Saturday, September 17, 2011

Moving Along

As I sit here today, waiting for my piece o'crap car to get fixed ( for weeks now, my husband has been battling National Tire and Battery about my car), I thought I'd write an update on what's been going on and what my next goals are.

My Car
Although it's safe to drive, it still isn't legal. Because of this, I missed my last triathlon of the season simply because I'm not taking my car out unnecessarily and my gear doesn't fit in my husband's little jeep. That means my official rides and races are over for the year. My first goal is to get a sticker on my car. My second goal is to get a new car.

I Need to Finish Something
I finished one triathlon early on in the season with less than flying colors and the rest were DNFs (except for that race in Tiverton, RI, but I didn't get an "official" finishing time). I definitely have too much unfinished business on my plate to look at more difficult venues. I just need to get done what I set out to do.

Lose 30 pounds
Lighter is faster. Period. I thought that my weight-loss goal was 25 pounds but the new data by triathlon fitness expert Matt Fitzgerald puts me 30 pounds over my racing weight. I have all winter to do it so I don't have to go to extremes to get it done.

Personal Trainer Certification
About mid-week, my manager at the gym sent me an email that one of our partners - Dr. Patti Mantia of Holyoke Community College and AFAA consultant - is holding a 6-week Personal Training Certification course on Saturdays this Fall at our gym. She comps one gym employee per year to attend these sessions and I'm the lucky duck that gets the free ride. I've always had some sort of schedule conflict that prevented me from doing this earlier but it appears the Timing Gods have finally smiled on me.
I'm very excited about this and have already started creating flash cards to help me memorize the bones, joint movements, and muscles. I actually woke up the other night and the first thought that came to me was, "Sternocleidomastoid!"

I found a nice indoor lap pool not too far from home that I can access once a week. I can work on technique in the pool at my gym (I think I've mentioned it's a kidney-shaped pool in the hotel so it doesn't lend itself to endurance laps). I'll then compliment that training with laps at the other pool. I'll see if I can find a timed, 1 mile open water swim event in late Spring or early Summer that I can lead into...

Half Ironman Aquabike
That's a 1.2 mile swim and a 56 mile bike ride event. I know I can ride the bike, it's just a question of that water thing. This off season I won't be waiting until February to get back into the water. I know my legs won't hold up for a half-marathon this year but I'd love to get in a longer timed bike race... and get past that water thing.

George Street Challenge - Worcester, MA
Distance - 500 feet. Average Grade - 18%.

Well, this actually does fall under the "more difficult venue" category but it's been on my radar for awhile and the work I need to do to complete it falls within my training schedule for the year.

George Street in Worcester (pronounced "WooH-ster" or "wuh-stah" if your native accent is thick) is well known in the area as the training ground for one of the first pro African American cyclists named Marshall "Major" Taylor. He won the U.S. circuit championships in 1899 and 1900. He also won the world one-mile professional cycling championship in 1899.

Right now, I think I can get to about here:
About as far as I can climb

To achieve this goal, besides losing the weight and continuing with my strength training, I'm going to find a steeper hill a little closer to home that I can repeat. In all likelihood, that hill will be Tower Hill Road which is just over the Mass./Rhode Island border from home. Tower Hill is 1,113.5 meters (under 3/4-mile), has an average gradient of 8.3% and maxes out at 16.7%. I've never even bothered to try and climb it. Now, I'm going to try and repeat it... if I ever get to the top just once.

The "Goal within the goal" is to beat Ginny Fanning's time of 86.53 seconds. Due to copyright rules, I can't re-publish her picture here but follow the link and you'll see that she's 71 years young and did the climb in sneakers!

Run a 5K in less than 30 Minutes
Oh, boy. Here I go again. The thing is, if I can't run, there's really no point in doing even sprint-distance triathlons because I simply dread what should be an easy finish. I'm going to change up my training a little this year and I'll outline the new strategy later on. If I can at least get closer to a 30 minute 5K as opposed to a 45 minute 5K, then I'll feel more confident about entering full tris again... especially if I can also get past that water thing.

Hotter 'n Hell Hundred 2012
You knew this was coming. I managed over half the course this year and really only pulled out because of the excessive heat. I was working out at the gym 2 days later. In other words, the experience didn't scare me off or sour me on the event (although I think it scared some of the people at my gym because I'm still getting questions about it). Still, a DNF is a DNF so there are definitely a couple of things I'll be doing differently. After all, I'd like to finish it this time.
What the heck, in the HHH, I don't even have to deal with that water thing.


  1. Ambitious goals. Looking forward to reading and hearing about the progress. Christine can empathize with the weight loss. She has "only" 10 pounds to go (after losing 60)and knows how tough it is.

    18% grade!! Some of the San Angelo guys just completed the 17% climb up Mt. Locke at Fort Davis yesterday and will have a year of war stories about how grueling the climb was.

    Outstanding. Gearing up for the 100 at HHH. I am seriously thinking of training for the 100 again. The 100K was fun but just not the same as enduring the 100.

    We did 75 miles over the weekend with 35 of those miles in the mountains. However, there is a world of difference when the temp is in the 65-85 range. So hopefully the 109 that we had this year was just a quirk of our drought and will not be the same next year.

  2. @Roy and Christine - It looks like Mt. Locke is way tougher than the George Street Challenge. I'm just hoping I don't fall over.

    If you decide to do the 100 miles at HHH be sure and let me know. If all goes well, maybe we can meet up and share the workload that day. I'm sure hoping for less than record breaking heat next year. I should warn you ahead of time however that if that Sonic is still on the route and open at that hour, I may stop in for a slush :)

  3. Were at about exactly the same place when it comes to the run. I want 10 minute miles. I can sprint out the last bit to be close to 30, but if I get 10 minute miles, Ill be happy.

    On the weight loss, I need to lose 3x as much as you and thats still probably 20 lbs over my racing weight. For me, racing weight will be 225 , and Im setting that goal.

    Aquabike is something I want to do more of as I work on my running but I figure if I can jog a 5k Im going to do it, even if it means it wont be as easy.

    That hill climb... yeah, good luck with that. I might be able to go about 10 feet before the arrow on the picture before I'd have to stop. yikes.

    And the HHH, I hope you do it and kick its butt.

  4. @Ben - 10 minute miles... doesn't seem like it should be an issue, does it? It's amazing how that time haunts us. I'd be willing to be that once you hit your weight goals, you're going to be tearing up the courses. For me, realistically, I'll probably have to settle for success at 12 minute miles.