Preliminary Race Schedule 2015

Black Cat 20 miler March 2015
Boston Marathon April 2015
JCC sprint tri May 2015
B2B bike race/ride June 2015

? Musselman July or Lowell Olympic
? challenge Maine olympic in august
sprint or half September

Monday, November 30, 2009

Swimming, a LOVE/HATE relationship

This is a picture of me and my husband at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston this weekend for our 12th anniversary, we've actually been together for over 17 years. We had a great time. Just thought I would throw in a picture of, "THE MAN", who puts up with me and all my training.The dreaded clock and my fabulous pool. Anyway, today starts my real triathlon training, where I start to do 3 days of swimming, 3-4 days of running and 3 days of biking, also some resistance training thrown into the mix 2-3 days a week. I feel like my training hasn't been too hard just keeping my fitness and hopefully getting a bit stronger but know its time to get to work.

So this week starts my first 3 day/week swim in a long time, I've been sort of loligagging it with 2 swims a week averaging roughly 2800-3200 yds with not too many hard intervals and probably not getting my HR up to zone 3 at all. WEll todays swim wasn't too tough but it was 3000 yards with a lot of drill work and the main set was 8 x 100 on 1:35, which means you leave the wall at 1:35 so you better get your ass there before that time if you want to get a little rest, then I had a 1 minute rest after that set and onto 8 x 50's on 50 seconds. Well, I was a little nervous I was going to be working really hard here to make these intervals today since I haven't really pushed since september. Well, it wasn't so bad, it was probably a good tempo workout for me, I hit the wall anywhere between 1:24-1:27 each time and my HR seem to recover pretty well, my 50"s weren't so bad either, I hit the wall around 36-39 on average so I had time to rest as well. Not bad for my first real interval session back.

I just always feel so nervous before I swim, I look at that clock and wonder if I'll make the intervals, that damn clock. I just hope that I can swim a tad bit faster this year with a lot less effort. I am working on really trying to count my strokes and working on my body position in the water, lets hope for some success.

The rest of my workouts today consisted of 1hr of pilates and a 5 mile extensive/intensive effort run. Tomorrow will be tough with a hard tempo run and some resistance training, f/b seeing my lovely Sara for Physical Therapy. Lets hope my 41 year old body holds up.

Friday, November 27, 2009

multi-task/Multi-sport mom, re-cap on Thanksgiving

The Table I decorated, my Pecan Pie I made and me coming home from my workout.

So let me start the day, I knew I needed to get in a swim and a run and it was raining, so I headed to the pool which was open at 5:45am, did my 3200 yards and then went upstairs to do 6 miles on the treadmill. I knew that I needed to get home by 8am to get my Turkey in the oven because it was going to roughly take 5hrs. I spent the day before doing all my prep work and all the cleaning ( at least 6hrs worth) and all I needed to do today was the Turkey.Try doing that with 4 kids in tow. I also brought my daughter and son to the doctor and she was diagnosed with an ear infection, UGG.

My menu for the 14 people I was feeding was:
Maple-Glazed Turkey with Gingersnap Gravy
Green Beans with Ham and Shallots
Mashed Yams with Brown Sugar and Spice
Sausage Apple and Chestnut Stuffing
Cranberry and almond salad
Maple Spice Pecan Pie/Apple Pie/Ice Cream
Homemade cranberry sauce

I knew I couldn't eat a ton my body just doesn't allow that anymore and being 41 its just not worth trying to lose the extra weight after the holidays. I also knew I needed to get up for a run in the morning and some resistance training so eating smart was in the cards. I'm not that young anymore. The kids and family all had a good time and after cleaning up and putting everything away I went to bed around 11:30am. Lots to do this morning ( friday) putting the china away, workout, finish cleaning but all is done and another day has flown by. I'm looking forward to a great weekend with the kids and good run and bike over the weekend. Good luck to anyone doing IM Cozumel this weekend.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tempo run disappointment

