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Vineman Monte Rio

Greg and I raced the inaugural Vineman Monte Rio olympic distance triathlon on June 2. We had visited the Russian River area of Sonoma County a couple of weeks prior to that and rode part of the bike and run courses, just to see what it was like. The roads were flat, newly paved, and shady. Sign me up!

The nice thing about competing in a difficult half Ironman race so early in the season is that then you’re basically ready for anything after that. In fact, we’re racing again this weekend! The olympic distance is so fun and relatively painless after the Wildflower Long Course.

Vineman Monte Rio makes the sixth multi-sport event these race organizers host each summer. Since this was the first running of the event, we weren’t exactly sure what to expect, but these folks know what they’re doing and it went very smoothly.

Packet pickup was quick and painless. There were just a handful of sponsors since it’s the first year of the event, so we were in and out of there quickly. Monte Rio is a small community with limited parking, so they were encouraging participants to park three miles away at the rodeo grounds and take shuttle buses in on race morning. This meant leaving bikes in the transition area overnight. Greg and I were staying at a campground adjacent to the rodeo grounds, so we chose to just ride our bikes the ~3 miles in. This worked very well for us.

RACE MORNING
The Van really does make things easy on race morning, the MVP being the in-house toilet. This was a low-pressure race for both of us, so I was able to take care of breakfast, getting dressed, and all necessary “business” before Greg was back from trotting Miles around the campground. I had built in the necessary time that would allow us to run behind schedule (as is always the case) and arrived at the race site with plenty of time to spare.

SWIM — 30:37 (2:03/100)
The water was warm (~72*F) compared to the outside temperature (~60*F), so it felt good getting in. I made the mistake of not being in the front of my age group and started behind 3-4 rows of women bobbing around in the river. It took several minutes to finally swim around everyone and get in a groove. While I am not swimming as strongly as I was last year, I start fast and finding “clean water” makes a big difference in getting into a rhythm.

The water was shallow and a lot of people were standing up to walk, especially in one section on the way back in. For anyone with open water anxiety, the Vineman races are very good for this reason. I was able to swim through it all, which was great. I’m much faster while swimming than while walking in knee-deep water. I assumed I’d end up somewhere around 30 minutes and was really pushing myself at the end. Just as I stood up in the water, my Garmin beeped at me that it had been 30 minutes (I keep it in my swim cap in a Ziploc bag and have it set to beep every 10 minutes, just to give me an idea of how I’m doing). I was disappointed that I couldn’t break the self-inflicted time barrier, but also feel better knowing that the race directors said the course ran ~150 meters long. At my 2:03/100m pace, I would have finished sub-30 if the course had been accurate.

I swam into three other age groups in my mile-long trip up and down the river and had no idea where I was in my own age group. There were no other orange caps around me at the time I exited the water and felt pretty good about things.

T1 — 4:18
I say this all the time – I am not fast in transition. This course made it difficult for everyone because of the long distance from the water’s edge up to the transition area and because that run was on small pebbles. We were all hobbling down to the race start, lamenting our transition times before it even began. Some people left their flip flops at the water’s edge and found theirs in a sea of other flip flops for the trip back up…but most gutted it out.

BIKE — 1:16:10 (19.5 mph)
This was a fantastic bike ride! Greg and I rode a section of the course a couple of weeks ago and then drove another section of it Saturday on our way to the campsite. The main road out to the coast was recently repaved and was pristine – perfect for racing! The course took us on a bit of a detour on a less-traveled road that had a little bit of elevation gain and was in poor condition. Other than that 7 mile section, this bike course was a dream.

I saw Greg just before I made the turn onto Highway 1 into Jenner; he was on his way back in. I had a race plan to eat my Larabar at the turnaround. I got it out of my bento box and promptly dropped it as I tried to open it. Now I know why people over-pack for short events… I tend to not eat very much while training/racing anyway, so I wasn’t totally concerned, but I knew I didn’t have much in my race belt for the run and I’d have to take advantage of the aid stations on the run.

This bike ride ends up being a PR for me in an olympic distance race. I passed 7 people in my age group on the course and was passed by one woman who was flying.

T2 — 2:27
I was in the run transition area with another woman from my age group. She was chatting with her husband, saying that this run was going to take her a long time. Of course, “a long time” is all relative to how fast someone’s normal running pace is, but I did feel a bit confident coming off a great bike ride and feeling good for the run.

