Six years of Septembers

Septembers are weird for me.

Septembers are exciting, and poignant. My middle child’s birthday is September 10th, so the early part of the month is always spent planning his celebration, and reflecting on just how far my preemie (he was due in the latter part of October) has come.  September marks the month when my husband and I began dating. Our school year begins in late August, so September also contains an overwhelming and stressful, yet exhilarating, rush of parent nights and class retreats and fall sports’ contests.

September requires a reservoir of physical and emotional energy.

September is also the month that my life changed forever.

They say that you know you have healed when you can tell your story without flinching. If that is the criteria for discharge, then close my file and declare me well adjusted, because I have that part nailed. Recently I was chatting with a new colleague friend, and she asked about my divorce; I found myself relaying the plot and players with a nonchalant “just the facts, ma’am” skeletal overview, and forgot the narrative was even evocative until the expression on her face slowly turned to horror.

It has all been so normalized for me, for all of us. I forget it’s not.

Except, six years later, my body still remembers September 22nd, even when I forget. It fascinates me, truly, how the layers of the subconscious work. This year I am paying attention (clearly) but some years, I forget. At least, I think that I forget, except that I always stop sleeping at the end of August. I’ll chalk it up to back to school stress and my miles-long to do list, but then I gradually become more reactionary, moody, short-tempered.  I find myself responding to emails that, 11 months out of the year, I easily disregard.  I find myself a mile or two into my runs with my jaws and fists clenched. I have headaches. I drink some wine with dinner 5 or 6 nights a week instead of my usual, disciplined no-alcohol-except-for-Saturday-nights training protocol.

Some years, I don’t realize why this is happening until Sept 21st, or even the 22nd itself, when I might be in the middle of a lecture on Shakespeare’s sonnets or filling the grocery cart or driving mindlessly on the well worn route to work, and it dawns on me: “This is when I got the phone call.”

Some years, like this year, I wearily say to myself as the calendar rolls over, “Welcome back September. You fucker.”

I wonder if this condition is permanent, if the ghost of trauma past will always revisit on the ninth month. But whereas I once railed against this intrusion, shaking my fist at the unfair universe that not only burned my illusory happily ever after to the ground, but forced me to make an annual pilgrimage to the wreckage, I now accept it as part of me. Like my left handedness or inability to roll my “R”s, it’s a part of me that is sometimes inconvenient, occasionally noteworthy but ultimately, an aspect of my identity beyond my control (no matter how many after school tutoring sessions with my high school Spanish teacher, who finally admitted defeat and stopped deducting points from my pronunciation grade).

September 22nd made me who I am today. It continues to cause difficulty for my children and myself, but it also gave me my husband, my running and my new life, which is exponentially happier and healthier than all previous incarnations.

2016 TriRock Austin Olympic Triathlon Race Recap

So how about that first Olympic triathlon?

Lessons learned:  1. I can do an Olympic triathlon, 2. I will never again put myself in a situation where I am racing for 3+ hours in 90 degree heat and 3. I am a sprinter, and my body is not happy with me when I try to pretend I am an endurance athlete.

But let me back up.

I think I was more nervous for this event than any other race, including my first half marathon, and first (sprint) triathlon. Not only did I start having waves of really strong anxiety beginning Friday morning, but I began having trouble engaging in casual conversation by Saturday night. At one point on Sunday, as I was once again giving monosyllabic answers to questions, my husband said, “So, uh, you’re kind of nervous for this race, huh?” I shut down when overwhelmed.

It’s not that I didn’t think I could do it, rather I knew how much it was going to hurt. The weather forecast showed it would be in the upper 80s by mid-morning when I would be running (with the heat index higher), and I have never raced that long. I trained in all 3 components, and did several BRICKS, but the actual Olympic distance in all 3, back to back? I am not a good runner under ideal circumstances. It was dread of the impending pain, rather than fear of actually failing.

I can take it, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it (which begs the question why I decided this was a good idea in the first place, but whatever).

