Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Swimming Outside in December

Went swimming at Barton Springs this afternoon with a friend. It was 70 degrees and sunny- a gorgeous day! I got out the wetsuit that hasn't been used since Cap Tex in June and man is that thing hard to put on! But very comfortable in the water- the springs are always 62 degrees, and the initial getting in is still a little twingy, especially when the water seeps in the back! So I did two laps before Sara got there, then another lap with her. Man is she fast! And I've been putting off the T3 swim clinic to concentrate on biking and running. Yeah, I think I need to concentrate on the swimming too.

It felt good to swim though, however slowly I was going. So maybe I can fit in a BS swim once a week. And I would love to go in the mornings before work because the cold water stays with you- lowering the core temperature. I think that would keep me cooler at work, and that would be awesome. But getting organized enough early in the morning and making the effort and not affecting work performance- that's the problem.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Strengthen your resistance muscle

So I have heard it described in a couple of different places that resisting temptation takes a certain amount of mental strength, and that by doing it, you get better at it. This makes sense to me, because when I have decided to take a break, eat whatever I want, sit on the couch, etc, that becomes easier and easier to do. The more you do it, the easier it gets.

And it's true for good habits too. The more on track I am, the more I have planned my meals and exercise, the easier it is to do. The hard part is getting started. So I have start imaginging my resistance muscles as my triceps- pushing away unhealthy food. And my giving in muscles are my biceps- shoveling food in my mouth. And I am working on strengthening my resistance muscles with push ups and triceps pulldowns- not only for the real muscle, but the figurative muscle as well.

And there is also research that the resistance muscle can get fatigued. If your resistance muscle is strong enough for 10 push aways, and you are presented with 10 temptations, then the 11th is just too much. And apparently it goes for any type of resisting temptation such as saying no to buying stuff, or saying no in other situations.

This happened to me yesterday at the mall. I had told myself no dinner at the mall, I had a good meal planned at home. And I walked by the Chinese food, and Sonic, and Auntie Anne's pretzels. But then on the way out I had to walk by the Great American Cookie Co. Okay, fine, I can't take it, I'm eating the chocolate chip cookies!

So the moral of the story- practice strengthening your resistance muscle, but do it in more controlled situations so you don't overload your weak resistance muscle before you have strengthened it. The mall is the gauntlet of food temptation for me- too many easy ways to get junk food. So either don't go to the mall right now, or avoid walking by the most tempting places so you don't even see them- I could have walked through Dillard's to get to the watch repair store instead of walking in the entrance by the cookies. And really, the deals they're all shouting about on TV are not that great, and there's no reason to have to fight your way at the mall.

Friday, December 26, 2008

I really want to like yoga,

but I don't. Tonight I went to the dance class they offer at Gold's- it's called Body Jam and I'm awful, but I really enjoy it. I move my entire body, and move it planes other than straight ahead. And I can usually pick up about half the dance moves. I'm sort of ashamed at how much I enjoy it, especially because I would be embarrassed to death if anyone I knew saw me doing it! But I do.

Now yoga on the other hand is almost the complete opposite. There is a yoga class following Body Jam and tonight was awful- first it was too hot in the room. And I've heard of hot yoga- how do not slip all over the mat in your own sweat? And this is Yoga Level 1, and they are doing all sorts of difficult balance and handstand type moves. And the teacher does not offer any suggestions about what to do if you can't do the moves. And I hate Down Dog- it makes my wrists hurt, and this teacher likes to spend inordinate amounts of time in that pose. So there was a lot of time with me doing my own thing and being angry that I can't do the moves. And I want to like yoga- I like the relaxation and meditation aspect of it, the stretching and strengthening, but I have yet to find a class that I like the teacher and they do the kind of yoga I want to do (and not too much Down Dog!)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Cozy reading nook

I love to read, I read a lot, and I read just about anything. But I was only reading at night before I went to sleep, or while I was eating. I finally made the connection that a lot of times when I felt the desire to go out to a restaurant to eat by myself, it really is the desire to take a break and just read. The food was only the way to take a break. Hello lightbulb! Why not just read at home and avoid the calories and expense of the restaurant?

So I have rearranged a little in my bedroom to create a comfortable little space to read. I have my hand me down chaise longue, covered up with a sheet to hide the stains, and a bedside table with a lamp, plus a cushy blanket. Perfect!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I'm a ranked triathlete!

