Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Week 3, Run #1

Tonight was my first scheduled run of week 3. I also plan to go Thursday morning before work (gasp!), and on Saturday. Today was a really beautiful day for a run after work. I live far enough from the lake that it was still 55 or so when I got home, and it was great to run on my lovely flat landscape. This couch to 5k plan is brilliant - just when I think I need a break, it's time to walk. I will need to work on pace at some point, but right now, I just want to get up to running the full 30 minutes.

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

Week 2, complete

This program sure does work! I finished the run today feeling really good. I got out earlier in the afternoon than I've been doing my runs, and I definitely prefer running on an emptyish stomach. So, at the end of week 2, the run is a brisk 5 minute walk, then alternating 90 seconds running with 2 minutes walking, until you get to 20 minutes, and then cool down with a 5 minute walk. I took a different route than yesterday, and signs of spring are everywhere. Tulips, crocuses, hostas - they're all bravely sprouting up. And its just going to get better: by the end of the week, we're predicted to be mid-70's. Yay crazy Wisconsin weather!

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

Home, flat, home

I did the second run of week 2 (just one day behind - I'll catch up tomorrow!) tonight between dinner and bath time. I have never been so glad to run my regular route. It was sweetly flat, which felt really easy. It was also pretty cold (30s), but I had my cold weather running gear, so I was all set. Tonight's podcast included "It's Raining Men," so I was chortling to myself as I huffed and puffed along.

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

Week 2, Run 1

This post will be rather like the run - nothing fancy, but it will get the job done. Again, I snuck the run in after dinner and tuck-in. The podcast is just so distracting, in a good way. I was surprised when the little helium voices cheered that I was all done. The back of my left knee/upper calf feels a bit wonky, but not enough to justify skipping a workout or anything. I did take it easy, so as to avoid injury. I'm prouder than is reasonable to be 1/3 of the way done with week 2, and I don't want to have to start over. Especially since, if I recall correctly, I'll need to start scheduling out bricks in April, and they require some sustained running capacity. That's all for now.

Friday, March 19, 2010

After dinner run

I needed to squeeze in my third workout of the week. But the day was a wonderful vacation day, spent with my son and sister, and my niece and nephew. In the morning we tromped around the zoo, to the tune of a 3 mile walk, per my sister's pedometer. Then we spent the afternoon with naps and Legos, and then we had dinner. Again, a lovely vacation day, but no time for a run that worked with the rest of my day.

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

Mobile blogging test

I am trying out the new mobile blogging feature - I imagine if I see a particularly great sunrise/sunset while running I might snap a picture to share the upside to the new (redux) training regimen. We shall see if I can master the next function - it took me about 6 tries to get my blackberry linked up without incurring text charges. But I think we are set to go now!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I did my second workout of week one this evening, with my sister. It was lovely to have someone to go with, even though her trainer has in good enough shape that she was mostly just jogging in front of me during the jogging segment. We did a brisk 5 minute warm-up walk, then 60 seconds of jogging, alternating with 90 seconds of walking for 15 minutes. Sort of.

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

Moving On

I am moving on with my workouts, and I am moving my blog from its old host to "blogger." So, I copied and pasted a batch of my old blog's entries below my March 13 entry. I was going to try to "import" the blog, but I couldn't sort out how to do it, so I went to the Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V method that never fails. Next step will be to migrate the photos over. I may tap my techie sister to help on that score.

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.
March 13, 2010

Wash, rinse, repeat