Friday, April 18, 2014

Relay For Motivation

So my first race of the season is totally sneaking up on me right now. Seneca7 is one week from Sunday and I'm getting quite excited. 

It'll be my first time running a relay race since my high school track days, and those don't really count. This is race teams of seven people running the 77.7 mile loop around Seneca lake and each runner has three legs to run. The local wineries along the way act as runner drop offs where one runner hands the slap bracelet off to the next then everyone piles in a van to get to the next drop point. It should be a ton of fun. And as runner seven I get to bring the team home across the finish line, so that'll be awesome. 

Our team got together last night to go over some of the logistics and it just got me more and more excited for my kick off race of the 2014 season. 

And speaking of my race season, I'll be ordering my race line up shirt this week. A little later than I did last year, but I was waiting for my schedule to be finalized. It'll include everything but the 5k's I'm currently registered for. Or maybe I'll add those on. We'll see. 

My shirt from last year contained only my triathlons. This year my shirt has one relay, six triathlons, and two half marathons donning the back. Welcome to crazy town, population me. 

For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, this is my second year ordering a custom tank top with my race line up on the back. As I complete races I check them off. It's super motivating and I love wearing it to the gym as I start checking off the boxes. If you need motivation I highly suggest this method. It's awesome and I feel like a total badass when the whole list is checked off!

This week has felt rough. I think maybe having a two and half day work week after a long weekend of fun and debauchery made transitioning back to real life harder than if I had just worked all week. I slept through my alarm two of the three days I had it set for and consequently am now flipping my rest day from Friday to Wednesday. So goes it I guess. My overall training week should still be good and next week I should be back to real life, taking names and kicking ass. 

And because it's been a while, don't forget to head over to and use code TRIGC14 for 15% off your purchases. It's finally race season, so go load up!

Ever run a relay race before? Tell me about it!
Do you have anything that serves as tangible motivation for you?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I Run Because

I hope you ran yesterday, readers. I know I did. It may not have been on my training plan, but I still logged a short run after all my other training was done. 

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombings. I ran for the 3 who were killed and 264 others who were injured and I hope everyone else did too. Such a terrible occurrence at such a wonderful, monumental event. One of my Junebug friends who is a massage therapist works the Boston finish line every year and when those bombs went off I sat in the Wegmans dining area in complete shock and disbelief, hoping she and everyone else there were okay. And she was, thankfully, but the race and so many other's lives will never be the same. 

Athletes are an amazing group of people. We all work towards a common goal of bettering ourselves and hopefully inspiring others through our efforts. Athletes are strong willed, determined, and full of so much zest. Bombing a race was a poor decision though because if there's one group of people who will rise and preserver in the face of adversity, it's athletes. 

I ran twice on Monday. With Seneca7's less than two weeks away I thought getting in a split run would be a good idea. And I did not have a run on my plan for Tuesday, but I ran anyways. I ran because I can. I ran for those who cannot. I ran because some day, hopefully many decades from now, my body will say enough. But that day was not yesterday, it is not today, and it will not be tomorrow. 

And now, after you were all probably bombarded with Boston stuff all day yesterday, and now I've sapped all over here today, I will lighten the mood some with cute puppies. 


My parents are getting a new great dane puppy in June after having to put my childhood dane down a few months ago. Their new puppy is the middle gray one. So much cute!

Did you run yesterday? How far and how was it?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tri Talk Tuesday - Swimming

It's Tuesday again and you know what that means!

...or do you?

The link up Tri Tip Tuesday used to be apart of is no more. Lisa discontinued the link up, so a couple of my close fellow tri bloggers and I got to talking, so welcome to the new and improved....

*drum roll please*

From now on Tuesday will be triathlon TALK (with some tips thrown in if ya need em') and I'll be all linked up with the amazing Cynthia from You Signed Up For What!? and Miranda from The Cupcake Triathlete. This is a co-hosted link up between the three of us, but there's a way to add yourself to it at the bottom of this post. So comment, add yourself, find some new triathlon related reading material, and enjoy! But just remember, this is a triathlon link up, so make sure you're talking about triathlon if you link up. 

Today we'll be talking about swimming

Let me start off by telling you about how I swim- the answer is poorly. 

