Thursday, December 31, 2009

WHEW




I don't really like rollercoasters- I can ride them and do, and survive - but I am not really "into" rollercoasters.



2009 was one hell of a rollercoaster ride. Steep highs and lows. sharp curves. screams of despair and delight. slow steep climbs, sharp falls, redemption at the end.



At the end of the ride I am shaken and stirred and triumphant that I survived it - in one piece - none the worse for wear. Grateful for the experience. Glad that I don't have to do this particular one again, and ultimately ready for the next ride.



what a year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

100 workouts in 100 days

ha! I have been logging some serious miles...on Elphaba! I have the saddle sores to prove it. Nowhere close to 10 hours a week, more like 5. I am trying to work my way up. Treadmill running is on life support-I am reealllly trying to maintain my enthusiasm.


Still planning my calendar, I am such a chicken baby. Thinking of the OWS has me terrified, but I know it is something I will have to do eventually. I shall report back ....soon.





Randomness - I actually saw a guy on the subway today wearing those toe shoes. I though I would pass out. It's like 30 degrees out now, so I really hope they were insulated. There are a few triathletes who seem to love running in them, and I have seen them online, but not in real life. WEIRD! He was wearing a suit and toe shoes. I would have asked him about them if the car wasn't so crowded.

The holidays have left me so fat and bloated. I gotta drop some weight and jumpstart this years training. One challenge that got my attention is the 100 runs in 100 days...which would be really gret for me but I am not up to running that much even when I am in shape. I am going to do a modified version of that challenge to kickstart 2010, 100 workouts in 100 days. It can be running, biking or swimming, but must be for at least 30 minutes. I can miss a day but will have to do 60 minutes the following day to make up for it. I started yesterday with a 4 mile treadmill run which was actually kinda fun.

Next thing up - back in the pool. Oooo, really feeling like Shamu now, plus it is FREEZING here and I culd think fo 50-11 things to do other than take off my clothes and get in some cold ass water. I was doing good there for about 10 minutes, but fell off the wagon. The sad thing is I LIKE swimming!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Planning to plan and plansssssss.....






Planning next year.









I have so many dreams and goals.





Baby steps , sure - but wonderful things for me if I can pull them off.



NO, I still have not determined what tri's I want to do but I am getting there. I will definitely do the Trek again- it was so much fun and close to home. And all chicks. And chicks, as you know, rock. No homo.





I have signed up for the Long Island Half Marathon, however - and I totally think it is doable. Now, I am saying this having cut down drastically on my running these past two months. But I still think I can do it and have fun.


I have been going to swim class but I am as slow as all get out. Not sure what to do about that, but I damn sure better have soe kind of technique by spring the way I have been drilling! I have found a really cool resource - the Coney Island Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers. I chatted with a chick that swam with them last year - a novice newbie slow one like me (or so she says) and she really recommended them. I think I will give it a try come late April or May (once the water warms a bit). I am hopeful, as I want to enter a race on Staten Island that everyone says is fun and flat. The swim is in the bay. It would make for a good season opener; although I am not for the crazy crowded stuff. I will have to see.


There have been some ....interesting....articles in the New York Times over the past few months about endurance athletes....one about slow people in the marathon, and more recently one about Triathletes with injuries...this one. I am not sure why Triathlon has been singled out - and why they chose a 61 year old athlete to highlight ....

I also got a great book, a real meat and potatoes tri book "The Triathletes Training Bible". There is so much in there I don't understand yet but am starting to grasp the concept of - lactate thresholds and such....but realy I need to find a plan and stick to it!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Back to Business...kinda






I actually made myself sick.



So sick of NOT doing what I knew I should be doing (swimming, what else?) that I returned to Masters. Because I am a glutton for punishment. And I know that while I am not a great runner or cyclist, my swim is even further behind.


And of course, someone actually noted that I had been gone awhile, LOL! In a very kindly way however. It was a slow day and my part of the class (the slow baby group) was in what is my favorite part of the pool, the diving tank. The water is deep and I feel so much more bouyant, even though it is also cooler than the shallow end. I kept up just fine and as usual, felt grrreeeat afterwards.


That was last week.


This week the pool was set p for a long course - 50 yard lanes. Nice! I think I could swim that all evening - at my slow ass pace however. That was not to be, though.


We did several technique drills - on the back, rotations, onteh side left leading, on the side right leading, on the side left leading face in, same for right, underswitches.....I kinda like these drills. They remind me of how to trust the natural rotation of my body and help me regain my balance. Of course I get about a gallon of water up my nose as some point or another but these generally are not the "drowning drills" that we used to do when I took the JackRabbit class last year.


Then, we split into two groups and did sets - 6 sets of 100's. we used two lanes for this. I moved over into the next lane only because the first one had about eight people in it already, and there was only two so far in the next. The instructor said "I don't know that you belong here, but we will see". OK - I was gonna move right back over after that, but decided to see what happened.


Wow. I had on my zoomers - but about half the lane did - and I kept up! for all of teh 100's! Of course I was challenged and out of breath, but wow - what a workout! All the instructor said was "Nice" which was cool - in all reality after the fourth set I was done, but I didn't stop or slow down much. I expected her to tell me I was losing my stroke or something, as when I get tired I tend to flail but I tried to remain conscious of my stroke throughout.


When we were done (Thank you Lord!) my ankles were somewhat sore from the fins. I took them off and did a slow 100 to cool down which was blessedly sweet, I felt like a manatee.


I am only going 1x week now, as Thursdays are taken up with other things. I should try to get to the gym at least once a week to supplement it - either that or put up with the dirty old men at Parks and Rec and do my Saturday mornings there again. The last Saturday I was there, I knocked out 1.5 miles. I was also asked out on a date by a 70 year old.


(sigh)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Procrastination. Pelvis. Plodding.