I also knew it would be a “big” race, meaning there would be a lot of athletes to contend with, and they would all be *racing*. Don’t misunderstand – this didn’t concern me on a “I won’t place well level” (I’m used to coming in somewhere in the middle to lower third for my big road races – I don’t enter races with delusions of grandeur), rather “I’m going to get in the way of people who should be on that course, and screw them up.” Remember how scared I was in the bike at my cute little local backyard event?

This fear was confirmed when I arrived at the mandatory bike check-in on Sunday afternoon, and saw thousands of bikes stretched across Auditorium Shores in Austin. This triathlon contained “3 races in 1” – the Olympic distance began at 7am, the sprint distance at 8:30am, and the super sprint at 9am. That’s a lot of athletes, going different distances, funneling through the same course.

The Olympic distance, as I soon learned in looking at the results (although I guessed as much beforehand) is for the more serious triathlete. Or middle aged moms of 3 who decide on a lark to make it their second race.

this is about 30 minutes before my wave hit the water. I’m smiling, but if you look closely, you can see the abject fear behind my eyes. 

The swim waves started at 7am; according to my Weather Channel app, sunrise occurred at 7:09am. The open water swim began with athletes jumping, one by one, off a dock into Lady Bird Lake to complete the 1 mile rectangle loop.

Lady Bird Lake. In the dark.

I don’t want to offend the people of Austin by saying their beloved lake is disgusting, but the muck don’t lie, people. The sun was rising by the time I leaped in (at approximately 7:35 – kudos to the Tri Rock people for such an organized wave start – exactly at the projected time!), but it was still a little…unsettling…for this open water swim rookie (only 1 practice swim under my belt).

Fortunately, once I hit the water, I went on automatic pilot and didn’t think about the water too much, with the exception of when we swam under the bridge and the water was pitch black and the air was pitch black and I sprinted while holding my breath and shutting my eyes because it was so scary.

I’m not lying.

My mantra as I swam was “not too fast not too fast not too fast” because I can swim fast and it’s fun to swim fast and pass people, but you don’t want to go too hard the first 25 minutes of a 3+ hour race.

Despite that, I was out of the water before any other hot pink caps (my age group) after passing several orange caps (women 35-39) and even some blue caps (men in the last wave before women).  This sounds badass. Remember that when we talk about the bike and run.

that’s me in the hot pink cap passing an orange cap and blue cap. This was roughly 50-75 yards from the finish (you see me passing the final orange buoy indicating finish area)

Swim split: 30:32 (exactly where I wanted to be. 3-4 minutes slower than I can race a 1500m, but given the current in the lake, and pacing for the bike and run after, that’s about where I planned to split).

Once out of the water, I had to run along a grass path, around to the Olympic transition area, and then allllllll the way down past racks and racks of bikes to mine (which was the closest rack to transition exit). This was a lot more running than my other sprint tri experience. I expected a poor transition time, given all the running (which I was doing at a very slow jog), and then I plopped down on the grass to put on my socks and sneakers (no fancy clip in pedals to slide into for this teacher mom!). Despite all of this, my T1 time was 2:35, which put me up with (or ahead of!) most of the women in my AG. I have no idea how I did all of that in only two and a half minutes, since I was not frantically rushing, but I’ll take it!

The bike. Oh, the bike.

I am still so slow on the bike. I really don’t get it. I mean, yes, I am showing improvement from when I started biking a mere 6 months ago. But still, I must be doing something wrong to go so slow. I was one of the slowest mph paces in my AG. Even the women that I beat, they were still 1 or 2 mph faster than me on the bike. I’ve played around with gears, and I did all my long bikes and mid-week shorter, faster mileage …

Anyway, let’s focus on the positives. Like, how I googled a tip for storing my GU gels in a rubber band tied around my bike frame, and when I hit the first corner, I heard a “plop”! and looked down … and realized I lost my GU on the street.

