Thursday, April 30, 2009

Can't Get Everything Done!

5 minutes of work
  • 1. Push up on knees (3 min, 1 more time down)
  • 4. Scap pull up
  • 2. Curl (20-lb bar)
  • 6. Crate crunch
  • 3. Standing ham
  • 5. Wall squat
OK, so I did not complete them in the order Will prescribed (numbered is completed, listed is prescribed), but I did them all. And except for the push up, I did all 5 minutes with no rest. I really tried to focus on racing while doing so. For example, during the wall squat, all I was thinking about was the route of the Sumner County race on Saturday. I looked at my notes from last year and then remembered what else I could. There's one big hill about 4 miles from the end, and I just visualized myself climbing that hill and staying with if not leading out the group. And I barely moved!

Since I had to sign a new lease and pay bills, I wasn't able to get on the bike (probably a good thing, since I still can't comfortable wear shoes), so I didn't do the hour ride. You'd think that without being able to run and being barely able to ride, I'd be getting a lot more swimming in, but I can't get into the pool in the afternoons and I've been sleeping in in the mornings. Hopefully next week will change that.

Off to Inversion to learn about bitterness (bad!) vs. forgiveness (good!) and chat with Jen about the race. I still have a lot of work to do regarding the way I talk about racing and training; I forget until after that I need to give God credit; He's the One who's given me the talent and desire that I have to race, and I want to let others know!

My leg muscles are really tight, but hopefully I'll loosen up soon.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rough Workout

I slept in through the swim (actually, I got up in time, read my Bible for breakfast, and got dressed, but then I went back to sleep) and stopped at the Y to run the 45 minutes (with at 10 min, insert 3x3 min Z4 @ 1 min jog). I warmed up, did the intervals, and then ran the rest of it in socks. My toe was hurting me! Then Will had said to do 10x30 seconds, lunge with RL, glute ham with reps to the top, altitude drop push up, altitude drop curl, and crate crunch. Here's what I managed:
  • Wall squat: I tried the first RL, called Will, and said no way, too much pain. He said do wall squat. I did it like it was the only one I was going to accomplish, and for some reason, it's the only one I accomplished.
  • Glute ham: I tried two reps and my toe was causing me trouble again.
  • Standing ham: 5 minutes of work. Met Abdul; talked to him about hamstring stretches.
  • Push up: 1. I was not focused.
  • Curl: 2. I was not focused and couldn't make myself work hard without the manual hold.
  • Crate crunch: This I did at home while listening to Odyssey. I did it all.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Dreaming and the Imagination

I'm currently reading a book on stimulating your imagination and imaging a lot of things to help you improve. I'm only in the introduction and will probably write a full review when I finish, but it has started my thinking process, which I always like!

As I was reading it yesterday, I had racing in mind. The encouragement was to imagine what you are going to do so that when you're in the situation, you'll have been there (it says that your nervous system doesn't know the different between mentally being there and physically being there). My concern was that if I start regularly imagining my races, I'll never sleep because I'll never be able to turn off my imagination. I wondered if it was an irrational fear; yes, it probably is.

However, last night I went to sleep at 9:40 and woke up to my alarm at 5:10. During that time, I had four dreams after which I awoke: 12:30, 1:30, 3:30, and 5:10. I didn't record the 12:30 dream until 1:30 because it was short, but then I recorded the next 3 when I woke up. Each took me about 15 minutes to write out (and I omitted A LOT from at least one of them), and then it took between 15–30 minutes to get back to sleep after the first 3. So in the 7.5 hours in bed, I was awake for at least 1.5 and at most 2 hours. So maybe it's a rational fear after all!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Time in the Sun!

Since yesterday was the marathon, I took today off by sitting out at the pool and then watching Zach and Will play tennis for a few hours. I hit a few times with will but since I was only in sandals, I wasn't much into it. It was fun to be a spectator!

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Marathons require so much less gear than triathlons!
After my normal race-morning breakfast of oatmeal with a banana (and dark-chocolate cocoa instead of brown sugar), I headed to downtown Nashville for the pre-race festivities. They had some massage tables set up and were getting athletes ready for the race. I got there early enough not to have to wait and ended up with the same lady who’d worked on me after the Purity 10K. What are the chances? They also had bananas, Cytomax, water, muffins, cookies, and bars. I couldn’t believe how many people were eating what was there; didn’t they have a pre-race plan? Oh, well. I headed toward my corral around 6:40 (after twice visiting a port-a-potty! And running into Larkin) and looked for a 3:40 marathon pace group. The only pacer in my corral was a 1:45 half marathon (3:30 marathon), so I thought I’d just stay with him for as long as I could and go from there.

The start line...Corral 1 is off!

Some guy asked if it made the marathon easier following a 1:45 pacer; I said I hoped so!

I stayed with the pacer for the first 8 miles, which I hit at 64 minutes. Perfect! First 4 splits:
  • 15:18
  • 16:06
  • 16:06
  • 17:03
After 8, I knew I had another 8 to go on my own (3 still with the half-marathoners and 5 through the most boring part of the route: MetroCenter) and then 4 more back on the road before I’d meet up with Anna and run the final 6 with her. I hit the half at a very respectable 1:49—perfect for a 3:40 finish if I could continue running that pace!
  • 00:17:07
  • 00:18:16
  • 00:09:26
  • 1:49 at the half
  • 00:07:47
  • 00:19:24
The next 4 were harder than I’d hoped and I ended up walking through all the aid stations. I desperately wanted to hit mile 20 at 10:15 (I just missed). I didn’t realize that we’d meet up with the half-marathoners again just before mile 20 (their mile 12) and it got quite congested. But the new route meant that we didn’t get as close to the finish line as we had in the previous years. I actually enjoyed this new route. They did add a hill during mile 3 on Demonbreun, but I barely noticed it.

