a Bri Gaal's Blog: March 2010

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Other Workouts

It can be easy getting caught just swimming/biking/running when training for triathlons. But lifting, core work, and drills (among other things) are still really important in making an all around good athlete. On Monday's before our evening Master's practice Marty has been meeting some athletes at a local park for a run and all sorts of plyometrics and drills. I went for the first time last night because I had been resting that pesky hip (which has been feeling a-okay recently).

Bond Park has one of those fitness trails that meanders through it - you know what I'm talking about - those stations where you do everything from pull ups to jumping jacks.

We run to each station and do whatever it is we're supposed to do (even if the thing you can only do consists of a whole two pull-ups, ahem). Some of it seems silly but most of it is really good to do to supplement the training. At the end we do run specific drills and strides. The entire run doesn't end up being all that long (2+ miles or so?) but with everything in between....holy crap am I sore today!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

What's Been Going On?

  • Marty bought me New Moon! He then watched it that night and admitted he liked it - having no expectations is always a good way to watch a movie. He knows I'm Team Edward and Tassie is obviously Team Jacob (you know, doggie/wolf thing) and he was going to be Team Bella but she is too whiney and frowny so he decided to be Team Charlie since he is obviously the best actor in the entire cast.
  • I decided to punch Old Man Winter in the balls after making a return appearance this weekend.
  • It didn't stop us from getting our longest ride in this year (50 miles) although we started much later than planned so we could try and get some warmth. At least it was bright and sunny. We had a nice little group including Steffan and Angela (who is getting very strong on the bike).
  • This morning we met up with Ashley who was helping a friend at the Umstead 100 miler. Ashley is training for a 50 mile race in South Africa so we accompanied her on her second 11 mile loop.
  • The past two years we've gone up to the Smithfield Sprint for a race, and I usually like getting in at least one race before St. Anthony's...but I feel so behind in my training I need every weekend I can get.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Oh Yeah Spring!

Spring has sprung and I took advantage of it this weekend! Marty drove to Atlantic City to meet his dad for some bonding time and I held down the fort here with Tassie.

Friday found me making a full pan of brownies for myself. And lots of tv watching March Madness.

Saturday I waited until the afternoon to do my bike ride because it promised to warm up to the mid 70's! It's about freaking time! I wore shorts and short sleeves and met Kari along the way for a couple hours of nice saddle time. We pushed it for a good effort for about half the time and were pleasantly surprised by our average since we are both pretty convinced that we are woefully out of shape for this time of year. I hopped off my bike and ran for a whole mile. Hey, it's still a brick :)

Went out with friends on Saturday night and then had a pretty good run in the late morning at Umstead. I ran into Kari again and coerced her into turning around and running with me which kept me better focused on my pace. She was like my little toy this weekend doing whatever I had to do and smiling the whole way (well not really, she probably had a snarky comment for everything).

My hip has been holding steady. The past few days I've been diligent with my stretching and have been doing Sage Rountree's yoga DVD (which is awesome by the way). Besides the regular routines she has on there, she has a 'problem areas' section - I've been doing the hip problem area and it seems to be helping. I should probably be doing the entire DVD but so far I've been too lazy.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Public Speaking

I am pretty much an introvert - I'm not super assertive or outgoing, and do much better in one-on-one and small group settings. So of course, public speaking is not something I gravitate towards but over the years Marty has made me give at least one presentation at our swim clinics so I have gotten a bit more comfortable doing it. The subject matter is also something I know quite a lot about so that makes it a bit easier.

I have been on a committee at work for the past 6 months that has put together training for a new reporting system that was just released. When asked recently by our lead if I would be willing to be the facilitator at the non-finance training classes, my response was something like, "Well, I don't really like speaking in front of large groups of people so would rather not, but if you can't find anyone else to do it, I can do it."

And that's how I got signed up for 4 different sessions. Cue anxiety.

This meant I actually had to put forth an effort in my appearance and look nice (I actually blew my hair dry and put on eyeshadow!) since I was getting up in front of groups of 15-20 people to train everyone on this new system. I gave 3 different sessions this week and felt pretty good about the first two. Today was a doozy - big class, lots of random questions I really couldn't answer, kept tripping over words, etc.

At the break, another girl on my team looked at me with sympathy and said, "You've got a really tough group." Sigh.

