2014-07-28 18.11.53

 

Blarg. Today was an IM day and I felt like crap. Tired + arms hurt stomach issues/and I don’t know why. I didn’t work out particularly hard over the weekend and I ate rather well during the day. As a result, I slowly swam freestyle for the entire set. This was rather out of character as I love to follow protocols, recipes, workout calendars, whatever. Part of the general malaise could have been the peanut butter I ate right before practice. But I eat peanut butter all the time before (running) workouts and it has never impacted my performance. Maybe I was stressed because I have a work deadline hanging over my head and I am no where near completing it? Or that I need to drive 20 minutes to rent a wetsuit when I probably should have bought one when they were on sale a few months back? At the time I was convinced I was never going to need one (not racing again…), but here I am doing a triathlon next week and water temps are predicted to be 64F. Oh well. I’ll write off this workout as a complete loss and hope that I feel better tomorrow. I’m sure 6am yoga will be a nice way to start my day. Happy Monday. I hope your workout faired better than mine.  ; )

 

 

Workout week (in review) and ‘Everybody Gossips’

I spend at least an hour a day working out. And a lot of that time is spent with friends. Talking inevitably happens because really what else is there to do. When I hated my job, I had a lot to say in the ‘work talk’ department. But now that I am happy at work, I’ve started to talk about things that are personal. Oh, and of course there is a fair amount of gossip thrown in too. As the Freakanomics podcast notes, “Everybody Gossips (and That’s a Good Thing)“. While it might be advantageous from an economic standpoint, I’m not sure that it is good for me… I spend way to much time rethinking (regretting?) past conversations when I should be focusing on other things. It is also strange that I worry more about stories that I’ve told about myself than other people. Which brings into question exactly why I have a blog if I do not like over-sharing… ;)  This fear is probably ridiculous on my part because I seriously doubt anyone remembers much of what I said five minutes after I said it. That said, I think my mantra for next week should be chat less and listen more.

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Monday -
Swimming.

Tuesday - 30 mins strength (weighted squats mostly); 30 mins yoga. I had an 11 hour day and missed the GVH speed workout. It was probably for the best because I spent four hours in the tomato field and was rather hot and tired when I got home. I was sore from this workout for three days. Yikes.

Wednesday - Swimming + 3.5 mile dog walk.

Thursday - AM running; PM core. Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 8.20.13 PM

I definitely could not have run those splits by myself. But entertaining stories were told and time passed quickly. I had big plans to put in a few more miles after work (to make up for no running on Tuesday), but that didn’t happen.

Friday - Swimming + 2.5 mile dog walk.

Saturday - Running (six miles easy). Once again I skipped GVH (but for a good reason = help a friend move). I’m happy to say that I got up at 7am and ran for about an hour. Besides the first mile or so (done with the pups who were not down with running), I kept pretty good time.

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Sunday –  Cycling (21 miles @ 15mph) + yoga. It was weird weather…overcast, but muggy. I wasn’t really feeling like pushing it. Hopefully I didn’t bring my cycling partner down.

Impression of the week – I only ran 10 miles?! This was down six miles from the week before and another six from the week before that. Definitely not a good trend. I can’t even use sickness/work/etc as an excuse. I have just been plain lazy in the running department. I will give myself another week to slack (taper…) and then find a half marathon or an olypic distance triathlon to train for.

Race suggestions?

Race t-shirts love

A good portion of my bottom drawer is full of race t-shirts. Most are too big and not very flattering. Sometimes I wear them to lounge around the house in. But mostly they just sit there. I really should make a Goodwill run or something to free up some space in my dresser. Clearly I am too tiny to wear “small” shirts. I really should stop picking them up altogether.

I recently joined a triathlon team – the Mad Cows. As an incentive (?) I was given a team shirt. People wear them after races. I haven’t touched mine because it is pretty much a dress on me. I have to say that I feel a bit left out…but not so much that I will actually put on the monstrosity for pictures.

Exhibit A.

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And so it has been sitting with all my other race shirts. And since I have yet to receive my tri top, I am without team flair.

