Monthly Archives: October 2006

10/31/06 Not Exactly Trick or Treat, Per Se

Booo!  Happy Halloween!  Otherwise known as Tuesday.

Okay I’m finally feeling back to normal.  That was a rough week.  I took so many vitamins and iron pills I have to be cautious walking past a magnet.  None of that really seemed to help. I just had to get through the week.  I upped my protein (and I went shopping!! yeah) so I am hoping that helped some too.

The weekend was a wash out as well as windy.  Saturday morning we had our swim session at Asphalt Green.  It went pretty well.  We were doing drills and I was trying really hard to improve my rotation.  We did one drill that really seemed to help me.  They called it the warrior pose.  First we started with our regular finger tip drag drill (drag your fingertips along the top of the water before you drive them in).  Then we did the drag and pause drill (stop for one second at the top of your reach over your head).  Then we did some swimming on our side and ended with swimming on our side and stopping when our arm was over our head ready to drive.  This was what they called the warrior pose.  We practiced swimming on our side for 7 kicks — adopt the warrior pose — hold — drive under to the other side and repeat.  We kept practicing it.  I was definitely weak on one side.

They had us start out the first 25 meters of the pool doing warrior pose and then switch into regular swimming.  I was starting to get the hang of it.  Then on the second lap I finished up the warrior pose and started swimming.  All of a sudden I was aware that I was swimming correctly.  It felt different.  It felt fast and efficient.  I got all excited.  I knew that was the right way to swim.  I fell into it and I wasn’t exactly sure how I got there.  I just about reached the end of the pool when Coach Earl yelled out my name.  I looked up and he yelled at me “That was GREAT!” I stood up with the biggest smile on my face and squealed like a ten year old “I KNOW!!!  Wasn’t it?”  He started laughing so hard and I start laughing too.  It was one magic moment and unfortunately I couldn’t find it again for the rest of the session.  But for 25 meters I was swimming great.  The quest now is to find that again!  I’m not even sure exactly what I did but I know it was that warrior drill that got me there so I’m going to keep practicing that until I get it again.

We were supposed to do an indoor bike or run on Saturday. I still wasn’t feeling 100% so I decided to go out to COSTCO and get some groceries.  I was so pleased to find that COSTCO carries WILD Salmon and WILD Tilapia.  I bought two boxes of each.  They are individually sealed and frozen.  Absolutely perfect for me.  I read somewhere that Dean Karnazes (the ultramarathon runner who is doing 50 marathons in 50 days eats Salmon twice a day.  I know I have to eat more protein in my diet so I figured one piece of fish a day and I’ll look like Charlee some day.  (My Ironwoman shero).  I also bought a ton of frozen veggies.  Of course that’s not as good as fresh but frankly fresh doesn’t last in my fridge so I have to compromise.  I made sauteed Asparagus in garlic and it was good with my grilled Wild Salmon.

Sunday I did the Poland Springs race in Central Park.  I did a twenty minute warmup with my friend Colleen who is back visiting from Idaho.  Yeah!!  So great to see her.  Then I did the race trying to stay out of my comfort zone.  I thought my best 5 miler to date had been 1:01 (a 12:15).  So when I finished in 59 minutes at an 11:54 I was pretty happy.  To date my best race had been a 4 miler I did in 11:18.  But when I went onto the NYRR website they said that I did my last 5 miler in an 11:15.  11:15?!?!  What are they talking about?  I looked back in my notes and sure enough I wrote down I ran it in 1:01 and I struggled with that race — I pushed to run the whole thing even though my legs hurt.  I was kind of disappointed in that.  I’m 99% sure they are wrong and wrote them a letter to double check the numbers.  But then I started to think maybe I was wrong.  But I check my watch after every race and look at the website after the races and I assure you I would have noticed if I had a huge PR like that. 

The only that bugged me about the race was mile two.  The first mile I did in a 12 minute mile.  That was uphill the westside.  I was happy with that for the first mile and it was uphill.  Then I did the downhill and across the 102nd street tranverse mile.  That one I did in 12:28.  That made no sense to me.  How did I run the uphill faster than I ran the downhill?  Then I did an 11:20 a 12:00 and finished with an 11:46 (up that stupid little hill to finish.)  I was giving it 80% effort the entire way.  So I thought under 1 hour for the 5 mile race was great for me.  But now I don’t know.  Now I’m really second guessing myself.   Did I really work hard enough? 

Eight of us went out for one of our big Georgio’s breakfast — now becoming a big tradition after our races.  The poor restaurant.  We descend on it sweaty and hyped up from running and eight women gabbing away a mile a minute.  It was fun though.  I’ve been doing okay at eating out  — fish, broccoli, omelettes, dry toast — no potatoes.  No real problems per se or should I say UNTIL Per Se?!?!

Sunday night was Steph’s birthday and Donna and I had been planning for 3 months to take her to this fancy restaurant called Per Se that is really famous.  Only 15 tables in the place.  We sat across from Robert DeNiro and his wife and kid.  It was his kid’s birthday too.  Personally I think the kid would have liked Serendipity better but what do I know?

The food was amazing at Per Se.  This is not the place to count your calories.  When they bring the butter to the table they tell you the name of the cow that gave the milk to make the butter and county in which the cow won the blue ribbon.  Okay I’m making that up, but it’s pretty close.  They put two different kinds of butter down and a two minute explanation about the freakin’ butter!

We had the 9 course chef’s tasting menu.  I’m not sure I can remember everything we had but let me try.

Our little petite starter when we sat down was some kind of mini icecream cone the bottom filled with some kind of creme frechey kind of stuff and topped with a salmon tartar that was pretty darn good.

Then we had the pearls and oysters.  Pearls being caviar and the oysters were two tiny little dot of oyster that made all the oysters I have ever eaten seem like poser oysters.  It was all swimming in some kind of creamy pudding like think, pretty fab. Might be my fav.

The gals had fois gras while I had a hearts of palm dish with an apple reduction.  They loved their fois gras (no thanks).  I thought my hearts of palm with apple reduction was interesting but nothing I need to go back for.

Now I’m starting to forget some dishes.  I think next was the little lobster tail with the mission fig and some little roasted vegetable.  That was really good lobster.  All of these dishes are tiny — you are just tasting.  But each taste packs a wallop.  So the lobster is about 3 inches long.  I understand that their trick for lobster is they poach it in butter, not water.  Well yeah!! ‘

Probably my favorite dish was the risotto with the white truffles.  They brought the white truffles over in a box and opened the box for us to smell.  Okay, I wanted to bottle that into a perfume.  I think everyone should have a white truffle box to open up and take a whiff.  It’s so earthy and yet at the same time smokey and sweet.  I love that smell.  Then they served us a creamy rissotto with shaved  white truffle all over it.  YUMMMY!

