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Monday, June 27, 2011

Recovery.. Ew.

    So because I am still a young grasshopper in the world of triathlon training and contrary to my own narcissistic beliefs, I do not always know best, Coach SuperW took the wheel today and told me No. Afternoon. Workout. Once we started doing this tri-business, I realized I needed to clean up my act and listen to the woman who is 1. certified 2. experienced and 3. knows a crap ton more than I do about training, so I did what she said and spent the afternoon baking, eating frozen yogurt, and "donating" my savings account money to the library (I think I should get some sort of certificate for how much money my late fees have helped the library budget... today's grand total? 37 dollars).
    I hate recovery. Hate it hate it hate it. I would rather ride on the bike for 3 hours than lay on the couch with my feet up. I am not joking, either. Whenever Coach tells me to take it easy, she either types it twice, underlines it, or adds in the phrase "and I am SERIOUS" along with it, because she knows if she gives me an inch, I'll take a yard. Today, though, I knew I needed the rest. It was so hard driving home from dinner with a friend tonight not to jump out of the car and jog around the neighborhood- it was perfectly cool out, the sun was setting, and there were NO  BUGS. But, I know that Coach knows best, and that even invincible redheads need rest days after two consecutive weekends of racing coupled with high running and biking mileage. Plus, the swimming set this morning was deceptive- started out with easy 50s drill, then 4x150 build, then 2x50 race. Plus side? GOT MY 50 TIME DOWN ANOTHER 3 SECONDS! Down side? Wow were my glutes hurting by the second go through.  
      Since I couldn't run or bike this afternoon, I decided to stay productive and bake! I went to my favorite food blog, . She has the greatest dessert recipes- she somehow manages to make cookies, donuts, brownies, and cake good for you. I made the cake-batter donuts, chocolate chip cookies, and Chocolate-peanut butter cups. I was out of vanilla extract, so everything was banana flavored, since all we had was imitation banana extract, but that's fine with me. I once spent 3 months only baking banana bread in the hopes of finding the "perfect" recipe, and when I was little, I ate like 4 bananas a day, so any time I can get some extra nanner-flavor in, I am a happy camper.
  In other news, I turn 18 in a little over a week. Wanna know the first thing that comes to mind about that number? No, it's not, "Hey, I can now buy porn, cigarettes, and lotto tickets!" It's "Crap, I only have at most 2 years left in my age group before I move into a more competitive bracket!!!!" Ah, the life of a teenage triathlete.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Gluteus Maximus

1,000 something feet of climbing in 6.2 miles, :40 on the trainer, :40 power yoga
2 hours of riding, a hill so steep I thought about just getting off the bike and walking, :30 running.

My. Butt. Hurts.

Friday, June 24, 2011

I am Insane. It's Okay.

Yep, I am crazy. I realized this after I decided to complete a marathon on only one 20 miler and 2 18 milers only 5 weeks after my half-marathon, but my race registrations as of late have officially solidified my place in the nut house. In the middle of what is getting to be some pretty intense Half-Iron training, I am running another race. A hilly one. Actually, supposedly the hilliest in the city. Granted, I signed up for this race before I knew how tired I would be from working, working out, and running around like a crazy woman all week, but still, I think the fact that I will now be racing two weekends in a row on top of a 31 hour work week, 18 hour training week, and a less-than-normal amount of sleep, is enough evidence to suggest that I left my brain somewhere on the course of my first 5k.
    Further evidence of my insanity: I have my eye on an Iron-Distance triathlon for next year. I am thinking either Chesapeake Man or Beach to Battleship, since they are close to school and allow me the entire summer to train. Plus, they are way cheaper than all the Ironmans- I mean, I want to do one of those too, but this chick wants to go to Spain over break, and $1000 plane ticket + bike repairs+race fees does not bode well for the $2000 + dollars necessary in order to register, find lodging, pay for the copious amounts of food I will consume, etc. I figured I would start saving up this year for one, though, so by my third year in college, I'll have enough money. The nice thing about going to a school with a 7 week winter break is that all that time allows me to make some serious dough that I can deposit into said athletic fund... because face it, kids, that's all I use my paychecks for anyways. That and gas. And froyo (speaking of which, there is a new frozen yogurt place that uses GREEK YOGURT to make their soft serve. AND THEY HAVE SUGAR FREE. AND IT IS SELF SERVE. I only hope they are open at 9 in the morning tomorrow when I rush in there, half-showered from my race, in my lifeguard get-up to snag me some four-ounce goodness to power me through my shift of staring at young children playing sharks and minnows for 2 hours straight).

