Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I'm Still Here - Weekly RoundUp

Totally dodged the Weekly Recap this week. The weekend was exhausting and involved our 9 mile long run, a football game (loss, ugh), a wedding, and moving a ton of stuff from my parents' house. The "moving" part was surprisingly emotional as it involved taking boxes containing my entire childhood and moving them out of my childhood home. By Sunday afternoon I'd planned out dinner and my blogging time and was really not into it. Instead, we ordered pizza, watched the Lord of the Rings and pretended it was Saturday instead of Sunday.

Last Week's Workouts
Not Great
Mon: 4.6 mile run @ 12:00 min/miles. Still a little sore from the 10K so I just did what felt good
Tues: 1500 yard swim set
Weds: Bike fitting! 45 minutes of serious pedaling
Thurs: Volleyball  tournament - two matches, though not reflected on my chart
Fri: Rest
Sat: 9 miles @ 12:17 min/mile.

Our long run Saturday took a lot of convincing. I had no intention of getting up and going and Josh really had to push me to do it. It was kind of dreary and overcast. This is why you need a good support system though because the run ended up being great! We worked in some decent hills and I practiced running on effort rather than pace. I was able to keep a much more even overall pace this week because of it. While not the best week of training due to my bike fitting Wednesday, it was good.

Also, the bike fitting was AWESOME. If you have a bike you need to see a professional bike fitter pronto. The fitting was free at the MultiSport shop where I purchased my bike. The bike tech, Joe, was nice and knowledgeable. He switched out my stem & propped up my brakes a little bit so I'm much more comfortable and relaxed in the upperbody. I also switched to clipless pedals. Yikes.

Due to the rain, and the fact that I'm a total chicken, I haven't gotten to ride my bike since the fitting. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for today!
Totals: 14.57 miles, 4:11:55, 2, 668 Calories

 Not terrible. Not Great. As we get closer to the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon I'm honestly just trying to keep from getting injured or sick. Both are difficult. I have an appointment with an Allergist today to (hopefully) learn to manage my asthma and allergies better. The downside is that I haven't been able to take my beloved antihistamine for the last 5 days. AHH! Wish my luck.

Also, while I was looking through my photos I found these two of little Ellie Dog. She was so small!

Happy Hump Day!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Hump Day Happenings

Last night during my swim I was chugging along and actually thought, "Screw this. I'm getting out." I was super tired, and my arms were really sore and achy. The last several swims the first 400 yards have been magical - almost effortless. This swim felt more like I was pulling through mud and my shoulders were screaming. Not to mention, my suit has finally gotten to the point where it's so stretched and saggy that anytime I catch myself in the mirror I think, "Oh god, that can't possibly be what I look like!". Not good.

But I finished anyway and I felt good just knowing I finished a hard workout. Sometimes, that's just the way it is.
Post-Swim Locker Room Action
I rewarded myself this morning by getting myself a new suit and hot pink swim cap. I went through the TYR grab bag so I have NO idea what it will look like. It's sort of exciting. Also, I bought myself this awesome shirt just because. 
So Cool
Tonight I have my bike fitting at our local multisport shop. I'm excited to learn a little bit more about my bike and have a professional fit. Also, it will be my first experience with clipless pedals. I'm more than a little nervous about that (as in I'm nervous about falling off my bike because I can't unclip). We shall see.

Ellie and I are not thrilled about being awake this morning. 
Sleepy Puppy
At least I have caramel coffee!

Happy Hump Day!

How do you recover from bad workouts?
Have you ever used clipless pedals? How'd it go?
Do you like flavored coffee? Which flavor?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Race Recap: Great Pumpkin 10K

This past weekend was the Louisville Sport's Commission Great Pumpkin 10K. The Louisville Sports Commission (LSC) is a great organization dedicated to bringing Sport to Louisville; for both professionals and amateurs. They've set up our "pro" soccer team, are working on an NBA team, and also host a bunch of new road races.

Every spring there's a big "Triple Crown of Racing" that immediately precedes the Kentucky Derby & Triple Crown of Horse Racing. The LSC had created the "Fall Runathon", a schedule that include the Louisville Pure Tap 5k, Great Pumpkin 10K and Urban Bourbon Half Marathon. Josh & I elected not to do the 5K mostly because we haven't had any good experiences with massive 5k's (like not even being able to get to the start line at our last one!).

The race itself didn't start until 9:00 a.m. but I wanted to get up early enough to eat and get a lot of fluids. I woke up around 7 after a terrible night's sleep and had some power aid and a handful of pretzels. The weather App on my phone said it was 45 degrees and would be in the 44-49 degree range through to mid morning. I had no clue what to wear. I dutifully checked the "What should I wear" on - my go-to site when I'm clueless about clothing - and it suggested both shorts and a t-shirt and capris and long sleeves. ugh. My endurance Shorts had been working wonders throughout the whole training cycle so I decided to go with those and a lighter long-sleeved pullover. Best of both worlds I figured.

