Thursday, November 30, 2006
So cold that I skipped swimming this morning. (Uh, yeah. It was the cold that made me skip. Not the fact that I would have been running on 2.5 hours of sleep.)
I ran with Maggie after work today, and for some reason, I felt that running shorts, a long sleeve shirt and gloves would do the trick to keep me warm. Yeah.... that was dumb. Not only is it cold, but it was windy on the trail! I must say, I hardly broke a sweat and after a mile, I was really digging this new weather.
This cold weather makes it hard to remember the insanely hot summer I spent doing track workouts at Austin High with Team Punishment. During those workouts, we'd say "When it gets cold, we're going to be so fast!" Well... the cold is here. I'm ready to see how those workouts pay off.
Got in at 6:30am, and had an easy set up. (Bike seat worked correctly, plugged my speakers in correctly this time, they had an easy time sticking the catheter in...) My resting heart rate was 43. Got on the bike at about 7:02 (based on when I looked at my laptop clock).
Last study, I tried to average at about 90 RPM - there is a monitor at the front of the bike and it's easy for me to concentrate on that number because it's the halfway point on the scale. This morning, I was averaging about 80 RPM, but a lot of that was concious in an effort to conserve a bit of energy. Even though I started out so hungry, I was full after the first drink. I was pretty tired for the first hour or so, and by the time Vanessa said, "good news - you've made it to the short intervals!" which meant I'd been going for 1.5 hours, I was thinking I wouldn't last too long. But, there must have been something in that drink because when we got to the performance part 30 minutes later - I felt a lot better. It was hard, but nothing unbearable at all. I knew I had been going a while because they kept continued taking my blood and making me drink every so often- much more than I had done last time. Elton John's "I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues" came on and I said, "I think I can make it through this song." One of the lab assistants said, "Yeah right - you'll have no problem at all," and that motivated me to keep going. I think I made it through at least 4 more songs, and I still might have been able to keep going, but I knew it was getting late and I had to get to work. So, when I stopped, I looked at the clock and it said 10:47. So - assuming I calculated correctly, I went much longer than last time. I think my avg. heart rate during the performance period was about 155 or so.
Vanessa was impressed with how consistent I stay while on the bike, and how calm I am when they take my blood. That was cool. When I was done, I couldn't eat anything I was so full from that drink. Whatever it is, it must work! I am convinced!! I went home and showered, fully intent on immediatly going to work. But then my co-worker called me and we ate lunch at Chuy's instead. (yum!)
Tim accurately nailed my study. He said Dr. Ivy appealed straight to my competitive side when he said, "Erin - keep going. You can beat Kerry!" Haha! Thanks for indirect motivation, Lulu!
The thing that I find annoying is this: How is that I can ride almost 4 hours on a stationary bike, at elevated intensity, but I can barely make it up a short hill on my actual bike?! I've got some major road work to do.
Anyway, last night I had another work event at Fado's for a conference that is in town. Yes, I know - it's a rough life for me, going to happy hours and such for work. It sure was nice to be able to eat (and drink) after 6:30!
Tim, Panther & Ostrich all showed up at Fado's later on in the night, so I got to hang with them for a long while. I got kind of mad at Panther because he thinks I'm going to burn out on training (and therefore, I shouldn't really do anything at all right now !?), but I got over it after listening to the guys tell stories of their youth. (geez, how cliche' is that!?) So... overall, it was a fabulous way to end a very long, but great, day.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
There's a conference in town this week, and my company is wining & dining.
So, instead of mimicking the same food regime each week like I am supposed to, I hardly ate or drank anything today. I had a work event at Threadgill's for 4 hours tonight. I ate a fried pickle and some raw broccoli for dinner. I planned on coming home by 8:45pm. Instead, I found myself on 6th street - dropping off my coworkers - at 10:00pm.
