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, June 30, 2008

It Ain't Kona

Ahhh...the beauty of Lubbock and West Texas is overwhelming. It takes 6 1/2 hours to drive from Austin to Lubbock and you still end up in the middle of freakin' god-forsaken nowhere Tex-ASS! Of course, there were many lovely sites to behold along the way, some of which were simply irresistible to pass up.

I don't know what a "Mexican Pile On" is, but I'm pretty sure I want no part of it.

Do we really need a Wildlife Hall of Fame? 
Don't deer heads and stuffed fish already adorn the walls of most Texan's living rooms?

Outside of Lubbock near a town called Sweetwater (oxymoron), the subtle stench of oil begins--as does the sight of hundreds of these:

And these odd Area 51-like windmills that are strewn along the fields as far as the eye can see...What exactly are these space-age windmills powering? Only Dick Cheney knows for sure...

When we arrived in Lubbock, we expected the town to be all about Triathlon. 
Instead, we were greeted with this:

And this:

Oh wait! The four-star hotel in town (and the race expo site)was very welcoming:

Lubbock certainly does have its charm and a slew of famous musicians, including Buddy Holly.

The day before the race, we drove the bike course and experienced another West Texas natural phenomenon. Because it's so flat, you can see storms brewing from miles away. (Either that, or North Korea was in town for a little "site visit.")

This photograph was a good indication of what was to come on race day, but more on that later!

We Did It!

The Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake Triathlon is in the can! Lightening, wind, rain and hail all threatened to cancel this race, but Mother Nature didn't win. The race continued as did most of the athletes!  The bike ride was a lesson in patience, acceptance and humility because of the deteriorating conditions throughout the course, but we came through!

My swim was a new PR and my run was right where I hoped I could be on such a difficult course! I'm a happy and incredibly sore triathlete because we drove the 6.5 hours back to Austin yesterday after the race. Can you say, "muscle atrophy?"

Shawn also had a monster PR day so I'll be posting tidbits and photos soon!

Carrie:  5:53:57
Shawn: 6:49:57

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Buffalo Springs Send Off and Another Date with Jorge!

Is it that time again already? I’m off to Lubbock this weekend to race in the Buffalo Springs Lake 70.3. It’s weird to enter this race with absolutely no expectations or anxiety whatsoever. Believe me, there will be plenty of nervous energy on race morning, but I have to admit, it’s hard to get excited for the Homecoming Dance when you’ve already been to the Prom this year. You know what I mean?

My original reason for signing up for Buffalo Springs was strictly maintenance. I wouldn’t allow myself to get lazy post IM. That plan definitely worked because I certainly haven’t slacked off (minus those two weeks in Italy). Hubster and I have diligently done our weekend rides and long runs. I’ve gone to the tough Gazelle workouts, I’ve hit several core classes and morning swim workouts. The 70.3 distance doesn’t scare me.

My body does though. I have felt the dreaded fatigue the last few days. I had to back off the last 10 minutes of spin class on Tuesday night because my legs were toast. I was getting a little light-headed as well, but I attributed that mostly to the fact that we train in a non-airconditioned warehouse in 104 degree heat with only the BIG ASS FAN to keep us cool! (This website almost warrants its own blog post!) On Wednesday morning, Gilbert told me to do only 3x800m repeats instead of the six that the rest of my group was doing. I was relieved since I was feeling worn down after just three. I saw Iron-Katy on the track and she basically reminded me that it’s classic Carrie. Once I start feeling burnt out, I know it’s time to rest for a few days, chill out and then have a great race. Somewhere along the line, I also forgot that tapering is also a good strategy :-). Needless to say, I’m pretty much shutting it down for the next three days. No more cycling or running. I may swim a bit tomorrow, but it will just be some open water practice or maybe even drills/technique stuff in the pool.

As for Goals…This isn’t my “A” race at all. My new “A” races are the Longhorn 70.3 and Marine Corps Marathon in October. Yes, that’s a Half-Ironman and Marathon in the same month. When I really think about it, I know it's freakin' crazy. A Full Ironman, 2 Half-Ironmans, a Marathon and a slew of smaller tris all in one year?? What am I thinking?? (I'm not and that's why I do it) Those October races are the ones I want to really focus on when this weekend is over. With that being said, here are realistic goals on a picture-perfect day in Lubbock, Texas.

