Off-season: Ouch edition.

That nagging irritation near my knee has become a full-fledged pain that extends from my foot to my hip. Sadly, this means that the only thing that's running lately are my pantyhose.

I've quit the tri team for time being. I can't attend any of the practices except for Happy Hour. Beyond my RICE (Rest Ice Compression Elevation), I've been taking Hammer Nutrition's Tissue Rejuvenator. It's working wonders. On Monday, I was walking with pain. On Friday, I can barely feel the irritation. I had heard very good things, but this is absolutely incredible. I hope to be back in the game slowly in January & full-fledged in February.

We'll see.

With all this new free time, I've been exploring culinary delights in cookie form. Be warned - If I know where you live, you shall be inundated with cookies soon. Lock your doors if you're trying to lose weight.


Off-season: Foothill run & Switchback mountain edition

For my Thanksgiving holiday, I meandered over to Boise to visit my sister & her family. Since arriving two days ago, I have ran up the Rocky Mountain foothills & cycled up an actual mountain.

Yesterday, my 5.4 mile run averaged 13 minute miles. Without the serious incline of the foothills, I averaged 10.5 minute miles. Those foothills? They easily kicked up my heartrate to my zone 5a & decelerated me to at least 16 minute miles.

Today, I biked 20-something miles on a rented road bike. Up. A. Mountain. 2600 feet in less than 11 miles. Check the elevation map.

The ascent took us 1.25 hours - mostly due to my novice mountain climbing. We descended the switchback mountain path in 21 minutes, & I only pedaled about 10 minutes of this.

I took pictures. Click for larger. :)

Photo op! 4000 ft elevation

Where I decided I had enough - just after 4000 ft elevation stop. FYI: Don't stop while on miles of incline. Your legs won't want to continue.

The view from the top.

After the bike ride, we returned home, picked up my sister & the kids, & biked (yet again) for 7 miles to get pizza & beer. Heaven.

If you want to know more stats about the switchback mountain trek, please click here.


Missing in action.

I've been missing all of my triathlete practices lately.

Initially, I took a week off for the strange pain I was having above my knee, which coincided with my first houseguest's visit. Now, I have another houseguest. Next weekend? Another who hasn't visited in 3 years - Mom!

Soon after that, I'm heading out for an overdue vacation. (Hell, yeah!)

The plan is to start training tomorrow. I'm biking for fun while spectating the Marine Corps Marathon. That's a good start, I think.


Tri-DC, article two.

After what feels like a million days of writing, I finally finished the post-race slump article for Tri-DC. It's hard to make a "depression" article into something entertaining & peppy.

Trust me - You don't want to be forced to read the first draft. It was as humorless as a college biology essay. The fact that my family critiqued that one for me proves that they love me. Seriously.

All griping aside, I love writing for Tri-DC.


Off-season: Candy apple edition

Over the last two days of off-season, I attempted to make miniature dipped apples. Caramel? Yes. Red candied? Yes. Chocolate? Er... we'll get to that in a minute.

So, it started off well enough. I purchased some new supplies: a cheap candy thermometer, some red food paste, craft sticks, & nonpareils for kicks.

Step 1: Scoop out bon-bon shapes from apples using melon-baller.

Step 2: Combine caramel ingredients in saucepot.

Step 3: Boil ingredients until candy thermometer reads 250 degrees.

Step 4: Watch for health code violaters #1 & #2 as you've been paying too much attention to the stove.

Step 4: Poke sticks into apples, dip, & drip. This is easy peasy. Why doesn't everyone do this?

Step 5: Notice that the caramel is dripping off the apples. Also, notice that the caramel in the pot has begun to solidify.

Step 6: Reheat caramel. Dip & drip.

Step 7: Burn caramel. Frantically dart around apartment, open all windows, turn on fans to blow smoke away from touchy smoke alarm.

Step 8: Crisis averted. Eat caramel apples in relief.

Step 9: Save some caramel apples for team shindig.

Step 10: Follow steps 1-4 using ingredients for candied apples.

Step 11: Do step 7 & 8 & 9 again with red candy. (I'm not this bad normally, I swear it. My excuse is that I've never worked with sugar & a candy thermometer before.)

Step 12: Notice that the candy apples are now dripping their candy on the baking sheet. Sheeeet.

Step 13: Notice that the caramel apples have vetoed their little coats of caramel. Perhaps it is too warm in the kitchen for coats? I chill the rest of the apples without any future luck.

