This weekend I plan to do all the things Gale said to do a week or two ago: get the wetsuit, figure out what I will wear and practice my transitions--which I did cut from 15 minutes two weeks ago to about 7 minutes last weekend :p.
Riding home from work yesterday I realized that even though I finished my base training 11 weeks ago, I still feel like I am building a base. I am quite happy with how far my fitness has come but I still feel like I want to go a lot further. I actually thought I would be in peak form for this race after 6 months of training, but I see now that this is just the beginning.
With that in mind, my only goals for next weekend are to complete the entire course...and enjoy doing it.
By the way, thanks for your latest blog Gale! -- Your perspective is very motivating.
The Tri-California site lists the water temperature for Wildflower between 65 and 68 degrees. The Air temp right now is 71 degrees. Would you recommend that I use a wetsuit? Please keep the following in mind:
1) I have never been swimming in a wetsuit.
2) I don't own a wetsuit and prefer not to purchase one.
I could rent one however is that a good idea when I have never used one before?
I finally went to Road Runner in San Diego and had them look at my stride. I kind of expected a big to do but this is all that happened:
First they took imprints of my foot strike on both sides
Then they taped me running on the treadmill
They scribbled notes on a sheet of paper, then told me I have a neutral stride.
According to the Road Runner pamphlet titled Feel Great in Your Shoe Fit, neutral means my feet "tend to be rigid, have high arches, and roll inward or outward minimally."
It was kind of anticlimactic but my runs since have been nothing short of glorious. I am feeling good so I don't have to deal with the super heavy, I-don't-think-I-can-run-anymore-than-20-feet feeling that comes when I haven't run in a while. I especially enjoyed my long run last weekend. I took it slow, ran down along the ocean and felt really good. I am looking forward to slipping back into my new Saucony Triumph 5s!
I did learn that I was wearing a half size too small. Apparently your toes are not supposed to hit the front of the shoe at all when you run. (My toes were hitting the front of my old shoes when going down hills)
I am getting frustrated that things seem to keep getting in the way of the weekend workouts. It makes me nervous as those are pretty important steps in my training and with Wildflower only a month away.
The latest? I broke out in Hives last Thursday night and I am pretty sure I got them from using seventh generation's powder laundry detergent.
I got it the worst on my chest and stomach so there was no way that I was going to put on a sports bra. And aside from the fact I wanted to scratch my skin off, I was advised to stay out of the sun while taking the medicine the doctors prescribed, so I was house bound the entire weekend--missing yet another major weekend of workouts.
I did however learn a few things:
Benedryl works better as an antihistamine when taken orally--forget the gels
Xyzal is an even better antihistamine
Oatmeal baths make you feel like you are bathing in vomit (and don't actually work that well--stick with a cold compress)
Cortozone shots are good
The Bourne Ultimatum wasn't all that different from the other two films
Seventh Generation powder laundry detergent is no good
Gale was scheduled to shoot some cycling and triathlon training videos today at Active. I decided it would be a good opportunity to meet my coach and get some footage for the blog so I volunteered to be one of the "models".
I don't normally think of myself as awkward but in the world of triathletes, I just might be. I wear old clothes, my face gets bright red when I work out, and no matter how hard I try I come home from every ride with a grease stain on my leg in the shape of a chain ring.
Standing next to Gale it is easy to tell, who is the coach and who is the rookie. Gale wore matching Pearl Izumi pinks and black that reached from the trim on her shirt to the mesh in her shoes: I wore a ratty jersey I got for free in Japan eight years ago. Gale's frame is tiny and her body, trim: I kept pulling at my shirt, in hopes of covering up my tummy. I forgot sunscreen, I didn't shave my legs, and of course I gave myself a tire mark in between video takes.
Most of the video shoots were done with Jesse's bike and Jesse, the other model, spent the prior evening making it presentable. He wiped the tubes, dug the dirt out of the cogs, lubed the chain and tightened screws that needed to be tightened.
When we put my bike on the rack I noticed everything I didn't think to do the night before. My handlebar tape was peeling, the gearing was caked in dirt, the brilliant blue tubes were covered in a light gray dust and my cyclometer screen was dead.
"Eek, it's kind of dirty," I said.
Gale was polite. "It's OK, you can do what you like; personally, I prefer a clean bike."
We laughed and I made a mental note to buy some chain lube.
At the end of the day, we discussed what still needed to be done. Gale stopped mid-sentence to wipe what was undoubtedly a grease stain on my forehead.
Gale, It was great finally meeting you. Thanks for all the training and racing tips!
A lot of my runs so far were supposed to have been low intensity and in zone 1 but I am having a really hard time running in zone 1. I thought I calculated my lactate threshold to be around 174, so zone 1 would be under 147 HR. This past weekend I went on a 6-mile run and it took one hour. 10-minute miles is pretty slow but my heart rate was still high. For the first 30 minutes my HR was consistently between 154 and 165. The slightest hill made it go up into the 170s and 180s and in the last half hour I could not get it under 170. I was winded however as long as I was not running a hill (or recovering from a hill) I could still talk. My boyfriend's HR was around 150 the whole time.
