Monday, April 30, 2012

how not to prepare for your 1st triathlon 101

race week is officially upon us. i have never been this nervous for a race before. ever. not even my first marathon (ok that might be a lie, but this is way different. totally).

let me make this very clear (as if you werent already aware)... i am a RUNNER. feet on the ground (most of the time). nice easy speed. able to jump into the bushes if a car is headed towards me. to my knowledge no drowning has ever occurred during a running road race.

this triathlon is freaking me right out.

needless to say my training has been less than stellar, and the same can be said about race preparation. what, you dont change your swim attire, bicycle, and running sneakers a week out from race day? oh.... whoops :)

so my original plan back many months ago when i thought this was a good idea was to swim in a one piece bathing suit and bike with my mountain bike. how tough could it be? due to maine weather being so crappy forever, i trained on the bikes at the gym and didnt get out on my mountain bike until maybe 3 weeks ago. fail. so slow. heavy. legs felt awful. also the bathing suit wasnt the most comfortable thing to ride/run in. shocking.

i looked into a tri outfit and there was no way i was spending that kind of money (since i will only be doing this ONCE). same with the bike. i was just going to have to suck it up. (which of course made me more nervous). i attempted a practice swim in a sports bra and compression shorts which ended up being a huge fail, so i was excited when a friend from high school offered me her tri suit on sunday (which i will get tomorrow, and practice in... once before the race. sure, why not! thanks betsy!)

so over the past week ive had a few tri related conversations with a friend:

me- freaking.out.
e- its going to be ok i promise
me- im gonna get so drunk that night

might not be enough

then i made a huge rookie mistake and looked at what i had coming for me....

is this triathlon on mount washington?

and in true awesome friend fashing, he tried to cover up how much im going to want to drink BEFORE the race, as opposed to after...

e- that elevation profile makes it look WAY worse than it is!
me- yeah ill be the judge of that, thanks
e- would i lie to you?
me- maybe?
e- ok would i lie to you about something so verifiable?
me- ok i believe you... maybe
e- the only problem i see is my version of what is a hill and your version may not be exactly the same
me- fact.

  **this coming from an ironman in training... if it goes up, its a hill.

so the conversation continued...

me- so lets see.... hour-ish bike (ok, maybe 2 hours), 12 min swim, 26ish min run... half hour for each transition :)
e- your goal is to break 1:30
me- I DONT WANT A GOAL!!! AAAAAHHHHH!!! DONT DIE IS MY GOAL!!!! ok done yelling. (after calming down)... ok i would love to have some sort of realistic goal but if i dont make it then ill need to do another tri. and THAT IS NOT HAPPENING! so no goal.
e- haha what i meant to say is your goal is 1:15
me- oh F off. im gonna look like a fool.
e- if you had done a 1:30 last year you would have beat 50 people, so you wont look foolish
me- only 50?!?! IM NOT EVEN GOING! first dnf. thanks.
e- there are only like 300 people in the whole thing
me- my relay team came in 3rd overall in 2010. i should have just done that.

its great to have supportive friends.

(fast forward to 3 days ago)
me- so i just read through the rules to make sure i dont do anything wrong... ill probably get pulled off the bike route for drafting, since i dont know what that is
e- its being too close behind someone
me- oh good, no problem then. there will be NO one around me

and then...

e- if you want i can lend you my road bike... it will be big for you though but might not be bad when the seat is lowered all the way. how tall are you? 5'3"? do you have long legs?
me- ha. no.
   **first of all, hes no taller than i am (sorry, if youre gonna call me 5'3", im making fun of your height too). ok so hes a little taller. and yes, im 5'4". but do i have long legs? hi, we've met. no.**

but i figured- hey, why not. what do i have to lose?

im not so sure about this

i clearly wore the right outfit for a bike fitting

and this is a what?

perfect form quasimodo #not

my hands go where?

this was where i learned that i will mostly only be using one set of gears (there are two sets? chains? crank? WHAT?! speak english!) i also learned i cant put my hands on the bottom curved part. this is so confusing. i wont even tell you how i almost screamed when he warned me one of the brakes didnt work "that well".

triathlon approved footwear, right?

so i left with a bike and promptly put it away in the basement for 3 days (still kinda scared). i tried it last night... and omg what a difference! what was i so afraid of? now i want a road bike! (not really). but other than thinking i might get hit by a car and worried the breaks werent going to work, i think i did ok. i just might survive after all.

but lets get real: im going to need about this much coffee pre race:

and ill pretty much be wishing i was doing this throughout the whole race instead:

but ill keep reminding myself:

and hopefully by this time on saturday, i will be able to call myself a TRIATHLETE!

