Friday, December 11, 2015

Redirection. Test.

This is simply a test.  More to come soon!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Post of Shame

What can I say?  It's Summer's fault?


Last I checked, my most recent update on this blog was sometime in June.  Over two months have passed and I swear it happened with a blink of an eye.  I stayed on track most of that time even though I laxed on my updates.  I figured that as long as I continued with my faux-training plan, I was still building my base and coming here every week was okay to skip out on because with limited time, something had to give.  Here's a run down of what did and didn't happen and where I am now.

I started this "super simple 70.3 Ironman training plan" immediately following the 4th of July weekend.  Initially, my thought was that starting at that time would get me ready for Ironman 70.3 Miami late October.  I really liked the swim and run courses on this and the idea that my family could be there along with my hometown family and friends seemed like icing.  My hubby was on board and even considered for a hot minute that maybe he could train with me and DO. IT. TOO.  (gasp...too many more thoughts and words about totally would deserve its own post on what all happened there).  I had browsed through the training weeks in this plan and I thought "hmm, totally doable". Of course, I was only concerned with the physical aspects of "doing" it.  I cringed a little at the later weeks of the plan as there never seems to be a true recovery time and the brick workouts appeared to be very intense but nonetheless, I was pretty confident in my ability to get it done.

What I put in the back drawer of my brain was the schedule.  The changes in the schedule that were fast approaching, specifically.  Week after week, I swam, ran and biked as prescribed.  I bricked early in the morning and squeezed my long rides on Fridays and runs on Sundays.  In the mean time, I looked into the logistics of Miami.  Travel with or without kids?  Bike transport?  The schedule, like an internet pop-up, came into the frame and it reminded me "oh yea, school will be in session.  And soccer.  And golf"  Uh-oh.

I had a Plan B in my back pocket if I did in fact continue on this journey without obstacles...Ironman70.3 Austin.  Closer to home and a week or two later than the first race, Austin was the initial obvious choice for a first 70.3.  The thing is, I read sooo many reviews about the swim and bike that just seemed awful.  Chip and seal sucks and swimming in a plant lake leaves much to be desired in the scenery department.  The topper on this one is that the run is 3 loops.  UGH.  I hate loops!! Clearly, this is not where I wanted my first (and quite possibly last) run at 70.3 to be.

Because of all these excuses reasons, Austin was in pencil.  I wasn't about to pull the trigger on registering until later on in training when I knew I felt strong and ready. (Miami has since sold out)

I managed 6 weeks of training.  Even on a mini vacation getaway, I managed long runs and squeezed bikes and swims before and after travel.  On that sixth week, swims were tough because I just couldn't get to the pool.  And then, we went on another getaway.  There was lap-length pool there but getting up early to swim before the vacationers came in was TOUGH.  I succumbed to vacation mode.  I needed it really and I was guilt free about it.  I managed to even run 9 miles on our time away.  My husband was so impressed.  I ran down the hill from the hotel, under and across the freeway to the nearby trail and back finishing up that treacherous hill to get to my shower, breakfast and pool.  Beast mode!

I was ready to conquer week 7 when I got back home.  Except that back to school, work deadlines and a travelling husband also happened that week.  I wore a cape on week 7, really.  I did it all. Everything you could possibly imagine that needed to get done, I did.  Except swim, bike and run.

School started, new schedules at 3 different schools and a SUPER busy entrepreneur husband that was cooking up big deals and was totally in the "zone" and the busiest time of year for a corporate tax person.

Y'all.  I'm motivated and at times crazy about getting what I need to get done, done.  My priorities are not skewed, however.  My family always comes first.   I thought that missing all my workouts was going to really mess with my head, emotions and body very quickly.  I thought I was going to turn into a raving lunatic craving and needing to "escape" the chaos for a run.  I am happy to say that I was wrong.

I feel pretty freakin' fantastic (and accomplished) to get all the work done at the office (at whatever hour necessary), support my hubby's endeavours all the while being a supermom who treks across town for soccer practices, carpools, cooks, tutors, launders and still has time to play princess, kick a ball and ride tricycles with the littles and doesn't tire of the thousands of "moms" I hear on the daily. My heart is full, I am so very grateful and I am ok with not sleeping much.  So far.

I have not had a workout (the 9 mile run) since August 16th.  Technically and in reality, that is not THAT long.  But with my history, that could snowball into what I am feeling right now "I feel great, I am never getting up at 5 for a workout again!!" and then soon after, I feel awful and starting again is much like dragging my 3 year old to her new PK3 class, lots of tears and whining is involved.  Ahem.

So what's the plan, you say?  How do I stay ahead of this unpreventable situation that is looming given your time constraints, you say?  Well...I'm either hiring a tutor, housekeeper (that cooks) and putting my babysitter on the weekly payroll,  or quitting work.

Bahahahaha.  Dream on, sister.  I don't know is the answer.  Sleep even less?  Honestly, I don't know. I have been creative before but usually much more motivated than I am right now.  Maybe another week will get me itching and motivated.  Maybe a short run on this upcoming free and clear (so far) holiday weekend will spark the motivation.  Because that post run feeling is SO AWESOME.  Again, I don't know.

I hope all of you that still come out here looking for my updates are staying active and keeping with your programs.  My workout buddy has not quit on me (yet)...she still texts and emails in hopes that one day I WILL join her at the pool at 6 or for the 5:30am Define Rev class.  She is still hoping that I agree to do the TowneLake Labor Day Tri with her but I just don't feel like doing it because I know I'd be beating myself up during the entire swim, bike and run about how weak, tired I feel and what a miserable experience it is.  Not being prepared will do that to you.  I want Tri's to be FUN!  The reality is that a 3 week hiatus will make it not fun for me...pretty sure.

In any event, I will keep you all posted when I figure this out because you know what?  If I do, I will most certainly want to SHARE!! Lol!

Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend everyone and TGIF!!

Valerie :)

Monday, June 29, 2015

Two Updates in One!

It's like a BOGO sale...only not.  Haha.

Summer was supposed to be great for training since I have extra time in the mornings and evenings. Apparently, Summeritis is contagious.  Those early morning alarms are easier to dismiss and going to the pool is more about hanging out and socializing than it is getting laps in. I completely forgot to update last week so I am way behind but I tracked it nonetheless.

Week 18 looked like this:
 (Another rainy week complete with flood closures and a sick baby to boot)
M - Work from home with sick baby - rest
T - Work from home again with healthy babies, daycare closed due to flooding.  Big kids babysat and I managed a 7 mile run at lunchtime.  They say running in the humid heat builds endurance so...yea I've got that going for me. :/
W - I have no idea what happened but I know no workouts made it to the log.
Th - ditto Wednesday.
F - Was feeling pretty low about how unaccomplished the week was until hubby (who got a new road bike) asked if he could ride with me. Yay!!  Our first Friday afternoon ride date!! 20 miles in and excited that this could be our new thing. :)
S - a blur.
S - An early start and a Father's Day gift for my dad...a double date ride!  34 miles and a stop for burgers on the way back.  Sweet!!

Not an active training week but 60+ miles is nothing to frown upon!

Week 19

M - getting the hang of resting on Mondays.  Sorta.
T - Sunset swim with hubby.  Coached him some and got 1700 in.
W - 5.2 run at lunch...the hardest time of day during a Houston Summer too.  (building endurance, right?)  :p
Th - Managed to get up early to meet Rox (it's been so long!)...2000Y swim (the shorter pool is much warmer and tolerable for this wimp)
F - Date ride!!  24 miles!
S - I could only muster a little over 4 miles...I felt beat and still had a weekend of swim meet heat exhaustion coming.
S - The intention to early swim or hit the Hot Yoga class at the gym was just that.  Intention.  By evening, my energy had returned but going outside for a trainer ride or run seemed painful so I somehow convinced hubby to do day 1 of P90X3 Synergistics with me.  "It's just 30 minutes!"  I had the pleasure of peeling the plastic off the's been sitting in the console drawer for...I dunno.  I lost track.  I am not sure if we'll venture to do the whole 90 day program but I am certainly curious as to what the workouts look like.  Synergistics was fun and hard and covered some things that I am familiar with (yoga poses - chair squats, flying warrior, crescent lunges) and also some things that I despise that I really need for strength (varied push ups/pull ups).

