Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fartlek Tuesday

You know kinda like Fat Tuesday....but not really. Funny that only in Ironman training would you run a Half marathon as a training run on Saturday and be back at it by Tuesday. I recently read someone's race report from their IM and they wrote, "Over the course of the next two years, I set small goals (like running a marathon) to ensure I learned how to run long distances." Small goals like a marathon? Us IM folks are not right. I listened to folks on Saturday morning before the half marathon who had this half as their A race, and I thought...that is so cute!! (and I had a small amount of jealousy)

You might be asking..what is a Fartlek? I imagine saying something to my niece and nephew's while visiting...I am going to run some Fartlek's and they go...ewwwwwwwwww!! For those that want some learning on this fine Tuesday night, let's look at our good friend Wikipedia. Fartlek, which means "speed play" in Swedish, is a form of conditioning which puts stress mainly on the aerobic energy system due to the continuous nature of the exercise. The difference between this type of training and continuous training is that the intensity or speed of the exercise varies, meaning that aerobic and anaerobic systems can be put under stress. Most fartlek sessions last a minimum of 45 minutes and can vary from aerobic walking to anaerobic sprinting. Fartlek training is generally associated with running, but can include almost any kind of exercise.

Oh how I wish my workout was aerobic walking....

I did my 15 minute warm up, feeling a bit tight in the legs and then proceeded on to the meat of the workout:

6 min, 4 min, 2 min, 5 min, 3 min, 1 min. All of these are done full out, sprinting, trying to keep the same pace up for each one...but ALL OUT. If you left your heart and lungs at the workout, you have done it correctly. The rest was 2 minutes in between each hard set. Trust me, 2 minutes goes by rather quickly.

After that I did an easy 15 minute cool down of running and a bit of walking to bring the heart rate down.

Crazy enough, I felt good and that was even after a 3400m swim in the AM!! I kept a really consistent pace and my final 1 minute was a tad stronger and faster than the first set. Yes, it was hot outside, but I really tried to block that out.

Ironman training, month #2 is starting out pretty awesome! I am looking forward to this weekend as I have Friday off so I am going to ride for a couple of hours that day, Sam and I are going to ride on July 4th for about 5 hours and then I have a small brick to do on Sunday!! It's gonna rock...and I don't care if it's hot, this month is about the bike with the Tour de France, 442 miles at RAGBRAI and LIVESTRONG Challenge San Jose!

Racing Against Cancer

new Nike Lance commercial. it rocks.

Racing Against Cancer -- powered by http://www.livestrong.com

Sunday, June 28, 2009

9 Days in Seattle

I left last Friday, June 19th and I am now sitting in San Jose waiting to board my final plane back to Austin. Seattle was a great place to visit and I got to see some really wonderful friends and their new babies, but I am very glad to return to Austin. (Even if it is 106 degrees!!)

My first weekend consisted of my first travel trip for LIVESTRONG Challenge. It went really well as this was our first time in Seattle, having 2600 participants in either a 5k or a bike ride, raising $1 million dollars (and still going up!!).

Then Monday hit, and I slept a bit and met up with some good friends from my days in O-town. Azurae Phelps and Arleigh Willis and the Phelp's new little girl, Juniper! It was really good seeing them and laughing...and of course getting the best recommendations for food in the city. Arleigh even helped me out as she does the no dairy and raw foods thing and so she guided me in the right direction (and not once did she steer me wrong!!)

On Wednesday I boarded the 1 hour ferry to Bremerton, where I got to visit my dear friend Hope and her family. They recently had their second boy, Zephan. The last big adventure that Hope and I had was pre-kids and family when I visited her in Indonesia and she toured me around Bali. I love that girl and we don't get to see each other often, but it makes me feel good that she allowed me a few nights on comfort in their own while dealing with a newborn! Much love Hope, can't wait for my next visit.