Then we had a fish I had never heard of.  Something that begins with a B like Bashi or something like that?  I should have paid more attention but I was in truffle delerium.  It was a nice break from all the creamy and buttered stuff we had been eating. It was sauteed crispy and very light.  I liked it but felt there could have been an opportunity to have some exotic flavor happening there. 

The next thing I remember was some pasta we had.  A macaroni and cheese made with Truffle Oil.  My first forkful was really memorable.  I had an infusion of Truffle Oil coupled with the crispy cheesy topping on top of the mini rigatonis — that was a fairly lethal combo.  I made mental note to myself that I must run out and find Truffle Oil immediately.  I could make this and I would!!

I can’t remember the order of the courses.  I know we had a little sorbet course that was nice.  Then there was a course of two wedges of a light delicious cheese on some little bread toasts.

Then the desserts started coming.  I think we had 3 different courses of desserts.  I was getting sick.  It was too much.  But we had to have the little creme brulees they put in front of us.  All three of us were crying no more, no more.  Then they brought out the plate of home made chocolates.  Chocolate with fennel.  There were six different kinds and they were really adamant that we each try at least two.  I was starting to feel green but okay, how often was I going to eat at Per Se?  I can’t even remember what the piece was that I tried.  And THEN they bring out this three tiered tray of more chocolate thingy’s with cookies and a bowl of cocoa covered almonds.  They offered to wrap this stuff up for us to take home.  We all said NO WAY!!!    I felt the truffle oil, cream and butter hardening in my arteries.

I’m sure I missed a course or two.  They had 4 different types of rolls they were pawning off on us all night.  Honestly that was not a tasting menu, I wouldn’t eat that much at an all you can eat buffet — I swear!!!  But it was delicious, it was an event and a once in a lifetime dining experience.

Since Donna works in the restaurant biz, they invited us all on a little tour of the kitchen and the wine cellar.  WOW was that kitchen CLEAN!!!  I have never seen something so bright and shiny and meticulously clean.  If I scrubbed my kitchen from now until Ironman Day it would never look that clean.  And that was at 9:45  (yes dinner lasted OVER 3 1/2 hours!!!)   3  1/2 hours of eating!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They couldn’t have been nicer to use.  They took the labels from our wine bottles (yes bottles — 2!)  And laminated them for Steph for her birthday.  (Oh yeah, now I’m remembering that other course we had the peanut butter ice cream course with a chocolate log!!  They put a candle in it for Steph)   They gave her copies of the menu that had the date printed beautifully across the top (her birthday).  I think it was a lovely memento.   We rolled home and got home at 10:30  (dinner started promptly at 6:15).

I recovered on Monday.  Eating soup and apples all day.   I really didn’t want any more food.  I was truly full even the next day.

Today back to work.  I have to run 7 miles and do 1/2 core.  I bought some new 10 pound weights and have a stability ball workout that Rhonda sent me.  I’m having company tonight for dinner and am making salad, grilled wild Tilapia and Asparagus.  For candy to give out to kids I bought the only candy that would not tempt me — Blow Pops!! LOL.  I walked up and down the candy aisle looking for something I would not eat.  They don’t make any candy I won’t eat.  But Blow Pops and Tootsie Pops don’t hold any threat.  I bought six bags to hand out to the little Trick-or-Treaters.  Shouldn’t be a real problem, per se!!


The gals at Per Se.

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10/27/06 Once upon a Midnight Dreary

Friday.  Let’s see if I can do a quick recap of the week.  WW meeting — up 3 pounds!!  Argh.  Some of it is from overeating the last three days, most of it is water weight. I am definitely retaining water and PMS’ing.  My energy is extremely low and I have been popping vitamins and ironpills for the last 72 hours.  I feel very anemic and extremely tired.  I know I need to eat some protein but I’m too tired to go shopping.  Steph just called and we’ll go have dinner — maybe some restaurant can make me a piece of fish or something.

Okay, Monday was day off — worked at a client the whole day and then went out to dinner with family.  Was too hungry and started eating the darn bread.  Afterwards they sent us home with left over desserts.  Guess who ate the pumpkin cheesecake?  I don’t even like cheesecake.  It was just because it was there and I was tired.

That’s the theme of the week.  I’m tired and not taking care of myself.  Can’t seem to get a full night’s sleep even though I’ve been sleeping OVER 7 hours every night which is a huge amount of sleep for me.  I know my iron is low. 

Tuesday night we had a run workout.  I didn’t do that badly.  I wasn’t anywhere near the rest of the group, but for me, I did okay.  We were to do a one mile warmup to the reservoir and 3 loops of the reservoir with intervals.  I made it around 2.5 times and left to be with the rest of the group who had finished.   I was concentrating on my form and I think toward the end I had some definite knee lift and was breathing okay.

Then the whole team jogged over to a teammate’s apartment to watch the video of us swimming from the training camp weekend.  This jog was the cool down for the rest of the team — it was still a run for me as I had to struggle to keep up. 

The video analysis was very interesting.  Basically the comment for me was I don’t rotate enough to my non-breathing side.  This might be contributing to my feeling of bobbing up and down in the water.  We have more drills tomorrow so I’ll get a chance to try them out. 

Wednesday was the first day I really started to feel exhausted.  I thought maybe it was just staying out too late on Tuesday night.  I really couldn’t keep my head up so I skipped all working out.  I did some stretches and that’s it.  They keep stressing that now is not the time to blow out on our training.  This is still pre-season training if you will.  I’m going to listen to my body.  I was tired.

Thursday a.m. 5:30 in the park.  I’m actually enjoying the Thursday a.m. rides.  Mostly because the entire day’s workout is over before the sun even rises.  I love that.  I don’t love riding to the park at 5:30 but it takes me less than 8 minutes to get there.  We did three loops of the park and an extra lower loop.   We practiced pacelining and we did okay.  There was a little confusion at points this week but I were were learning some new stuff.  My big piece of progress is that I didn’t brake going around the corner on the big downhill.  Dan cheered for me because he knows I’m a big chicken when it comes to rounding that corner and last week I kept breaking up the paceline because I was breaking.  This week no breaking.  I just said to myself “if you go down, you go down.”  But I also brought Sylvia to practice and she really is much more cooperative when it comes to bike handling.  Tina may be a bit faster but she really wants open road.

