About Me

My photo
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

Friday, February 29, 2008

It's Your Right and Your Decision



Early Texas Primary voting ends today so please exercise your right and vote! The actual primary is this Tuesday, March 4th and I can't tell you how exciting it is to be able to make a presidential vote in Texas that may actually make a difference! These are certainly exciting times in our country.

Oh yeah--there's this other election called Team Evotri . Voting for this also ends tonight at 12mid/pst. View the 4 remaining videos at http://www.evotri.com/ and cast your one email vote!

If you want to vote for me, send an email to vote@evotri.com and put CARRIE BARRETT-FINAL ROUND in the subject line. Then, just hit send!

Thank so much to everyone who has made your voice heard loud and clear round after round! The response and support from my friends, family, training groups and community-at-large has been amazing. It's all over tomorrow and I'll hopefully know first thing in the morning before my 100 mile ride.

Thanks again for voting in both elections!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Thank You Austin360.com

Thank you for this. The Austin American-Statesman came through in a big way with an on-line blog article. A couple of comments at the end suggested that people should look at all of the videos and truly decide who to vote for. I couldn't agree more. Believe me, you're only seeing four of them. There were dozens of videos that everyone should've seen that just didn't happen to make it. Each of the four remaining participants is equally passionate, nervous and incredibly excited about this opportunity.


Back to training this week!

Monday: 7 mile treadmill run--"hill work"
Tuesday: 7 mile treadmill run--"hill work"
Wednesday: 7 mile run on Town Lake
Thursday: 5:45am swim class followed by an 8:30am cycling workout. I'll head back to the training center in the evening for core work and another cycling workout.
Friday: 2.4 mile swim in Barton Springs
Saturday: 100+ mile bike ride followed by an hour run brick
Sunday: AM Swim class followed by 15-17 mile run

Now, if I can just get my eating under control again! Lots of useless calories in the form of breads and desserts....


Evotri voting deadline for the final round is THIS Friday night! To vote for me, send an email to:
vote@evotri.com and put CARRIE BARRETT-FINAL ROUND in the subject line.

Please, only one vote per person.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ironman? What Ironman?

In the rush of Evotri excitement and a short weekend getaway, I seemed to have disregarded the impending April 13, 2008 date I have with Mr. Ironman. You see, even whilst hanging by the pool with margaritas, I was also on the laptop computer spreading the Gospel of Team Evotri to anyone and everyone who will listen for one last time. I did hit the treadmill in the fitness center for 7 miles of running "hills" both Monday and Tuesday.

A few days ago, I was tagged by both Tracie and Patricio and promised that I would list 7 unique things about me. I'll do the official tag to others later this week. I'm not sure how unique these characteristics are, but I'm turning them into:

"7 Unique Reasons Why You Should Vote For Me for Team Evotri in Case
My Video Wasn't Compelling Enough"


1.) I've done stand-up comedy and have opened for some amazing Comedy Central and Late Show comedians such as Megan Mooney, Eddie Gossling, Willie Barcena and more. I'm also a member of an Austin Sketch comedy troupe called "Gag Reflex" (insert joke here). As I mention in my header, comedy and triathlon have a lot in common because both involve putting yourself out there for all to see. I've learned that more than ever by campaigning to be on this team. I considered a career in stand-up comedy for a while until I realized that performing in smokey clubs until 2am does not coincide with being at swim practice by 5:30am.

2.) I'm the youngest of five kids and the only girl. Yep-that makes me, well, spoiled! While my brothers shared rooms, I got the pink frilly room to myself. Too bad I was always out on the football field with my brothers kicking some butt. Growing up in a household of testosterone has no doubt prepared me for the persistance and determination to win. Believe me, you had to speak loudly in my Italian household to be heard. I haven't shut up since!


3.) My first Marathon was in 2002 and I ran a 4:52. My PR in 2006 was a 3:29. My first Half-Ironman was a 7:22 (4 flats). My PR in 2006 at the IM 70.3 Championship was a 5:35... Proof positive that discipline, training, well-laid plans, good coaching and the right attitude will always, ALWAYS garner positive results. I plan to continue to work this hard on Team Evotri. Hell, with the tools they provide, it'd be impossible NOT to see some amazing results.


4.) I'm a Personal Development junkie. What in the hell is that, you ask? It means I'm always working on myself. One of my favorite podcasts (besides GYGO and Simply Stu, of course!) is called Morning Coach. It's a daily 15-min podcast served to provide positive energy for your day. JB talks about self-confidence, fitness, success and--ME! Thanks again to JB for the extra mentions this week!


