Monday, March 26, 2012

I have declared...

the 2012 triathlon season to be officially started!  Completed my first race of the season this past weekend on Saturday 3/24 up in Ocala, FL.  HITS Triathlon Series.  A little less than 90 minutes from home and a good reason to get away for a quick overnight. So first is the stuff you really want to know like distances and times.  Here you go.

Overall Time 3:15:55
Swim 1500 Meters--37:28
Transition 1--3:22
Bike 25 Miles--1:27:37
Transition 2--00:59
Run 6.2 Miles--1:06:29

Things that were awesome about this race:
Perfect weather conditions
Calm and clean water
Spotted an otter playing in the water right before start
First time in full sleeve wetsuit was a success (except for the getting it off part)
Well organized and very friendly staff
Great road surfaces for the bike
Got up to 34 MPH at the bottom of a really big hill
Lots of deputies directing traffic
Inaugural year means small crowd
No cramps, pains, aches, or injuries
Best transition area EVER. A stool with my name on it and a box for my bike.

Things that were NOT awesome about this race:
The guy who ket whacking me in the head for about half of the swim. Next time, I'm hitting back.
Running on loose sandy dirt trail through the woods. Boo to gritty brown toes.
Photos can only be purchased from vendor at the site on race day and not online. Inconvenient.

I will definitely be back next year to see if I can beat my time.  I'm happy with how everything went and how I performed.  Not the best ever, but I know exactly where I need to improve--keeping my heart rate down, not lollygagging in T1, and swimming better in a mass start.  Got the jitters out with one under my belt and can focus on improving for St. Anthony's at the end of April.

Friday, March 23, 2012

My first race...

of the 2012 season is tomorrow.  Olympic distance.  1500meter swim, 25 mile bike,6.2 mile run.  HITS Triathlon Series in Ocala, FL.  Only a 90 minute drive from home but in the middle of nowhere.  Get to escape work early to beat Friday traffic and pick up my race packet.  Coach's instructions are to kick ass on the swim and not worry too much about the bike and the run.  Start at the back of the back, and stay outside to the right to find my groove. I only have to be faster than one other perons to not get eaten by an alligator in the lake.  I am focusing on improving my weakest discipline at this point in the season so that I gain confidence and feel ready to rock and roll by IMAZ.  The water will be chilly (mid 60's) and wetsuit legal which means I get to test out my full sleeves for the first time.  Woo Hoo!  If only all of you out there in blog land could have seen what a TERRIBLE swimmer I was 5 years ago and how I almost drowned and had panic attacks every time I got in the water.  Let me tell you that it is nothing short of a miracle that I can even go 1500 meters.  No secret there but discipline.  Just keep showing up and doing the work.  If you let something that scares you keep you from doing something you want to accomplish, you have defeated yourself. 

Here's the link if you want to check out the race website:
HITS Triathlon Ocala, FL

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Tour de Cure

Tour de Cure fundraiser ride to benefit the American Diabetes Association. 77 miles with the team today in sunny Central Florida. THE perfect day for cycling. Among other memorable tidbits was Steve discovering the joy of mentholated European chamois butter. Also known as butt cream. Coach/Cult Leader also declared that anybody who misses swim practice tomorrow morning will be forced to run suicide drills. I am 97% certain that she is not joking.

Bike 77 miles-Tour de Cure
2300 Calories burned in 5 Hours

Check out the website if you would like to make a donation to a great cause.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Rainbow Brite...

is my new Team Vortex nickname.  Either due to being colorful, cheerful and happy or really gay.  In my case, both.  Just because I have a rainbow towel and wore a rainbow jacket and road a horse with a rainbow mane to swim practice.  They are TOTALLY stereotyping. 

525 Calories Burned in 1hr 5min
2700 yards total
300 warmup, 600 drills, 4 x 200 descending to T Pace, 2 x 400 @ IM Pace, 200 cooldown

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

It's a sign...

that it's going to be a tough workout when the WARM UP is to run 2 miles.  Followed by 100+ high knees and jumping jacks.  Then running in place in bare feet trying to get a high run cadence of 180 strikes per minute.  Not to mention running in circles around poles on a sidewalk. Finished off with abdominal exercises using the infamous foam roller. 

