3/8/08

Oh....my latissimus dorsi, deltoids and biceps!!!!

I remember when I was in HS that after every Sat morning swim practice I would come home, have 2 waffles with cream cheese and syrup and go downstairs to the basement, turn on the TV and crash on the couch for at least two hours. A normal practice on sat morning would last 2 1/2-3 hours and we'd probably do at least 8,000 yards. I was a 200 butterflier so I remember many repeater sets...8 x 200 Fly, 20 x 100 fly or the one I remember the most (due to the pain) was 8 x 400 IM. Well, this morning's swim brought back a lot of memories and as much as I thought I didn't miss competitive swimming, I reminded myself how much I loved being a swimmer. Last night after Karel and I watched a movie I checked the weather and with no surprise (after a full evening of rain and wind) the forecast showed crazy wind on sat morning. Not just a little wind, but gusts over 30 mph. I'm sure the northerners would take wind over ice and snow but it was pretty scary outside this morning. Karel and I both woke up around 5:30am because of the noises from the wind. It sounded like ghosts and I knew I wouldn't be going on my bike ride this morning. Because I checked the weather last night, I had prepared myself with plan B if I didn't ride. After Friday, of being totally out of it to decide what to do, I told myself I would do a LONG swim to take the place of my sat ride. I plan on riding on sun which should be ok for weather. It was around 6:45am and I asked Karel if he thought I should ride and he said no. He said he has seen grown men get flown off their bikes into the water (last year, one of our Gearlink friends) and if I rode I'd probably fall over before I made it 1 mile down the road. And plus, since I am all about training right now, I decided that there was no way I would be able to train when I am trying to stabilize myself on my bike. The Clearwater Y opens at 8am so I jumped on the treadmill for a 2 mile run before my swim. Surprisingly, no pain in the legs and I was able to run after only a 2 min. warm-up..and I felt great. I wrote down my swim workout prior to arriving at the Y so I didn't need to think about what I was going to do in the water as I was running. I typically think of workouts either in the pool or right before I get in the water..therefore, I am probably not the best at making myself do something that I don't want to do..that I probably should do....especially when I am swimming solo. After the run I quickly changed into my suit so that I would be the first one in the pool to get a lane. I had the lane to myself for a while and then surprisingly, a man that I coach jumped into my lane...what a great surprise! I think it was kinda funny that he saw me pushing myself and barely catching my breath when normally I am the one pushing others.
Ok, so now to the set. My good friend Angela (http://angesdrivetotri.blogspot.com) had posted on her blog about an Epic swim set of 7000 yards. As a college swimmer herself, we both swim very comparable times and I wrote down her workout just incase I wanted to swim 7000 yards. I haven't swam anything over 3000 yards since Kona (maybe 3400) and nothing over an hour in a long time. I'm a triathlete now (not a college swimmer) so therefore, I validate my 1-hour swim as time-mangement, quality swimming :) Or, I just play around in the water after a 1500 warm-up and the "workout" usually takes up an hour. So back to this morning's set. I was motivated, determined and ready to swim a 5000. I didn't feel like I would have the discipline to swim solo for 7000 yards but perhaps if I had a buddy who could swim my pace I would have tried the challenge. Again, I graduated college in 2004 and since then, I have only swam for the purpose of training for triathlons. After a 500 warm-up I began the BIG main set from angela's EPIC workout. Here's the set:
400, 4 x 100, 8 x 50
The 400 was on 6 min, 100's on 1:30 and 50's on 45 (Angela did 40 sec. but I wasn't feeling speedy)
300, 3 x 100, 6 x 50
After 1 minute break I began the next set and continued with the rest of the set on the same cycles and 1 min break after the 50's.
200, 2 x100, 4 x 50, 100, 100, 2 x 50
If you total up the main set it comes to 3000. After 100 easy swim, 200 drill breathing 3,5,7,9 by 50, and 100 fly kick, I started another set which I made up just to give me yardage.
200, 150, 100, 50 w/ 5 sec rest.
Next set 100 free pull, 100 back (to losen up my back muscles and work the chest), 100 free and 100 back.
I then did another 100 fly kick and flopped around for the last 100 cool-down.
So, there it is....a 5000 yard swim!!!!! I really enjoyed just feeling like a swimmer and wow am I beat. I came home and found Karel on the couch and I told him I can feel my back muscles, in addition to my shoulders and biceps. I always want to tell him about my swim workouts but I know he doesn't understand the swimmer lingo. So I just tell him "OK babe, I know you won't understand but let me tell you what I just did." I am not sure if he listens but he always ends in "that's great". That's ok, he talks "bike" and I don't always get it. Right now and even during the workout, I'm not incredibly sore but I feel pretty tired. I didn't really slow down during the workout but i could tell I was getting tired from being in the pool for 1 hour and 35 minutes. Karel said it was super windy out and only 1 guy showed up for the group ride. I guess I made the right decision this morning. Most of all, I feel like i had a quality workout and really never talked myself out of a set this morning. I focused on just swimming and didn't think about all the other things I have to do today (like studying which I am procrastinating as my book is sitting right by this computer as I am typing). I want to wish all the Florida Great Escape athletes in Clermont Florida good luck this weekend!! Gay and Kate...go out there and have fun!!!

