Thursday, April 16, 2015

Hell Month - Week 2

Well, week 2 of hell month went well considering we were busier than usual with school and non-training related activities.  I did have to make some adjustments, so training-wise it wasn't too hell-ish.

First of all, I just finished the RRCA Coaching Certification course in February and passed the exam last month.  Yay me! But, this also means that I had to hurry up and take CPR and First Aid by April 21or else I don't become officially certified.  Naturally, I decided to take on this task during the peak of Ironman Texas training (HELL MONTH)!  That's me...taking on too much at once.  It's a sickness. :-)  So, last week I had to attend CPR training in the evening...this is an evening that I typically swim.  With my work schedule, there was no other time I could swim which means that I (gulp) skipped the swim.

I became very friendly with one of these!

And....my Munchkin had his 1st grade choir program on Thursday night.  I did get in both of my workouts that day (bike/run), but I cut the run workout a little short because I got such a late evening start.

My cutie patootie getting ready for his choir performance!

And...Friday we had to head to Dallas for the Kiddo's state Destination Imagination competition.  We needed to be packed and on the road a little before 11 am, so no Friday swim. :-(  But, with the weekend full of activities in Dallas, I had to squeeze in some sort of long-ish bike ride on Friday morning.  So, I went to the spin room as soon as the gym opened and "biked" for 3 1/2 hours.  Luckily, there was a spin class in the middle of that 3 1/2 hours, so it made the time pass more quickly.  But, it was nowhere close to the 6 hours on the schedule. Sigh.  Considering we on the go until almost 10 pm that night, it was the best I could do.

I had the place to myself for most of my ride!

Dallas-bound!
We had no idea the DI "Social" on Friday night would be all about pin trading! So fun!

We had a great time at the competition, but it did consume all of Saturday.  The kids were on the bus at 6 am and didn't get back to the hotel until 10 pm. The Kiddo's team didn't place, so the won't be moving on to the Global competition in Knoxville in May (it's the week after IMTX, I checked when we made it to state!).  While they were all disappointed, they had a great weekend, learned a lot and made some fun memories.  I hope they continue to compete in the future, since it's a great experience.

The DI awards ceremony...it was pretty packed!  Crazy!

Sunday, I was on the hotel dreadmill by 5 am to run 2 1/2 hours before having to shower, eat breakfast and head back home.  Not the 3 hours on the schedule, but again, it's what I could fit in.  I could have waited to run on Sunday evening, but we had stuff at home to do and I wanted to go to the girls night out hosted by my tri club.  Priorities.

My view for my Sunday long run...fun times!
 
The reason I had to run in the morning...so I could try out the NormaTec boots at our Girls Night Out!

So, my this week of Hell Month wasn't quite as intense - I missed two swims and shortened my long bike and long run.  I hope that in the grand scheme of things, these revisions don't make a difference on race day.  If anything, I hope that this will make the coming week better because I am a little more rested.  This is the life of an age grouper...sometimes other things in life take priority over the training schedule.  The kids are only small once, and I will admit that I've missed other things - weekly swim lessons with the Munchkin, violin lessons and gymnastics practice with the kiddo.  But, some events are bigger and can't be missed - there was no way I'd miss that choir concert or DI competition!

Oh and to close out the week on a great note, I won the big door prize at the Girl's Night Out - an outfit from Athleta! 

Monday, April 06, 2015

Hell Month - Week 1

In case you're wondering, "Hell Month" in the world of Ironman Texas training is the month of April.  It's basically the last few weeks leading up to the taper for IMTX, which are typically some of the longest workouts of the training cycle.  I don't think any workout from here on out is less than a hour and 15 minutes and the weekend workouts are some of the longest yet.

I am happy to say that I survived week 1 of Hell Month.  And, the Easter weekend was full of huge milestones (for me). 

On Friday, I had my first OWS of the season and swam about 2,000 meters.  I was worried that I would be visited by my old friend, Open Water Anxiety, on my first OWS.  However, I was happy that the old friend seems to have moved on (Thank God).  I felt pretty calm and relaxed in my wetsuit and the swimming felt really comfortable once I warmed up a bit. 

Big thanks to Jill for the invite to swim and thanks to Mike for being a great swim partner for all those laps!

On Saturday,  I rode my first ever century ride!  I met up with my peeps from Finish Strong at 6:40 on Saturday morning and we headed out at daylight for a fully supported 100 mile ride.  Unfortunately, it seems like the wind is always bad this time of year and Saturday was no different. 

