June 26, 2010


Posted in Training at 8:53 pm by Lisa

Yesterday I had a chance to get back to the pool – it turns out that my time on Monday was not a fluke – I did 1,200 meters in about 46 minutes or so. I was very tired when I first got started – it was only 7am and the only reason I was at the pool so early was because I had to move my car by 6:30am due to the parking spot I found on Thursday night. So even though I went a little bit longer in less time on Monday night I still think that there’s massive improvement. I would have thought that I’d be more tired in the evening after work but I guess for swimming, I need to be a little bit more awake.

Anyway, I’m excited about that. I could have gone even further on Friday but I think that I’ll try to increase the distance 10% per week and then try to work on the time the other days. Not sure if that’s the best plan but that’s how it worked for me for running, so that’s what I’m going to go with.

Trying to think of how to improve my biking now – on Tuesday I went to the gym and did 30 minutes on a stationary bike and then ran 2km after. In general, I felt fine but my heel was still bugging me. Very annoying. I’m not sure what’s going on.

So on Thursday morning (another 6am session), instead of doing my usual run, I had a kickbox workout instead. Apart from the incredibly smelly gloves, it was really good – it came after an intense weight session on Wednesday evening so I was a little tired but bouncing around and throwing punches is enough to wake you up fast.

Today, the plan was to get out early for a bike ride and then meet Tamar for a run. In the end, I didn’t get out on time and because there was some concert being set up in the park, the loop that I had been planning on biking was not going to work for me. I rode over to another loop and biked around but it’s not a great path for me. All in all, a disappointing ride. Then I went to Tamar and instead of running, we walked for about 2 hours – sort of taking a detour on a little bit of the Israel Trail (yes, it goes through the park in Tel Aviv – that will be a nice section to do with Etgarim – especially cause it might mean I sleep in my own bed that weekend!)

I’m not sure what I’m going to do about the biking – it’s really dangerous around here to ride on the roads but it’s hard to get the practice necessary to do the long rides I’ll need to improve. I’m hoping that for the short term, any time spent on the bike will help me, even if it is at the gym. I’ll need to get up much earlier (well, at least 1/2 hour earlier) on Saturdays to ensure that there’s not as much people/dog/stroller traffic in the park.

I’m going to spend this week working on a training plan for the upcoming triathlon in September. I know a few people who are thinking of doing it so hopefully in another month my biking will be at a speed/quality that I can bike with others instead of making myself dizzy going in loops!


June 21, 2010

Sleep Deprived!

Posted in Training at 10:18 pm by Lisa

Still trying to catch up from this weekend’s activities, while keeping up with this week’s training.

Yesterday I had an intense workout at the gym. For a change, no serious pains and so I pretty much handled everything thrown at me, except for the pull-ups towards the end of the hour. It’s just brutal to do such exercises when I’m exhausted from the previous push-ups, leg presses, lunges, dips, etc., much of them done incorporating a Bosu ball or medicine ball or Swiss ball, just to up the ante a bit.

Today my heel is still bugging me (and it was about 1,000 degrees in the shade) so I decided that instead of running with Etgarim, I’d go swimming. I drove over after work with Ohad just to say hello to everyone – lots of excitement following the weekend hike – and then I took off for the pool.

I did really well – I think I’ve figured out how to get the counting down – I only do 10 laps at a time. So in the 40meter pool, I did 10 laps at 14 min, then another 10 laps at 14.30 min. At that point there were all these really professional looking guys hanging out at the end of the pool – there’s a triathlon group that trains 2x/week. I had to get out (actually not sure if I could have just moved to another lane but I was way too intimidated by that crowd!) So I moved to the 25meter pool and did 10 laps at 8.30 min and then another 10 laps at 8.30 min. Talk about consistency! So in the end I did 1,300 meters in 45.30 minutes? Is that right? Wow, that’s really an improvement! (I had to do the math on that about 3 times!) Maybe I did count wrong – I just went back to look at previous posts and just a few weeks ago I was doing half that distance in the same amount of time. Hmm, now I’m looking forward to Friday – my next planned swim – to see if this was just a fluke, a timing mistake or the real thing.

