Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Week Ending 11/30/09

I ran a measly 7.52 miles last week. I blame the holiday and all the traveling, even though I did manage to throw a race in there one day.

The miles felt pretty good though, and maybe I shouldn't be too hard on myself. Right now I should be focused on base building, and not racking up the miles. Last thing I want right now is to have an overuse injury.

But speaking of injuries, I went to an orthopedist yesterday to get an old nagging shoulder injury checked out. In October of 2007 I was doing a max-out weightlifting regimen, where I maxed out so much on an overhead press that something in my shoulder popped. I haven't been able to really lift since then, and the shoulder has hurt ever since. But, since I finally hit my insurance deductible last month, I finally went to get it checked out. I'm going for an MR arthrogram tomorrow morning, and that will determine whether I need surgery or not. The doc thinks I may have wrecked the cartilage (aka the labrum) that lines the ball and socket of the shoulder. So lucky me. If it should turn out that I do need the surgery, I need to get it done before the end of the year so that my insurance will cover it.

So that's that. 7.52 miles last week. 7.8 the week before.7.8 the week before that. Monthly total for November: 23.12

That's actually not that bad, considering I only did 14.68 in October.

I'm setting a goal of 40 miles for December. I'll adjust that depending on whether I have this surgery or not. But for now, thats the goal.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Manchester Road Race

Yesterday I ran the Manchester Road Race - a 5 mile race that is listed as one of the 25 largest road races in the country. With 12,020 racers (yes, thats 20 more than TWELVE THOUSAND PEOPLE), it is a bigger race than the majority of marathons in this country.

Wednesday night I spent at my friends place in Connectict, where I drank eleven beers and didn't go to sleep until about 2:30. Thursday morning I woke up hungover and with aching joints. It was cold and rainy and dreary, and I had left all my arthritis meds back in Brooklyn. I really thought that I was going to pull out after two miles and just call it a day. We left my friends house around 9:15, and the race started at 10AM. Note for future: Leave a lot earlier.

We spent thirty minutes trying to find parking, and I had to practically spring the half mile from my car to the parking lot. I didn't have pins for my race number, and I had gotten separated from my friend while parking, so I was basically up shits creek without a paddle. Luckily I ran into another friend, and she gave me two of her pins.

I lined up at the very back of the starting pack, and it took me 8 minutes to cross the start line. My first mile was wicked slow, because I was at the very back and was weaving in and out of walkers and families and the 13/mm runners. I had wanted to finish this race in under 55 minutes, and I was kind of dejected after I realized that probably wasn't going to happen.

The second mile was all. up. hill. It was painful. The third mile, all the elevation loss was in about a quarter mile. The rest of the race had a net elevation loss, so life was good.

As you can see, once I got out of the crush of humanity after mile 2, I was running negative splits for the rest of the race which actually made me pretty happy. I had taken a GU about ten minutes before the race, and between that and my slow first mile, the arthritic joint creaks had pretty much subsided. After mile 2.5 I was feeling really, really good.

Elevation Gain
Elevation Loss
Avg Speed
Max Speed

I ended up feeling amazing, and I was really, really happy with my performance. This was the first race ever, in my entire life, that I ran negative splits. I even had enough left in the tank to really open up once I hit the last turn. There was a point around mile 4 that I thought I was going to puke, but luckily that went away.

As for the race itself, it was both the best and worst race I've ever run. First, the negatives:

1. There were no water stations. I wish I had known this beforehand, because I would have worn by fuel belt.
2. I got there way too late. Next year I want to be lined up no later than 9:15 so that I'm not going to be at the very, very back of the pack.
3. THE HILL. I swear, that was a long, gradual, painful uphill that lasted from .75 miles to 2.25 miles. Then there was a massive downhill (elevation loss of 250 feet) in a little more than .25 miles.

