Thursday, March 25, 2010

Win Some, Lose Some

Why is swimming always the big loser???

Simple answer is really convenience!

Living out in the boonies has its pros and cons. The con with regard to me getting in my swim workouts is that the pool is over 25 miles away and still not close to the office. At least it is on the way.

This week has been good and bad.

Monday was right on target. I have meant to get up to swim each of the past three mornings but my stupid cold won't go away and everyday I have opted to sleep in and skipped swimming. Fortunately for me, running and biking can be picked up pretty easily at lunch or in the evening so still hitting the target there!

Tuesday was another Grueling Gorris Bike Workout. It was 75 minutes long which included 60 min alternating between LT and Z3. As the LT time increased and the Z3 time decreased, I found myself playing mind games to stay committed and stay strong. Wow, that was tough BUT nailed it! Yeah!

Wednesday, ran with the boys and ESpeed on a lunch time run downtown Cleveland. That was interesting! We did what they call the movie run. Takes you out past some of the places that have been used in movies, across some cool pedestrian only bridges, over highways and into some really sketchy neighborhoods. It was kind of funny to have a posse of 8 of us runners at high noon trotting through the ghetto! Ran an easy 8 min mile pace for 7.4 miles.

That night the hubby and I had been planning an easy bike ride together but unfortunately I gave him a bad present-my cold! So he took a pass and I decided to get in Gorris workout 2 since it was short! Only 39 minutes of big gear, low cadence work. 39 minutes is still plenty of time to get really sweaty though!

This weekend, the husband and I are planning to spend Saturday night down south with our friends and go motorcycle riding all day Sunday. This means no Sunday workout and shuffling the schedule to somehow get everything else in somewhere else.

So today, in the cold rain, I planned to meet a friend for my long run during a long lunch hour (er two!). It was supposedly 49 but windy and rainy. I chose my boston long sleeve shirt, shorts and rev 3 visor! Not wearing gloves was a huge mistake. I should have known better, especially with the Raynauds I am pretty sure I suffer from. 25 minutes in I tried to tuck my hand into little balls and pull them into my shirt as much as I could but my hands were still so cold!

Pace target was to start at 8:15 and work down to 7:45 which was executed well especially considering it was an out and back and we negative split the second half nicely which was all into the wind.

13.71 M, 7:59 avg pace, 163 avg HR
First half averaged 8:07, second half 7:50 with last few miles being closer to 7:30.

I got back from that run and it took me 4EVER to get my calf sleeves and socks off because my hands did not work and while I was in a hurry to get back to the office, I could just not pry myself out of the long shower! While the run felt good, the chilly hands put me into such a miserable state! Glad I can check that off my list for the week!

So now I definitely need to swim the next two days but I just have no idea where I can get my brick in...that may need to wait until Monday! Last indoor cycling class Saturday!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010



TRI SWIM is one of the Team Trakkers Sponsors. Awhile back I had got a package from Tri Swim. It included the following items-

* FOGGLE: anti-fog towelette that cleans the lens while defogging.
* TRISLIDE: an anti-friction/anti-chafing continuous spray skin lubricant
* TRISWIM SHAMPOO: Aqua Therapy Chlorine-Out Shampoo contains Organic Aloe
* TRISWIM CONDITIONER- salon quality Conditioner pampers your hair as it highly moisturizes.
* TRISWIM BODY WASH- Chlorine-Out Body Wash contains Aloe which moisturizes and helps protect from environmental elements like the sun.
* TRISWIM LOTION-TRISWIM Chlorine-Out Lotion is a unique and innovative formula that hydrates and moisturizes the skin while neutralizing Chlorine and Chlorine odor.

I used the foggle right away and it was so nice to actually be able to see out of by goggles.

Last week the last of my other supplies was running low so I switched in the Tri Swim Shampoo, Lotion, Body Wash and Conditioner. Now for some strange reason I have always sort of liked the lingering smell of chlorine on me after the pool. Maybe it was the reinforcement that I knew I had got my swim in, perhaps it just made me feel extra clean. Regardless, it is weird that now that I switched to these products, the lingering chlorine smell is totally gone and I am not missing it!

