I sent you three boats and a helicopter!

This belated post is in regards to my bike wreck that occurred in July ...

Hopefully a couple of you out there get the punchline that is the title. If not, comment and I'll 'splain.

Some of us believe in signs, some don't. Some avoid the black kitty cat crossing the path in front of you, and some stop to scratch it's cute little chin. Either way, looking back, I can pick out a few signs that I maybe should have just stayed home on the night of our ill-fated journey. Don't worry! There's a happy ending, so read on without fear.

Tuesday's* chosen ride was the Sellersburg/Utica ride that I have written about previously. This time, the route was chosen because of the hills. I wanted to build a teeny bit of extra strength before the race on Aug 1st. And unlike the last time, I paid much better attention to Mapquest and took the correct exit and made it with time to spare and was able to gear up and dash in for a last min just-in-case pit stop. Amie then took what turned out to be a "before" picture of me in all my badass bike-chick glory.

During the pre-race "talking-to" by the bike club, the captain urged us all to join the Louisville Bike Club. Which, in all honesty is a great deal. It's only $15 for a year/ $20 for families and you learn enough on your first ride to make it worth every single cent. What caught my attention the most, though was when he said that if you are a member of the club, if you get hurt, you are covered by the club's insurance. Hmmm, I thought, good idea. I will have to officially join up later.
Time to ride! Tightening down the helmet, I'm feeling pretty good about this trek. I'm going to tear this mutha up! I look over and grin at Amie and grinning back, she raises her wrist to show off her brand new, bright red (IU, not UL) RoadID. Nice! Stylish and responsible. She then says, "Just came in today...hope it doesn't jinx us!" (Some paraphrasing has been done here. If I'm way off, I'm hoping Amie will correct me) But anyway..dun dun dunnnnnnnn....

Off we go! The weather is great, I'm in a good mood and feeling strong! I pedal out of the parking lot, up a short hill, in to the high school parking lot we use as a cut through and...throw my chain. Poop. But no big deal! Amie and nice ride Captain help me thread the chain back on and off we go again.

For the most part, this was a really great ride. I'm riding the hills stronger than I did the first time. The sun is setting, throwing gorgeous streams of pink and purples across the sky. It starts to get a little dark so I slide off my sunglasses and an Evil Indiana Flying Insect who is at the right place at the right time embeds its little self in my eye! I think I did let out quite a Yelp at this point. It took forever to dig that little sucker out and for my eye to stop watering. But, still smiling, I consider it a lesson learned and now pass it on to you! Get lightly or non-tinted sunglasses for evening rides, but always wear eye protection!

Once again, back on track. Things go pretty well from here until the intersection of Utica-Sellersburg Rd (I think) and 31W. This is a fairly large intersection so we stop for a few to wait for the light and to quench the thirst a bit. Amie says she said at this point, "I hate this road. I hate riding on the highway." The light turns green and we cross over.

We're trucking down 31W. There is an extremely wide shoulder and with the amount of traffic that speeds down this road, we're riding on the shoulder down this stretch of the course. However, said shoulder ends about 1/4 of a mile before the next big intersection and you have to maneuver back onto the road proper. Here is where I do a live enactment one of the first warnings Captain Tom ever gave me at the first bike club ride I ever attended.

Tom said, "Watch the straight cracks in road between pavement slabs. Your wheel has to move to balance, if you hit one of those straight ruts, you're going down"

Now, I have to say, it's not like I didn't believe him. I was just running out of pavement and had to make a move. I just chose the wrong one. Totally my own fault. I admit it and offer myself up as a object lesson. Stay out of the straight ruts in the road!!! I hit that separation between the slabs and went down sideways; spinning like a top across traffic stopping nose to bumper with a champagne Taurus; my brain chanting, "Get the @#$@#$ out of the road. Get the @#$@#$ out of the road. Get the @#$@#$ out of the road."

And then, like magic, I was out of the road. I don't remember if I dragged myself out of the road, if the people that stopped to help drag me out of the road or what, but there I was, on the side of the road, trying not to freak out and/or puke. Or worse, cry. The next few minutes are a little spotty in a tunnel-vision type way. I do remember thinking it hysterical that a passenger of one of the cars that stopped picked up my sunglasses and handed them to me saying, "Here. You don't want to lose these." Puffy stuff was coming out of the mussed-up side of my bike seat. A cyclist offered me her extra bottle of water. I wasn't thirsty. She told me it was to rinse off my wounds, not to drink. Indiana needs more funds for their roads.

Looking down, I then saw several places where skin used to be. But nothing appeared to be broken. I had some lovely road rash and some puncture marks in my leg from the claws on my pedal. My triscuit was all bloody. But it could have been much, much worse. Much. I don't want to think about it.

I have to mention that I do believe that the Taurus had plenty of time to stop and I don't think I was in any true danger of getting hit by a car. I did look over my shoulder before pulling my bonehead lane switch and I did not pull out in front of a car.

Amie, who is excellent in a crisis, saw an oncoming breakdown and started to try to make me laugh. She insisted my blog readers would have to hear all about this so she took pictures. I was told to pout. I laughed and pouted for the camera. And as it started to sink in that I still had 2 miles to ride before the end of the route, Amie had already activated her Indiana phone tree and had a friend on his way to pick us up. Thanks Andy!!! You were awesome and your kid is a cutie!

Long story a little shorter...I headed home for some scrubbing and ibuprofen. A few hours later, I spent some therapeutic time in a hot tub and was then wrestled down like a 3-year-old and doused with Bactine. That crap hurts as much now as it did when I was little!

8 Days!

Hi everyone! I know it's been a while. I had a bike wreck a little over a week ago and must have pulled my writer muscle. But I wanted to pop in, say hi and let you know what's been going on in my workout life.

Everything is going well. I had a few more off days than I'd like with the wreck and the face issue, but all that is cleared up now...mostly. I'm still sporting some lovely road rash.

With 8 days to go, I've decided that I'm pretty much at the level I'm going to be for the race. I'm very pleased! A year ago, I got winded walking from building in my office complex to another. I can now bike 20+ miles and run over 3 with pretty quick recovery times. I did the whole bike and run segments of the race a couple of days ago in 1:30. If I can fit in the swim and two transitions in 29 minutes, I will hit my goal of under 2 hours. If not, I will be very, very close. There's not a doubt in my mind that I will finish.

