Thursday, March 29, 2012

Maintenance Mode

When I lost 60 plus lbs in 2008, I defined my "happy weight" (= an arbitrary number that I will not put on the blog). I don't know what is was about that number, but it just seemed right. I felt good at that weight and I seemed to be easily able to maintain it... And anything less than that, made me look like a wet rat... Trust me, I know... There was the week with the stomach bug.
I was fluctuating around that "happy" weight for around two years and then (very) slowly but surely, the scale creeped back up again. Too slowly for anybody around me to notice much. Of course I did notice it.... I didn't weigh myself on a daily basis, but often enough to see the trend. I just didn't do anything about it.

In the bulk of training for AOMM early last year, I was about 5lbs up from my "happy" weight, but with all of the training going on, who can really think about cutting back calories... right? The thought process was, to take care of it when Mitchell was over. I did an effort for about a week and I expected weight loss out of the week of clean eating, which never came and in no time, I was back eating out every lunch... (A cheeseburger and fries? Of course! I go biking after work, I burn that off in no time.) Once tri season was over, holiday season started and between Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's and a couple of birthday parties, I was up around 14lbs from my "happy" weight. I was not overweight based on BMI calculations (how accurate are things things anyways for athletes?), but I was at a point, that I tried on pants before throwing them into my gym bag to make sure they still fit me. I am not joking!

In the middle of January, I decided to finally put a stop to this upward trend and take my nutrition seriously again... for longer than a week. I did this weight loss thing before, there is no reason, I can't do this again. And now I am happy to report, that I hit my goal weight (=happy weight) this week and find myself in mainentance mode once again.

The biggest changes that I did:
  • daily calorie burn vs calorie consumption evaluation (shooting for at least a 500 calorie deficit per day = a 1 lbs loss per week)
  • take lunch to work
  • drink more water
  • reduce eating out in general
  • treat myself every now and then vs every day
  • don't beat myself up, if some days I didn't hit my goals
I want to make this weight (or around this weight) stick this time. I am planning on keeping up these changes (or new habits), because eating better makes me feel better. Also, eating at home is cheaper and not having to buy new clothes is cheaper too!

It's funny, how big of a topic weight is for us endurance athletes. When I talk to my athlete friends and read other athlete's blogs, weight always is a topic. Most of these people are not overweight, but yet we still somewhat obsess about it. It almost sounds like we have it all backwards, because we workout so much, we should be able to eat whatever. But I said it here before and I will say it again: You can't outtrain your diet! (I didn't come up with this, but it's my new mantra.) But a healthy diet will support your athletic goals, not only when it comes to weight, but also in the way you feel. Case in point was the double cheeseburger and fries from a fast food place, that I had after our epic brick on Saturday. It made me sick. Lesson learned (again).

My goal for mainentance mode is to establish eating habits that match my activity level to ensure that I fuel my workouts properly without packing on the pounds again.

Disclaimer: I am obviously not a health professional and just sharing my experiences here.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Bet

The other night on one of our doggy walks, Terry said out of the blue: "I think, I am going vegan!"

Me: Um... okay.
T: Yes, I don't need meat.
Me: Um... okay.
T: I can do that for at least a couple of days, maybe a week.
Me: Do you want to bet on it?
T: You are going to lose, I can easily live off omletts and stuff for a week.
Me: That would be going vegetarian. You said you want to go vegan. That means no animal products whatsoever.


T: What is the wager?
Me: The hedge trimmer, that you have been talking about the last couple of days!

Silence... for the next 5 minutes.

T: Okay, I am going to do it.

Today is Terry's first day of a one week vegan diet. Yesterday, we made a huge grocery haul at Costco stocking up on fruits, veggies, oatmeal, bocca burgers and madras lentils.

Good luck, babe!! ;-)


We are now at T -4 weeks for the Charleston Half and I hit some major volume in the last two days and this week is going to be even bigger in overall volume.

But before I get into this week's madness, let's have a look at the past weekend:

On Saturday, we met up with our friend Stacy (my partner in crime for AOMM) for 60 miles on the bike. She is currently training for Ironman Texas and had a cutback week... I see the irony in that! ;-) After the bike, Terry and I had a 4 mile brick on tap while she would have to do 8 miles.