The positives:

1. Without a doubt, it was the best race atmosphere I've ever experienced. There were people lined alongside the road for the entire race. There were impromptu family bands alongside the entire course. There were 2 or 3 pipe and drum corps, several independent bagpipers, country bands, rock bands, people running in costume (I ran next to Spongebob for the last two miles). Really freakin' cool.
2. It's a great family race. I saw a bunch of running parents with their little kids. It's also a stroller-friendly race.
3. It is open to runners and walkers of all abilities. The winner ran the course in 21 minutes and change. The last runner crossed the line an hour and 41 minutes after the gun went off.
4. It is definitely a race that the entire town looks forward to every year. You can tell in the preparation, and with how many people show up. I've never seen tailgating at a road race before - I saw it for the first time here. A group of my friends had two beer coolers along the race for 'hydration'.

It's a race I will definitely do again next year, taking into consideration all the things I learned this year (arrive earlier, bring water, etc). It is definitely not a race you can run for time, unless you're a seeded runner at the very front of the pack. But if you're looking for a race to run for fun, for a great pre-Thanksgiving binge calorie burn, to have a great time with 12,000 other runners, this is the race to run.

Friday, November 20, 2009

It's Friday, and I've been on a pretty decent track so far this week.

Monday: 2.84 miles, 10:13 pace
Tuesday: 3.26 miles, 10:21 pace (this also gave me my second fast 5K time ever, at 31:10).
Thursday: 1.69 miles, 10:46 pace (hills around my park. Shorter but far more intense run).

Which brings my weekly total so far to 7.8.

I'm aiming for 5 tomorrow, then another 3 on Sunday, bringing my weekly total to 15.8. Not bad for a weeks effort, if you ask me.

My garmin comes tomorrow, so it should be interesting to see if my Nike+ pace holds up. If it does, I'll be pretty darn happy. If it doesn't...Well, I'm not the speed demon I thought I was. But regardless of what happens, I'm running again and that's what matters.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I am sick of feeling like I'm 80 years old.

I am disgusted with how my body has deteriorated since I graduated from college.

I am tired of being in pain all of the time.

There's not much I can do about the first and last of those points. But the second one I actually have some control over. And I hope that by doing something about the second, the pain and inflammation of the other two will decrease.

Since I last posted back in March, I've been dealing with some pretty severe arthritis. And I'm 24 years old. It's completely derailed my training, knocked my racing season on it's back, and pretty much turned me into a couch potato. It's the worst in my fingers and toes, but I also have touches of it in my knees, hips and back. There are some mornings that it's unbelievably painful to get out of bed. There are some mornings where I can barely walk. I can't wear dress shoes to work anymore because my toes swell so much. And if I can barely walk, you can be damn sure there is no running going on. On top of all that, I've had runners knee for the past two years. Ironically, that always feels better if I DO run. But, obviously, working out has been all but impossible as of late.

But something needs to change. I am absolutely disgusted with myself. And when I think back to two years ago, when I was just beginning to contemplate running a marathon, and field hockey season was just finishing and I was running a sub-8 mile, and I actually had muscles and not just amorphous blobs of whatever...

Thats changing, and it's changing right now.

Next week I'm running a Thanksgiving Day race, a five-miler. December 8 starts my half-marathon training. February 28 is my next half marathon. If that goes well, I may consider doing a full at the end of spring. I may have convinced my mom to do her first half-marathon, on March 10, which I would pace her for. If I can maintain my half-marathon fitness, I want to aim for a half-Ironman next September or October. I want to get in at least three sprint tris and two Olympic distance ones. I want to get back on my bike.

It's going to hurt. And my joints are going to hate me. But I can't live like this, letting the pain dictate my life.

I'm stronger than that.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Does anyone else smell Spring in the air?

It brings me back to last summer, when I was first learning how to cycle competitively and bought my first bike and fell in love, twice, for the first time (one with cycling, one with a woman). Both of those loves lasted, but only one is reciprocated today.

I can't wait for the days of warm sunshine and short sleeved jerseys and the awesome tan lines from the spectacular spandex shorts and jersey...Of getting on the bike and just going and going and going with no regard for weather or sunlight (lack thereof, actually), with the wind blowing in your face and the sweat flying off your body, and your quads straining to get up the hill, only to crest it and plummet 30 miles an hour down the other side...For getting up at dark o'clock to get to a race two hours away and set up the transition area in the dark, waiting to get your numbers Sharpie'd onto your arm and leg...

