Thursday, February 25, 2010


4:00am - alarm blasts to wake me out of a deep slumber. Hit snooze. Coffee begins to brew.

4:00:30am - Magnus gets up and is ready to eat. I tell him to go back to bed, he does and does that dog sigh.

4:05am - OK, sleep until the alarm goes off again at 4:10am.

4:10am - CRAP! Hit snooze button.

4:11am - debate about going back to bed for another two hours and running after work. Surely it will be warmer and I can run outside.

4:14am - logic kicks in to remind self - you're not going to feel any more rested if you try to go back to sleep now, you may feel worse.

4:16am - this is a recovery week, shouldn't I be sleeping in? I hate the suckmill, I can run outside later.

4:19am - alarm is going to go off in another minute, fish or cut bait, fish or cut bait.

4:19:59am - turn off alarm and decide to go to the gym for a short recovery week run.

4:20am - smell of coffee travels upstairs...we don't want it to go to waste.

4:21am - fine, fine, fine, UP, I'm up, I'm up.

4:30am - look outside at the neighbors to see who is up. What ARE they doing in there anyway? No one in their right mind is up at this hour. FREAKS! (I seriously think that every time I see someone else up at 4:anythingA.M.)

4:35am - mainline coffee.

4:45am - do what naturally happens after one mainlines coffee. Thank GAWD, I hate starting a workout without pooping. It only spells disaster.

4:50am - open garage and hope that a bird hasn't made warm shelter in there. It makes me wet my pants when I open the garage and a bird starts flying around.

4:58am - arrive at gym with the 'old people' and a few meat heads.

5:02am - warm up on the suckmill + 4 mile run while reading the TVs in front of me. There's really more questions than answers when reading the TV. Like, this expert looks like you found him under a rug somewhere, how is this guy a whale expert? He looks half dead and mangled himself. Expert? Really? What kind of expert would that make me, then?

...there were many more conversations in my head while plodding on the road to nowhere. What is that smell? Who puts perfume on at 5am, seriously!? I'm going to puke. Dude, you don't have to look over my shoulder to see how fast I'm going. I'm not going fast today and YOU can't make me. Oh, it doesn't look like I'm working hard, guess what, I'm NOT.

5:15am - I guess this is the time where all treadmills are full at this place. Glad I got here on time. I never get to the gym 'on time.'

5:20am - I hate the gym, look at all those sweat splatters and marks everywhere. I wonder what kind of vermin is growing in here? that the smell of Ben-Gay? Who farted? Lady, if you don't crack even a little sweat on that bike, you're not going fast enough. Lalalala, how much longer, I hate this thing!

5:30am - Oh look there, 10 more minutes, OK, 15, 15 more minutes. I can be home by 6:00am.

5:45am - DONE, yeehaw! I'm out of here bitches!

6:00am - Good no bird trapped in garage.

6:09am - start second pot of coffee for hubs.

6:12am - finish this drivel....

As always, hate to get up but so thrilled once it's over. I'm always happy when it's done. I'm never upset that I got up to do it either. It's the getting up part...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

No Love on Love Circle

So, you open up your workout schedule and see hill repeats. Is there anything more painful OR more boring than repetitive work like that? I mean, the pain in my lungs and then the pain in my legs, and then just doing the same thing three times. Well, that was until I found a little gem in town. Yeah, I'm about a decade behind too. Apparently, it's a favorite place for Love, we'll say. I had no clue that I was in store for a treat, I just knew there would be pain. At my pace, it was going to take ~7 minutes to climb, coach says. Wow, yeah, not short.

#1 - take it easy, don't push it. Save it for the last two. All I'm thinking is - if I slow down any more, I'm walking. The swoosh of my gortex pants was so annoying that I couldn't stand myself. Final push involves stairs to get to the top most point. Stairs, really!? And then, there it was...
The Nashville Skyline before dawn. The town is still asleep and I get to see it from 'the top.' Yeah, this isn't the greatest picture but you get the idea. I was doubled over, heaving, trying to catch my breath and trying to catch a peak at this before I headed back down. The descent was questionable since it was dark and I was just hoping not to fall on the hill into the little DNA pool that constitutes Love Hill.

#2 - make this faster than the #1. Crap, really, faster?! I think I laid it on the line pretty good the first time. Nothing changes except for one thing - now I know what's at the top and I'm like a dog learning a new trick. - Now if I just get to the top, I get a treat, if I just get to the top, I get another treat, be a good girl and just do what he says. I get to the top and yep, it hasn't moved, I was faster and I almost puked on my shoe, perfect. BUT, I got another glimpse of the skyline as the light starts to peak out, that thin line of pink where the sun tries to break through. Back down....