Step 14: Realize that the apples sans skin are doomed for failure. The apple flesh is too wet to allow the candy to adhere properly. Even the good ones are melting their candy away. I decide to eat what I want & throw out the rest.

Step 15: Decide to make brownies for team shindig. Follow recipe listed in Scharfenberger chocolate & call it a night.

& that, my friends, is how you make brownies & drive up the cost of apples in your area. Any questions?


Bassman Race Report.

You know one thing that I love about race reports? I learn from other people's mistakes. Well, today I get to return the favor... a few times.

First, I did not employ a good hydration strategy on the days before the race. I know better than this, you know better than this. Plus, it was "unseasonably warm" for the race. Hot & humid & already dehydrated? You could probably imagine how many aches & pains I was going to have after the race with that recipe.

Second, I did not eat well before the race. Friday night & Saturday were a little chaotic, & I only ate a good carbo-loading & full meal the night before the race.

Third, I wore my heart rate monitor for the first time throughout an entire race. I figured that good practices have to start somewhere. Why not now?

Without further ado, the race:

Swim - 0.6 mile/965 meter (23:05)
The water was so very clear. Seeing the bottom of the lake was extremely novel for this triathlete. I saw plant life. I saw tree trunks & root structures. The ground underneath me seemed to roll by quickly as I swam over it. It looked like I was running over the lake. How cool. I nearly forgot I was racing & just focused on how fast the ground was passing under me. This was, by far, my favorite part of this triathlon. I love swimming - especially when the water is clear.

I checked my heart rate, & it was wicked high. I'm unsure if it was due to running in the sand out of the water or just the swim.

Bike 29 mile/46.7 km (1:49:04)
You know what I missed on this triathlon? Hills. This was probably the most boring ride I've ever done. Scenic, my ass. Look! Trees. Annnnd.... More trees. In the distance, I see trees. :( Please, give me a hill. I'll appreciate the scenery of the valley as it quickly approaches.

Before the race, I had adhered to some coaching advice & disconnected my speedometer from my bike computer. I planned to watch my cadence & heart rate only. Oh, man - my heart rate was high at the start of the bike. Throughout the bike portion, I kept trying to lower my heart rate but keep my cadence around 90. It wasn't easy. I thought I did well, though.

Otherwise, I had been practicing drinking 6-8oz of fluid replacement every 15 minutes on the bike. Mission accomplished on this ride. 2 bottles down the hatch in just about 2 hours.

& I kept seeing Meredith on the bike. It was really fun. There she goes, there I go, there she goes, there I go. That & seeing the other Z'rs on the road really made my ride fun.

Who's great idea was it to let her wetsuit drip into her sneakers during the last transition?! At least, I decided to wear socks during this race. Otherwise, it'd be blister heaven.

Run 4.1 mile/6.6 km (51:50)
I'm not a fan of running, but I loathe running when my heart rate is high to start. It's painful & my motivation to continue plummets. I'm slow enough already (non-race Z2 pace? 11:17). With a heart rate already climbing out of Z2, I knew I was only going to struggle on the run.

I should have nabbed the extra water bottle at my transition station for myself. Even though it was only 4 miles, I knew that I needed more hydration with how I was feeling. I decided to push through it & rely on the water stations to get me through the rest of the race. I made it, but having my own hydration would have helped. Had this been a 10k, I would've suffered much more.

I was in mile 1 when I heard a voice behind me yell: "Keri, I'm trying to catch you!" Oh, hell yeah - familiar company! I started "running" in place so that I could be caught by Meredith. We finished the run together. Honestly, I would have walked a good chunk of the run if it wasn't for her. It turned into 4 miles of chatting with a good pace. It was definitely a great way to finish the race.

Overall (3:11:00)
Even though this race was flat, it was definitely tougher than any sprint distance I've completed. I'm tired, & I'm glad that race season is over.

Ending the race season on a longer distance will be a good motivator for my off-season. After all, next race season I jump to the 70.3 program. Throwing a few Olys under my belt before the Half is going to give me excellent nutrition/pacing/strategy training. Next pre-Mooseman Oly after a few months of training, let's see how I do with what I've learned here.

& that is my last triathlon race report of the season. Until next year!


Race schedule

I just registered for my first half-Ironman. Does this mean that I can get half of an M-dot tattoo?

70.3 miles - Here I come!


