Monday, September 26, 2011

Come on now, it's September!

Seriously, this weather is too much. One of the things that keeps me running in the heat of the summer is reminding myself that summers in New England are SHORT! June is never too bad, as long as you run off hours and by the time it's kind of nasty the month is over with. July and August are pretty awful for runners but everyone finds there own way. Part of it is acceptance, it's going to be tough but if you are going to compete come fall you have to just tough it out. Just about 8 weeks of summer running then September comes with the promise of gradually falling temps and drops in humidity. Now it's September and really it's the end of September, we made it and my expectations are being crushed. I should be out and running in the best weather; crisp air, a refreshing breeze and rewarding myself after with a pumpkin beer. Instead I'm out there in 80+ degrees and much too much humidity, the pumpkin beer is in the fridge and that's the only good part to this story. I'm over it, I'm ready to worry about if it's too cold to bring the kid out in the jogger. I'm ready to complain about starting with long sleeves and getting too warm. I'm ready for some nice fall feeling runs.

Miles run today: 3

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A new appreciation

I'm starting to appreciate the jogging stroller. Yes, it is helping me with my training. I was able to pull a PR out of my ass at the FUNtastic Tri for the running leg last weekend and that was due solely to the jogger. There is something to be said for hauling that thing up and down hills day after day. In addition to the training benefit I'm really enjoying the break it gives me during the day. My kid is refusing to nap the way I want him to so like any good Mom, I've given up and we are doing it his way. Trust me it's easier that arguing with him about the schedule that the book says we should have. That half hour or so that he's in the jogger is a time out for both of us. He's typically quite and I'm able to forget that I'm in charge of him. We don't have to speak to each other or even look at each other. When the run is over we resume the Miles and Mom show and move on to the next activity. If he's not going to nap in the mornings this is the next best thing; and if his nap strikes continues I'll start looking at double sessions for the afternoons.

Miles run today: 3

Sunday, September 18, 2011

FUNtastic Tri 2011 Race report

Pregame – Again I didn’t do much in this area and likely should have been better prepared but what can I say. The night before was Chinese food and a few beers. That morning, I had almonds and dried apricots followed by a cliff bar. Once I was waiting around in my wetsuit I realized I was hungry but it was too late.

Swim .25 in 10:31 - This was by far the most challenging swim I’ve done to date. I was terrified when I pulled up and saw how choppy the ocean was. Surf report had the waves measured at 2 feet, doesn’t sound like much but it was very disorienting. Several times I found myself completely out of the water after swimming up a wave only to then land and get a mouthful of water. A few people in my wave were pulled from the water before reaching the buoy. The water temp was 62 degrees and the air was 65 at start time so it was cold. There was also a strong current pulling us across the beach. In addition to the water conditions the water was very shallow for quite a ways so going in and coming out there was a good deal of walking. Heading out this wasn’t bad but coming back in I’m not sure if I stood too early or was exhausted from the swim but I had a hard time getting out of the water. I also miscalculated how to adjust for the current, I thought it would impact going out but it was the swim back in where I found myself really fighting to stay on track and sighting was really impaired by the height of the waves. All of that said it was my fastest ocean swim by 2 almost 2 minutes so the training is paying off.

T1 in 2:58 - This transition was never ending or at least that’s how it felt. I had a hard time getting on my shoes b/c I couldn’t feel my toes. I did simplify my transition area and found it much easier to maneuver during the transitions. The transition area for this race was fairly roomy, but the center walkways got littered by people’s belongings making it a bit dicey.

10m bike in 37:31 - I got to break in the new ride, an orbea aqua dama, and what a ride it was! Finally I had some speed on the road and really enjoyed it. The loop was great, 5 out and back, heading back had a nasty headwind that would have destroyed me on the old bike but this time around I was able to hold my own. I need to come up with a better nutrition system, I spent the first mile fighting to open my shot blocks. I’m looking forward to more races with the new ride and seeing what I’m able to do as I get more comfortable with it.

