Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Anatomy of a self-sabotaged run

1. Pick a SUPER challenging trail route for my longest run since Eugene, with 1900' gain in the first 5 miles.

2. Screw around at home for ages instead of getting up and going while it's cool and cloudy.

3. Change up the standard breakfast routine, and despite waking up really hungry, don't take in any extra calories.

4. Ignore that the legs are already a little tired and blah from the long bike the day before.

5. At mile 2, when you can tell the run is going poorly, and you JUST STARTED and can't pull anything better than a 10:30 pace ON A DOWNHILL, continue going. Don't turn around and go home to run on flats or the treadmill. I assumed it would get better the farther I went.

6. Take a wrong turn and add a giant hill loop to your mileage.

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7. Realize at 4 miles you're low on fluids, and STILL don't turn around.

8. At mile 6, when you get to a park that you were counting on refilling at, and can't find the water fountain, STILL DON'T TURN AROUND.

9. When you hit a screaming downhill at the end of the breautiful ridge route (that almost makes all of this worth the trouble....), and realize that you still have to go BACK up to get to the next trail..... continue going.

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10. When you are completely melting down at a crossroads, and see the trail you SHOULD be on climbing up (remember, that's not a surprise), see the clouds breaking and the sun coming out full-force... by all means, take the super sketchy, not-on-the-map-but-it's-downhill canyon trail.

11. Half a mile later when you realize it's a CLOSED ACCESS trail..... yeah, keep going.

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12. Hide from the helicopters overhead, because you're convinced They know you're there (what.).

13. 2 miles later when you hit a 6' high fence.... climb it. Duh.

14. Decide then, still 4 miles from the car, that... you're done. You're just walking from here.

15. Try to look inconspicuous as you walk through A GOLF COURSE in your bright purple ProCompression sock and Brooks Pure Grits. They're almost like golf clothes, right?

The highlight of the morning (and early afternoon....) was an old man asking if I needed anything - ummm, yeah, like some better sense than what I demonstrated this morning - followed by his golf partner yelling, "Hey, GIRL, see that! THAT'S a golf shot!".

It was not a good run. Mostly my own doing, and I made some DUMB decisions - my brain just BROKE. My pace for the first 9.2 (while I was running....) was right at 13 minute/mile, which is decent for me on trails, so I'm okay with that, but the 4 mile walk of shame back to my car was LAME. I should know better.

I tried a few things - I stopped and took a lot of pictures, for one, and tried to remember that I really love these trails, so I should be glad to be there. I WAS NOT.

I did get to try the new salted caramel GU (verdict: DELICIOUS), and stopping for McDonald's french fries on the way home. So there's that.
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And, it was really pretty.
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My lessons from the day:
1. Don't procrastinate. I knew the weather would get sketchy the longer I waited, and yet.
2. Eat. I was STARVING. I needed more than a handful of frosted mini wheats and some blueberries.
3. I questioned if I would have enough water, and I should have brought more. I assumed I would have an opportunity to refill, but I didn't. Never assume.
4. Plan better. A hilly trail route was probably not a good choice for my long run the day after my longest bike ride ever.
6. Especially closed access sketchy trails.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Adventures in Tri - iTRYathlon training, week 3

Week 1 HERE
Week 2 HERE

Last week...

Monday: Bike, cross training
6ish mile bike ride to Target and back home - not too bad. Followed up with Tank Top Arms and 10 minute core.

Tuesday: Swim
Kind of, but not really. Mostly just practicing breathing and moving at the same time. 20 minutes easy pool time. Tuesday was my 35th birthday (heeeeeey, new AG!), and the day kind of sucked (not because of my birthday, just in general?). Anyway. That was all I could get myself motivated for, before I buried myself in bad tv, pizza, and ice cream cake.

Wednesday: Run, Swim
6 mile easy pace treadmill run, followed by riding my bike to a local lap pool for 30 minutes of drills and laps.

Thursday: Run, cross training
5 mile tempo run - nailed it. Goal: 1 mi wu, 3@ 9:44-9:22, 1 mi cool. Actual: 9:39, 9:32, 8:52. Followed by 30 minutes of Tank Top Arms, Core, and stretches.

Friday: REST!

