Monday, January 31, 2011

Indoor Spin Session!

When I picked up my new tri bike on Friday, I also picked up a new indoor bike trainer. The indoor trainer allows you to set up your bike in your living room and ride. It is like a treadmill...but for your bike!

After an awful run on Saturday, I wanted to have a great indoor ride on Sunday. I was also itching to spend some time on the Pink Lady (this is my tri bike's name...named after the movie Grease...post on that coming soon!).

So I set up my new trainer in the living room. I needed to prop my front wheel up to be even with the rest of my bike so I used some books off of Phil's desk.


He isn't using his grad school textbooks anymore so I figured why not! We are such dorks- if I didn't use his old textbooks I could have used my own which would have been "The Fundamentals of Taxation"...but "Optical Networks" is still pretty bad. Anyway...

I quickly had everything all set up to ride. My goal was to spin for an hour.


Please notice the ridiculously cute pooch on the couch sleeping. She snored the whole time I was spinning. She lives quite the life.

Indoor spinning is boring. Just like running on the treadmill. You are pedaling and pedaling and going no where. However, I found something that made it possible for me to spin for a full hour...


...Say Yes to the Dress was on TLC! I watched 2 episodes of it. Don't judge me. OK, fine, judge if you want but I love this show and it got me through a full hour of pedaling!

I hope it is available on Comcast on Demand so I can watch more episodes when I spin. Millionaire Matchmaker could also work :)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

You win some, you lose some...

...and today, I lost.

Whitney and I set out to do our long run, like we do on most Saturdays. We had 18 miles to get in and we chose the Capital Crescent trail since we were told it was plowed and snow free. I'm not sure if it was the weather, the hard swim practices I had this week, or if I was still recovering from my birthday weekend but I woke up with such sore knees and hips this morning.

Regardless, I suited up and we hit the trail. My knees loosened up and I was ok for the first 5 miles or so. As we continued to run, my right knee continued to ache and bother me. Whitney's knee was bothering her as well. It must be because we both don't have a meniscus in our right knee. We pushed forward as much as we could, but when we got to 10 miles we both decided to call it quits and jog/hobble back to the car about a mile away.

We both were disappointed that we decided to quit before 18 miles, but we agreed that it was for the best to stop to avoid injury. So after stretching, icing, and lots of ibuprofen this afternoon I have mentally reset to tackle 20 miles next weekend...if my knees cooperate :)

One bad run so far in the 9 weeks of marathon training...not too bad. Hopefully it is the last one because there is only 5 weeks left until the marathon!



Friday, January 28, 2011

Hello, Gorgeous!

Today I picked up my new toy from Bonzai Sports. The 2011 Quintana Roo Chicquilo tri bike. It is B-E-A-U-tiful and badass all at the same time. I'm in love.

Now to the good stuff...the bike fit!

When we got to Bonzai I handed my new tri shoes that Phil got me for my birthday along with extra pedals we had laying around the apartment to Adam (the bike fitter). Its important to do the bike fit with the pedals and shoes you will be using to ride to ensure a proper fit. When the guys at Bonzai saw the pedals, they began to make fun of me for using such crappy pedals (it was all an act!). I was so thrown off guard that I didn't know what to say. Turns out, Phil and my sister, Nikki, called Bonzai the prior week and bought me pink Light Action Speed Play Petals as part of my birthday gift! Woop! The awesome thing about these pedals is that you can clip in from the top or the bottom- perfect for having to clip in quickly for triathlons.


Isn't she pretty!
 Once Adam set up my pedals and shoes, it was time for me to hop on the bike and begin the adjustments.
The picture below is when I first got on the bike- It was so uncomfortable!You can see that my back is very rounded and I look sort of strained. Not to worry though, Adam would soon fix everything.



The first adjustment Adam made was tilting the seat slightly downward and moving the seat post to a higher position. This allowed for my knees to have the proper angle when my foot was at the bottom of the pedal stroke. The pedaling felt comfortable but Adam measured the angle just to be sure.


Even though my knee angle was good, the saddle that came with the bike was awful! I was only riding for about 10 minutes and my booty was already hurting! If I need to be on that bike for hours on end, my rear needs to be comfy! Adam switched out the saddle to a more lady friendly one. Sadly, the new saddle is not pink, but it feels a ton better to sit on. I would gladly give up the pink for some butt comfort in this situation.

