Thursday, August 31, 2006

The coolest swim ever

I met the gals (this morning, Nancy and Danielle) for a long run at 5:15 this morning. We were out for 90 minutes, and I'm bitter to report that it was only 8 miles! Which actually puzzles me quite a bit, because both Danielle and I felt like we were running 9:30 miles. Well, we did have to wait at stop lights and so, whatever. :-) My legs are still sore from Tuesday, anyway.

Then Danielle and I met Regan for a swim. It was 50 degrees outside, but the water is still in the high 60s, I think. So it was next to impossible to walk down to the water, but fairly easy to get in!

Once we were in the water, the swim was just incredible. There was so much fog across the lake we could barely see the buoys! Plus, Regan's and Danielle's goggles were fogging up. Mine were pretty much okay because I put that no-fog stuff in them last night. So it was just gorgeous - the sun was coming up and filtering through the fog, and the lake was fairly calm. We did about 2/3 of a mile, pretty slowly. We wanted to stay together since it was really hard to see!

While I was swimming, I imagined what the Ironman swim would be like. Wow. I hope to have the chance to observe a mass swim start like that so I can figure out my race strategy. I'm actually kind of worried about that. other news, when I finish this blog post I am calling Danielle's hairdresser and making an appointment to have my hair bleached. Seriously. I'm going blond. Wrong time of year (fall instead of summer, but whatever).

So, today's data:

Pre-workout: 1 Vitatop and milk in coffee, 130 cals
Breakfast: Milk in more coffee, two hard-boiled eggs, banana bread: 500 cals
Lunch: Chicken sandwich, 400 cals
Snack: Nectarine and cheese: 130 cals
Dinner: Chicken burrito: 800 cals
"Tea party" with Camille: Probably 400 unecessary calories. UGH.
total for the day: 2360 calories. UGH UGH UGH. So good until dinner time.

Run 90 minutes
Swim 30 minutes
Calories burned: 1000

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Hello, legs!

Circuit training yesterday was so hard! Oh my goodness, my quads, hamstrings and glutes are SCREAMING today.

So I wasn't sure whether I could do the Cascade Bicycle Club ride, but I figured I'd try it anyway. And I was glad I did - my legs actually feel better spinning (even climbing up hills) than they do when I, well, walk, or sit, or stand. Weird. I was sad that the ride was only one hour. I could have gone much longer. I need to schedule some long rides soon.

Today's data:

Breakfast: Bagel with egg, ham, and cheese, milk in coffee: 500 cals
Lunch: Chicken sandwich, 350 cals
Inadvertent snack: Camille had a cupcake with lavender frosting - and I don't just mean lavender in color, I mean lavender in scent. It was heavenly and because she's 3, she wouldn't eat it. 300 calories, probably?
Dinner: Pork tenderloin, whole-wheat pasta, peas: 400 cals
Dessert: Two little Dove ice cream things, 120 cals (yes, they really are 60 each. The thing is, can you only eat one or two? Yesterday, I could honestly answer yes!)
Total for the day: 1670 calories (not bad!)

Bike ride 1 hour, 450 cals burned

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Working out is hard!

Ugh, back to the grind after eating whatever I wanted for days. And I can feel it! Stuff jiggles that isn't supposed to when I run. Oh well. Fortunately it comes off as quickly as it goes on.

I ran with Nancy this morning for 70 minutes (the other gals are on vacation), then did the noon circuit training class at the Pro Club for a little weight lifting alternating with fast running on the treadmill. And I am tired!

Today's data:

Pre-workout: 1 Vitatop and milk in coffee, 130 cals
Breakfast: 2 hard-boiled eggs, yogurt and granola, milk in coffee: 430 cals
Lunch: 20/20 salad, 320 cals
total so far: 880 cals
Snack: String cheese, 80 cals
Dinner: Hot dog and bun (small), small amount potato salad, brownie: 500 cals
Ruined a decent day: Pop-tart, 200 cals (darned kids)
total for the day: 1660 cals (still okay, but time to throw away the Pop-Tarts)

Run 70 min
Circuit training class, 1 hour
Calories burned: 1000

Monday, August 28, 2006

Ironman Canada 2006: Signing up, and my first Ironman lesson learned

I knew watching any part of the Ironman event would be emotional - but I didn't know I was going to walk around Penticton over the last two days staring at every athlete as if he or she were a god. Seriously!

But ogling the athletes wasn't the purpose of this trip: Signing up for 2007 was (and secondarily, securing housing for race week).

Danielle picked me up at 6 a.m. Sunday morning. I hadn't slept much all night - I felt like a kid on Christmas eve. I was so excited for the 6-hour drive! (I like road trips.) With a quick stop at Starbucks, we were on our way!

The drive up was uneventful, although it was cute that at the border crossing, the agent asked us where we were going, and when we said to Ironman Canada, he said, "You're a little late, aren't you?" (Not to mention we were in a VW bug jam-packed with camping equipment and no bicycles.) Right when we crossed into Canada, we started seeing cyclists with numbers, and soon realized we were watching the very back-of-the-pack racers heading out! They looked...well, very average. Just like me. It actually made me able to picture myself really doing it.

And then, as we approached Penticton, we saw the opposite: the very first cyclists returning to town. We drove alongside one of them for a while - it was slightly downhill and 30 mph speed limit, so the cyclist was pacing us. SO COOL. Danielle wanted me to yell out the window at the cylist, but I couldn't do it. We also watched a cyclist pee. This made me laugh because he had on a aero helmet and he was looking down at himself and the helmet was pointing straight up. Not very aerodynamic like that!

We parked as close as we could to the action and scoped out the scene. It was about 12:30 or so. We were carrying pink beach chairs, but not the rest of our gear - we figured we'd find the line, secure our position, then head back to the car for the rest. It took a while (during which we got to watch the leaders head out on the run - so cool!), but eventually we found the spot - and the line was still short (yeah. 20 hours before they open up registration, I guess it would be). We plopped down our chairs, introduced ourselves to our neighbors, and headed back to the car. We were about 20th in line!

Danielle brought everything - pink flamingos to put in the grass, glow sticks, more lawn chairs, blankets, sleeping bags, pillows, pads to sleep on, games, recorded TV on her IPod, music, books, magazines, and of course, beer. And chips. And a zillion other snacks. We alternatively hung out in line with the rest of the Ironman wannabes and took walks around to see the 2006 athletes. Our "neighbors" in line graciously watched our stuff, and we all shared beer and food and the music. Our spot, though, was really funny - everything pink!

Around 5 p.m. we were out on the run course and I saw my friend Jonathan. He didn't look great. I ran with him for a little bit and called his wife to tell him I'd seen him. Much more on Jonathan later...

Around 9 p.m. we were out walking again and saw Danielle's boss Sonja. Danielle was so happy we got to run with her for a bit, and Sonja looked fabulous.

I also saw Sister Madonna Buder - unfortunately, she didn't finish IMC. It was amazing just to see her, though.

We randomly ran into a friend, Doug, and his friend Steve while we were out wandering. We had saved places in line for them, which was a really good thing (for them) - by the time they arrived in Penticton, the line was more than a mile long, I think.

We did sleep some after the fireworks - maybe five hours - then stood in line in Starbucks for 45 minutes to get coffee. We also got to use Starbucks' nice clean bathroom to wash up. We had slept on the ground in sleeping bags - it was a nice night, not too cool, but definitely not the hot day we had in line (and for those athletes who raced!).

At 8:50, they opened the gates to registration. There were about 20 people doing the registration, so we were out of there by 8:55 with our registration codes! (You have to register online officially, but show up in person to get a certificate that allows you to register.)

Then we set out to find a hotel. We learned around 7:30 a.m. that the thing to do is line up at 5 a.m. to secure your hotel room; since we didn't, the first four hotels we went to said they were already booked. The fifth one though had rooms available (decent ones, too - I got a suite with two bedrooms, one queen bed and two twins, perfect for my family!) and by coincidence, the two guys in line next to us were also getting rooms there! So that will be fun.

Then we hit Denny's for breakfast. We were just heading out around 11 a.m. when my phone rang. It was Jonathan. I had pored over the newspaper so I knew he finished in 16:50, but he was a mess. The skin on the bottom of his feet had literally separated from the rest of his foot - sort of like a humongous blister. And even though this happened on the bike, he still ran (or walked) the entire marathon.

Jonathan described this ordeal, and I knew what was coming next: Could I possibly drive his car back? He had come up early in the week; his wife and five kids had come up only on race day. Um...okay. I guess.

I didn't want to. I hate driving. I HATE driving big cars. Jonathan's car? A Ford Expedition, pretty much the largest thing possible. Oh, and with no air conditioning - on a 93 degree day! I HATE being hot, and I HATE driving with the windows open and my hair blowing in my face!This was my road trip with Danielle! There was more fun to be had, more ideas to discuss! And I was annoyed at Jonathan. Is it brave or tough or strong to push on despite excruciating pain? Is it worth it?

Danielle said she admired him for it. I do not. Sorry, Jonathan, if you read my blog - I am happy for you that you finished, but I don't know that the price for that piece of metal around your neck and that hat with the word "finisher" stitched into it was or will be worth what you've paid for it.

Here's what I think: Everything happens for a reason. A couple of weeks ago, when John said I could do IMC, we agreed on a list of rules around my training and life for the next year. There are compromises I must make, for the good of my family and the people I love. And ultimately, it's not all about me. I know I can be selfish - just signing up for an Ironman is an inherently selfish thing - but through the next year I've promised to be a good wife, mother, employee, and whatever else I am that is in addition to triathlete.

So a year of training is selfish. But then, to get hurt so badly you can't go pick up your own bike from transition (Danielle and I did that) or drive your own car home - that extends the selfishness beyond the race for who knows how long. Jonathan said that he was so immobilized he couldn't help Karen with the five kids. And I'm left to wonder: Isn't she used to that by now?

The lesson for me here - and the reason I got involved in Jonathan's story today - is that I must be extremely mindful of the price everyone else around me pays because I want to do an Ironman. Jonathan's Ironman shouldn't have affected me; we're not even that close of friends. But it did (and yes - the drive home sucked every bit as badly as I thought it would). I know he appreciates what I did for him today, and I know it was the right thing for me to do - but I will be conscious of what my training and racing is doing to other people and do my best to minimize the negative impact they can have.

