Tuesday, December 21, 2010

First day back

Today was my first day back in training. It felt great! I woke up at 4:48 this morning and hit the pool. I swam 2000 yards. Here's the breakdown:

300 warm up
8x50 drills (SO boring!)-- I worked on swimming with fists to help my pull
100 cool down

I was supposed to do another set of drills and a 200 yard cool down, but I skipped the last set of drills and cut the cool down short because I was feeling a bit mucusy...probably just residual illness.

I got home while it was still dark and wanted to wait until sun up to run, so I laid back down to nap for a few minutes...and woke up 3 hours later! Best sleep ever! I was snuggled up with the boys and woke up with Hanky completely on top of me with his head on my shoulder, his body across my chest and his back legs over my shoulder; the catface, Ramses, was on my pillow, holding on to my head with his paws, and Rudy was on top of my legs. I felt soooo good when I woke up and what a great surprise! Pretty amazing, since I'm not a great sleeper.

After awakening, I bundled up and took the boys for a 3 mile run. It was a cold, crisp late morning run but there was no run. The boys were especially happy to get to exercise again! It was a blast.

Then I spent the rest of the day writing :( Blah! Took a quick lunch break to my favorite Indian restaurant for a delicious treat. Fabulous food topped off with mango soft serve ice cream for dessert. Yum!

I'm so happy to be training again and am very excited about this Ironman journey.

Monday, December 20, 2010

super pumped

I'm baaaaaack! And super ready to train. I feel great and anxious to get moving. This illness was great for my motivation. Here's the schedule for the week:

Monday: rest
Tuesday: swim 2500 yards, run 30 min
Wednesday: Brick 30 min bike followed immediately by 15 min run
Thursday: 2500 yard swim, 30 min run
Friday: run 45 min
Saturday: bike 1 hr 30 min
Sunday: run 1 hr

So excited.

Also, just found out about a bike ride in May called L'Etape du California. It's stage 7 of the Amgen Tour of California...and you get to ride it a week before the pros. 100 miles with 10,000 feet of climbing. I know it's crazy but I have to do it. It will be epic! And a week after my half-ironman :) I love the insanity!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The antibiotics are working

Woo hoo!!!

Back to training Tuesday. Can't wait!

That is all :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


No fun. I have antibiotics and an inhaler to reduce the inflammation in my lungs. Hoping it's bacterial so the antibiotics work. I swear grad school has hurt my immunity. Stupid. Hope to be back to training/living next week. Pretty bummed but hopeful.

Monday, December 13, 2010

I hate being sick

I really, really hate being sick. I miss training and having energy and being able to talk....and I look like crap. Not good. I will do everything in my power to get back to training tomorrow. Here's the schedule for the week:

Monday: rest
Tuesday:Swim: 2500 yards, straight (this probably won't happen)
Run 45 minutes
Wednesday: Brick bike ride followed by 15 min run
I'm going to ride long outside, if the weather permits. Best way to celebrate a birthday!
Thursday: 1 hour run
Friday: bike 45 min
Swim: 300 wu, 8x50 DR, 12x100 with 20s rest, 8x50 drills, 200 cd
Saturday: Bike 1hr 45 min
Sunday: Run 1 hr

The weather here has been pretty rainy and cold but I'm hoping to have one nice ride outside this week.

Must get back to training, ill or not.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Still blah

Ugh...still sick. I sound like a phone sex operator (which is kinda cool) but I don't feel so hot. I slept for 12 hours last night and skipped both of my workouts this morning. I'll do them next week. While I don't feel 100%, I'd say I'm back up to 60%...much better than the 15% I was at last night. Hopefully, I'll feel better as the day wears on.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Must conquer illness

Rode the trainer for 30 minutes today. I was supposed to run in the afternoon, but I woke up feeling terrible today and then had an insane day in the lab. Last night I was so tired I fell asleep around 8:30, but then woke up and midnight and couldn't fall back to sleep. Hoping this illness I feel is just exacerbated by the exhaustion and that I'll feel better tomorrow. Going to swim and run, too, hopefully.

And that plan about swimming today? I realized that was just too much too soon. I have to trust my plan.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

longest swim ever

Yesterday, I joined 24 hour fitness so I could use their pool. I went for my first swim in over a month today. It was awesome! Since I'm officially IM training, I had my workout on a notecard inside a ziploc bag and I actually finished the entire thing: 2500 yards! This is officially the longest swim I've ever done. I feel great. A little sore in the shoulders but overall very good. So good, in fact, that I'm going back tomorrow to add an extra swim workout to the week. I need as much swimming as I can get!

The pool was fine. Small, but heated and inside. It's very shallow--less than 4' deep at all points. As such, there were lots of elderly and obese people walking and doing strange exercises in the pool. In fact, I was the only person swimming more than 5 or so laps. It's pretty weird to be the "swimmer" at a pool, since I'm used to being the slowest person...but I'll take it! Still trying to figure out how to turn in such a shallow pool. I'm used to 8+ feet. When I tried to do a flip turn, I wound up doing a handstand. Apparently this means my turns are not tight enough. I'll practice tomorrow.

I was also supposed to run this afternoon, but it's freezing and rainy, so I rode the trainer for 30 minutes instead.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Brick workout

Today I did a brick workout, which is when you do one sport and then immediately move on to the second. I rode the trainer for 30 minutes, then ran 1.63 miles with the pig ninjas. The transition time (the time between the sports) was a bit long, as I had to interrupt the dogs' wrestling match to get their leashes on and then they pooped a lot, but we had fun...and there will be no pig ninja pooping during the IM transitions.

I had an early morning in the lab today, including 2 mosquito pupae collections (gross, hot, smelly, no thanks) and then the department's holiday lunch, complete with a thanksgiving buffet (sadly missing pie) and a white elephant gift exchange. It is my opinion that all holiday work functions should include alcohol, especially if there's a gift exchange involved. The hot item everyone wanted was a polar bear stuffed animal that played music. I wanted to give a loaf of velveeta for my present, but decided against it...not everyone gets my sense of humor. Next year. My advisor's gift contribution was a can of monkey butt powder. She would understand. Anyway, the point of this is that I biked and ran after filling my belly with thanksgiving. Side ache city during the run! Now I know not to eat stuffing during the IM.

I was supposed to swim today, as you know from the schedule I posted, but it has been really cold and rainy here and I'm just too much of a wuss to swim outside in that weather...that's one excuse, another is that I hate, hate, hate the pool on campus where I swim. However, I cannot avoid swimming, so I joined 24 hour fitness, which has an indoor heated pool that's open for lap swim 24 hours. Pretty sweet and only a couple of miles from my house. So, I switched today's workout with tomorrow's and switched Thursday and Friday.

Feeling really great, motivated and excited about training.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Ran 4.31 miles with the pig ninjas in the rain today. Nothing exciting to report. The sun started to come out as we were finished, which was nice. This was the longest run I've done in quite some time, at least a couple of months. The last mile was definitely the best. My legs felt nice and warmed up. Looking forward to some longer runs soon.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

December 6-12: week 2

Each week, I'm going to post my training schedule...that way if I slack you will all know about it :)

This is week 2 of my 30 week Ironman training plan. The first 10 weeks are the base phase, where the primary goals are: "(1) to acclimate to the type of training that will follow, (2) develop an aerobic base, and (3) develop technique" (Fink, 2010).