#3 - faster than #2 or #1, I don't know if I have it but I DO know that I have a treat waiting for me at the top and it is to be slightly different than the last two times. Yep, I have determined that I can train like a dog. If there's a little treat waiting for me, it sure makes it not so painful or at least not so repetitive. TOP for the LAST time ... ahhhh, doubled over, heaving, trying to catch my...breath...but Now, if there was just a snack and a coffee waiting for me on the last one, that would have taken the cake!

...and it's all been outside my 'front door' this whole time. Wow, I need to get out more! Recovery week for me and yep, you're right, I'm thrilled. I am currently nursing a nagging shoulder so it'll mostly be cycling, running and shoulder rehab for me. Forgive me if I seem to be lacking in swim here. It'll just have to wait a few weeks.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Farts and Fruit and the Frog Lady

Initially, I thought my early season racing was going to be the most ingenious idea evah. Not so much. While I'm notorious for saving all my A races for November, I opted for a May A race. I full well knew there would be lots of trainer time but I didn't bargain for treadmill time. I have: a) become a total baby about weather b) already know what it's like to run and race in crap weather and c) lost my love for cold weather running. I USED to think that high 30's/low 40's was optimum and would wear shorts or maybe a pair of tights. NOW, crap, I wear at least one pair of tights and maybe my gortex pants to cut the wind. Yes, I know they have great high-tech tights that I could invest in but this is the first year in Tennessee that I have even used my gortex pants. I've been here 15 years for crying out loud. I'm just ready for some good average 50 degree weather and sunshine.

I'm sitting here, eating cake, watching the evening Olympics and my booberry buzzes with an email - subject line - farts and fruit. I am totally intrigued and must read, it's from Judi so I KNOW this is going to be good. Here is the content...

i thought of you tonight as i rode the trainer for 2 hours on an apple and water. farts galore.

I must say, there is nothing that makes me happier than to be the bright spot in your life. When you fart, you think of me. Actually, it couldn't be any more appropriate. Hell, my mother was the queen of the latent blame the other guy fart and the SBD fart that could clear a room. She was much like me. I can't help it, farts are funny.

EVERYONE gets credit for showing up to the gym and working out. Hands down - including the people in the pool that look like they're going to drown. They're trying. Wednesday, the frog lady was at the pool. I don't know that I have ever seen anything quite like it. She had every apparatus on except for water wings. Goggles, cap, snorkel, neoprene hand mit/glove thingies, and fins. No, she didn't look like Lady Gaga in the Kermit costume but I was pretty sure she could sit on a lily pad and hang out for a while. I wanted to laugh but I was just glad she was there froggin around.

Hill repeats on tap this morning. I hear it will take me about seven minutes and I have the pleasure of doing it three times. Yeah, can't wait.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday Mind-dump

Thanks to everyone for your comments on my back to basics approach to nutrition. I ran 13.1 with a few dried apricots, coconut water and plain water. I am being very careful with regard to the fiber content but managed that part just fine. For longer events, I will have to carry a variety to get in different types of sugar for digestion but I was mostly pleased with my results.

I'm sick of snow in Tennessee and no snow for the winter Olympics.

I've turned into a total wimp - it was ~38 out for my run yesterday with some drizzle. I wore tights, a top, gortex pants, jacket, gloves and a hat. I looked like a throw back weenie from the 80's but if my legs aren't warm, I can't move. I did look like a real winner.

I'm a sucker for the Olympics BUT mostly the objective events. Get into subjective and scoring and I'm out.

Do people (who are not dating) really celebrate Valentine's Day? I don't mean grab a card or a flower while you're already at the grocery store either but really celebrate VDay? I figure I already have a wedding anniversary and save for an extra 'I love you lots,' it's just another day. Oh, I did buy a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting if that counts for anything.

I've been MOSTLY good about ingesting foods that I can: pronounce, recognize and are not engineered to be larger than they would be in nature. EXCEPT for last nite, I'm a sucker for a good pizza. I have no clue what kind of greasy goodness was in that thing but it rocked and NO I'm NOT eating a pizza with no cheese, broccoli and chicken. That, my friend, is NOT pizza.

