Saturday, March 31, 2012

March Round-Up

Well, before doing the monthly totals, I should finish with my 30for30 update.

Long story short, challenge fail. Let's catch up from where I last left you ...

March 24: Run - 3.48 mi in 34:12.45
March 25: Swim - 1400m in 34:58.53
March 26: off - exhausted
March 27: off - work got in the way
March 28: Cycle - 10.83 mi in 44:36
March 29: off - passed out on the couch after work
March 30: Lift - 23:00
March 31: Run - 3.48 mi in 33:56.02

I think this month ended up wearing on me. I think doing the challenge was ultimately good because it helped me FINALLY build a base, something I've been kinda sorta trying to do for the past few years. However, I don't think I was honestly strong enough to do this to begin with. Good idea, but ultimately flawed for me.

That being said, the challenge did give me the kick in the ass I needed. This month's numbers? Were huge.

Running: 33.59 mi
Swimming: 5.62 mi
Cycling: 83.22 mi
Lifting: eight sessions
Other: three yoga sessions, one logged walk (plus several others)

I'm still trying to crack longer distances in running, but this unseasonable heat is just WEIRD and I'm not used to it yet. I'm working on it, but it's tricky.

That being said, longer distances shall be run this month as I've officially signed up for the 5mi race part of the Cherry Creek Sneak and will be signing up for the BolderBOULDER 10K ... probably within the next few weeks.

If this weather continues (all signs point to "yes," unfortunately. dang drought), hopefully April will bring as much progress ... with a slight break in plans for us to eat our way through Boston and watch our friend Kris run the marathon.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Silly Challenges

Or, alternatively, #30for30 update.

I know my off day on the 11th was a worthy use of my sole off day this month and 99% of me doesn't regret it.

The other 1% does because it wishes I could have used it today.

But first, let's pick up where we left off last time ...

March 12: Run - 3:48 mi in 34:35.29
March 13: Lift - 26:00; Yoga - 8:17.14 (with a 30 minute walk to/from grocery store)
March 14: Cycle - 8.55 mi in 54:33; Run - 1.05 mi in 10:06.74 (plus another 30:00 grocery round trip)
March 15: Cycle - 14.39 mi in 1:02:14
March 16: Swim - 550m in 11:31; Lift - 24:00
March 17: Run - 5.36 mi in 54:32.40
March 18: Swim - 2100m in 56:36.41
March 19: Yoga - 56:21.46
March 20: Swim - 900m in 23:20.87; Lift - 19:00
March 21: Cycle - trainer - 8.5 mi in 35:04
March 22: Run - 3.48 mi in 35:15.24
March 23: Lift - 30:00

As you can see by that last post (today), all I managed was a half hour of lifting, just barely getting in my 30 minutes. I was neglectful this week in both planning meals AND workouts (and it shows in my mood/motivation). I was aiming to either ride or swim/lift, ideally the latter. However, I forgot my gym bag at home when I went to work today and once I got home, my body had no intention of leaving the couch, due to the combined exhaustion of the week (partially the workouts; mostly work).

Yet I have this challenge that I'm doing. I didn't officially sign up for anything - I don't have to keep doing this, really. I only have the promise I made to myself to complete this challenge to kickstart my motivation. And that, for today, was enough to force myself to squeeze in a lift at home.

(side note: the 3/18 swim was EPIC for me. probably one of the longest swims i've ever done in training ... which is pretty sad if you think about the fact that i did a freaking 70.3 last year.)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

March Update

The weather has been absolutely fantastic this month, and in turn, my working out and eating have taken a dramatic 180 for the better.

I'm not doing the 30 in 30 challenge, but I've only taken two off days this month, and my on days have been ON. Things like a 5 mile run, the 45 minute treadmill sprint, a 2 a day here and there, or a mile swimming in the pool. Take your pick.

Furthermore, my diet has been cleaned up very well, and the weight is slowly starting to get shed. Stay tuned for more updates!

Monday, March 12, 2012

30 in 30 Update

Thanks to the magic of Twitter (come follow us - @hockeyspiral23 and @bgeist111) and the wonder of TriSports, I found a new blog to follow. Elle and Webb on the blog roll - Those two are doing a 30 in 30 challenge for March - work out for at least 30 minutes for 30 days in March.

The smart ones out there will realize that March has 31 days which means those who decide to do the challenge get one off day. Given that I knew I needed to kick my ass in gear, I decided to do the challenge (Brandon is not joining me).

