28 March 2012

TUS --> OUA --> CDG --> BNA --> MHT... GetSetGO!


Five weeks of awesome begins tomorrow!

First there is triathlon camp in Tucson. Four days straight of swimbikerun. And apparently we are time-trialing up Mt. Lemmon. Let the games begin!

Last year's camp

A few days later, I get to go back to Burkina - this time we'll actually make it out to some of the villages which is always the neatest part.

Burkinabe countryside

On my way home, an extended layover in Paris to meet up with one of my favorite people. Chelsea and I used to work together and there was just a wall separating her office from mine (we had a chair in my office that was Chelsea's designated chair. We were *this close* to just moving her computer in as well for a permanent setup). Now she lives in Germany, so this stopover was a perfect excuse to bounce around the City of Lights for a few days.

Next up will be Nashville! I can't wait to spend some time with my Erin, her husband, and the cutest goddaughter on the face of the earth. I'm also going to see if I can steal one of their bikes so I can go for a spin around the country roads of Tennessee and Nashville - I'm convinced they have some of the most pleasant places to bike.

And my last trip - home to New Hampshire to see my family and attend the wedding of my good friend Heather. We met in 5th grade and even though it has been years since we lived in the same state (since high school!), we always pick up right where we left off. I haven't seen my family since Thanksgiving, so I'm really looking forward to some family dinners, eating guacamole with my mom, and catching up.

Let's just hope I can pack for the rest of those trips faster than I managed to pack for tri camp - holy-slow-as-molasses Batman!

27 March 2012

Craptastic

Today I had a spectacularly bad swim. If I swore on this blog (which I do not because I know my mother reads it), I would have several choice words to use as descriptors. When I woke up this AM feeling tired and less than 100% (but really, who feels 100% at 4:55am?), a little voice inside my head said, "you should just go back to bed now." At the time, it sounded like the voice of laziness talking. But partway through a really ugly 1600, when I was on the verge of getting lapped (okay, I did get lapped, whatever), it sounded like the voice of reason. The arms wouldn't turn over, the legs felt like dead weight, I felt like I was working hard but going nowhere fast. I don't think I could've kept up if I had a jetpack strapped to the back of my Splish. THAT is how slow I felt. After the relative success I've had with swimming the past few months, this was a little slap in the face.

At the end of practice, I got out of the pool and wanted to take a nap. My brain immediately started thinking, "you're overtired, you just need a break, you should TOTALLY skip that scheduled run and use that time to rest up for camp instead." Now I was all ears to the voice of reason. During my commute to work, I grabbed the trusty iPhone and tapped out a frantic e-mail to Jen, trying to make my swim workout sound as pathetic and sad as possible, hoping she'd respond back with - "yup, you are tired, you should take the rest of the day off and eat bon-bons." Of course she actually said nothing of the sort, providing me with no excuse to skip my run. This is all made more awesome by the fact that the run was about 20-25 minutes longer than I had thought it would be and included intervals. Oh the drama. I cajoled myself onto the treadmill, saying I didn't have to do the whole workout, I didn't have to do intervals if I didn't want to, if I felt crummy, I could get off in 30 minutes, blah, blah, blah. Wouldn't you know, once I started running, it didn't feel so bad. My warmup came and went, the intervals started (a little slow at first, but eventually I stopped being a wussy sandbagger), the intervals finished, and the whole 70 minutes of the workout were suddenly over. I still wanted a nap, but I felt decent about my run and I was glad I didn't make excuses to skip it. The decent run workout semi-canceled out the craptastic swim (or at least gave me something else to think about). And really, when have you ever gone for a swim, bike, or run that you regretted later? I think the only regrets are for those workouts that you skip. I'll make sure I tell myself that next time I am tempted to skip out.