444 Calories Burned in 1 Hour
2 mile warm up run followed various torture drills

Friday, February 24, 2012


   I went back to the foam roller muscle massage class today for the first time in quite awhile.  And boy did I need it.  It felt so good to get all the kinks out of my legs and butt.  Coach says that rolling out my IT band will oddly enough keep my knees from hurting.  You know the whole "Knee bone connected to the thigh bone" song.  I have been doing it on my own watching TV at home, but it's never as intense as when I have Coach watching me.  She has eyes in the back of her head. 

Foam roller stretch and massage (45 Min)
Abs & core workout by Elaine the Dominatrix (15 Min)
Upper body weight training (15 Min)

I forgot to start my heart rate monitor but I estimate that I burned between 275-300 Calories.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Holy Exhaustion Batman...

    Coach kicked our ass with drills at swim practice today. These are bizarre things you would never actually do during a race that help you focus on one specific thing at a time so you can improve your overall form. The most entertaining one this morning was the one-legged kicking drill.  Imagine yours truly clinging to a kickboard and trying to keep one leg out of the water while kicking furiously with the other one.  Funny for coach but not at all pretty to watch.  I went so slow that I may have gotten passed by a snail crawling down the lane line.  At least everybody else sucked at it too.  One of these days I will manage to get a video that I can upload to share with you.

560 Calories Burned in 2200 Meters/1.40 Miles in 1 Hour 5 Minutes
500 WU (pull, kick, pull, kick, pull)
300 finger drag, tennis ball, one-armed
200 shark, one-legged
400 easy then 4x100 descending
4x50 on the 1:10 then 4x25 on the :30
100 CD backstroke

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Happy Ass...

I have happily returned from my sojourn to the great snowy tundra of New Hampshire.  Today was my first bike ride with a new saddle that did not come stock with my triathlon bike I.  More commonly known as a "seat" to all you non cyclists out there.  All I can say is Praise Sweet Baby Jesus!!!!  I have a happy ass and hoo hah once again.  That sentence gets not further explanation if you could not figure it out on your own.  No more numb legs and other sensitive body parts.  If you don't think a saddle upgrade makes a difference, you are sorely mistaken.  Pun intended. 

Bike Trainer @ Lake Nona YMCA
388 Calories Burned over 17.5 miles in 60 Minutes 
High cadence and hill climb drills

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I'm baaaaaaaack...

    Just when you though you could escape my harrowing narrative, I have risen like a phoenix from the swimming pool!  I only took a break from writing, not from training. Work was ridiculous busy, but the worst stretch is over. Here is the grand total summary of what the heck I have been doing for the past 15 days (not counting today) since I last blogged about my session on 1/29/12.  I figure this is better than boring you with the litany of details for each individual workout. 

4 Swims in 5 hrs. 6 minutes for a total of 5.38 miles and 1952 calories burned
3 Bikes in 6 hrs. 37 minutes for a total of 96.25 miles and 3156 calories burned
3 Runs in 2 hrs. 35 minutes for a total of 13.9 miles and 1461 calories burned
3 Hot Yoga Classes in 3 hrs. 35 minutes for a total of 1218 calories burned

GRAND TOTAL of 13 WORKOUTS in 17hrs. 53 min. for 115.54 miles and 7,787 calories burned.

More to come later today about this morning's exciting swim which included a conversation about yaks.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Busy bee...

    So I have discovered the challenges of maintaining a blog when life gets demanding and I become a busy bee.  It turns out that when the most cool stuff happens is when I feel like I have the least time to sit down in front of my computer and write.  I will be getting some updates on here soon, I promise.  So all three of you regular blog readers please do not unsubcribe just yet due to lack of content. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunny Sunday...

