Monday, April 26, 2010

Off Season Training: Week 4

What do you think of the new title for my non-training training? I figured that "off season" is a good title since I'm not actively in training for anything! This week's training was lots of fun!

Monday - rest
Tuesday - run (3.1 miles/31:12)
Wednesday - bike (6.31 miles/32:15)
Thursday - run (3.1 miles/31:44); ballet class (60:00)
Friday - swim (8 laps/15:43 - :40 rest interval)
Saturday - rest (unscheduled)
Sunday - bike (12.97 miles/1:05:53)

The bigger swimsuit came in this week and it is much better! It still feels snug but not too tight. Austin took a picture of me before we left for the pool:
The goggles are phenomenal! There was no leaking at ALL and I felt so much better in the water. And the swim cap really kept my hair back and away from hitting me in the face. I'm not sure if it was a coincidence, but I swam much faster! I think I'm going to see if Austin will take a video of me swimming so I can check my form. Or maybe I don't want to! LOL

My parents came to town this weekend and bought me a bike rack for my birthday, which was earlier this month! It is SO cool and so much better than trying to load the bike into the back of the van flat. It's easy to use and it holds the bike well. She got me a 2-bike rack so maybe one day I can take Austin to the park with me to ride.

I was supposed to race on Saturday morning, just a 5K, but our area had huge storms come through. I got up before dawn, picked up Sherry, and drove all the way out to the race site (35 miles one way), and waited in the rain, trying to decide what to do. I don't mind running in the rain, but the thunder and lightning were concerning me. Finally, about 20 minutes before race time, there were 3 lightning strikes within 5 minutes and we decided that we weren't going to risk it. As we drove home the weather seemed to clear up, so we tried to hit another race that we had seen advertised, but it had started earlier so we missed it.

Since I had that unexpected off day, I decided to try a long bike ride on Sunday afternoon. I wanted to see if I could go 12 miles, the distance of the bike portion of the triathlon I'm shooting for in 2011. The park was extremely busy due to the beautiful weather and several times I had to come to a complete stop, but I was able to get the full distance in plus some! That makes me feel better - I've done the distance for all 3 segments of the triathlon! Now I just have to practice putting them together. But that will have to wait for next spring! In the meantime, the biking and swimming are great for cross-training and fun!

Edited to add: My biking goal for this week was to finally use my water bottle! It sure looks pretty on my bike, I figured it was time to get brave enough to let go with one hand and try to reach for it! The first couple of attempts were not pretty! I am surprised I didn't end up in the lake! ;) But the last 2 times I did much better, and it was so nice to be able to wet my whistle!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Non-training Training: Week 3

Monday - rest
Tuesday - bike (3.1 miles/31:33)
Wednesday - swim (10 laps/20:31)
Thursday - run (3.1 miles/33:06)
Friday - rest (unscheduled)
Saturday - run (6.6 miles/1:09:23)
Sunday - bike (8.9 miles/43:00)

You may notice that I took an unscheduled day off on Friday. I was very sore still from going so fast at the race on Saturday, so I decided to listen to my body. It is hard to take a day off, but I'm so glad I did. My run on Saturday morning was still a challenge, but I think that was more due to the fact that I was out there at 7:15, having gotten up at 6 to eat, and that's just unpleasant no matter how you look at it! LOL

I decided to alter my non-training just a little bit. I was planning to do 2 bikes, 2 swims, and 2 runs each week. But I think I need another day of running instead, while I'm primarily racing this season. And the swimming is going a little better than I expected, so I will drop one of the swims and replace it with running.

My new swimsuit arrived today, but it feels too small. I've been told that it's supposed to be quite snug, but I've never worn a one piece competition suit before. So I have already ordered the next size up to try and see if it feels better, and then I'll return whichever one doesn't work! The swim cap feels fine, though a little funny. I'm anxious to see how it feels in the water! LOL And the new goggles give me a good suction as soon as I put them on my face, which, hopefully, will keep the water out of my eyes. I will get one of the kids to take a picture of me at the pool with all of my stuff on! LOL

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Learning Lessons

One of the things I like best about running (and biking/swimming now that I've taken those up on a regular basis, too) is that it has helped me learn a lot about myself, as long as I'm paying attention. For instance, I've learned that I'm stronger than I thought I was - mentally and physically. And I've learned that I can do things that I never thought I could do, like run a half-marathon!

But this week, I've had to learn a new lesson. And it's been a more challenging one. It's a lesson about my body. And actually, it's two lessons wrapped up into one.

