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

Friday, December 31, 2010

Sport Beans to the Rescue and Power Cycle #3

Today was such a crazy day, I had lots of plans to finish writing and making a lot of calls for my clients and trying to figure out how to do this with kids crawling all over. I got up around 5am to finish my work and I had scheduled my kids to go to a 4hr winter camp at 9am, low and behold it was cancelled after driving to Manchester, man I needed to go into full overdrive to figure out how I could get coverage for my kids so I could finish my work, get in a 1hr extreme strength session and make it to a meeting at 12:15p. Well, thanks to my sitter Lindsey for coming early and my mother in law for helping out and some good friends who took the boys I was able to do all the above and make my meeting ( about 15 minutes late).

However, the one thing I did forget to do is eat but in my trusty purse I always carry a chocholate goo, cliff bar and sport beans. Gotta love the sport beans it helped me through, and I was able to get home and eat properly without passing out. Going well over 18hrs without eating is not a good thing especially after a strong bike class last night and my intense strength this morning- I don;t advocate for missing meals ( which I never do, just ask anyone) you need to eat.

Anyway, I was so glad the day was finally over with regards to my responsibilities so I was able to just chill and play Yahtzee with my kids and listen to their day.

My cycling class last night went really well again, the watts are coming really nice right now, its either my strength is significantly better or that my bike volume is down and I can really work these classes. WE are maintaining good aerobic outputs here, no high end V02max stuff right now, lots of sustained efforts and tempo efforts for good stints of time, heres what we did:

AFter a good proper warm up of about 25 minutes, the main set was to equal 2011= 33:30 total main set

10 min at 238 watt avg/92 RPM avg/peak HR of 156

8 min @ 244 watt avg/92 RPM avg/peak HR of 157

6 min @ 260 watt avg/92 avg/peak HR of 161

4 min @ 263 watt avg/95 rpm avg/peak HR of 162

2 min @ 269 watt avg/ 95 RPM avg/peak HR of 160

2 x 1.75 min @ 276 and 278 watt avg 98/99 RPM peak HR of 165

I gotta love the 6 min effort, I was feeling in tempo mode and I avg 260, my LT wattage for my 6 min test last year was 275, I'm hoping for much better numbers this year. WE'll see.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Power Bike #2- friggin great watts

This is all I have to say about my main set today on my bike:

10min at SS pace: 242 avg watts

2 min recovery spin

8 min- 248 watts

2 min rec

6 min- 247 watt avg

2 min rec

4 min- 250 watt avg

2 min rec

2 min- 255 avg watts

Kicking ass my friends my a max HR of 150, keeping my cadence at 86-88 like coachie wants

Average watts for 30 minute interval 248

Average watts for 1hr bike- 197

Lets hope the running comes along like the bike is coming, I swear it has everything to do with my strength training and working on all my weaknesses. Thanks Jeremee, Janda and Sara, please continue to kick my ass on a weekly basis.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

On the Twelth Day of Christmas ( Version #2)

On the Twelth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

12 loads of laundry to do and when the kids go back to school-not that I'm counting

11 broken christmas bulbs

10 batches of gingerbread cookies I made last night

9 changes of clothes my daughter did yesterday

8 times my boys tried to kill each other this morning ( starting at 5:30am)

7 times I had to flush my toilets in the house because my kids refuse to flush ( don't ask me what's in them)

6 loads of dishes I've done in two days- because my husband and kids refuse to use the same cups/plates so........

5 glorious days until christmas is over ( do I sound grumpy)

4 kids that are up at 5:30am trying to talk to me and outside playing in the snow before 7am

3 Topsfield Fair Fish that have died in a matter of weeks- what a waste

2 Guineaa pigs that I desperately want to get rid off

And 1 very incontinent older male dog - who wakes up in pee and mommy has to clean him up. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Friday, December 17, 2010

Cycling with Power, class 1

So last night was my first cycling/trainer class with power this season with Coachie. This past fall I've been concentrating on cyclocross and doing some other outdoor riding but mostly about 3-4hrs a week max. Mostly high quality work not a lot of fluff. I really look forward to December when this class starts ( I did a similar class with Karen Smyers at Fast Splits using their computrainers and it was so much fun). There is something to be said working hard next to fellow athletes and actually having your coach with you, watching your form, looking at your numbers right there (there is no getting away with anything when he is there).

Anyway, I swam 3400yds in the morning, had a pretty eventful day with the kids and then it was off to class at 5p. The workout was:
W/u 10 minutes building from regenerative watts < 115 to intensive zone 155-189 watts

F/b single leg drills for 5-6 minutes

Build session starting at extensive zone ( 115-154) building to low range tempo 215 watts for ~ 5 minutes.

Main Set: Descending ladders, repeat ladder twice. 2 minutes in between each interval and in between the sets. Maintain Steady State Watts and build to low end tempo watts by last 1/4 of the interval. This was not supposed to be a hard effort.

6 minutes ( hold a cadence of 60-65 for 2 min, then increase cadence to 70-75 for second two minutes then increase cadence to 85-90 for last 2 minutes, bringing watts from Steady State to Tempo)

recover 2 minutes

4 minute interval ( hold cadence of 60-65 for 1 min, increase to 70-75 for 1 minute, then increase to 80-85 then 90 for last minute- again Steady State to Tempo)

recover 2 minutes

2 minute interval ( repeat above increase cadence and watt effort every 30 seconds)

recover 2 minutes

Repeat above interval

Warm down 5-10 minutes

<span style="font-weight:bold;">My Watts from last year were:

Regenerative pace ( <65% of effort) < 115
Extensive pace ( 65-70% effort) 115-154 watts
Intensive pace ( 70-75% effort) 155-189
Steady State pace ( 75-80% effort) 190-214 watts
Tempo pace ( 85-90% effort) 215-253 watts

V02 max- 86%- 254 watts
up to 100% of V02 max ( which someone can maintain up to 6 min) 280 watts

Ok, last night I felt great, I didn't work really hard and I had to really focus on keeping my watts where I was supposed to be, however, my effort was minimal at the watts I was supposed to put up so I told coach that I felt great and that I could go up a notch on my watts to reach my perceived level of exertion. Here are my numbers for my intervals.

First Interval:
6 min @ 240 AVG with final 1/4 at 280 watts
4 min @243 AVG with final 1/4 at 279 watts
2 min @257 AVG with final 1/4 at 290 watts

Second Interval
6 min @ 246 AVG with final 1/4 at 280 watts
4 min @ 250 AVG with final 1/4 at 290 watts
2 min @ 277 AVG with final 1/4 at 348 watts

My HR never went above 150, I was able to talk and hold good conversation it was so crazy. Both Coach and myself were surprised that my level of fitness was doing this well in December with not a cycling focus. What we are attributing my new found strength on the bike is my recent strength training program I've been doing 3 x a week and if my numbers are looking like this now I can't wait to see what they are when we are in the height of training.

Now cycling on the trainer and pushing good watts has never been a huge problem for me its translating those numbers to the road and performing to my abilities on the bike that I know I can do and my coach knows I can do. I am so psyched that I felt so good and hopefully with more strength work with Jeremee at BNS Fitness and coach J I'll be cycling like a machine come spring.

Heres to kicking some major ass to all you men out there this spring, watch out.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

" Uncle, Uncle!!!!!"

So I have been very fortunate to find a great physical therapist who has fixed a lot of my ailments over the last year and to keep me healthy and able to workout the way I want to workout. My plantar fascitis is gone after only 3 months and my initial hamstring issue that I went to her 1 year ago hasnt surfaced in over 10 months. I am very fortunate to see Sara, however, some appointments I just have to cry, " Uncle".

Over the past few weeks as my running has been able to increase and I'm starting to inject some speed in my workouts my IT band on my left leg has tightened a bit. Now, its not terrible, no worse than it has been over the years, I just have to roll it a ton and work on it before and after I workout. However, the tightening has caused a bit of stiffening around the left knee cap and even though my knee doesn't hurt when I run after workouts its been sore, especially when I touch it.

Back in 1995 I tore my left ACL skiing the lovely bumps of Sunday River and back then they did Patella tendon repairs, not the cadaver ones they do today or using some of your own hamstring muscle, so I asked Sara if something could be wrong with my old ACL issue, she felt strongly that it was my IT band tightening and causing some shifting and stiffening of my left knee cap. Well, on wednesday my lovely friend worked on my knee and I've never cried uncle more than once in any session we had and I think I cried over 10 times. She manipulated my knee, moved it, hell, I don't know what she did, all I know is that session killed, I didn't know laughing and crying crossed a very similar line. In the end, what was so surprising to me ( and it shouldn't be at this point) is today no pain in the knee, nothing, nada, nothing, just crazy. I had to email her and tell her, I felt so bad I was such a baby in the office but she was happy I wasn't in any pain. She did say that she still needs to do some work on it next week so my smile turned to sadness and I thought I was going to cry again, she laughed.