    I missed the team brick workout on Sunday due to my 5K race, so the plan was to fit that in on Sunday.  25 Mile Bike in Heart Zone 2 followed by 4 Mile Run in heart Zone 3.  Due to strange circumstances of not having access to my bicycle (the deatils of which are boring and unimportant), I wasn't able to ride so chose to do another long run instead.  It was a cool and sunny Sunday afternoon, perfect for exercising outdoors and having some solitude. It was a treat to be able to go to Heart Zone 3 and not get passed by kids on tricycles.   My pace picked up by almost 3 minutes per mile from last Sunday.  Praise Jesus!!! The delightful run was followed by some weightlifting at the gym and a protein packed Chocolate Elvis smoothie from Planet Smoothie.  Yummy!


Run 6 Miles in Heart Rate Zone 3
700 Calories Burned in 1 Hour 28 Minutes

Lower Body Strength & Resistance Training
206 Calories Burned in 28 Mniutes

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Run for the Children...

One of the great perks of living in Orlando is that there are races of every distance almost year round, and many of them are in really cool places.  My Cutie had friends in town for the weekend so we opted to join them for a community fundraiser 5K.  The 31st Annual Dick Batchelor Run for the Children was held at Universal Studios which has some great scenery to take in as you run.  We went through Dr. Seuss Land, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and Marvel Comics Superhero Town.  A fun morning for a good cause followed by a great breakfast at Mimi's Cafe.

TODAY'S WORKOUT at Universal Studios
Run 5K (3.1 Miles)
335 Calories Burned in 29 minutes 45 Seconds

Friday, January 27, 2012

My poor ears...

    To call this morning's foam roller stretch workout interesting would be a dramatic understatement. We were first subjected to the loud, repetitive, and extremely-high pitched screech of the building fire alarm being tested for no less than 15 minutes. But did we have to cover our ears? No, of course not! Hearing loss need not be feared when Team Vortex has its very own MacGyver(s) to violate fire marshal codes!!! Thanks to XXX, Walrus, Mr. Argentina, and Flipper, the horrible sounds coming from that pesky alarm were muffled by gym towels and packaging tape. I only wish I had my iPhone to document their resourcefulness. Of course the test was done right after they finished rigging it.
    Once that entertainment was over, we resumed massaging our various leg parts per Coach's instructions. If you listened to a recording of these stretch workouts, it would be normal to hear little grunts, groans, gasps, and moans much like when you get a massage and a spot gets pressed really hard. But then there was the noise produced by Scary Hair which can only be referred to as a cross between the mating call of a howler monkey and the screech of a hawk catching its prey. We would have looked at her funny if she were not verbalizing what we were ALL feeling as we worked on our IT (iliotibial) bands. It is the muscle that runs up the outside of the thigh from your butt to your knee. For sure the most excruciatingly uncomfortable of all the body parts to stretch out with the roller. If any among you can work on your IT band with the Trigger Point Grid and remain totally silent (not even a peep), I will pay you $20. Your video proof will be posted on my blog for future fame.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Easy does it...

    Thursday's swim was nice and easy.  To make up for running hard yesterday.  Even though I was the last one finished, I still was done early (for me).  Still working on kicking better.  But the good news is that I am so much more relaxed in my stroke form than I used to be.  Coach said it's much better than last year.  Which is a darn good thing because there was nowhere to go but up.  I am still supposed to purchase the following aquatic paraphernalia to keep improving:  fins, paddles, and a pool floatie.  Okay, just kidding about the pool floatie.  But wouldn't it be awesome if they were triathlon legal?  At least you would be able to identify your friends better in the swim wave starts.  "Look, XXX just made it past the first buoy!  I can tell it's him by the yellow duck floatie!!!" 

TODAY'S WORKOUT at YMCA Aquatic Center

Swim 1800 Meters/1.12 Miles
492 calories burned in 50 Minutes
Warm Up:  200 Pull, 200 Kick
Main Set: 2 x 500 with 30 second RI, 6 x 50 on the minute
Cool Down: 100 backstroke

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"I'm good enough..."

