Monday, December 19, 2011

Spinning Workout: Pop Workout 2

This workout gives you plenty of rolling hills, lots of pursuit, and a big climb at the end!

Pop Workout 2 (60 minutes)

Stumble and Fall (3:25) - 96 BPM: Warm up
We Found Love (3:36) - 128 BPM: Terrain/pursuit
Moves Like Jagger (3:21) - 128 BPM: Terrain/climbing pursuit
Encore (4:12) - 107 BPM: Pursuit
What a Waste (3:27) - 83 BPM: Climb, mostly seated
Where is my Mind? (3:47) - 83 BPM: Climb, mostly standing
You Make me Feel (3:36) - 132 BPM: Descent/pursuit
The Way I am (4:50) - 88 BPM: Fast climb/false flat
In the Dark (3:49) - 125 BPM: Terrain/climbing pursuit
Like a G6 (3:39) - 126 BPM: Terrain/descending pursuit
Stereo Hearts (3:32) - 91 BPM: Pursuit, with standing sections
Sexy and I Know it (3:20) - 130 BPM: Descent/pursuit
Uncomfortably Numb (3:37) - 151 BPM: Climb
Strange Clouds (3:47) - 148 BPM: Climb
1111 PM (3:04) - 154 BPM: Climb
Sweet Child of Mine (3:41) - 125 BPM: Cool down

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Spinning Workout: Eli

Hard as it is to believe, I have a new spinning workout for my faithful following. This is another workout that I created as a custom workout for a client. But he never paid for the workout, so you all get to enjoy it (and I get to continue focusing on the commissioned workouts I'm making)!

Spinning Workout #23: Eli

Monday, October 31, 2011

Spinning Workout: Pop Workout 1

This workout is all about the music. It's an all-around fitness workout set to upbeat, modern tunes.

Pop Workout 1 (60 minutes)
Stronger (Christina Aguilera) - 95 BPM
Born this Way (Lady Gaga) - 124 BPM
I'll be Waiting (Adele) - 80 BPM
Super Bass (Nicki Minaj) - 127 BPM
Mercy (Duffy) - 128 BPM
Ride Wit Me (Nelly) - 102 BPM
Paper Planes (M.I.A.) - 86 BPM
Take Over Control (Afrojack ft. Eva Simons) - 130 BPM
Make it Take it (Amanda Blank) - 171 BPM
Funhouse (P!nk) - 104 BPM
I Don't Want You Now (KT Tunstall) - 154 BPM
Bathwater (No Doubt) - 75 BPM
Ain't Nothing Wrong With That (Robert Randolph & the Family Band) - 82 BPM
California (Phantom Planet) - 79 BPM
Ants Marching (Dave Matthews Band) - 114 BPM

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Runner's High: Blisters

See my cute little blister? I got that while running the half marathon on Sunday. It looked a lot worse right after the race. Now it's in the shape of a heart! It's as if it's saying, "I love running!"

What a magical feeling. Even my blisters love to run!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Race Report: Wichita Prairie Fire 1/2 Marathon

You guys didn't even know I was training for a half marathon, did you? Well, neither did my body, at times. Have to admit, I wasn't too concerned with training in general. I put my long runs in, but didn't do much running beyond that. I certainly wasn't that committed to my program. I had the goal of running under two hours this time, but wasn't really putting in the time to achieve it.

Race morning I overslept a little bit, and wound up rushing through a morning routine. Put lube all over my feet (not enough, it turns out). Grabbed a race belt for my number and ate some oatmeal and a fried egg. My running buddy picked me up, and we were out the door for downtown Wichita. We jogged across the bridge over the Arkansas River (which looks more like a meadow, right now), got a cup of coffee (Prairie Fire, the main sponsor, is a local coffee roaster and distributor), and went to stand in line for a dozen port-a-johns. There were a dozen port-a-johns, and the race directors were expecting around 4,000 people. Anyone else see a problem with that?

So we stood in line for a good 30 minutes, and got out of the toilets just in time to start the race on time. It was a close call, though. I was stripping my jacket off as we ran, and fortunately saw my dad on the sideline, waiting to start the 5k. He was kind enough to babysit my jacket for the duration of the half marathon. And then I plugged in my headphones and got to work, side-by-side with my running buddy.

I sped away within the first mile, trying to cut through the crowds, fully aware that I should slow down and bide my time. But I hate being behind people! So I took off and ditched my running buddy. She caught me up at around mile 3, going steady the whole time. We made it until somewhere between miles 4 and 5 together, then there was a hill, and I just felt like pushing it, knowing (again) that I was going to pay for it later.

And it was in college hill that things started to get tough. My calves had already been tight, but that was starting to fade. But somewhere after mile 5, where I usually start to feel really good, I ended up with a tough cramp in my left psoas (deep in the front of the hip). I ran through it, and it spread to my right quadratus lumborem (low back). I found that if I breathed deeply and engaged my transverse abdominus (deep belly) on my exhale, it went away. And I kept running.

