Monday, March 31, 2008

Ramblings of a Triathlete

Lifetime Fitness Indoor Triathlon

Maple Grove, MN - 3/30/08

In the past few weeks I have battled not only a nasty cold but severe allergies and flu-like symptoms; all hindering not only my motivation but my drive as well. Both left me feeling constantly tired and weak. I was juggling not only this triathlon training but trying to build long runs for my half marathon training. I averaged maybe 1 swim session and possibly 2 bike sessions each week in March. I wasn't sure if I was ready, both mentally and physically. There is nothing worse than not feeling ready prior to participating in something you have never done before. Luckily, I wasn't doing this race alone. I was fortunate enough to not only participate in my first triathlon with someone I know, but I was able to do some training with her as well. I think we both enjoyed being able to do our first triathlon together.

We headed to the Twin Cities area on Friday immediately after school. Upon arriving in Chanhassen, where my sister and brother-in-law live, we were greeted with not only them and a couple friends, but with a wonderful home-cooked meal! We enjoyed grilled chicken, salad, twice baked potatoes and possibly a few glasses of wine ... as well as sharing stories and playing a crazy game or two of Catch Phrase.
Sis, Bro-in-law, muah

I was still struggling with my allergies, which I felt was possibly turning into more of a head cold. I went to bed at a reasonable time, only to be awoken by my sister hovering over my bed, asking if I would like to join her for a 60 minute spin class. God, that was one of the hardest decisions of my life... rest so I feel good for my tri, or get up and enjoy a good spin session at Lifetime. Unfortunately I chose the rest and slept another 2 hours. The afternoon was filled with some mild shopping, relaxing with a movie, and then a nice dinner at the Macaroni Grill... and drawing on the table. I loved my meal, but enjoyed sharing dessert with my sister more... Tiramisu.
Saturday evening was spent unpacking and repacking for the tri. I wanted to make sure I had everything I needed. It was after 10 when I crawled into bed, only to lay there for almost an hour before falling asleep. 6:30am came very fast, but I was thankful that I was participating in Wave 8, starting at 9am, rather than Wave 1 that started at 6:40am. We grabbed a light breakfast of yogurt. That was all I was able to stomach at the time. I guess you could say the nerves were really starting to kick in. We were dressed and packed, ready to go at 7:15. We took off, heading to Maple Grove, which was about a half hour drive from my sis' place. We only needed to be there 30-45 minutes ahead of time so we were more than early. But, I was okay with that.

Upon arriving, my nerves began to disappear. However, we had plenty of time to kill and little to do. So I spent about 40 minutes hanging out in the locker room listening to music. Before we knew it, it was 10 to 9 and we were heading to the pool.

The Swim: 10 minutes
There were 10 people per Wave. My friend and I were in the same Wave, and luckily we were able to choose a lane to share. We were given swim caps, I was wearing blue, and she was wearing lime green. This was to help the person at the end of our lane keep track of our lengths. We were given a couple minutes to swim a bit and warm up. That was nice. The lady in charge told us she was going to blow her whistle at the 5 minute marker 3 times letting us know we were half way done. Then she would blow it when 1 minute was left; informing us to kick it up a notch. I was just afraid I wasn't going to hear any of the whistles.

Just like running, I had to remind myself to not take off too fast too soon. Thankfully, both people on either side of me were going at a reasonable pace and I did my best to keep up with them. By the time I heard the 5 minute marker whistle blow, I lost count of my lengths and just focused on swimming the 10 minutes. Then, all of a sudden the 1 minute marker went off and I booked it, getting in another length and a half!

Transition 1: 10 minutes
We had 10 minutes to get out of the pool, grab our towels, hear from the lane lady how many lengths we did, and book it to the locker room to change. Nothing like trying to hurry out of a wet suit and back in to dry clothes.

The bike: 30 minutes
Getting situated on the spin bike was the worst. They are a little different from our bikes at the Y and I felt like I just couldn't get things situated right. My seat felt as if it was too far forward, thus, it felt like I was sitting funny on the seat. The tension on the bike was fixed, and I felt as if it was a bit more tighter than I expected. My legs felt a little weak about halfway through and I was afraid to push it too hard. I didn't want the transition to the bike to be too difficult. But, 30 minutes went by pretty fast.