Spoiler: that woman got the 3rd place podium spot.

RUN — 52:19 (8:27/mile)
I think I’ve mentioned that my running training has focused on hills and consistency rather than speed this year. That was all due to the sufferfest that the Wildflower run is. I signed up for this race kind of on a whim, just because it is a beautiful venue, the distance is [relatively] easy, and it would be a fun weekend getaway.

I hit the 1 mile marker and was delighted to see my pace at 8:17. That is fast for me! And yet, everything felt good. I kept on with it, not paying attention to my pace, only with feeling good while running. The run course is absolutely flat and 99% shaded. The only sun is between mile 3.0 and 3.1 at the turnaround. It was blissful!

I saw Greg at my Mile 2 and he looked good heading into his last two miles. I was chatting with people and otherwise feeling good about life. I had a half package of Clif Shot Bloks as I started the run and decided to take a gel from the aid station at Mile 4. I don’t usually use these for training because they upset my stomach, but I knew I needed an extra shot of energy because I’d lost my food on the bike. Despite everyone saying it’s “just like frosting,” I don’t often eat frosting (!!) and it was hard to suck it down. It did seem to work as prescribed and did not give me any stomach distress, so that was a win and I plan to employ that this weekend as well.

I felt good all through the run. I didn’t explode. I never had the desire to walk. No stomach/bathroom issues. I was passing a lot of people and not being passed by anyone in my age group, so that led me to speculate on where I was in the field. I rounded the last corner across the bridge and saw Greg cheering for me. I turned into the finish area, which included winding around the transition area and up a steep hill to the finish line. This bit of terrain led me to ask aloud,  ”Who puts a fucking hill at the finish line?!” and several spectators laughed.

I was so proud of my finish! I thought it was a PR for me, but it turns out the olympic distance I did last year (the one I am doing tomorrow, in fact!!) was a 2:41:32. I did better in the swim, run, and transitions at that race last year, causing a little bit of anxiety this afternoon…

FINISH — 2:45:51
Greg and I hung around for 30 minutes or so, waiting for them to post the final results. The post-race food was pancakes and sausage, so I made-do with drinking half a Dr. Pepper and waiting to eat until we got back to The Van. As proud as I am of my finish, I was totally bummed to get fourth place in my age group AGAIN. I think this is the fourth time I’ve missed the podium by one spot! Even so, it was a fun morning and I was glad to be part of the inaugural running of the race.

POST-RACE
We rode back to our campsite to rescue Miles and spend a couple of hours river-side before taking a leisurely trip down the coast. This delicious concoction includes Stoli Chocolate Coconut Vodka, chocolate almond milk, and coconut milk. The latter two items are known for their recovery properties, so I feel like it’s all good…

And almost nothing is better than watching our sweet boy fetch his ball up and down the river.

We’re headed to Morgan Hill this evening to camp somewhere (hopefully) and race the Reservoir Triathlon tomorrow.

Enjoy your weekend!

70.3 in 11 Days

April 23, 2013 Fitness 1 Comment

I have my *A Race* in 11 days and I haven’t talked a bit about my training all Spring. You’re welcome and/or I’m sorry. 

So, Wildflower 70.3. Let’s break this down:

The outlook was pretty poor from the start. My knees were the main culprit, creaking all the time and causing pain doing simple things like standing up  from a seated position and descending stairs. Things were really looking bad as I considered running a ridiculously difficult half marathon after swimming 1.2 miles and biking 56 hilly miles. But my magical chiropractor evaluated me and said that it’s the scar tissue in my calves that is causing the issue. He gave me some homework that I have been good about and things are going much better. I did have a literal run-in with Miles’ 85-pound girlfriend Lola — straight to the side of my left knee — and that has me a bit concerned. I went to yoga over the weekend and it was sore in Warriors 1 and 2, but it was fine on my long run after that. I will keep icing everything and hope for the best on race day.

My swimming is going well. I am in the pool at least twice a week and everything there feels very consistent and good. I have to remind myself to focus on my form (rather than figuring out what I’m going to wear to work, for instance) and that helps my interval times tremendously. Go figure. I expect the swim will be my best event at the race. Update: my goggles and Ironman swim cap were never recovered. Karma’s a bitch, people. Watch out. Miles and I went for an open water swim on Friday to cool off and I went on my first real swim in the Bay yesterday. It wasn’t as fast as I maybe would have liked, but it wasn’t a disaster.

