Monday, September 28, 2015

Manly Things

I came home from work yesterday to see the kiddo, the husband, and the neighbor all out in the yard chatting.  Or at least, I thought that's what they were doing.  As I approached, however, I noticed there were tools.  Big tools.  Sharp tools.  Then it started.  The two of them were chopping wood.  We've had to cut down a lot of dead trees this summer and we've been using the wood in our firepit (and soon enough, the inside fireplaces).  Then another neighbor came home and he came over with a chainsaw.  It was a 'manly' party at my house. 

There was also this:

Oh yes.  Chopping wood with his plastic hammer.

I asked Dave how he convinced the neighbor to come over and help him.  He said he just did.  And after the third neighbor came over with his chainsaw I knew this was true.  Men doing manly things.  Testosterone, I guess.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Week in Review

Hello, hello!!!

It's been quite a while since I've had any training worthwhile to put together a "Week in Review" post.  This week I did pretty well, though.

Swimming - 7800 yards ~ 4.4 miles
It should have been more.  I missed a nearly 3000 yard swim due to time constraints, but still got in some great swimming.  I've been working hard to become more swimmer-like after reading this article in Triathlete.  I've incorporated bilateral breathing and flip turning into all my workouts.  And it's making a difference.  I had 3 x 100 at the end of a long workout last week and busted out a 1:30, 1:29, and 1:27, respectively.

Running - 17.01 miles
Yes, 17 miles is not a lot.  However, this is the most miles I have strung together in a week since my last marathon attempt in May.  I did four runs and they were on consecutive days.  By the end of the week, my hip was not happy.  Not painful, but definitely not happy.  I had hoped to do one more run, but I ran out of time.  Life happens!

Strength Training - 0.5 hours
Right now I am only able to do my PT exercises as my strength training.  I should be doing it a lot more than a half hour per week.  By the end of the day, though, I'm just tired and want to sit on the couch.  I recently built my own slide board (more on this soon), so I hope to incorporate this into my strength training soon.

Now let's talk about the fun stuff.  I freakin' love my FitBit.  The stats are awesome!  I check them throughout the day.  I am crazy obsessed.  Here's some of the fun stuff from the last week.

Steps -  92,648 total, 13,235 average per day
Saturdays really screw me up with my steps.  I teach swim lessons for four and a half hours and cannot wear my FitBit during that time.  (It's not water proof.)  I walk a lot between the two pools I teach in and back and forth to get towels and whatnot.  I walk a lot more steps on Saturday than what is accounted for.

Resting Heart Rate - 75 average
I hope this continues to drop as I get more and more into shape again.

Distance - 40.2 miles total, 5.74 miles per day
This is grossly wrong.  I've noticed the mileage to be WAY off from my Garmin when I go on a run.  That's alright.  It's still a fun stat.

Sleep - 8 hrs, 7 minute average per day
That's right kiddos.  I regularly get over 8 hours of sleep per day.  Boom!!!

Thanks for checking in.  I'm hoping to get back to a regular blogging schedule.  I don't know how many of y'all actually read it (or care), but I enjoy writing this and want to be better about it.  Oh, and there is a big race this week for me.  Stay tuned!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Happy Anniversary

Dave and I are celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary today!

Look how young and skinny we were!

He surprised me with an awesome gift.  It involved some clues, however.  Can you guess what he got me?

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

This weekend is the Air Force Marathon in Dayton, OH.  I ran this last year as a training run (for which I got in lots of trouble with my coach) after years of wanting to run it.  And you know what?  I didn't love it.  The course was BORING and there were no spectators for most of the race since it was on the Air Force base.  I had built this race up as a cool race to run and I was disappointed.  I won't be putting this race back on my calendar.

So, what race will you not run again?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

My little boy is now a big boy who goes to preschool

My little guy started preschool last week.  He goes one day a week for two hours.  He's supposed to learn about counting and letters and spelling and singing and all the stuff he already knows.  He did great - no crying - and talked about playing on the playground and playing with the trucks in the room.  I don't know if he learned anything but at least he likes it.  And Dave and I enjoyed a lovely breakfast out just the two of us.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A&F Challenge 5K 2015

Ermahgerd!  I ran a race!

I had no idea what I could do in a race.  I had no idea how my hip would hold up.  I just planned on running and see where my feet would take me.  As it turns out, my feet and hip still know how to race.

I didn't race balls-to-the-wall.  I just went out and ran.  I tried to keep my pace even and keep Dave in my sight.  And I'd say I did a pretty good job of that.

Mile 1 - 7:39
Mile 2 - 7:48
Mile 3 - 7:44

My overall time was 23:33 and I came in just 30 seconds behind Dave.  Oh, and I was the 18th female finisher.  It's nowhere near where I was last year, but having broken my hip and taken the whole summer off, I'm pretty happy with my time.  There's still life left in these legs and they're ready to start racing again.

**I wish I had some pictures.  I don't think there was a photographer at the race and obviously, my paparazzi was racing with me.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Monday's Merchandise: FitBit


I have always been give or take about my Garmin.  I enjoy having the awareness when I train about pace and heart rate, but honestly, I prefer to just run with a stop watch during a race. 

