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

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My First Race This Season-Lonestar Half Ironman

It kinda just dawned on me that my first race of the season happens to be a Half-Ironman...and it happens to be THIS WEEKEND!  Suddenly, the pre-race jitters are here. The two main things I'm worried about are:

1.) Mechanical issues on the bike (i.e. flat tires on the race wheels)

2.) Legs cramping/pain on the run

I'm going into it well-rested and excited to go with over 40 of my teammates and my parents!
Yep--my parents are coming to Austin this weekend for a visit and we're dragging them to the hurricane-ravaged island of Galveston to sit around for 5+ hours while their daughter acts a fool.  

Should be a hoot!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Progress on the Engine 2 Eating Plan

For a month now, I've been following the Engine 2 Eating Plan. The book is called the "Engine 2 Diet," but I don't like the term "diet" as it implies that I'm doing this for the sole purpose of losing weight in a four-week crash course of deprivation. It's essentially a vegan diet, although the book really never actually mentions the word, "vegan." It prefers to refer to itself as "plant strong." Whoever decided to go that route (and I know it was some marketing guru) was a genius. The word "vegan" has a stigma, but a "plant strong" eating plan written by a firefighter and professional triathlete sounds downright sexy and easy. And you know what?? It is...

I swear I thought I'd be going absolutely bonkers to have a steak, cheeseburger, piece of chicken, cake, milkshake, salmon, etc...you name it. (or even a casserole combined with all of the aforementioned). Oddly enough, I don't crave any of it. I've never been more satisfied or full overall from any eating plan. Yes, I'm depriving myself of certain food groups, but I'm not depriving myself of nutrients or calories, which makes all of the difference.

I've had people ask several questions in the last month, so I'll try to answer some of the questions I've received. Some are asking because it's a plan they want to consider. Some are asking because they think I've gone off the deep end. Either is probably valid at this point...

Why are you doing this particular plan?

I have high cholesterol and this plan promotes lowering cholesterol naturally by taking control of your diet. At last check, mine was 259 (well above the 200 recommended safe range).

My HDL (good cholesterol) was a phenomenal 104 (recommended above 39)

My LDL (bad cholesterol) was a dismal 140 (recommended below 100)

Overall, my ratio is good because of my HDL, but I want to get that LDL number down!

The other reason I'm trying this plan is because of the healthy food choices, which have led to a 4lb weight loss up to this point.

What do you eat?

Here's what I don't eat: meat, chicken, fish, dairy (that includes milk and cheese)

I'm eating a ton of food and loving it! Breakfast usually consists of whole grain cereals (Ezekiel, Uncle Sam's, Kashi), fruit and soy milk...I also enjoy sunflower seed butter and sugar free jelly on whole wheat bread, veggie sausages, etc.

Lunch: beans, rice, veggies, salads, hummus, black bean burgers, whole grain pastas

Dinner: whole grain pastas, whole grain pizzas with no cheese, but plenty of veggies and "fake meat," veggie lasagna, cereal, salads, rice, beans, etc/

Are you getting enough calories and protein?

I know I'm getting plenty of protein with the veggies, beans, tofu, hummus and other fake meat. I also feel I'm getting plenty of calories as well as I'm never "starved," and I eat every 3-4 hours. Peanut butter and avacado has fat so I'm getting that as well. Overall, I feel very well-fueled and my 3 pm sugar cravings have gone away!

What about Iron?

Again, a lot of iron is in the foods I'm eating and I haven't been craving red meat. I will test my iron when this is done because it was low in February when I attempted to give blood. They wouldn't let me.

Are you hungry all the time?

Rarely...mostly very content

Have you lost weight?

I hopped on the scale today and was 4lbs down, but I'm also a woman and that number could be 10lbs heavier tomorrow. I personally haven't noticed a change visually, but some clothes are definitely looser and friends have said they notice a difference. I still see the naked goo belly.

Is this something you plan on doing religiously forever?

I can see myself following it 90-95% of the time just because it hasn't been that hard and the food tastes so much better! My parents are coming to visit in two weeks and they love the Salt Lick BBQ. Therefore, I'll probably indulge in some meat. I also love sushi and have missed some yummy salmon and tuna rolls.

Have you cheated at all?

Like Bill Clinton said, "It depends on what your definition is..." I have had NO meat, chicken, fish or dairy in any of my main meals since the end of February. However, I've had some diet cokes (one a day at most) and I chew on at least 4-5 pieces of sugarless gum throughout the day as a habit. The only dessert I've had was an Engine 2-approved fruit cobbler baked by Jess and I had a piece for breakfast.

Now--I know I've inadvertently cheated at restaurants because it's harder to control their oil and ingredient content. I ask for dressing on the side and use extra salsa or pico as my dressing. However, every restaurant I've been to has had some form of veggie option.

I'm also not skimping on my Ironman nutrition ingredients...I use Perpetuum and Endurox (both have whey protein--dairy). I also use Power Gels and CLif Blocks which have sugars.

