Category Archives: Saturday Stats

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.

Austin TriRock Olympic Triathlon training: week 4

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I’m on week 4 of 11 of my training plan for the Labor Day Olympic triathlon. I’m alternately longing for it to be over (this seems like an awful lot of biking. Have I mentioned I don’t like to bike?) and avoiding the August printout.


August. When I head back to work and the kids back to school. Also known as the first? second? craziest time of the year (it’s a toss up with May. Both months are always a sleep-deprived, exhausting, strung out, hold on by my fingertips, stretch of 31 days).

Perfect time to train for 10-12 hours a week.

But now, halfway through July, I’m just sort of … bored. The workouts are fairly consistent, my body is constantly sore, and I seem to be doing a lot without much improvement or progress. I’m sure it will all pay off when I cross the finish line (positive thinking), but right now, it seems like an awful lot of work on my summer “vacation”.

Sat July 9th: rest day in preparation for my 1500m open water swim race.

Sun July 10th: 1500m open water swim, 26:25. You can read about my race here.

Mon July 11th: Long bike. 24.12 miles in 1:47.46. My husband said to me as I wearily got up with my 6:15am alarm, “Can’t you take a day off? You won a race yesterday! That should qualify as a sleep-in.”

Sadly, no. My rest day was used on Saturday. So off to White Rock Lake I went. Fortunately, there was a decent cloud cover and it was almost, dare I say, enjoyable on a July morning in Dallas.

Tue July 12th: BRICK. 11.1 miles on bike in 45min, followed by 3 mile run in 32:42 (10:54 min/mile).  10 min strength training later in the day.

Wed July 13th: Back in the pool. 1 mile in 32:41. It would have been faster, but a lane-mate asked me if I swam Master’s, which led to me saying no, I do triathlons, which may have led to a discussion about the open water swim. That I won. Ahem.

300 warm-up, 250 kick, 8x50s on the 1:00 alternating swim/pull, 200 kick, 100 cool down.

Thu July 14th: Long run. 6.2 miles in 1:08.40 (11:05 min/mile).

Fri July 15th: Rest day.

This week, my kids are home (yay!). My husband, alas, is not (boo!). Double the guilt and half the fun.

Austin TriRock Olympic Triathlon training: weeks 2 and 3

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I didn’t get around to blogging last week, so this post will cover two weeks of training. I had every intention of writing, and then my Aries husband went into his “do mode” on some household projects I’ve been asking him to take care of for a few months weeks, and suddenly our entire downstairs floors were torn up and replaced.

No, really.

We could not be more different. I like to plot, plan and map out (as in, during the first week of June, I organized all the summer curriculum work and online class building  I have to complete by August 17th into mini-weekly  deadlines). My husband, on the other hand, will smile and nod as I periodically nag remind him of summer household projects, and then BAM it’s all getting done in one insanely stressful and expensive swoop.

Somehow we make it work.

Anyway, I managed to keep up with the workouts while living out of my quarantined bedroom, tip-toeing through the dusty war zone to and from the car.

Sat June 25th: Long run. I figure I should practice 1 long run and 1 long bike outside each week, even though it is summer in Dallas, because I have to do this triathlon on Labor Day in Austin. For those of you not from Texas, it will still be eleventy bajillion degrees even though Labor Day is in September, which sounds like it should be fall if you are reading this from other parts of the country. In Texas, fall arrives somewhere between Halloween and Thanksgiving. I ran 5 miles in 1:06:16, which translates into 3 miles at a decent pace, 1 mile at a run/walk, and 1 mile where I was just really hoping to make it back to the car.

Sun June 26th: Long bike. I took the White Rock Trail down from north Dallas, biked around the lake, then came back. I covered 23.71 miles in 1:46:06, which wasn’t too bad except that this bike is still shy of the 25 miles I have to do after a 1 mile swim and before a 6 mile run and I was absolutely exhausted at the end. Triathlons are dumb.

Mon June 27th: 1650 yd swim in 32:59. 300 warmup/300 kick/9x100s pull with 20 sec rest/150 cooldown. 20 min strength workout later in day.

Tue June 28th: Indoor BRICK workout at gym. 45min bike covering 11.55 miles, followed immediately by 1.5 miles on treadmill in 15:55.

Wed June 29th: 2100yd swim in 42:24. 300 warmup/200 kick/100 pull/ 10 x 50s on the 1:00/300-200-100 with 20 sec rest/200 kick/100 pull/100 easy IM. That last 100 should have been freestyle but I was bored.

Thu June 30th: 45min bike at gym for 11 miles. 10min strength session later in day.

