Sunday, January 24, 2016

Snow for Days (Weekly Recap)

Well, this week was anything but predictable.

Snow on Wednesday (yuck)...snow day on Friday...Broncos win the AFC championship!

So on the whole, not bad little surprises.

Totals: 3:35 hours, 26.9 miles, 2,174 calories

So while the quality of some of my workouts went down, I managed to keep the overall workout time about the same. 

Best Workout
The snow really put a wrench in most of my plans for the week. Monday it was bitterly cold and, since I was off in observance of MLK day, I hit the treadmill. It wasn't very exciting but "Making a Murder" definitely helped pass the time. Tuesday was a nice rest day and I definitely felt like my body needed it. By Wednesday I was ready to run again but it was snow and ice outside. So I opted for the trainer and thought maybe Thursday would be better. Thursday was super cold again and we were prepping for a huge snowstorm. Knowing we'd be inside for the weekend I opted to take Ellie for a snowy walk and I'm glad I did. Friday was probably the best workout of the week with a "long" trainer ride. I can't believe 45 minutes seems long but it sure did! My "Long" 5 miler on Saturday was  dreadful on the indoor treadmill at a crowded Y. I got there late and I was kind of grumpy about it but I'm super proud of myself for getting it done. 

Best Meal 
Tonight we had "homemade" pizza (meaning I bought a pre-made crust and put it all together). It was actually really tasty. Friday night we had pancakes and sausage and that, actually, was probably the best thing I made all week. Super boring on the food front but I"m trying to keep it boring and predictable! The real win was last night: I was on my way home from the Landshark Kickoff event and was able to bring Hubz dinner. He asked for McDonalds and, since I hadn't had dessert, I figured I could get a McFlurry. This would make 2 McFlurries in just about a week. Oh my. I pulled up to the drive through and, to my surprise, their ice cream maker was out. A sign from god if there ever was one! I had yogurt instead and it was (almost) as satisfying. 

No meal prep this week - I'm living dangerously! Hopefully I'll have a mid-week update to fill you in on everything but for now - Downton Abby and my true splurge....a Diet Coke. Oh lord, being an adult is hilarious. 

Happy Running!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Back in the Swing of Things (Weekly Recap)

This is going to be a quick one because it's halftime in the Broncos/Steelers game. Go Broncos!

Great job this week logging miles! Managed to space out my rest days and got in a swim!

Best Workout of the Week
Probably my long run yesterday. It was cold. I had every intention of getting up and going to one of two group runs BUT when my fitbit started buzzing at 7 I just knew it wasn't meant to be. Friday night I was feeling really run-down and exhausted. I've been on the edge of getting sick all week & I think I've only avoided it because I've been chugging water and Emergen-C. So I let myself sleep in. Great decision, at the end of the day, and I slept until about 8:30. Then I totally lounged on the couch until about 11:30 when finally got my biscuits off the couch and out for a run. Even at 11:30 it was still pretty cold. Temps in the low 30s and some snow flurries. Did a nice little out & back loop type route from the house. This time I decided to include the nice big hill instead of avoid it. I'm proud of myself for that. Really, I'm proud of myself for going out at all. It was a really nice, zen run. Also a pretty fast one! I did a 4:1 run:walk interval and none of the runs were over 12 min/miles. Woohoo!

Post-Run Recovery Accelerator - YUM!

Met my goal of getting in 3 runs and a swim - Boo Yah!

Best Meal of the Week
We had some good eats again this week. We had my favorite Trader Joe's pasta one night and sloppy joes another. I LOVE sloppy joes. Don't ask me why, but it's better than meatloaf on the 'comfort food' scale for me. I freakin love it. And it's so easy. I can cook it on a Tuesday night and feel like Betty Crocker.

Focusing on eating a bigger breakfast & dialing up the protein
Managed to stay away from the work candy again this week (for the most part). I'm also finding that I'm not snacking as much when I get home. Same goal for next week!

What's up for next week?
Since tomorrow is MLK day it means no work for me! Well, no court anyway. I've got a trial set Wednesday so I'll likely be working tomorrow but thankfully in a much more relaxed setting. Food this week looks like:

Based on what I hear from the other room halftime is over. Also, it must not be going very well. Oh well. Whatever the outcome, no work tomorrow!


Happy Running!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Looking Forward to Looking Back

The past few months have been challenging. In looking through the blog, I can tell that my frustration and  negativity has spilled out from my every day life and onto the interweb. For that, dear reader, I am very sorry. The truth is that this blog is designed to let me talk openly about this crazy athletic journey I'm on and the truth isn't always sunshine and unicorns.

