Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March Totals

I cannot believe March has come to a close already.  Only a few days until my marathon.  Where has the time gone.

It's gone into training.  Good grief!  Look at these numbers?!

Swimming - 27,450 yards ~ 15.6 miles
Woah.  Just woah.  I have spent a lot of time at the Y in the chlorine this month.  I believe this is at least double what I swam last month.  Am I training for an ironman instead of an Olympic triathlon?

Biking - 104.42 miles
One hundred miles may not seem like a lot of biking miles, but these were all done indoors on the trainer.  Most rides were only about 11 miles.  You do the math.  That's quite a bit of time on my bike.  I have done cadence workouts, threshold workouts, workouts where I stood up a lot.  I had mechanical problems that required more knowledge and help than I could handle.  And I dropped my chain about a thousand times.  I'm getting stronger on the bike and it is showing in my run too.  It'll be interesting to see how this translates to riding outside.  Spring and warmer temperatures are coming soon.  Right?  RIGHT???

Running -116.53 miles
This could have been more.  I missed a 9 miler just over a week ago when I had a head cold and I didn't do a 5ish miler today as I was recovering from a tough run yesterday.  I'm still hoping to get those done, honestly.  Sure, I'm not running a whole lot of miles, but I've had GREAT WONDERFUL POWERFUL SUCCESSFUL runs and I've really seen great improvement in my running.  Only a few weeks until we find out how it has all worked out.

Strength - 1 hour
All short core routines.  I guess all my strength routines were done in the pool this month.

YMCA Visits - 27
Cost Per Visit - $3.16
I'm sure making use of the Y membership this year!

Onto April....

Monday, March 30, 2015

Over It

I don't know about you, but when I reach the end of a training cycle I get moody and cranky and just plain over it.  This is BEFORE I reach the taper!  This training cycle hasn't been especially long and hasn't included a whole lot of miles.  However, I've put my whole heart and soul and body into it and I'm tired.  Physically exhausted.  Mentally exhausted.  Sore.  Hungry.  Ready to be done. 

Saturday morning we woke up early and I thought about going to run with my friends at the local trail.  They had called me out in an email the day prior for not being seen the whole winter (don't you worry your pretty little heads, I was training!).  I knew I needed to make an appearance.  I checked my phone for the weather and it said 18.  You've got to be kidding me!  No!  I stayed warm in bed, snuggling with my boys.  I never did get out and run that day.  Who cares.

Sunday I had to run, though.  The plan was for two runs: a longer one in the morning and a short easy one in the evening.  I checked my phone for the weather - 20s with the feel like temperature of 18.  $&@!*#!!  As if I wasn't already cranky I was now full-on-rip-your-face-off angry.  I bundled up and headed out.  God, it was windy.  And cold.  And this was stupid.  I went about 5 miles and said enough.  I've over it! 

I did get that second run in after 8:00pm.

It's been a long couple of months.  I have trained and parented and trained and parented all while the temperature has been stupid cold and we've been stuck in the house.  I have spent HOURS on the treadmill.  I have spent HOURS watching cartoons and reading books and playing trains.  I want to get outside.  I want to go to the park.  I want to wear shorts.  I want the boy to not have to wear a winter coat.

Winter, training, cold temperatures, everything...I'm over it!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Longest Run

I've got to be honest, I have been working my ass off this winter.  I have swam, biked, ran, and strength trained my way into great shape.  I have improved my diet.  I have completely given up alcohol.  My body is lean and fit (and my jeans are falling off to prove it).  And I am ready.

And FYI, I have not neglected my little guy in any of this.  He's #1.  Running is a hobby.

Yesterday I did my longest run that I'll do leading up to my marathon - 20 miles.  My parents helped me out by watching Anderson for a little bit while I got started and then Dave picked him up after he got off work.  The plan was an hour of warming up and building pace, then three half hours of progressively fast tempo, followed by a cool down to complete the mileage.  I am a slow starter and like to build my pace.  That's how I roll.  So, I was surprised when my first mile was under a 9:00.  Then it kept getting faster from there.  I kept telling myself to chill out, slow down, be comfortable.  I was comfortable, though, and easily breezed through the first hour.  The next half hour felt pretty fast too.  Again, I was telling myself to slow down that I didn't need to be going that fast.  I was comfortable so I just went with it.  Then, I thought, things would get tricky.  The second half hour was supposed to be at race pace.  I have some pretty big goals for this race.  Big Hairy Scary Goals!  My motto for the marathon is Fearless and that is how I approached this workout.  I destroyed that next half hour and picked it up another 10 seconds per mile for the final half hour interval.  Unfortunately, I ran out of daylight with about 2-1/2 miles left.  I was able to return to my parents' house, grab my reflective gear and headlamp, and head out in their neighborhood.  I am a little skiddish about running in the dark.  I always fear that I'm going to fall.  I slowed down considerably.  That's okay, though.  I completely my quickest 20 miler I have ever done in training.