I kind of hit a very short second wind around mile 6 (I think it was my first gel kicking in), but it didn't carry me very far. I took another gel somewhere around mile 9, and was feeling good by mile 10, ready to push it in the last 5k. Miles 11 and 12 went really well. Then the wheels came off. I was suffering, with just a mile left to go, and my body just wouldn't work anymore. Both my psoas cramped, my low back cramped, my middle back cramped, my shoulders cramped, my diaphragm cramped. I could hardly breathe the pain was so sharp and so bad.

I slowed to a walk a couple of different times. The pain was just too bad, and I couldn't make my body do it anymore. My iPod was telling me, "He will make a way where there is no way / He will bring His peace where there is no peace." I took my headphones out. I found that I could concentrate better that way.

I passed the 13 mile marker and checked my watch. 1:59:31. I had to run a 5 minute mile pace to meet my goal. I was doing well just to keep running. I managed to run strong across the line in 2:00:31, just 31 seconds shy of my goal. And I felt just fine about that.

I grabbed a bottle of water and a mylar blanket, even though I was burning up, and staggered in the direction of the medical tent, barely able to stand from the pain of the cramping. I figured I'd hang out there for a while, just in case. I managed to get both shoes off, and discovered a big, bloody blister the size of a quarter in my left instep. The right instep had a blister, too, but no blood. I eventually just laid down on one of the cots in the medical tent, and felt immediately better since my psoas weren't being tasked with holding up my whole body anymore.

My dad found me and congratulated me and showed appropriate pity for my disgusting blisters. He also gave me a Gatorade protein recovery drink that they'd given him after his 5k (which ended up being more like a 5 mile run, because the course wasn't properly marked and the lead cyclist missed the turn) and he hadn't needed. I made myself drink that, then managed to leave the med tent and start staggering around to look for my running buddy, who had passed me in that last mile and left me in the dust. She was looking and feeling great (she's still in great shape from taking 4th in her age group at Vineman)!

I'm going to try again to go under 2 hours in the spring at the Wichita Half Marathon. I think it will be a cinch, if I actually train and nail my nutrition. I don't know what I need to do differently with the nutrition, but I assume that all that cramping was an indication that something was very wrong. So I need to dial that in a little better. I had water and Gatorade on the course, and took two gels. I felt well-hydrated going into the race, but obviously it could have been better in some respect. And I probably didn't pace myself as well as I should have. I think I would have been fine if I had just stuck with my buddy the whole time; I think I could have finished with her with no problem.

I do feel like I pushed my body absolutely as hard as I could on this particular day. The weather was cool and rainy and overcast, but a little humid. I would have liked it a little bit colder, actually. But it was a good day for a run. And the pain that I am in now tells me that I demanded a lot from my body, as much as I could. The Photographer was concerned that I was in so much pain (and grossed out by my blister), so I had to explain that for me this is actually a good thing!

And hey! I also set a new PR by almost two minutes!

Total: 2:00:32
Mile 1: 9:06
Mile 2: 9:10
Mile 3: 9:37 (stopped to walk an aid station)
Mile 4: 8:54
Mile 5: 9:15
Mile 6: 9:16
Mile 7: 9:07
Mile 8-9: 18:21 (never saw the 8 mile marker)
Mile 10: 9:12
Mile 11: 8:55 (picking it up for the last 5k!)
Mile 12: 9:09
Mile 13: 9:23
The last tenth: 1:02

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Spinning Workout: Rolling Hills

This one's pretty self-explanatory: 45 minutes of seated and standing climbs!

Rolling Hills (45 minutes)
Express Yourself (Charles Wright) - 95 BPM
Leaving on a Jet Plane (Me First and the Gimme Gimmes) - 94 BPM
Ruby Sees All (Cake) - 100 BPM
Funky Thang (The Bar-Kays) - 106 BPM
Zingy (Ak'sent) - 110 BPM
Endlessly (Muse) - 110 BPM
Disease (Matchbox Twenty) - 115 BPM
Shameless (Ani DiFranco) - 115 BPM
By the Way (Red Hot Chili Peppers) - 119 BPM
Blood on Stone (Ashbury) - 120 BPM
Let's Sick on the Deck (GrandadBob) - 122 BPM
In the Beginning (The Stills) - 124 BPM
Tiny Little Fractures (Snow Patrol) - 144 BPM

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Race Report: Derby Rock 'n' Route Tri 2011

What a great race! What a great day!

I couldn't sleep Saturday night because I was so excited! I woke up once at 12:45 and started getting ready. I looked at my watch and realized I could go back to sleep for another 4 hours. I woke up again at 2:00, and at 3:30. I couldn't wait to get ready to race!