Here's what's up for this week:
Monday: 45 minute run. In the future, Mondays will usually be rest days, but I'm making up for Saturday.
Tuesday: 300 warm-up, 8x50 drills, 16x25 with 10 sec rest in between each length, 1x400 with 60 sec rest afterward, 16x25 with 10 sec rest, 8x50 drills, 200 cool down. This one is gonna kill me!
Wednesday: Transition workout: 30 min bike ride followed immediately by a 15 min run
Thursday:30 minute bike ride and this swim workout: 300 warm up, 8x50 drills, 1x300 with 40 second rest afterward, 3x200 with 30 second rest after each set, 1x300 with 30 sec rest, 8x50 drills, 200 cool down. Yikes!
Friday: 45 min run
Saturday: 90 minute bike ride. I'll be in San Diego and can't wait to ride along the ocean!
Sunday: 1 hour run

Other thoughts: I really need to take some swim lessons. Maybe I can sign up this week.

1 hour trainer ride. I'm pretty impressed with myself for doing it because I didn't start until around 9:30 pm, after going to a friend's party, where I drank sangria (not too much, though) and ate a bunch of snacky food and lots of cheese. Made it happen and that's what counts :)

I can't wait to get back on the road and out of the house. Hope the weather turns around soon.

I didn't work out yesterday, because we went to our friends' wedding, which was an all-day event. We had a great time!

Friday, December 3, 2010

45 minute trainer ride today. Bribed myself with The Apprentice. We're going to a huge, all-day wedding tomorrow, so I will probably take the day off from training :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Officially Ironman training!!

I'm baaaaack!

Moved my bf and all of our household goods to San Diego over the holiday. Now I'm back in Sac with my two dogs, an air mattress, a table and that's about it. Can't wait to go to SD for good, myself, but my advisor is being a crazy, crazy nutjob, so I'm not sure when that will happen. Until then, I'll just focus on the positive...such as: I'm not crazy, crazy isn't contagious, I'll have more time to train, someday soon she'll have to let me go, SD is nice and I get to live there for the rest of my life.

So, yesterday I realized that I screwed up when putting the 30 week Ironfit IM training plan into my calendar and missed two weeks somewhere. I thought I was starting December 14. Turns out I was supposed to start December 1. Oooops! I went through my calendar and redid the entire thing so it's now accurate

I was supposed to swim today, but couldn't so I switched the Thursday and Friday workouts. I'm officially IM training!!!!! WOOO HOOOO!!!!!

40 min 38 sec trainer ride while watching Law and Order SVU today. I hate the trainer but it's cold and drizzly and I'm a wuss, so it works for short rides.

Now I just have to record my daily workouts! I've been recording on the BT website, but have to record here, too.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

eh swim

Swam about 1000 yards today. Not a great workout. My plan was for 2000 yards but I was super sore today from P90X yesterday and just had a rough swim. Body position was off, breathing sucked and my flip turns were terrible. Decided to call it a day. As I haven't been in the pool in a couple of weeks, just getting in counts as a success.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I remembered!

I almost forgot about the blog again...but I remembered so it's okay!

I've been working like a maniac recently and needed a break to recharge. That's what I did last weekend. I didn't work AT ALL (except for the insectary) for two days and didn't train and ate junk food. It was a cold, rainy weekend and I wore pajamas the entire time and snuggled with Luke and the pig ninjas on the couch. Awesome! Now I feel much better and more motivated.

got back on the trainer and rode for 45 minutes. The trainer is evil and mind-numbing but totally necessary since I can't always ride outside. The trainer turns my bike into a stationary bike. Next week I start a super-intensive trainer plan that will jump start my speed for the nicer biking weather and longer daylight hours. It's supposed to be crazy hard and I can't wait.

Ran 3.06 miles with the doggies this morning. Avoided getting hit by a car (wonder what that crazy a#$hole was running from?) and enjoyed the brisk morning air. Came home and did P90X chest and back and Ab Ripper X. That Ab Ripper is a killer. "I hate it, but I love it!"

After last weekend, I'm also trying to get back on track with my nutrition. Yes, I know, I'm small, I don't need to lose weight. I agree, but I don't want to gain any...that makes running harder on the joints and climbing harder on the hills. Guess it makes swimming easier...uh, not worth the trade-off. Also, I want to function at my best...lots of muscle and not a lot of pork. Started counting calories and protein again, which makes everything not as much fun. Determined not to be too neurotic, though. For example, on Saturday I'm going to a Halloween party and I WILL eat everything there.

It's crazy how many fat endurance athletes there are. My guess is that everyone underestimates calories and overestimates calories burned. If I ate processed food, there is no way I could eat enough to be full and stay under my calorie limits. Training makes me so hungry it's really easy to overeat. I can only imagine if I had a slow metabolism...I'd be huge! Thank you mom and dad for good skinny genes and healthy eating habits :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Oooops...I actually forgot about my blog. Seriously. Sorry! I've been a bit overwhelmed with training, lab crap, manuscript and dissertation writing and planning a big move. I've still been working out. Here's what I did yesterday: 3.06 mile run with the pig ninjas in the Davis Arboretum and a 39.81 mile bike ride with Luke from our house to the airport and back. Super fun. Everything has been about the same training-wise. I hurt my neck a week or so ago and haven't been swimming. Probably just slept on it wrong. In any case, I'm going to stop swimming with my current masters team and swim on my own until I move to San Diego. It seems like this coach spends too much time doing butterfly and breast stroke drills, which may make me a better overall swimmer, but is not helping me with my Ironman goals. Seriously, one arm butterfly? Complete torture.

Okay, I'll start posting every day again. No excuses!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday catch up

I'm super behind.

First, the big news: WE'RE MOVING TO SAN DIEGO!!! Woo hoo! I'll be heading down in December. Can't wait to live in the triathlon mecca and ride and run and swim in new places. Also, the experiment I've been working on for months FINALLY worked today! So awesome!!! Okay, back to tri stuff:

Tuesday: p90x shoulders and arms. I felt super lazy Tuesday and not super motivated but got through the workout.

Wednesday: 1050 yard swim. I had to cut this short because of a meeting. Good, fast swim.

Thursday: 27.42 mile bike. Fun. Easy. Relaxed.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Race day

Over the weekend, I went to Tahoe to race in the IronGirl Sprint Tri. My first tri in 4 years. My mom and I went up Saturday morning and rode cruisers all around and then went to bed early so I would be ready for Sunday morning. Overall, it went very well. Here's the breakdown:

Pre-race: woke up at 5:30 (normal time) and went to the T (transition) area for body marking and to set up my transition area. It was very, very cold--around 30 degrees. I wore my new DeSoto Forza one-piece tri suit. Super neat and turned out to be very comfortable. After hoping that I didn't forget anything, I put my wetsuit half on for warmth and headed down to the beach to await the start. Cold, cold, cold. I got down there a little before 6:45 (when T closed) and had to wait until 7:30 for the first wave to start. I was in the last wave, so we started the swim at 7:45.

Swim: 400 yards
The water was cold (duh! I felt like my chest was in a tight steel cage and I felt it for the rest of the day) and a bit choppy. There were a bunch of first-timers who had no idea what to do, but good for them for racing! Even though it was kinda annoying. 80% of my wave flailed around, making it nearly impossible to swim. I did a lot of breast stroke (the synchronized swimming, head out of the water kind) because I couldn't get any clear water until over the half-way point, where I moved way out to the side. Good decision because I was able to put my head down and go. One of the people in kayaks (volunteers who make sure nobody drowns) had to keep telling a woman near me not to forget to breathe. She kept making loud howling drama queen noises...kinda funny. Note to self: stop laughing while swimming! Finally made it out of the water in 10:40. Super slow, but given the circumstances, I'm okay with it. Only minor panic and a few gallons of lake water swallowed (would come back to haunt me on the run).

