Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Long time, no see...

Yeah, I've been super busy sitting on my ass for a good long time.  I didn't train for the Dumbo Double Dare and it killed me.  I'll have to write that sad story some other time.  Maybe when I'm over it. 

For now, we'll focus on the phoenix rising from the ashes and my glorious restart into fitness.  I am way out of shape, so right now I am just walking.  I started again because I am signed up for two races coming up in the next two weeks.  Because that's how I roll - I sign up months and months in advance and ignore it pretty much until a week before when I panic.  That brings us to now... panic time. 

In 5 days, I'm doing the City Of Oaks 10k with my daughter.  It's a 14 minute mile pace and there is no way I can make that.  We'll probably be asked to finish it on the sidewalks so they can open the roads.  I am prepared for that and for being last.  It is what it is.

The week after is the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon which was so much fun last year.  By "so much fun", I mean I was slightly more trained and almost threw up because it was way past my bedtime.  Disney has a 16 minute mile requirement and this one I think I can do under the current conditions.  I just can't stop for pictures or potty breaks, which is fine.  I've done enough Disney races that pictures are not as necessary.  Maybe at some point where I actually train and not stress a half marathon, I can enjoy the whimsy of photos again.  Until then, I plod along.  If I get swept, it's not the end of the world... I'll just have more ammo to trash talk myself!

I'm really not as depressed as all this sounds!  I am glad to be back to doing SOMETHING (ANYTHING) and hope it's the start of a renewed commitment to fitness.  I was in love with my bad-ass triathlon self and I'd love to get back there again.

So, this is just to check in and say I am going to give this some effort and see where it takes me.  I am starting huge with two races I am unprepared for, but I will get through them as gracefully as possible and continue to move forward.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

First Swim Lesson

You know, I thought I knew how to swim fairly well. I mean, I don't sink and I move forward in the water.  Maybe not Ryan Lochte fast, but I get there.  So, I was excited to fine tune my already sufficient swimming skills with a few lessons at the Y.  What I found out is that my swimming SUCKS and I am doing just about everything wrong.  My new coach stops short of saying she can't believe that I don't just sink to the bottom, but I think she was just being kind.

Ok, first - I don't put my head down far enough into the water.  The waterline is supposed to be above my hairline and I need to tuck my head down.  See, the reason it was up higher is that I LIKE TO BREATHE AIR.  Apparently, there is some trick for breathing air this way and it has to do with...

Second, my hips need to open up more.  I should be almost sideways with my hip up as I rotate to take a breath.  This will pull my side up and my face will be above water.  Or I will roll over.  Not sure which.

And third, I have to kick up and down like a crazy person (with pointed toes!) during all of the above.  So yeah... that was hard.  My coach, Heather (who is a tri coach as well and she seems super knowledgeable), gave me some drills as homework which basically have me holding onto the pool wall while I kick/rotate hips/breathe so I can get that down before moving forward in the water.

I was a little discouraged because I honestly thought my swim was ok and this was just to help me swim more continuously without breaks.  But, no.  This is going to require some serious practice and commitment on my part to improve.  Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...

Friday, July 4, 2014

I'm baaaaack!

Ok, I've been away.  Regrouping.  And I didn't want to post until I had my act at least somewhat together.  (Note the "somewhat"!  I am still very much a work in progress!)

The last three weeks, I have started doing a 30 minutes bike followed by 30 minutes on the treadmill at least three days a week.  I have done a longer (1 hr) treadmill on Saturday or Sunday.  I am only walking fast on the treadmill, but will start working in intervals next week.

I am trying to not expect perfect fitness and perfect speed right away - which is really hard for me!  I honestly think one week at the gym should make a huge difference and it just doesn't.  I read somewhere recently that it takes 6 weeks to see improvement, so I hope to see better results then.  But until then, I have got to celebrate the small victories (who I am kidding - HUGE victories) of just getting out there and doing it each day.

I am 8 weeks away from Dumbo.  I am doing back to back Friday and Saturday longer runs to prepare.  Two weeks after Dumbo, I have an Olympic Triathlon (the Outer Banks Tri that I did last year) so I CAN NOT SLACK.

Ok - this is my public declaration.  I will try my best and work hard now through Dumbo, through the Oly Tri, through Wine & Dine, and keep moving forward.  I can't be discouraged that I am not faster.  I must appreciate that I am just getting out there.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Race Recap - NCRC Classic 10K

Well, this was... humbling.

I honestly have been telling myself that a 10k was nothing to get too worked up about and my inconsistent training was not going to stop me from attaining my time goals.



I didn't respect the distance or train enough and, oh man... did I pay for that. Here's the breakdown:

What?  No balloon arch?  Sad.
The Good:  I PR'd!  Not as fast as I wanted but faster than my last 10k.  So that was awesome!  And I wasn't last, so there's that.  I really thought I would be last for the first couple of miles but then I passed some people and at turnaround saw that there were even more people further behind me.

