Thursday, February 25, 2010

X Marks the Spot

This week marked the first week of X... as in P90... on the plan this week we've got YogaX, AbRipperX, XStretch and next week, PlyometricsX, YogaX, & AbRipperX.

What does the X stand for? eXtreme.  The most extreme so far? YogaX.  Wow! Incredibly difficult... so much so that I wonder, will I ever be able to do some of these moves?  It's an hour and a half of crazy positions.  The first 45 minutes are long and difficult.  The last 45 min is a reprieve but still very difficult.

Next Ab Ripper X.  Now I LOVE working out my abs... however my lower abs leave much to be desired.  These exercises were hard and I enjoyed all but two... the two of course that were most difficult and I was lucky to do a few reps.  Throughout this 16 minute workout... you do 329 ab related reps whether they are crunches, situps, whatever.  LOVE IT!

X Stretch is 1 hour of intense stretching... something I REALLY need.  It feels almost like Yoga X without the balance work.  So far I've done this one twice and am enjoying it more each day!  I've got it again today...  I'm guessing these stretches will become part of my regular post-ride/post-workout routine.  With all the training we've been doing the pup has felt a bit neglected... so last night he decided to help me do some X Stretch!!

Thanks to these exercises, more swimming, some running, lots of cycling, regular visits to Eastside Chiro... and lots more protein in my diet, I'm feeling better and definitely more flexible already.  Bring on the Greenville Spring Training Series this weekend!  Saturday at Fork Shoals and Sunday back at Donaldson.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Still Learning

Saturday night was FTC night... I'll let the pictures speak for themselves...

Started off with some yummy corn & avocado salad stuffed red peppers...

Followed by some Filet sliders w/ aged cheddar, applewood bacon, & roasted potatoes

Not to be outdone of course by some chocolate lava cake with red chocolate sauce & a strawberry on top!

Now that my friends... is a great post-bad race meal... and some super yummy protein and carbs for pre-race day dinner!

Sunday I tried to sleep in... anything I could possibly due to give my muscles more time off to recover!  Alas, 7:15 and there was no more sleep time for me.  I fixed my first breakfast... drank lots of water... fixed my second breakfast... drank lots of water, glass of OJ, glass of airborne... some fruit... a snack... it's time to roll!

As I was heading out the door, coach calls: "I'm not racing today"... me: "What?!?"... There was a pretty big crash in the Men's Cat 5 34 & under race and a friend of ours went to the hospital.  Thankfully he's okay but at the time of the crash we didn't know that.  So... as my coach is training me... I'm going to help her as well and we're going to do a mini bike skills grass clinic in the not too distant future.  Finally, I headed out to the course to get ready!

My legs were tired but I really like riding on the BMW Performance Driving course. Why?
1 - Consistency - there are no hills and no pot holes.  It's a smooth consistent track and we don't have many of those!
2 - Traffic - it's a closed course, so there is no traffic.  The only thing to throw you off is the wind, the other racers, and the corners which are just slightly banked meaning you don't even have to slow down for them.
3 - View - you can see the entire course.  This makes it better as a racer to see where everyone on the course is... and for spectators to not get bored waiting for us to loop around again.
4 - Quick - because of the speeds, the time flies by.  Next thing you know the officials are ringing the bell and you've got 1 lap to go!  We averaged over 20 mph during the race..

Again, thankfully they started the Cat 4 women separate from the rest of the women.  We started to ride and I was feeling pretty good.  Stayed around 3 wheels back for most of the race... Sometimes we'd have 3-4 people up front pulling, but mostly 1-2.  People would try to sprint through turns 1 & 2 and create a breakaway... only to slow down again on the back straightaway.  Turns 3 & 4 the tempo would increase just slightly, and for some reason everyone would sprint back to the start/finish... only to go back through the same motions as before.  It's like an accordion.

As the race progressed the sprints started to pick up going into turn 1... only to be reigned back in on the straightaways.  We definitely had a couple riders who many of us tried to avoid.  There's nothing scarier than going fast around a curve with shakey handlebars next to your own.  Thankfully I found some great girls who really knew how to hold their line and tried to stick with them around the turns.

Props to Jimmy Helms for this awesome action shot! 

With maybe 2 or 3 laps to go, coming into turns 3 & 4 I saw more shakey handelbars in front of me.  There was some bumping and bouncing off of one another but thankfully nothing happened there... However, as we came up to the front straight away the girl directly in front of me started to bounce off the girl on her right... I backed off some and next thing you know she's leaning so far over that I knew she wouldn't make it upright again.  She went down along w/ the two people to her right and her wheels were now in the air directly in front of me.  Some how as they fell back to the ground it left me just enough room to slip by.  I started sprinting as I noticed one of the officials running toward the crash that I was fleeing.  This left us with 8 people in the lead group going forward.

