Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Training Log Nov 20-26

Wow, this week is getting away from me already! Its's already Tuesday and I'm just finally getting around to posting last week's training log.  Oops!

This was my first official week of the off-season.  My goal for this off-season are to maintain my running base and increase my strength.  I'm using P90X for the strength training portion.  Starting in January, I'll also hit the pool and start working of my swimming.  It desperately needs it, but with all the holiday stuff going on, I just don't have time to take 3+ hours out of my day to swim right now.  

I'm still having some nagging hip issues, so this week is light on running.  I'm hoping that will remedy itself with rest, ice, and lots of stretching.  It's getting better, I think.  

Sun: run 3 miles, 29:06, felt great!  18 degrees outside today; P90X yoga
Mon: P90X Legs/Back- only did 20 minutes and was TOAST.  Need to make an effort to do these workouts during L's nap instead of waiting until the end of the day.
Tues: P90X Kenpo
Weds: Rest
Thurs: 5K Turkey Trot 30:51, with stroller, roads were very slippery in some spots- used the stroller like a walker!
Fri: P90X Shoulders & Arms
Sat: Unplanned rest day

I kind of feel like I should be doing more, but at the same time I feel like, "Hey, it's just the beginning of the off-season- take a break now while you can!"  I'm trying to let myself take days off when I feel like it without feeling guilty.  There is a ton of stuff I need to get done before Christmas and some days I have a hard time fitting it all in.  Just like everyone else.  So to everyone whose race season is over, take a break if you need to and don't feel the least bit bad about it!  And have another glass of wine while you're at it, too...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  It's gotten so people treat it as "Pre-Christmas" and that irks me greatly. But, since I could rant about that for a LONG time and still not get anywhere, that's all I'm going to say on the subject.  

Amanda at RunToTheFinish, one of my favorite blogs, posts a daily gratitude journal.  This is something I have considered adding to my own blog, but for now I am just making a conscious effort to think about what I am grateful for every day.  

In honor of Thanksgiving, I am going to post several of the things that frequently find their way onto my list.

1.  I am thankful that I can give to charities instead of needing their services.  Life circumstances can change in the blink of an eye, and you never know when you may need to be on the receiving end.  Especially this time of year, requests for donations abound.  If you can afford to, please consider donating to the cause of your choice.  

2.  I am thankful that I can run/bike/swim.  Sure, there are days that I don't want to, but when I think of the alternative, well... I'm thankful each and every day.  

3.  I am thankful that my mother taught me to cook.

4.  I am thankful that we have too much stuff instead of too little. 

5.  I am thankful that my son is a champion cuddler.

6.  I am thankful for my cat, Tipsy, who brings much happiness and entertainment to my life and knows just when I need cheering up.    

7.  I am thankful that my husband has a good job that allows me to stay home and raise our son.

There are so many more things that I am thankful for.  As a family, we are so blessed.  

I hope that all of you reading this can say the same and find something that you can be thankful for today and every day.  

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Have some fun with Team Rev3!

Earlier this year, I applied for a spot on Rev3's age group team. With over 600 applicants my chances of making the team are slim to ...well, very slim.  BUT, I'm still joining in the team announcement fun and you can to!  

Most days Team Rev3 is giving its fans a challenge to complete before that day's new team member announcement. Past challenges have been 'liking' Team Rev3's Facebook page, posting a picture with Rev 3 gear, a "chubby bunny" video, and playing "Ash in MASH" (check out the page, it requires too much explanation for me to give here!)  Today's challenge is to write a poem about Rev3. Here's mine:

Rev3 should pick me
Though I don't race briskly.
But I've got heart
And I'll do my part. 
To sing the praises
Of Rev3's graces.

Best swag in the business
A sign of their coolness. 
And athlete support?
They don't come up short.

Rev3 is the bomb,
Won't you come along? 
And race with the best
In a Rev3 contest?    

Is any of this likely to garner me a spot on the team? Probably not, but it's fun!  Plus it's fun to see who they picked and find some new athletes to inspire me, blogs to follow, etc.  C'mon and join in!

Find Team Rev3 Triathlon's FB page here.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Training Log Nov. 13-19

This was a recovery week for me and the first official week of the off-season!  

