Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Track Workout and Monthly Totals


Tuesday is track day. I never look forward to track day, but I always show up. Today we were scheduled for 1 mi warm up followed by 3x [1000M @ 10K pace with 600M walk/jog]

I did my first 1000 in something faster than 10K pace, not necessarily intentionally, and then my pace and energy level really faded off somewhere between 600 & 800. That's not at all what was prescribed. Drat.

Coach walked over and told me he wanted me to run 600 for the next one instead of the 1000. He instructed me to push it beyond my comfort zone, but hold a steady pace throughout. And, he added "you're going to surprise yourself"

At first I felt like I was getting a remedial workout - I had failed at the 1000s so now I was getting shorter intervals. But then I reminded myself that he's there to help each of us do the best we can. He probably had something specific in mind.

So 600s is what I did.

And boy was he was right, I did surprise myself. I found myself holding onto the pace that the rest of the group was doing for their 1000s rather than my usual going out to hard and then falling off to the back. Amazingly, I felt strong throughout. I was pushing it, but not to the point of failure.

Looking at the numbers, my 600s came in at 3:02 and 3:07. I think that's something along the lines of 8:10-8:20min/mi. Shazam!

Coach was very pleased with how this worked out. For the next month or so, he wants me to focus on shorter intervals at the track with a faster pace vs longer intervals with a slower pace, continue with the hills, and long slow runs on the weekends.


- ran 36.8 miles
- cycled 70.3 miles
- swam 4450 yds
- did strength at the gym 12 times (clearly, I'm still lovin' the gym)
- events: one half century ride, one splash & dash

- I had fun with both events and had a more 'balanced' training month.
- My training volume isn't all that high, but I'm focussed on short stuff at the moment and trying to stay injury free, so I think I'm right where I need to be.

plans for July
- keep on keepin' on. :-)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Random Thoughts

  • Sometime last week I lost my purple sport watch. It's the one I use at the pool and also for days when I don't care for data overload from my garmin. I'm bummed. I guess I can look for a new one at Target or something, but I'm mad at myself for losing a perfectly good watch for no good reason. D'oh!

  • I bought a new pair of BRIGHT orange Nike shorts from Marshalls the other day. Super comfy and in a you-can't-miss-me color. What's not to love about that?! [Hey, if you know me on facebook, please try the how well do you know me quiz just to make me feel loved and oh by the way Marshall's is an answer in case you haven't figured that out by now. ]

  • I feel compelled to share why my rockin' swim from the splash and dash is particularly awesome (for me). As I've mentioned before, I didn't learn to swim until just before my 40th birthday. Some of you may remember that; others may not have ever known it. Anyway, it amazes me how comfortable I am in the water now. My swim just gets better and better. [I wish I could say the same for my running, but alas, that's an entirely different story.]

  • The local Women's Distance Festival races are coming up weekend after the 4th. Last year I took third in my AG and got a cute charm bracelet. Might do that again, although I truly don't expect to place.

  • We had a lot of rain on Thu and Fri. No big deal, right? But then on Fri and Sat nights the family was kept awake by the annoying loud croaking of frogs/toads. In the freaking desert!! Where the heck did they even come from and why are they so annoyingly loud?!?!? [I was ready to hunt them down and relocate them last night, but they were smart and kept quiet. I'm on to you, stupid frogs!]

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Splash & Dash Race Report

This morning I got up early for the 2nd in the series of four local splash&dash events. I missed the first one and wasn't sure what to expect.

Showed up at the location and discovered that this would be a VERY SMALL event. Maybe 25 participants. Guess it is a bad weekend for them. There's another local race this morning, one this evening, plus the serious local triathletes are in Lubbuck for BSLT 70.3.

No worries, I like small events.

The format was 250yd pool swim with a seeded start. Up and back in each lane, then over and so on until you make your way to the end. Out to transition on a patio area. Then a short run over to the Bosque trail with the bulk of the run on dirt.

Set my transition area up and chatted with the other participants as we waited for the start. Got comments again on my too cute Turtle bag.

Seems that most of the people were nervous about the swim. Not Me. I was actually nervous about the run. I've missed my long runs the past few weekends for various reasons, our hill repeats were cut short by a thunderstorm, as was my 'make-up' run on Friday. Just wasn't sure how this was going to work out for me today

They lined us up by number (based on estimated swim time) and started us 30 seconds apart. I had estimated 5:25 based on my past few swims which put me at #11. It looked like most everyone was lined up in a reasonable order except for one lady who seeded herself way too far in the front. Plus the 30 secs between starts provided plenty of room.