You'd think the story would end there.

After I finished the run, I quickly gathered my things and headed home.  It was nearly 9:00pm; I hadn't had dinner yet; and I wanted to say goodnight to the little guy.  I didn't take time to calm down or get any recovery food/beverage.  It felt very dark outside as I climbed into the car.  About halfway home (which is all of a four mile drive), I started to get really cold and lose feeling in my hands.  Then I started to get pins and needles in my ears and jaw.  I was feeling sick and I opened a window (it was in the low 40s outside, maybe even 30s).  With one turn left and less than a mile I didn't think I was going to make it.  I prayed the light would turn green and I could make it home.  My vision was starting to blur and tunnel.  I parked the car in the garage, got in the house, and asked Dave to help me immediately.  I felt like I was going to pass out or be sick.  I laid on the ground and Dave propped my feet up.  For several minutes I laid there shaking like a leaf, freezing, and scared.  Only twice have I felt that way - when I was pulled off the course at Ironman and right before I had my cesarean.  Finally I was able to get my breathing under control and make it to the bathroom.  Dave had started a shower for me.  (The baby was asleep through all of this.)  Dave helped me into the shower and soon I was feeling warm and normal again.

That's not all!!!

I don't sleep very well after big workouts.  I hurt, my toes don't want to touch the sheets, I feel restless, etc.  This night was no different.  I hadn't eaten much dinner (didn't feel great), so I was only starting to feel hungry when I crawled into bed at 11:00.  Midnight, 1:00, 2:00.  Still awake.  At 2:30 I got up and ate a little bit and drank some fruit punch.  Calories.  Any calories.  I watched TV until 3:00.  I tried to sleep again for another hour.  I turned on the TV again at 4:00 and watched until 5:00.  At 5:00 I crawled back into bed and still felt terrible, so I went back out to the living room.  Finally I fell asleep at 6:00 and was unfortunately was awoken just an hour and a half later by thunder.  Thunder?! 

I'm dragging today and quite sore.  But I'm excited.  The training is paying off and the finish line is in sight.  I'm ready.  Bring it on.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Foto Friday

Here's a few pictures of the little dude to brighten your day...

Anderson discovered dental floss.  That was fun to clean up.

Yep, this.  We're not forcing the issue but we're letting him explore potty training.  He thinks he has to get completely naked for it.  Yesterday he actually asked to go, ran down to the bathroom, and successfully peed in the toilet.  Maybe this might be easy?

Monday it was nearly 70 degrees and we celebrated with a little free ice cream at Dairy Queen.  Yum!

I've been thinking about investing in a GoPro for more pictures and videos.  Any of you have one?  Do you use it?  What do you use it for?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

I was BIG when I was pregnant.  I carried a small linebacker.  I was out shopping for baby socks with about 6 weeks to go in my pregnancy.  The woman at the checkout counter said, "woah, you must be about ready for this baby."  I gently let her know that I still had several weeks to go.  I know she probably meant well, but she sure stuck her foot in her mouth.

Last week Dave and I were picking up dinner from our favorite Chinese carryout.  I haven't been inside the establishment for a long time because I'm usually waiting outside in the car with the baby.  This time the baby was with my parents so I went inside with Dave.  The ladies at the counter said to me, "You look so much better.  Your face is fuller.  You're not as skinny."  Woah, was that ever a backhanded compliment.  I smiled and thanked them but inside it hurt a little.

Have you ever stuck your foot in your mouth so badly you don't know how to reverse it?
Have you ever received a backhand compliment that left you wide-eyed and shaking your head?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Ugh! The Bike!

