Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Road ID coupon

Anyone interested in a dollar off a Road ID?

I ordered one, and as a thanks, they gave me a $1-off coupon that can be used up to 20 times over the next 25 days! If you're considering getting one, go to www.roadid.com and use the coupon id ThanksJessica835398.

Just a thought!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mini crossroads

I haven't posted in a while, which I'm sure you're quite aware. One of the reasons is that nothing in particular has been going on to post about. But anyway, here we go.

I feel like I've hit a sort of crossroads. I've really had a difficult time motivating to work out for the last month or so. (I've been exercising probably 3-4 times a week.) I've blamed it a poor diet and lack of exercise as low motivation. Then I blamed the heat. There was always something. But after a few weeks of it, I've realized clearly the issue lies elsewhere. As a side note, I'm planning on doing a race in mid-August, but I haven't been eager to sign up for it, and I also haven't been reading Triathlete.

I think it's time for me to re-assess my priorities and my goals. I just don't really feel like I have enough time in the day for everything I want to do. I have no place to complain, I know, because this summer I'm only working 32 hours a week, but somehow, my hours fly by. Therefore, I think I need to again look at my priorities. Once I decide what I most want (training, scrapbooking, reading, work, something else), I can create goals and work specifically toward them. If I decide I want to focus on triathlon or running, I think it can give me me motivation to get out there and force myself to do it. If I decide that's not where I want my focus right now, I can cut down to more of a maintenance workout plan.

This does NOT mean that I will give up on triathlon. Even if I decide it's not my focus, I still expect to do some tri-ing in my life. It's part of me now. But it may be a bit more casual.

I'm really not sure which way it will go at this point. Guess that's something for me to think about on my ride this evening...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Race Report: OKC SuperSprint

Such a fun race!!!

It started off a bit hectic, I guess. About 9:30 the night before the race, I realized I hadn't even started thinking about or packing my bag for the next morning! Eek! So I freak out and jump up to go do that, while my wonderful boyfriend gets up to do the dishes for me. Then, I realize I can't find my extra pair of goggles! I took it with me to our river trip last weekend...and I guess they didn't make it home. I looked everywhere they would logically be. Again, that amazing boyfriend of mine "went to search his car"...and 20 minutes later, came back from Walmart with new goggles and three beautiful, white roses! (I made sure not to open the goggles, and since I didn't end up needing them, we took them back to the store.) The rest of the packing/preparing went off without a hitch.

Race morning, we wake up at 5 a.m., I eat and get ready and we head off to the race. The race was about 35 minutes from my house. Transition area closed at 6:30, the race started at 7:30, but I started closer to 8 because it was a pool swim. I didn't love being rushed to get my transition area ready, just to sit around for another hour and a half. I was the 161st swimmer...and it was really hard to wait that long to get in the pool! I was ready to start!

The swim - 500m:
This was my second pool swim, and it was so much better than the last time! The pool was 50m length, so we did five out and backs. The lanes were wide enough for two swimmers and two passers to go by. Plus, we started 10 seconds apart. The extra time and wide lanes made it so much more pleasant. I also made sure I made my time slower since I had such a stressful experience last time. This was a great swim, after the initial 50m of constantly fixing my goggles. I passed three people, and really wanted to pass this guy in the last 50m, but we were close to the exit, which had a narrow turn and I'd decided while watching others attempt it that passing then wasn't too great of an idea.
Time: 12:00

Since I got to the race sort of late, I didn't have a good place in the transition area. I was in the back, and we came and went each time in the front. Oh well. At least it was easy to find! Transition went fine. I realized the shirt I'd brought to wear wasn't great for trying to slip on a wet bathing suit...and struggled with that. But I finally got off onto the road with a granola bar in hand.
Time: 3:05

The bike - 14 miles:
As soon as I got clipped in, I opened my granola bar and realized the same shirt that was all wrong in T1, also didn't have pockets for my trash. I didn't want to throw in on the ground, so after holding it for a few miles, I stuffed it into my sports bra strap and went with that. I had been preparing for a 12-mile bike, but found out the week before the race that they'd bumped it up to 14. It didn't seem to make much of a difference. It was a fairly flat race. The hardest part was the wind! I was coming out of the south and was strong! Our bike started out going south for a mile and a half probably. It was two loops, and we actually hit the windy part three times because that's where we started and ended. I will tell you, the wind got worse each time...and it wasn't because I was more tired! The good news is that we also headed north -- with the wind -- and equal distance, and I rocked that part! I'd set a goal to pass three people on the bike, but didn't really get that done. I passed one girl, who was on a mountain bike and had just passed me, but then shortly after, she went passed me again. I couldn't catch up with anyone until toward the end, when I passed another. I kept her behind me for a few miles, but once we hit the windy part, she sped past me. Oh well. Also, toward the end of the first lap, I teared up when I realized I was smiling! (I get pretty emotional during races.) My main goal was to have fun...and I'd already achieved that halfway though the race!
Time: 59:06

Nothing too terribly exciting. I'd had some practice changing shoes, so I didn't struggle too much or anything. I did, fortunately, remember to remove the trash from my bra...and off I went for the last leg!
Time: 1:29

The run - 5k:
I felt great coming off the bike. My legs didn't hurt or anything, but I was going slow. I'd practiced running off the bike some previously with the same result. I was slow. Anyway, I got in a rhythm and kept on running. I'd contemplated walking, but decided I would be mad at myself at the end of the thing if I had. I didn't need to and I'm not sure it would have improved my time. During the run, I got a chance to cheer on some of the triathlon virgins I had talked to before the race. It actually helps motivate me when I cheer on others. I finally saw Nick for the first time since the run with less than a mile to go in the race. It was good to see him. As I rounded the corner and saw the finish line, I picked up a bit of speed (probably my normal running pace now), but then I started to kick it. It was one of my best kicks! I felt great, then I realized how fast I was going and it amazed me and just tried to go faster. Very cool little kick and I had a nice high after.
Time: 35:47

As I said at the beginning. it was a great race. I enjoyed it, pushed a bit, and ended happily. And guess what? I beat my first race...which was two miles shorter in the bike!

