Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Recap: Oct. 22-Oct. 28

Last full week in October.

Monday, Oct. 22: 35 minutes of walking

Grocery store and back. Exhausted.

Tuesday, Oct. 23: 18:27.42 of swimming

800m for a 2:18/100m. 2x100m, 2x200m, 2x100m; break in the midde for some hot tub time and to calm down my stomach. This went horribly (note to self: Mr. Goodbars before swim time? bad idea), but I got it in. Swimming after spending a good amount of time in a hot tub also makes your muscles feel really weird.

Wednesday, Oct. 24: Off

Our accountability is awful. That, and if I really want to get into the day: took car into shop, got rental car, friend came over (and stayed longer than expected), it snowed. No real good excuse, in other words.

Thursday, Oct. 25: 15 minutes of lifting

Another room lift done late at night. Crunches, abdominal leg raises, side leg lifts, calf raises, side db raises, bicep curls, tricep extensions, squats.

Friday, Oct. 26: 31 minutes of Wii Fit Plus

Was up way too late the night previous and therefore woke up much too late to squeeze in much else before work.

Saturday, Oct. 27: 25:21.08 of running

2.39 miles for a 10:36/mi. This was slower than the last time I did this run this month, but it was also a hell of a lot colder. My lungs don't like cold.

Sunday, Oct. 28: 30 minutes of Wii Fit Plus

Just to get something in.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Recap: Oct. 15-Oct. 21

This week was a bit more of a disaster, including two off days. Both days, to me, were understandable, but still upsetting.

Monday, Oct. 15: Off

"emotionally exhausted. it wasn't happening. on the plus side, ART appt says I'm good."

A bad family visit that I don't want to get into on here killed me to the point that I had no physical, emotional or mental strength to do squat.

Tuesday, Oct. 16: 16 minutes of Wii Fit Plus

"hey it's something." Happened late at night.

Wednesday, Oct. 17: 15 minutes of Wii Fit Plus

"didn't want to skip this." Happened right before work.

Thursday, Oct. 18: 24:34.25 of running

2.39 miles; 10:16/mi. This was hell cardiovascularly ... unsurprisingly, but it also felt really good. Also the hell hill in the neighborhood? It never really gets easier, but hot damn, it can get harder.

Friday, Oct. 19: 35 minutes of Wii Fit Plus

Was too tired to do anything else, but it was a good session; lots of new high scores.

Saturday, Oct. 20: 15 minutes of Wii Fit Plus

"just quickly squashed this in." Done late at night post-work.

Sunday, Oct. 21: Off

Didn't feel like it was a good idea after the car accident; just in case.

So yeah, not a good week, but I understand it. I also accept and own up to my off days and, quite honestly, don't regret them. This week's going slightly better, so yay for that.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Car Accident

Yesterday, on our way to a bar to watch the Vikings game (sounds like a bad joke, right?) we got rear-ended at a red light.

T's car is pretty broken, but thankfully her and I are ok.  A bit stiff but otherwise no neck injuries or anything like that.  

For being hit at nearly 30 mph, walking away with no injuries is pretty significant.  Furthermore, her Toyota Rav 4 suffered some damage but I think it's going to be okay.  And thankfully, the other guy is okay too.  Although he was really shaken up; literally, his hands were shaking to the point he dropped his paperwork.  We assured him that things were going to be okay and that we were fine.  No use yelling at the guy.

Bottom line is, this blog isn't just about our fitness.  It's about life.  Make sure to wear your seatbelts.  Take care of yourself.  And don't take things for granted.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Recap: Oct. 8-Oct.14

Still managing to move. It hasn't been impressive by any means and I'm kind of embarrassed to be posting what I'm doing, but a big part of me believes I need this break, mostly mentally more than anything.

Monday, Oct. 8: 27 minutes of Wii Fit Plus

The original plan was to swim, but Brandon was too tired to do so.

Tuesday, Oct. 9: 30 minutes of Wii Fit Plus

I hate that I consider Wii Fit an actual workout. I only feel marginally better about it because it's an available sport on BeginnerTriathlete.

More importantly, I also had an ART appointment this day for my back in which I learned my hips are out of whack due to lack of stretching. This REALLY annoyed me because I wanted to be a lot better about stretching this year and I failed miserably. This just shows me that I can't ever slack on that.

