Saturday, May 23, 2015

Scheduling Conundrum

New work maintains a "summer schedule" in which the building opens at 7am.  I prefer to start at 6.  If I show up at 6 and sit around and wait, I can usually get in and get started earlier, but exactly WHEN is never clear.

My other option is coming on in and going to the gym at 6 and coming over to work at 7.  I experimented with that last week and the beginning of this week, but that isn't perfect either.

Pros for Gym first:
  • Get to sleep 40 minutes later.
  • Get to run on dirt or bike on track or swim in morning = WAY NICER.

Cons for Gym first:
  • I seem to have a harder time cooling down and end up at work massively hot, and when I finally cool down I end up shivering.
  • I don't have a locker yet at the gym so there is a lot of schlepping.  On Wednesday I forgot to bring PANTS.  Which led to an hour drive home for pants, followed by an hour drive back, followed by a ruining of my entire day because how can you overcome that?  PANTS, y'all.
  • The pool is way more crowded in the morning.  I know I could swim on Wednesday, but the other days are iffy.
  • Weather.  Pretty much everything I do is outside.  Bad weather, which has been a lot lately, is an issue.
  • If I don't get off til 3:30 at the earliest, traffic on the way home has already reached the sucky point.
  • Can't carpool.

Pros for Work first:
  • Get to use my own fabulous shower.
  • Get off at 2:30 when traffic is good.
  • Get to carpool more, saving money.
  • There is always P90X for rainy mornings.

Cons for Work first:
  • Running on concrete, biking on trainer or around neighborhood.
  • Harder to get out of bed.
  • Struggling to figure out carpool/afternoon swim balance.
  • I HATE not knowing exactly when I'm getting into the building.  HATE IT.

This is actually really fascinating because this really makes it look like I should do work first.  I didn't expect that, and still honestly feel conflicted about it.  I am going to see how it goes for the next few weeks because I have some stuff coming up, then will go from there.

Either way if I can't get a locker I suppose I need to plant a full set of clothing both in my car and in my desk for the just-in-case.  Sigh.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Best Running Pic EVAR!

Channeling my inner Crissie Wellington.

Thursday, May 21, 2015


I've had, I think, kind of a combo-slump.  The post-triathlon, post-birthday, post-mother's day, post all the traveling... there was just a lot going on, and I think I over-compensated when it was all over by just holing up in my bed.

I recognized what was going on, though, which is at least half the battle.  And then I implemented a staged comeback plan.  So, last Monday, I started counting calories again.  My eating had gotten pretty rough there.  The general aim is to net 1400 per day, and I've hit it MOST days.  I can pick one day a week not to track.  I was actually up to 152.8 after all the festivities, and I'm holding steady at 150 for the past few days, so heading in the right direction there.  The second and sort of corresponding goal is more/regular exercise.  I did a few times last week but I also gave myself a few passes.  This week we are 4 days in and I'm 4 days exercised.  This is the goal.  (That also realllllly helps with the diet because I can eat more if I work out.  Chocolate is so worth working out for.)

The week after the CB&I I was trying to do some speedwork and I did, but I ended up with some tweaking in my right knee.  So coming back in I'm going again for slow and steady.

And have I mentioned that humid summer has arrived?  I'm not going to break any land-speed records anyways.  Summer is something to be survived that makes you stronger.

Oh!  I found some new running shorts at Old Navy the other day.  I bought them kind of on a whim.  They are like my capris only shorter, but quite long - ending just above my knee.  I. LOVE. THEM.  They totally prevent chub rub like the capris.  I should have done this years ago.  I got online after testing them twice and ordered five more pair.  Because love is love and it may be a loooooong time before I find more to love.  They are a little crazy in their print, which makes me feel happy.

Oh and speaking of happy, my pics from the CB&I include the BEST. RUNNING.  PIC.  EVAR!!!  I need to buy it and post it because I LURVE it.  I'm 1.  Airborne.  Always essential for a good running pic.  2.  Smiling.  I KNOW!  And 3.  I had put my hair in a ponytail after the swim/bike braid and that both cleaned up my perpetual fly-aways, AND also allowed something which has NEVER happened before and that is ponytail swing in a pic.  Oh yeah.  Lurve.