My questions are:
1) Is it really possible to run in zone 1 and am I doing something wrong?
2) is it normal for women to have a higher HR than men?
As the new year gets under way I have been tempted by a few races that friends are signing up for. How do I know where I can fit shorter running and biking races into my training plan leading up to the main Wildflower event?
I am starting to learn that running or swimming or biking for 30 minutes, 2 or 3 times a week, might keep me active but it does nothing to improve my fitness. And the ActiveX strength workouts I do twice a week have been a reality check for me.
Today our circuit went like this: run 400, 20 push ups, 15 Box Jumps, 10 pull ups; repeat 3 more times.
I felt like my lungs were sealed shut and I was sucking air in and out of a small opening, my run pace got slower and slower, my arms felt like rubber and I once again felt like I have never worked out before.
These workouts are notoriously difficult but I am consistently falling behind the rest of the group even though I thought I was in pretty good shape.
I realized after the workout that I have always been active but I haven't pushed my limits in a long time. I trained for some 24-hour adventure races a few years ago but even those workouts were pretty low intensity and by my own design. I was focused on building my enduranceand was able go for 24 (or 36 hours)but I neglected the other components of a total body workout.
The longer I sit here writing, the more my lungs are opening up, my breathing is getting less labored and the more excited I am to be replacing my lazy workouts with a total fitness routine. It still stinks to be the slow one but at least I have something to shoot for.
-I swapped Monday and Tuesday's workouts, and Wednesday and Thursday's workouts, so I am swimming on Mon/wed and running / cycling on Tues and Thurs.
-I did ActiveX on Friday instead of resting.
-I did not get the chance to run on Saturday.
-My bike workouts were longer and more intense than they were supposed to be.
Week Three workouts (12/3-12/9)
-I missed my Wednesday swim
-I rested on Thursday as well
-I did my bike ride and strength training on Friday instead of Thursday.
-I plan to do the Saturday run and the Sunday ride as planned.
Thoughts and Questions:
Swim: I like having my swims on Monday and Wednesday so I would like to stick with that.
Strength: I am still trying to fit ActiveX into my schedule but I am not sure how that will conflict with climbing in the future. Plus one of the ActiveX days is Friday, which is supposed to be my rest day.
Bike: I ride with a lot of people who are better than me, when should I go alone and when is it OK to push myself on what is supposed to be a low intensity ride?
Yoga: Finally, If I wanted to get in on an occasional yoga class, what would be the best day for that?
On another note: I signed up for Wildflower over the weekend--even though every time I mention it, people tell me it is one of the most difficult triathlons out there...and even though I read this article about the race.
Looks like I will have to do a lot of hill training to prepare. Bring it on!
(This video took Belle a few tries: To see her outtakes click here.)
I have to confess, I am pretty active...sometimes. I have a schizophrenic sports personality and try anything that comes my way.
During college I took up mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, snowboarding, running, racquetball and Rugby.
After college I moved to Japan where it was easy to be active because I had so much time on my hands. I only worked 20 hours a week so I swam a mile every morning, rode my mountain bike every afternoon, and rode a city bike or walked to work. I was in peak form because my lifestyle allowed me to be and it was easy.
While in Japan I tried a triathlon, however, the race did not go very well. I was late for the swim because race officials changed the start time and did not notify the gaijin (foreigners). I was riding a mountain bike with nobby tires and I got lost because I couldn't read the road signs. (Apparently there was a huge sign that said “DON’T GO THIS WAY”…and I went that way.) Then I had to run, which is by far my biggest weakness.
My fellow gaijin were among the first to cross the finish line. By the time I arrived there was a pig roasting over a fire and all the Japanese men were lighting cigarettes and drinking beer.
Since I returned from Japan my focus has been sporadic and fitness weaves in and out of my life. I feel like I am constantly trying to get into shape instead of reaching a point where I can push my abilities.
I have often wondered if, with proper training and a little more focus, I could get to the point where being active can be a consistent part of my life--like it was in Japan seven years ago.
The biggest focus for me is to learn how to integrate workouts into my life. No matter where I amworking or traveling, summer or winter holidaysI want to make training an automatic part of my day.
Active.com has paired me up with Active Expert Gale Bernhardt to train for the Wildflower Triathlon in May. Stay tuned, and feel free to cheer me on, egg me on and post comments as I work towards this goal. And hopefully this time I can at least beat the people smoking cigarettes at the finish line.
Belle is a little active but she wants to get more active. Follow her through videos and blogs as she works with help from Active Expert Gale Bernhardt to prepare for the wildflower triathlon next May.