Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Good Brick

For Saturday's workout, I decided I would do a brick workout consisting of a 5 mile bike ride and a 2 mile run.  I haven't done one of these for a couple of weeks, and I knew one was needed.  But I don't like them.  Because they suck.  Or rather, I suck at them.

I woke up at 6:45 and sat around until 7:30 before taking off.  Immediately, my legs were tired and then very shortly after that I realized I wasn't wearing my bike shorts.  It took me a good mile or so before my body realized I wasn't turning back and got into a groove.  The rest of the bike ride was okay; at least okay as it can be without bike-short padding.   My average pace was pretty slow, but I just can't concentrate on that right now.  Halfway through my ride I realized I forgot my water bottle, and I was getting thirsty; and I knew that this would mess with my transition, because I would have to get water before taking off on my run.  

I tried messing with the gears a bit, now that I know where they are.  (I know.  My husband shook his head at me too when he realized that I didn't know what those silver levers were)  I had a tip on the TriGirl forum that said you should change the gears to a lighter level about 1/2 a mile before you ride and this makes for a better transition for the run.  So when I was about 1/2 a mile from the house I changed gears.  It still felt a little stiff, but it was easier.  Then I played around a little more and found that the left lever needed to be pushed forward to get it to where the tip said it should be.

I got home and as quickly as I could, I put my bike down, ran in and got water, got my music, and I took off for my run.  I still felt heavy, but it wasn't quite like before.  It didn't feel impossible.  I just kept going, even though I felt like I was barely moving.  When I checked the Garmin, though, I had a 14 minute pace.  I guess it's like slowing down in your car, like when you've been driving at 75 mph and you slow down to 60 and feel like you're crawling.  

I thought about cutting across that half street and shortening the run, but I didn't.  And I'm glad.  The total distance isn't as far as I had planned.  The bike ride was only 4.5 miles and the run was 1.75.  But it was close enough, and other than the negative thoughts of missing bike shorts, I wasn't fighting many demons.  

I was talking with my sister, and she asked why they call these workout bricks.  I really had no idea.  So I looked it up.  The answer I saw and most agreed with is because you feel like you've been hit by bricks.  But I guess the real answer is because you are stacking workouts on top on one another.  And you can even take that explanation further and say you are building a strong foundation layer by layer.  

I still really am not loving the bike, and the thought of adding the swimming terrifies me. But I was happy to have a good brick workout.  It gives me hope.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Running Home

It has not been a good work-out week.  Sunday, I mistakenly took it easy thinking I would make up for it during the week.

Well.  Best laid plans.  I was going to go for a ride Monday before women's group, but my Dad came back into town early and wanted us to go to dinner instead.  Who am I to say no to that?  So I thought I might skip women's group and go later.  But then someone hinted that I shouldn't do that, so I didn't.  And I'm glad.  I always enjoy women's group.  BUT, Tuesday was no better as my 2nd grader had her music program, and we were thoroughly entertained by the voices of my cherub and her classmates.  Wednesday is never a good exercise night because everyone is gone and it's just a busy night for me and the kiddo.

Which brings us to Thursday.  I made up my mind early that I would be kicking it into high gear.  Kelly suggested going for a run, and I was all up for that, but then she couldn't make it.  So, I had to go to plan B.

What is plan B.  Well, I just got my new Garmin in the mail; so my hubs suggested going to the rec center and running there.  Well, I don't like running indoors if I don't have to, and wouldn't it be funner to run to the rec center?  Then I could do Zumba and then I would have to be picked up.  OR, I could be dropped off at the rec center earlier and then I could run home.  Yes.  That's it.  Instead of Zumba, I would go to a strength toning class and then run home while it's still light enough.

So that's what I did; however, I underestimated Lydia's ability to torture my legs, and I wondered if they would be too tired to make the three mile journey home.  Luckily, she finished with legs within the first half hour of class.  Then she only tortured my arms and abs.  It was a great class, and I felt better about getting some strength work in rather than just cardio.

