Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Monthly tally

The Numbers:

68.8 miles running, 8600 yards swimming, 12.0 miles cycling, 5 strength sessions, 4 Zumba!*, 1 race (HM)
* aerobics plus core

Looking Back:

Running focus remained (happy about that), HM PR (yay!), swimming coming along, loving Zumba!, probably shouldn't have continued strength at cost of cycling.

Looking Forward:

10K this weekend. Virtual 10K weekend after. Want to sign up for Oly in Sept. Need to seriously add in bike and keep it there. Zumba rocks. Also, when can I run another HM??

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Not what I was hoping for

I was going to say that my weekend went from Fun-tastic to Crap-tastic, but after reading Wes' recent race report, I think I need to reserve that word for him (you really need to read the report to

I had a 6-7 mile run planned for this weekend. I decided to get 'er done on Saturday afternoon. I should have known it wasn't going to be a good run when I had to turn around at the end of my driveway because I had forgotten my cell phone. I should have known it wasn't going to be a good run when I put the cell phone in my pocket instead of in the pocket of my hydration belt where I usually keep it. I should have known it wasn't going to be a good run when the sand started blowing (20-30mph) in my eyes again.

But no, I didn't figure it out until I hit my second walk break and reached down to grab a bottle for some hydration. That's when I realized that I had left the hydration belt at home. Sigh.

Your mileage may vary, but there's no freaking way I can run 6-7 miles without hydration. I've learned this the hard way, but at least I've learned. I turned back toward home and grumbled. Ran a little, then walked for a bit. And grumbled some more. Ran a little more, then walked some more. Did a lot more walking that running and basically gave up.

mile 1 10:24
mile 2 12:04
mile 3 13:28
mile .45 12:35

When I got home, I decided to shake it off and simply hope for a do-over today, but that didn't happen. I don't want to dwell on it, but this was was definately not the training experience I was hoping for this weekend with a 10K next Sunday. Confidence for a PR is basically shot, but I know I still have it in me to Have Fun if nothing else. And that is what I intend to do.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Fun-tastic Friday

Friday morning, daughter is played flute at State competition. She needed to be dropped off at 7:45 and picked up at about 9:10. The judged performances are closed door, so I had almost 1.5hrs to kill. I figured, what the heck, I'll use the time to go to the gym and swim.

There were two lanes open. Nice. This is apparently a good time to go to the gym from a crowd standpoint. I had enough time to expand my planned 1600yd workout to 2000yds total. I felt awesome.

Since the midschoolers had the day off school and I was off work, we had some of the band kids over after State to watch a movie, play a little guitar hero, and such. They left mid-afternoon and I was off for a long overdue hair appt. This time it's less layered and a little more bob-ish. Very cute.

Next it was time to return to the gym for my Friday Happy Hour Zumba!! I had more fun in the class this time than ever before. I think it's because I'm learning the moves and spent less time trying to figure out what they were doing. Fun stuff.

Have a greet weekend everyone!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mid-week randomness

Thank you for all the encouraging comments on my last post. That was a race experience that I won't soon forget. I keep replaying it in my mind and it still makes me smile.

This week is recovery week. For example I did hills on the treadmill today....2.5 miles total, but at a *very easy* recovery jog pace. I think I'm going to come out of this stronger as a result of giving my body some time to heal, but mentally, it's been a challenge.

I am looking to further ramp up the swimming and put cycling back in the fold starting next week. I roughed out a schedule that doesn't have me doing any triathlons until Aug/Sep, so I'm not under huge time pressure, but I can't put this off indefinately.

I am soooo proud of Son. We went to the top 10 awards banquet last night. It was a lovely dinner event. He's currently in the top 10 of his class of over 800 studends and received some impressive academic bling.

Daughter's piano recital is on May 4th. She has declared this to be her last year playing, so I'll probably cry. She really plays beautifully. I hope she continues playing even after she stops taking lessons. She also plays flute and is competing at state this Friday. Once again, this is her last year playing, so it's special and sad at the same time.