5.) The story of how I met my husband is freaking amazing! The short version is that we met on the internet. The long version is that I had seen him in 2004 at a party and developed instant "crush at first sight." Of course, I was too shy to approach him so he never knew I existed. A year later, he found ME on Match.com and I'll never forget my reaction when I got an email from "that guy!" Come to find out, our families grew up in the same neighborhood in Columbus and our Dads were raised a street apart. His Dad actually worked with my Dad in my Grandpa's grocery store almost 50 years ago. Can you say, "fate?!?" Again, I believe fate works in many ways if we just pay attention to the signs.


6.) As a teenager, I idolized Debbie Gibson! In fact, I wanted to be a singer/songwriter and spent countless hours in my home recording studio making really bad music. Someone liked it because I actually wrote and performed our High school graduation song aptly titled "We are the Future." ("Electric Youth" was already taken). Can you smell an Evotri theme song in the future?!?! FYI-I eventually met Debbie several times and interviewed her for a radio program for a station I was working for at the time. (i.e. I do not give up easily)


7.) All of these things have led me to where I am today--an Account Manager, Media Buyer, Copywriter and all-around Ideas Chick at an Advertising Agency. It's the dream job as I work with some of my closest friends. My job every day is to "toot the horn" of my clients and maximize their exposure in the market. Of course, I'll be just as vocal for this team as I am for my clients and myself currently.


As you can tell, I've never been an introvert. If there is an occassion to be seen, heard or to make people smile and laugh, I'm front and center. Like all of us, I absolutely have my insecurities. As I mention in my video, I was 50 lbs heavier just a few years ago and not physically active at all. I would weigh in at my Weight Watchers meetings and then head to the nearest Mexican restaurant for chips and queso (a vat of cheese). Running and triathlon made me fall in love with myself. It made me confident to coach others. That, in turn, has kept me motivated.

The potential for this team to make a huge difference is phenomenal. I'm just honored to still be in the running. Now, hurry up and vote for me so that I can resume my Ironman Training! In fact, I'll be on my bike this Saturday doing a 100+ miler when the results are announced. Let's make it a great ride--for me and Team Evotri.



send an email to: vote@evotri.com with CARRIE BARRETT-FINAL ROUND in the subject.
Please, only one vote per person!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Another Celebrity Endorsement (Kind of...)



All the way from Cabo, Flat Stanley gives his endorsement for Carrie Barrett!


send an email to: vote@evotri.com

subject line: Carrie Barrett-Final Round


Sunday, February 24, 2008

FINAL FOUR-LET'S HIT IT!


I don't know if this is funny or pathetic. If nothing else, this proves my sincere passion and determination for winning this competition and becoming a member of Team Evotri.


I'm sitting by the ocean in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and the first thing I thought about this morning was logging on-line and checking to see if I made it to the Final Four! Well, it's officially Margarita time, because I'm in!!  

More information to follow, but for now, get geared up to vote one last time!  I really need your help and support starting NOW through this Friday, February 29th!

Send an email directly to vote@evotri.com and put CARRIE BARRETT-FINAL ROUND in the subject line.

Once again, tell all of your friends... because THIS is truly the vote that determines the winner!

...and now...time to go snorkeling :-)

Friday, February 22, 2008

My Campaign is Going International!

This week has been a hoot, to say the least! The Evotri sponsors have certainly already achieved their goal of raising awareness and maximizing their exposure to a mass audience.

My triathlete friends are like, "Oh my God, you may get a set of racing wheels?!?!"

My non-triathlete friends are like, "What the hell is a Power Meter?"

Either way, I've been on the streets and in the papers singing the praises of potentially representing this team and continuing to blow the "Evotri triathlon trumpet."

My actual Ironman training took a slight backseat this week as well, but that's ok. I still totally feel right on target with where I need to be at this point.

I had an interesting and poignant conversation this week with my friend Kerith who is a professor at NIU (Northern Illinois University). This is where the most recent round of school shootings took place. Needless to say, she is incredibly shaken up by the incident and fearful of what to say to her students on Monday when classes resume. She has taught in that Hall where the shootings took place. She has walked through the same side door that the shooter entered. A few of her Communications students were in the classroom when the shootings occured. It's a scary time and the one thing she said that stood out was, "Remember What's Important."

Live for today and enjoy every moment. Do all that you want to do NOW. With that being said, I'm heading off to Cabo for the weekend for a couple of days of utter relaxation. Don't you worry, my Evotri delegates are working overtime and I'm sure I'll convince a person or two on the plane to watch our videos and vote! It is the World Wide Web afterall!

Until then, have a great weekend and thanks to everyone for your encouragement, support and votes! I may not have any friends left after this competition, but my Evotri teammates will love me! :-)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Every Vote Counts--ROUND 2, BABY!!


ROUND 2 BEGINS NOW!



There is an unmistakable buzz in Austin, Texas right now. In just a few short hours, a historic debate between Hillary and Obama is taking place on the University of Texas campus. This could be pivotal to either campaign. Who would've ever thought that such an epic Democratic debate would take place in the capital of the largest "Red" state in the United States of America?! As far as I'm concerned, this debate could determine the next President. That's huge.


