Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Life after Ironman Texas

Its been nearly 7 weeks since IMTX - what the hell have I been up to?  Its been a weird (but nice) 7 weeks.  Weird (but nice) because I no longer Live and Die by my Schedule.  If I don't feel like working out, I just don't!  I also have free time.  (I know!  What a concept!).  I actually have been able to enjoy typical weekend-type things, which most normal people experience on a regular basis!

Here's a quick run-down of what I've been up to.

Memorial Day - went to South Fork, CO to hang out with some friends in college.  It was crazy-windy, and there was a bit too much snow on the ground for any amount of hiking.  But I got to sleep in and read books!  And enjoy pretty mountain scenery!

somewhere in the mountains by South Fork, CO
Moved to our New House - We closed on our house May 5th, but there was no way I was going to move AND get ready for IMTX at the same time.  So, we slowly started moving things from our rental house to the new house, a carload or two at a time.  Then we installed hardwood floors on the whole second floor of our house (and had the first floor refinished).  Finally, on June 10th, the movers came and took our furniture from the rental to our permanent home.  The whole weekend was spent moving and unpacking boxes.  I swear, my feet hurt more on Sunday (after standing long hours for 3 days straight) than after IMTX.  Or maybe it was some residual IMTX issues that made them hurt.  I dunno.  Several subsequent weekends have been spent unpacking boxes.  I finally have our bedroom, master bathroom, and kitchen unpacked.  We are still missing some things from our move to Houston (4 glass shelves for a display cabinet) and I still don't have a clue where I'd like to hang our artwork.  But things are functional and feeling more and more like home every day.

Got a Pedicure - my first one in I don't know.... a year and a half?  at least?  Of course, now its been 3 weeks and my pedicure is all chipped and looks terrible now.  But it was fun while it lasted.

Joined a new swim team - With the move, swimming at the old team wasn't practical (5:15 AM start with a 30 min drive - no thanks!).  Soooo, I've joined the swanky private health club by work, purely for their swim team.  I'm still very undecided.  The HR swim team was HARD and I was lonely, but I learned a lot and I was challenged.  This team.... well, they seem to like their toys.  We did a set where it was 100 pull, 100 swim, 200 pull, etc etc.  And even for the 100 pull, they busted out their paddles.  And we did some 50 kick/50 swim sets, and the guy in my lane kept taking his fins on and off for the kick sets.  Just pick one (fins or nekkid feet) and stick with it.  UGH.  I really don't like how they have practice set up.  Monday is distance, Wed is IM, Fri is sprint.  I asked them why they have distance on Monday, because the people who actually need distance workouts usually trash themselves on the weekends and take Monday off as recovery.  The answer: I dunno - its just always been that way.  *smacks forehead*  Also, since practice is only 70 minutes long, the workouts aren't that long.  The Friday sprint coach claims that swimming 4,000 m (with this group of people) would only be junk yardage.  However, if he's doing his job right, 2,500 m should feel like 4,500 m.  I'm not convinced that this is the case - I'm pretty sure that those two distances feel pretty different.  Soooooo, we shall see.  I'm a bit limited on the swim team options over on this end of town, so we'll just try this out for a few months and I'll see if I can deal with it.  (I miss my old MAC team very, very much).

outdoor 25 meter pool
Riding my bike with people - what a strange concept!  I rode from Boulder to Jamestown a few weeks back.  My friend got done with Ride the Rockies (a 5 day, multi-mountain pass, 50-70 miles/day ride) and didn't want to do anything serious.  I wanted to do a "traditional" CO ride, so we did this one.  Only we stopped at the top and had breakfast at the cafe.  There was 8 miles of steady climbing to breakfast.  I am not used to having a upper zone 4 to zone 5 heart rate for 45 minutes.  I was DYING.  If I wasn't bribed with pancakes at the top, I might have turned around early.

pancakes in Jamestown
Buzz in his new native mountain habitat
I'm also starting to do some group rides with my new tri club.  I rode with them on Monday morning, not knowing their pacing or anything.  I'm so used to being a back of the pack rider, that I prefaced my ride with "I'm not good on hills - I will just try to keep up".  Well, I don't know who the hell I've been riding with lately, but apparently I ride with smoking fast people.  With this group, I was consistenly 3rd or 4th and I was the fastest girl.  The hills weren't substantial (mostly rollers, but some STEEP rollers), but still - I was surprised that I was faster than most of the group.  Weirdness!

Running with people - sense a theme here!  My IMTX training was mostly solo, so I'm really enjoying being out with other people.  It really helps that I'm not seriously training for anything, which means I don't have specific targets.  This gives me a LOT of flexibility.  Tuesday nights I've beend going to track workout with my tri club.  There's usually ~8 of us, I'm the slowest (usually).  Track is a bit hard right now as I'm still recovering from IMTX, but its so nice to be out with people and to (at least try) to build some speed.  Also, 6 PM track night in CO is no where near as hot and horrible as track night in Houston.  AND I have a great view of Pikes Peak from the track.  Its awesome!

Back in March, I joined a running club through a local running store.  It was $60 for the year (deal!) and included Saturday supported long runs from the store, 15% store discount, and a 25% discount on Brooks shoes.  I really just joined for the shoe discount (I run in Brooks Adrenaline 11s) and didn't intend to run with them until after IMTX (again, my training schedule didn't mesh with other people).  So last Saturday, I got up for the 7 AM group run.  I planned on just doing 6-7 miles, the most I've run since IMTX.  But I was running WITH people, and those people wanted to do 8 miles.  So I did 8 with them.  Their pacing wasn't great (they went out too fast, I've been trained to negative split).  And the group was small (I'm used to running with 300 people), which didn't give me many options for slower paces.  They were really nice though - training for their first tri, and they asked some questions about training and racing, which helped to pass the time.  At the end of the run, everyone was really hot and some were even dripping with sweat.  I was dry and happy.  It didn't seem very hot at all to me, however, I'm sure next year (once I lose my Houston heat-memories), I will be dying.  Still, I'm loving the fact that I can run in daylight and not be dripping sweat from my pinky fingers.

BREAKFAST - yes, I can actually have breakfast on the weekends with my husband.  Holy schmoley.  The first Saturday after IMTX we went to this place called Snooze, where I got the panckae sampler - coconut snowball, lemon blueberry, and pineapple-upside-down cake.  YUM.

pancakes at Snooze.  YUM
BEER - I can have beer too!  We have yet to really explore our massive list of breweries in the area.  (Lefthand and Oskar Blues, specifically).  However, we have found quite a few places for good beer by the new house, have visited a few breweries (Dry Dock, Elk Mountain, Falcon, Great Divide). 

mostly empty beer sampler at Dry Dock
Baseball games - last Sunday, we went to the 1 PM game at Coors Field.  I LOVE Coors Field.  There's nothing better than a pretty day and a good beer.  (a win would help, but who are we kidding here?)
Coors Field's in-house brewed amber on a pretty Sunday afternoon

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