Now that we had my legs and butt squared away, it was time to take care of my torso and arms. Adam watched me pedal for a few minutes and analyzed my position.


I felt as though my elbows were a little close to my chest making it a tiny bit hard to breathe. Adam switched out the stem to a slightly longer one, extending the handlebars ever so slightly. It may have been only a centimeter or so change, but I could really feel the difference. Once I felt comfortable Adam measured the angles in my shoulders to make sure everything was A-ok.


Once my legs, butt and torso were comfy on the bike, Adam did a few final checks to make sure the bike was properly fit to me. One of these tests included a laser beam!




As you do a full pedal stroke, the laser should stay in a straight line from your knee to you ankle. Adam was able to point out that I have flat feet because my arches collapse, causing my knees to flair out a little when I pedal. He tried to put supports on the cleats of my shoes, but they didn't help- they just felt kind of weird.

After almost two hours of adjustments and analyzing my position- we were done! I am now super comfy on the bike and look forward to riding it. Look at how different the ending position is from the beginning. I have a completely flat back and you can just tell I am a ton more comfortable.


Thank you Bonzai for a wonderful experience! Thank you Adam for a thorough fit! and Thank you Phil for taking all the pictures! :)


I love my new bike. She needs a name!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happy Birthday to me!!!

phew! What a birthday! I am still recovering from an amazing weekend. My college friends and I rented a house in the Poconos for some play time in the snow and shenanigans. The weekend consisted of pizza, beer, laughing hysterically, and quality time with best friends. This picture sums up the weekend pretty well..


Phil and Matt surprised Jenna and I with an amazing cake! Look at this thing! I loved that they put the American University logo on it :) AU ski trip! woop woop!



So this weekend had absolutely nothing to do with triathlons...

...until I got home and opened my birthday presents from my parents, Phil, and the Kealy's (phil's family).

My parents got me an Xterra triathlon wetsuit...

they got me the sleeveless one
...an Aqua Cell water bottle for my new tri bike (that I pick up on Friday! w00t!).



...and a gift certificate to Bonzai Sports - which is where I ordered the tri bike from.

Phil's mom, dad, and sister also gave me a gift certificate to Bonzai! This bike keeps getting cheaper ;)

and Phil got me these sexy things! We have an ongoing joke about how I try to match all of my gear...so he found tri shoes (really good ones!) that match my new pink and black bike. AND they have a breast cancer ribbon on them! score!

Thank you  so much to my amazing friends, wonderful family (including the Kealy's!), and fantastic boyfriend for making my 25th birthday absolutely perfect. I am a lucky lady to have such wonderful people in my life!

I am getting my tri bike on Friday which includes getting a professional 2hour bike fit....I'll make sure to document and post all about it :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

16 miles: Long run rituals

Today, Whitney and I tacked 16 miles. 16!! Go me.

There is alot that goes into prepping for a long run and recovering from one. This post is about my prep for our long Saturday morning runs and what I do on Saturday afternoon to be able to continue to use my legs for the rest of the weekend. :)

It all starts on Friday night. Phil and I usually have pretty chill Friday evenings since we both wake up and either run or ride on Saturday morning. Its nice having a boyfriend who understands going to bed at 10pm on Friday evenings!

On Friday night I lay out all the crap supplies I need for a long run. Obviously I don't lay it out like the picture below but I made it pretty for picture purposes.

In the picture above I have:
  • base layer long sleeve shirt
  • Nike running jacket
  • winter running tights
  • Nike sports bra
  • ear band
  • Mizuno sneakers (which I can no longer do long runs in because the arches are too aggressive and I have a hell of a blister right now as I am typing this)
  • running socks
  • gloves
  • Garmin 305 watch with heart rate monitor
  • an IT band strap for each leg
  • fuel belt with 4 water bottles
  • 2 packages of Chocolate Outrage Gu
That's alot of crap  needed supplies!

By the time I lay everything out, Brizzy is ready for bed. As am I.


On Saturday morning, I wake up about an hour before the run to give myself time to eat, walk the little fur monster, stretch my IT bands, and put on alllll the stuff pictured above.

Breakfast consists of a small sweet potato that I microwave until soft with a little bit of salt, a big glass of water and Ibuprofen. This morning I also had some air borne because I woke up with a sore throat. Grrr.

After breakfast I walk the pooch. This is also when I note the weather outside and adjust my clothes for the run if I need to.