Race "report"

I have to finish an article for Tri-DC this weekend. So, I don't have time to write a lengthy & informative play-by-play race report.

Let me just say this:
1. Cramping during a race stinks. What's worse is when those cramps are only plagued by the female gender. No salt tablets or Gu can alleviate those.

2. I had wanted to cut my time from last year, but I thought it was funny that I got (almost exactly) the same time.

3. I didn't feel as burnt out after the race as I did last year. Two days after the race, I feel like I could jump back without any grumbling. This means more to me than my race time. Also, I felt as though I raced within my limits & didn't over exceed them (like last year).

4. I got 2nd place in the Athena category! My trophy is coming in the mail.

& here are some pictures:

Check out that hot bike!

Me on the run. I'm really grabbing a cup of water - not just looking like I'm sort of running/dancing.

*Phew* that was tiring.

Hurray! We did it!! The kids chalk-marked the finish line.


General Smallwood

You're reading the blog of the 2nd place Athena of the 2007 General Smallwood Sprint Triathlon.

Hot damn.


It's the little things that count.

Today turned into such an amazing day.

1. I discovered that I dropped two (count 'em 1-2) wetsuit sizes.
2. I have a shiny new robot that does my dishes for me.
3. My cats are happy.
4. I spoke with Rod about upcoming job possibilities over lunch.
5. I received alternate directions from Brian on how to get to the tri this weekend. Less stressful driving is the way to go!
6. I received free homemade lemonade.
7. I got a parking spot close to my apartment - good for lugging triathlon & camping gear downstairs for this weekend.

Did I mention that the triathlon is this weekend? Hurray!!

I feel awake, alive, & happy.


Driven to tri?

Friend JC said, "Your blog name is a good one. Isn't it something like 'tri to run'?"

No, but given that JC has seen me run - "Try to Run" is pretty accurate. :)


Whose got spirit?

Holy cow, the Annapolis triathlon started early this morning!

Swimming - my favorite. Go, ladies!!

Whose got spirit?! We do, we do!! We even sang a rousing version of Happy Birthday to Talia who celebrated her 21st by completing the Annapolis International Triathlon.

Jenny's dog. He's got a little separation anxiety. :)


Swim practice (part 101)

It's never easy to rise at 430am for swim practice. Yet every time that I do, it's worth it.

Today, we raced during practice. We were counted off one through 9 until there were no more swimmers. We went to our respective new lanes, & then coach yelled "Group 1! GO!!" & Group 1 took off as fast as they could.

Man, oh, man. I was shocked with how much adrenaline I had pumping & how fast I went. (Though, I know that I flailed a lot in the beginning.)

I love swimming.


Side note: I should attend the other speed workouts weekly as well. It would be worth it. If only I could get out of work on time....


Keep it like a secret.

There's something highly enjoyable about the breakfasts after swim practice. It's almost like a secret part of the day. No one is really awake, no one has been awake for a while.

Yet I've been awake for a few hours already. Now, it's time to make a hearty meal on the stove. This is a million times better than the typical hurried breakfast of the workday. It's almost like a magical meal - it's that good.


Heeding the advice on... um, HEED.

I tried Hammer Nutrition's HEED today. Honestly, I preferred the unflavored version to the lemon-lime. "Unflavored" felt more like water because it tasted like water. Therefore, it was easy to swallow/chug/slurp down on today's bike ride.

I think I've found my new favorite fluid replacement.

I drafted today. It was almost effortless to keep near 20-25 mph. When I lost the draft line, I had to work extremely hard to get it back. I know that I pushed myself to 27/28 mph just after I broke the draft line.

That's a helluva bike ride.



Free pool.

Hot damn! Sarah forwarded me a list of pools in the District.

Free for residents!!

The only problem is that the one by me has limited hours. It's still better than missing swim practice week after week because I can't drive out to Falls Church at 5am (for whatever the reason du jour is - couldn't sleep, have to be at work early, etc).



My sister has just canceled her east coast tour. Bummer. Now, I have to wait until November to see her.

However, this has led me to have an upcoming weekend completely off. My team has a 1 & 2 mile open water swim race that weekend. Shall I or shall I not?

I think I shall not. I haven't been swimming enough lately. Plus, I don't think I could hit the cut-off time without wearing a wet suit.


Speaking of which, I am going to purchase a wet suit within the next month. It's too much of a hassle to make sure that I rent one that A) fits & B) is in stock. Plus, the driving out to BFE to get it & drop it off is a hassle. I have become a city snob - I know it.

