Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Really really

There are certain things I really, really like.
Like, Cinnamon Toast Crunch. And kisses from my Clubby. And listening to the rain late at night.
Oh! And Cadbury Cream eggs!

I also really like the sun. And spring weather. And heat. Taking the pup for walks and not freezing the tips of my fingers off. Going out for a run and not seeing my breath. Driving to swim practice in flip flops...

And I really, really like riding with the boys. And running over my lunch break. I really, really like sleeping in 'til 6am. And recovery. And I get all of them in this one short week!

There are a few things I really, really don't like. Whining. Mind games. Weird men. Catty women. When friends lose their jobs. The cellulite that I noticed on the back of my leg the other day (gasp!) and when telling a friend, being told "well, you are getting older".

But the good thing is that those things I really, really don't like can be forgotten with any one of those things that I really, really do like. And I always remember those.

Monday, March 29, 2010

old friends, new adventures and the importance of listening

So, it's been a while...ya know, since I've had anything interesting to say. I've been reading everyone else, hoping to gain some inspiration. But my wit has left me.

This must mean I'm tired.
Or maybe I'm not really witty.

Some fun things...
 - Friday, I picked up my bike from 1919. New chain, new bar tape, new cleats, and squeaky clean. That all changed Saturday. But it lasted for all of about 12 hours.
 - I swam alone of Friday morning. I almost never do this because I hate it. I much rather have some company. But my buddy didn't show. So, I pretended to know the girl in the lane next to me and compete with her. Even though she wasn't aware of our new friendship. Or competition.
 - Friday evening was dinner at Dewey's Pizza with my teammates that are doing HOS 200 in two weeks. We also had some spouses, children and SAG peeps. I think our party totalled 12 in all. Never in my life have I seen so much pizza consumed by so few people. Or so few people who are not overweight. Anyway, we discussed strategy and nutrition. And checked out the course profile. The three that did it last year then told us how much it made them never want to ride again fun it was.
 - Saturday was track work followed by bike intervals. Again. This is another workout I hate doing alone so my old asst track coach joined me and a training buddy. Let me just say that 4x2000 @6:30 pace makes me want to shit my pants when placed at the end of three 20+hr/weeks. Old track coach dominated these with ~ 6:15 pace. He's doing the Hawaii 70.3 in June. He thinks he can qualify for Kona in the 40-44AG. Saturday was his first time on the bike in close to a year. And this will be his first HIM. Ever. We had an easy warm-up followed by 3x6miles at TT effort. We (training bud and I) averaged about 23mph, (which I realize isn't super speedy, but you go out and do track work and then try it; suffice to say, it hurts). And dropped old coach. I suppose his sights aren't impossible...but me thinks there may be a humbling process...I think so many people don't realize just how much work this stuff takes. I will keep you updated. Ya know, if anyone is interested.

About a year ago, I really learned the importance of listening to my body. It's crucial in training at a high(er) level.

Yesterday, my body was screaming at me.

First, I slept through my alarm. And got a total of 10 hours of sleep. I did a quick loosen spin on the trainer, showered and went to help out with registration at the Germantown Road Race. It was cold and windy and rainy. And I was glad to not be racing myself. I did run into some of the cyclists that were in TN a few weeks back. I also met a triathlete. It was his first road race. I told him not to annouce his status. Unless he wanted everyone to know he couldn't hold a line.

After all that hullabaloo, I went home to get on the trainer. Instead, my body told me to take a nap. I guess it hadn't registered to my body that we got ample sleep the previous night.

And soon enough, the pup needed to go out. She timed it perfectly between thunderstorms.

I took that wake-up call as an opportunity to actually get on the trainer. My legs felt fine. But after two hours, I bagged it. I was tired. And hungry. So I ate. And made some hot cocoa and watched Up. Oh what a sad little story. For a Pixar movie, it sure was suspenseful. That mean Alpha dog...and that old man who wanted to capture Kevin...and how Mr. Fredrickson just wanted to uphold his promise to Ellie...awe.