Race season is starting soon, and I can't adequately express how excited I am. Excited doesn't seem like the appropriate word though. I am...Hopeful! I am...Happy! I am...Fired up! I am...Charged! I am...filled with the possibility of new beginnings, anxiously awaiting the progress I want to see throughout the season, proud, nervous, a mite skitterish. But most of all...I am excitedly ecstatic.

And I still don't think thats a true representation of how I'm feeling. But perhaps this just can't be put into words. Suffice it to say...

Welcome home, Spring. Let's do this!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Epic Training Fail

Ok. So. Here's the news.

I am postponing my race to sometime in August/early September.

Why, you ask? Numerous reasons, the first, foremost, and importantest being that I misunderestimated how difficult it would be to train in the middle of winter.

Well, no, I didn't misunderestimate. I started training for a marathon in early February two years ago. But what I didn't realize is that, while it's possible to run in the snow and ice, biking in said conditions is very difficult. Ergo, my cycling has been woefully lacking. Further, you know whats really hard to do in the winter? Open water swims. I need to be able to practice sighting, and swimming in large groups, and getting punched and kicked and various other forms of beating up that occurs in the swim portion. Which I wouldn't have much time to do if I can't get into the water until mid-May (and even THEN the water is frickin' freezing), and my race in mid-June. Plus, I don't have a wetsuit.

So. Fail on my part.

In addition. I went to the specialty bike shop that I get all my equipment from/repairs done at yesterday. I wanted to get a shorter stem for my bike, because I felt far too stretched out and wasn't comfortable AT ALL when I was riding my drops. Lo and behold, the reason I'm uncomfortable is because MY BIKE DOESN'T FIT ME PROPERLY. Thank you, Trek of Brooklyn, for fitting for a bike that is too large for me, and therefore convincing me to spend almost $2,000 on a bike that I now have to sell because IT DOESN'T FIT ME PROPERLY. So, another reason I'm postponing my race - I need to replace my bike with one that fits me properly, lest I spend too many hours and miles training and end up injuring myself (too extended on a bike can lead to knee, hip, back, and/or sciatica problems).

Luckily, I've only put about 60 miles on it (which is evidenced by the computer that I have, complete with odometer), and it's still in brand-spanking new condition. I can probably get about $1,700 for it on craigslist or E-Bay. And then buy the Cervelo that I tried out yesterday at the specialty bike shop that was actually in my size. It felt pretty damn good.

Anyone interested in a bike?

So that's that. I'm kind of disappointed, but I'm sure it's for the best. It'll give me some more time to get open water swims and long rides in with my tri club, and more options for practice races.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sometimes I like to disappear.

But then I come back. Usually.

Anyway. I'm feeling better. I'm back on schedule. I went to my girlie doctor, and she said that my bloaty/crampiness wasn't because of anything girlie-part related, so she thinks it's more of a GI issue than anything. She told me to go for an abdominal ultrasound, but I put that off. The ultrasound she gave me was traumatic enough, thank you very much. And apparently I don't have a left ovary. But thats ok - I believe this is going to make me more aerodynamic on my bike, much like Lance Armstrong and his singular testicle.

But things have calmed down, and I'm attributing the ickiness to a change in diet - now that my body has had a few weeks to acclimate to a natural/organic diet, I'm feeling a lot better.

My training has been going very well. I had my first group run with my tri group on Tuesday, and while I was most definitely the slowest person there, I actually ran one of my fastest times ever. So much for a 40 minute run at RPE 3. Turned into a 35 minute run at RPE holy-crap-i'm-gonna-die.

I'm definitely feeling stronger in the pool, too, which is awesome. And I like how my shoulders and upper back are really firming up and getting stronger and more toned. It's exciting :-)

This weekend I'm snowboarding in Vermont, which I'm really looking forward to.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I Don't Know Whats Wrong With Me

But something is most definitely off. I'm exhausted all the time. I'm hungry all the time. I don't want to do anything except sleep, or lay on the couch and watch tv. I haven't worked out since Monday...I just don't have the energy. Physically I feel fine - I don't feel like I'm getting sick. I'm just ALWAYS tired and hungry.

