Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cranky pants

I have my cranky pants on today. A good run might have helped, or it might have left me in a weepy heap. I'll never know, because I did not do any kind of workout this weekend.

It all started yesterday, when I spent several hours at work, where there is no heat. One might not expect that to be such a problem, given that it was April 24th, but it was mid-40's, gray and rainy all day. My office might have been 50 degrees, but it was not much warmer than that. By the time I gathered my things to go home around 6:30 p.m., I was thoroughly chilled and in no mood to do my run outside. So I got on the couch, got under several blankets and drank tea in a five hours long, mostly failed attempt to get warm. I was achy and stuffy and oh so miserable.

When I woke up this morning, I had high hopes that I might feel better, after giving myself the evening off, but alas, it was not to be. I spent today trying to convince myself to get on the bike. Instead, I watched TV, played on the computer, mad a cartesian diver (from a kit) with the kid, made a menu list for the week's dinners, got groceries, made stew and cleaned up paperwork at home for an hour. My joints and muscles are still achy, and I have to admit to being relieved when it got too dark to get on the bike.

I think I need to register for the triathlon so that I can re-commit to the training schedule, and get going on the bike training I really need to focus on.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Biking after dark

Tonight's workout was slated to be a 6 mile bike ride. I'm really going to have to plan ahead if I'm going to be measuring my bike rides in miles, as opposed to time on the bike. I don't think I managed to ride for 6 miles exactly. It was about 40 degrees or so, and dusk when I started to ride. I don't have any lights on the bike, so I stuck to the sidewalk on my way to the local high school track.

I rode about 3 miles around the cement track that circles the practice field. I started out in an easy gear, then in a harder one for most of the ride. My left foot started cramping and contorting just at the end, and my legs were also freezing by the time I decided to pack it in. My flat repair kit is quickly becoming the bane of my bike riding. It was sliding around and I kept having to reattach the velcro straps. I can't for the life of my remember how it attached to my old bike - for all I know I'm strapping it to the wrong part of the bike altogether. Yet another thing to review at the road safety course....

So far, so good with this week's workouts!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Freezing cold Wednesday

April 21st workouts


I got a late start, so even though it was about 40 degrees out, and the sun had set, I went for my run between 8:10 p.m. and 8:40 p.m. I drove over to the school where the open swim hours were going to be, left my car in their lot, and took off on Week 5, Run 1. It was hard to judge exactly how far I should go in any direction, so if anyone was watching out their house windows, they probably thought I was crazy, doing laps up and down the block.


I had a great swim tonight. I did 40 lengths of the pool. I used a kickboard and practiced alternate side breathing while I worked on my kicking. Then I did some lengths where I did the crawl at full speed the whole way, and on the length back I did the breaststroke. I also did some lengths where I crawled halfway and sprinted the last half. I started getting leg and foot cramps about 2/3 of the way through the swim. Which gave me the opportunity to practice covering ground while my leg/foot is cramping. I am wiped out but very happy with how things felt tonight.

Banner Sunday

April 18th workouts


In the morning I spent 45 minutes rollerblading through a park with the 6-year-old. I have to say, his learning curve is much steeper than mine. He looked like he had no control of his legs when we first started. By the end he was gliding along so long as there wasn't too much loose gravel/stray sticks on the path. I was steadily unsteady. And I somehow skinned my knee through my wind pants without tearing them. I was so careful with safety equipment for the kid, and then all I had was my bike helmet. I'll try to learn my lesson and get some wrist guards before the next outing. That was some great exercise.


In the afternoon I was able to do a bike ride of about 45 minutes. I wound my way around about 25 blocks to the west, then 8 blocks south, then back 28 blocks east, and then I rode through the park for a while. I practiced shifting and braking, as well as getting my clippy shoes attached to and detached from the pedals quickly. And I strapped my flat repair kit to the bike, so I wouldn't get stranded again. I practiced drinking water while I rode as well. I'm a bit rusty, but there is time to brush up before the race.

I must marvel at the difference the bike makes. I am able to coast on flat road, not just when I am going downhill. I actually am more nervous about going too fast, truth be told. Once I'm more confident about stopping and getting my feet off the pedals so I can catch myself in a pinch, I'll enjoy the speed more, I'm sure.


