Thursday, April 30, 2009
Lunch Spin Class, 50 minutes
Just your normal Tuesday workout day - spin & swim. Our spin instructor was especially fond of the tension increases today, but I love it that I didn't mind. The music was great (think Janet, Madonna and JT) and we sweated our arses off so it was all good!
Swim, 40 minutes
The traffic was horrendous thanks to the floodwaters on I-45. Since it was bright and sunny where I work, I decided to head to the YMCA pool near the office after work - that way I could get my swim in while waiting for traffic to die down. It was great! I swam for 40 minutes and made it home by 6:40 pm! There are times when I am barely getting into the pool in The Woodlands by 6:30 pm. It made me really realize how much time I waste driving to BFE in The Woodlands! As long as the weather is nice, I think I will take advantage of the work Y or just go to the pool in our neighborhood.
For my swim, I did some drills to start - trying to mimic the TI dvd. Then, I did about 100 yds of freestyle before getting completely winded. After that, I did the next 200 yards alternating between freestyle and side stroke. Next, I did 200 yds of side stroke alone - just to get a better feel for it and be sure I could do it when I was in a pinch. I did a few more drills, a little more freestyle and called it a day. This time I was also careful not to push off the walls and only took two rests at the wall.
Oh, and then there was the annoying Dad at the pool who was trying to teach his two daughters how to swim. He was soooo loud. Once, when the lifeguard blew the whistle because he was tossing the girls into the air, he told the daugther to get out and walk over to the lifeguard and find out why she didn't think tossing them was such a good idea. Yeah, he was part of the reason I was ready to go after 40 minutes.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
I headed off to the Y near my office for a treadmill run yesterday during lunch. I felt the need for more miles since I didn't get in a long run over the weekend.
I don't know what happened, but it was probably the best treadmill run I've had in awhile. I decided to make it a tempo run. I had a good warm-up and cool down and in between I maintained a faster than usual pace. I can never seem to get under an 11-minute pace on the treadmill unless I am doing some mock speedwork. Maybe it was because I was distracted with the local news on the TV. Or, maybe it was the music on the ipod that kept the feet moving. I dunno, but it felt great! I was sweating like a pig afterward, but even that felt great!
It was great to come home with the kiddos after work and not have to squeeze in a workout after they were in bed! Tomorrow it's back to lunch time spin class and more laps after work.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Fellow tri-wannabe, Katie, met me on Sunday morning for our mock tri. The plan was to get a better feel for what it feels like to really transition from one event to the other.
We set up T1 at the neighborhood pool. We swam 300m – this time I was super careful about not pushing off the walls, not resting on the walls, etc. I alternated between freestyle and side stroke when I had to and just kept going. Then we exited the pool, went to our transition area and prepared for the bike. This was my 1st attempt at putting on shoes with wet feet. I forgot to bring the baby powder, but still managed to get my shoes on pretty quickly. My helmet and sunglasses were on my handlebars and they went on easy – wet hair and all. This would also be my 1st attempt at not wearing socks for the bike and run. We rode for 6 miles and headed to my garage where we had T2 waiting.
For me, T2 will be easy – rack the bike, lose the helmet and pull on the race belt. I haven’t gotten brave enough to get clipless pedals and shoes, so no change of shoes for me this time. And, I figure I can put on the racebelt while I am moving out of transition. Once we had on our running gear, we headed out for a 1-mile run. This is my 3rd attempt at a bike/run brick and it is getting better. My mile was slower that the previous 2 weeks, but the legs felt much less jello-y.
Overall, I’m glad we did our mini-tri just to get a feel for how all this works. I know race day will be much more chaotic, so I plan to practice the transitions a few more times at home just to get the feel for what works best for me. I do wish I had biked and run a bit farther, but there may be time for one more brick this weekend.
Things I learned:
- Don’t forget the baby powder! Although, I may opt to wear socks – wet feet and no socks feels really weird in running shoes.
- Do NOT forget the sunscreen. I didn’t use any, because I didn’t think we’d be out in the sun very long. Bad idea! My back and shoulders were super-fried!