Now I really need to get some sleep, but I am SO HUNGRY that I can't sleep!! That fried pickle did not do the trick tonight - so I'm not sure how I'm going to make it tomorrow. At least I didn't cheat today and eat/drink after 6:30pm. I had no alcohol even though it was a completely open bar. And I did not join my co-workers downtown because I have to get up at 5:30am. I even sent my logs in like I promised.
I may not be perfect, but I did the best I could... so tomorrow night - if I get through the ride tomorrow - I'll reward myself while partying on 4th street. And I'll eat something better than a fried pickle for dinner!
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Get this - the spinning instructor, who taught both classes, got OFF HIS BIKE about 20 minutes into class #2 and sat on the ground. On one hand, this pissed me off. But, on the other hand, it motivated me to kick butt on my bike. He couldn't make it through 2 classes - but damn if I was going to give in!!!
I may not understand why I feel so driven to do this nonsense, but I thrive on the feeling of accomplishment I get when I'm done... and on the feeling of overcoming a bad workout and getting "back on the saddle" so to speak. (sorry, bad pun... I know, I know!)
Phil & I took our dogs for a walk and then went to the art museum this afternoon. We both were complaining about how tired our legs were while we walked around. I gotta say, I kind of enjoy the fact that I get to complain. :)
- When I texted Panther last night for details, he never wrote me back. I made up a story that I was too weak to keep up with the group, and he didn't want to write me back to tell me. (???!!!)
- I woke up at 6:00am (we were meeting at 7) with a really bad feeling. I decided that if I could find an extra bike tube, I would go. Well, I found one - so I thought things were looking up.
- I forgot that my bike was in no shape to be ridden. It was still attached to my bike trainer (which I still have not used), the seat wasn't attached (due to the cycling study) and I had taken my bike rack off the car. I decided to pack it all up and see if I could figure it out while at Runtex.
- We never could get my seat on right. But Panther managed to get everything else working. After delaying our other riding partner by 20 minutes, we got going.
Now here is where things really did get bad:
- As soon as we left the Runtex parking lot, I crashed while trying to stop. My back wheel had come off.
- I couldn't keep up on the first hills, and I swear my bike was screaching at me.
- When we came to the light, I yelled at Panther that I was turning back. I wasn't at all prepared for 30 miles of hills, however "easy" he said we would take them.
- At the light, our third rider realized that his frame was broken. At that point, we all had to turn around.
*NOTE - If I had just waited 2 more minutes to say I was turning around, then Mark would already have noticed his frame was broken and I wouldn't have looked like as much of a wimp. Doh.
So, this was not a good morning. I think we cycled a total of 3 miles. I felt so bad for Panther!!
So here's what I'm trying to deal with now. I really hate cycling. Granted, there are some days when I feel great - but overall I just hate it. I'm completely scared of my bike, and I feel like the weakest person in the world when I'm on it. So, why do I keep trying to ride?!
Most people in the world are completely content just going to work and then hanging out at home. Why can't I be content with that too? Instead, I have to train and train for these races which I will never win. I show up at Runtex with an old bike that I really don't want to ride. I do these long runs with the most horrible 5 month old blister on my foot that hurts like hell. I wake up by 6:00am almost every day to go do some crazy workout - and if I don't go, I'm angry or feel guilty the rest of the day.
I have a great job. Great friends! Other stuff to keep me entertained. So why do I keep doing this? Today - I just don't get it!!
P.S. I'm going to spin class at 10:00am. Sheesh.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
The two other differences were that they stuck a catheter in my arm and drew blood every 20 minutes or so. I couldn't really bend my right arm which was kind of weird. Also, the drink they gave me actually had calories. (I gained weight during this study!)
Anyway, by the time I hit performance mode, after about 2.5 hours I think, Cake's "Stick Shifts & Safety Belts" came on and I was singing along. One of the lab assistants commented that he needed to up the intensity if I was going to be singing. I shut up. I lasted in performance mode for almost 30 minutes - so I was quite pleased. I'll admit, it's hard to stay on the bike and really push when there is a fresh peanut butter and jelly sandwich waiting for me when I stop. But I think about Lulu, and how she would push until she couldn't, then push more - and I keep going. Everyone told me that it was an excellent ride, and I was really pleased.