Cycling is what it is. And by that, I mean I don’t care. I’m just not driven this time around. I bike three times a week, two shorter mid-week rides and one long weekend ride. I force myself into incorporating punishment like hills and sprints. I know I will be glad I did when the time comes, but I’m not enjoying the process. I finally got on my tri bike on March 16 — the first time I had ridden it since Ironman on August 26. This expensive bike had collected a lot of dust in the garage in that time. The good news is that getting back on it was a treat. I am actually far more comfortable on this bike than my road bike. The bad news is that not even a fancy bike can make me fast like proper training does.

As for my running, I am 98% hill-centric. I have done the majority of my training on very hilly terrain that largely mimics the Wildflower course: hot, dusty, hilly terrain. I am doing almost no speed work. My average run pace is slow, but very consistent. I’m fine with that; I left this race last year saying I’d never do it again. I realize that everything is relative, and I want the suffer-fest to be relative as well. Slow and steady will win this race for me.

I don’t know what kind of race goals I’ll put together. I want to say something arbitrary like, “Just have fun!”, but who am I kidding? First of all, that’s not a measurable goal. Second, I’m competitive enough that I’m sure I’ll endure a fair amount of discomfort if I see a lot of people in my age group passing me. The best news of all is that I don’t have to train for a full Ironman once this race is over. It will be a blissful summer compared to 2012!

 

 

 

And so it begins…

February 17, 2013 Fitness, Fun No Comments

Training.

Half Ironman training, to be precise. Today marked my first “real” bike ride. My first “real” climb since Ironman back in August. I guess it’s official that triathlon train has begun once again.

On all the “fun” rides I’ve gone on this winter, I’ve had to force myself to go. It hasn’t been enjoyable, even on the nicest days or the best routes. I just don’t care anymore. It’s a concerning feeling, going into training for the hardest 70.3 race I know of.

Today, I climbed Tunitas Creek. Greg and I stayed in The Van over on the coast last night, kind of on a whim. I threw my bike in the last minute, kind of on a whim… The idea being that I’d ride back home from the coast.

You know, forcing myself into it. No way out. One way home. UP AND OVER.

It was in the low 40s when we woke up this morning. Cold and overcast, but not miserable. We took Miles for an hour-long walk on the beach and I was delighted when the sun started burning through the fog. By the time Greg dropped me off south of Half Moon Bay, it was in the low 50s and mostly sunny.

The climb is significant, and I hit it just 1.89 miles into my ride. Luckily, I came upon another rider about a mile in. He’d never ridden Tunitas before and looked at me with bug-eyes, breathing hard, asking how long the climb is. It was with some veteran-of-this-climb pleasure that I informed him that Tunitas Creek Road is 9 miles from bottom to top. The serious climbing portion is about 4 miles, but the mental game of having to continue pedaling to the end of the road is quite taxing.

We made it up in reasonable time, chatting the whole way about our various endeavors and how much this sucked. I was certainly glad for the company. I can say with honesty that the entire ride was much better because I had someone along for those 9 miles. I burned a lot of calories today, I feel like I made a very big stride in my cycling training/fitness, and I will sleep very well tonight.

All good.

8 Days and Counting

April 27, 2012 Fitness No Comments

I am competing in a Half Ironman triathlon in 8 days and I haven’t made mention of it on this blog. At all.

Is that you, Denial? It’s me, Molly.

I actually think it was denial for a long time. It took until mid-March for me to realize that I am not, in fact, training for Ironman Canada — a race that takes place on August 26. I am training for the Wildflower Long Course. IT TAKES PLACE ON MAY 5. I also can’t believe the mental block. I love Wildflower!

Wildflower 2010

A huge mental shift had to happen in my head for Wildflower to come into focus. For the last two years, the 70.3 triathlon distance was my “A race.” It was the hardest thing I had ever done and everything I had ever trained for wrapped up into one 6-hour day (give or take 23 minutes). The shift happened, and very little changed.

Here’s why: I’m not going balls-out for this race. My coach’s orders are to compete at my projected full-Ironman race pace. I can tell you that I will not be swimming 2.4 miles in 1:04. I will not be averaging 18.8 mph on my 112 bike ride. And I will not be running a sub-4-hour marathon.

