Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I spent this past weekend in Charleston. For those of you who don’t know, I moved to Charlotte from Charleston at the end of July 2009. Despite being ready to move from Charleston, I am always ready to go back for a weekend or two.

Saturday I got up early to have coffee with my two best friends before heading out on a bike ride. The weather was a little iffy with rain clouds coming from the north. In retrospect I should have waited but I was eager to get out on my bike. Normally I take the time to swim with my old Master’s team Saturday mornings when I am in town but I skipped it this week. Magnus (VonPounderson) dealt me a pretty good 4K whopping Friday at the MCAC. This worked out well since it gave me the opportunity to sit down and enjoy a good cup of coffee before hitting the road. I clipped in and headed towards the Ravenel Bridge only to find it closed to all vehicle and pedestrian traffic.  I later found this article on the wreck. What a terribly unforgiving and unnecessary accident. Since I did not have access to Mt Pleasant and the Tour de Bridges (my personal favorite bike ride includes riding over at least three of the main bridges in Charleston). I headed towards the tried and true Folly Beach route. It was a great ride mixed with cold winds and a light drizzle but the roads were quiet and scenery was awesome. Why do I like riding in Charleston? Well the ride looks like this:


Yeah see all that blue? It is called water. We don't have anything remotely like this in Charlotte. Unfortunately with the water comes wind and the wind is always brutal when it comes to riding out at Folly. Consider yourself lucky if you get a tail/head wind because most of the time it is a swirly mess of a mental and physical beatdown. Part of me loves it, part of me cringes at the thought.  Riding along the "Edge of America" aka Folly Beach, I stopped to enjoy a Ciff bar and watch the surfers. Do you think you are dedicated? You need to talk to a real surfer. They don't care what temperature the air/water is. If the waves are good they are in there. It was a perfect morning for surfing. The ocean was smooth as glass, the wind was steady, and the waves were perfect. It would not surprise me one bit if some of these guys had been out there since 5AM. 


I was surprised at how few cyclists were out. Later in the day I realized I should not have been surprised as I was the one who insisted on riding in the early-cold-gonna-rain-any-second morning. By the end of my bike ride, the sun was out and it was beautiful. I stopped at one of my favorite hidden gems on James Island. It provides the best view of the Charleston peninsula but I opted to take a shot of the Ravenel bridge instead, my next destination . . . (right between the two diamonds to be specific).


I rode back downtown and back to the Ravenel Bridge hoping it was open again. It was still closed to vehicular traffic but they were letting bikes and pedestrians on the path way. I rode to the top of the bridge and back with probably the world's largest grin. Since I did not swim, I completed the day with a little runneroski. Just a little jaunt to swing me by colonial lake and through the College of Charleston campus. It was quite awesome. 

Charleston is a great place and will provide the perfect setting for training this summer as I prepare for IMCZ. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Swim Set 12/19/11

This is another sure distance swim set with a twist. It is slightly modified from one written by Bill Mavis - porn star/masters swimmer.

I plan to do this set Tuesday morning at the MCAC starting at 6AM for anyone interested.

Warm Up Fluff:
400 swim
6x50 with :10 rest breathing every 3/5/7 by 50

The Main Set:
1200 on 17:00 (1:25 base), (19:00 or 21:00)
900 on 12:45, (14:15 or 15:45)
600 on 8:30, (9:30 or 10:30)
- 1 min rest -
300 on 4:15, (4:45 or 5:15)

For each of the above distances do an open turn to get your time and then descend the final 300 of each distance. The last 300 in the series should be your best effort. I included three different interval options. Chose one that is achievable but not too easy. The first one is the 1:25 base, then 1:35, then 1:45. I will warn you this is a boring workout but it is all about building fatigue while pushing through the last 300 to help you maintain strength and endurance in the longer races when you are tired.

Warm down as needed

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Aging in the time of Triathlon

So Friday marked another year in my life. I am not the biggest fan of birthday celebrations so I tried to keep my big day under the radar. My morning started off with a 2.5 hour trip to the gym. I got to work out with Legs, run on the treadmill, and punish myself with 32 burpees. I then came to work and negated my time at the gym with a chocolate on chocolate donut provided to me by my coworker. Oh well.

I am not going to lie but I feel like my time with triathlon is limited. While I do not have a 5 year plan I carry with me, I feel like I have until I am 40 to do whatever it is I am going to do with triathlon. Part of me recognizes this is a ridiculous statement especially since there are some super strong Masters Open Females throwing it down with the young pups. Sometimes I am not the least bit phased by my statement. Life is so dynamic it is fun to think of the possibilities. Maybe I will get into whitewater kayaking or climbing . . . but then I remember I am just getting old. I would love to think that one day, oh say 50 years from now, I could possibly be one of those old ladies still kicking it out on the course because there is just something inherently cool about doing something someone 1/3 your age and couch bound (by choice of course) couldn’t even dream of doing (actually I do not love this visual at all). But then the competitive side of me starts chatting away and I have to wonder when the point will come when I can no longer PR in any distance or leg of triathlon. And then I have to wonder, when that day comes, am I going to be ok with it? I am certainly ok with not being the swimmer I once was. I recognize that I will never PR in any single swim event  e . . . v . . . e . . . r, ok maybe breaststroke since I am horrible at it and never swim it, but really, it’s breaststroke – it doesn’t count. I asked a Haycraft GTWD what he wanted for his birthday. I was thinking cookies since I got a new handheld blender for my birthday but he said he wanted another year of life. At least I am off the hook from making cookies! He then asked me what I wanted and I said I wanted another year of racing. I figured I would take his response up a notch since you can’t really have one without the other.  I know I should not fear the future but you can’t blame me. I love the sport of triathlon, at least I do today. Maybe one morning I will wake up and hate it. If that happens I guess that is ok too, it is time to move on.


