Sunday, April 29, 2012

A ride, a run and a baby

So let me be up front from the get go, a 3 hour workout and a baby are a tough mix.  I'm dead tired, tired like you can only be after a 3 hour workout and the kid is ready to rock it.  Here's the problem, I was out of the house from 9-1 so now I'm home but useless.  

Lets recap.  I rocked a 38 mile ride, thanks to Emily to getting me out and going.  Weather was better than last weekend so I didn't have to worry so much about the heat.  My stupid dogs got into my Gu stash but I had enough to get me through  (PS - 4 packs of mint chocolate GU are not poisonous to 2 dogs, I will not share my disappointment in this fact).  I also hate to admit but I haven't noticed a marked slowing of my pace since switching to the cleats and straps, so no shocker there that I wasn't that much quicker with the clips.  The 5k after the run sucked, but my pace was phenomenal (9:09).  The only thing missing from today's workout were some hills, but I'll get there.  A huge accomplishment and definite confidence booster, I'm proud about what I put out there today.  Felt great to see things coming together!

It was the first really long workout since the kid made his appearance and I'm a bit nervous for how the next few weeks will go.  This was not my longest by far, I'm going to be out there for another hour or 2 as  things progress.  I need to figure out a way to balance needing these extended workouts with having to be a functional parent after.  Until then, I'm going to research double strollers that can accommodate my weight so Joe can push both myself and the kid to the playground.

Miles trained today: 38 on the bike and 3.2 on the run

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Breakfast trumps running

I got up to run, and changed my mind when I saw that the temps were barely 30.  I've switched over to my spring/summer collection and am not pulling back out the insulated tights till October.  Besides the fam was going to breakfast.  Breakfast on the weekends is interesting, the parents-of-young-children-who-get-up-a-the-crack-of-dawn crowd are the ones opening the diners and bakeries across the city.  We roll up disheveled and unkempt, kids are often still in PJ's.  Nodding to other group members as we stumble towards the highchairs.  Waitresses take pity on us and keep the coffee cups filled to the brim without being asked to.  We are gone without a trace before the lines form and the rest of the world shows up for breakfast.  By that time we are home, praying for a nap but too hyped from all the coffee to partake ourselves.  Breakfast is by far the greatest meal to take the kid out for.  He's wired and spends the meal turned completely around in the high chair tossing pancake at the TV and waving at the other diners, allowing for a few moments of uninterrupted conversation.  And because the majority of other diners are in the same boat...NO ONE CARES!  It's great!  No need to fret, I was going to forget all about running until post nap late this afternoon.  The kid woke up in a bad mood, who knows why, but nothing worked.  After listening to 20 minutes of screaming, we tossed him in the jogger and hit Lincoln Woods.  Lucky for us whatever was bothering him at home didn't follow us on the run, allowing for just under an hour of peace.  No long run, no biggie as I have a long ride followed by a run planned for tomorrow.  The hip is still being pissy so a long run today might have been a bit too much.  

Miles run today: 5 (adjusted for stroller could count for 7.5)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A punishment worse than the treadmill

I'll admit I've done a few long runs on the dreadmill, it's not my favorite place to run but under the right circumstances can be a beneficial addition to training.  It's easy to complain about it, but with the right movie it's not so bad.  The trainer on the other hand is a form of torture.  I hate it, and the more time I spend on it the more I hate it.  The newness is wearing off, it's not exciting or cool.  It's uncomfortable and doesn't matter what's on TV, the clock moves backwards the whole time.  Riding on the road is so much different, you move around in the seat...take in the scenery...wave at runners and fall.  Increasing the my mid week mileage means I'm increasing my time spent on this awful device.  Magazines, books, movies, conversation...nothing helps.  I also don't want to talk about how I should be practicing my form and how to grab water bottles, I have a side table set up with all my activities and snacks right next to me.  At this point July 8th can't come fast enough so I can toss the trainer in the basement and forget about it, that is until the next time I become obsessive about training.

