Sunday, February 28, 2010

lazy runner tonight

the Gasparilla half marathon was today and i've been thinking about blogging about it but that's about it, just thinking about it. i'm seriously too tired to give a proper race report at this time so tomorrow it will get the full attention it deserves. at one point as i was driving to the race, i thought i may not make it in time for the start but that story will have to wait too.
last weeks numbers looked good:
ran: 23.2 miles (could have done more but tapered back for the half mary)
bike: 121.2 miles
swim: 6451 meters

more than anything, i was very happy about my swimming this week...almost more than my half marathon finishing time.

until tomorrow, much love and peace out...and lights out for me.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

a triathletes dream store right in my backyard

this is what i've been waiting to blog about...the new IRONMAN store 4 miles from my house. how cool is that? it's the only one of its kind so far. however, there is talk of others popping up near you in the future. in the meantime, if you aren't in tampa, you can still visit their online store here.
this is a picture of where you can have your bike worked on or you can bring your bike for a retul fit. the IRONMAN store uses the state of the art Retül® Fit System, which is a seriously cool, 3-D motion capture technology that accurately determines any adjustments their professional certified bike fitters may need to make to provide you with the perfect fit for your specific bicycle and is free with the purchase of a bicycle. right now they are running a grand opening special for $199.00. each session can take up to 2 hours to dial your fit in perfectly but from what the owner Hunter explained, this can shave some serious time off your bike split. here is a random picture of someone getting 'retuled'...
basically, they put sensors all over your body at different joints so that the retul sensor can pick up on how you move and then take it from there to start tweaking your fit. you can watch the whole process on a plasma screen as you pedal.
the store has lots and lots of bikes. you can go crazy looking at them all. such things of beauty. they carry my fave tri bike quintana roo, ceepo, scott and blue, just to name a few. they have a full line of wheels like american classic, zipps, and easton's. they also have a wheel demo program so if there is a wheel you'd like to try out before you buy, you can do that there too.
lots and lots of running shoes to pick from here too. they carry one of my favorite running shoes, saucony! they also sell asics, k-swiss, pearl izumi, and zoot just to name a few. they also have a large variety of triathlon clothing, wetsuits, helmets, swimsuits, goggles, too much to list here but if you go to the online store, you can see everything they have there.
they also carry a nice line of nutrition products like gu, powerbar products, and hammer nutrition. they also have all of the nifty accessories you would need to carry all of this fuel with you such as gu flasks and a variety of hydration systems, water bottles, etc...

the main thing i've heard over and over again is how friendly everyone is at this store. i've spoken to a few beginner triathletes over the last few months who feel intimidated going into most "bike" stores but this one is different. you can be a seasoned, veteran athlete or a beginner and they treat everyone the same. i found a forum thread on the beginner triathlete forum that pretty much speaks volumes about how awesome the IRONMAN store is and i for one am happy they opened up in this area. click here to read this thread, you'll be glad you did.

if you live in the tampa bay area or surrounding locales, here is the physical address, hours and contact info for the IRONMAN store:

6417 County Line Road
Suite 104
Tampa, Florida 33647
(next to LA Fitness)
Toll Free: 877-822-4769
(10am-7pm EST M-Fri)
Fax: 813-751-1259

you can also find them on facebook by clicking here and on twitter by clicking here.

thanks for reading. much love and peace out!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

i believe in miracles

yep, that's me up there in the middle. well, at least that's how i felt after my swim this morning. i know! far cry from my whine-one-one whambulance call last week moaning about how i couldn't swim 200 meters without needing oxygen  to recover. so the remainder of last week after tuesday's swim session debacle, i took a break from the pool until yesterday. it was partly because of the weather but mostly because i was feeling defeated. the great weather this weekend got me feeling much better. i biked a lot and didn't give the pool any more thought.

yesterday was triathlon tuesday. so i got my butt out of bed around 4:15am, had a little coffee, went out for my run and then headed to the pool for revenge redemption. as timing would have it, i bumped into chris, the cute lifeguard (i wonder if he will ever read my blog and see this?) and asked him if he knew anything about the swim classes starting up next week. he said he didn't. then i asked him if he'd be interested in giving me private swim lessons and he said he'd be more than happy to train me from the deck for free. so i said, ok, let's do it and don't hold back because i need to hear feedback-the good, the bad, and the ugly.

