Monthly Archives: July 2005

7/30/05 This is how much I’m not ready to do an Ironman (99)

Saturday. 99 days to the marathon. Oof. Thursday I ran for 1 hour not too bad but I was a little creaky.

On Friday I took my bike out and wanted to do 50 miles. I zipped up to Barkhamsted — taking a different route from last time. I found myself riding miles through a beautiful forest and was zipping along. After maneuvering my way through little picturesque towns I found myself at the top of the Reservoir Dam. I was at 19 miles. I felt fine and I knew that if I went back the direct route home it was only 12 miles so I decided to tackle the back roads. I didn’t remember the route exactly (it had been well over 20 years) but I figured I could wing it. I knew there would be at least one big hill but I was up for the challenge.

As soon as I turned off to go the backroads I was greeted by a rather steep hill — it seemed longer and steeper than Harlem Hill in Central Park. I took it on with great determination. I wasn’t even remotely tired so I climbed my way to the top and looked at my odometer. It wasn’t even a 1/2 mile. Oh well, it takes longer to go up hills I reminded myself. I got to the top rounded the bend and was greeted by an even bigger hill than the one I had just climbed. I didn’t remember there being two big hills on the backroads home, but frankly I always drove it, never rode it. I hunkered down and climbed. I was pretty tired when I got to the top and checking my odometer I was only 1.5 miles away from where I started — it felt like 10 miles — they were two very steep hills.

I came to a juncture in the road. If I went straight it went up another hill. To the right was a sign pointing to Bradley airport. I chose the road to the airport both because it was flat and also I knew that was generally the right direction. I rounded a corner and to my dismay I was faced with the biggest freakin’ hill I had ever seen in my life. With no exaggeration, it had to be 1 mile straight up hill. I couldn’t even see the top it was so steep. No way, I said to myself. I can’t, I just can’t. I had just climbed two hills bigger than anything I had ever climbed before (including Westchester) and now I was faced with the side of a mountain. This is no longer called a hill when it points straight up like this. This was a come-to-Jesus-meeting moment. I could turn around and take it straight downhill get out onto the highway and get home. But I knew that if I did that I would never live with myself. An iron-girl wouldn’t turn around so I started up the hill. I refused to look up and I just climbed, climbed, climbed. Finally after what seemed forever I made it to the top. It had to be the top of the world.

I rounded another bend and then I was face to face with my own L’Alpe d’Huez. I wanted to cry. I had climbed so high already and I was faced with another climb that made the last three hills look like nothing. I tried to conjure up Harlem Hill and laughed out loud that I had ever even considered that a hill in my mind. I would gladly exchange twenty times up and down Harlem Hill for once up this hill. I knew I could not and should not do this — I had not trained to take on any mountains of this size. I had not had a break since I left the reservoir at 19 miles. I looked at my odometer 23 miles. I had been climbing straight uphill for 4 miles and now I was facing this monster. “Just turn around, just turn around, it would be all downhill” I kept trying to convince myself. But then this other little voice said “but you know you can’t turn around.” There was no choice but to go forward. My lower back was starting to hurt. My calves and quads were both getting tired. This is stupid, I kept telling myself. There is nobody for miles around. Nobody on this planet will care if you turn around and coast down those three monsters you just climbed up. Tears started to fill up in the corners of my eyes because I knew I had no choice but to keep going. Backing down would admit defeat of all of my hopes and dreams of where I want to be one day. Okay maybe this was not the day I had planned to climb the biggest mountain of my life, but the day is here anyway.

I needed a break but there was no way I could stop because I knew if I stopped peddling I would collapse — I had to just keep climbing. Even now remembering the climb it was painful. How the heck did Lance do it? I just kept climbing all the while reminding myself it didn’t matter how slow or how long — just keep going. When I finally reached the top there was no view to prove I was at the top of the world. Just some rolling hills and a long road ahead. My odometer was not even at 26 miles yet. I couldn’t believe it. The first 19 miles had seemed like a breeze. The last 7 seemed like hiking through a mudslide. Now my back was killing me and I was out in the middle of nowhere — I couldn’t describe my location to anyone even if I wanted to call them to come get me. I looked at my cell phone — no signal. 40 miles seemed like forever and I just kept reminding myself — only 14 miles to go — you can do 14 miles in your sleep. But now my back was hurting, my carpal tunnel was screaming — I thought I should stop but I was afraid that I wouldn’t make it home.

