it up.
Them: Yes.
Me: What is it?
Them: I don’t know.

Arighty then. I thought triathlon-ers are all supposed to be friendly. I guess not. Maybe they were just really hungry and tired. It must take a lot of effort to be that coordinated.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

California Here I Come

The weekend was a disaster since I was sick again. You know what I hate? People who tell me I was sick cause I train too hard. That's total crap. I got sick cause I was hanging out with the sick running coach. I tried to swim on Saturday but it was pathetic. I maybe put in twenty minutes. On Sunday I don't think I left my apartment.

Finally on Monday I was back to my old ways logging in a 60 minute bike ride while listening to an old podcast from Zen and the Art of Triathlon. Tuesday did running and weights. Last night the running coach and I had a date. Tonight I am so hoping to make the 6:30 spin class at the gym. I have been lugging my spinning stuff around for two days in anticipation. Tomorrow, to the pool and then flying to California for the weekend.

I am so excited to go running in Los Angeles. I don't have to put on five layers to go outside. I can wear shorts and only one t-shirt, not four layers. I hope things clear up in NYC while I am gone because my bike has been totally neglected.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Not Again

I am sick again. I was just sick a couple of weeks ago and was finally back in the training groove. Now I have caught the running coach's nasty head cold. All I can taste is that "sick" taste (I know - nice thought). Ugh! And I just got my new bike....and I wanted to swim tomorrow. This does not fit in well with my plans. However, what does make me feel slightly better: on a ton of the blogs I read (shout of for the tri-blogger alliance) people are complaining about being sick and how it is totally messing up there schedules.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Ice, Ice Baby

Yes, I know that is the lamest subject for a blog post but it is oh so very fitting. This weekend I did my first New York Road Runners’ Race: The Gridiron Classic 4M. I wasn’t worried about the distance at all as running coach and I have run it a few times and I have only been getting stronger since my last run outdoors. What I did not count on: the bitter, bitter cold. As I was leaving my building wearing my number one of my neighbors asked, “you are actually going to run that? I signed up for that but there is no way I am going. It’s freezing outside…you must be crazy.”

I dragged my crazy self across the park to the starting area along with probably 2,000 other crazies. On the walk over it didn’t really seem that cold. However, as I stood there for fifteen minutes waiting for the race to start it dawned on me. It is freaking (not quite the word I used) cold outside. It was maybe ten degrees. It was so cold I wanted to cry but didn’t for fear it would freeze. The race finally starts and I run for my life because I want to go home and put on as many clothes as possible. I am feeling good and at about halfway through mile 1 and 2 there is a water station. I pick up a cup only to find that the water had frozen SOLID. Yes, it was that cold. I ran the four miles in 36 minutes – which is exactly what I was hoping for and was very proud of this former Cali girl for braving some brutal weather.

Welcome Special

I don’t know what it is about training that brings out the 10-year old in me. Could it be all the toys (esp. the pull buoy)? Maybe the sheer joy I get from completing a simple task like a great run. Actually, I think it’s the toys. This weekend I finally bought my bike. I knew I wanted it as soon as I took it for a spin at Toga bikes. However, running coach convinced me to try and find a better deal online or through ebay and I couldn’t. I really don’ know why I waited so long to buy it (cough-cost).

On Saturday while running coach was passed out on the couch (it’s not his fault he was super sick) I made the trek over to Toga. The place was packed with people waiting to be rung up so I just sat by my bike with a stupid grin on my face. I didn’t care that it was backed up and I would have to wait. I was just so happy to buy my bike. Mike (who was awesome) finally freed up and before he could put away the receipt from his last sale I basically jumped out and down pointing to my bike while screaming “I wanna buy it.” Mike helped me pick out a whole bunch of extras including some bike pants which I wore home (like when you were a kid and wore the shoes home from the shoe store). Riding the bike home was a little tricky as I was trying to hold all the new gear on wrist while navigating the New York City streets. Put the bike away in my building’s bike room. Running Coach came down and we both looked at it for a while. I love it. Can’t wait to ride it again. It’s name for now is “Special.” That's short for the Specialized Dolce Elite.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Tri-Blogger Alliance

Last night was Matt’s (aka my running coach) birthday. To celebrate we went for a huge steak dinner that he would describe as “delosia.” Yes, it was very, very good. Also, with all the training I do I need some serious protein, right?