Rode 20 miles today.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Earlier start time

Since my training plan panic last week, I've calmed down a bit.  Things are going well, so I don't need to throw it all out the window and start from scratch but there are some areas to improve.  I want to add some mileage, both bike and running, during the week.  Adding a 5-7 mile run with the kid is easy enough, but the bike requires a bit more planning.  Weekday rides are on the trainer and require either the kid to be sleeping or watched by someone else.  He has become obsessed with trying to stick his fingers in the spokes of the back wheel while I ride; I'm not all that interested in seeing the carnage that would result if he were successful.  Currently weekday rides are about 15 miles, twice a week and I'd like to get that up to anywhere between 20 and 30.  To do this consistently I need to ride when Joe's home, before he leaves for work in the morning.  Since I got up early yesterday for yoga, today was a bit slow going and I'll admit to using the snooze button.  I did manage to make it onto the trainer by 6:07 and got in a good 90 minutes.  I'm not sure this will work more than once a week but am going to try again for Thursday and see how it goes.  After all, now I know what real sleep deprivation feels like and 2 early mornings on the trainer should be nothing.  All of that said, I really believe that these small adjustments will make for a better experience on race day so am really trying to be committed to them.  

Trained 90 minutes on trainer and have a questionable swim planned if the kid's schedule and the pool schedule can sync.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Running up and down over and over again

I'm sorry in advance, I'm having a hard time focusing.  Heaven just appeared in my food processor, a chocolate peanut-butter spread for my toast that was the perfect recovery meal.

For better or worse I have chosen a race that is in my neighborhood, meaning it's easy for me to get comfortable with the course, also meaning that I have no real excuses but to get out there.  The run course for the 70.3 is a 2 looper through the city.  The nice thing is that the hills are only on the first half of the loop but remember it's 2 friggin loops.  I should limit my complains as in past years the hills included College Hill, but man it's not the easiest course that could have been mapped out.  The hill starts at N. Main St just beyond the fire station and goes on and on from there.  There are some small stretches of relief but until you are headed back and have passed Hope St you don't get much of a break (approx 2 miles of hills)  So what did I do today?  I ran just the hill part twice.  I had planned to do 1 whole loop and then go back and do the hills for a 2nd time but after the first time I realized I had no intention of heading back up.  I turned around at the fire station and started back up again before I had time to argue about it. The only pleasant thing that resulted from this was I really enjoyed the flat part of the loop when I finished.  I think at one point I had thought about taking the stroller out there and running the hill part over and over again, terrible idea.  I'll just stick to running it solo a few times.

Enough complaining about hills, I need to go eat more of that chocolate heaven that's in the food processor.

Miles run today: 10

Thursday, April 19, 2012

PR or Panic

Until tonight I was going to reveal my newfound panic about my 70.3 training.  We are about 12 weeks out, 12 friggin weeks!  I've decided to throw it all into question and seriously began thinking about abandoning my training to go in a new direction.  No logical reason, all driven by sheer panic about the above statement...12 FRIGGIN WEEKS!  My problem lies in I'm lacking peer support with this training. Plenty of assistance can be found by those who race at levels far beyond what I'm looking at.  So I'm never quite sure if I'm doing enough, too much or way too little.  That was until tonight happened....

I unleashed the beast at the ramble...yep....I said it.  Hello 8:44 pace for 5 FIGGIN MILES!  No, I did not cheat and whip out a skate board for the last mile or 2.  It came from no where and was likely a fluke but I'm about to get 8:44 tattooed on my ankle, I'm that pleased/proud.  So that must mean that something is going right with my training, right???  Except that I'm training for a 70.3 and not a 5 miler.

So, I'm still undecided about what to do with my panic or not to panic?!?!?

Miles trained: 5

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

His way or no way

I'm not know for being flexible, it's typically my way or the wrong way and for good or bad the kid has this same attitude. The plan had been to ride on the trainer for an hour during his nap and then hit the pool, too bad I didn't discuss this with him over breakfast as he had different ideas. After 2o minutes of fighting over the nap that never happened we ended up in the car on the way to the Y. 20 minutes doesn't sound long, but he was loud and I was exhausted lacking the energy needed to try harder to win the battle. I cannot tell you how close I came to not getting in the pool. I dropped him off with the other small tyrants and walked back up to the locker room, passing a sitting area littered with today's newspaper. Oh, to just sit and read the paper...if I had a good cup of coffee I would have.

