Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day 2 and already behind!

I went to Performance Wellness for my monthly tuneup and was talking about how excited I was to start official Longhorn Training this coming Monday, July 5. My massage therapist, who is also doing Longhorn, said "didn't it start yesterday?" Well, sure enough, it did! I think I concentrated on July 5, but that is the end of the first week, not the start of it. So it is only Day 2, and I'm already behind. I slept in today's AM spin because I knew it was the last time I could! Crap! And with the Fourth of July holiday, I'll be in Dallas celebrating my mom's Citizen of the Year award. I will have to find a way to get the training hours in, though luckily it's still pretty light, and not much different from what I've been doing for base training. Though I hate that "late" feeling. Argh!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

San Antonio ride

I met up with C and the cycling group from her church at 7:15 this morning in San Antonio. We started at the Lifetime Fitness at the Rim, on the northwest side, and rode a 25 mile loop. It was great- good shoulders or quiet country roads, exploring new places (who's ever heard of the city of Grey Forest, TX?), and some nicely challenging hills. Okay there was one hill that was more than challenging, nearly impossible- a step stair type of hill that just kept on going, and because it just kept going up, there was no momentum. Ugh.
But my legs felt good, and C was having fun on her new road bike, and it was great! The only downside was that there was a group of about 15 cyclists, and C and I were dropped within about 5 miles. And they didn't wait for us and C didn't know the route all that well. So it could have been really bad, though luckily we found our way okay. We were done before it got too hot, and back to C's house for a shower and out to Sea Island Shrimp House, which I love! And then back to play some Guitar Hero- fun, but I pretty much suck at it.
A good day!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Another T3 group ride

This morning was another T3 group ride, though this was a little less organized because there were a lot of variations. I decided to leave from my house and ride to Akins to leave for the 20-25 mile ride to Buda/Kyle. There were a couple of others doing that option, mainly to avoid riding on Slaughter Lane which even with a bike lane is usually iffy due to multiple lane changes, inconsiderate drivers and lots of debris. We also left 30 minutes earlier than the rest of the crew. And this is an old standby route of mine, so I knew it well.

So off I went, dropped by the others quickly, and settled in to a nice rhythm. In Buda, tooled around a little to add a little extra mileage but avoiding going out past the stone factory with all that road debris. Stopped at a Sonic to go to the bathroom- always a nice option because the bathrooms are outside. And then heading back in, which is mostly downhill and super fast compared to the southbound route. Passed a bunch of T3ers on their way out, which was nice, and then finished by 8:15. A good day already, and still early!

And glad to have a pretty easy ride done, as I'm planning on riding with C's church group in San Antonio for another 25 miler. Lots of cycling this week, but it's all good.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Note to self

An Ironman doesn't eat quite so much fiber as I did today. Ugh.

Eat like an Ironman

I have been listening to a new podcast Fat2Fit Radio and have been enjoying it. There are two guys, one a Canadian, so you get to enjoy the "aboot" and "agaynst" and all the other lovely Canadianisms. The other is a Californian, and they discuss the Californian's weight loss journey, practical weight loss tips, and other motivational and informational topics. Their basic premise is to eat like the person you want to become. So you figure out what your goal weight is, and what is the BMR or basal metabolic rate at that weight, and eat that amount of calories. So it is a long term, lifestyle changing plan, not a quick weight loss and then go back to eating like a fat person. It makes sense.

It also got me to thinking- if my goal is to be an Ironman- to complete a long course triathlon of 2.6 m swim, 112 m bike, and 26.2 m run- I should act like an Ironman. And seeing a bunch of T3ers finish IM Coeur d'Alene, I have a number of people I can learn from and emulate. And it's really helpful that so many of them have blogs and tell me what they're doing! It seems like Ironmen eat lots of food, but it is primarily complex carbs, lean protein, fruits, and vegetables. They eat to fuel their workouts. They eat things that allow them to train hard and succeed. Sure, they have heavy restaurant meals, beer, or pizza, but that is the exception. They are not scarfing McDonald's before a run because they know they will hurl.

So instead of having that as my goal, and saying I will just magically be like that some day off in the future, what if I pretended I was an Ironman already? What would I eat if I was an Ironman? What would I be doing? Would an Ironman eat that? And while I've only had this epiphany for a couple of days, it is resonating for me. I was driving home from work, and that is usually a dangerous time- I'm hungry and tired, and pulling through a drive through would be so much easier. But I thought about it, and figured an Ironman would go home and eat the healthy hummus with pita and a cucumber in my fridge. So I did. Huh.

