Thursday, December 22, 2005

Happy Christmas!

Merry New Year!

Joyeux Noel!

Froeliche Weinachten!

Feliz Navidad!

Happy Kwanza!

Merry Hanukka!

Celebrate Boxing Day!

And every other good wish I can send your way, fellow tri-ers. 2005 has been an interesting year. I stepped outside myself and tried something completely new, and in the process a new obsession was born. I set some goals and reached them. I came close on a few others. One, totally eluded me. I had setbacks, and I got up and tried again. I finished first, and I came in DLF. All in all, I wouldn't trade it for a million other years (but perhaps for a million *more*). 2006 promises to be even more challenging and, ideally, even more fulfilling.


KLN, see you in 2006!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Monday, December 19, 2005

Eating Enough

Ok, here's the deal. I've had my RMR tested and it is 2160. If you multiply by the sedentary lifestyle factor (1.3), I burn 2880 calories a day, before any training. Because I'm heavy and slow, I tend to burn a fair amount of calories when I train. Yesterday I ran for 1:45', and burned 2500 cals-based on my HRM, tuned to my own max HR and my current weight (actually, its set lighter than I really am right now). So how the heck do I eat *that much* while making healthy choices? I ate ALL DAY yesterday, and still had a 1600 calorie deficit. My weekly deficit was 4200, and I'm down about 2 pounds. It will be interesting to see how this works, over the long term. I see lots of (whole wheat) pasta in my future!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

If my body is a temple,

then are my long slow distance runs on Sunday, church?

I don't mean that to be disrespectful in any way. I'm a spiritual person, raised in a church, but struggling with issues with organized religion for some time now. And, I've always felt strongly that devotion doesn't have to be at some set time and place.

Just a musing from today's run, where I set a new distance PR (8 miles - I may still make 10 by the end of the year), and improved my pace from my last 2 longest runs by about 25 seconds a mile. Or maybe I felt guilty, passing the handful of churches I go by on this route, all busy, in the advent season.

Regardless, "my body is my temple" is a thought I need to hang on to during the last two weeks of the year, and as a theme for 2006. Maybe I can get it tatooed around my wrist, like a pretty permanent bracelet.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Aerobar Advice?

I think my Santa present this year will be a pair of aerobars for my bike, and I'd love to collect the thoughts and advice of my fellow tri bloggers. I ride a basic Fuji Finest, women's specific road bike. It's a 51, I'm 5-7 (alright, 5-6 3/4), and not as leggy as I'd like. I also still have plenty of um, padding and curves, which keep me from bending as forward and as low as some folks.

A friend suggested: Vision Tech Mini TT bars, Syntace XXS bars, and Profile Jammers.

What say you, triathletes?

Cookie update: I have to finish the cherry-apricot windows, and roll and cut the gingerbread people, and then I'm done! I'm rewarding myself with my first swim in months (Lord, I hope I can manage 1000 yards), followed by a lovely sauna

Friday, December 16, 2005

Cookie Baking Day

Better late than never, right? Yesterday I came home with four pounds of butter and six different kinds of chocolate. Usually I bake with my best friend in Chicago, or my Mom and Sis. This year its just me, but will be fun anyway. I've got eggnog (low fat) and eggnog coffee, Christmas music on the CD player, and a long list of cookies, candy, and cakes to make. Too bad the snow is just rain and ice here, and I don't have a fireplace!

My list:

Truffles w/ grand marnier

Gingerbread people

White chocolate hazelnut coffee biscotti

Junior mint brownies

Toffee bars

Apricot-cherry window panes

Lemon pound cakes


One day next week, I'll tackle kipfeln. They're so difficult to make, they deserve a day of their own!

What's your favorite cookie or treat?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Tagged - OY!

Ok, so yesterday (or early this morning) Ms. Puddy tagged me. I'm not entirely sure what that means -- I have yet to be tagged -- but Puddy posted 5 things no one knew about her. Since I am such a rambling blogger, I doubt I have any great big secrets. So, how about sharing these:

1. Your favorite holiday memory.
2. Your favorite holiday cookie or treat.
3. Where you will be over the holidays.
4. Your favorite holiday song or carol.
5. A special holiday tradition in your family.

(NB: I am using "holiday" rather than Christmas to be inclusive, not politically correct. It can include any winter celebration, from Christmas to New Years to the Solstice. My family celebrates more than one winter holiday, as I expect, do many families).

Here are mine:

1. My family moved to Connecticut (from Maryland) when I was five. That first Christmas, my parents surprised my sister and I by bringing up my Grandparents, and several Aunts and Uncles, on the train. I'll never forget the feeling of a big family slumber party that year.

