Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sweat City U.S.A.

I loaned Sky my car yesterday, which meant I had to ride my bike to work.

On the way home I tried to swing by a high school to use their track, but they were having lacrosse practice, so my track work was spoiled.

Total Bike:  16.06 miles

Once I got home I settled on doing speed work on the treadmill.  I was pretty warmed up from the biking home, so I did my 8 "pre speed work" exercises my trainer gave me, and hopped on.

This is what awesome looks like.


1 mile @ 7:48 pace
1 mile @ 7:14 pace
1 mile @ 6:27 pace
1 mile @ 7:14 pace
1 mile @ 7:48 pace

I wasn't sure I was going to be able to make it through the whole 3 mile, but I did.  It was awful.  I couldn't have done 5.2 more, but I might have been able to do 2.1 more.  Okay, no, that's a lie.  I probably wouldn't have been able to do 2.1 more either.  It was rough.  And then, 7:14 seemed like an easy pace.  For a few minutes.  It got difficult, too.  But, not impossible.

My lungs definitely felt it more than my legs.  Which means I need to add speedwork with minimal recovery.  My track work has all involves ample recovery time.  I need to nip that shit in the bud and start doing sprints while I'm still gasping, force my lungs into better shape.

My overall pace for the five miles was 7:18.  This means I did five mights just a touch slower than my "fantasy" goal 10k pace.  And, if I were in a race situation I feel comfortable saying I would have been able to step up and knock out those last 1.2 miles at a pace that brought me to my goal.

Which means that my trainer's talks about pushing my comfort zone with goals, and his ideas for stupid goals for me are probably actually a good idea.

Sweat city, population: me


Mind you, this was just a treadmill.  Out on the road with elements and other people would be different.  But, I'm on the right track to increasing my awesomeness.  And it feels pretty damn rad.  I'd like to test out my half marathon goals soon, to see if I need to set more ambitious goals for my races this fall.  I'd rather err on the side of more ambitious, and fall flat, instead of setting my sights too low and not living up to my potential.

This shit is really exciting to me.  Like, I'm not going to be the next....um....famous runner?  I'm sorry, I don't follow this stuff.  Kara something?  Dan Kastasomething?  Anyway.  I'm not going to win races or set records.  But, there's a lot left to be unlocked in my legs.

I know, I know, I've been typing about this a lot.  But you guys!  I spent years plodding along thinking I would never get faster than 6mphs, and being okay with that.

And then, boom, something happened.  And I have these abilities.  Maybe everyone has them, and I'm just in the right mental place to unlock them?  I don't know.  It's not super human speed by any stretch of the imagination.  Tons of people are far faster than I with far fewer effort.  I want to make it clear that I don't think this makes me anything special outside of my own skin.

But comparing my self with my self?  Dude.  Rad.  Blowing my mind here.  Thinking about what I could do with myself is the closest I've ever been to a runner's high.

Feels good, man.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Life Is Good

Morning:

6 miles // 8:41 pace



Waking up early to run made me want to shoot myself.  I almost quit and went back to bed before even a minute had elapsed on the treadmill.  By the end of the run I was glad I did it, etc, etc, but that's not a feeling you can bottle and drink upon waking another morning, so it doesn't matter.  I don't know how frequently I'll be able to muster up the courage to run before work, but as the summer sun beats down harder and earlier, I'll probably have to.

==========================

Strength Training:



8 pre-sprint stretches:
toe walks (10 yards)
heel walks (10 yards)
toe foot kisses (10 each side)
inch worms (10 yards)
high knee on the toe (10 yards)
high knee skipping (10 yards)
frog (10 yards)
scorpion (10 total)

I'm not describing them because I'm not comfortable doing them yet myself, so I'm not going to risk someone else trying them.  Not that anyone who reads my blog goes out and does this shit, but still.

x4
10 jumping squats
10 (per side) roman deadlift to chest pull (machine)

x4
60 seconds rope slams
60 seconds walking lunges while holding weights on my shoulders

x60 minutes
copious whining



===========

My trainer is being amazing.  He's now purchased two books on the science and physiology of training runners, just so he can better train me.  He's making me whittle down my focus and define my goals.  He has some crazy ideas and high expectations, but he's pairing them with in depth knowledge of my weaknesses, and an overarching concern about my well being.  But we have some stupid goals that don't factor in the "everyone has a limit to how fast they can run" thing.  But we're aiming high enough that a lot of failure would still put me in a pretty awesome place.  I'm being intentionally vague because I'm not ready to write down the stupid goals we set.  I'd laugh myself off the internet.  And we're just talking right now. 