Final time: 1:51:28! Woot!

I came in 15/17 in my age group (25-29). I'm actually 24, but according to USAT, I'm 25 because my birthday's in September. Had I been in the 20-24 age group...I would have come in third, which is hilarious!

Anyway, great race! Made my goals, had a great time, and I'm back in love with the sport!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Tri tomorrow!!!

I have another tri tomorrow morning! My original goal was to beat my first tri time (1:53:35), but they added two miles to the ride, so I'm not sure I will...

The tri is 500m, 14 miles, 5k. I'm pretty excited about it. My goal time is still to beat the first, but I mostly want to have fun. I didn't enjoy the tri in April as much as I hoped I would, but I think I've gotten a new joy in the sport, so I hope to have a blast out there! I'm shooting for less than two hours...

I'll be the 161st person in the water, which is pretty nerve-wreaking. Wish me luck!

Monday, May 31, 2010

It finally happened

My workouts have been going great over the last week. I've felt really blessed to be out there, having fun swimming, biking or running. I live in a small town, and my rides take me out in the country. I've gotten to ride beside running baby cows, goats and playful gophers. It's been pretty fun. I'd fallen off the "I enjoy this sport" thing, but I think I'm getting back on! I have a tri in less than two weeks, so I'm trying to give it my all before I leave on vacation on Wednesday/Thursday!

Yesterday, I had a bike/swim planned. It was great! First, I went on a 12-mile bike through Norman, eventually planning to end up at the OU Pool for an OUTDOOR swim! Along the ride, it finally happened! I fell for the first time with my clipless! It was one of those times where I didn't get the second foot out in time and just sort of fell over stopped at a stop sign. I scratched up my knee a tiny bit, got a small bruise and pulled the chain off the gears. There were two cars at the intersection to watch my graceful fall, but it really wasn't too bad. I made sure to clip out extra early the rest of the ride!

So many times when I work out, I think, how great would it be to jump in a pool right now...and this time I got to! It was the first time all season the outdoor pool had been open...and the first time I've done lap swims outside since the first few classes of my Beginning Swimmer class four years ago! Let me tell you...it was amazing! It was so much better than being inside. I'm not really sure why, but I really enjoyed it. Because I don't live in Norman and there's a pool where I work, I won't get to use the outdoor pool much, but it was a great swim!

I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day weekend! I plan to run today, bike tomorrow...then travel Wednesday and Thursday. I'll be on a camping/float trip with Nick's family. I hope to get a run in along with swimming in the river, canoeing on the river and hiking through the hills. And plenty of relaxing! Should be a great trip!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

More uplifting...

I don't really feel like writing out a long post, I just don't want my lame last post to be the one up...

Friday I got to go into work a few hours late, so I slept in, and then decided I'd run. Time kept me from getting much of a workout in, but I did three sprints up this short hill. I cut four seconds off the second one as compared to the first. Then, determined to be just seconds faster, I did the last. Cut another SIX seconds! Awesome. The short work out got me thinking about my previous post. I have a tri in three week -- there's no room for excuses! And that's honestly what they are. If you're committed to training, you overcome those things.

Of course, then I didn't work out again until today, so maybe I was full of it!

But I am committed for the next week and a half. I have a fairly intense (but doable) workout plan. Next Wednesday evening, Nick and I leave for a little trip with his family. We're heading out to a river and cabins. I'm super excited, and hoping to get an open-water river swim in as well as a run. I think I'll be able to have to motivation -- especially now that Nick's working out. Plus, we'll do some hiking, and of course, an all-day canoe trip. I should stay active, but still relax. My next tri is the following weekend! Eek!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I've had a really difficult time motivating to work out this week. First off, I'm scared that if I push myself, I will get sick and throw up all over! I know it's silly, but it's real...

I did go swimming on Tuesday. The swim was fine, but I had a horrible headache after! It died down to just an annoyance, and last for 12 hours or so...

Here's the deal. I've been really tired and had some waves of nausea since I started the antibiotics. Yes, it's likely mostly in my head, but it's hard to overcome. I'm hoping the problem will resolve itself this weekend. I don't know if my lack of motivation is from being tired because of the meds or because I haven't really worked out...

Today I did convince myself to go outside for 30 minutes. The plan was to just be outside for 30 minutes. I could walk, run if I wanted, or even sit down. I hoped the beautiful day, the sun and the exercise would help. I loved it and had a great half hour! I did try to run a bit. I got a little motion sickness. Even looking far in the distance, everything was moving up and down...Does that normally happen? It doesn't usually bother me...

I don't really like this post because it sounds like I'm whining. Maybe I am. I'm hoping I feel way better after I get off the meds tomorrow night...

Monday, May 17, 2010

5k Race Report: Well, that didn't go well

Title says it all!

Previously unplanned, but I started taking antibiotics late Friday night. I don't like antibiotics. Anyway, I was feeling nauseated on race morning and barely ate any breakfast. I wasn't sure if it was the race anxiety, getting up early (which often makes me feel that way) or side effect of the antibiotics. The course was neat because the turn around was basically right next to the house I grew up in! We actually walked half the course (from our house to the start) to get to the race. I got my shirt, number and chip and got in line. I was nervous and feeling "off," but determined to push myself.

Off we go! The course wasn't too terribly interesting or tough. But it was where I grew up, so that was new for me to race, I guess. Anyway, I struggled, but I tried to push myself. I actually had forgotten my watch, so I had no way of knowing how well I was doing. I just kept telling myself I couldn't slow down. About k number 3, I started really getting hard.

To get to the finish line, you had to go under a bridge, and then do a twist and turn or two before making it. It appears closer than it really is because of the turn. I didn't try to kick it, though, because right after crossing under the bridge, I got really nauseated again. Still, I tried to push through it and maintain a speed. I couldn't see the time, so I didn't know where I was still. All of a sudden, I dry heave and run off to the edge. Then again. And then the half a bowl of cereal...in the last 50 yards, I threw up four times, but I kept running. I feel bad for all the people who had to watch it! Thank goodness Mom's camera stopped working right before I got up there, otherwise, we would have seen a beautiful picture of one moment NO ONE wants to remember! After the fourth time, I saw the time: 33:18. One minute slower than I was hoping. I gave up and walked the last 10 yards...

