Saturday, May 30, 2009

Plan alteration (already)

The more I think about the Austin Triathlon, the more I think not this year.

Will aim for the full oly on the Clearlake one, though.

I've been feeling pretty crappy for about 3 weeks now. It is starting to wig me out a little. It started on my birthday. I was having a great day, fun, eating whatever I wanted, and by afternoon I felt like I needed to throw up. I figured that I had just eaten something (or a combo of somethings) that didn't agree with me or each other. The problem is that I've had intermittent nausea ever since. And I've been really tired - sleeping more than normal and still barely able to drag myself out of bed in the mornings. I've been missing workouts because of it. And I'm hungrier than normal. I actually was afraid that I was pregnant, but I am not. (I am sure that I am not.) Preston wants me to go see a doc, but I just don't know what I'd say to a doc, you know?

We'll see. I'm not sure how much more of this I can put up with.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Winter Plan

Seems strange to be thinking of the winter plan just when the heat of summer is really setting in in Texas, but last year I had started the winter plan more than a year in advance - when I signed up for the Rock 'n Roll Half in San Antonio, so I guess 6ish months is really pretty reasonable in comparison.

I've been noodling on this for more than a month. Some of it is still variable - the triathlon parts, to be specific. But I'm really excited about the running plan, so it is seeming more solid.

Here it is: I want to do a boatload of half marathons this winter, starting in October, and with the goal of getting faster at that distance. I think this is the perfect plan for improving my distance stamina and my overall speed. I would like to do another marathon, but I think if I take a winter to focus on this plan, I'd have a better chance of succeeding at the marathon distance. I'll also throw in some shorter races for fun. Here is the plan in detail:

October 25: Houston Half
November 15: San Antonio Half
December 13: Dallas White Rock Half
January 17: Aramco Houston Half
February 1?: Mardi Gras Half in New Orleans
February 14: Austin Half

I'd also like to run the Ten for Texas, the Run Thru the Woods 5 Miler on Thanksgiving, the Mardi Gras Beach 10K in Galveston, and some of the HARRA Spring Series. I think focusing on the Half distance will make it easier for me to do some of the shorter races that are so fun for me (and so good for my speed!).

Triathlon-wise, I'm entertaining a theory for the remainder of the season, and for the beginning of next season. I'm thinking about trying to get in two Olympic distance tris to end out this tri season. I had really hoped to get more in, but there just hasn't been much in the area that seems interesting to me. So I'm thinking of the Clearlake Int'l Triathlon on August 22 (this one could possible be the sprint or the relay with Preston...), and then the Austin Triathlon, which is on Labor Day (September 7th). These are still just thoughts... and then I'm thinking maybe of the Lone Star Half Iron in Galveston in late April... it seems like I'd be well-trained for the run after that winter schedule... and the swim is not a problem... the question is really the bike and running off the bike...

We'll see. But that run plan is solid. It is on.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cool Front

H-town is having what is probably its last cool front of the short Spring season. It was only about 60 yesterday morning and this morning, so I ran both days, my first two-in-a-row since the marathon! (Sad, I know, but progress!) 5 miles on Monday and 3.75 today, with core on Monday and lifting today. I'm gonna be sore, I already am sore, but it is good. It is the kind of sore that tells me I've gotten off my ass.

That's all I've really got time for right now, so I leave you with the marathon photo that I asked my parental units to purchase for me for my birthday. And so, with purchased permission, with a Texas flag short in front, and both feet off the ground:

Monday, May 18, 2009

Someone wrote this about me

I'm starting to feel like a voyeur, lurking on this blog that is written by this woman at work. But if she knew I lurked, she probably wouldn't write things like this, and it is just the most amazing feeling to know that you spoke and someone heard you. And to know what someone thinks of you without the filter.

So, from her blog:

"She said a really interesting thing. She said it was her compulsive sense of duty that brought her back. She had responsibilities, and she wasn’t going to abandon them. So she clawed her way back with the help of a therapist. And if you met this woman you’d see how that perfectly encapsulates her personality. She’s an excellent manager. She’s hardworking and driven. She’s one of those people who strikes you immediately as being completely together. …because of her compulsive sense of duty.

She’s also really funny."

Wow. I think that everyone needs to find out that someone thinks something like this about them, some time.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Summer Has Arrived

My run at the CB&I was the first real heat I've run in this year. Of course, it was later in the day that I normally run. It had been being in the high 60's or low 70's before daylight, and I was ok with that.

After CB&I, I took a week off, and in that one week, I swear the morning temps got 10 degrees hotter and 50% more humid. This is the time last year when I truly lost my mojo. This year, my mojo has been a bit misplaced since January, so I figure now is when I get it back. If I can get through the next couple of weeks without walking on my runs, and without losing all of my speed, I can go into next winter in a much stronger position. So I figure, let's go 3-6 miles 3-4 times per week through the end of May, no walk breaks. I can run as slow as I need to (because speed can always be added back if you can sustain your heartrate in the "running zone"), but I can't walk. Started it off this morning with a 4 miler that took 45 minutes. Whatever, I didn't walk. Did a nice pick-up at the end to sub-9 pace and held for just a few minutes, to prove to myself that I could.

And I decided on this fall's racing plans. I'm going to do a whole load of half marathons, with the goal of improving my times at that distance. And with the goal of doing a half-iron in April. Bring it on!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Yesterday I Got a Year Older

It was a quiet birthday, as birthdays go. Preston was working, so I just watched some tv and read a bit and hit the sack when I got home from a long day at work. The long day at work was an accident. I was trying to only give myself fun stuff to do, but it didn't really work out... the coworkers brought yummy foods and stuff, and there is no dieting on birthdays, so I pigged out. Just after lunch I started feeling like I was going to puke. I thought perhaps I had eaten some bad food at lunch? The feeling has persisted into today... I feel terrible.