- Stay calm amidst the chaos. I know that I can become Spaz-Girl…the goal is to keep Spaz-Girl away during the entire race.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
In retrospect, I needed that experience. That experience made me realize that 1) there are no walls to push off of in open water and 2) there are no walls to hang out at and rest in open water. I knew that BEFORE the ows, but you know some of us need to be reminded of things.
Viv, your comment made me laugh...yes, it woulda been great to have you out there, but lord I dunno if that would have been safe for you, lol! And thanks to everyone else here, on FB and the e-mailers for the kind words. I luv ya! :-)
I look at it alot like my 1st marathon experience. I had IT band issues and had actually over hydrated and was feeling nauseous with awful muscle cramps. By mile 21, I was cussing like a sailor and telling anyone who would listen that I was NEVER, EVER IN A MILLION YEARS going to run a marathon again. That I was EFFING STUPID for doing this in the 1st place. By the time I had crossed the finish line, gotten my medal and had found the hubby, I was strategizing about what I'd do differently next time. Nine months later I was running NYC, lol! Or, it could be compared to childbirth...it's painful during and after, but by the time your beautiful baby is home, you've forgotten all the bad stuff.
Yeah, it was bad. But, I am moving on, learning from it and will hopefully end up stronger because of it.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
The clinic gave a lot of great information...nothing I hadn't heard or read somewhere, but good information nonetheless. (I am super-duper obsessive compulsive about reading everything I can about triathlons - blogs, discussion forums, magazines, books, you name it.) It was a bit chilly, because the sky was overcast and there was a breeze. I met quite a few great people at the clinic, including a woman from Cypress, Keri, who I originally "met" through beginnertriathlete.com. We were all 1st timers so it was nice to commiserate and laugh about what this 1st time was going to be like.
Next, it was time to swim! I went ahead and put on my rented wetsuit...if there was even a fraction of a chance that I'd use it at TriGirl, I wanted to see what it was like in the water now. My arms felt weak just after getting that sucker on...whew, it's a workout by itself! Next, I got in the water, which was cold but with the wetsuit it wasn't too bad. I hesitated for a minute and then thought, "screw it!" and put my face in. I started to freestyle, but immediately went into freakout mode after seeing the lovely green through my goggles. The wetsuit felt like it was choking me and I had to take a minute to attempt to regain my composure before actually trying to swim again.
To say it didn't go well would be an understatement. What I was doing could not be called swimming. Everything...and I mean E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G, I had been practicing in the pansy-ass pool went out the window. I tried to put my face in the water and freestyle, but then I felt like I was choking. I tried sidestroke - choking. After about 100 yards of this I seriously wondered what would happen if I tried to shed the wetsuit right there. Then I thought how much I would have to pay to Tri On The Run to replace it and kept trying to move forward. I rounded the 1st buoy and at the 2nd buoy, the kayak guy was asking people if they wanted to rest. I took him up on the offer and hung there on the kayak for a few seconds.
Seriously people, I was PANTING.
And swearing. A lot. (But not outloud)
So then I tried to keep going and never felt like I was getting anywhere - I'd do about 5 -6 strokes of freestyle, then sidestroke and at one point I even flipped to my back. It was awful. I was getting somewhere, because I eventually passed a few small buoys. At one point, not realizing I was saying it outloud, I said something like "OH JES-US CHRIST! THIS SUCKS!!!" and a guy next to me responded with a "Yes, it does", lol! Okay, so I was glad I was not the only one who felt that way. I was thinking a lot worse though, like "what in the f*ck am I doing?" and "G*d damn mother "f*cker holy sh*t to h*ll"...and yes, a few of these may have slipped out as well...I honestly don't remember. About the time I was getting to the part of the course where you're actually heading to shore, I began to question if I could even make it. I was tired. I had been struggling this entire time and I had freaking had it. I decided the following things:
I AM STUPID FOR DOING THIS. STUPID I'M TELLING YOU!
I AM NOT DOING TRIGIRL DAMMIT! NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I AM GOING TO DROWN, AND THAT HIGH SCHOOL KID OVER THERE IN THE KAYAK IS GOING TO PULL MY BODY OUT OF THE LAKE!