Swim: 38-42 minutes
I’m usually a 45-46 min 1.2 mile swimmer, so I’m hoping to have knocked a few minutes off with my training.

Bike: 2:55-3:10
Like Ironman Arizona, the roads of this course are usually cursed with gusty dry winds and plenty of hill climbing. Lubbock is an unusually flat city, but leave it to the Race Directors to find the ONE abnormally hilly area of town! The race is actually in Buffalo Springs Lake CANYON—which means there are plenty of ascents and descents throughout the 56 mile course. My plan is to spin easy up the hills and push it on the flats....and eat and drink a whole lot along the way.

Run: 1:45-2:00
My Half-Marathon PR in a 70.3 race is a very respectable 1:45 (8:00min pace). It all depends on what is left! There are three blistering climbs on the run that usually leave most legs quivering and left whimpering to walk. As I recall, the last three miles are pretty downhill so I'm hoping to employ a little of that Gazelle "fast finish" if I can.

A Sub 6:00 hr race is certainly attainable. My PR is a 5:35, but again, I’m not aiming for a PR this weekend. I’m there to put together a decent race and cheer Shawn on to his Half-Ironman PR!
Side Note: I have another date with Jorge the masseuse tomorrow after work! I SWEAR he was the only male available....Shhhh....that's what I told hubster and I think he believes me ;-) I'm almost embarrassed to go back!!! Look forward to the sequel!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Oops, I Did It Again...

In the introspective words of Britney Spears:

"Cause to lose all my senses...That is just so typically me.

Oh baby, baby, Oops I did it again..."

The next time Hubster and I have our arms raised like this in victory,

we'll BOTH be crossing the Finish Line here:

June 21, 2009

It's On!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Our Buffalo Springs Warm Up

Watching friends cross the line at Ironman CDA last night was the perfect cap to a fantastic weekend. Congratulations to all! As usual, it was incredibly inspiring watching the live feed of the finish line on www.ironmanlive.com. You were in my thoughts all weekend as I put together a couple of strong workouts.

Saturday 6/21 AM
I did my 14 mile long run with the Gazelles on Saturday morning and felt strong the entire Grove route. Temps were a little cooler this week, which was also a huge benefit. We paced between 8:30-9:00 min miles until Rachel and I did our progressive pickup over the last three miles. It's hard to find another gear at the end of a run, but building that fortitude (and oxygen deprivation) can be so beneficial in a race situation. Our last three miles averaged between 7:20-7:30 per mile.

On Saturday night, we met up with some friends and headed down to the AT&T Criterium bike race that was taking place on the streets of downtown. I don't know much about bike racing, but suffice to say, it's like watching a Nascar race in spandex. People are drafting to the point of rubbing tires, sparks fly when a pedal hits the pavement and even bodies and bikes fly when the occassional collision occurs (and it did). T3 Lindsey posted some great photos on her blog and I may have to steal a couple of them! It certainly was packed with Austin's sub-culture of runner/cycling/triathlete types who were out and about!

Sunday 6/22
It's not USAT sanctioned yet, but I present to you a new race that Shawn and I did on Sunday. It's sure to take over the world of racing soon, I'm sure.

(Insert Future Sponsor) Proudly Presents

The Grin and "Barrett" Ironman 37.4

In honor of our friends who were racing an Ironman that day and to prep one last time for Buffalo Springs next weekend, we did our own mock triathlon on Sunday morning, with Barton Springs (and my car) serving as our transition area.

We hit Barton Springs a little after 8:00am and swam 4000m (1.4 miles). Surprisingly, it was pretty crowded this morning so I just took my time and didn't work on pacing at all. I finished in about 43 minutes, which is pretty typical of my times.

Preparing for swim at Barton Springs

After the swim, we headed to the car and prepared the bikes for our 28 mile ride that took us up 360 to the Bee Caves loop and back down to 360 and back to Barton Springs. This hilly adventure was about 28 miles.

T1: about 25 minutes (we won't be winning any awards)

Ready to ride!

