Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Moving update

As of last night at 5 PM, we are no longer home owners.  I've got mixed feelings about this.  I really, really love our house.  But I really don't like Houston.  I've joked that I wish we could take our house with us.  Hopefully we can find something we like in Denver - if anything, the view will be much better (hopefully).

Today is my last day in the Houston office.  We had a happy hour a week ago to say "goodbye", which was really nice.  As of yesterday, my office is about 2/3 of the way packed.  Wish I could say the same about the house.....

Tomorrow the movers show up to pack and load our house.  We'll be spending the night sleeping in our empty house on an air mattress.  Then Thursday, we'll be starting our migration to Denver, spending the night either in Stillwater, OK or Wichita, KS.  On Dec 31, we should be in our hotel in Denver.  Our stuff arrives in Denver Jan 7, so we have a week to figure out a place to rent.  We're not super picky - just really wanting 2 bedrooms and a 2 car garage.

Would like to write more later, but between being sick and moving, all my energy needs to go towards this.  We'll be taking photos along the way and I'll write up a move post.

2010 Training in Review

hoping for more of a big December, but the move and bronchitis had other ideas.... however, 2010 was a HUGE year compared to 2009.

Bike: 92h 21m 04s - 931.87 Mi
Run: 59h 23m 10s - 314.55 Mi
Swim: 123h 15m 55s - 305325.1 Yd
Pilates: 31h 15m
Yoga: 16h 05m

Bike: 106h 20m 16s - 1438.6 Mi

Run: 125h 24m 37s - 652.94 Mi
Swim: 101h 05m 38s - 254039.3 Yd
Pilates: 15h 50m
Yoga: 36h 05m

Bike:  the difference here is probably that I did once a week spinning for a good chunk of 2009 and hardly did any in 2010.  Also did longer 50+ rides and one century ride.

Run: HUGE difference - more than double the miles :)

Swim: not surprisingly (and sadly) my swim volume was down.  In 2009, I was still swimming 3-4 times a week.  In 2010, I had to drop down to 2 times a week.  Difference in yards is ~ 16 workouts.

Jan - Houston Half Marathon
Feb - Frost Yer Fanny Du
April - Ironman TX 70.3
June - Ironman Boise 70.3
July - Katy Flatlands Century Ride
August - TriGirl Sprint
September - Houston Oly
October - Firethrorn Sprint (5th place AG)
December - RunGirl Half Marathon

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Race Report - RunGirl Half Marathon

My coach wanted me to do a half marathon before the big move to Denver... had a choice between the Galveston Crab Walk half marathon or RunGirl.  I ended up going with RunGirl because its organized by local RDs and the run was essentially the bike course from TriGirl, which is 100% in a park.  That, and the goodie bags from the RD are usually the best in the area :)

It was pretty chilly out, but I prefer to run a bit chilly.  I decided to wear my Pistols for Pandas tank top and compression shorts, with a last minute addition of gloves and sleeves.  My friend and I hung out in the warmth of my truck until 15 minutes before race start.  What was nice about this race, as opposed to larger half marathons, was that this was a small race with maybe 300 participants.  Parking was right by the run start/exit, bathroom lines were small, and the start was uncrowded.  Since it was cold, I really didn't do a warm-up, except for a few leg swings and some half hearted leg stretching.

My goal was a 11:00/mile pace and a finish time of 2:25.  My coach has been having me do a bunch of pace running that decends to a few miles at the end at sub-30 seconds under race pace.  My plan was to go pretty easy (11:15) for the first half of the run to settle into a rhythm and then push 2 miles at 10:30/mile and see how long I could hold my 5 k pace to the finish.  Its been a while since I ran 13 miles continuously (without stopping at water stations) and I've been having random issues (quad, heel, tight calves), so I was curious to see how today would go.

Since the race was so small, people settled into their paces pretty early on.  I went out a bit too fast - 30 seconds under goal pace for the first mile but quickly settled.  The course was a bit hilly but I managed to hold onto my 11:00/pace.  Around mile 2, my calf decided to lock up, making my left foot go completely numb.  I kept running, hoping that, as it sometiems does, my calf could loosen up naturally.  I ran ~2 miles and nothing, so at the second water station, I walked for a bit.  Crazy enough, a few steps in, just like magic the blood vessels opened up and I had feeling back in my foot.  Hooray, especially since its hard to run with a totally numb foot.  Especially when it starts at mile 3 of a 13 mile race.  My foot went a bit numb over the next mile, but not as bad as before.  I ended up walking the next water stop (around 5.5 miles) since I took in a gel.  Fortunately, after that, my calf relaxed and my foot was good to go.  After the 5.5 mile aid station, I felt warm enough so I ditched the gloves and sleeves (tied them to my fuel belt).  The people around me (wearing tights and long sleeves or jackets) thought I was crazy, but I knew as long as I was in the sun, I'd be fine.  We came back through the start area through this strip that during TriGirl is the last 1/2 mile of the run and is horribly hot.  I laughed as the wind was blowing and it most definitely was not hot today.  Looped thru the race start and went off to complete loop 2.  I wanted to hold ~10:30 pace for 2-3 miles then hold a 5k pace for the last 2-3, depending on how things were going.  Weird part about this race was that I ran most of it by myself - I had no one to pace off of.  I kept watching my watch and somewhere around 1:50 I figured that if I held on, I may finish around 2:20, 5 minutes under my goal for the race.  With 3 miles left, I kicked it into gear, holding a 10:00/mile pace.  I felt muscles in my quads that I've not felt before and my legs/knees were starting to get wobbly.  Running faster than the 10:00 pace wasn't going to happen, but I felt good about maintaining things.  For the last 2 miles I just focused on catching people ahead of me - I NEVER pass people, so this was fun.  My goal was to finish strong, and I was doing that.  I came back through the TriGirl run course and knew that once I turned the corner I had 1/2 mile to go.  At that point, I just kept pushing (although really, it probably wasn't that fast... I was just trying to hold momentum), curious to see if I could come under 2:20.  All said and done, I came in at 2:20:42.1.... 4:18 under my goal time and 10:48 under my last half marathon in January.  Huge PR, all due to me running my ass off all year.