So when I look at everything overall, I'm a completely different person than I was last year. That's amazing. I'm about to become a triathlete. Unreal!

As a side note, during the the 2nd Pfit competition at work, I have so far lost an additional 13 pounds. The more I lose, the faster I get, so I'm very happy about that.

The rest of my week looks like this:
Today - Run
Friday - Run/Swim
Sat - Bike/Swim
Sun - Swim

18 Days to go!

That's only 2 and 1/2 weeks or almost 3 depending on if you are a glass half-empty or half-full kind of person. Tues/Wed may change up this week, depending on which ride I decide to do.

Training for this week:
Mon - Run/Swim
Tues - Bike or Run/Swim
Wed - Bike or Run/Swim
Thurs - Off
Friday - Bike/Run (@gym)
Sat - Race Route
Sun - Swim

So...how have you been?


Happy Independence Day!

I climbed back onto my bike today after a week. Still can't get Steven Tyler's voice singing Back In The Saddle out of my head. Ergo the post title. It was a little rough. Rode the race route to get a feel of my timing. Weather wise it was a good day to do it. Traffic was minimal and it was a cloudy 75 degrees. The slight breeze was very welcome.

Sidenote: We're seeing all kinds of wildlife on this route. A short time after starting we passed a huge, HUGE turtle. I thought it was an armadillo at first. I didn't know that we had armadillos in Kentucky, but according to Wikipedia, it is possible.
The hills on the route were definitely harder than the last time we rode, but I wasn't very warmed up and am not going to let it get to me. Still, I finished in 59:27. I'm pretty happy with that still having 4 weeks to go in training.
This afternoon I'm a little sore. I'm going to watch Tiger Woods (who just hit an Eagle) play golf before I head out to a friend's barbecue this evening. Hope you are all having a great 4th!

Making a list. Checking it twice.

29 days until race day!

While I'm on medical hiatus I'm trying to distract myself by thinking of other aspects of the big day. Let's get our race day checklist together shall we? There are items that still must be purchased!

Most of the big items I already have:

  • Triathlon Suit
  • Goggles
  • Bike
  • Helmet
  • Water cage
  • Water bottle
  • Spare tire kit
  • RoadID - If you don't have one of these, get one. Your identification/emergency numbers and 1st responder info all in one place and on your person. Just in case.
  • Running Shoes
  • Sunscreen
  • Watch/HRM
Items I still need to/would like to purchase:

  • Spare goggles
  • BodyGlide
  • Bungee Laces - saves valuable time in transition area and are fairly inexpensive
  • Sunglasses - the glasses I have been using hit the bottom of my helmet and look kind of goofy.
  • Cages for pedals - will go for clipless pedals next race.
  • Large bright towel for transition area. - In case they don't allow me to attach the planned-on ginormous helium Spongebob balloon to the bike rack. Worth a try, don't you think?
  • Race belt
  • Jersey to wear for bike/run legs of race (If anyone related to me is reading this an intending to send me a birthday present, I would LOVE a Vanderkitten jersey. hint hint)
  • New running shoes - not a necessity
  • Hat for running leg.

Please feel free to add comments with your suggestions.

In other news, in a show of solidarity, Eli has decided to take a break in his training until I'm back on my feet. You can see how much he is bothered by the missed workouts:

What the Frick?

...wherein our heroine encounters a roadblock.

It goes to show you just never know what's about to happen. You'll be cruising along with your training, everything going pretty well, progress being made and then BAM! some unknown force will throw something your way just to see how well you handle it. And make no mistake, you won't see it coming. I've been waiting for that out-of-nowhere flat tire to come at me. I've been expecting the sore knee to show up. Old rotator cuff injury even popped it's head up once or twice to see if anyone was watching for it. You know; usual stuff for someone who's been putting their body through pretty rigorous physical demands. But sometimes the universe gets bored and needs entertainment.

This mornings episode involved me getting out of bed and stumbling to the bathroom to begin my morning regimen. Shower, hair, makeup, dressed and out the door. My brain was just awake enough as I stepped over the threshold to the bathroom to think..."My face feels funny." Not funny ha-ha; funny odd. I turned to the mirror and was horrified to see my left eye swollen mostly shut and my cheek also pretty puffy. Aaackk! I scared me. Then I noticed some tingling in my face. I thought to myself, "Self. This is not good" But maybe I just slept on my face or something. I'll give it some time. I don't get sick.

Halfway through the shower, my tongue is tingling, too. Hmmm. The situation does not seem to be reversing itself. But what could it be? I don't get sick.

Thank goodness, a rational part of me realized that I was trying to deny a very large, puffy problem and pushed through to the forefront and suggested that maybe I should call the doctor. Good idea! I rang up the doctor's office and the nice automated female voice told me that they opened at 8:30. I finished getting ready for work, sans eye makeup (yikes!) and headed to the see Dr. Hammond.

The receptionist didn't even flinch when she saw me. She calmly took my name and asked me what I needed to be seen for. "Uhm. My face is schwollen. Shee my eye". The cheek was getting puffier. She "Hmmmed" at me and took my co-pay. I thought that maybe I was over-reacting due to the fact that receptionist didn't seem to see my issue. Did the swelling go away on the ride over and I'm just being neurotic? A dash to the lobby restroom revealed that I still slightly resembled Sloth from The Goonies.

It wasn't crowded so I was called back very quickly. The doctor's assistant didn't appear to see my problem either. "So what are we seeing you for today?" she asks as she takes my weight and blood pressure. Uhm, hello? My face is either having a reaction to something, I've been bitten by the biggest spider on the planet or my body is, after 34 years and 9 months, finally trying to expel my previously unknown twin. "Ok! The doctor will be in in a minute!"

Sure enough, a minute goes by and the door opens. Dr. Hammond walks in, says hi, looks me in the face and says. "So what...oh wow."

Thank you! I felt a huge amount of relief. Now we're getting somewhere. I hopped up on the table and she poked around a bit. No ear infection, no eye infection, no fever, nothing to indicate there is a problem other than the extra bit of face I was sporting. No drooping which indicates no Bell's Palsy or stroke, thank goodness, and after calling a colleague of hers to get a 2nd opinion on treatment options, I'm told I am probably having an allergic reaction to something I ate and sent on my way with an antibiotic and steroid prescription and directions to get my butt back there immediately if the swelling gets worse.

