Saturday, July 31, 2004


This morning, bright and early, we had a cycling GTS in Prospect Park. Coach Scott was on hand, along with about half a dozen of my fellow teammates. The low turnout was a definite advantage for those of us there. The workout was 5 or 6 loops at time trial pace (i.e., sustainably fast). Scott rode with us, and pulled many of us over for bike adjustments.

I had a so-so ride - my splits weren't even (12:28, 13:23, 13:06) during the first TT. Scott pulled up to me at the top of the hill at the beginning of my recovery spin, and asked if I always rode with my heels so high. I told him I wasn't really sure, and is that bad? He said it isn't necessarily bad, but asked me to pull over so he could raise my seat. I only had two more loops after that (and Scott raised my seat twice more). I'm anxious to bike in the park again to see if I can go any faster (or at least more efficiently!) now.

What I learned: My seat was at least an inch too low. Also: I have a good seat post (all carbon), and it needs oiling.

This afternoon I swung by Jack Rabbit to buy a new pair of goggles. I bought a pair by Tyr that fit really well, and a Speedo pair (to have as a backup). Also stocked up on Gu (chocolate Gu tastes like pudding!), and bought bike grease for my seat shaft.

Will post an update tomorrow following the race!

Friday, July 30, 2004

My First Race Packet!

I'm running my first ever road race on Sunday, with Shari from TNT. It's the Achilles Track Club Hope & Possibility 5M, in Central Park. I picked up my first ever race packet today. My number is 4401. I'm super psyched!


First, training update - I did yesterday's training this morning in the form of a run around the PP loop (5k). It was very humid, and I had to walk a couple of times. Despite the walking, I still finished in 36:28. Not bad. Tonight I'm meeting Kari at Riverbank for an after-work swim.

Now, nutrition. I recently noticed that even though I'm putting lots of time and energy (and money, for that matter) into training, I haven't really changed my diet to support it. So I decided to find a nutritionist. I searched craigslist, and found Walter. Walter is a nutritionist and triathlete (in fact, he trains triathletes). We met Tuesday morning. We discussed my goals (including weight loss, and eating to support my training) and what I need to change in my diet. Before we met he had me journal what I'm eating every day for about 5 days. It was eye-opening. I'm not eating nearly enough vegetables, and I usually skip dinner and have various snacks (ranging in their degress of healthy-ness) from about 4pm onward.

Walter suggested that to lose weight, I should be eating a high-protein breakfast. I told him I stopped drinking coffee, and he asked why, because apparently coffee is a good stimulant and most athletes drink it. Woo hoo! Thank god, because I was really starting to miss the bean.

Since we met, I've been getting up earlier and eating egg whites and a latte at home for breakfast. A couple of days I also had one of those Total Greek yogurts (which taste awesome, have no fat, and 15g of protein) with blueberries. Lunch has changed to spinach salads with avocado, grilled chicken breast, green beans, tomatoes, and goat cheese. And instead of the afternoon Luna bar, I'm eating Balance bars, which are higher in protein. I'm tracking everything using, which is really handy.

I haven't weighed myself in about 3 weeks, so it'll be interesting to see if anything changes.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Awesome Swim

Last night's swim practice almost didn't happen.

Not because of the weather, or illness, or subway mishaps, or anything like that.

Because I forgot my swim suit.

I had my pull buoy, my swim cap, googles, towel... but no suit. And guess what? Kari had an extra one!

I was about to leave, and said to her, "Well, this sucks, I can't believe I forgot my suit!"

To which she replied, "I have an extra one!"

I thought she was shitting me, because really, who has an extra suit? Turned out she'd ordered a new one (this one, to be exact) and it arrived yesterday. Crazy. I decided I liked it and would just order her another one.

The practice was all drills, with a partner pull at the end. It was great. My breathing was relaxed and happy. I timed my free swim at one point - it took me 2:30 to swim 100m, which translates to 37:30 on race day (1.5k). Which really, wouldn't be so bad.

I'm starting to think more about times, so let's just get it out there.

Current estimates:

Swim: 0:45 (I know, that isn't what I said before, but I also haven't actually swum a mile yet, let alone in open water)

Bike: 1:30 (based on my current 3.88m/M pace in PP - which, yeah, big nasty hill every 3M)

Run: sub-1:00 (I'm going to push. Hard.)

