Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I know it's rest day but...

Minion said best:

Feel like that but will refrain from:
Because I know:
And the good news is:
So we'll make light of the situation:

And have cake.

Enjoy your rest days!!


Monday, February 23, 2015

Is there a badge for that?

I've earned a recovery week apparently. Based on how I felt last night , the sound of that should entail at least confetti, balloons and a whole week off. Nike and Swarm give me badges or stickers yet, this recovery week includes 2 bike rides, 2 swims, strength training session and a run. What?! Sigh.

Since the marching band didn't come by to celebrate for me, I decided to give myself a little Monday inspiration/motivation for recovery week and good 'ol pat on the back for last week. :)

Goals this week: all SIX workouts, yoga and plenty of foam rollin'.  With hubby home, I should be less of a taxi so rest days will be somewhat more restful. :)

Happy Monday!


Switch it In, Switch it Out

...to the tune of "Shake it Off" by Taylor Swift.  Can you hear it?

Anyway, I don't know how to juggle balls.  I've tried over the years to throw them up and attempt this maneuver that seems simple enough but end up smacking myself in the face or throwing a ball across the room.  Perhaps it's my lack of coordination.  I tend to trip and hit sharp edges and corners on tight turns too.  Luckily for me, lack of coordination does not equate to lack of flexibility...both literally and metaphorically.

You see, my life is in a state where "balls" are always in the air.  I work best under a structured, and somewhat routine based environment, however, curve balls cometh on the daily.  As a result, I have learned to be flexible.  I have become quite comfortable with winging things and in the last couple of years have REALLY just turned into a fly-by-the-seat kinda gal.  

There is always uncertainty when doing things this way. But with that uncertainty comes the excitement and satisfaction that you still got everything accomplished as anyone one else would have had to anyway, without losing your marbles because you're off some sort of track or schedule.  It's not for the faint of heart, admittedly but it's working for us.

Most "normal" people that exercise regularly have a routine.  A set time, day that they go to the gym or head out for a run.  I have friends that are 6 am bootcampers, 5 am crossfitters, 4am long distance runners, midmorning yogis, afterwork gymrats, afternoon cycling machines or weekend warriors.  I can't seem to fit in, or be able to commit to any of those with any kind of consistency.  

A good friend and exercise buddy and I have the hardest times getting our workouts to "gel".  There is always something prohibiting us from getting into any kind of routine together, even if for a once a week workout.   We don't quit trying though.  Our text messages go something like this: Her: "Cycle Monday?" Me:"I think so, let me check" Her, the night before class:"did you sign up?" Me:"oh, shoot I'll do it now, yes I can do it"  Her:"they just cancelled the class" Me:"UGH!"  or...Me: "run tomorrow?" Her"Yes, I'm in" Me at 4:45am:"Baby is sick, can't" Her:"That's ok, kiddo is sick here too." If this were two people trying to go on a date, it'd be doomed.  

So when unexpected "openings" in our schedules occur, we literally jump for joy.  President's Day was that kind of gift to us.  Gift to workout...at 5am? Ya, for real.  It's a gift.  Our cycle class cancelled and we scrambled to find an alternative because OH EM GEE, we don't have to worry about getting the kids off to school in the morning!  We can't be wasteful of that opportunity!  So, off to Rev class we went.  Perky front row, that's us! (well, not the perky part)  And what do you do at the end of a date that you just don't want to end?  You have a nightcap!  Right?  For us, that meant a 4 mile run immediately after a full body workout/high intensity spin class.  I'll call it a proactive training baby brick! (two back to back workouts swim/run swim/bike bike/run)   

Well whatever, you gotta get it in when you can.  So we pulled a double! And, we got to catch up too!  Win, win, win.  

On our run, we discussed the very nature of our schedules and how difficult 'fitting' a workout in can be.  I equate it as feeling like an old school switchboard operator.  I start the week with a list of workouts that HAVE to be done (you know, for that self imposed plan) and I slot them in to my calendar where I find a hole.  I may have to send hubby a text here and there to confirm kiddo coverage or get a feel that my absence would not be a nuisance or burden and also make weather adjustments but I start the week with a penciled plan.  Then, the inevitable switching occurs.

