That which does not kill us, makes us stronger. - Nietzsche

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

bad, bad blogger

YES, I am behind on the blogging. I owe ya'll two weeks in review (they're not impressive - I was sick and then it was a holiday) and a race recap. Oh, and I have a little bit of a new owie, which I have self-diagnosed as jumper's knee (the symptoms seem to fit better than runner's knee, even though I do zero jumping) but it's getting better and I'm not too worried. I'm actually enjoying the break from training FOR anything. And the sickies are finally gone and they'd better stay away.

Oh, and I got a bike trainer - one of only a few thanksgiving weekend shopping deals I totally jumped on. So I plan to be much, much better at keeping up with bike fitness. After all, 112 miles is a long ride.

But a quick answer to the "did you get that sub-60 10k??" question that you may be (or probably are not) asking....nope. I could be a little bummed....and ok, I AM, but....I was still not 100% healthy due to the stupid cold and the stupid knee (although I trace the knee back to my inadvertant GOTR 5k sprinting, so it's totally worth it). And the bigger issue is that there were close to 14,000 people doing this race. FOURTEEN FREAKING THOUSAND. And according to my estimates, over half of them had no clue how to line up or what the big-ass pace signs meant prior to the race. I burned out nearly all of my energy in the first three miles zig-zagging around people walking all over the road.

No, really. I seriously think less than 10 people actually passed me, and I was passing people like crazy. When I wasn't kicking their heels and nearly slamming into their backs and looking wildly around for an opening in the crowd.

It's not just me. I have a couple of friends who ran the thing at a 6-7 minute pace and THEY were dodging walkers. WHAT. THE. EFF.

Anyway, the spirit of the race is fun, and IF I run it again, it will not at all be with a goal in mind. I ended up spending much of the race in a huge state of frustration.

But today, I found the official race pics and I just had to laugh. Running for a time goal in these conditions? Really? Just look - here I am at the finish line. Err, the white headband girl behind the guy in the maroon shirt kind of in the middle crossing the finish line, if you can even find me.

Yeah, I have no clue how I was able to look myself up and get this result, either!

Yeah, I was super annoyed at the finish line. Those people right in front of me were WALKING and totally ruined my finish line kick. And pay no mind to the time at the top - it took me over 13 minutes just to cross the starting line. My official time was 1:02:20 - still a PR. And according to my garmin, a sub-10 pace per mile....I just added on an extra tenth of a mile dodging and weaving. Yeeha!

I guess that was pretty much my race recap (minus one detail: the line of walkers 5 across, less than half a mile in, at whom I had to yell "SOMEBODY 'SCUSE ME!!!" and they all looked at me like I lost my mind). Soon to come: the recap of those two weeks of not a lot of exercise, and an update on my current training (hint: I'm not being too hard on myself during the holidays, although it's still way more than sitting on the couch, for sure.)

Hope ya'll had a fantastic holiday. Next 10k will be my sub-60 for sure!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I don't always run with music....

....but when I do, it's for a good reason. Like wanting a little extra oomph to hit a sub-60 10k.

So here's my 10k playlist. I picked the songs that have seemed to inspire me to pick up the most speed lately when I've ran with them. The first 16 songs are 59.2 minutes. The last one is for good measure.

(Runners up, which are next in line in case I skip something, include "Born this Way" by Lady Gaga, "Black Betty" by Ram Jam, "Pump It" by Black Eyed Peas, "Miami 2 Ibiza" by Swedish House Mafia, and "Busy Child" by Crystal Method.)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

race report - Girls on the Run 5k

I volunteered for the second time for a Girls on the Run 5k event. You may or may not recall, I was a running buddy a year ago, and it was such a great experience that I wanted to do it again. (They have a spring 5k too, but I had a friend getting married in NC that, I was BARELY running at that point. Stupid tibia.) Plus, my registration was free as a thanks for being a solemate (fundraiser) for the AF marathon. Can't beat that!

Note: while looking for that entry, I noticed that I also had a cold pretty much at the exact same time last year. Crazy.

Anyway, I wasn't sure I was going to make it. I nearly called in sick to work on Friday (and to show you how crappy I felt, I have called in sick ONCE in close to three years at my job. Yep.) and I figured if I felt awful Saturday, I'd just have to skip it. Luckily, it started at 10 am which gave me enough time to sleep in (because 8 am is sleeping in! I am so old!) and I felt pretty good on race morning. Mucus-filled, but capable of running a moderately-paced 3.1.

