Monday, May 31, 2010

Run, then bike

I had every intention of swimming and then running today, but the fates conspired against that plan. It was hot and muggy at our house, but if I sat on my favorite couch cushion, very still, a delightful cool breeze poured in the window, over the couch, and onto the back of my neck. It took every ounce of willpower I possess to get off the couch at all. But I finally did.

So, we got the tomato plants, various seeds, and a few other plants at the garden center. Once we were back home, we then had to weed and ready the gardens. We finally put the plants in and had everything all rinsed off and put away in the garage by 3:15 p.m. This was just too late for a sensible trip to the lake.

I went for run 3 of week 7, which was good. 5 minute warm-up walk, 25 minute run, 5 minute cool down walk. Since it was the middle of the day, and a holiday to boot, it felt fine to run the route in my neighborhood I used to train in 2008 (when I had a canine running buddy for security). I went the distance I had gone in 08 in the 25 minutes allotted for this week's run. It was too hot to say it felt great, but I am glad I got it in.

Then I quickly filled a water bottle, changed shoes, slapped on my bike helmet, and headed out for a bike ride. I had thought I would do an hour long bike ride, but I was pretty dehydrated from the heat and the run and the gardening prior to all of it. When the foot cramp started I shouldn't have been surprised, probably, but I was. I cut the ride short, after I drained the water bottle, and the cramps did not completely end. I was able to complete a 30 minute ride, and I'm happy about that.

Swim, then bike

On Saturday (the 29th) I headed out to the lake again. I swam for 30 minutes without a break, and it was wonderful. I swam along the shoreline, and I never got out where the water was over my head. So, at points the weeds were scraping my legs as I swan. My goggles are awesome - I could see big panfish hanging out in the water, watching me approach. Just before I would get within arm's reach, they would dart away. The fish kept me entertained as I swam past neighbors sitting on their docks. It was early enough in the day that there were not a lot of boats out, so I wasn't swimming through too many wakes. I so prefer the lake to the pool!

Then we scooted to watch the final baseball games of DH's season. Don't get excited the way I did - apparently he'll be "supporting" the varsity team throughout the playoffs, and varsity will either have the conference title outright, or have a three-way share on Tuesday -- so he may be MIA until June 14th or so.

After lunch, I put the kid down for a nap (overnight with grandma leaves him short on sleep) and when DH got home from the game, I went out for a bike ride. I rode for an hour. It was hot, and I did not have a route planned in advance. But I did end up riding past some people handing out free juice samples to the crowd walking into the Brewers game, which made me feel like I was in a road race. I also tried riding through a park, and unfortunately came upon some steps rather abruptly. I got my shoes off the clips but then they slipped on the stone step, and I got a couple of massive bruises on my legs. They took a few days to really develop, but they are really ugly now.

One of the downsides to keeping my port in is that it needs to be flushed monthly with heparin, which means that I bruise easily. On days like this, when my legs look like someone's hit me with a sock full of wet sand, I think it's about time to have the port removed. On other days, when I've been sick for 6 weeks and I need an IV-IG transfusion, I consider the port a blessing, because it saves painful arm sticks needed to start an IV in my rolly arm veins. I've already talked myself out of asking to get the port out - ugly bruises are no match to having to have IVs started in the arm, even only a few times a year.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday running

I got another run in today after work. It was a rough week - I missed a great bike workout with the team, which I knew I would have to miss. I had planned on dashing to the pool as soon as DH got home from coaching his make-up game. Unfortunately, the MPS scheduler made a mistake with the JV baseball schedule. So, DH's team got to play under lights, and I was home with the kid until the pool closed. Oh well, it's basically open water swimming season, so I'm keeping my wits about me.

The run today was great. I am just so relieved that this program has worked for me, and that a week between runs did not set me back. Once I complete week 8 of the couch to 5k program, I'm going to have to start working on my pace. The colleague who inspired me to do the tri this year was telling me about a great new public outdoor track about 10 minutes from my house. In a few weeks, intervals, here I come. Eek!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lake Swimming

I think of myself as a lake swimmer. My favorite childhood memories are of swimming in rivers, lakes and converted quarries. So I've been looking forward to getting out into the lake water.

The temperature hit 95 degrees on Sunday, and I drove out west to the lake where my mom lives. One day of heat did not make the lake instant bath water, apparently. I got a quick 10 minutes in the water, and then I had to dash off to an event with exchange students. It was good to get a dip in the lake, and I'm looking forward to more outside swimming going forward.