The elevation as advertised on the website
  • 00:09:38
  • 00:11:57
  • 00:21:38
Anna said she was a good spotter, but we chose a corner to meet at so that I could look for her, too. She saw me almost 0.2 miles before I reached her, and I was so happy to see her! We made our way toward Shelby Park (my other least favorite part) and I was watching the clock thinking I could still make 4 hours. Yet I couldn’t keep myself running for the whole time, even though we could see all the mile markers. The route through Shelby Park was almost 1.5 miles shorter than it was last year, and I was so happy. Around mile 25, I saw my teammates (Jay, Brian, Laura, Karin, and another rider), and they rode most of the last mile with me. So great! Then just before the finish line I saw Will and Nancy. Wonderful! I turned the corner and tried to pick it up as much as possible; I managed to pass one girl in the final tenth.
  • 00:09:58
  • 00:10:40
  • 00:10:03
  • 00:10:42
  • 00:11:04
  • 00:10:47
  • 00:01:54
  • 4:07:54 total
After I finished, I headed straight for the med tent to get some ice and tape for my ridiculous blisters (Will said one looked like another toe!). I would like to figure out a way to quit getting blisters. I saw Anna and Josh walking past and asked one of the girls spreading ice water on my legs (they wouldn’t do massages; I have no idea why) to run and get her. We walked through the finishers area, got a finishers picture, got whatever swag was there (drinks, bagels, pretzels, etc.), and headed toward the gear bags.

Sweet finishers medals, with an X for the tenth year and guitars for Music City

We ran into Will, got my clean clothes, and as I sat down to put my sandals on I got a cramp. I never get cramps…it was the weirdest thing on the outside of my upper thigh.

I had parked at the start line (I like to have access to my car), so Will and Nancy drove me back there. I tried to relax when I got home and forced myself to ice my feet again and then lay down with my feet/legs up for an hour. I’ll probably be happy tomorrow, but I didn’t sleep at all. Naps are so overrated!

The whole time, I was thinking about two verses.

  1. Proverbs 24:10 “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.”
  2. Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
My strength is small, especially if I try to do something on my own. But Christ’s strength surpasses anything I could ever even imagine, and I drew on that strength throughout the whole race. No, I didn’t qualify for Boston; I didn’t even make it under 4 hours. But I did my best and tried to glorify God throughout the whole race. I did not faint, and I made it one step closer to finishing under 4 hours and eventually qualifying for Boston (3:40).

Oh, and I set a 9-minute PR. Awesome!

Official splits
Bib. Time... O'all SexPl DivPl Pace Ttldiv Ttlsex 5 Km. 10 Km 10 Mi.. Half... 20 Mi
4156 4:07:53 714.. 171.. 59... 9:28 469... 1801.. 24:16 49:15 1:21:47 1:52:17 3:02:43

Bib.. Time... O'all SexPl DivPl Pace Ttldiv Ttlsex 5K... 6Mi.. 10Mi... Half... 20Mi
14252 4:16:40 1848. 577.. 167.. 9:48 479... 1926.. 27:50 52:51 1:28:41 1:58:28 3:08:09

2009 total finishers: 4136
2008 total finishers: 4401

OK, so I like statistics. Here are some from Saturday's race compared to the same race in 2008:

2009 Time ................ 2008 Time
4:07:53 .................. 4:16:40

2009 Age group place ..... 2008 Age group place
59 of 469 (top 12.5%) .... 167 of 479 (top 34%)

2009 Sex place ........... 2008 Sex place
171 of 1801 (top 9%) ..... 577 of 1926 (top 30%)

2009 Overall place ....... 2008 Overall place
714 of 4136 (top 17%) .... 1848 of 4401 (top 42%)

So I didn't only cut off 9 minutes, I beat 20% or more people!

The route and elevation from mapmyrun
Psalm 115:1 "Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but to Your name give glory, because of Your mercy, because of Your truth."
Proverbs 25:28 "Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls."

Friday, April 24, 2009

Swim #10; Off Riding and Running

Fridays are "leave work early!" days, and it was fabulous today. Not complaining, but I will be thrilled when the MFY outdoor pool opens and I can swim outside instead of inside at Brentwood!
  • 500 wu
  • 8×50 dr
  • 7×125 @ 20 sec (2:20, 2:21, 2:24, 2:25, 2:26, 2:25, 1:56)
  • 7×75 @ 15 sec (1:35, 1:28, 1:31, 1:30, 1:30, 1:29, 1:27)
  • 8×50 dr
  • 300 cd (5:35)
And finally, another workout with Will. It's been 3 continuous weeks, and it has been so nice having him around. I'm again going to be sad to see him leave :-(
  • 5 on, 10 off thru 30
  • Lunge
  • Standing extreme ham
  • Push up on knees
  • Curl (10-lb dumbbells)
We went through these just to get me loose for tomorrow and then visualized the race. I'm getting better at this; I've been trying to think about it all week, and I think that's helped. Tomorrow's goals are to finish between 3:40 and 4:00, run a negative split, qualify for Boston (3:40 time), have fun, and run my best. Oh, and not walk a mile like I have in the past.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Marathon Taper Continues...