Sun: last race of the season, Silver Strand Half-Marathon
Mon- Fri: REST! Lots of dancing with the toddler and LOTS of foam rolling!
Sat: 3 dreadfully slow and uncomfortable miles on the treadmill followed by P90X  Shoulders & Arms

Total weekly mileage: 16.24 miles run (half-marathon was a little long)

My goals over the short term are to follow P90X while maintaining a running base and to plan out my 2012 season, both workouts and races. Races I've decided on so far are Grandma's Marathon, Rev3 Wisconsin HalfRev, and our semi-local and not-to-be-missed Turkey Day 10K.  

I am also participating in Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge hosted by RunToTheFinish. There's still time to sign up and be eligible to win all sorts of cool prizes. (Late entries are only eligible for the weekly random giveaways, not the overall prizes). 

Also, I got a new iPad and I'm currently trying out the Blogsy app.  If this comes out looking all effed up, let me know and I'll try to figure out where I went wrong.  

What do you most look forward to during the off-season?
What are your must-do races for 2012?

The Ugly: San Diego Day Three, Silver Strand Half-Marathon


I should have known this wasn't going to be a good day as soon as the alarm went off.  Usually the night before a race, I can hardly sleep and wake up before my alarm jazzed up and raring to go.  Not that day.  I had to pry myself off the bed to start getting ready.  I just felt exhausted!

I made coffee in the room, drinking it right away, hoping it would work its magic!  I ate breakfast while I got ready.  I usually eat a whole bagel with cream cheese and a whole banana before a long race but I could only stuff down half a bagel and 3/4 of the banana.

I grabbed some water to go and headed downstairs to catch the shuttle to the race start.  It was a 15-minute ride to the start and I was starting to get a little more nervous.  It was finally starting to feel like a race morning!

The start area

Once again, the grass was wet so I laid down my gear bag and sat on it to stretch.  As it got closer to start time, I took a Hammer gel, then wandered a little to find a garbage can for my gel packet and empty water bottle.  They had several pacers for the race (1:30, 2:00, 2:15, 2:30).  The 2:00 and 2:15 pacers were really close together, plus from prior experience the pacers tend to go out a little faster than even splits would be, so I lined up just in front of the 2:15 pacer.  Just a few minutes of waiting, and we were off!

I wanted to avoid the bonk that happened in Mankato, so my plan was to use the first couple miles as my warmup as a way to keep my pace at a sustainable level.  I also had my iPhone loaded with music for this race (I usually only run with music when on the treadmill) with the first couple miles worth not being all out pump-me-up songs, but more moderately tempo-ed, yet still inspirational, music.

Mile 1: 9:31  Mile one was a little rough, but right where I wanted to be for pace.
Mile 2: 9:45  A little slower than I wanted and still feeling rough.
Mile 3: 9:43 Still slower than I wanted, but at a pace for a PR so okay with it. Stopped listening to the music, as I didn't think it was helping.
Mile 4: 14:18  I had to make a potty stop at 3.5 miles, only the second time I've had to do this in a race, and the first time in a running-only event.  Apparently, even though my coffee had worked its magic earlier that morning, it hadn't worked well enough.
Mile 5: 10:27 I had thought that the potty stop in the previous mile would make me feel better and therefore run faster.  I was wrong.  Things were starting to fall apart.
Mile 6: 10:43 Partway through this mile, I knew that a PR was too far out of reach so I decided to just
keep going at a steady pace and enjoy the scenery.
Mile 7: 13:15 Enjoying the scenery didn't last long.  At about the 10K point, I started to feel extremely dizzy, so I stopped to walk.  I walked for about half a mile, starting to cry at one point when I thought I might have to take my first DNF (Did Not Finish).  However, it was another mile to the aid station where I could drop and I wasn't any less dizzy walking than I was running, so I started to run again.
Mile 8: 10:58 I managed to make it to the aid station, and felt a little better.  Still dizzy, but better so i kept going.  By golly, I paid a lot of money to go to San Diego to race.  I wanted my t-shirt and my medal!
Mile 9: 10:40 Just kept plugging along. 
Mile 10: 10:09  I have no idea where it came from, but from mile 9 to 9.5 I had a little bit of a runner's high and was running at 9:15 pace without any extra effort.  Too bad it only lasted a half a mile!
Mile 11: 11:14  Right back to slow.
Mile 12: 11:31 Not too bad considering I walked 0.2 miles at the aid station.
Mile 13: 10:20 I just wanted to be done.  I was sooo tired.  And still dizzy (that got better on and off during the race, but never went away).
Last 0.24 miles: 2:11 (9:09 pace) REALLY just wanted to be done.  All I could think about for this last part was getting to the end and lying down.  Stick a fork in me, I was done.
Total Time: 2:24:43 Not my worst, but FAR from a PR.