Transition 1
The T area was around a quarter of a mile from the swim site. As, I was in the last wave, lots of people were already on the bike when I started the swim. Anyway, jogged to T1, dropped the wetsuit and put on my bike gear. Trotted awkwardly (it's really hard to run in bike shoes!) to the mount line and got on my bike. Go time!

Bike: 15 miles
This was, by far, my best leg! The majority of the 500 athletes were already biking, so I had lots of people to pass. The bike course was East on Hwy 50 from stateline into Nevada. Lots of rolling hills and a couple of good climbs. I hauled ass (for me)--averaged 19.66 mph, even with the hills. I passed, literally, hundreds of people and never got passed. In fact, people came up to me after the race to comment on my biking and legs :)
Finished in around 45 minutes. Pretty fun to do a short, fast ride.

Uneventful. T1 and T2 were in the same place. Racked my bike, changed shoes, put on my visor with the tiara attached and took off. Heard a few people comment on how strong I looked. Yes!

Run: 3.11 miles
Unfortunately, the lake water came to haunt me at this point and I had a major side ache the entire time. Lots of super attractive burping. I was kind of a weenie and walked up a couple of hills, which I would never normally do in a short run. Finished with a 9:22 pace. Not bad. Definitely could have and should have finished faster and pushed harder. I'm just not used to racing short runs. Need to alter my pacing accordingly.

Total time: 1:37, 14th place out of 80 or 90 in age group, nearly 500 people started and only 379 finished. I was 70-something overall.

Felt great. Ate some chow and waited around for the last athlete to finish the bike portion so I could take my stuff out of transition. I'm ready to race more and need to so I'm better prepared for the swim. Drove back home and lazed around. Big bruise and cut on the inside of my knee. I thought my race number cut me during the bike portion, but the bruise is confusing. Maybe I got kicked during the swim?

I'm still tired today, which surprises me, as I'm not usually tired from 1.5 hours, but maybe the traveling and swim stress got to me :) Skipped my swim, even though I woke up early and put my suit on. Went back to bed. Went to work. Fell asleep when I got home. Weird.

Gearing up this week to spend another weekend in Tahoe for the 72 mile bike race around the entire lake. Can't wait!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Swim drill day

I swam 1300 yards this morning, pretty much all drills.
400 warm up: 100 free, 100 with right hand in fist, 100 with left hand in fist, 100 free
6x50: kick drills
12x50: increasing intensity

I nailed my flip turns today. Finally! Definitely helps with endurance.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday pool day

Finally! The pool is open on a Monday. Fantastic swim. Best ever. 1950 yards. This is my longest swim in a pool and just short of my longest swim ever (the longest was the swim in my half-IM, in which I doggie paddled a good portion). Very difficult. It was a mixture of drills, freestyle and IMs. An IM is one length butterfly, one length backstroke, one length breaststroke and one length free and then repeat as many times as necessary in that order. So, if you were doing a 200 IM in a 25 yard pool (like me), you would do that twice. It's really, really hard, especially the butterfly, which is evil. The main set of my swim was a pyramid, with alternating freestyle and IM. So, the lengths were 50 yards, 100 yards, 150 yards, 200 yards, 250 yards, 200 yards, 150 yards, 100 yards, 50 yards. The odds (50, 150, 250) were freestyle and the evens (100, 200) were IM.

I'm still exhausted but pretty pleased with myself.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Weekend tallies

What a fun weekend!

Saturday: 50 mile bike ride. Started in Folsom, rode out to Auburn, down through Cool and back to Folsom. 3400 feet of climbing. This was the ride that I got heatstroke on and couldn't finish last time. This time I felt great. Super challenging ride, but awesome. Ate a delicious Moroccan feast to refuel :)

Sunday: 2.3 mile run with the pig ninjas. Short but fast. First mile 9 minutes, second 8 minutes, last 0.3 7 minute mile pace. Then massage. My normal guy was booked so I went with someone else since it was kinda last minute. Bad decision. He was terrible. 90 minutes of blah. I knew I was in trouble right from the start when he didn't know what an IT band was. Ugh. He inspired me to compile the following list (though he does not possess all of the following qualities):

Bad qualities for a masseuse:
1. super hairy arms. It felt like he was rubbing my back with steel wool. It made my skin peel (thanks Monday long ride sunburn) and I kept imagining long snakeskin-like Ash skin in his arm hair. This made me snicker.
2. a fat belly. One time I received a massage from a very fat man. His stomach touched me every time he leaned over. Super gross. Luke said, "What if his shirt was barely long enough and every time he bent over, his hairy stomach rubbed on you?" Thanks, pookie. Truly disgusting. Of course, this was said by the same man who I once overheard say, "Rudy, you don't get any peanut butter. You sniff butts," to the dog.
3. mucus-y breathing. Okay, I know you can't help being sick, but if I can hear mucus rattling around in your sinuses, it's not relaxing me and you should probably stay home and blow your nose, especially if you keep making loogie (how in the world do you spell that?) making noises. You can help that.
4. constant chatter. Shut the F up! Thanks.

This was a great week for training. I'm looking forward to another good week, including my first triathlon in years next Sunday in Tahoe!

Friday, September 10, 2010

1550 yard swim today. First time in the pool in over 3 weeks and I could tell. More tired than usual, but I know it will get better.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Lazy Thursday

I was definitely supposed to work out today, but I just didn't want to, so I didn't. I wrote all day and when I'm in nerd mode, jock mode doesn't get any action.

Every year, my best friend from high school (Rachel) and I do a marathon or half-marathon together. We've done the Pacific Shoreline marathon, the Seattle Rock n Roll marathon, the country music half-marathon and now...we've signed up for the Mardi Gras half-marathon next February. Can't wait. We're kinda suckers for the Rock n Roll series, as we like to pose with the bands at every mile. In general, we wear tutus and tiaras, but, as this is a Mardi Gras race, we're going to up the ante a little. I'm thinking tutus (rainbow, of course), feather headdress and body paint on the torso to look like a Mardi Gras mask (eyes on the tatas, supportive garment underneath, of course). I think it will be the best adventure yet. Still trying to convince my bestie from college (Brenda) to join in the debauchery.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Quick 2 mile run with the pig ninjas today. Super windy and cool, for a change.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday

I've been bad, bad, bad at blogging for a few days. Here's what I've been doing:

Friday: skipped everything and went to San Francisco. Ate dinner at Incanto and chatted with Chef Chris Cosentino. Fabulous.

Saturday: planned rest day. Decided to stay on schedule even though I took the day before off...a little rest never hurt anyone ;)

Sunday: 5 mile run with the pig ninjas, P90X chest and back and Ab Ripper X.

Monday: We decided to ride for about 50 miles on Monday along the Sacramento River. We felt so good that we kept going...and rode 96 miles! It was awesome! We rode from our house in West Sac to Rio Vista and back. Great day. Windy, but we kept a good pace. A bit sunburned today, but totally worth it. Felt great until the last 15 miles, then I started hating everything, especially my stupid leaking aero water bottle that rattled and splashed gatorade into my face every few minutes.