Today I was supposed to do a cardio workout.  I couldn’t.  I did do a one hour pilates session with Elly and she’s really rising to the challenge of kicking my butt now.   She’s giving me a lot of stuff to work on the plank.  After our initial warmup I tried the plank.  I could only hold it for 45 seconds.  I told her I just couldn’t isolate my abs.  So she got tough and said, “okay we are going to find those abs if it kills us!”  So she just started throwing every ab exercise at me.  Then we also started doing some one legged exercises on the reformer.  WOW!  I really saw the imbalance in the power in my legs then.  At the end of the session I got down to do the plank again and whipped of 1 minute.  I was about to say with no problem but really 1 minute was all I could do.  But she said my form was perfect.  Then we practiced a few side planks.  Need more work.

Tomorrow we have to be in the pool at 5:45 up on Pluto (Asphalt Green).  The good news (I think) is that weather-wise we are being washed out from the group bike.  Winds of 50 mph and heavy rain coming into town so we have no group bike.  That means I might be able to come home and sleep a little.  Never worry, they’ll give us something equally fun to do indoors but I could do that later in the week.

So a down week energy wise, food wise, everything wise.  I just plum tired.  I know some of this is hormonal and some of this is just anemia.  Another day of pumping myself full of iron pills and I should be right back on track.  So of the month one down week is not too bad. 

Sunday I hope to do the Poland Springs race in Central Park.  Maybe I’ll find a little zip in my step for that.

Here’s to a good nap.


Halloween’s around the corner — thought we might revisit the intro to a good nap poem from Edgar Allan Poe:

“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

 Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping

As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.”

(Probably a coach coming to tell me to get my butt out of bed and into the pool…..)

Check this out… you can listen to Basil Rathbone read the full poem here:

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10/24/06 Training Camp Day Two

Tuesday.  When I last left off I had just finished day one of training camp.  Baby Ironman camp as they told us repeatedly that this was an easy version of future training camps to come.  Okay, okay, let’s just get the pain overwith already.

Sunday morning we all met at 7 a.m. to car pool and caravan out to Jenny Lane to begin our run.  They warned us that the first mile was going to be uphill but then it was going to even out and we would be running the trails in the woods.  We were to start to run at a really slow pace (which I have come to learn in TriLife terms means about a 10 minute mile which I can’t run on my best days).  I had already decided I was just going to do what I could do. 

 It was cold.  I probably should have taken my inhaler.  I will start doing that now for the winter before every run.  The hill was the same freakin’ mountain I had to climb the day before.  Why was it a mountain when we were riding our bikes but now it was called a hill when we were expected to run up it?  There was pretty much no way I could run up this “hill.”  So I just started to powerwalk waiting for all the coaches to say something as they ran by but they didn’t.  Coach Scott said “good job” and everyone else just said good morning and let me power walk up the hill.  Well, that wasn’t so painful, and as we got closer to the top I noticed two people had turned into a short walk as well. 

Then we turned into the trail portion.  I was having real difficulty breathing.  It felt like someone was squeezing my lungs and I just couldn’t get the air in.  The tough coach came up and said “okay, I’m going to give you 45 minutes to warm up, you can take your time, run/walk whatever you want, but on the way back I want to see you running.  No looking at the trees, no enjoying the scenery, no chatting with your friends, no being nice.”  I tried to start jogging but I just couldn’t breath.  He stayed with me for a bit.  “Okay to walk but always pick your startup point and try to make the walks on the uphills.”  We chatted for a little bit and then my breathing felt a little better and he took off.  Whew.

Once again I was left alone to do my workout.  The day was really beautiful but his words were ringing in my ear.  First 45 minutes I better get warmed up fast.  I had done a little warm up routine that I made up a couple of Sundays ago that actually worked so I decided to try it again.  I walked 1 minute, ran 2 minutes, walked 1, ran 3, walked 1, ran 4.  By the time I got to the walk 1 run 7 I was totally warmed up and I was at the 30 minute point (including the speed walk up the mountain).  My lungs started to open up and my legs actually didn’t feel that bad and I started to really run.

I ran the rest of the remaining hour and I was actually doing pretty well for me.  I was really working hard (okay, I’ll confess I was afraid the tough coach was going to pop out of the woods and yell at me to stop looking at the trees!)  My lungs were open and I think there might have been a slight hint of a bend in my knees.  Then I had to run down the mountain and I did that okay too.  Usually that hurts my knees a lot but I kept it under control.  I made it back six minutes faster than I had made it out so I grabbed Marisol to run six more minutes with me.  I wasn’t going to cut anything off.  They assigned and hour and half and I was going to do an hour and a half.   The tough coach wanted to know why we were returning from the opposite direction and I told him I felt better and made it back too fast.  At least he knows I’m not trying to cut corners!!!

So then it was into the cars and off to the college for the swim.   After changing into our swim gear and sweats we all convened on the deck for a big stretch session lead by coach George.    Wow, I was tight.  Lots of moans and groans coming out of all the bodies lined up so I didn’t feel so bad that it was just me! 

Then we had a little demonstration of all the swim drills we were going to be doing and the coaches talked a bit about technique and then they made us take a group picture in our red swim caps.  (I’m sure we looked quite lovely — not!)

Then we had one hour of actual swimming.  We were divided into three groups.  The first group stayed in the first lane and we were to be video taped coming head on into the camera, then sideview of the camera and the last length they taped us swimming fast.  That part was easy.  The hard part was while you were waiting your turn to be video taped you had to tread water with your knees up like you were sitting in a chair.  They kept yelling at everyone to keep treading.  Some of the skinny guys with zero body fat were really having a tough time staying afloat.  Let’s just say I wasn’t finding it that difficult!!  But after ten minutes even my arms started to feel a little tired.

After twenty minutes everyone rotated and our group moved to the 100 meter swim lanes.  For 20 minutes we had to swim 100 meter repeats (2 laps) followed by a 10 second rest in between.  I think I did that okay.  My splits were pretty even and I think I was swimming at a good pace.  I was the second fastest in the slowest group.

Finally for the last twenty minutes everyone rotated again and now our group went to the drill lane where two coaches observed us doing a variety of drills.  Finger tip drag, skulling, side swimming, kicking, pause drill and something else I can’t remember.  We did 100 meters of each drill.  By the end my biceps were burning.  All I could figure was it was all the treading water and the sculling drills because I was pretty sure if I had to do one more lap my arms were going to snap off.  We had only been swimming an hour, I don’t know why that would hurt so much but maybe it was the cumulative effect of the weekend.  My legs didn’t hurt, just my arms, actually just my biceps.

