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)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Foot Update

So in 2012, I had the Great Hip Blip.  I haven't decided what to call 2014 and the foot injury, but I will come up with something.

I had my 8 week visit with my orthopedic last week.  The good news is that the foot is healing and is exactly where it should be.  I can add some elliptical to my workout routine and see how it goes.  I asked the doc about riding my bike out on the roads. He was a bit hesitant, but said that I could ride...if there as little to no traffic.  And.  There were no hills.  And.  It wasn't windy.  Basically, he didn't want me to have to worry about putting my foot down hard unexpectedly or have to peddle with a lot of resistance.  My response?  Nevermind, I'll keep spinning.  For now.

The bad news, other than the fact that the foot is still broken, is that I still can't run.  And, I get to continue wearing my sexy shoe and running shoes only.  At this rate, I won't be back in my hills until 2015...so much for sexy strappy shoes at those holiday parties!  But, when I go back in mid-October, he will re-evaluate and maybe, just maybe I can start some run/walk workouts.

All in all, this hasn't been horrible.  Unlike the hip, I know that my bone will heal and I will be running within the next month or two.  And, I am able to do sooo much more that I could with the hip issues.

So what have I been doing?  Hmmmm....let's see:

  • Brazil Butt Lift from Beach Body  - I can't do the lunges in the 1st segment of the Tone workout, but I can do the last two which consist of lots and lots of leg lifts.
  • P90X - Obviously, I'm not doing Plyo or the other cardio workouts.  But, I have been alternating between the Chest and Back, Shoulders and Arms and Chest, Shoulders and Triceps DVDs.  Oh, and of course I've added some Ab Ripper X in there for good measure.
  • Swimming - This has been my go-to workout since about 1 month post injury.  I've gradually worked up the distance and can comfortably swim 2,500 for the first time since Oilman training last year.  I'll keep building up the distance and will hopefully be ready for IMTX training in January.  I was swimming only with the pull buoy (no kicking) until last week.  I feel pretty comfortable with a little kicking now, but need to keep adding more as the foot continues to heal.
  • Spin Bike - I've been a little lazy here, only because I am finding it hard to get to the gym for more than an hour at a time.  I did spin for about 1 hour 15 minutes last week, but I could (and should) be doing more.  I guess the best solution would be to dust of the trainer and bike at home, but I really, really hate my trainer!
  • Elliptical - I've only had one opportunity to get on the elliptical since my appointment.  I rode the spin bike for an hour and then used the elliptical for 20 minutes.  I probably should have only done 10 minutes, you know, to ease myself into it.  Unfortunately, the foot was a bit sore afterwards.  But only a little.  I'm going back to the gym tonight for more!

My new friend - the elliptical

My doctor explained that it would be much easier to just tell me to do nothing until the foot was completely healed.  He also said that he could tell me to go run, but that my foot would not heal and I would end up being in a great deal of pain,  However, he knows want to stay active and he's trying to work with me and give me some things I can do, which I really appreciate!  So, I'll follow doctor's orders and take one day at a time.

Some days, my foot feels great and I am tempted to do a little more than I should.  But, I have to remember the ultimate goal - IMTX 2015.  I want the foot to be ready to go in January, so I'll do what I have to do...even though it sucks!

On the upside, I can spend more time with these silly guys....

Enjoying having lunch with my silly kids!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Summertime…

Is it just me, or did the summer just fly by?  It’s so hard to believe that summer is over! 
 
I decided that this year, I was going to do my best to make it really feel like summer at home.  Traffic is lighter, so I decided to let the kids sleep in a little later than usual.  And, I attempted to take a day off each moth to do something fun with the kids.  Plus, we tried our best to do some fun summer activities - spending time at the pool, going to baseball games, etc.  We managed to see the Corpus Christi Hooks play the San Antonio Missions, plus we went out to Constellation Field to see the Skeeters play.

Hanging out at the neighborhood pool....
The kids enjoying a Hooks game!  Who am I kidding, they're enjoying the popcorn more!

In June, I took a day off from work to see Big! The Musical at an outdoor theatre. We had lunch downtown, explored Houston’s tunnels, ate cupcakes and just had fun. 


Checking out the skyline, providing child labor at my office, checking out the artwork downtown

At Hermann Park, after the show

The July outing didn’t happen, but I did manage to take 3 days off in August for some summer family fun.  We headed to the neighborhood pool, saw a movie (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), stayed a night at a local resort (think water slides, lazy river, s’mores, dive-in movies….) and checked out the Downtown Aquarium for the first time ever.  Not exactly a Disney Cruise like last year, but still a much needed break from the daily grind.

