Sunday, May 31, 2009

May Tally

- Ran 36.4 miles
- Cycled 112.7 miles (all within the past 8 days!)
- Did Strength at the gym 10 times
- Did Yoga 6 times
- Races: One 5K, One DNS*

- I just might be able to pull that rabbit out of my hat afterall. :-)

Plans for June
- Alb Half-Century next Saturday!
- Get in the pool again
- Decide on next running event.

*As it turns out, a 43.7 mile bike ride as the 5th ride in 8 days after taking a 6 mo cycling hiatus was enough to wear me out completely. And having done this particular ride 18 hrs in advance of a splash & dash, turning the alarm off & getting extra sleep seemed like a *much* better idea than waking up early for said event this morning. Who knew?!?!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

5 Things I'm Happy about Today

1) My favorite women's Novara bike shorts with the crossover waist band. Everything about these shorts makes me say "ahhhhhh"

2) Polar Bottles that kept my liquids sufficiently cold for the duration of the ride.

3) A brand new pair of Novara gloves that fit nicely and have enough gel padding to keep my hands happy.

4) Injinji socks. This is the first time that I've worn them. So far, I'm liking them!

5) A shady rest spot at mile 30 (of 43.7)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Making Progress

Tuesday I rested in the morning, and did drills with the run group in the evening.

Wednesday I cycle commuted to work and spent a little time at the gym doing stretches and strength work. The commute was all kinds 'o sucky, so I resolved to do it again the next day.

Which I did. I also spent a decent amount of time doing upper body and core at the gym. And met with the run group this evening for a 30min easy trail run. Yeah, it was a busy day.

Tomorrow I have an appt at the gym with my Trainer, then head off for a chiro appt. If all goes well, I'll also get daughter signed up for the gym (that turned out to be a no-go a few months ago, but now that school is over it seems more feasible). Other than that, I'm resting.

I have a 40 mile ride on deck with Husband for Saturday in preparation for the half-century ride the following week. That is a key workout; don't want to miss it.

And then there's a little Splash & Dash event Sunday that I signed up for but haven't trained for at all. I actually haven't been in a pool since Splash-Dash-Push! Oops! I'm not concerned about it though; my goal is to have fun and get motivated to put swimming into the mix again.

Feels like things are coming together. I hope it's not an illusion!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Half Century Thoughts

I signed us up last night. Decision made.

It's a tour not a race. It doesn't matter how slow we go or how many times we stop. What matters is that we get through it and (hopefully) have some fun in the process.

Made it through a 28 miles ride yesterday with Husband. Sure it was mostly flat and my body aches all over today, the point is that I survived. And I think I can go further next weekend.

We can probably modify the course a little bit, start from home instead of the heart hospital, and join up about 10 miles into the ride. Then cut back to home instead of the heart hospital and still get in the 50 miles.

I got my commuter bike back, so I'm on for cycle commuting Wed and Fri this week (weather permitting). Every time I do that, I get in some good hill training.

We're going to aim for a forty mile loop on Saturday. The next weekend is the century event.

I really need to find a slow cycling buddy to train with after this. Trying to keep up with Husband is exhausting. It's also a bit depressing when I'm working my tail off and he casually says "I think I could go forever at this pace"

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Slow Six

I was supposed to run 6 yesterday, but it was raining in the morning and then on & off all afternoon. All I could get motivated for was Yoga.

My "alarm cat" went off at 5:45. She has grown accustomed to a 4:30am feeding (Husband gets up crazy early on weekdays) and having not been fed by the time the sun came up, she was concinved she was starving to death. After ten minutes of being jumped on, nudged, and meowed at, I figured I should just get up and go for a run.

It wasn't raining, but still wet outside. The skies were overcast and it was about 55 degrees. Nice conditions for running, if you ask me, so that was the plan.

It's about three quarter miles from my front door to the ditch bank. It was a bit muddy due to the rain, but still a decent surface for running.

My plan for the day was 6 easy miles with short walk breaks every mile. I wanted to put in the distance, but take it easy on my body so as not to further aggravate the hammy.

I was hoping to get an interesting picture every time I took a walk break, but for the most part it all looks the same! The only somewhat interesting photo that I got was this pair of horses.

Left my muddy shoes on the front patio when I got home and looked at my watch. That was depressing! It took forever to complete my 6.2 mile loop. I'm sure my body is thanking me for the easy pace with walk breaks, but my mind is still coming to grips with how slow I was moving.

Have a good rest of your weekend, folks!