I struggled through the last 14 miles and most of it was flat. Even the smallest incline felt like a mountain. The last five were all I could do to get home. I kept thinking to myself — oh my God, Charlee, Colleen and Amanda rode 115 miles with hills and then they did a marathon (with hills). I barely made it through 40 miles and not only would I not be able to do a marathon — I was worried I couldn’t dismount my bike without falling over. I realized how far away from doing an Ironman I really am.

I’m trying to get ready to do my two days of 75 miles in a couple of weeks in Vermont — I’m kind of worried about that. On Monday I will do 50 miles here in CT. On Wed. I will do an early a.m. ride to Nyack another 50. Next weekend I will do the Litchfield Hills Ride which is 50 miles. The following weekend hopefully I will make it through two days of 75 miles each…. We’ll see.

This morning I ran for 2 hours and 20 minutes. I was proud to finish. Just like yesterday’s last couple of miles on the bike, the last 20 minutes of this morning’s run was very hard. I will say, however, that there were a few moments during this morning’s run when I felt on autopilot. I realized that is what marathon running must feel like — just get that autopilot feeling for longer periods of time. When I was finished I tried to imagine doing yesterday’s bike (twice) and then this morning’s run (twice) all in the same day. Ouch!!! I need two more years at least to get to that point.

Tomorrow I am off to Webster Mass to be a swim Angel for the Danskin Triathlon. I’ll be swimming alongside of those who have anxiety in the water. Looking forward to feeling confident again!!!

Namaste

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7/27I/2005 Week 29 (101)

Sorry I’ve been negligent in updating my blog. I’m still in Boston (sans weekend in Lake Placid to watch the Ironman). I’m still overeating, underexercising. I think I’ve hit the point of disgusted with myself. I haven’t been to WW in two weeks so today at lunch I’m going to a meeting in Boston.

My food problems seem to stem from:

1) irregular eating hours. I have not been on my schedule — I’ve been on everyone else’s.

2) bad food choices. I feel like since I’m already overeating — I might as well go to town about it. Why do I have to be such an extremist?

3) not stopping when I’m full. I’ve been eating out of stress/anxiety/boredom/frustration.

My exercise problems seem to stem from:

1) It’s too darn hot.

2) I can’t work out in the mornings as everyone is working so early. I’m too tired at the end of the day.

I did run for 1 hour 40 minutes over the weekend. I actually felt good — it was just a little too mountainous for me. On Monday I went swimming for 1 hour. Geesh, I’ve lost a lot of form. I have to work on that.

I was supposed to run last night and I was just too tired. Today I will try to go to the gym and workout in the a/c. Heat warnings everywhere.

I feel like I’ve hit the wall in my self-destructive behavior and ready to resume taking control of myself. I’m still wondering why I feel the need to respond to stress with losing control? What does that give me? I guess a feeling of “i’m getting to do something I want even though I’m having to do other stuff that I don’t want?” But it doesn’t square with my desires for fitness.

I’m not going to make any promises about anything today. I’m sick of breaking my promises. The only thing I will try to do is go to WW and go to the gym. I will deal with food as it appears in front of me.

I do want credit for calling the hotel before I checked in this week and had them totally clear out the mini-bar. I did that last week too. (Week 1 I was eating everything in there.) I also bought healthy snacks and had them in my hotel room. My problem comes when I go out to eat. I seem to have no control in the restaurants.

More later. Have to go to work.

Namaste

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7/18/2005 Week 28 (112)

Monday. Back in Boston. I’m ready to try again. I have a few ideas on how to make this week more successful than last.

Had a great weekend workout wise (food wise — not so good).

On Saturday morning I went to our marathon training which was held in Prospect Park in Brooklyn. It was hot and humid — the hottest it has been so far. The beginner workout was two loops of the park with a twist. There is one really big hill that we had to repeat each time we got to it. So it was up, down and back up the big hill both times around the park. It was hard. It was 8 miles but I did it and I was very happy to have completed it. That was even harder than the NYC tri in my opinion. It was so hard to breath and we were sweating like pigs — but we did it. And, I didn’t walk one bit!! (I did stop for water at every water fountain as did everyone — note to self: go buy fuel belt today). The last hill repeat I picked up a running partner Tamara and we did the repeat together. When we got to the top I realized she was a faster runner but I forced myself to keep up with her and I did!! (She’s still a beginner but she is faster than me.) It was only a half a mile to the end but we were running at a faster than usual pace for me.

