Thursday, April 28, 2011

New Stuff - A tri by myself - NYC Marathon

Hopefully that got your attention :-)

Here's the scoop. My brother and his family are moving back to beautiful Minnesota. Yes you understand correctly they are moving from sunny Florida to chilly Minnesota. The upside is that they are staying with me for the next few days as their stuff is already on the moving truck. In the theme of truth in journalism let me add it's actually going onto the truck today. The downside is that they are moving away. Away from the sunshine state to the land o' lakes. It's 86 here today and apparently the forecast in Minnesota is 30 and possibly snow. In this scenario the downside is way worse than the upside. But as a result my brother who has been my tri-buddy is moving and I am forced to compete solo. Luckily as a result of doing so many races with him over the last year I know several people who I'll see out there. It will still be fun. Next triathlon race is Tri-Miami. I will race the sprint not the olympic distance triathlon. Back out to Key Biscayne. Time to practice my left-side breathing to avoid breathing into a wave.

In other news - this is much more exciting. I got into the NYC Marathon. Woot Woot! This was in fact the marathon that started my marathon mania. When I was a kid my dad's apartment was on West 85th and every fall we would walk into the park and see the finish. Maybe not every year but at least some years. Enough for it to stick in my memory. I even remember at least one year when it sparked a very brief jogging obsession with my dad. We ran together around the Central Park Resevoire. What didn't stick with him clearly became a lifetime hobby for me. When I sat down to write out my first bucket list this was on the list. It was run the NY Marathon - not run a bunch of random marathons because you can't get into the New York Marathon. Fast forward to my adulthood and my first marathon was January 2001 Disney which at the time was the closest to my home. I applied that year for the NY Lottery and didn't get in. Oh well, next year. Except oops I was getting married then and forgot. Oh well next year but wait the next year was baby #1. Okay apply again and then forget the next year. This wasn't a good plan because you have to apply 3 times consecutively to get the benefit of getting in. My husband mercilessly makes fun of me that I can't remember to do this. But I applied again last year and didn't get in. I think that was my 5th time but never in a row. Then again this year and Finally Finally Finally I got in. YIPPEE! Finally that is coming true. I'm very excited.

As a celebration I skipped both of my workouts yesterday. Oops. Actually I blame the chiropractor for that. About 20 minutes after my adjustment I get super sleepy. Is that normal?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Race Review - Egg Hunt Triathlon

Egg Hunt Triathlon - CB Smith Park .25swim*/11bike/3.1run
My first official blog race review. So exciting. So many things to report.

This is my second tri of the season. Also second and final race of the season for me in the Broward Triathlon Series. I live in Miami-Dade and for the remainder of my local races I'm staying closer to home.  It is also my final local race with my little brother for the year as this week he and his family move back to Minnesota. I'm gonna miss them terribly.

Packet Pickup - Packet pickup for the Egg Hunt Triathlon was similar to the first race in that it was again available in only a short window on the Friday before the race. Since the kids were out of school we planned the day in Broward around an afternoon packet pick up. I wanted to save myself that 30 minutes the next morning. Ha! Read on to find out how that didn't work. We met my brother at the store and got numbers together (always fun). After packet pick up we learned that we were in the minority of racers not driving Yellow Nisson Xterras with multiple Ironman finisher stickers on the back. There were two Yellow Nisson Xterras. What are the odds? Weird I know.

All about the swag - On the way home I tried out the Quinoa (say it with me now, KEEEEENWAH) snack bar. Pretty yummy actually. I even ate a prune bc there are always 2 in the bag. I think clearly I was hungry. The shirt is green the standard Multirace issue but does have a cute egg graphic on the front. I think the shirts are a little weak but maybe I'd just prefer that they were more girlie.