What is so crazy with this sport that we do is that every week I have something new to complain about, some new tweak, some new ache, some new pain, however I firmly believe if you catch things early, address it, find the right people to help you these injuries won't mount to much. I am a firm believer of that and I have a great PT to help me.

THANKS SARA!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


So, I honestly believe that everyone has the choice to do what they want for themselves in their lives, I don't choose what people want to do nor do I typically criticize peoples choices with what they do with their lives, hey, if you want to do drugs, not go to school, eat McDonalds' for the rest of your life that's your poor decision I'm not going to give you my opinion unless you ask me ( but don't ask me unless your ready for it). The reason I bring this up is that someone recently said to me that, they don't understand why I exercise so much, don't you think it takes time away from your kids, husband, don't you have a job, don't you need to do household chores, etc... the person continues to say, " you must be so rich that you have people take care of everything for you so you can just exercise 8 hrs a day?" You must be a very selfish person?.

Ok, of course I could go in a lot of different directions here and I could certainly rake her over the coals but I needed to tell why I do what I do ( not to justify because I don't need to do that for anyone but myself) but I needed to explain, so here is what I said.

Listen, I exercise because I love to exercise and if I have the time to exercise more than 1hr a day then I will. I love the way exercise makes me feel both inside and out and it also improves my mood and it makes me a better wife and mother. I also set a great example for my children with regards to fitness and explaining to them that fitness can be part of your life and should be because it has so many benefits for you. My husband, myself and my 4 kids all play sports and we play together as much as we can outside because sitting in front of a TV or a DS is not what we deem as exciting or constructive. Now, TV and computers are still fun but we choose to use them selectively so that it means more to them when they do use them.

Now, if your comments are being directed to me because you lack that motivation to exercise to make that change in your life, what I say to you is, " you don't need to exercise 2-3hrs a day to make a difference in your life, you can walk for 20 minutes, use the stairs instead of the elevator, walk around your neighborhood". Just because I workout this much doesn't mean that everyone has to workout this much to make a difference in their lives. When it comes to affecting my family it primarily doesn't because I make sure that I exercise while they are at school/work or on the weekends my husband and I will rotate and make sure that someone is always with the kids. Grocery shopping, cleaning, 20 loads of laundry, animal care, sweeping, mopping, ironing is all done with minimal left and I get the workouts in, so to your question, " NO, I DON"T HAVE A MILLION PEOPLE HELPING ME SO I CAN WORKOUT!!!!! Don't use me as your scape goat to not being able to workout or eat well or make changes in your life, if I can get up at 4am to workout because that's the only time I can then I do, what's your excuse?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Random thoughts......

So the base period is going well with regards to triathlon training, I can't say I've been doing a lot of swimming, once a week if I'm lucky, I am spending 3 days a week of significant strength training which I am loving, running 4-5x a week and biking 2-3x a week. I am feeling stronger but have a huge amount of guilt not being in the pool, I really need to make the effort but a little more time away hopefully will get me more motivated to swim hard starting next week.

The first two races of my season will most likely be the Great Stew Race in Peabody in early February, a 15k very hilly running race and then followed by either the Hyannis 1/2 marathon or the Black Cat 10 or 20 miler the first week in March ( which is located in Salem, Mass, thus very local and easy to get too so most likely this will be my choice.)

With some obligations to our Foundation and things I need to do on the weekends from January to June most of the races ( plus or minus 1 or 2) will need to be local and not require much travel, thus a lot of my early season races will be running races and a few duathlons. I will update you regarding my triathlon schedule very soon as I'm trying to work out my "A" races for the season.

Anyway, Thanksgiving went by without a hitch, I didn't need to cook an entire meal this year which was nice but we had to travel to the south shore which with traffic took us 2hrs down and 2hrs back, with 4 kids in the car asking, " are we there yet" a million times I think I would rather cook dinner. I decided not to run a Thanksgiving race this year because honestly, even though my foot is better and I'm laying down some nice miles during the week ( 25-28 a week) they are all zone 1-2 pace with no speed work just yet. The heel is so good right now and this week is the first week we are going to tap into some speed, so selfish me didn't want to run a 5 mile race and average 8:30 a mile, I decided to do 10 that day and just be alone for awhile, much better in my opinion.

I have one my cyclocross race scheduled for this season, the Ice Weasel in Wrentham. This race could be really cold, icey, snowy, all the above, who knows, so you ask, " Why would you sign up", well, the beer that they serve and all the costumes people wear and just the plain fun. Racing this off season in something I've never done before and just laughing and having no expectations has really just allowed me to have fun, to work really hard at something but to not have any regrets about the process or the finish. Just wait till I try my first winter duathlon or triathlon this season, " did I say that I've never done cross country skiing before- hee hee_. A girl has got to do what a girl has got to do.

Lastly, I'm just really greatful for my family, my friends and all the wonderful people who help me out with my life on a daily basis. Phil and I are celebrating 13 years together today and my 4 kids as hard as they can be somedays are just the best, my friends are just priceless, always calling me, checking in on me, always there for me when they know I need them, and of course my support team when it comes to keeping my body together and my mind, Sara my physical therapist, what can I say about her, she's become a really good friend and confident and she has fixed my plantar fascititis and my sciatic issue and I'm finally coming together. Can I say Janda, my coach who changes my workouts whenever I have an issue ( which is often) and is always supportive, I couldn't ask for more and lastly Jeremee who leads our extreme fit class on Mondays and Wednesdays, who pushes my limits with regards to my strength, my core, my everything until I'm the only one ready to puke after 1hr of strength training. He also takes into consideration what Janda is asking of me and what sarah knows my body can handle and he works on all my limiters, what can I say, I'm a lucky girl.

With all this said, I am going into this season with a fitter body and mind ( I'll talk about how I'm working on the mental side of things on my next post) with expectations but not expectations that if I don't achieve them will define who I am. I will go into every race this season with a goal but in the end make sure I've enjoyed the journey and the effort I put out that day. Its about being happy with who you are and what your body is capable of doing. Anyway, enough jibberish, we'll chat soon.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

So many little things going on

This weekend was a big weekend, not for me but for my kids and my good friend Keri Boyle. I'll start with my kids.

My son Alex had his first USA swim meet yesterday and at age 7 he placed 6th in the 25 back, 7th in the 25 free and with all the 10,9,8 ,7, 6yr olds he placed 19th I think for the 50 free, 47 seconds, not bad, and with a really good flip turn and no breath off the turn, so impressed.

The few things that stood out for me with his swim meet were, 1) he had so much fun he wanted to do more, 2) he said to me he loves swimming, 3) he said, " some day I'd like to beat Michael Phelps mommy". He had a smile on all day ( yes, swim meets take forever but he was a trooper). So his next swim meet is in Andover in January. Yeah!!!!!!!

Then today was a big day for the two oldest boys, they were competing in the North Shore Flag Footballs NFC championship game for 7-8 year olds, they were competing against the Arizona Cardinals, a team based out of Hamilton/Wenham who were undefeated, and basically killed everyone 50 to 10 all season. We did come close to beating them 24 to 6 ( they were our only loss) so to make it to the superbowl today we had to beat them. Let's just say the odds were stacked against us and I think no-one in the league, the parents gave us a chance. My husband Phil and our good friend Tim coach the boys and they worked really hard trying to figure out ways to beat the cardinals, they worked their defense and offense and today was the day ( the battle of the birds) that the Falcons came out on top, 18 to 12. It was great, the kids played so well, they showed great sportsmanship, it was awesome. We went on to play the Browns in the superbowl and won 26 to 0. We will go on to play at Endicott College on Dec 5th to go against the best of the North Shore, so much fun. We went out for pizza with the whole team and parents and then home to watch the patriots beat the Colts, the day couldn't of been more perfect.

Its so much fun to see them sleep in their football clothes and their trophies on their bed, they deserved this win so much. I would also like to note that the other team ( the cardinals) played so well and all of their kids showed great sportsmanship and even wished our kids good luck on the superbowl game. I know some of the kids on the other team and their parents so to watch these kids play with such competitiveness and grace at the same time shows what good coaching and parenting is all about. So Kudo's to the Cardinals.

