Sunday, January 25, 2015

The piece of gear I need the most for 2015!

SO... I may have posted in a triathlon group asking how to train for a marathon while not giving up any of my cycling and swimming fitness! ROFL

But seriously, that made it clear what I need the most for 2015. This once piece of gear will make everything much easier and will solve all of my problems.

Nah, I'm just kidding. I don't think "cash" can be counted as gear.

Here is what I need:
Time Turner!!
If only I had a Time Turner then I could do ALL of the training! :D

Making Choices is Hard!

As I've been working on my overview for 2015 and what I want to accomplish with regards to my fitness, I'm discovering one very challenging truth: I don't want to give up anything!

Realistically, I know that I cannot plan any events until June. The next 4 months are going to be some of the busiest my family has ever experienced, and I need my focus to be at home. Financially, I need to stay within my budget while getting some maintenance done on my bike (new chain, possibly a new cassette if I have damaged my current one with the lack of replacing the chain before it got too stretched out), getting a new helmet (did you know they expire??), and replacing a few worn-out pieces of gear.

I have made my decision for my "Big Goal" for 2015 and while I am incredibly excited about the opportunity and extremely thankful for the people who are coming alongside me to make it financially feasible, I am finding it really hard to consider what I will be giving up in order to make this goal a reality.

I will be taking a step back from triathlon - which I LOVE - so I can focus on achieving that Marathon Maniac goal I attempted without success back in 2011. I know that this is the year to make it happen. I am physically stronger than I was back then, and much smarter about training and fitness. I know what it will take this time and I'm willing to do it!

But I will have to give up some things that I love - long Saturday morning bike rides with my triathlon friends being the biggest one. I will need Saturdays for long runs! And I will need to run 4 days per week, and swim and bike short distances/times once each week so I can have a full day to rest. I need to follow the training plan The Penguin has set before me (in his book, Marathoning for Mortals LOL). It's funny to think that I will actually be spending LESS time in training for a full marathon than I did for a Half Ironman!

Another thing I will have to give up is my swim and bike endurance. The training plan calls for 30-40 minutes of cross training! That's about half of my typical bike or swim workout that I do twice a week right now! LOL Yes, my running volume will increase (and I'm going to actually start increasing that now so that I have a nice running base built up before I step back to start at the beginning of the training plan) but it will be 6 workouts a week and currently I do 10 workouts a week!

It just dawned on me that I will have to give up my weekly Open Water Swim. Dang! I must really be hooked on triathlon to be missing THAT! LOL Maybe I'll have to go up there a couple times a month since that will be my rest day?!? ;)

I made so many friends in triathlon last year while training for Augusta! I am going to really miss training with them this year! :( But I realized how badly I want to make this Marathon Maniac goal a reality! It's that one thing that I set out to do but didn't reach it - and the timing seems to be perfect for it to happen THIS YEAR!! I can't wait!

What is YOUR Big Goal for 2015?!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Race Report: Chilly Willy 5K

Welcome to 2015 and my first race report of the New Year!

I have been looking forward to this small, local race for a couple of months! My husband has been doing Couch to 5K and I suggested that we do a race to give him extra motivation and to start off the year with a bang! He agreed! He hasn't run in more than 5 years, and he has developed a few health issues in the last 18 months, so this is a good way for him to ease back into things! I chose this particular race because it is fairly close to home, and we will earn a free Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving by doing it! :)

After my broken toe had recovered back in November, I decided that I wanted to work on speed for the upcoming triathlon season. I have had a very hard time fitting in my workouts, which is unusual for me, but we have never been through Nutcracker before. Next time, I'll know better what to expect. And then my mom took us to Disney World the week before Christmas, and I ran while I was there - but then the last night we were in the parks, I fell and really hurt my knees. It hurt terribly right after it happened (clumsy me @@) but at least I was able to get back to the resort with my daughter (because this happened at 2:30 AM LOL). When I got back home I took 4 days off, as I would for any injury. I ran for the first time on Christmas day and realized that it did not hurt to run at all - it only hurt when I knelt down on my right knee. The bruises were horrible, but they were only tender to the touch. I had been dreaming of a 5K PR, but I accepted that it might not happen at this race.

