Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Last night I had a triathlon dream. I dream about triathlons a lot. Probably once a week. In last night's dream I was doing the run leg and the course was very crowded. Everyone was walking and I was trying to run but I couldn't get through. I was getting mad and asking people to walk on the right but nobody would listen. Then I got back to transition and realized that I had to bike still. WTF? So I was getting ready to hop on my bike and I realized had no water or Gatorade. I was digging through my transition bag, which happened to be a plastic shopping bag full of junk, and I found to sport bottles of Gatorade. I wondered how they got there and I figured Sam must have gotten them for me. It was starting to get dark and it was raining so I just shoved the bottles into the cages and headed out on my bike. Then I woke up. Strange huh? Do you dream about triathlons?
Monday, November 23, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I spent my lunch break on Monday researching ways to treat and prevent shin splints. I read about the RICE method (Rest/Ice/Compression/Elevation). Other articles recommended heat instead. Some people swear by compression. I was lost.
After work I decided to head to my local multisport store, Jack Rabbit Sports. I was admiring the compression sleeves*** and reading the back when an employee came over and asked me if she could help. I told her about my shin splint problem and she gave me a ton of great advice! Her recommendations for treatment included:
- Ice my shins for 9-10 minutes and follow with a heat compression and deep tissue massage.
- (After glancing at my feet) No more high heals / boots, especially until my legs heal.
- Skip the compression sleeves for now; they are better for recovery than treatment.
Then she asked me about my training, goals, weekly mileage, etc. She thinks the shin splints are a result of taking some time off after my last race in early October and then jumping in with speed work before building my base back up. She recommended having a solid base of 15-20 miles per week before incorporating speed work again. When I do start back with speed work she recommended that given my distance goals that I include slightly longer intervals (400-800 meters instead of 100 meters).
We spent another 15 minutes talking about gear, triathlons (she just did her first full Ironman, Beach to Battleship), and local tri groups. It was so helpful to talk with her. I just love Jack Rabbit and the wonderful community they have built. After our conversation I walked out the door, empty handed, and spent my subway ride thinking about how much I love the triathlon community.
I've spent the last three days icing/heating my legs and wear my old running shows to work and I noticed a huge difference right away. I'm going to head out for another run tomorrow morning. I'm going to try not to push to hard or too fast and just see how it goes. Wish me luck!
***When we were talking about compression she recommended the CEP Compression brand when/if I go that route. She said they are the best out there!
Monday, November 16, 2009
3. The time commitment to completing the races will likely interfere with training and/or working with the New York Tri Club (we are part of the Race Management Team). Sometimes I want to do "everything" but ultimately I do want to focus on triathlons.
4. As much as I like to think that running a 5 mile training run and a 5 mile race are the same thing, they are not. Racing takes more time, more energy and usually takes a bit longer to recover.
5. We don't even know if we will be living in NYC in November 2011. Most likely we will be here for another 2-3 years but you never know what could happen.
Ultimately we want to focus on triathlons and attempting to qualify for 2011 will just take too much away from that. Instead, we are hoping to run our first marathon next year with either the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC or the Philadelphia Marathon. They are both smaller, less expensive events.
I still hope to do the NYC Marathon some day but it will probably be by winning the lottery or automatic entry after 3 lottery losses. From everything I have seen it is a one of a kind event. The crowd support is incredible and the course is spectacular. No matter where we end up we will always have family and friends in NYC and the marathon will be a perfect reason to be back.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Today I happily returned to pain free running. It was a cold and windy morning but it still felt great to be back outside. I kept it easy with a short 2.5 mile run. My pace was a bit faster than usual so hopefully the break was also a good for my speed too! I also had the chance to try out my new running pants (review coming soon!) and I was very comfortable!
I also donated blood today which checked another item off my 101 in 1001 list! Did you know that only 5% of the eligible US population in any given year. Blood donation is especially needed during the holiday season as there tends to be less people donating during this busy time of year.