This evening I did a bike workout that required a lot of gear changing - small gears to big gears, big gears to small gears.  I had 10 intervals like this.  In just my first one, I dropped my chain.  Ugh!  I put it back on, went upstairs and scrubbed my hands, and continued on with my workout.  On my third interval I dropped my chain again.  You've got to be kidding me.  Fixed, hands washed, continue on.  Two more intervals and the chain got dropped for a third time.  I probably should have stopped the workout at this point.  I got back on the bike and now my power meter wasn't reading correctly.  Please, someone send a text asking to go get ice cream?!?!?!  I soldiered on, though, and finished the workout.  What doesn't kill me makes me stronger, right?

Have you had a workout that has totally gone awry? 
What was the worst workout you've had that you got it done anyway?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Week in Review

Last week was rest week.  Thank goodness.  There's only a few weeks to go until the marathon and to be honest, I'm feeling a little burnt out.  This is normal for me, but hard to overcome.  I just want to lay on the floor and watch tv, not run.  But, I keep reminding myself that I've come so far and done so well and it's only a little bit longer until the reward.

Swimming - 4800 yards
Only two swims this week and both were pretty tame.  I don't really have a whole lot to say about that.  :)

Biking - 19.91 miles
There were two bikes this week.  They were both pretty tame too.  They were more about cadence than power.  I cut one of them short to go on a family walk.  There's more important things in life.

Running - 23.14 miles
I had hoped to run a race this past weekend but unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate.  Our plan was a 10 miler in Pittsburgh but Saturday's forecast was 100% chance of rain.  We didn't want to drive 3 hours and pay for a hotel for a soggy race.  Instead I just did an easier, shorter run on the treadmill.  The hard workout for the week was a track workout of one billion times 400m.  Just kidding.  It was 12 intervals, but that seems like a lot.  I've got to admit, track workouts make me crazy anxious.  For being a track kid, the track makes me nervous.  But I dominated this workout and that makes me happy.

Strength - 0.25 hours
Just one core workout this week.  I better look bangin' in a swimsuit this summer!

Next week is BIG!  I hope I survive!

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Week in Review

Whew!  It was a big week and I rocked it!

Swimming - 7200 yards
I swam half as many yards this week as I swam all of last month!  I had three swims this week: one was 2800 yards, one was 2400 yards, and one was 2200 yards.  The long one was a recovery swim.  It was long but not a lot of difficult stuff.  The second one had a lot of sprints to it.  The third one was actually a continuous swim and I was pleased to see my 100 yard average to be 1:43.

Biking - 25 miles
I "only" had two bikes this week and both were at least an hour long.  There was lots of BIG gear riding, with LOTS of sweating!  I'm feeling pretty pleased with how my biking is coming along.

Running - 33.98 miles
Had I known I was 0.02 miles away from a round number, I would have done 0.02 more miles.  Good grief!  I don't know how many times I ran this week.  There was a recovery run (see post from Friday) that was easy and slow.  I also did short mileage with a warmup/cool down for some strength work and a short run off the bike on Saturday.  I did a speed workout that will hopefully be my last treadmill run for a while (and it was an amazing run).  And finally, I rocked my long run this morning - 18+ miles at an overall pace faster than my Boston Marathon qualifying pace.  Just to quantify - I was not TRYING to run fast.  My workout had a long slow build followed by an hour of race pace stuff.  My goal is to run a PR which is quite quick.  Therefore, my run was quick.  I was really happy with my runs this week.

Strength - 0.25 hours
Only one core workout this week.  I did a different variation of last week's, using a stability ball instead of a medicine ball.  It was a GOOD workout.

Next week is a step back week and there may even be a race at the end of the week.  Unfortunately, the weather is looking like rain for the weekend so I'm not sure I'll enter the race. 

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Oh, Old Navy, You Can Do Better

This weekend the boy and the husband went up to Cleveland to visit family.  I stayed behind and enjoyed a little "me" time.  I went shopping.  I miss shopping.  Now I do almost all my shopping online.  It's so hard to go shopping with a two year old.  Anyway, I went to Old Navy.  Funny enough, I only bought items for my son, but I found some things that really disturbed me.

Let me start by saying that yes, I am a girl.  But I'm not very girly girl.  I would love to be a girly girl, but after nearly 37 years of life, I'm just not that girl.  In conclusion, I'm not a huge fan of the color pink.  It's just not very favorite.  My favorite color is red.  I'm finding, though, colors besides pink are not readily available in workout clothes.  Check out this wall of workout clothes at Old Navy:

I mean, you've got to be kidding me?!