Thursday, April 26, 2012


well known fact about me: i hate flying.
other well known fact about me: i love running.

apparently my hatred of flying has somehow slowly converged with my love for running:

great bay half 2011

maine marathon 2011

hyannis half 2012

great bay half 2012

i guess flying isnt always so bad. and im also clearly so stylish.

Monday, April 23, 2012


it might be monday, but i dont have a lot of little letters for this week, so i figured i would just write a random post about "stuff".

what about items or things that matter? we'll go with that....

-in 12 days ill be competing in my first triathlon (oh you didnt know? i only talk about it all the time). im slightly nervous (read: holy shit what did i get myself into?!). i havent run or been in the pool in over 2 weeks (minus on vacation... where i pretended to practice my swimming... without goggles... after 2 pina coladas and a few bud lights... does this triathlon have a pool bar??). ive taken my mountain bike out on the road ONCE. i have no clue what im doing with the gears... i kept it in the 2nd gear and a mix between 5-8 on that? does that make sense to anyone? i think i should just go buy a road bike. today.

-i bought new running sneakers. brooks ravenna 3. ive been switching between the ravenna 2's and saucony kinvaras for the past two months... and i think ive finally realized (after two purple toes and numerous texts with andrea) that my kinvaras are too small. eventually i want to run at least a half marathon in kinvaras, but for now i think i will use the ravenna 3's for around the lake marathon. kinvara 3's come out may 1st though....

-im thinking about chainging up my swimming attire plan (yup, 12 days out and im wanting a new bike and attire... smart life choices folks).

-i guess i think im made of money this week or something.

-if it wasnt for a mr.bagel date for lunch, i might have never gotten out of my sweatpants today.

- yesterday i had a really (almost) life changing run. i woke up at 4:50 to warm up and meet sarah for a few miles, got all my running clothes on and got everything together... opened the front door and it was pouring. and freezing. both of us decided to bail, but i knew i would still have to get this run in later on in the day. i went back to bed and just watched the clock (i havent slept well in weeks. yay). i eventually got out of bed, had some coffee and oatmeal, and started thinking logistics for my run.
as i got ready to walk out the door, i turned my garmin on.... nothing. and i had charged it all day on saturday knowing the battery was low. so i googled "garmin wont turn on" (what would we do without google?!) and it taught me how to do a soft reset. this worked, and it turned on.... and had no battery charge.
i wanted to bail. i felt like nothing was going right and figured my run would suffer. i played a lot of mental games, but eventually said screw it and walked out the door, without it.
if i can sum up my run, it would be "amazing". i didnt know where i was going to run. i had no watch to tell me how fast or slow i was going. i simply felt free. the weather was perfect (cool, light drizzle). my head, my mind, my heart... everything was in it on this run. it truly reminded me of why i love doing this.
ive been pretty demanding and hard on myself over the past few months in my everyday life, work, friendships, family life, and especially running. i need to remind myself to just let go sometimes... be a little more carefree.

-of course then this brings me back to the idea that i desparately want to go sub-freaking-four at around the lake. yesterdays run averaged 9:25ish min/miles (i knew the time from when i walked out the door to when i arrived back home, and mapped out where i went to get the miles) and that was without a watch to worry about pace. im faster than i have ever been, and i think my endurace is building. around the lake is a 3.2 mile loop, and im sure there will be a clock every time i come around (maybe?)... we'll see...

-the "desparately want to go sub-freaking-four" might be selfish. im running a marathon. not everyone can say they have done that. finishing should be enough. but i sure as hell am going to give it my all and leave everything i have out on that course. ill come up with real goals as we get closer (sub 4, pr - sub 4:15:25, finish...)...

- if anyone wants a kitten, feel free to come on over and pick her up. shes great, really. (freaking spaz show lately... on the counter, off the counter, up the stairs, down the stairs, climbing the chair sideways.....)

- last night i really wanted dairy queen. and figured if i got a blizzard with peanut butter cups it could count as post long run protein. right? too bad they dont deliver. to my couch. i ate thin mints instead.

- this whole sober thing would be a lot more fun with alcohol.