And just before bed, I received good tidings of great joy...RECOVERY WEEK!!!!
Good thing. Just two weeks before HOS.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

my head

man i've got a lot of people in my life that have helped me out along the way, especially in triathlon. and a lot of them just because they think i'm cute. that's men-pigs for ya though. yeah, men. sometimes i wish i had one. then i get one and i find myself plotting how i can get rid of him. i really will be single forever. i guess i had a shot with Chris. maybe that's all you get in life. But really? that can't even be considered a chance, right? i mean, if it's meant to be it won't be *that* hard. like, miserable difficult. man, i used to be a total whack job. maybe triathlon has given me sanity. ha ha ha ha ha. i'm not even close to sane now. but i'm a lot closer than i used to be. i think this swim-bike-run shit actually helps me keep my head on straight. that and my nightly jeopardy watching. oh! Lost was on last night. ghhh...missed it for like the third week in a row. all because I can't stay up that late when i have three workouts on tuesdays. man, that track work SUCKED. I didn't feel like I was going to puke. or shit. but i felt like rigor mortis had set in my those dead animals at the bottom of the hill on that weird road in TN. I'm really glad Rod took my bike in for a tune up today. But I'm not overly excited about driving up to get it tomorrow. It'll be good to see those guys again though. They're excellent bike mechanics. One of these days I'll know how to work on my own bike. But I like that I can dis- and re- assemble it on my own. Actually, I hate when anyone else tries to do that stuff for me. There are lots of things I don't like having done for me. I think i have man abs. i have the V. but i don't have a little waist. it's been almost two weeks since i went tanning. it's about time to go home and get a ride in. but i really feel like going home and having a glass of wine and sitting on the couch. and taking Clubby for a walk. i'm so glad next week is recovery.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Joy and pain, Sunshine and rain.

Saturday was the most beautiful first day of Spring. And it may have been a perfect day. In my mind.

It started with 5x1600 at the track with a couple training buddies. On not so fresh legs. But there were little boys playing soccer on the infield. And we got to watch the sun rise as we hit each interval. I felt strong. And tried to relax, especially during repeats 4 and 5. And during lap 3 of each one. I wasn't super speedy, but I was consistent, starting with the slowest at 6:32 and ending with a 6:24.

And straight from there, we piled in our cars and drove down to the park on the river to meet a group for a ride. A ride which entailed about 50 miles and 3x8mile TT efforts. Dear God. Those hurt. But the first one was worse than the third. The ride started with shoe covers and arm warmers and tights. And by the time it ended, the sun was shining bright and it was 70 degrees. I went home for a shower and food. And then I went back down to the park with a blanket and the pup and laid on the lawn. And that night I met a friend for a beer. I was determined to sleep in on Sunday.

but.... Sunday was forecasted to be cloudy/rainy and kinda cool. And then they said the rain would hold off til mid-afternoon. And I had five hours of riding to get in. So I set out at 9:15 to meet a buddy (and super strong cyclist). While I was waiting for his arrival, I ran into a couple guys at the gas station who were waiting for a ride that was coming along. They were just gonna hop on the back and go along. And then my riding partner came along. And he asked if I wanted do the same.

I looked at him and asked, in all seriousness, if I could hang with them. He told me I could hang with whomever I wanted. And "whoosh". There went the peleton.

We worked our way up to them. And we rode along nicely for a bit. I took my pull. He took his. And then the fatigue started to settle in. And I panicked. I started to think about how I had another four hours to ride. I told him I couldn't ride with those guys today. And he just told me to fall off the back whenever I wanted. So I did.

And soon the tears and snot were flying. I HATE failing. And I felt like a failure for not being able to hang with those guys for the whole ride. Or not wanting to hang with those guys. But truth was, it was supposed to be a long recovery ride for me. We pulled in a driveway and he let me gather my wits. Gosh, what a girl!

Within minutes we were back on the roads. And we rode and rode and rode. Up hills, through the country, into the wind. He let me hang on his wheel when my legs started suffering. We stopped for peanut butter crackers and more water. And on the way toward home, he took me to a point that was through the worst part of the traffic.

Six hours later, I was home. And in dire need of real food. And a nap with the pup. She missed me too.

All in all, it was an amazing weekend. The rain held off until dark. And the sun actually made an appearance. And I got some quality time in the saddle. And on the track. And with friends and training partners. I learned a little bit about myself and listening to my body.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I'm not a cyclist for real

After a pre-swim shake-out run and then a 4k Masters practice and work, I joined a group leaving from the LBS that's just two blocks from my apartment. I was seriously afraid to join the "fast group", but also didn't really like the look of the crowd that was headed out for the casual ride. (Wow. That sounds so snobby. But it's true.) So, I went for it with the fast dudes.

