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

Monday, February 27, 2012

week in review, 2/20-2/26 (Ironman training week 3)

I think that the all-out effort at the indoor tri threw me for more of a loop than I expected, then I started the week with a hilly run that was just insane. So, I was fighting a bit of fatigue most of the week. I did manage to kick some serious ass on an interval workout on Wednesday, and I think that zapped the remaining bit of energy out of me. I've been around a lot of sick children and adults and I really worried that I was going to end up with some kind of bug myself, but so far so good. Just trying to be really mindful of myself and to maybe take the workouts a hair easier this week to try to reclaim some energy.

Monday: President's Day group run! It was a fun route that paid homage to Taft, Harrison (the first one), Garfield, Lincoln and I forget who else by running around various landmarks and statues. Did you know that more Presidents have come from Ohio than any other state? Now you do. Anyway, the final round of hills up to Mt. Adams (yes, named for the Prez) were KILLER. Hung back with some slower runners rather than busting too much butt to keep up with the faster ones. 7.42 miles in 1:16:04. (Then I had a burger and some Kentucky bourbon ale, a new favorite find. Mmmm.)

Tuesday: 30 minutes on the trainer, high cadence, low resistance. Was going to spin class but my legs were pretty much waving the white flag!

Wednesday: AM - swam with a coach!! Got some good feedback and drills to work on. 1:00. PM - group run, 8 x 800 intervals. I told a coach I was tired but I could hang with the intervals at a 9:00 pace. And then she took us all at a pace between 8:16-8:40 for all of them. And I kept up and didn't realize how much faster we were going!!! Total for the run (with 1.7 mile w/u and c/d): 7.04 miles in 1:05:46.

Thursday: AM - pyramid swim workout. Did a quick warmup and some drills followed by 100/200/300/400/300/200/100. Set a new PR for the 200, 300, and 400's. YAY! 2300 yd in 58:09. PM - brick - 30 minutes on the trainer followed by a 3.54 mile run in 37:18. OK, THEN I was exhausted. For reals.

Friday: REST!!

Saturday: group run, 13.52 miles in 2:16:47. Was more tired by the end than I wanted to be. The last few miles were uphill and I was just beat. Need to slow down for the next long run, methinks.

Sunday: 1:30 on the trainer. Watched UHF, one of my favorite movies of all time. Then went to yin yoga for 1:30. Felt SOOOOO good. I've been neglecting the yoga and my legs hate me for it.


Swim: 1:58:09
Bike: 2:30
Run: 31.5 miles in 5:15:55
Yoga: 1:30

Total time: 11:14:04

Saturday, February 25, 2012

race report - Lifetime Indoor Tri

I entered this race because it was something new and different, and if you know me, something I haven't tried before usually = something I should try, particularly when it's related to running and multisport. It's been a while since I've done a tri, so I kind of wanted to check in with myself and see what kind of tri shape I'm in. Plus, it was only $30 and I got a cool hat.

Change of pace from the trusty event t-shirt!

Lifetime Fitness is a nice place - probably the nicest gym I've ever been in. I don't even want to know how much it would cost to be a member there. My gym serves its purpose well, there's always an open lane in the pool (BIG issue with my old gym!), and I like paying a no-frills cost for a no-frills gym. Still though....I was drooling a little over the fancy cafe, towel service, indoor waterslide and TWO huge hot tubs with waterfalls pouring into them.

A volunteer walked me to the locker room (thank God, 'cuz that place was enormous), where I changed into my swimsuit and went to the pool, where the previous wave was already swimming. People were all friendly and it was a very fun, low-key, non-competitive type of event. I noticed that someone had gu and I had a total Homer Simpson moment. DOH. I'm always starving after I swim, and in a tri, I ALWAYS have a gel post-swim to stave that off. I had forgotten all about that. I hoped the gatorade I'd brought would suffice. My wave was all girls and one guy. We talked about running and he was pretty impressed that I was doing this the day after a 12.5 mile run. He pointed to a guy in one lane and said he looked like a good runner. I agreed - tall, lanky, skinny - and he didn't put his face in the water the entire swim! Definitely not a swimmer, so all signs pointed to runner.