Last year I tried several different distances and did two events each: 5K, 10K, HM, sprint tri, oly tri. I liked HM the best. I liked 5K and sprint tri the least. 10K and oly tri are in the middle somewhere. This year I want to spend more time on what I like best, and less time on what I don't care for as much. This year, I plan to focus on what puts the sparkle in my eye and the spring in my step.

And with that, I am NOT participating in the Jay Benson sprint tri this year. It's one of my least favorite distances, it's on Mother's Day, and I dont' care for the reverse tri format.

We're probably going to San Diego at the end of May, flying out the day of the RnR marathon there. I was very excited at first because I thought we could do the half while we were there, but there is no half. Bummer. I really would have loved a shot at a HM at sea level.

Stopped at the insurance agency today to take care of some business and also inquire about insuring Son assuming he gets his provisional license in the next month. Yikes. On the way home we also stopped at a few places for him to pick up job applications. Enough said.

It's been very warm the past few days. Might be about time to hook up the swamp cooler. This may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but in our house, we have to choose between having the option to use heat or the option to have cooling. Can't have both. So the switching decision needs to be made carefully.

I'm running sixes for the next three weekends: 6-7 mile training run this weekend, Run for the Zoo 10K the following Sunday, Virtual 10K on the 10th the Saturday after that. I'm kinda hoping there might be a 10K PR in there for me, but it's okay if it doesn't happen.

Enjoy the remainder of your week, everyone!!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Unser Half Marathon Race Report

Woke up bright and early and checked the weather channel which claimed that it was currently ~45degrees and would be sunny. Nice! I decided to go with a a running skirt and tank top with a long sleeve shirt over that. Had my hydration belt ready with 3 bottles accelerade, one bottle water. Wore a headsweats hat to keep sweat out of my eyes and the evil sun off my face. Stuffed a gel in each pocket. Had a cup of coffee and half a bagel with peanut butter and was ready to go.

We got to the race venue, parked the car, and walked over to get our timing chips. Shortly after installing chips on our shoes, Cindy and husband were picking up theirs. We chatted for a bit which helped take my mind off the race. We followed a group down the road trying to find the start line, but nobody really seemed to know where the start was. Eventually, the starter guy showed up and gave what seemed to be detailed directions on the course, but he wasn't using a megaphone so nobody really heard him. After a bit we were finally on our way.

The course was quite nice. We wound our way in and around some nice neighborhoods in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque. Nice quiet streets. We ran up past my daughter's middle school. Then over to the bike path for the return trip.

As the sun came up over the mountains, the air temp was lovely. I took off my long sleeve shirt somewhere around mile 6 and tied it around my waist. There was no wind. Really nice running weather. I felt good, wasn't in pain, and had Husband right there by my side. I was taking in the sights and truly enjoyed the moment.

Cindy and husband were on the sideline when we were making the final turn toward the finish. It was so nice of them to hang around. My spirits were really lifted when I saw them standing there cheering! Thank you, Cindy!!

Now for numbers. If you recall, I averaged about a 12min/mi pace for the two half-marathons I ran in the fall. My stretch goal today was to come in slightly under an 11:30min/mi pace and break 02:30:00. Based on my 10K times, the McMillan Running Calculator predicted that I could do a half marathon in 02:27:00, one more data point that suggested that I had set a reasonable, but agressive goal.

Let me begin by telling you that everytime I checked my Garmin, I shook my head in disbelief. A few times, I even said "Wow." I'm still in shock.

Updated with official results: 2:21:36 (10:49min/mi pace)!!

How the heck did I pull that off?!?! I've been thinking about that all day. At the moment, I tend to believe it was the combination of setting a realistic goal and just sticking with consistent training focussed on the half-marathon.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Happy Happy

Goals Achieved!! Longer post with details coming later.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

"Enjoy the Moment"

First things first - my workouts week to date and the plan for the next few days.

