Friday, March 28, 2008

Mesa Hill Repeats - Round II

Instructions were simple enough: Do one more than last time. GO!

But why oh why do the first two feel like complete HELL!!

I am definitely getting old because it takes me awhile to warm up. Sheesh.

1-2: Felt like crap
3-4: Working up a good sweat
5: Break even with last time
6: Championship set WOOT!

I felt like I could've banged out another. I was still able to ride the whole thing without getting out of my saddle and using my tee-tiniest gear for just the very last part of the last hill. However, had I done another, I would really have been done for in the legs. Again, I chose to live to fight another day.

I'm just waiting for the next set of instructions that will be..ok..same number as last time, but knock 5 minutes off your time....or something ridunkulous like that.

The other exciting piece to that workout is that I managed to do one trip DOWN Mesa WITHOUT using my breaks!!! YAY! No, I was not in my aero bars or looking anything remotely aero-ish...I was clutching the top bar between my knees, trying to keep loose, but hands very, very, very close to the breaks. YIKES! scary.

I Come in Peace....

Got this from a friend today and thought it was really cool.

Norbert Rosing's images of a wild polar bear coming upon tethered sled dogs in Canada's Hudson Bay. The photographer was sure that he was going to see the end of his dogs when the polar bear wandered in, but











The polar bear returned every night that week to play with the dogs.
How sweet is that!!! aaaaaawwwwwww. :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

LSD

No...not that kind!


After yesterday's GRUELING quality run workout, today called for some LSD - Long Slow Distance...10 miles..with water stops! YAY!
Unfortunately, looking at the calendar for the day, the only time to get this bad boy done was to do it in the morning after the kids were in school. So, after a power breakfast (360 calories! Rock on!!), I set out on a 10-mile run in the neighborhood. Did I mention where I live? Let's just say it's not called the Hill Country for no reason. *sigh*

I chose the flatest route I could find near my house which consisted of a 4-mile loop (which I did twice) followed by a 2-mile loop. Elevation looked like this:
That's about as flat as it is going to get because the other loop looks like this:

Yes...you see that correctly. Elevation going from 1000ish to 0.

I chose the first route. Call me a wimp if you like. I'd like to live to see tomorrow thank you very much. The other nice thing about that route is I get to pass my both my kids' schools, twice! I even got to see the Devonator playing outside! :) BONUS!

I took complete advantage of the "slow" instruction and muscled out a 9:00/M pace with two water stops as I passed my house. Watch out now. I know. However, according to McMillan, my long run pace should be between 8:42 to 9:42..so I feel like it was a fair pace, no? (someone throw me a bone here people, please!)

And to top off the day, after the kids had their swimming lessons, they really, really wanted to hang out in the kids place for "just a little bit....puhlease?!?!?!?!?!?"..... I acquiesced, sent them off to play with their friends and had a nice recovery swim of 2000yds.


I took the opportunity to work on some of the tips I picked up from Maurice at T3 including focusing on TPR (Touch, Pull, Roll), front-quadrant swimming, and (GASP!) how to use my legs while swimming! Now there's an interesting concept! You know what? If you flutter even just a little bitty bit, you can pick up some extra speed without doing squat with your upper body....who knew?


I tried the last 200 with the flutter and I could really tell the difference in my speed. Hmmmm....I'm going to have to work on that and see if I can't get that into my standard stroke.


Tomorrow?? MESA! WOOT!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Circuit Breaker

Wow. It was an interesting workout this evening....fun and hard! (Just like mommy likes it!)

Here's the basic circuit:

400M @ 5k Pace
50 Lunges (25 each side)
50 Step Ups
25 Squats


Repeat 4-6 Times...ready go!

So for starters, I figured my 5K pace was 7:04 which translates to roughly at 1:45 400M pace, right? But of course, there was Krissy so I had to try and keep up with her! ;) (I love it when she's there to kick my ass.)

And then when you think about step ups, I think about a nice little bench like the ones in aerobic class, or a log or something of similar height. But this is Camp Punishment....our step ups where on one of those platform-thingies at Austin High...you know the ones that are 2 feet tall? Yep, those ones. As Erin would say, Oye.

So here's my splits on the circuits:

#1: 400m - 1:35 (gonna pay for that later)
Lunges/Step ups/Squats/Recover - 7:06

#2: 400m - 1:32 (damn that Krissy)
Lunges/Step ups/Squats/Recover - 7:16

#3: 400m - 1:32 (well, there's something to be said for being consistent, right?)
Lunges/Step ups/Squats/Recover - 7:53 (really sucking wind on the step ups...holy shit)

#4: 400m - 1:33 (still hanging in there)
Lunges/Step ups/Squats/Recover - 8:07

Panther says we can stop at four. But to me, four was the ante. If you want to play with the big kids, you gotta raise.

