Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Training Update

I'm making a tee shirt that says "My Coach Made Me Do It" or "Blame it on my coach...I do" Seems apropos somehow. May make up for the psychic scarring I'm experiencing trying to breast stroke with a pull buoy between my knees (I simply don't BEND that way!) or finishing 4 x 50 of butterfly kick with a board (oh my abs oh my abs oh my abs).

But back to the update.

I still love it, even when I take pot shots at my coach. She keeps me honest and I've been more excited about triathlon than I was when I first learned about this crazy little "activity." (Pshaw...activity...more like obsession.) Every single stinking day I look forward to seeing what's on deck for me. I log onto my Training Peaks multiple (multiple!) times a day just to review my week and check my progress. And the mileage isn't high yet and the frequency of sessions isn't crazy, but the MOTIVATION to engage in the process is huge.

For example. Last week I had a day that was 100% craptastic. In fact, I've had a number of them recently that I won't bore you with (I mean really, is every single wedding reception venue booked from here until the end of time? I waited 34 years to get married and you're booked??). But I hit the water BECAUSE SHE TOLD ME TO and I fended off the umpteenth swim coach who wanted me to move for the umpteenth time so her girls could have more room. And I was cranky and focused.

We've all had those days, right? So, I did my drills and it cleared my mind. I kicked and played the catch up game and kicked some more. And I launched into my descending 100s and I ABSOLUTELY.ROCKED.THE.HIZZOUSE in that nice leetle lane in that nice leetle Y in my nice leetle town. Dropped 4 seconds off each one. Each one.

Training helps. Doing what your coach says helps. And, as the Elf said when I reported my little coup de grace in the pool... we haven't even started yet!

Anyway, I digress. Here's the stats for the past two weeks, to keep me honest. I may be taking some time off from blogging, but public accountability (read: shame) is an excellent motivator. Plus, I may not be writing a lot, but I'm still making sure that the guest bedroom is covered with stinky, wet clothes. Mighty M is thrilled.

Month: November
Week: 3rd

Run (0:40/3 miles)
Flat, fast feet drills

Strength (0:40)
AA phase, low weight/high reps

Swim (0:20/1000)
Drills only -- kicked out before finishing session

Bike (1:15/30 miles)
Spin ups, cadence drills

Run (0:40/3.5 miles)
Rolling course


Run (0:45/3.5 miles)
Rolling course, push hills slightly

Swim (1:00/1900)
Drills, IM drills, Descending 100s

Missed Bike
Needed rest day and feeling exhausted.

Month: November
Week: 2nd

Run (0:35/2.6m)
Flat, focus on cadence

Swim (1:00/2000)
Drills, golf, steady swim

Bike (1:15/27.5)

Run (0:40/2)


Bike (1:30/37.75)

Swim (1:00/2000)
Drills, 100s

Swim: 13,200 yards
Bike: 98.91 miles
Run: 20.1 miles
Actual time: 17:39

[Oh, and btw, this may look like blogging and it may smell like blogging,
but it's not blogging, because I'm still on va-ca-tione.
As you were.]

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Takin' to Vacatin'

Okay, folks. I've decided to do something. Take a vacation. An el vacaTIOne.

From blogging.


Sad, I know. But I've got sooo much stuff going on right now -- what with the engagement and getting into the swing of training and whatnot -- that I'm finding it hard to find time to blog.

And, frankly, my blogs have been a wee bit blah recently. I'm not feeling inspired at all, ya know? Prolly just need some time off from the keyboard.

So, I'll keep updating everyone on my training each week by the numbers AND I'll keep reading what you're throwing out there...but I'm forcing my hands and attention elsewhere. Just for a bit. Maybe a week, maybe a month. Who knows.

See ya'll soon!

Monday, November 12, 2007

My coach made me do it...

I should have done this a long, long time ago.

Really. At the very beginning it would have been a good idea. Last year it would have been uber smart. And now that I've done it, I can't imagine training without one.

Having a coach ROCKS!

I've finished up two weeks under The Elf and am really happy with the setup. Each week, I get a complete plan uploaded to Training Peaks, with tons of details about the drills and the goals. And for me, I've actually been excited about training! I look forward to seeing what new thing is at the next session and I'm having lots of fun learning new drills and focusing on the minutia of how I'm moving.

And motivation? Way up there. It really has made a huge difference to not be patching together my plan by myself. I feel like my time is building towards something, rather than a nebulous deposit in general fitness. I wasted a lot of time and attention last year to figuring out what I needed to do, and it left me drained when it came time to just plain ole' doing it. This year is about the doing, folks.

When does it make the most difference? Those Saturday's when I would rather sit on the couch and watch FoodTv all afternoon instead of spin for an hour and a half in the basement. Cold mornings when I would MUCH rather stay nestled in bed than run drills in the local church parking lot.

I just feel more committed. More on. This investment has made a huge difference and I'm actually looking forward to the long 6 months ahead before I actually get to take my fabulous new bike to a race and see what I've got under the hood.

Oh, and speaking of the bike? Freaking love it. LOVE IT!! My future parents in law were over last night and I dragged them (bless their hearts!) down to the basement to look at it. I was like a proud mom, showing off the carbon fork and aero wheels. We've had more miles on the trainer than not (ahem, by far), but I already know I'm in love. Big time.