I haven’t been swimming in a month. I have several reasons and excuses, but none of them change the fact that I haven’t been swimming- masters or otherwise – in a month. Work is excruciating. I am tired when I do have the time to actually make it, I prefer not to. The weather has been cold and wet, and - well, it gets kind of redundant! All real reasons, but still don’t change the fact that it has been a month.



I HAVE been biking a lot – for real and on the trainer. The first week of attempting to complete 10 hours over the week met with some serious resistance on behalf of my uh pelvic region. I managed 8.5 hours, not bad. But there was PAIN. A lot of it. Soft tissue damage, I dare say nerve damage. Very uncomfortable situation – part of which comes from needing a new saddle,. Part from that region being really hot and clammy for extended periods of time, but you know I think part of it is tied to my needing to lose weight! There is a lot of pressure on that precious area and , well, something had to give and it was me. Ouch. How do women complete century rides, Ironman..etc – unless I need to build up a crotch callous?



YUCK



I have also been running regularly – if not copiously. I participated in a
BT challenge to do 50 miles this month, which I have just completed. I will try to maintain minimums monthly and be smarter about how I fit them in as my work schedule gets more solidified. I cannot say that I am enjoying it more, but I always feel excellent after. It’s the time thing, I need to work on that. Time, and motivation....



There was a
New York Times article about “plodders” in the marathon, apparently some faster runners have issues with people who walk, run/walk, or even just run slow participating in a marathon. Takes the sheen off the event, some say; and they don’t think they have the right to brag.



After reading that article, I understand why some people think runners are assholes, I completely do. If you have enough time to be concerned about what someone else is doing on the course, you have bigger issues than you think. (and smaller privates too) Faster athletes annoyed with slower ones for....what? Breathing too much? How far should we follow that reasoning - if you aren't doing as well as X, then you must not be working hard and therefore don't deserve to be there? How do you know what obstacles or challenges these individuals have dealt with to just be there? Wow. Just, wow.

What is the REAL issue?

Without us slower folk they wouldn't be all that fast would they? Their speed is only in relation to the plodders...and without the plodders, who would you have to critique? Yourself perhaps?

Humming MJ's Man in the Mirror.....and laughing....

On another note, I want to mention a website that I am falling in love with that feeds my avid consumerism and is all chick power and everything....

TEAM ESTROGEN!!!

got some more socks to feed the fetish..am looking at bike seats for aforementioned reasons....they rock!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Inspiration for the long haul




I spend an inordinate amount of time mooning over all things tri- mostly gear and toys, but also race reports, other folks blogs, etc. It is all so addicting!


A site I recently joined,
GOTRIBAL, is promoted by a professional triathlete and women's world record holder, Chrissie Wellington. She is supposedto be hot stuff - well, she holds the record and only startedracing tri a few years ago. Nice.


Over last weekend I remembered that it was time for Kona - the granddaddy of triathlons, an Ironman event held in Hawaii. I found the website and got a live feed and athlete tracker, and checked in. In only knew two pro names, one of the being Chrissies. I saw that her name was not in the top 10 afterthe swim, and forgot about the race for a few hours.




I came back many hours later and found that she was notonly in the top 10 on the bike, she was leading the women's race! Wow, just...wow. I kept checking in every few hours and had the ultimate honor of watching the last 20 minutes of her race, which moved me to tears.





This woman had a big smile on her face the entire time. She broke a world record in the process. When she won, she did not run across the finish line - she laid down and rolled, in honor of
John Blais, Warrior Poet. She cried, hugged her parents, thankedthe crowd, and stayed after for a loooong time to congratulate athletes crossing the finish line - AFTER WINNING A 140 MILE RACE!



Man, me sweating and moping over my nothing miles, and she grinning and encouraging others after 140. What a way to have your perspective adjusted - in a number of ways! A few minutes of viewing, a lifetime of inspiration. I looked her up, and found that she is not just an amazing athlete but a socially aware individual who practices the divine concept of
Paying It Forward ( I really really like her, now!)

so that leads me into crystallizing some stuff I have been thinking about lately....



I'm going to HTFU. As much as I can. And I do this because I love it, so why not let it show that I am having fun and enjoying myself even when sweating blood?




I am looking for ways to inspire others to participate too. Haven't figured that out, but I will start by trying to set a positive example.

Make racing mean something - for a cause. OK, I know about Team in Training. But there are other causes that are near and dear to my heart as I have loved ones who deal with daily challenges , and then other personal interests I have that I would love to support.




so my short list is


Heifer International

Why NOT make a difference? I already donate to these organizations, but maybe there is a way to raise awareness and get even more resources directed towards importantcauses - even in a small way. Oh, and smile while doing it.


Thanks, Chrissie!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

bleh

It is getting more and more difficult to drag myself to masters swim every week. I am not sure why.

Sure, it is a hard workout. One which sometimes leaves me feeling like demoralized – like I have never attempted to swim before, and should never attempt again. Fighting through rush hour traffic (after already having a daunting commute) adds to it as well. Having to detangle, wash and condition my hair afterwards lest it fall out all at once from chlorine is also a factor. Oh – and it is getting cold now, and it is easier to face freezing cold water coming in from warm weather versus cold. Sometimes (during this time of year) I just don’t feel like getting WET. AT ALL.


Ugh.

I know how much I need to improve my swim time and skills, nothing makes it more apparent than masters that is for sure. But damn. I am skipping another session today – sinuses. I just cannot tolerate it for one more second! But it is back to the grind on Thursday.



On another note – I need a new saddle for Elphaba. My crotchital region has suffered too much this past summer and needs a break. I had kinda wished that after suffering through enough stress that I would get callous down there, but if anything its more sensitive. So I am looking into a Terry Butterfly and Adamo seats for women – I want to be able to sit comfortably for a longer period of time. (I need no excuses to skip out training sessions, as you can see).