But, we survived! 

Unlike my 90-mile ride on the course a few weeks ago, I was not riding all alone behind the main pack.  I was fortunate enough to have several women nearby and that made this ride so much easier mentally.  It sucks to be alone in the back...but, I suppose that riding alone in the back of the pack can make you tougher mentally, too.  But, riding with others nearby is much, much more fun!

This pretty much sums up how I feel on the IMTX course....

So there were hills and there was a LOT of headwind, but with the help of the support crew (especially the ones with potato chips...those were awesome!), we made it.  And I noticed that I am feeling stronger! I was able to make it up the largest hill (also known as "Big Bertha") without shifting to the smaller chain ring. Go me!  And, when we arrived back at our starting point, I noticed that we were not quite at the 100 mile mark (I think it was 96 and some change), so another awesome rider and I rode around the block a few times until we finally hit the 100 mark. 

Yes, we are THOSE people.  :-)


And then we ran the 2 miles on the schedule.  Afterwards, there were libations and one awesome team member brought cold watermelon.   I swear after riding and then running, it was the BEST watermelon ever!  I feel very fortunate to be training with such an awesome group of athletes!

This is what Heaven tastes like!

The Hubs was kind enough to make awesome burgers and sweet potato fries for dinner (watch out Smash Burger!), so we had an delicious feast after going to Easter service at church on Saturday night.  And, to make things even better...he bought some yummy St. Arnold's root beer and I had a mini-cup of Cherry Garcia for dessert.  Definitely one of the perks of Ironman training!


More delicious yumminess!

On Sunday, I had a 3 hour run on the schedule.  This was a little tougher to fit in since it was Easter Sunday.  I typically get out and run around 6 am, but I wanted to be home to see the kids discover their goodies from the Easter Bunny.  And then, we were getting together with my parents at 2 pm for food and the Easter egg hunt.  So, I squeezed in a 16-miler between Easter breakfast and going to my parent's house...I guess it's a good thing my kids don't sleep late.  The run felt pretty good considering the long ride the day before.  I didn't really start to feel the fatigue in my legs until around mile 11...I think a lot of that was mental, since I was starting a part of my route that I do over and over and over on the weekdays.  I am honestly starting to get tired of seeing the same scenery week after week, so I think I was just ready for the run to be over!


A prettier part of my long run...

We had a great Easter!  I ate more than I should have, the kids loved their Easter goodies and we enjoyed spending time with family.  This week will be quite a challenge...the two days that have two workouts on the schedule are the two days that I have events in the evening - CPR class and the Munchkin's choir performance.  And, we're heading out of town from Friday morning through Sunday evening for the Kiddo's Destination Imagination competition, so that's going to make the long run and long ride a challenge.  I am going to need to get really creative with the workouts this week...somehow, it all seems to workout (no pun intended).


I'm so glad I didn't miss seeing the happy faces on Easter morning!


I think she likes it!


My sweet kids at Grandma and Grandpa's house!  Happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Training Update

It's hard to believe that last week marked the end of my 3rd month of training!  It was a recovery week and I took the recovery a bit farther than planned.  With the pains I've been experiencing in my right leg - quad, inner thigh/groin and hip, I decided to skip a bike and run workout and only swim in the last half of the week.

We're getting close!

We had a mock tri scheduled for Saturday, but due to some prior commitments, I ended up starting a little earlier in the morning and doing the bike/run portion on my own (I had to skip the swim).  Not a true mock tri, but it was still a solid 5 hour workout.   I wish I could say my attitude was good, but I was having one of those "Why am I doing this?", "I don't wanna ride my bike or run today", "Ironman is stupid" kind of mornings. I don't have these thoughts often, but it does happen from time to time.  My run was pretty solid, but my bike lacked any and all enthusiasm. It was more of a "just get this damn workout done" ride. My pace was slow and I felt sort of blah, but I finished the 4 hour ride.  And, my right leg felt pretty good!  I think the extra rest, while hard to do, helped a lot.

My attitude was crap during my bike ride, but at least the weather was gorgeous!

I arrived home and learned that our dryer had stopped working. Sigh. The Hubs had to go to work, so I ended up hauling 3 loads of wet laundry and the two kids to the nearest laundromat. I had no idea there were still laundromats to begin with...thank God there are!  And, they no longer use quarters!  The lady loading the dryer next to me must have seen the strange look on my face when I was trying to figure out where to insert the money, because she was nice enough to explain to me how to use the machine. (You have to  insert your cash or credit card into a different machine and get pre-paid wash card. Doh!)  As you can imagine, that made for a fun afternoon...okay, not really.

