Sunday, December 13, 2015

Recap and What Have You

There's so much pressure to come up with blog titles. It's really daunting. I'm totally lacking imagination tonight, as I look out onto this imposing week ahead, so you get what you get.

Anyway, last week

So I didn't actually set a goal for activity this week, I now realize. But last week it was 200 and I almost doubled that this week! Granted I had an entire day off, actually, I'm still proud of myself. 

Best Workout of the Week
Maybe not best by athletic standards, but my favorites are probably either of my walks with Ellie. The incoming Governor declared Tuesday a state holiday (or state of emergency, we'll see) so I got the day off work. The weather was really nice so I decided after some lounging about to take Ellie to cherokee Park to walk. We listened to Dan Carlin's Hardcore History and climbed some hills. In all we did 5.04 miles and my legs were killing me Wednesday!

Saturday it was a balmy 70 degrees here. No kidding. Kentucky is very midwestern in that it gets 4 separate seasons (usually....almost always). 70 Degrees is just rude on December 12th. Also it was stupid humid. Anyway because it was so nice I decided to take Ellie out and then ride my bike. The combo was actually really nice. We did a loop around the park while I listened to the first episode of Serial Season 2 (which was fantastic, despite my prior skepticism). After we got back I hopped on the bike for a 30 minute spin session. The combination of the walk and the spin really got my legs eased up. 

Food of the Week
My relationship with food this week was mixed. After last week's ineffective stomach episodes, I decided this week to try to rebook the system. So instead of talking about "best" meals of the week, lets talk about what I actually ate. My Stomach reboot called for some rules. These included: 

- Absolutely no nuts (including peanuts...and peanut butter)
- No popcorn
- No granola or oatmeal
- No Spicy Stuff

So typically my breakfast has been overnight oats or a whole wheat English Muffin with Peanut butter. So yeah, I had to improvise. For breakfast I had 1/2 a Belvita package (so 2 crackers) and a Special K Protein Drink. I didn't really notice myself getting super hungry or anything. I typically ate my crackers with my morning coffee and drank the special K on my way over to court. Lunch was soup every day (Except Friday, when I got Panera, duh). Dinner wasn't too eventful with a frozen Tika Masala one night and a sandwich another. 

Where I can improve? Eating out. Tuesday night we got BBQ in celebration of having the day off. The BBQ was a little spicy and I got onion rings with it. I was appropriately punished for making this decision as The Belly decided to cramp and gurgle for the rest of the night. Thursday night, after 3 hours at the Volleyball Gym I broke down and got Chicken Nuggets and some fries from Wendy's. The Belly, however, did not reject this. It think at that point I was just too hungry.

So how do I feel after upping my activity level and controlling my diet?
Awful. Wait, is that not what you were expecting? I gained 3lbs. My stomach is super distended and angry. At the end of today's run I felt as though I was running in one of those pregnancy simulator vest things. With a big sack of weight not connected to me but still me. It was frustrating to say the least. 

BUT - that's just how things go sometimes right?

This week I will:
- Eat more protein (Even if it means eating more calories) 
- Maintain my activity schedule
- Stay Positive

 Here's my meal & activity plan as proof. 

And here's Ellie because why not?

Happy Running!

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Unexpected and a Belated Sunday Set up

So very little about last week went as planned. I didn't end up in trial (thankfully) but my body decided a full on revolution just to keep the week stressful. Lets take a look, shall we?

Goal for the week was 200 minutes. I'd planned on doing 4 days with 30 minutes of activity and another day of 60. I guess I totally forgot there are 7 days in a week because when I charted it out there was only one rest day. Oh well. After a difficult start to the week I managed to hit my goal

Best Workout of the Week
Probably yesterday's walk/swim. I knew I wanted an hour of activity and a swim but didn't want to swim for an hour. I hit up the Y near my folks and did half hour on the treadmill with some Tudors. It felt good just to walk at a nice 15 min/mi pace. Afterwards I suited up and hit the pool. I did the same base workout from last week but did the entire main set instead of half. It looked like this
200 Warm up
6x50 (3 drill, 3 kick)
200 cool down
 It's a really good workout for when you have very little swim base. On the 3rd or 4th time through I threw in some backstroke, but did free for most of it. My neck and shoulders are definitely thanking me today (not).

Best Meal of the Week
Food has been a banned subject this week. Monday I felt really nauseous all day but wrote it off to stress. Monday night I felt so achy I thought I had a fever. No joke, my legs hurt so bad. I took a bath and everything. Tuesday the nausea continued but again, I thought it was stress. I headed home early and laid out on the couch trying to relax a bit. The rest of the week followed similarly; no food really sat well in my stomach but an empty stomach was worse. Essentially I'd get so hungry my stomach hurt, so I ate something, then felt nauseous and over-full. It was oddly gall-stoney.
Check out all those peas
Last night after my swim I made a Bertolli pasta meal that I think will take top honors this week. I love their "Meal for 2" series. This one had shrimp and asparagus. There wasn't a ton of asparagus so I added some peas. Pro Tip: Always keep frozen peas or mixed veggies in the freezer to add to frozen meals! It was really good and just the right amount and texture.

