Friday, July 25, 2008

Where In The World...

I feel like I've sort of dropped off the face of the earth. But, nope, still here.

You might be happy to hear I've pulled myself together and completed my workouts so far this week (er, since Wednesday that is). I went on my 17 minute jog yesterday. Actually I jogged in the direction of my gym for 17 minutes and then walked the rest of the way. I did my weight training and then walked the 2.5 miles home. Honestly, I don't know if I'll do that again. By the time I was done with weight training I wasn't thrilled about walking home. Part of it was I was running late, so maybe if I had no time pressures it'd be better. Point is, Yay Me! While I was jogging I passed an elderly woman (which is now defined in my mind as 70 and above) getting her mail, "It's a little warm to be running uphill my dear". I was on a slight incline, what some people call a false flat, and I agreed with her but kept running.

There's a 58 minute bike ride on the training log today but I'm going to do it tomorrow with Miguel. We're going to go in the morning and then spend the rest of the weekend cleaning house. My condo has been sadly neglected of late. I feel so much better when my home is clean and I need that boost these days. Sunday I plan to do the long run for the week, 29 minutes, followed by weight training. Hmmm...will I jog to the gym and walk home? Hmmm...

Anyway, back to Thursday. After my successful workout I went to my WW meeting. For the first time in my 1.5 years of going to WW I decided to take a pass on weighing in. I did a "no weigh", as the receptionist called it. I just wasn't up for it. From there I joined my co-workers for happy hour. I stayed away from alcohol but shared nachos for an appetizer and had a fried seafood bonanza as an entree. The good: I didn't finish the fried fish or french fries or cole slaw. The bad: I ate a whole pint of Haagen Dazs Dulce de Leche Light ice cream later that night. Oh, I would rather not be telling you all about that :) But, alas, I can't hide from reality. The whole container was 20 points! I need a restraining order from that stuff. I wiped out my daily points, 4 APs, plus all my WPAs for the week in the first day of the week. ¡QuĂ© Disastre! Well, this program is made for disasters like this. I will carry on. It's not about the falling down, it's about the getting up. I will rise from the ashes. I think I'm feeling literary or lyrical or something today.

So Monday will be the first day of Month 2 of my Olympic Distance Triathlon Training Plan. For the first time I will have some monthly workout totals to post like other cool people. Sadly, the actual numbers won't be as cool. But...hey, wait, stop that malarky, they will be cool numbers. They are my numbers. Each minute is a minute of my sweat, my heart beating, my body working, my calories burning, and my body getting stronger and leaner. Oh dear. But seriously, I am always harping on people not to compare themselves to others, I need to take heed myself.

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!! Oh, and please don't tell anyone about the whole pint of ice cream last night. We can keep that just between us, right?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Don't Call It a Slump

It's only been a few days so I can't really call it a slump. I noted in my last post I've not been feeling thrilled with training. I'm just tired. Feeling this way always scares me a little bit, "Am I falling off the wagon?", "Is this how it starts?", "Oh God, I'm going to get fat again", etc, etc. One thing I try to remind myself is that I'm not going to regain all the weight overnight. That's an irrational fear. Won't happen.

I tell you, it's irritating though. I don't like feeling tired. I like feeling upbeat and excited about my workouts. I like momentum. I have said again and again that momentum is a big part of my plan so when I don't have it I feel a little lost. I've been trying to keep my eating under control during this, but it's not been perfect. I'm 15 points over my points for the week. That includes my daily points, weekly points and activity points. I might see a gain this week.

After my ride on Saturday I bagged the 5k I had planned for Sunday morning. But I still went to the SF Symphony in the park event. It was a lovely day and I laid in the sun taking in the music and enjoying the delicious picnic food. There were some lemon cupcakes that were delicious! I was very proud of myself for keeping it to just one, even after she tried to send them home with us. I knew if I took them home I'd just eat them. But man were they good.

