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This weekend was Ironman Boulder!  Before getting into race details, I have to say, I think they did a spectacular job organizing and implementing this race.  It was an inaugural event, which can be a bit messy sometimes, but this seemed to run like a well-oiled machine.  Dave (the race director) and crew did a fabulous job.  Can’t wait until next year.

On to the race…

See the weekday pre-race events here.

Gear bag packing list here.


Saturday morning, I loaded up the car and headed over to the Res to drop off my bike and bike gear.  There was a decent line of cars at the gate, but it didn’t take too long to get through.  I rolled my bike down to T1 and found my spot on the rack.

bike check in

After letting some air out of the tires, making sure Roo was in an easy gear, and giving everything one last check, I headed over to the gear bag drop.

bike gear drop

It was a gorgeous day at the Res.  The swim buoys were all set up and ready to go.  It always looks so far!

the res

After getting my bike stuff situated at the Res, I got back in the car and headed downtown to drop off my run gear at the high school.  Parking actually wasn’t a problem, which was a pleasant surprise.  I actually didn’t have a problem with parking at all the entire weekend – I was shocked!

run gear drop 2

After getting all the gear situated, it was time to head home and relax for the rest of the day.  Before heading to bed, I put on my race numbers (I got tritats for once – love those!), and in doing so, discovered that I suck at temporary tattoos.  I set four different alarms for the morning, and headed to bed early(ish).

Race morning arrived at 3am.  Uugh.

I popped out of bed (no lingering on race day!), sunscreened and bodyglided, got dressed, made some breakfast, and was out the door with my cooler full of bike and run nutrition, bike pump, and special needs bags by 3:45 am.

I picked up a fellow tri clubber who lives around the corner from me, and we were downtown and parked by 4am.  Not bad!

People were already swarming around the high school.  We dropped off our special needs bags, put our run nutrition in our T2 bags, and then got on the shuttle (there was a long line, but it moved super fast), and were on our way to the Res.  I think it was only about 4:30 or 4:45 am at this point.  We were efficient.

It was still dark when we got to the Res.  There were a couple food trucks parked both here and back at the high school – brilliant idea on their part.  If I had been spectating, I would have been all over that.

I made my way through the crowd and into T1, popped on my headphones (I had to leave my friends at the gate to the transition area, so it was music time now), and wandered over to my bike.  Tires were pumped up, nutrition and garmin went on the bike, and everything got one last check.

After setting up the bike, I found my support crew and we headed down to the water to stake out a spot for them.  It was about 5:30 am at this point, and juuuuuuuust starting to get light out.  Still too early to put on the wetsuit, but everything else was done – nothing to do now but wait.

While waiting, I hit up a port-a-potty (No line!  Score!), and then found my awesome friend Molly, who was doing her first IM that day and was super nervous.  At about 6 am, I put on my shortie wetsuit (shorts and short sleeves) since the water was 74 degrees.  That’s a smidge too warm for me to wear my full suit, but not so hot that I don’t want to wear anything.  The shortie suit is a good intermediate step.

It was time to head over to the corrals.

We (me and Molly) seeded ourselves at the very back of the 1:16-1:30 corral.  This was my biggest problem at Lake Placid last year.  I hadn’t done a rolling swim start before, and had seeded myself with the 1:20 swimmers (I was expecting to swim 1:24).  Mistake.  This time, I tried to be as accurate as possible.  Better to have to swim around a few people here and there, rather than being beat up the whole way.

swim corralsReady to go!

The gun sounded, and the pros were off.  We were up next.

To be continued…

So today was IM Kona.  I spent the majority of the day with the live feed on in the background.  What a great race!  It was also an excellent time to put the bike on the trainer and pedal away to Rinny’s amazing run!