We got in the pool, gasped and complained about how cold it was (FREEZING!) and did some warm-up laps. The whistle blew, and we had ten minutes to swim as many laps as we could. I had a goal of 18 (450 yards.) There was a giant digital clock on one end of the pool. I realized that nerves must get the best of me during a swim, because I was having trouble breathing that gave me flashbacks to previous races. I did the best I could to get it under control and pretend like I was just swimming laps at the gym, no biggie. I hit 225 just as the clocked clicked 5:00. YES. But even just ten minutes in a pool can be tiring and I started to wind down a little. I hit 17 with just over 20 seconds left, and I knew I couldn't swim an entire pool length in that time, but I decided to go for the half lap and went all out until the whistle blew again. I was well over halfway to the wall.

I saw later that they did give me credit for 18 laps, so I did, too. :)

We had ten minutes to change and get to the spin room (thank God, they had signs.) I wore a swimsuit and did a complete change to a shirt and tri shorts. The awkward thing about that is that a woman left her two little girls sitting on a bench (with crayons and books) while she went to take a shower, and they were watching me strip and try to yank tri shorts over my white ass. Eeek.

In the bike room, we joined the previous group already in progress. Runner-not-swimmer-guy was spinning so fast his legs were a blur. They had two big screens where they were showing a video of a bike race, which I soon found out was in Leadville, where my running buddy is doing a marathon!! After seeing the hills they were biking on, I decided that she is INSANE. We could put the resistance on whatever we wanted, and after some playing, I found a level that seemed to be one where it was a pretty easy effort and I could spin fast without being out of control, while optimizing my speed....which the computer said hovered around 50 mph. I got a gooood laugh out of that one. I also felt a little miserable - I'm used to spin class in a room with giant fans blowing on me, and this room had no fans, so it was a little warm. I was also, as I feared, HUNGRY. I spotted bananas, bottles of water, and granola bars and asked a volunteer if I had to stop if I wanted a granola bar. She was nice enough to bring me a peanut butter chocolate one, which I gratefully tore into!

My bike computer read 24.5 at the end of a half hour. Haha.

We had to do a 20 minute treadmill run last. Runner guy was FLYING. They weren't done with their 20 minute run yet and I tried to sneak a glance at his machine. I was pretty sure it read 3 point something. People in my wave weren't going super fast, but it's SO hard to tell on a treadmill. It's really hard to be competitive when you don't know what you're competing against. I remembered about 2 minutes in that I hate running on a treadmill. I played with the speed a lot, trying to stick with 6 point something but going down to 6.0 for a minute or so a couple of times for a break, trying to just stick it out. My caves tightened up like crazy, probably because they had carried me for 12 miles 24 hours ago. I had a goal of 2.25, but only managed to get 2.15 by ramping up the speed at the end.

All in all, it was fun - a different sort of race for sure, when you literally just have to do the best you can do with no knowledge of how you'll fare in the results (and I'm really very ok with where I am in the results - top third overall and 5th place out of all women!)  The bike was particularly insane since it was so far off from a real bike. I had a bike goal of 9 miles going in, based on how I can do on a REAL bike. Instead, it turned into a how-fast-can-I-spin session. I was a little disappointed that my run wasn't better, since I've done better during speed workouts lately, but I'm not a sprinter. I'd much rather do a long, slower effort than a short, fast one. And, well, the day after a long run isn't a good day for speedwork for anyone!

Not something to take uber seriously, but I think I'm in a good place to do well in the shorter tris I'm eyeballing, and it made a good training day to fit into my 140.6 plan!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lifetime Indoor Tri results

I can't figure out the scoring. There were 70 people, so the scoring should go from 1-70, but it goes 7-76. And they "adjusted" some of the bike miles (including mine) because some computers were reading faster than others. I guess these are "grain of salt" type of numbers, but I'm good with how I did.

Swim: 18 lengths (technically I was still about 10 feet or so from the wall when time was up, but they gave it to me) - 51 points

Bike: 21 miles (??) - 69 points (8th overall on the bike!)

