Chasing a Dream

Chasing a Dream
John and I with our LP finishers medals

Monday, August 23, 2010

Crossfit Endurance and Cleanse...the first week!

There have been some Ups and Downs this week.  Some days and workouts that I am proud of and some that I wish I could have back.

We will start with Crossfit Endurance. 
Basically, for six mornings per week I kill myself doing functional strength work for what comes out to be approximately 15-20 minutes.  Then in the afternoons 3-4 times a week I am focusing on a run workout and 1-2 times a week a bike workout.

I was skeptical about whether this morning workout could possibly be hard enough with it being that short.  After all, I have been through numerous rounds of p90x and p90x+ and Chalean Extreme.  That was skepticism was quickly over after my Monday morning workout left me sore for two days.  As an example of this morning workout here is what I did last Monday....3 rounds for time of 15 kettlebell swings, 15 ring rows (I don't have rings so I did dumbell rows), 15 Power Snatches (which I had to look up how to do on the internet) and 15 toes to bar (I did the best I could and ended up with hand blisters by the end even with gloves).  It took me 15:30 to do.

Other things that have shown up in my morning routines include: Power Cleans, Pullups, Pushups, Deadlifts, Double Unders with the jump rope (which I can't do but am working on), box jumps, Good Mornings, Press, Wall balls, Lunges  All in one week. 

These are tough workouts, but I feel like it is a great way to start the day and I have loved the variety and loved trying out new moves.  I can't testify to how it may or may not improve my performance or overall strength, but I plan on giving it quite a bit of time so that I can give it a good review.  (Looking at doing it mid-August through mid- November)

In the afternoon for my run workouts, which can be swim/bike/run/ or row workouts I have done... 
*a 60 minute tempo run,
*2 by 5 minutes with 2 minutes recovery and then 5 by 1 minute with 30 seconds recovery,
*a mile run time trial (it was a total of 3 miles with warmup and cooldown)  I ran a 7:05.11 and hope to get under 7 minutes next time and that HURT!!
*10 by 30 second hill repeats

*bike workout of 22 miles (I added extra miles from the given workout)  with 6 by 3minute pickups in it.

I do have a longer run on tap for this week.  I was a little sore at the beginning of the week from my Sunday OLY race and so did not feel great for the early runs, but with a little extra rest I felt very good for my mile time trial last weekend.

The 21 day Cleanse
I am on my second round of my 21 day cleanse after doing the first round in February.  I am to eliminate animal products, alcohol, gluten, added sugar, and caffeine.
I am struggling more this round than I did the first round.  I think in February going meatless and all the different foods that came into my life were so new that I really embraced it more fully.
I did very well through the week last week.  Stuck to my plan, didn't have any of the eliminated foods and actually dropped quite a few pounds.  Then the weekend struck.... and this was NOT good.

I won't say I fell off the wagon, but I Lizzie had a cross country sleepover on Saturday and 9 pizzas were ordered, and I was hungry and did not take time to prepare myself a meal.  So 3 pieces of olive pizza later, I was not very proud of myself.

There were also snickerdoodle cookies in the kitchen on Saturday and Sunday...need I say more (although it was only 2-3 cookies).

Other than that, it has gone pretty well.  Meg had a softball picnic yesterday, so I packed my own food to take so that I could avoid the cupcakes, pizza and chips.
We had a birthday party on Friday and so I packed my own food because chicken was served. 

My day usually consists of:
Breakfast: steel cut oats/blueberries/ground flax/sliced almonds/low sodium V8
snack: almonds/cashews/dried apricots
lunch: big salad with lots of veggies
snack: Larabar
dinner: see below

Two dinners that were very tasty and followed the cleanse are pictures below:

quinoa with sun dried tomatoes (Tosca Reno's clean eating) sauted vegetables with beans, and peaches from the local orchard

cauliflower with tomatoes, apple salad, scrambled tofu

One of the keys to being ready for the week is preparing my salads for the week on Sunday.  I also try to plan the meals for the week and then go grocery shopping.

I am hoping to have a great week this week, and then at the end of the 21 days I won't be changing much.  I miss bread, and I miss the occassional glass of wine. 

Congratulations to Jon, Mandy and Mary who all raced at Timberman this weekend!!  All bloggers that I follow.

I have officially signed up for the Columbus HALF marathon on October 17th.  John is doing the Full and Matt is also doing the Half.  I am glad to NOT be training for a fall marathon after running one in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009.  I WILL be training this winter for Boston marathon 2011, which I am already qualified for!!  We booked our Boston hotel this weekend.

