Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sleep with the fishes

Well hopefully I will not be sleeping with any fishes or seeing any dead bodies that are currently in the East River. In order to raise money for the Never Give Up 26 foundation (  I will be swimming from Brooklyn to Manhattan on July 20th.

Yes, me the person who just started swimming in November and who cried when her hands were dirty with cookie dough until her mom washed them will be swimming in the East River. I'm definitely a bit nervous about going in the gross water and also the current but I am looking forward to meeting the challenge.  This year is about confronting and moving past fears and this race will be high on that list!

Another fear has been my bike, I love riding it on the trainer where there is absolutely no possibility of falling off and spin class is delightful.  Well this weekend I took advantage of the nice weather and my bike and I did two loops of Central Park.  Oh wow, getting on and off are my two biggest fears followed closely by the curvy areas of the park.  I managed to not fall off and actually had fun going around.  The second lap was much better after I got more comfortable with it and wasn't so nervous about going too fast. When I first got on the bike I thought to myself for a second, WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU DOING? WHY DID YOU SIGN UP FOR THIS?

Luckily I had the ladies of AWTT (more on that later) and they made me feel comfortable and pushed me to keep going.  After a quick couple of minutes the nerves were better and I was feeling pretty excited to be feeling the wind in my face.  Although I could do without all the darn tourists just randomly walking in front of me while I am trying to climb harlem hill.  It will be a while before I am whipping around the park but it was very successful!

Swimming is well it is swimming.  I hate it, with a passion but I signed up for a Tri Stroke Clinic at Asphalt Green and I am really excited about it.  I feel like I get so many different opinions and recommendations on this and it gets hard to know what to do but I feel frustrated I'm not getting better faster.  I'm hoping some specific guidance will help not only my stroke but also my confidence.

Ok that is enough for now!

Running: 37 miles
Biking: 8 hours/ 12 miles
Swimming: 7000 meters
Strength Training: 13 sessions

Sunday, February 9, 2014


Yesterday passed rather uneventfully until I realized it was FOUR, yes FOUR short months until EAGLEMAN.  Cue freak out of epic proportions about not feeling ready.

Last week was actually a really productive work out week and I felt a little confident going into my swim Saturday morning.  I met with some ladies up at Riverbank park to utilize the 50 meter pool, my arch nemesis. I feel that swimming ALWAYS goes better when you have people with you but I was still super antsy about the length of that pool.  54th street where I normally swim is not even really a 25 meter pool and I am always searching for that wall.  Last time I swam at Riverbank was almost a month ago and I had to stop in the middle of every. single. lap.  Disappointing.

This Saturday I was feeling pretty pumped after swimming two mornings during the week and feeling as though I was making progress albeit small.  The first lap I actually made it to the end of the 50 meters without feeling like I was going to drown or having to stop!  2000 meters later it was a mixed bag but I think if I am being honest with myself I have made progress.  My mom always told me that I am my own worst critic and that I am always too hard on myself.   I tried to focus on breathing steadily and not freaking out.  I don't feel I am anywhere near ready to do multiple 50 meter laps without stopping but if I keep putting in the time hopefully I will feel that way by the April sprint.  I actually wonder sometimes how much is my own head knowing a wall is coming and searching for it rather than actually needing it.

Sunday I attended a great seminar on Bikes at Brands Cycle in Wantagh.  It was weird to be back on the Long Island Railroad again, when they announced the Long Beach train I felt like I should be on it.  The seminar was really awesome and made me really excited to ride OUTSIDE!  I got bike shoes, clips and pedals but at some point really soon I need to schlep my bike out there and have those great guys put my pedals on my bike and make sure my fit still works.  They were so informative and helpful even when I was trying on shoes, I highly recommend their shop for all your bike needs.

Running is improving, my foot seems to like running intervals on the treadmill so I am sticking with that for now.  No need to cause any more pain than necessary! I also ordered a new pair of shoes to use for my trainer sessions that do not have a seam across the toe box so hoping that will assist with the foot issues during burpees and planks!  Progress my friends, sometimes it is slow but it is beautiful.

Big week planned this week, more swimming practice, spin class and some interval runs then home for my sister's baby shower so I will have a little trouble getting in my weekend work outs but I'll see what I can do at mom and dads.

Running: 26 miles
Biking: 6 hours
Swimming: 5200 meters
Strength Training: 9 sessions

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Are you dating anyone?

Friday is my rest day and also pretty much the only day I ever head out to do something outside of my general, workout, work, workout, stuff my face, sleep schedule. This past Friday a particularly nosy co-worker who shall remain nameless asked me about 15 questions about if I was dating anyone, why I wasn't dating and then lectured me that if I didn't go out more often I would end up an old spinster.  Frankly I was rather annoyed and thought a few other choice words I don't want to write BUT she gave me an idea for a blog so I guess, "Thank you annoying, mean coworker."

My schedule this week...
I use dry erase boards to keep my schedule on my fridge with my 70.3 magnet to remind me why my schedule looks insane. So, yes annoying co-worker I actually am dating someone. I am dating a woman who has big dreams and goals of completing two 70.3 races this year and we actually decided to make our relationship more solid and plan a 140.6 race for 2015. We are extremely happy together fulfilling our own needs and wants without having to compromise our goals, sleep or schedule. Why is it so crazy to spend a period of your life more focused on yourself than finding someone else? Incidentally why should finding someone to date be more indicative of a successful life than challenging yourself to learn a new discipline and then complete 70.3 or 140.6 miles in one day and three sports.

