Sunday, October 31, 2010

Swim video.. you be the judge.

Okay FIRST ignore the sweet swimmers mullet I'm rockin'. Geez. Why didn't anyone tell me my hair was hanging out? That's like not telling someone they've got a snot snake hanging out of their nose! I'll address that with my swim peeps.

Here's some quick video of my stroke.
(Edited to say: Oops. Loaded the wrong video. I'll leave it here in case you guys want to see what a goof ball my kid is and learn about Darth.. Vador)

The first things I notice are:
1. What the hell am I looking at? My feet? My head is BURIED in the water.
2. (as coach mentions) my feet. You would think I would have noticed that since I'm clearly watching them.
3. Do I catch early enough. Geez. I told you I had no glide.

I'm glad I took this video. For starters I think my stroke looks a lot better than I thought it did and now I can see for myself the things I am reminded about over and over again and I can take follow up video later to see my progress.

This was my first week swimming three times a week and, dare say, I liked it. It had felt like the Thursday to Tuesday break was too long to go without swimming. There were only 4 of us today and I was able to complete almost the entire workout with the 'sharks'.. no slow lane today. I was only 100 short. Woo hoo!

So here I open up the comments. Give me some feedback folks! What do I need to work on? :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Ironman Access my 2 cents

Would I be remiss as a triathlete if I did not comment on this?

The WTC (as you ALL already know) dropped the IRONMAN Access program this week only to rescind a few days later in response to the SOCIAL media BLOWING up over it. It's been so interesting to hear all the remarks. Thusfar I've only found one or two that did not totally trash WTC and IM for being greedy money grubbers.

No one fessed up to purchasing this $1k gem.. though people did because it was stated that it was FULL only days later. Of course FULL has not been qualified as it was never announced how many slots were available. And who knows if that wasn't announced just to 'stop the presses' while they made their little video about rescinding.

I'd love to give the WTC the benefit of the doubt ... thinking that they really did have the athletes in mind, but it is a hard pill to swallow. I think they made a good move in rescinding in response to all the negative comments. And I really don't think it was 'too late'. They made a blunder.. yes. People were pissed.. yes. Does Ironman (the brand) still stand for a HUGE thing in people's minds.. yes. Ironman is representative of the 140.6... I think it will take a long time for people to truly get past that. Not to mention the whole qualifying for Kona thing.. the triathlon of all triathlons.

I think David of Chicago Now makes some interesting statements about the whole thing. While I don't agree that people "thumbed their noses at the other race directors and let them know, "you are an after thought Rev3 or Silverman, a cute diversion after we do the Ironman."" I do believe that people have/had a certain respect for the long standing Ironman brand and are sad to see that tarnished by the goal of being a mega money maker instead of a dream creator and are a little afraid that they won't be able to get to the race they want .. so they can get to the THE RACE they WANT.. Kona. Many people get into this sport after seeing KONA on TV. So there's SERIOUS brand awareness.

I do think that a lot of Ironman money is now going to go to the non-IM races such as REV3 , the Great Floridian and Silverman... for a lot of reasons. It creates variety. These races bring a different feel to them. REV3 is growing like wildfire.. who knows what they are going to have to offer their athletes over the years. People are starting to believe and realize that it does not matter whether your 140.6 was branded IM.. it's STILL 140.6! It's STILL a huge accomplishment.. YOUR accomplishment.

I love Run Faster Mommy's open letter to the WTC. It says so much about where Triathlon is going. People are seeing the accomplishment not the brand. Things are changing. It's going to take a while, but they are.

You've got to check out the sweet video at Swim Bike Live. HYSTERICAL!

What do you think? Did the WTC just shoot itself in the foot and we are going to just watch them bleed out or are they redeemed?

Now get off the computer and stop obsessing over the BS and get your work out in folks. It might be the off-season, but there is still work to be done!

Veggie Korma

I'm no longer vegan/vegetarian, but I still eat a high fruit/veggie diet and am in the process of finding a core group of recipes to pull from each week when I plan our meals. So as I try new stuff and approve it for the list I will share them with you. This is a nice hearty meal to fuel a lot of work. You could add meat if you want, but I don't feel it's necessary. You could also serve it with Quinoa instead of rice.

Vegetarian Korma
Serves 4


* 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1 small onion, diced
* 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
* 4 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 potatoes, cubed
* 4 carrots, cubed
* 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced
* 3 tablespoons ground unsalted cashews
* 1 (4 ounce) can tomato sauce
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
* 1 cup frozen green peas
* 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
* 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
* 1 can (approx 2c) Coconut Milk
* 1 bunch fresh cilantro for garnish


  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and cook until tender. Mix in ginger and garlic, and continue cooking 1 minute. Mix potatoes, carrots, jalapeno, cashews, and tomato sauce. Season with salt and curry powder. Cook and stir 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
  2. Stir peas, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, and cream into the skillet. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 10 minutes. Garnish with cilantro to serve.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Here is another post to provide you with some triathlon inspiration.