Workout review - all done, 6000 swim, 100+ bike, 20+ run, +lift. I know how to start a new week too, with my off day. I have to take a day off for recovery and sanity. I think this week will be similar to last. Now, if the ice and snow would just go away. REALLY?!? I live in the 'souf for Pete's sake. This is ridiculous.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Back to Basics

Truth is, I've never found the perfect answer for my nutritional needs during a long race - half ironman +. I forever get knocked up with a water baby as my body seems to shut down and stop processing or passing fluid. I feel thirsty, so I drink. One thing that is easy to do is confuse a dry mouth on a dry day with thirst. I have found that gum actually helps me with this. Fine, fine. But as any race lengthens, my tolerance for gels, blocks, beans or any kind of fake nutrition, lessens. The other thing I HATE while running or riding a bike, chewing. Seems simple enough but I struggle with keeping my breathing under control while I chew. Common, I'm sure. I feel like I've tried every kind of manufactured drink, bar, gel, block and bean, every brand and every type. So this started the conversation...what about food as fuel? Real, honest food that doesn't require 18 preservatives to keep it 'fresh' in your pantry for 8 months OR doesn't require high fructose corn syrup to make it remotely palatable. Hmmm, novel idea, food as fuel. I'm listening.... I have only recently tried Coconut water and I LOVE it. Of course, it has been the drink of choice for many endurance runners over the years. I've read about it but never tried. Yep, a keeper. I have NOT tried under hot or humid conditions but I am hopeful. Supposed to carry all the good electrolyte shiz I need, perfect. Water out of a coconut and some good ole H2O, could it be my answer? Maybe my body isn't fond of every kind of -ose sugar on the planet...don't take my Coke away from me on a long hot bike ride, I might hurt you!

Then, we got to thinking and talking (dangerous combination) and, gulp, the idea of eating food for training and racing entered the picture. This brought back a marathon memory..

Over 10 years ago, when I was willing to punish myself with marathons (haha), I used to run with these old warriors around a local park/neighborhood. They were a bunch of old guys who were pretty hardcore/old school. While I'm eating gels and drinking some concoction, one guy carried nothing, even on warm days. Periodically, we'd drink out of someones hose in their yard but that was all that he took in. These were 15-22 mile runs in hot and humid conditions. I remember him saying - I guess I don't need all that stuff since I've been eating/sucking on these dried apricots the whole time. That is all he used on a long run, dried apricots and little water. I have a bag of dried apricots so I looked, compared to a packet of serving is about the same as a packet of gel in terms of nutrition. Apricots had more sugar and fiber (could be a problem). The only other issue would be the amount of apricots in one serving - I just couldn't pound that many. BUT, as I sat on my trainer for 2.5 hours last nite, I drank water, coconut water and ate apricots. I was not pushing it but my body tolerated it nicely - except for the gas part. Slightly more gassy but whatever, not terrible. You're not supposed to be drafting me anyways.

All of that to say, if old marathon man was doing this same thing over 10 years ago, why can't we!? Really, has it been this simple? Have I been trying to complicate my life with the latest and greatest potion? Don't get me wrong, I LOVE a Coke on a hot bike ride and will stop to get one from time to time but maybe it's just the simple sugar and sodium that makes it work just fine for me. Maybe I don't NEED to eat and drink every 20 minutes or 45 minutes for a gel? Do I seriously just need to let my thirst dictate when I have a sip rather than force it in based on my watch? Holy crap....

In Magnus news...he's adjusting to one eye nicely! Here's to keeping an eye on you!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010

Geaux Saints!

A killer ending to a great week! Yay for NOLA, I'm very happy for them. While I love Peyton, he's amazing and a UT grad, it was the Saints turn. What a great game. Now, what to do with all my free time on Sunday's?!?!

All workouts in the bank, 6000 swim, 100 mi bike, 20 mi run and two strength. This MAY be the ugliest week in a long time, however. It was just the kind where you should just leave your watch or Garmin at home because you KNOW it's going to be a ugly. Mile repeats at the track...solo, SUCK IT! I could not find any speed. I didn't crumble at the end and held the pace, it was just a sucky pace, that's all. Indoor computrainer group ride 2.5 hours, uh, legs on fir-AH from the days previous sucktackular 11 mile run. I had to wear a full Gortex wind/rain suit on that run. 15-20mph winds with 35 mph gusts, yep, felt awesome when you turned right into it...uphill. I had Dermatone all over my face, thank gawd.
Stuff rocks - and NO they did not GIVE this to me to review. It is my unbiased opinion. Sonofabitch. Back to that indoor computrainer ride, yes, it really was like riding in hummus, as a friend so eloquently put it. I never found IT, never found any kind of rhythm or groove.