A few telling signs that it's still very early in the season: a group of 12 males cyclists and half of them have leg hair. Pace groups broke out quickly. And i was in the lead pack. The faces of many were bright red due to increased HR and blood pressure after about 15 minutes of steady riding.

At one point, we came to an intersection and didn't know which way to go. As we waited for the group leader (and directions), we began to soft pedal toward the direction from which we came. When we spotted them coming, it was time for a U-turn. At which point I unclipped and made a granny-style U-turn. One of the guys kinda smirked/giggled at this move. That's when I stated "I'm not a cyclist for real". To which he replied "Well, you're fooling a lot of the guys tonight."

We then headed up a rather steep hill. I dropped into my small chain ring and started the grind up. My chain slipped and almost sent me head first over my handlebars.

This happened again after I took a pull and we again headed up hill. Small chain ring, chain slipped. This time, several of the guys saw it. Kinda freaked. I popped it back up to the big ring and carried on, got a pull from my buddy to the front again and hammered home.

Back at the LBS, buddy took a look at my chain to see if it was stretched or scratched. And that's when I kinda picked the bike up. And heard a slight rattle from the rear end.

And realized my back wheel wasn't locked in!!!

That could've been bad. And I felt like a total retard. But a very lucky retard. Note to self- change out the trainer spindle when taking the bike off the trainer. This will more likely ensure the wheel is locked on.

So, no, I'm not a cyclist for real. But I've been riding a lot. I rode last night with my buddy, Ackerman. We went to Ault Park, where they hold crits during the summer, to ride intervals.

I'd ridden hard the night before. And I ran an hour that morning. My legs were not fresh. And we had 15 loops to complete. Our loops started on the downhill, flattened and finished on an uphill. We used the top flat for recovery. Each loop took just over two mins.

After about ten, Ackerman told me that "In the spirit of the Holiday..." (really? St. Patrick's Day is an official holiday now?) he had a treat for me after the ride. This was supposed to encite motivation. Knowing him and his hippy ways, I knew this "treat" must entail beer.

We finished the intervals (and my legs cried for joy), did a cool down and as we were packing up our gear, he pulled out a bottle and pops the top of some Irish Ale home brew. He wrapped it in a t-shirt to conceal our wrong-doing. I was taking a swig when I heard "Hey!!"

I immediately looked to the left and saw...Aaron, our swim coach. And I yelled "ohhhh....busted!" At this point, I wasn't sure he knew to what I was referring. I got the feeling he may have thought we were making out or something. He waltzed over and introduced us to his fiance as Ackerman offered him some home brew. He declined, siting something about germaphobia. And then he audibly made the assumption we would not be attending Masters in the morning.

Let's just say I made it to practice. And Aaron took it easy on us. But you wouldn't know it because one of the guys actually split his shorts!

Monday, March 15, 2010

On being a wimp.

Admittedly, we, here in Cincinnati, have been spoiled the last week with sunny skies and 60+ degree temps. Alas, all good things must end...

I left work on Friday to go meet my mom and niece for a mani/pedi and dinner when the skies opened up and dumped some rain. And hail. Lightning flashed across the sky. It was beautiful!

After a foot scrub, rub, painting and too much Mexican, I was back home and in bed for the big day of racing on Saturday.

Make that the big day of racing in the rain...or the big day of racing that wasn't mean to be.

The 5 miler was easy enough. Anyone can run in the rain. It's the rain and 45 degrees that isn't so fun. It was bearable though. This was a prediction type run, with staggered starts. It's been quite an epic week of training...and I had the intention of riding the 40k TT after, so I adjusted my sights to a 7:15 pace. And then I could barely get any food down that morning. I still felt steak fajita in my belly.

I warmed up for a few miles, changed into tri storts so I wouldn't be distracted with my running shorts riding up with the rain and all...and put on my Zoot racers and I was off!

