Wednesday, October 3, 2018

September Round-Up

I don't race, and it's crickets around here. Oops.

That being said, early plans and goals are starting to be formulated for next year, and I'm trying not to get too far ahead of myself in the planning and trying to stick with the here and now (a notorious problem of mine). But. There are plans for next year. Big plans. Scary plans.

But those are for later. For now, we have numbers.

Swimming: 10000m (6.21 mi)
Cycling: 122.45 mi
Running: 41.05 mi
Lifting: 13 sessions (3:54)
Other: four hikes (3:45), two walks (1:25), four yoga sessions (1:04)

While I didn't end up publishing them here, I did make mileage goals for last month. 10km swimming (check), 200 mi riding (nope), and 40 mi running (check). I, for some reason, had it in my head the last few days that my cycling goal was 150 miles, and that I could totally get in another 28 miles ... but it just didn't happen and I was beating myself up about it. Ugh, that's seriously just one ride. Why???? Then I saw it was actually 200 miles and I immediately felt a bit better.

Strength has continued to be good and I'm also thankful that the hiking has kept up as well. We did actually plan for hockey, but that took a backseat thanks to timing changes AND unexpected costs. Such is life.

The good news is, if I pick up the swimming just a little bit, I should be able to hit 100km again on the year which would be AMAZING. I'll probably get close to 400 run miles which is a little insane and also something I would love. If I stick with the longer rides when I can, I can also put in another year of 1000 miles on the bike which I would also be super pleased about.


So, October goals? Do I have them? Of course I do.

I'd like to keep hiking as long as I'm able (silly weather).

I'd like to try for hockey again.

I'd like to swim at least 12,000m.

I'd like to ride at least 100 mi. 

I'd like to run at least 40 mi.

Obviously those last three are minimums and I would love to hit more than that. However, the weather is changing and I might be traveling (let's not kid ourselves I definitely will be traveling). The bike miles are intentionally staying kind of low in case I have to hit the trainer more ... and I have to build up my tolerance for Skippy again.

Here's to the fall (my favorite running season), here's to goals, and here's to dreams. 

Friday, August 31, 2018

August Round-Up

Two blogs in one week whaaaaa? Crazy, I know. But I'm done working out for the day so I can do my monthly recap. Woo.

Swimming: 6000m (3.73 mi)
Cycling: 88.91 mi
Running: 25.27 mi
Lifting: 11 sessions (3:15)
Other: two hikes (2:45), five walks (4:35), three yoga sessions (:48)

As you can see, I hit two of my three mileage goals - swimming and running (and that last one only barely). Cycling ... ugh. I like riding my bike, but apparently I'm not finding ways to ride my bike either enough or longer. Or both. Probably both.

Lifting has been pretty consistent which I'm happy with. We almost managed hockey this month - had it scheduled for this past Thursday, but Brandon either caught a summer cold or summer allergies, and it knocked him out for a day or two. We decided while an easy run or bike was okay, hockey, with its stops and starts, probably was not.

I didn't hike nearly as much as I would have liked, but I'm a little squeamish about hiking on my own sometimes (why, I don't know) and Brandon's schedule was such that we didn't really have the opportunity to go on his days off.

That being said, the best part of August is that I only had one true day off ... which, given me, is pretty dang impressive, especially considering I had one week where what I did was pretty pathetic (comparatively speaking) and almost one week of travel. I will take that.

I'm continuing the mileage goals into September, but I haven't quite thought of them just yet. The true exciting thing is that we may graduate from stick/puck sessions to an actual drop-in. Eek!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Race #7 of the Season: Milk Run 5K

*taptaptap* This thing still on?

It's been an interesting summer ... year ... life ... and I will blog about it soon. Maybe. Hopefully.

In any case, we ran the Milk Run at the Minnesota State Fair this past Sunday. It went about as well as we thought it was going to (in ... not very).

The Milk Run has been a part of the fair for about 30 years now and Brandon has been talking about doing it for several years. We wanted to do it last year, but learned that it sold out stupid quick and never got the email for sign up last year. We figured that out and as soon as registration opened this spring, we signed up. If you ever want to do this race, do the same - it filled up in 12 hours.

We drove up to Minnesota to hang out for a few days prior, getting a quick run in at a rest stop on the way and riding our bikes a few days prior. 

Race morning, we grabbed food at Starbucks just for calories, found (free) street parking a few blocks away, and made sure we knew where we were going in the fairgrounds (yes, we got there probably too early. Yes, this happens all the time thanks to our triathlon background. No, it's never bad.)

Especially because it means smaller bathroom lines for pre-race business. And selfies.

Race photo to share with Skirt Sports. You may have already seen it on Facebook. Love it? All of it is new THIS SEASON! 306TREX for 15% off.

Sign with the Big Wheel in the background.

Our true feelings in the corral.