Transition 2: 5 minutes
This was the shortest of the transitions, but felt the longest. There's nothing like rushing to the treadmills, to just stand there and wait a few minutes. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

The Run: 20 minutes
I have been running, consistently, for almost 2 years now. This was supposed to be my easiest leg of the triathlon. I was ready for this. Wasn't I? As much as I wanted to start out at a reasonable pace, I new that I only had 20 minutes and that is not much time... for a slow runner. Not too long into the run and I had to take a walk break. I was extremely hot and felt nauseous. I couldn't get myself to cool down. I didn't have that problem on the bike because we had fans blowing on us. Not the case on the treadmill. I was just so damn hot. I had to take a lot more walk breaks than I ever anticipated. But, I finished, and I didn't pass out.

We left the treadmills and headed straight for our complimentary smoothies and bananas. Delish. They were also offering chair massages but I was too hungry to sit around and wait in line for one. I was impressed with how well things were set up and how smoothly things went. The volunteers working the triathlon were great and did everything they could to make us feel comfortable. Anyone who is looking to do their first triathlon, I highly recommend trying one at one of the Lifetime Fitness locations. I am so ready to do another one!

I knew my individual results when I left the gym that day. I didn't know my ranking in comparison to the other participants, but I don't think that I needed to know that. I had goals set in mind, and even though I didn't meet them to a T, I am pleased with my accomplishments. I had worked hard for this. I look forward to doing better and finishing stronger next time. There will be a next time! Fo Sho! I want to say thanks to all you wonderful supporters (both family and friends) out there who read and comment on my blog! You have been quite the inspiration! Love it!

The Results
Swim: 17.5 lengths
Bike: 11.4 miles

Run: 1.55 miles drawing at the Macaroni Grill...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

First Triathlon ... done

I have finished my first (but not last) triathlon! I suck at writing race reports and I am a bit tired right now.... Check back and I will have somewhat of a race report posted soon!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

3 Days...

... and counting. Until my first indoor triathlon. Is this chica ready? I sure don't feel like I am.

I have been suffering from some nasty spring allergies and thought I had all symptoms of the flu yesterday, minus the fever. I was in pain. I didn't make it to the pool and I don't know if I will make it to the pool prior to the tri.

Oh well. I know I will be able to finish. Here's what a couple goals look like.

Goal A:
10 minute swim --> 14 lengths (I am very slow in the pool)
30 minute bike --> 11 miles
20 minute run --> 1.65 miles

Goal B:
.... this is if I am on crack that day....
10 minute swim --> 16 lengths
30 minute bike --> 14 miles
20 minute run --> 1.8 miles

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I'mmmmm Baaaaaack!

Okay folks. I have been away from blogland for a while and I apologize. Despite the 7 some inches of snow Fargo got Friday, I did make it home (after 50 some miles of pure crap) and was able to enjoy Easter weekend with family to the best of my ability... short one sister and brother-in-law. The weather was just not favorable for traveling from the cities. sniff sniff. But, I will see them this weekend as I will be in the cities for my TRIATHLON! Wahoo!

While I was home, I only managed to get in one run. A short one at that. 2 miles. But, I did get to watch a lot of basketball, take in a D-league basketball game, and just relax a bit. It was very much needed.

Yesterday I got back to Fargo, disappointed to see the snow still on the ground as Bismarck was bare and rain was falling on Friday. Blech. I was hoping for nice weather to get in an outdoor run but that wasn't in the forcast. I hit the gym and tried to enjoy my time with the thrillmill. I did the same this afternoon. But it was so damn hot in the gym that I wanted to die. I guess it's time to start pulling out the shorts again. I have just been wearing yoga-like pants because of the cold outside.

I am off to watch the rest of American Idol. Later gators.

My 9 year old God-daughter and I

Friday, March 21, 2008

Who asked for this crap?

What the....

