About Me

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Austin, Texas, United States
I'll make you laugh, or break my neck trying. This is usually accomplished with daily bouts of swimming, biking and running. A former "chub-a-holic," I got fit and healthy the good old fashioned way and went from a mid-pack athlete to top age group runner and triathlete. I'm a Writer and USAT Level 1 Certified Triathlon Coach. I guess that makes me part Tina Fey and part Jillian Michaels. Visit my coaching site at www.fomotraining.com

Monday, July 02, 2007

There's a Subculture for Everything!!

Last week, a friend and I rented the documentary "WordPlay." It is about the amazing subculture of people who are obsessed with crossword puzzles, particularly the NY Times Puzzle. Did you know that there is an Annual National Crossword Puzzle Championship??? I certainly didn't. We laughed as we were watching the idiosyncrasies of these fanatics. They log their times daily with each puzzle, they spend hours mastering themes and combinations, they read the dictionary to learn new words, they strategize about how to cut seconds or milliseconds off of their solving times, they communicate with other puzzle-addicts, they get together each year for the big competion, they support each other and yet compete against each other. They are self-proclaimed nerds.

Of course, the irony was not lost on me. In fact, it hit me---like a ton of bricks. A ton of Triathlon Bricks, that is... I'm exactly the same as these people. I encourage others and yet compete against them, I study up on my sport to learn as much as I can about strength, endurance, nutrition, gear, etc. I practice and practice and practice...I record every millisecond of training to track my improvement.

I AM a Tri-Geek...Case in Point, here is a recap of previous days activities.

Friday, June 29th
45 minute Endurance Swim in the Pool. No speed…just steady swimming..2300m total
I did notice some serious form fatigue after about 30 minutes. My breathing and cardio was fine, but my arms were dragging.

Saturday, June 30th
13 mile run with Gazelles. Started and ended at Austin H.S. So glad we didn’t have to run on the trail for a change since some of it is currently under water. Hung with Thon for most of the morning and we just chugged along slow and steady. 8:53 overall running pace…Of course, it was muggy as heck. Should’ve stayed for stretching as I’ve definitely been feeling “crunchy” lately, but breakfast tacos were calling my name and the only "crunchy" I responded to was the chicken chalupa that I ate at Mi Madres with crew.

Sunday, July 1st
Had originally hoped to do 35-40miles on the Guru, but only got about 25 miles in due to a shortage of time. We started rolling a little later than I had hoped and we were having friends over for lunch. Our friend Genny was in town from Houston (by way of Portland) and she rode with us and smoked us!! Her move to Portland has certainly sparked her love of cycling and her speed and effort proved it. Awesome! While we cut the ride short, it was still more of a physical effort than I would’ve normallyput forth. I pushed it and loved it. We rode SW Pkway-71-Bee Caves—360—back to SW Parkway.

Monday, July 2nd
Barton Springs A.M.

Landed in Barton Springs for my long “open water” effort of the week. I completed 6 laps for a total of 2400 yards! While it wasn’t fast, it was a new distance record for me in B.S. Just think, I only have to work my way up to 10 laps of consistent swimming for the IM distance of approx. 2.4 miles. It felt a little strange because several Gazelles were finishing their Monday morning Firecracker run at Barton Springs while I was pulling up in my wetsuit. A huge part of me was wishing I had run with them, but I also know I have a different purpose for now.

My laps were pretty slow compared to usual—between 8:59—9:36 per lap. I know that the current is a bit of a factor since the floodgates are open and water is flowing pretty hard. Other than that, I’m not sure why my times were off from the usual 8:50-9:10 per lap.

Jack and Adams Corture P.M.

Apparently, Adam being gone didn't reflect a change in attendance last night at Core Class! In fact, there were a lot of new faces. I suspect several of the "newbies" were Rogue Runners because our new Coach Josh is also a Coach for this other training group in town (C'mon Gazelles--it's time for us to represent!). The class has always started around 5:45pm so I was shocked to see people doing bicycle kicks as I was pulling up at 5:40pm. So, he started a bit early. Damn...It was an interesting change of pace from the usual Adam-style of long repeats until you can't move any longer. This was a lot more "interval style" or quick sets followed by short bursts of running. We would do a set of abs-- 1:30 6"/1:30 scissor kicks/1:30 bicycles and then go run for 1min. Throughout the hour, we did sets of mountain climbers, plank, pull-ups (damn--they put in a pull up bar), step-ups and push-ups (1 min wide arms/1min regular/1min triangle). It was definitely a step-up in intensity from the first time he coached. It was challenging and yet doable. After core, I had a 7pm meeting at Mozarts on the lake so I dropped my car off at home and ran the 1.5 miles or so to the coffee shop. I was looking forward to running home, but it started raining and lightening. I wussed out and had Erine drop me off at home.

Tuesday, July 3rd

Gazelle Circuit Workout

So, today's Gazelle workout was a bit of a deja' vu from last night's core class. Light on running and heavy on strength training. I ran the 1.8 miles or so from home to the Austin High Track and then ran 2 more laps while I waited for the crew to arrive. The circuit goes something like this:

1 lap followed by:

10 sit ups/ab crunches

10 push ups

10 supermans

10 squats

10 step ups each leg

10 lunges each leg

10 plyometrc jumps

Medicine ball toss with partner

...and repeat.

Today, I got 4 sets of circuit in and actually tried to double up on the push ups and abs.

Afterward, Gilbert called us together for more torture including mountain climbers, hops, higher/open, ab work and finally--fast feet.

I ran the 1.8 miles home

Again--short distance day 4-5 miles total, but great core work.

Wednesday, July 4th

A.M. 8 mile RUN
Slept in until a whopping 7:15am and met Thon for an Independence Day Run...Not one to take it easy, we decided to climb up to Mt. Barker (the official highest point in Austin). We did so by way of Pecos, Edgemont and other streets that headed in the general "north" direction. It was great to see a bunch of people out and about on the streets taking advantage of their day off. We even got caught in the middle of the Tarrytown Parade as we headed back towards the house on Pecos. It was approx 8 miles of hills (neither of us wore any GPS equipment for a change). It just felt so great being able to run at a leisurely pace on a National holiday. No speed, no pressure, no rush to get to work...shouldn't every day be that relaxing?!!? ha ha As per usual, our long run was followed by a greasy breakfast at Angies--home of the best corn tortillas in the world.

P.M. 1 hour on Bike Trainer
It's hard not to be in a bit of a funk when the weather in Austin has been so crappy lately. It has rained so much, putting a huge damper on any 4th of July activities. I was invited to an afternoon "bbq," but bailed to make way for some alone time. I ran some errands and napped in the afternoon. At about 5pm, I really wanted to go for a short bike ride, but the weather was just too unpredictable. I put the bike on the trainer, popped in Season 2 of "The Office," and rode for about an hour. I did some interval work--1min spin up/1min recovery, plus some 1 leg pedaling and regular spinning. I kept it light and the cadence high. It felt good to work up another sweat after overindulging on breakfast.


Anonymous said...

I never knew about the subcultures, but I guess I should have.

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Deb said...

Too funny. Spellbound (spelling bees) is wild and another one called trekies is hilarious. It makes you wonder! haha! Great workouts woman. Sounds like that marriage thing is doing you right!