Monday, February 28, 2011

This is how we roll!

This is one of those posts that won't offer too much in from a coach or physcial therapist perspective, its just about some fun training.

I LOVE to get out of here in the winter as much as the next person and passed on a few early winter trips leaving me dying for some sun and warm weather training. Gasp. I've never waited until the end of Feb. to escape Chicago in the winter! Our ritual trip to Tuscon in February wasn't initially scheduled as Adam and I were planning a low key trip to San Diego instead to be just train and hang out. We found out 2 days before we were supposed to leave that rain was in the forecast for the entire weekend. I can handle rain, but I didn't pass on other trips, take time off, or want to spend $$ to be stuck indoors, cold and wet. We almost canceled the trip and tried to re-schedule for another time, but when?.......we are booked out until next Oct practically! :)(thats how we roll !) So last minute tickets were booked for Tuscon. Thank you Southwest! and Pappa Joel for making room for us at the house and my "Jerry McGuire" husband for pulling off a last minute ticket switch. This is how we roll!

No glitz no glam just get up train, roll from workout to workout, hang, and crash pretty much sums up the weekend...and thats how I wanted it. Just put my head down, train, suck it up when it hurt, then chillax with AZ.

Some highlights:

I literally stepped off the plane and headed to the track. A track workout outdoors and running in shorts and a tank on a regular track vs. the 200m indoor track with mtns in the background!!! What a way to start the weekend!

Riding to and climbing Kits Peak. Ouch this is a TOUGH climb. I didn't climb well and that is usually my thing. It seemed way harder than Mt. Lemmon. But I thought it was just that I had been riding behind Adam for the 2nd day in a row and my legs were starting to go. Apparently though it is a steeper grade. Same elevation gain but shorter distace. Whatever the "excuse" it was still hard, but awesome to see different Mtn. We also got to see tons of Border Patrol out keeping us safe. Is it good or bad if you see tons Border Patrol vehicles all a long the way?

Sun mtns, climbing...just try to wipe the smile off my face.

We usually found ourself swimming at 7 or 8 at night at an outdoor pool. I loved this pool. Who can beat swimming outside with the sun setting in the background. Even tired, I felt like a good swimmer again.

We watched MMA Sat. night. LOL. Weird, I was actually looking forward to it. I can't even believe I'm saying that. I don't care for the repeated head bashings, but it is amazing what kind of physical shape they are in and what they can do, and...their hamstring flexibility blows mine away! And we both said that no matter how bad our killer brick workout the next day would be it wouldn't hurt like that. And, it makes our little pathetic boxing workouts with the trainer seem like nothing.

I did my Sunday long run at the end of a lot of good efforts. I was suprised how good I felt running on our hard hilly loop at the end of all the training. Tuscon had snow Sunday morning so I had my Skinfit layers on and was attacked by this:

This porky prickly thing must have wanted to try some skinfit too and came with me for the remainder of my run because I couldn't pull it out of my arm!

Next up, another trip to Tuscon! This time with some other Trainingbible and fun Chicago athletes!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Training Camp, Local Style!

Heading into a long weekend home with a forecast of warmer weather on the horizon, Jack gone on a long weekend to Florida, and Adam off working in Costa Rica (I was so close to going on this trip, but passed so I could save some days off for some upcoming training trips!!! ), I informed my awesome coach, Scott that I had some extra time and he could load me up with some good training. This is one very cool thing about having a local coach ! We looked at the weather re-arranged some things and voila….my own little local training camp. The only interruption in this would be 6 hrs of work on Friday rehabbing the injured.

While adventuresome travel off to train in warm sunny places is always fun and usually very beneficial especially during the winter months, there ARE some benefits of a training camp from home.(well at least thats what I was telling myself) Luxuries such as of your own king size bed to crash in at night when walking up the stairs becomes a challenge, stress free travel, larger supply of clean workout clothes to select from, familiar training routes, a little extra cash in your pocket and a lot of motivation, because after all if you can train in flat, cold grey, windy climates, it makes warm and sunny seem easy.

So here are some highlights of a training camp from home!

Thurs: this is my day off from work, and with 55 deg temps on the way, we made this my big brick. It was my first ride outside on my TT bike since Aug. I was anxious to see how the power intervals would feel outside vs. the trainer. This time of year we are always provided wind that can blow you to Canada and I was psyched to hit my threshold and it seem easy compared to the trainer.1 minor mis-hap= flying through Maple Park and crossing the slick tracks a little too fast, caused my rear skewer to come loose and my rear wheel drop out!!! Good thing I love cyclocross because I had good bike control and didn’t crash! Make sure your screws are tight! Off the bike with T-run and a goal to hit. I’ve been doing a lot of short hard bricks but this was the first run off a long ride. I felt great and hit the target. At the end of this I headed out with girlfriends to Bien Trucha, locally the BEST for quality mexican food and margaritas. No need to go South of the Border for food like this.