The bike ride (28 miles) was nothing new, but I was feeling a little discouraged at the beginning. My legs were sore from the previous day's run and the first few miles were full of wind and climbing. I couldn't believe it when I looked at my speedometer and I was averaging 13 mph. Well, thankfully, I found my stride (and got some wind help) on the Bee Caves loop because I was able to pick it up a lot. Plus, the way back down 360 was a blast with the downhill and tailwind--and my Zipp 404s that I was using as well. Every now and then I would stop and just make sure Shawn was within sight. At one point, an ambulance buzzed by so I stopped to wait to make sure he was ok. (he was). I finished the ride with a 16.5 mph average and felt good that I was able to pick it up tremendously for the 2nd half of the ride.

T2: I loaded my bike back in the car, changed shoes and waited for Shawn to get back...3 minutes passed, 5 minutes passed, 10 minutes passed. I started to get nervous. I had my cell, but he didn't have his. I was going to wait 5 more minutes before I hopped in the car to find him. Fortunately, with moments to spare, he came racing back into the parking lot in one piece. He flatted and had to change his tube along the way...whew....

The run (8 miles) started in the Barton Springs parking lot and headed around the 7 mile portion of the trail. It was about 12:45pm at this point so the sun was hovering directly ahead and it was blazing. We started off and hovered around a 9:20-9:30 pace per mile, which felt very comfortable. Along the way, we saw Lindsey who was with us at the crit the night before. It think she was happy, but mostly surprised to see that we were actually into the run portion of our "mock tri" that we had been bragging about the night before. As fate would have it, Shawn tripped and fell in the EXACT same spot that I tripped a few weeks back. I'm pretty sure it's the same damn tree root too!! Thankfully, he was ok, but we walked for a few moments so that he could catch his bearings again. As the run went on around the trail, I gradually (if not subconsciously) started to pick up the pace ever so slightly. I wasn't trying to push it at all since I had done that the day before. I was just finding a good rhythm and my pace quickened with every mile. The last three miles were around 8:30-8:40s so I was extremely happy to see that pace after a long day in the heat. Again, it's those "fast finishes" that help to build my confidence.

Shawn finished shortly afterward and we celebrated the completion of our mock triathlon by heading back into Barton Springs and soaking in the 68 degree temps. The now-crowded pool was filled with families, kiddos, swimmers, hippies, college kids and a couple of triathletes celebrating a job well done!

Preparing for post-race soakage

Post Grin and "Barrett" Ironman 37.4 Soak in Barton Springs!

Bring on Buffalo Springs, baby!!!

On a side note: Send good thoughts to my Father-in-Law who crashed his bike this past weekend and broke his upper arm. (Shawn knows the technical term for "upper arm." I don't. ) He's doing ok, but is seeing a Doc today to find out about potential surgery. Keep him in your thoughts and prayers! This photo was taken on Father's Day last week when we went down to San Antonio to visit them. Shawn, Dick and I had a great Father's Day bike ride...and I like to constantly remind them of my Ironman status by wearing my jersey--just in case they forget :-)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Who Doesn't Need This?!

The Holy Bible aside, I think I've found one of the most important, potentially life-changing books. Seriously, I think this is "The Secret" Runner's Edition.

The back cover asks, "Are You"

* a new runner? (not so much)

* an experienced runner seeking improved performance? (yes, please)

* an injured runner, or a runner with a history of running injuries? (who hasn't been injured?)

* a triathlete, searching for that improved run split? (...and swim split...and bike split)

* or, a runner simply trying to remain injury-free and improve your performance all at the same time? (Yes, Yes, Yes!!!)

**editors note: the comments in parantheses are my smart-ass answers to the posed questions and in no way reflect the views of everyone...just ALMOST everyone.

Austin Physical Therapist, Coach and friend Allan Besselink has just released this new book and I can't wait to dig in! I hope all of you do too!!! Seriously, how could we not benefit from his knowledge and expertise? His credentials are as long as Obama's list of current donors and he is a well-respected coach in Austin and beyond. In fact, a lot of his current athlete roster is comprised of people outside of Texas.

Oh--did I mention he's also an Ironman finisher?! Hell yeah, baby!

Buy the book and support a self-published author at: http://www.lulu.com/content/2410779

Visit his site at: www.smartlifeinstitute.com

Next week: I'm heading back to Buffalo Springs 70.3! Experience the beauty and serenity of Good 'ol Lubbock, Texas. Actually, it's basically a sh*t-hole with a great Half-Ironman race and I'm going back to avenge my 2004 time. It was over 7 hours, so I'm hoping it won't be a problem to PR on this course!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Why Bother?