I'm putting the finishing touches on this at work (sorry boss!) so I don't have my meal plan to share. However, this week's meal plan is going to be very spur of the moment. I'm basically trying to re-set my stomach. I want to stick to mostly liquids and easy solids if possible so I loaded up on shakes and soups. I've got some good crackers too. I'm hoping that by going back to the bare bones my stomach can rid itself of whatever has offended it. At the end of the day I'm hoping it's just a really really really  bad bout of PMS. Thanks a lot, Eve.

The other plan for the week? Tea! I loaded up on some good herbal tea while out Christmas shopping this weekend. Not only do I think it will help my stomach but I think it will come in handy around 2:30-3:00 when the headaches and chocolate cravings his the hardest. Here's hoping celestial seasonings can save me from myself.

Happy Running!!

How do you deal with mid-day cravings? 
Ever had a week you just want to go back and start over?

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Hello December!

I'm not really sure how it happened, but November is behind us. It seems like it happened really fast but I know that December will only go faster. This fall has been a whirlwind of activity, both personally and professionally. I'm quite ready to get the hell off of this ride and slow down for a little bit (though I don't think that's going to happen).

So lets talk about last week.

Yuck! Yeowza's. Disgusting. I'm not quite as disappointed with my miles as I am with my Minutes of activity. Particularly since last week was damn near double

Oh well. We knew that this week would be lower, didn't we? I managed to get in a short run on Wednesday before we got in the car. I desperately needed it but my body hurt. Everything was creaky and sore and just didn't feel right. Maybe I've been pushing it too much without a plan? I think I need to get some variation back in the mix to keep my body happy.

Thursday was the annual Gold's Gym Turkey Trot! I think this is my fourth or fifth year running it - I love it! More and more of the family has gotten in to it and this year we ALL had funny hats!
The Teenagers are just *so* excited
It was too freakin hot to run in them - 55 degrees at the start! - but my sister in law made sure we got our pictures! 
Hands off ladies - he's all mine
The race itself was ok. We had Chinese food late when we got in on Wednesday and it was fighting me. I decided to run slow and then about 2 seconds after the horn sounded decided I just wanted to get it over with. I negative split the race in a big way, which is exactly what I was going for. The pace overall was....slow. I was almost 5 minutes slower than the previous year, which was super disappointing. I guess I need to keep in mind that last year at this time I'd just run the Urban Bourbon 13.1, so I was definitely better trained. Oh well, there's always next year!

Then it was to the couch for football watching and complete and utter relaxation. I'm happy to report I wore stretchy pants the entire weekend and ate pretty much whatever we wanted. I made Hubz stop at Kroger for some Good Belly before we got home and I hit that pretty hard. It seemed to really help the discomfort from the Chinese food AND help me get hungry for dinner. 

I'd taken extra workout clothes so I could run Friday knee was not happy. In fact it was less happy on Saturday after a day off than it was on Friday. So Friday & Saturday were big fat 'ZERO's'. 

Today I decided that I could avoid the office - and the trial I'm set for on Tuesday - so long as I cleaned up and went for a swim. With extra time on my hands I headed to the suburban YMCA that has the super nice pool. It felt really good to get back in the water but I was quickly reminded that it has been 5 months since I swam. Seriously? Good lord. I did 1500 meters of a 2000 meter set and 
called it a day. 

Now I'm just working on the Cleaning Part and...
Last week was the first week I'd flat out ignored my meal plan. With Thanksgiving I decided, eh, F*&@k it. I was right to do it. This week, back on track. 

This week I'd really like to aim for 200 minutes of activity. I plan to break that up with 30 minutes x 5 week days and 60 minutes for Saturday. It's ambitious given the fact that I'm going to start this trial Tuesday BUT I think I can make it.

I got to the grocery after my swim today and tried to just keep it to the list. It was hard!

Tonight we're having sausage and potatoes - Hubz request! - so I'll pre Tuesday's Mexican Chicken soup & my overnight oats for the week.

Primed for a good week. In the midst of all of the work chaos one positive thought has really helped me through:
Happy Running!!

Are you prepared to have a successful week? What'd you do?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Not Quite Average

As I mentioned in yesterday's Sunday Set up, this past week was a doozy. Not for any particular reason, really, but a doozy nonetheless. Maybe it was the particular week of the month. Maybe it was the end of all of the Halloween Candy. At any rate, it was a tough week. Lets look at it in depth:

Monday  - Had planned to get some trainer time in but the weather was too beautiful not to run. Got in over 3 at a really slow comfortable pace. Just wanted to recover and relax and did just that.