So yesterday's schedule called for a swim and bike ride. I normally do my swims in the morning but couldn't drag myself out of bed to do it. I thought about going after work, maybe riding my bike to the pool, swimming and riding home. This is a 40% reduction week so my swim was only 17 minutes and the bike ride 35. But all day at work I felt exhausted. I came home early and sat my butt on the couch and watched TV all evening, catching up on Swingtown. I had Frosted Flakes and hot dogs for dinner. Yes, you read that right. But hey, the hot dogs were 98%FF Kosher All Beef Dogs, 1 Point each. Anyway, I knew today was a day off so I decided to go ahead and let it pass and see how I feel tomorrow. So tomorrow is a 29 minute swim. I find it an interesting coincidence that I'm feeling tired and this is a 40% reduction recovery week. Maybe I'm close to being in sync but just a little off?

Oh, I also calculated that with my 261 minute bike ride on Saturday I'm still 64 minutes ahead in exercising minutes even with the ones I bagged. That made me feel good. I'm planning to get up and do my swim first thing in the morning. Tired or not, I need to get back on this horse.

Shifting gears...the official triathlon pictures finally arrived! I'm posting them here and sneaking them into the original race report so they live on in their right place.

Here I am coming out of the swim.

When I first glanced at this picture I was taken aback. That's me? Even though I've got a little of the stuffed sausage look I am still proud to be in that moment.

Here's I am on the bike.

Isn't that cool? I love that picture. No run picture but here's the finish line picture. Please don't forget to subtract 15 minutes for my 4th wave start. So that makes my time 1:38.

Back to my non-slump slump. I don't really have a plan other than to just start faking it tomorrow. I'm going to get up tomorrow morning and do my swim. I'll carry on from there.

Update: I made it to the pool this morning. I'm starting to feel alive again. Slowly but surely.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

This Is What I Want To Do

This past week I've been struggling with feeling unenthusiastic about my training. I got up Wednesday morning and did my 48 minute swim. I swam 2500 meters! Whew. I was dragging the rest of the day. On Thursday I came home in the afternoon and just wanted to sit. But I had my short run, 29 minutes. Miguel agreed to go with me (Thank you!!). It would be the first time we ran together. Neither of us was thrilled to go but we put on our shoes and got out the door. One thing I like about running is the lack of equipment. You just put on your clothes and tennies and you're out the door. Well, in this modern world maybe you also grab your ipod or garmin but you get the idea. I didn't take either because I had Miguel for entertainment.

We did my 5 minute warm up walk and then started jogging. It was so fun! We got to chat the whole time. I have seen couples running before and the whole scene has always been incredibly foreign to me. Now that's me running with my husband! I never would have thought...Wow. So Miguel suggested a loop that wasn't entirely flat. I agreed to give it a whirl. It wasn't too bad. There was this one short, very steep incline up over a hill but I sort of shuffled up and made it. No walking the entire 29 minutes. 5 minute cooldown walk and we were home. We felt energized and happy. Ah, exercise. It's good stuff.

I had to do a little shuffling of the training schedule this week. Friday was supposed to be a 97 minute bike. But Friday evening I had agreed to work the beer stand at a friend's event. Not enough time to cycle and still make it to that after work. Miguel and I talked about doing a big ride on Saturday anyway so I decided to swap them around. Saturday is a day off on the training log. We stayed up kind of late on Friday night and didn't get going for our bike ride until 2:30pm. Fortunately the heatwave has passed. We planned our route, home to Point Reyes, back home via Nicasio Valley and Lucas Valley Roads. About 45 miles. Whoa. My previous max was 30.

We headed out and I was feeling really strong. I don't know if it was because I'd eaten lunch only an hour earlier (a 98%FF kosher hot dog sandwich and an apple) or because of the day off prior but things were just feeling more doable, ya know? I got to The Hill. It's a hill I have never made it up without a break. It's probably not much of a hill to most cyclists, even though that elevation profile makes it look like Everest!, but to me it was The Hill. Given that I was feeling so strong I thought there was a chance I'd make it. I got to the point where I normally need a break and felt I could keep plugging along. Once I passed that spot I knew I would make it. When I passed over the top I told myself, "I made it, I made it...I made it!" and I got a little emotional. I was pedaling so slow, I was breathing hard, but I made it. Yay!

We rode on and decided to take a break at The Cheese Factory. After a brief rest and a Shot Blox we carried on, headed toward Point Reyes. This was new territory for me, I'd never gone past the cheese factory. The road between there and Point Reyes was really nice. Parts of it included a really nice, smooth, wide shoulder to ride on. We stopped for pictures.

