Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Over the weekend we went to Target and I decided to pick up a pair of capri workout pants. I like my long running tights and wanted something in the capri length for strength training, indoor cycling, etc. I decided to pick up these from Target - a steal at $22 compared to similar styles selling at specialty stores for $65... Right?
So I threw a pair in the cart and continue on my way browsing the aisles of full size laundry detergent, 24 packs of toilet paper and extra large boxes of granola bars (something about shopping in big box stores is incredibly exciting when you live in NYC). I washed the pants on Sunday and tested them out at my Monday night Tri Strength class. In short they pretty much sucked. They didn't fit quite right, the fabric was scratchy, and I felt like my skin couldn't breath. All I could think about was the fact that I should have paid the $65 for something like these - Moxie Capri by Sugoi. They cost $40 more because they are better! They have a fitted flat waistband and are made from Helix fabric - a nylon/spandex mix designed to reduce overheating by allowing perspiration to escape, wick perspiration from skin, and dry quickly.
I have a very bad habit of trying to save money by cutting corners and then I end up with a sub par product that does not really get the job done. Often times I end up buying the item I wanted in the first place and spend even more money. I buy cheap shoes at Payless that turn out to be too uncomfortable to actually wear because I can't stomach spending $40 on a pair of flats. I bought a the Run Keeper Ap and armband for my iPhone ($35) and never used them because I really wanted a Garmin instead. I bought a pair of khakis on sale but I don't actually like khakis and have nothing that goes with them so they just hang in my closet taunting me. I even bought these ugly pink tri shorts because they were on sale instead of spending $20 more on a pair of nice black shorts. Who thought pink spandex tri shorts were a good idea?!
I could go on and on. I don't have a problem with shopping too much (I refuse to buy contact solution until I run out because I hate parting with my money). What I have is a problem with not spending enough to buy the high quality and appropriate item the first time. In the last few years I have come around to spending a little more extra money and buying the name brand product (I am especially devoted to Bounty paper towels and Pam cooking spray).
I will learn my lesson this time. It is more frugal to buy high quality long lasting pieces. I will not buy cheap workout clothes. I will only shop at real fitness apparel stores.
Am I the only one that does this? Do you try to save money by going cheap to only end up spending more in the long run?
Sunday, February 21, 2010
7.01 miles / Total Time 1:07:15 / Page 9:36 / Fastest Mile 9:20 / Slowest Mile 9:48
I brought my phone along on the run so I could snap a couple of pictures. Here is the Hell Gate Bridge, the Triboro Bridge and the Manhattan skyline.
The view under the Triboro bridge looking towards Randall's Island.
Sunday morning we were up at 6am for swim practice at Asphalt Green in the 50 meter pool. I love swimming long course and I love the challenge of the Sunday morning team swims.
Warm Up (800)
Main Set (1800)
300 swim, tempo pace on 6:15
3 x 100, descending on 2 minutes
300 swim, race pace on 6:15
Total: 2900 meters
In the afternoon we headed back to Asphalt Green for a spin workout. After a long warm-up and a few standing sprints we settled into the main set - a 40 minute time trial at threshold level. I kept my heart rate around 155 for the first 30 minutes and then pushed it hard for the last 10. In the last minute my heart rate climbed up to 177!
Total Time: 1:16:26
Average HR: 144
Max HR: 177
Overall it was a great training weekend! I am having some pain in my left quad and I'm not sure what is causing it. I felt it when I got up this morning but did not notice it when swimming or biking, however it is sore when walking and very tender to the touch. The only thing I can think of was that I did a few lunges on Saturday which are not a norm for me on weekends (but I do them on Mondays).... Hopefully some stretching/rolling and a good night of sleep will do the trick!
First, I won a mix CD from TK at Pigtails Flying! She does alphabetized play lists so I picked the letter K. My CD showed up with this awesome mix of songs:
Then last Tuesday I was paging through my Google Reader and saw the post on Journeys of a Triathlete Father of Five for the winner of the Timex Ironman Race Trainer Kit. I was reading the blog and then all of a sudden I realized I won the watch! Two wins in one month! I never win anything!
Yesterday I was browsing the webs before heading out to the gym and discovered that I had won the Road ID giveaway on Steve in a Speedo's blog! There were nearly 200 entries and just one winner - me! I'd like to think this is fate because I have a special connection to Steve since he lives in Minnesota and I'm from Minnesota. Also, I posted about his recent "Does it Work" series on Friday and then he picked me as the winner for an Elite Road ID! Good karma.
I think I need to go buy some lottery tickets! What's the best giveaway you've ever won?
