Triathlon Training Week

I don’t think I have ever written what a training week looks like. Scratch that, I have. My desire and love for mountain biking, and the fact I want to crush some of those races have taken over some of my training sessions. But now, with 17 weeks until the big race,with only a couple weeks until the shorter duathlons, it is time to start once again training down to a T—hopefully one day it will be warm enough to swim outside! No offense to Bard’s swimming pool, but it can get warm.

Lake Onteora--my favorite place to swim

This week’s schedule is below. However, due to different things I need to do, might get switched around a bit. And, training for mountain bike races as a beginner mountain biker can be a bit daunting. But, it is actually great cross training for triathlons!
Monday
Bike = turbo or outside
•  Bike turbo intervals   time is approx  repeat
do this workout with your front wheel elevated about 4-6 inches.

Warmup 10:00

Main Set:
4 x 7:00 as (5:00 Z2 / 3:00 Z3) with  3:00 RI between the intervals

cooldown: 10 minutes

T-run = 10 minutes

if you want to ride outside — LSD for 60-90 minutes.  ride the hills harder. Getting your HR into zone 3 (HR = 155-164bpm)

Tuesday
run = LSD
6 miles in morning

If possible, mountain bike ride in afternoon

Wednesday
Swim = speed   50-60 minutes
swim = total 1900 yards

Warmup = total 500 yards.
200 yards drills then swim 3 x (swim 50 yards / kick 50 yards) focus on one aspect for each 50 yard swim (such as high elbow, hand enrty, fingers, pull technique.)

Mainset = 1200 yards
3 x 200 with :20 RI then 4 x 100 with :15 RI.  then 4 x 50 faster with :10 RI.

Cooldown as you like for 200 yards

*possible Mountain bike ride in the afternoon if I can

Thursday
Run = speed intervals 50 minutes
warmup: 10:00

main set:  6 x 400m (or run 2:15 if you are outside).get your HR into zone 4 (170 bpm). take 1:30 easy walk/jog (HR down to 120) between these intervals.

cooldown 10:00

Friday
Swim = endurance 60 minutes
swim =  total 1900 yards

Warmup = 300 yards.
Your choice 300 yards.

Mainset = 1500 yards
5 x 300 with :30 RI between

Cooldown as you like for 200 yards

Saturday
Bike = 194 minutes
bike = 45 mile LSD another one 🙂
you can start to ride the hills harder. Getting your HR into zone 3 (HR = 155-164bpm)
T-run = 10 minutes
Sunday

Mtn bike ride/hike/ day off? Time will tell

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Cycling Mishaps, The Brick Yards, and the Eggs Nest

You know, there are some days when you are just not meant to go for that 46 mile road ride to show a friend the sites of Dutchess county. And, Saturday was that day.

Start of road ride

We started off at 8:30 and made it almost to Turkey Hill when I realized I had a flat. I did have a patch kit, but no spare tube with me (when will I learn to always bring a spare tube?). We manage to get 6 miles into the ride before this happened  on a beautiful day. So, I used my patch kit to patch up the hole in the tube, my friend pumped it up, and we were off for another two minutes when the tube went flat. Again. More patch kit used. And that is when we realized I slashed my tyre and would need a new one (how I slashed it, I have no idea. Bummer, because I just bought a new tyre about a month ago). So, I road down to route 199 if you are familiar with the area of Milan, and waited for my friend to sprint the 5miles back to my house so he could pick me up. Well, there went that idea of a fun long road ride.

Two flats within 5 minutes

But, we did get another mountain bike ride–my “Urban Mountain Bike” experience later in the day down by the old cement and brick factories along the Hudson River close to Kingston point. I must admit, it was much trickier than the riding I’ve been doing as of late– the terrain is very slippery due to dust and tiny fragments of old cement, and it is quite rocky. I’ve been riding in the forests, so this was a whole new world to me. It was interesting, and we were not run over by motocross fools, but it did leave my nice clean Scott covered in dust pasted to the bike frame by mud. Ohh well.

Brick yards

Checking out the Urban Jungle---old cement and brick factories

Perfect riding partner.

bikes in the background...Not sure what Kevin was upto....

Due to our ravenous appetites, we decided to go to The Egg’s Nest, in High Falls, NY. I’ve been here a couple of times, and the atmosphere of the place is like one of no other restaurant. It is eclectic on the inside and out–painted different colors inside, with chandeliers decorated with decorated eggs….The was even a branch hanging from the ceiling with a small white tiger (toy) walking along the branch. Ofcourse, there were eggs hanging from those too.

The Eggs Nest in High Falls, NY

The menu was great, and food delicious. They have very good options for both vegetarians and vegans alike, and can do gluten free.

Tomorrow I’ll continue with my triathlon training and update you on that!

It’s Been Way Too Long

It had come to my attention this morning at 0334 after completing my top-to-bottom, rip-the-house-apart cleaning spree that it’s been way to long since I’ve written in this. To be honest, I came to this realization earlier in the evening when noticing all the changes that had taken place on the wordpress site, along with the facebook site (what are those changes about?) and even pandora has changed! Actually, to be even more honest, I’ve simply nothing to write, which came up in a conversation I had with a friend the other day.

“You have nothing to write about? But, don’t you usually write what comes to your mind anyway?”