    Please pardon me for a moment while I adjust my oxygen mask.  My lungs are still burning.  Coach had us do a Lactate Threshhold Test for our workout this morning. Which should henceforth be known as the "Run Until You Can't Breathe Anymore" Test.   The instructions were to go fast as you can around a 400 meter track (or unconstructed subdivision neighborhood) at a sustainable pace for 30 minutes without stopping.  Check your heart rate every ten minutes (if you still have one) and yell that number to Coach as you literally run circles around her.  My numbers were 182 (10:00), 182 (20:00), and 184 (30:00).  Uncertain of what this means, but I'm told that I should be pleased my heart rate was consistent.  Of course this information was ominously recorded on Coach's top secret clipboard.  No doubt intended to come back and haunt me at a later training session. 
    For the record, I did 12.5 laps in the alotted time which turns out to be a 5K or 3.1 miles at a 9:36 pace.  Pastor Dave was going in a whirlwind past everyone and doing something ridiculous like 7:00 miles.  Who knew a man of the cloth could be so fast?!?  I am working very hard at letting go of my monkey mind chatter that says "You should be going faster."  Let's be honest that we athletes have a really hard time NOT comparing ourselves to each other.  Even when our teammates are genuinely cheering us on.  Self-criticism is my personal demon to exorcise and IMAZ training is certainly helping me do that. 

        Look in the mirror like Stuart Smalley and repeat:
        "I will run my own race."

TODAY'S WORKOUT from Lake Nona Water's Edge Neighborhood
Lactate Threshhold Test
Run 30 Minutes as fast as possible at a consistent pace
Check Heart Rate at 10 Minute intervals
464 Calories Burned 30 Minuntes (3.1 Miles)

Monday, January 23, 2012


was a rest day.  No yoga. No run. No swim. No bike.  No stretch.  I even found time to watch the dysfunctional families on my favorite reality TV show Intervention last night.  Let me just say that I am glad to be addicted to my runner's high and nothing else.  Talk about insanity.  Speaking of crazy-- in case you are interested, here is the picture and website for the self-inflicted muscle massage gadget I mentioned in my post on Friday, January20th.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I am running...

out of ways to express how slow I feel when I do these heart zone training workouts.  But I would definitely not call it running.  I was delighted share today's humbling experience with the company of my buddies Poopsay and Sharpei.  Long story on those nicknames that you are probably better off not knowing.  We opted to go on a nice blacktop trail that runs along the Little Econlockhatchee River through a park.  Another gorgeous day.  January is one of the best months to live in Florida.  They provided me with some much needed and objective friend therapy.  But more importantly, in the span of two hours, they devised a very useful five point speed scale complete with terminology and paces.  Please feel free to use for yourself!  So actually, today's workout was a walk.  But remember the tortoise and the hare.

1.  Walking (Slowest Pace) [16-18 minutes per mile]
2.  Slogging (Slow Jogging)  [14-16 minutes per mile]
3.  Jogging  (Halfway Between Walking & Running)  [12-14 minutes per mile]
4.  Junning (Running Jog)  [10-12 minutes per mile]
5.  Runing (Fastest Pace)  [8-10 minutes per mile]

TODAY'S WORKOUT from Blanchard Park YMCA
Run 8 Miles in Heart Rate Zone 2
876 Calories Burned in 2 Hours 19 Minutes

Saturday, January 21, 2012

You know...

it's an awesome bike ride when:
  • almost all the traffic lights you hit are green so you can roll right through them
  • there are bike lanes the whole way
  • there are at least three other people in the group keeping the same speed as you
  • the sun is shining and the temeperature is 75 degrees
  • it feels like you have a tailwind no matter which direction you ride
  • there is good conversation but also good silence just to take it all in


Bike 50 Miles in Heart Rate Zone 2
1293 Calories Burned in 3 Hours 33 Minutes

Here's a picture of the gang at the Y as we were getting ready to roll

Friday, January 20, 2012

"Hurts So Good..."

