Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Training Log March 19-25

This week was a recovery week.  I took all the recovery possible!!!  My (organized) training this week consisted of swimming on Monday.  750yds + 1450 at Master swim=2200yds.  A week after my last race, I'm still having an issue with my right leg...hip flexor or quadricep, I'm not sure.  But I have had enough injuries to know that one week off now can do a world of good and lead to less time off later.

I probably won't do much running this week, either.  For one, Liam  is at his grandparents for the week.  This makes it EASY to go over and swim or get out and bike.  So this week will be swim and bike heavy, not because it was part of the original training plan, but because it works well with Liam gone.  Hopefully this will allow whatever is nagging in my leg to heal and I'll be ready to get back on the (running) horse next week.

 I am feeling much more confident in regard to my running after last weekend's race.  I really thought I had lost a lot.  While I have lost some speed, it's not as much as I originally thought.  I think I am actually ahead of where I was last year at this time, but I didn't race (strictly running) until the marathon last year, so I'm not sure.
Anyway, I had planned for this year to be focused on gaining fitness for a full iron-distance triathlon in 2013, so I may not hit a bunch of PRs like I did last year.

Weekly Totals:
Swim: 2200yds
Bike: 0
Run: 0

Friday, March 23, 2012

Random Five Friday

1. This warm March weather has been awesome for playing outside.  Liam is having a lot of fun just being a kid.  
He likes to dress himself.  I swear I didn't make him wear his neck-warmer on his head.  
Mud puddles rock!

2.  Liam heads to his Iowa grandparents next week.  I will miss him...it will be awfully quiet around here, but I already have a list of "non-Liam-friendly" projects to work on.  I will have no problem staying busy!

3. I caught this article from NPR in my Facebook feed the other day.  Loved it. I've made my own cheese before, it's delicious!  I excited to try the Chai Concentrate recipe that accompanies the article. (Image screenshot from www.npr.org )

4.  I started playing with the Instagram app on my iPhone this week.  All the pictures in this post (except the NPR screenshot) were edited with it.  It's kind of fun, and makes a crappy phone picture a little bit better.  

5. Fresh chives on my potato on March 22nd.  We are usually still buried under piles of snow this time of year. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Get Lucky Half-Marathon Race Report

I hadn't been looking forward to this race.  I hadn't been feeling or running all that well, and I didn't know if I was even in good enough shape to go 13 miles without suffering.  (I ran 13 miles the Sunday before the race just to test that theory out.)
Then the weather changed.  It was supposed to be not only nice, but HOT!  (Well, for Minnesota in March anyway...70-some degrees.)  Running 13 miles six days before boosted my confidence in at least being able to cover the distance.  We were meeting friends and hanging out for the whole weekend.  I was determined that, if nothing else, I was going to have fun!

Liam and I headed up to Minneapolis Friday afternoon.  We had to stop in Mankato on the way to buy a green tank top.  Hey, it's March...all I had in green was long sleeves!  I know the rule about nothing new on race day so I was excited to find a perfect green version of an UnderArmour tank I already own in pink.  And it was on sale!  
We also had to hit up Target for green nail polish and toys.  Being the good Mommy that I am, I packed Liam a bag of toys for the weekend...and promptly forgot to pack it in the car...FAIL!  Liam was very excited about his new Thomas Search & Rescue Set (On sale, thank goodness.  Thomas stuff is EXPENSIVE!)  

I was a little worried about hitting Minneapolis right during rush hour (Country girl here...I hate city traffic. A traffic jam where I live is two cars behind a tractor.) but we spent enough time in Mankato that we didn't get to the hotel until close to 6pm, well after most of the traffic was gone.  We checked in and I let let the valet haul our stuff up to our room.  Let's see, I have at least two trips worth of stuff and a toddler.  Why, yes, I would LOVE for you to bring up our bags!   

Liam was a little crabby because he only napped for half an hour in the car, but once I turned on the TV and gave him some O's, he settled in just fine.

Meanwhile, I got busy making sure I had everything I needed for the race and painted my toenails green.

I didn't end up wearing my new sparkly headband.  It wouldn't stay put so I subbed in an old reliable green Sweaty Band.