Now i am not usually that particular with my product selection. Every now and then I will buy salon products for my hair but it gets expensive with all my hair washing so often I just get what it on sale....but now I am not sure so sure! My hair just gets put through the ringer with constantly washing, blow drying, curling iron, hairspray, flat get the picture! Anyways my hair seems to be in much better shape now that I have started using these products and I LOVE the smell of the light citrus products. I recently caught myself in the locker room after our group swim raving about how much I loved this stuff and decided it was time to blog about it!

If only this had been around when I was a kid that loved the pool so much that I always ended up with green plantinum blond hair! So for what it is worth, if you are constantly in chlorine, you may want to check out Tri Swim!
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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Time to Focus!


Well the last week has been one big whirlwind of activity...and not so much on the fitness side but definitely FUN! Celebrated St. Malachi, Night out at Rays & Great Lakes Brewery, St. Pats, my birthday and then capped it off with a big party Saturday!

Unfortunately I now have a stupid cold but nonetheless Operation Lean Out/Focus has now commenced which means an extreme belt tightening of all this playful behavior! (And I really think after last week I got it out of my least for a little while :-) )

Yesterday, Monday March 22nd I started my 11 week training plan leading up to the Rev 3 Half Iron out at Quassy. (Knock on wood) The tibia seems to be holding up well and I am optimistic that all systems are go!

Yesterday hit masters swim at lifetime for a total of 2500 m. Workout included-

400 Free
4 x 25 one arm lead
4 x 25 fingertip
4 x 25 catch up
4 x 25 fingertip
4 x 25 catch up
4 x 25 one arm lead
1000 TT
100 ez
4 x 25 hard
200 cd
+ extra 100 pull

My time trial was so-so. To be honest, this was my first straight 1000 set in awhile. I should probably start doing more of them and some other longer ones. I just did it nice and slow and steady and felt comfortable the whole doubt, way too comfortable!

A couple issues of note a) my turns (which are still not flip turns) are so slow...not a big deal in the tri world but it sure would help my times here as I see how much ground I lose here. b) there was no one that I was trying to keep up with as there was just two of us at MS and he was not even doing the same workout. Competitive Daisy would have done much better working with someone. I did not want to post the time for the world to see but I will probably forget it if I don't so it was 21:50 for 1000 M.

Lunch workout was my focus run. Target run was 2 or 3x 1.5 mi runs at 6:55-7:15 pace with 2 min ez between. I felt pretty good and did the following. Fortunately I still felt like I had plenty left at the end of each interval!

1M w/u at 9 min mile pace
1.5 mi at 6:53 pace
2 min EZ
1.5 mi at 6:53 pace
2 min ez
1.5 mi at 6:48 pace
cooldown to finish 7 miles at 8:30 pace

Rough start today (Tuesday) as I really wanted to bike in the AM and strength train at lunch but still under the weather so I reset the alarm when it went off and opted to skip the strength workout and bike at lunch. I bet it was a good call because I doubt I would have been able to knock out a solid workout this morning with how I felt. I am actually quite surprised I managed to conquer the 75 minute killer LT/ Z3 workout at lunch as it was a toughie! Holy crap was I a disgusting sweaty mess. I swear the only time I have felt good the last two days was when I was working out and could actually breathe...FUNNY HOW THAT WORKS!

Despite the stupid cold, just enjoying the level of commitment to the plan!
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Monday, March 15, 2010

St. Malachi Race Report


The time for one of funnest races of the year had arrived. My HS running friend NA and I had been drumming up some fellow GHS alums to come out and run and hit the party after! We managed to draw out about 20 or so GHS alumni and friends, including my HS BF as well as my sister that both did the 2 mi race! Each of them ran the whole way and I was so proud of them! It definitely is fun to get other people motivated about something you love and to watch them achieve their goals!

