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Thursday, December 31, 2009

How's This for Hardcore...

Sleeping in my tri shorts on to wake at 4:30 and hop on the trainer for an hour-long ride. :)

What would have been crazier was if I headed out for my tempo run right afterwards... I'll save that craziness for next week. I had both on my schedule for today, but with the pending festivities, I'll be doing my swim, plus the run I should have done today, tomorrow.  I have to be flexible and balance everything.  So long as I get it in, I'm good.

So yesterday I went to the Endo.  Evidently I'm not converting T4 to T3.  I currently take Levoxyl, wihich is just T4. As of yesterday the doc is adding T3 twice a day.  So we'll see what happens now.  I'm going to give this a chance, but if it doesn't make a difference I'm going to push going with Armour Thyroid.  Maybe my body doesn't care for the synthetic?  I don't know.  We'll just have to see how it goes.  I just want to feel better!

My ride on the trainer this morning was uneventful, but my trainer is a nice ride. It's quiet enough to let the family sleep and hear the TV.  So Ellen and I jammed together this morning. :)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Trackwork - Tuesday

Just 18 days until the Half. I'm both excited and nervous. 

Nearly ditched trackwork last night and traded off speeding for something else. The weather was crummy, cold and wet and I just didn't want to get out in it.

But....by the time I got home it wasn't quite as bad out, so I decided to hit it anyway.

3 x 200's
1:35
1:26
1:20

3 x 400's
3:19
3:01
2:55

3x200's
1:33
1:24
1:21

Monday, December 28, 2009

First Week Conquered!

So I made it through my first official week of training!  I think I made my Mother's head spin with my coming and going between work, training and general holiday errands last week.  By the end of the week it felt good to have stuck it out.  I logged a total of 41 miles between swimming, biking and running. Definitely more than I have done in a week, but it really felt good. 

Yesterday was the "maiden voyage" of my new tri bike!  I still need a little tweaking withe the aerobar length, but overall I felt a difference from my old road bike.  As much as I loved my old bike, it never quite felt like it fit right -- so maybe that's the majority of the difference to start.

20 days until the Houston Half Marathon.  I will be glad to have finished it.  I start tapering a little this week. 

This week's schedule:
MON: Swim drills - 1hr
TUE:  Track / Speedwork
WED:  Off
THU:  Bike 1 hr, 30 min tempo run
FRI:  Swim intervals - 1 hr.
SAT:  "Funnest Run Ever With Chris"  (Chris is one the coaches and I have no idea what this means!)
SUN: Spin 2 hrs, 30 min easy run

My tri club is starting this thing on Sundays:  a 3 hour spin class followed by a run.  It will go 8 weeks -- through the cold weather when people are less likely to ride.  I'm starting on Sunday, but only doing 2 of the hours.  Eveyrone has to submit their favorite song and then is expected lead it.  I don't lead. 

Been kinda sick the last few days.  Yucky sinus thing... not sure if it's cold or allergies.  Just feel general yuck on ot top of congestion.  Funny thing is, if I'm training, my head clears.  When I stop, I stuff up! 

Christmas was good for me and my family.  Everyone got the things they wanted and I consider us very lucky to be able to have a Christmas like that right now.  Everyone's belts are tightened and I was delighted to find that I received a bonus. Just about a week's pay -- which was totally unexpected.  My company is on hiring freeze and we did not received a raise or annual bonus for 2009.  Also our 401K match is frozen until further notice.  So, the "gesture" was a huge suprirse!  Ironically enough it covered the cost of my new tri bike!  LOL

Saturday, December 26, 2009

"tis The Season for Tri Training!

This week marks week 1 of my tri training, with my goal race being the olympic distance at Lonestar

I'm excited and even though this was a tough week to start I committed and got in my workouts, except for Christmas eve!  I had "off" on Xmas day and figured I'd get it in after we took Mom to the airport, but am really congested and feel yuck -- I even set up my bike and trainer in the kitchen and walked back and forth past in, in hopes I'd feel well enough to get on it.  However the thought of trying to breath heavy with my head feeling like it was going to explode got the best of me.  :(

I feel a little bad about skipping the workout, but  I have a long run tomorrow (just 20+ days until the half marathon), so hopefully I will be well enough tomorrow morning -- I will get out there, even if I have to walk it!