Maybe it's just my bodies way of revolting against last week. Maybe I didn't eat enough during the week, and with all the calories I was burning (sometimes up to 1200 a day) I wasn't replenishing properly, and now I've crashed. Or maybe I'm not cut out to train for the Half-Ironman. I don't know. All I know is that I'll eat, and then be starving an hour or two later. Lather, rinse, repeat all day. And I CANNOT get out of bed in the morning. Forget my 530AM workouts. I can barely get out of bed at 645 to get to work on time.

Hopefully my doc tonight can at least point in me some sort of direction. Or tie my cramping/bloatiness into this lethargy/hunger. Or something....Because something just feels off.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Healthy You Check In Week 6; Training Update

I'm here. I'm working. I am EXHAUSTED. Training is taking much more out of me than I thought it would. But here are my updates:

Friday I missed my evening workout because I had an emergency client meeting that didn't end till 730, and then had a date at 8 that I actually had to push back to 9. Saturday was my rest day, and Sunday I did a 25-mile bike ride in a little less than an hour and a half, so that was good.

Yesterday...Yesterday I could NOT get out of bed. I think my ride was much more taxing that I originally thought. But I got a 40-minute run in last night.

This morning...Couldn't get out of bed. Missed my morning run. Will be combining my 30 minute recovery run and 60 minute easy bike into one workout tonight. And tomorrow I HAVE to get up early to swim. No excuses. I've been going to bed really late recently - between 1030 and 11. Considering my alarm goes off at 5 and I need at least 7 hours, I really need to be getting into bed at 9. I'll try to work on that tonight.

Tomorrow I've got an emergency doctors appointment. I've been having really nasty cramps for the past few months, all month (the monthly friend cramps, not muscle cramps), so I think somethings not right down there. There's also been a constant feeling of bloat. Imagine the physical symptoms of PMS, but all month. It hasn't been fun. Hopefully my doc can figure out whats wrong.

So yeah. Tired, bloaty, crampy...Not sure whats wrong with me. Blah.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Last Swim of the Week

As the title suggests, this morning was my last swim workout this week. Here's what it looked like:

Warm-up: 400 continuous, last 25 in each 100 is kick
Main: 8x100 EBEH (first 25 is easy, next 25 is build, next 25 is easy, last 25 is hard)
Cool-down: 6x25, each 25 slower than previous

I felt pretty good. The warmup was easy (I remember a time not too long ago where 15 lengths killed me. Now I'm doing 18 lengths as a warmup). The main was tough - I was sucking wind toward the last few laps. I had to cut the 8 to 6 though, because I was running out of time. Soon, I swear, I will get up when my alarm goes off, and not a half hour afterwards. But my catman came up on my bed around 330, and we were totally cuddling, and it was just too cute and I couldn't pull myself away at 5. Or 510. Or 520. I finally got up at 535 and was out the door to the subway by 545. So yeah, I totally blame the little man and his cuddling superpowers. Wanna meet him?

Meet Diablo-Muffin-Little Man-Dee-Fatty-Monkey. Yeah, he's got a lot of names. And a different personality to go with each of them. I'm not quite sure if he's got the personalities because of the multiple names, or vice-versa, but it is what it is. He's my main man. Actually, he's my only man.

Tonight I've got a 45-minute easy ride, tomorrow is an off day, and Sunday I'm meeting up with some people from my triathlon club to go riding in the local park. It's gonna be 50 degrees on Sunday!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thursday Long Run, and Lost

My run this morning was absolutely fantastic. Have you ever had that workout or run where you felt as though you could just go on forever and ever and ever? Thats how I felt at 545 this morning. I got on the treadmill and just...went. I was going slow (for a long run I keep my pace at about a 12 minute mile, which is 2 minutes slower than my (hopeful)(projected) race pace. I went for 40 minutes (about 3.5 miles) because I overslept a bit, but i just felt absolutely.fantastic.

No workout scheduled for tonight - I'm meeting up with my Dad after work then going to the Ski Bums happy hour. Hopefully I'll be home by 930 and in bed by 10. Tomorrow I've got a swim in the morning and a bike in the evening, and then a date tomorrow night.