And yes, it is a little sexist and weird to say that I want to be an Ironman, since I am indeed a woman, and not interested in a sex change at all, but that's the lingo, and I'm sticking with it!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Better Run

Last Monday, the specialty workout was at Barton Springs and consisted of 15 minutes of core, a one mile warmup, leg exercises, and then three miles of fartlek intervals on the Town Lake trail. It was 99 degrees, and I was toast about two miles into it. About two hours altogether. It was fucking miserable.

So this Monday, the specialty workout was again at Barton Springs, and since all the coaches are in Coeur d'Alene, the newest coach was supposed to be there. He never showed, or may have gone to the wrong meeting spot. So we just repeated the workout from last week, though, because we waited on the missing coach, we skipped the core and warmup. It was 104, according to the church thermometer on the way home. But this week was much, much better. I still worked pretty hard on the intervals, and it was still pretty miserable, but not nearly as bad. Some reasons- I knew the plan and the route better. I didn't have the coach waiting for me at the end. And I cut off the last chunk on the trail, and went through the park back to the cars, though I think the mileage overall was very similar. I also hydrated much better before the run. And finally- maybe I'm actually improving. Progress!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

60+ T3ers In Coeur d'Alene Ironman

60+ T3ers in Coeur d'Alene Ironman, and I'm tracking them on www.ironmanlive.com and www.ironplan.net which are great. The problem is not having the background. I get the times, and can tell that people are staying steady, or went out too fast on the bike and now are slowing, but I can't tell what happened to the two women who started the swim and now don't have any bike splits. Did they quit? Did they lose the chips? Bike wreck? I want to know what's going on! It almost makes me want to go sign up for twitter because a number of them have friends and family posting twitter updates. Almost.

It is exciting to see these teammates take the race on. This is the first group I've followed through training from the beginning- all the daily struggles and successes. And now seeing them compete is fantastic and it gets me all excited about my future races. If I hadn't already biked twice this weekend, I would go get on my bike right now!

Mamma Jamma Training Ride

As I have had such a fun time with charity rides, I have been actively looking for more. Two people I know are doing the Mamma Jamma Ride Against Breast Cancer, which is a one day charity ride in October. I have a few problems with it- first the name is stupid. Second it's two weeks before Longhorn, and I don't want to compromise Longhorn. Third, it's on a Saturday, and I have already requested the previous Saturday off, so I'm not entirely sure I can get this one off. Fourth, it's a $500 minimum fundraising fee, which is a little high for my plan of just donating the money myself for charity rides instead of having to ask other people.

So with all of those factors, one thing in this ride's favor is they have training rides every weekend, alternating Saturdays and Sundays, which is really nice. So I went down this morning, planning on doing the 15 mile instead of the 30 mile, which were the two options. There were about 40 people riding, with two SAG vehicles. They had maps, leaders, sweepers, and SAG cell phone numbers provided. So it sounds like it should be really organized. But with a ton of complete newbies, and leaving from Mellow Johnny's downtown meant lots of stoplights and stopsigns and turns, which split up the group. And because they want to keep everyone together there is a lot of stopping and starting and waiting. And with all the newbies, it was pretty nerve-wracking to try to anticipate people doing unexpected things.

When we finally get some clear road out east on Pleasant Valley and on to Oltorf, there are some big ass hills, which just trashes the newbies. I, however slow, have not had to get off my bike and walk in probably six months now. It's a point of honor, even though I know there are hills that will make me walk in the future. And it was amazing to me to ride past all these women and men that have gotten off their bikes to walk them up. I am fit. I do have muscles. I have made progress from my first road ride with TNT where I had to get off on Spicewood and thought I was going to vomit my lungs out of my chest. Being able to ride up, even at only 3 mph, was a great feeling. Almost great enough to push me to go the 30, but I resisted, or rather, my quads were shouting "hell no!" So a good mostly downhill ride back to Mellow Johnny's and then home for the stretch, shower, and nap. I'm still not sure about doing the ride, but I am pretty sure I'll come back for more training rides.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

T3 Group Ride

I got to go on my second T3 group ride today and it was great. My work schedule is changed around for these two weeks because of the head doctor going on vacation, and that is just fine with me! It gives me two Saturdays off in a row, which I plan on spending the morning at the group rides. So today’s ride was Kiker to Fitzhugh, which is the same ride as I did on the first group ride I went on back in February. We met at 7 am, and it was already hot and sticky, though overcast. I got my stuff together, chatted with some other T3ers- it was a sparse group because 60+ people are at IM CDA along with all the coaches. But it’s nice to have a smaller group to get to know, and it’s not as intimidating.

