2013 Triathlete Gift Giving Guide


Perhaps you’re a last minute shopper like me? Yes, I generally wait until December 24th to do my holiday shopping. Nothing like a little procrastination, right? I think grad school taught me that…

Triathletes are usually pretty easy to shop for since we typically like the latest and greatest technology that will make us fitter, stronger, and faster. Many triathletes have no problem shelling out $10,000 for the top of the line tri bike. I wish I had that problem…

However, sometimes it may be hard to shop for a triathlete because we tend to buy the newest technology as it comes out. If a triathlete has been in the sport for several years they may also have just about all the core equipment and some of the bells and whistles already, so what do you buy them?

Here is a list of items of various price tags to meet anyone’s budget and the needs of the triathlete in your life:

  1. Coaching – Perhaps your triathlete already has a coach or is thinking about hiring a coach in the New Year to help them meet their triathlon goals. Hint, hint – I’m still accepting athletes for 2014! Coaching is a great investment that any triathlete will see huge rewards from. Consider paying their coaching fees for a month or two or even the whole year!
  2. Race Entry Fee – Race entries can be expensive for any triathlete, especially if they are racing multiple events in a season. Ironman races can cost up to $700, while even the smaller local races can still cost about $100. Paying a race entry fee for your athlete will sure make them happier and more driven to do well in that race, just for you of course!
  3. Gift Certificate for a Bike Tune-up – Regular bike cleaning and tune ups are part of every bike owner’s yearly maintenance. Unfortunately, many of us tend to skip these very important things in favor of buying gear. A bike tune up several weeks before a big race can ensure that the triathlete’s bike is in working order and can make them faster! Who doesn’t love free speed!?
  4. New Tires – Bike tires are like car tires – they need to be changed when they become too worn out. If you live in an area where in snows a lot then chances are the triathlete in your life has to spend countless hours on the trainer riding to nowhere. Some triathletes buy special trainer tires (which are a great holiday gift idea too!) or just use their regular tire, which will be completely worn by the beginning of spring. They would love a new set of tires for race season! Make sure you check their current tires on their bike to ensure you buy the correct ones.
  5. Swim Pass or Swim Lessons – Little known fact… swimming is expensive! Living in Maine, I personally don’t have a lot of options for indoor swimming pools. I would estimate that we have about 15 pools across the entire state. For those of you living in Boston or New York, you probably have 15 pools in one block! Lap swimming adds up quickly! Most pools in the Greater Portland area average $3-$5 a pop and if you swim 3 times a week that’s about $60 a month! Consider buying your triathlete a swim pass at their local swimming hole and/or swimming lessons. Even the most advanced swimmers can gain something from a swim coach.
  6. Gift Certificate to a Running Store – Support your local running store by getting your triathlete a gift certificate! That way your athlete can pick out their favorite running shoes, winter running clothes, or even stock up on sports nutrition. Win, win for everyone!
  7. Race Wheels – Every triathlete dreams of having fancy race wheels, myself included! Race wheels are expensive, hence why I don’t have any. If you don’t have $2000 to purchase your favorite triathlete some new wheels then consider paying their race wheel rental fee at their big race this season. TriBike Transport, Rev3, and many bike shops offer race wheel rentals on the big day for a fraction of the cost of purchasing a set.
  8. Body Glide – Every triathlete needs some Body Glide! It’s a tough job squeezing into your wetsuit on race day. Body Glide makes the perfect stocking stuffer!
  9. IronWar – Matt Fitzgerald’s book on the 1989 Ironman World Championships tells the grueling story of the battle between the world’s two best athletes – Mark Allen and Dave Scott. This book is an epic page-turner and your favorite triathlete won’t want to put it down until it’s done!
  10. Massage – Triathletes often spend too much money on buying the best gear and technology and not enough on the stuff that matters the most – proper recovery! Massage is a great and proven effective recovery tool. Consider buying your triathlete a gift certificate to their favorite sports massage therapist. Your triathlete will thank you later!

~ Happy Training & Happy Holidays!  

Welcome to Race Week!



Welcome to Race Week!