The ride started out quite pleasant, the temperature was just right, the rain clouds moved out of the way and the wind hadn't moved in yet. Our first 10 plus miles were warm-up and then we had a 20 mile hard effort on tap. Later, I read in Training Peaks, that I was supposed to draft off Terry for those 20 hard miles, but I failed to read the instructions completely and ended up doing it without the benefit of the draft. By that time, the wind had kicked in and I was working my tail off. After those 20 miles (mile 31 of the ride) my legs just felt cooked. The next 10 miles, I just went through the motions, but eventually had to tell my training partners, that I felt less than stellar. We then stopped at a gas station and I had a huge Snickers bar, thinking that I might be fighting off a bonk, but even the Snickers didn't make much of a difference. I was one happy camper, when we finally got back to her house after 60 miles, but dang, there was still this 4 mile brick.

Since both Stacy and Terry are so much faster runners than I am, we split up for this brick after quick instructions from Stacy on how to get to a river path in her subdivision. The first mile through the subdivision was very hilly, but once I was on the river path, it was fairly flat. Instead of doing two loops around, I did one loop and then went straight down to the river again, to cut out one mile of hills, because my quads were screaming bloody murder at this point.

The drive home was quite painful. I just felt the lactid acid accumulating in my legs and didn't know how to sit anymore. We stopped to pick up some really unhealthy food on our way home and it took them forever to get our order done and I was just wiggling around whenever I wasn't completely zonked out. After our late lunch and squeezing myself into my recovery socks, we took the dog out for a 3 mile walk... That finally made me feel somewhat normal again. Still, I was dreading the 12 miles run planned for Sunday.

I wore my knee high recovery socks (sexy right?) to bed that night and felt cautiously optimistic, since I was sleeping like a rock for around 9 hours. After a light breakfast and skyping with my mom, I hit the bunny trail and wouldn't you know... I felt pretty good. Actually, I felt so good, that I decided to make a half marathon out of the 12 miles on the plan. Kaboom!

This weekend has me feeling pretty good about the half ironman training at this point. Even though Saturday was a rough day for me (better in training than on race day), I am very happy about how my legs bounced back. This week will have some serious volume and a couple of two a days, but it's now or never to get the high volume in. Before we know it, it will be time to taper.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Barley, Beets and Banana Peppers

Remember the whole "clean eating" resolution? Well, not really resolution, but either way... I have been sticking with it for the last two months. I feel great, I dropped some serious weight, my pants fit better again and my training is going well.

I implemented several changes in the last couple of months and will eventually write a whole big post about it to explain the how's and the why's. But today, I just wanna talk about the change, that I believe made the biggest impact:

Take my lunch to work.

Yesterday's creation:
Chicken, beets, artichokes, barley and
2 table spoons of Italian dressing

I know this is not great news. Every weightloss blog and podcast talks about it, every nutritionist recommends it, but I just didn't do it. I was too lazy. Heck, I lost 60lbs a couple of years ago and still when out for lunch every day during the week.

But for whatever reason, this time around, I wanted to have more control of what I am putting into my body... While calories in vs out is the determining factor if you are losing, gaining or maintaining weight, I wanted to start improving the quality of the calories that I am taking in.

Since I am not a great cook and mostly prepare my meals for the next day between getting home, walking the dog, unpacking my bags from that day's workout and repacking my bags for the next day of workouts, I developed "go-to" meals pretty fast. My two standards are some sort of salad creation (see above) and some sort of wrap creation.

In order to no get too bored about this, I switch the ingredients around every day. And when just switching stuff around wasn't quite enough, I added new (to me) foods that I have not used in the past, like barley, beets, banana peppers and artichokes... It would sound better, if they were called "bartichokes"... I know, not funny!

Actually, I started to cook a whole box of quinoa one night and just keep it in the fridge and then we just throw it into anything we can think of e.g. salads, scrambled eggs, cottage cheese. A couple of months ago I bought a box of barley, but haven't cooked it until earlier this week and I see barley being utilized by us the same way we use quinoa.


In other news:

Since daylight savings started, Terry and I are taking the dog for a walk for at least 2 miles every night. So far, we got lucky with the weather and haven't gotten rained out yet. We only don't walk her, if I have an evening workout and it's already dark by the time I get home. Then Terry usually takes her for a shorter walk by himself.

It keeps the dog's energy level in check and she's not bouncing around the house like crazy.

Here are some pictures from a recent walk... Spring is here indeed:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Preview TRY Charleston Half Bike Course

Not even a week ago, we decided on a whim, that it might be a good idea to head over to Charleston SC after our Parris Island Triathlon in order to preview the bike course of our upcoming half iron distance triathlon... That race is just 4 weeks away (yikes!) and since we were sort of in the area already, it all made sense.

