Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"Ask her, she does triathlons"

This is a quote from a woman in my spin class. About me!

At first I was very confused and was not sure how she knew such a thing. But then I realized my Yankz and tri-shorts were secondary to the giant hint of my TNT Tri shirt.

This week is testing my ability to get in my training whilst trying to have some sort of life. And it has been going well (although tomorrow is the big test).

Went to happy hour with the neighboring labs in our building tonight which was great fun. I find that living alone and kind of becoming a recluse lately has made me an attention hog in group settings. I never thought I was an inurupter until recently. Ugh, I was annoying myself. 2 people there are swimmers so it was fun to talk to them about local swimming holes and another woman had taken a tumble on her bike today so we got to hear that scary story.

The best thing is that afterwards I got my 6mile run in. It felt good to get the best of both worlds.

(sadly, I was prep'ing my lunch for tomorrow and managed to eat ~2 servings of pasta afterwards. Sigh. I realize I'm a work in progress but COME ON, this is some seriously slow progress.)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Why running scares me less than biking (and a boring run report)

I had a great 11miler on Friday. I think Fri afternoon may be my optimal long run time. I have had such good ones on Fri, I think it is because it is a symbolic way of getting far away from whatever has happened during the week and serves as a nice demarcation between work week and weekend. It has been really nice.

I was worried about 11 miles since I hadn't run that distance since just before my halfM last year. I brought my trusty running juice and a pack of sports beans. I have been debating with myself whether or not I actually need to fuel these runs but I know I go from just fine to just awful with very little notice so I am erring on the side of caution.

The first 5 miles went by so quickly. I subscribed to a techno-workout podcast and, despite the fact that the rest of my running playlist is mainly made up of Billy Joel and assorted random pop-rock from all the decades, the podcast was a nice large chunk of time and it has intervals should I choose to do them.

I ran the Burke Gilman trail which runs right in front of my house and has lots of real estate to do long runs. At mile 5.5 I was to a part that is a bit narrow and I was not happy about how much bike dodging I had to do. At the turn around (~5.75mi) I still felt great but decided to eat the beans. I usually have a hard time downing the whole package at one time (same with shot blocks or sharkies and of course Gu) but decided I would so that a) I would get the full 100cals as designed and b) I didn't have to carry the open package. This turned out great. I think I really felt the kick in energy and had no trouble the rest of the way back, even picked up the pace a bit at the end. I also never found myself dying for a bathroom break (which I used to ALWAYS need after 5miles, like clockwork). There were moments when I would have liked to see a Honey Bucket but I was really OK. The beans and (too much) water made my stomach feel a bit sloshy but nothing bothersome.

The one downer: my new shorts. I bought a pair of shorts to replace my old cotton bike shorts circa 1996. But WHAT THE HELL, I chaffed through my shorts! So needless to say that is the last we'll be seeing of those shorts and the $16.99 that purchased them. Now my mission is to find an exact replacement of the `96 shorts.

I am really tempted to jump my mileage up a lot and disobey Hal but I am going to try not. When I got home I was so energized I decided to walk to 7-11 to pick up some recovery food (OK read: I really wanted crappy food, I'm working on that) so I walked ~1mi to the store where I witnessed a bike versus car situation.

The person looked fine despite not wearing a helmet (idiot) but the scene was so scary looking. Ambulance and fire truck, two police cars, witnesses all around. It can just happen so quickly. This was my initial fear about Tri training and even though my new found love of cycling has pushed the fear back a bit, scenes like this make me realize the fear is still alive and well.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Stinky fabrics

OK, while so much training has drastically increased my laundry load I recognize that the technical fabrics have resulted in fewer dryer loads but...

I hate laundry but I love having fresh smelling clothes. I specifically seek out and only buy "Tide with Downey" and I love how my fresh laundry smells.

But my tech clothes smell awful. Last night during a 5miler i was offending myself with the stink and for once it was not from my body.

I think I'm going to buy dryer sheets and fold them into the tops when they're dry. Am I crazy or do they really smell bad?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What goes up must come down

And I guess that includes a swim ladder.

I had a great and unexpected swim workout last night. I was originally headed to downtown Seattle to go phone bank for NARAL to help get out the vote for today's bizarre primary that no one in King county knows or cares about. But I was late, parking sucked and, truthfully, I was just plain feeling antisocial so I bailed. I felt just awful for it and knew I had better fill that time with something productive. So, since I had my swim stuff with me, I went for a pool workout.

It was a pretty good one and I feel like I got in a little speed/pushing and a bit of distance work too. I left the workout sheet I normally go by at home so I had to design my own.

Did a warm up, 10x50 on 1min, a longish ladder (50yd rungs up to 300, with 15sec rest between on the ascent and 20sec on descent), and a cool down with some stroke work.

It was really good. I did some turns (that looked and felt terrible) and hit the time intervals with no problem. I am noticing how much I lose technique when I get tired. I am going to focus on this and start switching some of the stroke drills to after the main set.