So today was a bit difficult, not too bad, but mentally challenging for me. I was doing a tempo run today with a 2 mile warm up and then 30 minutes at a 7:40-7:50 pace with 1 mile broken up anywhere in between at a 7-7:15 pace, then a 10 minute cool down. With the rain and trying to get my pacing and HR in check I'm doing my tempos on the treadmill at a .5-1.0%. So I was running at a 7:49 pace, (7.7mph) and doing my pick ups in the middle and around 21 minutes I was like, hmmmmmmmm, I gotta go another 9 minutes, I was a bit nervous. My heart rate was hovering around 163 but when I increased the speed it went to 168. It recovered ok when I came back down to 7.7mph but it was hard, I had to really focus. I came down to a .5% with about 6 minutes to go and then 0.0 with about 3 minutes to go. My HR never went past 163 on average and when I finished I felt really good and was able to finish my cool down well. When the workout was over I felt awesome and I felt like I so could of pushed harder and not dropped the incline so possibly it was a mental thing, I don't know. JUST SUCKS, I feel like I failed. When you do a 5 1/2 mile run the day before at a 7:55 pace, one would think this workout would be fairly easy, it wasn't. Oh well, so much more work to do on the run front.

After the run I headed to the pool for an easy 3200 yd swim, primarily drills with some distance work but fairly simple. No intervals to make just working on stroke. Then it was a deep tissue massage to work on my periformis, ASIS and hip, feels good and we are making progress but still need to see the PT as well.

Anyway, a bike and resistance training tomorrow f/b some good runs over the next few days should make for some good training over the holidays.

If you want to see what I look like on the treadmill download this youtube video, its hysterical:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Being on the other side...

Today was a great day, we had two divisional championship flag football games to go to ( 5-6 yr old age group and the 7-8 year old age group). If my boys won their championship games they would go on to the superbowl immediately after. Well, the first game, my son Alex ( 6) played his little heart out, the only problem is that they started the season with 8 kids but dwindled down to 4 on a routine basis. That wasn't so bad because the 4 that played loved it and were actually pretty good. Well, today we still only had 5 kids but they just didn't have it today, my stomach was in knots and I was so concerned that he was going to have a hard time with the loss. But you know what, he got a trophy and cupcake and a playdate with a good friend, you wouldn't even know the game even happened. The sportsmanship was amazing, all the kids had fun ( except for a little tackling from the other team, which isn't supposed to happen in "FLAG FOOTBALL") but I wasn't going to be one of those parents.

So we have an hour break in between Alex's game and Kellen's game since we didn't get to play the superbowl and I again was so nervous for him. I didn't care if they won but I knew that these boys at this age know about winning and it is starting to matter to them. They take things personally if things go wrong and when I see my oldest get a bit teary because he thinks he made a bad play I get all mushy inside and just want to hug him and protect him ( along with taking multiple antacids and pacing the whole sidelines).

Anyway, the game was really good for the first 1/2 we were only down 6 points going into the second but we ended up losing 24 to 12. The last touchdown was great because it was made by a little boy on our team who never scored before and he just ran his little heart out and you would of thought he won megabucks when no-one grabbed his flags. This touchdown litterally brought tears to my eyes and when all the boys jumped on him and high fived him you would of thought they just won the super bowl, they were just so happy for him.

In the end they were upset a bit when they lost but they were so happy for little Tim who scored and they were really psyched about trying to come back next year stronger and faster. Again, the cupcakes, pizza and trophies work like little charms on little kids and they haven't stopped smiling since., I actually think my 6 year old is sleeping with his tonight in his bed.

Today was so interesting for me to see competition from a whole different side, getting nervous not for me but for my kids. It was just so surreal. I love competition when its done right, when its done with good sportsmanship and its done with class, and these teams today showed me that, these kids today showed me that.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Tempo Run Can Be Soooooo Mental

So after a very successful 10 miler yesterday I had planned a tempo run and some TRX and strengthening today. Well, with 3 sick kids all day home from school and a 4th home at noon working out wasn't going to happen until later in the evening. I don't know why its so hard to motivate later but man today was hard, I'll set the stage.