Then to finish they made us all line up along the side wall of the pool.  We were shoulder to shoulder.  No room to wiggle.  We were going to practice a mass swim start so we would start to know what it feels like to swim with 2,000 people at the same time.  (I made mental note that I will have no problem letting 1,950 people go ahead of me in July.)  But for this exercise we had to push off and glide under water the entire width of the pool, under the lane lines and come up for air only when we reach the other side.  I was shocked to find I could do it.  Then they made us do it again and again and again and again!  By the last time I barely made and was sooo releived when they said “showers!”

At that moment I was so happy! That was it!!  I had done it!! I finished my first Ironman training camp.  Okay, okay, so it was baby Ironman training camp and I know it would get much tougher but now at least I knew what to expect going forward.  More of the same but with longer and harder workouts.  One of the alumnae teammates came up to me and asked how did it go?  I was so happy I told him “I finished my first training camp weekend and I lived to tell about it!”  He laughed.  But once again I was struck by how  how nice everyone is. 

 We all showered and piled into our cars.  I think everyone was anxious to get on the road and get home.  By 1 p.m. I was on the way to CT and feeling pretty good. 

I was expecting to feel extremely sore yesterday and in fact I felt really good.  Very little muscle soreness. I had my chocolate milk after every workout all weekend — that stuff really works!  If I never mentioned it before, an Asphalt Green coach told me once that if you drink a pint of chocolate milk within 30 minutes of a big workout you won’t feel any muscular pain the next day.  Apparently it is a great recovery drink.  So I bought some of those Parmalet 2% skim chocolate milk boxes and brought them with me.  I drank one after the bike workout and one after the swim workout.  I think it really works.

 That’s my official recap of training camp #1.  Tonight we are back on the reservoir running practice doing interval training.  Then we all head over to someone’s apartment to get critiqued by the coaches as we ALL watch our swim videos.  This will be ugly but sometimes you have to suffer to find improvement…..


Today’s quote is one of my friend Stacie’s favs:

“Do or do not… there is no try.”

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10/23/06 Training Camp Day One

Monday.  Well lots of news to report.  Was down 2.4 pounds at WW on Friday so my small efforts during the weeks seem to have paid off.  .6 to go and I’ve ridded myself of the pesky 3  that I was up from my Septemberfest and heading in the right direction.

Well I made it through my first Ironman training camp weekend and I have to say I feel really motivated and pumped to work harder.  Up until now I didn’t really feel like my workouts had been much different other that being surrounded with absolutely everybody being faster than me (oh wait a minute, that’s not different either!).  Workouts had been pretty much the same.  This weekend was a sampling of what was to come and I’m glad I got my wake up call now and not later.

 I think a lot about the process of turning dreams into reality.  What really has to happen?  It’s one thing to say “I want to complete an Ironman” and then another to truly grasp the process of what is involved to do that.  “I want to lose weight” are just words until you visualize the process.  This weekend I got an idea and instead of being demoralized (because I was still pretty slow), I felt reinspired.  (Is that a word?)

The team couldn’t be a bunch of nicer people.  It’s almost shocking how each and every person on the team is so warm and friendly to me.   I knew a lot of the people on the team already from previous events so I wasn’t so surprised about them, but I was so surprised to see the warmth and generous spirit of the returning members.  I must admit many of them appear intimidating (because they are so fit, strong and fast) but throughout the weekend a good portion of them stopped to ask how I was doing? Was everything okay? And just checking in on me in general.  How nice is that?

Okay I know I have a bunch of detail people who want the nitty gritty of what my weekend entailed.  For you:

On Saturday morning I picked Jaime up at 6:30 at her apartment.  Jaime is small.  Her bike is small.  Her bike wouldn’t fit on my bike rack.  We had to take my bike off and switch bike racks in order to get both of our bikes on the car.  Her bike rack is much better than mine and I’m going to buy one  I highly recommend it.

So we took off for New Paltz and got there in plenty of time to meet up with some of the other teammates and get our gear ready for the long day in front of us.  We were told our transitions had to be quick and lunch was to be eaten in the car on the way to our next workout.  I already knew they meant business.

Our morning workout was a hike.  It was actually quite nice.  We hiked up a mountain.  At first it was just a speedwalk through the woods and I actually lead for quite a bit.  Speed walking is something I know how to do.  The others know how to run sub 7 minute miles or saunter.  So I was getting quite a good cardio workout and chat with one of the alumnae until we hit the mountain climbing part of the workout.  It was not that it was so hard as it was the trail was a little rocky and steep so I lost a lot of my momentum and that’s when a lot of people started passing me.  But I kept up.  When we got to the top there was  long trail and people started running to catch up to the group ahead and of course that’s when I got left behind.  But I just kept my power walk going and eventually caught up to them so I was pleased with that.  I made note that my power walking skills were something I wanted to keep up with.

At the end of the 2 hour hike we ended in what appeared to be a small grassy area that was really just hiding a lot of mud.  They had plastic sheets for people who didn’t want to get wet but I had my rain poncho to serve as my “exercise mat.”  We then started a series of core exercises.  Abdominal compressions, mini and regular bicycles and pull the chain crunches.  Then of course the part I was not looking forward too, plank — except instead of doing just the regular plank and holding it, now we have to lift one leg at a time while doing it.  As I suspected I was not too good at it.  Then we did side plank and their compulsary move of switching to the other side without letting your hip or butt hit the floor.  And the lovely little twist of once you are in side plank we have to lift our top leg up and down.  Let’s just say I got a lot of mud on my hips and butt. 

When everyone was doing the plank the coaches came along and pushed everyone’s butts down.  I thought I was doing a pretty good plank until one of the coaches came over and pushed my butt down to flatten me out.  OMG my core was so hurting.  I last about two seconds after he walked away before I collapsed.    The thing I hate is they count out 1 minute but they don’t start counting until everybody’s butt is up in the air!  If you don’t time it right it could be another 15 seconds on top of the minute.  Let’s just say I have lots of work to do.  The core session lasted about 1/2 hour but much of it was talk and demonstration of the exercises and what muscles we are using and why.  So probably net/net we did about 15 solid minute of what they call the TVA (Transverse Abdominals) exercises — previously known as all-that-stuff-Rhonda-made-me-do.

After core I had my first feeling of “okay, I see what I need to do.”  Of course, I knew what I needed to do for the last year and half I’ve been moaning and groaning about getting better at core.  But now the moment was here.  I realized, I’m on top of a freakin mountain doing core exercises with my team.   This is ironman training 101.  They repeated over and over all weekend that this was the “easy” camp and now we would  know exactly what we have to do so at the next training camp (which will be harder) we  will be ready for the next level.    No more in-the-future.  No more “when I start ironman training.”  Now I am in it.  Reality has knocked on the door and on my butt and delivered the message in no uncertain terms.  This is exactly what you HAVE to do.  I felt inspired to do better.