Traci, Andy & family didn't get in until 8pm so supper was late.  We decided just to head to the hotel restaurant because it was convenient.  I decided to screw the gluten-free and had a chicken quesadilla.  Liam had the kids pizza (a 10" pizza is a "kid's pizza" at this place- really?).  Traci and I hashed out the details for the morning and we headed to bed.  

I didn't sleep very well at all.  First, Liam was awake until 11:30.  The kid isn't used to city lights and noises, it's quiet and dark at our house!  Next, I knew Dave was coming in about 4am after he got done with work and I needed to let him in.  I was worried that I wouldn't hear my phone ring and he'd stand out in the hallway.  And last, it was the night before a race.  I never sleep well the night before.  The one time I did, I had a crappy race. 

Needless to say, the first order of business in the morning was making coffee!  This hotel coffee was particularly crappy and not particularly helpful in getting things moving pre-race if you know what I mean.  For breakfast, I ate two Larabars.  With green wrappers of course...it was St. Patty's day.  

It was still hard to believe I was going to be warm enough in a tank on St. Patty's Day.

I put on my Mankato Multisport Club jacket for pre-race and was ready to go!  (Notice it's also conveniently green!)
 I met up with Traci, after first forgetting my room key, then my fuel...I swear my brain still hasn't recovered from pregnancy two years ago.  It was a good thing we left (relatively) early, because by the time we got there, the traffic was almost at a standstill.  Only our lane of course, with everyone else going to the race.
I wasn't going to do a warmup, though, so I was fine having a minimal amount of time to stand around beforehand.
Traci & I pre-race.  She has a mouthful of banana...she is going to love that I posted this picture!
And...there were no official race photographers so that is the only picture I have of the race.  Sorry for the long, boring, no-picture race recap...

I had made a conscious decision the day before to race with no watch.  That's right...no Garmin, no watch, nothing.  I didn't want to know how fast I was running, I just wanted to run.  I posted this on a FB group that I'm on, and the "coach" of the group (poor woman provides a ton of motivation and accountability and gets paid nothing for it) commented that it would be one of my best races ever.
Darn pacers.
We lined up just behind the 2:15 pace group figuring that was about how we would start out naturally.  Neither of us had any intention of going with this pace group, it just looked like a good place to start.
It took about 2-and-a-half minutes to get to the start line after the gun went off.  We were able to start running immediately without having to dodge a bunch of people.  I felt a niggle in my hip flexor that I had felt during Thursday's speedwork, only this time it was worse.  I immediately started to worry if I was even going to get through this race.
After about a mile, the pain in my leg subsided.  Running still wasn't feeling that great, pretty much par with how I'd been feeling all winter.
By mile 3, we had caught the 2:15 group and I was feeling pretty good.  I glanced at Traci, who had put her headphones in, and I just went with it.  Looking back a little later, I had lost Traci.  It only took me about a mile to have the 2:10 pace group in sight.
Darn pacers.
Do you know how hard it is to NOT chase down a pacer?  I  still didn't know exactly how fast I was going, and I knew that from past experience, pacers tend to go out faster and slow down, rather than pace evenly.  So, for a while I was still in ignorant bliss.  But I still wanted to pass that guy with the sign.  
Darn pacers.
I finally passed the 2:10 pace group at mile 8.  I was relieved to not have a sign to chase, but at the same time, felt like I needed to stay ahead of the sign.
Darn pacers.
I was still feeling REALLY good, and knowing I was ahead of the 2:10 group, thought I might be able to PR.
Then, shortly before mile 10, my GI system reminded me that my coffee had NOT done its job that morning.
And, I had to slow down, lest I would be in need of "Oops, I Crapped My Pants".  So. Not. Kidding.  I wish I was.
Within minutes, I watched the 2:10 pace group go by, knowing there was nothing I could do.  Now, had I been winning the Olympics, I may have taken the chance.  However, there was no such reward at the end of my race.  Having my dignity was its own reward in that situation.
Luckily, my GI system settled down within about a mile.  But the damage was done.  I just felt tired after struggling through that mile.  I decided that, if I felt good enough, I would try to pick it up shortly after mile 12.
And I did.  At least effort-wise.  I still had no idea what my pace was, but I was okay with that.  I was running because I loved it, and racing because I couldn't help it.