It's crazy that 9 months from now I'll be able to ride longer than that, after swimming 2.4 miles and then run a marathon. It's gonna be awesome!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wed and Thurs

Yesterday, I took the doggies on a quick 2.5 mile run. No biggie.

Today I did P90X legs and back. Sore legs today...

Gearing up for a big biking and running weekend. Can't wait!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fun morning

This morning was fun. I rode 27 miles on the bike trail at a good clip (~18 mph on the trail, but my overall mph was less because of traffic lights and cars and stuff like that). My plan was to do more, but the trail was closed off, so I turned around and went back home. Once I got home, I had lots of energy, so I did P90X Shoulders and arms and Ab Ripper X. That Ab Ripper X is a killer! First time I've done it in months.

I feel great today. Lots of energy. Good sleep last night. Hungry. Exercise is the best thing ever!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Week 9 begins

This morning was perfect run weather. You know what I mean...sunny but cool and crisp. Shorts and a long-sleeved T time. I ran 6 miles with the boys this morning. It was the first run I've done in a long time that felt effortless and fun and I didn't want to stop. I could have run all day if I didn't have to go to work. Totally motivating. Also completely pain-free...probably, in large part, a result of yesterday's massage.

For years I've had trouble with my right IT band. Tightness, pain. Total drag. I had PT for 4-6 months a few years ago. It really affects my running. Now I stretch a lot and use a foam roller. Because the pain is on the right side, I've always focused on that side. I stretch both but spend way more time on the right. The masseuse, who used to be an athletic trainer, said my right side was super flexible but my left was tight. It's possible that imbalance was resulting in the pain on the opposite side. He stretched out my left side and today it was like I've never had IT issues. Now, I'm going to stretch the hell out of both sides and keep feeling good. Also interesting, I had knots in my biceps from doing pull-ups. That's hardcore.

I feel great and I'm ready to conquer this week. No more pain. No more excuses. Time to hit the ground running.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday strength

Today I did P90X chest and back. Good workout. My fave P90X dvd. This was a bad week, training wise. My IT bands are sore and I've just felt tired and dehydrated all week. Getting a massage today to loosen up the sore areas. Should help.

The pool is still closed. Stupid West Sac Rec Center!

I'm ready to hit the ground running tomorrow and have a great week. Lots of biking, running, and strength training (and hopefully some swimming).

My first tri in almost 4 years is 3 weeks from today. I'm excited!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Rest day pork out time

Although yesterday's run was disappointing, I still stayed on schedule with my rest day today. Instead, we went to the Eat Real festival in Oakland and ate A LOT. It was awesome. Also stayed in bed until 8 am. Pretty awesome.

Friday, August 27, 2010

baby run

Quick 1.5 miler with the pups this morning. Sore left hamstring. Not sure what happened. Lots of stretching today.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bike commute and the funniest thing I've ever seen

I rode my bike to and from work today. I had an early day so I could focus on dissertation writing this afternoon. 31 miles total. When I was about two miles from home, I went over some railroad tracks and Psssssssss...two flats. F! And, it's over 100 degrees out. Luckily for me, Luke was home and he came and picked me up. Tri Sherpa extraordinaire! Thanks, Lukey!

Someone on my online training group just posted this link and it is the funniest thing I have ever heard. Seriously, I have had this conversation so many times:


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

so sleepy

My plan was to ride this morning, but I could not get out of bed. I figure if I'm that tired (and not just procrastinating), I need the sleep. No time for a ride, but I did P90X shoulders and arms. I really love P90X and definitely think there's a place for it in tri training.

I would like to do a trainer ride when I get home tonight, but I'm not a good inside afternoon exerciser. The trainer is useful, but absolute torture. I've only used it about 4 times since I bought it several years ago. The trainer allows me to turn my road bike or tri bike into a stationary bike. Cool concept. High boredom factor. Maybe really good tv will distract me. Hopefully. One of my favorite cooking shows is on tonight, so maybe that will do the trick.

Monday, August 23, 2010

another Monday, another pool issue

Once again, I awoke way too early to go to my masters' swim practice. Lo and behold, the f-ing pool is closed again! After being closed all last week. Once again, I received no notice and arrived, expecting to swim, only to be told it's not gonna happen. Kinda pissed. This afternoon, I received an email, stating that the pool would be closed for the rest of the week. Okay, 2 weeks of missed swim workouts (yes, I know I could go to a different pool, but there isn't one nearby and the one near the lab makes me uncomfortable because it's super crowded and there are lots of professors and some of my former students there and I don't want to see them in swimsuits, nor do I want them to see me in mine, as it's quite ill-fitting) is bad enough, but on top of that, I paid $40 this month to swim with the team...thus, I paid for 4 weeks of swims and I'm receiving 2. Blah. The worst part is that I really enjoy swimming and miss it and need it :(

Instead, I took the pig ninjas for a 3 mile run. It was fun. A cool crisp morning that showed no sign of the almost 100 degree weather I saw this afternoon. The hot weather this week (100+ every day) has me rethinking some of my workouts. No afternoon bike rides this week. Instead, I've shifted all of my rides to the morning and will do p90x strength training 3 days this week. I've also decided to run and swim on the same days, so I can get more biking in. Good plan.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday workout and week 7 totals

Started the day off with a 3 mile run with the dogs. We encountered a parade of bikers (vroom vroom type, leather vests, lots of facial hair, etc.), which was pretty fun to watch. I decided not to wear my watch today, as I just wanted to enjoy the run, not worry about time or pace or anything. It was pretty awesome. After running out 3 miles, we walked 3 miles back home and just enjoyed the scenery. The dogs waded in the canal and we saw lots of jack rabbits (they remind me so much of Hanky Panky, it's crazy).

I considered going for a short bike ride this afternoon with Luke, but I'm still kinda scared of the heat. No more heatstroke! Decided to start up P90X again, instead. I did one cycle of P90X starting February 14, 2010. Yes, that's how Luke and I decided to celebrate Valentine's Day. We're very romantic ;) Anyway, I did chest and back and it felt so great! I'm going to try incorporate more strength training because it just makes me feel good. My only concern is potential soreness tomorrow during my swim, but I'll deal with it.

Week 7 totals:
Swim: Uh, none. The pool was closed. That sucks.
Bike: 80 miles, all super hilly. Lots of climbing. 6 hr, 20 min.
Run: 5.36 miles. 50 min. Might be overdoing this whole keeping mileage low thing.

Not so impressive. Next week will be better!

Luke is still in bed, so I may have made a wise decision in doing P90X instead of biking :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Blah ride, barf ride

So, I guess I'm a bit behind in my blogging. Bad! Yesterday, Luke and I rode a super tough, hilly course from Folsom to Auburn, down through Cool and back to Folsom. It was a rough ride for me. In fact, it was the worst ride I've ever had. I got heat stroke about 20 miles in and came close to blacking out. Headache. Dizziness. Shaking. Vomited several times. Made it 43 miles and then had to send Luke ahead to pick up the car. I was pretty disappointed in the ride, but I'm ready to conquer it next time...in cooler weather. The worst part is that I'm totally capable of all the climbing (4000-5000 feet), but the weather just got me. I made it through all the climbing but decided (wisely, I think) to stop about 7 miles before the finish so I wouldn't die...or be really sick...or wind up in the hospital.

