Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I heart Barton Springs

I am supposed to start adding a 2000 m open water swim (OWS) once a week, starting this week. I discovered last night, after my almost 7 m run on the Town Lake Trail, that Barton Springs is almost empty at 8 pm, until the free swim starts at 9 pm. And because I have my city employee badge, I can get in for free. So last night, after the run, I went to soak and do a little "ice" bath afterwards, which always feels pretty awesome. So tonight, I went back for the swim. It wasn't that crowded at all, and I felt pretty good through about 1200 m, and then just completely lost motivation and stopped. I think I'm still a little pooped from the hard effort, but also some days are just off. That's okay. You don't always have to be perfect, you just have to be present.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Week #4 Longhorn Training

Week #4 Longhorn Training

Swim 2; actual 1.25

Bike 3.5; 3.25

Run 3; 2.25

Core 1; 0.75

Total 9.5; 7.5

Long bike 30-40; 36.5 Parmer with The Girls

Long run 7; none, longest run ~4 miles

Ugh. Did not get the training in this week, and I slacked because it was the rest week, so I figured I could just rest. But really, I was supposed to do 9.5 hours. And of course, it's only 4 pm, so I could go do a swim-run brick tonight. But I did a 3 hour ride this morning. And the issue is not whether I can jam in the training at the last minute, but can I be consistent and do the training in the way that will help me progess and change and improve.

I am looking forward to the coming weeks, my schedule is getting better and better, and I am going to have more time to train at convenient hours. I am also looking forward to some bike rides, though I am debating how much I want to do the T3 rides versus supported charity rides. I am looking at the Mamma Jamma, plus the La Vernia Hammerfest, but aside from those, there are rides almost every Saturday and Sunday across Texas. But I guess part of the question is where the ride is located and how long it will take to get there. But they all look like fun to me!

9:30 pm update- I did go for a run and did some core and stretching afterwards for a total of 1.75, so a total of 9.25 for the week. I feel much better getting closer to the goal, and hopefully next week I won't leave it for the last minute! I'm also trying out the 1:1 run:walk interval, and I'm liking it a lot!

Parmer Ride with The Girls

I invited myself along to ride with M and her friend D that are training for the Mamma Jamma ride in October. I still haven't decided to do this ride, mainly because of the timing with Longhorn, but also the $500 fundraising minimum. We met out at It's a Grind on Parmer at 7 am, and were off right about 7:05. M had warned me that they average about 10 mph on their mountain bikes, and I said that would be no problem because I'm normally around 12. So I was expecting to have some troubles, but really, it worked out perfectly. After a five mile slow warmup, followed by a bathroom break, I started going ahead on the downhills, then taking side trips. I would pick a street to the right, ride down a little ways, sometimes only 100 yards, sometimes a couple of blocks, turn around, and head back. If I timed it right, at the turn around, I would see The Girls riding by on Parmer, so that I would work hard to catch up, then rest for a couple of minutes riding with them, then move ahead and repeat the process. I was able to explore some side streets, shopping centers, and the RRISD athletic complex that was hosting a women's semi pro football game. So it was perfect: fun people to talk to, a relaxed pace when I wanted, a faster pace when I wanted, and exploring. And even better, D's girlfriend is the Snackwagon- she showed up around half way with water and snacks and encouragement, and then went ahead about 10-15 miles and waited until we came by. It was a roving rest stop. It really makes me want a wife, too bad I'm not a lesbian!

So really, it was a fantastic ride- reasonable temperature, nice breeze for the most part, wide shoulders, good scenery, friends, and the Snackwagon. I wound up going 36.5 in 3:15. Not my fastest, but that wasn't what this was about at all. Now I probably can't do every ride this way and get the proper training in, but it sure was fun today!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Week #3 Longhorn Training

The plan this week:

Swim 2; actual 1.25- only one T3 swim

Bike 3.5; actual 3.0 at Katy

Run 2.5; actual 1.5- just the long run.

Core 0.5; actual 0.75

Total 8.5 (big jump this week)
Actual 6.5- didn't jump.

Other- walking and hiking- 75 minutes

Long bike 40- Katy Flatland Ride- 43.67

Long run 6- 5.5 miles at Mary Moore Searight park.

After Couples, I had some GI issues, and again after the Katy ride. I think I get dehydrated, and blood flow is diverted from the GI tract during exercise, so I don't have any problems during. The problem is after, when the blood flow is restored, and the ingesta that has been sitting and making my guts unhappy has to be dealt with, and gas, bloating, and diarrhea result. Ugh.