here are the 2 things he had me do: first was the catch up drill which for some reason, i was having problems grasping on my own but was able to do it once he demonstrated. click here to see a 9 second demonstration video of this simple drill. now i have to tell you, i felt like a dumbass doing this. i felt like i was going to drown or sink but a few laps like that and some reassurance from chris and erin (the other lifeguard) that i was doing just fine and i was on my way. the main thing they kept emphasizing was to slow down. the second thing that chris explained to me was where my hand needed to be entering the water, not a major adjustment, just a tweak. 24 hours later i was back at the pool, this time the long course was set up and i didn't know what to expect. my intention was to do last week's workout again to see where i was and i wasn't expecting much. first set on my list was a 400. i did my 400....

and just kept going and going and going like the energizer bunny until i stopped an hour later with 2100 meters under my belt. seriously, i was pretty much feeling like a rockstar after that. hard to believe that those two simple things could equal such a great result. i now really believe that swimming is 70% skill efficiency and only 30% fitness. since the next 2 mornings are pretty much below 43 degrees and the pool will absolutely not be open, i'll get my 3rd swim in on friday night. we'll see then if today was a fluke or if i finally found my groove in the pool. stay tuned!

just a quick preview on the next post i plan on doing. the last few days have been very busy and i've been wanting to share information about a really cool store that opened up recently near my house but i don't want to do a rush job on it. this place is a one of a kind store that most everyone who reads my blog will be interested in. i'll do my best to get that up either tomorrow or friday. so don't change the channel!

peace out and much love!

Monday, February 22, 2010

time to make the donuts

for some reason, i always think about this crazy dunkin donut commercial when i wake up super early to train. actually, it first started when jc and i owned our personal training business and had to get up at 4:30am. i don't remember if it was me or jc who started saying it's time to make the donuts, but it would always make us crack up, even at that god awful time of the morning. this morning was no exception. i didn't sleep well at all but that's always the way it is when i've had a weekend filled with lots of running and cycling. it is really hard to come off of that high. it just means i will be hitting the pillow way early tonight.

 so not having slept that many hours, i decided to mix up the workout this morning like i used to do for many of my clients back in the days of body by design (that was the name of our business). i decided to do a weight training/abs/cardio circuit for an hour. my goal is to work efficiently and hit all the major muscle groups with compound exercises. compound exercises are one's that use more than one specific muscle group. for example, push-ups, instead of tricep kickbacks with a dumbbell. push-ups work your chest, shoulders, back, triceps and core muscles to help stabilize your lower back versus the tricep kickback with a dumbbell that only works your tricep. obviously, the push-ups are the harder exercise to do. that's the ticket here. so here's how it works...i did a set of abs to start off, push-ups, a combination of a bicep curl and shoulder press with dumbells, seated dumbbell rows for back and then headed outside to crank out a 1 mile run. i did the weight circuit 3 times and did 4 miles total with a faster time on each mile:
mile 1- 7:56 (let's call that the warm-up mile)
mile 2- 7:33
mile 3- 7:27
mile 4- 7:13
i wasn't trying to kill it on the runs. i just ran what i felt was a comfortable pace. i hope i feel that comfortable for 13.1 miles come sunday. all in all, it was a fun workout and sometimes it's good for the brain and the body to do something different.

tomorrow is triathlon tuesday and thankfully the cold temps are holding off so the pool is in no danger of being closed in the morning. the rest of the week is questionable as a cold front will be moving thru on wednesday, which doesn't make me too happy. anyway, i'll start tomorrow morning off with making the donuts a nice run, then hit the pool for about an hour, bike when i get back home, then off to work.

here's to a good week ahead...much love an peace out!