My podiatrist once told me, "You know why you never want to date a triathlete?"  I said, "No, but I can't wait for this answer." He laughed and said, "they can't commit to one sport how can they commit to one person?" At the time it really made me laugh, a little doctor humor as he was being supportive of my switch to multisport training. Now, I realize why it is difficult to date a triathlete because they are too busy training in multiple disciplines or foam rolling after a week of intense work outs or sleeping because they are completely exhausted. That isn't to say it is impossible to date me or any other triathlete but let's just say my standards are a bit higher these days.  So pals, lovely friends of mine if you are thinking of setting me up here are my requirements these days:

1)Must love the smell of chlorine mixed with biofreeze; bonus points for being able to apply biofreeze before bed
2)Know how to wield a foam roller or lacrosse ball to get out all my muscle knots
3)LOVE waking up
4)Enjoy seeing me with crazy, frizzy hair from being washed twice a day almost every day
5)Not mind that I am pretty much ALWAYS in sneakers
6)Be able to hold their own on a run, or maybe a swim, or maybe a bike trainer session
7)Let me sleep when I have the time to sleep
8)Give good massages
9)Listen to me talk constantly about strength training, swimming, biking, running, shoes, race nutrition, race locations, well you get the idea
10)Come to every single race to cheer me on and carry my shit

BONUS: Squats make me look nice in my Tri suits :-)

For now I will stay content dating this fabulous woman I know who has decided to focus on herself and her fiercely independent streak to achieve some amazing dreams that she never knew she had until recently.  I will be selfish but guess what it won't be considered selfish because I only have myself to answer to and I'm pretty damn happy right now. 

Thanks for letting me get that one off my chest :)

Running: 20 miles
Biking:  4 hours
Swimming: 2800 m
Strength Training: 7 sessions

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Patience is a virtue....

that I definitely do NOT possess.  Is being stubborn a virtue?  I have that in spades!

Foot surgery Dec 6th, half marathon January 26th...does that sound like a good idea to ANYONE?!?!  I went to the podiatrist on the 23rd for  my last post op check up and I said, "soooo can I run a race this weekend?"  My doctor who is on to my sneaky ways said, "How far is it?"  We played a little cat and mouse briefly until I finally muttered under my breath, "a half marathon" and he looked at me as though I had 4 heads.  After a lecture about scar tissue, not pushing too hard and patience I was told under no circumstances was I to run the race.

I was pretty devastated.  Not being able to run has not only been frustrating for me but also depressing.  Running is my release, it channels all my frustrations, stresses and helps me think through problems.  I'm addicted, I need it and when I don't have it I just feel off balance.  I guess if I was going to be addicted to something it is a good thing, but still really an addiction and this forced break has been very difficult for me.  I was crushed at the prospect of not running that race because I felt I NEEDED it.  I am doing the 9 plus 1, for those not in NYC that means run 9 New York Road Runner Races and volunteer once to qualify for the NYC 2015 marathon.  So I needed the race for my 9, I also had signed up with the intention of getting redemption from last year.

Saturday before I met up with J and after our sushi dinner we had some drinks, I had red wine and I must say all my great ideas come over a couple glasses of Pinot Noir these days.  We did the math and figured out exactly how fast I needed to walk to finish the race by the cut off and I can not even explain the high I got from deciding to do the race.  It was going to be freezing cold and I had the perfect excuse to sit home in my nice warm bed and here I was scheming ways to get out there and do 13.1 miles in 18 degree weather.  Who am I?  I'm not sure most people I grew up with would recognize me these days, I definitely do not look much different but athlete was never a word to describe me, more like scrawny :)  I think I may have even impressed my own little brother which let me tell you means more to me than most of my race medals (not the marathon medal I mean let's be real here!).

Sunday morning I got up, gave my foot a pep talk and then put on compression socks covered by wool socks and my running shoes.  I feel calm just putting on the shoes, relief washes over me and I feel as though I can conquer the world.  Several layers of under armour later I bounced out the door to Central Park.  It was cold but I swear I didn't even feel it at first I was just too excited and happy to be out there, adrenaline is a beautiful thing when used properly!  I gave J a fist bump and told her to kill it and then set out to "run" my race.  I lightly jogged the first mile, walked the second and kept that pattern for the first 8 miles.  This was an exercise in self discipline, keeping to a plan and not running myself into the ground.  I did not take any pain medicine pre-run because I wanted to feel the foot and know if I should stop.  About 8.5 miles in I ran into a woman who was limping and after talking to her it turned out she had hurt her IT band during the race.  We walked and talked, she called me an angel and said she was debating just quitting until she saw me.  In reality she was likely MY angel because I needed someone to slow me down a little and bring me back to my situation.   We ran across that finish line at 3 hours and 5 minutes.  Definitely not my best time, not my goal for that race at all but a powerful learning lesson, I felt so proud of myself and instantly more centered.  My foot was not impressed and required icing and elevation the rest of the day but I still didn't take any pain medicine so a win in my book!

Running: 20 miles
Biking:  2 hours
Swimming: 2400 m
Strength Training: 6 sessions