Sunday, July 31, 2011

July Crazy Brick: Cooking From the Inside Out!

I woke up at 4am to get ready to crazy brick.  I saw some lightening and heard some waves of rain pass over us, but still couldn't tell how the weather would be for the day.  I knew I wasn't going to head to G'ston to brick with the rest of MC's athletes, but I also didn't want the workout hanging over my head all weekend.  I originally wanted to start at 5:50 am to get it done and over with as early as possible, but that wasn't happening with the supposed "threat" of Don.  Once the sun came up, it was clear out, so I hit the road around 7am.

Overall the brick challenge was okay.  I had a really great first :30 run in that my pace was sub 13 AND I ran the whole thing without intervals.  However, I didn't pay attention to the fact it was supposed to be a slower "IM effort" run.  My IM effort heart rate is pretty much speed walking, since my running pace is slower.  We were supposed to target IM effort to simulate the energy expenditure for the swim.  Oh well. 

The bike plan was 45 minutes at IM effort, 30 min at Oly effort and 45 at IM effort.  I had a little trouble keeping the 2nd 15 minutes at oly effort -- not really sure why, but it all came back to me -- I just had a lull in the middle there -- might have been the wind, which started to pick up while I was out there.  I had a pretty solid ride and averaged just about 17 for the 2 hours I was out... right where I want to be for race day

Now, the second run?  Holy crap... head index was 103 by the time  went out and I have no idea what I was thinking when I left for my :45 minute run with a 10oz. palm bottle. It was just terrible.  I went out fine to start, but at 25 minutes in I just tanked; I had to start doing intervals. 

As bad as the second run felt, I really attribute it to the heat and not bringing enough hydration with me.  I really feel like my nutrition is making a difference in my overall performance, and am glad that alternating Perpeteum and Nuun seems to be working for me.  My stomach felt fine for the 2nd run yesterday, so that's a good sign.  Clear Lake International will be the real test, in a race setting. 

I just really pray this whacky heat cools off, just a little bit, soon!  I hate that feeling of cooking from the inside out.

By the time I got home yesterday I couldn't tell if I had been triathlon training or had done a Muddy Buddy race.  My bike... and my body, were covered in dirt.  My bike needs some love today, for sure. 

Muddy Buddy or Triathlon Training?

Speaking of love, after my brick I came home and pretty much just laid on the kitchen floor in a puddle of dirt and sweat.  My sweet girl gave me an ice pack to help me cool off and Hubs ran to the store for 4 bags of ice, so I could recover with an ice bath.  How's that for a support team at home?  :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Train Like Stan!

A little fun for today. These are actual advertisements for the London Active Triathlon. 

On Running

On Biking

On Swimming:

On Supplements:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Trying to Beat the Heat!

It's been a bumpy road back after my 2 week hiatus, and I realize that's no newsflash to my blog because I've been whining about it ever since!

I share it again because some people really think I don't ever stop or 't experience challenges with maintaining my training schedule.  I do.  I have challenges everyday.  Like everyone else, I have to accommodate work and family, so on occasion I need to be able to shift around training sessions.  MC is not a fan of shifting or snowballing workouts without GOOD reason, and rightly so... doing so creates the perfect open invite for injury.

Most days I make the right/good choice (I say the right/good choice because sometimes NOT training is the right/good choice).  Some days I fight the right choice.  On rare occasions I just say, to hell with today.  Sometimes you just have to be flexible and improvise.

Yesterday's track work was better than last week's 2x attempt fail, but only by a slight margin.  I warmed up and did just 3 of my 10x500's and quit.  I couldn't breathe.  The air was so hot, it was as if there was no air to inhale. Track is hard for everyone right now.  I just couldn't help but feel like a complete wuss on the way home.  Besides, track is supposed to be hard, right?  Right!

Knowing all that, still I bailed.  I decided I would finish on the treadmill at the Y and do something.  My 500's were taking about 3:30, so I did intervals on the treadmill.  Since I run by heart rate anyway, I just made sure I hit my goal 5K HR on the intervals.  I did a 1 minute walk, in lieu of walking 100m on the track.  When I got the Garmin data home, it was pretty darned close... the outdoor data vs. the indoor data.  I realize that the treadmill controls my speed ad therefore there's not total gain in that area, but still I ran my intervals between 11 and 11:15 pace, which is a good clip for me.

In the end I got 10x500 in.  It wasn't exactly according to plan, but it was better than driving the car straight home and parking in the driveway.

I have to figure something better out.  Scheduling to go after dark usually means I'm not going. I hate going early morning and being alone at the track (it's kind of secluded).  And we definitely know that  I just "cook" between 4pm and 5pm.  Ugh!  I need the Fall to come... or just a 10 degree drop would be nice!