Monday 1250 swim + upper body strength. Boy my arms and shoulders feel it the next day! But in a good way.

Tuesday - Zumba! I've decided to stick with Zumba 1-2x per week for the rest of the month and then see where it fits in after that. It is a good core workout, it's fun, and it makes me sweat (aerobic workout as well).

Wednesday - 2.6 mile tempo run on the treadmill - same pace as last Sunday.

Tomorrow if I get my butt out of bed early enough, another swim and upper body workout before work. Otherwise, I'll skip the swim and maybe just a mile on the treadmill with strength following.

Not sure what do to on Friday, I'm partial to the idea of doing Zumba in the evening and letting the cards fall where they may for Saturday morning.

Obviously Saturday's Half Marathon is heavy on my mind. I looked back at my goals from a previous post and they still hold, but I need to add something. I fully intend to "Enjoy the Moment"whatever it might bring. This is an important part of who I am and why I do this. I think it's a shame that so many athletes simply aren't happy unless they are going faster or fast enough or longer or long enough or whatever. I find that there is more joy in the monent itself than in the numbers that describe it. Personally, I don't *ever* want get caught up in that other stuff to the extent that I stop enjoying the moment.

On that note...not sure if I'll post again before Saturday...if not, I'll catch you on the flip side!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Taper tales

On Friday, it was too cold and windy for my liking, so I skipped the bike ride. Yes, I know I'm a weather wimp. It wasn't a total loss. I did go to Zumba as planned. The music was great, the workout made me sweat, and my abs were a bit sore the next morning. Good stuff. I think I may go again, but I'm not sure my friend will join me. It should be fun once I learn the moves.

Saturday morning I sulked around the house feeling thinking that I really should go for a bike ride since I didn't go on Friday. But I just didn't want to. I don't know why, I just didn't. I decided to do what I really wanted to do instead and went to the gym for a swim. That made me happy.

Today the plan called for a 6-7 mile tempo run. To my delight, Husband asked if I wanted to run with him. I felt good and ran strong. Somehow I managed an overall pace of 10:46 for the 6.6 miles that we covered. My 10K split time was only ~45sec slower than my 10K PB. And this is from a training run, not a race. Unbelievable. I guess this training stuff is working.

At this very moment, I'm feeling ready for the half marathon on Saturday. I hope I feel like this on race day.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Quick update

I did intervals on the treadmill Wednesday morning. It was so nice out, I wondered if I should be doing them outside instead.

I must have jinxed the weather.

Later in the day it started raining. And this morning it was cold, there's snow on the mountains, and it's windy. Bleck!

Anyway, I swam again! I had trouble with my goggles leaking which is weird; my goggles never leak. After about 15minutes of struggling, I figured out that my swim cap wasn't on so well. It was riding up the back of my head, taking the goggles up as well. Once I sorted that out, the goggles were fine and I got into a nice rhythm. But I only got 1250 yards in as a result of lost time fiddling with goggles.

Afterwards, I did some upper body strength work. I expect my arms will be sore in the morning.

If the weather cooperates, I plan to get out on my bike tomorrow. I also found a friend to go with me to Zumba, so I'll be checking that out as well. I'll let you know how it goes!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Swimming again!

I did a recovery walk/jog Monday morning and thought about swimming the whole time. I love swimming. I have no idea why I didn't swim more often at my old gym before they shut down. The pool was absolutely gorgeous.

I'm actually not sure which I love more, swimming or running. My dream event is the aquathon, but they don't have those here in NM. So instead, I struggle at triathlon. Mind you, it's not that I'm much better at swimming or running than cycling, it's simply that I *love* swimming and running. so much.

Anyway, I renewed my expired-for-over-a-year-and-a-half membership at Defined Fitness so that I could swim again. Sorry Cindy and GeekGirl, I'd really love to able to swim with each of you, but your fancy Sports & Wellness gym is too expensive for me. Besides, Defined in RR is close and I can easily fit in swimming before work.