My issue with swimming was I hadn't mentally planned for it, I wasn't sure of a workout and not really in the mood. At that moment I should have been on the trainer and NOT in the pool. It ended up being a good thing though; unlike running and biking where you can really slam it down and be aggressive my swims are focused on the finer details. If I go too hard all that is accomplished is a lot of splashing and my shoulder aches from poor form, so I was forced to slow down a bit. Get my mind out of the nap wars and focus on what my elbows were doing and how the water felt. After a nice long workout I emerged from the pool ready to make peace with the kid. He must have felt the same way as he slept in the car and continued napping at home allowing me to hop on the trainer.

As for the training in general I feel very happy with the gains I've made in the pool and feel like the swim will be manageable and can say the same about the run. Still very unsure about the bike, but not sure where to go with it. I did have my clips removed (going with cleats and straps instead) last weekend and am hoping that will help with some confidence building without slowing me down too much. On the injury front I have a sore hip, but am choosing to ignore it. Before the kid I would have already been at PT, currently I don't have the time or patience for PT. I also know that stretching makes it feel better, something I don't have time for on a regular basis. So I'm making the poor decision to ignore it for now and see what happens.

Trained for 45 mins in the pool and 60 mins on the trainer.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Recovery week

Typically, I live for these weeks. Training slows down in both hours and intensity, a mini vacation from all that has consumed my life. I've found that it's not all good. In addition to providing a physical challenge and source of stress relief, this training has acted as a distraction from the countless changes in my life over the last year. And not even so much the big one (the kid who is slumbering upstairs), but the smaller ones. Working nights means my social circle has completely shifted, a change I've accepted but not always loved. Don't get me wrong my new Mom friends are awesome, but they are new. And outings at the swings over coffee don't quite compare to afterwork drinks. The kid means that many other relationships are different, in both good and bad ways. There are a lot of demands and expectations on all sides that need to be balanced and adjusted. I've had more and more thoughts of running and hiding to avoid some of this, but then am not sure what I'd do with the kid or Stanley for that matter (don't want to bring them but can't really leave them). I'm also home a lot more so I'm more aware of the projects that need to get done and am in constant budget negotiations with my better half. It would have been beneficial if we had hit the mega-millions drawing a few weeks ago. So with this recovery week, I've felt the stress of some of these things creep up. Nothing has changed I just am missing that distraction and in some ways a bit of the release. The good news is that it's Friday so my recovery is coming to a close and I'll be back to my manic like pace in no time. The bad news is I'm not sure what this means come post race, I'll either need to find another race to train for or get a good therapist.

Went to yoga and off for a run.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Finding time

So to start out on a positive note, I'm still alive after my monster training weekend. Yup, I got all scheduled workouts in and actually feel pretty good about how they all went. The bike is going back to the shop, as my new strap-on water cage sucks. Todays nutrition went better than yesterdays and will continue to be adjusted as the mileage increases. Also the finishing touch of my monster weekend was a 3 mile run after my bike this morning and I finished it with the kid in the stroller. I might actually continue to bring him along for my runs post bike as he helps to mimic the misery that will accompany the run on race day. And I'm smiling now, indicating that I really don't feel that bad so that must mean that things are going well!

All of that said today was the first day I really wrestled with the guilt of taking all of this time for my training. Joe's amazing, he never ever complains or makes me feel guilty about going of on these workouts but internally the guilt is still there. Yesterday it was no problem, I started working out before either of them were awake and they joined me for part of the run. Today was another story. The kid is sprouting some new chompers and a bit edgier than normal; he got us both up a little after 5 this morning and some times he's a handful. So I felt bad. I felt bad when I left for my ride, felt worse when I came home during the middle and took a breather and felt terrible when I heard them while I finished up on the trainer. There is a part of me that questions why I'm doing this. I'm not going to win and lets be honest I'm slow. But I've really enjoyed it so far, and it makes me happy. I also like to think that somehow all of this will help set a good example for the kid. So now what? All I can do is acknowledge that the guilt is there and it's normal. I will likely feel guilty about one thing or another for the rest of my Mom life. This guilt is the reason that the kid ended up with me on the run, it gave Joe some time to take his bike out and take a breather. And in the end it worked well, he was laughing in the stroller during the run and konked out at the end (that nap can be very evasive!). Showered, re-hydrated and dressed in jeans sitting in a living room that has been strewn with toys, the guilt has retreated and I feel good about what we've accomplished.