We headed out to the race site around 8:15. The park where the race was held is out on the county line directly across from a Golf Course that recently hosted the PGA Championship. It's a HUGE new park that's still being developed. We had to park a little way's back from the start line and walk. It was cold. I was really doubting my clothing choice and just trying to be optimistic about the experience. I get to run, so how bad can it really be? We had to high-tail it to the start and just barely managed to get to the line before the gun went off.

The Race
When Josh & I race together we never manage to get anywhere near the front of the pack. This always irks me. I hate the first 10 minutes where you're dodging all of the walkers and slow(er)pokes right out of the gate. Oh well, that's what we do so that's what we do. My only goals for this race were (1) to finish feeling strong and (2) to negative split. I set my virtual partner for 11:30 since 11:15-11:20 is what we want for the Half. The first mile felt great and not too fast, though Garmin soon told me it had been. I told Josh we needed to back off and he just sort of slipped in behind my back shoulder and let me (Try) to set the pace. 

The course was BEAUTIFUL! On the way out we were running mostly on freshly paved roads through the park. The "Hills" were mostly overpasses over beautiful streams. The sun was out, taking the chill out of the air, but it wasn't warm at all. Our second mile was closer to what I wanted and we tried to maintain the pace. 

However, the MAJOR incline at the third incline was vicious. I charged up it, feeling strong and powerful. What I didn't realize was that there was a gradual incline for the next quarter mile following it. I couldn't catch my breath or get a real handle on my cadence. At that point you're on divided highway and it's split between people going out and people coming back. I plodded on and hoped that the turnaround was somewhere near. Once you got to the turnaround all of the 'up' turned to 'down' and it felt a LOT better. It was so downhill in fact that when we finally got back on flat ground I felt like we hit a brick wall. The flat popped up right at the 5th mile so it was 2 to go. I pumped up the volume on my iPod and dug in. I felt great. It was beautiful and I knew I could finish really strong. 

Can you see the difference between miles 3 & 4? Whew
And I did! I finished feeling strong and tired but not exhausted or overdone. Since we have a half coming up I really wanted to see how I felt at that pace rather than leave it all out on the course. I think I did really well and I"m really proud of the race. 

After the Race
The only negative about the race was that there was only one road out. So we sat in the car and listened to the radio for awhile. We feasted at Frisch's and I (over)indulged in their breakfast buffet. If you live somewhere where Frisch's Big Boy isn't an option, I feel bad for you. It's the bees knees. 

After some napping we headed off to pick our pumpkins and buy 10 gallons (practically) of Apple Cider from a local farm. It's a neat little fall tradition we've started and a beautiful drive. We came home and napped some more and then decided to watch a movie. After the race I was wheezing pretty bad and couldn't get a handle on my breathing. I think it was allergies, really. I took a benadryl and slept like a baby. All-in-all, a pretty nice little saturday. 
Chocolate milk at the finish line!
Next up is the Urban Bourban Half on 10/25!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Weekly RoundUp: Welcome October

After doubting it's existence, fall has finally made it to the Bluegrass. While temps on Thursday were into the 80s, it finally cooled down on Saturday. We've got our pumpkins picked, our decorations out, and our heavy comforter on the bed. Welcome Fall - won't you stay awhile?

This Week's Training

Mon: 9.20 miles on the bike in the nearby park
Tues: 7.53 miles on the bike - my achy bum was not too happy
Wed: 1 Mile on the treadmill before 1 hour yoga
Thur: Volleyball - won all 3 matches, decently sweaty
Fri: Rest
Sat: Great Pumpkin 10K Race, 1:06:59
Sun: 2.61 mile walk around the park with Ellie

I was nervous about how shifting our long run last week was going to impact the week. Sunday I was still a bit sore for my scheduled run so I took the bike out instead. This was an awesome decision. Every time I ride I feel more and more comfortable. I managed to stay on the bike for almost an hour without even noticing! I felt a lot more comfortable with stops and riding in traffic (and rush hour traffic at that). Tuesday it was too beautiful not to go do something, but it was an off-running day so I hit the bike again. At this point I'm still working through "saddle soreness". Oy, am I. Tuesday I was practically standing on the bike the first 10 minutes. After that I eased in and practiced with some of the gears. I'm finally figuring out what each one is for and how to ride. Slowly but surely I will be a cyclist!

Saturday was the Great Pumpkin 10K. It's the first year for the event - part of a new fall "triple crown" - and it went GREAT! I'll keep away from the details since I intend to do a full report, but lets just say it was a great morning.