 ============

Life is good.  We celebrated my husband's birthday with sushi.  My brother Sky finally closed on a house.  The first thing I did was map the distance from our house to his.  5.4 miles.  "I could run that."  My mom has been here the past few weeks, so my garden has never looked better.  I have a pound of beef jerky I'm going to call lunch today.  Life is good.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Let's Talk About Sock, Baby

I love socks.



I even wore awesome socks on my wedding day.

So when Pro Compression emailed me asking me to pimp out their new orange socks, I had trouble saying no.


Marathon Orange

















I know sponsored posts are boring.  And yeah, they're shooting me a pair of these traffic cone beauts in return for me telling you about them.  But, here's the deal:  I already have a pair.  And while (regardless of what my email sub-nick says) I'm not a doctor, so I can't vouch for the science of compression, I know that I look fantastic in knee high socks, and the pressure of the compression feels pretty nice.  If you understand science you can try to figure it out yourself.

these are not my legs, and that is not my wood paneling.


Plus, they're a lot sexier than the diabetic compression socks of yore.

So, if you like the color orange, and you're in the market for a new pair of compression socks, visit Pro Compression.  Use promo code SOM610 for 40% off (expires July 10th, so if you're reading this after that, what the fuck?).

Laziest post ever.  To make it up to you, here is a picture of my brother getting stabbed in the ass:

Monday, June 25, 2012

Weekly Recap and 90s Costume Party

Weekly Totals:

Biked: 45.00 Miles (2:19:53)
Ran: 25.05 Miles (3:36:06)
Strength trained: 2 hours

=======================

Friday:

Biked 20 miles (while watching The Glee Project)

I knew I needed to plant my ass in the saddle and knock out some miles.  And I had limited time, which is my default excuse for why I'm not riding outside.  It takes longer.  Because I go slower.  Which I why I need to ride outside more. Fuck.

I don't know either.


========================

Saturday:

Biked 25 miles, ran 6 miles.

I did another version of my "I'm Bored" workout, only this time I really parsed it out.

1 mile run
5 mile bike
1 mile run
5 mile bike
1 mile run
5 mile bike
1 mile run
5 mile bike
2 mile run
5 mile bike

We'll pretend it was a well executed plan to conquer the feeling of bike legs.  But, really, it was more of an effort to cut everything into tiny pieces so it as easier to chew.  I was tired, my legs were tired, and it had been a long week.  But I needed to tuck this shit under my belt, so I did it.  It took just over 2 hours, and I felt great afterward.  I did not expect that.  My legs felt better than they did going in to it.  Weird.

I don't know why I'm making a potato face, or why I'm realizing it's potato face and still posting it on the internet.


=====================

My husband's birthday is tomorrow, so over the weekend we threw a 90s costume party.



He was Ace Ventura.



My trainer was Bob Ross.



My friend Misha came as Monica Lewinsky, and stayed in perfect character all night. Notice the white stain?



Andrew was John McCane.



Meg came as the Blind Melon bumblebee, and danced in the back yard.

hamster rapist

Alex came as a hamster rapist.  That was a thing in the 90s, right?  Hamster rapists?  No?  Okay, nevermind.  He, among others, brought flannel shirts and half asses their costumes.  Hamster rapist would have been a far better costume, really.  (or duck rapist, if you read Kara's blog) And it's definitely a hamster, and not a gerbil, since gerbils are illegal in California.



And I was Monica Seles.  

 

Friday, June 22, 2012

So There Are The Dead Legs I've Been Looking For

Dead legs.

Dead everything, really.

I had a a session with my trainer.  My brother needed to borrow my car.

So, I decided to jog to my trainer's apartment.

Worst 1.5 miles.  Lead legs. 



I still took advantage of the lobby mirror.

When I told my trainer I was jogging the 6+ miles home after our session, he shook his head.  We were working legs.  He may have called me stupid. 

The Workout

x5
20 kettlebell swings (heavy, but I don't remember how heavy)

x5
10 clean to squats

x3
10 (per arm) weighted shoulder rotation exercise

We tried to do a few other things, but my back was being finicky.  So we finished the exercises early and my trainer took his time stretching me out.

Of course, I undid all his work jogging home.

Fuck it was hard.  I felt like I was hitting an 11 minute mile.  I ended up averaging an 8:38 pace, but fuck it felt so much slower.  My legs felt heavy and stupid.  Everything was hard.  I looked with envy at the people whizzing by me on their bikes.