Kathleen Calkins ran her first race (an ironman) as a pro at Rev3 Cedar Point at the age of 35. YES 35! How awesome is that!? AND she took 3rd!

I'm still struggling a bit w/ this whole getting older thing. Ever since spending time at the care center (aka old folks home) with my grandmother I feel hyper aware of my age and the future. It's so great to see an athlete taking it to the next level at a stage of life that many feel their best years are behind them. Clearly not for Kathleen!!! :)

Read her race report HERE. And you can check out video coverage of her during the race below.

Kathleen Calkins Highlights - REV3:Cedar Point 2010 from REVOLUTION3 Triathlon on Vimeo.

It just so happens that she is a member of Team Trakkers. I really didn't know that when I first discovered her.

Kathleen started her triathlon career way back in 2001 at a local sprint race. She had gone down to watch her husband participate in the swim portion of a relay and they both went out the next day to purchase bikes and never looked back. How many of us have gotten into the sport in much the same way?

She rocked that tri of course and continued to compete in both sprint and olympic before moving up to the 70.3 a few years later and then Ironman. Would you believe she went to Kona and had a rough time only to find out FIVE DAYS later she was pregnant. So baby went to Kona with Mama.. thus starting a long partnership. He continued to accompany her on runs after he was born. Apparently anything UNDER 18 miles. I have pushed my fair share of joggers in my life, but I think I maxed out at 6 miles. (well I did and so did the kids) That's amazing to push a stroller that long. She says it made her stronger.. no doubt!

Age grouper Kathleen Calkins broke the overall female age group record in Kona, Hawaii with her 9:46:27 finish at the 2009 Ford Ironman World Championships. With that great time she also managed to be the 12th overall female.

In 2009 Kathleen broke the overall female age group record at the Ford Ironman World Championships in Kona with a time of 9:46:27!!! AND finished 12th overall female.

So 2010 was her first year as a pro and she is rockin and rollin! I love this sport! I love the inspiration you get from this sport. I love how REAL the people are in this sport!

Who's your favorite triathlete? Keep an eye on this lady!


Yes you read that right! I will be doing the Austin MARATHON! The FULL!

Some of you might remember MY POST about whether or not to do the full marathon in February and shoot for the BQ...

Some of the responses to that question were:

EMZ: BQ Baby

Melanie: All depends on where your heart is. If you miss Maratahon training and can give it your all then go for a BQ, if not, focus your attention and heart on what is currenlty peaking your interest.

AM-Goals for the Week: I'm probably buzzkill over here..but work your way up and be STOKED with the progress along the way!!

Kovas Palubinskas
: I'd train for the tris and if the BQ happens, it happens.

Velma: You can answer this question - you know what you want to do :)

Thank you all so much for your feedback. As I thought about it I was really feeling like I wanted to give it another shot. I was really thinking a lot about running long and wanting to be out there. I had at one point decided I was definitely doing the marathon.

Then on the day I was supposed to have my first talk with John (I need to come up with a better / cooler name for John... is there a nick name I'm missing? Something about a shovel.) I went out for a run and convinced myself that I wanted to get faster faster faster and didn't think that marathon training was conducive to that and that I was worried about taking time off to recover from a marathon before starting in on triathlon. So I told John.. nah, screw Boston for now.

Hmm.. he had other ideas. He proceeded to tell me that he thought the marathon was in a great spot because it kept me running (and working on my base which is all part of the plan), kept me motivated over winter and kind of FORCED me to take a needed break before breaking into hard core triathlon training.

He then said that I could just train for the marathon and run that half. WHAT!? Put all those miles in and prepare for a marathon then NOT RUN THE MARATHON! Leave the opportunity for a BQ on the table. That is not how I roll.

So thanks Coach!!! This is why I hired someone who is all knowledgeable and stuff! So I swim now for 6 weeks... The SWIM Cycle. Then at the end of that 6 weeks we start ramping up the running. Take a little break post Marathon and then bring it all together for a rockin' tri season!!!

Coaching is awesome already! How has your coach guided and directed you in directions you may not have gone had you not had a coach?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Would you like a side of swimming with your swimming?

I had an awesome talk with MY coach. Yes, it makes me feel special to say that! :) We talked about my need to swim swim swim... I got my first 6 week cycle... The "SWIM Cycle" this weekend. Damn it's hard to coordinate swimming. :) Running.. no problemo strap on some shoes put on a good sports bra (well, and a few other non-essential items.. unless it's uber cold then they become essential) and you are out the door. Swimming.. not so much. I was really hopeful that I would find that with my program membership at the Y I would be able to hit the pool during open swim. Uh, not so much. PROGRAM means ONLY program lady. You might think you are SPECIAL because you got a coach and what not, but here at the Y you are JUST a PROGRAM member. Blasted! Not wanting to pony up for the full membership for that extra 45 mins of swimming right now.