 Also on the agenda: Seeing just how slow I run tomorrow after not tapering (it's okay- Coach SuperW didn't say to. She just said to set low expectations since there ain't no chance in hell that I'll be feeling "fresh" tomorrow), not getting enough salt all week, not hydrating enough, and lifting less than 12 hours before the race. This should be fun!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What a Week

     I love to lifeguard. Really, I do. I like that it's a fairly active job, with lots of going up and doing in the chair, walking around checking trash, sitting in a chair and reading, etc. However, when children poop in the bathroom and yours truly is forced to clean it up, the job ain't so hot. Last night, the country club I lifeguard for had a swim meet. At 4:45, the pool area filled up with hundreds of people (note: we do not have a very big pool area, so it ended up looking like a rock concert- lots of sweaty, excited people in tight black spandex), and though us guards like to think we are able to keep on top of the trash, bathrooms, and children, obviously sometimes stuff slips through the cracks (no pun intended...ew).
    So it was that the 8 10-year old boys who I saw crowding around the bathroom were indeed up to something as I had expected when I saw them, except that when I noticed them, I had just enough time to tell them to skidaddle before I had to haul booty back up to the chair for my shift. Mischevious little boogers that they were, I suspect that they were the culprits of the mess. My boss went " OH YEAH, FIRST POOP OF THE SEASON!" and while it does signify the official start of another summer at the pool, when you are on your 9th consecutive hour of work after an hour and a half masters practice, 31 minute 4 mile run, swim lessons, AND the lifeguard shift, celebration is not really the first thing that comes to mind when poop is discovered. Sleep, food, foam rolling, and a shower do, but not jumping up and down. 
    But other than THAT, this week has been fairly uneventful, if busy. Lots of training, lots of working, minimal rest. Tuesday's track workout was FREAKIN' AWESOME. Coach SuperW had told me to take Monday afternoon off from working out to prepare for a hard workout on Tuesday, and after she explained the workout that night, I totally got why. We did timed miles, so it was a mile warmup, a mile fast, 2 800s fast, 4 400s fast, then another mile fast. My last mile was actually faster than my first! And I beat my mile time from sophomore year field hockey tryouts! And I chicked the most muscular guy there!!!! Bascially, an awesome night.
    Unfortunately, today's separate run and spin on the trainer were condensed because my body wanted to sleep after it woke up at 6:45 and ate pancakes, and seeing as I worked for 10 hours yesterday and got maybe 5 hours of sleep the night before, I figured this was a good idea. What was not a good idea was the other nap I took from 2:45-4:45 after eating lunch, grocery shopping and attempting to find a gluten free, sugar free birthday cake for my papa. I had to hop on the treadmill, do my hour long run with 30 minutes of tempo pace, then go right to the bike. Insert cold sweat, lots of gatorade, and sore calves. And my compression socks are dirty. Do I take them out of the clothes hamper and wear them anyway...?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Race Recap

Ah, yes, my 10-miler. A race wrought with friends, sweat, heat, and probably more alcohol than I have ever seen in one place before (note to the race directors: the free champagne and beer was nice and all, but for those of us under 21 who really just want some free bananas and gatorade, I was a little disappointed...). I knew the race wasn't gonna be pretty when I walked outside at 5:30 that morning, in just my sports bra and shorts, and wasn't cold. At all. Because it was already 70 degrees outside...

  On the way to the race, my running buddies and I sat in the car chatting about college roommates, how much we don't want to race, how effing hot it is, etc. and I chug-a-lugged my way through a water bottle of Perpetuem. Smart fueling choice? Yes.  Good thing for the bladder? Decidedly not.

   See, apparently all 4000 other racers also decided that they needed to pee right as me and my buddy Michele were walking up to the porta-potty line. At 6:45. Time we actually got to the bathrooms? 7:15. Race start? 7:30.

   Then ensued quite a bit of scampering as we met up with the rest of our crew, settled into our waves, and found our pace groups. Coach SuperW gave me a whole race plan, but it centered around a pace a little below 8:00, so I stuck with the 1:20 pace group. The leader was hilarious and had an endless supply of factoids about the city and its history, which, in conjunction with my iPod, did a good job of distracting me from the massive amount of hills in the race. At first.
  Then, right as I was set to go up a massive hill at 7:45 pace (normally an easy clip for me, but in 90 degree weather with no shade? Not so much...), I got that lovely reminder of "battery low" on my shuffle. NOOOOOOOO. I had to turn the thing off until mile 8. I knew I might need some wildly inappropriate rap music to power me through the last inclines, and I was willing to sacrifice mid-race jam sessions in order to conserve power for the big hills later on.
    The race was kind of a blur from then until mile 5, where we suddenly got a reprieve from the inclines and were granted a 1.25 flat section around a lake. I saw a bunch of girls from school at the water station, which was awesome, but right afterwards, when I went to pick up the pace per Coach's plan, I felt like someone had filled me legs with sand. No matter how hard I pushed, I couldn't get below an 8:00 pace. I tried to relax and remind myself that I had sweated off at least 3 pounds at this point, so fatigue was inevitable, and was running in direct sunlight with no shade for the next 3 miles, guarenteeing both a wicked sports bra tan and a few mentally shouted expletives because HOLY CRAP WAS IT HOT, and this seemed to help. Going back through the course after the turnaround, I finally got some juice back... sorta.
   Thankfully, Coach had given me recovery miles. Never in my life have I been so happy to see a mile 7 sign- it meant I got an entire MILE's worth of time to recooperate before picking it up for the biggest hills, which, in keeping with almost every race I do, come at the end. Why, race directors, why!?
   Apparently I wasn't the only one who felt like they were breathing in soup from nostrils attached to a face made of fire- a lot of other people looked like they were DYING by mile 9. Like, some people started powerwalking up the last incline. And someone collapsed 250 yards from the finish right after I came in. It was that bad, folks.
    Official finish time was 1:22:22; not the 1:20 I really want, but hey, I wasn't racing, it was freakin' hot, and I didn't taper AT ALL (remember the 11 miler I ran on Thursday?!). Plus, I got a free piece of watermelon and a sweet t-shirt out of it (with no sales tax!!), so all in all, I consider it quite the awesome morning. Only down side? TCBY doesn't open until 11 o'clock, so I had to settle for a post-race Chipotle burrito instead of a pound of froyo. The hard life.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Whirlwind Weekend