Then something makes me say, "Thanks! Glad I'm getting this cleared up. I have a big run and swim tonight."
She replies, "Oh no you don't. Not until this is gone" and heads off to heal another patient.

Uh-oh. The tri-borg in my head calmly asserts "Can't miss workout. Workout is vital." But I know that you just can't risk your health. Much. So ok. Fine. I can take a day off. But that's it. One day. I'm 5 weeks away from my race. One day is all I can spare and that's pushing it.

Then I get my prescription filled. It's not one dose of steroids, it's 6 days! There are a billion little pills stair-stepped on this card! I called the office back and find out that Dr. doesn't want me doing any strenuous activity for 3 or 4 days. "But, but, but I'm training for this race. I really need to.."

"Sorry. You just don't need to risk it." She says.

And over the course of the day I admit that she's right. Fine, I'll do what I'm told. I'll be graceful about it. I've heard enough horror stories of people disregarding advice and pushing on anyway and then being out of commission for weeks or even months.

Deep inside though, I'm freaking out about what these 3 days off will do to my training and momentum and goal of finishing in under 2 hours.

sigh...is it Friday yet?

Week 7 Training Plan and Comeuppance from a Wager Lost

Week 6 was an interesting week. I had some great cycling moments. Amie and I went on a 22 mile bike ride through Sellersburg/Utica with the LBC on Tuesday night. The ride on the club site was listed as a #2, which is up to 1/3 hills and the words "mostly flat" were included in the description. Hah. Mostly flat my patootie. A few of those hills were killers and there were many more hills than there were flat spots. It also didn't help that I was running late and completely frustrated with a wrong mapquest turn and some belligerent drivers en route to the ride. So I started out the ride with a crappy attitude. I swear to you this isn't a theme! I am usually pretty good natured when starting out on a course. Promise. With sugar on top.

It took until about halfway through the course to start feeling warmed up and just more like myself. Then it started flowing more smoothly. At one point I did take a slight detour off-road through some thistles but managed to stay in saddle by incorporating my, to quote from Amie, "mad recovery skillz". I got a teeny bit scratched up, but each new bump and bruise is starting to feel more like a battle scar than they are a negative thing. Want to see where I jammed my pedal cleat into my shin on Sunday?

I made it through to the end of the ride. Honestly, if Amie hadn't been there riding with me, I might have chucked it all 2 miles in and begged a ride back to starting point. She's pushing me more than she knows. Thanks Amie!

Thank you also to "mostly flat" Sellersburg/Utica ride. Those hills are what is advancing me in my cycle training. We then rode the race course on Sunday and two hills that tried their best to kill me a month ago were attacked and conquered with breath left to spare and a victorious war whoop at the top. Ride of the Valkyries could be heard faintly in the distance. It was awesome. Also, after doing a few 20 milers, the 14 mile race course felt over before it should have been. I heard Amie tell Ben that she could have done another several miles and I concur. I briefly thought of suggesting going around for another loop, but that would have just sounded crazy!

The runs and swims for the week were pretty normal with the only oddity being an orange road traffic cone at the bottom of the pool on Sunday. I dunno.

Here is this week's schedule:
Tonight - Run/Swim
Tues - Run/Swim/Kickball
Wed - Strength/Early am spin class
Thurs - Off/Drum lessons for kiddo
Fri - Bike
Sat - Morning Run/4th of July!!! Happy Independence Day Everyone!
Sat - Bike/Yoga

Now on to the lost wager.
My friend Joanna lost a bet and had to kiss a gnome. Joanna has Gnome-a-phobia. She is scared to death of these happy bearded little fellas. No idea why. We don't ask; we just exploit. Here she is in a little piece entitled 'Oh gnome - how I love thee!"


Week 6 Training

It just hit me that I haven't posted this week's training plan.

Monday - Run/Swim
Tuesday - Bike
Wed - Off
Thurs - Run
Fri - Swim
Sat - Run/Swim
Sun - Bike/Swim

There is a 5K run that I'm thinking about entering on Saturday. I haven't decided yet. I know I could do it, it's just do I want to put $35 toward a 5K that wasn't on my radar or do I spend that same $35 crossing some stuff off of my want/need for the triathlon. Hmmmmm. It would be nice to have a race number on my wall.

It's a conundrum...

A lesson learned and a great first event!

A good friday night can absolutely kill a Saturday. At least for me. I'm learning this as I inch toward race day. Priorities are shifting toward what's good for my training plan and I'm making choices that will affect the next several hours or days of workouts. Case in point: friday night - two weeks ago. I went out with some friends, stayed up too late and consumed a bit of alcohol. I knew full well, as I was imbibing, that I was expected in the parking lot of my workplace at 7:30am the next morning to travel to Shelbyville to watch our friends, Ben and Tammy compete in an Oly distance triathlon. I still had a couple of drinks, thinking I would be fine and that I could catch a nap after the race.

Next morning, I made it to the parking lot on time. I slouched in the back seat of Amie's car all the way to the race. At the race, I was fine. I got caught up in the race atmosphere and cheered on each and every competitor. Later that day, when I got back home, I showered, after that, my energy was spent. The open lap swim time at UofL came and went as I slugged through the afternoon. Ugh. That's all it took for me to decide that alcohol was off limits until after the race. I also know that I need to be better about getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night. I'm still working on that one.

This past Friday night, I attended the 1st ever night racing session at Churchill Downs. I'm surprised they haven't thought of this before. It was a complete success. The track at night takes on a very cool quality and I had a great time. Did not get in bed until after midnight. And yes, I was expected at yet another parking lot the next morning at 7:30.

Today's event was the Girlfriend's Ride in Columbus, Indiana. An all-women's 10k, 25k, or 50k ride to benefit Turning Point Domestic Violence Services. And at 7:30am after again not getting another full-night's sleep, I was not feeling very girlfriendly. I am still not quite a morning person and when I decided to start training for a tri in earnest, I had not considered the negative effect that all the training would have on my weekend sleeping-in time.

The alarm bleated at me at 6:30. I needed to make a quick shopping trip to pick up an extra cargo bag. I planned on taking a few extra things along with me as this would be the furthest I had ever ridden. I wanted my camera with me as well as some granola bars and a few extra tools in case of any technical trouble. I was in and out of the store in record time. I hopped in the car and was tooling down the road toward our designated meeting spot and whoops, I need gas! Another quick stop, and I was on my way, a little stressed out and crabby. I did not want to be the last one to show. I hate having a group of people waiting on me.