After the workout we had a picnic where I am totally disregarding any calories I consumed because there is no way I could have eaten as much as I had just burned off.

I picked up Missy and her bike and headed to CT for the Mossman Tri (sprint). We had a late lunch at a pizza shop and then headed over to our hotel. We stayed at the silverminetavern.com which was a hoot because you walked in the door to the room and you were standing IN THE BATHROOM! Then you walked through the other side of the bathroom and were in the actual bedroom. What can I say? It is a weird old Inn — I had some ghostly nightmares but I just chalked it up to eating too much (we also had dinner at Michelle’s sister’s house so I was CARB loaded!!!)

I feel really good about my sprint. I think I did well for me. My swim was 21 minutes. That’s about what I usually do without a wetsuit. Not fabulously fast but I felt strong and confident and really felt like I was just getting warmed up when it was time to get out of the water.

I felt fine getting out of the water so I was actually able to run to transition this time (unlike my 4 minute walk in NYC). My T1 was only 1:58 which I think is very good too (except I was not wearing a wetsuit so maybe it wasn’t THAT good.)

Before I had started the race, I did a little operation on my bike Sylvia. In the NYC tri my brake pads were rubbing. It took me a little while to figure it out, but I figured out how to release them so they were wider. Unfortunately, I didn’t do that good of a job because I actually didn’t have back brakes that worked well for the sprint. My time for the bike was 43 minutes which was much better than the NYC equivalent. (I will say, however, that the NYC course was MUCH harder — this bike course was very easy — basically flat with 1 little hill and 1 little incline.) But I felt Sylvia was moving better.

My T2 was 1:21 which was pretty good too. I felt pretty good going in and out of the transitions. I felt a little knee pain when I started my run but just kept going.

After the first 17 minutes of my run I realized that this was only a 5k and I wouldn’t have that much time to get acclimated so I had better put the pedal to the metal. My knee pain went away and I started to really concentrate on pumping my arms. Stephanie caught up to me on the run (she had bike problems so I passed her on the bike — she had the same problem in Norwalk that I had in NYC with the wheels being out of alignment and the brake pads rubbing — also her deraileur went so she had double trouble.) Anyway, we ended up coming into the finish together and that was fun we ran together for about 1/4 of a mile and then when we sprinted to the finish she took off. My final run time was 36:53 which comes out to an 11:33 mile for the 5k. That’s the best I’ve ever done in a triathlon. I would be happy with that even on a regular 5k. Anything under a 12 is great for me. I think I see some opportunity to run faster, but I need to get my knees stronger. When I try to lift them the impact hurts more so I keep to the shuffle. But, I could work on speeding up that shuffle. One woman passed me on the run that I KNOW I should have been able to keep up with her. She was not that fast and with a little more speed — just 15 seconds per mile I could have kept up with her. But she ever so slowly just kept pulling farther and farther away…..

All tallied my official time was 1:44:48 which is really good for me. Granted the course was MUCH easier that NYC and there was no sun, but there was a lot of humidity (okay, not that much). Nonetheless I am happy with that result and I am happy I had a full weekend of exercising and pushing myself.

So for this week in Boston my plan is:
Today — find a WW meeting (I remembered my book this time)
Go for a gym workout including a 45 minutes swim and try to do some core
Tuesday — I will find Beacon Hill and do some Hill repeats
Wednesday — gym again — maybe try to set up a pilates lesson or something.
Thursday — I will go running along the esplanade on the Charles River
Friday — off and heading to CT
Saturday & Sunday — LAKE PLACID — yeah!! Going to cheer on Colleen, Amanda, Charlee, Jenny, Ron, Michael and all the rest. You. Are. An. IRONMAN!!!!! Can’t wait it is going to be so much fun!! Steph, Michelle and I are bringing our bikes up so we can ride some of the course. We’ll also do a long run together as they are doing the marathon with me. Getting ready for a lot of chills and thrills.

