Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I survived!

I made it through my first Dance Picture Day! And unlike Open Water Swim, nobody tried to drown me! :)

Here I am in my costume with my girls in their tap costumes (we did a Mother/Daughter picture):





Having my hair up in a bun with all those pins pushing into my head was horrible! I'd rather run a full marathon again! And it felt like my eyelids weighed 10 pounds each with all the makeup I was wearing!

But I made it through! It was touch and go there for awhile! ;)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Is there anything scarier than Open Water Swim?

 Is there anything scarier than this?

Open Water Swim - this is from Ironman Cozumel


In a word:

Yes.

"What is it?", you may be asking. 

Well, never fear, because I'm going to tell you!

The only thing scarier than Open Water Swim in....

Dance Pictures.

Buns. Make-up. Costumes. Tights designed to hold in all of the things adult women do not want to show off on stage, or in the pictures. 

Dance. Pictures. 

Terrifying. 

Mine take place this evening. I hope I can still fit into my costume with all of the emotional eating I've been doing today!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ack! Where do I start?!?

So many things to talk about!! As you can see, I did not figure out how to post to my blog from my phone! LOL

This has been Cut Back Week, so I am working at 75% of my workout volume. I have been much better about keeping up with my stretches and rolling. Often during Cut Back Week I end up neglecting my stretching and that's not a good thing.

Monday I had to run on the treadmill because of the cold rain. Tuesday I skipped the pool because I was really tired and it was cold and drizzling. But yesterday I braved the conditions and did a brick workout at the park. Today I made it to the pool, and then went to the park again to do a recovery ride in the beautiful weather! It was wonderful!

Ooh, upcoming race details -

My birthday half marathon is 2 weeks from Saturday! A friend is designing my top and it is SO adorable! It's a tank top, and since the weather has been so crazy here in GA this year so far, I bought some arm warmers to wear with it in case it's cool/cold. I am NOT putting a jacket over this top! :D

I just got confirmation that I am registered for an Olympic Distance Triathlon at the end of April.

 
This is a lot sooner than I planned, but I grew more and more concerned about doing an Olympic distance tri only 2 weeks before my half ironman. This was confirmed when an experienced Ironman friend commented that that course was very challenging and she was afraid I would still be trying to recover my legs 2 weeks later. So the company was very kind and allowed me to switch to their only other Olympic distance race. It's so soon, and it could be very cold, and I'm nervous about finding a time to practice an open water swim in my wetsuit before the race. But it will all work out. If nothing else, I will learn a lot. The previous years' results indicate the field for this race is very fast, and I am very not - but I'm good with that! It's my first race of this distance so it will be a PR no matter what. And I'm only racing against myself, and I'm not really even racing - this is just practice! :D

I also plan to register for a charity bike ride the week after the half marathon. I am honestly just chicken about signing up for it knowing how I felt after my last half. But I raced that one in difficult conditions, and I'm not racing my birthday half marathon, just having fun. So I should be fine. But still, I'm nervous about the idea.

Then I'm done signing up for anything until after the Half Ironman. I have a super sprint tri and a sprint tri in June, and then Augusta in September. I may be able to sign up for other things as they pop up if they work with my training schedule, but I'm not committing to anything after Augusta. I need to wait to see how I feel once the race is over.

What about May, you are thinking? Never fear...May is the recital!! I don't have any races planned for May so I can focus my attention on the recital. I'm learning the dance better than I expected, but I'm just having to work on my arms and facial expressions! And that whole "being on a stage in front of people" thing. ;)

So I guess that's everything!


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Miles and miles to go...

I have had 2 of the best long workouts these last two days! The weather was gorgeous: sunny and pre-spring warm!

Can you believe how blue the sky was??

Yesterday my long run was a 12 miler. Last week, this didn't go so well. I hadn't had a rest day before the long run and my legs were so, so achy and tired. Well, it had to happen again that I didn't have a rest day before the long run, but this time it went better. It was actually warmer than I expected, so I took it off after the 2nd lap, and then tied my jacket around my waist in case I got too chilly, but that never happened! I did my 4/1 intervals, and focused as best I could on keeping the pace easy and relaxed. That has been such a struggle this winter. But I did much better, and I met my goal!

Post long run selfie! Rocking the TTC gear! And the pigtail braids!
Today's long bike ride found me at the Big Creek Greenway. I haven't been there since last summer, I believe! My goal for this ride was to do between 50-55 miles not on the trainer, and not broken up between the road and the trainer. Also, I needed to take my bike by the shop where I bought it so they could do a tune up service, and I would have to pass by the shop on the way to/from the Greenway!

