Friday, February 7, 2020

January Round Up

Oh, January. Usually the fresh, motivated start to the new year. For most people. This year? Not so much ...

Swimming: 13900m (8.64 mi)
Cycling: 104.59 mi
Running: 46.03 mi
Lifting: 31 sessions (5:43)
Other: one session erg (rowing)(:15:05), one session skiing (4:30), one session yoga (:14)

In terms of my usual numbers ... average swim month, below average bike month, and an okay-ish run month. I was successful with the daily (woo) and some great non-S/B/R activities. The month finished off really strong as well.

I dunno, this year's been weird. I'm pseudo-attempting to train as if for a full ... but I haven't officially committed to anything (and the race is 75% full so I may want to think about it) ... and the 70.3 is still so far away that it's hard to get motivated.

Plus I've been super blah - pretty much since Thanksgiving if we're being honest - and have started off February with a decent head cold too. 

Motivation in most things in my life - getting onto a regular schedule, moving from my desk, etc. - is not really present and I'm hoping that can change soon.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Race #1 of the Season: Rock 'N' Roll Arizona Half-Marathon

This race got put on the radar because we knew we needed to hit up the desert sometime in the early part of the new year to use some tickets in Tucson and also because B's mom is spending some of the winter in Scottsdale so it was a good excuse to go visit. I did wait and see if the medal was good (and it was), so sure, why not a half-mar?

The build was pretty terrible - I missed a few long runs ... and a few short ones ... and the week leading up to it was literally the worst - but the long runs I had gotten in had gone okay and I was really hoping I would have enough residual fitness left over from IMoo.

The original plan was for B to race the 5K on Saturday, but for some reason, we didn't sign up beforehand, and the line at the expo for registration was RIDICULOUS, so that didn't happen. Which is fine; he's not really ready to "race" a 5K right now anyway.

I did buy new shoes that Friday - tested out a new store in Gilbert - and in my immense wisdom, decided to try them out on race day.

(in general, I know this is horrible, but it's not like I had another chance to really try them out before we had to head back to Colorado and I really needed new shoes.)

I didn't think it would the absolute worst idea since there is a theory out there that you shouldn't need to break in shoes ... but when you go from a 10-11mm drop to a zero drop (Brooks Ghost to Altra Torin)? Yeahhh, you should probably have an adjustment period. Oops.

Anyway, woke up race morning early enough to get down to Tempe and park before we had to deal with a lot of traffic/road closures (and also to get B coffee). 

Last time I took a picture like this it was for an IMAZ banner ...

It was fairly chilly and windy, but I know that I'm a hot runner, so I was dressed for when the sun came out - singlet, arm warmers (that ended up coming off late race), skirt, compression socks, gaiter/buff for the ears. I also threw on a lot of sunscreen because I'm trying to get better about that (I forget for long runs sometimes).

Then ... a lot of standing around waiting as it took about 30 minutes from the first gun for me to finally start.

Creepin' on B who rode his bike around the course to cheer me on and take pics.

Right after the start. Those pink arm warmers made me easy to spot.

I started off fairly well, not walking until the mile 2 banner. I definitely noticed the drop effect of the shoes early in my calves/Achilles area, but it was okay and actually felt better to run than to walk. However, sometime in mile 3, my feet - particularly my left foot - started to get tingly. I'm not sure if they ever got numb, but it was a bit rough. I stopped a few times to adjust the tightness of my laces to see if that would help, and it definitely reflected in my mile times.

9:44, 9:36, 10:44, 12:11

I knew there was nothing to do but fight, so fight I did. I was pretty thankful that it felt better to run than walk since it forced me to keep running. I saw B at around mile 6.6 and his mom was able to make it there as well to say hi.

The rest of that mile was entirely uphill (thanks, Thomas Road).

9:51, 10:13, 10:55

Official 6.2 mile split: 1:02:39

About 7.25 to 8.25 was the wear blue mile. I have a few few Skirt sisters who work with them and I really don't know how I didn't cry. Got close. I also stopped for the one picture I took all race - of former Army Hockey player Derek Hines.

