Tuesday, March 31, 2009

IM New Orleans 70.3

In general, last minute travel just stresses me out. Especially lasty minute work trips. I mean really, when you're flying hundreds of miles to talk business and show your skills, shouldn't there at least a little bit of though and pre planning that goes into it? Grrr...

Here I am at work today, minding my business and doing my job, getting ready and tying up loose ends before I fly out Thursday, when who wanders into the office? But Stu himself. How cool is that? And if it's cool enough to get to chat with Stu, who is pretty funny very friendly top-notch guy, I get invited to help out and sit in on his podcast from New Orleans!! Woah. He's interviewing and chatting with some of the big names of the tri world.....Chris McDonald, Heather Gollnick, Linsey Corbin, and just to name a few!!! This made my day. Yes, of course, I would LOVE to sit in on this podcast like a starstruck teeny-bopper at the opening night of the latest of Zac Effron flick. No, no, trust me, it's no inconvenience. It's really pretty friggin exciting that I get to rub elbows with the athletes that I repsect, cyberstalk (a little) anduse for inspiration.

So if you're in the New Orlean's area stop by and say hi! I'll be there all weekend representing Saris and CycleOps and soaking up the Iroman-y goodness!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Oh cyberspace, how I have missed the....

"Where has she been?  Who am I?  That's one secret I'll never tell.  You know you love me.  XOXO."

Apparently I've been watching too much tv.....

No really, it's been ages.  What have I been doing?  Where have I been?  Work, sick, sleep, work, CRABBY, sleep, crabby, work, repeat.  That pretty much sums up the past week or two.  It's that time of year where things are a lil nutty.  Work days are long, there's weekend events, everyone's getting a little strung out, and well I just haven't had much time or energy for anything.  I do the work thing during the day, the early to bed because I'm sick and cranky thing after, and that's about it.

A couple of weekends ago I made my voyage out on the new bike, which was pretty excellent, I did some running and just all around enjoyed the new spring like weather.  But in the midst of embracing the nicer weather, I came down with a cold, and while I was coughing and sneezing and just generally snotting all over the place, the nice spring like weather decided it had come to soon and should be replaced by cold, grey rain, and last night SNOW.  Right. Snow.  Just what I wanted.

Before the snow happened, but not until after the mucus had thinned, I did get a trainer ride or two in as well as a tready run.  What I discovered tho, no matter how much I love my new bike, riding a trainer when sick is just miserable.  Even more miserable than normal in fact.  Sweating it out on the treadmill was much more tolerable, but after not doing a whole lot of it for a week busting out 6m in just a bit off race pace was little much.  Guess I don't always exercise the most common sense...

I did some stretch-tastic stretching this morning (ok, I'm using the term morning liberally here as it was like noon....ish).  It was wonderful.  And let me tell you about my new favorite thing: my new Trigger Point toys.  They are magical.  It's sort of like the massages I no longer have time to get.  Especially on the over tight and sore IT bands.  Check. It. Out.

What's next on the agenda?  Well if I am really ambitious I may make it onto the trainer yet today.  I'd like to get in a run or two this week before headed to New Orleans this weekend for the 70.3 because it's rough to get in quality workouts while on the road.  Racing this weekend?  No, no, not me.  I'll be working the expo.  But if you're down there racing stop by and say hey!  I'll be there all weekend rocking the expo.

Ok, well that is enough of my non-sensical ramblings for the day...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Maiden Voyage

That's right boys and girls, I braved the roads yesterday on my first outdoor ride of the season with my new bike!!

The running buddy was suppose to copilot this adventure, but at the last minute bailed like a stinker, so I was flyin' solo. This almost became my excuse not to go, but really, it was 70degrees out! How could I let such a nice day go to waste??

Let's rewind a bit here....give the ride some context...

Last August, I decided it would be a good idea to take on the pavement with my body and didn't fare so well. Ouch. Well after that I kinda decided to give the whole biking scene a rest for a while. I think I maybe ventured out on the Cat Bike once or twice a week to get a beverage or two, and I there was that one road ride with the running buddy that left me feeling inferior, but that's all folks.