#5: 400m - 1:33 (YES!)
Lunges/Step ups/Squats/Recover - 8:04

Panther says, ok..you're done. I'm thinking, no I'm not. I'm still holding pace, let's do another. Of course, I'd already been lapped by Triscuit and Glenda and they did 6, so what do you think I did? Panther says, fine...but no weights on the back end. Ok..alright. Let's just shut up and run.

#6: 400m - 1:36 (really, really working hard on this one)


Ok....we call it a day. I'm calling it 5.5 sets. Next time the goal is 6-8! Yikes! I think I could've sucked up and done the last half of the circuit, but everyone was done and heading in. I will live to fight another day. I still had the 1.5 mile cool down back to J&As, plus I'm staring down the barrell of a 10-miler tomorrow morning. Yep..best to call in the dogs and pee on the fire I think.

Whew! My legs are screaming already. But I LOVE IT! WOOT!

Monday, March 24, 2008

No More Pretty Piggies

As a delayed celebration for my marathon finish, a couple weeks ago I treated myself to a pedicure. Note that I had not had a proper pampering of the piggies since marathon season started as my feet were showing all the signs of marathon training. (read: toenails falling off, calluses, blisters, etc.) I figured what was the point anyway, they were just going to get trashed until I finished this thing anyway, so I let them go. (Except for painting the first two toes red as they showed through my peek-a-boo FMHs...so they had to at least APPEAR decent.)

It was an interesting event. I feel for the poor gal as she pulled my feet from the pedi-sauna and just reviewed the mess of my feet. I was a little embarrassed, but kept thinking how cool my finisher's medal looked hanging in my office.

After much work on her behalf, my spring-sandal-wearing-ready feet emerged with spanking new pink (of course) polish. YAY!!!

However, after today's run, I'm remembering why I needed all those calluses after all. Ouch! Dammit!

It's been sometime since I did a 7-mile run with a decent speed effort. The focus lately has been on the bike. And while I thought I was moving along at a pretty decent clip, I checked my stats afterwards and it turns out I was only running my Half-Marathon pace! (7:44/M) WTF? And I have to say, I'm feeling it in the hip flexors already!

I feel like I've lost some speed over the last month since the marathon ended. Rats. Well now that the schedule has called for more running, I guess I'll have the opportunity to pick that up a bit. Tomorrow's quality run calls for 400s @ 5K pace. That's supposed to be 7:03/M. Ugh. No better time than the present to work on some speed, right?

I'll let you know how it turns out. Wish me luck.

An Actual Swim Workout...GASP!

Today, I ventured over to Courtyard to checkout the swim workout put on by T3.

I must say, it has been quite sometime since I actually did a group swim workout...I mean seriously...probably since the middle of last summer. And I'd forgotten how much I really enjoy it!!

I introduced myself to the coach, Maurice and he said, "Oh yea...I've seen you around at races." I'm not quite sure how to take that...but you figure there are only 4 of us in Austin. And by us I mean black female triathletes. And yes, we all know each other. It's a very elite group! ;)

And since I was wearing my Stanford cap (sporting the colors this week -- GO STANFORD!), he asked, "so -- did you go to Stanford?" "Well, yes, I did," I replied. "Well, I swam at Texas." And then there was the awkward moment of silence...because you know Stanford and Texas are BIG TIME rivals in swimming.

"But now that we're out of school, I'm actually good friends with the guys from Stanford." And with that I knew it would be safe to enter the water. ;)

It was a great workout. Got foot cramps and everything. Ahhh....good times.

All in all, I swam 2700yds.
Started with a warm up and drills. Followed that with something like:
300 - swim @80% effort - 30sec recovery
200 - swim @85% effort- 30sec recovery
100 - swim @ 90% effort- 30sec recovery

300 - pull @ 80%- 30sec recovery
200 - pull @85%- 30sec recovery
100 - pull@ 90%- 30sec recovery

400 - kick w/fins @80%- 30sec recovery
300- kick w/fins @85%- 30sec recovery
200- kick w/fins @90%- 30sec recovery

Then 4X100 with swim and drills and a cool down.

I think I held my own within the group as at the end of the first swim set Maurice said, "Hey..I didn't realize you were that fast...next time we'll have to move you over a lane." (Yea for me!!) "So, what's your pace like in a race?" I responded, "Somewhere between 1:40 and 1:50." He gave me the "hmmm...interesting.." head nod. I'm hoping that means, "yes, I can work with this one."

I'm thinking I'm going to sign up for their swim program. This was there will be NO LOLLYGAGGING in the swim. YAY!

Easy Week and March Madness

Well, I certainly took advantage of my "easy" week. So much so that I'm not even going to post my mileage here. I am lame.

Actually, I only took one extra day off, so I guess it wasn't really that bad. Just feels like it. Top that off with all the extra eating of crap and candy due to the holiday weekend and the inlaws being in town. YIKES!

Oh well, this week we are back at a hard week. Should be fun!! YAY!

AND, I would not be a good alumnus if I didn't give a shout out to my BELOVED CARDINAL!

GO STANFORD GO!