The hardest part was probably running home along the bike path I'd used three times last week.  I was used to seeing the sites at a different pace.  I felt like I was slogging through mud.

My body is sore and tired, and it shows.

And yet, I haven't spent any time on a bike this week.  And I really need to do that.  I'm not going to do better at this next duathlon is I ignore time on the bike.  My run times were already spectacular.  If I want to improve my overall time I need to work on my bike time.  And if I want to work on my bike time I need to ride my fucking bike.  And since I ignored it for the first half the week, I need to focus on it for the last part of the week, regardless of how tired I am (to a point).

I talked about this with my trainer.  I want to focus on everything.  I want to get better on my bike.  I want to increase my running mileage.  I need to figure out how to do both without killing myself, and without ruining my non-exercise life.  It doesn't help that I've been sleeping like shit this whole week, so cutting in to my sleep time (waking up early and working out before work, for example).  If feels like there isn't enough time in the week for me to do everything I want.

Mind you, thousands of people exercise far more than I do, and do it successfully.  I just need to find a balance for me.  And I should probably figure out what I'm going to focus on so I can actually do one thing WELL.

I have a half assed training plan that kicks in come July.  I need to get a second opinion on it.  It doesn't have the mileage I want.  I've been reading that to get better at running, and get faster, I need to up my mileage.  So, I've had that on the back of my mind for the last few weeks.  I have arbitrary numbers I think I should hit, for no reason.  But, my mileage at this point is low.  And I need to figure out how to up my mileage, still get focus on my bike, still weight train twice a week, and not burn out or cripple myself.  I think I've decided that I need to focus on half marathon training (and the duathlon), mostly because I signed up for four half marathons this fall.  Maybe this winter I'll hire a running coach and work on my 5k and 10k goals.  I don't know.  I want to do everything.  I have found no satisfying resolution to this yet.  I don't know if there is one.  I HAVE to pick a focus, or I won't be able to properly focus.  Already, having the duathlon and the half marathons in the same time period is pulling me in two different ways.  And I want to get better at swimming to see what I could do in a triathlon if I did all three legs well.  But I think I have to write swimming off entirely right now.  And I should probably try running twice a day a few days a week.  So many things.  So many scattered thoughts.

I've written out my goals.  I just don't want to wait.  And some of them are abstract.  "Get better at biking" is a hilarious goal, sitting next to well defined time and pace goals for specific running distances.  But it's what I have in my brain right now. 

Talk to me about weekly mileage goals.  How much does it matter to you?  How do you get the miles in?  What are you willing to sacrifice for miles?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Goal Pacing The Treadmill

Oh hey there's my treadmill.


I call this my "Holy Shit My Goal Pace Sucks" workout.

.50 @ 6mph
.25 @ 7.7mph (goal half marathon pace)
.25 @ 8.3mph (goal 10k pace)
.25 @ 9.3mph (goal 5k pace)
.25 @ 8.3mph
.25 @ 7.7mph
.25 @ 8.3mph
.25 @ 9.3mph
.25 @ 8.3mph
.25 @ 7.7mph
.25 @ 8.3mph
.25 @ 9.3mph
.25 @ 8.3mph
.25 @ 7.7mph
.25 @ 8.3mph
.25 @ 9.3mph
.25 @ 8.3mph
.25 @ 7.7mph
.50 @ 7mph


Total: 5.25 miles in 39:58

I'd like to work up to doing fewer, longer intervals.  But my legs and lungs were half with quarter mile spurts of stupid speed at this point.  It's funny, the 9.3mph wasn't so bad, but when I'd drop back down to 8.3mph my breathing would catch up to me, and it would feel so much harder.  This means I need to work on breathing properly during the 9.3mph spurts if I have any hope of keeping that pace for 20 minutes.  Breathing is important.

My shirt and grapevine match.


Wasn't yesterday supposed to be a rest day?

Well, yes.

But, I found myself hauling furniture and electronics around my office most of the day.  And then hauling around soil and lumber after work.  And sawing a giant cracked tree branch.  At that point I realized it was a shitty rest day.  It wouldn't be fair to my exhausted body to give it a half assed rest day.  Which is why I jumped on the treadmill.

Anyway.

And then I took my asshole dog for a walk.

He's an asshole because he eats his own shit.

Thrilling, I know.

Here is a finish line picture from the mud run.

And here are the legally acquired pictures from my duathlon:





Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Would You Like Some Cheese With That Bitching?