#197 to be precise. And that's not even last in my age group! And it's in the Triathlete News magazine. How cool is that?

From what I can tell, they didn't count Danksin or Longhorn (though I'm not sure is the Aquabike would count or not), but that Captex had the highest point ranking for the races- somehow they quantify the competition at each triathlon. They multiply the race points by your finish rank and take your top three performances. And if they'd counted the other two, I may have been even higher. But still- that's pretty cool! I really am a triathlete!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sea World is actually fun!

Went to Sea World on Sunday with a couple of friends and I wasn't expecting much, but it was fun. Not particularly educational, which I would have liked, but very entertaining. And they have roller coasters. I haven't been on a roller coaster in years, and these were exhilarating. I was glad my butt fit into the chairs, and it was nice to be so wedged in so I didn't feel like I would fall out. But fun. And really, there's no way not to get goose bumps when a 2 ton whale is jumping out of the water in front of you. Really.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A new truck is not an emergency

And I should not use my emergency fund to buy one.

Dave Ramsey would not be happy with me if I bought the cute little Ford Ranger I test drove today. I would use up all my savings and have to get a loan to get the $500 dealer incentive, though I could pay it off at the first payment due two weeks later. I can see how these dealers think though, and they know all the tricks.

And the Nissan is struggling- the last straw for me is the A/C going out. I know it is December, but I wanted the A/C on this morning as I was driving and was very unhappy that it is not blowing cold air. Plus all the little things I have put off fixing are adding up, and the driver's seat is uneven and makes my back hurt.

So all these reasons- I DESERVE a new truck, right? And it is so hard to talk back to that voice. It says "you can swing it, you'll just pick up some extra work days," "you've never had a NEW vehicle" "you can't drive around in the old one anymore- it looks bad and it's not safe" "they're offering such good deals- it would be a crime to pass them up" etc etc etc.

But it is not an emergency. Listen to Dave! Save up and buy it when you have the money. And so I will wait.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Viva Mexico

I had a great time in Mexico, survived using my spanish, got around on the buses just fine, and made it back to Austin in mostly one piece. I am working on getting the pictures and video together and will post it when I have it ready.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Secret wish, not so secret anymore

At work today, my friend Sara and I were discussing races and triathlons- she did the Longhorn Half Ironman two years ago. She was looking forward to graduating and thinking about her long term goal of completing an Ironman. I said that was my long term goal too and that secretly, I've been planning on doing Ironman Arizona in November 2010. She immediately said let's do it together- which sounds like a blast. All except for the actual training and finishing the Ironman itself. But really, now that I've told another person, I guess it's not a secret. And so now I'm telling everyone else too. I don't think I need a countdown timer- 720 some odd days until Ironman AZ 2010! And if I wasn't going to be working on Sunday, I would be glued to the computer to watch this year's IMAZ. Anyway, maybe it will help my motivation to at least state my intention. My intention is to complete Ironman Arizona 2010. There, it's official.

Of course, there are a couple of details that are in the way. First of course, is the the extra 100 lbs I'm carrying around. I can't do an Ironman with this much extra weight. Second, I've never done a marathon, or even a half Iron triathlon. Third, my run pace is 15 min per mile. Fourth, my bike pace is 12 mph. Fifth, my swim pace is 2:30/100m. Damn- I am slow. And at those paces I wouldn't make it past the swim cutoff- well maybe I could get through the swim, but I would probably get swept off the bike course.

But who am I not to try? The Marianne Williamson quote has been rattling around my brain lately:
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

So, see you in Tempe in 2010.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I miss my dog

In preparation for the Mexico trip next week, I left my dog at my parents' house to look after for the next two weeks. I'm okay if I'm on a trip and he's not with me, but being at home without him is weird. I don't like it. There is an empty space. And it reminds me that he will not live forever, and that some day that empty space will be permanent. And I really don't like that.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Rock and Roll San Antonio Half Marathon Race Report- part 2

So the morning of the race, we got up at 5:45, having budgeted what we thought would be plenty of time to get dressed, drive to the parking area, and get a bus to the start line before the race started at 7:30, even though our corrals were towards the back and would most likely not start until 8-8:15.

That was a great plan until we got in line for the buses. Moving 30,000 runners (not including their spectators at this point) takes a lot of work and they were woefully under prepared. We stood in line for an hour and got to the start line at 8:00. The had started the race 15 minutes late, and they were announcing that corral 14 was just under way. Ceci was in corral 16, and I was in 26, out of a total of 32. We split up to drop the bag at gear check and go to the bathroom, with a plan to meet up at the V (for veterinarian) family reunion sign afterwards.