26 March 2012

De-worming my Bike

This past weekend was full of friends, family, and some solid training sessions. Saturday was a long run, made much more manageable when I met up with some good friends partway through (hi Dawn and Mike!). Dawn and Mike are both fast runners and linking up with them couldn't have come at a better time - about 10 miles in when I was starting to feel fatigued and facing the long schlep up the Lee Highway hill. The rest of the run went by in a flash and before I knew it, I was back at home. It was one of those workouts where I craved a nap afterwards. I didn't actually take one, but with the dreary weather I didn't feel guilty staying in and reading for a few hours.

Sunday I rode bikes with some new friends from the blogosphere (hi Katie, Emily, Lauren!). Did you know that a military base will let you in just to ride your bike around on nearly-empty roads? I didn't either, until Sunday. The ride was great, company even better, but scraping dead worms off my bike afterwards was less than thrilling. It had just finished raining when we started our ride and I didn't even notice the worms on the pavement. Heck, I didn't even notice the worm pieces on my legs until after the ride was over (I thought they were just really big pieces of dirt - EWWWW). My bike looked like a crime scene, too many worm murders to count. The rest of Sunday was spent giving my bike a good cleaning and then packing it up for Tucson! Unfortunately I got only about halfway through the packing part, foiled by the stupid pedals once again! Bike packing became a two-day process instead - good thing I started early!

22 March 2012

Fake It 'Til You Make It...

This month's Men's Health magazine (Mr. Sweetie subscribes to it, I read it) had an article on faking it. Faking it at work, faking happiness, faking smiles, faking empathy, faking it with your friends, and faking confidence, etc etc etc. The article cited an example of an experiment a Harvard psychologist conducted where a group of 16 elderly men were recruited to live in a monastery for a week. Half were instructed to reminisce about the year 1959, a year of their youth; the other half actually lived like it was 1959, watching the same TV shows, listening to the same music, talking about that era's world events like it was actually in the present, not many decades in the past. At the end of the week, those who lived like it was 1959 scored better on a battery of tests and were rated by observers as actually looking younger than their counterparts who only reminisced about 1959. Bottom line of this story, the Harvard psychologist posits that if you think you are healthier, you will actually become healthier.

So, how does this tie into triathlon? If I think I am faster, will I actually become faster? Of course faking it isn't a substitute for actual hard work, sufficient sleep, and a healthy diet. But triathlon does have a psychological element to it. Confidence in myself during training, and especially races, isn't one of my strong suits. Last season was a breakthrough for me in terms of learning how to race and not letting my head get in the way; however, there is still so much more for me to learn and figure out. The run has been my nemesis for awhile now, even though I was a runner before I ever picked up triathlon. I feel like I stay strong on the swim and bike, but falter (both mentally and physically) on the run. Maybe it's because I expect more of myself on the run portion since that's the discipline in which I have the most experience - anytime I experience any gains in the swim or bike I am thrilled, and anytime I don't do well in those, I chalk it up to inexperience. But the gains in my running haven't been enough to satisfy me and I always wonder if I could do better, if I could be faster, if my half ironman run time could be closer to my open half marathon time. So this season will be the season of faking it until I make it on the run. Not only will I work hard during my training runs, I'm going to make an effort to be mentally plugged in, both during workouts and during races. I'm going to run with confidence - confidence in my abilities and confidence in myself that I can be faster. I'm going to make it a top priority not to mentally crack during the run portion of triathlon. I'm going to stop paying such close attention to my splits, turn my mind off, and run on feel. I'm going to find that hurt locker and put my legs into it. This is the year of faking it until I make it.

21 March 2012

Bike Commute - Spring is HERE!

Spring in Washington

Growing up, summer was always my favorite season. School was out, weather was warm, what's not to love? I could never understand those who said that spring was their favorite - especially in New England where snow stayed on the ground until at least April, trees didn't bloom until sometime in May, and there was that in-between season called "mud season." No, not my favorite... until I moved to Washington.

Enter: Cherry Blossoms.
Pink is the best color!

Minus the mayhem that comes with the cherry blossoms (ahem... people and LOTS of them, bad traffic on streets and sidewalks, and people forgetting their common sense and stopping their cars in the middle of the road to take photos - true story!!), this is hands-down the BEST time of year down here.