This weekend we have another brick challenge scheduled.  It's a 30 minute run at Ironman pace, 2 hour bike and a 45 minute negative split run.  I can feel my stomach turn just thinking about how hot it could be.  With the possibility of the tropical depression hitting the Gulf, we'll probably get to add a boatload of humidity to the mix.  Yay!

My plan is to start my run at 5:50 am, bike by 6:30am, run by 8:40am.  I can be done and out of the sun by 9:25!  After that the family is headed out to cabin near Surfside for a quick overnight getaway at the beach.  I'm actually looking forward to it... especially being *off* from training on Sunday!

I use Nuun tablets as part of my nutrition/hydration plan.  Nuun recently changed their branding and added some new and interesting flavors.  I'm always a little hesitant of the flavors outside of orange or lemon lime.  I've been lucky with Nuun so far.  I like the Lemon Lime, TriBerry and Kona Cola.  I got super brave a few weeks ago and tried the Grape. Completely exotic, I know.  I absolutely love the Grape.  It's better than any other flavor I've tried to date.  I went to their website and learned they also have strawberry lemonade!  I need to get some; I ♥ strawberry lemonade.

If you don't know, the tablets are like alka-seltzer; you just drop them in water.  Once they're done fizzing the carbonation is lost, so their safe for "re-engineered" stomach pouches.  They're combination of electrolytes/salt, sugar-free and only 8 calories per tablet and carbohydrate-free.  They have a really light taste which seems more than tolerable.  Generally Gatorade, EFS and even Cytomax can only go down my hatch for so long.  I think I may have found something to drink, for the duration of the race, that won't leave me ditching my ultimately useless fuel belt somewhere! This weekends crazy brick will let me know for sure.  Here's hoping.


In the big picture, races and training are really nothing compared to family, friends, and that thing we all have no choice to do called "work."  In that spirit, I wanted to take a moment to remember Angel.  A friend and fellow triathlete who left this world to raise a little ruckus in Heaven.  I met Angel through a mutual friend.  From the first moment I met her, I knew there was nothing I could do but admire her bigger-than-life personality.  I mean, really, you didn't stand a chance not to like her.  She literally was bigger than life in every way!  In her company you could not ignore her positive energy and free spirit!  When I was told she was sick with breast cancer, I would have never believed it in a million years, you know?  But then who would have thought she'd beat BC, just to battle Leukemia thereafter.

Angel, in the black.  Finishing
when others might have quit.
The last time I saw Angel was at the Sweet & Twisted Tri in 2009.  A group of us "TriDivas" were supposed to do the race, but one-by-one, nearly everyone had to withdrawal for some reason.  Despite the fact no one else from Angel's group of friends in Dallas were coming, she forged on and met up with Elysha and I.  We had some fun times pre-race, shared some meals (and of course laughs).  At the race we waited for and cheered for one another at the finish.  Angel had a challenging race that day and could have easily given up, but true to her fighting nature, she she headed back out to the course to Finish.  :)

So with both Elysha and Angel up there in Heaven, I'm guessing someone's planning either one heck of a party or most fun triathlon ever!  Both of these friends were special to their loved ones and friends and their loss will be deeply felt.  Recently, someone who had the chance to meet and photograph Angel,  wrote this perfectly fitting tribute.  Rest peacefully, Angel.

And by the way, Angel is her real name.  Not ironic at all, because I'm certain she was destined from birth to be a role model of spirit and strength.

Monday, July 25, 2011

There's Always Another Day to Train

5:00pm... Rush home from work after being held-up in traffic. "Good.  Still have enough time to squeeze in track before I pick up the kiddo."  Get changed grab gear and head to track.  "Man!  What's going on at the track?"  Some kind of athletic camp thing and they're using the track.  "No problem.  Will hit the Intermediate school's old-school gravel track."  "Good... all to myself."  Star my warm-up.  Legs feel like dead weights.  "It will get better.. just need an extra lap of warm up."  No... not better.  "Okay, let's get it started.  Maybe the faster turnover will make it better."  Nope.  Legs don't want any part of this playtime today.  They felt like lead after a warm-up and 2x400's and I just felt horrible from the heat.  I decided to throw in the towel and go home.

I went home only to decide to give it a shot later at 7pm -- This time I made it 4x400's and 4x200's and said, enough!  

Some days you just have to know when enough is enough. 