T2 in .56 - Short and quick. I still couldn’t feel my toes from the water. I did stop and get a sip of water and believe that was a smart move. I think this transition area was helped by the simplification of my area as a whole.

5k run in 32:06 - Beautiful run on the beach! Out and back. This was actually the best feeling run and a PR for the run part of tri’s for me. It’s the running with the jogging stroller that is really helping me here. I stopped at both water stops at miles 1 and 2. The sand was nicely packed for the whole run and it was GORGEOUS! I knew I felt good so I just enjoyed myself and didn’t push the pace. Coming across the finish line I was announced as the “Pride of North Providence”.

Overall 1:24: - This was a great event that was very well organized and supported. One of the most beautiful courses I’ve done to date. Fastest ocean swim, fastest pace on bike (but shortest distance), best T2 time and fastest 5k time so I’m thinking this counts as a PR?? All the training I’m doing seems to be paying off. The goal of this race was to help calm the nerves and I mentally felt better today as compared to how worked up I’ve been at previous events.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

47 minutes

A benefit to warm weather running is always how easy it can be to get out there. Shorts, t-shirt, socks and should be able to head out your front door in a matter of minutes. It's the winter that requires layer after layer of often hard to get on running gear. So today when we headed out for a family fun run it should have been easy. We were only going 3 miles out the front door....and it only took 47 minutes before all 3 of us were standing on the side walk. That's right the alarm went off at 6am and we didn't start running til 6:47. Pre-baby we could get up at 5 and be running by 5:10 maybe 5:15 on a slow moving day. At least we got out there and I can only hope practice will improve our timing. I would say that it can't get worse but I know not to bank on that!

Miles run today: 3

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New Route

It was just one of those mornings where I needed to run but was lacking the desire. Getting into the car and heading to the Blvd would take just long enough to talk myself out of it. I quickly mapped out a new route in the neighborhood that would be stroller friendly and headed out the back door. It was nice to be able to run from the house but I quickly got my a$$ kicked by the hills. Any ideas I had about ever going to Lincoln Woods with the jogger have been eliminated. This route could be considered just as tough. Pre-baby I wasn't much for running up hills and now pushing 38 plus pounds in front of me I really dislike them. The most difficult part is coming back down the hills. The jogger messes up all attempts of having a recognizable form both going up and back down the hills. So in the end I'm happy to have both a local route and a new challenge, I need to improve my time on this route.

Miles run today: 3

Sunday, September 11, 2011


So delayed gratification has never been my thing and it was only last week I pledged to hold out on buying a new bike to ensure my commitment to it's use. Well today I took my new phat whip out on it's maiden voyage and man, oh man what a ride it was! I had been told that a new bike would change my life and I didn't believe it...until today. It was only a short ride but just enough for me to realize that this was the right push prize. What's a push prize? That's my gift for surviving pregnancy, labor, delivery and the first 12 weeks. I don't want to hear any of that jazz about the baby being my prize, he's cute but too much work to count as a prize. Shopping for this bike, I intentionally chose the model that would NOT allow for the addition of a baby seat on the back. Him and I have the jogging stroller, this bike is for me and me alone. Next week I debut my new phat whip at a race and I'm starting to think that a PR might be in reach, I don't want to get too excited yet but the possibility is there.

Miles ridden today: 11

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Running interrupted

Today was one of those days where it looked like my run wasn't going to happen. I was too tired to get up early and hit the track and by the time breakfast was done the rain was coming down hard. Never mind forcing myself out in the rain drops, I couldn't see dragging the kid with me. Then just as it seemed to be drying out the kid fell asleep and as much as I'm pro-exercise I am more so pro-nap. It dawned on me that I could give the treadmill a try, not that I really wanted to run in my disgusting basement alone but it would have to do. Unfortunately by the time the idea came to me, I found my running clothes and figured out the baby monitor I only had time for a mile before the kid woke up and we had other things to worry about. I thought maybe we could head out later but again when he was awake it was pouring outside. And the minute he fell asleep it stopped raining. So I did the unthinkable, I ran on the treadmill for the 2nd time in one day. Just a quick 2 miles and even had time for a shower. Would I have rather run outdoors in one shot, of course, that just wasn't in my cards today. Another lesson in how creative I am going to have to be in balancing motherhood and training.