Sunday, February 21, 2010


what a great weekend finally. i swear it feels like it has been winter for a year at least. based on florida weather history, this has been the coldest winter in 25 years. with that said, i hope that we never experience this cold of a winter for another 25 years or more. i had a few not so good days last week, which i think the weather had a lot to do with, but after this weekends riding and running, i feel like a new person...a happier person. it does take a lot to get me in a funk and there were a few things last week that pushed me into an ugly place. thanks to my friends and blog friends who left me positive mojo's, emails, and comments; they helped bring my perspective back into 20/20 focus. i can see the light!

last week for whatever reason was not a good swim week for me. ended up with only 1 swim which was not that good and then the next scheduled swim didn't happen because it was too cold in the AM for the pool to open. sure i could have gone in the afternoon but the motivation was definitely not there and i was already pissed about how crappy i swim and that it isn't getting that much better...but that's history now.  i have to accept that we all, not just me, will have these kinds of runs, swims, and bikes. one's where you feel like you are an olympic athlete and one's where you feel like an amateur. thankfully, feeling like an amateur is few and far least in the cycling and running department. i have a few ideas that i will start working on in march with regard to the swimming. i think i've exhausted what i can do on my own and need a little more direction and guidance. as for the half ironman i was going to do on march 21st, i've decided after last week's craziness, that there are too many things that i still need to get in order and not enough time to do it all without rushing into things. most of all, i would like to feel better about my swimming before tackling a half iron and think that the entry fee i would be paying to do that would better serve me working on the swim. see what a little good weather can do for your head? i'm thinking more rationally and clearer now.

saturday workout was a good one. i ran 5.5 miles on part trail, part road, came back and got on the bike and did 50.2 miles with gary and jc and then as soon as i got home, jumped off the bike and did a quick transition, headed out and did a 2 mile run in exactly 15 minutes. man my legs were toast and it sure didn't feel like i was running 7:30's. it felt more like a 9:00 minute miles to me. i felt alive again. then this morning, jc and i got in the same 50.2 mile ride with a challenging head wind but we were just happy to be riding without arm warmers, ear warmers, double socks, etc...i think i have some tan lines to prove it too. next weeks weather is looking so much better and should have no problem getting in 2-3 swims and some extra bike miles in the afternoon with jc. i also have a half marathon to do on sunday, so looking forward to that. my numbers for the week look like this:
ran: 23 miles
biked: 170 miles
swam: 2100 meters
weight trained twice
core work twice

well, i finally got to test out the Sugoi velocity tri shorts yesterday that was sent to me by Scott at outsidepr recently. i have them on in the SMILE motivational picture above. these shorts are not like your typical lycra type of tri or bike short. that was the first thing i noticed when i pulled them out of the box. they are made of a very light material. nothing like i've ever felt or worn before. the body of the short is made of 80% nylon and 20% spandex as seen in the front view:
and 75% nylon and 25% mesh as seen on the white part of the short from the side view:

like i said, these shorts were different than any others i have worn and different was good. they don't have a lot of stretch like most tri or bike shorts you would normally buy that are made with more spandex. that's why i noted the blend of material. as i noted above, i did a run/bike/run in them yesterday and it felt like i wasn't wearing anything, but not like i was naked. in other words, they didn't creep up my legs and stayed in place. since they are so light, unlike most traditional tri/bike shorts, you didn't feel all yucky and gross once you started sweating. i remember back when it used to be hot here in florida, that my shorts felt like they weighed 5 pounds during a ride but these dry very quickly. i really like the blend of material that Sugoi used on these shorts. another plus, as they get more use, i can see how this material wouldn't develop the "see thru" spots like traditional tri/bike shorts made with spandex typically begin to form as they age. you know those see thru spots you see when you are riding behind someone who has shorts on that should have been retired a long time ago? i don't see that happening with these shorts and that's a huge plus to me because i don't want to be that person on the group ride with see thru shorts. these shorts come in the red that you see in the photos and in black. keep in mind since they are made with less spandex than typical shorts that there is no room for error on fit. for example, i usually wear a small in most tri or bike shorts but can get away with medium if push comes to shove. they aren't as snug as a small but are still rideable. the Sugoi velocity tri shorts in medium would absolutely not fit me...too loose. i learned this because sadly, the velocity tri suit in medium is perfect on top but too baggy for my non-j-lo-booty and a small would have fit perfect on my butt, but too tight up top. darn boobs! in a nutshell, i highly recommend these shorts. they are so comfy and look really sharp too. i felt like a speed demon in them yesterday!

now for the answer to the mystery gu. i finally decided to take the packet of mystery gu flavor on my ride yesterday and then did a little hail mary prayer before eating it. my best guess on the flavor is raspberry and it was good. i also tried a seasonal flavor on today's ride called gingerbread and that was REALLY yummy. i would use that flavor all year round not just during the holiday season.

i hope everyone has a nice week ahead. much love and peace out!