How is your nutrition plan going?  Are you at a place that you feel comfortable?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Vermilion OLY tri race report

Last Sunday I did my last tri of the season.  After having flatted at Steelhead, I signed up for this race wanting to get in a 'clean' race for the season.  My son, Matt, also did the Olympic distance and my daughter, Lizzie, did the Sprint distance.

We spent all of FRI night into Saturday noon driving home from Maine--> 16 hours overnight.  And training was totally off as we spent the week hiking in Acadia and riding my hybrid around on the carriage trails.

The race didn't start until 8am, and we are about an hour away and so left at 5:30am, which is a VERY reasonable start for a triathlon race morning.  We had a big crowd of spectators, my husband and youngest daughter, my mom, my sister, and my brother and his wife and two kids.  It was GREAT to have all the support.

Everything went smoothly to start.  Lizzie was in the earliest wave, starting at 8:13.  Matt was to start at 8:25 and I was at 8:33.  So I got to see Lizzie start and get out of the water after her 750meter swim. 

Matt and I before the race

The Swim:
I felt very relaxed at the start.  I was in the wave of 40 and older women for the Oly, and it was only 15-20 women.  I started front and center as this was a local race and I felt like I could swim with anyone in my wave.  We ran a little ways on the beach, took a few dolphin dives and then started swimming.  We did two laps of the 750meters rectangle.  I didn't have too much trouble sighting and got into a pretty good rhythm quickly.  There was not much traffic and I was swimming right next to another girl for most of the first lap.  As I was finishing the first lap I felt this RUSH of guys swimming past me, and I realized that some of the guys in Matt's wave were finishing up their second lap and getting to their finish.
On the second lap, the only traffic I had were guys were doing breastroke/backstroke and other very slow swims. 

Time for the swim: 28:35 4th out of 7 in my Age group but only 20 seconds behind first in my AG

T1: time 1:55
We had a pretty long run up from the beach.  I had a little trouble getting one of my legs out of my wetsuit, then helmet, shoes, grabbed my bike and made a long run to where we could mount our bikes.

Matt did this race last year and told me that it had some tough hills in it.  Short, but steep.  He was not lying.  I also felt like there was some wind, and slight incline on the way out.  I was having trouble staying close to 20 mph for the first half.  There were some climbs, and the downhills had some gravel and turns so you had to use the brakes.  One woman passed me on the bike, we went back and forth for a while and then I lost her.  I passed quite a few men and women.  On the second half of the bike I felt a lot stronger and felt the wind disappear and could keep my speed consistently above 20 mph.

After doing 56 miles at Steelhead, 25 miles felt like it was over very quickly.  I drank on bottle of Accelerade and tried to get a few shot bloks down.

Bike time:  25.6 miles 1:21.43 18.8mph average  3rd in my age group only 40 seconds behind first

very determined look coming off the bike :)

T2: 2:05

Had a little trouble putting my Garmin strap on the right way, other than that no problem.

I was really hoping to run sub-9min miles.  My running is my weakness and has not been great this summer.  I felt great right off the bike.  My first mile was an 8:23 and I felt like I wasn't pushing that hard.  And then the heat and humidity started closing in on me.  I drank at every water stop and poured cold water over me.  The rest of the miles were pretty consistent, but at about 9:30 pace.  There were a lot of people walking, and one guy with less than a half mile left was down and they called the squad.  But I gave it all I could, just not quite where I wanted to be.

Run time:  58:17  9:15 pace  5th in my age group and 12 minutes behind 1st place.  HERE is where I lost all the time on the winner of my AG.  aaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!!! I need to improve my RUNNING!!!

Overall:  2:52.37                3rd in my AG out of 7
11th female overall out of 33

So, overall a pretty mediocre race for me.  My goals were 26 minute swim, 20mph+ average on the bike and sub-9 minute pace on the run.  Hit NONE of these goals.

Lizzie came in 2nd in her AG and 8th female overall in the Sprint race

Matt came in 1st in his AG and 10th male overal in the Olympic race

Tomorrow I will give a post updating my first week on my 21 day cleanse and doing the crossfit endurance workouts...

Monday, August 16, 2010

What is next...the next 90 days???

I have been training with focus since February.  First, for my first Boston marathon in April and then right into my HIM training for Steelhead.  So what comes next?

I took a week of recovery after Steelhead and then spent last week in Acadia National Park where I didn't do too many 'workouts'  but hiked and biked all over the park so was worn out every night.  But we had an awesome time there climbing LOTS of mountains.

hiking in Acadia fun,fun fun!!!