Friday, May 22, 2009

When there's a will, there's a way

Since my commuter bike is still in the shop, I can't commute to work. That takes out a significant opportunity for getting in some miles to prepare for the upcoming half-century.

However, there was no good reason for me not to ride my race bike to the gym this morning - I simply needed to workout in my bike clothes.

One of our cars needed to the shop today as well. Since I was already dressed in my bike clothes when I got home from the gym, the perfect plan was to shove the bike in the back, drop off the car, and cycle back home. No need to arrange a ride!

Granted, it's not the perfect training scenario, but with a little creativity I found a way to get 15 miles in the saddle this morning, including one challenging climb.

On top of that, I had a solid lower body workout with the Trainer today.

Not bad, eh?

Workouts this week:
* Monday morning - upper body strength
* Tuesday morning -Yoga
* Tuesday evening - Run drills with group.
* Wednesday - unplanned rest - bike commute NO-GO due to rear wheel
* Thursday - Tempo run with group
* Friday - Bike to gym, Lower body strength with Trainer, Bike to home, Car to shop, Bike to home - Booyah!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hey Rocky...

Bullwinkle: Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of a hat.

Rocky: Again?? That trick never works!!

Bullwinkle: This time for sure.


Rocky: Wrong hat!

Who watched Rocky & Bullwinkle as a kid and remembers this running joke? Right now I'm pretty much feeling like Bullwinkle. Let me back up and explain.

I mentioned on Monday that I wanted to put a few events on the calendar to help me out of my funk. Put a few things out there including a 250M swim/5K Splash&Dash on the 31st. I also talked to Husband about things he might like to to do together.

As it turns out, he was under the impression that we were already planning on doing the Albuquerque Century Ride on 7-Jun, less than three weeks away.

Ummmm. Small problem. I haven't been on my bike for awhile.


Given that he's done every event I've ever asked him to do with me, I rather not disappoint him and bail on this. So, I told him that I'd work really hard for the next two weeks to try to position it so we can do the half-century which includes 1250 ft of climb over 10 miles. If that doesn't seem feasible, we can do the quarter century which is basically flat.

Get ready in roughly seventeen days for a half-century with climb?!? I pretty much need to pull a rabbit out of my hat to make that happen.

I looked at the calendar and tried to devise some plan to get there. I counted six opportunities to bike commute to work. Each of those gives me 12.5 miles round trip including a hill climb on the way in that replicates the tour climb (just a lot shorter). I also have two friday afternoons available to get some riding in. And we can take advantage of the Memorial Day holiday for a long ride this weekend.

There's really no time to spare, so I got all geared up to commute in this morning only to find that the rear tire on my commuter bike is horribly out of true. Spent 30 mins trying to adjust it so that it wouldn't rub on the rear brake and finally gave up.

Loaded it up in the back of my Jetta to take it into the shop. Luckily, they expect to have it back to my by Friday afternoon.

However, this plan to pull a rabbit out of my hat is clearly not off to a good start.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday Miscellany

* I haven't been able to find my new favorite running shorts in the local stores, but found a taupe colored pair on ebay in my size. Happily used "buy it now" to get them on their way to me. Yes, I sometimes buy running clothes on ebay. What does that say about me?

* Bailed at mile 5 of my 6 mile run on Saturday due to the return of hamstring tendonitis pain. Walked the final mile back in. Not happy about that, but trying not to get to discouraged. I think the hill sprints on Thursday were too much too soon. Simply need to back off a bit and make sure I'm 100% healed before pushing myself too hard.

* Did yoga on Friday and Sunday for the first times all month. I need to conciously make more time for yoga. I like how it makes me feel. Intending to do it again tomorrow morning and then run in the evening.

* Can't put my finger on it but I'm lacking motivation and I don't like how that feels. Put a few events on the calendar to try to keep the lazies at bay.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Sharing Small Wins

In the spirit of celebrating what I CAN do and not berating myself for what I CANNOT, I wish to share some recent victories. I've learned that positive self-talk can significantly affect my mood and I choose to be happy today.

* I can now do 3x15 ab curls unassisted. When I started, I couldn't do a single one without help. On a related note, I've upped the weight on rope crunches. Clearly my ab strength is improving.

* While doing Yoga today I was able to hold a few poses for the entire duration. Previously, I needed to stop, take a break, and restart on those.

* Last night the scale returned a number that I haven't seen in a very long time. It was a bit crankier this morning, goal weight is within sight.