Friday: a little trickier to fit in workouts but it was sunny and warm. A swim in the morning before work. Here’s proof I’ve been swimming some:

6 hrs of treating some really cool clients and seeing them walk, run, raise their arm overhead again made working a little more tolerable. Then I took the cross bike out for a recovery spin. The wind was crazy but the sun was out and it sure beats the trainer. Friday evening was spent celebrating D. Delgado’s 40th. Probably not the best for recovery to dance walk and dance around in these:

But I couldn’t miss the chance to dress like a girl, and be out with friends, and hear a U2 cover band.

Sat: I was up early enough to make coffee before masters, only to find my coffee pot had died, oh the nerve! So I sucked down a caffeinated Gel to get a jolt, and headed out. I was lucky enough to see this on my way in to swimming:

My typical lane seemed a little crowded and the fast lane a little sparse, so I sucked it up and moved over. I felt good and didn’t mind very short amount of rest until about 2000 m when calves reminded me I had been dancing in heels and were cramping. I managed my way through the full 4000 though. The day warmed up and stayed sunny and I didn’t have to dress like a snowman to do my long run. When it hits 45 deg this time of year people are driving with windows down, sun roof open and music blasting like its summer. All kinds were coming out from the cracks and depths of hibernation making my usual route more entertaining. I did have to stop ½ through to strip down a little. I chilled Sat night and tried to do a better job recovering. Next up Sunday… Goal Mile track workout. I love this.

Sun: Track workout. Finally the tracks are clear of snow but it is freezing rain, slushy and cold again. I kept debating in or out/ but wimped a little and headed to the VAC (Vaughn Athletic Center) where there is an awesome 200 m. indoor track. I had recently been watching an indoor track meet watching the UBER fast women run circles indoors. If they can do this, then so can I. I usually do this workout of the week rested, so I didn’t know what to expect trying to hit these times at the end of some solid training days. Can I just say I hit the times and ran as fast as I nearly ever have, ever? Hmmm. was it dancing to U2 music in heels? Bien Trucha? running tired? Fitness coming around? Who know I’m not questioning it. I had an easy spin to recover which I had planned to do outside but our typical Feb. weather returned found my way to the trainer again.

Final item on the training agenda was a massage right here at the house!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Winter training has been taken to an all new level this year.

Old man winter has provided us with everything winter has to offer, snow, arctic temps, ice, more snow, wind, blizzard complete with 20 inches of snow and gale force winds enough to shut down school and….everything else (including Cosport where I work which in the history of 16 yrs of working there, has never closed) and then more arctic cold.

To those training for Boston. I commend you long runs outside in this…or, on the TM…ick. I’m not sure which is worse. Which is why as long as I live in Chicago, Boston is never a big dream of mine.

To those training for an early season IM or even ½ IM……..I commend you. Long rides indoors, long runs out in frigid temps or on the TM, jumping into a pool when you are already frostbitten from just walking into the health club…. I commend you. Oh, wait. I am 1 of those people training for an early season ½. April as it turns out. When I signed up I was hoping for a mild winter. 

Below are some tips I have found to ease the pain with that comes with hard core winter training:

 wear Skinfit, even just during ADLs (in PT world that means activities of daily living) and during outdoor workouts
 put your coat, running gear, etc in the dryer for 10 min before putting it on
 use the blow drier at the health club to heat up your swimsuit and cap
 put the Garmin in cadence mode when running over black ice or glazed over snow to avoid seeing the slow pace, focus on form
 create an awesome, lengthy, and killer playlist for you Ipod with all your favorite rockers push you through those long indoor workout sessions
 go to Carla’s Sunday morning bike class to help pass the time with “gossip topic” of the week, 3 hrs is nothing!
 drink LOTS of very HOT coffee in the early morning and laugh at the thought of giving it up
 Mtn bike through deep snow because you are sick of the trainer, ouch.
 wear your coat for 20 mininuites when you come indoors
 plaster Aquaphor all over your face before running outside in arctic temps, then re-apply all the best moisturizers repeatedly on the hour afterwards to avoid the cracked, scaly, summit of MT. Everest look
 FOCUS and BELIEVE………. that this will only make you stronger and faster and APPRECIATE the warmer temps …..when they finally come…. even more.

And yes, I actually do all of the above.