So far, it's been absolutely wonderful ... until yesterday, but I'll get there. Here's what I've done so far:

March 1: Run - 2.39 mi in 26:12 (only day just shy of 30 ... counting it though b/c I found out about the challenge that evening)
March 2: Cycle - trainer - 19.01 mi in 1:22:34
March 3: Run - 5 mi in 57:12.91, Lift - 27:00
March 4: Swim - 1700m in 43:01.53
March 5: Run - 3.48 mi in 35:16.03, Yoga - 17:26.01
March 6: Cycle - trainer - 6.18 mi in 32:59
March 7: Swim - 900m in 21:18.57, Lift - 22:00
March 8: Cycle - trainer - 8.89 mi in 34:30
March 9: Cycle - 6.87 mi in 28:35, Run - 2.39 mi in 25:03.06
March 10: Swim - 1500m in 36:53.26, Lift - 18:00
March 11: OFF

Not bad numbers and for the most part, it's felt easy to do.

Except for yesterday. Yesterday ... was not a good day. I was tired in the morning, totally wanting my extra hour of sleep. Work was crazy stressful and I was legit sweating by the time I went on my lunch (super late). I also REALLY wanted to hit up Air Force for game three of their semifinal playoff series because I haven't been down there to see a hockey game all season which meant I would have to leave the apartment no later than 5:30 ... and I got off work at 3. AND the apartment NEEDED to be cleaned and a full, no-nonsense-let's-scrub-this-joint cleaning takes 80-90 minutes.

Trying to fit the longish run in I had planned? Felt like a chore. Felt like more of a chore than cleaning the apartment would, and that's just not a good thing. So, I did what I thought was the smarter thing and took the day off. Right now, I don't want exercise and working out to feel like a chore. It's been like that way too much in the past and it hasn't at all this month even though I had worked out for 11 days straight (including a swim on 2/29).

This, of course, means that 3/12-31 are going to be workout days, but I'm totally okay with that. I've already got my week planned out and everything.

Speaking of which, I need to get my ass off the computer and go for a run.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

B: Tempo/TT: Redux

On April 25 of last year, I had a post titled essentially the same thing.

I did Spinervals DVD 23.0 - Time Saver 1, workout B: Tempo/TT. I about died.

Because of that experience, I'd been putting off doing that exact workout again, even though I've done workout A (technique) a whole bunch and have done C (sprint/power) once or twice as well.

However, since I didn't have a lot of time to ride today and I needed to get in a tougher workout, I decided to chance B:Tempo/TT again.

And ... it was surprisingly easy. Granted, my legs still hated me through good chunks of it, but I didn't have nearly the lung/cardiovascular problems as I did last year.

Just proving once again that visible progress is the best progress to have.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Race #2 of the Season: Chilly Cheeks Duathlon #3

I don't know why I've been putting off this recap (besides being lazy about uploading photos), but I have. I'm also not very motivated to write this post, but write it I shall.

Way back on February 25, we had the last race in the series for Chilly Cheeks. We were a little apprehensive leading up as to what the weather would be like - it had snowed earlier that week - but other than being windy and chilly, it was sunny for race day. It wasn't ideal, but it also wasn't like how CC#1 was, so whatever.

Waking up that morning was tough. I hadn't gotten a lot of sleep that week and was up for 22 hours the previous day. Ouch, I know. In any case, we rose, got ready and drove over to Cherry Creek State Park for the race.

The transition area for #3 was the same point as #1 and we got there later than we normally would for, say, a tri and it showed with the lack of transition spots. We found what we thought was a good spot and set up.

My trans towel ended up getting DRENCHED. We soon realized why no one was over here - wet ground that just got wetter.

Brandon wasn't feeling well - we later found out he was in the early stages of a sinus infection - but he was putting on a brave face to start the race.

Getting ready to go.

While in transition, we met a friend of Kris and Mark's from Minnesota who had moved out here. She's also a multisport athlete and found us easily, given the crazy grip tape that we've put on Bob and Melon.

Right before 10am, they kicked us out of trans and had us line up for the bike start. Like the other two previous races in the series, our goal was to stick with each other as best as possible and race together.

The Bike

This didn't work out so well to start off. All of us cyclists went off in waves of about 10-15 people. Brandon shot out like a rocket (he later said that "no one else was going so I figured I might as well") but I had some issues getting Bob to shift properly. Silly Bob.

The bike was long - 10.8 miles and it felt like it. The hill in CCSP that I thought I'd conquered and had felt easy last few times I rode it? The death hill from Tri for the Cure? Turns out the few other times I'd ridden the death hill I didn't truly ride it up to the top. Still a killer. Still hate it.