Overall,  I got 5700Y of swimming, almost 10 miles of running and 24 miles on the bike and a strength workout too.

I am juggling as usual and hoping to get a few races in over the summer to prep me for 70.3! Officially training starts next week so...stay tuned to see my progress!  Fingers crossed that I can fight the urge to SLEEP and lounge around like the kids.

Hope everyone is enjoying the summer!  Happy Monday!


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Week 17

Again this week I tried to follow the training plan I will be using soon as a preemptive measure. My first thought is that it seems light to start which means good news, I've created a strong base for my starting point. Bad news, how incrementally challenging this plan gets may blindside me if I don't read ahead. Yikes. Secondly, I have decided that Monday rest days don't work for me. Just as before, it feels great Monday morning but by late afternoon, I feel like the week is already busted. I know, that's ridiculous thinking but such is my brain sometimes. 

For illustration, here is what the plan calls for:
This is how I altered it to fit my schedule/brain demands. ;)

M - Fine, I'll rest but I won't be thrilled about it. :/
T - 1800M and 4.5 mile run (because I felt behind). I was planning on running at least 6 but it got really dark out. 
W - Spin early morning & Hot Yoga at lunch (I love this class). Doubled up in case traveling hubby's schedule would creep up on me and I'd fall short. 
Th - morning & evening workouts were out w hubby gone & swim meet late  so the plan was to run at lunch. Had to run errands at lunch...thought run was scrapped. Late notice of canceled swim meet opened evening back up for run! 5.5 miles
F - morning plan to meet up w Rox for swim & run didn't work out so I knew I'd have to squeeze a lot into my afternoon. Went on a fantastic 23ish mile ride and was hoping for a swim AND run but project at work tied me up a little longer than expected. Settled for a half hour in the pool for 1100M (because I wasted another half hour searching for my goggles that my kids "borrowed". And subsequently lost. Btw, swimming in junior goggles is quite painful. My eye sockets are still sore. :/ 
Saturday - hubby is gone and the swim meet was rescheduled early. Plus, baby was up at 3 with a fever so I was guessing this would just be a rest day and at best, id get on the trainer during naps or late night. I lucked out that both babies went down for a hard nap and my son was willing to keep watch. 5 mile run!!
Sunday - I have surpassed the week's goals thus far by a 3 mile ride, 20 mins on the bike, .7 running mile, 500 swimming meters and a Hot Yoga class.  I think I'm good. :)

Monday, June 8, 2015

Week 16 recap

Week 16 was an odd one.  I loosely followed a training plan that has Mondays as rest days. Obviously, I started the week doing nothing.  This did not fare well with me.  I felt by Monday night that I was already behind in the week.  I am glad this was not an "official" start to training because I would have already failed miserably.  However, knowing my feelings about Monday, I know that I should alter the plan to better suit me.

There was a whole lot of stuff that happened and we are still in a place of uncertainty (mine, anyway) with regard to race registration, so the big "reveal" will come in a couple of weeks.  We want to be SURE that the route we are attempting to navigate is feasible before I start posting it all over the internets.

So the week's workouts ended like this:

Monday - rest day
Tuesday - 30/30 bike/run brick at lunch.  Two things:  1- mute texts & calls while running post drama filled morning. 2- Texas Summer IS HERE!  Riding my bike on the trainer in the backyard & running at lunchtime felt like I was doing so inside an oven.
Wednesday - Hot Yoga at lunchtime plus a quick 2 miles after work because I was feeling like that Rest Day on Monday was shorting me for some reason.
Thursday - School is officially out and with not having to get up early, well...I didn't.  By the time I did, I only had 30 minutes at the I swam 1000M and darted off.  On the positive, I swam in the outdoor felt like a mini vacation. :)
Friday - So not only is school out, the daycare was closed today too.  Hubby and I were going to either split the day to watch kids or...let the older kids babysit? Um.  All day?  No.  I decided to get my run in before work, shooting for a long run...maybe 8?  But then, a text that implied my presence was necessary for the other parent to leave the home base for work came through.  A quick sprint to finish at only 4.4 miles.  Sigh.  Half day of work and honestly, the rest is a blur.  I think there was some physical labor later in the day but I can't remember right now.
Saturday - BIKE RIDE OUTDOORS!! YAY!!!  Can you tell it's my favorite? I was really excited about a 'ladies' ride that was organized for Saturday morning weeks that I didn't think I would make because I was supposed to be in Austin for work for the week.  Lo and behold, things change and I did make it and it was fantastic.  28 miles, thanks to my friend's devices not crapping out mid way like mine, which by the way, I am so done with my Garmin 305.  I gave it yet another chance and it died mid ride.  In addition, I somehow got the arm of my cadence sensor moved while riding and at roughly 23 mph (Garmin was alive then), it clipped a spoke and went flying.  The sound it made beforehand however, scared the begeezus out of me thinking I had burst both of my tires. Luckily, that was not the case but it was definitely was cause for a pause.  
Boo hoo, wahoo. :/
While waiting for the group to reassemble (some were leaving, some adding on) I decided to Periscope the dam where water was being released post flood.  The funniest thing happend...a group of folks that seem to be part of some photography class asked if they could take my pictures.  As soon as I said yes, a dozen cameras went up and started clicking away.  It was a little weird and everyone that rode past probably wondered who the heck I was.  Haha.
My very own paparazzi.  Lol.  (screenshot from periscope)
My dad joined in towards the second half of the ride and added the power oomph to the workout. Calling him coach Joe would be appropriate as he had us do hill sprints at the park and ride ramp. Ouchy.
Heading back down the ramp to do it again.
That's a racing stripe on his jersey...hard to catch up to him.
 Sunday - I did a little swimming during "adult swim" at the pool.  And when I say a little, I mean almost not at all.  Of the 15 minute window, I spent a good 8 trying to explain to a 3 year old why she had to get out of the pool.  This obviously was not working out well so I let dad handle it and I literally, jumped in the pool and started swimming laps.  A measly 250M as I got caught up with a tri friend in the other lane and got to chatting.  Whoops.  I did learn that swimming in a salt water pool is much more enjoyable that chlorinated. I'll have to revisit that.
Later, while hubby was out riding with my dad (more on that later!), I decided to also get a run in to make up for the one cut short earlier in the week when he returned.  I was shooting for the 8 again but I lost light and it was getting late so I cut it to 6.  Too bad too because I felt like I could go forever. Oh well.  C'est la vie.

This was somewhat of a recovery week and because it was so confusing anyway, I didn't fret with how many hours or workouts I did.  I think I ended up with a decent week nonetheless.

Bike - 2 (28 miles  out + 30min trainer)
Swim - 1ish (1250M all outside)
Run - 4 (15.4 miles total)
Other - Hot Yoga + mountain bike with kids around the 'hood

Approx 7+ hours

Time to work on how week 17 is going to look.

Hope everyone has a great week!!


Thursday, June 4, 2015

It's a mixed bag.

So, this post was supposed to be the pivotal earth shattering (not really) decision announcing one about whether I'd be registering for a big race or not AND which one if so. Right?

Well, hubby threw an amazing (but utterly confusing) curve ball last night. So much so, that I'm still wrapping my head around it and I'll have to postpone the announcement for the BIGGER announcement?! Uh. Yea. 

So hang tight y'all. I'm so sure you've been on pins and needles. Lol. (At least I entertain myself!) 

In the mean time, keep on moving and talk at ya soon! 


