Monday, January 25, 2010

Week 2 A Special Lesson

So week 2 in in the books!

My goal for this week was to complete 100% of my workouts. I failed. BUT I'M OK WITH THAT!  I had a Divisional Meeting for work which literally sucked the life out of me for 3 days.  I was without a car as our truck broke down in Montauk and stayed there all week.  It was a little challenging.  The workout I blew was saturday's bike.  I was in Montauk getting the car.  I felt a little twinge of guilt/envy when I saw a few brave polar bear rider braving the cold and riding the Montauk Hills, but i'm happy with my week workout wise.  Here it is:

Monday: 40 minute TT for LTHR
Tuesday: off
Wednesday: (was supposed to be a 5k for LTHR, but moved to Friday)
Thursday: 1:00 bike w/ 2X6' very hard
Friday: 5k TT for LTHR
Saturday: Off
Sunday: 50:00 run w/ 4x.5 mile very hard

My LTHR for the bike is 146 BPM (average for 40 min TT)
My LTHR for the run is 157 BPM (average for 5K)

For the bike I fluctuated quite a bit and peaked at 160 BPM
On the run I when I hit about 166 BPM I would need to slow to a walk.  I guess thats my limit right now.

My eating this week was another story entirely - EPIC FAIL.  I just wasn't willing to do the work here.  I admit it.  I could have brought my food to the meeting, avoided the wine during dinner, and cooked instead of going out in Montauk, but i didn't want to.  I lost a measly pound this week and it is probably more than i deserved.  Oh well, there is this week!

I have a poster that Carolynn drew for me at my first olympic triathlon (Chicago 2006) it is hanging up in my pain cave and I stare at it while I ride (cause Coach Troy is not my type;) ).  It has my finish time of 3 hours 46 minutes.  It took forever for me to finish that race.  FOREVER.  I have a goal of completing Quassy in 3 hours.  If I stick to the plan I know I can attain that.

I learned something else really important this week.  My value is not linked to my finish time, or races, or miles, or pace.  Regardless, I am a masterpiece.  If you are wondering, so are you.

Happy training!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Week 1A Prepare

Week 1A – Prepare

There is (were) 21 weeks to my first A race, the Olympic Rev3Tri in Quassy, so last week was a preparation week of sorts. I have been out of the regular training discipline for so long I couldn’t see the benefit to jumping into a full blown training week. I used last week to get reacquainted with my bike and the dreadmill.

Monday – 1 hour trainer ride with some harder efforts thrown in

Tuesday – core work

Wednesday – 40 minutes of circuit aerobics and strength moves

Thursday – 5k treadmill steady state

Friday – 1 hour trainer ride with 2 x 6’ very hard efforts 2’ recovery

Saturday – off

Sunday – off

I missed a run workout on Sunday, but no worries or complaints as I start my official week 1 today.

I was also very proud of my eating habits this past week. I’ve shed 4 pounds already with a minimal amount of exercise time, so if I can keep my eating in check, I should see a more progressive weight loss over the next few weeks. I’m holding my caloric intake to around 1650 Kcal/day with a heavy emphasis on veggies and variety. My goal is to race Quassy under 130 pounds. (I haven’t been 130 pounds since the sixth grade.) I’ll also freely admit that while general health and race performance are pieces of my weight loss motivation, I really just want to look good in a pair of size 4 jeans. If that makes me shallow, so be it.

I cooked almost every night last week and it made all of the difference in the world. For the first time in a long time – we planned our weekly menu an shopped for everything we needed. Dinner included: grilled chicken quesadillas, Fish Bruchetta, and a most awesome scallop dish that you can read about here. The best surprise food of the week was Cauliflower CousCous. Click on it and make it (i used shallots not onions and less oil). You won’t regret it.

The week ahead is a baseline testing week starting with a 40 minute TT on the bike tonight and an all out 5k on Wednesday. Both will be used to estimate my LTHR for the next 4 weeks of training. My goal this week is to complete 100% of the workouts this week and eat cleanly despite having a three day long divisional meeting at work. I feel like if I can get through this week with my motivation intact, I am good to go.

Forward motion!


Monday, January 11, 2010

In the beginning there was a goal….

In the beginning there was a goal….