2. Kipfeln, an Austrian cookie with a chopped nut filling, that my grandmother used to make. I'm a big fan of eggnog, too.

3. Connecticut, and then NYC for New Years.

4. I love Elvis' Blue Christmas, and almost any traditional carol.

5. Cookie baking get-togethers. I've done several with my best friend in Chicago, and also with my Mom and sister, here at my house. It's always a ton of work and even more fun.

So, now its my turn to tag. Congrats folks, and get into the holiday spirit, y'all are IT: Ellie's Journeys,Triathlon Rookie,TRI and Be Happy,Sunset Cat Tri,Wombatq the Trollathlete

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Until this fall, 2005 had been a pretty good year. I had set out a bunch of goals for the year, and met almost every one.

  • Train for and finish my first Triathlon - check (Danskin, 7/30/05)

  • Race in a second, co-ed Tri, and finish in under 2 hours - check (Hyannis II, 9/10/05, 1:55)

  • Race in and finish my first 10K in under 90 minutes - check (Tufts 10K for Women, 10/10/05, 1:26)

  • Get lighter by another 30 pounds - sorta (I lost about 10, but got smaller faster, and dropped another 1-2 sizes)

  • All heck broke loose in my life in mid-October, resulting in my leaving my job for another, which then disappeared due to the totally unforseen and inexplicable finaglings of a former employer and client. I hung in there, kept my head high, and continued training (although my eating got a lot out of control -- you can find a LOT of sympathy in Starbucks pumpkin lattes and muffins). I managed to increase my distance in my long runs, even though I put on a handful of stress pounds. But when Emma got sick, I definitely lost my drive. The last week, or so, I've been living in a fog -- and not a very healthy one. No training, no calorie counting, no discipline. I've barely gotten my head outside the door lately, and I certainly don't feel like any kind of athlete. The scale is going to scream bloody murder on Sunday.

    This morning I woke up feeling close to my old self. I got my backside out the door for a 3.5 mile run, in 5 degree weather. I spent time working on my job search. I tried out a new Pilates DVD. I ran errands, and went grocery shopping for healthy stuff. I planned some meals, ate well, and logged every bite. I took Emma's food, treats, and litter to the shelter for kitties where I found her. I even played with a couple of the kittens without crying my eyes out. I thought about what I've accomplished this year, and decided that despite the setbacks, I'm not giving up. There are two more weeks left in 2005, and who knows what I can accomplish between now and then. I am back.

    Cross Rulz!

    Sunday I spent the day with several TRI-DRS, including Jen, watching the Cyclocross National Championships, at Roger Williams Park in Providence, RI. WOW, is all I can say. Imagine racing road bikes with nobby tires, on an off-road course that is mostly mud and ice, hills, sharp turns, and obstacles. Its unbelieveable, and to be able to even stay upright on the bike takes amazing bike handing skills. Next time I start whining about getting out on my bike, I'll think of these tough cyclists, and just shut up and ride!

    Saturday, December 10, 2005

    Emma The Chow Cat

    On Thursday, I lost my beautiful baby girl, after she contracted a virulent strain of meningitis. I'm devastated, and my house seems so quiet and cold without her sweet furry face, her purr, her help with my yoga practice (she was an expert at cat pose), her funny snoring, and her dancing around every morning asking to be fed (how do you think she got her name!).

    Needless to say, I haven't felt like doing much the last several days. I've become great friends with my couch, and the programming on TV after 11 PM. I'm trying to take advantage of the bright sunny skies this morning to find a little motivation for training, Christmas cards, a walk, or even just the laundry and dishes. It doesn't really matter, I just want to accomplish *something* today, to feel a little more normal.

    Sunday, December 04, 2005

    Avatar Madness

    How do you express yourself? Here's a skinny me, dreaming of spring time, on a snowy sunday afternoon. Thanks, Nancy Toby!

    Yahoo! Avatars

    Saturday, December 03, 2005

    Back to calorie counting

    I've decided to go back to counting calories, which seems to be the best way for me to lose weight, when I'm very active. I don't mind WW points, but I just don't think I eat enough for my body size and activity level. When I count calories, I shoot for around a 750 calorie deficit per day, but I don't force myself to eat if I'm not hungry. I find I'll self regulate, to an extent. I may have several days where my deficit is less, then I'm not hungry for a day. Or the opposite, I don't eat much for a few days, and it catches up with me later in the week. My challenge right now is working on a 25/50/25 ratio (percent of calories from fat, carbs, and protein).