I tried to post this as a mobile post, but something went wrong - forgive any tense problems in this post.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sneaking in a run

May 21 workout

I had an unexpected opportunity to get a run in on Friday evening, so I grabbed it. DH's baseball game was rained out, and we had dinner at home. Then we got the little guy tucked in, and I drove over to my old running grounds. I did the first run of week seven, which is a 5 minute warm-up walk, 25 minute run, and a 5 minute walk. The remaining two runs for week 7 will be the same thing.

The weather has finally turned. It was a bit foggy during the morning, but by the time I was out for the run, it was clear and very nice. I have a nagging calf ache again, so I didn't do any sprinting. I did keep my heart rate between 40 and 60% of max. I have a difficult time getting it up in the 80% range without going uphill. I may have to find a hillier route. Eek!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

40 and fabulous!?!

May 19 workout

I woke up with yet another cold on the 16th, and then Monday was my birthday. The congestion drifted down to my lungs through Tuesday, and I was just on the mend by Wednesday afternoon. This happened to coincide with the group workout and open pool, which was good.

I did run 3 of week 6, which is a 5 minute warm-up walk, 25 minute run, and 5 minute walk at the end to cool down. It was a beautiful day, and I did the whole run as planned. There were lots of people out exercising along the same route I was using, and walking dogs. We do enjoy the heck out of the three months per year it is fit to be outside, here in Wisconsin.

I got back to the high school a few minutes too late for the visualization exercise the group had planned. So I spent the time until the pool opened trying to come up with something witty to write about myself for the other blog. So far, no go on the witty. And I'm having a difficult time finding a jpeg to go with my witty blurb. If I come up with something, I'll let you know.

Then it was time for the swim workout. 8:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. I swam a few warm-up laps with a kickboard. Then I did a few laps of crawl, and after that the bulk of the laps were butterfly. Our team leader had a camera and videotaped our strokes for anyone who wanted. I watched myself while trying to get rid of some (you guessed it) leg cramps. I didn't see anything obvious to fix, which is good. The down side: I look less like Michael Phelps than I had imagined. Oh well - in my mind, I have a powerful smooth stroke and similar kick. And most of the triathlon is mental, or so I've been reading.

Also, I finally got my hotel room for the night before the race. It's the same place I stayed at last time - the only one in the area not imposing a 2-night minimum. I was a bit rude to one of the women I spoke to while trying to find a room for one night. I pointed out that it was Kenosha. Which is probably where the woman I was speaking with lives. But she must be aware that 2 nights in Kenosha isn't really worth over $300.00, right?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Finally, a bike workout

May 15 workout

This was a logistical marvel, if I do say so myself. I got to my weight watchers meeting around 7:25 a.m. (for the last 5 minutes - we got a slow start that morning) and then drove out to my mom's house (about 30 minutes west of where I live). My mom and kid visited while I rode my bike for about 45 minutes. Afterward I got freshened up, cut up a bag of oranges and went to watch the second of the 2 baseball games DH was coaching. Whew!

The bike has officially become my least favorite part of this whole affair. I'm either pumping like crazy and up around 85% of my max heart rate or coasting and trying to figure out if I really need to brake and waste any of my effort. I have been hunting around on the internet for practical, basic bike leg tips, but so far, I'm coming up empty. At least my equipment is in good shape.

May 14 workout

I went for the second run of week 6 on Friday. I drove over to the area of town where I feel safe running at dusk and had a nice run. I found that I got my heart rate up in the 80% level only when I was going up hills. Otherwise, I hang out around 60% when I'm running and 35% when I'm walking in between the running legs. The final run of week 6 is 20 minutes of running, with a 5 minute walk to warm up and cool down. I am a bit nervous about how long I can keep my pace at a decent rate, but I'm also excited to see my progress. I know when I started, running 20 minutes straight would have been out of the question, so I am feeling proud of sticking with the program.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Chocolate Milk

My back recovered enough to do my scheduled work on Wednesday. I made quick mac and cheese for dinner, and got to the track at the high school, where I did the first run of week 6. The music in the podcast was awesome and kept me running rings around the track with a goofy smile for the entire time.

Our tri training team had a meeting in the lobby outside the pool, where we discussed post-workout nutrition. Chocolate milk as a restorative drink was the nugget of the day, and our after swim treat. I swam about 14 laps, which was a good workout. We stopped just at the end for a group picture, and the last lap after that was riddled with cramps, so I called it a little short of where I hoped to be. I did some laps where I sprinted half of each leg, and I also practiced alternate side breathing with a kickboard. It's most unnatural, and I feel like I'm holding my breath. I hope I can get it sorted, because it will help me go much straighter when I get into open water.

