Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mussel Up

Hello friends!!  I am still trying to decide my future plans for 2011…I think I have them all figured out, but I’m still on the fence about a few things.  details forthcoming!

Today, I would like to talk about one of my favorite races.  (Well, aside from the nostalgia of Sodus, but that’s another story for another time!)  No, today starts my training for the best race ‘round these parts…..

MUSSELMAN.  Yup, you heard me right.  It’s a great play on words between “muscles” and the zebra MUSSELS in the finger lakes region, and is an awesome weekend of triathlon, and, in my opinion, a must do race for any triathlete in Western New York.
It includes a sprint triathlon,  a kid's race, and a half iron distance race.  I did the Half Ironman in 2008 (my first!), the DOUBLE MUSSELMAN in 2009 (sprint on Saturday, half Ironman on Sunday...yes, I am nuts), and am ready to rock and roll in 2011 for the half ironman again!!

So what makes this race so special?

Well, the terrain is beautiful.  Held in the heart of wine country in the finger lakes region of New York, the course starts out in Seneca Lake (and the canal basin, but we don't need to talk about that), a 56 mile bike ride through pastures, Amish farms, and gorgeous fields, and then a wonderful half marathon through downtown Geneva and ends with a nice jaunt by the lake. Gorgeous. 

However, what really stands out for me is the race director, Jeff Henderson.  In my opinion, Jeff represents everything that is right about triathlon.  He pays special attention to every detail of the weekend, and really cares about the athletes.  The race amenities are great, the preparation thorough, volunteer support amazing...I could go on and on.  Basically, I have a massive tri crush on this phenomenal guy (I say things like that alot, don't I....? :-D)  It's ok, the hubster gets it.  Sort of.

I am super amped about this years race.  It might not compare of '09, when I got a free wetsuit (yeah this guy I nearly drowned in the water and he was just impressed that I am that nuts dedicated enough to finish a race after playing in the medical tent for 45 minutes) but I have a great feeling about this year!!  My '08 race was plagued by thunderstorms (they almost cancelled), '09 by a bruised larynx in Seneca Lake (I can't make this stuff up) and I feel like 3rd time's the charm.

Yup, we have a new goal here at TFB.  Stay tuned as the season ready to stick to one training plan instead of two!!  Right now I am on week 11 of the Ironman training plan...I loosely set it to coincide with Chesman just in case (no spoiler alert, lol).

Have a wonderful Thursday,'s snowing up here in new York, and I wish that was an early April Fool's joke!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Four square

Thank you all for you sweet comments on my race and race report-I felt like an idiot let down by such a sweet PR, but after reassessing my goal, I feel a bit better.  After thinking about it for a few days, I realized that I WILL have more opportunities to get my “3” marathon, and now it just depends which goal I want to go after next as to how soon it is!!

Which leads me to my next conundrum.  Is 2011 the year for another ironman (Chesapeakeman) or for the sub 4?  Part of me wants to go sign up for another marathon in the spring or even fall, as I feel I am thisclose to actually obtaining my goal and want to grab it before it gets away!!  Some ideas….The Buffalo Marathon (May), The Rochester marathon (september) or the Wineglass marathon (on my birthday!!)

Of course, I would like to make it an out of state marathon, as my goal is to run one in each state….so I looked up a few in Pennsylvania and found two in May that might work.

P1040061BUT….I have big goals for my next tri (musselman half ironman in July)
and I don’t want to compromise that by being overtrained or tired…and I am really excited about doing another Ironman in September, which means the September races won’t work too well if I want to do that!  Plus, I know I will do more marathons and more Ironmans in the future, but I do know once I have kiddos, marathon training will be a heckofa lot easier to do than those 6 hour rides you need to do for ironman Smile with tongue out

With that said, I AM signed up for Musselman (July 17th) but not chesman yet.  So I have options.

Decisions, decisions.  What would YOU do?

Monday, March 28, 2011

National Marathon Race report: the good, bad and ugly!

Time to rehash my second third marathon!  (I always get confused when people ask me…I rand Rochester ‘08 and this marathon…but I usually forget I also did a marathon as part of a little race called Ironman.  Duh Smile with tongue out)


This past weekend I had the pleasure of running the National Marathon in DC, the only marathon run entirely within DC.  It has about 20,000 runners, but most (17,000) do the half.  I arrived in DC to enjoy rush hour traffic on Friday afternoon and picked up my bib and shirt at the expo-they had shirts designed specifically for the half and the full, which was cool. 