So that, and working extra this week, and the heat, all contributed to not getting in the weeknight sessions. Better luck next week!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Week #2 Longhorn Training

The plan:
Swim 2
Actual 2

Bike 3
Actual 4.25- Fitzhugh, short T3 ride, and Couples

Run 2
Actual 1.5

Core 0
Actual 0.5

Total 7
Actual 8.0
Plus 60 minutes of walking throughout the week.
Long bike 30- actual only 24
Long run 5- only 3.1 during Couples

So again, a little off on the distribution, but getting the hours in. And the training is paying off, as seen by the PR at Couples. So keep on keeping on!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


So a bunch of T3ers are looking ahead to 2010 and which Ironman to do, and the big question is Arizona or Florida. So they set up a meeting at the Flying Saucer to discuss, listen to previous finishers, and sweat out on the patio. I have already been leaning heavily towards Arizona, and I think I am still planning on that one, but below are the talking points from the meeting.

IMAZ Pros:
Easy to get to- lots of flights through Southwest Airlines
Don't need a car
But if you drive 15-16 hours
A real town, with lots of options for friends and family
More infrastructure- stores, restaurants, hotels
Cool in the morning, cool in the evening (avg 50 degrees)
Cool, freshwater swim (water temp 64 degrees)
Start in the dark
One lap swim
Deep water start
3 loop bike course- lots of teammates to see
Hot corner- bike and run pass by here 6 times total
Date is the weekend before Thanksgiving
T3ers training for this race are closer to my speed and are friendlier

IMAZ Cons:
Not as scenic- desert outskirts in some sketchy areas of town
"Fresh" water is skunky
3 loop run course- can hear others finishing while you have another lap to go
Run alone in the dark at the end
Can be windy
Any IM is going to be really really hard
Date is the weekend before Thanksgiving

IMFL Pros:
Beautiful beach
Cheap condos
Beach start
2 lap run, out and back- can see teammates
More light out in the morning and the end
Run course goes by commercial and neighborhood areas
Date will be some time around my birthday, so that would be a pretty cool birthday present to finish
A bunch of the loud, fun, fast T3ers are planning to do this race

IMFL Cons:
Salt water swim
2 lap swim
One long out and back bike
Not much to the town- just a resort town
Can be windy
Any IM is going to be really really hard

So, after a lot of analysis, still at the same place, leaning heavily towards IMAZ. Luckily I don't have to make a decision today. And I have Longhorn to do before I can legitimately sign up for an Ironman. Baby steps.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Couples Triathlon race report

Total 2:07:03
Swim- corrected, but not yet official 20:53
T1 4:28
Bike-49:31 13.6mph
T2 1:50
Run- 50:18 16:14/m

So a good race, much improved on the bike, and felt strong throughout. The last time I raced this course was Danskin last year, 2:24 overall, 12.7 mph on the bike, 17:10/ mile on the bike, so much improved!

From the beginning, up at 5 am, out to Decker by 6, and plenty of time to set up, then go back to the car and read the paper in the A/C. Probably 30 T3ers racing, and another 15 volunteering and supporting, so that was cool. My wave was third to go, and that was nice, though a little weird to be in the same wave with men- most of the time waves are the same sex. But I waited 2 seconds after the gun, and got a good rhythm quickly. I did get a little queasy on the swim- the water was HOT, and about half way through I realized how uncomfortable I was because I was so hot and couldn't cool off. Plus my stomach was a little off, from something I ate yesterday, and swallowing some water.

Up the long ramp to transition and there are wood chips covering the dirt, and worse, there are sticker burrs! I had to stop twice to pick them out of my feet, and that sucked. Off on the bike, it took a little while to settle my stomach, then ate some Clif Blocks. I tried out the intermittent standing on the climbs and it worked really well- getting up a little momentum to get the pedals moving again for sitting. Pushed it at the end because I was counting the run being slow.

It was slow and it was HOT- some shade, which was nice, but my time definitely showed the heat. Also, the grass trail was uneven with lots of cracks from the drought, so a lot of time spent picking my steps. I ran the whole way except the water stops, though I should have walked up the last hill, because while I felt pretty good chugging up the hill, I was not able to recover to have a strong finish at the end.

But I was done. I sat in the shade with ice in my sports bra and drank a bottle of water, and poured another one on my head for about 10 minutes before I felt good enough to get a drink and breakfast taco. It was pretty cool because 90% of the T3ers were in my wave- mixed friends 60-79. And I wasn't the last T3er! By about 40 minutes! Super excited about that! When I went to check my time, I realized they didn't have a division for me, so they started my chip time at the beginning of the race, 15 minutes before my wave went off. I've emailed them to correct it, which hopefully they will do within the week. I was really impressed they had results up on the internet less than 6 hours after the race was complete. Good job Run-Far!

I stuck around for the awards, and T3 was well represented. And then home for a much needed shower, A/C, and nap. It was a really good time overall, the team support, Logan on the microphone, a PR with most improvement on the bike. Good times!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I love Le Tour

The Tour de France is on, and it is three weeks of cycling passion. There are so many story lines, so many different races within the races, so many personalities. And yes, Lance Armstrong is one of those stories, but he is not the only athlete- there are 180 cyclists, and there are about 30 that I know by name and follow closely.