I need to do this race next year, and I need to finish it strong and on my own two feet in order to be happy with myself. If my time is exactly the same as Jonathan's or even slower, but I finish happy, I'll have met my goal. But I will not sacrifice my body, my heath, my friends, or my family to get there.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Race results are in

I added to the bottom of my previous post, plus I stuck in a bunch of pictures. I'm headed to Canada tomorrow to sign up for Ironman Canada 2007! Yay! No posting for me until at least Monday night. Have a great weekend, readers!

Lake Sammamish Triathlon race report

Oh my goodness, I don't even know where to begin. I did not have the race I expected to have today. But before I explain why, let me just say this: SECOND PLACE IN MY AGE GROUP!!!

I almost didn't race - the idea of racing was making me feel irritable yesterday, and as I was pulling all my gear together, I just got more annoyed at myself for doing two races a week apart - what was I thinking? (Six days, really - Sunday to Saturday!) And I already wrote about how I didn't take it back a notch or two after Danskin, so I wasn't really feeling fabulous and ready to race. AND, since I did this same course in June (Issaquah triathlon), I had specific time goals to beat now, which I thought might be hard (at least the bike would be hard - I didn't have a great swim or run then, so I figured I'd probably be able to improve somewhat).

But surprisingly, I woke up fairly happy, so I headed out to the race. I ate a strawberry Pop-Tart and a banana before I left the house, and an Americano on the way, though I barely sipped it. That turned out to be a good thing, because there were nowhere near enough bathrooms/portapotties for the number of racers and family/friends! It was almost comical.

All the men started before all the women, except elites. The race was really poorly organized - it started probably 20 minutes late and just had a whole bunch of issues, but I'm not going to go there. This is about me!

So the one good thing was that the start waves were really small - so much so that I didn't feel like I needed to hang back in the water and wait for faster swimmers to go ahead of me. While of course we all need to converge around the buoys, I thought the start would be pretty spread out.

It sort of was, but somehow in the first few strokes a woman swam into and almost over me, and from then until the first buoy I lost my rhythm. Every time I put my face in the water, I breathed in through my nose. Not good. At one point early on, I looked back and saw Sarah. She looked up and asked me if I was okay. I said, "Sort of," and went back to what I was trying to do: swim! I sort of paddled with my head out of the water and did a little sidestroke until the first turn, then somehow pulled myself together and swam fast and straight the rest of the way. That freaked me out, though, and I started to think it wasn't going to be such a great race for me.

However, when I exited the water, my watch said it had been going for eight minutes. So I was happy with that for sure! The goal I'd written down for myself was 10 minutes for the swim (because a fairly long run to T1 is included in the swim time - the swim was 400m), and I obviously beat that.

T1 wasn't ideal either. I took a way long time getting my wetsuit off and I had a ton of dried grass and stuff stuck to my feet, which went right into my socks. My socks didn't go on all that smoothly and after I put my bike shoes on, I could feel the sock was bunched up under my right foot. Oh well, I figured I could fix it when I put my running shoes on. I grabbed my bike and I was out.

I noticed a huge difference immediately on the bike course: there weren't many cyclists all bunched up like there were in June. I'm sure this was due to the small waves, and I really appreciated it. I felt a lot safer in general. I left my bike in the small ring for the first mile or so to warm up, and kept my computer on cadence, not speed, the entire time. My cadence was consistently over 90 except a couple of times where I was going downhill so fast that I let it stay around 80 or 85, and I passed everyone I saw on the bike course. I think I was in the third wave of women to go out, and I was passing mostly men and I think younger women. The ride was fairly uneventful - I pushed hard, stayed in the aero bars most of the time, especially on the two longer downhill sections (none of it is steep) and had no trouble passing, even when it forced me out of the bike lane and into the traffic (there were few cars, fortunately). I saw Sarah as I was coming back from the turnaround. Just after that, I caught up to a guy who I'd been chasing for a while. I passed him, saying, "On your left...but I think you'll pass me back."

Well, that was about mile 8 or so, and he didn't pass me back until we were seriously just yards from T2. Oh well! It was pretty sweet feeling so fast and passing all the guys I saw, and to get passed by one guy six miles after I passed him...not bad. (Oh, and about that tri bike I've been shopping for? John told me that he saw a ton of people on nicer bikes than mine come in after me. It's not about the maybe I'll upgrade crankset, shifters, and wheels and keep my fabulous Specialized.)

Notice the hot pink bar tape. Oh yeah. I'm a force to be reckoned with.

T2 was very fast, but before I jumped off my bike, as I was unclipping, I got a horrible, painful cramp in my left calf. I almost screamed it hurt so much - and then just like that, as a woman yelled to me to go (in a supportive way), it disappeared. Thank goodness. Had it stayed, it would have crippled me. It was awful just for that one second.

The run was actually good. This was the part of the race that was my focus: I knew from previous races this year I could have a good swim and good bike, but I haven't been proud of any run I've done. So I wanted to keep my heart rate high knowing that my HR would be a good indicator of the effort I was outputting. On other triathlon runs this year, I really hadn't seen anything higher than the low 160s. Today, the goal was 170s. Make it hurt, but not to the point where I couldn't finish the run.

For once! A picture where I look like I'm running, not shuffling!

I carried a GU and a little flask with water with NUUN in it, and right outside T2 I dropped the water. I stopped, picked it back up, and for a moment worried that I'd made a bad choice to carry it. But I started running, and faster than my body wanted to. My heart rate was 172.

Here I am, thinking, take the darn picture so I can get this stupid smile off my face and breathe again!

I ate the GU, shoved the empty package in the big pocket in the back of my tri top, and downed about half the water with NUUN. I then stashed the water flask in my back pocket for later.

The run was over trail, grass, and only a little pavement. The trail was uneven and not easy to run on, but I did not let myself relax and coast like I did in June. I pushed. In the first half of the run, about four or five women passed me, and I let them go, knowing I was pushing at the right level. My heart rate hung out between 171 and 175 - exactly where I wanted it to be. Despite being a bumpy run, it's completely flat, so it was fairly easy to exert the same level of effort.

There was one water station halfway through; I was okay with my little flask. I drank sips from it a couple more times during the run and it was enough. I never felt like I was dying of thirst like I did in June. The one place June didn't help me with, though, was the end. The run course is so twisty-turny that I wasn't sure exactly where the finish line was, and I wasn't sure exactly what pace I was running so I couldn't go based on time. So unfortunately, I started my final sprint to the finish a little late - but it didn't matter in terms of place in age group or overall because no one passed me from the time I could have started to sprint and the time I actually finished.

My overall time was 1:21:07 - good enough for second place in my age group!!!

I'm not completely sure how it breaks down, but I think it's something like this:

Swim: 8 min (400 meters, plus the run to T1)
T1: 2 min
Bike: 45 min (14.5 miles; average 20 mph)
T1: 1 min
Run: 25 minutes (3.4 miles; this time seems too little, actually)

Then I got to see my little boy race. He's so awesome! He had a great time and told me he passed every kid he saw on his bike. :-) Unfortunately, he is a kid...for his celebration lunch, he insisted on McDonalds. YUCK!

Here are Gabriel's photos:

The coolest kid on the beach

Ow! But check out how serious he is about getting to T1.

So focused! This is where all the kids went wildly off course. It was a complete free-for-all, and Gabriel was going to be first!

The finish line. How unbelievably adorable!

So overall, this was a great race. It was the race I was destined to have - few problems (no race is ever going to be perfect, right) but results I can be extremely proud of with no caveats. Yay!

Okay, the numbers are in. This is a little bit funny.

Overall, I was 13th. I think 13 is my lucky number. I was 13th in my AG last week at Danskin, and I was 13th in my high school class. Yes. I'm claiming that number as mine.

I really was second in my AG, but I would have been fourth if they didn't remove the two elites from my group. That's okay - they both got awards, too.

There were 189 women total. So that means I don't get to race Danskin as an elite next year (you have to either place in the top 10 overall or the top 3 in your AG in a race of 300 or more females). But since I wasn't going to race Danskin next year anyway, that's cool - that gives me a target for the following year!

My bike split was the 6th fastest overall for the women. Four of the five elites beat me, plus one age grouper (not my group). So my split was the fastest for the women in my AG.

Oh, this is bizarre. I was 5th out of the water for my AG. Actually, fourth - the 1st place went to one of the elites.

My run time was 26:57 - this is 7.35 mph. I believe that's 8:07 per mile. Excellent. I had hoped to do 8 minute miles for the whole way; I'm extremely happy with 8:07 too.

T1 was slow, as I thought. It would have been a lot faster without the wetsuit! I need to get it shortened so it fits me and is easier to get off.

Man, it's hard to translate these stats because they're in PDF, not Excel or html. BLAH!

Okay, here are the full results:

Swim: 8:02.0 (rank: 5/31 - includes one elite)
T1: 1:46
Bike: 43:28.5 (rank: 2/31 - includes one elite)
T2: 0.52.2
Run: 26:57.9 (rank: 8/31 - includes one elite)
TOTAL: 1:21:07.4

Friday, August 25, 2006

Triathlon Friday, solo

At 5:30, the alarm went off. I had no interest in getting out of bed, and since I had no friends planning to meet me for my workout, I figured I didn't have to. But by 5:45 I was imagining how hard it would be to eat properly if I didn't work out and how mad I'd be at myself later in the day if I didn't work out, so I got out of bed and headed to Idylwood.

There I hoped there would be no swimmers so it wouldn't be safe for me to get in the water - and in fact, the only people I saw had water skis, so I figured they wouldn't be joining me to lap the buoys - but down at the water there were a couple of swimmers, and then a few more came, so pretty much I had no choice but to swim. However, I didn't swim long - I mostly ended up chatting with a woman who did Danskin and wanted to know how I did, and then it turns out we're both racing tomorrow, so we talked about that. I was in the water for about 20 minutes but actually swimming only for 10 or so.