I have no idea how my splits played out in this race.  And I don't care.  Except for the one mile, I LOVED every minute of this race.  And Wendy was right.  It was one of my best races ever.  It wouldn't have mattered if I had finished 10, 20, or 30 minutes later, I had fun.  I wish the pacers wouldn't have been there, darn pacers, but even chasing the sign, I had a great race.

I finished in 2:10:35.  One minute and 38 seconds from my current PR. I couldn't be more happy with this time, knowing how I've felt the past few months.
I may race without a watch more often...


Of course, any good St. Patty's Day race has free beer afterward, right?  We had to trek back to downtown Minneapolis for ours.
We parked back at the hotel and walked to Kieran's for our free beer.  My phone's GPS said it was a half mile.  I call bullshi*t on that one.  Either that or it was the longest half a mile I'd done all day.

Hey, kids...If you do really well, once a year you get to perform your Irish step dancing for a bunch of drunks!  Doesn't that sound fun?!?
The band at Kieran's.  I have no idea what their name was.  And I only had one beer...
The best running friend a person could ask for...still running together 20-some years later.  Oh, and that dork is her hubby.  
Just kidding Andy, I love ya'!  (Andy is running his first half-marathon this summer, Woot, woot!)
I tested out the non-gluten-free thing again at lunch following the race.  And not in a small way.  I ate an entire plate of spaghetti at Old Spaghetti Factory.  No symptoms.  Stay tuned for a new experiment involving our well water...

All in all, we had a great race and a great weekend with awesome friends!  We're already making plans for next year's race!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Two Training Logs

I just realized as I was getting this week's training log post ready that I never posted one last week...oops! Anyway, I'll do a quick rundown of the past two weeks numbers and then get working on my race report from last week- look for that tomorrow!

March 5-11
Mon: Masters swim, 1100 yds
Tues & Weds: Liam sick- no workouts.  Unless cleaning up puke and changing lots of diapers counts.
Thurs: Bike on trainer, 85 minutes with 8x1min hard, 1 min rest.
Fri: Bike 90 minutes, easy, on trainer
Sat: Ran 3 miles outside, 29:52.  Was supposed to be 6, but I caught Liam's GI bug and needed to get back to the house ASAP.
Sun: Ran 13 miles, 2:18:31.  VERY happy with this considering my running performance lately and the fact that I still have the GI bug.  Worked out my legs with an easy 30 minute spin on the trainer in the evening.

Totals for this week:
Swim: 1100yds
Bike: 3 hours 25 minutes on trainer
Run: 16 miles

March 12-19
Mon: Masters swim, 1300yds.  Jose really kicked our butts today with some HARD drills!
Tues: REST!  After all the time I put in the past few days, my body said it wanted to rest.
Weds: Body still wanted to rest.
Thurs: Ran 30 minutes around my "track".  (6+ laps = 1 mile) Every 3rd lap at 80%, focusing on cadence and good form.  2.9 miles
Fri: Travel day to weekend race
Sat: Get Lucky Half Marathon, St. Paul, MN  2:10:35, ECSTATIC about this time!  Race report to follow, hopefully tomorrow.
Sun: Well-deserved rest day!

Totals for this week:
Swim: 1300yds
Bike: 0
Run: 16 miles

I need to be a little more consistent for a while now.  Unfortunately, things like your toddler getting a 5-day GI bug are never predictable.  I did get a good few days in the weekend before my race.  I didn't intend to taper quite as much as I did for the race, but my body said it needed some rest so I listened.

Quick update on my health issues:

Being gone for the weekend, I ate things that would have normally bothered me at home and had NO GI SYMPTOMS!  Weird, huh?  Now the question becomes, what is it at home that is making me sick?  I started with an easy thing to eliminate.  I stopped drinking our well water, hauling jugs from my parents house instead.  If that doesn't pan out, I'll move on to air quality issues.  One thing at a time.