The race itself was lollipop-shaped. Out, into the neighborhoods around the UofM campus (St. Paul side), and back. The first (and therefore last) stretch up into campus smelled like poop ... probably thanks to the sheep on the hill next to us. The course itself had quite a few rolling hills.

The worst part, though, was the humidity. Oh dear sweet jeebus give me dry air and altitude any day. The humidity ended up hurting here and it killed me by the end of the day walking around the fair. Midwesterners, I have NO IDEA how you run in soup all the damn time. I admire you for it.

As neither of us felt that great, we didn't take this that hard. We ran, but I wouldn't argue that we raced. The results speak to that, too.

Final Stats:
Time: 33:48
42/83 division (F35-39)
325/750 gender (if my math is correct)
655/1276 overall

We got our free breakfast sandwich (which was gross) and then got our hand stamps to head back to the car to "shower" with wipes and change a bit before heading back into actually enjoy the fair.

Different hat, different shirt, different socks, no race belt, added a purse.

As it looks now, that might be be my last race of the season unless I add some random fall or winter 5K, but I'm kind of thinking meh. We'll see ...

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

July Round-Up

Long time, no write ... but I haven't been racing, and that seems like the usual time I write in here (other than these monthly recaps, of course). Maybe I should find more time to write in here. Or maybe I should let it go. Who blogs anymore anyway?

Anyway, numbers.

Swimming: 2100m (1.3 mi)
Cycling: 46.61 mi
Running: 18.41 mi
Lifting: eight sessions (2:26)
Other: five hikes (8:10), two sessions hockey (2:00), one walk (:25), one yoga session (:10)

So if I haven't been doing the usual, what have I been doing? Clearly a lot of hiking. I am seriously enjoying that this summer (fell back in love with it last summer and COMMITTED to doing more of it this year). We're also dipping our toes back in the hockey waters. Those two hours weren't games - just take-a-shot sessions - but we're working our way back to drop-ins. We're thinking that hockey twice a month might be manageable with our lives.

While I have enjoyed my, well, essential "laziness," I think I've finally had enough. As a result, I actually have a few mileage goals for August, but they should (ha, famous last words) be manageable:

2500m swimming
150 mi riding
25 mi running

Should be easy peasy, but it's me. And it's me lately. Here's hoping ...

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

June Round-Up

As I said in my last post, June kind of took a weird detour. So while I may have started out the month with some goals, they took a sharp left turn a little over halfway through. Still, I have numbers:

Swimming: 5500m (3.42 mi)
Cycling: 109.92 mi
Running: 27.24 mi
Lifting: 10 sessions (2:47)
Other: one session ice skating (:45), three hikes (3:50), one stint race volunteering (3:00), two yoga sessions (:46)

Clearly ... I didn't hit my goals (15k, 200mi, 50mi). Which I'm not upset about. Well, a little with swimming. That's fallen by the wayside some which I'm not terribly happy about.

I've done some longer rides and rides with friends (most of that mileage came on two rides) which I would love to continue on with as the summer goes on.

Running ... well ... I still like it so I'm still doing it, but I'm not doing much of it and I'm not running from the house. Because I kind of hate running from the house.

The best part of June was actually probably getting out on skates again. Hopefully by the end of the summer you'll actually see me play hockey once more. Hopefully.

As far as July goals go ... they are to:

- hike!
- try to get some more climbing in on the bike
- keep lifting
- try to swim at least once a week (and preferably open water)
- not run from the house if can be helped

I think those are quite manageable if I do say so myself ...

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Race #6 of the Season: Tri on the Plains

... a.k.a. one of the weirdest race experiences I've ever had.

Let's back up.

When I was considering my race season, I threw a whole bunch of random races I'd never done before. Let's go different, I thought. There were two different sprint tris I was looking at on June 24th - one was in Steamboat (Tri the Boat) and the other one was in Sterling (Tri on the Plains). I thought the one out east would be better and oh hey look, it's in a state park with another one on the way so I can hit two on the trip.* I registered for it right before the last price increase just so I actually did ... which was probably the first sign I shouldn't have registered in the first place.

I was attempting to put myself through a mini tri camp the weekend prior to the race. I scheduled everything and it was great. I had it go from Sunday through Wednesday ... and started it off with an almost 40 mile ride with a lot of climbing with friends on Saturday.

I slept in later than I wanted on Sunday (would have been so late had it been an *actual* tri camp), but I still went out for my run as planned. During said run ... which was later in the morning and therefore hotter ... and also fairly miserable because running just isn't where I want it to be ... I let my mind wander. I came to the conclusion that while I'm enjoying moving my body, I'm not enjoying actual, focused training. And part of that might be because I don't have a big, scary, purposeful goal on the horizon.