So...the last two weeks? Pretty killer from the training perspective. (And, to be honest, with our little engagement news? Pretty killer from all perspectives!) Lots of vigor, lots of enthusiasm, lots of gear purchases.

{Oh yeah...you know it! In the last two weeks I have "rewarded" myself with a cyclocomputer, cycling gloves, booties, a new pair of Asics, extra Asics socks, swim paddles, and yet another long sleeve running shirt. And, yes, I fully intend on blaming that on the Elf, too.}

Oh, and one of the coolest things is that I've been learning new things. Like backstroke. And new running drills. And new swimming drills. I finally learned how to do a proper spin-up and I'm actually going to attempt fly the next time I'm in the pool.

Yes. You heard me.


I am *sure* there will be a story to follow on that one.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Hope and Inspiration

I have lead a lucky life, but I have seen many hard things. I have seen disease waste away my family, member after member, stealing generations from each other. I have seen poverty rob hope from my clients, one bill and hospital visit at a time. I have watched the remnants of familial abuse leave scars across the psyches of those I love. I have had my own life turned inside out with substance abuse and despair. I have seen my own mother's face slowly taken away, cancerous piece by cancerous piece. I have watched friends and family battle anxiety and depression, finding their own thoughts to be enemies.

I'm no fool. I know that I am lucky, still. For my own reasons. But I know what it means to feel lonely and vulnerable, out of control and a prone subject to disease and circumstance. It's hard to manage that. It's a challenge to acknowledge and accept, on faith, that there may be relief buried deep in your relinquishment of control. That you may, at a point, regain command of your future in some meaningful way. Letting go to find control. The oxymoronic caveat to our emotional lives.

It is rare to experience a moment in one's own life when you realize that balance. Rare and powerful. And when you can see that happen for someone you care about, it resists description. When you see someone relinquish pain and heartache on faith that their instincts about life are right, that they will bear fruit once planted. That, my friends is beauty.

I count Bold as a friend of mine. We've met in person only briefly, but I feel connected to him as a friend. Perhaps that's the commonality of loss, who knows. And when I saw his writing this morning, I found a moment of beauty. This is what life is truly about. This is beautiful and I will be a part of it for the long list of reasons disease has force upon me and my family. I will be a part of it because it gives me hope and purpose.

Please read it. I dare you to not be inspired.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

raceAthlete Weblog Awards

How fun! Check out the recent announcement over at raceAthlete. I nominated a few of my fave "can't live without" blogs for fun, but it was hard to keep it to just three! Too many darned good writers out there... :)

Drum roll please!

Once again raceAthlete is proud to recognize the Best Endurance Sports Blogs for the year 2007. Just like last year we will be awarding a Gold, Silver, and Bronze ribbon and prize for the Best Blog of 2007.

Are you a first rate swim, bike or run Blogger, or do you have a favorite endurance Blog that you can't live without?

If so this is your chance to shine, or your chance to make that special Blogger in your life a star by nominating their Blog for the 2nd annual raceAthlete "Best Blog" awards.

The rules are simple and straightforward. Just submit your favorite endurance sports Blog for consideration by clicking HERE. Entries will be accepted throughout the month of November and voting will take place the first two weeks in December of 2007.

Winners will be announced on Monday December 17th and prizes and "Best Blog" ribbons will be awarded to the winers.

Click HERE for complete raceAthlete "Best Blog" award rules and prizes.

Click HERE for the current list of nominated Blogs.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Water up my nose and other beautious things

Session One -- done!

I forgot how much I totally MISS swimming! It's the only one of these dang sports that I actually like to do (alright, that may be an exaggeration, but it does come a little easier than the others). So my triumphant return to the pool last night was glorious.



There was no fanfare and, frankly, the only person there when I arrived was a bratty coed practically yelling her conversation with the lifeguard, who apparently was a friend of hers, about how she just has to make it to all her classes tomorrow otherwise she's in soooo much trouble. Thrilling, let me tell you.

But I didn't really care. Because I was in the pool again. Woot, Woot!

And here are the lessons I learned...

(1) kicking on my back is much easier than I thought,

(2) kicking on my stomach is just as hard as I expected,

(3) I'm likely to get water up my nose (buckets full, actually) at least once while backstroking for the first time,


(4) Boy, do you lose a lot of swim endurance when you're away from the pool for that long.

In the end, it was a nice little 45 minute package of kicking my heart rate back off the couch and into some higher zones. I'm no longer afraid of backstroke, although I look ABSOLUTELY COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY RIDICULOUS swimming that way.

But I trust my coach implicitly and when she says 25 free/25 back/25 free, I do just that. Even if it's an awkward snotty endeavor.


PS -- Who starts their base training on Halloween??? It was a Herculean effort to not touch the candy last night. Huuuuge effort. But I was good and didn't crest the slippery slope. Problem is? There are at least 3 bags of chocolate goodness left at the house. Fingers crossed that Mighty M took them to work with him. Otherwise, I'm going to be the creep on the street corner trying to give away candy the day after Halloween.