Luke was a warrior. He killed the hills and is developing some pretty nice calves :)

Needless to say, I took today off. Run time tomorrow. Time to get back on track. The past two weeks have been rough: insomnia, lab insanity, heatstroke, etc.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

morning warriors

This morning I rode 37 super tough hilly miles before work with Luke. I felt off for the first half of the ride--almost like my legs weren't warmed up. Started to feel better after the halfway point. Super long climbs and steep descents. Practicing for Tahoe :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Week 7 begins

After several days of no training, which was terrible, I woke up super early (so hard) to hit my masters workout at the pool. Unfortunately, when I arrived at the gym (in the dark), I was informed that the pool would be closed the entire week for maintenance. Thanks for the notice! Grrr...made me grumpy.

The morning was salvaged by a 2.36 mile run with the pig ninjas. They were excited and it was super nice and crisp this morning.

I'm rearranging my training schedule for this week, now that I know the pool is closed.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

lab insanity --> no training

I've been stuck in the lab nonstop for the past several days. While this sucks all around (with the exception of the data I've been collecting), it has been especially bad for my training. I haven't worked out at all in the past few days. Feel super weird. Not sleeping well. Must. Train. Soon.

Tomorrow, back to the pool!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

swim + Dexter-induced nightmares

Swam 1550 yards today. For the first time, I really felt the rotation of the body thing click. Finally! Now I can make some real progress :)

Pretty slow and tired today. I didn't sleep well last night. Watched the last couple episodes of season 4 of Dexter (BEST SHOW EVER!) and actually had weird nightmares/dreams. Strange for me. I'm not a great sleeper (chronic insomnia for about 20 years...no joke), but usually it's because science crap is stressing me out, not because I have dreams where the Trinity Killer is following me around. I even kept the dogs up; they're sleepy today, too.

Tomorrow I start the worst experiment in the world, which involves feeding mosquitoes blood + virus and then dissecting midguts every few hours for the next 48 hours. Training will suffer. That's okay...back on track this weekend.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

killer headache=no training

I awoke this morning with a killer headache, so I skipped my planned run. Probably just because I didn't eat enough yesterday. It can be tough to take in enough calories and fluids when you're training a lot. The headache finally went away in the early afternoon after I ate a bunch of carbs and drank about 70 ounces of water.

Back to the pool tomorrow.

Monday, August 9, 2010

RIP squirrel #2

Good news: I rode to Davis for my lab meeting: 33 miles round-trip

Bad news: I ran over another ground squirrel. The second one in two days. Both accidents. My 5 year old self would be devastated. My 28 year old jaded self thinks it's just survival of the fittest and that the tard squirrels should be removed from the gene pool :)

Week 6 begins

Swam 1650 yards today. My coach asked me what races I had coming up. When I told him IM CDA, I think he nearly choked. I have 10 months, plenty of time to build endurance in swimming!

I'm going to bike to Davis for my lab meeting today (32 miles round trip). Nice way to sneak a bike ride into a day of dissertation writing :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Weird dream

I forgot to describe my super weird tri-related dream last night. It was a Perpetuem (sports drink with protein. Tastes like watered down soy milk but is easy on the GI system and seems to prevent bonking pretty well) commercial starring Lance Armstrong. He said that Perpetuem now contains corn. Like actual corn kernels. He reminded viewers to remember to eat the corn after they finished the drink because they were the most important part.

Yeah, crazy and weird. Ha! Corn kernels at the bottom of sports drink.

Long ride and week 5 update

I rode 63 miles today on the American River Bike Trail. Super fun ride. Here are some of the highlights (good and bad):
1. A man wearing see-through white cycling gear (gross) and no helmet (stupid) riding quickly on a road bike.
2. a rattlesnake slithered by me (scary!)
3. I hit a ground squirrel. It was an accident; the stupid thing ran right into my front tire. I felt a bump but then it ran on. No blood. Hope it made it. Not likely. Removal from the gene pool necessary for survival of the fittest.
4. Passed a lot of macho dudes today. Total Type A testosterone freaks who didn't like being passed by a small chick. They tried to catch up. Ha ha! Eat my dust, boys!
5. Averaged over 18 mph on the way out. Slowed down on the way back due to some sports-drink-gulping-induced nausea. 18 mph is my IM goal pace.

Fun, fun, fun ride!

Week 5 totals:
Swim: 3400 yards
Bike: 109 miles
Run: 4.41 miles. Keeping the run mileage super low to avoid injury.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Planned rest day

Today is my planned rest day. I am very tempted to run or bike anyway, because of yesterday's failed ride. However, it's important to respect planned rest days, so I'm going to refrain today. It's so hard! Instead, I'm going to go to the lab. Boo!

To make it up to myself, I'm going to ride long tomorrow :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Unplanned rest day

Today was supposed to be a bike riding day, but we only rode 13 miles. Luke had some brake issues and we decided to cut our ride short in the interest of safety.

Will ride tomorrow instead.

And, to keep things interesting, here are some pics of the pig ninjas eating ice cream:

Hank Horton


Seriously, is there anything better than dogs and ice cream? I think not.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Quick 2 mile run with RuDog and Hank Horton (the pig ninjas). Right IT band is slightly sore. Going to keep the run mileage super low.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wednesday double

I started this morning with a swim with the Masters' team. I swam 1850 yards in just over an hour, which is seriously crazy. We started with a warm up, then I worked on my butterfly and breast strokes. Very difficult. It's been over twenty years, literally, since I've done either stroke. There was a lot of weird and not very skillful flailing going on. The butterfly is SO hard! In fact, coach said the reason he made me do the fly was so that freestyle would seem easy in comparison. Very true! Good news: Coach said my freestyle looks good. So now it's just building endurance. I love, love, love the team.

Today is a dissertation writing day, so I thought I should squeeze in a quick bike ride before doing cell culture and then returning home to write all day. I rode 33.02 miles in 2 hours. Rode to Davis, checked some cells, then returned home. Feel good. Strong.

I will definitely sleep well tonight. Ha ha. I'm in bed by 9 every night and I'm up before the sun rises. I've become a 70 year old.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

2.4 mile run today with the pig ninjas. Felt good.

Toying with the idea of a bike ride after work today. We'll see...

Monday, August 2, 2010

My first Masters' Swim

This morning was my first swim with the Masters' team. In this case, master just means old...not good. At least not in my case. I've been dreading this day for a long time, but I know my swimming just won't improve much on its own.

I got up this morning around 5:30, dreading what was to come. I arrived at the gym before it opened and was in the pool by 6:02. There were only 3 of us there. Two guys and me. By 7:00, there were around 8 swimmers. The coach asked me how far I could swim without dying. I said, "About 500 yards." Then he told me to do a 400 yard warm up. What? A 400 yard warm up? That's normally my entire swim! After I completed that, he had me start doing drills to work on rotating my body as I swim. I'm not an efficient swimmer because I tend to swim "flat," meaning I don't rotate my body as I stroke, thus, my arms are working really hard without much strength from the rest of my body. This makes me slow and will kill my times and my arms down the road. He also had me spend some time working on my turns on the end of the lane. I used to be able to do this, though it's always been ugly.

Then, after the warm up and the drills, he decided it was time to try to figure out my pace. I was so tired at this point! I swam a 200, a 100 and a 50 at a comfortable pace while he timed me. It seemed like I was going super slowly! When I finished, he told me I swam at a 2:05/100 yard pace and finished with, "that's interesting." What's interesting? I don't know anything about swim paces. Was that so slow as to be interesting?

I got out of the pool after swimming for ONE HOUR! I've never gone that long before, with the exception of the Half-Ironman I did where I doggie paddled for part of it :) The coach told me I did a good job and that I was going to be fine. Pretty damn proud of myself!