Taking on Texas on Friday night. WOOT! Should be a good game. I will root for Stanford regardless of whether or not I think they will actually win. I don't care. That's just how I roll. I may don my Dollie outfit at least once between now and Thursday just to get in the mood. :)

HOOP it up!
Hoop, Hoop it UP!

I love March Madness.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Why Visual Aids Work

Tomorrow, Shay is off from school. AGAIN. I know...I KNOW!

So, this morning I told him that one of the things we really needed to take care of tomorrow is a trip to the grocery store. Here's how the conversation proceeded:

Shay: "I have an idea. Why don't you go by yourself today while I'm at school?"
Mommy: "Interesting idea. Thanks for offering that up. I tell you what, I'll go today by myself, but I'll only get the things on the list that are for me?"
Shay: "Well, ok."
Mommy: "Ok, let's review the list together and you mark off the things that are for you and whatever's left I will get, alright?"
Shay: "ok."

We get out list and I give Shay a red pen.
Shay: "bread - you or me?"
Mommy: "what do you have in your lunchbox everyday?"
Shay: "a bologna sandwich." Shay marks through bread with red pen.
Shay: "grapes, celery and apples - you or me?"
Mommy: "what do you have in your lunchbox everyday?"
Shay: "grapes or celery or apples." Shay marks through with red pen.
Shay: "turkey breast - you or me?"
Mommy: "when you don't have bologna in your lunch box, what do you have?"
Shay: "turkey breast." Shay marks through with red pen.
Shay: "waffles?"
Mommy: "what do you eat for breakfast on the weekends?" Shay marks.
Shay: "juice boxes, cheese cubes, go tarts, goldfish?" Mark, mark, mark, mark.

Mommy: "what's left for me to get at the store today?"
Shay: "Yogurt and diced peaches for Devon and dog food for the dogs."

Mommy: " "
Shay: " "
Mommy: " "
Shay: "maybe we should go to the store tomorrow together."
Mommy: "That's a great idea!!"

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Gangly Adolescent Giraffe Sighting!!

I've been a dancer for as long as I can remember. I generally like to consider myself somewhat graceful and coordinated, even under odd circumstances (ala RDR 07).

Today, however, I proved all of that viciously and vehemently FALSE.

The run workout was simple...2 miles of straights and curves, but sprinting the curves.

I was bummed when our group workout on Tuesday was called on account of the crazy weather. (Although the weather turned out to be just fine....but the company and bevies at McCormick and Schmidts were even better! Here's to SITC Austin-style!) I knew I would have really pushed if there were some quick little bunnies out there on the track in front of me (Kris, Glenda!)

Regardless, I bucked up and set out to the track today to get it done on my own. I forgot my watch, so I had no idea what my pace was like and/or how it was dropping off on each subsequent straight. But I do know this...

I felt like some lame ass Yugo, that at speeds above normal, things start to shimmy and shake, the integrity of the machine goes all to hell, and at any moment the axel is going to simply separate from the rest of the vehicle and wheels will go shooting off in every direction.

Seriously, I've been likened to a gangly giraffe before -- all long limbs, crazy ass big stride, etc. Well, I certainly lived up to that today. My lord, I must've looked ridunkulous.

Especially in the later sets, whenever I started sprinting as hard as I could, my form went to hell in a handbasket. I'm sure the onlookers were being well entertained. I mean seriously. I could feel how bad I must've looked.

I really tried focusing on keeping tight, steady, even....arms close to the body, not crossing in front, fore front running on the balls of my feet -- but to no avail...everything just kept breaking down towards the end of the sprint.

I was totally that gangly adolescent giraffe who first starts running and feeling out their legs and then there body kinda gets ahead of them and then its really just this controlled falling until eventually the poor thing ends up face down, legs entangled behind in some awkward heap.

I'm kinda glad now that no one in my group was there to witness the debacle. The Gazelles were there, but I don't know any of them thank goodness. Although, I feel really bad that I was wearing a Rogue shirt. They must've been like...thank goodness we train with Gilbert and not Rogue...I mean look at what they are turning out!!

Sorry Rogue. Sorry Panther. Sorry Camp Punishment. sigh.

On a recap note, here are my totals from last week -- which I thought was pretty decent given that I had the kids home all week for spring break...

Swim: 2500yds
Bike: 108 miles
Run: 13.5miles
Gym: 1 time

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Spring Break '08

Wow. When I think back how Spring Break '88 went down compared to this year....my...how times have changed.

No loading up the car with girls, booze, food, more booze and enough bikini's to outfit...well, actually the entire cheerleading squad. No road trippin' down to South Padre to spend the days laying out in the sun, walking the beach, jumping into jeeps with cute boys, getting into fights, talking/flirting our way out of trouble with the PD, partying until the sun came up at the SunChase IV.

Nope. My spring breaks have an entirely different flavor now.

Instead of hangin with my girls, looking for cute boys in jeeps....I'm chillin with my cute boys looking for cool cars...like this one we found! How cool is that!!


