Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March in Numbers

March is done, and I have one month of half-iron training under my belt. Here are the numbers:

Bike: 20h 21m 48s - 128.83 Mi
Run: 13h 32m 46s - 82.62 Mi
Swim: 9h 11m - 21850 Yd
Strength: 54m

Total: 42h 54m 34s

Just for a comparison, here are my February numbers:

Bike: 10h 25m 17s
Run: 6h 38m 06s - 41.5 Mi
Swim: 6h 18m - 16900 Yd
Strength: 18m

Total: 23h 21m 17s

Almost double!!

I'm tired!! I'm taking a well-deserved day off tomorrow.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

An Epic Run

I had what I can only call an epic run today. I was scheduled for 2 hours, so I set off with a new audiobook (The Help by Kathryn Stockett) on my iPod (I liked running to a book, btw.). The first 40 minutes flew by. Everything felt great...so far.

About an hour into my run, the wind picked up and it began to rain a cold, drenching rain. Of course, I was about as far as I could be from home, so I had no choice but to keep at it. I was running on a paved trail that I had never been on, and then, all of a sudden, the paving ended. A few yards ahead, I saw that it picked up again, so I just kept at it, but my beautiful new Mizunos got so muddy I had to stop and scrape the mud off the bottom. I was low on running clothes so I was wearing a pair of cotton capri workout pants, and, apparently, the last time they were washed all of the soap had not been rinsed out. When I was almost home, I looked down and noticed that my pants were all sudsy!! And I mean really, really sudsy!! I have no idea how long they had been like that. I got home 3 minutes short of my two hours, freezing, wet, sudsy, and totally beat. I ran 11.75 miles, which I was a bit disappointed in, but considering the conditions, I'll take it.

Now if I ever have to run a race in cold, wet weather, with new shoes that are wet and muddy, while I am sudsy on my bottom half, I'm good to go!

The Sunday Report

What a week!! Monday and Tuesday Noah had a fever, so the schedule got all mixed up for the rest of the week. Friday evening at swim lessons, Ryan fell and hurt his foot. He was very upset and couldn't put any weight on it. About 10 minutes after we put Noah to bed that same night, he started crying and nothing would comfort him. We ended up bringing him into bed with us, which meant no sleep for a trimommy until I snuck him into his bed at 3:30 a.m.

Saturday, I was already scheduled to be in Ithaca from 1pm-7pm, due to rescheduling from earlier in the week. I got up early and was on the bike at 7:20 a.m. for about an hour. Then off to the doctor to get both boys checked. Ryan's foot is fine, but Noah had an ear infection, which is much better now. I got home about 9 pm from Ithaca, and was on the bike by 9:30 for another hour. I was supposed to get three, but I think I did pretty good considering.

Here are the numbers for the week:

Swim: 4950.00 Yd 2h 05m
Bike: 60.57 Mi 5h 38m 21s
R: 22.01 Mi 3h 33m 55s

Total: 10h 17m 16s

My core workouts have gone by the wayside. I am going to try to do at least two a week, but it is definitely low priority.

Not a bad week!! I'll take it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Good, Hard Run

Today my training plan called for a 50-minute run. Specifically, a 10-minute warmup, 30 minutes running at Lactate Threshold, and a 10-minute cooldown. I was very nervous about this run, because most of my runs in the past few months have been in Zones 1-2, and this run would be keeping me in Zones 3-4.

Well, it definitely didn't feel great, but I did it, and here are my splits (this includes my 10-minute warmup). On my long runs I have been averaging between 9:30-10 min./mile, just to give some perspective.

Mile 1 9:01
Mile 2 8:41
Mile 3 8:14
Mile 4 8:09
Mile 5-ish 6:01 (0.68 miles)

Total: 4.68 miles 40:08

Woo-Hoo!!! That is fast (for me)!! I finished with a slow 10-minute cooldown.

While I was running I was thinking about writing this post, and one thought that crossed my mind was, "Wow, this really doesn't feel very good. Why am I doing this?"