I saw the ENT for my dizziness today.  He is a runner and an aspiring triathlete.  Yay!  I did a little dance in my head when I found this out! No worrying about being told " well, just stop running, then."
He scheduled me for a brain MRI, more bloodwork, a hearing test, physical therapy, and gave me some exercises to do at home.  I get the MRI on Thursday, start therapy next week, then have the hearing test and follow up with him in a few weeks.  He is pretty confident that he can find the problem and that we will be able to correct it!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Random Five Friday

Sorry, no pics this morning. This is a rush edition as I need to pack for my first race weekend of 2012!

1. I saw a butterfly the other day. On March 14th. Um, it's Minnesota...did I somehow sleep through a whole month? It IS March, right?

2. After seeing the butterfly I decided it was safe to start planting some stuff in the garden. Any of my flower seeds that said "early spring" or "3 weeks before the last frost" went in. Of course, my dogs promptly dug some of them up...dorks.

3. I have no idea what I am going to eat before my race tomorrow. I used to eat a bagel with cream cheese and a banana. Since I've been doing my long runs in the afternoon (to get the warm part of the day), I haven't practiced any pre-run breakfasts since discovering that I am sensitive to gluten.

4. Liam needs more t-shirts, shoes and WARM WEATHER clothes! I didn't think I'd have to worry about that until garage sale season started (late April, early May). We'll have to check out the little kids second-hand store today.

5. I posted my health issues in the form of a self-pity party on my GOTRIbal blog the other day. LOTS of women have reached out with support and ideas. I am feeling a newfound sense of direction and am going to start working with a couple different ladies remotely as well as continuing to pursue a medical diagnosis locally. I cannot begin to tell you how thankful I am for all the support, much of it from people I don't even know!


Have a wonderful St. Patrick's day! I'm off to the races!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thursday's Thought

Play like you're two years old.

Don't be afraid to get dirty.

Enjoy your day, my friends!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Never underestimate the value of "internet friends". Sometimes people you barely (or don't) know in real life can prove to be some of the most wonderful people you know :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Random Five Friday:Tuesday Edition

I've had this typed up since Friday, but was too busy, or lazy- you choose, to add the pics.  I wasn't going to waste the post just because it's Tuesday, so here it is!  

1. Liam was sick all last week.  He got to have his first popsicle because of this.  He likes popsicles, but I was very proud today, when after asking if he wanted a popsicle, he said, "No. Apple." Yay for healthy eating!

This is the face of a sad, sick child...
2.  I've started a new elimination diet to try to figure out my GI stuff.  Yesterday was Day One.  I thought, "This isn't so terrible, it's only a week before I can start adding things back in."  Today's thought (Day Two) was, "What the hell am I supposed to eat, anyway?  I'm starving!"   Anything allowed on this diet is bland, bland, bland and totally against what I have come to know as healthy eating.  I may seek out an acupuncturist as a possible alternative treatment, 'cuz this sucks.

3.  Liam moved to the big bed on Friday, at age 22 mos.  No, I don't mean a toddler bed, he's had his mattress on the floor since he took a dive out of his crib just after turning one.  He is in "the big bed".  Since his room was once a guest room (and the only other bedroom in the house besides ours), there is still a full-size bed in there.  He has recently proven that he could get in and out of it on his own.  Rather than have him climb up there some night and fall out, I got a rail for it.  I installed it this afternoon and he promptly moved every stuffed animal in his room to the big bed.  He chose to sleep there for his nap and at bedtime.  He went right to sleep both times, so apparently the change wasn't too traumatic.

After he added EVERY stuffed animal in the room, I don't think there's any room left for him!

4.  After organizing our master bedroom through OrgJunkie's challenge, I decided to tackle our looks-like-a-hoarder-lives-here basement.  There will not be any pics of that.  At one time, things were organized down there, but several months out of each year, our basement has water in it.  During that time things have become musty and gross, and piles have started everywhere in a not-so-successful attempt to keep the non-musty separate from the musty.  Most of it just needs to get thrown away.  I have been waiting for the dump truck to get fixed, but Dave needs some assistance with it so it won't be done anytime soon (not nagging, honey, just facing reality).  I decided to stop waiting for a convenient way to do it and just tackle it.