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Holiday-Flood-Teen-Birthday Week Round Up

To say this was a soggy week is an understatement.  Much of our beloved State of Texas was under water from unprecedented rainfall that began over the Memorial Day holiday weekend and into the next weekend.   In addition, our baby turned teen and her request for celebration was an overnight slumber party at the beach.   Flooding and beach weekend don't really go together so I waited literally, until the last minute to throw it all together.

Here's how the workouts faired considering all of that (oh and hubby traveled for half the week too)!

Monday - Memorial Day holiday...double up with a 1650M swim & 5k run w Rox (pre-rain)
Tuesday - is there such a thing as a negative workout? If so, today qualified as just that. Schools and the office was closed due to severe flooding in the city. I decided to be a complete & utter couch potato binging on hours of House of Cards with the hubby with intermittent child play. There was a moment when we considered "doing" something. I suggested a bike ride to get the babies to the park in the afternoon when things seemed to be drying out. Hubby took the baby outside to kick the ball and came back inside decidedly that he'd rather binge some more rather than bike ride (muggy and mosquitos were out like crazy!).  Later, I felt guilty and set up my bike on the trainer. However, after a few loads of laundry & building an enormous fort, I was good with letting the day pass without a workout. 
Wednesday- back to routine...1800m am swim (cut short when the flood alerts starting screaming out from my phone on the side of the pool!) + 3.5run before baby pickup (had to make up for Tuesday)
Thurs - hubby still out / hot yoga lunch
Fri - Half day but LOTS of Bday prep, squeezed in 2100M in the outdoor pool...the sun was OUT!! Yay! Had to skip out on run to get to niece's graduation party.
Sat - Galveston Bday weekend with 8 girls...that's enough of a workout! We lucked out with missing the rain...a storm threatened in the evening but never came. :) 
Sun - 5 mile run in am while teens slept, pool all day & 15.5 miles on the bike trainer in pm back home (in laws visited while I was on bike...probably thought I was nuts. I jumped off to walk them to their car towards the end & MIL said while looking at my legs "at least you're getting muscles" ha! At least I've got that. I'll take it! :)

Run - 11.7m
Swim - 5550M
Hot Yoga
Total time= ~ 8 hours 

Not too shabby all things considered.  Next week, decision time!!  Tune in to see if I pulled the trigger on turning this base building workout thing into something more official.

Have a great week all!


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Week 15 roundup

Busy, productive week but also very calming.  Odd combination but I found myself maneuvering through the crazy week in total zen mode.  I guess I set my sights on expecting the unexpected since hubby would be travelling.  I braced myself for difficult or challenging and it was anything but.  Practices magically got cancelled across the board on days that were overbooked and potentially tense moments came through fairly breezy.

Don't tell hubby it went so well though...I don't want to jinx next week when he leaves again. :)

So this is how the workouts played out...mostly on the fly.

Monday - No PowerOne because I can't leave the house but interestingly, classes have been cancelled all week.  I planned to jump on the trainer when everyone was in bed...and I did just that.  A little over an hour and I discovered that my apps don't sync with my cadence sensors if I am streaming video.  Oh well, too bad because I just had to catch up on Scandal!  Sooo good.

Tuesday - Took my talents to the street at lunch time and ran a little over 4 because the weather was just perfect and I needed to leave office a little early for kiddo activity (soccer practice cancelled, swim practice cancelled on middle school award night...a gift!) I could've run forever but duty calls and I had work to do at home late into the evening to prepare for Wed.

Wednesday - Finished working at home while waiting for cable company in the morning at home...made it to Hot Yoga at the gym with perfect timing for my afternoon call back at the office. 

Thursday - Hubby is back! 5:30 Barbell class was a fail because I completely forgot to set my alarm. Ah! I opted to go for a 5 mi run after drop off and to kick it into overdrive when I got to the office. More scheduling gifts in the evening with overbookings getting rescheduled. (This never happens!)

Friday - Hitting all the targets at work...left early for a short 16 mile bike ride followed by a 1700M swim (cut short  to cover for hubby's late meeting to get babies).
Saturday - managed to run 7.5 when I set out for 3, no 4, maybe 5, what the heck 6 and oh shoot it's gonna be over 7. Catching up to (and currently leading) a little friendly competition with Nike+ friends was the real push. Haha. 
Sunday - gotta get a second swim for the week...but I opted to lead the family into an impromptu road trip down to the beach instead. It was so relaxing and enjoyable...definitely the right choice. :)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Week 14 Recap

Last week in a nutshell:

Monday - Power one was canceled (we're assuming because our instructor was going away for Mother's Day weekend)  I was able to convince Rox to meet me and be my guest at lifetime for spin even though I'd never done it before.  It was fun and the workout, although not as intense as we're used to, did the job.  Interesting characters in class too...the guy next to me stretching his leg OVER the handlebars while wearing half a bottle of cologne was particularly amusing.

Tuesday  - I really didn't want to get up and hubby told me he was going to kick me out of bed.  I managed to negotiate cuddle time in lieu of workout IF I could get my swim in later. :) I swam 2500M. The first 400 were as if it were a race just to kind of see if I can break the jitters. Then a second 400. Followed by 100 kick & 100 pull. I decided to up my sets to 500 and use the MP3 player I had bought a while back to get me in the zone.  It seemed to work...I took it easy to just get comfortable going long...1st 500 14, 2nd 12:44, 3rd 12:43.  Next time, I'll try to add speed drills to improve power but for now just getting in the distance is enough.

Wednesday I had planned to run when I took my son to soccer tryouts across town. I figured I had a good hour to get it done but with the weather change (storms), venue and time changes, one thing led to another and I ended up in running clothes but not running. 

Thursday I knew I'd be chaperoning the seventh-grade trip to the beach so I decided I was going to go to the early barbell class which I had missed for the last few weeks. I felt pretty energized and decided to get a 5K in afterwards as well to make up for the missing run the night before.

Friday I decide to stay at work a little later than usual...I'm heading a big project and I'm feeling pretty good about hitting all my targets so I wasn't really rushing out for a workout.  I was shooting for a swim but I just didn't feel like packing up for the gym and dealing with traffic and parking so I jumped on the trainer for a good solid hour workout outside while the rain fell.

Saturday - no workout

Sunday - Lots going on around the house and it almost didn't happen but managed to get to the gym for another 2500M swim.  This time: 400 (incl 100 backstroke) 10:46, 400 (200p, 200k), 600 w music 15:33, 600 15:28, 500 12:46. Ran up to the treadmill for a quick 5k and got to watch end of the 3rd qtr of the Rockets Clippers game (up by 20 when I left....glad to know they closed it for the WIN!)

Weekly Totals:

Bike - 2 hours
Run - 6.2 miles
Swim - 5000M
Other - Strength Class
Approx time: 6-7 hours

Next week goals...getting something done everyday while hubby is out of town.

Have a great week all!!


Friday, May 15, 2015

This week.

Some weeks you want to get the workouts in SO bad but you just can't find a slot of time to make it all work.  Some weeks, the time pans out so opportunity is laid out for a perfect workout week and you just don't feel up to it.  Other weeks, the struggle to juggle it all is demotivating and quitting seems so much easier.  And then there are weeks like this one.

The kind of week where the things planned didn't go as such but the alternative was better and when there were so many things crammed into a day yet the energy level was so high, you could still cram a double workout in and feel fantastic all day.  The kind of week where even if it was gloomy and rainy outside all week, you didn't even notice because...well, I don't know why.

I can't explain this week.  It's been pretty fantastic and I'm so grateful.

TGIF all!


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Short n sweet week recap

Sandwiched between a girls trip to NYC and a triathlon on the weekend, was a whole lot of nothing.
Exhibit A:

Monday - could not even THINK about 5:30 PowerOne...X
Tuesday - 1600M Swim that went like this.
Wednesday - a little over an hour on the bike trainer.
Thursday - Skipped the run for a walk to the park with hubby and the babies. X
Friday -  Skipped my final hoorah swim for date time with hubby. X
Saturday - SpringsBack Sprint Tri - Race Recap Here
Sunday - Mother's Day - no workout planned

Told ya it was short and sweet.