Tomorrow I’ll be driving the 6+ hours through northern New England to Lake Placid, New York! So far taper has been treating me well. Last week was super hot and humid in Maine and made for some difficult training weather, but I hydrated like a boss and completed my workouts well. Friday night was the worst with the temperatures (plus the heat index) into the 100’s! Rare, rare occasions for Maine. My running partner and I headed out to Pine Point beach for some cooler running in the later evening. He wanted to run on the beach; however, it was high tide (thank God because I wanted pavement 🙂 ). We ran from Pine Point to OOB and back for a good, hot 6 miles then a dip in the ocean.

I took Saturday off and got a massage, which definitely helped with some lingering IT-Band soreness. Sunday was a 2 hour ride plus a 45-minute run. Azul got a new chain and a 11-28 cassette last Thursday and all I have to say is… why didn’t I put on a 11-28 before!?! My cadence is a lot better and I feel more comfortable with it! However, Azul needs a bit of a tweak on the front derailleur because she threw her chain twice. Back to my favorite bike shop today, Allspeed!

I rode one of my favorite routes on Sunday in reverse (because I forgot where I was going, opps!). Whaleback Road in Standish/Baldwin is a good climbing road, especially from the reverse direction I found out. I wanted to really test the new gearing for all the climbing that I’ll be doing on Sunday. I crested the final hill and just started my descent when all the sudden there was a damn DONKEY in the middle of the road! WTF! It took me about 15-20 seconds to process what was going on and brake. Luckily the road conditions in the area were pretty dicey so I wasn’t going very fast. The donkey just looked at me as I made a very wide arc around him. Out of all the things I have run over, hit, or gotten chased by this training cycle I would have never predicted a donkey in the middle of the road would be one of them!

Hello Donkey!

Hello Donkey!

This week has been pretty low-key. Mentally and emotionally Monday wasn’t a good day because I was dealing with some personal and professional stress. Luckily, things are on the up now. Last night was spent writing lists of everything I need to remember to bring to Lake Placid and doing laundry. Today I will spend the day running around doing last-minute errands and packing the car for tomorrow’s early departure.

The other exciting news going on in my life currently (other than Ironman) is the fact my dog is a bird murder. In the past 72 hours she has managed to catch and kill 3 innocent little birds. We recently put an addition on our house and a couple of birds nested in the eves before my father could finish the roof. The adult birds have managed to fly into the house instead of outside. Reagan has loved every minute of the ordeal. I especially enjoy finding half eaten dead birds on the floor. NOT!

When I'm lounging around... I enjoy murdering birds...

When I’m lounging around… I enjoy murdering birds…

For those of you at home, you can track me on race day via the Ironman website. I am number 552! Or better yet, if you’re in Lake Placid then let’s meet up! Tweet me at BigSkyTri and hopefully I’m smart enough to figure out how to tweet you back! 🙂

~ Happy Training!

Race Report: The PolarBear Sprint Tri


2013 PolarBear Tri (www.tri-maine.com)

Going into this race I wasn’t sure what to expect. Honestly, I was about 90% sure I was going to DNF after the bike due to the major knee pain that I have been having. I saw my chiropractor on Thursday and she worked things out a bit and then taped up my knee to help with the patella tracking. I woke up Friday feeling great. After work I did my quick 20 minute bike and then 10 min run. Knee felt pretty good and towards the end a bit sore. I iced and rolled before hitting the sack.

Sweet Taping Job

Sweet Taping Job

Race Morning

Woke up with a stiff knee. Awesome. Ate my breakfast and threw all my stuff into the car for the 1+ hour drive to Brunswick. The race is a pool swim and thus only 32 swimmers could be in a wave at a time. I had to be there and set up in transition but 8:10am, but my swim wave didn’t start till 10am. Lots of sitting around and chatting time. My knee was definitely sore and I was visibly limping to and from my car to get my stuff. Not a good way to start a race morning. I met up with my fellow TriMoxie athletes and also saw some other athletes mingling about all waiting for their respective wave starts.

This was my first PolarBear Tri. It is considered to be the season opener for us Mainers who have to ride our trainers all winter long and swim in the pool until June when the lake water becomes tolerable (with wetsuits of course!). This race tends to bring out the big guns in the sport too so I was excited to see how I would do in a very competitive field. I was not expecting much at all due to my recent knee issue and the fact that my general fitness, and especially my speed, is pretty poor this year. My coach wanted me to race this race and I really wanted to. Of course, this was given to me before the knee became kind of a limiter. I told her before the race that if I felt good then I would race. If my knee was okay then I would just turn it into more of a training day. If the knee was causing a lot of pain then I was going to DNF after the bike. I was completely okay with a potential DNF too. It’s not ideal, but my ultimate goal this year is Lake Placid. A little sprint tri in Maine is not going to derail me from that goal.

