Thursday, October 29, 2009

Off Season

As the leaves have started to fall here in SW VA the tri season draws to a close which means it's time to start thinking about the off season. The WHAT you ask? I know plenty of folks that train the same year round and do just fine - but I also know plenty of folks that train exactly the same over the winter only to hit June with major burn out OR injury. I do firmly believe that everyone needs to have an ACTUAL off season.
So, what DO you do in the off season? I encourage my athletes to do two major things in the off season: first, do something different and second, focus on your limiters. Never run a half marathon but always wanted to? Off season. Had your eye on the local master swim group but haven't taken the leap? Off season. How about a trail run? Think outside the box and find something fun a different that you will look forward to!

Limiters are a whole different issue. Take a really honest look at your last season race results. It is usually pretty easy to identify where you could stand to improve. For A LOT of triathletes that means hitting the pool. I highly encourage all triathletes to have a coach (swim or tri) look at your swim stroke. If you swimming in a swim meet and doing a 50 - 100 y. sprint it's all about power and speed in the water. HOWEVER, if you are a triathlete the swim becomes about not only speed and power, but also efficiency. You want to get out of the water with energy left for a bike and run. So, find a masters swim group, hire a coach, get yourself filmed in the water and fix that swim stroke!!
Tommorow's blog: working on those bike limiters!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Seriously Coors?

I have to preface this post with the disclaimer that as a celiac I can't drink beer so maybe this new 'invention' is a really great thing and I just don't appreciate it. I doubt it.
I was driving E. to school this morning, we didn't walk to school because - hello - I melt in the rain, when I hear a new Coors commercial on the radio. There is a man who is very distressed that he doesn't know if his beer is cold. The announcer comes on to reassure him that if he is drinking Coors he will be fine because the mountains on the can turn blue when your Coors is "as cold as the Rockys". I hate to ask the obvious question, but can't you feel when your beer is cold? I wonder how much Coors spent on developing the color changing can? I wonder if your can of Coors now costs a few cents more because the fancy mountains on the can change colors?
Then the crazy liberal wanna save the world in me wonders what would happen if Coors took that color changing money and gave it to somebody that is trying to cure cancer. I am sure the Livestrong Foundation could find good use for that money. Heck, I am guessing the local food bank could put that money to good use. Do you think people would stop drinking Coors because their can doesn't turn blue when they take it out of the fridge?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Gluten Free Breakfast(s)

There seem to be two types of morning exercisers - those that MUST eat before they workout, and those that CAN'T eat before they workout. I fall in the first category. (plus I really like having two breakfasts!!) Tuesdays are easy for me because I get up at 5:50 and have some gluten free waffles. I have tried a lot of gluten free waffles, but I like the Van's mini waffles the best.

Toasted with a little bit of butter (REAL butter, none of that fake stuff, just a little though!!) I have an hour and a half of coaching swim practice for the JMU tri club then I swim. Perfect amount of time to digest before my swim! After the swim I come home and have my SECOND breakfast! I love training!
This week I tried something new. I almost always eat corn grits & egg whites for breakfast. (At least 5 out of 7 days a week) I found a package of Hodgson's Mill Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon and Flax Seed Muffin Mix at Walmart (sorry Diane!!). They had a pancake recipe on the back and I LOVE pancakes so I tried it.

I have always hated those muffin mixes with fruit pellets. What in the world in in the fruit pellets? These have two great things - real apples and flax seed. I have not made them as muffins yet, but as pancakes they are an acquired taste. No way I could pass them off with the kids, but for me they were fine. I love knowing they are healthy with whole grain and fruit and that outweighs the slightly funky taste. (having said that there was some butter and syrup involved!) Not light and fluffy but enough like real pancakes to make me happy!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Beach2Battleship Goals

I guess it's time to end my denial and accept the fact that I will be doing an Iron distance race in less than 2 weeks! I was in such denial that I didn't make hotel reservations until a week ago. In my own defense my sister is due to have a baby a week after the race and I promised that I will ditch the race to be with her if she's in labor. I also got a case of poison oak that was bad enough that I emailed the RD to see about changing over to the half, only to email him back 2 days later and claim insanity brought on by massive doses of prednisone.
So, it's time to set some goals for myself. The bottom line is that my training has been pretty S. A. D. sad for this race. There are a million reasons I could give why I wasn't able to train, but the bottom line is that I didn't. So, that leaves me with what am I going to strive for on race day?
As I said a few posts ago I am all about setting both internal and external goals. I tend to focus on the internal goals more, those that are under my control. External goals are those that you don't have any control over. For example - placing in my AG is an external goal because I don't have any control over who else is registered OR how well trained they are for the event. So, here goes on the goals for this event:
1. I want to enjoy the race. Last year at the IM Louisville I went to such a dark place and wasn't able to have fun. I know that at some point during the day I will go to the dark place, but this time I want to do a better job of fighting back from that place and going back to the happy place.
2. Swim: I want to go sub 1:00 for the swim, with the current this should be pretty easily doable.
3. Bike: Hmmm - this is the place where I haven't trained anywhere as much as I would like. I would like to take the bike fairly easy and nail my nutrition plan.
4. Run: At IM Louisville '08 I hit the wall and then the wall beat me again and again for about 16 miles. At B2B I want to run the run - and not in that "I think I'm still running but why are all those walkers passing me?" kind of way. I would like my watch to read nice little 10's every mile.
So, there goes - the clock will read what it will at the end and I will finish the race. Fingers crossed for beautiful weather and strong legs!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Race Report - Race to Beat Breast Cancer

