Monthly Archives: November 2006

11/30/06 Snooze and Shoes

Thursday.  Well I missed practice this morning!  I had to sleep, was too exhausted.  It took me about two seconds to make the decision.  I went to bed at 9 as planned.  Woke up at 3, couldn’t fall back asleep so I did stretches in bed for awhile.  Then I fell back asleep and the alarm woke me at 4:30.  I NEVER get woken up by an alarm.  But I had been in a deep sleep and I was zonked.  So I just said “I give you permission to sleep.”  I slept until 6:30.  I really needed it more than I needed a spin around Central Park.

I think I am just working my way up to six days of hard working out and I have to allow my body to rest appropriately.  I actually did my swim workout yesterday and I was pooped during that too.  (Can I just say I HATE kicking drills?  I mean really HATE them!) 

Yesterday’s swim was a warmup of 300 meters breathing to weak side every other 50 (I am SOOOO aware of my weaker side now).  My pool is a 25 meter pool so each lap is 50 meters.  Then I had to do  75 meters alternating 25 meters sculling (that means waving your hands back and forth catching the water in your hands) while holding a pull buoy between my legs.  Then I did the remaining 50 meters just swimming with the pull buoy.  I had to repeat the 75 meters 4 times.

Then for the main set swim freestyle 100 meters hard, 100 meters with kick board recovery.  Repeat 12 times!!  Ugh, that went on forever!!  I think I only did it 10 times. The regular swimming part was supposed to be hard effort and that was wiping me out.  The kicking was supposed to be recovery but unless I kicked somewhat hard I never got anywhere!!  (Made mental note to myself to bring down my flippers for the kicking next time).  I practiced some kicking regular kicking and some dolphin kicking — I find dolphin kicking much easier.

Then I did a cool down of  200 meters 50 doing my side drill and 50 regular.  I did that twice and jumped into the Jacuzzi.  Done, wiped out.  Exhausted. 

I was supposed to start my weight training routine yesterday but it was just too much.  I think the most important thing I can do right now is listen to my body.  Like listening to a baby you learn the different sounds — there is a different between a restless discomfort and an all out in pain.  I’m not in pain but my body needs a rest so I’m giving it one.  I’ll do some one legged drills on my indoor trainer and a few squats and call it a day.

Yesterday I also went to pick up my new sneakers aka “Running Shoes.”  I am really excited about them because I think they are going to be great — at least I hope so.  I won’t know until I try them a couple of times.  I talked with Mike from SuperRunners at the NYC Marathon Expo and we tried a bunch of shoes on me.    None of them were exactly right but some of them were close.   (Interestingly, in the old days, I would have bought any one of them, now I wait for something that is just right.)   I liked the Asics Gel Nimbus but they didn’t have my size in the women’s and the men’s heel were too wide so my foot kept coming out of them.  (That’s why Mike took me out of men’s shoes in the first place two years ago — if I got them long enough, they were too wide.)  So he said he was going to order the women’s version and we would try that.

 Well I love them!  I got the Gel-Nimbus VIII in Titanium (like Tina) and Marigold.  Here is a picture of them.  They are less rigid than my old shoes and a much lighter shoe but they still have a lot of cushioning.  So hopefully they will assist a smidge in my running (but I’m not expecting miracles from a shoe.)  The thing I like about them the best is that they fit like a glove — they have lots of room in the toe box and are wide enough for my bunions to fit comfortably, but they are nice and form fitting around the rest of my foot (which usually is loose in a shoe that is wide enough for my bunions).  So far I’m really pleased, but I’ve only run a block in them (enough for Mike to watch me run back and forth.)  They felt great.  Can’t wait to try them out on Sunday.


I’m really surprised at the lack of guilt I am feeling this morning.  I thought for sure I would be full of self-recrimination at missing practice.  But instead I think it is a good sign that my body is finally saying “hey, I need rest.”  I think I worked hard the last week and I am going to have to build up to the full work load.  I’m sure if I had skipped the swimming yesterday I would have been fine today, but I felt the swimming was going to be restful on my body (HA!)  Cardio is cardio.

So that’s where I am today.  I’m going to do a light workout today — nothing too big because tomorrow is our new big gym workout and I want to see how much of it I can do.  Saturday we have a swim time trial and then out on our bikes for Hill Repeats on River Road.  Sunday a solo run (ooh, with my new sneakers!)  Monday Pilates and we start the week all over again!!


My friend Mo sent me a whole list of wonderful notes from a conference she attended.  One of the speakers was Peter Guber (film producer) and I loved this line she quoted from him:

“What is the problem telling me?  Be curious not critical.”

I’m thinking about this quote a lot already this morning.  Much to say about it.  Very true.  We’ll discuss tomorrow.

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11/29/06 Hard Core (235)

Wednesday.  Ooph.  Well I knew Tuesdays were going to be hard and I guess that’s just how it is going to be.  I’ll just bite my lip and get through them. 8 more months of them.  EIGHT MORE MONTHS OF THEM!!