My first triathlon was an Iron Girl sprint tri with an open water swim. Ask me how much swim training I put in for that. Go ahead, because the answer sucks. It's maybe six swims..? I did not train properly. So the next year when I did two sprints and an Olympic you'd think I'd train more for the swim leg. You'd think, but you'd be wrong. I did about the same amount. And consequently I have struggled at every swim leg ever on every triathlon I've ever done. Makes sense, doesn't it?

So this year I've been working hard to swim like less of a loser. I've been perfecting my free style stroke so I don't have to breast stroke/side stroke/doggie paddle my way slowly to the swim out. And the time in the pool is paying off. 

So when it comes to getting that swim figured out, spend the time you need to in the pool. The first few times you might even struggle to swim a single length, but just keep at it. You'll be surprised how quickly you can build endurance in the water. 

Then, once the weather is cooperating, you can move to open water swim (OWS). I've written about the struggles that come with learning and getting comfortable in an open water swim before. But what it boils down to is practice, practice, and practice some more. Before my first triathlon I did one real OWS. Only one. And it was the day before. This is definitely a do as I say not as I do situation because many people are uncomfortable in open water as it is. Then you throw in the craziness that is the a triathlon swim start and it can be terrifying. 

After all the time I've put in at the pool this year I'm very excited to start OWS for this season. However, the weather is being a jerk and we're supposed to get snow tonight, so I'm getting nervous that I may not be seeing open water until right up before my first race. However, even if that ends up being the case, I know will go into the this next triathlon season much more confident about my swimming abilities than any previous season. Hard work, it pays off. Go figure!

Have you done any open water swims?
What is you favorite swim workout to build strength, speed, or endurance?
Next week's theme- biking! Play along if you'd like!

Do you talk triathlon on your blog? Link up with You Signed Up For WHAT?!The Cupcake Triathlete, and The TriGirl Chronicles on Tuesdays for Tri Talk! We'll discover a new theme each week and talk about triathlon training, tips, and general chatter. Be sure to link to your specific post and not a general link to your blog so that your post can be found in the linkup archives. Links not triathlon-related will be deleted

Monday, April 14, 2014

Countdown to IMCuse - Week 6 Recap

I cannot believe how quickly time is flying! Can you believe it's six weeks already??? Just craziness. 

Even though I had no weekend workouts on the docket this week thanks to Atlantic City, I still managed a pretty decent week. Nothing too crazy, but I got some training in and stuck with my plan through and through, which is a win in and of itself.

Monday- 60 minute solo spin
My calves were so tight and still in pain from my horrid excuse of a run on Saturday, so I skipped my usual Monday run and replaced it with some alone time on the spin bike. I kept my heart rate in zone 2 the whole time minus a couple of sprints just for good measure. 

Tuesday- 2050m Swim(am) / Spin Class(pm)
Solo is apparently the theme this past week. Coach Fish was absent Tuesday morning as was about 75% of our usual morning swim crew. So I clock in a mostly solo swim. I did a few longer intervals with one other club member, but I mostly kept to myself. I did a 300m warm up, a first main set of 4x200, a second main set of 6x50 with my pull and paddles, a 300m for good measure, than I got the remaining distance from my cool down. In the evening I made it to spin class and got in over an hour of saddle time in a very tough class, which I definitely needed. 

Wednesday- 3 mile run
This was my first run since feeling some pain on Saturday. I wanted to make sure I didn't restrain a calf by running too soon after such a painful run Saturday. My calves were a bit tight, but they weren't in pain so I got in 3 miles. I struggled a bit though and came in at a slow pace with a higher than normal heart rate for said pace. It wasn't pretty or fun, but I got out and did it, so I'll take the win. 

Thursday- 2000m swim(am)/Spin Class(pm)
Once again, no Coach Fish. Another member lead our workout but I was super tired and struggling a bit in the water, so I just did the best I could. I didn't do the best job keeping up though. My average time was 2:04/100, so a bit slower than I've been recently. No big deal though. In the evening I went to spin class and sweated my booty off. First day over 50F since, oh, I don't know, October? And not just over 50, but over 70! My body was so confused. But IMCuse is notoriously hot weather wise, so I need to start doing some afternoon workouts in the sun now that it's finally here. 