So this week I am going to pick one thing to concentrate on food wise and that is NO BREAD. I can have any whole grains but no bread. Period. That’s it. Just trying to stick to core as much as possible. I brought some cereal and milk with me so I just had a healthy breakfast (and it didn’t $47 either!!)

Will have a lot of work to do this week but I will just take it one day at a time.

Will check in with the weight gain after I find a WW meeting.

Namaste

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7/15/2005 They Shoot Horses Don’t They? (114)

Friday. Yuck. I didn’t get to go to WW meeting this morning because I am in Boston and I forgot to bring my membership book with me.

Okay, I do not think in my ENTIRE life I have ever eaten as much food as I have eaten since Thursday. Shoot me please. Pizza, cheese, bread, wine, you name it, I’ve eaten it. I feel sick as a dog. I feel I have not had any control over what I have eaten. Mostly because I’ve been in hotels and out to working dinners. OMG, I used to do this all the time, no wonder I got so fat!

Everything is so expensive I feel obliged to eat it. This morning I had a $50 breakfast. I’m not kidding. It came to $47. I ordered scrambled eggs with salmon and spinach. $17. Somehow I rationalized that because I was starving and had to keep working. But then while on the phone with room service I ordered a pot of coffee, grapefruit and a bagel and didn’t check to see how much they all cost. I’m not kidding $8.50 for a pot of coffee. The total came to $47 and change. OMG!!! I don’t know what makes me feel worse, ordering the bagel, paying the $47 dollars or eating the whole breakfast!!! (I was not going to leave one crumb on the plate for $47 dollars!!) (Last night I was going to order the movie “The Interpreter” on the hotel movie box but it said it cost $15.99 to watch the movie. What was Nicole Kidman going to do, jump out of the box and translate the movie for me? Who pays $15.99 for a movie?!?!?! Anyway, I got them. I took all the little soaps and shampoos and put them in my suitcase. $47 breakfast. Who the h do they think they are?

Forget the $47 breakfast, I’ll be paying for this week in caloric dollars for weeks to come….

On Tuesday night I managed to do a little hill repeat session in the park across the street from the hotel. I mean little as in the hill was very little — okay it was really a bump. I did bump repeats in the park. First I ran a loop of the park –I’m guessing the whole park perimeter is about 1 mile — nah more like 3/4. Then I did 4 bump repeats and came back. Altogether about 40 minutes. But I felt tired and out of shape because I’ve been eating cheese and bread and drinking wine. All these people are drinking a lot of wine and of course I need something to break up the grease and fat I’ve been consuming. Just shoot me, please?

Yesterday I had to go over to Boston University to use some of their computer facilities so I walked there and back. That was a total of about 1 hour brisk walking. I don’t think that quite makes the 7 miles I was supposed to run yesterday. But I was tired when I finished and at least I walked instead of taking a taxi. Everyone kept saying “you going to walk? That’s like two miles away!” I looked at them like they were nuts! “Only 2 miles?” I said, “Shoot then, I better walk back too!” (It wasn’t two miles — it was probably 1.5 because it didn’t take that long to get there.)

The hotel I’m staying at has a great health club. I didn’t use it because I only got here on Wed. and I said I wasn’t going to pay $10 to use a health club for a 1 hour run which is why I went to the park instead. But they have a nice pool so I figured I would bring my bathing suit and goggles for next week and do some swimming and weight training on Monday.

Now I know where some fruit merchants are (I bought some bananas and strawberries yesterday). Next week I will try to stock my room with some more healthful choices. The good news it would physically impossible for me to eat worse than I have been eating since Wednesday. So I can ONLY do better next week.

This Saturday we have a big run in Prospect Park and I am dying to work out. I can’t believe I am saying that, but Lord help me, I need to get back to some structure. I think I might have to do the Mossman Tri twice on Sunday to make up for all of this. I ate shrimp stuffed with breading and swimming in oil. Just shoot me. I’m surprised I could even put my pants on.