 I started last night’s workout already muscularly tired from the weekend and since my Pilate’s session on Monday was tougher than usual I was a little more tired than usual.  Nothing hurting, just feeling like dragging a ton of bricks around with me. 

I told the coach that I wanted to start early so I wouldn’t miss core practice at the end and he said okay.  So I got to the workout start at 6:40 and warmed up to the “start” line of a one mile at 1/2 marathon pace.  That mile was pathetic — an 11:52 — I was trying too!  But that is my 1/2 marathon pace — better even. The coach had told me to really concentrate on lifting my knees even more than effort so that’s what I was doing.  Every single freakin step around that park last night I kept saying “lift, lift, lift.”  It was so freakin exhausting. 

After the first mile at 1/2 marathon pace (start at marked mile by Tavern on the green and end at mile marker at 72nd street) we were to recovery jog up to the great lawn circle.  Believe it or not, I had never run around the great lawn circle.  I’ve been working out in the Park for almost 3 1/2 years and I never ran around that circle. 

At the circle we were to do Fartleks.  Basically intervals.  We were to split the oval into 4 parts and run hard/recover/hard/recover.  I kept concentrating on lifting, lifting, lifting my knees.  I don’t seem to go anywhere but I kept doing it anyway.  On the hard part I ran as hard as I could and on the recover I recovered as much as possible.  It wasn’t that far of a distance and we only had to run around the Oval twice doing the intervals but it was hard nonetheless.

The NY Flyers were out on the oval doing speed work too.  I ran smack into my friend Giddy (Holla Giddy!) as she went speeding right by me.  I was going to try to catch her on my hard run part but she was running too fast.  We did exchange quick hellos but let’s face it — if you are in Central Park at night running around the great lawn you are not there to socialize, you are there to work out.  Besides I’ll see her Friday and we can comiserate then.

Sooo many people running in the park last night.  The New York Road Runners running classes started so they were everywhere.  I also ran into a big Team in Training group.  It was almost as crowded at 7 p.m. on a Tuesday night as it is on a Saturday!

After running twice around the oval I was to continue north and recovery jog to 102nd street transverse (more crowds of runners).  Lift, lift, lift I kept going.  On the downhills I actually started to feel like I was running but on the flats I just felt like I wasn’t going anywhere.  On the uphills I felt like I was going backwards.  I wanted to chuck it and just go back to my regular way of running but then I realized that even if I go faster with my regular straighter leg trog ultimately I will go faster if I can master this technique.  It is the ultimately I have to focus on right now not the short term.  So I kept going.  Lift, lift, lift.

We then had to do a 10k pace for 1 mile from 102nd street to the top of the bowl on the westside.  (Anyone else getting tired besides me?!?!)  So I pick up the pace again and for a couple of seconds in there, I can’t be sure, but I think I might actually have been running correctly.  Then I hit another hill and just struggled to keep the legs lifting, lifting, lifting.  My hamstrings and quads were sniffling.  I told them to hang in there, it would be over soon.

Finally I got to recover to the Delacorte theatre (still lifting, lifting, lifting my knees but just at a slow pace).  After the Delacorte theatre we were to do 3 lampposts hard, 2 recover.  They said to just do it twice but I did it until Daniel Webster statue since I was going there anyway.  WHEW!  Almost done.  Now I just waiting to see how long I had to wait for the rest of the team to catch up to me.  It took about 5 minutes.  So I calculate that I need a 15 minute lead on the group every week.  (The coach says no, just on long distance runs but on regular interval training nights, no advance lead — phttt).  The coach ran the last half mile with me and I MADE him tell me my knees were higher, lol.  He said “well compared to three weeks ago, definitely higher.”  LOL  that just means I am am still not lifting them high enough!

So then the HARD part of the workout started.  I know!!  That’s what I thought!!  Hey time to go home,  did about 6.5 miles hard work, I put in 110% effort, let’s go home, pat ourselves on the back and put our feet up.  Oh no, oh no, oh no.  Now we had to run down around the lower loop and end up at the sand pit at the volleyball courts.   Sand pit?  I didn’t know there was a sand pit in Central Park.  Well there is and just fodder for some crazy training drills.

It was so hard.  I was pooped before practice started and I worked so hard on the run around the park.   I was so delirious I can’t even tell you the bazillion things we had to do.  Running back and forth doing drills in the sand.  Frontways, sideways, backwards, eyes open, eyes  closed, skipping, hopping, jumping, Snake drill (can I just say Shoot ME?!?!)  It was so hard I wanted to cry or laugh.  Finally after the second loop of the snake drill I had to duck out.  My heart was beating so hard and I couldn’t catch my breath.  They kept going until everyone was falling over themselves. 