Ok, that's all for today.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Birthday Progress Report

15 goals for 2015:
1. Leave my old job as well as I can.  Check!
2. Enjoy my month off.  Check!
3. Get lots done during month off also!  Check!
4. Rock out the new job.  Working it!
5. Complete the BP MS150 in April.  DONE, y'all.
6. Do a triathlon!  ALSO DONE!!  (Although this wasn't in April, so perhaps I should wait til next month's report?)
7. Train for and complete the 8 mile Turkey Trot. (Eg. Running, not walking.)  Time to start running with a vengeance again.
8. Start a garden.  Check!
9. Start a family game night on Thursdays.  Have done a few, need to make a habit.
10. Focus on consciencous spending. I'm really doing a pretty good job here.  Need to work on family now.
11. Lose 20 pounds.  Half a pound is better than no pounds.  Weight is 149.2.  Ahem.  Last month didn't go well.
12. Cook more, better at home.  Trying.  Really going to make a concerted effort with the food in May.
13. Go climbing.  Not yet. 
14. Take ZoĆ« camping for the first time!  Check!
15. Make stained glass things.  Have most of the tools, still need to get set up.
This is really coming along!!

Monday, May 4, 2015

CB&I Triathlon Race Report

I trained for a triathlon after I had the kid, but I got super sick the night before and never ran it.  Then I got distracted by other things - the crazy half marathon (series of) incident(s), the MS150, etc.  This triathlon, ironically, kind of happened on a whim, and because of the MS150.  You see, there is this lady at ex-work who is a great biker.  One day I was chatting with her and I was expressing my worry over completing the MS150 and she was telling me she figured I'd be fine because I'm a triathlete.  (This is a misconception, as we all know.  One kind of athletic fitness does not necessarily translate into another.  PLUS I hadn't done a tri in something like 5 years!)  And then she told me she had signed up for an Ironman.  I used to want to do an Ironman.  I started this blog all those years ago because of all those triathlon, and specifically Ironman training blogs.  I've never done one, obviously, and I'm at the point where I no longer think I will.  But I am so grateful to the community for getting me started on triathlons because I love them!  So I got super excited and asked her a few questions: have you run a marathon?  No.  Can you swim?  No.  WOW.  Ok, well then, might I suggest a little sprint triathlon that I love called the CB&I so you can get your feet wet?  She said she'd do it if I did it.  So I did.

Fast forward to a week ago.  One of the reasons I've always loved the CB&I is they do an open water swim the week before which in hugely valuable to not freaking out on race day.  This year it got cancelled due to weather, so that was a total bummer.

Fast forward to Friday night.  ANOTHER reason I love the CB&I is they let you do a bike drop off the night before, which I love because it makes race morning that much easier.  So Friday night I picked up my packet, got body marked (the nice marker offered to put my number on Z's arm, and what a great idea!  She felt included, she was supporting me, but it also would have been a great tool if she had gotten lost), and played with the ducks a bit.  I had a STELLAR spot in transition, by the way.  Really great!  Then I went to the Astros game (9 game winning streak, y'all, and the tickets were free!!  I couldn't turn it down even though it was the night before my first tri in 5 years and I should have been sleeping.).

Saturday morning we woke up at 5, were in the car by 5:35 and out of Shipleys by 5:45.  This was PERFECT timing, so I want to put it here for posterity.  Freaking perfect.  By the time we got there and got parked and made it to transition, I only had about 15 minutes to set up my gear.  Which I did.  Then I stood in line for the real bathroom, totally worth it.  And omg my new tri suit!  I totally love it but it is a freaking NIGHTMARE in the restroom.  It is sooooo hard to put on without getting the sports bra all twisted.  I messed up bigtime in the bathroom and ended up hiding in the woods with my boobs out trying to fix it, no lie.

Then I sat on the side of the lake for 45 minutes and watched the MILLION waves that were before mine go off.  (Seriously - that is my one complaint this year.  Don't announce the course cut offs a mere week before the race, and if you do, let your slower athletes go first.  Literally, the man who won the race was FINISHING while I was in the water.)

