Friday, December 30, 2011

One down, two to go & a time of reflection

Yesterday I received the first of the series of three injections for my knee.  I expect to be running again  mid-February.  Until then, I apologize in advance for not doing much blog posting or reading. As many of you who have been benched understand, it's tough to read about everyone else's running adventures when you can't join in on the fun.

[FYI - I'll probably need to keep going back about every 8-10 months or so to repeat the series for as long as this continues to work. After that point, I'm not sure what will happen.  I'm not happy that my knee can't be 'fixed', but I'm happy to have a treatment plan that works well enough for now to allow me to do most of the things I want to do.]

In the past few weeks, I lost my motivation to focus on swimming and walking.  I just really miss running. And I guess that's okay.  Nothing wrong with taking a break, right?

Overall, it was a good year.  I started off with an unexpected 5K PR in February.  I had to give up plans to run a spring HM due to issues with my knee, but switched focus to shorter running events and triathlons.  Had another 5K PR July.  I had a blast at the inaugural Live.Love.Tri in August, the first all-women tri in NM.   I took a good ten minutes off my Patriot (sprint) Tri time in September, mostly an improvement in cycling.  I had a 10K PR in October.  Cycling training with Husband was successful and we capped it off with a strong 50mile charity ride with more climb than I thought I was capable of.  My knee held up until race season was over, and I'll be ready soon enough for next year.

Hope the New Year is a good one for everyone!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

not running -> not blogging

Still not running.  In fact, I'm still waiting on the insurance authorization for my treatment.  I think I'll call later today and find out where that's at.

Without running, and with the weather too cold for my liking for cycling, I'm at a loss for interesting blog topics.  Hence, this is my first post in over a week.  I can't think of a topic that you'd find interesting, so I'll leave you with a few random thoughts.

  • One of my cats is over-weight.  In an effort to get her health back on track, I've switched both cats to canned cat food exclusively.  Rotating Natural Balance and Wellness brands at the moment.  I was also hoping to switch to an evening feeding to get my fat cat to stop jumping on my head in the morning when she wants to be fed.   Well, she still jumps on my head in the morning.  And now she begs for food at dinner time too.  *sigh*
  • Son came home Saturday for winter break.  He will be here for 4 weeks.  He's not coming home for spring break and he's trying to get an internship in CA for the summer.  I will enjoy the time with him while I can.
  • Daughter is on her third Christmas working in retail.  Her days off for winter break from school are filled with extra hours at work.  It's good for her bank account, but it doesn't seem like she's getting any real time off to de-stress from school.
  • Husband & I are on day one of our two week break from work.  Ahhhhhhh.
  • Yesterday I started taping in our bedroom to prep for painting.  Isn't that how everyone spends their time off from work?!  No? 
  • I made a conscious decision to really scale back Christmas consumerism this year. I've complained about it for years, but was still stuck in the trap.  Not this year.  The result?  Much less stress.   More time reflecting on the true meaning of the holiday.  Wish I had figured this out years ago.
  • It's snowing.  This is the third snowfall so far since November.  After an insanely dry spring/summer we certainly need the moisture.  I just wish it wasn't during the cold part of the year when the streets turn icy.  It also probably means that the inlaws are NOT coming down from Colorado this week.  Bummer.
  • I bought a new phone about 10 days ago.  Upgraded from the original Motorola Droid to an HTC Rhyme.  Love it.
  • I've started referring to our neighbors as Old McDonald.  Back in October, they build a shed and put up a little corral in the corner of their yard near our fence.  Then they bought chickens.  Including a rooster.  Uggg.  Then this week they brought home a burrows or donkeys or some such creatures.  I wonder what's next?
  •  I held off on making Christmas cookies until my son asked specifically requested them.  I'd be happy not making them at all because I end up eating my weight in cookies.  But how could I say no?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Just keep swimming...

Got myself out of bed early and to the pool again this morning for another 800yds.  I'm thinking that next month I will increase the distance per swim, but for now 800yds is a distance that seems to be working for me.

We are now one third of the way into the month and my swim total so far is 3200 against my goal of 8000 or 40%.  Just like in Finding Nemo, I just need to stay calm and keep swimming, and I will achieve my goal.

Not doing quite as well with the walking goal.  I've only walked 8.5 miles so far this month, which is 28% of my goal.  However, just this realization alone is likely to motivate me to get out there and walk the dogs today and tomorrow to get caught up.

In other news, one more full week of work and then I am taking two weeks off.  Work has been crazy busy, so I cannot wait!

Also, only 12 more days until the days begin to get longer again.  WoooHooooo!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Knee update

Orthopedic appointment on Monday went as well as can be expected.  Bottom line is that I have Chondomalacia patella  or essentially "worn cartilage behind the kneecap".  Also the beginnings of a slight bone spur, but nothing too serious.  The shots I get for treatment are basically replacement joint fluid which works to lubricate the joint and protect the cartilage. Unfortunately, this only seems to last for somewhere in the 6mo to a year range.  Right now I'm waiting on insurance to authorize the treatment, then will need to go in for another series of three injections.

BTW, he assures me that my knee issue isn't/wasn't caused by running.  In fact, he thinks running is great, as long as it doesn't hurt.  But when it does hurt, I need to find ways to be active that don't worsen the pain.  Which is why I'm focusing on swimming and running for December and January.

On that note, I did manage to drag my lazy butt out of bed on a cold 9 deg morning (which is a quite a feat in itself, let me assure you) and got myself to the pool this morning.  My goal was to get in at least an 800yd swim; however, I stopped and got out of the pool at 600 yds because at that point I was both bored out of my mind and having problems with my goggles.  Sat in the hot tub for a bit and quickly realized that I wasn't going to be happy ending it at 600yds at my total for the day, so I decided to suck it up and jump back in for another 200.  Yay me!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

New Month & Progress to Goals

For those who read my November Tally post, you know that I said I was ready to stop pouting about my cranky knee and start getting active again.  We're one weekend into the new month, let's see how it's going so far.

I set a swimming goal of 8000yds this month.  That breaks down to ~2000 yds per week.  Or 10 swims of 800yds each (which seems doable) or 8 swims of 1000 yds each (which seems less doable based on my current swim habits).

So far I'm at 1600 against my goal, or 20%.  Not bad!  As long as I stay committed, I know I can achieve my swim goal.  The hard part is finding those times that work with my schedule when the pool isn't being used for an aquatics class.

NOTE:  I should mention that I find swimming laps to be incredibly boring, which is why I have a hard time staying in the water past 800 yds.  I'm pondering some sort of waterproof mp3 system  that allows me to listen to music while I swim.  If any of you have experiences, good or bad with this, I'd really appreciate hearing about it.  

I also set a walking goal of 30miles.  That breaks down to 15 walks up and down the hill (2mi route) with my dogs.  Or maybe 9 walks with the dogs and 3 longer walks of 4 miles.  It's aggressive, but also doable.

So far I'm at 6 miles against my goal, also 20%.   Nice!  This one requires more time investment, but it's easy to do from home.  And as an aside, I only count intentional fitness walking, not the walking that I do from the parking lot to my office, up and down the stairs at work, etc.

One last item worth commenting on.  I originally added yoga to my list of goals for December, but later crossed it off my list.  The truth is, I'm really not committed to doing yoga right now.   Plus I find that many of the postures bother my knee right now.  I'll revisit this in Jan or Feb.