However, that's not the buzz I'm talking about. That's not the energy I'm feeling. The election most people I know are talking about is the Evotri "Making the Team" contest and I JUST found out that I moved on to ROUND 2!! I'm now in the Top 7!!


That means voting for ROUND 2 starts all over again right now! You can vote for me by sending an email to:

vote@evotri.com


In the subject line, write CARRIE BARRETT-ROUND 2 and hit send.

You must put "Round 2" after my name so that there is no confusion.

Voting for Round 2 ends this Saturday night, February 23rd at 12 Midnight/pst!!


Thanks so much everyone! This has been such a blast and I feel so grateful to have this opportunity.

Let your voices be heard. After all, it's America baby!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My First Celebrity Endorsement!

video

Gazelle Coach, Author and Humanitarian Gilbert Tuhabonye officially endorses Carrie Barret for Team Evotri.

Vote Today at http://www.evotri.com/!


Recently featured on CNN, Tuhabonye authored the best-selling book, "This Voice in My Heart-A Genocide Survivor's Story of Escape, Faith and Forgiveness"


Monday, February 18, 2008

Carrie Barrett Making the Team: 2008

Here is my submission video for Team Evotri!

Vote for me by going to www.evotri.com.

Send an email to vote@evotri.com with my name in the subject line.

Thanks to the Evotri Sponsors: BMC, Cyclops, Zipp, Vision Quest Coaching, SRAM and 2XU

Thanks to my current sponsors:
My husband and his wallet

Evotri Top 10 Finalist!

I swear, I feel like someone just handed me an Oscar Award. My hands are trembling with excitement as I type this post. Triboomer called to let me know that I was just selected as a Top 10 Finalist for a spot on Team Evotri.

About a month ago, I was reading
IronWil's blog as she began teasing the new team. Her teasing campaign worked, because I visited her site everyday until she officially announced the details behind the Evotri team contest. Immediately, my subconscious said to my conscious, "You are so going to enter this contest and compete for a spot on the team and I won't take no for an answer. You are the right person and they'd be honored to have you." Truth be told, I'm the one that would be honored to be on this team.

I found the sport of triathlon just like a lot of other people. I was an unfit chubster who discovered running. Running led to triathlon and triathlon has led to achieving the seemingly impossible on a daily basis. I swear, not a day goes by that I don't do something new as a result of triathlon. Whether it's hopping on my Cyclops trainer for 4 hours on a Saturday, swimming in 68 degree water when it's 30 degrees outside, or running 7 miles at 5am BEFORE a race so that I can get all of my mileage completed, this sport has led me to achieve things I would never have dreamed of accomplishing.

The best part? The enthusiasm that I (and everyone else) carries for this sport is visible and extremely contagious. I can't NOT talk about the effect that this has had on me. It's led to coaching opportunities, speaking engagements, Race Director jobs, volunteer opportunities and so many valuable friendships.


That's why, when the chance to "train like a pro" with Evotri came up, I had to submit my video. The only problem? I only had 3 minutes to talk and there are so many other things I wanted to say and illustrate. Hopefully, I'll have a chance to do that when I'm selected. Most of all, I'm just so grateful for the opportunity that these generous sponsors are giving to their team.


So...today is the day I found out that I made it as a Top 10 Finalist. My 3:00 submission video is above, but I encourage everyone to go to
http://www.evotri.com/ and watch all 10 videos. Not one person is more deserving than another since we all so blatantly have the enthusiasm to give back.

Watch the videos and VOTE for your favorite by sending an email to:
vote@evotri.com

Round One ends this Wednesday night (2/20) at Midnight and the Top 7 vote getters move on to Round Two.

Thanks for Watching and I appreciate your votes!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

36 seconds...The AT&T Half Marathon Racap



Today was all about hubby Shawn. I had to put in 20 miles this morning, so I left the house at 5:30am to get 7 miles down before the Half-Marathon. I averaged 9:41 for that warm-up run and felt like I was running 8:00min miles. Yesterday's trainer ride and my general fatigue are definitely taking their toll. For me, it was just about getting the miles. For Shawn, it was different.

Shawn's goal for today was to beat his previous Half-Marathon PR of 1:47:58. He accomplished this last May on a very flat out-and-back course in Dallas called the North Trails Half Marathon. The AT&T Austin Half is not an out-and-back course and it's definitely NOT flat. Plus, today we were starting with over 10,000 others. In Dallas, we started with a couple hundred others. Big difference... (not to mention the fact that he was working at the hospital until Midnight last night and operating on 5 hrs of sleep)

I met up with him at 6:30am and we warmed up to the start. Almost immediately, we ran into Colleen who was also running the Half. We've been keeping up with each other's blogs as she is gearing up for IMCdA. Our seeding wasn't optimal as we entered the corral near the 4:45 pace group...much too slow for what Shawn wanted to accomplish.

