Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A few "Ah Ha!" moments

1) Running in Colorado at 7000+ ft was DIFFICULT. Could not get enough oxygen. I live at 5000-ish ft so I didn't expect to notice a difference, but I did. I think I would feel like super-woman if I ever entered a race close to sea-level. SIGN ME UP!!!

2) While trying to do single leg peddling on my bike trainer yesterday, I discovered that a 'front-to-back, back-to-front' motion was much smoother than my usual 'top-to-bottom' choppy motion. It also used some different muscles. I hope that I discovered an improvement rather than something that will make my cycling even worse.

3) This morning I learned (sort-of) how to back stroke and breast stroke. Hopefully nobody will try to save me from drowning when I try these out again; I'm sure it looks like I'm in distress. I am happy to get one step farther from feeling like an imposter in the water. Someday, I might actually be mistaken as a swimmer.

4) As suggested by Vickie in a comment to an earlier post, I counted my steps yesterday to determine my running cadence. It is about 80-82 when I'm feeling okay. I bet it slows to a shuffle when I'm tired. I will try to keep that in mind and count all during my next long run to see how it pans out.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I hope everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving. We're going to leave in about an hour to drive up to Colorado (yikes! i need to pack).

I can't get the story of the tortoise and the hare out of my head, so I will leave you with a few parting thoughts.

In many ways I can relate to the tortoise. I'm by no means the fastest one out there when I race or train. As I don't give up, I have lots of opportunity to 'win' on my own terms. I consider every PR a win. And the includes every first time that you try something (new distance, new sport).

So my version of Tortoise and the Hare is slightly different, because the Tortoise got out there and gave it his best effort :

There once was a speedy hare who bragged about how fast he could run. Tired of hearing him boast, Slow and Steady, the tortoise, challenged Hare and ran his first race.

Hare ran down the road for a while and then and paused to rest. He looked back at Slow and Steady and mocked him, "How could you think you could win a race when you trod along at your slow, slow pace?"

Slow and Steady continued on and on. He never, ever quit until he came to the finish line. The animals who were watching cheered loudly for Tortoise.

"No need to brag about your lightning pace, for Slow and Steady won his race!"

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Today I did something different - intervals on the treadmill. 12 intervals of about .13 miles FAST (well...my version of FAST anyway) with 2min slow/rest in between. And I kept track of the speed and pace of each one (per the treadmill output). The fastest pace that I could maintain this morning for that short distance was 8:06 min/mi. Average was more like 8:15, I think. That is a lot faster than my 5K pace, so I kind of surprised myself. But, I've never tried running FAST for a short distance before, so I really didn't know what to expect.

I tried to be sure to stretch well afterwards, and my legs felt tired but okay when I left the gym. After sitting on my rear for about 3 hrs straight at work, my legs sure complained when I tried to get up and walk. They are still complaining now.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Another long run today, but at moderate pace. It felt great. I thought back to some of my happiest times running and was out there running with a big ol' goofy smile.

To keep my pace up, I started singing Jingle Bells a la piano student - counting meticulously to keep beat.

Jin-gle Bells (four) Jin-gle Bells (four) Jingle all the way (two three four). Oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse opens sleigh, (two three four).

Yeah, I know. It was lame. But it kept me on pace and my legs responded to the rhythm of the song better then they did to my previous attempts at bargaining with them. It went something like this:

Come on, legs! keep going. don't slow down! what do you mean you don't want to go this fast anymore? Trust me, NOBODY calls this fast! Besides, I'm not asking you to go fast, I just want you to keep moving. Maybe I'll sing you a song to distract us both...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

This morning I went for a 70min Zone2 Easy Run along the ditch bank on Loma Larga.

It was Heaven on earth!

I really love long slow runs early on Sunday mornings. It is so beautiful and quiet at that time. What a wonderful time to thank God for all the good things in my life.

This afternoon I went for another swim. While, it wasn't quite as enjoyable as my long slow run, it was nice too. When you truly enjoy what you're doing, it is so much easier, isn't it?

Not sure I will ever feel that way on the bike, but one can only hope!!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

I dragged my slow self out on the bike today and completed 30miles. Took me forever since I'm slow as molasses, but I got it done.

Also had two pit stops to pee and two other stops to fix low front tire. Stupid goat heads...grrrrr.

Anyway, I'm glad that whole adventure is behind me for the day.

I think I was more tired after swimming yesterday, but today was more of a challenge just for me to complete the full distance.

Friday, November 17, 2006

I may be slow; I may lack natural ability on the bike; but I have really come a long way in the water. Whenever I am feeling down about how much I totally stink as a cyclist (which is pretty much every time I ride), I really do need to reflect back on what I *have* accomplished in the past year.

This time last year, I honestly could not swim one length of the pool. I got help and worked hard. By February I could do 100s. By April I could do 200s. In May, I did my first 400. It was hard. It took everything I had to complete that distance. Today I did 400 as a warm up. *I* did this. AS.A.WARM.UP. My swim workout contained a total of 2000M. I finished it. I'm hungry and I'm tired, but I did the whole thing.

I really think I just need to apply the same discipline and determiniation to the bike. Keep at it. Celebrate small accomplishments. Never give up. Eveutally I really should be able to see improvement. And maybe this time next year, I will be just as proud of my progress cycling as I am today of my swim.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Today I ordered Bodylastics elastic bands. We have a few physioballs already. I'm hoping the combination will make my core workouts more fun and interesting at home.

Guess this is a sign that it is getting colder outside. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't be trying so hard to find fun ways to have fun and stay fit while indoors.

Speaking of which, I have my bike on my trainer and two spinervals sitting out. I should be ready to go tomorrow morning....I've eliminated my excuses.