How's the new month coming along for the rest of you?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

November Tally

  • 32.3 miles by feet (11.3 miles running, 21.0 miles walking)
  • 4 hill workouts
  • one cranky knee
  • one mysterious heel pain incident
  • Worst exercise month in a long long time, and I'm ready to stop pouting and get active again.
  • Orthopedic appointment next week
  • Get to the pool and start swimming! 
  • Do yoga
  • Walk more regularly
Updated with December Goals:
  • walk 30 miles!
  • swim 8000 yds!

Monday, November 28, 2011


Where to begin?  Let's see....

I had friends lined up to run with me me on Thanksgiving morning.  Which is good.

However, Son's flight was very late.  Daughter picked him up from the airport so I could sleep.  Which is good.

But they didn't get home until about 2am, and I couldn't really didn't sleep soundly until after they got home.  Which is bad.

So I overslept in the morning and missed out on running with friends.  Which was also bad.

Rather than skipping running, I ended up running solo.  Which was good.

But then my knee started acting up about 1.4 miles into the run.  Which was bad.

Since then, my knee has been bothering me even when I walk.  Which is bad.

I haven't even tried running since then.  Which is also bad.

I think it means that I'm going to need to go in for my injections again. But I haven't called for an appointment yet.  Which is not so good.

At least I have a potential treatment plan that seems to work and this last time kept my knee working well for about 8 months.  Which is good.

But it probably means I'll need to take off a few months from running.  Which is bad.

I'm thankful that my knee didn't cause problems during the peak part of my race season.  Which is good.

And I suppose I could get back in the pool this winter and swim.  Swimming doesn't bother my knee.  Which is good.

But I really dont' like swimming all that well.  Which is bad.

Anyway, I haven't called for an appointment yet.  Stay tuned...

[update:  I called today and got lucky as someone had just called to cancel for Monday afternoon and I was able to snatch up that slot!  score!]

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Being Happy

I truly believe that our happiness is the result of our attitude rather than about the things that happen to us.  It's that whole glass half full, or half empty thing.  Today I choose to be happy.  I've compiled a list of ten things that make me happy today:

1) Got the glass replaced Monday afternoon in the Fit.  Still need to have the tint applied, but that is a nice-to-have thing not a necessity.  The Fit is back in action.
2) I ran yesterday!  2.8 miles with hills and my heel was okay until the very end.  Yay!
3) Son is coming home for Thanksgiving.  He didn't last year, so this was a somewhat unexpected surprise.
4) Son seems to be doing well, albeit very consumed with homework, at school.  He's also now considering double majoring in Cognitive Science and Electrical & Computer Engineering.  Sounds super cool to me.
5) Daughter is making good progress on college admission and scholarship applications.  She is considering a degree in social sciences, possibly Anthropology, Communications, or Advertising.  This also sounds very interesting to me.
6) Seems like the worst of my required overtime at work has passed. Should be back to normal next week.
7) Mitts, our oldest cat, has been on supplements to help with his arthritis for the past several weeks.  I think his activity level is increasing, which suggests that the supplements are working.
8) My Ipad arrived.  I'm still not entirely sure what to do with it, but I discovered a free Euchre game application which I am now hooked on.
9) The running that I did yesterday was with a friend who is new to running.  It's great to be able to encourage new runners.
10)  Husband is working a modified schedule for the next several weeks.  There are some downsides to this, but the best part is that we will have a few Friday's off together.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Weekend Woes

The BAD (aka "Why my weekend sucked")

1) Had to work on Friday (normally one of my days off)
2) The car that Daughter drives was broken into Saturday morning while she was at work.  Smashed window, stolen ipod, camera, purse, wallet, etc.  Our insurance deductible won't be met, so the cost to replace the window is coming out of pocket.
3) Had to work Sunday (also normally one of my days off)
4) Going into work early today and will probably be staying late.
5) Haven't run for 10 days

The GOOD (aka "In the grand scheme, it's really not that bad")

1) I'm valued enough at my job to be pulled in for critical assignments.  Sometimes this means working overtime/ weekends, but I do recognize that being valued at one's job is not to be taken for granted.
2)  Nobody was hurt.  It's just glass and stuff.  The glass is easily replaceable.  Her ID and debit card weren't in the purse.  It could have been a lot worse.  Plus now I have some ideas about what to maybe get her for Christmas.
3) Heel is no longer throbbing; I think it is getting better. I'm hopeful to be running again this weekend.  In any event, this happened after my scheduled races, so it's as good a time as any to need to take a few weeks off.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Spent the weekend in Nashville attending my nieces wedding.  I had never been to Nashville before, so it was interesting to check out someplace new.  While we were there, we walked around a museum, we walked around downtown (stumbled upon the end of a multi-day relay race), walked around the grounds for the wedding/reception, walked to breakfast, walked around the Vanderbilt campus, and walked through the airport.  Lots and lots of walking.  Which is a good thing.  Except that my left heel started bothering me.

Now that I've been home a few days, I've done a little online research for heel pain and of course the first thing that comes up is plantar fasciitis which is NOT something that I want to be dealing with.  [Granted, I don't know for certain that it actually is plantar fasciitis, but in this age of instant online self-diagnosis, I'm assuming for the moment that it is.]

On Monday, I bought some Dr Scholl heel pain orthotics for my shoes. Tuesday, my heel was feeling better.  Then I wore a different pair of shoes and Tuesday and forgot to move the orthotics.  This morning, my heel is bothering me again.  So I guess I'm back to trying the orthotics today.

Needless to say, I haven't run since last Thursday. At the moment this isn't breaking my heart because I don't have any races planned, but nobody likes to be sidelined due to pain/injury. *sigh*

Question of the day:  Have you ever experienced heel pain?  What did you do about it?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thursday Thirteen

1) The race from the weekend has posted photos.  There really aren't any good ones of me. 

2) However, this one (you'll have to click the link) gives a good idea what the single track portion was like.  I'm in the middle (black and pink) and my running partner is right behind me.  

3) I'm really struggling to find my motivation. Monday was a planned rest day. I skipped my run on Tuesday.  Walked the dogs yesterday.  Ran and then walked the dogs today, although shorter distances for both than I originally intended.

4) Daughter turned 18 today.  Despite my protests, her first act of adulthood was getting her nose pierced.  Twice.  

5) While I applaud her for expressing her individuality, I can't say that I'm all that happy about it (just to be clear, I'm okay with a single nose piercing, but I'm not fond of the double on one side that she decided to do).

6) I had two dozen raspberry filled chocolate cupcakes with chocolate butter cream and a raspberry on top specially made for Daughter's birthday. They are delicious. 

7) I've probably eaten six already. 

8) Oh, and I also ate the majority of a pumpkin pie over the weekend.

9) This, combined with the lack of motivation is wreaking havoc on my waistline.

10) Tried on the dress that I'm wearing this weekend for my niece's wedding and realized that it looked better 5 pounds ago.  

11) Luckily, nothing that a pair of control-top nylons can't fix.  I haven't worn nylons for a long, long time, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

12)  I got a notice that the Ipad that I won has been shipped.  Expecting to receive it on Monday.  

