Sunday, June 29, 2008

Prepatory Swimming

I went swimming in the lake today. Wowza. If I had a nickle for every time I said or thought "How hard can it be?"......well, then I would have hired somebody to type this for me while I dictate. And as many countless times as I have thought "How hard can it be?" I have followed it up with "I'm sure it will be challenging, yes, but how hard....." I digress. As my friend always says with a shrug "She'll learn."

Swimming in the lake is different. There is no place to rest. This is the major difference. And I think the hardest part. I learned from a guy also doing the tri that there are people with noodles every 50 feet or so that way you can rest if you need to, you just can't swim with them. But it was FUN! I think that I am going to be pretty pumped coming off the swim and hitting the bike, that should last me a good 3 miles into the ride. It was a pretty windy day today and the waves didn't seem all that bad and the water ceased feeling cold as soon as I dunked my head. These are the things I was worried about. The only thing left to experience is the other swimmers all trying to get to the same place as me. But how can I practice that. Somethings you just have to experience baby.

I think my strategy is something like:

1. Just get through the swim.
2. Get onto the bike as fast as you can. Ride out the downhill and push hard on the uphill. I'm gonna try to make up some time on the bike if that is at all possible.
3. Slow and steady with the run (not win as in WIN, but win as in don't die)

It's getting close. I'm feeling good.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

All it takes is a little heart

I feel like I have finally gotten into the real meat of swimming. The plan has been calling for swimming 400 yards as fast as you can while keeping good form. I can swim 100 yards in about 3 minutes so it takes me about 12 minutes to finish. And that's about 1/2 the Tri swim. What's fun is that I can swim this semi-continuously. I don't do flip turns but I only rest at the wall for 3-5 seconds before turning. I know I can swim 100 yards faster - in fact I did my last one in 2:30 but I know I couldn't keep that up so I want to be consistent and keep a strong stroke. The swimming is coming around. Still much improvement and practice to be made, but for the time I have, I'm pleased. I'm really excited to try my new suit in the lake sometime soon! As soon as the bottoms come in.....

And as far as biking, I feel that is going well also. I can say with certainty that my legs are getting stronger, and the transition between biking and running is getting smoother. The course is slightly hilly so that could add some challange. I should bike that route one of these days just to feel prepared.

That leaves the running. Lately, even getting a 5k in seems like a challenge. And on the 12th I'll have to do it after swimming and running. I kept thinking on my run last night "You think it's difficult now....It ain't gonna get any easier". I also was thinking "Slow down, but you don't stop". I was all about encouragement in my thoughts yet I was still struggling to push. Which made me think, I've got it in my head, but do I have it in my heart? Yes, I believe I do, I just need to trust myself that I do.

Like my new favorite quote "What lies before us and what lies behind us are small matter compared to what lies within us." I kept thinking, it's going to take all my heart to do the triathlon in a time I can feel pleased with. Whatever time that is, if I feel like I brought my A game, I'm happy. Anyway, then on my run I kept telling myself "It's gonna take heart....It's gonna take heart". I've got to get my heart in the game. Then, and only then will I feel like the force I want to be.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Some inspiration

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Next, check out the determination in the faces and eyes of these athletes. The focus is hard core.

And this just because I like it; also by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

"Conservatism makes no poetry, breathes no prayer, has no invention; it is all memory. Reform has no gratitude, no prudence, no husbandry."

Saturday, June 21, 2008

It's Official

I'm turning 30 and having a party! The invitations are going in the mail. I'm so excited. I'm excited/happy to be having a birthday. I mean yeah getting older takes adjusting to as the years pass, but it's inevitable and I'm glad to be here today. Isn't my mom amazing? She made all 50 invitations!

As I was putting each invitation in the envelope I was imagining what the party would be like. Then I would flip the envelope over after I sealed it to see who it was going to. I would think "Oh, I really love those guys" and "They are such great people" (I said that about every single one) and then I would picture them having fun and laughing.