It was slightly warm outside, but from where I stood the breeze was awesome.  And where I stood was on Bailey road facing the bridge that makes me spaz just a little.  I started my journey home mentally preparing myself for the bridge to come.  As I started my ascent, I was looking down and the ground seemed to move in my peripheral vision.  I got kind of woozy, which is not good on a bridge; so I forced myself to look up, which caused problems of its own because then I was looking at the people in the cars passing by and then I was panicking that someone I know would see me and surely my face was as red as a tomato by now.  

Soon enough, the first mile was over and then the Garmin beeped to release me for a minute of walking which was timed almost perfectly as I reached the intersection.  I waited in my minute for the light to change.  And then it didn't change because I forgot to push the crossing button, extending my walk break to a way-too-long break.  

I made up for it by running through my next scheduled walk break, and then I was distracted by the thoughts in my head.  It was hot, but I was remembering telling my friend Tammy that she was ready for the tri in July.  She has the swimming and the cycling parts down, but she hates to run.  I told her she could put one foot in front of the other for three miles.  It's just one foot in front of the other.  And that's what I had to do now.  Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  And that's what I heard. 

One. Foot. In front.  Of the other.  This was my cadence.  It's never that I can't do it.  It's that I just don't want to. 

But not today.

I remembered the concern in my husband's voice when he dropped me off.  "Are you sure you can run home after working out?"   And in my head, I was answering, "Hell, yeah I can!!"  And as I thought I had to prove it, I picked up my pace a little.  

Then I smelt fajitas!  Oh, curse you people grilling fajitas in your backyard!  Bastards are probably drinking margaritas too!

But a Warrior Princess must prevail, so I continue on.

I made it into the park, and passed a few runners and a biker that had passed me on the bridge.  My hair was a mess and I somehow managed to redo my hair and put it in a bun and get the sweaty wisps of hair out of my sweaty face.  And I had one of those moments were everything just felt perfect.  My pace was good, the wind was blowing, and I could almost feel the toxins leaving my body with every drip of sweat that fell down my face.  

And then I made the turn onto the adjacent street in my neighborhood.  And my beautiful breeze was gone.  And then I smelled smoke.  But not delicious smoky fajita smoe, but like wood burning in a fireplace.  A fireplace that makes you warm, and then I felt even hotter than ever.  I tried to imagine those margaritas I imagined and ice cold water that was waiting for me at home, but it was no use.  The connotation of the smell was too strong.  

I passed a driveway with some guy hanging out by his car.  I waved as I passed, and he started clapping for me and told me I was doing awesome!  That was kind of nice, and it gave me the extra bounce I needed to make it home happily.  

It was a great workout.  And it was even greater that the mean girls voices were MIA.  

I could definitely get used to that.  

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Saturday Morning Cardio

Saturday, May 19, 2012

I am so happy to be back at the rec center!  Thursday, my plan was to leave the house in time to get a round of circuit training in before Zumba.  But saboteurs are always about, and I had to get to the store first for some essentials.  So it was just Zumba time, but that's okay.  It was lots of fun as always, and my little one asked if I would be taking a shower before putting her to bed.  I can take a hint, so I did.

Saturday morning was a nice morning, and Kelly and I set out for a quick three miles.  We are still not getting together enough for these runs, but it's always great when we do.  We did pretty good, but I didn't quite feel as good as I hoped I would.   

After that, I went to Zumba.  Renae was out, but one of my fellow classmates just got her license.  She did a great job, and she looked like she was having a blast.  I heard her say later that she was so nervous, but you would have never guessed it.  I don't think I could be so poised under pressure.    So it was a 3 mile run followed by an hour of hip-shaking and more sweating.  So, I was good for the day.

I am hoping to try another brick soon.  Maybe Saturday morning.  


We'll see.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

May 15, 2012

It being Sunny in Philadelphia has nothing to do with this post other than I'm watching it now and I am laughing out loud.  By myself.  Laughing out loud.  So funny.  I've never seen it before, but I may have to add it to my DVR list. 