When all was said and done, I swam 1550 yards today. I'm awesome!

Once I got home, I was determined to figure out what was interesting about my pace. Turns out, 2:05 min/100 yards isn't too bad. I think he was surprised I wasn't slower. Go me!

Here are the things I learned today:
1) I haven't been pushing myself in the pool.
2)Joining the Masters' team is the best athletic decision I've made.
3) It's not that scary.
4) I will improve. A lot!
5) I am capable of a lot more than I thought I was.

I was so tired this morning when I got home that I took a short nap before work. Nice!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Running should be fun

Lots of people tell me they hate running. I think these pictures demonstrate that running is fun. My goal is always to have a good time.

These two pictures are of my best friend from high school (Rachel), my best friend from college (Brenda) and I running a half-marathon in Nashville in April 2010. We stopped and took a funny picture with every band along the course. We had a blast!

This picture is from the Seattle Rock'n'Roll marathon last summer. Each year, Rachel and I choose a run (a marathon or half) to do together. We've run two marathons and a half together. The tutus made their debut last summer and we added the tiaras last spring. We also wear tanks with rainbows on them. What will we come up with next? Not sure but promise it will be obnoxious!

Sunday run and week 4 totals

Just finished a 5 mile run with the pig ninjas. I'm still really slow, but that's all right...especially since I rode hard yesterday. It's good to get the legs used to running while extremely fatigued. The doggies had fun, too, but they were definitely ready to be done.

First swim with the masters' team tomorrow. Definitely excited but apprehensive.

Week 4 totals:
swim: 500 yards
Run: 9 miles, 1 hr, 28 min
Bike: 108 miles, 7 hr 50 min

A big biking week. Overall good. Not enough swimming. Keeping the running miles low. Feeling better and better.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

big, hilly day

Rode 63.3 miles today with Luke and Michael BBMGB. We started in Winters and rode a loop out Pleasants Valley out to Fairfield and up around Lake Berryessa. Conquered Cardiac Hill for the first time in 4 years...not as bad as I remembered. I have not been riding hills and this ride is constant rollers with a few big climbs. Felt pretty strong and I'm ready to ride some more.

Getting ready for Tahoe in September. Also have decided to do Wildflower Long Course (Half-Ironman) next May, so I need lots of hill training to conquer Nasty.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Early morning ride

Woke up super early this morning (5 am) to get a 30 mile ride in before 8 am with Luke. It was cool, crisp, and awesome. We saw lots of turkey moms with tons of tiny baby turkeys and some gaggles (is that the plural of gaggle?) of geese. It's pretty awesome to be done by 8 am. Going in to the lab after that, though, is not so fun.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ah, rest day. So nice. Too bad I'm stuck in the lab/dissertation writing all day.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Workout #2

Woo hoo! I managed to sneak in a bike ride after work today. Unfortunately, it was super windy...like tires skidding and me almost crashing. Boo! Going to have to hope, hope, hope the IM isn't windy. As a result of the wind, I decided to cut my ride short. I was out near Dixon in the farm country and turned on a road that looked like it was heading back to Davis. So, I'm gripping the handlebars and doing my best to stay upright, knowing that I was heading home. Bet you know what happens next, right?

No, I didn't crash! But, the road I was following dead-ended into a farm. F! I could see a road parallel to the road I was on, just across the farm and assumed there must be a way to access it. Yes, I could have turned around and went back the way I came. Unfortunately (and sometimes fortunately), I'm very stubborn. Yeah, you knew that. So I find a dirt farm road and decide to follow that. Keep in mind I'm on my very expensive triathlon bike with race tires (no tread). I kept one foot out of the pedals and putted along very slowly. Yes! I see the road just ahead. I reach the road. Oh, f again! It's another farm road. Do I turn around? NO! I keep riding on tractor roads (all gravel or dirt) across this farm until I finally see a road with cars driving on it. After about 4 miles of farm roads, I reach asphalt. Yes!

After that, I just continued back to Davis, chuckling to myself about my off-road adventure on my super nice tri bike. Overall, I rode 15 miles.

Lessons learned:
1. My bike is really, really awesome and handles better than I thought. Yes, I trust my bike and my handling abilities more. That's good.

2. Stick to roads I know. Yeah, that's a good one.

3. Stop being so stubborn...not gonna happen.

4. Enjoy the ride. I did!

It's gonna be a crazy one

I swam 500 m this morning. It's definitely time for some coaching. My stroke is NOT good. Next week, I start swimming with a Masters' team and a coach. Swimming with a masters' team does not mean I'm a master swimmer, it just means I can have a coach for $40/month and will hopefully be challenged by all the other swimmers and improve greatly. Certainly a bit intimidated, though. I need to put my ego aside and do what will help me the most. I'm sort of imagining myself as a kindergarten level swimmer with lots of college swim team types. It would be super easy to focus on biking and running, both of which I know I can do decently and trudge along with the swimming...kinda like in college where you study the stuff you know and ignore the stuff you don't know and then are stupidly surprised when you still don't know material on the test. I did that it intermediate O chem and biochem. Not smart, especially when the test is an IRONMAN and you can DNF or drown! Yep, time to improve my swimming.

Recently, I've noticed that my appetite is BOOMING! I've always been a pretty good eater (read: like a linebacker), especially for a small girl who's 5'4" and 125 lbs. Never had a problem with gaining weight, quick metabolism. But now! Yikes! I'm hungry all the time and eat constantly. I brought two lunches to work today. The metabolism definitely loves all this exercise.

Speaking of exercise, Luke mentioned that he was going to ride today. I was so jealous/inspired that I brought my bike to work so I can ride after all this lab stuff is done.

Woo hoo!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Week 4 begins

Nice, easy 4 miler this morning with RuDog and Hanky Panky. Feeling much stronger.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Stats for the week

I've started keeping track of my distances for each week and will post them here.

Bike:53 miles
Run: 5 miles
Swim: 1000 m

Low mileage, but it means I'm doing the right thing and taking it slowly, especially with the running. I have a long time to get where I need to be but I'm feeling confident. I also took two rest days this week because of the toe issue and cut back on the running.

Can't wait to look back at this in several months and see how far I've progressed. Soon that swim distance will be 1/4 of a single workout!

Great, great, great day

I'm having an excellent day. I started with a 53 mile bike ride from Davis out past the Monticello Dam (Lake Berryessa). This was the first hill climbing I've done in over 2 years. Literally. And the first I've ever done on my tri bike. It felt fantastic! Hard but doable. My road bike has a granny gear, making hill climbing much easier, so I was apprehensive about only having a big ring and a small ring but I did it. In fact, when we (I rode with my friend and fellow entomologist Michael BBMGB) got to the top of the hill, we decided to continue so we could ride more hills. Bring it on!

This was the best ride I've had in a long time. I felt strong. Michael even commented that he could tell that I've been training because I seemed faster and stronger. Awesome!

Now I'm going to relax for the rest of the day with a book and lots of tv. No dissertation writing for me today!

Next weekend, we're going to conquer the dam hill and Cardiac and some rollers. Afterward, we'll celebrate with pizza in Winters. Already excited.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

2.5 mile run with the doggie boys today.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Rested today. Toe getting better.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Swimming with a sore toe

Swam 500 m today. Felt pretty good, but was unable to push off or do any turns because of my toe. It's getting better and I'm looking forward to riding this weekend.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Stupid hurt toe

Last night, I stubbed my toe on the coffee table and heard something crack. Don't think anything's broken, but it's swollen, hurts like hell and throbbed all night. Needless to say, I took today off. I'm going to take a few days off running and biking and focus on swimming for the next two days to see how it holds up. It's ridiculous that something as seemingly trivial as a toe can have such an effect on balance and activity.

