I’m a Vanderkitten VIP for 2015!

Over a month ago I applied to be part of the Vanderkitten VIP team for 2015.

I’ll be honest with you kittens, I’m not sure what I was thinking.  Sure I’ve been having some awesome conversations with myself lately about getting back into racing, and my running and cycling is faster and more consistent than it’s ever been, but applying to be a sponsored athlete for 2015 might have been a *bit* of a stretch.

Until Sunday morning when I checked my email and saw this:

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Holy CRAP!  I’m in!!!

So check out just exactly how amazing this brand is:

Vanderkitten, “Clothing for women who kick ass”TM, was created to answer the demand for a compelling and empowering brand for women that goes against the “just add flowers” and the “shrink it and pink it” recipies that are so dominant in contemporary women’s active lifestyle apparel. In order to answer this call, we knew we had to be more than just people sitting in a cube penning your future. We had to become fully immersed in the culture of action sports and active lifestyle to develop the look and excitement that reflect what we see around us every day. This enables us to create a fantastic brand by directly creating a new path for women to live extraordinary lives; not settling for the ordinary.

Seriously?  Does it get any more “I am woman hear me roar” than that?  And I GET TO BE A PART OF IT FOR 2015!

I applied as a triathlete, but as I’m learning more about the program and how it works, it appears that there are many of us worldwide, and it’s really a support network for all different sports.

What this means for me from a training perspective is that I will need to work to shift my cardio in more a more specific swim/bike/run format.  I’ve already made the tweak this week to get my butt back in the pool, and will be doing 2x each discipline per week for the short term.  I’m going to continue with my weight training for the moment, but stay tuned as I’m sure there will be some fun changes and endless adventures as I plan my 2015 race season!

Also keep an eye out for some awesome race photos of me swimming, biking, and running with the kitteahs in 2015!

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Death by Dragonfly

We’ve all had the wind knocked out of us at least once in our life.  But have you ever had the wind knocked out of you by a three inch long harbinger of death that not only hits you in the chest and paralyzes you, but leaves you splattered with wings and brain matter?

Yeah, up until today I hadn’t either.

It was a really REALLY eventful bike ride kittens.

It felt like this.  Only by a bug.  In the chest.
It felt like this. Only by a bug. In the chest.

I mean, dragonflies don’t look that big to an average human, but take one to the chest at nearly 20 mph and it’s a whole different story.

Anyone else had something disgusting happen lately?  Tell me all about it, stud.

I need help… and I’m willing to show a little leg to get it!

Look at me go!
Look at me go!

So my vagina wanted to divorce me on Sunday.  True story.

See, I’m signed up for the American Diabetes Association’s annual Tour de Cure ride at the end of March, and I am raising money and riding miles to support this great organization. (If you want to support me, please go here.  Every single dollar makes a difference and I NEED help to raise the most money possible!)

And when I say miles, I’m not kidding.  I’m riding sixty freaking two of them.  That’s a long time in the saddle kids.

This past Sunday was a good warm up event, and I got my cycle on with a 40 mile distance.

I’m not going to lie, I was SUPER nervous going into this ride.  I had a friend to ride with, and had been putting in the training and the miles leading up to it, but 40 would be the longest ride I’ve done yet and I was a little concerned my body wouldn’t hold up.

Luckily, I was wrong.  I felt GREAT.  Amazing even.  When we got to 10 miles I didn’t believe we were there already.  At the rest stop at 20 I was itching to get back on my bike. At 30 I was still laughing and having a great time, and even pulling the pack a bit.

But at about 35 miles, while taking stock of how my body felt, I realized a somewhat unpleasant truth.

Despite the extremely padded bike shorts, the plethora of chamois butter, and the time spent training, my lady bits were KILLING me.

How does one get THAT into better shape?

Share the love people

It might surprise you to learn that I’m not really a schmoopy Valentine’s Day person.

Ok that’s a lie.  If you read this blog that probably doesn’t surprise you at all.  Kind of like the fact I’m not wearing pants while writing this post probably isn’t really news to you either.  But I digress…

One thing I DO believe in, however, is supporting charitable organizations.  Much of my career was spent working for nationally recognized not for profit organizations, and I know just how much good they can do.

Now that I’m retired, I still enjoy fundraising for great causes.  To that end, in just 44 days I’m riding a freaking METRIC CENTURY in the Southwest Florida Tour de Cure.

For real people.  I would post a picture of my ass chaffage from all the training rides to prove it, but I don’t want to traumatize any small children or animals.

So other than the chaffage, here’s the rub.  I have a $1500 fundraising goal and I need HELP.  Badly.

If you fellow bloggers would like to give me a push towards the finish line, you can make a secure and tax deductible donation to this great cause here.