Run: 2.15 miles - 36 points (this was the day after my long run, so my legs were a bit fed up with me at this point!)

Final score: 156 points, 20/70 overall, 5/41 women

Recap to come!

Monday, February 20, 2012

week in review, 2/13 - 2/19 (Ironman training week 2)

Still getting in all the IM training workouts (and then some, with the increased volume from marathon training.) Still finding it all a bit of a challenge, but quite doable. Work stress has been a little off the chain, but there's a light at the end of the tunnel there (somewhere!) I'm trying to watch myself and keep everything in balance, because lately the stress is starting to affect my sleep patterns. I've been doing things like waking up at 5 AM full of enough nervous energy to fuel hours of working out - or at least it feels that way. Since every time I've had that much anxiety going on, I tend to keep GOING and DOING until I exhaust myself and full-on crash, I'm trying to channel it into workouts but not push myself to my limit. So far it's working and hopefully I'll level out.

Anyway, from a training standpoint, things are good. I'm trying very, very hard to listen to my body and mind. Switched up my days a little this week - used my Sunday indoor tri (race report to come!) as my brick workout so I had to shuffle my long ride.

Monday: ran 6 (hilly!) miles in 58:25. PM: swam 2500 yd in 1:00:24. (My brain was too fried to do intervals, so I just did a straight, easy swim.)

Tuesday: 1:30 easy effort on the trainer.

Wednesday: am - 30 minutes of high cadence, low resistance spinning on the trainer. pm - group run, 6.86 miles in 1:02:25. We did a mile w/u and c/d with  6 x .8 mile repeats. My group was supposed to do them at a 9:00 pace but we were in the 8:50's for all of them. I totally surprised myself with that effort!

Thursday: 1 hour of pilates; 2500 yd swim, 25 x 100 on 2:30. I saw a pretty substantial improvement from the last time I did 100's - I did 3 at 1:57, which is the first time that I know of that I swam 100 in less than 2 minutes! My slowest ones were 2:10 and 2:11 (and they weren't the last ones) and the rest were in between. Most of them seemed to be 2:07, which was kind of weird but maybe a good testament to my pacing.

Friday: rest!!

Saturday: group run, 12.58 miles in 2:02:36 for an exact 9:45 pace. It was an interesting route - more or less 4 miles of flat, 4 miles uphill, 4 miles downhill. The last 3 miles were in the low 9's.

Sunday: Lifetime Fitness Indoor Tri! 10 minutes in the pool (450 yd), 30 minutes on the spin bike (the seriously messed up computer claims I did 24.5 miles but I have my doubts!), and 20 minutes on the treadmill (2.15 miles).


Run: 27.59 miles, 4:23:26
Bike: 2:30
Swim: 5450 yd, 2:12:54
Pilates: 1 hour

Total time: 10:06:20

Sunday, February 12, 2012

week in review, 2/5-2/12 (Ironman Training week 1 and cold weather exposure!)

Highlights from this past week include:

-I love the new shoes!! The on-again, off-again complaining knee I've had since November is a complete non-issue now. The calves aren't as crazy tight. I'm worried about the strain/PTT making a comeback because there has been some general b!tching from that area, but I'm trying to take care of it and I think, hope, and pray that it's hit its peak and it'll start to calm down now. The more minimal style REALLY helps with a midfoot strike. I'm realizing how much I had to work for a midfoot strike in the old shoes and how natural it feels in the triumphs.

And they pretty much glow in the dark!
-It's COLD. Last weekend, I was riding my bike in near 60-degree weather. This weekend was the coldest of the winter. I ran 8 miles on the local bike trail as part of a valentine's chase run (girls got a head start, guys had to catch up) - it was through the store that puts on the Pig training group, so some of the group members did it in lieu of a hilly 8-mile group run. I ran with one of the coaches and a few other girls, and we took it nice and SLOW since the trail was pretty slick. Post-run, I had chunks of ice frozen in my hair.

-Which leads me to the best part of the week!! I signed up for this event about a month ago, in the middle of our uncharacteristically mild winter. Little did I know it would be the coldest day of the year. But it was SOOOO fun and for a good cause - some of the kids affected by the disorder were there, and they provided education. Oh...and there was alcohol and lots of crazy people. What was this event, you may ask? I bring you.........Cupid's Undie Run!!!