A side salad on the menu at Dairy Queen????? Seriously, Why bother?

I received an email from a new triathlete. In it, she expressed her fears, doubts and frustrations over her weaknesses in this new sport and asked me for advice and direction. She’s not sure she even likes triathlon. Why bother?

Last week, I spoke with a friend of mine who is in taper mode for Ironman Coeur D’Alene 08 and suffering the typical taper meltdown. “Today I have sat at my desk for the last hour contemplating this event called an Ironman next weekend. Tell me I’m not losing it.” Why bother?

At swim practice last week, we were greeted by the British Olympic Triathlon team who was in town training. Seeing their long, muscular bodies and perfect swim technique were intimidating and awe-inspiring. Why bother?

I'm debating on whether to sign up for another Ironman next year. Yes, it sounds like fun and it will be great to have team support, but I'm still unable to answer the question of 'why' I'd want to. Why bother?

I bother for the same reason that all of the above continue on with their quests. I bother because each new challenge presents a new opportunity to be just a little better. For every doubt, there is a victory. For every slow day, there’s a fast day. For every pro or Olympian, there are thousands of rookies. I bother because when someone sends me an email with questions or fears, I know EXACTLY what they are going through. I also know that a few kind words of encouragement will go a long way and make a huge difference. These same people will soon send me emails of exhilaration and success because they also continued to bother. I’ve observed people who have become better athletes, parents, spouses and friends all because they continue to bother with triathlon

Supposedly, triathlon is an individual sport, but I think we’d all agree that it’s the masses of others and the support from other triathletes that make the most difference. Yes, it’s wonderful to celebrate a faster swim stroke, but it’s equally rewarding to log on ironmanlive.com and root for friends and strangers who are accomplishing lifelong dreams. (which I'll be dong this Sunday when many friends and bloggers toe the line at Ironman Coeur d'Alene.)

Why do I bother? I want to be a small representation of this wonderful culture. For me, it’s the chance to continue to inspire, educate, communicate and extend the reach of this life-changing sport for countless others.

And that to me is no bother at all.


Friday, June 13, 2008

Oh the Irony!

I swear!!

We signed up for THIS :


During this hands-on course, you will learn a simple, effective routine for a head-to-toe massage, as well as individual techniques for specific areas of tension. One of the main goals of this course is to teach ways to reduce the stress in your partner's body without taking a toll on your own. All techniques are simple, yet effective, and performed with participants fully clothed. You will also learn effective ways to breathe in order to reduce tension levels, receive a helpful instruction booklet, and be able to try out massage tools to use in your home routine. No previous massage experience is necessary!

...long before there was this!! Yes, that's right. Shawn and I are taking a Couples Massage Class tomorrow from 11a-5p! Six hours of good solid body rubbin' education. I love the instructions that accompanied our class confirmation. "Bring plenty of blankets and at least 2 pillows for comfort...for both of you." I'm not sure what kind of instruction booklet we'll receive, but I'm just glad they didn't ask us to bring a parachute, shin gards or a trampoline!!

Let the fun begin Shawn and Happy Father's Day. Who's Your Daddy, Now??????

Jorge is soon to be a thing of the past after we're through tomorrow!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Just when I thought my blog was getting a little stale and boring, I came across the topper this morning! One of our local TV stations has a "Weather Blog."  Yes, that means that Mr. Scientist Weather Guy logs on every day to convey the most up-to-the-minute breaking forecasts.

June 7, 2008:  It's really hot today
June 8, 2008: If you thought yesterday was hot, watch out because it's going to be a scorcher!
June 9, 2008: Guess What Austin?  Yep--Hot...Hot...Hot...
June 10, 2008: Holy Sh*t! It's still so freakin' hot. When will this end?!
June 11, 2008: Why am I even here? Do these people really need some dude telling them what they already know? 

Geez, at least my workouts have a little variety to them! 

Speaking of, it's been a great and steady week of workouts. Now that Shawn officially joined T3 and has started attending their running and cycling workouts, I'm certainly more on my toes! Let the Smackdown begin :-)  A little loving competition is healthy, right?!  He definitely has more discipline with his eating than I do. I'm at a desk at least 80% of the day and he's running around crazy. Therefore, I definitely have more time to say, "It's been 4 hours...time for my sunflower seeds."  (or M&Ms...whatever...don't judge)  I used to be able to rationalize and tell myself that I was working out more so I needed the extra sustenance...not entirely true anymore since the hubster is turning into Chris McCormack right before my very eyes!

