Monday, July 30, 2012

Bad Tri News

Most of the time, when there's something I want to accomplish, it's only me that gets in my way.  My negative thoughts, my arguments with myself, etc.  This time, it's life getting in my way.

I will not be able to do the Tri Girl Sprint Triathlon.

Between my iPhone falling into the water, our lawmower dying, and numerous other factors, I cannot sign up for the tri.  I am ready.  At least I think I am; the open water is the only real issue.  It still scares me, and it is still a fear I will face.  Just not in two weeks.

There are other triathlons, and I'll keep searching for one.  But races are expensive, and if I can only afford to do one race before the year is up, it is going to be the Warrior Dash.

I am not giving up.  I've trained too hard to give up on it.  It's only postponed.  I am not happy about it, but it is what it is; and I have to keep moving forward. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Running for the Hills

Today was supposed to be the first official run with the group.  We were to run 4 miles back and forth over the Bailey road bridge.

I love that bridge.


Unfortunately and fortunately, my husband had to work this Saturday.  Yea, because extra work pay is awesome, boo because I would miss my run.  Luckily, the awesome Kelly decided to skip the Saturday run so she could run with me on Friday.

We agreed to meet at the rec center, because if we didn't it would be way to easy to justify not running the hills.  As we took off, we were trying to remember the directions from last year.  Things are a little different this year, but as I was telling Kelly, I had been running more at this time last year than I am now.  Going back to last year's start schedule was probably a good idea. 

As we took off over the hill the first time, we got cat-called by some yahoo driving by.  We took it and started singing something like "Sexy and I Know It" and kept going.  Mile 2 and bridge pass 2 was a little harder.  I think it's a longer distance on the incline making it a little more difficult.  Not to mention it is so freaking hot; you could feel the heat radiating off of the sidewalk.  The second pass was not fun.  Finally we made it the top and finished up mile two.

As much fun as we were having and as great as the converation was, all I could think heading for pass number 3 was "I don't want to do this anymore."  And I said it out loud.  Kelly just laughed and we kept going.  Literally, as we were at the top of the bridge I looked off the side and a train passed at that exact moment.  It scared the crap out of me!  I must have been so lost in the thought of getting to the top that I didn't hear it coming.  Talk about timing.  Geez!

On the way down, we were met by another cat call.  Kelly was all, "I know!  We're hot!"  And I said, "Ya!  In more ways than one!"  And we laughed more. 

I have never not wanted to do a 4th mile than this last hill.  On the way up the hill, we got another cat call preceeded by a honk.  Again, it scared me!  At this point it is dark, and I really don't think these people realize how scary it can be running on this bridge at night.  Otherwise, you wouldn't honk!  We decided that we needed one more cat call that way there would be one for each mile.  As we were getting closer to the rec center, we knew we weren't going to get it. I told Kelly to flash the next oncoming car, but she said no.  I can't imagine what the big deal was.  Geez!

It was a tough 4 miles, but it was a good 4 miles.  I was sorry we wouldn't be running with the group, but I really enjoyed it anyway. 

The only bad thing is I felt that pain in the side of the back of my knee, and if I'm remembering correctly this is an IT band issue, which is not good.  After I log off here, I'm going to look it up and see what I can do to work on it before it's a problem. 

I can't have anything stop me from running the hills.

My iPhone

There are consquences for not exercising. 

My week started with an out-of-town trip for a conference.   It was only for a couple of days, but I purposely chose not to take my work-out clothes or my shoes.  I figured I would take the break and just relax while I could.


Monday after the conference, I was going to go take a quick dip into the pool (instead of running on the treadmill) and then go read by the creek for a while.  So what happens?  I dropped my phone into the pool.  It was completely submerged and drowning.  I got it out as quickly as I could and dried it off, but it started buzzing and wouldn't stop.  You could see water behind the screen and nothing I did was helping.

I quickly went back up to my hotel room to get dressed so I could go to Wal-Mart to get a bag of rice.  Because that's what you hear.  Stick it in a bag of rice. 

Now, 5 days later, it is dried out, but I can't get it started.  I can hook it up and go through the restore process, but then it immediately says I have to restore it again.  I think it's a gonner.  And it makes me really sad.  Because if I would have exercised instead of trying to relax by the pool, I wouldn't have dropped my cell phone into the water.