Tidal Basin on my AM ride into the city

We've had an exceptionally warm late winter, causing the cherry blossoms to bloom a few weeks early, thus giving me an absolutely fantastic bike commute home. So fantastic that I played tourist and took about 15 photos during my ride, stopping every couple blocks around the Mall and Tidal Basin. So fantastic that I pulled over and offered to take a family photo for a group of tourists (don't worry, hell is not frozen over, I checked - it's just that those darn blossoms put me in such a great mood). To top everything off, I saw friends out on the bike trail on the rest of my ride home (Hi Tim, glad the Walter Reed hill was kind to you!!) and now I'm having frozen yogurt for dessert. Huzzah! I love spring!

Blooms around the Monument

Looking towards the Tidal Basin

19 March 2012

Not about the training. It's about the dog poop.

Recently there's been rogue dog poop appearing in our front yard. So last night the creative yet passive-aggressive 5 year old in me came out to play. Markers, posterboard, stencils and all.


Lazy dog owners beware (not that I really have a plan. The most I can hope for is that this sign will someday end up here).

18 March 2012

RnR USA 1/2 Marathon Race Report - "You Run Better Than Metro."

Seen near Farragut West/Dupont Circle area of this weekend's half marathon:
"You Run Better Than Metro." I wanted to run over to the sign-holder and tell her, "You have NO IDEA how true that is."
I was planning on doing a warmup run before the race, but I didn't plan on it being the two mile OMG I'M GOING TO MISS THE START mad dash that it ended up being from the Capitol South Metro station because the Metro train broke down. At 7:35 (25 minutes before the race start, mind you, after already waiting 20+ minutes for the train that was supposedly just minutes away) I finally gave up and made a run for it. I got to the start area with 8 minutes to spare, found the bag check and arrived at my start corral two minutes before the gun went off. Whew. Race day butterflies? Not anymore, I was so focused on getting to the start, I killed them all.

So, the race. The plan was to not blow up. Steps I took were:
- Start conservatively.
- Drink water (it was hot for March!)
- Pray to Saint Patrick (patron saint of both beer and PRs since today was race day) for a negative split.

I also hoped to PR, but didn't know how reasonable a goal that was. The first few miles were flatish, miles 5-7 were uphill, and then the last 6 were an undulating net downhill. Perfect for a negative split, really, if I decided not to race stupid. I figured I'd start with 7:20-7:30 for the first 4-5 miles, try to hang on during the uphills, and then throw down the hammer the last 6 miles. I surpassed the first part of my plan, mainly doing around 7:15s-7:20s. I didn't slow down too much during the hills. But, I didn't throw down the hammer as much as just let it weakly fall to the ground. Sure, I negative split the race, but my pace those last few miles never went below 7:00. And when I finished the race, I didn't feel as sore as I figured I would feel. My finish time was 1:37:12. Not terrible. Not awesome. Not my best and not my worst. I felt like I executed a solid race, with the majority of my splits well under 7:30. I negative split the race, I didn't blow up, and my last few miles were some of the more speedy ones. My head didn't get in the way and I held it together mentally. Is it possible to be happy/unhappy with a race - to feel like you executed a good race but didn't get a great time? In some ways, I feel like I raced much smarter today compared to the 2010 Shamrock 1/2 marathon, which I ran about 2.5 minutes faster, but really struggled towards the end because I started off too fast and definitely did NOT pull off a negative split. I remember finishing that race and feeling really disappointed because I didn't run smart - I ran stupid. Today, even though my finish time was slower, I'm not terribly disappointed. Ambivalent would be the best description. This wasn't an "A" race and I care more about triathlons than running at the moment. When I had a dismal finish (for a variety of reasons) at the 2011 Washington's Birthday Marathon, I remember lamenting that I didn't feel like I could run like I used to. And I was asked this question, "Do you want to be a better marathon runner or a better triathlete?" My answer was triathlete and I haven't looked back since. My swim and bike can always be improved, but I'm much stronger in those two disciplines than I used to be. Maybe someday I'll want to go back and focus on solely running, but now is not that time. One thing I do need to work on, regardless of my status as a triathlete or a runner, is my mental game. I'm not very sore today, a good indicator that my legs could've handled more time in the hurt locker but I just didn't have the mental strength to put them there.