The first two miles were spent weaving in and out of packs and trying to establish some kind of rhythm. I wasn't sure I could keep up with him based on how I had been feeling, but I made an effort to do what I could. It was a great marathon start with gorgeous clear skies and fireworks. The first climbs happen during Mile 1 so it immediately keeps you honest. Mile 1 was a restless 9:00min pace. Mile 2 was an 8:30. My heart rate was high so I'm sure Shawn's was too, but he was on a freaking mission! He was like a madman weaving in and out of people and I was worried that he would not be able to keep up this frantic pace. We were passing a ton of people and made up a lot of ground on 1st Street where we enjoyed lots of downhill running. By Mile 5, we were averaging an 8:05 overall pace and I was trying to keep him relaxed. We hit the downtown area again and picked up Thon at Mile 6. I was feeling surprisingly strong and so was Shawn.

"Slow him down," I said to Thon. Shawn was running with fervor and I was just afraid it wouldn't last for 6 more miles.

At Mile 8, he began to slow...Veterans Blvd and Lake Austin Blvd were tough. When we turned the Enfield corner, he started to suffer a bit. Here's where the hills really returned. Thon and I were really sticking with him and throwing the proper encouragement. Our pace had quickened to an 8:00 min overall average, but it was creeping down a bit. 8:03, 8:05, 8:07...The hills were nonstop on Enfield and the 15th Street hill at Mile 11 can suck the momentum out of anyone!

Still, he remained strong and determined when I know he was suffering. At long last, we had one mile to go and Shawn kicked it in. I'll be damed if they didn't throw in one more hill on San Jacinto. Damn those race directors!! The finish is a glorious downhill sprint on Congress and he was on fire at the end!

We crossed the finish line as people cheered. (best crowds ever at the Austin Marathon)

1:47:22

He beat his PR by 36 seconds on a much more difficult course!!
Avg pace 8:12!!!

Way to kick it babe!! I'm so proud of him for not giving up when I know he was hurting. It wasn't the most strategic race, but it worked.

In the Finisher's shoot, we excitedly ran into TriBoomer, TriGreyhound and his friend Kathleen. I also saw Colleen again and she was thrilled with her race. It was a great day for all and I'm happy to have finally met so many people whose blogs I read on a daily basis! It was definitely a highlight of my morning.

Of course-another highlight was meeting Thon for lunch at Taco Deli! MMMM....chicken mole and a fish taco.

Another Saturday Indoor Training Ride

In 24 hours, the weather in Austin went from rainy and 40 degrees to sunny and 65 degrees. Thank goodness the positive shift happened to take place on the morning of the AT&T Austin Marathon/Half Marathon!

Saturday, February 16th
The weather didn't cooperate, however, on the day I was supposed to ride 75 miles. Many T3'ers were switching their schedules around to run Saturday and ride Sunday, but I was running the Half-Marathon so there was no switcheroo for me. The weather conditions were downright Seattle-ish and deteriorating from there, so I set the ol' trainer up in the living room and proceeded to settle in for 4hrs 15min of stationary cycling. Yep--that's over 4 f*cking hours of mind-blowing boredom. To pass the time I watched an hour-long Ellen Degeneres stand-up comedy DVD (she's my comedic ideal), the Johnny Depp "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," a 45-minute "spinervals" training DVD and some of the Ironman World Championships that were on yesterday! If it's raining on race morning (which would be an oddity in Tempe since it is the DESERT), I promise I won't wuss out. I just didn't want to risk another illness or bike crash on the slick roads. It's not worth it to me.

So, I mixed up gears, tempo and trained for an 18.0 mph average, which is right where I should be for an indoor ride.

Unfortunately, I didn't have much time to stretch as I hopped in the shower and we immediately headed over to the race expo to pick up our packets. From there, hubby had to work for the evening and I was volunteering at the official Race Pasta Dinner. (Jill-you put on a fantastic event by the way) I was home and in bed by 9:30am for what was going to be a terrific and picteresque race morning!

I had to run 20-miles this week so my morning started around 5am. I left the house around 5:30am to do my 7 mile warmup before the Half-Marathon even started. Hubby Shawn was shooting for a PR of under 1:47:58. Could he do it? We met around 6:30am and jogged to the start. Fireworks kicked off this wonderful event and we were off...

Exciting Half-Marathon report coming soon

Friday, February 15, 2008

Another Ironman Milestone Achieved!

The Beauty that is Barton Springs Pool



I did it!! Yippee!!! Yay for me!!! For the first time, I swam the entire Ironman swim distance in open water! There were no paddles, no buoys, no fins, no snorkel...just me in my wetsuit on Barton Springs on a Friday morning.



