Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Those of you who know me, know that I LOVE SLEEP! I have always been a goal setter and one of my goals is to consistently get 8-9 hours of sleep a night...throw in one or two 7 hour nights a week and it gets scary. I've always been this way, in bed by 9:30 ever since high school (can we say "I know how to have a good time!"). I swear I'm not a complete loser, but pretty darn close. Throw in IM training and my schedule gets tight trying to maintain this level of sleep priority (there are plenty of nights where bedtime comes around 8:30). So last night, when I got in my car at 10:00 to go home I flew into a mild panic.

I went to watch the World Tour of the Banff Film Festival, where they are show casing some of the movies that made it to the 2009 Banff (as in Canada) Film Festival. They were amazing films that were all tied together by a "mountain theme" with amazing athletes climbing, skiing, jumping and what not. They truly inspired me to go and try even more crazy things that I already have on my list of "to do's" (Kilimanjaro in 2010!).

Anyway, I was on this high when I got in my car and noticed, ahhhh, it's 10:00! I drove home as fast as I could only to realize that I hadn't packed my bag for swim/work yet and that I still needed to wash my face, check to be sure there aren't any more surprise grey hairs and apply a thorough amount zit cream (thank you sweating 3-4 hours a day). Whew, 10:30, done, in bed...now SLEEP! Then my brain started running...does this happen to you?..."only 5.5 hours of sleep, you are going to be exhausted tomorrow, you need to swim and then go to work and then bike...you have to get up again early on Wednesday and do another bike and then another swim after work...you then have to get up early on Thursday and meet your coach for mile repeats on the track...you then have to get up early on Friday for swim again...you are going to die of exhaustion from this one fatal night of only 5.5 hours, why did you stay out 'til 10 on a MONDAY...ahhhh" I know, I know, PSYCHO! Then of course I can't sleep because I start thinking about all I have to do and it's just a downward spiral from there...the madness.

We had an awesome swim this morning, logged 3900 yards, and I felt great...still do. Check back in around 3:00 and I may have a different story...I will most likely be on my way to Starbucks.

Hopefully you won't find me like this come Friday...I'm sure it's bound to happen at some point during all this training!

Sunday, March 29, 2009


This can't be good, can it?  Check out the youtube of the youngest person to do IM...he's only 13 years old!  I mean, what' next?

Back in the Saddle Again...

...I'm back in the saddle again.

Ok, so apparently Saturday was the better day to ride after all...and we learned that the hard way.  The weather report for the weekend was sketchy all week, so we didn't know what to expect this weekend.  It was supposed to storm Saturday but be warm and be cold Sunday but no storms, so Patrick, Katie and I decided Sunday was our day.  Well, there was tornadic activity (I just love that word, tornadic, weird) on Saturday but it wasn't until much later and it was a gorgeous day to run, ride, etc.  Sunday, not so much...41ish degrees and WINDY!  We strapped on our big girl pants (and big boy) and went out for a nice 30 miler.  All feeling in our feet was lost by mile 6 and we battled a head wind for a good 15 miles of the ride, not what I call a happy ride!  It was nice to be out with other peeps, misery loves company...and I have been getting really bored riding solo lately.  

I start my April training plan this Monday.  A lot of the same volume, but more intensity this time...meaning more interval training, faster, faster, faster.  We also have a Sunday reserved for "Dave Scott" bricks...15 mile ride/5 mile run/15 mile ride/5 mile run/15 mile ride/5 mile run/20 minute interval ride...then done.  Yes, that's 45+miles riding and 15 miles running...we're looking at a nice 6 hour workout, whew!  These are actually a lot of fun to me...I guess I'm a glutton for punishment!  There is also the first century ride of our plan slotted for the second weekend of April...100 miles here I come.  My fanny hurts thinking about it! ;)

Patrick freezing in the cold getting ready for the ride...Patrick NEVER rides in the cold, don't know what got into him this weekend!

Katie and me gearing up...Katie just got her bike and was already riding 30 miles with us on her third ride...she was a trooper!

The Principle of Inertia

An object in motion will stay in motion, so does that mean an object standing still will stay still until a force is applied? Well, I need that force! I had a rest week this week and I took full advantage. Last month I was super nervous about the rest week and squeezed in an extra run and short ride. This time around I probably went too far in the opposite direction. I took three full days off, no training whatsoever! I started feeling under the weather and decided it would be best to really use the rest week for what it is. I was still able to get all my prescribed workouts in, but really enjoyed my down time...even got a massage, lovely!