Consequences.  I am suffering them.

Thursday was Spin class, which was good, but I think I could have pushed a little harder.  It just gets kind of boring doing the same thing.  I have to push myself and just remember to be glad that I have a cycling class I can go to.  If I would have thought about it, I should have gotten some swimming in as well, because YET AGAIN the natatorium is closing for another swim meet.  Until Tuesday!!

And I still have no iPhone.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Long Course Sunday

Finally, FINALLY, I was able to get to take advantage of one of the long course Sundays at the natatorium.  Once a month, they set up the competition pool in 50 meter lanes.  I was afraid that once I got there, the lanes would be full because everyone waits on this one Sunday a month.  Fortunately, there were two lanes open; but the lanes that were open were marked as "Fast Lane Only."

Oh well.

I wasn't about to miss it just because the only lanes that were open were fast lanes.  It just goes to show you that most people are probably slow and they should have more slow lanes.  There were two fast lanes open, so I thought I would take the second one which was one lane away from the ladder, that way if another swimmer came, they could have the lane closest to the edge and they wouldn't have to go under any ropes.  I turned my back to climb down the ladder, and when I turned around, there was a woman sitting in my lane.  She wasn't there one second, and she was there the next.  I thought she was rather sneaky.  But it didn't matter, because I was all too happy to take the edge lane.  It was very wide and I would have plenty of room.  It reminded me of that episode of Seinfeld where Kramer painted lines on the freeway to make the lanes wider and Elaine was all, "Wide lanes!  It's so luxurious!"

So I set off for my swim thinking of Seinfeld and taking breaths every five strokes.  Once I finished the first 100 meters, I realized I was not going to be able to keep this up, so I changed my breathing to taking a breath every 3 strokes.  That made a big difference, but it's also very thought consuming; and I had to give up thoughts of Seinfeld or anything else for that matter.  If my mind strayed, I would end up missing a breath and twice I got water in my nose.  That was fun. 

It was much easier keeping count of laps with the 50 meters.  I always seem to lose count when I'm swimming in 25 yard increments, but maybe it's also because I am taking breaths every 5 strokes and my mind can wander a little more. 

I was happy to find that I could swim the distance with ease.  I swam 1000 meters before getting out, but I could have kept going.  I was out of time though because I had to leave town for a conference.  I felt great getting out, but I found once I got to the table to put on my shoes and get my keys, I felt a little shaky.  I'm not sure what that was all about, but I'm hoping it's because I hadn't eaten lunch.  That won't be the case the day of the tri.  I even spoke to a woman who makes herself a sandwhich for after her swim and before the bike.  I thought that was intersting.  But feeling shaky, I'm thinking I should have something at my station, just in case.

I left town at 3:30, which should have put me at my hotel by 9:30.  Instead, I decided to take long-course Sunday to a whole new level by taking a wrong turn.  By the time I realized it, I was at least 40 miles off course, and I had to back track.   I added about an hour and a half to my trip.  Awesome.

Next time I won't take long-course so literally.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Magic Mile Sans Magic

I just mentioned hat the mean girls are staying away, but I am fighting them off tonight.  Today, we had our magic mile.  The best magic mile time I've had was 12:18, and I haven't been able to reach that again since.  Today my magic mile time was 13:15; a whole minute slower than my best.

It's a time I can be proud of, but at the same time, I am dissappointed in myself.  I think I should have done better.  I think I could have pushed a little more. 

But even some of our best runners didn't beat their best time.  Even some of the ones who have been working nonstop and doing the speedwork didn't improve on their time, so maybe it was just something in the air.

After everyone finished their mile, we had a group meeting to discuss core exercises.  Coach Ric called me out to tell my story.  He was hoping that I could encourage some of  the new runners and let them know that they can start where ever they are.  New to running, slow at running, whatever the case may be, it is possible.  It was pretty cool, and I was honored that he chose me.  The group gave me nice applause when I was finished and I got some high fives on the way back to my mat. 

You know what?  Mean girls are gone.  I think I just needed a recap of the morning.

It may have been a not-so-magic-mile, but there is something magical about the Pearland Area Road Runners.  I am a lucky girl.