I had a fun bike route planned for myself, though - one long climb (Northup) and one short one (50th). But when I finished 50th, I decided it was too short so I needed to do it again.

I was trying to keep my effort level fairly low, but when another cyclist blew by me, I had to talk out loud to myself to keep myself from chasing. I'm constantly wanting to prove what a strong rider I am - I was only going about 15 mph when I got passed - and I almost yelled to him that I could ride a lot faster but I was going easy in preparation for a race tomorrow. Like he cares, anyway! I'm so freaking competitive. I often dislike that about myself.

So I rode for 45 minutes, enjoyed it, and then decided not to run since it was getting late.

Anyway, in other news, I spent an hour yesterday at Sammamish Valley Cycle talking about different wheels and bicycles. I'm thinking about buying a tri bike, assuming Santa Bill is good to me this year (we get bonuses in September, and I've got a whole bunch of stock from previous years' awards vesting in a couple of days, and I had completely forgotten that those stock awards are real money so it's completely "extra" in our budget so I could funnel it into a bike. Or consider saving for the future or something...but that's no fun). I've got an appointment next week to ride some bikes. I'm thinking about staying away from aluminum and going for titanium or carbon. My current bike is carbon and I love how it feels. But we'll see...the bikes I'm looking at, complete with race wheels, are looking to cost somewhere between $4,500 and $6,000 - and I'm just not sure I'm good enough to really benefit from a bike that nice.

So I should probably meal and exercise track goes:

Pre-workout: 1 Vitatop and milk in coffee, 130 cals
Breakfast: Bagel with cream cheese (carboloading?), milk in coffee: 430 cals
Lunch: Shrimp and veggie stir-fry over rice: 450 cals
total so far: 1010 calories

Swim and bike, 500 cals burned

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Nothing clever to say

Sometimes during my workout my blog post just comes to me. Today I have nothing to say. So, I'll just record my food and exercise.

Wait: I thought of something to say. I should update my far-away readers on the weather in Seattle. This morning at 8 a.m. - after my run and outdoor swim - the outside temperature gauge in my car read 57 degrees. That's fahrenheit, too!
Ugh. Bad night. Total binge on pizza. I blame my children, and the 20/20 program. My children for asking for pizza (although had I actually planned a meal, I would have had ammo to say no) and the 20/20 program for telling me that if I ate a salad before a meal, I'd eat less during the meal. Um, no. Didn't happen.

Pre-workout: 1 Vitatop and milk in coffee, 130 cals
Breakfast: Bagel, egg, cheese, ham and milk in coffee, 500 cals
Lunch: Burrito bowl (no tortilla), 600 cals
Snack: Sunchips (I know! They're still chips!) and a nectarine: 280 cals (yes Wes I broke the protein with carb rule!)
total so far: 1510 cals
Dinner: Can't count, but salad, pizza, and late at night, after the crab crash, a granola bar. Ugh!

Run 4 miles
Swim 15 minutes
Calories burned: 600

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Feeling better...but mad at Starbucks!

Not quite 100% yet, but definitely improved.

My weight this morning was 142. Considering how much I ate last week, that's okay. And I've had two days in a row of solid meal-tracking and no serious infractions!

I think I will be doing the club ride today, but if it starts to feel hard, I'm going to let them drop me and ride on my own.

Finally, I'm furious at Starbucks. A few months ago they introduced "Reduced fat banana chocolate chip coffee cake." (Three of my favorite things all in one: banana, chocolate chip, and cake! Coffee would be a fourth, but there's no coffee in coffee cake, AFAIK.) So I'm not an idiot - I know "reduced fat" is different from "low fat" and doesn't necessarily mean "reduced calories." However, they didn't post the calorie count for it immediately on their web site, so I figured it was probably similar to Starbucks' other reduced-fat coffee cakes - which are between 320 and 350 calories. Well, today I was looking up something else, and noticed that the banana coffee cake is now listed.

Guess how many calories?


As a comparison, check this out:

Raspberry scone: 460
Chocolate croissant: 200
Top Pot apple fritter: 450
Toffee almond bar: 430
Chocolate cupcake: 400

In fact, that "reduced-fat" banana chocolate chip coffee cake is one of the worst offenders in terms of calories at Starbucks. And yes, it is "only" 15 grams of fat, compared with 27 for the apple fritter, but still. I count calories only because ultimately that's what counts: Calories in, calories out. The rest (protein, fat, carbs) impacts how many calories I eat/desire, and obviously protein helps repair muscle, carbs provide fuel, good fat helps stave off hunger, but for weight management it's all about the calorie.

So today I went to Panera for my coffee and I ate a ham and white cheddar scone (340 calories) for breakfast. It's a little more carbalicious than I should have in the morning - I know it will make me feel ravenous by noon - but I haven't been grocery shopping except at the produce stand for weeks and I don't have any ham, cottage cheese, or english muffins in my office and I'm thinking two eggs per day might not be advisable given that the women in my family all have high cholesterol (hereditary; however, it is high good cholesterol so I'm not super-worried).

Today's data:

Breakfast: Ham and cheddar scone from Panera, milk in coffee: 370 cals
Lunch: Soup and 1/2 sandwich, 510 calories
Snack: Granola bar, 140 cals
Dinner: 3 oz fish, broccoli, brown rice, bread: 600 cls
total today: 1620 cals

Club ride, 1 hour, 450 calories burned

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

What was I thinking?

Most of the time, my muscles are a silent army. They do as they're told with minimal protest and they work well together.

But sometimes, there's mutiny. And today is one of those days.

I woke up in pain. I hobbled to the bathroom and had trouble getting dressed. It hurt to bend over to put my shoes on. It hurt to turn the steering wheel of my car. Every single muscle seems to be saying, "Hey! Remember me! How dare you go all-out in a triathlon, then the next day do spinning for an hour and lift weights (harder than usual, too!) for 45 minutes!"

My abdominals were protesting so much I couldn't tell whether I had a stomach virus or just muscular pain. My biceps, triceps and shoulders are so weak I couldn't hold my cup of coffee when the girl at Starbucks handed it to me and I spilled about 1/4 all over my leg and car. Ow. Thank goodness I get milk in the coffee, because an Americano is darn hot.

I had a longer run scheduled - in theory, 75 to 90 minutes - and I was really unsure how I was going to do it. Well, the answer is, painfully. We picked a pretty flat route, but it does have a long downhill section where I just gave up and told the girls I needed to walk. All the bouncing and pressure from the downhill really hurt - especially in my arms, chest, and quads.

I was supposed to swim afterwards, but no way. I can't lift my arms over my head (yeah, washing my hair was pretty fun), so I bagged the swim. I would have gone down to the lake to meet Regan so I could watch her swim (for safety - I won't swim alone, and I didn't want her to), but she happened to be at the doorway of the Pro Club when we arrived back and she said she'd prefer to run anyway, so I was happy with that.

This all sounds really whiny. My apologies! I'm just pretty amazed at how I feel today! But I've definitely learned a couple of things:

1) Do not work out with Danielle the day after a race unless she raced as hard as I did (she didn't because she raced alongside Regan for support, and even though Regan did wonderfully, she finished in 1:51 and I have no doubt Danielle would have beat me had she been racing for herself). Working out with Danielle is just too much fun not to have a full effort!

2) I will not be able to do Danskin as a full-on sprint race next year if I do Ironman Canada. I can possibly do it with a friend much more slowly and comfortably, but feeling like I do now, there's no way I'll be fully recovered by the weekend. (Which sucks because I am racing on Saturday! Again, what was I thinking, two weekends in a row?)

So, today's data:

Pre-workout: 1 Vitatop and milk in coffee: 130 cals
Breakfast: Two hard-boiled eggs and banana bread and milk in coffee: 480 cals
Snack: 3 oz salmon (leftovers! yay!) 195 cals
Lunch: 20/20 chicken sausage penne pasta, 390 cals
Snack: Laughing cow lite cheese wedge and small piece of chocolate, 90 cals
new total: 1285 cals
Dinner: 4 oz steak, carrots, mashed potatoes, bread (carbalicious!), 700 cals (yes really. Designed Dinners plus my own lighter recipes)
total for the day: 1985 cals - so-so

Run 7.2 miles in 1:15 (okay, that included the walk); 500 calories burned

Monday, August 21, 2006

A gym workout - in the summer!

I worried that I'd be sore today because of the all-out effort I put forth yesterday at Danskin, so instead of the regular Monday Morning Madness, I took a spinning class. Danielle was teaching and she promised me good music (not that she ever has bad music).

It was so hard, though, to keep things low-key and in recovery mode...and I didn't. Danielle had fun music, fun things to do on the bikes, so I just played along and watched my heart rate head north. Wow, it was hot. I forgot what it was like to completely soak a towel with sweat. Biking outside just doesn't get that nasty.

After class, Danielle, Regan and I lifted weights in the "big boy" room at the club - where all the free weights are kept and the bodybuilders hang out. Since usually I do more circuit training type of strength training, this was pretty fun for a change - plus it's always great to have Danielle leading a workout.

I'm hungry! But I'm feeling bloated and yucky from all the food over the last week or so, so I'm buckling back down and meal-tracking again. So here is today's:

Pre-workout: Vita-top and milk in coffee, 130 cals
Breakfast: Yogurt, granola, two hard-boiled eggs: 380 cals
Lunch: Salad with reduced-fat chicken, 1/2 slice Cosi bread: 436 cals
total so far: 946 calories
Snack: 2 cheese wedges, 70 cals
Dinner: 20/20 "Earth and Ocean" (pork and shrimp), peas, tortilla with cheese: 800 cals
total for the day: 1816 calories - not bad!

Indoor cycling, 1 hour, 450 cals
Weight lifting, 45 minutes, 200 cals
Total: 650 cals burned

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Danskin race report: Beyond joy

Do you know what exists beyond joy?

I do: Pain.

Not really a bad pain, though. As Danielle said yesterday: "Jessica, if you want to meet your goals, you're going to have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable."