And instead of a game of quarters, we played "Guess Who?"
Instead of chips,salsa, queso and other junk, we ate chips, grilled cheese and apples:

We bowled (which is something we might have done back then..just not sober):



We golfed (which is something we also might have done..just not sober)




We snacked on Krispy Kremes (same...probably...but not sober, and we would've washed it down with something other than milk...)



Instead of fishing for cute boys, I had cute boys looking for fish. And checking out the local scenery took a new twist:


We snuck in some exercise (which we totally would NOT have done back then...)

And snuck in some science at the Children's Museum







And for more exercise during the week and to make sure we followed tradition and meet up with some civil servants, we rode out to our fire station...and followed that with our own version of Smash 'Em Up Derby. I'm not sure who won though...


But pretty much every day ended up with everyone like this:
Which is precisely how the days ended in Spring Break '88 (well sans the binkie).

Good Times.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Decisions, decisions

So Jack has been thinking about ways to trick out my bike if I keep the existing frame (which I really do love actually -- and several people have mentioned might be the way to go...JJ, Panther, Jack specifically).
Here's some of the upgrades Jack's got in mind:


HED Jet 50's
Ultegra Cranks
Profile Cobra Wing Base Bar
Profile Razor Post Carbon (aaahhhhh...thank you)
DA 10 BE Shifters
Profile T2 Cobra Aerobars
Ultegra Cassette, Front and Rear Derailer
Profile QS Carbon brake levers
Ultegra 10 Bottom Bracket
Ultegra Chain


He'd also like to pimp my bars with some fancy color that would pick up the highlights on my frame and the new race wheels...but I don't know...I may have to stick with black...
What say you?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Swim, Bike - Fail Etiquette Class

Finally some GORGEOUS weather yesterday for spring break! YAY! I love the heat. Did I mention I'm a tropical people?

Unfortunately, the pools that I currently train in are inside. :( As much as I didn't want to, I left the beautiful day and headed indoor for my swim workout. I copied Lulu's last workout, affectionately calling it Lulu's Ladder and swam the following:
300yd - warm up
300 - kick (I am SLOW as molasses when I just kick...I swear this took like 20 minutes)
300 - pull

Intervals:
25Hard - 25Easy
50H-50E
75H-75E
100H-100E
100H-100E
75H-75E
50H-50E
25H-25E

600- cool down

Total Yds: 2500

It has been awhile since I did some hard intervals, so I was really feeling it. The easy's were a good reminder of how it feels to swim when you are tired, like after the sprinting start in a tri. Breathing every two, trying to regroup without losing ground. Ahhh, the feeling came rushing back in a hurry. Also, went all out on the last 25, got foot cramps and everything. nice.

Followed that with an easy ride of a warm up around the veloway followed by two autobahn loops. And here's where I failed my etiquette class. So, JJ pulled the first loop around the autobahn. I did my best to keep up, following Panther's tips on riding with faster riders, like snuggling in close when you are tired but staying out of the draft zone and working hard when you can.

I am always grateful to ride/run with people faster than me as it pushes me to really work. But I don't want to be that much slower that they don't want to train with me again...I mean, they need to get in their workout too, right??

So, when it was my turn to pull, I had a singular focus. Don't be slow. Work. No lollygagging. I knew I had worked hard just to stay close the first time around, so I was going to have to really, really push it to pull correctly.

Well, I was so focused on working hard to maintain EXACTLY a 21mph pace for as long as I could, I never looked back, not once...couldn't spare the energy as I was dying to maintain the pace. Of course in my obsession to keep my speedometer saying 21, I was not a very good puller. Totally blew the ebb and flow of the hills and the straights. It's supposed to be an average, D. Needless to say, I did not provide the same support I was given on the way out. Totally uncool. I suck. Note, this is NOT how to get nice people to ride with you again. Crap.

Public apology stated here.

I need to throw just as much focus into social norms like proper bike etiquette and showing up on time. (CP time be damned!) Sorry guys. I'm working on it. I swear. Now I go wallow in self-disgust.

Carry on.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tuesday Quality Run

So, yesterday was the first quality run of the new season. We headed out from J&A's and shot over to the AHS track.

Finally, we had some nice weather and I think everyone was anxious to get the party started. On tap, 4-6 800's at 10k pace with 200M recoveries. Ready. Go.

But let's back up a sec...in effort to NOT sandbag or lollygag this year (many thanks to those of you who have called me out on this. you know who you are. no really. thanks.), I've been trying to figure out what my goal pace for training should be.

Here's what I've been perusing....

So, if I take my best running race from the winter, that would be my 3M race, time of 1:41...which is a 7:03 5k pace and a 7:18 10k pace as my goal paces for quality run workouts. (Compared to my 10k pace of 7:42 that I trained at for the marathon.) According to Friel's The Triathlete's Training Bible (I heard it was a good reference) as a rough estimate you lose 5% speed on your run pace in a triathlon. Therefore, my triathlon run pace goal would be 7:24. My best triathlon run pace last year was 7:37. So that's over a 20% increase in speed over last year, right? That seems like a reasonable improvement, right?

