I’ve been hitting the bricks hard this past week and loving it! A “brick” session in triathlon refers to doing two or three disciplines in succession, to simulate race day. Thoughout my months-long training cycles I have done every combination you can imagine – – swim/bike, bike/run, bike/run/bike/run – – you get the idea. Last Friday I also completed the whole damn thing and had an hour swim, hour bike and 20 minute time trial run. Let’s see how that went, shall we?
WEEK OF APRIL 18, 2016
I feel like I was able to run a lot and run well, all on tired legs! Almost every time I went out to do a run, my legs felt heavy and my mind went to a place where “I’m not sure I can hit my paces” lives. But, each time, I pushed though, hit my workout goals and had a huge smile at the end. Things are getting good…
Tuesday: Speed and hills! I posted this workout. It’s a killer but makes you feel super strong when you’re done! I covered 8.2 miles including my warm-up and cool down and averaged 7:52 pace
Thursday: 4 x 5 minutes @10k effort with 1 min rest in between. This is one of my favorite runs! I don’t look at my watch during the 5 min segments and try to run by feel. My splits – 7:37 (uphill), 6:25 (downhill), 6:41 and 6:48. Total of 5.75 miles with a 7:30 average pace.
Friday: 20 min 10K pace time trial as part of my swim and bike brick. It was HOT but I managed a 6:50 pace and got *this close* to 3 miles – – 2.93.
Total miles = 16.95
I know you’re probably sick of me bitching about the wind but seriously, I’m so over it! Almost every single ride I had this week was into massive headwinds. I’ve also stopped believing that I will get a tailwind. I just seem to get wind directly in my face or from the side, no matter what. And, I cannot tell you how amazing it feels to come out of the pool and get on a bike and ride into gale force winds.
Let’s just say that if it’s windy and cold on race day, I will be just fine. But please, please triathlon gods do not make it so!
Monday – I rode to the Y, swam and rode home. The only problem was that I was supposed to ride a total of 40 minutes that day and it took me 30 minutes to get to the gym and 38 minutes to get home. Guess which way is hiller? 1 hour ride, 18 miles
Wednesday: Hilly, one-hour ride after swim, 17 miles
Friday: Same one-hour hilly ride after swim and before run but the sun was out and there was almost no wind! #miracle
Sunday: Long ride with friends! Well, supposed to have a been a long run but things did not quite go as planned (see below). I did manage 28 miles so I’ll take it…
Total miles = 86 miles
The pool has been kind to me and, as part of yet another brick session, I had a 25 minute free swim after a 20 minute warm-up. The idea was to mimic my mile long swim in the triathlon which is probably going to take me roughly 25 minutes. Open water and pool swimming are obviously very different animals but, since the water will be cooler (boo!) wet suits will be allowed (yay!) so I will at least have some extra buoyancy.
Monday: Short and sweet 2,000 yards in between biking back and forth to the pool.
Wednesday: Force swim with mostly all pulls before bike – 2,500 yards
Friday: one hour, mostly steady swim, before my bike and run – 2,300 yards
Total = 6,800 yards
It’s FINALLY a new season and my friends at KUHL have hooked me up once again. This time I was sent the Airkraft shirt and Kontra short. My review is up on the KUHL blog site and I talk about why these clothes make me feel like a fraud, but they are so comfy and breathable, that I’m just going with it.
Obviously anyone who wears sunglasses needs this shirt. Check out the built-in sunglass lens cleaner! #legit
I think it’s no secret how much I love pretzels, right? So last week after I had my colossal brick session, it seemed only right that we go to Artisanal Burger in South Windsor and get the colossal pretzel. You must eat your way though it.
As if that were not enough, they had a special burger (I think just for me) with fried tomato, goat cheese and arugula. It was as amazingly fantastic as it sounds, with a side of sweet potato fries. And a Sam Adams Summer Ale because I was so excited they already had Sam Summer.
THINGS I LOVE
Learning new things! I try and teach this to my kids because already, at age seven, they are complaining about school! They are in for a rude awakening…and so was I when I signed-up for a bike maintenance class at my local bike shop. I can barely change a tire on my bike and, when I hear something wonky going on with my gears or brakes, I haven’t the slightest clue on how to identify the issue, let alone fix it. So I decided to empower myself and take a class.
So far, this is what I learned:
- Disc brakes are coming soon to road bikes which will be amazeballs for keeping them clean and reducing brake fade.
- You can get as many as 2,000 miles out of your bike chain before it needs to be replaced
- You shouldn’t hose off your bike because it strips it of grease and essential lubes. There was a lot of lube talk. A lot.
- How to clean every conceivable part of my bike which I will mostly not do but, some of it was very helpful.
- Step by step instructor on how to change a flat and why every cyclist needs a Crank Brothers Speed Lever.
There’s one more class next week and I cannot wait to learn more. #BikeNerd
THINGS I DON’T LOVE AS MUCH
The side eye I get from my dad when I use my new mug:
I mean, you have to at least crack a smile at this no matter your political views.
