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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Weekly Results 7/24-30

Another week gone by. Summer is almost over since my son starts school again at the end of this week. The college students don't come back until the end of August so work will still be summer like but I won't have the luxury of easy mornings anymore since we'll have to get him to school by 7:45 every morning. But enough about my end of summer lament. Onto the results...

Sunday 7/24 - 60 min bike, 60 min Zumba. Group bike ride for tri training. About 10 miles at an easy pace for most of them - a moderate pace for me. My borrowed bike does not gear well for any kind of hills so the slightest incline is a bit of a pain. I had enough energy to go on to Zumba afterwards but considering how hard I crashed the next couple of days I now think I should have called it a day.
Monday 7/25 - 30 min swim, easy drills. Felt bad that day.
Tuesday 7/26 - Rest day
Wednesday 7/27 - 60 min swim drills (approx 600 yards total). Seeing much improvement on technique but still very worried about endurance and finishing a full 200 yards without stopping to breathe at the end of each length.
Thursday 7/28 - 35+ min on the stationary bike (set to hills and level 9, I tried to keep the RPMS around 100). Was happy with that pace and made it just over 10 miles. If I can bike the 14 miles in under an hour for the race I'll be happy. Finished up with 10 min of a 5.0 jog/run on the treadmill.
Friday 7/29 - 35 min run with cool down. 30 min swim drills (approx 400 yards)Made it 3 miles at slightly less than 11 min/miles for the run. Improvement continues but still a ways to go.
Saturday 7/30 - 43 min run/walk & 30 min swim. Woke up slightly hungover from my medicines. Typhoon like weather outside so I went to the gym with hubby and suffered through the dreadmill while watching Evan Almighty. I mostly ran for 33 minutes and walked for another 10 (mostly beginning and end but I did take two walking breaks in the middle). Energy was not there. In the afternoon I felt better so I went back to the pool and did more drills.
Weight loss: just a little over a pound this week. The steroids I'm now on have me snacking more but I'm still trying.

Since I caught the end of Evan Almighty while on the dreadmill I was able to catch their ending credits song and I also had this song on my running mix on the ipod shuffle that got put in wash a few months back:
I like running to this song and it brings me back to the early/mid 90's. Good times. Good times.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hooray!! Wait.... Hooray?

The Facebook is a tricksy little hobbit.

On Friday afternoon I was surfing the web working diligently and happened to see a chance to enter a contest to win a free entry to the 2011 Middle Half race. You know, the one I couldn't run last year, the one I didn't even bother registering for this year because there was a good chance I would be in Morocco, plus I haven't run more than 5k in a while. But on a whim I entered said contest sponsered by Murfreesboro Magazine. The race sold out in 11 days back in May so the only spots left were from sponsors. All I had to do was get added as a friend to their Facebook page and then leave a comment begging for a space. I beg quite well.

And I won one of the Golden Tickets. A FREE entry to a sold out race in my own backyard.

Glee quickly turned into the realization that I would have to start doing long runs again. But since I am invested in my tri training I can wait on runs of more than 6 miles until after September 3rd.

But I am excited. I'll talk to my tri coach about how to incorporate mileage in a smart way - she's qualified for Boston before so I trust her opinion. And this will give me something to keep working for after September 3rd.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Epic Lung Battle

This is how my lungs feel.

I'm a little better at the end of this week but I got an added steroid pill to help the inflammation. I felt awful on Monday but did a little swimming. It wasn't the full drill that we were asked to do but I did get out there for a little bit. At the end of each length of the pool I would come up coughing and gasping for breath. I wasn't really sure in the end if it was worth going out there and struggling through it.

On Tuesday I did skip out of the group run. I still felt awful. It was over 100F again with the heat index. I felt bad about backing out but there was nothing in me that could convince myself it was worth it to run in that heat. I made Tuesday my rest day.

Wednesday, same battle ensued. The dementors sucked the hope and eagerness out of me. I came home from work and took a nap. But for some reason I got out of bed and made it to swim practice. And it was good. Hope won out.

So maybe I'm over the worst of it. I certainly hope so. I do so wish this heat wave would break but I don't have high hopes for that either.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The thing about groups

This is my second attempt at group training. I must say it's going much better than the first attempt. The first time around we only met once a week and were given a distance to run. Then everyone took off at different speeds and I spent most of the run by myself wondering why did I spent money on this adventure?