Can you drink alcohol?

The book highly recommends that you don't drink for the first 28 days, but if you do drink, limit it to one glass a night. I'm still drinking vino about 2-3 times per week. A girl needs a vice, especially since I haven't had a cupcake, cookie or ice cream in over a month!

Has it affected your training or energy levels?

I feel right where I need to be. I struggled with one workout a couple of weeks back, but I think my body was simply fatigued from overtraining and lack of rest. Other than that, I've been feeling great as my training hours have ramped up.

I do plan on getting my cholesterol checked in the middle of April and I'm so anxious to see the results. I will be truly disappointed if the numbers haven't improved even slightly.

If that's the case, I plan on hitting Mangia Pizza for an Extra Cheese, Extra Sausage, Stuffed Crust Pizza!

FILO, Baby

Typically used in accounting, the acronym "FILO" stands for: First In, Last Out...In accounting terms, that means...oh, who the hell really knows or cares, right? It's accounting for Christ's sake...b-o-r-i-n-g.

In Ironman training, FILO represented my Computrainer ride today at the PTC. I was the first one there and the last one to leave. By the time I started pedaling the course, it was about 4:20pm. When I completed the 56 mile course, it was 7:50. Holy Moly...that's a long time to have my hoo-haa in the saddle.

I made Alisa take a picture...sexy, I know...

I was still in the early sections of the course when teammates started showing up for spin. A few greetings and some small talk were all that I wanted to muster. Having done this course before a couple of weeks ago, it was all about managing energy and output. I kept my iPod cranking to some cheesy house music courtesy of Podrunner.com.  

All was well until I dropped my chain on the first long climb into the hilly section. Yes, it is possible to drop your freaking chain on a trainer. I'm sure it's also possible to fall off your bike, but let's hope it never happens. I was at about Mile 26, cruising along at 16 mph, averaging a solid 90 cadence and hitting some decent watts until that booger of a hill rendered me useless and I switched gears only to drop the chain. Unfortunately, I couldn't get it back on with the click of a gear, so Michelle and I tried to pause the computer so that I could quickly dismount and fix the chain. Unfortunately, we somehow stopped the entire ride forcing me to essentially cancel out my data up to that point and start all over again...poopers...Sweet Michelle wrote down all of my numbers (currently in my car) and Maurice reset the ride so that I was starting at 0mph at Mile 26 of the ride...ugh...right in the middle of the hills...

It was odd managing the Computrainer while 30-odd others were listening to Coach Mo conduct his workout. I had my iPod cranked so that I wasn't distracted by his instructions because my ride was so not coinciding with what he was doing. Still, though, I kept plugging along slow and steady through the hilly section. I didn't attack the hills as much as I coasted up them. I had no shame dropping the gears down, but keeping my cadence high. It kept my heart rate in the range I needed it to be 145-155.

Overall, I felt a million times better on this ride than I did the first time. Seriously, the difference in my energy level and leg fatigue was vast. It was fun to see the actual course in front of me although I also spent a lot of time with my head down so that I didn't fixate on numbers and the course. However, I was happy to see that my cadence through the hills never dropped below 88 as an average...spin, baby, spin....

Mo's spin class ended 1 1/2 hours later and I'll be damned if I still didn't have 10 miles left on my ride. Coach Mo told me to keep going. I was happy to hear it because I didn't want to cut another ride short. Plus, I wanted to hit the downhill/flat section at the end!  By the end of Part 2 of my ride, I was at 15.9 mph average, which ended up being my average for the entire ride. 
I'd be thrilled to start the second loop around 16 mph (or even a little better if the actual course proves to be a little easier).

And that's when it hit me...I actually have to do a second loop...and then run a marathon.

Let's hope I'm not "FILO" at the Ironman...

Should I be concerned?

This is Hubster's side of the closet.
Do I sense a little fetish??

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I'm so Dreamy...

Didn't sleep much last night...mind racing with great and stress-inducing thoughts...sore body...big client pitch today...new Dot the M contact to track down...vacation in a few days...Computrainer ride on Thursday...commercial shoot to schedule...web edits...yadda, yadda, yadda...

Spent a couple of hours tossing and turning with heart rate more brisk than usual. Also a classic sign of fatigue. When the alarm went off this morning, I was actually dreaming that I was supposed to be a swim coach this morning. I remember thinking that was hilarious and a cruel joke someone was playing on me so I turned off the alarm and thought, "Yeah, whatever...I'm not a swim coach." 

And now I know why...because I slept through swim practice!! Actually, I didn't sleep through it. Shawn's alarm went off at 5:30am, which meant if I hurried I could still make it and miss the warm up...Nah...not in the mood to rush at 5:30am. 

Instead, I went for a nice and comfy recovery run this morning through the hills of Exposition and Scenic. Warmed up my sore glutes and legs and had some good mind-numbing inner thoughts and dialogue that I just don't get in the pool...

Just what I wanted and needed (and I don't have to be a swim coach to know that).