The day was sunshiney and beautiful, though a little chilly. I overdressed a little (based not on the pace I run, but on the 50 minute 5k I ran last year) and found the volunteer coordinator, who said she was pretty sure that everyone who needed a buddy had already been paired. Bummer, but I figured it would be fun just to run it and cheer everyone on. A few minutes later, she came back and told me that one of the school groups needed some buddies.

Source: GOTR Cinci facebook page
Source: GOTR Cinci facebook page

There's no pre-race environment quite like what goes on before a GOTR race. There's a big outdoor stage at the race start, and it was full of girls dancing like crazy to all manner of upbeat music - current stuff, line-dance favorites, and of course "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun". I met the site coaches, but there were no girls near the school's sign - because they were all on stage. I commented that I don't have the energy to both dance AND run a 5k!

Source: GOTR Cinci facebook page

The University of Cincinnati track team took the stage to lead everyone in stretching, and everyone was supposed to be back with their group - except our group had three coaches, a handful of running buddies, and no girls! Eventually they all made their way over to us right before the race started, and coaches started handing off girls to buddies. The smallest girl ended up with me. She was so cute, wearing pink butterfly wings, not-quite chest-high on me, and I bent down to introduce myself and give her a high-five. She told me she was 8, so one of the youngest girls at the event in general - it starts in third grade. The first thing she asked me was, "Do you run fast?" I laughed and told her I don't run really fast but I enjoy running. I asked her how fast she runs and she said, "Super fast!" I told her I may have to keep up with her!

They announced the race start, and my previously shy little buddy (LB) got a huge grin on her face, grabbed my gloved hand with hers, and BOLTED toward the start line! LB was pulling me, and when she let go of my hand, I was chasing her through the crowds. LB wasn't kidding about the super fast thing. We got to the start line, where we were supposed to line up according to pace signs. LB looked a little confused. I asked her if she knew how many minutes it took her to run a mile. She looked at me like I had just asked her something in Swahili. So I asked her how long it took her to run their practice 5k and she shrugged. I asked her, again, how fast she runs and she said, "Super fast!!" So I told her we could just stand anywhere....which led to LB grabbing my hand and running aaaallllll the way to the very front row!

LB was holding my hand the whole time and the ginormous grin never left her face. She asked me where the course went and I tried to explain, but I wasn't sure of the whole course. So I gave up and told her to follow everyone else. "But what if we're first?" she said. I smiled and pointed out the bicyclist who would be leading the pack. "What if we're faster than the guy on the bike??" she asked, 100% seriously. I laughed and told her that we'd just run.

Try to keep up!!! Source: GOTR Cinci facebook page

LB told me that when they ran around their school building, she was always first. I started to get a little worried. What if she was a little running prodigy? What if I really couldn't keep up with her? I decided there was nothing I could do and if I lost my running buddy because she was a speed demon, someone else would run with her! Someone was holding a rope about waist-high (so nearly as tall as LB) across the start line and her eyes got wide. "We have to jump over that???" I explained that it was keeping all the excited girls like her from taking off so soon. The expression in LB's eyes reminded me of sonic the hedgehog revving up before he goes flying across a loop-de-loop. She was totally fired up. I told her about the countdown before the race started....and then I heard girls counting down! 10...9...8...7...6 (and I took my hand out of LB's hand just long enough to start my Garmin and then grab her hand again)...5...4...3...2...1....


And HOLY CRAP LB was flying. Like crazy. I looked at my Garmin and saw a 14: something because it hadn't caught up with us yet. I looked again and we were doing a 6: something. I was thinking - and hoping - that she wouldn't keep this pace for long and was using the typical kid strategy of running SUPER FAST as long as you can. When I started thinking I couldn't stay with her much longer, she stopped and came to a slooow sloooow walk. The excitement on her face seemed to slide right off, to be replaced by overwhelming fear and upset as her bicycle-passing fantasy collided with reality. "This is a LONG WAY!" She looked like she might cry. I looked at the Garmin. We were about .2 into the race. Oh crap.