However, it was pointed out that this pace is in fact a "Date pace" and not a goal pace per se. So please weigh in either via comment or the poll in the right hand column and let me know what y'all think about goal pace setting. PLEASE!!! All input is needed and welcomed! :)

Nonetheless, I did yesterday's workout at a 7:18 pace and it kicked my ass. I did 6. (Rule for this season: do the upper bound, puke, fall\injure myself, or call on account of darkness -- whichever comes first.)

I haven't worked that hard running in awhile. phew. So, I figured if it was a 7:18/M, then my 800's should be 3:39, right? (If my math is wrong, someone please tell me...). Here's how it went down:

1 - 3:36 (recovery: 1:12)
2 - 3:38 (1:16)
3 - 3:39 (1:21)
4 - 3:39 (1:26)
5 - 3:43 (1:13) -- was dying here..ended up walking the recovery but only walked 100m
6 - 3:32

Afterwards, I felt a little queasy. We had no water at the workout (thanks Panther!) and I definitely could've used some right then. But I pulled myself together and walked back to the group. (After all, Texas Iron was working out there also....had to look decent!).

When I got back around, I saw Erin with this look on her face. She said, "I should've done 6 shouldn't I?" I just looked back at her quietly with a look that I hope said "are you really asking that question?" and instead simply said, "I'll wait." I posted up as the others took off on the return trip home and she set off for her last set. YES! Atta girl.

We took the long way back at a nice pace. My legs felt good and tired. Just as they should.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Bike me

Bike, bike and more bike

That was the theme from this weekend. Knocked out a very nice 50-miler on Saturday with Tim S., Kris, Erin, Glenda and Scott D. We somehow managed to keep a moderate pace all the way to the turnaround..which is a monumental feat in and of itself. We picked up the pace on the way back, but nothing too crazy. It was a nice ride. Finished it off with a small 1-mile run just to remind ourselves how painful running off the bike really is. Duly noted. Thank you.

I managed to keep up with Glenda on the run...only because she was running at a really, really easy pace for her...but whatever, I'll take it!

But following that and a fantastic lunch at Maudie's with Kris, Tim and Carri (not Kerry - she was in Ireland), I had a nice trip over to J&A's where Jack has begun to work his magic on the next incarnation of my two-wheeler. It was great watching him look at my bike, make some notes, watch me pedal, make some notes, whip out his tape measure, take some measurements, make some notes. It was like watching an artist at work!

One option is a brand new bike. My particular geometry (read: my body is hella whacked out...long limbs, really, really short torso, I've been likened to a baby giraffe.. uber sexy I know...try to control yourselves) makes it challenging to fit on standard-sized frames, so we have some obstacles to overcome from the get go. However, Jack had a carbon Guru (closeout from last year) in stock in about my size that he offered to let me test ride. Well..uh..yes! So, he made some adjustments to fit me, threw on a carbon seat post (yes, I have NOT been riding around on a carbon seat post on my old bike...SORRY! I didn't know!), set some aggressive aero's and let me have it to ride around.

Sunday's ride provided a great opportunity to take it for a spin on the veloway and autobahn. First thing I noticed was the disappearance of a lot of the usual jarring I feel. Man, carbon is nice. It's one of those things that you didn't notice until it was gone, you know?

The second thing I noticed was the components. Talk about a smooth shift. Mmmmmm....like butter. My 105's have got to go people. Got. To. Go.

Anyway, I definitely like the feel of the ride, but I'm not so jazzed about the look. I really like how my Cronalu looks...and hell, if I can't be the fastest, I'd at least better look good, right? So, I'm stopping by the shop tomorrow to chat some more with Jack and see what else he's got on his list.

Oh...followed the 30 mile veloway/autobahn ride with a 3-mile run. First half mile SUCKED! But definitely got better after that. Glenda and I kept somewhere between an 8:00 - 8:10 pace. Good for me...slow for her. She's so nice to run with me. THANKS GLENDA!!

So, last week's totals:
Swim: 4000 yds
Bike: 109 miles
Run: 16 miles
Weights: 1 time

ADDENDUM: Wiley pointed out that J&A's will be closed tomorrow (Tuesday), so I guess it'll be wednesday before I get to do more bike shopping. dang.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

On Your Bike..Get Set...GO!

So after taking a much needed day off on Thursday, Friday we were back at the bike. (My mommy parts were in full protest..but hey...only way to make that better...well, maybe more..but I digress.)

MESA HILL REPEATS!

Oh yea, baby. Somehow last season, I missed out on a bunch of these because of my race schedule. It never failed that they day we were supposed to be doing these, I was in taper for a race that weekend. Pooh.

But not this time. We headed out with the instruction of 3-4 hill repeats. But following my season goal of NO SANDBAGGING...I went in with the mentality of Go until you puke, get run over, or crash your bike or darkness falls....whichever comes first.

