Friday, September 30, 2011

Take me to the River!

Big new of the day. The swim for Ironman Pocono Mountain has been cancelled due to unsafe conditions. The river is running too fast with currents being too strong. The water is way higher than normal.  I have to admit I was bummed to hear the news because I wanted to do the swim. Since that is what I trained the most this year due to the injuries. But nothing I can do about it so I am not going to dwell on it. I am going to go there and still try to have the best race I can. I am curious to see how all of this plays out this year and if they will do the race again as is in the future. Reason being the cold temps and the river issue. I am sure they picked the delaware because it is pretty and scenic. I've done numerous white water rafting trips down it and it is nice. But since there is an abundance of lakes around here they may have been a better choice. The bike will now be a TT start supposedly in the same order as the swim waves but how they decide where you go off in your wave i have no idea. Ill find out tomorrow at the meeting I guess. that is going to be a different for me but i having done the biking road race ive done I am comfortable with people on bikes around me so I should be fine with it. No, you can't draft but if there are people going off every few seconds there is going to be a lot more congestion on the bike course. The silver lining in the decision is that we might actually start out the bike dry! which with the forcasted temps could be helpful. Supposed to the in the low 40s at the start "warming?" up to the low 50s but the end of the race. It is supposed to be cloudy with possible rain showers. if it does rain I will be happy I've got the R3!  Im still deciding on what to wear because of the format change. I did take the r3 out for an easy 45 minute spin today. I woke up feeling crappy. stiff, sore, tired. and then i started riding my bike and the body was like what???? yep, i'm tapering! Hopefully this will be gone by race day. My ride went fine. I went and got a massage after that and also got kinesio tape applied to my knee. That's another bonus about losing the swim. I can leukotape my kneecap before the race and it has a chance to stay on now because there is no swim. I most likely will do it and just hope it stays.  it can't hurt to try!  Im gonna look like a freak with all of this tape on my leg but whatevs.  This is the best my knee has felt in awhile which is good going in the race. I have a feeling the race will beat it up again. I honestly feel like if i didn't race it would clear up so after the race I hope that to be the case when I take some downtime. I got some knots worked out of my calves. my massage therapist said they are feeling better. I mentioned the yoga and we both believe that is what is helping the knee and the lower legs.  I'll finish packing in the morning and head up to do all the prerace stuff tomorrow.hopefully my race report won't include words like hypothemia in it! Also hoping the rain holds off until im off the bike but this is going to be an interesting race for sure.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Misty Morning

Today was a yoga day. Still working on opening up this body. All goes well with that. Nothing else on tap today training wise. I’ll ride tomorrow and do a lite swim and bike Saturday. Then Sunday is race day! I got an email that they had to change the bike course a bit because of issues with the roads. It’s raining again here today. I saw a forecast for Sunday saying high of 48 and rainy. Yuck! Let’s hope that one is wrong! But if it does rain Ill be extra happy I have the r3!  I talked with jay last night and I don’t think I am going to use the changing tent. I might just throw my rain/wind jacket over my tri suit and hit the course.  I am packing a bunch of stuff through in case they cancel the swim.

Chocolate soymilk – post yoga
Tofu scramble with red pepper, onions and mushrooms
1 scoop vega wfo w/coconut water
Tofu, zucchini, yellow pepper, onions, black beans, guacamole, banana & mac nuts
1 scoop vega wfo w/coconut water

Since there isn’t much going on training wise. Im going to talk about food prep today. In an effect to keep things clean one of my tools is the slow cooker. It allows me to prep food when I have time and cook it while I am out doing other things and then it is ready when I want it. I highly recommend this when possible. Low and slow! Yeah I’ve been told it’s an old school cooking method and I agree old school as in when people actually prepared food for themselves from real ingredients most of the time. There are also things like rice cookers etc. that make it all a little easier. One of the other big things to think about when prepping is actually read the recipe thoroughly and “mise en place” or everything in its right place. Maybe a recipe only takes 20 minutes if you have things ready to go. If it calls for brown rice that alone is a hour right there. So have that ready ahead of time. Same drill with lentils,quinoa, etc. Also consider alternatives for ingredients based on what you have on hand. You can substitute tempeh for tofu in most recipes.   Just keep the quantities the same.  Something this can end up being a great variation.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Red River Shore

Talked with jay and we decided on a swim workout this morning instead of a running workout just to save the knee for raceday. Everytime I run it just hurts and if I am not getting any fitness out of it no reason to annoy that area further. I may need to can the running for awhile after Pocono mountain and just let this really heal up before I gear up to train for ironman NYC next year. Ill make it through the half-marathon on Sunday but it’s going to be rough.