PS - look what I found! A race picture that doesn't completely stink!

15 March 2012

Race Schedule Changes

My mid-April work trip threw a monkey wrench into my initial race plan, overlapping with the first race of the season. Which then led me to retooling my whole early season race plan (this was partially helped by the fact that I signed up for the Columbia Tri yesterday after finding out there were still slots open and I desperately want to do an early season Oly for whatever reason). The Columbia Tri is May 20th or somewhere around there - it's a week after the Kinetic Half. I've unconsciously been putting off signing up for the Kinetic Half mostly because I hate that race. My team does it every year and VTS puts on a great event, so it's a fun race to attend - but that course breaks me EVERY SINGLE TIME and I wasn't jumping for joy at the thought of racing it this season.

So instead: Enter Monticelloman 70.3. Guaranteed to have a better run course because I won't be running by the finish line 3 gosh-darn times before I actually get to cross it. And it won't have a long, never-ending uphill because the website advertises it as having "flat stretches mixed with moderate hills." I like moderate hills. They are my friend. Monticelloman is two weeks before the Columbia Tri, leaving adequate time to recover to race again. Mr. Sweetie might even accompany me to the race site - word on the street is that the Charlottesville area has some decent wineries and golf, his two most favorite things after his family and the dog.

Now my early-season race schedule tizzy has finally come to an end.

14 March 2012

Helmet Hair at the Hair Salon

From all of the postings on Facebook, I think the majority of the country was enjoying gorgeous weather similar to what we had in DC today. I think we almost reached 80 degrees. With this week being a taper week in prep for Saturday's RnR USA half marathon, the workout load has been relatively light. Today's schedule: bike commute. Couldn't have picked a better day for it! Shorts and a short-sleeve bike jersey all the way. Since I bike-commuted in, that meant I was going to bike commute home as well. Only I wasn't going home immediately after work. I was going to the hair salon. I've been going to the same hair salon in Alexandria for the past seven years. Everyone is really, really nice there - but they are all super pretty, always dressed up very nice, always wearing makeup, and I tend to pick out one of my nicer work outfits on days that I have an appointment there after work.

Today I showed up sweaty. My legs had bike grease on them. I had helmet hair. And I ducked into an alley to change into a relatively non-sweaty dry-wick shirt while I looked for somewhere to chain up my bike. They let me in, sweaty mess and all, and my hairdresser asked towards the end of the appointment as she was going to blow dry my hair and style it - "you're not biking home after this, are you?"

In another shining example of how Mr. Sweetie got his moniker, I was not going to be biking home and ruining my new hairstyle. Mr. Sweetie came and picked me up instead.

13 March 2012

Sausalito Summer Nights

The title of this post references a song from waaaayyyy back (I think it was from the 70s sometime) that I loved listening to as a kid. My dad would put on the record and I would proceed to hop around the family room to the beat. Then we outgrew the record player, moved on to a CD player, and I didn't hear the song again for at least 15 years. Fast forward to September 2001, the night before I was supposed to leave for my study abroad in France, my family and I were in my mother's minivan listening to the radio program "Lost 45s" and what comes on but "Sausalito Summer Nights." The timing couldn't have been more perfect; I was already nervous and on the verge of homesickness with the thought of being gone for four months and this song made me feel a bit better.

Dad and I - right about the age when I was shimmying around the family room

This is a pretty long-winded intro to what I really wanted to say. Which is this. This song reminds me of my dad and today happens to be his birthday. Happy Birthday Dad! I don't call you nearly enough, but I do think about you and how lucky I am to be your daughter. I still have that birthday card you wrote for me on my 16th birthday - I keep it on my nightstand and read it every now and again when I want to smile. I love you.