    Is the new theme song for Fridays. What I thought sounded like the easiest workout of the week has proven to be the most painful. I mean really, "Foam Roller Stretch" sounds innocent and peaceful enough, right? WRONG!!!! Coach was clearly a bossy dominatrix in her past life.
    So this workout involved moving the tight muscles of the legs, hips, and butt back and forth over objects such as a tennis ball and a padded PVC pipe thing called a trigger point grid. It loosens the muscles' connective tissue called myofascia so you don't feel so tight. It's like giving yourself a deep tissue massage. Which is really uncomfortable while you're doing it, but feels AWESOME later. Go ahead, and try it at home after you look up instructions on YouTube and Google. Then report back to me. I promise you'll be singing, "Sometimes love don't feel like it should. You make it hurt so good."

Thursday, January 19, 2012


    I completed the entire swim this morning with no whining and not sinking to the bottom of the pool.  But Flipper was finished so far ahead of me that she had already ran 2 extra miles, knitted a sweater, and drank a lattѐ by the time I was done with my cool down.  She was kind enough to offer an assist when my right leg knotted up after I got out of the water though.  Man those cramps hurt!!  Entertaining for my teammates to watch as I writhed on the tile moaning "Ow!"  But painful for me.  Coach told me to eat more bananas and torture myself with some massaging roller device that is supposed to pull apart the small muscles near my bones.  I think it sounds like a bad idea, but then again, what do I know.  She dreams this stuff up in her sleep.  Or maybe reads it in some fancy coaching magazine. 

TODAY'S WORKOUT at YMCA Aquatic Center
Swim 2700 Meters/1.55 Miles
712 calories burned in 1 Hour 19 Minutes
Main Set:   5 x 500 with 90 second RI
Cool Down:  200 backstroke

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Beeping metronomes...

    Remember those metronome things with the metal pendulum that musicians use to help keep time? As if that constant ticking were not annoying enough, Coach decided to take it to a whole new level by purchasing a digital frigging BEEPING metronome to teach us to pay attention to our run cadence.  Imagine the humor of watching me trying to run slow (staying in Heart Zone 2) while simultaneously trying to make my feet move more quickly (striking the ground 180 times per minutes) to match that obnoxius repetetive beeping sound.  It's like trying to pat your head and rub your belly.  I am told that accomplishing both of these things together is possible.  I managed to do it consistently for a total of 30 seconds this morning.  Of course I asked why the hell it matters.  Coach (again) gave me a highly researched logical response of how this will make me awesome at IMAZ in 10 months.  Something about my legs being less tired if I take lots of little forward movements instead of long far apart strides.  Good enough answer for me, as long as I don't have to think.  But I know I must have looked like a tool. 


Run 4 Miles Heart Rate Zone 2
400 Calories burned in 1 Hour

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

More rest...

Rest, rest, rest, rest.
Almost done sniffling I think.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The sniffles...

    No morning workout for me on Monday. I had the sniffles, sneezing, sore throat, and congested sinuses that were clearly telling me to take a rest. Very hard for me to NOT do a scheduled workout because I tend to ignore the discomfort and just keep going, but I promised my body I would listen to it during IMAZ training. I did go to yoga in the afternoon for a good stretch and I ended up feeling A LOT better after that. Pretty sure yoga helps everything. Lots of fluids, extra sleep, and mega does of vitamin C can't hurt either.

TODAY'S WORKOUT at Orlando Power Yoga
Hot Power Yoga
480 Calories burned in 1 Hour 14 Minutes

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Beware of shuffling turtles...

    Off and running in the dark this morning at 6:15am with only a small group.  And by running, I really mean shuffling my feet as if to resemble a turtle jogging.  With intermittent periods of snail walking.  The more sane people went later but not an option for me since I had other stuff to do starting at 9:00.  I was supposed to go by the local Dunkin Donuts at a specific time to pick up my loveable British friend Queenie.  I ended up worrying the crap out of her because I was late from running so damn slow and did not estimate my distance properly. (Coach promises that the heart zone training will pay its dividends later).  It was a nice treat to be accompanied for awhile by Queenie and another friend Bonita (she is a pretty Spanish teacher).  We talked about everything from restaurants to global travels. Tame topics for us. We also hatched an idea for their newly forming non-profit to be my first official IM sponsor that I will raise money for.  Kind of backwards, I know.  But more to come about that in a later post.