For lack of a more polite way to put it, it's hard to run and throw up at the same time, so I can't say I was particularly clean at this point. Plus I was sick and disappointed. Lame. I'm still not sure if it was the meds (I was nauseated all the next day too...) or just simply pushing myself too hard.

I'm proud that I gave it my all. I kept pushing, even after I got sick and totally embarrassed myself in my hometown. I can, for once, say I tried my best in a race. It's disappointing, however, that it just wasn't enough for a PR.

The kicker? The results don't even show me! According to them, I never ran it! I would have come in 21 of 36 in my age group, it looks like. Not bad.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Saturday's race

I just ran two miles in 19:40! Hell ya! I'm really happy with the time -- you know I struggle with speed -- and I'm happy with the way I pushed myself to maintain my speed when it got hard to do so.

I've got a 5k on Saturday. I'm hoping for my PR. (32:30 is the time to beat!) It would be great if I could do it sub 30, but I don't think I'm there yet. 32 would be a great race!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Oh the humidity!

Well, my tight calves kept me from running until last Thursday, when I finally got a short run in! But I struggled a lot with the run, partly because of the calves and partly because of the ridiculous humidity! Yup, it's that time in Oklahoma again...

The weekend...well, working out didn't happen. Then Monday, I did a long, sweaty bike trainer/ab workout. (Tornadoes and wind in OK kept me inside.) It was great to get in a workout like that, and my legs were nice and tired the next day! And then, on Tuesday, I went out for a run. The humidity must have been 150%, no joke. If you've ever spent any spring/summer time in Oklahoma, you know I'm NOT exaggerating! It seems I forgot just how much it zaps your energy and hinders you exercise. My dad's always said you run through the summer so you can fast in the fall. I'm definitely looking forward to that. All in all, I managed three miles, but it took 36:33...not quite ideal! I hope to race faster on Saturday morning for my 5k. It's at 7:30, so I hope the humidity will stay a bay, but we're supposed to get stormy weather, so we'll see!

On a happy note, after the two days of workouts, my legs feel GREAT. I've been slacking off a ton throughout the winter, etc., and my legs didn't feel quite like this. It's like their a little tired, but great. I don't really know how to explain it, but it feels like I work them out regularly! Like slightly tired is normal and how they should feel! Maybe it doesn't make sense...but I love it!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Climb for the Cure

Yesterday, I participated in the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Climb for the Cure. I had never done anything like that, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but we were climbing up and down the south end zone of the OU football stadium. I'm guessing there's about 150 steps to it. They had three options: twice, five times or eight times. I thought we'd just be able to decide as we go, so I decided I'd do five for sure and then shoot for eight. I had no idea how hard it would be! Well, we had to decide before we started because we lined up according to the distance! Eek! Three-quarters of the way up the first time, I couldn't believe I had committed myself to eight (of course!)...it was so hard! My legs were burning, my lungs were burning...it was much harder than I expected. Well...I did all eight! My legs were shaking after and I couldn't really breathe (my throat was constricted), but I did it in 17 minutes.

I got to see Nick for about two hours after (he's studying for finals!), and my legs were shaking as I was trying to drive to his place. The weird thing is, I had to take two flights of stairs to get back to my car, and my legs didn't feel too fatigued, but I couldn't straighten my leg in the car, whether on the clutch or the gas pedal, without uncontrollable shaking! It made the drive...weird.

And today, my calves are so tight I can barely walk! I was supposed to run 3 miles today, but it quickly became apparent I probably wouldn't. Anytime I sit for any extended period of time, I hobble when I try to walk again. I rearranged my weekly schedule so today was a rest day and decided to walk two miles instead. I hoped walking would help loosen my calves a bit. It did while I walked, but it doesn't seem to have had any long term effect on them...Cross your fingers I can run tomorrow!

On a side note, today was supposed to be my first day of the eat smart, exercise intensely, lose weight thing. As sad as it is, I didn't remember until I was leaving work after 5 p.m.! Horrible right? The good news is, I didn't eat horribly! I had two pieces of chocolate at lunch instead of one and then Randy brought a bag of this new type of chip to our afternoon meeting. Seven of us split it, but I'm sure I had more than the nine-chip portion...and I went back for seconds! I'm telling you, I didn't even think about how I was supposed to be eating right...even after a co-worker wrote down the calorie content because she's watching her calories! Guess bad habits die hard...fortunately, I'm starting off pretty well. :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Ideal body weight

I had decided after the Memorial Marathon, I'd watch what I ate and try to lose about five pounds. I think what happened is I just kept eating like I did when I was training for the Olympic distance, but I haven't been burning off nearly as many calories. Plus, I'm not doing core work. All in all, I figured I could lose a bit.

Well, then, I was reading about juice diets in Triathlete. Years ago, my mom and I did a juice fast for seven days. While it was painful at the time, it was a great experience. I lost 10 pounds and only gained five back when we started eating solid food. And, I was detoxed...somewhat at least. Plus, everything we ate tasted absolutely amazing! We tried again the following year, but I had no success that time. It's been in the back of my mind to do again, but Triathlete brought it up again. I decided I was going to do a three-day juice fast to sort of kick start the weight loss/leaner thing. I had it planned for next week, but then I remembered we're having a ice-cream social thing for my boss on Thursday (what would be day 3), and I just don't want to have that sort of will power. It's tough to plan this around my racing this month (I have a climb tomorrow and a race on the 15th) because I expect it to hinder my workouts, etc. I could do MTW, but I'm not sure ice cream sandwiches are great the day after the fast. So I'm deciding when I should do that...thoughts?

Today, I was also reading Triathlete and it had an article about ideal race weight. So I did all the calculations, and it says I need to be at 123.5...about six pounds from where I am today. Well, actually, six pounds puts me in the 80th percentile in body fat percentage. And I didn't like knowing that I wasn't already at least in the 80th percentile. So that's my goal weight. No crazy diets (besides the juice thing, but I actually believe in them), just portion control and making sure I'm eating mostly whole foods. And continuing to work out, which isn't too big of a problem these days. Wish me luck!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Call a doctor! I think I need help.

