Wednesday, March 4, 2015

February 2015 - By the Numbers

I'm only a few days late! I actually calculated my numbers on time, but didn't have time to post it!

Swim - 7,850 meters (4.88 miles)

Bike - 323.87 miles

Run - 79.65 miles

Walk - 7.96 miles


Total = 416.36 miles

Not too bad considering the weather kept me from getting in all of my planned workouts! March is a very busy month for my family, so I'm hoping to be able to keep at this same level or even a little more!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The last 2 weeks in review!

February has certainly been an emotionally draining month so far, and it's only halfway done! And it's just so busy, busy, busy! The weather has been dreadful and we've had so much going on that I've been stuck on the trainer or treadmill most of the time. I really miss being outside, even in the cold weather. Due to my son's third shift job and needing to get lessons done with him before he goes to sleep, I have to be done and home by 8 AM. Soon the sun will be up early enough for me to go to the park, but until then, I have to use the gym. I am thankful that I kept my gym membership, however. I had been debating dropping it because it's $12 a month and I could find lots of stuff to do with that extra cash. But then I have spent 2-3 runs per week for the last 6 weeks at the gym and that works out to about $1 per visit - so that makes up for the spring/summer when I don't even go inside. :)

My regular schedule during this off-season has been to do an hour run on Monday and Wednesday, a mile swim on Tuesday and Thursday, a 90 minute ride on Tuesday and Thursday, and then a long run on Friday and a long ride on Saturday. I have been doing strength training on M-W-F, as well. Sunday is off. With the reduced gas prices, I've also been able to do my Zumba class on Wednesday nights. It seems like a lot, I'm sure. But it's a great schedule and I really enjoy it a lot! When April rolls around and I begin my base building for my fall marathons, I will be cutting back on the swimming and cycling. It will be hard, but this is what I need to do to reach my 2015 goals! I'm not sure I will know what to do with all of my free time! LOL

Part of the reason I'm pushing the cycling hard right now is that I would really, really like to do my first full century ride in April at the Tony Serrano Ride. You may remember this ride as my first metric century last year. If not, just click here to read about my experience last year.

My biggest concerns are my lack of time out on the roads and the loss of speed as a result of the lack of time on the roads. However, I did a 45 mile ride today in some strong winds and with some intense hills and averaged 13.7 mph. But even 14 mph means that I'd be out on the roads for over 7 hours, not even including the rest stops.  I would have to plan to be self-supporting at the end because I'm sure they will have packed up by the time I get done. But I'm not sure that even bothers me. I just want to do a full century ride this year, and this one is good timing. I will need to begin base building the week after the ride. Perfect! The only problem is that March is even busier for me than February. Luckily I do not have to commit until the end of March. If I'm unable to get in the long rides that I need, I will simply pass this year and do the Metric again.

I am really having withdrawls with my lack of racing this year! It's sort of pathetic. Today was the Run the Reagan Half Marathon - the one that I did last year as my 10th Half Marathon and where I got my PR. I missed running that SO badly. I did get to do something that I've wanted to do for several years: they keep the road closed for most of the daylight and let folks bike and walk and rollerblade on it! So even though it was windy and cool, I went out there and got in 3 1/2 loops! It was a lot of fun and beat staring at the trainer for 3 hours!.

So that's been what I've been up to for the last 2 weeks. This coming week is the last regular intensity week before another Cut-Back week and my long run on Friday will increase in distance one more time. I'm not sure how many miles I will do on Saturday's long ride but hopefully the weather will cooperate and I can go outside again.

We have a Winter Storm Watch for this Monday evening and Tuesday morning in Georgia! I really do hope it snows (once my family is all safe at home LOL). Hope everyone has a great week of workouts! Be safe!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

January 2015: By the Numbers

It's been a long time since I've done a By the Numbers post, but I'm hoping to keep up with it in 2015!

Swim - 14,350 meters (8.92 miles)

Bike - 406.37 miles

Run - 68.94 miles

Walk - 7.68 miles

Total = 491.91 miles!


What a great start to 2015! :)

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Cut Back Week review

This week was a Cut Back week for me - something I haven't had in awhile, because I haven't really needed one! That's what a lack of training will do for you! ;) But I've done pretty well since the beginning of the year and have been consistently hitting my workout goals, so now it's time to let the body rest and recover.

My running was all done on the treadmill this week. I will be so glad when the sun comes up early enough for me to run before lessons! I don't even mind running in the cold temps (well, cold for Georgia which might feel like spring for my northern friends), but I am not comfortable running in the early morning when it's dark. The one thing I like about the treadmill is that it's easier to do speed work that way!

I was able to do my group ride on Thursday, but Tuesday it was cancelled due to the weather so I hit the trainer in the garage. Today was my long ride and I was glad that some of my friends are in training for early season 70.3s so I could tag along for part of their long ride. I met them along the route and got in a nice 48 miler! It was chilly, but the sun was out for the first part of the ride which made it feel warmer. Once the sun went under the clouds, however, it was very cool. My toes were frozen by the time I got back.

Just a little bit cold - but this windbreaker is fantastic!
I got in 3 sessions of strength training this week - after my runs. For arms and abs, I've been using a DVD from Tamilee Webb (of Buns of Steel fame for all of my friends from the 80s/90s). And for legs I've been doing squats and lunges with some of the ITB rehab routine exercises.

I have also added back in my Zumba class! As much as I love Swim/Bike/Run, there is something about Zumba that makes me smile! I just love shaking my bootie!

And to end this Cut Back week, tomorrow I shall take a rest day - mostly because I rode 48 miles today and that was not even close to being a Cut Back week sort of mileage! (But when your friends can ride and you can't ride with them next weekend, and you couldn't ride with them last weekend... you do the mileage and take the next day off! It's just the way life works! LOL)

This coming week I will be doing the same distance/time that I did last week. There really is no sense in pushing the distances at this stage of the pre-season! I think it's better to slowly ramp up and keep a good base going into the spring. I put my dates into my training calendar this week and marathon training begins in June! I'm so excited!

Hope January has been a nice month for everyone! And may February be filled with fun and safe times on the roads, trails, at the gym, and in the water! :)

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.

ALL DA CASH!
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!