After that decision, I sat down with the course description on the race website and mapped the course on in order to upload the course to my Garmin* for easy breezy navigation on preview day.

*In case you want to know, how to upload courses on your Garmin Forerunner 305, here is a little tutorial, that I wrote a while back.

I say one thing right away: We didn't ride the course 100%, but hopefully we covered between 90% and 95% of it. The race site is going to be the KOA Campgrounds, but outside of the race, there is no where to park, if you are not camping there. So we ended up parking in a strip mall maybe 1 mile up the road. Right at the beginning, the course said to turn off Highway 17, but when we tried that, we ended up in front of a gated community. So we cut out this whole piece through the community by staying on Hwy 17. Also, I am not sure, if we turned around on Hwy 17 even close the correct spot. We still ended up with 56 miles, but I think that was mostly due to parking away from the course start and getting back to the parking lot, since it's a point to point course on race day.

Here is a quick shot with my ride, right before we headed out. Those are cool sleeves (not arm warmers... it was toasty) that I like to bust out in order to avoid sun burns. I tend to get those quickly, especially in the first couple of sunny days, because I have to get used to that whole sunscreen thing all over again. Actually, my face felt hot for the rest of the day, even though I slathered on the 30 SPF. One more thing about the outfit: I really like how my AOMM jersey goes so perfectly with my bike. ;-)

We hit the road at 8.30AM under a sunny and cloudless sky. The weather forecast showed a 30% chance of thunderstorms in the morning, but for the first 10 miles it was sunny and just as it started to warm up the clouds rolled in and kept everything at a comfortable temperature. Only the last 7 or 8 miles felt hot again, because the sun was out once more.

Gloom and doom in Awendaw, around mile 13 into the course.

Let's get into the nitty gritty of the course:

1. First stretch on Hwy 17 (Mile 1-6): There was some bumpiness going on, but I am assuming, that the gated community (see above) at around mile 4 will be part of the course and will cut out the bumpy stretches.

2. Back country roads on the way out (Mile 6-19): Smooth sailing asphalt and pancake flat. Not a ton of traffic expected... No spectators expected either. Lots of tree lined roads should provide some shade.

3. Out and back on Hwy 17 (Mile 20-32): Good asphalt and of course pancake flat. It's a two lane highway, so traffic shouldn't be too bad. Even with just the two of us on Sunday, that stretch was okay. No trees close to the road on the way out, so probably no shade.

4. Steed Creed Road (Mile 33-37): Smooth asphalt and some "hills". I think this is the only section where you have a noticeable elevation change.

5. Hallway Creek Road (Mile 38-48): The first 7.5 miles of this road sucks! The asphalt is rough and the vibration was driving me nuts. Those 7.5 miles felt like an eternity. At least it's flat and once again, it's tree lined, so depending on time of day, there will be some shade. After you crossed United Drive, the asphalt is like glass and feels sooooo good.

6. Hwy 41 (Mile 49-52): This section scared the skittles out of me. It's a one lane highway and it was busy and half of the cars that we encountered in this short section acted like complete idiots. I was hoping that this won't be an issue on race day, but by now heard back from people, that the stretch is scary on race day too.

7. Dunes Community (Mile 53-56): Nice neighborhood and smooth roads. Home stretch of the bike course.

This course has the potential of being really fast, depending on the wind. It's not scenic, but the back country roads are nice and quiet and the road conditions are mostly good!
Despite having raced the day before, we clocked an average of 17.9 mph for this ride. Granted that we did draft off each other (not going to happen on race day) and Terry did a lot of the pulling.

This is what 70% of course looks like.
On a site note: Some of the route is also covered during the Palmetto 200 (or at least was in 2010, when we did that relay) and it was fun to ride by e.g. a church and recognize it as exchange zone from two years ago. I actually can remember from the Palmetto, that we saw some cyclist from the TRY Charleston Half on the course on Hwy 17... Who would have thought, that we'll be back just two years later to be part of that. At the time,  we both just had one sprint triathlon under our belts!

Terry during a food stop.
We kept our stops short and sweet and I actually just had three "Sunrise" bars during this ride. I felt fine throughout, because I had quite a big breakfast, but once we were done, all I could think of was FOOD! Good thing, that there was a Mellow Mushroom just across from where we parked.