I used to think "runners" were crazy. Who wants to get up SUPER early in the morning, just to run. Running was uncomfortable, awful for your joints and just overall...crazy.

Well, I still think they are crazy. But now, I'm a nut bag like everyone else!

After getting up at 4:30 yesterday morning to go to a race with 22,000 other crazies, I spent yesterday in pain. My knees, mostly, killed anytime they bent and/or I put pressure on them, ie every time I stood or sat down. I woke up today with some knee pain and sore hips. Not half bad for how well (or not) I'd trained. But then, driving to work today, I was thinking about how great the run was...and I wanted to run again! Crazy.

It's as simple as that. I need a psychologist because I'm just as crazy as those runners, those triathletes, those workout nuts. And I love it!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Marathon relay - race results!

What a fun race! They said that 22,000 people were participating, whether it be in the marathon, the half, the relay, the 5k or the kids marathon. It was ridiculous!

I hate getting up early. Like 4:30 kind of early. But, alas, I did. After meeting my parents at a hotel in OKC, we went off to the race. It started at 6:30, and I was the first leg. I had to walk blocks to get into the starting line...and even then, I ducked in an opening of the gates. It took me 10 minutes to get to the starting line after the gun went off!

My race was good. There were a few hills, but the wind was blocked by the thousands of people running ahead of me, so that wasn't a problem. My ankles began hurting pretty bad at mile 3 (I forgot ibuprofen this morning!), but I told myself to ignore it. Walking would hurt it still anyway, right? I kept a good pace and felt pretty good. I made it to the transition at 1:08:55, by my watch. I was actually already messing with the chip to pass off when I stopped it, so maybe a few seconds before that. Official time says 1:09:05, so I wonder if that's what time my dad left the area.

After resting for 5-10 minutes, I got food, my finisher medal and went to wait in line for the shuttle. I was in line - no joke - almost an hour. Only one bus had come and we hadn't seen one in more than a half-hour. Because someone told us it was two miles back, a couple of ladies and I decided to walk. My legs were stiffening up already and I was ready to get out of there. According to MapMyRun.com, it was 2.5 miles. It took us a while, but they kept me company. We made it back at the three-hour mark and found our way to the hamburger place -- I was HUNGRY!

Anyway, I waited and cheered until two members of our team came running along. I joined them in the finish! We saw my parents (our other two relayers) after the finish line. It was really fun to participate. Our team time was 4:31:59. Not half bad, I suppose.

If you're ever in the area, try the Memorial Marathon, even if its for the relay or what not. It's a fun, energetic race. And of course, it makes you think about the 168 lost 15 years ago in the Oklahoma City Bombing.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Relay tomorrow

We have the marathon relay tomorrow morning! (The race starts at a ridiculous 6:30...)

I'm running the first leg - 6.2 miles. I'm shooting for 1:15 time...

Guess we'll see how it goes...Wish me and my team luck!

Monday, April 19, 2010

One year ago...

A year ago, I became a triathlete.

I completed the King Tut Triathlon -- a sprint distance -- in 1:53:35! It was such an amazing experience, and I was hooked from Day 1. I won't go on and on reminiscing about what triathlon has done for me. I've done that post and if you really want to read it, just go into my history! To sum it up: It's done a lot -- so much of my life is different because of triathlon. And I've come along way in some respects. I haven't been freaking out about not being able to do distances this year because I know I can -- I've done it! But then again, things that haven't changed? I'm still slow :)

I just thought a post was deserved on the anniversary of this day.

Now, do you want to hear how my marathon relay training is going? Not well, actually! I decided to run an 3.8 mile out and back yesterday. I was probably 10 yards from my turn around when I had a back spasm! I had to stop and stretch it, but then my only option was to run back. It was an inconvenience, but loosened up some on the run. Well, it was incredibly tight and hurt all day yesterday and today. I decided not to run today (it was supposed to be my 4.5-5 mile long run to prep for the 10k on Sunday). I figured it would be really bad if I injured it further. I already had a busy evening of grocery shopping and bill paying, and it's bothering me again after all that. I'm busy the next two nights, so I can't get a run in then. Oh well. The race should be interesting!

Any idea why that happened? It was a really good run. I felt great. Am I holding my back weird or too much or something? Any suggestions?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spring Fever Triathlon - Race report!

I've got the first race of the season under my belt! A year later? Still slow! ;p

I did the Spring Fever Triathlon, which was in Claremore, located about 50 minutes away from my parents house, which meant any EARLY morning! Why can't transition areas open at 9? Well, I got up, grabbed some food, put on my clothes and we were out the door. My parents are AMAZING and came with to cheer me on! We got there really early and it took me about 5 minutes to set up my transition area, so there was a lot of waiting. I guess a lot has changed in the last year. The problem with TA was that they decided to use PVC pipes. Well, after about 10 bikes got on, they started to lean completely over. I actually had to move my area because it was being crowded by bent over pipe!

I was very nervous for the race. Eager to get started, but scared too! Because it was a pool swim, we each started separately, and I was sixth in the water! That was a bit intimidating. My thoughts on a pool swim? I'm NOT a fan! While it's nice that I can see where I'm going, and theoretically I'm more comfortable in the pool, I didn't like having someone at my feet the whole time! I couldn't calm my breathing down because I felt like I had to speed because I always had a guy on my ankles. Therefore, the swim was ROUGH. I couldn't feel comfortable or get into a rhythm, so I felt like I wasn't getting enough breath. Anyway, I finished the 400m in 9:20. 48th in speed.

T1 was uneventful. I didn't get my feet dry, so my toe went numb during the ride from being wet! Boo! My time wasn't stellar either: 3:32, 82nd.