5.  Spring is here!

Go see my other blog, Erin's Edible Adventures at this link for the rest of my "Spring Is Here!" pictures.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Training Log Feb 27- Mar 4 & Sparkly Snow Run

Winter came on Sunday, but it will melt by Tuesday!

Once again I was disappointed with this week's training.  I'm still having GI issues and dizziness so some days training just isn't very fun.  It ended with a great weekend, though!

Here's the overview of the week:

Mon: Rest day

Tues: Unplanned rest day

Weds: Ran 2.21 mi, 20:12, Completed first half of "Run Faster With Chrissie Wellington #2" from Audiofuel. I'd intended to do the whole thing, but crashed and burned halfway. I had felt pretty good for the first 15 minutes so I was disappointed to burn out at 20 minutes. I also did the Bodyrock Fit Test just for fun.

Thurs: Master swim! I LOVE my master swim class. Class plus warmup drills= 1650yds

Fri: 6 miles on treadmill @ marathon pace, with 60 second pickup every 5 minutes to break up the monotony, 57:18

Sat: My first DVD-led bike sesh! (I know, I'm behind the times, but we just finally got a DVD player in the dungeon.)  Decided I need to increase the tension on the trainer tire- I was outriding the gears and didn't have to come out of seated the whole time.
Second Saturday workout was a social event! I met up with some new friends from swim class to swim and go out to eat. I love my internet tri friends, but it's nice to have some "real-life" tri friends that I can actually talk to instead of just type!

Sun: Y'all thought the "Sparkly Snow Run" mentioned in the title was a race didn't you?  Sorry to disappoint you, but it was just my long run on Sunday- 8 miles.  I had resigned myself to the treadmill earlier in the day because of visibility issues.  Of course, I procrastinated.  Good thing I did!  It stopped snowing, the sun came out, and it was a GORGEOUS day!  I had a great run, breaking a new path on our road and enjoying the quiet of the snowy afternoon.  The snow sparkled so much in the sunlight, it looked just like someone had dumped a bunch of glitter on the world!

First tracks in the new snow!  Look how sparkly it is!!!

Looking back at my tracks.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Random Five Friday

*I tried to start this post while my coffee was brewing this morning and couldn't think of a single thing to share! I love coffee...

1. COFFEE! My coffee of choice is a good dark roast Sumatran from the Left Bank Cafe in Slayton, Minnesota. Now, rural southwest Minnesota isn't where most people would go looking for a good cup-a-joe. Put aside your doubts and go! The Left Bank Cafe roasts their own beans and blends on site, the food is delicious, and the customer service unmatched! Live nowhere near here? Order coffee online! If I were to place an online order right now, the smell of freshly roasted coffee would be gracing my mailbox tomorrow! (BTW, I received nothing for what may sound like a paid review, I just really like my Left Bank Coffee!)

2. Ice and snow:  After an extremely mild winter here in Minnesota, we got blasted with ice and snow this week.  Actually the fact that it was rain and not all snow means it is still mild, but it sure made a mess.  And some extra work for the hubby this weekend!

3. The cardiologist's office called with the results of my echocardiogram.  Everything was normal.  Next step is a stress echo (March 8) to see if exercise is making it do anything funky.

4. Liam and the potty: We spent Thursday morning trying to get a urine sample from Liam to test for a possible UTI.  The first hour-and-a-half was in the bathroom with this set-up:

He was sick of sitting in the bathroom by then, so I decided to just let him run around naked and follow him with a collection jar and a towel.  He didn't think that was such an awesome idea.  So I took the insert from the potty chair and put it in the stroller and let him watch cartoons on the computer.

Half an hour of that and we FINALLY had pee!  After all that, I've decided that neither mother or toddler are quite ready for potty-training yet.

5. Masters swim is going well and I am excited that they have decided to continue into March (and possibly April). After just a couple classes with Jose, I swam my fastest 50yds ever! Considering I've only been in the pool maybe half a dozen times this year, that's amazing progress! I am currently working on not over-rotating my head when I breathe.

Have a great weekend,e veryone!