Last night really motivated me to find a master's group to workout with once in a while. I really like a well planned out and full workout.

I still feel like a bum for not phone banking so, if you are reading this and are in WA State, today is a primary election and be sure to support the candidates who protect a woman's access to her choice of healthcare.

Don’t forget to thank a volunteer

This weekend I had another first.

It was my first time volunteering at an event. I didn't sign up fast enough for the Danskin Tri so I decided I would volunteer since a bunch of my TEAMmates and other women I know from other aspects of life were racing that day. So I signed up to do packet pick-up the day before and Transition the morning of the race (@5AM!).

Handing out caps and shirts the day before was really fun. You got to see the whole gambit of athletes; from the elites who were pretty no nonsense, to the newbies who were overly concerned and tentative. The field at Danskin Seattle is around 5000 strong and IT WAS CRAZY. Bikes got racked the night before and they looked so peaceful and beautiful when I showed up at 5AM on Sun. The crazy thing that went much more unspoken than I thought it would was that there was a huge lightening storm. It was gorgeous but not what most people want to see before a lake swim.

I was worried for the athletes and a little worried for the race organizers/volunteers who I thought would have to deal with a quick change in plans.

People started arriving promptly at 5:30 but, since I had handed out caps I knew some of these women weren't scheduled to hit the water until nearly 8:30. I must say, working transition entrance is kind of boring. I didn't even realize the first waves had gone out until finally one (unfortunate) person had come to her T spot in the way back where I was. The size of the field meant that some elites were removing their stuff before some of the stragglers had even come out of the water.

All in all it was a neat experience. I will volunteer again but I think I want a more action packed spot, or at least one where I can see the athletes and do more than annoy them by asking to see their number. One of the standard pieces of advice from all of the running/triathlon websites and books I've read is to always be sure to thank a volunteer and I guess everyone else read that too! I got so much love from the athletes and everyone (overall) was in such great spirits.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Bricks, flats and first times

Well, it finally happened. And I must say it sucked more than I thought it would, but it could have been worse.

I got my first flat tire. 8/10/08, Seward Park swim beach parking lot.

But to get the full lameness of the situation we have to back up 24hours before that. I went to a party at a TEAMmate's where I met some really nice people, a few of whom are doing the Danskin Triathlon next weekend. I wasn't quick enough to sign up so I will be volunteering at this event. It was both of these ladies 1st tri. One of them was telling us that her training group did a run through of the event that day (Transitions and all that good stuff) to which the other newbie said "I haven't done any of my workouts as combinations (or bricks as we know and love them)."

Well, GASP! What is training without a brick?

So I, the wise and seasoned athlete that I am said, "you should try to get one in beforehand even just to practice the transitions (because we all know even Cher has to rehearse her costume changes)"

To which she said, "I can't get anyone to do it with me"

So I, the lame-o who forgot how much I wanted to sleep in, said "I'll do it with you, how about tomorrow morning"

So that is why I was at Seward Park in the first place. I was there to impart my wisdom but instead I became a royal pain in the ass.

It took forever for me to realize that my tire needed changing (I am pretty daft and I just pumped it up 2 times before deciding that hey, maybe the problem is bigger than that) AND I had a scheduling issue that made me need to cut it short.

Hopefully she got to work out in her mind how she's going to setup and go through transition.

I feel like one of my hard learned lessons was passed on to her though:

Wear a hat on the run because, you 1st triathlon finishing picture is forever.

A bad-ass mother who don't take no crap off of nobody!

Despite a semi-crappy running week.

No. Scratch that. I am working on being positive.

I had an overall pretty darn good running week last week. It started off a little rough and my mid-week 5miler was kind of a death shuffle but on Thur I did a couple 1 mile repeats at 7mph which was pushing it a bit for me but I wanted to catch a spin class right afterwards so I had to hustle (and did!). The spin class afterwards was good too and showed me that my lungs last much longer than my legs.

On Tue I ran and did a weights class. It has been a long time since I lifted and it felt pretty good. I wasn't sore at all the next day which makes me think I didn't load heavy enough. I am going to try to go to that class regularly but it is kind of a goofy one. Am I the only one that feels like a dumbass doing the kickboxing stuff? I feel like such a dork imaginary punching, just my opinion though. Other women in the class look super hard and empowered when they do their imaginary jabbing. Myself, I am wimpy and giggly looking.

Long run #2 was really good too! I thought last week's 9miler was a fluke but my 8miles was awesome too. I did it in 1:20:40 which means 10minute miles! Schockeroo for sure. Last week I thought I had such a nice run because it was too comfortable but, for me, 6mph for 8miles is really fast and I ran on the trail which has a couple of stop lights. The one caveat I will have to mention is distance calibration; according to my bike computer and Nike+ipod it was correct but my ipod is REALLY poorly calibrated so I'm not sure it was quite right.