And then pointed it out to my husband as I passed him (you want the sound for this one).

fuel? Who needs fuel for an Olympic triathlon?!

Any time I’m on the bike and don’t crash, I count as a victory.

The course looped around downtown Austin, and to hit the 24.8 miles needed for the Olympic distance, we completed 4 loops. As we looped, the Sprint, and then Super Sprint distances, also joined us. As they said in our pre-race meeting, it was a “tight bike route”. That’s tri talk for: watch out, there’s a crapload of cyclists out there.

The best moment of the entire race (maybe even better than finally crossing the finish line) occurred towards the beginning of the 2nd loop. I’m pedaling along, courteously staying to the right as fast, talented cyclists blew by me, when a young guy (20s?) passed me, then turned, pointed right at me, made eye contact, and called out “I hope I’m just like you in my 40s! BADASS!” (remember, per triathlon rules, we have our ages marked on our left calves).

I’m pretty sure he was just trying to keep my spirits up since I’m sure I looked ridiculously slow and tired, but it TOTALLY WORKED YES I AM BADASS SIR!

Bike split: 1:36.11  avg speed: 15.47mph 

As I returned my bike to the transition area, I realized that my initial plan to not need a water bottle on the run (relying solely on aid stations) was very, very stupid. It was creeping towards 10am at this point, and it was hot and while I drank most of my (1) water bottle while on the bike, I was still feeling dehydrated.

10k left. 6.2 miles. Are. you. kidding. me.

My game plan was to follow a 3/1 run-walk interval. While I can comfortably run 6+ miles, I knew that running 6+ miles after racing for 2 hours would prove nearly impossible under the best of circumstances. In training, I discovered that I could pace somewhere around a 11:15 min/mile while doing the 3/1 intervals on tired legs, and I would be happy with that for the third leg of my triathlon.

Because of the simultaneous sprint and super-sprint distance races occurring, the run was set up in a 3.1 mile loop. That means for us doing the Olympic distance, we not only had to pass the finish line (cue the agonizing, longing glance in that direction) and complete another loop, but the (much fresher, less exhausted) short distance triathletes were on the same trail as us, happily bouncing by us. Or at least, it seemed that way.

I plugged away at the first loop, doggedly picking up the pace to a slow jog with every beep of my watch. It was so hot. The little half cups of lukewarm water at the mile stations were not refreshing.

Come on Tracey. You can do this.

Mile 1: 10:31 (that a girl!)

Mile 2: 11:25 (okay, on pace, that’s okay, just keep this up)

Mile 3: 12:07 (oh dear)

As I began the second loop, many runners around me were now walking. I have never seen such a staggering group of exhausted athletes in a race. I tried giving myself pep talks. I did my mantras. I sang Beyonce’s Lemonade album to myself. When my watch beeped, I sternly said to my legs “run!”

They did not run.

does that look like a woman that got this? No. Not it does not. I do not got this.

Mile 4: 13:47

Mile 5: 15:15

Mile 6: 14:22

Final run split: 1:19:54 (please God, let this be the slowest 10k I ever “run”)

if you watch closely, you can see me trip and recover as I enter the finishing chute. 

Because even if you place 15th out of 20 in your AG, you still get a medal (there were some HARDCORE athletes in this race!). And still feel proud for doing the damn race in the first place. 

Final thoughts: If I ever had any fleeting notions of doing a Half Ironman, this race settled those questions. This race was miserable (physically and emotionally) for me. Yes, it was a hot race, and I don’t do well in heat. Yes, my fueling and hydrating was compromised (from now on, GU gels are stuck in my tri suit. And there will be an extra water bottle laid out just for the run). But really, that 2nd half of the 10k was just demoralizing. I can’t even imagine what a half marathon would feel like after DOUBLE that bike (and oh, the bike. *shakes fist at cheap Schwinn*).

Will I do another Olympic tri? I don’t know. Part of me thinks I should just focus on sprint tris (which are fun. And so quick! And short!), but part of me does not want my one and only Olympic tri time to be 3:31. I’m better than that. Or I want to be better than that.