So this mornings workout was

Warmup – 500 of drills + 200 easy swim just to get going a bit before the 50s

10 x 50 on 2 minutes.   Did these with Jeff and we were swimming 38 – 40 seconds for the 50s. This was supposed to be a race pace workout for me but those times are faster than I swim during a race but its hard to judge that on a 50 because by the time I realized I’m going too fast your basically done.  It actually felt like a great workout. I was moving pretty good keeping up with him.  I did 500 of drills to cooldown afterwards.  

There was an article in the local Pocono paper today about the swim possibly being cancelled this weekend because the water is too high in the river. Bad news is it rained a few inches yesterday and we are expecting rain again today, tomorrow and Friday which isn’t going to help things. I personally hope that they do have the swim, while I am not a great swimmer I am not a horrible swimmer.  I’ll probably place better with the swim that I will without it because my runtime is going to hurt me. But it’s going to be what it’s going to be. I doubt they will make a decision before Saturday.  Here is a link to the article

The only good thing is that if the swim in cancelled Ill won’t be as wet and cold on the bike. Right now the weather for Sunday is expected to be 40s in the morning warming up to 55. I’m still debating my race attire for Sunday.  Def some socks and toe warmers. Possibly gloves, either arm warmers or a riding jacket. I’m packing everything!  I actually started packing last night because I always get stressed out about the packing before the race and this takes some of the pressure off even through there will still be some last minute packing on saturday.

If the swim is cancelled it will be a TT bike start which will be weird. The decision about the bike has been made. I am going to race my R3!! It will be easier to climb, descend and corner so on this course it might just be the faster bike. It will be the bike I am more comfortable racing. I won’t know until I get out on the course if it was the right decision or not.

My allergies have been killing me lately and that made me think about posting about neti pots. While that sounds funny it is something I use everyday and I swear by. I started a lot of people using them. Most people just use them when their allergies flare up or when they have a cold but I actually like it for after swimming or after crossfit etc. to get the crap out of your sinuses. I think it is such a natural and effective way to deal with all of those issues. I see it as a real enhancement to health. Yeah I get a lot of yuck that’s so crunchy granola. But I guess Im just a crunchy granola kinda girl.   Being able to breathe is nice. I like it! and sinus infections suck. So if you have any kind of sinus issues or if you just want to clean the chalk dust or nasty swimming water out of your nose this is my answer for you. It’s cheap and drug free.

Tuesday food continued
Mustard glazed Tofu & balsamic red beets
1 scoop vega and coconut water
Lentils, onions, red pepper, tomatoes  & guacamole, clif crunch bar

Wednesdays food
Chocolate soymilk – post swim
Soy Yogurt, chia seeds, strawberries, nectarine and soy protein powder
1 scoop vega & coconut water, macadamia nuts
Mustard glazed tofu & roasted yellow string beans
Tempeh, carrots, potatoes & spinach

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Today is a rest day. I started the day with a yoga class but that’s it for today. Which is probably a good thing. Even the short 20 minute run I did yesterday flared up the pain in my knee last night. Hopefully the stretching this morning will get it back on track. I am ready for Pocono swim and bike wise but the run is going to be brutal. Ill do my best but I have a feeling my knee is going to be killing me afterwards and Its finally going to be time to take some time off and just let it heal so I don’t have to keep battling this nagging injury. It would be so nice to finally be painfree.

I have been answering questions from my blog via email and text from some of you and I’m hoping that you can now start posting those questions for me to answer on my blog site under the comments section. It’s really just as simple as sending me the question.  The reason I am asking for you to do this is because I feel it would benefit others that are also reading the blog. If you have a question someone else may have the same question or even if they don’t that doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t benefit from hearing the answer as well. Sometimes just getting the dialogue going is helpful. It can also guide the direction in which I should focus my posts. If it is a question of a more personal nature that you don’t want to share online please feel free to email or text me and of course I will still answer it for you.

