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… 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 (, 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 ( 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
  • 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

A Case of the Mondays - Bike Ride Tonight!

I'm having a little trouble getting my attitude in gear this morning. It's Monday. I am not a Monday or Morning person. I do try. I just wasn't blessed that way. I had to travel quite a bit this weekend and so I missed my swim workout yesterday. Everything was hectic up until time to go to bed last night and I really like to have a calm, settled Sunday night.

My wonderful son did take me out to see the new Star Trek for Mother's Day and gifted me with and awesome running shirt. I hope all of my other mother friends had great days with their children!

I am looking forward to the ride tonight. Are you new to cycling also? Then come check out the Louisville Cycling Club's newbie ride tonight. I promise I'll be in a better mood by then! Promise, promise.

Bike Handling Class – Clothing & Gear, Gearing & Shifting. Become a better cyclist!. Participants should plan on attending as many sessions as possible. Classes will start promptly at 6:15 with a hands-on activity and conclude with a short 10- to 12-mile ride. Waterfront Park, Yellow Parking Lot. All skill levels welcome. RC: Tom Armstrong 502-523-9581,

I'm Also a Logger

Next Friday, my company will begin round two of it's version of a Biggest Loser Contest, Pfit. Right now, I'm going over in my head what made my first bout so successful and am preparing to tighten up any habits I may have let loosen over the past month. Although I've been working out like a mad woman, I've also been letting myself eat more than I did while in the first round of the contest. I'm evidently in a state of perfect equilibrium since the scale hasn't budged in a few weeks. Since I'm still several pounds heavier than I would like to be, I'm going to use Pfit2 to go back on the offensive.

One thing that I did religiously during the competition is log my food. Write it all down. Every bite. Gum included. I used The Daily Plate on There are thousands of foods in their system and it's very easy to register, set your weekly weight loss and/or calorie goals and then log your food and fitness workouts for the day. And if you really want to geek out, there are lovely charts all over the place to show you how you are doing and how what you are eating breaks down.

I know that all the skinny experts tell you to log your food. Blah, blah, blah. I'm sorry Sweets, they're right. Logging your food can show you if you are eating too much, or too little. So many people, women especially, eat too few calories while trying to lose weight and it can cause your weight loss to stall. You definitely have to fuel your body.

And do you ever have those days where you get off track and by the afternoon you think you've blown it so you just call it bust and stuff your face the rest of the day? I certainly have. If you log your food, even when you fall off the wagon, you may find that you haven't blown it as badly as you think and still have calories remaining for the day. Have a salad and pat yourself on the back. Your setback was miniscule!

So, log your food. I know. It's a pain. But only at first. Once it's a habit, it fits right into your daily routine and it will be just like brushing your teeth. If you don't brush your teeth I really can't help you. You're on your own.

Monday Night Cycling

Monday night Seth and I attended our first Bike Handling Class and Ride.

Thank you to all the wonderful volunteers from the Louisville Bike Club! They were great. They were very welcoming to a couple of newbies and were kind enough not point out a myriad of obvious mistakes that we made. And when they did need to correct us on something, they did not make us feel stupid or discouraged about it.
Special thanks to Laura who stayed with us after a dropped chain incident. She lead us safely through the streets of Louisville and our fun was not interrupted by our little snafoo.

Some lessons learned in addition to the ABC Quick Check that Tom went through:

  • Wear pants that are snug about the ankles or that end before your leg reaches the chain-wheel. I destroyed the right leg of my favorite pair of workout pants.
  • Wear a bright shirt so that you are easily seen. I wore a medium blue shirt and was very conscious of the fact that my day-glo yellow co-riders were much more visible that I was.
  • It really is just like riding a bike. You don't forget. And other skills, like gear shifting, kick in quickly.
  • Gloves are good. My hands hurt after the ride. You don't realize how hard you are gripping your handlebars. This will probably ease up as my brain realizes that I've got a fair chance of not dying.

Next class: Clothing & Gear, Gearing & Shifting. Become a better cyclist!. Participants should plan on attending as many sessions as possible. Classes will start promptly at 6:15 with a hands-on activity and conclude with a short 10- to 12-mile ride. Waterfront Park, Yellow Parking Lot. All skill levels welcome. RC: Tom Armstrong 502-523-9581,

May Lap Swim Calendar - UL Natatorium

Here is the May Lap Swim Calendar for UofL's Ralph Wright Natatorium. Since this place is about 2 minutes from my house, it is my pool of choice.

Length Schedule Days:
Tue, Wed & Thurs. - The pool will be set up 25yd lanes (short course)
Fri, Sat, Sun & Mon - 50m lanes (long course)

Does that mean I have to become a Cardinals fan? Maybe for the Swim team.

Louisville Ironman - Volunteer Confirmation

I've received my Ironman volunteer confirmation. If you are going to be competing, I may be helping you out.

Friday, August 28 - Althlete Check-In
Saturday, August 29 -- Bike & Gear Check-In
Sunday, Augutst 30 - Chip Retrieval

Good luck to all!
You can volunteer, here.

Bike Handling Class Tonight!

The Louisville Bicycling Club will be starting a new Bike Handling Class this evening with several Monday sessions over the next few weeks. If you want to see something funny you will come out and join my 14-year-old in making fun of me since I haven't been on a bike in years. Here are the deets:

Bike Handling Class – ABC Quick Check, Road Rules and Etiquette. Become a better cyclist!. Participants should plan on attending as many sessions as possible. Classes will start promptly at 6:15 with a hands-on activity and conclude with a short 10- to 12-mile ride. Waterfront Park, Yellow Parking Lot. All skill levels welcome. RC: Tom Armstrong 502-523-9581,