The forecast did not cooperate with us very well! Mid 40s and 60% chance of rain? Not very nice! And when we woke up this morning, the weather guy had not let us down. It was chilly and drizzling. I'm honestly shocked my husband didn't say forget it. He hadn't been feeling well this week and hadn't run since Tuesday. Yet he got up and did the best he could for a non-morning person!

We picked up our bibs and the cute race hoodies (will post a picture of them later - it's still raining @@) and then came back to the car to get out of the weather.
Hubby is ready to go. Or as ready as he'll ever be!

Selfie in the car trying to keep warm!
About 15 minutes before the start we got out of the car and hit the bathrooms and went to the start line. My Ironman friend was there to run her first race in more than 5 months, since she was injured and had to drop out of IMChoo. It was the first time I'd seen her in too long! I also met a lady from one of my Facebook triathlon groups... we both were wearing our Augusta 70.3 hats!

Hubby and I weren't running together - we tried that during his training and it didn't work too well! LOL But we started out together and for now, I'll see him at the finish. Once he gets more miles under his belt, he'll be faster than me again! I took off at a fairly good clip, as well as I could with the small crowd. It thinned out fairly quickly, though. I have had a couple of really good runs this week, so I decided to give it all I had, unless I started to feel any pain. I was wearing my old running shoes due to the weather, so I wasn't sure if I would feel any twinges related to the shoes.

 The drizzle was quite manageable when we started. The first mile or so was pretty much up hill. I was expecting this, though, because we were basically running the reverse route from the Super Sprint triathlon that I did last year. However, when we turned the corner around the mile 1 marker, we were greeted with a headwind. It was not run. But I was really focused. A few times I thought, "It's OK if I don't PR today." and even though that was true, I kept quickly reminding myself that I still needed to give it all I had! Every run or race (or workout in general) has a purpose, and this one was to try to PR. If I gave it all I had and didn't PR due to the weather or the course or my knee, then so be it. But to miss a PR because I didn't have the heart to give it all I had simply wouldn't do.

Once I hit the 2nd mile marker, I realized that I was on pace to set my PR and maybe even get an age group award. I didn't see many women ahead of me, and surely the ones I could see couldn't all be 40-44, right? LOL I remembered the course pretty well for the last mile and remembered that there was only one more uphill. But I also knew that I was starting to lose my momentum due to the headwind. I started telling myself, "I can do anything for 10 minutes!" ;)

Finally I hit that last hill on the last mile and made the final two turns - and there was the finish line only 1/10 of a mile away! A guy picked up his pace to pass me and I tried to keep up but I couldn't. However, I did increase my pace at the end and that was fun to cross the finish trying to catch him! I finally looked at my Garmin and I was pleased to see that I had my race PR - 28:31!! (My official time ended up being 28:39 because this was a gun start with a chip finish. Still a PR by about 21 seconds, and the time I will keep as my 5K PR. I ran a 28:18 at Disney World but that was completely flat and perfect weather and not in a race!) 

My Ironman friend soon followed behind me - completing her race with NO PAIN and in a very good time to boot! And then I see my hubby come down the stretch! We start calling out to him and he starts dancing and being all goofy! I wouldn't expect anything less from him! I'm so proud of him and his time was very strong as well!

Here he comes!!

We stayed for the awards since it was a fairly small field and, to my enormous surprise, I won my first OVERALL award! I was 2nd Masters Female (in other words, I was the 2nd fastest old lady in this race LOL). The reason I didn't see anyone else ahead of me who looked my age is because the Masters Female winner finished about 4 minutes before I did and looked very young. I should have asked for proof of age! ;) I can't describe how thrilled I am at getting this award!! I got a coffee mug, which I will use for hot chocolate, and a nice medal!

My hubby and I keep laughing at the word OVERALL being in all caps - on the internet you're yelling by using all caps so we say "OVERALL" in a very loud voice when we say it. And I've been saying it a lot. Too much, probably!

