Monday, May 2, 2011

Bony and Hard

Thanks for all of the support for Ken regarding his marathon yesterday. Sometimes when you go through tough stuff, you think it’s just you – you’re the only one who ever had this happen or felt this bad. You forget how universal our experiences and emotions really are.

Moving on…

Today was a good day because I spooned my new bike.

This bike does not make spooning easy. She is bony and hard (TWSS) and does not put out even though I keep her in the dining room and not the garage.

She does not have pedals. She came without them. Cheap bastards. I am thinking of not putting pedals on. How hard can it really be to ride without pedals? I’m sure I could use rubber bands to strap my ankles around the pedal shaft or something. I said “shaft.”


A couple weeks ago I wrote, “Try something every day that scares you” - Simply as a means of remembering what it feels like to be alive. As a kid, every day was like that. Going barefoot and stepping in dog shit? Scary. Stuffing as many marshmallows in your mouth as possible? Life threatening.

Scary for you might mean going to a haunted house everyday or holding a baby spider. For me it means trying new things. Why are we so scared of new things? It’s never as bad, frightening or ball-busting as we think it’s going to be.

Today I ventured into new territory.

Day #1 of HIM (half ironman) training. I wish it was called “HER” instead of “HIM” but then that would be a Huge Erection Relay, and we can’t have that.

My plan was to do a mini brick (bike then run) with one hour of spin and a 20 minute run at moderate exertion. The spin class was at 6:00 a.m. so naturally I almost talked myself out of it last night, but I didn’t. Shut up and try! (tri! Get it?).

I walked into the spin room and the instructor said, “What are you doing here? You don’t do this. You run.” Little does she know that, in fact, I do do (do do = poop) this. And I did. It was a tough workout and I dripped sweat down my non-existent cleavage and onto my uni-brow. Afterwards, I dined on fruit leather while making my way to the treadmill for a relaxed run.

New/scary thing = Brick workout.

Another new/scary thing = Spin class.

Another new/scary thing = Spin class at 6:00 a.m.

I came home famished and did something else different. I finally put a banana on a sandwich. I know you all have been doing this since you got pubes, but the idea has never appealed to me. Until today. Toasted cinnamon raisin English muffin with almond butter and sliced banana. Oh yea.

New thing = banana on sandwich

I debated hiring a coach for this HIM. But there was this part of me that wanted to do it myself. Because it was a challenge and because I knew I could do it. I’m a good plan maker. I am disciplined, motivated. Really, I am. Plus it’s not like I’m going to win or place in my age group or anything.

I have done SO much reading and research on HIM training. From Friel’s “The Triathlete’s Training Bible” to “Going Long” to millions of online articles and training plans. It is overwhelming enough that I decided to plan only two weeks at a time.

The main things I have learned are:

  • I have what it takes to do the training and complete the race. No self doubt needed.
  • Do brick workouts
  • Try to do each sport three times per week
  • Aim for 8-15 hours of training per week
  • Work out six days per week
  • Add recovery weeks every 3-4 weeks
  • Eat on the bike (which is good because I don’t like to eat while I’m swimming)
  • The run is the last event because if you shit yourself you are almost done and can clean up.

I like the last bullet point the best, but you knew that didn’t you?

Here’s what I’ve got for the next two weeks. It’s not perfect or fancy (except for the pretty red and yellow). It’s a work in progress:


What I am dreading is the master’s swim. It gives me butterflies. I’ve never done one before.

What did you do that was scary/new/invigorating today?

Ever been to a master’s swim? Did they laugh at you? Did you drown or cry? Tips?



  1. I used to be in an age group swimming program, and we swam with the masters all the time! I've even been to a few now that I'm out of college. They tend to be super friendly, and all the ones I've gone to have had good coaches who can help you with determining your pace, etc. Have fun!

  2. I went to a Master's swim and I cried (tears into the pool are awesome because nobody knows). Not really (but kind of).
    It really wasn't that bad and the hardest part was convincing myself that they wouldn't make me leave when they saw that clearly I needed a pair of Swimmies and nose plugs

  3. I think your list was pretty darn good!

    I don't know about the trying to do each sport 3x week. I only swim twice a week and think for me it is more important to focus on the two legs that I could realistically shave a drastic amount of time off of. So...if it came down to making a decision one week on what has to give...I would toss the extra swim out.

  4. Woman! You did FOUR scary/new things in ONE day! You are set for almost the whole week :)

    No Masters swim for me... they would jump in and try to save me because I would look like I was drowning! That would disrupt everyone's workout.

    My scary thing was following through on the threat to take my 6-year old to school with no breakfast if he didn't get a move on. He didn't get a move on, and he is probably pretty dang hungry about now. It is scary because I will need to live it down when I pick him up and even more when we get home. Not looking forward to that.