Friday- Nothing
I was hoping to run in the morning before taking off to Atlantic City for the weekend, but that just didn't happen. I had too much packing and errand running to do before taking off at 10am. 

Weekend- Drunken pool lounging and dancing
Um... funnest weekend ever! Who has time to work out when you're busy laying around your private cabana and a waitress is making sure your drink cup is never empty. I did dance a whole heck of a lot Saturday night, but I'm going to say two hours of dancing did not undo any of the mass amounts of bad food and booze I consumed all weekend. 

I seem to be having a difficult time pulling my act together to get this post done and out, so please excuse the lack of pictures and lameness that is this recap.

For this week:
M- run/ride with my tri club(?)
T- swim/track workout
W- run/ride with my tri club(?)
T- swim/run with FLTC or spin
F- rest
S- long run
S-  long ride

Friday, April 11, 2014

This Is a Blog Of Learned Coaches

Weeeee, Friday! And I'm off to Atlantic City for a raucous weekend of shenanigans with my Junebug hags! 

Wednesday night I went to an event put on one of the guys from my tri club. It was an advanced triathlete seminar on how to measure fitness and train via those measurements. He talked a lot about RPE (rated perceived effort), heart rate training, power meter training, and using Training Peaks to have those mathematically calculated for you. He went over some of his personal training graphs and talked about how it all worked and what it meant in terms of creating effective workouts to garner the results you wish to see in your fitness. 

It was really interesting and I was happy to see that I seemed to understand more of what he went over than some of the other members who glazed over a few times. It's all stuff I've been trying to learn on my own, so it was nice to have that reinforcement from someone who's being doing triathlons for 11 years, including completing 4 Ironmans, two of which were only 8 weeks apart!

This was a great event for me because it confirmed to me that what I've been trying to learn is correct and it will hopefully give me a jump for when I go to get my Level 1 USAT Coaching Certification.

Oh, did I leave that out before?

Yup! I have to apply and apparently slots fill quickly, but I'm going to throw my application out there. There's a training in Albany which is only about a 3 hour drive and I could shack up with one of my college besties who is out there. Finger crossed! I really want this! I've written a few training plans for a few friends recently and have gotten positive feedback. 

Also, this-


Hey there's me! I'm running Ironman 70.3 Syracuse! And goodness it's getting to be creeping up too. Getting very close, very close indeed. 

What's good on your docket for plans this weekend?
Who's used a coach before? What'd you love that they provided to you that you wouldn't otherwise get through self training?
Annnd, free brownies to whoever got the movie reference in my title today!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

So Much Happy This Week

Oh my gosh, I have so many exciting things to share with everyone today!

First off, my race schedule is still growing. You can keep track of the ever growing list on my Upcoming Races page above. As if it was jam packed enough already I added three more races to it this week and a forth is potentially in the works. 

I finally bucked up and registered for FLT. I'll be running the Olympic this year and if it's not raining, choppy, and my bike breaks decide to work I should have no problem coming in under the 3 hour mark. 

FLT was a tough race for me last year. It was raining all morning, the lake was choppy, and the breaks on my bike weren't working. But the sun came out just in time for the run and I finished happy and strong!

Hubby registered us for the BASE Race in Cooperstown again. However, this year we opted to do the 5k instead of the 10k. They moved the date of the race forward so it coincides with Hall of Fame Weekend. The 5k loops through the historic part of town where as the 10k is out on back rural roads. So we're shaking thing up at this race this year. 

The third race I'm really excited about. My fellow fitness blogger and Junebug friend Kristen over at Run Away With Me and I have been trying to coordinate racing together for a while now. I've been trying to lure her NY to cross New York off her 50 states racing list, but it just hasn't panned out yet. But, the Hubs and I will be heading to Philly in October to run the Yuengling Light Lager Jogger 5K with her. This race includes an edible cookie medal, finishers beer stein, t-shirt, and TWO FREE BEERS post race. Uh, yeah, count me in!

And the forth race that is a possibility will be a sponsored spot in the Peasantman Triathlon in August. Happy dance for sponsored race slots!!! I'm not sure which distance it would be for yet, but I secretly have my fingers crossed for one of the longer distances. 