I'll try to get a run in on Friday, and then a long bike ride on Saturday. Time permitting, as usual.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Creaking Along

I did some stretches on May 10th, but no yoga. I've been icing my back three times a day, and the revised plan is for me to squeeze a run in before the swim workout tomorrow.

The team I am training with has a logo for the team shirts/jerseys we are going to have, and it is just awesome. I link here to the blog for the training team in case you want a preview of the super artwork!

Keep your fingers crossed that I wake up moving comfortably in the morning.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Woe Is Me

I am starting to suspect that I need to plan my training on a 2-day per week schedule. I had big plans, which were again foiled by how I'm feeling. On Saturday I woke up with a head cold, so I did not do a swim workout, or the scheduled run, because it was cold, gray and rainy on the 8th. My back got increasingly sore throughout the day, so I babied it, and even iced it before I went to bed.

I woke up today to a pancake breakfast in bed and a bag full of handmade gifts. Lovely way to kick off Mother's Day. I iced the back again a couple of times, but I'm still hobbling around, not able to stand up straight, or pick anything up from the ground. I am not sure when I'll pick back up on the regimen. Right now I want to try some stretching and yoga tomorrow, and then evaluate. Definitely hope to be swimming by Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Last beautiful evening for a while

Tonight, I got my workout in. I picked up a sub on the way out of work, and enjoyed a quick picnic with the kid at the school playground. Then we trotted over to the Mother's Day Art Show, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Then we dashed home, I passed off of the kid, and I drove over to the east side to do Run 3 of Week 5. I did it! 5 minute walk, 20 minute run, 5 minute walk. It felt great, too. The new shoes are not exactly pretty, but they felt really good. Even near the lake it was about 70, and the sun was slowly setting as I ran.

After the run I headed to the pool and swam with the training team. I warmed up with a kickboard for a few laps, and then swam 9 laps. I got brutal leg cramps every time I tried to sprint. I wanted to do some intervals, but the cramps made that imprudent. I had planned to use the kickboard to cool down as well, but I had to get out of the pool to stretch my leg.

The last thing I need to do tonight is take my measurements to see if I can find a tri suit that I could wear throughout the whole race. Last year's equipment worked, but it wasn't exactly pretty, and the team jerseys sound like they're going to be awfully cute!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Needing a Plan

I am needing a plan. That works with the people I live with. I was supposed to do a running workout today. I did not get up at 5:30 a.m., which meant that I needed to wait until DH got home. So, I tucked in the kid, changed into my running stuff and waited expectantly. Foolishly, but expectantly.

The earliest I could have left the house was 9:15 p.m. This seemed extraordinarily unsafe, to drive anywhere to go running, start after 9:30 p.m., and run until after 10 p.m. some time. AAAAAGH! I've moved the run to tomorrow, which I'll have to squeeze in after the Mother's Day Art Show at school. Which runs from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. And I need to be in the pool for my swimming workout by 8:45 p.m. This brick is completely doable. Unplanned, and unlikely to make Thursday's bike particularly enjoyable, but doable.

Also, I am supposed to be training with 12 women for this triathlon. But they have planned many of their workouts for Saturday mornings, which is when I have previously scheduled lab appointments, weight watchers meetings and various social engagements. Not to mention child care responsibilities until DH's baseball season ends in late (LATE) May. I'm thinking about setting up the kid with a previous caregiver for Saturday mornings. But then, on the other hand, I enjoy solitude when I work out, so the effort that would require is a bit more than I'm up for at this late hour. I will reconsider when I am a bit more well-rested.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Getting better

I got back on the training horse today. I turned out to have an infection that took hold while I was on the antibiotics they gave me for the cheek of doom. Ironically, the cure for this is a different antibiotic. I took the week off from training so that I could get better faster. And it seems to have worked!

I went for the Week 5, Run2 workout today. I seem to be stuck on this run - but after a week off, I thought it would be pushing it to go on Run 3. The weather couldn't have been better. It was sunny but not hot, breezy but not windy. This run was two 8-minute stints, with two 5-minute recovery periods. It was absolutely beautiful. I had a moment where I was overwhelmed with joy and appreciation for the day and being able to be out running at all. I mention this because this is not how I usually feel when I'm running. But I really liked it, and I hope that it happens again soon.

I dug out the heart monitor to train with, and I just need to sort how how it works again. I also finally broke down and replaced my running shoes. I will keep a careful log of how many miles I run in them so I don't have questions about when they need replacing. The New Balance store took my old shoes and will either donate them to Soles 4 Souls or send them to be recycled into playground surface. And now I don't have to figure out what to do with the old shoes. Yay!