5 inches of snow already, it's still snowing, and bad driving conditions? Three days ago this stuff was almost gone. I swear this only happens when I have to drive home!
Now, I didn't get my 9.5 miles in this morning. I was too tired, up late with some friends, and my right calf muscle is bothering me when I step off. grr. I am not too worried though because my plan calls for 14 miles two weeks prior to the half and I am not going to do more than 13 miles prior to the half. All is good .... and will fall into place!

Happy Easter weekend, y'all!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Wonderful Weather

Yesterday's post may not have been the most positive, but today was a good day, overall! I knew the weather was going to be nice; nicer than yesterday. So I had it set in mind that I was going to take advantage of that and run outdoors. As I sat in my last meeting of the day, I watched as the clock slowly clicked from 3:35 to 4:10 itching to get out of the building. As I was clearing off my desk and packing my bags to go home I quickly checked the weather:

44 degrees, FEELS LIKE 38 with a slight breeze. Perfect.

A part of me almost got a wild hair up my butt, thinking I would do my long run of 9.5 miles instead of just my normal quick loop. But, I was hungry and I didn't "prepare" for that kind of run so I brushed it off. Next time.

I must say, I truly love running in ND this time of year. The snow is melting, the puddles are everywhere, the snow banks that do remain are covered in sand from the winter giving the look as if Fargo was used it to wipe some big creature's ass, but the temps are almost perfect! I sit here typing this post with my patio door open and the sound of screaming kids outside. Won-der-ful!I am going to finish working the kinks out of my bracket here and head over to the site Jess put together for a blogland bracket! Come join if you are interested! Later... American Idol!

ORN: 2.45 miles

Monday, March 17, 2008

Saint Patrick's Day Crapalicious

I was up later than expected last night watching my Sioux beat Michigan Tech putting them into the WCHA Frozen Five Tournament this coming weekend. Therefore, I didn't have the motivation or desire to get up prior to 5am to swim, leaving it for later. Since that was an option.

I have seen so much green today I could puke. If you have worked or did work in a elementary school setting, you know exactly what I am talking about. Today was "wear green and jeans" day. Needless to say, I was happy to be wearing jeans on a Monday. I think some sort of Leprechaun came and took our semi-spring weather from us and I am absolutely peturbed. The weather was so gloomy today I could scream. It couldn't decide whether it should spit snow or drool raindrops. yuck.But, I am going to make the most of this gloomy ass day! An hour of pilates (check) and I off to the pool here shortly!

Maybe I will catch me-self a handsome lad!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Super Saturday AND Sunday

The last 24 hours have consisted of a lot of basketball watching and some Sioux hockey. And it's only just...the...beginning. However, I did manage to get in a couple good workouts, one being a BRICK and the other an indoor 5K, so all is good.
I want to give a shout out to my Tar Heels with their win today giving them the 2008 ACC Championship Title! "Psycho T" and the rest of the gang pulled through and beat the Clemson Tigers. It was too close and there were too many unnecessary fouls in the last minute of the game, but that is all history now! Now I am going to kick back, do some reading, and cheer on Kansas, as I despise the Longhorns. With it being Selection Sunday, it will only be a few more hours before the brackets will be up and ready for me to fill out!

Tonight my Sioux take on Michigan Tech for the third game of the playoffs. They were "supposed" to win last night with a score of 2-1 and 5 seconds left in the game, but Michigan tied it up and scored shortly again after overtime began. It's a must that they win tonight!_________________________________________________________________________________
On a training note (half marathon), I am in the process of trying to figure out how and when I am going to execute my longest and most important workout on the schedule .... my 9.5 mile run. I know that once I figure that out, everything else should fall into place around it.

I will be heading home for Easter this weekend, to Bismarck. And if you know anything about the weather difference between Fargo and Bismarck, Bismarck is usually 10-20 degrees warmer. My memories of Easter in the past have consisted of great food, family fun, and the ability to shove the loud little tykes outside because the temps have been so nice. But, this year, Easter is extremely early and the temps here in NoDak continue to hover in the 30's ... even in Bismarck.

