Sunday, March 31, 2013

March 2013 - By the Numbers

Swim - 5.24 miles
Bike - 53.14 miles
Run/Walk - 39.88 miles (building back up to running without intervals)

Yoga - 222 minutes (3 hours, 42 minutes)

Love seeing the swim and bike miles get back up there! :)

February 2013 - By the Numbers

Swim -2.24 miles
Bike - 38.47 miles
Run/Walk - 73.71 miles

Yoga - 167 minutes (2 hours, 47 minutes)

Forgot to put this up last month, probably due to all the excitement from coming home from Princess! :)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Cooking is dangerous.

I always knew there was a reason I shouldn't cook.

Last night while making homemade pizza, I dropped this

on my left foot. Right on the top.


It hurt really bad last night, and I took some motrin and put ice on it. This morning it feels better. I did more ice and will continue to do so today and tomorrow. Hoping to try to run on it on Monday.


Friday, March 29, 2013

Let the falling over begin! :)

Birthday present from my mom!

Today I had to take my bike in to the shop for its "new bike" adjustment. (More on that later) While I was there, I looked at some cycling shoes and pedals. This has been the Next Step that I've been considering for a few months now, but it's very intimidating! I have had two friends recently suggest that I might want to try Mountain Bike shoes/pedals to start because they are easier. The Bike Shop Guy (BSG) agreed that they can be easier. He showed me what I need, and gave me a price quote. I called my mom and asked her if that was within her budget for my birthday (which is next week) and she said it is and I should go for it! So within about 30 minutes, I was up on the trainer trying out my new set up! I got into the left side almost accidentally - I just pressed down to situate myself on the bike and "SNAP" I was in. The other side took a little more time but eventually I got it. After that, it was much easier! I think some time on the trainer to practice will make it second nature - and then I'll take it out on the neighborhood roads or the park to practice. I know that I will fall over at some point, that's inevitable! But I'm excited about this next step in my triathlon/cycling progression!

Now, as to the reason I needed to go to the bike shop today.

No laughing allowed.

Ok, so maybe a little laughing. ;)

Last week during a trainer ride, I noticed there was a little noise coming from my chain in the lower gears. I figured that meant it was time to take Mike in for his "new bike" adjustment. I'd had him almost 2 months and the BSG told me 6-8 weeks. But then I went to a bike maintenance clinic at the bike shop last week. It was a fantastic clinic (I don't think I blogged about it because it was right before my daughter's crazy birthday weekend) and it was totally free. I learned SO much and felt very empowered when it came to being able to do simple adjustments and repairs on my bike.

So yesterday when I got on my trainer and heard the noise again, I thought, "Hey! I can fix that!" So I got down and started messing around with the rear derailleur and ended up with the chain falling off between gears. Yes, my "fix" made everything much worse! LOL I tried to undo what I had done and got it a little bit better so I could finish my ride, but I decided I would take it in today.

I got to the bike shop and explained what I had done. They didn't laugh at me or make me feel stupid. In fact, when I told the story again to the guy who had actually done the maintenance clinic, he insisted that I go back so they could show me what I did wrong. Turns out, I just turned it the wrong way, and also way too much - so when I tried to undo it, I hadn't gone back far enough! So now I know which way to turn to adjust if it happens again - and I know that you don't typically turn it the way I did! :) I was so impressed that not only didn't they make me feel stupid, they actually wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing so I wouldn't make the same mistake again! I really do love this shop - it's much further away, but the customer service simply can't be beat! And I'd rather drive a little (or a lot) further to get that level of customer service!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Not exactly what I expected!

I decided I couldn't be intimidated by the wetsuit forever, so I decided to open up the package! It is much heavier/thicker than I was expecting. Of course, I'm not exactly sure what I was expecting so that's OK!

I put on my Team Tough Chik tri top and new tri shorts since that's what I'll be wearing underneath my wetsuit, in all likelihood.
It took awhile to get it on, and then once it was on, I felt like I was choking. So I took the top part down again and started again, moving the material up a little more. That seemed to do the trick! I wasn't suffocating nearly as much! LOL
So here I am... first time ever in a wetsuit! Feeling pretty tough, to be honest! It's not all that flattering, but I don't think they are on anyone! LOL
Now I need to find a place to try it out for a swim. Maybe I could do a couple of laps in the pool... more than that and I'd probably get overheated. But that would probably be enough to tell me if it feels good for the swim, I suppose! I guess I need to read up on wetsuits and how to use them! :)


Did I mention that I am getting a wetsuit for my birthday?