Monday, March 23, 2009

Motivation and A Few Mental Notes

Had an interesting conversation with Booher and Lapuente while we were on our 17-mile journey around and around Town Lake (or Lady Bird Lake for the perfectionists) yesterday...It was all about motivation as the training hours get longer and longer while the temperatures get hotter and hotter.

Even though we've been officially training for Ironman Coeur D'Alene since January, this was the first of many "you gotta be kidding me" training weekends complete with an 80+ mile ride on Saturday with a brick off the bike followed by a 17 mile run on Sunday.

This was the first of many weekends that finds many people, particularly those who are training for their first Ironman, to wonder, "What the hell was I thinking when I gave Active.com $550 of my hard-earned money for this torture?!"

Even I continually ask myself, "Why am I doing this again?!"

100 Mile Bike Ride/4 Mile Run
I asked myself that on Saturday as Shawn and I headed out to Johnson City for our 100 mile bike ride. Yep, we were overachievers this weekend and did out first century ride because we'll be out of town next weekend in California. (Just call us "The Toppers.") I absolutely love this 36.5 mile loop that starts and ends at the LBJ Ranch...country roads, very little traffic, scenic, hilly and perfect for a long training ride. My first loop was pathetic...legs not firing...gotta figure out the leg pain issue. Seriously wanted to quit. Shawn was up ahead having a good ride. I was not...had to consult the map a couple of times just to make sure I was turning the right way. My second loop was much better after taking some Endurolyte salt tabs...Ah--perhaps I operate on a sodium deficiency and I need more salt intake (mental note #1: explore this possibility). I really don't eat or crave a lot of salty foods, but I felt 100 times better on that second loop and was finally getting some legitimate leg turnover with no cramping. The third loop is a minor variation of the first two and once that odometer hit 100 miles, I pretty much stopped pedaling...Took an assessment of my body and mind. I was feeling about 80%. I had packed enough Perpetuum, but didn't drink it all. (mental note #2: finish your allotted calories) However, I was so happy for my endurance level on this ride and lack of mental fatigue. We first rode this course about 3 years ago and barely...and I mean...BARELY finished one loop. It was all we could do...and here I had just finished the loop virtually 3 times and still had some gas in the tank. Granted, I only averaged like 16 mph, but I'm training at an Ironman pace right now. I had some pickups above race pace and some hill climbs well below race pace. Overall, if I can average close to 17 mph at CDA, I'll be thrilled because it will give me the energy for a good marathon. (and I know my strengths). Plus, I had to stop and take some pictures along the way, because that's what life is really about...stopping to appreciate the moment.

I have a secret obsession with old cemeteries

The gates to one of the many ranches along the course

The beautiful Pedernales River along the way

I quickly packed the bike in the car and started my 4 mile run. As I was running, Shawn was coming in from his ride and we were both so happy to be done that we each gave a big, "WOO HOO" to each other. My run stride felt great and solid...quick turnover...ended at an 8:20 pace for the four miles.

We celebrated our major accomplishment by heading down to Becker Vineyards and opening a bottle of wine with our late afternoon picnic we had packed. Ironically, a wedding was taking place so we toasted to the new couple...

Wedding Ceremony in the background with a much-deserved glass of vino

17 Mile Run

Met up with the T3 run group on Sunday morning after very little sleep the night before. Believe it or not, Shawn and I showered when we got home and then headed out about 10pm that night to go to the Perez Hilton.com SXSW Music Showcase. It was our one moment to feel "normal," although our version of feeling "normal" was drinking water and secretly bragging that we're probably the only two people at this party who had cycled 100 miles that day and had to be up early to run 17. (Again, just call us "The Toppers") Even Kanye West and the Indigo Girls (who were there) couldn't lay claim to that.

My goal was to pace with "the boys" and, by "the boys," I meant hanging with Booher and Logan as long as possible. They had said earlier in the week that they wanted to average around 8:00s to 8:15s and I thought that was doable for me. Lapuente and I started with the group and Booher was kind enough to hold back even though I'm sure he could've easily been with all of the other testosterone. Logan shot out of the cannon, but he hung with us on the second 7-miles after making a trip to the can... First 7 miles averaged 8:09, a little faster than we had promised (as usual). I hung back a bit with Michelle on the second 7 miles and just tried to keep her (and myself perhaps) positive. We all know that the body will perform for days, but when the mind shuts down and the negative talk starts, it's all over. I tried to pick it up for the last 3 mile loop and averaged 8:07s for the 17 mile run...I felt great cardio-wise, but I'm having serious issues with my right leg...pain followed by numbness when I run hills or try to pick up the pace. That long run was the worst it's been even though I hung in with the pace (mental note #3: get that checked out ASAP).

So, there it was...my first really long training weekend of this season and it was solid and successful. So why am I doing this again?? You know...I'm not sure really because there is no black and white, well-defined trophy at the end. There's no money earned or accolades from adoring fans. My reasons are endless and few all at the same time. I'm doing it because at the end of a long day (even when I've bitched and moaned about being tired and sore and cranky), I'm just plain HAPPY. (mental note #4: If it makes you happy, it can't be that bad).