So after the bathroom break and some quick stretching, I get into the mass of people. At this point, they are not separating by corrals really, they are just starting a bunch of people and then making the next bunch wait. So the whole point of getting people to run at around the same pace is out the window. I finally get to cross the start line at 8:30, with the supposed corral 31 people. And they are mostly walkers. I have to dodge walkers the entire 13 miles! And even though I am a super slow runner, it affected my pace. Though there were people around me the entire time- I never ran alone- which I thought I would like. I don't. Even at the finishing line, there were strings of 3-4 walkers blocking the path. I think 30,000 is just TOO MANY PEOPLE!

So the post race area was a huge crowd, got snacks and water in the participant area, and then found the V sign. Found Ceci shortly thereafter- she had a great first half marathon, making her goal time, and finishing strong. But now we were in the general area and couldn't go back for more water or to get a picture together. We exchanged our race shirts and then found the line for the shuttle back to the parking area.

And an hour of standing in line in the sun later, we finally get on the buses. REALLY? You would think the Rock and Roll organization would be prepared, but they were not- and now you had all the spectators coming back as well as the runners. It was a long time and I got sunburned and hungry. We stopped at the first restaurant we found, which was Cracker Barrel, and had a great lunch with lots of biscuits. Yum. The shower afterwards was heavenly- I realized my skin was so grimy it would stick together. Gross.

So overall, it was a good race- I felt stronger than I have previously, and the next day and able to walk more easily. But the difficulty at packet pickup, the disorganization with the parking shuttles, and just the overwhelming mass of people- I'm not sure I want to do this one again next year.

But it does get me excited for the Austin Half- I would love to get under 3:00 for that race, and I have 3 months to shave about one minute per mile off my time. Is it possible? I want to try!

Rock and Roll San Antonio Half Marathon Race Report- part 1

Overall it went well. I finished strong, and though not my fastest half, it was decent and I could still walk afterwards, which was important, because there was a lot of walking left to do, as I'll tell you about later.

The first problem was with packet pickup. It was only open from 11-7 on Friday and 9-5 on Saturday. Having to work both days in Austin, the plan was to go to Ceci's house Saturday night after work. Well, with the crazy Saturdays we've been having and not getting done until 3-4 pm, that may be a problem. And of course, only you can pick up your packet. I understand the reasoning- they want a captive audience for the vendors and 30,000 people is a lot of money to them. But I emailed and called, and got no response. My dad offered to write a power of attorney letter so Ceci could pick it up for me, but that seemed like overkill. They would help me out and let me pick it up on race day, right?

Wrong, so I got to drive to San Antonio in Friday night traffic, and barely made it to the expo by 6:30 and there were tons of people just coming in. The announcers kept saying the expo was closing and everyone had to leave, but I'm sure the vendors would have liked a little more time to sell running paraphrenalia. And then I got to drive back to Austin for work on Saturday.

And of course, this Saturday wound up going quickly and I was done at 1 pm. Figures. But it did give me time to run some errands and get organized, which put me in Saturday night traffic and in a minor accident where I rear ended a truck in front of me. Really it was a license plate bender, because that was the only damage- his trailer hitch bent my front license plate. But it did shake me up and get my adrenaline going! But thank God- it could have been a lot worse!

We go out for some carbo loading, but of course now it is 7:30 on a Friday night and everywhere is packed. We find EZ's which is only half full and have a nice meal and then go to bed early. About 3:30 I get woken up by an alarm, but it takes me a little while to realize it's not my alarm clock. It is the low battery chirp alarm of the smoke detector in Ceci's spare bedroom. It chirps about once per minute for about 10 minutes, and then quits. Then it starts up again. I try the emergency ear plugs I have from camping with the kayaking guys. I try the pillow over the head. The chirp penetrates everything.

Finally about 30 minutes later I give up and try to dismantle the smoke detector- I know from experience that if you take out the battery it gets really loud and angry, so I just wanted to unhook it from the ceiling and hide it under the couch cushions downstairs. But it is wired into the ceiling- like it's connected to the alarm system. So I don't really want to mess with that at 4 am, so I just take the blanket downstairs to sleep on the couch.