I did an Olympic Tri yesterday (along with Matt and Liz (sprint tri)  and I will give a race report about it as soon as the results are up.  I will just say I was moderately happy with my race. 

So now my focus for the next 90 days is NUTRITION, STRENGTH, RUNNING.

I had been planning on getting back into the strength training.  After doing p90x starting in Spring 2007 and assorted other beachbody programs, I really gained a lot of strength.  But over the last few year or so my strength workouts have been sporadic.  I have done fairly well this summer, but am looking forward to FOCUS on strength.

I have decided to give crossfitendurance a try.  It incorporates strength and either swim/bike/run or a combination of the three.  You do 4-6 strength workouts, they call these the anaerobic endurance workout of the day per week.  You second workout of the day you choose either s, b or run and so interval type workouts, time trials, tempos, etc...

I am going to focus on the run for these workouts.  I feel like I have a lot of room to improve on my run.  I haven't felt strong on my run for a while.  I am planning on running Boston marathon again next April, and I want to break 4 hours to get my Boston Qualifier for the next year.

I will still ride with our Wednesday night bike group and probably another long ride on Sundays.

I did my first strength workout this morning.  3 rounds of 15 kettlebell swings/15 rows/15 power snatches/15 toes to bar.  I couldn't get my toes to the bar but did the best I could.  You were to do this for time and I did it in 15:30 and was shaking by the end.

I had to look on youtube to find out what power snatches were, and I could only use the 45 pound bar to do them.

On the nutrition front, I am doing round two of my 21 day cleanse.  I have had a summer full of vacations and have not been too bad on the eating, but it is not nearly as clean as I would like it to be.  I did this back on February 1st and after the first round of this cleanse, decided to be as Vegan in my eating as possible.

So for this cleanse there is NO alcohol, caffeine, gluten, added sugar, or animal products.  Day one is today.  During the first round I blogged daily.  That was motivation for me to be successful, so I will try to do that again.  For me this cleanse is like hitting the reset button on my nutrition plan.

So in conclusion, I am hoping to become LEANER, STRONGER, and FASTER!!!

I do have two races coming up both of them runs.  Our local 9 miler in early September and I am going to do the Columbus HALF marathon on October 19th.  John will do the FULL and Matt is also planning on doing the HALF.

Anyone out there want to join me on all or some of this 21 day cleanse?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Steelhead Race Report and the Cyman triathlon at our house the next day:)

Not the race I was hoping for but I think there are some things I will take from this race.
Warning: This is long!

We got into Benton Harbor on Friday and went straight to the Expo at 12:30, hoping to get there early and beat the crowds.  One of my only complaints about this race is how the registration was set up.  The line was already out the door and winding down the hall and around the corner.  You then proceeded to wait in at least 5 lines to get checked off, get your waiver, sign your waiver, turn in your waiver, finally get a nice spike bag with your number, cap, etc... then check your timing chip.  The whole process did not get complete until over an hour later.

We then hopped into anothe line for free food from Pizza Hut (pasta and salad) and then heard the pre-race talk about rules, the course, etc...

We bought a few things from the ironman shop.  I got two shirts short sleeve and long sleeve and John got a short sleeve and a pair of biking shorts.   They hadn't given us a shirt at registration, but we found out later we would get one at the finish.  I'm sure I had read that somewhere earlier, but had forgotten.

We finally got out of there well after 3:00.  Headed a few miles away to the transition area on Lake Michigan.  We took the bikes out for a short spin just to make sure everything was working after the trip.  We put the bikes in transition and covered the drive train and handle bars with plastic, then took a short swim in Lake Michigan.  It was a pleasant surprise.  Very clear, clean, with nothing growing in it and no smell at all.  It was a beautiful beach, with awesome, clean sand.

We headed to the hotel and it was much later than planned.  We got directions to a nice restaurant, had to wait a while to be seated and ended up eating much later than I would have liked.  We didn't get back to the room until 9:00.  Packed up and organized our transition bags, made out bottles and tried to get some sleep.
Race morning
We got up at 4:10.  I had some oatmeal and a little coffee and we headed out before 5:00.  It was just beginning to rain as we pulled into parking about a mile from the start.  We took a shuttle to the transition area.  By then the rain was pretty steady.  We set up our transition area and put plastic over as much as possible and then hung out in a tented area for about a half hour.
We finalized tranisition, put on wetsuits and cap which were much appreciated in the rain.  By then I was pretty much soaked through.  I put my Garmin into multi sport mode, left in on my bike and left the plastic bag on my handle bars.
We began the one mile walk down the beach by 6:40 to make my 7:18 wave.  At 7:00, I ate a Hammer Gel.  It looked like a herd of ants, all in our wetsuits walking down the beach.  The going was slower than I expected and we got there just as the wave 6 minutes before mine was taking off.  I felt very calm, and ready to go.