Frozen me with my medal and mug for being 2nd OVERALL female! :D
This race was, needless to say, fantastic! I felt strong throughout! I PRed on a decent course in less than ideal conditions. And at the finish line, I didn't feel like I was going to hurl. That was not the case when I had my previous 5K PRs! It feels like huge progress to me, and that is always a good feeling!

I have managed to break both of the ANT devices for my Garmin so I can't upload my workouts, but I am able to view some data directly on the watch. Check out what I saw when I looked at my mile breakdowns:

My Fastest Mile EVER!
It's incredible to me that I can run a sub 9 minute mile - and keep it up for an entire mile! Amazing! And that last 1/10 of a mile when I was trying to keep up with that guy? 8:10/mile! LOL I was trying my very best! :D

I am celebrating my OVERALL 2nd place Master's finish all day - and maybe into tomorrow. In case you see me, you may want to run the other way. Just a warning.

Hope everyone is having a very Happy New Year. I know 2015 is starting off on a great note for me!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Is it SPRING?!?!

In typical Georgia weather fashion, we have a miniature heat wave going on today! Thankfully, it's Thanksgiving week and we are off school for the week in preparation for the 7 Nutcracker shows in 3 days (plus 2 more mini shows on a 4th day and 14 hours of rehearsals over 2 more days).

So I did what I do: I went to the park for a run!!

It was a tad bit windy!
It was really a shame that this is a Cut-Back Week! I think I could have run for a few more miles in this gorgeous weather!! It is surely easy to be Thankful when it's 70 degrees and sunny at the end of November!!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I skipped a workout! And it's OK!

Yes, I know it's shocking, but today I did the unthinkable - I took an unplanned rest day!

It's been so cold this week, and I still managed to get out and get my workouts done, even though it meant rushing around like a mad woman to get it all in between lessons and housework and taxi mom duty!

I could have done the same today. But I didn't. The alarm went off for me to go to the pre-dawn swim, and I decided instead to make muffins for breakfast.

And that's OK!

And then we went on a field trip this morning and I had told myself I could ride on the trainer after we got home. But I was sort of tired. So I decided to put up my feet for awhile and rest before taxi mom duty today.

And that's OK!

The holiday season is fast approaching and I've always prided myself at being able to keep up with my workouts amidst all the hustle and bustle. But this year "hustle and bustle" is being taken to a whole new level! And it's the off-season. I love, love, love my workouts! They help to freshen my mind and rejuvenate my spirit! So when it's  causing me to stress me out even more, it's time to re-evaluate my plans. And today, that meant that I needed to skip a workout (or two! LOL).

And that's OK!

Tomorrow I will wake up - hopefully refreshed - and take my first ever pair of "running tights" out for their very first miles!

Because one (or two) skipped workouts doesn't mean that I'm slipping off the wagon! It just means that I need a break either in the number of workouts or the duration during this particularly busy season!

And that's OK!

Remember to enjoy your holidays! Enjoy your off-season! Enjoy your family! And enjoy your workouts!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Did we skip over autumn??

My lack of posting this past week was not a reflection of a bad week, but rather a good week where I could fit everything in I wanted to do - except blogging! I think sometimes I get caught up in feeling like I need to write a long, meaningful post when all I need to do is write down what's been going on. I have been slacking off in my training journal, too, which is annoying. I need to document everything so I can reflect on it later. I've learned such valuable information from my previous training logs! I don't want to miss this post 70.3 time when I will need it again later!

This past week my toe was still feeling fine (a random twinge now and then) so I increased mileage and I even got out to ride on the real roads with my training buddies! The group ride has moved to after lunch now that the weather is cooler, and it works out perfectly with our schooling and activities schedule. Of course, since that one gorgeous ride last Tuesday, the bottom has fallen out of our weather so the chance to ride on the roads has not come up on me again.

