Saturday, February 28, 2009

14 days & 12 training sessions...

In the past week I have settled into a routine. One that is delightfully more structured, but tiring. Hence my blog post neglectfulness as of late.

Over the course of 14 days I have logged a total of 12 training sessions. w00t!

In summary...

Swim: Continues to get better. I would hope so after 4mi. of it this month. Attitude makes much more of a difference then one would expect. I am learning that if I mentally feel like a swimmer I perform better, if not my form falls apart and I'm dead in the water.

Bike: Not even a fraction as fun indoors, but having a simulated workout with animated cyclists passing by to chase after on an LCD screen definitely helps. Just need to add distance in the coming month. Then hopefully back on Tangerine in not too long!

Run: Still absolutely love it! Trying to behave my training program is tough. Running anything under 5miles seems silly. Had my first experience running in a semi-blizzard at 5am Thursday morning. Wasn't as miserable as it could have been, but was glad to warm up when it was over.

Tri-gear has been on my mind this week. Once I can actually get on my bike again I will need pedals & road shoes (no more baskets and sneakers for me). Maybe some Aero-bars. And definitely a wetsuit. I've decided that spring seems closer when standing looking at said gear at the local bike shop. So, that is where I found myself at least twice this week.

In other news I have been very distracted by the Jersey design contest I have entered into on Team Voting started on Friday and so far my design is in the lead.

It has been titled "She loves hills". A combination of two of my Japan photos & conceptually based off of the daisy petal pulling tradition of "he loves me, he loves me not." Most cyclists love hills whether it be for the joy of coasting down them or the ability to gain on other competitors while climbing.

Come Friday the final vote will be tallied. I'm excited to see who wins. :) Having my design & photography printed on a jersey would be awesome, not to mention the gift certificate at TE. I'll keep you posted on how that turns out.

In closing for this week, something to pray for would be: health. My Beloved found out he had Pneumonia last week & still doesn't feel 100%. Definitely better then he was prior to anti-biotics though. In the last two days my lungs have felt a little iffy so I'm really hoping I haven't caught it. Could just be a normal cold in combination to stiffness in my swimming muscles or something along those lines, but I'm allowing myself more sleep & being mindful to take in plenty of fluids.

Time will tell what's what.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Too Funky for Myself...

I found it ironic that the song "Smells Like Funk" by the Black Eyed Peas was one that came into rotation on the ipod during my run with the Dick Beardsley group this morning. The reason for that being that before leaving the apartment I realized that I was, in four little words: Too Funky for Myself. What does this mean? It basically boils down to a handful of factors...

#1) When you run outdoors during the winter layered in tech gear so as to avoid frostbite I am convinced one sweats more then the average human being on this planet.

#2) If you alternate the days you swim with the days you run this gives your running gear time to dry between uses.

#3) When you still haven't entirely caught up on the routine flow of laundry since Japan the last thing you want to do is wash the tech clothes that have special washing requirements.

#4) There is always this lingering dialog between your normal psyche & the athletes mind which makes you question with intrigue: Just how many more days can I go without washing my running gear?

#5) You know that eventually you will reach the day when even if the houndstooth fleece, running tights & sports bra are dry they smell of your wonderful sweaty musk that only a dog could love.

Unfortunately #5 never happens on the same day. Which brings me back to the intrigue of #4.

It just so happened that today was the day that at 5:15 AM #5 slapped me upside the head. A sense of mortification rolled over me when I knew that it was too late to do anything about it(not even perfume could help) and that a group of runners I appreciate would either have to congratulate me on my funk or stay several yards away.

Thankfully a local news crew that had come by the store to tape a live segment on us crazy outdoor winter runners kept everyone pretty distracted so I was spared the scowls or pats on the back. Whew!

I was tempted to go for the 7mile route this morning, but I decided to play it safe. I know the uptake in training is going to take some adjusting and I'm trying not to revert back to my old ways. Injury prevention is key right now. So I stuck with the 5mile route which tracked a different way as I was finally able to keep some other 5milers in view to see which route they took. Their route bypasses that which I had been doing & is better lit with less ice on the path.

Sub-zero temperatures were my companion once again. With minimal wind it was manageable though. My face got chilled during parts of the run, but I know why. Breathing through a face-warmer limits the amount of oxygen I am able to take in and when I am running swiftly to keep within eye-sight of the ladies I am following that puts me at a disadvantage. From the looks of it I have escaped any possible frostbite for now.

My "swiftness" was not an illusion this morning. After returning home and mapping the new route I was able to calculate my pace which put me at 10min/mi which for me is really decent. It is possible I dipped below the 10min/mi pace, but I can't be 100% positive of that. I neglected to wear a watch because it freezes at these temps. All I had to go off of was the clock in the store & I know we left slightly later then usual due to the camera crew taping.