Hasta la next week! ;)


Springs Back Sprint Tri Race Recap

First and foremost:  I DIDN'T DROWN!!!

That right there is cause for celebration!  And the fact that I can write about it...yay!

I mentioned my trepidation about open water swimming so I won't beat that dead horse any further. Bottom line, I was way out of my comfort zone.  But I was sucking it up and faking strength for my friend...who was scared shitless.  She almost didn't come to the race having battled a sinus infection for what seems years.  Poor thing...she hadn't even been in the pool in over a month and yet she was going to come out.  Her plan was to check it out and make a game time call...worst case, she would be my spectator.  Of course, she's much like me...once your foot is in the water, what the hell, race the whole dang thing.  Right?

So...when she told me she was terrified, I wasn't about to tell her that "oh, shit, me too!"  Rather, I tried to pass along the tidbid of good advice that I had received in the prior week or so.  The whole flip on your back and breathe bit, that the breast stroke and even the doggie paddle were options and that there were people everywhere on kayaks and boats to save us if necessary, I told her.  And also, good news is that there was only ONE alligator in the lake, so odds are it was a pet, fed and caged for such an event.  (wink, wink)
Oh goody, just one!
Honestly, we are swimming in a lake with an ALLIGATOR?!  I have lived near and travelled often to the Everglades...seeing those suckers in a body of water is best from an airboat.  Just sayin'.

Having been thrilled that I had company to this event really helped my jitters and all kidding aside, my friend has a very calming effect on me.  She's positive and reassuring (even when she's terrified). We talked about imagining the beach, swimming in the ocean with the sun beating on us.  And after a collective "yeah, right", we decided to just watch all the waves heading out before us and try to determine how in the heck the buoys were set up and how far we needed to go.

All the olympic distance waves went out first.  This was great for two reasons...1- the alligator had plenty to choose for breakfast before we got in the water. 2- it got warmer AND lighter out and we can see where exactly the "turn" for the sprint wave was (since us old fogies were one of the last waves).


We agreed that we would remain calm.  Backstroke if necessary the whole way but calm nonetheless.  And then the fog horn goes off.  What it in the hell?  Everyone of us (22 female over 40) jumped out our skins and took off!  So much for that zen moment!

The temperature of the water was at 77 (perfect) and the sun was out to make it warm but nonetheless, those conditions did not make the visibility any better.  Also, I was wearing a brand new pair of goggles so that I would ensure that the anti-fog coating was spot on.  I wished I had tested them first...fear of leaks was also in the back of my mind.  :\

Hard as I tried to just "swim", regular freestyle, not being able to see has a way of making things very claustrophobic.   I really didn't think of all things, that that would be the issue.  But it was.  I probably swam a decent 25M before I start thinking that I needed to flip.  The more I thought of it, the more irregular my breath would get.  And we go.  A quick flip to regain composure, right?  Uh, no.  I backstroked until I ran over a body (indicating that I was at least moving in the forward direction to exit the lake!)  I am sure "I" was the one to piss plenty of people off by bumping them...sorry ladies! :/  I tried the side arm swim, a little doggie paddle and then a few "regular" strokes.  It wasn't awful but it was shortlived and when I came back up, I was way off course.  Ahh!  More strokes to get back to where I was.  I had plenty of time later to think about just how fast I was "regular" swimming to get off course in just a few strokes.  If only I could kick my own ass to get it together and GO I'd be out of the damn lake so much faster!

Clearly, there is LOTS of room for improvement and we can all agree that swimming my forte, is not. Out of 10 in my age group, my swim came in 8th.  Meh.  Not surprised but ok with it just the same.
Final time was right about the same as it was in the pool with my "mock" race.  11 least I can say I know how to simulate like a mofo.  Lol.  ...and the goggles were PERFECT! No leaking, no discomfort or fog!

On to transition but first, at the exit of the lake.  Not little BOULDERS. OUCH! More on this later. :/


A quick goofy "I made it" grin to the photographer (OMG, most hilarious picture ever)  and running to T1.  Why again did we rack in the LAST possible rack?  Good grief, it felt like a half hour in there but luckily that wasn't the case.  Still...I was tied 6/7 place in transition but better than 3+ minutes at the last tri!


Oh, the bike.  Yay, the bike!  I heart the bike!

I quickly settled in and started scrolling through all my dad's advice in my head.  First, fuel.  I PRE-opened my Hammer Gel and had already mixed some Hammer Heed into one of my water bottles. (I have never tried either but my dad has done some extensive research...he is an all around guru and when he researches and endorses, you listen!)  I ate my gel and quickly discovered that like bike grease on my calf, getting sticky fingers (and handlebars) is inevitable for a clutzo like me.  However, this is better than the alternative of trying to open the package while riding.  I have attempted this and have given up (see clutzo comment above) in fear that I'd topple and eat it (the pavement, not the gel).

It was a fairly flat course with slight hills back in the more rural areas.  It was quite scenic and enjoyable.  However, it was windy!  It cried Mary as my dad would say.  I didn't realize how windy it was until afterwards when I heard others speaking of it AND seeing some of the bike speed results.  I was expecting low 20s, high teens for the uber fast in the age group but I was surprised to see it top off at average mph was 16.7 so I'm glad to have held my own.

Again, I charged up my old Garmin (secured to the charger with packing tape to get a true charge) and hoped it would work for my bike and run segments of the race.  They sorta did.  The bike didn't show me what I needed (speed, cadence) only total "lap" time.  I really had no idea what my mph was at the time other than each mile was 3:40, 3:22, 3:07 etc.  It took me a few miles to see a pattern and after that I just tried to "beat" the last mile.  That, coupled with trying to pass people kept me trucking along.

No road kill this time or bugs in my mouth (thank goodness)...just country smells that seem extra potent first thing in the morning...manure, bacon, fresh cut grass, jasmine.   No complaints but am glad I took an allergy pill before heading out first thing!


It was clearly faster than the last transition but it's a blur.  I just remember seeing the girl who we racked our bikes by heading out for her run (I caught up!).


This is so tough.  It's so not like "just" going for a run.  Everything feels so different and some things, numb even.  My legs were on autopilot and I took that time to sort out my technology issues.  I didn't exactly nail the Garmin button pushing from to T2 to Run but I noticed from the get go that it was not on "MultiSport" (which I had double checked the night before...ugh!) so my running pace was again, not helping.  In the mean time, my much bigger phone was sitting in my race belt and began thumping against me at every step.  I had to take it out and while there, decided to run Nike+ for the sake of pacing.

After the initial distraction, I was back to realizing my legs felt awful but still better than the last time.  I also felt tired!  A 5k seemed like a long way at that moment.  But then I turned on the mind game.  I looked around and the scenery was so quiet and peaceful out in the 'burbs!  The route went out of the subdivision into a trail that backs up around it and was all paved.  There were quite a few bridges and elevations so it did not seem as flat a course as I thought.

I wanted to stop so bad.  So many times.  But I gave myself some random point to achieve before allowing myself to think of it again (the bench, bridge, end of the pond) and when I got there, I moved the target further.  Seems silly, but it worked.  The further I went, the hotter I got. When I arrived at the fork in the road where the Olympic and Sprint courses divided,  I realized I was happy to be racing Sprint and wondered how I could possibly EVER do the other.  I was pooped!

I saw a young boy on the course walking and I tried hard to motivate him to go, he smiled at me but was not budging...and the words just stuck to ME and kept me moving forward.  I started visualizing different muscles in my legs doing their job and I think my quads must have been sleeping.  I felt like once I engaged them, I was able to move faster and with more determination to finish.  I caught up to someone in my age group (that had passed me on the bike) and felt a little victory and then later, caught up to and passed the girl we racked by (that I saw in transition).  These two things were my final motivators to not stop and push to finish strong.