Well, it arrived today - in this packaging! Now I'm scared to open it!! LOL

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

It's Purple Day!

Wear your purple today to support those with epilepsy and to promote awareness of seizure disorders! We'll be wearing our purple today to support my son, Austin!

Thank you!!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Wickedly Awesome Trainer Ride!

Yesterday morning was very, very wet in my area of Georgia, and since I had a busy day ahead of me anyway, I decided to put Mike on the trainer and get in a decent workout that way! Boy, was I ever in for a surprise!

I didn't have a plan when I mounted my bike, but as I started warming up, I decided that I wanted to really start getting some serious workouts in on the trainer. I have sort of been taking it easy on the bike while I make sure I don't get hurt, but I think I'm beyond that point now with Mike. I think it's time to really work the legs so I can get stronger on those hills. Since I am not able to attend a spin class, I'll have to do the best I can at home.

I slowly worked my way up to my target RPMs (90-95) and then I began to adjust my gears to a more challenging one. I don't know if that means a higher or lower gear in the terminology, but I was moving to a gear that caused me to have to work my legs harder. When I found the gear that required a decent effort but still allowed me to maintain my RPMs, I settled in for the miles.

I knew I wanted to do at least 13 miles so I had a way to go. But I had some tunes to listen to and I got busy! It was hard work and I was sweating up a storm by the time I got to 13 miles, but it felt SO great! I decided to tack on another mile at an easier gear and lower RPM for a cool down, so I ended up with 14 miles, of which I think 10 were a really good quality! Next time I work out on the bike, I'll be able to do this routine (1 mile to warm up, then the workout, then 1 mile to cool down) and make more of the miles count!

I'm really getting excited about my cycling work this spring!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I won! I won!

I found out today that I won a prize from the Race 2 Remember Virtual 5K/10K for Alzheimer's Research! I got to select my prize and there are so many great ones that it was difficult to choose! But I finally ended up picking the skirt/compression socks prize pack from Lunatik Athletics!

I am getting this adorable skirt and these great matching socks! I wish I could save the pictures and post them here, but you should go over and check out the website anyway! :)

Can't wait to get them and try them out! I will definitely post a review as soon as I am able to take it for a test run!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Race Report: 2013 Fallen Heroes of Georgia 5K

Yesterday was a beautiful late winter day in Georgia - perfect weather for the Fallen Heroes of Georgia race! I was really glad, too, since this race hasn't had the best of luck when it comes to weather! But this 5th running was blessed with absolutely ideal racing conditions!

I did this race with my friend, Kelley, who did the Lanier Under the Lights 5K with me back in November. She took 5 minutes off her time for that race! She did a fantastic job!

We arrived an hour early and that hour passed by so quickly! We got a few pictures, and then went over to the corrals!

Photo op! :)

"Intermediate runners?" - cracked me up!

Ready to race!! 

I have said before that they need to add additional corrals because 8:45-14:30 is too large of a gap to be lining up together. Now, I don't know if people self-adjusted themselves in the corrals or what, but I don't feel like we did nearly as much weaving this year. We did a 1/1 interval pretty much through the first 2 miles and it didn't seem to be a problem. Maybe others who have done this race before figured it out!

This year's shirt is by far my favorite!  It doesn't hurt that it's in 'my color'! :) How nice of them!

I'll be back next year for sure! :) I pray there won't be any names added to the back of shirt for next year's event!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The end of the intervals

Today I completed Week 6 of the Couch to 5K training program. This means that, Lord willing, the time for walking intervals is behind me!

Today I ran 2.25 miles without stopping (not even for water because I'm obsessive like that - and it was cold enough to get away with it!). It was an incredible feeling! I'm not sure why that is. But it was awesome. And everything felt good - no twinges in my knees and even my shin/calf/hamstring on the left side cooperated!

I won't run for a couple of days now because I have a very busy weekend ahead of me!

Saturday is the Fallen Heroes of Georgia 5K/10K/1K! I have participated in this race since its inception back in 2009! So yes, this is the 5th anniversary! This year I'm going to walk the 5K with my friend, Kelley!

