Sunday, October 11, 2009

Still Rockin' & Rollin'

I haven't updated lately but things have been going great since the race. I'm still out there running and training. Since my summer race plan fell apart there's a few in December, January and February that I've got on my radar. It's been a little harder to get out to run because the weather has been cooling down but the last couple of weeks I've gotten out for my "long" run with some motivational realizations.

Last Saturday I slept horrible - funny how that happens with a 4 year moves into your bed and uses your back and face as a drawing board for the night. Also it was pretty cool out. But I got to thinking about a friend of mine Amy who is relatively new in my world, but she's blown me away with her amazing strength. I met her when she was newly pregnant last winter and over the summer I got to meet her again on a bike ride or two (think much further along than "newly pregnant") where she just kept going. We've also been friends on Facebook for some time and every time she posts she's gone for a run, a swim, a ride, spin class - I'll remember from my pregnancy I was being a lazy mess sitting on the couch. Amy makes me want to workout more - there are no excuses when this 7 month pregnant woman is going to do it. Then tragedy stuck and Amy, at 36 weeks pregnant, was diagnosed with breast cancer. From there things seemed to move in a whirlwind - she was induced a couple of weeks later to a beautiful baby boy to compliment the 3 year old she already had, then 11 days after that she had a double mastectomy then started chemo treatments. So my thought last Saturday was I should go run because I can. Run for the people who can't and wish they could, like Amy, run should, God forbid, I find out that I can't tomorrow. And with that thought I got out the door. And I was wrong, it wasn't too cold and I wasn't too tired. I ran because I can. But wait - Amy then proceeds to kick some more ass - I come back to a response to my Facebook post that read that I was going to run because I can, from Amy that says that I inspired her. She decided to go out for a run herself that day. This woman is made of stuff I've never seen before because she is wicked strong - mentally and physically. I truly hope that I continue to get to know her better and hope some of what she's got rubs off on me.

Today it was super cold - okay not as cold as yesterday when Jay went for a run (18 degrees F) but it was still 26, and I knew I had to go out there and do it. Today's thought was, "I'm not going to get any better sitting here at home" and out the door I went again. And again, it wasn't too cold. I just need to keep pushing the confining limits of my comfort zone - not move out of my comfort zone, but make that comfort zone so big that it's all encompassing and there's nothing I won't do.

Wonder what will get me out the door next weekend?

Food has been fine - I've determined a plan for maintenance, I think, for my issues with sugar. I realize that abstinence may work for the short-term, but it's not really the life I want to lead. I want to be able to indulge in the occasional treat - I just can't do it daily or multiple times daily. I realize that I may come back to the point that I'm not better than an alcoholic and I need to abstain, but I'm trying to find something that works for me. And that plan for maintenance looks like this for now. I get one treat a week, I can earn a second one after my long run/brick workout on the weekend and I can have one on holidays/birthdays. I came up with this plan a couple of weeks ago and somewhere decided that I could go ahead with that - even though I'd said I was going until my birthday with no treats (for a total of 55 days with no junk in my trunk - with the exception of after my duathlon race). But the interesting thing is that I still didn't for the first two weeks have any treats. This week I shared a few bites of 2 desserts with 5 friends at girls night out, and I shared a carmel apple (a seasonal must in my world) with Jay and Megan.

Habits change into character. -
Ovid


Monday, September 28, 2009

Race Report

Yesterday I completed my third Duathlon. Hard to believe it was only my third one, seems with all the talk and training I do for duathlons that I would have done lots more, but unfortunately this race season wasn't all that I hoped it would be so yesterday was the first and only duathlon I had this race season. I just had a rough summer and couldn't get back on track. But no worries - I'm already looking ahead, continuing my training and thinking about the winter series.

I thought this morning that I should do a race report - then I realized that I don't really remember it very well. That race really pushed my limits and I think I have blocked most of it from memory. Something like child-birth . . . if women really remembered how hard it really is they wouldn't do it again. So here are the high-lights of what I do remember. . .

- I was in the bathroom, or not paying attention, when they announced the start of the race - they called everyone over to the upper parking lot - away from the transition area. I thought we were going to get a little pep talk, reminded to play nice and sent back to our transition area to start. But after we got over there and the first couple of waves started out running I realized I was sadly mistaken and thankful that I was in the last wave. So I ran back to the transition, being sure to leave my timing chip outside, ripped off my sweatshirt, and raced back to the start line.


- I started running - saw Jay and Megan cheering for me. I ran a little further and saw a shirt I recognized - the same Venus de Miles shirt that I have - then looked up to see who was wearing it to find Gaye cheering for me. A little beyond that I saw Sonja too cheering. It was so great to have so many friendly faces in the crowd.