Wednesday, Oct. 10: 10:55.80 of running, 15 minutes of yoga

Yay! I ran! Only a mile to test things out for both of us, but it went okay. We also took it purposefully slow for that purpose. Also did the running and all sports mini workouts from the Yoga for Athletes DVD.

Thursday, Oct. 11: 18:13.98 of swimming

800m for a 2:16/100m. 2x100m, 1x200m, 2x50m, 1x200m, 1x100m. This swim was a major struggle and I also burped up breakfast, almost puking in the pool. Not pretty.

In other news, I also signed up for MX12, a members-only site/program that includes 12 of Chris McCormack's most effective training workouts. I saw it on Twitter, kind of hated the infomercial-cheesy site, but for $97, figured why not? The workouts look awesome (and brutal) and I can't wait to start doing them. Brandon and I figured that this would be the closest thing to coaching without hiring an actual coach (something that we can't afford). I also put forth a couple extra bucks per month for the VIP membership which includes access to a special Facebook page and spreecasts with Macca. If anything, it's lending itself to be an awesome community of triathletes that I look forward to interacting with more once I get back into serious training.

Friday, Oct. 12: 26 minutes of Wii Fit Plus

Put this off until almost midnight. Hate putting stuff off that late.

Saturday, Oct. 13: 21 minutes of Wii Fit Plus

Also late at night due to family business.

Sunday, Oct. 14: 21 minutes of Wii Fit Plus

From the workout log: "hate that this is all i've really done this week. but at least i did more of the yoga and strength"

Once again, nothing special. Week three so far isn't all that wonderful, but I'm hoping to change that soon.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Calf Recovery

I've been rehabbing my calf.  It's going pretty well.

Here's the deal.  All season long I've felt a twinge in my calf.  Only once during the season did it force me to stop a run.  So I didn't really think it was that big of deal.  That changed after the Denver 1/2 Marathon.

I was throwing a football around in the park with a friend and when I was running, I definitely felt the twinge.  The problem is, it forced me to come up limping.  I iced it and we tried running again the next day, but I made it about 10 feet before I felt pain.  Ok, I decided, this wasn't going to work.  

I rested it and iced it and elevated it, but nothing seemed to improve it.  I still felt that twinge.  Finally, we decided enough was enough.   With T recovering from back pain and my calf still bothering me, we made an appointment at Cherry Creek Spine and Sport to have someone take a look at us.  This clinic specializes in Active Release Therapy, or ART.  Our friend Steve in a Speedo has undergone this, and it comes very highly recommended.

I met with the doctor who told me this was a common injury among runners and I would recover quickly.  Telling me that I had significant scar tissue built up from 4 years of running, maybe improperly, maybe just the way I run, he explained to me the calf muscle.  He showed me that towards the bottom of the calf, the two muscles come together and unfortunately, blood flow becomes limited.  (I forgot the terms.  Dr. J can perhaps help?)  Furthermore, because of this area the injury is in, it can affect your hamstrings, hips, and your Achilles.  I guess it shows that everything in your body is truly connected.

After some vigorous work that had me groaning in pain (I broke the rule of a massage...don't groan) he showed me some stretches that would help me heal faster.  He said the scar tissue had to be broken down and once he broke it down, I could run to keep it loose and stretch it to keep the scar tissue from forming.  Sure enough, the day after he broke it down, I was able to run a mile.  It was only a mile, and it was slow, and there was some pain, but it wasn't so bad that I didn't have to stop.  

I have been consistent with the stretching and my calf, dare I say, is on the way to recovery!  I am going in to see him again tomorrow and we'll see where we're at.  I hope to be running more  seriously very soon.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Recap: Oct.1-Oct.7

Week one of October is in the books, and I managed to move every day. I'm still being cautious, so it's not impressive movement, mind you, but still.

Monday, Oct. 1: 15 min of yoga, 25 min of Wii Fit

Did the Yoga for Athletes DVD; running and all sports mini workouts. Wii Fit was mostly balance and aerobics. Stretching felt reeeeeally good.