I realize that I have not been posting, but I have been exercising.  I am loving the summer because I have the mornings.  I don't have to wake anyone up and them ready, so I am up and out the door hopefully by 5:15 so I can get to the gym. 

So Monday and Wednesday, I swim.  Tuesday and Thursday, I spin.  And then there's always time in the evening for other workouts.  There's the dreaded 30 in 30 class and Zumba, and I've even made it to Lydia's strength toning a couple of times.  And I got a run in here and there.

I did oversleep a couple of mornings and then I had to miss because of birthdays and then there was the time I was just too tired and sore; but overall, I've been doing pretty well averaging 2-3 hours a day 4 days a week.  And then Zumba on Sundays.

My bike got a flat, so I finally got a new tube for it.  I took it for a spin with my little one and our little neighbor girl.  I didn't change into "appropriate clothes; I just wore my flip flops and went without my helmet.  We went around the neighborhood and finally saw those bunnies.  We rode around for at least an hour and it was so much fun.  So I figured it out. 

I hate the helmet. 

I knew I hated the helmet, but now I know I really hate the helmet.  It really diminishes the little enjoyment I have while on the bike.  But it's a necessary and required evil, so I'll have to get used to it. 

Spin class has been okay.  The week of the 4th, we had a sub and it was awesome.  It was a real Spin class.  When Jason got back the following week, I guess he had heard that we were ranting and raving about how awesome the week without him was, so he said he was going to step it up a notch.  And he did, but it still wasn't quite the same. 

The following Thursday while we were warming up, someone brought up the closures at the natatorium.  A discussion followed which could have taken forever, so I shouted out, "Okay then!  Let's get to work!"  Jason looked at me and said, "What?"  I was all, "We're 20 minutes in!  Let's go!"  And then I felt bad because I wasn't trying to tell him how to run the class, it's just that complaints can go on forever.  I just didn't want to sit there and cycle for another 20 minutes which can happen if he were to get tangled up in a discussion about something that he has no control over. 

Jason said he was just warming up the legs, and we would be working really hard for the next 30 minutes.  And he did.  It still wasn't quite up to par with a real spin class, but it was better.  He didn't give us as much recovery time and we were out of our seats more.  It was good.  Hopefully, he'll keep building on this, but judging from the last few classes, it seems like we are in a routine.

Most workouts have been really good.  I can feel more definition in my arms, and I think it's probably from swimming, but I'm sure the 30 in 30 and strength toning is helping too.  So although I have not been MIA from my exercising, something else has.  The mean girl voices are staying at bay.  I haven't heard much from them lately, and I can't say that I miss them.  With this being said, I was at the pool with my little one; and I was watching her jump off the diving board.  I noticed this woman swimming in one of the lanes, and she was moving very slowly.  I watched her and I happily thought, "I am so not that slow!"  I swear she was like molasses moving through the water.  Now, I wasn't dogging her; she was graceful and she had a nice rhythm going.  But since I am used to being the weakest link or the slowest in the group, I was happy to see that someone could possibly be slower. 

So I timed her.  I realize that I am potentially stalking her at this point, but I watched the clock from the time she left the wall, and I timed her.

And when she swam 25 yards, she was swimming at my exact pace.

And it hit me.  I am molasses in the water.

Whatever.  I read that swimming 425 yards in 12 minutes is "good" for my age group, so I'm sticking with that.

Next up is the magic mile with my fellow Road Runners.  Yuck.  But like the helmet, it is a necessary evil.  So I'll make do.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Road Runners Unite

July 14, 2012

It's official.  Marathon training has started again.  The Pearland Area Road Runners had our kick-off meeing this Saturday.  There was no official run scheduled, so Kelly and I ran to the park to get there.  It was muggy out since it had been raining all week, but the rain was good enough to stay away so we could get there without being wet.  Rather, we got there without being wet because of the rain.  Sweat was another story.  After the meeting we ran back to my house for a good two mile run.  It's a start.

It was great seeing everyone again, and there were lots of new faces.  Coach Ric gave us a run down of what was to come, and he even called out me and Kelly for being inspirational.  It was really nice.  He even mentioned us again and told everyone that I hadn't even done a 5K when I joined and how many of us were out there when I did my first half.  It warmed my heart. 