And best of all, there is Tivo, for as interesting as it is, it is great to be able to fast forward through the commercials and the flat spots. It is on Versus, which is an expanded cable station, 603 for my Direct TV. In the morning is Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen, the voices of cycling. In the evening, it's Bob Roll, and Craig Hummer. Craig Hummer is a tool, and my least favorite of the commentators, but the other three are wonderful. In the evening it is "expanded coverage" where they do a lot more explaining and speaking to beginner fan. And there is a lot of stuff going on and it takes a while to figure the whole thing out. But once you start, you get hooked!

I would love to go see the spectacle, but I would like more to do a bike tour of some of the stages, which I've heard there are a number of companies that do that. Someday...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sweat rate

I did the experiment to calculate my sweat rate last night. A hot run in the evening, though not as hot as the specialty run, which I skipped because I didn't want to melt and then expire. So I did a quick 30 minute tempo run around the neighborhood, keeping my heart rate above 140. And back at home, I was 1 lb less, which works out to 2 lbs, or 32 ounces, or 0.9 L per hour. And they suggest you divide by 4 to get what you should drink every 15 minutes- so most easily that is 8 oz or about 1/2 of a small water bottle. That is a lot, but if I'm sweating that much out, then it's important to replace.

The other part I learned today is that with every pound of water loss, the heart rate increases about 4-8 beats per minute at the same performance effort. So you feel like you're working harder, but you're not going any faster. Very interesting.

Monday, July 6, 2009

My mom is Citizen of the Year!

From the local newspaper:

Actively involved since 1997 with the library’s development, Nancy currently serves on the library’s Board of Directors. In addition to previously serving as the Board’s president, in 2001 she founded the UP Book Bank, which evolved into the UPPL.

A resident of University Park for nearly 40 years, Nancy has also served as president of the Highland Park High School PTA, the Junior League Sustainers, the Junior League Garden Club Committee, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (Charles S. Taylor Chapter) and the Dallas Kappa Alpha Theta Alumnae. Nancy and her husband, Byron, a Dallas attorney, have three daughters and four grandchildren.

One of the residents who nominated Nancy for the award wrote in his submission letter, “Through the years, Nancy has been the go-to person for numerous organizations, and University Park is better for her work.” Saying that she is honored by this recognition, Nancy was quick to acknowledge those who work so hard to provide the amenities the community enjoys. “The library has grown from bare rooms with books piled on boxes to a facility that is now fully electronic and professionally run. That is testament to what can be achieved with generous grants, funding from the City and ongoing work involving a dedicated team of volunteers.”
In appreciation for her service to the community, immediately following the annual Park Cities July 4 Parade, which she and family members will ride in, Nancy will receive a plaque from Mayor James “Blackie” Holmes during a brief ceremony at the Goar Park Gazebo.

The Citizen of the Year Award was initiated in 2005 by the City Council to heighten public awareness and appreciation for the many residents who work, often behind the scenes, to better the City’s quality of life. The City acknowledges that while such residents aren’t fueled by a desire for civic recognition, their efforts, whether aimed at protecting our local environment, beautifying our neig= hborhoods, increasing local opportunities for our youth or raising money for various worthy projects, all demonstrate a level of citizenship that helps make University Park such a special place to live.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Week #1 Longhorn Training

This was the plan for Week #1 of Longhorn training:

Swim 2.0
Actual 1.25

Bike 3.0

Run 2.0

Core 0

Total 7.0

Long bike 25-30
26 with C in San Antonio

Long run 4-5 (go for 45 minutes)
45 minutes for me was 3 miles, which I did with Dad this morning.

So, with the confusion about the start, I still managed to get the hours in. A little different on the differentials, but I don't think that's too big a deal. And so far so good. I do feel really motivated, because I've been waiting a year for this training to start.

The other new thing I've been trying is visualizing positive outcomes before I fall asleep. I visualize doing the training: working hard in the spin classes, getting through a core class, continuing to improve my swim technique, etc. And then visualizing the race itself- starting strong on the swim, steady on the bike, and finishing strong on the run. I'm not sure it will be the most important part of training, but I do think it can't hurt!

Next week is going to be a little more difficult, as I'm doing a lot of relief work, and then Couples. I know I'm supposed to train through it, but I think doing a 30 mile ride on Saturday before a race on Sunday is not a good idea for me. So I will probably have to taper from Friday on, maybe a swim on Friday, and then taper.

One week down, fifteen to go!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Crowded swim

Since I'm behind in training, I went to Wed PM swim, which I know is usually packed, and it really was tonight. Six people in my lane! It was way too crowded and there was no time to adjust. If you weren't five seconds behind the person in front of you, the person behind would get too close, or would slide back and get lapped by the first to go. Very irritating.

Also, there are a number of new faces, and while some seem interesting and worth getting to know, some are not. And I get irritated the most by people have it all figured out- that they know the answers and you don't. One woman in particular who knows everything there is to know about triathlon, even disagreeing with Coach M about some nutrition. Really? If you're that smart, why aren't you coaching? Every heard about opinion vs fact. Argh!