I wandered through the finish line chute, grabbing a water, a muffin, and half a banana.  I sat down and forced myself to eat the muffin, knowing it was the right thing to do.  I couldn't manage to eat the banana, though.  I decided it really sucks to do a long race like that with no one waiting for you at the finish.  Especially when all you want to do is cry, pass out, and go home, not in any particular order.  I wandered around till I found the t-shirt pick-up, grabbed my gear bag, and boarded the bus back to the hotel.  I had hoped to meet Marison again after the race, but I was feeling so lousy I just wanted to go back to the hotel.

It was a good thing I went straight back to the hotel, because I was still upset and it took me a long time to get my sh** together.  My mantra for the race was "The gorilla's not tired yet" (based on the quote below).  I decided that this race had been a whole different sort of gorilla than I was used to.

As I checked out of the hotel, still all I wanted to do was go home.  I considered going straight to the airport, but I needed to fuel up the rental car.  I wasn't going to do that on Coronado, gas was at least 50 cents more per gallon.  So I headed toward the area I had stayed in the first couple days.  It was only a couple miles away, and I knew where a gas station was.

After fueling up, I felt a little better so I got a coffee and decided to go get some fish tacos at Joao's.  Fish tacos are good for the soul, because I felt much better after eating them.  Of course, the margarita probably didn't hurt.  It was a beautiful sunny day so I headed back to the walking paths near my first hotel and plopped myself on a bench for a couple hours.

Of course I ate all of that, silly!

View of the walking path from my bench.

I stayed as long as I possibly could before heading back to the airport.  I was excited to go home, but sad to leave (quite a change from my attitude a few hours earlier!).

More of those BEAUTIFUL birds of paradise. 

San Diego was a great trip to face my shyness.  The people were all really nice, especially my fellow GOTRIbal ladies.  It really just shows me that my fears of meeting new people are really unfounded and I should do it more often!

I was sad that I ended my trip (and my race season) with a disappointing race.  At the same time, I am ready for the race season to be over.  My race season started in May so it's been a long one.  I am looking forward to planning out my 2012 races and training plan, setting new goals, and doing something besides swim, bike, run (think strength-training and yoga!)

Bring on the off-season!

The Slow: San Diego Day Two, Girls On The Go 5K

Surfers at Torrey Pines State Beach- Picture randomly thrown in to make up for lack of photo-taking that day!
Saturday morning I awoke to rain.  Blech.  I had a passing thought about skipping the race, but I had already registered and a little rain usually doesn't stop me. 

I got ready, donning one if my running skirts.  After all, it was a women's race.  I ate a bagel, same as the day before, except this time I ate a whole bagel since it I had more time before the race.  I packed up and checked out as well since I was changing hotels that night and wouldn't be back before noon.  I also grabbed some coffee for the road.  LOVE that they had a Starbucks right in the hotel.  If given a choice, I usually won't choose Starbucks, but in this case it was very convenient!

The race was in Del Mar, about a 30 minute drive.  It was being held in conjunction with a women's expo so it was at the fairgrounds.  They had several other things going on at the fairgrounds that weekend.  Apparently I parked on the wrong side since I didn't see any other runners when I arrived, but it was just a short walk to the correct building. 

Check-in was quick and easy, then a LONG wait for the start of the race.  Because of the rain, they were going to change the course.  Then it stopped so they weren't.  Then they were going to start the walkers at the same time, then they weren't.  We finally started about 20 minutes late. 