1 mi easy
2 mi @ 8:23

That's all I did. How fantastic!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Windy Ride

18.18-mi ride
Max 31 mph
Avg 18.6

At 16 miles, my average was 18.9
Windy, windy, windy, but 70+ degrees
I tried to keep a high cadence (high is relative for me; it was probably around 91–100)
10-min run/walk (marathon Saturday and the second run of the week is tomorrow, but I couldn’t do nothing)

Swimming Tips

USA Triathlon had some great swimming advice in their latest email; it's great for beginners and pros alike.

"If you ever stop learning, you stop living."

Swimming 101

Swimming is all about learning to relax while focusing on technique and form. Think of one or two things at a time. If you get too many techniques or pointers going at once, your stroke will fall apart. Find your favorite song and sing. Count how many strokes it takes to get across the pool. Should be around 18–26 depending on arm length. Enjoy the swim…

Body position

  • Balanced
    1. Swim downhill
    2. Streamlined—like a torpedo
  • Body rides high in the water with hips up
  • Swimmer rotates from side to side along axis (spine—belly button toward side of pool.

Head position

  • Neutral head position
  • Head should be kept still with eyes looking forward & slightly up.
  • Body rotates around the head


  • Breath taken after body rotates to the side
  • Keep head as close to the water as possible: small air pocket if rotating at proper time = no mouth or nose full of water
  • Should alternate side breathing, right to left side. Every 3–5 strokes


  • Flutter kick starts at the hip, not knees
  • Ankles are relaxed and feet pointed
  • Flutter is breaking the surface if the water

Entry/ catch

  • Hand enters the water in front if shoulder, pinky slightly rotated
  • Hand extends forward
  • High elbow
    1. Hand anchors below water
    2. Elbow must not drop
    3. Like pulling over a barrel or keg

Pull pattern

  • Body moves over the anchored hand- which stays stationary
  • Maintain high elbows with palm facing body
  • Keeping midline: keeping right hand on right side of body and not passing your nose
  • Pull under the body 90–100 degree angle
  • Finish pull to thigh

Recovery—above the water

  • Hand leaves the water followed by the elbow
  • High elbow above the hand
  • Hand & elbow should be relaxed—spaghetti arms
  • Arms—aren’t in total opposition or windmills.

Kate Schnatterbeck, founder of Tri-umph, Inc. has specialized in athletic training, personal and multisport training and has been training and educating athletes since 1992. Kate has a degree in Corporate Fitness with an emphasis in Cardiac Rehabilitation and a minor in Sports Medicine. She is a Nationally Certified Athletic Trainer, USA Triathlon Certified Coach, American Swimming Coaches Association certified, Schwinn instructor and previously coached NCAA swimming. Visit

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Swim #9; 6×400

Since I added the 500 (and am now up to 3,500 per session, or 10.5K [6 miles] per week, I've been having to start earlier and earlier every morning to get everything done, which means early to bed, too!
  • 500 warmup
  • 8×50 drill
  • 200-300-400-500 @ 45 seconds rest
    • 200: 3:13
    • 300: 5:06
    • 400: 6:59
    • 500: 8:55
  • Average 100 times:
    • 200: 1:36.5
    • 300: 1:42
    • 400: 1:44.75
    • 500: 1:46.8
  • 8×50 drill
  • 300 cooldown (4:45 with flippers)
I got progressively slower, which isn't good; I guess I have to work on that!

The Music City Marathon is this weekend, so it's pretty much a taper week. That means fewer workouts with Will and less running, and I'm grateful for the fewer hours (even if it means a little more pressure or expectation for Saturday's race). The IM run workout was 45 minutes with @ 10 min, 5-min Z4), and the marathon run workout was 10–20-minute warmup, 6×400 @ 400 RI, 10-min cooldown. I chose the marathon workout and it ended up being 45 minutes. Perfect!
  • 15–18-min warmup
  • 1:35, 1:39, 1:39 (I got worried after these two, because I was going to do 6 @ 1:39 no matter how many total I had to do), 1:35, 1:35, 1:33
  • Rest intervals of between 2:45 and 3:05
  • 10-minute cooldown
I chose to not go to the track and to do this on the road, which meant a slightly hilly course (and by "slightly" I mean that—it wasn't much at all, but you can feel it when you're sprinting) and a little wind to contend with. The wind was strongest and totally against me for 2 and 3, but either it let off for the remaining 3 or I pushed through it; I'd like to think it's the latter!

Then, it was off to Ben and Jerry's for free ice cream (who wouldn't want free ice cream from a choice of 10 flavors, of which I choose the Oatmeal Cookie Crunch). I ran into Brenda, Stacia, and Angie, Robin's friends who I hadn't seen it forever, so that was nice, and saw Karthi and Davey, too. It seemed all of Franklin headed downtown for the freebies.

