Thursday, March 31, 2011
We are moving to California in 3 weeks! I have been accepted into a nurse practitioner master program in San Francisco. The program starts in early June so we will be packing up a U-Haul and doing a cross country drive.
This is a going to be a crazy and exciting adventure!
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
One bad habit I’ve had is buying a less expensive substitute for an item that I really want. I do this to try to save money, but then I am often disappointed with the purchase because it is of less quality or it isn’t what I really wanted.
I’ve posted about this before. Do you remember those ugly pink tri shorts? In that same post I mentioned the capri pants I bought from Target. I posted about those pants on 2/23/10. In short, I bought some subpar workout pants at Target because they were cheaper than the quality pants that I really wanted.
Even though I don't really like them I’ve been wearing them for more than a year now (while also keeping a look out for a replacement, preferably on sale). Last week I stopped by the local running store and decided to get a new pair to use for my half marathon this weekend. Ever since I bought a pair of compression tights for recovery I’ve considered buying a pair of running capris with compression. I run faster in the winter than I do in the summer and I think part of that is because I wear long running tights in the winter as opposed to shorts in the summer.
Specifically I’ve been checking out the CW-X Women's Stabilyx 3/4 Tights. According to the CW-X website:
The Stabilyx tights provide optimum targeted support to the core and knees. They're ideal for activities with lateral motion such as skiing and snowboarding and for athletes seeking our best form of knee support. The patented CW-X Support Web™ bands together the muscles and ligaments of the lower leg to stabilize the knee and reduce vibration for increased efficiency. The CW-X Support Web™ also harnesses the midsection, supporting the lower abdominals, hips and back to channel power through the core. Variable compression facilitates circulation during and after activity, minimizing lactic acid build-up so that you can be active longer and recover faster.
On a side note, I know there has been a lot of debate about whether or not compression helps during activity or in recovery. The literature is all over the place – some studies show it helps while others show it doesn’t make a bit of difference. Ultimately I think it is a personal preference. And if you think they make you run faster or recover better than they might (even if it is just a placebo effect) and that is good enough for me.
So back to the issue at hand. The problem with the CW-X tights? They are really expensive. The regular running capris are around $60 but these are $90! Ouch! I tried on both pairs, multiple times. I compared prices. I may or may not have searched for better deals online while standing the dressing room…
But then I remember that post I wrote last year. And I remember how disappointed I was with those cheap Target pants. So this time I did something a little strange. I bought the item I wanted. Even though it was more expensive. Even though I really didn’t need it. I opened my squeaky wallet and laid down my card and walked out with my fancy new pants.
The result? I love them. They make me happy every time I put them on. I’ve run in them a few times and I like the way they feel. I’m not sure if they make me that much faster though… We will have to wait and see if I can break 1:55 at the MORE half marathon on Sunday :)
Do you make these compromise purchases like me or do you go straight for the
Friday, March 25, 2011
I’m currently blogging from an altitude of 32,000 feet somewhere over Tennessee. I’m on my way to Austin, TX for a very short trip for work. It’s a high of 86 degrees today in Austin. I’ll only be there for about 18 hours, most of which will be spent at an expo and an airport hotel. But, I’m a ‘half-is-glass-full’ kind of gal so I’ll take any opportunity for some warm weather! As an added bonus, I’ll get to hear Lance Armstrong speak. I’m not a huge Lance-fan, but I still think it’s exciting to be around such an amazing athlete (this is will be my third encounter with him).
When I was in Austin last month they were in the middle of a deep freeze. I went for a morning run. The temps were in the 20’s and the wind was intense. It actually felt colder than running in NY. It even snowed! Unfortunately I leave early tomorrow morning so I’ll have to wait until I get back to NYC to do my long run. Tomorrow’s high in Austin is 94 which is probably a little too warm for March running anyways… Yes, I’d much rather run in the freezing cold… I think… Right?
I am happy to get out of NYC even if it’s just for the day. The first official day of spring was last Sunday but you would never guess it. In fact,on Wednesday night/Thursday morning it snowed. I waited for the subway and cursed the white stuff. When will winter end?!
Training is going along well. I went to the AG tristrength weight training class last Monday night and my legs were still sore on Thursday. I must commit to doing squats and lunges a few times a week so that this soreness doesn’t kill me every time. To top it off, on Wednesday night we had a crazy hill repeat workout in the spin class. My coach is on the cycling team and because he missed the cycling team workout the day before he decided we would all do it together. Essentially we did an extended warm up and then the equivalent of eight Harlem Hill repeats. They were two minutes of explosive sprint climbing each with two minutes of recovery. It was incredibly hard but awesome too. Visualizing the hill profile for Escape from Alcatraz motivated me to push extra hard.