So, here's the rundown this week as we are in the middle of gearing up for the Buffalo Springs Half-Ironman in a few weeks and the Couples Triathlon on July 13th!  By the way, I was going to do the Pflugerville Triathlon on June 22nd, but it was already sold-out when I went to register a few weeks ago! If anyone can get me in, let me know!! I LOVED that race last year! (because I won my age group, but who's counting?!) Plus, doing a race on June 22nd will put me in the mindset of my many pals who will be doing Ironman Couer d'Alene that same day. (I guess I should learn how to spell it before I attempt to race it). 

Monday AM:  6 Mile Run around the neighborhood...Very slow recovery pace at 9:55 overall. My legs were pretty sore from my long run the day before.

Monday PM: Jack and Adams Corture Class with Josh

Tuesday AM: T3 Swim Class

Tuesday PM: T3 Indoor Cycling Class (or Sweatfest in the Warehouse)

Wednesday AM:  Gazelles 700m Repeats on the Track! Yes--700s!
We did 6 of them and I stayed around the very comfortable 2:57-3:00
With warmup and cooldown, it was about 7 miles total.

Thursday AM: T3 Swim Class
Our Main (read: Hard) set was 75m repeats. Chrissie told us to come in around 1:30 on all of them (ha ha...whatever...My mind recollects a series of 1:40s the last time I did 75s)...My first one:  1:21 baby!  I was so happy :-)  Of course, it was also all downhill from there too!!  Don't you hate it when you blow your wad on the first repeat?!?  Actually, it wasn't so bad...I stayed in the 1:22-1:25 range until my last one which was a 1:28. Yes, I slowed down, but they were all still faster than I thought they would ever be.

Last night, I also entered my happy place at Stubb's by going to see Brandi Carlisle and The Indigo Girls! Yes!!  It was so wonderful to be out and enjoying some fantastic live music. I actually felt "normal" for a change being out and about like "normal" folks! I got to hang with soon-to-be Ironman Colleen, her friend Shelly and my friend Angie who was on a date with new boy Troy. If you've never seen the Indigo Girls live, do so...They sound as brilliant and harmonious as they did 20 years ago. (yes, it's been about 20 years since "Closer to Fine" was released)....I'm also proud to say that both Colleen and myself made it to the pool for workout this morning!!  

It's shaping to be a wonderful weekend with a trip to San Antonio to hang with in-laws for Father's Day...Shawn and I also have something very special planned on Saturday that I'll mention tomorrow!

June 12, 2008:  It's another hot day in Austin, Texas  y'all...

Monday, June 09, 2008

A Glimmer of Hope for All of Us

ME: "HI. My name is Carrie and I'm a Triaholic."  (or Caddy if your name is Jorge)

Group: "Hi Carrie."

Me: "Hi. I'm glad to know that Trianon is here because I really need this support group. I mean, at first I was just experimenting, ya know? I just dabbled thinking it would never go anywhere.I was just having a little fun. I mean, I am not the addict-type. I did this little triathlon in 2002 called the Danskin. I wasn't crazy about it, but I stuck with it nonetheless."

Group: "So you didn't even like triathlons...Hmmm...That's interesting. Why?" 

Me: "Well, I hated swimming first of all and had a big clunker of a bike. How am I supposed to be any good with a 30lb pound bike? Plus, I hate spandex and I hate being slow. I almost didn't finish that first ever Sprint Triathlon."

Group: "So then...tell us...How has this gotten so out of hand?"

Me: "O.K., but this is difficult to talk about because I've alienated so many people in the process. I used to go out A LOT. Hey, I'm a social person. What can I say? But after this fitness thing kicked in a few years ago, I started ignoring a lot of my 'going out' friends. You know the ones. They don't even recognize me now. I pass them on the street and they look the other way (usually because they're in their car and I'm running or biking). Instead, I opted to hang out with those fitness fanatics. Yeah--I blame THOSE PEOPLE for driving me to this point."

Group: "Now Carrie. Part of the Twelve Step Program is Acceptance. You can't go around blaming people for your addictions."