Which I interpreted as,

“Molly, your posts are utterly useless paragraphs composed of mere, insignificant ramblings, so what,  suddenly you have no thoughts anymore?”

Well, life has been somewhat busy in the past month. I’ve been working more overtime than usual, which has left me depleted of energy (either that, or the lack of sleep, or lack of sunlight due to working night shifts) and I haven’t been out on too many long rides or runs as of late. I feel working the night shift just zaps you of energy, atleast it does for me.  I think I am still going through my quarter life crisis, which I think has been going on for about a year now haha. I’ve been contemplating, and applying, for different jobs. Working at TKH is just chaotic at some points. And the more I work there, the more I see things which disturb me enough not to want to work there anymore. And, why live a life, and work at a job when after you leave after that 12hr night shift, you cannot help but feel horrible about yourself as a nurse. I’m not sure about you, but I prefer to feel good about myself. My knowledge of ICU nursing is ever increasing, and there is still a ton that I don’t know. But, I think it is time for change.

And that change might be change of location, change in job, change of….lots of things. I’m not one who needs a lot in life to be happy– if I have my bikes, the ability to ride, run, swim, hike, then I’m all set. Ohh, and a comfy bed, too.

So, bring on applications to hospitals all over.

Part 2…….Wait, two parts in one post? Yes!

Since starting this post, I actually went for a 30miler in the afternoon, and then went for a run around 0330, which felt awesome. Especially the ride. Biking always puts me in a great mood.

I was slightly bummed the other day because I missed the last duathlon of the season–I was smart and decided my body needed rest after working three night shifts in a row and then working an extra 4 hours after my last shift (16 hours really leaves you drained).

view from my ride

I cannot believe it is already fall. I love fall. The crisp, autumn air. Brisk mornings…Hopefully these incredibly annoying mosquitos will leave soon.

Next week, since I have five days off yesssss! I plan on going back north to do some mountain biking and hiking. I cannot wait to go. Someone asked me if I always travel alone. And to think about it, I do most of my traveling alone. Yes, sometimes it gets lonely. And yes, it would be nice to have someone to go on hikes with and mountain bike rides with (I have the best road trip  music ever!). But I’ve done so much traveling alone in the past, that I am kind of used to it. And, a good thing about traveling alone, is you can go by your schedule–all you have to think about is yourself, and not have to worry about anyone else. Therefore, if you want to wake up and leave a destination at 0330 in the morning, you can!

On a different note, I’ve been considering CX racing, which means, I need a cross bike. And, despite my adoration of Scotts, they do not really have cross bikes. So, I was thinking about Giants TCXW.

The colors match my mountain bike!

Yes. The over time I’ve spent at work has definitely made it possible for me to go down to Billy at Overlook Mountain Bikes to get a pretty friend for my other bikes. And, perhaps to start CX racing this fall.

One Year and 112 Posts Later….

My original plan was to write on the same exact day when I had started this blog in the first place, but life and work got into the way (like always) and tonight i decided to sit down and reflect on the “blogging” world, since I’ve had mine for over a year now. Insane how fast time goes by!

I started this blog originally about my biking, running, and nursing. Over time, I started writing on different topics- most related to those three topics, and then some random topics about nursing, relationships, food and little insignificant things that popped into my head which I felt a need to relay to other people. On that note, I just made the most amazing Vegan Banana Bread with Carob powder swirled through, and carob nibs throughout the bread. Mmm. No, I’m no longer vegan, but when you run out of eggs and milk, and have vegan margarine and soymilk in your refrigerator, then you can create any type of vegan baked goods possible. And, they are actually pretty healthy for you! Thank you, Post Punk Kitchen (great website for vegan baking, FYI).

Vegan Banana Bread with Carob chips

A lot has happened within my year of blogging–it’s interesting to start a blog, and even more interesting when some people subscribe to it, which, no doubt about it, makes you feel good about yourself because they obviously think your blog is awesome. One of my first blogs was about my new Scott road bike (ahh, I love that bike) which is still one of the main focuses of my life. Last August, it had been years since I had entered a pool.A year later, I have no problem swimming in open water. Infact, this morning, there was no better place to be than Lake Onteora while it was raining, and have the whole lake to yourself. Just the pitter-patter of the raindrops on the lakes top  while you swam in complete silence. A year ago that thought would have freakend me out. Heck, in May swimming in open water freaked me out. Now, it’s incredibly scenerene and peaceful. Just you, the drops of rain, and the water. No better feeling. (Okay, well, maybe there is a better feeling).

Favorite time to swim at Lake Onteora: daybreak, and when it is raining

I don’t want to write the same things as I wrote in my Reflections of Two Years  post. But, even more has happened since I wrote that post. I managed to survive two of the worst storms New York has seen in years (the one in January when I had a little accident shoveling) and then this past tropical storm which lead to the destruction and devistation of communities I’ve come to know quite a bit within the past few months, esp, in the catskills. Unless you live in the area, or know the area, you would never know how much damage was done by Irene. Not only down south, but  all the way up through Vermont. If you feel the desire to help those communities out, including Windham mountain, you can check out a website http://www.catskillmtn.org/initiatives/windham-chapter/donate.html to help them repair and rebuild the area.