Did you watch Lost last night? Is you brain hurting as much as mine? I have a feeling that on Thursdays this blog is also going to turn into a "Quinn's Theories on Lost" blog. So here we go.

1. Charlie, Desmond and Penny's son, is ALSO Charles Widmore. Hear me out on this one. Desmond and Penny end up going back to the island, and of course they bring their son. The island gets all timey-wimey and then goes back in time. Desmond, Penny, and Charlie get stranded on the island. Desmond and Penny die, becoming the skeletons that Jack found back in Season 1 in the cave (Adam and Eve?). Charlie becomes the 'native son' of the Island, but because of power struggles with Richard Alpert, he ends up leaving the Island. Prior to this he's adopted his mothers maiden name in an attempt to distance himself from his father. After he leaves the Island, he gets married to...

2. Ellie. Or perhaps Ellie and he are siblings. Either way, there is definitely some sort of familial connection between Widmore and Ellie. I also have a feeling that Ellie is Eloise Hawkings, who is Daniels Faradays mother. This would make Penny and Daniel either siblings or cousins, depending on the relationship between Ellie and Widmore. So Widmore and Ellie get married, at some point Penny is born, and some years later she gives birth to her son, Charlie, named after the late and beloved Charlie Pace and NOT as an homage to her father. Ironically, her son ends up also BEING her father.

3. Miles is Pierre Changs son, who we saw at the beginning of Season 5, episode 1.

4. The nosebleeds are happening to people based on how much cumulative time they've spent on the island. Charlotte spent the most time there, so she got it first. Next was Miles, which fits in to the theory that he was the Asian baby from the beginning of the season. Now Juliet is having them, and she's been on the Island for 3 years longer than our Losties. We can expect our Losties to be getting the nosebleeds soon, too, as well as Daniel.

5. I'm still rather confused about the role that Charlotte is going to play in this.

6. I couldn't care less about the Oceanic 6 anymore.

7. Next week, Locke is going to die.

8. The whispers that the Losties were hearing during the first few seasons were not, in fact, the Others. It was actually the future THEM, time-traveling.

I feel like the past four seasons have been intense foreplay, and right now the Island is giving us mind-blowing (quite literal, in some senses) sex. I'm having a braingasm with each episode. And I have got the biggest fanboy crush on Charlotte ever. She's gorgeous. Just so you know.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Crapalicious Day

Yesterday SUCKED.

I was in the office from 730AM to 9PM. I got my morning run in, like I reported yesterday. And I snuck away from the office at 4 to get my cycling in. But I was back at my desk at 545 and stuck here for the rest of the night.

I got home at 945 and I was famished, so I made a single serving of tuna with a slice of cheese and some orange juice. Actually, a lot of orange juice. I think I'm kind of addicted.

I had sent my boss an email last night saying that because I was there for nearly 14 hours yesterday, I would be coming in a little late today. So instead of getting here at 730 like I normally do after a workout, I rolled in at 815. I know, such a rebel, sleeping late and whatnot.

But I am a rebel, because I'm taking today as an unofficial rest day. It's not bad, because it was a one workout day, not a double. I had a short swim this morning. But tonight is Lost, and I've got another deep tissue massage scheduled for this evening, so I think Wednesdays are going to be an added, unscheduled rest day. As long as I don't have a serious workout planned. My plan calls for six days of working out a week, and I know that if I do that, combined with working 10 or 12 hour days, I am going to burn out, and I can't have that.

So Wednesdays are going to be my mid-week, Lost, massage, pizza days. And maybe a beer during Lost, if I don't do the massage. I'm pushing my body to the brink five days a week - I don't think one day of pleasure is going to kill me. In fact, I think it will do the exact opposite.

Tomorrow morning I've got a long 60 minute run, then work all day. Then I'm meeting up with my dad after work to get some stuff from him (he's working in the city again! Yay!), and afterwards I've got a Ski Bums happy hour that I'm going to. Kevin's got some books for me to read, and it's always nice to see the boys from the Argentina trip for a little while. So I'm definitely looking forward to tomorrow, provided I can get up early enough to get a solid hours run in.