13)  I'm still not entirely sure WHAT one does with an Ipad, but I'm sure I'll figure it out.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

October Tally


  • Miles by feet:  59.6 (15.5 walking, 44.1 running)
  • Miles by seat: 185.2
  • Hill workouts: 5
  • Events: 1 10K (PR!) , 1 half-century
  • Rest days (planned): 5
  • Lazy days (unplanned) : 6
  • Pounds gained: see Lazy days
  • days remaining for parenting a minor: 2
  • I feel like it was successful cycle-focused month aimed at the half-century with a bonus 10K PR at the end.  Good stuff.
  • In two days, my 'baby' turns 18.  How did this happen?
  • I don't currently have anything on my calendar for Nov/Dec.  Need to fix that so that my lazy days and weight don't continue to creep up!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Boogie that Bosque!

This morning Husband and I and my running partner ran a 10K all terrain race in the beautiful bosque. Last year it was mid-forties for this race. Yesterday it was 32 degrees at 7am. I wasn't sure what to expect weather-wise, but was happy when I checked the weather and saw 41 degrees at 6:30am. Decided to wear a light pair of tights, a short sleeve shirt under a long sleeve shirt, light gloves, and a beanie.  I also put my number on a race belt so that I could remove my long sleeve shirt if needed and still have the number out front since the timing device was on the back of the race number.

On our way to boogie that bosque!
If you recall, my goals for the race were something on the order of  "Don't fall, have fun, meet or beat last years time (1:03:14) and 1:02:00 would be even better."

I probably should have spent a little more time determining a race strategy to achieve those goals.  Preferably one where we didn't start out too fast.  But I didn't (determine a race strategy).  And I did (start out too fast).

The way this course is laid out is that you start out on a hard surface road, then you turn onto a wide dirt road, then into beautiful single track for a few miles.  Then it brings you out of the single track onto dirt road for a long stretch before you finish back on the hard surface.  Personally, I find the single track difficult to run in, but it is a lot of fun and very pretty.  The dirt road is much easier and nice on the joints, my favorite running surface overall.  And the hard surface is of course the fastest, but probably the most boring.

Splits for the race
Anyway, while running this race, I remembered why I don't like 10Ks.  For me it is too far to maintain a 'fast' pace, but too short to really slow down and have fun like I do for half-marathons.  I expected to be a little behind a 10:00 pace while in the single track, be able to maintain close to 10:00 pace on the dirt road, and then and then make up time on the hard surface, and this is generally what happened.  I kept my eye on the cumulative time at each mile marker and knew I was on track to hit my 1:02 goal if I could push it for the final bit. But admittedly, I was really struggling at the end.

My final time was logged as 1:01:44 gun time, 1:01:38 net time (I think that is taking into consideration when I crossed the start mat).  6th of the 20 women in my age group (F45-49); 83 of 221 women running the 10K.  Not only did I make my 1:02:00 goal and a beat my time from last year for this particular all terrain course, but it was actually a 10K best for me by about 30seconds.  WoooHooo!!

Final thoughts:  This is a great course because of the venue, absolutely beautiful this time of year. So glad we ran it even though I'm not a fan of 10Ks.  I keep thinking I might have it in me to break an hour on a flat road race, but I dislike this distance enough to keep me from actually testing that theory.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Goal for upcoming 10K

The all terrain race is just around the corner. My running partner & I ran the course s-l-o-w-l-y this weekend.  I made the mistake of trying new shoes, the Brooks Cascades that I won in a give-away, for a longish run.  I've been walking in them with my dogs on trails and the soles are more grippy and better suited for single track than my Kinvaras, but I've been running in Kinvaras for months and switching back to regular shoes for a 7.3 mile run was not a good idea.  My hips were sore!   My body really likes the lower profile of the Kinvaras, so I'm sticking with those this weekend even though Kinvaras aren't ideal for trails.

While we were running, I mentioned that I don't feel prepared to run a 10K well.  I'm confident that I can run it, just not run it as well as I would like.  I mentioned that I need a goal, a plan, a strategy, something to focus on for race day.  But I hadn't figured it out and decided I needed a few days to think about it.

A few days later, my running partner texted me, "So what's the plan? ;-)"

I went back and found my time for this race from last year, 1:03:13.  If this was a road race, I'd like to try to beat an hour, but it's a single track/dirt road/asphalt mix and will be slower.  I really like to run 1:02:00, but I don't know that I've trained correctly for that.  That's why I don't feel like I can run it well.

My response "Don't fall!  Have fun.  Meet or beat last year's time.  1:02:00 would be even better"

Her response was simple, "Sounds like a plan.  Let's do this!"

Friday, October 21, 2011

A little bit of running

1) Cupcake Classic:  We'll call this one my cupcake classic virtual run.  This was another run with a warm up, then a few miles tempo, then a cool down.  Happy 37th B'day, Jess!
Cupcake Run Splits. Time at 3.7 miles = 37:27

2) Interval Run:  The first and last splits (10, 10:30 paces) were about a mile long, the run/walk segments in the middle were timed to be one minute each.  The fastest split had me going at about a 7:11 pace.  That was too fast.  Most of them were closer to 7:30, which was tough, but doable.
Interval Run/Walk.  Holy Heck that was hard work!

3) Planned Run:  Saturday I hope to go 6.5-7.0 miles easy on a mixture of single track, dirt levee road, and hard road in preparation for the all-terrain race the following weekend.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Stubborn Persistence

Elevation Profile from Half Century
I knew that the half-century had a climb in the middle.  I didn't know how much of a climb until I grabbed the data off Husband's Garmin yesterday evening.

Oh-my-freaking-gosh, no wonder I was exhausted afterwards!

In yesterday's post*, when I mentioned the long slow climb being not too bad, that was 7 miles from mile 14-21 which gained about 1100 ft over 7 miles.

The short steep climb that I mentioned was the little peak in the center that gains about 350 ft in about 1.5 miles.  Aye carumba!  Whatever grade that works out to be is enough to make me go so slow that I nearly fall over.   I knew we were almost at the turn point.  I was also certain that if I stopped I wouldn't be able to get going again and would end up walking my bike.  I really didn't want that to happen.  I just kept repeating to myself "Don't stop.  Don't fall over.  Almost there."  I'm convinced that it was nothing more than stubborn persistence that got me to the top.

With a little stubborn persistence, sometimes we can do more than we think we can.  What is it that you are training for that will require stubborn persistence?


*Oh, and I should have added one more lesson to yesterday's post:  Cycling tan lines are not sexy.  You're welcome.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ten Lessons from Half-Century

Happy Cyclists - Day of Tread morning
1) I enjoy riding with Husband a lot more than riding by myself
2) At about 35-40 miles, I'm ready to be done
3) I'll probably never want to do a full century (see #2)
4) With more practice, it gets easier and easier to fix flat tires (learned during training.  almost.every.time.)
5) Rides without flats or mechanical problems are extra awesome (discovered on day of half century, yay!)
6) The long slow climb up Tramway isn't as bad as I expected
Mid-point Rest Stop
7) The short steep climb up toward Elena Gallegos is worse than I expected and about did me in (ugggh!)
8) Peanut butter sandwiches seem to have magic powers
9) I have more confidence with my bike handling skills than I did a few years ago
10) Riding downhill isn't as scary a it was a few years ago (see #9)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Three Things Thursday: Hills, Plans, Hat

1) My running partner & I finally made it to the hilly course on Tuesday we had planning on running for the past two weeks.  Twice we were rained out.  Not this time, though!  That hilly course is tough, but it was a very satisfying workout.