(If I leave the city for you, consider yourself blessed & loved. Team Z, I'm looking at you.)

Sleeved or sleeveless? Well, price is driving this one. Can I afford to spend the extra 75-100 to get the sleeved? The answer to that lies in the answer to this question: can I cut down my food costs this month by 75-100?


In stream of consciously yours,


Weekend adventures

I had a great training weekend. I plumb forgot to mention it.

On Saturday, I biked with Manuela. She's an excellent biking partner. We're just about the same speed, & the conversation is always great. I always like to hear about Germany & the great Hamburg bike race. The ride itself was a very hilly 36 mile ride. Very, very hilly.

On Sunday, I ran with Sarah. It was an easy 3.5 miles - easy because of the pace & the discussions. Then, we walked for another one mile. Good times, & good stories.

I didn't train at all during the week due to work. The stress has really gotten to me. (I can't wait for my coworker to return from vacation.)

This weekend's plans? More biking with the team on Sunday - mostly flat near 50 mile ride. More running with Sarah on Saturday - mostly flat 7 miles(?).

That's all I've got, folks.


Tri-DC acknowledgement.

Friend John went to PRR this week & saw the Tri-DC magazine there. He mentioned that I wrote the last article in the mag. The guy at the counter said, "Oh? You know Keri? She's a really nice girl."

It was sooo cool to hear that.


Now with drama!!

I had to stop. I had to use the bathroom. So, I slowed my running to a walk as I approached a busy intersection. I noticed a man looking at me as he walked towards me.

I slightly altered course to avoid him. His look seemed .... too interested & not in a good way.

I altered course a little again to avoid (again). He was obviously following me as he was now trying to match my pace across the street. If only I didn't have to use the bathroom so badly, I'd pick up the pace.

Then, he started crossing the street. I took off my headphones to pay closer attention. He crossed perfectly to stop me in my tracks (if I hadn't altered my pace when I saw him cross). He asked me for a dollar. I said no, & then I started crossing the street myself. He said, "Maybe tomorrow?" I said maybe & kept walking.

He tried to cross the street again to intersect me. At this point, I'm freaked out. There is no one on this street. I'm about 1 block from my place. I started jogging slowly even though I have to use the bathroom badly.

As he approached, I said "Go away." He yelled, "C'ME HERE!" & I sprinted home. I glanced back around 1/2 of the block to see if he was running with me. He wasn't, but I was sure that he had taken a few faster steps. It sure sounded like other feet clopping behind me.

I thought of running to my building's rear entrance, but it seemed to risky to enter an alley right then.

Now, I might've been over-reacting, but 1) I was running alone, 2) I'm a woman, 3) I'm the daughter of a hyper reactive police officer, & 4) it's better to be safe than sorry.

Not my scariest encounter ever, but I'm definitely not going out running again tonight.


In other news, the sprint kicked my heart rate from zone 1 to zone 4 in a block. ;)


Back in the saddle again.

I love my team.

That's all I have to say. :)



I was sick last week. Therefore, I didn't train. I couldn't eat this week. Therefore, I didn't eat much.

What's wrong with me? I have no idea.

I missed the Culpeper sprint. I didn't even spectate. At 5am this morning, I was hesitant to be far from where I had control over what foods & what quantities of water that I could consume. I downed a little bit of a protein bar & some water. Then, I waited for my stomach to clench. It did. So, I decided to stay home & pander to myself... again.

A big part of me feels like a slacker. A pansy. A wuss. A baby.

I know it's good to take some time off, but I don't want to anymore. I want to go out & run & bike & swim (& eat copious amounts of food). I miss training. I miss my team.

I know I have to get better first. Step by step. Today, I ate almost a real breakfast after getting up at 9am.

It's a start.



I failed to register for Lake Placid's Ironman in the Community Fund program. Since all the regular slots were taken in record time, I figured that I'd sign up for the fundraiser category.

Nein. No available slots.

All 950 Lake Placid slots gone. Oh, well.

It looks like I'm going to be a 70.3'r next season. & that's okay. I'll volunteer next year at Placid.


To 140.6 or to 70.3?

Reading all the Ironman race reports of my teammates, I'm so excited & happy for them. It's an amazing accomplishment to become an Ironman. They did so well & are so happy at having completed their goal.

Next year, I plan on becoming a half-Ironman. However, I am extremely tempted to sign up for an Ironman.