Yesterdays bike session was an easy spin - I kept my cadence up around 100, my speed averaging at 16.5 mph, and my heartratoe at a nice, fat-burning 65% for the entire time, which was my main goal. All in all, a successful workout. In 40 minutes I went a little over 10 miles, and wasn't out of breath at all.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

HYC Check in: Week 5, Training update, plus more!

Since I posted yesterday I got in two runs. Here are the stats from my heartrate monitor:

PM Run, Monday: Aaaand crap. Apparently my watch only stores the most recent workout. Hm. Ok. Well, here are my notes from yesterday: "Cut to 30 minutes because of limits @gym - run outside from now on for 30+ min runs. TIRED, lethargic, legs felt heavy. Treadmill felt faster than my old gym. 2.5 miles"

AM Run, Tuesday: Duration: 21:24, 16:14 in zone; 236 calories burned

Tonight I've got a 60 minute easy spin. We're supposed to get hit with a nasty storm today, so there's a solid chance I'll be relegated to the bikes at the gym.

Other stuff:

My mom gave me a few new work blouses for Christmas this year. One is a really nice Charter Club light purpley striped number, size 12. When I tried it on the day after Christmas, I couldn't even button it closed. Today I'm wearing it, and it's loose! I'm rather excited about this.

I also bought some new clothes from American Eagle - new jeans, a sweater, and a henley. They were having some massive clearance sales, and I got all three for the actual original price of the jeans. So I was happy. But I bought them in smaller sizes than I usually do, because I wanted something to work towards. (I wear mens clothes, so take that into account). The jeans were 33x30 low-rise bootcut, and the sweater and henley were smalls. THEY ALL FIT! I was expecting the jeans to be a little tight, but they fit nicely! And the sweater is fitted, so I need to wear it with a looser pair of jeans (probably my 34x30 bootcut ones), but it looks good! I'm really excited. Hopefully soon I'll lose my muffintop, too!

Monday, February 2, 2009

I'm not dead. Yet.

I know I've been gone. Sorry for disappearing like that. I was just really out of it last week for some reason. Exhausted and whatnot. So I took some time off.

But no longer! Because we all know what today is! The first day of my real training! So here is what the training log calls for today:

Swim: Long day
Warm up: 200 meter swim, 200M kick, 200M pull, 200M swim (for those of us keeping track, thats a .5 mile warmup)
Main: 1x1500M, RPE 4
Cool down: 4x50m, each slower than the last

Run: 40 minutes easy, RPE 3

I did the swim this morning before work, but I actually ran out of time. I did a shortened warmup (150M swim, pull, swim, for a grand total is 450M), and the main got cut to a 1250 instead of a 1500, and the cooldown was eliminated altogether. But still, thats a daily total of 1700M, which is longer than a mile, and I was in the pool for about 40 minutes, including my rest between the warmup and main part of the workout. The 1250 took me 28 minutes, with pretty much even laps between 1min5secs and 1min10secs. My fastest was 1min5sec even, and my slowest was a 1min19sec, because I swallowed a mouthful of water and had to stop.

I was starving this morning. I stopped and got a fruit salad with some cottage cheese on my way into the office, so hopefully that will hold me until 10 when I can eat my oatmeal. And I forgot to bring lunch today, so I'm trying to figure out what I can buy that won't weigh me down for my run this afternoon.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Superbowl Foods

Ok. For those of you looking for healthier alternatives to your typical Superbowl foods, DO NOT MAKE THIS!!!!!!!!!!

Dear Lord I think I gained 20 pounds just LOOKING at it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What is a "Diet"?

I had a short conversation with my roommate Monday night. She asked me if I wanted a bag of her chips because she's on a diet. I said sure, why not. I ate the chips, I didn't feel guilty. (I also worked out twice on Monday - swim in the morning and run at night, but regardless). But it got me thinking.

I don't consider what I'm doing to be dieting. I'm not physically depriving myself of anything. I know that if I want some chips, or a slice of pizza, or god forbid some ice cream, I will let myself have it. What I am doing, however, is consciously making healthier choices. Because I KNOW I can have that pizza for lunch, I have less desire to actually have it. I get a salad instead. The temptation to "cheat" is practically non-existent because I wouldn't be cheating.