Stopped for coffee at Quiktrip, and saw another athlete there. Ended up next to him in transition, which was first-come, first-served for space. The Photographer dropped me off, and I grabbed a good spot while she parked the car. I chose a spot by the run in from the swim with a straight shot to the bike out and run out. I grabbed an end spot, so I needn't worry about my bike getting in the way of other gear.

Number 53 is wearing the yellow swim cap.

No iPod, for this pre-race; I was focused on having a good time and talking to as many people as I could. I took my bike around the block once to make sure everything was working, and that I was in the right gear to begin. Didn't bother with a run warm up (because I didn't want to), but I did hop into the pool and swim a few laps (love Derby's long-course pool!) to get used to the water. I felt great--long smooth strokes, and completely relaxed.

While hanging out in transition, I'd spotted a super-athletic-looking girl and thought, "Uh-oh! There's my competition!" She ended up being seeded directly behind me for the swim I was 52, and she was Number 53. Even though I was mentally working myself up to give her the race of her life, I enjoyed talking to her while we waited in line for 1-51 to go.

Swim: 400m in 7:59 (~2:00/100m)
That's slower than I was hoping for, but oh well. Number 53 passed me sometime after 200m. Shortly after that, I got caught up in a clump of much slower swimmers . . . it was a mess, with a relatively slow swimmer trying to pass someone who had really underestimated their swim time. I lost at least 30 seconds to that mess. Still not nearly as bad as the melee that was Shawnee Mission, though!

T1: 41 seconds
Still got it!

Bike: 14 miles in 40:09 (20.9 MPH)
Number 53 took it out of me. She came out of transition about 100 yards up on me, and I spent the first 2 miles trying to catch her. She pushed me out of my comfort zone! I don't remember when I caught her--it took a few miles--and I tried to put the hammer down, to break her spirit. But I did NOT have the power to intimidate her. She was every bit as strong as I am, and I couldn't shake her. We spent the rest of the bike ride swapping places, until the last two miles, when I finally let her go. Immediately after, I settled into a good, steady pace. Maybe I should have done that at the beginning, but then I wouldn't have gotten to experience a good, hard race! 

A train stopped the race, at least for a few athletes. Although the race organizers had done everything in their power to stop trains for the morning of the race, a group of 8 or 9 got stopped by a long train on the bike course. I saw it coming from far away, and started slowing down. I figured if I was going to get caught by a train, then I wasn't going to bust my butt to pass Number 53 again! We would probably both get caught, but then I'd have gotten some more recovery time! Luckily for us, the train passed just as we were getting close to it; neither one of us got caught. In a totally unfair set of circumstances, Number 53 and I got to blow right by a bunch of cyclists who had been at a dead stop. So when you see that my bike time was 4th fastest out of all the women, you have to take that into account.

T2: 33 seconds
Heck yes!
Run: 5k in 27:45 (8:55/mile)
This is what I expected, in terms of running. It wasn't great, but good for where I'm at this season. My running took a hit this year, because I didn't have the base of two years ago. I was running more like 8:15 then. The run was hard, and it hurt, but that's how it's supposed to feel. I got some nasty blisters on the backs of my ankles; I forgot my Body Glide at home, and didn't put any on my shoes.
I did run this course much better than the last time I raced Rock 'n' Route. In the first mile, as I was running downhill, I reminded myself that I was going to have to run back uphill at the end, and to save some juice for the last half mile. I was able to ratchet up my pace as I came up the last hill, and it didn't seem as high or as long as it did last time because of it. The take-away lesson: know your course!

Total: 1:17:09, 6th F overall, 1st F 25-29
I had a blast at this race. My mantra on the run was "How are champions made, Jamie? By pushing through." By the end of the run, it was just, "Pushing through, pushing through, pushing through." And I felt like I did that, even if I didn't achieve my goal of finishing on the podium.

The Photographer and I spent a long time talking to Number 53 after the race. I think we were both able to push each other on the bike, although she definitely got the best of me. Unlike at El Dorado, I wasn't left with the feeling that I should have finished better than I did. I felt like I did my best on the day, and that the people who beat me did so because they were stronger and faster. It's a good feeling.

This is my last triathlon of the year. I know what I need to work on most: the run. I may be able to go faster on the bike, but it's already near the top of the field. I think I'll get more out of trying to balance my speed on the bike with some more speed on the run. I have it in me to run at least 25:00 for a 5k. I'm going to take it easy for the next couple weeks, then start gearing up for a half marathon in October.

Spinning Workout: Workout w/ Rollers

This 45 minute workout is designed for use on rollers. It can be adapted for use on a trainer or spinning bike, but only for cadence work. The principles of resistance and position are pretty drastically altered. But if you're looking for a workout for your rollers (and you think you can manage a music player and headphones while you're on those crazy things), this is perfect for you!

Also, check out this Instructables for a cool how-to on DIY rollers!

