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!