The Swim

The swim is a 525-yard pool swim. I didn’t bother to warm-up because I would have just sat around from 90 minutes waiting for my turn. This definitely put me at a bit of disadvantage because I am the type of swimmer that needs a lot of time to warm-up to truly find my groove. I chose a lane in the middle of the pool and luckily ended up having the lane to myself. The whistle went off and I found a comfortable pace and settled in a bit. My intention was to keep track of my laps, but somehow I managed to forget after the first 125 or so. Typical. About what I estimated to be the 300 mark I tried picking up the pace a bit. I felt okay. It wasn’t my best swim, but it was not bad. I tried not to kick too hard because of the knee. I finally got the “last lap” sign and I pushed it to the last wall. I struggled a little bit getting out of the water trying not to somehow tweak my knee getting out. I hit what I thought was the correct button on my Garmin 910XT, but turns out it wasn’t. Opps. From looking at my data afterwards it appears I hit the 525 mark at about 8:42. I then set out on a half jog/ half jumping on one foot to the transition area. My knee was definitely sore, but tolerable. The swim time (I’m pretty sure) includes the run from the pool to the TA so my time is a bit slower due to my inability to “run” like a normal person. I can’t imagine what I looked like when the Capstone Photography person took my picture leaving the building…

Swim: 9:20 (1:47/ 100 yards)

The Bike

Transition went by quickly. I made sure not to dilly-dally around too much. I grabbed my bike and headed out on the long run to the mount/dismount line again with my awkward little attempt at running. I hopped on my bike and headed out on the 11-mile bike course. I hadn’t ridden the course before, but from what I was told that it was pretty flat with a few rollers. I had my Garmin Edge on my bike so I had turned that on in TA. The satellites took forever to find. I checked my watch to see my bike time, but didn’t realize that the watch was still set in swim mode. The course was relatively flat so I kept my power up and pushed it. The course was pretty empty, which was nice. I got passed by one speedy woman on a road bike and tried to keep her in my sight the entire time. I then got passed by some big guys flying on their tri bikes. I let them go since I had absolutely no hope in catching them. There were some upgrades at times so I ended up doing a lot of shifting to keep my power consistent and my cadence in a good range. My Power VI was 1.08, which is pretty damn good for me! 🙂 Even though the course is pretty flat, it has a lot of sharp corners. I’ve always been pretty timid going around corners, especially sharp ones, but I have made a good effort to get over my fears. I did super good today not slamming on my brakes and really riding the corners and then accelerating hard out of them. I’m quite happy with my bike performance. I was second in my age group for the bike split. I missed the top slot by 5 seconds. I probably lost those by trying to go the wrong way into the TA after dismounting. Opps! Knee felt good on the bike so I made the decision to run.

Bike: 36:06 (18.3 mph; 133 watts, 1.08 VI)

The Run

Transition went fairly quickly. I found my rack quickly, hung Azul up and grabbed my running shoes and headed out. The first 300 yards or so were very painful. I thought about just throwing in the towel, but made the decision to keep going. I made it this far and after having a great bike split I knew that I could be on my way to a podium finish in my age group. I just needed to keep my legs moving. The first part of the run was on the baseball field. My legs definitely did not like the long grass. I focused on taking short steps and moving forward. Then it was a quick jaunt on the trails and then onto the road. The further I got the better my knee began to feel so I kept moving. I passed a few people and a couple of people passed me. Finally I came to the first aid station and ran through it. I knew the first mile was almost done. During transition I realized that my watch was messed up so I was able to set it in run mode. Because of the pool swim I had no satellite data. Luckily I knew this would be a problem and put my foot pod on my shoes before the race. I hit mile one around 9:50ish. Not my fastest at all, but I was okay with it. I was running and that was what mattered. A 54-year-old woman cruised by me at this point so I picked up my pace. Funny thing was the faster I seemed to run the better my knee felt. Around the 1.5 mile mark we turned onto dirt trails. There wasn’t many people on the course so it was a bit lonely. I hit the second mile at a 9:11/mile pace so I know I doing better. My goal at this point was to negative split the run and also not get passed by Tammy, a super fast TriMoxie athlete who started about 20 minutes behind me in the pool waves. I knew since she was super fast that she might pass me in the run so I wanted to make sure that didn’t happen. Plus it kept me motivated to keep moving. The third mile was a bit mentally tough. We looped back on the same dirt trail again and I could feel my knee pain again. I just knew I needed to make it to the finish. I passed a 65-year-old man in the final yards of the run. I crossed the finish line and limped my way over to the Med Tent to get ice for my knee.