I am doing this because I can, because I am able, because I am healthy, because I am a triathlete.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Sunday Report

Here are the numbers:

Swim: 5000.00 Yd 2h 05m
Bike: 56.38 Mi 5h 04m 38s
Run: 15.55 Mi 2h 31m

Total: 9h 38m 14s

Core Workouts: 1

Pushups: 1 day

These numbers include my long run today...11 miles! That is the farthest I've run since my half-marathon in '05!

This was a tough week, not because of the training, but because my kids were sick, and I had major scheduling issues. It's funny how sometimes the hardest part of training is not the motivation to get out there, but logistical issues, like scheduling. I was able to complete all but 10 minutes of my scheduled training, though, so I am calling the week a success.

Have a great week.

The Trainer and Oatmeal

Yesterday I rode for three hours on my trainer. THREE HOURS!! In full disclosure, I did not do three hours all at one. I did one 2-hour session while Noah napped, and then another hour after the boys went to bed. I got caught up on LOST (it gets weirder every week), watched the 2007 Kona race (I cry every time I watch one of these), and the watched the first half of "Becoming Jane" (very good, if you like anything about Jane Austen).

The big surprise is not how long I did yesterday...I went pretty easy, I thought, but how tired and sore I am today!! And I have a long run (1 hr. 45 min.) scheduled for today.

When I got up this morning and realized how tired I was, I had the huge realization that I will be doing more than these two days of training all in one shot for my half-iron!! What am I doing? I must be crazy!! Of course, I must remember that I am in Week 3 of training, and it is this training that will get me to the finish line.

Now what does all of this have to do with oatmeal?


But I was so inspired by Bree Wee's oatmeal post on her blog, that I have been trying new (no-sugar) oatmeal combos for breakfast. So far I have tried oats with pineapple, coconut, and slivered almonds, oats with chopped dates, walnuts, coconut, and, my fave so far, oats with a banana and a spoonful of natural peanut butter. So good!! A half cup of oats cooked with a cup of water takes less than ten minutes and is super filling with the extras! My new favorite meal.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Rev3Tri Here I Come (and you can come too)!!

This year as part of Team Trakkers, I get the opportunity to race in the Rev3Tri in Middlebury, CT on June 7. It is a half-iron distance race, and I will be doing the swim and run leg. At first I wasn't sure if I would be able to find anyone to do the bike leg, but my teammate, Carol, found someone for me! (Thanks, Carol!) So Tom and I will be racing together.

This is the inaugural year for the Rev3Tri, and it looks like it is going to be a great race. It will be taking place at Quassy Amusement Park, so Kel and the boys (and everyone else's friends and family) will have full run of the Park the day of the race. Of course, my sponsor, Trakkers, will be using its state-of-the-art gps tracking technology so all of the spectators will be able to follow their loved ones in real time.

The bike and run are on a beautiful course-you can take a sneak peek here. They are also very hilly. Here is a treadmill workout that professional triathlete, Heather Gollnick, recommends if you live in a flat area:

15 minute warmup
½ mile at 6% grade – 90%
¼ mile at 9% grade – 95%
¼ mile FAST 0% grade or even a negative % if your treadmill has one (simulating downhill)
¼ mile at 9% grade – 90%
¼ mile at 12% grade – 95%
¼ mile FAST 0% or below (simulating downhill)

Speaking of pros, here is a list of pros that will be racing: Bree Wee, Belinda Grainger, Desiree Ficker, Cameron Brown, Leanda Cave, Cait Snow, Luke Bell, Joanna Zeiger, Tim Berkel, Toby Radcliffe, and Rebekah Keat.

Here is the best part--you can race too!! Because you read my blog, you can get $10 off your race registration. Use this code--NSS129-- when you register at active.com.

I'll see you in June!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Heart Rate Training

I had another great run today, despite the fact that I woke up very dizzy!! My head finally felt somewhat settled by 12:30 today, so I did a quick 45 minutes on the treadmill at school. (I really should have run outside, but didn't bring the right clothes!)

