Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How fast can you...

START your workout in the morning??

So I'm usually not a morning person.  I like my sleep and lazy mornings.  However, I've decided to do early morning workouts most workdays for the following reasons:

  1. Some days I have two workouts... and it is much more manageable to do 1 workout before work, and another one after.
  2. Even if I only have one workout scheduled, I would prefer to only shower ONCE per day.
  3. MOST IMPORTANTLY... the gym is EMPTY!
I work out at the Campus Recreation center, and with the new year/new semester/Spring Break on the horizon, the gym and pool are jam-packed with college students in the afternoon and evenings. There are only FOUR lanes in the pool, so waiting is inevitable; and the strength areas are super busy so there is MORE waiting (and students likely to laugh at me in spandex looking like a hot mess)... no thanks.

So, early AM it is!!  It is a GHOST TOWN in there... when I get emails from students dated 1:45AM, I wonder why ;)

YES, early morning workouts are great... it's just a matter of being ready and STARTING THEM!!

Here's how my morning went:

5:15 AM: Alarm goes off.  I hit snooze.
5:23 AM:  I get up, hem and haw about going to the gym or not.
5:28 AM: turn coffee on, heat up oatmeal (prepared last night)
5:35 AM: grab gym bag (pre-packed last night) took 20 minutes to leave the house??  I had EVERYTHING ready!!

5:45 AM: Arrive at gym.  Dawdle in the locker room... check email on phone... etc....
5:52 AM: Push Off!!
... it took me 7 minutes to start my workout, when I already had my swimsuit on, goggles foggled, and workout written and plastic-bagged?  WTH was I doing??

6:49 AM: get out of pool.
6:51 rinse off in shower
6:55 take my time changing...
7:00 start strength training (8:00 AM finish)
... 11 minutes for this "transition" - really? My T1 at IMAZ was < 5 minutes with about a 1/4mi run!

If I love sleep so much, I could have slept for THIRTY more minutes and finished my workouts at 8AM!

My total alarm-->start swim time was 37 minutes.  Pathetic, but like any training plan, I have to establish a baseline...

And next time I am going to SMOKE it!! :)  

Monday, January 16, 2012

Triathlon season is underway!! REV3 Group Coaching :)

I love the excitement of January- it seems that all of my triathlon friends have gotten "back on track", established their race schedules and season goals, and are hitting it HARD this month!! For that, thanks for sharing your excitement and journey with me on blogs, facebook, twitter, etc. - it's so motivating!

Of course, I'm excited for the season as well.  I'm still not running yet (I'm going to PT to break up scar tissue now...) , but I've been rocking the swim, bike, and strength the last two weeks!  My bike workouts have been solid, and I've actually been ENJOYING my time in the pool lately!  I'm finding that I'm getting just a little stronger every time I hit the gym, and it's fun to see progress :)  Losing holiday weight? Not so much... my husband's family still has two big family "Christmas parties" this month, so one thing at a time... this month my goal is to NAIL my workouts, next month I'll add in a nutrition focus... :)

  I'm really looking forward to my 3rd season as a REV3 athlete!  I am overwhelmed with all the news and excitement they've thrown my way in JANUARY!  Besides FIFTY new (and old) teammates to connect with, we've gotten exciting news about sponsors, races, charity, and events!  Check it:


I am over-the-moon excited that over 20 people from my awesome local triathlon club (TRI-SHARKS) are signed up to race REV3 Wisconsin Dells and several others are signed up for Knoxville!  Now, here's an opportunity to really get down to business training-wise and share motivation and camaraderie from our local teammates as well as athletes all over the country!

Here's how the program works:

  • When you sign up for the program, you will receive a REV3 training kit, and $25 off into any REV3 race (they will credit your account if you've already signed up for one!)
  • You will receive a monthly training program specific to the race you have signed up for (16week for olympic distance, 20wk for half distance, 24wk for full distance).
  • You'll receive a username and password to access the Group Coaching Forum
    • Chat with other athletes, REV3 staff (race director and all!) and REV3 pro&amateur athletes
    • Advanced info such as course updates, course maps, race director tips, coach tips, race weekend schedules.
    • Webinars and online chats on specific training topics
  • Local training opportunities, on-course training days, and race weekend meet-ups!
The Cost:
  • $200 start-up fee (-$25 if you've already signed up for your REV3 race)
  • $50 monthly fee (the first month is $250, each month thereafter is $50)
  • If you pay for the whole program up-front instead of paying it month-by-month, you receive a 10% discount... which adds up to about 1 free month!
This is going to be a GREAT program, especially if you have never been "coached" before- As a coached athlete myself, I've found that having a "plan" gives me peace of mind and leaves out the questions "What should I do today?  Am I doing too much?  Not enough?"  

Pricewise, it's also a good deal!!  Many triathlon coaches charge $200-$500 per MONTH for individualized coaching- with REV3 group coaching you'll be paying that much for the ENTIRE program, plus the forum access, training kit, and race discount!

Having an individual triathlon coach, though pricey, has it's benefits- every workout is geared toward your individual goals and race schedule- but if it's out of your price range and sounds like a "bit much," REV3 group coaching is an excellent way to go.