Race Morning - Due to a power outage (thanks FPL for your standard reliability) I had to reset my bedroom clock the night before and I learned the next morning that I had a clock setting issue.  I did not sleep well at all but I bounded out of bed when the alarm went off and went through my routine. I was tired but who isn't at 4:30 am? I was sitting at my kitchen table eating my pre-race oatmeal and I noticed that the clock said 3:40. WHAT! I checked another clock and it confirmed it was 3:40 so I of course checked the ultimate authority on time - the iphone. Sure enough I was up an hour early. So, I went back to bed for another 45 minutes. It was my deepest sleep of the night but I did feel silly. Back up at the correct time I loaded up my equipment and headed out the door. I got to the race with plenty of time. I even took a quick cat nap in the parking lot before heading out to set up transition.

The Race Itself - .25Swim - This race for me was all about the swim. I got in with my brother and we did a mini warm up. The entry to the lake is my least favorite so far. Lots of little rocks and a gooey lake bottom. But the water was warm and clear with nothing to complain about. Warming up was one of my goals for this race so check it off the list. I think it did help. There was only one swim wave for girls. It was about 100 people. It seems a little absurd to me but not a big deal. I learned from the last race and set myself on the side and in the back. I let the first folks go and counted to five and then went on myself. My swim was AWESOME. The last race was filled with breastroke and panic and backstroke and I looked like death when I came out. This one I swam the whole way freestyle. I passed lots of people and enjoyed it. I came out ... wait for it ... running. I was totally psyched. My time was 12:09...hmmmm Houston we have a problem. If I can swim .25 3 weeks ago breaststroke and back float in 10:30 and then I really swim this one and it's 12:00 minutes somethings not right. My working theory is that the route was longer than .25 but the nice folks at multirace are not owning up to that and at the end of the day while it's annoying I still felt great!

T1 - 1:37 No notes here in out boom boom boom

Bike 11 miles - It was 2 loops in and around the park - it was fine. I don't like the loops because in the beginning you're passed by the super great folks and then after that you just have no idea are you ahead are you behind - what's going on. Give me an out and back any day. At the end I did get passed by somebody I knew who blew by me like I was standing still .... I have got to figure out how to do that. Time 39:27. I think that's improving bc my average is up to 16 mph. As a side note as my bike photos continue to highlight my extra lb in the mid section I am remotivated to do more sit ups...and maybe skip the post dinner trip to DQ.

T2 - 59 seconds. I know - you stand in awe even I'm impressed with myself :-) Just kidding it was a small area lots of people had t2s that were like 30 seconds.

Run 5k - The run course was also 2 loops but it was nice. There was a lot of shade. There were decorative eggs at the end. Including one that said, "Not done Yet!" Uncool ... uncool. I saw my brother on the course which was fun. I encouraged another Hammerhead to keep going. She was doing her first duathlon. And of course Shana blew past me on the second lap. She is super speedy. Time 29:36 Woot Woot and I beat my brother in the run segment by 12 seconds. This is up from 2 seconds in the last race.

As a last note - there is no egg hunt as a part of this race. My kids didn't need any more egg hunts so that's okay but seriously if you're going to call it the egg hunt - there should probably be an egg hunt ... I'm just saying.

Total time: 1:23:49 happy happy joy joy. This puts me 10 out of 16 in my age group. My reward to myself is going to be a tri bag I think ... or maybe aero bars .... hmmm so much to buy so little time.

Next race is Miami Tri out on the key. I'm going to continue to work on my swim and also put in more bike miles to improve that.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Race Preview - Egg Hunt Triathlon

Tomorrow will be the second race of the season. The Egg Hunt Triathlon in Pembroke Pines.

It's a sprint .25s / 10bike / 3.1 run. The swim is around 2 buoys in a lake. 

My goals are simple. To not panic in the swim and to finish with a smile. Beating my brother would be a bonus. Impossible but I can dream.

My plan is too simple to call a strategy but my main concern is the swim. I feel that I'm a strong enough swimmer and yet I keep having anxiety in the water. I've done two practice OWS since the last race and spent a lot of time in the pool. We'll see if that helps. It's a one wave start for the women so I'm going to let everybody leap off the beach and then I'm going to start out. We'll see if that helps.