I love floor to ceiling mirrors

While I was warming up on the treadmill my trainer walked in to the gym and asked how long I'd been on the treadmill.  "Seven and a half minutes!" I chirped.  He leaned in, sniffed my armpit, and pronounced "Not long enough!"

The Workout:

x4
30 second rope slams
10 reverse pull ups (sloooooooooooooow on the down part)
5 chest presses on a machine at a stupidly hard weight

x4
15 squat to overhead raises
15 (per side) low to high wood choppers

Not going to lie, I was a whiny bitch this whole session.  I guess my weekend finally caught up to me because I was mother fucking tired, and it showed.  At one point I accused my trainer of making the workout extra hard to punish me for almost catching him during Saturday's race.  I almost threatened to fart on him, tried to stall in between every exercise, and almost cried during the wood choppers because there were so many different things to remember, and I couldn't seem to do it right.

Yeah, I was a real joy to be around.  Sunshine and roses up in here.

Clearly I need a rest day.



I left my bike with my trainer after the mud run, and had him drive me home, because the idea of biking home after the race seemed kind of awful.  Now that I've reclaimed it, I have to ride it.  I should probably do some intervals and some bike commuting this week.  I enjoy it while I'm doing it, so why do I dread it so much?

Oh, because it doesn't come easy to me, and I hate having to TRY.  Yeah.  That.

Whine whine whine.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Meow

Yesterday's run should not have been a good run.  After a hard race and a long hike, my legs should have been dead.

It certainly shouldn't have been the kind of run that would leave me smiling and loving the whole running thing.

And yet, there I was, 6 miles and five 400m sprints under the belt, and feeling great.



400m:
91s
90s
90s
87s
88s

 Okay, maybe you guys can help me out on this.

So, the 400ms.  How awful should I feel afterward?  I mean, I was gasping, right?  And I was with my brother, so we took a full 400m walk/jog between them. And by the time it was time to start another 400m sprint, I was totally ready for it.  And during the final cool down I kind of wanted to do more of them.

Should I finish a track workout totally dead?  Part of me thinks that if I feel awesome, I didn't push hard enough.  But that also seems like stupid logic.

I know I could have pushed harder on the 400ms.  Not much harder, but harder.  Should I be killing myself on track work?  Will that make me better, or drain me too much?  Does that vary person to person?  Or is there a universal "this is how you do this speed work shit"?

Enough questions.



Meow.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Camp Pendleton Mud Run Recap



Time:  56:47
4th in my age group out of 290.
12th woman  out of 1,367 women.
95th overall place out of 2,715 people.

 

I ran this race last year and didn't review it favorably.  But, I'm highly susceptible to peer pressure.  So when my trainer brought up running it with me, I agreed.

Which is how I found myself, stomach twisting in knots, at the start line on Saturday.

I tried not to be too nervous.  I was supposed to train hard for this race and kill it, but my trip to India and my illness afterward ruined that.  So, I was just there to do my best.  My trainer was there to kill it, but I was just there to do my best. I kept repeating it Saturday morning, so I'm repeating it now.

When the gun went off, my trainer took off like a bolt.  I wanted to push myself, but I didn't want to go out too fast, so I picked a comfortable pace.

The first mile had guys with fire hoses face blasting the runners, and a river crossing.  It was early enough in the race that the cold water was uncomfortable.  Mostly, I just hate being cold.  But, it didn't take long for the dampness to feel good.  After the first mile there were almost three miles of hill.  Not hills.  Hill.  I was mentally prepared for this, though, even if I hadn't been physically training.  My strategy was to find a pace where I would not have to walk.  I could slow down if I needed to, but I would NOT walk.  I knew the moment I walked, I was mentally giving up a little bit. 

So I didn't walk.  And, in doing so, in maintaining a comfortable, steady pace, I started passing people.  Lots of walking people.  My quads burned and I wondered how long I could keep going, but I was passing people.  And the people surrounding me were now almost entirely male.  It was odd.  Where were all the ladies?  But, it also felt good.  Maybe I wasn't doing so bad.

This is a hard race.  It's meant to be a hard race.  It's not the Warrior Dash.  While it allows for the walkers and the gawkers, it also attracts a much higher caliber of runner.  Maybe it's being on a military base.  Maybe it's because they've been doing it for over 20 years.  But there are some bad ass mother fuckers who run this course.  The winner of each race usually comes in under 40 minutes.  That factors in the giant hill and a mile of muddy obstacles.  Holy shit, right?  Yeah, holy shit.