* Did well with the hill sprints workout last night. One of my fellow runners even commented at one point "wow, you're good at these hills"

Share with me and be happy with yourself! What small wins are you celebrating?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Drills & Hills

Got a call yesterday afternoon from Coach reminding me that we were meeting at the track that evening. Eek. The track?!? I do not like the track. He assured me it wouldn't be so bad - we were doing run drills, not intervals. Phew!

Arrived to find that we were actually running on a grassy field near the track. He had cones set up. We did all kinds of drills. Butt kicks, high knees, hopping, running backwards, pickups, short sprints, running backwards up a hill (tricky!), high cadence high knees, etc.

Interesting observation #1 - Most of the runners were complaining that they felt it in their calves or their hamstrings, or quads or whatever. As for me, I really didn't feel sore muscles at all. Maybe because I've been pretty diligent about going to the gym and doing strength stuff that's more taxing than these drills? Or maybe I was just doing them wrong...

Intersting observation #2 - Similar to when we do hill intervals, my short sprints put me solidly in the center of the pack. When we run longer, I'm generally the last to come in. Too bad the 200M dash isn't as popular as the local 5K/10K. LOL.

Clearly I do better on drills and hills than distance running. What do you think that means? I'm seriously wondering if maybe the heart arrythmia is somehow responsible by not permitting sufficient O2 transfer to my muscles. Your thoughts?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lighter Side of Life

First off, wanted to Thank you for the kind words, prayers, well wishes, vitural hugs, warm vibes, and everything else. I have found the blogging community to be highly supportive and it has really helped. I truly appreciate each of you. :-)

We ate breakfast at Denny's on both Saturday and Sunday mornings. Had the same waitress each time. We have no idea what she said to us when we sat down. "Hah Do" or "Har You" or something like that. Figuring that out became a game. If any of you can translate that for me, i'd appreciate it!

I ended up buying a car* Saturday afternoon while we were there. The original plan was to have them ship it to us, but my amazing-awesome-supportive-wonderful husband decided to drive it back instead. I told him that it had that new car smell when I last saw it on Sunday morning. Now, not so much. Guess 1450 miles in 28 hours will do that. Here's a photo that I took with my cell phone Sunday morning in Louisville.

The hotel we stayed at had a fitness center with a 25 yd indoor lap pool. I thought I would get up early and swim, but when the clock said 5:30, my body said 3:30 and refused to budge. That's a new one for me. I guess I need to add "time difference" to my list of excuses not to exercise.

I think I was called "darlin'', "honey", "hon", "dear", "sugar" more often in one weekend that in the entire last year. It took me aback the first few times. It must just be something about the south. :-)

Today is running group day. It will be good for me to get back on track after taking an extended break (Fri-Mon). Happy Tuesday everyone!!

*It's a Jetta SportWagen TDI - clean diesel, a green alternative. It has the utility of a compact SUV with the fuel economy of a small car. Plus it is fun to drive. It averaged 35.5 mpg on the last tank. Sweet, eh?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Visiting Dad

preface: I don't want to get into the whole back story but the short version is that my dad left when I was maybe 6 years old and I never really spent much time with him. I'm home now after traveling to visit him this weekend and need to write this for myself..

Arrived Sat morning at the rehab center where they had just moved my Dad the day before. A few nurses were in with him when we arrived so we waited outside the room for 10 mins or so.

Haven't seen my Dad since 2005. If it wasn't for his voice, I wouldn't have recognized him.

Apparently he told all the caregivers that he was expecting us that day. They let him postpone his rehad exercises so we could wheel him to the sunroom to talk That might not have been such a good idea, he hardly had the strength to sit up.

We took him back to the room, but it was time for rehab exercises. We went with him. Attaching clothes pins to a post was too difficult, so they tasked him with putting pegs in holes. He told me that it was difficult today but he wasn't giving up and there would be no stopping him when he got stronger.

Took him back to his room and they pu him back into bed where he was more comfortable. That's where he was the rest of the time we were there.

Cut up his meat for him. Helped him order food for the next day. Tried to find the channel he wanted on the TV. Brought him water. Got the nurses when he wanted to shift positions.

He spent a lot of time talking about memories of his live. He said that it seemed he had some important things to say to me when he asked me to come, but he couldn't remember what they were.

It was okay.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tuesday miscellany

* I alternate between two pairs of running shoes. The past several runs in my blue shoes (which are older) have resulted in icky blisters on my left front toe. I think they are breaking down and my foot is sliding forward. It's not happening in my orange pair (newer). Retired the blue ones and adding a brand new pair of red ones into rotation. Swapped out the inserts from blue to red, but maybe that's not a good idea. I think I should buy new inserts when I find time.

