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I’m a Triathlete??

January 29, 2012 Fitness 2 Comments

I’ve been at this triathlon thing for a few years now and I’ve come to learn a lot about myself.

This year, of course, will be the true test as I prepare for Ironman Canada in August. As January comes to an end, so does the first month of training. It was aggressive. I mean, we were swimming 2000+ yards three times a week during Week 1. Swim-Bike and Swim-Run bricks were introduced in Week 2. And today’s workout marked the first Bike-Run brick (33 miles + 2 miles).

Here are a few observations that run through my head as I plan my training, map my routes, actually do the workouts, hydrate and eat accordingly, and recover:

  1. I am not good at practicing proper nutrition when I train because I am more concerned about my weight than proper fuel. This needs to change, and fast.
  2. I prefer a loop to an out-and-back. I prefer a loop so much that I will re-route myself mid-ride (sometimes making it harder) just so that I don’t have to simply turn around and re-ride the same course backwards.
  3. I am pleasantly surprised that I have become a strong swimmer. Considering I couldn’t make it 25 yards without stopping to catch my breath at the other side when I started, I have come a long way. I owe it all to that swim clinic, and the subsequent time I’ve spent in the pool practicing what I learned.
  4. I am tired of men and their egos. A guy can very clearly be out for a leisurely stroll while I’m out for a serious training ride when I pass him. He will then go into heart attack mode to re-pass me, just to save a little face. Get over yourself.
  5. I’d be lost without my Garmin. (Not literally – ha!) I am addicted to the data and won’t train without it. As my friend Ryan says, “If I didn’t track it, it didn’t happen.”
  6. I need a professional bike fit in the worst way. I have owned my bike (a Specialized Roubaix Expert, purchased before I got into triathlon) for 4 years and have never been all that comfortable on it.  My shoulders pinch and my hands go numb at the wrist, among other things.
  7. After all this time, the Bike-Run bricks never get easier for me. Not even during a real race.
  8. My stomach doesn’t do well on the engineered food like gels and chews. I need to find REAL FOOD that offers quick sugar/energy to fill this void. Dates filled with peanut butter are great, but too messy.
  9. My typical hydration is a bottle of water and a bottle of FRS on the bike. I like to run with a bottle of Nuun and take plain water at the aid stations. This has been working well for me.
  10. I am not a snob, especially when it comes to my workout gear. Being unemployed for 2+ years contributed to this, and it also proved that I don’t need all the highest-tech gear to get my training hours/miles in. Time trumps gear.
  11. I don’t have a go-to recovery food. Sometimes I’ll have chocolate milk. Sometimes I’ll have a beer. Today, I had a slice of a kid’s birthday cake and a glass of cheap red wine. It did the job.
  12. Naming our dog has had the exact effect I hoped it would: a positive connotation with lots and lots of Miles.

Am I really a triathlete?? So many of the people whose stories I follow and carouse with are much more scientific about this whole thing. Every calorie is planned and accounted for. Every piece of gear has been chosen. Every training route is executed without question. And yet, this works for me. I don’t take it too seriously and still manage to come across the finish line in reasonably good spirits each time. To each her own!

What have you learned about yourself over time? And does anyone have a suggestion on what I can do about real food??



WWW: January 9

January 16, 2011 Fitness No Comments

I wasn’t quite as gung-ho this week as last week. I felt tired and it was cold and dreary most days, so I really had to force myself and get out there. The skiing wasn’t great (especially Thursday), but it was better than doing nothing. And hopefully what I did do was enough to offset the amount of beer consumed…

What did you do this week?

Weekly Workout Wrap-up

Sunday – 26-mile bike ride

Monday – 19 mile (??) bike ride. My Garmin died at Mile 3, but I basically did this route.

Tuesday – OFF

Wednesday – 4.65-mile run + Tracy Anderson Method

Thursday – Downhill skiing (11:00-1:30) — conditions were rainy and miserable

Friday – Downhill skiing (11:30 – 3:30)

Saturday – 33-mile bike ride + Tracy Anderson Method


Favorite Things

December 24, 2010 Favorites, Fun 1 Comment

Athleta stretch pants and my Fit Flop slippers
I really love wearing clothes without zippers
Working from home means no reason to dress
Here is a song of the things I love best.

Sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese on crackers.
Logging my training with Garmin’s web trackers.
Finding a balance with fitness and food.
These are the things that will improve my mood!

Drinking red wine by the box and the bottle.
Swim, bike and run – always training full throttle.
Seeing my family and friends through the year.
These are the things that I treasure most dear!

My dog’s cancer.
When Greg travels.
My low bank account.
I just think of a few of my favorite things,
And turn my frown upside-down!


Pick Me! Pick Me!

August 8, 2010 Fitness, Friends No Comments

Many of you know I am obsessed with my Garmin device and all the data it provides for my biking and running. How fast am I going? What was my average pace on this run? How does that compare to my last run on this course? What is my heart rate at any given moment? How much farther until I pass out? (Actually, this device does not track that last one specifically, but I’ve got a request into my friends who work there…)

Well, my beloved Forerunner 405 is showing signs of shooting craps. The sound no longer works. I have to set it in exactly-the-right-spot for it to charge. Often the bezel won’t recognize that I’m touching it to change screens. I fear that it is not long for this world.

But alas! One of the blogs I follow, DC Rainmaker, is hosting a giveaway and this time the prize is a Garmin Forerunner 310XT. This is a triathlon-specific device that is fully waterproof to track my swims, in addition to tracking cycling and running data. I want one!!

Considering a Garmin yourself? The blog’s author, Ray, does a fantastic job of reviewing all kinds of products related to fitness (general) and triathlon (specific). In addition, he tells all the stories of his triathlon adventures, among many other things. He’s got quite a story to tell and he does it well.

I promise I’ll be back to telling my own stories soon enough, but wanted to give a quick shout-out to a fellow blogger. Check him out, and stay tuned for some highlights and photos from my ride across the great state of Iowa!