For a little more context, let me just say that riding my bike and snowboarding are things of joy for me. If I have free time, those two things are what I'd prefer to do over anything else. And on the Lake Stevens 70.3, nearly my entire bike ride was full of joy for me. But then, I had 56 miles to go and I was keeping it comfortable and easy so that I'd have something left for the run. I believed then and now that it was the right strategy: it was my first half-Ironman and I wanted to finish it happy. And I did.

But for Danskin, I had time goals, as articulated in a previous post. And as I said then, everything would have to go perfectly for me to meet those goals. And I was going to have to hurt to get there.

So I won't make you wait any longer: here are the goals and the actuals:

Swim (.75K)
Goal: 15 minutes
Actual: 15:06

Bike (20K)
Goal: 35 minutes, 21 mph
Actual: 34:53, 21.3 mph

Run (5K)
Goal: 26 minutes
Actual: 26:37, pace 8:35

So...with transitions, this becomes 1:21:39.

Given that I was only 43 seconds over my goals during my race portions, why was I 1:39 over my overall goal? Ugh. T1. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's go piece by piece.

On Danielle's advice, I seeded myself RIGHT UP FRONT. Yeah, I remembered my Issaquah experience where I seeded myself towards the front and totally choked, but I thought that I'd improved and I might have a better experience this time.

I was so right to do that! When it was time to swim, I started immediately. A few people from my wave passed me (noone swam over me), but not many. I swam HARD and didn't care about the fact that I wasn't breathing as comfortably as I would have liked until I passed the first buoy. The distance from the first to the second is longest; here I got into a slightly slower rhythm than what I started out at, and I started passing pink and green caps from the two previous waves. (My cap was yellow.) There was serious crowding at the second buoy and I had to apologize to a woman I totally bumped who was swimming with a swim angel, but they were taking up so much room! On the leg back to shore, I felt some drafting benefit - the water definitely seemed to help push me along in a way it hadn't before - and I passed some purple caps from three waves ahead, too. I couldn't see a single yellow cap anywhere! I knew I wasn't first from my wave, but still - it felt good to know I was near the front at least. When I stood up, not a single person of the dozen or so standing near me had yellow caps. I didn't look back, but I did check my watch and I knew I'd done something around 15 minutes. Yay! My stomach hurt from the hard effort and my heart rate was up to 179 as I ran to my transition station, but the swim was over. Whew. Couldn't wait to get on my bike!

Unfortunately, my area was really far from the swim finish - almost as far as possible. I was not psyched about this on Saturday, but had no choice anyway, so just dealt with it. Well, my T1 time shows how far away I was - it was 3:41. A little bit of that was me being an idiot about getting my socks on - it took far too long and I pretty much had to stop, take a deep breath, and relax so I could get the darn things on - but most of it was the distance I had to run barefoot. All the lubricant I had put on my legs helped get the wetsuit off quickly, though - and I was the first bike off the rack.

I hammered the bike. I noticed immediately that my computer wasn't working - I had cadence, but no distance or speed, thanks to some mating that my bike did with Danielle's while on her rack on Saturday. Oh well. I watched cadence and kept it above 90 at all times - sometimes over 100 (when I started to feel anything in my quads). I left my bike in the small ring for the first couple of miles to warm up to riding. Just before mile 2 you have to go up this short, steep, technical hill - and some girls were stopping MID-PATH (it's narrow) to walk their bikes. Well, I squeezed by them on the left and then turned onto I-90 and hammered again. It was annoying, but oh well - the Danskin has a reputation for that sucky hill, and my two previous Danskins were easy there so I was due for some annoyance.

On I-90, I put it in my hardest gear, kicked up the cadence, and flew - up and down the little rollers across the bridge and into the tunnel. I did not get passed even one time. Not once. But I had to pass probably hundreds of women - often women who were two and three across and I had to yell "on your left" a lot. I felt kind of bad for being in full-on race mode, but hey - it's a race!

It's an out-and-back course, and on the way back that little steep hill (now downhill) was no better - some girl on a mountain bike was going probably 4 mph right in the middle of the lane, so I couldn't pass. I was furious. There was another woman ahead of me trying to pass her, and she apologized - but I told her she couldn't do anything either, so no problem.

(Some of the women I passed had tri bikes - nice ones. I rode one yesterday at the Expo. I loved the geometry, hated the aluminum. I can't go back from a full carbon bike to aluminum now - no way!)

So I just kept in the aero bars and pounded. It hurt. My heart rate was in the high 170s - I have never sustained it so high on the bike for so long, and without any real hills! So that's when I realized I was way beyond the joy of riding - it hurt, and I wasn't going to let up.

T2 was uneventful and fast. I already had my race belt on with a GU tucked in it, so I just changed shoes, replaced helmet with hat, and grabbed a little GU flask filled with water with Nuun. I knew I wanted my GU right away, and I didn't know where the first water station would be so I figured I'd need something to wash the GU down with and I didn't want to carry a large bottle. As it turns out, the GU flask top was broken, so while it held my liquid for when I needed it, I didn't feel bad about throwing it away when I reached the second water station so I could run without carrying anything.

I started out running and immediately two women passed me. I thought about trying to keep up, but then I thought maybe I should setting in to running and then speed up. Here's where lazy thinking begins!

I felt good. My heart rate was in the 160s. I knew I could run harder. But I couldn't make myself. I saw a woman I know - Heather - up ahead. I sprinted to catch up to her, and stayed with her for a few minutes while she told me about her mother, who just was diagnosed with breast cancer. Then she told me I needed to leave her because she was going to slow me down. I sort of wanted to stay with her and run comfortably, but she was right: I had a goal, I was close, so I needed to press on. At this point, I pretty much knew I wasn't going to do 1:20, but I also knew I'd do better than 1:24.

I saw a whole bunch of girls I know on the run - that was cool - including Jessi, who kicked some serious butt!!! Oh, and I had seen Aleks on the bike. It charged me up to see these gals and know they were supporting me and to feel so excited for them, too.

There's a hill at the end of the run. I didn't even feel it. I powered up and sustained an increase in speed all the way through to the finish line. I'm sure the 37 seconds I was over my goal time was worth it to have chatted with Heather anyway.

I was so happy when I finished. I knew I didn't do 1:20, but I felt great anyway. And now that I see my exact splits, I feel awesome. So much of T1 was out of my control. And my race statistics (that I obsessively calculated) really say it all.

Swim rank: 208/3965 - that's top 5%
Bike rank: 32/3965 - that's top 1%
Run rank: 360/3965 - that's top 9%
Age group rank: 13/468 - that's top 2%
Overall rank: 82/3965 - that's top 2% too

Definitely a performance to be proud of. And even more importantly, I had an incredible time with my friends. I know this race report is all about me, but I couldn't have done it without them - and I love them all for it!

Addendum: just wanted to put in this cute picture! This is of me and Danielle prior to the race. Yes, we really are dressed alike.

Twas the day before Danskin...


I have the greatest friends in the world. As Aleks, one of them, says, "No joke."

I want to write about Danskin...but first I have to write about yesterday. I didn't race - I didn't even exercise - but it's important to my triathlon life.

First, Danielle did race - the Beaver Lake Triathlon. I woke up early so I could go there with her in the morning (and I brought both kids) and watch her race.

We got to see her enter and exit the water and leave on the bike - then we went over to help man a water station. Camille (who is 3) wasn't really helpful - but Gabriel (6) was awesome. He held out his little arms for a couple of hours with cups of water in his hands to give to the runners - and was totally cool when they either splashed him accidentally or didn't take his water. I ran back and forth giving more cups to the kids who were holding them out - it was fun to see all the racers, and it felt good to give a little back, since I've had lots of volunteers give me water in the past!

So then we met up with Regan and Aleks and went over to Seattle to packet pickup. Danskin is just such a production - packet pickup is at one end of the city, then mandatory day-before bike racking is at the other end - and I figured that it would be much more enjoyable if we took one car and could talk and goof around while stuck in traffic - which WE WERE. UGH. No wonder we prefer to go to Seattle via bike instead of car!

We walked around the expo, stopped for a big lunch, then racked our bikes. I was pretty unhappy about my bike racking location. It was almost as bad as it could be. Okay, I'm exaggerating. But it was much worse than in previous years. Oh well. The semi-good news was that even though Aleks and I were racing in our age groups, our start times were near the "mixed age" category, in which Danielle and Regan were racing. This just meant that we'd finish closer together - I was a little worried that my age group would go early and I'd be completely done before Regan even started!

So after we racked bikes, we got our families and had a huge, lovely dinner at the Olive Garden. Then home separately and to bed!

As I write this, I realize I'm writing the play-by-play of what we did - but not what it was about.

It was about friendship, and support, and love. I can't describe how proud I am of all these women for where they've gotten themselves, and I can't describe how good knowing them makes me feel. Yes, triathlon is an individual sport, and we're always "competing" against each other (although, the four of us are strangely all in different age groups. I think Danielle and Regan are close enough in age that some years they could race in the same group, but not right now, and it really doesn't matter anyway). But we train together, we help each other, and we make it more fun for everyone. That's what yesterday meant...then today was just the icing on the cake. (Yeah, I am writing this Sunday, but I'm doing the Danskin race report in a separate post.)

So Aleks wrote the best blog post last night - read it here. Try not to cry.

Danskin race report forthcoming...

Friday, August 18, 2006

Stars are blind...

especially Paris Hilton if she thinks that awful song can pass for music. UGH. Can't stand the insipid lyrics, the awful melody, and the porn-movie video.

(Sometimes I wish I had a blog to comment on whatever I want. Today's off-topic post is triggered by the fact that there is nothing good on TV during the day. I work on a TV product for Microsoft, so I watch TV pretty much all day. Some days are okay when I can record enough worthwhile TV, but others are just awful and I resort to VH1 - which is okay until Paris Hilton comes on and then I'm offended, and so is everyone else who walks by my office.)

Now back to your regularly-scheduled dose of Jessica's exercise program!

I led a small group of women on another mini-tri today - 15 minute swim, 20 minute bike, 10 minute run. It was really fun. Man, swimming in the wetsuit makes SUCH a difference. Why didn't I realize it before? I'm definitely wearing the full for Danskin. I just wish I could get it off my ankles faster. But I know it will be worth it.