  Then we did a quick jog downhill to our cars.  Now my knees were all warmed up and I felt okay to run.  One of the coaches told me I didn’t have to run but I told him I was okay and my knees seemed strangely warmed up and okay.  He suggested I might want to look into heat wraps to wrap my knees before running to help my joints get warmed up sooner.  I thought that sounded like a good idea so I thought I would give that a try on Tuesday night.

Once we were in the cars we had 1/2 hour to get back to the motel, change into our bike gear and meet in front of the motel.  Everyone did that well and at 12:30 we met promptly to start our 3 hour bike ride.  This was the moment I was really nervous about because everyone had been telling me how hard the New Paltz hills are and they were going to kick my butt.  Even Jaime in the car was going on and on about how hard they were and I have to say I had little butterfliess riding little bicycles all around my stomach.

They split us up into 3 groups.  Advanced, sparkly and not so sparkly.  ROFL.  I guess you can choose not-so-sparkly for a variety of reasons.  Of course I chose not-so-sparkly and was more than happy to ride with the slowest group.  I mean this is an ironman team so the slow group is still going to be faster than most people.  They waited about five minutes between groups so we didn’t assault the New Paltzians with 40 riders hitting the road at once.

When it was our turn to take off we started out single file and heading down a flat road.  Fairly quickly I heard some kind of weird scratching noise coming from my bike.  I hit the brakes and stopped.  I pedalled for two minutes and it started again.  Finally I had to stop and I told the guy behind me to go ahead.  I pulled out three leaves that had become lodged in my back break (ah, Autumn!)  and also noticed my brakes were not even so spent a few seconds adjusting everything and by the time I looked up the entire group was gone!!  Rhut Rho.  Time to get pedalling.  It took me a few minutes but I caught up to the group. 

Coach Kim noticed that I was on a different bike than I ride on Thursday mornings right away.  (Kudos to her for noticing.)  I introduced her to Sylvia and told her my other bike was Tina.  She told me to start bringing Sylvia to practice for pacelining and bike handling skills and that I could take Tina out for my long solo rides.  I was really impressed that she noticed what bike I was riding. 

I quickly found myself at the front of the group with another guy (who I know is a fasty fast cyclist and had no idea why he was riding with us).  The head coach is riding with the two of us giving us some tips and when then he tells us to keep going as he’s going to cycle to the back.  I lose the other cyclist on a hill (he’s really fast) but I see him ahead of me for awhile.  I turn around and see one person a good ways back but figure they’ll catch up after the hill.  Little did I know that for the next three hours I would be riding alone!!!

I basically rode with the next pack just in sight but just far enough away that I was not catching them.  I would start to close the gap but they were about 1/2 mile ahead so I was not going to catch them.  I would only see them as red specks in the distance.  Once the roads started curving I lost them.  At one point I was riding, riding, riding and there was nobody in sight behind or in front and I started to get that creepy, I-should-have-paid-better-attention-to-the-map feeling.  They told us from the beginning that this was not a guided ride — we had a map, a cue sheet and a cell phone, figure it out!! My plan to just follow the group was not working.

At one point I hit a “t” in the road and got nervous so I stopped to check my map.  I had stopped for only one second when the head coach came flying up on his bike (I mean he must be riding over 25 mph on the flat no kidding!)  He said “keep going straight until you reach the bridge that goes over your head.”  He rode with me for awhile and was really complimentary — said my cadence was good, my knee position was good.  He said in 9 months I was going to be fantastic.   That made me feel really good.  Then coach Kim pulled up next to us and she told me I was tucking my pelvis under and to straighten out the small of my back.   I always concentrate on the top of my back.  I didn’t even notice I was doing it until she said that.   It was really weird to be out in the middle of nowhere on this road with two coaches riding right next to me looking at every little detail.  

Coach Scott informs me we are starting our ascent and that this would be a long climb.  Gulp.  I didn’t relay how nervous I was.  I just hunkered down and started to pedal.   It was soon apparent that I couldn’t hang with them at all.  Coach Scott tells Coach Kim to come with him and they tell me I’m doing great and just keep going to the bridge and off they swoop up the hill.   I mean whoosh — off they went like there was no hill at all.  So once again I was left to ride alone.  Push, pull, push, pull.  I wasn’t too worried because I knew the rest of the not-so-sparklies were behind me somewhere.

So I started climbing, climbing, climbing.  I’ve done steeper, not sure if I’ve done longer but I just had it in an easy gear and kept pedalling, pedalling.  I was certainly breathing hard but I wasn’t thinking I was going to fall off my bike or anything.   After about twenty or thirty minutes I see the bridge.  That’s it?  That’s the big freakin hill?  Vermont was much worse than this.  Those hills heading into Valley Forge were harder on the Tour de Pink made me cry more than that one.  My mountain in CT was MUCH worse than this.  I was so relieved.  I made it to the top of the hill.  Woo Hoo.  Smooth sailing from here.  Or so I thought.

Once we made it to the bridge we were to look for a small road called Clove Road.  I kept looking for the road, somewhat aware that I was heading back downhill.  I kept riding, riding, looking for the road.  Then I saw a tri-lifer coming back up the hill.  I asked her where was Clove Road?  She said just up ahead on the right so I kept riding.  That probably should have been my first hint that some time had elapsed.  I figured I would just go up there, turn around and come back.

I hit Clove road and pretty quickly I was aware of one distinquishing feature.  It was all downhill!!  Memories of the Coogan’s run up in Fort Washington — if you run down it, you have to run up it.  Oh boy, more uphills waiting for me.  But I had done the hard hill already, right?  Right!?!?  I kept riding, riding, riding.  Nobody in sight.  I come across a man making the most fantastic wood sculptures in his yard.  “Have you seen any cyclists coming through here?”  “Yeah about 200 of them.”  So I knew I was on the right road.  But every down hill was making me more nervous.  I was aware I was going down the hills with some trepidation.  I wasn’t sure I wanted any more downhills…..

Soon I saw groups of trilifers heading back.  I kept asking “should I turn around?  Should I turn around?”  “Coaches up ahead” they would all say.  This was where I made a tactical error.  I had neglected to pay attention to the detailed instructions early on when they said to turn around when we were at the 1 hour 30 minute point.  I just kept pedalling, pedalling looking for the coaches.  When I got to the end the coaches were suprised to see me.  “Why didn’t you turn around?”  They asked.  “I wanted to get to the end?”  I said.  “How long did it take you to get here?”  I looked at my watch it said 2:10.  I figured if we left at 12:30 that was 1 hour 40 minutes.  “Well you have to make it back in 1 hour 20 minutes to meet the rest of the group in time.”   GULP!!!  OMG, I have to ride faster back? 