The snake drill has one person go out and start a line.  The next person runs around him and stands past him in line.  The next person runs around both of those people and goes to the end of the line.  The next person runs around the 4 people etc.  When the line has been created the person who started the line runs around everyone else snaking across the sand pit.  The line just keeps going and you have to run really, really fast while weaving around each person (like a ski slalom).  You can’t lag because someone is right on your ass and the sand is deep and it really, really, hurts.

Then (oh yeah, practice is still not over yet) we line up on the bench and we do sit ups.  (I now look forward to situps — something I can actually do!)   We were actually doing Pilates rollups and rolldowns which I think are better for you.  We did those for awhile until the coach came up with more torture and he came up with a doozy!

He had us split into partners.  One person gets into push up position on the bench and starts doing pushups while the partner grabs their legs and lifts their legs into the air  so you are doing like a suspended pushup.  The partner holding the legs is also doing squats while you are doing your suspended pushup.  Scott was my partner and after I did 3 pushups with him holding my legs in the air (remember playing wheelbarrow as a kid?) I yelled “let me down” it was so scary.  You don’t have control of your feet so it is just the strength of your arms holding you up there.  I hate not having control of my feet.  I saw visions of my face smashing into the bench so I said I would just do regular pushups on my turn.  (How funny is that that I was grateful to just do “regular” pushups!?!)  Then I had to hold Scott’s legs and do squats while holding his legs as he did pushups on the bench.  That wasn’t easy either!!

There were some other things that  we did but to be honest I was just in a daze.  Scott is such a sweetie and we high fived even though I was the only one who wouldn’t do pushups suspended in air.  I try to be a good sport but there are just some things I have to say “c’mon, that can’t be required.”

THEN (oh yeah, practice is not over yet) we go over to the lawn to do some more core work.  I was just so happy to have my butt and feet on the ground I didn’t care that we had more work to do.  We did some leg lifts, then we did some rope pull situps and then we did bicycles until failure.  I don’t remember what else we did but when he finally told us to go into Child’s Pose I kept praying, “please God, let this be it, let this be it. ”   This is what they mean by “hard core.”

 Finally we got to get up and go home.  I think it was 9 p.m.  I had left my house at 6 p.m. and had started running at 6:40.  2 hours and 20 minutes later and I was pooped.  Running loops around the Great Lawn Oval was a distant memory already.  Hmmm, how am I going to feel after 16:59:45 hours of swimming, biking and running?

So that was my Tuesday night.  And they are going to get harder and harder.  I was walking home with my friend Eric (another super supportive and nice person and biking buddy from Saturday).  He was telling me about his season last year training for the Ironman and said he thought his hardest workout had been when they made him swim for an hour out in the ocean at Coney Island and then run the 18 miles back into the city.  I swallowed hard. Why does that sound harder than doing an Ironman? 

When you call it the Ironman it’s easy to forget that it is 2.4 miles of swimming 112 miles of biking and 26.2 miles of running.  You just call it “the Ironman” and repress the details.  When you say swim an hour in the ocean at Coney Island (read jellyfish) then run from Coney Island the the West Village — that just sounds hard!!!  Of course I know the Ironman will be MUCH harder than that, it’s just a funny perspective thing.  (I think I will start calling it the 140.6 going forward to remind myself of the distance — or even better force myself to say “I’m doing the 2.4, 112, 26.2 race.”)

After I left Eric, I walked the last ten blocks repeating over and over again.  “You can do this, you can do anything you set your mind to.  You can run 18 miles, you’ve done it before.  You can do this.”  Then I stopped for one second, looked into my reflection of the Health Food Store window and allowed myself to whimper “I don’t think I can do this.”  But it passed and I stopped and grabbed a small Greek Salad to bring home because I was foodless.  I mean afterall, practice was hard but I DID do it — I finished and that’s what counts.  It’s not like I had to quit or anything — it was just hard.  I have months to go before I have to run from Coney Island to the West Village.  Months to go and many situps to do.  We’ll put off self-doubt until next month when we might really need it.

So that was my Tuesday night at practice.  I’m pooped.  But today is 1/2 hour of strength training  — 1/2 hour of squats, step downs, multi-hip machine, lat pulldowns and low rows.  Then we do 2,000 meters in the pool of kicking and drills.   The fun never ends.  (Actually I am looking forward to getting into the pool and doing a couple of laps to stretch everything back out.)

 If I really can do all of this kind of training for 8 months and not die, I think I really can do the Ironman because there is no way I won’t be in strong enough or in good enough shape to do it.  The hard part will be living through the next 8 months or 32 Tuesdays or 235 days.  Whatever way you look at it is hard core.


I know I’ve used this quote before but it is a good one and appropo — Missy I am thinking of you in Law School for this quote too:

“Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.”
 Newt Gingrich


I wanted to mention the coolest new feature they have at Fresh Direct.  I went online to order groceries.  I found that they have a new recipes section where you can look up a variety of recipes for everything from Healthy and Vegetarian to entertaining a crowd.  When you find a recipe you like you click one button and all the ingredients pop up for you to add to your cart.  If you want them all you click one button, or just unclick the items you don’t need and presto — all your shopping is done for those ingredients.  FANTASTIC.  So I picked three recipes and all the ingredients.  I’m really psyched about this.  Learning some new low fat, vegetarian recipes and the hard work is done for you — picking out the items and shopping.  AND, they email you the recipe on the day of delivery so you have it to print out.  How cool?!?!  (I’ll post the recipes if I like them).


