Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New Bike Shorts -- Woohoo

I did a longer bike ride this Sunday.

In preparation I picked up a new pair of cycling shorts. I did this because I suspected that my current shorts were ouchie. In fact they were so ouchie that I had gone to just wearing tri shorts for rides and trainer sessions. But I was pretty sure I would regret wearing tri shorts on a ride this long.

I stopped by Elite Cycling and Fitness by the Falls in Miami. I went here because I was on my way to see a movie with my kids.

Side note: the movie was, The Secret Life of Arietty. Skip it. It's slow and boring and at least the one we saw the sound was all messed up. 

The last time I had been to Elite Cycling the owner was my sales person. He sold me spinning shoes. He also told me that he was planning to dedicate a bunch of the space in his store to a gym. I guess he did that and it wasn't a perfect success because it's back to being an all bike store and there are I think 2 new partners one of whom helped me.

There were only a few shorts on display so when asked, "how can I help you" I asked for girl shorts. They brought 3. I tried on two models. I closely inspected the chamois area wanting no seams or creases or bumps or anything but soft smooth padding. I asked about the difference and low and behold the male salesperson was ... wait for it ... knowledgeable and helpful about girls shorts.

I know, crazy but good because there didn't appear to be any girl employees around and I had, of course, waited until Saturday to make this purchase for the Sunday ride.

He explained what made the shorts different. I was concerned that the ones I liked more would be too hot but he assured me that it wouldn't be so.  Also the panels have a slight compression effect so that should be good, right. (Actually I'm not convinced about compression so I have no opinion there) So, I chose the one I wanted and also picked up some chamois creme (also for girls) just to be on the safe side.

Here's the best part. THEY ARE AWESOME! During and after the ride neither my girlie parts nor my bum were uncomfortable.   WOOHOO!  I repeat WOOHOO!
They are the Louis Garneau Fit Sensor shorts

Added bonus ... the top does not dig into my belly and I hope the compression helps keep all the parts from jiggling during the after bike jog. Actually to be honest after the 50 mile ride I didn't care what I looked like running.

Overall, I'm very happy with the shorts.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Triathlon Training Thursday

There are 5 weeks until Nautica South Beach and 12 until Florida 70.3.

Training Notes
I already did a separate post for the whole Sunday ride that I did in Haines City so there won't be a repeat of that here. I trained for seven and a half hours last week.

Swimming is progressing nicely. I swam my longest swim yet with my buddy Mel at a local pool where the main challenges were:
  • swimming in a straight line as there were no lane lines
  • avoiding the occasional middle-aged man bobbing in my lane on his noodle inexplicably.
  • keeping count when every time I hit the wall the old lady leading the noodle bobbing class was saying 45, 46, 47 on a loud speaker. 
  • my goggles were also breaking so that was an actual issue - the others were just funny.
It was nice to swim with somebody else. Not that I'm not feeling a friendship growing with the old man who is always swimming at LA fitness but he's not a friend so much as a constant presence.

I did buy new goggles. Aquasphere Lady Kayennes. They worked today and didn't leave big goggle marks on my face. So far, so good. I could even read my watch through the goggles although that will probably end after I swim this weekend in salt water.

I also picked up a pre-swim treatment for my hair. My highlights have lightened from the chlorine and I think I look ridiculous because the ends have gotten way too light. My mother-in-law said, "You're soooo blonde!" ack! It wasn't even on purpose and my roots are so not blonde. Hopefully it helps.

Biked on my own Sunday. Details will not be repeated here. And did a trainer session Tuesday morning which was bizarre because I was being hit by a stomach bug but I didn't really know it yet. I learned that it's hard to tell the difference between hard training and oncoming nausea. Eventually it becomes clear that it's beyond your control. I literally cut my run short and spent the rest of the day in bed. It was yucky. No more details are needed.

Did my solo run in Orlando Saturday morning. It was early because I had to be back for the character breakfast at 8.  8 miles in the middle of nowhere. Actually not nowhere but sandwiched between two big roads in the land of intermittent sidewalk and gigantic ant hills.  Sidewalk for 200 feet, grass for 200 feet - dodging ant hills in the eerie illumination of the flickering streetlights. 
I'm not an Orlando fan. Although my kids love it. LOVE it!
Also, I saw an oposum. That was fun.
I was closer than this seems and just after this he/she/it heard the fake iphone shutter sound and zipped off in a hurry.
Yesterday was a track workout at Tropical Park. It was fine - that's mostly because we only did 1/3 of the workout because coach Frank and his wife were checking into the hospital to have their baby after practice. No complaints here. Although I only figured out how to really track my 800 times the third and final one we did but that's okay I'll remember for next time. Turn off the auto lap. Turn off the auto lap.