Enough about dinner. On the way home in the cab I was talking about some body strain and Matt mentions that I should do pilates. My response: “please, like all I need is another coach.” Matt and I always joke about how I have all of these “coaches.” He’s right, I do. There’s Mikael, my triathlon coach at Cadence. There’s Boris, the swim master (but in my defense I only work with Boris on rare occasions to perfect my stroke). Let’s not forget Alex, who has been helping me with weight training since I was a pathetic weakling recovering from two nasty back surgeries. Then the discussion switched to how Matt thinks I am starting to prep for my big race a little early. Ok side note – Matt is nothing if not totally supportive of me and my training. He joins me for runs, never complains when my “one hour I promise” workout at the gym comes in closer to two hours, and has even offered to make a fun weekend out of the Philly Tri.

Here’s the point of the post. My response to Matt and his gripes about training: “you don’t know this but there is a whole world of people out there who think what I am doing is so completely normal….and you know where they live…online.” Yes, the tri-blogging community has been a great source for a newbie like me. It provides me inspiration, motivation, tips and just flat out good reading when I am really bored and surfing the net. I was thrilled this morning when I got an email from the Iron Kahuna informing me that he had granted my request to add me to the Tri-Blogger Alliance. Then, I was even more excited when I noticed that he had given me a shout out on his blog. Also, if you haven't been listening to his podcasts you should - cause they are most excellent.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Dodge Bike

Yesterday was biking day. Still on the stationary bike. Yes, my bike is coming and I will soon move to the trainer. My niece and nephew know I am training for a big race and when I come over after work I need to train. However, they still want me to play with them. Last night while I was on the bike my nephew was hanging out next to me building a pillow fort. However, that soon got boring and he decided it would be much more fun to throw the pillows at me and try and knock me off the bike. I would get mad but he's so freaking cute I just can't.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

What it Takes

Since my running coach was out of town this weekend I had some time to catch up on really important things like listing stuff on ebay and watching a week's worth of saved shows on my DVR. I also finally got the chance to watch the "What it Takes" - a documentary about four awesome Triathletes. I will not be able to do the documentary justice here on the blog so please check it out. I highly enjoyed watching this movie and getting a real behind the scenes loo at what it means to be an Ironman. If you are really nice I might even let you borrow my copy. Actually, probably not. I already want to watch it again - so go buy your own.

Since yesterday was Tuesday that means I had a three mile run followed by a weight session on the agenda. I decided that the perfect companion for my workout would be the newest SimplyStu podcast that featured an interview with Peter Han, the mastermind behind the film. I know I am a huge dork but I just love working out listening to his podcasts. They really do inspire me to try just a little harder and get me all psyched about this amazing sport yet again!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Monday Morning Update

After the training disaster that was last week the past three days have been awesome. Friday was swimming with Boris. We focused on technique, technique and more technique. My breathing wasn't great but that probably had to do with the fact I was sick all week. The main takeaway from the lesson: 1) hand placement on entering the water; 2) ending my stroke pushing off to the side; and 3) hand placement during recovery. I honestly think that I could keep perfecting my stroke for the rest of my life. There is so much to work on.

Saturday. I went with Hallie to try on bridesmaid dresses. Why do I mention this on the training blog? Two reasons: 1) my upper body looks freaking awesome in strapless dresses and 2) since the dress is strapless I really have to be careful with the racerback swim tan this summer. After walking all over the city I hit the gym kind of late. Cranked out three miles on the treadmill at about 9:20 per mile which is pretty fast for me. I know I shouldn't be pushing that hard but I was feeling good. After that did strength training with Alex.

Sunday. Hit the treadmill cause I am a wuss when it comes to the cold. Ran 5.2 miles in about 50 minutes which is good. Once again I downloaded some TV onto the iPod (in this case CSI) to make it a little more bearable. Did a really long stretch on that weird spider stretching this while reading the Post (can I do anything without some form of media???) and some guy stood over me waiting for me to finish. I paid no attention and he left.

So this morning I put all of the above into my training log and there was a nice surprise for me: coach mikael has given me the day off? I seriously don't know what I am going to do with myself. Part of me wants to bike just cause I haven't in o long but I know I should just take the day and be happy with that.