We got back together but only for 1 more lap.  On the last lap there was a four person break and I was not in it.  But I was with 3 other girls, one of whom was a teammate.  We tried to pace line it but I couldn't make my way around to the front.  As we came around to the finish line I sprinted out ahead of them and right as I was approaching the line, another girl came up to grab 5th.

I was extremely happy with how I rode this race... and even happier that both my teammate and I escaped the crash.  As her husband mentioned, if the other girl's wheels had come down 1" to the left... we would have both gone down!

Sunday's experience was a very good one.  It emphasized the need to be completely aware of your surroundings when racing.  If I hadn't been paying attention to what was going on and especially aware of other riders tendencies who knows what the outcome would have been.  Here's to racing another day!!

Learning Experiences

Wow... what a weekend... Race... FTC... Race... Sleep!

I'll just skip over the first race and move directly to race two... Okay, so maybe not, but I'd like to!!  Mornings are not my thing... So when a race, ride, or anything physical requires me to get going early in the morning... I'm not always at my best..

Growing up playing team sports that typically occur in the afternoon set me up for this approach to athletics.  Especially concerning Basketball where the majority of our games were in the evening.  I can go out there for hour upon hour of hard exercise and not back down.  But cycling... ooooh cycling... it requires me to wake up at un-godly hours to compete.

Saturday morning my race stated at 9:06... Up around 6 am, fueled my body and aade it to the race site before 8.  Was ready to ride a practice lap by 8:15... however a teammate needed to cut the lap short so I went back to the start/finish with her.  Changed my rear skewer, jumped on the trainer and tried to warm my legs up.  Off the trainer, changed skewer back, and headed to the starting line with a banana in hand.  Downed it, tossed my extra bottle to the hubby and was ready to go.  Felt pretty good... was tired but thought I could hang.

**Thanks to the Greenville Spring Training Series organizers and Team Metro donating some $$, the Cat 4 Women will race in their own races throughout the GSTS and have their own prize pool for the overall series.  For the most part, all the guys race in their own specific categories or age groups.  However the Women are all thrown together.  So on Saturday we had some Cat-1 women there (ie: really strong and fast) down to Cat-4 (new to racing & even new to riding in some cases).  When the race starts and you're trying to keep up with the women in the pack... you don't know who the other women are and can easily blow yourself up trying to hang with someone in a higher category.  So this separation makes a HUGE difference.

On that note, we were all pretty excited and ready to go.  Many of my teammates were there and we started off strong.  There was some new blood as evidenced by the shakey handlebars and lines of some.  We kept yelling, "hold your line" but you can't make up for someone's lack of experience in a tight pack / race situation.  After all, I had only raced in 4 events leading up to Saturday.

About 1/2 way into the first of 3 laps, I started feeling sluggish... I kept looking down thinking I had a flat or a leak... but everything was fine... and the pack started to drift away from me.  Over the course of the next hour... many positive and negative thoughts ran through my head.  "What is wrong with me?"... "Everyone will laugh at me?"... "Why am I so slow?"... If you recall I did some practice runs on this course averaging over 18 mph not 2 days before... and now I was happy to get up to 15 mph.  Finished my first lap and couldn't look at any of my friends at the start/finish line.  I just had to keep going.  Through each lap I thought I heard a noise and each time I looked down my rear tire was full. I hit some major lows during that ride but just told myself... I have to finish.  After all, when coach asked what my goals were for Saturday's race... the answer was... FINISH.  Last year I was really sick and couldn't finish, so this year, that was my goal.

Despite some squirrelly riding by a couple a girls (including some elbowing and inappropriate comments) there were no mishaps and everyone finished the race.  My teammates all did a great job and finished either in the first or second pack.  I was super proud for each of the girls that came out and raced.  Even more proud of them for kickin' it hard and delivering Heather to a 4th place finish.

One of my teammates who was not racing jumped on her bike and went out to find me and help pull me to the finish line.  What an angel!!  She found me with about 2 miles to go and helped me mentally and physically to the finish.  I pulled up to the line at the end of my 3rd lap dead last.  I was frustrated, angry, embarrassed, and completely exhausted.  The pack ended up averaging over 18 for the race and my average? 14.5.  Everyone was very supportive and my teammates thought I had a mechanical (bike speak for a flat, or other problem w/ the bike).  Coach made sure I got some protein in me along with a recovery drink, and the hubby grabbed my stuff and immediately put everything away.  I hung out some with my teammates then headed home.