On to my friend Keri who is still at this time competing at IMAZ right now and in 10th place in her AG on the marathon. She has a great chance of breaking the top ten and probably besting her ironman time by well over an hour and a half, so go keri.

On my front, I finally got to see the doctor today and was diagnosed with a sinus infection and put on antibiotics, thank God. 10 days of dayquil and Nyquil was enough. So hopefully I will start feeling better in the next day or two. I had to take off the whole weekend from working out because I knew I would dig myself into a deep hole if I worked out and felt like shit, so hopefully I will get in some good stuff tomorrow.

My next post will be my race schedule for this next season, lots of new stuff and some races that I need to go back to, to get that monkey off my back.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It's coming along, slowly but surely....

So this weekend I had a cyclocross race on saturday and my long run on sunday. Cyclocross was fun but the course was hard, very muddy, sand, gravel, barriers and run ups that probably weren't run ups for most but the mud and sharp turns even in my lowest gear I couldn't get up, I was faster just to run. I was a bit discouraged on saturday because I got a good start finally and was in the front pack but a woman crashed on my left on one of the first turns which threw me off my game and then after a real muddy section I changed my gears too quickly to get up a hill and I dropped my chain, which took only about 10 seconds to fix but 6 or 7 women passed me which got me pissed. I eventually passed about 3 of them but couldn't catch the others. Cyclocross requires a ton of skill, tactics, agression and being on the frontline when the gun goes off, if your not there then your chances of making it to the front aren't realistic, unless your lynn Bessette or some other uber cyclist. Anyway, I still had fun and worked hard so another learning day for me.

Today was my long run, zone 1-2, not to raise my HR about tempo range on the hills, watch my mechanics, work on form and nutrition, it was a beautiful day to be outside and running or doing anything physical. I did one of my normal run routes that have a lot of rollers and some longish climbs, I was pleasantly surprised that my run fitness is starting to come back and that even though I still struggle a bit at the beginning, around mile 5 or 6 I start to feel strong, I feel my stride coming on and my HR drops, its just funny to me.

With all my strength training I've been focusing on these past 7 weeks I'm finally recruiting muscles on my runs that I didn't before. Whenever I finished a run in the past all the muscles that typically hurt no matter what the terrain were my quads, sometimes my hammies would be tight but my quads would be barking. Now, that isn't the case at all, my quads haven't hurt on my past few long runs and I'm starting to feel my glutes, and hammies more but not pain just that I'm actually using them.

I haven't done speed work for many months so all my runs with my injury since July have been zone 1 to zone 2 effort. Since my heel has been getting better we have been working on rebuilding my endurance, focusing on form and making sure that my heel doesn't flare up again. so far so good. Today I ran 10 miles, I haven't run 10 miles since July. I averaged an 8:44 pace and my HR was dead on low zone 2. I felt good, I watched my form, took in my nutrition and what I was most happy about was that my last few miles were my fastest and my HR didn't go up ( granted it was the flattest section of my run, but I'll take it).

I am rebuilding, working on form, getting my mojo back, relearning how to run, playing around and doing different things. I am excited everyday to workout and try new things. I am planning on doing a winter triathlon this January in WEston and the duathalon. Now, I've never cross country skied before but I'm going to rent some at our local ski shop and try it out this year, why not, cross fitness is fun and what the hell. What's next, Everest?

Monday, November 8, 2010

What's next and how are things going.....

WEll first, before I go on about what is happening on my front, I want to congratulate to of my bestest friends for completing the NYC marathon yesterday in cold/windy conditions and doing it in great times. They have trained hard and for a long time and both finished strong. I can't wait to start running with them again after their recovery, my friends continue to inspire me everyday. Thanks Vicki and Jess for making me a better person for just knowing you guys.

Also, I follow a fellow triathlete and her blog, Mary Eggers and she competed at Ironman Florida this weekend, despite having some serious GI issues on her bike and run she completed the ironman in 11hrs and 40 minutes. This certainly wasn't the time Mary was hoping to achieve but she was so proud of herself to just finish given what she was experiencing out on the course that she's leaving Florida with no regrets and a lot to learn from. I am very proud of her and I look forward to hearing more about her experience there.

On another note I have one more cyclocross race this weekend in Plymouth, Mass, I'm still greatly enjoying the experience and hoping that over time I can become competitve in this event. I went out on my TT bike yesterday for the first time since september and riding it felt so easy compared to the cross bike, my bike handling skills were better and I wasn't so afraid to go over sticks and rocks. You do have to be more careful because the tires are more susceptible to flatting and things like that but overall it was super fun to be out there. My biking right now feels really good, for almost 2hrs my avg watts was 180 and my norm watts was 190. So excited to see those numbers in November. What I have to do now is believe in those numbers and believe in myself that I can produce those numbers and numbers higher than that on race day. I am working on that as we speak.

My running is coming along as well, my heel pain is almost completely gone and I can feel the difference in how I'm running. I'm able to fully run now and push off the front of my foot, I have no lingering pain after I run but I still ice after for precautionary measures. I've cut down on the Motrin and only take a couple pills a few times a week, so all in all I think things are starting to turn around.

I am procrastinating on returning full throttle to the pool though, I don't know why, I love swimming but with my strength training ( which is sort of hard core right now) biking and running I feel sort of tapped for time, I'm hoping to start back with the Masters soon so I can rebuild back my swim fitness that I worked so hard on last season.

Anyway, things are better both mentally and physically, I'm still trying to follow a clean diet ( I'm eating a bit more complex carbs because of the amount of cardio I do) but overall the diet is good, I' m down about 6lbs. I fell off the wagon a few times with the Halloween candy, boy scout popcorn and a few glasses of wine but I think since I'm eating pretty well the majority of the time so my body is adjusting.

Anyway, thats it for right now, will post my race schedule soon now that my foot is so much better I can think about registering for some events. I can tell you, there will be a lot of running events this year to build back some speed and confidence.

Monday, November 1, 2010

needing to vent.......

3 years ago my father in law passed away and we knew after 43 years of marriage she would be very lonely, so we gave her one of our two cats, (shadow- the black cat) to keep her company, she loved the cat. Shadow was the typical street cat, who knew what her family tree was and she was healthy as a horse. She was given to Phil and I as a wedding present 13 years ago and she was 1 at the time.

My mother in law travels twice a year for a few weeks and some long weekends away, during those trips she has had her neighbors and their kids feed/water and change her kitty liter and things have been fine. Cats are pretty resilent and they might be pissed that you've been gone but as long as they food/water and a place to do their business their fine. We weren't so lucky this time.

My mother in law lives in Salem and she flew in from England last night and took a cab directly to our house, there was no way she was going to spend hours in a cab trying to get to her house on Halloween. I drove her home this morning along with my sick daughter and Shadow was just lying there on the couch, she typically hops up and runs away or comes over for a quick pat and toodles off but this time she didn't really move. She was breathing but her paws were cold and she looked awful. We noticed that her food bowl was full but their was no water and the toilet lid was down, we didn't know how long she had been without water. Unfortunately, the family who said they would take care of her wasn't home so we couldn't get the full story so we just called the vet to make an appointment today to have her get looked at. She was either severely dehydrated or for some strange reason got sick and was dying. I left to bring my daughter to the hospital to get a chest x-ray and made sure to have my mother in law call me when she was at the Vets, 1hr later she called and said that the cat was so dehydrated that she was in full blown kidney failure and she was truly suffering, giving IV fluids most likely at this point would only prolong her suffering, so my mother in law decided to just put her to sleep . She called me to tell me and I was just so crushed and knew I had to tell Phil ( it was really his cat) and knew he would just be so torn. ( he was).

About 3:30p my mother in law encountered the neighbor who was supposed to feed and water the cat and his response to it all was, " the kids were so busy I just forgot", I may have gone in once somewhere in the middle of the two weeks, I can't remember" My mother in law said, " she's dead because you didn't give her water, I need to leave now".

He showed no remorse, he didn't care, nothing. Who does this? No compassion or anything for the animal? Did he not care because she was a cat? She suffered badly the vet said, it wasn't a peaceful death, she suffered until we gave her the shot to put her to sleep, who does this? I am so sad right now and angry, I so badly wan't to yell at him and force him to pay the $115 dollars it took to put her to sleep, but I won't. No matter what my mother in law is suffereing in silence, another death, my husband is really sad, his cat of 13 years is dead for no other reason then somebodies selfish reasons and forgetfullness. It's not acceptable to do this to people why should it be ok to do this to animals.