The Bad: The first mile was soul-crushing.  I huffed and puffed and suffered.  I thought about turning around and quitting.  Not in that, "It'd be nice to quit" way, but in a very serious, "OMG, I'm going to have a heart attack if I take one more step" way.  By mile 2, I had found a groove but I already figured out my time goal was a pipe dream.

This came just at the right time to keep me moving.

The Ugly: The last .2 of the 6.2 was a monster hill.  The half marathon leaders were passing me and they even walked up the hill.  Here's my elevation chart from Garmin:

The downhill didn't feel that significant on the first mile, but at the end... oh my stars... my final .41 mile was at an 18:58 pace if that gives you any idea of how bad it was.  That was the second time I wondered if quitting was an option.  I literally have no idea what kept me moving up that hill.  I thought about my kids, my IRun4 buddy Garin, and the Swim, Bike, Mom mantra, "Just Keep Moving Forward".  And I guess it worked because I made it.  But it was an exhausting way to end a race I was not prepared for.

Lessons Learned:  At some point, this lesson is going to sink in.  I MUST TRAIN FOR RACES.  Train like it's a serious thing.  I mean, really.  It's getting embarrassing to be me.

Best Part:  I looked cute!  I wore my Everest SparkleSkirt over tights (because it was in the low 50s this morning!) and big eyelashes.

I ran this race to submit a time to Disney for my upcoming Dumbo Double Dare and Wine & Dine.  I am wondering if I will though.  The time is not what I had hoped and last time, I didn't submit a time and got in 3 corrals from the last.  If I take the lessons learned part to heart and do some training, I can handle being in the last corral.  It's not the end of the world.  Maybe any time submitted is better than no time submitted?  I don't know.  I'll have to see if any RunDisney experts chime in on the comments.

Before the race!
After the race!  Still smiling!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

UGH - Reality Check Pants

Ok, it's been a rough couple of weeks.  A root canal, a DNS, and basically not doing anything to train has been a big challenge.  As I mentioned in my "boo-hoo, I'm bipolar" post, I did get a change to my medication and I do believe it is improving my attitude.  So, that's great!  But now I need to look at what I've done to myself during my last few months of backslide.

Reality Check #1 is that I have got a 10k that is my time qualifier for the upcoming Disney races (Dumbo Double Dare and possibly Wine & Dine) that is in two weeks.  I am not TOO stressed, but I don't want to struggle.  My goal is just to finish with a good enough time to keep me out of the last Disney corral.

Reality Check #2 (and the biggie) is a hard pill to swallow... It's a pair of capri shorts that fit just great about 2 months ago and now I can't zip up without major effort.  NOT COOL.  I don't feel like I have been totally pigging out, but stress and depression eating happens, and must have in these dark times.

SO!  What to do now?  I'm about 20 lbs from my lowest Weight Watchers weight of about 4 months ago, so that 20 lbs needs to go before I tackle the rest.  It will get me back into my capris and down to a size where I feel good (not great, but good - and hey, good is GOOD).  I'm just going to go back to tracking calories and daily work outs and see if that naturally takes care of the problem.  If not, I'll have to reevaluate in a few weeks.

That's the plan!  Anyone have any advice for getting faster in two weeks?

Friday, April 25, 2014

My first DNS will be tomorrow. :(

I was all set to race tomorrow but my mouth has gotten in the way.  By that, I mean a huge abscess requiring a big scary root canal has presented itself and I can't get an appointment to fix it until Monday.  They did give me pain pills (which make me sleep all day).  I'm not sure I want to Open Water Swim when high on Vicodin and barely conscious. Although, it might be an improvement since I PANIC in open water!

Anyway, I am bummed.  And my least favorite tooth hurts.  And Vicodin is no fun.  Why do people take this for recreation?  I am sad and tired on it.  If that is better than not taking it for some people, I need to stop and count my blessings, like immediately.

Here's a totally unrelated graphic that makes me laugh every April 25th:

So,  no sprint tri tomorrow.  I'm tough, but I'm not mouth-pain tough. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Some Forward Progress

Good news:  I have been running.  Just 3.1 every other day this week, but it is a start.  The busiest week of our busy season is pretty much past, so I can concentrate more on making the time to train.  I have been just squeezing it in when I found an hour, but I think I need a firm schedule or this house of cards is going down.

More good news:  With birthday money, I bought new shoes and some new tri shorts.  I had a one-piece suit, but I wanted just some shorts for another option.  They are nothing fancy - just black 2XU tri shorts.

Less than good news:  I haven't been swimming or biking and I have a Sprint Tri next Sunday.  I reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally need to get on that this week.  I'd say it was the swimming that terrified me most, but I'm not so hot on the biking either.  I still need to get my bike in for a tune-up before then as well.  I am definitely having some DNS feelings about this race.  I think I can do it, but I will be dead last and that is never a good feeling.  I wonder if I don't commit and train like I should to give myself that mental "out" for being last or not even starting.  I don't know.  All I know is that I am trying to make changes and it's hard.  I feel like such an ALL OR NOTHING kind of person, where I am religious in my training or I just half-ass it and don't do what I'm supposed to.  Maybe I do need a coach to help motivate me?  I don't know... I don't know... I don't know... I need to figure out something though.