Run: 28:04 (9:22/mile)

Race Bling

Race Bling

Total: 1:15:44; 3/12 AG; 32/133 W; 111/257 OA

Tammy, Myself, Marisa, and Beth - all taking home hardware after a great race!

Tammy, Myself, Marisa, and Beth – all taking home hardware after a great race!


Overall, I’m pleased with the result. Obviously, I wished my knee would not have been an issue so I could have pushed it more, but it is what it is. I know my speed isn’t there and my general fitness is lacking. However, I had a good first race. My transitions were good. I didn’t stand in TA and play with my watch forever like the Y for the Tri race last year. I went in, did my business and left. I had a great bike split and I did manage to pull off a decent run split. My knee was definitely sore Saturday after the race and I spent a long time icing it. Hopefully, we can get this knee issue figured out so I can start running again without pain. Ironman Lake Placid is in less than 3 months! Yikes!

~ Happy Training!

Weekend Wrap-up: The Fall Edition

Finally, we had a half way decent Fall weekend in Maine. Once again I have been focusing on procrastinating writing my health policy paper that is due at the end of the month. But, seriously I did start it last night… be proud. Be very, very proud.

Friday night I spent at home relaxing from some very stressful few weeks. A friend called asking me if I wanted to go out and grab a drink, but I just wanted to stay home and not do anything. The past few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind for me and I’m hoping that my luck will turn around soon. Thinking positive thoughts! 🙂

I got quite a few pumpkins from my CSA farm and didn’t know what exactly to do with them. My father wasn’t going to allow me to do what I really wanted to do – to use them for target shooting with his rifle. I guess my father doesn’t trust me with a gun. But, what he fails to realize that I actually have a halfway decent shot!

Target shooting in Montana – August 2010

Look at that aim! Okay, so I’m not that good…

So, I did what every respectful pumpkin owner would do – attack it with a giant knife! I’ve never craved a pumpkin before, but because I’m the ambitious type I decided that I was going to crave my bike shop’s logo into the pumpkin and give it to them. Aren’t I just the best person ever? (Don’t answer that…)

The before…

Tracing the pattern onto the pumpkin

The After!

I did have a couple oopsies, but luckily toothpicks do a good job of holding up the fallen pieces. I think it came out pretty good for my first time. I give it about a C+. The boys enjoyed it and that’s all that really matters. (Although, I’m sure they were secretly hoping for something yummy to eat).

I wanted to get a lot done on Saturday so I decided to get my butt out of bed super early and hit the gym. I pulled into the parking lot at 6:01 only to find out that the gym opens at 7:00 on the weekends. Duh! Panera opens at 6am so I got breakfast and read a couple of articles out of Inside Triathlon then headed back over to the gym. I had a good workout despite the fact that my abs and glutes were still super sore from my first crossfit experience on Thursday evening. More on that later this week.

On Saturday mornings Lululemon offers free yoga classes at their showroom in Portland so I decided to hit up a class. One of my off-season goals is to do as much yoga as possible to help with my flexibility, or more like lack there of. I’ve also found that I really enjoy yoga. When I first tried yoga in college I really wasn’t keen on it. I found it boring and painful. My attention span isn’t very long so I had trouble staying still in poses. I stopped yoga for a while and picked it up again last fall when I was injured. I fell in love with it. I didn’t do much over the summer because I found it hard to fit it into my training schedule. But, I think I’m going to try to make it a priority to at least hit up one class a week throughout the winter/early spring months. I’ve finally found that mind/body connection in yoga and for the most part I can forget about things in class. It’s a good feeling. Living in the Now.