As I carried my bike into the house, the rear wheel wasn't moving... I reached down to spin it and due to some kind of resistance it didn't move much.  Looking down I could see one of the brake pads was against the rim.  No matter how much I tried to adjust the brake, I couldn't release the pad.  Finally I reached down... unlocked the skewer... shook the wheel and it went right into place.  The brake pad was no longer touching and the wheel spun freely.  I didn't know whether to laugh or cry... It's like I was driving with my emergency brake partially engaged! Could this have been what held me back?

I talked to my coach later in the day and we talked about how tired my legs were during the race.  Not once did I red line my heart rate... didn't have any lactic acid build up in my muscles... I just couldn't go.  We talked about nutrition before, during, and after, as well as during the week... (I forgot to mention the whole brake pad incident).  I'm not recovering from the workouts quick enough so we agreed - more protein in my diet and more meals throughout the day!  Many lessons learned on this day - #1 Never give up, #2 Nutrition Nutrition Nutrition, #3 Pre-race bike inspection!!!

More to come about the FTC and Race #2 later.  But here's a sneak peak:

Friday, February 19, 2010


This has been a great week of workouts... All leading up to the first weekend of racing at the Greenville Spring Training Series.

We started with a swim workout Monday morning and then Kettlebell Class Monday night.  You've probably seen them use kettlebells on the Biggest Loser... Wow!  If you've never used them before... try it!  I started with a 15 pound weight... wow... thought it would be easy but it wasn't. 

Tuesday morning - the hubby and I could barely walk!  I ping'd coach and she told me (in nicer words) to stop whining and "stick to the plan!"

Wednesday was more of the same... still had problems standing up and sitting down. But the swim helped as did that night's kettlebell class.  Walking still wasn't fun, but it was doable!

Thursday I headed out to Donaldson Center to pre-ride the race course with my teammate Robin, the hubby, and some other friends!  Got in two laps averaging 18.2 and felt pretty comfortable w/ the course.

Today - rest day... Yoga (I actually enjoyed it)... It's been a looong work day and I'm ready to be done.  First... a run with the hubby, some dinner with friends (many of whom will be racing tomorrow)... then off to dream land for a kick butt night's sleep before the race tomorrow morning.

All this training is in preparation for race season.  Now I'm not trying to go out there and win the races in the Spring Training Series... I've got many goals that come along later in the season.  This series - I just want to get back into racing form, finish each race, have some fun, and maybe have a few good finishes.

If you can, stop by Donaldson Center Saturday by 9 to catch the Men's Cat5 & Women's races.  There will be races all day... so if you can't make ours, come on out to support the other people racing later in the day.

Sunday - we race at the BMW Performance Driving Center at 1:45.  Be there!  Should be a blast and you can see the entire course.

Hopefully I'll have something good to report on after this weekend!  Go GHS Every Woman!!

Monday, February 15, 2010


The weekend plans:
Friday - V-day getaway w/ the hubby 
Saturday -  30 mile ride + 10 min run
Sunday -  Heritage Park Loop or similar (55 miles 17+ mph avg).

The weekend actuals:
Friday night - The hubby and I had a great evening... We didn't win the ticket lottery for Wicked but I'm kind of glad.  Instead we were able to have a relaxing evening... with the backdrop of snow falling.  It made for a very romantic setting downtown. We took our time at dinner, snacking on various plates while enjoying a Malbec we've never had before.  After desert we headed back to the hotel for some night caps while listening to the piano player...  Enjoyed the pleasure that is "Hotel Showers" (<-- long and hot!!!) and then passed out while watching the opening ceremony of the Olympics... It was glorious!

Deserts: Tiramisu & Banana Bread Pudding

Saturday - We woke up to clear skies and a white winter wonderland outside!  We took our time leaving by enjoying some breakfast in bed (room service)... then headed home in the snow and ice.  The pup was so excited to see us that we changed immediatley into snow friendly clothes and proceeded to play with him outside for at least an hour.
 Now that's one happy puppy!!

With the multiple inches of snow, we were torn between riding outside or on the trainer... but the sun was shining so bright that by noon the roads were already drying up.  We ventured out to Donaldson to ride some loops then run.  A number of friends joined us in the cold windy sunshine... After about 1 1/3 laps I was dropped and finished up the remaining laps in some pretty crazy wind... But who cares... I was riding my bike outside!!  The run after the ride made this my first ever brick.  My legs felt good but I could definitely notice the lack of nutrition prior to exercise (let's just say we forgot to eat lunch).