It's not really about me. I say not really because it is to some extent right, but the point is that I love when all my family is together even more. It's bigger than celebrating me. Having everyone together and laughing and just being a family is beyond amazing. I observe the dynamics of the relationships and think "I know these people; they are my people" The love and support we have for each other pulses when we are all together. It's great. So yeah, my birthday is just an excuse for me to get what I really want on my birthday and that is a great family gathering. Like when I was a kid and summer was carefree and fun.

I'm so excited!!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Biking is Beautiful

I think I am starting to realize why I am worried about the triathlon. I do know (barring major setbacks) that I will finish, but I am a little concerned with how difficult I will be surprised that it is. And here is the reason: I don't feel like I have really had to bust my hump during training. Whenever I am running there is always a point during training where there is an amount of uncomfortable effort exerted.

I decided just now that the reason I haven't felt this way is because I was in relatively good shape to begin with to achieve a sprint traithlon. It's like when I play a familiar song on the piano. To be great would take practice, but I could still pound it out with minimal effort while sounding ok. Well, I guess I am following the book and Joel Friel says that if I follow his plan I can complete a triathlon in 12 weeks. He wrote a book; I mean he must know.

Last night I biked 10 miles to my softball game and really enjoyed the ride. The last 1.5 miles or so was pretty hilly and I realized that it was the 1st 3 miles of the TC 10. Crap. I had forgotten about those hills, but I got a plan for when this training starts. Stay tuned. I concidered getting off my bike and walking up. I could barely pass this guy running!

Softball was a tons-o-fun. We ended in a tie. I was the catcher. I'm really flexible and good at squatting :) Plus this position requires minimal effort and I get to toss the ball a lot. It's perfect. It's a lot of people from my work playing; a really fun group all together.

Then I had to bike home. It was about 8:30 at that point; gets dark around 9:30 so I took about 7 more minutes on the ride home. After 7 miles I was pretty much done. My legs were really tired! I kept thinking that I would walk up the next hill. I concidered calling my boyfriend and telling him to come get me (he already said he would) or at the least to meet me at this bar we go to for some tots. But I didn't do any of those things, mainly because I hate stopping. I just wanted to get home. I did take this lovely picture on my way home. I imagined that I would capture all the most beautiful spots on the trip, but turns out I would have had to pull over to take pics and as I just said, I hate to stop. So all of these lovely spots of Minneapolis will have to stay locked in my brain. Maybe someday when I am out for a leisure ride I will take more pictures.

Final thoughts on biking: It's so refreshing. Everyone should have a bike.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Summer Fun: Part II

The kickball season is officially over. We lost our final game so were eliminated from the playoffs early on. But I got to play 3rd base and caught a few fly balls. I think I improved this season. I can't believe it's the middle of June. We had such cold weather for so long that I feel like summer just got here finally. I am hoping this means that since we got cheated out of early heat, it will stick around long into.....October? Maybe? Please? I think I am going to sign up for the Las Vegas 1/2 Marathon in December which means training in October and November. Not typically good training weather. I complained so much training for the Earth Day 1/2 in February because of weather, but I'm optimistic. Nothing a few new cold weather training outfits can't cure I'm sure :)

But on to the 2nd 1/2 of summer.

Looks like we will finally be getting out to the lake at the end of June. I think I will probably try to water ski again if given the opportunity. I got up last year once for a good run but it ended in a painful fall with water in painful places. You know, I guess that is how most of my 'seasons' end. With one painful fall and I'm out until next year. See:
Snowboarding. At least I keep trying.

I'll be 30 in August in case you haven't read about it in the papers yet. 8/8/08 to be exact. Of course there will be a party. Fun! I'm working on composing my "I'm turning 30" thoughts as we speak.

Let's see. Softball will start this Thursday. I think I like that better than kickball. It's more of a real sport. The fun thing about that is, I decided to bike to the games. It's about 8.5 miles (one way) and paved path the whole way. It's going to be an easy way to get at least one of my rides in.