Friday, February 19, 2010

a picture is worth a thousand words

i think this picture speaks for itself...
this crappy week can kiss my butt! i've already written this week off and this weekend is gonna be a great one and i will tackle the swim with a fresh mind next week. hope everyone has a great weekend!

much love and peace out!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

whinefest 2010...get your violins out!

the only way that i can best describe this week would be an out of sorts kind of week. one of those weeks where nothing catastophic happened and nothing worth writing home about happened either. this is the sort of week where so many little things aren't quite right and they just start compounding...that's the week i'm having. i'm using today's post to make me feel better like writing in my dear diary. i need to get all of these "little" things off of my brain and onto paper so to speak, and then just leave it there.

my mind has been going a hundred miles a minute in a hundred different directions. they make medication for that, right? i'm kidding. nothing like a 100 mile bike ride outside in 80 degree weather wouldn't fix but that's part of the reason i'm so out of sorts lately. now i understand seasonal affective disorder (sad). or better yet, subsyndromal seasonal affective disorder (ssad), which is a milder form of sad. just add some outdoor activity (ie. swimming and cycling) and direct sunlight and ssad is all but gone. to my friends up north, please forgive me but this florida winter has been one for the record books. it feels like it has been cold for almost a year to me. i finally bundled up yesterday because i couldn't stand to do not one more bike ride on the trainer. i put on 3 layers and headed out. i was very happy to finally ride outside, however, i also felt like i was sucking wind like an amateur. i ride hard on the stand and do intervals but it is no substitute for real outdoor riding with wind and all kinds of other variables. to make matters worse, my last 2 swims have felt like crap and i have a handful of things to consider investing in before my tentative half iron in 4 weeks. for example, should i buy a wetsuit or should i just wait and do a race later that i know i won't need a wetsuit for? which aero helmet should i buy? what hydration system should i buy? can i swim even 400 meters without feeling like i need to put an oxygen mask on at the end? what makes me think i can swim 1.2 miles if i can't even do 400m?  in a nutshell, everything just sucks this least in my mind's eye.

patience grasshopper, patience...ok, i feel better now.
much love and peace out!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

favorite race, favorite race shirt and favorite hardware

on my very boring drive home from work this evening i was thinking about some of my favorite races, race t-shirts, and medals or equivalent hardware. i actually cherish all of my race t-shirts even the fugly (not a misspelling) ones. i have about 100 of them saved in my bedroom armoire and plan to send them off eventually to have a quilt made with them, like this one:

okay, now on to the subject at hand. my favorite race t-shirt by far was the last one i earned. i say earned because you didn't get it until you finished the race. this is the nike, dry fit t-shirt, made from the finest recycled polyester(polyester can be recycled, who knew?) from the 2009 nike women's marathon in san fran back in october:

the front of the shirt

and the back of the shirt. unlike most shirts with a million sponsors splattered on the back, this one is simple.

and now for my favorite piece of hardware, reward, prize, call it what you like if you earned it:

finally, a medal you can wear without killing your neck. this is the necklace that you get at the end of the nike women's marathon. since it's made for nike, by tiffany & co., it has a running theme on front that says run like a girl.

and the back of the necklace/medal reads NWM (nike women's marathon), SF for san francisco and 2009, tiffany & co. at the very bottom in tiny letters. let me tell you how much i love this necklace...I LOVE IT! but, i'm scared to wear it for fear that i will lose it and if that happens, i will LOSE it fo-sho! so for now, it stays in the coveted, pretty light blue box, in its pretty little light blue pouch.

as for my favorite race of all time, it goes without saying...
I could never run this race enough. i'm pretty sure it will be on my list for 2011

so now i wanna hear and see everyone else's favorite race, race t-shirt, and medal or equivalent (doesn't have to be a running race either).

