Tuesday, March 30, 2010
As I walked up the front steps at home, I had my first calf cramp of the season. I've taken some quinine, and I chugged some diet tonic water as well. My cheek has swollen up, and I've added an antibiotic to the end of the steroid taper I started on vacation. This panoply of illness is the only side effect I envision keeping me from doing the triathlon this year. I am a bit concerned about the stress training might put on my system. I'm going to keep it to 3 training sessions per week for now, and I'll be checking in with my doctor to be sure that this is not too ambitious a plan.
On the not technically related to tri training but still relevant in my mind front: I got the veg prep and meal plan done on Sunday. I did not dig out the tri training materials, nor did I set up the bricks for the training schedule. Once my doctor says it's okay for me to go for the triathlon, I will get a training schedule together.
On the upgraded bike equipment front: I will probably be able to borrow the bike from from my friend at work on April 10th. I will need to get bike riding shoes, or else swap the clips for pedals. If I understood what she was saying. I'll just bring my bike rack on the car, and take a look at it when I get there. That's the beauty of the plan - if I get the bike on a Saturday, I can go straight to a bike store and get the proper shoes to be able to ride it/pedals so I can ride it with running shoes.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
I am going to spend tomorrow prepping veggies and cooking chicken so that dinners can go together more smoothly next week. Dinner is my main excuse for not working out, which is why I'm blogging about dinner in my exercise blog. There are a couple of meals that are not a colossal pain to make, and I can delegate those, but I am trying to eat more meals with fresh vegetables. Which take chopping, peeling, etc. But, I can take Sunday and get the big stuff - broccoli, fennel, carrots, celery - washed, chopped, peeled and labeled. That should cut down on the chaos in the kitchen after I pick up the little guy at school. I also found one crockpot meal which should give me time after work one day for a run.
That said, I've looked at my schedule every way possible, and I have concluded that the morning is going to have to work for at least one workout each week. I came to this conclusion after looking at the meal schedule I wrote out, balancing it with what seems reasonable to ask my husband to cook for dinner, and not wanting to load 2 workouts into the weekend. So then I started trying to brainstorm solutions and changes I could make to get out of the box I've thought myself into.
I was listening to a podcast that included an interview with a woman who's doing something called "The Hapiness Project." When asked for one nugget that guarantees happiness, she said "Get enough sleep." Ugh. I am really not up for this change. But the more she talked, the more sense it made. Maybe if I give up facebook? Just kidding. Maybe. I'm not sure how realistic it is to change everything all at once. But this exercise piece has to get put into the puzzle some time. So, I'm considering heading to sleep by 9:30 on the nights before morning workouts. I can't imagine doing that every day, but maybe it'll feel so good I'll start doing it every day.
So, along with the veg prep, tomorrow I'll be plotting out a tentative training schedule for the tri. As I recall, weather became a real factor last time for my training, so it'll have to be flexible. I also need to scope out some pool access - my swim is clearly my weakest leg, and I'd really like to improve my performance there.
Friday, March 26, 2010
I was thinking as I ran as well as laughing. It is practically April, which was when I wanted to start the brick training schedule. My current scheme is that on Sunday I'll be able to plan out a few weeks of training, along with a dinner schedule. The two things are interconnected in my mind, because they are where I have the biggest mental hurdle making time for my training.
Getting up early is a concept I have toyed with for many years, but I have had to face facts. I am simply not a morning person. I can get up early in spurts, but I am trying to find a training program that I can make a routine, that I can stick with forever, basically. So I am going to try this planning thing I've been reading so much about. I'll include the outlines of my plan as I go, since I see it as an integral part of this whole process. Besides, I'll be writing it all down anyway - if it's in my blog I can access it from my phone via the internet any time I need to.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
So, after I helped wrangle the kids into bed, I changed clothes, put on running shoes and flipped on a podcast. I had a fairly decent workout today. The sun was setting as I started, and I finished in the dark. I probably looked pretty funny - I am listening to various podcasts, timed to the couch to 5k plan. Tonight's selection included Girlfriend in a Coma, I think by The Smiths. Definitely sounded like something I listened to in the 80's when I was in high school. I kept laughing as I was running - another song's lyrics told me I had 10 minutes to go, and that was at the point where I literally had 10 minutes of running left. It was a great compilation, and trying to guess what might come next kept me entertained.
