Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Triathlon Racing Problems

My first race of the season the Beaver Freezer is this Saturday and my shoulder is still bothering me. I have not been able to swim for two weeks three days now and it is very frustrating. I am also in talks with my coach Larissa because she feels that if I am have some pain in my shoulder I should not be racing.

I am insisting in participating in the Beaver Freezer and this is not making my triathlon coach happy. I understand that it is probably best to not race in what is considered to be a small race but this race is a big deal for me and for people in this area (it sells out in under 2 hours!) So I am going against what my coach says and racing. I don't think my swim will be great but I will be able to do it and I will be able to finish the triathlon.

I also will not have another triathlon until July so I figure this gives me plenty of time to recover. I will let you guys not how I do on Saturday. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Running Water Bottle Review

For the past few years I have slowly been uping my millage when I run. I started off thinking that 2 laps around the track were the end of the world. Now I look forward to going for 9 mile runs, I have completed a half marathon and am training for 2 half marathons and a marathon. As the miles have increased I have had to find a way to hydrate myself while running.

I really did not want to carry a water bottle with me. The few water bottles I had tried were not comfortable and felt heavy. Camel backs seemed expensive and when I ran they moved around too much. About a year ago I wondered into a local running store and came across a whole line of running water bottles called Ultimate Direction. I noticed that they looked different like they were made with more thought. I then saw the Ultimate Direction Fast Draw 10 oz bottle I decided to give it a try. One year later I still have it and love it. The Ultimate Direction Fast Draw is by far the best water bottle I have used for running. For me the 10oz size is perfect I think I will run with two of them once my mileage gets a little higher.

So if you are like me and want the most comfortable accessories and water bottle while running I highly recommend you check Ultimate Direction out!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Distance Runner?

The weirdest thing is happening to me, it started about a month ago when I had the best 8 mile run of my life, longer runs are becoming "easier". Now don't get me wrong it is still hard work everything is hard work and determination and motivation but I just seem to be enjoying and getting more out of runs that are 50 minutes or longer.

Today I ran for 1 hour 30 minutes. It was POURING rain and there were gusts of wind up to 40 miles per hour. I ended up going a distance of 9.7 miles jumping over puddles and tree limbs that the wind had brought down. It was hard work but it was enjoyable and I feel I great sense of accomplishment. I have about 1 month and one week before the Hippie Chick half marathon I hope I do well!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Vibram FiveFingers

As I mentioned before I am reading the book Born to Run and I am very very interested in the information it has been giving me. Yesterday in the book I read a lot about bare foot running and how it is so much better for you than running with some nice cushioned shoes. I also learned about the whole barefoot running movement and how there are more people who run around barefoot than one would expect.

They say that running without those super cushioned shoes improve your technique, help you get faster, help you get stronger, and prevent injury. It makes sense, if you look at history many tribes ran around and still do either in bare feet or sandals and they seem to be fine.

So I have been thinking that maybe I should give this barefoot running a try. But then I realized how will I run barefoot in the city without getting really nasty feet or cut them up with glass. A few pages later the book gave me the answer Vibram FiveFingers. Apparently these are kind of like shoes in that they protect your feet but still maintain the integrity of what your foot should be doing when running, landing and pushing off. Vibram FiveFingers also come in many models and for men and women. Some are for running others for hiking it is worth checking out what they have. I am going to do a little more research on this and ok it with my coach Larissa but it all sounds very interesting to me. Anyone have any thoughts?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Shoulder Update

The Beaver Freezer Sprint triathlon is one week one day away and I am still unable to swim because of my shoulder injury. This as you can imagine is really starting to stress me out. I am doing everything I should be doing to take care of it like not moving it very much icing it, aplying heat after the ice then ice again.

Now don't get me wrong it is much much better I am not able to put a sweater on with relatively no pain and when I take the sweater off it just hurts a little but I need to be able to swim in my full capacity at the Beaver Freezer. Please please time help my shoulder and let me be able to swim by next Saturday.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Born to Run: Christopher McDougall

One of my Christmas gifts this year was the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. It looked interesting enough but I had a couple of other books I wanted to read first so it took me a while to get started on this one. I don't really consider myself to be a good runner although I wish I were a better runner especially since I run between 15 to 20 miles a week. I was hoping that by reading Born to Run I would get some answers to why I feel like I can't run!

I read the first chapter of Born to Run in record time it took me in right away. So far I am about two thirds into the book and I can't wait to finish writing this so I can keep reading! It is a very inspirational story that in my mind explains what is wrong with my attitude towards running and a better way to deal with it.

If you do not know about Born to Run or have not heard about it I highly recommend it! So far it is a great book!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Eugene Women's Half Marathon

I have never competed in a Marathon but I signed up for the Portland Marathon which takes place on October 10, 2010. I am really stressing out about running that distance so what I have done to reduce my stress levels is sign up for two half marathons before the marathon. Does this make sense? I am not sure.