Tuesday - I think this is the night I ended up working late, despite the election. I got home around 7 and it was all I could do to get dinner together and into my belly

Wednesday  - Another day of beautiful and unseasonably warm weather for a run with Rania. We ran downtown and headed down by the river. It was a really nice 3 miles that was unusually slow. I felt like I was going a lot faster but clearly Garmin says otherwise. Still, it felt strong and easy which can't be that bad

Thursday - Early volleyball night and we were one man down. It was actually nice playing with fewer people. I felt like I got a little more of a workout. This league is still bit depressing, though. We won 2/3 and had some decent fun

Friday - I honestly can't remember what we did Friday night but I know that I did not workout at all. I had hoped we'd play Tennis but something came up.

Saturday - I'd intended to get up and get some trainer time in before the 12:30 football game. Somehow, I managed to sleep in until almost 9:30. I knew if I got on the trainer by 10:00 I could get in an hour. When faced with the choice between getting off the couch and getting on the trainer I chose the couch. I think I needed it. We watched TV, drank coffee, and hung out. I contemplated getting a ride in after the game but...I napped instead. Can't always be inspirational.

Sunday - Today was much better. I got up and went walking with Emily. She just moved into a great new place (close to our old spot). It's really close to a lot of good walking/running paths and we meandered through a really pretty  - and hilly! - cemetery for an hour. The weather was a perfect 55 degrees and super sunny. We walked and chatted and had a great time. I was definitely sore afterwards though. After my grocery shopping I took Ellie out for a little spin around the park and listened to the Broncos game on the radio. The walk was much better than the first half.
Definitely room for improvement for next week - but not terrible in retrospect. Hoping to get some trainer time this week and another easy run or two!

Happy Running!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Preparing for Better

So this week saw more rest days and chocolate candy. That being said, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the scale took an epic turn in the wrong direction. Yikes. The only conclusion I can reach is that I'm eating crap. Fair point based on my FitnessPal loggings from last week. So how to combat this? Lets get back to the Sunday Set Up!

The meal plan part was pretty easy as I've been meal planning regularly since January. So that's one new years resolution that has really worked! Here's what's on the meal/workout agenda for this week:

I hit up Trader Joe's this afternoon and stuck to my list. No impulse buy purchases. Try that at Trader Joe's in the aisle with all of the chocolate covered what-have-yous. Not easy.

Tonight while I was fixing our dinner I prepped everything for the week. Not too much prepping to do since some of our meals will come out of the freezer. Got pretty much everything chopped, bagged, and ready to go.
Fixins for Tortilla Soup
Tortilla Soup in the crock
Non-Dinner prep
So now it's time to get on with the "Good week" part! I'm feeling a little melancholy this week - which could be attributed to the calendar....a certain week in the you get it yet? - and maybe the weight gain is too. The Holiday Sweat Challenge starts today - 8 weeks of healthy eating and friendly motivation to keep the holiday bloat at bay. Now that I'm all set up, I can't be anything but successful!

Happy Running!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Baby Steps

There's no other way to put it: Sunday I was not feelin the blog. I was feelin' my couch. But the rest of the week I got up and got moving, so no apologies.
Monday - So my week wasn't as crazy as I thought because I settled that trial I was supposed to start Monday. However, I didn't pack my body pump bag since the odds of me being able to make Body Pump were 0% when I left the house Monday morning. Oh well. Moving on

Tuesday - Tuesday was beautiful. I'm trying to take more pics for the blog but I HATE running with stuff in my hands. Gotta work on that. Anyway it was beautiful and warm and the leaves were changing so I decided to go out for an hour. I didn't care how far I went, I just wanted to go for an hour. I set my watch to my "1hr workout" - a 4:1 Run:Walk ratio. It felt really good. I think this may have been my longest run since Muncie, which is kind of shocking. My legs definitely started to feel heavy after about 30 minutes (the length of my average run lately) and I ran out of fuel at just about the same time. I drank some water and that helped, but definitely need to eat before I run. Duh. Anyway it felt great and I stretched afterwards and drank my body weight in chocolate milk. Like a pro.
Wednesday - Wednesday runs with Rania are back! After two weeks of vacation and a trial it was nice to get to head out with my work friend again. It's a nice mid-week vent session and I love hearing about her sweet 2 year old. We kept it short - just under 2.5 - and took walk breaks. I'm all about walk breaks these days

Thursday - I played volleyball and did add anything. I'm ready to see the end of Volleyball. It's not competitive anymore, I don't feel like I get much out of it and it really just isn't fun anymore. This session ends around Christmas and I expect it will be my last full session. Also, I hyperextended my elbow - oooouuuch. I stupidly tried to one arm pass a hard driven ball at full extension and it just went *pop*. No bueno.

Friday - My elbow was super sore in the morning and a little worse after work so Hubz & I forewent Friday night Tennis for a little date night. It was actually a great call. We had cocktails and appetizers at a bar downtown and just hung out together. Exercise for the soul.

