Monday, December 31, 2012

See Ya 2012

This is my obligatory last post of 2012. 2013 can't come soon enough, it is a fresh start if only in calendar form, and I am welcoming it with every part of me. 2012 was one year that I am ready to put in the past. This new year I plan to focus on what I love and not let 2014 come in without a book being done. It still remains to be seen whether this will be a book of fiction or a retelling of my Appalachian Trail Thru-hike, but my plans are to work on both until one overtakes the other. There will be a lot of writing and training in 2013, just the way it should be. 

Yesterday I got in my first long run in awhile. It was so cold when I woke up and so intimidating. But 2013 will be the year of NO EXCUSES, so I bundled up threw the beaten Newtons on and headed out the door. One thing I did do yesterday that I haven't done in years is listen to music on my run. I needed a little extra motivation, and although I usually like to be aware of my surroundings and always preach no head phones, it was a nice change. A little Sunday morning "Church" music to get me through the miles and the cold. 

I can't say the run was fast, it was actually a little too slow, but I was happy to be out and just logging the miles again. Afterwards I used my culinary genius to make a quick lunch of brown rice pasta and eggs over easy. It is a good thing that this isn't a foodie blog, I would fail miserably at it. It looked far from appetizing, but I promise you it was good. Have I mentioned that I will eat anything?

My day finished off with some football, of course. The seasons over for us Jets fans, and sorry to say Giants fans too. However, just to add insult to injury I wore my new Jets shirt from my wonderful godson/nephew today. Just so you know I bleed green people, even after the entire ship... err team sinks. 

Now it is time to load up for the party tonight and decide whether to hit the gym for a quick hour or not. Tomorrow a much needed long ride is on the table, snow, rain or whatever happens, it is happening. Have fun tonight everyone! Don't drink and drive and make sure you give 2012 the finger on it's way out the door. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Treadmill Running And Dragon Slaying

Tonight, I will start with what I thought about The Hobbit. It kept my attention for two and a half hours, which is a very difficult thing to do, it had a lot of pretty colors, and some very cool action scenes. Actually my favorite part about the move was the none stop action. But really Peter Jackson, a sequel? Maybe a trilogy? I can't take all that waiting around for the next movie to come out. Add another hour to the first movie and just do the whole damn thing. If they had just played it out in one I would have been very happy with the whole thing. I did love that Frodo made his appearance in the beginning.  All in all a good movie, but I'm bummed they didn't slay the dragon.

Found this at Bed Bath and Beyond, really?
We suffered over a ten mile mountain bike run yesterday morning, and when I say we I mean I. The ground was soggy from all the rain and the new storms had brought new limbs and branches down on our path. Did I mention it was 30 degrees outside and 8 in the morning. It was like riding through glue, and if it wasn't sticky it was slippery. I was whiney the whole time, but we got it done and that is all that matters. There were not time awards for that ride, but I did learn how to bunny hop. 

After that ride I felt as if everything had been taken out of me. I went home made lunch and napped on the couch until late in the afternoon. Mountain biking is wrecking my body in a whole new way. I love it. 

Today was an easier day. Four miles on the treadmill, since I couldn't stand anymore freezing cold rain and wind.  I hate that I wimped out so easily, but the gym is right below me and the warmth was calling to me. If it is any consolation I worked my butt off during that four miles, and did a killer new ab routine for 20 minutes. I'm already hurting from it tonight. I have been ignoring my core since the summer, so it better be prepared to start working. 

Now I'm sitting here watching "Trouble with the curve" and it isn't bad. At least I wont have to worry about this movie having a sequel. I also don't think Justin Timberlake will be slaying any dragons at the end of this one, which is a bummer. Who wouldn't like to see JT slay a dragon? 

Tomorrow my first long run in awhile is on the schedule. Hopefully the Newtons have a few more miles on them, I don't want to give them up just yet. They are so beat up and pretty. 

Did you ever have a favorite pair of shoes that you can't give up?

Snow running yes? Or do you hit the treadmill?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Trainer Season

This morning I put in a solid 50 minutes on the indoor trainer. 

There was a mini hurricane outside all night and morning. I felt I had to put an excuse out there for everyone. They are calling for snow on Saturday as well, so I guess this means it is officially trainer season. 