This swim has always been seemingly impossible for me to fathom. Like most first time Iron-athletes that don't have a swimming background, 4000meters of open water swimming is completely daunting and downright dreadful. I've gone to Barton Springs on and off for four years and always marveled at the fact that it would take me 10 laps to do the distance! (each lap is 400m) A year ago, I was exhausted after three laps and it would take me about 10 minutes to do each one. Today, I completed 10 in an avg. time of 8:45 per lap. Only once did I feel my rhythm waiver and that was because I saw a freaking duck swimming under the water about 3 feet away from me. I thought I was going to have a heart attack as I thought it was some prehistoric sea animal!



There's no substitute for the feeling of conquering a new demon and realizing that day after day, this Ironman dream is truly coming into focus with each new milestone!


These are some of my favorite images of Barton Springs captured by my friend Sara. Check out her hilarious and always interesting photo blog here.

The steam rises from Barton Springs when the air temp is cooler than the water temp. The water is always 68 degrees. On this morning, the air hovered around 30 degrees. It's one of the most serene sites to behold. Swimming in the mist...

The pool opens at 5am, long before the sun comes up

Don't make me get in!! Sara captured this photo of me as I apprehensively took off my warm sweatshirt to swim.

Unfortunately, Barton Springs is also closing for 3 weeks for it's annual Spring Cleaning so I'll be doing my wetsuit swims in another natural spring pool called Deep Eddy. Unlike Barton Springs, this pool actually has lanes and lanes, but it's always cold so wetsuits are encouraged.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wrap Up in This

My dork-meter just raised itself a level or two. I'm having a race shirt quilt made. I promised that once I completed the Boston Marathon in 2006, I'd have one made with several races (including tris) that led to that moment.



The patchwork has begun.







One more location for our cat to shed.

My Game Face is Back On



Is it gross when a chick spits? God, I hope not because I've been hockin' some doozies this week...my "remnants" from being sick last week with the wintertime crud. Real ladylike, huh?

It's been back to the game plan this week with full-on T3 workouts.

Monday, February 11, 2007
Went to the T3 run workout on Monday night. The Gazelles are gearing up for the At&T Marathon this week so their workouts are just quick taper runs. I've never gone to a T3 run workout before and, I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting it to be as challenging as it was. I guess it's what you make it and I always try to push myself on my run workouts as I feel that's when I'm going to need to muster the most Ironman strength. Anyways, we did 1000m repeats. I assumed they would be on the track, but Logan threw a curve ball and made the 1000s up 12th Street (which just happens to be directly in front of my house). We ran up the hill to Meridan and back down again for each repeat. So, it was also a hill workout in addition to some speedwork! Damn him!!! I did a mile warmup, followed up 7 x 1000m repeats...

4:23
4:20
4:20
4:17
4:17
4:20
4:40 (cool down)

Tuesday, February 12th
AM T3 Swim Class: First swim workout after a week off...Didn't feel as graceful as it has been. I led our lane of four for the first two swim sets and then relinquished those duties realizing that I wasn't going to be able to keep that pace for long. There's so much pressure to lead a lane when there are others literally grabbing at your toes. It was an honor while it lasted since I'm not known for my swim leadership skills! 3200m total

PM T3 Spin Class: My extended workout dates with T3 continued last night with the Tuesday night spin class taught by Coach Pain (Chrissie). She's a freaking machine and never seems to fatigue with her coaching and training. Last night's 1:30 minute workout focused on some high cadence sets. Fine with me since I'm not big into the big heavy gears.

Wednesday, February 13th
10-Mile AM Run with Thon and Amy: Enjoyed a much needed 10 mile run with my pals Thon and Amy. My time with them has been so limited with other training obligations, travel, etc. It's always wondeful to turn off the training mind and just run for the fun and friendship of it. It was a trip through campus and Hyde Park on a beautiful cool morning. I screwed up my watch so I have no idea what pace we ran. Still feeling some fatigue and sore muscles, but I've just gotten used it.

PM Jack and Adams Core??? That's the plan!

Monday, February 11, 2008

My Apology to Susan Dell


If only I were only rich…
If I could quit my job, I’d have time to train too…
If I could hire personal trainers and the best coaches, I’d finish an Ironman too…
It must be nice being one of the richest people in Austin.
What does she have to worry about?
She can train all day if she wants to. It’s not like she has a real job…
Her husband is Michael Freakin’ Dell.

Those were my exact sentiments when I heard that Susan Dell was training for the Ironman World Championships in Kona back in 2003. “Oh big woop,” I thought. “She’s a gajillionaire with all of the best trainers at her disposal. I could do that too if I could train anytime I wanted to!”

Oops.