Flooding in driveway after Irene

Within this year of posting, I had started working night shifts at the Kingston City Hospital. I love my coworkers to death ( if this is redundant from prior posts, I apologize). I was able to absorb an enormous amout of knowledge working there, especially working night shifts.  I must admit at this time, I might be going through a quarter year crises as in what I want to do with my life. Do I stay in the area, or relocate somewhere different. It would be the perfect time to go someplace different, or make a change in my  career ( no offense to Kingston City Hospital, but I don’t think I’ll be abe to work there forever).  Working in an intensive care unit has it’s stresses (major stresses), but after being there  a year an a half, I’m thinking there might be something else out there for me to do. I’m not sure what, or where whatever it is I want to do may be, but I’m looking. I used to hate change. But now I’m ready for it.

I developped a stronger bond with any Scott Bikes. I have two– the scott contessa spark (so pretty!) and my CR1 Team. Although, I think i might need to branch out to other brands of bicycles (gasp!) when it comes to my cyclocross bike, which I plan on purchasing at some point, and a TT bike, since, there are other brands out there with pretty decent products for those people like me who may have a (small, but healthy) addiction to anything bicycle related. Within this year of blogging, I developped a love for mountain biking with my mountain biking baby (contessa spark) whichI had always wanted to do in the back of my mind, but never really did it until April of this year. It is completely different than road biking, and actually helps training/cross training for triathlons. And ofcourse, I have already written about that subject.

I love my Scotts!!!

I must admit, with work being insane, and working night shifts, and the crazy rain we have had as of late, I have not been able to be out training as much as I would have liked. But, the Vassar brothers du/tri is next week (which, I am not at all prepared for but, whatever) and I need to get back into the biking-running-swimming mode .  Deep down inside I still want to compete a full ironman race. And, for a while, I thought I had to do everything right now. I had to complete a HIM, I had to do this and I had to do that. But, I have my whole life ahead of me to do things– I am only 25. One day it will happen. One day. I’m not that easy of a person to give up on something I’ve wanted to do for years. And if it doesn’t happen, well, no big deal. There are bigger, more important issues in life I’ve needed to deal with, and am sure, will come my way.

Within this year of blogging, I’ve been blessed to meet amazing friends, some who are incredbily patient with my poor mountain biking skills, others who are incredibly patient and I never leave their company without knowing more about the hunting world. I’ve had friends come and help  fix the flooding in my garage…Tell me how to start the John Deere lawn mower when I was pretty sure I had broke it (oops). And then come and kill spiders for me (I can deal with snakes in my house, but have an incredible fear of spiders.) And I can’t forget about some others who would never tell me to shut up and give great advice on relationships, and life (who is a fabulous baker and if you need someone to bake you a fantabulous, delicious cake, let me know, cause I can hook you up with this incredible woman), when I’d go to them in tears not knowing what to do. Or spend their two personal days driving up to New Hampshire with me to cheer me on for my first attempt at a triathlon. Everyone knows who they are. Thank you. Each one of you has a very special place in my heart.I know, I know, I’m corny.

I’ve learned how to use a bow and arrow, and, might I add, am quite good at it.

First attempt at archery

I went on my first ever road trip/vacation by myself in the United States, and being lost outside of Albany during rush hour was more stressful than getting lost in Slovakia on their public transportation system, where I could not communicate with anyone or read their written language since their alphabet is so different than ours.

But, anyway, we shall see. I tend to take one day at a time and  blog when I feel like it (yes, I know, it’s been awhile since I have blogged) to share useless information that is on my mind…And do want to take advantage of every possible opportunity that comes my way.

I cannot believe it is a year since I started this.

And, to finish this, I leave some songs for you.

Thank you S.F. for putting the above song in my head

And one that played on my Pandora station which I hadn’t heard in awhile.

And, some White Stripes, because I just learnt to play it on my guitar.

And lastly, yes I have a very ecclectic sense of music, just….because.

I hope this post finds you safe, happy, and after reading any of my posts in the past, might have sparked some inspiration for you to try new things which you never thought you’d do. This past year I realized nothing is impossible. It may be strange, and difficult at first, but if you try, and continue to work hard, the task you have at hand is possible.

Laugh at yourself, but don’t ever aim your doubt at yourself. Be bold. When you embark for strange places, don’t leave any of yourself safely on shore. Have the nerve to go into unexplored territory….You have to leave your city of comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself. – Alan Alda

15th Annual Hudson Valley Triathlon and Duathlon

15th Annual Hudson Valley Triathlon/Duathlon

Remember when I said all races are learning experiences (if you have read any of my posts that is)–how at every event, you learn something new that you can use in the future, see what you can improve upon and what you have improved upon since your last race? Well, it has been a year since I competed in my first multi-sport race (my first one was the HV Duathlon last year!) and my knowledge of both multi sport racing, and training, has increased dramatically since completing my first duathlon. And it is safe to say I (finally) learned some very important lessons at the race yesterday, ones which perhaps a normal person would have figured out months ago (hey, I’m just stubborn, okay?).

