Thursday, July 31, 2014

Unexpected, but much needed....

Yea, yea intrinsic motivation is best. But you's really nice to get an unexpected ego stroking. As a matter of fact I just took an on line quiz: What is your love language and I scored high on Words of Affirmation. I accept that.

It happened Sunday night from Ally. I haven't seen or spoken to her in a couple of years.

And then Monday as I was driving into work I got this:

Tuesday I kind of hit a wall. I was supposed to run 13.1 miles after work and I just couldn't. I was riding high after my HUGE swim on Monday night (I'll blog about that this weekend when I summarize my first really big week of training) but then I came crashing down. Everything hurt. My back hurt, my abs hurt, I couldn't imagine running 1 mile much less 13.1. I spoke with coach and he said not to.

I was whining but 13.1 was on the schedule. He reminded me plans were plans. Not every workout would be completed. I told him I didn't want to miss a big "workout."

I still don't really get how I got to this point. I didn't start this journey to be inspiring. I didn't start this journey 3 years ago to start training for an Ironman. But this is what it's become. I am flattered and honored and humbled that friends and friends I haven't met yet have reached out to tell me I inspire them. You should know, that when you share your thoughts with me, YOU inspire ME to continue on with the quest. But remember:

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Date, ride, run, oh my....

What a great weekend! Friday after work I went to the gym and completed a quick weights circuit. Then I met up with Luis for a 'swim lesson'. He and I both know I will have no major improvements between now and November 1, but I meet with him once a month or so for him to look at my stroke and give me some tips to improving it.

After this I had a date. I know what you are thinking...I had a date last Friday night too. I'm on a roll for first dates. Note I said first. This one a friend of mine played match maker. On paper, it seemed like a good idea. He plays and coaches lacrosse. Told me he'd willingly hold a sign at my races and walk my bike back to the car. We agreed on a casual first date. So I stayed casual: jean skirt and a halter top. He stay casual as well and showed up in a t-shirt and gym shorts. Yes, you read that right, GYM SHORTS! Not to be one to judge a man by his clothes, I tried to move past this first impression. So I listened to what he had to say about different things and that didn't help his cause either. Yesterday (Saturday) I asked him if there was a reason he showed up to meet me in a t-shirt and gym shorts. He said that we agreed to go casual, I told him even casual can give some impression of effort. There will not be a date #2.

Saturday I met up with Neil to ride 56ish on the Silver Comet Trail. He's coming back from being ill so he had no issues riding slow with me. It's very obvious that he is a stronger rider than I am, but for some reason he's willing to ride with me a again next week. I hope he will, he's a good influence. I manage to average out with an 88 cadence and a pace faster than I have ever done that route/distance.

Neil thinks my dating stories are hysterical and I should blog about them.
And unfortunately, yes, I'm still having saddle issues. It breaks my heart, but I may need a second/third opinion on my fit.

Saturday evening was great! I finally got a date I really really wanted. My couch and I bonded. I made some dinner. I relaxed. It was WONDERFUL!

Today (Sunday morning) I had a 12 mile run on my schedule.
I posted my workout in a Triathlete Facebook group I'm a part of and Lane and Stephanie said they were in. My friend David from Florida was in town and said he'd run whatever. Paula was there also, but by bad luck, we didn't see her till after the picture.
What a fun run! It wasn't necessarily the pace I would normally do my long run, but that didn't matter. Goal was to have fun and we did! David ran 8+ with us. Paula ran about 8 with us and we shooed her on her way to finish up her 15. After our last out and back I ran circles in the parking lot to get to 12 miles. Yes, this is as silly as it sounds. While Lane laughed at me, others just nodded their understanding.

Perks of running with me: Lane, Stephanie, David, and Paula all went home
with party favors: zucchini-carrot bread! It can't stay in my house, I'll eat it!
Lane's fueling was off. He dug right in after we finished.
Lane, his girlfriend, Stephanie and I then went out to breakfast. I wasn't paying attention and poured myself a glass of water and then continued to pour the water right over the top lip of the glass and on to the table. More laughs.