Workout w/ Rollers (45 minutes)
Comanche (Cake) - 118 BPM
Get it and Go (Razorlight) - 171 BPM
Age of Consent (New Order) - 164 BPM
A Billion Balconies Facing the Sun (Manic Street Preachers) - 152 BPM
Stumble and Fall (Razorlight) - 96 BPM
I Woke up in a Car (Something Corporate) - 107 BPM
Golden Platitudes (Manic Street Preachers) - 96 BPM
19-20-20 (The Grates) - 184 BPM
Neighborhood #3 (The Arcade Fire) - 120 BPM
Miracle Drug (A.C. Newman) - 88 BPM
Give In (The Bravery) - 148 BPM
Painted by Numbers (The Sounds) - 151 BPM
Long Legs (The Magic Numbers) - 108 BPM

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Race Report: Shawnee Mission '11

This was the big one, the race I've been training for and targeting all season. I really restructured my training, this year, beginning much later than I normally do so that I would still feel fresh and motivated in July. I pre-rode and pre-ran the course the weekend before to remind myself what those hills and what that humidity really feel like. And, as usual, I had my family with me. No Photographer, though :-(.

I've wised up over the years, and told my mom that I wanted to leave 15 minutes earlier than I actually wanted to leave. And it worked! We were heading out by 5:15 and at the race site by 5:30! I rode alone to transition. I was one of the first on my rack and set my stuff up just the way I like it. I got my timing chip (body marking was done by Tri Tats, which I used for the first time at this race. I loved them!), aired up my tires, and headed out for a gentle warm up on the 4.5 mile bike loop.

When I got back, someone had moved my stuff. Seriously. She had picked up my towel, my shoes, my hat, and my race belt, and moved it to the side. So I picked it up and moved it back where it belonged. "I think you're supposed to put your stuff on the opposite side your bike is facing," she might have said (it's been a week and a half, and I don't remember exactly). "I know," I replied. "I did." There was definitely some hostility. But you just don't move another person's stuff, not without asking. If she would have asked me to scooch it over a bit, I totally would have (and I did move my stuff to take up less space as the rack filled up). I felt perfectly justified, though, as I was one of the first to get in to set up my transition space AND I was in the right space, as marked on the bike rack.

I scoped out my rack to see my competition. I felt good about my chances of kicking some serious tri tail.

Swim: 1000 m in 21:34 (22:29 in '08)
I guess I still improved over my 2008 time, so it's not all bad. But the swim was definitely the low point of the race for me. I have been hitting my pool intervals at 1:35-1:45/100 m, so I was optimistic about how this swim would go. But then I got attacked by monster woman triathletes! They must have been mammoth! In fact, they may have been zombie triathletes from the year before, trying to drag me under to join their foul brood!

Okay, that's hyperbolic. But a few did literally grab me and pull me under. Not intentionally, of course; nothing like that happens intentionally in a triathlon. It just happens. But it was a rough swim in the first 300-400 m, and it really affected me mentally. I got so smashed around, it was hard to establish a rhythm. In fact, I didn't really find a rhythm until well past the turn-around, and even then I was more disoriented than usual. Through that, though, I was fortunate not to have too much negative self-talk. I just chalked it up to positioning myself poorly for the start, and vowed to make up for it on the bike. And I still came out twelfth in my wave, sixteenth swim overall, so maybe everyone had kind of a rough time.

T1: 1:30 (1:41 in '08)
There's a long run up to the bike racks from the boat ramp, which accounts for the long transition time. Fourth female overall in T1, though, and I passed two women in T1!

Bike: 18 mi in 56:24 (1:00:14 in '08)
This was my greatest area of improvement, and where I made up the most time on my competitors. I rode fifth fastest of all the women.

I don't remember much of the bike ride. I was in the zone. I could hear music playing in my head, and I matched my cadence to the beat, changing mental tracks on the uphills, downhills, and flats. I counted women as I passed them, until I lost track on the third lap, when I started passing the women who were riding the short course. I speculated as to how many women were ahead of me, at that point (seven).

Last time I did this race, I forgot to pull my feet out of my shoes before I hit transition. This year, I remembered, but just barely. I was pulling my feet out as I came into the chute for the finish. Some poor girl came into the chute just behind me, but couldn't pass me (no passing before the dismount) as I slowed down to undo my feet. Sorry, friend!

I am so, so happy with the way my bike ride went.

T2: 52 seconds (1:05 in '08)
Ranked tenth, among women. Meh.

Run: 42:11 (46:44 in '08)
This is not a fantastic run. It's about 9:20/mile. Not a great time. But you know what? I was pretty happy with it! It represents a big improvement over what I did last time, and still leaves me with plenty of room to improve. And it was still faster than two-thirds of the other women, almost, so whoopee!