Run 7 Miles Heart Rate Zone 2
823 Calories burned in 1 Hour 56 Minutes
Yes, that's 16:00+ miles, all you mathematicians.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Cold feet and snotrockets...

    In spite of today's title, I had an awesome ride.  45 degrees at start time was cold by Florida standards though.  Even my red and green fuzzy Christmas socks could not keep my tootsies warm in my cycling shoes!  The wind would have felt chiller were it not for the sunshine, so thank goodness for that at least.  But the thing that makes my training not only tolerable but actually fun is the people.  My triathlon buddies from the Lake Nona YMCA Team Vortex and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Team in Training are an awesome group of folks with backgrounds and characteristics as diverse as my sock collection.  Older and younger, male and female, veteran triathletes and rookies, sraight and gay, naughty and nice, etc...  You get the point.  Anybody who wants to do a triathlon can do it if you are willing to do the work.   I have been passed on a course by people who weigh 50 lbs. more than me.  But I distract myself.
    Back to today.  The highlight moment came early on when Flipper (she swims like a fish) blew her first successful snotrocket.  Thanks to my thoughtful instruction last week, she can now clear her runny nose while in motion, without the help of accessories.  I mean really, who has the patience for tissues when you're riding a bike?  I couldn't be prouder!  Next lesson: Not hitting the person riding behind you or your own clothing. 

Bike 45 Miles in Heart Rate Zone 2
1284 Calories Burned in 3 Hours 10 Minutes

Friday, January 13, 2012

And on Friday the 13th...

Preston rested.  And it was good.  And it was to be followed by a dinner date with my Cutie at Bonefish after work to use some Christmas gift cards.  Amen.

Not a damn thing.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


    I slept in late and missed the bike trainer session this morning.  My workout consisted of spooning with my Cutie under the very warm covers.  I made up for it with a good yoga stretch after work though.

TODAY'S WORKOUT at Orlando Power Yoga
Hot Power Yoga
445 Calories burned in 1 Hour 12 Minutes

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Kick from the butt...

   I was a grouchy butt on Wednesday morning for a variety of reasons. The biggest one being that I needed a serious attitude adjustment.  Cold water, forgot swim cap and goggles, drills I suck at, no light to see the workout board from the pool, clock broken, and really tired from only 5 hours of sleep the night before.  Waaaaaahhhhh!!!!  I'm over it now, thank goodness.  On to better things.
    Upon sinking once again while doing the bow and arrow drill, coach told me my kicking sucks.  She said it nicer because she is polite, but let's be honest. It sucks.  I kick from my knees which makes lots of splashing but gets me nowhere.  I am supposed to kick from the butt instead.  One more thing to learn and practice.  Further humbling of the ego.  IM is hard for perfectionists.  But at least I will develop a nice a$&!!

Swim 2250 Yards/1.26 Miles
529 Calories Burned in 1 Hour 2 Minutes
Warm Up:    200 Pull, 50 bow and arrow, 50 kick, 50 bow and arrow, 50 kick
Main Set:  4 x 300 building speed with decreasing rest intervals
                  4 x 100 building speed with decreasing rest intervals
                  4 x 50 hard and building speed with decreasing rest intervals
Cool Down:  50 backstroke

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Slow and steady...

    The beginning of IM training is very humbling to the ego.  The Tuesday morning workout required running in Zone 2, which meant I had to keep my heart rate (HR) between 60%-70% of my calculated maximum HR (180).  Translation:  Sloooooow as S#!T to stay below 126 beats per minute!!!!   So, I was pretty much hardly jogging and also stopping to walk. A blazing 15:30 per mile. **rotflmao**  But speed does not matter right now. The whole point is to build a strong aerobic foundation for your body at the start of the season.  That way when you start adding more time and distance to your training, you will already be efficient to conserve energy better and sustain your workouts for longer.  I won't bore you with all the technical details, but it makes good sense and all the books and experts out there will pretty much tell you to do that.  Coach's analogy is about baking bread.  If you bake it too quickly at a high temperature, you will just burn the outside crust and have a doughy middle.  I'm pretty sure she was telling our team we are all squishy until we cook properly.  So for the next few months, slow and steady it is.