The only reason why I wouldn't is because of the time requirement - If I Ironman, then I don't have time for anything else (or rather very little else). 9 hour bikes on Sundays? 4 hour runs on Saturdays? 2 hours or more each day per week (save Fridays, glorious Fridays) of training?

& Yet... & yet... It would be grand to be an Ironman.

Decisions. Decisions.

Culpeper Decision.

I decided that I'm not going to race Culpeper. I am, however, going to check in & get my "free" schwag. It'll be my first DNF. & that's okay.


In other news, received my De Soto tri shorts in the mail today.

I got both the Rapida & the Forza shorts. The Rapida padding seems a little wide for my front. The Forzas stitching looks a little weird - only because my eyes aren't used to it. BUT! You can't see the tri shorts padding on them.

Both pair are by far the most comfortable tri shorts that I have ever worn. No elastic around the thighs!! Super comfy. We'll see how both react during real training.

If only I wasn't sick today, I'd run/bike/swim in them now.


Weekend warrior

I did very well this weekend with my training. Although I went out dancing on Friday night & had some alcohol, I was awake, alert, & running at 8am-ish with the Team.

7 miles later, we finished. Boy, I was glad that I ate an Accelerade gel. (Keri - now sponosored by Accelerade. yeah, i wish!)

Then, I ate a hearty & healthy breakfast & took a nap as scheduled. Yay! More good food. More good water. This is great!

Then, I went to my last End of Season party & drank too much. Ouch. Not so good. Later at Hangover Central, I couldn't pull myself out on my bike to do my easy 36 miler.

:( I had to take the day to recover. Thankfully, the new HP book just came out. Nothing like hanging out at home, drinking some electrolyte water, & reading a good book.

On the scheduling bright side, I don't have any more obligations for Sundays. No more stressful kickball games. No more drinking. Definitely no more shots.

Sundays - welcome back to real life.



Yesterday, I wore my sports bra under a typical button-down work dress shirt. Whenever I thought of it, I felt much akin to Superman - ready to yank off the shirt as soon as someone mentioned running or biking to reveal my Nike swish logo.

Ridiculous, I know - but it's what got me through one of the most dreary days at the office.


I ran my longest distance on Saturday: 6 miles. Average pace? 12:30min/mile. Fastest pace? 8min/mile. Considering that I walked for 0.5 miles at the end & did a little walking periodically to keep in Zone 2, I was booking it for most of the time.

Longest distances so far:
50.6 miles - Bike
6 miles - Run
?? just <2 miles - Swim


In other news, I have a favorite running t-shirt. You know those cheap "I <3 NY" t-shirts? Well, DC has those. I ripped the sleeves off my $3 "I <3 DC" t-shirt & voila! Enter favorite running t-shirt.

If only I could find this in a biking jersey:


I can't wait to start training for the marathon. For the first time in my life, a marathon seems feasible.


Pre-Culpeper thoughts.

I'm not ready for the Culpeper sprint. I don't know if I'll make it. This isn't me being negative. This is realistic. I haven't swam regularly in months. My running is okay as is my biking.

I'm not sure if I'll be racing. Perhaps I'll just use it as a training day? Sort of a play day for triathletes?

Also, I might be swapping my running & biking on the weekdays to be able to run with Amanda. She's super cool, & it would be better to run with a friend as opposed to alone. Plus, she's training for the half marathon. :) I support her half marathon ambitions. She's too fast & her mileage is too much for me!!

I get to pick up my nutrition book tomorrow - Sports Nutrition for the Endurance Athlete. Yay.

Also, Kat recommended The Mood Cure regarding how food impacts your moods. I'm gonna check that one out too. I get wicked grumpy when I train heavily. That needs to stop in the long-term training program.

I'm really excited about these life changes to incorporate the long-term tri training. Good stuff - adequate sleep, good eats, great people, excellent exercise... good stuff. It'll be better this time around.



The article.

The magazine cover:

& on the coveted last page of the magazine:


Changing my form ended up completely blowing my rhythm on my run. Go figure. I can't seem to stay in Zone 2 anymore. I'm doing sub-9 minute miles, but I'm breaching Zone 3 & 4.

Ugh. Need to increase cadence but slow down speed. This is tricky.


Published & more.

It's official. I'm a published author. Article to be placed online in near future either here or it will be linked to the magazine's website. (Family - I have your copies.)