So it was weird to be passing people.  Had I started too far back, and was just now getting up to the people at my pace?  I had no idea.  I also had no idea what pace I was going.  I wasn't going to drag my Garmin through the mud, so I was flying blind.  And I felt fucking awesome.

I flew down the downhill.  I hit the obstacles with force.  I leaped over the walls without assistance.  I pulled myself through the mud.  I ran up the slippery mud slopes.  I got my sun glasses knocked off when a fire hose hit me square in the side of my face.  They sunk into the mud pit before I even realized they were gone.  A sacrifice to the race gods.

With less than a mile to go I passed an aid station and the woman working there yelled "top ten women!"  "Me?"  "YES YOU!"

What the fuck?

I took off like my ass was on fire.  No one was going to pass me now, because holy shit you guys.  Thousands of people were out there today.  How was this possible?

I pulled myself through the last mud pit and sprinted across the finish line.

56:47

Whoa.


Battle scars I didn't notice until I crossed the finish line.


I found my trainer at the finish line.  I was only 38 seconds behind him.

Whoa again.  Dude is fucking fast.  But he had a bad race day.

He was stoked for me, though.  Because 56:47

I know, not that impressive for a 10k.  But, for THIS 10k, fucking impressive.

So, how come I was the 12th?

Two waves of people.  Results pooled them together.  *sigh*

But, my standings are pretty fucking cake, for that many people?  I am impressed with myself.  My trainer and I already have plans for how we're going to train for and KILL this race next year.  This is me with only a few weeks of training under my belt.  Shit.  Races this fall are going to be fucking AWESOME.


Week In Review -- Thrilling I know

Friday:

Biked to work.  Biked home.  Packed a bag.  Biked to my trainer's house.

18.97 miles.

It was fun to try to figure out how to function without a car.  I'm lucky to live both near work and near my trainer.  I'm still working on how to not feel gross when get to work.  I change clothes and wipe down with wet paper towels, but it's not really enough.  My hair feels gross for most of the day.

========================

Sunday:

Hiked 18 miles around Malibu Creek State Park.







The hike was supposed to be 13 miles.  We hit a few fences we couldn't circumvent and accidentally added 5 miles to the tally, making it less of an awesome hike and more of a death hike.  The giant mountain we climbed didn't help (Elevation Gain: 2,748 ft).  Don't get me wrong, I had a great time, but I'm pretty sure I was the only one.  My poor mom had a rough go at the last three miles.  But we finished.

I should research my hikes better.  I was trying to test out a race this fall, but I'm pretty sure the gates we hit will be open then, so it wasn't an accurate mapping.  The ascent, while steep, was awesome, and got me really excited about the race.  The descent was steep as shit, though.  It made my toe nails hurt, and would probably result in me eating shit if I tried to run down it.

I still want to try to jog the loop.  It would go a lot faster.

And now my feet hate me.

=========================

Weekly totals:

Bike:  45.95 Mi
Ran:   13.56 Mi 

Total fitness hours:  6 (unless you include the hike.  Then it's 14.5 hours)

Time to ramp up the running again.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Summer of Rose



                   Post-Bike                                               Post-Run

Bike:

49m 09s 12.67 miles 15.47 Mi/hr

Run:

24m 39s 3.00 miles 08m 13s/Mi


I rode my bike to and from work again yesterday.  It's a good way to force me out of my comfort zone and spent some low key time in the saddle.  It doesn't replace other work I should be doing on the bike, but it's a good addition to my life.

This whole week has been low-key exercise-wise.  I've been excessively exhausted, and haven't been sleeping well.  Since it's both a post-race (duathlon) week and a pre-race (10k mud run tomorrow) week I haven't had much motivation to push myself.  That's probably for the best.

After tomorrow mud run I have a clear race calendar until the middle of August.  I have a laundry list of goals for this fall, most of which conflict.  And while I'd like to think I can simultaneously train for 4 different types of goals, it's not going to work out.  Mostly, I am excited to be in a position when I want to pursue goals, so I want to work on all of the, RIGHT NOW, while I'm excited about it.  I'm champing at the bit to improve all of my athletic skill sets to the point where I'll end up Jack-Of-All-Master-Of-None-ing the shit out of myself if I don't rein in it.

So, there's that.  Right now my summer is laid out in front of me, brimming with possibility and potential.  I have no idea what my limits are when it comes to training and goals.  It will be interesting to explore those limits.  And frustrating, I'm sure.  I don't deal well with not being good at something.  It's come easy enough thus far.