So I gave RB a crash course in pacing, and I'm not sure how much of it sunk in. So I told her walk breaks were ok, that lots of people walk, that I ran 26 miles in a race and I walked. We walked. And we jogged, and she actually had a pretty quick jogging pace too. And then, without warning, we sprinted!! So much for pacing. I darted behind her, ducking through people and apologizing....aaannnddd....WALK. LB was struck by the number of people ahead of us, and I pointed out the number of people behind us, too, and how finishing, not winning, was the goal. I race all the time, I told her, and I NEVER win but I'm happy to do my best. I think it worked. She said, "Just don't quit!" and I firmly agreed.

Source: GOTR Facebook page. Yep, keep moving!!

3.1 miles is a LONG WAY to a tiny little girl. A really long way. When I got all excited at the first mile marker, LB just looked a bit overwhelmed that we had to run two more miles. Someone pointed out that LB's shoe was untied and I could see the wheels turning as she looked down at it, looked back up and realized she couldn't bear the thought of stopping long enough to deal with it, for fear she'd never get going again. Haha, been there - mile 22 of the marathon when I was pretty sure I'd ripped off a toenail and was filling my shoe with blood and kept moving anyway.

I cheered LB on the whole way, and miraculously, she found MANY more energized moments. She would see people cheering, or a landmark like Paul Brown Stadium, or I'd tell her one more turn and then we'd be headed back the way she came, and all of a sudden she would BOLT. I'd run, too, with my heart probably beating at the top of its range, and then we'd walk again. LB was fascinated that we got to run under the highway bridges. I taught her that you don't have to stop and stay at the water table to drink it, and she seemed to relish being able to throw her cup on the ground. I told her that she needed to go out for track when she was older because she was one awesome sprinter. We stopped to pose for a picture, taken by the GOTR volunteer rounder-upper, who then laughed as LB took off again and I broke into a full sprint to stay with her. She seemed to feel pretty good about passing 2 miles, and soon we could see the Purple People Bridge. Just on the other side of that bridge, I told her. I asked her if she ever thought she'd run 3 miles and she grinned and shook her head. I said even one mile is far. "One mile is ok," she said, "but three is a challenge!"

source: GOTR Cinci facebook page. Volunteer groups are recruited just to cheer!

Source: GOTR Cinci facebook page. My favorite signs!

A few more sprints, and then I think the attention span of an 8-year-old took over. She climbed up on a wall and started jumping over raised sections of it like hurdles. She came almost to a dead stop to look out at the river - which is pretty cool-looking, I agree. We were on the other side of the bridge, and she looked at me like, "OK, where IS the finish line?" Through the tunnel where we started, I told her, and we sprinted through the tunnel. I felt a little bit bad - we still had .3 miles to go, which probably felt like forever to her, and there were some twists and turns so the finish line wasn't immediately visible. She slowed to a slow, slow walk and I'm pretty sure she thought I'd been lying to her. Soon, though, we could see the final turn and the finish line and I happily pointed it out to her. I told her to tell me when she wanted to run and we'd run to the finish. Aaand....we walked. And walked. Past the 3 mile marker. Past Erin, the director of GOTR Cincy, who was excitedly telling LB that we were ALMOST THERE!!!! And then, without warning....S P R I N T!!!! I could barely stay with her - that little girl FLEW at what I'm pretty sure was the top of my sprint range, too!

We excitedly high-fived at the end. There wasn't a race timer, but Garmin said we finished the race in 42 minutes - which I think is pretty awesome for an 8-year-old! Especially considering that LB stopped a few times to tie the same shoe - she had finally decided it was ok to stop and tie it, much to my relief - before I tied it in a tight double-knot for her. LB was a total trooper. I delivered her back to her school before I left to do a few more miles on my own, as prep for the thanksgiving 10k.

I love doing this race - it reminds me why I run and how awesome the feeling is of accomplishing something that looks huge. It's so easy to get caught up on pace and speed and meeting or not meeting goals instead of just going out there and running and letting THAT be awesome and amazing on its own.

I'm still going for a sub-60 10k....but it feels a little less important now, and the experience feels like more of a priority.

I got home and checked what the Garmin had to say - our top speed was 12.4 mph!! I told you LB was crazy fast. Our Garmin feedback looks like this:

OK, some of that is I think because the Garmin gets a little wonky downtown, with the buildings and all, but some of that is genuine variation between sprinting and walking. (I think the four highest peaks represent shoe-tying breaks!)

Loved, loved, loved the race again this year. There were over 800 girls in the Cincinnati area groups, which is fantastic. I never, ever, ever would've thought I could do a 5k at that age. Such a good program, and I encourage everyone to get involved with GOTR in your area if you can!!

