Friday, February 27, 2009

Hundred pushups surprise

My friend Becky and I started the Hundred Push Up Challenge a couple weeks ago.

We both decided to proceed by doing “girl” pushups. I had taken the initial test doing “regular” push ups a couple months beforehand, and I promise you it took me five seconds to lift myself up after only one. I couldn’t even lower myself to try for two it had zapped me so much.

At the end of week two of six, we were joking about how we could barely do one regular pushup. Recalling my aforementioned experience, I decided to prove just how badly I stunk at doing regular pushups. I thought it would be a good laugh to watch flesh turn into spaghetti on a gym floor.

I got in the position, went down, came back up…went down, came back up and stopped because I had started giggling and had broken concentration.

I was completely stunned that I had just executed two pushups. I wanted to try it again, without laughing. I got in the position and ended up doing four! Four!

I’m excited to finish up my remaining three weeks so that I can start over doing regular pushups.

Once again, this proves that if you put in the work and stick to your plan – though you may not see the change while you’re in the middle of it – your commitment will pay off.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Quick thanks

I just want to take this time and give a sincere thanks to all the good folks who follow me on here.

When I started writing this blog on a regular basis last June, I did so reluctantly: “Out of all the bloggers in the world, who cares what I have to say?” proclaimed cynical me.

However, I did have friends and family who were curious about how my training was going, and I thought this would be a great way for them to stay up to speed.

Plus, I really do like to write, so I suppose becoming a blogger was inevitable. I’m not as witty, funny or poignant as I wish I was, but I enjoy putting forth what little of those attributes may exist in me for the world to read.

As an aside, I’ve been struggling with how to respond to the comments you guys leave. Do I reply on the same post on my blog or leave a response on your blog?

I’ve decided on the latter, so if you’ve posted and I haven’t gotten back to you, you may need to peruse the archives. Ahem. Sorry for any confusion about that.

Again, thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I’m inspired to continue to do two things I love: triathlon training and writing.

With gratitude,

Monday, February 23, 2009

My bike is home

Today was the big day. I picked up my brand new road bike, a Giant OCR1.

I still can't get over how light she is, and I'm excited about hitting the road this week to see how much of a difference this can make.

It's going to take some getting used to the manner in which the gears shift, though, as I'm used to the twisty kind that are on the bike I've currently been riding.

(Isn't my mastery of bike lingo impressive?)

So, is my bike sitting in the garage tonight? NO WAY! She's sitting pretty in the office, resting up after our long drive home from the LBS. Poor thing.

Now, I just need to come up with a name for her. The model name is OCR. If you take those initials and say them out loud, it sounds French: Osiare.

But that's more suited to be one of the many bad jokes I always make than to be a serious name.

Maybe I'll name her Gary the Bike (GTB), in honor of my incredible, incredible husband.

Though his idea of exercise consists of coming to my tris, sitting in a chair, drinking Pepsi and watching us all buzz around, he understands that it is important to me and he's very supportive. But bikes are female and Gary's not a girl's name.

One thing, however, has become very clear as I re-read my post so far: I should hold off on a name until after I've put some more thought into it.

Thanks for sharing in my joy of my new bike purchase, and - as always - thanks for stopping by my blog. Oh, and...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Here's the plan; er, plans

I’ve officially decided to add the HIM to my schedule. Thanks so much to every single one of you for your encouragement.

I found an awesome training plan on Beginner Triathlete that not only gives me instructions on how long to train each time, but instructions on what to do for warm-up, main sets and cool downs.

It’s a wonderfully specific plan and you can check it out here:\

It’s also a 20-week plan so I wouldn’t have to begin until April 27 as my race is on September 27.

Therefore, I’ve decided to take March and April and work on building a stronger base before I begin this plan. I could start it at my current fitness level and not be out of my league, but I might as well make good use of this free time and have it count for something.

Here’s a link to the 10K training plan I’m going to go ahead and start this Monday: Come, rain, snow or harsh winds, I will get in the running. I must get in the running. I cannot let ANY excuse get in the way.

Here’s a link to a “Zero to 1,650 in Six Weeks” plan. I’ve started Week One two to three times, but now I’ll have devoted time to finish it. I’ll start this the first week of March.

I’ll do a few spin classes here and there and, when I get my new road bike in the next couple of days (stay tuned for details about that), I’ll be doing some biking, too.

So, February’s been a cut back on SBR so I don't get too burned out month. I’m so ready for it to be overwith, and for my training for the season to really begin.

Let’s go, 2009!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Things I almost said

Over the last couple of months, I’ve started several blog posts but have not published them.

Most often it was because of writer’s block. Sometimes, the post became outdated. And at least once I did publish it only to gasp at what a bad post it truly was before expunging it from public viewing.

So, just in case I never get around to finish writing and publishing them, I thought I’d combine them all into one post. Using super-groovy titles and non-cliched sarcasm, I will proceed to give a brief synopsis about the fascinating things I almost said.

Fear and Loathing at High School Reunions
How I want to have a really cool title like Doctor or Senator before my 20th. Then, realizing that I will actually have a title before then, Ironman, I imagine that I’ll be such a super humble person I won’t even talk about it. As if!

How Well Would I Do?
Theoretical scenario asking how much better I might be in this sport if I had unlimited resources and time. Then, an examination of what resources I do have and can reasonably have to answer that question. (Insert crickets chirping.)

Yaktrax and the Saga of My Tailbone
How Yaktrax keeps me from falling on my rear-end in the ice when snow moguls and my days as a majorette didn't.

How Being a Triathlete Helped Me Shovel Snow
Really? You need me to explain that?

How Being a Triathlete Made Walking to the Post Office Fun
Oooooooo. Even I don’t care about this!