So I have to admit, last year it was all new and exciting and I looked forward to getting up most of those Saturdays and going for a run and reaching a new record.  Right now, all I'm thinking about is all those early Saturday mornings and basically losing your Friday night because you have to get up for your run in the morning.  It seems like it will be more of a committment this season, but it's one that I will make.  I know how good it feels now.

Coach Dan will be coaching us halfers.  It's 5 months til the Run Girl half. 

Let the games begin.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Open Waters!

Early July

It has been such a long time since my last post.  I blame the holiday.  I did slack off of the exercise that week as well.  We went out of town with Tiffany and her family for a couple of days and enjoyed swimming in the Colorado river and relaxing with friends. 

Yes.  Swimming in the Colorado river!  This was huge, although truly it was more just treading water and not much swimming.  I have been afraid of natural waters for quite some time now, so it was a big deal as I got in.  It was freaky.  It smelled, and every once in a while you would feel this cold pocket of water going by your legs.  It gave me a slight panicky feeling. I stayed in although I did not put my face in the water at all and I mostly stayed right by the pier.  But I did it. 

The next day, Tiffany's father took us in a ski boat to let the kids go knee boarding and tubing.  It was quite fun to watch and even my little one gave it a try. 

After being in the boat watching for about an hour or so, I took a deep breath and decided to give it a try myself. 

Drew, Tiffany's son is quite the pro at this.  He was my coach.  He is telling me, "Get up on your knees!"  And I though, "OK!"

This is my trying to get up on my knees!
Ya!  Ain't gonna happen.
So instead of knee boarding, I belly boarded instead.  It was fun and I think I made it at least a mile before I let go.  But the awesome thing is, I let go in the middle of the river and I had to wait for the boat to come back and pick me up.  My face never did make it under the water, but I still think these two things combined are monumental as far as overcoming fears. 

I can't say that I got to the point where I was comfortable in the water, because the thought of river monsters is always in the back of my mind.

But maybe, just maybe, I will be able to make it though the swim portion of the tri.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Angry Birds

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Today was the YMCA Freedom Tri.  It takes place in the park right by my house, so Kelly and I set out to see what it's all about.  Actually Kelly already knows, but she's such a good friend, she was up at the crack of dawn to humor me. 

We had to walk to the park, since all of the road are blocked off.  We took the trail and considered ourselves lucky to make it there without being carried off by the mosquitoes.  As we approached the pool, I could see the splashes of the athletes.  There were people lined up all around the pool and people were entering every 10 seconds.  Some lanes were crowded and others seemed like there were larger gaps between swimmers.  We saw quite a few people bunched up and some passing others.  We saw a few collisions, and we saw a couple of people walking a bit for a portion of their swim.  It's scary, but not as scary as I pictured in my head.  But of course all of this is far from a lake swim.  Even though there were crowds in parts, it was controlled and not everyone was starting at the same time.  I think in a lake situation there would be larger crowds. 

We watched for a while then walked over to the transition area.  Again, not as scary as I thought.  Not crowded, just people going in as they exited the swim.   Some were rushing, others were moving at a quick pace, and some looked like they were more relaxed. 

I guess there's a rule that you can't get on your bike until you cross the time sensor thingy.  I saw a couple of people getting yelled at for that, so I guess I need to remember that.  It wouldn't be good for my fragile ego for some tri volunteer angry bird type to be yelling at me to get off my bike like I'm a newbie who doesn't know what the hell she's doing.  The good part about this though is that I got to see how people are starting at all different times.  In my head there was a huge crowd of bikes and it scared me to think of having to ride so close to other people, but this is far from the reality.  It's very sporadic, and there is lots of room between athletes.  I'm sure I'll still be passed, but the fear of being in a constant state of being passed is diminished a little. 

It was about this time it started to rain, so we made our way back to the pavilion where the athletes would finish.  It was raining so hard you could feel the drops on the opposite side of where the rain was coming down.  Then it started with the lightning and, I found out later, hail!  Nothing like biking and running in hail!  At least the swim portion was over with.