Saturday - I had grand plans to wake up and run with the Tri Club & then man the water station for a local half marathon. I slept horrible. Also something I ate at date night did not agree with me at all & I felt terrible most of the morning. I got up in time to make the run but...I laid on the couch and drank fizzy water for an hour before I decided to back out. An hour or so after that I was feeling a little better so I decided to go out for a short run. It was humbling, to say the least. Stomach: Off. Ears: Throbbing. Legs: Dead. That I got 2.5 miles was a wonder. But I did, and I'm proud of that.

Sunday - Sunday was supposed to be a work day. But I decided after my first cup of coffee that Sunday was going to be a 'me' day. I wanted to ride - feeling bad for having neglected poor ghost for awhile - but I didn't want to deal with the "outside". So I changed out my tire and put on my trainer tire (all by myself, no less - I rule!) and hopped on the bike trainer. I definitely feel like I've lost a lot of fitness on the bike but I'm really going to challenge myself this off-season to make gains there. Afterwards I headed to a yoga class at the Y that was actually great! I got a great instructor and the perfect workload.
Today - breakfast and Blogging

So I feel like this week was a good improvement in terms of effort. I took two days off - my traditional 'off' days during Muncie Prep - and pushed myself in some workouts. The eating side of things is a little...troublesome. I don't know if it's just the shock of being back home and not walking 135082735 miles a day, but the weight is creeping back up. But then again, I've been eating crap like this...
So I'm trying to focus on intentional eating this Halloween week. And intentionally staying the hell away from the offices that stash candy. Definitely avoiding.

Happy Running!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Fun in the wilderness - Weekly Recap

What a week. There were a lot of ups and downs but overall it definitely ended on the 'up'.

 Monday - a big fat zero. I anticipated going to Body Pump but work got in the way.
Tuesday - I went for a great run when I got home. Short, but pretty speedy. Lately I've been having trouble keeping my pace down, which is a new problem for me
Wednesday - Considered riding but wanted to run instead. Particularly with daylight going faster every day
Thursday - I worked late until volleyball. It was fun but it confirmed my decision to stop playing after this session. It doesn't bring me joy anymore. No time for stuff that doesn't.
Friday -  Hubz got home late but we had enough time to go play Tennis. It was really weird playing under the lights! I had a lot of trouble finding the ball and my eyesight just seemed terrible. We split games before deciding to call it quits. I'm glad we did because, frankly, I'd had fun but was just kind of over it. It was enough exercise to justify eating the naked burrito I ordered for Dinner which is exactly what I needed
Saturday - Wilderness 5k with Emily!! My first race since Muncie

I got an email from Headfirst Performance while I was in London about the Wilderness 5k. It was put on by Headfirst as part of the Mayor's fall Hike at Jefferson Memorial Forest. It was touted as a great trail race for beginners - it didn't disappoint! I immediately forwarded it to my Bestie Emily, who ran her first 5k just a few weeks ago - and she was in.

A note about Emily: she is amazing. We've been friends for over 10 years now and she's my go-to gal. I've never met someone as crazy, funny, interesting, sincere and wonderful as her. She started running a little while back with the Couch 2 5K program and has just nailed it! She did her first 5k 2 weeks ago and this was her third one in three weeks. She inspires me to get my butt off the couch.
Looking gorgeous as my maid of honor
So Emily picked me up around 8am to head out to the Forest. I woke up insanely early, then fell back asleep on the couch. I finally woke up about 10 minutes before she got here. Man, what a major change from endurance racing! I changed into some capri's and a long sleeved shirt. It was about 40 degrees at the start and I knew we'd be waiting around for a bit so I wore a jacket to the start. I thought I'd change into a pullover but...nope! Turns out I'm still a wimp in the cold. A big one.

I'd never been to the forest before but I'd heard tell from other Landsharks about the massive hill heading up to the visitors center. There was a nice crowd gathered and people were setting up for the fall festival that followed the race. Emily and I checked in then hung out in the car for a bit before the start. Around 9 everyone was assembled and we were off and running!

The course was in fact perfect for trail newbies. I.e. Me. It was equal parts gravel paths and actual trails. The leaves were about half changed and some of the trails were a little hard to spot. At one point both of us tripped on some roots but no major tumbles, luckily. The race itself was awesome. I loved just being out in the woods and hanging out with my Bestie. Before we knew it we were back at the finish, some 2.4 miles later. So yeah, not a 5K at all. Nevertheless, I had a perfect morning and look forward to running out there again!
This week could be rough. I'm slated to start a trial tomorrow morning that is making my stomach knot. Hopefully I can get to body pump tomorrow but I'm not holding out hope. I'm setting out my running stuff in case I can't sleep - then maybe I can get up and get a run in. I'm gonna just try to take it as it comes and stay positive.

And stop eating so much chocolate. Yeah. That too.

Happy Running!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Hitting Re-Set

As a "Millennial" - someone growing up or coming of age at the turn of the new millennium - I learned early on that there is a surefire quick fix if you ever have a problem with something: reboot it. For people my age most problems can be solved with a simple Control - Alt - Delete. Unplug the damn thing, then plug it back in. 

While this only really works with electronics, i think its applicable to people too. 