- I knew for a good part of the run that my friend Leslie was right behind me and I run much better working to stay in front of someone than I do trying to pass some one, so that was good. After a bit I realized that I was running right behind a woman who was setting a great pace - a bit faster than I'm used to but she was so consistent and I was feeling okay that I decided to go with it. I tried to disregard the fact that she had a 65 on her calf - which meant that she was almost twice my age, but it was all good. After a while I unfortunately lost her - I don't remember how. Did I pass her or did she get too fast? So it was just Leslie and I for the rest of the run.


- I remember getting to the transition area for the bike, Leslie was right next to me. I remember thinking I was doing pretty good with my transition and then next thing I know Leslie is headed out and I'm still getting ready. Wish I knew what she did. I finish getting ready and head out - and I head the wrong way so I get turned around and get out the transition the right way and have hopes of catching up with Leslie on the bike, but I know she's fast on the bike, but it's something to focus on.


- I see Leslie at one turn around point and I'm not too far behind - I see her again later and I'm even further behind -so I find something new to think about.


- I remember getting annoyed with people all over the road and several times standing up in the pedals going up a hill just for a burst of speed in attempts to get around some people.


- I love my road bike, I remember last year doing this race with my hybrid mountain bike and just struggling. This year I was passing lots of bikes, even some road bikes.



- For the last 4-5 miles of the ride, I played cat and mouse with an orange bike which was a good distraction.


- I felt completely unprepared for the second run. As usual my legs felt super heavy, like I was running through mud. I knew this last 2 miles was going to be a grueling mental and physical exercise.


- I made it past the first mile marker and then without a conscious thought I started walking. I was disappointed but went with it for a few seconds and started running again. I had one other point that I was starting up a big-ish hill and I decided to walk the hill. Then I started running again. Then the finish line was in sight and I just wanted to hold on until the end. Which I did.


- Coming up to the finish there was Jay, Megan, Gaye, and Sonja all cheering. I called to Megan who came out and I she thought would run with me to the finish. But she had other plans - she took off in a sprint intent on beating me so I found some extra kick I didn't think I had and did mange to finish with her.


- At the finish I was handed my medal which I hung around Megan's neck. Megan asked me why she got a medal and I immediately felt choked up and ready to cry, when I thought about all she was to me and how she got me started on this path toward a health life. Thankful she didn't realize that I never answered her question.

- My official stats are 182nd place (out of 312 - so not last!), I was 35th in my age group (not last there either 64 of them). My total time was 1:42:43. I ranked 232 and 218 in my runs respectively, and I ranked 136 on the bike. All in all, pretty good - not much to compare it to, but setting the bar high for when I do.


- After the race it was good to catch up with Gaye and Sonja and to get some lovin' from Jay and Megan. Jay kept commenting on my bike portion and how fast I was, asking how many people did I pass and so on. I really don't remember it, but was happy that whatever I did I was apparently impressive.


But what was truly impressive was my friend Susan who did the race too. This was her first duathlon and I truly have never met a more positive person than Suz. She is always happy, she likes everyone, and has the best outlook. I don't think I've ever heard her say a disparaging thing about anyone or anything. Susan decided early this year (or maybe it was longer ago than that) that she was going to do this duathlon - I guess she figured that if I could do it then hell, anybody could do it - little did she know how right she was. So Suz got a road bike, she started running, she started biking, she was kicking ass and taking names then BAM!! she got a stress fracture in her leg - no running for at least 6 weeks. But she never cried "Uncle". She buyed her time, she concentrated on the bike, and when her leg was ready she started back slowly and smartly with the running again. And yesterday she was AWESOME!! She had a smile on her face the whole time - which I can not say the same for myself and afterwards she said that there was not a single point when she was miserable and just wanted it to be over - which I know with absolute certainity that I can't say either. And the best news of all . . . she wants to do it again!!!!

Congratulations Suz!!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I'm Going to Cheat

I haven't cheated yet. In the past 23 days I have not had any junk in my trunk: no ice cream, no cookies, no cake, no chocolate, no candy and so on. But I will cheat in my quest for 55 day of no junk in trunk. That has been decided. Sunday. This Sunday, I will cheat. I will get up before the crack of dawn. I will pack up all my gear. I will drive out to what will feel like Kansas. At 8 am I will start my 2 mile run. When I'm done with my 2 mile run I will bike for 12 more miles. After that I will again run for 2 more miles. Once I have completed all of that I will have a cookie at the finish line and I may even go out for ice cream that night after dinner. And I'm going to not feel bad about it for one stinkin' second.

And then I will continue on my quest with no junk in my trunk until my birthday cake.