Yes, (a little more than) one year ago I competed my first duathlon. I remember it as if it was yesterday. I used the second hand Giant bike which was a piece of crap (don’t get me wrong, I love Giant bicycles, just this one was old). I had no idea what I was doing or getting myself into. I had gone on maybe three long bike rides on the bike–at that time I did much more running–now it’s actually a bit of the opposite. I signed up for the race three days before the event. What a first duathlon, too. It starts at the bottom of a slightly steep incline at Ulster Landing Park next to the Hudson River, which, if you do the duathlon, you must go up three separate times with the sprint, then the bike, then the last run. The first leg is a one mile up (literally) and back sprint, then a 18 mile bike ride which is actually two nine mile loops up along Route 32 and through Glasco–if you are familiar with the area then you know where I’m talking about. Then the last 3.5mile run is another up (and another literally going up) and back sort of deal. This race is put on by the New York State Triathlon Organization, which I must thank for all their volunteers and work, especially yesterday in the heat/humidity/downpour/ultimate weather grossness that we had. I actually am thankful for the rain, because it made the bike sprint more bearable. I also thank my rides in Dutchess County and the Catskills for preparing me for the nasty start of the bike race.

Waiting for the start of the sprint

Post my attempt at Mooseman in June, my training somewhat dwindled a bit–that, couple with insane work hours just left no real good time to train. And after the race yesterday I finally realized (yes, it has taken months as I said above) that my body just does not like me when I make it do things on 1)two hours of sleep and 2)when it’s exhausted and wants to be sleeping. I know I never let my work schedule affect whether or not I do races. But in the midst of the last leg of the run my body just said, “enough not listening to me when I’m exahusted. Enough. Enough.” I ended up with the slowest 3.5 mile run time that I have ever had in all the duathlons I’ve done (okay, all four of them– I haven’t really done that many.) And, yes, my body talks to me when it’s angry at me, which it seems to be more and more often now a days.

Transition number two- my apologies for poor picture quality.

Starting the last run

So, dearest reader, please listen to this advice, and take it to heart. It’s not smart to force your body to compete in multi sport races, or any races actually, when you got two hours of sleep the night before, and average 3-4 hours of sleep a day for the past week leading upto the race. Your body has had NO time w-h-a-t-s-o-e-v-e-r to relax and replenish and rebuild muscle and strength if you’ve also been continuing to train (ça c’est moi). There is just so much pushing your body that you can do. And, make sure you are physically well before the race, and not have GI issues the day before/day of the race. When I started the bike portion I thought, “man, I can’t do this! My intestines/ stomache ache so horribly bad.” But, once I got over the wave of cramps and riding 5miles per hour (which definitely affected my bike time), I got back into the rhythm of cycling and the ride was great. I like rolling hills. My new Aero Bars came in handy too. I’m not used to sprinting on my bike- as most of my rides are greater than 30 miles, and I don’t sprint on those rides, but I do go up nasty hills, so the burning sensation you get in your thighs is just like that of when you cycle uphills.

All in all, the race was okay. I feel if I pushed myself harder (which my body would hate me even more for) I could have done better on the last leg of the run. Despite a time longer than my time at last years race (then again, at that time I was still working a day shift job), I did manage to make 1st place in my age group!

exhausted post race with my sister Laura, another triathlete--the craziness must run in the family

My next race is the Timberman Sprint, which will be my (second) triathlon. Hopefully in the next month, I’ll 1)have more than 2 hours of sleep the night before the race and 2) have energy before starting the race and 3) have a normal functioning immune system.

I hope you all were able to stay cool this past weekend- it was somewhat warm!

Let’s Du it!

I feel it’s been a while since I wrote my last post. Work has been busy, training has been tough, and life in general has just been busy—you know what I mean.

I can tell you,it IS FINALLY spring here! It only took until May for it to arrive. I’m not going to lie, Mother nature must take pleasuring with messing with our heads: one day, it’s in the 70’s, the next, down to the 40s and downpour for most of the day. I think this year she didn’t get what she wanted for christmas and is taking it out on the residents of the Hudson valley.

Getting my crap together

And it’s official: tri/duathlon season has started! And, I do not think that working night shifts go hand-in-hand with trying to compete in early morning races when your body is telling you that that is in fact not the time to be running races, but rather sleeping. Then again, do you think the lack of sleep ever stops me from putting my body through an hour and a half of imense torture? Pshhh. It never stopped me in the past. Other than that one incident where I set my alarm for 7pm instead of 7am and awoke to find I missed the race? No, I don’t. I  must admit, my body h-a-t-e-s me when I compete in races when it does not want to–you’d think it would learn by now that I’m not that easy going on my poor exhausted limbs.

Today I finished my first duathlon of the season, the 8th Annual Trooper Biathlon in Memory of Mike Kelly, Ken Poormon, and John McKenna, put on by the New York Tri Organization. All my races that I did last year (multi sport races) were through the NYSTri organization, and they  do a great job organizing them–Bravo! Plus, I have a special place in my heart for NY state troopers after they helped me with my cycling mishap, as I wrote in this post about troopers.

8th Annual Trooper Biathlon

Walking to the start

The weather was perfect for the race- warm enough that once you were sprinting (either on your feet or on the bike) it was enough to create small beads of sweat flow down your face, dropping of the tip of your nose and silently hitting the handle bars. There were lots of TT bikes, all of which I was envious of, but my Scott did a fabulous job helping my fatiqued body keep speeding down route 28.

The run was a two mile out-and-back deal, and the same was for the run after the biking portion, and I’m not going to lie, all the 14 and 15 mile long slow runs I’ve done for Mooseman prep have did little to help me with simply running 4 miles.