Thursday began the second part of my work for the week...as 42 runners came to Seattle to run the Rock n Roll marathon (inaugural). This team has raised about 40k in the fight on cancer and it was such a joy to meet them face to face and continue to hear their stories! I seriously can't believe this is my job sometimes! I travel to great cities, engage and connect with wonderful volunteers of LIVESTRONG and as I did in this event...get the chance to participate and run a little 13.1 mile race!

Race day was Saturday, June 27 and as I headed to the start line to meet some team members, the weather couldn't be more perfect. I have to say, racing in the Northwest is pretty much perfection in the summer! It was about 60 degrees out and the sun was going to be out, perfect for a girl whose last long runs were in 95+ weather and I was sweating by the time I put my first foot out of the door!

As always, I had a plan with this race. To be smart, it wasn't an A race by any means, it was a training run. uh huh, tell that to this type A personality who secretly thought I could posssibly PR. With two days on my feet at the Expo and not much rest time during the week as I did my normal IM workouts that I could.....my feet did not show up. I first 4 miles were glorious and the last 9 were so painful that I contemplated jumping off the final overpass we had to run on to the finish. I know, dramatic, but what can I say? that's me. I tried talking my legs to coming back for a decent pace, but there was no PR in site even at the half way mark. I was pretty upset with myself and then I remembered one of my quotes sitting on my desk..."I have failed over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed." I gotta brush that one off and be proud that I stayed on track with IM training while in a city when that wasn't easy...I even got 2 swims in this week!! One month down on my way to Ironman AZ...

so happy to return to Austin to my own bed, my sweet dog, Sam and friends!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

week #3....IM training and thinking back

Well, this week's workouts were all tough, especially in this lingering 100+ degree heat. here is what has happened since Sunday...

Monday- FULL DAY OFF!!! and yes, I fully enjoyed this
Tuesday- 3400 m swim in the AM, Splash n Dash in the PM...had a swim PR of almost 1 minute which is what I wanted since last month I did not show up for the swim as normal.
Wednesday- Crossfit, 545 AM, 6x 1 mile repeats at a Half Marathon pace in the PM. (what I celebrated was my last mile was 10 seconds faster than the first!!)
Thursday- 3400 m swim in the AM brick workout in the PM, I did a 5 minute warm up. 20 minutes on the trainer, 1 mile run, 15 minutes on the trainer, 3/4 mile run, 10 minutes on the trainer, 1/2 mile run. (this workout felt good and I felt strong...but super tired at the end.

I have tomorrow off as I travel to Seattle for LIVESTRONG Challenge. I don't plan on getting in a workout but hope to get in a run Saturday morning as I know Sunday will be a wash for workouts since that is event day.

I am not worried as it's still early in IM training and I made my workouts really count this past week. Next weekend I will run the 1/2 marathon at the Seattle Rock n Roll with 42 other folks on Team LIVESTRONG. The goal is NOT to PR this half but to run a solid even pace the entire time and have a good training run. This is not my A race by any means.

This weekend is pretty key for me as I keep going back to my Ironman weekend one year ago. It is crazy to think I was meeting up with my girls from Florida as they celebrated me crossing the line hearing those words...."YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!!" If you didn't see the post from last year....read it HERE. and I have to post this picture again....as it is my favorite. The girls that would walk through fire for me and traveled to celebrate a dream conquered! Look for some updates from Seattle....

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Colleen on a hot tin roof....104 degrees to be exact.

So week #2 of official IM training consisted of some rather high temperatures with workouts. I even found getting up early did not suffice at times....is this what I have to look forward to? Here was the run down with temperatures when applicable:

Monday- 545 AM Crossfit
Tuesday- 545 AM swim and 40 mile bike ride
Wednesday- 545 AM Crossfit and a 45 minute Fartlek Run (104 degrees!!!! what the....)
Thursday- 545 AM swim and Texas Iron mini-tri (see below) 99 degrees!!!
Friday- 545 AM Crossfit
Saturday- 80 mile bike ride, 101 degrees at the hottest point...and I started at 615 AM and finished at 11 AM...yes 101 degrees.
Sunday- 1 hr easy run in the AM, 30 min easy swim and 30 min run in the afternoon...100 degrees.

