Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Out like a Lion!

Went to the pool this morning. Had to share a lane with Flailing Arms Woman. Someone commented to me in the hot tub afterwards that I could have shared with him because he swims straight and keeps his arms to himself. I told him "No worries, it was good practice". He said "good practice for what?!?" Ha! I guess it's just a triathlon thing. LOL .

After the pool, I went to the gym for my abs stuff (rope crunches and ab curls) and a little bit of upper body work. Remember in February when my goal was 3x15 ab curls unassisted and I got to 3x10 assisted (and could do ZERO unassisted)? Well I'm now doing 3x10 unassisted and I'm confident that I'll get to my goal soon. Plus I think it's time to up the weights on the rope crunches. I'm convinced that determination is enough to overcome lack of natural ability.

Then after work I met up with my running group. I thought I was scheduled for 4 miles easy, but instead it was 1 mile warm up, 4 miles steady, and 1 mile cool down. My run was awesome!! I felt soooo good the whole time. I think the key was the warm-up. I'm going to try to remember to include a warm-up on my long run this weekend as well.

So yeah, I think the month came in like a lamb and went out like a lion. ROAR!

March Totals

Ran 39.75 miles with two weeks off - not too shabby
Swam 7100 yards - Yeah, baby!
Went to the Gym 11 times - Booya!
Yoga - 1 session -
Cycling - nada.
Races - nada


Happy with my running, swimming, and progress with strength work. Swimming and Push-ups have replaced yoga for me this month it seems; that's probably not ideal. Also really need to get back on my bike

[Edit to add] Of course the highlight of the month was the 20th anniversary trip to Moorea with Husband (alone!).

Plans for April

Main focus is Dash-Splash-Push which is now three weeks away. Then I'll get ready to Run for the Zoo. Hopefully get back on my bike too. And of course keep up with the strength work at the gym.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Random Thoughts during Monday Lunch

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks sending a kid + parent to traffic court for a burned out headlight seems like overkill. But the law is the law...and there's no way around it, so to traffic court we will go!

Did Week 4 Day 1 pushups this morning. Yowza, these are getting tough. I kinda cheated this time around. Decided to start at week 2 (instead of column 2) based on my initial test and I haven't done an exhaustion test yet because I have no plans of moving out of column 1. But I'm making progress! Today was 12-14-11-10-16 for a grand total of 63 pushups. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

Came home for lunch today after returning a pair of driving glasses (long story) and I have another eye appt tomorrow to check on my updated mono vision contact prescription. I wish my eyes weren't so complicated.

Speaking of lunch, I had a much more reasonable lunch than on Saturday: turkey and hummus on a whole wheat english muffin with a side of low fat cottage cheese and blueberries.

As some of you know, I succumbed to the land of Facebook yesterday. Feel free to "find me" but understand that I'm still figuring that out.

The Run Group is starting hill repeats this week on Thursday. Am I strange for actually looking forward to that?!?!

We've had crazy weather lately. It even snowed on Friday. Wahhhh!! I want spring to come back.

The kids had spring break last week. This week is standardized testing, which doesn't apply to high school freshmen, so Daughter goes to school Mon & Tues this week and has another three days off. Doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but she's certainly happy about it!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Good - Bad - Ugly

The Good

While we were on vacation, Son landed himself a prom date for next weekend and successfully got a tux ordered yesterday. Went dress shopping with Daughter for a different event (M88 Swing Thing) and found the cutest dress for her at a reasonable price. As challenging as teenagers can be sometimes, I must say that in some ways these are also the most enjoyable years for me as a parent. I love watching them grow into the wonderful young people that they have become.

The Bad

Son got pulled over at a sobriety check-point on his way home from work last night. He wasn't drinking, he wasn't speeding, he didn't run a stop sign or red light, but he did get a ticket. Apparently the passenger side headlight was out. Because he is under 18, he is required to go to traffic court with a parent. Sigh. The officer said that they will likely drop the citation if we come to court with proof that we promptly repaired the vehicle. It's at the shop right now.

The Ugly

As you may recall, I had six miles on my calendar for today with a pace target of 11:20 which should have been resonable. We had a false start earlier in the day, walked out to run and got a text from Daughter that she needed a ride home in an hour from a place 20 minutes away. Ran some errands, picked her up, had a truly awful lunch of hot dogs, fritos, and an apple (haven't yet had time to for proper grocery shopping since coming home from the trip) and tried again.

