August 27, 2010

Surprise!

Posted in Training at 2:02 pm by Lisa

Well, not really – just another blog from me two days in a row. How exciting (ok, not really)!

Anyway, I finally registered for the triathlon yesterday and I’m giving the heads up now that I just very well might be in last place. There were only 105 people signed up for the Olympic distance in my age group (40+), 14 of them women. Just about everyone was affiliated with some triathlon club. Now I know that doesn’t make everyone a quasi-pro but it does mean that they’re getting some serious training in and working with some of the best tri coaches out there – of course, they’re not working with the best overall coach – I do have to be loyal to Lior – but their focus is pure tri, and what can I say, weights are still a passion of mine.

In any event, I’m getting used to the idea that I might very well be last, and that thought was only enhanced after my disastrous morning swim in the Mediterranean Sea this morning. The sea really wasn’t that rough but I had a really difficult time and only managed about 20 minutes in the water. Not good. I was really disappointed but I’m going to have to put it down to the remnants of my cold (nothing is more gross than getting out of the water and having to smear a whole bunch of snot away from your mouth) and improper warm-up before going in and truthfully? just general cockiness on my part thinking that I was oh so ready for this distance and perhaps I’m not.

Anyway, the swimming experience was blech but the aftermath, sitting around having coffee with everyone was nice, and I’m planning to do another swim on Sunday afternoon with Hezi and Hila, to just get a little more confidence in myself. I’m sure it will be ok but I’m revisiting my goals for the triathlon:

1. Finish – Truthfully, I might be last. But I’m hoping that I’ll be able to finish without any major problems.

2. Since the swim distance is a bit of an unknown for me, I’d like to just be able to finish the swim with a smile on my face and not be pulled out of the water. Also, to still have the strength to finish the rest of the race.

3. Come in under 1 hr and 50 minutes for the bike – I’m being conservative here – on it’s own, I think I could do this distance in 1hour 45minutes but I don’t know what the swim is going to do to me.

4. Regarding the run, negative splits is the goal here. I don’t know how hot it will be when I finally start running (ok, yes, it will be very hot), how I’ll feel after the above bike and swim, but I think I’m just going to forget about the actual time and be happy if I can get in negative splits for each kilometer. Even if it means by a second or two, I’ll be ok with that. Also, I’d like not to have to walk but because I don’t know what the weather situation will be, I’m going to make sure to listen to my body and if I feel like something is wrong, I’ll definitely slow it down.

I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m not looking forward to the race because actually I’m very excited for it to take place. It’s all a bit unknown and maybe I’ve bitten off more than I can chew but it’s a challenge so I’m going to go for it and see what happens. It’s a bit of a learning experience as well and I’m just going to go with the flow and enjoy myself. I’m sure it will be a lot of fun, no matter what happens!

On a different note, Orit and Dror (who were part of the abovementioned apres-swim coffee break) wrote an article about our trips up North on the Israel trail. It’s only in Hebrew, but I’m in the 2 group pictures. And if you do read Hebrew, I’m mentioned 3 times in the article! Check it out and forward it along – they’re trying to find sponsors for the hiking group and supposedly the more comments/trackbacks/thumbs-ups, etc., the better.

http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3943095,00.html

August 26, 2010

Slogging Away

Posted in Training at 12:42 pm by Lisa

So I’ve been fairly silent, blog-wise, but have been slogging away at my training.

Last week I had an open water swim – it went ok but I jammed my little toe on a rock – believe it or not, it still hurts! I’ve been moaning about it to whoever will listen so I guess it’s a good thing that I’m only writing the post now.

I’m coming to the tail end of training before the Caesaria triathlon. Just a few more sessions left before it will all come together (I hope!). I did get a cold this week so hopefully I’ll be totally healthy come next week.

This morning I went for a 8km run – it wasn’t the easiest run but not as hard as I thought it would be, considering how I was feeling. I did manage to get negative splits just about the entire way, and through the magic of Garmin(!) you can check out the entire run yourselves! It was on the promenade by the water – If you access the link, you can see it via Google Earth or something (but not too close because (I’m assuming) for security reasons the satellites can’t really zoom in. http://connect.garmin.com/activity/46189914

I was supposed to have an 1-hr swim yesterday but because of my cold, I couldn’t bear that thought (I breathe out through my mouth but still, yuck!). Anyway, tomorrow I’m going to go with Etgarim’s newly-started triathlon group – although I did say that I couldn’t take any responsibility for anyone. I think I’m doing them a favor that way!

And less than three weeks before I see these beautiful babes – can’t wait!!

August 18, 2010

Life Goes On

Posted in Hiking, Training at 11:09 pm by Lisa

It’s been awhile but I’ve been pretty good about keeping up with my training. I haven’t kept up with the 2 training sessions/day but have been pretty consistent about getting out there and doing at least one run/bike/swim a day.

My biking has improved a lot and I think that I’ll be able to come in under 2 hours for the 40km ride. I’ve been going around and around (and around…) in the park. And between the last post and now, I’ve learned how to change my front tire on my own! I timed myself and can do it under 10 minutes – exciting stuff. Now I need to learn how to change the back tire – all those gears and brake lines are a little intimidating but I’m sure that after a few tries, I’ll get it down ok. I just need to see it done once.