This kind of heat is not supposed to be upon us until August...I don't know if you have ever been around the sweat glands of Colleen Wilson (thanks Dad) but they are not pretty. When I finished my short workouts I looked like I had been in the pool. It's going to be a long, hot, summer.....

This week I am off to Seattle for work which means cooler, MUCH cooler temps! LIVESTRONG Challenge and Rock n Roll Half Marathon...I will be running the Half...a nice, easy 9 min mile pace...not going for a PR, just trying to survive it all.

I have to get creative with workouts the 10 days I am traveling in terms of bike workouts. I found a local YMCA that I am going to have a week pass to, that should help. Not stressed though, I just put in two good and hard weeks and so I can really recover during my time away...

I will be back on the bike July 4th....with a 90 mile ride!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Mansfield Dam- most favorite mini-tri!!

So last night is a workout I won't ever try to miss with Texas Iron on Thursday nigts. What I love about the Thursday night workouts is they switch every week keeping it fresh for those of us with a long training season ahead of them. I ventured out to Mansfield Dam around 530, this time with camera as last year I was upset it wasn't documented. We bring everything for this workout since we swim, bike and run. Some of you that know Austin are like...how do you do the bike portion? Where do you run? Well...we go to Mansfield Park and we set up a bike trainer for the bike portion. Hop out the water, onto our bike trainer, Jamie Cleveland then tells us when we are done on the bike and head up onto a 1.5 mile run along this sidewalk...going as hard as you possibly can. It's my favorite. We go through the circuit twice. The scenery is amazing and it always kicks my ass...in a good way of course!

Here are some pictures so you can see what I mean....

Jamie waiting for us to come out of the water

group shot on the trainers...can't beat the scenery!!

me working super hard

another group shot, and a beautiful sky!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Meghan's Story

This is Meghan B. I really wish all of you could meet her because she is worth sharing with others. Her friendship is a truly beautiful thing and I love it when her and I get a moment to sit and chat, which isn't enough...but this will give you a glimpse of how real this lady is. Her candid talk on cancer and faith and suffering is worth the watch completely...completely.

Meghan's Story with "This Road" from Northland Media Design on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


National Cancer Survivor's day.....you all bless my life richly. here's a song and a tribute...keep on, keepin' on!!

Thomas (my brother) and myself.

Now that you are out of my life,
I'm so much better,
You thought that I'd be weak without ya,
But I'm stronger,
You thought that I'd be broke without ya,
But I'm richer,
You thought that I'd be sad without ya,
I laugh harder,
You thought I wouldn't grow without ya,
Now I'm wiser,
You thought that I'd be helpless without ya,
But I'm smarter,
You thought that I'd be stressed without ya,
But I'm chillin'

meghan brennan

I'm a survivor,
I'm not gonna give up,
I'm not gon' stop,
I'm gonna work harder,
I'm a survivor,
I'm gonna make it,
I will survive,
Keep on survivin',
I'm a survivor,
I'm not gonna give up,
I'm not gon' stop,
I'm gonna work harder,
I'm a survivor,
I'm gonna make it,
I will survive,
Keep on survivin.

robin grasso, (in the front)!!

Thought I couldn't breathe without you,
I'm inhalin'
You thought I couldn't see without you,
Perfect vision,
You thought I couldn't last without ya,
But I'm lastin'
You thought that I would die without ya,
But I'm livin'
Thought that I would fail without ya,
But I'm on top,
Though it would be over by now,
But it won't stop,
You thought that I would self-destruct,
But I'm still here,
Even in my years to come,
I'm still gon' be here.

meg brown

I'm a survivor,
I'm not gonna give up,
I'm not gon' stop,
I'm gonna work harder

week one....are you kidding???