Then this past winter, you know November through March here in WI, I think I did all of maybe 10 trainer rides (if we count all of the product testing rides I've been a part of at work I might be able to claim a dozen and a half....). My biking efforts have been pitiful at best, but my excuses have been abundant!

This past weekend there was a sale to work (2 long afternoons of selling/ installing car racks, ick, and standing on concrete, doubl ick) and the Shamrock Shuffle 10k (which I schooled, woo woo!). Monday I coerced the running buddy to actually, well, run. So when it came time to run at lunch on Tuesday (owwwie!) and bike Tuesday evening my body was just not looking forward to it. There had been no down time, no active recover, no rest, and my body new it.

So now we're back to 70degrees and sunny, home from work, no one to ride with. I thought about just putting my feet up and chillaxin. I had gotten in a run earlier in the day. That should make CoachE sort of happy with me. But really I knew I need to pony up and go for a ride. And so I did.

It wasn't pretty, it wasn't fast (or far), but it happened. I had a goal destination in mind and about an hour of daylight to do it in, and I did it. In fact, when computating and comparing my PowerTap data from this route last year to yesterday's ride, it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Some averages were up, some were down, but overall I feel better about my biking. Now I just have to stick with it.

(Pictures of the new bike to come)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I concede.

But only this once, and only on this issue. So read carefully.

This is in response to my recent poll, and debate with the running buddy. So should you, running buddy, find your way through cyberspace to my blog, you will have written documentation that by the popular vote, you are right. While I still do not understand the difference between unmarriable and not the marrying type, by a vote of more than 3 to 1, apparently there is one.

This poll did result in some interesting conversations and insightful comments, mainly from my male friends, but I still frankly don't get it. I am in writing saying you are right. And I rescind and apologize for my previous disgruntled attitude. But maybe, for the sake of all involved, don't say that again....

Monday, March 9, 2009

Where did it all go wrong?

So this past Friday was my first "race" of the season.  And let it suffice to say, it was not how I hoped to kick it off.

As long as we're talking about firsts, let it be known that this was me first ever indoor tri.  I was sort of stumped by this indoor tri thing.  How does it?  How do I transition?  How competitive is it?  How many people? And so on.  I came across this race as a coworker of mine was registered for the series and couldn't make this one.  She was looking for a stand in, and I said sure, why not.  

I should've known it wasn't going to be my best race ever when all afternoon I kept having pangs of anxiety, I wasn't hungry, I was antsy and I kept trying to think of excuses not to go.  Well, no valid excuse in sight, I went.  It was at a gym I had never been to, with a pool I had never swam in, using bikes I had never ride before.

So I get there nice and early and find the registration table.  They weren't the most helpful and looked at me like I was dumb when I asked where the locker rooms were.  Right.  After solving that mystery I changed and wandered into the pool.  I had been told it was a salt water pool (versus chlorine) but I wasn't really sure what that meant other than less smelly.  What I found was that in addition to no chlorine, they also didn't believe in lights in this pool.  Well, at least not many of them anyways.  So on an overcast Friday evening visibility in the water was less than good.  I got in warmed up a little, and thought I was as ready as I was going to be.  Its about this time that I realize there is only one other person in my "wave."  We made our small talk and he alluded to not having done a whole lot of training in the past few months, so I was feeling ok about things.  10 minutes in the pool, that's nothing!  Then we started swimming.  I felt strong off the wall and was cruising along.  I was holding my own for the 5 or so minutes, then he started to gain on me and fast.  Next thing I knew I was in his wake and getting passed.  I tried to just keep swimming.  By the end of it, he had a full lap on me.  Dammit.  Not my best swim, not my worst swim. 

Out of the pool and into transition.....er, I mean the locker room.  I didn't know quite what to do with myself having to go into a locker room and change.  I had tried to set up my transition area....er, I mean locker ahead of time, but that didn't work out quite as planned.  Basically I was just confused and flustered for close to 10 minutes (the alloted transition time).  And ladies, I am sure you can relate when I say 5 or so of the minutes were spent just trying to wriggle into a sports bra while wet from swimming.  Not an easy task.