I have no desire what-so-ever to do my long run out in temps like that. I would consider doing 3 miles, just for the fresh air, but not 9.5. Sorry. So, I have two options. I can either wait it out, hope for temps to reach near 50 (which is highly unlikely), or do my run prior to leaving town on Friday morning or when I get back Monday afternoon/evening. As of right now, I am going to plan to do the run on a thrillmill here at my gym early Friday morning and then hopping in the car to get home in time for my hair cut and color appointment that afternoon.... I really don't look forward to sitting for almost 3 hours in a car after a run like that, but you gotta do what you gotta do!

It has been a week and a half since I have last been in the pool and I look forward to getting back in there tomorrow morning. Yes, a morning workout! I can't wait!

Yesterday's workout:
OCN: 12.1 miles
33:00 minutes
2:44 min/mile
ORN: 2.3 miles
27:00 minutes
11:44 min/mile
STRENGTH : 20 minutes - legs

Today's ORN: 5K
3.1 miles
35:22 minutes
11:24 min/mile
STRENGTH: 20 minutes - arms

Friday, March 14, 2008

Yet, another day of rest

First of all, it is nice to see my sister back in blogland. I think she was literally consumed by her work for the past month or 2! Go over there and bug her .. she might like it! Only 4 weeks until our trip to AZ!! wahoo!
Yesterday I was feeling even better than the previous day, nothing but a bit of a cough (flemmy that is), and some sinus junk. So, prior to leaving school, I checked the weather and was ecstatic that it was a whopping 41 degrees. Did I bother to look at the "what feels like temp"? Nope. Did I bother to look at the windchill? Nope. I hustled home, got into my winter running gear, minus the gloves and headband since it was a whopping 41 degrees. Let's just say it was a tid bit chilly and it did a doozy on my cough. eeks.

Today I opted for yet another day of rest. Partly due to my silly outdoor run yesterday, partly due to not wanting to get out of bed before 5 this morning, and partly due to being at the school until 7 this evening. I am bound and determined to get over this crap before the weekend comes to an end. Plus, I would like to get back into the pool by monday at the latest.

I don't know what my plans are for tomorrow. I am keeping my options open... thinking maybe I might ride for 45 minutes and hit the treadmill for 15-30 minutes ... or I might just plan to do a 4 to 5 mile run... we'll see. I should probably do some strength training as well.

As for the rest of the weekend? I have to go into work and do a lot of paperwork. I *heart* my job. That will have to happen tomorrow because Sunday is "Selection Sunday" which only means that March Madness is just around the corner. I am going to have to start scheduling workouts around basketball games! Ha! Right Badgergirl? I can't wait to fill out my brackets!

Have a great weekend, y'all!


Yesterday's ORN: 2.45 miles

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spring is just around the corner!

It is currently 40 degrees here. Absolutely wonderful. It was even raining this afternoon... on the snow. If I wasn't overcoming some nasty thang... I would have taken advantage of this weather and the longer days and gone out for a 3, maybe 4 mile run.

However, I am feeling a whole lot better than yesterday. I think I was near death yesterday morning. If I were to have done it all over again, I would have stayed home. You're lucky I am not showing you what I have found in my kleenex's the past day or so....oofda!

This morning I packed my gym bag with the hopes of having enough energy (which I have had none of in the past few days) to do a mild workout this afternoon. I got on the bike for a while and then the treadmill. I just wanted to get myself moving a bit and get my heart rate going.

I was spent, but it felt good. Getting the heart pumpin' really loosened up that crap in my head. I don't want this bugger to get worse, though, so I am going to keep it light the next couple of days as well..

OCN: 4.1 miles
20 minutes
ORN: 1.2 miles
15 minutes

Now I am going to cook myself a deez meal and get ready for the "kick-off" of American Idol. I wonder who's going home tonight? I have a few guesses...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Coming out of a cloud

After a night of little sleep and consuming a whole kleenex box (luckily it was the one's with lotion), I dreaded going to work today. But, I had to. I had a meeting this afternoon that has been in the works since before christmas and we are on a short of subs. I felt like crap with my head pounding. It was awful, but things started to clear up (litterally), and I was able to get through the day. I am thinking only one more rest day and I will be back out there. I should be able to get in a run tomorrow afternoon. But, the pool will have to wait.

