Monday, April 30, 2007

End of Month Totals

APRIL Totals:

indoor cycling - 0.5 hrs
outdoor cycling - 121.0 mi

swimming - 10,800 M

indoor running - 0.0 mi
outdoor running - 42.5 mi

core/strength - 500 reps

Running and swimming volume similar to March, but I really took cycling up a notch. My outdoor cycling is almost double the volume from last month and a sizable amount happened in the last week when I discovered how to make it FUN. WoooHooo!!
I'm still way under what I want to be for core/strength work. I don't forsee much improvement there unless I get a breakthrough on how to make THAT fun too.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Commute to work - Week 1 Reflections

I did ride my bike to work on both Wed and Thu.

Earlier this week, I wrote: "My plan is to leave 45mins before I need to be there, take 20-25mins (hopefully) to arrive, leaving 20-25 to park bike, change, etc. I think that is sufficient time with some slack since this is a new thing for me. I'm carrying laptop, cord, change of clothes, shoes, etc in a back pack."

The 20-25min estimate to arrive was perfect. I ended up wearing capri length pants and only needed to change to a fresh shirt and shoes, so it took more like 10-15min to park bike, change, etc. Next week, I'll have farther to ride, walk, etc, and another 10 min will probably be appropriate. Overall, the estimate was good.

Backpack management is an issue worthy of more consideration. I need to figure out how to minimize what I carry because the extra weight caused my balance to be off. This week I needed to carry a power cord, normally, I don't need to do that because I have one at my desk, but I wasn't at my desk this week. I also think it would help to keep a few extra shirts and a pair of shoes in the office so I don't have to carry shoes with me. The shirt isn't too heavy, but no reason not to stock up on clean shirts at the office when I drive and take home dirties at that time as well. I'm also considering a bike trunk or pannier bag to get the weight off my back with the hopes that my balance would be better. Anyone who has experiences with this, I'll all ears...

The ride to work starts off mostly flat, but the last 1.5 miles is uphill all the way. It's a nice workout, and since it is cool in the morning, it is tolerable.

I got a tip from a fellow commuter on how to avoid a particularly nasty (traffic wise) road and take a safer alternative. This results in a section where I have to get off and walk my bike across a dirt path and through an opening in a fence. It wouldn't be a lot of fun if it were raining and I had to walk in the mud...

The downhill on the ride home includes some very BuMpY sections of road so that proved to be 'interesting'. I am also questioning if my brakes are sufficient. I think I may take the bike to the LBS and see what they think might be good to do about that...

The scariest part is an intersection at the top of the hill. It is difficult to see cars coming from one direction until they are pretty close to the intersection. I was fortunate to have a colleague ride part of the way home with me this week (two heads are better than one for determining 'is it safe yet?'). It will be a bit unnerving when I have to navigate that by myself in the afternoon.

All in all, it was a good experience and a successful venture. I learned a few things about what to do differently, and I plan to ride at least twice next week as well.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Commute to work - Planning

Check this out - perfect conditions for testing out the commute by bike to work option

For the next two days:
I have meetings that are on the closest side of our work campus to my house (plus!) that start 30mins later than most of my work meetings (plus!) with a bike rack right next to the door (plus!) .

I have an extra mile to travel, a longer walk from bike racks, and an earlier start time.

Also the weather forecast for tomorrow says high of 7odeg, and I expect it to be about 48 when I head out to the office.

My plan is to leave 45mins before I need to be there, take 20-25mins (hopefully) to arrive, leaving 20-25 to park bike, change, etc. I think that is sufficient time with some slack since this is a new thing for me. I'm carrying laptop, cord, change of clothes, shoes, etc in a back pack.

I'll let you know how it goes. I'm excited!!

Oh, also, Son arrive safely yesterday afteroon (YAY!!) and had a good time on his trip. I'm so glad to have him back home. :)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Commuting by bike - Is it for me?!?

My 25-35mile training ride isn't happening today. Short story - other commitments, bad weather, blah, blah, blah. Basically life got in the way of my training plans.

I didn't want the day to be a total waste, so I decided to commute by bike to and from a 2 hr meeting that I needed to attend at church this morning.