Tomorrow, though, I'm back and will be in the pool!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Short run and the Grid

Ran a quick 2.5 miles with the Pig Ninjas this morning. Feeling better and stronger everyday. Probably start working on some speed soon.

Last week, I bought "the Grid," a new type of foam roller than can take more pressure and doesn't break down as easily as other foam rollers. It's also small, unlike most that resemble pool noodles. I've been trying to stretch with it every day for a few minutes. My main goal is to stretch out my IT bands and avoid injury. It seems to be working already. Today, I didn't feel any IT twinges...good news!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Week 3 begins

Swam 500 yards today. Definitely getting stronger. For the first time, I felt like I was taking long, efficient strokes. Almost ready for a coach.

Luke and I signed up yesterday for the 72 mile bike ride around Lake Tahoe in September. Can't wait! I did that ride several years ago and had a blast, although there is some major climbing and the descents can be rather scary. I was thinking about doing the Tahoe 3-day tri, but decided against it. The IronGirl Sprint is the weekend before and I'd like to focus on biking and swimming and not have to worry much about running for now.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

July 18

Ran 4.15 miles today with the pig ninjas. Mile 3-4 was definitely the best. I guess I'm not a short-distance runner, since my legs don't warm up until 3 miles in.

I'm toying with the idea of riding my bike to work every day this week...16 miles each way. It would definitely be more fun than driving, less expensive, and it's super easy ride, mostly on a bike path.

Other fun news: Luke decided to do the full Tahoe ride with me in September. It's a gorgeous 72 mile ride all the way around Lake Tahoe. Insanely beautiful!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bike ride and peach cobbler

Just finished a 50 mile bike ride with Luke. We rode from our house in West Sac to Davis, where I did some work in the insectary, then we rode west toward Winters and then back home. It's crazy, crazy hot here...around 100. I rode my tri bike for the first time in years (literally). It was super fun, but strange to be in aero position again. Definitely going to be an adjustment to get used to shifting and holding that position. My shoulders are sore, but it was a great ride. The best I've been on in a long time. My new dual chamber aero bottle was awesome.

Now we're heading to the Marysville Peach Festival to refuel with peach cobbler and ice cream...lots of ice cream! One of the major perks of distance sports is the ability to eat lots and lots of delicious, high calorie food and know that you've earned it and won't grow belly rolls as a result.

Friday, July 16, 2010

swim, swim, swim

400 yards today.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Rest Day and Foam Roller

After waking up sore this morning as a result of my massage yesterday (lots of knots in the shoulders), I decided to make today a rest day. After work, I went to Fleet Feet and bought a foam roller to stretch my IT bands. I looked at "the stick," but the foam roller was more highly recommended for IT bands. It hurts like hell but it's great.

It was strange to not exercise today. I'm looking forward to hitting the pool tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I decided to take it easy this morning, as I'm still adjusting to all of this exercise/waking up early in addition to my insane schedule. Took the pig ninjas on a quick 2-miler. No biggie. Beautiful morning. Ramses the CatFace left a mouse on the doorstep to greet us. I was impressed with his technique. Generally, cats leave greetings like this in just the head format or they eat the guts and leave the remnants. Ramses, smart and inventive boy that he is, managed to skin the body of the mouse, while leaving the entrails, head, legs, and tail perfectly in place. Impressive.

My IT bands (the rubberband-like cord that attaches your pelvis to your knee) have been a bit tight recently, so it might be time to buy "the stick," which is a foam stick that you use to stretch out IT bands and other tendons/ligaments. It hurts like hell but prevents injury. I injured my right IT band several years ago and it put me out of commission for months. Now, I try to start out slowly and increase my mileage gradually so I don't tweak them.

I'm heading to a tri shop in Sacramento tonight. Never been there and I hope it's good. I'm looking for new arm pads for my tri bike, an aero hydration system, and the stick. Keep your fingers crossed.

Also, I have a 90 minute massage tonight. Pretty much the greatest thing ever :)

Daily Double Part 2

After work last night, I met up with my friend Michael for a 20 mile bike ride. Super, super fun. It was hot and windy and, while that didn't bother me much during the ride, I definitely felt it afterward. Luckily, I was able to stop by In-N-Out for a milkshake to cool down. Fantastic reward! I could certainly get used to a morning workout and a ride after work.

I was so tired when I got home, though, that I climbed into bed around 8:30, fell asleep after reading around 9:30 and was still completely asleep when my alarm went off at 6:00 this morning. That never happens. I'm not a good sleeper in general, but lots of exercise seems to be helping.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Double Day Part 1

Today is my first double workout in a long time, meaning I have two workouts today. This morning I swam 400m again. It's definitely getting easier but I'm not very good at breathing on both sides. There was a super creepy dude at the pool today who looked like Michael Lohan and had a staring problem. I gave him my meanest faces, but I'm not sure how effective they are while wearing a swim cap and goggles.

I've found that since I've been sweating more (it's hot here!) and drinking lots of water, my electrolytes are slightly off. I've been craving salty food, which is really weird for me, as I always prefer sugar. Should probably make more of an effort to ingest potassium, too.

This afternoon: bike ride with my friend Michael, who just returned from an ant-collecting mission in Central America. My bike is in the car and I will be ready to go!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday Run Day

Because I skipped my run on Saturday, I had to make it up today. This morning was cool and surprisingly crisp as I set out with the pig ninjas. We found a new 3 mile loop around the neighborhood. I usually do out and back runs, but this loop was much more fun. Running is starting to get easier and I can feel my stride coming back. The dogs love all this exercise. They jump around like crazies whenever I put my running shoes on.

I'm still having a hard time getting out of bed early but I just have to keep on it until it seems natural again. I'm going to bed early but I wake up at 4:00 am every morning and can't go back to sleep. And even though I'm awake, I can't get out of bed because I'm wishing for sleep.

Tomorrow is my first double workout: swimming in the morning and biking in the evening. Can't wait!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Toasty Bike Ride

I got a late start on my bike ride today. My intention was to ride my tri bike (a super awesome Cannondale Ironman) and spent some time changing tubes, lubing the chain, etc., just to realize that I couldn't find one of the pads for my aerobars. I called around Sac and couldn't find anyone who carried just the pads. So, I decided to ride my road bike (a Scott Speedster that I've been riding for the past 4 1/2 years). Unfortunately, the pipe valve was screwed up on one of the tubes, so I had to change that, too. By this point, I'd changed three tubes and was just ready to ride. Too bad for me, it's July in Sacramento, which means it's HOT!

It obviously wasn't going to be a long ride, so I focused on riding fast. I rode for 30 minutes at a 20 mph pace. 11 miles later I was done and not too tired. Any ride is better than no ride. And, man, it was so hot! I'm not much of a sweater, but I was sweating buckets.