It has been established this will happen again as this crazy crew is all doing HIM Augusta, IM Florida and then Disney Goofy/Dopey. We will meet on Columns and run. Even if we are just waving at each other as we go by, it's always nice to see familiar friendly faces.

On the food program to get healthier, stronger, leaner; I finally broke my plateau and I finally see the results in the mirror.
The tape measure doesn't lie, but a good camera angle always helps too!
In case I don't thank y'all (just to drive my Jersey friends nuts!) enough: I really appreciate that you read and so often comment either here, on Facebook or on Daily Mile. I really appreciate all the support you give me in life, training and with this blog.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

So many thoughts...

I have had so many thoughts I've wanted to write about.

The first is the resurfacing of the Pearl Izumi ads that talk about being a runner not a jogger. Here is what annoys me about them: They set a pace to what is jogging v running. I'm in lots of different Facebook groups and the people who make up these groups are very different and varied in ability. One of the groups has some members cheering that they finally broke a 15 minute mile. Another group talks about how they finally finished a 5k in under 18 minutes. According to Pearl Izumi, the 15 min miler is not a runner but a jogger.

I don't think that's right.

I think the distinction is attitude. I tell people I'm a runner not because of my pace but because I don't wear cotton and I run even in the rain. I run with purpose. I'm trying to accomplish something. Besides...joggers find dead bodies. Seriously? Have you ever read an article that talks about a runner finding a murder victim? I didn't think so.

Then there was the date I went on last week. Don't get excited, it was a one and done. Nice guy. Not a wasted evening, just no reason to spend time with him again.

Tonight I had dinner with a girl friend I haven't seen in about 4 years. We talked. We discussed fun dates, not so fun dates and the joys of dating in general. She said...check out these guys, let me know what you think. I said tell them to contact me. There were 2. She contacted one of them and he wasted no time. Hehehe, I have a date tomorrow night with him. He wanted to make sure I wasn't looking for training partner. I assured him I am not. I'm good with finding a guy who will hold a sign and make sure my bike gets back to the car.

Today (Thursday) marks 99 days until IMFL. I think training is going well. I'm looking forward to this weekend. I have a swim lesson tomorrow night and a 56 mile ride on Saturday. T-shirt guy has decided to do a tri and has started riding so he may join me for a little bit. Sunday I have a great day planned starting with a double digit fun run with some tri friends and maybe my Running Husband followed by breakfast and trip to Red Top Mountain to splash and play. I don't know what it is about that place, but I love being up there. Monday could be huge. There is a group that is going to swim 3 laps in the lake. If I play too, it will be my longest swim ever of 2.7 miles.

Thanks Nadya for the picture!
I am spoiled. With all this training, I fall asleep within moments of sitting still. It reminds me of camp sleep. By the time I put my head on my pillow at camp, I was out cold. Insomnia. What's that? I now complain about not being able to fall asleep when it takes me more than 10 minutes to fall asleep. I contend I hit REM sleep during my 15 minute nap yesterday morning.

Speaking of which, I'm going to pass out on my keyboard but T-shirt guy informed me my fans (hahaha) missed me. I'll recap the weekend of training. The irony of me not posting for a week and a half is that I have had plenty to say, I just never sat down to type it out.

Thanks for putting up with my stream of consciousness.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Hoo-Ha, Ew ha ha.....

I should probably wait to publish this till tomorrow as I'm really tired and I have no idea if I'll catch any of the typos I'm likely to make. Eh, we'll see.

It's no secret that I've been having issues with my bike. The fit has been adjusted and I've tried 3 different saddle. Today was supposed to be great. We, Josh at and I, thought we'd figured out the right combo.