The first one felt like complete crap. I was seriously wondering if I was going to make it to 3. Second felt marginally better. Third felt way better.

So, I get to the top and everyone is there waiting on me. (I may be slow, but I will finish eventually.) And I say, "what the hell is everyone doing standing around?" Panther says, "Yay..we're done!" And I review my checklist with everyone, "Has anyone puked? Is there a broken bike? There's still light left...." All I got was that look..you know the one that says, "who the hell let that crazy black girl in this group?" And then they clipped in and starting pedalling back to the cars.

I said to myself, well, I haven't puked, my bike is still good and there is definitely enough light for one more....and he said 3 to 4. If I want to be AG competitive, I need to do the top number, not the bottom.

So I flipped a U, grabbed the top tube between my knees, got a good grip on my brakes and starting hauling down Mesa. I ain't scared to ride alone. Hell, we are in Northwest Hills...worst case scenario is someone mistakes me for staff! ;)

Got to the bottom (promptly dropped my chain..dang it) and started heading back up. And what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a lightning fast Kris on her shiny reindeer...well, on her bike at any rate. "I hate you!" she yelled as she passed by on her way down.

YAY! I thought to myself...Kris to the rescue! So we chugged up another repeat. We got to the top, I felt good, dammit. Yes, it was tough. But I only used my smallest gear on the very last portion of the hill and stayed seated the whole time..didn't stand once. That meant I could still go.

Checked my voicemail to make sure all was well with the kiddos, as a mere formality asked Kris is she was ready for another because I knew she would go if I went, she sighed, resolved and said yes and went haulin ass down the hill again. YAY!

I got to the bottom and dropped my chain..again. Dang it! And watched Kris pedal away from me up the hill. Well, it was a sight I'm used to seeing...her way ahead of me...me just trying to keep her in my sights.

Made it to the top...seated still..and only using my easiest gear for the very last part. YES!

Check list. Puking? not quite...but my tummy did feel a little queasy. Bike broke? no. Enough light? Unfortunately, no. So we called it on account of darkness. But Kris and I both agreed later after downing a well deserved (we felt) beer, that we could've eeked out another.

Daylight savings starts tomorrow, right?? :)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Riding in the Wind Tunnel (aka Parmer Ride)

Erin, Kris and I set out on an easy 60-90minute ride on Parmer yesterday.

Ok...let's break down a couple things that are wrong about that sentence.

1. Easy Ride & Parmer
2. Erin, Kris and I & Easy ride

Does not compute.

Going out (west) on Parmer was actually quite pleasant. The wind was behind us, the sun shining gloriously and we, just chatting and spinning away. Then we flipped a U and WHAM! Hello WIND! OMG!

All of the sudden, everyone settles down low into their aeros and starts working against the wind. And then we weren't just working against the wind...we were pushing each other up and down the hills!

Those ladies crack me up. We are like a bunch of racehorses with no jockey...just going hard until we keel over. *sigh*

When we finished our loop and ended back at Lifetime. Erin, of course, noted that we had only ridden 19.25 (or something like that), so we LITERALLY rode around the parking lot until we got to 20. Yes, we are dorks like that. Of course, that still didn't top Kris who had put in 5 or so before she met us and another 5 to get back home.

So, I made Erin run a mile with me after our bike ride...just for the hell of it. She loves me.

I topped the workout day off with swim. A 500yd warmup followed by a 1000yd time trial (17:17) and a 400yd cool down.

I love triathlon season.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Gym QuickBricks

Yesterday we tried out a new workout which was the following:

- Run 1 mile warmup
- 5 sets of leg presses with the most weight you can lift for 10 reps
- Run on dreadmil, 1/4M warmup, 3/4M at 30 secs slower than 10K pace
- 3 sets hammie curls, 10 reps most weight, 3 sets leg extensions, 10 reps most weight
- Run on dreadmill, 1/4M warmup, 3/4M at 10K pace

So that was the plan. We decided to run our warmup from the Annex so we could enjoy the glorious weather and not have to deal with parking at the downtown Gold's. That turned out to be a very nice adjustment.

We got to the gym and I realized I actually haven't lifted legs in a bizillion years (for fear of tearing into the female version of the hulk on my bottom half...it's true...my legs used to be so huge, I couldn't wear jeans...no lie. I fear getting that bulky again, so I've shied away from leg weights), but in effort to increase my power and speed on the bike, I've agreed to lift legs. HOWEVER, the minute I have to size up my jeans because of my ass or legs, I'm stopping. Let it be written, let it be done.

On the leg presses, since I had no idea what weight to lift, I started with a plate on each side. Finished the 10 no problem. The next set I added 25s. No sweat. Next set, swapped the 25s for 35s. Next set, swapped the 35s for 45s. And finally for the last set, I had 2 45s and a 10 on each side. Finished the 10 reps. Clearly, I need to do some testing in the gym for max weight.