First I signed up for the all women's Hippie Chick half marathon which will take place on May 8th, 2010. I did this race last year and I liked it a lot so I figured why not do it again this year to help me get fit for the Portland Marathon. Then I started thinking well thats months away! Now what! Like a sign in the mail I received a pamphlet for the Eugene Women's Half marathon. Should I sign up I thought?

I decided to look at my training plan for the marathon and the weekend on September 5th it wanted me to run 13 miles! It was a sign for sure so I signed up! So now this year I will be participating in 4 triathlons, 2 half marathons, 1 marathon, and the Tour de Cure ride for Diabetes! Crazy!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Nuun Electrolytes

Almost two weeks ago I had the best 8 mile run of my life and part of the reason I think was because of my use of electrolytes. As I mentioned before over the years I have not been able to find an electrolyte that does not make me feel sick until I came across Nuun.

The reasons I like Nuun are that they do not have sugar and the flavor is not too strong. I almost feel like I am just drinking water with a little hint of flavor. For me this is great because I am able to get the minerals I need without forcing myself to drink something that does not taste good to me. Nuun picked up on how much I love this product and that I want to share it with everyone so they sent me a few canisters! This is great! I am already handing Nuun out and have a few converts! Thanks again Nuun for such a great product!

My first triathlon of the season is in two weeks and I will be sure to have my Nuun with me!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Still can't swim!

I have not been able to swim since Sunday when I fell and injured my shoulder I have been resting and my shoulder still hurts but I thought I would try and swim today. It was a nice day so I decided to ride the 4 mile ride to the pool and as I was riding I could feel that my shoulder was getting a little tight. Great I though to myself, if it is bothering me know it will be worse in the pool.

I got to the pool thought positive thoughts jumped in the pool tried to swim 25 yards and there was pain. I kept trying thinking it would loosen up but no luck. I ended up swimming a total of 200 yards and getting my money back as I could not really swim. My first triathlon is 2 weeks away, please please should stop hurting!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My shoulder!

Being a clumsy person I took a tumble and landed on my shoulder a couple of days ago. What this resulted in was that I feel like somebody picked me up and threw me into the ground. My shoulder is in a lot of pain the first day I could barely lift it, today it has more movement. My neck hurt and whole body hurt. I am still a little sore but I am getting better.

I am really concerned though because my first race is on April 3 the 2010 Beaver Freezer and as of now it hurts my shoulder to run and bike but I can do it. The real problem is that I currently am unable to swim..... I am getting better and can move it but it is still very painfull if I move to fast or put it in certain positions. I am really really hoping that this will get better before my first triathlon of the season.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Triathlon Swim with Snorkel Part II

After thinking about the whole doing the swim segment of a triathlon with a snorkel and if it is fair or not I decided to go for a swim with a snorkel to see if I felt like I had an advantage. I consider myself to be a pretty good swimmer, just to give you an idea I can swim 500 yards in 7 minutes 43 seconds so not bad. I went out in the ocean and first swam without a snorkel. I was fun and I was pretty fast. Then I went out and swam with a snorkel and it was a huge advantage o not have to come up for air. I just kept my head down and swam it was so much faster! I also did not get as tired as I was not using up energy to turn and breath! After doing the test myself I think it is a no brainer, no to snorkels in triathlons!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What a difference a couple of days make.

On Monday I had the best 8 mile run of my life which had left me really excited and motivated about running. It also gave me great hope that I would do well for the 2010 Hippie Chick Half Marathon but then I had to run in 80 degree heat a couple days later and my happiness was over.

My workout consisted of a 50 minute run, at a conversational pace with 3-5 20 second strides inserted into the run. Because of certain obligations I was only able to go running at 2pm in the highest heat of the day which was between 80 and 82 degrees. Five minutes into my run a knew there were going to be problems. I was huffing and puffing and I still had 45 minutes to go what was I going to do? My pace was not conversational at all in fact I felt like I was comming close to having a heart attack!

One mile into it I wanted to stop so bad but I kept telling myself that I could do it just keep going, keep going. I ended up running five miles it was very very difficult nothing like my very satisfying 8.1 mile run. I told my coach about this we agree its the heat. I have reached the conclusion that I am better suited for mild Pacific Northwest weather.

I am trying to not be discouraged since I know the heat is a huge factor but it is hard not to be.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Best 8 Mile Run EVER!

I just got back from my run and it was by far the best run I have had in my whole life and I am very happy about this. My breathing was great and I felt strong. I did go a little faster than my workout indicated but other than that a wonderful run.