Ten miler tomorrow. 5 am wakeup call. Race starts at 7:30 am. I work until 9. Prediction of total sleeping time for tonight? 7 hours. MAX.

Now, they always say that the sleep you get two nights before your race is actually the most important, since most people can never really sleep that well the night before a race. Finally, the running Gods smiled down on me and blessed me with a FREAKIN' AWESOME 11-miler last night followed closely by the best night's sleep that I have had in maybe two weeks, so I should be rearin' to go tomorrow morning, or at least coherent enough to talk to my carpool buddies.
   I started last night's run around 7 o'clock, just when the sky was getting scary and dark due to impending storms. Inclement weather doesn't stop this chica, though (ok, I did spend my entire winter training indoors... but I now hate the dreadmill so much that not even 3 episodes of The Hills could make me stay inside for my long run), so I hustled on over to the college where I swim to run their loop approximately 4 billion times (actually, it was only 8, and after 3 loops, I kinda just got in the zone). It helped that I just put new jams on my shuffle, so I got to listen to some Weezy and Jay-Z to distract myself from the nawing ache in my calves.
  WHAT, CALF PAIN?!??! Definitely due to the "easy" spin I did earlier yesterday in my basement. I put the trainer on the incline position of the box for the front wheel, so I was still sweating and pumping despite the so-called easy pace.
    I decided to actually be a smart athlete and eat after my run, instead of just chugging Recoverite and calling it a night like 2 weeks ago, when I ran 13 miles and basically took in almost no calories afterwards and had the strangest hunger dreams of my life. This time, I sipped Recoverite and had a full-blown dinner. My body thanked me properly by conking out as soon as I hit the pillow.
  Then, this morning, I woke up and realized that Oh, crap, it's Friday. That means a ridiculous swim workout. My Coach did not disappoint, and gave us a set that would have totaled 5400yds. This ended up being overly ambitious, though, as 7:30 rolled around and we weren't even near half-way done the last set of 4x400 descending and 4x100 pace. The only other girl there and I (why is it that I am always the last one left? Dedication? Crazyness? Lack of anything better to do in the morning?) decided that doing 2 of the 400s and all the pace work sounded like a good idea, since we wanted to have time left over to work on my flip turns, which on a given day can be either stellar or horrible all over the place. I stuffed a buoy between my legs for the 400's, because I want to have some juice left in the gams for tomorrow (though now I htink my shoulders will die, given the lateral raises I did Wednesday plus all the buoy work), and swam my batooty off for the 100's pace.
   Now, my legs have that awesome jello feeling, I am sitting here doing my version of carboloading (include as many different types of rice-related foods in your diet in one day):
-brown rice flour: check
-rice chips:check
-brown rice: (for dinner) check
-rice cereal: on its way to being a check

  And I have to go find my lifeguarding suit because I have an 8 hour shift today. Oh joy!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

At Least My Abs Don't Hurt

Things that are sore right now:                
1. Arms
2. Quads (what else is new?)
3. Calves
4. Butt (oh aluminum frame, how I wish you were carbon!!)