-although my morning routine is oatmeal w/granola, coffee, and the today show... i do sometimes watch sportscenter with the hubs. i am especially greatful i saw this mornings highlights of "metta world peace" and the whole elbow situation. first of all, wtf... princess consuela banana hammock is still the original name change in my mind. second of all, i had no idea this was ron artest. thats how much i dont care. third, why do they allow this idiot to keep playing basketball? this is why i hate the nba. minus shane battier <3 true love forever.

-speaking of granola, jennifer mentioned putting granola in her pancake batter yesterday. omg, i must try this.

-ive spent way less time on pinterest lately, but i have found a few outfits i really think i need, and a dress i really want to get for a summer wedding i have coming up. i also saw this, which about sums it all up for me:

have a great week everyone!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

big pimpin...

so i had to wait for sara to post this herself (obvs)... and since she did so today, i stole the fancy schmancy iphone pic from her (dear android... i want this option too please, kthanks youll be doing that tomorrow right?)

this conversation started when i had just sat down on the couch after getting home from work. ty was watching the celtics and i was momentarily speechless. he must have thought i had just recieved a text that i had won the lottery since i squeeled and jumped up and down (ok maybe only a slight exaggeration... but not by much).

when i told him he said "whos sara again? i cant keep all your people straight" (like im sooooo popular or something). (maybe true)
"ya know, sara. she came to great bay?" 
"oh so you've met her?"
"uh yeah, were IRL friends now. she borrowed all my clothes. its a big deal."


then this conversation continued with the middle aged runner herself:
  (*note- my drawing skillz are less than stellar. friend me on draw something? cuz i need more ways to pass the time.....)

(pps- i miss picnik sooooooooooooooooo bad. sarah and i are working on a replacement... coming to you in the not so near future)

 july 27th, 7pm. wakefield, mass. a few crazy kids running insane numbers of time around a 3.2 mile loop in the dark. i have a tent. we have a few awesome support crew members. feel free to join us!

Monday, April 9, 2012

dear monday

dear monday,
for the first monday in quite a few weeks i actually didnt have to work. too bad its not a rest day, 10 miles coming right up (i think everyone should have mondays off. 3 day weekends for all!)

dear great bay half marathon,
i must say you surprised me this year. for some reason the hills werent that bad... the wind stayed calm, and i think i finally figured out some sort of ok way to dress/fuel so as not to crash and burn. id say my miles were pretty good, plus/minus a few miles:

dear compression calf sleeves,
you are my best friend today. and most other days as well. i really wish i had a full body suit. that would be totally hot right?

dear myrtle beach,
i am currently a fan of the 10 day forecast, sunny and 70s. please keep it that way. see ya friday!!

dear marathon training,
today is the start of week 3. so far, so good. i was a mile short for week 1 (32miles), and a mile over for week 2 (37 miles). id say that is a much better start than the last time i tried this plan (week 1: should run 33, ran 16, week 2: should run 36, ran 10).

dear foam roller,
my love/hate relationship with you is one like no other. its awesome in a really painful way.

dear massive amounts of laundry,
we are only two people... how in the world is this much laundry even possible?

dear two day work week (this week AND next week... yes you can be jealous),
yay! :)

dear black/purple toenail,
thanks for making yet another appearance, and so early in the training program! i guess the sooner youre gone the better.

dear sleepless nights,
you can take a hike asap, thanks.

dear life,
i thank you for the great friends i have... i would not know what to do without each and every one of them. you are all here for a reason, and for that i am greatful.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

great bay half marathon

yesterday marked my 13th half marathon to date. looking back through my races, it was apparently the 5th time ive done great bay... (yes ive done this dreaded race more than once)

previous great bay times
  2008: 1:59:45
  2009: 2:01:17 (barf)
  2010: 1:58:15
  2011: 1:52:18
(why do i keep coming back?!)

this is why:
cuz im awesome.

oh wait, no... i mean:
          2012: 1:49:49. boom.

after running hyannis in february and starting off too fast, totally bonking at the end, feeling like crap, falling over (read: dying) from a calf explosion post race... i vowed to either figure my shit out so i didnt do that again (despite a major half marathon PR), or never race a half marathon again (clearly i was leaning towards option 2). since that race i have been adding in gatorade to some of my longer runs, trying to make sure i was fueling properly/adequately (beer + thin mints are good fuel, no?), and figuring out proper attire (i had major overheating issues at hyannis).