2 weeks ago I had surgery and last week work took over and made training pretty much a non-event.  In my "infinite wisdom" I thought I'd be able to do out track work, as normal, but was rudely awakened.  I don't know what I was thinking?  I guess the point is, I wasn't.  Thinking, that is.  You can't go from doing not-much to doing speed-work as usual.  It's just silly, not to mention stupid. 

Of course I see that now.  Doh!

My inability to pull-off track made me somewhat determined to make this weekend a great training weekend.  I decided to head out to Memorial Park with my training buddy for a change of scenery.  Sometimes changing up the run location makes me feel mentally better and I have a better run.  "Hombre" is my training buddy.  Actually, these days, he's more of a co-pilot, because the only part of training we actually do together is drive to a location.  He swims, bikes and runs way faster than me AND he's training for a 140.6 distance.  Still we keep tabs on one another; it helps sometimes to have someone checking in on you.

So I got in a hard 8 mile run.  It was ugly, hot and pretty darned painful.  I knew I would not feel good the next day, when I started feeling soreness the same day as the run.  Typically it takes 24 hours!  It's amazing how 2 weeks off can leave you feeling like you're gonna die. 

As I came downstairs on Sunday morning to leave for my long bike and I just knew it would be as bad as my run was.  Call me silly, but it was probably the whole having-to-hang-on-to-both-hand-railings, that gave it away.  Haha!  Every step hurt!

Surprisingly my ride was good, until the last 8 miles.  In fact, I was having a pretty darned good ride!  I probably pushed it a little too hard on the way out, but I was feeling strong.  It would have served me well to dial it back a little on the way out and have some more left in the tank for the ride back, but I felt pretty good, in spite of my soreness.  About 40 miles in my legs were just tweaking... right on the verge of cramping.  Hammies, quads, calves... probably my toes too!  I tried to relax everything but that didn't work.  I finally had to jump off my bike, stretch and walk around.

I finished the 51 mile ride in 3 hours, so I felt pretty darned good about it.  I know the only reason my legs tanked was because of the beating they took the day before. That, and I wasn't properly recovered and likely not completely well-hydrated.   By the end of yesterday I felt like I had just done a 70.3. Needless to say, me and my rubber legs skipped the 20 minute transition run that was supposed to follow the bike.

Enough was enough.  :)

So with recent news that Lonestar's Sprint distance is moving and will join the Galveston 5150 beginning this year, it means the only race in Galveston this April is the 70.3.  Now, I could go and do the 70.3 because I know most of my club friends will be doing it, but I'm starting to take a second look at the races I do and why I want to do them.  I want to be doing races I want to be doing... even if it means traveling a little for them.

I've found that websites aren't always reflective of the quality of the event.  Some of those races that have old-school HTML pages, no Flash, background music or video, sometimes have the best races.  I'm learning that asking around is the best bet on finding out the true scoop on a race.  I'd like to get in a few races in the Dallas area next year and use the race weekend as a way to visit with friends too!  Some races I'm considering:

Gulf Coast Triathlon
This is on the Ironman  Florida course. They offer a 70.3 distance.  It's Mother's Day weekend.

HITS in Corpus Christie
This race is in February.  Would be super nice to race in an effect where it's not a sweltering 100+ degrees.  I think I'm done training for 70.3 events over the Summer!  I've never been to Corpus and it's some place I think I might like to see. 

All this is just rambling really.  I need to get through this year first!

I still have an entry to Oilman Texas (formerly Ironstar) burning a hole in my tri-bag.  I think I've decided to do this race as a relay, and actually do the run portion. I know... I can't believe I'm saying that, but I have got to get my running going over the winter.  One of my coaches said he'd consider putting together a relay with me.  We have time to think about that, but it could be fun. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Blueberry Greek Yogurt Banana Bread by Daily Garnish

Photo from http://www.dailygarnish.com
I'm always out for recipes that have healthier ingredient alternatives.  Seems like whenever I try to make a substitution, more often than not, the recipe fails.  Every once in a while I find a blog full of edible inspiration... Emily at Daily Garnish recently published this recipe of her own creation.

It is fan-freakin'-tabulous... and buttah free, to boot!

Go now and make it :)

Nine Weeks In... 8 To Go!

So I'm in my 9th week of 70.3 training for Redman.  Just 8 weeks left after this week so I'm officially "half way there" (from Living On a Prayer -- my official 70.3 theme song by Bon Jovi).  I know I've seen improvements in all areas.  In fact my run pace after a long bike is what my half marathon pace was with taper and rest.  Still not super fast, but I'm feeling very optimistic I'm going to have a good race at Redman, especially with good conditions.  I just have to keep focused through this heat and make super good efforts at proper recovery. 