I can still hear the chirping, but is much further away, and I'm able to sleep a little bit before my real alarm goes off at 5:45. And of course, at that point, it has stopped chirping completely! So why did it have to go off tonight, of all nights, and at 3:30? When there was a guest actually using the spare room, and on the night before the race! Argh!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

El Sueno

Take a peek at my new bike- a Quintana Roo Tequilo. And because there is some Mexican history in his construction, his name is El Sueno. Of course, there's also a nice sticker saying made in Taiwan, but still. My boyfriends at Jack's and Adam's helped me, and we swapped out shorter aerobars, a compact chain ring, and smaller cassette. Plus the bombproof 32 spoke hand built Mavic wheels. I am in love.

And the crazy thing is, just going up that little hill at the veloway after the flat part (about 3.1 miles in), I would huff and puff up it on the orange bike and this one, the position is just better and I can sit and climb easily. Of course, I would love it if this bike would automatically make me a 20 mph rider, but it won't. It will make it easier for me to train and get faster, and hopefully stay on it instead of on the side of the road with a broken spoke (for the fourth time!

Though looking in my garage, it's a little embarrassing. I may have a problem. But I did give my mountain bike to my sister for her birthday, so that's one less bike. But is five kayaks and two bikes a few too many? Not if I use them!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Two run workouts in one week!

It's a first! No really, I've been bad about going to the T3 run workouts since they are at 6 pm on an unshaded track. In July it was 100 degrees on the track and I melted the one time I tried. I would rather just run by myself than have my proteins denature in the heat. Of course, that defeats the purpose of the track workouts which is to go faster by having a coach design speed workouts for you.

So, now that it is fall and much nicer to run at 6pm, I have been making it to the Monday workouts which are usually hill runs and they move locations monthly. I did that for a month, and am now trying to add the Wed night speed workouts on the track. Of course, it all kicks my ass. I am the slowest runner by far. And it's so much easier to deal with that when I am running on my own. When I am constantly being lapped, it is nearly impossible to maintain a positive attitude.

I did try a mental exercise where I would imagine the people passing me as suddenly 100 lbs overweight. Would I be able to keep up with them then? And then imagining what they would look like. I've seen the fat suits The Biggest Loser has used in challenges, but that's nothing like the real thing. But of course, the trick is not for everyone else to gain weight, but for me to lose weight.

I will definitely be faster if I lose weight- there's a calculator for this that estimates that for every 2 lbs lost you will go 0:25 seconds faster per 10k. According to that, my half marathon would be 45 minutes faster if I was at goal weight. That would be sweet! And that's not including any increased training, just moving faster by not carrying the extra weight. More info at

Monday, November 10, 2008

Public Service Announcement

This is the uterus of a 3 year old 43# pitbull. She presented for vaccinations, but on exam, had an enlarged abdomen and poor body condition. Heartworm test was negative. No fever. And then she produced some foul smelling yellow-brown vulvar discharge. Diagnosis of a pyometra was presumed. Emergency surgery revealed a grossly distended but intact uterus that was removed en bloc. It weighed 7.9 lbs. That would be 18% of her body weight was pus filled uterus! Her history showed that she had one normal litter of puppies previously. Most likely her following heat cycle allowed bacteria into the uterus that the body was unable to clear and that the pus had been building up for weeks to months. The reason she was still alive was that the cervix was open just a little to allow a small amount of drainage. Otherwise it would have continued to accumulate pus until it ruptured and she would have had a fatal peritonitis.

Moral of the story: get your dog spayed!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Horario nuevo

So I'm already planning next year's schedule and so far, my A races are:
Feb 15 Austin Half Marathon
Apr 5 Lonestar tri- Olympic distance
Oct 18 Longhorn Half Ironman

So I think for this year, the goal is going to be improve speed. I've been all about increasing distance and endurance, and I think I need to work on going faster before I can go any further. Next year will be about endurance, with possibly an IM in there, but I think that might be tempting fate to even think that out loud at this point.

To that end, I'm going to go to Mon night track/hill runs and Tues/Thurs spin classes. And the new bike (more on that later) I'm sure will help, but I think just consistency and improved technique will help too.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Happy Birthday

Well, this was a pretty crappy birthday to start with- 33 is just not that exciting. And it is a marker for the goals I set for myself last year, none of which I actually achieved. And that sucks. I didn't lose weight. I didn't find the boyfriend of my dreams. I didn't run a marathon.