I started out really relaxed. And hit the mile marker at 6:39. Hmm...I'm not exactly on that 7:15 pace...Oh well...mile 2, I see 13:something. Mile 3, 20:23. I slowed down a bit then to talk to a fellow runner who was attempting to explain the rules of this fun run (yeah, i'm not the greatest listener...). And then I see my buddy...who was suppose to join for the race, but apparently overslept. I shout "You're late!!!" as he's running toward me and as he asks what kind of pace we're running, to which I responded "6:40s" (I'm also not great at math when running.) He starts laughing... And then checking his Garmin to get us to that 6:40 pace. It hurt. And as he was telling me to "push it" that last mile, all I could retort was "easy for you to say". He'd only run like 1.25 miles at that pace.

And before I knew it, it was over. 34:02. 6:48 pace. Not bad. Especially after the week of training that'd been had.

We (my two teammates and I) made an executive decision to bag the TT due to the wet road conditions (it'd been raining for about 15 hours at that point). So, I went home to enjoy the trainer. An hour spinning and an hour with Coach Troy and Spinervals 2.0 Time Trial.

I think I fell asleep on the couch after some food and a shower.

I awoke and hit the grocery. And ended the evening with some Rainbow Sherbet. I'd forgotten what a delicious (sugary) treat it is!

And up early to head to Dayton for a long ride with the race team more rain. The worst of it being north of us. So, I got it in my head that I'd make it a long ass trainer day. Like a 5-6 hour trainer ride day. Hour one was spinning, getting the legs loose. Hour two included a min of stomps every five. Hour three, we transitioned from TV to iPod. And into aero for some longer sets. At the end of hour three, I made my way to the kitchen for a bagel slathered in pb and honey and a banana, water refills and then a potty break. I was back in the saddle in less than 10 mins. Hours four and five included some tempo work and more stomps (to keep from going totally numb...and totally bored)...and some texting and FB checking (having the internet at my fingertips is amazing!)

After five hours, my wooha just couldn't take any more. And I'd soaked through a hand towel. Not to mention my sports bra. And I was smelling pretty ripe. Ok, very ripe.

Food and one of the best showers ever and I (again) fell asleep on the couch. This time, at 7:30. Which, pre-time change was only 6:30. Lame. And I felt like I was dragging a piano in the pool this morning. But my times were on, so whatever.

I had this epiphany this morning as I was listening to the radio this morning on my way home from the gym. They said Cincinnati has been voted the "Craziest city". No wonder I can't see to escape.

Friday, March 12, 2010

big weekend

Spent another night dripping sweat on the trainer last night. Got up for a run this morning. It was crazy foggy.
I noticed i had droplets of water all over my face. But it wasn't really sweat. More like condensation. It was 43 degrees. When I got home, I even had little pearls of water on my lashes. Weird.

Anyway, tomorrow is the first time trial of the season. 40k. And it will be preceeded by a lengthy run (of which 5 miles is a race). Let's hope it stays dry!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Death by Sweat

Yesterday morning I was on the trainer by 5:30 am for a 2 hour ride. That included 20x (1min hard, 1 min easy) which is way way more difficult than it sounds. Particularly after track work the previous night.

Anyway, I'm on the trainer, with my typical set up - TV on low volume, iPod, phone and remote in the bento box, gatorade in the water bottle - minus my towel. And I was sweating. And sweating. And sweating. What I didn't realize was that all this sweat was dripping right down into the crevices of the electronic components of my (old school flip) phone. I the iPod always gets sweat on. In fact, the last one died due to too much sweat. Now, I have a gel skin. Helps a ton. I should've noted that.

So, hair dripping and clothes saturated, I finish my bike and crawl to the floor to stretch. And open my phone. To a completely blank screen. I open the battery compartment. Water (or sweat, actually) droplets.
I tried to dry it out.
Then it wouldn't turn on at all.
I killed the phone, like it had been dunked in a bucket of water, with the sweat dripping from my head. And upper body. Hot. I know.

So, I finally succumbed to the smart phone phenom. I can't wait to see what this does for my productivity at work. Facecrack and email at my fingertips. Not to mention GPS, the weather, entertainment news, blogs...dear God!

