Posted by: libbith | July 10, 2009

The Countdown Begins

A quick peak into my life right now.  Here is part of an e-mail from the head coach detailing our workout on Saturday morning:


Group BRICK (2:30) 7:00am START @ Riverside + Prospect Park

RUN .5M / BIKE 1:00 / RUN 6-8M (1:15 max)

This is a race simulation, so show up well rested and ready to race! Bring your intended race day nutrition and clothing if you have it already

RUN .5M / BIKE 1:00/ RUN 6-8M (1:15 max)

6:45 – 6:55 am. Check-in at transition area
6:55-7:00 am. Pre-event announcements

7:00am .5M warm-up run

7:10 am Start 1:00 cycling

8:15am transition to run

9:30am End run

9:30-10:00am NYCTRI course Transition orientation (Riverside Pk only) or Transition Demo

Please arrive on time to hear the important pre-event announcements. In triathlons, there are time penalties and even disqualification for violation of the race rules. Please review recent posting of race rules.

Manhattan GTS – after warm-up jog, you will BIKE to Central Pk, and complete a 2 x 6M loop on the bike followed by lower loop repeats at steady pace to complete the 1:00 of cycling. The 1:00 includes the time it takes to get to and from CP. This timed format will have you all finish the cycling leg and enter the transition area close to each other, simulating the excitement and challenge of event day. You should be off your bike by ~8:15am.

Your RUN is max of 1:15, and we expect athletes to cover 6-8M. You will run along 72nd to CP, obeying all traffic laws! 1M to CP. Once in CP, head north on West Drive.

Basic course has you stay on West Drive up to 102nd transverse, cross to East Drive (~mile 3) and run down to 72nd. Cross 72nd transverse and head back to the transition area in Riverside Pk.

Intermediate + Advanced course carries you above 102nd St through northern hills – yup, the full NYC Run course.”

Posted by: libbith | July 8, 2009


If anyone actually ever commented on my posts–or read them for that matter–this is a topic I would love to start a dialogue about.  I find it fascinating from where and what people find inspiration when it comes to training for an endurance sport.  Personally, it has been amazing to be told that it is ME that is inspiring other people.  Not only do I think they’re lying, but I can’t believe that I could ever inspire anyone when it comes to exercise.  The times, they are a changin’.

One thing that I get inspiration from is stories of the underdog.  Since that is the category I believe myself to be in, when I hear about people who have even more to overcome, it reminds me that this is certainly an achievable goal.  Team in Training has been great in that way, reminding me constantly that if my “honored teammates” can do this right after chemo, I can certainly push through the pain. That’s why these running stories on The New York Times website are really motivating to me.  While some of these people aren’t necessarily “underdogs”, the woman who started marathons at 35, the girl with cystic fibrosis, and the nun (I will never again complain that I’m hot while running!) are all really inspiring.

Running Voices copy

Running Voices

So, anyone out there? What is motivating for you? I could use all the stories and tips you use in these last three (less than three, really) weeks!

Posted by: libbith | July 7, 2009

Define “Endurance”

Some people are truly insane.


You Created It, Tough Guy. So Let’s See You Finish It.

1500m swimming, 40k biking, 10k running is more than enough for me.  Please don’t ever let me get this crazy.

Posted by: libbith | July 6, 2009

More Maps

I seem to be really into maps these days.  I am sure it is because I spend so much time plugging my running and biking routes into these maps to determine the length of my workouts.  This morning, while wondering for the thousandth time how to bike up the east side rather than the west, I decided to ask the internet that question.  While, unfortunately, the answer seems to be that you can’t easily do it, I found that answer on a great new website.

NYC Bike Map

NYC Bike Map

NYC Bike Maps is exactly what is sounds like: maps of the various bike paths in the five boroughs.  More importantly, however, they not only show bike-specific paths, but designate paths as roadways with bike lanes, bike paths with special hours, greenways that are car free, etc.  They also seem to have other tools and maps available, like maps of various bike tours and races, links to biking blogs, and other information about biking in the big apple.  While the site was far from hard to find, I haven’t heard about it anywhere else, so I’m glad I finally Googled it.  I’ll let you know if I actually take its advice and how accurate the routes are.

Posted by: libbith | July 6, 2009

To My Future Self #2

You are stronger and more prepared then you think. You also can push yourself harder and further than you think.  When the going gets tough–and the going WILL get tough–remember to dig down deeper, block out the thoughts of pain, and remember all the reasons you are doing this, both selfish and selfless. [Editor’s note: I just wrote this post, published it, and then re-read my first notes to myself and realize that, almost word for word, I wrote this already! I’m going to leave it up anyway because, clearly, it is something I want to remember.]

Don’t sweat the small stuff, you’ll be sweating enough from the heat! This morning, I spilled coffee all over a freshly laundered dress before even getting into work.  Because of the weekend and the weather, however, I was in such a good mood that I only let this bother me for a few minutes, and then forgot about it.  Things are going to go wrong on race day, whether they are small things (walking a bit in the run) or big things (getting a flat tire).  Dealing with them and then forgetting them will be the only way to get through the rest of the race and to enjoy yourself.  So remember that, despite your tendency to fixate on the negative, you have the ability to stay positive.