Fri July 1st: My training plan called for a double BRICK session, but with short times/distances. The cute part was that when I looked at it, I actually thought “Oh, this will be sort of fun and easy, because I don’t have to go that far each time!”.  About halfway through the workout, I realized that I was sadly mistaken. 20 min bike (4.95 miles) followed by 2 mile run (21:59) followed by 20 min bike (5 miles) followed by 2 mile run (21:23). Why yes, I did negative split that, thankyouverymuch.

Sat July 2nd: I headed back to the long course meter pool for a straight 1500 meter swim to gauge if my swimming time is improving (and also, as a confidence booster for my 1500m open swim race I’m doing tomorrow). On June 9th, I did it in 31:18. Today I did it in 30:12. I wanted to come in under 30 min, but I’m going in the right direction.

Sun July 3rd: Got up early to squeeze in my long bike before heading to Austin for the July 4th holiday. I tried a new route leaving from my house, and heading to the running trail nearby that I usually drive to. It’s not long enough to use for my regular long bikes, but it worked just fine for being short on time before a road trip. I covered 14.89 miles in 1:13:47, and got in some major hill training. The route back to my house was rough. But it was pretty out.

We were in Austin Sunday through Tuesday. Our view from the room was just terrible.

We had a great little getaway. Sunday night we had dinner with some of my husband’s friends we haven’t seen since our wedding, and then Monday night headed out to the lake for dinner before watching the fireworks from our hotel.

I had saved my rest day from the previous week for one of the days, so I reluctantly decided to head out for a run on July 4th, figuring (correctly) it would be even harder to get up and run the morning after July 4th.

Mon July 4th: This turned into more of a meander along Lady Bird Lake than a true “run”. I ended up stopping my watch at 3.75 miles in 54:50. But I had fun, which rarely happens on a run, so I’m chalking that up to an Independence Day success.

Tue July 5th: (overdue) Rest day!

Wed July 6th: 1650yd swim in 30:43. 300 warmup /12 x 100s with 10 sec rest/150 cooldown.

It was also my birthday, and my kids orchestrated a surprise dinner visit. I hadn’t seen my younger 2 in 3 weeks (the oldest stayed with us for part of his Dad’s vacation due to his summer job). It’s a mixed bag of emotions, having kids grow up, but a great perk to adolescence is the burgeoning ability to advocate for themselves.

Thu July 7th: 30 min bike for 7.33 miles, followed by 2 mile run in 21:38. 15 min strength training later in day.

Fri July 8th: Long run. While I’m trying to do my long runs outside, the temptation to be able to zone out watching the Today show on the treadmill in the air conditioning was too much to resist. 4 miles in 43:53, which was 2 miles shorter than I was supposed to cover, but eh.

Today is a rest day to get ready for my Open Water Swim challenge tomorrow – my first ever open water swim! As long as only other humans touch me in the water, and not any aquatic life, I should be all set.

Austin TriRock Olympic Triathlon training: week 1

This is the picture on the Austin TriRock website, so I guess it’s the picture I’ll use when writing about my training. I find this amusing, because that picture is just so very far from what I will experience. I mean, yes, I will be biking on that stretch of road (which I recognize well, having run the Austin Turkey Trot several times), but that gentleman in the forefront is a veritable triathlete.

Let’s revisit what *I* look like during a triathlon, shall we?

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Big difference.

Anyway, technically this is my 2nd week of my 12 week Olympic triathlon training plan, but since I didn’t blog last week, I’ll call this week 1 for blogging purposes. One week down, 10 to go.

10 weeks sounds very, very soon. While last summer’s Memorial Day – Labor Day runstreak felt interminable, I feel like I don’t have nearly enough time to prepare for this race. It turns out that even when a teacher is on summer break and theoretically has a lot of time to train, there is only so much physical training a 41 (almost 42) year old body can do in a 24 hour span.

As I have discovered, with my very first “injury” (not injury so much as chronic lowgrade pain in the ass. Literally. I pulled a muscle in my ass. It would be funny except it hurts to do everything.)

Anyway, here is this week’s training in the bank:

Sat June 18th: 16.07 miles on the bike in 1:14:10 (average 13 mph). This was my first time biking in the streets with traffic and stoplights (I usually drive to the trail, but I’m trying to lengthen my routes knowing I will need to build up to 30+ mile rides). I did better than I thought I would, given the Texas heat (it’s brutal even at sunrise) and cars going past me. I hate training outside in the summer in Dallas, but there’s no substitute for actually getting on the bike (versus spinning inside) and pounding the pavement, so I force myself to do the long workouts outside.