I had full on operator duties this week with hubby travelling.  This is what it (and I) looked like:
Me, every. single day.
Monday DAY 8 - as planned: 1000M swim
Monday switch - Oh hey, holiday!  Scrap swim & pull double duty w Rox (Rev & 4mi run), swim tomorrow.
Tuesday DAY 9 - as planned: 1 hour Bike Trainer
Tuesday switch 1 - Aha! Bike trainer day was checked off with spin yesterday so swim in the morning to cover Monday's workout.
Tuesday switch 2 - my alarm went off and hubby turned it off and did NOT wake me. Ah! Swim between soccer practice dropoff and baby pickup.
Tuesday switch 3 - I must be an adrenaline junkie. Soccer practice to gym, 20 min TRAFFIC heavy trip. Had exactly 30 minutes to get 1000M in (and change into dry clothes) before racing to daycare & soccer pickup. Ahh!  Only got 900M & was light headed & winded running to the car!
Wednesday DAY 10 - as planned: 4 mile run 
Wednesday switch 1 - Run was covered on Monday (yay!) -  Run anyway after baby dropoff or Hot Yoga at lunch
Wednesday switch 2 - no run, stay home and wait for appliance repair man - maybe Hot Yoga at lunch or strength training at house while waiting. 
Wednesday switch 3 - no lunchtime workout...late to work from 2 hour repair aaaand gotta leave work early to p/u son who's staying late at school for project.  Will be home early and weather is gorgeous, so maybe run Sunday's track workout?
Wednesday - sigh.  Rest day today. Traffic, tween discipline & study, grocery, dinner & toddler melt down...#hardlyrestful ;)
Thursday DAY 11 - as planned: Rest
Thursday - all caught up, no need to switch Rest day, hooray! but still need Hot Yoga that I missed yesterday, whole body feels tight.  Shooting for a lunchtime class. *Update - son forgot lunch and I have to leave early for soccer drop off. #yogamaynothappen **Update - his so called lunch was pathetic! Made him buy lunch, went to Yoga and it was A W E S O M E.  Sore all over and it feels so good...and tonight, he will pack a REAL lunch and get up on time to not forget it. ;)
Friday DAY 12 - as planned: 900M drill swim
Friday - half-ish day of work, ride outdoors (for Sat workout) after swim, rain in forecast, may have to get on trainer or join noon spin class
Friday switch - stalked weather all morning and decided to skip swim and go for the ride despite high gusting winds and dropping temps because the weekend rainy forecast looked less promising for a ride.  On my way out got an unexpected invite by hubby for a little date time. Cut my ride short but rode hard with a killer headwind. Not quite an hour but 12 hard miles rather than the prescribed easy hour. I'll take it. :)
Saturday DAY 13 - as planned: 1HR easy Bike
Saturday switch - rode yesterday - get a swim in after soccer. 
Saturday switch 2 - family day - no swim, gotta pull a double tomorrow. 
Sunday DAY 14 - as planned: Track Run 4x800 @5k pace, 400 recovery in between, 2mi at 10k pace (~5mi total)
Sunday switch - track run & 1000m swim I missed & foam roll all the sore muscles.
Yay! Rain threatened all weekend but even got a bike ride trip to the park with babies! Track workout was great but HOT! Sun blaring, balmy and humid...felt like summer! I changed and raced to the gym, my quads were toast and was plain tired but still wanted a good workout so I made my own:

Sure enough, I left the gym in flip flops, shorts and wet hair only to get hit with the windy cold front. Yay, Houston weather! Brrrr.  Did some foam rolling during Oscars. I wore my daughter's Sleeping Beauty tiara so I'd fit in. Ha! (Kidding, but I did wear it earlier in the day & forgot about it only to be reminded by a passing jogger while I was loading the kids into the bike trailer "nice tiara"...um. Heehee)

So...did you get all that?  I'm not sure if I did but I do know that somehow, it all got checked off.  It wasn't pretty but every workout is accounted for and this makes week 2 a success! Check, check and checkity check!  I'm wondering if the challenge of getting it all done is my driver. Something to ponder...also, just as a behind the curtain tidbit:  I wrote this post on Sunday night (2/15) and have edited the "switches" daily so it's ready to post on Monday (2/23).  There would be no other way for me to remember the details of this craziness! 

So tell me, do you follow a routine or are you more on the wing-it regimen like me?  What drives you to get 'er done?  Tell me in the comments below, I'd love to hear from ya!


P.S - I think I hit most of my goals for the week I posted here.  I've got my HR zones ready for the next training run/ride that requires it, signed up for a small tri (and am contemplating a couple others), got all my workouts in plus yoga and a foam roll.  I am short a foam roll session but after this week, I plan on 10-15 minutes per night! 

Monday, February 16, 2015


You've got to start somewhere but if you're doing it unofficially, somewhere is everywhere. A training plan and coach would be the optimal thing but since I'm not committed, the expense for those is unwarranted.

I feel like I need to have a solid fitness base prior to pursuing these goals (officially) so I've gathered a few free plans that I've found on the interwebs and created my own. I know the gist of how many weekly hours I need to be logging and I also know that with a long term commitment, er...thought in mind, I have plenty of wiggle room. 

I started such a plan this week. I haven't really mentioned it at home other than to say "I need to get an hour and half on the bike today". No one has questioned the "need" part of the statement yet so I'm just rolling with it and assuming they think I'm just being neurotic about my workout plan. You know, me just being me. :)

As expected, there are a lot of events that occur in my day-to-day that make such a plan vulnerable to failure. Work commitments, hubby's business and schedule as well as the overall health in a family of 6. Odds are, someone is sick at some point that will trickle a domino effect. It can be a total nightmare but luckily we are healthy more often than and these things tend to be a rare occurrence (once a year, maybe two). Ofcourse, that would happen to have been the entire month of December, a week in January and another in February (yours truly). The rest of 2015 will hopefully be golden. 