Post Race
put on warmer clothes, ate 3 breakfast tacos, sat in my truck with my friend to get warm.  good times!  I was limping a bit, but nothing near as bad as at the end of other long races.  Only did a bit of stretching, which will probably come back to bite me.

In comparing this race to January's Aramco Houston Half Marathon, they were 2 different races, mainly because I'm a more seasoned racer. 

In January, this was my first half marathon and my longest running race to date.  I was training with a more beginner-oriented group, doing a 5:1 run/walk ratio.  The crowds were much larger, the race was run.  But the race was also much harder to finish.  The last 2-3 miles were just tough, mentally and physically.  Also, the week leading up the the race, I was super nervous/excited.

This race, I entered it really just for fun and to see how I'd do.  I had a goal time, but no pressure.  Now, running 2.5 hours is no big deal, especially considering that I've spent 7+ hours on a race course twice since then.  This race was smaller and lacked the "show" of the Houston Aramco race, but it was prettier and probably more fun, since it was low key and in a really pretty park setting.  Going into this race, I wasn't nervous at all but I had a plan to execute.  I knew I could execute it based on the weeks of speed work leading up to the race.  So today was more a matter of testing myself and seeing how much I could do - and have fun doing it.

And based on my perfomance today, I would say I had a great race :)  Great way to end the season and Houston and to say goodbye to the local community before I move to Colorado.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

November Totals

First month of IMTX training - and my first month of being coached by Carole.  Focus this month seemed to be running, in preparation for the RunGirl half marathon on Dec 12th.  This was the first 100+ mile running month for me - pretty cool!

Bike: 11h 41m 47s - 125.58 Mi (mileage is short since I had 3.5 hrs on the trainer and my wheel magnet wasn't working, so I didn't get any mileage.  Mileage should be around 170 miles.)

Run: 19h 50m 06s - 104.06 Mi

Swim: 7h 40m - 17550 Yd

Yoga: 3h 00m

Review of November Goals
  • Get up to speed working with Coach Carole. This means learning to work with someone new, adjusting to their workouts, communication style. It also means more time on the bike. It was a bit bumpy in the beginning - the first week was a HUGE run week, 37 miles, where I'd been running 25 miles in a week.  That freaked me out.  But I think that week was a test and since then, we're getting into a rhythm and I'm figuring out how she works and vice versa.  She's been having me do a Friday run, Saturday long run, and then a Sunday run followed by a bike.  I think these Sunday runs (which are not awesome feeling) will teach me what it feels like to run coming off of a 112 mile bike.
  • Re-work my running schedule (again, with Coach Carole). I'm scratching the Houston Marathon (per Carole's instructions) and will most likely be doing the RunGirl 13.1 Dec 12th. I am running RunGirl, so this is done!
  • Get regular massages.  I got 3 (?) massages in November.  Then some muscles started hurting and I can't tell if its due to training or the massage.  So I'm chilling out on the massage front for a bit.  I have been spending more time with the foam roller and my Stick, since my left calf muscle is VERY tight. 
  • Keep my house clean - aka "show mode". We just listed it and we really need it to sell quickly. I am suprised and pleased to report that we have been doing a great job keeing the house clean. It helps that we don't have much in the house right now, so there's no clutter.  We also have our "show" routine down, so getting the house ready for a showing is pretty easy.
December Goals
  • RunGirl Half Marathon finish time of 2:25 (11:00/mile pace).  I did the Houston Half Marathon in 2:31 and I'm a faster runner now, so theoretically, I should be able to meet this goal.  The RunGirl course has some (small) hills, though, which could affect me.  We shall see.....
  • We had a preliminary offer on our house yesterday, which is great, but it makes the month of December really, really crazy.  The proposed close date is Dec 29th - we've asked for the option to lease it through Dec 31st so we have a few extra days.  This means I have to get quotes for movers, pack, figure out logistics, survive the selling process, and move to Denver.  To say I'm a little overwhelmed right now is an understatement.
  • Find a run group in Denver for my long runs.  Research swimming groups so I know what my options are, depending on where we end up living in January.
  • Keep up with the training, even with the moving craziness.