I’ll play next year’s tri season by ear and see what comes up.

at Kerbey Lane Cafe for a MUCH deserved post-race meal. With my medal. Natch.

205 miles

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Yes, I’m still training for next week’s Olympic triathlon.

No, I haven’t done a training update in awhile. I’m going to condense the month of August training updates (did I really last update in July?) and say that I covered 205 miles in August running, biking and swimming. If you count the 2 days left in August after I post this, it should go up to 221 miles.

If I’m sick of dragging my butt out to do these 1-2 hour workouts day in and day out, you can imagine how I feel about spending the (very limited) time I have left in the day to write about it.

Despite heading back to work early this month, and the kids back at school last week, I’ve followed the training plan almost to the letter. I only dropped 1 workout entirely, a swim, because it’s just so dang hard to find the time to get to the pool. Since the swim is far and away my strongest element, I’m pretty sure missing one swim workout is not going to impact me.

I’ve shortened a few other run or bike sessions here and there, by a mile or two, but overall I’m really proud of how I’ve managed to stay the course with the insanity that is back to school.

Fear. It’s a powerful motivator.

If I’ve been a model triathlete-in-training with the actual workouts, my attitude could definitely use some improvement. Back to school is just a brutal time for teachers; it’s hard to adequately explain the bone-weariness that accompanies not just frantically preparing for the influx of students, but going from zero (summer vacation) to 200mph (there may be teachers that work less than 60-70 hours a week during August and September, but I’ve yet to meet them) literally overnight. Add in three kids heading back to school themselves and the litany of “mom, I need this bought TONIGHT” and “mom, I know you just worked all day but I need you to spend the next 60 minutes signing eleventy bajillion forms even though we’re in the 21st century and should be able to do this on a GOOGLE FORM FOR THE LOVE OF GOD” (okay, so maybe that second one was not a direct quote), and stick a fork in me, I’m done.

Teacher moms, you hear me.

So getting up at 5am to get in a 60min workout before school, or likewise driving up to the pool at 7pm after a 13 hours-and-still-going day has been … tough.

However, if memory serves, this point in a distance event training plan, meaning the point where I am most trained and just heading into taper, is always when I am exhausted, cranky, and wondering why the hell I thought this was not just a good idea, but something I paid to do to myself.

And then I taper, and start feeling a little better physically, and totally anxious mentally, and then the race is here and I am okay.

So I will be okay. Once I get through this last week. And survive next Monday.

 

 

 

Cocktail conversation

On Sunday night, my boss hosted her annual New Teacher dinner, when she invites all new faculty and staff to her home, along with their mentors, administration and other significant players in the day to day life of the school, for a casual meet and greet before professional development begins this week. Since I hold a leadership position (not to mention serve as a mentor to one of my English dept colleagues this year), I get to tag along with my husband, big britches Academic Dean.

It’s always fun to catch up with my friends who I haven’t seen for a couple months, and as we sat down to dinner, a few of us chatted about our summer workout routines. Several of them are renewing their commitment to the exercise bandwagon, and as we compared notes, one of my other colleagues, listening to our discussion, asked me, “So, wait, what do you do?”

Me: “Triathlons. You know, swim, bike, and run? I’m doing an Olympic length race on Labor Day so my summer workouts have been kind of crazy.”

Her: “Wow. That seems like an awful lot to juggle with everything else. Why do you do that?”

Her question was sincere, with absolutely no mockery or snark intended. She looked at me quizzically, genuinely wanting to understand why a middle aged mom of 3 would voluntarily spend the time, money and agony energy on a hobby that didn’t, to her understanding, score well on the investment-return ratio.

I picked up my wine glass and took a sip, stalling, while I looked across the table at her. My colleagues paused, waiting for my response.