Most of the questions I get revolve around what I eat. In the past I posted everything I eat on the blog and that got even more questions and comments. I got away from that a bit because I started posting earlier in the day. But because I get so many questions on that topic I am going to bring in back.

Post swim – recovery chocolate soymilk
Soy yogurt, blueberries, strawberries, chia seeds, soy protein powder
Tofu scramble with purple peppers (only a small portion was leftover)
Brown rice bowl of Tofu, Carrots, Broccoli, Mushrooms & onions
VEGA WFO (this is a staple, highly recommended!) w/coconut water – Macadamia nuts
Yam & pinto bean patties, spinach salad

Tuesday (so far)
Post Yoga – recovery chocolate soymilk
Tofu scramble with red peppers, onions and mushrooms
Soy yogurt, blueberries, strawberries, chia seeds, soy protein powder

Monday, September 26, 2011

Countdown to Armageddon

Saturday – took a vinyasa yoga class in the morning. It has been a long time since I practiced yoga. Probably a couple of years now. However in the past I used to do it very regularly. At least 2-3 times a week. Sometimes more if I could fit it in. It just feels great. Opens everything up. I was very impressed with how much it relieved the tension in my knee. So I committed to going more often by purchasing class passes.  It will be easier for me to get there during the off season but I really should incorporate it into my training program. Maybe as a rest day activity or on a day where I only have one other workout.  I went to a new yoga studio called balance and I think that is going to be the ticket to making it work. It is close to my house and they have times I can work it into my schedule. In the past finding the time to fit it in was the problem. Im sure when I am training and racing a lot it will be hard again.  But if it is what I need to keep myself injury free Ill have to make the time to do it.  It is an eye-opener to see how tight things have become from all of the training. I lost a lot of flexibility in my shoulders, hips and legs. 

Rode my TT bike in the afternoon. IT was supposed to be a 25 mile TT but it really ended up being a 28 mile ride. I didn’t really feel like I had the legs to do a TT.  I also put the zipps on my TT bike. Still not sure what bike I am going to race yet.

Sunday – 45 minute bike – took the R3 – it was supposed to be an easy effort so I  didn’t ride anywhere with hill climbing and it was a nice ride. It felt a little
weird doing a short ride. I hit another vinyasa class Sunday evening. That might be the class the ends up fitting well into my schedule for the winter months because it is a time I most likely won’t be doing some kind of other training.  Again it really feels like it unwinds my knee a bit and takes a lot of tension off of it afterwards. I def feel it working on my lower legs which are pretty much almost immobile stone.

Monday – 20 minute swim, 20 minute run, 20 minute bike

Hit the water this morning. Didn’t warm up just started into my 20 minutes. Balance and rotation felt good in the water. 75 of breaststroke to cooldown.  Over my lunch hour I went out for a 20 minute run following by a 10 minute bike. Both were easy efforts. It is the first time I ran in over a week and I just don’t feel like I have good running legs going. Running at Pocono is going to be rough. It made my knee a little weird afterwards. I have a feeling Pocono is going to really flare it up again. Ill finish up my other 10 minutes riding home from work. It is great weather here. Feels awesome to run shirtless in late September. But I’ve heard the weather is going to change back to cold in time for Pocono. It would be nice if that was wrong.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Living Well is the Best Revenge


swim – 500 of drills to warmup then 35 minute time trial. I started out counting the laps but I lost count and I just gave up on it and decided to focus on thinking about form and rotation.  Felt like it went well.  Kevin joined me halfway through which was helpful because he is an excellent pacer setter. He will swim right next to whatever pace your going or slight faster and he just stay there so it keeps you from slowing down.  He’s like a metronome. If only I could have him in the water with me at pocono! 200 of breaststroke to cooldown. Shoulder was a little achy from all the water time this week but im not concerned about it with the taper week coming up.