i had internal debates about my race plan daily for the past 3 weeks. i went back and forth about actually racing GB, or just running for fun (who runs 13.1 miles for fun? oh yeah... awesome people). on friday, while sitting through a respiratory conference daydreaming about upcoming GB1/2 attentively listening to all important speakers, i decided i wanted to maybe give this half a decent try. could i get a better time than hyannis? doubt it. could i go sub 1:50? maybe. could i crush my current GB1/2 course record (1:52:18)? absolutely.


car pooling was an excellent choice because i didnt have to waste gas drive alone, im entertaining (read: i talk a lot), and getting to the race 2 hours early happened to work out well since i successfully got us all lost walking to the start. yay for a mile long warm up walk! (and sorry to the poor guy that followed us: "you guys looked like you knew what you were doing". whoops. not so much)

we then picked up our bibs, sat around and complained for awhile (ok i complained... a lot...), i shared my peanut butter sandwich (see, i can be nice!), went to the bathroom, hung out with some friends i met up with...

i bet you cant pick me out... holy neon

...and then after 856 emails via daily mile and 245 frantic text messages, i FINALLY found sara (do yourself a favor and go read her race recap HERE ). arriving late, trying to check her bag with no race bib, and gawking at me downing a chocolate gu 5 seconds before the race started, she took off and, being a freakish super star, ran a 1: f-ing 36. so yeah, we secretly hate her for that (no cookies for you sara!!) jk. xo. (ill give you props for the obnoxious neon orange tank top haha)

i started out the race knowing 8:20s (ish) would get me where i wanted to finish. i forgot there were pacers on the course, and i actually didnt see any of them while i was out there. i started out fast and felt good, but knowing this course as well as i do, i knew i had to slow it down or the hills in the middle would not be my friend.

miles 1-3
8:08 (oops)

not so bad. i was pleased with my tank top and (zebra print) arm sleeves choice... the temp was cool to start but the sun (and 11am start time) warmed things up a bit. my new under armour compression capris were annoying and i kept having to pull them up but they were just right for the temp. i also ripped one corner of my race bib off the safety pin within the first mile trying to hike up the compression pants, so that was fun.

miles 4-7

the dirt road from miles like 3-6 are usually full of pot holes but this year the road wasnt too beat up and i found a nice area to run on. around every corner seemed to be a hidden hill, but there was a good downhill stretch where my watch read 7:20... hehe. i actually took the advice of a good friend who said to take the uphills slower (maintaining same effort) instead of my usual "get your ass up this hill as fast as humanly possible and figure out how to recover once its behind you" approach. i knew i wanted to also try to save some energy for the last 3 miles, and i really think this new approach worked well for me. by mile 8 i had already gone through 2 handhelds of water so i began worrying about the whole dehydration/cramping calves issue (i usually only drink one 10oz handheld)....

mile 8-10

blah. i really wasnt looking much at my watch around these miles... i stopped at all the water stops and drank like a fish. i listened to "welcome to the black parade" (my chemical romance) and "waiting for the end" (linkin park) on repeat. x10. one foot in front of the other....

final 5k

ill take it. i felt strong! i kept yelling at myself to push it. i love the out and back part of this race cuz you get to see people who are going way faster than you (good for you guys) and then on your way back you can cheer for the others (if you havent stopped to dance with the belly dancers). this race is tough up until that point but i still saw a lot of smiling faces :) i knew i had a lot of time left to beat my course time, but was also aware i was cutting it close for sub 1:50. so i kicked it up at the end (as much as i could with that damn hill before the finish).

last .22 miles (ugh... 13.22 is the new 13.1?)
  1:25... 6:21 pace.... whoops! (yay for downhill finishes)

luckily my calf seizing didnt happen (*until i went to bed last night, awesome...) so i was able to run a cool down mile. sara was expecting a beach day so she didnt have any warm clothes so i lent her mine (while i froze.... )

wanna talk about hot outfits? theres about 8 layers of clothes in this photo
(all of which are mine. all helping to keep sara warm)

343/1216 total finishers
87/637 females
16/192 f30-34 age group

to quote sara from her blog: "All my newfound friends finished right in the 1:48 range which is just insanely fast" (shes being humble since she finished, cried, grabbed her stuff, probably went to target, took a shower, then waited around for all of us to finish)... "I think they might have had a fight on the way home about who beat who and such...?" yup. were all fighting. but at least i didnt finish last.... :) "We ate pizza. Put on 1,000 layers. Drank a beer. Talked about how the internet rules our lives. It was fun." f.a.c.t.

so now that ive proven im a 22:xx 5k runner, and now ive proven im a sub 1:50 half marathon runner (by proven i mean 2 consecutive races at those times, thats the rule am i wrong?) i can retire those distances, right? perfect.