At around mile 2.5 I felt like I was going to puke and stopped to walk for a little bit to try to get my stomach settled. I tried running again for about another mile. Felt like I was going to puke again and kinda wished that I would so that I'd feel better! I was belching the whole time too. I finally gave up and walked the rest of the way home. bleh!

This has NEVER happened to me before, so I'm blaming it on my terrible choice for lunch.

After coming home, I plotted the run in half mile segments. Wouldn't you know, the run started off well and I was ahead of pace target before I started feeling sick!

Have a good weekend everyone!! Just remember, hot dogs, fritos, and an apple is not a good choice for a pre-run meal. LOL

Friday, March 27, 2009

Part 2 - Lessons from Moorea

#1) Empty Nest May Not Be So Bad

Okay, so I've been a basket case since discovering that my son will most likely go to an out-of-state school for college. In my mind worst case now is that he graduates from high school, goes away to school and I never see him again. Sad Mommy.

Daughter is two school years behind him. In my mind she follows and both are gone never to be seen again. Wahhh!! I want them both home for Christmas. Makes me sad.

But after out trip, I'm thinking....hmmm...maybe the whole empty nest thing won't be so bad.

I'm just sayin'....

#2) Sunscreen. Everywhere. No, I mean it. EVERYWHERE.

Nobody told me, but French Polynesia is topless at the beach. What the Font?!?! I wore mine mostly because I'm way too conservative not to, but also because I figured it was a very bad idea to expose skin to the sun that had never seen it before.

Having said that....Got sunburned on the tops of my feet while we were kayaking because I didn't think to sunscreen my feet. Owie! Trust me...Sunscreen is your friend!

3) Learn the Language

I feel HORRIBLE that I didn't take the time to brush up on my high school French. My goodness - these people speak at least three languages (Tahitian, French, English) and I know enough French to at least order food and yet we are forcing them to speak English because I was too lazy to brush up on my French before this trip. I feel really bad because we went to France 7 years ago or so and I could order and talk to the hotel people and the taxis and such...but this time I was frozen...all English all the time. sigh.

4) Premium OverWater Bungalow = worth the expense.

Yes this is strictly an opinion thing. We stayed at the Moorea Pearl Resort in Bungalow #402. I think the beach bungalows would be nice as well. Service was awesome; no complaints. :-)

5) It's a Remote Island - things are expensive!

I think we learned this early on. Our boat from Tahiti to Moorea included cargo such as milk, cereal, bread, etc. No wonder things cost so much! My gosh. If you go there, expect and understand the pricing. That's all I'm saying.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cruddy Run and Push-Ups

Tomorrow I'll try to post again about our trip, but this evening I must babble about a few things training related. But I will say one thing, yes that was me climbing down in the water in a bikini (gasp!). And thank you for the words of encouragement - I was hesitant to include that photo , but apparently all the time at the gym is paying off if a middle aged women such as myself can pull off a bikini with some dignity. :-)

I did get out to run today. That's the good news. I was supposed to do 4 miles easy. Doesn't sound too bad. However, the wind kicked up and the whole run basically sucked. It was the slowest most miserable run that I've had for a few quite some time. I gave up at 3.75miles and walked in. On Saturday I'm targetting 6 miles with a pace target given to me by Coach. I sure hope that run goes much better than today's. Sigh.

Tomorrow I have an appt with Trainer Guy at the gym. I'm also scheduled for Week 3 Day 3 push-ups. Which brings me to my next topic. I want to talk about these "modified" pushups that I've been doing.

The Dash-Splash-Push rules state that women may have bent knees, which is clearly easier than regular pushups, but I'm not 100% sure how I'm supposed to do them.

I've drawn a little picture to show what it looks like with me in the "Up" position. Pardon my lack of artistic ability LOL. Anyway, my knees are touching the ground, but I'm trying to keep my core straight. My feet are slightly elevated. Is this what modified pushups are supposed to look like? Or at least, is this an acceptable version of modified pushups? Anyone know?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Oh, and about training...

We went to the gym the day we left on our trip. It was a good workout session. I also completed Week 3 Day 1 pushups.