On another note my daughter got diagnosed with a right middle lobe pneumonia today, her fever that was trending downward since her initial spike on Thursday came back with a vengence last night after she trick or treated with her cowgirl outfit on and only a long sleeve and scarf, anyway, I knew something must of erupted so I brought her in and low an behold a pneumonia.

An animal death, my daughters pneumonia, mother in laws flat tire today, what next. Going to bed.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Is this off season?

So today is great, the kids are off to school and I get to clean the house and do 10 loads of laundry, clean all the animal cages/litter boxes, etc.... you get the picture. Then in between washes I get to hop on my trainer and do an insane mash up on my bike:

30 minute progressive warm up ( 115 watts to 230 watts) with 2 x 15 seconds at 400+ watts to get the legs going for the main set at the end, recover for a few minutes then main set:

Main set:

12 x ( 1 minute at 210-220 watts 85-90rpms then 30 seconds at mid range VO2 max- 250-265 watts)

recover 1 minute in between sets

20 minute cool down at recovery watts

I hit that baby right on the nose, it was hard but the amount of sweat I generate is impressive.

After changing into my running gear I went downstairs to finish another wash, fold clothes and put stuff away. Empty the dishwasher and clean my kids rooms. I will then try to get a bit of lunch in and then off for my 5 or 6 mile run.

After my run I will change and pick up the kids from school and start with homework then snack then sports, hooray.

House is clean, chores done, workouts almost complete. This is my off season.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What's up with me now?

So as the off season begins and my training focus is back to Base training, I needed to look at a lot of things and figure out what I needed to do to make some positive changes in my triathlon and racing front. I recently read a post from Mary Ironmatron and she is spot on regarding some of things she needs to do to make advances in her performance, so I thought I would share some of mine.

1. Diet, huge, very big hurdle for me. I normally eat very well but have always struggled with the up and downs of my blood sugar and cravings that happen during the day and night because I've worked out a ton and not eaten enough or not eaten enough of the right foods to prevent my ravenous episodes and thus my binging on the wrong foods. WE've all been there but its kept my weight at a steady 140-143lbs for 3 years with the occasionally dip into the high 130's if I weigh myself after a really hard workout and I've lost a ton of water. That still counts right? Anyway, I tried following the Core diet last year, it was good, its pretty similar to the clean eating lifestyle that I'm doing now, I don't know really why I didn't continue it after a few months but I seemed to always make excuses as to why I could have more peanut butter or have my wine or whatever, it didn't seem to me that I was 100% committed to making the change and that has to happen for it to be successful. I'm not saying the core diet cant be successful for me I'm sure it would but I decided to try eating clean to see if it would lean me out, the core doesn't really do that per se.

I am a very muscular woman who could lose a few pounds but once I get down 5-10lbs its really hard for me to stay there because I workout a lot and I need food and I need to have a diet that works for my lifestyle and for me. Eating clean for the past week and a half has been great but its boring right now because I'm shocking the system, it will get better in a week when I can add more flavor and more spices and fruit,etc.. to the mix but its not helping the workouts because I don't have a ton of energy left especially if I have to do two workouts in one day. This will change but right now I'm certainly unable to maximize my efforts because of the lack of sugar. Today I had to gulp down some OJ right quick before I passed out from a run, I need to do things a bit differently to prevent this in the future, however, I've lost 5lbs and I'm seeing some definite changes in my muscle definition so hopefully this will be good.

2. Strength training- I've been doing this power class on Mon and WEd for an hour which is very intense, it involves circuits that use everything from free weights, kettle balls, bosu's, physio balls, ladder running, doing sprints, inch worms, tons of core work, working with partners throwing medicine balls, etc.. Its crazy hard and at times your HR is at threshold. I usually bike for 30 minutes before class to warm up and then by the end I'm usually completely spent. Its some of the toughest stuff I've done. However, I am realizing that I am not recruiting various muscles when I need them like my glutes and hamstrings, my left side is significantly weaker than my right, my core definitely needs more work, etc.. The trainer really knows how to push everyone and makes sure everyones form is spot on.

Now this class right now impacts some of the other things I need to do for tri training because my strength is lacking, but overtime this will change and hopefully with leaning my body out and losing body fat, getting stronger and recruiting muscles that I've never used before or not used correctly while swimming, biking or running, I will become faster. This is my hope.

3. Form- I will continue to work on my form in the pool, the bike and on my run. I will continue to try to improve on all my mechanics so I can become faster and perform more efficiently and prevent injury.

4. I am going to continue to work on my mental game and working on improving my thoughts and whats going on in my head before/during and after a race. Racing is supposed to be fun in the end and if it isn't I shouldn't be doing it.

I am psyched to go forward with my new plan, I want my left heal to get better faster, I want it 100% but in time it will, I need patience.

Here we go..........

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Eating Clean-

So I have been thinking about changing my ways of eating for a long time, however, I used to just justify what I ate because I worked out so much. Now, I'm not saying I'm fat but I can say, I should be smaller, leaner, whatever you want to call it with how much I work out. So, over the past year I've tried a few things to tweak in my diet to see if I could change my body composition a bit and most of the time it just doesn't last, I'm hungry, I want a glass of wine, the food is boring, I work out so much I should be able to eat what I want, well that has kept me at a 140lbs to 143lbs for the past 3 years and not budging, and I'm 5'5. If I could just lean my body out and not lose my strength to power ratio I would be so excited. I know I would run faster, swim faster, bike faster if I could get my mind and body over this hurdle of eating clean and healthy all the time.

As you know, the body is not predominantly shaped by exercise, rather, a lean physique is shaped primarily by nutrition, the right kind of nutrition.

Eating clean is not a diet it is a lifestyle change and choice

The Eat Clean Principles:
1. EAt more- eat six small meals each day
2. eat breakfast everyday, within an hour of rising
3. eat a combination of lean protein and complex carbohydrates at each meal
4. eat sufficient ( 2 or 3 servings) healthy fats everyday
5. carry a cooler packed with your clean foods each day
6. depend on fresh fruits and vegetables for fiber, vitamins, nutrients and enzymes
7. adhere to portion sizes
8. Drink plenty of water.

What to Avoid:

1. avoid all over-processed foods, white flour and sugar
2. avoid chemically charged foods
3. avoid foods containing preservatives
4. avoid artificial sugars
5. avoid foods such as processed cheese slices
6. avoid saturated and trans fats
7. avoid sugar loaded beverages, including colas and juices
8. avoid or do your best to limit alcohol intake
9. avoid all calorie dense foods containing little or no nutritional value
10. avoid super sizing our meals.

Eating more frequently with smaller portions and eating the right kinds of foods will help control hunger pains and keep your blood sugar and insulin levels even. Eating must become something that is done with a sense of responsibility to one's health and wellness.

Eating breakfast every morning keeps the body nourished and satisfied while giving you energy.

Eating protein with your complex carbohydrates, you'll slow down the carb to fat conversion process even more. This is why complex carbohydrates should always be eaten with protein. Complex carbohydrates are high in fiber and improve digestion. They provide you with energy, keep you satisfied after meals and stabilize blood sugar levels. Vegetables, fruits and whole grains are all complex carbs.

Some fat ingestion is good for your overall health. Many doctors believe that taking Omega 3's is very important for brain health. The best fats are those obtained from cold water fatty fish, such as char, salmon, halibut and trout, also wahoo, snapper, tilapia and grouper. Other than fish, healthy fats can be found in nuts, seeds and oils of many plants such as sunflowers, avocados, olives, peanuts, canola and some vegetables. These healthy fats aid digestion. Their absence would cause digestion to cease. Your body cannot run properly without fat.

Drinking water is huge, it regulates body temperature, keeps the joints mobile and maintains tissue health. Weight loss cannot occur effectively without sufficient water. When you drink cold water your metabolic rate is increased by as much as 30 percent.

Anyway, I have been eating clean for the past few days and I feel pretty good. I'm not too hungry and besides going the bathroom every hour or two ( adjusting to the increased water intake and decrease diet coke intake) I think I can make this work. The recipes are great and delicious and I think if I can really work hard on this part of my body like I do my workouts then I might have a chance to go into next season the healthiest I've ever been.

What's important is being healthy, eating the right foods, not having midnight cravings of ice cream or the simple carbohydrate because I haven't fueled my body correctly during the day. If I eat healthy and fuel my body correctly my shape and weight will follow. I will keep you posted on how its going and if I get daring I may post a picture of before and after if I can make it that long.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Gloucester Cyclocross race and other things....