Sun June 19th: I did my long outside run (5 miles) on Friday (my usual rest day) so that I could take today off for Father’s Day. I got up and baked coffee cake instead of training. I think that’s a win-win for everyone.

Mon June 20th: 1 mile swim: 300 yd warmup, 4 x 50s on the 1:00, 2 x 500s pull with 30 sec rest, and 150 cooldown. Then a 3 mile run in 33:15 (11:05 min/mile). The swimming is a funky component of the triathlon for me. It’s a solid workout for this point in my training for the Olympic distance. It’s also where I am with my fitness in the pool. It just seems so pathetic to me. #formerswimmerproblems

Tue Jun 21st: 11.62 mile bike in 45 min (15.49 mph) followed immediately (BRICK)  by a 3 mile run in 32:45 (10:55 min/mile). This was indoors at the gym (stationary bike/treadmill) but I felt really good about this workout. That’s a solid run for me after 45 min on the bike.

Wed June 22nd: Tri training giveth, and it taketh away. After yesterday’s great workout, I had a horrible session in the pool. I was supposed to do another 1 mile, but cut it short at 1200 yds. I just wasn’t feeling it. 300 yd warmup, 8 x 50s on the 1:00, 1 x 300 fast-easy-fast (was supposed to do 3 x 300), then 200 cooldown.

Thu June 23rd: 15.01 mile bike in 1 hour (15.01 mph. Obviously.) followed by 15 min strength session. I’m trying to be good about incorporating weights in my training. That has been my weak spot in 3 years of running. Every single time I start a half marathon training session, I promise myself I will keep up with 2x a week strength training. I never do. I don’t know what it is , I just hate doing those stupid planks and lunges and squats. But I’m trying – I know it’s good for me.

Fri June 24th: rest day.

In other triathlon training news, my husband gave me my birthday present two weeks early (patience is not one of his virtues). Despite me telling him that I do not need a fancy watch with lots of widgets and technology (because if you know me, you know I cannot figure out how to use all the features anyway. It took me over a year to realize that I should periodically plug in my old Garmin Forerunner 15 to my computer for “updates”. Yes really. Of course, why I should intuit that a watch needs updates is beyond me, but I digress), he spoiled me with a Garmin Forerunner 920XT.

Once I figure out how to use it, I’m sure I will love it. A watch that counts laps? Color me intrigued.

Dallas MetroPCS Half Marathon training update – mind over matter

Miles last week:    23.25 running / 8.9 mile bike

Miles this week: 23 running

Remember just last week when I was all “my training is going really well!” and “I’m having some great long runs!” and “I’m feeling pretty good about my upcoming races!”

 That was so last week.

Pretty much right after I hit publish on that update, my training (physically and mentally) has tanked.

I don’t want to run. I hate running. My runs feel awful.

I had a ten mile long run this past Saturday, which should have been easy since it was a decrease in miles before heading up to 13 and 14 mile territory in the coming weeks. Like the responsible Saturday-morning-long-run, mom-in-training athlete that I am, I did not imbibe any alcohol on Friday night, and had pancakes for dinner. It’s a formula that has worked well for Saturday morning runs, albeit with a dose of cranky, deprived, resentful, end of week grumpiness.

I have found that I prefer that to the “I deserve to indulge in pizza and wine” Friday night cavalier, throw-caution-to-the-wind brazenness, followed by the “oh my god, I am 40 years old and might not make it to the bathroom, for real” Saturday morning mid-run panic.

6am Saturday morning – alarm goes off. Hit snooze. I don’t want to run.

6:10am – alarm goes off. Hit snooze. What the HELL?! I don’t want to get up. I’m a grown woman. I get up before 6am ALL WEEK. I hate running.

6:20am – alarm goes off. Hit snooze. If you do not get your ass out of bed, it will get hot. It’s supposed to be high 80’s. Hot running is worse than early running.

6:30am – alarm goes off. Hit snooze. If you do not get up VERY VERY SOON, you will not have time to run for 2 hours and recover and get ready for your nephew’s hockey game. Get. your. ass. out. of. bed.

6:40am – alarm goes off. Hit snooze. Okay, here’s the deal. You can walk as much as you want. You don’t have to run it. Just cover 10 miles. It will still count. Run as slow as you want. Just. Get. Up.

7:20am – okay. Let’s do this. I can do this. Go as slow as you want.

Mile 1 – 11:50min/mile pace. Wow. You’re taking this “go as slow as you want” seriously, aren’t you. Okay. 1 mile down. 9 to go. Oof.