I had to wait until mid-morning to ride because it was going to be pretty cold according to the forecast. However, by the time I left, it was already 60 degrees! I could have easily left an hour earlier and been quite comfortable on the ride. But that's OK! The family didn't have big plans today, so I didn't need to hurry back.

I knew I'd need to do about 4 laps to get all of the miles in, so I decided to break it up into a couple of segments. I wanted to practice eating my honey stinger chews while I am in motion. Since I am pretty sure I won't want to stop every 30 minutes during the HIM to eat! LOL I did decide to take 2 breaks - one after 1:30 and the other after 3 hours to check in with my hubby, and to check on my legs (since I ran long yesterday).

First break at 1:30 -

My view when I took my first break! Truly was a gorgeous day to ride!

Fueling with a peanut butter sandwich!
Overall the ride went really well. My legs felt fine the whole time! Since it was such a pretty day out, the Greenway was busy but not unmanageable. I saw lots of other cyclists over and over again, so I am guessing we were all getting our long rides in!

I stopped for the 2nd time around 3 hours into the ride, right around 42 miles. This was the distance I rode with the group last week, so I figured that would be a good place to evaluate how I was feeling. I ate the rest of my sandwich, and decided to go ahead and shoot for 55. But then, of course, 56 is the Half Ironman race distance, so I decided to go for that! LOL

Looking behind me on my break. Looks pretty much like the other picture, right?  This is what it looks like when you do 56 miles on a 7 mile long trail! LOL

Those last 14 miles were harder mentally than physically. Ok, they were hard enough physically! LOL But harder mentally. I kept thinking, "I have to run a half marathon after I do this??" And then I was also mentally calculating the time I would have at this pace to finish the run and the swim before the cut off time. The race is 6 months away...don't need to stress about any of that, yet! :D

I hit the 56 mile mark and wasn't actually at the car yet - but that was OK! Mentally knowing that I can get to 56 miles was huge! It also helps me decide which mileage to sign up for on the next charity ride I want to do in April. The choices are 37 miles and 62 miles (and 100 miles - um, no!). Now I think I can probably do the 62 miler, especially since this ride is known for its rest stops with yummy food! LOL

Tomorrow is a glorious rest day, and then next week is Cut Back Week! My goals for Cut Back Week is to not skip my stretching and rolling! :)



Thursday, March 13, 2014

Anyone here?? ::tap tap::

Well, I pulled up my blog and was shocked to realize that I haven't posted since Saturday! Shame on me! As usual, I did post some things on the Facebook page for my blog, but you would only know that if you "Like" my FB page (and if Facebook decides to let you see what I posted LOL). I really need to see if there is a way to create blog posts from my phone, since I am away from my laptop so much these days. So crazy! But, I am getting my workouts in! And, I wouldn't have thought it on Saturday when I was complaining about how tired and wonky my legs were, I have actually felt pretty good this week. I have been spending a lot of time rolling and stretching, but that is just going to have to be my new normal while I'm ramping up the base miles.

So, let's get caught up, shall we?

Sunday was simply fantastic! I joined the Witness Through Fitness group for their ride, and we ended up doing 42 miles! I've never done that many miles on the road before and it was super! It was exhausting, but it was super! I ended up with a sunburn, if you can believe it! It was a little bit intimidating riding with these faster folks, but they regrouped frequently and I never felt alone.
Post 42 miler - notice the red face! ;)
So Monday rolls around. And the leg fatigue is screaming at me. I am faithfully stretching and rolling, but in the back of my head I'm thinking, "So I have to ride 14 more miles - and then run a half marathon?? Oh, first I have to swim 1.2 miles! I am in over my head!!" I was trying hard not to over-react, but thanks to Daylight Saving Time, I was even more tired than usual and that never bodes well for my outlook. I had a 7 mile recovery run planned, and it was still gorgeous weather out, so I decided to give it a shot. I figured if things hurt, I'd just stop. And I needed to try out my outfit again for the birthday Half Marathon (also known as the Chick Fil A Half Marathon in Athens). So I started out with a very slow and achy mile, and then everything loosened up and felt good. So I kept going! And I ended up with a sunburn on my chest from the tank top. @@

Could you skip running on a day like this? Even if your legs were completely dead?!

Tuesday morning the alarm goes off for my swim and I'm thinking there is simply no way I can go swim. I am way too tired. But it was still relatively warm - and I knew it was going to be cold Thursday morning and I told myself I would skip Thursday's swim if I was still exhausted. Yeah, I know that's wrong on many levels - but at 5:30 in the morning, I have to go with what works. I got to the pool and the water was pretty comfy so I set to doing my workout. While I was trying to keep track of the laps without going insane, I spent some time thinking about whether or not to transfer to the Olympic Distance race in April. (More on that in another post)

I wanted to go home and crawl back into bed, but unfortunately, the kids needed schoolin'! LOL And then I had tap class that night. We worked on a new part of our dance and it was hard for me. And I was tired. So I came home and decided that I really shouldn't have signed up for tap because I'm not any good at it. Ugh, fatigue makes me so depressed - though I have to say that my girls do not get their lovely dancing abilities from their mama! I feel like a dork when I'm trying to dance. Oh, well - "Do the thing that scares you", right??