Gotta love the paintings in the Mellow Mushrooms.

After we inhaled our lunch, we immediately hit the road back to G-Vegas.

Bye bye Charleston... See you next month!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Race Report: Parris Island Sprint Triathlon

500 meter pool swim - 10m bike - 5k run

Results (based on chip time):

Swim 9m 30s (1:44 min/ 100 yards) GR 17/127 AG 3/10
T1 1m 23s
Bike 33m 18s (speed  19.4 mph) GR 20/127 AG 4/10
T2 1m 19s
Run 26m 04s (pace 9:03 min/mile) GR 52/127 AG 7/10

TOTAL 1h 11m 33s GR 29/127 AG 5/10
GR= gender rank AG= age group


We left work early Friday and drove down to Beaufort/ Point Royal. We were there in time to pick up our packages and then made our way back to the hotel, had some dinner on the way too. I think, I was out like a light by 9pm.

The hotel we stayed in offered "breakfast", but thankfully, I had bananas and almond butter with me. They didn't even have toast or bagels, so I had a waffle with almond butter and a banana as pre race breakfast. Not bad at all as it turns out.

Showing off the Trek SpeedConcepts.
We then made our way to the base (the race is held on the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island SC) and snagged a prime parking spot right across from transition and right next to Coach Katie. We also ran into in racing buddies, team mates and CrossFit Buddies right away.  A friend of mine says that this race is like the first day back at school after the summer break. The whole gang makes it out for the first race of the season!

After a lot of chit chat and setting up transition, we made our way to the combat pool for the pre race meeting and to RACE!


For the registration we had to give a 100 yard swim time with which people were seeded. The lower your number, the sooner you were supposed to start. At least that's the theory of it all, since it was alright to enter the water any time you wanted. I was standing around Nicole and Sarah and while my number didn't "go" with their numbers, we just lined up and then got into the water right after each other. I think we were right about where we were supposed to be or maybe a little too far back. It didn't even take two lengths before I passed the first swimmer and I did that a couple of times during the 500 meters, without being passed (at least I can't remember being passed). The swim is going back and forth in the same lane before ducking under the rope, so sometimes it was a tight squeeze. Right around the middle of the swim, my arms felt a little heavy and the breathing got out of control, but after that, things were getting better again. I just don't care for pool swims... It's tight and you get thrown off your rhythm with all the turns. Not lying here, I was hoping for a better time, but also have to mention that the swim time includes the short run from the pool to the entrance of transition.


T1 wasn't all that bad and fairly efficient. The only hiccup was, that I forgot to remove my cleat clovers and had to stop one more time to take them off before I headed out of transition.


First order of business after getting on the bike was drinking and sucking down a gel and then putting the hammer down. The course was pancake flat, so we pedaled all the time. There was some headwind and some tailwind going on. I was hoping for a 20mph average on this course and for this distance, but didn't quite make that. Just have to try harder the next time!

Terry was right in front of me after getting on the bike (he got into the water a couple of minutes ahead of me) and I passed him within the first mile and he passed me back maybe around 5. Then he lost a spare tire and stopped to pick it up. I didn't expect to see him again after that, but he ended up passing me back around mile 9 with the words: "Baby, come on! Let's do this!" I tried to stay close to him, but just wasn't able to do it. My baby got strong on the bike!!!

The bike course was a little long.


Too slow... Not efficient... Try again.


So here we are again on a run course. In the past, I often gave myself a card blanche to suck on the run as long as I pushed it in the swim and on the bike. This time, I promised myself to keep on pushing. I started off with side stitches on both sides, which is always fun. Fortunately, that settled after the first quarter mile. On purpose, I wasn't even looking at the Garmin until it beeped for the first mile (9:08 pace). Good start! The water stops on the course where right before mile 1, at the turnaround and then right before mile 2. I grabbed a cup each, took a sip and the poured the rest over my back. I saw Terry right before the turnaround and he kept trucking along, besides his foot injury. The second mile came in at 9:13 which was a little disappointing, but it motivated me to push a little harder for the last mile, which was quite a full mile (8:44 pace).

The run course was a little short. It all evens out in the end. You will never hear me complain about a short run course! ;-)

Post Race:

The trading of race stories started immediately after crossing the finish line! It took us a while to make our way back to the transition area to grab our things and get a shower in before heading back to the finisher area again. Right before the awards, we were able to snap a quick team picture! GO TEAM!