My plan for this race was to go slow and use it as a recovery day.  I probably should have run a little slower than I did, but I found out it's kind of hard to run slow on purpose during a race!  I kept telling myself it was just a really big group run.  I did a pretty good job of keeping it slowed down until about 2.5 miles when a girl cut me off around a corner, seemingly on purpose.  (Really, lady?  We're running 10 minute miles here and you feel the need to cut someone off?  WTF???)  I instinctively started to go after her.  I knew I needed to keep it reined in though, and started repeating to myself "Let her go.  You have to pick your battles, and this is not it.  Tomorrow is your battle."   I backed off and returned to my previous pace, finishing in 30:19.  The course was significantly short, only 3.01 miles instead of 3.1 miles.  And I definitely wasn't running any tangents.  It was a good thing I wasn't trying to PR that day or I'd have been really pissed. 

Mile 1: 10:11
Mile 2: 10:09
Mile 3: 9:52
Extra 0.01: 7 seconds 

This was not a race I would do again.  Two of the three miles were through the parking lot.  The middle mile was on a trail, but I couldn't tell if it was scenic or not, I had to watch my footing the whole time.  The worst part about the race was no water station at the end!  They did have some electrolyte drink, but it was a kind I've never had.  I wasn't about to try something new the day before the half-marathon.  I hung around after the race just long enough to get my shirt and goodie bag.  Thank goodness there was a bottle of water in the goodie bag!  I also quickly devoured the Chocolate Cherry Almond Luna bar from the goodie bag-- delicious!

I headed back to the car, thought about finding a place to eat, but remembered I still had all my grocery store snacks so I chowed down on another bagel with cream cheese, a banana, and some chocolate.  I used a paper towel and some water to clean up, changed in the car and headed to the beach at Torrey Pines. 

It was cloudy and cool (about 55 degrees) so there weren't many people at the beach.  But the weather was causing some higher surf, so there were surfers out.  I wondered what the water temperature was since they all had wetsuits but very few had anything on their feet or head.  I never did find out. 

I found a comfy rock (yes, there is such a thing) and sat down to watch the surfers and read my book.  I had a nice couple hours by the beach before I started to get rained on again.  I didn't feel much like being wet, so I went back to the car and took a nap. 

Just as I was waking up from my nap, Tanya (yes, THE Tanya from GOTRIbal) sent me a text about getting together that afternoon.  We met for fro-yo but when I got there, I was still full from the morning's chow-down so just she ate while we talked.  I have really got to get over my fears of meeting new people.  Tanya was SUPER-nice (Cherie from the day before was too).  It was great to meet her and learn a little more about her and GOTRIbal (already one of my favorite things).  

Well, for someone that doesn't usually like to talk to new people, I managed to talk to Tanya just a little too long.  I was late for packet pick-up for Sunday's half-marathon!  The ladies assured me that I could get it in the morning and I started to head back to my car.  One of them came running after me and said to follow her and they could quickly get it for me as the timing company hadn't left yet.  I was thankful and very relieved!  I also got to briefly meet Marison, another GOTRIbal member.  We talked just a little and hoped to meet up the next day after the race.

On the way to Coronado Island, it rained HARD!  I just wanted it to get all of the rain out of its system that day so that it could clear up and be nice on Sunday.  I wanted to explore Coronado a little more, but between the rain and just being tired, I headed straight to my hotel. 

I checked in, let the valet park my car (only $5 more than self-parking and it was still pouring!), and headed to my room.  After getting settled in, I decided to order room service for only the second time in my life (and the second time this trip!)  And for the second time, they forgot something.  What are the odds?  The meal wasn't nearly as good as the other hotel.  The steak on my sandwich was tough.  There was supposed to be blue cheese on it, but I couldn't taste it at all.  They forgot my fries!  The asparagus was okay, but some of it was very woody. 


The dessert, however, was wonderful!  I had ordered the Brulee Trio.  There was supposed to be one each of Chocolate-Chipotle, Lemoncello, and Hazelnut.  They put two lemoncello brulees on and no hazelnut, but that was just fine with me!  They were decadent and delicious!

I topped off the supper with the last glass of wine from the bottle purchased Thursday night and promptly fell into a food coma.  I had the TV on, but I couldn't tell you what I watched.  I set the alarm for 5AM, double-checked to make sure my stuff was all laid out for the next day and went to sleep. 