Sunday - Saturday night the hubby and I were guilted into riding the Great Escape Spartanburg ride which had been delayed to Sunday due to the snow.  We were pretty tired Sunday morning and as the skies became increasingly grayer... our enthusiasm wained even further.  However we sucked it up and ended up having a great ride.  It started off rather hairy as a couple riders went down... but once we split up a bit... (and the sun actually did peek through a couple times) it was wonderful.  We ended up with many friends in our group... we knew each other's tendencies... and had a safe and fun ride the rest of the way.  Averaged 17.3 in close to 41 miles...
One of our many beautiful views from the ride:  

Note from Sunday's ride: Lately I've been working very hard on bridging.  For those non-cyclists: the art of bridging... or chasing... is jumping out of the main riding group to catch up with a rider/group further ahead... thus bridging the gap.  This ride... I did it multiple times... especially when I'd get stuck behind a rider I didn't know... and some of the faster guys had a gap on us.  Toward the end of the ride the hubby, Legs, and Perry had formed a small gap on the main group... I thought myself absolutely crazy but decided to bridge anyway.  I kept telling myself that I could make it if I could just make it to the back wheel... I got there and they kept pounding it out... I knew eventually they'd back off... and they did!  And I was right there with them... That is... until they kicked it again a few seconds later... but the hubby and I still hung together.  I knew I was making real progress after that bridge!

So... put this one in the record books folks... our first weekend in 2010 where we rode outside twice!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

First Week

Well, the first week of the new training plan is over.  Only missed Monday's run due to injury... but the rest were completed.  My thoughts by day:

Saturday Feb 6th - Awesome pyramid intervals for 2 hours with Jeni @Roadwaves ... then got stupid and actually tried to ride hard during my team's spin class...

Sunday Feb 7th - Awesome 55 miles on Heritage Park Loop.  Never hit the wall and worked hard on my bridging to other riders.  However, had problems walking due to left hamstring afterward

Monday Feb 8th - Still problems walking but was able to do the 400 yd swim & yoga class... Got really pissed off about 2 things - my hamstring preventing me from running & how bad I am at yoga

Tuesday Feb 9th - Off.  Massage was great and helped. Leg (and everything else) is feeling better

Wednesday Feb 10th - 4-5 Mile Tempo Run was okay.  Apparently I did it wrong, which was a bit frustrating... and because I had to rush off to a conference call, I didn't have time to stretch afterward <-- That will NEVER happen again!

Thursday Feb 11th - Trainer class at Ride On - crazy intervals w/ Jeni again... my legs and hip flexors were burning (see Wed's entry) but I can feel my cadence picking up on the sprints... Yay!

Friday Feb 12th - swim 4 x 200s w/ 1 minute breaks in between <-- First - this was the longest distance I've ever swam in a pool... and I actually liked it!  Read up on some tips for triathlon swimming online and they were a tremendous help today in the water... *Note to self: only focus on improving one thing at a time... 5 "new" things at once can be distracting! Yoga was a little better today.  The instructor had to help me with almost every position but I still could barely do anything. Instead of this:

 I look like this:

So what did I learn:
1- Swimming isn't so bad... I may even learn to like it!

2 - I officially DISLIKE yoga... mainly b/c I REALLY suck at it... which also means it is in NO way relaxing.  There must be another way to work on my flexibility and core!?!?!?!? Or perhaps I need to do yoga more often? I'm at a loss here.  But that class definitely ripped out the happy feeling inside of me from my swim and turned me into a frustrated pill to kick off the weekend.

And there my friends we have... the first week.  In honor of it... and because it's Valentine's Day Weekend... the hubby and I are headed to a semi-getaway!  Well, I'm not even sure you can call it "semi".  We are staying the night at the Westin Poinsett (on points), going out to dinner at Stellar Restaurant & Wine Bar, hopefully catch a show at the Peace Center (Wicked), maybe drinks afterward.... We'll sleep in tomorrow morning, enjoy breakfast in bed... and late morning head out to Donaldson for a fun 30 miles followed by a short run.

Hopefully the idea of what's to come at the end of this workday will bring me out of my funk...

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Thank you to everyone for all your kind words.  The hamstring is feeling great and I'm back on my plan from Jeni @ Roadwaves.  Thankfully I only missed one workout - 3 mile run Monday... aka "The Pub Run"... Lucky for me I had to do a 4-5 mile tempo run last night.