I am going to take a nap ... until American Idol comes on.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Stubborn German

Last night I felt a bit better. I just had a bad cough; one that made me gag to a point that tears came from my eyes as if I had just lost my puppy. But I didn't have any worries as to feeling bad for work today. Until I woke this morning. I guess overnight it turned into a full-blown something. Complete head congestion, running nose, and a dry cough. I went to work. In fact I was at work by 645am. That's how much I had to do for today and tomorrow's meeting. blech.

At noon I started to feel worse. Probably because my Tylenol was wearing off and I had forgotten to bring more along. A few teachers at lunch commented on how crappy I sounded... I think I sounded like a 90 year old woman who had smoked since the age of 9. They insisted I go home, but we have been short subs and I knew finding one within 30 minutes was going to be impossible.

After school I was starting to feel better. A friend offered to bring me dinner, or anything I needed and said to call if I did need something. I said I was okay. She commented on how I am a stubborn German because she knew I wasn't going to call her even if I did need something. She was right. Little did she know, that if she were a handsome single guy around my age, I might have taken her offer into consideration.

Now I am home. I am going to try and sleep some of this off. So much for the scheduled workout. I hope I can get in my run tomorrow.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

How FAR will you GO?

The Sioux game last night was pretty fun despite the fact that the game ended in a 1-1 tie in over time. I woke this morning with a sore throat that killed with each cough. But, I sucked it up and headed to the gym this afternoon for my 8 miler. Uf-dah.

There's not much to post about the 8-miler. I had to do it on the thrillmill because, yes, once again, it is snowing here in North Dakota and it was only 18 degress outside. I took it slow, running 3 minutes/walking 1 minute ... for a very long time. My legs became a little tired around the 6 mile marker, but I finished...

And, now? I have officially signed up for the Fargo Half Marathon! I told myself that the 8-miler would be the deciding factor as to whether or not I felt or thought I would be able to do the half. So, it's official!
ORN: 8 miles
12:17 min/mile
Avg HR: 164
Max HR: 177

Peace, y'all!

Friday, March 7, 2008

In a Cloud

I took a rest day not only thursday but today as well. I had all intentions of getting up this morning to do a 3 mile run but just wasn't feelin' it. I think I might be getting sick. All day yesterday I had a nasty tickle in my throat that when I coughed it sounded pretty bad. But, on a good note, after my short 2.3 mile run wednesday, my ankle was feeling 125% better yesterday. My HM training schedule calls for an 8 mile run this weekend, but I will settle for 5.

I am off to GF this afternoon to take in another Sioux hockey game tonight with the 'rents. We are ranked #1! I am hoping for another sweep this weekend!

Have a great weekend, y'all!


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Let the madness begin...

Not much is new here besides the fact that the month of March has started off with a bang. Boom. Boom.

Saturday I did my mock trial of the tri to come and it went okay. Sunday I took a day of rest with frustrations of pain in my right ankle/foot, but still managed to do 20 minutes of pilates and 20 minutes of yoga, along with really streching out the IT band.

With this being Spring Break here at the University, I am assuming some of our life guards are looking for extra hours. Thus, the pool has been open in the the late afternoon on top of it's regular late evening hours. I have taken advantage of this both yesterday and today.

Yesterday, I wanted to test out my ankle/foot. I'll be honest, I was a little leary and scared to run, but it actually went okay. I took it easy, that being very slow with numerous walk breaks. After my short run, I took advantage of the 25 minutes I had until the pool opened, using the weight machines and primarily focusing on the legs. In the pool, I just wanted to focus on form and do some sprints here and there and that's just what I did.

Today I really didn't have a plan in mind for the pool, just to do about 1/2 a mile and I was able to do a little more. I hopped out of the pool and changed into my cycling clothes. I was off to Spin class! I think it's been a month since I have been Spin so it was well over due. Since the spin bikes are the kind of bikes that will be used at the tri, I wanted to focus the first 30 minutes just on riding, at about a cadence of 105-110. For the last 30 minutes I joined the class in sprints, hills, and some other fun stuff.