I am thinking of generating a challenge for myself on the bike – 10 hours a week! For one month. I want to build stamina and speed, and also just see if I can do it. The majority of this will be done on the trainer obviously, but the beauty of it is that I CAN do it on the trainer . No speed or resistance goals, just DO it as Nike rants. I want – need – to jump start my continued weight loss journey and am hoping this will help.




I will start trying a week at a time, and see how it goes.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Cheese Stands Alone!


Training – working out – anything athletic – can be difficult for the majority of the American public to relate to. I get that. Triathlon type training I guess is even more isolating. As most people don’t even exercise at al, and I feel like a fat slug if I don’t get at least 60 minutes of something in per day. OK, no problem. I swim, bike and run by myself. From time to time I join up with some cool chicks for a group ride – there was that training class that kicked my BUTT – and I try to drag my carcass over to Masters swim twice a week (more like once lately). But for regular working out?
O solo mio.

I don’t always mind. I decided a loooong time ago that I LIKE me and like getting to know me and spending time with me. But too much chocolaty goodness with no variety does, eventually get boring. And since I relate to me so well, I can talk myself out of the 5 am workouts and the after work bike rides quite easily. This is what has been happening lately. I don’t always mind letting me down but I would not let someone else down, or leave someone else alone at 5 am…

So I am getting a bit bored. Dangerous thing. I do have a few goals I am aiming towards this fall/winter…..all of which add up to increasing my base volume and speed. Altogether I am really looking forward to it, as I am hopelessly addicted.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

STUFF I LIKE



The quality of my training is dependent on a number of material things that are not sports related. These are random things in no particular order that make me toe curling happy and feel good!








S Pellegrino Water








Sparkling mineral water. I love when they serve it at restaurants, and finally realized one day I could just GET SOME FOR MYSELF (duh). This is my happy soda substitute. A friend of mine has a seltzer maker, maybe one day I will get one of those. Anyway - not for training, but during a good meal and as a treat. It's a good thing!











Flourless, Organic, Complete Protein, and Sprouted Whole Grain. What?







Sprouted bread! Gluten Free! Rich in protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber; very, very tasty - also very expensive, but hey I don't eat bread any more. (Well, most of the time) So; I eat this and it's lovely - especially warm and/or toasted. The cinnamon raisin is a keeper. Oh, and it freezes very well!





I am loving the honey infused lip balm, and the radiance face lotion (SPF 15). The lip balm is a must for me especially with outdoor workouts, and it tastes so good and stays on forever. The radiance face lotion – I have to work it into my skin a bit or the brown looks a lil ashy, but it does make my face more radiant. I have even gotten comments. Positive ones! All natural, and widely available...







Dr Bronners Magic Peppermint soap







The liquid one. All natural. If you ever get bored, read the label. - All One! It comes in tea tree, eucalyptus, unscented, lavender (which I also adore) and citrus….I can shower forever with this. The peppermint soothes and picks me up at the same time.






Say Yes To Carrots Pampering Hair Mud Conditioner

So moisturizing and gives my hair great slip. Ultra conditioning. It is a staple and helps de frizz and de kink my hair after swimming or a really hot day. All Natural! Paraben Free! I love this stuff.






WigWam running socks

Ahhh, the agony of defeet, especially when you are not a runner trying to run! I have worn these at my tri and on my long runs and find them sooo comfy. I do have a small sock fetish – I also like Thorlos and Balega but I reach for my wigwams over and over again.






Oat Bran

I could eat this every day for breakfast and be perfectly happy. Wait – I already do. In fact when I cannot get this I don’t feel quite as good as I usually do. I love oat bran. I prepare it with some apple and banana and cinnamon in it – ambrosial! Very fueling, high fiber, lowers cholesterol, and moves the luggage too!






Amazing Grass superfood –




I like the chocolate flavor. This is a Green Superfood that is packed with antioxidants, a probiotic and enzymatic blend. Great energy boost! It is delicious and has practically no calories. I need never take a wheatgrass shot again! It comes in chocolate which I love mixing with milk or my coffee, but I also use the regular one which has no flavor and I will mix it in my juice (I am not a smoothie person, otherwise I would probably put it into that) Delicious, nutritious, and makes you feel ambitious.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Swimming with the Fishies

They call it Master's Swimming because they work you like a slave!

Don't get me wrong - I am so happy to have found it and joined. I am sure it's good training and that it will pay off big time. It sure is cheaper than the Jack Rabbit classes and meets twice a week instead of once.

But; really. This type of self flagellation....this manifestation of hair shirts....takes some getting used to, and hours of sleep to get over.

I was very sleepy this week. I think it was coming off of the anxiety aboutthe tri , plus the change of temperature. It's pretty chilly in the mornings, and crisp - perfect running weather. Ah, but no - I have taken the week off to sleep a wee bit later in the morning. The 5 am stuff gets played out with me after 6-8 months or so! But I did rush out after work to go to Masters.

I LOVE the water....lakes, oceans, beaches especially, ponds, pools, fishtanks, showers...dosen't matter. During long cold winters I dream repeatedly about swimming, the beach, the ocean. It's my psyche longing for what it loves. However, in swimming I am sloooowwww....I think everyone swims faster than me. I think I love being in the water so much that part of my brain gets distracted. Yeah, thats the ticket - I love the water so much my brain gets distracted.


I am the slowest person in the slow group, LOL. I a trying to soak up the instruction however and even I know I am swimming SO much better. Once in awhile they bump me into the next lane to drill with the faster group that just drills (no instruction) and I can do that just fine - I am just the slower swimmer. Whatever, really. I could sleep for a day afterwards, however.Getting up the next morning is always more of a challenge.

Today I suited up and went to my local parks and rec to swim - I probably did a little over a mile. If my cap and goggles are not giving me a hard time (miraculously today they were NOT) I can swim and swim non stop for about an hour, which I did today. It felt soooooo good. I came home and did 30 minutes on the trainer, and TRIED to run a little on the treadmill, but only got a mile in. My head was really hurting: a combination of sinuses and post pool head, I think.