So @j_hirsch has me all ready to do Masters 3 days a week (I'm currently doing two) at 90 mins a session and then one day at 45 mins a session. Awesome. I can do that.. except that I HAVE to go to masters to get in the pool and EACH session is 90 mins and the schedule is such that to get 4 days in I have to do three of them BACK TO BACK TO BACK. Will three days straight of swimming for 90 mins blow me up? (FYI my shoulders are feeling better, but I haven't swam (or is it swum?) since Thursday). Tuesday is a non-coached session (and would be day three of three in a row) so I could do that as my 45 mins drill focused session and just get out of the water when I'm done.

Wow this is off/early season and I'm already having trouble figuring it out! Not being one to shy away from a challenge I'm sure I'll get it worked out. This week I add ONE day .. Sunday. Then in a couple of weeks I'll tackle the three days in a row challenge.

I get to run and spin too so that's all well and good.

Do you find it difficult to coordinate swims? Do you swim three days a week w/o ill effects? Six weeks.. I can swim three days in a row for a measly six weeks right? Which I guess would really just be 4 or 5 weeks. Do what ya gotta do.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Coaching by John Hirsch

So I posed the question and got lots of answers.. and took the plunge myself!

I am now own board as one of the CREW with John Hirsch. I'm SO excited!

I had some great email conversations with him, but today's phone call was AWESOME! His energy is great and his philosophy's make sense!!!! First up swim swim swim like a fish.. or until I swim like a fish. I really should have seen that coming. Then we'll up up up the running as I run my way to the Austin Marathon on 2/20/11.

Then a little mini break and we start TEARING into tri season. That is still a bit up in the air. We have a plan but the GREEN thing is to be determined. Once I know which way that is going we can get the plan together. Thankfully we've got some time!

I am beyond excited. I'm excited to see what this body/mind can do and to see what it does w/ a coach to guide me instead of just some piece of paper holding all my dreams!

Let's go COACH take me to the finish line(s).

Top 10 reasons why athletes should eat QUINOA!

Have you heard of Quinoa!?

It's an ancient Peruvian Seed with a mild nutty flavor, high protein content and loads and loads of Good stuff like all the essential amino acids and lots of minerals.

Here are the nutrition facts:

And check out THIS link for more info than you could ever handle about any food you could ever consider eating. Awesome site!

Top 10 reasons why YOU - the athlete - should eat this grain!

1. Essential Amino Acids - it contains all the essential amino acids and is high in LYSINE - which is important for tissue growth and repair.
2. Magnesium - it is high in magnesium which relaxes blood vessels and prevents constriction and dilation - bringing that oxygenated blood to all your muscles
3. Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) - it has lots of of B2 which produces energy with in the cells and has been shown to improve energy metabolism within the brain and muscle cells
4. Manganese and copper - yep lots of this too! These mineral are co-factors for the super oxide dismutase which helps protect cells from damage from free radicals (we make lots of those w/ all this crazy exercise business.)
5. It's Gluten Free!! I know there are a lot of us out here with the gluten problem. And even if you don't have a gluten problem it does tend to cause inflammation in those of us without a gluten problem. So if you can decrease gluten.. a good thing!
6. Rich source of dietary fiber! We all know why that's important so I'll spare you the details. If you don't know why that's important give a shout out and I'll give you the 411.
7. High in Omega 3s - They are necessary for human health but the body can' t make them. Nuff said.
8. High in complex carbs. As athletes - particular the endurance variety - we are always looking for good complex carbs to refuel the lost glycogen. Carbo load anyone? How about some Quinoa instead of gluteny lacking in nutrients PASTA!
9. Low in fat. It contains healthy fats, but not too much. So feel free to add olive oil and/or some almonds to your dishes.
10. It's SUPER easy to prepare and can be used in lots of ways.

So how do you add these little nutty nuggets of nutrition to your diet. Well you can use them as a replacement for rice. You can add them to soups and stews. I like to put them in my salad. You could even toss them in your smoothie (cook them first). There are a pluthera of Quinoa salad recipes on the net. I'll add some that I enjoy at a later date.

I like to make them into a porridge for breakfast or post work out.

I rinse then soak my Quinoa overnight before I cook it. It makes it a bit easier to digest and it comes out nice and fluffy every time.

