Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving workouts

aka - my coach may be trying to kill me, but its for my own good.

First of all, with my run this morning, I passed the 100 mile milestone for running.  My first time doing this.  Woot!

Workouts this weekend weren't terrible, but they were challenging.
  • Friday - 1 hr run with some short hill work
  • Saturday - 2 hr run with pace work.  During the run, I really didn't think I was hitting my pacing.  When I downloaded my file afterwards, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was right on the money for my pace.  Very cool.  No ice bath, but I did wear my compression socks and tights all day.
  • Sunday - 1 hr run follwed by a 2.5 hr bike.  It was very windy for the bike, so I flipped my garmin screen to show only total time, cadence, and HR.  This actually turned out to be really good, as I could focus on my cadence for the ride.  As a result, I had my highest average cadence ride to date.  I intended to take an ice bath when I was done, but this plan was thwarted by a last minute appointment by a realtor to show my house.  So instead of stretching and an ice bath, I sat in my truck stalked my house.  Should have at least worn my tights, but I feel like a dork going out in public in them, and by that point in the day, I had errands and chores to do. 
  • Monday - 1 hr run.  This was the worst run ever.  I think my pace was a pathetic 12:30/mile, which is SLOWER than my Boise 70.3 half marathon overall pace.  Everything was just so tight and wouldn't loosen up until the last mile.  I know why my coach had me do this run though - very realistic training for how things will feel during IMTX.  Better I get familiar with this sensation early so I can be mentally prepared for the suck-fest.
This week is a bit lighter - I've got the RunGirl half marathon in 2 weeks, so I've got some speedwork and then its taper time.  Yay!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Feeling Inspired

Sunday my "cousin" (Will's cousin Jeff's wife) completed Ironman Arizona in 16:04.  Tina is just amazing.  She used to be a marathoner - that is until she developed compartment syndrome, which basically means that anything below her knees is incredibly tight and running is very painful.  But being the very tough and determined person that she is, she's just kept on going.  To enable her to keep running, she's had to survive frequent and painful therapy to release the compressed tissues.  Most people with this syndrome just stop running - the treatment is just too painful.

I raced IM Boise 70.3 with Jeff and Tina in June.  She had a strong finish but knew that she had a lot of work ahead of her for IMAZ.  Her plan was the survive the swim, be strong on the bike, and walk/run the run.  I stalked her all day and was fairly concerned for her on the bike -the weather was horrible and I don't think her pace was as fast as she was hoping.  Fortunately, she made all the cutoffs and finished in 16:04.  Jeff took video of her finish line run and it brought tears to my eyes, just knowing everything that went into that moment.

Seeing Tina complete IMAZ definitely gives me a boost of confidence that I can complete IMTX.  :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

calm before the storm

I think we're going to have a very interesting couple of months (6-8?) ahead of us.  Wowzers.

Denver update
I am officially a Denver employee!  Yay!  I'm still living in Houston, probably for another month.  Our house has been on the market for 3 weeks - we've had 8 showings.  Most comments are that they like the house but don't like the apartments directly behind our house.  The apartments are actually condos, of which the majority are privately owned.  So, while there isn't anything we can do about them physically being behind our house, we can better educate potential buyers on what they are.  Hopefully this will yield some results.

We had 2 showing yesterday (Sunday), which strikes me as odd.  Sunday seems to be a day where most people get ready for the upcoming week.  At least for us, that's the day we do chores, laundry, grocery shop, and make our food for the week.  Having 2 showings put a crimp in our style.  Especially when the second one called us at 5:45 PM, asking if they could schedule a showing for 5:45 PM (me: "that's basically right now???").  We have an 1 hour courtesty notification on our listing and the listing service actually sounded a bit testy when I asked for 10-15 minutes so we could leave our house.  Good thing I wasn't in the middle of cooking dinner!  I mean, who really looks at a house at 6 PM on a Sunday night?  And the comments were that the "house wasn't large enough".  Ugh.  Annoying.

Our tentative plan is that I'm here until the end of December, then we'll drive me (and my bike) up to Denver, where I'll stay with my mom in January.  I should have a field project back in Houston for half of January, so I'll be going back and forth, which is perfect.  That way, I should have enough overtime from work where I can go up to Denver and look for a rental house w/out having to use vacation time.  Then at the end of January/early February (assuming our house doesn't sell before then), we'll pack the house up and move everyone up to Denver.  Will still isn't 100% on board, and I'm not sure why.  We both agree that living in limbo is a bad thing for both of us, but for whatever reason, he seems tentative to set a move date.

So far, so good.  After a killer week, things have stabilized and are going ok.  Fri-Sat-Sun seem to be killer days.  Friday is usually a swim workout and an 1 run.  Saturday is a long run, Sunday is a long bike (and with an occasional 1 hr run tossed in there).  Its challenging for me to work in some of the runs (ie hill workouts or the Friday runs) because I'm battling darkness.  I prefer to run in the mornings, when there isn't much traffic, but to make it to work on time, I need to be done by ~6:30.  On days where I swim (practice is in the morning), that leaves either a long lunch so I can run in the daylight or having to run after work in the dark. 

I pulled some stuff in my right leg during my heavy week.  My achilles is tweakly, likely from my Newtons.  Then I pulled my quad/adductor (same thing I pulled last Nov) - likely from not stretching when it was tweaky on a run last week.  I've been doing extra stretching and using KT tape, which helped.  Today things feel much better - I'd say 80%.  Hopefully things will continue to heal and I'll be 100% for my half marathon on Dec 12.

