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!