Still, ran for 1:20 and felt great so that is something. I got a great kick at the end too, which I never get (I walked the finishing chute at my 1st 5K, hehe).

I was slightly queasy afterwards though despite eating a few sports beans and magical running juice. I have to work on fueling properly to avoid that feeling. To me, a visit to the medical tent after a marathon would be more embarrassing than a DNF (or even a DNS).


Total (running) mileage for last week: 21

A blog is like a roommate, but better!

They have to listen to the mundane observations and happenings in your life BUT you get to redecorate as often as you like without compromising with them!


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Seems ridiculous

Is it lame to get REALLY tired at a job that requires very little physical exertion?

After learning that the brain is the biggest/highest priority glucose(sugar!) hog in biochemistry in college we joked that this was the reason we needed study snacks. Since our brains were using up so much glucose when we studied, get it? But my friends and I being lame is not the issue. The issue is that whenever I get really busy at work I get exhausted and hungry and I think it is from using my brain too much (it is not as well trained as my body I guess, hehe).

When I used to work out in the morning, this was fine. But now I have to truly convince myself to push through sleepies and get my training done.

Yesterday for example was ridiculous. I needed to do a 5mile pace run (according to Hal) and I wanted to try to hit a spin class (according to myself because I have neglected my biking recently). Well, let's just say the spinning went out the window and I only humored Hal by running a sad 5 miles.

Today I AM spinning and doing a 3mile recovery run. I AM, unless my couch is feeling neglected too.

On a semi-related topic, Nature podcasts is using this image, which I think they designed based on me! It does make me feel better that headphones are acceptable in lab to the Nature people.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Beware the scales at night

I know, I know, I'm not supposed to feel this way but one of the joys of working out so much is that I get to eat more. Now, I have never been more aware of what hunger actually feels like to me (probably because I am ALWAYS hungry) but unfortunately, lately I have been answering my body's hunger with TONS of CRAP.

Take my 9miler last Friday. I ran right after work and had every right to be hungry but instead of thinking about what I ate for recovery, I proceed to eat ~106 calories worth of "Chocolate Nut Crunch" trail mix.

Well, I had successfully been avoiding addressing the issue of overeating until last night I made the mistake of stepping on the scale (witch BTW, I never do at night) and was up 6lb!

Wow, I was a bit stunned. But kind of in the way you're surprised your car broke down despite having never had 1 belt replaced in 10 years. I knew it was coming I was just hoping to remain ignorant.

So now I have to decide what I'm going to do about it. Do I just fix the small things that have been slipping? Like how my nonfat latte from Peet's has turned 2% (which tastes AMAZING and I might have to justify that 100calories). Or, do I get more extreme and focused on weight loss and count calories (which I have always sucked at)?

Right now I am trying to eat B/L/D +2 snacks of homemade food that focuses on protein. We'll see how it goes.

I am going to do a decent brick on Sat so I need to decide on my nutrition beforehand. I'm thinking

B: instant grits (which have 50% of daily iron!) and eggs

During ride: Sport jelly beans and nuun

During run: My personal wonder running juice

Recovery: Have some fruit waiting in the car so I have enough fuel to get home and eat sensibly.


P.S. I got on the scale this morning and was only up 1lb; I guess I had soaked up lake water from my swim the night before. Still, a wakeup call was needed!

Monday, August 4, 2008

I <3 Hal!

Hal Higdon that is.

Hal was my very first running coach/advisor and confidant (and all without his knowledge).

I vaguely remember hearing about his programs from my grad school roommate but this was when I only ran when chased. So fast forward 3 years to when SpeedyDDS coerced helped me decide to train to do a 1/2M, I looked him up.

Not having run one step, I printed out the 1/2M novice training schedule. But that had me running 3miles in the first week, HA! I managed to get through school taking PE exactly 1 time and then, despite my best efforts, I can't say I ever completely ran more than one lap (at the time I said "Bless you Mrs. D-B for letting us walk the straights!").

So I cooled my aching heels a bit and printed out the 5K schedule and bought his book and started shuffling along on the treadmill.

Now it is 1 ½ years later and I did that 1/2M and that turned to motivation to do a triathlon but did that turn into the motivation to run a full?

Hmmm, I just don't know. But I did print out the fullM novice 2 schedule. Ahhhhh!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Most effective commercial ever

These New balance Love/Hate ads are hilarious.

I had decided that I'd do my long run (a 9 miler) on Friday evening since I was going on a hike and to a BBQ on Sat. But when I got home from work my bed looked too comfy and the crap on TV looked so interesting. I had just decided I would move my run to Sun when the following commercial came on.

And, I must say, I had the BEST 9 miler I've ever had. It was tough, yes but great. In fact I walked to the grocery store afterwards to get hiking snacks.

Unfortunately I bought trail mix and proceeded to eat a half pound or so of it. Sigh.

Good run though. I will have to discuss later how my left ankle felt the day after. I'm not 100% sure I love my new shoes.