After feeding all 4 kids my mom in law was kind enough to come over at 5p to I could head to the gym do my run and then get to my first Aid class by 6:30p. I got on the treadmill and did my normal warm up starting at a 9minute pace working my way up to a 8 min pace by 12 minutes and holding that until I hit 2 miles. Then I did some strides at 80% of max with a little walking inbetween. Well, during my warm up I wasn't feeling too frisky, i kept on trying to tell myself, " I can do this", " my legs don't feel this bad", " maybe I'll just do it tomorrow and just stretch", " okay, I'll see how my legs feel after the strides and if there okay, I'll just try and if I have to stop I will and do it tomorrow".

What is this bullshit, I was pissed at myself that I was even questioning me doing this, I had to snap myself out of it. My tempo was simple, hold a 7:45 pace for 20 minutes with a 1/2 mile ( broken up anyway I wanted it to) at a 6:30-6:45 pace. Well after the strides I felt pretty good so I said, alright, what the hell. At 1% incline, 7.7-7.8 on the treadmill I ran, feeling pretty good, I did 1/4 mile repeats at the increased speed of 8.9 to get to the 1/2 mile, but I did have to go down to .5% on the treadmill at 18minutes but I finished then cooled down and completed 7 miles in just one hour.

I know I was tired from being with sick kids two days in a row and coming off of a very busy weekend and I do hate running hard at night, my GI tract doesnt like that, as evidenced by my post run blues in the bathroom, but I finished it successfully and its another good one in the bank. I didn't get to the strength portion but I'll fit it in two times this week when I can. Anyway, time for some tea and bed.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Who Am I?

So as I picked my daughter up from school today I was driving down the street and noticed the middle school kids getting out of school. What I observed was packs of girls walking together and then some individual girls walking alone with their heads down almost seeming like they didn't want to be noticed ( sorry, I tend to notice things like that). I instantly feel bad for these girls, wondering whether or not they have friends or why are they alone, why are they walking with their heads down like they are ashamed or something. I really don't know why they are walking alone these are just my thoughts....

This brings me back to my high school days when I was not the popular kid but also not the , " not so popular kid either", I kind of mixed in the middle with the jocks and the cheerleaders, the band and the hockey players, I never really found my niche. I can honestly say, that I felt alone a lot of the time, feeling like I was jumping from groups of different friends each year of high school, never knowing where I fit in. I don't know why I bring this up today but I guess seeing those girls alone today just made me reflect on who I was back then and who I am today.

Today, I am a wife of almost 12 years, a mom of 4 crazy but wonderful kids a good friend ( " I hope") and an athlete. I'm most proud of the first three I mentioned but with my blog I am going to discuss me finally turning into an athlete.

I feel I have finally found out who I am, I am an athlete, maybe not a genetically gifted one but an athlete who loves sport who works hard and who can't wait for the next challenge. I know I have mentioned this numerous times in the past, that if only I could of taken my drive now and put it towards sports when I was younger who knows, but you can't go back and maybe I wouldn't be who I am today if that were the case. Maybe my path was to become one later in life and to show people, especially women and children that you can get better with age, you can get faster, you can get fitter, you can be happier. I was never happy with myself, my body, my performances ever as a child, today I am, but I am most happy about my discipline and desire to be better, my work ethic and just me. I like being happy, is that corny? Maybe its the endorphins from my 10 mile run today, I don't know, but I felt good, I'm smiling.

I'm an Athlete, finally, maybe this year this athlete will do something special, maybe I can inspire a child or another friend to be better to feel better about themselves, maybe this is why it took me to be 41 to know who I am.

For the Athletes out there my 10 mile run splits today were: AVG pace 8:09 10miles, 1:21:29
My best 10 mile race 2 years ago was an 8:05 pace.

mile 1-8;39
mile 2-7:58-feeling frisky
mile 3 7:59-are you kidding this isnt a tempo run
mile 4 8:05
mile 5 8:17- did I say hills-oops
mile 6 8:10
mile 7 8:03- thank god for flats
mile 8-8:04
mile 9-8:10
mile 10-8:07

Friday, November 13, 2009

It Hurt So Good........