Dad and I dancing to Sausalito Summer Nights at my wedding

12 March 2012

Are You Ready to Rock and Roll Half Marathon Style??

I have my first race of 2012 coming up next weekend - the Rock and Roll USA half marathon here in DC. I ran this race back in 2009 and nabbed my current 1/2 marathon PR there (btw, how many years is a PR valid for? Say I am 50 years old, can I still say that 3:26 is my marathon PR, even though the last time I ran such a time was decades earlier?) Anyway, the race is hilly on the front half, and smooth sailing downhill on the back half, a recipe for negative-splitting. I think you could even run stupid and still manage to negative-split this race (though I'm not going to do that). Do I think I have another PR in me? I don't know - anything is possible. I've been very focused on swimming and biking, with a fair amount of running mixed in, but running isn't the main event this season - triathlon is. And while I'd like to have it all (who wouldn't?), I'd rather be a better triathlete than simply a better runner right now. I do feel like I can run a time I can be proud of and this is a great opportunity to try and execute the perfect race and build confidence going into triathlon season. Plus, friends from all parts of my life are running, so if anything, there's going to be some amazing brunch opportunities post-race.

Today I made a great decision. That trip that's interfering with the first race weekend of the season in April - I'm embracing the interference. Instead of rushing home and trying to race the sprint less than 24 hours after arriving home, I'm extending my trip and hanging out in Paris for a few extra days with this girl! There will be other races and other opportunities to qualify for AG Nationals. And in 10 years, what am I going to remember most - that sprint triathlon I bombed because I was so jet lagged, or that last-minute trip to Paris filled with museums, good bread, wine, and an awesome partner-in-crime? Exactly.

11 March 2012

Mountain Biking Advice

I haven't been mountain biking in ages, but sometimes things you learn stick with you. One of the most important pieces of advice given to me when I first tried mountain biking was "Look at the path you want to take - do not focus on the obstacles you want to avoid." I had a tendency to focus directly on that rock garden, tree, whatever that was standing in my path and 9 times out of 10, I ran smack-dab into it. When you think about it, this actually makes alot of sense - both in mountain biking and non-sport areas of life. When things aren't going well - in a race, in one's personal life, at work - it's easy to focus only on the negative. We feel so surrounded by the problem, the issue, that it can be hard to see the path leading us around whatever happens to be standing in our way. It becomes a vicious cycle that's difficult to break. So. Turn your attention away from whatever has been bothering you. And you might find a clear path leading you to a better place (or at least one filled with less rock gardens!)

My little brother turned 25 today - Happy Birthday! I don't know quite how this happened, I swear it was yesterday that we were fighting over the front seat or the "way back" seat of my mother's minivan (in case you are wondering, I usually won. That's what happens when you are the oldest).

I finished a book this week - The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. It's a book about the woman and family behind the HeLa cells that have been invaluable to science and health research. These cells were taken without Henrietta's knowledge shortly before she died of cancer; they were the first human cells that researchers were able to grow in a laboratory. They are still in use today, but it took decades for her family to find out how important their mother was to scientific research and how many lives her cells have helped to save. Vaccines were developed using HeLa cells, studies were done on the effect of radiation on human cells using HeLa cells, etc etc. Ironically, many of Henrietta Lack's descendants don't have health insurance. The author brings us the story of Henrietta's life and family and how they have been affected by the HeLa cells. Extremely well-written and brings up some good points for discussion (such as, when should doctors inform patients that their cells may be used for research purposes and, if such research is profitable, can patients lay claim to any of those profits?). Highly recommend this book.

10 March 2012

#FirstWorldStress

I've been a ball of crankiness lately. Just ask Mr. Sweetie. I think he hid down in the basement last night under the guise of trying to fix our internet just to get away from me and my cranky self.

Why am I feeling like this? Do I have some major stressor that is causing true damage in my life? Ummmm. No. The two things bothering me are strictly in the categories of:
non-critical;
totally-not-a-big-deal-in-the-grand-scheme-of-things; and
I-should-be-lucky-to-have-such-problems.