Wednesday morning alarm goes off. Usually I sleep in on Wednesday and do my brick workout in the afternoon. But this day, the weather is supposed to go completely insane in the afternoon - wind gusts up to 40mph. So I decide to get on the bike trainer at 6:30 and then do my run in the neighborhood before the rains come. Note that last part. Uh huh. Anyway, dead legs on the trainer. Blah. 74 degrees in my garage. Blah. Way too tired Niffercoo thanks to workouts and homeschooling and DST. Blah. It was a sufferfest. I wore my Half Fanatics Diva shirt with my Happy Talk Sparkle Tech skirt so at least I would look good. I opened the garage door to go run and it was raining. Joy! However, I was so overheated and sweaty that it actually felt good to have the cool rain on me. That lasted a few miles and then I was just annoyed. My neighbors passed me and shook their heads!

[Is it boring to just read and read without pictures?? I need to figure out how to handle this. I think taking this many selfies would be ridiculous. And how many times can you look at the inside of my garage! Oh, wait! I took a picture of the park on Monday. Let me go back up and post it!]

So now this morning comes (Thursday), and it's cold, and I'm still tired. Stoopid Daylight Saving Time! But now I'm thinking that I need to go for my swim if I'm going to do this race in April. Because the water will be cold, and I'll be cold, and I'll just have to tough it out. So, I finally drag myself out of bed and go. And I leave my hair down on purpose so I'll have to get in the cold shower before I get in the water. As I'm doing that, I see my pool friends who are wondering why I'm running late - and they tell me the water feels great. They aren't kidding - and I go on to do my longest swim yet!

There was a lady in the lane next to me today that I'd never seen before and her swimming was so graceful and fast. It was like a dolphin or something! I was amazed and I kept getting distracted by her! No way to describe her swimming - except truly she'd come up next to me and it would look like a dolphin or something!

And finally, I did a short and easy trainer ride this afternoon in the much cooler garage. I didn't want to do that one, either, but I'm glad I did. Once it was over.

So now you're mostly caught up on this week's happenings! Tomorrow is Long Run With No Rest Day Before It Day again. Sunday my daughter and I are going to the ballet so no long bike ride on Sunday afternoon for me. I'll try to squeeze it in on Saturday (and hopefully not on the trainer! LOL).

And yes, I'm still tired. But Sunday will be a rest day. And next week is a Cut Back Week!! :D



Saturday, March 8, 2014

What a long run...

It took me awhile to come up with the title for this post. And I'm not totally thrilled with it, but that's OK. It's the content that matters, right? So here goes:

Ouch.

Wow.

Ugh.

That's how I've been feeling since yesterday's long run. 12 miles for the first time since the half marathon. And only 2 miles longer than last week's long run. The difference? No rest day before the long run. For a lot of months, I've been taking a rest day of Friday - before I do the long run on Saturday and long ride on Sunday.

But this week? I had plans on Saturday morning. My baby girl - well, not the baby but my middle one - was taking the SAT early in the morning and I was going to spend the morning with a dear friend! So I had to run on Friday. No biggie, right?

Um, no. LOL

My legs were displeased, so say the least. The aches and pains started off right away. Well, not so much pains. More aches. They were going from one part of me to the next. Started off with the left shin, then the left calf, then the right shin, right calf, right IT band. I was considering cutting the run short when around mile 9 everything stopped making noise and just settled in.

But wowsers! My legs have been tired every since! I am doing well with my stretching and rolling, doing each faithfully - and it helps. But I'm just surprised at what a difference that day of rest before the long run made. Today was my rest day, but I'm still tired. I probably should have worn my compression socks. But I forgot. :(

Tomorrow I am going to do a long ride on the roads with the tri club! I was planning to skip it and go to my Zumba teacher's practice class tomorrow, but I won't be able to ride with the club next weekend and I really need to get out on the roads. Not to mention, I haven't ridden with them in many weeks and I miss it. I hope we can go a little longer since it will be daylight savings time. And I hope I'm not too tired after losing an hour of sleep! :)

OK, I'm off to roll and stretch... have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Rewards!