So I completed my first cyclocross race this past weekend, actually 2 races since I raced on both Saturday and Sunday. I have to say it was a great experience for me and I know that by continuing to practice not only will I get better but my bike handling skills will improve and I think my road racing will improve. What was really interesting to witness while racing is that a lot of these athletes don't have the endurance, they last 2 or 3 laps but if you have to do a 4th they are crumbling and you can hear them a mile a way. This worked in my advantage because since this was my first race ever and I hadn't accumulated any points for other races I was in the very last row to start. Out of 97 women on day 1 and 90 on day 2 it really sucked. However, passing 25-30 women and not getting passed by anyone was exciting. I always kept saying to myself, " If only they could let us ride another 2 or 3 laps, I'd pass everyone". Anyway, the experience was great, I definitely need to get some " Proper" cycling tops and gear, showing up in Tri Gear is not " Cool", so said my friend who works at Craft- he threw me a cycling jersey to wear because my tri top was unacceptable. It was so funny.

What I will say is that on sunday my race mojo sort of came back. Now, I wasn't racing this race to win it, you really can't when you starting in 97 th position, however, as the race was going on I had one woman who was behind me and she had fans on the sidelines who kept screaming her name, on our last lap I heard them say, " Rebecca you can get her, you got her, pass her", I can honestly say ( as we were vying for an amazing 62nd place overall-hee hee) I said, " %$#@ no your not, to hell you are- I said this sort of loudly, then I put on the gas and since she was one of the heavy breathers out there I knew she didn't have anything left so I just took off and left her in the dust and with the final turn to the finish was a nice hill climb she didn't even come close. Bye, Rebecca. OOOOOH that was so much fun. It was great to get the fire and to work hard and love something again for purely the sport of it. Now don't get me wrong, I love triathlons but I need to find that love again, to race with a purpose, to race with that sort of fire I had this past sunday. I have a feeling this year is going to be different for me, I think this year I'm going to be different.

Anyway, I hope to do another Cyclocross race at the end of this month, hopefully it will be first come, first serve at the line so I can see what I can do up against those amazing ladies. This is fun, I hope some of you get a chance to try it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


So since my injury in August and after Lake Placid I really haven't done anything over 2hrs, A. because I was sort of burnt out, B. I was and still am bummed out about my foot ( which is getting better) C. I really didn't need to. However, for some reason 1hr or even 1 1/2hrs just isn't enough sometimes to get my endorphins going, to give me that exercise high. For example, I worked out really hard for about 1hr 20 minutes yesterday and all I could think of was, " how can I get my run in today?", " should I put my bike on my trainer?", its terrible, totally out of whack thinking but I just feel better when I get in a longer/quality type workout, it just plainly makes me feel good.

Today, I did a Vo2max bike session that was in total, 1hr 45 minutes and because I couldn't fit in my run yesterday I followed that with a 30 minute run. Man after pushin up to 330 watts on the bike and being able to run pretty good after made me feel amazing, I just have been on a high all day, 2 hrs and 15 minutes of pure joy. I know this is crazy but it was awesome.

Heres my bike workout:

Basically from minutes 1-30 it was building to low end of my vo2 max ( 240 watts)
then do 4 x 10 seconds of 95% effort building cadence from 90-110 and then recovering for 1 1/2 minutes
Recovery spin till I hit 40 minutes then:

4 x 3.25 minutes at 240 watts with the last 45 seconds building to 300+ watts, maintaining normal cadence and effort

recover 4 minutes in between each set

AFter main set recovery spin until you hit 1hr 45 minutes

I followed that with a 30 minute run on the treadmill at a 1%- 1.5% incline 7.0mph.

AFter my workout went to see my physical therapist who is encouraging me to increase my mileage and some speed so I will be discussing this with coachie.

Also, I have been asked by my good friend Keri to do a century on October 10th ( good lord, I haven't sat on my bike for more than 2hrs) but what the hell, as long as my hubby and kids are ok with that why not. Not bad to spend the day before my birthday doing something I love.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Mac Kids Triathlon, so much fun

My training has been on the back burner for the last week or two, I mean I get in most of my workouts but without a race to really train for and with my foot still hurting a bit its nice to do different things and its nice to cheer on my kids. This past weekend was a whirlwind, on Saturday we had 4 soccer games of which all 4 of my kids played and 4 different times and at 4 different fields in Beverly, Without the help of my mother in law trying to get kids to different fields would be almost impossible. Saturday went by fast and with a birthday party and a flag football game with the neighbors kids it was time to call it a night. Both Phil and I were exhausted and I knew I had to get up early in the morning to help with the Manchester Athletic Clubs kids triathlon in Manchester Mass. The weather was predicted to be great so I was really excited to help out and to watch two of my 4 kids race.

The logistics for Sunday were going to be tough, I was going to the MAC at 6am to help set up, I packed my kids things including a bike to bring with me so my husband wouldn't have to deal with it in the morning, he dropped off all the kids at 9:15 and took my oldest Kellen to the Patriots game. Again, I wouldn't have been able to volunteer and help/watch my kids at the triathlon if it werent' for my mother in law who watched my 4 year old while the others were busy racing. Man, I have to say, I know my kids are young but I was so excited for them, watching them race is so much fun, I know I can't make them love what mommy does but boy it would be great to see one of my kids do triathlon as a sport because they were great on sunday. My daughter Shea was in the 5-6 yr old group and she had the fastest swim out of all the kids and she had a really good run as well, she placed first in her division. But most of all she said, " mommy, that was so much fun I can't wait to do it again next year and do the bike this time", yeah, success, she's happy, safe and she had fun.

My son Alex was laser focused for this triathlon, he placed first in the 5-6 yr old group last year and desperately wanted to win his age group again this year, however the bike was new for him this year and I was a little concerned on how he would do ( not Alex he knew he could kick butt). He looked around for his competition, especially his friend Nina who kicked his butt last year ( she is the cutest thing- I think he likes her but we won't tell anyone) anyway, for some reason he just was so confident and wanted to rock and roll.

Anyway, he had the fastest swim out of all the 7-8 year olds, when I saw him running to T1 ( where I was working) I couldn't believe how fast he was going, I was blown away. Then he was off on the bike riding like the wind. Within minutes he was back to T2 ready to run, when I saw him get out of T2 he ran so fast I was scared he was going to poop out. My friends on the course said he was smiling but had a very determined look on his face. Anyway, he finished in second place in the boys 7-8 year old group and he was very proud of himself and can't wait to come back next year and try to regain first place.

Man I was so proud of my kids and all the kids who were out there, no one complaining, everyone having fun, the weather was perfect, the hula hoop contest, the magician, the music/dance contests for the kids, it couldn't of been better. I wonder if the adult tri's could have all that stuff too, it would be so much fun.

Anyway, getting ready for the Gloucester Cross Race this saturday, hoping to just survive and have some fun. I am still pretty bummed out that my fascitits hasn't gone away but I'm able to run 3 days a week giving my foot a day of rest in between but the constant aching on a daily basis is pissing me off. Well, I guess since I can do everything else I shouldn't complain, things could definitely be worse.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Walk of Shame........

So I've owned my Cross Bike for about 10 days and I have flatted 5 times, I'm starting to get really pissed off. I have had my TT bike for 2 1/2 years and I've flatted three years ( twice in one race), so really only twice. Today was supposed to be a great day, I was meeting a bunch of ECV guys to practice cross with this morning. I have the Gloucester Cross race on October 2nd and I need all the practice I can get with bike handling skills and riding the terrain. The other day my friend Bob and I were riding and I flatted on a single track at Bradley Palmer, he helped me change my tube and something just wasn't right with the wheel when we were finished, it was wobbling a bit , didn't feel right, so I went to the bike store where I bought the bike and they told me that the rim tape the manufacturer put on the wheel was bad and they needed to change it. The rim tape helps keep the tire in and secure and that wasn't happening right now. So after they helped me with that I rode home and everything was great. Today I got up early, pumped the tires to 45psi like they said and off I went. 2 1/2 miles into my ride I flatted, I was on the road not trail, why would I flat, I didn't hit anything, no glass, WTF.......

I pulled over and started changing my tube. Man new tires are tough and this tire was really tough to get off. I felt my fingers and hands burning. After getting the tire off finally I realized that I probably wasn't going to make the rendezvous with the guys so I just took my time. I felt inside the tire, no glass, no holes.... These cross tires are thick, not like my road tires, so I was a bit confused why I might of popped my tube. It took a ton of time to put my new tube in and then put the tire on, it was so hard to get the tire in. Finally after ( well I'm not going to tell you how long it took but it certainly wasn't the fastest I ever changed a tire) within 2 minutes I saw my tire deflated. WTF.... I looked to see any pinches, no tube was sticking out, what the hell.