The 12-mile bike wasn't too terribly bad. It starts off on this huge, fairly steep hill, which was a bummer! It flattened out for a few miles before hitting us with a few good hills. Then, of course, we turned around and did the hills again! I'd say the course was "somewhat hilly, somewhat challenging," if I were rating it. I've had worse bike legs, so I won't complain. I'm still falling toward the end of the pack in my bike times. I came in 113 of 120 women. My bike time was 1:03:40, or 11.3 pace.

T2 also was fairly uneventful. First time I had to change shoes in T2! That went alright. I'd say my transition times were slow, but it's not a huge deal. It's not something I really practiced. T2: 2:15, 77th

The run! Oh my gosh, it was tough! My calves were incredibly tight and I just couldn't get into any kind of stride. (I think there's more brick workouts in my future!) Then, of course, they throw in a half-mile INCREDIBLY steep hill. Yeah, thanks! I'd promised myself I wouldn't stop and walk. I'd never finished a tri without some walking, so I was determined to change that this time! It was only a 2-miler anyway! I actually think I could have had a better time had I stopped, walked and stretched my legs out a bit at the beginning of the run, but I didn't! I ran the whole thing! My time, again, wasn't stellar, but I thought I did OK. I passed a person or two...I ran it in 24:50, or a 12:25 pace. And it honestly seemed slower to me! Came in 90th.

It sounds like I was kind of down. I think I had the wrong attitude during the race, which led to me struggling with the semi-rough terrain the race provided instead of taking it head on! I'm going to learn from that and enjoy the next race more, while, hopefully, pushing myself harder the next time. It was good first race to do and I think I learned a lot about how I need to change my training for the next one!

I finished in 1:43:34! I was 96th of all women. And 16th of 18 in my age group (25-29, even though I'm only 24!).

What's next? 10k in a marathon relay in TWO WEEKS!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Race is tomorrow!

I just got back from packet pickup! I'm totally excited and pretty freaked out all at the same time!

I'm nervous. Not because I'm afraid I won't finish or I think it will hurt. Just because it's my first race of the season. I guess it's kind of like the first time you get on a roller coaster when you get to the amusement park. You know it's going to be awesome, but it's pretty scary. Plus, it's a pool swim, with individual start times, and I'm not sure what to expect with that. I don't know. I'm looking forward to it, though!

I didn't get a last run in. I worked until 8 p.m. Friday, and then went to this event at work. The whole office was there and then I helped clean up after. I didn't get home until 10 p.m. (and I'd been at work solidily since 8 a.m.). Then the next morning, instead of hitting the snooze, I accidentally hit the off button, so I didn't get time for a run before I had to head to Tulsa in time to see my mom. Oh well. I'm sure it will be OK. But you know what the toughest part about having a race tomorrow is? Not being able to work out today. It's so beautiful out! I want to go on a bike ride or something...

- Run the whole 2 miles (I've never ACTUALLY done a race without walking some.)
- 1:30 would be AWESOME, but I think 1:35 is more of a realistic, but tough goal time
- Then of course, coming in ten minutes later (1:45) is a pretty decent race.

This race is really going to be a feeler race. And fun. That's what this season is all about. Fun races!

Wish me luck!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

T-7 days

Yup. My first tri of the season is just one week away! Woo!

Am I ready? Yes and no. It's a 400m pool swim, 12-mile bike and 2-mile run. I know I can do the distances with limited problems. In fact, I think I can do each of them fairly quickly. The problem is, I haven't done a lot of doubling up. I'm worried about my endurance at a quick pace because of that. And, I haven't done any bike/runs. I think I'll get one worked out tomorrow. (It was hard to motivate this weekend! But Easter was great!) Oh, and I had more pool trouble last week, so I'm not getting swims in as often as I want.

But all in all, I'm super excited and not particularly worried. This year is supposed to be about fun tri-ing, without putting a lot of stress on myself. I'm excited to get another under my belt -- and start the season off!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Exercise therapy

I had a long, fairly rough day on Tuesday. I knew I'd be on campus until 7 p.m., so I planned a swim workout that day to avoid going home in between. (The pool is open 7-9 p.m.) I was tired and crabby, but when I walked down the hall and smelled the chlorine, I smiled. Love that. I wish I could say that I had a great swim with no stress, but that's not what happened. Instead, I had to wait until 7:45 p.m. for a lifeguard to show up for me to even get in the water. I got home at 8:30 p.m. for the night...and for dinner. Which brings me to the point of this post...

Today, I had a similarly long day and had again planned on getting off work right before 7 p.m. I walked in ten after seven, and two ladies were leaving, very happy to see me. As it turns out, they were hoping I was the lifeguard because they had the pool before (we rent it out to other people when it's not open), and they were asked not to leave until someone got there to avoid locking/unlocking. I told them I was an employee and had a master key to the building, so they could leave and I would lock up if no one showed. I didn't stay more than 10 minutes because I was fuming! If you're supposed to be open at a certain time (and only a short time period), make sure you are there! I know it's student employees, but it's really frustrating. I'm glad I get the "service" for free...not paying a student fee or anything! Gah! So angry.

So I locked up, left and called people to vent. After venting to my dad about the situation, how I have a tri in two weeks (and it was too late to run), etc., he told me that no matter what I do, I should make sure to do something training-like and use my frustration. So I changed clothes, set up my trainer and got on. I did a hard 40-minute drill workout. I pedaled hard, fast and felt great. Between the awesome workout, and the final scene in Dirty Dancing, the one where Patrick Swayze jumps off the stage and starts dancing in the aisle, and everyone else joins in and automatically knows the all moves, I just felt so much better.

Moral of the story? Next time you're angry, frustrated -- even if it's brought on by a training or workout obstacle...USE it. And of course, surround yourself with people who are willing to let you vent, bitch and complain to them as a pre-exercise therapy sort of therapy.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Climbing high

My parents decided to take up rock climbing this year. I was eager to try it out. I mean, if they could do it, I could, too, right? So when I finally got an opportunity to go to Tulsa for a few days, we went to climb at a place in Tulsa. I took the lessons on how to tie the knots and belay, then went over to the rocks to give it a try! Do I look ready to go?