This weekend I was procrastinating work and got an idea to alter the shirt so that I might actual wear it. I got a t-shirt that I like as a pattern (and a sharpie) and got to work.2014-07-26 16.46.13It was rather simple in concept, sew up sides and cut neck and sleeves. I also added some red binding, just because. The end result looked like a kindergarden craft project. It was in part a success as I am no longer swimming in my clothes. Looks like I’m ready to race next weekend. At least I’ve got my post-race outfit all picked out. ;)

2014-07-26 18.20.37

 

Swim workout: KICKING/PULLING

2014-07-25 18.16.47

Today, I had no self control in the eating department. Burrito for breakfast. Two slices of pizza, ice cream, and a chai tea latte for lunch?! This was rather atypical. I usually eat smallish meals spread throughout the day with lots of vegetables. Pizza is reserved for special occasions, and by special I mean club meetings where it is the only food option. Dessert on the other hand makes a regular appearance in my diet. But I don’t pair it with pizza and tea. Apparently I was hungry or stressed or something. Anyway…it was all delicious. But by the end of the day I was still feeling slightly full and I was having serious doubts about swimming. I went anyway because I a) rarely skip swim workouts and b) I had to work off some of the calories. Also, it was 106F today (yuck!) and I couldn’t wait to hop in the pool after bike ride home from work.

To my surprise, I felt quite strong today and really enjoyed the set. The water was refreshing and my lanemate kept me pushing the pace. It is always motivating to swim with people I like. We did 6 X 100  swim; 6 X 100 kick; and 7 X 100 pull for a total of 2,500 yards (including warm-up and cool-down). Apparently I’m getting faster because I am pretty certain a few months ago I would not have been able to pull 100s on 1:40.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Swim workout: SPRINTS

2014-07-23 18.16.46Sprints with a mix of fins and no fins. My lane did 26 X 50s.
It was kind of complicated…
3 X 50 on 0:50 (with fins)
4 X 50 on 0:55 (with fins)
4 X 50 on 0:60
4 X 50 on 0:65
4 X 50 on 0:60
4 X 50 on 0:55 (with fins)
3 X 50 on 0:50 (with fins)

Definitely a hard set, but a lot of fun. Changing up the interval definitely kept me on my toes. Just what I needed to get through some of the anxiety I was feeling today.

And to get kind of nerdy (and totally off workout topics), here is a mutant tomato leaf – “twin spot”- that I photographed.

2014-07-22 09.35.45For reference, tomato leaves are usually dark green.

Swim workout: can I have kicking without pulling?

2014-07-21 18.18.06This was Monday’s workout. Except that I am posting Tuesday because I posted a weekend blog on Monday. And I didn’t want to confuse the two. I woke to an email saying the pool was temporarily closed due to a power outage. I’m not going to lie, I was excited about the prospect of not using my legs after weekend workouts in Tahoe. Visions of leaving work early to go to yoga went through my head all morning.

Well, it turned out the power outage was only temporary and the pool was reopened a few hours later. Yay? This ended up being a good thing because I stayed later than I expected at work. Because of my busy day, I forgot to pack food. As a result, I didn’t eat (or drink) much  - 2 pieces of banana bread and half a quesadilla (woops). I was worried I wouldn’t make it through the set so I gobbled down a peach and some chocolate 15 minutes before swimming (always a good idea…).

Considering that I was tired and hungry, the workout went surprisingly well!? My stomach didn’t bother me at all. I lead the kicking (not really a surprise if you swim with me) and actually managed to keep up for 400 + 300 + 100 pulling (we skipped the 200 because we were lazy needed to properly cool down). The water was cool and refreshing and I had good people for lanemates today. All in all, it was a good set. Guess it goes to show that I still cannot predict how I’ll feel at practice. I keep hoping someday blogging will help shed light on this!

Time: 55 minutes
Distance: 2400

 

 

Camping in the Sierras and my Weekend Brick

2014-07-20 12.22.34I’m skipping reviewing my workouts this week (sad I know…) and focusing on my weekend instead. I managed to cram a fair amount of biking, hiking, running, and avoiding rain clouds into two days. Because I was busy enjoying myself, not many pictures were taken. But I do have quite a few Garmin maps to show for it. ;)

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Last weekend a few friends headed up to Donner Lake/Truckee for some camping and triathlon training. The trip came into existence because one of them is doing the Donner Lake Triathlon and wanted to pre-ride the course. It is an olympic distance triathlon with gorgeous scenery and a rather technical bike course. I decided to tag along because a) I like all things Tahoe/camping/etc and b) hard workouts are fun. It is not often that I get invited to ride hills at a high(er) elevation.

I arrived at Donner on Saturday for the brick. It was a bit later in the day than I anticipated (thanks HWY 80 construction) and hot.