(Running Buddy and I are both in that video somewhere. No, I'm not telling you where, but I will tell you we didn't cheat by wearing underwear outside of clothes or flannel pajamas. We were in skivvies. And hat/earwarmer and gloves...but skivvies too!)

It really really really wasn't as bad as you'd think. The anticipation was awful, the first two minutes sucked, and then....I really wasn't that cold. It was no worse than the 8-mile run I did in full cold-weather gear. (RB says this is because we went numb, and she may not have been too far off.) All the guys in speedos were part of a rugby team, and they raised $17k for the run. Their team name was "Speedo Mustache Dance Party", which they repeatedly chanted in time with every song that was playing at the pre/post event party.

Did I mention there was alcohol involved???

You've gotta admit, it's a heck of a way to bring awareness to a cause!

This past week was the first OFFICIAL week of my 30-week IM training plan. (I did add in an extra week for a tentative vacation.) I've pretty much worked up to doing the plan before now, anyway, but now it's for real, ya'll. So far, so good. I've been a bit tired though, but this past week was way stressful in other life domains, and I think that's been why. I skipped yoga today to lie on the couch and I'm trying to take care of myself. Hopefully some of the other stress decides to lighten up....

Here's the report:

Monday: ran 5.87 miles in 56:50

Tuesday: 30 minute trainer ride, swam 2600 yd in 1:00:29 (400 w/u and c/d with 24 sets of 25 fast, 50 slow. LOVED that workout. And my first 400 was in under 9:00 - my fastest yet!)

Wednesday: swam 2000 yd in 59:14, doing sets of 100 free, 100 pull, 100 kick, 100 drill, and finished with a 400 free set. I need to get on that coach thing. I'm finding very few drills that seem to help, but I think I'm doing them all wrong...however, I am still making tweaks to my form that I really think are helping. Wednesday pm was speedwork with the group. We ran 6.4 miles in an hour, give or take. (My Garmin was full and missed the middle 1.5 miles!)

Thursday: 45 minute spin class followed immediately by a 3.56 mile run in 36:05. I was exhausted!

Friday: rest

Saturday: slippery 8 mile run in 1:23:19. Undie run - 1.1 miles in 10:03! (estimate on the mileage - Garmin didn't get it all!)

Sunday: 1 hour spin class


swim: 4600 yd in 1:59:43
bike: 2:15
run: 24.85 miles in 4:06:17
wasn't able to get yoga or pilates in the schedule this week. Planning on it for next week!

Total time: 8:21:00

Monday, February 6, 2012

week in review, 1/30 - 2/4, and January totals

Monday - ran 8 miles in 1:18:24 (because I wanted to hit 100 for the month!), swam 2400 yd in 1 hour (24x100 on 2:30)
Tuesday - spin class, 50 minutes
Wednesday - skipped the swim because I woke up with a migraine. Took meds, made it through the work day with fuzzy space cadet medicine head, went to running group feeling like crap....and then busted out 5.9 miles in 55:15!
Thursday - brick, and I did the whole thing outside because it was 50-some degrees!!! Biked 10.6 miles in 37:56 and then ran 4 miles in 38 minutes even.
Friday - REST.
Saturday - group run, 10.09 miles in 1:40:29
Sunday - rode outside again!! Woohoo!!! 19 miles in 1:12:39.

I had a stressful work week, and the perfect storm of stress, not enough to eat or drink (byproduct of stress), and weird weather is what brought on the migraine Wednesday. Thankfully, I get them once every few months if that. I thought about trying to make up the missed swim on another day, but my week was so stressful and busy that it just would've worn me out. So I sacrificed that one.


Run: 27.99 miles in 4:32:08
Swim: 2400 yd in 1 hour
Bike: 29.60 miles in 2:40:35

Total time: 8:12:43

January totals:

Swim:  11650.00 Yd - 4h 50m 16s
Bike: 9h 30m (all trainer/spin class, so no miles logged)
Run:  100.19 Mi - 16h 26m 58s
Yoga/pilates:  6h 30m 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

If I had a million dollars....