That's next to Nicasio Reservoir. And my other new jersey! Isn't it cute? The weather was perfect, the sun was out. It was starting to cool off at this point as we were getting closer to the coast. About 9 miles to go to Point Reyes. Back on the bikes and on our way. I was happy to get off the bike when we got to Point Reyes at about 5pm.

We decided to grab some food, since we were starving!, at Point Reyes Station House Cafe. We parked the bikes in the garden (thank you nice restaurant people!) and sat. Later I would decide this was a huge mistake. But, onward. We both had a cup of clam chowder soup, plenty of bread, and shared beef kabobs with organic long grain rice as an entree.

It was all very good and not too filling. All in all we were there about a 1/2 hour. We hopped back on our bikes for the ride home. About 3 miles in my legs started hurting. My quads were in pain, sort of feeling as if they were about to cramp up. It dawned on me what I had just done. I rode for about 2 hours, got off my bike and sat. No cooldown, no stretching, just sat. Ummmm, hello Michelle? Now I was paying the price. At least I think that's what caused the pain because I wasn't anywhere near hurting like this when we arrived.

I carried on. A few miles further and they were hurting so bad I questioned if I would make it the remaining 12 miles home. Honestly, there was a point where I wanted to cry. I was going really slow and imagining all the various ways I could get home not on the bike. We could stop and call a cab. I could stop and Miguel could ride home and bring the car back. We could get a hotel for the night. All seemed plausible. Miguel kept checking in on me, "you okay?"...a weak, "yeah" in response. There were only a few hills to speak of. A couple long, slow inclines, and one steeper but short incline. I reminded myself that I was out there because I enjoy this, because this is what 6 months ago I could only dream of doing. I reminded myself that I am doing this by choice, that no one is making me. I started chanting, "This is what I want to do" to the beat of my pedal strokes. It actually made me feel better. I forced myself to look up at the unbelievably gorgeous surrounds. We pedaled through redwood groves, through lush, green slopes, past beautiful hills. We came to the base of the steep short incline and I just buckled down and ground it out. We got to the top and whew! I was shaking a little bit (partly from the cold I think - notice I'm wearing my arm warmers now, next I'm buying leg warmers!) and relaxed a little in the knowledge I would make it home. About 5 miles to go from here.

See how I'm soothing my leg? Can you tell I'm not quite as enthusiastic as earlier today? There was a huge HUGE downhill from here, lasting about 5 miles. I reveled in the speed and turns. We passed George Lucas' estate, Skywalker Ranch, and pedaled on toward Novato.

On the frontage road during one of the long, slow inclines my chain dropped. I unclipped my right foot to get off but for some reason went left. I fell. Ouch. I used my wrist to break my fall. I lay there for a second just feeling down. My legs hurt, I was cold, I was tired, and I fell. Miguel came and helped me get up. I got up, started riding, clipped in one foot, struggled with the other and fell again. Ok, this is getting ridiculous. Two falls back to back? Someone came riding by as I was getting back on and I was happy he didn't see the whole fiasco.

We rode the rest of the way home without incident and I finished my 2 liters of water a block from the house. Altogether we were on the bikes for 4 hours and 15 minutes, rode 47 miles. I averaged 10.7mph. Garmin says the total ascent was 2688 ft, MapMyRide says it was 1079 (that sounds more reasonable). Garmin also says I burned 2700 calories and I doubt that. When I got home my legs were burning. I walked around for about 10 minutes, and then spent 10-15 minutes stretching. I started smelling, and I'm not kidding, fried chicken. So we had KFC for dinner. Honestly I didn't give a rat's ass about the calories. They were out of crispy chicken though. Can you believe that? I still enjoyed my fast food dinner :)

I was worried about how my legs would feel the next day. But, I'm happy to report they're not bad at all. A little sore but nothing major. Whew! I have a bruise on my left thigh and my wrist is sore but I'm mobile and not in severe pain. So, there you have it. I was supposed to run a 5k this morning with a running club in SF. I bagged that. I have a 40 minute run on the training log but I'm not sure if I'm going to do it. I am going into SF this afternoon, the SF symphony is having a free concert in the park. We're all bringing picnic fare. Should be fun. I guess I'll be deciding about the run when I get home.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. I'll have to catch up on my blogs this evening. I welcome any thoughts or ideas on why my legs were hurting so bad.