It was a difficult session. I'm used to living in a house, so the whole time I was paranoid the neighbors downstairs were going to start banging on my door. I tried to be quiet, unless I was sprinting through the commercials, but it still seemed a little loud. That being said, I got through the whole work out with no complaints so maybe they had left for work already. Not so sure they would care either way, there has been an empty beer bottle on their patio since we moved in, which to me means they aren't particularly uptight people. 

Notice the bored dog in the corner. She judges me when I ride inside. I can just see her saying "wussy."

No Sufferfest video today, I just went with my own program. I call it sprint through the commercial breaks. Love those long commercial breaks Good Morning America, thank you so much for that. 
I rode, and Zoe did her best impression of a human while watching longingly out the window.

Now is where I admit that I'm guilty of taking the last two days off, again, to enjoy the holidays. A lot of family time and dinner with friends, but now it is time to get back to work. Trainer this morning, gym tonight for an easy treadmill run and some abs. I am quite proud of myself at the moment. I was originally going out with a friend for dinner tonight before we go see the HOBBIT, but I chose to hit the gym before the movie instead. Since I slacked off the last two days I knew I would feel better if I got a double in today. But I'm still proud of myself. I can't believe that I chose the gym over food and beer. I'm giving myself a little pat on the back right now. When I start making these kinds of choices you know I'm starting to get serious about training. 

We are still going to see The Hobbit tonight, it is one of my favorite books. Can't wait for this movie, no matter how long it is, and I'm sure it is at least 12 hours long. 

Can I sneak some beer into the theater? Just kidding mom. 

This was in my stocking this year (thanks mom!) A little Hobbit lego set to get me in the spirit. Expect to hear my thoughts on the movie tomorrow, and a report on the best way to sneak beer into the theater. Kidding. Sort of. 

Wish me luck on surviving my Mountain Bike ride tomorrow with minimal launching myself over the handle bars. 

Are you going to see the Hobbit? 

Any other good movies out right now?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

My Favorite Things About Christmas

Someone recently made me aware that I have been having a pity party for awhile now. I am going to have to thank that person. I probably have been, I have just been partying too hard on that pity to realize it. I get most of my frustrations out on the bike or on the last mile of a run, but sometimes it slips out into everyday life no matter how hard you try to stop it. So I've decided I'll clean up my mess and put the noisemakers away, it's time to stop "partying" and start enjoying more. 

Today seems a good a day as ever to cut out the self pity and get on with the positive thoughts. Christmas was once my favorite time of year, I'd count the days until the first Christmas song came on the radio, now however, this has been my second Christmas without a tree up in my place. I can't wait until next year to shift back into my old Christmasy self. I'm going to put a tree up, get all my beloved ornaments out, and go and bake cookies with my mom. I don't know where this Scrooge came from but I promise he is taking the next flight out. To help things along I'm going to make a list of my favorite parts of Christmas, if lists aren't your thing, turn away now. I know these kinds of things can be very boring, but I feel the need to go on. 

1. The tree: Decorating the tree was always a dedicated afternoon for me and my mom. We did the ornaments together and relived the stories each one of them had. Every year the same little keepsakes would come out, and every year we would remark on how we should start marking the date on them so we can at least try to remember where they came from. But that would take all the fun out of guessing where the heck some of them actually came from. Like the little stuffed man in the sombrero? When and why did he first grace our tree?
As fun as this time was and is, my favorite part of a Christmas tree is early mornings. When the world is dark and not yet together, the tree glows in the corner of the house like a little sign of family and love. Even seeing it through other people's windows, white lights, colored lights, big fat real trees, and skinny little fake ones, it makes me all sentimental inside. The tree is the heart of Christmas itself (other than the religious meanings behind the holiday), and I feel a special connection with each and every person who has one lit up and spruced up for all of us to see. 

2. Christmas morning runs: This was a tradition I began about six years ago that I have abandoned in the last two years. Two particular runs stick out to me the most. The first Christmas morning run I did was back in 2008. I woke up early before everyone else and headed out the door for a solid ten miles. It was so crisp and quiet outside. The world seemed to be at peace. I could smell fires burning and in some spots breakfast cooking. There were very few cars on the road and my mind wandered to the soundtrack of my feet hitting the ground. 
The second run that sticks out was the Christmas I ran from my old place in the Highlands to my parents, 13.1 miles straight home to open gifts around the tree with my family. This run was a straight shot down Ocean Avenue, no cars, just the sound of the waves hitting the shore and again my feet crunching on the road. The moment that sticks in my mind the most is the Christmas tree that caught my eye in one of the big bay windows of a house on Ocean Ave. I admired it for a moment and remember well that just beyond the tree I could see a family gathering around a table for breakfast. They all looked so happy, and filled with laughter. It was Christmas they were together and it was that simple, I could feel their happiness carry me though the rest of my run. The spirit I felt there quickened my pace so that I could get to my own family Christmas breakfast.