Wow, this has been a great week for my workouts so far! I hate that the early part of my week is so busy and I don't get to blog as much as I would like. It makes it hard to catch up and figure out what I wanted to say. Every day this week I've been thinking, "This was a great workout!" and I wanted to share about it and just didn't have the time to sit with the laptop and type out a post.

I am so glad that I took last week as an extra rest/recovery/Cut Back week after the half marathon when my body felt so tired and sort. And I am so glad that I took the time off running when the ankle started feeling funny. My patience was rewarded with a body that feels super strong this week and a ankle that isn't tweaking at all!

Monday the weather was icky, so I took my workout to the gym. I ran on the treadmill and then followed it up with strength training. I used 10 pound weights - instead of the 8 pounders I have at home - and it really wasn't too hard at all. And I have FELT the workout the last two days which is even better! I may have to figure out how to make it up to the gym for my strength training so I can go up with the weights! My monthly membership is cheaper than buying even one 10 pound weight to keep at home. The big problem is finding the time to get over there. Will work on that one!

Then yesterday it was a swim day. I bought new goggles and I tried for 500 meters to get them to work and they wouldn't. I threw them off in disgust and put on my old ones. I finished my long set and then decided to try the new ones again - and this time they were fine, and pretty amazing!

Don't my new goggles make me look so cool? Shhh, just lie to me and say yes!
So I will try the new goggles again tomorrow and see if I can make them work again. I really hope so because they are awesome, but only if I can put them on and immediately start to swim!

Last night was tap class - two weeks in a row for the first time in months! We learned more of our recital dance and I am feeling much better about the super fast moves. Are they perfect? Of course not! But do I look like I am completely lost? No way! I have time to get better at it, and I am really enjoying the song and the steps we have to go with it!

Today was my brick workout (well, this morning I did my strength work at home) - it was a sunny day but not quite warm enough for a bike ride at the park. And I really didn't have time today anyway because my son needed the car. Man, it feels so weird to type that! LOL So I set upon the trainer and went to work. Actually, first I adjusted the sensor so my workout would register (unlike Sunday's early morning Epic Trainer Fail). I don't know how it gets "off" so easily. So annoying!

After a lovely 21 miles, I hopped off the trainer and into my running shoes. It was sunny and beautiful outside - I didn't even mind running in the neighborhood! I did 3 miles and felt really nice.
 
It's such a blessing to feel so strong! Aside from not wanting to get up in the cold yesterday morning to go swim, I've been itching to do all of my workouts! That's such a fantastic feeling! I need to remind myself of this feeling - and what I did to ensure that it returned. I listened to my body and gave it the extra rest it needed! :) It's so hard to do that, but it is worth it in the long run!







Saturday, March 1, 2014

Lessons in fueling

So the lessons continue into the weekend! :)

On a good note, I didn't have any ankle issues while I ran today! And I ended up with 10 miles!

On a bad note, I learned the meaning of the word "Bonk"!


This morning during my group run, I was whining to one of my new friends about not being able to do the group ride again tomorrow because of my daughter's schedule. She invited me to ride with her and some of her friends, and it was actually very close to my house! I checked the family schedule, which was remarkably empty, and made my plans to go!

The ride was great, and I met an amazing 67 year old woman who competes in Ironman - as in the FULL Ironman! She was a fantastic source of information and encouragement! Everyone was very, very nice! There was one guy who would ride at the front, get to an intersection and wait to help all of us get through safely, and then he would ride past us back to the front. And this was not a young man by any stretch of the imagination! I felt very welcomed, and was even asked if I'd like to do open water swim practices with them (a couple of husbands come out on kayaks! WOOHOO!).

The only problem I encountered happened around mile 22 of the 25 mile route when my legs suddenly felt like blocks of stone. I was really confused for a few minutes before it dawned on me that it was approaching 3 PM and I had yet to have an actual meal. I ate a granola bar before the group run this morning (9 miles) and then I had a cup of chocolate milk and a banana after the run. Between the run and the ride, I had consumed a pack of Honey Stinger Chews (160 calories). BIG PROBLEM!

I had planned to run off the bike with my friend from tri club and thankfully we only did one mile. I don't think I could have moved any further. But I did make it through. I had to stop and get some (ok, a LOT of) fast food on the way home because I was feeling kind of dizzy. :(

So lesson learned today is to fuel properly. I should have packed a sandwich or two in my bike bag, but I was out of sandwich skinnies. So I should have packed something else. Anything else. Eaten something. I was so focused on getting my bike stuff pulled together in a hurry that I didn't think through my fueling plan well. I am very lucky that it all worked out OK and that I didn't have major problems.

Now I'm trying to fuel up on the back side which is harder and doesn't feel very good. My hubby just went out to get me a Gatorade to see if that helps.

Hard lessons learned usually stick better in our heads! :D