The swim was comfortable and I felt strong. I noticed that I was gaining on the guy in front of me and losing the lady behind me. I was surprised and happy afterwards with my actual swim split which works out to 2:01 per 100 yds. That's smokin' fast for me. I'm very happy with my swim.

swim (250 yd) : 5:05

Removed the swim cap and goggles as I was getting out of the pool. Jogged to the transition area to put on my socks and shoes and grab my hat. I hadn't remembered to put my fast laces in, so I had to take time to tie my shoes (vs slip them on). Still, my transition time wasn't too bad.

transition: 0:59

Then it was time to run. Uggh. Right from the beginning, I could tell it was going to be a struggle. Luckily it was a short course. My favorite part of the run was seeing the other participants out on the course. Everyone was encouraging to each other which made me smile. My run time wasn't great, but it wasn't terrible either. It worked out to a 9:49 pace which is just a bit off my 5K pace. Coming off a swim, it's basically what I should have expected.

run (3 mi): 29:28
total : 35:32

Here I am shortly after finishing. Still breathing hard and squinting from the sun, but happy.

I hung around the finish area to cheer for the final participants as they crossed the line. Everyone seemed to be happy and was talking about whether or not they would be able to do #3 and #4 in the series. If they work out with my schedule, I'm in!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend folks. :-)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Eenie Meenie Miney Moe

My hamstrings were screaming at me Wednesday after my three-rer on Tuesday. Not in a bad way, more in a man-i-really-pushed-it kind of way. I opted not to cycle commute, in favor of stopping at the pool for a short swim and a dip in the hot tub after work.

Mission accomplished, but not without being hit in the head a few times by wild arms in the pool. [Note to self, stick to morning swimming. Apparently everyone and their brother, cousin, sister, aunt, and neighbor have the same idea about using the pool in the late afternoon/early evening.]

Came home an mulled over some options for this weekend.

option 1 - free memorial 5K sunday morning.
option 2 - 5K sunday evening
option 3 - splash & dash #2 sunday morning
option 4 - skip the races all together, just run/bike on own

I have chosen option 3. Why? I missed the splash and dash in May by sabotaging myself with a long bike ride the day before. Swim/Run still sounds like fun to me. Hopefully I'll be motivated to get to the race this time!

Resting this morning. I'm scheduled for hills this evening. Yipppeee!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Two-fer (or maybe it was a Three-fer)

For some reason, I woke up early this morning. Since I was up, I figured I'd head out for an early swim before doing my scheduled strength workout.

I got to the pool and found an open lane. Nice. Decided to time my first 400, and then do the rest of the workout without a watch. Here it is in 100 increments

My 100 splits for the first 400

1:51 <- always go out fast

For me, that's pretty darn good. I enjoyed my time at the pool with the expection of some creepy guy in the lane next to me who seemed to want to strike up a conversation while I was swimming. Bleck!

After swimming, I headed off for my lower body strength work and a little bit of abs and with some stretching. It was a good workout and my quad was still doing okay.

I was feeling pretty good about my swim/strength morning, but wasn't looking forward to the track workout with the group this evening: 1 mile warm up, then 3x800M HARD with 400M Walk/Jog in between. Ick. Nothing about that sounds appealing, but I did it anyway.

My 800 times surprised me.


While the last two are close to my pace target, that first one was smokin' fast for this body. What amazes me is that I was able to pull this off after the swim/strength work this morning.

All in all, a solid good workout day. I expect to sleep well. :-)

Addressing my Quad Issue

I tried everything I could think of:

* massage
* "sore no more"
* ibuprofen
* foam roller
* a tennis ball
* rest (vs running/cycling)
* hot tub
* nuun

That last item (nuun) came as a suggestion from a cyclist friend at work who felt that the knot was brought on by muscle cramping caused by dehydration/electrolyte imbalance. After reviewing my training/nutrition/hydration for the past few days, I decided he might be right. I believe that I do a decent job of hydration/nutrition when I'm cycling/running. But on gym/swim days - not so much. I distinctly remember commenting after my gym session with Trainer on Friday that I was sweating, yet I did nothing to replace fluids or electrolytes for some reason. Woke up the next morning with the quad issue. There could be a connection.

I've also ordered "the stick" because several of you use that and it seemed worth giving a try.

Anyway, at this point, the quad is feeling mighty fine. Not sure which of the thing(s) that I did are responsible, but for now I'm back to normal - whatever that it!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Injury Avoidence

Just the other day, I was talking with someone about my goals for this year. Two years ago I wanted to go farther. Last year I wanted to go faster. This year, I just want to remain uninjured.

It's a good thing to remember, the wanting to remain uninjured part, because I learned last year just how NOT fun being injured is.

I woke up early Saturday to join my run group in a scheduled 6 mile run. Got up, fed the cats, made coffee, putted around the kitchen a bit, looked out the window, and contemplated my situation. Not sure how it happened, but my right quad was very sore and tight, enough to make me limp around a bit as I mulled things over.