This is EXACTLY Why I Wanted to Do Tris in the First Place
I don’t even remember what the "why" was. Just kidding! No, seriously.

Me Ol’ Bike
I pulled my old bike out of my mom’s garage recently and took a picture of it. Yup, doesn’t get more cutting-edge than that.

Triathlons: My Exemption
In all seriousness now, this is one I’d really like to save and write about more. I might even be able to make something poignant out of it.

Thanks, as always, for stopping by, and here’s to hoping that - should you experience writer’s block - it can at least create some fun “maybes” for you, too.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Could it really be?

So, I thought my big news of the season would be moving up from doing all Sprints to including an Olympic distance race toward the end of the season.

However, for whatever reason, I seem to be catching the Half-Ironman (HIM) fever and am giving racing one serious consideration. Here’s why:
  • I actually have the time on a weekly basis to put in the training. I think this has got to be the most important, as skimping on training for such a long-distance event would be catastrophic.
  • Directly behind in importance is that I have ample time to finish a Beginner Triathlete HIM training plan. Plus, I have two months before I'd need to start that plan, and I will do a couple other event-specific training plans during this time which will help with my base.
  • What I also consider to be a boon is that I'm familiar with the course, having done my last tri there. Plus, I'll be able to train on it a few times this summer before the race.
Last year, after my first tri, where I barely made it through 400 yards of swimming, I debated on whether my next race should be shorter or longer (

I decided on the longer-distance race ( and I’m so glad I pushed myself to go the longer distance instead of acquiescing to what was clearly the easier route.

Well, after writing this out, it sounds like I’ve already made up my mind. Why do I do this to myself?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I love you

I absolutely LOVE triathlons!

I love training for them.

I love the burn of chlorine in my nose.

I love the headwind that slows down my speed.

I love the mixed tan lines I get from the different clothing I wear for each sport.

I love the difficulty I have opening my door to go run.

I love the yells from idiot teenagers leaning out their cars calling ME an idiot as I run.

I love the smell of honeysuckle on my bike ride.

I love the smell of roadkill on my bike ride.

I love the sweat ring around my ball cap after a long run.

I love that when I swim at the beach in my lake, I’m the only one wearing a swim cap and goggles.

I love that people think I’m a fitness freak just because I run while it’s snowing.

And I love that I am absolutely no better than anybody else just because I am a triathlete.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Women's Only Triathlon Web Site

One of the triathlon organizations I follow on Twitter mentioned the recent launch of a brand new Web site devoted specifically to women triathletes.

GOTRIbal is a great place for women in the sport, whether they’ve yet to complete a tri or they’ve completed many, to grow and learn from each other. Professional triathlete Jessi Stensland is a member of the site and I look forward to reading more about her story.

Chrissie Wellington, 2-time World Ironman champ, stated, “…I am so proud and excited to be involved in the development of GOTRIbal…, providing [women] with a cocoon of support in which they can grow, flourish, and become the athletes they never thought they could be.”

Check it out and sign-up. If you don’t see a group from your part of the world, start one. You’re not responsible for managing it – unless you want – and find other women in your community to join, too.

It’s a fabulous concept and a wonderful opportunity for women triathletes. I look forward to seeing you there!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Time for Sap

As I sit here on my comfortable couch, the blanket taking off the extra chill the furnace can't resolve, I think about how strong my desire is to complete an Ironman. I then think about my last tri and wonder if I shouldn't reconsider...

Cue flashback music.

Her feet were moving her forward. The heat was holding her back. It was a complete physiological tug of war and she was loving and hating every minute of it.

The swim and bike were now behind her. She'd been last out of the water, passed no one on the bike and would - without a doubt - not be gaining enough on the run to make a good placing. But that wasn't the point.

At least she looked like she belonged, though, having bought a tri suit a few days before that she thought made her look like a superhero. It was a disguise to hide her lack of credibility, one that might buy her time until it would be her endurance and speed that could earn her respect in the sport.

In the middle of her run, she found herself thinking, "This is so brutal. Maybe I'll just be that triathlete who races Sprints the rest of her life. Yeah, I think that's what I'll do. No longer races than this for me."

End flashback music.

It's so easy to say to yourself when you're not racing, "Yup, I'm going to do an Ironman in the next couple years. Yup, that's what I'm going to do. Yes, sir." But when you're in the middle of a race, you really do have a different perspective on your abilities.

However, I think it is this cognitive dissonance between our dream and our current abilities that makes triathlon so unusual - and so lovable.

It is that gap that we must bridge, spending our days swallowing water, making out with pavement and twisting our ankles on that gnarly tree root on the trail so that we can cross the finish line about which we'd only been dreaming.

So, I'm going to continue to dream. I'm going to continue to train so that the dream dies - but only because it has been replaced by reality.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Twitter Me This, Batman

(Isn't this title so original?)


I signed up on Twitter a couple days ago. Twitter has a neat "Why Twitter" video that explains what it's about. Honestly, after watching it, I thought it was even more ridiculous than I'd imagined.

However, the more I thought about it and saw a couple other bloggers use it (Hey, Sara!), the more I thought it could add a little interest-value to my blog. So, as of this post, you can see said Twitter gadget in the right margin.

I realize that by even blogging, I've chosen to open up my life to the entire world; that the serial killer/stalker nightmares we see played-out on the silver screen could be one step closer to becoming a reality.

Now, Twitter's theme and web-niche is answering the question: "What are you doing?" You don't have to say, "I'll be at the corner of Main and Fifth in 15 minutes," thus giving creepy stalker dude true access to your whereabouts.

So, with these pros and cons in mind, I say "as of this post you can see" my Twitter gadget, because I'm not sure I'll keep it.


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