Thoughts and observations from my first commuting attempt

  • First and foremost, I had a BLAST riding this morning for some reason. Maybe because I left the Garmin at home and had no training expectations from the ride.
  • I had planned my route so as to avoid too much traffic. I only had one traffic light to contend with, and cut through several parking lots to get off the road where it made sense. That was a success.
  • It only took me about 5-7 minutes longer to ride there, than to drive (speed limit is 25-30mph most of the way there).
  • Bike spedometer says it was 10.25 miles round trip, 15.6 MPH avg speed. Is it possible that focussing on fun (rather than speed and distance) is a critical piece that I've been missing?
  • The sling backpack we got from a baseball game a few weeks ago was perfect for carrying my books, paper, pens, etc. Would be good for going to pick up a few light groceries too.
  • Good thing it's a 'come as you are' church...I showed up in tights and had forgotten a change of clothes. OOPS!!
  • I did remember a head band to try to disguise helmet hair as an intentional hair style.
  • I brought a lock, but ended up parking the bike inside the building.
  • I enjoyed riding to/from my meeting soooo much that all I could think of when I got home was riding my bike to/from work one day this week to see how that goes.
  • I better not forget a change of clothes though!!
  • Also, it will be a little trickier because I'll have to bring my laptop which is heavier/bulkier than what I was carrying today.
  • And there will be no parking the bike inside the building, it will have to be parked and locked on a rack outside.
  • What if... I like it and decide I want to ride to work more often? My current bike was really intended to be a commuter bike, not a race bike. Maybe after my races in May I can set it up better for commuting if I get serious about using it that way.
  • And maybe, just maybe... I might be able to justify getting a better bike for racing for next season...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Bright spot

Tuesday morning I headed out for a quick 2.5 miles run with Bandit. I was pleasantly surprised with the results after uploading it to SportsTracks and creating this graph.

Why? Well, lately it seems that I have lost the ability to run under a 10min mile, but looking at this graph in half mile increments, I think maybe all is not lost. The second half mile was up a hill. The last .15 mile was slowing to cool down because I had passed the targetted 2.5 mile mark. The rest of the time, I hit <=10min miles....maybe about 9:4o average. Yeah, it isn't FAST and it was a short run, but it was speedier than my normal slow-n-steady 11+min mile pace on mostly flat terrain and I feel like celebrating. Yahooooo. :)

Oh, and for the record, why is it that the half mile down the hill is only slightly faster than my other times but the half mile UP the hill is soooo slow.???? I'm convinced that hills are pure evil.

This morning was swimming. It went okay. 2000M covered overall.

Oh yeah, and I reached a milestone today on the personal front. I watched my 15yr old son get on a charter bus and head off for a 5 day trip to California. He comes home Monday evening. It was one of those monumental "Mom moments", kind of like the first time he hopped on a bus and headed off to Kindergarten for a half day...only this one stings of the reality that he's really growing up too fast. I miss him already.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Living up to the moniker

First off, thank you all very much for comments to my last post. I really appreciate each and every one of you for taking time to give me the encouragement that I was needing!!

I've internalized everything and decided that I'd rather be last than not finish at all. I'd even rather start and have to give up than give up without trying. So my races are on in May, including the Oly that I am feeling particularly ill-prepared for.

Friday's goal: Rest. I've been having some pain in my left hamstring, and I wanted to rest and let it heal.

Saturday's goal: Bike 25miles, average speed 15+mph. I made the distance, but not so good with the speed, a disappointing 14.3mph. I attempted three hills which basically kicked my rear; you can figure out where they were by looking at the splits graph. So what am I planning to do about it?!? Go back next weekend and try again!! Those hills haven't seen the last of me yet!!

Today's goal: Run 8 miles, 11min/mi. Once again, I made the distance, not so good with the pace. Average ended up being 11:49min/mi. My average was at my goal pace at the turn point at mile 4, but was getting slower and slower each mile, so the overall average ended up being 11:49min/mi. It's okay, I knew it was a stretch to hit 11min/mi for a full 8 miles, but I wanted to give it a shot.

I may continue to live up to my Slow and Steady moniker, but it really isn't all bad. Remember:

"Slow and Steady went on and on and never ever quit until getting to the finish line. All the animals who were watching cheered loudly for Tortoise."

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Mind Games

I composed the following 2007 Fitness Goals on 18Dec2006. I really needed to revisit them today. I've been second guessing my preparedness for upcoming races in May and was considering cancelling because my performance isn't going to be 'up to par'. Looking at my goals, the races in May are NOT part of my 'go faster' goal. If I complete them, I make strides toward my goals; if I cancel because of my lack of speed, I don't. Seems simple, so why is it messing with my mind?!?!

I know most of you are competitive, but if you have any favorite quotes or words of encouragement to help me recapture the 'finish and have fun' spirit that I had when I wrote these down, please share!

Go Farther!

1. complete 10K race

2. complete Olympic triathlon

3. complete half marathon

Go Faster!

1. under 27:35 min stand-alone 5K – just under 9min mi/hr

2. under 01:30:00 at Socorro Chile Harvest Tri

Have fun!

1. Do 3 races of any sort just for kicks - not as stepping stones to farther or faster

2. No races because I feel “I have to” – only because “I want to”

3. Rockin’ race photos :)

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Happy Easter

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter.