FYI--meeting my old idol Debbie Gibson last week at SXSW also makes me happy

Friday, March 20, 2009

Look Out Pulitzer!

Woo Hoo!! I'm a paid journalist! :-) Well, actually anyone who gets their "Gun Lap" submission printed gets $50 from "Runner Triathlete News" Magazine.

Where will I spend my fortune?!? Unfortunately, $50 doesn't buy much in the world of triathlon! Maybe a couple of power gels and some new 650 tubes...Awesome...

Either way, I couldn't help but beam with a little pride at getting a check for writing a piece in an actual triathlon publication.

Call me a dork. Everyone else does.

FYI--this was the piece that was published:


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Twist My Arm

Hey, at least it's more scenic than Louisville, right? See you in Utah on May 1, 2010.

I can't plan what I'm going to eat for lunch on a daily basis, but I've got my Ironmans booked for the next year...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


It happens to the best of us and it happened to me yesterday at T3 Spin Class---BONK!

As per usual, I didn't really *want* to go to indoor cycling class last night, but came alive once I arrived. The energy and spirit of these people is simply transforming. Dooley was looking adorable in her green knee socks for St. Patty's Day! And a wave of gratitude overwhelmed me when Jess gave me an amazing gift. The woman had baked me a freaking Engine 2 Sweet Potato Lasagna. See...she can cook and I really can't. I mean...I CAN cook. I just usually choose not to. I let her borrow the book for less than one day and voila! She shows up with a freaking lasagna! How do I love thee??? Let me count the ways...That truly put me in a great mood as I'm constantly uplifted by the kindness and generosity of others...

So, after several humorous technical tire issues, I finally got on my bike thanks to Logan. You'd think after several years of riding that I would at least be able to properly pump up my tire. For whatever reason, I couldn't get the valve on any of the four pumps I tried to hold air. Enter Coach Logan...Problem solved...Ass on bike...

I felt like crap immediately...Legs not turning over at all...even in easy gears. I got off the bike not once, not twice, but at least three times to ease the tension on my trainer...still not working. Coach Mo was calling out cadences and I was nowhere near them...Weird...My heart rate was ok, but my legs were like cement...

I had also had a tough swim that morning and I started putting it together...In a word??
OVERTRAINED...was visibly frustrated and convinced my self to stay on the bike for 45 minutes. Logan could tell...It wasn't easy to hide since I wasn't really pedaling with power. My workouts from the previous days had officially caught up with me. My legs from cycling, running and squatting were officially toast for the day.

Saturday: 15 mile run
Sunday: Computrainer Ride for 3.5 hours, pilates for 30 minutes
Monday: Cross Fit, 2800m Open Water Swim and 7x 1000m Repeats on Hills that evening
Tuesday: AM Swim and PM Spin

After 45 minutes, I got off my bike, threw on my shoes and went for an Ironman shuffle for about 20-25 minutes. Not even a glimpse of the athlete I train to be...Ah well...no biggie...it happens. I'm freakin tired!! It is what it is...

I came back as spin class was finishing just in time to invite some friends over to the house for wine and lasagna!!!!!!!!!!! It was a great night even with the first bonk of the training season!

Some people have asked and I've also wondered too if the "bonk" is a result of not getting enough calories or protein on my recent diet (no meat, chicken, fish or dairy). Honestly, I don't think that is it at all. I'm eating a ton of really hearty food including tofu, veggies, texturized protein, hummus, pastas, brown rice, black bean burgers, etc. Believe me, I'm eating a ton of food. It wasn't fatigue as much as it was simply soreness, if that makes sense.

Speaking of the eating plan, I'm still loving it and have been receiving a few, "You can definitely tell" comments. I "feel" cleaner, but don't notice any visible difference at this point. The real proof and my main goal is to see what happens to my cholesterol numbers at the end of March!

The lovely Jess with me and my lasagna!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

IM CDA Computrainer Ride #1 Review

Note: this graphic is taken from the Racer Mate website and is not my actual ride. However, check out that elevation chart above for the Ironman Coeur D'Alene Course! Up/Down/Up/Down/Up/Down
Damn…that was hard…the end.

One of the many tools available with T3 is access to their Computrainer Pro systems. Beyond simply sitting on your butt on a normal trainer for 3+ hours, the Computrainer allows you to “ride” the actual race course complete with real video footage on race day, hills, drag factor, etc. You get constant graphic depictions of your wattage, heart rate, cadence, elevation changes and your pedal scan. Seriously—almost too much information for a non-techie like me and a bunch of numbers that ultimately leave me wondering, “So, am I going to make the bike cut-off time on race day?!”

