Thursday, June 2, 2011


The vortex is at it again, sucking me in for indefinite periods of time and spitting me back out on a whim.

As always, I've composed many blog posts in my head over the past several days, none of them quite making it from brain to keyboard. The topics have ranged from the kids triathlon, to a dead car, a 10-year old's birthday bash, bike ride hot spots and heat advisories, and being European. The vast range of possible headings left me with the simply uninspired title: "What to call it?" which I jazzed up by going with "Potpourri" instead.

But since you are on this journey with me, I will try to bring you up to speed.

The Frederick Kids Triathlon was on Saturday. Though two of my three daughters participated in this race last year, all three started with clean slates and no basis for comparison; this made null and void our race words of wisdom: "You are only ever racing against yourself."

Our oldest moved up to the 10-13 age division, so all of her distances increased. Our 8-year-old raced the same distances as last year but, in 2010, she only completed half of the swim (the deep end freaked her out!); this year, no problem. The five-year-old, put out by having to sit out last year, was simply happy to participate despite having just ditched her training wheels four weeks prior. (The race being a prime motivating factor.) Still riding like a weeble-wobble, my husband ran alongside her for the two-mile bike course, which she completed with a satisfied grin on her face, but, like her sister the year before, the 100-meter swim proved to be overwhelming and she moved on after only 50-meters (gotta love that about kids triathlons!) So, with no previous race times to "compare" to, they were setting the bar anew and loving every minute, despite the stressful start to our day . . .

We were put to the test bright and early on race morning. 5:40 AM, kids are packed up and ready to go, bikes loaded onto the back of the car and zzzrrrrrrr, taptaptaptaptap. The car won't start. Battery? Engine? Starter? No time to trouble shoot, we had a race to get to. So, we switch everyone to the other car and, wouldn't you know, the bike rack doesn't fit that car! 30 minutes, a couple of ropes and several bungee cords later, we are on our way, racing to the race. Upon our whiplash arrival in Frederick, the girls had just enough time to for a potty stop, body marking, and bike racking before the race began. After such a hectic start, the rest of the day was a walk in the park (literally, too). Some neighbors and a teacher surprised us by showing up to cheer the girls on and the girls were delighted! So, yes, we are already making plans for another kids triathlon in July. After the race, we celebrated on swings and see-saws at the park, ate lunch at Panera (one of the girls' favorite restaurants--they totally dig the bread bowls) and having the dead car towed to a repair shop. Sweet.

On Sunday, a heat wave rolled in and, in the space of one week, we went from Seattle-like weather to a Miami climate. Feeling hot! hot! hot! With little time to acclimate to the heat and humidity, the hilly, 30-mile ride was brutal. To make matters worse, my "hot spots" flared up again in my right foot, causing every stroke of the pedal to send pain shooting through my foot and ankle. Totally miserable ride and I don't even have stats for it beyond the one-hour mark since I stopped my watch to refill my water bottles and never re-started it. One thing I can say with certainty is, by mile 17, I was experiencing one of my slowest rides of all time! I followed the ride with a 1-mile brick, and the arrival of family and four 10-year-olds to celebrate my oldest daughter's birthday. The highlight of the day was seeing her have so much fun with her friends, watching Clash of the Titans (her favorite movie) and eating white chocolate popcorn--all good things for the soul, if not for the sole.

By Monday, we'd had no word on the dead car and I began to ponder how I would accomplish Tuesday's tasks sans vehicle--one trip to the Y and two appointments around town. I checked the Y off my list by heading to the outdoor community pool on Monday night and logging 2000-meters. The hideous heat (and eventual waving of the white flag in the form of turning on the AC) had the positive affect of making the pool water a rather comfortable temperature for an outdoor swim in May. As for the appointments, I decided I'd run to one and bike to the other, heat be damned! My husband said this was very European of me. Ooh la la! I did run 5 miles round trip to one appointment and then a sympathetic friend offered her car for the second one just as I was pumping up my bike tires. With a heat index of 105, I was more than happy to accept.

Despite the heat advisory that was in effect from noon to 8 PM on Tuesday, I can say without a doubt that it was much cooler at 6:30 PM as we headed out for our bike ride then it had been at 8:30 AM when we headed out to the bus stop. My husband suggested repositioning my cleats to combat the hot spots that plagued me on our last two rides and I had high hopes when I hit the halfway point pain-free. Alas, the telltale "liquid heat" and tingly feeling returned before the ride was over, leaving me at a loss on what to do next . . .

Car fully-repaired and returned by Wednesday, I was able to go Yankee again and head to the Y the good 'ol American way--via car--for an 1800-meter swim.

The heat wave finally broke today and I gleefully flung open the windows to let in the fresh air. Cooler temps have arrived just in time to for the short interval run/speed workout I have planned for tomorrow. So, for now, bonsoir, mes amis and stay cool!

Friday's workout:
38-mile bike
2050 cal burned
Max speed: 39.3
Note: Return of hot spots in right foot

Sunday's workout:
30-mile bike
No stats beyond mile 18.
Cal burn by mile 18: 1110
Max speed by mile 18: 41.5
Water consumption: 66oz
Note: Painful hot spots for duration; wicked heat

1-mile brick run
125 cal
Best pace: 7:33

Monday's workout:
2000-meter swim

Warm Up (300)
100 Free, easy
200 IM down, Free back

Set 1 (600)
600 Free

Set 2 (600)
6 x 100; sprint last 25 m

Set 3 (200)
200 Free

Cool down (300)
200 IM down, Free back
100 Free, easy

Tuesday's workout:
5-mile run: 2.5-miles + 2.5-miles
586 calories
Best pace: 7:09
Heat index: 105
Water consumption: 17 oz

28-mile ride
1650 calories
Max speed: 37.8
Temps: 90+ degrees
Water consumption: 55 oz
Note: Hot spots returned half way, less intense, yet less demanding terrain . . .

Wednesday's workout:
1800-meter swim

Warm Up (500)
500 Easy, Choice

Set 1 (400)
200 IM; kick down, swim back

Set 2 (400)
4 x 100 @ 1:30-1:45

Set 3 (300)
50 Drill; right arm down, left arm back
100 Free

Cool Down(200)
200 Easy, choice

Thursday's workout:
60 mins yoga with weights + 20 mins extra strength training

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