My feet are feeling better as I go. I am also remembering the genius of the running plan, and savoring the easy beginning week one. On to week two - it's in my sights. I ran mostly along a local lake tonight, which meant much flatter terrain, along with the peace that comes from being near water. That route is definitely worth repeating.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
The main point of this entry is - Holy Hills! I had no idea that this area around Seattle was basically cut out of the face of a cliff. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but just barely. So right around 15 minutes, we were going up a verrrry steep hill, and we walked for about 3 minutes, before resuming the pattern. But we did it.
2 workouts out of 3 for the first week. And while on vacation. Thank goodness for having set the clocks back -- we were able to go out for our "run" after tucking the kids in. I had pretty terrific arch cramps after about 15 minutes, and I am so looking forward to getting the orthotics when I get back home. But that won't be until next week, and in the meantime, I am going to keep going with the insoles I have.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
This was not an official workout day on my 5k plan, so I used the hour or so while my husband and son were at the park to try out a walking DVD I bought about a year ago at a used book store. It reminded me of aerobics classes of yore. The bright side was that the patter seems to have evolved from relentless cheer to new-age affirmations. I think I'm going to have to turn the volume down once I get a handle on the routine and substitute my own music, just to maintain my sanity. The workout was fun, and I can imagine doing it for a 30 minute jumpstart to my day. Just need to lose the Stuart Smalley stuff. I can't believe I let the disc sit there for a year!
It felt good to get the sore muscles and achy joints moving a bit. I still have killer arch cramps, but I am waiting for some orthotics and hope they will help at least reduce the cramps. I look forward to the next run.
So, I'm back training again. I have had to start from square one on the couch to 5k running plan. Today was my first "run" on that plan. The first week on the plan has three sessions - first one was relatively easy. It's a cool, soggy spring day here in Wisconsin, and the melting snow has revealed a multitude of garbage, but I can also see crocuses and the green nubs of hostas poking out of the ground. I no longer have my doggy running partner, so it was a different experience than in the past. The podcast helped distract me from that change, and I think I will be able to run without my buddy - something that I was worried about.
I will be heading to Seattle on Tuesday for a 9 day vacation on the 16th, and I'm packing my iPod and running shoes. I'll be staying in a suburb, and I think I'll try to use MapMyWalk to find a good route while I am there.
To make it official, I plan to be training at least 3 times/week between now and July 11, and I will blog a little something after every workout. Here we go!
There will be a Susan Komen Race for the Cure in late September in Milwaukee, and that is the race I need to develop a training schedule for. Then I can start training to improve my pace.
I just need to get a schedule established that allows me to run in the mornings, and cook healthy meals after work. And get enough sleep. That would be the health trifecta. Unfortunately for you, dear reader, if I can figure out how to achieve the trifecta, I will be selling the formula in book form. I will give publication dates on this blog.
I am essentially back to where I was at the beginning of May, weightwise. This is rather frustrating, although I can't say it is a surprise.
I have slacked off on the exercise (I went running on the 22nd, but otherwise have done nothing since the 13th), and I have been eating way more than would seem prudent. This weekend I have the challenge of a camping trip with group meals and a menu planned by others (read - no control over the choices) and group activities (see above). I am bringing extra veggies and bread that's low calorie/high fiber, but other than that I am just going to try to play with the kids and walk as much as possible.
My new plan is to choose a running race in September and plot out a training plan for that similar to how I planned the training for the triathlon. I definitely require a goal to motivate myself to exercise. My other big trick will be doing my training in the morning. I am hoping that this will free up my evening time so that I can get back on track to cooking healthful dinners.
Here's hoping the numbers start descending again.
I scoped out logistics on Saturday and decided to rack my bike on Saturday and then drive to the outlet mall parking lot and walk the 2 miles in to the race site on Sunday morning. The survivors' breakfast on Saturday was lovely, although it seemed to actually have a program and to have started at 7:30 a.m. So when I wandered by around 9, they were pretty much wrapping up. Oops. It was still nice to meet other survivors doing the race.