I’ve decided that I also want to get more time on the bike, but I’m not comfortable biking after work when there’s so much traffic so I think that tomorrow I’ll go to the gym and get at least a half-hour done, while watching the World Cup.  Anyway, right now I’ve got to get some more sleep!

June 19, 2010

The Israel Trail – and so it begins!

Posted in Hiking at 8:55 pm by Lisa

A really quick post after just getting home from a hiking weekend. This was the inaugural weekend for Etgarim’s hiking group walking the Israel Trail. It was a great trip and I think everyone had a good time. At least I hope they did – if you look past the weather (very hot!), and the usual teething pains for something so new – the next three years of crossing Israel North to South promises to be very special.

I know I had fun – met some really interesting people – despite my footwear fiasco. I’ll be writing up a more detailed recap soon but right now I’m exhausted and am going to bed! Up at 3am on Friday morning to drive up North, a full day of hiking (10km) and sun, practically no sleep on Friday night, another day of hiking (15km) and sun, and the drive back down to Tel Aviv – no wonder I’m ready for bed!

And if you’re wondering…

Isn’t that sad looking? The soles of my shoes just completely separated – the top picture is the emergency attempt to allow me to continue until we found a more “permanent” solution. It’s a good thing that my shoes were the only things needing bandages this weekend!

More to follow – but I’m too tired to write now and after looking at the rest of my pictures, I see that they’re not that great. I want to wait until I see the photographs of other people because I’m fairly sure that they’ll be an improvement on mine. Until then…

(What does it say that my best shots are of my pathetic shoes!?!)

June 17, 2010

Where did the week go?

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:52 am by Lisa

A busy week of exercising and trying to ensure that I get the right amount of sleep meant that I haven’t had the time to keep up with my blog. By the time I get home and fix myself something to eat, I’m ready to crash!

To catch up, Sunday I had a great weight session at the gym. Monday I had an easy run with Etgarim. Woke up on Tuesday with a dull pain in my right shoulder that progressively got worse throughout the day. I self-diagnosed that it was some ergonomic issues from working on the computer. Although I did a lot of shoulder stuff on Sunday, it didn’t feel like the positive pain of exercise but something else.

Took a couple of Advil and on Tuesday’s weight session, did nothing that demanded shoulder work. So that meant more balance work – one foot on the Bosu ball kind of thing – which actually, considering how much I ended up needing to put two feet on the Bosu ball was much needed.

Anyway yesterday morning I woke up feeling much better and at the end of the day, I realized that since I hadn’t felt my shoulder at all, it would be okay to go for a swim. I had a really crazy night planned so I had to keep it short – I did 800m – the first 400m were done in 17 min and the last 400m I did in 20min (I blame that on the guy who brought two little girls into my lane and decided to teach them how to swim but because he only was dealing with one girl at a time, the other was left to her own devices. I came to the conclusion that one was his and the other was the girl’s friend because it was just weird to leave her on her own in the water that way.). Anyway, what was even weirder was my realization that I actually though 800m was a short swim! When did that happen? Just a month ago I was hysterical about doing 750! It’s so cool how quickly I’ve adapted to that new breathing technique.

After the swim, I drove over to Ohad so we could pay a shiva call to someone in Etgarim who’s mother had passed away. And then we went on to do some last minute shopping for the upcoming Etgarim hike. I have to be in my car at 4:30am on Friday morning. My big concern? When will I have time to do this week’s laundry? I see 3 loads in my future tonight. Blech.

Luckily, I’ll have  time because I’m just about to head out the door this morning for a 6am run with Lior. I know it will be an easy run because he had a wedding last night and if I know Lior, he probably got around 3 hours of sleep.

Which considering the way I’m feeling right now, is not a bad thing – I had my first mah jong game last night and didn’t get home until midnight (lucky I had been really good about my sleep the rest of the week.). All in all, a good night! I got mah jong one of the games and found an awesome parking spot when I got home! Cool, no? It’s the little things in life!

June 12, 2010

Did I mention that I love my bike?

Posted in Training at 8:51 pm by Lisa

Ok, yesterday it was a superficial love but after this morning’s ride, it’s the true thing!

I went out for about an hour and the first 20 minutes or so, it was a little nerve-wracking. Everything about a road bike is different, especially the handlebars and hand positions, the gears and how you change them, how the bike rides, etc.