In other news, the circus is in town. I only know because I saw all the hoopla while I was out for a run last night. Oh, how nice it was to run easy. And to actually laugh (heartily) at the cop who, playfully, accused me of using the stop light (and massive amounts of traffic) for a break. Clearly, he does not know me and how I used to yell at Tom "Why are you stopping? We don't WALK! You can slow down to a jog that's slower than a walk, but we DO NOT stop!!!".

Back to the circus...there were also picketers out. I really feel horribly for those animals. I can't imagine they're treated well. And having to be on the road all the time? ugh. It turns my stomach just thinking about it...

Or maybe it's the ice cream I had for dinner last night? Yeah, that whole nutrition thing has to be put into effect soon! I was all anxious about a screw up I made at work. Anxiety craves comfort food.

But it, seemingly, turned out to be great fuel for for my morning Masters practice. (ok, probably not). We did lots of stuff. Kicking. And swimming. And swimming fast. And more kicking. And swimming long on cruise. And swimming fast again. And swimming non-free. And then...we raced. And I busted out a 1:12, my fastest timed 100 to date!

To all of you who have asked about the nutrition stuff, Carmichael has some great info!! I (obviously) have yet to apply it, but it has made me think even more about how I'm fueling myself for specific workouts. And what foods are best for a given training session. I haven't really cracked Matt Fitzgerald's book yet, but from what I've heard, it's got great info too. I'll post additional thoughts when I get some time. For now, I have to go correct that mistake from yesterday...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Currently, it is SUNNY!!!
And 54!!!
It's supposed to rain later. And I have track work to do. And I don't even care. I love that smell. And I'll gladly splash in puddles so long as I can wear shorts. And sweat. Outside.

This week will go down as my biggest yet if I can manage all the sessions. And it's only the first in this 3-week build. And I'm really excited about that! I feel great coming off that recovery week. That lethargic feeling has left and my legs feel fresh and I feel rested. Even if my core feels as though it's been through the ringer.

Saturday was a nice long ride with the boys. We got lost. Not a big deal for me since I didn't have anything going on later that day, but a couple of the guys actually had time constraints. And I think our leader may have actually had to sleep on the couch that night...Here are the guys. We stopped in a parking lot to determine our location. And how to return to our destination in a timely manner.  
After over five hours on the roads (and finally warming up), it was to the grocery for food. I swear, I spend more on food than I do on rent. Have I mentioned that before?

Anyway, I picked up Chris Carmichael's Food for Fitness over the weekend and after eating, I put my legs up and got engrossed in reading about nutrition and it's importance for us athletes. I guess I finally got frustrated enough with starting out the training blocks all disciplined and eating well (and therefore feeling great) only to find myself eating ice cream and chocolate and pizza by the end...and feeling, well, tired. (i realize that tired isn't exclusively due to intake, but it does play a role. and a big one, i believe). It's very interesting. I also have Matt Fitzgerald's Racing Weight on the way.

Sunday morning was full of cleaning and catching up on things typically set aside (until the next recovery week) and a long-ish run and sunshine and warmth and a gym visit and core work and lying on the couch with the pup and just really relishing the weekend.

Because Monday started with Spinervals and developed into work meetings, a work lunch, more work, and then a work dinner. With lots of race car driving games, which was actually a lot of fun. And now, we're delving more into the fun side of training for the remainder of the week!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

10 Random Things

Oh, since he didn't specifically tag anyone, but left the offering open, I'm gonna keep the thing going from RockStarTri's "10 Random Things About Me".

1. I LOVE gumballs. And peanut butter. Not necessarily together.
2. I can't whistle. I've always blamed it on my big lips. 
3. I am so. overly. sensitive.
4. At least a couple times a week, I have very vivid, somewhat disturbing dreams.
5. I was a fat kid. My parents took me to a dietician when I was in 4th grade. I learned how to eat well at a very young age.
6. I read my horoscope almost daily. Today's? Have you been walking or exercising too much lately, Amanda? If so, you might be experiencing aching feet and leg muscles today. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and stay off your feet as much as you can in order to allow the strains to heal. At some point you might want to relax in a hot tub or jacuzzi - preferably with a romantic partner! This is a great way to turn a disadvantage into a great time! Enjoy! I find it ironic, but not particularly significant since the only hot tub I know is at the gym where I swim. In the women's locker room. And I like men.
7. Yes. I like men. Particularly if they're bad. Or bad for me. But if he can't spell he hasn't a chance in hell.
8. If I could, I would live in jeans, a tank and flip flops. Ya know, when I'm not swim/bike/running...
9. I have 30+ pairs of heels. I also have bunions in both feet. Not a great combination.
10. It is very difficult for me fall asleep without the snoring of my pup.