I was worried that I was getting used to the rest and 9 hours a night sleep...as I was walking into the pool today I felt like I hadn't been there in months (it had only been 4 days). We had a great workout and I am now pumped to get back into it tomorrow!! Ashley said that my stroke had improved dramatically and that she could tell I am really getting in shape...yee haw, there's my force to push me into motion. Now the test will be to stay in motion for the next three hard weeks.

Friday, March 20, 2009

80 Miles to Nowhere

I don't know what to say...80 miles sucked.  It wasn't all bad.  I got up this morning, went to swim practice had a great swim, went to Cracker Barrel with some swim mates and had oatmeal/eggs/coffee and well, coffee and then loaded up the bike and went out for my 5 hour ride.  I felt awesome (see coffee) and was really killing it the first 40 miles...averaged 2 mph faster than normal, I was pumped!  I turn around at my determined halfway point and head home...like a horse running for the barn, I was not.  I quickly realized there was tailwind helping me the first 40 and I was going to have to fight it the whole way home.  I wanted to cry.  

My mild case of tourettes really shines while I'm on my bike, especially alone.  Not only do I yell things like "SQUIRREL" and "TURKEY" but I love throwing in words like "COLD" and many, many expletives that would make even a sailor blush.  

I get off the Trace around mile 64...okay, only 16 more, less than an hour if I can hold a decent pace with these beat legs.  I stop at the gas station to reload on gatorade and man, oh, man was I ever saddened when I realized it was officially lunch hour and their was a BBQ restaurant attached to the gas station.  I have NEVER smelled such deliciousness in all my life!  I really did think tears were going to well up in my eyes.  Those rednecks chowing down on 'Q had nothing on me...have they ever tried a Clif Shot Block?  Ha, ha, delish!  Wahhh!!!

Who wouldn't want to eat this spread after exercising for 6.5 hours!?

All in all a great training day...my head cannot wait to hit the pillow tonight and rest up for my 16 mile run tomorrow!  When is it going to be Monday? ;) 

Flying Squirrels and Other Animal Encounters!

I went to Percy Warner Park yesterday after work to squeeze in a few hours on the bike before sunset.  The park is great because you have two main options...take it out on the Blvd for some flatter riding or take it into the park for some monster hills.  I chose both. 

While on the Blvd you have to be extra careful of the yuppies on their cells phones not noticing you flying by on your bike (or in my case, meandering by)...but when in the park you must be on the look out for FLYING SQUIRRELS!!  I am not kidding, it's complete pandemonium out there.  Squirrels are darting all over the place and testing you...well, one little guy must have taken the dare from his friend because he ran right out at me.  I was cruising along at 26 miles per hour when I saw it out of the corner of my eye.  I yelled "SQUIRREL" (not sure what that would accomplish) but it didn't scare him away.  He ran right at me from the left.  He went head first into my front wheel (I thought I was going to have a direct hit and run him over, but no) and ricocheted off my spoke and went flying in the air.  I quasi laughed and quasi freaked out...I mean, if I'm going to die from a bike wreck it's not because I ran over a freakin' chipmunk!  I looked back, after taking a split second to realize I was still upright, and that little guy was just laying there...crap, I killed him...but he stood up shook it off and darted back into the woods...only to torment another rider, I'm sure.  

Not the actual squirrel...but close to what those little kamikaze squirrels look like.  Rider beware!

In other animal news.  I did my 5 hour ride today and took it out on the trace for a good 3 hours of the 5.  At about mile 40 (of the 80...by the way, totally hurt right now) I see a turkey, a real live turkey...what?!  The thing was sitting in the middle of the road with it's tail feathers all flared...I had to swerve not to hit it.  A turkey and a squirrel in 24 hours would have been too much for me to handle, so I swerved.  WTF?  What's with all the random wildlife?  I of course instantly imagined the turkey sitting on my table surrounded by all the fixin's and thought and about going back for him (kind of like in the cartoons when the bubble pops over their head of a pork chop or something...that's what I saw!).  This only adds to my weird list...some others being the peacock loping down the road (no joke) and the donkey that chased alongside me while I rode by him.  Beats sitting on the couch and watching Animal Planet!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Baseball Helmets?

Okay, so I have run three organized races in the last month and there has been a mysterious runner at every one. He's been easy to spot because he runs with a baseball batting helmet on...what?! Who is this guy and why does he wear a helmet running?

When we ran the Cedars Frostbite Half Marathon we had our first sighting. Pete said to me after the race "did you see the guy with the helmet?...he was so fast and kicked my a$$"...so the running joke is that he got beat by some dude in a helmet. Now after every race I have to call Pete to give him a race report..ie: a helmet sighting report (Pete is currently not my running friend since he has a stress fracture in his foot, so I have to report on Helmet Head and the fact that he always is flying past me within the first half mile).