On to the first run. So, I've decided to take my best race from this winter and plug that into McMillan for my training paces. That would be 3M. (Yes, I know it's a fast course..but why not?). So that puts my 10k pace at 7:18. (yikes!)

Banged out the first run at the required 7:48. Cool. On to extensions and presses. Did those at 50lbs. (I think...) Felt pretty good.

On to the next run, kicked it to 7:18. Ugh. Legs were feeling tired and I was definitely wondering how in the hell I was supposed to do that pace for 6.2 miles. Yea..right. Oh well, only one way to get faster, right?? One good thing about the dreadmill, no cheating on the pace!

Afterwards, we all still felt pretty good so we decided to throw in an upper body workout as well. Couldn't hurt, right?

Bench, flys, military, lat pull, rows, more flys, curls, pushdowns and probably a couple more I can't remember. Felt good throwing some iron around. We finished off with some core work and a cool down back to the annex.

All in all, a GREAT workout! Thanks Erin and Kris...y'all ROCK! WOOT!

Monday, March 3, 2008

P of A - Rev 1.0

Well, it worked. Kinda...needs some revising but it went like this:


2:30 - pack snacks, swimming gear for mom and boys, mommy changes into running gear
2:45 - pick up Shay
3:00 - pick up Devon and drive to Townlake YMCA
3:20 - Arrive, depart with all of our gear, check boys into kids center
3:33 - Hit H&B trail and text Erin (and Karma) that I'm on my way
3:34 - Run into Laura K. (freelance writer extraordinaire and old friend) and have to catch up on her life, Jamie, and get lots of puppy love from her two beautiful goldens Cooper and Jake
3:39 - Resume run...supposed to meet Erin at 3:45 at I35..gonna be late (surprise! I know.)
3:?? - Meet Erin and Karma coming towards me (since I was late), they flip a "U" and we continue on trail
4:15 - Leave Erin and Karma near Auditorium shores as I realize I've got to really hustle to get all the way around and back to the Y before Devon's swim class starts
4:40 - Arrive back at the Y, get boys from kids' center, change boys into swim suits
4:50 - Devon's swim class starts. Shay and I sit poolside and do homework, write spelling cards, and read his book.
5:20 - Devon's swim class ends. Shower him down, changes his clothes, check him back in to kids center
5:30 - Shay's swim class starts. Mommy hops off to change into swim clothes, shower off and start my swim workout, but has to wait for 10 minutes for a lane to open up. ARGH!
6:20 - Shay's swim class ends. Mommy completes 2000yds. Shower Shay down, changes his clothes, go get Devon from kids center (again), depart Y.
6:45 - Arrive Jason's Deli for dinner! Devon has spaghetti and meatballs plus cornbread muffins from salad bar. Shay has mac 'n cheese and organic apples. Tried a muffin. Didn't like it. Preferred a pile of shredded cheese instead. (The boy likes cheese. I have no idea where he gets it.) Mommy has a cup of chili and a....wait for it...a SALAD! I know! Can you believe it?? More on that in another blog post...
7:30 - (Supposed to be bedtime!) Arrive home. Unload 2 school bags, boys' swimming bag, boys' snack bag, mommy's backpack, and Jason's Deli leftover containers from car and get inside.
7:40 - (Yes, it took 10 minutes to get out of the car with all our stuff and get inside.) Shay feeds dogs and hamster. Boys get pj's on, potty, brush teeth, potty again.
8:00 - In bed, lights out. Devon says he's not tired. Shay says his tummy hurts. Devon wants me to lay on the floor next to him and hold his hand until he falls asleep. (Common occurrence...I have pillow and blanket next to the bottom bunk for this purpose.)
8:05 - Snoring from both the top and bottom bunk. Boys are done.

Phew.

Now mommy needs a shower and then I think I'm going straight to bed. I'm tired!!!

P of A

Yes, I'm a Capricorn. Yes, I like having a Plan of Attack...for everything.

Ok...somehow I've got to get the following done in the next 5 hours:

- pack snacks, swimming suits and workout gear for Me, Shay and Devon
- pick up Shay from school (2:45)
- pick up Devon from school (3:00)
- drive to downtown
- Mommy runs 7 miles
- Devon has swimming lessons at 4:50 (Mommy must be poolside)
- Shay has swimming lessons at 5:40 (Mommy need not be poolside)
- Mommy has swim workout
- Help Shay with homework and reading of his "book buddy"
- Showers for everyone post-swim (but I can no longer take Shay into ladies locker room!)
- Dinner for everyone
- Drive back to north Austin
- Bedtime: 7:30pm

It should work somehow, I think, I let you know later how it turns out.... or if you have a good plan, please feel free to share it!

Oye.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Tri Season Starts....NOW!

Bye bye Marathon...Hello Triathlon!

What better way to kick off tri training than with a boot camp?? Nothing like three days of hard workouts to awaken those long lost muscles (since I took a very generous vacation from cycling anything significant since October...) and to remind the spirit of what a brick really feels like. Oye.