My swim workouts were great... so much better than me just getting in the pool and swimming laps.  I actually did drills and intervals.  By the end of each session I could feel like I was swimming better -- I look forward to it not taking me 1000 meters before I feel that way!  LOL 

I've been keeping up with my track workouts too, and I'm starting to see progress there, in little bits and pieces.  It was tough, but I ran an 11:30 mile!  The whol thing... no walking -- to some that might be jogging still, but I have to start somewhere. 

My tri coaches have been great with answering my questions, and that's comforting.  You going into this being self-trained there are lots of holes in my knowledge and I am missing fundamental things one would think I would know already! 

January 3rd we're starting a 3 hour long spin class and run after.  Just for 8 weeks through the coldest part of the Winter here -- it will get us no-excuses saddle time, although nothing beats being on the bike.

Speaking of being on the bike; I haven't been on mine yet!  That changes on Sunday... I have a 1:30 ride scheduled :)

Last week I also went for RMR, V02 max and a Body Fat % plunge -- it is all helpful information, but there are some numbers you just shouldn't know!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Soler's Texas Trail Run - Huntsville State Park


First, I didn't seek-out this race, and I'm not sure I would have on my own (if I'm keeping it real, friends). That said, I had a great (and challenging) time.

A friend from Daily Mile decided to do it because her Husband was doing the 50K distance and just she wanted to take it "easy" and kill time while he ran by doing the 12.5 mile distance. She wanted company, so agreed to do it at my slower-than-her pace. Since I was up to 10 miles on my long runs, I figured what's 2.5 more, right? So I signed up. I knew I could walk the last 2.5 if I had to, but I also knew I wouldn't have to if I just kept MY pace.

Between then and yesterday my friend got pregnant (Congrats!), but she really had a cruddy week health-wise and just wasn't well. On the Friday before, when she finally told me she was pregnant, I told her she was nuts to do the trail run, but she insisted... the persistent girl that she is, which is cool.  There's a lot to be said for being tenacious, but I was worried about her doing the run. 

We had quite the weather change here in Houston. On Friday we had snow, rain and more snow.  Nothing that really stuck, but with the pending freezing temperatures we weren't sure what to expect, so we decided to leave early Friday night for Huntsville and beat any freezing weather.  Thankfully, we made it there without any issues (and tons of laughter).  Frankly the weather wasn't as bad as we had expected it to be, though we knew it was going to be colder than cold for these parts on Saturday morning, expecting a 22 degree temp at the race start..

We got to Huntsville and met up with some friends for dinner and more laughs.  A great time. 

So here we are, on race day!  I think the actual temp was 24 degrees.  Made no matter though, as we were more worried about mud.  Turned out we just had to deal with the cold; which was kind of fun.  The paths were pretty much hard and frozen... the frost falling from the trees made it feel like it was snowing. 

The 50K folks started at 7:30 and the 12.5 mile folks (me) started at 8.  I was really slow starting.  My legs felt heavy, but I wasn't worrying.  After about 10 minutes I started feeling better.  The trails were nice, but I could tell maneuvering the stumps and roots were going to take constant focus.  There were a few ice patches on Footbridges, but again kinda cool because we don't get that kind of thing around here very often.  I felt like I was somewhere in NJ during early Winter. :)

My friend and I made our way with intervals and she did well following me until about the 3rd rest stop (around mile 5/6 she couldn't keep her heart rate down and really just didn't look well. So, after some discussion she sadly decided to end her run and DNF'D. We had the TPW guys take her back to the finish.

So... with some relief that I was no longer responsible for a prengnant woman on a trail run, I was on my own for the rest of the run and had a little more than a 10K left. I was a little bored by myself at first, but it wasn't long before I was enjoying it.

Yes, you read that right.  "Enjoying it."

The "it" being running the trails. :)

I did take time to enjoy the park (it really was beautiful) and kept thinking, "I can't believe I'm running this event." I never thought in a million years I would do something like this, and yet here I was. I was cold, but not for long, and I felt good. I was sure to hydrate, hearing everyone remind one another how easy it was NOT to drink in the cold. I went through about 60 ounces of water w/hammergel during my run and didn't eat much more than a couple dozen pretzels between two reststops, but I was was feeling good.

My only frustration was finding my happy pace only to be interrupted by the stumps and roots. I mean, I was ready to 'tuck and roll' and had my gloves to protect my hands, but I was glad I didn't have to do either!