Today's ride had the making of a complete and utter debacle. I ran out of my Infinit Bike mix. Then when I got to the Silver Comet Trail and started setting up my bike, I realized I forgot my straw for my aero bottle. Good news, it wasn't a COMPLETE debacle....but the saddle/cream combo was only so good.

At about mile 40, I stopped at the convenient store and grabbed a straw. Made the bottle slightly usable.
Met up with Lizzie (Elizabeth, but not the same Elizabeth as Blalock Lakes Tri) and started off on our ride. This is the furthest I've ever ridden. We started at the Bike Depot and by riding out 35 miles, I finally got past Rockmart...interesting place. Turned around at mile 35 and headed straight back to the Coot's Lake trailhead as there is a convenience store there. Got off my bike, got the straw and grabbed some ice. I ate a small almond butter/jam/Ezekiel bread sandwich and checked my cell phone. That's when I saw that Lizze would meet me back at the car.

The ride was tough. I do well with my cadence going out, but on the way back I find myself taking more and more breaks. Mostly it is to get off my saddle or shift some. Some one told me if you aren't going 16 mph, there is no benefit to being in aero. That's all well and good, but by mile 45/50, I couldn't perch on my saddle any other way! I really wanted to stop one more time on my way back in, but convinced myself to tough out the last 11.5 miles and just keep going.

I was about 1.5 miles from my car when a woman was all sorts of wobbly on her bike. I don't even know how to describe the bike, but it was heavy and bulky. I called "on your left" because I was concerned she would swerve into me. She said sorry, I have no control over my bike. I told her to get off it, and I stopped and got off mine. Sure enough, her chain was off. She said she would just walk back and I told her to hold my bike. I quickly popped her chain back on and off she went. She thought I was awesome, I was surprised I could actually make her bike useable again.

There was some new pain development this week. My knees began to hurt (but were fine on the run, but are bothering me again right now) and my toes started to go numb. My right foot went from numb to pain. Yes, I know the difference between sore, bothering, and pain. Can't figure out what happened.

Lizzie was waiting for me when I got back and she put on her running shoes and went out with me for a quick brick. She then shared with me her plan for IMFL....she would be out of the swim as I begin my second lap (yes, she's so fast, I hope she doesn't actually swim right past me, but it could happen), and then I would catch her on the bike and we could run the marathon together. I told her I was going to tether on to her ankle for the swim.

The moment I'd been waiting for from the time I decided to ride the SCT....
I love this fountain!
Lizzie is just as fun as I am... I predict trouble a brewing!
We changed into dry clothes and upon recommendation from the bike shop staff, we landed at a Mexican restaurant nearby. I'm not much of a drinker, but I cannot tell a lie....this tasted sooooo good!

Tomorrow starts a new meal plan from Aaron as we attempt to get me down closer to ideal race weight. Good thing I got a new car....
Grocery shopping for the week.

The aftermath of a brick: ride then quick transition to run.
My roommate is a I'm figuring out the new meals and how to prep them best, she tells that under no uncertain terms, my cooking is exhausting to watch. Oh well....I'm almost all done, but I still need to put up the crockpot for the evening.

The 70 was tough. I don't think the Hoo-ha Glide and the Cobb JOF are a magic bullet, but I think I may be able to tolerate it enough to get through the ride. I'm almost looking forward to only riding 56 miles next week and following it with a 10k run.
I can't believe I'm still awake. Time to prep the crockpot and turn it on.
Be kind if you see a typo... I'll try to fix it tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

114 and Counting....

Thanks to my buddy Jeff, I was reminded today that IMFL is in 114 days. It's so far away, and yet it is just around the corner.

In the Facebook group one of the page administrators asked how everyone's training was going. I responded honestly: I have not missed a workout so if my coach knows what he's doing then I am doing great! However, I don't know. If I were training for a marathon, I would have a much better idea of how I'm doing as I've done them before. For a while I was looking at training plans on line. I was paying attention to what workouts others were posting. I was constantly questioning if I was doing enough. Then I realized: I trust my coach. I have to put on my blinders and just keep doing the workouts assigned. If I keep second-guessing and wondering and comparing myself to others I'm going to drive everyone around me battier than I already do.