I couldn't help but fist pump through the finish (with giant phone in hand)! Garmin had very little use to me and Nike, which I started late in the game, came in with a 3.3 distance.  It's no wonder when I asked the volunteer jokingly on the course "are we there yet?!", I was surprised he said "just over a mile" when I would be done in about a 1/4 mile by my calculation.  Yikes!


After sending a text home about my survival and scoping out the after race scene, I headed back to the finish line and right then, my friend was coming through!  SOOOOOO excited to watch her cross!!  We did it!! Yay!!!  She was sick and undertrained and she kicked some serious booty.  I am so proud!  We grabbed our breakfast tacos (the true reward at the end of the race!), bananas and KIND bars and took a second to sit and chat.  I remembered I had left my flip flops by the dock and ran over there to get them.  It felt so far!  Haha! But when I got back, my shoes suddenly felt tight.  I kicked them off and noticed a huge gash on the inside of my right foot!!  OMG.  That rock on the lake exit got me good.  I'm so glad I didn't know of it until after the race!  It is right under on the flip flop strap so I hobbled all the way to the car.  Ouch! I've got my first official triathlon war wound! Haha.

I'm not signed up for another race until the Oktoberfest Sprint that I learned is the exact same course as this.  I am tempted to switch that to an Olympic but I still have a few bigger decisions to make by the end of the month regarding HIM.  I have a race in July, August and September to sign up for too but again, the distances will hinge on 70.3.

Stay tuned!!


My Last Race Report: No Label Sprint Tri
My Swimming Trepidation: Here and Here

Saturday, May 9, 2015


Happy to report that I survived my first ever open water swim! Hip, hip hooray!
This sign didn't intimidate me one bit. Maybe it was the lack of "s" on Alligator! #justonehuh?
Race report coming soon! 

Happy Mother's Day weekend all!!


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Breathe, Keep Calm & Swim On

That's the mantra on repeat in my head. 

After a week off from swimming, getting in the pool last night was absolutely necessary but also terrifying. I decided to try simulating open water swim conditions. 400M, nonstop without warmup (other than dynamic arm stretches), no walls and sighting drills throughout. Ugh. It was like swimming for the first time. Again. I've said this before, swimming is not like riding a bike at all. 

My breathing pattern was off. No, it was nonexistent. I guess my imagination took the best of me as I was visualizing race day conditions...
1- can't see the bottom, my goggles got foggy and I didn't allow myself a break to fix them...
2- getting to the length end & awkwardly turning sans touching the wall and starting again was draining. I worried about fatiguing in the lake. Which led to eradic breathing and caused me to flip on my back to catch my breath. 
3- The start & stop also broke any kind of rhythm I was even close to attaining which I figured would be much like getting smacked in the head. 

A fantastic training swim, don't cha think? :/

It was the longest 11 minutes ever. And then, I took a break and did it again! It wasn't easier because now I was tired. Swimming for your life has away of sucking the energy out of you, I suppose. It took an extra minute too. 

I really just wanted OUT of the pool by then but I had to get past this craziness. I did another 400 of drills (100k, 150p, 150fs DPS).  Good grief, so much better. And then, I did another 400 straight, with wall and was AMAZED at how fluid my breathing was. WTF? I could have swam forever. Ugh. So frustrating!

In any event, I realize that practice is the only thing that will help me, plus the actual experience of DOING IT. 

I've been repeating this mantra to myself all morning every time the race pops into my head. And then, I get an email from a buddy who just finished Ironman St George, Utah last weekend. He sent some inspirational finisher videos and had this to say about my OWS qualms:

"HI Val!  I hope you will watch the “recap video” below!  It’s soo inspiring and you can see the amazing scenery at Ironman St. George.  It was totally amazing!!!  Maybe you’ll be inspired too and I’ll see ya there next year!  Ha! Man, I LOVED that course!  Soo beautiful.  I found myself just looking around soo much during the race!  Wow.  I'll be back for more next year. 

OMG!  Open water swimming is a different world.  EVERYONE feels just like you do the 1st couple times! EVERYONE!  If you have to float on your back for a bit fine!  If you have to do breast stroke for a while fine.  Who cares!  Just get there early and do a practice swim to calm yourself.  And if someone pisses you off in the swim (likes kicks you in the face!)  just pull their feet REALLY hard. Ha!

I'm Sooo excited for your VAL!!!  You goo!  I can't wait to hear about it!!!"

That coupled with all the articles I've read on the subject since my swim makes me 
feel slightly better. But not sure I'll be joining him so soon. Baby steps. :)

Stay tuned!!


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Indulgence overload - a weekly roundup

I knew I had a short week to work with since I'd be traveling so it wouldn't be a full training week. Knowing this, I started off with a bang pulling a double on Monday and a long swim Tuesday morning. Two early workouts back to back too! And then a girls trip to the big apple. Uh...the end.

Here's a round up for consistency's sake. 

Mon - PowerOne Cycling am & 5mile run after work. 
Tues - Early morning 2450M Woohoo!
Wed - Couldn't wake up and pushed to evening...but then, I had to pack & tidy things before an early flight.  Wua-wuaaaa.
Thurs - Travel day plus a million walking miles
Fri - A gazillion more miles of walking (attempt at Peloton class, Fail)
Sat - Peloton class?  Um, no.  Fail....more walking.
Sun - 4.5 mile run in Central Park - hallelujah!! (the 5 Boro Bike tour was happening and I got to watch the cyclists go by...would love to do this one year! 40 miles, 5 Borroughs, 1 Day 0 cars)
So, skipping Wednesday was a mistake (see below) because I should have known better than planning TWO workouts on an indulgent weekend was going to be tough.  And when I say indulgent, I mean incredible meals once, twice and sometimes even 3 times a day!  Yikes!  At least I got the run in while everyone else was packing up and sleeping in.

Here's a visual of my week in Misfit language:
Reverse hump day on Wednesday, huh? Ha!  
And now we fast forward to race week.  THIS IS IT!  My sleep deprivation has caught up to me. And I just can't muster the energy to move.  At all.  I wasn't even considering a workout yesterday but the swim I planned this morning?  Uh...yea.  That didn't happen either.

It's early yet so I will find the will and way to get 'er done.  I'm hoping my "everything but the kitchen sink" smoothie will help!
Surprisingly delicious considering everything I threw in there!
Happy Tuesday all!!


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Open Water Mystery

In less than two weeks, I will be swimming in an open water triathlon.  For. The. First. Time...EVER. Sure, I've swam in the ocean but in those cases, there was a snorkel involved and I had tons of personal space and likely, visibility too.

My mindset about this has been to just find my inner peace.  Breathe and draw on those meditative moments from yoga.  Focus on getting in, around and done.  Stay on the outside, towards the back...don't panic.  Go slow, don't be afraid to flip onto my back for breath.  It'll be over in less than 15 minutes.  I can do this.  That's it. End of thought.

I left it at that.  I had really put this race in a drawer in my brain to deal with next week because I just haven't the time to think of it now.  Until, they posted the current lake temperature on the race facebook page, that is.  Now, my mind is racing.  Should I have practiced this?  Do I need a wetsuit? Can I just rent one?  But won't my arms feel heavy?  My noodle arms are not strong enough! But wait, what about a sleeveless one?  Where do I go? But I don't have time. Ahhh!!

So.  I'm gathering the wheels that momentarily fell off the bus.  Reading a few articles from both experienced open water swimmers (that still feel the same as the first time) and newbie reports of their first time learnings.  Lots of tips and guess what?  Panic over.  It'll be fine.  I also found that I can pick up a rental next week and worst case, practice in the pool with it the day before.  That's all I got.  I'm going back to my initial zen strategy.  The tips I picked up are pretty much aligned with my game plan so I am sticking to it.

The whole OWS (open water swim) concept seems to be the one piece of the triathlon puzzle that gets most people every time.  Luckily, it's the shortest part of the deal!