The first 10 miles were great, but I was getting tired; it was mentally draining to keep focus on the ground for safety's sake. My legs were already fatigued from the hills/climbs so and I had to be very consious of picking up my feet, instead of shuffling, to avoid falling.

One of my friends told me I'd never be so glad to see that last 800m of pavement to the Finish and she was right!

I have no race drama to report, I simply crossed the line in 3:23 by myself -- YAY!

So now I am certain I'll be able to finish my first half marathon in January. And while it wasn't a record time, it was distance (and challenge) PR for me. It's been really hard for me to see my progress with running, so being able to finsish, and still feel good at the FINISH, gave me that little bit of confidence I was lacking.

I did have 7 stumbles. but no falls (we were all counting!). In fact, I think I was the only one who didn't eat it (on that day anyway)... I like to "eat it" in familiar places I've run a hundred times... like when I run on my weekly brick training.

I did opt to wear my last pair of running shoes, instead of my new ones.  My last pair were stability shoes and they slightly over corrected.  I have since switched to a neutral shoe and things have been great; I just didn't want to ruin my new ones. As a result of my choice, I spent way too much time rolled to the outsides of my feet and I'm feeling it 2 days later, though I'm sure in a day or so they'll be fine.  Lesson learned.

I felt pretty good the day after; really the only thing sore are my ankles and my back, just a tiny bit. I headed out for an easy swim Sunday morning and that took care of everything except my ankles which are getting better.

Oh, and I would do this again... and maybe one day the 50K distance.  Who knows?  Anything is possible.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Friday Fill♥Ins

And...here we go!

1. Wait! Wait, don't forget your coffee!

2. Tequila followed at once by salt and lemon!

3. The trouble is people not being accountable to themselves and others.

4.I miss my family during the holidays; so many miles away.

5. With a faint pop the christmas light blew out.

6. Speedwork at the track, late evening, is shadowy and ominous.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to traveling to Huntsville, tomorrow my plans include a 12.5 mile trail run and a vist to Galveston, Dickens on the Strand and Sunday, I want NEED to get everything done I need to get done!


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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Thursday Thirteen



Just a few of my favorite "motivational" quotes authored by others... not me.
1) We are made to persist. That's how we find out who we are.

2) We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.

3) If you don't make mistakes, you're not working on hard enough problems. And that's a big mistake.

4) The end result of kindness is that it draws people to you.

5) The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be.

6) I define joy as a sustained sense of well-being and internal peace - a connection to what matters.

7) Of all afflictions, the worst is self-contempt.

8) Pain doesn't tell you when you ought to stop. Pain is the little voice in your head that tries to hold you back because it knows if you continue, you will change. Don't let it stop you from being who you can be. Exhaustion tells you when you ought to stop. You only reach your limit when you can go no further.

9) The simplest answer is to act. (from a fortune cookie)

10)"It's fun to be strong."

11) "Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever."

12) The spirited horse, which will try to win the race of its own accord, will run even faster if encouraged.

13) Character is what you do when no one is watching.
 
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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Let The Training Begin!

Track work was canceled last night so I got in my 40 easy run and ran the whole thing without intervals. I had left my hear rate monitor home, but my average was HR was 149 according to the treadmill, it included a couple minute cool down. Something weird did happen and it was a total mental thing. For some reason when I got to 32 minutes and realized I was still running, I all of a sudden thought I needed to walk, and did for about 30 seconds. I took a second to make sure nothing was hurting, I wasn't out of breath... all those things that might keep you from running. Nothing was wrong... it was a total mental thing. With that, I just started again. I had never run without intervals before!

Part of what contributed to that small victory was one of the tri coaches showed/explained to me McMillans Running Calculator

Not knowing any better, I assumed that if I wanted to run a < 13 minute pace for the Half Marathon, I would have to train at a  <13 minute pace.  Apparently that is not the case!  So basically I've been killing myself.  Not that it's all lost, I still earned plenty of benefit.  But on my long runs, I was basically "running my race" every weekend.  So, I'm changing my approach a bit and am going to use this caluclator as a guide.