I made sure to pack my running shoes, shorts, and two sleeveless shirts, sports bra, socks, running cap, swim cap, goggles, and week 3 pushup schedule.

Swim cap and goggles got plenty of use. No drills, but I did laps at the pool several mornings. I also did a little open water swimming. All in all, I'm logging 3800 yds of swimming for that week.

As for the running clothes and pushup schedule... All they did was waste space in my luggage. Admittedly, I'm a weather wimp. It was simply too hot/humid even in the morning for me to think seriously about running. I really don't know how some of you manage in the summer time where you live!

Planned on running with the group yesterday. Somehow it didn't happen though. I was out doing errands with my daughter and time got away from me. Oops.

I think I'm finally back on track, though. I was at the gym bright and early today for lower body, core, and Week 3 Day 2 pushups.

I'm running tomorrow. This time I mean it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Moorea Part 1 - Snorkeling

The island is surrounded by a coral reef, so the water near the shore is a calm lagoon. I bought each of us a set of snorkel gear and an underwater camera for the trip, knowing that we had an overwater bungalow in a prime snorkeling location. It was definately worth the splurge! Not only were the ocean views magnificent from our bungalow, but we were able to snorkel straight off our deck every day. How cool is that?!?

On Friday, we went on a lagoon tour by boat to a motu (small island). That day we saw a bunch of sting rays and some sharks. The water was shallow and clear, producing some of the best underwater photos.

I'm a desert-dweller, so experiencing the ocean in this way was quite a treat.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Back from Moorea

A proper post later. For now, I'll simply leave you with a few images from paradise. :-)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Weekend Run

Met up with the running group yesterday morning for my 6 mile run. Since I'm soooo slow compared to the other runners, I tried to get a head start. It wasn't enough to keep me from being the last of the 6 milers to come in.

Average pace was 11:14, basically the same as last weekend. The good news is that I'm fairly consistent. And not injured. That's enough to keep me happy for now, but I'm getting really tired of being the last one in. Sigh.

Today was a much needed rest day. Thought briefly about going for an afternoon swim, but changed my mind about that. Spent the day packing instead.

Tomorrow I'm heading to the gym. Plus I've got a date with some pushups. If I'm really ambitious, I might even go to the pool first. Or not. Guess it depends on how I feel when the alarm goes off.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ready for Relaxation

For those of you who guessed Tahiti, you guessed correctly!!

I am so excited I can hardly sit still. And yes, I'm packing more than just that short list. LOL.

Meanwhile, I'm working through my training mostly as planned. Yesterday I did W2D2 pushups in the morning and a slow 4 mile run in the early evening. Didn't bring Garmin, but I'm guessing roughly 11min miles.

Since I didn't go to the pool Thursday, I got up early (5am) so that I could swim this morning before my 7am appt with Trainer Guy. I also decided to complete W2D3 pushups so I could polish off week 2.

Wow. Maybe it was because I was already worn out from swimming, but my workout at the gym was extra tough today. By 9:00am, I was ready for a nap! Sadly, there has been no rest for me today and tomorrow doesn't look any easier. I may just have to wait for vacation to catch up on my rest and relaxation.

That's all for now. Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Vacation Planning

For reasons I don't want to get into, I'm not swimming today. Maybe tomorrow instead. I still plan to do my pushups though. And I run this afternoon. So I'm not a TOTAL slacker.

Husband & I are going somewhere that's four time zones away. Somewhere we haven't been before. Fairly long flight. It's just the two of us going - that's unique - haven't done that since having kids! We'll be there on our anniversary and staying in a bungalo (is that romantic or what?!?). No, not Jamaica (nice try, but actually the wrong direction). Any other guesses?

Working on gathering some of the things we need. Here's a sampling:

Inlaws to mind the household while we're gone - check!
Passports - check!
Snorkel gear - check!
Disposable underwater cameras - check!
Bathing suits - check!
Water shoes - check!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Getting Plans in Order

Thanks everyone for your comments and encouragement. I'm feeling good about the upcoming event now. I'm also getting excited again especially since I got confirmation today that my registration was received!

I think I have my training in order now. I've had to move things around to accomodate swimming and pushups. Yoga won't be happening as much this month.

Today I returned to the pool in the early morning (6:30am) for another short swim (800yds). I focussed on form and counted strokes. I was swimming with purpose.