    My Dad often says that pain is a reminder that you are alive, and as long as the pain is limited to a dull ache, I like to follow the same philosophy, but 3 days in a row of leg soreness and I am starting to get a wee bit... irritated. Coupled with the fact that I have no idea how to foam roll my quads, that I shun Tylenol, and that I cannot for the life of me get a restful night's sleep, and the last few days have been what you might call rough. I love when training gets more intense, as it has this week, but when I am having to take two naps a day just to make it through both workouts, my confidence in my abilities starts to wan. It's a terrible feeling to mentally crave a workout, while physically feeling less than stellar. I know deep down that I have the strength and endurance to do any and all workouts that my coach gives me, but sometimes, my body would rather take that 2 hour nap than do speed intervals. So, today, I compromised. I took the 2 hour nap AND did the speed intervals. At 8:30 pm. With my Dad. In the dark. AND IT WAS AWESOME.
   The only way to truly remedy the dragging feeling I am dealing with, I guess, is to look forward to the rest day coming up, or at least me and my Coach's version of a rest day: Friday, when all I have to do is go to swim practice and do core. And then workout 8 hours, go right to bed, get up at 5, go to my race, spin, go to swim practice, go to work until 10:30 pm, get up at 7 to be at work by 8, then work a 6 hour shift followed by a 2 hour bike ride and 30 minute transition run...
   Good thing I like to be busy.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Stayin' Alive

That's right, folks, after 4250 in the pool, 18.25 on the bike, and an hour-long track workout with 8 800's and a mileage total of 5 big ones, I am still alive, and not all that sore. Which obviously means I won't be able to walk tomorrow.
   The track workout was AWESOME. I like them anyways, since I love getting speed in and feeding off all the other crazies' energy, but tonight was especially great because it was PARTNER 800'S. Which basically means you get to meet a new running buddy, go whatever pace you feel like, and not worry about times. You do one 400 by yourself, and one 400 with your partner. My partner and I decided that we would push the pace on our solo 4's and jog it out on the ones we did together. I love getting to meet and talk to other people who love running just as much as I do, and tonight brought a great new running buddy to me. This guy lost a bet with a friend who claimed that though they were both chunky, he, the chunkier one, could do a half-marathon before my buddy could. So, my running partner started training, and after two weeks, he was still going while his friend had dropped out. He has lost 80 pounds, done 4 halves, and is training for his first full! Official hero and inspiration.
   In other news, I just realized today that I have two of the city's hilliest races this weekend and next. Smart idea? no.

Quad Crushers

   Yesterday: 4650yds of swimming. Last 1000 was a ridiculous set of kicking and swimming, with 1 50 kick, 1 50 swim, 2 50s kick, 2 50s swim, etc. until we hit 4 50s kick and 4 50s swim. Wouldn't have been so bad, except that one of the girls from the college's swim team was there and I was trying to keep up with her kicks the whole time. My quads thanked me later on yesterday by becoming so sore that taking regular steps was a little pit painful. Obviously, my 7 mile run did not happen because of it. Instead, I chose to do core, watch The Hills, and eat dinner with my parents. My quads thanked me.
  Then, this morning, they decided after 6 100's descending in the pool to check out. Completely. As in, they were useless throughout all my 4 150s, and were so sore by the 2nd of 3 200s that I stuffed a pull buoy in between them and was about to call it quits. Thankfully, my willpower overrides my pain tolerance, and so it was that I found myself doing another set of descending 4x150s and 6x100s. Were my 100 times what they should have been, ideally? Probably not. I was about 5 seconds off my fastest time, but hey, I did what I could. I walked out of the pool knowing that
1. I did not wimp out
2. I totally deserved some pancakes. Which is why, at 8:15 a.m., I was in Mars buying sugar-free maple syrup for the amazing blueberry pancakes I made and proceeded to DEVOUR. My brother commented on vacation on how mildly apalling my massive food intake is. I think he was actually just jealous that he, too, cannot eat an entire dish of crab dip and chips by himself.

   The rest of the day was so ridiculously hectic it's no wonder I conked out at 12:20 for an hour and a half nap.
-bought new running shoes (same model of Mizunos I've been wearing for a year: The Wave Inspire 7).
-got more Perpetuem, Heed, and Recoverite
-bought a bike pump and water bottle carrier
-bought my Dad a b-day present
-went to the library and returned about 10 pounds worth of books (hello lifting for the day!)
-bought a bathing suit for my swim lesson job that starts next week
-cleaned up the kitchen
-made lunch
-went on a 1:30, 18.25 hilly bike ride per Coach SuperW's request. 2,116 ft of climbing=my. quads. dying. She probably wanted this done in the morning, but somehow, sliding into an icy cold pool sounds better than subjecting my butt to massive amounts of soreness at 6am.

Now, I am about to take nap #2 before I lace up my shoes for a track workout. Which will bring the number of hours exercising today to: 4. Ya ready, quads?!?!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The End