Somehow I burned 450 calories on this little workout, and I planned out my strategy for Danskin. It goes something like this:

Hammer the swim.
Hammer the bike.
Hammer the run.

Okay, seriously, more like this:

Swim: As fast as I can without changing my regular breathing rhythm. Time: 15 minutes (generous)
T1: 2:30. I might have a long run to my station, plus I need to get the wetsuit off.
Bike: HARD. Heart rate in the 160s the entire time, and if I enter the 170s, as long as it's for less than five minutes, that's cool too. Average speed needs to be 21 mph. Time: 35 minutes
T2: 1:30. This will be a stretch since I have to change my shoes and last year I did T2 in 1:36 without changing shoes.
Run: HARD. Heart rate in the 170s the entire time - pace should be 8 minute miles to max 8:30. PUSH THROUGH THE PAIN. Time: 26 minutes


This leaves no room for error. Wow. This is going to be hard.

Thank you all who read this blog and have made so many supportive comments! Regardless of what happens, I know I'll experience the joy of DOING IT. But I'm pushing for the time, too!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Runnin' and swimmin' and chillin'

Today I did just a three-mile run, then swam for about half an hour.

The run was good, but it really was at regular pace - plus, Aleks and I sort of paired off and Nancy and Latosha were behind, and Aleks and I kept picking up the pace. I bet if we ran the Danskin 5K together we'd end up sprinting it. Not sure why we run faster together, but it appears we do - Nancy has told us that before, and today I really noticed since I was trying to run really easy.

My swim was another case, though. I never took my wetsuit out of the trunk of my car on Tuesday, so it was still wet and yucky and I just couldn't bring myself to put it on, despite the 57-degree morning. Aleks was swimming in her tri suit anyway, so I figured I'd just go it in my swimsuit.

It was cold initially, but I had to work harder to swim anyway, so I warmed up pretty fast. Aleks swims so much faster than me! I never noticed before - I think this was the first time we really swam together, other than in the pool. Maybe with my wetsuit I could keep up, but I doubt it.
I did the first half of the first lap well, then I just got bored. I just didn't feel like swimming anymore -so I goofed around, did some backstroke, some sidestroke, and a feeble attempt at breaststroke (I can do breaststroke perfectly - but with NO POWER whatsoever). I stayed in the water as long as Aleks, but swam probably 2/3 as much. Oh well!

I hope my lazy swimming isn't a sign of overtraining, though, but more a sign of enjoying resting and not having to push myself hard. We'll see. Tomorrow I'm barely working out - just transition practice - and Saturday is completely off as I cheer Danielle on at the Beaver Lake Triathlon and get ready for Danskin on Sunday!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Okay, today was the real last hard workout

Remember yesterday when I said I was going to taper?

Um, no. Today's scheduled ride was not the kind of ride you do to taper. When you have to keep repeating to yourself, "Hills make you stronger. Hills are your friend" you're not tapering.

But that's okay - tomorrow I really will. Today's ride was with the Cascade Bicycle Club - it was really fun, but the route was pretty hilly and I think the pace was harder than "brisk."

We rode for just an hour and there was this fabulous downhill part where I went so fast that when I started cruising up the other side, I actually had to use my brakes - UPHILL - so I didn't run into the guy in front of me.

Anyway, my eating today is HORRIBLE and I'm not talking about it. Feeling very diet-defiant. Tomorrow will be better (This is a bad mentality - I should say "the rest of today will be better" - but, well, I know myself. Tomorrow.)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The last hard workout before a taper

Yes, I really am going to taper. I know it's Danskin, so it's not the most competitive race - but this is the only race I've done more than once, and I want to see big improvement over last year (and HUGE improvement over the year before!).

So, two years ago, it was the BIG GOAL. I started my weight-loss program Feb. 17, 2004; Danskin was August 21, 2004 - and since my program was six months long, obviously it was right at the end of my weight-loss journey. When I signed up, I wasn't sure I'd be able to run the entire way, and I didn't have a bicycle. I was even embarrassed to go to the store to buy a bike - I didn't want the guys at the bike store to hear I was doing a triathlon and laugh at me.

I did it with one of my close friends, Joanne. We decided to stay together for the entire race.

I was 131 pounds and felt amazing. In the pictures, I actually feel like I looked amazing - strong and athletic. We completed it together in 1 hour, 48 minutes - quite a long time, but the swim was mis-measured so it was actually more like 3/4 of a mile. Joanne is a much stronger swimmer, so she waited for me in the transition area. We biked the same pace, then on the run, I ran her pace (slower than I would have) because she had waited for me on the swim. And it was totally worth it - maybe I could have been faster, but I kind of doubt it - and I loved doing the race right with my friend. Our finish line pictures are some of my favorites ever from a race.

The next year, I did it alone, but raced - I just wanted to be faster. I completed it in 1:28 - my swim was 17 minutes, which was still slow, but I had an excellent bike and a decent run. However, I didn't even have a real road bike - I was still using my heavier hybrid. Despite that,I averaged 19.1 mph on the bike and a 9:09 pace on the run.

So this year, I plan to POUND the bike. It's an easy 12 miles with only a tiny hill. I'm going to average above 20 mph - especially since I did 20 mph on the Issaquah tri (over 14.6 miles) in June, and this course is easier and I'm stronger now. Then I'm going to run an 8-minute pace for the 5K.

My goal: 1:24. My stretch goal: 1:20.

I think I can do it. But I'm going to go into this race rested, well-fed, and happy.

And I really can't wait!

Oh, so this post was supposed to be about today's workout. One-hour run with the girls (there were 5 of us today - FIVE! At 5 a.m.! Can you believe that???), then 30 minutes of weight lifting (mostly upper body, plus abdominal work) then 30 minutes of swimming (mostly slow with a couple of sprints thrown in). Fun. And I'm TIRED. I will need to get some extra sleep this weekend.

Today's data:
Pre-workout: GU, 100 cals (no real food at home, and Starbucks forgot to put the milk in my coffee)
Post-workout: 1/3 of Camille's bagel, 100 cals
Breakfast: Banana bread and milk in coffee, 330 cals
Lunch: Salad and soup: 280 cals (yeah, light salad)
Snack: Yogurt and granola, 250 cals
Snack: Cheese, 50 cals
total so far: 1110

Run 1 hour
Lift 30 minutes
Swim 30 minutes
1000 calories burned

Monday, August 14, 2006

Monday Morning Madness, Montreux-style

This morning's ride was supposed to bring me two new hills to conquer - but, my friends weren't psyched about the first one, SE 56th in Issaquah. It really does look like a straight-up wall - even more so than NE 24th in Redmond (or maybe Bellevue, I can't tell the difference over there). Danielle was worried that our tires might slip and we might end up falling over while clipped in.

I wasn't going to pressure her into doing the hill, and I didn't want her to wait for us to be done. So we just pushed on and went over to Montreux, the second hill I had planned to ride.

In retrospect, given the amount of time I have to ride Monday mornings and what we're using as a starting point, it probably makes more sense to go for one serious climb per Monday, not two or three. So I'm glad we didn't do it - and even more glad once I started up Montreux.

First, my legs weren't fresh. Yesterday's ride coupled with an evening of running all over the Microsoft campus putting up signs for my husband's business meant I was feeling a bit tired. And then, well, the web site says that the maximum grade of the climb is 24%. I'm still a little skeptical, but I'm much more close to believing it now.

The stats from the web site say:

Montreux - 1.4 miles - altitude gain 712 feet - average gradient 10% - max gradient 24%.

I drove it last night in preparation. It didn't look that bad, honestly, but John kept saying, "Oh, this is going to suck. Wow, this part is REALLY going to suck! Hey, check that out - that curve is REALLY REALLY going to suck!"

So I interpret "suck" to mean "be an opportunity for me to prove how tough I am." And yeah, I think some of those curves did exactly that.

My speed went from 10 mph at the shallowest parts of the climb down to around 5 mph - I saw 4.7, but just for a moment. My heart rate hung out around 178. It's a fairly twisty road, but with a decent shoulder for bikes - and because the road only goes to residential areas, there were no other cars going uphill (and truth be told, only a few going down). The houses and landscaping are just gorgeous (and it was a perfect day) so there was a lot to distract me from the pain...but it was so quiet I couldn't avoid listening to my labored breathing. Danielle was breathing similarly, and Sarah and Liz were further down the hill so I'm not sure what they sounded like.

About half-way up there was a street over on the left; I wanted to take a little recovery, so I rode over there and made circles in the middle of the road for about a minute or two - then I shot back up and continued on. That little recovery really helped. At that point, Danielle had gotten off her bike for a minute, but I was feeling stubborn and thought that I wouldn't be able to let myself check Montreux off the list if I actually stopped (but circling the road on the bike is okay). These are my own rules. :-)

I wasn't quite sure where the top was, and I wasn't going to stop until I was sure. Fortunately, a man walking his dog was kind enough to tell me I'd made it. Yay! And going down - wow, that was FUN. We had a slight climb up Lakemont after that, and then got a really nice, steep downhill back into Bellevue.

Unfortunately, some jerk in a Jeep SUV decided to get in front of Danielle, who doesn't like descending too fast anyway, and basically cut her off - even though she was fully in the bike lane! I couldn't believe it. Why do people behave like that?

But anyway, the rest of the ride back felt great - there are still a couple of inclines, but it's mostly downhill and flat back to Marymoor Park.

I was hungry when I finished! Here are today's data:

Pre-workout: Reduced-fat coffee cake from Starbucks, milk in coffee: 340 cals
Workout fuel: 1/2 Luna bar, 90 cals
Breakfast: Bagel with egg, ham, and cheddar: 425 cals
Lunch: Indian food from the cafeteria, rice, naan: 600 cals
Snack: Yogurt and granola, 250 cals
total so far: 1705 (wow, that's a lot considering I haven't had dinner. I'm hungry today!)
Dinner: Chicken tacos with beans and a little bit of rice, 600 calories
Total: 2305 cals (at least they were mostly fairly healthy)

Ride 2 hours, 30 miles: 900 calories burned

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Ironman Canada: Here I come

Last night John and I went out to dinner without the kids. I intended to use this dinner to talk him into letting me go to Penticton next weekend with Danielle so she can sign up for Ironman Canada 2007 - after all, it's a long drive, and blah blah blah. But I also decided to ask one more time if I could sign up for an Ironman event in 2007.