Now, I am by NO means a runner.  I don't enjoy it, but I realize it's a great way to cross-train for cycling and I must run in order to compete in a triathlon.  I've always been able to go out and just run 3 miles.  It may not be fast, but I can do it.  My first time running in years was the fall of 2008 when I was in Chattanooga for work.  The project executive was a runner.  He would come into town about once a month and I opted to run with him after work one day.  It was a great time for discussions about life, work, and for me to ask him questions about my career path.  He became a mentor to me and these were great conversations which enabled me to enjoy the company while doing something I did not enjoy.

On that first run he asked me multiple times if I needed to turn back.  I just kept telling him, "No... Not yet."  I also instructed him to not tell me how far we'd run.  Finally he looked over at me and said, "I think it's time we turned around."  To which I... breathless... nodded in agreement.  Just over an hour after we'd set out on the run, we arrived back at the hotel having covered close to 6 miles.  I felt it that night... and the next day, but it was good.  Did I become a runner that day? NO.  But every time he came into town we'd run somewhere between 3 & 6 miles.  I even started running a couple times in between his visits.  Typically 4-5 miles along the Tennessee River.  I wasn't really getting fast but I was getting consistent.  Sometimes I'd even run on a treadmill.  Though I'll admit my loathing for running outdoors is doubled when it comes to a treadmill.  So I'd do maybe 1-2 miles on it at a faster pace.

Alas, as the cycling season kicked in, the work days got longer, my mentor made fewer visits to our project, and I stopped the running routine for months.  Even when I switched projects to California I tried, but a combination of smoke from the fires and bad downtown neighborhoods kept me inside.

Then came my remote project.  With it I had evenings to enjoy at home... and could finally partake in "The Pub Run".  My friend Jess would do this run hosted by Fleet Feet every Monday night and I thought... Why not? It's just 3 miles.  The hubby and I started doing this run every Monday night... and it was always 3 miles.  I know the route and it's now routine.  I know which sections are hard... which easy... and my relative finish time.  Never pushing myself... just 3 miles... and only once a week.

Well, thanks to Jeni that is all changing.  Last night I ran 4 miles.  She said to make it an easy run to see how my hamstring felt... but it felt fine so I went ahead with the original tempo run.  That, and I had a conference call to jump on for work, so I had to do the tempo run or I wouldn't make the call.  Due to the crazy wind, I opted for a flat course - the Treadmill... I had never run more than 2 miles on a treadmill... AND in my rush to get to the Y I forgot my music & headphones... so I jumped on sans any form of entertainment and started kicking out a 10 min pace.  Every 1/2 mile or so I'd pick it up to 9 or 9.5 min pace, then drop it back down.  I could tell I hadn't run the pub run this week b/c a couple of times I had to slow it down to a brisk walk to catch my breath. As it got close to 3.85 miles I picked up the pace to a 7.5 min mile and sprinted to finish 4 miles in 39 minutes flat.  I cleaned off the machine, ran to the locker room while dialing into the conf call one minute late.

So... I am still no runner... but maybe one day...

Last nights NOMs:  More Chicken Cacciatore was requested... kind of like more cowbell... you can never say no!

Monday, February 8, 2010

One Step Forward

You'd usually finish this phrase by saying two steps back... right? But I'm hoping for only 1 step back... I'm okay with staying in Neutral; better than moving backwards!

After yesterday's wonderful ride my left hamstring was really hurting and I chalked it up to the hamstring isolation drills we did during our team spin (In hind sight I should have refrained from this drill). By the time I got home, I was able to admit it wasn't just sore.  Alas, while watching the Super Bowl at a friend's house last night I freely admitted that it's pulled. This wasn't quite the way I wanted to start out my week of training.

I shot my coach an email letting her know of my predicament before hitting the sack around 10:30 last night... Up well before my alarm clock at 5 a.m. this morning, I was hoping and praying it was all a dream and my hami was fine, but that wasn't the case... and at 5:20 we headed to the Y for laps and Yoga.

Aside: When asking everyone I know how long it would take to swim 400 yds, the answer ranged from 5 to 15 min.  Let's just say I was on the high end of that estimate.  In my life I had only swam laps once before today.

The laps were tiring, especially for my upper body which was awakened by exercise for the first time in a long while.  The yoga was "okay".  Background: I have a 6" scar (and I'm being nice here, I've never measured it and it could easily be longer than 6") on my left knee... that knee can't bend as far as the right.  And I definitely can't sit in a kneeling position, which apparently happens a lot in yoga classes.  The scar tissue also makes it interesting anytime the knee is flat on the ground bearing weight.  And the teacher's name... "Pandora"... seriously?  I'm guessing it was her stage name.  Anyway... yoga is not my cup of tea... but if it helps build my core and my flexibility (previously accomplished with martial arts)... I'll stick with it... I simply wish there was not so much kneeling involved.