I have a 5k next week, I am really looking forward to it. I a not concerned about the time at all, this will be a fun run for me. The run traces the path of a Brooklyn firefighter who, when he heard about theWorld Trade Center being attacked, put on his gear and ran from Brooklyn to Manhattan (the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel was closed to traffic by then). He and his entire squad passed that day. The run benefits an important foundation and has a zillion people that participate - its is called the Tunnel to Towers run.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Trek Women's Triathlon NYC Race Report

I must not fear.


Fear is the mind-killer.


Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.


I will face my fear.


I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.


Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.






Only I will remain.

- Bene Gesserit Litany against Fear


I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that up until two days before the race I was seriously considering NOT doing the race. It is so much easier to stay in bed…and I was still upset that I did not do the race in July (what one has to do with the other, who knows. Not me.) In addition I was just plain nervous. A veritable cornucopia of nerves, I was.

I went to the packet pick up the day before, and talked to some vendors and met Sally Edwards again. She and the staff of the race did their best to be friendly and informative and alleviate pre race jitters. I would say that they did a great job. I was thinking of me bouncing around with a bunch of young, zero body fat heifers who used to be professional swimmers, bikers, and have natural running talent that helps them average 6 minute miles. What I did see were regular every day women of all shapes, sizes and abilities and ages. The youngest participant was 17, and the oldest I believe was 72. It calmed me down alot and made me feel that I could actually finish the race.


Why did I not realize this sucker started at 6:30 am – with transition opening at 4:30? Wow. Wow oh wow. Fortunately the weather SUCKED on Saturday, so after the packet pickup I can home and took a nap. Me. Took a nap. That is how nervous I was, I never take a nap over 15 minutes long. Those two hours helped however, as I was not able to go to sleep at 9 or 10…more like 11 pm.

I set out everything I could figure I might need – at the last minute, I decided I would wear my tri shorts over my bathing suit. No one needs to see thing 1 and thing 2 unsheathed, and hopefully it would not add to any drag in the pool. I also packed the sports beans I got that day, mixed an energy drink in a bottle, and froze a water bottle to store on Elphaba for the ride.

I woke all on my own at 3 am. I had some eggs, toast and coffee – yeah I had the nerve to be HUNGRY. We left at 5 am, and got there about 20 minutes later. It was pitch black outside, and as the transition area was not near a parking lot, it was difficult to tell where the heck we were going. I didn’t think to bring a flashlight! I racked my bike – not realizing how very close together these bikes actually are. Wow. I think next year they really need to have more volunteers to point out where you are going on the long walk from parking to transition.

Ditto body marking – get more volunteers, or just make sure it is not some vaguely unpleasant sweaty guy marking your arms and legs while you are in a swimsuit – or just give me the marker, I will mark my own arms and legs. Although I think HE had a really good time, LOL.

The lineup for the swim was kinda funny. We had to line up by number and then stand there while they were making all these announcements – have you ever heard a loudspeaker in a pool? Kinda hard to tell what the heck they are talking about, everything is all echoooooooo…what? huh? We sang the national anthem, and then about 15 minutes off of start time, people started swimming.

The pool was 50 meter lanes, and was in a snake style – swim down one lane before getting to the next, going under the rope, until you have done all 8 lanes and you exit the pool.

For once, my swim cap stayed on. My goggle did fog and I stopped at the end of a lane twice to clear the one that kept fogging up (that anti fog BS is a waste!) I saw women who breaststrokes, sidestrokes, and backstroked. Mostly freestyle however.

Next thing I knew, I was in the pool, and next thing after that, I started the swim. I very quickly was on the heel of the woman in front of me – and at the same time, passed by the woman behind me. I passed two or three more people – the lanes were nice and wide – and after the first few passes there was not anyone even close to me, so the spacing was good.

I was pleased with my swim! Other than the goggles bs, I did well with my slow self. The last time I timed myself, it was 15 minutes. I gave my time as 14:00 for the waves…my time was 12 minutes. I took it just a notch above pretty easy.

Out of the pool, I was SO happy to have the swim go well I dawdled in transition for three whole minutes. I actually dried myself off, sat down and out my shoes on…LOL. The bike was so flat and fast – the most difficult part was at one section of the course, the lanes narrowed greatly and people were not calling left or staying to the right – so I would stay behind whoever I was behind during that part of the loop, but once we were on the open road again, I would take off.


I picked off a lot of people during the bike – at least 20. Only three passed me, and that was during the narrow part of the course I just mentioned. I guess all those hills paid off.

Back into T2, I could NOT make myself run with the bike. I just couldn’t. Then all of a sudden I could not even locate where my bike was supposed to go! Too much adrenaline. I got onto my running shoes pretty quick however and started to run – NOT.

My legs felt like lead pieces.

I should have practiced more bricks.

It was not until mile two that I did NOT feel like absolute crap. By then, I could hear the announcer and cheering so that also helped a lot. The actual finish was wonderful – DH just before the line who I gave a high five, and Sally Edwards who gave me a double high five and a big hug. Right there they took my chip and gave me the neat medal I have.






After, we stayed to cheer on other finishers, took a few pictures, but there was not much to do. I did not realize until I was on the computer later that I placed FIRST in the ATHENA division – the one I competed in . A young lady I met the day before and was encouraging – her first too, and she was nervous about the swim – took SECOND! Additionally, another girl I met on a weekend beach ride - she placed FIRST OVERALL!!




Wow, I am sorry I didn’t get a chance to actually STAND on the podium, but hey I still did it!



Importantly, I felt GREAT after the race, and the next day too. No bashes gashes or soreness. I was even ready to go to the gym with DH later that day, except he didn’t go.