If you follow my blog, you know that I gave up coffee for Lent. As of today, I can drink coffee again and be right with God. But I chose not to this morning. Yet another thing to be thankful for; I am no longer a slave to caffeine. We'll see how long this lasts...

We had nice weather today after yesterday's snow/sleet fiasco. I once again attempted my "1:25 or 7miles whichever comes first" out-and-back run. This time I had success.

These are my splits in half mile increments. You see a marked slow down at mile 4. I really dropped the pace at the turn point from slow to slower. The whole thing was slow-n-steady, but I kicked it up a notch at the end to finish strong. It felt good and was a confidence booster. I intend to try this again next weekend and will push harder for a better result.

To shamelessly steal something I read from RunBubbaRun and then put in a whole other context - You finish, you win - and I won today (By the way, please drop by and leave Dennis some comment love - he's doing a 50miler next weekend!! WootWoot!!).

I can't end my Easter post without giving a shout-out to Jesus. I run not because of what I can do for myself, but what He has done for me.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

One of those days

Ever have one of those days when things just don't go according to plan??? Well today was one for me.

My plan was a 2-2.5mile bike ride while Husband and Daughter were reffing back-to-back soccer games. Afternoon was dedicated to more painting of Daughter's room. Cycling is my weak link, so it was important to me to make this long ride happen. And, yesterday the high was something like 76deg. I was expecting nice weather for a ride.

When I left the house, however, it was 38deg and cloudy skies. No problem, I just dressed warmer. I was hoping to get in 35miles today and I was planning out how to do it. I filled up my new camelback and added some air to my tires and was on my way.

About 3 miles out, it started to snow. Yes, you read that right, SNOW.

At first it wasn't snowing too hard, so I figured I'd keep going, but I changed my planned route to be three loops of 12miles each, staying close to home just in case...

It started snowing harder. I realized there were no other cyclists out on the road. I really didn't want to turn and go back in yet, but I started second guessing my sanity out there.

Then the snow turned to sleet. Ouch! Sleet actually hurts when it hits your face. After a few ice cubes in the eye balls, I decided enough was enough and headed home.

After reading a few blogs and checking email and generally sulking and feeling sorry for myself, I decided to get up off my rear and put the bike on the trainer. That lasted about 20min until I was just too bored with it. After being on the road, I just couldn't get exited about a ride on the trainer.

More blog reading, more email, more feeling sorry for myself. Bandit was bugging me because he wanted to play, so I changed to running clothes, got the hands-free leash and took him out on a short 2mile run 'up the hill' and back.

On my way back, I saw Husband and Daughter returning from soccer, so I headed home for good. I knew she was looking forward to working on painting her room.

So we've painted, I need to head out to the store, and it's dinner time already. Sigh.

By the numbers:

Planned: 2.0-2.5 mile bike ride hoping for 35miles
Actual: 40min bike ride (9.5miles), 20mins indoor cycling, 2mile jog with dog, + 'bonus' 1.5 hrs painting walls

Friday, April 6, 2007

Estimating - The Swim

Don't know where the time has gone, but I have two events coming up next month, a sprint and an oly. YIKES!! I'm getting really nervous about the oly; I'm still not sure I'm going to be ready for that. For some reason, trying to break it down and start estimating times seems like it will calm me down. My goal is to finish with a smile, and preferably before all the volunteers go home. I expect to be pretty slow, but the longer I'm out there, the more likely I'll be grimacing at the end rather than smiling...

This week, I worked on estimating the swim. Being the slow-n-steady water turtle that I am, I expect the swim to be the best leg of the three for me.

The sprint has a 400M swim, and for that distance, I will swim 'hard'. On Thursday, I included 2x200 'hard' and my times were 4:10 & 3:51. I think 00:08:20 +/- 30 seconds for a 400M swim is a reasonable estimate for the sprint.

I believe the oly swim is 1500M, and for that distance, I will swim 'easy'. This morning, I included 1x1000 'easy' and my time was 24minutes and I felt like I could have kept on going at the same speed no problem, so 36min +/- 3min seems like a reasonable estimate for the oly.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Accountability time...

MARCH Totals

indoor cycling - 1.8 hrs
outdoor cycling - 62.4 mi

swimming - 10,150 M

indoor running - 5.6 mi
outdoor running - 37.6 mi

core/strength - 500 reps

other - 4 mi hiking


What went well: swimming, outdoor cycling
What could have gone better: outdoor running, core/strength

Photo Collage

Home now. Long travel last night. Tired.

We had fun.

A picture is worth a thousand words? Then I'll let the photos speak 6000 words worth for me...