Plus it was cold and windy and I was having a hell of a time trying to find my lungs. I know I've mentioned it before, but I have been diagnosed with sports-induced asthma. I don't use an inhaler because I hate the way they make my head feel when I take it and the symptoms are severely lessened the stronger I am cardiovascularly (i think i just made that up). However, given that I'm still in winter fluff mode and my cardio is nowhere near where it was, say, this past summer, the cold just hurt thatmuchmore. Ow.

The only "perk" (and I hesitate to call it that) was that Brandon was just as miserable. Moreso, even, as he had come to the painful realization that he shouldn't be racing and his day was done as soon as he got off the bike.

After what felt like one of the longest rides EVER and much windburn, as I later found out, I was off the bike.

(42:17, 15.3 mph, 161st overall)


Transition took a while as I was partially frozen from the windy bike and because I was talking with Brandon. Brandon wanted to continue but at the same time he didn't because he felt like crap; I said it was okay for him to DNF; he didn't believe me. We just about crossed the mat when he finally said, no, I can't do this. I tossed him my jacket, not wanting it anymore, told him I loved him (I think) and toddled off.


The Run

I felt lied to on the run. In the pre-race briefing, they said that the trail part of the run course was snowy, but packed snow and we shouldn't have an issue running through it.

Yeeah. By the time my slow ass got to it, it was a muddy, slushy, disgusting mess. I tried to run in the remaining snow as much as possible just for better traction. It was still horribly slow going, though.

I also started to feel an ouchy spot on my left achilles from where my timing chip was making sweet love with the zipper on the back of one of my new cycling leg warmers and making what I would find out later to be a blister baby. After the two mile point I readjusted things, opening up the leg warmer and putting the chip underneath it, but the damage had been done.

Plus it was warm enough to ditch my running hat, but windy enough to blow my hair all around everywhere. I think I spent half the run with hair in my face.

(I cut my hair short back in November at the end of the season and hadn't had to really deal with it since then since it's been toque season for running. However, I now know I either need to grow it out or chop it super short so it doesn't continue to drive me INSANE.)

The finish line was finally in sight, four miles later, uphill. Ugh. Still passed one more chick into the finish where the hubby was waiting.

(47:37, 11:55/mi, 163rd overall)

Overall Results:
164/201 (DU-open)
72/91 females
19/22 division (F29&UND)

Final Thoughts:

Ugh. Early season racing is tough ... especially when we both know that we kind of suck at this whole training through the holidays thing. We have the best of intentions every year, but every year life gets in the way. I think we'll learn that lesson this year and enjoy our holidays ... particularly because IM training starts in February 2013.

An Attitude Shift

As detailed in my previous blog, my February numbers were abysmal. Just embarrassing. Certainly not going to get anything done. What I've also learned is attitude adjustments and making changes to your routine are not easy.

At the Chilly Cheeks Duathlon #3, I had a first for me: a DNF. That's right, I did not finish the race. When I was out there on the bike, a combination of illness, wind, and the simple self acknowledgement that my training had been very weak and I quite frankly didn't belong on that course led to me pulling out of the race. It was one of the most humbling things I have ever had to do, and that is not an exaggeration.

So where does that leave me, you might ask?

Well, here's where it leaves me. I, at one point last year, was the fittest I have ever been. I was eating healthy, was at a very good weight, had respect from my peers and my family, thought I looked amazing in pictures, and was quite frankly very proud of myself. On February 29th, Leap Day (coincidence?), I swam, which was my first workout back since my illness, and decided that was it. I'm done slacking. I'm done not being a good athlete again.

But you've heard this mantra from me before. Time and again. Why should you believe me this time? It's a fair question. But here's why.

My numbers for March, even though it's only the 6th day, I'm already at 10 miles of running, nearly 10 miles of riding, and already got some weights in. Furthermore, today I'm going to do an hour of yoga and tomorrow hopefully some more lifting. Thursday will be riding, Friday will be more running, and Saturday will be swimming and lifting.

It's time to wield the broadsword. It's time to cut some pounds. It's time to put together a plan. And it's time to be proud of myself again.

Now I need to give myself a reason to do so.

February Recap

I thought February was actually a pretty good month. At the beginning of the month, I was lifting more, trying to have a good attitude, eat better, etc.

The numbers just don't add up.

Somehow, even though I only took 9 off days, my numbers are still abysmal for February. And to be honest, I have no explanation why.