Basic Quinoa Recipe

* 1 cup quinoa
* 1 1/2 cups cold water
* Optional: 1/2 tsp salt

Quinoa Cooking Directions:

1. Rinse: Stir the quinoa with your hand, and carefully pour off the rinsing water,
using a fine mesh strainer at the last
2. Drain quinoa well in the strainer, transfer to the cooking pot, add 1 1/2 cups
water & 1/2 tsp salt if desired
3. Bring to a boil, cover with a tight fitting lid, and turn the heat down to simmer
4. Cook for 15 minutes
5. Remove quinoa from heat and allow to sit five minutes with the lid on
6. Fluff quinoa gently with a fork and serve

Quinoa Porridge
You can start with the recipe above or use quinoa that is stored in the fridge.
1. blend 1/2 to 1c of cooked Quinoa with milk of your choice to consistency of your liking. (I use nut milk)
2. Place in pan to warm.
3. Add your 'sides'. I like cinnamon, maple syrup and raisins.
4. Remove from heat throw in bowl and enjoy.

Optional toppings:
another splash of milk/cream
ground flax seeds
Wheat Germ
Chia Seeds
Nut butter

Have you had Qunioa before? How do you like to eat it? Have you tried it for breakfast before?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Rethinking that cup of Joe

Again, Really. Yes, I'm still trying to get my mind in the right spot. Well, I guess my mind is there gotta get my heart to follow. I've already covered my LOVE of coffee so I won't revisit here.

The real irony of this is that I am sitting in a COFFEE SHOP while I write this.

Before I dive into this I want to say that caffeine affects people differently. For example: it's stated by "THEM" (you know the proverbial THEY) that someone that is high strung by nature will likely become anxious with caffeine consumption (and the amount of that consumption is highly personal) while someone who is normally quite calm won't be affected at all. Let me tell you folks this is TRUE! My husband is so SO chill that I sometimes have to check him for a pulse. He could drink a pot of coffee and be totally normal (no anxiety) and sail off to sleep at night with zero problems. I, on the other hand, fall in the high strung category and a pot of coffee would make me a batshit crazy raging witch (there's a rule.. only one swear word per sentence) and keep me up all night. (My own personal highly scientific research.. brought to you for free. You're welcome.)

My point being (yes there is one) is that you need to pay attention to your own personal response. And if you are the type that can enjoy as much coffee as you want and continue to be normal well... :P (that's me sticking my tongue out at you)

Physiologically caffeine stimulates the central nervous system by blocking adenosine which is the neurotransmitter that causes a calming effect. This in turn causes the adrenal glands to release adrenaline - the fight or flight hormone. The heart rate increases, pupils dilate, muscles tighten and glucose is released into the blood stream. Caffeine also increases dopamine which activates the pleasure part of the brain. That explains a lot. I did say I LOVE me some coffee!!!!

The upside of all of this is that this can potentially make you more alert and productive in the short term. Athletically it's been shown to extend endurance when taken prior to moderately strenuous activity. Though it's been more productive in the form of capsules than it has in the form of my beloved coffee.

The downside is that it stimulates the central nervous system and can cause restlessness, headaches and irritability (hmm I definitely suffer this side effect), elevates heart rate and blood pressure and it requires your pancreas to over-work. A later effect can be excessive and chronic tiredness, even on waking in the morning.

Essentially if you drink coffee throughout the day it is constantly wreaking havoc on your hormones and stimulating your central nervous system. NO BUENO!

And man this stuff stays in your body! It's half life is about 6 hours. If you have a nice big 300mg caffeine cup of coffee at 4pm your body breaks it down to 100 mg by 10pm and 50mg by 4am. So you still have some caffeine in your system when you wake up THE NEXT DAY!!!! And this has been the time your body is supposed to be repairing itself not breaking down caffeine and having a chat with your central nervous system to JUST CHILL already!

For reference here are some breakdowns:
Starbucks Grande Coffee (16 oz) 330 (almost 2x the amt in 'other' coffee)
Coffee, Drip 115-175
Starbucks Grande Latte (16 oz) 150
Coffee, Brewed 80-135
Coffee, Espresso (2 ounces) 100
Coffee, Instant 65-100
Tea, iced 47
Tea, brewed, imported (avg.) 60
Tea, brewed, U.S. brands (avg.) 40
Tea, green 15
Hot cocoa 14
Starbucks Grande Decaf Latte (16 oz) 13
Coffee, Decaf, brewed 3-4

"They" say that generally 2 cups a day is 'ok'. Like I said it effects people differently. Caffeine at varying doses, depending on person, can prevent clear thinking, cause nervousness, sweating, tenseness, upset stomach, anxiety and insomnia. Sounds GOOD to me!

So you wanna quit now? Well, coffee (caffeine) is ADDICTIVE. In case you hadn't noticed. 18 - 24 hours post QUIT time you may have a headache, feel fatigued, irritable (hmm just like when you were drinking coffee so that's nothing new), depressed and unable to concentrate. These feelings should peak in about 24 to 48 hours and should decrease over the course of a week. Reduce your intake slowly instead of quitting cold turkey. It's also been reported that high doses of Vitamin C can help with these symptoms. (I do this.)