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11/28/06 Taking it in Stride

Tuesday.  Would someone mind telling me what happened to the month of November?  I don’t know where it went and if this is any indication as to the speed of the rest of the months passing by I better get busy.

Yesterday was our day off from training but I am using it as my Pilates session day now.  (They added so much to our Friday Cross training that there would be no room for Pilates.)  Had a very good workout yesterday.  Elly is upping the resistance and putting me through more routines.  I also don’t stop and talk any more so that gives us time to do more.  I figured Monday was a good day for Pilates as it is after the weekend which will become more and more fatiguing and Pilates is great for putting stuff back where it is supposed to go.    The thing I like the most about Pilates is how it realigns the joints and muscles.  I love the reformer and if I had the money I would buy my own and use it every day.  But alas, they cost a lot of money and I have a small apartment.

Last night was the second annual Turkey Trot race for cookies that my friends put together.  I didn’t race (as it was my day off) but I went as the official time keeper and bag watcher.  It was actually a beautiful night in the park (looks like we have another one tonight). 

I got there early which afforded me the opportunity to observe people running in the park.  I was really struck by the variety of running styles.  No two people run the same.  Even four guys running by together — they had different cadences, knee height, posture.  It was really enlightening.  I watched the slow runners.  I watched the runners who looked like they should be slow (they were not bending their knees) but were actually running by fairly quickly.  I watched one of the really good park runners (I won’t name names) run by and was shocked to hear how heavily his feet slap the ground when he runs (yet he is a very fast runner.)  A couple of minutes later a woman ran by softly, noiselessly, effortlessly like she was gliding on ice.  Fascinating.

All different styles and yet they were all getting to where they wanted to go.  One woman ran by very fast but she was all arms pumping, pumping, pumping  — all business, definitely someone who works in law or finance, lol.  Not sure that is worth the effort.  A Japanese fellow ran by and he was most interesting because although his knees seemed bent, his legs seemed to move back and forth like pendulums — the angle of his knee never changing.  I wondered how he could do that?  Kind of like my straight leg running but with a permanent bend in his knee.

Across the board the fasty fasts all had a high knee lift –almost up to their waists (not quite).  They also had a 90 degree angle in their leg when their foot went behind them.  After the fasty fasts there was such a variety of methods that it would be hard to describe them all.  I’ve noticed several woman now who run with their head tilted.  I wonder why?  What could that possibly do for them?  (Look for them now when you are running in the park — you’ll be shocked to see how many you find.)

I also noticed stride lengths, the pendulum runners (like the Japanese fellow, their knees stay in one position and all movement comes from the hips) all had fairly long stride lengths.  That’s how they get their speed, not by cadence but by length.  They remind me of that Tony Little Gazelle machine — everything coming from the hip. 

For me I realize that I really have to practice getting my knees way up there — even over exagerrate for awhile until I get it.  (Of course it would be easier if I had less leg to lift).  It was a very good running lesson for me, just observing all the different styles out there.   The trick is to pick and choose what I like about each of the different runners and put togther my own style.

Tonight we have Farklet training in the park.  It sounds long but I’ll just do my best.  We start at the boat house, run south around the lower loop doing 1 mile at marathon pace.  (That would be nice if we could just stop there, but no then we keep going up the East side all the way to the great lawn, run around that twice with some pick ups in there.  Then get back on the drive up to 102nd, across to the westside and back down to where we started.  It’s actually only about 6 miles but it sounds like so much more!!! 

I have an educational video on running styles to share with you.  Very interesting to examine the different running techniques.  Enjoy


Run Like An Antelope
by Phish

Rye, rye, rocco
Marco Esquandolas

Run, run, run, run
Run, run, run, run
Run, run, run, run
Run, run, run, run

Set the gearshift for the high gear of your soul
You’ve got to run like an antelope out of control

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11/27/06 Month Two Review

Monday.  Well 8 weeks of Ironman training done.  I finished writing up my training report for my coaches and my statistics were not that great.  Not terrible either though as I had not planned to go “all out” for training in November.

 For the month I was supposed to put in 10 hours of swim (distance of 20,600 meters).  I put in only 3 hours of swimming and 6,000 meters.  That’s not good but I was aware I was letting the swim go for the month so I could rest and concentrate on other stuff.

For the bike I was supposed to do 17 hours and 201 miles.  I did only 9:45 hours and 128.7 miles.  I was actually kind of surprised about that but looking back, just miss two bike practices and that does it.