Last week I bought myself a FitBit Charge HR with money I had been saving.  And I've got to tell you, I freakin' love it!  I love having all the stats: steps, heart rate, calories, sleep, water, food intake, etc.  I must check the app one million times a day!  I've even been pretty diligent at tracking my food so I know if calories in is less than calories out.  I have to get those six pounds off I gained this summer!  I also love that I can set a silent alarm (there is nothing more jarring than being startled by a loud alarm clock).  I used it for the first time on Saturday to get up for work and it was AWESOME!

The only "con" I've noticed is that the accuracy of the distance traveled is way different than my Garmin.  This morning I went out for a 50 minute run.  My Garmin said I traveled about 5-1/4 miles which is probably about right.  My FitBit said I had gone less than 5 miles.  Of course, it's basing it on steps and not GPS.  Either way, it probably doesn't matter since it uses your heart rate to determine calories burned.

Whatever.  I freakin' love it.  And I'm sure it's going to take no time to convince the husband he should have one too.  Gosh darn technology!  You're so cool!

Do you have a FitBit or a VivoFit or something like that?  Do you love it as much as I do?

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Week In Review

This was officially my first week back to training.  And I didn't do so hot.  First of all I've been battling a cold for the better part of 10 days.  Every time I would exert myself in an exercise I would cough.  And then Anderson got sick which made it impossible to go to the Y to do my swims because I couldn't put him in the child care there.  Finally, I'm struggling to figure out how to get everything done now that I have a job again.  Each week will get easier as I put in the time, dedication, and consistency.

Swimming - 6500 yards
I did swims of 2500, 3000, and 1000 yards.  The 1000 I did because I had the time at work, although it wasn't on the schedule.  Nothing wrong with adding extra work, amIright?  But, I did miss a 2600 yard swim that I'm still hoping to do sometime.

Running - 11.32 miles
Running was a struggling this week.  The cold didn't help.  The hot temperatures didn't help.  Camping and being out of town didn't help.  And my own laziness didn't help.  The running is coming back, slowly but surely.

Strength Training - 0.5 hours
I'm still doing my hip physical therapy exercises on occasion.  I should probably do them more.  I mean, I can do them while watching TV.  I'm just lazy.  There appears to be a theme here.

I'm finally starting to get over this cold so hopefully next week is an improvement.  Happy training.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Optimal Swimming Stroke

Everyone's a coach, right?

I have been swimming my whole life, although I never swam competitively.  Now that I teach swimming I know that swim instructors are just people who know something about swimming and want a job.  They may or may not know the correct way to teach or the correct way to swim.  So, the way I swim may or may not be the best way to swim.  Regardless, I do a pretty good job, I'm a little bit on the faster side, and I've done alright in races.  So, win?

Earlier this week I was at the pool while one of my good friends and fellow swim instructor and coach was in the guard chair.  I was doing a long workout consisting mostly of pulling drills.  She took a look at my stroke and form and gave me some pointers.  She said I had really low elbows both out of the water and in the water.  She said I don't reach far enough in front of me to pull all the water.  And she said I had a really high stroke rate, like 23 strokes per 25 yards.  She did say I had good hip rotation.

I relayed all this information to my coach and she basically said, "who cares?"  My friend is a good six inches taller than me and my coach is about my size (and an effing beast of an athlete).  My coach said there was nothing wrong with a high stroke rate and that I shouldn't worry about swimming with a straight arm to catch more water.

I have a few other confidants at the pool I've talked to this about.  They wondered about my shoulder rotation.  Sure I have good hip rotation but are my shoulders rotating too to be able to reach further?  They check out my flexibility in my shoulders and elbows and said it was good.  Hopefully I'll be able to get them to actually look at my stroke later this week (when I get over this cold enough to stop coughing and get my head into the water).

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

August Totals

August was the month I got back to running.  Well, jogging anyway.  Nevertheless, it felt good to do it.  I didn't have a training plan or clearance to schedule a race so I found it hard to stay motivated but I did do a little.

Swimming - 4500 yards.  This is pathetic.  I will have more yardage than that in the first week of September.  You would think since I am at the swimming pool every day working that I would at least jump in during my breaks and swim a little.

Biking - 8 miles.  One bike ride.  I'm over the bike.

Running - 39.79 miles.  It's not much but it's a lot more than it was.  And it was actually running/jogging and not walking.

Strength Training - 2.42 hours.  My sister is a certified personal trainer and offers her friend a circuit training class twice a week at the local church.  Last week I attended.  I've got to hand it to her, it was not easy.  I was sore for days.  Good job kiddo.  I might have to check it out again.

YMCA Visits - 16.  So, August was supposed to be the month that my employee discount kicked in.  But, we still haven't seen it yet reflected in our credit card.  I only counted the visits by the husband and the kiddo and not mine since my new discount gives me a free membership.  However, I still counted the full price in the calculation so...

YMCA Cost per Visit - $5.33.  This would have been a lot less had I counted my visits.

September is going to look a lot different.  I started training with my coach again on August 31st.  I can't wait to get back to a regular training schedule with races on the calendar.