I am such a huge fan of writing race reports. It gives you a chane to reflect on what you did right, what went wrong, and hopefully will help you do better next time. Vicky and I walked down to the rec center about a half hour before the race. There were a few survivor testimonials before we headed outside to line up. About 10 min. before the race start the rain started.
Mistake #1 - my zensah compression skirt does NOT do well in the rain - it apparently stretches A LOT and becomes very heavy
The course is 2 5k loops - other racers were doing 5k and you couldn't tell who was doing what, so as I'm trying to keep up with people we reach the second loop and they turn off- leaving me with another loop to do! On the first loop while it was raining sideways (wind + rain = sideways rain) my shins and calves were really tight. I think the wet roads (plus wet leaves) and lack of traction was making me use my feet and calves more than usual.
I pretty much split almost every mile at exactly 8:08 - I would have liked to be about 10 sec. faster per mile, but I guess that gives me something to work to next time!!
Mistake #2 - It ws COLD afterwords because we were soaked to the bone! Sitting around wating for awards in wet clothes was brrrrrrr. - next year bring dry clothes if it's raining!!
All in all overall time was around 50:20 & place was 1st in A.g. (30 - 39)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Race to Beat Breast Cancer

Yay! Tommorow is race day! I don't often do running races, not because I don't enjoy them, I just don't usually have the time! The race is put on by the Rec Center, which I LOVE because they support so many great programs, and the race benefits the Breast Cancer Center at RMH which I am happy to support because they take care of lots and lots of people, including my mother in law.
So, I am really hoping to have a PR tommorow - which shouldn't be hard since I don't think I've ever run an actual 10k before : ) So, external goals are, as always to bring home some hardware. Internal goals are to break 50 min. and never give into the pain. (I'll post later on goal setting and internal and external goals.)
Afterwords we are having the JMU tri club over for pancakes - I don't know if Paul will make gluten free pancakes for me, but I won't subject everyone else to gluten free pancakes!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Public Service Announcement #1

O-k, so I've been know to get on a soap box or two so today we'll call it a Public Service Announcement because that sounds less bossy. Yesterday I went out for a nice bike ride by myself in the country. I have been suffering (and I mean suffering) from Poison Oak over the last two weeks which seems to have been re-invigorated by an allergic reaction to shrimp on Sunday night. Yes, I am a medical freak - lets move on.
I'm riding up a lovely hill that I ride regularly when I become short of breath. Then light headed, then really short of breath. You know that horrible I'm gonna pass out feeling? I had it. I quickly pulled over and crawled off my bike to the side of the road. My first thought was - I don't have my Road ID on. I got my phone out as quickly as possible and called Paul. Thankfully I didn't pass out and laying down on the grass for a few minuites got things under control. Paul came to pick me up and although I felt crappy for the rest of the day I was relativly o-k.
Here comes the PSA. Even though I had my cell phone had I passed out in the road it would have done me no good. With my Road ID if I was out cold Paul's number would have been the first thing whoever found me would have seen.
So, my PSA is simple - take ID with you, whether you are out walking or biking or running. A cyclist was hit and killed in our area a short time ago with no ID. For days the news was reporting about his bike, his wedding ring, his jersey. What a horrible way for a family member to find out about an accident.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My Superhero

My friend Diane (I feel like I should give her a good name since in her blog I am named Ironwoman, I'll work on that for you Diane!!) and I are leading a running group for 5th grade girls. This isn't just your average track group!! We have 25 fifth grade girls - and they are WONDERFUL!! We are using a program called GoGirlGo , which is a program of the Women's Sports Foundation. We have adapted it a little to make it work for our girls but the basic premise is that we meet with the girls twice a week for 12 weeks and talk about all that icky girl stuff they are starting to have to deal with. At the end of the twelve weeks they will all run the Generations Crossing 5k AND be better equipped to deal with all that girl gunk.
I am the coach type, I know lots of great running games, all the info on how to run correctly, how to build endurance etc. Diane is the wonderfully creative one that comes up with great journal ling activities for the girls. Here latest activity gave me my blog idea! The girls assignment was to create their own super hero. (we were talking about bullying) Here's mine:
Ironwoman (what else?!)
Mission statement: To bring strength and confidence to other girls & women.
Powers: She is able to spread feelings of joy from person to person. She is also able to share her super strength with others in small helpings. She can run super fast, is super strong and can breathe under water.
Weakness: Irongirl can easily get sick so she has to weigh the benefits of being around others and touching other people at the risk of getting ill herself.
Sidekick: Irongirl works on many different teams and often teams up with other super heros to do good deeds.
So, who is your superhero?!