As with everything else, practice and going out there and DOING it are the only things that will remove the veil of mystery.  So...stay tuned, I'm sure I'll have lots to say when it's all said and done.

Happy hump day!


Monday, April 27, 2015

Recovery week wrap up

I cried "uncle" this week. Lack of sleep must have caught up to me because I just felt under motivated and tired. I listened to the signs and called it a recovery week mid week. It seems to have worked because I feel way better!

Here goes:

Monday - Power One Cycling - killer hill interval workout (early morning after a long swim night before). 
Tuesday - Skipped early wake up to swim so made it up with a quick 5k late afternoon. 
Wednesday - another skipped morning so I called it a rest day. 
Thursday - Hot Yoga at lunch (because again, I couldn't get up in the morning)
Friday - 30+ miles w dad aka cycling phenom. I'm not ashamed to say that I have a hard time keeping up after hearing the dreaded 4 words: "Stay on my wheel".  He just puts on the turbo boosters and he's gone.  It's truly a struggle to stay on the wheel to draft.  He's an inspiration and I loved our bonding time together doing what he loves best.  I always come away with great tips be it on form, power, nutrition or on ways to improve efficiency while in the saddle.  I'm hoping we can make this a regular outing. 
Me and my bro...I mean, dad! :)

Saturday - rest 
Sunday - Indoor tri - see recap here

Next week,  a concentrated & condensed workout week due to travel. Next Tri coming up May 9th! Open water! Ahh!

Have a great week!


Indoor Tri -The Not So Race Report

Another triathlon checked off the list! This one was an indoor Tri "powered by Lifetime Fitness and Ironman".  I started by membership at Lifetime in early January and had seen the posters all around about their push to get people into triathlon with their "Commit to Tri" slogan.  I learned upon joining that my particular gym had just hosted an New Year's indoor tri a week or two prior.  I was bummed that I had not known about it, it would have been a great way to get my feet wet with this whole tri business.

I asked about when the next one would be and it seems that not all clubs do all the events every time. The next one would be in April in the location in Katy or Sugarland.  Both those are pretty equal in distance from me so I just flipped a coin and registered for the one in Katy.

I got my friend to sign up too and sold her on how great it would be for us newbies.  And that it really is. The triathlon is set to be a 10 min swim in a pool where they count your lengths and later assign points based on number of participants.  Then, you have a 10 minute transition window (which is SO generous!) and then you hop on to a spin bike for 30 minutes (tennis shoes in basket clips or bring your clip ins) and then another 5 minute transition to jump on treadmill for 20.  And you're done!

After the initial sign up (and the friend boondoggle), I didn't think much of this again.  In fact, this week I pretty much gifted myself a recovery week because I flat out just felt worn out.  I probably should have swam at least once but I got my hair "did" on Friday and wasn't about to mess with that. For this.  On Saturday, I went down to Galveston to pick up my daughter and 4 of her friends from a sleepover party.  I had already decided that a side trip to Moody Gardens where Ironman 70.3 Texas would be taking place the next day was inspirationally necessary.  This gave me the nervous race energy I was lacking and am still not sure was necessary!

Late Saturday afternoon, I learned that my friend was sick and would not be joining me.  I was a little disappointed because I just didn't feel like going at it alone.  Again.  Nonetheless, I was registered and committed and I wasn't about to skip it.  Hell no.  I packed up my stuff and my daughter (12) asked me what I was doing.  She asked me who I was going with and I explained my solo status to her.  I asked, on a whim, "do you want to come with me?" and before I could brace myself for a "no", she said "sure" and then followed with "but I don't just want to watch, I want to DO it".  Um.  What? What a pleasant surprise!  But then I thought, is she joking?  Is the lack of sleep from her party making her delirious?  I had no idea if that was even an option but I didn't hesitate to call the club to find out.  As expected, no one that would have the answer to that question was there so we'd have to just show up in the morning and see.  Worst case, she'd be my cheerleader.

By morning, I thought maybe she'd have a change of heart.  But her bag was packed and I learned later that my words to her about being "together" with her struck a chord and motivated her to get up and go.  I was scheduled in the 8:40 wave so we left with plenty of time in the case I had to fill out paperwork for her late registration.

It was touch and go for awhile as there was uncertainty about her ability to join the event but after speaking with the club GM, he said that although the event was "closed", if anyone was a no show, she could fill the spot.  Lucky for us, that was exactly the case!  It wasn't until the last minute before start time that she was given the green light to jump in the pool and share a lane with me.  Happy day!

The Swim:

I was so happy to see her giving it her all with no training whatsoever that I barely paid attention to what I was doing.  And then I remembered what I was doing.  Ugh.  Swimming is not the forte for me and especially not without a warm up. It was WAY better than the last tri but I had moments where my breathing was way off and I had to catch my breath or when my legs just burned and I had to backstroke it.  I made the mistake of stopping for a few seconds to ask her how she felt and I'm afraid that ate up on the time for us to have completed another length.  I lost count and didn't do a good job of looking on the counters sheet to see how we did but I think we were both at 14?  I'll find out for sure when they post the results tomorrow.  I know I could have done better but I also know that I didn't swim all week and I was distracted.


That long transition time surely felt like a luxury.  I noticed some people completely changed out of their swim gear but I just opted to put on my tri shorts.  Maybe it's why I had so much extra time.  I put on my bike shoes and warmed up while we waited for the time to start.


This is was all about high cadence.  A 30 minute sprint consisting of your legs spinning as fast as possible.  I initially set a personal goal of 10 miles and was spinning away and decided to ask one of the volunteers what the "average" distance had been thus far.  He said it ranged from 8-10 miles but no one yet had hit 10.  I thought maybe my goal was a too aggressive and had miss calculated how the spin bike worked.  I didn't think of it much after that because I was more concerned about my daughter.  Her bike seemed to be set up too high and she was wearing tennis shoes that kept slipping from the basket.  On numerous occasions, I had to stop spinning and help guide her foot back in.  She hasn't quite learned the "flip" like I have on my mountain bike.  ;)

As the volunteer walked by, I noticed he would casually whisper to some what their "place" was.  When he didn't come to me, it dawned on me that I was NOT in the top three.  WHAT?  So, I stepped it up a notch.   I pedalled my heart out until I had to stop again for the kiddo.  I figured I'd make up for lost time while I could.  At the last 5 minutes, my legs were flying and I knew I was going to hit over 10 miles (the goal I had brushed off earlier).  I think my final was 10.10 but have no clue how the others did.  It will be a big surprise later.


Again, no stress transition.  I just had to switch shoes and walk over to the treadmill.


I started off I think at 6.7 mph which is a 9 something pace and cruised there for awhile.  For some reason, I kept hitting the front bar with my hip so I took that as me needing to go faster so I upped the speed.  I kind of played with it a little and kept upping it after the first mile.  I think the treadmill workout I did recently (5 miles in 45 minutes) really helped.  I felt strong and like I could have gone faster but kept worrying that I would run out of steam (or fly off the machine).  I didn't want to do either so I ended with a 2.33 in 20 minutes.  I know I could have gone further if I hadn't waited until that first mile to start increasing the speed.  Oh well.  Now I know.


I think the organization of this event was fantastic.  The facilities were clean and neat and the equipment was top notch.  The volunteers were great and they were especially sweet to my daughter. I LOVED having had been able to make this our first mother/daughter event.  She did great and I am so thrilled that she wanted to do it with me.  She rocked it!  I can't wait to do it again!  Hopefully she feels the same!  She wore her tshirt to school this morning so I am thinking she's feeling pretty good about it to.

I am not sure when they will be doing it again but check out their site on the link here for the list of events and locations.
me and my girl with race swag..tshirt and swim cap!

I'll be sure to post the final results when I see them.

Happy Monday all and congrat to all those racing in Galveston yesterday!  I've seen lots of photos and updates and it sounds like the wind was a bear and the heat was brutal on the run.  But the bling...super cool!!  Well deserved!


