Sunday, January 31, 2010


I had to ride the trainer today for 2 hours and fifteen minutes. That is a long time to be in the saddle, pedaling and going nowhere.

I have discovered the secret to getting through these long, dull rides: watch a movie. Last Sunday, when I "only" had 90 minutes of riding to do, I watched an on-demand movie that was free: "Rockstar" with Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston. I've seen the movie a billion times before, but it was free, mindless and entertaining.

Today, I paid for an on demand movie: "Up". Yes, the cartoon.

I have to admit. I really have loved pretty much every cartoon movie I've ever seen: "Shrek", "Osmosis Jones", "Nemo", you name it, I've seen it and I've loved it.

"Up" was no exception. I thought the story was interesting, the writing entertaining and the animation top notch.

The only hard thing was trying to wipe the tears from my eyes during one very sentimental scene, where Mr. Fredrickson discovers the photos his wife posted of their "adventure" and her final wish to him. It was hard to wipe my eyes while trying to keep my heart rate up.

The movie was an hour and thirty-six minutes long, so after it was over, I flipped over to another favorite of mine: "Celebrity Rehab". There was plenty of drama on the episode to get me to the 2:15 mark.

So, I got through my "increased volume" week last week. All in all, it was not a bad week. I met Natalie on Saturday for our long run, which we ran at the Plymouth field house. MUCH better than the treadmill yet no snow, ice or freezing wind to contend with.

My coach pulled back my mileage a bit this week -- Tri U Mah is on Sunday and I'm getting excited for my first tri of 2010.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

"volume increases a little, Amy..."

That is the note my coach jotted down on my training schedule for the upcoming week.

My week includes one swim session of over 3,000 yards (plus 3 others).

One run session of 1:45 (plus two others).

One bike session of 2:15, which he generously is allowing me to split in to two sections ..."if you need to..." (plus 3 others).

This isn't even official training yet!


Mantra for my life: take it one day (one workout) at a time.

Mantra for my training: "We make thousands of little decisions every day. Six months from now, those microdecisions will either make you or break you."

I'm going to do my best to make smart microdecisions one day at at time.

Friday, January 22, 2010

I'm a

First things first: I saw the item above as I was looking up the weekend weather forecast on If you can't read it, the text inside the circle says: "Tomorrow's golf index: Poor".


More exciting news: I did an "official" brick workout last night. Well, as official as it can be for January in Minnesota.

My coach had me ride the bike for 40 minutes and then run for 25. I'm participating my first event for 2010 in just under three weeks -- the Tri-U-Mah indoor triathlon.

Tri-U-Mah is a really fun event sponsored by the University of Minnesota. Participants swim for 30 minutes, bike for 30 minutes and run for 30 minutes. The total distance covered determines the winner. I love this event. Pool swimming, the lane all to myself; lots of really great swag and food; very, very well organized. I'm always excited to start the year with this event.

My workout last night went surprisingly well. I still feel pretty "weak" on the bike (despite spending a lot of time on the trainer), but moving to the run it did not take long for my legs to loosen up and I ran pretty well. Hurrah.

I've got a long run scheduled for tomorrow and a long bike for Sunday. Dori is visiting from California and will run with our group tomorrow -- if the weather holds that is. We are in for some freezing rain. Should make the Winter Carnival events lots of "fun". Wish Steve Stenzel "GOOD LUCK" if you get a chance.

Monday, January 18, 2010

New stuff

New picture, new title, new attitude.

That's my story and I'm stickin' with it.

I took a heart rate zone/VO2/metabolic test earlier this week. This was recommended by Coach Dan.

I had taken one about three years and fifteen pounds ago after completing a 12-week fitness program.

The results this time around were not as pretty.

For this test, you get hooked up to a machine which reads your heart rate as you walk and then eventually run on a teadmill. The speed and incline of the treadmill gets raised about every minute. You run until you can't run any more, which should be at your HR max.

Oh, and your nose gets plugged off by a clip so you are forced to breathe through your mouth. You are also clenching your teeth on to a rubber tube which funnels the air to some apparatus which measures your oxygen output recording your VO2.

Fun stuff.