It's going to be an interesting summer.

The End.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wear Your Mother F**king Helmet

I rode my bike to and from work yesterday.

On the way home I saw a dude with fancy bike gloves, and clip in bike shoes.

And no helmet.

Listen, I understand.  Legally, adults on bicycles in California don't have to wear helmets.  Fine. Mr. Government isn't forcing you to do something.  That doesn't mean it's not fucking stupid to be biking around city streets without a fucking helmet.  It doesn't matter if you're the best cyclist in the whole world.  That won't stop a car from plowing in to you.

Helmets are sexy as fuck.



Being dead?  Not sexy as fuck.

http://www.streetsblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/08_13/bikeaccident08150701pop.jpg

Dead as fuck.

And I really really hate seeing parents out riding with their kids, where the kids have helmets and the parents don't.  This is the parents basically saying "helmets are lame but I'll get in trouble if YOU don't wear one."  Great lesson to teach your kids.

Blarg.

=====================



Like I said, yesterday I biked to and from work (I lent my brother my car).

Total distance:  14.32 miles.

Not the world's greatest workout, but I wasn't pushing it like a workout.  Trying to whore's bath myself in the sink when I got to work was gross enough without excessively sweating.  I did bring work clothes, but I still felt gross.  If we had a shower in my office, man, it would change my life.

I also biked to my training session after work.  Yeah, that kind of made me feel like a badass.

The Workout:

x10
30 seconds double arm rope slams
30 seconds rest
30 seconds chest-to-floor push ups
30 seconds rest
30 second medicine ball clean and press
30 seconds rest
30 second sprint (mphs: 8, 9, 10, 10.5, 11, 10.5, 10.5, 10.5, 10, 9)

No rest between rounds.  And man, 30 seconds felt like a billion years during the rope slams, and like 3 seconds during the rest breaks.  Perception of time, man.  Whoa.  Blowing my mind.



========================

Monday I dragged (drug?  I don't know.  And I'm too lazy to look it up, but not too lazy to type out this explanation of how I'm too lazy to look it up.  Educate me) Sky to the CSUN track for some speed work.



We warmed up for two miles, then did four sets of 200m sprint, 200m recovery.

36.6s
39.8s
38.8s
40.3s

Halfway through the last one I thought I might hurl.  YUM.  Pacing myself for 200ms is hard, man.

After the 200ms we switched to 100m.

16.7s

I made it through one before I got the butt twinge.  *sigh*  So, we cooled down and headed home.  It was a much, much lighter twinge, and I didn't feel it at all during the 200ms, so I guess I'll avoid the 100ms for a while.  Overall, for the day after a race, we did pretty good.  Including warm up and cool down we did a good 4.5 miles or so.

Sky's sweat patterns afterward looked like a face or a penis.



==============================



 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Camarillo Duathlon #1 Race Report

Saturday morning I woke up bright and early and drove 30 minutes north to do my first ever duathlon.

I signed up months ago because it seemed like a good idea, and a great alternative to triathlons, since I hate/suck at swimming.

India and laziness threw a wrench in my training plans.  But I signed up for a duathlon series, so I knew I'd have two more races to make up any shit performance I threw out for the first one.

This duathlon was tiny.  60 people were doing the olympic length with me.

3 mile run / 19.5 mile bike / 3 mile run

Cake.

================

Splits:

Run 1: 
time:  21:20
rank:  2nd woman (about a minute behind woman1)

T1:
time:  0:27
rank:  1st (this is the beauty of not wearing clip in shoes.  Grab bike.  grab helmet.  Exit.)

Bike:  
time:  1:08:53 (16.9mph)
rank:  8th

T2:
time:  0:21
rank:  1st

Run 2:
time: 22:50
rank:  3rd woman (2nd woman was less than a second faster.  Oof)

Total:
time:  1:53:51
rank:  6th woman

 =================

This was the first duathlon in a series of three, all using the exact same course.  I have two months before I need to take on #2.

My runs were solid.  Yes, they could have been faster, especially the second one.  And they will be faster, not only because I will know how much harder I can push myself, but *I* will be faster.

But the bike.  Oh.  Ouch.  As exhilarating as it was to pass so many people on Run1, it was equally defeating to watch every single one of them speed past me on the bike section.

I could not blame it on the terrain or the wind, because everyone else was dealing with the same terrain and wind.  They probably trained in situations that involved terrain and wind, while I sat on my bike trainer watching The Bachelor and patting myself on the back for my awesome speeds.

Yeah.