Thanks in advance, and stay tuned for some great stories from the road!

1.20.2014 Workouts

I have been such a lazy blogger.  I’m “temporarily retired” at the moment, which should mean I have gobs of time to update my blog and entertain my loyal readers, but what it actually seems to be translating into is that I’m NEVER at my computer.  Wow.  Who knew I wasn’t really THAT addicted to technology?

Anyhoo, rather that bore you to the point that you want to eat gobs of chocolate with all my workouts since last week, I’m just starting fresh with today.  Goals not really hit last week, but I made forward progress so I’m focusing on the positive.

Crossfit:
SWOD:  Front Squat 5×5
3×10 single leg RDL
3×10 steps R and L in little circle band

Front Squat Was:
1×10 zombie @ 33
3×5@ 53
1×5@63
1×5@ 53

Still battling to get my “oomph” back.  I know the strength will come back eventually, but it’s frustrating as hell to be struggling with half of what I used to be able to squat no problem.

WOD:
8 minute AMRAP
5 hang power cleans
5 shoulder to OH
**10 DL penalty every time you drop the bar**

Score:  Honestly, no idea?  I used 53 lbs (65 was Rx, and I could have done it, but I would have ended up doing a LOT of DL methinks).  I did 4 rounds total of DL, but literally could not tell ya how many rounds of the actual workout I did.  I kept breaking on something silly like my 3rd power clean, so my brain had to remember 10 deadlifts, then that I still needed to do 2 more cleans, so all the other numbers fell out of my head.

Oh well still a great workout.

Cycling:

First time on my bike outside in almost 10 weeks!  Due to a bunch of medical complications, I had to put riding on the back burner for a loooong time.  I was SO excited that it was sunny and warm enough today to get out there.

Did an easy 10 miles at a 15ish mph pace.  I’ve definitely lost some endurance, but man I LOVE my new bike.  I barely had a chance to break it in before my hiatus, and I’m really excited to put in some miles to get ready for an upcoming 65 mile ride the last week in March!

11.25.2013 Workouts

Crossfit:

Back at Crossfit for the 6 a.m. class.  Love those guys, and actually missed them.  Didn’t so much miss the walking up at the butt crack of dawn and the vomit inducing workouts… ok so maybe I missed that too.

Warm Up:  The usual stuff.  Coach did tease us that after the holiday’s we’ll be changing it up.  Fun.  I love when we stick new stuff in the warm up because I usually find a new weakness I didn’t even know I had.

SWOD:  Front Squat 3×8
1×10@ 33 for zombie squats to warm up
1×8 @ 53
1×8 @ 63
1×8 @ 73

This wasn’t too bad.  I likely could have added a bit more weight for that last set, but I still struggle with the pressure of the bar on my throat during front squats.  I really really don’t like choking myself.

WOD: Diane
21-15-9
Deadlifts
Handstand Push Ups

5:06 @93 and regular push ups

This was both a PR in time (18 seconds) and weight (10 lbs) from the last time I did this WOD.  I am super proud of that.  Gotta love progress.

I also looked back to see what I had to say about the last time we did this benchmarck in August and was really surprised to see what I wrote.  Apparently, at the time 83 lbs and push ups unscaled intimated me!  Today I didn’t even bat an eye about the push ups, and loaded my bar with 83 right off the bat.  With a little encouragement from a class mate I added more, and easily managed the weight.

Progress is really an awesome feeling.

Swim:

Post-Crossfit swim.  Honestly, I really REALLY wasn’t feeling it today at all, so I just hopped in and swam 1500 straight.  About half way thru a guy jumped in and raced me.  I won.

I have no idea if he knows we were racing or not.

1500m in about 35 mins

Bike:

11 miles at a 15ish pace with the crew.  The 22 mph winds were really a nice touch.  Ok, not really.  They really blew.  Heh heh. See what I did there?

But it’s a GOOD cult!

I hear pretty frequently that Crossfit is a cult.  Sure, it’s a “good” cult (is that like being a good witch) but it’s a cult.  I can dig that.

What I don’t think these people realize is that Cycling is way more of a cult than Crossfit has figured out how to be yet.

And as someone who does both, let me tell ya, sometimes these cults are in conflict.  In Crossfit you drink only gluten free hard cider where as in cycling you drink beer.

In Crossfit you eat steak and kale, in cycling you carbo load with pasta and Gu.

Luckily, both cults share a love of bacon, so I can deal with the rest of the conflicting messages.

As someone who is relatively new to both sports, I’m really lucky that both come with a rule book.  In regards to Crossfit, just google “Crossfit House Rules” and you will get thousands of options of boxes around the country and their respective codes of conduct.  They’re all similar.  Work hard, push your limits, check your ego at the door.