i had a great training session this morning...ran 5.5 miles/swam 2100 meters/biked 21 miles then went to work. when i first started doing this schedule, i thought i would be dead tired come 3 pm but quite the opposite. i'm full of energy. ALL DAY! funny thing is, my main reason for doing this is that i would rather be training than sitting in stupid, stand still traffic getting nothing done except growing more and more aggravated. so i've really gotten to where i like this morning routine on tuesdays and thursdays and look forward to it.
i finally remembered something today that a professor in college taught me. it was a class i loathed, one of those completely unecessary classes that they made you'll never guess what it was - swimming! yes, swimming. but more from a teaching stand point versus me swimming laps. so basically, i could teach anyone how to do the front crawl, backstroke, butterfly, etc...but couldn't freakin do it myself all that well. aren't those some of the best teachers and coaches? the one's that were never that good at their game but made awesome coaches and then the one's who were great at their skill, made terrible coaches. long story short, first day in the pool, he tells us, "get in the dead man floating position, close your eyes, exhale all of the air from your lungs, count to five and then open your eyes. what was the point of this exercise you ask? well, when i opened my eyes, guess what i saw? i saw that i was almost at the bottom of the pool. when we came back up, professor G explained to us that some of us are sinkers and some of us are floaters. that's the day i knew i was obviously, the leaner you are, the more you tend to sink...dammit! so i'll just blame my poor swimming on that and continue to plug away at becoming better each day.

much love and peace out!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

21 years ago today

nah, this isn't gonna be one of those mushy 21 years ago today, i fell in love...blah, blah, blah. no, nothing like that. i fell in love way before that. so valentine's day 1989 is the day that i joined a gym. the gym that my boyfriend and future husband, jc had just joined a few weeks earlier. funny thing is at that time, i really hated to work out. i was lazy, lazy, lazy. i know, hard to believe now but it's true, i really was an exercise hater. i'll never forget meeting a friend of jc's who was into natural bodybuilding at bally's. he looked awesome and when i asked him how long he had been working out, his answer was 11 years. i thought to myself, my god, this guy is hardcore, 11 YEARS he's been at this. i never in a million years would have thought that i would be sitting here, typing out that i've been at it too, for 21 breaks, no quitting and starting back up, EVER! it started out with a measly 30 minutes of weights with tons of rest in between sets, then i started adding a few minutes on the stairmaster (do those still exist?) for cardio, then running 3 miles around the track a few nights a week, then 5K's, 10K's, 15K's, duathlons, triathlons, 1/2 marathons and lots and lots of marathons. and in between all of that, i earned my degree in exercise science for Univ. South Florida (go bulls!)...that's how much i love training. it became a huge part of my life and will always be something that defines who i am.

i like to say that the family that trains together, stays together! jc is still my motivator just like when it all started 21 years ago today on the icarian leg press. the picture above is just an old disney half marathon pic that jc is going to kill me for posting because of his silly mustache...which no longer resides on his beautiful face.

on to the next topic of the day. so after much thought, i have made a decision on which race to do. before i say which one it is, i want to say that i have a hell of a triathlon mentor (who just happens to be the ironman world champ in her age group-so awesome!) who helped me see the light and made my decision an easy one to finally make. It's called the gator half iron and it's on march 21st. if you go here, you can see that this race has gotten great ratings and reviews. part of my decision came from the fact that the more real estate i have to work with, the better i get. i'm definitely much stronger the longer the distance is. that's my strength. the other part of my decision was based on how freakin expensive triathlons have become, so why pay almost the same amount for a sprint that's over in an hour when i can get more bang for my buck doing a half iron distance. the other reason i made this decision is because, i need to focus on long distances since i've got my sights set on the full in october. i know in my heart that i'll be just fine on the bike distance and the half mary distance, and will just focus on doing my best on the swim. the swim is going to be a work in progress for a while, no secret or surprise there. this race will be a great barometer for me to see where i am and what kind of work i have cut out for me the next 6 months or so.

as mills lane (a legendary ex-boxing referee) would say...

i had a great training week despite having to rearrange a few things here and there because of the colder temps and the pool not opening until later but it was all good. here's my week in review for training:

total running: 32.8 miles, which included my 13.5 mile half mary training run.
total cycling: 121.0 miles
total swimming: 4200.75 meters

i also weight trained twice and got in 2 really good ab workouts. a good week overall even with having worked lots of overtime at work. sometimes i think the more i have on my plate, the more focused i am and tend to make the most of the training time that i have. on the other hand, the more idle time i have on my hands, the more time i waste...that's how it goes.
i hope everyone had a nice week. next week looks like another cold one here. and by cold, i mean cold enough so that the pool doesn't open til later. how crazy is it that florida is the same temperature as vancouver? there is something really wrong with the universe...scientists, geologists, and climatologists need to get on this right away.

i just had to take a picture of the sky this afternoon after i finished my trail run. not a cloud in sight...crisp blue sky. simply beautiful!

much love and peace out!