Tuesday, Oct. 2: 24 min of lifting

Ahh, strength. Just a room lift, but I try to make them decent. Crunches, hamstring bridges, supermans, bicycles, squats, calf raises, side and front db raises, db curls, tricep kickbacks.

Wednesday, Oct. 3: 25 min of Wii Fit Plus

Oh hey, we forgot we had Wii Fit Plus. Games are more fun. We tried to run today, but Brandon's calf (and my back a little) were no bueno.

Thursday, Oct. 4: 28 min of lifting

I left this until way too late in the day. Supermans, crunches, bicycles, wall sits, leg lifts, front and side db raises, db overhead press, db curls, overhead tricep extensions.

Friday, Oct. 5: 26 min of Wii Fit Plus

I'm addicted, I'm not going to lie. Plus it snowed today, so blah to that.

Saturday, Oct. 6: 18:31.09 of swimming

Woo, an actual legit workout! 800m for a 2:19/100m. 2x100m, 2x200m, 2x100m. Ziti burps while swimming are also not pleasant. Not as bad as sushi burps, but still. Ugh.

Sunday, Oct. 7: 16 min of lifting

Almost forgot to get something in! Supermans, crunches, side crunches, hamstring bridges, leg raises, calf raises, side db raises, db chest press, db curls, tricep dips.

Nothing special and the part of me that loves adrenaline and sweat and heart-pounding exercise is not happy, but I'm doing something and right now for me, something is much better than nothing.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

September Round-Up

September was kind of a crappy month, so I'll make this short. Partially because I don't want to dwell on the crappy.

It started off okay - like we figured it would - and then two glorious weeks in Europe. And then our half-marathon where we broke down. Since then, ugh. We've tried to move, but it hasn't been anything spectacular.


Running: 31.87 mi
Swimming: 2600m (1.62 mi)
Cycling: 8.86 mi
Lifting: one session
Other: just over 23 hours of walking, a bit of throwing around a softball, "commuter cycling" (cycle-hire bikes in London), geocaching

Pretty sure that's my highest running total this year, but the cost it came at was not good. Swimming was ... eh and cycling was just one ride to and from work. But we had fun on our trip and life is truly what matters here.

For October, our goal is to only move, every day. At least 15 minutes of something, whether it be running (if we're allowed to; ART appointment on Tuesday), swimming, lifting, Wii Fit, whatever. So far, so good.

I'm also going to try and update what I've done each week to stay accountable; something I think I need more in my life.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

An injury. A real one.

I mentioned in my post-race recap that my calf was sore after the Denver 1/2 Marathon, although I didn't go into detail about it.  Welp, I will today.

After throwing around a football last week with my friend Jimi, I felt my calf just wasn't right.  I tried taking it easy, but after crawling on my bike trainer and trying to ride, I made it 2 minutes before the pain was just shooting throughout my calf.  It took that to determine that I am not just suffering from a minor calf injury.  This is something serious.

I took the weekend essentially off, putting my calf up, icing it, and hoping that would fix it.  This morning, we tested it out on a short run.  I made it a whopping 10 feet before I crumbled.  I am not going to run on an injured calf, so we turned it around.

Not going to lie, this really upsets me.  I don't know what the deal is, but I know rest is the only thing that will fix it.  As a precaution, I made an appointment with Cherry Creek Spine and Sport, which specializes in Active Release Therapy.  Let's hope this fixes it.

Race Recap: Denver Rock N Roll 1/2 Marathon

Yes, this is coming super late.  I've been bad blogging this year for some reason...

Running a 1/2 marathon two days after returning from Europe?  Might not be the best plan.  I got in one long run before we left for London, and that went well, so after honeymooning in Europe which involved a ridiculous amount of walking, we took an 11.5 hour flight back from London to L.A., followed by a 2.5 hour flight to Denver.  So that's 14 hours of not moving 2 days before the marathon.  :-/

On Friday, we went to the race expo.  This year it was a lot better organized.  We browsed all the booths, stopped by our good friends at Boulder Running Company, and won some tuna packets.  Yes, you read that right.  After that, we headed home and relaxed.  The idea was to take it easy the day before so that we could continue to rest our legs.

