5+ Hour Trainer Ride

With today’s forecast being less than ideal, I decided to do my 5 1/2 hour bike ride on the trainer.  I know, I know, what the heck was I thinking?!?!

A few weeks ago Nick and I were getting ready for a 4 hour bike ride.  We had the bikes ready, helmets and shoes on, all I had to do was press start on my watch and push off.  That’s when it hit me…I had a panic attack.  I started shaking and my breathing was labored.  Then I was gasping for air, shaking, and tears were rolling down my face.  I had 1,000 thoughts rushing through mind, none were good…I couldn’t do it.  Nick walked over, and comforted me.  He took my bike and told me to go inside and try to relax, we would postpone the ride to the following day.  I went inside, changed clothes, and began to settle down a bit.  The rest of the day was relaxed, the only pace I could handle.

The next day, I was mentally prepared for the bike ride.  We had a route on a bike trail to reduce traffic (thus reducing the chances of me having another meltdown).  I was calm on the bike, and finished the ride (a little shorter than my coach would’ve liked), but finished nonetheless.

Today, though, is self-inflicted misery.  With Nick sidelined from the bike and run for the next couple of weeks, my recent ride in the rain, and the ever so memorable panic attack, I decided to take today’s ride to the trainer.  I don’t think I’m mentally strong enough to do a solo long ride in the rain.

Em and T hour 1So what does one do while on the trainer for over 5 hours?

Hour 1: Drink of choice – 1 cup Coffee
Food – Peanut butter pretzels
Entertainment – Facebook

Hour 2:
Drink – Protein shake
Food – Peanut butter pretzels
Entertainment – Music

Em and Lou Hour 2Hour 3:
Drink – bottle of Advocare Spark and bottle of water
Food – Granola bar
Entertainment – Olympic Men’s Triathlon – an 8-lap bike course must be as mind-numbing as a 5 hour trainer ride.  Also, is this race draft-legal?

Hour 4:
Drink – bottle of Tailwind
Food – Snack mix with goldfish, nuts, raisins and chocolate
Entertainment – Olympic Men’s Triathlon (continued).  Congrats to the Brownlee brothers on Gold and Silver.

IMG_2527Hour 5 plus 30 min:
Drink – bottle of water, bottle of Tailwind
Entertainment – Music. Why, you ask? Because I’m watching the Olympics on the NBC app instead of the TiVo, and it’s still Live. I’m unable to start the Women’s Triathlon from the beginning.  Therefore, 1 hour and 30 minutes in, I know who’s in the lead.  What a spoiler!!!


More Red Than Green

The last month my Training Peaks calendar has really suffered.  There are so many missed workouts, it’s embarrassing.   From work being less than ideal at the moment, to Nick and I being sick on and off, to shear lack of motivation; my calendar is a sore sight.

Training Peaks Calendar

The weather is finally nice enough to exercise outside and all I want to do is stay inside on the couch.  I’m not exactly sure how to get out of this funk.  I have TWO major races coming up – Door County 70.3 is a few weeks away and Chattanooga will be here before I know it.  I NEED to get motivated.  I know I’m on the verge of being completely underprepared for both races if I don’t get moving soon.

How do you find motivation?

A Few New Things

I’ve been rushing home (to get away from work) every day this week to check the mailbox.  I ordered some things and have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of each one.

  1. A new, much needed saddle.  I’ve been having some discomfort in the seat, and hoping this new saddle will make for a smoother, less painful ride.  I spoke with Rachel at Cobb Cycling, and am now the new owner of their Randee saddle.  During my two-hour trainer ride today, I was alleviated of some of the pressure I was experiencing.  I hope with some minor adjustments, I will once again be comfortable in the saddle.
  2. Handlebar tape.  I’ve been wanting to personalize my bike a bit, so I started with a simple and inexpensive upgrade.  I wrapped the bars tonight, which was much easier than I expected.
  3. New Handle Bar TapeThe package I received today was my new tri kit!  It matches my new handlebar tape, but no pictures until I use it.  My first tri this season is Elkhart Lake Sprint on June 11th!

I’m excited about all of my new goodies, and I’m sure there’s more to come…

Wanna Watch Me Go Crazy

Let’s do another fun post! What do you say we talk a little about the madness that is caused by training indoors.

Living in Wisconsin and training for triathlon has presented some really interesting challenges.  For one, training outdoors is near impossible from late October until, well, about now.  I just started running outside again.  I’m still a little afraid to ride outside because I feel like the windchill will likely kill me.