Biked 30 miles and ran 3

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Accidental drowning (almost)

So I made it to the pool on time (a feat that deserves some acknowledgement in itself). The workout was supposed to be speed so after a quick warm up I got going on 20x75yds. It didn't take long for my mind to start wandering. So after a while I played around with my breathing and felt comfortable with that and started to toy with the idea of trying some flip turns. I don't really need to master the flip turn as in the ocean or lake there are no walls to push off of, but I do loose a lot of time in the pool by not doing them. That and again I was bored. All I have to say is that I really hope that the lifeguard was not paying attention to what was happening at the end of my lane. It was like a bad parody of underwater ballet. At one point I went in for the turn, missed the wall, my legs went into the air and I touched the bottom of the pool. Another time half the water of the pool was violently forced into my nose and I think I lost a few brain cells. I'm not sure how people learn to master these basically useless lap swimming stunts, I figure the only way I'll get better is to keep trying them. It's hard to intentionally look so foolish, again I pray that not only the lifeguard but the woman I shared the lane with where both oblivious to my antics. I only tried a few and wish that I could report that there was some improvement, but that's not the case. However, they did provide some entertainment and distraction to help get me through this workout so it wasn't a complete waste of energy. Luckily the run that followed was a standard run requiring no stunts to help with speed.

Trained 45 mins in the pool and ran for 9 miles

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The need for some speed

My training has been missing an essential component...track workouts. Here's the issue, fitting them into my schedule isn't working. Here are my options:

1. 6:45am track workout with my running club once a week. Sounds great and what I really want to go to, but working evenings has made this a bit difficult. Yes, I should be able to get there but so far it's just too early. Tried this morning and failed - currently waiting for the kid to wake up so we can go for a run outside instead.

2. Schedule individual track workout - sounds great and totally doable but what do I do with the kid? Also I've come to accept that what works today, is likely not going to work tomorrow so I hate to schedule too much b/c I end up canceling. That and this training is hard enough to plan, having a workout scheduled with someone else might push me over the edge and cause me to shred my training folder in protest.

3. Track work on my own - Ugh, even that thought of this makes me dry heave a little. For this to work I'd have to do it on the treadmill and since I already ride the trainer and swim laps 5-6 times a week, I'd prefer to have my running outdoors whenever possible. So then I'd be doing this with the kid. Again, I pause while I heave a little. I've whined before about the stroller and the added weight, (tipping the scales at 45lbs these days). Most days it's all I can do to finish a run and feel strong with the stroller, not sure I have it in my to add some repeats but maybe I'm gong to have to. Then were do I do these workouts with the kid? The blvd and Lincoln Woods are good for the stroller but there are some hills. I don't want to hear it about the fact that the blvd incline doesn't count as a hill! You try it with the stroller and a headwind - it counts as a hill!!

4. Shuffle things around and add a track session on the weekend - weekends are already feeling a bit heavy with workouts and the rest of life so this is unlikely.

So no answers and again a stark reminder that this training is far from perfect and more of an experiment to see what I can do. Speed work might have to wait for the next big race.

Trained for 60 mins on the bike and will run 3 miles if he ever wakes up!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A hard dose of reality

After a weekend doing lots that had NOTHING to do with my training I was in a state of bliss. Was ok about the fact that my long ride didn’t happen, too tired to care. Yesterday I should have gotten back on track but I’m pretty used to my Monday’s off and needed a day to recover from the weekend and get back into real life (although all I really want to do is live on my little yoga cloud and get lost in all of these ideas/thoughts/plans that are flying around my head!). When I checked out my training schedule for this week, I broke into a cold sweat and really regretted doing nothing during the day (nothing defined by cleaning the house, food shopping, keeping the kid alive and going to work). The key to this training so far has been for me to not get too far ahead of myself, so I penciled in my workouts for the week and put my training folder to bed for the night. This is how I’ve rolled every week, after planning it all out on Monday I only look at one day at a time. Today it was back to reality in the form of no excuses and a day spent in workout clothes. Luckily everything felt good, as it should with fresh legs and a refreshed mind. The kid cooperated with all scheduled naps so all workouts were completed in full without breaks. Because I’m really partializing this training and haven’t looked too far ahead I’m not completely sure what’s in store for me. I get the sense that this week marks the start of a few weeks of increasing mileage/time/distance, makes me nervous but I knew this was coming. The plan is to dig in and see what I can do. My plan is to evaluate things at the end of the month, if things are going well, I’m feeling strong and injury free then I’ll finally register and fully commit.

Trained with a 30 min run and 60 min ride