...I could probably spend it all on gear faster than most people could remember the lyrics to the song. (You're totally singing it now, aren't ya?)

Holy moly. I have an ongoing list of "Things to Buy" which hangs out on my computer desktop, thanks to hott notes. (If you're a post-it addict like I am, you would LOVE that app!) It's been dominated by running/biking/swimming related stuff. I do have ONE non-tri thing on there: nice jeans. I have never ever owned a pair of jeans that cost more than $20ish, and I'm tired of my jeans all stretching out and loosening up (although it makes me feel really skinny - look how loose these size 4's are on me! haha.) (ps - that's the Old Navy vanity size 4; my butt does not fit into a normal people size 4 under any circumstances. I, like my running buddy, am part of the "little in the middle but ya got much back" brigade!)

Oh, anyway....

I did some damage this past week. I have been poring over trisuits online. I've decided I want to take the plunge and get a nice one-piece suit. I found out that zoot suits are highly rated (and how cool to be able to say I own a zoot suit) and I found a killer deal on one. Plus it was at performance bike, where I had $20ish of points to cash in. So, I got it, and I do find it comfy and even flattering. Yay!! Plus, I won't lie, I feel a bit like wonder woman in a one-piece spandex suit. Can't wait to road test it, but that will be a while.

I also did spend a little money on real-life clothes. It's really sad, but every time I go shopping, I'm drawn to the running clothes first. Even though I have plenty of running clothes, I'd rather buy them than real-people clothes. Even more sad, I spend waaaay too much time trying to figure out what to wear for running, and when I go to work, I pretty much throw on anything. (To be fair, I have a job where I can wear jeans and hoodies most days!)

OK, back to the running stuff. I've been fighting with my calves AGAIN, which I'm taking as a sign that I may need new shoes, even though my ride 4's only have 330 miles on them. That seems low. But the calves have been tight for a while, and when that PTT started acting up again, that was the last straw. So I cashed in a groupon and got some triumph 9's. They have a lower heel drop (which I love, feels more natural) and they're cushy, which will hopefully be good for the leg complaints. I think I'm becoming a saucony devotee. Next on my list, if the triumphs work out, is to maybe get a pair of mirages so I can rotate them in. Mirages have an even lower heel drop (4mm) and they're more minimalist, but they have some stability to them. They're basically a stability version of the kinvaras, which I hear nothing but awesome things about. I'd like to try the mirages without orthotics. If you can't tell, I'd love to transition to the minimalist side of running!

I had another groupon for clothing at the same store. Unfortunately, running clothes are PRICEY, and I kind of regretted getting the groupon since there are so many frugal options out there for gear. However, I had the groupon, and I do like supporting the local running store (always so torn between that and being cheap!) so I spent more than I would usually spend on a waterproof jacket. I really don't have a good rain/windbreaker jacket for running. Actually, I only own one. I've had it since I was 15. No lie. It's a size L because I was in a baggy clothes stage. I wore it with jnco jeans that covered my feet. OK, so spending $80 on an ultra-practical rain jacket won't kill me. It's an asics jacket with really cool features - an interior media pocket, a hood that either rolls up into the collar if one doesn't want a hood, and an LED blinky light strip on one shoulder! It'll be great for running, cycling, and normal wear.

That's me running my first 10k in the giant jacket, plus a cotton tshirt and cotton biker shorts that I've had since junior high. Oh, how things have changed!

So the mirages are on my list, pending success with the triumphs. Also on the list are a bike rack for my car, a pair of cw-x stabilyx 3/4 length tights, possible new bike shoes/pedals (gonna see how they do for a 70.3 first, I think), muncie half ironman registration ($250 before 5/22)....oh, and an iphone. :) I'm sure I'll need new goggles soon. And I'll probably come up with way more things along the way.

I'm very thankful that huz and I both have decent jobs and are good enough with spending in most areas that I can enjoy this habit. However, valentine's day is coming soon and I will accept early birthday presents at any time of year!! :)

This may be dangerous (I may get ideas!) but what's on everyone else's wish list??