To the spin studio.  I approached the clubs bike of choice and had no friggin clue how to adjust this monstrosity.  Seeing as I had spent the majority of my transition time being confused and fighting with my sports bra, I didn't really leave myself much time to solve this riddle of the sphinx.  I got it as close as I could and hopped on.  These bikes were nasty.  I won't name names here, its more political not to.  But these beasts were nothing good.  Yuck, yuck, double yuck.  The next thing I was enlightened to was that they were setting the resistance at a given level and no adjustments were allowed.  Um, right. Ok.  Well what they forgot to mention is that it was a gross mash-y like level of resistance.  Just plain uncomfortable.  No spinning here.  20 minutes of mashing on a poorly adjusted uncomfortable bike.  Awesome.   Oh yeah, I also couldn't find my spin shoes the day before, because, well I avoid spin classes like the plague.  So while my new PINK Newton running shoes  are wicked awesome, they are not the most comfortable way to ride a bike.  Especially with plastic cages.  And without my spin shoes there was no pulling in pedal stroke, only pulling.  About 5 minutes into the ride I new just how much I wanted off the damn bike.  I seriously considered getting off and telling them just to call me a big fat DNF'er.  But I didn't.  I kept riding.  And trying not to hyperventilate and cry.  Oh, and the same dude that had a full pool length on me in the pool had almost an entire mile on me by the time the 20 minutes were up.

Finally off the bike.  Thank gawd!  To the tready.  Unfortunately by now my will and spirit was so broken that not even the thought of a 10 minute run perked me up.  I saw it more as the last obstacle to over come before I could pack my sorry self up and go home.  And so I ran.  The run wasn't terrible, but even that was off.  I should've been able to run much faster and therefore much further.  But it was no longer about performance.  It was about survival.  I finished, swallowed the huge lump in my throat best known as a mix of tears and humiliation and went home.

I got as far as the car before I started to cry.  Overall, my times and distances weren't awful.  They really weren't.  But this was not how I wanted to start my season.  This was not a blow to my confidence that I needed.  This was was the first time I had ever felt (and still feel) like I had failed myself.  I sat all night Friday in a complete panic.  How could I got to and through Ironman if I couldn't muscle through a 40 minute indoor tri?  I seriously thought about throwing in the towel on my entire season.  Why did I want more humiliation?  If I sold the new bike (which had been fit just the day before, but had yet to be picked up or ridden) I could pay off a pretty chunk o bills... 

In light of my early season crisis, I took the weekend off of anything tri related.  I got a haircut, ate a piggy cookie, read a trashy novel and watched some questionable tv.  I ate french fries and slept in.  I left my bike at the shop.  

I'm still feeling pretty down and out.  Not to mention feeling uninspired and lethargic.  I have yet to make any final decisions on what's in store for this season.  Its just too soon to tell.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Just another day at the office.

What do you get when you have 8 riders on trainers, plus 2-4 spectators, in barely ventilated ~12x12 room? A typical day at work....and a really swampy smelly HOT room.....ick.

Surprisingly I am not the one in pink, that's my coworker Ashley. I am the sweaty betty next to her. You know, the one who does NOT look cute while exercising. But see CoachE, I actually rode my bike this week!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Time to hit the polls!

Dear readers,

I need your help.

Whether you are a loyal stopper-by'er or have ended up here by chance, place take a minute to answer my poll on the right. In fact, tell your friends and fam to stop by and make their mark.

So once upon a time, say oh 8pm-ish last night, I was told by the running buddy that I was "not the marrying type." And while I am the first to admit that marriage is far from the top of my priority pile, I'd like to think think that someday my prince will come. Normally these sort of topics and things are not even pertinant in my world. But I digress, this bold statement really rubbed me the WRONG way. And as I made whatever snide remark back that I inevitably made, the given retort was "I said you were not the marrying type, its not like I told you you were unmarriable." Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!! Isn't that exactly what was said?

I mulled this over the entire duration of my swim workout last night, which I might add was a lovely workout, and decided to pose this question to the people:

Is there a difference between "not the marrying type" and "unmarriable"?

Now at the very least, please take a moment to participate in my poll. All you've got to do is click Yes or No. If you are feeling like helping me out, tell a friend or two to vote in my poll. And if you are REALLY inspired, leave me a comment or two. Every little bit helps.

OH!! And if you think that they are in fact different, can you take a second to explain how they are? I'm trying to make peace with this statement.....

Thank you, thank you, thank you!