We headed out half way through the awards ceremony to make our way to Charleston in order to preview the TRY Charleston half iron distance bike course on Sunday.

Edit to add: Please also check in with one of my team mates that completed her very first triathlon at Parris Island. Congrats, Cynthia! GREAT JOB!!!!

Race Review:

Parris Island is a great season starter. It's short and sweet on a beautiful course. For me, it was the first time on any sort of military base and it was sort of a foreign and weird experience. It was great!

I found the swim seeding or not seeding a little irritating, but overall it worked out alright for me.

The bike course was not overly crowded and the roads were mostly smooth. The turnarounds were wide, so it didn't slow you down too much.

The run course good, but certainly no scenic. Good thing that it was an out and back and I had plenty of entertainment with people watching.

The post race food was excellent and plenty.

Overall a 4 out of 5.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


 Lately, I have been finding some pretty good resources online... for training and nutrition.

And they are free. Here we go:


Once you get over the skimpy outfit of the host, you see a great resource for workout ideas to spice up your own workouts or you can might as well just follow along their programming. Most of the workouts can be done with little or no equipment. They incorporate high intensity intervals in their routines which make the workouts short, but super tough.


Late last year, when I had all that back trouble, I did the "Foundation Training" to conquer the beast and had pretty good result. If you don't want to by the book you are in luck, because they have posted several of their exercises as video on the website.

The Jillian Michaels Show

Podcast Description

Jillian Michaels, America's Health and Wellness guru, brings you the Jillian Michaels Show. An entertaining, inspirational, informative show that gives you tools to find health and happiness in all areas of your life.


Podcast Description

Fat 2 Fit Radio is an Internet radio show, or podcast, featuring Russ Turley and Jeff Ainslie. Join us each episode as we share web sites, insights, information, recipes, weekly weigh-ins and more to help you go from fat to fit.

The show is not about fad diets, or get skinny quick schemes. We’re advocating weight loss through lifestyle change, not quick fixes – they simply don’t exist. Stop eating and acting like a fat person and start emulating the diet and habits of a fit person. During each episode we’ll tackle one or more exercise, fitness or diet topics. Week after week if you incorporate the ideas and tips we’re sharing, you will lose weight and start looking and feeling better.

CrossFit Radio

 Podcast Description

CrossFit Radio is a free service of the CrossFit Journal. The shows are live interviews and discussions about all things CrossFit. The show's hosts interview a wide variety of guests, including community members, trainers, HQ staff and even opponents of CrossFit. The topics cover the full spectrum of the CrossFit world. Interviewees speak of their experiences, insights, strategies, approaches around all aspects of functional movement and elite fitness. The shows vary in length and scope, but tend to be focused around a single interview and run about an hour.


You Tube Channels:

Zuzka Light
- The Official YouTube Channel for Zuzana Light, co-founder of BodyRock.Tv and fitness personality.

Lionsgate BeFit
- Get high-quality, free workouts on Lionsgate BeFit! Transform your body and workout with top fitness trainers Jillian Michaels, Denise Austin, Jane Fonda and more. Slim your waistline, tighten and tone your arms and get a great butt for free. Are you ready to be fit?


Monday, March 12, 2012


Another weekend over and done and with that, I am officially in the first race week of 2012. How did that happen???

But before I get to far ahead of myself, let's have a look at how much volume I was able to cram into the weekend.

On Saturday, we once again headed out to ride 55 miles. Because we liked the "Happy Cow" ride from Donaldson Center last week, we wanted to do that one again. Earlier last week, I posted the ride on Facebook and for Saturday, ended up with a group of five including me and Terry.

I never did a ride with any of the other riders, but we turned out to be a fairly cohesive group... or they were holding back... Or maybe a little bit of both? ;-)

The nice thing about riding with new and old friends is (in my opinion) the trading of information and picking each others brains when it comes to all things triathlon. Nutrition was a big topic on Saturday. Two of the guys were trying out boiled potatos for the first time, while Terry and I gave some new (for us) bars (Sunrise Energy Bars from Costco) a try. We talked races, especially the Charleston Half coming up, because 4 of us are signed up for it.

Besides the wind, it was just a perfect day to get a great ride in and with all the chatting going on, it hardly felt like work, eventhough we rolled along at a pretty good clip.

In the last 10 miles, some of the group put the hammer down and my legs were certainly a little sour at this point, because I tried to keep up. But overall, I felt pretty darn good after the ride and running a half marathon after riding 56 miles starts sounding not completely ridiculous.