And remember, in the words of LB - just don't quit!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

arrgh, body, cooperate....

I used to brag about how much running has boosted my immune system and how I never, ever, ever get sick.

So WHY am I now fighting the second cold I've had in a month???

I know I work with kids and I'm in and out of schools and I've been face-to-face with numerous sick people this week. Still. And once again, it's popping up too-soon-for-comfort before a race that I'm on my way to PRing IF I CAN STAY HEALTHY.

I'm almost wondering if I'm overtraining. But I've been happy with my training volume, last week was a low volume week, and I skip planned workouts if I'm tired. But this one seems to be oddly exercise related - I noticed a sore throat Tuesday while I was swimming. I forgot about it because it went away when I stopped swimming. Yesterday, I woke up fine. Went to yoga class fine. Did a round of speedwork and felt WAY more tired than usual. Soon after, a sore throat reared its ugly head and a few short hours later, it hurt like crazy to swallow and I was passed out on the couch before 9 pm.

For the record, I get lots of sleep. I do NOT let my workouts get in the way of 8-9 hours of sleep because I don't function well on less. I blame 8 years of college, when I routinely had to function on less than 8 hours. Sometimes much less. I'm doomed to spend the rest of my life making up for it.

I can't afford to take a sick day (since I'm still responsible for meeting all my hours even if I'm sick), but I'm going to minimize the cardio (still going to pilates this morning skipping pilates because I just realized I'd have to leave in 7 minutes and I'm still in my pajamas and I haven't had breakfast, and clearing out the rest of my workouts - swim, run, circuit) until I'm feeling better. I bought sambucol, which is pricey but I hear good things, and I've done black elderberry in the past to make sickies go away. I've got a week until thanksgiving so hopefully I can have this crap out of my system until then.

After that, maybe I will try to cut down my training load a little bit and ease back into it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

training plan....for now

I think I've come up with a simple plan that will work until I start OFFICIALLY training for anything next year.

These are the workouts I want to make sure I accomplish in a week:

2 swims, one long and one speedwork (although right now they're pretty much the same length - about a mile. I don't see the need to swim much longer than a mile until I'm training for 140.6, and by the time I get to longer swims it'll be warm enough to swim outside - not quite as boring as the pool!!)

2 bikes, one long and one speedwork (both in the form of spin classes for the duration of winter)

4 runs - one long, one speedwork, one hilly, one short and easy (the day after a harder run, as a recovery run)

Yoga, pilates, and circuit class as long as they fit in my schedule for the week.

Add an easy swim and an easy bike IF there's room after all that, but the aforementioned workouts are the crucial ones.

I'm afraid to post this on a forum because I'm sure that plan will get slammed by the crazy people who do 20 workouts a week....but do any triathletes out there have an opinion on this plan???

Triathlon is PART of my life, but not all of it, and I think this lets me use my training time wisely while not getting burned out. I do feel like I should have more biking in there but it's hard to squeeze in. There's not as much daylight or good weather as there used to be, spin classes don't always fit in the schedule (and I'm not the HUGEST fan of them but they're a good workout) and stationary bikes make me wanna hurt someone.

I didn't make a weekly schedule since my work schedule varies from week to week, so I have to sit down and plan out my training every week. It's a little bit of a pain but it keeps things interesting!

One more thing....speedwork WORKS. Holy crap it works. I'm already seeing my swim speed improving consistently.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Week in Review, 11/7 - 11/13

Monday: Swam 1600 yd in 40:49. I did a 200 yd w/u followed by 10 sets of 50 yd sprints with 10 seconds in between, another 200 easy, 10 more 50 yd sprints, 200 c/d. Technically the workout was supposed to be 20 sprints in a row (I got it from an IM training plan) but after 10 I wanted a break! I was a little disappointed that I couldn't seem to get 50 yards in less than a minute. Best one was 1:03. Then I did 20 minutes of strength training - abs and arms. Holy hell, that swimming was killer. During the strength training, I started getting warm and went to take my sweatshirt off - and seriously struggled with it because my arm wouldn't lift high enough.

Tuesday: 5 miles at tempo pace in 48:01.