The answer (barring no tragic happenstance) is that, “yes,” I will make the bike cut off. However, the Computrainer version of Ironman Coeur D’Alene is nothing short of demanding. Perhaps it’s my coaches way of making me feel better, or my own rationalization, but they insist that the Computrainer ride is much more difficult than the actual course. I hope so and here’s why:

First and foremost, we’re pedaling in a non-air conditioned warehouse with no airflow except for the “Big Ass Fan” on the ceiling. There’s no visual stimulation of being outdoors or in a race/group atmosphere. There’s no tailwind to embrace. There’s nothing to look at except those little numbers as they constantly change. Oh yeah—also on the Computrainer, there is no coasting down hills. If you stop pedaling, so does your virtual cyclist. That means you are working and pedaling just as hard on the downhills as you are on the uphills. Believe me, there are lots of uphills. That also means NO REST. Finally, the graphic depiction of the course can be very deceiving. The graphic elevation of IM CDA resembles a bike ride through the Grand Canyon. (see above photo)

I prepared enough nutrition for a solid 3 hour ride on the trainer from 11a-2p. After three hours, I was at 47 miles according to Mr. Computrainer. My goal was to ride the entire 56 mile loop keeping in mind that on actual race day, I have to do this loop TWICE! Once I ran out of nutrition, I stopped the intense effort and just basically pedaled for another 20 minutes or so to get to 50 miles. I called it a day knowing that my effort level and time in the saddle easily equaled what would be 60 miles if I was outdoors. (Again, I'm rationalizing a bit here)

I’ve got several more Computrainer rides on the calendar and with everything else, I’m sure it will become less daunting with each spin. Special thanks to Mr. Podrunner for providing the heart-thumping techno music for 3 hours straight. It really helped me focus and center myself for the haul.

Here were my results after the 3 hours of riding.

Computrainer Ride #1:

Miles of Real Effort: 46.64

Avg mph: 15.5 mph (this is the part that looks initially very discouraging on screen, but I’m assured over and over again that it’s a lot tougher indoors. I averaged just under 17 mph at IM Arizona last year and hope to at least match that effort)

Avg HR: 141 (working on getting that higher in the mid to high 140s and sustaining)

Avg Watts: 142 ( I honestly don’t know what I’m supposed to do with this number just yet besides make it higher)

Peak Watts: 247

Average cadence: 90 (very happy about that with the hills)
Spin Scan: Mid 70s (my pedal stroke is pretty efficient for the most part. I just need to build strength)

Calories Burned: 1500! (I took in about 800-850 calories through Perpetuum and Clif Blocks)
Overall, I am happy at the consistency of the overall ride. I took several minutes to get in the flow of the ride as I chatted with friends at the training center, fiddled with my HR Monitor, screwed around with the iPod, flirted with hubster who was riding next to me, etc. Hopefully, I'll settle in quicker on subsequent rides. I'll definitely pack more nutrition as well.
At one point before the hills I was averaging close to 16 mph, but it dipped down to 15.2 when I hit the hills. At least my avg mph was going back up as I was heading out of the hills before I stopped.
I can’t believe I didn’t get any pics, but suffice to say there was a puddle of sweat illiciting a nice comment from Alisa about how pretty I looked :-)

The Sweetest Man

Do I have the most creative husband, or what?!?

So, I get home from swim class this morning and there's a chinese food takeout box on the counter with a card on top. Hmmmm....A rolodex of dates goes through my mind...We met on January 9th, 2005...Nope, today isn't the 9th. We were married on May 26th...Nope, today isn't the 26th...

But it is St. Patrick's Day and Barrett is kinda Irish...
I open the card and it's all veggie sushi...mmmmmmmmm...How did he find a VEGGIE sushi card (since I'm not eating any fish right now)?!
I open the container and it's the coolest marathon shirt ever...the turn to the BOSTON MARATHON finish line!! I'm sure Boylston is packed with drunken leprechans today in America's Most Irish City...Gotta love Beantown!
Happy St. Patrick's Day and I'll be seeing Boylston again soon :-)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Boring Numbers

Computrainer Report Coming Soon...In the meantime...

Between blogs, training logs, twitter, facebook and all of the other ways of disseminating useless information to people that pretend to care, I’ve neglected to post numbers from recent workouts. I've put them in my private training logs, but here they are for the world to see...

Most of these mean nothing to you, but I love being able to search “1000s” on my blog and have every post about 1000s pop up so that I can compare times from the last few years…

So—this post is all for me :-)

Monday, March 9th
T3 PM Run Workout:

6 x800 meter repeats on the Meridan Hills…not your typical 800m track workout. Therefore, the splits aren't reflective of track speed. These hills don't mess around.
(pacing of 7:44 down to 7:21)

Wednesday, March 11th
T3 PM Run Workout 7 x1000m on the track
Set 1
Half Marathon Pace 4:35
10K Pace 4:17
5K Pace 4:03

Set 2
Half Marathon Pace 4:27
10K Pace 4:17
5K Pace 4:02

Last Repeat-Give it what ya got 3:52
Thanks Michelle and Suzanne for pushing me through this one!! Good times...