Next: The Ugly: San Diego Day Three, Silver Strand Half-Marathon

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Good: San Diego Day One, Heroes 5K

Friday morning I woke to cloudy but comfortable.  It was mid-50's, perfect for running!  I woke up WAY too early- not adjusted to the time zone.

Morning view of the city from my balcony

I was wide awake, so I got up and made some coffee.  It was the first time I've actually LIKED the coffee that was provided with the hotel room!  They had K-cups of some sort of espresso.  It wasn't quite as good as my coffee at home, but it saved me a stop at Starbucks before the race.

I ate half a bagel (they were huuuge!) with cream cheese and walked the half-mile to the race start.  I considered my brisk walk my warmup and did some stretching before the start of the race.  The grass was wet, so that limited my stretching somewhat, but I don't usually do much stretching anyway.  It basically just gives me something to do pre-race other than stand around.

I'd never seen a chip like this!  Apparently they're common out there, I had the same kind the next day. 

The race started and finished in the same place in NTC Park.  The race was all on trails or sidewalks.  Because of the wet grass, it was a little treacherous right at the start heading onto the sidewalk.  I saw one guy slip and totally biff it.  He was okay, though.  He got right back up and kept going.  Except for one short pass underneath a bridge, the trails were all in great condition.

My previous 5K PR was 27:44 and was from 2004.  I wanted to beat that, but knowing I had 2 more races that weekend, didn't want to completely wear myself out.  My plan was to run the first 2 miles around 9-minute pace and speed up for the last mile.  My plan worked perfectly.

Mile 1: 8:49
Mile 2: 8:55
Mile 3: 8:34
Extra 0.1:  39 seconds (7:25 pace)

With about 3/4 of a mile to go, I passed an older guy who said, "I'll follow you, take me on in."  He fell in about 6 feet behind me.  I yelled, "C'mon!", and he said he was coming.  He encouraged me from that 6 feet behind "Nice pace!", "You're doing great, beautiful!" until I started to struggle a little to hold the pace and he passed me.  I tried to go with him.  I sped up, but wasn't able to quite keep up with him.  I crossed the line in 26:58, a new PR!

I found him at the water station and thanked him for helping me get that PR.  He thanked me for keeping his pace up for the last little bit.  After a little conversation, I discovered that he was 75 years old and would also be running the Silver Strand Half-Marathon on Sunday.  We wished each other luck and went our separate ways.

Youth Naval Cadets formed a finish line chute and handed out dog-tag style finisher medals.

I hung around the finish to cheer for the rest of the finishers, including a girl I had spoken with at the start line who was running her very first race.  After checking the final results, I jogged back to the hotel to get some breakfast.

There was a cafe in the hotel that served Starbucks so I headed there for some grub.  I had a caramel latte and a monstrous egg, feta & spinach wrap.  It was delicious.  It was still cloudy but was 60-some degrees so I ate on the patio. 

My HUUUUGE breakfast burrito

After my shower, the sun came out so I brought my book, water and some pillows out onto my balcony and laid down to read with my feet up.  Since I didn't eat breakfast until after 10AM, I just snacked on my grocery store goodies in lieu of lunch. 

Laying with my feet up for recovery purposes.

Hotel water glasses are so small, I had to double-fist it all day!

I bought this book specifically as inspiration for this trip.  I highly recommend it!
After laying down for a while, I was getting restless so I walked around Point Loma for a while.  I kept my walk to just a couple miles so I wouldn't be on my feet too much.  At the end of my walk, I sat down on a bench to enjoy the sunshine a little more and my legs muscles started twitching.  Good thing I hadn't walked any further.  I went back upstairs and put my legs up again. 

Since I had only snacked for lunch, I was hungry for supper early.  I walked over to Oggi's Pizza and Brewery for supper.  I had the "Marathon" flatbread pizza, chosen partly for it's name, but mostly because it looked good.  Um, ok, so all pizza looks good, what can I say?  They brew their own beer and I had a California Gold Blonde Ale (I think that's what it was called).  The waiter said it was a lot like a Stella Artois.  It was similar and very good. 