As I sit and type this I am acutely aware I am really good at beginning. I have started more projects, assignments, goals, and programs than I can count. I have planned and started many websites, new blogs, and even full blown companies, enough to fill at least a small notebook. Finishing, however, is another story entirely. I finish important things, but a lot of my life is a hodge-podge of loose ends, half built framework, and ultimately, unrealized potential. It irks me. Especially when thinking about all that I have left undone leads me adrift in a sea of daydreaming about what could have been. It’s a hard pattern to break. I usually break it only with a new goal, a fresh start, and yet again another chance to finish what I start.

When I started this blog (which I was very good at), I set forth a goal of finding out what I am really capable of (i.e. finishing what I was starting). I wanted to dream really big and see how far I could reach. The really big dream part (the starting) was easy, the reaching, well not so much. That year I did complete my first half iron tri, which I shouldn’t underestimate, but I did not achieve the consistency of training that would have helped me to achieve a more robust result. In my mind, I have left this goal undone. It’s been dangling over my head for a year and after a good clear conversation with Carolynn, I am ready to re-tackle it. I’m ready to begin again. I want to know what I am really capable of.

The Goal Redefined: To complete an Olympic and Half Iron triathlon, confident I have executed a training program to the best of my ability.

After speaking with Carolynn, I realized I had never trained for an Olympic tri before, much the same way I never trained for a 5k either. I began triathlon with my sights set on ironman and my running career began with an entry into the NYC marathon. I don’t know what it feels like to go fast or to even train for speed. This goal will allow me to back up and experience both of those (hopefully). It will also not occupy 15 hours a week and right now that is a very good thing that will increase my chances of success.

So here they are Rev3Tri Quassy Olympic Rev June 6th and Montauk Mightyman Half Ironman October 2nd. I hope you stay with me for the next 37 weeks. I’ll need the motivation. I’ll post weekly updates and let you know where I’m at and I think (know) that there will be at least one big surprise announcement somewhere along the way.

Week one starts now.

Now, where are my bike shoes?


Sunday, May 31, 2009


I have this internal alarm system that goes off when I reach a certain weight.  It's more like a panic button.  When it goes off I usually react by setting huge goals, restricting my calories by an unsustainable amount, and amping up my training.  This rarely works for more that a week or two, but it restarts the graph going in the right direction and usually provides me with the nudge to stay more mindful of the food I eat.  As my body mass has declined in the last few years, so has the alarm number.  First it was 175, then 165, then 160.  

This morning I weighed 158.8 pounds (insert sound of fire alarm).  I am 12 pounds more than I was at this time last year.  Granted, last year I was in the middle of training for my first 1/2 iron tri, putting in 10-12 hours a week and this year I'm not really training for anything, but I'm just really pissed off at myself.  Nothing fits, I'm cranky, and I don't feel good.  So here I am again, planning, blogging, and attempting to mount an internal rebellion over my sweet tooth.  Wish me luck .....

In my favor is a goal and a compelling reason to want to achieve it.  Pretty much the only race I will be doing this year is the NYC marathon on November 1st.  I've done it twice before with completely unsatisfying results.  I swore I would not race it again until I could do so in under 5 hours (with a secret desire to race it under 4:30).  Lugging 30 extra pounds around for 26.2 miles is NOT going to help me achieve that goal.  There are some researchers that attrubute as much as a 5 sec per mile increase in speed for every 2 pounds shed.  If that is the case, I could drop more than a minute off my mile just by losing the weight.  Even if only 1/2 of that is true, I'd unload 13 milutes off my marathon time.  It really is a non-negotiable.  Lose the weight or defer the marathon AGAIN.

 I'm going to start (or re-start) the only way I know how . . . with drastic and immediate changes in my eating habits and my training schedule.  Not being a "small step" kind of person, I'm jumping in waist deep.  I do better with fewer options so i'm going to come up with a list of 3 breakfast choices, 3 lunch choices, 3 small snack options, and 3 basic dinner options.  I'll pick and choose, mix and match, but I will try not to deviate from them.  Since I am not putting in hard training hours, there is no reason to eat more than 1800 Kcal a day, that should put me at about a 600Kcal deficit per day and translate into roughly 1.5 - 2 pounds per week.  I'll add in calories as my marathon training begins in earnest.  The Marathon is 22 weeks away which will put me safely into my goal range of 130 pounds before I hit the starting line.

Today was a decent success.  Here is how my food day broke down:































Dietary Fiber












Not bad for day one, actually a little short of my calorie goal. Ok now only 140 to go!

BTW this great information came from check it out. It is a very powerful tracking tool (and FREE!)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Open Message to Kevin from the Super Runner's Shop

I just sent this email to Kevin from the Super Runner's Shop in Huntington.   