And the reason I'm walking the 5K is because I have to leave straight from there to go to Shake It for a Cure, a Zumbathon event put on by my Zumba instructor! This is her 2nd annual event - I missed it last year because we were celebrating Riley's 13th birthday, but I am not going to miss out this year! :)

If you are in the Atlanta area, please consider coming to either (or both!!) of these events this Saturday!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Taking the road bike on the road

I meant to bring my camera today. I really did. This was an occasion worthy of documenting. My first true ride on the roads. No bike paths - just me and the roads that I have driven on near my home!

And then I forgot the camera. UGH.

So you'll have to bear with me as I do my best to describe my experience on this morning's ride, without visual aids. Bummer. Blog posts are much more interesting with pictures.

My non-race Saturdays will now be filled with cycling - lots and lots of cycling! 2013 is the Year of the Bike! My Moms Run This Town chapter likes to meet for group runs on Saturday but today, I needed to bike! One of the ladies that ran Stone Mountain with me asked if I'd like to bike with her today. She has trained for tris in our area and she has a good 12 mile route. I said, "Heck, yeah!"

And then I got scared.

Temps around 40? Cars coming up behind me going very fast? Hills? SCARY!

But I want to get better at riding. Mike is a comfy bike and he deserves to spend some time on the roads! And I want to learn how to handle hills better so when I come to them in races (and I will, because this is North Georgia!), I won't lose so much speed and momentum! I'm only going to get better by actually getting out there and riding on the hills! I don't think the time on the stationary bike helps much. Maybe if I had a spin class or something? But not just the trainer by itself. Though it's better than nothing for sure!

So I met my friend at the park and we took off - OUT the park and onto the roads! Some of the same roads I had just driven to get to the park! YIKES! There wasn't much traffic out there, thank goodness, and I didn't feel scared by the cars that did pass. They were nice enough to give me a wide berth. My friend is quite the speedy cyclist (I had warned her that I was slow, but I'm not sure if she realized how slow until today LOL), but she waited for me whenever it was time to turn or I got too far behind! How nice! I didn't feel frustrated, and I think riding with her pushed me a little harder than I would have on my own. :)

I got back to the park feeling accomplished and excited! My legs didn't hurt, my wrists didn't hurt, and my hands hadn't gotten numb!! YAY! Mike the Bike ROCKS!

We are going to try to ride together when we can... she is training for her first full marathon. But I'm feeling much more confident about trying to get out on my own to ride on the roads, too! Maybe! LOL Regardless, today felt great and I'm excited about the weather warming up so I can spend more time out on the bike!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Race Report: Race 2 Remember Virtual 5K

I was so excited to have a chance to participate in this virtual race for Alzheimer's research! My mother-in-law was diagnosed with Alzheimer's back in the fall of 2012, and the impact it has had on our family has been great. I know many friends who have been affected by this disease as well, and I am glad to have the opportunity to be able to run in support of them.

Today was also special because it was my first 2 mile run without stopping for a walk break. I haven't done that since the middle of 2011 when I started the full marathon training which eventually led to my IT Band injury. I posted yesterday that I was a bit intimidated, and I was. But then I decided to focus on my mother-in-law, and I spent the run praying for her and for my husband and his sister. For all of the family and friends of my mother-in-law who love her dearly and are standing with her as she deals with this difficult diagnosis.

And the miles just drifted by! Before I knew it I was done! I had done a walking warm-up, so I finished out with some more walking to cool down and complete the 5K distance! It was a great feeling, and so far my legs feel just fine!

This one's for you Mama Ruth! :)
My first mile was 10:53 and my second mile was 10:10. Not as slow as I was shooting for so I hope my legs don't pay the price later. Thankfully I have 2 days before I run again to recover if that was too much on them.

I should have let the satellite reset before I took the picture... 43 minute pace? LOL
I recorded my official time, so all that's left to do is wait for the medal to be shipped out after St. Patrick's Day and then see if I happened to win any of the prizes! :) But the most important part is done - the money is donated to a good cause, and I logged the miles in honor of my loved one! :)

It's not too late to join me! Click here to learn more about this virtual race (you can run OR walk!!), see all the prizes you can win, and get signed up!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Not-quite-the-couch to 5K

In my attempt to get back to running without intervals, I decided to go back to my roots and use the Couch to 5K plan. I wanted the structure of a 'plan' but since I have plenty of time before my target race (the 20th anniversary Dacula Memorial Day 5K) I am not really concerned about how much time it will take to build back up to running a nonstop 5K.

I'm finding that it's fun to go back through the plan again! I started last week with "Week 4" since it most closely resembled the intervals I was doing for the half marathon. This week, "Week 5" has the first nonstop run, which I am scheduled to do tomorrow. I remember how intimidating it was the first time, and it's no different this time. I am flat-out intimidated to run a nonstop 2 miles tomorrow!