Mile 2 – 11:15 min/mile pace. This isn’t too bad…except I have 8 miles more to go. Stop it. Run the mile you’re in. That’s what you’re supposed to do. Although, let’s be honest, that’s an asinine statement, because it’s not like you can forget all the miles waiting for you. I mean, if I did that, I would stop at the end of this mile. I ran my mile! I’m done! But I can’t. I have 8 more. How do I not think about that?

Mile 3 – 11:17 min/mile pace. Haven’t walked yet. Maybe there’s something to this reverse psychology. Like, I can walk any time I want to, so I don’t need to walk. Maybe I can do this for 7 more miles! Except I really want to be done. Because this is boring. And my legs hurt. And I’m so tired of running every Saturday morning for hours.

Mile 4 – 11:24 min/mile pace. Bored. Bored bored bored bored BORED.

Mile 5 – 11:32 min/mile pace. Half way done. Only half way. Let’s mix it up. Maybe I’ll try that walk/run method for the next 5 miles to see how my splits compare. Except I’m really kind of tired. And I don’t think that’s how it works.

Mile 6 – 11:39 min/mile pace. Okay, I’m slowing down. Let’s play the pace game. Let’s see if I can run exactly the same pace for the next mile.

Mile 7 – 11:38 min/mile pace. That so totally counts. Did it. 3 more miles. You’ve got to be kidding me.

Mile 8 – 12:00 min/mile. I said I could walk.

Mile 9 – 12:13 min/mile. This is where, if I were on a treadmill, I would get off. Just stop. But I’m on a trail. I wish I could do one of those I Dream of Jeannie head nod-blinks and teleport back to my car. Because I hate this. I hurt. And I’m tired. And no one is making me do this except me. So I’m stupid and I’m tired.

Mile 10 – 12:43 min/mile. Done. Everyone says you don’t regret a long run. That you’re happy when you finish. Am I happy? No. No I am not. My stomach hurts. My legs hurt. I hate running.

I wish I could tell you Sunday’s run of 5.5 miles was better, but it was pretty much exactly that inner dialogue, minus 4.5 miles.

I’m in a running funk. Hoping I pull out of it soon.

Saturday stats 6/21/14 – half marathon training in Texas in the summer is the suck.

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Last week’s miles: 30

This week’s miles: 24.3

Workout sessions:

  • Sun: 5 miles, average pace – 11:53 min/mile. Easy recovery miles on treadmill after Saturday’s long run.
  • Mon: Jillian Michaels workout
  • Tue: 4.15 miles, average pace – 11:34 min/mile. Treadmill run.
  • Wed: 2.04 miles, average pace – 10:44 min/mile. This was my rest day, but I wanted to get in a short workout. Quick outside neighborhood run.
  • Thu: 5.1 miles, average pace – 11:06 min/mile. Treadmill run.
  • Fri: Jillian Michaels workout
  • Sat: 8.01 miles, average pace – 11:57 min/mile. Long run.

General notes: I am so ready for this half to be over! (although not necessarily ready for the half…).  I thought signing up for another half marathon within 3 months of running one would keep me motivated and in shape, but instead, I feel burnt out and uninspired.

It doesn’t help that it’s summer. In Texas.

Lesson learned.

Today was my last long run before the half in 2 weeks. I was supposed to do 10 miles, but at 8 miles, I started walking, and as luck would have it, my husband and dog came to surprise me on the running trail and I decided to hitch a ride home (I had already decided to walk the last 2 miles home before I saw him, so I took it as a sign the universe was condoning that decision). When I stepped outside at 6:20am to start my long run, it was already 81 degrees and muggy.

I tried to positively reframe it as altitude preparation for Colorado Springs (hard to breathe in the humidity) but it was a hot, uncomfortable run the entire time. I kept an even half marathon pace for the first 5 miles (11:15 min/mile average) but then started slowing down. Then walk/running. Then finally walking.

I don’t feel as prepared for this half as I did for the April Big D. I *think* my overall fitness is better; I’ve been running solid weekly mileage for twice the time, and I’ve added in the weight training. But my long runs have not been as strong, or plentiful, as the ones I did before the April half marathon, and unlike my nervous excitement for my first half, I’m feeling very apathetic about this half.

This transformation into a “runner” is definitely a journey, and I’m viewing every decision as a learning experience. I’m realizing that I should either space out my half marathons by 6 months (so that I can completely stop training for a break, and then start over) or keep them closer together (within 4-6 weeks) so that I can ride the “ready” train into the next one; 3 months apart gave me no break in my training, but a long time of active preparation.

Also, no more half marathons in the summer. Or September, since that would require August long runs.