Anyway, this winter while training inside, I found lots of new fun things to do while I was on the bike. First, it started as dancing on the treadmill while I ran.  I would get to a song that really made me happy and I would start bopping my head, followed by running side to side with the music and ending up dancing on the treadmill.  Odd strike patterns, running on my toes, running sideways . . . It was all fun and all caused by the madness of training inside so much.

Then, as you can see in the video above, I started getting bored on the bike.  During our training sessions, we would be on the bike for hours listening to music.  I started singing along or lip syncing the songs, then it turned into a really fun ideas to start recording myself doing so.

Seriously, how do people deal with this and not go totally insane?

Hope you enjoy my ridiculousness!

sub-30 5K

Sunday, I set out with one goal in mind: sub-30 PR for my 5K.  I’m pretty much an 11:00-12:00/mile runner.  I never thought running 3.1 miles under 30 minutes would even be possible, as I had accepted my running pace.

During my off-season, my coach has been giving me what seems like endless running drills.  Most of which were completed on the treadmill; which makes them even more dreadful.  I knew the day was coming when we would put all of that hard work to the test….and Sunday was that day.

I did it!  I totally rocked my 5K PR at 28:59!!!

5K PR 28:59

Here’s to getting faster and stronger, and continuing to break records!

Barrier to Entry

We were a week from Nick racing in Galveston 70.3, and  I was putting together a list things to bring as an official race spectator (and volunteer and sherpa).  All was well, until the coach sent me a text that Monday saying, “Btw, Emily…bring your wetsuit.”  WHAT?!  I’m not racing!  I, cleverly responded, “Wetsuit won’t fit in my bag.”  This is true.  I am not planning on checking a bag for the trip, so it’s necessary to pack light.  I was prepared to bring running shoes, but not a wetsuit.  Within seconds Nick offered, “I can fit it in my bike bag!”  Of course you can.  What a way to save the day.  Thanks, hubby!

I was nervous about my next OWS.  I didn’t want to swim, I wanted to spectate and volunteer and sherpa and just enjoy our mini vacation.

While attending the athlete briefing with Nick and his brother, we were told there would be no swimming allowed in the bay.  (I can tell you, I wasn’t disappointed to hear this).  Any athlete found swimming would be immediately disqualified from the race.  (No objection from me).  Then the Race Director offered those who were wanting to get in the water could go a few miles up the road and swim there.  (Ugh, I thought he was on my side).  We left the briefing and went to lunch.

As luck would have it, we ate across the street from where the Race Director told us swimming was allowed.  I looked out the window the entire lunch watching the waves crash into the shore.  There was no way.  No way I could do this, not in these conditions.  I was going to tell my coach the tides were too rough for me to swim.  As I stared at the waves, I realized no one else was swimming.  There was not a single person in the water or on the beach.  It hadn’t been my brain exaggerating the scenery, it truly was rough waters outside.  Relief swept over me.

Galveston Beach


On the way home, I felt like I had dodged a bullet.  I got out of my OWS.  Then reality set in… Even though I escaped the swim last weekend, I still have to get in the open water at some point.  I can’t continue to hope for rough tides.  Soon there will be no more excuses.

Swimming is my barrier to entry.  It’s what caused my DNF at both Steelhead and Austin last year.  It’s a complete mind game for me.  I have no problems swimming in the pool.  Nick and I were discussing my swim anxiety the other day.  He said, “After Steelhead, I thought you would have no problems swimming in open water.”  The waves were really rough that day, and I finished the swim.  When I see the open water, I have flashbacks of that swim.  I remember struggling the second half, telling myself to keep going; while the next swim wave caught up to me and trampled over me.  A few minutes later, another swim wave was on it’s way; and I was still there – like a target floating in the water, just waiting to be trampled.  I recall getting sick so close to the finish, and how I knew regardless of whether or not I continued, I had already lost – I didn’t make the cutoff time.

I swam countless hours in the pool.  I hired a swim coach.  I’ve done drill after drill after drill.  I’ve improved my form.  I’ve gotten faster.  I’ve become more confident in the water.  Without a doubt, I can make the cutoff time.  Earlier this week, I had a gentleman tell me, “I enjoy watching you swim.  You seem to glide through the water.”  This was a huge compliment for me.  When I started swimming, I was flailing around in the water, trying to stay afloat and make it to the other end of the pool.

So, I’ll just keep swimming.  I’ll keep doing drills.  I’ll continue to get faster and stronger and more confident in the water.  And next race, I’ll get in and prove to myself it’s not that hard.  I have nothing to worry about.  It’s just a simple swim…in the open water.