After that class on the way home the hubby kept inquiring as to what was wrong... I kept telling him nothing, I'm just tired.  And being the wonderful hubby that he is... he knew that "nothing" always means something... So he kept asking.   Finally we both agreed that we're both exhausted from the late night and early morning (first early morning is always the worst)... and on top of that I'm pissed about my hami.  I know... there's nothing to do about it now... but I can still be pissed about it right?  Especially after getting this response from my coach regarding what I can and can't do:

"Schedule a deep tissue massage... NO spin No bike and NO run... Be VERY CAREFUL. U do NOT want to tear it more! Rest and recover."

That first part I like (scheduled for Tuesday at noon), but not at the expense of my workouts... And there we have it folks... this is what I'm very pissed about. No pub run tonight... no 4-5 mile tempo run Wednesday... and possibly no night ride at RideOn Thursday!  Too many No's when everything started out so promising.

But I'm going to be a good girl... b/c the rest of the message contained the following: "Do it right and u can be back on the bike this weekend! Be stupid and be out 2 weeks!"  I trust her... and I'm not going to be stupid... after all, that's what got me here in the first place!

On a good note - we did have super yummy quesadillas, nachos, red pepper dip, and hershey's kiss sugar cookies last night while watching the Super Bowl.  And while I didn't get a picture of them, I'll share a picture from a mahi mahi fish taco fixed at the end of January:


Weekend Woes & Goals

Have you ever anxiously awaited an order from the internet... constantly checking the tracking status, and then... the wonderful day comes when it's "Out for Delivery"... and you never know when between that 7:30 am time stamp and the evening it might arrive.  So you're constantly checking the updates to see if it's been delivered.  Friday was like that for me, and thankfully the package arrived around lunch so both the hubby & I were home.

The Omron Full Body Sensor Body Fat and Body Composition Monitor :
This monitor is very easy to setup and use... however the numbers it provided me weren't exactly what I was expecting... let's just say my body fat percentage (the reason I bought the scale in the first place) was waaaayyyyyy higher than expected.  I always thought myself pretty lean... but apparently there's not as much muscle present as I'd thought.  I used to workout (strength training) 3-4 nights / week and played a couple different sports so I know I was leaner then, but I thought... with all the riding I do... it has to make up for the lack of strength training in some way... right?  We'll see.  Some of the reviews I've read say that the numbers are sometime a little off, but at least they are consistent.  So I'll wait for my body analysis and do a measurement on this scale afterward.  The percentage they are off, I'll use that for my calculations going forward.

But that body fat % stuck with me the rest of the day... and into the evening.  While cooking Friday evening the hubby and I received our training plans for the next two weeks... here's what mine looks like:

Sat - Spin 2 hour focus on pyramid intervals
Sun - Outdoor Ride - Heritage Loop
Mon - 6 am Yoga @ Y & Swim 400 yd PM run 3 miles (pub run)
Tues - Off
Wed - Run 4-5 Miles
Thur - Outdoor ride or Trainer Class
Fri - 6 am Yoga @ Y & Swim 400 yds
Sat - 30 mile ride and Run 10 min
Sun - Heritage Park Loop
Mon - Swim 200: 5x50's with 1:00 rest after each 50: 200 cood down & 7 pm KettleBell @ Y
Tues - Interval class 5:45 am & Outdoor Ride
Wed - Swim 600 yds & 7pm KettleBell
Thur - Outdoor Ride or Trainer
Fri - 6 am Yoga
Sat - Spring Training Series Race

Thankfully we have relatively similar plans so we can do much of the above together.  Finished cooking and enjoyed some "Fancy Mac-n-Cheese" (Macaroni with Artisanal Cheese & Chorizo):

It was a great dinner and we headed to bed dreaming of our 2 hour Pyramid Intervals trainer class at Roadwaves the next morning... the last thing I said to the hubby before falling asleep, "xx% body fat!? I've got xx% body fat!?!"

Saturdays Intervals and a team spin class came and went... but come Sunday morning my hamstrings were tight... especially my left one.  I stretched it for about 15-20 minutes and started prepping for the ride.  The sun was shining and the very thought of riding outdoors, no matter how cold it might be, was too much to resist.  The hubby and I had two simple breakfasts about 2 hours apart to make sure we had the right fuel for the ride and headed down to Simpsonville.