So, we had a breakthrough yesterday with my physical therapy, Sara Thatcher from Body Tuning, PT worked really hard on my periformis, left hip, hamstring and my adductors, I can honestly say it was pain that I enjoyed and needed her to do, everytime she dug deeper it felt like things were finally loosening up, well, last night was the first time in 2 years I was able to almost sleep through the night, with minimal tossing and turning and minimal positional changes. The hamstring pain I thought I was having is sciatic pain and it is getting better.

So on Sara's recommendation I went to go see, Darcy Gillbo, LCMT from the Integrative Muscular Therapy Center in Marblehead for some deep tissue massage and well it wasn't so bad. I think with the work Sara has been doing it wasn't too terrible for my 1st deep tissue massage. I feel so much better, my gait is better, I'm not having radiating pain down my middle thigh, its been two years since I've been able to ride in my car without having to lift my ass off the seat because its uncomfortable, chronic aches and pains suck and I'm finally getting to the root of it and its working.

I left a message for Sara today almost in tears because I was so happy that things are going in the right direction, its been so long since I've felt normal, I've just worked out and figured this is what I have to live with and I wasn't going to stop working out so thats what it was. WELL, NOT SO, my life will be different from now on and hopefully over the next few weeks with seeing Sara and Darcy and doing my strengthening exercises I will get stronger and have no pain. Their is a light at the end of the tunnel and its called, NO PAIN, and I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What to do?

So, as I look to my up and coming 2010 season I am so confused about what to do as well as what my family/husband will allow me to do. I am still questioning ironman right now, trying to figure how I can still get into IMLP which will then alter my whole season, so its really hard. So many people have put out there what there goals are, there races and I am so envious. I certainly have some thoughts but everything is still up in the air. What really sucks is that with triathlon and some road races you have to sign up early to guarantee a spot and that is where the dilemma is. Anyway, some of my thoughts for this up and coming season are ( but could and probably will change since I haven't even discussed these with my hubby are:)
December- try to find a 5k or 10k to get some numbers for training
January 24th- Derry 16 miler
Feb 7th, 2010- Cape Elizabeth 10 miler or the Great Stew Chase 15k
March 7th, STu's 30K or:
March 21, New Bedford 1/2 marathon
April - wrentham Duathlon
May 3rd Sheriffs Duathlon
Mid May- Sudbury Sprint triathlon or the JCC sprint triathlon
June 6th Mooseman or IMLP training camp
June 19th B2B bike race or Patriot 1/2 ironman or Ashland Olympic triathlon
End of June or beginning of July- sprint tri
July 25th- IMLP?
August 8- Gloucester triathlon-depends on recovery from IM
Sept-Pumpkinman 1/2 ironman if recovered enough
Sept-Duxbury sprint triathlon
October-Duathlons if able

If IMLP doesn't happen I most likely will try to do 70.3 Providence again in July ( much to my shagrin about that damn run course) and keep everything else the same. No real desire to go to Clearwater in Florida if for some chance I were to qualify, only Kona.

So its out there, whether or not this will happen I don't know and certainly will need to discuss with hubby and family. Priorities will always be my family first but I do have to race to get better and so we will go through this list and hopefully most will get done or at least the most important ones will get done. I am not setting any goal times right now but will once I'm in the core of training in the winter, the key now is to have fun, get fitter and build a better base. Gotta love this time of year.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Excited for Friends.....