For the run I actually exceeded plan which is good considering that is my weakest link.  We were supposed to do 12 hours covering 73.4 miles for the month.  I did 14:55 hours and covered 72.1 miles.   (Takes me longer to do less miles, but what can I say?)

 Finally we were supposed to do 14:45 hours of cross training and I did 8:45.  That’s about right — I missed those Friday sessions but I did do my Pilates every week.

So all in all for the month I was supposed to do 53:45 hours of working out and I did only 36:25 or an average of 9 hours per week.  That’s low even by my own training standards from this summer, but I’m okay with it as I’m feeling ready to up my training instead of ready to crash and burn already.  I feel like I took the necessary rest and am stronger for the focus I did this month on core and running.  How my coaches will feel about the final numbers is another story.

 I didn’t lose any weight over the last four weeks but  I didn’t gain either (think I am down 1.5 net/net).  I’m going to have to make some more specific goals and plans for the coming four weeks.  I actually feel like I’m getting tighter but that’s not going to help me get up any hills any faster.

Goals for December:

Sleep 7 hrs plus every night.

Hydrate fully every day

Vitamins every day.

Start doing Wednesday Swim session and Friday Gym session.  (Pilates moves to Mondays).


Yesterday had a miserable run in the park.  I was just too tired.  But I pushed myself to do the 9 miles and althought they were ugly (had to walk up some of the hills) I did it.  What a waste of a beautiful day in Central Park.

I had a Pilates session this morning and she is really working me now.  She commented again that I seem to have made a big jump in strength in the last couple of weeks — I feel it too.  She’s starting to put everything at a heavier weight and adding more routines.    I’m plowing right through most of the routines (today I faded on pulsing my legs on my final full teaser but I did it.)  I’m pleased because I do feel like I am getting stronger. I also feel like I have a long way to go, but I have time to get there.  Right now it’s about pacing myself.

Tomorrow pacing in the park.  Just have to get past Tuesdays and I’m home free.  Except this Saturday we are doing hill repeats on River Road — groan…..  But in a way I’m glad I did it last weekend so the pain won’t be a total shock…

Next weekend training camp #2.  Time is flying by already!!  So much to do, so little time.


Suffering is the sole origin of consiousness.”

Dostoyevsky via Karnazes

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11/26/06 Taking a Beating

Sunday.  Boy did I get beat up yesterday.  I’m actually quite surprised about it because this is the first time I’ve had a bike ride that appears to have actually beaten me — and it’s a ride I’ve done before (I think).

We met on the Jersey side of the GWB, six of us from the team. We were to ride to Rockland Lake and back — no problem.  Then Steve opens his big mouth and says he wants to do river road.  (General groan from the group).  River Road is the harder route to get up to Piermont/Nyack etc.  I did it once last year with Missy and remember it as hard but not undoable so after a little cajoling I agreed.

Eric lead us down the hill and onto River Road.  It was definitely hard (and I remember thinking that this hill was harder than the hill in New Paltz that everyone was moaning about.)  But we did it, I ended up riding with some guy named John from the Upper East side — he on his mountain bike me on Tina (who can I say is in great disfavor at the moment!?)  Marisol was right with us.  Three of the guys zipped to the top and one of the guys lagged behind.  We took a quick bathroom break at the police station and headed out to the State Line we had no problems — zipped right along — mostly flat downhill.   Then we had a discussion of how far we were going which surpised me because I thought it was understood we were going to Rockland.   I reminded everyone what the workout said and they all begrudgingly said “okay.”  Good teamwork of pushing each other into doing what we didn’t want to do. 

On the way to Rockland was where I first noticed I was having difficulty.  We were on a hill that didn’t seem so bad (kind of near where Toga was).  Steve and I were huffing and puffing up that hill making up stupid songs “I love hills, they love me, we’re as happy as can be with a nick….”  I mean it was pathetic!!!  We would get to the top of hill and wait for everyone else.  It wasn’t just me who thought it was hard everyone seemed to be groaning a bit.  But we kept going.

We made it to Rockland, shouted out our “woo hoos” and headed back, right back up the hills we just came down.  At least for every uphill there was a downhill but I was really tired and I think Tina (my bike) was expecting a stop at the coffee shop but I had to explain to her and the girls (my quads, hamstring and gluts) that today was a no stopping day.  So we kept going.

I was keeping up with the guys (although I believe Steve was holding back) and every once in awhile I stopped to wait for the two behind (I hate leaving people behind in case they get in trouble).  So it’s not like I didn’t get to stop at all — maybe for a minute or two here and there.  By the time we climbed to the state line I was really tired. I felt like I had worked three times as hard as I had the previous week.  I felt every push and pull of the pedal was so much harder on Tina than it was on Sylvia.  Even in the easiest gear I just felt like it was harder.  I can’t explain it and I’m not sure if it was the bicycle or my muscles causing the strain.