Monday, April 20, 2009

3x30 seconds

We had to use all dumbbells, so it was a little different, but it was still hard!
  • Lunge (45 lb)
  • 1-leg squat (25–45 lb)
  • 10 push ups
  • Glute ham (no weight)
  • Squat (25 lb)
  • 10 push ups
  • Push up (25 lb first, then 45, then 50): He had the 25 first and put it on my back, and I said he could let go of it. I didn't realize what weight he had and told him after the first set that I usually use a 45-lb plate, so we upped the weight.
  • Curl (20-lb dumbbells)
  • Scap pull up (no weight)
Since Will has been home, he hasn't been giving me a month's worth of work so that I know what I'll be doing. Usually I ask just before we start so at least I have an idea (I like to know what's coming; my dad always said that if you're going to give information or preach or teach or anything, you should 1) Tell them what you're going to tell them, 2) Tell them, and 3) Tell them what you told them; I use that philosophy when I listen, too!). Today reminded me why I like to know and be prepared.

As I noted above, we started with the lunge. I did the right leg fabulously and set the weight down to wait for the next rep. Will just looks at me and then reminds me that I have to do the next leg right away. So I commit, step into the lunge, and am just about to start working when he does this crazy limping/running thing and says, "You don't want to be running like this, do you?" I about lost it. Dropped the weight and had to start over. We there was focus lapse number one.

For the curl, we were trying to decide how much weight to use. I couldn't remember what I'd used last time so we went with 20-lb dumbbells. He says that's good since we don't have a 45-lb bar. I usually use a 30-lb bar, if even that, because I don't have anyone to help me (it's not as heavy as I can do, which is the point of this exercise). I don't want to not be able to lift it up and thus drop it on my shins. So he suggests that I just drop one end; that would be so much easier. Oh, yeah, I'd never even thought of that. Struggles.

This was a fun workout; not as focused and serious as usual, and there was a lot of rest time to chat.

Ironman Training Guide

Ironman Training Guide (Google Docs)

The Man Who Thinks He Can

If you think you are beaten, you are
If you think you dare not, you don't
If you'd like to win, but think you can't
It's almost certain you won't

If you think you'll lose, you've lost
For out of the world we find
Success begins with a fellow's will –
It's all a state of mind.

If you think you're outclassed, you are
You've got to think high to rise
You've got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.

Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man
But sooner or later the man who wins
Is the one who thinks HE CAN.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ride then Rain-Run...Preparation for Rain-Races

  • 30-min ride (trainer) at 100+ cadence (every time I figured out my cadence, I was at or above 100!)
  • 0:1:30 transition
  • 1:12 run in the rain
I timed to all the corners, but the only time I was really paying attention to was from Mallory/Moores to Moores/Landings: 0:05:00 to the gravel spot on Moores; 0:6:53 to the corner (~0.9 mi)
8.88 miles (which is 7:54-min/mi pace)

It wasn't raining when I started on the trainer, but it had been so I didn't want to start on the road. It started raining while I was riding and I considered going down to the workout room, but I was committed to going outside and had my shoes and visor all ready. So I hit the road, and it ended up being a pretty good run after all! The whole time, I was thinking, "This is the last 10K (or whatever) of the marathon...just keep doing what you're doing and running hard and you'll make it through Shelby Park and get within sight of the stadium and not walk."

Usually I give myself 1 mile where I let myself walk if I want (like mile 18 or 19). This time I'm going to continue running the whole time; there will be no walk mile. Walking would take me something like 16 or 17 minutes depending on how tired I felt, and that would pretty much negate anything I'd done over the previous miles. Plus I'll know that people will be at the finish line expecting me to finish in a certain amount of time, and I'll hopefully have a friend waiting for me around mile 20 to finish the final and hardest 6 miles with me. Praise God for amazing friends!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Long ride and manual holds...ouch!

Here are the stats from my nice long Saturday morning ride, which I started in the sun and ended in the clouds (sad day!)
  • 37.07 mi
  • 48 max mph
  • 2:17 h
  • 16.5 avg (17.1 until a few mi before Lynnwood)
  • 15-min run

10×10 sec manual holds, 2 sets
  • Vertical jump into lunge
  • Glute ham, reps all the way up
  • Curl
  • Push up (altitude drop)
As positive as Will is, I think he gets frustrated with me because I don’t go fast enough. Like between the lunges; I don’t know exactly what I was thinking, but I get light-headed and have to catch my breath, and it takes me a little longer to go into the next one. He kept telling me to go. Then the same thing for the push ups. But he is definitely teaching me to be positive and encouraging me to go to the Word and see what God says about words and everything.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Swim #8; Tennis

  • 500 wu
  • 8×50 dr
  • 10×50 @ 15 sec (0:41 [0 sec], 0:59, 0:58, 0:59, 1:00, 1:00, 1:00, 0:59, 1:01, 1:01)
  • 4×100 @ 20 sec (1:53 [15 sec], 1:55, 1:57, 1:56)
  • 10×50 @ 15 sec (1:06 [20 sec], 1:02, 1:02, 1:02, 1:02, 1:02, 1:02, 1:03, 1:02, 1:02 [started 2 seconds later than all the others])
  • Total: 28:11 (this includes all the rest intervals)
  • 8×50 dr
  • 300 cd
  • Total: 58 minutes
Average of the first 10×50: 59 seconds, minus 16 seconds for the rest intervals, equals 43 seconds
Average of the 4×100: 1:56, minus 21 seconds for the rest intervals, equals 1:34
Average of the first 10×50: 1:01, minus 16 seconds for the rest intervals, equals 45 seconds
The last sets of 50 were an average of 2 seconds slower than the first.
There was a variance of 4 seconds (fastest: 41 sec [1st one]; slowest: 45 seconds [9th and 10th ones] in the first set.
There was a variance of (fastest: 1:34 [2nd one]; slowest: 1:37 [1st one]