I had only a little Co2 left and decided to walk home. A few bikers stopped but the people who stopped to see if I needed help didn't have any Co2 or bike pumps, didn't know how to change flats, it was amazing. I mean, thanks for stopping people but really, if you can't change a flat or care for your bike why are you out there? Thanks though.

Anyway, I got home after 25 minutes of walking my bike home and decided to go at it again. I grabbed another tube and started the process all over again. Again, it took forever to get the tire off and then I inspected the tube, I really couldn't find the hold, it wasn't pinched by the valve, so weird. I checked the tire, it seemed fine, what was I doing wrong? Am I an idiot. I was so determined at this point. I put in another tube, it took another 15 minutes to get the tire back on and then I pumped up the tire, everything looked good, I was so psyched. Then, 4 minutes passed and I noticed my bike was flat again, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. No more, no more, no more. I'm done, no bike stores are open on sunday, my husband couldn't change a tire if you paid him or even know how to get the wheel off, I will just need to deal with it tomorrow, but I'm pissed.

Let me tell you why I'm pissed:

1. I should know how to change my tire quicker.
2. I should have more skills and abilities to figure out whats wrong with my wheel/tire/brakes/etc... when something goes wrong. I felt very confident changing my tire but fell very short today and have wasted a lot of tubes and my time.
3. You should always know how to use every piece of equipment you own before heading out onto the road, no questions asked. I felt like a fool walking my bike home and an idiot. I did my best but I wasn't able to troubleshoot the problem.

I vow to get so proficient in caring for my bike in the future that I will rarely need to use the bike mechanics in the future.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Multisport Mom: Why You Need to Do This...

Multisport Mom: Why You Need to Do This...: "I hate bugging my friends for stuff. I am not a salesman. I also hate spending my time making flyers like this: My friend Greg bought t..."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My first Cross ride, if you can call it that.....

Ok, so I decided to go out for my first ride on my new cross bike today, my friends told me to go to Bradley State Palmer park and find some trails, well lets just say I thought I needed a mountain bike, good gracious, my hands hurt just from holding on to the brakes. However, I do have to say I loved every minute of it, the hoping off the bike, running ( if you can call it that-stupid heel) up hills carrying my bike, etc... I was actually faster riding up the hills then running. The scenery is breath taking, I came across some women riding their horses it was just really cool. I spent a lot of time focusing on the ground though, I don't know if this is normal or not, looking out for boulders, horse crap, holes in the ground, the gravel at times was hard to ride on but I managed. Anyway, it was super fun, my bike is dirty, I'm sweaty so it must of been successful.

Of to physical therapy where I hope Sara can work some magic.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pumpkinman Race Report

I was feeling pretty good about saturday, no stress, no expectations, just going up and having fun with my friends. I knew I had some decent swim and bike fitness but I hadn't run in over a month and my heel ( which is getting better slowly, still was hurting a bit). I went on friday night and spent the night with my good friend Keri Boyle, she is also coached by JRM and she was racing Elite for the first time. After having her 3rd baby 18 months ago her progress in triathlon has been great and her racing has just turned around remarkably. I am really proud of my friend and look forward to her kicking some major ass in the near future.

Anyway, we chatted and ate twizzlers and then went to bed after watching a bit of the Jesery Shore. Woke up at 5:15 and ate our normal breakfast and headed out to the course. I have to say on route to the pumpkinman course it was just beautiful, the sun was rising, the fog was lifting off the farmland, the cows, I wish I stopped to take more picutes it was just beautiful. Anyway, we got there with plenty of time to spare and got our stuff ready. The volunteers were amazing, the venue was beautiful, registration went like clockwork. I had a lot of fun taking picutes of Keri in the first row of the Elites, so much fun to see her with the big girls, then of course Deano was there so I had to take a few pictures of him ( one of the nicest people ever and fast, did I mention fast).

Anyway, I had a lot of fun going around chatting with people, taking pictures, relaxing, meeting one of my blog friends Mary Eggers ( she was race announcing the sprint and racing the 1/2 today) just fun. I finally went out with Keri to get our warm up in on the bike, check out the course a bit. Came back in and it was ready to roll.

It was swim time and after 5 waves it was my turn, nothing too much to say about the swim but being in a back wave really sucks because you have to swim around a lot of people, I had a good line, I swam well, I was 8 minutes flat and first out of my wave. Then it was the run up the notorious ski hill to T1, I took it really easy with my foot and just kept a good pace, 1:33, not the fastest but not the slowest either.

I was the first in my age group on the bike course however Amanda Cox passed me around mile 6 or 7 and I didn't see her until the run, she biked 21.7mph, so great job to her. I averaged on my computer 20.5 but the results have me at 19.9. Not bad, not great, the roads were a little rough and that got congested a lot so to make sure not to get a penalty trying to concentrate on passing and doing the right thing made me slow down a bunch and not take advantage when I wanted to. There was also a lot of turns on the course which slows down your overall speed. There is also a bridge that is tricky to cross over so you have to go slow and then there is a hill right after it so that crushes your speed. Anyway, my bike was fine, only one person passed me and that was Amanda, no other guy or girl passed me. 2nd in AG at this point going out to the run.

Of note, Mary's husband had crashed on the bike at the bridge, when I saw him I was so scared for him, he wasn't moving and he looked really hurt. WE found out late last night that he had a few bumps and bruises but he was fine. I was praying the whole race and yesterday that he was fine. Its so hard to see anyone get hurt.

So into T2 I went feeling pretty good, foot not bad, for some reason my transition time is really slow, I think I decided to bake a cake or something but I put my Kirvana's on and took off. the run course was nice, not too difficult, I knew I could finish the distance but it was how fast and when would my foot start to hurt. I could tell my Threshold fitness wasn't there but I felt pretty good and in the end I averaged 7:38 per mile and finished with minimal pain to my foot. However, today my foot hurts a bit so I'm glad the season is over and I can really focus on healing.

I finished 9th overall female, 1st Age group for 40-44 ( however a side note, the top 3 overall amateur ladies were 40-44 and they don't count them in the Ag categories so in theory I was 4th AG) way to go to the ladies in our division it was great to have the level of talent only get better as we age.

I would definitely go back to this race and probably do both the sprint and 1/2 next year. The food, the venue the race director the fun, the volunteers, what left is there to say, oh yeah, only 45 minutes from home. Ironman better watch out because races like this may soon take over, its all about quality and this race has it.

Results: Dean Philips Fitwerx overall male winner
Peter Mallet 3rd overall male winner
Keri Boyle 4th overall female and 3rd elite
Vin Miserendino 1st overall amateur male, Franco 2nd AG 35-40, Marty Miserendino 3rd AG 35-40

Way to go Fitwerx for putting more people on the podium then most, they guys deserve it.

Monday, September 6, 2010

I'm a heel striker....

So my injury ( left heel plantar fascitis) started pretty much right after Lake Placid. As I discussed in a previous blog, after riding 112 miles on the bike I felt severe burning in the bottom of both of my feet in the front ( right where the cleats are located on my bike shoes). This pain I experienced was very severe and it actually hurt the entire marathon. My feet felt awful and during the marathon I think I changed my running mechanics a bit to be more of a heel striker to lesson the amount of pressure off of my front foot. Anyway, soon after LP when i started gearing up again with the running I noticed I was running a bit off but just shrugged it off. Within 2 1/2 weeks of ironman I had developed plantar fascitis of the left heel. I was away on vacation and new ( since I had a small bout of it 2 years ago) to lay off the running, ice/motrin and stretching with the hopes that it would resolve in a short period of time. Well, we are at almost 1 month and its just now just starting to feel a bit better. I have seen a physical therapist twice a week, icing/motrin/stretching, going to bed with a sneaker on to keep my foot flexed, its driving me crazy. However, today, I ran 3.6miles on the treadmill at 0% incline and felt minimal discomfort. I was so happy, however, I know I am not out of the woods and I need to continue to run conservatively and to continue my therapy to make this heal.