Right now I'm averaging about 90 miles a week's worth of swimmng, biking and running.  It's about 7500m of swimming, 10-11 miles a week of running and about 75 miles of biking. 

Speaking of focus, that's been a bit of a challenge lately.  There's a ton of stuff going on with others around me, not to mention my own stuff.  Somehow through offering support and/or compassion, I allow myself to be sucked in.  I'm not sure how it happens, I honestly don't ask for it, but both my Husband and my BFF think I'm a human magnet for others who have problems or are suffering drama in their lives.  I've had to re-evaluate some friendships in the name of maintaining my focus and sanity.  It's all good though.  I'm feeling better about it.

I had my surgery and now that's behind me, so I feel like I can move forward and put the emotional stuff behind me. I'm recovering well and today was my first day back to training.  I have to say it felt really good to be back.  Swim this morning was awesome.  Of course it felt great, I've been off an entire week, right? 

So I have an easier week ahead of me, ramping back up after having a week off. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Like the song says... "Don't Stop Believing" :)

Chrissie Wellington:  Challenge Roth:  Once In a Lifetime Moments

"This is what I devote my life to – putting my heart and soul on the line to test my limits. But, to be honest, I still cant quite believe what I achieved – I defied what I thought was possible, and that is a wonderful feeling. That’s not to say there isn’t room for improvement, there is – across all three disciplines. But this result nevertheless teaches me never to stop believing. It should teach you all never to stop believing too. Our limits may not be where we think they are. I hope that these performances open up people’s eyes and imaginations to new horizons and new goals."  Chrissie Wellington

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


That playroom we wanted to reclaim as our office?  Well, we have color now!  I'm hoping this weekend we can get the flooring down and then get the playroom in order!  Crown molding, ceiling fan and moving the furniture would be great too!  Right now we all have make-shift computer spaces throughout the kitchen and living room. 

I was a little nervous about the red, but in the end I like it.  I really like the white ceiling, and I really didn't want to get into painting our blinds and Eyebrow.

The room used to be a basic, blah, builder, off-white color. 


Okay, so surgery is done and now I'm on to the business of recovery.  Here's hoping the Novasure procedure helps minimize my bleeding and keeps me from becoming Anemic, otherwise I have to prep for more drastic measures.  However I'm being optimistic that we're done here. :)

I was pretty solid up until I went into prep.  I tried to hold back the tears for the finality of what was about to happen, but a few escaped.  The nurses were concerned I was doing something against my will, but I let them know otherwise.  I really didn't have a choice.  This is what I have to do to keep me healthy for me, my Hubsand and Daughter who I have in the here and now.  

So my healthy, pink, cushy uterus is now all gray, dingy and, well, just looks old.  They even gave me before and after pictures! It's pretty darned ugly.  Thought I might post pics, but then thought it might been too much.

However, it is interesting how the inside of the uterus looks like Mars. 

They determined the fibroids in question were not inside my uterus, which was good, in that no plucking of anything had to happen, and I only needed the D&C and Ablation.

Official recovery time is 1 day.  1 day for the average person.  Doc asked me what my training plans were and she said, "I don't want you out there riding 5 or 6 miles!"  LOL.  I had to tell her I just rode 50 on Sunday.  She grimaced and said, "Okay, let's give it a few days" and that my training "makes [her] feel like a slug."  So I'm walking for the rest of the week.   Seriously.  My coaches put walks ON my schedule!

In about a month I get to see all my doctors again, and hopefully all with good reports.  :)

Meanwhile here's to the rest of the week with extremely light training.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Thursday 13

It's been a while since I've TT'd.  I always think about it, but then never make it a point to do so.

1)  So my mobile phone insurance only replaces my phone with a refurbished phone.  I got my replacement.  It's black, not red, like my initial one.  Bummer.  Does the term *refurb* just leave you thinking, "When is this one gonna break?"

2)  Hubs and Cassinator are on their way to AL to visit Nana.  I have little vacation time, so I am saving my time to take Cassie to NJ before School starts. 

3)  I'm spending the weekend training and reclaiming our office.  Painter is coming tomorrow to paint it, but first I have to clean it out. We converted it to a play room for Cassie when she was little, because she wouldn't play upstairs alone.  Now she's all cool with having her own space.

4)  I like to think I'm organized, but man over the last couple years Peter Walsh could teach me a thing or two.

5)  Major network infrastructure upgrade is happening next week.  My first attempt at planning and executing.  While it is not a complex network, I'm still soooo nervous and unsure. 

6)  I made the most amazing sandwich for lunch the last couple days:  amazing toasted wheat bread, chicken breast, low fat/low sodium Meunster, tomato, a teaspoon of Briana's Vinegarette and avocado.  Yum!