I’m here to formally apologize to Mrs. Dell.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last four months, it doesn’t matter who you are or what status you hold in this insignificant earthly life of ours. You still have to do the work to get to the Finish Line. Money was no substitute for her 6 hour bike rides. The best coaches didn’t do her brick workouts for her. She still had to get her butt up everyday and swim, bike and run. And you know what? She probably sacrificed a hell of a lot more than I have. She has young children. I don’t. She and her husband have their names and reputations on multiple businesses here in Austin including Dell Children’s Medical Center, Dell Children’s Museum, Dell Diamond baseball field and, oh yeah, Dell Computers. The only thing I’m sure my name is on is some random bathroom stall somewhere, but that's a story for another time.

So Susan Dell, if you’re reading this in between your own philanthropic endeavors, I’m sorry. I now know what an incredible feat you accomplished and I regret diminishing that achievement based on my own petty selfishness.


Now, can you pull some strings and get me into Kona too someday?? You Rock!
Thanks!
Carrie
(Dell Rocks)

Saturday, February 09, 2008

100 Skull Numbing Miles and a Speedy Sunday Run

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Since I was pretty much down for the count all week long with limited workouts, I wasn't entirely confident about my first official century ride of the IM Training season. T3 was riding out to Buda/San Marcos and back. Because I was afraid of getting sick or being completely devoid of energy and stuck 30 miles outside of Austin, I decided to do a different route all together by myself.

100 miles on the 8 Mile South Mopac loop.
With a couple of trips to the car, it was 12 mind-numbing loops for 100 miles on the dot.

I intended this ride to serve a couple of purposes:
1.) Keep me close to my car in case I was too sick to continue
2.) Keep my speed and energy in check. I wanted to average between 16-17 mph and this is a good loop to practice time trialing and consistency.
3.) Ride 100 miles alone for the mental tenacity
4.) Get used to the repetitive nature of loops. IMAZ is a three loop course. I was doing 12.
5.) Ride within myself...talk myself through the lowpoints...focus on nutrition...reserve energy

The ride served those purposes and a much-needed confidence boost as the weeks draw closer and closer. It was a stunningly beautiful day today in Austin with plenty of sunshine and a high near 80. While it was cool in the morning, the clouds burned off and warmed up nicely.
Instead of focusing on the number of loops, I just tried to let my mind turn to mush really. I thought about everything but the number of loops I had to do. Low points were followed by high points, and while there certainly was wind in some points, it was a treat to get the tailwind on the way back.

Total Ride: 100.3 miles
Total Riding Time: 5:46:35
Avg Pace: 17.4 mph
Avg Cadence: 86

If I can do anything like that on race day, I'll be in heaven! Granted this loop is interesting because the wind and the hills get you on the way out, but you're usually blessed with a nice tail wind on the way back making the trip back almost like a recovery. Today was no exception. So, while I wasn't doing the same course my teammates were doing, I was suffering in my own way and, let's face it, 100 miles is 100 miles afterall.

Here is a recap of the laps:
#1 31:38 (from car and first loop)
#2 29:01
#3 28:00
#4 28:20
#5 28:21
#6 31:57 (loop and to and from car)
#7 28:32
#8 28:07
#9 28:04
#10 26:58
#11 27:37
#12 29:55 (last loop and back to car)

Nutrition:
Pre-Ride: Sweet Potato Pancake and 1/2 English Muffin with PBJ
During Course of Ride: 4 scoops of Perpetuum in one bottle, 2 bottles of water (one nuun)
At 50 miles: PBJ Mini-Bagel, 3 clif-blocks
At 70 miles: refueled water bottles with water and Gatorade and continued sipping on Perpetuum.

Felt pretty decent at the end...actually got off my bike and jogged about 10 minutes to see what it felt like to run on 100 miles! (ummm....not so good) :-)


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Had a rare and pleasant run scheduled with my hubby this cool Sunday morning. We're running the ATT Half Marathon together next Sunday so this was his last long run before the race. We ended up running 9 miles on the trail and averaged 8:39 for the entire run. He really pushed me through a lot of it and I know I wouldn't have gone that fast if I was out there by myself. My body is just so damn tired these days that I haven't been really pushing my pace on long runs. It was a great gradual pick up throughout the entire run ending with a brisk 7:50 pace on mile 8. We cooled down for the final mile and threw in a couple of hills in our neighborhood on the way back to the house (much to my chagrin) ;-).

Feeling much better and ready to hit it again this week...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

My Unexpected Taper Week

Damn this training!! I swear I'm turning into one of those people that I hate...the type of person that complains all the time about not feeling good and being tired. I am in the throws of some heavy duty weeks (17-19hrs per week) and my body is letting me know it.

I felt great on Sunday when we had people over for the Superbowl after my 13 mile run. I woke up Monday morning feeling normal and had to attend an all-day conference. It was then that I started feeling bad...sneezing, sinus pressure, itchy eyes, sore throat. I had no idea if it was a cold or allergies so I took a little bit of everything when I came home and promptly fell asleep at 9:00pm after taking a Benadryl.