I think I did a pretty decent job and got the hang of it pretty fast. It was fairly tough, but I was eager to get to the top. The hardest part? Letting go once you get to the top. My mom kept yelling, "Just let go," but nothing in my brain told me I could safely let go. It was tough. The second hardest part is undoing the knots when you're done. Your arms are already tired, so working to untie the knot is rough.

I was only mildly sore yesterday from it. I'd recommend it if you're looking for something sporty and challenging. But gimme a call before you leave...cause I want to come with you!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Jumping in

On Sunday, I signed up for my first tri of the season! (Only $50!) It's April 11. 400m pool swim, 12 mile bike and 2 mile run. Not bad to start the season, eh?

So now I have less than six weeks before I race a tri! Ahhh! But yay too! I started my official tri training yesterday with some speed work on the run. Here's what I did:
- Warm up: Walking 0.25 miles, jog 0.5 miles
- Main set: 5 x 0.25 miles at 9min/mile pace, incline 2, followed each set by 0.15 miles walking
- Cool down: Walking three minutes, slowly reducing speed

Then today, I did my long swim. I haven't really been swimming much, so I'm jumping in!
- Warm up: 100m
- Main set: 3 x 250m
- Cool down: 100m

I'm feeling pretty good. Tomorrow I'm supposed to double up swimming and cycling. I don't think I'll be able to do them right after each other because of pool/daylight hours, but I'll get them both in!

How's your training going?

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Back in action

It's good to be back! I raced yesterday!!!

I was dreading the race when I woke up at 7 a.m. on a Saturday. But I forged on, and by the time the 25k-ers started, I couldn't stop smiling! It was a race! Race season has arrived! We started about 15 minutes later, and I got nervous right before the gun went off. The race was fairly uneventful. Flat, a bit windy on the "out," but therefore perfect for the "back" part. I stayed steady and didn't struggle much. I watched this one woman run, stop and walk, run, walk, looking very winded each time she walked. That was me last year, when I did my winter 5ks. It was good to see how far I'd come. I sped up as I got close to the end and enjoyed my finish.

-Chip time - 35:14; 7:06 splits.
-71 of 114 women
-7th of 8 in my age group -- not last! Acutally, had I been just 6 months older, I would have ended up 12th of 22 in the next age group.

Better results:
After the race ended, I was sitting down eating my bagels and coffee and this guy I saw a couple times along the race came up to me and told me I'd had a good race. Then, get this, he told me I was his fast pace setter and he wasn't able to keep up! It really made my race to know that I had helped push someone. Basically, it made my race.

With 7:06 splits, it means I've got to knock off just more than a minute per K to come in under 30 minutes by the end of the season. I'll have to find some plan for that...suggestions?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The week before

Did you know it's been almost four months since I raced? Crazy! I'm eager, but nervous for my first race of the season (a 5K this Saturday). I'm nervous because while I'm eager, I'm also kind of dreading it. I'm not really sure why. I'm sure it will be awesome...and I'm hoping it gets me totally stoked for Tri Time!

I ran on the treadmill on Monday. I started off too fast and ended up struggling the whole time. I ran 3.1, but with warm up, cool down and two tiny walking stints, I went almost 3.75 miles. Tough workout...and a bit discouraging. Then Tuesday, I did a bike trainer drill workout. That was tough too! My legs were tired, but it felt really productive, so I was happy about that.

I am supposed to swim today, but I think I'm going to stay home and do pilates. I should get out there, but I'm fairly tired and really want to stay home. I'm starting tri-specific training next week, so I figure this is my last chance to skip a swim guilt-free(ish).

Don't worry. I'm not down on working out/training. It may seem like it, but I think I'm just really tired. Things will get back to normal after this race and this week. And I'll rock the 2010 season!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I'm official!

I did it! I am officially a USAT member! I just signed up. It's pretty exciting. I appreciate everyone's suggestions when it came to whether I should sign up. It's possible I won't get four races fit in to make up for the cost, but even my super-economically-minded boyfriend said it would be worth it for me. I have to agree. And hopefully, I'll find that fourth race! (But let me tell you, Oklahoma is not a huge triathlon state...I know you probably find that hard to believe...)

Now, I just have to wait until my next paycheck to sign up for my first tri of the season!

In other news, I haven't been stellar with the work outs, especially this week. Did I mentioned February was going to be busy? I'm getting them in when I can (mostly), but it hasn't been regular. I think once March hits and basketball season ends, I should have more time (at least more evening time!) to be more consistent. That's when I plan to start training for the tri, which is scheduled for April.

My first race (5K) is next Saturday. I'm back to the point where I can run three miles, and I know I can push myself, so I'm not real worried about finishing. (Plus, next week is a less busy week...) Nick and I did acquire free Thunder basketball tickets for the night before the race, but I'm not too worried. It's a 9 a.m. start at a lake about 45 minutes away, so it's not like I have to be up super early. I'm using this race as a time trial test. I'm going to try to do the best I can, obviously, and run the whole thing, but this isn't my "let's beat 30 minutes" race. This race will give me an idea of how much work I need to do to get a sub-30 5k, and then I can plan a training schedule accordingly. I'm interested to see where I am, but I don't know that I'm going to like it! ;-p Winter hurts everyone, right?

One last point to make...I'm ready for warmer weather to hit! I'm loving that the days are getting longer, but I'm ready to get back OUTSIDE with my workouts! It makes it more enjoyable for me...even if I wouldn't have said so a year and a half ago!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

USAT and the Devil's work

Those things are separate.

1) Should I get a USAT membership? It's $39. I have three triathlons planned, and a fourth would be great if I could fit it in my schedule and budget. If I do four, it'll save me $1, and I get a quarterly magazine. If I only do three, I'm not sure it's worth it. Thoughts?

2) Goggles were created by the Devil to torture swimmers and triathletes. My left goggle would not fuse to my left eye at all today. I literally couldn't get more than two strokes in before my entire left goggle was full of water! It was horrible. I was so frustrated halfway through because I couldn't get a decent swim in that I was nearly in tears. These are Nike, and I got them for Christmas last year. Can goggles lose their suction after a year of regular use? I feel like this Nike brand should be better quality than that. I was doing everything I could think of and it just wouldn't suction onto my face. Just the left eye. I had few problems on the right side. Thoughts? It's making me dread my next swim.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Oh, the trainer

Kayle is always talking about how much she loves her trainer. And while I love the benefit of it -- time on my bike, not exposed to the elements, freedom to do it anytime -- I can't say I love it. My favorite part about riding my bike is being outside and enjoying the day. And, it's harder to motivate to kill my legs by going really fast if I don't get the benefit of feeling the speed and the wind in my face!