3. Bagels, cinnamon buns and Christmas traditions: I was always a stickler for tradition. Things have changed over the last few years and we have our wonderful new additions to our family. My niece and nephew have brought new families and new traditions together, and I am welcoming every new change they bring with open arms. Christmas is more fun when it is about the kids. I can't wait until they are a little older and the Santa fun starts. 
Even with so many new beginnings, my mom does keep some traditions alive no matter what. We still all get our stockings. Year after year we can count on there being all our favorite toiletries stuffed in and flowing out of each and every stocking. She also makes sure to get me a box of Legos, I can't live without my legos, yeah I know I'm 30. There will also always be bagels and cinnamon buns first thing in the morning. New traditions are exciting to welcome, but some old traditions keep the feeling of family and home burning inside you no matter where you end up. 

4. Family and friends: This goes without saying. It is the time a year you look around at those you love and the ones that love you and really appreciate what you have. It is also the time where you remember those without all that love and can only hope that wherever they are there are strangers around them showing them the Christmas spirit. I have an amazing family that is growing every year, and with every passing year I grow more and more appreciative of them. That goes for my friends too, as crazy as some of them are! 

5. Neil Diamond's Christmas album: He may be Jewish but man can that guy belt out some solid Christmas tunes. If you haven't heard his Christmas album, please, do yourself a favor and download it. 

6. A Christmas Story: Particularly A Christmas Story marathon on TV every Christmas Eve. I fell asleep watching it last night and woke up to it this morning. There is nothing better than waking up to "ralphie I can't put my arms down." That movie is Christmas, with Home Alone being a close second, in my personal opinion at least.

7. Gingerbread lattes: You can find these almost anywhere, but Starbucks particularly is the best. All I can say is this drink warms me up with happiness and feelings that there really might be a Santa Claus. One sip and I'm staying up late writing letters to Santa about the new Specialized Shiv I was hoping he might fit in his sleigh. 

8. Christmas brunch at the Schwartz's: This is last on my list for tonight, but certainly not least. Brunch at the Schwartz is a newer tradition for us, and I'll admit I wasn't happy about it at first. When I was first told about this shift in tradition I thought, "It's Christmas morning we were all supposed to sit around at moms, open presents, eat, drink and be merry. We never went anywhere on Christmas morning!" But families extend and life changes and this has become one of my FAVORITE new traditions. I really couldn't imagine going anywhere else from now on. 

Ok, that was 8 favorite things, next year I promise I will make it 10, I am too tired and too filled with delicious food, mimosas and wine. I just want to say I am so blessed with the family and friends that I have, and hope everyone around me has had the same wonderful Christmas filled with laughter and love and good cheers! And for you Scrooges, I hope that you too can rid yourself of him, as I believe I have. 

Oh and no work out for today, not a chance, next year I will return to the Christmas morning traditional run. 

Who got a work out in today? Who skipped it and indulged on A Christmas Story?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Lessons Learned and a Merry Christmas

Just a quick Merry Christmas to everyone out there!! I crashed 5 times yesterday on the mountain bike... one right over the handle bars. I learned many hard lessons in being one with your mountain bike and treating gnarly roots with respect. I'm going to go heal my wounds now in a ice bath... or maybe just on the couch with a beer.




Saturday, December 22, 2012

My First New Year's Resolution

I don't have much to report, and I'm not sorry for it one bit. I took the last two days off from working out, and I needed it. The legs were begging for some recovery time, and a cold was threatening to put me out much longer. Tomorrow, I hope to reunite myself with my mountain bike and running shoes and see how the lungs handle it. The only thing I can say is that I've had some food, and I've had some beer.

What am I five? Peanut butter and jelly and a big glass of milk, sometimes this just hits the spot. And tonight:
You know you work in a running store when, you are drinking your beer out of a SuperFeet pint glass and opened it with a Saucony bottle opener. My little vacation is over, tomorrow it is back to "work." My favorite kind of work. 