I was concerned that running through this type of pain would cause me to hurt something else in the process. So I went back to bed and skipped the run.

Later in the morning, after sulking around for a while, I decided to head to the pool for some laps. I also thought the hot tub at the gym would feel good on my leg. And it did.

But by early afternoon, my quad seemed to be getting worse and I was limping when I walked. I asked Husband to massage it and he confirmed that it was VERY tight like a giant knot. It hurt so much when he tried to help work out the tightness that I was nearly in tears.

Today it's still bothering me. Again no running or cycling. However, I did return to the pool. At least that doesn't bother my leg.

We've also tried massaging it a few more times. Also some new tennis balls to roll on it. It finally seems to be getting better, but I'm not sure what exactly is going on. I can't figure out what I did that caused this.

Seems like no matter how much I try, I just can't avoid injury. Sigh.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Bike Jersey and Such

First, my contribution to photo friday - me looking all cute in my new bike jersey for my commute!

The backstory is that I found the "postcards" jersey on clearance online at velowear.com. It's one of the jerseys that has the potential for custom or semi-custom work because of the big white space. One of the semi-custom options was the "save the planet bike to work" logo which I though matched the jersey nicely color-wise, fit the theme because of the postcards from various places around the world, and would be perfect for my bike commute! And now that I have it, I think it makes me look thinner as well, always a good thing!

Went to the gym Wed after commuting into work. Returned to the gym Thursday for upper body and then met with the running group for hill repeats. YAY! Love hill repeats. The prescribed workout was 1 mile warm up, 8x20sec HARD/sprint uphill with REST/walk downhill between each, then 1 mile cool down. I try to make it a game whereby I try to hit or better my mark each time. Oddly, about half the group opted for an optional workout (tempo run). Guess the hill love isn't shared by all.

This morning I was scheduled for lower body "torture" with Trainer. I casually mentioned to him that I was tight in my hips and hamstrings and Boy Howdy did he loosen me up. Wasn't fun in the process, but admittedly I feel much better after being "pretzeled." Also did several lower body strength exercises while I was there. I'm beginning to love squats. I'm strange that way.

This afternoon I have a lunch date with Daughter. We're going to have Indian food. Doesn't get much better than that. I am also returning to the salon in attempt to "fix" a cruddy haircut. Wish me luck!

Updated to add self portrait in car on way home from 'do-over. This single length, slightly angled bob is much better than the weird choppy layers from my latest cut, at least in my opinion!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

This and That

* There's another 50 mile ride this weekend with a similar climb to the albq century. We seriously though about doing it, but it just seems too soon. We might have missed the registration deadline anyway. I do wish to do another, but want to spread things out a bit to keep them all special in my mind.

* Had a track workout with the group tonight. We did a 1 mi warm-up, 4x600 at 10K pace with 400 walk/jog in between. Let's just say that was not my favorite workout. However, we're doing hills on Thursday and I'm looking forward to that.

* Thinking about maybe doing an evening 5K next weekend. Evening isn't my favorite race time, but it does mix things up a bit.

* Not sure if I mentioned that I got daughter a student special gym membership for the summer and she *finally* used it for the first time yesterday. My hope is that she gets in the habit of going 2-3 times per week, but I'm not pushing it.

* I'm excited about my newest cycle jersey. Rather than try to describe it, I'm hoping to get a photo - maybe tomorrow morning if I can get my lazy butt out of bed to cycle commute in as planned.

* Something about this time of year always zaps my energy. Was tired/yawning all day. What's up with that?!?!

* Finally got the paperwork that I needed to title/register/license my new car. Glad that's all taken care of. Celebrated by taking it to the car wash. Still lovin' my diesel Jetta Wagon.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Breathin' EASY

I've been very slug-like for the past week, minus one hot humid run and a short lap swim in Texas. This moring I had hoped to cycle commute to work, but it just isn't happening. But that's not what I want to post about...

I want to ruminate on my little Texas run for a bit.

Not sure what the elevation was exactly, but it clearly wasn't up at a mile above sea level like it is where I live.

I was scheduled for 4 miles easy. I didn't have my garmin, but I had my sport watch. We were running around a park on a course that was 1/2 mile long. I made note of the time on my watch at 3 miles which was 29:15. Now this works out to a 9:45 pace which is fairly close to my normal 5K pace, only this was an EASY run. Even if the route was a bit short, I was definately moving faster than I would on an EASY run at home.

I define an EASY run by the ability to hold conversation or talk while running. It's all about breathing easy.

Up here at altitude, it doesn't take much speed to push me past EASY. But down there, EASY was just easier.

I've always known that I *should* be able to run faster in an oxygen rich environment, and now I'm more interested in actually finding a race down at sea level and see what this body can do.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Out of the Loop

Back home and feeling very out of the loop.