I did somewhere around an hour – forgot to start my watch, so I don’t know exactly.  But my legs felt good and my new saddle seems comfortable.  I got a Cobb V Flow Max right before IMLP, but contained my desire to switch to that for race day.  Seems good so far!  After the bike, it was time for some decent stretching.  Holy crap!  I have lost a LOT of flexibility.  Must be better about stretching…

Tomorrow, I’m hoping to get out for a decent run and see how my legs feel on the road.  For now, it’s time to watch the last bit of Kona.

I was supposed to spend my birthday working at this year’s Lake Placid Ironman, but I ended up staying home with back issues (I’m getting old).  I did something to it in the middle of the week (slept funny?) and it took days for the discomfort to go away.  So instead, I spent my birthday sitting in my backyard pulling weeds (not good for a bad back – live and learn), and getting sushi with my friend.  Aside from the back pain, it was a good day.

I do have a pretty amazing story about a friend though…

One of the guys from my tri club had been training like a maniac for Lake Placid.  He busted his butt for a year.  A few weeks ago, he was racing in the Tinman half iron, where he got into a bike crash and broke his collarbone.  His dream of racing the 2012 Lake Placid Ironman was gone.  He was devastated.

He said he was still going to go to Placid and enjoy the day, and use it as inspiration for 2013.  But he had a different plan.

Turned out, he raced anyway.  He swam 2.4 miles, biked 112 miles, and ran 26.2 miles with a broken collarbone.  And the entire run was done with his arm strapped to his side in a sling.

He came in 12 minutes before the 17 hour cutoff.  He is officially an Ironman.

And that was with one arm, quite literally, tied behind his back.

Here’s a video of Jeff coming into the finish…

On Monday afternoon, I was sitting in my office at work, browser window open, hitting “refresh” every minute until the Ironman Lake Placid registration opened at 12:00.  I, like many others, frantically typed away, trying to get registered before all the spots filled.

No problemo!

Apparently, with the new additions of Ironman New York and Ironman Mount Tremblant, there was less pressure for people looking for a northeast Ironman to register for Lake Placid, and instead of selling out in minutes (like in previous years), it didn’t sell out until later that evening.  That certainly makes it easier!

Training for Beach2Battleship is going well.  My swimming feels fairly good. (I won’t use the word “strong,” but it’s respectable.)  Biking is still difficult, but getting easier.  I’m not fast, by any stretch of the imagination, but I get through.  Of course, running has taken a bit of a hit, since I’m not focusing on just that anymore, but it’s still going just fine.  I tend to be between 10:00 and 10:30/mile for most of my runs lately.

Speaking of which, I have a 12 miler to do tonight.  Seeing as we have a tornado watch and all these crazy thunderstorms coming through, I’ll be on the treadmill.  Hopefully we don’t lose power.

Fingers crossed!

Now that the DC RnR is behind me, it’s time to turn my attention to triathlon training.  EEK!

I am still contemplating running the Lake Placid marathon in June, but it’s on my husband’s birthday, so that’s really up to him.  It’s definitely a possibility though.  It’s a nice course, and it would be fun to have another marathon this year.

As for tris, I have quite a few this year…

I’m also volunteering at the Lake Placid Ironman this year, which will be a fun way to spend my 29th birthday.  I was originally going to sign up for the 2013 LP Ironman the day after, but I’m going to do the HITS Cooperstown full iron (I’ve been hearing good things about their most recent race!) in 2013, and those are too close together.  So Lake Placid will have to wait until 2014.

As for training, I feel confident in my running abilities.  So the most important things for me to focus on in these upcoming months are my swimming and biking.

The next month will be base training, just working on technique and increasing my distances a bit, as well as getting down to a good race weight (I’m not in bad shape, but it could be better.  And I’d rather not carry any extra weight for 140.6 miles).  Once April 30th hits, I’m 25 weeks out from my ironman, and then the real training will begin.  At the moment, I’m planning on using the Beginner Triathlete full iron plan.  It’s a 20 week plan, and I always start a few weeks early so that way I have some cushion for things like illness and injury.