  5. I used to swim masters and the first scary thing about it for me was that I HAD to keep up because I was in this crazy conga line of swimmers and everyone flip turned, BUT you had to flip turn quickly and in the right direction or else I swam smack into the person behind me or they swam smack into me because I had slowed down too much.

  6. The swim is the scary part for me. I mean I can swim but not S.W.I.M. if that makes sense.

    So I'll live vicariously through you

    and then maybe get up the nerve to tri ;)

  7. Looks like a solid plan and I am so jealous of the half ironman!! I really want to do one - good luck!

  8. Yes, so glad I am doing a HIM instead of an HER. HA HA... I like masters but then again swimming is my thing. Really though, I think you wil find that you will get pushed harder in masters than you would push yourself if you were just swimming laps. There is also the whole accountability thing of having to show up for practice so you tend not to blow off the workouts. Nothing to fear. I only know of one person that died during masters practice ;)

  9. Is it weird that I am loving your training more than I am loving mine? I am so excited for you I can't stand it. You started HIM training and are going to be awesome at it.

    That is one sexy bike and you will ride that for hours and love it. Name?

    And seriously just putting sliced banana on a sandwich? What is wrong with you. Now, here is a secret to not share with the almost 1,500 followers you have......put 1 tsp of choco chips (vegan preferrably) on it so that it melts in while the bread is hot and then top with bananas and OMG I'm in HEAVEN......

    OK, those are my tips. is scary and that is why I love living it.

  10. I'm still reveling in my run from yesterday! My legs feel great, I'm proud of not self-doubting and I'm thankful that blogs like yours kept me entertained for 26 miles! (But I'm not ready for a tri...I hate swimming!)
    Hope Ken is feeling ok today and that each day gets a little better!

  11. HAHAHA! The run is the last thing so if you shit yourself you can clean up!! LOVE IT! What if you had to crap in the water!!?? BAD

  12. today i ate cereal with *gasp* MILK! which i havent had in atleast 15 years... BIG steps for this bride to be over here!!!

  13. Much to afraid to go to Masters Swim. I am definitely not ready to try that, but will go for a banana on a sandwich:) Congrats on the bike!

  14. I have been on a very small masters team. the coach will put you with people your own speed/level. dont fret!

  15. You're going to kick booty with the HIM. I am a horrible swimmer, and for some reason that has translated to me doing Master's swim classes on two continents. I used to do them in Memphis at 5:30 in the morning. I truly suck at swimming, but it got me through sprint tris just fine. Then, while studying abroad in France, I thought that it would be super awesome to swim with their swim team. Maybe they thought I was too stupid to notice that I swam much slower; for whatever reason, they let me in. It was way more fun in France simply because I didn't want to have to think about the comments they may or may not have been making about my form, speed, and swimsuit. That one time that I got a charlie-horse, started to drown, and couldn't remember ANY language in which to yell, that was especially memorable.
    All that to say, Masters Swim classes can be demoralizing, but it's better than not getting the help. Go for it.

  16. Learn as much pool etiquette as possible....
    Once when my pool was crowded I worked my way into a lane with two other woman. They asked if I wanted to circle swim. I said sure and took off down the lane and circled clockwise. Later in the locker room I overheard them say "well that was a first...I've never swum clockwise before.." I felt about two inches tall...

  17. You should fashion some sort of port o john for your bike seat. You know...just in case.

  18. First of all, yay for your new bike!! Awesome!

    Secondly, nice job doing your first brick! Woohoo!

    Third. The first time I went to a master's swim class I was soo nervous. I got to class and everyone already knew each other b/c they had been swimming together a long time. I was so intimidated and felt really out of place. I was one of the slowest people in that class, but I kept going throughout the whole workout and didn't quit. It was a really eye opening experience. I finished, took a shower, and had a little teary moment b/c I didn't like being the slowest swimmer. But, I decided to keep going and before long I got faster and started feeling like I belonged. It ended up being a good thing for me. I haven't been back in awhile b/c it's been off season, but I'll start it back up again this month!
    Good luck with your class! You're going to do great!

  19. New and scary: I killed a psychotic mouse in my friends lab today through a lethal injection.

    I don't really know what a masters swim is - but it sounds kinda scary. Good Luck!

  20. Thank you for cracking me up on a daily basis. I know nothing about triathlons - but I'm sure you're going to ROCK this HIM!!

  21. omg, do you ever stop?!?! Of course not. Good for you!

  22. love the bike, shes a beaut!!! its ok to spoon your bike, mine sleeps in our bedroom everynight!

    never swam in any organized group since high school, scares me. im too afraid to even swim with my teensy little tri club where i know everyone pretty well. im so self conscious of my swimming.

    next scary thing you should try....add mayo to your banana sandwich with a little salt and pepper....delish!!!!