Friday night I got back from a 2 week vacation. You read that right; two weeks. Hubz and I took an 11 day trip to London, England together. 11 days of eating what we wanted, sleeping as much as we wanted, spending time just the two of us, doing whatever we wanted in my favorite city in the world. It was heavenly. We walked (a lot. Seriously.) and we ate a lot of pub food. I drank my body weight in cider and ate copious amounts of good cadbury chocolate. To say it was "wonderful" doesn't seem to cut it. 

Before we left I was in a pretty weird place. At work I felt hopeless. I started getting panicky at night before work and having difficulty sleeping - something that hadn't truly been an issue since I started at my job. In particular the week before we left was really challenging. What frustrated me the most was that more than just being tired, more than being overworked, more than being stressed...I wasn't interested in the job. I found myself losing my patience with clients, getting annoyed with colleagues, snapping at everybody. Usually the love of the job, the deep connection with the work, can get you through the hard times. The last month that I've felt that way was the first time in three years that I have. It was unsettling. 

So I'd leave the office and come home and home life seemed just as tough. It drove me nuts that Hubz couldn't read my mind and tell instantly what was wrong. I felt on edge all the time and found myself getting angry with him easily. I spent a lot of days just being perpetually angry. 

And there wasn't a race to train for or an event to plan for. My workouts were getting sloppy and unplanned. There was no focus. And I was angry about that too. And feeling hopeless and lost. 

Suffice it to say the trip came at the right time. 

So I think now what I need is to re-set. I've put a lot of pressure on myself this year on a lot of different fronts. I've done a lot of great things. Sometimes that momentum can propel you into the next great thing. In my case, at this time, I think the speed of it all has left me a bit dizzy. So it's time to re-set, re-boot, and start again. 

So...what's next?
It's time to get back to basics. Right now I want to race and jump right into something. But I'm in this for the long haul, for a lifetime. I need to stop thinking that if I don't do another race right now I won't do another one. 

What I can do is take the last 2 months of 2015 and make them work for me. 
- I have about 10lbs left I'd like to lose. I'd settle for 6 of them. I will to be under 170 for Jan 1 2016
- I want to get stronger. I will go to weights class at least once a week through the end of the year. 
- I'll participate in the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge again this year to further both of those goals
- I'll continue to plan my weekly meals and workouts 

So there we go. Reset. New goals to achieve. New things to do. Time to go to work. 

Happy Running!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Looking for "It"

Well I missed last week's recap. I didn't miss it so much as I realized I had nothing worth posting about. This week was a little better.

Monday was a holiday so Hubz and I spent a lot of time together. I took Ellie for a walk in the evening to avoid total laziness status. It was pretty ridiculously hot too and she couldn't really run with me.

Tuesday I took Ghost out to brave the heat. We had a good ride and I felt like I was really going fast. Combination of hills and flats around the house and I just managed to get in before the sun started setting

Wednesday I felt terrible. I did not sleep at all Tuesday night and as the day went on I felt progressively worse. I'm pretty sure I had a fever but never felt like checking. I spent the afternoon and evening huddled up on the couch pushing fluids. I think this worked because luckily I felt a lot better by Thursday.

Thursday I'd planned to get in a ride or a run before volleyball but ended up staying late at work. Story of my life lately. Made it to our late volleyball match and worked up a decent sweat.

Friday was Hubz' turn to be sick so we opted out of Tennis. He got the fever, chills and headache I'd had Wednesday. We mostly sacked out on the couch and watched TV all night. Fine with me!

Saturday brought fall to the bluegrass. It was unusually chilly in the morning and gusty. After the football game (which we lost and I hated) I took a nap then headed out for a run. I ran 3.2 miles on my own then picked up Ellie for another 2 around the park. It felt great. I paced 11.24 min/mi for the run and only walked some of the third mile. I'm really glad I went out - though late - and got this in

Sunday I decided to ride. I went out before dinner and did 2 loops of the park. I made it my goal just to take it easy. I saw my pace was averaging around 13.9mph and chose not to care. I focused on relaxing and just enjoying myself. All in all i think it was a good ride

Relaxing is something i've been really struggling with lately. Work has been...horrible. I've been trying to figure out how to write on the topic because whenever I think about my life, and my work, lately I just get upset. We leave for London in 2 weeks and I'm hoping that will take some of the pressure off and add in some perspective. I'm really hoping to get in some good workouts next week. As my mood soured and my stress soared the one thing that was missing was exercise. I really want that to be a priority for next week. oh, and pictures :)

Happy Running!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tri Talk Tuesday: Race Day Tips & Tricks

Today I'm linking back up with Courtney at The Tri Girl Chronicles, Phaedra at Blisters and Black Toenails and Cynthia at You Signed Up For What?!for Tri Talk Tuesday. This week's topic: Race Day Tips & Tricks

Pre-Race - Quelling the jitters

Race day can be super stressful. Depending on the race, your morning-of jitters can be anywhere from 'eh' to 'AHH!'. Pre-race jitters are normal, and they're good in many ways. It's what gets you amped up and ready to compete. But if you're stressing so much that you aren't enjoying the race, well, that's just miserable. Here are some tried and true ways I have reduced my anxiety pre-race

1. Set that Alarm EARLY

Not a Great Example b/c this race started @ 11:00 a.m.