7)  Registered for Clear Lake Int'l and learned Dave Scott will be there! Also registered for the Galveston Sand Crab 5k/10k night run for me and Darren.  Now that's a date night... huh?  

8)  I made these from Little Bitty Bakes.  They were fabulous.  While hubs didn't like them all that well, others loved them!  The "brown butter" gave it an awesome taste, and I'm not a fan of oatmeal cookies!

9)  When I'm not working on the office, I'll probably be training!  Go figure.

10)  "When people show you who they are believe them."  Seriously.  Dr. Angelou knew what she was talkin' about.

11)  I get extremely touched when people are thoughtful and think of me.  Especially when it comes completely unexpectedly, like in a pair of gifted "I'm with awesome" socks.

12)  Last funny thing I saw posted on Facebook:  "My vagina is a a gaping hole of disappointment"

13)  LOL.  No, really. Although probably not so funny to the author of number 12.

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Training Weekend: Crazy Brick

Saturday was my much anticipated crazy brick:  1 hour open water swim, 2 hour bike and :20 negative split run.  I prepared my nutrition, had my regular 2-hour-before-race-start breakfast, 2 bottles of water w/Nuun and a multi-hour bottle of Perpeteum.

The whole idea of the brick was to make sure our nutrition is what we need.  I've been struggling, trying to find the right nutrition since last year.  My last Endo said, "No" to Soy, but the new Endo says "Yes!"

So the brick is supposed to mimic race day and time spent on the course.  A lot of folks don't eat before the swim.. or maybe they do a gel :15 before, but for half and full distances, sometimes it's not enough.  You get half way through the bike and you're already behind on nutrition, which makes you behind on nutrition for the run.  Nutrition is key for half and full distances.  You can't screw it up, or you'll be living the dream in a bad way. 

Personally, I can't eat or do gels minutes before a swim.  That's why I have a good meal 2 hours before.  The idea is that it takes 90 minutes for your body to process and eliminate what your body needs and doesn't want.  It seems to work for me.  It may not work for everyone:

This a modified version of the breakfast I got from my Sports RD last year.  There's just no way to fit that kind of volume in my stomach, so I had to make adjustments:

100% whole wheat Bagel Thin (It's supposed to be an Ezekiel muffin' but it's too much for my pouch)
2 T. Almond Butter with a little bit of Honey
1 Banana (supposed to be 2 small bananas, but again too much for my pouch)
Hammer Nutrition Bar (These are super easy on my stomach)
16 oz. of Gatorade (this primes your system to start processing carbs as you take them in -- it works too!)

On Saturday I was out of Hammer bars, so I went back to my PowerBar since I had some laying around.  It tastes fine, but as soon as it hit my stomach, that was it.  I knew it.  No more. Tummy doesn't like them.

Swim:  My swim was pretty good.  I made it just about 3 laps around the lake and they say it's about 800m per lap.  I swam closer to the outside on the first 2 laps, and not as much on the 3rd.  so I did somewhere between 2100 and 2400 in the hour.  It was intervals of a 8 minutes at a moderate/easy pace and 1 minute of race pace throughout the hour.  I felt strong the entire time, but hampered a little by my hip flexor -- I was having some pain while kicking.  Not sure what that's all about, but I'll see if it returns during Masters tomorrow.

Bike:  My 2 hour bike was awesome and I felt great the entire time.  I got in just under 35 miles for just over 17 mph average.  That's right where I want to be for Redman... 17-18 mph.  I felt strong the entire time and even surged several times to catch people ahead of me.  It was a good ride... all except for the bee that met it's demise in the air vent of my helmet!

Run:  My :20 run was okay.  Pace was slow, but it was stupid hot and terrain at the lake was grassy/gravel and rocks.  Not conducive for me to run on -- I just don't feel stable. I run much better on pavement.  It was a chore to get done, but it wasn't for lack of nutrition or energy... I just wanted to be done!

Thereafter I went and jumped back in the lake to cool off.  So did my brand new Blackberry Torch :(

On Sunday I was supposed to be off, but did a 1 hr easy, easy, EASY ride, then stretched.

On Monday was another 2 hour ride, and again I did almost the same nutrition, but I was missing the Hammer Nutrition bar.  My ride was solid, though the last :30 minutes my quads were burning a bit.  I worked hard to keep my pace up and still wound up averaging about 17.5, so that was good enough for me.

All in all it was a successful training weekend.  The Perpeteum is working for me and I feel so much stronger for a longer period of time.  This next weekend I have a 3 hour bike, and I'm going to throw in a short transition run just to see how my stomach feels.