I’m working with a bunch of accountants and lawyers who have not seen me since last summer at this time and they are all so impressed with how much weight I’ve lost. I wonder if they were impressed with the two rolls WITH BUTTER I ate at lunch? Just shoot me. Put me out of my misery. Why oh why did I do it? Because it was too hard to find something healthier to eat and I wasn’t willing to put in the extra effort. Once the food was in my mouth I just figured what the heck? I’m damned anyway so might as well enjoyed this bag of M&M’s from the Mini Bar as I’m taking the express elevator to weight watchers hell!!! The devil will greet me when the doors open with a big fat grin saying “welcome baahhhhck.” Just shoot me!!!!!

Oh yeah, Namaste

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7/12/05 Recovery Day (117)

Tuesday. Recovery Day. Well actually yesterday was recovery day — tonight I have hill repeats for marathon training. I feel fine. The only thing that hurts is my back from carrying my bike pump and tri bag on the ride home. Legs feel fine. I had a good rest yesterday.

Okay here is my funny story for the morning. People have been sending me photos from the tri. My friend Michelle took a bunch of pics and one of them was of my swimming — or so I thought. I looked at the picture and thought geesh I look terrible. My head is up and my face looks so puffy. There is another swimmer gaining on me and I look at that swimmer and say “now there’s a nice arm bend” why can’t I have that? Then I look closer at the person I thought was me and I realize, hey those aren’t my goggles — not even close. Then I thought it was my friend Martha because she is a good swimmer and I figured Michelle probably took a picture of her. I was jealous. But then I realized that Martha has a sleevless wetsuit. I took a triple look. Then I looked at the good swimmer and I yell outloud “hey those are my goggles!! That’s my wetsuit. That’s my pink cap! That’s me!!!” I was so happy. I didn’t look bad at all. My cheek was in the water and my arm was bent just like it was supposed to be. I was happy. Here’s the picture.

So this week I’ll be travelling. I’m going to try my best to eat well. I will definitely get all of my workouts in. Tonight hill repeats. Tomorrow a bike or a swim (whichever I can do more easily on the road). Thursday an easy run. Friday off (stretch). Saturday big run in Prospect Park and Sunday the Mossman Sprint. My first sprint — this should be interesting. My goal is to try to really run the 5k instead of holding back. I was okay the first 4 miles of the Olympic so I should be able to push just a little harder. I finished the NYC Olympic with a 12:30 average mile (very good for me). So let’s see if I can do the Sprint in a 12 minute mile.

That’s all for today. One more pic from Michelle — here I would like to see my head resting more on it’s side instead of that slight lift up:

More tomorrow

Namaste

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7/11/05 Results are in (118)

Monday. Whew. The New York City Tri is over. I did fine. I was disappointed in my bike and pleased with my swim and run. Net net I came out a whopping 8 seconds faster than Memphis.

It’s hard not to look at the clock (or the scale) for approval. (Weight Watchers showed me down 4.4 pounds on Friday, my scale shows me up 1.5 — whatever). I wanted very badly to break 3:30 and I had a lot of opportunities to do it, but I didn’t get it done.

The weather was great and my friends were out there at 6 a.m. to cheer for me. Paul, Melissa, Michelle, Stephanie and Corinne. Great kudos to my friends coming out so early in the morning to cheer for me.
(Paul, me and Michelle.)

(Me and Melissa.)

The swim was good on several levels. First the current was great so no complaints there. Check out this great picture Steph took of my swim start. We are all trying to hold onto the rope but the current is so strong we are being pulled away.

Then this is the actual start.

Most of my good swim result was due to the current (although amazingly enough some of the gals said they had a WORSE swim result because they ended up near the wall and couldn’t take advantage of the current.) So I give myself points for sticking to my plan which was to stay away from the wall. I also give myself points for wearing my wetsuit and not choking. I really believe now the whole choking thing was caused my dropping my chin and having my wetsuit cut into my throat. I concentrated hard on keeping my neck straight. (This, ironically made me aware that my legs kind of bend at the waist — like they do in running — and I have to work on a stronger core to keep them sharp and straight.) My swim time was 27:56. Compared to Memphis’s 40:31 — not bad. Total time difference was 12:75. If I could do everything else the same then I would beat my goal. Not so fast.