The first part of the lesson is that I cannot run as fast as I possibly can and expect not to be in some good bit of pain. That's what I did on Saturday at the race - ran full out, as hard and as fast as I could. I guess that's what you're supposed to do at a race, right? Well, not so much for me. I'm really lucky that I didn't give myself an injury. I have been in a good amount of pain since Sunday - right around my vulnerable area: my knees. I didn't have any running scheduled until today (just biking and swimming) which was good rest for my knees. When I ran this morning, I sure felt it around my knees. It was uncomfortable, and I took it as a warning sign that I cannot repeat what I did on Saturday unless I want to be sidelined with an injury.

I'm a bit frustrated with myself because I KNOW this lesson. The last time I got injured, which was this time last year, it was because I started trying to go too fast. At the time I was increasing my mileage at the same time. This time it was just vanity and stupidity. My BFF is faster than me. Just about everyone is faster than me, and I was being a baby about it. The Penguin can tell me there's No Need for Speed, but I was feeling bad. It wasn't that anyone has said anything to me. It wasn't that I have a desperate desire to be faster. It was that I was worried about what people thought about me. I was afraid that people would look at my times and think I must not be working very hard because I'm so slow. Or that I'm lazy because I'm not actively trying to get faster.

See that next part of the lesson? It wasn't even about ME. It was about what I thought other people might think of me. That is such a hard lesson for me to learn, too. I care too much about what other people think. I need to learn to do things for me, and for the rewards that I feel within myself. I need to stop comparing myself to everyone else, and learn to be content with my own achievements. And I have to learn to accept the limitations of my body when it comes to my training. If I desire to work on increasing my speed, then I'm going to have to work on building it up slowly... like I did with my distance. My speed seems to be naturally increasing speed on its own as I get more experienced with running, and as my body gets stronger.

I have to be mindful of my long-term goals. I want to be a runner (and an overall active person) for years and years to come. If I want to accomplish that goal, I will have to learn to be content in who I am. And that is going to be a challenging task for me! Maybe even harder than running a half-marathon! ;)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Non-training training: Week 2

Nope, still no clever name! LOL This week was too busy to allow for creative thinking! Here is what my exercise looked like:

Monday - rest (and my birthday!)
Tuesday - run (3.1 miles/32:06)
Wednesday - bike (8.65 miles/38:03)
Thursday - swim (8 laps/21:49)
Friday - rest
Saturday - 10K race (6.2 miles/1:01:47 - PR!)
Sunday - bike (7.59 miles/39:45)

I was really pleased with this week's exercise! There was variety and it kept things interesting! I had a 10K race on Saturday, so I took Friday off to rest up for it. That apparently worked well, as I ran a personal record time!! I'm not totally focused on time, but it's nice to see that it comes a little bit on its own. I just have to be careful not to hurt myself - mostly my knees, and my foot that tries to give me a hard time.

Before the race - ended up ditching the jacket as it was warmer than I was expecting:
Almost to the finish line:

My mother-in-law sent me some money for my birthday, so I was able to order a swimsuit, cap, and new goggles! I got swimsuit recommendations from the Running of the Ears board, a message board for Disney fans who like to run (and bike, and swim!). I found the same suit at swimoutlet.com, which was recommended on the ROTE boards as well. I will post about the customer service when my order arrives.

I got to take my bike out to another park on Wednesday as my husband had taken the day off to allow me to go line up for a general admission concert I was attending that night as my birthday present. I went to a different park than the previous Saturday, the same one where I like to do my long runs. It was excellent for biking as well, the only problem being that it is more crowded and I had to weave in and out of people. Today I rode in the neighborhood since my husband has rehearsal for his band, but I did venture out on one of the streets that leads from my neighborhood and wraps around to the back side of the neighborhood. It was my first time on a "real" non-neighborhood road. It was a little scary, since I couldn't see cars coming up behind me.

