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.