Friday, February 12, 2010

i'm a lucky girl

i had a very nice surprise happen to me the other day. a really nice guy named Scott saw one of my prior blog posts about all of my favorite things. Scott works for a small PR firm in San Fran called Outside PR. Click here to visit Scott and see all about this fine company. long story short, Scott sent me an email via facebook to let me know that he stumbled onto my blog and saw where i mentioned that i love everything sugoi. sugoi is one of the company's his firm works with and if i'd like, he could send me some sugoi schwag to use and abuse in my every day training and i could blog all about it. how cool is that? Scott totally made my day...thanks Scott!

yesterday morning as i went out for my animal encounter run, i saw that there was a box at the door. didn't see it the night before because i go in and out thru the garage. so that was a nice surprise. i opened it up as soon as i got back from my run and wow...Scott, hooked me up!

here's what i got:

sugoi velocity tri suit

sugoi velocity tri shorts

all kinds of Gu products - another company that outside-pr represents

and this is the mystery flavor gu. notice the front part of the package reads new flavor and the back of the package has nothing. i'm very, very curious to try this mystery gu. it's very stealthy looking!

so there you have it. i'm very excited to get out and use the new sugoi gear and will most definitely post all about it. once again, thank you Scott for your thoughtfulness and generosity. i really appreciate it. next time i'm in san fran, i'll have to stop in to say hi.

on the training front, i haven't missed a beat all week. i haven't had a lot of free time to visit all of my fav blogs or comment as much as i would like because of having to work lots of overtime this week. i'll even be going in tomorrow (saturday, boo-hoo) for a little but not until i get my long run in. first things first. i have my priorities straight dammit!

i will breakdown my training week in tomorrow's post along with my big announcement as to which race i decided to do next month.

until tomorrow, much love and peace out!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

nice rack baby!

went out for a nice 8.25 mile run this morning and as i was into my first mile, i saw a huge buck like the one you see in the picture. scared the crap out of me because he was in the middle of the street and walking towards me. being that i love watching animal planet channel, i had this vision of a clip i once saw about good animals that go bad. check it out:
i didn't want to end up with 8 holes in my torso this morning so i turned around and ran the other way. i was skeeeered people! i've had enough animal encounters and don't want anymore. last year i had a workout specifically planned for a duathlon i was doing and the last run that was supposed to be only 5 miles ended up being 8 miles because of a rabid raccoon! i spent about 10 minutes trying to scare him off to no avail and i wasn't about to go near him since he was exhibiting all the normal signs of rabidness. then there's the hog incident which you can read about here.

interesting day so far. there's more in this constantly churning brain that i need to blog about but that will have to be later...gotta get to work now!

have a great day!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

miscellaneous wednesday

I think I should have no other mortal wants, if I could always have plenty of music. It seems to infuse strength into my limbs and ideas into my brain. Life seems to go on without effort, when I am filled with music.
~George Eliot

i love listening to music when i'm running, biking (not when i'm riding on the road, only on the indoor trainer), typing a blog entry, driving, working, just about all the time i guess you could say. for some people it can be distracting but for me, it helps me focus, depending on the situation, or can get me very hyped a positive way.

i've read studies that swear listening to music while you run makes you run faster and frankly, i didn't need a study to tell me that or prove it because for me, it works. i absolutely run faster with music. i won't bother listing my favorite music to run to because you can see and listen to my playlist above to sample what i like to listen to. the only music i ban from my playlist is MOST country music. there are a few tunes out there that are classified as country, like some songs by taylor swift, but i personally think those are hybrids...a cross between country and pop. for example, you will never see randy travis, rascal flatts or garth brooks on my playlist or on my ipod. just can't deal with the sound. and, there is a time and a place for classical music but not when i'm working out. i'm always interested in what other athletes like to listen to when they are training so feel free to help me build my playlist up. if you don't see it on there, holla, because i always like discovering new tunes.

i've pondered buying a waterproof MP3 player for the pool. anyone listen to music when you swim?  and, is there a decent MP3 player that you would recommend?

well, looks like all that snow-la-palooza up north is coming our way, minus the snow, which means no pool time tomorrow morning. no big deal though, i will fit it in somewhere between thursday and friday. i may just do my long run (13 miles) on friday morning, let the temp get to 43 or above so the pool will be allowed to open, get my swim on and then head to work. endless possibilities and thankfully a flexible schedule that lets me do that...blessed!

hope everyone is having a good week so far. i'm ready for the weekend already.

much love and peace out!