Then, instead of running the hour I was supposed to, I played tennis for a couple hours. Fun times! Out to eat with Davey and Lauren, then off to the park, then to a Sara Groves concert.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Swim #7; Ride

  • 500 wu
  • 8×50 drill
  • 16×25 @ 10 seconds rest: all were between 19 and 21 seconds (most at 20 sec) (last time, #3, 3-19-09, none was below 20 seconds)
  • 600 pull: 11:15 (this seems very slow! and I took a 60-sec RI even though none was on the list)
  • 16×25 @ 10 seconds rest: all were between 19 and 21 seconds (most at 20 sec)
  • 8×50 drill
  • 300 cd
  • Main set total time: 28:58
I had to skip the final 300 to make it to work on time. The whole time, I felt really consistent and was really trying to focus on using my legs to kick, keeping my butt up and not dragging, and keeping my chest up and not sinking. Oh, there's so much to think about while swimming!

1:24 bike (Savage Revenge ride at MFY; 50 seconds faster than last time; 20.02 miles; 1012 calories; average power: 170)

at 15 min in, 5x1 min PU (which mom said is pick up—basically pick up the intensity for 1 minute) @ 1 min spin. I didn’t know what PU was, so I added a little resistance for a minute, and then for the second minute I kept my cadence around 105–115
Bible study
How did I ever have time to play racquetball and workout and make it to Inversion on time?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mental Exercises

Working out with Will has been very beneficial. We get a lot of time to work on technique and skill, and he's helping me take what I work on in the gym out on the road. Today was a fun 5 on, 5 off through 40 workout.
  • Squat (with a bar on the shoulders for reference): I totally fell over on one of them. This was way harder than wall squats because I didn't have the wall to sit against.
  • Glute ham
  • Lunge: Once we got me stepping correctly (fast, not from my heels or landing on my heels, and straight out), I did fine, but that was maybe the last 2 reps.
  • Push up: on feet for all, but I dropped to my knees for the last half of the last 3.
  • Scap pull up: For the last 2 at least, I pretty much had all my weight on the bench; there's no way I could have held myself up. And he wanted me to go right into curl. Hah!
  • Curl: 15-lb dumbbells. Will had to help me on the last 2, and he kept saying that my right shoulder was coming up. More to work on....
Then we did a fun mental exercise, which I definitely need to work on (he said like every day, which tells you how bad I was at it!). First, eyes closed. Then he asked me what my goals are:
  • Finish the Music City Marathon under 4 hours (or 3:40 if I can)
  • Place in my age group in Ironman Louisville and qualify for Hawaii
  • Put aside Ironmans for a little while to focus on Olympic-distance triathlons
OK, so we have a few goals; then we move to IMLoo, the A race for the year. He asks what I have to do to achieve my goal, and I say place high enough in my age group to get one of the allotted slots. Basically it depends on how well I do compared to the other athletes unless I cream the field. He says that sounds like something you do in the kitchen. C'mon, Will, I'm trying to focus here! We establish that I know the course (I did it last year and am familiar enough with it; in fact, I can see most of it in my head after having ridden/run it and watched a video of it last year before the race). He says OK, you're just about to finish the swim; you're getting toward the shore, OK, you're done and heading toward your bike (I'm impressed he knows the correct order!). What are you feeling?

Hungry, I answer, I need food! No, you're feeling strong; you're ready to get on the road on your bike. You've established who you need to pass. Now what are you feeling? I'm ready to go; I want to pass everyone ahead of me but I need to pace myself. I'm focused on pulling and pushing my pedals so that I get the maximum benefit of each pedal stroke. It's the heat of the day; you're moving well, still going strong, using your body efficiently and you've accomplished your goals by passing who you need to pass during the bike. I don't tell him I get passed by the pros in the meantime, but it makes me go faster knowing where they are.

We head toward the end of the bike; now what am I thinking? There are still a few people ahead of me that I'll have to aim for on the run. I know the course; there's only one hill and it's at mile 2. No big deal. Fine, you're off the bike and headed for the final leg of the race. My legs feel like jello. No, that's not positive. OK, I'm going to take the first mile easy, get my legs back, and look ahead to the final 25. He tries to move on to the final half, and I'm still in the first mile, wishing he could come watch the race or do one himself.

Finally I get to the second half of the marathon. What are you feeling? What are you thinking? He has to prompt me here because I'm tired: You're feeling strong, efficient, sharp (he likes that; yeah, you're feeling sharp). I can see that. I've just run one loop, and I know what's waiting for me as I head out for the second loop. I'm not thinking about talking to anyone on the course. I'm not thinking about looking at who's watching the race. I'm thinking about making my legs move, about staying upright and not hunching my shoulders.