I've done a few more combo workouts where you bike and then run right away. The first 5 minutes of running always sucks, but then it gets somewhat better. It's not my lungs, it's my legs that need the rest by then so if I can take it slow and get into a groove, I'll be A-OK. But man, are my legs reluctant to start.

I need to practice my golf swing this week as I am going out with work people for the first round next week. I'll do that this weekend. It should be nice.

Then we have camping, Twins games, parties.......I'm full!

I've said it before: I need a sponsor so I can just train and practice all week long. Can't I be like the poster child for average or something? A role model to all girls of what they could do if they just put 1/4 of their energy into something. Well, if you hear of anybody looking for that type of girl, send my name their way.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Now I'm Ready

Ah, my new triathlon outfit. And yes, I did have to blog about it the minute I bought it.

And the most amazing thing about this outfit? It is EuroSealer air locked tight (for freshness) and somehow looks decent on! I'm practically ready for the race! Oh yeah, except for about 3 more weeks of training.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Discovery Zone

  1. This new website: I can't get enough of shopping there. Probably I am the last person on earth to know about it, but I want to buy everything. It's all handmade stuff that you purchase directly from the maker. I bought this:
  2. The dog can't run with me anymore. I just ran 3 miles and some kids wanted to pet her so I stopped (I totally used them as an excuse for a break) and she layed in the grass and didn't move. This isn't like her, usually she's all excited. Then I practically had to drag her back to the car. Maybe I should start her on my old run 1:30 min, walk 5 min plan.
  3. My book fine at the library is so big I'm no longer allowed to check out books until I pay up. Really it's only $10.70. I was doing so good about returning things....and now I'm delinquent. Hope they don't report me to the bureau. And don't laugh because at one point I heard that that was going to be a consideration!!
  4. A Peanut Buster Parfait is 17 weight watcher points. Egad! Good thing I never get those. But the point is, well the point.....I don't have a point. But I didn't lose any weight this week and that was hard to take. I can see why this happened. I was still careful, but I let a lot of things slide. And here is the outlook for this week: Mexican tonight, Mexican tomorrow night, wedding on Friday night, Saturday still out of town with bars at night, Sunday breakfast and then FINALLY come home. It's going to be a doosie.

That's all I guess. You know what I need though? One of those really good runs that make you feel all fast and good. Like running is your destiny and not just the thing you do for exercise. I'm not hating running, I just need the satisfaction.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Ain't no sunshine when it rains

And it always rains, when I wanna run.

Well lately anyway. But there is sunshine even though it has been raining. I have been following through on my commitment to take my tri training seriously. So far this week I hit the schedule as it was meant to be hit.

Run and swim Tuesday.
Bike Wednesday.
Run Thursday.
Bike and swim today.

I feel good about doing something each day. The truth is the only difficult part about the training so far is getting it in. The actual workouts are not so bad. The bike parts are definitely a challenge, but I have had harder runs in the past. Anyway, I'm pleased.

And I lost 5 pounds. I was always so worried about not getting enough to eat while I was training that I would use that as an excuse to eat anything. So I joined Weight Watchers. The kind where you go to meetings. And I really really like it. There is something to be said about the camaraderie and motivation from others. I love hearing about other people having success. It's not really that I am learning that much on how to diet or eat right or anything (I've been on a diet my whole life; I know a thing or two about diets), but for me it provides the emotional support and accountability. I was surprised to see that many of the people in the program are at their goal weight and come back 1-2 times a month just to keep on track. Supportive. Plus it totally keeps me accountable for the days that I workout for say an hour. If I get hungry I know exactly how much extra I can have that day without just saying "Eat whatever! You worked hard." I recommend it.

One last thing about WW. I have heard people criticize it because they feel like they constantly need to think about food. How much they eat, when they are going to eat next etc. But to that I say: you got to this weight in your life by not paying attention to what you eat. How well has that worked for you? It's probably time you start paying attention in the right way. So I feel like it's a positive. When I reach goal I would like to transition into listening to my body and hopefully I have practiced good habits long enough that they will come more naturally.