After getting home and refueling, Terry and I even made it out for a nice doggy walk later that afternoon. I really found, that going for a walk after riding or running really helps my recovery. If I park myself on the couch after a long ride, I feel much stiffer and moving around and walking just seems to shake things out nicely.

Speaking of "shaking": We were not done for Saturday yet either... A Salsa friend of ours turned 50 last week and we actually went out dancing for the first time in FOREVER! Terry and I met Salsa dancing, but we haven't been doing a good job in last couple of years to keep up with it. Having the birthday party to go to was a perfect occasion to meet up with good friends and shake our booties... Unfortunately, I don't have any booty shaking pictures for proof! When we finally got home, I was dead tried and then stole an hour from us!!! But daylight savings also means weekday bike rides! YAY!

On Sunday, I had (of course) my long run on tap.... After getting home from church, I shoved down an almond butter toast and some oreos... both things that I know should be sitting alright in my tummy.

I had 11 miles on tap and they were supposed to be run on a rolling course. Since everything around the house is rolling, I decided to do a double loop of our standard 5.6 miles figure 8 course.

It was kind of nice to know that I would be passing by the house halfway through in case I would have to refill my water bottle or do a pit stop, but I was just rolling along and kept going.

Overall, once again very happy with my run. Just as a comparison: I did 10 miles last week on a flat course a couple of seconds slower per mile than I ran this week. Still not breaking any records, but I really feel like I am making progress in my running right now.

After I got home and found Terry napping on the couch, I just fixed a quick lunch and then headed out for even more hills on my walk with the dog. And just when you think you slam dunked a weekend of training, you do something stupid:

1. Wearing your Vibrams walking for the first time in forever and walk yourself three juicy blisters on my toes.
2. Don't apply sunscreen or put a hat on and get yourself the raccoon look.

Oh well, it's always something. I punctured the blisters yesterday and I can now walk again without pain.

How did your weekend shape up??

Thursday, March 8, 2012


My mid week run was a track workout this week. Here are the instructions for the main set:

3K (7.5 laps) at half marathon pace (8:30)
400 easy
2K (5 laps) at 10K pace (8:10 or HR 170-172)
400 easy
1K (2.5 laps) at 5K pace (7:45-8:00 or HR 175)

When I first saw that my thoughts were: "In which universe is my half marathon pace an 8:30???" and "Can you give me directions to next wormhole???".

This had to be a mistake. But I refrained from calling the coach to ask her to fix this, because I had this nudge that she's only going to tell me that it's not a mistake.

Quite honestly, I was fussing about those "ridiculous" paces all night Tuesday, I was dreading it going to bed and it was the first thought on my mind waking up. But I did still get up, get ready and out of the door. I hit the track for my warm up and right before the main set started, I took another sip of water and had a heart to heart with myself: "You are going to try your very best to nail these paces, just giving up is not an option!"

Guess what happened?

To say that I am stoked about this, would be an understatement! I am still not buying into the idea, that I would be able to run a half marathon at this pace any time soon, but it sure shows me, that I can do stuff, if I would just push myself a little more often.

And since we are on the topic of "pushing": Today's swim.

The total workout was 3,000 yards and had 2x 500 yards race efforts sprinkled in. The good thing with swimming with a group in a big pool is, that we actually get the chance to practice pool swim races. I still hate them, but yes, it's good practice to recreate race conditions. It also helps to push a little bit harder, when you have other people chasing you down.

That was also shown beautifully, when I swam an 8:08 on my first effort under race condition simulation (changing lanes under ropes and snake along) while I "only" made it a 8:18 for my second effort that everyone did by themselves without lane changes. The second effort should have been faster, because I didn't have to change lanes, but obviously people chasing me is a much bigger motivator.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Race Shirts

To follow a prompt from the blog Caution: Redhead Running, please enjoy the best and the worst race shirts in my closet divided in the divisions "technical" and "cotton":

Worst in the division "cotton" takes:

As if the color of the shirt wasn't bad enough,
I ended up with "large" one even though I was pre-registered. Not cool!

Best in the division "cotton" takes:
This is also a brown shirt, but the brown is darker and of course it fits.
I wear this shirt all the time!

Worst in the division "technical" goes to:
No, they didn't once again run out of small shirts.... This is a small.
Even the guys complained, because it was too big on them too.
A shame, because I thought the logo was really fun.