And so it is that I am back home, away from the salt, sand, and sea, and back where my car sits in the driveway, my towel hangs on the bathroom door, and my doggy sits in her bed staring at me like some stranger she might have known in a past life, aka a week ago.
  I had packed most of my stuff last night in the hopes of actually getting my butt out of bed to
1. watch the sunrise with my brother and
2. get in a 90 minute bike ride
    I had strange dreams all night of not waking up in time to wake the Bro up so we could both catch a glimpse of dawn peaking up over the Atlantic Ocean, but thankfully, I managed to snap awake at the sound of my extremely annoying and repetitive cell phone alarm. Unfortunately, it was quite cloudy on the horizon, preventing us from seeing the full spectacle of the big star in the sky rising to greet us. I was quite grumpy, since I had been tossing and turning all night and at that point had about 4 hours of rest in me, so I peaced out and went back to the couch to catch what little z's I could before my 6:45 wake-up call. Before hitting the sheets, however, the bro did call me over to see a lovely rose-colored ball of light rising up through the pale blue clouds. It was absolutely spectacular.
   The bike ride was pretty awesome, too. Not too hot, just enough sun, PLENTY of breeze. In fact, so much breeze that doing an out and back sort of made me want to punch Mother Nature in the face. Doing speed intervals into the wind? Not quite my cup of tea. I am hoping my legs don't burn quite like they have all of this week, but after 25 miles of hard riding, I have an inkling I am going to be experiencing some residual butt and quad soreness tomorrow morning.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Fogged In

Ah, the last day of vacation. The last day to lay on the beach, lounge, take lots of naps, and eat way more Rice Chips than can possibly be good for one human being. Except, what, IT'S FOGGY OUTSIDE?!?! That's right,folks, it is so foggy now that you actually can't really see past the shoreline. My family and I had kind of been expecting yesterday to be our last day on the sand, since they were calling for T-storms from today-Monday, but fog? Really? I mean, I would have been cool sitting in the main room having a family reading day while it rains cats and dogs outside, but when we are stuck doing nothing due to some hazy weather? Majorly lame, if you ask me.
    Since the beach/pool are basically out of the question today, I had planned on taking an AM spin class. Since the class didn't start until 7:45, I figured my 11 o'clock bedtime would give me more than the necessary rest needed to wake up at 6:45 so I would have time to get my crap together and walk to the gym. I mean, for goodness' sake, I wake up at 5:25 on a regular basis! I should be able to handle ONE early wakeup call on vacation, right? Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. That alarm went off at 6:45 and I pressed snooze. Five. Times. Before giving up and deciding that it was my last day of vacation and if my body was aching and sore and telling me it needed rest, you're darn tootin' I was going to slap off that alarm and go back to sleep.
   So, now I am sitting here, wondering what to do for my workout. I swam what could be construed as an "easy" 3500 yds yesterday afternoon, except for the 800 at "Fastest Possible Pace." I sort of wanted to slap my coach upside the head when he sent me that. 800 at nearly all-out? That's the same swimming distance as what you would do at a sprint-tri! And this is during practice! And my thighs are still sore! I swam the full set, but the 800 was pace, not all-out. In no way did I flub up the distance- you can bet your batooty that I swam my triceps off for 16 50's, but my endurance just isn't at the point yet where I can go balls-to-the-wall for that long with no one else to race/ pace with. That morning I had already done a 16-mile bike ride in the AM that left my quads and crotch a little.. shall we say, sore?, so that definitely did not help the swim set much. In fact, after EVERY bike ride here I have been sore. I think it's all the flat terrain, because back home, probably half of my rides are coasting down hills. Here, there are no hills. At all. So I am pedaling hard the. whole. time. Which is good, because I know I am building endurance and bike muscle that will only help me when my flat, flat race comes in September. But in the meantime? My legs need a break. And, in a very unlike-me fashion, I left my hardest two workouts of the week for last. (Seriously, I always try to get the crappy stuff over with first). So, now I have a 50 minute run with 2x10 minutes at 7:30 pace to do, and a 1:30 bike ride with high cadence intervals to knock out. By Monday. Because Monday everything goes back to normal: I go to Masters, then work, then another workout, and blah blah blah life goes on.
    What's a PB&J runner/triathlete to do? Well, for now, I am going to go get a swim workout in, but first, take a nap. Because this chick is going to make the most of her last vacation day. Even if it's foggier outside than my TV room windows after a home lifting session (yeah, I get that sweaty).

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Always-Burning Furnace

This is my family nickname has been lately because I am hungry ALL. THE. TIME. Quite annoying, really. I suggested to my parents that I just get an IV and solve this whole buying-massive-quantities-of-food problem that we currently have going on in our house, made worse now that my brother, aka the Human Vacuum, is now home, but alas, no dice. It seems I have to keep on eating real food and somehow how to figure out how to get enough calories in that are not
-rice chips (so salty, sooo good)
-rice pudding
-PB&Js<---- my lunch from ages 3-13. Don't judge.
  since that's all my body ever seems to crave. Salt deficiency, perhaps??