The thing about training by yourself is you only compare yourself to well, yourself:
  • How did I do the last time I ran this distance?
  • How have I grown over these last few weeks of training?
  • Ha! I'm totally beating that 70 year old walking slowly ahead of me!
But in a group it's more like this:
  • Hmmm they look like they're in much better shape than me.
  • Yep, I'm definitely the fattest one here.
  • They say they're a slow runner but they just lapped me for the second time.
  • Why is no one else sweating as much as I am?
No really, it's good for your vanity. It keeps you from getting too cocky about your awesome (to only you) 28:40 5k. When your PR is their easy run it helps put things in perspective. I guess it can initially be soul crushing to realize you aren't as good as your mind thought you were. But you can also approach it as another goal to reach for and a motivation to keep pushing.

For some this is the drive of competition but for slower runners we have to find our own competition because we know we'll never place in any race. All we have is our own PR's. However, if I surrounded myself with people that were only as "fast" or slower than me than I could start to be content in my abilities. Or if I continued to run alone I would think a 10 mm was the best I could do.

So I encourage people to join a group at least once even if you are the slowest one there. In this particular group I have one bright spot - there is at least one slower runner than me. She can totally kick my butt on the swim and bike but running is not her thing. Then again maybe she's just messing with my mind and on race day she'll zoom past me while yelling, "sucker!"

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Weekly Results 7/17-23

A visit to the Dr on Saturday morning confirmed that I do have bronchitis. So now I have an abuterol inhaler, codeine cough  syrup, and an antibiotic. Here's hoping my lungs and windpipe clear up soon. Since I've been lucky enough not to get a fever or other cold symptoms it hasn't been too bad. It's easier to breathe during cardio than it is just hanging out on the couch or in my bed.

Results:
Sunday, 17th: 6'ish mile bike ride with group and Zumba
Monday, 18th: 500 yard swim
Tuesday, 19th: 30 min run (12 mm) and 60 min Zumba
Wednesday, 20th: 600 yard group swim
Thursday, 21st: 400 yard swim, 35 min stationary bike
Friday, 22nd: Rest day
Saturday, 23rd: 30 min treadmill run at 5.1 mph
Lbs lost: 2.5

I did everything according to our training schedule except for strength training but I did add in extra cardio. I had first planned to swim on Saturday as well as run but I just did the run because of spending time doing other family obligations. It is interesting fitting in the time to exercise. I wish I was happier to wake up early. I did go early on Thursday which was easier (for my family) than coming home late or missing another kids bedtime.  I often dream about not having to work and being more flexible to work out but not working would mean the kids wouldn't be at daycare and suddenly I wouldn't have so much time anymore. :)

It will be the same schedule next week but I'll increase miles on the bike and speed on the run (not by much but I need to get used to going a bit faster again).

This week's song comes from a mixture of Zumba and my love of Glee:

Friday, July 22, 2011

And on the seventh day Judy rested...

Until I had to do yard work. Our house is currently for sale and even though the prospects don't look good to sell it for a price we're willing to take we occasionally will get a "looker" and have to keep appearances up.

But never was I so happy for a rest day. I'm still fighting what I now fear is bronchitis. I'll know tomorrow after I visit the Dr. Good news is that I don't feel sick and have kept up with exercise all week. Bad news is that my lung capacity is decreasing as I type. I've tried the OTC stuff and am now ready for the good stuff from "behind the counter".

Last night was a rough night and I awoke feeling a bit like this:
(Despite actually taking Mucinex before bed.)

I thought I would be able to take the afternoon off of work but that didn't happen. I was glad that there was no exercise on the schedule. Tomorrow's schedule will include a 30 min run (inside because it's still gross outside) and a swim as long as I'm given the "all clear - except for your lungs which need better 'behind the counter' medicine" from the Nurse Practitioner.

Wednesday's swim went much better than last week but I still need so much work. As I told the trainer: "I'm about 3000% better than last week but I got 40,000% to go." I never exaggerate to make a point... I'm still worried about my ability to swim 200 yards and have the ability to move on to the next portion of the race. That's why I'm upping my time in the pool. It will probably help when my lungs don't feel so constricted and congested. Ya think?