Update!  Results are in.  I came in 10th overall and 4th in my division (Women's Masters).  I guess I should have held off on the chatting in the pool, huh? Haha.

Valerie Villarreal 14.5 17 10.12 26 2.33 29 72 F Masters

Saturday, April 25, 2015

T-minus 12

12ish hours til the next triathlon experience. As per usual, unexpected turns in the game "plan".

We'll see how this all plays out.

I had a glimpse of inspiration checking out the setup today for the Texas Half Ironman tomorrow in Galveston. It was motivating but also made me nervous too  as if I were racing with them!

Anyway...very cool. 

Hopefully a recap late tomorrow of my little itty bitty indoor Tri. :)


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Bloggin' from the where?

I'm multi-tasking!! :)

As I sit in the salon chair, I was thinking of my swim tomorrow and how ummmm...that's NOT happenin'! My hair is absolutely fried and in much need of TLC. Ugh. Granted, I'm not a very high maintenance hair gal (i.e. Lose track of time since my last hair appt) and I just learned I was here last NOVEMBER. That's just crazy talk, y'all. 

I know all the time in the pool hasn't helped either. I've searched high and low for something to put on my head to save my locks from frizzdom every time I go for a swim but nothin'. I may just to invent such a thing. Necessity is the mother you know. 

In the mean time, I've learned I should wet my hair with fresh water and put in leave in conditioner before I swim. This is supposed to lock the hair follicles and prevent the chlorinated water from getting in there. I will try it but that is extra steps to a workout that I already am iffy about. Meh. 

Any tips, tricks or products you care to share, I'm all ears! 

Tabling the pool 'till the mini indoor tri this Sunday. I gotta preserve the new do! Priorities! :)

Hope to hear from you! (And thanks for coming by again and again) ;)


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Hump Day Realization

I was thinking of what I should do tonight since hubby is back from travelling and decided to flip through memory lane.  I started this "path" in mid February of this year.  Over 2 months have passed and a quick back of the envelope tally shows that:

I ran 85 miles.
I biked 21 hours.
I swam 26,000 meters.
I Yoga'd about 4 hours.
I strength trained about 5 hours.

And that last time I had a "recovery week" was over Spring Break.

So, I am taking a rest day yall,

Yaassssss!! (as my tween says)
Happy Wednesday all!


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Morning Psychology

What goes through a person's brain when the alarm goes off at 4:30am is quite remarkable.  Actually, it's pretty annoying.

~You've heard it all before so you can leave now if you don't want to be a part of my personal vent (beat up) session with myself.~

You've had fair warning.

I followed *most of the tips to help the process of getting up for an early workout today.  However, I had to push my alarm back FURTHER.  Hubby is leaving town so I had to be back before he headed out for an early flight.  Plus, I had a REALLY long swim workout in store which required more than 45 min to an hour.  Plus...did I mention SWIM?  Ugh.  The thought of getting in the cold pool while my body is in a warm, soft bed is enough to end this post because you'd know what I'm talking about.
I even had my new swim gear ready to go.  That was extra motivation right there!  Right?  I even text with my virtual buddy to make sure she was up for her swim.  And then my brain started doing this nonsense...this nonsense about "why are you doing this?" "you are not cut out for this" "this is like chasing rabbits" "why bother"  I can go on but you get the gist.

On the heels of being so super inspired and motivated by the Boston Marathoners yesterday, I was ready to find out what my friend's "40th" marathon was going to be so that I can train and do the same one.  Wherever in the world it would be.  What the heck...I was inspired!!

And then this morning I want to throw in the towel because I just can't get up?  Ugh!

Boo, me! :(
My friend did swim.  I am so happy that she got out there and did it despite her obstacles.  And the best part, she came back and gave me a pep talk.  Told me all the things I really needed to hear (although I didn't believe her right then).  I got a little teary eyed but brushed it aside because I had bottles to pack, clothes for two to pick out, a kid to drop off and breakfast to make for a STAAR test taking middle schooler.  Mama ain't got time for that! Haha.

By the time the kids all made it to their separate destinations, I had already thought about what I needed to do.  I felt better already and honestly was kinda pissed at me for being so hard on myself. It didn't occur to me that maybe, just maybe, I NEEDED sleep?  Last I checked my sleep patterns on my Misfit Shine device, I am getting 3-4 hours of restful sleep.  I am particularly worn out when I back a night workout with an early morning one (Sunday night/Monday morning) so good grief, Val...give yourself a break!

I decided that this open ended, pseudo, base building training program I'm on is quickly approaching the proverbial fork in the road.  I'm putting in a decent amount of work and time into my workouts.  I don't feel particularly overwhelmed however at times, it can be taxing and yet, I am STILL not getting in as much as I would need for a REAL training program.

So, I'm giving myself until the end of May to the pull the trigger on signing up for a 70.3.  I'm looking at two options...November in Austin or Galveston next April.  I think having a defined program with a start and finish will give me the structure (and satisfaction) that I am currently lacking.

This is me about judging me.  I'm my worst critic.
I do feel that my swim has improved dramatically since I started this thing a couple of months ago and I see improvement in my run times and my bike cadence has increased turnover as well.  But going on like this indefinitely brings concerns of burnout. Which then leads to quitting altogether.  Ugh.  I can't.

Because if I am not training for "something"  would I normally workout out 7 times a week? Um, no. I'd probably be content with 3-5 a week and have no guilt if I skipped a day and certainly not feel like making anything up would be necessary.  I'd gladly take the extra time to work on my house and a gazillion other projects I have my sights set on.

It's afternoon now and I'm feeling pretty darn good. The funk has been eradicated and considering I am a night owl, it's all upside from here.  Ha!

Now, how to make up the swim I missed?!

Hope your Tuesday is less conflicted than mine has been and that you make it to the other side too! If you're still here, thanks for sticking around.  As motivating and positive as I normally am, I have my down days too.  This space has me committed to keepin' it real.


Oh, that 40th Marathon my friend is running is in LESS than a Colorado.  Um...yea.  We're gonna go ahead and scrap that idea.  I have already asked her when #42 (or 45) will be.  Maybe I'll join her for one of those.  :)

Update:  Late afternoon...worked through my lunch run (and meal) but holding out that I can get something in between kiddo pickup or at home later (not my fave).  Still feeling great (in case you were concerned...haha) and weather looks amazing...hoping I can lace up for a quick run!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Another week bites the dust

My goals this week were fairly general as they were last but I decided on a whim to add a tad of structure.  It may be a little ambitious but I am going to try to stick with it.

I regularly read the TriSwimCoach Facebook updates and usually, they are pretty spot on to what I am feeling or thinking about in the swimming department at any given moment (fears of open water, getting faster, new drills, conquering boredom on long swims, etc.)  I decided to download their app (2.99) because they have training plans on there that I think could WILL be helpful to ramp up my "pseudo" training.

I chose the 70.3 plan because I really wanted to test the waters (pun intended) on whether I can "handle" it.  It ramps up pretty quick so I hope that I can hang on.  The time commitment to longer workouts can be less than feasible most of the time so I'll just have to play it by ear.

The Goals:

Run - 10 miles
Bike - 2:15 (time)
Swim - 5000M (before taking the training plan plunge)
Strength - at least 1 class
Yoga - 1 class
Brick - 1

The accomplishments:

Monday - Cancelled PowerOne class so I had to improvise.  15 min Ab workout & 15 min Dynamic Yoga workout on the Nike Training Club app + 30 min on the trainer.
Tuesday - 5 mile TM run
Wednesday - Day 1 of 70.3 training plan - 1700M
Thursday - Barbell Strength (3 weeks in a row coming to this's tough but a great full body workout!)
Friday - The power went out in the whole building at work and they sent us all home...FREE DAY!!
Side note:  What would you do with your day off knowing that the weather will be sketchy the whole incoming weekend?  Sure I could have gone shopping (which I really need to do), run errands, get my nails done (Oh, yea, I shoulda done that) or just napped (aaahh...sounds good now) So is it nuts that I get excited at the possibility of cramming in all my workouts left in one day instead?! Hmm.