Afterwards people said I did a good job but they may have been trying to make me feel better and make sure I didn't bail on the session I'm signed up to facilitate next week. Meanwhile, my real job goes on in the background and people are starting to wonder where the heck I am.

I came home and got a tempo run in - some good stretching beforehand warded off the hip pain so that was a welcome relief today. It seems I never know if it's going to hurt or not.

And because blogs are always more interesting with a picture, here's one from the 8K we did last weekend in DC. I had a leprechaun tattoo on my cheek that said 'Kiss Me I'm Irish'

Monday, March 15, 2010

DC Weekend

It was a fun, albeit wet, weekend up in DC. I had never been there (I'm not counting the time I was up there with my family when I was 3 or 4 because I don't remember a thing) and our host Kathy showed us a lot of the sites. We were planning on hitting more of them on Sunday but the weather just wasn't in our favor. We'll just have to head back up there another time.

Saturday morning she let me ride her computrainer which was really, really nice. So much nicer than my bike trainer (but so much more expensive!) Marty got a swim in her endless pool that's in the garage. After our morning workouts we took the Metro into downtown. She lives a short walk away from one of the stops - I LOVE good public transportation! If I lived in a city like that, I would totally forego the house and yard to get the convenience of riding into the city. I also learned about slugging - I had never heard that term before. Very interesting.

First stop was lunch at a tapas restaurant then we walked to the Washington Monument (and went up to the top), WWII Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Lincoln Memorial and then we crossed the Potomac to Arlington National Cemetary and saw the eternal flame for JFK. It was A LOT of walking (~ 5miles?) and it pretty much rained the entire time. We were all very wet and very exhausted when we finally got to dinner.

Once we got home we all pretty much went right to bed since the time was going to leave us 1 hour short on sleep and we were doing the Shamrock 8K in downtown the next morning.

We caught the Metro in the morning for the race - so nice to not have to worry about parking and get dropped off right near the start! Marty and I had just enough time to hit the port-o-potties before lining up. No warmup which I didn't care at all about and thankfully the rain stopped for the race!! We were so lucky because not too long afterwards it started back up again.

The streets were all closed down and we started heading right for the Capitol. That was very, very neat and it kind of felt like we were in a movie. We ran by some famous stuff but since the buildings didn't all have the greatest signs, I wasn't quite sure what everything was. I did look around a lot trying to take in the sights. There were a little over 4,000 people in the race, which was apparently smaller than normal because of the weather.

I felt all right during the race. As I've mentioned before, my training hasn't been going so well and my hip is not doing too hot. It tightened up about halfway through - not to the point where I felt like I need to stop or anything, but where I felt like I couldn't push any harder. I'm kind of at an impasse - I know with how it's feeling I'm not going to be able to do the hard workouts I need to be doing right now. I can still run but it probably needs some downtime and serious strengthening work, but races loom in the not so distant future. What to do, what to do.

Anyways, results say I averaged 6:40 pace - heh, not bad. I felt fine physically other than the hip. It's interesting that my Garmin clocked the distance at 5.1 - someone who puts on a race recently told us that when certifying a course, they have to take the shortest line possible on all turns, even if that is not how the course is set up. That's a pretty weird way to mark a course, and with all the turns and u-turns the extra distance makes sense. So maybe I ran a bit faster. Double heh, not bad. Marty ran really well - his run training is so much better than it's been the past couple of years and he's sneaking in all sorts of extra mileage with his morning Tassie runs.

Next weekend - finally I'm staying at home! Marty isn't as he's meeting his dad in Atlantic City for some Father-Son time.

Friday, March 12, 2010


And just to keep things interesting, we're traveling again this weekend. I love to travel but I'm not loving the constant unpacking, laundry, repacking that goes with it, not to mention all the little things that don't get done when you are stuck at work all day and then train afterwards.

We're driving to DC to visit long time OSB athlete (and often referred to as 'the nicest lady in the world' on this site), Kathy. This weekend is better than the original one we were going on which was that one where they got like 30 inches of snow.

About a week ago during the middle of a conversation I was having with Marty and someone else, Marty said something along the lines of "...and the race next weekend."

Me: "What race?"

Marty: "The 8K."

Me: "What 8K?"

Marty (exasperated): "The 8K we're doing in DC!"

Me (pointed glare): "You never told me we're doing an 8K!"

Marty: "Oh."