I was screwed.  Coach Scott said “don’t worry, you have a half hour to shower and change for dinner, you’ll just take the time out of that.  Plus you’ll make up some time on the downhills going back.”    Then he road up to me and said “don’t even worry about it, you are good on the hills.” Then he sped off.  I wanted to scream after him “DOWNHILLS!!!, I’m good on the DOWNHILLS.”  I suck on the uphills, I muttered to myself.

Okay, great I will have a whole ten minutes to shower, change and get ready for dinner.  We were to leave at 4 p.m. to go a bike clinic and dinner.  If I took 1 hour 40 to get back that would mean I get there at 3:50!!!!  I started to pedal my brains out.  I started to get in a bad mood.  I started to get mad at everyone who didn’t tell me to turn around.  I was quickly trying to blame everyone but myself.  Me, the person who didn’t really understand the part about “when you reach 1:30 turn around.”  I hadn’t looked at my watch until they asked me what time it was.  That’s why I never saw any of the not-so-sparklies — they had all turned around to go back to the motel!!!

Then something strange happened.  I let go of being mad and just sunk into the project at hand.  Then something even stranger happened.  I said to myself “you did great on getting here and you can do great on getting back there. Just hunker down and pedal.  There’s still tons of light, it’s not going to be dark.  You know the route now.  It’s a beautiful day.  This is beautiful scenery.  Hunker down and train for the Ironman.”  I was well aware that this was a changing point in my personal attitude.  Nobody is going to be out there holding your hand race day.  Yeah sure it would be nice if Michelle was there with me but you know what?  Race day you’ll be on your own.  Figure it out.  So I just kept pedalling, pedalling, pedalling.  And my muslces were getting tighter and tighter and tighter. 

The biggest irony of the entire ride was a tiny bump of a hill that I hit on Clove road.  Here I had been climbing, climbing, climbing back up Clove road and I was faced with this tiny hill — not even 200 yards long but it was like a little cliff I had to get up and over.  It was so short it was insulting.  But still it was everything in my power to not fall over.  I knew if I got off my bike I could run my bike up and over it in 60 seconds.  I knew it would be best to stand but If I stood I was pretty sure some muscle was going to snap so I had to just get up and over the bump while seated.  I pushed and pulled and pushed and pulled and that crappy little bump was the hardest moment of the entire 3 hour ride.  That little bump was harder than any hill in Vermont, any hill in Firmman.  On that little bump I said I think I might have to fall over right now.  How funny that the big mean mountain didn’t give me any problem but the tiny little bump almost did me in!  Sweat the small stuff!

But I made it up and out of Clove Road and thought I was finished with my climbing.  Of course I had totally forgotten about that nice downhill release I had hit on my way down to Clove Road.  Now I had to climb back up that too!!!  Shoot me now God, shoot me now!  But now I was determined.  I was even a little mad.  I would not call in for help.  I would get up this freakin’ hill if it killed me.  I commanded my legs to keep spinning.  I didn’t even know who this determined person was.  I think 15 years ago I would have called a limo.  Definitely would have stopped to have a cigarette to think about the situation.  Now it was me or this hill.  I will not let this hill get me.  Spin, spin, spin.  Who cares if everyone left you behind?  Who cares if you are out on this freakin’ mountain alone?  I don’t even care if I make dinner.  I heard the hill laughing at me.  “Screw you, I’m doing this!”  So I kept pulling my heels up, pulling my heels up.

All of a sudden I heard a voice behind me, “Great Job!!  You look great!”  I couldn’t turn around.  Then the A group was coming up the hill behind me.  They must have gone down the hill further past Clove Road for extra work and were now coming back up.  There were about 8 of them and every single one of them said something nice to me as they zipped past me.  It was like a bunch of little angels popping out of the sky.  And then the head cycling coach comes right up next to me and said “you look great.  Great up!”   Great Up!!  Great Up!!  I got a “great up” from the head cycling coach!  I felt like someone just gave me a shot of morphine in the butt.  My quads and hamstrings were all happy too.  All my muscles were slapping each other high fives.  Great Up!!!  How absolutely silly that two little words could mean so much.   My muscles and I felt the hill retreat defeated.  We had won.  We beat that freakin’ hill.

Then we got the reward of a big downhill.  A couple of lagging A riders zipped past.  We didn’t care.  The hard part was over for us (me and my quads, hamstrings and glutes).  We now just had to do about 1 hour of not-so-bad terrain.  I knew there would be some hills left but nothing too bad.  Now I was just going to crank it out.  I was going to make it back with time to spare.

I hit one more big downhill.  Ah yes this was the uphill that started the whole thing when Coach Scott and Coach Kim started up with me.  I had forgotten about this big hill.  I looked at it.  Straight downhill, nice decline, my kind of hill.  I told the gang (quads, hamstrings and glutes), “let’s do this.”  So I threw it my hardest gear and started pedalling like a maniac.  I was pedalling, pedalling I suddenly heard a voice pull up next to me “Great pedalling on the down hill, but you are sitting so upright you are a big wind bag, crouch lower, c’mon let’s go.”   Coach Scott had appeared again out of nowhere.  I lowered my body and kept pedalling.  My speedometer said 36.8.  Not the fastest I have ever gone but that’s fairly fast.  Here’s the kicker.  I’m going 36.8.  My coach is tiny.  I bet he doesn’t even weigh 145 pounds.  He’s hunkered down pedalling down that hill.  I’m behind him for two seconds laying everything I have into that hill.  In two seconds he is so far ahed of me that I can’t even think of catching him.  Did I mention I’m going 36+ miles an hour?  I couldn’t get Sylvia into the 40’s on that hill.  Don’t know if Tina would have but regardless he was out of sight in about 30 seconds.  Wow, that was impressive.

So now I felt all motivated, supported and loved so I kept pedalling and pedalling looking at my watch and thinking I’m doing okay.  I end up at an intersection have to ask directions and I get them.  I head off down a long road, get to an intersection and pedal right past my Motel and out onto the highway!!!   So I’m on the highway (plenty of room of for biking).  I see the Motel 87 and think no it can’t be that way, so I turn around and start pedalling toward town.  I see the McDonalds and stop.  Hmm, it can’t be that way, I never passed a McDonalds.  I turn around and head back.  Then in the trees I see a sign for the Super 8 and realize that I had pedalled right past my motel and just wasted a good ten minutes on the highway.  WHY DO I ALWAYS GET LOST?!?!?!?!  I had to laugh out loud at that.