Bike Wod – I almost hesitate to even call it that. When I got done with it I thought, “did I really put bike shorts on for this?” I had quite the roadie attitude last night about the whole thing.  The positive points of the workout were I took the P2 out for the first time since Burlington. I got to acclimate myself to it a bit and also test out my new garmin computer on it. I have the aeromount so it hides between my torpedo water bottle. Good news its aero. Bad news not easy to read in the aero bars because of how far back it is. You have to put your head really down to see it. It is easy to read when you sit up in the bullhorns. So maybe I will just check it when I am getting a drink/food. I don’t really need to see it constantly. They are going to have bottle exchanges every 15 miles on the bike at pocono so I only intend to bring 1 bottle on the bike and just switch it out from the torpedo mount. This way I am not dragging that water weight up the hills with me.  It not going to be hot so this should be sufficient. The workout was a 10 minute warmup. I headed over to my velodrome so that I could stay in the aerobars without too much traffic interference and I did 1 min on, 1 min off, 2 mins on, 1 min off, 3 mins on, 1 min off, 4 mins on plus a 5 minute cooldown ride.  Not a whole lot happening there. I plan on taking damon out on my ride this weekend and next week just to really get the feel of being on the p2 again. Although I have to admit I have been debating taking the R3 on the pocono course. Why? 1)It’s hilly. The R3 is a climbing machine! Def better than the P2. 2) I descend as others have told me “like a maniac” on the R3. I still descend well on the P2 depending on the conditions. Meaning I can cut better lines turning down or off a descent on my R3.  I still come out of my aerobars when cutting a hard corner sometimes on the p2. Maybe I haven’t spent enough time on it. I don’t know. I def do a more aggressive tuck on the R3. 3) I have the feeling the pocono is going to be a technical bike course. I saw at least 43 turns on the cue sheet. Nationals in Vermont ended up being a more technical course that I was expecting and I remember thinking to myself as some guys passed me how the hell are they not dumping their tt bikes riding them like that on this course. They held much better lines and stayed more aero than I did through some sections of the course. Don’t get me wrong the P2 did not feel bad on the Burlington bike course. In fact it was a fun ride especially on some of the descents. So maybe I was just feeling like a roadie last night when I was thinking about this on my ride.  But if it is a technical course and I can corner better on my R3 than my P2. The R3  might be a better choice. The R3 corners and responds incredibly well. I love through that bike around!  The only thing I can say about it is that decending high 40s low 50s the bike does vibrate. It doesn’t have the stiffness that Stefan my heavyweight does. But  neither does Damon. Anyway, Both bikes are really light so weight doesn’t come into play either. The bottom line is the p2 is the faster bike in most conditions so I should take that one. The caveat is if I can actually ride it in the faster manner than I ride the R3 on this course. And  therein lies the rub.

My plantar fascia was killing me last night and today on my surgical foot. I didn’t like that at all. It was worrisome but I’m stretching and keeping tabs on it. The knee is pretty much the same. No worse no better.


Swim – 500 of drills to warmup. Then 6 rounds of 2 minutes on 2 minutes off with a dive start. On the first round hitting the water actually shut my timer on the tap watch off so I did 6 laps then checked it and realized it wasn’t running. On the next 5 reps I fixed the watch so that wouldn’t happen and I hit 5 laps everytime.  That put me on the wrong end of the pool for the dive so I did a 25 of easy breaststroke during the 2 minutes off to get me back to the deep water. Cooldown 100 of dolphin dives (shallow water)/breaststroke(deepwater) then 50 of butterfly. It’s been a long time but the fly is back baby! Except I haven’t done fly in so long that ended up not being much a cooldown so I ended up doing another 50 as side balance.

Bike – it pouring here today so sadly I didn’t get out on the p2. Instead used the trainer. Did 10 minute easy spin as a warmup. Then 20 minutes pushing almost the hardest gear on the bike the entire time. Then 5 minute easy spin to cooldown.

Tomorrow I hope to get a good 25 minute TT in on my TT bike but not sure if the weather is going to cooperate. Might have to move it to Sunday. Going to hit some yoga to unbind. Might even swim in the morning if I am awake early enough.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It's the End of the World as we know it (and I Feel fine!)

Had a tough time getting up this morning. But i am feeling better than I did at the beginning of the week. Swim – 1,000 of drills. I felt really good in the water doing these again. The more I swim the better my balance and position in the water is. Then 2 rounds of 300 paddle and pull, 300 swim. Cooldown 150 breaststroke. I think it is because I started swimming so late in life I feel like the more frequently I swim  the better it goes. Good news is i love swimming.