One good thing that came out of this time off is I took time to relax and sort things out in my head a bit. One thing I did come up with is a New Year's Resolution. This is something I have never had, and I have never believed in. But this year has been a real doozie. I think 2013 calls for a big goal other than my races. Quick back story: a few years ago I was working on a novel (my degree is in creative writing) and I had about 5 notebooks filled with this little book I was working on. But with work and life getting in the way I lost faith in it and stored it away. In the back of my head I always hoped to go back to it, and maybe type it out onto an actual computer. But when the hurricane came, this little dream of mine that lived in the bottom of my desk was destroyed by the flood and left for the trash. I felt like part of me was torn away, this little piece of hopes and dreams, my little future in five notebooks. So I have made a vow to myself, I am going to start that book over, and by January 1st 2014 I'm going to have it done. And not just hand written in 5 star spiral notebooks, I'm going to have it typed up and SAVED. So there it is, my new year's resolution, or just my new goal to get that little piece of me back. I'm going to go get to work on it now, before it is time for bed and a early morning of training. 

What is everyones New Year's Resolutions?  

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Cookies Are The Answer

Whatever your question, I say, this week, Christmas cookies are the answer. Indulge a bit, and if you know someone who makes amazing homemade Christmas cookies (Audrey), than really let loose. We all deserve it, Christmas can be a difficult time of year for a lot of people, take a break, put your feet up and have one of those tree shaped sugar cookies with the green sprinkles on them, have three. 

To be honest, I feel pretty under the weather today, the mountain biking this morning suffered greatly. My chest felt like it had a 50 pound weight on it, and my legs refused to tackle anything resembling a hill. I really did not want to write this post, I just want to close my eyes, but I went right up to the platter of cookies and I ate a macaroon and so I feel a little more inspired. Thanks to the wonderful Audrey for bringing us a mountain of her homemade creations last night at group run, I am getting through this day fueled by sugar and spice, and run on sentences. If I hadn't had those cookies I'd probably be a whiny disaster in the corner somewhere. I'm still pretty whiny, but it isn't so obvious now.  
Before the whining began, I can say last night was a solid work out, one that I was very pleased with. I ran a strong three and a half miles without feeling too worked and we finished the night off with a hard spin themed after the 12 days of Christmas. 12 sets of on and off pain, with a bonus ending of a 5 minute sprint. I tried to give that last set everything I had so there was nothing left of me at the end. It was clear that there was no sign of being sick last night. I worked myself. Was it the fact that my recovery meal was cookies and milk that I feel so drained today? If it was, I'm ok with that for this week. 

This morning was a different story, I woke up with a lump in my throat. I didn't want to ride, but I knew I would feel better once I hit the trails. It was muddy and slow, but I did feel better mentally afterwards, just like I'm sure I will feel better having written this post. There is a point here. The point is sometimes you really don't want to do things, for whatever reason, but just do it, get it done anyway you will thank yourself afterwards. And by all means, this week, thank yourself the right way, with whatever Christmas cookies you can find, even store bought. 

I'm not obsessing or anything, (Thanks Audrey, you've ruined me.)

I'm hoping all the mountain biking we are putting in this season will equate to some faster bike times on the road come Tri season. I'm also hoping my new Shimano pedals will make for some harder more adventurous rides. 

If we put in the time and effort all winter, and get through the days that we don't feel quite up to it, or it is too cold, or the cookies are all gone, the results will show for all our hard work.

Since it is the Holiday season I know most of us are thinking of skipping work outs or whatever else we are suppose to be doing, stop thinking like that. Relax enjoy the Holidays, but grab a cookie and do what you have got to get done anyway. And if it is something you are particularly dreading, grab two and promise yourself a cold beer or eggnog afterwards... No eggnog for me though, I hate eggnog. Just putting it out there. Yuck. My old boss from the luncheonette I worked in through high school and college used to repeat the word noggy throughout the day just to drive me insane. Again, I say yuck.

What are your favorite types of Christmas cookies?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

If You Are a Triathlete You Might Be Hungry

First off I'll get the workouts out of the way, they have been slow the past two days. I ran 3 miles on the stupid treadmill last night at the gym and topped it off with lifting focusing on upper body. If I can get myself to be more of a regular at the gym again I will probably start my old routine of bi's/back one day, shoulders another day, and chest/tri to end the week, with legs thrown in there on another day. But for now it is kind of a jumbled mess of "what should I do next". That way of training needs to stop.

This morning I ran 6 miles with Rich and boy did I feel bad for him, I was creepin'. The legs had no go in them and the brain had even less. I'm hoping that tomorrow the go is back and a hard mountain bike in the morning will wake me up again.