After class I walked back to my car only to find a parking ticket. Awesome! See, bad luck. Dropped the pumpkin off and headed home. I had to work in the evening. It was busy for the first couple of hours, but after 6:30 usually it’s dead. I spent a good hour or hour and half just pacing back and forth trying to figure some stuff out. Next year I’m hoping to launch phase one of my dream business so mentally I’ve been working up a business plan in my head. Of course, I really ought to put in on paper. So, stay tuned for hopefully a launch during the spring! 🙂

Sunday was a gorgeous Fall day. My initial plan was to ride my bike up to Pineland to watch some of the cyclecross races, but I honestly haven’t been very motivated to ride my bike lately. Part of it is because I don’t have a workout to do and the other part is the lack of a riding partner.

Instead, I decided to run! 🙂 I ran a mile on the treadmill Saturday at the gym to test out my foot. It hasn’t bothered me in a little while so I figured I’d give her a little test. I didn’t feel like running on the road. I decided that a little trail running would be fun! Plus, I could bring my dog! Normally, I would go down to the Eastern Trail, but I’m tired of that and Bradbury is a little to “rooty” for my foot at the moment. I decided to hit up Twin Brooks. It was a bit muddy, but both Reagan and I had a blast. I wore my Garmin just to see what my pace was although I wasn’t running for pace. It was painfully slow, but such as life. I ended up running about 3.5 miles overall. And, the foot held up pretty good! 🙂 So, hopefully that means I can start to resume some run training. I’d like to run the Turkey Trot and also the Thanksgiving 4-miler in November.

I’m ready! Let’s Go!

Yes, I think I’m a bird dog and want to chase every single bird I see…

My favorite trail!

Someone was a little pooped from her run…

~ Happy Training!

I have the POWER!

Yes, I know I don’t have pedals on Azul. They are on my road bike (perhaps someday I will actually buy a second set of pedals!)

Two weeks ago Azul (my tri bike) got an upgrade, a SRAM S975 Quarq powermeter! A powermeter is something I’ve always wanted, but I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen earlier this year due to extensive car repairs, but I received an unexpected (well, maybe not really so unexpected) bonus at work and I decided to bite the bullet and purchase the powermeter. What also catalyzed the purchase was my need to switch from a standard crank (which came with my bike) to a compact crank due to my cadence issues and also I ride a lot of hills. BEST DECISION EVER! I feel much more comfortable and stronger on my bike now that it has a compact crank!

So, I got my Quarq about two weeks ago and my awesome bike shop put it on Azul for me. I got her home and put her on the trainer and tried syncing the Quarq with my Garmin computer. FAIL! No connection. Would not read at all! So, on Saturday I brought Azul back to the shop for troubleshooting. No bueno. Then I thought why not change the battery, even though this is a brand new powermeter and the battery should be fine, why not? I went to the store purchased the battery, replaced it in the Quarq, and BEEP “powermeter detected.” Seriously?! A new battery? Urgh, why did it have to be so simple!

Once Azul and I were home I put her on the trainer for my pre-long run easy spin. I made it 45 minutes before the new battery in the Quarq died. WTF?! Next morning I went out and purchased two new batteries at the grocery store. I put a new one in, the powermeter was detected for about 5 seconds, my Garmin succeeded to tell me that the battery in the powermeter was low and then finally died. Awesome! My Quarq was clearly defective and I was super upset. I tried calling Quarq, but of course, they are not open on Sunday. So, I emailed their customer service department to tell them about the issue and that I will be calling first thing on Monday morning! Later that afternoon I got an email back from Quarq (on a Sunday!)! On Monday they called my bike shop and decided to send me a new spider (the electronics part of the Quarq) because a Quarq that does not hold a battery charge is clearly not normal. I got the new spider in a couple of days and my bike shop put it on Azul by the end of the week. The new Quarq works flawlessly! I was very impressed with the Quarq/SRAM customer service. They were very professional and super fast! Thank you!

I’ve only ridden with my powermeter a handful of times so far, but I really like it. I’ve been reading various articles and watching webinars from TrainingPeaks about training with power. It is extremely effective to train with power on the bike and I know I will become a much stronger rider over time. My coach will now start giving my bike workouts in terms of power intervals compared to heart rate. This past weekend on my long ride I had some tempo and VO2 max intervals that were all written pre-powermeter and thus set to HR. I finally learned how to input my workouts into my Garmin Edge 800 so as I ride it just tells me what I’m doing so I don’t have to memorize my workouts. I set all my intervals for my HR zones, which turned out to be rather annoying because my Garmin would beep about every 5 seconds to tell me my HR was too high. Well, no shit, I just climbed a hill! But, I must admit, that I really love when I end a workout. My Garmin will “sing” a tune to let me know it’s over! It was rather amusing I thought.