But I came across this article in Triathlete. It was about "loving your trainer." It gave three workouts to do on it. One was a steady ride, which is pretty much what I've been doing. (My general routine has been 1 hour on the trainer once or twice a week.) But the other two -- a drill and an interval -- were new. I heard of similar rides, but I was glad to have that article because I've been wondering what to do with it. I took on the drill ride the other day. After a decent 10-minute or so warm up, you bike with just one leg for 30 seconds (taking the other out of the clips) and then switch, and then a two-minute recovery, repeat four times. I figured it would just work my individual leg more, but I had no idea. It was so hard to concentrate to keep a steady circular motion when I wasn't pressing down on my other foot! It took a lot of brain power and some coordination. I enjoyed the challenge. Then, after that, it's speed drills -- take 15 seconds to reach maximum speed without bouncing around, hold for 15 seconds, recover for two minutes. The interesting thing about this drill was that it wasn't hard during the speed...but it seemed like about a minute later, that's when my legs started hurting and struggling. It was interesting too. Finish with about 10 minutes of lighter cycling as a cool down.

All in all, it broke up the monotony of trainer rides for me, and I really enjoyed it. I don't expect to like the interval ride much because I think it will be really hard, but it's probably another good ride. I expect to rotate through the trainer rides each time I cycle to get a good balance. I may even bump up my "long ride" a bit to get a stronger foundation.

February is here and will be crazy for me at work, I expect. I plan to get as many workouts in as possible, but it may not be as much as I'd like. My first race (a 5k) is at the end of the month! Woo!

On a different note, I made this really yummy soup the other day. It's super lumpy and has a lot of beans in it -- totally not my thing generally -- but it's very good and fairly healthy. Love it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tri to live

As I've mentioned, I've been trying to work with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation on a way to help raise money for them while racing. We finally came to a compromise today, and I've set up my donation Web site! I signed up for my first race of the season (a 5k in February), and I'm set to go on the Memorial Marathon Relay. I can't wait until races start!

Many of you also follow Kayle, who has really inspired this whole thing (from starting to race triathlons to getting donations). Please consider donating to our cause sometime this year. I know the economy is tight and we're all cutting back, but as cliche as this sounds, every little bit does count! Last year, I raced for me...please help me race for a whole community of people this time around!

To view my donation page, find out more about cystic fibrosis or to donate, visit http://bit.ly/bw6brV.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Joys of being sore

Am I weird because I really enjoy being sore? It means I either worked a muscle group I'm not used to working, or I pushed one I am used to working beyond what is normal. Basically, it means I challenged my body and had a great workout! With all my training last year, I really wasn't sore often. Which means I was physically fit, but I think it also means I can push harder. (I'm working on training my subconscious to realize I can push more and then doing so.)

This week I have been sore. Here's what I did:

M - Ran 2.5 miles of a total of 3.25 on the treadmill, incline 2. I was a little sore Tuesday.
T - Rest (shot pictures of high school basketball for six hours)
W - Funny story. Because of the basketball tournament (see Tuesday), the pool wasn't open in the evenings this week, so I decided to change my schedule a bit and add a sprint run. So Wednesday, I go to the gym to do weights. The plan was about 20 minutes of cardio to get my blood flowing, etc., and only three minutes into my treadmill walk, I thought to myself "this is doing anything for triathlon and nothing for running a sub-30 5k...why am I wasting my time?" In response, I walked four minutes, ran a 12-minute (I'm starting slow) mile at 3 percent incline, then walked another four minutes. There. 20 minutes. Helping my running and triathlon. I did weights after, which were incredibly tough. Then, I decided to practicing shooting baskets. I'm a spaz, but I had fun. I was sore Thursday from weights.
R - Biked 1 hour while watching Titanic. I love having a bike trainer to get me through the winter and other days of rough weather, but it's not as fun as biking. The fun part about biking is getting the speed and feeling the wind on your face. You don't get that inside. Titanic made it enjoyable for the most part, but I'm totally missing the outdoors!
F - Rest
S - KenpoX with Nick. It's part of the P90X routine he's involved in. Kenpo is a martial arts routine. Lots of kicking and throwing punches. My back is a bit sore...but my calves are killing me! They are incredibly tight, which made running...fun?
N - I got to take my new running shoes (see below) out, which was totally fun. I did four quarter-mile sprints, finishing the mile in 7:47. Then, I went for a light jog for another .86 miles. I'm not sure my legs got a lot of work, but my lungs were having trouble keeping up...so I worked something!

New shoes! I'd been needing new running shoes. I got mine toward the beginning of this tri adventure! The tread wasn't too worn, but I figured since I'd been having some leg pain, and it'd been a year, it was about time! I went to a fancy running store and tried on a few pair. I ended up getting a pair of Mizunos. Not a brand I'm familiar with, but they feel great! Snug, super supportive, comfortable. They're a little bright, but I don't mind!

Overall, a good week for training. I'm excited to add swimming to the agenda, especially because it's been so long, but it's time.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The plan

Hello folks!

I'm planning on starting my new workout routine tomorrow. I'm going to try to fit a workout in today, but I have a lot of things planned for today, so we'll see. My workout routine is as follows: One day a week of each of the following: Swim, Bike, Run, Weights (with 20 minutes cardio), and Other. The other category gives me a lot of flexibility on what I want to do. It can be one of the other four or zumba or P90X with Nick, just whatever. I do abs each Monday, Wednesday and Friday (maybe once on the weekend, too). Each Sunday, I will sit down and figure out which day I do what. With basketball season, and soon softball and baseball, my nights and days are just crazy, so coming up with a set day off and set day for anything is just going to be difficult. This way, I have more flexibility and I should know what kind of week I'm going to have by Sunday. (I say that, not knowing if I have to shoot pictures at some basketball games tomorrow night or Tuesday night...) This "routine" will carry me through February (and basketball season). I'm planning on my first tri on April 11 (if they ever open registration!), which will give me almost six weeks to double up and train for it specifically. Without a lot of experience with my job and what these games will entail, I don't want to add a completely hectic training schedule. I think this will suit my needs.