But I did do some new and interesting things and I should focus on the positive instead of the negative. I did my first triathlon this year, and followed that up with four more. I completed the Longhorn Aquabike. I did a horrible Hottest Half in Dallas. I have transitioned into a niche in my work that I really like. I have met some new and interesting people. I am taking the spanish class I have been talking about taking for years. I ran the New River and had a good time at ASCI.

So even though I have unresolved goals, it just means that I am not done. I guess if I had achieved all my goals, I would be finished and could go lay down and die.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Tour de France

This is the music to an ad that is running on Versus promoting the Tour de France. It definitely got in my head and I had to look it up- Paul Weller. I don't know anything about him, but I like him already!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Yes, indeedy

more cat pictures

I'm on my way...

Beautiful Bike Ride

I had a great ride this morning- still on vacation time, so I was up at 5 am, piddled around and had breakfast, and then went out from the house on a new route. I usually drive over the the 8 mile loop that's really popular with cyclists, but it's only 5 miles from my house, so I rode my bike over there, did the loop, then meandered back to the house on a back road. It was great! My legs felt fresh, my back didn't hurt, my hands didn't fall asleep. I think the spin classes helped. And for some reason it's always surprising to me to see results. I think that there is a disconnect between what actions I do, and the results that I see.

For instance, even when I am eating really healthy and exercising, I can see a gain on the scale. And then when I have a night out and eat and drink too much, it will show a loss. I know theoretically they are connected- if I eat more, I gain weight. But the true effect is so far apart in time that it doesn't see like there is a connection at all.

And the same with exercise- I feel like I've been working really hard, trying to improve my speed and strength, and yet I have a new toy, the Garmin Forerunner 405, that will tell you pace and heartrate and elevation and all that- and my average speed is 16:00 per mile. And all along I've thought I've been slow- no really, I'm even slower!

Anyway, it's nice to see a good result- and I need to concentrate on the positive steps- even baby steps!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

So that's what this is

My back has been hurting the last couple of days. It's on the left side, sort of in the middle of the butt cheek, but deep. I thought it was from overuse, or from increasing my training too quickly, and that it was the lumbar spine. I talked to Coach S and she said it was the sacroiliac joint, and that it is very common in triathletes, and she herself has problems with it. Another woman said she also had that problem. They showed me some stretches, but that foam rolling it, active release therapy, massage, chiropractor, etc might be needed. It made me feel better, that is was a common, and treatable thing, and not a "end to my training and no Longhorn triathlon" thing.

So I went home and found the Thera Cane I used on my shoulders and after 5 minutes it felt MUCH better. I could dig the hook end right into the spot and it hurt, but it was a good hurt. More freedom of movement of that leg, and just loose and good. I can still get it to twinge if I unweight my left leg and let it hang, putting pressure on the ligaments of the sacroiliac joint, but it doesn't hurt to sit or stand anymore.
Now, there may still be something else going on, and I am going to not do two a day workouts for a little while, but this was a big step in the right direction.

Monday, June 23, 2008

I Heart Wimbledon

Breakfast at Wimbledon has just started- they cover it live starting at 6 am on ESPN2. It is so great to have the smacking of tennis balls to accompany my breakfast, as opposed to any of the early morning shows. With the French Open, I would Tivo all the broadcasts, and then watch them in the mornings, but Breakfast at Wimbledon is even better.

Roger Federer is my favorite player, even if he's been in a bit of slump lately. He seems like a nice guy, and he makes these impossible shots seem so easy. And he doesn't grunt. Both James Blake and Andy Roddick grunt a little, but not as much as the women, especially Maria Sharapova. I can't stand her- the grunting, the slowness in between points, the exact same putting the hair behind the ears before each serve. I can't stand that. I don't much like Rafael Nadal either- he pulls out his wedgie before each serve. Hello- if you're #2 in the world, can't you afford some underwear that fits!

And even though Andy Roddick just got engaged to some girl, he's secretly my boyfriend. We meet for bagels sometimes. Okay, only once, and I couldn't get the nerve to talk to him, but he was really cute in real life, much taller and thinner than on court. If I could have said hello, I'm sure he would have dumped the girlfriend for me immediately.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Shitty Dog Owners