Miles run today: 3

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Difference between wanting and needing

I really want a new bike. I really don't need a new bike. In an effort to change this want to a need I'm trying to ride a bit more than once a year. To say there is nothing wrong with my bike is an understatement, it's a disastrously old antique like thing. It hasn't been well maintained and although gets me from point A to B, I would get there faster with a new ride. That said I think I got it for $20 on craigslist a few years ago so won't complain about it. Today we hit the country roads of Swansea and Rehoboth; not really a hilly route but not bike path flat either. I have to say it was much nicer than running would have been. When we started it was 82 degrees and up to 87 by the time we hit the parking lot on the way home, but on the bike it didn't feel nearly that hot. Since having a kid I've lost my desire to go crazy with my running training and have really enjoyed throwing in some swims and rides in addition to the runs. Lately, being in the water or on a bike feels a hell of a lot better than the running has felt. The other draw is that both biking and swimming are not kid friendly activities. I feel a bit guilty if I take off on a run without the kid but this morning I didn't think twice about going for a ride without him. Judge me if you like, but doing things like this solo makes me better able to deal when at home. So back to the desire for a new ride, if I compete in 1-2 more tri's this season and ride at least once a week for the next 2 months I feel that I would have been able to change my want to a need. The problem with this plan is that it's an awful lot of miles on my old purple people eater.

Miles biked today: 17.7

Saturday, September 3, 2011

trade off

My plants would be the first to tell you that some tasks have fallen by the wayside since the kid's arrival. Some of them haven't survived the first 12 weeks. I've worked hard for running not to go the way of my Christmas Cactus. So this morning we peeled ourselves out of bed and hit the pavement. It helps that the kid doesn't understand the concept of weekends yet and continues to follow his routine of a 6:30am wake up call. During the week Joe and I haven't been running together meaning that when either of us goes out with the kid we are stuck with him the whole time. Today was nice, once we hit the middle point of our out and back route I was able to free myself of the safety strap and pass the kid off to Joe. Not meaning too, I took off and left the two of them a ways behind. A man passed me and laughed, he had passed us earlier on the route when I was pushing the kid and must have looked a bit more unhappy. There is something to be said for trading off the stroller mid-run, after pushing 38lbs you appreciate the freedom of running solo. The key to this though will be to ensure that I run the first half with the kid and Joe always gets the 2nd half.

Miles run today: 4.5

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Welcome to my new life

Today marks the end of my maternity leave, although not that all that much will change. I'm lucky enough to still be at home during the day. But for some reason things seem more official today. Already, I've started to run later with the kid. For a while I would wake him up so I could get my 6 or 6:30am workouts started but that seemed like I was playing with fire. So our little fam all got up around 7 or so and breakfast ensued for all. Breakfast will be our only meal as a family so we are trying to be a bit more formal about it, although the kid continues to be clueless and our formality is a bit of a joke. As Joe left for work, the kid and I headed for the Blvd. My evening running days are long gone. I thought about skipping my run completely, I really hate running that late in the morning but I have to get used to this. The kid also has to get used to it, it won't be long before he can voice an opinion and I want him to enjoy these runs and expect them as part of our new daily routine. Thankfully the heat has broken so running at 8:30 or 9 isn't completely unbearable, I'm not sure what we'll do come really cold weather but like everything else I'll figure it out. So for the time being I'm that lady on the Blvd mid-morning running behind the stroller a far cry from the lady who would start 7 mile runs at 5am with my headphones blaring. Welcome to my new life.

Miles run today: 3