Saturday: BRICK!
Easy pace 2 mile run, followed by - dun dun DUN - a 10 mile bike, at medium effort. The ride was not terrible - it was challenging, but in an entirely different way than running is.

Sunday: Long run
13 miles on trails. This was NO GOOD. But it was pretty.
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Aside from yesterday's TERRIBLE run... Not a bad week, training-wise!

Running: 26 miles. Nice jump over last week. The paces are good, for me, so I'm happy with that. The tempo run was certainly challenging, and I threw in the last mile as a sort-of time trial - I think I could have maybe done a little faster, but I'm not disappointed with it, so it's fine for now. The long run Sunday ended up at an overall 14:50 pace - so for trails, not The Worst, but I'm especially okay with it knowing the elevation, stopping to take a billion pictures, and that I walked the last 4 miles - like, for real just walked.

Swimming: I really need to focus more here, because it's my most challenging sport so far, I think. I am still having trouble kind of connecting all of the movements - I know it will come with practice. I went to a neighborhood pool that was pretty great (aside from the skanky pants neighbor of mine that was there with NOT HIS WIFE, and did you know when you wear goggles you can see what people are doing under water GROSS). It for sure helps me with the leg soreness and fatigue, so that is great. If I ever stop feeling like I might drown, it might be something I want to add to my non-tri routine.

Bike: 2 rides, total of 16.5ish miles. I'm getting a little faster, so that's nice. The route we took had a lot of very short, but pretty steep inclines, so that was tricky - the race course has some long but gradual inclines. This week, I'd like to build in some training on similar routes to see how it goes.

Of note this week....
  • Coach Martha from Tri La Vie advised us last week at the swim clinic that we would be exhausted mentally. Man. She was NOT joking. My brain is foggy and tired.
  • Physically, I feel pretty good, even with the increased training. Last week, I put in 8.5 hours of training; the weeks preceding this were at 6:45, 5:30, 3:05. The variety of training elements helps - the swimming is definitely keeping my legs in good shape.
  • I'm feeling pretty good about my run and bike - I was kind of eyeballing the results from last year to see how I'd stack up, and it looks like I probably won't be last, so that's great news ;). The run is coming faster than I anticipated, and the bike... I'm seeing steady improvement, and I'm not working a ton on it, so that's nice.
  • The swim, though. That piece still confuses me.

Plan for this week....
Monday: Swim 30 min, cross train
Tuesday: Run, 6ish easy, bike
Wednesday: Bike, 1 hour (!!!), cross train
Thursday: Renegade Summer Trail Run #3! 5 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Bike, swim (bike to swim clinic, then home), cross train
Sunday: Long - 12-14

On Saturday, #1 raced the City of Cypress 5k with some of her Cross Country teammates. I ran the 10k here a few years ago, and it's a great event - the race is well organized, the finish is great (popsicles!!), the support is great, and it's CHEAP - $25 for any distance if you register in advance (which we didn't do because see above about my foggy brain).

I thought this was the cutest thing ever ever ever.
The H putting the timing chip on her shoe for her. ADORABLE.
It was warm and sunny out, so not super ideal conditions, and #1 was coming off of a pretty hefty training week at XC Camp - she's obviously a running machine, because she is piling on more mileage than I am in a week.

Somehow, she nailed a new PR! Her previous PR was set at Chapman 5k in 2011, at 22:08. Saturday, she came in 21:57. She's the fastest.

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She runs so pretty!
It is a SUPER stacked field, and that 21:57 was good for 7th in her AG. Madness.
 Also, I love spectating.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

35 Things I'm Happy Remembering Today

I'm having kind of a crummy day. Compiling this list made me happier.

1. This guy.

2. #1

3. #2

4. #3
5. That we can play in the snow, wearing tank tops.

6. That I made these chocolate caramel shortbreads at Christmastime.

7. Running my first trail half with Rose.

8. Telling tiny Becka to run next to this very, very tall woman. Also, that B's singlet makes her look like an iPod.

9. Animal Kingdom during Goofy.

10. Team Gab (not so) Virtual Run, joined by Sheila (+kids), Sarah, and Traci.

11. The Team Gab IRL team at PCRF Reaching for the Cure races.

12. Running through Epcot at mile 26, in 85* weather + humidity, and it was the happiest run ever.

13. That we had hair styling night. Because there was enough hair to be styled.

14. This girl amazes me with her cleverness.

15. Running through the (second) happiest place on earth, so early that the castle is lit up like it's nighttime.

16. Snow playing and hiking here in February.

17. This magical Wish Trip.

18. This might be my most favorite character race picture ever. B and Krissy were the funnest.

19. I really, really kind of loved running through the raging river during CIM.

20. I think I hid it, but this poster during mile 8 at Eugene from Maureen's kiddo made me a little teary behind the laughing.

