Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sydney Scissor Hands

Summer is here and the kids are out of school which means alot of free time to get up to mischief! I've been doing my workouts early in the morning and again in the evening so I can be around all day to do things with them.
Well the other night I go out for an hour run and my little Sydney decides to get creative with the scissors. I saw the development of this little mishap. Firstly cutting up paper, then string, then an idea sparked up in her little brain. Lets try my hair. There were a few snips around where we were making puppets...not a big deal...just an experiment. But thats pretty much where my attentive husband should have stopped it. Instead it turned into a trip to the bathroom where she went from her long and lovely hair to a shaggy do with a very sad looking half pony left. She finished her cutting job and ran to my husband asking him if she looked beautiful.
My husband speechless could only comment. "Just wait till your mom gets home! We are both going to be in BIG trouble for this one!"
All in an hour run!

Dealing with adversity! (or not)

Last week went very well and I got through the long rides/runs. This will be my biggest volume week going into Lake Placid and I am feeling it. I am trying to keep the focus as I know my taper is around the corner. Had a little breakdown on Tuesday as our weather has been beautiful but full of thunderstorms lately. You never know when you going to get caught in the rain or pulled out of the pool due to lightening. Tuesday I had the attitude of "I shall get this 4 hour ride in no matter what weather rolls my way!" Now I was heading out into some very black skies. I decided to stay close to home and do loops up my 2 least favorite sections of and squankum...both hills followed by false flats. After a few showers which were enough to make the downhills a little to slick, I decided that misery likes company so I went to meet a group that I knew would be riding. They were waiting out the pending storm as they had heard thunder. I told them I would ride and come back for them in half an hour. If I didn't come back to call 911 as I had been struck by lightening. I did the loop, came back for the group, we get about 5 minutes into the ride and it starts pouring so hard that you can't even see the road. All but three of us turn back. Now I'm soaked,cold, and my hamstrings are so tight that you could make music on them. We are riding at 8 miles an hour...and my enthusiasm is wavering. We keep on and in the distance we see a sign of sun ahead. Fifteen minutes later we are riding free, well kind of. Traffic lights have stopped working and the roads are backed up. Roads are slick and the ride is slow. My buddy Bruce gets a flat. They tell me to keep riding so I go...probably a mistake! Five minutes later I get a flat. Second one of the week. I try see the positive,at least I get to change my flat on my own.....these awesome guys are always so quick to help and I never say no. I time myself....9 minutes...pretty pathetic I know but I had a giant staple I couldn't get out. Another ten minutes go by and I get another flat...AAAHHHHHH! I change it a second time but my spirit has finally been broken and I don't rush. I head back to my house as I have no more spares with me! I got 3 and a half hours in but it was by no means a quality ride.
As any good coach should do Paulo told me to get over it and that tomorrow is another day. I guess I am still writing about it two days later I must not quite be over it. But I have since then run a solid 34 miles, biked 80 miles and swam 4000 hard yards so my head is back in the game. Oh yes,and that was just 40 hours ago! I am definitely getting the work done!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Quote of the day!

"Concentration is why some athletes are better than others. You develop that concentration in training. You can't be lackluster in training and concentrate in a meet."
Olympian, Edwin Moses

I had a hour and a half run today that I really wanted to nail so I ran alone and really used these words. No music...just me and the sun rising over a beautiful calm lake. I felt my heart beat, I used perfect form, I pushed hard and I felt like I had really made the workout count. From now until Lake Placid I think I shall concentrate and focus more. I know I shall have to dig deep at times but I want to do this so I have no excuses race day!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Signs that an Ironman is near!

My legs are constantly sore.
I'm up every morning at 4.45 am.
I can't keep up with the loads of sweaty laundry.
My dishwasher is constantly full of water bottles.
My car looks like my wardrobe.
Chlorine is my natural body smell.
My hair is on the verge of turning green.
I take 3 or more showers a day.
My face is always sunburned.
My srm is always being charged.
I'm constantly eating.
I'm constantly in the bathroom.
Infinit Nutrition bottles are all over my kitchen.
My bike is always dirty.
My legs are always sore...oh yes I said that already!
I'm always thinking about how/where I can sneak a nap in.(seldom happens)
The TV is never on!
I'm constantly apologizing for my lack of being social.
I'm always TIRED!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Clarke Rodgers from Sportzfoto sent me these great shots from Eagleman!

I am smiling as I am on my last mile here!

This photo tells it all!

Clarke this is a classic shot!I was feeling the heat for sure! I would take two cups. One to drink and one for my head! The ice water on the head feels good for about 10 seconds and then its gone.