* Son's provisional license turned one year old on Saturday. Took him to the DMV yesterday to obtain his unrestricted license. He's a happy boy. Me, not so much. Why? Because he's grown up too fast. Seriously - where does the time go?!?

* Think I've finally decided on what car to purchase. There is one and only one in the state of New Mexico at this time. And it's really not optioned the way I want. Told them I'd be willing to put a down payment on it if they get the price to the figure I have in mind otherwise I'm in no hurry to pay too much for a car that's not optioned the way that I want. Will hear back today. I expect it will be too high. But it doesn't hurt to ask.

* Went to the gym yesterday for upper body. Trainer has kicked it up a notch in the past few week on my upper body work and it leaves me sore every time! But sore in a good way...

* Our travel plans and related arrangements (kids, pets, etc) are finally coming together wrt the trip to see my Father this weekend. Not looking forward to this, but I'm doing okay.

* On a whim, checked online and found at least *two* of the vehicles that I'm interested in at a dealership in Louisville - optioned as desired and in the right price range. Seriously considering the feasibility of purchasing out of state if I can figure out how to get it back home.

* As much as I love running skirts, I bought a pair of running shorts (nike something or other) at Marshalls a few months ago and they are now my favorite of all things to run in. Need to figure out what they are so I can get another pair...

* Daughter woke up sick. Stuffy head, pink eyes, sore throat, head ache, coughing, didn't sleep well. Normally I'd make her go to school (I'm pretty sure it's just a cold) but with all the brew-ha-ha about swine flu, I'm keeping her home. Don't want the village to come after me with pitch forks for sending sick kid to school.

* Running group tonight. Yippeeeeee!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Run for the Zoo 5K Race Report

I had originally planned to do the 10K targetting a PR, but backed off to doing the 5K for fun. For me, this was a good decision. This is a huge event and really not a good one to test yourself at because of the crowd. But I'll get more into that later...

We arrived at 7:45 for our 8:30 start time. We thought that would be early enough, but apparently not. By then it was already difficult to find a place to park. We eventually found a parking space a good mile away. No worries, still plenty of time before the scheduled start.

The temp was 48deg when I left the house so I was wearing shorts, a short sleeve shirt, and a long sleeve shirt over it. Walking in, I realized that it was warming up and I didn't need the long sleeve shirt. The car was too far away to put it back, so I tied it around my waist.

They ask folks to line up by estimated pace. If people would actually do this, I think it would be a more pleasant experience for everyone. Instead, people seem to ignore the pace markers and just try to get in as close to the front as they can. Grrrrr.

No Garmin today, just my sport watch. I hit start when the gun went off, hit the split button when we crossed the start mat, at each mile marker, as I crossed the finish mat, and eventually hit stop when I was off to the side.

It took 40 seconds from gun time to cross the start mat. Even then, the crowd wasn't moving much faster than a slow jog. I spent the entire first mile looking for holes to get through. Generally, I had luck getting through on the inside near the sidewalk, but I still found myself wasting energy darting left and right and trying to get through. Very frustrating.

It was a little better for mile 2. I stayed to the inside and occasionally went up on the sidewalk to get around the crowd. After the 2 mile marker, I found space. By then I think I had worn myself out with all the darting around trying to get through the crowd. When I saw the finish line, I kicked it up a notch and started passing folks. I am pleased with myself for being able to finish strong.

I'm not sure what the official time will be. If it was gun timed, it will be close to 30:45. However, my watch says start line to finish line took 30:06. I would have liked a finish under 30mins, but I'm not too disappointed. I put in good effort, had some fun despite the crowds, and went into it uninjured. That equals success in my book. :-)

[updated - official results are in and they have me at 30:02. I missed my target of sub 30 by just a few seconds. That's closer than I expected, and I'm okay with it!! Additional stats include 387 of 1037 women and 35 of 113 F40-44.]

Enjoy the rest of your weekend folks!

Friday, May 1, 2009

April Tally

* Ran 44.5 mi
* Swam 500 yds
* Gym sessions - 8
* Yoga sessions - 3
* Races - 1 (DSP)

* Lots of personal "stuff" this month and race plans were adding to the stress. I'm glad that I backed off so that I could have fun again
* I'm uninjured at the moment. This is a very good thing.

May Plans
* Run for the Zoo
* Take it one day at a time
* Stop and smell the roses whenever possible :-)