21. Running Ragnar SoCal with Team Nuun.

22. As great as they were, Van Awesome will always have my heart.

23. This was the Best.

24. Kids are hiiiiilarious.
25. I love this castle. 

26. Oh, Rose. She has the funnest ideas.

27. I have really great friends.

28. January's #RunALLTheDisney project was so fun.

29. VooDoo Trifecta.

30. Not every day you get to run with an Olympian through the happiest place on earth....

 31. Being a San Francisco Marathon Ambassador is GREAT.

32. Waking up to this view from my tent a few week ago.

33. Disney World Tour de Cupcake.
34. Opening the new Disney Store with Make a Wish.
35. All of everything with these people. 

Your turn! Tell me awesome things YOU remember. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Adventures in Tri - iTRYathlon training, week 2: PFTW

Well. Week 2 of iTRYathlon training is in the books......

Monday - 30 minutes cross training
Tank Top Arms, Core, easy yoga

Tuesday - run, followed by bike
4 mile easy pace run, 4 mile easy pace bike (I think I intended to do 5 miles, but it was getting dark)

Wednesday - swim, 45 min cross training
I hesitate to even call this a "swim", because it was mostly me just trying not to breathe in water, but it was 20 minutes in the pool; followed that with Tank Top Arms, Core, and more yoga

Thursday - 800's (grosssss)
6 miles, with 4x800. Goal was 4:30-4:20, with negative splits. Actual 4:30, 4:28, 4:23, 4:20. Nailed it. 800s are still my least favoritest.

Friday - rest
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Saturday - swim. Dun dun DUN.
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45 minutes of drills. This isht is HARD. I left the practice completely wrecked. The good news is, I kind of know at least how to effectively move, AND I was not the slowest there (actually, I was one of the fastest, out of the slow group, so I'll take it).

Sunday - long run!
Man, I've missed long runs. 12 miles, broken into three segments.
Part 1: 4 miles from my house to ex-neighbor Will's place. Turns out, this is at an incline the entire way. So, so hard, my legs were DEAD.
Part 2: 4 miles around Will's fancy new neighborhood. Easy run/walk.
Part 3: 4 miles at a slight downhill home - this was The Best EVER!!

There was even a little bit of rain in my last 2 miles....
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those are raindrops, on cement, I SWEAR.
This is notable only because rain in July here is unheard of, but this was TWO DAYS in a row of drizzle - it rained on us Saturday, too. I'm hopeful that this hints at a cool, mild summer?
(I know it's BEEN summer, for, like, a month everywhere else, but our summer really starts in August when the marine layer disppears blah blah blah so hot).

Anyway, it was a pretty okay week...
Running: 22 miles. I'm happy enough with my run paces - obviously I'm nowhere near as "fast" as I was around CIM time last year, but it's becoming easier, which I guess is the point of training.
Swim: 1:05 total swim time, but only 45 minutes of that was really active. This week, I have scheduled some time in a lap pool, so I'm looking forward (haha) to seeing what kind of actual swim fitness I have, and hopefully get a gauge for a reasonable goal for iTRY.
Bike: Only got in 1 ride this week, which is lame and not ideal. My training plan called for a second ride, but my work schedule got changed mid-week, and threw off my training a little bit.

BUT, I did invest in this....

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Invest is a strong word; it was the cheapest model that I didn't hate. I was actually not really planning on buying a new bike - I use The H's bike, because despite our height differences and my practically-midget status, I have freakishly long legs, so it almost works for me. I didn't really want to invest a lot of money into a thing that I'm 10 days into. BUT, #1 uses the bike also, to get to cross country camp, so it will be convenient having a second bike in the house.