  Being so hungry also means that if sustenance does not enter my mouth within at least 5 minutes of my stomach growling, I turn into an angry monster who wants to chew off people's heads and hands if they get in the way of me and my feeding time. I feel this is going to have to be remedied somehow, since I know that with more work shifts coming up and the eventual resurrection of school and harder workouts, this chick ain't gonna be able to shovel peanut butter into her mouth at regulated intervals all the time. Parish the thought!!
    Since you are obviously wondering why I am babbling on about food when this is actually a training blog, I swear, I have a thought trail I am following. See, I just finished an easy 7 mile run followed immediately by a one and a half hour lifting session, and the Bro and Pops just got home with the groceries for dinner. And it's 7:12. Which means dinner won't be ready until at least 8. Yuck.
    Unforunately, the run was done on the dreadmill because it is hotter than Hates outside and once you get about 300 feet away from the shore, there is absolutely no breeze and no shade. I watched the Tyra show, followed by "Drs.," and realized just how much I hate treadmills. How the heck did I run on them for so long?! WHO cares if it was 16 degrees outside?? I'd rather have my nose frost than run on one of those things again all winter. I am making a pact with myself to run outside as much as possible during this upcoming winter, which I think will be quite possible, since tri-training requires less runs, which means a lot less chances for my motivation to err, or, alternatively, my bum to freeze off.
     Now, I am off to go stand over my brother's shoulder (or, really, under it, since he is much, much taller than me) and see if glaring at him and invading his personal space will make him cook faster. And no, I can't ask to help. If I do, he will shoo me away and I won't be able to steal the olives that are sitting next to him.

One o' Those Days

Yesterday I woke up at a reasonable hour, 7:46, but decided that it's my vacation, and the only week I am allowing myself of a possible reduction in training until my Half-Iron. That's right, my only "rest" week until September. WHY AM I DOING THAT?!!!?, you might ask?
   A few reasons:
1. I absolutely hate relaxing, unless it means sleeping. There are rare occasions when I will lounge on the couch and read, but usually, if I am watching TV or doing something else "relaxing" or couch-potato like, I am doing it in conjunction with foam rolling, a workout on the bike trainer, or checking email. I know, I know, multi-tasking is bad for you, but so are a lot of other things.
2. I am making serious fitness gains at the moment, and just found out that there is only one other person in my age group for the Diamondman at the moment. That means that if I work hard enough, I can place in my first tri, and hopefully get some sponsorship and really get my athletic career going.
3. I love the intensity and busyness of my days, and as much fun as I am having spending time with my family and spending each day doing anything at all, I really like knowing where I'll be at each hour of the day.

Please tell me they have this where
you live, too??
    So, in honor of my "relaxation week," I basically slept all. day.. Sure, I got up and ate breakfast, but after that, I read for a while and went back to sleep. Then I woke up, ate lunch, read a little more, and went back to sleep. Did the same thing later on when I got a snack, read for a while, and took yet another nap. Around 4 I got my stuff together and headed to the lap pool for a 3800yd workout and some core stuff in the gym. I decided to switch my "easy" day from Friday toyesterday, since I didn't eat enough after my workout yesterday and took my exhaustion as a sign that I needed to refuel  with massive amounts of crab dip, and also allow my body time to get acclimated to the heat (it is actually so hot at home that the temperature today broke a record).

     I definitely think my electrolytes must be off, because we went out for crabs last night and I was literally licking the salt from the shells and devoured more than my fair share of the tortilla chips that came with our crab dip. Guess it's all Nuun and no more plain water for me!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

So. Much. Sun.

Ah, vacation. Waking up at 5:24 because you are trying to stay on the same schedule so that when you get back home you can still wake up on time for swim practice, falling back asleep until 6:16 when your coach texts you your swim workout for the day, falling back asleep until 6:36, deciding to press "snooze" 8 times, and eventually calling it all off and going back to sleep until 8:10.
    Restful morning, I know. Funnily enough, prior to the 11 or so wakeup calls this morning, my night's rest was quite peaceful. I decided to sleep out on the couch so I could be nearer to the deck and therefore nearer to the ocean sounds, and it was awesome falling asleep to the sound of waves crashing. I probably woke up the first four or so times to that sound, too, but by the 11th time, I just sort of jolted awake and realized that if I wanted to get in my hour long ride and half hour brick run before it got too hot, I should probably go put my cycling shorts on and get my A into G.
      The ride was good, though not as enjoyable as it would've been on the roads at home. It is totally flat where we are, which is good, since that mimics the terrain of the Diamondman course, but it makes the ride a lot tougher on my legs, since I coasted not once during the ride. That's right, it was pedal to the medal the. whole. time. Plus side? Did 15 miles in an hour!!! Down side? My legs felt like lead when I started the run. The strange part, though, was my pace during the brick run. 7:50 average!!! Either the track workouts are working, Endurolyte pills are a lot more effective than I thought, or the thought of cold gatorade and a PB&J is a lot more motivating than I though. Hoping it's the first one...
     The rest of the day was spent at the beach, napping and reading, before finally donning my TYR suit and schlepping it over to the pool. Did I mention the lap pool is a mile away? I have really been enjoying my walks there everday, but after today's 4000yd workout, I kind of wanted to lay down on the asphalt and nap rather than continuing on home for dinner.
     The workout was tough, but in a good way. My coach is steadily increasing my distance and decreasing my intervals, and while I may have uttered some mental expletives when I looked at the clock during one of my sets of 300 pace and realized I only had a 15 second breather, I know all this is only going to make me stronger. Plus, I love the feeling of collapsing onto the couch at the end of the day, knowing you accomplished so much that you deserve some butt-to-cushion contact. Speaking of which, Harry Potter is calling...