But back to birthday business... this one was a strange one. Usually I look back at the year and think it felt short. I was 26 and now I'm 27, where did the time go, and all that jazz. This year, I already felt 28. I looked back at the year and thought, "I can't believe I'm not 28 yet." I feel 28. I feel a little old.

It has just been a really heavy year. My first full year in management at work. My boss had some personal tragedy and I had to shoulder a heavy burden while she coped. Then Preston's VAD. Even training for the marathon. I feel my 28, this year.

(It isn't helping that everyone at work assumed I was 30!)

Monday, May 4, 2009

CB&I Triathlon Race Report

Or yes, I am still training/racing even though I'm not blogging. I'm not blogging because my husband had a vertebral artery dissection, was in the hospital for 3 days, and is now at a high risk for stroke for the next 3 months. Ok, so I wasn't training while that went on. But I'm trying for back to normal, here. (PSA re: VAD to follow, I hope!)

So, around New Year's I convinced my 'rents to come into town to spectate at their first tri, my first tri of the season, the CB&I.

4am on race morning came early, as always. I managed to empty my belly 4 times before we left the house, and another two after we got to the race. We left the house at 5:15, arrived to transition with plenty of time for me to set up, find the bathroom, set up some more, bathroom again, talk to P and Mom and Dad, and wait some. I brought my bike to check-in the night before, where the lovely dude from Bikeland fixed the grumpy shifting that wasn't wanting to go from the middle to the large chain ring, and where I was asked, as always, "Have you crashed this thing?" YES, people. I am a total spaz. The bike has scratched paint, a missing shifter-cover, and is slightly bent because I crashed it. Moving on. Thanks to the dude for fixing my girl!

Anyways, my wave wasn't taking off til 7:24, so we wandered down to the water to watch everyone else's. I hung out with the family until about 7:15 when I lined up. I had swum at the practice swim the weekend before, so I knew the water was cold, and remembered how not to freak out, etc. Good thing. It was srsly cold.

I lined up about 3 people back as close to the bouy line as I could. I took a good line, and I was glad for it. I felt like I was only passing people. I wasn't passed except by the fastest people in the wave following. I don't know why the swims always seem to take so long... Out of the water in 11:07. Faster than last year, but not in the 10's as I had hoped.

Out of the water and into transition. Tried something new this time: put a hand towel at the end of my towel. Used it to quickly wipe my face, then bent over and used it on the tops of my feet. Was really pretty effective. Put on my Drymax socks (I definitely like these better than my Asics for triathlons), bike shoes, helmet, skipped the sunglasses because it was so overcast, and I was off!

Ran to the mount line, then wasted probably 30-45 seconds trying to get on my bike. Even though I had set the pedals before the race, they were moved, so I was shaking, trying to edge forward, trying to clip in... (total spaz). Finally I took a deep breath, consciously told myself to calm down, managed to clip in, and then caught my biker ass-pad on my seat. Rode out of transition with my bike seat-nose up my butt, telling myself if I could just get my left foot clipped in, then I could stand up and get my ass on the seat. I was seriously graceful. Not humiliating at all.

Anyways, once I was finally aboard my bike, it actually went shockingly well. I was passing people this year!! Not a lot, but, still! I averaged over 17 mph. It was pretty windy, but I just tried to spin it out when I felt bad. My arms still bothered me a bit - I get stiff, my shoulders ride up and I have to remember to relax them, etc, but I'm working on it. The bike really seemed pretty much a non-event. I rolled in just under 53 minutes later, knowing I beat last year's time. What more could I really ask for?

Ah, I could ask that they not make the bike-in run any longer. I am astonished that my T2 time is faster than last year's. It is really a tribute to the Yankz, because I had so much farther to run with my bike to rack it I figured I'd have lost any gains I made...

And out I ran. Couldn't get my Garmin going right - whatever, didn't care. Just keep the legs moving. And the legs didn't want to move. I felt pretty terrible. Pretty quickly fell into the "just keep running, only walk the water stops" routine. Which was successful for me. I did only walk the water stops. But I didn't feel nearly as good as I wanted, nor did I run as fast as last year. It is ok, and I'm not beating myself up over it, but it wasn't what I wanted. I think there were a few factors in play: 1) I have decreased running speed this year. That is no secret. I am not as fit for speed as I was. 2) I have decreased running fitness this year. I've been lucky to run 3 times per week since the marathon. I've been working on my bike, etc. 3) It was pretty warm, and super humid. I am NOT acclimated to that yet. It didn't hurt my swim or bike, but I really felt it on the run. And finally, 4) I think I mentally checked-out there a bit at the end. That is my own fault. I didn't have fight in me.

Overall, I'm pleased with this race. I went faster than last year. I went faster in 4 of the 5 split times over last year. I'm not thrilled with my fitness, but that is my own fault, and I still need to get a little of my mojo back. I'm working on it. I was hoping that this would help me solidify my Fall racing plans, but I'm still pretty up in the air. I'd definitely like to get a few Oly's under my belt this season, though. And I'm starting to think that maybe the fall running season should focus on doing half marathons faster, and then start looking at maybe the half iron down at the Lone Star Tri festival??

I'll publish the official splits and compare them to last year in the next post, when the results website is working!