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!


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Three years ago today...

It seems like just about everyone I know was racing this weekend! And today was the Marine Corps Marathon, the 3 year anniversary of when I ran it while injured back in 2011. I had to dig out some of the pictures and remember that bitterly cold day!

I wasn't sure I was even going to get to this point after being in pain for the 3 weeks prior to MCM!

 It's funny that I remember the pain, but I don't remember the heartbreaking feeling and agony so much anymore. I guess time does heal all wounds.

Getting that medal put over my neck, and having a poor Marine ask me if I was OK because I was simply sobbing, was one of the top moments in my athletic endeavors over these last 6 years!

I think I was in so much pain and fatigue here that I didn't get to flash the smile that I should have done after such an amazing feat!
I think I'm going to give the Marine Corps Marathon another visit in 2015. It's a lottery entry now, so I think I am going to register for the lottery and leave the rest up to God. If I can get in, then that is the sign that it's meant to be. If not, then I'll find a local marathon to run instead! :)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Recovery Report

The beginning of Recovery Week #2 was going well... until Wednesday! That was the day I slammed my left foot into my daughter's dresser. I'm not exactly sure what I did to the pinky toe and the area between it and the toe next to it, but it got black and blue and painful quite quickly! I didn't run that night, and since I had been up late the night before, I waited until the evening to try to swim. It was very hard to walk or even to put on shoes. Standing wasn't a problem, so I am pretty sure it wasn't broken, but it was nearly impossible to bend my pinky toe.

Thursday night I was able to swim, and then Friday I rode on the trainer without any pain. Saturday morning I decided to try to get in an 8 mile run, but as I was getting ready in the dark so as not to wake up my husband, I rammed that same pinky toe into the corner of my bed frame. There is a chance I may have said a few bad words! ;) I took my workout into the neighborhood just in case I wasn't able to walk or run - but surprisingly I didn't have pain once I started running.

I kept up like this through the weekend and into Recovery Week #3. The black and blue area migrated from the underneath of the pinky toe to the top of my foot under the 3rd and 4th toes. I could walk, but wearing some shoes was still a problem as was bending my toe. But I could run and bike and swim with no problem. Wednesday was a beautiful day and I took my run to the mountain and enjoyed a glorious hour of running.

Thursday morning I woke up and my toe was more noticeably sore. After my swim I decided it was time to take a few days off and rest the foot and toe. So that's what I've been doing this weekend. I have done my upper body and core workouts still (using an oldie but a goody DVD: Tamilee Webb's Tight on Time! I forgot how much I enjoy it!). In the meantime, I've been doing Epsom Salt soaks 3 times a day, which have been absolutely the best thing! And I've also been icing the area of my foot 2-3 times a day. I have much more range of motion in my toe now and it's only moderately sore now and then. I wore a shoe last night and today that I had not been able to wear last week!

I am planning to take off again tomorrow and evaluate come Monday. I don't want to push it, so I may just start with shorter runs. Next week was planned to be a Cut Back Week, but if I do try to workout again, I will make the workouts even shorter than that.

Is it annoying? Yes. Is it frustrating? Yes. Am I dying to be out in the gorgeous late October weather we are having? YES! But in the long run, I know that taking care of this little injury now is more important. I have no races on the calendar with the exception of a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day. It is a free race that has a number of distances available, so there is no pressure for me to run long if I don't feel like my toe/foot is 100%.

I am so glad that this did not happen before Augusta. SO glad! I'm very fortunate that I didn't experience any real injury or down time due to sickness or overuse during the 12 months that I was building up and training for the Half Ironman! This is my off-season, after all, so a little more down time won't kill me. Starting back from the beginning will be a pain, but it might end up making me stronger. And it's a good time to work on this strength training and yoga as well! :)

Happy Training, everyone! Or Happy Recovering, if you're clumsy like me! LOL

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ironman 70.3 Augusta - Professional pics

The professional pictures from my Half Ironman are in! Here are a few of my favorites!
Coming out of the water! So excited that I forgot to start taking off my cap, goggles, and wetsuit! But mostly I'm just happy that I am coming out alongside another person in my own wave!

I'm only in the left hand corner of this picture, but it shows the beautiful Savannah River behind me! And, look - another red cap!!
Heading out on the bike right after T1 - I was so nervous. The bike was my most intimidating part and I was unsure how it was going to go at this point!
Obviously more relaxed on the bike by this point! I think this is around mile 35?
Focused on the run - I think this was the first lap! I like that I look so strong here!
Pushing it in the finisher's chute! Almost to the finish line!
The finish line! I made it!


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Recovery Week #1 Complete!

So my plan to start back to gentle workouts last Monday was foiled last Sunday by what my husband called "a perfect day for running"! He actually told me that he couldn't believe I wasn't out running because it was so beautiful out there. So I did the only thing I could do - I donned my running gear, including my new Augusta 70.3 visor - and went for a short run!

Hubby was right!!
So I didn't take 7 complete days off, but more like 6 1/2! I'm sure that's not going to hurt anything!

The rest of the week I did 30 minute workouts - 2 swims, 2 bikes - and then this weekend I did a "long run" and a "long bike" of 60 minutes each. I made sure to take it nice and easy, though I did run at Stone Mountain yesterday so the hills were a nice challenge.

Everything seems to feel really good physically, and my energy level is pretty much back to normal, I think. And in all my new free time I'm able to get caught up on my long-neglected housework and really focus on getting my high schooler's transcripts in order! LOL

This coming week I will be upping my weekday workouts to 45 minutes, and my weekend workouts to 90 minutes. Again, I'm keeping it nice and easy. I am adding strength training back in as well. If that feels comfortable, then I will up it one more time the following week - 60 minutes and 2 hours. And that's where I'll stay through the end of the year, with a cutback week every 4th week.

So that will be the sum of my off-season, and then in January I'll start working on my goals for next season - speed!