As I was running my 9 mile run today I was thinking of my friend Ali who was running the Larry Robinson 10 miler in Andover. I was supposed to run it this year but with two birthday parties and 4 hours of flag football fun today it just wasn't going to happen. Instead I enjoyed a really good run for me averaging an 8:12 pace for 9 miles and averaging in the 150's for a heart rate. Running is starting to come around for me but with my butt still getting a bit achey, I still need to stretch/roll and strengthen those hip/glutes and hamstrings./ I digress, back to my friend Ali:

Ali ran a 1:09 today in Andover which averages out to a 6:57 per mile pace. She has worked really hard and it showed today, thats just a sick time, a time I will probably never see in my life but I will continue to work to get close. She is in her twenties and she has such a bright future in sport that I envy her road ahead. I am also so psyched that she has taken up triathlons and I believe she is going to take the tri world by storm next season, so watch out. So glad she isn't in my age group, wheww........

I also know through friends of a young lady who just competed in Ironman Florida yesterday and did a 11hr 30 minute ironman, a PR of well over an hour. Her marathon was sick too, 4hr 5minutes I think, who does that. I know through friends she has worked really hard and this absolutely reflects her dedication and hard work, good for her.

So, back to me, my little run of 9 miles, averaging an 8:12 pace doesn't mean much to most but my long runs are getting a bit easier and a bit faster, so I hope that through a gradual increase over the next few months, continued physical therapy and strengthening and a positive outlook, I can really put it together next year. I want to have races where I don't bitch and complain and have no major issue that impacts my performance. If I suck, I suck and I will have plenty of those but what I'm hoping is that I can put together several good races with good times and that running will no longer be my arch enemy. All I can say is, " Bring it on", and thanks ladies for giving me hope that I can get better with more hard work and dedication. Thanks again.

A great week ahead of workouts so lets hope for no sick kids......

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Back in the Pool......

So I took about 3 weeks off from the pool with basically no swimming and just trying to focus on other things and getting back my desire to swim again. AFter logging 10,000-12,000 yards a week for over 7 months in training for ironman I just needed a break. So today was an easy, get requainted with the pool and not push but get in a good workout day. so it started off like this:

I get to a lane and know right away I have to share a lane which is fine but the guy says to me, " just make sure you don't splash me, okay". I was like, are you serious,dude, your doing walking water aerobics, don't kill me while your at it. Well, after about 10 minutes of sharing a lane he gets out and sits on the bench and waits for another empty lane, he continues to do this in for 10 out for 10 minutes until he gets frustrated that he doesn't get a lane to himself and he decides to leave. Is he serious, these people just piss me off. Anyway, my workout consisted of:

400 warm up freestyle swim
100 yd kick- at an intensive pace, not too easy
12 x50 yard, drill up and stroke count with freestyle back with 15 sec recovery
5 x 100 with fins, drills, 12 kick on side with 3 strokes and switch
3 x 300, on 5 minutes, 100 tempo pace, 50 stroke count, all aerobic
200 cool down
Total 2700 yards, 45 minutes

This was a nice easy way to get me back in the pool without dreading significant speed work and focusing on technique

After my swim I did some resistance training using the new TRX bands and worked pretty hard and then stretched and rolled. I still want to get a little bike in today which I'll fit in while my daughter is doing gymnastics this afternoon.

Anyway, it was great to be back in the pool, ready to start working again, I missed it, so I guess the break was good.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My ass hurts........

So I had my second musculoskeletal physical therapy appointment to work out my out of wack pelvis and a very tight left hip and periformis today. I was never one for deep tissue massage and the digging in the area has left me really sore. I just took some Motrin to take the edge off and hopefully by morning I will be feeling better. I know this will be good for me in the end, the PT, the restrengthening with the right exercises, the deep tissue massage, but I felt like I workout so hard why does this need to be so hard too? I am trying to decide whether or not to do my speed work tomorrow or to wait till saturday, most likely I'll do my speed work on saturday and just go for an easy run tomorrow, we'll see how the butt feels.