When I realized it was time to move on from Charleston I came to Charlotte. This weekend I return to Charleston for a much needed visit! I have not been back to Charleston since labor day weekend. It is a long overdue trip I am very much looking forward to. Am I bringing my bike? Yes. Am I bringing my speedo? Yes. Am I bringing my running shoes? Yes . . . I guess.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Swim Set 12/12/11

I have decided to post a weekly swim set. In the depths of the black lump in my chest I call my heart, I am a swimmer. I have been wondering what contribution I can make to the triathlon world since this is a triathlon blog. I was stumped until I remembered I was a swimmer. I am not a slowtwitch junkie, a gear snob, nor do I travel the world for fancy races and training camps. One thing I do do is swim, I swim quite well. I aim to post a new workout on Monday so be on the look out, feel inspired, and adjust the workout accordingly!

This set is inspired by my birthday and by Haycraft GTWD. He was talking smack . . . again. I will be swimming this set at the MCAC at 6 AM tomorrow if anyone is interested.

400 EZ warm up
6x50 alternate 50 drill, 50 kick, 50 swim 1:00 (1:15)

5x100 free descend 1:30 (1:45)
8x100 free pull with paddles and a buoy 1:30 (1:40)
5x100 free descend 1:30 (1:45)
6x100 IM or stroke (no free) 2:00 (2:30)
5x100 free descend 1:30 (1:45)
2x100 kick with fins 2:00 (2:45)
1x100 free all out (get time)

100 warm down = a healthy 4000m workout!

Monday, December 5, 2011

How to tell you are dating a male triathlete . . .

I do not know why I felt compelled to write this list. Maybe I have just spent too much time hanging with boys, listening to them gush about their tri-crushes while meanwhile observing the ridiculous essence of "the triathlete" seep into their (and my) personal life. Some of the items on this list are from personal experience and some of them are just from listening to the constant banter of the boys. 

* He runs 2 steps in front of you at all times to prove to the world he isn’t getting chicked

* The underwear he wears during the famous Underwear Run in Kona is sexier than yours


* He doesn’t call you fat but gently reminds you the handful of chocolate covered peanut butter stuffed pretzels you are about to eat aren’t going to help your running.

* The takes the opportunity to drop you on a bike ride to prove his point

* He shaves his legs more than you do and tweets about their awesomeness


* When you express your disappointment in your race he points to his HTFU socks

* A night out consists of ordering in pizza and watching TV until you both pass out around 9:30

* He spends a lot of time and effort cultivating his tan lines
* AND he finds a girl’s bike short tan line sexy because it "shows her dedication to her training"


* He buys you flowers . . . embroidered on a Pearl Izumi cycling jacket because "this year you are going to learn to ride outside during the winter"

* He wears socks to bed . . . with the CEP logo

* Cheering you on during a race consists of pulling down his shorts to reveal his new Speedo as you run by


* The number of shoes he owns is ridiculous and a fact you hide from your dad


* He uses you borrowing his set of race wheels as leverage

* He takes the opportunity to dress like a woman for Halloween and any other kind of costumed gathering.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

IMCZ

Celebrating my entry into IMCZ
So this past Tuesday I signed up for my third ironman. Back in 2008 I signed up for my first and what I thought would be my only Ironman, Ironman Florida 2009. My motivation for signing up was simple, I wanted to do an ironman before I turned 30. So what is my motivation now? Well it is a combination of things:


1) The swim looks awesome. 
I have been fortunate to swim in two awesome swim legs in the last two ironmans. During IMFL I swam with a sea turtle. In Hawaii . . . well it was Hawaii. The swim course in Cozumel looks ridiculously awesome. I was not aware there is supposed to be a current to help the swimmers along but who cares while you are cutting through the crisp clear waters of one of the most scenic swims on the Ironman circuit.


2) Several local triathletes are doing it. Some of them happen to be my favorite. Four of us came together to make this happen. We all have different degrees of Ironman experience. This will be my third, Johnny Garage's 2nd, The Beard's 2nd? and Deuce's first. Awwww Deuce! Deuce is probably at the gym now doing bicept curls to train for it. I have heard rumors of several other local triathletes planning to sign up but I do not have confirmation. Hopefully we will have a large fun group to dominate the island!


3)I want to go back to Kona. IMCZ will be the first attempt of perhaps many to make it back to the big dance. I got lucky in Florida and I thought one trip to Hawaii would be enough - to compete in the holy grail of triathlon and walk away satisfied. In many ways I did  . . . until the race rolled around again this year. As the race day approached I felt somewhat disappointed I was not there to compete. I felt an eagerness I have never felt for a race. I was envious of the athletes watching the sun rise as they scoped out the swim course. The excitement they felt as they previewed the Queen K and dipped into the famous energy lab to have a look around. I wanted to be one of those athletes. 


Who knows what will happen but it doesn't hurt to try right? And it definitely doesn't hurt to try in the company of your best buds!