3/7/08

Has it happened to you???

It was that morning..the morning when plans change and you just can't decide what to do. I had a plan to get in a nice 2 1/2 hour ride on Seduza. I couldn't wait to get on my bike. I decided to "sleep in" a bit and set the alarm for 5:50am. If I didn't plan on riding, I would have set the alarm for 5:20am to head to the Y for a 6am swim at the Y with some other swimmers. So the plan was to go for a ride and when the alarm went off I hear the wind blowing....loud! The ground was all wet and I knew that this would be a hard ride due to the bad weather conditions. I checked the weather (as any type-A triathlete would do) and saw that the rain was gone but the wind was not slowing down. Since I had planned to visit my mom in New Port Richey today, I figured I'd drive the 25 miles early in the morning rather than later on in the morning. So, at 6:15am I packed seduza in Hyundai, packed the new DMT shoes and my pink helmet and grabbed the grover jersey and bike shorts. I figured the grover jersey would keep me smiling in the wind. So i am driving north and I call my dad to let him know that I will be heading to the house. It is 6:45am and my dad is getting ready for work and I just wanted him to prepare my mom in case she heard some noises when I got there. Well, then I thought it was silly to drive all the way north, 25 miles, and then turn back around after my ride to go personal train someone who lives 10 miles south of my parents. Yes, this is all I do in Clearwater..drive, drive, drive. I probably put in around 50-70 miles a day of driving...errrr. So, I call my dad again and tell him that I am just going to stop by my personal training clients house and ride my bike over there for 3 hours before her appointment. I have scared my mom so many times by surprising her early in the morning so I try to give her a heads up when I arrive unannounced. So, I head to the park in Landsbrook to fill up my water bottle and take a well needed bathroom stop. I drank my whole water bottle before the ride and I had to go. the door was locked! oh jeezz...so, I drive a few miles down the road to Publix and go to the bathroom there and fill up my water bottle. I decide to just park my car and get on my bike right there in the parking lot (Same parking lot as my summer wed. night rides). Well, the wind had picked up and it is now 7:15am. I was in no mood to battle the wind when I just wanted to go for a nice long spin. So now i am debating what to do until my 10am appointment. I did have my biology book but that remained closed and burried under a bag in my car. I called Karel cause I needed to complain about my indecisiveness but he didn't answer. Instead of leaving him a long message, I figured I'd make something of my morning and just go to the Y (1 mile away, where I teach my spin class) in Landsbrook and walk on the treadmill. I just didn't feel like doing anything at this point and I gathered all my strength to get out of the car. Since I like reading when I'm on the treadmill, I just thought about a good magazine at the Y that would entertain me as I listened to the radio (I listen to the MJ morning show on 93.3 every morning). I had a few looks at the Y why I was there on a Fri and not Wed and the treadmill was waiting for me. It is now a little after 7:45am and I am walking on the treadmill with Men's Fitness and Shape in front of me. I knew the older man next to me on the treadmill and we started talking after my 10 min walk. I started to jog at a comfortable 6.8 mph and after 20 minutes, I bummped up the speed to 7.2 mph. After 30 minutes of chatting I couldn't believe I had ran over 3 miles and now I am feeling great. NO leg pain and i felt super fresh. The sun is now coming out and it looks nice outside (still with a little wind). I thought about getting off the treadmill and jumping on my bike but I thought I would enjoy this moment of running pain free (w/ motivation to run) and keep going. After an hour, I restarted the treadmill and kept running. After over 2 hours of deciding what to do and having no motivation to do anything, I ended up running 9.2 miles, with at least 20 minutes of the run at 7.5-8mph (intervals). I felt SO good. How amazing that I turned around my morning. I finished the run with some abs and a few arm exercises, showerd up and left the Y just in time to personal train. I know i've read many blogs of people who have a plan for training and well, plans change and it happens to me every now and then and it is such a BUMMER! BUT..if we only could think about our other options in the sport of triathlons than perhaps we always have an opportunity to turn a bad day into a good day. And if for some reason all doesn't work out for training..well, consider it a well needed rest day and enjoy just doing nothing!!