Posted by: libbith | June 24, 2009

Vocabulary Lesson

Main Entry: hard–core           Listen to the pronunciation of hard–core
Pronunciation: \-ˈkr\
Function: adjective
Date: 1940

1 a: of, relating to, or being part of a hard core <hard–core poverty> <the hard–core unemployed> b: confirmed, die-hard <hard–core rock fans> <a hard–core liberal>

Ok, so this definition has almost nothing to do with what I mean here, but I have wondered during this whole thing when I can officially call myself “hardcore.”  At first, I was going to start saying it when I had my first Gu.  That, however, made me feel even less hardcore as it was awful and I felt like a total poseur.

I think, however, that as of last night, I am hardcore.  Or I will tell myself that to feel better.  At GTS yesterday we  ran 7 1/4 miles, my longest run ever.  I was absolutely dripping sweat the entire time and wanted to crawl in a ball and go to bed for the last 3.  After the run, I went and got a smoothie based on an “article” I’d read online.  I drank some with my friend, started feeling out of it, and went home to lie down.  About an hour later, I got up to get some water, ran to the bathroom, and put my smoothie into the toilet.

So, instead of chastising myself for not hydrating enough (even though I tried really, really hard to), I am just going to say that I am hardcore because a workout made me sick.

Posted by: libbith | June 24, 2009

Orange and Round

pumpkin_runCall me crazy, but, without having completed my first, I signed up for my second triathlon! This one is a sprint distance, so about half the distance of the Olympic one I have been training for, but that doesn’t discount it.  I thought long and hard about this and realized two things: 1) I need to sign up for something else so I learn to train on my own when this is over 2) I need to cut myself some slack and let my training taper off in distance and intensity after the NYC tri.  So, with the encouragement of a friend, I signed up for the Pumpkinman Sprint Triathlon on September 12th.  Both said friend and her husband will be doing this, so it should be a really fun weekend in New Hampshire and Maine.  Also, unlike NYC, the course should be incredibly green and natural and the body of water cleaner.  I am pretty excited about it!

Posted by: libbith | June 22, 2009

Le Freak, C’est Chic!

Freakout! There is, unfortunately, nothing chic about it.

I am in total panic mode, and have been–on and off–for a week or so.  I have so many things to discuss from this weekend, but can’t muster much more than a quick panic post right now.  Anyone out there want to shower me with words of encouragement?

Posted by: libbith | June 19, 2009

To My Future Self

I have been thinking about the actual race day a lot lately, since it seems to be rocketing with alarming speed towards me.  Along with sometimes paralyzing anxiety, I have been getting very excited and emotional about the idea of actually completing this goal and truly beginning a new chapter in my life.  When I am in this mindset, I think of things that I want to remember on July 26th.  So, instead of saving them all for one long post, I decided to start jotting them down as I think of them.  Here are the first few:

There is only one first race. Only this time will I feel the same extreme satisfaction of completion, the same sense of newness, the same confusion, and all the other emotions that go along with doing something for the first time.  I want to remember to enjoy that feeling and remember to remember it.

This is only a cometition against myself, no one else. My finishing time is not important.  Next time I do this, I can try and beat my first time.  This time, the goal is to cross the finish line with a smile.  It doesn’t matter who comes before me or after me, just that I get there in one piece.

I am stronger than I think I am.  This is going to get hard.  I am going to be hot, swollen, fatigued, hungry, and possibly in pain at points.  But that’s ok.  I have to learn to find that reserve of energy and push through.  If this wasn’t hard, it wouldn’t be worth it.

Posted by: libbith | June 18, 2009

Vacation Exercise: A Lesson in Oxymoron

In an attempt to clear my head, be better at maintaining this blog, and get some of my ideas finally down on “paper”, I was going through some posts I had started drafting and never finished, and found the title and these images saved:

Rocky Portuguese Beach

Beautiful Beach

Vineyard Wysteria

I had been intending, way back on March 26th, to write a post about how unsuccessful training was while on vacation.  I was going to gripe about the “heat” (which I now realize was incredibly pleasant weather), talk about how unnatural it felt to be beholden to a schedule when I was supposed to be relaxing, and how I did manage to splash around in the teeny tiny hotel pool a few times.  Then, I was going to switch gears and wax poetic about the absolutely fabulous day my boyfriend and I had cycling along the Portuguese coastline, stopping at a secluded beach, meeting a really interesting Portuguese-Brit, and visiting a tile factory and winery at the end of the day.  Then I was going to get sappy and say none of that would have ever happened if I hadn’t started training, so thank you training for giving me my favorite vacation day.

Too bad I never got around to it.

Instead, I’ll use this space to mention how much I am ready for a vacation and how, now that excersing has become a more integral part of my routine and I am gradually falling madly in love with cycling, I really want to take a full bike vacation, replete with long lunches, unexpected encounters, and a beautiful European country side.

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