After fighting the traffic again (love how it took a half hour to go two miles!)  I finally made it out to Fairfax, VA to stay with my buddy for the night.  We had pizza for dinner 9an old high school Friday night stand by AND my go to pre race meal!) and then turned in by 10pm. 

My alarm went off at 4am, but I didn’t need it.  As always, I was up at 3:45, nervous and ready to go! (sort of Smile with tongue out)  I had a huge knot in my leg (blame driving 400 miles the day before) so I did my best to rub it out and grabbed a quick shower, dressed, and made some pb english muffins for the road! 



I left the apartment by 5, wanting to get ahead of DC traffic.  As I neared the city, I  noticed that my fuel was on E.  Crap.  After plugging in my fuel app, I found 3 gas stations, none of which were open.  Not good.  I was about 6 miles away from the stadium, fuel read “low” and its 5:30 in the morning of a marathon!! WTF???  I started to panic, got hopelessly stuck on DuPont circle (later I would find this amusing a la “The American President”) and wondered if I would get mugged or shot WHEN I ran out of gas in a strange city.  I suppose my gu and powerade would have fetched a lot on the black market Open-mouthed smile 

By sheer luck and another wrong turn post tears, I found a gas station open for an amazingly low price of 3.95 per gallon.  At this point I would have paid a hundred bucks, I didn’t care.  I filled it up, drove over to the other side of town, and waited in traffic to get to parking.  By 6:30, I gave up, parked illegally,and shivered to the start.  Breakfast in my tummy, throwaway clothes on, headphones, gum, visor, gu, check!  I hit up the potty, then made my way to my corral.  I was in corral 4 out of 10…later I realized this made no difference.  Pre race organization as HORRIBLE, but what can ya do.


At 7:00, we were off.  Other than the obligatory people dodging for the first 3 miles, I felt awesome.  I skipped the first aid station, and then hit up the second.  It seemed like they played a game with these aid stations throughout the course, so trying to figure out which side of the road to veer toward was a crapshoot.  After my first quick walk break through the aid station at mile 3, I took off again.  Miles 4-6 were hilly, but nothing too terrible after training in Gananda.  My only qualm was…where were the mile markers?  NOTHIN’.  They also had no gu’s at the aid stations, which sucked because I only carry 2, as I live off the course.  I ate my first one at mile 7…late, but I was nervous about potentially not getting another one! 

FINALLY at mile 10, I saw my first mile marker.  The crowds were awesome up until then, and there were so many runners, it was easy to keep a good pace.  I checked my Garmin at mile 10, and was at 1:28, a decent pace.  I know not to “put time in the bank”, but I felt good, so I kept it up. 


At mile 13, the half marathoners veered off to their finish, and the course thinned considerably.  I FINALLY saw gu’s at our half mark, so I stocked up on two and stopped to stretch for a second.  Half time:  1:57.  Sweet.

At mile 15 is where I fell apart.  Mile 14-15 was all uphill, and the crowds that watched the half marathoners were crossing our course like it was nothing.  one cop allowed a whole bunch of people tp cross right in front of about 4 or 5 of us.  One of the guys cursed them out, and they looked at us like we were nuts.  WTF.  We bi^&tched about it for a few minutes, then shook it off.  I came on mile 15 at 2:14, not bad.  Then I came to mile 15 at 2:16..what, what??  Yep.  Two mile 15’s.  Neither coincided with my Garmin.  (This would be the case again at mile 21, 23 and 25).  Talk about a mind screwing.  NOT COOL, guys!!  In spite of that, I shook it off and continued on.  Mile 16 and 17 were beautiful, we were right in the middle of DC without the crowd of the half and could really appreciate the beauty of the course:



After getting out of the heart of the city, we circled around the Potomac for the last 10k.  We hit the 20 mile mark on a bridge (kudos for the timing mat AND a mat at every turnaround to avoid course cutters!) but it was an open grate bridge, which was rough to run on tired legs.   20 mile time:  3:03.  At this point, I knew a sub 4 would be rough, but I hung on.  I saw the 4:00 pace group and hung with them for the next mile or so, but then slowed.  I decided my B goal would suffice, and shot for a sub 4:10, more specifically, sub 4:05!


The last 5 miles were really rough.  They are in any marathon, but the inaccurate mile markers and rollers really got to me.  I did a 5 minute run, 30 second walk to try to hang on.  At mile 25, I saw 3:54, and knew I could d a sub 4:05.  Then…I saw mile 25 at 3:57.  WHAT???  I cursed out loud and checked the Garmin:  25.3  Oh s*&^t, I give up.  I pushed it with all I had for 10 minutes, ran around RFK stadium and blasted (well, kind of) to the finish line.