Monday, February 8, 2010

decisions, decisions

as i was doing an interval session on the bike trainer today, i was thinking about what races i'd like to do in prep for the ironman distance great floridian. there are so many to pick from, it makes my head spin sometimes. i can't keep them straight. even though technically i'm not completely a triathlon virgin since i've done a handful way back when, i want to make good race choices and not get in over my head. in other words, i could probably go out right now and do an oly or half iron distance and do well in the bike and run but this time around, i want to do well in the swim, not just fake it til i make it out of the water.

my first race coming up on feb 28th is a pure run, the gasparilla half marathon. my goal would be to place in the top 3 of my age group. i'm gunning for a 1:40:00 or less. that would be sweet.

now here is where i'm not sure what race to do. should i do this sprint distance on march 27th: 400 yard pool swim / 11 mile bike / 5K or this one 820.20 swim in lake / 13.67 mile bike / 5K ? i keep going back and forth in my head thinking that maybe the triathlon in a pool is kinda sissified and i'm no sissy. the other side of me is saying, it would be a great way to get my feet wet again (no pun intended) and it's closer to home than the other one. i don't know. anyone? can you help me make a decision? i'm always open to suggestions.

the next event on the list is the 3 mountain, 3 state challenge at the beginning of may. it's a century that starts in tennessee, winds thru bama, then thru georgia with lots and lots of climbing, which i love...looking forward to that.

the last race i have in mind is on june 10th called the dunedin beach sprint triathlon. this one is 1/4 mile beach swim / 12 mile bike / 5k run.

if i can find a half iron or an oly distance somewhere between july and august, i may consider doing it, otherwise, i'll just hit the training and build up for the full iron in october.

something else i was thinking about today and was wondering if any of you out there feel the same. i almost enjoy the training for events more than i do the actual event sometimes. not sure why that is. i think that's why i don't do a lot of races during the year. i pick and choose a few special one's here and there. i used to do a lot of running races in the late 90's, early 2000's and between travelling to the races, race fees, hotel fees depending on the race venue, it really burned me out and took the fun out of racing for me. being picky about what races i do has worked better for me mentally and physically. i look forward to racing. 

overall, i feel good about my upcoming, somewhat tentative schedule of races and events. i'm excited about it too and can't wait to get out there and put all of this training into a race situation.

much love and peace out!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

finding balance

i am one with my body. i am one with my mind.

this week, fighting to get over a cold, made me take a good look at my training schedule. also some sage advice from LM, reminding me that i still have 9 months of training in front of me, helped me to take a good step back and try to balance out my week a little better. in other words, no balls to the wall training every day. so overall, i think i had nice week of solid training without burning myself out. here are my totals for the week in a nutshell, which was a little top heavy on the run:

ran: 40.16 miles
biked: 110.75
swim: 3800 meters
weights: 2 times
abs: 3 times

the highlight of my week was the swimming believe it or not. as i blogged in an earlier post, i am now hitting the pool with a purpose and with a workout in hand, not just doing laps for the sake of it. this week was my best swimming week yet and i've only been at it for 5 weeks. as a semi-retired personal trainer, i can appreciate these small victories. doesn't matter what your fitness level is, you still get excited about progress when you can see it and feel it happening and it keeps you coming back for more. not that i'm wishing the time away, but i can't wait to hit week 2's workouts in the pool on tuesday. for the time being, 2 swim sessions a week is working out well in my quest for the whole balance thing. i will add a third day in occasionally and maybe as i get into full IM training. 

i had a great run this morning. did 11 miles at a nice 7:25/mile pace. felt strong, no aches, twinges or pains anywhere (knock on wood). i continue my stretches like a fiend so as not to feel any trouble creeping up on me. as long as i can keep everything nice and loose, i usually don't run into any injuries. it's when i slack and get lazy on the stretching that i get reminded with stabbing pain in my left glute or knee twinges in my left knee. everything injury related happens on the left side of my body...weird, huh?! shorter leg? that's what the physical therapist told me once, so what is one to do when they have one leg shorter than the other?
thankfully, it's invisible to the naked eye.

since i've been seeing so many friends posting pictures of all the snow they are getting today, i thought i'd send them a bit of our sunshine. it is a picture perfect day here in florida and i'm so thankful i got to get out there and enjoy it this morning. saw lots of friendly folks out there riding, running, walking and rollerblading.

happy super-bowl weekend! not sure who i'm rooting for as i have no ties to either team but i will watch it. i think it's going to be a great game between 2 well deserving teams.

much love and peace out!