The wus in me says "HEY! The test wasn't fair! The guy giving the test kept telling me "...any time you want to stop, just hit the bar... ANY TIME.... just HIT THE BAR when you WANT TO STOP" as I was gasping for air. He SHOULD have said "atta girl, Amy! Keep it up! Keep it going! You ROCK!"

I 'hit' the bar early and about 7 beats lower than I had three years ago.
Actually, I really did about as well as I could do on the dang test. I'm older, heavier and just getting back in to it.

Surprisingly, my base VO2 max is really pretty good. My use of VO2 while exerting myself can be improved though.

I also had an underwater weigh-in. No surprise there, as I've been weighing myself on my 'fat' scale. By "fat", I don't mean like "OHHHH, you are toooo fat to get weighed" scale. I'm talking about one of those 'measure your weight, the number of fat pounds you have, the percentage this is of your whole weight, your bone mass index and your BMI' scales.

The good news is that I've been tracking my food on and I've been dropping a bit of weight. My goal is to do this slowly until March, when real IM WI training begins.

I also had to do a 30-minute bike time trial on Saturday. My Coach had me do a 10-minute warm up and then do 30-mintues, after which I had to track my average heart rate. I followed that up by another 40-minute easy ride.

I think the tests are over for awhile.

This week is a "recovery" week. I actually had today off, which was very nice. I've got a couple swims; bikes and runs scheduled for the week and will do my first "brick" of the year on Friday (45 minute bike followed by a 25 minute run)

And so it goes...

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Week, New Tests

Time trials for swim and run went as well as can be expected last week.

The question always is "What can be expected?"

By that I mean, I'm a 51-year old woman who came to this whole running and triathlon thing late -- er, LATER -- in life.

I know what my times are, but what should they be? What could they be?

What should they be? Can I take pleasure/glee/pride in knowing that I'm doing stuff that most women in their 50s are NOT doing?

I see what they could be by looking at the results of other women in my age category. But, and here is the rub, there just happens to be a bunch of Uber-women that compete in my age category!

For a while, when I was in my late 40's, I thought "NOW is MY time to actually be in the middle of the pack!"


The Uber-Women leave me in the dust and at the bottom. So, when I really compare myself to them and look at their history (and more importantly body-type), COULD I really be running as fast as them?

If I enter events as an Athena, my stats are better. I solidly (no Athena-related pun intended) end up finishing as a mid-pack person then.

But, still, when I send my Coach my results of my time trials, I have no idea if they are "good" or "bad" or just "are".

My kind, speedy, young and athletically gifted Coach says "GOOD JOB!", so I'm just going to take it as he says it.

But really, my results are probably just "are" stats -- a baseline -- a benchmark--a start.

I'm okay today with my results, even if they are pokey. I've got many more weeks of base training left before the big IM WI training push and my numbers should improve. (Right???)

This week, I have a metabolic rate test on Wednesday and a bike time trial on Saturday.

I'll be glad when both tests (and winter) are over.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Time Trial Week Arrives

I have been a total holiday slug.

I've been eating all the foods that I normally do not eat (summer sausage; crab cakes; filo-dough deliciousness stuff; pigs-in-blanket and MORE). Plus, sugar, sugar, sugar.

Add to my nutritional mix general laziness blamed on freezing cold weather and my "busy" schedule.

Slug. Slug City. Skulky Slug City.

Skulky because I've been looking at my training plan every day and then pretty much every day deciding NOT to do the plan. I have been artfully skulking around any contact with my coach so he doesn't technically know that I've not been a very good girl.

I have had a couple exceptions: I ran the Polar Dash 5K on New Years Day. Fun event followed by a post race cookie and hot chocolate and THEN breakfast. I also got to the gym to do a run workout and have been on the trainer a couple times.

But as far as following my training plan? HA! Slug-CITY!

Well, the rubber is hitting the road this week.

I went on line today to see what my training plan looks like and it is TIME TRIAL week.

Yes, my coach has planned for me both swim and run time trials. He has also asked me send him my results, so there is no room to fudge. (mmmmmm fudge....... I digress......)

This will not be pretty.

But I have faced the music. I got on the scale. The new scale that calculates Body Fat in pounds (horrifying) and percentage. Also calculates bone mass, hydration and BMI.

I logged my food/nutrition. I am mapping out when / how I'll get my workouts in.

I'll do the trials and let the chips fall where they may (mmmmmm chips.... I digress)