I would like to blame the usual scapegoat my cycle, yes, ladies and gents, my period. At the cool age of 37, one would think this is not a factor or just something that is easily managed. Really, cramps?!? I'm thirty effen seven years old and I have cramps. C'mon, give this shit to some young pup that hasn't paid their dues. 25 years of this proverbial mess and it is still a factor. When all I wanted was the sofa, a hot pad and my mom to make me hot chocolate and tell me I didn't have to go to school - I ran, I rode, I did all that shit that was on my schedule. Albeit a little angry about it (can you tell), but it's done. This week is certain to be better on the workout front. If my legs ever come back. Even though, I didn't have the speed, the effort was hamstrings tell me it is so!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Weekly Numbers

There were many recent comments on my last post about my weekly training numbers. Please keep in mind - my A race is in May...and it's February already. Hell, I may not DO another race this year after May chews me up and spits me out with 3State 3Mountain Century, REV3 Half IM and Triple T for Pete's sake! We'll see. Specifically, I got questions about my 6000 swim for this week. ***Disclaimer - this is NOT to sound snotty or over the top. The truth is, I don't get into the water for less than 3000 yards or meters UNLESS I'm doing a brick specific workout or tapering. This year, I will max at 9000/week or three workouts. My max ever was 20,000 metards in a week and my blood and urine were polluted with chlorine, I'm sure of it. Could I get the same or more benefit if that 6000 was over three or four days, even? Maybe. For the most part, I don't get into the water for less than 3000 and for me it's scheduling. The pool is not the most convenient thing in the world and requires so much showering in a day. My skin is dry enough, thank you very much. So there.

So far this week - two runs, two bikes, one swim, one lift...long run, long bike, one swim and one lift to go. Yep, I'll make it.

Oh, did you know that sheet cake is NOT proper fuel for your post work workout? I was doing 3 x 1 mile repeats with a 1.5 warm up and 1.5 cool down. Yeah, the track is 1.5 miles from the house. Anyway, someone at work left a daYum sheet cake out and the end with the frosting 'rose' on it was left. Far be it from me to let it go to waste. I took a slab of cake that was at least the size of a babies head and ate it with glee. I thought I was going to puke frosting all over myself trying to run at the track. That daYum cake tasted good but it wasn't worth always, the guilt has settled in. The real question, will I be able to resist the next sheet cake? Please, friends, do NOT have a birthday any time soon. I KNOW, I KNOW, I gotta fit into that singlet...crap!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Monday, February 1, 2010

Back into the swing...

The big news here in the South has been the weather. Yes, I'm FROM the North but have been here for ~15 years. While I'm not an alarmist and think that most of the time the forecasters are full of crap, there's just not a lot you can do when there is no snow and ice removal. The main streets, I suppose, but not my 'hood. So, after being one with my bike trainer and weights for three days, I decided that I really needed to be outside. It wasn't going to be a run but maybe the fastest walk I could muster in my hiking boots with big Magnus. You can handle a lot when it's sunny out, though. Sonofabitch - I don't own crampons and pick ax for pete's sake! We slid all over the 'hood and were the only jackasses out, needless to say. My weight wouldn't even break through the crust of ice.

Recovery week - what a treat. Besides the fact that many of my workouts were foiled by the weather, as were my plans with friends, I DID make it to the Government Mule show at the Ryman. If you appreciate a rock solid guitarist, Warren Haynes is for you. He is ridiculous, crazy good. I think Rolling Stone put him at #23 of top 100 guitarists of all time back in 2003...I think that is on the low side. Here's pictures of me hanging with the band.
Funny moments at the show - seeing all the young and old hippies that are following Government Mule. The overwhelming odor of patchouli and BO. Now, I had my phase too with the Dead, Phish, Rat Dog, Widespread Panic HOWEVER we, mostly, grow up. There was a chick who had tattooed her entire face, her hair was a lice filled mess of un-kept dread locks (you have to treat your locks properly and just not washing your hair is not the answer) and she had a tattooooed face, the WHOLE thing. OK, I'm not a tattoo person but WTF are you thinking? Her brilliant statement in the bathroom - I've never been this effe'd with at a show in my life, I just wanted to smoke a little (fill in the blank), jeeze. Oh, poor little girlie, you're in the historic Ryman Auditorium, this isn't some outdoor show.

This week IS - 6000 swim, 100mi on the bike, 20 mi running and some core/strength. I have been better about not obsessing about my schedule. I'm so A-Type that I have to have it more than a week in advance. I have to be able to plan and work around vacation and others schedules too. While it freaks me out looking at it, somehow, by the end of the week, it all gets done. So there! Bring it on, I'm ready...if this ice ever melts.

IronMissy - it's official!

IronMissy - it's official!
A vision in green!