We had a long discussion about it, and came to some agreements.

I can't forget what's most important: God and family. I can't put triathlon before those things, ever.

I can't take for granted all that John does to accommodate my training and schedule.

I can't miss out on my kids' important events, or even just being there to play and enjoy one another.

I can't neglect my husband - he needs my undivided attention frequently.

I have to continue to perform well at my job, and I have to do what I can to support John's new business.

But I think it will work. I think I can train enough to "complete happy" - that's the goal. It won't be much more than I trained this year for the half-IM - probably a max hard week of 20 hours or so - but it will be intense, and I won't be off the hook for chores, family fun, sex, or anything else just because I trained for three hours before the sun even came up.

But I get to do an Ironman.

I'm really the luckiest girl alive.

Lightning doesn't strike twice...

But apparently bees do sting thrice!

Within the first 16 miles of my 46-mile bike ride today, I had gotten stung by not one, not two, but count 'em THREE bees - all completely separate incidents, each approximately five miles from one another.

I was wearing the same pink top I wore on STP; John and Matthew surmised that I must look like a flower to the darn things. I can't remember the last time I was stung. I think it was when I was 12 or 13. And oh my goodness, bee stings HURT! All three times I had to stop and get off my bike and hop around and yell.

So, the first incident - the bee flew at my left ear and got caught in the straps from my helmet. Sting #1 was just below left ear along the jawline. I batted at my ear with my left hand, then was able to yell back to the guys that I needed to pull over. They had no idea why - suddenly I was just freaking out - and it hurt so much I couldn't talk. All my effort was focused on not crying.

The second incident I think hurt the worst: I got hit mid-thigh on the right. That one swelled up right away and turned quite a bit of my leg bright red. I got off the bike, wincing, and waited the five minutes or so for the pain to dissipate. When I got back on the bike though I found that I could feel the pain while pedaling - but it was tolerable.

The third time attracted the most attention. (Oh, the other two, despite my hopping around and yelling "OW!!!," nobody on the trail asked if I was okay. And yes, there were TONS of people there. However, I was on the eastside...and eastside people are just not friendly.) But the third time likely would have attracted attention anywhere because it was straight on in the neck - right where a man's Adam's apple would be. Ow freaking ow. I hop off the bike holding my neck, which must have made it look a lot worse than it was. Lots of folks stopped to make sure I was okay, even though John and Matthew were right with me. But that time I was right in the city of Seattle and I think people are just friendlier. Actually, I think everyone who uses the Sammamish River Trail in Redmond and Woodinville is just downright unfriendly.

So anyway, other than that, the bike ride was pretty fun - 46 completely flat miles, designed for John's enjoyment. I thought it would be more of a relaxing, easy ride, but it's hard to hold both me and Matthew back, so pretty much we dragged John faster than he would have liked.

On the way back, I wanted to kill him. We had ridden 23 miles to a restaurant I like for lunch, then we obviously had 23 to go back. Well, John is a type 1 diabetic (insulin dependent). So he takes normal insulin with his lunch (I don't see this, though), and then we go out and start riding hard again. But exercise makes your blood sugar go down - so that coupled with the regular amount of insulin he took basically meant he couldn't get his blood sugar above 55. We had to stop three or four times on the way back so he could eat - two Luna bars, a Clif bar, and a bag of Jelly Beans - plus the Cytomax he had in his water bottle. WHATEVER! So we had a "talk" about how much insulin is appropriate to take on a bike ride. (My answer: NONE unless his blood sugar tests above 150; his answer: "half what I normally take." I bet mine would work better, and his will continue to make him get low.)

It's so frustrating that I know how to take care of his diabetes better than he does. Or at least I think I do, which probably makes it more frustrating for him, too.

Anyway, at least it was a gorgeous day. All three spots where I was stung are sore now, though. Yuck!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

14.6 down, 11.6 to go

I met the girls this morning for a lovely run - 14.6 miles, pretty much following I-90 from Bellevue across Mercer Island to Seattle. It's the same run we did the previous two Saturdays, but further (we did 10 miles the first week, 12 the second, and this week we went all the way).

I felt great the entire time and really didn't want the run to be over! It's just so much fun to run with other people - and when you're fit like I am now, it just doesn't hurt. Maybe I'm not running fast enough. :-) But we were going a solid 9-minute pace, which is faster than I plan to run the NY marathon. Who knows, if I keep this up, maybe I'll naturally run a sub-four-hour marathon instead of the 4:20 I kind of have in my head for New York. We'll see.

Gabriel came with us on the bike, and is just getting better and better. He's staying to the right, he's going up the hills so fast most of the time that we don't catch him, and there's no whining. He did need to stop and eat a few times, and towards the end, seemed to be bonking - he would stop and wait for us to catch up, then when he was trying to get going again, he had trouble balancing - but we just stopped and fed him more and helped him get going again. I'm so proud of him! And every cyclist going the other direction that passed by him had a huge smile - people think what he's doing is cool. One group of women even stopped us to ask how old he was and how far we'd gone - they were amazed that a six-year-old could do what he can do!

And I just think, thank goodness. This kid is going to grow up being very active, and won't know that there's another way to be. He'll not likely be fat, either!

So this afternoon I went clothing shopping. It was actually quite fun, and I confirmed that I'm still a size six (especially since I'd just eaten a big lunch). I got two new pairs of jeans, two new pairs of shoes, and a couple other things. John and the kids started out shopping with me but quickly got bored - so John said, "Hey, can you just walk back to the shop from here?" (His shop is about two miles from the mall.) I looked at my shoes - three-inch high platform sandals - but said sure anyway. So I walked in these ridiculous shoes when I was done shopping, and now I have blisters. But that's okay, because I love that I *can* walk two miles after shopping and I don't need a car and the closest parking space to the door possible. Like last week when I went walking to get lunch for the family, I can rely on my body to get me where I need to go - and that's awesome!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Love my Fridays, hate my stuffy nose

This morning was really fun - I had three new people to come along on my Triathlon Friday workout. We first did a longish swim (40 minutes) in Lake Sammamish - Sarah peer-pressured me into doing it without a wetsuit, which actually was fine. When she asked me if I was going to wear the wetsuit, I realized that whatever I last did is my decision: so when I wear my wetsuit, I say I'm going to wear it for the race, and when I don't, I say I'm not going to. So who knows.

Maybe for Danskin I won't wear it, but for Lake Sammamish I will...but then again, I really want great times at both of those races. So the question becomes: will the wetsuit give me enough speed to make up the time it takes to get it off?

Then we ran up to the cars and transitioned to the bikes. I had a 13-mile route planned, including one climb (Northup - not really steep, but 1.2 miles of consistent uphill). But then we had almost two miles of fun downhill, so at least everyone who felt like maybe I tortured them uphill was rewarded. The rest of the ride was flat and fun - since I was leading, I was more concerned about keeping the group together than my own pace, but it was a nice recovery-pace ride for me and that's just fine - Mondays will be my hammering day, and race days of course.

We were running late so we just did a 10-minute run around the park. The sprint at the end hurt, but my HR recovered extremely quickly.

So now I'm happy, but stuffed-up. What do I do to make my nose get stuffy every time after I swim? I hate this feeling! (It almost makes me look forward to my swim break, starting Sept. 25 - where I no longer have swimming on the schedule until probably January at the earliest).

Oh, one other thing about swimming. I threw a couple of sprints into my workout today, and found them surprisingly enjoyable. I actually might do swim speedwork next year. We'll see.

Today's data:

Pre-workout: LF muffin from Starbucks, milk in coffee: 340
Breakfast: 2 oz ham, yogurt, granola (new product: "Bear Naked Granola" that I found at Costco. Yummy, and only 140 cals per serving!), milk in coffee: 360 cals
Lunch: Chicken burrito and apple, 600 calories
Chocolate fix: 60 calories
total so far: 1360 calories

Swim 40 min
Bike 1 hour
Run 10 min
Calories burned: 800

Thursday, August 10, 2006

It's got to be incredibly dorky...

Or presumptuous or something that I'm now naming my workouts. "Triathlon Friday," "Monday Morning Madness," - what's next? An online sign up system so my friends can register to join me?

Oh well. I love being the instigator - and I really love seeing my friends surprise themselves about what they can do, just like I surprise myself all the time. So much joy!

So check out my new workout calendar, and if you're in the area, COME ALONG! :-)

My regularly-scheduled a six-year-old

I forgot if I blogged this already, but too bad if I did. The other day, Gabriel said to me, "It's no fair, Mom. You get to ride and run and swim before work every day."

So I was like. "Yeah, did you hear yourself? I do it before WORK. You don't have to go to work, kid!"

But since he is going to camp near my work and school starts pretty soon, I figured that if I were ever going to bring him with me on a Tuesday or Thursday, it would have to be today.

Plus, today we decided to run at 6 instead of 5:15, so it made it slightly easier to wake him up. I went in his room at 5 - it was still completely dark - and tried to wake him. After a couple of gentle shakes, he jumped right out of bed ready to go. Okay, I guess he meant it when he said he wanted to come!

I met Nancy and Aleks and we left on the flattest route I could think of - Gabriel's bike doesn't have gears, so he slows considerably uphill. And like on the weekends, his behavior was perfect. He stopped at all the street crossings and waited, he didn't whine when we did have uphill to contend with, and when there was a long stretch without a logical stopping point, he just pulled over and waited for us to catch him. He rocked it - and we got the benefit of the bike computer I got him (7.14 miles in 1:12 - and that includes stopping at street lights for at least 5 minutes, so we were around a 9:30 pace or so).

Then I took him down to Idylwood to swim. At first he said he was tired, so we just walked down to the water together to check it out, but when he put his toes in, he saw how warm it was and we went back to the car for our wetsuits.

Once he was all the way in the water, he needed some, uh, encouragement to start swimming and warm up. I held his hands while he kicked around, then when he felt comfortable, he started swimming. He actually can swim - but he can't quite do his arms at the same time as his breathing. But that's okay - he's six, and most kids triathlons don't actually require that the kid swims. I need to get him in lessons.