Beer!  (Screenshot from Oggi's website)

I walked back to the hotel to find that one of the GOTRIbal ladies had called while I was out.  I called her back and we decided to meet up and she could get supper and I'd have a drink or dessert. 
I met Cherie at Joao's.  (Again, for me this is a HUGE step out of my comfort zone.)  She was super nice and we had a lot in common to talk about.  While she had supper, I had a margarita and  garlic shrimp taco for "dessert"- I could smell them when I walked in and they just smelled too good to pass up.  I'm actually don't have that much of a sweet tooth and often will have another helping of something at supper rather than dessert.  Anyway, I had a great time meeting Cherie.  That meet-up going well made me more confident in planning to meet a couple other people later in the weekend. 

I had another 5K coming up the next morning so I needed to get to bed early.  I went back to the hotel about 8pm, watched some TV, rolled my legs and went to bed. 

Up next- The Slow: San Diego Day Two, Girls On The Go 5K

The Good, The Slow, & The Ugly: San Diego Race Weekend Preview

I just got home from my "3 days, 3 races" vacation in San Diego.  As indicated by the title of this post, I did not have three good races.  I am exhausted (I think I have a vacation hangover!)  and after the "ugly" race, have had a ridiculously hard time collecting my thoughts to start writing these reports. 

Overall, though, I had a wonderful time and met some great people!  This was my first trip to San Diego and won't be my last.  Here's how my weekend started out...

Thursday was a cool day in Minnesota (38 degrees, brrr!) so I was glad to be headed to warmer temps.  I dropped Liam off at Grandma & Grandpa's and headed toward the airport in Minneapolis.  By the time I got to the airport, I was anxious and shaky.

This trip was a big deal for me.  Going by myself?  NOT something I would normally do.  I generally hate to talk to people I don't know.  I avoid calling people on the phone, complaining about anything, walking into a restaurant or bar first (I don't let my husband hold the door for me, I make him go first), or generally drawing attention to myself in front of people I don't know.  This trip was a challenge to myself to come out my comfort zone and lose a little of my shyness.  (On a related note, I also posted a video of me doing the "chubby bunny" on Team REv3's FB page.  I'd say my attempts to be more outgoing are working!)

After arriving at the airport, I got checked in and waited in a LONG line to go through security.  Because I was in the security check line for so long, the wait to board the plane wasn't long at all.

After an uneventful flight, I arrived in San Diego just in time for rush hour!  I picked up my rental car and headed out to brave the traffic.  I had to pick up my bib for the following day's race at Road Runner Sports.  Boy, was that place a zoo!  They had their Thursday night Fun Run going on at the same time and there were people everywhere! 

I got in and out as quickly as I could and headed to the hotel.  I didn't get lost, but I did have to turn around a couple times.  I hate it when the name of the road in the GPS isn't the same as the name of the road on the sign!

After I checked in, priorities were set.  The first thing I did was go looking for a grocery store and some wine!  I originally went looking for Trader Joe's but found Von's instead.  It was a perfectly acceptable substitute and I picked up some snacks, pre-race breakfast food, and a bottle of wine especially chosen for it's screw-off top!

Also bought but not pictured:  bananas, bagels, cream cheese & pears.

After returning to the hotel, I was exhausted from my long day of travel and decided to just get room service so I could sit on my balcony and drink some of that wine.  Supper was a delicious salmon with a pepita  & cilantro crust with some sort of spicy sauce, grilled veggies, and Yukon Gold garlic mashed potatoes.  I had ordered a house salad, which they forgot, not knowing that the veggies were going to be included.  It was fine that they forgot it because there was plenty of food! I ate my supper, then sat on the balcony and enjoyed the cool (but still warmer than Minnesota!) air.

San Diego skyline as seen from my balcony.

The balcony overlooked the pool and courtyard area.
I finally went to bed at 11PM after setting out my race gear for the morning and finding the directions to the start.  Friday's race start was only 1/2 mile from the hotel!  I couldn't have planned that better if I tried.

Stay tuned for: The Good: San Diego Day One, Heroes 5K

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Vacation Hangover

I've been back since late Sunday night, and am still exhausted!  I'm working on race reports to be presented in several parts but my brain is like mud so it's taking a while.  I hope to have the first part posted tonight. 

Time for some extra-strong morning coffee!