Since the beginning of December, I have really made an effort to train smart when it comes to my heart rate and pace. I've been slowing myself down, and try to do the better part of my running in the lower working zones of my heart rate. (Check my post on "My Beating Heart" to read how I found my heart rate zones.) The general thought is that training in a lower heart rate zone (zones 1 and 2) teach your body to function at an aerobic level more efficiently by burning fat instead of glycogen, and also by increasing blood flow, over time, to the muscles you are training. Because you are burning more fat than glycogen, you are able to run longer. And because you have greater blood flow to your muscles, your muscles have more oxygen, which enables them to have access to the fat you need to burn to go longer. (This would be the my understanding of the benefit of heart rate training based on what my very unscientific mind gathered from a very scientific topic.) It's really an amazing cycle.

So in my last few runs, I think I am beginning to see the fruits of my efforts. I have been able to go faster (just a little bit, but still faster) for the same effort (heart rate) than I began at in December. For example, in December my Zone 2 pace was around 5.9-6.0 mph. Today I was able to run 6.2-6.3 mph in that same Zone 2!

If you aren't training with a heart rate monitor, I encourage you to check it out! It is definitely working for me.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Sunday Report

I was off work this week, so it was a great training week, until I got a cold on Friday. I cut back my workouts a bit on Saturday and Sunday, but still had some good numbers.

Swim: 5650.00 Yd 2h 21m
Bike: 11.88 Mi 4h 37m 20s
R: 16.92 Mi 2h 46m 30s

Total: 9h 45m 11s

Core Workouts: 2 five-minute sessions

Pushups: 2 five-minute sessions

If you have really been paying attention, you will know this is the first time I've put miles in for biking. The reason for this is my new Garmin Cadence Sensor. I bought it instead of a bike computer for Buttercup, and my wonderful husband installed it in time for my 60-minute recovery ride on Wednesday. That was the last time I was on the trainer, but I can't wait to use it during a regular ride, to check out my cadence and mileage.

I'm still nursing a cold today, but got out anyway for a 7.9 mile run, nice and easy. I'm really starting to enjoy these long runs even more than the short ones. They feel so nice, and I can just run and listen to music, and have some quiet time to myself.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I think I might be a runner!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Life of Leisure...Kind Of

This week I am on spring break. I teach part-time at two different colleges, and for the first time since I've been teaching at both, the spring breaks coincide.

Of course, Ryan still has school, and I still have to pay my babysitter...so I have three full days off this week.

Here is what I have done so far with my "time off".


A long breakfast by myself (after kids were at the sitter's)
A one hour run
A 30 minute swim
A very long shower (all the mommies out there know what I'm talking about!)
Two loads of laundry
Delivered a meal to someone from church
A very leisurely stroll through Target (a worker asked me if she could help me find something. I must have looked lost.)
Ditto for the library


A 75 minute trainer ride while I got caught up on LOST (man, I love that show)
A very long shower (please note the trend)
Two loads of laundry
My flute quartet concert (went very well)
Lunch with one of my flute quartet friends
Browsed around the local middle eastern market
Made homemade calzones (I actually did this after the kids got home, but I just wanted to put this in! They were yummy!)
Masters Swim - 1 hour


A one hour ride on the trainer
A way-too quick shower
Taught a one hour lesson
Met a friend for a long lunch (Thanks, L.!)
Picked up The Stick at Fleet Feet to give my legs a massage
Made two loaves of bread
One load of laundry
Picked up milk from local dairy

Ahhh...the life of leisure.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Sunday Report

Here are the numbers:

Swim: 4550.00 Yd 2h 00m
Bike: 4h 09m 44s
Run: 19.29 Mi 3h 11m 34s

Total: 9h 21m 28s

Core Workouts: 3 x 15m

Pushup Workouts: 3 x 15m

A great first week of Half-Ironman training! I didn't get all of the planned workouts in because my mom and sister were visiting from Florida, but I had already decided to not get worried about that. One funny thing that I noticed about this week was how many showers I took. Fourteen all together!! Now my back is very itchy and dry. Ahhh...the life of a triathlete!

I also had an amazing run today. I ran 9 miles in 1h 26m and kept my heart rate in Zones 2 and 3 for most of the time. My average heart rate was 161 which is right in the middle of my Zone 2!! All of that with an average pace per mile of 9:35!! Woo-hoo!