Next up a race report.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hump Day

Today was very productive. I hunted eggs at preschool which is very cute. I obsessed about Kindergarten with fellow mommies at the preschool snack party. Strawberries and cupcakes - why do we buy cupcakes for preschoolers who just eat the icing? I did my two workouts (bike and swim) and felt very accomplished. I thought I had found both my daughter and myself Easter dresses. Picked everybody up, fought the good homework fight, got the little man's hair cut and took the little crew to dinner. They are as I type bathing and then I'm going to toss those little buggers into bed and call it a day.

Alas, when I showed her the dress and shoes it was a total bust. She didn't like the dress and while she loves the shoes - they don't fit. Strike one for mommy.I think this is the start of a pattern where I have to include her on the shopping trips ... this is very bad news for my wallet as she has trouble with the concept of just one. But c'est la vie. In fact, when I showed her my dress she felt compelled to point out she didn't like that one either. Since I am an adult I was able to not strangle her at this point and merely point out that it's okay if she doesn't like my dress since she doesn't wear it but it's more polite to keep that opinion to herself.

I also had two other great things happen today. I didn't write about it but Sunday my trusty Garmin FR60 bit the dust. The band split at the edge. I looked it up on Garmin and saw that within a year it's under warranty. I couldn't figure out whether it was under a year so I held onto in until Tuesday when I was in my favorite running store Footworks and I could ask. Lo and behold yes under a year. Good news. Better news coming they will send it in for me. Even better. They are really the best at Footworks.  On the flip side the staff at the store was familiar with this issue with the watches that have this style of band which includes my little watch but also the Garmin Forerunner 410 and now the Garmin Forerunner 610 unless something is different. So that's their whole lineup of watches except the huge 310xt (which is the grandaddy poobah super watch). That this style of band would be defective this often doesn't seem like it's a good design on the part of Garmin. I was planning to upgrade soon to a newer cooler more expensive model but I'm going to pay more attention to user reviews before I do that now. Mine is under warranty but if it had been another few months it would have been an $80 fee which seems excessive for a $200 watch. Also when I looked at the watch where the band split I noticed that all the labels of the buttons had also worn off. Either I'm putting this watch through heavier duty than it's made for or it's maybe got some design issues. Either way I'm under warranty so I'm getting a replacement or a repair and I'm happy with that.

As a final note about my fabulous day I dressed in the morning for my workouts. The plan was to change after that at home so that I didn't look like a schlump for the afternoon. It didn't quite work because I didn't quite have time so I didn't get to shower until just before dinner. As a result I did feel very schlumpish during the afternoon errors. Conclusion: I either need to shower at the gym (YUCK) and pack real clothes (WHAT A PAIN) or buy cuter workout clothes (WINNER!).

Monday, April 18, 2011

Marathon Monday

So today is the Boston Marathon. I'm not running :-) I'm tracking it sort of online. It's also Passover a holiday that my husband and his family celebrate. However, since he's working like crazy and his parents are just back from a big trip I'm putting together the dinner. Can we say - don't have too high expectations! The kids and I made Matzah Balls last night for the first time. It was fun. We used a mix. That will be the last time for a mix because I think it's like pancake mix ... matzah meal in a box, maybe some baking soda / powder is that a mix I need really?

To start today's post with the most current news I completed my swim workout without wanting to die or barf. I was very proud. It's still a mini workout compared to most but nonetheless I was happy. 1200 yds with a main set of 600 (unless I counted incorrectly which is always possible).

What else has been happening? Well I met my brother on the Key for a Brick workout on Saturday. We swam at the same time as the Hammerheads. I won't say "with" because they all swam a mile or so and I swam just past my favorite first buoy and back. 12 minutes. Jer swam further and faster ... no surprise there. It was not a tremendous achievement but it was pretty big surf and I didn't flip out so I was happy about that. I think the OWS practice is definitely going to help come race day. Oh wait that's this Saturday. Still it will help. Then we biked which was fun. We were apparently some of the few bikers who weren't hit by cars on the Key this weekend. That's a little joke but sadly I heard three bikers were hit. I hope they are okay. Watch for people on bikes drivers! That would have more impact if anybody read this blog except me :-) Then we ran. I walked 3 or 4 times and felt like a loser but I was out of gas.