The Tri La Vie group is really helpful for me - normally I'm pretty much a loner in my training. It's hard for me to find someone running my pace, or my distance, and I really don't mind being alone. BUT, the coaches have been incredibly helpful providing an easy introduction to the other two sports.

Plan for this week....
Monday: Easy bike; cross train
Tuesday: 30 min swim, 5-6 mile run
Wednesday: Bike - scheduled for a 10 mile time trial; maybe swim?
Thursday: 6 mile tempo, with a 1 minute time trial thrown in there
Friday: Easy 30 min swim OR rest if I swim Wednesday
Saturday: Group bike/run training
Sunday: Long run, distance TBD depending on Saturday

Run: 25-26 miles? Ish?


Lessons from the week

  • 45 minutes of swimming - even though it was HARD and exhausted all of my body - it felt like it really loosened up the muscles that were kind of tight. I always have shin splint issues, and have been fighting a little bit with my left leg this week, but after swimming, my calf was nice and loose and the shin was way less achy. So.... interesting development.
  • Swimming really, really confuses me, and the things I don't get... I don't understand WHY they won't click. For example - during our drills, we were doing some one side freestyle stuff, then switching sides on the way back. This confused me, but I understood WHY - it's harder for me on the left side, and I know that just needs practice. But when we did laps, without fail, about halfway through the return part of the loop (is there a word for that?), I would almost DIE from breathing in the water. Nothing changed, it was totally fine on the way out, but the way back was torture. Every time. I don't understand what part of that I don't get.
  • Here's a good article on swimming tips for beginners.
  • Four years after moving here, we finally joined the neighborhood association, which has several adult-only lap pools. That are heated. I don't know why this took us so long.
  • I have finally discovered one thing I use triceps for: swimming. Every time I do those stupid tricep moves during Barre or Tank Top Arms, I wonder WHY THOSE MUSCLES EVEN EXIST. Turns out, for swimming.
  • Last swimming observation: I have a problem keeping my eyes open. I wear goggles, and they're good. But, here's a fun fact for you - I'm blind in my right eye. So using the goggles makes me feel like I'm looking through a telescope, and I keep closing my eye, and I get confused, and then both eyes are closed. I know, this makes zero sense. But...
  • I did ride the bike significantly faster than the first week, I'm sure because I figured out how to more efficiently use the gears to my advantage.
  • Foam rolling, foam rolling, foam rolling. I thought I was building up my mileage slowly enough that I wouldn't encounter the same stupid shin splint issues, but NOPE. They're the same as always. I spent a few days being really uncomfortable and tight, and then remembered.... I own a foam roller, and I know how to use it. Duh.
  • It was a little horrifying how hard the 800's were, considering that not TOO long ago (in December), I ran an entire 10k at just that pace. The loss of fitness is crazy.
  • That said, it was nice to run 12 miles, and feel like it was okay. I was a little worried about that.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Three Things Thursday

Thing 1:
I spent a decent amount of time in the pool Wednesday night.

Do you swim?

Because, I don't, and that isht is COMPLICATED. The breathing, the kicking, arms moving, eyes open, it's so many things to actively do at one time.

Running, you just.... go. You go forward. Swimming is just so... much.

The goggles I have figured out. But that foam thing? I don't get it.

Thing 2:
SoCal/OC Locals: I've snagged a discount code for the next Summer Trail Run on August 1st and  iTRYathlon. If you're thinking about registering, you can use code RC2013 for 10% off.

I promise the hills aren't thaaaaaaat bad.

Thing 3:
I love love love PROCompression. I have several pairs, and I wear them religiously - recovery, racing, costuming (because they have all the colors under the sun), hiking, to work, on planes, long drives. I wear them a lot, is what I'm saying.

PROCompression reached out regarding their summer promo, and I'm sharing it with you - 40% off everything in their store:

Huge Summer Savings from PRO Compression

Get 40% off ALL merchandise at procompression.com, including their brand NEW Neon Calf Sleeves and Team PC Gear such as hats and running visors!

Simply enter coupon code JULY at checkout. You'll save 40% and get free US shipping. Click here to stock up today:


Hurry, coupon code JULY expires August 4, 2013.
 One of my favorite things is their Sock of the Month - every month they introduce a new awesome product. This month, it's these fun retro socks.
They are the funnest.


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