As a result, I would let myself just enjoy the rest of the summer. Go hike more. Not stress about everything I eat or do and OMG how am I going to fit in this run now when it's 100 degrees because I didn't wake up early enough to do so?. I in theory hoped to get through the rest of tri camp and the race and June ... but that didn't end up happening.

I knew I have enough base fitness to get through a sprint triathlon, so on the 23rd, we packed up and drove the few hours out to Sterling. I picked up my packet. I had my standard breakfast-for-dinner. I got decent sleep.

Sunday morning, we woke up a bit later than ideal, but still with plenty of time to get to North Sterling State Park, where the race was being held. I attempted to eat a breakfast sandwich from 7-11 pre-race ... but that didn't work. A Bobo's bar closer to race time worked much better.

This race may have been the smallest race I've ever done.

Quite possibly the smallest transition I've ever seen. Plus awesome clouds.

Pre-race smiley.

I think there were maybe 50 people competing ... and that includes all the relay competitors. And that might be generous. 

Walking to the swim.


Water was about 70 degrees, so not bad ... but the last time I'd been in open water was Santa Cruz ... so it took me a minute to get used to it. This picture was probably taken right as the water hit my back. I had my usual anxiety with the cold and my lungs and the water, but I bobbed my head and did a few practice strokes and figured I'd be fine once the race started (I've been around this block a lot).

There wasn't a lot of time from when we got in the water and when the race started - I didn't even have time to get relaxed enough to pee! The race director was explaining the course and went right into, "are you ready to race? Okay, 3, 2, 1, go!"


I started swimming and while everything was physically fine ... mentally ... race brain just wasn't kicking in. I was working on avoiding not being punched in the head (harder than you'd think with so few people racing ...), got out a ways (100ish yds according to Garmin) ... and stopped. Ostensibly to breast stroke for a second and sight (and notice that oh yay, one of the last people), because I did start back up for a second.

And then I stopped again and treaded water for a moment. I wasn't particularly enjoying myself and didn't particularly want to be last out of the water and just didn't particularly want to race. I just was not feeling it. So I made the decision to turn it.

As soon as I did, I felt lighter.

I swam back to the dock/shore, assuring the volunteers that I was fine. I told Brandon that I just wasn't feeling it and didn't want to continue and race and be miserable. I turned in my chip to Darrin from Racing Underground (who was providing the timing and whom I chatted with a bit pre-race) and waited for most people to start the bike before removing my things from transition.

We exited the park on the bike course and I did kind of regret not being out there on the bike, but other than that, had no regrets about pulling out.

I felt like I should regret the decision; I think Brandon was surprised at how okay I was at DNFing (really more of a false start).


I'm going to enjoy my summer. I've weeded out some races on the sidebar and the only two races I'm 100% for sure going to keep are the Milk Run (because I've paid for it) and the Blerch half because dude, fun! The others will probably not happen, but never say never, right?

I think I realized that I need a true mental break from triathlon and training. I've been doing it for 11 years and, if we're being honest with ourselves, seriously for seven or eight. With no true break.

I still believe I do want to race IRONMAN Wisconsin next year, but with the state of my head right now, there's no way I'll be able to show up to the start line adequately prepared, and I am not going to disrespect the race distance like that.

* I have a goal of hitting all of Colorado's state parks this year. I'm just about halfway through.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Race #5 of the Season: Skirt Sports 5K

... also known as the end of the Skirt Sports Ambassador Retreat, too.

My original plan with this race was to race it. I think in the beginning of the year I harbored hopes of PRing ... but I think my training made that unlikely and then the allergy disaster I went through a week or so ago made me question even racing it. Instead, I decided to pull a BolderBOULDER (and this race last year with the 10K) and find friends to run with instead and have fun.

So that is exactly what I did.

Pre-race selfie.

I started out with four other people - Erika, Jessi, Noelle, and Kristen - but soon realized we dropped Kristen. Well, no Skirt left behind, so I hung back (and actually went backward on the course) to wait for her to catch up. 

Kristen found, we chatted and ran (and walked) the rest of the way.

Over-exaggerating my running stride for Jennifer taking pictures. Or skipping. But probably the former.

Since this race ended up being all about the #fun, I leaped my way across the finish line.



Finish line photos courtesy Jen Allen.

Final Stats:
Time: 46:18.5
27/34 division (F30-39)
79/131 overall

Definitely my slowest ever 5K, but like the BolderBOULDER this year, tops in terms of fun.

Afterward, it was time for photos and cake and helping with the 13er turnaround and then brunch.

Post-race selfie with my race buddy, Kristen.

With one of the many pieces of Kim and Jake's cake that I ate.

Selfie with Nicole.

Emily hula-hooping behind cheering Skirts.

Cheer tunnel we did for the BOP 13er finishers.

Such an amazing weekend and I can't wait for next year to be able to do it all again!

And maybe actually do the 13er ...