Finish time:  4:08:54

Garmin:  26.8 miles

pace:  9:15


Wait, what??  I know that any marathon course is a bit longer if you don’t run the tangents, but a quick chat with two finishers near me revealed a 26.65 and a 27.02.  I thought it was just me, but later fond out that they changed the course mid week and that it was most likely long (the winners of the race had slower times, too).  It might sound strange, but I am almost glad I didn’t miss my sub 4 by a minute or two or I would have been PISSED!


Marathon 3 in the books.  Still on a sub 4 quest, which I WILL do!!


A few lessons learned:

1.  Don’t drive for 8 hours the day before a race.

2.  Turn my phone off (I spent way too much time on the phone with work.  I don’t need to stress myself out right before a race).

3.  Have a Sherpa!  I used way too much energy freaking out before the race about gas and parking, and had to run the whole race with a key in my pants.  Not cool.  Plus, I had no support during the race (well, some fun bloggers!)which really helps for a longer race.  Need the hubster for this one Smile


Now, with that said, lest you think I am a crazy person, I took 30 minutes off my 2008 marathon time and am TICKLED with that!!!  A 4:08 is a great stepping stone, I think I just needed to be a bit more realistic with my goal, especially given the fact that I had to work all weekend (yeah, that conference and drive home was fun.  not so much for a 20 hour day after a marathon!!)


So now…whats next?  Of course I’m looking for another marathon, but not sure yet when or where.  Stay tuned!@

Sunday, March 27, 2011

DC Baby!!

Wow, what a whirlwind!!  Arrived at our nations capitol on Friday afternoon...
 DC Townhomes....

Cherry blossoms!!

After picking up my paket at the DC Armory for the National Marathon, I battled traffic to get to my BFAM's house (yes, thats brother form another mother :-)) then hung out eating pizza and catching up.  So great to see you Drew!! 

Saturday...RACE day!  (Race report coming up)  Then a COMPLETELY full afternoon of lunch with Drew...


High school bestie forever :-)
bloggie meet up....
Soo many bloggers all in one place!  Great to meet you, ladies (and Evan :-))

And then a work dinner and post work meeting to prep for the conference this morning.

Whew.  With all that, dinner was a mish mosh of a few slices of pizza and a coke.  Not suprisingly, I dug into the post race goodies hard core (gourmet dinner of yogurt, oats, and pb with a bunch of granola anbd passed out in my sleep number!!

This morning, its off to the kinship conference, then back in the car at 5pm to drive home.  OIY!! 

More to come tomorrow, out for the full race recap!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

T minus 14 hours (ish)





What packing list?  I HAVE 5…race, work, food, car and general packing Smile with tongue out

Packing, ipod loading, food cooking, foam rolling, bath taking, massages (I hope Open-mouthed smile) COLLAPSING!!


See y’all in DC!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I’ll take S words for 200, Alex!

It’s either this


or that.


Welcome to Rochester, kids.  Pull up a seat Smile  Here’s my take on the whole thing.  Last month, snow was normal in Rochester, so everyone (sort of) knew how to drive in it.  Today, it took me over an hour to get home because apparently after the first day of spring, we aren’t allowed to drive in snow.  Seriously0in NY, if you hate the weather, wait 5 minutes Smile with tongue out  So I drove home, did my bike workout, showered, put on shorts in protest, and shoveled.   LOL.


By the way, Mary, I want my membership dues back from the screw winter club.  Oh wait, I forgot to pay them. 


However, if its not too much to ask, I would like to abolish s-words for this weekend, please….now it’s only supposed to be 40 on Saturday instead of 60.  At least I know how to run in the cold Smile with tongue out   And I have a throwaway shirt.


I got nothing else, kids.  Nothing printable anyways.  God, I hate tapering.  I think I’ll go to bed early tonight….I still can’t figure out why I am so freaking tired when I’m NOT DOING ANYTHING!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Have a day.

Hey, they can’t all be winners.


Sometimes,  it’s more like this.


Tomorrow might be a day for greatness. 


Today, it’s more about just existing.


And that’s OHHHH-KAAYYYY Smile

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tapir time!

This week is easily one of my least favorite weeks during training.

It's time to TAPIR! TAPER!

