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Monday, May 26, 2008

Glorious solo ride

I rode about 26 miles yesterday. It was gorgeous out, my legs felt like a million bucks and I rode 1 mph faster than I had on that same course 2 weeks ago! Can't beat that with a stick!

During my ride, I got passed by a mountain bike. No, I'm not that slow. It had a motor on it. I almost caught the dude on the hill. Apparently, the motor doesn't help that much. I was up to the challenge of trying to catch him, but he turned off soon after that hill. Oh well. I'm sure I could have got him! ; )

I also saw a Smart Car. I then had "deep thoughts" about whether it made sense to purchase one of those to use for commuting to work. Matt pointed out that the mpg weren't that great for the loss of cargo space. I suspect that the high gas prices will goose inventors to get us off of our gas addiction sooner. At least, I hope it does.

Well, it isn't as lovely today. I was hoping to get out for another ride this morning, but with the rain, I may run instead. I preach practicing in adverse conditions, but I'm not training for anything. : ) Happy Memorial Day everyone! Don't you wish every weekend was 3 days long?!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Not so smart

So, I mentioned in my previous post about how sore my calves were. Do you think I'd be smart and take some days off running or at least take it easy on a run? Yah, I'm not that smart!

I went for a run Wednesday night with some CTC peeps. Steve Y. and Chuck were so nice to stay with me. About 15 minutes in, my left calf was a tight, painful knot. Did I turn around then? No, fearless readers, I did not. Instead, I did the whole 6.1 mile loop (at a slow 11:09 pace).

When I got home, I told Matt that I might have been stupid and risked injuring myself. He was kind enough to knead my calf muscle. It hurt so badly that I almost jumped off the couch while he was doing it, but I think it helped tremendously. The next morning was not so bad and now, I feel back to normal. I just wish I could go to my regular massage on June 2, but stupid work is making me cancel it! Oh well!

Now, I'm at work on a lovely Saturday. I should be working, but blogging seemed like a better idea. There is a Kenny Chesney concert at the Browns stadium today, so there are a ton of tailgaters in the muni lot. I was working on a weekend the last time he was in town too. I must be a glutton for punishment! : ) Ugh, country music! (No offense to you country lovers - just ain't my thang!)

I leave you with a photo taken by E-speed during the Cleveland half-marathon (I'm in the melon colored top and Browns stadium is behind me). This time, I smiled when she cheered unlike my pain mask from the marathon 2 years ago. Thanks E and Solar!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sore, but lovin' it!

My calves are so sore and tight I can barely walk. Going down stairs is the worst. However, I love it! I always figure that soreness is proof that you left it all out there on the course.

I'm working from home this morning (have client meeting in Erie, PA this afternoon, so why head west before heading east?) If Sam were here instead of Disney World, I would have swum with her at CSU regardless, but she's not here, so I lifted weights at home instead of swimming.

Speaking of Sam, she and her husband did a fabulous job at the Disney half-IM in hot (90+ degrees) and windy conditions. They had similar swim times, then Joe got a 25 minute lead on her on the bike, but then she recaptured 20 of those minutes on the run. They are well on their way to a stellar performance at IMLP.

Matt has been in Arizona the last two days and thankfully, he comes home tonight. I sleep like crap when he's not here. The temperature there yesterday was well over 110. The temperature here is around 59. If we could split the difference, we'd both have nice weather days.

At least, it is supposed to be nice this weekend. I'll probably be riding long with Sam on Saturday or Sunday this weekend. Anyone interested in joining us? I'll know the details after she gets back on Thursday.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Unofficial PR at Cleveland Half-marathon

Well, I didn't make an official PR, but I did unofficially. The course was a little long at 13.25 miles according to my Garmin (Sara and Shannon got the same length).

My official time was 2:03:14, which still is my second fastest half-marathon ever. I can tell you that it wasn't an easy run for me. My average HR was 169 and the last 3 miles were well over 170. Around mile 3, I was doubting my sanity for getting into a race for which I didn't really train, but my thoughts the whole race ran the gamut from that to "I think I can PR".

It helps that I know the course so well. This is my regular running grounds, so I know when to hold back and when to push it. Also great was seeing E and Solar cheering on the W. 3 hill between miles 2 and 3 and my husband at the mile 6 aid station.

The best part of the morning though was hanging with TriSara and TriShannon before and after the race. Such fun gals - finally got to meet Shannon in person! It was also awesome to meet TryguyJT after the race finished.