For more information or to register, you can contact me, Coach Carole Sharpless, or visit the REV3 coaching website!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Foot Recovery, Anniversary, and Camping!

First of all, I hope that you all had a great Holiday Season and have lots to look forward to in 2012- I know that I do!

Foot Recovery has been going well- I've been cleared to swim/bike for almost a week, and I've been taking advantage!  I got in the pool for the first time yesterday, and I've completed several indoor, and even one outdoor ride!

My ankle is still swollen (cankle), so it's a little difficult to fit into normal (and athletic) shoes.  Not a huge problem.  Even though my achilles did not have to be detached, it was still "manipulated" in order to make room for the doc to shave off the bone spur, so it is SORE.  Thanks to my Computrainer spin-scan function, I can clearly see that I'm favoring my left leg (surgery was on the right) and that my "right" foot pedal stroke is not smooth at all.  While I'm completing my workouts, I'm trying hard to fix this so I don't create a permanent imbalance!

I still can't put a whole lot of stress on the achilles, particularly when I "plantar-flex", or point my toe.  I have no problem pointing the toe w/o any stress or weight on it, but I can't push-off or stand-up on that toe yet :(  Eccentric stress, like walking down stairs, is painful too.  My next doctor appt. is next week, where I may be cleared to start some light jogging... At this point I couldn't jog, but we'll see how recovery progresses over the next week!
Anniversary & Camping: Since the weather was SO awesome over the New Year's weekend, Dan and I decided to take our new RV out for it's first FULL maiden voyage!  We packed up our stuff, some groceries, my bike, and our dog Winston and headed for Lake of the Ozarks, MO!  We had a GREAT time, but had our share of RV nightmares too... here are the highlights:

Cooking was fun and saved us $$, as we usually eat out for every meal on vacation!  We brought snacks and supplies for sandwiches, omelettes, chicken/dumplings/vegetables, and adult beverages!

Our second wedding anniversary was on New Year's Eve!  With 65 degree weather, we celebrated with:

  •  a big breakfast
  • a long hike at the State Park in 65 degree weather (achilles did OK)

  •  a trip to the local winery 

  • some shopping for new outfits
  •  and a dinner cruise to ring in the New Year on the Lake!  

Could it be anymore perfect??

On New Years day, we slept in, relaxed, and enjoyed a lazy morning.

 In the afternoon, I seized the opportunity to get some HILL training on the bike!  I had a great time averaging 24-25mph up and down and around the windy hills going OUT on my out-and-back route, but I was greeted with some of the stiffest winds EVER on my way back!  I was pushing some serious watts on the flat sections just to average 16mph, my legs BURNED going uphill & into the wind, then I was scared sh*tless going downhill with nasty crosswinds!  I am used to putting my head down and hammering on flat IL roads, it looks like I'm going to need to do some WORK on hills this year!

That evening we started our journey back home and stopped in St. Louis for the night.  Dan is such a CHAMP driving our 31ft. monster- the crosswinds were not only challenging on the bike, but on the highway as well!

In St. Louis, we stayed an RV park in the middle of the city- not exactly what I would expect for "camping"!  It was only a short walk to some major attractions, and we had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe!

Winston loved playing with Mr. Giraffe.
The crazy wind continued through the evening, sometimes waking us up to a (literally) rocking RV... the temperatures also were quite cold with the windchill.

We woke up the next morning to FROZEN pipes!! Yikes!!  We were not prepared for below-freezing temps (only made so by the wind).  After heating up our bottled water supply in the microwave, we were able to thaw out the pipes and get rolling back home.

Once we back in McLean county, we stopped at a campsite to dump our tanks.. and to our dismay, our grey tank had frozen on the DRIVE up!  We had bought 2 space heaters, so we planned on plugging them in letting them do work on the tank...but  then our outlets blew out, and we were left with NO electricity to heat up water or use the space heaters- DARNIT!

We took the RV out to Dan's parents house and with the help of his Dad, they used a blow-dryer to thaw the tank and dump it.  Crisis averted.  We still haven't figured out the outlet thing.  We tried resetting it at the power center, and they DO work when we plug the RV in to an external power source... we think we tripped a breaker on the generator, which supplies the RV power to itself when we turn it on.

We've definitely learned our lesson about cold-weather time we'll have a skirt, heat tape for pipes and the tanks, and foam piping!

So that's it for now!  I'm still enjoying time at home with the hubs, but I'll be getting ready for the new school year pretty soon- we have 1 1/2 weeks left!

Finally, I'll be posting soon about some of the exciting REV3 stuff that you may have seen floating around the internet... REV3 will be running across America (3000 mi!) to raise $100,000 for the Ulman Cancer Fund, and you can help!  Spread the word, donate, and/or be a relief runner for the 10-person crew along the way!

ALSO, REV3 is starting an internet-based group coaching program!! With a start-up fee, you'll receive a racing kit, $25 off any REV3 race, sponsor discounts, a full training program, and access to the group forum.  Each month after that you'll pay a $50 for ongoing coaching and forum access.  You'll be able to attend group training sessions, course previews, and training recon's of the courses.  More info to come!