I missed the sign for Pat Tillman, but I heard people mention him/it. It's fortuitous that I heard it, since I really started paying attention to the signs and was able to catch this one.

I was super tempted to make the turn into the Desert Botanical Garden as we ran right past the entrance, but no, I decided to keep running.

We had another huge hill in the Papago Park area, but we were rewarded with super cool (Japanese?) drummers at the top.

10:40, 11:32, 10:42, 10:37

Official 10 mile split: 1:46:33

The tingly feeling eventually went away but the heel of my right foot had been hurting some ... but I just ran it out anyway. It did start to get quite warm, but I kept my arm warmers on as long as possible ... mostly because I didn't put sunscreen on under them. I did finally ditch them around mile 9ish though.

I saw B again a little after mile 11. The last bit of the race got a bit rough, but I just kept powering through. Especially after I saw my gross 12 mile split.

12:04, 10:36

Running/racing is so attractive. This is right before the final turn to the finish.

Final bit: :48.9

When I signed up for this race, I estimated my finish to be about a 2:20. That was a bit better than the last half I had run back in the middle of IM training in July. I thought I might do a few minutes better than that at one point, but alas, it was not to be.

Final Stats:
Time: 2:20:12
239/552 AG (F35-39)
1557/3775 gender
3519/6911 overall

Welp, nailed that prediction.

Tossed the legs up a light pole post-race. How much time must I spend in Tempe Beach Park?

In terms of races, this one wasn't bad. I'm actually pretty happy with how it went, all things considered. It makes me think that I can get solidly back in the mid 2:10s again. I would consider doing this actual race again, too. As long as the medal's pretty awesome.


Friday, January 10, 2020

2020 Goals

I've been putting off writing this post for a little while as I'm still trying to figure out what, if anything, I want my goals to be for 2020.

I haven't officially nailed down my race season yet (... part of the reason I haven't changed the sidebars yet. really need to do that ...) which is a huge part of it.

What I have so far is Rock N Roll Arizona half-marathon (... in just about a week) and IM 70.3 Memphis in October. Other than that? 

I'm hoping for IM Lake Placid in July - one of my baby cousins (not so baby now, clearly ...) was supposed to do it last year as his first but I was already signed up for Wisconsin, so I obviously couldn't go. Then, he developed blood clots in his legs (apparently a thing that's been going on for a while), so had to defer. Since he's in theory going to do it this year now ... I would love to race it with him. Even though I totally wasn't planning on racing another IM this year. I may have talked B into it, but maybe not. I haven't registered for it at least.

With all that being said ... goals?

Embrace the Hill. This was kind of a goal several years ago, even though I'm totally too lazy to go check and figure out when. 2014, maybe? If I end up doing Placid, it is hella hilly, including a 10-11 mile climb on each bike loop. Yeahhhhh ... looks like I need to learn to love climbing on the bike.

Drop my swim times. I've kind of just settled in at a pace that I would like to be faster. I think this is going to need a combination of swimming more frequently, swimming harder in some of those swims, and possibly some professional help. I want to keep up the volume to some extent, but I probably need to go from around three swims a week to four to five swims a week as well.

Keep working on my run. I've been doing the heart rate thing on my long runs for a little over a year now and I'm not sure it's entirely working. I'm going to keep at it, but I also need to keep working on speed beyond it. Or I also need to get professional medical help to see what the eff is going on with my lungs.

Lean out. My weight has apparently stabilized (which ... whatever fine), but I'm still a bit lumpier than I'd like in some areas. I've also got more muscle definition in other areas (and some in areas I've never seen before), but I'd like it to be a bit more evenly distributed.

Stay healthy and happy. This is a permanent goal. If I'm not either of those things, I'm not doing it right.

As for times ... would I like to get a half-marathon under 2:15 (or, hell, 2:20) again? Yes. Would I like to finally get another fucking sub-:30 5K? Yes. Would I like to continue PRing at the 70.3 (and also the 140.6) distance? Yes. If I don't, is it the end of the world? No. If I do the above, times might take care of themselves anyway.