The hardest thing in these next few weeks will be the same problem I had all through the DC RnR training – just fitting it in around my work schedule.  It’s not really a huge problem.  I have the time.  It’s just a matter of developing better habits.  I work pretty much 9 to 5, but I teach, so by the end of the day, the last thing I want to do is be on my feet some more.  But I’m alsoterrible about waking up early.  Every morning I set two alarms – the early one, and the one I know I’ll actually get up for.  But that has to end.  I love it when I actuallydo get up early and get my workout in because I feel so accomplished after and the day has barely even started.  But that’s hard to remember when I’m nice and warm under the covers.

I wish that clocky didn’t almost give my husband a heart attack every time it went off.  That thing was the best.  It scared the crap out of me every time it went off, but it did it’s job for sure!

The other thing that will be a challenge is cleaning up and paying more attention to my food intake.  I’ve been eating everything in site for the last couple months, and not in a good way.  If I don’t pay attention to what I’m eating, I tend to fall back into the habit of eating lots of snacky foods (or “snacky snacks” as my husband likes to call them).  But it really only takes a few days of eating better for the sugar and junk cravings to go away, thank goodness.

I guess that means I need to pawn all the leftover snacks in my office off on my students ASAP.   They’re in college, hungry, and broke (it’s almost the end of the year, and by now they have no money left for fun, or food).  It’s a good setup for getting rid of food.

Helloooooo!  It’s been all quiet here on the blog front as my winter break ended and it was time to get back to work for the spring semester.  But now we’re a couple days back into the swing of things and it’s starting to settle down.

And now for some ramblings…

Marathon training

With only 8 weeks to the DC marathon, training is going well.  This past week was my 14 miler, which actually felt good!  I finally got my hands on the new GU Peanut Butter gels to try them out (and one of their old classics – chocolate).  I’ve never been a fan of gels because the texture always creeped me out, but I’m a huge peanut butter addict (well, former, since I discovered this homemade almond butter from OSG – holy crap, I have to make a double batch every week, it’s better than peanut butter!), so I figured I’d give these a shot.  Plus, the texture of a gel isn’t too far off from regular peanut butter anyway – I think the thing that bothered me had something to do with fruity flavors in a gel.  It just didn’t seem right to me.

The verdict:

The chocolate is amazing – just like chocolate frosting!  Definitely a winner.  I had heard this from Chelsea, but hadn’t yet tried it myself.

The peanut butter is quite good!  It’s not exactly like peanut butter – more like honey and peanut butter mixed together (the exact description both my husband and I came to separately), but it’s yummy.  I could see using that and the chocolate in the future.

As for the No Meat Athlete training group – I haven’t been taking advantage of the group discussions too much yet, but I intend to do so more in the next few weeks.  Matt’s emails have been a nice reminder of what I should be focusing on and roughly where I should be in my training.  I like to make my own training plans (excel geek here) but it’s good to see that I’m running similar distances as others in the group for my long runs.  Coming up is our live chat which should be entertaining and informative.  But what I’m most looking forward to is just having a group on race day.  Even though we won’t all be running together, it will be great to have dinner together the night before, and gather the morning of, etc.  I’ve never run with a group (aside from the workforce challenge, which doesn’t count) at an event before, so this should be a lot of fun.

On the ironman side of things…

I’ve been continuing to include biking and swimming every week to build up my endurance in those events, practice my form, and use it as crosstraining for the marathon.

Things are going well.  I’m loving being in the pool, even though it’s frustrating when the lanes are crowded (the other day was a nightmare).  My form is improving, and I feel like I’m making progress, so we’ll see.

The bike still continues to kick my butt.  But it’s nice to get on the trainer (I ended up with a CycleOps Mag+), pop in a Friends DVD and just get my legs moving for an hour or two.

After much thought and research (which, admittedly, I could have done a better job of beforehand, but live and learn…) I decided to defer my HITS entry to the 2013 race season

But wait for it…

Not because I don’t want to do the iron distance this year.