OK, you're in the final stretch (I don't know what he thinks is the final stretch, but I'm thinking 10K here: 50 minutes to go). You're lifting and lowering your legs. You're lifting a little higher. There are 3 girls ahead of you; you have to kick a little to catch them. You can see the finish line. I'm thrilled. I kick a little more. I can see the clock: it says 11:10, and I finish before it changes to 11:11 (this is a mental exercise, so I can dream!). I finish and fall into the catchers there (oh, after I do my cartwheel. He laughs.). He asks what happens then. They give me a medal and they take my picture. Then I walk toward the food and massages. I feel accomplished. I did what I had to do; I ran my race. Basically, I'm elated that I'm done.

My first thoughts were. "I'm hungry," and, "My legs feel like jello." Not exactly the most positive thoughts (even if they are true). I will have worked the whole summer for this race; I should be thinking about how all that work will translate to a great race, to my body working like I've trained it to, to my giving my best no matter what. This mental exercise is something I can work on every day.
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:24–27

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Swim #6; 1 h run

This week starts the Build Phase of the swim workouts, which means moving from 2,500 yards/meters to 3,000 per time and adding one swim during the week. All that means for me is getting up earlier to make sure I have time to get it all it.
  • 500 warm up
  • 8×50 drill
  • 4×200 @ 20 seconds (3:18, 3:20, 3:21, 3:21)
  • 6×100 @ 15 seconds (1:34, 1:36, 1:36, 1:37, 1:36, 1:36) (25:55 with the last 15-second RI)
  • 8×50 drill
  • 300 cool down
My 1-hour run was supposed to have, at 15 minutes, 5×1 minute speed, but I forgot that part of it and I don't know really what that means. I'm going to have to break out my reference book to see what it means and what the rest interval should be. Although I didn't have my GPS, I mapped it out on mapmyrun and it looks like it was 7.3 miles, which is an 8:18 pace. The times are at home (Will reset my watch), but the distances at the corners are as follows:
  • Landings/Moores/Franklin: 0.88
  • Franklin/Mallory Station: 2.09
  • Mallory Station/Duke: 2.77
  • Duke/Seaboard: 3.29
  • Seaboard/Mallory Station (turnaround): 3.86
  • Seaboard/Duke: 4.42
  • Duke/Mallory Station: 4.95
  • Mallory Station/GG Patton: 4.99
  • GG Patton/Moores: 6.16
  • Moores/Landings: 6.69
  • Landings at the end: 7.3
Mapmyrun is being really weird. This is the elevation it shows to get out of the Landings:

I haven't figured out how they calculate the actual elevation, because here is the overall elevation plot:

Here are the rest of the elevation plots:

Franklin Road

Mallory Station Road

Duke and Seaboard Lanes

General George Patton Road

Moores Lane

Monday, April 13, 2009

Oh, Struggles

Monday morning hit me hard today. I don't know why, but it definitely wasn't one of my best mornings; I just wasn't understanding what Will was trying to explain. We did sets of 50 altitude drops. I hadn't done them before but had watched him, so I had a general idea, but I couldn't get myself to do each one at top speed. He said think like you're doing only 1; forget that you're doing 50 and do each one as if it's the only one. After the lunges, he said about one-third of them were good; the other two-thirds were slow. It was like after I thought about doing it right and fast I would, but then I would think about something else and not do the reps fast.
  • Lunge
  • One-leg squat
  • Glute ham
  • Wall squat
  • Push up
  • Curl

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Purity 10K

Yeah, not having a reliable internet connection at home means the blogs aren't as nice as normal. But today was a 10K race (my first race at that distance, although I've done tons of 6-mile runs.

Purity Moosic City Dairy Dash 10K
  • 47:12 total (7:37 pace); 7:23, 7:27, 7:29 (22:21), 7:47, 7:47, 7:40, 1:35
  • Sex overall place: 18 of 247
  • Overall place: 74 of 439
  • Age group place: 2 of 58 (we had the largest age group; female 30–34 was the next closest with 46)
  • It was 48° and cloudy at start and finish.
  • The course is pretty flat (through Metrocenter business park and on the Shelby Greenway for a mile or two).
  • It was a loop course (not out and back, so I never saw the leaders).
  • I did not get passed by many people (maybe 10 in the last two miles) and was definitely at the back of the front rather than the front of the back. That’s a good feeling, and it’s way better at the finish; I could actually get a massage without having to wait. Although the girl did say that I should come in for a 1-hour full massage (half price because they’re still in school) because I have lots of knots around my shoulders).
  • The finish had the massage tables, spaghetti or mac’n’cheese and rolls, chocolate milk, ice cream, water, and bananas.
  • The awards ceremony took forever because they did the kids’ fun run, the 5K, and then the 10K.
  • Fastest male: 32:19 (5:13 pace)
  • Fastest female: 36:56 (5:58 pace)
After that, I headed home to get whatever done I could and then headed to Farkases' for the evening. We had fun baking (Lauren made a bunny cake for Easter), sat around, looked at a ton of coupon and saving sites, made pizzas and ate them for dinner, and then played a few games. It was really laid back and different for them, since UJohn is usually at church most of the weekend during holidays.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Oxygen Depletion Workout #3, Swim #5