Though if I can go sub-7 at Memphis, I'd be giddy as hell.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

December and 2019 Round Up

While December continued to be kind of a down month (a lot of travel and a small cold (as a result of said travel)) overall, it wasn't nearly as bad as past Decembers tend to be. I really wanted to try to rewrite my standard December script and I think I was mostly successful. Read on ...

Swimming: 10099.85m (6.28 mi)
Cycling: 93.71 mi
Running: 41.91 mi
Lifting: 31 sessions (5:33)
Other: one session elliptical (:10), one session erg/rowing machine (:15), one sessions snorkeling (:45), one "aquabike" class (:30), one game beach volleyball (1:00)

I successfully managed to hit my late-year sub-goal of swimming at least 10K every month this year by swimming the last two days of the month. That was way closer than I would have liked, but eh.

The bike ... that was a bit disappointing. I did have some issues - a flat, learning I need a new crank (so *that's* why my bike squeaks so damn much), weather ... but still. It's really no excuse.

I managed to run some, but I've missed a few long runs which isn't good since I have a half-marathon in mid-January. Still, I hit 40 miles again which means I only had one month under 40 miles this entire year (October). 

I successfully kept up with the daily and I had a whole lot of random other stuff, which I'm happy about. Oh, and that "aquabike" class? Think a spin bike in a pool. Yeah. Super weird but super fun. Did that in Mexico (went down for my cousin's wedding).

So that was December. What about the overall year?

Unlike last year, where I failed at pretty much all my goals, I pretty much nailed everything this year.

Stick to the training plan I've written? Mostly! Through IM training, I hit about 66% of my swims, 67% of my rides, and 77% of my runs. Which really isn't all that bad compared to what I've done in the past. For it being the first time I've coached myself, it's not bad.

Finish out the year healthy and happy? I would say so. Except for this lingering cold (dang travel), I'm healthy and I would mostly say happy. You know.

To complete a 10K swim on my birthday? SUCCESS. Oh man was that hard but YES. I DID IT.

To enjoy the process? ... I would say mostly. I did take a fairly business-like approach to training this year because I arguably had to ... which meant I didn't enjoy IMoo as much as I maybe normally would have. However, I don't think I really dreaded training as much as in the past, so I'm counting this one as sure.

To document the path? I did blog a lot more at least through the race, so yes. I did.

In general, though, I would say it was a successful year. PRed both the 70.3 and 140.6 distance. Had the best recovery after both races (well, until I did the aformentioned 10K swim a week after the 70.3. that wasn't smart) so far. 

Moreover, I'm still really excited and happy to be doing triathlons again, which is the best news of all. Especially after 2018.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

November Round Up

Still keeping things quiet over here (... super quiet in terms of this here bloggity blog ...), but I was able to get into a bit more of a consistent training load in November. Comparatively speaking.

Swimming: 12000m (7.46 mi)
Cycling: 135.19 mi
Running: 42.48 mi
Strength: 30 sessions (5:33)
Other: one hike (:30), one session erg (:05), one walk (3:00), two sessions yoga (:32)

Still managing over 10k of swimming a month and have managed to get back up to at least a 2k swim. Swim consistency isn't really a thing (didn't go at all last week), but I'm trying to get there.

I finally managed to get on the bike some AND got back up to a 25 mile ride. It wasn't without some drama - kept having shifting issues and then a flat - but I also figured out what was going on with good ol' Sweet Cheeks. B ended up breaking a spoke on a ride and I had shifting issues, so I took both bikes into the shop. We ended up just getting a new wheel for B (two broken spokes on the same wheel within six months just mean let's fucking replace the damn wheel) and I'm going to end up needing new cranks on my bike.

I guess something in the internal workings of the bike where the crank is keeps coming loose (which is why I've had this piece keep trying to come out on the crank arm for ages despite loctiting it down a whole bunch) which is screwing with my shifting. And probably the cause for all the squeaking I've been dealing with. So come January ... guess what I get to buy?