Run 3.8 miles in Heart Rate Zone 2
419 Calories Burned in 59 Mniutes

Strength and Core Training
266 Calories Burned in 41 Minutes

352 Calories Burned in 1 Hour

Monday, January 9, 2012

Suck it up, Buttercup...

    Back to my home base at the Lake Nona YMCA this morning.  The pool there is shorter than at the aquatic center, so it's a tad easier since I get a little mini-break after each 25 meter length instead of after each 50 meter length.  Not sure that it makes a difference since I don't know how to do flip turns anyway.  You know, that cool thing where swimmers do a somersault in the water and push off the wall with their feet to propel themselves back the other direction.  Maybe I will put that on the list of things to learn for 2013. 
   The challenge of today's swim was the pool heater being broken.  Again.  Trust me, your body can really feel the difference when the water is 5 degrees colder than usual in an outdoor pool! Brrrrr.  But apparently this will be just another part of the training since Tempe Town Lake at IMAZ is usually less than 70 degrees on race day.  Really, there are millions of people with bigger problems than a chilly swim.  So, to myself I say, "Suck it up, Buttercup!!"
    P.S.-Coach is crazy.  She invented a new drill called the bow and arrow which caused me to inadvertently inhale water and sink to the bottom. 


Swim 1700 Yards/.96 Miles**
425 Calories Burned in 55 Minutes
Warm Up: 2 x 100 Pull
Main Set:  1 x 50 bow and arrow drill
                 3 x 400 moderate speed with 1:00 rest
                 1 x 50 hard after each 400 with  :10 rest
Cool Down: 100 Backstroke

**Workout plan called for 2350 Yards, but I had to cut it short since we started late and I had to get to work on time.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Full moon run...

   I am a little late in posting about my Sunday workout since it was a busy day.  I ran in the evening which is quite unusual since I am such a morning person.  But I was rewarded by the magnificent image of a glowing full moon over the water as I ran.  Glad I waited.  How amazing that such a big thing in the sky so far away controls our ocean tides.  Having that vision, listening to my Run Jams playlist on the iPod, and going at a slow & steady pace made it a great workout.  I was sorry I had to stop and felt like I could have gone longer.  But there will be plenty of time for that later!!  Question for you to ponder dear reader: "What helps keep you going when you exercise?"

TODAY'S WORKOUT at Lake Underhill

Run 6 miles at long distance pace
671 calories burned in 1 Hour 5 Minutes

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Ironman is NOT a Cult...

      You will either think this is hysterically funny, or not at all.  I was laughing out loud so hard I was almost crying.  It has gone viral in the triathlon world for hitting the nail on the head.  At least I can honestly say I am not as obsessed as the woman in the video clip.  She is trying to explain to her male coworker what an Ironman is, though he is definitely NOT getting it. The two characters are computer animated with digital voice, but acting out written script using a program called XtraNormal.  Funniest part is from 1:27--1:58 when she responds to his question, "What do you get?"


Bike 30 Miles in Heart Rate Zone 2
877 Calories Burned in 1 Hour 56 Minutes


Friday, January 6, 2012

Yoga and a book...

    Lucky for me, Friday was a day to sleep in until 6:30 and enjoy some morning rest.  I try to do a good yoga stretch at least twice a week and today was one of those days.  I feel so great when I leave class and I'm convinced it helps keep the injuries away.  Not to mention lots of toxins sweated out.   

TODAY’S WORKOUT at Orlando Power Yoga
Happy Hour Hot Power Yoga
409 Calories Burned in 60 Minutes

    If you would like to be inspired to achieve a fitness goal or need help keeping your New Year's resolutions, then check out this awesome book. You Are An Ironman by Jacques Steinberg.  It's the true stories of six different regular people who pursued a dream and what happened in the process.  It is a fast read and you won't be able to put it down.  It only took me three days to get through.  I cried more than once, but in a good way!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Daily Routine...

