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!!