Saturday morning, we woke up and headed for downtown.  Like T mentioned, we had to park farther away due to the parking meters being active.  No big deal.  It was a beautiful morning and we were in good spirits.  Very important.  I know when I'm not in good spirits, or nervous, that it generally reflects on the race.   We made it to our corral, saw her friend Liz, and then the race started.  Here we go!

The First 5K
Ok, last year, we definitely took the first couple miles way too easily and it certainly bit us.  This year, we wanted to go out fast, but pacing ourselves.  The ultimate goal was 2:10:00, breaking 10 per mile and earning a PR.  Our next goal was a PR in the 13.1 mile distance.  Finally, failing that, it was to PR in the Denver 1/2.  So those first couple miles were important.

We hit the first mile about 9:50, which was where I wanted to be.  T looked ok, and I was feeling great.  I knew it was a long race, but hey.  Started off on the right foot.

In mile 2, we actually sped up, so I told T we needed to dial it back a bit.  We avoided the first water stop.

In mile 3, T had to take her first walking break.  I didn't mind, because we had made some great time.  I did make it clear that we wouldn't be able to sustain those all race.  

When we hit the 5K point, we were at 30:44, so still under a 10 per mile.  My optimism was still high.

Getting to the 10K
The hill of doom up 17th was a formidable foe last year, and while we killed it, it may have killed our race.  This year, we decided to walk up it.  I didn't mind, and knew if we could tear ass along 17th and make it to City Park, we had a good shot at our PR.  However, along 17th, T started to walk a bit more than she should have been.  At one point, I got a bit testy and she got upset.  I decided to not voice my frustrations anymore, but knew that if I didn't do a bit of pushing, our time would vanish.  Our margin of error was very thin.

When we turned into City Park, I was still feeling great.  I knew I could push it, make up a bit of time, and would be ok.  I didn't know about T though.  By this point, she had expressed some back pain, and I knew she was not doing well.  Earlier, we had agreed that if either felt better, we would let them go.  I started to think it was going to be me this year. 

T ran ahead of me, and I let her go.  I figured it would be a double-edged sword; I would give her a chance to cool off from our previous race argument and she'd feel confident knowing she could push it without me by her side.

2nd half of the race

By the 10K point, she was walking again, and we were at 1:04:00.  Our chance of 2:10 had slipped away and our 13.1 PR was in jeopardy.  However, I was determined to give it my all, so around mile 7, she told me to go.  I was still feeling good, although a bit taxed by now.  I was determined to go though.

I bounced out of City Park and made the turn.  This is another real grind.  You're essentially doing a mile and a half out and back.  You see people running past you, at fast paces, and it's easy to get demoralized.  I kept pressing on, not walking.  However, I was lonely.  I've run every race this year with T, and we had just spent a week and a half in Europe together.  Suddenly, I was without her, and it didn't feel right.  Knowing that a PR was most likely out of reach at this point, I made a decision.  I would walk/run until she caught up with me.  It was not a hard decision to make or rationalize.

She eventually caught up to me near mile 10, and I then learned how in pain her back really was.  I was amazed she was able to keep going, and it inspired me.  I also was going to be the pusher on this day, which I'm not always able to do.  I told my dad awhile back I'd be a better coach then a player, and I still think that's true.

I told T that she would have to push a bit, and she did the best she could, although we definitely did more walking than running.  I didn't mind.  

Rounding Cheeseman park, we came within a mile of the finish line.  T ran as best she could, and I told her cracking 2:30:00 was a possibility, and regardless, we could beat last years time.  She was skeptical, but I made her push the negative thoughts out of her mind and forced her to run hard to the end.  It was fun and crossing the finish line was wonderful.  I crossed at 2:29:59, just beating the 2:30:00 mark.  I shattered the time from last year by nearly 10 minutes.

Immediately post-race, we both noticed issues.  T's back was in massive pain, and as for me, my left calf was very sore.  I have had some nagging issues with this calf all year.  We collected our stuff and headed for the car, limping along very slowly.

Overall, this race has made us 0/2 in the 1/2 marathon.  Certainly our running training was not as good as it could have been (isn't that always the case?) but furthermore, another life event caused havoc on our running just before this race.  I don't regret it, because let's face it, life comes first for us.  We're happy, married, still fit and healthy.  A bad race does not reflect on that, I think.