As I've begun thinking about the year ahead I've found myself thinking more and more about the year behind. In the weight of all of the negative energy plaguing my life this fall I haven't taken time to really look back and appreciate what 2015 brought me. After all, the only way to figure out where I'm going is to really appreciate where I've been.

So lets see...What happened in 2015? 

I Became a Triathlete

As an adult I don't think there's anything harder than trying something new. With all of the struggles that "adulting" brings it can be hard just to do the things we do ordinarily, let alone add in something different. I learned this year that 'new' can be good. New can be fun and exciting and scary and challenging in a truly amazing way. That's what triathlon has meant for me. I wrote in October of 2014 about feeling underwhelmed with myself. The sweet sweet highs you get after finishing your first 'X' just don't seem to come after your 8th. Triathlon brought that back for me. Each new race, new distance, new experience made me feel excited about my own possibilities. That, friends, is a great feeling. 

I Raced - A Lot!
I didn't set out to race a lot in 2015, but I set out to race Muncie. Part of that meant building up the triathlon ladder. I did that by racing and it was awesome.

Rhoades 10K
Papa John's 10 Miler
Shelbyville Sprint Tri
KDF Mini Marathon
TriFest Olympic
Race the Bridge Olympic
Muncie 70.3 

I was a first timer for four of those races. Each one brought it's own challenges: from the rain at the KDF 13.1 to the heat at Tri Fest or the congestion at Race the Bridge, but each was a great experience. Because of my training and planning - and mental approach - I didn't have a single negative experience at a race this year.

I Stuck to my training plan
When I decided to do Muncie I started reading everything I could get my hands on. The first Tri book I read was Don Fink's, "Be Iron Fit 70.3". I credit my success to this book and the "Just Finish" training plan I got from it. The plan was 16 weeks - longer than most plans I'd attempted before. It included workouts 5 days a week with two-a-days on Tuesdays & Wednesdays. It was challenging, of course, but it never really felt impossible. I missed some swims, of course, but I think at the end of it I'd only missed one or two long workouts. I consider that a huge win. I remember putting the plan up on the fridge and thinking, "Oh God. Can I really do this?" It was intimidating!! 8 hours of training a week while working 50ish? I stuck to my guns and embraced the 'hard' and got it done. This mindset and planning really helped me tackle other challenges in my life. The mental fortitude you get from making a plan and executing it is really something. I'm proud of myself for putting in the work to accomplish my goals

I Learned to Bike
Anyone who followed the blog in 2015 knows what an odyssey this was. I hadn't ridden a bike since I was 12. At least. Learning as an adult has a brand new sense of "ugh" because....well, it just does! Your sense of fear is heightened, I think. There are real consequences to breaking your arm/leg/collarbone in the adult world. And also, it hurts.When I toed the line at Muncie I'd had my bike less than a year. I spent the winter getting comfortable peddling the damn thing, but then in the spring I jut rode. I rode a lot. I got comfortable riding in groups, going out with the Louisville Bicycle Club on Saturday mornings. I completed 3 50+ mile rides at the end of 2015. I didn't have any serious crashes. 

I logged a lot of miles
I often find myself comparing my athleticism or my fitness to prior years. Back in 2009 when I did the Flying Pig I ran long and fast often. I've never been able to get that fast again. In 2012 I logged a ton of miles and dropped some serious weight in anticipation of a marathon and a wedding. Looking back at 2013 and 2014 it's no wonder the weight came back on - I wasn't committing to anything! Just comparing 2014 to 2015 I seriously upped my game.
I increased my swim and bike miles 10 fold while still logging more running. Obviously that's a natural consequence of training for a 70.3. Still, looking at the raw data and seeing in black and white my improvement is pretty spectacular.

I had a lot of fun
I did. I really did. It was hard, and there were tough times where I thought, "Fuck it". But I really had fun. I met a lot of really neat, nice people. So many folks in the Tri Club were so good to me and I look forward to repaying that this year. Most of all, I think I got reacquainted with me. I don't think I realized how bogged down and stressed I was. I don't think I realized how miserable I was. My day to day work is filled with so much negative. So much "No". So many limits to what I can do. To be able to leave here every day and push past my limits was a god send. 2015 put me to the test and what I found that underneath I'm not the lazy slob I thought I was.
I am confident, I am capable, and I am a rockstar.

Thank you, 2015. You were a lot of fun. Now lets see what 2016 had for me.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Starting Off Right (Weekly Recap)

Happy 2016 indeed!

First week of 2016 and first week of a new training plan for my spring races. Altogether I think things went pretty well.