Next came the girls athletic section:

Cheer?  Dance?  Can't we be encouraging girls to run and jump and kick and throw??

Old Navy, I'm disappointed.  You can do better.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Recovery Runs - A Pet Peeve

Soabox out.

It really grates on my nerves when I read on social media, "I just did my recovery run at a 7:XX pace!  I'm getting faster!"  People!  That is not a recovery run!  Unless you're freaking Meb Kaflezighi a recovery run shouldn't be done that quickly.  A recovery run is typically done at 1-1/2 to 2 minutes slower than your 5k pace.  It repairs your muscles and gets the recovery juices flowing.  Plus there's science behind it and stuff that you can research yourself.  And why wouldn't you want to take an easy day every couple of days to just chill out and enjoy the sunshine on a nice, EASY, run?

Salty Running wrote an article about it this week.  Check it out here.

Soapbox put away (for now).

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Pretty Ugly

I am not, necessarily, a girl who cares about being high fashion...especially when it comes to workout clothes.  In the past, I've generally purchased running clothes on the cheap and wore them until they wore out.  Only in the last year have I decided to purchase nicer quality and better looking workout clothes and boy, what a difference it has made.  I sure made a statement this week at the Y with this crazy outfit.

I was wearing my new Lululemon shorts with a black tank top and a turquoise sports bra.

The I was wearing my new Pro Compression running socks.  I don't know if these are ugly or like a party inside my running shoes.

Finally, I broke out a new pair of running shoes.  These are the Saucony Ride 7.

Are these not the ugliest running shoes you've ever seen?  This picture does not do it justice.  The laces are actually florescent orange.  I'm thinking of replacing the laces with grey ones to make them my Buckeye shoes.

What is the craziest or ugliest running outfit or regular outfit you've ever worn?  Pictures in the comments appreciated.  :)

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Mechanical Problems

In the last two weeks my bike has decided not to shift into the big front gear.  I don't know what changed but something did.  I messed with a few screws here and there and wound up with my front derailer cable coming unattached and frayed.  Awesome.  I contacted my local running shop and they were able to help me out the same day.  Dave took his lunch time to drop off my bike and picked it up after work.  I had to have my front derailer cable replaced.  In addition, my front and rear derailer were aligned, my rear brake adjusted, and the front headset tightened.  The bike guy said it was "dangerously lose."  Who knew?!

When Dave brought my bike home he left it leaning against the dining room table.  I moved it downstairs later in the evening.  But for one minute we both took our eyes off Anderson and this is what happened...

Don't look at the ugliness of this bathroom.  It has yet to be renovated.

I should also mentioned that my husband, without the baby in tow, somehow managed to knock over a bunch of bikes, domino-style, while getting my bike into the store.  Seriously, I could have done that myself if I had brought Anderson.

Unfortunately, my shifting is still not great.  It's better but still problematic.  Soft-pedaling doesn't really work, but pulling up with my left pedal seems to get the gear in place.  For now, it's okay.  But, I might take my bike back in a few days to see what else can be done.  Almost all my workouts have big gear work, so I kind of need it to work.

Have you ever tried to fix your bike mechanical problems by yourself?  Did you create more problems that you solved?

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Roller Skating

My niece had her 6th birthday party at a local roller rink this past weekend.  At first, Anderson wanted nothing to do with roller skates.  He screamed and cried and threw a complete fit.  (Welcome to the terrible twos!)  We decided to put him in his stroller and wheel him around the rink.  He seemed to like that.  Then we put his skates on while still in the stroller.  He seemed to tolerate that too.  Finally, we got him out of the stroller and started skating with him.  He skated, maybe, one loop with us holding our hands and then he decided to do it all on his own.  He was good at it!  He would fall but didn't hurt himself or cry.  He was even able to get back on his feet all by himself after he fell.  He's so big.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Week in Review

The week started out so well and fizzled out by the end.  I blame the weather.  Really.

Swimming - 2400 yards
I only had one swim on the schedule this week.  Seems weird since I was coming off a race, but I'm not complaining that I didn't have to get all my junk together, get the kiddo ready, and drive to the gym, etc.