My mom is going to buy a bike carrier for my van/car as my birthday present! I'm so excited! I have to contact the bike shop and ask them which one they would recommend! :) It'll be much easier than trying to put the bike in and out of the back of the van with the seats down! LOL

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Non-training training: Week 1

OK, I have to come up with a better name for this! LOL I'm not really training for anything... so can I call it training? Is it untraining? Well, whatever it could be called, this is what it looked like:

Monday - run (3.1 miles/30:55)
Tuesday - bike (6.43 miles/38:42)
Wednesday - run (3.1 miles/31:48)
Thursday - ballet class (60 minutes)
Friday - swim (9 laps/around 25 minutes)
Saturday - long run (6.45 miles/1:06:46)
Sunday - bike (8.67 miles/42:29)

Today (Sunday) was the first day that I got to take my bike somewhere to ride! I've been looking forward to this for MONTHS! I am still quite wobbly and unsteady, especially with turns, so I didn't want to try riding on a road in traffic just yet. I put the bike in the back of the van and headed over to a local park. It was awesome! Because it's Easter Sunday, the crowds were a little low, which was good. I only had one minor problem with a very sharp turn - when I realized I was going to fast, I hit the brakes, and went skidding into the gravel shoulder and a few tree branches. But there were no injuries, and even better - nobody was around to see me screw up! LOL

I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but on Tuesday, I got to bike with the older gentleman in my neighborhood. I had seen him last summer/fall when I was running and I'd wave as he flew past me on his bike. Then in December when he saw me on my bike, he asked if I wanted to ride together. I said sure but we'd have to wait for after the half-marathon. So Tuesday was the first time... but we had to ride in the neighborhood because the kids were home. He rode with me and we talked about bikes and being adult-onset athletes (he started riding 30 years ago). He is 78 years old! Yeah, you read that right!! And he rides 30 miles every other day! He rides circles around me. Literally. I must have been going so slowly that he had to ride in circles to keep from going crazy. We rode for a little while and when I had to go inside, he took off to finish his workout! I would love to ride more with him, but I'll have to get much stronger and faster to be able to keep up with him. And there's also the wobbly issue that I'll have to work on!

You might notice that there were no rest days this past week. That's only because I am re-working my schedule. My rest day will be on Monday now, and the other workouts are lower in duration/intensity to make up for the lack of a second rest day. I really want to be able to get my variety of workouts in during this spring! :) It's too much fun! Gracious, who am I??? :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

First steps towards a Triathlon

Or rather, I guess it would be a first swim.

Today the kids and I went to the pool for the first time since last fall. I have decided to spend some time this spring and summer getting more comfortable in the water. I'm not planning on the Triathlon until 2011, but I have a real problem with putting my face in the water, so the sooner I can get started, the better!

I wore my tankini and my speedo goggles from Target, so I'm sure the lifeguards thought I was a funny sight. I really need to work on my swimming gear! LOL The swimsuit is too big, thanks to all the training I've been doing, and it was a bit uncomfortable to swim in. I kept getting water in my goggles, so I probably need to invest in a decent pair (remember the whole "face in the water" thing???). And I need a swim cap because I kept whacking myself in the face with my ponytail (more on that later LOL).

The kids were thrilled to be back at the pool, and it wasn't very crowded so I could get a lap lane right next to where they were playing. I have been reading a little about swimming and realized there is something called a "rest interval". I am assuming that is a rest between laps. If that isn't right, I hope someone will correct me. I know I need to be able to swim the equivalent of 16 lengths/8 laps, so that's what I want to practice. But I also know that I can't currently do more than 2 lengths at a time right now. So my plan is to do 16 lengths (or more) each time I go to the pool, taking a break of 1-2 minutes after each lap (2 lengths). And I would assume that, over time, the rest interval will go down, and one day I'll be able to swim the entire thing without stopping. Hopefully that time will coincide to June 2011! :)

The first couple of laps were ugly. It's been so long since I've been swimming, and I didn't really even swim that much to begin with last fall. And I really do NOT like putting my face in the water. So I was flipping my face in and out of the water really fast, and whacking myself with my ponytail. And my goggles kept getting water in them which freaked me out. So I decided during one rest interval to watch the other folks who were swimming in lanes near me. I noticed their smooth movements and that they didn't raise their faces out of the water so high. I decided to try that, and to try to RELAX (as much as I can LOL). It did help... I felt less panicked during the later laps. I'm sure it will get better the more I practice! And I'm hoping to get to the pool 1-2 times a week during the spring and summer.

I ended up doing 18 lengths (9 laps) in about 25 minutes. I don't think that was terribly bad! At least not for a first time. I think the most I ever did last fall was 8-10 lengths! I don't know if I'm that much stronger, or if the rest intervals help that much, or if it's a combination of the two. I felt great after we got out of the pool... but as we approach 4 hours later, I'm starting to feel a bit sore! And I have to run tomorrow and bike on Sunday! LOL

But it's worth it! And now I want to get a decent swim suit, goggles, and cap and start really working it! ;)