My bike ride set me up for big problems on the run. I'd debated whether or not I should put Nuun in my water bottle, since I was only taking one. I should have. I could feel myself start to cramp up after the second lap on the bike, right before I took my Powergel (I felt almost immediately better). By the time I hit the run, my electrolytes were depleted again, and I was in for a rough ride. More than half of the course runs you through the gorgeous Steamway Trail area, which is unfortunately in something of a minor valley. It's hot and humid in the valley, oppressive conditions for a July run, even if it is at 8:30 a.m. With my electrolytes down, I found myself really hurting once the trail dipped into that valley. I admit it: I had to stop and walk a couple of times. My quads were cramping badly. It was torture trying to push myself back uphill. Fortunately, once I was up that big hill, the air had more cool in it, and I was only half a mile from the finish line.

I did the first two miles of the run in about sixteen minutes, so that gives you an idea of how much I slowed down over the last two miles.

My finish did not include a big sprint to the line. By the time I hit the line, it was all I could do to keep my legs going at the same pace I had.

Total: 2:02:29 (2:12:12 in '08), 3rd F 25-29, and 12th F overall!
I was very happy with this race. Unlike El Dorado, where I was absolutely CONVINCED that I should have done better than I did, this race left me with the feeling that I had given it my all. I beat myself by 10 minutes from the last time I did Shawnee Mission, and I beat 60 of the 72 women I was racing (including the girl who moved my stuff in transition, not that that's important).

I was very hot and my tummy was not happy when I finished. I had a nasty blister on my left ankle, too, a really deep one. I left my Kinvaras at El Dorado Lake after the triathlon there, so I had to buy a new pair two weeks out from Shawnee Mission. I got the Saucony Fastwitch, which I like, but I think I should have bought them a size bigger. I lubed my ankle and the back of my shoe really well, but I think it just made it worse. I'm not sure what to do about it, running sockless. Ideally, I would just buy another pair of new shoes. But that's not really practical.

This was a great race, and I had fun! As always, I appreciated the support of my family. They are always proud of me, no matter how I feel about myself. And they are even willing to wake up at 4:45 a.m.!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pics from El Dorado

Thanks, as always, to The Photographer.

Hey! How 'bout a tri hug?
This is why you hit the loo before your warm-up.

Monday, June 27, 2011

El Dorado Lake Triathlon 2011

I must have set some bad patterns at last year's race, at least in terms of the mechanics of racing. Next year, maybe I'll get to the race on time, and I won't leave anything important.

I thought the race was at El Dorado Lake State Park, but it wasn't. Consequently, The Photographer and I drove to the wrong side of the lake, and couldn't find the race start. So we had to drive back over to the west side of the lake, and finally found the Walnut River camping area. At 7:00 a.m. Which was in the Olympic distance race started. Sigh. Fortunately, the volunteers were kind enough to body mark me and let me in to the (already closed) transition area to set up my stuff. One thing I can definitely say about this race is that they're very accommodating! (Last year, I didn't read the race website and didn't know that I needed to pick up my packet the day before, so I arrived to the race late AND without my packet. And they still let me race. I love them.)

After I got my gear set up in transition, I went for a brief barefoot jog on the grass. Then, since I couldn't do a bike warm-up, I did some static and dynamic stretches to help warm my muscles (slower than an active warm-up, but still effective). Once the olympic distancers had all cleared off the swim course, I was able to get in and do a nice, long swim warm up. The water temperature was perfect, it was relatively clear (relative to Kansas lakes), and the lake was calm. It was going to be a great morning for a race.

Swim: 750 m in 12:16 (official race time was 13:56, but that included a long run up to T1)
I love beach starts! No one in Kansas (apparently) knows how to dolphin dive, so I always get a good lead going into the water. I started wide to the right, aiming for the second buoy instead of the first. As soon as I started swimming, I felt good--long and lean, with plenty of energy and a strong pull. Everything felt good. When I was not quite to the second buoy, I caught onto another woman and let her pull me in her draft. It was the best job I've ever done at drafting. She was just a touch faster than me, enough that I could swim at slightly faster than my normal speed and keep up with her. She gave me about 200 yards, then, as we came around the third or fourth buoy, she sped up and dropped me. I came out of the water as the third or fourth woman, though, and I was happy with my swim.

T1: 37
8th best T1 time, overall (men and women). I think that's pretty good. Passed the girl who pulled for me in T1, too. She stopped to put on socks.

Bike: 20 km in 38:36 (19.3 MPH)
I passed EVERYONE on the bike. Okay, not literally everyone. But almost everyone. I decided early on in the bike to roll the dice, bike as hard as I could, and see if I could hold on for the run. So I let myself hammer, a little bit, especially on the hills and into the wind. I just focused on reeling in one athlete after another.

The only really interesting thing that happened was that I passed a girl about two miles before T2 who was in my age group. "Aha!" I thought. "That's the last of them! Now I just need to hold her off!" I tried not to look back to see where she was. She passed me back just before T2.