In retrospect, I should have checked out the route the night before, but I was too busy playing on my new toy to scope out the race scene, so everything was fresh for me. As you probably know from reading my posts, I hate hills. Especially when you are on two wheels having to pedal up them, and running on a basically empty tank of gas because you only got two hours of sleep the night before.  (The amazing moutain bike ride the night before probably didn’t help give my thighs a rest either…but the non-rest was worth it). The bike ride had rolling hills and followed the Ashokan Resevoir for a little ways, which was very picturesque, especially on a crystal clear morning that we had. The route then went down 28 and turned onto Hurley Mountain road, which had more rolling hills and which I was able to gain some speed on. And then, we had to turn and go up Doug hill Road, which was basically, 4 miles of straight uphill, which I was not prepared for. I swore my way up the hill, passing some people who had to get off and walk their bike up (I tend to embarass myself enough when having to hop of my mountain bike with X and walk up short hills on our past mountain bike rides).I was determined this time to go “slow and steady” up this 4miles of not-so-nice race course.

Hill: done!

Alas, I made it to the transition, and the last leg of the race–the same two mile sprint which preceded the bike ride. I must admit, all my training in the past have been for Mooseman, which has a long ride and long run, so I have not really been doing too much speed work (don’t tell my coach, because technically there is speed workouts on my weekly training schedule that I kind of….”tweak” since I hate speed work) and my lungs and legs could feel my lame attempts to sprint. However, my detested hill work in Dutchess county was the one thing that helped me going up dug hill!

Finally, I ran down the finish line, legs burning and intestines regretting the coffee I had that morning.But, I made it! First Duathlon of the season done! I must admit, in the middle of the race, I always find myself asking why I am doing this, especially since my body does not want to cooperate with me in early hours of the morning (damn you night shifts!!!!!). But after all is said and when your foot touches the ground below the finishers banner, you feel this immense sense of achievement. I did it! No, it wasn’t in the time that I was hoping for, but I was able to overcome the mental negative thoughts of “you are too tired to do this….you don’t do speed work….” etc etc and actually make a decent time!

All in all, it was a great organized race, and I totally see myself doing the same one in the future. Perhaps by that time, I’ll be working day shifts so I’ll even be just a tad bit rested before the race!!!

Congratulations to all the participants, and thank you to all NYS troopers, for everything you do for us.

It's over!

Theme song to the race ( i know, I know, I’m a dork. I admit it. But it has the great ability to pump you up prior to race time.)

Yayy!

I Can

“So, what will you do when it’s over?”

“It’s never over. That’s the awesome thing. There will always be something I can do.”

“But, why?”

“Because…I can.”

Over these past couple months, I’ve dedicated my life outside of work to training. There have been setbacks–illness, weather, work commitments. Training is tough. Anyone who has trained for any type of race–either  running, swimming, biking (or all three), knows that it is hard. It takes mental and physical strength to push yourself further than you think you can handle–to move each leg, one foot in front of the other, on a run after you’ve put in miles on a bike and your legs feel like jelly. It takes patience with yourself–to continue that bilateral breathing and practicing those strokes, even after frustration kicks in. It takes commitment, to spending those hours in the saddle. It takes…Determination to do hill work in downpour. It takes admitting your flaws, and dissecting them, so you can improve what is incorrect. Most of all, it takes…Time.

Training for triathlons and duathlons has become my life. It’s become a passion. I’m excited when I meet someone else who is training for a tri–whatever distance it is. “Which races have you done? Woahh!” Seems to be my reaction to any race completed by a triathlete I’ve met. Start talking about Scott’s Plasma 3 bike (which almost became a future member of my household today–save the fact I no longer allow myself to bring my wallet into bicycle shops with me), and you have my full attention. Food is now fuel for my workouts. Everything I put into my body has the potential to affect how I perform in races this season.

Yes, there are days when I’m exhausted and mustering up the energy to do an endurance swim workout is painful. But, after those first fifteen minutes in the water, from somewhere, you find this energy–this, renewed sense of self. You think, “Holy shit, I think I can do this.”

And, yes, to be honest, I’m scared of this race, mostly though, the swim portion of it. And, especially after I meet triathlete’s who say, “that’s a tough race. And the water is cold…Like, 58 degrees cold.”

Yet, this girl who would never be caught dead in the water five months ago, can now sense when her strokes are correct and breathing is efficient. Today, she tried on a wetsuit for the first time in her life.

My colleague was spot on the other night when he said, “There is no ‘I can’t’ in Molly’s vocabulary.” What he forgot to say was, “There’s no ‘I can’t’ in yours, either.”

Just try. Odds are, you’ll be able to do what you thought was impossible. If there is one thing I’ve learnt from this journey I’ve started, it’s this: nothing can stop human will when it wants something badly enough.

“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.”- Unknown


Now What?

The weather man was right about the weather today: there’s a lot of rain–which is a sign fall really is approaching. I know I’ve mentioned all the positive features of fall, and activities that are fun to do in the area, which all fine and dandy, but what does the change of seasons mean for duathlons and racing? It means the racing season has come to an end–the next duathlon/triathlons in this area are not until the spring of 2011. But fear not, fellow men and women who need to satisfy their racing addiction. There are still loads of road races you can compete in and help prepare you for the running portions of duathlon/triathlons next year!!

Unfortunately, my work schedule does not seem to give me much flexibility in terms of weekend races–nor does working at night. But, really, do I let things stop me? Nahh. I still plan on running in local 5/ 10k’s this fall, like the Harvest Half in October. I guess this means I’ll need to start running more again. I’m treating these as preparation for the running portions of duathlons next race season. Running in the USA has plenty of races that you can sign up for, depending on where you are living.