I just want to do a different (more established) one.

Like many others, I think the HITS races have a ton of potential, but this is their first year, and the field for the long course races (half iron and full iron distance) is extremely small – the Naples full iron distance race only had 20 people a few weeks ago.  Since this is going to be my first iron distance race, I really want it to be a great experience.  And while I don’t mind being pretty much by myself out on the course, I want to come in to a great finish line – not just a couple people standing there.

So I signed up for the Beach2Battleship race in Wilmington, NC on October 20th.  It’s a great, well-established race, and I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about it.

As for HITS, I’ll do either the Naples or Cooperstown race in 2013 – probably Naples since it’s in January and I want to do the Lake Placid Ironman in July (the day before my 30th birthday!).  Cooperstown is in September, which will be too soon after Lake Placid to really be recovered.  But we’ll see.  I definitely want to support HITS because I think it would be great to get another organization out there putting on the long course events.  And they have the potential to put on a good one.  It’s just going to take some time to get their momentum going.

So it looks like the plan for the next year(ish) is:

March 17th – DC Rock n Roll Marathon

June – September – some local tris (2 olympics and a half iron), training with my local tri club, and volunteering as a bike course marshal at Ironman Lake Placid

October 20th – Beach2Battleship full iron

January 2013 – HITS Naples full iron (my parents live not far from there and we were planning on being in the area anyway for the holidays)

July 21, 2013 – Ironman Lake Placid

After that, sleep.

Speaking of which, I need to get to sleep so I can get to the pool in the morning!  After witnessing a head-on collision in my lane the other day (after work, very crowded, people not paying attention and/or following standard pool etiquette), I don’t want to swim in the afternoon again.  Yikes.

I created a new running log for 2012!

Want to log your runs for 2012?  Get the Google Doc here!  (The link will also be permanently available at the top of my blog.)

Before you input your runs, make sure you save the file to your own computer so you can modify it (File -> Download as).

Let me know what you think!

I feel like many bloggers have a dirty little secret that really isn’t a secret – nobody’s perfect.  But it’s hard to put yourself out there and shine a light on your shortcomings.  That’s not something you really want to draw attention to.  But really, those imperfections are the things that I struggle with on a day-to-day basis.

I have some really terrible eating habits.  Not to mention, a huge sweet tooth and peanut butter addiction.  When my husband is out of town, I often eat copious amounts of cookie dough rather than making a real dinner.  I seem to go through phases where I get really into cooking, and then I burn out and don’t cook much for several weeks.  Good thing I don’t have any kids and my husband knows how to fend for himself in the kitchen.  Now if only I could get him to cook a meal for us once in a while…

I have grown to love my body as it is, however, that doesn’t stop me from looking in the mirror and sometimes thinking about how I would look and feel 10 pounds lighter (okay, if we’re being honest, 18).  I’m a perfectly healthy weight for my height, but I’m at the upper end of a healthy weight, and could be in much better shape than I really am.  I know this.  But it’s a matter of “happy” weight versus “ideal” weight.  I can maintain my current weight with little to no effort.  This is my body’s “happy” weight.  Could I work harder and be in better shape?  Sure.  But the question is how much harder do I want to work and what am I willing to give up along the way?

Also, I love sleep.  Given the choice of an extra 30 minutes of sleep, or waking up early and getting my workout in, I choose sleep.

I’m not perfect.  Nobody is.  But what makes me stronger is how I choose to tackle those challenges.  Some days I do a better job than others.  I’m still learning what works and doesn’t work for me.  I’m still trying new ways to challenge and motivate myself.  Some things that I try are a success, and some are a complete and total failure.  But I’ll never know unless I try, right?  Heck, the whole reason I started this blog in the first place was to keep track of my thoughts and actions as I trained for my first marathon.  And now here I am, a year and a half down the road, four marathons trained for, two completed (stupid injuries and illness…), and just about to begin training for the next round of marathons (I’ve got a couple planned for 2012).  I’ve come a long way in that year and a half.  But I still have a long way to go in search of what works best for me.  So I’ll keep on trying things.  Some will work, and some won’t.  And in the end, I’ll be a better athlete because of it.