And now, for tagging, since I never do, how about....Judi (Miles&Madness), Jen (Setting You Free), Aimee (I tri to be me), Missy, Morgan (Redhead Running), Carolina John, Sean in DC, Christi, and anyone else who wants to join in on the fun.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Recovery  (rĭ-kŭv'ə-rē) - A return to a normal condition.

Normal (nôr'məl) - The usual or expected state, form, amount, or degree.

(The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

It's a recovery week. I thought I'd love this, that this week would be fun and light and full of short workouts in which I would feel fresh. I wanted to feel "normal". But I actually had to look up the meaning of the word because I'm still confused on how that's supposed to feel.

Turns out, I'm tired. And bloated. And my legs feel heavy. Is that normal? If so, I prefer to be an outsider.

In training news, we did a 500 for time at Masters practice on Tuesday. I just barely broke the 7min barrier with 6:59.6. It was after about 2k, so I'm not complaining. Much.

Spinervals last night and a run this morning that made me really want a massage.

Other than that, life is rather boring.

I did go to the tanning bed over my lunch break today. Ya know, for the Vit E. And maybe a little because I can't even bear (is that the correct usage, Zen?) to look at myself...bare. The pale pastiness has got to go. And I don't think that Vit E shot kicked in because my thought process on the way back to work went something like this.

[the song "Carnival" was playing on the radio] "hmm...I never really did like Natalie Merchant. Just something about her voice... Why the hell did she leave 10,000 Maniacs? I wonder if her voices grated their nerves too? Who came up with the name 10,000 Maniacs anyway? I wonder what 10,000 maniacs all together would be like...Why have I not yet changed the station? That lady on Jeopardy last night kinda reminded me of Natalie Merchant. She had that kind of hair...that chick was weird...with wanting to start a female accordian band. Smart people usually are weird though. Especially the ones that have such a wealth of useless knowledge. Funny. I know a lot of people like that. Oh, fuck. I have to go back to work. I wonder if my boss will be gone by the time I get back? what the hell is this car doing in front of me? and what kind of license plate is that? seems like i'm seeing a lot of them lately. oh. New Ohio plates. That makes sense. But fuck you for cutting me off. Drive faster if you're going to get in front of me! cut me off again?! I've got to get around this guy. Or lady with short hair. I think I need to grow my hair out. I'm having a horrible hair day. Guess that's why it's also not a gym-at-lunch day. Sheesh! Maybe i'm just going to start my period? Wouldn't that be a relief? That would explain why I feel like a fucking heffer. But no, it's probably just the whole recovery week thing. Amazing how just a week ago I was feeling fit and invincible. I need the's supposed to be 50 and sunny....and we're supposed to ride outside. Oh, that will be nice..."

Monday, March 1, 2010

BFE, Tennessee

Went down south for a little hill work in the Appalachians this weekend. Wheels down at 2pm. There were seven of us to start. We hit some rollers. And regrouped about 50 mins in.

And then it was up, up, up the Cherohala Skyway....
A few guys took off. I passed one just before snapping this shot of the 3,000 ft marker.

 It was constant uphill for about 90 mins. And as we climbed, it got colder.
But there were some great views.
We hit the TN/NC border and headed back down. It was a long, cold, fast way down! And we'd worn out one of the guys, so he headed home. Left us with six.

The next morning, it wasn't so warm. And the sun was hiding, so we opted to stay low and hammer some rollers. It was all farm country. And I'd never seen so many off-leash, unfenced dogs come running after cyclists in all my life. One rider got a flat soI took the opportunity to pee. I saw a little wooden dog house looking thing. I figured I'd just go squat behind it. Wrong. Out come the roosters. Cock-a-doodle-doodle-ing. No joke. I opted for a bush across the street.

Apparently, it's normal (and fun!) to ride your road bike up these steep gravel fire roads, so that's how we ended the ride. Again, we re-grouped at the top before heading back down...
...and again crossing the roadkill that seemed to gather at the bottom.