The pool looked short to me. I timed my first 100 and quickly concluded that this *must* be a 25yd pool rather than a 25m pool because I was 15sec faster than my fastest 100 at the other gym and it sure as heck isn't from some sudden speed improvement. I proceeded to do a short 1250 yards workout today followed by some upper body strengh training. I don't love this pool, but I love swimming. I'm looking forward to going back on Thursday.

On my way out, I noticed that they gym has a Zumba class Fridays at 5pm. Has anyone done this? It sounds like fun. I just might check it out...

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Bring on the taper!

First, to re-cap my running earlier this week:

* Monday - 3.5 mile 'recovery run'

* Wednesday - intervals on the treadmill. 5min warmup, 30min alternating 1.5min fast running (6.3mph), 1.5min brisk walking (4.0mph), then a 5min cool down - 3miles when all was said and done. This was actually a rather difficult workout for me, but I liked it.

* Saturday - hill running (2.0 miles total). The first mile, including up the hill, was 11:50. The second mile, including down the hill, was 9:20. It felt good. Next time I think I'll do that loop twice.

Which brings me to today, the last long run before the half marathon. The plan was 10-12miles total, 60-90sec over race pace. My desired race pace is 11:30min/mi accomlished by a 9:1 run/walk, so that suggests an overall target pace 12:30-13:00min/mi for today with the same 9:1 run/walk.

* According to the numbers, it was a good run. I accomplished the target distance and training pace by completing 11 miles in 2:21:09 (12:50 min.mi)

But in other ways, it wasn't such a good run. I happen to be running low on Accelerade. So I did something a little different today. I had enough Accelerade already mixed up for two 8 oz bottles in my fuel belt. I filled the other two bottles with some gatorade that we had in the fridge. I figured that I could alternate between the two and would be good to go. As it turns out, I guess Gatorade doesn't work so well for me. It made me feel a little sick and my legs felt heavy the whole time. Oops. Guess we'll chalk that up to a learning experience. I'll definately be stocking up on Accelerade and won't deviated from my "tried and true" nutition plan on race day.

Now it's taper time. Yippee!!

Oh yeah, and I still need to find/join a different gym so I can swim again.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Plan B

"When at first things don't succeed, perhaps it's time to seek Plan B"

Bandit didn't do so well with the petsitter while we were on vacation. While it's fresh in my mind, I wanted to investigate alternatives for next time. I must thank Cindy, because she tipped me off to something that led to a potential Plan B (kennelling with day camp option). We tested the waters with Doggy Day Care today, and he did well with that. Yay!! Thank you, Cindy!!

After dropping him off this morning, it was my intention to get in a good swim, 1600-2000 meters depending on how I was feeling. I arrived at the gym that has the pool that I swim at to find no cars in the parking lot, no lights in the building, and the doors locked. Hmmmm. That can't be good. I came home, contacted a friend that also swims there and discovered that they closed the doors for good last Friday. So now I need a Plan B for swimming as well. Grrrr.

Looking at the comments from my lack of cycling last month was interesting. Seems like there are two schools of thought out there. Some of you encouraging me to get back on my bike, and others who think it's okay that I haven't been cycling. My absolute favorite comment came from brendaj who offered the perfect plan B "You could just become a runner! That would justify buying a lot more skirts!!" Ha! Now that's my kind of thinking!! :)

With swimming off the list of options for today, I needed a Plan B for my workout. The weather was delightful, so I decided to change into cycling gear, put air in the tires of my Lemond, and head off for a short 12 mile ride at lunchtime.

As it turns out, sometimes Plan B isn't so bad after all.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Month in review

March totals

Running: 67.25 miles
Swimming: 1600 meters
Strength: 5 sessions
other: 3 hikes significant enough to include in my notebook
Cycling: uh, what's that again?!?!


It is obvious where my focus is at. For me, it was all about running this month. Perhaps April will bring numbers that more closely resemble triathlon training. Or not. I guess time will tell.