Thankfully, I’m not one to let the weather stop me from doing things outside. What happens when it’s raining, like today?Just wear a hat and waterproof jacket. I’ve found myself more often than not running or biking in torrential down pours. All you need to do is mentally prepare for the fact that you are going to be drenched and cold by the end of your workout. And make sure you do not skid into cars if on a bike.

Just because winter is approaching, does not mean you need to ignore your bike and store it in the back of your garage to get dusty. I cannot seem to part with my bike–it means too much to me (remember: it’s part of my family now). It has been awhile since I have had to bike in cold conditions–“while” meaning years–but you can get winterized cycling clothing to wear to keep you warm, and wear gloves. There are also indoor cycling trainers that you can get and put in your garage, or barn, or if you have no other space, in your living room, so you can spend time in the saddle when the weather is yucky. If you are a hardcore cyclist, you can get studded tires to ride in the snow and ice. I’m not sure I’m that hardcore, and we still are far away from snowy weather, hence I haven’t needed to consider that option yet.

The same thing applies to cold weather running. I found myself last winter running in sub-zero weather, dressed like I was about to ascend Mount Everest–it helps when you have mountaineering apparel.Honestly, though, I feel when it reaches a certain temperature, you are allowed to go and run on a treadmill, as breathing is very painful, even when you are bundled up and wearing a micro fleece balaclava.

So long, summer.

 

Pumpkins- a sure sign it's fall

 

You know you are a triathlete when…

When asked, how old you are you answer 18-29

Your idea of a great b-day is to run your age in miles with a couple of friends.

Your idea of a great date is to go for a 10 mile run with your date.

You try to impress girls with your marathon time after swimming 2.4 miles and biking 112 miles.

When asked how long your training was today you answer: three to four hours.

Your traning is more limited by available time then how far you can run.

Your first thought when you wake up is how high your rest HR is.

You go for a run eventhough there’s a thunderstorm and you enjoy being wet and dirty.

You think an Ironman is easier then a Marathon because you don’t have to start by running fast.

You think it’s natural to do your ‘business’ behind a tree in the woods.

Nobody believes you when you say ‘Never again’.

You take part in the corporate challenge to improve your base speed.

You go for a 5 km cooldown run after a 5 km race just so that you can call it a training session.

You consider work, regeneration time between training sessions.

You co-workers don’t ask you if you’re going to train this weekend, but how long and how far.

You have a water bottle when you drive your car.

You spend your 2 weeks annual vacation at a training camp.

During the vacations, when everybody else is partying, you go to sleep at 10:00pm because you’re going for a long ride the next day.

You know inside out how much Protein each energy bar has.

You seriously consider applying for citizenship in Tonga, Jemen or Tschad so that you can participate in the olympic games.

When people praising you for being able to run 15 miles you’re feeling insulted.

In the summer your legs are smoother then your girlfriend’s.

Your kids grab water bottles and energy bars when you suggest a family stroll.

Your wife is not worried if you left for your run2 hours ago.

You need a picture for a job application and you only have race pictures.

You use running T-shirts to clean your bike.

You are up everyday by 5:00 am, but never in work before 9:30 am!

that charming “cologne” you wear to work is chlorine

you take more showers in a locker room than at home

6:30 am is sleeping in

the dog runs and hides when you get the leash!

You think there are only two seasons during the year, racing and off.

you can’t change the oil in your car but you can completly rebuild your bike in 45 mins

you spend more $ on training and racing clothes then work clothes

you spend 7 days going to 8 stores in 4 malls before buying a pair of running shoes but you take 1 afternoon to go to 1 car dealership and walk out with a new car 4 hours later.

when you see some lady watering her flowers and ask her if you can borrow the hose for a minute so you can fill up your water bottles.

You clean your bike more often than your car

Your car smells like a locker room.

You have everything needed in your car to be Swimming, Biking or Running with 5 minutes notice.

When asked to mow the lawn in 90 degree heat, you say that its too hot to do that (and you mean it) and then an hour later you go on a century ride because its so nice out.

you mow your legs more often than your lawn.

You tell your co-workers that you are going to “do a long brick” on saturday and just expect that they know what you are talking about.

When a co-worker asks if you are racing this weekend, you say “yeah, but I’m just running a 10k, so that is not REALLY a race”.

You have more water bottles than glasses in your cupboard

You consider you bike saddle your “couch”

You consider Clif Bars as one of the four food groups

you are sick to your stomach at 2:00 in the morning and check the back of the Pepto Bismol bottle for caloric content and grams ofcarbohydrates, fat and protein.

you have plenty of water bottles, safety pins, and t-shirts.

you have trouble keeping lunch under 2000 calories.

you usually wake up at 4:00 in the morning but do not get to work until way after 9:00.

you have a $4000 bike strapped on top of your $2000 car.

you have no trouble pushing a day’s caloric intake to over 8000 calories.

your area needs rain real bad but you’re mad when it does cause it screws up your run and bike schedule… ,actually, you might be mad, but you still go out for your ride or your run in the rain…
you’re always wet! Either sweat water, pool water, sea water, shower water, bath water or its p*****g down outside!