Wohoo!  This has been a good week.  First, it was gorgeous out!  It’s so exciting when it gets warm after a brutally cold winter – even if it is just a teaser.  Everybody was so excited this week when it hit the 40s and then the 50s, and then 60!  But I kept having to remind myself that it wasn’t going to last, and winter will be back to hit us at least one more time before spring arrives.  That’s how it always works.

With this gorgeous weather, I was actually able to get an outside run in this week!  It was very exciting to be able to run with Chelsea and our dogs (they are best buds and loooooooooove to play for hours on end).  And the dogs absolutely loved it too.

So far this week I’ve gotten all my shorter runs in.  Here’s the recap:

Run 1 – 4 miles at 9:45/mile, 2 miles in my Vibrams

Run 2 – 4 miles at 9:45/mile, 2.5 miles in my Vibrams, outside with Chelsea and the dogs on a beautiful 60 degree day.  Yay!

Run 3 – 4 miles at 9:42/mile, this one was completely in my Vibrams.

Tomorrow I’ll do my longer run for the week – 6 miles.  I’m still painfully behind where I hoped to be at this point, but I’m still on track to be ready for Buffalo.  I just won’t have as much cushion (extra weeks) built into my schedule in case of illness, etc.

I’m trying to keep my pace on my runs consistently below 10:00/mile, and so far it’s going well.  I’ll have to see how it goes when I get into my longer runs in a few weeks, but I think it will be good.  Now that I have one marathon under my belt and I know I can do the distance, I have some other goals besides just to finish.  I like to put them into a little progression (bare minimum for me to call it a success -> ideal perfect day).  So here they are:

Bare bones: Finish, run pain free, have fun, run faster than I did at the Adirondack Marathon

Good day: Finish under 4:30 (under a 10:18/mile pace – totally do-able)

Great day: Finish under 4:15 (under a 9:45/mile pace – also do-able, but tougher)

So far things are going well.  My heel is a little sore, so the plantar fasciitis isn’t completely gone, but I know how to keep it under control, so it should be alright.

The other big challenge I’m facing is improving my food intake.  Since it’s winter, I’ve been eating horribly – lots of comfort foods (read: toast with peanut butter), and not many fruits and vegetables.  But now that I’ve realized that, I’m focusing on changing it.

Also, a house update:  We are done with attorney review, and have done our inspection and appraisal.  I haven’t heard about the appraisal outcome yet, but that should be fine.  Our inspection went really well, and now we’re just waiting on the mortgage paperwork to be processed.  I’ve already got all the projects I want to do in that house planned out, and I’m itching to get into it and make it our home!

Top 10 Posts of 2010

  1. DIY Workout Headband
  2. Product Review: TofuXpress Tofu Press
  3. Florida: Days 3 and 4 – HARRY POTTER PARK!
  4. I have a new food crush
  5. Race Report: Adirondack Marathon (9/26/10)
  6. Race Report: Buffalo Marathon (5/30/10)
  7. Recent Eats
  8. Nifty Grocery Shopping/Menu Planning List
  9. Race Report: Hairy Gorilla Half Marathon Trail Race (10/31/10)
  10. Ways My Life Has Improved Since Going Vegetarian

Top 10 Links of 2010

  1. My 2010 Running Log
  2. Sweatybands
  3. Menu and Grocery Planner
  4. TofuXpress
  5. Bondibands
  6. My Etsy Shop (not very up to date right now since I’m a little busy)
  7. Vegetarian Lunch Box
  8. Peanut Butter Pillows
  9. Vegan “Crab” Cakes
  10. Smlove Pie