It was a great weekend for meeting blogger pals. On Saturday, I got to meet M (Trying to Tri) when I met up with her and K for a 3-hour ride. We were praying that the rain would hold off and for the most part it did, although the wind was high for sure. We did one loop of the GCT course and then I led us out into Fairport Harbor and beyond for the second half. K is quite the biker and she smoked M and me on several occasions. Luckily for me, she didn't know the route, so had to slow down every once in awhile. : ) Those ladies will be more than prepared for their first half-Ironman in August at GCT!!

Do I think I would have done better if I didn't ride 3 hours on Saturday? Maybe yes, maybe no. Likely no though. I haven't done any speed work, so today was mostly mental anyway. It was worth risking it to hang out with two fun ladies.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I was talking to a co-worker yesterday and remembered that he was planning to do a half-marathon soon. I couldn't remember which one, so I asked. He said that it was the Cleveland half. I told him I'd be there as well. We discussed goal times and while he did have a specific time in mind (faster than mine), his main goal will be to stay in front of me. LOL!

I saw him today and asked if he was getting excited. He said that he was so nervous and just wished that it was here already. I looked internally and asked myself if I felt the same way. The answer? Not a bit. Maybe it is because I've done so many of them or maybe it is because I hadn't even thought to sign up until a few days ago. I don't know, but I have a hard time getting worked up about anything these days after Ironman. It is weird.

I wonder if I'll feel the same way about my next Ironman or if it will be just another day.

A few years ago, I was having dinner with husband and he casually mentioned thinking about doing Ironman CDA with a few CTC members with no fan support. At the time I was hugely offended. Ironman was an EVENT! I had to put up with all of his training and tiredness, so I should get to go. His response? "It is just a race". Of course, he'd done several by then and to him, it was just a race. Interesting.

I wish I knew when I would get to train for and race Ironman again. We want to start a family sooner than later and I know that presents its own time and priority challenges. Add to that my demanding job and it just doesn't seem possible.

Well, if I could train less hours, maybe it could happen for me again. I don't know if I need to put in the punishing number of hours that I did the first time. There is something to be said for having a solid, consistent base. Also, I personally feel that Ironman day is mostly mental. You can do anything for one day, right? You just can't let your body tell you otherwise. Maybe I'm cracked, but it is my opinion (like buttholes, it may stink). : )

Anyway, my good friend Sam and her husband (parents of a lovely 3-year-old daughter) are off to Disney this weekend to race their first half-Ironman as a tune-up race prior to Ironman Lake Placid. They have put in the hours and now it is their time to shine. Good luck and have fun!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Pulling a Stevie

I call my friend and fellow Lake Placid Ironman finisher, Paula, "Stevie", because when we ride our bikes her head swivels back and forth the whole time. "Did you see the lovely trellis on that house?" My response "There was a house?"

I borrowed this from TriguyJT.

I think it is refreshing that she isn't so die hard focused to ignore the beautiful surroundings. I am afraid of crashing though. : ) But today, I rode my bike at a leisurely pace and took in the beauty of the surroundings. There is this tree farm on the way to Mill Road from N. Chagrin that I absolutely LOVE! I swear it makes me happy every time I see it. Maybe I was meant to be a tree farmer and not an actuary?

In other news, I signed up for the Cleveland half-marathon. I thought my one friend would need a pacer, but she doesn't, so I might shoot for a PR (faster than 2:02:41). I haven't specifically been training for this race, but I am trained well enough. Heck, last year, I got the above PR after riding 5 hours and running 45 minutes the day before.

So, would you think that I'd take Saturday off to rest up for the race? Nah, that's not like me. Instead, I shall meet up with some cool people for a 3-hour bike ride of the GCT course on Saturday morning. 3 hours is less than 5, right? Should still have a chance at a PR. We'll see...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Crossfit and a Perfect Ending

On Friday, I did an actual CrossFit workout with my friend Nic. She did them all the time in Houston and now, she attends in Cleveland. So, our workout was short, but it packed a punch.

.25 mile jog
3 times of 30 seconds of situps, 30 of seconds squats and 30 seconds standing lunge stretch

8 x 20 seconds of push-ups with 10 second rest in-between
8 x 20 seconds of planks with 10 second rest in-between
8 x 20 seconds of walking lunges with 10 second rest in-between
8 x 20 seconds of pass the medicine ball sit-ups with 10 second rest in-between

.75 mile walk

Now, going into this, I have to admit that it didn't sound very tough. I can do just about anything for 20 seconds right? Well, let me tell you that I was in for a surprise. Sure, I could do it, but it was tough! By that evening, I was starting to feel it. I woke up the next morning incredibly sore. My abs were so sore that I couldn't cough. Wow, who knew such a short workout would pack such a wallop?! I guess it goes to show you that mixing it up is exactly what your body needs to keep it guessing. I did still manage to run 1:15 on the trails with Sam and do a decent 2-hour bike ride on Saturday morning.