Me: "I know, but first it was training with Gazelles and qualifying for Boston. I did that and thought that would be the end. Oh no...I decided I need to do something a little stronger. I'd reached a good marathon tolerance level.  That's when I decided to do a Half-Ironman, and then another, and then another, and then another. Then, there were the T3 coaches who encouraged me to do an Ironman.  Everywhere I turned, they were tempting me with new workouts, power bars, gu, you name it!  I tried to leave my house and they were on the track! I tried to go to work and had to pass no less than three tri shops!  It's not fair. They did this to me. I'm like the freakin' Amy Winehouse of triathletes."

Group: "Yes, but the decision has always been yours. You could ALWAYS say no, right?"

Me: "I could, but I feel like my life would be much emptier without it. My car smells like a locker room and don't even notice anymore, my workout clothes take up more space than my work clothes, my new bike is so light and shiny.  It's just something I can't quit. I've tried and I just-can't-quit. My life revolves around the high, man."

Group: "So, how did you finally reach the breaking point and realize this might be a problem?"

Me: "Today-when my husband asked if he could get an Ironman fix too. Now I'm HIS dealer. We're in deep and there's no end in sight."

Group: "Wow...Well, in that case, welcome to TRIANON. You'll fit right in." 

Friday, June 06, 2008

Yippee for Fitness!

There has been so much going on this week to write about, but frankly, the Tuesday night massage experience usurped them all and basically wrote itself as it was happening!

However, here is a nice little recap of everything that is non-Jorge related!

I was finally about to pinpoint and resolve my sleeping and restlessness issues from last week. It was quite simple, really. All I had to do was stop taking the appetite suppressants I took for a few days when I returned from Italy.

I know, I know…these things are the DEVIL. Believe me, I know this. I took Metabolife back in the day when it was still legal to take Ephedra. Sure, it squelched my appetite. But it also squelched my personality and I would watch and feel myself go from feeling normal to feeling depressed, aggressive, jittery, nauseous and downright psychotic—all in the name of dropping a few pounds.

I am not a believer in these awful things. I’m also a believer in not looking like this again

so I totally PANICKED when I was on vacation and ordered them on-line so that they would be waiting for me when I returned home. The starchy food and wine consumption coupled with any lack of structured training sent me into an almost irrational state of being. I just felt like I would wake up at any moment 50 pounds heavier. Scary, isn’t it? It’s called “ego” and we all have it. It’s not “ego” in the sense that we feel better or more superior than someone else. Our “ego” is just that little voice that speaks to us constantly. Sometimes it tells us that we’re awesome. Sometimes it tells us we’re useless. Sometimes it tells us we’re getting fat and lazy. That’s the pesky little booger I kept hearing.

I won’t say the name of the pills, but they were featured in a recent issue of Triathlete Magazine so I thought, “They can’t be that bad for me.” Wrong…Almost instantly, I felt that old familiar twinge of anxiety when I took them.

In general, if you have to buy two bottles because all of the WARNINGS don’t fit on one label, don’t take the crap! Three days later and the consumption is history. I’m back into my “normal” state of reality and establishing a routine once again.


In fact, part of that routine involves getting back to Jack and Adam’s Corture class on a regular basis, hitting Gazelle Running workouts consistently and establishing my T3 Training Schedule for the rest of the summer! All of which I managed to do this week!

Monday: Gazelle Morning Circuit Workout and J&A PM Core Class

Tuesday: T3 PM Indoor Cycling followed by Jorge Massage Experience

Wednesday: Gazelle Tempo Workout –this was a 2 mile warmup followed by a 3 mile progressive tempo. I’m actually quite happy with my efforts on a 77 degree morning
2 mile warmup
Mile 1 of tempo: 7:12 pace
Mile 2 of tempo: 7:02 pace
Mile 3 of tempo: 6:56 pace
1 mile cooldown

Thursday: AM T3 Swim class
Several months ago, I put a post-it note in my car that simply said, “2x100.”
That meant that SOMEDAY I wanted to get to a point where I could do 2:00x100m repeats with some relative consistency. At the time I wrote it, I was probably somewhere between 2:10-2:15 per 100m…Well yesterday, I managed to start our workout with 6 x 100 meters all between 1:53-1:58. Later in the workout, I did 6 x 50m between :54-:59…Fabulous??? For me—YES! It illustrates that I have made progress and have managed to hang onto some of the strength even post-IM. I’ve also been able to watch some of my former lane mates get faster and faster, so it’s definitely awe-inspiring to watch their continued progress. (Yeah-I'm talking about you Colleen, Michelle and Ralph!!)