Want a teaser? The article's title is "I used to wear heels." :)

I have another article in progress that will be published in the winter issue. I haven't thought of a clever title for that one, but the content is going to be about the post-race/winter blahs - how to get going when the going is blah.

(Maybe that's the article's title? hrmmm...)


In other news, my running style was critiqued on Saturday. Overall, I have good form:

Body slightly angled forward? Check.
Mid-section of feet & front of feet strike? Check.
No heel striking? Check.
Tempo? Need to work up to 180bpm.
Stride? Need to shorten & have feet be under body when striking.
Ab strength? Needs loads of work.

I put the tempo/cadence/turnover item into play on tonight's run. I ended up doing 10 minute miles. WOW! However, I pulled myself out of my heart rate zone 2.

When I realized that I blew my heart rate zone & had only 3 minutes left in the workout, I tried sprinting at the end.

DAMN!! I'm way faster than I used to be!! I'm no 6min/mile, but I went sub-9 minute miles. Plus, I felt strong. Very strong.

Boy, am I glad to be back in training.


Hell, yeah.

I've been having difficulty fitting my training around my long hours at work. Likewise, I've been having a hard time fitting my (training) sleep schedule into my life. How can I fit in 2 workouts/day into a day where I have to work 10-12 hours at my place of employment?

I think this crazy schedule will do it: Wake at 430am. Eat a little, little breakfast. Wait the required hour. Train. Stretch. Eat a real breakfast. Nap & shower. Go to work.

That's what I did today. At the end of the day, I'm refreshed. I'm invigorated. I'm feeling very accomplished.

& horror upon horrors - I do believe I just became a morning workout person. Plus, there's a chill in the air today - our Summer Solstice. Yikes. Does that mean....

HEY! Don't blame the chill in the air on me!! It'll take more than that to freeze hell over.



I'm going through a difficult time being motivated to continue my training. Honestly, it's been almost 2 months since training was my first priority. Every day that I don't train, I feel fat & lazy. Ever subsequent day? Fatter & lazier.

Every week, I vow that I will return stronger than ever to my triathlon training. I won't miss any more workouts. I will do my strength training.

Every week, I hit one or two workouts in lieu of the ten scheduled. Every week, I forgo my strength training.

Mike, I think, said it best. "You've proven that you're hardcore. Now, you just have to prove that you can sustain."

That's the kicker, isn't it? How long do I want to continue this? When will I officially quit? Will I ever? Why do I continue training?

I want to sustain. The desire is there. Despite the long hours at work & the late nights with friends, I want to keep training. I have to find that balance that helps me sustain.

I really do love it. Early in the morning, I have to remember that...
"Wake up. Do something you love before you go to work."

After a long day at the office, I have to remember that...
"Get out & unwind on the road. You'll feel better afterwards."

Finding the balance is going to be worth the effort. I promise myself that. It's just not going to be easy.


What fuels you?

Last night, I successfully stayed in zone 2 during my run. First time!!!

However, I was under the influence of 3 beers & 5 wings.

Does that mean that I am a better runner if I'm tipsy?


Kayaks, open water swim, & running - oh, my!

I received a thank you note from my Secret Pal for my volunteering efforts on Saturday. Receiving a handwritten note that says "Thank you" really made my day.

So what did I do that prompted an anonymous person to give me such an item?

I watched a group of people swim between 1.5 & 2.5 miles in open water. While I never had to actually rescue someone, I kept on the look-out for people who were struggling, waving for help, or otherwise needed assistance. More than anything, I just sat in a kayak by myself, listened to the walkie-talkie, & tried to sun my pale legs. Someone snapped a photo of me where I looked like I was bored stiff (I'm sure).

It was still an amazing experience, regardless of lack of excitement.

Then, I swam a mile or so in the open water as well. According to the course map, I swam 0.83 of a mile. According to my known times in open water? I swam a mile or a little more. I was going to jump out of the bay after 1/2 mile due to my arms being sore from kayaking, but fellow triathlete Monica told me that I could do it. & I believed her & continued.

After the swim, I changed & ran 47 minutes. Then, I sat & ate barbecue. Mmmmmm.... The next day, I biked for an hour on my crappy 50lb. steel mountain bike. Is there any wonder why I needed a massage yesterday?

Weekly report.

Not much to report, sadly.

Monday: Painted for 3 hours.