Wednesday: 3 miles easy in my 'hood. Turned into 3.7 - oops - in 38:54. No obsessive Garmin-checking, nice and steady. I met some fellow runners and chatted with them a bit. They asked me if I was training for something and I blurted out, "Yeah, I'm doing an Ironman!" Haha. They're running the Dallas 26.2 in December and wished me luck.

Thursday: 1 hour of pilates. I accidentally set my alarm too early and realized I had time to squeeze in a quick swim, so I did. I swam 1000 yd in 22:46, which is awesome for me! I've been trying so hard to consistently break 10 minutes for 400, and here I did the first 800 in 18:16, and the last 200 in 2:30 flat. I think the speedwork actually had some effect.

Friday: The most awesomest run ever!!! No, really!!! I went to a class at the local running store (more on that later) on running form and decided to tweak a few things. I was going to run 8 miles. I ran 10 because I felt super awesome. I ran it at what felt like an easy pace, and ended up with 10 miles in 1:38:46. That is INSANE for me. That is the fastest I think I've ran 10 miles EVER. And I felt like I could've kept going!!! I wasn't super sore in the aftermath!! Two days later, I am STILL on cloud 9 from that run (and almost afraid to run again, afraid it was a fluke....)

Then huz and I went away for a bit. We both work too much and stress too much and decided to get out of here. He's better at relaxing at home than I am; I pretty much am incapable of complete relaxation unless I'm somewhere else. At home, there's always something to work on, clean, organize, there's always a workout that I SHOULD be doing. So I got away from that and spent Friday and Saturday night at a cabin in the woods (with a hot tub!!!) near Hocking Hills. It was gorgeous and much needed. The plan was to work out today after I got back, but the 35 mph wind gusts killed my idea of a bike ride (NO thanks!) and our much needed grocery shopping trip went way too long and I missed yoga. (We live near what I think is the biggest grocery store in the Cincinnati metro area. Ugh.) Oh's a total rest day, and I'm tired after two nights in a strange bed. Plus, we weren't totally idle - we spent two hours hiking yesterday and two hours horseback riding. Horseback riding is more the horse working out than the human, sure, but my thighs were pretty sore!!

Me, husband, horses. Thanks, Rosie, for the hip flexor stretch!!

Yeah, I did no biking. I had to work early on Monday (so no AM workout), and then late on Tuesday and Wednesday (so no PM workouts) and then I went to the class on Thursday, so my entire week was just one-a-day workouts. I skipped spin class Monday because I was going to be home late EVERY NIGHT this week and wanted to try to get home early enough to make dinner just one night. WELL WORTH skipping circuit class for the running class though!!! And, I'm proud that all my workouts were really really good quality. Even pilates class was especially tough this week - when it hurts like hell to sneeze the next day, you know it was good.

Yep, we're just gonna call this a down week. I just figured out my workout schedule for this next week and it's pretty ass-kicking, and I'm well-rested enough to attack it. Bring it on!!!


bike: 0 :( 'Bout time to put it away for the winter, too. :(
swim: 2600 yd in 1:03:45.
run: 18.7 miles in 3:05:41.
strength/flexibility: 1:20.

Total time: 5:29. Heh. Down week indeed.

Monday, November 7, 2011

God love triathletes

I have a confession to make: I was really really excited the day I signed up for the ironman. Then, every single day since then, at some point (usually at multiple points) I have had a moment of sheer panic and the thought of "what the FUCK have I done?????"

Giving the internet forums another try, I turned to the forums, and I got a ton of reassurance that I can indeed do this and still somewhat maintain a life. I think I had one or two people mention 20+ hour training weeks and eating/sleeping/breathing triathlon, but I heard from a lot of normal people who make it work.

I have a lot of reading up to do on training plans, but I think I can do this on 10-15 hours a week of training, 15 being at the peak of things. That's doable. I'm already learning some things that I'm putting into practice....things like:

-a short workout is better than no workout. If I can't put in the time or mileage than I want, hey, a 2 mile run is 2 miles I wouldn't have done otherwise. 30 minutes in the pool is 30 minutes I wouldn't otherwise have on my swimming base.

-...which brings me to this: there's something to be said for the base you bring to an endurance event. Let's face it - my marathon training was a bit pitiful at times. It wasn't due to slacking or lack of motivation, it was due to injuries and life. But I did 26.2 and enjoyed it and it didn't nearly kill me in the last few miles. I firmly believe it's because I'd been running fairly consistently for a couple of years prior to that. I think I already bring a decent amount of tenacity, endurance, and cardio fitness to the table. I may not go fast, but I can go long, dammit.