Expo day was pretty much as expected. I checked in and wandered amongst the vendors. I don't seem to have won the new bike I was lusting after from trek. But I did get some delicious free jelly beans, a sweet crocs armband for my MP3 player, a new water bottle, a couple of shirts, a hat, a survivor pin and free peanut butter. I was almost starting to feel bad about all the free stuff, but then I bought a race belt (for my number), and a cheapish pair of sunglasses so I wouldn't have to wear my prescription glasses in the race. The kids shirts were the same as last year, and our son has not grown too much, so I passed on T-shirts.
I stayed for the course review, after with Sally Edwards was signing autographs. And she very sweetly signed the pictures I had brought along. The people in line behind me were a bit surprised by my dorkiness in having the big envelope of pictures, I think, but I'll never see them again, so oh well.
I got up at 4:45 a.m., got dressed and checked out of the hotel, and I was at the outlet mall by about 5:20 a.m. I walked to the transition area and set up my gear by 6:20 a.m. Then I moseyed over to the swim start and hung out.
It was a lovely upper 60's start to the day, and the water was actually warmer than the air. I splashed around in the water and put my swim cap on early - once my swim cap was on I was more than warm enough.
I was in the seventh wave to go, and we started at 7:20 a.m. There was a tailwind for the swim, which made up for the fact that we were swimming into the sun. I really enjoyed the swim, with the exception of one woman who kept swimming over my legs again and again. It was odd - usually someone swims into me, corrects course, sails by and I never see her again. This woman would stop, look around, and then start sidestroking straight back into me. Ugh. I finally started splashing my arms and yelling, "Oh my" every time she swam into me, and she stopped the nonsense. My left foot started cramping as I came out of the water, and it kept it up for most of the rest of the race. Boo.
My first transition was pretty quick. Then I biked for forever. My left foot kept cramping on the bike, and my new, properly adjusted seat slid down into the post again. So by about mile 10 this guy who was cruising along the bike route felt compelled to tell me that after the race I should raise the seat up about 2 inches, as I'd have a much better ride. Apparently, knees around the ears is not optimal tri biking. Who knew.
The second transition was even quicker (helmet off, sun hat on, eat jelly beans and chug gatorade), and then I was running. Ever since I did the math about my running pace after the race on the 4th, I've been a pretty self-conscious runner. Today did not help much. Ladies who were walking were passing me. I did achieve three goals vis-a-vis the run, however. 1) I ran the whole 3.1 miles, 2) I improved my pace quite a bit, and 3) I saved enough energy to be able to run faster for the last quarter mile. So when I passed my husband and son down the finish chute, I looked like I was really running. It was an outstanding day!
I'm pretty exhausted and turning in early today, but I'll be continuing to work on the running pace and weight loss things, so more blogs are forthcoming.
I unearthed the CD with last year's pictures on it, and I uploaded them in the photo album area of the blog page. Tis what it is, I suppose. I also found my times for each leg of the race last year. Here they are.
Swim: 26:01 - rank 3570 out of 3940
Transition time for 1st transition - 11:47
Bike: 1:30:04 - rank 3871 out of 3940, average speed 8.6 mph
Transition time for 2nd transition - 7:17
Run: 1:01:10 - rank 3855 out of 3940, pace of 19:44 minute mile
I am getting rather apprehensive that I won't improve much this year. My swim tonight felt great, until I got a calf cramp that came and went for five minutes. In my head, I think I have to improve - I've lost 40 pounds and I fixed my bike's tires and brakes. But, I am already nervous about how I'll do. I am just going to focus on getting ready and worry about the results on Sunday afternoon.
I got to the race site later than I'd intended but with plenty of time before the race started, as it turned out, since I was preregistered and was able to go into a nice short line in the registration area. I started the race with an uncle, a cousin-in-law two cousins, and a cousin's friend. They all finished pretty far ahead of me. An aunt did the walk portion of the race, and she too was done far ahead of me, although she walked a shorter distance.
My pace was that of a fit person's average walk, in the end. My finishing time was 1 hour, 1 minute and 8 seconds. The race route went through some pretty residential areas. Streets were blocked off, and the people who lived in the neighborhoods were out on lawn chairs, having coffee and snacks. Some had set their sprinklers up so you could run through the spray as you ran by. It was rather festive, considering that I was trying to focus on my running the whole time.