2) Husband & I took the day off work with the plan of going for one more ride before the Day of the Tread this weekend.  Not sure if we are going to aim for 30 miles on a mostly flat course or if we go shorter and ride the hilly part of the weekend route.  We'll decide in a few hours.  Looks like we're going to have a nice day for the ride.  I'm also supposed to be running 4 miles tonight, not sure how that is going to go, but it's still the plan.

3)  One of the best things about cooler weather is that I get to wear fun hats.  My daughter knows that I like sock monkeys and fun hats and bought me a gift.  That strange expression is me squealing with joy when I tried it on.  I love it!
Rockin' the Sock Monkey Hat

Monday, October 10, 2011

Run, Rain, Run, Ride

THURSDAY: The plan was to meet with the run group in the evening. The plan was: half mile warm up, 1 mile @~10:15, 1 mile @~9:30, 1 mile @~10:30, cool down. Here is the graph by half mile increments (because of the half mile warm up). I did okay through mile 3, had a little trouble holding the pace target for the last mile, and my cool down was too fast. But, other than that, it was a pretty good run, and a good way to practice various paces.

Thursday's run splits in half mile increments

FRIDAY:  We had bought park&ride tickets for the Special Shapes mass ascension Friday morning. Woke up at some ridiculous hour only to find that it was raining. Waiting about an hour, the official status was that the events were delayed, not cancelled. Decided to go for it. Arrived at the park, had something to eat, and got the word that the morning events were now cancelled.  The field was open and balloons had the option to inflate, but no flights.  We saw a grand total of one single balloon while we were walking back to the bus to go home.  It ended up raining most of the day, which is actually a good thing as we really need the rain.  However, it also messed up my plans for a bike ride.  Oh well.

Move along, nothing to see here, folks!

SATURDAY: They have finally opened registration for the upcoming all-terrain race. Yippee!!  Met my running partner at 7:15 to run the course. Since it had rained all day Friday, the single track was slippery and muddy. Lots of puddle jumping involved. The footing on the dirt levee road wasn't too bad, and we had a nice view of the balloons in flight that morning. When I got home, my shoes were a muddy mess, but it was a really fun run. Still very much looking forward to this upcoming race.

Yes! Finally able to register

SUNDAY:: It was chilly in the morning. Husband & I were planning a 50 mile ride and postponed our start time a few hours so that it would warm up. This ride didn't go nearly as well for me as our ride last week. Not entirely sure why. But we got it done. When I got home, my bike computer said 49.8, close enough for me!

Pre-ride Determination: 50 miles or bust!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wednesday Whine and Love

While I'm generally in a fairly positive mood, I must admit to having a case of the mid-week grumpies.  Here is a list of my current WHINES:
  • My run yesterday got cancelled due to rain.  While I'm well aware that most of you would have run in the rain, I did not.  To my credit, I think I run outside in hotter and/or colder weather than some of you do.  But not in rain.  Not by choice.  We really needed the rain, so I'm not unhappy that it rained, but I think the timing sucks.  Why couldn't it have rained on Monday, my rest day?
  • Looks like Thursday's run might get cancelled due to wind.  If the weather forecast is correct, they are predicting 40-50 mph winds with 60+ mph gusts.  No thank you.  
  • The all-terrain race that I'm targeting at the end of the month STILL hasn't opened registration.  What the heck!?!  Does this mean it's not happening?  It's still posted as a planned event on the organizers website, but no way to register for it.
  • I'm interested in getting a pair of Merrell lithe gloves for colder weather.  The pace gloves are great for summer, but as it gets cold, these aren't going to keep my feet warm enough.  I drove over to the local store that carries them and discovered that they had them in pretty much every size in stock except for the size that I need.  I guess I'll be ordering them online.
  • I've mentioned the toddler sized quilts that I make for Project Linus before, right?  I go in and out of quilt making phases during the year.  I decided this weekend that I was going to start making another batch.  About one hour into the first one that I was working on, my sewing machine started having problems.  Took it into the shop on Monday and they say it will be about two weeks before they can get to it. *sigh*    

To balance it out, I will list some of the cool things that are going on in my life. In the grand scheme, those whines are nothing but inconveniences. Here a list of LOVES:

  • Daughter, who is a senior in high school, is planning to spend spring break on a mission trip to Haiti to do work at an orphanage.  I happen to think that it is super cool that she has a heart to help others and is choosing to do this volunteer work at this time of her life.  This weekend they are doing a fund-raising event for the trip.  I'm very proud of her initiative.
  • I am really enjoying the cycling time with Husband.  It's much more enjoyable riding with him than it was riding solo to prepare for my sprint Tris.  I think I will look at doing a charity ride with him next spring as well.
  • One of my favorite light weight jackets (by New Balance) had a broken zipper. I considered retiring said jacket, then decided to take it to a tailor to have the zipper replaced.  Yes, I sew, but replacing zippers can be a pain.  $15 later, and the jacket is as good as new.  Yay!
  • The temps have been heavenly lately.  And the leaves are starting to turn. I just love fall!
  • Booked flights and hotel for a weekend trip to Nashville in November to attend my niece's wedding.  I've never been to Nashville before.  Even though it will be a quick trip, I'm looking forward to it.
  • I've been feeling really good on my runs lately.  And my knee is still holding out.  Pain-free running is a very good thing.    

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday Musings


  • I found out over the weekend that my work team won IPads from a company sponsored raffle related to a project that we completed earlier this year.  Nifty!
  • Have you heard about the HTC Rhyme?  That purple phone?  I'm extremely interested in it. Waiting to read actual user reviews before deciding.  I would be upgrading from an original Motorola Droid.  Big question is whether or not I can live without the physical keyboard.


  • As I mentioned in my September Summary post, I want to spend some time on single track this month.  Started off the month with a 5.3 mile run that included 2 miles of single track.  I'm off to a good start!
  • I'm also planning to continue running hills.  I'm going to try to run the aka killer hill course once a week.  Hills makes us stronger, right.


  • Our 44 mile ride went MUCH better than the 40 mile ride from the previous week.  I felt better.  We went faster.  It was more enjoyable.  Next weekend, 50.
  • This weekend we finally got the Yamika RailGrabbers and bars for my Jetta.  We already have the bike mount pieces from use on our 18+ yr old Explorer.  Haven't installed yet, but the idea for the short term is that we will be able to mount Husband's bike on top of my Jetta, with my bike inside the car.   This allows us to leave one mount on the explorer as well.  I'm all kinds of excited about this.


  • The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a HUGE event.  Broke a world record on Saturday by launching 345 balloons within one hour.  There were over 550 balloons total in the air yesterday.  It's crazy.
  • We have mixed feelings about it when the wind brings the balloons our way.  On the one hand, it is neat to be able to see them.  On the other hand, it makes Bandit very unhappy. Stymie is unfaze, but Bandit highly dislikes them. Poor doggy.