On Thursday morning I got in the pool again and then used a stationary bike for my 30 min of bike. I set it to hills and tried to keep the RPMs up. Even at 7 am the heat/humidity was gross.

And now it's time to go drug up again on the semi-useless OTCs. Somehow the Mucus demon in my lungs isn't trembling too much...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Nuun Tip

Kona Cola is much better than the Citrus Fruit flavor. Especially when one is trying to give up their diet cola addiction... Diet cola I love you so.... I'm cutting down to once a week. I don't know what it is about the fizzy stuff but I crave it just as bad as any other food indulgence.


Or maybe anything tastes good after a run in 100+ Heat Index weather... Seriously though, Nuun is good stuff after a hot sweaty run.

Also Blueberry Pomegranate Gu Chomps are pretty darn awesome. I usually wouldn't use them on these shorter runs/rides but I've given myself an extra energy kick because of the heat.

This week is going well (least you think my two day absence is a sign of another fall off of the wagon). I had a good swim day on Monday. I've made progress with keeping my head down and finding a pace that won't kill me. I've also become a big fan of pull buoys and wish I could use one in the race. We meet again for group swim tonight so I hope my new positive feelings towards swimming remain.

Tuesday we ran about 2 miles (25-30 minutes) but it was hot and humid so it was a slow run. I was drenched in the after stretch. Downward facing dog is a bit difficult when sweat is pouring into your eyes.

 I went to Zumba afterwards to get a little more calorie burn. The a/c was broken in the main dance room so we all crowded into a smaller studio. We still had a lot of fun together. It's a great group. I'll probably do bike work inside tomorrow since the H.I. will stay high through this week.

I avoided cake at home, biscuits at a breakfast this morning, and croissants/muffins as well. The diet is working for now. I'm eating plenty but watching content and making sure there's a balance. I'll blog about it a bit more later when I can't think of anything else to write about.

Enough random musings for now though.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Week in Review: 7/10-7/16

A good week back:
Sunday 7/10 - 20 minute run with a heat index of 107
Monday 7/11 - 30 minute strength training, 200 yards swim
Tuesday 7/12 - morning 30 min run (no group run due to heat), 60 min zumba in the evening
Wednesday 7/13 - 45 min swim (about 400 yards total)
Thursday 7/14 - 20 min bike before work, 5 min bike and 10 min walk after work, 60 min zumba in the evening
Friday 7/15 - rest day
Saturday 7/16 - 3 mile run (35 min), 2 mile bike ride (easy), later in the day another bike ride 4 miles (easy)

Weight went up 4 lbs after our anniversary dinner on Monday but seemed to go down 2 lbs overall by the end up the week. I'll start tracking my weight loss more carefully this next week but I have been tracking my intake to keep an eye on things and to make sure I'm getting a good balance (carbs/protein/fat).

I'm also fighting a bit of a cold right now so my hope is that it will run it's course quickly. So far it's not keeping me from the exercise but it is making me feel more tired afterwards.

Future weeks:
  • Strength training is a series of squats, lunges, weights for arms, and planks.
  • Sundays from now on will be bike rides and I'll continue to get Zumba afterwards until we start doing bricks.
  • Tuesdays will be runs of increasing distances/time - my focus is to stay within 3-4 miles but increase my speed again. I've fallen back down to struggling for a 12 mm. But this week was 3 minutes faster than last week so hopefully that will improve to closer to 30 minutes by the time race day comes.
  • Wednesdays will be group swims. I'll try to get my own time in the pool when I can.
  • I got the stuff to sign up for the Fenton Payne 5k race in August. It starts at my work and will be a good pre-run to the tri. No aspirations for a PR - just a goal to work towards.
And now a new addition to my weekly results - my favorite workout song of the week:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Thigh envy

It's hot here this summer. Much warmer than last summer. The past week has seen several days of heat indexes in the 100's. Now I grew up in Arizona so I'm used to heat. But there is something to be said about "dry heat" compared to humidity + heat. Every summer I've always let the heat be my excuse to not be outside.

Last summer when I completed the RC Cola Moonpie 10 mile run in mid June I finally convinced my brain that I could survive if the temps happened to be above 75 degrees. Then during my few weeks of 1/2 marathon training we also had quite a few runs in temps much higher than my normal comfort zone.