General Observations and Goals for next week
 I did not complete many of last weeks goals. But I did actually count my strokes today in the pool - 19. Ha! That's exactly what Gary Fahey said he'd expect from most of us gals in the room. Gals is my word not his. 

I am going to keep my goal of test driving a bike. I wanted to do it today but my stomach is not working with me. Grumble Rumble Grumble. Making me think I'm not totally over whatever this stomach thing is. Also, I still need shoes :-) So the goals stay the goals. Bike tryouts, running shoes and of course, do all the workouts.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Research - 2012 the year I pay registration fees for races ... but do I race

This past weekend we had a family trip to Orlando for my daughter's gymnastics competition.

If you follow the blog you know that her competitions this year have been timed to completely mess up my race schedule. I see it as an exercise in my ability to try and remember to put her first but I'm already out 2 and now maybe 3 race registrations for the year but more on that later.

I'm registered for the Haines City Florida 70.3 race May 20th. I'm excited because it will be my first 70.3 distance. Since it's 30 minutes from Orlando I took my bike up with me to explore the course.

My husband and kids are too great that they put up with this because it is a little annoying to be lugging the bike around but they did it.

There is nothing in Haines City ... that I could find except Orange Trees. It's a typical small agricultural town but I will say that the park where they are hosting the event looks pretty awesome. New, clean, pretty park benches and so on.
Orange tree. This is the scenery in Haines City. Over and over again. Pretty cool actually I think.

I assume we'll be swimming in and out from the little beach and that looks good except for this:
The sign says DANGER public beach closed due to underwater obstruction
So, that's not alarming at all. Okay actually it is a little unnerving. There is a fire station on the corner and I stopped to ask the firemen whether they knew what the sign was about ... they did not. They also did not know that in less than 100 days there would be 2000 cyclists descending onto their local roads. Oops. Hopefully somebody somewhere else knows.

After poking around and looking for an open bathroom (no success there) I headed out on my bike ... map in hand. I didn't make it very far because soon I came to a rural intersection where there were no shoulders on the road. I didn't take a picture but it was a typical rural 4-way stop with a gas station / convenience store on each corner. The stop signs were really big and the lane lines were double yellow lines. I stopped and paused because that says highway to me.

I looked and initially the speed limit was only 35 so I went ahead. But within a half mile I was passed by 3 cars going over the double yellow to give me space. And then the speed limit went up to 50 and I realized that the road was Hinson Ave and FL 17. I perched at the top of a hill  watching the trucks speed by for a minute and then I chickened out and turned back. I don't know if it was just nerves because I was alone and because I had the recent cyclist fatality in Miami on my mind but I did not feel like sharing the road at 50 mph.

While it didn't work for me as a training ride I'm not saying that it's a bad course or anything because this won't be an issue during the race because the course will be marked and there will be more of us together. We road on rural roads in Trinona that were also open to traffic and it was fine ... and really pretty.

This wasn't the actual intersection where I chickened out but a sample of the shoulderless roads just for ... proof.
So it was a lot of driving for only about 40 minutes of biking but the hills were fun. None too huge in the part that I road. The roads are in pretty terribly condition on the section I followed. A lot of gravel and a lot of uneven surfaces. I will say that if I get to this race I'll need to be prepared for a long bumpy ride and probably a flat tire I would think.

I was not alone in researching the location as I left there were two cyclists pulling in with beautiful tri bikes on the back of their cars. Hopefully they got farther on the route than I did. If I get out there again I will want to be with other cyclists and maybe even a car. My own personal sag wagon :-)

So later that day we went to my daughter's gymnastics meet. She did very well. They don't give individual awards at her beginner level but the team took first place!
That's my peanut holding the first place team award. They were thrilled.
 In talking to another mom I learned that this might mean they go to the state competition in May. Guess when ... that's right May 18-20th exactly when I'm registered to be in Haines City. Can you believe it? So that will be a big bummer but I can't imagine that it wouldn't crush my daughter if I didn't go to her gymnastics meet. That's just not a good option.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Triathlon Training Thursday

There are 6 weeks until Nautica South Beach and 13 weeks until 70.3 Florida.  That's less than 100 days until 70.3 Florida, just so you know.

Training Notes
Swimming: I swam in the bay last Saturday morning. It was chilly. I wore my wetsuit. There were no jellyfish or sharks or apparent sewage in the water. That's all good.

It was a short-short-short swim. To the first buoy and back and then chat a bit and then repeat. It was fine although I did wish for a rest toward the end so my fitness is not all the way there yet.

I have also completed my longest swim set to date in the pool so I am making progress and I feel okay about this part of the training.