In cycling, there is really only one rule book.  Published by the infamous Velominati, the keepers of the cog, new and seasoned cyclists alike can appreciate the 93 rules of riding the road.

Granted, I don’t have a ton of experience with cycling clubs, but speaking for the one I ride with pretty regularly I can tell you, we know our rules.

Not only do we know the rules, but we regularly reference them.   In the middle of a windy ride, someone might just yell “Rule 5”  as they’re pulling the paceline and hammering away.

When I asked about a tri or racerback tank top to go with our new team kits, I was simply told “Rule 7”  and it was left at that.

Most recently, after my epic derailleur fail, I decided it was time to push the new bike conversation husband and I had been having recently a little further.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved my Allez, but as I bought it nearly 10 years ago now before I knew what I was really looking for in a bike, I had been itching for an upgrade.

Yes, I have a full carbon very fancy tri bike.  No, it’s not the same thing.

As it turned out, hubs was more than willing to not only have the conversation, but to buy the bike.  So tomorrow I will be getting fit on my brand spankin’ new Specialized Tarmac SL4 Comp Ultegra.

I’m so excited I could pee.

But wouldn’t you know it, not 15 minutes after they called me to tell me that my new bike has come in, I received a second call from the shop telling me that they had figured out how to FIX my Allez!  For “only” $180 I could have her good as new and still be able to ride her from time to time if I ever desired.

I’m sure you all see where this is going.  Husband didn’t quite understand it.  Luckily for me, I was able to reference “the rules” and help him to know the reality of how this works.

According to Rule #12:

“While the minimum number of bikes one should own is three, the correct number is n+1, where n is the number of bikes currently owned. This equation may also be re-written as s-1, where s is the number of bikes owned that would result in separation from your partner.”

Lucky for me, 3 bikes does not equal s-1.

So as of tomorrow I will have my original road bike, my tri bike, and my fancy new bike (yes they all have names), and only one ass to ride them with.

What’s a cyclist to do?

I need a plan

I woke up this morning and wished the hubs a happy hump day.  Doh.  Clearly, I have no idea what day it is, and while I love being closer to the weekend, I can’t believe this much of the week is gone already.

Last Thursday was the last time I did a planned workout.

I’ve skipped everything on my training calendar since then.

Do I have a hundred excuses?  Yup.  Are a few of them actually pretty good?  Of course.

But the fact remains that as of today it has been 1 week since I’ve done anything to help me reach my goals.

And since you all know me, you realize this also means I’ve been eating and drinking too much and have just generally been a hot mess.

I was talking to a friend yesterday about Crossfit and felt like such a fake.  Last time I went I PRed my clean and jerk, and haven’t set foot in the box since.

Thanksgiving is in one week.  Christmas just over a month.  Vegas right after that.

Not to mention I’m doing a freaking TRIATHLON in around 5 months.

I don’t have the time to skip training, and good excuses or not, I need to find a way.

This morning I woke up and my first thought was, “I don’t need more excuses, I need a plan.”

Part of me just wants to pick up the training that I was supposed to do this week starting with today, but because of the upcoming race I really do need to prioritize some workouts over others.

I need to get on the bike at least twice before Sunday, and one of those needs to be a long ride of at least 25 miles.  I need to run at least twice as well.  Swimming twice would be a good thing too.  I don’t want to ignore Crossfit, but with all of that to fit into 4 days, I’ve got my work cut out for me.

So for the sake of accountability, I give you my readers, my training schedule for the remainder of the week.  Feel free to check in with me, to keep me accountable, or to just cheer me on and I cross the workouts off the list.

Thursday 11/21
Lunch Ride- 10 miles @15-18 mph pace (group)
**Done- 10.3 miles @16.5 mph average by myself on tri bike
After Work- 2 mile run @ easy pace
**Done- on treadmill @13:30 pace

Friday 11/22
6 am- 1500+m swim
**Done- 2000 m in approx. 45 mins
7 am- 9 mile bike ride @ 14-15 mph pace (group)
**Done 9 miles @ 14 average pace

Saturday 11/23
AM- Long ride 25 miles @15-17 mph pace
**Done on the NEW BIKE at 15 mph pace exactly (1:40)
PM- 1500 swim
**Moved to Sunday- Done 1500 in about 35 mins, bricked with run

Sunday 11/24
AM-  3 mile run
**Done, right after run.  On the treadmill.  First mile really had trouble convincing my body that it actually wanted to run, but smooth sailing after that.  41:30

That looks like a lot, but really it’s not at all.  I need to just gently remind myself that it’s well within both my comfort zone and my abilities.  When I successfully complete this, while some damage will have been done from my week of laziness, I still will have logged some miles towards my tri training and won’t be in as bad of shape as I could if I let this lazy streak keep going.