13th half marathon, complete.

and then when i got home we cooked an 18lb ham. my mom over-estimated how much ham would feed SIX people. seriously. so much ham. please come have dinner at our house. for the next 10 days.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

mid week rambles & a mission to #200

-in 114 days ill be running my 6th marathon. todays random post is blog entry #175.... so i have 25 more posts to go until i reach #200. id like for my 200th post to be on july 28th. but what should i write about until then? theres 15 mondays left for "dear monday" and 17 fridays for "fun fact friday" so that in itself would take care of it, but we all know im very inconsistent with those... but with a few of those, plus throw my triathlon in there and reach the beach and i should be all set! (of course im sure ill find some other random crap to blog about, i usually do).

-yesterdays 10 mile run was a total flop. woke up late, forgot everything at home, legs felt like lead... left the gym after 4 miles, cried all the way home (whatever, im a girl. it happens), had a shitty day at work. (did another 4 miles when i got home and ran 2 today to make up for it. i feel better now). marathon training is emotional.... "isnt the first time, definitely wont be the last"

-my best friend in the whole wide world got engaged over the weekend!!! yaaaaaaaaaay!! so happy and excited for her :)

-i won $80 on the ncaa tournament, woo hoo!

-great bay half marathon is saturday... the weather over the past two weeks has been forecasted from high 40s and raining, to low 50s and cloudy, to now 60 and sunny. great. hilly and hot. and i really wanted to wear my zebra arm sleeves :(

-9 days til we leave for myrtle beach! i need this vacation in the worst way.

-31 days til my first triathlon!! training is going well, although ive been seriously slacking in the pool. (as in i didnt go in march. not once). my goal for this month was to get back at it.... which i did today! and i didnt drown! the whole mountain bike thing was probably not a great idea, i felt so slow and sluggish. and hello jello legs getting off the bike! i swam 1050yds, biked 8 miles, and ran 2 miles. quite the wake up call.

-44 days til reach the beach!!! it doesnt even seem like i can be this close but im excited for soon finding out the legs ill be running and when our team will start. ive done a few double runs and last night sarah and i had a headlamp/reflective vest run which got me really pumped up!

-thank God for compression pants & calf sleeves

happy wednesday! (i slept for 10 hours last night... i think thats where this good mood is coming from haha)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

march recap


run: 110 miles (up 41 from last month, up 36 from mar 2011)
bike: 112 wooooo hooooo!
swimming: ummmm.... uh.... i tried (once):

races: no races this month
favorite run: 15 miles with sarah. thats what friends are for.
# of times i fell over in pain cuz of a massive calf seizure: 0 (down from 1 last month. that sucked)
favorite phone call: last night from my best friend OMG!!!!
best pinterest pin:
80 degrees/beach two days in a row, 30 degrees/snowing 4 days later.
hooray maine.
goals from march:
- 100 bike miles- win. 112.
- run the tough 12 miler again that i did a few weeks ago (it wasnt that bad...)- win.
- 800s on the track. like outside. headlamps optional- 4:30am track workout happened but it wasnt exactly 800s... or much of anything other than running laps and a lot of complaining. without headlamps. fail.
- go to reds now that its open- win. i love ice cream.
- make monkey bread (and try not to eat it all)- win and win. ty ate it all ;)
- figure out proper fuel & hydration so as not to crash in april at great bay- um... kinda. i think ill be alright (now that i decided im probably not going to race it)
- less. coffee.- hahaha. huge fail.

april goals:
go back to the pool
ride the bike outside (hopefully getting road tires tomorrow...)
attempt to love the heart rate monitor... right now were fighting.
  (i think ill just keep it simple since im going on vacation this month)

pfitz 18/55 marathon training week 1 recap:

 day 1: lactate threshold 8 miles with 4 miles @ half marathon race pace (8:13). biked 10 miles.
 day 2: rest
 day 3: general aerobic 6 miles (was supposed to do 9. did.not.happen.) biked 6 miles.
 day 4: rest
 day 5: 4 mile recovery run. biked 10 miles.
 day 6: medium-long run 14 miles
 day 7: biked 12 miles.

total running: 32 miles
i was really happy with the way this week went, even though it was the first week. my quads feel trashed but in a good way. the recovery run was tough... but i know this training program works and im eager to get stronger and faster and really see where it will take me. im currently major bff's with my zensah compression sleeves.

1 week down, 17 to go!