There were close to 30 people in our ride group which later split to an A & B group.  First... I can really see the difference the trainer workouts are doing for me.  My usual place in a ride is at the back of the front group, the front of the back group... or no man's land in between the two.  Sunday I found myself able to bridge more easily than ever!  Perhaps after a hill I was dropped back in no man's land and instead of coasting to the rear group... I'd let out a burst of energy and sprint ahead to catch the front group.

Another group would get ahead and I'd be exhausted thinking there's no point in trying to bridge b/c once I get there I'll be exhausted and they'll leave me again.  But that didn't happen.  Mentally I knew I could do it and I'd bridge, realizing once I got there how much easier it was to recover while drafting off the riding in front of me.

As we got about 1 mile from the entrance to Heritage Park my teammate Jackie and I were once again in no man's land.  Larger group ahead and a group behind... so I came around her wheel and said "jump on, we're bridging this!"  I got in the drops, found a cadence I thought I could hold (channeling my inner Jeni) and pulled us up to the group ahead... by the time I got there I had such momentum and could see the entrance so I kept pounding it out, almost catching up to the hubby.

The feeling of satisfaction after that ride... wow!  I saw some real changes in my riding and can't wait to continue the hard work!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The longest day...

I've had longer days... actually not that long ago I had trully long days that didn't seem to end (October P3C3 ride)... However today ranks right up there with some of the longest...

It started with a 6 am alarm... which quickly became a 6:30 alarm.  That one could not be ignored.  Exactly 1 hour from this point I needed to be on my way out the door and headed to a 2 hour trainer class... In that hour I needed to eat, prep, make post class snack, pack car, play w/ the pup, and wake up, not necessarily in that order.  Alas - made it out the door at 7:31 (w/o forgetting bike and trainer... but still forgetting other items).

Trainer class was good... until my trainer (bike trainer not human trainer) decided it wanted to play with me... How so? Well... say you're doing a 1 minute sprint... in the big ring, but easy gear... and all of the sudden you can't pedal b/c the trainer has decided to be temperamental... Then my hip/lower back started to bother me (I'm seeing a wonderful chiropractor for this).  Alas after some stretching and a break... back on the bike to finish the two hours of solid "pyramid intervals"

Then hit one of my great sponsors, Carolina Triathlon, to grab some goggles and a swimsuit for my new training plan which arrived last night (go figure the plan had "pyramid intervals" trainer class on it).  Aside: I've got to swim 400 yards Monday morning... and do a yoga class before work... the yoga I know is 1 hour... I've NO clue how long the 400 yards will take me... I'm guessing more than 30 min!

Next it was on to a local gym for my cycling team's "bonding" session in the rain... aka: another spin class... 1 1/2 hours later we headed to grab a bite at the best pizza joint in downtown Greenville (not to be confused w/ the best pizza joint in Greenville).

1 Jerk Chicken Salad (& 1 jerk waiter) later I'm headed home... By this time I'm exhausted but still have too much on my plate... the hubby and I were suppose to clean house today and run errands... We decided to leave the cleaning to another weekend and run errands.  WRONG ANSWER! Why?  Not because the house was more in need (which it is)... but because the traffic at 3 o'clock on this Saturday... was like the Saturday before Christmas.  Can anyone on Earth explain to me why the entire town was out shopping and driving poorly?  Seriously... I want to know how I missed this memo!

We hit Michael's (thing 1 - check).  Went to Performance Fuel only to find it only operates online now (things 2 - 6 - no check)... Went to Green's only to find the parking lot too full so we didn't bother (thing 7 - no check)... Hit The Great Escape to place a couple orders for the hubby (things 8 & 9 - check)... and where, on a whim I picked up this wonderful cap:
non-thing on list - CHECK!

Then back to Carolina Triathlon to return previously purchased swimsuit to get one that actually fits (thing 11 - check)

On to grocery store to get dinner and make up for Greene's (thing 10 - check, non-things - 11-15 check)

Walgreen's for the kinds of stuff you get at Walgreen's... then... finally...HOME SWEET HOME!

However at this point... it's after 4 o'clock... and I need to start prepping for dinner.

But... perhaps this whole day was worth the dinner... it started out with an 8 bone rack of lamb, organic red baby potatoes, some fresh rosemary from our backyard, some EVOO, salt, pepper, rice wine vinegar, shallots... A little searing and roasting later and... VOILA:

Throw in a movie (british comedy) and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies from The Fresh Market... and you my friends have a long long very long day...

More to come on: Friday night's dinner, the new scale (insert scary scream here) and riding in the Great Outdoors...