So, that was my morning, and it was fun. The kid gets a little too informal with me sometimes - calling me "woman" or "lady" and treating me like a friend instead of a parent - but in general, I really enjoy sharing my workouts with him.

On to today's data:
Pre-workout: Yogurt: 110 cals
Breakfast: Bagel with egg, ham, and cheese, milk in coffee: 500 cals
Lunch: Tuna (w/veggies and low-cal ranch), soup, crackers: 330 cals
Snack: Cheese, 50 cals
Dinner: Chicken breast, salad, and later, um, that last slice of leftover pizza. Remind me never to buy pizza again!: 720 cals
Total today: 1710 calories
(so I guess despite the slice of pizza I really didn't need, I'm okay for the day)

Run 7 miles
Play with kid in lake
700 calories burned

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Those yucky parts

My weight is just fine. My clothing fits just fine. I wear a size 6! I can run forever, and I did a half-Ironman!

But yesterday, as I tried on a pair of triathlon shorts, all I could see was these two little lumps near my hips. Extra fat. I'm bumpy. And NOT in a good way.

I think I'm going to take a picture of them and carry it with me everywhere I go. Maybe then I'll actually be able to eat properly (guess why yesterday's meal tracking is incomplete? It begins with P, ends with A and includes a couple of Z's in the middle).

So I'm completely grossed out by these lumps, but unfortunately when I'm dressed in most things other than tri shorts, you can't see them, so I forget they're there and I succumb to chocolate.

But I can't stand them, and they're bringing me down. So I'm going to try to focus on eradicating them forever.

Today I had a shiatsu appointment this morning, so I didn't work out. I'm planning to ride this evening, though.

Later: Didn't end up riding; I just didn't feel like doing it alone. (Better get over that if I'm going to do an Ironman!) But I did go out on my hybrid bike with the kids for a while, and I'll make up the missed ride on Sunday.

Here are today's data:

Breakfast: Milk in coffee, Starbucks new fruit and yogurt and granola parfait: 350 cals
Lunch: Salad from Panera Bread, piece of whole-grain baguette: 460 cals
Snack: Luna bar, string cheese (when I thought I was going to ride): 240 cals
total so far: 1050 cals
Dinner: Spinach, chicken breast, and a leftover slice of pizza: 700 cals
total for the day: 1750 cals

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A chaotic morning

Today didn't start as wonderfully as yesterday.

John asked me to drive his fancy car to work (I don't think this link shows the right year, but the body style is all the same, and John's is black too). But he blocked me in by parking his truck in front of the garage where the NSX was, so I had to go find truck keys and move the truck. Then I pulled the NSX out of the garage and had to get out of the car to close the garage door, because that door has no opener. Then I started driving down the street and realized there was no gas in the car. So I went to the gas station, which made me annoyed because I didn't know which side the gas tank was on, and because my debit card doesn't work at gas stations and I hate using credit cards. So I couldn't find my wallet. Then I did. And I found which side the gas tank was on (the driver's), but for some reason it wouldn't open. So I go to call John and wake him up (it's 4:40 a.m., by the way - another reason I don't like to stop to get gas) but my cell phone isn't in my purse. So I drive back home. When I get out of the car, I notice that the gas door has decided to open on its own. Yay. I run inside, get my cell phone, go back to the gas station, buy gas with a credit card, call my running partners to say I'm going to be late, and then finally drive to the Pro Club.

And the worst part? The darn car has no cup holders, so I couldn't even have my cup of coffee on the way to the club.

So now that I have that off my chest, I feel a lot better. :-) Now, to my workout:

We ran for an hour (and really stuck to the hour for once - 64 minutes to be exact, versus our normal hour of 75 to 80 minutes), then Aleks and I lifted weights (upper body only - my glutes hurt from yesterday's climbs) and did abs. We like to tell each other how much we hate each other while we're doing plank or hover or pushups. I need to do more pushups - I'm such a pushup weenie. I can only do about 7 before I have to go to my knees - which doesn't make sense to me, because my triceps seem fairly well developed when I look at them in the mirror. Maybe my body is just too heavy for my poor arms (my arms are kind of skinny compared to the rest of me, I think).

Then I dragged myself down to Lake Sammamish for a swim. I was hoping that no one would be there so I would be able to say it wasn't safe and I couldn't swim, but of course there was a small crowd - including a few people I know training for Ironman Canada. So I had to swim - I just did two laps, though (about 30 minutes of swimming). The water was really choppy; there were wakeboarders coming way too close to the buoys. Oh, but I used my wetsuit today, and it did practically swim for me. I think I will use it in the rest of my tris - I just like how little work I have to do!

After the morning I had (and it continued - I switched cars with John and had to drive one of John's customers to work, but he forgot that Gabriel's backpack was in the van so I had to drive back down to his shop and give it to him, but that was of course after I'd parked at my building, and this whole time I'm completely soaking wet and still in my bathing suit and it's 51 degrees outside so I was COLD).

But I'm going to stop whining now and be happy again. :-) My friends and I are taking a little lunchtime journey to Speedy Reedy - a local triathlon store - so that should be fun!

Today's data:

Pre-workout: 1 Alternative Bagel, 110 cals
Breakfast: Banana bread, milk in coffee, 1 slice ham, cheese: 420 cals
Lunch: 12 oz low-fat beef barley soup, tuna with low-fat ranch dressing: 300 calories

Run 1 hour
Lift 30 minutes
Swim 30 minutes
900 calories burned

Monday, August 07, 2006

Monday Morning Madness

This is how to start a Monday: With a brisk bike ride, three major hill climbs, and an endorphin-filled morning.
The details:
Danielle is back! She had been away for two weeks. She picked me up and we went to our meeting place in Redmond. Sarah and Regan were already there.

The route was about 25 miles, around Lake Sammamish, but the "special" way - leaving the lake periodically to climb nearby hills, then returning to the general route. The route was a little convoluted, but super-fun.

I'd never even driven the three climbs, but I felt fairly confident that the roads were good enough, so I wasn't worried.

So first we hit Thompson Hill. I'd done a parallel hill to Thompson before; I expected it to be hard and long. It was - but not too bad. The part that I was somewhat worried about was what would happen at the top - I figured rollers at worst, though, and fortunately I was right. I had some trouble choosing the right gears, though - I needed to be in my big ring to go down the rollers, but at the top of each, I needed my small - and my fear of dropping my chain prevented me from shifting, so I just mashed in my big ring. (However, for most of this ride I did watch cadence, not speed, and kept it above 90.)

We went down 212th - this was probably the scariest part of the trip. Very steep, no shoulder, but few cars - so it was okay. 212th going up is on the list (, so I might have to do it - but it's definitely a 6 a.m. type of climb, so no cars will come up behind me. The road was bumpy, too, so I really had to ride my brakes to feel safe enough. Gravel plus broken pavement = fear.

At the bottom of 212th, Danielle and Regan were just passing by! They stayed close to the lake while Sarah and I climbed the hill. So we hooked back up with them and stayed closer together through Issaquah. We split off again to take different routes up into east Bellevue - Sarah and I went north on West Lake Sammamish Parkway.

This part of W. Lake Samm. has something resembling a shoulder, but now that I've attempted to ride it, not enough of one - I will not be doing this road in this direction again (southbound there is a decent bike lane). But we did it so we could get to SE 26th - I had heard this was steep, but short. Oh yeah, it sure was...steep! It wasn't that short. It was a tough climb - harder than Thompson Hill. My speed up Thompson hung out around 7 mph; up SE 26th it was around 6 mph.

So once up SE 26th, we still had some additional hills to climb, but not super-steep - then we had fabulous fun downhills back to W. Lake Sammamish. This was where Sarah decided to split off - she had to get back home to get ready for work. I wasn't quite ready to be I decided to hit another hill. I headed back south to NE 24th.

NE 24th starts out steep - I was going 8 mph - and then goes...downhill? I didn't know it was going to do that. But as I rode downhill, I looked up ahead. There was a wall of street in front of me. It reached the sky. The cars must have been glued on - after all, cars can't be at a 90 degree angle to the ground I was on.

I knew it couldn't be 90 degrees, that's impossible. But it still looked just...horrifying. The steepest thing I'd ever ever seen. I believed then that I likely would have to walk.

But I started up the hill. As I got about a fifth of the way up, the wall did become a hill...but I still didn't have confidence that I could make it. My speed dropped to 4.2. Yes, 4.2. I didn't know before today I could keep my bicycle upright at 4.2 mph. I thought to myself, "I could walk at this pace!" - but truly, I couldn't walk up that hill at that pace, so I guess that riding is still faster. Anyway, my breath started coming in wheezes, and I wasn't watching cadence, but it had to be in the 40s at the most...every push of the pedals was pain. Towards the top, there was a flat road off to the right - I pedaled a few yards down that road to catch my breath before finishing the hill. Then I continued up - still on the bike. No walking, no unclipping, but yeah, 4.2 miles per hour.

When I reached the top, I saw Regan and Danielle! So I caught up to them (they were headed downhill now, but I still had to push my speed to 25 mph to catch them - it felt nice to pick up speed again) and finished the route with them. I was completely bubbling over with words about NE 24th. And immediately I felt HIGH. Like nothing else - no drug could give that to me. It was better than the very first runner's high I got the first time I ran. And it stayed with me...I still feel amazing, even though work is doing what it can to bring me back down to reality.

That was the steepest, hardest climb I've ever done - and now I think I've got a good Monday morning tradition to continue: long fun rides before work. How else should I start the week?

So here are today's data:

Pre-workout: Milk in coffee, RF banana bread: 370 cals
Workout fuel: 1 GU, 100 cals
Breakfast: English muffin, ham, cheese, cottage cheese, peach: 410 cals
Lunch: Chicken, broccoli, rice: 400 cals
Candy: Dark chocolate, 50 cals
Snack: Yogurt, string cheese: 170 cals
Dinner: Chicken breast, veggies, cookie: 650 cals
total: 2150 calories

Ride 2 hours, 1000 calories

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Weekend catch up

Quick post to comment on the weekend:

Saturday I did 12 miles running - Gabriel biked it all with me, with no complaints. I bought him a bike computer - it's awesome! I get to track my miles running, he thinks he's cool. Excellent.