Daughter & I had fun visiting relatives in Texas, but neither of us can imagine living in a hot/humid environment like that.

I am in awe of those of you who run in that weather. I ran 3.5 miles on Thursday. I did appreciate the oxygen rich air from a lower altitude and found myself moving faster, but the humidity about did me in.

Son is back with stories and photos from his week and will be sharing them with me later after dinner. But his short version is that it was "AWESOME"

I'm hoping Husband enjoyed a few days of peace and quiet without the family. He's making a roasted chicken dinner for us now. House smells yummy.

I've got lots of catching up to do (including laundry!).

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Not Quite Algebra

Spicy Mexican food for both lunch and dinner = yummy at the time, but tummy trouble the next morning. Note to self, don't do this before an important event.

(Son out of the house + no cell phone) (while working with underpriveledged kids for a week + camped out at a church downtown) = proud, but sad mommy. I miss my boy.

(Mom + Daughter) -> Texas to visit (Neice + husband + Sister) in Texas for a few days this week = Excited, but wonder if it's too late to lose 5 lbs by Wednesday?

Tuesday track workouts on schedule = mixed emotions. Love/hate track workouts.

Plan to get back to the pool = FAIL! *sigh*
Tearing down planted aquarium + frustration = rethinking it.
--> cleaning up aquarium + betta + cherry barbs = happy again

Monday, June 8, 2009

What's Next?

It's a good question, actually. Right now I honestly don't know.

The only thing definately on my schedule is a sprint triathlon in August. There's another one in September that I'd like to sign up for (and better hurry before they sell out). Nothing else is really inspiring me at the moment.

I guess that's okay. But without something out there to work toward, my motivation will likely wane over the next few weeks. I need try to find something interesting to do.

Oh, and the century ride had event photographers. I found two photos of husband, one of me, and one of us together. Please do me a favor and look at the one of us together . I need your help deciding if I should order this one.

* Pros - We're riding together, we're in process of passing someone, the look on my face captures how I felt the whole time (determined).

* Cons - I appear to have no neck, my hair looks stupid, event photos are pricey.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Albuquerque half-Century Finishers

Turned out to be a nice day to ride - overcast in the early morning. Much better weather than last year which was all kinds of hot & sunny.

Husband looked all spiffy in his new Illinois jersey -an early father's day prezzy from yours truly :-)

Did better this year and didn't need to stop going up that stinking hill. Lived up to my Slow & Steady moniker. Wasn't moving fast, but I kept on moving. Average pace for the whole ride was 14 mph. Top speed was 29.2 - brave for me not to grab the brakes at 25mph coming down the other side!

At the rest area, I noticed that there were lots of men, but not many women. Took a photo because it seemed so odd.

Right now I'm exhausted. And hungry. And stinky. And sweaty. Food, Shower, Nap required. in that order.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend folks!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Recovery Day

I'm determined to take it a bit easier this wee, a pseudo-taper for the upcoming cycling event. I didn't go to the gym this morning and I opted for walking today in lieu of running.

Anyway, my exercise for the day was walking around the zoo! It was actually a work-sponsored thing. We were there for a good 3.5 hrs in the afternoon. Part of the time was standing looking at animals and part was sitting eating lunch, but I'm sure we got in *at least* 5 miles of walking.

FYI, this is the profile I captured last year from the bike event we're doing this weekend. It's not so much the distance that I'm worried about, but the climb in the middle. Yikes!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Money-Pit Drama

Remember the automobile reliability drama that eventually led me to the decision to buy a new car? Well, because I bought the new car out of state when I flew to KY to visit my dad, I ended up not able to trade in the money-pit that is my old vehicle.

And with Daughter days away from getting her provisional license, somehow I was talked into keeping said money-pit and just "fixing it up a bit" so that it is reliable enough for her to drive around town.

Remember that first day of cycling less than two weeks ago when I included dropping off a car at the shop and riding my bike home? It was the money-pit that needed to go in.

And guess what? The money-pit needed to go back to the shop again on Monday. Sigh.

Somehow, despite buying a new car (which continues to amaze me with it's awesomeness, I might add) I haven't been able to rid myself of the money-pit drama. Somehow that just doesn't seem fair.

Same routine. Tossed the bike in the back, dropped off money-pit, rode the bike to fitness center at work. Did upper body workout. Rode bike from fitness center to work in street clothes after cleaning up. Rode back to pick up money-pit in the afternoon, drove home.

On the bright side, it has been providing extra incentive/opportunity to get on my bike.

At this point, we've replaced practically everything on the money-pit. What else could go wrong?

Don't answer that.

Seriously. Just don't

Recent Workouts:
Sun: Yoga
Mon: 7 mi bike, core+upper body strength
Tue: lower body strength, track/drills run (~4 mi)