The other totally awesome thing that happened this week was I got accepted as an ambassador for I'm Fit Possible! I love being part of fitness and health groups and these ambassador programs really help spread the love of all thing health and fitness related. Very happy to be part of a like minded group!

As for training so far this week, I've stuck to my schedule perfectly thus far, so I'm happy with that!

What's something awesome that happened to you so far this week?
Is there something you're looking most forward to coming up soon?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tri Tip Tuesday - Recovery

So much love last week for Tri Tip Tuesday! And today I'm answering a question from the kickass athlete Kristen from Glitter and Dust (go check her out, she rocks!) about post race recovery. You ask, I'll deliver. 

Last week we talked about how to fuel during a race, but what about after? For those of us who do endurance sports like triathlons and marathons, we seem to posses this innate inability to sit still and that next training workout or race is always on our minds and horizons. 

Recovery is difficult because the idea of sitting still when there's runs to be done, rides to enjoy, and swims to conquer is a foreign concept to those of us used to cranking out workouts before the sun comes up and sometimes more than once a day. But recovery is vital and not recovering properly can cause injuries. And if you can't sit still for a day or two to recover enjoy your 8 weeks to however many millions of months off when your doctors say no more after an injury. 

And after all that running some chocolate milk is greatly enjoyed!

Getting off your feet is only part of recovery. Strap on your compression tight, stretch, ice, and maybe even treat yourself to a massage on those totally workout free days. Your sore and tired muscles will thank you. 

Active recovery is also important. This is where you simply move your legs and body for about 30 minutes at a super easy pace. A very light run or spinning on a bike trainer or spin bike with little to no resistance. This will help flush out muscles and loosen them up relieving soreness. Another way for us triathletes to get some active recovery in while still "training" is to practice transitions on active recovery days. Set up a faux transition area in your driveway, bike down your street and back, transition, then run down the street and back. Do this a handful of times to get some active recovery in as well as some functional training. Those transition times count after all!

As for fueling post race, I'm a big fan of post race gorge fest of whatever sounds good when I cross that finish line. However, this is actually frowned upon. Sad, I know. After a race you want protein and carbs. Protein will help repair those over worked muscles and help prevent DOMS- delayed onset muscle soreness. Carbs will replenish your now very depleted glycogen stores and help you regain your energy. The day after your race a carb and protein ration of 3:1 in grams is exactly what your body requires. Make sure to take in some vitamin C too, because all that stress on your body from a long race lowers your immune system.

My favorite immediate post race nutrition plan includes chocolate milk, which hits a lot of nails right on the head in terms of nutritional needs for recovery. You'll notice most races offer chocolate milk. There's a nutritional reason for this, so drink up and enjoy! In fact, most post race foods, like bananas and pretzels, generally contain a good portion of your immediate post race nutritional needs, so take advantage of those free food lines at the finish line. 

What do you do to help you recover after a race or difficult training session?
Favorite post race food?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Countdown To IMCuse - Week 5 Recap

It's that time again. Where I tell you all about my triumphs and my fails in terms of my seemingly rocky training to get myself to the starting line of Ironman Syracuse.

This week was pretty hit or miss. 

Monday- Nothing
This was my a big fail of the week. I let my brain think before rolling out of bed and consequently thought it was Sunday morning and fell back asleep. And having to work an 11 hour day meant I couldn't make up my missed workout after work either.

Tuesday- FLTC swim practice
This was a bit of a fail too. I planned to go to my coached swim practice and follow up my pool time with a run, but forgot to grab my running bag on my way out the door. I did get 2500 meters in at a 1:58/100 pace, so it was still a great workout even with a run.

Wednesday- 3 mile run
Strength training is definitely, once again, falling to way side as I shift to outdoor workouts. I got in a relatively moderately paced 3 mile run, averaging a 9:10 pace. Not super fast, but I was comfortable so overall I feel like it was a good run. 

Bah. Running. I've been failing a bit at this this year so far. Oops. 