So what is a diet, exactly? In my mind, it's self-imposed restrictions on what you can eat. And those restrictions MAKE you want those restricted or forbidden items even more.

I'm not on a diet. Every time I've been on a diet I have failed miserably, and most of the time ended up gaining weight anyway. So what am I doing? I am making conscious, healthy decisions at every meal. I'm not planning my meals out. I'm eating when I'm hungry, but I'm MAKING BETTER DECISIONS. Not because I want to lose weight, but because I need to give my body the proper, natural, organic foods it needs to keep fueled for my training.

For example. Instead of buying a huge, horrible, but delicious muffin from the guy on the street, I bring fruit. Or I buy a fruit salad. And then mid-morning, when I'm getting hungry again, I have organic flax seed oatmeal with almonds, granola, and agave nectar with a cup of black tea instead of going down to Starbucks for a latte and a cookie. For lunch, instead of pizza or fast food, I get a salad.

I am not depriving myself of anything. If I want a beer, I'll have a beer. I'll have my latte on the weekend, as a treat. Because then I appreciate it more.

When I get into 2 or 3 hours of working out a day, during the intense parts of my training, that oatmeal I listed above is going to fuel me a lot better than a slice of pizza or a cookie. And maybe thats why so many diets fail. So many people focus on the deprivation aspect of the diet that they're not seeing the big picture. It's NOT about depriving yourself - it's about making the better, healthier choice, one meal at a time.

And on that note, I didn't make it to the gym yesterday. At 430, when I was getting ready to head home (I get in around 730, so I leave around 430), my boss told me to stay because we were having a meeting sometime after 5. No problem - I figured I'd just get to the gym around 7 or so, and actually take the late Tuesday spin class. Turns out the meeting is me, him, and the two attorneys hashing out the future of the firm in the bar in the basement. Two hours and three beers later I'm heading home. It was 9 by the time I got back to my apartment. Chugged some water and went to bed.

Today is my scheduled rest day, and I've actually got a deep tissue/sports massage scheduled for tonight with someone that works with my tri club. I think the massage is going to be a once a month thing, used during my recovery week. My training schedule calls for three weeks of intense building workouts, followed by one recovery workout. My plan is to do a race at the end of each of the three building weeks, then have a good recovery week with a deep tissue massage to help get everything recovered properly. Tomorrow and Friday I'll do my morning swim and evening cycle/run.

And here are my stats from Mondays run:

Time: 43 min, 38 secs
HR Limits: 92/73
Time in Zone: 24 min 15 secs
Time Below Zone: 18 min 17 sec
Time Aboze Zone: 1 min 6 sec
Cal/Fat%: 417/35

I did an interval/recovery workout - bringing my heartrate to 87-90% of my max, staying there for a few minutes, then tracking to see how long it took me to recover to between 60 and 65%. Every time, it took an even two minutes to recover, so I'm happy with that.

What problems have you faced with dieting? Have you noticed that whenever you 'diet', you fail'? Or have diets worked for you?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Morning Workout

Today started what I hope will become my new routine:

I made it to the pool before work! I got in a solid half-mile workout (1/8 mile warmup, alternating freestyle sprints and breast stroke recovery, 1/8 mile cooldown) in 20 minutes. CRAZY! Granted, my rest periods aren't counted in that 20 minutes (I stopped my watch any time I wasn't swimming - it gives me a better view of how much I actually worked). But still, I was only in the pool for about 25 or 30 minutes, so I'm pretty happy with it.

I ended up getting to the office at 710, which is a solid 35 minutes earlier than usual, so my perception of time is really wonky right now. I feel like it should be around 10, not 830 because I've been awake for so long. But when my pool workouts start becoming more structured and long I'll be getting it at the normal time.

Saturday I spent snowboarding all day with a group of girls that were a LOT better than I was. We spent the entire morning on black diamonds, and I really challenged and pushed myself and feel like I really, really improved. I'm happy :-) My abs were actually sore on Sunday, much more so than my legs. I guess when you're pulling tight turns on very steep terrain you engage your core much more.