=================

After the race I packed myself and drove home.  After a wonderful, glorious shower I did what I usually do post-race:  gathered a variety of shitty foods, the tv remove, and my laptop, and nested on the couch for hours.

I uploaded pictures and my Garmin data.  And I wrote a few notes to myself for the next two races.

Notes:
-get better at biking.  Conditions are never an excuse, because everyone has those conditions.
-learn to strap your race number to your bike so it doesn't flap against your calf the entire fucking bike ride.
-make sure your rear wheel is attached to your bike
-make sure your tires are properly inflated.
-Run harder.  It won't make the bike harder (first leg) and it's over too fast (second leg) so speed it up.
-Post-bike run will feel slow as fuck, but will not be slow as fun.  Lean into it and just PUSH.
-Don't try to count women to see what your standing is.  You are terrible at it, or half the top women racing look like men.
-Just because the girl racked next to you talks about "leading the pack" at a previous tri, and seems to know what she's doing, doesn't mean she will kick your ass. 

What the fuck?


==================

The photographer for the race is fucking awesome.  They are giving every contestant 2 free pictures (you get to pick which ones).  And not just the digital copy, but real, in your hand prints, mailed to you.  Whut?  Who does that?  Small, awesome races do that, apparently.

Which is why I'm not stealing any of their watermarked pictures.  Even though there's a fantastic one from the second bike loop, before I realized the camera man was there, just me, looking and feeling utterly dejected.  Not a picture worth picking as one of my free ones, but a good example of "rose sucks balls at biking outside."

The difference a split second makes in a good race picture versus a shitty race picture:

Good Rose // Bad Rose

 ==================

 So, game plan.

Get my fucking ass on my fucking bike outside of my fucking living room.  That's it.  The more I ride outside the better I'll be at riding outside.  I already plan on adding some bike speed work in.  And I spent a good amount of time "in the saddle."  I just need to be in the saddle ON THE ROAD.

Yes.  I keep mentioning that.  Because it was stupid of me to do otherwise.  To be fair, I didn't start training for anything until a couple of weeks ago, so I can't be too harsh on myself.  But I am very resistant to biking outside.  I have a number of people willing to do so with me.  It just feels like it takes so much more effort.  I don't know.  Even now, typing this out, I'm trying to justify my hesitance.  "It takes so much time."  "I'd have to drive 3 miles away to be able to bike uninterrupted."  How is that a fucking excuse?  It's not.

I'm not afraid I'm going to get hit by a car or fall over or anything.  I just...don't want to bike outside.  I don't know.  Biking doesn't come as easily to me as other things do, so I'm sure that factors in some.  The people I can ride with who are closest to me physically are people I don't know as well, so I have to step outside my comfort zone to ask them to ride with me.  Maybe (and I'm unraveling this as I type) it's that I view biking as more social?  Because in thinking about this, if my EMTs asked me to do some crazy distance bike ride with them this weekend, I'd jump at it.  That sounds fucking awesome.  But laying down even 15 miles at the park loop by my house sounds awful.  Whereas running 15 miles at the park loop by my house sounds kind of awesome.

biking outside alone, or asking people I'm not super close with to bike with me = oh god no
biking stupid distances I'm ill prepared for with people I fucking love = sign me up for that class

Okay, so I can recognize my limitations.  Now what?

I have three options:

1.  Actively pursue more rides with the EMTs or my brother
2.  Push my comfort zone and pursue riding with people closer to me physically, but further out in my circle of friends
3.  Nut up and ride on my own

Though, I suppose, the best option is some combination of the three.  Which seems obvious now, but still requires the forethought and and intention to follow through.

But, looking at two more of these duathlons down the line, I would like to improve.  I want to give my best effort on the bike, and I wasn't doing that.  I was tolerating the bike ride in an effort to get back to the run, which is stupid, and pointless.  The run was hard, but it was a satisfying kind of hard.  The bike ride made me not want to ride bikes anymore.  Stupid.

=================



Regardless of all that textual diarrhea, I had a great time.  The race was well run, and the people were friendly.  I look forward to doing it all over again.

Monday, June 11, 2012

This Is What I Did On Friday

I'm still waiting on split information from my duathlon, so here's what I did Friday:




The "I Am Bored" Workout:

1 mile run
5 mile bike
2 mile run
10 mile bike
2 mile run
5 mile bike
1 mile run

Total bike:  20 miles, 1:03:42, 18.84 mph
Total run:  6 miles, 51:29, 8:35 min/miles

It was a fun, sweaty workout, but it was probably a bit much when I should have been taking it easy before a race.