Saturday, February 20, 2010
The biggest problem I have is always working in a higher zone. After a workout at Asphalt Green last weekend I heard the coach mention that we should have been in Zone 2 for a majority of the workout. I checked my Garmin data to discover I spent 50% of the time in Zone 3 and 30% in Zone 4. Apparently I was working much too hard for the profile, but I cant imagine doing less.
This problem is even worse on the run because I cannot run in anything less than zone 4 or zone 5. Rebecca DeWire suggested Mark Allen's approach to HR training and I'm thinking of reworking my zones and expectations based on his numbers. He suggests calculating your maximum aerobic heart rate (mine is 154) and doing all of the training below this heart rate. He had to slow his run pace to an 8:15 mile to keep his heart rate at this level. Well this is just fine when you normally run 6 or 7 minute miles but I really can't slow my pace much and still call it "running." I range between 9 to 9:30 per mile and if I slow down much more I'd just be walking...
Here is a profile of my hour run last weekend. My average heart rate is 168 and I spent 90% of the run in Zone 4.
How much does heart rate impact your training? Do you have different zones for running and cycling? What zone are you usually running in?
Friday, February 19, 2010
One of his series focused on online workout logs:
Does It Work: Beginner Triathlete, Buckeye Outdoors, Daily Mile, and Training Peaks
The only thing I don't like is that it is not as easy to track any workout other than swim, bike, run and strength training. You can track them but they show up differently in the calendar and are not included in the weekly total.
Do you track your training? What program do you use? And how much detail do you track? Time, speed, splits?
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
But today I had a bit extra time and all the snow had me craving something warm and comforting. After flipping through a few cookbooks I decided to make a yummy homemade vegetarian pot pie. I adapted this recipe from the excellent cookbook, Quick-Fix Vegetarian by Robin Robertson.
Here are the suggested ingredients. Pretty much everything is adaptable based on your preferences and what you have in the freezer. As long as you have veggies, protein source, gravy and pie crust then you are good to go!
1 large bag frozen mixed vegetables (~1lb) & handful frozen peas**
1 package tofu (or other meat substitute)
2 cans mushroom gravy
1 tsp. Thyme
Frozen Pie Crust (thawed slightly)
** I love peas. They are high in fiber and protein and they are very yummy. I add frozen peas to everything.
- Cook frozen veggies/peas in pot of boiling water (6-7 minutes).
- Saute chopped onions for about 5 minutes.
- Saute tofu using same pan from onions (I think you could skip this step if you are in a rush and it won't really affect the outcome too much).
- Mix veggies, onions, tofu, gravy and thyme into 2 quart casserole dish.
- Unroll the pie crust and place over top of veggies. Crimp edges and cut slits to release steam.
- Bake at 350 until crust is browned and flaky, about 40 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes.
You could also prep the veggie/pea/onion/tofu/gravy/herbs mix ahead of time and then just throw on the crust and put in the oven whenever you are ready to eat! It was the perfect meal after another snowy February day.
What do you crave on a snowy winter day?
Monday, February 15, 2010
Many of you are bloggers too and I really do cherish this special community we have created! I learn something new from each of you everyday and I hope that my experiences help you sometimes too! Here's hoping the second year is even better than the first!
P.S. Yes, that is a Hostess Cupcake. I had grand plans of actually baking something myself but you know how it goes... Not much time or energy left after work and training so I cheated and went across the street to the deli.
P.P.S. When I went to the deli it was snowing outside. I didn't actually think it was going to snow again! Only 5 more weeks of winter...
Friday, February 12, 2010
This weekend marks the holiday created by the chocolate companies and the greeting card industry to generate revenue after the slump of post-holiday sales - aka Valentine's Day. This also serves as another good reason for a road race. Runners seem to have a race to mark every holiday. Turkey Trots, Midnight Runs on New Years Eve, Labor Day, Memorial Day... The list goes on and on and Valentine's Day is no different.
I think the best VDay run is the Bradford Valentine Road Race in Bradford, MA. They are hosting two races, a 3.7 mile (6K) and a 5 mile race. All finishers get a box of chocolates and a flower! I love races that end with food! And who doesn't like a flower?! And, since all participants will get a box you don't have to worry about running too slow and running out of waffles... er chocolates.
If you can't make it to the Bradford Valentine Road Race and you live near NYC you could participate in Love Cubed, a 5K run along Hudson River Park to benefit the American Cancer Society sponsored by Jack Rabbit Sports and and Save the Date(ing). Following the run, mix and mingle with other New York singles while enjoying delectable hors d'oeuvres, a premium top shelf bar, raffle prizes and discounts on Jack Rabbit merchandise. 42 W. 14th St., Sunday, Feb 14th. 12pm fun run, 1pm-3pm open bar mixer.