I was happy with myself for not stopping to walk at any point during the run. I am also very happy to be able to go out and go for a run at all, much less for four miles. I just keep reminding myself that I couldn't climb a flight of stairs in the spring of 2006 without stopping to rest, and I am happy with how far I have come in the last two years. On the related issue of how much progress I have made, I have still not tracked down the photos from my 2007 tri, and I have mislaid the times I dredged up from that year's triathlon. However, I will be getting that information together as I go through my final week before the big race, so that I have some targets as I race.
I promptly threw myself headlong into family reunion related activities for the remainder of the long weekend. The activities included eating too much, staying up way past my normal bedtime, and cleaning my mom's kitchen up a couple of hundred times. I also got to carry lawn chairs around, play in the lake with kids and watch a turtle make a nest. Very satisfying. Now, I am will try to finish out the training as I laid it out and start to plan all the logistical details that can be so distracting.
Today I packed up all the running gear to run near the lake, and when I got there, I discovered I had left my shoes in the living room at home. Since the lake is about an hour away, one way, I just bagged the run. And with the lightning and thunder, swimming did not seem prudent either.
I run my first 5K on Friday, and I'm rather nervous about how it is going to go. Packet pickup is between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m., and the race starts at 8 a.m. At first I thought that sounded brutal. But after starting last year's triathlon near 11 a.m. on a hot and humid Wisconsin July day, I think that an 8 a.m. start is brilliant.
And, since the office scale is locked up on the 4th, and I'll be running that morning far away, I won't be updating the pounds to go list. A week of blissful ignorance. What could be better?!
I did not do a workout on the 20th or 21st (both days with reunion events, hence the good timing comment above), and then I swam on the 22nd instead of the scheduled run. Tonight I did some gentle stretching, and tomorrow I plan to do the bike ride as scheduled. Then I'll swim on Wednesday and try to run on Thursday. I hope that taking it easy pays off and doesn't result in a serious setback. I figure I've been doing some good preparation, and I don't want the leg to get worse.
I will drive the run route at some point so I have an odometer reading of how far I go in 25 minutes. I'm concerned that it's going to be only 2 miles. But, I still have 4 weeks left of training, so I will use it to my advantage to start working on speed.
I picked the bike up after work today in between downpours and drove it home, attached to the bike rack on my car. Then, during a break between tornado warnings and thunderstorms, I went for a 40 minute ride. I cut the ride short by about 35 minutes. When I started out, I was streeetching my hamstrings with every pedal stroke. By the end of the ride my knees were up around my ears, and I was just a banana seat shy of emulating the cool boys from the late 70's I remember.
Oh well. Here's hoping my husband can fix the seat in time for my bike/run brick tomorrow.
And the bike shop called to say my bike was ready a day early. Rainbow Jersey rocks. They have been very nice to work with, and for being a day early I'm giving them a shout out. Now I just need to hope they have lights I can buy for my bike, because I don't think my dear husband will give me a free pass on the child care two nights in a row. So the bike ride tomorrow will likely be after our four year old is in bed. Which is probably going to work out just fine, since we are forecast to get heat tomorrow, and it should cool off by the time I am able to get out on the bike.
I'm still pretty excited at the progress I've made in my running. Last year I walked the final leg of the triathlon, but this year I may be able to jog, at least part of the way!
I swam awkwardly with my head out of the water for a while to keep the tube dry, but there was a fair amount of chop in the lake because of our crazy thunderstorms, and so I gave up after about 20 minutes. Still, it was better than nothing. I hope the rain lets up long enough for me to run after work today.
Anyway, I have been running along to the training plan despite nasty sinus issues even though I haven't been blogging about it. Summary - I breathe hard, and our 14 year old dog is too old to join me on runs any more. The 7 year old dog is still up to the challenge, and I am grateful for that. Then today it hit me that the triathlon will consist of three parts, and I should at least try to work on the other two legs of the race.
So, I am calling around to bike shops to get my bike tuned up/have skinnier tires put on, and I am slowly realizing that I probably should have taken care of this issue before the weekend immediately preceding Father's Day. At least the weather has definitely broken and I'm not in danger of getting hypothermia if I use an outdoor lake to "train" for the swimming leg of the race.
I just found a shop that can get my bike back to me on Thursday if I get it in today, so I'm off again. I'll be deleting the workouts as I do them, so here's hoping the workout lists empty out between now and race day!