I was also happy to see that I was recovering well between hills. With each hill my heart rate would climb to 180 bpm, I’d hold that for the second minute, and then managed to get under 110 bpm during each recovery. Coach Mike said we earned a cookie with that workout. I love any excuse to eat a cookie so on the way home I stopped at the deli and indulged in a pack of Chips Ahoy.
Happy Friday and Happy Training!
Monday, March 21, 2011
After my crappy first ride I spent the next week knocked out by a nasty cold. After spending 4 days delirious on cold medicine with no endorphins I was going back and forth between thinking I should sell my beautiful new tri bike because I'm too much of a wimp to ride it and being determined not to let the bike beat me.
By Saturday I was feeling significantly better so we ventured out to Long Island to give it another go. We went to Heckscher State Park because it is a beautiful and, more importantly, empty park with a flat three mile loop. It was the perfect place to ride because I didn't have to worry about traffic or other cyclists while I figured out what the hell I was doing.
Sam was awesome and rode the first two loops with me. He gave me tons of tips and talked me through shifting and transitioning in and out of the aero position. I was nervous about the stability and moving back and forth between the breaks and the shifters, but Sam
It was very, very windy at the park and the longer we rode the more the wind picked up. At the worst part I was going 9 mph and felt like I was climbing a very steep hill. After 9 loops and 32 miles we called it quits.
I'm happy to report that this ride was much, much better. I actually love the feeling when I'm down in areo because I feel like I've got So.Much.Power. Plus, it's going to make for some great race photos ;) I'm still a little unsteady but I have confidence that with time and practice everything will be great!
I wrapped up the weekend on Sunday morning with a swim at Asphalt Green and then a long run in Central Park. The swim was great and we did a killer ladder session with a tempo swim of 100, 150, 200, 250, 250, 200, 150, 100 in the 50 meter pool.
My original plan was to do a 12 mile run but I cut a bit short because I didn't want to push myself too much since I'm still recovering from the cold. I ended up doing about 10 miles. Overall it was a pretty good, but expensive run. I was running the 'correct' way through the park (clockwise) but most runners run in the opposite direction. At mile 7 I was getting tired of dodging runners who refused to stay to their right and leave room for runners going the other way. At one point I decided not to surrender my lane for the millionth time and I strongly 'brushed' shoulders with another runner. Unfortunately, about a minute later I looked down to check my pace and found that my Garmin 305 had popped out of my wrist band. I ran back to find it but it was already gone. Either someone picked it up for it fell into a grate, never to be seen again.
My personality is generally to be overly nice and accommodating (hence my back pain, hives and foot pain) but sometimes the crowds in New York City bring out the worst in me. Three years ago I would never have made contact like that on purpose... I think I need to find a bit of my 'Minnesota-nice' again because this aggressive move cost me $135...
Sunday, March 13, 2011
I should be out on my inaugural ride right now, but instead I’m sitting on the couch sucking down cough drops, soup broth and watching bad TV while Sam is out riding by himself…
Even though I’m too sick to do anything active, I decided it was high time I shared some pictures of my new ride.
As long as I was taking my bike outside I couldn’t help but take her for a quick spin around the neighborhood. This is wear it got a little ugly… This bike feels so much more different than my road bike. I think it is a combination of the aggressive position of the saddle and handle bars and the women’s specific fit. Plus, it’s been more than 4 months since I’ve ridden my bike outside. So, I was so excited for my first ‘ride’ that I clipped in one foot and then promptly fell over. But I have to say it was a “good” fall because it didn’t hurt anything but my ego.
So after I got back up and brushed myself off it was time to go. I waited for a significant break in traffic (no need to fall down again in the middle of the road) and took off. I’m going to be honest here… I was scared sh*tless. The handling on a tri bike is completely different and it didn’t help that I had already fallen over once. At first I was freaking out and terrified that I just spent a ton of money on a new bike that I was going to be too scared to ride.
I biked down to Astoria Park where there was a longer flat stretch where I didn’t need to worry about cars and intersections. However, I was still too scared to get down in aero… Plus, whenever I try to look over my shoulder to check for cars I’m swerving all over the place. I think that it’s going to take me a bit longer to get used to this new bike than I thought!
But, I have to say that when I was biking up a small hill I could tell that once I'm used to this bike it's going to be awesome! It is so smooth and light - I'll be able to fly up those hills! I just have to keep reminding myself that it took time for me to get comfortable on a road bike and the tri bike is going to take time for me to get used to this bike too.