Well, ok, it was time to do that a few weeks ago, but this is the most hard core week-5 days till go time!  Now is the time to drink plenty of fluids, do some quick workouts with speed bursts, and REST.  It's also time to eat like a tapir...plenty of whole foods, berries, nuts, and no processed junk-time to refine the engine to fire on all cylinders!

I am not good at resting.  I turn into a taper grouch.  Poor hubster.  Maybe if he bought me one of these little cuties I might be a little nicer? :-P  Nahhh...probably not.

Taper Goals for Pre-Marathon are 4, 3, 2, 1, 0!!

4:  Drink 4 water bottles per day for hydration (my fave bottle is 32 oz)
3:  healthful meals per day.  Focusing on nutrients, whole foods, tons o veggies and fruits!
2:  Stretch sessions per day. One yoga, one unstructured stretching.  Use butch, bruce and the stick as  needed.  Bribe the hubster for foot rubs.

1:  Limit  of 1 crap snack (yes, one SERVING SIZE) per day (I am way too in love with SF hot cocoa and reese's piece's to give this up entirely. If I did, I might be divorced by Friday.  lol)

0:  Workouts above 60 minutes.  This one's gonna be hard.  But I know it will be worth it.

Wish me luck, friends!  After this week, the actual race will be cake!


Oh dear me.  :-P

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pull up a patch

So today, I got over myself and just did the effing marathon.  Why wait till Saturday?  Not ONLY that, but I set a PR!!

And broke the course record!

In 1:22:xx!

Oh wait.  I was on a bike.  Crap.  Just call me Carlos Smile with tongue out 

Big shout out to the “hubster” as he has self-identified in the comments section, for mapping out the National marathon Course on the computrainer for me to ride today.  I got to “see” where the hills are (mayjah hillage from mile 4-6 and the damn course finishes UPHILL…yowza!)  Otherwise, it was a great ride-I maxed out on speed in the course at 26.2 (coincidence, I think not!) and then topped off the two hour ride with a flatter course for a total of 39 miles, an average of 19.5 mph, which rocks, since I kept 90% of the ride at an easier pace.  I really wanted to keep going, but I do suppose I should at least try to taper Open-mouthed smile

While riding, I decided that once and for all, I need to solve my indoor training problem (oh, FYI-stop reading here unless you are a cyclist or promise to love me regardless of what comes next?  mmm-kay?  Thanks!)

Where was I?  Oh yes, indoor training problem.  You see, I really want to learn how to be a bada$$ and pee off the bike during an Ironman or HIM, but since I ride indoors most of the time (a car accident will do that to ya), I don’t relish peeing on my floor and then riding for the next 4 hours.  So what’s a girl to do? 



For only $39.95 (plus shipping and handling…..)  I need….


A POTTY PATCH!!!  I’ve seen the super duper infomercial for these babies, and I am convinced there could be money in a spin off (har har) for triathletes and cyclists.  Much like the pet owner that doesn’t want to go out in the cold or lives in a high rise, this was we won’t have to STOP the bike ride, most likely climb stairs, to pee!!  C’mon, who’s with me?  (ok, ok.  I know.  I’m only kidding.)


I do hear though, if I call IN THE NEXT 15 MINUTES….

Order now and we'll upgrade your Potty Patch to our super plush anti-microbial grass with double the blades, a $60 value, FREE! And that’s not all, you’ll also receive the Bonus jumbo pet bath towel!  You pay just $4.95 processing and handling.

Oh wow.  That grass is probably fresher than my lawn!  Who could resist?

Ok, enough with the potty jokes.  At least Roo (my lil kitty) didn’t lay a big stinky in her litter box at mile 5 during  my rides like she usually does today.

She waited till mile 6.


Potty mouth.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Eleventy BILLION!!

That’s not even a real number!!! (YET)
Ahh Geneseo.  Sometimes I miss you.  Amazing how SNL jeopardy is just as funny sober, though.
Ok, so I didn’t run THAT far, but I did end up running to Websta today for my last long run.  It was a great run, save for the crazy wind that we blowing east…and I was going West and North.
Oh well, we do what we have to Smile
The Workout
Distance:  11.34 miles
Time:  1:40:34
Pace: 8:52
Awesomesauce.  I really wasn’t even pushing it, which just rocks my world!  When I got to Mom’s, I raided her super full fridge and had a nice little spread for lunch.  Then we hopped over to Target (yes, in my compression tights and nice sweatiness-I’m a girl, ya know Smile with tongue out) to see if they had my fave headphones, which busted this week.  Score!
All I need to do is pack, finish my play list, get through 4 days of work, and 2 20-30 minute runs and ITS TIME!!!  Woo hoo!!
Other randomness of the day:
I managed to set my running shirt on fire and melt it when I tried to dry it off by my mom’s stove (no I wasn’t wearing it).  I’m a dummy.  It “USED” to be light urple!  Just call me Turd Ferguson.
Had a nice time hangin out with my mom.  We had some hot hot hot tea(no Ricky Martin), and the poor thing had to be rescued by my neighbor after she fell in my entryway Sad smile  Glad she’s ok!