Tonight was a good run in the park – I met Ohad and Orit. We ran into Tony from Etgarim on the way and the four of us continued for a few kilometers, then Tony took off at his own blistering pace. After 5km, Ohad and Orit decided to walk the rest of the way and I finished up with 8km. All in all a good run. On the way home in the park, I saw Lior doing his run.

I love that Hayarkon Park is small enough to run into people like this – it feels so homey and comfortable!

Unfortunately, I’ve not been nearly as good on the nutrition front. Not only is it hard to keep up with regular (and correct) eating, it’s really a pain to keep up with my water intake as well. And it’s even more annoying because I know better. Most definitely have to do better because I feel the extra kilo or two on my runs.

Below are some pics from the Etgarim hike two weeks ago – it was nice – I really liked the area we were in (Mount Meron). We did about 15km the first day and 6km the second. The night was spent in a camping ground that had previously been used as a giant outdoor toilet (bits of toilet paper around all the trees), zillions of bugs & bees and a sighting of a pack of wild boars, complete with baby piglets. They were cute but it was the tipping point and I insisted on sleeping in a tent. Actually it was the best night’s sleep I’ve ever had out on a hike so I think that will be the modus operandi for future hikes. The second day was unbelievably hot so the hike was cut short and we finished up with Dr. Lek ice cream – it’s a great way to end the weekend!

Tomorrow an open water swim (OWS) is planned – it’s been awhile since I’ve been to the beach so hopefully the currents will be kind!

August 5, 2010

An Up and Down Ride

Posted in Training at 9:47 pm by Lisa

Since this weekend I’m going on another hike with Etgarim, I decided to try and get another long bike ride in today. I ran 8.5km yesterday (starting way too late in the morning – I wanted to do a total of 10km but the heat wore me down). So today would be my bike day.

Of course, by the time I got out the door, it was even later today than when I went yesterday. However, I was on a bike. My beautiful, speedy road bike. So there was always a breeze in my face (sometimes stronger than desired).

Anyway, for the first hour (exactly, according to Garmin), it was great. I did 20km in 52min and ended up doing 22.78km in 1 hour. Considering that getting to the park ( the first 4-5km) is all stop and go since I always stop for lights and am always giving up the right of way (yes, I’m still American that way), I think I’m actually even faster. This bodes well for the upcoming race but I don’t want to get too confident.

I’ve been doing some reading and learned that I should be pulling and pushing the pedals at the same time – it obviously makes a huge difference and it’s something that I’m going to be practicing until the triathlon comes up to make sure that my legs are used to this work-out.

Anyway, what happened at exactly 1:00.01 into my ride? I got a flat tire. This was really annoying – not only did it mean cutting my ride short (I had wanted to do another 10km at least), and having to walk home, it also meant that the vile-tasting Gu I ate 15 minutes earlier was completely wasted. On the bright side, I now know not to get that disgusting flavor ever again (Vanilla-Orange, if you’re taking notes). Really, the worst ever.

So I start to shlep home and I’m feeling sort of stupid because I’m thinking people are giving me these looks like “hey, you’ve got a bike, why don’t you ride instead of walk?” Luckily, I was in the park and only had about a half hour to go until I got home.

And after looking in the mirror, I figured out why people were really giving me those looks – I had the makings of a bug cemetery on my neck.

All those black specks? Dead bugs! I’m a human windshield!! I guess I was so fast they couldn’t get out the way fast enough! I must have looked really gross walking back from the park, all sweaty and speckled!

I’ve never read or heard anybody mention this before so I don’t know if I’m the exception or if it’s just one of those things people don’t talk about (but believe me, they talk about lots of disgusting things on these blogs so maybe I’m just a bug magnet).

In any event, a great ride for me and a bad day for 20 bugs. So it goes.

(BTW, I got Lior to fix my tire again for me – one of these days I’ll have to do it myself but it just seems easier (and cleaner) this way!)

Have a great weekend! I’ll try to get some pics up of the hike when I get back (newly soled shoes and all!)

August 3, 2010

Warming Up

Posted in Training at 8:59 am by Lisa

So it’s been awhile but things have been busy here. Now that I’ve got lots of time on my hands, I’ve decided to take advantage and up the ante a bit. So instead of doing the Sprint distance in Caesaria on Sept. 4, I’m going for the Olympic race. That’s 1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run. Individually, those distances are a piece of cake – the trick will be to put them all together.

So to start, I’m trying to do 2 workouts a day. So far, so good. There’s been a number of runs/bike rides (outside and at the gym)/weight workouts this week. I haven’t been to the pool in a week but it’s on the schedule tomorrow.

This pic is where I biked yesterday – it’s the newest continuation of the Tel Aviv boardwalk that goes North towards Herzlyia. It’s not as nice as this all the way (it becomes concrete after awhile) but it’s right next to the water so it’s very cool.

So the morning bike ride was 31km (with lots of breaks – stopping at traffic lights, drinking, etc.).

In the afternoon I did a short run with Etgarim – while they were doing drills I sat on my butt and took some pictures but in the end I did  3.5km. It was supposed to be a cool-down but I ran with someone who is really fast so “cool down” is a relative term.

Anyway, off to the gym now. Have a good week!