I told everyone I was doing the time trial from the state line to the diner and they all agreed to do it as well.  I had been excited to compare my times between Sylvia and Tina but now I was not so excited.  Last week I started the time trial feeling totally energized — like I could ride another 40 miles.  This week I was not feeling that way.  I felt like I had just done 10,000 squats and lunges and I was ready for a pizza.  But I did it anyway.

At the 30 minute mark exactly my watch beeped and I looked at it — it automatically ended the lap and started the next lap.  DANG!  That explains what happened last week!!  Last week after my time trial my watch had three laps on it instead of two (my lap and the next person’s).  Instead of having two laps it showed 30:00, 32:33 and 35:00.  I thought the 30:00 was my lap, the 32:33 the next person.  But I was wrong.  My lap was 32:33 and 35:00 was the next person’s!  I don’t know why my watch started an automatic new lap at 30:00 but I knew there was something wrong.  Ouch!

So now I have the exact mileage 8.99 miles (we can call that 9 miles for rounding purposes.)  That means last week when I was riding as fast as I could on Sylvia it was only 16.5 miles per hour!!!  YUCK!!!  That stinks!!  I wanted it to be 18-19 miles an hour. (That darn hill at the start of the time trial!)

It get’s worse though.  So this week I do the same time trial on Tina my NEW bike and I do it in 34:28!  Worse!! Ouch!!  That’s like a 15.5 minute mile!!  Ouch, yikes, OMG, this can’t be!!  But it is.  It was awfully hard and I was barely moving.  I don’t think it was the bike per se (although I am going to look her over with a fine toothed comb).  I think it was the combination of the extra hills and the not stopping for coffee (and a gatorade and egg sandwich) that lead up to the decline.  I was disappointed to say the least.  That just stinks.

So today I  am really tired and bummed.  I went to bed at 8 p.m. last night (Saturday night!)  I went out for an early bite to eat with my friend and it was all I could do to stay up until 7 and I said “I have to go home!”  I slept from 8 until 4 and then stayed in bed until 5.  Still tired when I woke up I declared my final diagnosis as dehydration.  I think I didn’t drink or eat enough on the bike ride.  I have to run 9 miles so I am trying to pump myself full of Amino Vital Fast Charge before I go out.  I think I need some music to go with me so I’m bringing Yo-Yo Ma and his Cello and some Baroque music with me.  I’ll just do the best I can…. 

So much for the Ironwoman.  More like the Ironwimp….  Slow Ironwimp….


“Slow but Steady wins the race.”


 Okay, I better start working on the steady as I have the slow part nailed….

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11/25/06 Post Holiday recovery

Saturday.  Well I made it through Thanksgiving, relatively unscathed.  My plan of keeping it short worked well and I was back in my Pilates session and at my WW meeting yesterday.  I learned that I should always bring some veggies or salad with me whereever I go because I can’t count on people having food that works with my eating plan.  I didn’t eat that much at Thanksgiving dinner (no big struggle because I just have never understood what is appealing about that meal) but of course afterwards when I went home to my parents house, THAT’S when I should have had some nice fish or salad waiting for me so I wouldn’t be tempted into eating crap.  But that’s the lesson — if I want it to be available to eat — I have to bring it!!

No terrible harm done though.  I did manage to go for a 1:30 minute run on Thanksgiving morning.  I didn’t bother to bring my bike up because the forecast was for torential downpour and they delivered.  I was wrapped in plastic from head to toe and got about 7 miles in (some of it was power walking).  It wasn’t my best workout but at least I got out and moved around.

Yesterday had a great Pilates session.  One of my best so far — even Elly thought so.  I plowed right through all the routines and even added on some new ones.  I felt unusually strong.  Typically, sometime mid routine I grunt and pause at least once but I did them all.  They were hard but I really seemed to be able to grab my abs early in the session which is huge.  Sometimes my abs are still out having a capuccino and don’t show up until midway of the session.  Or sometimes I get my top abs working but not my bottom abs.  Yesterday was good — everyone showed up for the party early.  It was weird.  Elly through on two extra routines at the end so I got a good arm workout in.

 I was down 1.6 at WW which is not that great because I was up 3 pounds last week.  There is a lot of water weight bouncing around here.   I definitely feel stronger and I feel like my clothes are fitting fine so I’m just going to keep my head down this week and really focus on sleeping, drinking water and journalling my food.  I have a theatre/dinner engagement, two parties and a bookclub meeting to get through this week.  These are the kinds of weeks that can really put me under so I have to really put some strategy together.  I think I may just have to rsvp with regrets to the parties.  I just can’t afford the distraction right now.  I have a lot of work to do and four opportunities to over-indulge are too expensive for my training budget.

Had a nice lunch with Melissa yesterday. (I was CRAVING vegetables after two days of nary a one!)  I was telling her how strong my legs have been feeling and it seems strange because I’ve not been working out any harder than I was this summer — in fact I’ve been working out less so far.  We concluded that my legs appreciated the rest and what I’m feeling is a pair of legs ready to workout again.  My knee is pain significantly reduced.  I’m not sure if it is the twice a week Tiger Balm/Tylenol combo or the daily Glucosomine (I’ve been taking that every day) or the new multi-vitamins (I don’t think those are the cause as I’ve just started taking them.) 