And now, it’s time or a date with butch.  It’s not foreign flicks, but it’ll do……just no more potent potables Open-mouthed smile

Friday, March 18, 2011

Whaddya live under a rock??

Ok, well, yes, normally I do.  But even under a rock, I still enjoy mindless entertainment Smile

Or, my newest favorite (kiddos, don'’t watch!)

Well, shammando commando or not, I enjoy the serious, hard boiled question guy so much that I decided to donate my hard earned pennies to GEICO today.  It was more than 15 minutes (more like 45) but I saved a freakin bunch of money by switching to GEICO Smile with tongue out  (seriously, knocked my two policies from $1785 to $1188.)  Suh-weett!!  Too bad I now have to fire my old insurer (thank goodness for hubs) and fight the dental insurance for $700 bucks on Monday.  We go round and round.  At least my insurance money goes to something that amuses me though, right? Open-mouthed smile

Soooo ready for the weekend!  Did an easy 2 mile swim today and some lower body with just body weight.  I also have some amazing news….by the force of modern technology (a car) and a miracle (money leftover from my paycheck) bruce and “hungry” had a love child!  I present to you:


My newest form of torture Smile  (I got the orange one)  Since I have beat my foam  roller into submission, I think I need something a bit tougher.  Meet Butch.  Although he looks like a maximum secuirty prisoner and can make you cry, at the end of the day, he’s a really softie and will make your (muscles) melt.  Ohhh baby.

Alright, well, that’s enough cheese for today, I suppose.  ONe last “long” run tomorrow, then only itty bitty runs left!  ITS ALMOST HERE!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Thanks everyone for the great song recommendations!  Keep 'em coming-I really appreciate it!!

So, today was the last speed workout before the big race.  3 x 1600 @ 7:20 pace on the 'mill.  It was rough, but I did it!  As the last repeat started, "Till I collapse" came on my player, and that gave me the strength to power through. Boo. ya.

The Workout
Warm up:  .5 mile @ 8:40 pace
3 x 1600 @ 7:20 with 1 min recovery
Cooldown: 1 mile EZ
Total distance:  5 miles
Time:  41:02
Pace: 8:12

Rock it, baby!  Only a 10 miler, and two short 20-30 minutes run next week then it's time to hit DC!!  Woop Woop!

But today, I would like to briefly discuss something straight out of the '80s (the 80s child that I am :-)) CHIA!!  (Ok, I just googled to get this picture and am a bit disturbed to find out that there is an Obama chia head.  Just sayin').
When I was growing up, these things were the coolest.  Since my mom wouldn't pay 15 bucks for a ceramic fuzz head, I didn't own one (smart lady) but I did enjoy the commercials-who didn't!
Well, as much as these things were cool, being an avid reader of healthy living blogs, I was amazed to discover a few years ago that chia seeds are edible and actually quite healthful for you!  (No, they won't turn you green.  I think.  Check back with me on that one in a few weeks!)
Anyways, the seeds are a good source of protein and act as sort of a sponge to hydrate you, which is great for runners and endurance athletes.  I wasn't willing to drop a million bucks to order them online, but I found them in the bulk bin at Wegmans this week, so I figured, why not?
Apparently you can drop one part chia seeds to 9 parts water and get a "gel" to eat, but I decided to play is safe for my first time out and try it with something that, in my opinion, goes with everything:  oats.
So I combined 1/3 cup oat bran and water and brought to a boil on the stove, added some fresh blubes, and then a tbsp. of chia.  I let it simmer for a bit, then took off the heat so the seeds could do their expansion magic (which yielded 2 cups of oat bran when done-score!)  Check it out!
Up close chia love:

It might not be the prettiest, but it worked!  The seeds kind of remind me a bit of tapioca, but really are flavorless.  Now lets see if I get the superhuman powers that they say they provide :-D

That's all for tonight-I've got the new copy of Lava calling my name....and maybe some key lime yogurt, cause it is St. Patrick's Day and all!  I suppose it's lucky that I got married....seeing as I'm really 88 instead of 28 :-P

Good night!