  • Well, it's October and my watermelons are still growing, but several plants are starting to die off.  Harvested quite a bit this weekend.  It's been a good year.  I'll be making more changes next year, constantly seeking the perfect mix of stuff to grow.  Fun times.
  • Discovered that Stymie likes cherry tomatoes.  Bandit won't touch them, but Stymie acts like they are candy.  Whenever I go into the garden, he now sits by the gate waiting for me to bring him a snack.  Cute.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

September Tally


  • 64 miles by feet (40.0 running, 24.0 walking)
  • 144.9 miles by seat
  • 1800 yds in the pool
  • 5 hill workout
  • 5 yoga workouts
  • 3 planned rest days
  • 3 unplanned rest days
  • 1 race (sprint tri)


  • It doesn't make sense to pay for the gym just for pool access in October - I need to either save my $$ or spend more time at the gym, probably the former rather than the latter.  
  • I'm glad to see my cycling mileage go up.
  • Tried yoga a few times at the end of the month.  Not excited about it.  
  • I hope my tolerance for the bike increases so that the end of the 54 mile charity ride isn't miserable.


  • Spend some time on single track
  • Keep running hills at least once a week
  • 44-50-54 <-- planned long bike rides
  • Day of the Tread half century (54 miles)
  • Bosque Boogie 10K (all terrain run)

[edited to add:  so far in October I have had one run with a few miles on single track and completed the 44 mile bike ride.  I'm off to a good start!]

Friday, September 30, 2011

Going with Plan B

Tuesday I was supposed to meet my running partner for a hilly 5K run.  I really wasn't feeling well at all that day (allergies?). I ended up coming home early from work and taking a nap.  Plan B was a solo 2.2 mile run on Wednesday instead.  It wasn't what I had planned, but it was nice because I ran a route that I haven't run in a few months.

Thursday, I was going to meet said running partner at the same place to get the hilly run in that we missed on Tuesday.  She texted that she was stuck at work and couldn't make it.  Plan B was a group 4.0 mile run instead.  It wasn't what I had planned, but it was nice because I ran with the group for a change; I haven't been running much with them lately.

So no hilly run so far this week, which is a bummer, but Plan B hasn't been so bad.  Sometimes it's about going where life takes you.

"The bend in the road is not the end of the road, unless you refuse to take the turn" - unknown.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1) Short Long Runs - Can you believe it?  It's been six weeks since I've done a run longer than 5 miles!  I'm actually okay with that.  This is another tactic toward keeping my knee happy.  But it is really sinking in right now, because for several years, I've run the Duke City Half marathon in October and this is the time of year when I would normally be out there for 10+ mile runs and here I am doing long runs of 5 miles instead.   Anyway, I finally have a 6 mile run on tap for Saturday.

2) Delayed Registration - The 10K that I want to run at end of October hasn't opened registration yet.  This is the all terrain race that is partly on single track, partly on dirt levee road, and partly on road.  I guess they are waiting until October 1st.  It's a local race and very popular; doesn't it seem odd to anyone else that you can't register for it quite yet?  It makes me wonder if it's actually going to happen this year or not.

3) Fiesta Traffic - Balloon Fiesta starts this coming weekend.  There will be hundreds and hundreds of hot air balloons in the air. On the one hand, it *is* pretty spectacular.  On the other hand, it also means lots of traffic and bunches of drivers that get distracted by the pretty balloons in the air.  Makes it extra *unsafe* to be a cyclist out on the road.   Good thing the bulk of our scheduled 44 mile ride will occur on the multi-use trail rather than out on the road.    

Monday, September 26, 2011

Riding, running, and more riding

Knowing that I had a 40 mile ride on the calendar for Sunday, I went out on my bike Friday with the goal of at least 10 miles.  11.3 miles later, I was back home and feeling pretty good.  Short rides like this always leave me feeling refreshed.

Saturday morning, met with a running friend for 5 miles on a dirt trail.  Ahhhh, heaven!  It's no secret that I am a fan of running on dirt, and I think I've converted her to dirt over the summer.  The prior weekend, she ran a half-marathon road race and one of her first comments to me was how much pounding her body took from the hard surface.  She actually asked me if we could run exclusively on dirt for the next few weeks.  No argument from me!

Side note, it's been about 6 months since my last round of Euflexxa injections in my left knee.  It's considered successful by the doctors if it gives me at least 6 months of relief. I'm hoping to extend the time between treatments closer to a year.  Running on dirt seems to help.  So does keeping my run distance no longer than about 7 miles.  Fingers crossed that this magic combination will keep me going for another several months.  I'm very thankful to have a training partner that is happy with this combination as well.

Sunday afternoon Husband & I went out for our 40 mile ride.  We decided to stop ever 8 miles for just a few minutes for hydration/nutrition/stretching.  Felt good at the first stop, but of course I did.  Those were the easy miles.  Next stop happened about six tenths of a mile ahead of schedule so Husband could replace his rear tube due to a flat.  Third stop was short, and I was still feeling okay.  By the fourth stop (mile 32), we had exceeded our mileage from last weekend I needed a longer rest to get motivated to finish the distance.  I was hurting all over.  Just past mile 35 we came upon a restaurant and decided to stop for a snack.  We were there for about a half hour.  Re-energized, we completed the final 5 miles to home, bringing the total to 40.1.

Next weekend we are doing a loop that should give us ~44.  I hope the small increase is easier on my body than the jump from 30-40 was.  Then we have another weekend targeted at ~50 and after that, it will be the bike event (54mi) that we are training for.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Three Things Thursday

Garmin Love - Wouldn't you know it, after using a Garmin 205 for a good 5 years, I've finally figured out how to use some of the features.  Specifically, I have it now set up to chime every mile both while running and cycling.  I also set it up to auto pause.  The chiming every mile has really freed me from having to keep checking my Garmin on a 4 mile run when I want to turn at mile 2, for example.  I just run and listen for the chime!  I'm finding auto pause particularly helpful on bike rides.  I had a tendency to turn the Garmin off if we stopped for a break, then I would forget to turn it back on. D'oh!  Now it turns itself off and back on if I stop for a break.  I'm sure there are other cool features that I could take advantage of, but this is a start.  And they say you can't teach old dogs new tricks.  Hahahahahaha.

Yoga - After my epiphany about needing more strength/core work, I tried (and failed) to get motivated to go to the gym for some strength work.  I also tried (and succeeded) to get motivated for some yoga.  If you've followed me for a while, you may notice that I go in and out of love with yoga.  Anyway, I've done it twice so far this week.  It's not as intense for strength work as lifting weights, but it helps me work on my flexibility as well as some strength, so it's a good thing to so.  Yoga always reminds me how terribly uncoordinated I am though.

Animal - Doing yoga means being on the floor.  Being on the floor, means being reminded about how much dog/cat fur is on the carpet!  We have two dogs and two cats which means the entire house is basically covered in a layer of fur.  Anyway, we recently bought a refurbished Dyson DC25 Animal vacuum from Woot.  It had good reviews and is specifically meant for animal hair removal.  No, not from the animal itself, from the carpets.  Let me just tell you, this thing is AMAZING.  Yes, I am that excited about a vacuum.  What can I say?  I don't get out much...

Monday, September 19, 2011

This post brought to you by the letter S

Switching Brands: Our local Costco stopped carrying the 12-pack case of chobani greek yogurt.  At first this seemed like a panic situation, but quickly found a replacement strategy to get me through my daily Greek yogurt consumption needs.  Walmart has a large size vanilla Chobani that is perfect to scoop into my granola for breakfast.  Costco now carries a 12-pack case of Fage, which is different, but also very yummy, and perfect for a mid-morning or late afternoon snack.

Strength Training: Husband thought that my downfall on the 30mile bike ride was going to be saddle-soreness.  Oddly, the problem was actually shoulder-soreness.  Which I take as a sign that I need to revamp my core and upper body strengthening.  If my core was stronger, I wouldn’t carry weight on my shoulders.  If my upper body was stronger, I wouldn’t be sore from it even if I did.  So now I’m on a quest to add strength-work back into my routine.