-get creative! I ran to yoga class the other day. I'll do a quick run on the treadmill if I get to spin class early. I run errands on my bike (although the main road out there is SCARY...despite all the "share the road" signs, lots of people don't share well!) Again, it's that "get a workout in however you can, if all else fails" thing.

-run less and run more. This is a new one I'm trying. It's counter to what I've heard elsewhere - run three times a week with a day off in between, longer distances. I know it's good for some people. It's also what my PT recommended when I was coming off of injury. However, I'm testing out the opposite of that theory, that others swear by equally for injury prevention - run short distances, frequently. And...I'm liking it. I feel like now, when I go for a run, instead of starting out all tight and awkward and taking a mile or so to get into the swing of it, my legs go, "Oh yeah, this. We know how to do this. You make us do this all the time." My leg is feeling better than it has since August - not 100% yet, but super close. I really think this new strategy will not only help my speed, but get me into Pig training pain-free.

-skip it....sometimes. Last week, I was going to do a bike ride on Tuesday. The weather was perfect, I got off work early, husband was going to be home late, my bike was in my backseat. I went downtown, and I realized that I would pretty much rather do anything than get on my bike, even though it was going to be a flat ride, even though I LOVE my bike. I realized that my body, mind, whatever, was trying to tell me something. So I went home. I ate too many cheese crackers, finished the book I've been working on, and took a nap (and I NEVER take naps.) I felt much better. I rode my bike in the morning. BUT later on that week, I had a similar feeling about swimming. Seriously, it took an incredible effort to get out of my car, walk into the gym, put on my swimsuit, as soon as I got in the pool I wanted to get out. But once I was moving, it felt awesome. Afterward, I felt like someone had absolutely injected me with energy. I don't regret either choice. Sometimes you've gotta skip it, sometimes you've gotta force it, just don't do either too frequently....and if you have to make that choice too often, maybe your training plan needs some tweaking.

Hmm. Maybe I'll write a book when this is all over. Would ya'll read it?? :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Week in review, 10/31 - 11/6

Monday: pool workout, 1600 yd in 49 minutes. 400 freestyle (9:18), 4 sets of 100 pull/100 kick, 400 freestyle (10:00) (I made up this workout. I was dreading the monotony of swimming laps!)

Tuesday: easy run, 4.07 miles in 43:09. Ran on some of the rolling hills in my 'hood and took it very very easy on them. Calf is still not 100% and calf injuries notoriously do not like hills.

Wednesday: AM: easy ride, 18.47 miles in 1:17:24, last 3-4 miles uphill. The most eventful part of that ride: my chain slipped off while I was riding uphill through a really busy intersection! I managed to stay upright and get my bike and myself over to the sidewalk safely. PM: 1 hour circuit training class

Thursday: 1 hour pilates. Was going to run in the evening but ended up working late.

Friday: speedwork on the dreadmill - .5 mile w/u at 6mph, followed by .25 intervals at 6.5 (I did 5 at that speed and then added .1 mph for each of the last 5). With recovery in between, ended up doing 5.08 miles in 50 minutes and felt awesome.

Saturday: 7 mile easy run. Tried to take it at a nice, deliberately easy pace since I had done speedwork less than 24 hours ago. (Was not my intention, but life overrides training sometimes!) 1:13:17. Thought about doing 8, but I made it back to my car at 7, and my hip was starting to tighten up a bit. Then went to the gym and swam 1200 yd in 29:55. It felt like a slow swim, but that's actually a pretty good pace (for me!) Rumor has it that swimming helps one recover faster from a long run. I did feel better - looser - post-swim. That, and effing tired!