Thanks Clarke for the amazing pictures!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Conquering the heat!

With the projected heat wave in the North East I knew Eagleman was going to be another challenging race! I was all for wind, chop and heat I was in the fearless mindset! As per my blogs earlier in the week I was taking this race in stride..just fitting it into a busy schedule and hoping for the best!
I arrived at the hotel after 10 pm saturday evening after watching my daughter participate in a very cute ballet performance earlier that afternoon. Children grow so quick and this was such a special moment for me as a mom.
I was not too concerned about not getting a great night sleep as I had got a decent night the night before and that is all I hear that really matters. I did wake up Sunday morning feeling quite exhausted and my arms and legs were a little achy and tired. I put this out of my mind and decided that I would do a little run to wake myself up when I got down to transition. Nothing could break the great attitude I had Sunday. I really followed through with the fact that I was going to enjoy this race, enjoy having my family there to watch and yet race hard.
At transition I could not locate my race packet anywhere which held things up a little but this was handled with enough time to get my gear organized and bike racked. They announced that the pro's would not be allowed to wear wetsuits as they were now using a new set of rules which were no wetsuits for pro's if the water was 72 degree's and over. I did not even think to bring my speedsuit down so it was just me, myself and my swim suit.... One of my goals is to still have a breakthrough swim this year where I can stay with the main pack of girls.....this was not going to help my chances. With 15 minutes to go I headed down to the water to warm up. Seeing alot of friends on the way and then my kids and husband who had made it up in time to come watch. I missed the warmup as Vigo was already calling for everyone to come over the mat. So there I stood ready to go!
6.45 and the gun went off and I was surprised at how congested the first 200 meters were. I was getting hit alot which meant I was staying with the group. The water felt great and I quickly settled into a good pace. Unfortunately I still did not stay with the pack but I did feel a few girls on my feet. The swim went by quick and I felt really good. I do much prefer a non wetsuit swim even though I am slower.
I exited the water and got to high five my kids on the way to transition. A few friends commented that I had had a good swim so I was happy to hear that. I ran hard to transition and all went smoothly. It felt great to be on the bike. I biked conservatively yet with a good effort. Very controlled at all times. I had tried to reset my power meter at the beginning of the race as the numbers were coming up high. Eventually I gave up and just enjoyed the effort my legs were putting out. Racing pro is always a lonely but fun ride and I was encouraged to see another pro girl every 10- 15 miles in the distance. Entering transition they announced I was in 5th place. I could hear them announcing that there was another pro girl, Kelly Couch just leaving. I figured I was a minute behind her. So I ran quick and saw her in the distance. I tried to settle right into a comfortable pace as I knew I shouldn't go after her in the first mile. It was so hot that I really did not want to blow up early on. I decided I would run the first six miles controlled and then try pick it up the second six. My legs were feeling great and by mile three I had caught her. When I got to the turn around I was dissapointed to see I had not made up much time and that there was a few good girls coming up behind me. Fiona Docherty was running super fast. I knew I had to pick up the pace/effort. There were no mile markers this year so I had no idea what kind of pace I was running. I just kept an eye on my heart rate. I pushed a little harder. This on a normal day would have me running 6.20-6.30 pace. Today because of the heat I was holding around 7 minute miles. ( I found this out at the end)
Kelly pulled up next to me around mile 7. I figured we could work together and push each other for a mile. I laughed and said we better pick it up as Fiona is coming. At mile 8 Kelly stopped for a drink and I kept going. Around 11 or so Fiona passed me and I tried to stay behind her for about 30 seconds. She was moving and I did my best to stay close to her. My heart rate went up to the 170's and I pushed harder to hold 5th position. I knew Kelly was close so I ran pretty hard to the finish line.
I did save some time to smile and say hi to my kids.
I really had a great time out there and enjoyed every part of the race! It was fun to see and have the support of alot of the local guys that I have trained with throughout the last 8 years. Great job guys!

Got this picture off Ironmanlive.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Rob Vigorito and I exchanging some nice words after the race!

5th place at Eagleman!

Its Monday and I am still in Maryland. We decided to make a little family trip out of this race and we are hanging out here today. It is another brutally hot day here again. Yesterday was record heat with 97 degrees plus and 100 percent humidity. I was actually quite glad I had got to race IM Arizona earlier in the season in similar heat ( dryer of course) as I kept saying to myself on the run its only 13 miles I can tolerate this heat.
Well I was very happy with a 5th place finish.
I knew doing this race was a stretch for me and I really kept the no pressure attitude going through out race day. But I do love coming here to Maryland every year. Rob Vigorito puts on such a quality race and it is always a great atmosphere with alot of good friends participating. This was my first half Ironman I ever did and its always a good gauge of my fitness level at this time of the year. This too was my best result at this race so I am happy to say that I am HAPPY.
My kids are waiting for me at the pool so I shall write a real race report later.
Thanks for all the good wishes. Congrads to all my friends that raced well and finished yesterday. Thanks to Paulo too!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Eagleman Prep while being a mom!