Panther happened to call after I was done, and we layed out my "moving-forward" schedule. Here it is:
Monday: Easy Run + Gym or Core Class
Wednesday: Quality Ride (duration of cycling study)
Thursday: am-Swim, pm- Run
Friday: Bike + optional gym
Saturday: Long Run
Sunday: Quality Brick
So, it's official! The schedule is in place. Here we go again!!!
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Amy, Julie, Glenda & me. I think it might have been almost a year since the four of us were all together. I like to think of our little circle as a bunch of FOMOmaniacs.
Joey, Maggie & me at the Pub Run. Joey was supposed to take care of us, but I believe I ended up taking care of both of them. Those crazy ironman people... they cannot be trusted!
Mike (Ostrich) & me in a staring contest. I am the reigning champion. No, I may not be the fastest runner or the strongest cyclist, but damn it - I can stare longer without laughing! Just look at Mike, he's weak I tell you!!!
Mike (Wiley) and me at Hickory Street. Ain't nothing sexier than a man with a blinky light on his cap.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Phil & I hosted the Team Pain Train party at our place on Saturday. Not only was this the perfect motivation for us to finally clean our house, but it also served as a sort of housewarming party (just 2 years late.) Phil & I also invited our other running friends to join the fun.
I had no idea that my kitchen could double as center stage for 2 guitar players and a mandolin player! (They later moved to the living room, which also worked great.) I had no idea that my TV room would serve as the perfect dance floor location. I was really impressed that the Rollingwood police didn't visit, even though we had beer drinking cigar smokers in the front yard at 1:00am. I loved showing people our art, and hopefully sending some new admirers Terry's way. I love having so many leftovers from all the food people brought! (And beer, too... my folks will enjoy it when they visit!)
Thanks to Buzz, Holly, Panther, Wiley & Ostrich for hanging out until about 3:00am - to me, that was the sign of a really great party.
Friday, November 17, 2006
And other times, the answer is, "I need to be able to keep up with the other runners during our Pub Runs. If I run too slow, I end up at the back of the bar line and have to wait a long time to get my next beer."
Last night was the monthly Austin Duathlete's Pub Run. We ran from RunTex Riverside, to Hickory Street Bar & Grill, Beauty Bar, Shoal Creek Saloon, and Jo's Bar. This was my second favorite Pub Run to date. Highlights included: introducing Maggie to the world of running & drinking; multiple staring contests with Ostrich and his buddies; a trip to the photo booth with Wiley; watching Tim move like a Scissor Sister; oogling at tri-goddess Desiree; and walking bcck to bar #1 to get the car of my designated driver (!?).
And here are some pictures from Pub Run's past. My favorite is making fun of Tim's jazz hands.
For the record, I was extremely proud of myself because I made it to a birthday breakfast with Robert & Charlotte by 7:00am - completely awake and sober. Nothing like a chocolate chip bagel after a night of running and beer.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
- The study is to test whether or not they can make a lower calorie sports drink by adding protein that will give the same performance benefits of a regular sports drink. For the practice session, they wanted to make sure I was familiar with the protocol, that the bike fits right, etc. The next 4 weeks I will do actual sessions where I test different sports drinks.
- The ride works like this: ride for an unknown amount of time at 50% of your max (which they determine by the VO2Max test I took last week). I would guess this was about 30 minutes.
- Switch to intervals. 8 minutes at 50%, then 8 minutes at 75%. I am not sure how long this lasted, but I know we did at least 4 hard ones so my guess is 1 hour to 1:20.
- Switch to shorter intervals - 3min at 50%, 3 minutes at 75%. I would say we did about 4 of these.