  23. Welcome to banana on sandwich world. Add Nutella...mmmm...

  24. LOVE your bike . . . 'cause it looks just like mine!!!

  25. Why call the bike a her? Why not make it a bony "him"?

    Call him Karl...but pronounce it like Arnold:

    "This is my bike do you like him????"

  26. I did not know THAT was why the run was the last event. You are steady teaching me new things, Beth. Oh you crack me up.

    When my husband got his first bike, he slept next to it on the living room floor.

  27. One thing that works really well for me and has kept me injury free is to alternate hard and easy days. I work out 7 days a week, but I have 2 days when I only swim (swimming is easy on the body, even when you work hard), 3 really hard days (track and big gear ride; tempo and HIM pace ride; long ride+transition run), and 2 other easy workouts (a super slow long run, a spin, etc). Good luck! The saddle adjustment will take time. I am still pretty sore if I bike 2 days in a row.

  28. You are far better undertrained than overtrained. Take rest days, You also DO not have to do a Brick every week, and by all means do not try to do the race BEFORE the race. Too many newbies try to race the race in training, you have the endurance you can do those distances if you cover them in training....but not all together!
    You will love masters:) you will be surprised how much fun it is!

  29. Masters swim! They would laugh my dog paddling a** right out of there!

    I am going to eat english muffins, peanut butter and bananas this summer when I don't have to be out the door at the butt crack of dawn to teach children at 7:30 and get my kid dropped off at daycare. Stupid real world : )

    AND I had to poop in the bushes! I should not have joked about channeling you because I really had to stop and poop in some bushed behind a chinese restaurant!

  30. oh you will become a spinning pro! I can just see it now. Poo jokes and all.

  31. I swam 100 lengths in a new pool today. This is scary because I was afraid of swimming with my face in the water for most of my life and still freak out from time to time in the pool. Especially new ones. I Aldo have never swam that far before. Last time I tried my son got sad in childcare and they got me out of the pool.

  32. Your new bike is awesome!!
    something new I tried...a bunch of new exercises at PT today?!? Oh yea arm, take that:)
    Good luck with your training!

  33. That looks a bit like the BT HIM plan. I was a fish as a kid so masters was a natural extension after AAU. :) I guess it is USA Swimming now, but back in the dinosaur days it was AAU.

    Five weeks until my HIM. I remember my first brick - felt like I was cowboy running, but now it is the most natural and normal thing in the world for me. I brick each and every bike ride.

  34. I've thought that too! That HIM's should be HER's. Your acronym is hilarious. Tris are sooooo much fun. You'll do great!

  35. I honestly laugh so hard at some of the things you write but the pictures are seriously hysterical. Look foward to them always! lol New today/Scary- tried running for the first time after six weeks off from injury... did okay. It could get better.

  36. Wow - you are amazing and an inspiration to me to also try new things and try to better myself. I can't wait to hear how your training goes because I always learn something interesting from you.

    And as always - thanks for making me laugh! :)

  37. Master's swims are fun:) I just came back from Master's Nationals in Mesa AZ - new scary thing =1st swim meet since high school (and for me that is 20+ yrs ago....)

  38. Yay!! Congrats on committing to a half Tri! I love reading your blog and now that you've decided to do the same sport that I do I feel like I can look forward to reading your blog even more. I'm doing my fifth Tri in six weeks. My advice to you is swimming in the pool is great but if you have the access once every two to three weeks should be an open water swim. So much different than the pool! I follow a six day a week bike 3x a week, run and swim(same day) 3x a week. Also look at your elevation gains for your bike course and train accordingly. P.S. Your bike makes me drool

  39. Look at you, taking the bull by the horns!

    I always wondered why the run was last - thanks for clearing that up.


  40. Did nothing scary today. I'm a bum.
    As for your 1/2 Ironman, I think you know enough to do the training yourself. It's suppose to be easier on the bod. than training for a marathon. You'll have to let us know.

  41. There are so many things I want to comment on in this post. Literally laughing outloud at the HUGE erection relay: I wonder what the finisher's shirt looks like?

    Im so excited to follow you on your training journey! You have planned, prepared and will execute! GO Beth!!

  42. Each day I do something that scares me--I became a fitness instructor and when I go out there I put myself in front of everyone and I am always scared.

    I currently attend a Masters Swim class. I love it! I love swimming in a team and my coach is pretty awesome.

    I just came across this book that I think it would be helpful for the swim part. Until I took my Masters Swim class, I didn't know about drills and how much they helped to make me a better, more efficient swimmer. If you don't have a masters swim class, I would recommend getting this book:

    You can do this HIM. I trained myself for my first one, granted I didn't do spectacularly cuz I suck on the bike but I finished and I finished with a smile on my face :).