I did get a fantastic delivery yesterday. My new MTB pedals! They are cheap little guys, kind of heavy, but they will do for my amateur butt! Can't wait for the shoes to come so I can test it all out.

Now, for the real point of this post. I've found myself eating a lot more the last few days. My workouts have become more frequent and a little bit harder. Suddenly I have a insatiable appetite. For example: I ate a pretty big lunch from Shaka which is a wonderful little Hawiian Taco place, chicken tacos and chips and salsa. Usually this fills me past the point I should be full, and I end up feeling bloated the rest of the day. Today, it did nothing for me. I found myself thinking about food for the rest of the afternoon. Which brought me to a container of cottage cheese, a few pieces of beef jerky and a spoonful of peanut butter... yeah I have a strange appetite/diet. So, to squelch this hunger I have to get back to making my favorite meal, the one that will last me a few lunches and dinners, and perhaps a few breakfasts. It's easy, basically you just open your cabinet and put a bunch of stuff you find inside in a frying pan.

I'll give you guys a quick rundown, not really because any of you are interested, but because I want to talk about food, I'm hungry.

I start with ground turkey or chicken breast and dump it in a frying pan. Add lots of salt, pepper and whatever else you can find. I like celery salt, A LOT of garlic, and onion powder, oh and more garlic (powder form and chopped pieces). Once it is all browned up add tomatoes and beans. Let that simmer, add more spices. Since I add so much salt to everything I try to buy canned foods with no salt added.

I usually throw a bag of frozen broccoli in the microwave than into the pot. Mix it all up, and cook some pasta on the side. I usually go with gluten free pasta just because I love the taste of it, and I figure it might be better for me (but what do I know?). Once the pasta is done mix it into the pan with the rest of the concoction. Did I mention you need a big pan for this? Add more spices. And you are done. This thing feeds you in little servings and keeps you full for awhile. I'm not really sure if it's good for you, it is loaded with carbs, but a lot of protein too.

Finally, eat some, with a beer, or water or espresso. It goes well with anything. Add eggs if you want to have it for breakfast. Can I recommend over easy right on top? So good.

Don't start expecting recipes from me, this is the only thing I make. I'm a creature of habit. 

This is definitely being made tonight since I can't stop thinking about food.

What is everyone's favorite meal while training? I know when I am training hard I get stuck on certain foods, probably what my body is craving for nutrients. Last season it was peanut butter and jelly, this year it might be bacon and eggs.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

You Smell Like Awesome

When you spend 2 hours in the woods, on a mountain bike, in the rain, there is no way to escape it... you are going to smell pretty weird when you are done. Not many people will actually confront you when you stink, but a lot of us can count on our mother's to do just that.  I have a wonderful mother, with the best heart of anyone I know. I stopped by there on my way home from the trails, to say hello and to see my little niece who was visiting for the weekend. I don't remember just how she worded it, but I'm sure it was you stink, or you don't smell very good at all, but she got the point across that I stunk. Outwardly I agreed with her, she was totally right, but inside I was saying "yeah, I smell like awesome!" How could I smell like anything else? It felt so good to be out there today, with the rain in our face and mud splattering up with every turn. I'm finally feeling more confident on the bike and handling the turns and roots. It was my first solid 16 miles, and the entire time the 5 year old inside me was whooping and leaping up and down yelling "this is awesome!" So I might smell, but at least it is the smell of awesome.

We did have one tiny little obstacle mid-way through our ride. We hit the pavement for a detour of about 100 yards, and wouldn't you know, Rich gets a flat. Neither of us had changed a Mountain Bike flat before, so that was a solid 12 minutes of me taking stupid pictures and Rich dumping all the contents of his seat bag out into the dirt. To his credit, he changed it very quickly and efficiently. It was the valve and his Co2 cartridge that gave us some issues. When his cartridge failed us we went to the little hand pump which acted less than awesome, and we finally ended up with one of my Co2 cartridges doing the job. Yeah, it was amateur hour, but it all worked out in the end.  The rain was coming down harder as we brought our awesome ride to an end. Side note: I want to take this moment to tell all of you how much I love my Subaru, it is a bikers dream. Open it up, muddy mountain bike slides right in, nothing needs to be taken off or adjusted, followed by dirty shoes, helmet and bag. My car can take all of my toys no problem. I love it as much as anyone could love a car, plus it too smells like awesome.