For those that are dying to know how my battle with the demon is going I would say well. I'm down to 1.5 cups (of half caff) now.. from 3 to 4. And I gotta say I'm feeling better. I've suffered with fatigue in the past and I should know better than to dance with the demon. I am not delusional enough to think I will 100% abstain from coffee because I do love and enjoy it, but I won't make a daily habit of it... not permanently anyway. It's better for my kids, my work outs... My dear sweet husband and anyone else that comes in contact with me really!

So what about you? Are you a full on addict? Does your coffee/caffeine (cause it's in lots of stuff) affect you in any of the ways mentioned above?

Up next Sugar. YES you can go ahead and call me the FUN KILLER.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Rev3 Triathlon is going to my alma mater!

Well Team Trakkers HAS to accept me now! Rev3 is going to my alma mater!

Rev3 will be hosting both an olympic and a half iron distance trialthon on October 8th and 9th, 2011 in Anderson, SC. This is just a few miles down the road from Clemson University where I went a million and one years ago!!! I worked at a sweet wings place in Anderson for a year or so! I haven't been back since around 2001 or so. It would be a treat to venture down for a 'reunion' and jump in Lake Hartwell for old times sake!

Come on Trakkers... you can't say no to that!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Are you coached?

Please take the POLL ==============>>>>>>

Are you a coached or self coached athlete?

If you've got a coach give them some link love in the comments!

Fall Goodness!

Fall his hit hard here! Everything is blazing and beautiful. The wind is brisk and whipping leaves all around!

It makes me want to run and eat root veggies.. oh and coffee. Dang it! (I'm down to two cups a day and am currently working through a nice caffeine withdrawal headache, but can already tell my mood is improved).

Anyway back to the fall goodness.

I recently stumbled onto some cool cooking blogs and, of course, they are all about the fall and pumpkin too! Hubs deserved a treat so I whipped up some Peas and Thank You Pumpkin Scones!!! YUM!

FYI. coffee is for him. Yes, baked fresh out of the oven w/ a coffee made at home delivered to his office by me! Lucky guy, eh?

These only needed a measly 1/2 c of pumpkin so I had a bunch left over. I decided to go ahead and use it up by making some Pumpkin Butter (hoping my kids will eat it, but alas they are not fans of it).

We got some squash in our last CSA - I LOVE roasted squash and LOVE squash soup (Roasted, blended squash) so I found a decent looking Roasted Squash Soup recipe on Allrecipes. I made it without the cream because I don't do dairy. It is DELICIOUS!!! I can't wait to tear into it for dinner.

And on a side note I LOVE coconut oil, but it is rather spendy. I found THIS post recently about MAKING YOUR OWN COCONUT OIL! Wow! AWESOMENESS! It's not as creamy and good as the real deal, but it's a fraction of the cost. Just buy a bag of shredded (full fat organic) coconut and put it in the food processor! I might try putting it in the vitamix after the FP next time to see if I can get it NICE AND SMOOTH! I like to mix the coconut butter with cocoa/carob powder a bit of salt and some raisins and put it in the freezer... single serving sugar free chocolate-ish dessert to satisfy my craving without the sugar!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

New training partners.

Today's long run was interesting. I ran with a woman I had never previously met. I met her husband at Masters swim. We spend most of our time with our heads in the water and/or talking about swimming, but on my way out of the parking lot I stopped and chatted with him. He was telling me about his wife's training for the New York Marathon. She had her big 20 miler this weekend and was trying to figure out where to run it that wasn't too freakishly hilly. I told him 1. I'm not sure that kind of (flat) terrain exists around here and 2. to give her my email address and tell her that I'll run with her. Not the full 20, but whatever I can manage depending on the pace.

As I thought about it more I thought that running your LONG run with a complete stranger might not be all that appealing so I wasn't sure I would hear from her, but I did and we coordinated to run loops around Lake Waramaug. I had never been there so I thought it would be a nice change and doing loops would allow me to hang with her longer.

She told me she wanted to run a 9min pace. A-okay. And off we went. As we were warming up (at 8:45 min/mile) I asked her what her plan was.. she said she needed to do 4 x 3miles at 9min pace after a warm up. Uh, we're going faster than your 'pace' times in warm up. Perhaps we should slow down. We played this game the entire 15 miles I ran with her.