And then I realized, OMG THIS IS HOW PEOPLE DIE IN OPEN WATER SWIMS! THEY HAVE HEART ATTACKS IN THEIR RENTED WETSUITS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Then I waved Kayak boy down and asked him if I could rest for a sec. I caught my breath and then started moving again. Where is the freaking ground???? Where is the goddamn ground??? Finally, there it was....I made it to shore and wasn't sure I ever, ever wanted to do that again.
So I got out and Keri was all, "How'd it go, did you do the 500?". And I was all like, "YES IT SUCKED I AM NEVER DONG THAT AGAIN". She was totally happy and very encouraging - someone I probably need to hang with more (I need to be more positive!). She swam to the 1st buoy (around 200) and over to the side twice, and she felt GREAT about the swim.
Seriously people, this tri-thing may really not be for me. The only reason I am not wussing out on TriGirl is because it is 200 pansy ass yards. If it were 500 there's no way in hell. I will not use the wetsuit. I like that with the wetsuit I can't drown - I just float. But, I felt like I was struggling against the wetsuit the entire time while being choked by it. I think I'd prefer free range of motion, even if it means freezing my ass off for the 1st 100 yards.
So that's it - my 1st open water swim. It sucked ass. No, it sucked monkey balls. No, it sucked BIG sweaty monkey balls. IT SUCKED.
Now excuse me while I go pick up my kiddos. :-)
Friday, April 24, 2009
I won't lie, the pool was chilly. I dipped my foot in and started to question my sanity. Then I just said screw it and jumped in. Honestly, it wasn't too bad once you got going. After a very kind e-mail from someone who shall remain nameless (you know who you are) about my swimming woes, I decided that I would be shifting into "survival mode" for the race on May 10. By survival mode, I mean that from now on when swimming I would still work on my freestyle stroke and drills, but I would do make sure that I could do 400 - 500 yds non-stop and get it done with whatever stroke necessary - freestyle, sidestroke, backstroke, whatever. I know there may be some hard core tri folks who would not like this, but for now it's gonna hafta do.
So that's what I did yesterday.
First, I did a few drills to warm-up. Then I told myself - 400 yds with no stopping at the wall. I was surprised that I did do mostly freestyle, but I did mix in some sidestroke and even a few strokes of backstroke to catch my breath. Once I was finished, I worked on freestyle again. It's weird - some laps I feel great. Very relaxed, easy breathing - I can get from one end of the pool to the other and immediately start heading the other direction. Then some laps, I am winded and need to stop at the wall. I'll get there dammit, I just may not get all the way there before May 10.
The hubby has to work late tonight, but fortunately my parents are going to watch the kiddos so I can get in a quick 30 minutes at the pool again today. I watched the TI video last night and started reading the book, so I am anxious to work the drills some more!
Tomorrow is the OWS practice in Lake Woodlands and I won't lie - I am skeered!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Here’s my review of each brand:
Zoot – tends to run a little small. I needed the large tri shorts and I was somewhere between a Med and Large for the tri top. The large felt a little big in the back between my shoulder blades, but I felt like a stuffed sausage in the medium. What I liked about that top was that it offered some support for “the girls”, if ya know what I mean! I actually liked the Zoot $40 tri shorts the best. The $100 tri shorts fit great, but they have the compression fitting and they made the flab on my inner thighs stick out like balloons - can we say SCARY?
Orca – tends to run big. I could wear a medium in the shorts. The medium top felt too big, but they didn’t have a small in the same style, so I’m not sure if it would have fit. The shorts were super comfy though and very flattering. This tri top also offered some support, which was nice.
Craft – Shorts were comfy in a large, but the stitching was not very flattering at all. When I turned around to check out the backside, I was mortified at how much they accentuate the cellulite. I think it’s because they have some super-gripper rubber on the shorts, which is probably good because they won’t ride up, but OMG does it grip! The tri top they had in stock was cute, but I just didn’t like the cut (also a large). The top also didn’t seem to have any built in support.
Louis Garneau – This was the last brand I tried on. The shorts fit well in a medium, but TOTR only had them in a bright, royal blue. Trust me, my lower half does not need to be bright blue! The only women’s top they had in stock seemed a little short and barely made it to the top of my tri shorts…I don’t wanna expose my midsection if I don’t have to!