your bed-time reading on your night stand consists of a pile of: DeSoto catalogs; InsideTri; Triathlete, VeloNews, USMA Swim, etc.

you haven’t bought work clothes in two years, yet you own bike shorts made by every manufacturer under the sun and can recite the merits of CoolMax, Supplex, etc. in your sleep!

your car has at least one Power Bar wrapper and two sets of work out clothes!

you know you could make a killing at Jeopardy if only the categories were: – Past winners of Hawaii Ironman – Legs shaving techniques – 40-30-30 diet – Aerodynamics racing wheels – Gastrointestinal problems and long runs – How to justify a 4000$ bike

your kids idea of playing is a bike and run race followed by clif bars, water bottles and awards ceremony.

your laundry continually smells like someone locked the cat in overnight…

you leave your apartment or house in the morning with your swim bag on one arm, bike on one shoulder, a change of clothes in another bag, and your running stuff in another bag in case you can get away at lunch for a workout.

you look like a pack mule wherever you go.

you wave at other cyclists, because all triathletes are friendly and if they are not, they are probably purist cyclists trying to get intotriathlons and they do not know that triathletes are friendly.

you can’t decide what tee shirt to where to your next race.

you no longer take vacations but weekend triathlon junkets.

you have far more pairs of shoes in your closet than your non-tri wife does in hers

the one “suit” you own has a QR on the chest.

you think about having sex, but you don’t want it to effect your morning run splits. (Or if you do, you wear a heart rate monitor and measure your recovery time afterwards)

your living room has the “swim pile” and the “bike pile” and the “run pile” and the “weight room pile” and you pick and choose kind of like a cafeteria on your way out the door.

your kitchen cupboards are organized into “protein”, “carbs” and “etc”

your breakfast consists of enough bagels that the bagel guy hands you a freezer bag with your order.

you’re tempted to do your long rides in a speedo so that you don’t have a stupid tan for your next race.

your bath towel is never dry.

you bring bottled water to a party so that you’re properly hydrated for the next morning’s long run, everyone else at the party also brought their own bottled water because you don’t have a social life outside of triathlon. Oh yeah, and they all showed up by 7pm and left by 10pm.

your company announces mandatory unpaid shutdown days – every other Friday thoughout the summer – in order to cut costs and stay in business, and your response is “Great – now I can do two long workouts on the weekends and still have an easy day.”

you buy a separate dresser for all your race t-shirts.

your 8 year old comes home with the school record for the mile and says, he took it out in a nice pace he could hold…..everyone else died.

you fill your kids’ water bottles with Cytomax instead of blue gatorade.

you can ask your mom and your sister and all other girlfriends for shaving advice!!!

you say that you went to a race last weekend…and somebody responds “running or biking” and you are again forced to explain….

your co-workers catch you with a ‘King Sized’ meal deal from Burger King, and you can smile and tell them that you will have no problem working this off on the way home.

you started the day with a protein shake, had a scone and latte after swimming and commuting, then head out for coffee with the coworkers and have a a bagel and cream cheese.

you wear your bathing suit under your work clothes to make a fast transition from work to swim on your lunch hour.

you name your two new puppies Kona and Hawi

your RST time is cut short by training.

the dog hides until you’ve showered.

your spouse wants dinner out and a movie, so you agree, but fall asleep during the previews and catch hell.

mowing the lawn really smarts after being aero all morning.

you show up at the neighborhood pool on your bike in a speedo and embarrass your teenage daughters.

you’ve spent more on bikes in the last 10 years than you have on clothes for the past 50!

your hair is never dry.

you were awake for the Northridge quake (4:30 AM) because you were out running … and you showed up for 6 AM Masters swim workout and wondered where everybody was.

somebody hands you a cup of water and you have to restrain yourself from pouring it on your head.

you forget that talking about daily LSD [Long Slow Distance] and speed weirds some people out.

you have no FRIGGIN idea what to do with yourself on your off day. Damnit, I mowed the lawn, cleaned the house, washed the car, and there’s STILL 4 hours of daylight left! Aarrgghh!

you come into the office every morning and check RST before you check your email.

you return from your *Mini-vacation* more exhausted than before you left!

you feel like you took the day off because all you did was swim 3000 yards.

You get done with a hard workout and drink a recovery drink while on the toilet and in the shower.

At any given moment you know exactly where your heart rate monitor and your swim googles are, but cannot remember where you left you car keys. (turns 90% of the time they are in your bike bag

When non-racer friends tell you they ran/rode you automatically calculate their pace to see if you’re still in better shape.

Cars pass you on the road when you’re driving and you either drop back to get out of draft zone or speed up to attack!

Inaugural Tri/Du for Suicide Prevention

Sunrise

While my friend was completing his first marathon (and, might I add, did a fabulous job!!!), I fought sleep deprivation and physical exhaustion and finished my third duathlon this morning. It’s true what they say about triathletes/duathletes–or anyone who is serious about racing: they are crazy. And I’ve turned into one of those crazy people.