3/6/08

I can't believe it is THURS!!!

First off, let's talk training. The past couple of days have flown by at ridiculous speeds. I can hardly believe it is thurs!!! Still haven't opened my book (or kept it open long enough to comprehend anything) but I have high hopes that today will be the day that I retain biology. The training has gone really well this week. For some reason, my "injured" right leg no longer hurts. I have to think which leg it was that was hurting me so bad pre-kona and that is because now my left leg is giving me some tightness. It isn't keeping me from running but I have to run "fast" in order to make it feel ok. So you know I won't complain about running fast but I just wish it would all be ok with my legs. With time, I sure hope I will continue to heel.
On wed after my 45-min spin class (totally sweat fest!!) I ran 7.2 miles and lifting just a bit. Did plenty of abs to make my tummy a bit sore but I love my ab exercises! I do abdominals everyday and usually they are all on the ball. I rarely get on the floor for abs, so it is usually a bench, captains chair, bosu or ball which make my abs sore and feeling strong. Gotta work the core to be a strong athlete! I spent the day with my mom on wed checking out some wedding venues. I think we found two good ones and we will go see one of them on Fri. I am not doing very well with this wedding stuff. To me, I want something low key, casual and fun with lots of good food and all our friends and family. Unfortunantly, the venues which I like have packages which are a bit too elegant and formal for me. We are getting married on Oct 26 (sunday) around noon and we just want a fun day for everyone. I hope this venue works out on fri cause then I will feel like I accomplished something with the wedding planning, besides picking a date :) Karel picked me out some new tri shoes (DMT carbon) two days ago so I went for a 15 mile spin on wed to try them out. I am mentoring a HS girl for her senior project on healthy habits and exercise so we rode our bikes together around lunchtime on wed which was a lot of fun. I love my news shoes and they feel just great. Karel got magnesium shoes which are super light compared to my carbon shoes. In the later afternoon I headed from New Port Richey back to Dunedin to feed the cat and get ready for dinner. What a nice change to have someone cook for Karel and I and it not be fast food or restaurant. Kate and I have spent everyday together since she arrived in Florida and we couldn't go one day without a text, phone call or training. I think I have a new friend for life..how great!!! Karel worked on her bike on wed after Kate thought she was only dropping it off on tues for Karel to true her wheel. Well, after a complete overhaul, she is now riding a safe and almost new bike...it needed a little TLC from Karel. Wed evening Kate's family prepared Karel and I dinner, in addition to Kate's husband and coach John. Incluiding her family, we were in great company at their beach house at clearwater beach. Although it was a fish feast, Kate's mom did a perfect job to make Marni-friendly food. Veggies, salad, hard boiled eggs, fresh potatos and bread...I was one happy girl. And with fruit for desert, it was like she read my mind for a perfect Marni dinner. Kate's hubby craig is super great and I have never met a non-triathlete, husband of a triathlete who knows so much about training, equipment and athletes. It is just great how supportive her hubby is and she always has a bike tech on hand/picture taker. After a long day, with the alarm going off at 4:30am on wed morning, Karel and I were both ready for bed around 9:30pm. It is super easy to fall asleep in our place because we have no TV in our bedroom. I thought about just turning on the TV when we got home but I am glad I gave myself a little extra sleep last night. So now it is thurs, not even noon and I am beat. I decided to run before I swam since the weather is getting a bit cool here. I jumped on the treadmill at the Y at 6am and did a bunch of intervals. 5.6 miles and 10 minutes of walking, I was sweaty and ready for the pool. Swimming by myself is what I am use to but I like being pushed. Today I had to push myself because I was solo in my lane. After a 500 swim and 500 pull warm-up, I created a main set that wouldn't bore my. 3 x 200 on 2:50, 4 x 100 on 1:25 and 5 x 50 (25 1 breath, 25 fast) on 50. The set went by super fast and I felt really smooth. I probably could have bumped up the cycle by 5 seconds but in the world of swimming, 5 sec. is a world of difference and I felt super strong with a little extra rest (especially on the 200's. I was coming in around 1:18 on the 100's and I looked forward to 5 seconds rest rather than 1).
So I rushed out of the Y to personal train someone and I was home at 10:10am ready for a smoothie. I had a yogurt and a few raisins on the way to the park for my PT client but I needed to make sure I quickly recovered after my long morning. I've got two full days this weekend to train and I want to make sure I feel strong for two quality workouts.
Well, there it is..thurs already and my spring break is almost over..booo!!!!!
Hopefully the next 2 months will fly by and I can finish off this semester and finally start my dietetic online courses...YAY!!!!