I laughed out loud as I ran past a couple running this past Saturday and overheard her saying "did you see the guy in the helmet?" to her boyfriend...hahaha! Yes, yes, I did...

Tom King...and More, Much More!

Whoa! What happened?!? March happened.

The increase in training has definitely been challenging, but a ton of fun! I had a heck of a week last week, so first thing to go was my bloggy blog.

I started last week with a 10 mile hill run in the morning, a ride that night, a swim the next morning, a bike the next morning, a run/swim that night, a day off (whew) and then a swim/run and bike, then a half marathon and topped the week off with a 4.5 hour ride with 20 minute brick...followed by a 4.5 hour drive to Atlanta...whew! Come Monday I was done...made an unexpected trip to Atlanta for work and took the day off. My body was in desperate need of a day off, but sitting in the car for 9 hours within 24 hours isn't my idea of rest. This 20 hour a stuff week is for the birds! ;)

Anyway, my friends and I ran the Tom King half marathon last weekend and again it was POURING rain...why does is always have to rain on the weekend races??! I sucked it up and threw on some extra clothes and sloshed to the starting line. I told myself I was just going to run a comfortable race pace...being that I had worked out 4 hours the day before. To my giant surprise I ran a 1:53...only a minute slower than my PR of 1:52...needless to say I was very happy with it! I woke up early the next morning to go for a 65 mile ride and short brick run. Still felt like a complete idiot on my brick, but it was better than last time!

Motivation has been lacking today (see dog hike with my friend Pete and beer on the tail gate afterwards...sorry swim practice, it was sunny and 78 degrees and poor Cash has been hostage inside too long!), so I have a long weekend ahead of me to fit it all in. Starting with a 10 mile run/2 hour ride Thursday, a swim Friday morning and a 5 hour ride/brick...then Saturday will be a 16 mile run and swim, Sunday will follow with a 6 mile hill run and 2 hour bike...good times!!!

Thank God next week is rest week!!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Thank You Mr. President!

And I mean George W. not Obama. This past weekend was daylight saving time and I am SO excited about it! Yay for long rides after work and not having to hop on my trainer to avoid getting smacked by a car (not a huge "night rider"). Put a check box in the "positive" column for ol' Georgie boy...he increased daylight saving time by 4 weeks back in 2005 and I am loving it right now. I got up this morning to do my 9 mile run (still under the cover of darkness...hate running in the light where cars can see my buttocks shaking in spandex) and will be able to ride outside with Coach tonight in the sunlight!! Now, if only he could have put this into effect without having to actually lose an hour of prescious sleep...hmmmm....

Gee Dub working hard on the DST initiative...forget about the war and the economy, I'm doing this for Tilghman!

She's a Brick...House...

...She's mighty, mighty, just lettin' it all hang out.

Who's this brick layer?
I had a great weekend and had to cram a lot of workouts into two days. I woke up bright and early Friday to go to swim and do our second T30 of the season (a timed 30 minute swim to see how far you can swim...1500, same as last T30 and pretty much the same time...not better, not worse...I swam 5 days in a row last week so my shoulders were burning, so I am happy with the results)...I then had a 50 mile ride with my first, bum, bum, bum...brick workout! Only a 20 minute run following the ride, but it was killer. I felt like my legs didn't even belong to my body...luckily it was a "dog run".

What is a "dog run?" you ask...it's when well, obviously, the dog comes with me and therefore we get to stop and sniff a lot, tee-tee a lot (he does, not me) and go really slow. (Cash has put on a few L-B's this winter so his running skillz have taken a downturn...so he's a great brick runner right now). It was nice to have him stop and sniff because my legs were not willing to move steadily or quickly.

I had to wake up early again on Saturday morning (4:30, not cool) to squeeze in 12 miles before I caught a 9:15 flight to Charleston, SC for a wedding...to dance in my heels for 5 hours, to wake up and fly back home...whew, dog tired come Sunday night! It was nice to crawl in bed at 8:30!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Single, but in a Committed Relationship

My brother called me yesterday and we were chatting it up like always, you know the..."how's work", "what's going on with the girlfriend"...he follows with his questions "how's training," "how's the dog," "are you dating anyone." Ouch, that last question always stings a little...the status quo answer is always "no." Booo. Then I realized, yes, I am single (have been painstakingly so for a very, very, very long time) but that I am in a very committed relationship.