It was a beach start.  We all crossed over the timing mat and then stood right at the edge of the water.  I stood in the front row on the outside.  The announcer finally counted down for us and we were off.  I ran a little way in the water and as soon as it was deep enough did about three dolphin dives to get going.  I was on the outside and felt like I was swimming toward the inside, but still went wide around the turn bouy.  I had very little contact with anyone on the swim.  We swam out about 30 yards, then parallel to the beach past orange buoys, then red buoys, green buoys and then looking for a final orange buoy that we did a 90 degree right turn around to head back toward the beach.

I felt fairly strong on the swim, sighting easily, bilateral breathing, and keeping my heart rate low.  I was worried that I had taken the swim way too easily and I really do feel like I should be pushing my swim a little harder.  It is just so hard to know how to pace when you have a long day ahead.  I swam at a pace I could have kept up for a long time.  My only issue was I could feel a bad rash developing on my neck from my wetsuit even though I had applied body glide. 

Before half way we were running into the guys in white caps in the wave that had gone 6 minutes before us, and then not long after we began running into guys in yellow caps from the wave 12 minutes before us. That led to a little traffic here and there.

It went by fast and before I knew it I was swimming for shore and kept swimming until I no longer could.  As I exited the water, my watch said 33:xx and we had about a 100 yards UPHILL through the sand to get to the timing mat, so my official time was 34:41 which was 13/82 in my Age Group of F 40-44

The transition are was LONG (very long) and thin so it was a very long way to run to my area, tear off the plastic, wetsuit halfway off while running, rest of the way off, socks on, biking shoes on, number on, helmet on, decided not to put sunglasses on because it was sprinkling.  Then run all the way down the line to BIKE OUT.  It seemed to take forever!! and it did my time was 4:29.  Need to get that down.

I love the bike leg!!  It was barely raining at this point and it stopped soon after I started.  The sun was actually out for much of this leg.

I got right down into aero position and started passing people.  I felt great right from the beginning.  I spent the first 20 miles keeping an eye on my heartrate, and holding myself back because I felt so good on the bike.  I was passed by a total of two women during the entire 20 miles and I passed more men and women than I could keep track of.  I hit the 20 mile mark at 58 minutes, and I really felt like I was not hammering.  At this point I felt like I was in a great spot.  I had an early wave and had passed a lot of the weaker bikers in the earlier waves.  I knew that there would be some stud guys starting to pass me soon.  But for the most part I was out of the traffic and had a open path in front of me.  I knew that a good bike was going to happen today and then it mile 22.5
my front tire went flat....
Looking back, I am actually totally surprised at how calm I stayed.  I have changed a tire by myself all of ONCE.  I was out in the middle of a bunch of fields, and actually pulled over into a driveway where a bunch of immigrant workers were sitting on their front porch, watching the bikers go by.
I pulled everything out of my seat pack.  Used my tire iron to get my tire off, pulled out the bad tube and felt around to see the cause.  A piece of glass stuck in my tire.  I couldn't pull it out with my (then filthy) hand, I had no pliers, so...I used my teeth!   I didn't really even think about it, I just wanted it OUT of my tire.  I put the tube in, and pretty easily got the tire back in.  Got my CO2 tube and ready and filled it, to have it immediately go flat again...I was feeling defeated.  I didn't have another tube...
Here is the part I am so sorry to admit...I look down on the ground and there sits my new tube.  I cannot believe I did it...but I put my old tube back in...DUH!!!!!!

Calm...Deep Breaths.....I now put go through the whole thing again with the new tube.  Thinking just wait until I tell Matt (my son who works in a bike shop and changes tubes all day long) this story.  At this point I wasn't sure I would have enough air left in my Co2.  So I say a prayer and fill this tube...and a little 'bubble' of tube pops out right at my valve.  Now I begin to think I am going to have a DNF.  I DO NOT WANT A DNF!!!!!!

So I let out a little air, and stuff the 'bubble' back in as best I can.  I know I don't have enough air to let it all out and refill.  So I put the wheel back on my bike, ask the guys on the porch to throw away my old tube for me, and try to head out.  At this point I am filthy all over.  My legs, my arms, my fingernails....YUCK!