I thought about my health in 2010, a period in my life that sometimes seems like a lifetime ago, and some days feels like yesterday. How I didn’t sleep at all for months, and then only intermittently for a couple of years after that. How my doctor prescribed Lunesta, but it didn’t touch my insomnia; she prescribed Ambien, and still my body refused to wind down from high alert, always ready, even at 2 or 3am, for the next bombshell. How my doctor looked at me and said, “Tracey, you have to figure something out because I can’t give you something stronger than Ambien.”

I thought about how I couldn’t bring myself to eat, and lost 40lbs in a matter of months. How a well-meaning but misguided colleague worriedly spoke to several individuals at our 2010 class retreat, saying she believed I had anorexia, after witnessing me in the dining hall over the course of 48 hours, plate untouched at each meal. I tiredly and resignedly dispatched a trusted friend to spread the word that, no, it wasn’t anorexia, just a divorce.

I thought about how, after months of weekly therapy, and the ongoing panic attacks and flashbacks and crying jags, my therapist gently said that she believed I had PTSD, that it wasn’t uncommon with women blindsided with massive betrayal, that the recovery for my circumstances was significantly more complex and arduous than your generic, run of the mill divorce. I remember thinking I would always be broken, that I was now damaged goods.

I thought about how I started Couch to 5k in 2011, because my narrative was always, always, even as a Division I athlete, that I couldn’t run. How I was desperate to prove, even if only to myself, that I could succeed at something hard. How I couldn’t control being a failure at marriage, or as a mother (because my 2011 self very much believed I had failed as a mother), but maybe if I could run, there was a sliver of redemption. I thought about how at first, it was just about running 2 minutes, and then 3 minutes, and then at some point it wasn’t about running more minutes at all (although that rapidly increased) but the meditative rhythm that calmed me.

I thought about how with every goal accomplished, with every training plan completed, a tiny piece of my soul falls back into place. How the sweat of a long, hard workout, when I am literally gasping for air and my legs shaking and my muscles aching, feels like a baptism, washing away the wreckage of my former life. How I felt completely, utterly worthless, foolish, the joke of an entire network of friends and acquaintances, but now feel strong, competent, invincible.

I considered my answer as I peered at her over my Sauvignon Blanc, and flexed my leg muscles, knowing without looking under the table the definition that was now there, for the first time in my entire life. I thought about how I couldn’t remember the last time I cried, or suffered a panic attack, or felt victimized; I considered how, as athletic and strong as my body now is, my mind was the real warrior, losing the battle but winning the war. I thought about how I used to avoid some events as a mother, unable to stomach the confrontation, the inevitable PTSD triggers, and now I stand my ground, triumphant, victorious.

I carefully set my wine glass down, flashed a dimpled grin, and in a light and playful tone, replied, “I do it for the medals. Who doesn’t love a medal?!”

Blink

first day of school, 2008 (Kinder, preschool, 3rd grade)

When I delivered my 3rd child in May, 2004, just 20 short months after my 2nd child, and a smidge over 4 years after my 1st, I remember doing a lot of calculations.

How much longer until I sleep through the night, after four solid years of nocturnal disruption already under my belt?

How much longer until I am only buying diapers or Pull-ups for 2 kids instead of 3 (my oldest was a slow learner at the overnight bladder control)? For one? For none?

How many years will I have 2 college tuition payments at the same time? (joke’s on you, former self, just wait until the 13 years of private school tuition before that. Bless your heart).

I’ve always been very anxious forward-thinking, so I spent a lot of time in those early baby and toddler years, wondering what it would be like 5, 10, 15 years down the line.

For some reason, when I envisioned the future, I always settled on when the kids were in 7th, 8th and 11th grades, as the benchmark for “future craziness with 3 kids close in age”.

Why these years instead of 6th, 7th and 10th? Or 8th, 9th and 12th?

I don’t know. There’s no good or logical reason. The following year will arguably be more challenging, with college applications for my senior and another child in high school and it’s conceivable that a 13yr old girl will be even moodier than the 12yr old version (albeit hard to believe some days). Last year, my oldest did not have his license, so it probably contained more taxi duty than (knock on wood) this year will bring.