But, I arrived right on time and we all loaded up. I drove and my friend Holly rode shotgun with me. The ride up, a tall frosty Diet Coke and the conversation turned my mood completely around and by the time we pulled into the parking lot adjacent to the starting point of the ride, I was peppy and ready to ride.

For my first organized event, this one will give the others a whole lot to live up to. The bar was set high. The volunteers welcomed us, a smile on each and every pink t-shirted person. We were happily ushered over to a photographer and had our picture snapped, then on to packet pick up, a little carb loading of bananas, strawberries and homemade snacks and onto the bikes. We were off!

I was nervous about following a marked route. It was something I had never done before and I like to have my directions before hand. There was a map in the packet, but I couldn't memorize it first and I didn't think I could ride and read, so I decided to trust in the road markers and give it a whack. Before this, every ride I had been on so far was led by a ride captain from the local bike club. I didn't need to know the route, I just followed the crowd. I need not to have worried! The route for this ride was perfectly marked. Each turn was clearly marked with a hot pink heart and direction lines. If you were paying even a little bit of attention, you couldn't get lost.

The weather was beautiful. While a little warm, the beginning and final few miles of the route was liberally dotted with trees. Columbus has a spectacular park system with frequent lakes and nicely kept landscaping. Also, hats off to the residents of Columbus, there were as many if not more gorgeously kept gardens in yards to smile at as there were lovely spots out amongst the vineyard and farms.

While we were riding against some wind, it provided a cooling breeze when I needed it. The route was very conducive to a fun ride with girlfriends. The difficultly could be upped by doing one of the higher distances, but I thought the 25k was perfect for me to work on some gear change strategies and challenge myself with a longer distance than I had ever ridden before. There were a few moderate hills, but as I climbed them, I used what I had learned about my gears and advice I had either read or been given. I shifted early and powered through. And thanks to Shannon who had a speedometer on her bike and every so often would call out how fast we were riding! That was a big help. I have to get one of those.

At about mid point, we pulled in to rest at a pretty little winery. Again, amazing volunteers! We were treated to shoulder massages, live music, clean nice restrooms (very important!) along with another smorgasbord of fresh fruit, water, gatorade and other carb laden treats. 10-15 minute rest and off we went! Half way there!

The majority of the 2nd half of the ride took us through Indiana farmland. Vibrant fields of corn and other crops sped by us on both sides underneath a crisp blue sky interrupted every so often by farmhouses that had very likely watched over their farms for generations. How perfectly charming.

A few miles later, we took a detour through a park and get a 45 second deviation into off road biking! A ride steward directed us where to turn off and also took some pictures of us. I cheekily struck a pose; I was having a great time! Then I struck off through some gravel and grass to a tree lined shady bike path back in to the tidy neighborhoods of Columbus, one of which had a lake with houses surrounding; explosions of flowers and bright colors all around us.

Another stop! Yay! This time at a school and there were more gracious and cheerful volunteers, water and lemonade. And yep, more carbs to keep us going the rest of the way. Back on our bikes a few minutes later, through town proper past a festival sporting bagpipers (we pretended they were for us) and to the finish line. There, covered in sun, smiles and sucking down free smoothies, we celebrated our finish rested a few, then headed home.

A good day! I will definitely be on board next year.
If I could change anything?
Next year...I may do the 50.

I want my bike I want my bike I want my...

If you are anywhere near my age, the title of this post should bring back fond memories of a little girl in a coat screaming and stomping because Josh Brolin just ganked her bike and is racing off down the street after the rest of the Goonies.

Well, little girl, I feel ya. My bike has been in the shop now for a week just waiting for me to pick it up after a tune-up and a replacement rim being installed. I miss it. I had to do all my cycling training this week inside. In the gym. On a stationary bike for the love of Pete. I couldn't get the bike adjusted as I needed and there were no WHEEEEEEEEE!!!! moments as I tucked my elbows, leveled my feet at 3 and 9 o'clock and glided downhill wind whistling though my helmet. Sigh...

I'll be going to get it tomorrow just in time for the Girlfriend's Ride in Columbus, IN. on Saturday. You have no plans for Saturday? You have a bike, you say? You like massages and chocolate and would love to support a domestic abuse shelter? Well then, come along! You can sign up on site or here!

Boys Allowed

I've tried to make my blog sound as gender neutral as possible, I am, nonetheless, a girl and so I'd like to introduce you to a guy friend I've made along the path to the finish line. Meet Jason, a Web-Producer for NBC Universal Sports. I'd snitch his picture from the nbc site, but they might actually come and get me. Jason is in training for his first triathlon, just like yours truly. He started blogging about his training plans and adventures and if you want a male perspective of the whole thing, be sure and check out the links below.

What I like about Jason is that you can really feel his enthusiasm for what he is doing in his writing. When he went bike shopping recently and posted about it, you couldn't help but share in his Christmas-morning-like excitement. He's been an unexpected and fun part of my continued enthusiasm for my training.

One Man's Plan - An introduction to Jason, his training plan and his dream of ping-pong prowess.
Triathlon Training - His blog along his 16-week journey

Also being half-way through his training and I asked him yesterday how he was feeling,

"Feeling great in the water and loving my new bike. Running is getting there. In week 8 of 16! Seen a huge improvement in my recovery time."
There's no doubt in my mind that he will cross that finish line flying!

You can follow Jason and Dawn (that's me) on Twitter.
Come along for our rides and share your own adventures.

Is the pool half empty or half full?

I asked Amie yesterday how she felt at being almost halfway to race day. She had this to say:

"My mental conditioning got a big boost on Saturday morning during Ben's Oly tri. It made me realize that something, anything can set you back in a race. After a very difficult swim start, he cranked out an amazing bike and run. It lessened my nerves to see the transitions and to know things may not go perfectly, but I will finish. And if I put everything I have in each effort, I will make my under 2hr. mark.

As for the physical conditioning, I really need to strengthen my thigh muscles for uphill battles and get my keester in the pool!"