So here's what I ended up with:
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Well, I said last week that I wanted to do speedwork consistently and today the process began. I skipped my Monday run to watch the TI dvd, but today I would not miss another run. I decided that since I've been whining about not getting enough family time, I'd run at the Y during lunch and have my evening open for the family. Again, I know speedwork on the treadmill is not as effective as running at the track, but you gotta do what you gotta do, right?
I did 6x400 with a one minute recovery between each - overall it was somewhere around 2 miles at a 10:30 pace. I'm not completely sure, because I had to change treadmills midway through due to a mechanical malfunction. That and a warm up and cool down (and a little more) gave me 30 minutes on the treadmill.
It felt weird to not have a workout to do at night, so I did the 15-minute P90X Ab Ripper X once the kiddos were both in bed. :-)
Tuesday, April 21 - Spin Class, 1 hour & Swim, 40 minutes
This was my 1st lunchtime spin class in almost 3 week. I didn't go the Thursday before the Zooma 1/2 marathon, because I didn't want sore quads on race day. I didn't go the Tuesday after, because I was still recovering from those damn hills! The other days I couldn't go due to work stuff - lunch meetings, training classes, travelling to Austin, etc.
Fortunately, I survived. I sweat like a pig, but I survived!! The instructor made us progressively increase our tension for what felt like forever! I do take a quickie shower after these classes (but don't have time to wash my hair), but I still feel sorry for my coworkers who get near me after the spin class...I swear it takes at least an hour for my face to not be beet read and to just feel like my body has really cooled down!
The whole swim thing didn't start out quite as planned. I arrived at the YMCA pool only to find that it was closed for maintenance. Grrrrr...yes, it adds at least 20 minutes to my commute just to get there, so I was extremely annoyed. Fortunately, the Y with the indoor pool is about 10 minutes away, so off I went. At this point in the game, skipping a swim workout is NOT an option. Of course, that pool was filled with kids taking swim classes...and they all swim better than I do. There was one lap lane open, but there was a swim instructor with 4/5 year olds at the deep end. She was having them jump in and the paddle to the side of the pool. The lifeguard told me that they'd be done soon, so I waited. After about 5 minutes, I just hopped in and started swimming 1/2 way down and back. They eventually finished and I had the entire lane to myself for about 15 minutes!
I don't know what the eff my problem is, but I am still having difficulty breathing. I practiced some of the TI drills, but still can't freaking breathe. It's better than it was a couple of weeks ago...I can at least go 50 yds without stopping, sometimes 75 - but any more than that and I get winded. It's so frustrating! At one point, I almost said "screw this" and hopped out of the pool with the intention of forgetting about this whole stupid tri-thing. I started having serious thoughts about not doing this tri, even though it's only 200 yds. I started thinking, "Who am I to get out there and possibly put myself in danger because I can't get my shit together?" or "Do I really want to be rescued by some 18 year old lifeguard?" or even "Maybe I'm not cut out for this...maybe I wasn't meant to do triathlons". I thought to myself, "Seriously, if the water is choppy on race day, I'm gonna bail." Then I calmed down and remembered - you can always flip over onto your back for a second if you freak out...you may not do freestyle well, but you have sidestroke, lol.
After my freakout, 3 others arrived to swim laps. Somehow, I pulled myself together and managed to hammer out another 400 or so yds ...although there were rest stops between every 50 yds thanks to the breathing. Grrrrr........I just hate that this breathing thing could keep me from being successful at this. And, worse it means that I might never make it beyond this baby "super sprint" race and move onto a "real" sprint or any other distance.
Okay, I'll stop now. I am getting over the angst and will be back in the pool on Thursday. And Friday. And Saturday. And Sunday.
Well actually, I signed up for the First Timers Tri Clinic and open water swim at Lake Woodlands on Saturday. So yeah, I can freak out there and hopefully not on race day. Say your prayers people!
I am not kidding. Pray hard.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Okay, rather than do my usual Monday workout, I decided to use that time to watch the TI dvd. If I can swim just a fraction as well as the people on this video do, I'd be thrilled. They make it look so effortless! While it's a little cheesy, the dvd does show several different drills that help you get the feel of how your body should be positioned in the water when you swim, how you should stroke, etc. I could definitely see that there is a major difference in what I do, and what the TI program suggests! I do not roll as much as I should, I think I stroke too often and I am pretty sure that I wear myself out by kicking way too much. My only complaint is that many of the drills are supposed to be done with a partner.