All that to say, I now know I won't melt or perish in the summer heat. However, since my legs don't look like this:
(picture stolen from this website - "Thanks!": http://www.runningwithmascara.com/tag/strength-training-for-women/)

I've always gone for cropped, or knee length capris/pants.

I've tried a couple of different products to help with chaffing but running was still majorly uncomfortable in shorts.

This summer I found a pair of spandex shorts to wear underneath regular shorts and I had a great experience running in them last week. I still feel a bit self-conscious running next to people that are much skinnier with better looking legs - and most everyone has much tanner skin than I do. But I try to comfort myself with the fact that I've reduced my risk for skin cancer.... (it doesn't help much).

I avoided spandex shorts because of my traumatic adolescent experience wearing bike shorts underneath my gym shorts for freshmen P.E. The shorts they made us wear were super short and the largest size they had still barely squeezed over my thighs. I felt much worse about my thighs when I was 14 than I do now. The other girls looked great (at least in my mind) in those shorts while I looked awful and somewhat dorky with the other spandex shorts beneath them. I hated P.E. It's taken me a good 19 years to get over that memory.

Anyway, my wardrobe has expanded and the shorts feel great on these awful hot days. Remind me, why did I sign up for training that lasts through July and August?

Friday, July 15, 2011

You are the weakest link - good bye.

I was enjoying a nice ride home on my borrowed bike yesterday. I stopped at a light and when I got going again I heard a little pop and suddenly my pedals were free spinning and I was going nowhere. A quick glance down and behind me and I noticed that my chain was no more.

It was pretty rusted. So what was a nice ride home became a hot, boring, walk home while pushing the bike. My husband tried to help me out (after I had walked about 3/4 of a mile) but there was no room to put the bike in the trunk of our compact car. Once we finally made it home I figured out how to put the bike rack on the trunk of our car and made a quick trip to our local bike shop so they could fix it.

It took them all of 6 seconds to install a new one and I got to look at pretty Trek bikes while I waited. I should have watched them put the chain on so I knew what to do in case it happens again but the Treks were very pretty.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Have Diaper Bag: Will Bike to Work.

I lucked out and was able to borrow a bike from a co-worker for these 8 weeks of training. Now I have more time to shop for a bike to keep. Today's workout called for a 20 minute bike ride and I can make it from my house to work in about that time (maybe less) so I decided to bike it to work today.

The problem came in how I was going to bring my clothes to change into and my lunch. We only have one backpack in our house and my husband uses it for his work stuff - thus it was in his office at work. My only other option was to use a diaper bag that I still had hanging around in the coat closet. It's plain black and not too diaper-bagy looking so I decided to take it rather than come up with an excuse to not bike to work. I slung it around my shoulders/chest and made it to work just fine. I'll do strength conditioning at the rec center after work and then bike it back home.

But let's step back to yesterday's group swim. My nostrils can still feel the chlorine burn almost 24 hours later. Since my goggles didn't magically help me swim better I decided to try a swim cap. Surely the magic is in the swim cap! My daughter thought it was a pretty fun thing:

I'm saving this photo for her wedding reception.

We got to the YMCA pool and were told to go down and back (50 yards) so they could see our techniques (or lack thereof). I think we then did another 50 yards and then some practice being face down in the pool learning how to breathe out and then turn to the side to breathe in. I was winded at this point so even that exercise was tough. Then we did 100 yards of kick board laps. I can keep my head in much better with the kick board - it's my arms flailing about that throws my breathing off I guess. At this point every time I got done with 50 yards I would feel a massive headache starting to pound in my head.

We were told to do another exercise, something like an alligator snap to keep your arms in the right position, and that was 50 yards. On the way back I choked on water and my head really felt awful. I got out of the pool to sit on the side for a moment and one of the coaches came to check on me. He told me that I was basically feeling the side effects of moving my head so much in the water plus being winded. He compared it to the feeling you get after the Tea Cup ride at Disneyland and I couldn't agree more. The rest of the group did another 100 yards to finish but I called it a day for myself. My head hurt badly for the rest of the evening. My calves also started cramping up. I had serious doubts about my ability to do this triathlon.

But then again, this is just week one of eight. Things always get better. I will need a lot of practice time in the pool. My plans are to spend some time just swimming super slowly to practice getting/keeping my head down and how to breathe better so I'm not spinning around like the Mad Hatter.