I feel like all this training with my coach Larissa is paying off and also the use of electrolytes. I usually do not even bring water but Larissa has been drilling into me how important nutrition is. I usually do not like to put stuff in my water because it makes me feel sick or there is too much sugar in it but about half a year ago I discovered NUUN and it works really well for me. You get to have nutrition in your water but without all the sugar and it does not taste that strong, so if you have problems like I do about this I highly recomend trying NUUN. Ok just wanted to update you guys on the best run ever!

Running 8 miles

On today's triathlon workout menu is a 75 minute endurance run. I have not run that long in a very very long time I am guessing since I should pace myself it will be about 8 miles. I am going to leave on the run soon but I am already starting to worry myself with questions like will I be able to do it? I know I can and I know that most of the battle is psychological so I am really trying to think positive.

Last week I ran for 1 hour 5 minutes and felt great afterwards but wished I had brought some sort of electrolight with me so I will be bringing electrolights with me today. It is a little chilly today and a tad bit windy but I should be fine.

In terms of distance, I am happy because if I do end up running 8 miles today then I only have to add 5.1 more miles to have completed the Hippie Chick Half marathon distance. I am really looking forward to getting closer to that distance. ok I will let you know how it went!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Tour de Cure training ride

Yesterday was the first Tour de Cure Portland training ride. These training rides start months before the actual Tour de Cure so people who want to build up their fitness and ride a long distance can build up to it. We could not have had better weather for the ride yesterday it was great!

Not only was this the first Tour de Cure training ride but I led the ride for the first time. We started in Sellwood at the American Diabetes Association offices and rode on the Springwater Corridor and the Eastbank Esplanade out and back for a total of 10 miles. There were people of many ages and abilities there and it was great to see everyone and their enthusiasm.

There are more training rides to come in the next months, one every weekend they happen on Saturdays once you have signed up for the Tour de Cure Portland emails are sent out to let participants know when the rides are. Next ride is Sauvies Island. This ride is about 12 miles and it is a great fun ride. If you have not joined yet, want to make a donation or would like more information on the Tour de Cure click here:

Friday, March 5, 2010

Pool closed once again!

On the menu today for triathlon training was a 35 minute run and 2600 yards of swimming. I went to go do my run and that went fine. I then got ready to go to the pool and once I arrived I was really annoyed. There was a sign on the door that said they would be closed today from 12-3 right when I had arrived and to top it off after 3 there is no lab swimming. I was there two days ago and there were not any signs anywhere saying that the pool was going to be closed today. This happens way too often. It ruins my training and it just puts me in a bad mood.

Please! Please! If the pool is going to be closed let us know in advance so we can plan accordingly!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I can't get my tires on my wheels!

I am having the strangest problem, I cannot get my road bike tires on my wheels! Now I have never really been an expert at changing a flat or changing wheels on a bike but I am able to do it. Some times are harder then others but I have always managed to get the job done.

Last year for Christmas I got some really nice yellow Continental race tires for my road bike. I took the old tires off of my bike and attempted to put on the new ones, I tried for two whole days and was just not able to get the\at little last bit on. I asked one of my friends who is an avid cyclist to help me put the tires on the bike and she was not able to do it either I'm pretty sure she said "these are the tightest tires ever!"

Not knowing what to do I went to my local bike shop the Community Cycling Center and asked one of the guys there to help me. It took him about 15 minutes to get the tires on and he used some sort of special tool which I cannot remember what is called but I ended up buying one for %15 to help me in the future with all my tire changing needs.

Since then I have gotten a couple flats, had to get picked up because I could not change the tire but have been able to do it at home with plenty of time to waste. A couple of days ago the story changed I got a flat fixed it and I cannot get the tire bike on the wheel! It is ridiculous! I had to take a break, I will work on it again tomorrow. I have also bought new tires for my road bike because this is just crazy. I would usually blame it on myself but other people can't do it either. These are the weirdest tightest tires ever!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Squeaky Bike Saddle

For the past week or so my Felt S32 bike has developed some squeaking. At first I could not quite tell where it was coming from but when I stood up to ride up a hill I realized that it was coming from the saddle.

Since this noise is very very annoying I am trying to solve it but so far have been unable to . Yesterday I loosened all the bolts and then re tightened them. This morning I added some WD40 to the saddle and still when I went for my training ride today it was still making noise!

I am out of ideas, could there be something wrong with the saddle itself? Does anyone have any ideas? This noise is driving me crazy!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Running and more running

Today was a great day for running unlike my horrible run of last week. On today's menu for triathlon training a 1 hour 5 minute run which turned out to be 6.66 miles. I started off feeling good I was able to get into a good pace and rhythm. I also ran on one of my favorite training routes in Portland its nothing special but I like how its a long road with trees in the middle and it is relatively flat.

My triathlon workouts for this week are looking tough. They just seem to get tougher and tougher the running is increasing the most. The increase in running is to get me ready for the Hippie Chick half marathon in May. Time to refuel now!