I guess I shouldn't be surprised since Marty loves to do races when we travel somewhere. I checked the weather last night and they were calling for rain/snow showers on Saturday (great for sightseeing) and then cold on Sunday. Today they are saying heavy showers on Saturday (great for sightseeing) and not as cold on Sunday. Sounds like they don't really know.

I did run last night without any hip pain, just a bit of tightness towards the end, but don't plan on running very hard on Sunday. I don't want to aggravate it, but more imporantly, I think I'm just pretty slow right now.

DC should be fun regardless, and I'm looking forward to spending time with Kathy.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

An Update

Well, lookie who it is! I’m blogging!

Since we last talked, or should I say I talked and you listened, I’ve flown to Florida and back. Again. I was on the same Southwest flight as the previous week, but this time it was full of spring breakers – YEAH!!! SHOW US YOUR BOOBS!!! (hmmm, I wonder if I’m going to get weird people on my website doing perverted searches). Boobs and perverted in one blog post. You don’t get that on your normal triathlon blog, do ya? Anyways, I did some people watching and listening and was pretty entertained by the conversations of these spring breakers, including two (young!) guys I caught saying, “You packed the beer in your suitcase, right?”

Oh, those kids!

Friday morning we rode with Anders sans Kathy before heading to Northshore for a swim. It was longcourse and the sun was out! I am now the proud owner of a speedo tan. It’s amazing how quick you get sun (and therefore sun-damage) swimming for an hour. I do miss swimming outdoors but maybe my skin will thank me after all those years under the sun?

Then I got a manicure (which I never get – color is Lincoln Park After Dark in case you are wondering), and then we had some Friday fun and I got to see my good friend from high school, Joy. Saturday I went for a long-ish run where halfway through I found my hip to be hurting. Dangit! Where did that come from? I thought I was all good on that front. Another swim in the sun before Marty and I found ourselves completely ravenous so we stuffed ourselves with greasy pizza and garlic knots. I promptly got a stomach ache. You’d think I’d be smart enough by now to know it’s not good to fill an empty belly with all that grease and cheese, but I seem to never learn. At least I didn’t get a gelato, too!

The wedding was fun and I got all dolled up and wore a cute dress and heels. I got to see lots of family and friends before getting a night cap with my favorite person (that would be Marty).

Pictures from the camp and the wedding are up on Facebook, so you’ll have to friend me if you want to see them! I’m far too lazy to upload them here, also. If you aren’t on Facebook yet, I have no words for you.

Sunday, Marty and I made the long drive back to Cary from St. Petersburg with Tassie in the backseat. She got covered in chain grease as she decided it would be a good idea to lay with her face and paw on the bike chain. I took a couple of days off of running (again! At this rate I will never get back into shape) and tested out the hip last night. It didn’t hurt so I did a bunch of drills and some strides. It was tight today but I had a massage and it was worked on very painfully. Basically, I think I have a weakness (like most) that was exasperated by the half marathon (not cut out for that long stuff) and although I gave it rest I wasn’t proactive enough to help strengthen it back up. You’d better believe I was in the gym yesterday doing all sorts of lateral exercises.

See what happens when I don’t blog regularly? I get longwinded.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Post Camp

We had a great time in Florida for our annual camp. I always tell people it is so much fun and I'm not always sure they believe me, but seriously, it really is! So many laughs, great training, lots of sleep and eating in between - it's the perfect mini-vacation.

This year the temps were colder than normal, but we still had lots of sun and it didn't stop us from doing anything (except for me getting in the gulf, uh no thank you). Northshore pool is awesome and the water was super heated so it felt great. We got in a lot of riding and swimming - not as much running, but we all did one of the Gasparilla races on Saturday. Okay, everyone did the 15K but me, but I swear this year it was only because I had a comped entry into the 5K. Riding 50miles and swimming 1hr the day before could definitely be felt in the legs. I managed a 19:26 and thought, eh. Not bad for the lack of running that happened the past month. 2 minutes before the start it started raining, so I'm 2-for-2 for cold, rainy races in Florida this year.

I flew back last night, will work for 4 days and then I rejoin Marty in Florida on Thursday night because my dad is getting married this weekend in St. Pete. Back and forth and on the go and need to do laundry and repack augh!

On a side note, do you guys remember when everyone pronounced Chile, 'Chili' and now it's pronounced 'Chee-Lay' It's so refined.

And oh yeah, pics to come, but Marty has the camera and the cord.