Friday, February 5, 2010

a few of my favorite things

this post was originally inspired by Annette and you can visit her blog here. i don't know if it was a coincidence or not but after i read Annette's blog, i noticed quite a few other bloggers posting about their favorite gear, so now it's my turn. i will tell you up front that i really like to keep my training methods and training tools/gear as uncomplicated as possible. once the things i love doing most start to get too scientific, i start to not have fun anymore and honestly, that's the first reason i run, bike, swim, weight train, etc....all the other reasons are secondary. the second thing i will tell you is i buy everything on sale. i WILL NOT and NEVER pay full price for any of the training apparel, gear, or tools that i purchase and i don't believe that the most expensive is always the best, the fastest or the lightest. i've learned that first hand...lightspeed vortex = piece of s#%t! with that said, here are my favorite running, cycling, swimming, related things:

by far my favorite roadbike ever. this is one fast mutha! a 2008 cannondale system 6 with full durace. they don't make these anymore so when this one gets ridden into the ground, i'll be checking out the cannondale super 6. until then, i'm riding it until the wheels fall off.
this is my beloved tri bike, my quintana roo dulce. she fits me like a glove. i just got her for my birthday in august (thank you jc!). i love this bike! dulce and i will be spending a lot of time together this summer.

this is my favorite tri/cycling shoe. i don't like a narrow fit and with these you get a nice, roomy toe box with plenty of room for my feet to breath and not feel all cramped up. i got them for a great deal, brand new in box on ebay. i love the red flames on the back!
these are my favorite trail running shoes. the saucony TR4. i can always find these at famous footwear, buy one and get the other half price...can't beat that. i love, love, love saucony running shoes. i can't say enough good things about them. i used to run in adidas for a few years but came back to the saucony and have no plans to ever change brands again.

my favorite pure running shoe. not a specific "trail" running shoe like the one above it. this is the saucony grid cohesion. really well made shoe, well cushioned, and looks good too.
this is my favorite running cap made by nike. i have many of them in a variety of colors but i have one very special one. it is a black, nike running cap with a lime green swoosh logo on the front and it was the first running cap i ever bought back in 1996. i still have it! it's a little faded and looks a little more brown than black. that hat was with me when i ran my first marathon and many others.

these are two of my favorite socks for running or cycling...the wright sock and socks made of bamboo.
both socks are extremely comfortable to run or cycle in. many different companies are using bamboo fiber to make socks and other apparel now so be on the lookout. bamboo socks are supposed to be better than cotton socks due to their incredible absorbency, antibacterial and wicking properties. and, despite what you might think, bamboo is very comfortable on the feet!

here is one of my most favorite brand of biking and running apparel:desoto sport comany makes a full line of triathlon clothing. i have about every color of tri shorts they make and love them all. been wearing them almost exclusively since around 1999. they are made really well and don't get see thru areas like other cycling shorts. great for short or long rides in the saddle. 

my next favorite brand:anything sugoi, i love! my closet is full of their triathlon tops. i even have 2 of each color! i've been lucky enough to snag a few new with tags on ebay for a steal.

this is my favorite watch, the timex ironman watch. they do real well in water. i have 4 of them and 3 of them are awaiting new batteries. a task to put on the to-do list for this weekend.

i also love the lycra swim cap made by speedo. i don't like latex swim caps because they hurt my ears. the lycra caps don't keep your hair dry but that's a non-issue for me. comfort is king.
i bought these aqua-sockets about 5 years ago and still love them. nothing fancy and they weren't the most expensive one's either. most importantly, they don't leak and they are very comfortable and fit my little face perfectly.

and lastly, a few accesories i cannot live without :

and these are all of the things that make me happy.
the end.