I'll be trying some of these drills at the pool tonight! Let me see if I can survive my lunchtime spin class first...it's my 1st in almost 3 weeks.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Good luck to everyone running Boston today...especially those 1st timers. I'll be checking the live commentary on the Boston Marathon website. 'Cuz I'm a dork like that! :-)
And, congrats to all the peeps who rode the MS150 this weekend. So sorry that Day 1 was cancelled, but would you really wanna ride in those conditions? It sounds like yesterday was beautiful, but with a wicked headwind...great job to those who toughed it out (Jessica, Veronica, Jeff, Hal, Cassie, Mike, Cat, Roberta, Joe and anyone I missed)!!!
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Friday, April 17 - no workout. blah!
Very annoying and disappointing day as far as workouts go. I knew there was an 80% chance of rain, but the weatherman has been known to be wrong on this stuff, right? So, I brought the bike to work just in case....
Yeah, didn't happen. The heavens opened right as I was leaving. I don't mind running and even biking in the rain, but I don't mess with thunder and lightening! Instead, I thought maybe I could head to the indoor pool at the Y. After 2 hours of driving in intense rain (think 25 mph on the toll road with wipers on high, people with flashers on, etc) and 2 errands done, I made it to the Y. Yep, it's closed due to inclement weather. Drats!
Yes, I could have stayed and run...but I didn't bring my shorts. Only some old sweats. Instead, I headed home to visit with the in-laws who were in town, get the baby's b-day party invites out and get ready for the next day's garage sale. Shit, um I mean, life happens!
Saturday, April 18 - treadmill run, 1 hour, 5.25 miles (11:25 pace)
Dang rain! We had the garage sale and for a few hours, I thought the rain might actually stay away. No such luck though. Again there was thunder and lightening. I originally thought it was going to be a run in the rain kinda day, but it quickly became a run on the treadmill kinda day. I probably should have done more mileage, but I can't take more than an hour on the dreadmill.
Had planned a girls night out, but it was cancelled thanks to the flooding. Naturally, the rain stopped by 6 pm and it was a rain-free evening....oh well, maybe we can reschedule.
Sunday, April 19 - BRICK #2! Bike - 11 miles (16.1 pace), Run - 1.25 miles (10:06 pace)
Glorious sunshine!!! After spending some quality time with the family, I headed out on the bike. (And after DH showed me how to use the adapter with the pump to get some air in my tires! Doh!) I did the same neighborhood route as last week, but was 1 mph slower this week...I blame it completely on the headwind! Then, I rushed the bike into the garage, changed my Garmin to run mode, gulped a little gatorade and ran 1.25 miles. Once again, I started out WAY too fast - after about 2 minutes I was at an 8:50 pace! I slowed it down a bit, but still not enough - 9:20 pace. I was breathing hard and thought my chest was going to explode. Slowed down more. I held steady at the 10:07/10:06 pace the rest of the way and took a walk break so I could sip more gatorade.
Next weekend, I am going to try to put everything together with a mini-tri in the neigborhood - swim in the neighborhood pool with T1 set up there, then bike the loops around the hood with T2 set up in my garage and then run.
Friday, April 17, 2009
1) Getting faster! Must.do.speedwork.consistently.
2) Throwing out the 5/1s...especially on shorter distances.
Speedwork may be tough to get in, since a 99.9% of my weekday runs are on the dreadmill. But I can be resourceful, so surely I can figure something out, right?
Most of the time, I don't do 5/1s on my shorter weekday runs anyway, but I realize that sometimes it's my crutch - and it needs to stop. I decided that for now, I would give 9/1s a try on longer runs and see how that goes. I would like to get into the habit of not doing intervals for anything shorter than a 10k and eventually do away with them forever.
So that's it - it's in writing, which means I have to do it, right? Oh the pressure! What brought this on? It was quite an eye opening experience to look at my race times from before I had the munchkin - even my slowest 1/2 marathons were faster than my "fast" 1/2 marathons of this year. Yikes!