My training these days is good. It’s consistent. I complete 99.5% of every workout prescribed, as I have for the last two years. I am just as tired and just as hungry as I have been in years-past. I know I’m fit, but I feel slow. In some cases, the data proves I’m slow(er). The difference this year is that I don’t care. I don’t have anxiety going into this race with aggressive goals and expectations for myself.

I gotta tell you, it’s freeing!

My #1 goal is to get through the race without feeling like shit. And let me tell you something else — I haven’t ever finished a race without feeling like shit, so that’s a pretty big feat. I’ve been focusing on my nutrition and hydration. I’ve been pacing myself, especially on hills (both Wildflower and IM Canada very hilly). I’ve been doing strength workouts that include plyometrics. I get the proper amount of sleep.

So this race is uncharted territory for me. That it’s not about going as fast as I possibly can NO MATTER WHAT. It’s about racing smart. It’s about enjoying the journey, and taking notes for the Big One.

Eight days until the gun goes off!

New Ride!

April 16, 2012 Fitness No Comments

New stuff should be is fun! While un(der)employed, I basically went  2.5 years with minimal additions/upgrades to my triathlon gear (or my wardrobe. or my living space…). I’ve taken Greg’s cast-offs like gloves and foot warmers and have otherwise made-do with what I have. When I do shop, I tend to buy high quality stuff, and that has served me well.

My road bike doesn’t fit me that well, so it seems, and even a professional bike fit isn’t going to make riding 112 miles any more comfortable (or fast or ergonomically conducive to run a marathon afterward). Everyone talks about how much better they feel getting off a triathlon-specific bike. Greg has had a tri bike (also called a time trial or TT bike) for a few years now and swears by it for being faster and more comfortable.

So, I put myself in the market for a tri bike. I’ve got money to spend now, right? According to some documentation on Slowtwitch, the Cannondale Slice is a perfect fit for someone like me. And by “someone like me,” I don’t mean to compare myself to Chrissie Wellington. I mean someone with really long limbs and a really short torso.

Source

A local bike shop happened to have the 2011 Slice model available. IN MY SIZE and ON SALE. This must be the Universe, right? I took ‘er for a spin and decided to commit. I spent an hour getting fitted on the bike and then waited a week for it to stop raining so I could finally ride it.

Well, I went out that day with a few tools in my pockets to tweak things as needed and hoped for the best. The training calendar dictated a 45-mile ride  + 3 mile run. Greg was [supposedly] on stand-by with his phone to help me out in case something came up.

I got three blocks from home and realized the seat was too high. I got off to adjust it and found that it was down as far as it would go. The tech at the bike shop had cut a significant amount of the seat post off, based on how we had sized it in the shop on the trainer, but had given me no leeway to put it down farther. It would have to do (because I was too stubborn to ride 3 blocks back home and have Greg cut it down farther, obviously).

About 3 miles down the road, it was very clear that the seat was tilted up too high ifyouknowhatImean. The tools I had were not the right size to fit in the seat screws so I tried to call Greg, only he wasn’t answering. I left a text and voicemail, hoping he’d call me before leaving the house on his own ride. I made it two more miles and had to stop again, calling and calling and calling him again. No answer. More frustration.

I was about 12 miles from home at this point, and had already decided that 45 miles would be 30 miles and that was that. I was too uncomfortable to push it for the additional hour. Greg called back when I was nearly at my turnaround point, so I told him to not bother with it (we weren’t anywhere near each other) and I’d suffer through for the trip home. Bright side: this would be good mental training!

I made a turn and started to down-shift to accommodate a slight incline and my gears wouldn’t catch. They kept slipping as I pedaled and I finally had to clip out, as not to fall over from lack of momentum. I looked down and saw my chain nearly dragging on the ground. I thought I had just dropped the chain and I’d put it back on and keep going. I got to the shoulder and saw that something was amiss with the rear derailleur.

I called Greg. And called him. And called him. And called him. I CALLED 24 TIMES AND HE NEVER ANSWERED. Between buyer’s remorse and spousal unresponsiveness, I was over it. He finally called back… and had to turn around on his ride to go get the car and rescue me. He confirmed the rear derailleur was completely broken.