My next ride, hopefully, will be with new clip-less pedals and MTB shoes. They are on their way, an early christmas present. Thanks Santa!

Now it is time for more food, hot beverages and of course football. Who doesn't love a good hard workout on Sunday mornings so you can spend the rest of the day being lazy and snacking?

One more side note: I just spoke to my mother, and what did she want to know? She asked if I  had cleaned myself up? No mom, I'm just not ready to wash the smell of awesome off yet.

No I showered I swear. I promise mom!

Saturday, December 15, 2012


I had fully intended on writing a post yesterday, I had ideas, I was ready to roll. Then as I was babysitting my awesome little 5 month old nephew, I turned on the news. I saw just what had happened in our crazy world, and everything else drained out of me. I'm afraid that nothing I say will  do this awful tragedy any justice, so I will just say that we are all lucky to be blessed with life each and everyday. Take time to tell the ones you love that you love them and do so as much as possible. As cliche as it is, live each day to the fullest. Life is a gift. 

I have been having trouble sleeping lately. It is this restlessness that led me to being awake around 4am when I heard my phone vibrate the email warning. It was a nice little surprise to find an email from the USAT about my qualification for Age Group Nationals. 

I know it isn't that big of a deal, but my sleepless mind thought it was pretty cool. The only issue with this guy is it is in Wisconsin, and it's a week before Timberman. No matter, it is still fun to get cool little emails in the early morning saying you were good enough for something. 

After that email I was able to fall back to sleep for a few more hours. Breakfast was my new favorite PALEO inspired dish, eggs over easy, avocado, and bacon. I'm not sure how anyone has breakfast without bacon. Coffee and bacon, to be exact. 

My ankle has been a little cranky lately, all the breaks and sprains have made it moody now that it's thirty, so I decide to ride the road bike instead of run. It was my first time out on the roads in below 40 degree weather this season so I made sure I dressed the part. It was a beautiful, cold, perfect day to ride. 

My goal was to ride out to my old house, my path taking me through Sea Bright, a town particularly devastated in the recent hurricane, much more so than my own. I took it all in while going as fast as my out of shape legs would push me in the wind. There were a lot of beat up empty store fronts, and houses torn apart by waves that have since receded back to their original home. If any part of me thought that the hurt and reality of Sandy was behind me, this ride reminded me that it wasn't quite gone, and it may never be. So many people are still left with nothing, and still struggling to rebuild while the rest of us go on with our lives. I rode right over the big old bridge into my old town of Highlands. Here, things were not much different than they were a month ago. My house looked a little different however, better, it looked more like a project and less like a shipwreck. But I couldn't stay long, I lingered long enough to snap a picture and rode on, back through the rubble towards my new home. 

The ride was good, a test to see where my legs were so far. The hill over the bridge killed me, and the wind made me a whimpering little girl. My conclusion, I am feeling good and ready to suffer through the rest of the winter. 

All and all a rough day. The kind of day that you just want to put behind you, only taking with you the lessons learned from the experiences of the past 24 hours. I learned that I wont be taking any more rides to my old place, it is time to  live in the present and not in the past. The other lesson I brought away from the day was one that most of us already know, but we forget to see through with each passing day... Life is precious, here one day and gone the next. We must love with all our hearts and live as though each day might be our last.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

To Start Running Faster

I'm of the belief that if you want to start running faster, then you must run faster. Simple as that? Maybe not, but it's a start. I have had the above bumper sticker on my wall for years, it was destroyed in the flood, but I still have a picture of it. It think it's genius advice from Pearl Izumi, "If you're not sure whether you are running or jogging, GO FASTER." There are some days when I just want to go out for a jog, like tonight. Before we kill ourselves in indoor cycle I just want to run easy for 4 miles, work out the kinks. But yesterday I wanted to run, I had to test the engine a little bit. This is the only way I am going to make progress, by picking up the pace from a jog, to a run. How do you do this, well you GO FASTER. Rich and I cruised at an easy pace for the first 4 miles, then he basically laid the hammer down and I had to follow like a scared little puppy. He dropped me, he might not have dropped me so easily if it was 3 months ago, but I have a hard time getting into that extra gear right now, so he left me in the dust.  The benefit to getting dropped was that it made me work, and it made me put in some serious effort for those last two miles. From this effort alone I'm almost positive my next run will be faster. Soon it will be time to add in some speed work on the track and watch the seconds drip off those miles, I hope, but I'm not a very good coach, particularly when it comes to coaching myself. 