It was great running a new place and with someone. I would have otherwise run by myself. It was also an interesting perspective. This is her first marathon, this was her first 20 miler. In the past (prior to her marathon training) she had laced up randomly and would just go run 16 miles for the heck of it. She would just run whenever and however far she wanted. I found this to be interesting. Prior to my training there is NO way I would have knocked out 16 miles. (it actually ended up being 17 because she got home at 16.5 and figured she may as well round up)

She was a trooper! We held an 8:40 pace the entire time and she was feeling great! The running community is so awesome. We were able to come together with this one thing in common and share our morning all because we are runners. It was great to be able to support her and to have support for my run!

When was the last time you ran with someone new? How did it go? It was so easy to run with this woman. We weren't nervous about pace or anything. We just enjoyed the nice fall morning!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

This is so fun!

Hello, welcome and Thanks to all my new followers. Love seeing my 'brady bunch' block growing!!!

Friday, October 08, 2010

Time to give up the hard core stregth training?

Shoulder pain mystery solved?

I think I finally put two and two together and figured out what is up w/ my anterior deltoids! I have been swimming for years and never had problems.. okay, to be fair, off and on for years. This past season I swam at most twice a week. Once in open water and once in the pool. Though it was usually just once a week. My first workout at masters swim was GULP 3100 yards or so. I finished it.. I couldn't believe it. The next workout was the same and they have hovered around 2500 yards since. I figured it was the mass amounts of yardage I added, but like I said this pain was new.

Well I'm also coming off almost a year of hitting the weight room pretty hard and I had started lifting pretty heavy and was enjoying seeing some growth and definition in my, um, shoulders. Well since I've been having this pain I've tried a couple of times to hit the weights again.. just lighter and not so intense. And wouldn't you know it... every time I do a weight session my anterior deltoids flair up again.

I'm familiar with both muscle soreness from use/lifting and muscle pain from injury. I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm currently injured, but I would say that my shoulders are putting up the red flags (or maybe white) to let me know they ain't happy and won't tolerate this BS much longer.

So while I do enjoy lifting and lifting heavy I have to go back to my goals for the year. Am I aiming to be all shredded up or am I aiming to be a better triathlete. TRIATHLETE is where I'm at so bye-bye P90X.

I'm now looking for a good program I can do that focuses more on core and hits overall body as well. Thinking pull ups (assisted of course... though I can do TWO by myself.. which will have to suffice for my 2010 goal of doing unassisted pull ups) and push ups.

I was also instructed by the swim coach to do some stretching. Both chest and shoulders. He picked out some things in my stroke that may or may not be contributing to my pain. Things like not reaching enough, not getting enough bend in my elbow for my pull and pulling too early.

And on a side note. I've also been instructed to sit on my feet. When doing kick drills I LITERALLY stop mid lap.. and I would swear I was starting to go backward, but have been promised this is not true. The coach watched my kick and said it wasn't 'too bad', but to try pointing my toes more. I promptly put my foot above water and showed him that this was ALL I GOT. He said, "hmm, you need to sit on your feet your ankles are really tight!" Yes, I have runner's ankles! ;)

So that's that. Hopefully with the stretching, laying off the weights and sleeping on my back (I'm getting there) I'll be good as new soon. In the meantime I just keep swimming.

Is stretching part of your program or do you neglect it like I do because life hits you smack in the face as soon as you walk in the door and it just gets "forgotten"?

more swim tips. And a cry for help!

Thursday night we worked on rotation a lot.. We did the one arm drill and focused on using your core to create the forward momentum and not your arm pull as much. This really helped me to feel and realize how much you can use your core to help you AND use your lats/core vs shoulder to move you forward. (note my cry for help below)

In the video below note the second drill where you drop your arm to your side and work on rotation.

The coach threw some real loops out there too. I won't go into too much detail, but he had us do some swimming without doing the LONG GLIDE. He basically had us swim in the way that EVERY coach has told me to NOT do. The way I used to swim, but w/ more rotation. His point was that what works for one may or may not work for others and you need to find the best thing for you. AND that you would swim and all out sprint differently (similarly, but differently) than you would swim a long endurance (ie 2.4 mile) swim. Um, maybe he would.. pretty sure I would swim it EXACTLY the same way.... but some day I will have enough swim 'finesse' to know the difference. I used to have ONE running speed too, but after much work that is changing!

Cry for help:
My shoulders are HURTING! I'm hoping that I've got the offending move figured out (swimming flat and pulling with my shoulders), but it could be just the huge increase in yardage. I'm generally okay during the day, but I wake to aching shoulders multiple times in the night. I'm not huge on the vitamin I regimen, but did it last night. Helped a bit. Any suggestions? Ice? Rest? (NO!!) I don't want to take time off b/c I finally feel like things are clicking in the pool, but in reality.. it IS the off season!

So WHAT do I do about the Shoulders and Do YOU have different swim speeds?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

More swim tips!

Things continue to 'click' in the pool. I watched some videos on the drills that we did last week right before I left for last night's swim session and I think it really helped me keep it present in my mind.