In normal stubborn fashion, I had set out to start this plan last week because it was following back to to back weekends of travel week and birthday parties. The very week that also coincides with me coming off of a sinus infection & severe head and chest congestion.  Good a time as ever, right? After all, I nursed a stress fracture all through the holidays (8 weeks NO running!) and I missed participating in the Houston Half Marathon that I had been training for because of it. So, no sinus infection is going to stand in my way now (stubborn was the key word earlier...). 

So here's the round up of week 1 of ? of the made up, self imposed plan for the goal I've yet to commit to. Pretty solid dontcha think? Humor me.

Day 1 5 mile run (still coming back from injury so taking it way easy ie slowish, felt great despite being sick, until I stopped...hack attack)
Day 2 1000Mswim (50s 50k 50p x3) (100p 100k x2) 150s (easy drills, hard to breath w chest cong)
Day 3 1:15 16-17 miles trainer (struggled with getting sensors to work only to discover baby had pulled it off the bike! Half an hour into workout, paused for mommy duties and came back to the same struggle.  Little bugger snuck in there and pulled if off again!  Lost my distance data from the first session so started over.  Good climbs and sprints. Solid workout! (bonus:watched some TV too!)
Day 4 rest
Day 5 950M Swim - squeezed in a super quick workout between early Vday day date with hubby and getting babies from daycare...more drills, used fins this time too.  Breathing is tough still, so not trying to measure anything...though I did peek at my 50M times at about :45...I'll have something to compare when lungs are at 100%
Day 6 1:30 Bike 22 miles outdoors - testing my revived Garmin 305. (My frustration with said equipment peaked in late 2012 & I kicked it to the curb then. I've found a way to charge it & have it function for an entire workout successfully, mainly to save the expense of buying a new Bluetooth HRM or even a more expensive, up to date, gadgety GPS watch. Not quite prepared to commit to that, but want to train in HR Zones) It worked great but transferring data is still fidgety.  
Day 7 45 min track run (5 miles) - this was supposed to be a low HR Zone workout, 5 minutes at one zone, 1 min at at lower one for several repetitions.  It was a frustrating mess. Staying within "Zone 3" felt impossible...I kept thinking, why bother, this is like walking! I tried it for 4 reps and ditched the idea and just went full out Zone 5 all the way home.  Found out at home later, that the zones on the watch/app where preset rather than based on personal calculation.  Ahh! No wonder! Epic Fail, but I got the miles in.

Goals this up coming week:

- Figure out what MY heart rate zones are and set them.
- Follow & try to stick to the self imposed plan (6 workouts) with the added juggle of hubby going out of town for the week.
- Try to add a session of Hot Yoga & at least 2 foam roll sessions for achy muscles.  Everything is feeling a bit tight.
- Look at race schedule and choose a sprint to SIGN UP for.

I found this and thought how fitting it is that I am working my way up this sequence backwards. Plenty of action this past week!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Baby steps.

So, um...like a dog with it's tail tucked in between it's legs, I'm back here.  I couldn't get the hang of the Tumblr thing.  So, why am I back? Well, because I have come to the realization that writing it down as a to-do or goal prior to completion or checking it off after completion is very satisfying to me.  So rather than bore my facebook peeps with every run, ride and check in from the gym or other workout facility, I needed a place that could hold me accountable for my goals.

Right now, these goals are just things that have been swimming in my head for some time, sometimes, it burns in my gut to do this.  I mention them ever so briefly to my husband or friends but not long enough to really make them REAL.  Why is that you ask?  Well...because I'm terrified to commit to them.  If I write them down, if I have a discussion about planning for it, if I get buy in from my family and support from my friends...well, then I have to COMPLETE it.  So what's the issue?  Isn't that the whole point?

Well, yeah but I'm not going to lie...failure is a scary thing.  I've seen it eye to eye and although I've come out of it on the other side and the teachings of failure are the most valuable, it really sucks.

I know that successes only come from many prior failures.  I've seen every quote, meme and ecard on the subject.  I believe them wholeheartedly.  That doesn't make it any easier to swallow when it happens.  The things you learn from it, the strength you draw from failure all come AFTER.  At that moment however, you feel like shit.  You especially feel crappy when you know it's coming and you can't turn it around.  And even worse about disappointing the ones that have been supporting and sacrificing on your behalf.

See, this goal requires a pretty good time commitment.  Time is sparse in a household of two working parents of 4 children.  Two of which are in their middle school years and the other in toddler/preschool stages (1 in diapers!!).  It's going to take a village y'all and a whole LOT of buy-in from the hubby especially!

Nevertheless, the point of setting a goal is to conquer the fear.  Hit it head on with the strength you pulled from the last failure. Right?  So that's why I am here again.  I am here so that this can be my venue, my audience, my notepad of accountability if you will.  I am here so that I can write down my successes, frustrations and a-ha moments along the way to achieve this (these) goal(s).

A former co-worker always reminded me when we were given a monumental task to accomplish: "How do you eat an elephant?" "Well, one bite at a time"  That will be my approach for this.  I don't have an exact set date or "when", I have a general idea of the "how" and I definitely know the why and what:

Because...I KNOW I can...IRONMAN.

Stay tuned for more courageous steps into this direction.