I pulled into the driveway.  3:45 exactly.  I looked at my bike computer for time elapsed 3 hours exactly.  Distance was 41 miles.  Okay that was a pretty slow time for 41 miles but it was a lot of up hills.  A lot of up hills.  But more important I was back, in the parking lot, ready to take a shower and change and I knew nobody would really be ready at 4 p.m.  I ran into the lobby and everybody was standing there in their bike clothes.  I saw Jamie (she was in the group ahead of me) how long they had been back and she said about ten minutes.  Ten minutes????  That’s how long I was out there riding up and down the highway!!!  I was really happy.  If I had just gone out with the second group I would have been with them the whole time and would have had some pacelining to help.    Not too shabby!! 

We all showered, changed and headed over to the Red Rooster for a bike clinic and dinner.  The bike clinic was pretty good and I got some tips which I will share in a later blog.  The dinner was  — eh — nothing I liked to eat so I was happy to have had my chocolate milk and power-fu sandwich when I got off the bike. So I wasn’t really hungry.

I went for hot chocolate with a couple of teammates afterwards (skim milk for me and No cake — even though they were eating cake).  When we got back to hotel I poured myself into bed at 8:30 extremely satisfied with my long day.  I reflected on the hike, the core, the bike ride and the hills and realized that I was pretty proud of my performance.  No I wasn’t the fastest or best or even close.  But I climbed the hills, I remained focussed, I didn’t give up and I faced some demons in my mind.  I realized that the thing I was proudest of was that in those moments when I thought I was alone and having to dig out some kind of inner strength to get through that workout that I was surprised to find that my quads, hamstrings, glutes and attitude all showed up for the workout.    We were a team.   I felt for the first time that now I really was on my way to becoming an Ironman.  I still have a long way to go but now there was no question in my mind, I was going to go all the way.

So that was day one of training camp.  Tomorrow I’ll relay all the fun stuff of day two!!


“You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.”
 George Lorimer

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10/19/06 Sharp Turn Ahead

Thursday.  Yesterday I did no workout.  I was exhausted.  I did not get a good night’s sleep on Tuesday night (no particular reason, just couldn’t sleep) and it carried through into the day.  I have to work harder on forcing myself to get a good night’s sleep.  I remember reading an article once that said to make sure there is no light at all coming into your room and even if you get up to go the bathroom to make sure you don’t turn on the light, that way you can get right back to sleep.  Last night I sealed up my apartment like a tomb and was in bed at 9 p.m.  I was up at 3:30!!  I couldn’t get back to sleep even though I had set my alarm for 4:30.  I wanted that extra hour but I can’t seem to get my body to sleep past 6.5 hours.  It’s frustrating.

 So I was up at 3:30, putzing around getting ready for practice.  I think I’m finally getting better at grabbing what I need to get out the door.  Yesterday I made a checklist so I could have it by the door on Thursday mornings to get me to practice.  I left at 5:15 and was there in under 10 minutes.  That’s really not too bad.  Particularly if I can get myself to sleep all the way to 4:30.

We did more drills this morning.  Figure 8’s and tight circles and then we had to do sharp turns.  I stunk.  I know coach R was getting frustrated with me ’cause I kept breaking around the turns.  Well actually I know he was frustrated ’cause he kept yelling at me — “stop braking”!!  Now I know it is okay to brake BEFORE the turn, then coast through.  Don’t break in the turn!  The other trick is to keep the knee closest to the turn up and the leg on the outside of the turn straight and PRESSING down.  I never did the pressing down part before.  It definitely gives you more control. But I was still a chicken and not sailing through those turns like they wanted me to.

Then we did more pacelining.  The first loop around we were fine but then they really wanted us to start picking up the pace.  Our pace line fell apart a bit going down the big turn at Lasker Hill.  Oops I guess that was me that caused the paceline to fall apart there.  That was the fastest I’ve ever taken that turn and it wasn’t fast enough!!  I have lots of work to do on turning.  I see lots of hill repeats in my future….

We did 3 loops of Central Park (two 6 milers and one 5 miler).  I counted 4 times the coach told me to stop talking this morning!!!  And that was on my good behavior — I was trying to keep it zipped!  But if I say as much as “Hello” he shouts at me to stop talking.   ROFL.  This is going to be a long winter….  Not sure I can control my gift of gab or my sharp turns but I will keep practicing.  I’ll see if I can get it down to once per loop.  LOL

I need to get some good rest tonight and tomorrow.  The weekend is looking like it is going to be a lot of work.  We are hiking on Saturday morning.  Cycling on Saturday afternoon.  Running on Sunday Morning and Swimming on Sunday afternoon.  My goal for the weekend is to not get lost in the woods on the hike and make everyone come looking for me.  I’m pooped already just thinking about it. 

Food is going okay this week.  Had a nice lunch out with Charlee — fish and broccoli and we talked a little about my food choices.  I’m going to try to get more protein in my mornings so I’m not so starving all the time.  I did some shopping so I have some food in the house and I have not been ordering in.  That’s good.  I stumbled on my vitamins this morning (who put them in the bathroom?) and took some so that was good.  I took my glucsomine drink AND a recovery drink when I got back from cycling.  So although I’m a little tired and missed my workout yesterday, I did get a good workout in this morning and good nutrition.  Overall I give myself a C+ (I don’t grade on a “curve”) for the week so far.


Here’s an article on cutting corners…,6610,s1-4-41-14559-1,00.html

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10/18/06 Let a Smile be your Umbrella


Sunday I did an easy 1:20 solo run.  Thought I did fine with that until I had to do last night’s run with the team.  That wasn’t so easy.  I found last night hard because I was pushing myself.  I don’t do ‘pushing myself’ very well.

It was pouring rain.  Pouring.   POURING.  Only 7 or 8 of us showed up for practice.  One coach.  The tough one.  We did an easy warmup from the boat house to Tavern on the Green.  One of my teammates did the warmup with me so I wasn’t left alone — that’s was so nice!  We were all soaking wet before the practice even started.  I was wearing a hat and waterproof jacket which meant nothing. The rain was just relentless.  We don’t cancel run practice except for lighting and extreme conditions (yet to be determined).  Bike practice we cancel right now for any precipitation or temps under 35 degrees.  Even though it was pouring rain, I don’t feel I have the luxury to opt out of group practices .  At this point I have to show the coaches and myself that I am there for every workout.   And I’m glad I showed up.