This is where my quarters ended up going....

Other than some stretching and foam rolling, yesterday was a true rest day.  The weather was gorgeous, so the Hubs and I took advantage of it and met my sister-in-law, brother-in-law and nephew at a nearby wine festival.  I've decided that I am going to try my best to make the most of those rest days!  Unfortunately, we had yard work to do when we arrived home, but at least we were still enjoying the nice weather in the process of pulling weeds. :-)

His and hers beverages...
 
Me and the Hubs chillaxin' at the Wine Fest
 
This has become our tradition...Hubs goes to the festival for me, we grab some crawfish for him

This week (and for the next few weeks), the training is really ramping up.  It's going to be interesting trying to figure out how to fit everything in.  All of the workouts are now over an hour, so squeezing them in before work could be difficult.  I may be setting my alarm clock for 3:30 am, so I can be in the shower by 5:15 am.  Yikes!  And then there's the after work workout.  I might be doing good to stay up later than the kids. 

I'm just taking it one day at a time, one workout at a time....

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Ironman Texas Training Update

Wow, hard to believe the past 3 weeks have flown by!  I’ve already had 3 high volume weeks of training and now I am on a recovery week again.

Time flies when you're having fun!!!  Or when you're super busy and dead tired all the time.

So my bike rides have been the most challenging to complete lately – it’s either been cold, rainy, or both.  I've spent more time on my trainer indoors than I ever anticipated.  

Three weeks ago, I rode my first 90-miler.  I had plans with the family starting around 4 pm that day and our group ride had been pushed back to 9:30 due to the cold (it was 30-something degrees...brrrr!), so I ended up starting earlier (7:30 am) on my own.  (And yes, my fanny was frozen for the first hour!)  I chose to ride the new paved trails at a park near my house that are 22 miles round trip.  I love the trails!  They provide scenic views of the creek and forest with restrooms spread here and there, but they are also very curvy making it difficult to see if a pedestrian is around the corner.  So, that means you take the roads slower than usual…which means you’re on your bike longer than you’d like.  At one point, I approached a pack of young teenage girls who were chatting it up so much that they couldn’t hear me approaching…even though I was yelling, “bike back” and then “Bike Back!” and finally, BIIIIIKKKKKEEEEEE BAAAAAAACKKKK!”  I had to come to a complete stop and clip out of my pedals until they saw me.  I may or may not have given them a short lecture on trail courtesy.  Yes, I am turning into THAT old lady. J

A view of one of the catch and release ponds on the bike trails

The following week, I rode 90 miles again but this time with my tri group.  We had a route that would cover a large portion of the IMTX bike course.  Little did I know, all of the peeps who ride my pace (~16.5) were only going the 60-mile route.  That meant that yours truly was bringing up the rear.  It was a bit humbling and I may or may not have been tempted to pull over and call the Hubs to come get me.  I was mentally cursing the ride, Ironman and my sanity.  But, I finished the ride.  Fortunately, my group is awesome and have several stops along the way where I had a chance to catch up (only to be left behind again). And, there was an awesome rider who stayed behind at all the turns to make sure everyone (me) didn’t go the wrong way.  It sucked, but I am so glad I did it!

Almost done with 90 miles!


This past weekend our training schedule called for 100 miles on the bike.  My first century ride!!!  I was both excited and scared!   Naturally, the weather forecast predicted 100% chance of rain pretty much all day on Saturday and 60% chance of rain on Sunday.  Ugh!  So, rather than sitting on my trainer in front of the tv, I decided to make a reservation at VR Cycling Studio, where I could ride the IMTX course with minimal distractions and really focus on getting in a great workout.  So I did that.  I sat for 5 hours on my bike in front of a monitor showing a cartoon cyclist ride a bike.  

This is what you get to look at while riding at VR...it shows your mph, time riding, wattage (sadly, mine is pretty low)

Mind numbing, right?

I rode 87 miles…not quite 100 , but still better than being at home on the trainer.  And wouldn’t you know it…the weather was AMAZING on Sunday. No rain.  Grrrr, I knew I should have waited until Sunday to ride!  But if I hadn’t gone to VR, I am sure that it would have rained cats and dogs and I would have been on the trainer at home (VR is closed on Sunday).

This is VR Cycling Studio...as much as I'd rather be riding outdoors, we are really lucky to have it nearby!