Barton Springs Open Water Swim
Used my new Xterra Vortex and it was AWESOME…kinda felt like I was cheating. My splits were 15-30 faster than ever per 400! Did 7 laps total for 2800m of open water. So happy that Barton Springs is back open!!!

7:42 woo hoo!
By the end, I was actually getting really warm in the wetsuit, which is a good thing for the frigid waters of Coeur D'Alene!

15 Mile Run Avg Pace 8:38
My friend Amy and I took a different course than outlined and ran up Exposition to Westover to Bull Creek to Hancock and back for a ton of hill work. This was a very comfy pace for me and she kept telling me to pick it up, but I was fine taking it "easy." I was gearing up for my wonderful Computrainer ride and didn't want to not be as fresh as I could be for the beast!

Also thrown in were a couple of T3 Swim workouts, Anaerobic threshold test on the bike, Spin class, two Crossfit workouts and a couple of other runs as well!! Too much to detail these days it seems!!!

The Good News is that I'm on Week 3 of no meat, chicken, fish or dairy and still feeling good!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

My Hot Date This Weekend

Today at lunch I'm having my initial baseline testing done on the Computrainer. I'm a little nervous as it presents "test anxiety" and, therefore, "performance anxiety." I want to ride strong, but not blow it all out too quickly. (Now I know how guys feel) Apparently, it will show me everything I need to know about kicking butt on the Ironman Coeur D'Alene course. Well...maybe not kicking butt...but finishing with enough dignity to put together a decent marathon after 112 hilly miles on the bike. I'm anxious for the information and hope I don't fail the test. The information will be used in subsequent rides as I plan on riding the CDA course on the computrainer at least once a month until the big day.
One thing I want to know is: Does it tell you how to make your butt stop hurting from being in the saddle that long?

Sunmart Trail Race cancelled :-(

I learned yesterday from my friend Charles that the Sunmart 50K/50 Mile Trail Race in Huntsville, Texas has been cancelled.  Anyone know why??  

Wow...my Fall plans are now changing daily. I was going to sign up for the Pikes Peak Ascent in August, but realized I have a client obligation that very same weekend in Dallas. Now, I'm not doing the Sunmart race as planned...

I'm staying away from commitments in October because hubster and I are laying down so tentative plans for an African safari...Wait...I wonder if there's a marathon in Africa during that same time!?!?!  (How freaking cool would that be). We really would be running from the lions. I'd have to put my Gazelle experience to work for reals...

I'm also signed up for the Kona lottery so maybe the stars are aligning for me...hmmm....

Other thoughts--California International Marathon (lay down a fast race) or Honolulu Marathon. I believe both are in December.

Stay tuned to "As the Marathon Turns..."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I'm Taking It As A Compliment

"Are you ever NOT in workout clothes?"

That's how I was greeted by my co-worker Matt when I first got to work this morning. Normally, I would give him a dirty look and retreat to my office feeling completely humiliated and disgusted at the implication that I dress like a slob.

I did none of the above. I took it as a compliment.

I don't make a habit of wearing yoga capris, running shoes and my Longhorn 70.3 ball cap to work (with no makeup), but today was a slight exception.

I went to Cross Fit Training at 6:30am and then headed to the pool around 7:30am. My plan was to swim/drill for an hour, take a quick shower at the gym, and then detour home quickly, dry my hair, put on makeup, adorn myself in the proper work attire (fancy jeans and t-shirt) and still be at my desk by 9:30am. In my office, that's getting to work right on time.

Mother Nature FINALLY unleashed some much needed rain this morning rendering all Austin commuters completely inept and insane. What's normally a 15 minute jaunt up Mopac was turning into a least an hour. As it was, I was already going to stroll in at the crack of 10am. So....I looked down and decided that at least I was wearing clothes (sans bra--TMI). I could throw on my ball cap and still get the same amount of work done even while resembling a dude. (albeit a triathlete stud dude)

So, I walk in and Matt greets me with his version of "Good Morning."

He's right though...my coworkers sometimes see me in the morning after a run, changing clothes before an afternoon run or bike ride, and at Happy Hour post-corture class. I'm definitely not setting any style records, but those aren't the records I'm trying to set.

I'm just fortunate enough to work for and with a group of people who are accepting of my wardrobe malfunctions. (and who aren't completely judgemental when I show up in my PJs).

They expect nothing less from this professional Advertising Executive.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Rabbit Food Rocks

For one week, I've been following the Engine 2 Eating Plan. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I could survive a week with no meat, chicken, fish or dairy products.  Engine 2 was written by Austin Firefighter and former Pro Triathlete Rip Esselstyn (i.e. resident bad-ass). I knew this book was for me when in his acknowledgements, he thanks Adam Reiser for his core class...Yep, that's Adam from Jack and Adams and he's speaking of his "corture" class that I love (and miss) so dearly. I'll hit it again after Ironman for sure. Right now there just aren't enough hours.