Screen Shot 2014-07-20 at 7.48.02 PMAlthough the race starts with a 1000+ feet climb to Donner summit, we decided to survey part of the run as a 4 mile warm-up. I spent a lot of the warm-up admiring the lake and wondering how the altitude change would impact my already mediocre cycling on hills. The relatively flat part was over too soon and I started the climb.

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 8.24.55 PMDespite the fact that the road looked steep and it was hot, the climb wasn’t actually that bad. It was hard (obviously), but there was never a moment when I worried that I might have to get off my bike and walk. I can’t say the same for Cantelow. I didn’t even feel that I needed to get out of the saddle to push past steep part, but I did anyway for a nice change in body position. That isn’t to say that I was making amazing progress… I was pretty much crawling along (see pace below), which was okay, except that I felt bad for my riding partner who decided to wait for me. After the hill, I mostly coasted for miles. It was a lot of fun, but unfortunately I had to ride up that hill again. Such is life. Here is the ride recap.

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 8.24.34 PMI am fairly certain that this is the most elevation gain my bike has seen ever.

After the bike was the run (surprise, surprise).Screen Shot 2014-07-20 at 7.45.56 PM

While I felt okay on the ride, I completely lost it on the run. I tend to slightly exaggerate when it comes to my running performance. Jokes aside, this was pretty much an all time low. There seemed to be no shade and I was convinced that my bike jersey was trying to suffocate me. (Maybe not literally, but I wanted to rip the sleeves away to give me some air). Also it seemed that I was running by disgusting smelling trash every few hundred feet. Somehow I managed to make it through 1.8 miles running at 8:20ish. And then I started walking. The funny thing was the first part of the course was uphill. So essentially I ran the hills (~100 feet elevation gain), fell apart (heat + wardrobe malfunction), and then walked down. While I felt terrible, I managed to average 9:03 over 4.27 miles. Next time (not that there will be a repeat performance) I’ll remember to ditch my bike jersey and walk the hills (or not walk at all). I can probably shave off at least 30 sec/mile.

After the workout I jumped in Donner lake (it felt so good). As I lounged on the beach, black clouds started to roll in. During late lunch in town, it started pouring rain. It was a weird storm in that lightning and thunder was accompanied by warm rain (not something I observe often in the Davis. There was some concern that the rain would interfere with camping (I like to be comfortable, warm, and not soaking when I’m vacationing), but it stopped after a bit. I guess we lucked out in terms of weather!

The next morning I woke up and went for another run. I wanted to make up for my performance the day before (and make sure I didn’t slack on miles this week). However the run was much slower than the day before (this time because I was running on river rocks and couldn’t find a good running trail). Looking at the map, the trail (marked in white) was apparently quite close, but I missed it (despite running past it 3x and asking two people for directions). I can’t complain too much because I enjoy trail running and felt considerably better this time around.Screen Shot 2014-07-20 at 7.33.34 PMThe weekend ended with an amazing hike up Mt. Judah. I cannot recommend this trail enough. It was a fabulous workout with beautiful scenery. Mossy forests, pretty wildflowers, and a windy summer. Oh, and a great view of Donner lake.

2014-07-20 13.27.36

All in all, it was a pretty fabulous weekend. A little bit of me is sad that I am not going up for the triathlon in 5 days. Then again, it would be a pretty hard to have a repeat performance. ;)

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Workout week (in review)

A few days ago I was hanging out with some friends and we got talking about what kind pictures we have on our phones. I, of course, went home and went through my phone. And then got on a photo album kick and started digging up old photos from college. Fun! I’m not going to post any old pictures (too self conscious), but I will share some snapshots from my phone.

Workout clothes. I totally love this Lucy shirt and snapped a photo of it after my Saturday run. I think it would be a great addition to my Fall running wardrobe. However I am not willing to spend $55 on a shirt that it made of practically nothing and I am going to sweat in it. I often take pictures of cute clothes I see so I can think about buying them later or try to find a less expensive look-a-like.

2014-07-12 09.14.52Work stuff.

2014-07-12 12.04.37Food – mostly things I’ve made. I feel uncomfortable taking out my phone at restaurants.2014-05-19 20.38.30

Puppies! Yup, most of my photos and all of videos are of my dogs. I just want to squeeze them. 
2014-05-09 06.29.31

Monday - Swimming.

Tuesday - Running. Approximately 6 miles broken. It was hot and not fun.