Swimming is serious business.



Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Crucial swim attire

I'm pretty sure this is how awesome I looked in the pool yesterday:



Or not.

Monday's schedule called for strength training and 400 yards in the pool (16 laps). I had goggles and my new sports swimsuit (because I think halter top tankinis are frowned upon in triathlons) and I was ready to go. I think one part of my brain thought the goggles would make me a better swimmer.

I made it 50 yards (2 laps) before I was ready to pass out. Useless goggles.

My problem is I can't keep my head down in the water and only come up to breathe every few second. I'm huffing and puffing on each stroke. Since I wear contacts the goggles do help me not have to swim blind but I tried to keep my head down once and I came back up choking on water. Definitely glad for the swim portion of our training - I'm sure there's exercises for this kind of thing. And I'm not so blithe about a 200 yard swim anymore.

As mentioned above I needed to buy a new swimsuit since I only have 2 tankinis (one for fatter me and one for smaller me) and a one piece with straps that tend to fall off when you swim laps. Since I am back to fatter me it wasn't a pleasant thing to look for and try on swimsuits. I actually kept my spandex shorts (another post in my head about clothing that I might post later) and sports bra on while trying the thing on. I don't spend a lot of time looking at myself in it so I really don't know how it looks on me. I had to really shop around to find a sports swimsuit. The normal stores don't carry them anymore. I looked at Zappos.com but they didn't have any I liked (both style and price wise) that were in my size. I finally lucked out at Dick's Sporting Goods but still didn't have a ton to choose from. I'm eagerly awaiting my new cover-up as well: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Women-s-10-in-1-Convertible-Cover-Up-Dress/15819522 I'm also pretty sure this won't be needed for the triathlon but it was so cute and versatile.

The strength training involved a lot of squats and lunges so I'm horrifically sore today - Heloise is not happy with me. I did my 20 min run this morning (already in the 90's with the heat index at 7 am today - gross) and will do Zumba tonight to make up for an awesome hibachi dinner and strong drinks last night. The diet starts again - today, not yesterday.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Well that's a hell of a welcome back

Literally hell. Read on my patient blogging friends - who probably got notified of a new post and thought, "who is this person?"

Yes, yes it's been very quiet in the fitness world of Judy. Only an occasional Zumba class thrown in whenever we didn't have t-ball, house selling madness, and just plain laziness. My husband recently got back on a health kick and has been hitting the gym everyday. One can only live with such smugness for so long before one gets the gumption to show him that he has nothing on you.

So Zumba increased and I made it to the gym a few times but it still wasn't enough to blog about. "Oooh I did 40 min on the elliptical" - that's the stuff of exciting blog reading...

Then an opportunity popped up and I said yes.

A training group for this triathlon: http://www.startriathlon.com/ (200 yard pool swim, 14 mile bike ride, and 5k run). I had my eye on this triathlon before but when things didn't work out with Schwinny, and I never got into the pool, and then my gallbladder/whatever thing...

But now I'm officially training for my first triathlon and I'm going to get back into the grove of a regular exercise routine again.

Today was the first meeting and the coach said we'd go on a short run. No biggie says I until temps started going up to the high 90's and the heat index was inching closer to 110. Never a fan of hot weather running to begin with; this was particularly disturbing to me. But I went to the meeting thinking surely they wouldn't be crazy enough to make us run at 4 pm with a HI of 107?

Surely?

I went in my running duds (more on that in a future post) because since we weren't running (surely) I'd hit the gym afterwards. After a nice meet and greet - I like this group more than the 1/2 group I was in last year, probably just because it's smaller and there's other slow runners so I don't feel as bad about my skills (or lack thereof) - the coach said, "ok let's go 10 min out and 10 min back."

And no one else had a panicked look on their face or protested because of the heat so I just kept my mouth shut too and tried not to give the coach my mom "look". It was awful, hellish, but it was only 20 minutes (and less than 2 miles with my current super fast speeds) so I survived.

We meet three times a week: Sundays = bike, Tuesdays = run, and Wednesdays = swim. I'll get in other workouts on the other days. I got 20 lbs that snuck back on to work on as well. This week you'll also get to hear about clothing adventures and buying a new bike (which will hopefully work out better than Schwinny. Sigh... Schwinny - I loved her so.