We hung out there for a bit until the rain subsided a bit, then we started the journey back to my house.  We had to go around the long way because part of the tri running course was the trail behind my house that we used to get to the park.  As we're walking you could feel little droplets of rain, and I thought we should call my husband to pick us up.  Then we saw more runners coming toward the park, and I thought 'how wimpy are we?'  We didn't want to walk home with little drops of moisture while these guys were already out riding 12 miles and running a 5K in it. 

So we sucked it up, and we walked home in the rain.  After all, we are Hard-Core Warrior Princesses!  Or at least we will be again soon. 

As we got closer to my house, Kelly saw a hawk with something in it's mouth.  It was pretty freaky and it landed in a tree at my neighbors house.  Then we heard all this squawking.  What was a meal for a bird and his family turned into a fight for whatever rodent was in his claws.  And then more bird sounds and more squawking.  It was a version of angry birds right over our heads, so we made our way inside before the demolition of fortresses began.

I'm really glad that I went.  I am still nervous about the tri, but at least some of my fears are put to rest.  The rest of the fears are ones that I will just have to conquer, even if it is on race day. 

BTW, this walk that I tried to get out of, is the only exercise I got in on this Sunday.  =(

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Last Swim Class

Thursday, June 28, 2012

I did not feel well today.  I have never heard of the ozone affecting throats, but apparently this is the case.  I thought I was getting sick; thank goodness I'm not.  Once I read up on it, it seems that the ozone levels can create problems for those with asthma.  I only have a problem with asmtha once every couple of years, so I guess this is it. 

It's just draining me, and I had no energy.  So again, I did not go to exercise this morning.  Then I fell asleep on the couch in the afternoon waking up only about an hour before my last swim class.  Talk about frustrating, I didn't want to miss it, but I really didn't feel like going either. 

But go I did, and I took my little one with me since Kelly was taking her kiddos along.  I ususally do not let her swim without me in the water with her, but Kelly's son was going and would keep an eye on them.  Since it's like a million degrees outside, letting her swim with them is a better option than keeping her indoors where she'd most likely only be watching tv. 

As I got into the very cold pool, I was so not happy.  And then I remembered that we were going to do our 12-minute swim today. 


Class hadn't started so I went ahead and got started on my warm up.  Turns out we only had a 100 yard warm up, so I was ready to go; although I was skeptical about the 12-minute swim.  I still felt like poo. 

But we started, and I was lucky enough to have my own lane.  It went well.  I started feeling much better and I just tried to stay steady and even while remembering everything I've learned this past month.  Our instructor (who's name is actually Mikey, not Tim) was there encouraging us while counting our laps.  Kelly was on the other side of the bulkhead so I couldn't see her, but maybe that wasn't a bad thing.  This was my swim.  I focused on keeping my heart rate down and just kept swimming.

When it was all said and done, I had swam 400 yards in the 12 minutes.  I had honestly thought I would be able to swim more, that I would have improved much more than 75 yards, but that's ok.  The 325 was so awful and scattered.  There were lots of breaks and no consistency.  This 400 was steady.  It felt good, and I wasn't depleted when it was over.  Plus, my lung capacity is a little dimished and I didn't feel my best, so 400 yards was great.  Kelly also improved 75 yards, finishing with 500 yards for her 12 minutes. 

After a 200 yard cool down, we started our drills.  I found myself not even needing the whole break before I was ready to take off again.

The rest of the class went like this:
6X25 drills
50 spring
100 drills
6X25 drills
100 drills
50 backstroke
200 cooldown

That brought my daily total to 1500 yards.  That's .85 of a mile!  And I wasn't wiped out!  Next step is to come to one of the long-course Sundays at the rec center.  This is where they set up the pool with the 50 meter lanes rather than the 25 yards.  It's time to see how I do without coming to a wall quite so often. 

Of course all of this is not swimming in a lake, (shudder) but it is progress.

After class was over, our kiddos wanted to jump off the diving board.  I watched as they jumped, and I was glad I brought her.  I'm going to hate going back to work next week.  It's been fun hanging out with her all week.

Half Week Wrap Up

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I've been off this week, and I have loved it.  Monday and Tuesday, while my soon-to-be-third-grader goes to art camp, I took off to the rec center for morning Zumba classes.  I don't get to partake in these very often, so it was a lot of fun getting a mid-morning work out in.  It's perfect.  Her camp is 2 hours, and the classes are right in the middle of it.