Party's over. Time to set goals again.
And let's be realistic about this...I have 2 kids, I work full-time, have a helluva commute and have to work around the hubby's oddball schedule...running is not in the top 3 of my priority list. Heck, it may not be in the top 5. But, I do need goals to keep myself motivated and I will do the best I can to meet those goals. It's not like I'm trying to qualify for Boston or anything, but it would be nice to PR my 1/2 marathon time....maybe a 2:10? :-)
Thursday, April 16, 2009
I was eventually able to get in the pool and do some laps. When I had my private swim lesson with Connie at the Y, she would tell me to think sssslllllooooowwww as I swim. Going slow and concentrating breathing out would help me not get all out of breath. Well, for some reason when there are two life guards hanging out and I am the only one in the pool, I turn into SpazGirl again. It wasn't my best time in the pool. I did the 1st 50m and was completely out of breath...yeah, apparently I wasn't going sssllllooooowwww enough. I finished up about 800 meters, but there were lots of rest breaks in between. It was not a pretty swim day.
I am going to hit the pool again tomorrow after work. My goal is to swim 3-4x each week from now until the tri...I need some improvement or else I'll be backstroking the tri course.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
So, here are my workouts so far this week. I have cut waaaayyy back on my workouts last week and this week. Mostly due to life stuff, and then work conflicts have kept me from my lunch time spin class...don't these people know I have a tri to train for????
Sat & Sun, April 11 & 12 - No workouts
Between getting stuff ready for Easter festivities, the hubby's work schedule and Easter itself, there was no time to workout.
Monday, April 13 - Treadmill run, 10 minutes
I procrastinated about getting on the treadmill all evening and when I finally did, the baby started crying once I had been on the treadmill for about 10 minutes. Darn procrastination and darn teething!!!
Tuesday, April 14 - Treadmill Run, 37 minutes
No spin class and no pool - I went to our Austin office and didn't get home until around 7:30 pm. That left me with the option of running, so running it was! The first few minutes were just a warm-up, then I did 3 miles progressively increasing my speed followed buy a few minutes of cool-down.
Wednesday, April 15 - Rest day (unplanned)
Wednesday nights are usually my run nights, but the kiddo was not cooperating at bedtime and by the time I got lunches and clothes ready for the next day it was almost 10 pm. I did manage to watch LOST while I was getting everything done, but no workout.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
With Friday being a holiday from work, I had a list of things planned to do – take the kiddos for Easter Bunny pictures, take Riley to the movies, dye Easter eggs, get in a bike ride!!!
I managed to get through all the stuff I needed to get done, but had a little help from the hubby on the Easter eggs. I'll post some pics of their masterpieces asap, lol!
And now on to the training...
This bike ride was my best yet. I decided to stay in my neighborhood, using both the 2 mile circle around the ‘hood, as well as some of the streets where there are still no homes being built. There was a little bit of a head wind on ½ of the circle, but somehow I managed to maintain a 17.2 mile pace each time I went around the circle. I did the circle 3 times, then went riding around the curvier streets of the neighborhood – that’s when my average pace dropped down to about 16.8. I am not brave enough to go whipping around those curves, so I tend to slow way down when I'm turning. After about 4 miles, I headed back out to the main circle and did a few more laps and managed to bring my pace back up with an end result of 17.1. Apparently the spin classes are working, because when I did a similar ride 3 weeks before, I was doing good to keep my average pace around 15 mph. Thank God for spin since I can never seem to find time to ride my road bike…well, at least not as much as I’d like.
When I made it back to the house, I dismounted the bike, jogged it up the driveway and into the garage. I threw off the helmet, grabbed some Gatorade, closed the garage door and then headed off for a run. My goal was to just make one mile. Hey, it’s my 1st real brick…I wasn’t brave enough to go any further.
Turns out 2 times around the little loop of our section of the neighborhood is a ½ mile. When I went out for my 1st loop, I looked down at my watch and saw that I was running a 9:34 pace and my legs felt a little jello-y, but overall not too bad. I knew I would not be running a 9:34 pace on race day and slowed it down a bit. I managed to finish my mile in 10:06…for me this is excellent even when I haven’t been on the bike 1st! I’m not expecting that pace on race day because 1) I have another mile to add and 2) I will be adding swimming to the mix…but, it made me feel a little better about this whole triathlon thing. I hope to get in a few more bricks before race day!