Anyway, here they are:

Run - 12.25 miles
Bike - 19.38 miles
Swim - 3412 yards
Yoga - 1 hour 8 minutes
Strength training - 1 hour 48 minutes
Off days - 9

I did get sick and was out of commission for a few days, but still...those are just not good numbers.

I'm doing another blog post shortly to talk about how my attitude is different for March. And this time, I'm dead effing serious.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Belated TriSports Visit Post

Back a few months ago, we got one of those Schwaggle deals for our favoritest tri dealer ever, Obviously we had to use it.

Given the state of my bike shoes, I used my deal on new bike shoes. Brandon did the same. However, we wanted to make sure that they fit properly so we double-checked with TriSports to see that if we bought them, could we bring them in/send them back if they didn't fit okay? Obviously, their answer was yes.

We got them in the mail and they seemed to fit alright, but still, we wanted to be 100% sure. That meant a quick jaunt to Tucson in late January/early February.

While the visit was too short to get any good working out in, it was long enough to spend a good chunk of time at the physical TriSports location and, in my case, spend about $230 (really more, but we had a gift certificate that we got for our wedding to use).

$230 well worth it, though. Just loooooooooook at the amount of stuff we got:

Tri Upgrades

What you see:

- A hat (for Brandon) and visor (for myself). We both love the Headsweats stuff and wanted to be able to show a little love for TriSports back here in Colorado.
- A new swimsuit for me. I have a long torso so one-piece suits don't work so well for me. Enter the TYR Laguna Seca workout bikini. Have used it quite a bit and love it.
- New BodyGlide for Brandon.
- The Shimano WT-52 tri shoe I had gotten earlier and apparently fit fine, but I did need new cleats, so I got those. Yay.
- Some crazy expensive Sidi shoes that Brandon got. His initial Pearl Izumi shoes didn't quite fit, so he was able to get the Sidis for a huge discount because they had a little scuff on the toe. Also seen: new cleats.
- A Giro Advantage 2 aero helmet. Totally on a random whim because it was marked down almost two-thirds in price - again, because of a scuff. This is for Brandon. He better use it in a race this year or I may kill him.
- Teeny tiny little electrolyte pill dispensers. Coulda gotten the SaltStick brand ones, but meh. These were cheaper.
- A pair of DeSoto 400 mile bike shorts for me (Brandon had already gotten himself a pair). While ridiculously expensive, Tom Demerly's post about them for TriSports University completely sold me on them. I haven't given them a test yet, but the hubby has and he loves them.
- Not pictured: a new seat bag for Melon (Brandon's bike).

In the back is one of two reusable bags we ended up getting from them to schlep all of said stuff in. Since the company is one of the greenest around, they don't give you plastic bags - oh no, you get probably the biggest reusable bag I've ever seen. It's already seen some use here at Casa Baby Dino.

Also awesome: Sitting on the counter by the cash registers is Leanda Cave's trophy from winning IMAZ:

Tucson Trip
Tucson Trip
"I have won Ironman Arizona. I will win Ironman Hawaii. - Leanda Cave"

Saturday, March 3, 2012

February Round-Up

I still have my Chilly Cheeks #3 report to do and I'm aiming to get that out this week.

February is a short month (this year a little longer than usual, but still) and it was good in some respects and bad in others.

Before I explain, numbers!

Running: 14.28 mi
Swimming: 3.11 mi
Cycling: 26.32 mi
Lifting: six sessions
Other: two yoga sessions, one stint of geocaching*

- I ran a mile more than January. Improvement, yes, but totally not enough.
- Cycling miles went down, but the weather also got a lot crappier. That being said, I've started getting on the trainer - as hard as it's been - and I know that will help me get miles in when it's cold and windy and blah.
- Swimming went up a lot which I'm SUPER happy with.
- Lifting, while more than January, tapered off by the end of the month, which I'm not happy with.
- Yoga fell off by the wayside (boo) and I didn't have a lot of variety.

While February was better than January in some respects, it still leaves a lot of room for improvement in March, particularly for running. I have a goal of getting back to a 28:00 5K and as much as it pains me to say it about an early-season race, the BAA 5K I hope to do will probably be my best opportunity. It's in Boston (therefore at sea level) and, depending on where they take the course (and even if not), it will undoubtedly be a hell of a lot flatter than what I run around here.

I'm already off to a decent start in March - just under 8 miles of running and 19 miles on the bike three days in - and I really aim to keep it going.

*I don't necessarily think of geocaching as all that physical, but if BeginnerTriathlete lets me log it, then I will, dangit.