Once I got down to the water I took a few more pictures.
Most of the people down there were taking pictures of the bridge or the Manhattan skyline, but I was taking pictures of my bike!
During my bike fitting I upgraded to an Adamo road saddle. I can already tell from my fitting and my very short ride that I’m going to love this saddle! It looks a little funny but it takes all the pressure off the lady bits.
Friday, March 11, 2011
The conversation drifted away from swimming and someone mentioned horseback riding and dancing (like at a club).
I have no desire to go horseback riding because I think horses are big, powerful and scary. However, if I was with someone who wanted to go horseback riding I wouldn't necessarily be opposed to trying. On the other hand, the idea of "fast" dancing like at a club or a wedding terrifies me. Just thinking about having to dance in a social setting makes my stomach knot up and my throat constrict a little. When we got married we had a daytime wedding. There were many reasons for this but I would be lying if I didn't say that I was drawn to a small, daytime wedding because it eliminated any chance of someone trying to make me dance.
When I think about it these two things are somewhat surprising. My #1 hobby is a sport where riding a bike (fast) is very important and I think riding a bike is more dangerous than horseback riding. I don't know what to say about dancing since I don't even want to think about it...
As Gretchen Rubin from The Happiness Project said, "You can choose what you do; you can't choose what you LIKE to do."
What is something that scares you that others might be surprised to learn?
Thursday, March 10, 2011
KT Tape is applied along muscles, ligaments, and tendons (soft tissue) to provide a lightweight, strong, external support that helps to prevent injury and speed recovery. KT Tape works differently for different injuries... Depending on how it is applied, KT Tape supports, enables, or restricts soft tissue and its movement.One of my biggest fears about using kinesiology tape is that I would not know how to apply it correctly. KT Tape makes it easy because the box comes with precut strips and step-by-step instructions for every common injury from head to toe (plus videos on the website). And, if your pain is not listed in the included instructions you can submit your question on their website and they will send you custom application instructions!
Last week I applied the tape before my Monday morning run and then left it on for several days after. The tape can be worn for up to five days. I haven't tried leaving it on that long, but it did last several days and stayed stuck well even after several showers. I also tried the tape for my 11 mile run last weekend and while I still had some pain at the beginning and end of the run, I found that I didn't have the residual pain after and my shins were not sore to the touch the next day either.
I should mention that the removal was simple and painless (unlike band-aids) and it didn't leave gooey adhesive on my legs either. Overall, I give KT tape two thumbs up. I would highly recommend trying it for any minor sports injury. Check your local running store or find an online retailer on their website.
I was not compensated for this review in anyway. I discovered, purchased and tested the KT Tape all on my own.
Monday, March 7, 2011
Bed size: Queen
Chore you hate: Going to the laundry mat. In January I discovered the joys of drop-off laundry service. Best investment I've ever made. Some people treat themselves to a massage, I treat myself to laundry service.
Dogs: None. I always grew up with german shepard's and my parents have a springer spaniel, Lucky, that we got when I was in high school.
Essential start you day item: Coffee!
Favorite color: I just realized the other day that I don't really have a favorite color...
Gold or silver: Silver
Height: 5'4" (but I *think* I'm taller than that...)
Instruments: In first through fifth grade I took piano lessons. Then I played the french horn for four years which is about the dorkiest instrument you can play. I wanted to play saxophone but there weren't any openings in that part of the band...
Job title: Call Center Manager & Oncology Clinical Trials Specialist
Mom's name: Val
Nicknames: KG, Rock Solid
Overnight hospital stay: thankfully never
Pet peeve: lateness
Quote from a movie: "Nobody puts baby in a corner"
Right or left handed: Right
Siblings: 2 older brothers.
Time you wake up: 5:30AM, except Fridays and Saturdays
Vegetable you dislike: Beats. Ugh.
What makes you late: Not much. I hate lateness that I am always early to everything. I calculate the longest it could possibly take to get somewhere and then add 10 more minutes just to be safe.
X-rays you've had done: I broke my arm when I was six and then another x-ray when I fell while running in my neighborhood.
Yummy food you make: I'm a baker heart. I make some mean chocolate zucchini cupcakes!
Zoo animal favorite: Penguins
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
The Asphalt Green gala was a blast. It was fun to get dressed up for a night on the the town (or eatdinner-drinktoomuchwine-eatdessert-1am-bed).
|Asphalt Green Tri Club Gala |