His name is Ironman, most call him IM for short. IM's not very tall, and pretty non-descript but IM leaves an indelible mark on anyone that commits to hIM (no, I'm not letting hIM leave "the mark" aka the M-dot tattoo). I spend a lot of time with hIM, pretty much daily. Often our relationship requires hanging out twice a day and we like long weekends together. I have been thinking about hIM constantly...before I go to bed at night and first thing in the morning when I wake up (it's hard not to think about hIM then since IM's the reason I have to get out of bed so GD early in the first place). IM makes me laugh and makes me cry. IM has introduced me to a whole new world of fun and interesting people. It's definitely a love/hate relationship...when it's good it's wonderful, when it's bad it's horrible. IM pushes me to limits and beyond that I didn't know I could reach or surpass and is constantly asking more of me. This is not a casual relationship by any means and I am going to have to give up casual dating until we go our separate ways. Our courtship will continue for the next few months until the "big day"...my immediate family and some good friends will be there and it will be a joyous occasion. There will be tears of joy and gleeful shouts...it will be so nice to run into the sunset (and then into the cover of darkness) with hIM. We will sadly break up on June 22nd and I know that I will have a huge piece of my life missing, but I will surely find something (or maybe someone!) to help fill the void that IM will leave. Maybe I'll pick up (and dust off) my guitar again, or take the other art class I have on my list. (and of course I have the Dublin marathon and am climbing Mt. Rainier before 2009's end).

Then again, maybe IM and I will rekindle our relationship...

**disclaimer: I am really not psycho and don't actually believe I have a real "relationship" with the Ironman...this is all written to be taken lightly and with loads of silly undertones! ;) I mean, if I was going to talk about the love of my life you would be getting an earful about Cash!...hahahaha! ;)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I Would Walk 500 Miles...

...and I would walk 500 more..."

So, my trusty steed hit 100,000 miles on Tuesday!  Whoa, that's a lot of driving in only three years!  I started to wonder how many miles I have on my body?  I didn't really start running until high school and even then it was like "holy cow, I just ran 3 miles, I'm a rock star!"  Now, 8 marathons, multiple half marathons and a handful of triathlons later I can only wonder how many miles I have logged with my two legs.  I plan on attempting to calculate come the end of IM training...only IM miles though, I will go crazy trying to think about my almost 14 years of being a runner...ok, maybe a jogger for a while (maybe it's yogging, it might be a soft "j"...apparently you just, run!)

I just hope I can be one of those super old women out there running marathons (I know my family is reading this and saying "I hope not!")...don't you just love seeing those people?  The oldies in their 80's, plodding along (ok, ok, I have been passed by many!) enjoying running for what it is, and not worrying about hitting a PR, certain mile split, etc.  The best memory I have of running, is back in 2004 when I was running the Vancouver, BC marathon.  My mom and dad came with me and this was the first race both of them had watched.  My dad was somewhat shocked by all the different type of people that are out there that are marathoners.  He figured everyone would be fit, young, lean, etc. but as many of you know there are all types out there.  He expressed this observation after I crossed the finish line (while rubbing my feet...thanks guys!) he said, "I mean Tilghman, did you see that 80 year old man pass you?!"  Thanks dad.  Yes, I did, and I also saw the woman three times my size smoke me too...awesome.  

Sunday, March 1, 2009

It is Ugly!!!!

Remember how Triswami (or Tiramisu as my mom mistakenly called him the other day) said "enjoy February, March gets ugly!!!!"...remember?  Yeah, well, he was right (shocking, I know, since he's the one writing the training plans!).  

I got my March training schedule and monthly hours are increasing by about 20.  February's hours were right around 50 and March's will be right around 70.  So, if you break it down you think, ok, 5 extra hours a week...well, not really, fourth week is still a rest week, so majority of those hours will be built into the more intense three week period.  Ok then, let's say 6 hours more a week...well, since I have 6 days to work out (mind the rest day!) that's an hour a day average.  

Oh boy, here we go!!  

I am actually really excited about this because this is when the test will really begin.  How do you juggle your week to fit in 20 hours of training?  How do you do this while still trying to maintain a career, social life (this will be the first to go), and trying to not galavant all around town in spandex all the time and still maintaining some level of "girl."  Now is the time I "just say no" to having "just a few beers" with friends and actually hunkering down to get needed rest before a long weekend of rides, runs and swims.  There are some 5+ hour rides and brick workouts creeping their way into my life and I am ready to push it and see what I'm made of!  This rest week has been nice, but it's been difficult not getting out and forcing myself to sit out when everyone else is getting together for long rides, runs, etc.  

Hang on, it's gonna be a bumpy ride!...