Earlier this year was the first time I donated blood. I had heard so many horror stories but it is actually a very simple and fast experience. It is relatively painless with a quick needle prick and the actual blood donation only lasts 5 minutes. After that you sit for awhile and drink juice and eat cookies!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
The two sprint distances, Pine Barrens and Tolland, are small races that we did last year. I am excited to repeat these and see how we improve after a year. The two Olympic distance races, Philadelphia and Westchester, are both large races (1000+ participants) that we have not participated in before. We are hoping to add one more Olympic distance triathlon in July/August and I would like that to be a smaller race (under 500). We are also tentatively planning on doing our first marathon at the end of the season. Our choices right now are the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC or the Philadelphia Marathon. We both agree that we like the Marine Corps race more, but it is 3 weeks earlier (Oct. 31st) which may not be enough time to ramp up our training after Westchester.
The 2010 Race Schedule
Five Boro Bike Tour
Saturday, May 2, 2010
New York, New York
42 mile bike through the five boroughs of New York City
Pine Barrens Sprint Triathlon
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Atsion Lake Recreation Area, New Jersey
Distance: 1/2 mile swim, 24 mile bike, 4 mile trail run
Tolland Summer Solstice Sprint Triathlon
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Sprint Distance: 300 yd swim, 12 mile bike, 3.1 mile run
Philadelphia Olympic Distance Triathlon
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Olympic Distance: .9 mile swim, 24.8 mile bike, 6.2 mile run
Point to La Pointe Swim
Saturday, August 7, 2010 7:25am
A 2-mile open water swim race across beautiful and mighty Lake Superior from Bayfield to Madeline Island, WI.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Westchester, New York
Olympic Distance: Swim 1.5K (0.92 miles), Bike 40K (24.8 miles), Run 10K (6.2 miles)
Grete’s Great Gallop Half Marathon
Saturday, October 2, 2010 (estimated)
Central Park, New York City
Marine Corps Marathon (Washington, DC; 10.31.10) or Philadelphia Marathon (11.21.10)
Have you started planning for 2010? What race are you looking forward to the most?
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Right now I am working on designing a training plan for November and December. I have been consulting a lot of blogs, websites and books (including the one above), but every time I sit down to map it out I just freeze and walk away. I do have two goals for the off season and these will be the central and most detailed portion of my plan.
1. Fun faster and with better form
2. Increase core strength
My secondary goals are to increase general flexibility, incorporate drills into my swim workouts and lose 5-8lbs.
Run Faster and with Better Form
Motivating Factor: Running is my weakest of the three sports. I am slow and I have poor form. If I can improve my run I will enjoy races more and improve my overall time and standings.
The Plan: I plan to have 3-4 run workouts per week including at least one long run (6+ miles) and one speed/form workout. I will also be incorporating these great run workouts from Runner's World that Kevin (Ironman by Thirty) suggested.
Increase Core Strength
Motivating Factor: Your core strength is critical to swimming, biking and running. Improved core strength will improve form and technique and reduce injury.
The Plan: I will include 3-4 core strength sessions per week using these six core workouts that I found through BeginnerTriathlete at Kenny's suggestion (A Policeman's Life). I started doing these core workouts over the weekend and they are awesome! My abs/obliques are perfectly sore :)
I'm hoping to share my Nov/Dec training plan by the end of the week (deadline)!
Saturday, November 7, 2009
When Sam and I first met neither of us were very active. We were both former athletes but not doing any physical activity on a regular basis. To top this off we were not eating very healthy (ice cream sundaes every night?) and we smoked. We had been members of a gym for about a year but we went sporadically and never saw results.