Thursday: Ran for 29:55, 339 kcal, 2.14 mi, stayed mostly in zone 2, but had to walk periodically to drop heart rate. Need to find proper speed to keep in zone 2. Need to program in my heart rate zones for exercises. Twas very hot outside. Learned that HEED is nasty tasting stuff.

Saturday: Kayaked to support team during swim; swam 0.83 miles (thought I did more). Finished course-listed 1/2 mile of swim in 25 minutes. That's not right... Ran 47 minutes after.

Sunday: Did 1 hour of biking on 50lb. steel mountain bike. I will never, ever be terrible to my Cannondale again. That was torturous.


Who's great idea was it to....?!

I find myself asking the question "Who's great idea was it to [fill in blank here]?!" more often than not lately. The first recent [fill in the blank here] was the 50.7 mile bike ride. I said it to myself at mile 40-43. After all, the longest that I had biked in my cycling career was 37 miles. What made me think that I could handle 50?

The second [fill in the blank here] is this 1 mile swim on Saturday. What was I thinking? I don't have a wet suit that I'm renting. I'll be swimming. One mile. In my black non-flotation swim suit? Yes, yes, I will.

I know I can swim a mile. It's just the longest that I will have swam in open water. I just have to keep in mind - slow & steady wins the race.

Honestly, I do this triathlon training & racing to prove that I can do more than what I feel I am capable of. I still manage to astound myself daily. It's these periodic leaps of faith that really amaze me.
1) I can't believe I signed up for it.
2) I'm doing it & I can continue doing it until I finish.
3) I can't believe I finished it.

More of the same? My ego says yes. My body is ready. My mind is in the state of shock.


Secret pal!

I received a package from my secret pal before the Saturday bike ride. Tied to my side view mirror was a purple package. In it was an orange bubble bath kit, a package of orange Jelly Belly Sport beans (YUM!), & a quote on pretty paper. I believe the quote said:

live as though you'll die tomorrow
learn as though you'll live forever

I loved my package. I have the quote pinned inside my car. :)

Thanks, Secret Pal!


Also, here's a video regarding how to train for open water swimming.


Weekly report

Monday: Nada. Prescribed off day from coach. YAY! Bonus day off!!

Tuesday: Endurance swim & short workout for bike. Didn't. Did V02Max test in lieu of workout.
Ran 39 minutes. 13.5 minutes stretched from zone 2 to zone 5c. Tough.

Wednesday: Run 30 minutes zone 2 max hr 173, avg hr 142, 23:39, pace - max 8:35 avg 16:55, 1.4mi. - Should have taken the day off from running. Legs hurt from yesterday (or wearing lovely Italian heels to work). Mostly walked. Tried to keep in Zone 2 when I ran. Licked heart rate monitor before putting it on. Realized "I has a flavor". Ugh.

Thursday: Swim - 2250 yards of speed work. Abs hurt as do arms. Employed wide-entry stroke. Very effective & much faster. Felt stronger. 4x 200's in zone 4 made me struggle at the end.

Aside - I didn't think that I was hungry after the swim workout. Then, I spied the "Driving 66 blahblahblah prohibited during blahblahblah" sign on 495. Really, I saw something related to food.

Aside to aside - Also, there's a joke going around the office that my V02Max results were in cookie format. I can eat 1/8 oatmeal raisin cookie per minute of workout? That's something that we all can understand.

Bike - 30 min zone 2 28:48 min, max hr 175, avg hr 153 (zone 2 for bike) Need to plot better course. Fewer inclines means lower heart rates. Good bike workout. Excited for Saturday's ride in Shenandoah.

Friday: Nada. Prescribed off day from coach.

Saturday: 50 miles zone 2/3 50.6 miles - unknown zone - estimated average 12.5mph - lots of hills good bike ride. Love biking with Manuella. She rocks. Hills were definitely hard near the end. Need to pay more attention to hydration in the first hour. Also, need to "activate the core" when biking as shoulders & back hurt after 50 miles were done. Doing well with spinning properly. (Accidentally dropped bike from car on 66 due to poor strap placement after biking & hanging with Stacy. Need to focus more when exhausted.)

Sunday: one mile time trial swim 40 minutes walk/run - avg hr 119, max 155 Couldn't attend swim meet today as haven't frequented swim practice regularly. Tried to run in lieu. Legs hurt from yesterday. Not lactic acid buildup... more like muscle overuse/tiny tears. Decided to walk after the first 6 minutes of running. Happy that I continued.


I'm hardcore in my heart.