Now of course race day, I had to make sure I dressed as spirited as possible so I donned my tall shamrock socks, green shamrock hairbands with my pigtails, BAFF team jersey, Trakkers visor and CTC arm warmers! I think I managed to support a little bit of everything!

I was not sure what to target for myself. I have been running again for 6 or 7 weeks post tibia stress fracture. I have kept speed to a minimum and building mileage pretty slowly only running 3 days a week.

My plan was to try just go the first mile and not worry about the split knowing that there was so much downhill. Then I planned to settle in until I got past the hill during mile 3 and then to try to pick it up the last couple miles. I would give myself a A- on execution. I think this was easily one of my best efforts at pacing at a shorter race. Perhaps it is all the heart rate based training I have been doing but for the first time in awhile I did not just die the last half of the race and felt pretty even the whole way. If anything I may have not pushed myself hard enough as I never fell into my super suffer-fest state.

Going into the race, I was really hoping to stay under 35. I thought it was a good goal with the limited speed work and time back running. I knew my training was coming along as I had ran outside Tuesday (7:51 for 6 miles) and Thursday (7:41 for 5.3 Miles) and felt like everything was on the up and up as far as my leg. Residual tibia pain seems to be disappearing over time!

I lined up to for the start next to some of the silly fast girls. With the start we were off and I was trying to maintain decent footing with all the other runners, run tangents as good as possible while avoiding the big puddles, as well as as trying be careful on the bridges and potholes. I knew my HS friend NA was gunning for me and also trying to break 35. I was just trying to keep myself in a zone where I would not blow up taking inventory of the pace and trying to hold steady. As I approached the hill at Mile 3 I shortened my stride and tried not to blow my HR up too high. The best thing is as soon as you reach the top, you get it all back on the downside! I knew at this point that if I could just maintain I would get that sub-35! I tried to pick it up a bit but knowing there was an uphill finish to come and I made sure to save some energy! As I climbed the last hill I just looked at the ground right in front of me and before I knew it, I was at the top! Unfortunately my friend TR got me at the bottom of the hill and beat me by like 10 seconds...oh I should have pushed a little harder ;-) Guess he did not want to lose to this girl!

At the end of the day, I was pretty happy with the outcome and gave myself a good baseline as to where I am starting from here! I am happy to maintained this much running fitness over the winter thanks to all the hard biking (&Coach Gorris making me work so hard) I think! After the race, the party WAS SO ON! We had gotten a hotel and pretty much did a pub crawl from post race until mid-night with a 1.5 hour break to shower. As my one shirt says, "You can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning!" And if you were not sure, yes indeed I am Irish!

St. Malachi results over the years:

2004 50.08, Hungover, late and just getting into running again
2005 41:20, If only I could get 9 minute improvements every year!
2006 37:35
2007 33:32, Best race
2008 37:46, Dealt with asthma
2009 37:39, Dealt with leg cramping and stoppped to stretch
2010 34:18, 6:51 min / mile pace. Not bad considering limited running!

Mile 1 6:14 downhill
Mile 2 6:51h
Mile 3 7:00 (incl decent incline and descent)
Mile 4 6:55
Mile 5 7:04 uphill finish

Average HR 176
Max HR 184

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

A break from this!


Yesterday marked the first outdoor ride of 2010! This week, not only was I treated to some sunshine and warmer temps, but my boss was travelling meaning I could work from home! This meant I could do my lunchtime workout while getting in some miles outside on my bicycle with my husband.

Waaahooo, a break from the trainer and the articial light!

It took me awhile to get ready to ride. I had to find my thick gloves, shoe covers and all my cold weather gear and then made my way through our snowy walk up to the road. Then we were off up the hill leaving my place and it was not 5 minutes that I was already realizing I was totally overdressed! Oh well, I can totally deal with being warm, but I am just a miserable baby when I am cold so no biggy!

The husband was fairing a little worse. He had done a couple indoor training rides early on and decided he no longer wanted to be friends with the indoor trainer. By the time we hit Burton hill 8 miles down the road, his legs were jello, his lungs were on fire from the cool air, and his butt hurt!