September: September has got to be my all-time favorite month of the year.  It is cool enough to be comfortable for running, cycling, etc without the wind we get in the spring.  I just love it and wish it would last longer!

Speed work:  I'm just not feeling it right now.  I'm thinking of switching out all of the speed work sessions that were on my training plan for the next several weeks with some easy runs.  This is related to my recent decision to take road races off my schedule in the short term. I just want to run for the joy of running right now, and for me, speed work takes away the joy.

Signed Up:  After a successful 30 mile ride, Husband & I are now signed up for the 54 miler in mid-October.  I'm glad to have made the decision so that we could sign up before the rates go up.  We now have a 40 mile training  ride on the calendar for this weekend.  Fun stuff!

Stringing up Lights: All summer I have wanted to get some outside lights strung up on our back patio so that we could sit out there in the evenings and be able to see well enough not to trip over stuff.  We managed to get some hooks up, but never strung the lights because we didn’t’ need them during summer while the sun stayed up fairly late.  Now that it’s actually getting darker earlier, it seems like we might need to get this done sooner than later.  Just need to make time to do it.

Sweet Tooth: This weekend I was craving something sweet, so I decided to make my family famous chocolate/peppermint cookies.  So yummy!  Too yummy, actually, as I can't stop myself from eating them.  Sadly, I'm already thinking about making cookies again next weekend, this time modifying the recipe to make them chocolate/peanut butter cookies.

Swimming:  I have a hard time getting motivated to swim, mostly because I don't like getting up as early as necessary to swim before work.  This week I am hoping to schedule in a run-swim with my tri-training buddy.  I'm thinking that scheduling a workout with a run-buddy will get me to the pool.  Accountability helps!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

What's next?

All summer, I was training toward the two sprint triathlons that are now in the past.  So what's up next?

So far this week, I have run 14.1 miles, walked 6, cycled 15.7, and swam 400M. If all goes well, I'll be adding another 30 miles to my cycle total before calling it a week.  I'm hoping to accomplish these 30 miles without too much discomfort.  If that goes well, Husband & I will target the 54 mile ride for Day of the Tread in mid-October and work on increasing the riding distance between now and then.  If it doesn't go so well, we'll plan on the doing the 26 mile course.  I'm really hoping that the 54 is within my grasp, but since most of my rides this summer have been in the 12mi and under category with the longest so far being just 22. I'm just not sure if I can get there in the few weeks that we have between now and the event. [ updated to add:  We did it and it wasn't TOO bad.  Would have been better if we had actually beat the storm.  The last few miles were in some nasty wind and a bit of rain and the threat of lightning.  Otherwise, it went well.]

On the running front, I've removed every running event from my calendar for the next 7 weeks except for the Bosque Boogie 10K.  Originally, I had wanted to shoot for a sub-hour 10K at Duke City.  I've decided that now is not the time for that.  I'm more interested right now in running for the joy of running, not to hit some time goal.  The event that I left on my calendar is an all-terrain run, with part on road, part on dirt levee road, and part on single-track.  It's at the end of October when the leaves have turned golden yellow.  It was my favorite event last year and I'm looking forward to running it again simply for the joy of running, not as a PR course.

So those are my next target events:  Day of the Tread ride (26 or 54 mi, tbd) and Bosque Boogie 10K for FUN!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

This, that, and the other

  • Daughter went out for a bike ride with a friend yesterday.  I'm thinking they went somewhere between 6 and 8 miles.  I think this is the first she was out on her bike for at least 3 years.  I guess this means I cannot have her bike, but if my interest in her bike had anything to do with her re-sparking her interest in riding it, that's fine by me.
  • Tuesday is group run day, but I didn't want to do hills or speed work, so I met a friend and went on a four mile easy trail run instead.  It was perfect.  Being out there running for fun, solidified my decision to take the Duke City 10K off my schedule.  The next run I'm planning on is the Bosque Boogie, which is an 'all terrain' run with a section on single track.  I had so much fun at that race last year! I can't wait to do it again.
  • This morning I truly intended to get up and go for a bike ride. Really, I did. But now it is raining, and quite honestly, I'm really not in the mood to ride in the rain.  Maybe after work.  Or in a few days. Whatever.  No pressure, my bike will be ready when I am.
  • Planning on going for a 30+ mile bike ride this weekend with Husband.  Depending on how it goes, we will decide whether we are aiming for a half century or quarter century for Day of the Tread, which is about a month away.  I am sure I can do the quarter century route no problem, but not sure where my bike fitness is with regard with the longer route.  And as with all things around here, it's going to be hilly.  
  • Still haven't heard from the RD about race shirts, not that I'm too concerned, but I really had expected an email about that by now.  There was also an event photographer on site and I'm waiting to find out where to view the photos online.  I hope they got a good one of me on my bike.  I'm going to order an event photo from the other tri and would like one from this race as well if they got a good shot. Maybe we'll get an email about all that today?
  • A while back I won a pair of Brooks shoes from a giveaway on Adam's blog. I chose trail running shoes.  I'm happy to report that soon I will be able to share my thoughts on what I picked out. Yipppeeee!
  • Sometime in the last couple weeks, I found a site (and subsequently lost it, so I cannot share right now) that had you enter your current age and weight and then calculated speed for same race if you were a younger, lighter version of yourself (in this case, I think it goes to 23 yrs old and 110 lbs).  Of course, I wasn't running at that age, but it was interesting none-the-less.  I entered by 5K PR of just under 28 minutes from a few months ago and it spat out a time of something like 24 minutes.  I don't know how accurate it is, but somehow that made me feel much better about my running ability.  If I can find it, I'll share it for you other 'older' runners out there.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Patriot Sprint Race Report

Packet Pickup

I arrived at early packet pickup within about 15 minutes of when they opened.  This would be uneventful, except that there were no shirts.  Apparently they arrived late the day before and were still on a UPS truck.  The race director seemed stressed about this, and I’m sure it won’t be convenient for anyone who travelled in for the race, but shirts will be able to be picked up starting tomorrow.  I personally don't think it's a big deal.

It’s a seeded swim start based on estimated swim time.  I was assigned 186.  There were 385 participants.  Came home and put my number on my bike, gathered my stuff, and prepared for the next day.


I wasn’t sure whether I was going to be able to do this or not, my back had been going in and out of spasm all week.  I gingerly got out of bed when my alarm went off, stretched a bit, and my back seemed okay.  So I decided that I was going to go for it!

I arrived about a half hour after Transition opened.  They were racking by Age Group, my group (F45-49) was way in the back near Bike In, but not very close to Swim In.  I knew this meant a longer than anticipated T1. 

As I mentioned in my summary, I thought it was very cool that they had a Heros division and that the proceeds were going to local fire and police depts.

Swim 400 yd pool  - 9:13, 74 of 122 women age groupers (not including special divisions and teams)

We lined up by number.  They started swimmers every 10 seconds.  For some reason, I was feeling very nervous and anxious as my start time approached.  My heart rate was up and my breathing was shallow.  This affected me tremendously in the water.  My form fell apart and I had a horrible swim.  It seemed like I was in survival mode.  This was unexpected; my swim is generally my strength and there was no reason to be nervous.   I guess it’s just another reminder that a large part of this sport is the mental aspect.   Even though it was a struggle, I was only 45 sec off my estimated time (and about 25 sec slower than 2008).  That’s really not a big deal for the overall race but certainly not a great way to get started.