The race was the Inaugural Triathlon/Duathlon for Suicide Prevention, and took place at Rocking Horse Ranch in Highland, NY, which had a strong resemblance to Davy Crockett Ranch at Eurodisney. I am assuming if there is a Davy Crockett Ranch in Paris, there is an identical location in Florida–just to give you a little information of race location.

inside the ranch

Rocking Horse Ranch

Similar to the last two duathlons I did, the weather was perfect. A crisp, fresh autumn morning. Learning from my mistake with the last race in Pleasant Valley, I wrote down specific directions to get to the ranch (and, it helped that I used to live close to the ranch, so I knew its whereabouts) so there were no issues with getting lost. With this race, I was able to convince my father to actually compete with me. He’s 65– goes to show that not only is it never too late for you to complete your first duathlon, but that my whole family nuts.

Check-in was flawless (how hard is it to hand someone your I.D. and ask for your number?), and you could feel the anticipation and excitement for the race in the air. I know I’ve mentioned triathlons/duathlons are different than road races, and it is true. There is an actual triathlon community, and these races provide opportunities for the members of that community to congregate, catch up, and work their asses off trying to beat each other (all in good friendly fun, ofcourse). You begin to recognize other athletes from previous races, and to my surprise, I was recognized today as I went to pick up my timing chip.

“You were at the Vassar race, weren’t you?”

Yes, I am famous around these parts now.

A.Geuss in his first duathlon at 65--never too old to start racing!

I must admit, I have never been nervous before a race; excited perhaps. This morning, however, was different. I woke up after two hours of sleep actually nervous about the race. In retrospect, I know most of my anxiety had to do with the fact it was the first time I was going to ride in my cleats–meaning transitions would be a bit harder since I would have to switch out of the cycling shoes and into running shoes and vice versa.

Shoes, shoes, shoes

Pro triathletes/duathletes can transition in less than 40 seconds. My attempts at practicing last night on a gravel hilly driveway was unsuccessful to say the least. I realized that the cycling shoes I have are perfect for cycling races, but not meant for tri/duathlons. The type of cycling shoe you want for this type of race is one which only has velcro straps, and a loop at the back, which make taking them on and off a synch. If you notice pro athletes don’t even unclip out of the pedals when they transition–they take their feet out of their shoes and then run barefoot until switching into normal running shoes. I tried that on my gravel driveway last night as well, which is something I urge you NOT to try at home. It’s a little tough on the soles of your feet, especially when barefoot.

Tight squeeze

The course was the same distance as the last race I completed: for the duathlon, a one mile run, then fourteen mile bike ride, ending with a three mile run. The mile sprint was not too bad, and I decided, or rather, my fatigued body decided for me, that this was not going to be a fast sprint. It did go quickly, and the dreaded transition was soon upon me. With my other races, I never had to worry about changing shoes, because I did not have cycling shoes, so I rode in my running sneakers (which saves time in transitions).However, with my new clip in pedals, things were a tad more complicated, as I mentioned above–not to mention the fact that I am still having issues trying to clip into the pedals. Fellow cyclists tell me it will become more second nature as I spend more time clipping in-and-out. Yet, I managed, and the ride went by quickly. I must admit, the course was a lot hillier than in Pleasant Valley. Much hillier.Which meant there was more burning of the thighs. The scenery made up for the hills.

third time's a charm. Yes I have loads of photos of my baby.

The second transition was a tad more complicated than the first, and sure enough my fear of being unable to clip out of my right pedal and fall over happened (everyone needs to fall atleast once, right?). My practice sessions last night were of no help whatsoever, go figure. And the complexity of the straps of my cycling shoe (okay, for me they are complex) only added to the frustration of trying to switch into my running shoes. Ohh, another helpful hint if you are going to take part in a triathlon/duathlon: I strongly suggest having running shoes that have no tie elastic shoe laces. You do not want to waste time tying laces. Zoots actually has specific triathlon running shoes, created to help ease transitioning from cycling to running shoes. (those will be my next purchase). And added bonus: they look cool.

What I like about tri/duathlons, which differs from running races, is, even though there is a fair amount of competition between entrants, people are friendly. Fellow athletes are encouraging when they pass you, especially on the last running leg. “Great job- almost there;” that being said when you still have the three mile run to complete. However, I am not sure if they say that because they think you are about to keel over and die, or if they really mean it.

The support in the race was fabulous, too. The last portion of the race was actually a 1.5mile run up and back (to make a total of 3 miles) and on this course, the turning point was on a hill. There was definitely some internal silent crying deep within me when I saw the hill. I’m really not a hill person, as you’ve probably come to realize if you’ve read other posts. Yes, they are challenging, and I feel good after I’ve completed it. But in the midst of running, or biking, up a hill, I’m not a happy person (hard to imagine, huh?). Almost at the top of this hill, there was a lady–I think her name was Nancy, if not, she looked like a Nancy to me–who was the most incredibly motivating volunteer I have come across in a race, and I’ve completed my fair share of races.

“Keep it up! You look great! You’re one of the top ten females so far, girl! The hill is almost over! Woohoo!” She exclaimed with a huge grin as she gave me a high five, and a strong pat on the back. Despite feelings of fatigue and nausea, you cannot help but smile when someone like that is urging you to keep up the good work. After the race I found out she herself is a triathlete, and knows how motivating volunteers can be. And she did it with every runner. She is my hero.

The best part of the race: the finish

To my pleasant surprise, I managed to finish the race in decent time, but was a minute slower than my last race. Yes, I was aiming for a quicker time than my last race, but when running on an empty tank and lack of sleep, I realized early on that was not going to happen. So, I was pleased.

Still awake!

Here are the race results through the New York Triathlon Oganization

When’s the next one?

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