Add 0:10 (or something) for the transitions, and my total race time is around 3:30.

I want to be faster. And I have 2 months to get there... Wish me luck.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

It's Raining, It's Pouring

Last night's GTS run started in a torrential downpour. I'm not exaggerating. My feet were soaked before I even made it to Bethesda. More people showed up than I thought might - there were probably 20 of us in total, along with a soggy Coach Ross. The workout was to run up the trails (hill repeats!) to the reservoir, do a couple of loops there, then back down. There was also an option to just run the lower loop (1.7M) of the park. A few of us decided not to risk the slippery hills and small lakes that had accumulated around the reservoir, and we headed out on the loop.

It was a good run - Kari and I did 3 loops (5.1M total) in about 57min.

Oh, and yesterday morning I met with a nutritionist! Will post more on that later.

Nicole is also training for a triathlon with Team in Training! Read her blog, then donate!

Monday, July 26, 2004


Yesterday I woke up feeling like shit. Sore throat, sinus headache, general malaise. I decided to skip my ride and stay in bed until yoga. After yoga, D & I went out for breakfast, then I came home and went back to bed. I slept for 4 hours (after a 3 hour nap on Saturday!). Fortunately I felt much better last night. And as luck would have it, I'm stuck at work late tonight, so I'll miss my planned swim. However. Better that than to feel worse tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, in the morning I'm meeting with a nutritionist who has also coached triathletes. I decided that my diet sucks and with exactly 2 months (!!!) until race day, I need to clean it up.

Off home soon to do some core work - can't take the whole day off!

Meredith is an Ironwoman!

Yesterday, my friend Meredith completed Ironman Lake Placid in 13:55.

I am proud of and inspired by her accomplishment. She's really the reason I'm training for this triathlon - she told me about Team in Training and her great experiences with the organization. She even sold me her bike before she moved to Denmark this year!

Way to go, Mere - you kick some serious ass.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Weekend Update

This morning's scheduled GTS was a 4M run in Central Park. I opted out of the 6:15am hour-long subway ride, and instead did a BRick in Prospect Park. At around 7:45 I started out - rode 3 loops of the park (just over 10M), then dropped my bike off and jogged up to Grand Army Plaza to meet Amanda (our honoured teammate) to run a loop of the park. It started raining a little on my last loop riding, and continued while we ran. I'm a big fan of training in the rain, and really enjoyed the run.

This afternoon I took a much-needed 3 hour nap, baked cookies, and made an awesome dinner of pasta with grilled chicken and homemade pesto (my basil plant was out of control). I feel so relaxed tonight! Plan to do a longer ride in the morning (20M) before yoga.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Humidity: 88%

Post-morning-run Gillian

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

1/2 Mile Swim!

Yep, you read that title correctly... Two short hours ago, I finished a 1/2 mile swim! It went much better than I expected. We started practice with sculling and finger-drag drills, and at 9pm Coach Scott split us into waves for a 1/2 mile swim.

We swam the entire distance through the whole pool - that is, we swam up lane 1, down lane 2, up lane 3, etc. After swimming down lane 8, we swam up lane 7, and back to lane 1, then a final length down lane 2 for a total of 16x50m lengths.

I started out leading my wave - at least, for the first couple of lengths. I dropped back a little when I realized my form just sucked, and Scott yelled at me for not putting my face in the water to watch my hands. Right. After about 4 lengths, another girl said to me, "Hey, I've been drafting you, do you want to switch?" Rock on. Drafting is when you swim 6-12" behind the person in front of you. I'm not sure of the physics of it, but you can go the same speed with much less effort. She and I alternated for the rest of the swim, and it was great.

My time was 21.50. Which, not great, but not bad either. I'm hoping to get my total swim time to sub-40min.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004


Tonight's GTS was very straightforward: 1M run to the reservoir, then 2 or 3 loops (1.7M each), and another mile back to Bethesda.

I opted for the shorter workout and ran 5.4M in 56 minutes. Just over 10 min/mile.

Remember when I was all excited about an 11.20 min/mile? Yeah, it kind of makes me giggle to think about that!