Sunday: 18.87 mile bike ride in 1:15:27. Windy and the hills at the end wore me out a bit! But it was a beautiful day for a ride. Again I'm convinced that I experience cold differently than others. I passed a couple of other cyclists in shorts and short sleeves (one with no sleeves) while I had on a jersey, turtleneck (the one usually reserved for running in the coldest weather), tights and full-finger gloves. I was maybe SLIGHTLY too warm but otherwise comfy! THEN I came home, changed, downed some gatorade, and took off 10 minutes later to run to yoga class. I've never ran to yoga before, even though it's about a mile away. Why? Because there's a freaking 200 foot, .6 mile hill out of my neighborhood. It's a biatch. But running downhill home with post-yoga jello legs was pretty fun. (It's the kind of hill I don't like - where you don't even get to redeem yourself by flying on the downhill because it's too steep and you have to hold yourself back going down!) 19:54 total - 10:30 there, 9:24 back, 1.96 miles. Yoga was 1.5 hours. Yin. VERY needed. Loosened up everything that was tight and put me in a great state of mind to approach the new week. <3 that class!


swim: 2800 yd in 1:20 (including drills)
bike: 37.4 miles, 2:32
run: 18.1 miles, 3:06
strength/flexibility: 3.5 hours

Total time: 10:28

I'm going to try to bike a little more. When the weather gets cooler, I'm going to start doing a "long distance" spin class at the gym - I don't know how long it is; I'm assuming 2 hours. Trying to squeeze in short runs here and there. I feel like it keeps my legs fresher and more used to running, in a way, if I run more frequently and keep the distances short and the pace easy unless I'm doing speedwork. Pilates and yoga seem to be really really helping, too - we did hip rotation stuff in pilates the other day and my hips sounded like rice krispies. Eek!

And devoting 10 hours of my week to exercise turned out to not be so bad. I even skipped two planned workouts - one bike ride, because I was TIRED, and I ended up moving speedwork to my planned rest day because I had to work late. Plus, I do SO MUCH different stuff that it doesn't even feel like I'm exercising that much. That's the beauty of multisport!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

tentative 2012 race schedule

March 2012 - National Half Marathon (maybe)...or some other spring half
May 6, 2012 - Flying Pig Marathon
May 26, 2012 - Tri for Joe
July 7, 2012 - Muncie Half Ironman
September 8, 2012 - Rev3 Cedar Point
September 15, 2012 - US Air Force Marathon (I really want to do this race and I'll hobble through, I can earn my Marathon Maniac status!)
October 2012 - Army 10 miler (in honor of my bro-in-law, who, btw, was just promoted to sergeant...hooah!)
November 2012 - New York Marathon

That's a combination of my must-do and really-want-to-do races. That, and probably some other sprint tris - I want to do Fit to Fight again, and I want to do one of the ones at a state park. Probably the 5ks I usually do, too - Warrior Run and Newtown 5k.

Any other if I need 'em??? :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

140.6 is gonna overwhelm me looong before I even get there

Researching Ironman training. HOLY CRAP. Heart rate zones (yeah, I quit wearing my heart rate monitor long ago because I got bad chafeage from it), small chainring/middle chainring/large chainring bike rides (I don't even remember which is which), hours upon hours of workouts, 3 workouts a day, calories and nutrition and hydration and building up glycogen stores, not racing AT ALL in the six months prior, and numbers, numbers everywhere.....

This has the potential to turn me into a huge wreck....and I haven't even taken a single step/stroke/pedal in the name of IM training.

You know how I like to train? KISS. Keep it simple, stupid. You know what's simple? Swimming, biking, and running. I've done all three of those since I was a kid. I like biking and running most when I get into the zone and I'm not at all worried about numbers or heart rate or how many calories I should be taking in. I just GO and enjoy the scenery. Heck, I even like SWIMMING if I can get into that zone and just enjoy feeling the water.

Smart or not, you know how I'm not gonna train? By focusing on algebraic equations the whole time.

I feel like the anti-triathlete. But I can tell you that if I get as anal as some folks out there (and if it works for them, great) and if I get as anal as some of the training plans want me to be, Imma finish my race and hang up my bike and swimsuit and running shoes and never want to do any of it ever again.

Do you know how complicated some people tried to make marathon training for me? Do you know how complicated hydration and nutrition for a marathon can be? And you know what? I finished my marathon. I trained according to what felt good, I ate and drank when it seemed like a good idea and didn't when my tummy hurt, and I was FINE.

This is how I'm going to approach the IM. This is how I'm going to approach all my training. I think a lot of people out there overlook LISTENING TO YOUR BODY. My body knows when it needs nutrition and hydration. It knows when it wants to run fast and when it wants to run slow and when it doesn't effing want to run at all and wants me to sit on the couch and drink a beer. And last time I got all wrapped up in following a training plan and not listening to my body, I couldn't run for two months. And when I had to rip out huge chunks of the training plan and do a lot of winging it, I ran an effing marathon.