Today I just went for a run.   Someone has been telling me I haven't been running enough and that I will lose all I've accomplished if I'm not careful.  So I walked past the garage with my bike in it, and just hit the pavement instead.  There were quite a few people out today, but most were walking.  I felt pretty good as I took off.  I wouldn't say I was pushing myself really hard, but I was definitely giving a little more than my usual going-for-a-little-run mode.  And it paid off.  My first mile was completed with a 13.25 pace.  I was quite happy with that.  I kept going, and for the next hour I was happy just to be running, even though the next three miles weren't quite as fast. 

I may not be able to go out and run a half marathon tomorrow, but I also don't think it's that far out of reach.  I could just keep going if I had to.  

It's the bike and swim that I have to worry about.

I signed up for a triathlon swimming class next month.  It's every Tuesday and Thursday fr the entire month.  They are supposed to teach you proper techniques for a tri so you can preserve your legs for the bike and run portion.  Since I've barely done any swimming this past year, I'm sure I need all the help I can get in this area.  

Wish me luck.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Early Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to me!

As an early Mother's Day present, my husband signed us back up at the rec center!  Yea!  So without missing a beat, I was up and at 'em early this morning.

Kelly was going out of town, so it was supposed to be a solo run this morning; but as I woke up at 7 am and I could still hear rain falling, I opted to shut my eyes for a little bit longer. It's so nice listening to the rain, it was easy to let it lull me back to sleep.   I woke up to late to get to the rec center for Lydia's class, so I opted for circuit training instead.

The circuit training is what I've been avoiding for way too long.  And this morning, I remembered why.  It sucks.  It is hard, and it makes you sweat.  Buckets!  I tried to remember all the exercises in the circuit given to me so long ago.  And I tried to pretend that I didn't remember to Bosu ball sit ups.  But I know I'm only cheating myself, so I did them.  And they were hard, but still not as hard as I remember that very first time I did them.  Then I thought of how easy they would be if I had never stopped.  

But you can't live on regrets-you can only move forward.  

I remembered all 9 exercises, but I only got through one round of it before I had to go change my shoes to get ready for Zumba.  But I will just so happy to be back, that I was okay with it.  

Zumba was fun, as always.  There were a few people there that were happy to see me and had been wondering where I had been.  Class started with a few older songs, and I was just having a great time being back in the hip-shaking business.  

Tomorrow is Mother's Day, and I wish all mothers a wonderful, fun, and love-filled day!  I think as part of my day, I'll be taking my youngest for a bike ride.  

Monday, May 7, 2012

Half Way There, Part 1

Or really part 2 since I've got the running part down.   I just need to get it down after riding a bike.  Oh yeah, and swimming (shudder)

I went for a ride yesterday, armed with my cerebral warriors.  I've ridden at most four miles at this point, but most of those miles have been broken up into segments with my youngest; so really, the most I've ridden for real is three miles.  I would do four solid miles, and call it a day.

I'm still not really comfortable on the bike.  In fact, I'm really uncomfortable.  My arms get tired very quickly; and when I reach for my water bottle, I swear I'm going to fall.  

But I'm hearing in my head that I've got this, so I ride.  I would really like to know what my rpm's are since that is what we went by in Spin class.  I never thought to check the mph on the machine.  But I know that "flat road" (which is 90 rpm's) is supposed to be what you could just do all day long, and I'm sure I'm nowhere near that.  

In my head, I had a route mapped that would get me to the four miles.  It was my regular loop in the back of the neighborhood followed by a loop in the front of the neighborhood.  To get to four I would have to do the front loop twice.  As I got to the back, I heard a voice that said, "Go around again!"  So I turned right and went back into the neighborhood again for a total of 5.6 miles; half of what I will have to do in the tri.  I tried to maintain my 11 mph pace, and for the most part I did.  Then as I was in my last mile, I looked down and I was actually in the 12.2 zone.  Still, My Fitness Pal calls this speed "light" cycling.  Probably because they're assholes. 