The premise of the book?  We get all of the nutrients and protein we need through whole grains, beans, fruits and veggies...Animal protein is fatty and harder to digest. This isn't rocket science. So far, so good. Not craving meat at all.  I have genetically high cholesterol (thanks Dad) :-) and this plan is supposed to make the points plummet. I'm anxious to see what happens after 30 days. I definitely feel "cleaner" (the fiber helps) and am never starved. Not sure if it's a lifestyle I could sustain all of the time. Me loves sushi way too much to every deprive myself of that goodness permanently. And who knows...you just may see me at the Salt Lick BBQ or Mangia Pizza if the cravings become unmanageable. I am human afterall (as much as I try to deny it) Until then, I'll stick with the salads, beans and quinoa.

This week, I've been indulging A LOT in hummus (oil free), salads, tomatoes, cucumbers, whole grain pastas, brown rice/veggies/tofu, sweet potatoes and soy meat products (veggie sausages, etc). It's certainly not a diet of calorie deprivation!

I wasn't sure how well I would hold up during the workouts, but all systems seem to be running well...

Thursday-- AM Swim workout, PM Spin Class

Friday--AM Pilates Video, 8 mile recovery run in the afternoon with Alisa and Erin

Saturday--63 Mile Pedal Through the Pines ride in Bastrop  (windy AGAIN, but averaged over 17 mph on the last half)

Sunday--11 mile run (1st 6 miles 7:53 overall avg pace...last 4 miles 7:45 overall avg pace, last mile was cool-down back home)

This week--Week 2 of Cross Fit Training. I'm sure my arms and legs will be hating me tomorrow. 

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

As if that wasn't enough...

Crossfit workout #1 started this morning! Holy cow...good stuff...goal of Crossfit? Build strength with quick, high intensity workouts. I was in at 6:30am and out by 7:08....that's my kinda workout. It's what we did between those 30+ minutes that will leave an impression. (on my arms, glues, hamstrings and abs)

5 times through the following:
20 Squats with kettleballs
15 Knee to Elbows on the pull-up bars
10 Burpees (squat thrust push ups)
5 Sledgehammers each arm

That's what I'm talking about!

Rotation of those exercises took me 18 min 18 sec...a little over 3 minutes per round. Not bad...By the end...legs and arms were like jelly. awesome...

As if that wasn't enough....

Headed to the pool for an hour of swimming drills. Yep...one hour of PVC pipe drills and some parachute action. Both warrant their own blog topic. Needless to say, my pool toys invoked strange looks and several questions from others in the pool. Like I'm the swim expert...ha...someday.  All I know is that my 250 yard time trial at the end was 7 seconds faster than last week. boo yah.

As if that wasn't enough...

I headed to the T3 track workout tonight where we did 5 x Mile Repeats. Wasn't exactly sure how it would feel after a tough spin workout on Tuesday and the Crossfit workout from this morning...I feel like I could've warmed up all night, but I just did about a mile. And then it was time...

Mile 1: 6:53  felt hard, legs tight, head wind heading south on the track
Mile 2: 6:37 woops, picked it up way too much, told Coach Logan I screwed up
Mile 3: 6:30 sweet, didn't think I had it in me, but still two more to go

It was then that Coach told me the plan wasn't necessarily to keep descending times (as I originally thought). The primary goal was to find a pace and settle in to it.  What a relief. I was trying to figure out how I was going to keep descending...

Mile 4: 6:32
Mile 5: 6:32  Awesome...I dialed into that pace even with the head wind... Not my fastest times, but a good solid workout after two others today.

 As if that wasn't enough....

I came home and cooked dinner for my lovely husband...whole wheat pasta with veggie meat sauce, veggies and a salad...mmmmmmm

As if that wasn't enough....

I finished my taxes!

Now...stick a fork in me. (until the alarm goes off at 5:00am and I hit the pool)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

What Army Am I Feeding?

I packed an insanely, ridiculous, hilarious amount of food for work today!

No, I won't eat it all in one day, but I probably could! Want a sampling??

* Morning Star Veggie Sausage
* carrots
* clementines
* avacado slices
* pita bread
* tomato
* hummus
* kashi GO LEAN Crunch
* raw romaine for salad
* oil/fat free balsalmic vinegar
* sunflower seeds
* peanut butter balance bar (this is my candy bar)
* diet coke (my evil vice)

So, what's for lunch???

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Cross Fit: What Am I Getting Myself Into?!

What have you gotten me into?

Tonight, I start the Cross Fit 60-Day Challenge.

I don't know what it is exactly. I just know that some dude who took the initial baseline assessment puked when he was done. Awesome.

60-Days of intense, but quick strength building workouts and a nutritional assessment along the way. Apparently, I'm supposed to turn into some form of Jillian from "The Biggest Loser."

Bring. It. On.

Of course, I first have to get measured with these:

F*cking Fat Calipers!!

That, by itself, makes me want to puke.

Breakdown: False Alarm

OMG...so far behind in blog updates! (even more so in reading everyone else's blogs)

Well--March 1st...Time to get serious about this Ironman training stuff again. This little guy will be here again before you know it!