I capped off the day with the Week 4, Run 3 from the couch to 5k program. It was lovely, and I snapped a few pictures of the gardens I saw along the way. I was pretty tired by the time I got to the running, but it felt good to get through my first brick relatively intact.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I'm a need a new pair of socks

April 14th workouts

I got out on the bike, and it was super easy to ride. I didn't mess much with the gears, and the brakes are a little hard to grasp, but it was delightful. I got to the park, and I got a flat tire. I ducked into the Urban Ecology Center, where a lovely young man pumped air into the tire, which promptly hissed out whatever hole I had idiotically managed to put in the tire.

I was wearing my fancy new clip shoes, and I had not moved my flat fixing kit from my old bike to my new bike. I only had $2.00 in my pocket, and bus fare is $2.25. So, I walked back to our house in little sock feet. Good times. I did manage to bring my cell phone with me, so I was able to rally my mom to go pick up my son from school, which was the only thing that kept me from sitting down on a front lawn and crying.

After dinner and tuck-in, I scooted off to go swimming. I had a nice swim with my new training team. My new goggles got a bit foggy, but only when I stopped to chat. I think that I'll give them another workout, where I just swim, before I lose my mind.

On the 14th, I slept until noon, and the rest seems to have done a world of good for the cheek of doom. There is still a little swelling, but it's mostly on the inside now. I do not expect it to interfere further in the training.

April 15th workout

I did Week 4, Run 2 for a second time tonight after tuck-in, since it had been so long since I last went on a run. My run was really nice. I got started too late to go to the indoor track, so I drove over to my old neighborhood and ran a route I remember running in high school. Not as far as I used to go, but it was rather nostalgic.

I was not able to bike, due to the flat tire, which I have to take to the bike shop to have repaired. My flat repair kit for the old bike was not compatible with this one, so I won't be biking until Sunday at the earliest. It would be ironic if the bike turns out to be the toughest leg for me. It's supposed to be the swim, according to what I read in triathlon materials.

I have a planned rest day today, and I'll be swimming and dashing out of town on Saturday, so next post may have to wait until Sunday.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cheek of Doom

I have not done any working out since Saturday, April 10, due to what I have started calling the "Cheek of Doom." So, first, let me write about Saturday, which was delightful. I went to a local high school pool at the crack of dawn for an 8 a.m. open swim. I got about 20 minutes into my personal medley (2 laps crawl, 2 laps breaststroke, 1 lap backstroke, 1 lap sidestroke, and repeating a variety of these same strokes). Then the teenager who was lifeguarding at the end of the lane asked if I had forgotten my goggles. So now let me hold forth about my equipment for the race.

Swim equipment

Under this subheading, for me, is: swimsuit. And, because it is required in the race: swim cap. I have bought and used 3 different sets of goggles over the past two triathlons and associated training seasons. But then in each race I ended up whipping the dratted things off and swimming the race with the goggle straps looped over my arm. So I had decided that this year I would train with no goggles on. The lifeguard suggested/insisted that I try swimming with his goggles on, and because he was so nice about it, I did. The things were amazing! They fit to my face, they didn't fog up, and I could see. The whole time. When I got back to his end of the pool, I had to admit, sheepishly, that these goggles were great. He told me where the little swim shop is where I could get them, and that they only cost $17.00. Which is less than I spent on the first three sets of goggles, and which seems like quite a deal now. So now I have a suit, cap and goggles, and I consider myself all set for the swim, equipmentwise. I also have a 10-punch swim card, which I have 9 uses left on. Once the punches are used up, I'll switch to open water training at the lake at my mom's house.

Bike equipment

On Saturday morning, I also borrowed my friend's Raleigh road racing bike. It should be quite a step up from my old "comfort" bike. I took the bike straight from my friend's house to a bike shop. The bike has clips instead of pedals. After weighing the pros and cons of switching clips for pedals, and then switching then back after the race, I decided to take advantage of a sale and buy some shoes to go on the clips. I got a pump that works with the type of tube that the tires have. I also had the seat adjusted just a little bit. MUST REMEMBER TO SWITCH THAT BACK. I also plan to go to one of the shop's "Road Repair" classes they will be running later this month/during May. Must remember to keep scanning the website for info.