Biking - 34.87 miles
Three bike rides this week.  One was just a spin to shake off the race legs.  The other two contained more stuff like cadence and power.  One of the rides had a lot of hard stuff in a big gear.  In the last week my bike has decided it doesn't want to shift to a big gear anymore.  I haven't had time to take it to a bike shop, so I suffered through this workout.  I would have to stop my Garmin before each interval, figure out how to get the gear to the big ring, and then restart the interval.  This was really a pain in the ass as the intervals were maximum of 30 seconds in length.  Halfway through the ride I decided to do a little mechanic work on the bike.  I tweaked and rearranged, got back on my bike and immediately dropped my chain.  Argh!  Of course, I had trouble getting the chain back on which resulted in grease ALL.OVER.MY.HANDS!!!  All of this crap made it impossible for me to do my run off the bike; I had an appointment I had to get to and still needed to get myself and the boy showered.

Running - 17.23 miles
Seventeen miles is not very much when you're training for a marathon.  And it should have been at least 10-15 miles more.  Gosh darn it!  First, I missed the run off the bike as mentioned above.  Then came the long run.  My long runs are scheduled for Sunday.  I have been trying my best to follow the schedule and do my workouts when assigned.  Sunday morning I awake to snow and lots of it.  And it snowed all day.  We got, like, six inches of snow.  Did I moved to Boston???  I had specific paces I had to hit during this workout and I knew I couldn't get them done in the snow.  So I headed down to the treadmill, again.  Gah!  I'm so sick of the treadmill.  And I like to treadmill run!  I decided to break the run up into two different runs - the first would be an hour of "warmup"; the second would be the "meat" of the run with the paces and whatnot.  Unfortunately, I only did the first hour.  I just couldn't drag myself back downstairs to do another treadmill run.  I am sooo over winter!!!

Strength - 0.25 hours
I only had a core workout this week.  All the exercises were done with a medicine ball.  Some of them were hard and left me quite sore for many days.

Now that it is March I hope to be running lots of miles as my marathon is just around the corner and of course doing a lot of swimming and biking too.  Training never stops.  Which reminds me, I better get my buns out there and train.  See ya!!!

Sunday, March 01, 2015

February Totals

I had a great month in February.  I've gotten into the rhythm of getting in all my workouts.  I only missed two workouts the whole month.  I missed one swim because the weather was just crappy the whole week and I didn't want to leave the house or take the baby out in the elements.  I also missed a run off the bike on the last day of the month because I had terrible mechanical issues on the bike, which made the workout long and I had an appointment I had to get to.  More on this tomorrow.

Here's the rundown:

Swimming - 15,300 yards ~ 8.7 miles
Do you want to know how many lengths of a 25 yard pool that is?  612.  Wow!  My aunt used to describe to her sons how far my marathons were by telling them how many laps of a track it would be.  I kid you not, I swear I have that many laps just this coming week in the pool.  The workouts are starting to get serious!

Biking - 102.99 miles
Seriously?  Only 0.01 miles from 103 miles??  Good grief. 
It was a good month of biking.  I'm starting to get used to it.  Maybe not exactly liking it, but not griping about it either.  It's often a nice break from the pounding of running plus the workouts are hard enough that it is definitely complimenting my running and perhaps even helping it.  Once a week I might have "just a spin" but usually my bike rides are structured with different cadences and power zones.  It makes the time go quicker and keeps my mind fresh too.

Running - 108.15 miles
Look, I know y'all are running like a billion miles per month.  I don't know how you're doing it.  And frankly, I don't know why you're doing it.  Maybe if I wasn't swimming and biking I would have more miles?  Maybe I'd be injured too.  I just can't do those miles.  I wish I could.  In my 14 years of marathoning, I've learned I don't need high mileage.  I have succeeded and achieved all my goals with only about 40 miles on a big week.  So, although I'm jealous of your mileage, my 108 miles and I will hang out and be just fine.

Strength - 2.5 hours
For me, the "build" season is just about over, which means the strength workouts are starting to subside and the swimbikerun miles are starting to climb.  Now I'm seeing less strength on the schedule and more core and core and core and core! 

YMCA visits - 19 visits
Not as many visits as last month.  The month was shorter.  I didn't have as many swims, although the ones I had were longer.  I utilized my treadmill at home instead of going to the Y to use theirs.  Whatever I don't need to justify it.  Nineteen visits in 28 days?  That's still a lot.

YMCA cost per visit - $4.49

March is all about lots and lots of miles.  My marathon is only, like, 7 weeks away.  The focus will be miles and pace.  I have big goals for this race.  I'm working my tail off like never before.  I surely hope it pays off.