The husband is a real trooper though as we pedaled on and managed to put in 24 miles on the rolling country roads as we dodged the horse crap and buggy ruts! Oh it was such a friggin awesome ride in the sun and has me just stoked to put in some more miles on the bike outside while we are treated to this mild weather!
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Monday, March 08, 2010

Mill Creek Half Marathon Report


First event of 2010 down and I guess we can say that I am officially starting back!

The plan was for the gimp squad to run the hilly half marathon pace at a comfortable pace and just have social 2 hours while we attempted to put in some quality mileage! The Gimp Squad included me, coming back from the tibia stress fracture, Amie (pictured above)coming back from IT band issues, and Jim who is only 9 weeks out from knee surgery!

Unlike the last several Youngtown 1/2 marathons, weather was as nice as one could ask for. 33 degrees and sunny at the start! Jim and I took a position near the back of the crowd as I looked around for Amie who had disappeared into the mass of runners. Jim's plan was to run a nice easy pace of 9 min or better miles. I was fine with that as I was still nervous the tibia might just throw me the bird at any given minute! As a side note, it is so nice to start a race with no expectations other than to finish, feel good and enjoy yourself! I was looking forward to gettiing back out there running with all my friends!

Jim and I took off and the miles just clicked off pretty effortlessly. One of my biggest regrets of the race was not carrying my camera. The park just looked so gorgeous with the sun shining through the trees, glistening the water filled with ducks and of course a lot of us good looking runners on the hilly streets! Oh a wonderful morning for running for sure.

Strangely the planned 9 minute pace never really materialized as we were in the 8:45/ min mile pace the first third and then worked our way down on the back sections to 8:20 /min mile pace or so on the last few miles. The good part was we sort of noticed the slight pick up in pace but it was not intentional and we were actually probably consciously holding back trying to make sure we did not push our respective healing areas too much!

After finishing the last several climbs at the end of the race , before we knew it, we were rolling through the finish line! A success for the entire gimp squad, who all finished feeling well with the longest run in months for all of us! WE'RE BACK!

Here are the numbers for the day-
Distance Total: 13.36 Miles
Elevation Gain: 2107
Elevation Loss: 2089
Average HR: 153 (a nice comfy Z2, with some HR spikes on the uphills!)
Average Speed: 8:34 min/miles

Also of note, I was very proud of 3 of my fast female friends (EH, NC, and SI) for posting up some silly fast times and taking 1,3, and 4 spots! Way to go ladies!

The awesome morning was concluded with an awesome evening with our Southeast Running Club Banquet at Primo Vino! Good food with good friends!

Last week runddown:

3/1 AM 2200 Meters Swam (Lifetime masters), noon 1 hour Gorris Bike W/O
3/2 AM 5.5 Miles Ran
3/3 AM 3350 Yards Swam (CSU Masters), weights 30 min (UB)
3/4 AM 7 Mile Run with CV (8:45 pace)
3/5 Noon 45 min Bike Gorris w/o (cut short by 15 min), 6.25 Mile run with E (8:30 pace)
3/6 AM 2 hour Bike (ECC), 2000 yard swim
3/7 AM 13.3 Mile Run (Ytown half)

Time 12.75 hours
Ran 32 Miles
Biked ~ 60 Miles
Swam 7550 yards (plus a little for meters day)
Core 30 min
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Thursday, March 04, 2010

Brightening My Day!


This morning captured the essence of one of those things I have missed so much!

Cleveland, OH has a had so many cold gray days this winter. Not only that, my tibia stress fracture had sat me on the sidelines and my will-run-in-any-weather attitude had me stuck inside all winter. I have missed the daylight I got on my runs. I have missed the hiliarity that ensued when I ran with the girls in blizzard like conditions. I have really missed the conversations with my running friends. I have missed watching the sunrise. AND OH YES, I HAVE SO VERY BADLY MISSED RUNNING!