As promised I did video my swimming. I'm going to try to get an underwater  video maybe tonight since I'll be there with a friend. I am also trying to work on my kick because in the triathlons definitely keeping your legs fresh is super important so figuring out the slow 2-beat kick would be a good idea.

Biking: This week there was a bad cycling accident out on Key Biscayne. So I have that on my mind. I always think that I'm fortunate it's not me.

I am most nervous about the biking portion of the upcoming events. The reason is that I think it's my weakest segment but even though I know that I'm not sure I'm doing enough to really improve a lot on that portion.

My longest ride recently is under 30 miles so that's got to get higher and soon. I rode by myself on Sunday in the afternoon. It was chilly but nice.
all bundled up for my afternoon ride.

Part of my ride overlapped the Tour de Cure course (which I didn't do) but I loved the little signs all over. Of course they put the signs up and they are still up in some places because nobody took them down. That is, after all, the problem with signs.

I also did 60 minutes on the trainer Tuesday morning. That's pretty hard. I watched the first episode of Downtown Abbey. I don't get all the fuss over the show to be honest.

This weekend I'll be out of town and I actually hope to ride part of the Haines City course if I'm close enough.

I am also bike shopping for a new stallion to be in the garage. When I bought my first bike I knew nothing. So I went to a bike shop that I trusted and picked my color and that was it.

I'm shopping for a Tri bike this time. Florida is pretty flat and the local races tend to be mostly flat non-technical courses. There is also the rumor that the tri bikes leave your legs in better shape for the run. While not everyone agrees with that if it's right it's worth it in my opinion.This time around I know just enough to hang myself with questions. So, I've been to two shops and next week I'm going to start actually riding some bikes and see how I feel. Stay tuned for details as the bike shopping progresses.

Opinions are of course always welcome.

Running: I am of course most comfortable with the runs in these events. While that's true I did have a run workout that I totally flunked this week. It was a tempo run and I was supposed to hit 9:02 for 3 miles and I didn't even get there once. I did 9:11, 10:09 and 10:07. So - mega frustrating.

General Observations and Goals for Next Week

Total random tidbit ** last night was a Team Hammerhead meeting with Gary Fahey the Total Immersion coach speaking. He estimated that during a half Ironman swim you might take 1900 strokes. That seems like a lot doesn't it? ** end of random tidbit.

My goals for next week are to test ride one new bike and to buy a new pair of shoes for the track workout I expect for Wednesday. I also am going to count my strokes today in the pool for one length and also time myself for one 100 just as a sort of benchmark kind of thing. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Beyblades:: my son, marathon :: me, politics:: hubby

My son is obsessed with beyblades. He loves to play with them, battle with them and what's more he loves to discuss them ... With ME!

Sadly, I can barely keep my eyes open for these discussions. I have to concentrate to try to look interested. Of course since he's only 5 I don't think he notices.

I realized as my eyes were glazing over during the latest Beyblade discussion (that always revolves around how my son has won the battle) that this must be how my husband feels when i'm jabbering on about marathon or triathlon training or racing.

I recognize that look on my husband because I make it myself when my husband is jabbering on about whatever political stuff he finds interesting this week.

In the beginning I am listening and interested. Then I realize that I don't really understand what he's talking about and my thoughts begin to drift. Then I realize I don't care about what he's talking about and then I just have to hope he doesn't realize that I'm not actually paying attention. It's terrible and rude and I wish it didn't happen but it does.

So now I've decided that it's karmic payback for all my marathon jabbering that my son is torturing me with endless and detailed lessons on the all important beyblades.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Triathlon Training Thursday - the stuff of legends

There are 7 weeks until Nautica South Beach. There are 14 weeks until Half-Ironman 70.3 which I may or may not be racing with Lance Armstrong. I say may because while the Internets are all atwitter today that he is racing Ironman 70.3 Panama this weekend he has also announced that he will be racing Florida 70.3. Since we have two Ironman 70.3s in Florida whether he's racing with me in May or without me in October remains to be clarified. Either way the sport of triathlon has just gotten more news coverage in the last 20 hours than probably the last 2 months so that's probably good.

Training Notes
I wanted to put up a super cool video of me swimming today but I cannot seem to remember to take my camera out of my bag and into the pool room so that will have to be a next week item. I did not attend masters classes this week because I am a wimp. But I did  swim 3750 yards this week which is my two longest swim workouts to date.

In other swimming news the pool is back to being empty apparently the post ING crowds have moved to another LA fitness or something.

In final swimming news there was somebody swimming next to me today who was swimming more slowly than I was. I was concentrating on going slowly (to keep the barfy feeling away) so she was going very slow which confused me because I'm not used to that happening.