On January 1, 2007 we quit smoking cold turkey. The day we quit we also started working out to prevent weight gain and distract us from cravings. For the first month we were going to the gym 11 times a week! Monday through Thursday we would get up at 6am to workout in the morning, then go to the office, come home and go back to the gym, eat dinner and go to bed. We took Fridays off to recover and Sundays were "easy" days with stretching, core and easy cardio. But Saturday? On Saturdays we killed ourselves. We would spend 3-4 hours at the gym. Usually around 2 hours of weight lifting and another 1-2 hours of cardio. It was intense and quite possibly insane.
Since starting triathlons this year we have not had many Saturday Workouts. Our weekends were spent on long training runs/rides or races. In the last few weeks we have started with our Saturday Workouts again and I'm glad to have them back. Today I spent about 45 minutes lifting weights (bench press, squats, shoulders, triceps, biceps, etc.) and 30 minutes doing core work. Then I took a "Cycle Burn" class which combines x-bikes (indoor mountain bikes) and Pilates. Then, since I still can't run because of shin splints, I spent 45 minutes on the elliptical machine. It was awesome!
The other perk about Saturday Workouts? A delicious guilt-free dinner! Tonight we are heading to an amazing Cuban restaurant in Greenwich Village!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
I really want to sit down and plan some sort of schedule for the off season. If I don't have it written down then I just do the same old thing because I'm just not very creative on the spot. Can you recommend any good resources for off-season tri training?
Sam and I really need to sit down and map out the next season. We have talked about our general goals and a few races but nothing solid yet. I am a planner and I need a plan to keep me motivated.
2011 NYC Marathon
One of the biggest decisions related to the 2010 season is if we want to qualify for the 2011 NYC Marathon. If so, this will require doing 9 New York Road Runner races over the year (and volunteering at one). We have to decide if it is worth the time and cost to have the opportunity to do the NYC Marathon in 2011. There are a lot of great marathons out there that we could do without all the hassle, but it is the NYC Marathon, one of the biggest and most famous marathons in the world. It would be an incredible experience and we don't plan on living in NYC forever so if we are going to do it we should probably do it now.
I am feeling very ambivalent about all of our meals lately. I am stuck in a vegetarian rut and I can barely manage to choke down another veggie burger. The problem is that it is so hard to find vegetarian recipes that are healthy, relatively low calorie (not based on pasta, cheese, avocados, etc.) , and simple. I know I need to make a meal plan of sorts if I'm going to branch out. It's a lot like my workouts - if I don't think ahead I will just stick with the same old thing. Any suggestions for vegetarian/healthy/simple/yummy meals (I do eat fish/seafood/dairy)?
101 in 1001
I am very late on posting an update on my 101 in 1001 list. My last update was in July!
I can't remember the last time we went to the pool. I think it was before our last race in September. That is just depressing.
*I borrowed this blog title from one of my favorite non-tri blogs, The Non-Consumer Advocate. Thanks Katy :)
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I did manage to make it to Mile 15 - the last section before participants get on the Queensboro bridge - to watch the elite runners of the NYC marathon on Sunday morning. We arrived at about 9:45 just in time to see the first wheelchair participants go by. It was pretty amazing to watch these "challenged" athletes.
Some people raced with "handcycles" where the chairs have gears.
Others raced with standard wheel chairs.
This guy even raced in a regular wheelchair (he finished in 5:29:55)!
At about 10:30 the lead pack of elite women came through (they started at 9:10am). Sam managed to get this picture with my iPhone as my camera batteries went dead right when the women came by (go figure). It was so amazing to see these women. They are FAST!
The winner, Derartu Tulu, is the 4th runner back in navy blue. She finished in 2:28:52!
The elite men showed up about a half hour later. They had a lot of company with the car with the race director and lots of police escorts and camera men.
The male winner, Meb Keflezighi from the USA, is the third runner from the left in the white top. He finished in 2:09:15. He is the first American to win since 1982!
After the elite men when by I really wanted to stay and cheer for fellow blogger Leah, but I was feeling terrible so we decided to head home. This was Leah's first marathon! Click here to read her excellent race recap. Congrats Leah!
I snapped this picture from the subway platform when we were waiting for the train.