One girl told me she was there because she had been reprimanded by the coaches because she missed two bike practices already.  She got a five minute lecture and they scared the widgets out of her and she said she’ll never miss another practice — ever!!  I was glad I hadn’t missed a practice yet (other than the tour de pink days but I got their permission).   No matter what, I’ll just show up no matter how painful.

 Last night our assignment was to do four 10 minute out and backs (OAB).  That means you run out for 5 minutes turn around and run 5 minutes back making 10 minutes.  The goal is to make it back in exactly the same time.  Pacing.  Total 40 minute running plus the warmup and cooldown.  Sounds easy unless you have coach running right next to you telling you everything you are doing wrong. 

I was minding my own business doing my out and back — alone because everyone took off so fast in front of me.  No big deal, I’m used to running alone.  Besides it was all the fast kids who showed up to practice — I wasn’t going to get down on myself.  I was just going to do my own workout and not worry about.  Of course then I saw the coach running back to me.  Crap.  Nowhere to hide.  I said “I’m fine, I’m fine, go ahead.”  I was hoping and praying he was going to say “okay!” and turn around and run back to the others.  Nope. He wasn’t having any of it.  He ran next to me giving me detailed instruction on everything I was doing wrong.  I was trying so hard to will my knees to start bending.  “Bend, damn you, bend! Now, now, he’s watching, BEEENNNDD!”  They just wouldn’t so I was doing my straight-legged-scissor-kick run which I know is wrong but when my knees are tight I just can’t get them to bend.  I had even slathered my knees in Tiger Balm before I left.  Unfortunately sometimes they just don’t loosen up and last night was one of those times.  (They usually loosen up around the 1 hour mark or when practice or the race is about to be over, whichever comes first.)

This particular coach was trying to be a little tough on us (although I know he is a very nice guy) so when we finished each out and back he yelled at us to keep going.  “Train’s leaving — too late!!”  he would yell to the people who were got back 15 seconds too late.  If you got back 15 seconds too early he made you do squats.  I was right on time every time which you would think would make him happy.  But no — he yelled at me for being too perfect.  ROFL!!!  I guess there was no winning.  You were going to get yelled at no matter what.   Of course I found this hysterically funny — painful, but funny.

  I thought I might be able to go out a little easier on the next one but I found myself wanting to try even though my legs really weren’t cooperating.  Afterwards he was telling us how we have to get out of our comfort zone (guilty).  “You want comfort?  Sit on the couch!”  he told us.  That was pretty funny although I’m not allowed to laugh because he says I’m in too good of a mood all the time and within 3 months he’s going to wipe that smile off my face.  Of course that makes me laugh even more because little does he know my smile is simply masking my pain!!!  I’m trying, but I just can’t take myself so seriously… yet.

Everyone seems very serious at practice and I do try to bring a little happiness to the party.  I think everyone is petrified and afraid to talk back or say anything.  I of course have a total inability to keep my mouth shut.  I’m trying so hard to be serious and keep a straight face but it’s like high school all over again.  I can’t help but make the sarcastic comment from the back of the room.  Even last week when we were doing core.  I was the only one who had to make a comment after every exercise.  I had told myself over and over “don’t go mouthing off at practice, just keep your mouth shut, you don’t have to comment on everything.”  Of course, within two minutes I was commenting on everything.  I don’t think they like to hear comments or wise-cracks no matter how clever or funny they might be.  (I wasn’t being clever or funny but someday I might be.) 

Anywho, I am well aware that this coach is watching me and if I look like I’m having too much fun he’s going to get right on my butt until I am crying.  Which of course makes me feel like laughing because it is so silly.  I mean let’s be real, I’m 47, overweight, bad knees — I’m not a contender just a finisher.  I’ll work on it though.  Maybe I should get a note from my marathon coach saying “she’s not happy all the time — I’ve seen her cry and be mean!!  You should have seen her during the marathon!!”

So today I have a solo swim and a pilates class.  Tomorrow morning we have bike practice and I for one will not miss that because I don’t want them calling me up to ask why I wasn’t at bike practice.

This weekend is our first training camp in New Paltz.  I’m nervous because everyone talks about these giant hills we have to climb on our bikes.  People whose riding skills I respect are nervous so I’m thinking “whoaa,,, if they are nervous,,, what about me?!?!?!”  I am bringing Sylvia because I understand some of these hills are long and steep so I figure every gear I can get my hand on will be useful.  Once I see and experience it for myself then maybe I’ll bring Tina up there.

So on Saturday morning we are doing some team building exercises (something tells me it has to do with raking the leaves out of one of the coaches yard!)  Then Saturday afternoon we have a 3 hour bike.  Saturday night we have a team dinner.  Then on Sunday we have a 1:30 run and then a swim practice.  And we are not even in high gear for training yet.  Suddenly I don’t feel like smiling….

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion . . . . I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

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10/15/06 Updates

Sunday.  Abs are a little sore this morning — probably from my Pilates session on Friday with Ellie.  I took it very seriously and didn’t do any of my regular yapping and she threw in a bunch of new HARD exercises.  My biceps are feeling very strong today too.  I did a lot of stretching yesterday so hopefully my legs are ready for a 1:20 run today.  I figured today would be a good day to go up and do a couple loops of the resevoir and get some timed miles in.

Friday we had a great meeting at WW.  The topic was complacency and how to stay motivated.  Several of us have been doing WW for awhile now and are kind of in a slump.  One gal brought up the question “at what point is being patient with ourselves just an excuse to not work hard?”  I knew what she was talking about.  At a certain point you start to get comfortable with not getting anywhere. 

Maggie our leader was really great.  She said that there becomes  a time where we just keep saying “I want to lose weight, I want to lose weight” but there’s no real conviction in there.  Part of it is because we have been somewhat successful and the desire to work hard is diminished because we are not in “pain” anymore.  We’re somewhat comfortable and until we are uncomfortable again we won’t push hard.

It’s very true.  This is something that Tony Roberts would say in his tapes.  You’ll always go to the least painful situation.  When your weight gets so out of control that it is more painful to be fat than it is to overeat you’ll stop overeating.  But when that pain is not that strong anymore and the pain of whatever it is that made you overeat in the first place becomes stronger — you will overeat again.  Until you get at the reasons or the motivations you won’t really succeed.  So this week we are to write out 100 reasons we want to succeed.  It’s harder than it sounds — but it is a great exercise.

Meanwhile here is a picture from Tour De Pink.


Me and the guys from PA.  All young Dad’s riding for breast cancer.  How cool?


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