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sore quads, Road trips, and Ocean Front Views

  As is a tradition in my family, we packed up the car yesterday and headed for the beach. I knew the trip was going to be good from the get-go because:
1. My Mom scored us an awesome, ocean-front condo
2. I came home on Friday night to see the "snack bag" for the week full of SF chocolate bars, Think Thin Chocolate Fudge bars, and Larabars
3. We got there and I found out they have Master Swim on Tuesday and Thursday evenings

    Unfortunately, we didn't get here until around 4:30pm yesterday, so our first couple hours were a frenzy of family grocery shopping and unpacking, but that left plenty of time before the trip to do my run and bike ride, and even more time while dinner was being made to do a 48 minute ab workout while watching " I Love You, Man." All in all, a great first day.

   The 10.3 mile, easy-ish run was done on the dreadmill due to thunder that occurred right when I put my socks on, but by the time I was finished, it had cleared up enough for me to take the bike outside and enjoy a nice, 7.65 mile, 40-minute bike ride around the neighborhood. Plus, early Sunday mornings mean less cars and more chances for me to fly down decents and scream WAHOOOOO at the top of my lungs without the rest of the neighborhood thinking I am completely insane. The only thing that put a slight downer on the ride was when I remembered my swimming coach telling me at practice yesterday of his 40 mile ride, 5 mile run, and 3000yd swim where he whupped my butt. That thought made me feel a wee bit unproductive.. until I remembered he's doing his first half-Iron in a month, so come.. August, I'll be doing 40 mile rides like they ain't no thang. I hope.

    Coach SuperW thinks I need rest and relaxation this week, so she only gave me 4 workouts to do. Obviously I understand I cannot be live 24/7, and I know that she did that on purpose so I wouldn't OD on training and waste all my time on my bike instead of in the ocean (although honestly, I love my bike so much I think I almost prefer it to the ocean), but now, with so much of my schedule left open, I am at a loss for what to do. I told her I'd catch up on the z's I am always missing now that I waste my nights away reading and foam rolling and then waking up at 5:25, so in honor of that committment, I slept in until 7:15 today. Felt like a slacker. I planned on swimming, but didn't get the workout my coach sent me until later in the morning, so I thought I would check out the spin classes they have at the resort.

   Except, oh wait, THERE ARE TWO FITNESS CENTERS AND IT DOESN'T SPECIFY WHICH ONE HOLDS THE SPIN CLASS. This may/may not have resulted in my walking around the main complex asking 4 different security guards where the spin class was, only to be told it was
a. in the community fitness center
b. outside
c. in the afformentioned fitness center
and, the correct answer, d. the fitness center a mile away.

 I took this as a disgruntling sign that I should go home, eat breakfast with my brother on the deck, take a two-hour nap, and then lounge away the day, before doing my swim and weights stuff later on, followed by a nice bike ride with my Dad before we all go out for crabs. I also may/may not have spent 2 hours looking at the Diamondman course and dissecting the swimming meet times of UDel's club team so I can have something to work toward. ***

     . I hate not having stuff to do, I hate not having a schedule, I hate not being productive, but it isn't everyday that you get to go to your favorite beach in the world with your fam, enjoy the sounds of the ocean at night, and nap whenever the heck you feel like it. Which I may just go do, again.

*** I know I am not the slowest swimmer, nor am I the fastest. Same with biking- I am no slow poke, but I know for a fact, because my Garmin has told me so, that I am not a speedster. Yet. I plan on using my ample free time to look up more strength training stuff I can do so that when I line up for my first club swim meet, my first club cycling ride, and my first Half-Iron in September, I am ready to KILL IT on the swim and bike, and CHICK THE HECK OUTTA THAT FIELD on the run. Not that I am competitive or anything...I just hate being beat.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


You never know how much you love
it, until you forget to use it..
  So what happens when you go on a 13 mile run at 7 o'clock at night and forget to put some lube-lovin' on your inner thighs???

   You wind up with chafing so bad it hurts to
1. shower
2. swim
3. walk
                          And what happens when you work for 5 hours and repeated wedge yourself into the pretzel position in the lifeguard chair, thereby rubbing off large portions of your sunscreen?
      You end up with a splotch-burn so awesome that it hurts to
1. scratch your stomach
2. bend sideways
3. shower
             But I mean, other than that, the week went well.
Wednesday was the super ridiculous swim workout in the morning and spin in the evening, Thursday brought full-body weights in the morning and the long run in the evening, Friday was a speed workout in the pool, Saturday was a 90 minute bike ride and another swim speed workout, and today was *supposed* to be a 90 minute run and 40 minute bike. However, since it started thundering and raining cats and dogs about 30 seconds ago, I forsee that now happening on the treadmill and either the trainer or the spin bike at the gym...