Today I was so determined to be focused. It helped that Will immediately turned off the TV and there was only one other lady in there working out. It started with breathing on the wall and then the 3 O2 depletion timings. My inhale numbers were all near 70 seconds, so that was almost 10 seconds better than Wednesday. He encouraged me to look at my watch to keep myself focused and working harder, and that definitely worked. I just kept thinking I could hold my breath for longer. Since I was close to 70, he made me do 30-second ISOs and 70 seconds of reps.
  • Lunge: My determination to be focused didn't complete help me today. I had been so focused on doing the reps that when my watch went off signifying that I needed to exhale and then pop up and down quickly, I immediately went into doing the reps and forgot to exhale/inhale. Right leg: repeat. He had to keep reminding me to go fast, and with the reminder I think I succeeded in going quickly. He also said that you should be able to draw a line from the top of your foot toward your big toe, and that's pretty much what should be contacting the ground. When I stand, I put slightly more pressure on the outside of my foot and definitely need to work on that.
  • Glute ham
  • Wall squat: I had to repeat the ISO on this one, too, because I forgot that I wasn't wearing sleeves and I stuck to the wall. On this one, and sometimes on the lunge, my left knee comes in; it is supposed to be straight up and down the entire time.
  • Curl
  • Push up: When I exhale/inhale, I relax, and then it's harder to push up because I'm not in the correct position.
We're trying to figure out how I can ride hard and run fast after, and I mentioned that I was feeling really hunched over this week after riding. Will said to pull my shoulders back (using lats; chest up) right away when I get off the bike, and to really think about it while on the bike. He also said I could try this shudder thing, which is where you turn all your muscles on really fast and then turn them off fast too. If it's really fast and he shows me how to do it, maybe I could try it. But I probably should have mentioned something about how tris are fast and there's not really that much time to think about it during the race.

I headed to the Brentwood Y to swim my straight 2,500, but there were some major storms outside and I got in about 500 (so much for my focus; I was having major trouble counting because of all the kids in the pool and the guy running in the lane next to me and the lifeguards wandering all over. I kept thinking there was going to be a swim lesson and they were going to kick me out. Oh, focus, where were you?).

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Two Problems and Possible Solutions

I'm definitely not liking not having internet access at the apt; hopefully I can do something about that this weekend.

Yesterday I noticed two things that I think Will can help me with if I let him. At least, that will be my goal while we have the chance to workout together (and I have him to push me hard and make sure I'm doing it right).
  1. My cadence on the bike is slow. In other words, I'm not turning the pedals over as quickly as I probably should be and definitely not as fast as some of the other stronger riders. This is due mostly to my desire to power through everything (which means I'm not shifting gears like I should be to make it easier to pedal) and less to my actual ability to pedal quickly. Although powering through isn't all bad, it ends up wasting a lot of energy that I'm going to need while running.
  2. I keep my shoulders up while I run, most notably so when I go immediately from bike to run (which means I'm probably doing the same on the bike). Subconsciously, I must be thinking that it will keep me from leaning forward, and most likely it's the result or cause of my running tense.
Here's where Will comes in.
  1. On the leg exercises (or really all of them), I need him to keep telling me to do the reps fast. Somehow I need that to be drilled into my head (it's getting there, else I probably wouldn't have noticed or thought about my cadence). So even if I say truthfully that I am going as fast as I can, I want him to not let me convince him.
  2. I also need him to keep reminding me to keep my shoulders down. It really is more comfortable to do so, and I don't know why I have such trouble remembering this.
I'm hoping that I can work on these things over the next couple weeks (which are not going to be enough, but I'll take what I can get) and then be able to remember them on my own. Maybe he'll have other ideas, too, that will help.

Here's an interesting note on focus, courtesy of Focus on the Family. Search "Tiger Woods and Focus."

The afternoon ride was decent:
  • 1:15:06 total
  • 22.11 miles (Franklin, Mack Hatcher, Hillsboro, Del Rio, New Hwy 96, Old Charlotte Pike, Del Rio, Cottonwood, Hillsboro, Mack Hatcher, Franklin)
  • 17.6 mph
I tried to keep my cadence around 90 rpm, but I don’t have cadence on my computer and I didn’t calculate it at all. I really need to work on keeping a high cadence. I was also trying to not hunch over, because yesterday after my ride while I was running, I felt really hunched over, I’m sure because that’s how I was riding. I definitely need to work on that!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Oxygen Depletion Workout #2

This morning we did the oxygen depletion thing again, and Will says he doesn’t think I’m getting everything out or holding my breath long enough. Although I want to work hard, I probably am not; my body doesn’t like to be deprived of oxygen and I can’t get past that. He says I can practice it at home, but I think I’m so afraid that I’m going to pass out that I don’t want to do it with no one else around.