As for me, here's what I think. I've been working out judiciously for a few days over 8 weeks, and training for the triathlon for just over 6 and I feel amazing! Bigger picture, i'm down almost 70 pounds since last year and it's being nice to say that then, I was in poor physical and mental condition. As of this week, I'm belting out a minimum of 3.5 miles per workout on the treadmill. I am up in the teens on bike mileage per workout and I am swimming 600 meters per swim workout. Some days, like today, I do double workouts without giving it a second thought. Tonight is a Run/Swim night. All in 8 weeks! And I am developing nice muscle definition in my arms, legs and butt. And my sister thinks that the women in our family just can't have fab arms. Well, suck it genetics!

Swim/Run update at 8:50 pm.
Full length run and swim tonight!
Here are my current times.

Run - 3.1 miles - 38 minutes.
Swim 800 meters - 26 minutes.

Not too shabby huh?

Week 5 Training Plan - Closing in on the halfway point!

6 weeks, 4 days and counting....

The race bike route was finalized today and the forms are being faxed to me as I type! Huzzah! Registration has been delayed as the city of Anchorage kindly decided to install speed humps over the winter (because those golf carts were just getting out of control) and the park was trying to find another suitable route. Alas, no route could be found and we will just have to deal with speed humps. I'm thinking out-of-seat full-on Evel Knievel style is called for here.

And speaking of bikes, my baby is in the shop. Boo! I took it in for a tune-up because one of the bike club guys said it looked like my rear derailer was bent. Lucky me, it wasn't my derailer, my rear axle was in pieces. I needed a whole new rim, etc. I'll be picking her up later this week.

Meanwhile, it looks like I'll be indoor biking for the next few days. It's ok though, the gym is playing the Bourne movie series. I'll just pretend like I am chasing bad guys through Paris and every so often I'll look confused and ask the person on the bike next to me if they have any idea who I am.

Here's the plan:
Monday - Cycling (Indoor)
Tuesday - Run/Swim/Kickball
Wednesday - Arms/Run
Thursday - Lunch Run
Friday - Lunch Cycling
Saturday - Girlfriend's Bike Trip!!!
Sunday - Swim/Run

*Possible off day on Friday as all of my Fridays so far have gone straight to heck.

A Breakthrough! This is awesome.

After a week of challenging workouts, I dipped into the pool last night for the first time in a week. My last two bike sessions had sucked. I fully expected to be constantly out of breath and fighting to achieve and maintain my form.

But then I hit the water. (Icy cold water. What up with that UofL?) Anyway...I hit the water and flew! A lot of the tips that I had been given clicked. My flutter kick was on, my arm blade strike was on, and I was whipping up and down those lanes like Aquawoman. I had good rotation, too. It was awesome. Don't know how it looked to the other swimmers and I don't care too much. This was the first time I have genuinely thought, "I'm going to finish this race!" It was amazing. I wanted to swim forever. That is a far cry from my first swim training session where I made it across 25 meters huffing and puffing, "I (puff) have to (gasp) do that (wheeze) how many (haaaahhhh) times?"

Toward the end, Amie mentioned that she had started breathing on alternate sides and that it was making a huge difference for her. I tried it and for a couple of lengths, it did work. On the next lap, though, I lost my kick. So, that's on the agenda tonight. Nice and easy swim, focusing on technique.

Here's a blog entry that Amie found and I have read and watched over and over again. This is how it should go...http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2008/08/13/total-immersion-how-i-learned-to-swim-effortlessly-in-10-days-and-you-can-too/

Week 4 Training

It's only week 4???? AAAHHHH! How much longer?
Wait. I only have 8 weeks left to train? AAAAAHHHHH. Am I going to be strong enough for this???

As you can see, my lovely readers, I am of two minds right now regarding this race. The past couple of sessions have been rough for me. Not impossible, but definitely challenging. I'm tired. All the time. I believe it's how I'm eating. My appetite has vanished. That's not good because I'm pretty sure that I'm not fueling properly. This week. I'm going to eat something every 3 hours whether I want to or not. I'm going to start with snacks of almonds and protein shakes until I get back into the groove. If I go for a week or so and am still dragging butt, I'm going to hop over to my doc's office and make sure I'm not anemic or something.

I did miss a couple of workouts this past week due to life. End of school, graduation and all of that. I can only go into this upcoming week with a militant attitude of not missing a single session! Here's what's on the plate:

Monday: Bike (w/LBC)
Tuesday: Run/Swim/Kickball
Wednesday: Run/Swim
Thursday: Strength/Drum Lessons
Friday: Run/Strength
Saturday: Bike/Swim
Sunday: Swim/Softball
The orange events are early am. Before work. Before civilization awakens. Ugh.

See Bill Run

My brother Bill ran a 5K this weekend! Go BILL! I know he's ramping up for other races, too. He's mentioned a sprint triathlon coming up out in Sonoma, where he lives.

I'd love to take a little credit for this sudden interest in racing, but Bill's always been more active than me. He's been a non-competitive runner and cyclist for years. He plays softball and in college we tore up the Frolf course. Holla! (Don't play raquetball with him though; he cheats.) Maybe I nudged him a bit in the race department. It would be kind of neat if big brother followed lil sis for a change.

Here's a pic I snitched from my sis-in-law's blog. Permission granting in process.
Side note: I used bahaus for the font on the pic. He used to love that crazy font.

Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda

I should be in the pool.

Tonight was a swim workout night. I should be doing laps working on my stroke technique and burning some calories. But I'm not. I'm sitting here posting on my blog because my kids plans didn't work out tonight and I didn't get to drop him off at the movies for 30 minutes after he thought he was supposed to be there and the pool closed at 8. Now I'm cranky. Exploring that cranky, I assumed at first that it's just because I've had a long day. Up at 6, getting ready for Kiddo's graduation, and also maniacally filling out a last minute application (which actually is quite a blessing) to the high school that he wants to attend. (WOOOT Gail Taylor!), then lunch with friends and relatives, more work on application and succumbing to the pleading of my child to see his friend probably for the LAST TIME EVER MOM!

But that's not it at all. I'm cranky because I missed my workout. I love to swim. I love how I feel after being in the water. I feel all warm and loose. My skin and hair smells like chlorine and I am pleasantly tired. I sleep like a baby on swim nights. It makes me happy. And, like after all my other workouts, it is very satisfying knowing that I am one day closer to the race and the choices I made that day made me a little faster or a little stronger. So right now I just have to shake off the bad attitude and start fresh tomorrow. No beating myself up about it. Ahftah awl. Tomarah is anotha day!

Good night everyone! I feel better now. Thanks for listening.