*sigh*

I drove the bike immediately to the bike shop for them to repair it. By this time, it was nearly 4 PM on St. Patrick’s Day and I still had to get back on my other ill-fitting bike and ride 20 miles +  run 3. It was cold, the wind was howling, and I was grouchy (<– understatement). Again, I chalked it up to good mental training and was proud of myself for not quitting.

It took me a week to pick the bike up. Then it rained for about a week after that, so it was awhile before I got back on my new ride. And believe me, I wasn’t that excited about it anyway. I had the guys cut more off the seat post, and I’ve had Greg cut off even more twice now. I also bought three new saddles to try out, and I think I’ve found one that works. Greg made a bunch of tweaks to the seat, seat tilt, and aero bar positions before my next long ride. He then followed me in the car with a bevy of tools and made many tweaks along the way for the first few miles. This was priceless — and much greater than an insignificant kindness!

I’ve gone for a few long rides now, and while I will admit that I don’t love my new ride just yet, it is getting better. Patience is what it takes, and that’s something I lack most of the time. Again, I’m chalking it up to good mental training…

Because

February 2, 2012 Fear, Fitness 1 Comment

I did not do today’s workout because I wanted to. It was a beautiful day and I had a nice dog to run with. I woke up and instantly put my running clothes on — ready to go! But that didn’t make it any easier getting myself out the door. In fact, I didn’t actually go on that prescribed run until 2:30 PM. And I was ‘dressed and ready to go’ at 7:30 AM.

As I think about it now, I don’t want to do tomorrow’s workout. It’s a low-mileage speed workout on the bike. The forecast is sunny with high temp of 63*F. Ideal, really.

Of course, I’ll do it.

I do each day’s workout not because I WANT to, but because of what I DON’T WANT: I don’t want to look like an asshole and feel even worse than that on race day.

See you out there tomorrow! And the next day, hey!

My Workout Classifications (and WWW: July 3)

July 11, 2011 Fitness 1 Comment

Not all workouts are created equal, and I’m not just talking about length (I ran for an hour) or distance (I ran 8 miles). In order to get stronger, faster, and build more endurance, we need to train our bodies accordingly. That is not accomplished by going out for as long and fast as possible every time. There are specific ways to train to achieve different things.

Admittedly, I used to scoff when I saw a 3-mile run as part of a training plan. I took it at face-value and dismissed this distance as too short to be doing any good. Not any more! I can tell you that some of the hardest workouts I’ve done were only three miles long and I was begging for them to be over.

You may hear me talk about completing “a long run” or some such verbiage. I’m going to give you a sense of what I mean by that and how I classify my own workouts.

** Disclaimer: I am not a coach. I am not a Certified Personal Trainer. I am an amateur athlete largely doing my own thing and these are my own opinions. **

CYCLING
<20 miles: speed work or SFRs/hill repeats
Contrary to what I used to believe, I don’t always need to go all-out to get in a good cycling workout. This distance is great for doing drills with sprints or hills. Otherwise, if I am going out for fewer than 20 miles, I consider it “recreational” riding or errands. Still burning calories (and not burning gas)!!

20-40 miles: intervals and/or power work
This distance is long enough to get in some decent HR intervals and even some one-legged drills while maintaining good speed and building endurance. Examples — I will work on maintaining cadence over varying terrain or reestablishing my average pace after a long climb. For me, this cycling range is my go-to for most training rides.

40+ miles: endurance
This is butt-in-saddle time for me. I will sometimes incorporate some intervals, but it’s largely a time for me to settle in at race pace and grind it out. I watch my HR and average speed, but also keep in mind the need to go the distance and pace myself accordingly. This is what I will refer to as “a long ride.”

RUNNING
<4 miles: sprint intervals or recovery
Nothing wrong with a good recovery run, and anything under 4 miles ought to do it. That said, if you’re looking to get faster, I dare you to go out there and sprint for 30 seconds at every half mile for four miles. You will be tired (and faster) when you get done.

4-6 miles: anything goes
This distance can do anything. You can go for a tempo run or mix some sprint intervals in. Run on trails or hilly terrain to mix it up. This is a go-to distance for me because I can vary it so widely.

6+ miles: endurance
My average pace settles around 8:20-8:30 these days, so most runs over 6 miles get into the hour range. I consider that a long run. These are usually tempo runs, but I have been better about mixing in hills to acclimate myself better for race conditions. The goal is then to get my average speed back up to where I need it on the flats.

SWIMMING
This is an entirely different beast.