Monday, April 13, 2009
Thursday, April 09, 2009
Most of the 15 people staying in the B&B headed to Bastrop on Friday morning and arrived just in time for lunch. After unloading the cars and checking out the B&B, we headed out for the 2-block walk to Main St for some lunch. Maxine’s was pretty good, but the service left much to be desired. I won’t go into details, but lets just say they weren’t ready for a party of our size and made it quite known that we should have called ahead.
Once our tummies were full, we headed over to the Lost Pines Resort. We decided to make it a lazy day and just hung out around the pool, trying to get in some relaxation before the race. We also decided to drive the route just to see how hilly it really was. We accidentally took a wrong turn that lead us down a gravel road with some interesting trailers all around us. I could hear the theme to deliverance playing in my head and we all thought, “Surely we’re not running this way!!”. Once we figured out where we made our wrong turn, we headed back to the house. We had an early dinner and turned in early. Well, sort of…our room turned into the giggly, slumber party room and several of us stayed up much too late telling ghost stories…not such a good idea when you’re staying in a creaky house that was built in 1903!
SATURDAY, 4/4 - RACE DAY!
The alarm clocks started going off at 5 am and we were off. We ate our favorite energy food (PB&J for me) and headed to the parking lot where we would take the shuttle to the resort. The whole race is a “girls weekend” theme, so it made complete sense that there would be pink porta-potties and hand washing stations!
The race was pretty small, so lining up at the start was a non-issue and before we knew it the anthem had been sung and we were off. It seemed like the hills began the minute we made it across the start line….and they never stopped. Some were bigger, steeper hills and a lot were just those llllllooooooonnnnnnggggg, ssslllloooowwww innnncccclines that never seemed to end.
I started out extremely slow. There were 4 things I was thinking about going into this race:
1. I had not been running as much as before…kinda hard to do when you have to split your time between biking and swimming. I run 2x a week, swim 2x a week and bike/spin 2x each week – gotta have one day for rest, right?
2. No amount of training at Flintridge could prepare us for these hills! It was an out and back course and the out hills were a doozy, so I wanted to conserve a little for the return trip!
3. I wanted to baby the Achilles. No point in pushing hard in the 1st ½ only to aggrevate the Achilles and not be able to finish.
4. And finally, “Damn, it’s HOT!” and “What happened to temps in the 50s???”
Luckily, the miles did tick by pretty quickly - even at my slow pace. The only drawbacks were that everyone was restricted to one lane of a two lane country road…and that one lane had cones in the middle. Those heading out were supposed to stay on one side of the cones and those on the way back were supposed to stay on the other. This made it almost impossible to pass anyone for a majority of the race. The other drawback was that only a couple of the aid stations had Powerade and even then it was really watered down…yuck!
This was the 1st race where I was behind most of the peeps in my group. Fortunately, after the turn around I ended up running with some of them….thank God because the hills were brutal. It was nice to have others to not only commiserate with, but to also keep each other moving forward. Before we knew it we were back at the hills that we had run at the beginning at the race. This, of course, was when the sun started coming out from behind the clouds and making it even hotter. I was losing my steam and walked a lot of the uphill sections. At one point Katie said I cracked her up when I saw the next hill and said in my best ghetto girl voice, “HELL no, I ain’t runnin’ up that SHIT!”. LOL, I am pretty sure those were my exact words but I hardly remember it at all – darn runner’s brain.
All I know is that I was very happy to reach the resort again. I could see the 13 mile marker in the distance and was sooo ready to be done. Normally when I make it to the finish line, I am picking up the speed and getting ready for my photo crossing the finish line. This time, I don’t think I did either. I was pooped.
As we crossed the finish line, we received our “finisher’s necklaces”. I didn’t take it out until later, and was surprised to find my little pouch empty! I managed to get another pouch that actually had a necklace in it. In all honestly, this was the worst part of the race…the after party and finishers necklace. The necklace looked like something that you could get out of a gumball machine. The “catered brunch” was a soggy, cold egg and cheese breakfast burrito (could ya slap some bacon on there please???) and coffee (juice maybe?). The upside was that we enjoyed a band and each other’s company at an awesome resort with awesome weather! Plus, the champagne and wine didn’t hurt either.