This morning was the return to all things right for me. I drove into downtown Cleveland and met one of my favorite running friends in the darkness and removed my scarf and coat ready for my second outdoor run of the year (first being Sunday). With the beeps of our garmins we took off down the side walk down around Browns stadium, out past the Rock Hall and headed out Marginal alongside Lake Erie.

As we shared stories, the light became brighter and brighter and illuminated the sky with the full beauty of the sunrise! (Yes, not the one in the picture but equally as beautiful). It is hard to imagine much of a better way to start my workday!

PS- No TIBIA PAIN TODAY ON THE RUN! (Still feeling very touch and go on this one. Some days it still seems to bother me and sometimes I have good days. Hard to know what to think!)
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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The secret ....


Yes another early morning workout today! Alarm clock 1 went off at 4:45 AM and scared cat out of bed. Alarm clock 2 went off at 4:50 and I rolled over to grab my phone to turn off the alarm. After browsing through the emails on my blackberry that came in over night I pried myself out of bed and made my way to the other room to throw on some clothes as quickly as I could before running downstairs to brush my teeth. Within 10 minutes I was out the door and in my car where my Blue Rockstar awaited me. I had a 40 minute drive to wake up before hitting CSU masters swim!

No traffic to deal with, 3350 yards swam, one blue rockstar down and at my desk by 8AM makes for a great start for the day! Woot, woot!

The secret to waking up early today?
A margarita and some Great Lakes Conway Irish Ale putting me to bed before 9 last night!
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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Just for kicks!


So some new Saucony shoes came via Brown Santa recently as they are one of my Team Trakkers sponsors.

Oh new running shoes are always enough to brighten this girls day even if it is just another cold, snowy, Ohio gray day!

At first glance, I gotta say, "I totally dig this color!"

Now I was going to write up a post about this awhile ago but it was not until yesterday that I could do it justice as you all needed a picture!

The side story...

The last time I could remember having my camera was the day I fractured my arm about 6 weeks ago at Rays. The little camera went everywhere with me, just in case! Now I have always had some issues with this one prized little possession of mine. (That is why I try to keep these to a maximum expense of $100 or so!) One camera went down due to a cracked viewing screen which probably resulted from being in a soft case in my purse and me rooting around for something or another. Another camera went mia after I think I left in the bathroom after Akron Marathon. So when this camera went mia, I was at a loss. I thought it was time for yet another new camera. Booo! Yet, it just seemed to me that I could not recall anywhere I would have lost it. After turning over every pillow, checking every bag and anywhere I could think of over and over again, Sunday it made its re-appearance! Woot! Woot! I found it in a coat pocket I rarely use. I am not sure when I put it in there....perhaps I threw the coat on to snap some pictures of Mr. Matches one day and just forgot???? Regardless, I ran upstairs and jumped around cheering with my camera to my husband! Hooodihoo, time for pictures again! To think just Sunday afternoon I was pricing out a new camera at the store! Yippee!

So back to the shoes! To be quite honest this is my first pair of Saucony running shoes so I was a tiny bit nervous. I laced these good looking shoes up and hopped on the treadmill. The first thing I noticed was that they had a lot of soft cushioning which felt good to my little feet-zies! The fit seems just right for me. I am really hoping that the extra support will be just what the doctor ordered to help keep my devil tibia issues at bay!

I do have to be honest though. Sunday was my first return back to pavement since my running hiatus and it was a gloriously fun 10.6 mile run with some of my favorite running girls and Bob, who got me started running! The roads were wet from salt and snow covered in spots. I could not bear to wear my stunningly clean Saucony shoes outside yet and get them all dirty just yet....soon though!
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Monday, March 01, 2010

It is with great excitement....!


It is with great excitement that as of today, I am officially registered for the Revolution 3 Triathlon Race Series! Woot, woooot!

This means Olympic Triathlon in Knoxville on May 9th, Half Iron in Middlebury, CT on June 6th and MY FIRST FULL ever in my own backyard of Sandusky Ohio at Cedar Point on September 12th! BRING IT ON!!!
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