I am so grateful to DH for putting up with me and my crazy shecdule and rantings and soreness. I am grateful for two virtual friends who started online challenges I participated in – Pinkskates and Queeny – that got me in the mode of thinking I could exercise for more than an hour at a time and in different things. I am also so grateful for my virtual friends a BeginnerTriathlete who are so insane and encouraging and of great practical value, LOL!

Enough of the speeches, but I am SO amped, two days later. I have spent so much blogging time complaining, let me have some tiny space to rejoice! I CAN do this!


Now to determine the next race…….



Sunday, September 13, 2009

I did it!

I completed my first Triathlon - the Trek Women's Tri.


I had SO much fun!

All that suffering paid off...as did the newly added Master's swimming... I PLACED FIRST IN MY DIVISION!!

......and yes there was more than me in the Athena division.....

I will post a full race report in the next day or so.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

whew!

Serious workout yesterday.



After two straight years of rain, I realize that I am not used to the orange fiery thing in the sky. Especially not for workouts. I was so teetering on not going today - the long drive, the crowd in the park, tired after the 4th festivities, blah blah. The prospect of the flailing although I can swim lake, and the hand your ass to you on a platter hill were the real things that gave me pause.

That morning however, I saw that awful Lance Armstrong LiveStrong commercial, and read some article about a 78 year old nun who is a very active triathlete ("I train religiously"), and said to myself it was time to HTFU.

So I went.

We drilled over and over and over again- speed drills that had us all breathless. Me, the claustrophobic blood sausage, still fighting that wetsuit. I swear my arms weigh 100 lbs in that thing. To add to the fun, the lake was pretty busy with tons of non swimming public. Lots of collisions and confusion - probably closer to race day effects than any of us would have prefered.

Afterwards, our trainer said, due to all the traffic, we would not ride the ass handing hill. Great! a nice loop of the park, some scenery , shade - sounded right up my alley. HA! We did a loop of the park but there were lots of hills - more than one was worse than the ass handing hill; just shorter in length. One in particular was on the edge of a gorgeous piece of road with no shoulder (and lots of motorcycles crop dusting my ass) that literally had me calling on Jesus. I didn't even know I was- I kept hearing some primal grunt coming from somewhere and realized it was ME, every exhale was calling on the Lord. Ha.

Usually when I don't feel well, it's Mommy, or when I am extremely pissed it's God*%! (hey, keeping it REAL, ok?) but the Jesus thing is new. Top of that rise my legs were cooked salami. And as if that were NOT ENOUGH, the end of the ride finished up with the ASS HANDING HILL.

..........

ok so I will say that I am improving. For most of the ride I was third - the first two people dropped me like a hot potato, but I dropped the three behind me as well. Most important I stayed in the saddle and did not walk it out at all. I could have ridden more - I only think we did about 20 miles - so that is cool. Especially because we changed our gear and did running drills right after! Which went well - I mean, I am puffing like a train engine and my pulse rate was 200. But I felt strong if not fast, and as I am training for endurance first, I'm happy! I actually wanted to go for a longer run of a mile or two after that, but I also knew the traffic would be the fifth circle of hell and I wanted to get back to mi famiglia.



It was a full three hours of swimming, biking, and running. Pretty cool.


I drove back home through summer Sunday traffic (read: thank GOD for the radio, a/c and snacks) which took nearly two hours. Ugh. After all of that, it was hard to sleep last night, as I was ZOOOOOOOMING and my poor legs were humming.

This weekend coming up, I have a 5k. I just want to participate and finish - that is all. That should be interesting.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I reclaim my ass, yet fall behind

I am feeling bad and good at the same time.



I have had some great breakthoughs in training. The same hill that almost killed Elphaba and me two weeks ago was again presentedliked some sick gift by my tri class almost two weeks ago. I have been practicing the duet version of Getting To Know You with Elphaba, but not so much on hills. Still, we killed it. TWICE.



yeah, bitches!



anyway, the swim still sucked horribly. Surprisingly the run was not even a thought. We received a printout at the end which included everyone's stats like weight(insert psycho music) age, body fat percentage, metabolic age, lbs of muscle, bone density, visceral fat, physique.....

Did I say this included EVERYONE's stats? By Name?

OK - at the beginning of class, our trainer was horrified that he had cc'ed the entire email listof info to everyone, not hiding email addresses. He said he understood that people wanted to protect their anonymity, etc. Fine. I didn't have a problem with it - it's an email address for goodness sake - but having my FAT percentage blasted to a whole range of people I don't really know? Noone had a problem with that? RIGHT!

Other than needing to lose weight( and thereby body fat) my numbers are pretty good. My metage is 20 years younger than I am. While I am fatter than everyone else, my physique number is better than every other woman's in the class. On a scale of 1-20 (20 being death) my visceral fat is a 5.

Not that I didn't know I had work to do, but this is gives it to me in a different way.

The next day after class, I went out and did a 6.5 mile run. A record for me. I have done several since - not on hills, and not fast, but done, with energy to spare. And I still have legs at the end of the day - no cramps or pains.

And my arms are looking SO much better from my workouts.

I have made the tough decision that I cannot participate in the Irongirl. Yes, the OWS is part of it, but really I cannot afford it. The cost to rent a vehicle and hotel room is just not realistic now. I am hurt and angry, as I have made such an investment so far physically and financially. But Life happens. I don't really have an alternative, and up until now there isn't anything I would do differently.

I am doing a 5k in two weeks, whoopee. And; there is the sprint here on LI in September. I think the disappointment has made me lose a little focus and I am missing workouts.

I need to switch gears and get back on it - literally and figuratively.

I just need to catch my breath.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A much needed boost

I get these cool messages from the Universe every day. They are generally uplifting but mostly I could take them or leave them. The one I got today however made me cry, I didn't realize how down I have really been.

***

You are the greatest, (my name).



You are the best and the coolest.
You surprise us every single day.
This is not a test. Do not adjust your settings.

You have nothing to prove.

There's no one to thank but yourself.

The rest of the day, and your life, are on me.