I have my season opener triathlon on Saturday! I’ve decided to forgo my graduation ceremony to race the Tri for the Y in Freeport. It’s only a 325 yard pool swim, 13 mile bike, and a 3 mile run. It’s a short one, but my coach told me to go all out. I’m interested to see my performance. I have not done a sprint tri in almost a year and most of my training has been focused on long course, but I feel ready and I’m definitely itching to race. Two weeks from this Sunday is Mooseman 70.3! I’m still super nervous about this race. I think the main reason I’m nervous about this race is because I have high expectations for myself. I want to do well and I want to PR; however, from everything I’ve read and heard, this is not the race to PR on. At this point, my goal will be to finish in one piece and have fun. I definitely plan to push myself during this race, but my real “A” race is going to be REV3 OOB.

In other more exciting news, I have officially signed up to volunteer at Ironman Lake Placid this summer! You know what that means… 🙂

Happy Training!

Post-Weekend Rap Up

First off, I think this video describes a lot right now….

I have the entire summer off from classes! First time since 2005! Of course, I’m not going to be sitting around doing nothing. I have a stack of books to read! I just started Chrissie Wellington’s A Life Without Limits and it’s awesome! I find myself reading it in my head in a British accent. Is that weird? I also have started studying to become a certified sports nutritionist through the International Society of Sports Nutrition and also to become a certified personal trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. I will keep myself busy for sure this summer. It’s the only way I like it.

This past weekend was full of solid workouts. I got a call Friday night around 8pm from my mother’s best friend’s daughter asking me if I would join their team for the Into the Mud Challenge in Gorham because their fourth team member was injured. Of course I said yes because I lack the ability to say “no.” After I hung up with her I started to wonder what I just got myself into and possibility regretting my decision. As long as I didn’t hurt myself or ruin my 10 mile run I had to do that day too, why not?

The Into the Mud Challenge is a 2.5 mile run through mud pits and obstacles such as hay bales and tires. It is put on by USM’s Sport Management Program student’s as a field experience. People are encouraged to dress in costume and there were so good ones there on Saturday. I was surprised how many people did the race. There were a ton of people of all ages, sizes, and fitness abilities. The course wasn’t hard, but it was dirty! I didn’t wear my Garmin or anything, mostly in fear of ruining it, plus I really didn’t care about my time. This was for fun, not a race. I think the worst part of the day was getting mud in my eye. Maybe next year I’ll wear my swim goggles. In order to finish the race you had to cross the finish line as a team holding hands. We ended up placing 5th out of 27 co-ed teams. I definitely plan on doing this again next year. I had friends doing the Tough Mudder in Vermont (hard core), but that does not interest me at all. I’m on the road to Ironman, but little local races like this appeal to me in order to break up the sometimes mundane training of swim, bike, run and the races are for a good cause.

On the way to the finish

Finish line Photo

The Dirty Runners

Later that day I did my pre-long run hour easy spin on Azul on the trainer while watching the Kentucky Derby. Got to love the first Saturday of May! I spent most of the day at my bike shop trying to figure out what’s wrong with Azul’s new addition, but more on that later this week. After my spin I headed out for 10 mile descend run. I had a really good run, despite the 2.5 miles I ran earlier in the day. I was able to finish out the last 15 minutes at my 5k pace so I call it successful run. I definitely was hurting a bit after the run and made sure to wear my 100% compression tights, which are just awesome! I ended up wearing them to bed too.