Pfit Update

We're two weeks into Pfit and I'm down 2.5 lbs. Yay!

It's not as much as I would like; I love the thrill of a big number dump on the scale. I love making the top 10 list. I want to see my name in pixels! But it IS definitely going in the right direction AND, while I'm lifting weights too, not just ripping through cardio workouts. Sing it with me..."muscle weighs more than fat". How is that fair? Anyhoo, clothing is still growing on me and every week I'm finding more and more items in my closet that just won't fit anymore no matter how many binder clips I use. It's time to stop trying to convince myself that the baggy-hip-hop-business-casual look is attractive.

Things I need to tweak?
The mindset that I can eat more recklessly because I'm working out like a madwoman. You know, they should put that on the treadmill scrolly sign...Ooooh girl...another half mile and you can snarf down one of those Godiva truffles that you hid from the kid. go GO GO!!!

Other than that...onward and downward!!!

Week 3 Training Plan

This week's going to be nutty! It's the last week of school, so lots going on. Kiddo's graduation is tomorrow. We had a band audition last night, so I worked through lunch, hit the gym early and got Monday's strength training out. It was ok, but I rushed through the rest period between sets and also, I apparently was there at the same time as all the high school kids, so I had to wait several times for dumbells that I needed. Amie thinks that they need 2 sets upstairs and I heartily agree.

I was very surprised at the difference in the amount of weight I used on different muscle sets. My shoulder muscles are alot weaker than I thought that they would be and I had to back way down off of my planned weight. The only set that I thought I got to a "10" on the effort scale was my triceps work. I was really shaking at the end of those sets.

After that, I took my kiddo to his high school band audition where I found out that I would be shelling out around $300 and I would need to be something called "involved". Wha? Don't they know I'm in training? sigh. I don't mind to be involved, I just always feel like I come up short in that department. I would really really like to be a good band mom for my kid, I just don't know how that's going to work. It's just me to get him around town. I mean I can't be the only working parent here, right? So why on earth does it seem that all the summer programs for kids are scheduled for 9am dropoffs and 3 pm pickups? His dad lives 2hrs away so just by factor of distance alone he's of pretty much no help with these kind of things. Not whining. Just fact.

Anyway, this week is packed!
Monday - Upper Body Strength
Tuesday - Run (Strides)
Wed - Graduation/Swim
Thurs - Run/Strength Upper Body
Fri - Bike/Swim
Sat - Bike/Swim
Sun - Run (distance)/Lower Body Strength/Softball?/Visit my mother

How's your training going?

My Training Partner

I have found a new source of motivation! My friend Amie has been "hoodwinked" into competing in the EPTS triathlon, too. Bwaaaahhaaaaahaaaaaa. And after about two weeks of training together, I have to say, she's just as eaten-up with it as I am. I am finding this a fabulous previously unknown side to my friend. She's reading the books, charting training plans, considering stats and making goals to the same extent I am.

She has a bit more training under her belt than I do. I've only been seriously and consistently working out since February. However, we train together on treadmills so each of us can go at our own pace during our run workouts. Separate lanes in the pool so she doesn't have to worry about passing me. I think we might be on the same level cycling. We did a 17 mile ride on Saturday and stayed pretty much the whole way.

I think we also go together well in the motivation department. We oooh and ahh over each other's new training purchases, we have an every-other-day or so conversation about which body part is hurting most and we give out the appropriate YAYs when the other makes progress. I think everyone should have a training partner that fits these qualifications!

I've asked her to answer a few questions for the blog:
Say Hi to Amie, Blogworld!

What made you decide to train for a triathlon?
Dawn made me do it. And maybe to lose the last ten pounds that I have had for a decade. And maybe to be a faster runner. And maybe so I can throw out the "I can't this weekend, doing a triathlon."

What do you feel will be the most challenging part of the race?
Getting a good night sleep before and waking up that morning and not having my stomach do somersaults with nervous butterflies. I'm definitely more worried about the mental aspect than the physical. I will over think everything.

What scares you most about the race?
Falling off my bicycle and taking someone else with me or tripping in the transition area.

What excites you most about the race?
Bragging about finishing it. I can't imagine how awesome Kelly Wilson feels every time she says she completed the Ironman.

Do you think you will do more than one race or will you have to wait and see?
I feel like the cheap bastard in me wants to do more for a better return on investment. The challenger in me wants to do the Oly distance, maybe the Kentucky Derby mini-marathon and the half Ironman. But that's it…..my brain cannot even begin to compute anything longer. Ask me this question again on August 3rd.

Swim Training with Kelly!

In a previous post, you met Kelly Wilson. Tonight, Kelly is going to be taking several of us under her IronWoman wing and attempting to teach us proper form for triathlon swimming. Kelly evidently has experience teaching 4 and 5 year-olds how to swim, so this should be PERFECT!

IRP - Ben & Kelly Wilson

Welcome to a new section of Tri-Newb! I'm going to call it Interviews with Real People. These chats will be interviews with non-professional, kick-butt athletes. They hold jobs, have children and other pressures to deal with while making training and their health a top priority.

I have known Ben and Kelly Wilson for about 4 years now. Excellent people. They race. Alot. 5Ks, 10 milers, marathons, what have you. They enjoy their athleticism more than most other people that I know. It truly is motivating.

Ben works as a Senior Interactive Analyst at Power Creative, where I also work and they are expecting their first child next month. That kid is going to be awesome.

The Wilson's kindly agreed to answer several questions that I sent them. Ben's answers are in Blue and Kelly's are in pretty pretty purple

Ben, what is your upcoming race schedule?

Well, what with the baby coming in July, I haven't registered for a few weeks on either side. The next thing I know for sure is the Shelbyville Olympic distance triathlon on June 13th. Never done an Olympic distance before! After that, the E.P. Tom Sawyer tri on August 1st.
I belong to a bike racing team (TwinSpiresCycling.com), so I might also get another race in before the season is over. I'm interested in this "Louisville Short Track" mountain bike race series - every Thursday night out at River Road Country Club. $5! Cool.

Kelly, you've completed an Ironman Triathlon. What made you decide to give that a whack?

I had decided to to a half IM, but then my training buddy decided to give the full IM a whirl. I wavered back and forth for awhile (I volunteered in the medical tent the first year of IM Louisville, and it scared the bejeezus out of me), but then my buddy said this: You know if I do this, and you don't, you'll regret it. So, I bit the bullet, forked over the $500 entry fee, and signed over a year of my life.