Swimming (blue cap)
T1 3:16

Knowing that I had a longer trek to my transition area, I tried to hustle from the pool to my bike.  Put on a shirt, socks, cycling shoes, helmet, and glasses.  Took a swig from my bottle, grabbed my bike, and ran it over to bike out.

Running my bike out of T1
Bike 15.7 hilly miles - 01:03:38, 77 of 122 women

I was out of breath and still mentally defeated from the swim for the first mile.  After that, I got my head back in the game. I made it a point to shout a loud "thank you" the volunteers that were on the course, many of which who were police, fire, and military personnel.  I wasn't passed by a woman until mile 6.  That woman, however, ended up being my race twin.  She had the same color bike as me, same color shirt, was the same age, and similar shorts.  That made me smile.  Lots of guys passed me, as well as a few other women.  I managed to pass a grand total of 5 people (Hey, it’s better than nothing!).  

At the turn point, which was also at the top of the big climb, I was behind my predicted pace, but determined to dig in and give it my all.  I has a strong second half and ended up finishing ahead of my predicted time and also about six and a half minutes faster than my bike split from 2008.  I realized it is all relative, but when I first started triathlon, I was always way back of the pack with my cycling and now I’m working my way up closer to the middle.  I’ve come a long way, and I’m very pleased with my improvement in this aspect of the sport.

Off on the bike!
T2 02:03

I took a 3 yr break from triathlon, and during that time I must have forgotten how to really hustle in T2.  For one thing, no Yanx, so I had to tighten and tie my running shoes.  It seemed to take forever.  Also I put my hat on in T1, should have grabbed it and put it on while running.  Between T1 and T2 I was almost a minute slower than 2008.  Oh well.

T2 - putting on my hat *sigh*
Run 3.1 hilly miles - 33:44, 79 of 122 women

I was exhausted at this point and this run is killer hilly.  I really didn’t feel like running, but I had no good reason not to, so off I went. It felt like I was moving at a snail’s pace throughout the entire course. My pace was actually fairly close to my half-marathon pace and a bit faster than I expected.  I ended up about 4 and a half minutes faster than my 2008 time and I’m happy with the result.

Off and running!
Overall 01:51:54, 79 of 122 women, 14 of 22 F45-49

What can I say? Despite a rocky swim and less than speedy transitions, I ended up about 10 minutes faster than my time from 2008 and a few minutes faster than what I predicted.  There are some things I still need to work on, but overall I’m happy.  I’m particularly pleased with my cycling improvement.

Running through to the finish
Post-Race Thoughts

I’m glad this was the 2nd of the 2 sprints that I planned this year.  It was a challenging race, much more so than the one two weeks ago, and not as much fun.  I’m guessing part of the ‘less fun’ nature had to do with the fact that this was one of the first races in a long time where I didn’t know any of the other participants.  Everything is more fun with friends.  Anyway, I’m putting a bow on my tri season.  I am ready to move on to some fun rides with no race/time pressure and have my eyes set on a few charity events in October.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sprint Summary

Holy Heck that was a tough race!  Full race report tomorrow or Tuesday.  I am happy to report that my back cooperated and I was able to participate!  I am also happy to report that my finish time was 01:51:54.   That's a good 10 minutes faster than my time from 2008 and a few minutes faster than the 01:55:00 that I predicted.  Yay!

A few random tidbits from the race:

  • I was passed by a 73 yr old man wearing nothing but a speedo on the bike.  Think about that for a few moments.
  • I passed a 7 yr old kid on the bike course.  Not a typo.  SEVEN.  Oh, and he passed me back and left me in the dust on the run.
  • I saw a lady on the same color bike as mine, wearing the same color shirt, and similar shorts.  She was also my same age. I dubbed her my race twin.  She was faster than me, but it was still cool to have a race twin.
  • I thought it was very cool that this race had a HERO division for EMS, police, fire, and military personnel and that the proceeds went to the local police and fire departments.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, folks.  I'm exhausted and ready for a nap!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Four Things Friday

1) Regarding the race this weekend.  Because of issues with my back, it has been iffy all week as to whether or not I will actually be able to participate.  My back was acting up on Saturday, messing up my plans for a long run.  Sunday it was marginal, and I limited my activity to a short bike and short run.  It seemed better by Monday, and we rode the bike course.  Tuesday I had a great run at the track.  Wednesday was rest day.  Thursday, my back started acting up again! Ugg. Canceled my run plans and went to the chiropractor instead.  Also was able to be seen by the PT on site. I have another chiro/PT appt later this afternoon as well.  I really want to do this particular sprint tri, so you can bet I'll be at the race site ready to go as long as my body cooperates.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!

2) Already modifying my plans for what's next.  I had originally thought that I would target a 10K mid-Oct and go for a PR.  However, I've really been enjoying my bike a lot recently.  In fact, originally I had some apprehension about signing up for the Patriot due to the hilly bike route, but now I'm looking forward to the bike portion of the course more than anything else!  And with this newly sparked re-interest in cycling, I'm leaning toward adding in a few charity rides instead of that 10K.  That's one of the benefits of triathlon training, allows me to really mix things up however I want.

3) I took the Giant (road bike that I'm thinking of selling) into the shop for a tune up because it was out of adjustment.  When I picked it up, the guy that helped me kept calling me "dear."  I don't know about you, but for some reason I find that horribly condescending.  It's one thing if someone I know calls me "dear," but something entirely different when a total stranger calls me that.  Am I over-reacting??

4) Our garden is coming along nicely.  Remember when the rabbits were eating my plants?  Well, the reinforced gate kept them out and after that, the garden really flourished.  Right now I'm eating some of my cantaloupe from the garden.  I've never grown that before and it really turned out delish!  I'm also excited to make eggplant parmesan this weekend from my first ever eggplants.  My standby veggies (chilies, peppers, tomatoes, watermelon, beans, cucumbers) are doing well too, but these new additions are particularly exciting to try out.  It's amazing what seeds, sun, and water (plus compost and some TLC) turn into.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Predictions and Plans

So I have this hilly little sprint called the Patriot this weekend.  Actually, it's billed as the most difficult (or one of the most difficult, depending on who you ask) sprint in the state.  Lucky me!


I'm going to estimate to the nearest minute, not going to fiddle with seconds
  • Swim (400m serpentine pool swim) - 9:00.  This is roughly my time from 2008.  When I do a straight 400m swim, I can do it faster, but this accounts for lane changes.  This is faster than what I did at my last tri, because the seeded swim start should mean very little jockeying for position in the pool (theoretically, faster swimmers in front of me, slower ones behind me)
  • Transitions (T1+T2 combined) - 4:00.  In 2008, at this event, my transitions took 4 minutes.  A few weeks ago at a similar event, my transitions took 3 minutes.  I expect something closer to 2008 b/c  a few weeks ago we did a reverse which has faster transitions due to starting in running shoes.
  • Bike (15.5 mi hilly route) - 1:06:00.  In 2008 this took me 01:11:00.  My cycling is a bit better since then, but not as good as I'd like.  I rode the course this weekend and it took me ~1:06:00 ride time not counting a few stops to check the map.  This lines up with my performance at my recent tri, so I think it's a good estimate.
  • Run (3.1 mi hilly mixed terrain) - 35:00.  In 2008 it took me 38:00.  A few weeks ago, with the run first, I did it in 31:00.  I think I'm going to be tired and slow after the hilly bike ride, so I'm expecting something in between, but a little closer to the 2008 numbers.
What does it add up to?  If my predictions are close, I'm looking at a 01:55:00 finish vs. 2:02:00 from 2008, with most of the improvement coming from the bike.  If I can actually pull that off, I'll be happy.