Here is a video again using a 'contraption' which is not my point. I like this video because it helps you to really see the hip rotation and 'snap'. When I first started working on rotation I focused on rotating my hips out of the way - all well and good, but after watching some videos and reading some stuff I started 'snapping' my hips more the use my core to power my arms a bit. I went to a swim clinic recently and the coach used the symbolism of a boat. If you want to get a boat moving with out a motor you rock it back and forth to create the motion. The same is true in swimming. I was really surprised at the ease of the stroke when I focused on SNAPPING my hips and using them to power my stroke. I could tell when I was getting tired and stopped focusing on this. I started to feel like I was DRAGGING myself with my arms again.

And, of course, it wouldn't be a 'youtube swim watching session' without a little Michael Phelps, right? So I found a video of him at multiple angles and the first thing I noticed was the position of his arm during his pull. The last two weeks I've had bad shoulder pain and my right shoulder felt like it was going to separate. I chalked it up to lifting too heavy and tweaking my stroke and figured my body would acclimate, but it wasn't. So I noticed that through is pull his arm actually comes UNDER his body. I think I was trying too hard to maintain the high elbow position and the wide arm and was pulling WAY TOO FAR OUT! You know I'm not expert so if I AM SUPPOSED to continue doing that please let me know in the comments below. I changed my pull to be more like (er, resemble kinda sorta) the one Phelps does here and I'll be damned if my shoulders didn't feel better by the end of the first 25 w/ this modification!

CRAP I can't embed this video.. been turned off on YouTube. So you'll have to click this link:

Please share your favorite swim tips or drills in the comments below. What makes things CLICK for you!?

And one quick thing. I ordered some samples of TriSwim the other day... partly in the interest of checking out the sponsor for Team Trakkers and partly because I had heard such good things about it. I gotta tell ya! THAT STUFF WORKS! I can always smell the chlorine on me and feel the itch even the day after the workout. (wears off just in time for the next workout!) The shampoo, conditioner, bodywash and lotion all had a pleasant (not overwhelming) smell and they WORKED! Left my skin smooth and with no itch. I didn't smell the chlorine right after my shower, but knew that my husband "the nose" would be the true test. I stand next to someone eating garlic and I get accused of eating a whole raw bulb of it for lunch. NOT KIDDING! I put my hair in his face when I got home from the pool and he told me he couldn't smell ANY chlorine. Now that's amazing. You can go to their website and order a sample to check it out yourself if you don't believe me! :D

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

FIRST training

FIRST (Furman Institute of Running) Training is essentially THREE days of training w/ required two days of cross training. You have one day of speed/intervals, one day of tempo and one day of long runs. You are to cross train two days a week.

I've started this program, but I can't remember if I've ever completed it for a race. I think it's what I used to do the Danbury Half back in May, but I was coming off Miami Marathon and I think I really just kind of winged it / coasted to that race. I was feeling a bit 'over it' at the time.

I was feeling like I was getting faster over the years - clearly my marathon got faster (not quite 'faster enough', but faster), but as I looked back at old race results for triathlons my running times really haven't changed a whole lot. I want to change that.

I know that the speed work WORKS! I did see some improvements and I want to see more.

Right now I'm still teetering on the "KEEP PUSHING, KEEP TRAINING, race the half in Philly and then step it up and do the Austin FULL marathon. Gun for a BQ again. You've aged up, you only need 5 more minutes! FIVE MEASLY minutes. You can do that!" and the "Take it easy and rest before you start a big block of work toward your triathlon goals."

I plan to hit some serious speed training starting in January which not real conducive to marathon training. It's hard to hit intervals on the bike and the run when you just came off a 20 mile run!

Fortunately or unfortunately for me I know and am acquainted with some really amazing fast chicks. Dedicated women that I KNOW would step up and race the half then the full and shoot for the BQ all while absolutely NAILING the speed work!? What the? What are you waiting for? What's w/ the hesitation?

This is not uncommon for me. It takes me a while to come to decisions, but generally speaking after I do the 'inventory' and make a decision I stick to it... though I know that at TIMES there is a fair amount of mental struggle and waiver as we get close to race day.

So what's my point?? Who knows! That's the way I roll! I started w/ FIRST training... and now I'm here floundering in neverland. Typical! Let's see if I can pull this together!

So the FIRST plan has speed work incorporated. Similar to my goals to do speed work in the 'off'season, no? And I'm supposed to cross train. I'll have plenty of speed sessions on the bike for that right?