ORN: 2 miles
12:36 min/mile
OSN: 1050 meters

OSN: 1200 meters
OCN: 22.58 miles
2:39 min/mile
Avg HR: 149
Max HR: 167

"A person needs a little madness, or else they never dare cut the rope and be free!" ~ Nikos Kazantzakis

Peace, y'all!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

February 2008 - In Review

... A few days later ...

  • 1 - the number of weekends I was out of town
  • 3 - the number of back to back workouts
  • 3 - the number of times I got on a bike ... eeks
  • 5 - the number of times I got in the pool ... wtf?
  • 6 - the most days I worked out in a row
  • 12 - the number of times I ran; 2 miles being the shortest... 6.55 miles being the longest
  • 12 - the number of Rest days.... blech.

OSN: 6300 meters (less than last months 7900)
OCN: 42 miles (isty bitsy more than january's 41.36)
ORN: 39.45 miles (compared to last month's 30.57)

I am okay with that. Not so okay with ALL the rest days and lack of getting on the bike or in the pool. I am just going to come out and say it... March is going to be complete Madness and I am not just referring to basketball here people. I need to get my butt in gear for this tri. It has been a challenge to train for this tri and half at the same time. I don't know how to juggle it all and where/when to focus on what. I guess I have let the bike slide as it seems to be the least of my worries. I need to start incorporating more brick workouts and possibly some more two-a-days once maybe twice a week. I am currently dealing with this ankle issue and am not too pleased with it all. Frankly, I am afraid of what will come of my "scheduled" 8 mile run this weekend. But, I am going to be optimistic and take it one day at a time. Soon, I am going to have to sign up for this half marathon.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Giving it a Tri

The schedule called for a "mock trial" resembling what I will expect at the indoor triathlon in Maple Grove in about 4 weeks (10 minute swim, 30 minute bike, 20 minute run). The alarm went off at 6am and I flew out of bed. I usually pack my bag the night before a morning workout, but I figured I would have time this morning. I quickly downed a bowl of oatmeal and a tall glass of water. I needed to have something in my system. After packing everything I needed, I headed downtown to the Y. Here's what it looked like:

7:10am - The Swim (10 minutes): I didn't know how this was going to pan out, and to be honest I had a hard time getting into a rhythm. In 10 minutes I only did 15 lengths of the pool.

7:20am - T1 (10 minutes): Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I felt rushed, but I was glad I had everything I needed.

7:30am - The Bike (30 minutes): Remember my post from the other day? The one where I was telling you how bored I was on the bike? Well, that was the same for today. The bikes we used were the regular upright bikes that suck and I think the mileage is completely off. I look forward to using the spin bikes in Maple Grove and accumulating atleast another 5 miles. Total miles today were only 8.58.

8:00am - T2 (5 minutes): I used this time to stretch my legs a bit. More hydration, but I probably didn't drink enough water.

8:05am - The Run (20 minutes): I started out feeling quite fatigued and the legs felt heavy due to the transition from the bike to the run. I had the same issue today that I had on thursday when I went to run, except without the arch issue. I don't know what the deal is, but the muscles on top of my foot/ankle gets "stiff/sore" right away causing it to be difficult to pick up my feet properly. I don't know how or what i need to do to make this go away, but it was very frustrating today as I had it in me to run, but this issue was determining how long I could run. I ended up doing a lot of walking again. Piss poor job ... only 1.59 miles.

OSN: 375M
OCN: 8.58 miles
ORN: 1.59 miles

I can't complain too much about my results as I really have nothing to compare them too. I know I have made significant growth in my swimming and to be able to run injury free the past few months has been great as well. I have room on my schedule to attempt another one of these a couple weeks before the tri. I am going to focus on getting some more speed in the pool, and just continue with my regular run schedule as I am still training for the half, squeezing in a bike or two a couple times a week when I can.

Peace out, y'all!