For such narrow wheels it was an incredibly comfortable ride – in fact it even rivaled Pamela’s Trek mountain bike that I was using. There must be some great shock absorbers in the Specialized frame because after an hour, no butt pain! Although I do need to get a decent pair of bike/triathlon shorts at some point soon. Just to add to the look, no?

I went round and round a loop (8 times) in the park to  figure out how the gears actually worked. Unfortunately, there are no numbers to tell me which gear I’m in so there’s more remembering than I care for, as to which way is low and which way is high but after awhile, I got used to it.

I don’t know if I really went so much faster, but I felt that I was faster and that’s half the battle, right?

After the park, I rode over to Tamar’s and dropped my bike off and then we went for a 6km run in the park. And then my favorite part of Saturday – the after work-out breakfast!

Best part of adding a bike ride to my work-out? The additional calorie burn (so I indulged in bacon and eggs)! Yum! 

Off to the supermarket now – to wear or not to wear my frog feet. That’s the big question at the moment!

June 11, 2010

Busy day!

Posted in Training at 8:35 pm by Lisa

Last night, another crazy workout run. I did intervals with Lior – he wanted me to run 10 x 500m with 1:30min rest in between each, but that was too hard for me and after the second interval I was already moaning.

So we changed it to 300m x 10 intervals with the same amount of rest time. Believe me, 1:30 was not a lot of time for me to get my breath back after giving it my all for 300 meters! In fact, I just came to a dead halt in the last interval. Lior tried to push me on but I just didn’t have anything left. When I got home, I saw Garmin’s stats and actually I was amazed that I was able to go for so long – in every interval I hit a heart rate of 180bpm (something ridiculous like 104% of my max heart rate). And consistently during the 1:30 rest interval, my heart rate went down to about 50%. A very consistent wavy line. The speeds were crazy (for me!) and I was hitting something like 4:20km/h each interval. Very cool.

Unfortunately because of where I parked the car last night, I had to already move it at 6:30am. I was planning on meeting Sivia for breakfast at 10am but since I had to leave the house so early, I decided to get in a swim workout – sort of tired from last night so decided to take it easy. I did 800meters in 37 minutes – the first 400 in 20 min and the next 400 in 17 – negative splits! And I was able to beat the 80-year old man swimming in the lane next to me. It’s the small victories…

After breakfast and a walk around the new organic market in Neve Tzedek (http://www.inisrael.com/news/?p=798), I drove off to Ramat HaSharon where I bought this…

Isn’t it beautiful?!? It’s an Allez Sport and the smallest size there is (49 or XS). Bought a new helmet and some gloves and now I’m all set.

I’m psyched to go out tomorrow morning and do a ride/run.

BTW, I’ve decided that I definitely won’t be participating in the upcoming Netanya triathlon. It’s just too soon and after test riding the bike, I realized that it handles so differently from a mountain bike that I will need more than the essentially 1 day I have available to practice with it. However, I’m psyched for Ceasaria! That’s in the beginning of September so I have lots of time to prepare.

Stay tuned to see how that first ride goes! (I already know that I love how light the bike is – I carried it up the stairs with no problems! and I can take the front wheel off and stow it in the back seat of my car – how cool is that? (Well, I suppose that’s not so new to some but for me it was pretty cool!)

June 9, 2010

Decision time

Posted in Training at 9:51 pm by Lisa

Had a great session at the gym last night. Lots of functional exercises using the cable machine that had me working up a good sweat. Such a difference from Sunday.

I mentioned to Lior about my mindset during our last workout and of course, he thought I was crazy. He said I did fine, more than fine, on Sunday. Not quite sure why I had the impression that I wasn’t giving it 100%.

In any event, tonight I went to the pool after work and swam the furthest ever – 1,040 meters (I can’t count the sea swim where I supposedly did 1.23km because I’m sure that the current was a major help there!). Anyway, it was really great – I was planning on just doing 800 meters but realized that I felt really good and if I just added another 5 laps, I’d get to 1000. That extra 40m is because I was on the wrong side of the pool and had to swim back to the ladder (I suppose I could have gotten out on the other side but then I would have had to walk around the entire pool – too lazy for that!)