Then I did the Harpeth Club bike ride, which was a 22.82-mile route from Cool Springs that took 1:10. We averaged 19.4 MPH; it was a fabulous ride. After a quick transition (that was longer than I was hoping for it to be because people were around talking), I headed out for a 30-minute run. It was 3.5 miles, with the 5K at 26:19 (I walked for a minute after the first mile) and then a slower last couple minutes to cool down. It didn’t feel particularly fast, but I guess without the minute walk it was just about 8-minute miles. For it not being a race, that’s a fairly decent pace for me but it should be faster.
  • Wall squat
  • Glute ham
  • Lunge
  • Push up
  • Curl
  • Crate crunch
(I might have repeated some of this in tomorrow's blog) OK. We have two problems.
  1. I can’t seem to turn the pedals quickly enough. I think my cadence is around 90 RPM, but I was way behind Chris all weekend and today I felt like I just couldn’t keep up with the group no matter what gear I was in.
    • I’m thinking that if Will keeps telling me to do the reps quickly and I actually listen and do so, that might help.
    • Doing the weekly group ride will definitely help push me to move my legs faster.
    • Practicing this while on the trainer (if it rains) will be helpful.
  2. I definitely run tense. And hunched over. Will keeps telling me to keep my shoulders down, and today I could really feel that I had my shoulders up. I kept trying to put them down like he makes me when we’re doing the curl exercise, but then I would inevitably find them up again.
    • Hopefully I can really focus on the way this feels while doing the curl and translate that feeling to the road.
    • I’ll have to ask Will to keep telling me to do it right so that I can feel what “right” feels like.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Swim #4; Quick Run

Swim #4 is 300 wu, 8×50 drills, 1×300@40 seconds, 3×200@30 seconds, 1×300@40 seconds, 8×50 drills, and 200 cd.
  • Today: 300 in 5:07; 3×200 in 3:25, 3:27, 3:27; 300 in 5:22. Total for main set: 22:59
  • 3-19-09: 300 in 5:07; 3×200 in 3:21, 3:26, 3:29; 300 in 5:20
  • 3-3-09: 300 in 5:04; 3×200 in 3:22, 3:22, 3:26; 300 in 5:10
  • 2-12-09: 300 in 5:02; 3×200 in 3:31, 3:29, 3:34; 300 in 5:30
Besides that the 200s were really consistent, there wasn't much variation from the last time, which is encouraging since I haven't been in the pool in over a week. The last 300 obviously needs some work, though, at 15 seconds slower than the first one.

The run after work was 5 miles, sub-45, then I did a little stretching on the flexibility machines at the Donelson Y. Played a little pool at Cragnackers after work, and that was it.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Harpeth Training Camp Weekend; Oxygen Depletion Workout




Breathe 3 times, then exhale everything and hold (nothing) for as long as you can, then inhale and hold that for as long as you can. I was about about 15 seconds and about 60 seconds.

Do an iso for 30 seconds, then exhale everything and do reps for 60 seconds (taking breaths when necessary, which was about 4 times per exercise).
  • Lunge
  • Glute ham
  • Wall squat
  • Push up
  • Curl
This was the weirdest morning. I don't really get the workout. Why would you work with no oxygen besides just for the mental exertion? I wasn't really tired from it, but Will said I could have gone longer and just wasn't pushing myself. We'll probably do the same thing Tuesday, so maybe then will be better. My legs did feel slightly exhausted during the early afternoon, but really not sore or like jello or anything like I had expected after such a hard weekend and then a quick workout.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Saturday's Ride: Unicoi, Jacks, Brasstown, Wolf Pen, Woody's, Neel's, Hog Pen

Six Gap plus Brasstown Bald

Unicoi Gap

Unicoi Gap (up and down)

Jack's Gap with Brasstown Bald in the middle

Brasstown Bald

Wolf Pen Gap and Woody's Gap

Neel's Gap

Hog Pen Gap

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Lovely Early Morning!

Will was all compliments this morning. That pretty much made my day (even if it was at 6am); it's amazing how far good words carry me. We did 6 6 6 EDI, which is on the list for Friday/Saturday but I think he's realized that I probably won't get to it with all the climbing my team (Harpeth Bicycles) and I will be doing.
  • Lunge with Russian Lunge: I still leaned a lot and then tried to compensate when I popped up, and I kept forgetting to dorsa flex my front ankle (someday I'll have to ask why that's critical), but over all the form was good. I think that's because I watched him do it on this video he posted.
  • Glute ham: the first 12 were really good, the next 4 were OK, and the last 2 were good. I'm not sure what happened in the middle.
  • Push up: the first 12 were on my feet, the next 6 on my knees, then I took a breather and did 6 more on my knees. I had to repeat 6 because I kept putting my elbows out when I would push up. I needed help on the first 1 of the each of the first 2 sets, but after that I could come all the way up. He said that keeping my elbows in would help me be stronger and use my shoulders better.
  • Curl: 10-lb weight, one arm at a time. The right arm was slow until he reminded me that I was supposed to be going fast. Then it got in the game and the left arm played along fast. I just kept wanting to raise my opposite shoulder. Again, I'm not sure why, but when he reminded me, I fixed it.
The afternoon held a 45-min bike/15-min run brick. My 45-minute route is taking me less and less time, so eventually I'm going to have to alter it. Today it was 11.55 miles in 40:50 (17 mph average). Two weeks ago when I did this route it took me 43:42, so today was nearly 3 minutes faster than last time, which means either I'm doing the flats/rollers better or I'm getting up Lynnwood Way and North Berry's Chapel a lot better. I had my shoes ready and did a 33-second transition (I left my bike by my car; thankfully no one stole it!). I ran hard approximately 2 miles (from my car, to the right, and then two full loops on the main road) and finished with a cool down for a total of 18 minutes.

This is the route and elevation for the loop. The gradient on North Berry's Chapel doesn't look right; even though it's shorter, I'm sure it's more than that on Lynnwood Way.

Moores Lane/Lynnwood Way/N Berry's Chapel/Holly Tree Gap/Murray Lane/Franklin Pike/Moores Lane