Whatever it is I noticed a marked reduction in pain when walking down stairs.  To get to my WW meeting I have to walk down two flights of stairs and every week it hurts under my knee caps.  This week I was really surprised to find that I went down the stairs with NO pain.  In EITHER knee!! Weird!!  This morning I tried to do a seated squat (all the way down butt on heels) and although I couldn’t hang out there, I could get down and up with no real problem.  (To hang out in a seated squat like everyone else during the after practice stretch is a goal of mine.)  So I’m not exactly sure what I’ve done to my knees but they are feeling really good.  Maybe the Tiger Balm/Tylenol I take before running had reduced the inflamation?  But I only take that before running, why would it last for days later? 

Finished Dean Karnazes book Ultramarathon Man.  I give a thumbs up.  Worth the read.  It’s fast and easy but I found it motivating which is what I think he was going for.  Basically it’s like four big race reports (they are big because he covers a lot of distance).  He goes into a little bit of his history and childhood motivation and then into excruciating detail about what it feels like to run ultraendurance events.   Along the way he peppers the mix with some motivating insights.  I tagged a few pages as reminders for my events.  He lost me after his first 50 miler.  Up until that point I was thinking “yeah, i can get this.”  But once he started on the 100+ adventures I think he moved into a world I’m not sure I will ever understand even though he did a great job in explaining it. 

I would have liked to hear more details on his actual training diet.  He mentions that his diet is pretty strict and that he doesn’t eat any refined sugar and eats no trans fat or hydrogenated oils as well as avoiding refined foods.  I would love to hear more daily consumption examples.  (I have read somewhere that he eats Salmon twice a day — I don’t know if that is true though.)  During his long training runs and endurance races, however, he eats whatever he can get his hands on including entire pizzas and cheesecakes!!  Wow!  I may run a 50 miler just to be able to do that!  Talk about having your cake and eating it too!


“To call running ‘fun’ would be a misue of the word.  Running can be ‘enjoyable.’  Running can be ‘rejuvenating.’  But in a pure sense of the word, running is not fun.”

Dean Karnazes

This is what I am saying –it’s not fun…  But I don’t exactly hate it anymore either.

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11/22/06 Guilty as Charged

Wednesday.  Can’t make this stuff up I swear. 

I went to practice last night dreading the workout.  I knew it was going to be intervals — I THOUGHT it was 10k pace on and off for 3 loops of the resevoir but it was 3K pace on and off.  What’s a 3k pace?  I’ve never done a 3K.  A mile and half?  What pace is that?  I guess fast.  Faster than I have which is why I got a selection from a “special menu.”   I got to run 10k pace on and off because they know I don’t have a 3k pace.

Before practice the tough coach pulled me aside to “talk” to me.  (People’s opinions on which coach is the tough coach differ, let’s just say I think Russian accents are tougher than British ones.  Although now I am suspecting they get great pleasure out of playing around with the good cop/bad cop routine.)  I was worried I was getting pulled aside and I swear to God I thought he was going to tell me that I should just do the workouts at home because I was too slow and why am I torturing everyone with showing up every week?  I swear, I thought that’s what he was going to say.  But as I say, you can’t make this stuff up.

He proceeds to say that it is unfortunate that I am not struggling more because they would be worried about me and give me more attention.  But since they all think I’m doing so well they are spending more time on the problem people.  Then he says on the bell curve of how the all the athletes are doing I’m on the top side of the bell curve.  “You, vee are not vorried about.  Too bad for you.”  He then goes on to say that everyone recognizes my hard work and dedication and that they just are not worried about me.  He said my run was a “non issue.”  He said I’m doing fine and because I have a good bike (except, he pointed out, the time he caught me lagging behind the pace line two weeks ago but he is forgiving me because Coach Kim explained why I was riding behind (wet leaves) and it was okay.)  At this point my mind is spinning, what is he saying? I have to be the slowest in everything.  Then he said my swim was good too and nobody was worried about anything.  Now I know he’s smoking something before practice.  And he said he knows I’m working on PWR (power to weight ratio) so he’s not going to hassle me about that either.  (How does he know that?) 

Then he tells me to do 10k pace on and off and my concentration should be on form not speed.  He wanted me to work on lifting my knees more when I was in the “on” portion of the run and really get my heart rate down during the off portion. 

 All I can mutter is “thanks, I know I have a lot of hard work to do.”  I really was fairly speechless because so far all I hear from this coach is to run harder and stop talking.  I think he is shocked to find that someone can be running as slow as I am AND be working that hard.