I got my tushie handed to me on a long ride this past Sunday. I had been cruising along thinking I still had some bike fitness. I mean I had been riding over the winter on the trainer, spin classes etc. I had done group rides and felt fine over the winter. I actually went on a ride with my husband who observed that I've gotten a lot faster.

But Sunday woah.

I was riding with the group from last year which is lead by a speedy guy and I know he starts like a rocket and then settles into his groove. My body was so not ready for that. My legs were immediately ON FIRE and I was going so slow. I was dropped instantly.  Luckily my buddies waited for me at an intersection and we stayed together for the rest of the ride. I owe them dinner or something.

About 12 miles into the ride the burn faded and I felt like I had some power back... 12 miles that's forever. We did go over the bridge and I did hit 32 mph on the way down which just might mean that I'm getting a little braver on the bike.

Ran 8 miles on Saturday ... slow. Ran Tuesday for 20 minutes after spinning and did a track workout last night for about 4 miles. Ouch. That's all I'm gonna say about that ... ouch.

General Observations and Goals for next week
You might have picked up on the c word above. Coach. So yes this is the first week with the coach. So far it has had the desired effect of giving me a plan and increasing my swim volume, a lot. Also he's made me run faster on the track so that's probably good although it didn't feel all that good toward the end of said workout.

Too early to tell really what this will mean in the long run. Ha! a funny ... long run.

In other news Chris McCormack tweeted that he got a massage on Tuesday. You may have heard of him because he's an international triathlon superstar world champion cool guy.  I know he got a massage because as a total geek I follow him on twitter.  I also got a massage on Tuesday although I didn't tweet it because, well, nobody cares. But I'm pretty sure that the fact that he and I got massages on the same day (albeit on different continents) means that he and I are now buddies and should I ever see him in person I'll be able to be all nonchalant and cool and just say, "hey." 

Goals for next week - keep on plugging. Now that I've settled on a format for this message it needs images - relevant images.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My green smoothie is not actually green

I took pictures as proof do you would know I wasn't fibbing.

Ingredients: blueberries, banana, strawberries (frozen), 2 spoons of Greek yogurt, three lettuce leaves, the juice from 1/2 a lemon. And added later because the blender wasn't blending a quick splash of cranberry juice.

Instead of lettuce I should probably use something cool like kale but this is what I had :-).

Also given the resulting non greenness of the smoothie I'm guessing it's supposed to be more greens and less fruits. Baby steps people baby steps.

I cannot taste the lettuce but I can feel it which takes a few sips to get used to.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Triathlon Training Thursday

I think my  Triathlon Training posts need some focus - a form - something to make them more consistent. So this will hopefully be the Thursday format for the future. Let me know what you think.

There are 8 weeks to Nautica South Beach and 15 weeks to Florida Half Ironman.

I feel like I'm close to ready for the Nautica race in terms of finishing the distance. I feel scared out of my mind about the Florida 70.3 distance.

Training Notes
I swam yesterday 1600 yards. The pool was crowded. I call this the ING effect. Seriously almost all endurance folks are training for the 1/2 or full marathon at the end of January and once that's done it's Whammo into the pool for tri training for Nautica and other tris.

I squeezed myself in between two folks and did my own workout. I got a new silicone swim cap. I love it. LOVE it. How did I live without a silicone swim cap? So soft and easy to put on and off.  In other news my goggles are a mess. The seal is bent from living in the swim bag and I had to stop during my warm up to bend it back a few times.
My new trainer tire. I have successfully changed it twice ... I know, I'm a bike savant.

I did my Tuesday morning spin class. It was tough. I feel that I need to increase my biking mileage. That's that. 

I also need to clean my bike chain. After this blog post I'm off to the bike store - kiddo in tow to get supplies. I will document said chain cleaning with photographs because it's bound to be entertaining. Also here's a Good tip: I have learned that nail polish remover takes bike grease off your skin.  I learned it at the nail salon when getting my toes pampered and I had remnant bike grease on the top of my foot (don't ask) the nail technician saw it and nonchalantly swiped it off with nail polish remover. I was amazed.

I did not run the 1/2 marathon because I was doing my other job, blogging  parenting. :-) My daughter competed in her first Gymnastics competition this week. Watch the video of balance beam cuteness above if you have a minute.

I probably have lost some run fitness after the NY marathon try as I might not to. But to be honest I still feel okay about it. With all three sports I feel like I'm not running much so I did squeeze in a recovery run for 30 mins Monday. That definitely helped the spin class the next day.

General Observations and Goals for the upcoming week
Other bloggers I know posted their monthly totals for January. I saw that and went and looked and learned that my log keeping is pathetic. I will try to keep a better record of what I'm doing.

My other goal for this upcoming week is to get back to the masters swimming gig at least once a week.