With 40+ days to go until the half, I kind of feel like I lost so much productivity! I know I can't change the past, but the thought of what I could be doing now crosses my mind....
Swim 1500m:
200 swim, 200 kick. 200 pull, 200 swim

8x50 drill nice and easy with 15 seconds rest
25 drill 25 swim: 3 fingertip, 3 catchup, and 2 UWR
4x25 no breathing
4x25 fast on a :45 second interval
100 cool down

The swim was great and definitely a better workout than just getting in and swimming laps!. I definitely had "moments of greatness" where I could just feel like I was moving through the water, and not fighting it; it felt good! There was something curious about my breathing -- usually I breathe every third stroke, to alternate sides. Last night I found myself going every 4th stroke, without even thinking about it. For some reason it became work to think about breathing on alternate sides. I'm told every 3 is optimum, so I need to focus on that.

By the time I got to 150 on the kicks my legs were screaming, but after they rested on the pull set I was good to go, and actually felt good. As far as holding my breath, it appears that I can make it somewhere between 2/3 and 3/4 the length of the pool; I could not make it a full length without 1 quick breath. I think the whole swim took me 1:15. It was 9 pm by the time I got done.... I hate getting a late start to workouts!

I'm going for the "fat-dunking" (have my body fat percent testd), RMR (resting metaboloic rate) and v02 max testing on Monday.  I'm curious as to what my RMR is. I was going to do this test last year and never did.

Have my 12.5 mile trail run this weekend.

For Sale: 2003 51 cm Specialized Allez Vita Road Bike


For sale is a previously loved 2003 51 cm Specialized Allez Vita women's specific road bike. While it has normal signs of wear and tear for a bike that has been previously loved for 6 years, it has been cared for and tuned up as needed. It has 3 small nics on the main tube (pictured below), they are the size of nail heads, but the bento box covers it. which I'll include, if you want. This bike has been great to me and has tons of mileage left in it. It has seen me through countless rides, 2 MS150s and a dozen triathlons, without fail. :)

The bike is a dark burgundy with lighter burgundy zebra strips across the main tube. Very nice design... almost always received at least one, "that's a sexy bike!" at a ride. :) I am between 5'5" and 5'6" in height.

I will also throw in a (worn twice) pearl-white Bell Helmet and a Profile Design dual-bottle holder.  I have The bike does has a Body Geometry "Dolce" WSD seat and Time style mountain bike pedals. Hubs will put them back on the bike before it is sold. 

I'm only selling it because I finally stepped up to a tri-bike and need *want* to defray the cost of the purchase. I really, really love this bike, but I made a deal with "Santa" that I would let it go in order to purchase the new one.


I'm asking $450.00 with the stock wheels/tires
I'm asking $650.00 with the Rolf Vector Comp Wheels and nearly-new Continental 4000s Grand Prix Tires.

Here are the stock components as listed in Bikepedia

I also have a Shimano Ultegra Outboard Bearing Crank (bottom bracket included) $125, never used.  We were going to upgrade, but then bought the new bike!

I also have a pair of Pearl Izumi Quest II MTB shoes with less than 100 miles on them.  They are a size 8.5-9 (euro sizing) and have the cleats to for the Time MTB pedals that are on the bike.  Will give you just the cleats for nothing if you want the bike.

Frame & Fork
Frame Construction TIG-welded
Frame Tubing Material Specialized E5 Aluminum
Fork Brand & Model Specialized C-4
Fork Material Carbon fiber composite w/carbon fiber steerer, unicrown crown
Rear Shock Not applicable


Components
Component Group Road Mix
Brakeset Aluminum dual pivot brakes, Shimano Ultegra STI Dual Control levers
Shift Levers Shimano Ultegra STI Dual Control
Front Derailleur Shimano Tiagra Triple, bottom-pull/clamp-on 31.8mm
Rear Derailleur Shimano Ultegra GS
Crankset Specialized Comp, 30/42/52 teeth
Bottom Bracket Shimano BB-UN25, 118mm spindle
BB Shell Width 68mm English
Rear Cogs 9-speed, 12 - 23 teeth
Chain Shimano CN-HG73, 1/2 x 3/32"
Seatpost Specialized carbon fiber, 27.2mm diameter
Handlebar Specialized Women's Pro
Handlebar Stem Specialized Team, 26.0mm
Headset 1 1/8" integrated Specialized Mindset


Wheels (stock - NOT what is pictured)
Hubs Specialized aluminum
Rims Alex AT-400, 28-hole/32-hole
Tires 700 x 23c Specialized Turbo Comp
Spoke Brand DT stainless steel, 14ga. (2.0mm) straight gauge
Spoke Nipples Aluminum nipples