All in all, it was a good run for me. Seeing the sliver of the moon, the twinkling stars & people just happy to run made it well worth getting up so early.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Running Drunkard...

Icing conditions brought on by a week of falling rain in January have almost entirely melted in the beautiful well above -0 temperatures we have enjoyed so far this February.  Or so it looked when eyeing my traditional route via car prior to today. As it so happened, "Almost entirely" is more of a "Almost, sorta 75%" melted. 

One thing I have learned is that when faced with difficult conditions whether it be, falling rain or a blizzard while snowboarding, 20+ mph winds when running or fall & break your arse ice is that you can deal with it two ways. Either accept the challenge or go home and whine about it.

Today I accepted the challenge of navigating my way around the roughly 25% ice-clad path on my 6.5 mile scenic route.  Aside from the section at the underpass that I assume every ounce of water on the road above trickled down onto, it really wasn't that bad. I did slip a few times, but never fell.

I did realize though as I neared the end of my route & the sun was in position to cast a shadow I could view that my "navigating" around swaths of slippery h2o probably made me look more like a staggering drunkard in a hurry then a runner training for a marathon. 

Staggering or not, slipping or not, it was a beautiful run. And at a 10:28 pace I have no real complaints. :) 

Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentines & Training...

After a day out shopping last week with my sister I was surprised by all the random things people have thought up to put a heart on or shape into a heart for Valentine's Day.

It so happened that the following day my wonderful husband noticed that Ribeye was on sale at our local grocery store . In the shape of nothing other then a heart. Of course we bought it, not because we are cheesy romantic like that, but because we love steak. Mmmm, mmm.

On the swim,bike,run front I had greater hopes for last week, but I didn't quite get to everything I set out to. Even still I wasn't discouraged with what I had accomplished and am very confident those last lingering effects of my post-Japan cold are on their way out.

Establishing a new routine to account for all the tri & marathon training is under way. I have started to resign myself to the fact that getting up early to take Jeremy to work & then myself to the gym/pool will be a necessity for the next few months until the snow melts and we can use alternate modes of trasport. I am silly excited to get back on both the Bicycle and Motorcycle again.

This morning was another swimming attempt. I would put it under the classification of successful, but slow. I was able to complete 35laps which amounts to about 1mile. That's the farthest I have gone, that I can recall anyway. Last year I kept terrible record of my training sessions in general & given my tendancy to forget how many laps I've done doesn't help.

Tomorrow will tell how much soreness I will have from the added distance, but for now I'm just looking forward to tomorrow's run. :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

It's that time of the year again...

Time to chop of my hair in preparation for tri-season...


Time to get over the post holiday vacation laziness & decide what races to sign up for this year.

Time to get in the pool again. Act like I know what I'm doing. Try not to drown.

Time to make a Mac widget of my marathon training program & lock into it.

Time to accept the added clutter of tri gear in a one bedroom apartment.

Time to kiss my husband, head out the door & hope that he will still kiss me when I get home smelling like Chlorine, Sweat or some combination of the two. (He always does, I married a good man.)

It is nice to be home. I enjoyed every minute of Japan. It was a trip packed with adventure & one I will never forget. Perhaps because it feels as though I will be uploading trip picks forever. I've only reached folder #4 out of 12 folders on my memory. Click on the slideshow to the right or Here to view them.

Coming home I was fronted with a lot of changes. Nothing bad, just different.

In an effort to become more fit/comfortable for races in the future Jeremy has decided to take this year off. His chosen mode of exercise this season is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. As much as I enjoy beating myself up with training for my races, Jiu-jitsu just doesn't appeal to me.

So, as a couple we will be adjusting to training for our own sports alone. Which is a new thing for us. I will miss having my Beloved participating in races with me, but I want him to do what inspires him and if this is it, so be it.

As for me, I'm having a hard time deciding which half ironman to sign up for this season. There is one that is towards the middle of June and another (in Wisconsin) the end of July. I am guessing it will probably be June even though that gives me a month less to prep. but I have only heard good things about this race & since it is closer perhaps some of my family or friends will be able to come cheer for me.

So far this week I have:

Swam, Swum, Swimmed 750meters (I've come to the conclusion if it's to icky outside to run I will swim instead that day.)

Ran 8.25 miles This morning was another 5:30 am run with the Dick Beardsley Group. Beautiful run for me and really invigorating to be back running in familiar places.

Tomorrow is another swim day. Getting back in the pool on Monday for the first time in about 6months wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Its sort of like riding a bike with the exception of not remembering my breathing pattern or if I ever had one. lol. Good news is the locker-room at my gym has been remodeled and after going to an Onsen I'm not affraid of going there and getting my workout done. :)