Its Friday and I am organizing my gear for the race on Sunday. Had my bike checked out by Brielle Cyclery. I was having some shifting problems since Columbia triathlon and noticed that my gears were getting increasingly harder to shift. The other day my friends cable snapped while riding and luckily we were right outside a bike shop! What are the chances! Well Clarence agreed that due to all the HARD winter indoor sessions it may have taken a toll on the bike and kindly changed the cable for me. The next 48 hours shall be very busy for me so I will try be ready to race today. I have both kids testing for their karate new belts.(big production) Inlaws coming down, celebration dinners out, prerace workouts tomorrow,a baseball game, brunch with inlaws, a major Ballet concert, and then the three and a half hour drive down to Maryland with dinner in the car. I shall arrive in time to check my bike in and go to bed...well time to go get organized so I can get to take pictures for FUN day at school...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Tough Training Day!

Had a bad training day today. I find after too many good training days in a row sooner or later its inevitable that I am going to have a not so great day. Well it happened..I should have seen the signs. Hard good long training day on Sunday...No energy on Monday with some very sore legs. Lack of motivation this morning. I had a three hour bike today. Would have liked to get it over first thing in the morning but had a run right after which was not going to give me enough time to get home to get the kids to school. So dropped off Sydney and then instead of jumping on my bike. Stopped for some tea with a friend. An hour later headed down to Pier Beach to start my bike. Based on the wind I thought I would ride up the coast as their was a west wind. My legs were not feeling so great and by the half hour I decided to reset my srm and restart my ride with a new attitude. I pushed to keep a steady zone 2 ride and after an hour the ride was actually going pretty decent although I was not riding in my aerobars alot as my back was awfully tight. I wanted to ride to the hook ( a stretch of land surrounded by water)as I knew I would get some good wind there(good prep for Eagleman) and I could do a zone 3 interval with few cars to worry about and no stops. A red alert went off when I tried to do my Zone 3 and I had nothing. I figured I would do the best I can and did a second loop in the hook which was pretty windy and then started heading back down the coast.Well surprise surprise the wind had been steadily shifting leaving me with a head on south wind which would take me all the way back to my car. My energy was already feeling pretty low. It was almost one and I had no food on me and no money. Well I still had a pretty decent watts average and thought let me just hold the best watts I can even though I feel awful! By the time I got half way back....I was done! The wind was just mentally wearing me down and I started to have a little meltdown. I contemplated calling someone to pick me up but that would be really lame and unneccesary as I could still ride...I was just tired and cranky! My back was getting more stiff so now I am riding up on my elbow pads...very aero ..and just spinning an easy gear as my knees were jumping in to the list of ailments. Well I made it back and had a good cry in my car. I emailed Paulo who was as sympathetic as could be expected. Reminding me to get my run in later! Not what I felt like hearing! I waited until 8 pm before finally feeling like I could muster up the energy to take my heavy legs for a run. Surprisingly I did not feel too bad. twenty minutes in I actually had a decent pace going and I was actually kind of happy that Paulo had not just told me to rest. It was a good run and a better way to end the day!
A reminder from Paulo " Tomorrow is another day!"

Quote of the day!

Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it!- Lou Holtz

Monday, June 2, 2008

Well it was a beautiful weekend at the Jersey Shore. This was a very busy week for me. School activities were at an all time high. I was trying to squeeze in all the volunteering I can because its the end of school. I also started picking up my training volume for Lake Placid therfore by Sunday I was feeling quite tired. I definitely had good solid workouts in all three disciplines. On a 15 x 100 set in the swim I held my fastest times this year. I ran a really solid 10 mile run with a really good intensity for 6 miles of it.(thanks Joe for pushing me) Lastly yesterday I rode an awesome 5 hours with pretty windy conditions on some tired legs. Last night as I lay in bed my body really ached all over. But today was a new day, new week and miraculously after a 4000 yard swim and 1.30 bike I finally felt a little better. All these workouts are great confidence boosters and always reassuring that training is progressing well.
Great job to all my friends that raced this weekend. Linsey, Will and Danielle for making top 10 in Boise 70.3. Tracy amazing race in Oliver, BC. Tom and Scott nice time trial. Ran, Don and Mike ...nice swim at the Navesink. Also to the guys that raced the Black Bear well done.