Tonight will be another round of suffering on the indoor trainer with the team of Misfits. I plan on working tonight, and not being the class clown. I am past due for a visit to the pain cave. Let me give you a little taste of what is conjured up in my pain cave:

That is a preview of the images that shoot through my head while I try to maintain the darkness. Hope you enjoyed. I promise my next post I will have more to say, today was more of a picture of beer and pizza kind of day.

Monday, December 10, 2012

How To Train During The Winter

Step One: Is it raining out? Cold and Windy? Snowing? So what, run anyway. Just don't think about it. The less you consider the cold and damp conditions you are stepping into the better. It also helps if you don't match, in the least, just make sure that you are bright. There are crazy drivers out there, and they are even worse in times of bad weather, and if you live in New Jersey... well carry a neon sign with you.

Step Two: Get a indoor trainer so you can hook your bike up and ride even when the weather is bad and the temps are low. Once you purchase your trainer, download some movies from, set it all up and prepare to suffer. Tonight was my first experiance with Sufferlandia and I wanted to pass out after the first twenty minutes. That video was pretty intense, if you actually do it right, it can be a killer. It hurt but I am addicted now. The picture below was my view, I set my little laptop up and went to work. Looks a little like a dream, somewhat blurry, that's how I felt throughout the ride. 
Once you get off the bike and that crazy work-out is done, this is how you should feel. 

Knocked out. My first one was only 50 minutes long, but it kicked my butt thoroughly. 

Step Three: This step is a little bit more annoying. It is about getting your butt up at 4:15am to be at the pool by 5am. That hasn't happened yet for me this season. Last season I went three times a day without fail, almost, so I know I have the ability in there somewhere.  Stay tuned, I assure you I will get back into it. 

That is all the steps I have for tonight. Yesterday I ran six miles in the rain and wind, the runs are getting longer, but not yet faster. Every little bit helps, the speed will come with the work. Dinner consisted of Gluten free beer and gluten free pasta with salt. The speedy after late workout meal is always lacking.  

Any other tips for winter training would be greatly appreciated... I love running in the woods when it snows. Snowy silent forests are the best part of winter training.  

Sunday, December 9, 2012

I'm In The Now

Rain and Mountain Biking make for one awesome morning experience. There is really nothing better to get a day started than getting dirty. Another 10 miles in the woods was logged yesterday, a rainy, muddy, slippery good time. Cannot wait to get those pedals off and get some clipless pedals under my feet. Can you say more power?

I also logged my first work out in Strava yesterday. This is a cool little app for cyclists. It is now clear how people get super competitive with it. As soon as I was done I could see how fast I rode the trail and certain sections of it compared to other riders in my area. They instantly list the female riders and my place amongst them. I was 5th in both categories. As soon as I saw that, I wanted to ride right back into the woods and do it again. My brain was like "you could have done better, you should have been paying more attention out there and going hard, weenie." Yeah I'm not going to get addicted to this little Strava game at all.

Soaked to the bone from the rain, and cold from the air I had to take a shower as soon as I got home, before running to the gym. I felt silly showering before the gym, but I was freezing. The gym was just how I like it, nice and quiet with only a few folks working out. I hit the treadmill for a mile warm-up than did arms and abs. It was nice to be back, lifting weights, listening to rap music on the iphone. Normally, when at home or in the car I'm playing country music, and when I'm running I don't listen to music. But when I'm lifting I can't listen to country or anything else, for some reason it's rap that gets me going. The lyrics are usually very raw and emotional, if you listen to the right stuff it will get the energy flowing and make you want to work out like a beast.

Anyone have any weightlifting music recommendations?


The calendar is filling up for the month of December, running, biking and lifting are on the board. I just have to work swimming back in and I will get back to feeling like a triathlete. I'm starting to feel that October and November are officially behind me and I no longer have to dwell on what I am not doing, I am in the now and I am out there getting it done.

This afternoon I will run. I plan on keeping it nice and easy in a attempt to release some of the soreness in my muscles from yesterday's work outs. It's now Sunday, and the run never happened last night. I guess I am not as out there getting it done as I thought, but life happens once in awhile. I'm going to leave in a few minutes for a run, we are out of coffee here, so I might as well not hang around too long... Nothing will happen before I take Zoe for a walk however, she is staring at me as I write this.

Have a good Sunday everyone. Go Jets.