- Performance mode - crank it up to 80% and go until you can no longer pedal 60RPM.
- While riding, they feed you a drink every 20 minutes, and take your VO2Max a lot. So, I really looked like a lab rat, breathing in to a plastic tube with noseclips on. Next week, they start taking blood too. (That should be fun.)
- I also had to fast for 12 hours before the ride, as well as document my food and exercise for 2 days prior to the ride. I was feeling pretty hungry this morning before I started!
- They cover all the clocks so you have no idea you are riding for!
- Why am I doing this? Because I get paid $500 to participate - that will go towards my new bike!
This was tough!! I was humbled, to be honest. Kind of like when you're running a long race and you think "Why am I here! This sucks! This is no fun!" The worst part was that my left calf was cramping from the beginning of the ride and the bike seat HURT! Aerobically I felt okay, but battling those two issues was annoying, especially since there wasn't much else to think about.
By the time we got to the short interval sets, I was starting to get tired and by the time we got to performance mode, I was really tired. I pushed and pushed to keep my RPM above 60, but eventually I was just done. But - what was really cool, was that many times I was about to give up and drop my cadence, but I would find energy somewhere and keep going. It's amazing how mental endurance sports are! I think I was on the bike for between 3 hours and 3:20 - again, without the clocks I wasn't sure.
When I finished, I was rewarded with a yummy PB&J sandwich and some lemonade. I showered, got dressed for work, and headed to an AAFAME luncheon. Everyone I talked to said I looked really tired - wonder why! :)
I'll be at Pain Train workout tonight, but only as a spectator. My workout is done for the day!
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
1) The Four Points Sheraton is the most screwed up hotel I've ever stayed at. You exit the elevator and it's like the twilight zone - it's impossible to figure out where your room is located and you end up circling the middle of the hotel over and over and over. Also, no matter what time of day or night - housekeeping always seems to be cleaning the room next to yours. It's like bizarro world there.
2) Cafe Adobe advertises "Houston's Best Margarita. Thanks Houston." (Is that supposed to be sarcastic? Like "Thanks, Houston. You really came through for us with the voting. Losers. We hate you.) Anyway, we had to see what the best margarita in Houston was like. While the ritas were okay, they weren't the BEST. And the place was kind of like a gimmicky cruise ship. I was starting to think that Houston was bizarro world...
3) While I used to think that doing this thing called the cork trick was cool, I guess I was wrong. Nobody I showed it to was impressed. :( If you want to see it sometime, let me know!
4) On to serious business... I finally have a PLAN!!! I've been aimlessly working out and following the marathon training program, knowing full well I didn't want ot participate. So, with the help of my fabulous coach, I decided that I'm going to set some real goals for myself and focus on becoming a faster triathlete. I have A, B & C races lined up for 2007 and I'm commited to doing well at them, instead of just aiming to finish.
Me finishing the Prarieman Half Ironman... This year I will NOT walk the majority of the 13.1 miles!
In fact, I will aim to take about 30 minutes off my finishing time!
5) I am going to buy a new road bike!!! I do love my glorious hot pink beauty, but if I'm going to commit to this training, it's time I commit to a new bike too.
6) Finally, I will not be making this weekly trip to Houston much for the rest of the year. I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, it's really disruptive to leave home for 2 days a week. I miss my family, friends, workouts, etc... On the other hand, I like my Houston staff. It's like reuniting with old friends each time I visit. I look forward to my time away like it's almost a mini-vacation. (Albeit, a vacation in Bizarro world, but whatever.)
So, farewell weekly trip to Houston. I've learned so much from you over the past 7 months. Hopefully we will meet again soon...
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Well... what a morning!!! It was gorgeous outside, and I kept my long sleeve shirt until 3 miles left to go. I ran with some new buddies, Brewrunners Robin & Sarah, and they were so much fun. We had a great, consistent pace the whole run. The best part was running down Congress, alongside the Veteran's Day Parade. I was really proud of myself, because this long run was so much more enjoyable than any of my runs last year.