After we had a chance to recover, we headed back to the B&B on the shuttle, changed clothes and then went back to the resort to enjoy the pool a little more. We hung out by the pool, enjoyed a few frosty adult beverages, floated on the lazy river and even went down the waterslide a few times…yeah, I could get used to that life!
We ended the day with dinner at a different Bastrop eatery and had another slumber party in our room until midnight. Overall, it was a great girls weekend! I told the hubby that it was very relaxing and he cracked up saying, “You ran a freaking ½ marathon! How relaxing could it be?” Just more proof that running is my therapy. And when you combine that with a girl’s weekend, life's good!
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
In the meantime, here's a random thought for you:
Why is it that no matter what time or day I go to the grocery store, the parking lot is full and I have to park wwwwaaaaayyyyy in the very back???? Then, when I leave, the parking lot is empty and I look like one of those goof balls who parks waaaaayyyy in the back so her car doesn't get dinged? As if I'd be worried about anyone dinging my mommy-mobile, lol!
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Wednesday would normally be my running day, but that's out due to the achilles issue. To make matters worse, I felt like I was coming down with the stomach flu that has been visiting our house. I left work a little early and went home for a nap before taking the kiddo to dance class. Between that and getting into bed as soon as LOST was over, I think I kicked the bug! Thank God, because I saw what the hubby went through with it and trust me when I say that if I caught what he had, I would NOT be running on Saturday!
I am feeling good today. Focusing on eating the right stuff, getting plenty of rest and still babying the achilles - I think I will actually be good to go on Saturday. I still might be walking a lot of the uphill (and there is a LOT of uphill!), but I will be okay. And I cannot wait for the celebratory margarita's afterward! Wooohooo!
For the 1st time, I am not overly obsessing about the weather. I did check this morning and it looks like it will be not too bad - lows in the upper 50's, highs in the 80s with low humidity. As long as those 80s are after the race, I'm all good! :-)
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Nothing that exciting with the 1st two, so let’s talk about swimming. First, I love the outdoor pool so much more than the noisy indoor one. And, it was nice and warm last night when I got in. But, as always, the problem was breathing!!!
Does everyone have issues with the breathing when they swim? Or, is this problem only reserved for loser runners like me? Seriously? Everyone says, “You breathe just like you do out of the pool”. Oh really, so you exhale into a pool of water all day? Hmmmm, I thought not. Or they say, “Try not to take such a big breath” or “Try to take a breath more often – like every other stroke”. I’ve tried both tactics and I end up gasping for air by the time I make it from one end of the pool to the other. I’m surprised I’ve never hyperventilated. Yet.
Okay, okay, so last night really wasn’t that bad. In fact, I swam the 1st 50 yds with only a quick breath at the wall. Then, I swam the remainder of my laps with much less rest in between than before. I lost count of how many laps I did, but I think it’s safe to say that I did more laps in the 45 minutes of pool time than I’ve ever done in 45 minutes. So, it is getting better. Some laps are better than others. I have to constantly remind myself to slow down and take it easy. I did flip over to my back a few times, but overall I think I made a little bit of progress. I am trying to take a breath every 3rd stroke, but I still have issues keeping my head down and doing it quickly. After the ½ this weekend, I am going to have to find a way to get in the pool one additional time each week…not sure how I’m going to do that, but I need to.
The achilles? It’s better. I stopped taking the meds and it only aches a little…I haven’t run on it and I think I won’t until Saturday. Oh, and the stomach thing the hubby and kiddo had…maybe I am being paranoid, but I have been nauseous since late yesterday. Please keep your fingers crossed that it’s really nothing.
Oh, and keep your fingers crossed that my shoes make it here tomorrow from the Houston Luke's store. They were supposed to be in yesterday, but someone forgot to send them and they weren't there when the hubby went to pick them up for me today! I would go to the Houston Luke's store since it's not that far from my office, but I have a Market Street gift card to use and I can't use that in the Houston store!