I know, this one sucks. Most triathlons start at zero-dark-thirty as is, and getting up early isn't everyone's strong suit. If you're one of those people who can wake up and roll out the door (i.e. Hubz, hate him) then just ignore this one. But if you're like me, my brain and body take forever to warm up and get going in the morning. I have to be awake at least 30 minutes before I can be trusted to actually do anything. I set the alarm about 2 hours before my planned departure time. This isn't just so that I can mentally get woken up - it's so I can eat! I like to take care of business (if you get my meaning) before I leave the house so as to avoid leaving the uncomfortable bathroom business to the nasty start line port-a-potties. At Muncie I woke up at like 4 a.m. and just laid in bed watching Netflix while I drank my gatorade and chowed down my bagel. It wasn't rocket since. But it DID give me an opportunity to actually be awake by the time we left. It also leaves you with plenty of time to make sure you have all of the odds and ends so you're ready to leave on time....

2. Plan Out a Schedule

I may be too type A for some people, but hey, it works for me! I HATE being rushed in the morning. Hate.It. Hubz likes to roll out of bed, get in the car, show up 2 seconds before the gun goes off and do his thing. This makes my skin itch and belly ache just thinking about it. The day  before a race - while  I'm packing my Transition bag and going through my gear - I plot out a schedule for race morning. This requires knowing a lot of things: what time does transition close? Is there a pre-race meeting? Is it Mandatory? How far away will we have to park? Figure out these variables, then work backwards:

2015 Race the Bridge Olympic
8:15 a.m. Race Start
7:50 Meet mom & Dad outside of transition
7:45 Transition Closes
7:00 Hubz drops me off @ Eva Bandman Park
6:50 Leave for Eva Bandman Park
5:00 Wake up for race day! Drink 2 bottles - 1 H2O, 1 Gatorade. Eat Bagel. Mix iced coffee

Now you've got a schedule, just reverse the order and voila!. It takes all of the guess work out of race morning and you really don't even have to think about anything.

3. Tell Your Sherpa & Support Crew How They Can Help

This is one I often struggle with. Friends and Family want to be at the race to support you. Great! They want to be there before you start. Um. Hmm. After so many years of competitive swimming I'm pretty used to being on my own at the start. In fact, I prefer it that way. With so many people around I get self conscious, 'Are they having a good time?' 'Am I ignoring them?'. It sounds selfish, but I need race morning to be about me. Sound like you? Tell your crew! My mom is always looking for ways to help me at races and I had to just be blunt with her: You can help me out on the course by cheering for me, smiling at me, and giving me positive feedback. Right now, I need to be in the zone. She totally gets it. Before we discussed was awkward! Be kind, be thankful and be appreciative, but be honest.

4. Set a playlist

I always have a pre-race pump up playlist. We usually listen to it in the car on the way to the race. Sometimes I'll just put my earbuds in while I"m setting up in transition. It helps me get focused and get my mind right before the race.

Post-Race Tips & Tricks

1. Pack Post-Race Clothes

Seems like a no-brainer, but add this to your transition to-pack list. I always pack a comfy dark colored shirt (because no one needs to see your boob sweat at brunch), flip flops, and some shower wipes. Nathan makes a great body wipe that I keep in my bag, but baby wipes will work too. Nothing feels better than getting that salt and sweat off of your face. Also - flip flops! Make sure you pack a comfy pair for your worn out feet. For longer races or if we're traveling far I pack my compression socks. Whatever it takes to be comfy!

2. Plan What You're Going to Eat

It's important to eat for recovery after a race. Also, FOOD. Some races I'm not that interested in food but some, whew boy, give me a buffet. Especially if you're out of town figure out where you're going to fuel after the race. I like having that already planned out (and often have a reservation in place) so that I'm not plagued with "where do you want to eat?" by my support crew immediately after the race. People, I just did a sprint/olympic/10k/13.1 - I don't want to decide things!!

3. Move around throughout the day

It can be tempting after an especially hard race to go home and become one with the sofa. Don't let it happen! Get up every so often and walk around. Stretch! Also keep drinking fluids (I think beer does count, in moderation) to help get the lactic acid flushed out. The more you move around post-race the easier it will be to move around the next day. Trust me on this one. 

Above all - enjoy every moment! Take every opportunity before and after the race to realize that you're doing something FUN! Whenever you start getting anxious just remember: plenty of people will never get the chance to do these things. Enjoy every minute. Be thankful

Happy Running!