I will be 38 this year. Lance Armstrong just turned 38. See so I'm actually younger than he is so there's no reason I can't be out doing the things he does. And actually I'm a little freaked out about this 38 thing. Because I don't feel 38. I don't act 38. I don't look 38. So I'm thinking that somewhere in the time and space continuum there has been a major screw-up. But no matter.

It's just a number anyway and if paid attention to all the numbers in my life I could be one seriously depressed woman. I have no idea what I weigh anymore - best thing I did from this summer's no sugar challenge was give up the scale and I haven't looked back. Love it! You look in my closet and there are so many different sizes, but they all fit the same - clothes manufacturers suck - not my problem. I buy what I like and what fits. I don't know exactly how much money I have, I have enough to pay my bills and meet my needs with a little extra on the side - that's what I need to know. I know how fast and far I can run. I know how fast and far lots of people run and I'm pretty far down there. But I also know that I didn't used to run at all and couldn't make it 100 yards without gasping for air and that's not me now. I don't know how many calories I eat everyday, but I know I probably eat more than I should. That's okay because I know I used to eat a lot more than I should.

So I chose to pay attention to the really important numbers. 1 - completely amazing, supportive and loving husband. 4 - the age of my daughter who changed my life and I can't live with out. 2- the number of legs that I have that allow me to do so many cool things I never used to do before. And while I don't know the exact number, I know I have a lot of friends that I love, that love me, and I count on everyday in various ways and hope they feel they can count on me too.

So I totally suck at math but I'm pretty sure that adds up to one extraordinary life which I'm proud to call my own.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Random Vacation Thoughts

We spent the last week on a little vacation/roadtrip to and around Southwestern Colorado and rather than some long report about the trip here are the highlights:


- My trunk remained free of junk. As of today I have 16 days with no junk in my trunk. No ice cream, no chocolate, no desserts, etc. REALLY REALLY sucks on vacation. I need to figure out moderation.

- I really am a cyclist at heart. I was looking a lots of roads along our trip and thinking how I'd love to ride them on my bike. I learned about a bike race called the Ironhorse which races the steam train going from Durango to Silverton. It takes the train (which we rode) about 3 1/2 hours make it's trek. The train route is shorter but slow through the mountains. The road route is long: 50 miles, and steep - roughly 2400 ft of elevation gain landing you in Silverton, CO just over 10,000 ft above sea-level. (By comparison I live at 5800'). I drove the road the next day and I really think it'd be fun to do this ride. Happens in late May. I need to work on my hill climbing skills.

I also drove from Ouray, CO to Telluride and back - and I kept thinking what an awesome ride that would be - especially since much of the road was brand-new and oh so smooth.

- Jay took the rough route from Ouray to Tellride. He ran a race which is 17 miles over 4x4 jeep roads. The run is call the Imogene Pass Run. 1200 crazy people sign up for this race and Jay came in at 100th place. He was really happy with how he did and felt great afterwards. Epecially excited to beat one of his Nemesis: Fred. Fred and his twin brother, Ed. Do all these same races that Jay does. Ed is really fast and isn't even close to Jay. Here's the trick: Jay's mom went to school with these guys. So they're like 65 years old and on top of that Fred was in an accident when he was younger and never supposed to walk again. And yep, Jay beat him - by 40 seconds. It was proud moment. Love to give him shit about this.

- I was sick most of the trip coming down with a cold. So along with that and the vacation I didn't workout one single time.

- I Love, Love, Love Ouray - I'm going to start buying powerball tickets and figure out how to live there. I will be going back - often. And with my bike.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

How we spent our Holiday weekend






















Perfect!!

If you click on the cartoon you can see the rest

Thanks, Gaye!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Expectations

I've been struggling for weeks now in my training as far as running is concerned. I just can't seem to have a decent run. I keep going back to earlier this summer when I was nailing 6 mile runs - and then following them up with 15 mile bike rides. Then I got sick for the month of June and it all went to hell. Now I can't run 3 miles without stopping to walk portions of it. I'm so frustrated since I now know that 6 miles are possible, and my legs are capable of going that far but so far distance has eluded me.

The main problem with this is that on September 27th I'm competing in the DuWop Duathlon, which I did last year and was my first ever duathlon/race anything and got me hooked on the sport. And now that the Venus de Miles ride is over, I really need to buckle down and get in some brick workouts. But based on my training of late, I've resigned myself that this year's du is not going to be pretty and it will just be what it'll be and there's always next year.

And that was the frame of mind I was in when I started my workout yesterday and headed out to our neighborhood lake which is has a 1 1/2 mile trail around it. The plan was to run the loop once, then ride my bike, which I chained to the fence and had my transition area in the back of my car, for 5-10 miles, then come back in run another loop around the lake. My other mindset was I was going to take a page from Sonja's Ironman game plan and have a big smile for anyone and everyone.