Got in line with my wave, saw the ex-work chick who was freaking out.  It was actually kinda nice - I get way more freaky for triathlons than I do for runs or rides, but I was totally zen in the face of her freak-out.  Got in the 75 degree water (lots of peeps in wetsuits, but I just don't get it for a sprint), lost my breath, lined up to the far outside but in the first row, and off we went!

I always forget how freaky open water feels.  It is weird to say that because I always intellectually remember.  I remember that I will be freaked and that it will be impossible to see and hard to breathe, but even though I remember it, the feeling always shocks me.

I put my face down in the water and started swimming and lost my breath and fought to keep it under control.  Breathing twice as often, self-soothe, try to find a smooth stroke, look up and sight, omg it is cold, arg I'm scared I'm off my line, sight, ack people everywhere, screw it just try to swim straight, keep breathing it will get easier, etc.  Basically all the way to the first turn bouy, where the number of people thinned out and I was freaking out less.  Sighting really jacks with me.  I am swimming the whole time afraid that I'm off course, and the mental questioning takes me away from focusing on the swimming.  It is so weird.  It is so different than normal swimming, which is massively peaceful for me!

Swim time: 13:09 for 2:37/100  (This was disappointing - I was expecting 11ish from my pool swimming.)

Ran in, grabbed water, slowed to a walk, 5 rows to bike, stand on towel, put on shades, helmet, run belt, dry feet, put on shoes, and done.  Loooooong run out of transition to the bike mount. 

T1: 2:50

Saw two people go down trying to mount and was infinitely pleased at how much better I am at biking.  I got on and it felt like an old friend at this point.  Just 15 miles?  Easy, not even a training ride.

BUT, need to make that cutoff.  Checked the time, knew I would make it, but set a goal to hammer anyways.  This is the best trained I've ever been on a bike, let's see how fast I can do a timed trial.

It turns out not that fast.  (I'll come back to this.)  58:53 for 15.3mph

For memory's sake, the course was mostly flat with some very mild uphill in the beginning, mild downhill at the end.  There was a headwind on the way out.  There are several several turns.  If you divided the course into 4 parts, for me it was slow, fast, slow, fast.

T2: 1:15

I'm actually not even sure why this is so long, except the awkward running with bike bit.  Literally all I had to do was rack the thing and take off the helmet and I was done.  I actually stood there stupidly for maybe 5 seconds thinking surely I forgot something because that was too easy.  And then out I ran.

Oooooh, the running.  No bricks yet this year.  No bricks in maybe 4 years?  Almost forgot the crazy noodley feeling in my quads off the bike.  Ran to the water stop, just to try to shake it out.  Then walked up a hill.  Then starting running again with a goal of running 4 minutes, then walking til I felt like I wasn't going to die, and repeating ad infinitum.

That was actually working pretty well for me.  When I was running I wasn't displeased with my speed.  When I was walking I was focusing on slowing my breathing and heart rate and just making it to the finish.

I started going back and forth with this woman.  She was running slow, so I'd pass her running, then she would pass me walking.  After a few times, she asked if we were going to keep playing tag and I said it looked like it.  So the next time, I asked her her name, told her mine, etc.  The next time I looked at her left calf and OMG y'all, she was 13 years old.  THIRTEEN.  What an AMAZING kid!  I struck up a convo with her and actually chatting with her got me running a bit more than I was planning on.  She does lots of triathlons and is a part of a team and knows kids as young as 10 doing it.  When we rounded the corner on the way back, she saw her people and I told her to go be awesome.  She finished about 100 yards ahead of me and waited for me to cross the line.  It was a total honor to get to run with such a determined young athlete.

35:20 for 11:19mph

I collected my well-earned medal and went in search of food and family.  Frankly, I was wandering around rather aimlessly in transition trying to figure out how to get to the food.  Finally made it and went through the line, getting one of everything, and still had no idea where family was.  I was guessing the playground, and while I didn't see them, I did see the camp chairs (BRILLIANT idea, btw), and collapsed and let them find me.  Sat around for quite a while listening to music and the awards and eating and watching Z play, then headed home.

Takeaways: Bring camp chairs for family, get better at using tri-suit, being well-trained for long distances doesn't make me speedy - time to get shorter and speedier, need hand-held hydration for the run, always get Z body-marked with my number, try a faster tempo with swim stroke, bring the Garmin for the run, I LOVE TRIATHLON!!