1) International travel has messed with my triathlon schedule
2) I've convinced myself that I won't qualify for AG Nationals
3) Haywire internet is preventing me from using my new iPhone to the fullest extent possible (I know I said I only had 2 problems, but this third one is legit - it's preventing me from playing "Words with Friends.).

So - let's start with the first issue, since it has a domino effect on the second "problem." I've had my triathlon schedule mapped out for months. Rumpass in Bumpass Oly in April was going to be my first race of the season. Loved this race last year, qualified for AG Nationals in this race last year, and was really excited to race it again this year (and hopefully qualify again for AG Nationals). An oly is the perfect way to start off the season. All of my friends are doing this race. It was going to be awesome. Epic. And everything in between. A last minute work trip has popped up. Pros - I get to go back to Burkina, rack up more airline miles, and this time we'll be going out to the villages (hands down the best part of these trips). Cons - I leave right after tri camp in Tucson (like less than 36 hours after) and don't get back until the day of the Rumpass in Bumpass race. Womp womp, no oly race for me.

I desperately want to do AG Nationals this year. There's a fun group of my friends racing, it's in my old stomping grounds of Burlington, VT (which is also paradise in the summertime), and it would simply be an honor to compete. I'm convinced I'm not going to qualify and that every race missed is a lost opportunity that I can't afford. When I found out that that Rumpass Oly was no longer an option, I frantically started looking at other possibilities - I could do another Oly the week before the Kinetic Half! I could travel up to Connecticut in mid-June to do an Oly. I could travel to another state to do a sprint. Suddenly I was adding Olys and sprints to my mental race calendar on weekends that really would be better served training for Ironman. I started pinging my coach in a panic - "I'm not going to qualify!" "I need to add races left and right!" "What are you talking about, an oly the week before a half is an AWESOME idea." Fortunately, she is rational and clear-headed and patient, putting up with my freak-out, and I'm no longer on the edge of the "register for as MANY tris as you can" ledge. I'm not going to add all of these random races to augment my chances to qualify for AG Nationals. I'm going to focus on the races I originally planned on doing and cross my fingers that it will be enough.

I still might sign up for the Rumpass sprint, which will be held the day after I get back from my trip. Anyone can fake a sprint. Or I might say the heck with it and stay in Paris for a few extra days on an extended layover, eating butter croissants and buying expensive French clothing and perfume. Sigh. #firstworldproblems.

07 March 2012

Running Mix

I've gotten myself out of the habit of regularly listen to music when I run. But sometimes I'll break out the music when it's essential (i.e., NOTHING else will get me out the door for a run) or if the workout is an easy recovery run. This morning's run was the latter and I took the iPod along for company. I listen to my iPod alot at work and my playlists are typically filled with trashy, girly, bubble-gum pop music. Think: Ke$ha, Lady Gaga, Spice Girls, Hanson (gah! I can't believe I just admitted to that!), Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, Wham!, LFO and Vengaboys. Now that I've fully convinced you to NEVER go on a cross-country road trip with me while I'm in charge of the music, let me stage my defense. Or, rather, show that my taste in music isn't ALL cotton candy pink and sequins and glitter (have you noticed that Ke$ha references glitter in just about every single one of her songs?).

This morning I pulled out a playlist that I haven't listed to in ages. I spent much of my run rocking out to some long-lost tunes that I forgot I even had. So, here is my playlist from this morning:
- Umqombothi (Hotel Rwanda soundtrack)
- Vagabond (Wolfmother - 500 Days of Summer soundtrack)
- Dirty Water (The Standells. Oh Boston, I miss you)
- Anthem (Good Charlotte)
- Pour Some Sugar on Me (Def Leppard)
- Under Pressure (Queen and David Bowie)
- Baba O'Riley (The Who)
- Move Along (All American Rejects)
- Don't Stop Believing (Journey. Where was my karaoke microphone?)
- Fishin in the Dark (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band)
- Like It's Her Birthday (Good Charlotte)
- Break Your Heart (Get Set Go)
- Sausalito Summer Night (Diesel. An oldie but goodie)
- Shook Me All Night Long (AC/DC)

See? Not all bad, right? I was lucky enough to receive a few iTunes gift cards for Christmas and I'm always looking for new songs to download - what are your suggestions?