I went to the trail to do a 5 mile run on my own since I missed the Wed track workout and will miss the Sunday long run as well. Not a bad run, though my back is still tight. It doesn't hurt when I run, unless I land unevenly. I had stopped at a water fountain and was doing a little stretch, when I noticed a guy in a recreational kayak with a pointer swimming beside him. He was talking to a guy fishing at this little boat dock. The dog was not neutered (I always notice) but seemed friendly and well behaved, even though this was not an off leash part of the park. The dog proceeded to pee on all the trees, and then took a big poop. I saw the owner was ignoring this, and so I asked him "Your dog just pooped over there, do you need a poop bag?" The park has them dispensers posted everywhere and trashcans are all over the place too. The trail circles a lake and there was a recent newspaper article about how the city approximates that 10,000 lbs of dog poop washes into the lake every year. The lake is closed to swimmers due to the E coli count and lack of shore access for swimmers too, but it is used for sporting events, like the triathlon I did a month ago. I personally don't like swimming in dog poop water, call me crazy!

So the guy, looked at me and said "Oh no, I don't have a poop bag."
I replied "There's one right over there," pointing to the dispenser a couple of yards down the trail."
He said, "There's no trash can."
"There's one a little ways down the trail."
"No one will step on the poop- it's out of the way."
"Right, but it will wash into the lake, where you are kayaking."
"Well, why don't you pick it up?"
"It's not my dog's poop. It's your dog's poop."
At that point he finally shut up(he is one of those loud talking guys.) He stared at me for a second and then turned to the fisherman guy and continued their conversation about fishing poles, and how far he went last weekend. I certainly wasn't going to pick up his dog's poop for him, so I turned around and resumed my jogging. But I could hear him as soon as I turned my back.
"I hate someone telling me what to do."

I kept jogging, but of course, started thinking of all the things I should have said or done to this jerk:
1. I could have stopped and turned around to finish the conversation, since he wasn't done and wanted to talk about me behind my back, but loud enough so I could hear. There is no reason not to pick up your dog's poop! Unless you don't have hands- that might be the only case. Even blind people are taught how to scoop up after their guide dogs!
2. I could have picked up the poop and thrown it at him. I don't think I run fast enough for this one, but this was the most satisfying one to think about.
3. I could have told him about the camping philosophy of Leave No Trace, or Pack It In, Pack It Out.
4. I could have called 311 on his off leash, unaltered, dog.
5. I could have taken the dog and run back to my car and directly to the shelter, where he would have to pay to get his unaltered dog out, or have it altered there.

But I didn't do any of those things. I just stewed about during the rest of the run, and then posted it on here! Too bad the dog seemed pretty nice, because his owner was an asshole!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Spin Class take two

I went to the early morning spin class again. I'm getting better about timing as well. If I get up at 5 am and leave the house at 5:15, I arrived at 5:30, and had to wait for the coach to arrive. I do want to get there early to get a team trainer and there aren't that many, but that's too early. I did take a little nap in the car, which was nice. Today I woke up at 5:15 and still got there about 5:35, so still had time for a little nap.

A different coach this morning- I think there are about 5 coaches in all, and this one was great. I think she's in charge of the whole program, but it's hard to tell. Felt a little more comfortable, but did core for 15 minutes afterwards, and that was tough. My back is a little tight, especially on the left side, and doing planks makes it twinge-y.

A lot of the other people have aero bars on their bikes, and I covet them. They look all cool, and they take the pressure off your hands, which is a problem for me. My right hand falls asleep, even after changing gloves, adjusting the handlebars at my LBS (local bike shop in triathlon lingo), and changing positions frequently. The problem with aero bars for me is my gut is in the way. It's bad even now when I use the drop handlebars, but in the aero position I would be even further bent over. It's just not very nice to be punching myself in the gut with each pedal stroke. Hm, how to fix that?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Long Run

Long runs are on Sunday morning at the Hike and Bike Trail. It was already hot by the 7:30 start time, and the trail is really busy. I did 4 miles, but there were some IM CDAers going 8 miles. The purpose of a long group run is run at a slower pace, for a longer distance with a group. That's all well and good, but no one runs as slow as I do. I average about 15 minutes per mile. That's running. My walk is about 18-20 minutes per mile. I'm overweight and I have short legs. Sometimes, when I'm getting lapped by the 8 mile runners (they did 2 four mile loops), I wonder if they could run as fast as I do if they were carrying an extra 100 lbs. I'd like to think they couldn't, but that's not really the point. The point is to think how fast I could go if I weren't carrying the extra 100 lbs. And really I'm only about 85 lbs overweight now, but still.