Monday, July 19, 2004

9 Weeks Down...

10 to go. We're at the halfway point.
Last weekend I took my bike to Dixon's for a tuneup. I picked it up on Thursday night after work. As I started walking out of the shop, I noticed the front brake was rubbing against the tire. I wheeled it back in and asked the bike shop guy to adjust it. Which, he did. Take two. This time, I made it almost to the corner of 7th Ave., before I noticed that the front tire was low. I turned around and went back in, slightly irritated. The guy filled the tire and I was on my way. Again.
Saturday morning we had a BRick in Prospect Park. I did not sleep well on Friday night. It was hot, and the cat was annoying. I kept waking up to check my watch, afraid I'd oversleep. I also had bad dreams about something being wrong with my bike.
My alarm finally went off and I dressed, mixed up some Cytomax, ate a Clif bar, and carried my bike downstairs. As soon as I started pedalling I could feel the rub of the brake on the wheel, and I tried to adjust it again. I tried several times on the way to our meeting point, and finally had the brake to a spot where I thought it wouldn't rub. Unfortunately, I was wrong. We started the bike just after 7:30am, with a one-loop warmup then 3-4 loops time trial. I had to stop during the warmup to adjust the brake again. Finally I gave up and pedalled with the brake rubbing, even though it was much more effort. My TT splits were even, and faster than when I rode last Sunday, which is kind of surprising. I opted for the shorter workout, and was the first person back in the transition area. As I dismounted I called to Coach Scott, "Something's wrong with my bike." He came over and spun the back wheel, and it stopped immediately. So I'd basically been riding as though I was constantly braking. Urf.
I changed quickly into my running shoes and headed out for a :40 OAB. It wasn't too bad. I estimate I ran about 3.5M total - will clock it with my bike on Thursday night (when I have another BRick scheduled). The clockwise uphill (around the SW corner of the park) is *hard* - I've only ever run it downhill, and I underestimated how long it is. Overall it was a great workout.
We went to Boston Saturday night and our hotel had a 12.2m pool - short compared to the 50m pool we train in, but sufficient for lap swimming. I took advantage of that on Sunday morning, and noticed that I feel a lot more comfortable in the water now that I have actual technique!

Thursday, July 15, 2004

A Midsummer Night's Run

It's hot, my skin feels sticky with sweat as I don my running shorts.
The warmup jog to the park is awkward. I'm still sore from Tuesday night's hills.
Then the music kicks in, and my pace picks up.
It's 8:15pm. The park is comfortably busy. Dusk, then twilight. Fireflies sparkle, dance, in the brush. As I see one light up I follow its dark form to see it light up again before I pass.
Occassionally I see a bat flap between trees, silhoutted against the slate blue sky.
Other runners pass me, and I pass other runners. There are cyclists, rollerbladers, walkers, kids on bikes and scooters. I notice some, and others I pass without seeing, concentrating on my music, my legs, my breathing. My breathing is relaxed. On the uphill I gasp slightly, at the same time increasing my speed because I can. Because it feels great.
Because I like running now.
And because I like how it feels when I get home, breathless after the 5 flights of stairs, and only when I stop does my skin start to sweat and I tell David, "34 minutes."

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

I am proud of myself: Part 1

Just got home from a run GTS. Tonight's fun-filled workout: Hills! We did a warmup jog (0.2M to Daniel Webster statue), then hill repeats (0.8M to the SW corner of the reservoir and back, x2). That was followed by equally fun 0.5M up-and-overs around Strawberry Fields (sprint up, recover over, rinse and repeat). The beginner workout ended there, and the advanced Westchester team had an optional 1.7M lower loop.

Guess what?

I did the extra loop.

I know, I couldn't quite believe it either. In total I ran about 5.7M, in 1.02. Just under an 11 minute mile, on average. I felt great, even did a last little sprint at the end. That's only half a mile short of race distance. Not only that, but there are still 10 weeks of training to go!

Now I'm going to sit on the couch, watch a "Buffy," and wait for my thai delivery.


My good friend Vicki sent me this email today, about her friend Yosh, who lives in Tokyo. It's relevant to what I'm doing here. Please think of Yosh in whatever kind of prayers you say. And please consider registering to be a bone marrow donor. (One of the blood cancer survivors who spoke at our breakfast on Saturday received his bone marrow transfusion from a German donor. These things really do work.)

I am emailing you all because either you know Yosh, or you at least know of him. And many of you know he was diagonsed with Leukemia this winter and has been treating it with mild chemotherapy.

Well, he just emailed to say the leukemia has relapsed. The only way he can survive is to have a bone marrow transplant. His doctor is trying to find a donor for him through the bone marrow bank. In the meantime I he has to start a stronger chemotherapy.