Sunday was a beautiful day. I rode a challenging 56 mile loop with my bike shop boy through the boonies of Maine. It featured Douglass Mountain as the main goal, which is a local cat 5 climb (although sometimes MapMyRide calls in cat 4). It really wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, but it still kind of sucked. We rode from the Rt 113 side (Baldwin) over to Rt 107 (Sebago). The worst part was once you think you get to the top, you go back down and then up a quick steep part. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I had expected it, but I was not ready and had really poor climb. I used to be a fairly good climber, but ever since the Dempsey Challenge last October where I had to walk my bike up “puke” hill, I have lost my climbing mojo. I don’t feel strong on the bike at all, even though we were averaging around 22 mph on the flats. I think I’m starting to mentally work myself up about Mooseman 70.3 in 3 weeks! I’m just glad that I have a compact crank on my bike instead of a standard. But I’ll be super glad when everything is in working order! Bike shop boy and I finished the day with a total of about 2500 feet of climbing and probably ate about 10,000 black flies along the way! Next Sunday is another big loop of climbing some of the big hills in the Cumberland/Yarmouth/Gray area! What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? 🙂

I completely flew by this the first time then had to back track. Oh well, let the fun begin!

Last night during my swim I realized two things about swimming: 1) I really like 200s and 2) I hate kicking because I don’t have floppy ankles. Also, I thought for sure the woman in the lane next to me was going to drown. Every time she took a breathe is was more of a grasp for air. I did some pull sets with my paddles and at the end of my swim she asked me what they were for. I almost told her it was to spank the water and show it who’s boss then I realized she probably think I was crazy!

May is looking to be a very good month so far. I’ve had a few opportunities pop up in the recent days so I’m hoping for some good things soon! Hopefully this rainy, cold weather will turn into nice, warm spring days very soon! Tri for the Y is in two weeks and I have a few big goals for my season opener!

Happy Training! 

Base Training: Week One

On January 1st I began working officially with my Coach! Today marks the end of week one of base training. I survived! For most of the fall I was focusing mainly on strength training and yoga so it definitely feels great to be back in the pool, on my bike, and pounding the pavement.

Monday began with a swim at the Cape Elizabeth pool, which was the only pool open for the holiday. I haven’t swam at Cape since high school freshmen year when I was on the swim team (We were state champs that year!). That was 10 years ago! I had a decent workout but just couldn’t find my groove. Half way through my main set of intervals the lifeguards had to move my lane over to allow the divers to practice. Of course this messed up my count and distracted me. Tonight I swam at St. Joe’s, which is pretty much my home pool, and I had a great swim!
This week was my first real week back running and so far so good. My glute/hip problem haven’t been bothering me, which means that my pelvis is most likely still align! My calves are a bit tight so I have been wearing my compression gear and making sure I stretch really good. I have an appointment with my chicropractor on Thursday to check my pelvis and work on my ever-tight calves.
Friday night marked the beginning of The Sustainable Athlete’s “Friday Night Fights” computrainer race series. Friday was suppose to be my rest day, but I wanted to join Team Allspeed in for the fun. The course was a rolling hill 10km course. The boys kicked butt per usual. They are both psyched for the upcoming races and for the upcoming crit races in the spring. You all better keep an eye on them 🙂 I’ve never done a TT before so I didn’t know what to expect, especially since I am not in bike shape. I tried to pace myself and not go out too strong so I didn’t blow up half way through the course. The last 1k of the course was uphill and by then I just wanted to die. I survived though and averaged 19.1 mph and 179 watts. Power doesn’t really mean much to me at the moment, but my coach said it’s not bad for where I am at the moment. I’m super excited to get a powermeter in the very near future!
On Saturday a friend and I checked out my friend’s bootcamp class at Fit212 in Falmouth. If your looking for a good all around body workout you should definitely check out his class on Saturday’s at 7:30am. I enjoyed his class, but it’s not what I need for my training. I’m more on a sport-specific strength training plan. However, if your looking for a good ass kicking, you should seriously check it out (My shoulders are a bit sore today, but shhh… don’t tell him that).
Currently I’m in my kitchen cooking up a storm for the upcoming week. I should hopefully start my new job this week, which means my time is going to be a bit limited with everything going on. I find preparing healthy meals ahead of time and freezing some of them helps me stay away from eating out or choosing the wrong, unhealthy foods. My new class started yesterday also so back to the grind with schoolwork. I think I will enjoy this new class though.
Weekly Totals:
Swim: 4100 yards (+/- a few laps because I can’t count)
Bike: 3 hrs (on the trainer so no mileage at the moment) + 19:27 min 10km TT
Run: ~14.5 miles
Strength: 1 workout with my personal trainer, 1 bootcamp class, 1.5 hr core classes
Here’s a great article on the science of base training!