Then came the ice bath. I know they are so good for me, but damn if they don't hurt! Cold water + 2 10lb bags of ice = OWWW!!! Luckily I was distracted by Wednesday's crossword puzzle and sudoko. It was worth it, I feel so good right now.
Today was one of those days that I fell in love with running again. I love covering more distance by foot than I like to do by car. I love exchanging "good morning"s to other runners/walkers/cyclists along the route. I love getting to smell of the first pot of coffee brewing at Jo's on South Congress. I love getting to bond with people over 16 miles. And I love the sense of accomplishment I feel by 9:30am.
Yes, yes, yes... I heart running.
PS. Good luck to the Motive Runners tomorrow! I'll be there cheering for you!
Friday, November 10, 2006
MAGGIE'S RACE REPORT
I thought I would just touch on some memorable moments through out my Ironman week:
I was overwhelmed by the amount of well wishes from my friends, family and co-workers. Thank you for all the emails and texts through out the week and on race day. I had just started my new job a month before my ironman so I typed up an email to my co-workers explaining what an ironman is and what all I would be doing on November 4th. Apparently they found it exciting and motivating, next thing I knew the email was forwarded all over the company and HR called to ask if they could post it on the company newsletter. also, my co-worker Tracy decorated my work area with posters and balloons which by the way I took with me to panama city.
Let's back up just a bit..let me just say that I had some personal turmoil in my life to deal with less than 2 weeks before my ironman. I had a very difficult 4 days of pure chaos to deal with and I am plain ole impressed with myself for not letting this get in my way of finishing my ironman journey. My personal obstacles and the weather conditions made this accomplishment even that much more significant to me.
The night we arrived in pc we drove by the ironman village for the first time and seeing Ironman all over the tents made me nauseous and excited at the same time, but most of all I was happy. I felt like a little kid and this was my playground.
I was so incredibly happy to share this experience with my closest friends.
Joey, Rachel, Teresa (my bff's), and I shared a house together. Joey and I were the 'athletes' and we were well taken care of by Rachel and Teresa. I can't thank them enough for carrying all my bags, stocking the fridge, massaging me, picking up my bike and bags before I finished and basically going along with what ever Joey and I wanted to do. Thank you!!!
I couldn't believe how cold and windy it was. I live in Texas! 40 degrees is freezing!!! I was so worried about the wind I was crying Friday evening knowing it was going to be tough for me to make the bike cut off time with these conditions. My coach tried to comfort me, but still, I went to bed crying the night before the Ironman.
The swim was very rough. I would be on top of a swell and then airborne on the way down. I swallowed so much salt water. I swam right over a jelly fish bigger than the size of my head and it was within arms reach. Yikes! I was told to pee in a bottle and have it in T1 just for this, but being the priss that I am, I said "I'm not doing that". Good thing I didn't need it.
The Wind. The Wind. The Relentless Wind. It was 80% head wind and 20% tail wind. At mile 80 I was seriously preparing in my head my "Finding Success In Failure" speech. I toggled between being a fighter and just wanting someone to put me out of my misery. I passed a girl on the side of the road curled up in the fetal position crying. She was done. But seeing that and being there at that moment made me realize that I didn't come all this way to not Make It Happen!! I thought about Sara Reinertsen 2 years ago at Kona and I think I can say I knew then what she must have been feeling trying to make the bike cut off. All this and knowing so many of my friends were tracking me online helped to make me pedal harder. I wanted this bad and I wasn't going to let this wind take me down.
I had biked for 8 hours and maybe spent about 1.5 minutes with my special needs bag. I knew I didn't have time to spare. getting off my bike for the first time back at T2 was painful. I dismounted my bike and thought my legs were going to give out on me. I had no idea how I was going to run a marathon.