If you could just think of him when you say your prayers, and keep him in your thoughts and wish him peace and healing. I don't know much about this all,
but bone marrow sounds pretty serious. Much more serious than it seemed in December.

Bike Split Times

I forgot to mention this about Sunday's ride - I had very even split times. That means my pacing is good. For a 3.35M loop:

Loop 1: 14.04.40
Loop 2: 13.45.16
Loop 3: 13.58.47
Loop 4: 13.59.01
Loop 5: 14.45.84 (this was the loop when I ran into Sarah)
Loop 6: 14.03.75

Total time: 1:24.36 for 20.6M, or 14.7M/h.

For the record, Lance averages 24M/h.

Breathe Brooklyn

I mentioned yoga in the last entry, and now want to give a shout-out to my most excellent yoga teacher (whose name, coincidentally, is Jillian!). She rocks. If you're looking for a private teacher in Brooklyn with very reasonable rates and a great budding practice, check out her website, and give her a call!

Monday, July 12, 2004

Good Training Weekend

Saturday morning's GTS was a repeat of the X-Factor workout, with a bonus lower loop (1.7M). It was a workout with all the TNT teams - marathoners, triathletes, and cyclists - followed by a Connection to the Cause breakfast, at which we heard from a blood cancer doctor, as well as many survivors, some who are training with us. It was inspiring.

I had dubbed this the Weekend of Loving My Bike. When I got home on Saturday I tried to fill up the low-ish front tire. Well. I was as successful as last time I tried to do that, that is to say, I deflated it completely. When David got home I told him we had to go on a mission to Dixon's Bike Shop in the neighborhood, in search of air and instruction on using my pump. He didn't want to go, and opted to try pumping it himself. And? He did it. Yay!

On Sunday morning I woke up at 7:30am to go for a spin. I resolved to complete 5 loops of the park (16.75 miles) no matter how boring it was, or how hard the hill was. On the 5th loop, someone called out my name - it was Sarah, a girl I train with in TNT (and a fellow Brooklynite!). Great timing. We rode about the same pace, and I even did an extra loop with her (she was just starting her ride). In total I rode over 20 miles, then did an hour of yoga.

It being the WoLMB, I dropped my bike off at Dixon's for a tune-up. The guy at the shop said the bike was in really good shape, and that the previous owner had obviously taken care of it (thanks Meredith!). They'll clean it and oil it up a little, and I'll pick it up on Thursday - just in time for the BRick on Saturday.

Needless to say, when I woke up on Monday morning, I was very sore.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Is this thing on?

As far as I know, Candace and Chad are the only two people reading this blog. Hi, guys! Until a couple of days ago David didn't even know the address. Hee. Anyway, I'd be happy to taylor the content to my audience, within reason of course, so if you have any suggestions on what you'd like to see here, please post a comment!

Another Swim GTS, Another BRick

Last night's swim GTS was all about technique. We practiced front sculling, and the 2-beat kick. I'm actually getting excited about the swim, I think it's going to be great.

Biking, on the other hand: Not my strong sport. This morning I hauled my ass out of bed at 6:30 and went for a spin. Once around the park, and someone pointed out that my front tire was low. Hm, there seems to be a trend here. Anyway, I finished the loop I was on, then brought my bike back and went for a short run (:10). It's pretty humid here and I clearly need to be experimenting with hydration while I'm training, because when I overheat my body shuts down and I can't finish my workout.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted


Happy Canada Day, and July 4th.

I just returned from 5 days in the midwest, starting in Chicago (at David's friends Alex & Olivia's wedding) and ending in Madison, Wisconsin, where we visited my new godson Griffin (and his parents, Candace & Julian).

Training was, well, limited. There was one suburban run in Chicago, around 40 minutes of strip malls and highways. There was also a lot of red wine, and fried cheese curds & custard - not exactly conducive to any sort of athletics.

And, we're back to swimming tonight! At last week's GTS swim, we swam a .25M time trial. I did it in 10:42 - not fantastic, but definitely not horrible. My form, however, was another story, so tonight I'm going to focus on that a lot.

This week's goals:

1. Swim 2 x :10 continuous swims
2. Complete all scheduled training, including
3. 5x biking the Prospect Park loop (6 if I get really ambitious - Sunday's ride is supposed to be 1h30m!)