But for the past decade or more of motherhood, I always thought “gosh, just wait until I have a 7th, 8th and 11th grader! That will be crazy.”

And here it is.

During those same years, those years when I would imagine the crazy teenage years, I would have mothers of teenagers wistfully tell me “Don’t blink. It goes by so fast.”

I wanted to punch them in the face.

Because in so many ways, I couldn’t wait to get just a little bit further down the road. My middle child did not sleep through the night until past 3 years old. My middle child.  With the exception of short maternity leaves, I worked full time (not to mention graduate school from 2000-2002, and again in 2007) and was perpetually exhausted, out of shape, and worried about finances. Life just wasn’t a lot of fun. It was work. So. much. work.

Don’t tell me not to blink, lady, I want to NAP IT ALL AWAY.

And now I’m here. The bar that I set in my head, for whatever reason, is here. Now my husband will ask me “Can you imagine bringing Bailey to college?” or “How weird is it going to be with just Lucy in the house for that one year?” or, often in a sing-song voice after he’s done something irksome, “In just six more years, it’s just the two of us. FOREVER.”

To be honest, it’s tempting sometimes. When I open the fridge and find the gallon of milk that I just bought gone again (how does one manchild go through a gallon of milk in 24 hours. HOW?!). When I’m trying (unsuccessfully) to coparent amicably. When I add a teenage boy to our insurance and blanche and wonder how the hell I will add two more drivers in just a couple years. When we are calendaring the next four weeks and find no less than 5 days when we are supposed to be in 3 or 4 places at the exact same time.

Life is still a lot of work. But now my kids are in 7th, 8th and 11th grade.

Perhaps I did not daydream further down the road because, even then, even in my sleep-deprived, overworked, exhausted state, I didn’t want to envision my babies any older. I didn’t want to imagine my oldest applying to colleges. Or a house with only 4 places set at dinner. Or the year with both a high school, and college, graduation.

Don’t blink.

 

 

Austin TriRock Olympic Triathlon training: week 6

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I’m back from our family vacation to the beach, and while I didn’t exactly get in all the sessions on my training plan (the places we stayed at did not have a lap pool, and I’m not brave enough to do an OWS by myself in the Gulf of Mexico!), I did manage to only miss 1 day of working out entirely.

Sat July 23rd: Rest day. I switched my rest day to Saturday (did a long BRICK on Friday instead my usual Friday off) after my husband returned from being out of town, so I could relax at home today.

Sun July 24th: Long bike. 20.87 miles in 1:27:53. Packed up the bike early and drove down to White Rock Lake to start looping as the sun came up. My motivation was stopping at Hypnotic Donuts afterwards to bring back a breakfast treat for the family. It was our first time there, and I can see why it’s one of the top spots in Dallas! I even squeezed in a 10 minute strength session later in the day – partly as donuts penance, and partly because I knew I wouldn’t be doing any strength training for the next week while on vacation.

Mon July 25th: Quick swim session before hitting the road. 1 mile in 32:58. Warmup 200 swim – 200 kick – 100 pull, 3 x 300s with 45 sec rest, 6 x 25s on the :30, 100 cooldown.

Tue July 26th: 3 early miles on the treadmill at our LA hotel, 31:58 (average 10:39 min/mile) before 8 hours in the car. I was hoping to get in some cycling since the hotel had a fitness room (whereas our beach condo did not), but the term “fitness room” was a bit of a misnomer. It had 2 creaky treadmills, 1 cycling-looking contraption that I could not figure out for the life of me, and a few mismatched free weights.

Wed July 27th: First run in Florida. 3.6 miserable, stifling, exhausting, soul-sucking miles in 47:59 (yes, that is a 13:20 min/mile pace. Which I’m not sure really even counts as “running”). I forget, every year, just how dang impossible it is for me to run in the heat with humidity. I know, I know, I live in Texas, but 1. I usually run inside on the treadmill for 6-8 weeks a year when it gets really bad and 2. if I head out at dawn in Dallas, even in July and August, it’s hot but the humidity is not so bad that I feel like I’m drowning.