T2: 42 seconds
That's about twice as long as it should take. Clearly, I need some practice. I nailed my dismount, but struggled a bit to put on my running shoes. I had to tell myself to slow down and be calm; it only takes longer if you let yourself stress out over it. Unfortunately, that girl who passed me back was off like a frickin' rocket!

Run: 28:13 (9:07/mile)
Sigh . . . It's not that I did badly on this, exactly. But I didn't do well enough. The girl who passed me right before T2 took off, and I knew right away that I wasn't going to be running her down. She ended up running a 24:46. What really bums me out, though, is that I let myself get run off the podium. There was this young girl who burned up the 5-minute lead I had on her going into the run and put another 2 minutes into me on the last mile to take third. I saw her coming after the turn-around, maybe 60 seconds behind me, and I knew I wouldn't be able to hold her off.

I've been doing my threshold runs at 8:30 pace, so I was disappointed that I couldn't hold that. And it's not, I don't think, because my body couldn't handle it. I think I just didn't have the mental fortitude to make myself run that pace. I could feel myself accelerating, at times, and tried to let myself just go with it. But then I would catch myself slowing, again.

Total: 1:22:04, 4th female overall, 1st female 25-29, 20th overall
Not a bad result, you know? And I feel like I really did my best work, out there. I had a great swim, I owned the bike course, and I did my best on the run. I really did. I should be happy with the result. And it's not like this was an A race or anything. I didn't taper. I had a hard week of training leading up to it. 

But I don't like getting beat!

It's clear to me that the area I really need to work on, still, is my run. I haven't really had a definite focus, this season; my focus has been on getting back into the sport after a year off. My goal for the season is to finish Shawnee Mission well. I've been working out hard, but it's a year of general improvement, not precise focus.

I have to admit, though, that what I really want at Shawnee Mission--what I really think I can do--is top ten. And if I don't get that, I will be very hungry for next year.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Race Report: River Run '11

This will be a short race report, because there's not much to say.

Hot, hot, hot. It was so hot this year! The difference between having the race in early May, when the mornings are still pretty cool, and early June is huge! Plus, the new course allowed for less wind access. On one hand, that's terrific, as there's no running into headwinds. On the other hand, it makes for a sweltering run. Pretty, but sweltering.

My race was very straightforward. I learned my lesson from last year and started further up in the pack. The first two miles are much more open on the new River Run course, as well, so there's more room to move up if you start too far back.

I didn't have GI issues, or pain, or blisters, or any other eventful happenings. It was just too hot to run very fast. I ended in a fairly respectable 55:11, an 8:52 pace.

I'm not as fast as I was last year or the year before on the run. The past couple years, I've been running in the 8:20s and 8:30s, with ambitions to get under 8:00. So far this year, my runs have been very average. I attribute this to my lack of training through the winter. For the past few years, I've focused on the half marathon distance, building a great base for my run training. This last winter, all I did was bike classes and yoga. Which was fine. I needed that break. But that's why my run is lacking. It makes me excited to hit some half marathons this winter, and try to break two hours!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Spinning Workout: False Flat

60 minutes of not-quite climbing! Doesn't that sound like fun?

This workout is designed to challenge your legs, and works well on a trainer (although it's perfectly fine for use on a spin bike or stationary bike).

False Flat (60 minutes)
Pride, in the Name of Love (Delirious) - 106 BPM
Some Flowers Bloom Dead (The Wallflowers) - 118 BPM
This is How I Disappear (My Chemical Romance) - 160 BPM
What's My Age Again? (Blink 182) - 159 BPM
Born for This (Paramore) - 186 BPM
Say Aha (Santogold) - 185 BPM
Mornings Eleven (The Magic Numbers) - 104 BPM
Ready, Steady, Go (The Meices) - 180 BPM
Beyond Electric Dreams (Bad Religion) - 177 BPM
Stupid Girl (Garbage) - 121 BPM
Time of Your Song (Matisyahu) - 78 BPM
Even Flow (Pearl Jam) - 103 BPM
Blood on Stone (Ashbury) - 120 BPM

Purchase this workout

Note: After purchasing the workout, I will send you an e-mail with instructions on how to download.

This is one of my paid workouts. Looking for the free workouts? Go here!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Spinning Workout: Special Custom Edition

Hey all! It's been a while since we've had a new cycling workout, isn't it? It's high-time for a new one!

This is a workout I did as a custom request for a client, but she never paid for it. So here it is, for your enjoyment and edification! Hope it's a tough one for ya!

Amanda's Cycling workout

Looking for more workouts? Go here!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Spinning Workout: Pyramid

This 45-minute pyramid workout maintains a constant RPM of 70-80 RPM (after the initial warm-up), but includes increases to resistance in a pyramid interval format. Recovery times of 100% between intervals allow for just enough of a break, while keeping the workout challenging.