There’s not too much to report on the swim and run.  I am trying to go to my club's group swims at least once a week, because it’s fun, the people are great and it provides a challenge.  Heck, for me just going to a group swim is a challenge…as someone who just learned to swim a few years ago, I have always been intimidated by the “real” swimmers.  On our schedule, we are now swimming between 3,000 and 4,200 yds.  That’s a lot of time in the pool!  

I am a bit behind on the running, thanks to the broken foot recovery.  But, I did get in 15 miles on Sunday and the foot felt fantastic!  I wish I could say the same for my right quad/hip/inner thigh muscle.  I’m scheduled for a good sports massage next week, so I hope that helps.  I may use my recovery week to let my leg get some rest as well.


Hope you're week has been fan-freaking-tastic!!! 

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Broken Foot Update....the last one. Ever. :-)


Hello out there!  Is there anyone out there?
I am back. 

Actually, I have been back but just not back to updating regularly on my blog.

And by back, I mean back to training.

IMTX training.

But, before I get to that let me catch you up.  TXRunnerMom has been a little busy!

While nursing my broken foot, I swam 2 - 3 x per week with a pull buoy and I rode the spin bike 2 - 3x per week at the gym (with very little resistance).  I started walking (for exercise) in late October. Oh, and I did get to go to the Justin Timberlake concert.  I know you needed to know that!


Did I mention that I went to the Justin Timberlake concert?

My healing foot ached a lot.  In November, I started adding in a minute or two of jogging at various intervals during my walks.  For example, walking 3 minutes, jogging 1 minute.  Then walking 2 minutes, jogging 1 minute.  Then, walking 2 minutes, jogging 2 minutes.  You get the idea.  I did this the entire month of December and for part of January.  When I made it up to 5 minutes jogging, 1 minute walking comfortably, I started running straight through with a quick walk break at each mile. 

We survived the craziness that is the holiday season...and enjoyed time off from work and school.  Both kids received a ton of Lego sets for Christmas, so that kept them us all busy during the cold, icky days during their school winter break.

The Master Lego Builder...enjoying his Christmas goodies!


The kids and their annual Santa picture...
 
In January, I decided to defer my entry to the Houston ½ marathon…I had only built up to about 6 miles and I didn’t want to risk getting injured.  Eye on the prize baby (prize = IMTX)!  Instead, I ran the ABB 5K the day before the race.  DH and I ran it together and it was the first time since breaking my foot that I've run more than 1 mile without taking a walk break.  It was slow, but it felt great!

Me and the Hubs at our 5k...He was kind and stayed with when when I KNOW he could have gone much faster!
 
Also in January, I signed up for a group training program for IMTX.  I was a little freaked out to see that the long run for the first week on the program was 11 miles.  At the time, I think I was up to 5 miles…there was no way in hell I was going to run 11 miles.  But, I spoke to the coach and he said that I could gradually work my mileage (using the ol’ 10% per week rule) and that I should be fine.  That made me feel much, much better.
So, since then I have been swimming 3x per week, riding 3x per week and running 3-4x per week.  The foot was pretty achy  in the beginning.  And, because of the foot, I had to remember how to run again…overcompensating a little here and there for the foot was causing some weird aches and pains in  my knees, hip, etc.

Yes, I look like a dork in a swim cap and goggles!  Doesn't everyone?

On the home front things have been busy as well!  The Kiddo tried out for and made the competitive gymnastics team at the gym where both kids take classes.  Because of this, she is now training 3 evenings per week for 3 hours each time. 

My gymnast...taking a break from all the gymnastics to see The Nutcracker

 
Crazy, right?  The Munchkin started Cub Scouts and has gone on two really awesome camping trips (with more to come).  He’s also sold the heck out of popcorn and coupon books, LOL!  And, he won 2nd place in his first ever Pinewood Derby!

Cutest Cub Scout Ever with his prize-winning Pinewood Derby car!
 
In addition to this, the Kiddo is still taking violin, is in choir (and performed as part of the 4th grade Honor choir) and is in Destination Imagination (DI).  In fact, her DI team recently won first place at the regional competition and will be competing in the state competition in April!  The Munchkin is still taking swim and gymnastics lessons and is also in Destination Imagination.  It’s not uncommon for DH and I to call each other mid-day and ask, “Okay, it’s Wednesday. Who do I need to pick up and where today?”  Obviously, we need a better system of tracking this stuff!

Fast forward to now...it's Go Texan time!