We started on Friday with a running workout of Wilke repeats. Somehow last season, I'd managed to miss each one of these workouts...somehow. ;) But not this time, we bucked up with the instruction to do minimally 2...but would really like to see 4-5..or until people couldn't go anymore...or until 6:25, whichever came first. After 5 repeats, Panther told us we did great and we could stop. I looked at my watch...it said 6:20. But I wanted to set in my own mind that this year was going to be about working hard. No sandbagging. No mailing it in. No quitting early. I said Hell No..Let's do One More!! We rallied and did 6!!! Personally, I think we could've done more...hell, Triscuit and Glenda were talking on the way up...the steepest part...of the last repeat! I thought about cracking skulls and getting everyone to do one more, but I knew we had two more days of hard training ahead of us....best not to blow up on day 1, right?


Day 2 found us pedalling through the pines on the Bastrop ride. Oh my, is it gorgeous out there! WOW! The only bummer was that in the super hilly section in the first 15 miles or so, the roads were really congested with riders....and bike walkers...and fallers. Seriously, it was like cyclocross or something. At one point on a steep hill, there were people walking their bikes on the right hand side, two separate piles of cyclists who had fallen over on the left hand side AND a string of cyclists spanning completely from the left to the right of the narrow road...all fallen over on the ground. As we approached I just kept saying over and over...I just need one little bitty path through, that's all I need, just a few inches that I can shinny through... Fortunately, just as we got to the line of people, some had managed to untangle, unclip and right themselves and their bikes enough to let the other riders pass through without suffering the same fate.


The anxiety when approaching each hill was higher worrying about who's going to crash into you versus how the hell you were going to pedal up the hill.


Fortunately, we all made it through without a scratch. When we got to the first rest stop, I thought to myself. Oh my...if the rest of the ride is going to be this hilly...I'm in serious, serious trouble. Lucky for me..it wasn't. As soon as we popped out of the park, it was pretty much wide open spaces on Hwy 71. Our "nice and easy" ride had us cranking along around 20-22 mph. We had a blast pacelining our way past the beautiful countryside...and other cyclists. ;)


I even got to bridge up Triscuit to the group when she had fallen back a bit. It was really cool, because you don't really get to do a lot of "team" types of things in triathlon. I slowed down a bit until Triscuit caught up to me. Then I did what others have done for me, which I remember being ever so grateful for. I told her, "Get on my wheel, I'll bridge you up." She said ok and snuggled in behind me. I settled into my aero bars, put my head down, peaked over the top of my shades and started pedalling. The group was still going at a good clip, there was wind and a little bit of a rise. It felt good to be working hard though. Every now and then, I'd peek back to make sure Triscuit was still there, then I'd face front and keep pushing.


I like being a chaser. It is cool to close the distance, hawk someone down and reel them in. I had a blast bridging her and I felt like I'd helped out a teammate. That was also the kind of tone I wanted to set for my season. I miss being on a team. It's kinda hooky, I know. But I really like the whole dynamics of team sports.


Anyway, it was a great ride and we followed that up with a one-mile jaunt through the neighborhood. Wow. I'd forgotten how bad bricks felt. YIKES! It pretty much took the whole mile before my legs felt like legs and not cinder blocks.


Day 3 found us out at the veloway for some more riding. We warmed up, worked on some cycling drills and then did a time trial. Round and round the veloway we went. I started a little behind Kris and Triscuit because I wanted to use them as rabbits. I saw Glenda briefly at the start, but after the second turn I pretty much didn't see her. (I think she said she averaged 22mph!).


I was able to keep Kris and Triscuit in my sights and actually close a little on them. But big kudos came to Erin who started behind us all and then pretty much blew us out of the water on the back straights. That girl can fly people. Make no mistake about that!!!


I ended up with 8:46. I have no idea what mph that is. (I can't wait for the Garmin 405's to come out..I am SO getting one.)


We followed that with a 10-k run at an "easy conversational pace". Ok..keep in mind that Panther, Glenda, Triscuit and Kris are in this group. Their easy conversational pace is my 10-k Goal pace. I kid you not. But I surprised even myself and hung with them the entire time. Granted, I was not conversating nor was it easy for me, but I hung on with them the whole way. (YAY ME!) Well, except for the sprint at the end...I had no sprint, they had tons! (BOO ME.)


I'm really looking forward to getting tri season underway. There are a few things I need to think through regarding the season...more that's for another blog entry...


In the meantime, here's a pic from the ride on Saturday. YAY US!

Cookie Cutter

Wow. I was working on a school project for Shay -- he's "Star Student" of the week next week, so we have to create a big poster all about Shay -- and I was digging through pictures to put on the poster.

As I was searching through an old folder (digitally of course), I saw a picture and I thought, what is Devon's picture doing in this folder. And then I realized that it was in fact Shay. So I dug in another folder and found a similar picture of Devon, right about the same age. Poor Diesel.