114 days to get ready to do 140.6 miles in one day.

What have I gotten myself into? Aaron (my food and strength guy) and I were chatting and he asked me what I wanted. Did I want to shake things up or stay status quo?

What I feel like when I'm wearing my tri kit.
114 days till I stand on the sands of Panama City Beach. So close and so far away.

It's time to shake things up. I've lost 13 inches, 10lbs, and 2% body fat with Aaron's guidance but now I've plateaued. Time to kick it back into gear and see if I can get closer to my race weight.

If you know me, you know I have no will power...anyone local have extra freezer space for some food for the next 4 months?

Saturday, July 5, 2014

My Second Peachtree Road Race....

Yesterday I participated in my second Peachtree Road Race here in Atlanta. It is the largest 10K in the world with about 60,000 participants ranging from the super elite to participants who walk the route enjoying the street party it can be.

Last year coming off of MARTA I bumped in to my friend Megan and ran the entire course with her just chit-chatting away. It was a truly great time and we finished in 56:26 This year I was told to treat the event as a training run. In other words, no stopping for a snack, a beer, t-shirts. Did I mention this event can be quite a bit of a street party? This year, for some unknown reason, Megan was a corral behind me. I told her I needed to just run, so we didn't run together. She's wicked fast and think she ran faster than me, but I didn't want to start any further back. This year I put my head down, ran straight up the middle. I completed it in 54:56 which is a course and 10K personal best for me, but it wasn't fun. If I do this race again next year no matter what I'm training for, I'm going to enjoy the course and if Megan will take me back,  (and I can keep up with her) I'm going to run with her. These amazing friends got it right....
Stacey & Leah, badass triathletes and wig wearers.
After the race I hung around Piedmont Park with the crew I went down with.
East Cobb Peachy Runners
and bumped into Coach and a few others from the North Georgia Tri Club.
North GA Tri Club
Last year's PRR finished us in the same park, but it was a complete mud pit. While walking back to MARTA with Megan and RH, I spotted a fountains and found a way to get the mud off. This year, RH and I decided it must become a tradition. This year, though, I took off my shoes.
No mud to rinse, but surely they wouldn't have put the fountain there if not for me, right?
Easy trip back on MARTA and a wonderful talk with this guy who I adore for so many reasons....

Adam's friend Troy with an AWESOME photo bomb!
and I was headed to meet up with Stephanie for a fun swim at Red Top Mountain. Perfect weather, quiet cove. We swam in this direction, stopped, picked the next direction. Swam more. Headed towards where the boats were playing (not near them!) which provided opportunity to swim water that felt like the ocean once you get past the breakers. Up and down, up and down. Finished with about a 1.25 mile swim.

From Red Top I was off to chill and grill with some friends who are not connected to my endurance world at all.... and it was WONDERFUL. Stayed much much much later than I planned. Introduced them to grilled zucchini, yellow squash and even grilled green tomatoes thanks to a friend who brought them up from his farm.

Now it's Saturday morning and an official rest day, but I have my second strength workout to get done this week. I want to skip it, but I sent Aaron (food guy) this picture on Friday....
Tri girl problems...must find a guy who likes tan lines!
and he responded with "Wow!!! You go beast." Since he doesn't throw compliments around (he's usually telling me to get my head out of my butt) I'm dragging myself to the gym, then Best Buy, maybe some Bed, Bath and Beyond if there's time....

Yesterday was an emotional roller coaster. Running Husband was wonderful. I'm very thankful for friends like him and new friends like Stephanie.

Now to make the most of the weekend....household chores, errands, more pool time and then dinner with my folks today, a 60/5 brick tomorrow.

P.S. T-shirt Guy never reached out before the race, so there is no picture of him for this blog.