This might have been
my dinner on Thursday.. at
9:30 pm.
I am actually really enjoying tri-training. I can tell my body is SO much stronger than it was when I was only running (hello bicep, ab, and calve muscle that I never had before), and I love the variety I have in my workouts. The breaks between each hard run really allow me to give each workout my all, and as training gets harder in every discipline, I am feeling stronger, not weaker like I did when my mileage started to bump up. The great thing about swimming and biking is that the recovery on both is so quick that I can do 4 hard swim workouts in a row with minimal fatigue, and at least 2 hard bike workouts in a row with only minor butt and calve soreness. I mean, compression socks and Recoverite smoothies definitely help, too....

In other news, I graduated! Yesterday!! It was a ridiculously hectic day,especially since I woke up late since I was at a friend's grad party until 11:30 eating crabs and having my skin burned off by a bonfire. I bascially got up, threw on my bike shorts, ate a banana, and hopped on the bike. It was a fantastic 16.21 mile ride, complete with more inclines and downhills that I care to count. My quads were dying up some of the hills, so I definitely need to work on riding out of saddle, but it was the best way to start such a special day!
  Unfortunately, in all the craziness of ironing my dress, gown, finding all my cords, etc., I didn't really get a chance to eat a whole lot. As in, the entire day up until dinner, all I had was a banana, 3 Shot Bloks, a PB&J, rice chips, and some carrots and hummus. You can bet that at 4:15 when I rolled into swim practice, I was starving. The only thing getting me through that last set of decending 4x100s was thinking of all the mexican food I was going to get to eat in an hour when me, my parents, and my brother went out to dinner, and trying to not come more than 10 seconds behind my coach, who decided to join us for the workout and simulatenously kick my butt in the process. Because of this, I got my fastest 100yd time ever, (1:19!!!) and almost killed my quads.The mexican food ended up being fantastic, and afterward we went to the new TCBY in town that is serve yourself, and is complete with NO SUGAR ADDED DARK CHOCOLATE NIBS AND HOT FUDGE. They gave us a frequent buyer card we can get stamped each time we go. Bad idea, TCBY. That card will be filled up by... next Tuesday. Max.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


That's right, after a ridiculous swim workout so complicated and long that I actually have no idea how many meters I actually swam, I am alive and (sort of) kicking!
  My swim coach was definitely not lying when he said this morning's workout would be difficult- in fact, by about 3/4 of the way in, the lanes had gone from almost all doubled up to nearly empty, with only 4 or 5 of us left. It was basically a speed workout, consisting of times that we had to hit for each 100. They gradually decreased, and we had to continue to hit each time until we missed one. When we missed, we decreased the distance by 25 yds and continued to try and hit the times. When we missed a 75, we dropped down to 50, etc. until we were either ballin' the whole thing or, alternatively, dying and doing 25s. I managed to hang on for 13 100s, but by the last one, I only made it to the wall with a second to spare before I had to go again. I slumped into the pool while my coach shouted "Come on, one more!!!" which I responded to with disgruntled laughter. Thing is, now I really regret not pushing harder and doing that final one. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm glad I stuck through the whole workout when so many other people left (um, since when does am I one of the last to bail?!), but I know that unless I am willing to truly accept that muscle fatigue and burn in the pool, I will not be able to get my strokes as fast and smooth as I want them to be and get the mile pace I want for Diamondman.
    But, it's probably a good thing I slacked off a wee bit this morning, since the last couple days' workouts, combined with the Code Orange heat around here, have left me exhausted. So exhausted I took two naps today. Last night was 9 400's on the track, and it. was. AWESOME. I know that most people really hate speed workouts because of the whole feeling-like-you're-going-vomit thing that inevitably accompanies workouts with repeats in the 9-15 range, but I  LOVE 'EM. This might be due to my past as a 400m runner, but in any case, last night was fantastic! The repeats felt so much easier than they had two weeks go, and even though I had told my coach I was going to go a little slower because of all the bike and pool workouts, I ended up getting within +/- 3 seconds of my goal time of 1:30!! The first set of 3 400's were all at 1:33, the second set was kind of scattered, with the first at 1:37, then 1:33, 1:28, and the last set was 1:33, 1:38, 1:31! Not too shabby for a day so hot they closed county schools three hours early. I think I actually perform better in heat. Summer is the one time of year I am not constantly shivering, so my muscles are loose and warmed up instead of tight and locked.

    Off to bed now, since I have to wake up, lift, sign up for an Open Water swim in August, go to work from 12-6:30, then run 13 miles. Prediction: Awesome tan lines await.