Finally, a last comment on sunshine. We are supposed to see some tomorrow. But here is an interesting outlook sent to me by a co-worker today:

The good news is that two minutes after the sunsets we can expect mostly sunny skies. So we have that to look forward to :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Women Rule and Men Drool

I was at the gym tonight and saw one treadmill smack dab in the middle of 4 men running. I thought, I could go to another row but why? I can run with the boys. I'm like Eight Belles (poor thing). I was running well. I felt good. I was enjoying myself.


I had trouble breathing.

As in I couldn't.

Because there was a stench in the air that was so horrible it consumed all the breathable oxygyn in a 10 foot radius. I can only imagine that is what the Bog of Eternal Stench smells like.Well I'm too much of a lady to say exactly what it was I smelled. This is not the first time this has happened to me at the gym, but this was the worst time. Men are so crude. I had to walk away from my treadmill for a minute while the air cleared.

I know that women do this too. But men just seem to be nastier. Just one more reason that women rule and men drool :)

I had a good run though. I ran 20 minutes, then did some speed drills and finished with 10 minutes. Altogether it was a little over 3 miles. I already have 7+ miles for the week. AND Day 1 of week 7 in triathlon training went exactly according to planned. Nice.

Where are the Parents?

Today I have to fill out my medical insurance forms. I have to estimate how sick I am going to be for the next year in order to fill out my flex spending deductions.

I need to call and reschedule a reservation I made.

I need to call about getting reimbursed for a co-pay that I wasn't supposed to pay.

I need to figure out what I want to do about the hail damage on my car. Probably this will involve a phone call too.

I need to turn in my claims from the previous year to get reimbursed from my flex spending account.

I need to pay my renter's insurance and car insurance.

And I ask, at times like these where are the parents who do all this for you? I don't like being an adult. This part is not fun. I'm nearly 30 and I still think "Responsibility - BLECK!!! Who needs it". I don't have time for this stuff between my kickball schedule and my swim lessons. I barely have time for my grown-up job that enables me to live my superstar lifestyle.

I want all the freedom and none of the responsibility. Like Paris Hilton.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Art of Procrastination

If you are a procrastinator you have to be very clever otherwise you come off as a complainer; always making excuses as to why things can't/don't get done. As a professional procrastinator, I find myself seeing rain in the forecast for the entire week and wondering why again it was that I couldn't run yesterday when it was sunny and the most perfect day since.....well, since I can remember. Oh that's right. I was busy:

In the morning I went to church at 10:45. I had been lacking sleep from the day before so the only obvious choice was to sleep until it was time to get ready for church. No time for running before. I'll go at noon.

Church started at 9:30 so I ended up coming home. It was really humid and hot already so I thought I should stay in and do some laundry first. Plus I was hungry and can't run on an empty stomach. (NOT and excuse - it's really hard to run on an empty stomach for me. It hurts). No time for running now. I'll go at 6:30 or 7 when it is starting to cool down.

Then my boyfriend came home from work and I hadn't seen him in about 4 days because of work, so I went to see him briefly. Then I fiddled around on the Internet while he slept. Then I went to the gym and swam some laps! Yay! It's not like I did nothing all day. After swimming I putzed around some more at his house and was hungry again so we went to Ruby Tuesday's for the salad bar. At this point it was about 6:30, so the 7:00 run wasn't looking so good.

We finished eating, got home and I could have gone running about say 8:30 but if I was going to run 6 miles, it would take an hour and then I run the risk of it being dark. I definitely don't like that sooooooooo

I didn't go running. But was that really procrastination? Hard to say. Am I just that clever at covering it up or did I truly run out of time? Well maybe it wasn't procrastination as much as it was I didn't make my run a priority. That's sounds right.

I was pleased with the week though because each tri-training week calls for 2 swims, 2 runs and 2 bikes and then 1 more of each is optional. I did the mandatory 2 of each. One week I would like to do everything. This week is looking good. Except I am going to run tonight instead of the optional strength training.