It appears that we have skipped over fall and gone directly into winter. This morning I hit the gym for the first time in around 6 months! I don't like using the treadmill, and I have a trainer for my bike now (obviously), but I keep a low-cost gym membership for days like today when it's too cold AND wet (I can usually do one or the other in a non-race situation). I also plan to go there to use the free weights when I 'grow out' of these 8 pounders I'm currently using. Though it's really a drag to have to go somewhere to do weights when I don't have much free time. Still, $12 a month is worth it to me for the winter (or for summer thunderstorm running).

Why, yes, I did wear my 70.3 gear. Otherwise how would anyone at the gym know I did a Half Ironman?!?!
You may remember I got this gym membership back in 2011 when my ITB injury occurred and I needed to be able to use a stationary bike and the elliptical. When I was allowed to start running again it was using intervals on the treadmill and it was simply torture. Until today I had never done anything but intervals on the treadmill - and since I'm technologically challenged, I would have to manually watch the time and change the speed. It was dreadful. But today I ran straight through except for one 30 second break halfway through to wipe myself off with the towel seen above. It actually wasn't all that bad! I started off more slowly that I would average normally and increased the speed every few minutes. I was sweating like crazy but I wasn't as bored as while doing intervals! I could just run. I wonder if that's how Forrest Gump felt??

So tomorrow is my swim and bike day. The bike ride has already been cancelled since our HIGH temperature for tomorrow will be in the mid 30s. In Georgia. In November. We don't have average highs in the 30s EVER. I will hit the trainer at some point. The pool is iffy. 20 degrees with wind chills in the low teens or single digits?? I'm just not sure I can do that. Maybe if I promise myself a nice hot cup of tea when I get home?? I'll be sure to keep you posted if I make it out or not! ;)

Stay bundled up wherever you are working out this week! Seems like it's unseasonably cold everywhere in the US!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

6 weeks ago tomorrow!

I simply cannot believe that 6 weeks ago tomorrow I was doing this:

Swimming 1.2 miles in a river!

Biking 56 miles - apparently with a crooked helmet!
Running 13.1 miles to cross under the best finish line ever!

Augusta 70.3 was only 6 weeks ago?!? It seems like an eternity! How am I doing since then?

Well, I'm pretty sure my toe was sprained. I ended up taking off from running and biking for an entire week. I did swim and did upper body and ab workouts and the ITB rehab routine to strengthen my hips, glutes, and hamstrings without putting pressure on the pinky toe. I also soaked my foot/feet in Epsom Salts which was positively amazing! I noticed so much more range of motion after these 15 minute soaks. I did it 3 times a day for 4-5 days before dropping back to twice a day and then once a day.

Halloween night I dressed up as a ballerina and wore ballet slippers (my vanity run amok - I could fit into my 15 year old's recital costume. Just because one CAN wear something doesn't mean one SHOULD. I was freezing and then I had to walk around with the parents. On roads. In ballet slippers. My toe was not happy with me). I took Motrin for 2 days and that also made a big difference.

I started back with running this week and cycling and the toe has felt just fine. My legs? Wow, how quickly we lose our endurance, huh? I ran 8 miles yesterday and biked 30 miles on the trainer today and it was definitely a challenge. I can't believe it, really. Very sad and frustrating.

Yet, I'm happy to be healthy and back in the game. The week I took off coincided to my mother being very sick and in the hospital. I wished so badly that I could work out my emotions with a bike or run, but I couldn't. I had to turn to the only real source of peace and strength in my world - God, of course! And He was faithful to get me through it. And Mom. She is doing much better now!

Speaking of that... I will be making a doctor appointment after the first of the year to get a check up. My mother has diabetes and didn't know it and became very ill - dangerously ill - because of it. This is now 3 generations of women in my family with diabetes. Since I had Gestational Diabetes with my last pregnancy, this puts me at a higher risk. I need to get tested! I'm going to be more carefully watching my diet in the meantime. I think I have the exercise part taken care of, but my genetics might trump it all.

If you haven't been for a check up recently - or in a long, long time - I encourage you to join me in starting 2015 off right with a full check up! :) That way we can all get to our finish lines together!