The alarm went off at 5:00am on Tuesday morning and my head felt like a Macy's Day Parade float. No swimming for me...Wednesday...same thing...even came home from work early. Don't ask me how or why, but I actually went to my Gazelle's running workout on Wednesday morning. We did 6x 800s with our usual 1.6 mile warm up and cool-down. I felt like crap the entire time. Thursday--no swim and no bike. While my sinuses are feeling better, my muscles are just achy. I wanted to spin in my house tonight, but just didn't have the energy. I've decided that this is just a much-needed rest week.

I've got a 100+ mile bike ride on Saturday and that's what I'm focusing on now. Mentally, I'm fine...actually glad for the break. Still 10 weeks out from the dance so it's no biggie.

The only numbers I have to report this week are the amount of pills I've been taking (insert poorly timed Heath Ledger joke here), the amount of Emergen-C I've been drinking and the amount of hours I've been sleeping.

Here's to a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Am I Breaking the Cardinal Rule of Racing?


Last month, Ironman Event Stores held a big sale on their Ironman merchandise. I couldn't help it. I proceeded to the Ironman Arizona page and perused the goods. A lot of it was 2007 Finisher Gear, which I am NOT. However, there were a couple of items that I couldn't resist--an Ironman Arizona cool-max shirt and visor. Neither has a year on it and neither says, "Finisher." Therefore, neither are off limits to this 2008 participant.


Now I ask:

Am I breaking the cardinal rule of racing by wearing a shirt or donning a visor prior to an event I haven't yet completed? Am I disrespecting the sport or jinxing myself? I'm torn...


I mean, c'mon...look how many people push their kids in Ironman strollers along the trail. I'm sure a great majority of those parents don't even know what an Ironman is. Plenty of people wear their Ironman Brand watches and probably can't even walk a mile, let alone complete an Ironman. Ironman has branded itself on body scales, coffee, cars and other items with no law saying you have to be a Finisher to use.


So, really, am I breaking the law if I sport my shirt or am I just overly confident?


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Super-Training Weekend

I have the passion for this Ironman stuff and I definitely have the desire. However, sometimes even those two traits take a back seat to the almost robotic nature of just mentally tackling these long training weekends. It can't be done on heart alone. There is a mental shift that must take place as well. Patience...perseverance...autonomy of the mind. I'm also learning that I must love myself unconditionally. God knows I spend enough alone-time with my thoughts these days. I can't afford negativity, self-doubt and useless "you're not good enough" chatter. The second those thoughts begin seeping into my self-conscious, I may as well throw away all of the desire, passion and countless hours I've spent so far at achieving this goal.

This was a big weekend for me filled with a couple of "new territory" achievements. I didn't enter them with fear, but with a very matter-of-fact let's git 'er done mentality. I already spoke of my swim in my previous post. I'm so thrilled to feel it coming together after years of struggle and self-doubt.

Our 90-Mile bike ride on Saturday can best be described as an Ironman Arizona Simulator. The course itself isn't all that hilly, but it's located in far North East Austin where the wind seems to blow in every direction at all times. Every Arizona veteran from last year has warned me about the wind gusts. Wind gusts are a cyclists villian. Well, I'm no fan of this Rosedale course because I knew it would involve such gusts, but what better way to practice, right? Of course, the beginning of the ride is very deceiving with the tailwind and the downhills. The first 10 miles were downright blissful at a very easy pace of 18.5 mph. Unfortunately, early on I hit a bump which launched one of my water bottles. I had to stop to get it while letting my pack of riders continue on. Katy and Jerry stayed behind and it become our ride for the rest of the day. This is also a slightly confusing course with about 4 different Cameron Road turns. Well, of course we got turned around and slightly confused about where we were at which was definitely a momentum killer for a while. This is where the patience came in handy. There was nothing we could do besides forge another route back to the turn around, which Jerry and Katy did. Instead of our first loop being 28 miles, our first loop turned into about 44 miles before we ended up back at the car to refuel. It ironically ended up being a blessing because instead of heading out on the 62 mile loop, we really only had to head out for the 43 mile loop again. For whatever reason, this mentally felt so much better knowing that we were just about half-way done. In a very serendipidous way, we ended up connected with the other pack of riders again with about 20 miles to go when our different paths converged and we ended up on the same road at the exact same time. I swear, it was fate and very humorous. We couldn't have planned it if we had tried!! It was good to have the group pull for those remaining tough miles.