If you're not in the mood to go running stop by Jack Rabbit Sports for the "Kiss Your Sweetie" promo: 15% off 2 pairs of shoes, 20% off 2 pieces of apparel when you kiss your sweetie at the register!
We already indulged in a large box of Valentine's chocolates sent by my mother-in-law (we may or may not have eaten them all in a one hour period after Monday's Tri Strength class...). Our Valentine's Day won't include any organized races. We'll do a usual Sunday with a morning swim workout at Asphalt Green, brunch, and an afternoon spin. Then were planning to come home to a delicious meal from the slow cooker. The options right now look like lasagna, chili or soup :) How will you celebrate VDay?
Thursday, February 11, 2010
The focus for 2010 will be on the Olympic distance this year with three A races:
North Country Triathlon
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Hague Beach on Lake George, NY
Massachusetts State Triathlon (my 2009 race report)
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Westchester, New York
In addition to the 3 Olympic distance races we are also planning on three sprint distances (include two we did last year: Pine Barrens & Tolland), a bike event, two swim races, a half marathon and my first full marathon).
Five Boro Bike Tour (NYC)
Saturday, May 2, 2010
42 mile bike through the five boroughs of New York City
Pine Barrens Sprint Triathlon
Saturday, May 15, 2010 - NJ
Distance: 1/2 mile swim, 24 mile bike, 4 mile trail run
Tolland Summer Solstice Sprint Triathlon
Saturday, June 19, 2010 - CT
Sprint Distance: 300 yd swim, 12 mile bike, 3.1 mile run
Steelman Open Water Swim
Sunday, July 11, 2010 (estimated) - PA
1.5 or 3 mile swim in Nockamixon State Park
**Special thanks to Rebecca DeWire for posting about this event!
Point to La Pointe Swim
Saturday, August 7, 2010 - Wisconsin
A 2-mile open water swim race across beautiful and mighty Lake Superior from Bayfield to Madeline Island, WI.
Crystal Lake Triathlon (sprint)
Saturday, August 21, 2010 - Albany, NY
Sprint Distance: 1/2 mile swim, 18 mile bike, 3 mile run
Grete’s Great Gallop Half Marathon
Saturday, October 2, 2010 - NYC
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Phew... That's quite the schedule! I'm getting tired (and broke) just looking at it! But, what do we train for if not to race? What do you have planned for 2010?
Saturday, February 6, 2010
I just got back from my excellent Saturday “long” run (just a smidge under 6 miles). It was quite cold and very windy today but luckily the forecasted snow managed to miss us completely (our neighbors to the South are not so lucky). My Saturday routine always includes a nice long weight lifting session so we headed to the gym first. It was so windy on my walk to the gym that I contemplated hitting in the dreadmill instead. But, I knew that getting in 6 miles on the treadmill would be pure torture so I decided to suck it up and run outside.
As usual I’m glad I headed outside. I warmed up pretty quickly and there was really only one other time where I felt cold and that was really just my face when the wind was blowing so hard that I couldn’t hear my iPod.
I started doing this route in early January and now that I have my Garmin I can easily track my progress. I’ve done the route four times in the last month and my times and splits have improved immensely! Today I even had my first split under 9 minutes! After seeing 8:48 for Mile 1 I was worried I was really going to pay for it on the next mile. Well, I held steady with 9:02, 9:05, and 9:02. On Mile 5 I was getting tired and there was a steep grade so my split slowed a bit down to 9:34 an the final .9 miles was 8:51.
|Mile 6 (.91)||8:51||10:19*||8:55||8:51|
*It started to rain after mile 3 so I put my watch in my pocket and it messed up my splits & average.
While I am thrilled with these improvements I don’t really know what has caused them! I do think that overall my running has greatly benefited from adding regular core training. I now do core exercises 5 times a week for about 10 minutes. I can hold better running form for much longer and I don’t start hunching over and shuffling my feet like this in the last mile of the Massachusetts State Triathlon last summer:
I also think that having the Garmin to track my splits has helped motivate me. I really like being able to see how fast I completed each mile and it motivates me to keep pushing! Did you notice a difference with your running after getting a GPS or heart rate watch?
Friday, February 5, 2010
I had tapped a couple people in my lane on the foot and they kindly let me pass at the wall. I went to pass another guy, kindly yet firmly tapped his toes and made my move to pass. Well, it was just like the highway. When I made my move he sped up and when we got to the wall he turned back and plowed me over. Technically it was my fault for attempting to pass so when we both stopped I quickly apologized. He proceeded to scream, "What the hell is your problem? Learn how to swim." (What is it with yelling before 9am in this city? I cannot handle aggression before my morning coffee.) So, we resume swimming and I immediately kick it up a notch and zoom by him.