So now he proceeds to explain to the rest of the team they are basically doing sprints but long 600 something or other sprints.  Basically we warmed up to the reservoir.  First 10 lampposts are recovery.   Then 3k pace (10k for me) to Engineers gate.  Then 9 lampposts recovery.  Real recovery — get heart rate all the way down.  Then on pace again all the way (via the detour on the carriage path) to the North pump house.  Then 8 lampposts recovery.  Then on pace all the way back to the south west corner.  Rinse, repeat two more times.

In many ways the tough coach is actually quite brilliant.  He stumbled on the one tactic that motivates me above all others.  I don’t respond to compliments (I discount them immediately.)  I don’t respond to orders either.  You give me a command, I will defy you just for the sake of defying you.  But if you give me guilt — you have found the key to unlocking my effort.  Guilt is the biggest motivator for me.  When the coach was talking to me before practice what I really heard was “wha wha, wha, wha, we know hard you are working, wha wha wha wah.”   Oh my God.  I’m not working hard.  Am I supposed to be working hard already?  I’ve missed a ton of solo workouts.  I’m a fraud.  I wanted to scream out “I confess, I stopped for coffee at the Runcible Spoon!”  I can’t be a criminal because I would confess in two seconds.

 Oh no!  They think I’ve been working hard!!  I’m in HUGEEE trouble.  My adrenaline was pumping.  Guilt pulsing through my veins. My warmup jog to the SW corner of the resevoir was my fastest run ever — I HAD to work really hard now because they think I’ve been working hard all along.   Crap, it felt like tomorrow there is an exam and I just bought the text book today.

Don’t get me wrong.  I do work hard when I go to practice or do a training session or go out on my bike.  But I’ve missed several of my solo swims and I have not been on the stairmaster twice a week like I promised the coach I would do way back in September.  I haven’t lost any weight in October or November.  (I’ve been tossing 3 lbs back and forth like a medicine ball for two months.)  Can I work harder?  Of course.  The idea that they think I am working hard really scares me.  What happens when they find out I didn’t do that swim last week or the cross training?  What happens when they see not only did I not lose weight but I gained 10 pounds in September?  Lucy we have  a lot o ‘splaining to do.

Guilt.  Nothing makes me work harder.  Feeling like I let someone down, feeling like someone was counting on me and I didn’t come through.   Of course this is not good.  You should want to do it for yourself.  I do want the Ironman for me.  This is definitely my own dream and I know all the work I have to do to get there. 

I’m reading Dean Karnazes book Ultramarathon Man — I will give book review when I’m done.  So far it is an okay book.  It’s light reading but he tells some funny stories (like getting pizzas delivered in the middle of nowhere so he can keep running 150 more miles).  One part I read yesterday is how influenced he was by his high school cross country coach.  An unorthodox coach, but he really motivated “Karno” to work hard.  One line the coach said to him struck a chord with me.  After a race (that Karno won) the coach asked him how he felt?  Karno replied he felt okay.  The coach said “well that’s not good, it should have hurt.”  From then on Karno carried that with him in all of his training — it is supposed to hurt.  I thought about it for a long time and I knew in my heart of hearts that up until Ironman training that I often trained for distance and whatever I could do to avoid the pain.  I ‘ve been working harder in my group workouts the last month than I have ever worked — mostly because I have to work my hardest just to stay in the same park as the rest of the team.  But this is really the first time I have ever explored letting it hurt.

So last night I was busting a gut around the reservoir.  I was trying so hard to work hard to make it hurt.  I realized how slow I really am because for all that effort my legs should cover more ground!!   I don’t go anywhere.  I really wanted to just slow down into my trog (trot jog) which is a step up from my wog (walk jog) but I just kept pushing.  (See I have multiple speeds afterall!)  When I finished my second loop all the fasty fasts had finished their third loop and were stretching all ready.  I think they all expected me to stop and cool down with them but I just waved and said “happy Thanksgiving” and took off on my third loop.  I was doing pretty well.  I mean slow by all measurable standards but I felt strong and my lungs were getting better every loop.  I had zero problem with the distance — could have done a couple more loops if they needed me to.  Only problem is I probably couldn’t have run them because every loop my legs were feeling heavier and heavier.  I wasn’t in pain, it was like I was dragging bricks around with me.

One of the fasty fasts. Kevin, came by (he was doing a recovery loop I guess) and said “Good for you for doing the third loop, on race day you’ll be glad you did.” I smiled and said “I didn’t know it was optional!” LOL  Then I said “I just want to have multiple speeds like the big kids.”  “You will, keep it up.”  He’s a serious guy but everytime he passes he always says something nice.  Nice people on this team, really nice.

So I finished my three loops and headed down the westside.  Nobody around.  Just enough people out to make it not scary.  Of course by the time I got down to the statue the team was gone (I think it was too cold out for core workout).  But I was extremely proud of myself.  I looked at my watch and it said 8:30.  So I did 1 and half hour of quality workout.  Nobody looking, nobody motivating me but me.  I think I did good.  Guilt, it does a body good.


“Guilt, the gift that keeps on giving.”

Erma Bombeck

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