What did I miss?!
Waking up early - hate it or love it? 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

What Just Happened? - A Weekly Recap

While I'm writing my recap I'm watching Desert Runners. It's insane. If you haven't seen if you need to get yourself in front of a Netflix Machine right now and watch it. It follows several runners attempting the "Grand Slam" of the 4 Desert Series (Atacama, Gobi, Sahara, Antarctic - one calendar year). This quote from the filmmaker stuck with me:

"Why is it that some people look at something and say 
'that's impossible' and another person says its not?"

Think on that. 

Anyway, here's my week:

See those two big gaping holes in a row?? That hasn't happened since March 18th & 19th. See that Blank for Saturday? Yeah. Hasn't happened since March either. So...what just happened?

This week is one of "the best weeks" for my job because all of the prosecutors go out of town for a conference. Court basically shuts down and we get three days to breathe. Also, my husband (a prosecutor) goes to said conference. My buddy Rania was hoping to take the conference days off for a little staycation time with her awesome family so we moved our Wednesday run to Monday. Hubz had softball so I brought Ellie with me to run. I felt bad because Ellie didn't let us run very much and I know Rania wanted to move. She nicely stayed with me while we power walked almost 4 miles. I love just chatting and spending time with her. She's so fierce. I took Ellie home and we zonked out until bedtime. 

I"m not really sure what happened here. I think there may have been weather? Or was it that I stayed late at work? I really can't remember. What I remember is that by the time I got home there was enough time to go out for a ride and...I bailed. I just wasn't feeling it at all. It's the first time in a long time I actually thought, "I don't really want to do this." So I didn't. 
I also walked to court in Teva's. Wishful thinking

I don't think that was the right call because...

I was in a terrible funk. First day without court since Christmas, I think. I thought I'd get all this crap done and I stalled and bonked. Stressful client meetings back to back to back. I was in a crappy mood, I was sad, I was angry, and I just wasn't having a good day. Hubz had left for the conference earlier in the day so as soon as I thought it was practicable (i.e. "I won't get fired") I high tailed it out of work. I got home and took a nap on the couch with Ellie. By the time I woke up the last thing I wanted to do was bike or run. I thought I remembered taking Ellie for a walk but...apparently not. We ate some dinner and then got in bed around 9. I hate to say it but I think I just needed to wallow. 

After a solid 9 1/2 hour sleep I woke up ready to tackle Thursday. Another long day at work without court. While I got a lot done, I realized how dependent I am on the hustle and bustle of court. After being a PD I think I'd find an office job as boring as mud. Anyway, I headed home early again and took Ellie out for a nice long walk. I knew I'd be gone playing volleyball for awhile and didn't want to neglect her. We got in three solid miles before she was begging to go home. I headed to volleyball and played pretty well. At this point my knee was really bothering me. The dreaded grapefruit knee. It was swollen and sore and, to be honest, super painful. But what in the hell did I do to aggravate it? I certainly hadn't done any physical activity! I iced it and took some aleve, hoping it would go away. 

After another good night's sleep I woke up at my own pace and went for a run. I'm usually super early to work but really reveled in not having a deadline to get there. It was cool and almost crisp when I headed out to the park and I truly enjoyed the run. I was so fast! And I didn't have to walk at all, which is incredible. I've really enjoyed listening to the Rich Roll Podcast while I run. That's how I found out about Desert Runners, in fact. Anyway, it was a great way to start the day off. Plus I'd already gotten my workout in so I could hang out with Hubz upon his return from the Conference. 

Why is it that waking up early to go ride/run an ungodly distance isn't too bad but waking up early to go to work is so hard? I had to work arraignment court so I had to drag my cookies into the jail at 8:00 a.m. on a Saturday. Vomit. I was rewarded though because we were done by 10:30. Rather than get some work done in the office I got my grocery shopping done and spend the day hanging out with Hubz (who has a cold, "bless his heart", and was down for the count all weekend).

Today totally made up for the rest of the craptastic week. Earlier in the week when I was really struggling I'd texted a new friend, Jen, about riding this weekend. Jessie out of town and most of the landsharks were doing ridiculous distances. Jen - who is amazing - reached out to me awhile back about riding/running together and this seemed like a perfect time. We arranged to meet up near her place in Corydon Indiana. Might as well have been Kansas to me. Beautiful place though, lots of farm land and lazy roads and small hills. Jen took me on a local bike route for about 26 miles and it was really nice. I was so lucky to have such a knowledgeable tour guide and strong rider with me. I really hope we get to ride together more in the future. 

  This ride was exactly what I meant when I talked about wanting to work on just being content a few weeks ago. Was I breaking new speed records? No. Was I setting new distance records? No. But I was riding in a beautiful place with a lovely new friend and burning calories in the process. I let myself be in the moment and just enjoy the ride.

After the ride I picked up an awesome Chopshop Salad for lunch and gobbled it down before meeting Emily to walk in the park. I hitched up Ellie and we headed to Tom Sawyer for some trails. Emily really knows her way around these parks from her participation in a local orienteering club. I really love the effect it has had on her. I can tell she's so much happier because she really does enjoy it. She's also lost a ton of weight. I happen to love her a lot. More than just being my friend, she inspires me. 
Ellie loves her too. 