Thursday- 1950 meter swim/15.17 mile bike
This was my first solid, good training day of the week it felt like. I struggled a bit in the water, but overall I got a great session in. All the drills we did felt like they really pushed my limits, which I need. Then after work I hooked Finley up to the bike rack and set off for a ride. I started at the State Park entrance this time but I still turned too early to hit the whole Mini Mussel bike route. I'm vowing right here, right now, that I will not cut the route short anymore. My first race with a bike leg is creeping up on me wayyyyy too quickly to not be logging some real bike miles at this point. My pace was a bit slow, but I'm still getting the feel for riding aero and learning Finley's gears, so what felt like a moderate pace for me on this ride had me around 16.3 mph. Not too shabby for a training ride. 

Drinking is training, right?

Friday- Rest day.
I thought about going to the gym, but I ended up not making it. My legs from groin to ankle and all the way around were sore and I was feeling exhausted despite not working too hard this week. I needed this. My body is very accustomed to it's Friday's off and I don't think I can break this habit now. Plus I went to happy hour with a couple of friends. See above yumminess, ha. 

Saturday- 5 mile run
I had an 8 miler planned for today, but I kind of had the feeling when I woke up that 8 miles was not in the cards. I'm not sure why, but I could just feel it. My plan B workout was the 5 miles I did and even that felt like a miracle to finish. My first mile actually felt okay. My body was comfortable and my heart rate was staying low even with a low 9 minute per mile pace. But then my calves revolted. They seized up and decided they did not feel like suffering through the horrible wind and pelting snow that was coming down. I planned an out and back and painstakingly turned around at the 2 mile mark thinking I may not even make it the other 2 miles home. I was seriously suffering. I stopped to stretch four times. However, by the time I hit about the 3.8 mile mark and was just down the street from my house, I began telling myself no negotiating! and pressed on. And you know what happened? My fifth mile was my best mile! I did a lap around my neighborhood, clocked in a sub-9 minute mile, and felt pleased with myself despite being tight and in a bit of pain. 

Sunday- 15.85 mile bike
Not as long of a ride as I had hoped for, but a few things went a bit arwy almost immediately. Less than a mile in I stood and instead of moving my hands to the hoods I stayed aero. My full body weight against my arms caused my right elbow pad to shift. I pulled over and tried desperately to shove and yank it back into place to no avail. Also, my speed and cadence sensor was out of its freaking mind. It only clocked me at less than 13 miles at an average speed of about 14mph. Map My Ride confirms what I knew to be true; that my sensor is out to get me. My ride actually clocked in at the 15.85 miles with an average speed of 17.7 mph. More what I expected. So my sensor is officially coming off and being stowed away until it's trainer season again in the fall. I''m planning to poke my head into my LBS tomorrow and have them fix that elbow pad since it wasn't very comfortable to have my one arm out of alignment. 

Total Training-
Swim: 4450 meters
Bike: 31.02 miles
Run: 8 miles
Total: 5 hours 33 minutes. Not enough at all

This week poses a bit of a challenge. Today I have an early meeting that will prevent me from getting a morning workout in. And Friday mid morning I leave for Atlantic City for the weekend, so my weekend workouts will not exist. So, here's what I'm hoping for next week.

M- bike
T- swim/spin
W- run
T- swim/spin
F- long run
S/S- nothing

It'll end up being a lighter week again, but I think if I can get higher intensity workouts I can pick up the slack in lost time. Then the following week I'll be pushing myself into training overdrive. It's time and I need it. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Saddle Up

Fabulous Friday, I need you, I want you, oh baby oh! Happy freaking Friday! What a long week it's been too, oiy. 

I guess I shouldn't complain. Beyond my 11 hour workday Monday I actually only worked three and half days this week. And I snuck out early Tuesday and used my comp time to leave at lunch time Thursday. Annnnnd, I'm totally off today for my birthday weekend. I shouldn't be allowed to gripe really. 

Do you know what I did yesterday???

Yesss!!!! I rode Finley. It was wonderful. And my speed and cadence sensor only malfunctioned a few times in the first couple of miles, ha. Better than last time. Someday it'll work right. Someday. My data was only off a smidge at least. I can deal. 

However, it was only 40F and cloudy. I felt fine while riding, but I had some serious chills the rest of the day. The Rat Snake is only six weeks away and the bike course terrifies me, so I need to be riding. Plus IMCuse is in nine weeks. I just can't wait around the Mother Nature to pull her head out of her ass at this point. 