Tomorrow I’ve got a run planned with Lior and Garmin. Intervals are on the schedule.

I’m amping up the training over the next 2 weeks because…I’m thinking of entering another triathlon at the end of the month. It will come down to whether I can get a new/used road bike before then because mountain bikes are not allowed. I’ve got a couple of leads and hopefully something will pan out soon.

Keep your fingers crossed!

June 7, 2010

Back on the wagon

Posted in Training at 9:49 pm by Lisa

Just got back from an Etgarim run – I ran with Katya and according to Garmin (that’s how I’m going to refer to my watch from now on – just “Garmin”, as if it’s an actual person), we did 5.41km in 43 min. Good run to get back into the swing of things.

Yesterday I had a workout at the gym – mentally it was hard. I felt like I kept stopping before I really needed to and then I was getting annoyed with myself for giving up. I don’t know why – I really excited at the beginning of the hour because I just saw Nadal win the French Open (I love Nadal!) Anyway, I’ve got another workout tomorrow and hopefully my head will be there as well. Also, I’ll see how my legs feel – maybe I’ll try to get some intervals in, if I get to the gym early enough.

So you know what I’m wearing right now?

This is what happens when I’m wandering around the Tel Aviv triathlon expo. I now have pink frog feet! I think they’re the ugliest things (although they are still better than Crocs!).

June 4, 2010

Tough days and rest days

Posted in Training at 6:16 pm by Lisa

On Wednesday night, I went to the pool for a swim workout. It went pretty well – I think 750 meters in less than 45 min (as usual, I lost count of the laps so it might have been 725 or 775 – who knows.). It wasn’t a great session – but it was ok. I think that I’ve got to consider more lessons because there’s so much I don’t know. And I’m worried about reinforcing bad habits. I have to get in touch with the swim school to see what days work best and how to include it in my crazy schedule.

Last night I ran with Lior and for the first time, I used a heart rate monitor (HRM). I took my resting heart rate in the morning and I was psyched to see it was a low 47. Nice! However, during my run, according to Garmin, I pushed it to 102% of my maximum heart rate (that’s 179 bpm). Not a level I can sustain very long, but while it was a tough run, as soon as we stopped, my heart rate dropped steadily to about 50%. And I felt fine throughout the run, it was just a challenge. When I look at the numbers, I see that 102% was at a pace of 14.8km/hr*. Wow! That’s fast! Especially when it’s not on a treadmill – so in the end I was pleased with the run. Totals – 6.64 km in 39:38.33 min (avg. 5.58km/hr).

Anyway, those were two tough days and at the end of the work-out, Lior told me that I was to take Fri & Sat off. To not do a thing. No running, no biking, no swimming, nothing. He jokingly said “no drugs for you” because it’s true, this physical activity is most definitely addictive. I wasn’t too happy about it, but that’s why I have a trainer – to keep me safe from my own obsessions!

So I did nothing today. Well, not nothing, I went to a quilting lesson and have the starts of a new quilt  – the pattern will be based on something like the below but my colors will be really loud and busy! I’ll post pictures when there’s something to actually see.

Oh, the other thing I did today was price a road bike – entry version of Trek. I think I might be placing an order this week…

Tomorrow I’ll be a spectator at the TA triathlon (remember? no running, biking, swimming for me) and then breakfast at Benedict’s (pancakes!!).

Next week I’ll be returning to my regularly scheduled activities – watch out!

 *According to Garmin, I ran at that pace for 39 meters (all of 10 seconds)! So it really wasn’t too big of a deal.

June 3, 2010

Goofy smile, as promised :-)

Posted in Triathlons at 5:19 pm by Lisa

Here are some pictures as I’m coming out of the water – I promise you that I’m smiling because it went so well, not because I’m glad that I survived!

Don’t I look great?!

Here I don’t look so great…

You can’t really tell, but I think this picture was taken during a climb, and it might have been the very first loop I did so I wasn’t really sure how to deal with this hill. What can I tell you – my biking experience is limited to the Tel Aviv boardwalk and the park – both locales pretty much as flat as a pancake.

Anyway, the ride wasn’t as bad as my grimace would have you think! After all, I’m ready to do it again! And I’ll just have to remember to smile when I see the camera!

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