    Today’s post is in honor of my Southern friend who asked when I wake up in the morning in case she wants to reach out for support. Georgia Girl, y’all can call me any time you want! My alarm clock goes off most weekdays between 4:45--5:15am. I eat breakfast, get dressed, pack up the car, and head to my workout in the 30-45 minutes after that. I sip my coffee and talk out loud to God on the way, saying prayers while I drive. Other people on the road must think I'm crazy when they look over and see me chattering away by myself, but I don't care. We are all crazy, right?

    I usually get started exercising somewhere between 5:30--6:00am and go for 60 minutes, give or take 15. During a lot of my workouts I visualize people who are having a difficult time in their lives or remember various prayer requests. It helps to distract me from thinking about my own tiredness, discomfort or other negative mental chatter. Of course there are the times when I am so out of breath that my only thought is “I need oxygen right away!” (Coach is almost ALWAYS responsible for those moments). And then there are other times when I am totally engrossed in song lyrics. “I would walk 500 miles…” Catchy, huh? I know it’s playing inside your head right now! You can thank me later.

    I drive straight to my job after getting showered and ready at the gym. I eat my recovery snack while listening to music or morning news on the way. Hard boiled eggs, chocolate protein shakes, and bananas are my favorites. Please let me know if you have other yummy food suggestions or a prayer request of your own.

TODAY’S WORKOUT at YMCA Aquatic Center
Swim 2100 Meters/1.3 Miles
598 Calories Burned in 1 Hour 8 Minutes
Warm Up: 100 Kick, 100 Pull, 100 Kick, 100 Pull
Main Set: 3 x 500 increasing speed with 1:00 rest
Cool Down: 200 Backstroke

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Let the countdown begin...

    Literally.  It is 318 days until Ironman Arizona, henceforth referred to as IMAZ.  I picked this race because it is one of the last for the 2012 season and will allow me a full 11 months of training.  But let's be honest--some other reasons were not insignificant including calm water, no mountains, spectator friendly, training with ten friends who are also racing, and most of all because my Coach told me to do this one.  Her opinion carries the most weight in Preston Land. 

    Check out the website for more details.

    And of course it goes without saying that finishing IMAZ would fulfill the quest that is the title of my blog--doing an Ironman by forty.  I duly note for the record that because my birthday is December 28th, my OFFICIAL AGE when I cross the finish line will be 39.8 years old.  You seasoned triathletes out there know, however, that my RACE AGE will be 40 since USAT calculates this by how old you are on December 31st of the race year.  That's the number that matters since it is the one everyone will see on the back of my leg when they pass me on the run!

    It only took computer illiterate me 10 minutes to figure out how to add the countdown timer gadget to my blog. Find another website with a free gadget, then copy and past the html code folks. I have a feeling that learning the basics of blogging is going to be much easier to navigate than the physical demands of training! No copying and pasting someone else's 100 mile bike ride.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

It's on my bucket list...

    Doing an Ironman by forty, that is.  I am an ordinary 39 year old woman with a full time job and all the usual trimmings that come with being a an average middle class American.  My first name is Stephanie but most of my friends call me by my last name--Preston.  I have a lifelong mission to cross as many things off my bucket list as I can. My goals range from lofty (write a book) to unusual (collect heart-shaped stones from around the world) to whimsical (attend the annual garlic festival in Gilroy, CA) to hard-working (earn a Ph.D.) to adventurous (ride across the country on a Harley). 

    I have already gotten to cross a few items off in the past five years.  Learn to swim (2007), run a marathon (2008), become a licensed counselor (2009), quit drinking alcohol (2010), and reconnect with my dad (2011).  In 2012 I intend to keep the momentum going by checking off two more things: 1) Completing an Ironman triathlon before I turn forty and 2) Keeping a blog.  By combining the two I get to subject all two of you to the inner workings of my mind as well as record my chronicles for posterity.  In all things, my personal motto is: "Just show up and do the work. The rest will take care of itself."  Let's see how it goes, shall we? : )