Pyramid (45 minutes)
Running on Sunshine (Jesus Jackson) - 100 BPM
Heaven on Their Minds (Jesus Christ Superstar) - 122 BPM
Into the Morning (The Weekend) - 155 BPM
Fun, Fun, Fun! (The Beach Boys) - 156 BPM
Bleed American (Jimmy Eat World) - 160 BPM
Black Velvet Band (Dropkick Murphys) - 157 BPM
Everlong (Foo Fighters) - 155 BPM
Thank You (Dido) - 80 BPM
Ladies and Gentlemen (Saliva) - 80 BPM
Step Away from the Cliff (Blue-Eyed Son) - 80 BPM
Gangsta's Paradise (Coolio) - 80 BPM
Ruby Room (The Foxboro Hot Tubs) - 162 BPM
Rough Draft (Yellowcard) - 160 BPM

Purchase this workout

Note: After purchasing the workout, I will send you an e-mail with instructions on how to download.

This is one of my paid workouts. Looking for the free workouts? Go here!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Race Report: First Gear XC Race 4 - Pawnee Prairie

So, um. This race was in February. Yeah, I'm a little late on updating.

But! But! I promise it is a very good race report and totally worth the wait!

I have been planning to run some of the XC races in Wichita for the past two years, but never get around to it. Mostly, it's because the dates kind of sneak up on me, and I've usually already scheduled other things on Saturday mornings. But Pawnee Prairie Park is one of my favorite running locations in ICT, so I made a point of getting to this.

I was not, how you might say, exactly trained at this point in the year. In fact, I was out of shape. I'd probably run a total of 10 miles in the past two months. So I fully intended to go into the race and treat it like an $8 training run.

And that's exactly what I did. Wait! Wait! Don't leave! I promised you an exciting race report, and I will deliver.

I started in between packs: too slow to keep up with the front runners, but much faster than the next pack back. So I started towards the front, got dropped quickly, and didn't see anyone other than the occasional male as they passed me by . . .

After about a mile, as we were reaching the main turn-around, I heard heavy breathing and footfalls coming up behind me. We were about to get into a narrow section of the trail (moving from pavement to dirt track), so I slowed down and moved to the right so the guy behind me could pass before the path got too narrow. He didn't pass, didn't pass, didn't pass . . . He sure was breathing heavy! He sounded like he was breathing hard enough for two people! Finally, we were well and truly on the dirt, and at that point I wasn't going to let him go around, so I picked it up again and led through the trail section. I know those trails really well; I feel great running soft tracks in my Vibrams; so I figured he could go around me if he wanted to try it.

As we re-emerged from the trees, back onto the pavement, he finally started to pull up alongside me. As he did, I realized that I had actually been hearing three people breathing: the one guy and two women (one of them 5-6 months pregnant). And I didn't really want to be passed by other women--I'd only been passed by men up to that point!--so I picked it up a little bit and ran harder, pacing myself off of them. No one pushed the pace, at that point. I was still running comfortably.

As we got farther into the race, one of the women (the not-pregnant one, let's call her Jill, 'cause that's her name) started to push the pace a little bit. I stayed with her. Suddenly, this was not a training run. This was a race. And I wasn't going to drop off so easily. We set a sharper pace and started to leave the other man and woman behind us. As we came out of the park and onto Pawnee (unpaved, limited-access road), she really started to push. I was feeling okay, so I kept going with her. And then, a good three-quarters mile from the finish, as we were in all but a dead sprint, she gasped to me, "The finish is right ahead, right?" I replied, with some shock, "What? No!" And so she slowed down a little bit. And so I slowed down a little bit (although, in retrospect, that may have been the time when I should have pushed my advantage more).

I did push her over the next half mile or so, trying to break away and drop her, break her spirit, so to speak. But she was very tough and very resilient, and she hung with me the whole time! As we came back into the park, on to the XC course that the race organizers had bush-whacked through the prairie of Pawnee, there was a slight incline. Of course, you realize that slight inclines in Wichita are basically like mountains to anyone from a place with hills, and I was huffing and puffing! Meanwhile, Jill was pulling ahead slowly but surely. I fought to maintain contact, to stay with her, but I was really feeling the effort of the last 1.5 miles (not to mention the previous six months' complete lack of training). She was about 20 yards ahead of me as we came in to the last quarter mile, and turned (what I thought was) the last corner. Still within striking distance, I picked it up, and got to within a hand's reach of her. Then we turned another corner, and I realized there were still about 200 yards left to go. With the finish looking so distant, I gave it up and decided not to kill myself. I let her get away.

Still! I came in fifth out of all the women (34 total). My time was 27:41 (Jill finished in 27:34). Not a stellar 5k time, I will admit, but not bad for untrained, and on trails. I was happy with it.

What I learned from this 5k was a new racing mentality. I have never been able to summon the strength of will to do more than survive in the last 5k of a tri. I've pushed myself to the point beyond pain in an effort not to get passed (at the Easter Sun Run a couple years ago). But I had never before really considered the strategy of racing. Do I go now, or hold back? Should I try to drop her here, try to break her so I don't have to worry about her? Do I have the strength? Do I have the speed? Or is she better than me?