Can you give a quick overview of your training?

I really don't have a structured training regimen like I should. I focused a lot on the bike this winter, so most of my training was spinning, cycle trainer or even getting out and riding when it was 30-40 degrees out. Winter is also a good time to work on building muscle, like lifting weights, doing machines or whatever. I focused this year on building my quads with squats, as well as working a pretty intense but short "core" workout that I would tack onto the end of whatever I was doing. Lots of crunches.

Stretching. So crucial, especially for those of us who aren't in our 20s anymore. I do a bit of yoga-style stuff at the end of most workouts. The sun salutation taught in most beginner classes is great. Back, core, hamstring, calf, most everything.

In general, I go pretty hard in my training. A little motivation like a good spinning instructor or something like The Sufferfest (
http://www.thesufferfest.com/) really does a great job. I go hard, but not for super-extended periods of time. Get warmed up first (crucial!), hammer some hills on the run or on the bike or sprint a lap in the pool, take a bit of active rest, repeat. I am a big believer in

Also, I soak up information about whatever I'm training for (running, tri, cycling, even baseball!) - so this winter I read every cycling book I could get my hands on. How to Race, training programs, maintenance manuals, histories of the Tour de France, etc. YouTube is a must! I relive those clips when I'm on the bike, and think about them on the run.

6 days a week, 2 or 3 workouts a day. A lot of getting up at 4:40 am, a lot of lunch hour runs (it helps if your boss is a runner, and goes with you), a lot of late dinners due to a workout, and a lot of peanut butter.It was usually 2 weeks of hard training, then one week of recovery.
The last few months before the race, it was 3 weeks hard (once, it was a full month

If you participate in triathlons, what do you wear during the race?

Tri shorts and a tri top! But when I first did one I just wore some running shorts that I swam in a put on a shirt for the bike and the run. Normal shorts really suck to bike in, though - the lycra and the pad pay dividends. Putting on a shirt over a wet body also sucks. There is benefit to not having to change clothes between pool and bike and run.

I also always wear my RoadID and a visor and use that 50 SPF aerosol sunscreen - that shit is magic!

For all my races execpt the IM, where I really wasn't going for speed in transition and wore a Speedo for the swim, I raced in tri-shorts, a Nike racing bikini top, and a tri-jersey (which I would put on in T1).

I became really attached to one pair of shorts - Sugio tri-shorty. They have a really short inseam, which is nice when you're only 5'3". Also, mens tri-jerseys fit me better, since I have a long torso. A visor is good for the run, since you can tuck a wet sponge into it. And GU Roctane is magic. Seriously.

What is one way or one time "life" has interfered with your training?

Geez, all the time - but just finding ways to work it in have made me a more organized person w/ my time. Get up at 6:30 and run three miles - it's actually pretty awesome. Birds are chirping and bunnies are hopping, no one is around. Sweet. The getting up sucks, the getting something done before 7AM kinda rules.

Unless you are doing something totally batshit like the IronMan (which requires 2-a-day workouts), everyone could probably find the time to work their "30 minutes a day" of exercise they are supposed to get.

Well, to reverse the question, we put off having a baby for a year so I could do the IM.

Have you always been active and sporty?

Oh lordy no! I work in the Internet, which means I spent plenty of time dicking around indoors on a computer. However, my mother ran a lot in the 80s and early 90s and I was always around runners during that time. I even did a few 5K runs back then! I played rec-league soccer in high school and college. I even biked a fair amount when I was in my teens with the Boy Scouts. We did a 60 mile ride up to Clifty Falls, Indiana. It would be some 15+ years until I would eclipse the 60 mile mark again.

Kelly started running in 2003 or so, and did a few miniMarathons. She eventually got me out to run and it totally sucked the first few times. There was a lot of stopping and complaining. But soon after I started, I had one of those "oh... this is why people run!" epiphany moments and haven't really looked back. I've done the Triple Crown of Running and miniMarathon three times now.

Uh, sorta. I was on a swim team from age 8 to 16, then coached swimming for a few years, but then I got lazy and fat in college. A medical condition jump started this whole fitness thing.

Does your family support your interests?

I would first ask "does your family UNDERSTAND your interests". Like I mentioned, my mom does - though for a while there I think Kelly's IronMan plans were seriously conflicting with mom's wanting a grandkid. But we got that sorted out.

Kelly's family - I'm not sure they understand, but they certainly do support her. They made it down to the IronMan last year to see her, and that was really cool. Even some cousins and such, too! I would have dishoned them if they didn't.

Once someone has committed themselves to being active and enjoys it - they understand. They *know*, and they'll support you. (Though, I must say I really, really had my doubts about Kelly doing the IronMan. That shit is crazy!)

My family doesn't necessarily "support" it, but they don't *not* support it. They don't really understand it. My mother is convinced that I'm harming myself, and all the training can't be healthy. Ben, on the other hand...well, he's on a cycling team, can out run me, and has caught the tri bug now.

What aspect of your athleticism would you most like to improve on?

There is a saying that goes "[insert sport here] doesn't get easier, you just get faster". I feel like my running has made me a decent endurance athlete, and with the cycling I have come to realize that I don't have "the fitness" to hang with a pack in a race that is only 30 to 40 minutes long. I can go pretty long, but I'm just not fast enough yet - so whatever "fast" is, I want to be that. Losing weight has helped me great - I'm down 10 lbs, added a bunch of muscle over the winter and have been demolishing my modest personal records all year.

I also want to work on my nerves and mental conditioning. Being relaxed can be hard to do, but I like being prepared for a race. Also - mental conditioning, like being able to make good decisions in the middle of the race. That's a hard one to learn, but I never run with an iPod, so I think about all sorts of stuff during training.

While I like to bike, it still kind of frightens me. I don't shift enough.
In general, I'd like to be faster, but eh, we'll see.

Kelly, do you think Robert Downey Jr. will make a good Sherlock Holmes?
I would watch him watch paint dry, so, yes, of course.

Ben. What's your favorite youtube video?

Again, I'm all into this cycling nonsense recently, and I've been following the Giro d'Italia - and Lance Armstrong is back, so just the other day I was watching his 1993 World Championships win when he was 22. He essentially came from nowhere to beat some of the best, and then acted like the jubilant, brash young American he was. The announcer is just flabbergasted as Lance throws his arms up ("they say he's a bit of a showoff with a big head!") and celebrates in the last kilometer of the race. An American winning a European dominated sport, like a big fat slap in the face.