There are some things hanging in the balance with the whole "will I be wearing GREEN?" thing. IF I'm wearing GREEN I plan to hit the REV3 tri series. Um, two of those races are EARLY season... May 15th and June 4/5th. Surely I can hit an Oly in May after all that speed work right? Right? (I have no idea when I'll know if I'm sporting GREEN or not... the waiting is the hardest part!) Oh, side note: they are adding another race to the series... somewhere down south. Should know by the end of the week. This all has potential to keep me busy and provide lots of fun!!! Keep crossing your fingers for me!

What would you do? Would you (WO)Man up and shoot for the BQ again? Or would you do the half races just to keep yourself out there and continue to MOSTLY/ONLY focus on triathlon?


Monday, October 04, 2010

Bike Town Weekend

Tom came home w/ this idea from a friend at work the other day. They called it Bike Town USA! I think it might have actually been Schwinn Town, but I'm pretty sure I can't call it that. ;) Basically the idea is that it's different stores etc that you can ride your bike to. You set up the shops and then draw the chalk lines and ride your bike in town.

Jason and Lily were ALL OVER this idea. They thought it was great. We asked them what they wanted to make and some of their ideas were coffee shop (duh), ice cream shop, pizza place, bike shop, school and grocery store.

Think we have enough bikes? Who do you think has more my son or me?

This weekend Tom and Jason hit the hardware store for some particle board and Pat and Tom constructed some basic store fronts for a Pizza place and an Ice Cream shop. Then we pulled out the pluthera of half full paint cans we have in our garage (bc this awesome town has no real good solution for disposing of it) and we helped them paint their shops. They did a great job.. only got a little paint in their hair and on their clothes, but most of it got on the shops.

Then they drew chalk roads on our driveway and made us pizza and ice cream.

If we can't LIVE it we'll just create it until we can be in a place where this can be our lifestyle. We another board. I'm not sure what store the kids are going to chose next, but we had an absolute blast making these little store fronts, watching the kids paint them and helping them add designs and decorations. They played with it all the rest of the day and that was the first thing they did the next day. We had to put the houses from the rain, but you can bet we will be riding in bike town again soon.

What do you think of this idea? Do you live in an area where this can be your REAL life instead of an imaginary one in your driveway?

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Race alone or run with a friend... the verdict

So this weekend was the weekend I was thinking about running a local half marathon and I posted about not 'feelin' it' and deciding to run with my friend instead.

Well, my friend wanted to get an 8 mile run in to test out an injured ankle. I was all tapered for the race I was going to do so I decided to run part of the run by myself and the rest alone.

BEST DECISION EVER. Little did I realize that I NEEDED some girl time. It was so nice to be able to run with my friend and chat all along the way about various things. Certainly wouldn't have gotten that racing ALONE!

I got behind in the a.m. and wasn't able to make my usual oatmeal so I slammed a half a pb&j on the way out the door to start my mad dash (almost entirely uphill) to get to my friend's house on time. I had no idea how this sandwich was going to sit in my stomach OR fuel me on my run. It was PERFECTO! My stomach didn't revolt and it carried me threw the run. I had some shot blox, but that's it.

3.5 mile speed workout up the hills to my friend's house then a nice mellow 8 miles up and down the hills here in the CT Alps then a nice 3.5 miles home. Was a fantastic long run. I wasn't really aiming for a certain distance... more than 10 was all I had in my mind. I felt great and am not totally zapped today. BUENO!

No medal for this run, but sure do have some warm fuzzy to carry around. And BONUS my husband took the kids to the aquarium w/ his parents so I am ALL ALONE in the silence right now. PERFECT DAY!!

What would your perfect day look like?

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Don't you think I would look good in GREEN!?

I've been following some amazing Team Trakkers athletes all year.

- GoSonja
- inTraining
- Trimommy

I have so enjoyed watching their progress through the race season and seeing how they work as a team. They support each other and damn do THEY LOOK GOOD in GREEN! I've had conversations over email with all three of these women. They are out there getting it done and still have time and inclination to talk to ME.. Me a woman they have never ever met, but a woman that shares a passion for endurance sports. Gives me a nice warm fuzzy!

Last year when I had just met these women I considered applying to Team Trakkers, but I chickened out. I didn't feel ready. I wanted to get my legs under me again. I needed to do some races and regain my confidence!

Well, I'm back baby. My confidence is back. I'm ready to take it to the next level and I would be ecstatic to be able to do it with a TEAM. THIS team. To race not just for myself, but to represent a great group of people. To be able to encourage and be encouraged.

And BONUS! They support GREAT products and a very cool race series. Saucony, First Endurance, TriSwim, TriGlide, Foggle, and the REV3 Race Series.

So keep your fingers crossed that I get to represent this team with all those great women.

And if you want to be sure to find out if I make it click on that FOLLLOW button up there on the top right to stay tuned.

A little insider info... when that 'followers' number gets to 100 .. yes ONE HUNDRED.. I'll be doing a BIG giveaway. So get to it!