Best Workout of the Week
This new training schedule is gonna take some getting used to. I liked my Iron Fit plan and it's Monday/Friday off-day scheme. That really seemed to work and keep me rested after harder workouts. This plan has me resting Tuesday, Thursday & (sort of) Sunday. The best workout was probably Wednesday's run with the work girls. Rania was feeling crappy so Emily and I headed out together. She was totally sandbagging, talking about how she hadn't run in awhile yada yada yada. She smoked me! She was really moving, but I kept up just fine. I like running with her and with Rania. It's really nice to run with someone else and it's great to get to chat with ladies I like so much. 

Best Meal of the Week
We had a lot of pretty normal meals this week. Friday night we had drinks at a new(ish) restaurant in town called "Le Moo". There was a cow theme which I loved. Neither one of us were super hungry - having each eaten out for lunch - so we went for appetizers. We had Prince Edward Island Mussels steamed in white wine and sriracha and double "dunked" fries with a ranch and sriracha ketchup. Wow. SO good. I love mussels and these didn't disappoint. They were a bit spicy but great otherwise. Plus some good local bread for sopping up the rest of the broth. 

I also had their variation of a Moscow mule. Yum.

I also happened to lose almost 2 lbs this week - Huzzah! Now granted it was probably just christmas weight BUT loss is loss is loss and I'm happy about it. 

Next Week
Here's what I'm gonna eat for the week

I'm hoping to get in three runs and a swim. I did really well last week with snacking and work candy - a trend I'd really like to keep up. Discipline and lots and lots of tea seem to be the trick! 

Time to get to it.

Happy Running!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Folks! Sorry for the absence - the holidays tend to get crazy. From the 17th to the 2nd I felt like I was non-stop. For once, it was good busy though. Holiday Parties, my birthday, three random days of work and then 11 blissful days of vacation. It was marvelous. I wasn't completely sedentary either, check it out:

Week of 12/21 - 12/27
Week of 12/28 - today

Favorite Workout
Difficult to decide. The swim today was pretty good - mostly because I got to play with all of my new gear! (and it just happened and the 12/21 run was damn near 2 weeks ago..) Anyway. I got some awesome new gear for Christmas and a lot of it was swim related.
Out with the old - in with the new!
I also got a sweet new AudioFlood iPod to replace my H20 Audio set. The little lock on it busted the week before Muncie and I've been tunes-less ever since. I was super excited to try out AudioFlood after reading Swim Bike Mom's awesome review. It didn't disappoint! It's literally just an iPod shuffle and it clips on your goggles. Technology guys, it's real. It's awesome.

I also got some new fins - yay kicking! I forgot I'd ordered short blade fins. This means that they're more about fixing your kick technique and increasing strength then they are about helping to propel you through the water. Oy. My hamstrings were screaming during the first couple of 50s but subsided after awhile. I noticed that when I swim with fins it allows me to be super intentional about my upper body and body positioning. Guess that's what happens when you're not relying solely on your upper body for buoyancy and propulsion. Who knew!

I also loved my birthday run. For the last few years I've made it a point to get in a run on my birthday and it's a really wonderful tradition. This year I got to run with Rania since Wednesday was a short day. It was kinda rainy and chilly but it was a good run nonetheless. I'm really looking forward to sunlight sticking around later so we can keep running

Favorite Food
Super hard to pick. Not necessarily because everything I've eaten in the last two weeks was good. It's just...oh lord everything I've eaten in the last two weeks.

For starters, there was this amazing vat of ham salad my mom brought me for my birthday.
I.Love.Ham Salad. Not a huge ham fan otherwise, but this stuff is golden. And this particular variety comes from a lady she works with who has a farm. Thank you, Wilbur, for your delicious salad-y goodness.

Christmas dinner was good, Christmas brunch was good. Christmas dinner at my mother in law's was good, as was everything else we ate. I tried not to over do it. My goal at my in-laws was basically just to stay hydrated. Drink as much water as possible and run every day. I basically got that done. AND this year I didn't have any tummy troubles over the holidays, which is huge. I owe it to Good Belly (and some to my good sense, but not much).

So what's next?

- Currently setting my training plan for the Run the Bluegrass and Kentucky Derby Festival Half Marathons! I can't for the life of me find my training plan from last year. Must've gone without one #Beast
- Finishing a post to sum up last year. I have a lot of thoughts about last year - some good, some bad, and I should probably put them down before...
- Finishing a post about next year! Time to set down some goals and plan ahead for 2016

So there's the plan for the week. Lets get to it.

Happy Running!