Again, the time or distance doesn’t matter — it’s what you do with it. You can build a speed workout that is 1000 yards or 2600 yards. The same goes for a workout that focuses on form. The takeaway here is to not just get in the pool and grind out some set distance and think you are helping yourself. Go in with a goal and work toward it. If you need to improve your form, stop looking at the clock. If you are doing speed work, you better have a shit-ton of intervals planned.

Weekly Workout Wrap-up

Sunday – 54-mile bike ride + 2 mile run

Monday – 2600-yard swim

Tuesday – Track Attack + 7 mile power walk

Wednesday – 21-mile bike ride + 7 mile power walk

Thursday – 7.5 mile run

Friday – OFF

Saturday – 2550 yard swim + 8.5 mile run

Barb’s Race Recon (and WWW: June 26)

July 6, 2011 Fear, Fitness, Friends 2 Comments

It’s three weeks until Barb’s Race (Half Ironman triathlon) in Sonoma County. Caryn and I drove to the race site to ride the entire bike course and part of the run course on June 30. I still have a bad taste in my mouth.

Yeah. It was bad.

But first things first. Barb’s Race (and Vineman) is a two-transition-area race. The swim and bike start at Johnson’s Beach in Guerneville and the run start/finish is at Windsor High School (about 17 miles away). The swim is in the Russian River. The bike course takes you through the Russian River, Dry Creek, and Alexander Valleys — to say it is stunning terrain is an understatement. The run is hilly.

Caryn and I were prepared. We met at Windsor High School, put her bike and cycling gear in my car and drove together to Johnson’s Beach to get a true sense of the course at the actual distance. We were all ready to go — bikes put together, directions taped to aero bars, nutrition on board — and Caryn made a glaring discovery:

I hadn’t left my running gear in her car at T2!

We figured out a way to get my shoes and visor there, though it wasn’t pretty. I’m just so glad she thought of it before we left my car! It would have been heartbreaking to have gotten to the high school and not been able to run. (Actually, maybe that would have been better.)

The ride was fine. Nothing spectacular (other than the views – which I did not slow down to photograph for your benefit), but not horrible. Both of our legs were tired from previous workouts, so we weren’t killing ourselves. I rode this race course last year when Greg was training for Vineman, but my intention this year was to figure out my nutrition, when it’s beneficial to be in the aero bars, and how much Chalk Hill will hurt this year. Mission accomplished on all three: 1/2 PB + apple sandwich and two hydration bottles, miles 20-40, and mildly.

A few additional notes about the bike course… 1) The roads are rough. It’s very hard to relax because the roads are full of potholes, repairs, and cracks. 2) I hope the race officials minimize car traffic on race day because there is no shoulder/bike lane in most places and it’s a little scary sharing the road with drivers who have been wine tasting all day. 3) I also hope the race officials have the roads swept before race day. The amount of broken glass and loose gravel on the road is bad news.

We got to Windsor High School and made a not-so-quick transition to the run. I had been talking about how much I didn’t want to run since about Mile 22 on the bike, which certainly didn’t help. It was hot and later than we intended it to be. Quite simply, I was over it by that point. I stopped at 1.5 miles and declared, “I don’t want to do it anymore.” Caryn concurred and we turned around, cutting our intended distance in half.

We headed back down to Johnson’s Beach to retrieve my car and I drove the run course. HILLY. Now, I’m totally psyched out. Also, I did not do enough research on the Barb’s run course versus the Vineman run course. For Vineman, the course is a loop that includes running through La Crema winery. It’s hot and exposed, but not hilly. Barb’s Race is an out-and-back that does not run through La Crema. In addition to having to run all of those hills twice, we have to run clear back to the transition area and then head back out onto the course for 2.2 miles before finishing. I just can’t imagine how defeating it will be to run to the finish area and then have to run back out.

So now I’m contemplating going back up to Windsor for a day trip that will allow me to run the course and properly set my expectations for how bad it’s going to hurt. I just don’t want to defeat myself before I even start, which is pretty much how I feel now. I did a 54-mile ride + 2 mile run this past Sunday, talking myself out of the prescribed 4-mile run. I have a mental block on running.

Any one up for a trip to wine country? My run will take about an hour and then I’ll treat you to a tasting!