My mission for this week: find aerobar pads and hydration system. I've been admiring a two-chamber aerobar bottle that allows you to drink while still in aero position. And, with the two-chamber bottle, I can have both water and sports drink.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Rest Day

Woo hoo! A rest day. Normally, Saturdays will be a long run or long bike day and my rest day will be Monday. This week, though, the mileage is so low that a Monday long run is no problem. Going to spend the day at the pool with the girls. No dissertation writing for me today!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Afternoon swim delight

I missed my morning swim today. Usually the lap pool is open all day. Today, however, they closed lap swim early and then had a second session this afternoon. I'm a morning exerciser and if I miss a workout, it's nearly impossible for me to make myself work out later in the day.

After my afternoon meeting, I headed to the pool. The pool is much different in the afternoon than in the morning. There were tons and tons and tons of screaming kids everywhere. Screaming kids give me a visceral flee reaction. Yes, I know, this makes me a bad person, I should be more tolerant, etc. Can't help it. In spite of this huge booming voice in my head telling me to run in the opposite direction, I managed to to get in the pool. Shockingly, I had a lane to myself and had a nice, uneventful, very short 400 meter swim. I focused on less rest between laps and I definitely did better than I did last Wednesday.

My next swim goal is to breathe on both sides. I practiced a bit today, but it still feels strange.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Today I took the dogs on a short, 3 mile run. Not much to report. Still feeling out of shape but I know I won't for too much longer. We ran up on the levee road behind our house and halfway in, visited the water so the boys could swim. RuDog was tired today and spent the first mile with his head pressed against my left leg, making it rather difficult to run and then from mile 1.5 to mile 2.5, he ran right behind me so I was kicking him with each step. Guess he didn't mind because he didn't move. We were all hot when we got home and I drank ice water while they ate ice cubes.

My goal today was to start breaking in my new running shoes. They still have that super white, I'm not really a runner look to them. I made sure to run through lots of dirt so I'll stop looking like an aerobics instructor and start looking like a runner again.

The run was a nice break from dissertation writing. I'll take it!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Back in the pool

I finally made it back into the pool today after about a year's hiatus. Every time I swim, I remember how much I love it. It's relaxing, quiet, smooth...wonderful. I only swam 400 meters today, the distance of the swim in my sprint tri in September. After every length I had to rest for a moment, but I know swim fitness comes quickly if you work at it. My form started to suffer the last lap, so I thought it best to quit and not sacrifice form. My upper body felt much stronger than it usually does when I haven't been swimming. I attribute this to p90x. That workout is awesome and it works! Highly recommend.

My "coach," aka the author of the plan I'm following, makes it a point to state that swimming is a technique sport, much like golf. This always makes me feel better because I know that I have the endurance but my technique is lacking. The good thing about a technique sport is that you can improve rapidly with practice and drills. The drills will begin this fall. For now I'm just swimming, swimming, swimming. Might join a team later on so I can have some help with my stroke. One difference between swimming and swimming in a tri is that you try to use your legs much less when swimming in a tri. So, you do almost all the work with your arms to save your legs for later on.

This is definitely my worst sport of the three. IM CDA is a mass start, which means that all 2500+ athletes start at the exact same time. I've heard it described as a washing machine and you should expect to receive some kicks to the face and elbows to the ears. It's pretty much my worst nightmare. I literally stay awake at night thinking about it.

Three years ago, I finished a Half-Ironman that had a large wave start in the Russian River. There were only a couple hundred people starting in each wave and that was overwhelming to me. All I remember was people swimming into me, on top of me and under me. Seriously, I had a real-life panic attack and, as you all know, pretty much nothing fazes me. Except open water mass start swims and snakes. Both scary. But, to get over this fear of open-water swims and to prepare myself as much as possible for the washing machine IM CDA start, I'm going to practice, practice, practice. In the pool, in open water, anywhere. Everywhere. Nothing is going to help with the snake fear, so I'm just going to continue to scream every time I see one...even if it's dead, especially if it's fat or has an open mouth.

Swim terminology:
length: one length of the pool
lap: down and back (2 lengths)
freestyle: aka crawl, what most triathletes do during the swim portion.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

WTF is an Ironman?

I get this question a lot. An Ironman is a triathlon consisting of a 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bike ride, followed by a 26.2 mile run. Yes, one right after the other. In one day. Yes, over 140 self-powered miles. Yes, it's insane. And glorious.

A triathlon simply refers to a swim, followed by a bike ride, followed by a run. It can be short (Sprint), medium (Olympic) or long (Iron).

People ask me if I'm doing the "real" Ironman in Kona. That is the World Championship Ironman. No, I'm not doing that one. You have to qualify. It's kinda like asking someone who is running a 5K if they're going to the Olympics. No, but it doesn't make it any less real. It's the same distance, the same struggle, and the same pride. I would like to do the Kona IM someday, but I'm not ready to commit to that level of training right now. So, yes, I'm doing the "REAL" Ironman. In Coeur d'Alene.

The IM I'm competing in is the Coeur d'Alene IM. It's part of the M-dot series of races. These are very well-organized and are considered to be qualifiers for the World Championship IM in Kona. So, if you win your age group in CDA, you qualify for Kona. The pro triathletes compete in the M-dot races. There are other Iron-distance tris, but they tend to be smaller and less organized.

Baby run

My goal this week is to ease into training regularly again. This morning I ran 2 miles (yes, a total baby run) with the Pig Ninjas, Rudy and Hank. It was a gorgeous morning and I loved the run, but came to the conclusion that I'm miserably out of shape. It's okay, I know I'll gain fitness quickly. For some reason, I have a much harder time with short runs than long runs. The first 3-4 miles of each run are difficult but after that I feel fantastic. Endorphins maybe? Warm muscles?

My mileage for the next several weeks is going to be very low, with the goal of easing into training with no injuries. I have a tendency to jump into high mileage and insanity. Running a full marathon with essentially no training? Done it. More than once. A half-Ironman after 4 months of PT and only 3 workouts? Did that, too. Never again. I really want to be well-trained for this race so I can power through and feel strong and not just struggle through. An IM is enough of a struggle without adding poor training to the mix.

Tomorrow is my first day back in the pool in about a year. Yikes!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Registered for Ironman CDA 2011

I've had the registration date on my calendar for weeks...June 28, 2010 at noon. I was on the registration page at 11:45, waiting for it to open. Right at noon registration opened and I did it. I'm registered for the Ironman! Immediately after, I felt very, very nervous. But I guess that's to be expected. That night after work, I finished reading my training book. Decided to go with Be Iron Fit by Don Fink. His plans look doable. I've decided to train with the 30 week competitive program, which maxes out at 20 hours of training per week and averages around 12 hours per week. Although the IM-specific training starts in November, I'm going to start getting my butt back in gear tomorrow.

June was a bad fitness month for me, with commencement and my trip to Spokane. I don't think I worked out more than a few times. Not good. Time to get going again. To inspire myself (scare me into swimming), I signed up for the IronGirl all-women tri in Lake Tahoe in September. It's super short, but I need some sort of motivation and as much open-water swim time as I can get. And, I know it will be fun...all women races always are.

I'm also toying with the three-day Tahoe tri, also in September. I did the 72 mile bike around the lake and the marathon a few years ago. It was an amazingly gorgeous course. I'd like to do the 1/2 or 1 mile swim, the 72 mile bike and the half-marathon this year. My dissertation is also due in September, so we'll see.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Why have I started a blog?

I decided to start this blog to keep me honest about my training for Ironman Coeur d'Alene 2011. Since I will have to record all my workouts, knowing other people will see this should make me reconsider skipping a run, bike ride or swim. Also, I want to record this journey. I expect it to be challenging, frustrating and, ultimately, extremely rewarding. I'm ready for the challenge.