There is an aid station at mile 25 and by then I am hearing funny things from my front tire.  I stop and see that the bubble is back and so it was rubbing my brake with every turn of the wheel.  I ask if they have air and they say 'NO', but two guys there tell me I what I already know.  I need to let all the air out, tuck it all in, and MAYBE it will hold.  So I do that, and am about to start asking passing riders for air, when I decide to look in my bike pack and see that I DO have another Co2.  So I fill up the tire and hope it holds.

and to make a long, long story just a long does hold.  I feel absolutely great on the rest of the ride.  I now have hoards of people that I have to pass and a few that pass me.  My Garmin has 'auto pause' and so I know what my ride "would have been".  I stayed above 20mph average for the entire ride.  and when I came into transiton my Garmin said 2:46, which is 20.2 mph average.  Unfortunately, the race clock said it took me 3:06.  So the piece of glass, my stupid wrong tube change, and my weak tire caused my to give up 20 minutes!!

Of course my kids at home tracking me, wondered 'What happened to mom on the bike?"  They knew I wouldn't be averaging 17.99mph unless I was hurting or some other mishap.

Final numbers for the bike  3:06   41/82  and I will say that I am proud of myself for getting through these obstacles, changing the flat (twice) and not giving up.

Again longer than it should have been, someone had put their bike in my space, so I had to move things over.  Change shoes.  At this point it was sunny and I which I had sun glasses to put on, but I had put my clear lenses in for the bike when it was raining earlier.  So throw on the hat and get out of there in 4:20.  Yikes, I know transition was a long run but I need to not give up so many minutes here!!

John said he could not wait to get off the bike and start the run.  I felt the opposite.  I'd rather do the bike over again than do the run.
I really never felt good on the run, on the other hand I never really felt bad either.  I experienced not cramps, no severe pain anywhere.  I just felt like there were way too many people who just run faster than I do.  We did a lollipop type run, with two laps on the circle part of it.  Most of it was on the Whirlpool campus, some of it on asphalt trails.  Lots of aid stations, the volunteers were great.

There were three STEEP, but not too long hills. One at the beginning which I ran, and one on the loop which you did twice and I walked (along with many of the people around me) both times.  I also walked through some of the aid stations and drank water and gatorade.

My pace stayed pretty even.  My first mile was pretty fast (a little under 9:00) but then I stayed right around 9:30 pace for the whole run.  I like that my pace was even, I would just like it to stay around 9:00 or faster.  Looking back, I don't know if I might have had a better run IF I hadn't flatted and known my time was shot already.  I just don't know.  At the time I felt like I was doing the best I could.

I need to improve my run!!  By doing two things, losing 10-15 pounds and running more and faster.  If I want to get anywhere close to where I want to place in these races, my run needs to be well below 2 hours!

The temperature was a little warm out there.  But really conditions were very good today. 

The last mile seemed to take forever, but then we got back to transition and the crowds were great at the end, and I was smiling and couldn't wait to hit the finish.  And John was there waiting for me.

He showed me his watch for his race 4:59.22!!! He broke 5 hours, woohoo!!!! He had a great race.  Good swim, great bike and awesome run!!

Final run stats 2:05
and overall 35/82 in my age group with a total time of 5:55.24
even with my 20 minutes back I would have been 24/82.  there were A LOT of fast women in my age group at this race.  Quite a few UNDER 5 hours.  YIKES!!

congratulations to John for breaking 5 hours!!

The shower afterward never felt so good.  We had an awesome pizza dinner in St. Joseph's, which is a beautiful town.

We drove back on Sunday, and Matt put on a little sprint triathlon at our house.  We actually had more spectators than participants, but it was a lot of fun.  Matt and Liz had good workouts, and Megan (my 11 year old) did about half of it with John.  Then we had a picnic and corn hole games afterward.

Matt made a special trophy to give the 'winner'.  (He won, so he gave it to the guy who was second who has to bring it back next year to pass on)

for the winner of the "CYMAN triathlon" the M looks like the M dot of IRONMAN and it is an old bike frame he got from the bike store

getting ready to start...swimming in our pond

On a final note:
I signed up for an OLY triathlon on August 15th.  Matt and Lizzie (doing the sprint) were already planning on it.  Because of my flat and not getting a 'clean' race on Saturday I decided to sign up.  It has a challenging bike portion.  I haven't done an Olympic distance tri since 2008 so I am looking forward to it.