So I get my "transition area" all set up and walk/warm-up out to the start of the loop. My thought is that I have no expectations for this workout and it could very well be hideously ugly, but even I should be able to run 1 1/2 miles around the lake (although I still remember a time when I couldn't even come close to doing this). So I run. I run very slowly. My only strategy is go get around the lake without having to walk. Unfortunately there isn't but one person to smile at for a long time. Finally toward the end there are a couple of girls running together that get a big smile and "Good Morning!" which I think shocked them and that was fun. And then I realized that I get to ride soon - which got me very excited and kept me going. I run all the way back to the car so my total distance for the run ends up at 1.57 - and at an average pace of 11:48. Like I said slow, but I made it.

But now the fun starts, I get to ride. I'd decided that I was going to ride in my running shorts and that I was going to just put my day-glo yellow riding jacket on to keep my upper-body warm (note for subsequent workouts: take Garmin off BEFORE putting on jacket), got my helmet on, gloves on, and changed into my riding shoes. Now the shoes were going to be interesting. My shoes are pretty new and since I'd gotten them I'd been experiencing some calf and knee pain. So after the Venus de Miles I decided I need to move my cleat (the little metal piece on the bottom of my shoe that allows me to clip into my petals) back. So I'd moved them all the way back - whereas before they were all the way forward - but I'd never actually gotten back on the bike since then to try them out, so this was going to be a fun experiment. And, of course the first problem was that I couldn't get clipped in because it's all done by muscle memory and feel, of which I had none. But I eventually get it worked out and have an almost immediate feeling of "Wow! This feels so much better!"

The ride was great, twice I revised my planned route to make it longer. I love my bike - it's almost unnatural, but, I never want to stop riding, and I want to avoid that last run. I threw in a big hill - on which I felt very strong, which I'm crediting to the new cleat position and I really felt it in my hams and glutes, which is where you should feel it (unfortunately I felt it for the rest of the day too). Along the ride I had lots more people and cyclists to smile and "Good Morning!" including the two girls that I'd seen earlier on my run - which I think came as more of a shock to them since we were at a completely different lake/park and this time I was on a bike while they were still running. But alas, all good things must come to an end and I ended back to my car. My ride ended up being 8 miles.

I transitioned again back to runner girl, and ran from the car out to the loop and headed around the opposite direction to shake things up a bit. I smiled and "Good Morning!"-ed one guy who said "Good morning, how are you?" to which I responded, "Great!" It really is fun to be the annoyingly happy person out exercising. It was later in the day now and a lot more people were out walking their dogs and running the loop so that was fun. But the most "fun" was that my legs felt crazy. My muscles were still very much in bike mode and it was like I was trying to run through mud. It'd been a long time since I'd done a brick of running after riding since the last du I trained for was all running first. And I don't know that I have ever been more acutely aware of my hamstring and butt muscles. I felt horribly slow and that I must have looked like complete moron form-wise. But I kept going and was shocked each time I looked at my Garmin to see that I was at a good pace. After about a mile, my legs were starting to feel somewhat normal again and I settled in for the last half mile with a bit of excitement that I was actually going to accomplish this workout.

And that's just what I did, I finished it and finished strong - all the way back to the car again. I was so stinkin' proud of myself. I did it!! I had no expectations of having a good workout and it was my best in weeks. It felt good to know that I'm not that far off from the distances for the Du Wop which are 2 mile run/ 12 mile bike/ 2 mile run. And I'd just done a 1.57 mile run/8 mile bike/1.66 mile run. And somehow I'd managed to pull off a faster pace on my second run of 11:26 (versus 11:48).

I walked around the parking lot drinking some water and cooling down, reveling in my accomplishment and realizing that my grin was no longer forced. I was on such a high that when I was back in the car and saw that my Dad called I didn't cringe (I knew it was about a fight I'd had with my sister earlier in the week and I've been dreading this call from my dad -knowing my sister would tell him about it, he'd feel in the middle and he really didn't need to be involved) I called him back on the way home. Assured him that whatever was decided about the issue was fine, and when he tried to defend my sister's actions, I told him calmly that I really didn't want to talk about it and I was over my sister at that point. And we got off the phone happy with each other and most importantly - I was still in a great mood. I got home and was Chatty-Cathy talking non-stop to Jay (poor guy) and the adrenaline felt so good rushing through my veins. And that mood kept with me for the day - and thankfully for Jay the talking didn't.

Now I'm just nervous about keeping this high going. We're going on vacation later this week for 5 days - Jay's running over a mountain pass (Imogene Pass) next weekend and we're taking a long weekend to explore the southwestern portion of Colorado. But again it'll be whatever it'll be.

6 days down of no Junk in my Trunk.