Every once and a while I write something that gives me a nervous stomach and makes me feel extremely vulnerable. This was one of those because it was so personal and something I’m not very proud of but, I was tired of having some of my friends who are excellent moms, worry so much about negatively influencing their daughters body image:
You can read the article HERE and I hope will pass it along to anyone who can relate. Sometimes it’s just good to know you’re not alone.
In a rare unrelated moment to all things swimming, running and biking, I took the time to listen to ESPNW’s Sarah Spain’s podcast, That’s What She Said, when she interviewed one of the creators of Cards Against Humanity. It’s such an interesting listen! For example, did you know:
The creators of Cards Against Humanity hate the idea of Black Friday so much that the first year the game hit stores, they raised the price specifically for that day. The second year? They sold actual boxes of bull’s shit. It sold out in two hours. You clearly need to hear the full story on that one and why this is a great game to play with pretty much any crowd.
Don’t forget to enter a chance to win the WaterFi waterproof iPod shuffle and headphones! The winner will be drawn at random on Wednesday. Good luck!
RANDOM QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“The first thing I do is lube the nipples.” – bike maintenance instructor during class. I had no clue that the place on the wheel, where the spokes meet the rim on a tire, are called nipples. It was all I could do not to burst out laughing because I’m that mature. And he kept saying it! #willpower
How was your week?
Do you ever brick train?
Have you ever eaten a food as big as your head?
This is ALWAYS MY FAVE POST OF MONDAYS and you never fail me <3
The nipples? The built-in sunglasses cleaner?
The fact I knew so little about tri's in general until I started reading your blog?
ALL THAT *and* a link to a piece of yours Id missed.
(((off to read that one now too)))
It makes me so happy that you love to read these! THANK YOU!!! And now that you know so much about Tri’s are you ready to try one? 🙂
I’m dying over lubing the nipples. Is there a shaft on the bike too? Were you really at a bike clinic??? Lol! Love your new Kuhl gear! I haven’t been brave enough to wear mine yet – soooo cold! Hopefully soon.
I seriously could have been at a much shadier event with all the crank and lube and shaft talk! Why are bike parts so dirty? They must have all been named by men!!
When I did a run/swim/run I would do a bit of brick training. That was about 3 years ago when I didn’t drown in the pool at first glance LOL. Don’t let anyone enter that contest for the waterproof headphones…I want to win. 😉
This post is my favorite. Lubbing nipples…hilarious.
I so hope you win!!! And I’m happy happy to make the queen of LOLZ laugh 🙂
I’ve always wanted to try KUHL pants. They were pretty popular up in Vermont, but I haven’t seen any locally in SC to try on. Perhaps it’s time for a little online shopping!
Hey RFC! They sell KUHL pants at REI. Not sure where you are in SC but we have one up here in Greenville!
Thanks Danielle! I live in Myrtle Beach, no REI here. 🙁 I wish there was!!! Now that said, I’ll be in Greenville in a few weeks for a race, so I’ll have to swing by REI! Thanks for the heads up!
I would have to agree!!! Happy shopping 🙂
Allie, this was such a great post – the KUHL love (hooray for new seasons!), your sweet new mug, and that awesome article. What a well-written, thoughtful post. I think a lot of people assume exercise will bring a better body image but that’s not always the case, especially for someone competing at your level or competing to win in general! It seems like there is always “something” that can be improved and that is a lot of pressure. Thank you for sharing your story!
Thank you so much for saying that Danielle! As I’m sure you can imagine, it was a hard one to write but yes, that was exactly the point – exercise is not always synonymous with health.
And I seriously love my new KUHL outfit and cannot wait to bring it on the road!!
I loved the article you wrote for WR…. I do always worry about my daughter (9.5 years) and body issues as I already see hints of starting to question her body at this early age…. When I see the hints, I just have to use it as an opportunity to talk.
YES! Talk about it as much as possible. I feel like the more open we are with our kids, the better off they will be (and better equipped) to change their mindset or chose a different path. Of course I’m sure you know this better than I do!!
You are always the first one to alert me when a WR piece goes live and I cannot tell you how happy that makes me!!! Thank you Paria…
You triathletes are beasts with those brick workouts. I’ve been a runner for a zillion years and I’ve never done one. Nooooooo thank youuuuu! Sorry to hear about the headwind. Great week last week, and I just love your smile. Your whole face lights up!
You have plenty of killer runs yourself there missy!! Thank you for saying that about my smile. I just LOVE to be done 🙂 when I do it right. I’m sure you know the feeling…
Those brick workouts- intense! You are a machine!! If I were ever to take up tris, I’d need a bike class like that (preferably with someone who does not keep repeating the importance of lubing the nipples, seriously?!?) but I know so little about fixing tires and bikes that I’m totally intimidated by the whole thing.
Great article, btw! The vulnerable ones are usually the best ones- although it can be so hard to hit publish!
That is exactly why I’m taking the class! I was tired of being so intimidated by all that I did not know about my bike. I’m still iffy on changing a tire though…:-(
Thank you for saying that Laura. I know you get the feeling of how scary that publish button can be.