Gratefully,
The Universe

(sigh) smile

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Your bike is named WHAT?

Someone asked me to explain Elphaba – “who is that” they said. I guess I should explain.


Elphaba Thropp is my beautiful bike. She is a Specialized Dolce and very sweet. We are still getting to know each other but so far, we work very well together. She has been very patient with me and for that I love and care for her as best I can – which is not much now (according to the annoyingly cheery bike mechanics at the cycle shop – WHO ASKED YOU? Do the job and shut it!) but I do promise as I learn and grow she will fare better and better.

And so will I.

Elphaba Thropp is the name of the Wicked Witch of the West in Gregory Maguire’s book,

“ Wicked”. This is the book that the Broadway musical was inspired by. I love how he expanded and explained her character and made her a heroine of sorts in the story.

OK, so bear with me here ....“Wicked” is the explanation of what was really happening in Oz during the timeframe of the movie “The Wizard of Oz”. In the original movie the neighbor that hated Dorothy and Toto - Ms Almira Gulch – was, in Oz, the Wicked Witch of the West. In Oz she rode a broom, but in Kansas , she rode a bicycle – while she was riding they played this very funny (to me) menacing music.




When the tornado struck, you could see her in the wind funnel on her bike…THAT image, along with synchronicity that Elphaba Thropp initials are ET (like the movie). The strongest image I have in my mind of ET was the silhouette of Elliots bicycle over the treetops, against the moon.








I don’t ride a broom – not in public anyway – and I don’t consciously know any exterrestrials who can make my bike soar, but Elphaba is the closest I will get to flight under my own steam. And; you can say I am a witch on a bicycle or a bitch on a bicycle. You are probably correct. In which case – watch your back!

Elphaba is my bike. And that is how she got her name. If you still don’t get it, you aren’t ready.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Fatness...keep on....

What goes up....must come down...

Ride the painted pony indeed. One killer week of she-ra is followed by a week of ...just OK workouts. First, it has rained every frickin morning this month, practically. I appreciate the cool start to the day, but rain? And the low barometric pressure has me knocked out. So the two a days have dropped off somewhat.

I had a video analysis of my swimming done this week - turns out that this swim coach is also a tri coach and triathlete himself. He has an endless pool and exercise studio in his basement...can you say ssssssweeeeeett! Anyway, there are few greater horrors in my reality than seeing myself on film....two of those greater horrors being Thing One and Thing Two ( my fattass thighs). Underwater, in a swimsuit, on film.

(composing myself)

OK, so apparently the only thing I do right is turn my head for breathing and how I hold my head - I am also pretty streamlined. Thats about it. I will be taking a daylong workshop with him at the end of the month, I am praying it makes a significant improvement and that I did that little bit of exposure and humiliation for a good reason.

Earlier that day, I was going for my first 2000 yd swim - until I broke my swim cap. I was feeling so good! I know I can get there again however, and I will - hopefully this time in good form. I must now scrounge around for another Speedo long hair swim cap - the only non permeable thing that covers all my hair (and head, for that matter)

If I were flush, I woudl get one of those underwater MP3 players. It would be transcendent to listen to, say Debussy or
Errol Garner while swimming!

Last weeks great runs were this week's terrible runs. Terrible, felt like absolute crap. My legs are tight from all the time on the trainer on Elphaba. She has been skipping some gears while I am riding, so she was taken back to the bike store where they tuned her up pretty good and refreshed me on basics - like, how much pressure her tires should have.

baby steps.

I did get some gear this week - a pair of
tri shorts and a bike jersey. The padding in the shorts are not as much as it could be, leaving my lady parts (heh heh..she said lady parts) feeling like wood. They have this sticky grippy thing around the top of my thighs that keep them from rolling up, which is pretty cool. I am so greatful that there are more modest lengths thatI can wear.

I took Elphaba out for a nice group ride at a park on Saturday morning - we did two loops of a path that leads to the beach - for a total of just under 18 miles. It wasnice. I didnt bring my running sneax, otherwise I would have joined them for a little run afterwards. The other ladies have all done tris before, so I am greatful thatthey let me ride with them and I can listen to their conversations and soak up useful information - like; the pool swim masters was meeting at is no longer closed!!!!!!

Today I am taking a day off - I may stretch or do strength, but I generally see some quality issues (cycle excluded) so I am pulling back. This gives me time to do other things like clean my house...pull weeds...wash clothes...cook food....talk to my friends....all the things I have been neglecting these last several weeks!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Excuses Begone or: Die, ego, Die!

I had such an awesome workout week last week!

I did doubles every day, and was in the pool four times for sessions ranging from 700 – 1300 yards – a lifetime of swimming for me. I did three runs averaging 4 ½ miles each (one of them on the beach – hallelujah) and spent considerable time on the trainer – I am shooting for an hour per session on the trainer until I can get back outside. I also managed some weight training, too.

I wish I had more time to train. While it is difficult I love doing this work! It is a nice distraction from almost everything else in life – I did not anticipate how all consuming this can be. But; in a pretty good way.

Interesting – I think that now I have increased my load in the last week, my appetite has decreased. No more bear out of hibernation starvies right now, I am pretty cool. Maybe I can lose some of this junk in my trunk and get faster.

I took a swim class over a year ago, and what I find amusing is that there are many techniques my instructor was attempting to show me back then that I am JUST NOW understanding what he meant. Keeping my head low low into the water …sculling….swimming on my side….I am such a dunce. All of these epiphanies have not made me any whit faster, mind you, but it’s all good.

PBS always shows its best stuff when it is having a fund drive…last week it was Stevie Wonder in London, and an Evening with David Foster. This weekend, it was Dr Wayne Dyer,
Excuses Begone. Wow. Talk about what I need to hear at the time I need to hear it. It was a long and informative program, and at the end he stated 18 common excuses people use and affirmations to defeat them Many of them resonated deeply with me and apply directly to this endeavor! Talk about Synchronicity. Here's a few:



It will be difficult

I have the ability to accomplish any task I set my mind to with ease and comfort.