I already have next week planned out, and will really need to stick to the plan as there is a holiday and travel in there.  Skipping a workout early in the week won’t help me one bit, and I will do my very best to hold myself accountable.

What about you?  Have you ever just not wanted to workout?  How long did it last?  How did you get yourself back into the swing of things?

Thanks for the ride Sesame Street

happiness

Whoever writes my internal monologue is a sarcastic bastard.

Oh wait, I guess that’s me.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have a habit of having a lot of internal dialogue during especially difficult workouts.  At Crossfit these usually translate into some sort of repeatable mantra’s, but when I’m cycling it’s usually music.

I think it might be because it helps me to keep my cadence where it belongs.  If I think of a song with a beat that’s around 90 rpm, I can pedal to the beat.  If I end up singing it really reallllllly slow in my head, I know I need to pick it up or downshift, and if I’m goingsofastthatican’tactuallygetthewordsout, it’s time to add more gear.

I usually don’t pick the song on purpose.  It just happens to be whatever pops into my head at the time.

Sometimes I don’t even realize I’m singing one because I’m so in the zone.

My rides this week have been pretty darn windy, making me zone out hardcore and just focus on pushing the pedals.

During my particularly brutal ride last Saturday, I had reached a point where my lady bits were screaming, the wind what whipping, and I had just had enough.  I was on the lowest gear the bike had and felt like I was barely moving forward.

At one point during the ride I had been singing Rhianna’s “Rescue Me” to myself (yeah, no accounting for taste when I’m in pain), and went back to that song just to keep the pedals moving.

Before I knew it was humming, OUT LOUD the melody to “The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round…” what the?

Ok sarcastic little devil sitting on my shoulder who decided it was a good idea to do this ride, I don’t have children.  I have ABSOLUTELY no excuse for that song to be stuck in my head.

But I’ll tell ya what, it had the perfect tempo to get me home.

Add some bass and a little booty shakin’, and Usher might have his next hit right there.

11.14.2013 Workouts

Crossfit:

Headed to the 5:30 p.m. class today as hubs is working late so there’s no need for me to wake up at the butt crack of dawn to get it done.

SWOD: Clean and Jerk 1 RM

YAY!  We NEVER do 1 RM of anything, so I was excited for this.  Previous best for a set of 3 was 73 lbs…

Warm up:
1×10 clean pass thrus @ 33
1×5 strict press @ 33
1×10 front squat @ 33

1×3@ 53
1×1 @ 63
1×1@73
1×1@ 83 (power clean) PR
1×1@93 (power clean and push jerk) PR

I was pretty darn happy with this.  My split jerk got ugly at 83 so I changed to a push jerk for the attempt at 93.  I also lost my squat at 83.  It’s amazing to me that I can power clean more than I can squat clean.  That’s totally backwards.  I also think I could have jerked 10 more lbs pretty easily (the 93 went up easy), but there’s no way I could have cleaned it.

I’m clearly damaged.  I should NOT be able to get more weight over head than I can clean.  Seems to me like I’ve got a lot of work to do on my technique, specifically how I catch in a squat, before I can improve this lift much more.

WOD:
10 minute AMRAP
12 burpee broad jumps
12 OH walking lunges @ 25lbs
12 hollow rocks

Score: 2+20 Rx

YAY!  I love  when I’m actually able to go Rx.  Truthfully, I didn’t want to.  I had my eye on the 15 lbs plate but a few of the other awesome ladies in class gave me a push so I grabbed at 25.  Made for some hard ass walking lunges though.  Man.  I actually had my left leg give out on one causing my right knee to slam into the ground hard.  It’s funny, because as it was happening my first thought was “damn it my knee just came in!”  At least I realize when my form is compromised.

My score was stupidly low, but I kept moving.  That’s what’s important.

Cycling:

I had a planned lunch ride on the tri bike by myself, but with the 15-20 mph winds I really REALLY didn’t want to go.  They were coming out of the NE, meaning about 2/3 of my usual route would be into the wind and just god awful.

Rather than skip the ride, I improvised.  I mapped out a 2.5 mile route in the office park where I work, and rode it 4x.  granted, it was a bit boring, but because it was a small loop, it meant that I was never pedaling directly into the wind for more than a few minutes.

This ended up being a great plan.  The crosswinds were tricky, the headwind was pretty awful, but the tail wind was fantastic.  It went something like: Miserable miserable miserable, AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME for the whole duration of the ride.

In the end, I forgot to start my timer so I’m not sure how long it took. I would guesstimate about 40 minutes and 10.4 miles.  I was down on my aerobars the entire time except at the 2 stop signs each loop.

Done and done.