I stretched for about 30 seconds at T2 and then took off for my marathon run. I was surprised at how good I felt all of a sudden. My plan was to run as much as I could for the first loop, then walk as much as I needed to for the first half of the second loop, then run the 2nd part of the second loop.
I pretty much stuck to that. I was shocked at how much I was able to run. it wasn't fast but I was running non the less. I remembered all my training runs with Erin and how she would always say "C'mon!!! we didn't just ride 60 miles to WALK!!!" or "C'mon!!! we didn't get up at 5am to WALK!!!" only on this day I was saying "C'mon!!! I didn't come all the way to walk this Ironman". Thanks Erin!!! you were with me all the way.
Let me just say how incredibly wonderful the volunteers were. From the wetsuit strippers, helping you in the transition tents, the handups on the bike, the aid stations on the run, the day before with all the bags, and they were all over the run course, if I stopped to walk, a vol was right on me asking me if I was okay. They were just amazing and this race can not happen with out them. Thank you!!
Spectators made signs which lined the road to the state park (the turn around point). Rachel had told me she made me a sign: "Iron Maggie; always funky fresh". I looked for it but all the signs were facing the street not the athletes.
At mile 10 for Joey, 4 for me, I stop for a moment to hug Joey, then I sent him on his way by yelling "Go c%cks%cker!! ooops! I hope a race official didin't hear that!! At mile 14, I see Rachel and she runs after me yelling "Maggie!!! do you want your Funyuns??!!" Classic!!! and we got that on video!!! Chicken broth rocks!!!! so do spectators on the run course!!! they were so happy to be ther cheering for us. Thank you!!
Arriving at the finish line was amazing. you always hear about the high you will feel running down the finishing chute and all the people cheering for you. I can't even describe it. It felt like all those people were waiting for me!!! and when they saw me turn the corner it was as if they were yelling just for me. It was magical and I was having the time of my life. I had dreamed of this for years, I had trained so hard, week after week, day after day, early morning wake ups, so many sacrifices, this meant so much to me and it all came together for me right here at this incredible finish line.
I could hear Mike Reilly (the voice of Ironman) announcing my name and he said "she is happy to be here" and I was! I was jumping up and down, high fiving everyone and holding my number up for the world to see!!! (it had torn off my race belt so I had to carry it for the last few miles)
I truly feel so blessed to have experienced this wonderful Ironman journey.
I am surrounded by genuinely wonderful friends who I can't thank enough for sharing this tiime with me. I'm blessed to have enjoyed all the training and for remaining injury free. So many people brought me to that finish line.
Ironman is not something you can do all on your own. It truly is life changing and so many people touch you in the smallest ways to inspire you, motivate you and encourage you to get to that finish line. I know I didn't do it all by myself, and I am truly thankful for everybody who gave me hope and encouragement to do this crazy thing we call Ironman.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Doctor Allan Pearl: I love to make people laugh and I've been doing it since, you know, school. People ask me, "Were you, were you, uh, you must've been the class clown." And I say, "No I wasn't. But I sat beside the class clown and I studied him and saw how he made people laugh."
And so I picked some things up and, you know, at parties and family functions, I have to say I love, you know, breaking people up. So, there's a thing that I think I got an entertaining bug from my grandfather, Chaim Pearlgut, who was very, very big in the Yiddish Theatre back in New York. He was in the very, the sardonically irreverent "Dibbik, Schmibbik, I Said More Ham" and that revue, I believe, was 1914 and that revue is what made him famous. Incidently, the song "Bouby Made a Kishka" came from that revue. My father, bless him, brought me into the business. This was his dental practice before and I joke with my wife that, you know, at that point, that's when the, uh, the money started, uh, rolling in, you know...
(switches to a voice of Johnny Carson as his indian chief character) "Brave making.. more wampum to buy pelts." (laughs quietly) "One happy squaw wigmam...happy as mongoose." (laughs quietly again) That, uh, is, of course, from Johnny Carson who, uh, one of my heros in a very funny bit.