It’s going to be risky

Being Myself involves no risks. It is my ultimate truth and I live it fearlessly.



No One Will Help Me (one already proven wrong many times!)

The right circumstances and the right people are already here and will show up on time.



I’m Too Scared:

I can accomplish anything I put my mind to, because I know that I am never alone.


(exhale)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I SUCK (Or: I get my ass handed to me)

Soooooo, finished off bootcamp class with style and verve. Kicked major booty. I did know, I DID KNOW, that this tri training class would be a challenge, BUT: I have been working very diligently at my fitness. I didn't think that I would be as ....embarrassed as I was.

I carefully planned out everything I would need, and I did well on that at least. I found the place also, which was STUNNING a state park with rolling hills and a huge lake with a beach and all kinds of pretty flora and fauna.

The instructor was super nice and informative, and I guess the participants were friendly enough. It seems as if everyone has done a tri before, even though it has been awhile for some people. We got into our wetsuits and went into the lake for a swim, and damn.

It was as if I hadn't done a swim before. I don't like this open water thing - we were all over the place, I kept losing my bearing, I couldn't breathe. I was panicking that I could not see. Ugh. It was like one of those dreams where you are running but you get nowhere…

Then came the bike.

We changed, hopped on our bikes, and right off I was the last out of the lot. I didn’t care - I don't mind tailing folks cuz I am strong right? These fatass thighs should be good for something. But apparently not. I and another person overshot the turnaround, and wound up sailing down a steep hill to the highway.

Which means there was a steep hill to climb and come back up. We rode up the hill aways, and at one point I had to get off. I was correctly geared, but I just could not make the climb. Me! We finally made it to a certain point – after about an hour, seemed like – and here comes our instructor who finally decided to see if we were dead. He showed us how to get back to a certain point, and then took us RIGHT BACK DOWN THE HILL to a certain point, and then turned us around. To make the same frickin climb I couldn’t finish the first time. We made it up to a certain point, and I had to get off again. It was unbelievable! Now, I could have jogged up the hill. As the class passed me one by one, they were barely going faster than I was walking, but hey they were doing it. I just couldn’t.

Eventually my cheery instructor looped back to see what the problem was with me THIS time, and I bravely told him I was ok, as I huffed and puffed my way up the hill on foot. He said that they would wait for me, which I begged him not to do- but they did wait for me, and I was mortified. Of course one of the sally stringbeans was saying “Oh, this isn’t a long workout” and he was explaining that the course didn’t need to be long, that if thought hey were so great they should do hill repeats. I am sure if I were not there he would have said we almost killed that one, so we CAN’T do anything more difficult.

I would have cried tears of frustration, shame and humiliation if I weren’t so exhausted.

We still had to run, but fortunately it was just a drill. I can already see that everyone – everyone – is faster than me, even for just that parking lot jog. I was stripped when class was finally done.

The next class isn’t for two weeks. That gives me ample time to decide if I even want to come back. I don’t want to be the one that holds everyone back or that everyone has to wait for. I also don’t know if I can do this. Fundamentally, after that swim, I just don’t know.

I feel so crappy.

Friday, May 29, 2009

In which I am transformed into a food product

so - so week so far - only one long run, almmost no bike work, and a few swims. Work has been SO stressful and making me tired, so my second workouts have been non-existent this week.



I got an email reminding me that the tri training class I signed up for 100 years ago starts this Sunday....and that I will need a wetsuit.



Okay.....



I went to a tri store recommended by several people on BT, and wound up with a Zoot Fuzion long sleeve. I managed to get it on pretty painlessly, although I sweat like a hooker in church with it on for even two minutes. It was on sale, too; even though it was more than I wanted to spend - and now I am broke - I was relieved that it fit.



But guess what?



I LOOK LIKE A BLOOD SAUSAGE with my wetsuit on. For crying out loud, how the heck am I going to wear this in front of other people, out of doors, and not be sighted by a bear hunter or mistaken for a circus performer? I have endured waaaay too much humiliation already, this has put me over the top. I mean really...have you SEEN a blood sausage? Enter Exhibit A:










<----- me in my wetsuit. (sigh)









I am going to bed. I'm depressed. I'm a broke blood sausage.

Monday, May 25, 2009

where did the month go?

May has positively flown by, and busted my ass in the process. Seriously, while I am so behind, I am doing so much physical work. Bootcamp is over for the month, and I will not be renewing for awhile so I can focus on swimming which .....

(drumroll please)

I started back on Friday! oooh, and it felt soo good. I am still slow, but I was able to do about 700 meters (maybe more, how DOES one keep count?) pretty neatly. I plan to spend the mornings I would have been in bootcamp in the pool.

I have made some progress! aside from the pool, I did a second timed mile at the end of bootcamp - the first one, my time was 10:33. My mile at the end of camp was 8:58!!!!! WOOHOO! someone play a rousing rendition of N.E.R.D's "She Wants To Move"...I can't believe it.

I got some Spinervals tapes for the bike trainer...it's helping to keep me from getting bored. Spin class has been packed lately and I missed the 8 am class yesterday ( on a holiday Sunday, spin class was maxed out. Heathens.) So I didnt get to have La Baker - but I did have the potato girl ( for her shape. Don't sleep - she is a killer) who proceeded to play so many of my secret favorites - Elton's
" Funeral for a Friend" and Led Zep " The Ocean" and made me go harder, faster than I thought possible. That was really a breakthrough spin class for me, plus the first I have taken after spending so much time on the trainer. I did a brick - ran three miles afterwards and felt great.

I have been running regularly as well - increased the five milers to twice a week and drills/bricks otherwise. I am trying not to overdo it and adhere to the 10% rule. I just went and practically broke my middle toe yesterday ( I have mentioned how graceful I am right?) so I may not have a choice...