Bike – 20 minute warmup then 10 x 3 minute hill repeats up jumper road! All of the hill work I have been doing especially on jumper road has been paying off. While it is still painful to climb jumper road I can see how much better at it I have become and I LOVE IT!!!! I thought about running today but it is supposed to be rainy the next couple of days so I decided to get my hill climbing in while the water suited it. It’s much easier to run in the rain. I’ve really been working on stretching my legs out the last couple of nights. I think I am going to do some yoga this weekend/next week to get unbound for Pocono.I gotta say I really continue to love riding the R3 and I am so happy I went Sram Red. It is such a sweet ride. I actually get a lot of comments on it during and after the races I've done and even when I am just out riding on the streets. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

High and Dry

Started the day with a swim – 1,000 of drills. My form felt pretty good on these today which was nice. Then 10 x 50s on 15 second rest.
1 –47
10- 45
Cooldown – 50 breaststroke, 25 fly kick, 25 head lead.

Bike – 10 minute warmup then 7 minute TT all uphill! 10 minute cooldown. Garmin still frozen so I don’t have any data. Rode Stefan which is like dragging a hummer up a hill. Alright that might be a little too much. More like an escalade.

It felt like a short training day. The knee is feeling better. I probably could have run on it today but I decided to ride my bike instead and give it some more time. Not sure what Ill do tomorrow yet. It depends on how the knee is. Im trying to be really good and allow it to really recover. I stretched the hell out of my legs last night. They are so frigging tight it’s a little ridiculous!

I got my athlete guide for Pocono Mountain! I guess it really is coming up sometime soon. They are taking some actions regarding the weather as it is probably gonna be pretty cold. There will be a changing tent in T1. I will wait until it gets closer to decide if I am going to take advantage of that or not. It could make the day a lot more comfortable but it don’t know if I want to take the time to use it. They are also providing bags at the swim start that we can put our warmup clothes in which will be transported to the finish so we can put them on right after the race. That could be a very good thing too. I am just not sure what Im going to want to wear. At this road race on Saturday I ended up just wearing my racing kit because the guys were giving me a hard time before the race when I had arm warmers, gloves and toe covers on. They were like your going to be too hot take all that shit off. It was only 50 degrees. But I listened to them and I actually was fine during the race. The only thing that was cold was my toes and that wasn’t bad. Today it was rainy and 60 degrees but I wanted to get out and ride so I wore a long sleeve jersey and I was actually hot and wishing I had a short sleeve jersey on. Of course these times I wasn’t coming out of 60 degree water either.  We are not going to be allowed to swim on the swim course at all until the race start. I always find that weird which a race does that but nothing can be done about it anyway. I’ve already done river swims in the area so  I should be fine. The bike course has 43 turns and is hilly so I have a feeling it is going to be a technical course. As of now I plan on taking the P2. Although I am thinking about the R3 as that might actually be better on the hills and the turns. I’ve already done the run in the spring when I did the Pocono run for the red half marathon.  There are some hills in it but no major climbing. the other complication for this race is it is a 2 transition area race just like wilkes-barre. We have to put out or bike  at the beach Saturday and also put out our running gear at t2 on Saturday as well. I;ve decided I am going to stay in the Poconos on Saturday night even though it is only a 45  minute – 1 hour drive from my house just because the area the race is in has a lot of little country roads and those could be really crowded race morning with people trying to get to things. We have to be shuttled to the swim start as there is no access to it any other way. No walking. Biking etc. They are also charging spectators to take a shuttle to the swim start. So I have a feeling there are not going to be too many there. I’m the 5th wave out of 13. So ill go after about 15 minutes which isn’t too bad but the waves after me are guys so I am gonna have to swim hard so I don’t get swum over.  Other good things. Bike aid every 15 miles. Which means I really only need 1 bottle on the bike. I don’t want to be lugging extra water up those hills!  I also like that they are giving us tickets to pick up gear so in theory someone else can go get my bike and gear after the race if I am too tired to do it. I most likely end up doing it myself but I was pretty beat after the eagleman until I took a shower and got something to eat. I am really hoping to improve on my race from eagleman.