And just for kicks… the Top 10 search terms used to find me:

  1. DIY Workout Headbands – While I love sweatybands and bondibands, if you have basic sewing skills, it’s pretty easy to make your own workout headband for a fraction of the price.
  2. Tofu Press – I love my tofu press and want to sing it’s praises from the mountaintops!  I’m so happy to share that information with people who have been looking for a good tofu press.
  3. Harry Potter Park – Two words: Totally awesome.
  4. Geonerdette – Thanks for looking for me!
  5. Nasoya Tofu – Delicious and a great source of plant-based protein!
  6. Warrior Pose – Aside from yoga just being great in itself, this is a great way to stretch out tight calf muscles and lessen plantar fasciitis symptoms.
  7. Buffalo Marathon – What should have been my first full marathon, but ended up being my first official half marathon, due to a knee injury.  Oh Buffalo, I will complete you in 2011…
  8. Lima Beans – Odd…
  9. Adirondack Marathon – My first full marathon!!!
  10. 2010 Running Log – A handy mileage tracker for 2010 – through Google Docs.

So I finally got the kick in the butt I needed to get back into running regularly.  I realized this weekend that if I didn’t stick to my training plan starting NOW, I’d be risking injury and trouble by the time spring rolls around.

I know it sounds like it’s way too early to start training for a May 29th marathon.  Most training plans are 16 to 18 weeks long and it’s still 24 weeks away.  However, I’ll be spending three weeks in New Zealand (In three weeks!  Yay!) and will be repeating a few weeks of training when I get back.  Plus I haven’t run a heck of a lot since the Adirondack Marathon, so I need to get my base mileage back up to an acceptable level.

Hence why I’m at my getting-started-deadline.

This week was our last week of classes for the semester, so things were a bit hectic.  My runs got pushed back to the end of the week, but I still managed to fit them in.

Thursday I had a nice 3 mile run at 9:30/mile.  I’m trying to keep my pace on the shorter runs to under 10:00/mile because I really want to work on my speed.  However, I’m still getting back into the swing of things, so I need to start at a fairly comfortable “faster” pace.  I’ll pick it up as I go along.

Friday was a rest day because my department had an end of the semester gathering with foodstuffs and cake – which I happily partook in (My vegan cake and another faculty member’s vegetarian chili?  I’m there!).  By the time I got home I was full, and it was late.

Saturday was 6 miles at 9:52/mile.  Still in my sub-10:00/mile range, but slightly slower.  I pushed hard for the last mile and increased my pace every tenth of a mile until I was flat out sprinting at the end.  It was HARD.  But it felt good!

Tonight was supposed to be my long run of 9 miles, but partway in I realized that I was starting off with too much mileage and I should really do another 6 instead.  I don’t want to end up with an overuse injury.  I went there last year and it wasn’t fun at all.  So mid-run I changed plans.

Of course, then my husband appeared in the basement to inform me that our DVR wasn’t recording the season finale of Amazing Race – which I love.  Boo Time Warner!  So I jumped off the treadmill somewhere around 4 miles to run upstairs and at least catch the last 10 minutes and see who won.  I’ll finish the other couple miles (and perhaps a few extra) tomorrow night.  Not ideal, but I love Amazing Race and I was not happy about the DVR suddenly deciding not to record it.

Overall, a good week.  I’m glad I’m back on track and running regularly again.  It’s so easy to let other things get in the way, or to stay cuddled up with the dogs under the blanket on the couch, nice and warm.  But after a couple weeks, I’ll be back into a regular routine and then it won’t be so difficult to make myself get out from under that blanket.

Also, I may have bought myself one of these suckers to make myself do morning runs once the spring semester rolls around…

A clocky!

I’m thinking that not wanting the dogs to attack it as it jumps off my nightstand and runs away will make me get out of bed in the morning.  We’ll see.

Need to contact me?

geonerdette at gmail dot com


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