3/4/08

Pics from this weekend and Results







http://georgiacup.gobike1.com/albany2008/Pro12-crit.pdf (crit race)
http://georgiacup.gobike1.com/(check Pro 1/2)

It's good to be back!

After a long drive on Sunday, with two sun-burnt faces, Karel and I were happy to be home. We had to make a quick stop at the grocery for our essentials (eggs, milk and meat-vegetarian and non-marni friendly) and were looking forward to a home cook meal. It was already 8pm but Karel and i could not do any more "fast food". We opted for a real lunch (although late) and we stopped at Moe's (a great mexican place, like Subway) and I had my favorite salad of beans, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, salsa (lots of it) and tofu. Karel had the home wrecker..what a funny name. After a full weekend of hardly any protein for me (it is hard when i travel) I was feeling the effects of going almost three straight days without eggs. As my main source of protein (I go through about 5-8 egg whites a day) I was really slow on my recovery after my half marathon. I'm telling you, protein post workout and especially a race makes a big difference on how you feel the next day. I was so ready to get home on sunday and get a spin and/or swim on monday morning. I would have loved to spin out my legs on sunday but I was without a bike and watching Karel's road race for 4 hours. Anyways, when we got home on sunday evening I was ready for an omelet. We bought some fresh rye bread and I enjoyed my home cook mushrooms and veggie salami (I know, sounds yummy!!)omelet with a little cheese and cottage cheese on the side. It was just so good to have something prepared at home and I know exactly what I am eating. I just don't like waiting for food nor do I like not knowing what all I am eating. usually my meals are simple (salads) when eating out but then I get to the point, come on..give me something besides a salad! On monday morning I coached someone for swimming and it was great to be in the water. Later that day, after hours of catching up with emails, avoiding studying (it's spring break!! I will get to that studying tomorrow...I hope!), working on re-doing my website and working on BT.com videos, I met my good blog friend Kate (check Ironkatemonster.blogspot) who is visiting from Iowa. We went for a spin on monday around Clearwater beach. It is funny how I don't really take advantage of one of the best spring break places and that I can ride my bike 4 miles and I am at the beach. It was so nice on mon that Kate and I decided to ride again at 6:45am tues morning (rain tues evening so I decided to skip the am swim). Well, although Florida is great along the water..it can be super windy!! I don't think I have been that scared on my bike since Kona and riding over the two causeways scared me so much I really thought I would fall off my bike. Luckily, we survived and I was glad I had a girl to ride with. It is just great to know that you have someone who enjoys training as much as yourself..I think everyone should have some type of training buddy. Hey, I even look forward to my spin class on wed morning cause I just love being with my 10 students to push me as I push them! This afternoon Kate and I went for a swim with a main set of 8 x 100. We finished the workout with some 50's hypoxic (breathing 5,7,9 by 50) and then 4 x 25's fast 1-2 breaths. It was a great workout and I really enjoyed the company. I don't know the last time I swam at 2pm and looked forward to going to the pool. Typically, if i don't swim early in the morning there is no chance I will get in the pool in the afternoon. I guess I need a swim buddy!
Well, the last two days have been great. So nice to be back but i feel like i have a gazillion things to do now that it is spring break. Well, I guess I should get back to things....