In other news, last week I singed up for the Philly Triathlon as a warm-up for NY. I am only going to do the sprint version. The distance seems easy but I just want some practice being in a race environment. Plus it will be so nice to get a cheese steak when I am done.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Finally Turned a Corner

After being sick for almost a week now I am finally almost normal. Still got a sore throat and a cough but they are manageable. This week my training has been total crap. I am actually really upset about it - I honestly really love to train. However, I plan on leaving work early today (I hope no one at work reads this) so I can make a swim lesson with Boris at the gym. I always kind of dread swim lessons a little cause they are so tough but after the first ten minutes time just flies by. They have really been so helpful in making me a more effective swimmer. Very excited for the weekend. Although my running coach matt is away I am going to get in some seriously good workouts. Is it normal that I look forward to working out this much? Something must be wrong with me...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Day 3 of Sick Out

This is mt third consecutive day of no-training. The longest I have stayed away from the gym since I can remember. The culprit: one nasty cold.


I know this post has been a long time coming. About a week ago I took a trip with my chicas to the Ocean Club in the Bahamas for some much needed R&R. We were also celebrating my big 3-0 birthday. The vacation was perfect: lots of sleeping, eating and training - yes training. I got to swim by myself in a pool that wasn't heavily chlorinated, lift weights outdoors, practice Yoga outside overlooking the beach. Not a bad life. Oh yeah, and quality time with my sisters! I highly recommend a Bahamavention.

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Real Training Starts...Now

For the past month or so I have been training but now the real fun starts. Coach Mikael now has me set up with Cadence. Now I have to log in all my details in training peaks. Hence the new link. This is definitely taking it up a notch.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

3 Miles - Nothing

So when Mikael first put on my schedule that I was supposed to run three miles in additon to my usual strength training sessions I had no idea how I was going to do it. The first time I had to split up the run and do half befiore and half after. But last night before my weight session with Alex I ran three miles no problem. Making progress. But you know what that week I will have to do four.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Birthday Requests

I know it may not be one of my better qualities but I like to tell people what I want for my birthday. I think it works out well for everyone. They don't have to guess and I will get something that I really want. So for the big 3-0 I would like everyone who wants to (meaning the three people that read this blog) to help me with my tri goal. I have had my eye on a bike at Toga bikes on the UWS in nyc. You can get me a gift certificate there. Just call the UWS location 212-799-9625 and they will fax you a form.

Remains of the Day

Hit the spinning bike instead of a run in the park. Coach Matt wasn't feeling quite up to it. I downloaded the latest L&O as a treat to myself to get me to sit in the spinning room all by myself. It really is so very boring. But another person actually joined me in the spinning room. However, she forgot I was there and started to sing along with her iPod. However, Jack and Co. helped me drown her out.

Speed Drills

Saturday morning had another swimming lesson. This time we did some speed work. It was really tough but so much fun. I still have a long way to go on my swimming. Can't wait to hit the Ocean later this week in the Bahamas.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Adrenaline Junkie

I didn't feel like driving back to the city so I stayed out in Greenwich. That meant 60 minutes on a stationary bike rather than the spin bike (or my own bike - what I really should be training on but more on that later). The bike is boring. But fortunately there was an interesting show on the Travel Channel to keep me company - "Jack Osbourne Adrenaline Junkie." Basically the show is two trainers beating the daylights out of Jack to get him ready to climb El Capitan. I have to say I did sympathize with him as he climbed a snowy mountain in the Alps. it reminded me of that dreadful kayak trip in Brazil when I basically gave up. But after four hours I eventually made it to land. If Jack Osbourne can climb a mountain I can do a triathlon.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007


If there was a fourth sport added and that sport happened to be knitting I would be the world champion quadrathlete. Over the weekend I finally finished baby becket's baby present. This kid better be huge cause the sweater is for a toddler. Shout out to my running coach Matt who oversaw the project.

Catch Up on Training

Took time off from the blog but didn't take time off from training:

  • Thursday: Weights and listened to the new simplystu podcast while on the bike
  • Friday: Finally completed 80 laps in the pool (2000 yards)
  • Saturday: Weights and three mile run
  • Sunday: 4 mile Central Park run with running coach (Matt)
  • Monday: Off!