So, now I have a helmet, padded biking shorts, a bike all set up with two water bottle cages, gear shifts on the ends on curved-around handlebars, clip-type pedals and good tires. The two things remaining for the bike, equipment wise, are to ensure that my repair kit has the proper inner tubes in it for this bike, and to attend the road repair class so I can tend to minor issues during the race, if need be.

Run equipment

I have my running shoes and a good hat with built-in SPF. I think I'm all set. I was researching on the internet about how long I can reasonably expect running shoes to last. The estimates range from 250-500 miles. I can't figure out how many miles I've really run in the shoes I've got now. I remember that I bought them to train for the last tri I did, which was in 2008. I am thinking these shoes can last me for this race, and its training, especially with the orthotics inside them, and my new leg cramp prevention plan.

Back to the blog

The swim on Saturday morning was nice, and on Saturday evening I plotted out my training schedule until race day. On Sunday morning I woke up, and my cheek looked like I had the mumps. I spent the day (9:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.) at urgent care and then the emergency room. I have a nasty cheek abscess, and I've been waiting for the antibiotics to clear it up, before I get back to my training schedule. I stayed home from work today and slept until noon (except for getting up to take my medicine), and I woke up feeling MUCH better.

It is a beautiful day out today, and I will be doing my first outing on the bike, and then late tonight I will be doing my second swim, with the group of women with whom I'll be training. So I'll be blogging more about today's workout - either late tonight or tomorrow early evening.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Raining sideways

So I completed my April 7 and April 9 runs. On April 7 it was, indeed, raining sideways, and I could not muster myself to go for the run outside. So I got creative and headed off to the indoor running track that encircles the Olympic ice oval here in Milwaukee. At 8 p.m. They are open until 9 p.m. on weeknights, barring special events. Which leaves me with zero excuses, if I get to that time of day and I still have running on my plate to meet my training schedule. NB.

The April 9 run was outside, in the crisp 40ish air, just before sunset by the time I got home from work. My DH ran to get Chinese for dinner while I put in my time running, and it worked out perfectly. My calf still has a little nagging ache at times. But I'm trying to take it easy - no sprinting at this point. I'm running longer, and feeling good.

The most exciting news is that my doctor seems to have given me the perfect solution to my leg cramps. She suggested that it could be an electrolyte imbalance, being exacerbated by low calcium intake. So I started taking a calcium supplement and having one packet of crystal lite electrolyte stuff each day, and, voila - no cramps! I could kiss that woman.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Week 3 is complete!

Running on Easter was not an option, so I completed week 3 tonight after dinner. It was a great run again. We had amazing weather today - in the upper 60's. It drizzled a bit as I was driving home from work, but by the time we were done eating, I was able to run in clear weather. And now I'm listening to thunderstorms going through.

I'll do week 4's 3 runs on the following schedule: Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. On Saturday I can get the bike from my friend. And next week I can focus more on how to increase my pace.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Achy calf

I did not get up in time to run before work this morning. So the run had to wait until after dinner. I toyed with the idea of waiting until tomorrow but decided the habit of running on a schedule was important enough to go after we were done eating.

I may have been downplaying the real problem with my right calf. Tuesday night, quite late, I had terrible muscle cramps in the right calf, and the muscle has been sore ever since. I took it easy and did not have any more cramping today. However, I do have an extremely sore calf now. And I can see a thin red line that's about an inch long right where my leg is sorest. Not sure what that's all about. I will keep slowly stretching and take some ibuprofen to try to walk normally tomorrow. I just don't want to limp around work and end up throwing everything else out of whack too.

It was crazy warm this afternoon, and the run went really nicely, if a bit slowly. I was able to run for the full time of each of the running stretches, and the run 2 of week 3 podcast was marvelous. I am officially giving myself advance permission to move run 3 to the next day my calf is not sore. Or Monday at the latest.