Sunday was a rest day for me, but we took the kids to the see the Blue Angels at a park on the west side of Mercer Island. We were in a hurry to find parking, so we didn't have food with us - and we'd been in a hurry to get to church so we hadn't eaten breakfast. So once John had secured a spot in the shade, I said I'd walk back to downtown Mercer Island to find food. I wish I'd had my running shoes - I was wearing my New Balance mules, though, and those are good enough for brisk walking. So I walked a few miles, pretty fast - probably 4.3, 4.4 mph. It felt good to be the one who was fit enough to walk somewhere - we weren't even sure how far it would be - and not be the lazy one waiting with the kids. (Not that John is lazy - just that three years ago, there would be no question - I WOULD NOT have walked to go find food. I would have bought Sno-Cones and soda and called it good, or lost the good parking space and driven).

Being fit is so wonderful. I never never never want to be out of shape again.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Conquered: 51st Street in Redmond

My new favorite web site is

A week ago, Sarah and I were eating lunch and she told me she had climbed 51st in Redmond on her bike. When I told her I'd never done it, she said, "I did something that you haven't!" So, okay, she did it first - but today, I joined her ranks and did it too.

So here's the setup: Sarah and I swim about a half-mile. She tried out my full wetsuit to see what swimming in one would be like; I wore my shortie (not the cheap Costco one, but a real shortie). The swim was nice - I swam more powerfully than I have been. I really like having my arms free, but I really miss the body of the full wetsuit. Next year I'm definitely getting a Farmer John.

So then Sarah leaves and I eat a packet of Jelly Belly Sport Beans and head out on the bike. I went south on West Lake Sammamish to my first hill: Northup Way. I know from running it that it's about 1.2 miles of climbing, and it pretty much sucks to run it. But I've wanted to ride it for a while.

Well, honestly, it was fairly easy; I did drop to my lowest gear, but only to keep my legs at a high cadence and going around 8-9 mph. I kept waiting for the "steep part" to kick in, and it never did. So that was good.

It was largely downhill from there, winding my way through a neighborhood back down to West Lake Sammamish. I had two lovely flying downhill sections, then turned north. All the while, I'm dreading the hill. I'm picturing my odometer, and how it starts out at 9 mph...then 8...then 7...then 6...then 5...then 4...then 3, and my bike starts wobbling and I can no longer keep it upright, and I nearly fall but then catch myself and stop, and have to walk. I tried to banish this daydream, but it kept recurring.

So I see the light at the bottom of the hill. It's green for going straight, red for turning left. However, there's no oncoming traffic, so I keep my momentum and just start. The hill begins right away, and I think the steepest part is the part closest to the light. (A lot of streets in Redmond and Bellevue are like this: it's like the people who created and paved the streets thought they had more runway when they were determining the angle of the road, but made a mistake and had to make up for it at the bottom by making the bottom part the very steepest.)

Sure enough, I went from 9 mph to 8 mph to 7 My speed sort of stabilized there and never dropped below it. I looked at my watch. My HR was 173. Not bad at all. Looked back at the odometer. 6.7. Okay. My breathing was heavy and loud, but my legs were turning over (I wish I had checked the cadence, but I didn't. I'd guess it was in the 60s to 70s). I passed another cyclist walking his bike and said good morning. He grunted at me. And suddenly, the hill was over. That was it. I was done.

According to my new favorite web site, 51st is .6 of a mile, 261 feet of elevation gain, average grade of 8.3, max grade of 11. So I got to make a new check mark on the web site. Yay!

Unfortunately, I'm only at 14 out of 118 Seattle-area climbs. A lot of the roads I consider climbs aren't actually listed there. But that's okay - I'm using it as a checklist. I'm going to try working those hills into my regular routines - many of them are fairly close by, and I need variety to keep me entertained.

So, today's data:

Pre-workout: Banana and milk in coffee, 110 cals
Workout fuel: Jelly Bellys, 100 cals
Breakfast: Bagel with egg, ham, cheese: 450 cals
Lunch: Qdoba burrito - more calories than I thought! - 830 cals

Swim 1/2 mile
Bike 1 hour
Calories burned: 800

Thursday, August 03, 2006

More adventures in 55 degree weather

Yeah, for all you readers in hot parts of the country (which I think is everywhere but here?): it was 55 this morning when I went out for my run. I wore long pants and a long-sleeve shirt.

However, 55 degree weather plus an open-water swim without a wetsuit equals a very, very cold Jessica. My fingers and toes are still numb, even after showering and getting dressed. (Reynaud's Syndrome, but still...I feel freezing!)

We did a 6.5 mile run at a nice, chatty pace - four of us to start out, then Nancy cut back to the club 30 minutes in because of a blister. It's so great, though, to have this awesome group to run with! I think it's really been the key to my good season - having great people to train with. It makes getting out of bed at 4:25 a.m. tolerable.

Then I met Sarah for a swim. We did about 2/3 of a mile without wetsuits. I can feel that I'm getting stronger without the wetsuit - today was better than last week for sure. It was so cold getting in, though! Once I was swimming, it was fine, but to start...ugh!

I can still feel how much more work it is to swim without a wetsuit, but it's not bad - and I am able to conserve my legs, I think, by using a stronger pull. In fact, the stronger pull I tried out today made me swim a lot faster than usual.

So, it's hours later and I'm still not warm. Oh well.

Here are today's data:

Pre-workout: Banana and milk in coffee, 110 cals
Breakfast: Bagel, ham, and cheese; milk in coffee: 480 cals
Lunch: Chicken breast and salad: 450 cals
A moment of weakness: Brownie, 200 cals (not all of it)
total so far: 1240 cals
Dinner: Tuna steak, veggies, bread, rice
Then John fed me ice cream. :-(

Run: 500 calories
Swim: 300 calories (some of this was "transition" too, but whatever)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Tomorrow is going to HURT

Ow ow ow. It's wrong when by the time you hit the shower, your muscles already feel sore after lifting...but that's what I get for not lifting, a couple of weeks? Yeah.

But it was good, and I was happy to notice I hadn't lost muscle tone in my arms. Starting in a few weeks I plan to go back to three times a week of lifting.

So here's what we did:

Two sets of each:
With the exercise ball behind my back against the wall, holding body in a squat, 15 bicep curls (12 lbs each hand)
With exercise ball under my shoulders and hips up to make a "tabletop" body, 15 tricep extensions (12 lbs each hand)
With exercise ball under my shoulders and hips up to make a "tabletop" body, 15 chest press (12 lbs each hand, should have done 15 though)
With exercise ball under my shoulders and hips up to make a "tabletop" body, 15 chest fly (8 lbs each hand, couldn't find 10s)
Standing up: Shoulder raises (8 lbs)
Standing up: Some other shoulder thing, I forgot what (Aleks made me do it)
On the Bosu ball upside down: Overhead press with squats (8 lbs, should have done 10s)
Lunges on the exercise ball while holding a medicine ball and lifting it straight into the air (15 each side twice)
Something on the exercise ball for hamstrings (again, Aleks' exercise)
Something on the exercise ball for obliques
Bicycle crunches
Hover (1 minute, and it HURT me this time)
Plank (1 minute 30 seconds and my right wrist gave out)
Exercise ball push-ups
Squat pulses

I actually really enjoy strength training. It's just taken a back seat this summer to sport-specific training.

So here are today's far. I'm going on a bike ride at lunch and we'll see how that goes.


Okay, the bike ride was FABULOUS. It was led by folks from the Cascade Bicycle Club, and they said in advance the ride would be "brisk" - which means 16-18 on flats. I knew I could hold that, but I was still nervous - it would me mostly Microsoft people, which likely meant men with the same testosterone ratios as poor, framed Floyd. :-) Anyway, I wasn't sure how I'd do in that situation.

Well, it was sort of like that, but the ride leader got the feeling everyone could hang with a harder pace, so he picked it up - and we rode fairly hard for 19 miles including the steepest hill I've ever ridden - so steep I started to wheeze! Which was so interesting to me that it sort of took my mind off the fact that it hurt.

At the end, the ride leader told us he'd classify the ride as "strenuous" - the next faster classification of ride. So I felt good (even though I'm sure part of why the ride was so fun was that the leader stays in front - so the rest of us draft).

Pre-workout: Yogurt, 110 cals
Breakfast: English muffin, ham, cheese, milk in coffee, cottage cheese, nectarine: 440 cals
Lunch: Turkey and swiss on whole-wheat, 500 cals
Snack: Hostess cupcake (too many meetings, not enough healthy food): 180 cals
Dinner: Chicken breast, green beans: 400 cals
Ice cream: John brought home a special mix from Cold Stone just for could I resist? Probably 400 calories, though.
total calories: 2030

Strength training, 1 hour: 250 calories
Bike ride, 1 hour 15 minutes: 600 calories

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Only 80 minutes

Today was a gorgeous fall morning. Yeah, I said fall. I know it's August 1, but it was 58 degrees and beautiful. Nancy and I decided to do a route we know we'll lose soon because it's darker later in the morning now - then partway through, we extended it another 2.5 miles or so. So we did 80 minutes of running and both felt really good.

After the run, I had sort of thought I would lift weights and then go swim in the lake...but I didn't want to. And I was thinking about how my heart rate was quite low during the run, but my RPE was high - is such a mis-match a sign of overtraining?

Anyway, I know it's time to re-train my brain to think that an 80-minute workout is enough, so I called it quits. But it was really, really hard for me to just stop. Seriously. And I now feel guilty, like I didn't do enough. So I really do need to get over that!

So here are today's data:
Pre-workout: Vitatop, milk in coffee: 130 cals
Breakfast: Bagel and cream cheese: 350 cals
Lunch: Turkey breast, veggies, mashed potatoes (but not a lot); 350 cals
My chocolate fix: 36 calories (Milky Way Midnight miniature)
Snack: Yogurt and string cheese: 170 cals
total so far: 1036

Run 80 minutes, 600 calories