Next weekend starts a tri training class. Three hours long, we WILL swim bike and run each class (as per latest email) so COME PREPARED. ( insert psycho music )I have nothing to wear - I will probably need to at least pick up a trisuit this week, if not a wetsuit ( we will be doing open water swims and the lakes are still damn cold) UGH!

I haven't seen one design that will not make me look like an absolute freak.
I am also going to have my swim stroke videotaped - not that I will watch the tape myself but hopefully after paying my 10. the instructor will not be too horrified ...and maybe will give me some pointers (other than, "don't bother" LOLOLOL)

I am loving my diet mostly, even though I am still eating probably too much it is all CLEAN eating. Oh, I adore Ezekiel bread...leafy green mesculun salads ...and Greek organic yogurt...and blackberries, cantelope, mangoes....

shoot, its time to eat.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Managing

I had a pretty good run this morning, 5 miles. Very long for me, and at an unholy hour, but it was one of those mornings where the start is tense and rough and once my body got warmed up and into it, I felt great. I actually pushed myself a little on this one, and worked through the pain more than once. Not too bad.

I still feel as heavy as an ox moving. I am agile and graceful when I need to be otherwise but I feel like a huge CLOD running. It's interesting and somewhat psychotic that I was feeling so good about my size and fitness until I got into this tri training thing.

I'm still tired. The low barometric pressure and stress at work makes me tired and I am doing well with waking up at 4:30, but it is more difficult to make myself go to bed earlier at night. Hey normally I would go to bed around midnight or later. So this 11 pm stuff is killing me, and I really should be in bed by 10. HA!

I have also been informed that I should take off some weight to increase my chances of doing better in the water (haHA) and overall fitness.


More on that later, I guess. All this exercise does have me like a bear fresh out of hibernation scavenging for food, but the idea of dieting on top of everything else seems too overwhelming to me.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

PUNK ASS RAIN


I love rainy days. I really do - always have. But rainy days and early morning workouts do not mix well. This is hard; all I want to do is sleep.


KILLER bootcamp workout on Monday morning. (Why do I sweat so much? Some people never sweat. I feel like slapping them. ) I went home and later did some speed running drills on the dreadmill (it's raining, remember?) I broke in my new sneax a bit and noticed that white hot tightness in my hamstrings and groin that are hallmarks of doing 2000 squats and lunges in 2 minutes. Super tight baby - too bad these muscles of steel are still swathed in chocolate jello. Oh well.


I planned to get up early and hit the pool, finally. At 4:30 am, I knew there was no way in creation that was gonna happen. The whole house overslept. I was so lethargic (and stiff!) I was late for my morning appointment. I put my gym bag in the car, planning to hit a hopefully empty pool for a few laps in the afternoon. The woman I met with was pissed that I was late, because she proceeded to talk for FOUR HOURS straight. I was so hungry leaving, and exhausted, and late - well, the pool was out of the question. Damn! I was so hungry when I got home I was nauseous.


ooooo, I am hurtin bad. Stiff as a board.


I will get on the trainer tonight...."long run" tomorrow (long for me anyway).


I see the tri in Syracuse has a swim clinic planned, and a training party - I am so jealous. Nothing here in NYC though. I want a swim clinic! Wah! I want someone to carry me to the empty pool and place me in the water, three times a week for an hour minimum!


Thats what I'm talkin about!


Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Highs and Lows


This week I spent at a conference up in incredible Blue Mountain Lake. I plan and conduct this every year; and every year there are stories to tell. This one was no execption at all. We had a reception the first night at a nearby art center that featured an incredible band, Flame. We all snickered when we first saw them on stage - these are individuals with handicaps, some are mental and some physical. It was awkward to say the least. I steeled myself for the politically correct response to their performance. But hey - these guys truly rocked! They had us all singing along, sweaty, clapping, hooting and hollering (no there was no liquor involved). Kudos to Flame, a kickass band.


I managed to get out each morning into the chilly air and do a run on undulating roads. What a relief for these city lungs to get crisp Adirondack air. Once I get over the panic of the quietquietquiet I kinda zone out and hear the greensong of everything around me (thanks Orson!) and these runs were EASY.


Like, scary easy. Like - I usually am pushing it at 3.5 - 4 miles, and I did 6 and 4.5 and 3 (on hills!) and finished feeling energized?!


Love it. Mind you my knees are training for all city chorus right now. I need to work on my quad strength and GET IN THE POOL dammit. Ease up some of this creaking. Oh - and get new sneakers, my current Asics are beat and need a decent burial.


I came back mid week and hit bootcamp class the next morning even though I was flat out exhausted from traveling and being "on" for four days. Class was a 4.8 mile run which I did with another classmate and I didn't even need my headphones! As chilly as it was I am always a sweaty mess after exertion, my pants looking like I peed and my scarf so wet it is dripping down my shirt. Not one of my more admirable traits.


I was to return the next day to class and I could not move out of bed. I felt fine but was so tired. Saturday too, I took a two hour nap in the middle of the day(or fainted). I just don't do that sort of thing. It was delicious.


I managed to sit on the trainer a few nights and boy that seat hurts like hell. My omega three fatty ass is not making it any more comfortable for my ...uh...delicates. I'm sore for all the wrong reasons. Me no likey. I have to spend more time in the real saddle....apparently spin class is just pampering my booty.


I did a brick today after spin class - 2.5 miles on the treadmill. I felt great, but again I just generate so much water I felt that how I looked was making other people uncomfortable, probably wondering if they coudl move me when I passed out and hoping I didnt collapse in their general direction. Asses. My clothes were so wet when I was done it was difficult to get them off.


I am amazed at how much laundry I am generating, how much I just want to sleep, and how HUNGRY I am, like, always.


They are saying rain all week. Does not sound good for outdoor activity, but I will keep my fingers crossed.