This, of course, led to me ruminating how there was just no way I was going to be able to do a 10k at the end of a triathlon in Austin on Labor Day at roughly 9-10am. When it will be very, very hot and humid and I will be exhausted. I pretty much convinced myself I should cancel my hotel reservation.

Thu July 28th – 2nd run in Florida. 5.1 miles in 1:02:03 (12:10 min/mile pace). This was the run where I tamed my monkey mind and thought Yes! I! Can! do it after all. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it was still slow, but steady and much more respectable for a longish training run with a heat index of 90 degrees.

If nothing else, my view was gorgeous.

Fri July 29th – rest day! It was our last morning in Florida before heading to New Orleans, and we wanted to get an early start. I knew with packing, cleaning out the condo, and getting on the road, it would be tough to squeeze in a very early morning run, so I scheduled my rest day for today.

Tomorrow’s rest day (in next week’s training recap) was unscheduled, but in my defense, I was in New Orleans.

Overall, I’m very pleased with how I followed (ish) my training schedule for my summer vacation. I squeezed in a swim before leaving (missing 1 swim session), and kept up with all the running. The one disappointment was taking a week off the bike, but I was back in the saddle again today, so I’m sure I didn’t get too far off track. 5 weeks to go!

Austin TriRock Olympic Triathlon training: week 5

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It was a challenging week of training (although not as tough as next week will be), since my husband left Sunday morning for a week-long work conference, and my kids came home from their Dad’s summer visitation on Sunday night (yay!). While I was thrilled to finally have them home, it was an adjustment to go from 4 weeks of  no-kids freedom, to solo parenting 3 busy teens (and 2 mastiffs) overnight.

I had to make some adjustments on timing of my workouts, but I got it all in.

Sat July 16th: Long bike. 18.82 miles in 1:27.04. I tried a new route since I was bored of my usual White Rock Lake trail, and it worked pretty well, although I had to stop more than I liked for street intersections. Still working on getting that speed up – I feel like I’m in decent shape, but I still don’t bike particularly fast. I’m not trying to go hard, but I can easily hit 15-16 mph in gym stationary spin workouts, but I’m down at 12-13 outside.

Sun July 17th: BRICK workout. 10.10 miles on the bike in 40min, followed by 2.1 mile run in 22:07 (10:32 min/mile). I did this one later in the day at the gym, since I had to drop my husband off at the airport in the morning.

Mon July 18th: 1.25 mile swim in 40:48. 300 warmup, 10x150s (50 easy – 50 RP – 50 hard) with 30 sec rest, 200 kick, 100 cooldown. 10 minute strength later in the day.

Tue July 19th: 13.55 miles on bike in 55 min.

Wed July 20th: BRICK. 10.80 miles on bike in 45min, followed by 3 mile run in 32:38 (10:53 min/mile).

Thu July 21st: 1.25 mile swim in 40:38. 100 swim-100 kick – 100 pull warmup, (300 swim – 200 kick – 100 pull) x 2, 300 swim, 100 pull – 100 kick – 100 swim cooldown.  8 min strength later in day.

Thursday was also a big day in our house. We have a 3rd driver! (and holy hell, double the insurance cost. He doesn’t even have his own car!)

Friday July 22nd: Long BRICK. 10.84 miles on bike in 45 min followed by a 5 mile run in 56:27 (11:17 min/mile).  This was supposed to be my rest day, but I decided to switch it with Saturday’s workout so that I could relax and chill with the family on Saturday since my husband returned.

And look what arrived in the mail this week! My prize for winning my age group!

Next week we go on vacation (our first family vacation since March 2015), so it will be interesting to see how that impacts my training schedule. I’ve decided I’m going to work out as I can fit it in, but not stress out about under-training for 6 days.