I guess I forgot. I forgot how early the mornings are and i forgot how tiring it can all be. Last year I used Ironman training as an escape from my job (it was pre-LAF) because I was really unhappy in my work environment. Its not the same, work is really feeding my soul and keeping me really busy so to fit in the trainings is tough. Here is a rundown of the workouts week #1.

Crossfit, wake up 5 AM, one hour strength training
Tuesday- Swimming, wake up 5 AM, 3200 m and in the evening a 75 minute ride working intervals.
Wednesday- Crossfit, wake up 5 AM, one hour strength training + a 5k run at the end.
Thursday- Swimming, wake up 5 AM, 3000m and Time Trial on the Bike in the PM.
Friday- Crossfit, wake up 5 AM, one hour strength training. At 1030, a one hour tempo run.
Saturday- 4 hr bike ride to San Marcos, 30 minute run. (5 AM wake up, 6 AM start)
Sunday- 1.5 hr run, 30 min. recovery swim....

Right now I am sitting on my couch, feet up and planning week #2. Only like 23 more weeks of training for IM Arizona to go.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Carbon Crazy!!!

Ok...so I recently got myself a new road bike. It's last years model, Felt FC, my first ALL CARBON Bike. (I don't have a picture to share here BUT trust me...Sam did this one right. I got SRAM components and its light as a feather) I am now considering an all carbon Tri bike. Don't get me wrong..My Felt S22 I have right now is sweet and has been very good to me. It's partial carbon and has Durace on it. I have coasted through 6 Half Ironman's and 1 Full Ironman with her..picture below.

But the ALL carbon ride is too sweet for words at this point. Too sweet. Now here is what I have my eye on...

If this happens to show up before my Ironman in November...don't be too surprised, because I am in love with this new Tri ride. I have a serious problem.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Two Months...Missing

Where in the heck did two months go? I mean, its not like I was

or sick
or working
or broken-hearted
or sad for family struggling with health
or dealing with my own personal health scare
or watching my friend battle for a second time
or placing 3rd in my age group in a tri (20th overall)
or training for the Seattle Rock n Roll Half Marathon
or training for RAGBRAI, 442 mile bike ride in July
or hiring Tom Whiteside at the LAF
or trying to figure out how to train for my second Ironman with a heck of a lot of travel this summer and fall.
or seeing my best friend lose her dog of 14 years
or started going to Crossfit Classes 3 days a week (you should see my triceps)
or ending my life as a full time bike commuter and buying a car
or getting a sweet new road bike (full carbon and SRAM)
or celebrating a few friends 30th birthdays (old bitches)
or going to a rockin' Indigo Girls show

oh wait...that is EXACTLY what I was doing the last 2 months. Actually it hasn't been all that bad, but I have been out of sorts and very disconnected to my good friend, mr. blog. And I know at least one person has missed me (Brian).

So i will attempt to be back. The crazy thing is I am learning so much, actually too much these days I don't know where to begin. I have written a lot in my journal the last few months but you don't post those things on a BLOG??? you keep all those things private until you die so your genius can make someone else very rich, right?

too much in brain means nothing seems to come out....so I will try to pull the creative noodles from my brain and be back to inspire you all. All 3 of you that follow me that is.

i feel mostly like I need to escape. in a quiet, serene vacation somewhere. I believe art happens when people escape and maybe I am needing to connect to that part of self. i need to sit with my dusty....ok, VERY dusty guitar and just play. I have always thought work hard. play harder....however right now, it is quite the reverse. I am working harder than ever and just playing when I come up for air.

This week started Ironman training...with the schedule in hand and I am already making adjustments 3 days in. good times. Let's hope the flat-er course in AZ will still warrant a decent PR for me on November 22. I can't believe one year ago I was in top shape 3 weeks away from my first Ironman. Doesn't seem right.

Ok....must go watch some So You Think You Can Dance....don't judge.