UPDATE: The training demons were out to get me this morning. I could not get my DVD to play in the player that I put it in. I mucked with it for 20mins, then figured I needed to go to Plan B. Moved the bike in trainer to a new location and a new DVD player. Chain fell off in the process. Put chain back on, washed hands and was back in business a full 35min later than expected. Was a *leeetle* bit late to work, but no worries, training accomplished. And it was a good workout. :D

Sunday, November 12, 2006

This first bit has nothing to do with training.

We had to make the tough decision to put our last remaining old dog down. He was old and hadn't been well for some time, his quality of life was poor, and it was selfish to keep him alive just for our own sake.

Until today, we've had at least one dog for the entire 17.5+ years of our marriage. It has been hard parting with each of them (3 in total), and it has been particularly difficult today to have no more dogs in the house. Good thing we still have the two cats...being totally petless (is that a word??) would be really depressing.

Now back to training.

Today I got to run for an hour. Went slow, but no more groin pain. YAY!!

I usually take Mondays off from training, but I'm running for an hour (slow) again tomorrow morning...or at least that is the plan. I have SOOOO missed running. When I swim, I count strokes and laps and such. I like swimming, but it keeps my mind as busy as my body. On the bike, I think about how much I suck at cycling and struggle with what gear I should be in, etc. But when I run long and slow, I am able to put my body on autopilot. I get this incredible rush and an overwhelming sense of peace. And I really need that right now.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

This morning, rather than go out on a 1-1.5 hr bike ride, I opted to put my bike on the trainer, do some spinning, and ended up popping "Spinervals - Sweating Buckets" into my DVD. Not sure who all uses Spinervals or how this one compares to others, but I think it was time well spent. Normally, I would much prefer riding outside, but it was just too cold at 6am for me to hop on my bike this morning. I started off thinking "Oh well, this was better than nothing". However, it may have actually been better than my outside ride would have been. The workout seemed well structured. I also think I put more effort into it than I would have otherwise.

If anyone has a favorite Spinervals, let me know. I can imagine getting bored quickly if I don't have some variety here.. I may end up using these once a week so that I don't limit my cycling to the weekends.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Guess what I got to do today? RUN!!!!

It was just running strides today, and Thursday I will be on the treadmill...but on Sunday I get to run for real. I was a little nervous, but no pain today. I think that is a good sign. YAY!!

Monday, November 6, 2006

My 13yr old daughter has a new CD by a group called FM Static. She popped the CD in my car and told me to listen to the song, Six Candles, because it reminds her of me and my triathlon efforts. I must say, she nailed it! So wise at such a young age.

If you get a chance, listen to it. I think the meaning comes across better in the song than just the lyrics, but it could just be me. I will share anyway.

You're amazing, but you're taking too much time
I’ve only got six candles left and I’m trying to keep this off my mind
It’s getting darker, but it’s the way they make feel
They try to fill my head with questions
They all doubt you, but I know you're real

If it takes time then I’ll be patient
Know that I will still believe
I’ll take your hand and hold it tightly
Because I know you’ll carry me

Take me high, take me in, take these last six candles
And when I’m tired, and wearing thin,
Give me the strength to carry on.
Here I am, see my hands, take these last six candles
We’re moving on, we’ll keep, keep, moving on

And I’m so thankful for every breath I take
There's not a moment that goes by
I waste wiping tears out of my crying face
Don’t look so sad, you’ve missed the point
I’m still so glad I knew you.
Against the odds I’ll take my chances
and burn this candle through you

If I could ever see the way you understand me
When no one else can see it I know you surround me
I’ll be the one who listens only when you tell me
Not walking, but running, not talking, yellin'

And they might never understand why I do what I do
But I can only speak my mind and what I feel is true
I’ll take a vow to be the only one who stands if it takes
All that I am, I will be standing!!!

Sunday, November 5, 2006

I really need to find time to stretch more often. I don't want a repeat injury. I'm finding all kinds of creative ways to work this in.

On top of that is my new mantra: patience, pacing, and persistence.

Saturday, November 4, 2006


I spent most of the aftenoon/early evening watching finishers at IronMan Florida. That sounds lame, but there was a house full of 13yr old girls here - that requires a certain level of endurance in its own right.

It is kind of funny - I went on what turned into a 20mi bike ride that wiped me out all day...and ended up sitting on my rear watching others go the distance. But it did motivate me. I really want to find a way to do that polar bear triathlon. And get serious about my race calendar. I need to put the goal I'm working toward as being a half iron distance event in 2008.

Now if I can just make it up those darn hills tomorrow morning on my bike....

Friday, November 3, 2006

What races do I want to do next? I keep asking this of myself. Last year it was an easier question. I was going from couch to Sprint. That was a long, slow journey, but the end point was clear. Right now, I'm a little more fuzzy.

I'd like to do the Polar Bear Triahtlon in (eek!) about a month. Barriers to this? Well, there is the little issue of me not being able to RUN at the moment due to a groin injury...but never mind that. The real issue is that there is no way I am going if I have to drive myself (I don't have a clue where this is and I would have to drive in the dark on Friday...yuck). So far I don't have any other transportation option so this race probably won't happen for me. :(

Next season, I would like to do a few 5Ks, a 10K, a half marathon in the spring, the Rio Rancho Duathlon (whatever it is called), Jay Benson, Socorro (again), and Chips-n-Salsa half marathon. That isn't necessarily my final list, but I'm not sure what other local Tri's or interesting events are actually out there, but an Olympic distance event next year would be cool too.

I would like to feel ready for a half-iron distance Tri in 2008. Is that too much of a stretch goal? We'll see...

One last thing that I feel I need to say: You don't have to WIN, you just need to TRI; and TRI, I will.

P.S. Bathing suit bottoms are still missing!!!!!