But three years later, he's filled with cancer and given a death sentence. And he shakes his fist at it like he did crossing that line in that video. And he beat it. And then he stunned the world, blowing up the long, storied and sacred history of the Tour De France. Hella American!

It's a beautiful story and it's uniquely American, and it gets to the core of why I do what I do - because 3 years from now...?


Any tips for transition areas?

Take your time. I see a lot of people just getting into triathlon that try to do some crazy tri trick like slipping your feet out of your shoes just before the transition area. And they spend a lot of time futzing with all that nonsense, slow to a crawl, fall over or at the very least totally negate whatever potential advantage that might have given you, had you had actually been an elite triathlete wherein that MIGHT ACTUALLY MATTER. So, unless you are in contention for an age group placing or money, just take your time.

One good, easy way to speed up your transitions to A) practice and B) lay out your stuff where it is easy to get to.

Make sure your running shoes are untied, or better yet, use the bungee things for laces. My first tri, I had to stop and undo the knots in my laces.

Are you going to name the baby Lance Usain Phelps Wilson?

Haha - no! Though we did name the baby after Amelia Earhardt, 'cause she was a stone cold fox.

Well, this baby is a girl, so maybe if we have a boy.

Thank you Wilsons!

Week 2 Training and Kickball Pic

Well, I'm going to have to pick it up a bit this week. The training for the latter part of week 1 was sidelined by a stint in the hospital. My mom had surgery as you know from the previous post. Because you read all of my posts, right? You'd better. I'm like Lost, if you miss one well, shooo...

Not really.

So this week shall go as follows:
Monday -10-12 mi. bike ride
Tuesday - Strength at lunch; Kickball (Yes Kickball. I'm in a league)
Wednesday - Lunch Walk/Run with Pfit group/Swim
Thursday - Lunch Run
Friday - Bike
Saturday - Strength/Run
Sunday - Swim

Sound good?

That's me on the right. I'm squatting down. Why do I always squat or lean in to get in a picture? Ever notice how boys don't do this? It's just girls.

See? No squatting.

Sorry for the Silence

It's been a few days since I've posted. My mother had spinal surgery and that's put me, my sis and of course, mom out of commission for a few days. She's in some pain, but doing well. Painkillers are awesome.

She's quite the trooper. And I've gotten a laugh or two out of her sleepy-druggy insistence that I stop texting while driving (I'm not driving Mom, I'm in a chair. Go back to sleep.) and her requests for weird foods like, "I want bread. Fold it in half and put Miracle Whip on it." Yack.

She'll probably be headed home in a couple of days. I hate to see her go, we're getting along pretty well overall, but in her dreamy painkiller state she has been spewing Bones spoilers at an alarming rate and I'm quite upset about it. I'm only on Season 2.

P-Fit Round Two!

The 2nd Biggest Loser competition at my workplace, fondly known as P-Fit Round Two starts this Friday. It will be a 12-week session ending on Aug, 7th. There will be an overall cash prize at the end along with several challenges throughout. I, for one, think Round 1 should have had a tiara and am working diligently to obtain one for Round 2. If all else fails, I'll hoof it over to Burger King and pick up one of their fine paper crowns. Does Long John Silver's still have the pirate hats? Those would be cool, too. P-fit Pirates!


At $20 a person, P-Fit is cheaper than Weight Watchers and includes a fun, informal smack-talk atmosphere between co-workers. Last round brought sneakily placed Snickers bars around the office and competitors ordering pizzas for each other. Good times!

Here are my goals for this round:

  • 20 lbs (1.6 lbs per week)
  • Drop 2 more sizes
  • Definite definition in arms and abs
  • Complete Triathlon on Aug. 1st

How do I plan on doing this?

  • Training for triathlon - 2 workouts per week of each Swim, Run, Bike and Strength Training
  • Eat 5-6 meals/snacks per day, eating every 3 hours. Avoid sugars and refined foods focusing on un-processed as much as possible.
  • Log all food, water and fitness on thedailyplate.com
  • Water, water, water

A P-Fit group has been set up on Facebook for all participants and their supporters as a place to post events, ideas, recipes, plans, photos and the aforementioned smack-talkage.

Our total weight loss for Round 1 was 321 pounds. I fully expect us to beat that black and blue in true Chuck Norris fashion. And if you feel dizzy in August don't be scared. The Earth is just spinning a little faster due to our phenomenal poundage decimation.

Monday Night Recap

Last night's cycling session was a hoot! Seth tooled around on a most excellent Trek hybrid and had a great ride. I got some much needed seat adjustments* and it made all the difference and my friend, Therese from work was there and I'm pretty sure she had a great time also.
The session consisted of a short talk regarding gear and gears and a short ride through the city. Again, very informative. Here's what I took away from the evening:
  • Cotton - bad
  • You will one day have one more flat tire than you have spare tubes in your pack
  • I want a cycling jersey
  • I want clipless pedels/shoes even though I will fall over sooner or later
  • Tom, I'm afraid those kids on the sidewalk were not cheering, but we'll say they were
  • I found my cadence

*Shut up.

Official Week 1 Training (and some positive self-talk)

Here is my Official Week 1 Triathlon Training Schedule! It's basically a repeat of last week, but it is now 12 weeks until Race Day. My goal is to get in 2 each of Swim/Bike/Run and Strength Training. This is when I start marking off each day with my fat black marker.

Now for positive afirmations. Repeat after me:
"My training is important to me and I will not allow life or lazy get in the way!"
"I will make good food choices so that I feel strong, not sluggish and cranky!"
"I love water. I love water. I love water. Mmmmm water."
"One day closer. One day stronger. One day faster!"

May 11-17
Mon - Bike. 10-12 mile easy ride with the LBC (see previous post)
Tues - Strength during lunch/Swim
Wed - Run
Thurs - Strength during lunch/Bike
Fri - Run
Sat - Rest or Short Run
Sun - Swim

Last Week (What actually happened)
Mon - Run/Swim (This is switched to Bike because of the Bike class I'm taking)
Tues - Strength
Wed - Bike (Swited to Swim. See Monday's notes)
Thur - Strength/Run
Fri - Run
Sat - Rest
Sun - Rest