Also, that saddle is not very comfortable. It's too hard and way too narrow. But my triathlon budget is at it's wit's end. With a wetsuit still on my "to buy" list and FLT still to be registered for I'm straight up tapped out. I'm thinking I can swap it out for my saddle off my Jamis, which I like. And hopefully will still like when riding aero because a new saddle is just not in the budget. But at the same rate I don't know if my Queen has 56 miles worth of saddle time in her on this one. 

On the workout docket for this weekend is an 8 mile run and a 20+ mile bike ride. Sunday is going to be gorgeous and I can't wait to get Finley out in the sunshine. We'll also be going to see the new Captain America movie. Gotta get in the spirit for our Avengers Half Marathon after all!

Fellow triathletes/cyclists-if I had to get a new saddle, what would you suggest?
Anyone else get a good ride or other great workout in this week?
Who else is seeing Captain America this weekend?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Week Awry

I'm going to start off by reminding myself and everyone else about my training schedule for this week-

Monday: base run + strength
Tuesday: FLTC swim practice + run
Wednesday: run OUTSIDE!!(am) + bike ride and short run OUTSIDE(pm)
Thursday: FLTC swim practice(am) + 90 minute spin + run(pm)
Friday: rest
Saturday: 8 mile run
Sunday: long bike ride outside (distance TBD)

And now I'm going to tell you how much I've already failed. 

Monday I did zero things. Zero. None. Nothing. 

My alarm went off and I hesitated. If there's one piece of advice I can give to anyone trying to force themself into becoming a morning workout person it's to roll out of bed immediately. Do no hesitate, because as soon as you do your brain starts thinking and that damn brain gets you into trouble. And I broke my cardinal rule of waking up for a morning workout; I hesitated. And in that moment my brain attempted to process what was happening. 

"Why the hell is my alarm going off on Sunday. Screw that." And back to sleep. It was NOT Sunday, by the way. And with an 11 hour workday on my schedule I could not make up the workout in the evening. So Monday became an impromptu rest day because my brain made up the decision for me. Don't let your brain make decisions. That is bad. 

Yesterday morning I did get up right at 5am, no thinking, just roll out of bed. And you know what, no matter how many years I've been playing the get up to workout game, something about swimming at 530am just feels wrong. My body just cannot compute this. I can run, ride, lift, whatever. But being in the water moving at 530 in the morning is just hard. I did however manage to crank out 2500 meters and average a 1:53/100 pace, so I'm not complaining. 

As for the post swim run, I totally packed up all my running gear the night before then forgot to grab it on my way out the door. So no run Tuesday morning. And with my parent's coming to take me out for my early birthday dinner there was no working out after work for Tuesday either. 

Dinner was delicious by the way! And my parents got us the rest of the Feista Ware we had registered for for our wedding, so we can officially finish clearing out all the cheap Target dishes we've been using the last few years.

This morning I got up for a run. I did not get up right away. I laid in bed half asleep for an extra 30 minutes and it was much appreciated. When I finally stepped out onto the pavement for my run the sun was just coming up, so I ran facing the pink sky and it felt great t be out in the fresh air. I did 3 miles at a moderate 9:10 pace. Not super fast, but comfortable enough. 

Let's not talk about my heart rate, okay? It was high, but that's what I get for not running for two weeks. My run cadence is usually higher than that too. Someone needs to stop dragging their feet (me). 

And if I can get out of work on time today I'm really hoping to get a few miles on my bike in. Even if it's only for like 30 or 40 minutes, I don't care. I just want to ride. The great news is though that I have comp time from my long day Monday, so I'll work at lunch time tomorrow and I plan to get out of a nice, long ride right away. And I'll probably still go to spinning since I feel like I have some catching up to do in terms of my training. 

So there's my week so far. I'm planning on running Friday since I have the day off. My job views birthdays as holidays and we can take any day during our birthday week as a paid day off, so of course I picked Friday. So I'll make up Monday's workout then. But I plan to keep it light and easy so I can crank out a long run Saturday too. 

What's good this fine hump day for you?
Do you try to make up missed workouts?