One of things Sara my PT wanted to do during our session last week was to evaluate my running gait, to see if she could tweek anything to help my foot recover, here is what she saw:
1. I am a big hell striker
2. most of my stride lands in the front of my body
3. I land with my foot locked in full supination- which she noted is not ideal as you will not absorb shock as you land.
4. I have very limited movement at the pelvis- she wants my pelvis to open up so my hips can follow through behind my body
5. I am stiff in my lower thoracic spine 9 which is contributing to my inability to get my pelvis to open up)
6. I am lacking in hip extension- I have a tight Psoas- which is also limiting my hip extension/stride behind me

She is having me do:
try quiet running-avoid hell striking- let my foot fall directly below the hip ( at the mid-foot or apex of the arch)
2. avoid landing with the foot in supination) run quietly
3. let the pelvis and trunk rotate back as my stride opens-I should rotate just above my lumbar spine ( around T12) as my leg swings back, I need to let my hip go and feel the rotation all the way up to T12
4. Lean forward from the ankles-do not bend at the waist- keep my core tight.

I tried this again today and it seems to be working. I would be a fool to think my foot pain is going to go away right away but at least I can correct all my running issues while I'm running conservatively and hopefully we can prevent this from happening again in the future.

My issue is: I have a sprint triathlon this saturday and I really want to do it. My problem is that I have run 4 times this past month and obviously no speed work. A. I am afraid to injur myself more, B. I don't know if I can handle everyone passing me on the run, which was already the slowest part of my Triathlon. I will give it another few days and make my decision at the end of the week. We'll see. But keep your fingers crossed that things are getting better, I know I am.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A new kind of brick: Aquajogging

As you guys know, I have been nursing a small bout of plantar fascitis in my left heel, its getting better but it still hurts to run over a specific mileage so coachie and I have added some aquajogging into my schedule to replace the running for right now and its hard, really hard. Aquajogging provides a great balance of training stimulus and reduced impact on your joints, and for many athletes ( like myself) it can be a time saver too.

To make the most of your time and effort, you can combine a swimming session with aquajogging to create a new kind of brick workout.

To make the deep water running effective you should be mindful not to just read water ( that's cheating). Instead, mimic your run gait and flex your ankles, knees and hips as you would while running on land. Your deep-water run gait should look like your running stride on land, complete with arm swing.

I tried to go without the belt the first time and I found that my form sucked and that I was spending more time with my arms out in front of me helping me run/tread water. When i put on the belt it helped me maintain good flotation and then I was able to really properly execute my form in the water. A properly executed deep-water run is a true aerobic workout, so you should be breathing hard ( even sweating). Deep water jogging is not an easy way out of a workout; instead, the session should be a tempo-intensity workout in a warmer, less-jarring environment.

Based on an article from Triathlete magazine, if you know your tempo-run heart rate zone, use it where indicated. Your tempo intensity should be 96% of your average heart rate for a 5k race. Since your not supporting your weight when you run in the pool, it's harder to get your heart rate up that high. As a result, your tempo intensity for deep-water running will be about five to seven beats lower than it is on land.

An example of a swim/aqua-jogging workout from Triathlete magazine, authored by: Abby Ruby, CTs Expert Coach:

Warm-up 300meter swim, 200 meter pull, 100 meter kick
Swim set: 800 meters at race pace
Aqua Jog: 20 minute water run with 2 minute warm-up; 3 x 5:00 @ tempo intensity on 1 minute easy jogging recovery
Swim set #2: 500 meter race pace
Aqua Jog: 15 minute water run with 5 x 2 minutes hard ( max intensity and turnover) on 1 minute easy-jogging recovery
Swim set: #3: 3 x 250 race pace on 15 seconds rest
Aqua jog: 10 minutes tempo intensity
Cool Down: 50 meters

Total: 2700 meters swimming
45 minutes jogging with 35 minutes at tempo intensity and above.

Wearing a heart rate monitor during the aqua jogging would be very helpful so as not to slack off.

The workouts have been going well for me, I miss running a ton and hope that I can still do the pumpkinman sprint next week. I
I also have the Stone Cat marathon in November so things have got to turn around soon. If all else fails I am starting a new sport this fall called cyclocross and will be dipping my hands into the mix. I recently purchased a new cross bike which I can also use as a road bike so I'm pretty psyched. We'll see.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

North Carolina pics

We go to Nags Head, North Carolina for two weeks almost every year in August, its cheap, its on the beach and the weather is usually great. However, it can get oppressively hot off the beach and tremendously humid, so as long as your not running after 7am you are usually fine. This year brought some different elements, we traveled alone as a family instead of with multiple families, we experienced more than our share of rip currents, stinging jellyfish and sea lice. Out of the 13 days we were there we were not allowed to swim 5 days, not even touch the water the rips were so bad. Except for the final 3 days the undertow was still really strong and there was always jellyfish. some of the cool stuff was that at times and most days we got anywhere from 4ft to 8ft swells, so surfing and boogey boarding were amazing, the kids and the parents did great. So here are our some of my pics.

Post Recovery workout meal-vegetarian-SOOOOO Good

Here's all you need:
1. Quoinoa ( we used red, but either kind will do)
2. Bell pepper- red/yellow, whatever
3. 1 can refried beans ( Amy's Organics is our favorite brand for all things canned or frozen) If you can't find this brand, make sure you choose fat free/vegetarian beans.)
4. Red Onion
5. Avocado
6. romaine Lettuce

The amounts of all of these are up to you. I can tell you that we used 1 full can of beans, 1 cup of quinoa, 2 whole peppers, 1 full avocado, and 1/2 red onion. You can use as much romaine lettuce as you want.

Cook the quinoa. While this is happening, you can chop the veggies and the romaine. Then heat the beans on the stove over low heat. Stir in the beans, onions, and peppers. When the quinoa is cooked, stir this into the bean and veggie mix as well. Then serve this up onto your bowls of romaine and top it with avocado slices.

This is a quick and healthy post-workout refuel.

This was given to me via Hillary Biscays blogsite, my husband Phil and I had it for dinner last night and it was surprisingly very tasty and filling. I hope you guys like it. It's also cheap and very easy and fast to make.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fat Free Vegan/gluten free Banana Blueberry Bread, and its delicious

3 large over-ripe bananas
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup vanilla soymile ( or apple sauce)
1/2 cup agave nectar
2 cups whole wheat flour or organic rice flour to be gluten free
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray or wipe a 9x5 inch loaf pan with oil

Mix the soymilk with 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and let stand until it curdles. If using apple sauce, skip this step and add the lemon juice to the bananas.

In a large bowl, mash the bananas and add the remaining lemon juice, soymilk, and agave nectar. Stir well to combine. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture, and stir just until the mixture is well-combined. Fold in the blueberries.

Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pan and bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes. Allow to cool.


p.s You can do strawberries or any other berries with the bananas, but its really nice not to have sugar, eggs or oil in my banana bread. No guild here.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rip Currents, be careful

So today my 8 year old son got caught up in a rip current, thank goodness daddy and another man were right there to help him but it was very scary for him and for us and my son finally realized that the ocean isn't something to trifle with. He got very tired very quick and if it weren't for Phil and the other man who know's what would of happened. for anyone who doesn't know what a rip current is, this is it:

Rip currents are powerful, channeled currents of water flowing away from shore. They are the most common surf hazard leading to swimmer distress and potential rescue.

A rip current looks like:
1. a noticeable difference in water color
2. Gaps or flat sections in the waves breaking out in the water.
3. Foam, or objects, moving steadily seaward
4. A specific area of water that appears more turbulent than the surrounding water.

How to escape a rip current

1. The most important thing to remember if you are caught in a rip current is DO NOT PANIC.
2. You should attempt to swim parallel to the shore for about 25-50 yds or until out of the rip current, then swim at an angle toward the shore. Many people try to swim against a rip current, but this is DANGEROUS. If in danger, wave for help, relax and tread water.

Don't become a victim while trying to help someone else? Many people have died in efforts to rescue rip current victims.
1. Get help from a lifeguard
2. If a lifeguard is not present, yell instructions on how to escape.

My kids are very good swimmers and they have become too confident in the water, this truly scared my child and hopefully he will try not to do something he isn't capable of in the future. Thank goodness my husband was there as we always swim 1:1 in ocean conditions like this, but it was still eye openning.

Be safe in the water, no matter the ocean, lake, pond, pool, whatever, things can happen. The water is something you need to respect. Teach your children how to swim and be safe, educate them about water safety and everything that comes with it. it may save their lives in the future or the life of someone else.
3. If possible, throw the rip current victim something that floats.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

8 year old concerns have mommy concerned......

so let me set the stage/history..