The plan this week is:
M - Run or rest (depending on basketball photography); abs
T- Run or rest (again...)
W - Swim laps (it's been a while!); abs
R - 20 minutes of cardio and then full weights
F - Rest; abs
S - Other
N - Bike

I think it'll be a tester week to see where I am in each of these. I'm probably going to run/walk for 45 minutes and bike for one hour. As far as laps go...I have no idea where I will be. Maybe I should plan to swim for 30 minutes and see what I can get done.

I'll try to keep you posted!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Recovery-land Welcomes You

I've been in sick-land. I'm enjoying Recovery-land more.

Nick was sick over the turn of the New Year. All week last week I'd been feeling it. That "in-between" where you know that tomorrow you could wake up feeling fine or totally sick. Then a co-worker got sick Tuesday and Wednesday. Then another three on Friday. And then others went home sick. My whole office! Friday I was still in-between, but I woke up Saturday feeling like poo! Nick took great care of me, but I had to go into work Saturday night because we had two basketball games! Nick went home Saturday night, but the cold persisted. Sunday was spent on the couch. I went into work late Monday because I thought it would be a good idea to get a little extra rest because I had to work Saturday night. Now, I'm in the recovery portion. Nose still kind of plugged, coughing a lot, but mobile and vertical. So definite improvement!

I haven't been training or working out with this (and two busy weeks), but starting next week, I'm going to. I'll come up with and share a new work out plan and try to stick with it. My problem right now is it has to be super flexible because I have a lot of night and weekend work, which makes sticking to a rigorous schedule super-difficult. Anyway, for a future post...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Because not all of my journey is fitness related...

(This post better be freaking awesome because I've been fighting with the computer/Internet for more than 30 minutes...)

Nick and I decided to host a New Years party this year. Last year, we spent it just with our good friend Sean, but we decided to get more people involved this time around. Long story short, it ended up being us, Sean and another good friend of mine. Not quite a party. I should mention I tend to just have a few good friends and not a huge group of others. That's just my MO, and Nick's pretty much the same. As for the party, my best friend couldn't make it because she'd had surgery earlier that week and Nick's friends bailed, as did most of those I invited. It was extremely disappointing to me, and it made me realize where I was in that part of my life. (I'm not looking for you to be sorry for me. I've been "uncool" all my life and totally accepted it years ago.) Basically, I need to emphasize friends this year, I've decided.

I also have realized recently that I have become distant with some of the people I'm close to. My first order of business is to try to reforge those friendships and bonds because frankly, they are more important to me than anyone new. Next, I'm going to make a big push to add some people to my list of friends. Especially someone fairly local. (My boyfriend is 45 minutes away, my best friend about 3 hours, my family is about 2 hours away, and my other good friends are either one hour or three away...) I'm not trying to win a Miss Popular award or anything, but you get what I'm saying, right?

It's been something I've been thinking about in the last week or so, and I wanted to share.Any advice?

And because I'm so into goals these days, Nick and I have set a goal to have more people celebrating the beginning of 2011 with us. ;-p

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year!

It's time for New Years Resolutions. I, like just about everyone else, make them and sometime mid-January, completely forget about them. But still I make them...even making an effort to better yourself for two weeks is worth it, right? Well, all that changed last year. I set a tangible goal, something achievable but not easy. I decided to run an Olympic-distance triathlon and in September, I completed a New Years Resolution! Because I set all my goals in threes these days, just one didn't seem like enough...

1) Expand my cooking and eating horizons. Believe it or not, but I've been cooking for five years and I bought my first steak the other day. I felt totally out of place, not knowing which to get, and Nick and I had to look up recipes to actually cook it. I can make chicken breast or ground beef like no other, but not so much else. So in 2010, I'm going to cook one recipe that wouldn't immediately, naturally appeal to me, but something I expect I might enjoy nonetheless. I'm starting with a southwestern soup. I love soup, but this has two different kinds of beans in it and is rather chunky (not my usual soup choice). Once a month may not seem like much, but I rarely cook out of a cookbook, so it might actually be challenging.

2) Run a 5k in less than 30 minutes. I just felt like I needed a fitness goal in there, too. My fastest time is 32:30-ish. As you know, I'm a slow runner, but I want to do this. I think if I work really hard at speed, I just might be able to do this. I mean, I'm cutting a minute off per mile, which seems like an awful lot to me. But...here goes nothing!

3) Finish my 2007 Year in Review scrapbook. It's 2010. It's probably about time. As of right now, I'm only in August, and I started it January of 2007. I will likely be swamped at work all Spring, but I might have some real time to settle down with it in May. I should be able to get this done...and I'm hoping to start a new one, but probably with a different theme because I'm so far behind!

That's all my resolutions. I have a few other things I want to work on in 2010 though.
-I want to try really hard to save 7.5 percent of my earnings each month, while spending another 7.5 percent to pay extra on my student loans. I'm paying the minimum each month, but this will be on top of that. I think this is a doable amount, but without knowing what life is going to throw at me this year, I don't want to make it a resolution.
-I've also made a list of about 12 races (from 5k to Olympic tris) that I could do this year that works in location and my busy schedule. I doubt I can afford them all, and I'm sure a ton more will come up as the year progresses. I plan on a doing a few tris, some 5ks for speed and the marathon relay in April. I'm pretty excited for this race season...I might start signing up next paycheck!
-Finally, I want to continue to be responsible and frequent with my bills, dishes and keeping my apartment clean. Plus, I've been staying away from fast food and a ton of junk. I've been doing GREAT for about a month, but with work picking up, it'll get harder. I just have to stay strong.

2010, a new decade, new possibilities, a new adventure. Don't waste it.