 ====================

Last week's totals:

Bike:  56.16 Mi, 3:13:50
Run:  25.55 Mi, 3:35:02
Strength Training:  2 hours

Way more time on the bike, and faster running miles than the previous weeks.  Good stuff.

 ====================

It's Monday morning and I brain isn't functioning, so I'm just going to sit and stare at this for the next few hours. 

http://i.imgur.com/7XtyR.gif









Friday, June 8, 2012

A Day In My Life


7am, and the neighbor's gardener is mere feet from where I'm sleeping, weed whacking along the fence.  Fuck.










What greets me when I step outside my bedroom.  One is begging for food, the other for a walk.






Instead I hide away in the guest bedroom, where I keep my bike trainer.  I think this face is saying "fuck I look awful in the morning."  Morning Ugly.  Serious medical condition.  Coming soon to a webmd.com near you.



One hour and 16.something miles later, I'm in a much better mood.  Well, as good a mood as I an be in, considering a stupid weed whacker woke me up 1.5 hours before I needed to be up.



I walk my stupid dog.



Get dressed.




And drive to work.

This is riveting shit, right?



The first thing I do when I get to work is get myself a cup of coffee.



30 minutes later I'm on cup #2, and finally ready to deal with my employees.

I do normal work shit in the morning.  Shift through too many emails.  Deal with small problems.  Put out fires.



Around 10am I eat "breakfast," aka a family size back of spicy pork rinds.  Sorry, gents, I'm taken, as sexy as this is.  Don't judge me, because they're fucking delicious.

Okay, judge me.  It is kind of gross.



For lunch I run to the store and pick up break room supplies and vending machine stock.



Plus, you know, actual lunch.



And a quick stop at the bank so I can pay my personal trainer.  I'd love to say he crafts this body for free, but, alas, no.



"I drink diet coke" is the only caption I could think of for this.



Lunch.



I eat at my desk every day.  Sometimes I work.  Sometimes I just browse the internet.  I'm an introvert.  Lunch is "me" time.  It doesn't stop people from coming in to my office while I'm mid-chew and asking me for things.  But, hey, I'm the boss.  It's my job.  But, if I sat in the break room I'd have to socialize through lunch, and I don't think I could handle that every day. 



Chugging 32 oz of water.



Stocking the vending machine.  I think I'm the only one who buys the oreos.



Still working on my sandwich.  I keep getting distracted and interrupted. 



The rest of my day is equally thrilling.  Writing some copy for a promotional email.  Looking up sales figures.  Small business usually means jack of all trades.



5pm means time to head to my trainer's.  I change in my office.



I am perpetually early to things.  I park across the street with 8 minutes until I'm supposed to roll in the door, so I play AndroidMinion on my phone.



A quick pause in my trainer's lobby to take an ass picture in the mirror, and I'm good to go.

No pictures of me training because I'm pretty sure my trainer doesn't know I have a blog, and it would just feel weird.

We talked about Tosh.0 and Workaholics and physical deformations and midget vaginas.

Workout:

x4
5 35lb single arm dumbbell cleans (per side)
10 (per side) reverse lunges while doing rope slams the whole time
25 push ups using gymnastics rings

x3
60 second plank
15 (per side) toe touch crunches

We spent a lot of times on the cleans.  The apartment gym is lacking in the dumbbell department.  The dumbbells jump in weight from 10lbs to 35lbs.  So, the 35lbs was definitely a struggle.  We tried adding jumps to my clean to make it better.  I focused a lot on form, because at that weight poor form could fuck my shit up.

My trainer complimented me on gaining the weight back, and I admitted to eating like shit for the past few weeks "because I could."  While physically I mostly can, considering how much I work out, and how awesome my genes are (mostly the genes, to be fair), it's still not GOOD for me to eat poorly on a regular basis.  So, I need to reign it in.  A little bit.



Workout done. 



We have no meat thawed at home, so I swing by the grocery store, and get distracted by pork rinds.  Single track mind.



Hot food line.  I got grilled chicken and carnitas.  Mmmmmmm.



On the drive home I eat a pound of strawberries.  It's only three miles.  I was hungry.



I dump the groceries on the counter and hop in the shower.



I like ducks.



My husband was working late, so he told me to eat without him.  I put on The Glee Project.  I enjoy the show, even though I quit watching Glee halfway through last year.



Dinner part 2.  And then I watched move tv, read for an hour, and went to bed.