Ok, sorry.

Friday - 30 mile bike OUTSIDE!!, 5k run (OUTSIDE) BRICK!!+ a break for a sandwich and then 1250M swim.  I followed day 2 of the plan but had to cut it daughter was hounding me to get to the school auction so I can bid on something for her! :/  I figured I'd done enough in the day that missing half a workout would be fine.

Saturday - Rest day

Sunday - 2 miles on the Mountain Bike pulling babies to the park and a late swim post more family fun.  Day 3 of plan with 2650M in!!  That's the longest I've ever swam!  Also, the plan calls for yards so I feel like a total overachiever! ;)  I also wanted to finish off my mileage goal and jumped on the treadmill afterwards for my last 2 miles (brick!).  I also wanted to check on my left ankle that I twisted while teaching my 3 year old how to play hopscotch.  Seriously, why did I even attempt it with my LEFT leg?  Ugh.  First jump and it folded like an accordion.  I keep forgetting how old I am and how ratchety my joints are.  :(
I forgot how many hours I spent doing this as a kid.

Good news is the ankle if fine and more so, I hit 95% of my goals!!

Run - 10 miles ---> 10.2! Yay! CHECK!
Bike - 2:15 (time) --->3:15 CHECK! OVER
Swim - 5000M ---> 5600M! CHECK! (OVER - good thing I cut that one one workout short! Ha!)
Strength - at least 1 class ---> barbell strength CHECK!
Yoga - 1 class ---> 15 min UNDER about 45 minutes
Brick - 1 ---> 2! CHECK! OVER
Extra:  Sunburn and awesome cycling tan lines.

But look at all the Overs!  I think I've over compensated for the yoga I missed out on so I am A-OK with that.   Plus, did I mention that I rode tricycles, played with bubbles, waterguns and almost to a fault, hopscotch too?!

It's been a great week, now to plan for the next and up the ante (and remember the sunscreen).

Have a great one and Happy Monday!

Valerie :)

Oh!  And congrats to all the awesome runners in Boston today with some serious "wicked" weather especially my awesome friend, Doan.  Her 39th marathon and 4th consecutive Boston...and she only started running a few years ago!  My inspiration and hero!  Way to go guys rock!

P.S. - Thanks to the fine folks at Triathlete Blogger Network for picking up this little space of mine and mentioning it there. So super cool!  Welcome all!  Go check them out at their site and follow them @ChiTriBloggers.  Lots of great information for fellow newbie triathletes and experienced hardcore veterans too. :)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

How'd you do?

Did you finish your week strong? I'm still holding out for my last workout of the week. Family priorities first! So, if you're still on this side of the pond, it's not too can still fit it in! Go for it!

Hope you've had a great weekend!


Saturday, April 18, 2015


What ever you do today, do it with gratitude. Every day is a gift. 

Happy Saturday!

Valerie :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Let Me Be Your Case Study

You know those people who come to you for advice and after you've given it, they do something completely different?  Yea, that was me.  To my own advice!
Ha! Sorry, I couldn't help myself. Lol!
I decided to ignore the "conversioning" tips I was so kind to provide on my prior post on lessening the pain of getting that early morning workout in.  It wasn't really on purpose or for the sake of this post but since it turned out the way that it did, I decided to make me an example of what NOT to do.  You're welcome.

I didn't let Monday be a rest day because I kept hearing "Never Skip Mondays" in my head.  Despite that of course, that only means if you didn't do a dang thing for the last 7 week days, but nonetheless, I did something.  I pulled a couple of workouts from the Nike Training Club app and then jumped on my trainer for a heart pumping, sweatfest half hour.

I got in bed knowing that I REALLY needed to get a swim in early in the week.  But also knowing that I REALLY didn't wanna (anti-psyching myself out, rule one broken).  I also got in bed not knowing where in the heck my swimsuit was (hamper?, workout drawer?, dryer? swimsuit drawer?). Meaning, I have already broke the first two rules of morning get yo butt up readiness! No clue where your gear is?  C'mon, lady! I told hubby, "meh, I'll figure it out in the morning" and he teased "I'll get up and run with you" (knowing this will get me off the swimming hook) and within 30 seconds I went from happiness to oh, crap he's totally pulling my leg.  :/

I woke up with the alarm and did text my buddy to make sure SHE was getting up for HER swim. Ahem. I had zero motivation to get up and snoozed away.  Apparently, she felt the same way because she didn't respond for another hour!  Ha!  So, the buddy system too, failed.

The whole morning was set in motion in cuckoo mode.  Because now, along with all the other morning rush must do's, I have to play catch up and be prepared for the opportunity of a Tuesday workout.  Pack a breakfast, lunch and a workout bag (putting together all the gear!) never know!

So, all this to say:  "Do as I say, not as I do!"  The tips work, y'all!

Tomorrow:  SWIM!! For real.

Have a good one!


Monday, April 13, 2015

Finish Strong

Almost forgot to update the prior week!

I started the week in a bit of a daze.  I signed up for my Monday morning class on Sunday night and had no other goals for the week until late Monday when I just decided to jot something down:

5100M Swim
2:10 Bike
10M Run
1 Strength Session
1 Yoga Session
1 brick Session

I knew the swim would force me to get into the pool at least 3 times which is what I really needed to do.  The mileage was very conservative since I had injury concern (more on that later) and everything else was more of a wish list (and cheating some knowing that the Cycling class already covered half my goal for the week)

This is how it played out:

Monday - PowerOne Cycling
Tuesday - Early morning swim in the "short" pool.  I didn't want to intrude on the Masters class already in session.  After a little math coversion in the office, I came out to a 1770M swim.
Left work a bit early to take son to practice and realized that I had a small window....OPPORTUNITY!!  I ran 4 miles!
Wednesday - I was planning an early spin class but snoozed one too many times.  Took advantage of the inadvertent switch up and went to Hot Yoga at lunch.  I felt redeemed!
Thursday - Last week was so good, I had to go back...early morning Barbell Strength at the gym!
Friday - Make it or break it day...if I didn't get it in early, it wasn't going to happen on this super busy day.  I managed 1600M swim followed by 15 minutes on the spin brick!
Saturday - This was going to be a rest day but I realized I still had too many things on the goal list not checked off.  So while babies napped, I jumped on the trainer for an hour then quickly laced up and went for a quick 2 mile run.  (they were awake by then but hubby was home) Another baby brick!
Sunday - day?  NO.  Rearrange and organize your entire house day? YES.  How did we accumulate so many toys and J U N K??  Ahhh!!  I sorted through EVERY bin, box, cubby and basket.  Put all like things together, collected outgrown "baby" toys and threw a bunch of odds and end crap away.  I visited with in-laws who came over for awhile and my first outing of the day was to pick up my daughter at Cotillion at 8pm.  PM!  When I set my mind to work on something...I. DON'T. STOP.  Hubby made us all super yummy shrimp pasta dinner and after the company was gone and the kitchen was clean, I decided...I still have time to reach my goal!!

I tried to convince my buddy to join me for a late swim but she couldn't get away.  So I packed anything I could possible need and headed out.  1800M followed by a super fast 5k on the treadmill! Brick!! I was walking out of the gym at 10:45PM but felt accomplished!

This is how turned out:

5100M Swim - 5170M check!
2:10 Bike - 2:15 bike check!
10M Run - 9.3 miles - almost there...whawhaaa
1 Strength Session - 1 - check!
1 Yoga Session - 1 - check!
1 brick session - 3 - check, check, check!!

I came close to the meeting the mileage goal but with the slight overages everywhere else, I'm gonna call it square.  And of note, NO rest days!  I'd say I finished the week strong!

So, since my Power class was cancelled this morning (I was relieved actually) I just may not do anything tonight. (But I probably won't)

Time to set this week's goals!

Talk at ya later!