But this time I have the benefit of experience. I know that I can do it because I have done it before. Last time when I was really starting from scratch, it was completely new and I was untested. Now that was scary!

But now, it's just a matter of not pushing myself too hard and allowing myself to go "low and slow" again. I'm finding that to be quite the challenge! My body has been doing intervals for so long that I've gotten comfortable running faster because I won't be running for long. Now I have to take a step back to running slowly until I am able to run longer. I think it will be worth it! :)

I'll be sure to update tomorrow when I'm done. My only concern is that I still have a lot of tightness in my left leg. I'm starting to wonder if I should take some time off and rest up a bit with yoga and stuff? I guess tomorrow's run and Saturday's bike ride will let me know! I'll listen to my body - I've learned that much!

By the way, the 2 miles that I'm running nonstop tomorrow will be part of the 5K I'm running as part of the Race2Remember Virtual 5K/10K! It's not too late to sign up and participate! All of the donations go to support Alzheimer's research!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What's next?

Now that the half marathons are behind me, I am turning my attention back to triathlon. Back in 2011 after I completed my first triathlon, I knew that I really enjoyed the entire thing so much. I never felt stronger than I did while I was training for the triathlon, and I really enjoyed the mental switching gears for each event that kept me from getting bored. But at the time I had already registered for 2 full marathons (and would add the Goofy Challenge a few weeks later). Then the injury hit. And the recovery.

I did go on to complete my second triathlon last fall, and while it was fun and exciting, mentally I was plagued with issues. The last year or so has been a very big challenge for me mentally and emotionally and that triathlon felt like the focal point for all of that stress.

I had the half marathons in January and February and those were important accomplishments for me. Knowing that I could complete that distance again is a good feeling. And completing the Coast to Coast Challenge has almost felt like a conclusion to all of the craziness that has been going on.

Now it's time to refocus. There are several sprint triathlons that I have my eye on for this year. The first one, Iron Girl, is out for this year. Once again it falls on the day of my daughters' dance recitals. I could probably make it back in time, but I am a backstage mom for my younger daughter's class. As you all probably know, she has autism. She has done great backstage for the last couple of recitals, but this year for the first time she will have to dance in 3 dances, with costume changes for each one. I need to be able to be back there with her and on my best game. So Iron Girl will have to wait. Maybe in 2014 it will be on a different weekend from our recitals.

The next one on my radar is My First/My Next Triathlon - the one I did back in 2011. I would be going back as an 'experienced' triathlete. The only concern for this one is the lack of preparation time. It is in early June, and for the next month or so we are doing a huge remodel on the interior of our house. I'm not sure I need the additional stress of a race looming. Also, I have a bit of fear associated with that race because of the huge bike crash near me when I did it.

The race I know I definitely want to do is the Acworth Women's Triathlon. I have read race reports of this race for the last 2 years and it sounds awesome! And Swim Bike Mom is going to be doing it (not that I'd have the guts to say hello to her LOL)! And there is a medal! :D

And the last one I know I'd like to do this year is the Lake Lanier Islands Sprint Triathlon which is the one I did last year. I would really like another go at the course when I'm healthy!

So it appears that my triathlon season won't really kick into gear until this summer. I'm already looking ahead (of course I am!) to next summer and which Olympic distance event I want to tackle. And I'm noticing that they all have 60 minute time limits for the run. That's not a huge problem, or at least it wasn't back when I was running straight through. So I am planning to spend my time this spring getting back to running without walk breaks, first with the 5K distance and then slowly building my way back up to 10K. Of course, this is all contingent on there continuing to be no pain while I run. I've been pretty stiff since Princess so I am going to have to get back to a "low and slow" philosophy with my running! :)

Friday is scheduled to be my first 2 mile run with no walk breaks! I'm SO nervous! LOL Wish me luck!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Another run for a good cause!

A fellow member of Team Tough Chik is raising money for Alzheimer's, and she's sponsoring a virtual 5K/10K to do so! I signed up for it and I will be completing my 5K next Friday. My mother-in-law was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in September 2012, so this cause means a lot to me.

To get all of the details, follow this link! You have to do your race between March 1st and 15th and you can run, walk, or jog! And you get a bib, and a neat little medal, and an entry for cool prizes!

Come on, you know you want to! :)