I have a significant family history of familial hypercholesterolemia, my mom, uncles, my brother, myself. I had an uncle die at 39 of a heart attack, 49 of a massive heart attack and my mom has had 2 heart attacks before the age of 60. Now, all of them smoked, were overweight and never exercised and were very stressed, however, there cholesterol levels were really high and as a family we all carry a protein level called, Lipoprotein ( a) that increases your risk of heart disease.

I have known for a long time that I had higher than normal cholesterol levels but my ratio has always been normal. Recently, after having all my children and not nursing for over a year my cardiologist wanted to put me on a Statin ( a cholesterol lowering drug), with my medical background I wanted to make sure I wasn't at immediate risk of a heart attack and wanted to know where I stood with regards to the disease, so, I underwent a treadmill stress test, calcium ion CT scan, various blood work, etc... and low and behold my cardiologist tole me that I didn't need anything and to f/u with him in 3 years for repeat scans and stress test. He was almost certain ( 99%) that I was going to need medication but I surprised him and so far so good, with proper diet and exercise I have decreased my cholesterol to about 205 and my HDL is 80 and my ldl is 110, so not bad. My triglycerides are fine too. So the reason for my blog....

Based on my significant family history my good girlfriend who is a pediatric cardiologist who specializes in lipids told me I should have my kids tested for elevated cholesterol and also for the lipoprotein (a) level. All my children were tested before the age of 3 and all of them had cholesterol levels of over 200, ldl levels over a 100 and elevated lipoprotein (a) levels. This was very concerning to both my husband and I and after speaking to our friend/cardiologist we needed to make some significant changes in our diet at home and we needed to begin educating our children about how to eat healthy and to make this a routine part of our lives. I didn't want any of my kids having a heart attack and dieing at the age of 29 because we didn't educate them about their disease.

So about 2 years ago Phil and I made a concerted effort to eat primarily organic, decrease our dairy intake, make exercise an important and everyday occurence in our house and educate our children with regards to the hazards of fast food. Actually, we haven;t had fast food ( minus pizza) in over 5 years. My daughter Shea and my son Cade have never tasted a Mcdonalds burger or fry in their lives, nor have they had soda. ( none of my kids have had soda which is great). Anyway, we talk a lot about reading food labels, looking for transfats,etc... but we still allow snacks and they get to have their cake and ice cream, etcc.. we just encourage them to eat there fruits and vegetables first and then they can have their main meal and if they are not full they can have a snack or dessert but not everyday. We didn't want to create an environment were you don't expose specific foods to a child and then they go and splurge on that food when they visit a friends house or when they are out of our care. We want them to make healthy choices and know their limits, to be smart about what they put in their bodies.

Anyway, the reason for this post is that my oldest who is 8 has recently ( over the past month or two) has been telling me he is fat, and patting his belly. He says it enough lately that I am getting concerned. He usually tells me after he eats a meal so I have been attributing it to him eating a bit too much during dinner and just feeling a bit bloated after his meal, but recently it has become a little bit more so. Now, my son is tremendously active, he eats very healthy, tons of fruit and vegetables, doesn't eat a ton of crap and so I thought he was all good. This has got me really upset. Have we gone overboard, do we talk about this too much that now he is afraid to eat things. My child is tall, lean and has a very athletic build, he doesn't have one once of fat on his body and even if he did I wouldn't be too concerned because I know he eats really well and exercises. Tonight we went for dinner and some of the meal was fried and he got really upset and came over to me at the table and lifted up his shirt and sad he was fat, then he said he was joking but then said he wasn't feeling well. I spoke to him at length and it basically came down to the fact that he didn't want to eat a ton of fried food and we was upset. He didn't feel like he had a ton of options. I told him he could have broiled fish like mommy but he didn't remember that.

Anyway, this is really upsetting to me to have an 8 year old worried about how his body image is, I dealt with that my whole life and I don't want any of my children to deal with that. My husband and I felt like we have been educating our children because we have to, they have familial hypercholesterolemia and its going to be with them the rest of their lives. I am struggling with how to go forward and what to do differently at home. I want to nip this in the bud.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Plantar Fascititis, its getting better.....

When we go on vacation its tough because usually were we travel to is very flat with no change in terrain and you wear flipflops all the time. I always get a tiny little flair of plantar fascitis to my left heel when we go away and I always flip out over it. Whenever I get a small injury or concern I take it to the extreme, I say to myself ( " my season is over, I will not beable to run ever again, etc.....) its crazy, I'm such a dramatist and I get so overly concerned. I usually get right on top of any injury I have, I rest, I ice, I take Motrin, I do whatever I can to be smart about an injury so that I can make sure to get back to what I love to do as quick as I can. What has been really hard is that I am in marathon mode and running five days a week isn't really conducive to plantar fascitis, so I've cut back on the running, added more biking and swimming in the pool as much as I can, seeing as swimming in the ocean hasn't been allowed given the riptides, poisonous jellyfish and sea lice. I feel good.

Today I feel better, only two doses of Motrin, some ice, and I'm feeling pretty good. Biking 1 1/2 hrs and some rowing was good for me, hopefully tomorrows swim and run will be good, we'll keep you posted.

p.s. I emailed my PT just to keep her posted and what does this awesome lady do, call me on her vacation to tell me what I need to do to manage the situation. Who does that, I didn't expect anything but an email in a few days but I get a personalized phone call, now that is what I call an amazing person/friend/Physical Therapist. I'm already better because of her. Thanks Sara.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Feeling a bit blue...........

So as you know I'm almost two weeks post ironman and I'm a bit blue right now, a bit confused at what to do and need a bit of refocusing. Coachie and I have been discussing a lot of things lately especially about rebuilding my confidence on the run front. The only thing I have scheduled right now is a sprint triathlon ( The Pumpkinman) which I am really looking forward to, however, I do have to say I really want to do, Syracuse 70.3. The only glitch in this plan is that we usually vacation for two weeks in August and I wouldn't have access to my bike and would need to use a spin bike and don't know whether or not that would be suitable to rebuild some threshold work to carry me into a mid september 1/2. I'm working on coachie on this one so we'll see. Its hard to end my season with IMLP given that prior to that race my season was pretty good.

What we are really working on is a potential marathon this fall and working on some 5ks and 10ks to help get some turnover going and building up some speed and confidence. The two marathons I was looking at are the GMAA/vermont marathon on october 17th, it costs only $23 dollars but its run like the Boston Marathon, top notch, lots of support but its a mom and pop shop event and a Boston qualifier to boot. Coachie thinks this may be a bit soon 9 1/2 weeks to really perform, so I'm not sure about this one. Or, I could do the StoneCat marathon in Ipswich on November 7th , however its a trail marathon and I don't know if this is a good marathon for me to do, it certainly won't be super fast given the single track and the fact I;ve never run trails and would need to start, so its a bit up in the air. These two marathons are the only ones this fall that fit into our very busy family schedule of sporting events and holidays/school, etc....

Anyway, my swim is doing really well right now ( just what I need right) all I need to do is swim 1/2 mile in the sprint so does it really matter that my swim is getting faster? Anyhoo, I just like being in the water, as I have said before I may not be the fastest woman out there but I'm very comfortable in the water and I feel happy when I"m out there, it makes me smile.

Tomorrow I have a bike and a t run ( I'm going to swim with some friends in the morning too, yeah), then maybe go to the beach with the kids. Sunday I have a 9 mile run ( yeah) a slight build in the pace but nothing too hard yet.

I'll keep you guys posted on how the running is going and if I can convince coachie to let me do one more triathlon before the end of the season...

Monday, August 2, 2010

Last few pictures and some more reflection

So if you have been reading my posts you know that I ended up dehydrated and lost 7lbs during the race. I spent about 2hrs in the medical tent getting fluids and anti nausea medication and after that I felt great. Phil and I went out and had a great steak dinner and a few beers after leaving the medical tent. Nothing like keeping the salt going in until going to bed. It took about a week and I'm finally back to my normal weight ( much to my shagrin, I would of loved to stay in the mid/ to low 130's), however not right now.

Today was my first week back to a normal workout routine, last week I swam a little and biked a little but did no running. I did a lot of stretching and core work but kept it fairly light. I do have to say mentally I needed the break but physically it was killing me, I miss getting the body going and sweating and all that good stuff, so today was a simple 2000yd swim and a 40 minute run, it was so much fun, I felt really good and needed to stop myself from going further. I think last year I pushed so fast after ironman that I was incapable of having any good races in september and october because I never allowed myself to fully recover. I will continue to slowly increase my volume and intensity so as not to get injured or risk not being able to perform at my best. Anyway, Phil thought it would be funny to document yet again another visit to the medical tent after ironman.