Oh well.  I am willing to come in last on this one.  Because even though the voices are on my side at this moment, I know I'm still in over my head.  

But I know how to tread, so I'm good.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Ready for Battle

I've blogged a lot about the voices in my head, the mean girls that won't go away, and how it's a constant battle that I fight.

I am battling now!

Yesterday, I went out for my second brick.  I started with an early-morning bike ride with my little one.  I was just going to take off, but she enjoyed it so much that I wanted to take her again.  That bunny was in the same place, and I hope one of these times he's a little closer so she can get a better look.  As we were riding, a couple of different bikers passed us up.  I've noticed them before when I'm running, but it's like that.  Once your interested in something, you see it everywhere.  

We got back, and I dropped her off.  I circled around and took off on my own.  But I forgot to restart the Garmin, so I didn't get to pace my 2 mile solo ride.  But I think it was a good one, and my total bike time totaled somewhere around 25 minutes or so.  So I grabbed my bike and put on my helmet (blech!) and reset the Garmin for running making my transition as quick as possible.  I took off down the street.  Again, my legs felt like lead; but I was determined to run in longer intervals.  

Determination was losing out to the heavy feeling.  Then a biker passed me up, and I was jealous that he would be done with his mile much fast than me.  I had my music with me thinking that that would help, but it didn't.  I just couldn't find the groove I was hoping for.  Rather than going for the two miles, I took a cross street that would shorten my run to 1.5 miles.  And then that biker passed the road that I was coming up to.  And I hated him.  

I rounded the corner, and the mean girls were very present and very loud.  Seriously.  What the hell was I thinking?  This is only 3.5 miles on the bike and I haven't even run a mile, and I suck!  How did I think I could be ready for something like this.  I can do this.  I can't.

I looked up and someone had dumped a blue recliner on the curb for heavy-trash pick up day.  And I felt so heavy.  I wanted to quit.  And I wanted to cry.    I could just sit in that chair and cry.

But I passed the chair. I just kept running, and I had a conversation with my sister in my head.

Me:  "I can't do this, Angie!  I can't!"

Angie: "Yea...you can!  And you will!  And you're going to look back on this and laugh after you finish in August."

I sighed.  And I did keep going.  And I found a groove.  And I finished my 1.5 miles.

When it was all said and done, my run segments were pretty good!  My first mile was at a 14.5 and the last half mile was a 13.4 pace.  These are good runs for me even when I haven't ridden for a few miles beforehand.  

So what the heck?  Why am I beating myself up?

I called my sister to thank her for the conversation she wasn't there for.   We've known all along that these voices and mean girls are DAMMED LIARS!  LIARS and yet they remain so powerful.  

I'll continue to battle them.  But next time I'll remember much sooner that I'm not alone. I have my own army of warriors to help me fight them off.

Love you, Sis!


Thursday, May 3

I'm still in freak out mode.  I remember this post where I tried to find a good word for slow, and there just is not one. I remember being so afraid of being last when I signed up for my first 5K, and so happy when I wasn't.

I believe I will be last in a tri.

But that's okay since finishing is what I have to concentrate on.   I have a feeling I am in WAY over my head.

My plan today was to ride for a few miles and then run a mile or so.  It is my understanding that this is called a "brick" workout.  (She's a brick) (House)  (Sorry.  I can't help but think of this song whenever I say brick.)  I was all ready to go, but then so was my kiddo.  So a change of plans.  I thought I would take her for a quick ride and then come back and ride a couple of miles by myself.  As we took off around the corner, I thought we would take the circle in the back, but we would take the shorter loop.  It's really pretty back there, and as we crossed the bridge, she was so excited.  She pointed out any and all animals she saw.  So as we came to the crossroad to make the small loop, I gave her the option of going straight if she wanted to make a bigger loop.  She chose the big loop. 