From there, I drove to the fitness center at work. I started off with my rope crunches and ab rolls and some stretches. Then I had someone that I trust check my form on modified pushups. When I was satisfied that I was doing them correctly, I picked up W2, D2 of the first column from the One Hundred Pushups program. I actually have this all laid out in a different format in excel for my tracking purposes. Each row is a day (they use columns). I will use this to guide my pushup training in the short term and mark off each row as I complete it. .

I may only do two rows per week, but that's okay. Also, if I get stuck, I won't advance. If I get really stuck, I'll modify the plan. I don't know how far I'll get, but whatever happens, this should be decent pushup training for the event

Oh yeah, and I'm heading out the door soon to meet the running group for a 4mile run. [EDIT - done! 4 miles @10:42 pace]

Then tomorrow is strength day at the gym in the morning and rest in the afternoon.

Now that I have my training figured out, it's time to focus on the upcoming trip. More hints in next post!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Calming my nerves

While I’m happy to have an event on the horizon, I’ve been troubled because I feel like I’m much farther behind in my training that last year. And this quirky triathlon is in six short weeks! Funny how quickly I transitioned from excited to anxious.

Thanks to wonders of modern technology, specifically my Garmin and Blog archives, I found a way to do an objective evaluation to try to calm my nerves

RUNNING - This time last year, I posted about a 7 mile easy run at 12:28 pace. This year, I completed a 6 mile easy run at 11:16 pace. A little behind on distance, but my easy pace has picked up. Another data point is the sweetheart run 5K. Last year I ran the 5K in 30:14 uninjured vs. 30:08 this year with a hammy injury. I’m probably right where I need to be with running at the moment.

SWIMMING - This time last year I was swimming regularly, and doing about 1600 yd structured workouts including a lot of drills. This year, I’m just barely back in the pool and doing 800-900 yd unstructured workouts. For example, I went to the pool this afternoon and accomplished 900yds. That was enough to make my shoulders sore. I’m definitely behind in the water. This event has a short 300M swim so I don’t really need to be focusing on distance at the moment. I’d probably be better off focusing on form. Also, Sunday afternoon is a good time to swim, but I need to figure out one other day during the week when I can show up at the pool reliably. Once a week isn’t going to cut it! I’m thinking Tue or Thu morning.

PUSH-UPS - This time last year I couldn’t do a single “real” pushup! I’ve slacked off a lot on my pushups recently, but my upper body strength is much improved. I’m way better off today compared to last year. I had no problem doing 15 “modified” ones on Friday. If I simply add these into my regular strength work at the gym, I should be in good shape for this portion of the event.

Conclusion – I’m doing okay with running. I’m much better with push-ups and have a plan to work them into my strength work 2-3 times a week. I just need a plan for swim training and I should be fine!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Saturday Summary

Decision made. My registration for the Dash-Splash-Push Tri went out in the mail today. Woot!!

Sore and sleepy after six mile easy run (Garmin says 11:16 pace). I was hoping to swim this afternoon, but took a nap instead. Oops. Guess I'm swimming tomorrow instead.

Went bathing suit shopping for our trip and totally surprised myself by choosing a bikini (gasp!). As bikini's go, it's fairly modest, but it's been a long time since I've considered wearing one in public. Seriously. I don't even wear a normal bathing suit at the gym. Instead, I usually wear my favorite sports top and tri shorts (which is going with me on vacation, I might add, because it is perfect for snorkelling). I'm chalking this new bravery up to all the abs work and time at the gym.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday Follow-ups

ALLERGIES - Allergies are still beating me down. I decided to skip my run last night. Blech. This is particularly bad because I've under a lot of stress this week. Allergies + Stress = Unhappy Lisa

GARMIN - I also recieved my new Garmin cradle in the mail. As far as I can tell, it is working. Guess I'll find out when I try to use the Garmin next time.

DECISION - Leaning toward doing the push-up tri. I can run a practice 10K on my own some other weekend. Guess that means, I need to start doing push-ups again. Just for giggles, I did 15 modified ones this morning at the gym. It was kind of weird because I haven't done pushups like that for a long time. I'm not sure if I was doing them correctly. I was trying to follow the rules for the race. Elbows needs to be at a 90 deg bend in the down position, straight in the up position, and push-ups mut be done continuously with no resting allowed. The rules also state that women may have bent legs which is why I'm practicing them like that at the moment.