All in all it was kind of a bummer week. But i'm glad to be starting this week off on the right foot. I randomly have tomorrow off and I'm looking for exciting ways to spend it. I have a date with my favorite second grader tomorrow night so I think i'm going to go for a long run somewhere during the day. Time to get back out there and find my contentment. 

Happy Running!

Do you have a buddy you ride/run with?
Do you like trails? I'm learning to!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Ghost is Fixed! and a Recap of the Week

Thank God the repairs to my beloved ghost were not intense or costly. The bike shop called Thursday afternoon to tell me she was finished. Of course, I wanted to know if there was something specific that caused the problem (since this is the second time in like 3 months). Joe, the bike mechanic and guru, explained that the derailleur limits were out of whack and the chain had been rubbing against the spokes. When I asked how that happened he said, "some people feel the need to tinker with things they shouldn't". Well excuse me Mr. Bossy, I didn't tinker with shit. That's what you get paid for. Anyway, she's back and I had a good week.
So close to breaking 100!
Went to body pump, per usual. Added some weight on a couple of lifts and boy oh boy did I feel it Tuesday (and Wednesday...and Thursday). I'm really liking this Monday night routine. I don't really have to think about it at all. Just get my butt there and the workout does itself.

I've already gone into detail about Tuesday's ride so I'll spare you this time. I'm still miffed.

Went to Cherokee with Rania and had a great little walk/run. We set out to run but...some days you're just not feeling it. We walked most of it but we walked almost 5 miles so I'm not sweating it. It was hot - and sweaty - and the walk felt good. I love our little weekly run and vent sessions.

I snuck out of work early to go get Ghost and head out for a ride. I couldn't remember what I had on tap for the night so I tried to go for an hour and a half. To my surprise I banged out 21 miles! I can remember when 21 was my long ride. When I picked up Ghost I bought some new cycling shorts so I tried those out. The difference between cycling shorts & Tri shorts is insane! Sooo much more padding

After work Hubz and I hit the Tennis court. I was playing pretty good but man, Hubz was on fire. I lost in a tiebreak for the first time this season. Oh well. If we'd played another set I would've won ;)

I've been riding on the weekend with my friend Jessie who is training for IMLou. She and a group training for another century were headed out to do the infamous "Pancake Ride". Earlier in the season the Tri Team had done the ride and I'd been told it was a little too advanced for where I was on the bike. Well, I'd definitely improved on the bike since May so it was time to give it a shot. They call it the Pancake ride because there's a little diner called the Chat and Nibble about halfway that folks stop and get pancakes at. Jessie had a big brick to get done so she wasn't stopping so, neither was I.

We headed out from Tom Sawyer a little after 8 a.m., which felt late to me. Also it was a little crisp to start, which was nice. I had on my new cycling shorts and stocked up my new Tube Bag.
The last time we'd done any serious mileage I'd totally bonked on nutrition so I was determined to bring the whole grocery store with me today. The first few miles were through a little city that was absolutely beautiful. The first 15 miles, actually, were lovely. We went through a lot of rollers, but the kind that follow right after the downhill of the previous one so they hardly feel like hills. By the time we hit 25 I was starting to feel 'over it'. I was in a pretty negative headspace so I just tried to talk my way out of it, which mostly worked. Luckily we were close to the turnaround at that point. We pulled into a gas station across from the Chat and Nibble and had bathroom and water breaks. This was clutch. I really needed to pee, first off, but what I needed more than anything was a break from the bike. My new cycling shorts were super padded, which was nice, but the chafing was still an issue. Good god, how can something be that uncomfortable? Oh well, nothing to do about it. Proceed on!
Before we took off I asked Jessie, "I think based on the elevation chart the back half is easier, right?" She nodded and said she thought she remembered that. Boy were we wrong. I can't find them on the elevation map but there were a few serious damn hills on the back route. Some grown men hills. Not cool. Around mile 40 I was fed up. We were going along at a pretty quick clip though and had some good downhill segments so I just decided to break it up into 5 mile chunks. Before I knew it we were heading back into the park, 57 miles in the books! We averaged over 13.8 mph which is incredible to me. Im stoked.
Today I knew I wanted to take Ellie for a walk. Hubz went early this morning and when he got back it seemed too hot. By the time I was ready to take her, I  wanted to run. I laced up and headed out not knowing what to expect. Oddly enough, it felt good! It felt good to be running. I did whatever felt right, which included walk breaks every 4 minutes, and came back after 2.5 Then Ellie and I did another loop of the park. Perfect recovery from Saturday's ride.

All in all I'm super happy with the week. I'm getting stronger and stronger on the bike which is exciting. I still don't know if I'm actually doing the OKHT Century in September. It's the same day as the firs home football game, so we'll see. If anything, I'm still riding and that's nice. Im happy to be on the bike and, quite frankly, happy to be following Jessie along on her goal to become an Ironman. Who knows what adventures are in store. I'll just keep peddling away.

Happy Running!