Today I cooked up a storm in the kitchen and then felt the need to get out in the elements. It was cool, which felt nice, and the leaves are starting to change. I rounded up the pup and we headed to my favorite park. We did a lot of our favorite trails & Ellie almost caught a chipmunk!

This Week's Nutrition

Fall really puts me in the mood to cook. I'm not sure why. I love soups and stews and they just taste so much better when there's a bite in the air. Nothing really stands out this past week in terms of nutrition. I think I did a great job with my No Candy pledge. By no, I really meant less. Unfortunately, this is a bad week to gauge my progress in terms of weight loss as it seems that we're nearing mother nature's monthly gift. Bah. Looks like I've lost an inch around the waist though, while gaining an inch in the bust. I did manage to eat a big salad without getting sick though. If you'd spent any time around me in the last few salad-less months, you'd know what a victory that was.

Friday night I made a pizza with a Pilsbury crust for our dinner. It was really good. I love homemade pizza. I used grilled chicken instead of sausage or pepperoni and cut down on the amount of veggies we'd likely have otherwise. Yum yum.

I went on a cooking frenzy today. I made crockpot mexican chicken chili for dinner, a week's worth of butternut squash soup for lunch and Pumpkin Snickerdoodle cookies. I haven't tried the snicker doodle cookies yet…I'm expecting immediate addiction

Next Week
- Get back on track with training for the Half - only 3 weeks left!
- Stick to my meal plan, including homemade or from home foods
- keep Blogging :)

Is it Fall where you are yet?
Did you reach this weekend? Congrats! How'd it go?
What's your favorite pre-race meal?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Pre-Race Jitters

Until today I didn't realize I still got pre-race jitters. Hmm. 

Tomorrow morning we're running the Great Pumpkin 10K. It's a new race for us in a park I've never been to. I think that's contributing to the nervousness. I've done 5 or 6 races at this distance and I honestly think it's my favorite. It's sort of a "middle distance" and I always raced middle distance (200) in swimming. Short enough to go fast, long enough for endurance to matter. 

The race is part of our training for the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon in a few weeks. Maybe I'm nervous because it should be a good indicator of how that race should go. Who knows. The plan for now is to (1) set a challenging pace and (2) negative split. 
            Ellie isn't at all concerned

Ive been hydrating like crazy and made a great pizza for dinner that's served as good pre-race fuel in the past. Now we're just watching football and relaxing. 

Up and at 'Em early tomorrow for my first race since April - here goes nothing!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Biggest Goals

Lately, I've found myself feeling stagnant and unmotivated. We sign up for Half Marathon's and then muddle through a half-assed training program. Each time, I finish about the same. After I started law school I quickly realized I would never be as fast as I was in 2008-2009. That was the year I was at home, working for Americorps, and put my whole heart and soul into running. And what an amazing experience that was. I ran a 2:15 half marathon on my second try and a 4:45 full marathon on my first go-round; both of them, all by myself. Both were moments that made me abundantly proud and extraordinarily happy. Both were feelings I've not achieved since.

Which I think is why, in following Jaime over at Couch to Ironwoman I really connected with her "let down" after finishing Ironman Louisville. In a post a bit after returning home from IMLou, she wrote:

"I have cried a few times, for pretty much no reason other than I think about our Ironman, the training and all of the time that we put into it. I don't want to be sad about it, I want to be happy that we accomplished our goal and that now we can move on to bigger and better things."
I absolutely identify with that feeling. I always wonder, "Do I have another marathon in me?" or "Will I ever feel that way again?" These questions, along with my lag in training, have left me feeling largely underwhelmed with myself.  In wondering if I've hit my peak, I feel as though I've let myself down.

So i've decided to do something about it.

I signed up for Ironman 70.3 Muncie!
In July 2015 I will swim 1.2 miles, Bike 56 and finish a half marathon. I will feel that feeing again. In the weeks between my decision to enter and registration, I felt an excitement I haven't felt since I signed up for the Flying Pig 26.2 back in 2009. It's electrifying.

God bless my sweet husband, Josh, he is on board and as supportive as can be. We talked about how my time would be further torn between work, home, and training. We talked about how this was going to be really hard. I think he realized how much I needed this and how happy just talking about it made me, so he pushed me over the edge to register.

So with the registration came the need for a bike. After 2 weeks of shopping and waiting, I finally found the perfect ride:

I'm needing out over it so hard. I went out last Friday for my first real 'ride'. Wow. I have so much to learn. That's the exciting part. and the scary part. I have no clue how to do this. It wasn't until I got on the bike that I finally thought "What did I get myself into?". But I'm in it. And I can't wait to feel that feeling again.

Happy Running!

Have you ever had the post-run blues? 
What are your goals for next year?