To make things even more fun for us, Will's got some family health issues that are pretty serious.  His grandfather was diagnosed with prostate cancer.  Not a huge suprise as he's 89, and apparently its highly treatable.  And Will's dad is having more health issues.  His diabetes is not at all controlled, he's lost 100 lbs in 8 months (he's now at 250 lbs, but this is not healthy loss, he lost mostly muscle), he may have a rare bacterial infection in his heart (probably from his heart surgery), and he is needing more and more frequent care.  He keeps having low blood sugar episodes, which cause him to fall and not be able to get up, which then results in a 911 call.  He can't work and doesn't have enough money to cover his mortage and bills if he can't work.  We're (as a family) are looking at options and will likely have to make some difficult decisions soon. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

power of positive thinking

I survived my first official week of Ironman training,  More than that, I did really well and actually had fun.  I'm impressed with myself and how I did. 

This week I have:
Run 36.68 miles (a record for me by ~10 miles), including 1 track workout
rode my bike 3 times, including 2 trainer rides
swam 6300 yards
did yoga for one hour (not on my plan, but I did it anyways)
did a total of 13 hrs, 20 min of exercise

Friday-Saturday-Sunday were especially daunting.... 
Friday - masters swim practice, 70 min run
Saturday - 15 mile run, 30 min recovery bike
Sunday - 30 min run (which my coach told me will feel like crap) and 60 min bike

Scary, especially for a non-runner like me.  Especially with the 10 mile jump in weekly mileage AND the fact that this was my first 15 mile run.

Once I got over being freaked out - I mean, I can't be all defeatist "I can't do this" if I don't even TRY to do it first - and wrapped my head around it, I just went to work.  Follwed the plan.

I fully expected to not be able to walk last night.  I really had no idea how today's run and bike would feel.  And crazy enough, I felt pretty good last night.  And I was able to run and bike pretty darn easily today.

I'm pretty proud I stepped up to the challenge and am excited about the next 26 week of IMTX training ahead of me :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Big deep breaths and positive thinking

This week is my first "official" IMTX training week.  If anyone is counting, I am 27 weeks away from the race.  I hired a coach and with any coach, there are "getting to know you" growing pains.  I've also never trained for an IM, so there's that unknown that I need to wrap my head around too.

My coach likes to load my workouts on a weekly basis, based on her experience as a coach.  In the past, she's loaded multiple weeks at a time, but then had to make a bunch of revisions, so she prefers to just load the workouts on a weekly basis to minimize any re-writes.  I'm a planner,so that's hard for me.  I like knowing what I'm doing several weeks out.  But I need to learn to let go and "trust the coach". 

This week is a run-heavy week.  When it was loaded on Sunday, my first (and second, third, fourth) thoughts were "holy crap, she is trying to kill me."  Lots of running.  8 miles yesterday, track workout tonight, 7 miles Friday, 15 miles Saturday, 3 miles Sunday (plus a little swim and bike thrown in).  I have never run that much in my life.  Its scary.

What I decided yesterday (after whining a bit) was that my attitude about this week is VERY defeatist.  I'm already thinking that I will die before I even attempt this week, when really, I have no idea how this week will go.  Instead, I should be approaching it with caution but also a "rise to meet the challenge" attitude.  That would set me up for success mentally instead of thinking I'm going to fail before I even begin.  Not to mention that this is my FIRST training week.  I have 27 more weeks ahead of me and 140.6 miles on May 21, 2011.  If anything, kicking my ass early and often will set me up for success during IMTX.  I just need to cut the control instinct and just roll with things.  And be positive.  Chances are, I'll surprise myself with what I can accomplish when challenged.

Monday, November 01, 2010

October Totals

My last month of "being a bum" before starting IMTX training.  I think that taking this time off has been really good.  I feel recharged and ready to roll.  October was really chaotic, with my transfer and getting the house ready, and spending a week in Denver.  I was very good in Denver, though - did 2 runs and 2 swims.  Running at altitude was actually easy (and it was 39 degrees!) but keeping my walls long during my swims was hard.  My poor lungs were burning from less oxygen.  The workouts in Denver must have paid off, though, because I managed to get 5th in my Age Group at Firethorne
Bike: 4h 21m 27s - 72.48 Mi
Run: 16h 59m 39s - 91.54 Mi (sooo close to 100 miles - this is the MOST MILES EVER for a month for me - I had 86 miles in May)
Swim: 9h 24m 34s - 24896.81 Yd
Yoga: 3h 00m


Review of Octobber Goals

  • Work on consistent weekly running. Would like to be able to report back next month that I was running 3x a week, just like my schedule says. I did much better this month!  I ran 3x a week for 3 of the 4 weeks this month.  The 1 week where I didn't do this, I decided I needed an extra day recovery from Firethorne (and from my Denver trip).  I ran all my planned long runs, except for the weekend I had Firethorne.
  • Work on tempo and speeds for running. Now that the cool weather is back, I need to incorporate more tempo running into my weekday runs. I didn't accomplish this goal, mainly because I was not specific in planning my runs.  Back when I was coached, I had intervals and speeds.  This month, I was more just like "push the back half or last few miles".  Not at all specific.  I will say that overall, my runs have been faster and I have been able to push harder with the cooler weather.  And at Firethorne, I did CRUSH my 5k PR (10:00/pace) by running the 3 miles at a 9:22/mile pace.
  • Enjoy this month - its the last month before Ironman training begins. Done and done!
 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.
  • 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. 
  • Get regular massages.
  • Keep my house clean - aka "show mode".  We just listed it and we really need it to sell quickly.