05 March 2012

Happy Birthday to AAAAAAAAMY! With a little swimbikerun in there too

First, I want to wish a HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my Aunt Amy who is pretty much the coolest person out there. Growing up, I wanted to be like Amy so much that I even cut and styled my hair like her (but trust me, the cut looked waaaayyy better on her than it did on prepubescent me).
Amy doing my makeup for my wedding

Training has been going really, really well. I'm motivated. I'm rationing out my Mini Eggs so I don't OD. I'm getting my workouts done. BOTH times this weekend I got out the door before 8am to get my bike and run on. THAT is progress. My weekend long run has been getting progressively longer and longer. The weekend before last was when it hit 2 hours, that's when it became more than just going for a longer run; it became the long run. There were some harder-paced efforts AND the wind was brutal. I finished and had the immediate feeling of "a nap would be really, really good right now." And I don't nap. It was a feeling I hadn't really felt since last race season. This past weekend, I did a run that was a few miles longer, not as many harder efforts but definitely more hills. I still felt tired at the end, but not the body-shocked tired that I felt the prior weekend. I think I'm getting back into the swing of things. Yesterday was a long bike ride. I did the bike path (boring! but it served its purpose) and took the dog with me on the T-run after I returned. Then I ate a giant Chipotle burrito, fro-yo covered in candy, and didn't feel the least bit full. I am back - the human garbage disposal is BACK! I've gotten confirmation of this fact twice in the past two days. Yesterday when I asked Mark if I eat more than any girl he knows, he simply looked at me and said, "that is a stupid question." And today my best friend Katie said on FB, and I quote, "Caroline, come visit. I will make you all the double-wide meals you can eat!! (and I know you can eat!)" In case you are wondering, a double-wide meal is mac and cheese with chopped up hot dogs mixed in. I may not eat much meat anymore, but that meal will always sound appealing to me. Katie - go stock up on the blue box special RIGHT NOW.

I had a lovely swim this morning, my legs were like lead weights and someone mistakenly put "butterfly" on one of my swimsets, but all-in-all it was a good swim.

I finally finished another book. Holy moly I thought this last book would NEVER end. It was called "Beach Music" by Pat Conroy. Overall it was a good story but I thought it had too many story lines and sometimes I think it focused too much on the more mundane stories. However, the book was beautifully written and you found yourself really caring for the characters at the end. I would recommend it, not my favorite, but not bad. Just a little slow at times.

01 March 2012

That Run was Harder than it Looked on Paper

So last night I was going to blog about my afternoon run but, as a result of said run, I was too darn tired. Have you ever had one of those workouts where you look at it on paper and think, "Oh, that's not going to be too bad at all." And have you ever had one of those workout where you are completely and utterly spent when you finish? Last night's one hour run with a bunch of 1/2 marathon pace intervals and 5K pace intervals was a combination of both of the above. I didn't have to talk my way through the workout to get myself to finish it - the thought that lots of other triathletes were out there working their tails off to get ready for the season was motivation enough - but by the last set of intervals, I was counting down the minutes until they were over. There was only a 15 second difference in my pace between the 1/2 marathon intervals and the 5K intervals, but those 15 seconds hurt. It also made me realize that going out just a little faster than your pace plan in a race - even just 15 seconds per mile - can spell doom. Repeat after me: I will not go out too fast in a race, I will not go out too fast in a race.

Speaking of races - I have my first race of the year in TWO WEEKS! I'll be running around DC at the Rock and Roll Half Marathon to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day on March 17th. This is a far cry from how we used to celebrate St. Patrick's Day at Saint Mike's back in college (green beer, green bagels, and a potato cannon at 6am - any takers?)

PS - I swam in my new lane again this morning and didn't get dropped or lapped. Thanks for being kind to me, new lanemates!