Wednesday – Swimming.

Thursday - Running. I ran 2 miles with the dogs in the morning. After work, I went to the gym for 1 mile @ 8:20 mins, 1 mile @ 7:20, and 0.5 miles @ 6:38 (1% incline on the treadmill) followed by 15 minutes of stairs and some core. Treadmills are awful torture machines! I would have done anything to listen to music, but my phone was not cooperating. I never ever listen to music on my runs outside. I’d rather chat or watch the scenery or get lost in my thoughts. But the only ‘scenery’ available at the gym was TV (boring) and people watching. I enjoying trying to look up the pace of people running next to me, but I know that is not good gym behavior. Next time I’ll go to a class to keep me more engaged.

Friday - Swimming. Sprints. Good workout and nice way to end work week. The pool was surprisingly busy for a Friday (4 people in a lane).
2014-07-11 18.15.37Saturday - This was supposed to be my long run, but life was not cooperating and I was tired. Only 6 miles happened. And I am okay with that. I still got my post-long run bagel and was able to meet up with a friend who is visiting.

Sunday - Brick = 26 mile bike + 6 mile run. Screen Shot 2014-07-13 at 1.43.01 PMBecause of the Summer heat and World Cup final, the workout was moved to 7am. This meant that I had to wake up super early eat breakfast and take the doggies on a short run. The workout was at the usual Sunday brick spot. I ended up biking slowly despite the fact that it was nice and cool. My internal dialogue was not pretty and I worried the last part of the ride that I would be too tired (and hungry!) to run after. I downed most of a packet of PowerBar Gels and started running. And was really surprised to find that I felt fine. I cannot say if it was the extra calories or not running very hard the previous day, but I’m glad I didn’t tank.

And with that, I should probably go do some yoga. I skipped out on class today, but I have no excuse not to do some at home now.

Swim workout: KICKING/PULLING and interpersonal relationships at DAM

2014-07-09 18.16.19Running and swimming and cycling are definitely activities you can do alone. But they are more enjoyable to do with people. I find that when I am with a group, I train harder and longer. This is especially true for swimming. When I am on my own, I am likely to swim for 20 minutes or less. At DAM, an hour swim practice is over in no time. This is in part because of the creative workouts and excellent coaching, but I also have 3-4 other people motivating me to push through the set.

Lanemates are grouped by ability. Most of the time, I really like my lanemates. We swim together a lot and are familiar with each others’ strengths and weaknesses. We do the workout (and I usually get my butt kicked!), but we also take our rest and catching up seriously. (I mean who wouldn’t want to know that I was woken up at 330am by my dog barfing sticks on my $1000 carpet. Clearly crate training is going very well…) Most days at swimming go smoothly from a lane dynamic standpoint. Today was not one of those days.

The set was kicking and pulling. The workout looked rather nice - nothing more than 150 yards…yay for short distances. The usual group was all present and we were moderately enthusiastic. (Okay maybe not so much because I am pretty sure that kicking/pulling is low on the list of favorite theme days.) And then we were joined by someone who does not usually swim with us. I won’t go into the details, but there was some mutual disrespect and crankiness. I feel that I took it in stride and did not let it ruin my workout/evening/etc. It made for an entertaining conversation after practice. As for the workout, well it was a good set, but maybe not the best workout. This was entirely my fault because I totally sandbagged the 5 X 150s (and did 2 X 100 + 3 X 150 instead) and took a lot of rest on the kicking. Hopefully I’ll be nicely rested for running tomorrow. Even though my fairly usual Thursday running partner is gone, I am going to try to make myself get up at 530am and run at least 4 miles.

And I’ll leave you with a picture of Millie who escaped her crate and was all tucked out by the time I got home from work.

2014-07-09 17.34.21

Swim workout: SPRINTS

2014-07-07 18.12.04

Short sprints. Minimal rest. My kind of set! I wasn’t feeling 100%, but I wasn’t dragging either. It would have been nice not to be lane leader, but I got impatient during the 500FR and touched the toes of the person in front of me. I tried to step down later, but my lanemates weren’t having it. Serves me right I guess for wanting to go out fast. We did the zoomer portion of set on 30 sec and non-zoomers on 35 sec. I spent half of the set dreaming about margaritas and Mexican food. Bad. Instead I came home and made a quinoa salad and drank half a ginger soda as a treat. Hopefully I can grab a cocktail after swimming later in the week.