ABS WORK- Most of the exercises are getting easier which must mean that my abs are getting stronger. Yay! I wish I could say the same for my lower body stuff. Sadly I'm still struggling with those evil one legged squats.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

slow run, decisions, & allergies

Yesterday evening I had 4 miles on the schedule. I got it done, but at a pace even slower than Saturday. I've basically slowed down incrementally for the past three runs. I'm not sure why that is, but I think it might have something to do with swimming on Sunday. I need to take another look at my schedule and figure out where I can double up and still maintain the rest day.

There is a 10K scheduled on April 18th (Sat) that I had tentatively put on my calendar as a "practice" for the 10K in May that I am more seriously training for (would love a PR). The Dash Splash Push event is scheduled for April 19th (Sun). Technically not a conflict since they are on different days, but it's probably not a wise idea to try to do both. And yes, that option is being considered. So now I have a decision to make. Do I do one or the other or both?

The pollen count has been through the rough lately. I think my sniffles/sneezing is allergies and not a cold. To top it off, my skin is a rashy mess ever since using the hot tub on Sunday. Yeah, it's quite attractive. I'm basically allergic to everything and my body is in histamine overload. Part of the wonderfulness of being me, I guess.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

More on the PushUp Tri

I emailed the organizer to get more information about how this works with the pushups. Here is what I found out

"We will start with the run (3 miles), then straight to Swim (300 yards) and when you are done we will stop your time. When you will get to the push ups-station we will take 2 seconds off your time/each push up done properly! Push ups are judged by our personal trainers and they are performed according to American Council of Exercise (ACE) standards (where you go to ‘about’ 10 cm off the ground; chest almost touching). Women can choose to perform modified pushups."

After running and swimming, I'll be lucky to do 2 proper pushups, but maybe more modified ones. But based on the way this works I really don't think the push-ups will be much of a factor and shouldn't stop someone (me) from doing the event. Here's why I say that. Let's consider three scenarios: 100 pushups, 25 pushups, and 0 pushups. The 100 pushups will be worth approximately 3mins 20 seconds off your time, 25 pushups will take 50seconds off your time, and 0 pushups will mean your time stands.

I'm going to have to check my calendar, but this is almost too unique to pass up. I'm definately considering signing up! Normally I do "real" pushups, but I just might practice modified ones just for this event.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday Miscellany

I *just* got an email moments ago announcing a spring triathlon event in my area, with an interesting twist: "Our event is called Dash, Splash & Push, and it involves 3 mile run, 300 yard swim and Push Ups"

You're kidding me?!? Run, Swim, and then...no bike, but Push-ups?!?!? I definately need to check into this. I wonder what criteria they have for the push-ups. My curiosity is piqued.

Since yesterday was March 1st and I wanted to set myself up to start swimminga gain, I made it a point to actually get into the pool yesterday for the first time in months. Yowza! Swimming is harder than I remember.

This morning, I proceeded to wake up with sniffles and all sneezy. Wonderful. Get over the latest injury and catch a cold or something. Didn't stop me from going to the gym, but I didn't put the same focus and energy into it as I usually do.

Oh, and I tested the freaky frog feet in the hot tub yesterday. They are going to be brilliant as water shoes. Absolutely brilliant!!

That's all for now.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Freaky Frog Feet and Feb Totals

Yesterday we drove up to Santa Fe so we could get these:

What on earth are those? You might ask. They're called Vibram Five Fingers. The model is Sprint. Daughter thinks they make us look like we have freaky frog feet. I agree these aren't the most sexy footwear I've ever owned.

No, we aren't converting to barefoot running, although apprently they are popular for that. We bought them to use in the water.

"But you live in the desert?", you might be thinking. Yes we do. This purchase is for our upcoming 20th anniversary trip. Some place tropical. Think "second honeymoon." Yes, I'm very excited. More info with be forthcoming in upcoming posts, I promise.

February Totals
* Ran 35.5 miles
* Yoga 9 times
* Strength at the gym 11 times
* One race - 5K

* Stupid hamstring tendonitis really messed up my month. I'm so tired of being perpetually injured.
* Still loving the gym.

Plans for March
* Start swimming again
* 20th anniversary trip!!