In other non-triathlon news to report we had a discovery this week in the house. We're slowly working on landscaping the front yard. One of my new years resolutions (the one that isn't run a race every month) is to plant something or work on something in the yard every week. I had our handyman hack down a huge area of ugly ferns. They are ridiculous and ugly in my opinion and I'm always pretty sure there are snakes hiding in them. I'm all for snakes conceptually but I don't really want to have anything to do with them. After they were cut down it was already much better and we found 3 large stumps that were under. So the ferns were just a quick cover up by the previous owner when the trees died. Not a tremendous surprise this is the same person who stapled plastic orchids in her trees. When he started pulling up the roots we even found the original edging from when the trees had been there. It feels a little like an archeological dig or something. Every time I look under something I find a remnant of what was there before. Wild. I don't know if I'll keep the edging but it is fun to dig it up. And yes my yard really does need help. Slowly but surely - slowly but surely.

Also, I planted a Sago Palm - go me! Jack helped too. Go Jack! That's him in the little blue Vibram 5 Fingers :-)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Priorities and Cauliflower

In the world of training this 'recovery' week continues. Today I was supposed to swim and run but it's only going to be a run because my daughter is home sick. I try to do my workouts while my kids are in school so that I don't have to leave them. In truth I could have pulled myself away and worked them both in.  But within the last year I actually closed a business in order to be more present for my kids. That being said it's hard for me to pull away from them even when they are driving me crazy. Today they aren't driving me crazy ... most of the time.

So, I've made some rules to help me prioritize. One of the rules is that if they ask me not to go when I'm heading out to train - I don't go. This usually applies early in the morning when I'm leaving. It hasn't happened in a while but my son used to be worried if he woke up and he saw I was leaving in the dark. In his little mind this was not good and I figured it wasn't worth scaring him for a few early morning miles. Another rule is that I try not to leave them to go train unless it's better for both of us. Today that means just the run for my sanity will do. Tomorrow I'll swim. Still I feel like I am not doing enough training this week.

Now about cauliflower. I've decided I don't like it. I don't mind it raw smothered with hummus or ranch but let's be honest that's all about liking ranch dressing and hummus not liking cauliflower. But it is supposed to be a healthy thing so last night dinner was center cut pork chops (on the grill) and cauliflower mash. Steamed the cauliflower - sauteed some onion and garlic threw it all in the food processor and swirled it around. It looks like mashed potatoes. But it tastes like cauliflower. I still don't like it. Covering it with cheese would help but I lead a pretty cheese free life so I didn't do that. I also try to avoid salt. That would make it better too but I left it out. I did eat it -- for the vitamins but I'm glad it's not on the menu today and I didn't pick up anymore cauliflower at the store.

Here is a picture of my fabulous grilled pork chop and my not so fabulous cauliflower mash.

I recently read a book about the Paleo Diet. Interesting read. It had a lot of fun stuff in it and I've been driving my family nuts with what it says. As a result of the book I've cut out a lot of dairy and grains.  I also have some random thoughts that pop into my head about the paleo man's diet. Like:  I'm pretty sure that if Paleo man had run into a potato he would have eaten it. I can't be sure of it but that's my thought. And also I'm pretty sure that if paleo man had been offered a choice between cauliflower or a bit of chocolate he would have quickly taken the chocolate. I know I felt much happier last night eating the Springtime colored Hershey's Kisses than forcing down the cauliflower.

And that's all I have to say about that today :-)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Blechoriffic is not a real word of course. But maybe I'll suggest it to the nice folks at the University of Chicago ( I think they make the Webter's Dictionary) so that they can consider it because it perfectly describes how I felt at the end of today's pool workout.

To be honest while last week I was totally revved up for my training this week I have a bit less pizazz in my step. In fact, since my son had a doctors appointment Monday that became a recovery day. Then yesterday I used my daughters fever as an excuse to call my tennis lesson my workout which means I skipped my run.