I had pressed my split button on my watch as soon as I got out of the water so I knew my swim time was good. I started walking fast to the transition — I really couldn’t run yet. It seemed to take forever — I was right. When I made it to transition and heard the beep of the timer I checked my watch — 4 minutes 36 seconds to get from the swim exit to the transition start. I just blew almost 5 minutes of my 12 minute lead on getting to the freakin’ transition. Arghh, that made me so mad. Transition itself went fine, no problems. In fact according to my watch my transition was a 2:58 which was even better than Memphis where I did a 3:20. And that was WITH a wetsuit. So I wish I had run faster from the swim exit to the transition start, but I figure that evens out with the current advantage.

My disappointment came on the bike. Hugely disappointed. I did Memphis in 84 minutes. I did NYC in 102 minutes. Huge difference. Granted the course was harder, but I also felt I just wasn’t moving. I was right. The first half of the course I just couldn’t get any pace and I knew it wasn’t me, it was Sylvia. There was something wrong but I couldn’t figure out what it was. She just didn’t feel right. She usually feels smooth — like she is cutting through butter. She felt misaligned. Finally at the toll booths I stopped and looked at the wheels. Sure enough when I spun the tire the front break pad was hitting at certain spots. That means my tire is not “true” — it is warped. Oh boy, I wasn’t sure what to do, but I knew that the break pad rubbing was not good so I released the break arms and tried to widen them. I got it so the break pad would not rub, but even then Sylvia didn’t seem happy. We got some good speed on the downhills, but my flats where I usually can go faster were definitely sub par. I just knew the bike was not going to be good and I was right. So there I lost 18 minutes of my time. (How’s this for a graceful dismount?)
Now it was looking like I was not even going to be close the Memphis time. I knew there was no way I would make up the time on the run.


Coming off the bike we had to run up a little steep hill that felt like a freakin’ mountain! That was pretty cruel. My legs were still wobbly. Steph and Paul were at the top and took this pitiful picture of me.

I remember last year’s run across 72nd street — that was terrible. I had to walk and I was coughing and everybody was shouting at me to run. I was preparing myself for the worst of it, but amazingly my legs kicked in and although I was slow I managed to move down 72nd street. The problem with starting first is for the entire race I was just being passed the whole time so it felt like I wasn’t even moving. Everybody was zipping past me. There was nobody for me to catch up to. I saw Colleen and Cliff on 72nd street and I pointed to me legs and yelled “are they even moving?!?!” They laughed and said yes. Turns out that was my 2nd fastest mile — I did mile 1 in 11:22.

The rest of the run was pretty good. Unlike Memphis, I didn’t have to walk at all. I felt pretty fresh until mile 5 when I started to feel some knee pain. I did miles 2,3,4 and 5 all in 13 minute miles which was fine — I probably could have gone faster but at that point I was just happy to know I would be finishing and my goal was to not stop for anything. Even at the water stops I just slowed down and grabbed the water but I did not walk. Once my knee started to hurt I decided to use the Melissa “if you get there faster it is over faster” method and I did the last 1.2 miles in 12:39 which was good. You can see by this picture I was pretty tired coming into the end (notice straight legs. But right behind me was Matt who I guess decided was not going to let me finish weakly so he jumped in front of me and ran backwards yelling at me to hurry up! LOL

Here I am coming in for my big finish. I ended up taking 9:67 off my run time from Memphis (because I didn’t walk). So I ended up beating my Memphis time by a whopping 8 seconds. So I am disappointed because if I had held up my end on the bike I would have had a great result, but I’m happy the I wore the wetsuit and I ran the whole run. So as I said — results are not always shown on the clock.

It was a great day. I actually had fun out there. I think the first race where I really enjoyed every leg of the race. (Even the bike I had to admit it was a great way to spend a morning.) There is so much of being kid when you are out there swimming, biking and running. Sometimes I forget to treat all of this like I’m having fun and I get all caught up in trying to beat my times and get better. But, yesterday the sun was shining, the temperature was cool, the water was nice, there was no humidity, my friends were everywhere and it was just good old fashioned fun. (But I’m glad it’s over!)

Next weekend Mossman sprint in Norwalk. No tapering for that one. Time to get back to work.

Namaste

p.s. Check out my 30 second video clip of my coming over the finish line. I look like an old lady, but my excuse is my knee was hurting!! Uh huh. Hey don’t roll your eyes!

NYC 2005 Tri Finish

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7/10/2005 No Entry (119)

RACE DAY

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