Although my family practice doctor stated that I am "out of shape" due to my high heart rate, the V02Max test proved otherwise.

My results?

My V02Max score is 39.2
Resting heart rate - typically 83ish.
Zone 1 - 152-162 (recovery)
Zone 2 - 163-171 (fat burning/endurance)
Zone 3 - 172-179 (tempo training)
Zone 4 - 180-187 (fast-twitch/sprint)
Zone 5a - 188-191 (super threshold training)
Zone 5b - 192-196 (aerobic capacity)
Zone 5c - 197 & higher (anaerobic capacity)

Why are the numbers so high? According to the local triathlete & coach Ken Mierke, my heart probably has smaller chambers but has strong muscles that push the chambers. So, it can pump faster & stronger than "normal" hearts.

Huh. Even my heart pushes itself harder.

Beyond getting my heart rate zones, I also received my absolute oxygen consumption, my relative oxygen consumption, my kilocalories expended per minute, my metabolic equivalent (energy expended as a ratio of resting metabolism), ventilation per minute, respiratory exchange ration, kilocalories of fat expended per minute, kilocalories of carbohydrates per minute, grams of fat burned per minute, grams of carbohydrates burned per minute, ANNNNND percentage of V02Max during each stage.

Pretty complex, huh?

Before getting my analytical results, I felt exhilarated. I pushed myself to heart rate 197 & felt like I could have continued running after the test was completed. Considering that I ran to Zone 5c (& 104% of my V02Max), that's pretty astounding.

I wonder what more I had in me...


Weekly report

Monday: 25 minute run, zone 2 - ~23:30, 1.85 miles, 295cal.
Forgot to empty the tank before the run. Ran too fast & had to walk to slow heart rate a few times. Still happy about progress. Learning.

Tuesday: W/U, 10’ Z2, 1 x 3’ Hard, 10’ Z2, W/D - Distance: 9.83 miles (15.81 km) Total climb: 47 feet / 14 m; Total elevation change: 358 feet / 109 m; Gnats consumed (Per mile): 367.3 Total Protein: 78g
Well, I definitely learned the value of a good bike & totally ignored the prescribed workout. Rode from Ballston to Alexandria for trivia night on 50 lb. mountain bike. Didn't wear bike shorts. Ouch. Plan on getting kick-around-town bike that I can add basket/clipless SPD combo pedals. Mountain bike has got to GO!

Swim - Missed alarm somehow. Don't know how that happened. Maybe alarm is faulty?

Wednesday: Running - I skipped the run & did a ~13 mile bike with old pool league buddy. Ran into Monica who said that I've been missed at the swim practices on T/R. Set cell phone alarm for swim tomorrow.

Thursday: Swim - Alarm went off successfully at 430am & 450am. Went to pool. Pool was closed due to painting. Went back home & slept a few more hours.

Run - 30 min zone 2 - 33 minutes, max HR 191, avg 173 (so not zone 2), avg speed 12:15, max speed 9:58, 2.77 miles

Friday: Off

Saturday: Should have ran 6 miles. Missed workout due to wedding.
Sunday: Should have biked 30 or so miles. Missed workout due to wedding.

It was a tough weekend as a friend, old college buddy, etc. Giving self a weekend off.


Speed racer

It's official. I've registered for the triathlons on my sidebar. Culpeper, Smallwood, & Bassman - here I come!



Weekend training has been canceled due to health warnings in Broward County. Air quality is so poor that health officials stated that no one should be doing extraneous exercise out of doors.


Training to continue on Monday.


If you did everything you are capable of doing...

I've been slacking on my training for the last 3-4 weeks. While I had my flurry of valid excuses, I have seemingly run out of them.

1. The heart test results came back a-okay for training.
2. I am getting enough sleep.
3. I have all the gear I need.

I've realized that I'm quickly losing my endurance & feeling fat and lazy. It's time to get back to training!! Thankfully, it's recovery week next week. It's a perfect time to get back into the swing of things. Plus, I'm enthused to start again. "Let's run hills until we puke"? Sure, let's go.

Now, I'm torn between starting the half Ironman track (1.2 mile swim/56 mile bike/13.1 mile run) or continuing on the Sprint/Olympic track (1 mile swim/24 mile bike/6.2 mile run). I could theoretically complete my first half Ironman at the end of the year if I switched my training program in June.

How amazing is that? The girl who couldn't run 3 miles wants to complete a half Ironman? Pretty damn amazing, I think.