I am also wondering about what to do regarding next season's race schedule? I just found out that IMLP has just sold out its last community fund slot but I can still get in by doing the multisport camp/race entry, which is really enticing. I was on the fence about doing IMCDA but the travel and the end of school thing might be too hard. IMWI was a really good thought but the idea of training all the way through the summer and it being within the first two weeks of school starting ( I have 4 kids) could be a logistical nightmare but something I need to think about. I have a lot of unresolved feelings on the course of IMLP and would love another crack at it. Plus, there is a lot of NorthShore, MA triathletes heading up there which could be really fun. Anyway, lots to think about, at least my husband is on board if I decide to do ironman again this year which is such a blessing, I don't know if he'll think that way come may/june but in the end whatever we decide will be great. Just being able to race is awesome.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Why is Pilates so hard?

So every monday I take a 1hr pilates class which kicks my ass. Sometimes I feel I would rather ride a century, run a marathon or even swim for 5000 yards then do an hour of pilates. But after each and every class i feel so good and I cant wait to come back again for another class.

What I don't like sometimes is when I am in class with other folks and they say things like, " I can't believe this is hard for you, you do triathlons", or, " man, this makes me feel so much better that this is hard for you and easy for me". Well, I say to them, " it is hard for me and I find it very humbling on a weekly basis to come in here even after a year and get my ass handed to me and know that I have so much to learn and am psyched that its hard". What I don't get is that in the Tri world we don't go around saying, " ha ha, you suck I'm better than you or that, " I'm glad I'm so much better and your slow", it just seems so weird to me that people feel compelled to say things like this to me. Anyhoo, whatever, I'm over it. I still keep going back because I love my instructor and she works me to the core (no pun intended).

After having 4 children fairly quickly my core strength ( or lack there of) was pretty bad and needed a ton of work. Sit ups and regular abdominal work wasn't doing the job. Pilates has been a great experience for me and a very humbling one. I wish I could also fit in yoga once a week but with the run/bike/swim/weight training, I don't have any other free time right now unless a Yogi comes to my house in the middle of the night- ( that wouldn't look good to the neighbors though).

Anyway, after a 1hr class today and a 1hr15 minute bike, I have some weight training and a 1hr run tomorrow f/b my physical therapy beating, looking forward to it. Wish me luck.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Some hope on the hamstring front......

So for the last almost two years ( off and on) I have always felt that my left hamstring has been tight, after running hard I would find it hard to sit on my left butt cheek, I would have to really roll it out and stretch, adding ice and motrin to my daily routine.

I began Physical Therapy 1 1/2 years ago to help ( which it did) but I feel maybe it really just maintained me from getting worse. After I crashed my bike a ironman Lake Placid this year I knew things were a little off with my running and biking but felt like probably I was just tired, recovering, etc... but after a good 6 weeks of training my hamstring was still the same, no different. I feel everytime I run most of my power comes from my right side ( this can't be good, right?)

So with advice from some of my friends I decided to check out a musculoskeletal Physical Therapists who sort of specializes in Endurance Athletes and well, it really isn't totally my hamstring its other things as well:

In short she said: I have a pelvic shift and hip weakness which is worst on the left side with some degree of nerve impingement causing tightness and pain throughout the hip muscles on the left. I would benefit from deep muscle work around the left hip as well as strengthening and stabilization exercises. I have significant weakness on my left side which has been compensated by my strong right side. I should be free of limitations once we stabilize the pelvis and restore strength to my left hip.

I finally need to break down and get deep tissue massages( the kind that aren't pleasant and sort of hurt) and really get my butt ( no pun intended) and hips strong. I have to do exercises like:
1. Bridges
2. clam shells
3. walking with bands ( also doing a clock rotation with each leg)
4. hip flexor strengthening

this is to be done 2-3x a week, 2-3 reps of 15-25. I will see her twice a week until she feels like things are going in the right direction and I'm also going to get a gait analysis checked out so I can make sure that my mechanics are right so that I am not constantly throwing my pelvis out of alignment. I am going to reassess my running shoes and anything else to make my working out feel better. Now I'm not in terrible pain but with the time and effort I put into working out I just want to make sure I am doing everything I possibly can to keep my body from getting injured and always making sure I train and race to my potential without any limitations.