Whats one of the ways you get a new routine to stick? I really need to keep this morning workout routine going, but I know that later in the week, when I'm really tired, it's going to be hard to get out of bed that hour and a half earlier. Today I guilted myself ("You know you're going to regret not going. You're awake. Get out of bed, go to the gym, and just go to sleep an hour early tonight. Lazy."). Any suggestions, aside from willpower? Because sometimes willpower just isn't enough.

Friday, January 23, 2009


I was a good kid yesterday and skipped the bar in favor of the gym. Now that I think about it and compare potential calorie consumption v. calories burned, I'm really, really, really happy I went to the gym.

At the bar I would have consumed probably 2 or 3 beers, which is about par for me when just hanging out. I'm a huge fan of heavy germanic beers, and probably would have had Blue Moon draft. There are 171 calories in a 12 oz. serving of Blue Moon, and considering they are sold in 16 oz. pint glasses, there are 213.75 calories in a pint of Blue Moon.

3 Blue Moons x 213.75 calories each = 641.25 calories consumed.

I use a Polar heart rate monitor when I do cardio, and as usual had it on last night during my spin class. The following are the stats from the gym last night:

Duration: 48 min, 6 sec.
Heart Rate Limits (lower and upper 25%): 73/95
Time Spent in HR Zone: 38 min, 23 sec
Calories/Fat % Burned: 515/30%

WOW. I've never really looked at it like that before, basing it on calories and whatnot. But...Holy crap. I can't even begin to express to you how happy I am that I went to the gym instead. I essentially saved 1,156.75 calories by deciding NOT to consume the beer and taking a spin class instead. Thats almost a full days worth of food.

Tonight I need to cook. Everyone brings food for the bus ride home from the mountain tomorrow, and I really want to make something healthy, but good enough that it will be satisfying after a long day of snowboarding. Does anyone have any suggestions? It needs to be portable, able to sit on a bus for 10+ hours without going bad, and easy to make (cause I'm really, really bad in the kitchen). Maybe some sort of healthy cookie or brownie or some such dessert?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Gym Dilemma

So here's my problem. On Saturday I'm going the first ever women's only Ski Bums trip, and tonight there's a Happy Hour meet-and-greet kind of thing so we can all get to know each other before we go (since 99% of us have never met each other before).

Yesterday I took a rest day because it was scheduled. Sunday I worked out, even though it was a rest day. Do I take Sundays rest day and use it today so that I can go to this happy hour, or skip it so I can get a workout in? I can't do both - the bar is in Greenwich Village, and I live in Brooklyn, so it will take me about an hour to get home and it doesn't start till 7. It makes no sense to leave work at 4, travel the 40 minutes home, workout, shower, travel an hour back into the city, hang out for an hour, then travel an hour back home. It's definitely one of those either-or situations.

I'm leaning towards skipping the happy hour and going to the gym, partially because I hate being out so late, and also because I'm feeling kind of lazy after not working out yesterday. On the other hand, it really wouldn't mess up my schedule too much because I DID work out on a scheduled rest day.

Other news:

I start my official 20-week Half-Ironman training plan on February 2, Groundhog Day, Mom's birthday. It's going to be a killer. I'll keep all of you completely up-to-date on my exact workouts once I get into them...Until then, suffice it to say that I am not going to have time to breath! I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rest Day

Today is one of my two scheduled rest days (the other being Sunday). I've worked out for three days in a row now - I went to the gym on Sunday, even though it's technically a rest day, because I hadn't gone in over a week. I'm actually looking forward to resting today. I'm quite sore, and very tired. And besides...

LOST IS BACK ON TONIGHT! I mean, really. LOST is so much more important than the gym, especially because we're going to a LOST party, and watching the season finale from last year. I'm quite excited, actually.

I've been cooking the past two nights...if you define cooking as combining various Trader Joe's frozen entrees. The other night I did rice pilaf with chicken skewers, and last night I did a stir-fry vegetable with more chicken skewers. I had to add my own seasoning to the stir-fry, so I went with soy sauce and some crushed red pepper. It ended up looking like this:

I was very proud of myself, to say the least. However.

Crushed red pepper is, apparently, EXTREMELY HOT. And because I can't deal with hot very well, I ended up having to trash more than half the vegetables. But at least I know better for next time!