  • I will freeze half my bottle the night before, and fill it the rest of the way up race morning.
  • I will arrive at the race site shortly after transition opens to get good parking and not be rushed.
  • I will wear my new tri shorts & a grey sports bra for the swim, and put on a bright green or yellow shirt so that I'm highly visible on the bike route (want to be sure the cars can see me!)
  • I will swim easy; I should be able to pull off a 9:00 400 without over-exerting myself.  Save energy for the bike and run.
  • I will hustle through transitions; no dawdling!
  • I will mount my Garmin on my bike for real time speed/distance feedback and use the Timex sports watch on my wrist for the rest of the race.
  • I will smile and have fun and thank the volunteers who are out there.
I think that about covers it!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Monday Meanderings

  1. My back hates me.  In mid-July, I experienced a back twinge that preceded two days of terrible-awful back spasms.  It was a good 10 days before I was running again.  Well, Saturday morning, as I was getting out of  car to meet my friend for a 10K hilly run, my back decided to act up again.  Twinge! Spasm! Ouch!  Thankfully, this time it wasn’t as bad as before and I here I am just a few days later and feeling well enough to run.  But I’m on guard.  If my back acts up again this week, I’m probably sitting out of the sprint tri that I have planned for the weekend (see #2))
  2. The Patriot is cursed!  Okay, I don’t really believe that, but it sure has been poorly timed for me.   In 2008 I did this race wearing a knee brace shortly after my DNF at a local half-marathon.  The following year, I was signed up to do it again, but the race was just a few days after my dad died and I wasn’t in the right mental place to race safely, so I DNS.  I wanted to do it in 2010, but I had just gotten the all clear to run after having my knee treated and simply wasn’t in shape for it.  Now this year, my back decides to act up one week before the race.  *sigh*
  3. I’m rethinking the remainder of my race calendar.  I have three potential events lined up in October, which is cool, but limits my actual training time and puts me into back-to-back races.  I"m now thinking that I may swap out one of my potential 10K races in October with something at the end of this month to spread things out a bit.  Stewing on that for a bit...
  4. I love September!  This is one of my favorite months, mostly due to the weather.  It’s starting out great too, yesterday the high was 77.  Can you believe that, only 77?!?!  First time in a long time that it was something other than 90s and many days last week crept over 100.  Of course it only lasted one day, but it’s a sign that cooler weather is on the horizon.  Yay!
  5. Husband & I rode the Patriot bike course today, or something close to it (not sure we turned around at exactly the right place, I measured it a little short). I thought the long climb in the middle would be the worst part, but instead, the worst part for me was actually the steep section between miles 12.5 & 13.0. Felt like I needed a grappling hook for that part. Yowzer!
    I now know that It's not going to be speedy, but I can do this.  I’ll post later this week about my expected splits and goals and such for the race.  
  6. Three day weekends rock!  Not only do they make the long weekend special, they make the upcoming weekend arrive even faster.  I might even like the 4 day week after a 3 day weekend more than the 3 day weekend itself.  Is that strange?
  7. I think orange Accelerade is my favorite because it reminds me of an orange dreamsicle or push-up treat, the kind I used to get from the ice cream truck when I was a kid.  Anyone with me on that?
  8. Discovered a new Chobani flavor that I love - black cherry.  Have you tried that one? Totally yummy!  I didn't even know they made that kind until Husband brought one home after seeing it in the store.  Love it!
  9. Sometime in the last month, I lost my camera.  Finally broke down and ordered a replacement, same model refurbished.  I was sure that ordering a new one would mean that the old one would turn up, but no luck.  At this point, I'm fairly sure I left it behind somewhere.  Bummer.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

That's how I roll

This weekend I decided to invest a little time in a bike project or two.  My first bike project involves getting an old 20+ yr old heavy, stiff Rockhopper ride-ready and eventually commute-worthy.  I haven't ridden this for a very long time, in fact, the last time it was ridden was by the kids when they were little.  I had to adjust the seat quite a bit to get it into a somewhat comfortable position for me.  I also think that I need to raise the handle bars.  Anyway, I took it out for a test ride after wiping it down, filling up the tires, and adjusting the seat height.  Wasn't a very comfortable ride, and I think something funky is going on with the front brakes, but otherwise, it seems to be in good condition and shifted smoothly.

1990 ChroMoly RockHopper replaced knobbies w/ Hemisphere EX tires
My daughter got a bike when she was maybe 12 yrs old (maybe younger) that has been sitting in the garage ever since she learned to drive.  I put air in the tires and took this out for a test ride also.  I don't like how it shifts compared to the bike above, but the brakes are better and the ride is much more comfortable, probably due to the front shocks.  I'm thinking about asking her whether she ever plans to ride this again, if not, I may abandon the project above and work to make this my commute bike.

Daughter's 2005? Women's Aluminum Hardrock Sport
The second project that I have going on involves my Giant OCR3.  This is the bike that I did my first 3 triathlons on (back in 2006-2007).  It needed new tires and the bike computer hasn't been working. I replaced the tires Friday and Husband figured out how to get the battery out of the computer (replacing it should fix the issue).  I have a friend who is potentially interested in buying this bike so I'm getting it ready to sell.  I was thinking that I would list it on Craigslist if she doesn't want it because I haven't ridden it at all for the past year and a half or so, but now I'm not so sure.  Getting rid of a bike is like getting rid of a good friend.  Anyway, I took it out for a test ride today and it needs a tune up.  Can't get to the small ring in front and it rattles on the large rings in back.

2006 Women's Aluminum Giant OCR3
Finally, the bike I like best.  In the photo below I had replaced the front tire (have since also replaced the rear).  What's funny is that I wasn't really bike shopping for myself when I found it; I was out shopping with Husband for a road bike for him.  They had this in one of that stores that we were shopping at, I took it out for a ride while he was test riding something else, and fell in love with it. He didn't end up buying a bike at that particular store, but I eventually went back and bought this one for myself.  This is the only bike that I truly love riding.

2007 Women's Carbon Lemond Versailles
So that's how I roll.  How about you??

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August Tally

By the Numbers
  • 83.2 miles by feet (37.0 running, 45.2 walking)
  • 100.4 miles by seat
  • 1200 meters in the pool
  • 12 hill training days
  • 8 vacation days (Maui, baby!!)
  • 4 planned rest days
  • 1 unplanned rest day
  • 2 races (5K, sprint tri)
  • 1 child now a Senior in HS
  • 1 child off to CA for Sophomore year in college
  • 1 friend newly hooked on triathlon
  • Happy with my bike training, especially given the week long vacation at the start of the month
  • Happy with my performance at the sprint tri
  • No good excuse for such little time in the pool other than it doesn't interest me that much
  • I really need to be more consistent with my running
  • Keep training hills!!
  • Try to get in more running/swimming volume
  • Another Sprint Tri