So at 7:30 we were off, and while I didn’t get dropped before leaving the parking lot, I only made it to the stoplight at Slaughter before losing all contact with the group. I was planning on 20, maybe 25 if I went to 71. I remembered the route, and toughed it up the hills on the way out, and was almost to the 20 mile route turnaround at Circle when the two new women I’d met passed me coming back and invited me to join them, so I did. And it was nice on the way back because I was able to hang with them. There were two pretty nasty hills coming back, but having other people around makes such a difference because you’re looking at them, watching their cadence, or talking, and it just passes the time and miles much faster.

And then we were back- about 1:50 total, and there were still a few cars out of the 30 and 50 milers. We chatted for a bit and then headed on. I would love to get a regular group ride with breakfast afterwards to make it even more social, but it didn’t happen today. I came home, showered, ate some breakfast tacos, and then on to the couch for a nice nap with golf in the background. I love Saturdays when I don’t have to work!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Three hours is not enough

So I researched what the Biggest Loser contestants to to work out, and it seems they average four hours a day, 75% of that being cardio, 25% weight training. They aim for working off 3500 calories or one lb a day, and they can judge that with the Bodybugg armbands (which cost $300!) And it's mainly by themselves. Working out with the Jillian and Bob is special, mainly for filming, because the trainers are doing multiple shows and other things and are not available for every workout. And they learn some good routines that they can take back home before the big finale, where it's a minimum of 4 hours a day.

So, just for kicks, I've been trying to do something similar on days that I'm not working, and to try 1-2 hours on days that I am working. And not only is it physically tough, mentally, it is hard to stay focused for that long, even if you do multiple different activities. Even with the charity bike ride, it was 4.5 one day and 2.5 the next, and that doesn't hit the 4 hour average and was all cardio, and I was toast! And yesterday I did 1 hour spin, 1 hour body pump, and 1 hour Hash run. And that still is an hour short! I've been tracking on sparkpeople, which a cool, free website.

The professional triathletes (and other professional athletes of any type I'm sure) do similar length workouts, where they swim 2 hours in the morning, eat, take a nap, and then run 2 hours in the evening, or whatever. That they break the day up into sessions, with lots of napping. I'm definitely down for the napping! And not having a real job helps with that too.

Anyway, it's been an interesting experiment, and an eye opener, to think that as much as I work out, it doesn't even touch what it takes to drop weight like the Biggest Loser people or to be as fast as the pros.

The last point of all of this, Longhorn official training doesn't start until 7/5, because they believe a 16 week training plan is all that is needed, and to concentrate longer than that leads to burnout. So in the four weeks until 7/5, coach told us to have fun, and play, before the real work starts. So that's why yesterday I did all the Gold's workouts and the Hash run. I want to keep up my base level of fitness, but experiment. Other things I want to do- Schlitterbahn, kayak (please rain!), beach, Body Jam, hike the greenbelt, go camping, and Schlitterbahn again. Good times!

Sunday, June 7, 2009


With every step I am moving closer to my goal.

360 ride

Loop 360 is a favorite bike ride for Austinites for the wide shoulders and big hills. I have done small portions of it, but the hills have been intimidating, as well as the ramps where the highway traffic enters and exits. But S was looking to ride on Sunday morning, and she was game for a ride on 360, having ridden it a couple of times.

So 8 am, we meet at Barton Square mall and head out northbound on 360. The hills are tough- even in my smallest gear, I'm struggling, going 7-8 mph uphill. But there are a couple of big downhills, which are scary, but a nice change from the pushing. We planned on going out for 45 minutes, and turning around, and since S climbs better, we developed a routine where she drops me on the climbs, but I catch up on the downhills, and we stay together on the flats. It seems to work pretty well. And on the first downhill I hit 42.6 mph!

We turn around about a mile from 183, feeling good, but a little concerned about how hard the hills will be on the way back. Immediately we notice there's a big wind- probably 20 mph, gusting to 25. I certainly didn't notice it northbound, but it feels strong now. And the hills are just brutal. I never had to walk, but there were some really bad points going 3 mph and hurting. And the flats all feel like false flats because of the wind, and the downhills don't feel as long. It's a long way back to the cars.

So it was tough, but I think it is a good marker- 22 miles in about 2 hours. I would like to come back, maybe once a month, to ride it and compare. I know climbing is a weakness, and this will definitely help me improve, or kill me. Either way I will change!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Excitement on my street

This morning when I went out to get my paper, I noticed my neighbor's car was parked at an odd angle in her driveway. This neighbor is the main caretaker of a man in a wheelchair, and there are usually 2-3 other helpers at the house at any one time. As I looked closer, I saw that the rear bumper was damaged, with debris spread over the yard. I walked over to investigate, and one of the helpers was coming out, and I asked him what happened. He looked groggy, and said he didn't know. And then he said "my truck's been stolen." Hmm.