Monday night, I went to the 30 in 30 class.  I was actually early this time, and there was one lady there waiting.  I asked her if she was waiting for the 30 in 30 class, and then I added, "or shoud I say 30 in Hell?" 

She just looked at me. 

I don't remember what she said, but I don't think she appreciated my sense of humor and only said something about it being a good workout.  Well duh!  Obviously it's a good workout otherwise I wouldn't equate it to hell and still be there!  Class started pretty quickly after that and there were only four of us in class.  Julie had us being out a mat and grab some weights.  After all my joking about hell and everything, I think she took it pretty easy on us.  Although I am sore.  It's two days later and I am still sore in my hamstrings.  It wasn't really like hell until she had us do burpees.  Those are truly torture, and I hate them.  I managed five in the length of time she gave us, which wasn't long.  But I don't think five is a good number, and I'll have to aspire to do more.

After that, I stayed for Zumba;  but I forgot my shoes.  Again.  So I only stayed for 45 minutes of it.  I left my running shoes on for the first 25 minutes.  Then I felt my knee kind of hurting so I took them off.  Another 15 minutes into class, and I almost fell.  I figured it was time to hang it up.  After all, I had already worked out for over two hours so it's not like the day was a lost cause. 

Tuesday morning was the same with a better Zumba workout, because it was Renae; and she is just so darn funny.  I haven't been making it to Saturday Zumba much because of the tri training, and now marathon training starts in July.  So I'm glad I got to indulge in her class.  And she encourages free style, so Tangila and I totally took advantage of that. 

After my little one's camp, we were supposed to go bowling, but since our friends were holding out until Thursday, we went swimming instead.  This was fun for me since she loves swimming in the diving end when it's open.  While she jumped, dived, and swam around, I treated water for the half hour.  It's not much, but it is exercise. 

Tuesday's swim class, as promised, we had our new instructor.  He had us do a 300 yard warm up, and I was actually pretty excited that I actually completed all 300 along with every one else.  Usually, I don't quite get 300 in before it's time to move on to something else.  After our warm up, he moved us to the activity pool which is at it's deepest 4.5 feet.  He roped off a section of the pool for us, and then he had us swim freestyle as he watched us.  It was really bizzare having the ground so close to me while swimming since all of our classes have taken place in the competition pool in at least 7' deep water. 

Kelly and I had the same issue with our stroke in that we needed to put our arms back in the water sooner to finish our stroke in the water.  Hard to explain, but we practiced that a few times as he watched us all.  Then he suggested the odd breathing as Meagan had because we need to learn to breath on both sides.  He also said we, especially Kelly, needed to use our legs more.  The reason he really called Kelly out more is because I was trying to remember everything else, I forgot that I was not really using my legs and I was kicking more than normal.  Then he called me out for not cupping my hands.  This was frustrating because that is one of the things I tell myself since the first day of class, but now that I was counting my breathing, concentrating on putting my arms back in the water, and kicking properly, I totally forgot to cup my hands. 

He demonstrated breast stroke again.  He had us swim with our heads above water and told us why we need to know that (so we can see where we are going in an open water swim and not get 100 yards off course as he has seen.)  He also told us that we should not do it often since it is extrememly energy taxing.  He told us about survival swimming, which is basically floating on your back until you calm down, work out your cramp, catch your breath, or whatever other emergency may come your way.  I know about the cramping especially since that has happened a few times to me in class. 

It was an awesome class.  We have him one more time on Thursday and then the class is over, which makes me sad.  He is awesome, and I can only imagine how much we could learn if we had more time. 

After class, Kelly and I went back to the competition pool for our optional assignment from Meagan.  It consisted of 100 yard elementary backstroke, 100 yards of breaststroke, 100 yards of something I couldn't remember so I just did freestyle and then 100 yards of cool-down freestyle. 

I think our total yardage for today was around 80 yards, maybe a little less.  It's hard to gauge with the small pool training.  Tomorrow morning I will not be exercising.  I am taking the morning off to have coffee with my friend, Dianne. 

And I will not feel guilty about it.