So, that's life right now.  It's busy, my house is a mess more often than not, my once manicured nails look like crap, bad hair days are becoming the norm, there are endless piles of laundry in my laundry room, I am constantly hangry, I don't get to see family and friends often, I am NOT volunteering for anything until after May 16th and we are all always on the go, but it's good. 
Life is good. 
Training ramps up A LOT over the next month, so I may not feel the same way in a few weeks. :-)  My goal is to blog 2x per week - once on Monday and again mid-week.  I hate not documenting this crazy journey so far, so I want to start capturing as much as I can from here on out.  I hope you stick around to read some of it!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Stupid Broken Foot - Week 13

Last week I had my 12-week follow-up visit with my Orthopedic. 

Strangely enough, you can still see the break on the x-ray.  Apparently, this is completely normal.  The Doc said that there tends to be a lag between what the x-ray shows and how the foot actually feels.  And, my foot is feeling better and better (thank God). 

The good news - the Doc said that I can go back to a regular shoe. Up until now, my options were the orthopedic shoe (which I wear to work) or my running shoes (which I wear everywhere else).  Hooray for real shoes!  On both feet!  Now this does not mean I get to wear heels yet (or evil flip flops), but it's a start.  I can live with flats for awhile longer.

Look Ma!  Two shoes!


More good news - I can start including "long walks" in my exercise routine in addition to the swimming and spin bike workouts I've already been doing.  But, I need to work up the mileage gradually.  And, if I don't have pain after a few weeks of walking, the Doc said I can add a little jogging.  Woohoo!  I guess I should have asked for clarification on the Doc's definition of "long walks", because the next day (Tuesday) I went out for a 1-mile walk.  I felt great afterwards, so the next day I went out for a 1.5 mile walk.  That felt great, too!  I did take a rest the next day and then went for a 2-mile walk on Friday.  On Saturday, the Kiddo and I went out shopping and I was on my foot all day.  Needless to say, I think I overdid it, because the foot has been hurting and achy since. 

Humph.

So, this week it's swim, spin and more swim, spin.  If the foot feels better by Monday, I may attempt a 1-mile walk again.  Or less.  Who would have thought a mile or two would be too much?  Ugh. 

The Doc said that he really thinks I can be running again by December.  After this week, I'm not so sure.  But, I am trying to be patient.  I've read several articles online that said it can take as long as 22 weeks for a bone to heal 100% and I do want my foot to be completely healed before I start IMTX training in January. Unfortunately, it looks like I am going to be starting over with the running.  I may give deep water aqua-jogging a try over the next few weeks though, just to build up some endurance.


Remember this lovely aquajogging gear from the hip blip of 2012?  Lacy, I really do need to get this back to you!!!


I don't think I've mentioned this before, but I really do like my Doc!  He is trying very hard to compromise with me by allowing me to do something without doing too much.  He said the easiest thing would be to tell me to stay off my foot for 12-weeks, but realizes that this would drive me crazy.  At the same time, he could tell me to attempt my normal workouts....but he realizes that my "normal" workouts (i.e. prepping for a 70.3) are not what the general population would consider normal.  (Silly triathletes)

This morning I was giving a lot of thought to the Houston 1/2 Marathon.  Technically, if (big if) I can start running in December (really running), I might get my mileage up to 5 or 6 miles by January 18 (which also happens to be my birthday!).  Technically, I could walk/run the half marathon.  I know my finish time would suck (and live on forever at Athlinks.com), but I am pretty sure I could get'er done. However, I also know that it might not be the smartest thing I've attempted and might even cause a re-injury.  With my eye on the prize (IMTX in May), I know that I should defer.  Ugh, guess it's just something else I should ask the Doc at my next visit....decisions, decisions!  And to think, I thought I'd be running by now....sigh!  Patience. 

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Week 10 of the Broken Foot

So I've hit the 10 week mark of this dumb broken foot.  I've found that the elliptical makes it feel sore, so I've stopped.  I figured I'd give the foot a week or two off from the elliptical and then maybe try it again.  Swimming and spin are still working for me, although I did try my bike mounted on the trainer.  In bike shoes.  It went okay, but a little achy compared to just spinning in my running shoes on the spin bike.

Set up and ready to go....


Look Ma, two shoes!!!


So, onward I go!  More spin bike and more swim.  I swam 3,000 yds this morning, so I am almost where I was at this time last year before Oilman!  Let's face it, in Ironman I will more than likely be walking a lot of the run, right?  So, I figure if I just keep on spinning and swimming, there is hope!  (Finger's crossed)