Best in the division "technical" goes to:
I don't know if this is a women cut shirt or if it's regular, but runs really small.
Either way, I run in this shirt all the time and it just fits!
That's the type of shirt, I wish every race would hand out.
A couple of longsleeves sprinkled in would be nice too! ;-)

Maybe, just maybe a couple of race directors start listening to the growing portion of female athletes entering races.

If you want to play along, just see for instruction in Red's post.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Weekend Recap

It was another weekend filled with workouts, but also filled with fun... And household duties, but oh well... It's all about balance! ;-)

Saturday started with sleeping in. What a novel idea! Due to the forecasted downpour Saturday morning, we decided to just stay low in the morning and then head out for our planned 55 miler around noon.

Well, it was a little later than noon, but we eventually made it out to Donaldson Center for a Happy Cow loop that I found on By the way, that site is a great resource for rides that can easily be uploaded to your Garmin device and even has turn by turn directions.

We had a 2x 10 mile time trial on tap for this ride and this loop was very well suited for this type of workout. Most of the course is gently rolling and the winds left us alone too, which was quite a relieve from the windy rides we had lately. We also rode through the little town of Possum Kingdom, SC... Only in the South! ;-) As for the time trial efforts: Both were a 18.8 mph average. STOKED about that one!! Can't wait to hit the flat roads on Parris Island in two weeks and leave it all out there! 20 mph average, I am looking at you!

When we got home and pulled the car into the driveway, we saw a bunch of buzzards sitting on the lawn and then looked up and saw even more buzzards sitting in the trees and the saw even more circling over the house.... Creepy... And of course, I had to share that on Facebook and since my cooking skills are sort of known, this is what I got back:

In the evening, we were invited to the Malone Coaching annual party. Finally the opportunity to hang out with my favorite workout buddies, without the actual hassle of getting the workout in! ;-)

So we had the chance to dress up a little. This is a "challenging" in triathlon land when you only every see the people in bike helmets and sun glasses, visors and spandex, swim caps and goggles... You hardly recognize each other in real people clothes! ;-) When not chatting, I was diving into the buffet... The ride earlier left me a little hungry.

Sunday morning, I thought it probably wasn't such a smart idea to eat cheese dip and dessert and beer with a ten miler on the plan. Especially with all the stupid tummy trouble that I had lately. But the run will get done and to fuel it properly and hopefully without making the tummy angry, I came up with this creation:

Don't judge until you have tried it: Banana and almond butter mashed together on toast. It's actually pretty yummy and it fueled my run perfectly. No tummy troubles whatsoever!!

I hit the bunny trail for a 5 mile out and back run and besides a couple of hefty gusts, it was actually a very pretty day for a run and when I was done, I actually felt like I still had something left in the tank!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Month in Review: February



And we are done with February and move on to longer months and warmer temps. How about it SC? Mid 70s on March 1st, you got it covered! ;-)

Overall, February has been a pretty good month and I think the stats confirmed this. I missed a couple of workouts early on, because I was still recovering from the surgery, but I was walking on those days. Actually, I just took one complete rest day all month! While I wasn't necessarily swim-bike-running on all other days.

Since last month really was the comeback to "real" tri training, let's break it down:


The swim was consistant throughout and I am pretty happy with where I am at at the moment. The first couple of timed efforts were very promising and I was able to chase down the field at a 400 yard race practice during swim class with time trial starts.

Nevertheless, a recent video taping of my swim showed, that I have still a ton to work on. In the last couple of swims, I tried to incorporate some changes and let me tell you, changes to your swim stroke always suck and they always feel weird, but eventually it's going to be second nature and you'll be a stronger swimmer... And that's what I am going to tell myself over and over and over again.


I still love the bike!

February also marked the return of longer bike rides and I am just happy as a clam (most of the time) to be out on the road.

I especially enjoy, that Terry and I are currently on the same training plan and have the same bike workouts, so we are out there together and are able to spend time with each other. Sometimes, we are too out of breath to actually talk, but who cares. According to him, I am much stronger on the hills than he remembers from last year... I hope he's right about that one! ;-)


The run was a mixed bag of nuts, but I guess that's what it always is for me.

There were a couple of good track workouts, some tangible progress on the hills and a bunch of tummy troubles. All in all, it could be much worse, so'll take it.


As for March: It's hard to believe that tri season will kick off for me in a little over two weeks... I guess, I'll have to dig out my transition bag and find my elastic shoe laces again.