Your workouts are intense, and of course you crush them – high five! Even though I’m not a mother, I read your article in Women’s Running this weekend and loved it – fantastic piece of writing and so refreshingly vulnerable and honest.
I want to fly to New England now for that pretzel and goat cheese burger. That’s like heaven for me, especially when a good beer is thrown in.
Thank you so much Laura! And please fly here this instant!!! We would have so much fun and burgers and pretzels would just be the start 🙂
I thought your article regarding setting positive influences on daughters was raw and real. I struggle with this. I eat healthy and work out a lot…and I want my girls to know how important health is without obsessing over it. Tgere is such a fine line there. I have been debating on training for a fitness conpetition but I’m not sure how that strict of a diet and exercise regimen will impact our famiky life…we make it a priorityto sit down and eat dinners together. I’m not sure I want to tackle questions like why is mom bot eating what we are? Why is mom so tan? Etc…the list goes on. My girls are 10 & 11…and I do have a legit fear of thembecoming obsessed with body image and weight. It’s so tough. Kudos to you for being so honest on your own life and struggles.
Thank you so much for saying that and I can understand your concerns about fitness competition. I actually had a friend who did it and her daughters are 4 and 7. My suggestion would be to sit down with them prior to you starting and set their expectations. If you answer their questions honestly and tell them all the positive reasons for you to do what you’re doing, I think it will be an amazing experience for all of you!! I also love that you all sit down for dinner together!!
I can honestly say I’ve never eaten anything as big as my head but I’ve definitely had my share of large portions! I need a sunglass cleaner attached to me. Mine always have tiny fingerprints all over them!
HAHAHA!!! I highly recommend both things!!
I hope you’re enjoying Buenos Aires. Keep those pictures coming!!
I keep telling my fiancé that you are totally kick ass and that we need to be more like you, he has started rolling his eyes anytime I say “Allie Says”. Amazing work outs!!
That pretzel looks amazing!! I need a pretzel as big in my head NOW!
OMG that made me seriously laugh out loud!! Your poor fiancé! 🙂
I cannot recommend the pretzel highly enough. So.very.tasty.
Nipples, yeah, I’ve lubed a ton of those, especially the drive train! (a metaphor for life!) The head wind affects (or afflicts) you, as well as your competitors, the field is even! Use it to your advantage, you have the right genetic pool to pack on the legs. Face you fear and learn to love it! Relish the windiest of days!
1st thing I teach my triathletes is how to change a flat in less than 2 minutes, from front wheel quick release to reinflation. They crap when we go on a 30Miler, stop, and I take a knife and puncture my front tire and tell them they have 2 minutes as I start my stopwatch, the pressure is on!!!!!!!!!The rear is a bit trickier.
Very helpful to know h2 re-insert a spoke (lube your nipples!) or fix your broken chain with a new link in the field, especially when 50Miles away from home and the storm is brewing. It will happen to you, guaranteed, maybe even in a race, like me!
Best way to learn the innards of your bike is to take all nuts, bolts, cables, chain, brakes, crank, derailleurs totally apart so you have a frame, and the other 75 pieces of everything else lying on the floor; then reassemble, lube, tune and ride. It’s about a 5-6 hour job, so give it a good block of time:)
Sorry, I’m with your Dad on the mug!
What does 2:37:35 mean to you? Is that AWESOME or what?
THAT is exactly what I need to do but super scary!!! I definitely need “in the field” tire flat changing. My friend’s flat this past weekend was the rear tire and it just refused to inflate and then the tip of the stem broke off. After that, we called for a ride for her and the rest of us went on… Awful way to end a ride.
2:37:35 would be totally amazing!!!! 🙂 Thanks Claude and, even if you hate my mug, we can still be friends 🙂 LOL!
I’ve never eaten food as big as my head but I do have a fascination for mini foods. Energized just reading this post. I envy your running. As soon as YTT is over in July I’ll be back in my running shoes more often. Love the mug!
Mini foods are totally fascinating…especially the dessert variety 🙂
Looking forward to seeing you get out there and run again!!
I want to Hillary mug!!!! You’ll get no side eye from me. I have a shirt I love to wear to the gym that says “Bill for First Lady.”
LOL!!! What a sight we would be with the shirt and mug – I love it! That shirt is awesome 🙂
I actually DID know about the poop cards against humanity prank, it was fascinating!! People were really buying that crap (literally!!) I love the boys pic with the pretzel and the burger sounds…well…fantastic! I think the weather will be perfect for the triathlon because why else would you be tortured with wind for so long? 🙂
Of course you did!!
The burger and pretzel were just as amazing as you’re thinking they are 🙂
It really has to be true about the wind. If so, it will all be worth it.
1) That pretzel is HUGE 2) I’m terrified of having to fix anything on my bike 3) Lubing the nipples – really? ha! 4) Loved your article over at Women’s Running and 5) You can totally pull off the badass hiker look.
LOL! I love the numbered response 🙂 THANKS!!
Bike talk is DIRTY!! Who knew?!! Can’t wait to see you in a few weeks!
I know, right?? And yes, I’m SOOO excited!!