Friday: Rest Day because I CAN damn it!

Sat and Sun: I’ll manage a long bike, run and swim workout throughout the weekend!

In general, I'm lovin' the spirit of summer at the moment. T3 has a ton of new members for their summer and fall programs (including my hubster who officially signed up!), the Gazelle workouts were jam-packed this week with newbies training for Fall marathons and the J&A Core Classes absolutely filled the parking lot with people wanting some additional strength training! This fitness thing is catching on and I'm lovin' it!!!

T3 Indoor Cycling Class (as taken on my bike from the back of the room)

That tunnel of light may have been heaven.

Jack and Adams Core taught by Pro-Triathlete Pat Evoe. His feet are the ones in the air as he demonstrates the next move. It's hard to imagine that so many people would show up in 98 degree weather to work their cores OUTSIDE in a parking lot.

Iron-Carrie is Back!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

What Just Happened?

After T3 Spin class, Shawn and I had both scheduled 8:30pm massages. While Shawn wandered off into his Swedish experience with Kate, I was whisked away by Jorge, the Latin Masseuse Sensation.

Almost immediately, I was transported into the world of Jorge.

"Carrie," (he pronounced it like "caddy" in that Antonio Banderas kinda way). "How can I help you today?"

"Well, I run and do triathlons so please focus on my lower body like my quads, calves and hamstrings."

"What about your glutes, Caddy?"

"Ummm...sure. It can't hurt."

"Oh...It won't hurt Caddy...I promise. I won't hurt you." (slightly creepy vibe)

I thought it was a little humorous that he kept repeating my name and staring at me with those Latin almond eyes, but in normal fashion, I stripped down to my bottoms, hopped on the bed face down, covered myself and waited for Mr. Jorge to re-enter the room.

He returned.

"Miss Caddy...Do you mind if I turn on some of my music?"

"I don't mind at all. Anything is better than listening to Enya, or birds chirping in the background."

"Excellent. This is going to be great. You like?"

(insert boom-chick, boom-chick music). Turns out it was "Everything But the Girl." Most known for that song, "And I Miss You...Like the Deserts Miss the Rain." They have a lesser known Sade-inspired album called "Walking Wounded" that I'm sure is playing at any every club in South Beach as we speak. 

As he dimmed the lights and stood over me, he elevated his hands above me in what appeared to be a religious ritual and asked, "Caddy, do I have permission to touch your body?"

What I was thinking: "Dude, I'm laying on a table half-naked and I've already pre-paid for this massage. Get to touchin'!"

What I said: "I'm all yours..." (in an almost submissive way)

And with that, the experience commenced and I was under a spell while Jorge went to work. Within minutes, my muscles were stretching and relaxing. I felt like a piece of marble that Jorge was sculpting. Soon, he started to sing along with the music. Then he started moaning and grunting as he "dug deep" into some of my trouble areas. I was just a prop in the fantasy world he was creating in his own mind.

Several minutes passed and he was still verbally enraptured with his work. It was one of those"laugh out loud" awkward moments because I wasn't sure if I was supposed to be responding in the same way. 

"Dear God. My husband is in the next room. What must HE be thinking!?!"I thought.  I just continued to breathe deeply and silently as he worked my back and elongated every part of my spine.

After several minutes, he covered me as he turned me over to work on my front. Anything I said seemed inappropriate at this point.

"Caddy, are you enjoying yourself tonight?"

"Oh yeah..." (ewww. did that sound porno-ish?!) "I feel like I just grew three inches." (doh!! I did it again...please, please, please don't respond with a "me too.") He didn't.

The second half was more of the same. Jorge told me he worked on pro tennis players and I was getting "world class" treatment. The discretion of the covers became an afterthought for him as he massaged my hip flexors and quads into butter.

Finally, we ended with a head and face massage. It's a good thing I didn't care because he was running his fingers through my hair savagely and worked my neck with fervor.

"Relax your head Caddy...Relax your jaw...Let me take care of you..."