Running should have been a bit closer to 50 miles ... but well. I got up to a 6 mile long run as I think I might be running a half in Arizona in January. Time to up the mileage!

Strength is back to "normal" and the other ... well ... best laid plans.

The downside of this month is that the last week ended up being terrible. A snow storm and then a funk and (save the daily) I didn't work out or leave the house, really, for a few days.

December is off to an okay start but it also might have a lot of travel so we'll see how things end up going. As long as I don't completely stop moving (as tends to happen in December), I'm going to count it a win.

(On a side note, this is the most I've moved post-IM in any year. Ever.)

Friday, November 1, 2019

October Round Up

So, uh, October was a bit rough. And clearly kind of low key as I'm not blogging other than recaps. Oops.

Swimming: 10194.56m (6.3 mi)
Cycling: 39.69 mi
Running: 27.28 mi
Strength: 31 sessions (3:12)
Other: two hikes (1:45), one stint race volunteering (5:00), one row (:15.04), two walks (2:08), two sessions yoga (:32)

My new goal for the rest of the year is to swim at least 10k each month as I haven't yet gone under it. It was a bit of a struggle to hit that goal this month, but I did it and I really hope to the next two months as well. A late trip to Tucson staying at a hotel with the most gorgeous pool helped the goal out quite a bit. 

Cycling has been a bit rough. I had a great ride three days after IMoo and since then ... ugh. We did ride a bit of Mt. Lemmon on that aforementioned Tucson trip and it was the most fun I've had on my bike since IM. The trainer will most likely be in my future as the weather has gone to shit, but such is life.

Running has been more of a struggle than I would have liked, but I'm still getting out there for the most part. Even if it is just a mile on the stupid treadmill here and there.

Strength was light this month in terms of time spent due to the way the TIU daily was set up, but that's already changing, so that time should go up again.

I am happy I got quite a few non-swim/bike/run activities in, and I hope to continue that as well!

REALLY hoping to get back into some consistent movement/training here ... even though I know I'm coming up on the hardest part of the year. Mind over matter, right?

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

September Round Up

Well, as we all probably predicted, things dropped off drastically after IMoo. But, happily, not as bad as in past years. Read on ...

Swimming: 10551.76m (6.56 mi)
Cycling: 193.1 mi
Running: 53.92 mi
Strength: 29 sessions (4:46)
Other: one hike (3:00), one walk (1:15), one session yoga (:16)

My post-IM recovery has gone surprisingly well.

I didn't swim the first week after (... being super chafed meant I stayed out of the pool) and really didn't swim the second week either. I did help out with a swim safety video for IRONMAN which meant I got in some open-water swimming, but that was about it. However, I was bound and determined to get to five digit swim totals (as I have in every other month this year so far), so I fought past the mental block and got to the pool.

Really, swimming has been more mental than anything. I can run and bike out my front door? Swimming, however, takes so much effort. I would like to continue to try making it, though, and keep every month this year with at least 10k in the pool. Let's hope.

Cycling was hit or miss for me. First ride back which was the Wednesday post-race felt awesome. The second ride that week? Not so much. It has continued like that. I also haven't hit much over 13 miles since the race, which I would ideally like to change in October.

Running ... well, I've kept with the running every other day thing except for with two days. The Tuesday post-race (although that was more due to travel, really) and another random day where I went out for my run and just went "nope" and turned back around. But it's recovery, so whatever.

The only day I skipped my daily was race day, which I figured would happen. I'm super proud of myself for continuing on with that the whole month - it's meant no off days!

We did intend on playing hockey on the 24th, but B has a bowling league and I got talked into subbing and it went too late for us to try to make it to play hockey, too. However, if you notice, there are a few things in the "other" category - a nice hike we did on our anniversary, a walk (walking home from the mall coffee run), and some yoga I desperately needed.

The rest of September was mostly just moving as I felt, and I'm hoping to add in some more structure here in October. Obviously we'll see how it goes, but so far so good.