For now... good night and good riddance!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

First things first...

This new training plan hasn't even started and I'm out there buying products trying to keep this economy afloat!  "Like what?" you ask...

Well... it all started a couple weeks ago when the hubby and I were reading our latest copy of Outside and lo and behold there was an article on the best diets (not so much lose weight diets, but overall daily nutrition) for athletes (see article here).  The Mediterranean Prescription ended up working the best and we decided to try out the book, mainly for it's recipes.

Next another couple we know ordered a recipe book for athletes called, The Athlete's Palate.  They raved about it to the point where we decided it was a must have... and decided to get that as well.

At the same time one of my team sponsors, Greg Spindler, advised each of us to purchase a book he just finished, "Racing Weight". So, it was added to the same order:

I've since cooked recipes from the books: Chicken Cacciatore (Mediterranean Prescription) & Marathon Fettucine w/ Fire Roasted Tomatoes & Shrimp (The Athletes Palate) that the hubby loved. And this week I started reading, "Racing Weight"... and decided we need a scale that not only reads weight, but body fat%... and can store at least 2 profiles.

After searching the web yesterday I ordered the Omron Full Body Sensor Body Fat and Body Composition Monitor.

So, thanks to my Amazon Prime membership, this bad boy arrives tomorrow and I'll get to check out my weight, body fat %, visceral fat level, skeletal muscle %, resting metabolism, body age, body mass index. The reviews have varied but for the price I think it will do the trick.  Even if the numbers are a little off, I'm looking for consistency (or consistent decreases) when it comes to Body Fat & Weight.

At least I've got a start w/ some good recipes, a good nutrition guide, some measurement tools... and my regular rides and workouts while I wait for my training plan to arrive.

Special note - last night's typical run was switched to a kick-butt Indoor TT (check out GottaRun's post about it or Yummy Noms) at the Greenville Cycling Center supporting Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  I came in 4th... 1 second behind my rock star team manager Kelly, and 1 minute behind the hubby... not a bad start.  I'll be interested to try this course again at the end of the summer...

Until then... I've got a trainer calling my name tonight, maybe a run tomorrow, and hopefully some riding this weekend. Cheers!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The beginning of something new...

I ride my bike... am I a cyclist? I'm on a team... we're sponsored... we train... we race... but am I a cyclist?  Initially my response would be Yes.  Definitely. Am I a Serious Cyclist? An Avid Cyclist?

Some background - I grew up playing sports: softball, basketball, volleyball, martial arts.  In college I played D-1 basketball, intramural volleyball, indoor soccer, softball, and flag-football.There was always a goal in mind... win the tournament. make the playoffs. win a sparring match. achieve my next belt. make 1st team all district. win county. win sub-regionals. win regionals. And a plan to reach that goal always came with it... and surrounded by my team we worked toward our goals.

In my twenties I focused on volleyball & tennis.  practices leads to season wins leads to tournament appearances and possible wins. That was the plan, no biggie.  Just have fun with it.

So back to cycling.  Last year was my first year of cycling and I was fortunate to be on a sponsored team.  I did my best to train when I had a chance given my work schedule and it was good.  But it could have been better.  My non-cycling friends thought I was crazy all the time and effort I put into it... But compared to my cycling friends, it was nothing...

I think this qualifies me as a cyclist... but what about the next level? In November my cycling team hosted a workshop for endurance athletes.  The first part of this workshop was about goals.  Jim Cunningham (Greenville Cycling Center) explained to us the importance of setting goals in many levels.  So I did - Place in a Cat 4 Women's Road Race, Place in the top ten of the Women's Cat 4 SC RR Championships, Complete my first Triathlon, Complete my first half-marathon.  So there are the goals, but how whill I get there?

It is with this in mind that I begin the new year and have decided to start something new: a plan (a REAL plan) to achieve my goals. I will be working with a friend who is starting a new training business to manage my workouts, nutrition, and overall health.  I will work on my body composition, core, flexibility, caloric intake, miles in the saddle, speed drills, strength trng, swim stroke, runs, all with intention of reaching my goals - the most important of which are my cycling goals. <-- Gotta win some races and keep those sponsors happy right?!

I'll be posting updates to the plan here... for your perusing pleasure... looking for ways to stay motivated! Especially as work and life get in the way!

Before I let you go... I gotta promote my latest cycling gift from the hubby:

To go with my super cool GHS Every Woman Team kit... I have a shiny new Pink Castelli Riding Cap... sporting some Italian flag ribbon... It is definitely too cool for school.  You might even catch me wearing it while typing away on this blog...