Before I put on all my gear, I spend some time using the foam roller to stretch my IT bands. I also do other stretches for them as well. If I do both the roller and stretches before my long runs, my IT bands don't flair up as much.


Briz thinks when I lay on the floor it means play time. So here is a funny video of me trying to stretch and her wanting to play/ hitting me in the face with her toy.

video

Then, I put on all the gear. I was curious to see how much it weighed me down, so I weighed myself before getting dressed and after. Before I put on all the gear I weighed in at 120lbs flat. Once the I put on the gear, I weighed in at 125 lbs. 5 pounds of gear and water!!!!


After all that, I am finally ready to run. Whit and I ran from my apartment, to the zoo and back for a total of 16 miles in 2 hours and 33 minutes. So an average pace of 9:33. Not too shabby for 16 miles!

10 fingers + 6 fingers = 16 miles!
yay 16 miles!!!

Once home, the first thing I do is change out of my sweaty clothes. Then I stretch and roll out my IT bands again. Then I grab the ice bags from the freezer and sit my ass on the couch and ice my knees and feet.


While I am icing, Phil and our fur baby are spending quality time together.

I can never decide who I think is cuter!
Just out of curiosity, I weighed in after the run to see how much water weight I lost during the run. I took in 4 full fuel belt bottles of water, 2 Gus and half a pack of Gu chomps and I STILL weighed in a pound lighter than this morning. Its pretty cool to see how much water goes in and comes out as sweat!


Now, I am still icing while Phil went out to get us bagels! Yummm! Ill take a few more Ibuprofen with lunch, followed by a shower and a nap. And then a party!!

Hope everyone is having a good weekend!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Thank you.

In the past few weeks there has been many people who have sent me a note via facebook, email, or text giving me words of encouragement and saying that what I am doing is inspiring. I really appreciate hearing that- but I am nothing more than a lady reaching for goals she set for herself. If I can do it- anyone can. You just have to commit to yourself and get it done. Don't talk about- be about it :)

This is what inspires me.






Or this:





Hope this inspires someone out there to set a goal and go for it!

Monday, January 10, 2011

The longest run of my life to date

Ah, the joys of being in the middle of marathon training. Constantly sore muscles, several bags of ice in the freezer, muscle twitches as you are falling asleep and extremely unsexy feet.

As you can see in my training schedule, January and February are the months where the long runs really build. 14 miles, 16 miles, 18 miles, 20 miles, 22 miles(!!!). This past Saturday was 14 miles, which is my longest run to date. My longest run before this past Saturday was the Philly half marathon (13.1 miles).

I must admit that I was a little nervous on Saturday morning, but with Whitney's encouragement I was able to go all 14 miles- and at a pretty damn good pace! I ran the full 14 miles FASTER than the Philly half (13.1 miles)!

I felt okay the whole time... until mile 13 when I said to myself  "Laur, you are in new running territory! You have never ran this far before!". I struggled through the last mile...even though somehow it was the fastest. But I was able to run until the end because Whitney kept the encouragement coming. This will be her third marathon. She is pretty much a pro.

Split times:

Mile 1:     9:43
Mile 2:     9:53
Mile 3:    10:00
Mile 4:     9:48
Mile 5:     9:41
Mile 6:     9:19
Mile 7:     9:28
Mile 8:     9:00
Mile 9:     9:25
Mile 10:   9:13
Mile 11:   9:12
Mile 12:   9:03
Mile 13:   9:11
Mile 14:   8:54

Total Time: 2:11:56

So this is the longest run of my life so far....until this Saturday when we tackle 16 miles. :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 Goals and Resolutions!

As I said in my previous post, 2010 was an awesome year! I think 2011 though is going to top it though :)

In 2011 I would like to- 
  • Finish a marathon
  • Go to 2 swim practices a week
  • Learn to enjoy riding my bike for hours on end
  • Keep the fun in training
  • Stay healthy and injury free...listening to my body while training
  • Not let work stress me out (too much)
  • Raise $3,000 for Susan G Koman by the time Ironman comes around in November
  • Finish an Ironman
  • Save 10% of my salary
  • Follow the budget I make for myself
  • Run a 25 minute 5k
  • Learn how to make amazing risotto
  • Take care of my feet...by giving myself pedicures!
  • Make time for friends and family...even on weekends of 100 mile bike rides and 20 mile runs :)
  • Beat Phil in a race (ha! this one is a joke)
Bring it on, 2011! The year of Ironman and other amazing adventures!