Hi Kevin,

I was in your store today with a tall attractive redhead, looking to buy her first pair of running shoes.  She's 42 and 18 months out from 6 rounds of chemotherapy for Lymphoma.  She is a newly minted survivor who chose to celebrate by running her first 1/2 marathon with TNT in the fall.  I'm telling you this because you made it a point to remark how big (read fat) she is to be a runner and how much horsepower she would need generate to move.  You did this in front of at least 10 people in the store.  You, Kevin, are a bonehead. 

Carolynn said to me walking back to the car, "Well I guess this will just become one of my running stories, kinda like the one you tell about the the time you went out and a carload of guys that yelled fat slurs at you."  My heart just broke.  She will never forget what you said to her.  Carolynn beat cancer and because of that I'm confident that she won't let your remarks distract her from her goal, however, not everyone that comes into your store will be so resilient.  I owe my current health to running and I was 40 pounds heavier when I started.  Had I experienced what Carolynn did today, I probably would have concluded you were right and gone home to eat my life away.

We won't be shopping at your store again and I won't be sending anyone I know there either.  Having said that, I know some time in the near future an overweight person with walk into your store looking to buy shoes.  For their sake, please don't be a bonehead.

Jennifer Rehm

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Grilled Vegetables in Orange Balsamic sauce

This is a really simple but tasty dish, use any veggies you like to grill.  You can also use goat cheese if you prefer and serve over couscous instead of pita. Enjoy!

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice (1 fresh lemon)

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 

1/2 teaspoon cheveril (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste 

1 large red onion, thickly sliced into rounds 

1 (1-pound) eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices 

2 medium zucchini or yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices 

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 6 pieces 

1 small shallot, finely chopped 

1/2 cup orange juice

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup feta cheese crumbles 

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

fresh greek style pita (not the kind with the slit in the middle)


Combine 1/4 cup of the oil, lemon juice, oregano and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add onions, eggplant, zucchini and peppers and toss gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours, or 10 minutes if that is all you have!

Preheat grill. Arrange marinated vegetables in a single layer on the grill and cook, flipping once, until tender and golden brown, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm.  Tin foil is fine.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add orange juice and reduce liquid by half, 6 to 8 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, then remove from the heat and set vinaigrette aside.  This sauce is amazing for anything! Pour sauce over bowl of grilled veggies.

Brush pita with EVOO an dset on the grill to toast. Portion veggies on to each pita. Generously sprinkle feta over veggie. EAT!

Portion veggies on each pita.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009



I remember sitting at my desk on December 23rd and looking at the conference table in my office. I had brought all of Carolynn's Christmas presents in to wrap them and they were on the table. I remember thinking, “Is it enough?” I pulled out a little hand written list of everything I wanted to get her and checked off the items one by one. We had a tight budget this year and there was no jewelry or vacation tickets in the pile. I looked up and again I though, “I hope it is enough.” With that I began to load my car and head home for the holiday.

The holiday was really nice, we had Carolynn's brother's family to our house for dinner. I was really excited to cook a fabulous meal for them. I had laid out an elaborate menu with stuffed shrimp, zucchini patties, fillet mignon, mushrooms, the works. Earlier in the week, Carolynn and I got into a stupid little argument over what I was cooking. I was the stupid one in that I got a little indignant because Carolynn suggested Kenny bring a menu item that I felt infringed on what I was planning to cook. It was really pathetic of me. The little uproar blew over as fast as it came and I found myself looking at the slightly smaller menu thinking, “Is this enough?”

I meticulously laid out my triathlon training schedule for 2009, leaving open the possibility of a late September Ironman. As I was going through the training weeks and building up the miles, I would stop and reflect, “Is this enough?” I anticipate joining some of my training friends on rides and runs, after all that social outlet is a big piece of the sport for me. I couldn't help but project my level of fitness at any given moment and wonder, “If it will be enough?” I built in 4 races before my A race, as I usually do and predictably considered, “Is that enough?”

Enough what?

Over the course of the last few weeks, I have thought about all of the times I use the phrase, “Is it enough?” I use it a lot and I began to realize that what I was really asking is, “Am I enough?” In every case, including my triathlon training the amount of something I was doing or planning seemed to directly correlate with my sense of self worth. Discovery is the first step to understanding. I understand that I have a long way to go when it comes to being satisfied with just being. I can conceptually explain the principles of attachment, suffering, and the absence of existence, but I can't seem to get it through my head the simple truth that, in all cases, places, and situations, I am enough.