You know, I'm glad we faced a little adversity in the beginning of the ride because it's how you deal with that type of stress that can make all of the difference. My ride ended up being 87.5 miles and I left it at that. I thought about finding the extra 2.5 miles, but I knew it wasn't totally necessary since I also had a 60 min run to complete. I didn't look at my average pace until I got off the bike and, instead, focused the whole day on form and energy output. At the beginning of the ride, I said if I can avg between 15-16 mph on this course at this distance, I'll be happy. We averaged 15.5 mph. Nice...I think I'm really getting to know my body. I gotta say, I felt physically and mentally strong the entire day even when we were battling the frequent head winds on the windy country roads. It was just a gorgeous day for a ride and I truly felt blessed to be out there. Yes, of course, there were a few dark moments of, "God I'm tired," "Get me off this bike," and "I wish the wind would stop," but overall it was a wonderful confidence-building experience, especially on a course where I have a negative history. I also played with my nutrition and that seemed to pay off for me.

Prior to Ride: 3 Sweet Potato Pancakes and bottle of water
I started the ride with a bottle of water with 3 scoops of Perpetuum. I sip on that every 15-20 minutes for sustained calorie intake and energy levels.
I also had 1 bottle of plain water and 1 bottle of water with a Nuun electrolyte tablet.

1 Hr into Ride: 2 Endurolyte capsules

2.75 Hrs into Ride (half way point): 2 Endurolyte capsules, small whole grain bagel with PB&J, 2 clif blocks. At this point, I also refilled my water bottles and put regular water in one and gatorade in the other for part 2 of the ride.

For the reminder of the ride, I continued to sip on the perpetuum, water and gatorade. I did also enjoy one of Katy's pretzel sticks too!

I got off the bike and actually had some fuel in the tank for my 60 min run through the Harris Branch neighborhoods. At my car/transition area, I quickly switched gear, took a power gel, grabbed water and headed off for my run. I couldn't believe how strong I felt on this post run after almost 90 challenging miles. Each mile was faster than the next. 8:52, 8:44...I passed some of our group who made reference to being speedy. It wasn't until Mile 5 (and about 18 minutes left) that I finally started hitting the energy wall. I could feel the energy literally leaving my body quickly. I was assessing what I would do during Ironman when this starts to happen (because it will). A gel didn't sound good so what would I do? Chicken broth? Coca-Cola? Both are wildly popular on the Ironman Marathon because it's usually the only thing people can stomach after a long day of racing. Both sounded palatable, but were obviously unaccessible at that point. I headed back towards the car passing a few more peeps along the way. The 7.00 mile beep and the 1 hr beep were almost simultaneous. I had run 7 miles off of a 90 mile bike ride at an 8:34 pace. Wow...a lot faster than I expected, but challenging nonetheless. Like I said, I was quickly losing steam and this is not my planned Ironman pace.

It's training days like that where I can hold my head up high and think, "Hell yes!" I celebrated by going out with some friends for dinner and having a couple of glasses of wine (because I can't sacrifice EVERYTHING). At one point, my friend Mike was saying, "You know...you're just a badass hoss for being able to do all of this." Normally I would say, "Ah-it's nothing. Anyone can do it..." blah, blah, blah...But, for the first time last night I had to agree, "You're Right. I am a badass." (albeit, a tired one).

Friday, February 01, 2008

Another "Holy Crap, Are You Serious??" Weekend

For all of my Ironman vets, this is the part where you kick your feet back, chuckle to yourself and smugly say, "Get used to it, sister. You ain't seen nuthin' yet."
Most people spend the week working so that they can unwind on the weekend. I spend the week working so that I can still gear up for the weekend. This weekend's workout includes another one of epic distances:


Friday: 3200m Open Water Swim at Barton Springs (which I accomplished this morning)
Saturday: 90 Mile bike ride followed by a 1 hr run off the bike
Sunday: 13 Mile Run and plenty of stretching before, during and after the Superbowl

That bike/run brick is a little daunting at the moment, but it's all part of the deal! Tomorrow's task (other than the obvious) is to really work on my nutrition!





BARTON SPRINGS 3200 M SWIM RECAP


My longest open water swim in my life up to this point! Woo Hoo!!

The workout was broken down into chunks which definitely made this new distance for me less daunting. I've been doing 3200 m in our pool workouts, but I've never done it in the open water arena. Check another thing off the list and accept this new deposit into the Bank of IM!

2 x 600m = 12:39, 12:41 (2:06) pace per 100m)
3 x 400m = 8:25, 8:24, 8:27 (2:06 pace per 100m)

4 x 200m = 4:10, 4:17, 4:09, 4:18 (2:05-2:08 pace per 100)

I'm consistent if nothing else! If I swim that evenly throughout the race, I'd be on pace for a 1hr24min-1hr25min swim. My original goal was 1hr 30 minutes at very best. Now, I know there are a lot of factors to consider, such as 1800 other athletes vying for the same space in the water, but with two months still to go, I'm feeling pretty good and right on target!