Turns out, at 3 am, a car was speeding down my street and my house is at the inward point of a shallow curve. He jumped my curb, drove across my driveway, missing my car by about 3 feet. He missed the large 12 passenger van in front of her house before crashing in to her little car and the helper's truck, and missed running over a fire hydrant too. The driver left his car, ran down the street to his own house a block away, followed by an across the street neighbor who was awake. The driver was taking his clothes off as he ran, apparently so no one could see him. The across the street neighbor called the police to the driver's house, and they took him to jail for DUI and marijuana possession.

The police tried to wake up the neighbor, but with the ventilator running in the house, they couldn't hear. So the police hauled away the driver's car, the helper's totaled truck, leaving the little car, and a fourth vehicle, the handicapped van, with front end damage. And I slept through it all. I slept poorly last night, got up around 3 to go to the bathroom, and I can sort of remember a dream of some noise of a loud car, but it's hard to tell if that is real or I am inventing it after the fact.

So one drunk and/or high 25 year old guy caused a lot of damage. Luckily, no one was injured- he had some minor scrapes. He could have hit and killed someone. He could have crashed into my house, or my neighbor's house. So far he's being held for two misdemeanor charges- DUI and reckless driving- only $7000 bail. He has no insurance, and could be cited for that, plus leaving the scene of a crime, and marijuana possession. And how bizarre. My poor neighbors- sleeping in their own home, and this guy just wrecks three of their vehicles. Hopefully their insurance will cover it, or sue the guy for damages. Of course, he's probably unemployed and has no money. What a mess.

But again, he could have killed someone, or wrecked into a house. So I am grateful he did not. Small blessings.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tour de Cure

This past weekend I rode in the Tour de Cure. This is a two day charity bike ride that starts in San Antonio, overnights in San Marcos, and ends in Austin. I had signed up at the Blanco ride, mainly because the Tour de Cure people were manning a rest stop and gave me a ride after I broke a spoke, so I hated to say no. Turns out, I love charity rides! They are the right speed for me- slow! Or really, go at your own speed and catch up at rest stops, or meet up at the end. And they are raising money for a good cause. And they have pretty nice people overall.

So this started Saturday morning at 3 am, when I got up to head to Akins for a bus to San Antonio. I had plenty of time because even though they said absolutely leaving at 4:45 am, we didn't leave until after 5 am. A long bus ride, mainly because the English couple behind me talking the entire ride. Do they not talk at home? Why do they have to do it when everyone is trying to sleep?

In San Antonio, put my bag on the luggage truck, aired up my tires, and waited for the ride to start at 8 am. There were three options: 15, 53, or 80, and I chose the 53. And it was great. There were rest stops about every 10 miles, so it was ride 45 minutes, take a 15 minute break. And it really wasn't that hilly, so that was good, plus it was cloudy, so a little cooler. And I met up with some Austin friends at the rest stops, so that was fun. Talking to people on the ride and at rest stops- 99% of the people were super nice and friendly. The only assholes- the guy on the bus that wouldn't let me sit next to him, and the Draft team that cut in line at the bike pump. In San Marcos, at the end were the worst two hills of the day, and then I was done.

The only problems were the bug bites/ boils/ blisters I had all over my hands and feet from the ranch last week. Those were really uncomfortable. And then with the weird getting up, bus, waiting around, etc, I didn't drink enough water early on, and by the end, I had gotten really dehydrated. And off the bike, my feet were killing me, plus the sun came out and it got up to about 90. So I hobbled around, getting my dorm room, arranging my stuff, a short massage on the legs, and then thankfully, a cool shower and a nap. The dorm was a suite, and the other girl was from San Antonio with a group of other cyclists who were all drinking beer in the hall, like college students. So I hung out with them and that was fun. We all went to dinner together- they had BBQ, a comedian, music, and awards. And then back to the hall for the rest of the beer and in bed by 9.

The next day, I was feeling rough. My feet hurt the worst, but generally just tired. I had the option of 25, 58, and 80, and I had wanted to the 58. But the way I was feeling, plus having to drive to Dallas directly afterwards, steered me towards the 25. And the first 10 miles were slow and stiff- a little more hilly on Sunday. And then I warmed up and was feeling great, and really kicking myself that I didn't do the 58. Bummer.

At the end, Freebirds burritos and Bluebell, another short massage, and then packed up and headed home for another cool, wonderful shower. So overall, no butt soreness, and no sunburn, which I had worried about more. And to learn for next time to expect to feel crappy early on the second day, but that goes away. And I am ready to do another one. MS 150 is not until April, though there is a San Antonio MS 150 in October, plus Hotter than Hell in August. I just don't want to compromise Longhorn training. But long rides are needed for training, and charity rides have nice, supported rides, plus not riding by myself is a big plus. I'll have to do a little more research on that.

And on to Dallas for a nice visit with my sister for her birthday.