Weekly Workout Wrap-up

Sunday: Active recovery – 12 mile bike ride + core + massage

Monday: 2000-yard swim + 4.5-mile run

Tuesday: 90 minutes cycling (45 mins SFRs)

Wednesday: 1750 yard swim + core

Thursday: 56 mile bike ride + 3 mile run

Friday: 2000-yard swim

Saturday: Active Recovery – 2 mile walk + a few laps in the pool

Swim Like You Mean It (and WWW: June 12)

June 20, 2011 Fear, Fitness 3 Comments

My doctor is pretty sure that my shoulder injury isn’t a tear, it’s just an impingement — an inflammation of soft tissue. If I had all the time and money in the world, I’d certainly go get that MRI that he has recommended “just because he’s curious.”

But I don’t have either.

Money is one thing that I certainly do not have lying around, but the more important (!!) issue is my race on July 30. After a bunch of hemming and hawing (usually around Mile 5 of a run) that the shoulder injury is a perfect excuse out of it, I have decided that I am officially racing. And with that, I don’t have time to wait for MRI appointments and then physical therapy appointments and then for someone to decide if I can swim or not. Rather, I am falling back on my ol’ stand-by:

The power of positive thinking.

Laugh if you want, I don’t care. Sure, I’m icing semi-regularly (maybe 2x/week instead of every day) and using ibuprofen semi-regularly (maybe 3x/week instead of 3x/day)… but I simply decided I’m going to swim and it’s going to be fine. It’s going to be better than fine. It has been. It will continue to be.

My 1.2 mile (~2100 yards) swim time at my Half Ironman last year was 36:39. In the pool on my first day swimming since my race on May 1, I swam 500 yards in 9 minutes without really trying. I hit that time again a few days later, and I swam a mile (1760 yards) in 29 minutes today. I will be “fine” for the race. The best news of all is that the pain isn’t nearly as acute during the swim OR as lingering afterward as it was before May 1.

In the meantime, I’ll just keep riding and running and chanting:

“I am so grateful I can compete in Barb’s Race with Caryn and the tri club!”

“I am so lucky my shoulder has healed and I am able to swim!”

“My body is an incredible machine that responds whenever I ask it to.”

“I am a triathlete! I will swim! I will bike! I will run!”

“I’m not crazy, no matter what anyone else says!”

Sure, it’s corny, but as much as I can’t afford an MRI, I can’t afford any negative talk around here. It serves no one and won’t get me any closer to competing, setting reasonable goals for my race, and accomplishing them. My riding and running have come too far for me to bail out now. I’m going for it!

Weekly Workout Wrap-up

Sunday – 49-mile bike ride + 1 mile run

Monday – 20-mile bike ride + 3 mile run

Tuesday – 10.5 mile run

Wednesday – 60 minutes Jefferson Ave hill repeats (bike)

Thursday – 6.5 mile run

Friday – OFF (+ Book Club hangover — ugggghhhh)

Saturday – 45-mile bike ride + core

Week In Numbers (and WWW: June 5)

June 13, 2011 Fitness, Food, Fun 4 Comments

Here’s a snapshot of how my week went, by the numbers:

Fitness miles achieved: 76.5

Peanut butter cups consumed: 18

Hours of sleep attained: 57

Showers taken: 3

Dogs petted: 6

Babies held: 4

Bottles of wine imbibed: 7

Hangovers suffered: 0

Anniversaries celebrated: 1

Birthdays celebrated: 2

Jobs applied for: 3

Jobs landed: 0

Dinners cooked: 7

Sunny days: 2

All in all, it was a pretty good week. My training is going well, especially considering I’m getting into the longer runs. My legs were tired on Saturday, so I took the day off in prep for a long brick workout Sunday. It went well! I’m glad I’m getting better at listening to my body rather than my guilty conscience…

I have a follow-up appointment for my shoulder tomorrow and will hopefully be able to test out swimming on Wednesday. To tell you the truth, it doesn’t feel any different (read: any better) than before the cortisone shot… so I don’t know what that means. I have followed the doctor’s orders and haven’t gone swimming or done yoga or any other strength work. I miss all of those things so much!

Stay tuned for an update on Argus this week as well.

Weekly Workout Wrap-up

Sunday – 10 mile run

Monday – 20-mile bike ride

Tuesday – OFF

Wednesday – 31-mile bike ride + strength/core

Thursday – 6.5 mile run

Friday – 9 mile run

Saturday – OFF