As I mentioned, the trail is really crowded, and there is some good people watching- usually as they pass me. There are people of all shapes and sizes, dogs, strollers, bikes, etc. One woman, probably mid 40s, maybe 20 lbs overweight, she passed me and then turned around and said "Keep it up, I was you a year ago." And then she turned back around and kept jogging. It's nice to hear encouraging words, but I hope a year from now I'm not a 40 year old. I did pass her as she stopped for water and smiled, but it sort of bugs me for some reason. It's funny because I've been encouraged by a number of people when I've been out running- I guess they're surprised someone as large as I am is actually running. In a race, I'm all about hearing encouragement, but in just normal everyday life? It seems strange. And do they encourage everyone? Or just the fat people? Do I look like I need encouragement? Do I have a grimace on my face? Hm.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Spin Class

I'm trying to hit all the major types of classes my New Triathlon Training Group has to offer, and next up- the 6 am spin class. I've been to spin classes at my gym and actually like them. There they turned the lights off and turn up the music and it's a very intense, high endorphin rush type of class. The spin class here uses trainers like the one on the right. They are really cool because you use your own bike. It took a little getting used to- it's more unsteady that a stationary bike. And I didn't realize there's an adjuster knob at the back that regulates the pressure on the rear wheel. So I was at my biggest gear and not working hard at all for the first 15 minutes until I asked the woman next to me, who helped me adjust it. And then it was much harder, but better. I managed to keep up for the most part, though the cadence is the hard part for me. I know going at 90-100 cadence in a smaller gear will help in endurance cycling, but at 100 cadence, I feel like I'm jiggling and bouncing all over the place. I need to work on smoothing that out. But overall a good time, and at 6 am it's a lot cooler and less crowded than the afternoon spin classes, so I'm going to stick with that.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Track Workout

Where I live, it's 100 degrees at 5 pm. When is track practice? 5 pm. No shade. Very little breeze. Why? Why do they schedule an intense workout at the hottest time of the day, at just about the hottest place? I didn't want to go, and had decided against it. And then I got bored. My work schedule right now is very light. I have more time than I know what to do with and it kills me. I could be doing important things, I could have more things to do than I have time for, and really, I have things to do, they're just not the things I want to do. Sure there's always cleaning, and lawn mowing, and those sorts of things. But the fun things, or even the halfway decent things- not enough.

So I went to track practice and just about died. Luckily the coach tonight was aware that there were a bunch of newly joined members, and we did a modified workout. But it was still 100 degrees, and we did an hour of running and then core exercises afterwards. I'm in the best shape of my life right now from the Olympic distance triathlon training, but I'm still overweight, and the rest of the group is really super fit. And as intimidating as that is, I don't think I'd like it if everyone was shlubby and fat. I'm working towards being like them, and the training must work if that's the result!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New Triathlon Training Group

I completed my first Olympic distance triathlon two weeks ago, and even before the big race, I knew I was hooked on triathlons. There is something very appealing about the whole thing- the team mentality in training, the part of doing three sports, the social aspect, getting fit, etc. I enjoyed my first training group but didn't want to raise any more money, when really, I'm NOT saving lives one mile at a time, I'm just running. I just wanted a group of people to work out with and the expertise of a coach.

So I researched the different options available and found the New Triathlon Training Group. I chose a swim practice for my first time out, because I would consider that my best sport. I'm not fast but I am very comfortable in the water. So the Half Ironman swim distance is 1.2 miles or 2000 meters. What was our workout? 2700 meters. 80 minutes of swimming, with drills, and accoutrements like fins and buoys. I knew I was looking for a hard core group, but this was seriously hard core!

And there are Ironman triathletes in this group. Real live people that have done that. I'm so in awe. There are about 150 total athletes and they're all training for different events- from Ironman to sprints. That is a good and bad thing, because we're all mixed in together. I'm glad the First Training Group prepared me well, because I'm not totally in over my head, but this is definitely a step up, and I like it!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Hello There!

So both my sister and mother have blogs, and very good ones. And I've discovered that a bunch of triathletes have blogs as well that I enjoy reading for information and inspiration. And now I'm going to jump into the fray and give it a try as well.

I'm a little (okay a lot) nervous about sharing some of the details of my life with strangers and also with people I do know. But at the same time, I'd like to have a record of this part of my life, and maybe connect with other people, and learn that I'm not so strange after all. But I am going to be extremely vague on purpose so that people don't meet me one day and make the connection between blog world and real life. Maybe one day I won't be so scared (that whole letting people in and what if they don't like you thing), but for now, this is the way it will be.