On the Ferris Wheel at the Aquarium...don't worry, the Munchkin is just being silly.  He's actually having fun.  Really.
 
Rough life, right?  Having fun on the lazy river at the resort.
 

So now what?

Well, I am still patiently waiting for my broken foot to heal. The good news is that I can walk (or hobble) more now without pain.  If I overdo it, my foot does ache, but it’s nothing like the pain I had the couple of weeks following the break. That.was.brutal.

I had my 4 week check-up and things seem to be progressing.  To be honest, I thought my x-ray looked pretty much like the original one.  But, the doc said it is healing and is exactly where he expected it to be at 4 weeks. 

Here's the lovely pic of my 5th metatarsal with the break....
 
As for the workouts, I had already been swimming for about a week, but the doc said I could now add the stationary bike, spin bike or trainer to my routine.  However, I had to promise not to make the tension too high…in other words, no simulating hills.  Yeah, I got it.

My friend Jill and I headed to the gym last weekend and rode side-by-side stationary bikes for an hour….Jill is recovering from a nasty fall off her bike.  It’s funny, because swimming is not my favorite activity at all, but while swimming that first 25 yards, I swear I had a HUGE grin on my face.  I was just so stinking happy not to be working out in my living room (no offense to Tony Horton or the guy on the Brazil Butt Lift DVD).  I felt the same way about the stationary bike…I was sweating!  My heart rate was up!  It was AWESOME.  Since then, I've been visiting the spin room a couple of times per week.  Not exactly exciting, but whatever.

Dark room, no a/c...riding nowhere fast.
 
I guess I’m learning to appreciate the little things. J

So, from here I can start attempting to transition to wearing my running shoe.  The doc was very adamant about this being a very gradual transition.  I was supposed to wear my shoe for 1 -2 hours each day for awhile and then wear it longer if there was no pain.  Last weekend, I wore my running shoes for about 6 hours and was okay…so we’ll see what happens.  I have my 8 week appointment next week, so keep your fingers crossed.  If I’m lucky, I might be able to graduate to the elliptical!

(Did I mention that I hate and despise the elliptical?)  (Maybe by then I will be so desperate to do something other than swim and bike, I will love the elliptical?)

So that’s where I’m at.  I’ve worked my swims back to 1 mile and some change, I can sit on the spin bike for a little over an hour…I’m getting there.  And, I am trying to do strength training a couple of times each week, too.

Still, I’d rather be running!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Progress....

Finally!  I feel like my foot is getting a teeny bit better.  I've was able to walk a little more this week and without too much pain.  Yippee!  I even braved a couple of stores this weekend with the kiddos for back to school shopping...something I wouldn't normally do during the Texas tax-free weekend.  But for the past two weekends, I just could not get out and do much walking.   I was beginning to feel very behind schedule on the back to school shopping!

I also braved the pool for the first time since breaking my foot.  The Kiddo and I went early on Sunday morning in order to beat the crowds and pretty much had the whole place to ourselves.  I was a little hesitant to get into the pool.  I sat on a lounge chair, removed my orthopedic shoe and then very carefully moved to the side of the pool.  I managed to slowly lower myself into the pool and land on the good foot.

Turns out that this is my happy place right now!

I used my pool bouy, so that I wouldn't feel compelled to kick and off I went.  I managed to get in 1,000 yards without much more than a bit of achiness in the foot.  Of course there was a bit of chatting with the Kiddo and watching her swim (and do handstands) between the laps.  But overall, I am so happy to be doing something other than crunches and weights in my living room!  Honestly, and I never thought I'd say this about swimming, it felt great!!!!  In fact, I may or may not have had a smile on my face as I was swimming that first 25 yards.

The kiddo gave me a high five after the first lap, which was priceless.  She swam 500 between her handstands and "surfing" on the kickboard.

My little fish and big supporter

Getting out of the pool was a bit trickier than getting in.  I pulled myself up onto the side of the pool and just sat there for a second wondering, "what now?"  I was thankful that we had the pool to ourselves, because I kind of scooted closer to the lounge chair, grabbed my towel and shoe, dried off my foot and put the shoe on.  Then, I was able to stand up.  It was interesting to say the least!  I guess I could have hopped up the stairs in the pool, but then I would have had to hobble my way over to our towels.  I'll have to plan this part a little better next time.

So, there's been some progress.  It's not biking or running, but I'll take it!