In short - today was my first workout of the week. Scheduled to do 1600 yds in the pool. My goal was to take it nice and easy concentrating on my form and all the zillion things I've been reviewing in online swimming videos. It felt pretty good. I started with 200 warm up then 50 kicking with the kickboard. Swimming laps is really boring but kicking with the board is even worse in my opinion. Then I meant to swim 400 but actually swam 300 - my math was off (wait 12 divided by 4 is only 300 - drat) which I realized during my recovery. Then I went back out for 16 lengths. Felt fine and then did 300 on purpose and then I felt a little light headed and yucky.

So, I did the only sensible thing and rested an extra minute and decided instead of 300 yds to do 200 but after 50 yds thought okay I'll do my last part 100 at a time. Rested after that 100 and did another 50 and then shifted to kicking with the kickboard (which I may have mentioned I think is like watching paint dry) and then after 25 just slowly made it to the end. I briefly looked in the next lane and the other swimmer to see if he picked up on my feeling that I might puke but he just smiled and continued his laps. I took that to mean that I didn't look as much like I was going to faint as I thought. I rested a few minutes and considered another hundred. I really didn't want to come up short in this workout. I could just do 100 at a time. But then I reconsidered that it would be bad form to pass out at the pool so I got out.

I didn't feel good until after lunch so that was no fun at all. Sadly my mental image of me swimming miles and miles in open water has been temporarily dashed and replaced with a new image of a swimmer who needs to stick it out and work on my conditioning a lot more. So that's what I'll do. Back in the pool tomorrow :-)

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Is there anything funkier than the smell of a person after a saltwater swim followed by a bike and a run? I'm not sure.

Today's workout was awesome! I screwed up my courage to go and swim with Team Hammerheads. It was a small group today. There are two possible reasons for this. First, today is Swim Miami or Miami Swim or something like that. It's a long distance open water swim. I have heard that a lot of people use this as their first event of the summer. Not me however. The other reason is that tomorrow is the South Beach Nautica Triathlon. Lots of people are racing that and I don't know if they'd also swim today. I'm also not racing Nautica. Maybe next year.

Back to the important stuff - my workout. I was hugely intimidated by swimming with this group because according to the website most people swim between 1 to 2 miles and that is beyond my range.

Full disclosure: To be honest I have actually driven out there and chickened out once before. On that occasion it seemed like all the people milling about were also sporting ironman tattoos ... and I let the little wimpy inside me win. But not today.

More disclosure: Okay wait, there is one other time I did actually swim here. I went later in the day and walked through the seaweed (totally gross), then passed 3 uber fit swimmers who probably just finished their 2 mile swims (did I mention I was wearing a bright orange swim suit - cool I know), and then swam a bit but noticed I still had on my metal watch and was sure I would be eaten by a barracuda so I turned back and called it a day. Not a great success that workout.

After last weeks horrific swim I was determined to join in. Of course, the people there were very nice and welcoming and I had no reason to be afraid before. But let's not dwell on the fact that my fear was totally irrational. Let's focus on that I did it! I swam to the first buoy and back without lane lines, without my trusty wall and I only mildly freaked out when some seaweed brushed my leg. Success all around. I'm not sure how far it was. Somebody told me each buoy is .1 of a mile in which case I swam about .2 of a mile. I then went on to bike my 11 miles and run 4 miles including the bridge on both legs. 

So congratulations to me. Tomorrow just a bike ride to apparently the greatest Mango Shake ever. Here's hoping they have other flavors because while it's unfloridian of me I don't like Mango.

Why create another Blog?

I need to speak up. I need to be heard. I need to represent honesty in race review reports by my brother who had the audacity to omit from his latest race review that I beat him on the run leg. The nerve. It was the highlight of my day ... maybe my week. It made up for my horrible swim. He left it out.

He left it out.

I think I slaughtered his race time by two whole seconds and he left it out.

Which leaves me no other choice than to create my own blog.

To be brutally honest I'm creating this blog just because everybody else has one. I know that nobody will read it except my brother and sister-in-law. That's okay because that's who I mean when I say everybody.