And when I finished, I felt like I was as strong and as fast as her. But she ran a smarter, better race that day. And I know that some of my readers are going to scoff, and think, "Um, hello? You ran a 27-minute 5k! You don't need to think about strategy and 'racing' when it takes you 9+ minutes to run a mile!" And maybe you're right. But I learned something, at this race, so watch out. I might be running 7 minute miles in a couple seasons, and then you better watch your back!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Strength for Swimmers

Hey all! Here's a little treat for you, as you're beginning to build a base for your season. I've integrated some personal training and yoga knowledge to give you a well-rounded set of swimming exercises that you can do with no equipment in very little time. This originated as advice I gave to one of my top-notch swimmers, who was struggling to keep his legs in line with the rest of his body while using a pull buoy. I gave him this assignment to strengthen his core and teach him better alignment.

p.s. Thanks to The Photographer for switching it up and being my videographer. Also, thanks to The Photographer's kids for being so quiet!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Derby Rec Center Indoor Tri '11

Hey! Guess what I did! A triathlon!
It's been months since I've a done a race, so I wasn't expecting much, especially it's been verrrry recently (only within the past 2-3 weeks) that I've even really thought about training again. It came as quite a surprise when I ended up on the podium! Here's how it broke down . . .

I had a hard time sleeping the night before, and a hard time waking up the morning of. Good thing I prepped my equipment on Saturday night! All I had to do was wake up, get dressed, grab my bag, and go. I had somehow ended up in the first swim wave, this year. In past years, I've (well) not been in the first wave. I was pretty sure there had been some mistake, or else the field was really down in size, if I (at my pace) somehow wound up in the fast group. I realized about halfway through the bike that the reason I had been mis-seeded was because I'd written down my estimated 400 m swim time (7:30) instead of my estimated 500 m swim time. Oops.
At any rate, that meant that I had to be at the DRC at 6:45. I got there at about 5 'til 7. Of course, set up was just a pair of shoes, so it's not like I needed a bunch of time. But it did take time to go and get the stationary bike settings adjusted to my liking, and I did have to pee a couple of times (yes, within the same 30 minutes). That left me with almost no time to warm up. I ended up spinning on the bike for 5 minutes, running 2 laps around the track, then hopping in the pool and sprinting through a 50. And that was my warm-up. Kids, don't try that at home.
Swim: 500 m in 9:02 - 1:48/100m ('09 ~8:30, '08 9:48)
I kind of figured that I would be the last one out of the pool. And I was! The Photographer said not by much, though ("Not by much" turned out to be about a length and a half). I felt awful until about halfway through, when my body had warmed up a little. I've been doing my 100s on about a 1:50 interval, so I'm confident that I could have gone faster with a better warm-up. And I just got back into the pool a couple weeks ago. So. You know.

T1: 1:02
Have I mentioned before that they don't let athletes run through this transition? No running allowed on the pool deck. So we have to walk the whole way. Which is why this took so long. 
Bike: 6 mi in 15:26 - 23.3 MPH ('09 16:43, '08 19:00)
Ha! I am awesome! I got the second-fastest bike split out of all the women! My friend Heidi was the only one who beat me; she finished in 15:25. Of course, cycling is the one thing I've still been doing consistently. 'Cause (you know) it's my job. Besides which, the cycling protocol we use at Genesis is Body Training System's Group Ride. Which spins at speeds anywhere from 50-130 RPM. 130 RPM, guys. And the bikes at the DRC are set to track distance off of revolutions vs. wattage. Which means that the faster you can spin, the faster you'll be done. Apparently, all that fast spinning in cycling class pays off!

T2: 24 s
I was allowed to run during this transition.

Run: 2 mi in 17:11 - 8:35/mile ('09 18:00, '08 18:18)
Wow. I guess this a pretty significant improvement, too. I mean, it's still not super-human fast or anything. And still not fast enough to keep me from being run down by at least two other women (in the whole world. All the other women in the world are going to have to prove themselves more awesome than I). But it represents a significant improvement for me over the last time I did this race.

Total: 43:05, 3rd F overall ('09 44:19, '08 48:36)
With a total of 1:26 in transitions, that gives me 43:05. Last time I did this race? 44:19. And I didn't even get an award. I placed one place out of the awards, last time. This year? Third female overall. And I got a gift card to Road ID instead of a plaque!

I'm aware of the fact that the race size and field were smaller and less competitive this year. There was another indoor triathlon going on at the Y simultaneously. But you know what? I still got third place overall. And I've still improved greatly. And those other women who didn't show up at the race? For all we know, I would have beaten them, too. If they want to disagree with that, then they'll just have to go toe-to-toe with me this summer, and we'll find out!