The next thing I know I see the lifeguard at the end of m y lane. I figure I'm going to get reprimanded for attempting to pass so I just keep swimming, and swimming, and swimming... The lifeguard never moves from the end of my lane. I must have done about 600 meters and finally I had to stop because of some lane crowding. At this point I brace myself for a tongue lashing but luckily I've spent the last 600 meters forming the perfect response.
Lifeguard: "You're like a superwoman. You should move over to this lane (pointing to the other lane). It's the fastest lane."I moved over to the next lane with the "fastest" swimmers.
Me: "The what?"
Lifeguard: "The Fastest Lane."
Me: "Oh... Okay."
Fastest Swimmer 1: "Good morning."
Fastest Swimmer 2: "You'll fit in just fine in this lane."
Fastest Swimmer 1: "Yea. That guy is a bone head. He yells at everyone."
I took off swimming and cruised through the rest of my workout. I don't know exactly how much I did but I imagine it was around 1800 meters. After my swim I was getting ready in the locker room and some of the regular ladies were discussing the life guard. Apparently the life guard today goes easy on people but there is another guy who doesn't take any crap. Apparently he will even take a picture on his phone of people swimming down the middle of the lane so when he asks them to stay to the right he will have evidence when they insist that they are not swimming in the middle. Isn't that awesome?! I'll be back to the "new" pool next Friday. This time I'll be sure to start out in the "fastest" lane :)
Thursday, February 4, 2010
It was just another day at the office until you came to visit. You brought me a very special package. What could it be? I shook the package... Hmm... Could it be? I just ordered them on Tuesday... I open the package and found this...
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
At a recent trip to Jack Rabbit I noticed a display with a number of last seasons shoes on sale. They didn't have my shoe (New Balance 1224) but when I got home I looked online and found my shoes on sale for $71 - nearly 50% of the list price of $135. I really like these shoes so I bit the bullet and bought another pair. If you have a good pair of shoes from last year it might be worth looking around to see if you get a good deal on a clearance pair.
Speaking of shoes, City Sports has partnered with Soles 4 Souls to collect shoes to donate to Haiti. Today through February 7th customers can drop off gently worn men’s, women’s and children’s footwear to any City Sports location. When you drop off a donation of footwear, you will receive 10% OFF your next pair of footwear.
Six More Weeks of Winter...
Yesterday morning Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow which means we have six more weeks of winter to look forward to. This was confirmed by the snow we woke up to this morning and the weather forecast predicting another storm on Saturday. Have I mentioned how tired I am of winter?
Timex Watch Giveaway
Mark at Journeys of a Triathlete Father of Five is giving away a Timex Triathlon Race Trainer Kit. You have until February 14th and there are four ways to enter and you can enter to win here.
I didn't go to the pool last Friday even though I planned to. It was cold and my apartment was warm and I just could not motivate myself to go back outside. This Friday I'm going try a different NYC pool that is near my new office and I'm going to go before work instead of after work.
I have a very diffcult time getting myself to the pool in the winter. I was on the swim team in junior high and high school and I think all the dark nights of waiting for my dad to pick me up with frozen hair have seriously traumatized me. After I go swimming in the winter I cannot warm up - no matter what I do I am freezing for the rest of the day...
I enter a ton of blog giveaways but I never won anything, until now! TK at Pigtails Flying did a giveaway to celebrate her blog turning two. She was giving away cupcakes and mixed CD's. I won a mix CD! Woohoo! My blog turns one later this month... I might just steal this birthday giveaway idea :)
We did make it to the plunge site at the Chesapeake Bay but just as we were getting ready to enter the water at 3pm they canceled the plunge. An earlier group had gone at 1pm and apparently they spent so much time treating people who had adverse reactions to the cold that they did not want to put anyone else at risk. We were all
After dinner we headed down to Washington, DC. It was our first trip back since we moved from DC to NYC in December 2007. Our original plan was to go for a run on the National Mall in the morning and then have brunch with some of Sam's family. After much deliberation we decided to pass on the run because of the snow and ice on the streets and sidewalks. We still had brunch with family it was excellent to catch up with them as well (we had not seen them in over two years!). After brunch we made a stop at Eastern Market and drove past our old apartment building. DC really is such a beautiful city and absolutely wonderful running. It made me wish that I had gotten into running when I lived there!
On the trip home we decided