We came back to earth with another ritual similar to the beginning. He elevated his hands above my head.

"Caddy...Let's end our time with a positive affirmation...Live every day to be your best. Wake up and know that you are better and better each day."

I woke up from my massage-induced coma. As Shawn and I left the building, he said it was the best massage he's ever had.

"You have no idea..." I said.

I don't know what happened last night, but I need a cigarette.

I think we both got a Happy Ending.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Check out the new look! Yep-I've been tired of the Blogger Pepto Bismol pink for a long time, but only just recently got myself in gear and hooked up with Runner Susan to create a super-cute masthead. Thanks Susan! You've captured the essence of my cheesiness. Now, I'm almost forced to write witty, punch-line filled blog entries every day.

With that said, I certainly gave the performance phrase "Break a Leg" a run for it's money this weekend!

Admittedly, this week has been particularly difficult. I could never imagine just how tough it would be for my body and mind to recover from our two week Italy trip. My body and mind want to slow down and sleep, but every night has been filled with restlessness and 2am wide-awake episodes due to some continued body-clock adjustments. Add to that a packed work schedule (two staff members resigned), a heavy workout load and oppressive heat and humidity and it has made for one very UNfunny "tri to be funny" Carrie.

I woke up Saturday morning at 5:30am for my Gazelle run of about 12 miles. I was out until about 11:30pm the night before with a couple of girlfriends. Of course, I had had a couple of glasses of wine, but it was nothing out of the ordinary, excessive or unusual. In fact, it was two glasses over the course of about five hours. That's just downright responsible!

In any event, I felt woozy and half-asleep as I fumbled for my shoes. I just felt so "out of sorts." I was going to drive the Vespa, but thought better of it when I realized just how tired I still was. The last thing I wanted to be doing was riding a scooter when all I really wanted to do was still be in bed. As usual, I thought that once my run started, I would snap out of it. When I got to Runtex, I forewarned Amy that I was a tad under the weather. I certainly didn't know what I had that morning. It turns out, I had pretty much nothing.

Not more than a 1/2 mile into the run, my foot clipped a tree root and a bit it-HARD. Full impact with the Lady Bird Lake Trail. Of course, my first inclination was to jump up and start running again immediately, but I was pretty shaken. The negative tone to my morning was now only compounded by the blood, bruises and "stigmata" that appeared on my hands as a result of the impact. We walked for a bit and I did eventually continue my run--at a dismal pace of about 10:00 min miles. Between the humidity, pain and negativity, I just couldn't outrun the morose cloud that seemed to hover.

My humor of the morning came in the fact that I couldn't even catch 7-MONTH PREGNANT Shannon and her dog until she stopped for water! :-) She is so damn amazing and I'm glad she slowed down long enough to run the last few miles with me! My original 12 miles turned into about 8, so all was not lost. Besides, I always enjoy running with Shannon, but don't usually get to since she's so fast. It has taken her extra fetus for me to keep up!!

This morning, Shawn and I got up and rode over 58 hard miles on 360 and Bee Caves. We got going around 9:00am and the wind was a-blowin! We had a great tailwind as we headed north on 360, but the journey South was every bit as hard as I imagined it to be. Plus, there are three tough climbs heading south (Riverbend Church, 2222 and Bee Caves...at least) that were only made more difficult by the winds--and my sore wounded hands and elbow.

Once again, I was feeling "unrested" this morning even though we had a full eight hours of sleep. I very much eased into the bike ride and instead of remaining frustrated at my "lack of anything," I just rode slowly and let it find me. While we didn't set any speed records today, I am happy to report that I felt 110% better on mile 50 than I did on mile 10. After a 360 loop and two Bee Caves loops, I was ready for it to be over, but I felt good knowing that I fought through some tough conditions--hilly course, serious wind and mid 90 degree temps. Shawn also did great and we loaded the bikes and went for a 20 minute jog off the bike. I'm happy to report that neither of us bit the dust, even though we were definitely doing the "triathlete shuffle" run.

Here are a couple of pics of my wounds! My hands and wrists hurt the worst, which may certainly affect core and swimming this week. God, I'm such a dork.

Thank Goodness my hands broke most of the fall. At least I don't have any puncture wounds on my face!

My bruised and scraped knee (sorry for the odd angle)

My elbow :-(