This morning, I was still sore, but it was better. Swimming worked out my remaining kinks. Today was our last day of the tri-swimming class. Part of me was reluctant to go, because the last time I went I was so slow, but it was the last class. I'm so glad I went! Today's class was the perfect ending to a tough, yet good 7-month class. I held my threshold pace and was able to go sub-TP when called upon. Good times!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


I guess no one can accuse any of the three of us of not grinding it out all the way to the end! Yowza! Good times at the Hermes 10-miler apparently. : )

Small jpegs courtesy of Brightroom Photos.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Food Choices

So, we survived the 2:15 trail run yesterday afternoon - 12.25 miles total. It was a tough one on tired legs, but we got through it with fun conversation and dreams of what we would be ordering for dinner. Which brings me to the topic of this choices.

Last year, while I ate a ton of food, I was generally careful about what I was putting into the engine for fuel. Now? Not so much.

The menu for Saturday lunch with my brother? Cup of corn chowder, small ham & pineapple pizza and half of an "Oreo Oblivion" dessert. Yah, I ate the whole thing. Not a crumb in sight. Worst part? I was still kind of hungry after. It was probably because it wasn't the right choice for post-4.25 hour workout food. It was yummy though.

Last night, Sam orders coffee, small garden salad, grilled chicken sandwich, grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of cottage fries. The waitress puts her pad away and I say "Oh no, we're not finished ordering." I then order a small garden salad, cheeseburger and bowl of mac & cheese. The waitress' eyes were as big as saucers. Sam gently explains that we just finished running. Now, we didn't eat the entire shared meal, but we polished off a significant portion of it. Sam is all of 95 pounds, so you can imagine the looks of the patrons seated at the table attached to ours.

I went home and later had a bowl of 1/2 fat ice cream. That finally silenced the hunger monster. And, I wonder why I've gained 10 pounds since Ironman?! I was probably a little too thin at Ironman, but still.

It all comes back to food choices. Exercise alone is not going to make a person lose weight (and I'm not saying that is my goal at all). The point is that exercising more makes you more hungry. If you take in more calories than you burn, you will gain weight even if you are working out 10+ hours a week. I think I only lost weight for Ironman, because I was too tired to eat too much. : )

On the flip side, working out with severe food intake reduction is not the right thing either. Your body needs fuel to burn fat. If you don't eat enough, the body thinks it is starving and retains any calorie you put in. The moral? Make sure to eat enough.

So, will I be forgoing the pizza, burgers and ice cream? Nah, that is not for me. "All things in moderation" is the right mantra.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Crazy times

Wow, I've been MIA, huh? Work has been busy and I've actually been outside training.

Last weekend, I raced the Hermes 10-miler on Saturday and bricked w/ Sam on Sunday.
The 10-miler was a tough one. It was muggy, my HR was elevated and the new course was boring. I did have a negative split, which is great given that the second half has the ascents. My average HR was 173. Who knew I could maintain that for over 90 minutes?!

The next day? I was so sore. Sam was too. You can imagine how much fun the 3-hour ride and 30-minute run was. It felt like we were biking and running through sand. I even stopped us to make sure my brake wasn't rubbing. It wasn't. Sam said during our run, while we were hobbling like old ladies, that we needed our heads examined. At least she is training for Ironman Lake Placid. I'm the one who really needs her head examined! : )

Yesterday, we biked 3.5 hours and ran 40 minutes. I actually felt much better than on Sunday. The weather was awful though. It rained from 45 minutes in until the end. My feet were so frozen that I couldn't feel them. Yes, I do need my head examined.

Today, I am meeting Sam for a 2:15 trail run at 3 PM. So, what do I do this morning? Yes, more training! I met up with TriSara for her newbies brick. It was a leisurely paced ride and I skipped the run, so hopefully, I'll be good to go for my run shortly.

In non-running news, I saw the Ironman movie yesterday with my brother. It totally rocked! When I got home, Matt showed me a movie he put together on his new computer. He put it on his blog if you want to check it out. He definitely captured my goofball nature!