Have a great week!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Racing for Water

Give me your eyes for just one second

Give me your eyes so I can see

Everything that I keep missing

Give me your love for humanity

Give me your arms for the broken hearted

Ones that are far beyond my reach

Give me your heart for the ones forgotten

Give me your eyes so I can see

(from Give Me Your Eyes, Brandon Heath)

Water is the foundation of life, growth and human development, yet 1.1 billion people lack access to safe water and 2.4 billion lack basic sanitation.

Triathlon is an individual sport and often can feel a little selfish. How much faster can I be? What new gear do I need? When am I going to train? This year I want triathlon to be more than just about me, so this year I am Racing for Water.

Every mile of the Musselman Half-Ironman Triathlon that I race this year will be in an effort to raise money for Lifewater International. Lifewater International is a Christian development organization working to provide safe water, sanitation and hygiene education to communities around the world through training and partnerships with local organizations.

When I first began thinking about this project, I was touched by the song Give Me Your Eyes by Brandon Heath. The more I have thought and prayed about this, the more my vision for what we can do has grown. Oftentimes I think that these world problems are beyond my reach, but they are not.

"Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark." James 3:5

I want to be a spark that begins something greater than I can ever be alone, and I am asking you to be a spark as well.

My goal is to raise $100 for every mile of my half-ironman. That is $7030. I realize this is not a small goal, but I have faith that we can do this together.

Here is what you can do.

You can donate to this cause. The easiest way to do this is to go to my fundraising page at www.firstgiving.com/kellycovert. No amount is too small to help this great need.

You can tell all of your friends and colleagues about our efforts. Please send a link to this blog post to anyone and everyone!!

You can pray that the small things will multiply and become big things in every way.

You can Race for Water, too! If you are interested, please email me or post a comment, and I will get back to you immediately.

Thank you, my friends, for going outside of yourself to help those who really need it.

"We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give. "
Sir Winston Churchill

Monday, March 2, 2009

I am Super-Trimommy!!

What a day!!

I was running late, of course, to get out of the house this morning, and then was stuck at the train tracks, waiting for a train that wasn't even moving. I turned around and went another way.

Got to the gym too late to swim, so I taught my spin class and called Kel to see if he would mind if I went to Masters Swim tonight. He gave me the all clear.

A quick shower after spin and onto the bank to make a deposit.

Lunch for the boys at home, and then off to wait for the bus at the very cold corner.

Inside to vacuum the entire house (my mom is coming on Thursday!). Of course, you can't vacuum if there are toys all over the floor, so I had to pick everything up. Thirty minutes later and I'm done.

Noah in bed for a nap, and I pull out my homemade sweet potato chips from the oven. Throw together a deliciously healthy tuna melt to go with my chips.

Write two blog posts (I'll post the other one tomorrow...it is really exciting, don't miss it!!), and continue cleaning.

Grocery store with the boys, home in time for a healthy dinner (mexican chicken and beans) that has been cooking in the crockpot since this morning (part of the reason I left the house late.)

Playtime with my beautiful, always well-behaved, never crazy children and then they are off to bed.

Quick chat with Kel, and then off to Masters Swim. We swam 2100 yds. total with some killer kick sets mixed in. As I was leaving the gym, I saw some people in the fitness room on cardio machines and I thought to myself, "Who would want to exercise at this time of night?" Then I realized I had just finished! It just doesn't seem like exercise anymore.

Home finally at 10 pm.

And all of this with no sugar.

Now for the confessions:

1. It's been so long since I vacuumed, Noah asked me not to "broom" him with the vacuum. The poor kid doesn't even know what to call the crazy machine!

2. If it weren't for the fact that my mom was coming this week, I would not have cleaned my house, and I probably wouldn't have swam today.

3. I have had this picture since Christmas and have been waiting for the perfect day to have my super-trimommy post!

Have a great night.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Sunday Report

Here it is--a great week all-in-all.

Swim: 5900.00 Yd 2h 22m
Bike: 3h 16m 15s
R: 14.90 Mi 2h 28m 35s

Total: 8h 6m 50s

Half-iron training officially starts tomorrow!! I can't wait!