Rough week on the books after a nice long weekend in Playa. Such is life. Work hard, Play hard. You read about the track practice in the previous post, but I also threw in three swim workouts (progress happening!), a spin class, a core class, bike hill repeats on Bonnell and Balcones, an 8 mile run on Friday and an 18 mile run on Saturday.

Run was a blast...ran with Tracy, Mike and hubster. Felt beat up still from Pain's Wednesday morning core class. Those death lunges kicked my butt and hamstrings. Run/Bike switched this weekend because we had serious high winds on Saturday morning.

Winds continued this morning, but not nearly as gusty as yesterday. Still, though, it was 34 degrees at the start of our 80 mile ride.  I was sporting four pairs of socks, two sets of gloves and 3 layers of clothing. My body was warm, but fingers took a while to thaw.

Hell, before we even started, some people were already coming back saying it was too cold. They were abandoning to either hit their trainers or ride later. Only made the ride more dreaded than it already was for me.

Not feeling it at all from the beginning. I tried to talk Katy into quitting in the first mile, but I just kept pedaling. She wouldn't let me. Something about the fact that I was already out there on the roads. Tried to keep up with my group that included Katy, Veronica, Jill, Esther and Eryn. Struggling...legs felt dead. 

15-20 mph wind gusts in our face as we headed north on 360 to Great Hills, Jollyville, Duval, Amherst and then finally to Parmer where the real fun began. 

Still on Jane's bike cuz I couldn't get my pedals switched out this morning. Damn, really wanted to be on my new bike. Would I have felt better? Who knows...probably not. Better make sure it fits well before attempting 80+ miles.

Couldn't relax at all with the direct headwind...hating every second of the ride, but was committed at this point. Just looking at the flags gusting towards my face made me resent the ride. Had already been dropped and was now alone. Is this a good thing or bad thing? Probably good...I needed to fight my own demons today and it was obvious I wasn't keeping up. 

Started rationalizing different scenarios...Just ride outside for 3 hours and then do 2 on the trainer. That sounded feasible. I could do that. Was averaging about 12 mph on Parmer. It was going to take me forever to hit the turnaround. 

Saw some T3ers at a gas station so I pulled in. They were also rationalizing what to do. Some were going and others were turning around. I rode up to 1431 and turned around. The thought of continuing on Parmer with the wind was too much to bear. I needed (and got) much needed relief with the tailwind. Thought about doing mini-loops on Parmer and just breaking it up in smaller chunks. Decided that I didn't want to be on Parmer at all so I headed back towards Jollyville and started doing Jollyville loops from Great Hills to Anderson Mill....Almost 3.5 miles each way. Not hilly, but definitely still battling a headwind on the way out...I was riding. That's all that mattered.

Wafting smells of the various restaurants were tantalizing...Manuels, Rudy's, Krispy Kreme...People dressed up heading to Great Hills Baptist Church. I'm bundled up wondering why I'm still riding at such a pathetic pace. Shut up, Carrie...You're still riding...

Got bored with that and then decided to ride back over to Duval....crossed Mopac and rode over to the Domain where I tooled around their parking lot for a while and rode up and down the main strip. Hell, I don't even go there to shop and yet here I was riding up and down noticing some of the stores for the first time...Lacoste, Tiffanys, Lucky Jeans, Juicy Couture...Where's Target? That's my kinda store...

Headed back over Mopac on Braker and back to Jollyville. Over 3 hours on the bike. Nice...I'm still hanging in even though I'm making this shit up as I go along. I decided to do 3 more Jollyville loops before heading back towards 360 south. Saw a runner on Jollyville wearing a 2008 Sunmart 50k shirt. Wanted to say, "Hey--I was 4th place this year," but realized I probably didn't look like I would ever place in anything. She would've laughed. Hell, I laughed.

Actually enjoyed the taste of my Perpetuum mix today...good thick consistency. Never felt hungry at all...Just felt powerless...

Finished those 3 extra Jollyville laps and started heading south again on 360. Took the monster hills really slow, but the tailwind helped my efforts. Seriously, at one point, I felt a real gust give me a boost and all I could say was, "Thank you for the lift God." 

Realized I had been out for a really long time when I saw the Riverbend Church sign. I had missed all three services. Wow...I guess I was having my own conversations with God today, both good and bad, believe me.  Our discussion was quite frank.

Hit the Lost Creek intersection at 74.7 miles. Thought about continuing on 360 to hit the magic 80 mile mark, but had been out for almost 5:15. Decided to end my torture for the day. The time in the saddle was more than adequate. Kinda like when your parents stop spanking you when they realize you've had enough. I wanted the spanking to end.

It wasn't pretty and my bike average never saw 15 mph today. 14.7--ouch. Not sure if today was one of those days where you stick your head in a bucket or pat yourself on the back for getting it done and beating a negative mindset for 5+ hours.

Today, it was a little of both.