    I'm tracking my daily and weekly deficits, plus my weekly weight loss, in the left sidebar.

    Could I have some cheese with my whine?

    I admit it, I'm whining this morning. I really need to do an 8 mile long run today. I was supposed to hit 8 miles last week, but with the holiday madness, it wasn't possible. This past week, I haven't run at all -- I've been sick, blue, job hunting, and ferrying Emma back and forth to the vet. It's going to snow tomorrow, and maybe again Mon/Tues, so I've got to do it today.

    But, I've got zero motivation. I'm cold. It's 30 degrees and super windy out there. Winter has arrived at the beach. I'd much rather stay inside and do the dishes, hang up clothes, and attend to my house. Oh heck, I'd really actually like to curl up on the couch and read, watch old episodes of Sex and the City, or listen to Car Talk and Wait Wait Don't Tell Me.

    I don't even have an 8 mile route planned out yet. I've got 2, 3.5, 4, 5, and 7, but not 8, 9 or 10 (unless I run all the way to the Library and back, which I'm considering). I think the Yacht Club is 4 miles up the beach, so I could, perhaps, run out and back. But I'd be along the beach most of the way, and as I whined earlier, its cold and windy. Brrrrrrrrrrrr.

    There is nothing else stopping me, just my head, and my cold fingers. Maybe I'll hop in the car, get some hot tea, and try to warm up while I scout routes.

    Update: Warming up in the car helped get me out the door, but it was tough to stay warm. I ran 5, my body just wasn't up for more. I'll try for 8 one of these days.

    Friday, December 02, 2005

    Confessions from an NTC Friday

    I bought black suede, fur trimmed (and fur-lined), embroidered boots today.

    I succumbed to one of those Dunkin Donuts "holiday" lattes on Thursday. Mocha Almond, with full fat milk and whipped cream.

    On Tuesday, I spent the entire day in my pajamas, and read two books.

    I gave into my craving for pumpkin pie, and enjoyed every bite.

    I haven't run in a week.

    What do you have to confess?

    Thursday, December 01, 2005

    There are no downhills in my office.

    Over Thanksgiving, I picked up a used wind trainer, from one of my generous tri-drs friends. I set it up in my home office, where I can watch some tv, or listen to music, while I spin. I got a block for the front end (this thing really lifts my little 650 wheels), and I've played around on it a bit.

    Today though, I did my first "organized" workout, from a sheet I picked up at the LBS when I got the block. This was my workout:

    00-03 mins: Spin easily in 39/21 (I have a 42). Start at 70 rpm, increase by 10 rpm each minute.

    03-06 mins: Increase gearing to 39/19, Start at 70 rpm, increase to 100 rpm for 15 seconds each minute.

    06-09 mins: Shift to 53/17 and stand for one minute. Sit for one minute in 39/19. Stand for another minute in 53/17.

    09-12 mins: Shift to 53/19 and alternate between 100 rpms and 70 rpms every 30 seconds.

    12-20 mins: In 39/19 do alternating single leg pedaling.

    20-23: Spin easily in 39/19

    23-33 mins: Ride hard in 53/17 for one minute, then spin easily in 39/17 for one minute, and repeat 5 times.

    33-41 mins: Sprint in your 53/15 for 15 seconds, then pedal easily in 39/19 for 45 seconds, and repeat 8 times.

    41-45 mins: Cool down by spinning gently for just over a minute each in 39/17, 19, and 21.

    WOW, this was HARD. There are no downhills or places to glide and rest my legs a bit. I jerk and wobble like crazy when I stand (and I need to take a break before a minute is up). There is a definite imbalance between my legs And, as usual, I was slow. In 45 minutes, I only covered just over 10 "miles". Still, I actually had fun, in that sick, wanting to push myself to do better way. There is lots of room for improvement. and it will be fun to see how I do as the winter progresses.

    Ironman Triathlon Fitness Challenge

    This looks like a fun way to get you through the holidays! My weight watchers tri group has started an Ironman Triathlon Fitness Challenge today.

    The rules are simple: between December 1-31 you must complete:

    2.4m of swimming (4200 yds)

    112m of biking (any bike indoors or out will do)

    26.2m of running/walking/elliptical

    We'll each add up our distances and post them to the daily thread. If you do little bits at a time it's totally managable. Who will reach the finish line by year end?

    I'm IN! Will any of you join me? Im going to keep a tally of my progress over on the side, that I'll update daily (or at least regularly). For those of you who are already experienced long course racers, maybe you could count how manys IMs you can "finish" this month!