We continued on and saw a bunny, more squirrels, and a mockingbird.  She even thanked me for bringing her back there, so when it came time to turn left to go back home, I gave her another option for yet another bigger loop.  And we turned right.  We ended up riding for two miles before heading home, and although I wasn't pushing my speed-demon boundaries, I think it was time better spent.

So I dropped her off, and since it was getting late, I went ahead and took off for my run.  As I prepared for the next part of the brick, I was still singing Brickhouse in my head.

And then I took off.

And I felt so heavy.  And slow. And I felt like a had been hit by bricks.  But when I looked down at my Garmin I was actually running at a 12.5 minute pace.  Which is awesome for me.  But I was dying.  I was tired, went for shorter intervals rather than running the whole way.  I even decided I would take that smaller loop and cut about half a mile off of my run.  But when I came to the crossroad, I heard that voice say, "Suck it up!  You're going straight!"

So I did.  And as slow as I felt, I finished my first mile with a pace I could feel good about -about a 14.5 minute pace.  Not too bad for me.  Especially since it was followed by a bike ride.  

And I can't even think about the swim right now.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Uh Oh!

Yesterday, I took off on my bike for my first ride.

O.  M.  G.  

What the heck was I thinking!

First of all, I don't like hats.  My ears stick out of them and I look like Dumbo!  AND my head gets too hot.
Second of all, I don't like it when my ponytail is low and it hits my neck. 
And I would never wear anything that has a choker or a chin strap because I hate the way it gives me extra chins.

A helmet covers all of the above.

But I was excited to ride.  I didn't have much time, so I thought a quick couple of miles would be fine.  I took off to the back of the neighborhood enjoying how much of a breeze you get while riding.  But it didn't take long before my arms started to get tired. In fact, it was less than a mile.  I remember this arm issue from Spin class; but when your bike is stationary, it is easy to stretch your arms once in a while.  This is not the case when you have to steer the bike on micro-thin tires!  So I just tried to re-position my hands on the steering wheel to compensate.  I was also very aware of my speed, which was probably slower than most; but I kind of got freaked out when I sped up and thought that I could fall at any moment.  

When I reached the front of the circle, I knew it would be easy to turn left and go back home.  I could have used the lack of time and the fact that it was a first ride as an excuse; but I decided to push it, and I made the right turn instead.  I just kept peddling and tried to get a good feel of the road and the wind gently pushing against me.  

I knew the whole ride would end up being around three miles, and I was ready to be home.  

As I'm pulling into my driveway, the realization hits me.  The sprint triathlon is an eleven mile bike ride.  Eleven minus three is EIGHT!!!!  I have eight more miles to aspire to. Eight more miles AND a 5K!  All preceded by a SWIM!  IN OPEN WATER!!! 

Uh oh!

I am freaking out a little. 

Ok, a lot!

I have a lot of work to do.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Ride in the Park

I didn't sleep well.  Between children, dogs, and my own scattered mind, I was up most of the night.  So when my alarm went off, I was less than happy.  Ironically, my alarm was set to the tone of Bad to the Bone, and I felt anything but.  

I had just enough time to get dressed and eat a spoonful of peanut butter before Kelly showed up.  We had planned on a four-mile run, but I didn't know if I was up for it.  But we started our route anyway.  There were no bunnies today or marathon Barbies, but there was lots of good conversation and not-too-bad running.  We had an overall pace that was less than stellar, but I have to admit that we were taking full advantage of our walking breaks, and we were walking slow.  I thought we were running slow, too, but when it was all said and done our running segment paces were between 13.5 and 14.5.  That made me happy, especially since I thought I was dragging us down.  

When I got home, rather than staying in, I took my youngest outside to ride her bike, and I grabbed mine too.  We rode down to the park by the house, and it's the first time either one of us has been off of our street with a bike.  It's not far, maybe 1/2 a mile, if that; but it was a start.  I burried her with rocks and we played on the swings before heading home.

My legs felt tired on the way home, and I wondered if they were just tired, or if it was just harder because I was going so slow trying to stay behind my kiddo.  I guess we'll see when I finally go off on my own.