Saturday, March 27, 2010

Three weeks

Another week of training is in the books.  And things continue to go pretty well.  I've added another 5k to my schedule, just for fun.  I'm liking these shorter races!  And at the same time, I'm looking forward to my half iron at the end of the year.  Just to see what I can do over a bit longer distance.  But let's not get ahead of ourselves eh?

Amazingly enough, I'm down to 3 weeks until my first tri of the year. A sprint, of course.  I just made the connection the other day that the swim is: 1) in the bay, so will be 2) cold and 3) my first open water swim of the year.  Not just in an event, but at all.  Which makes me a bit anxious.  But it's short, only .25 of a mile.  So it won't last too long.  This race will be a bit different too, as it starts at 4 pm.  Yep, no getting up at the crack of dawn.  But I'm used to and have practiced eating breakfast before races, and know how that sits with my stomach.  I'm not exactly sure what to eat pre-race for 'lunch'.  Maybe make it a second breakfast instead.  I'll have to ponder this a bit more.   Another first.....this will my first race where I'm branded with my new age group.  Yep, I'll be racing in the 40-44 group.  *sob*   Ah, what the heck....age is only a number.....written in large script on my calf for all the world to see.

And that's about all the excitement from my neck of the woods.

Except that I've discovered a new treat....
Man this is good stuff.  Danger!  DANGER!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Nothing much

Nothing spectacular to report these days.

Well, one thing, and maybe not quite 'spectacular' but......I had a bike test this weekend.  For some reason these tests still get me a wee bit anxious.  Too much type-A, I guess.  Or maybe I just feel like I'm really working towards getting stronger and faster and I'm afraid I won't see that registered in the tests.  I try not to get too stressed out about them, but I only get so far with that.  Anyway, after pushing myself to light-headedness with a pinch of nausea thrown in for good measure (both of which made the 'hard' intervals on the run off the bike *so* much fun), I sent off my data for analysis by super-coach Liz.  When you get an email back from your coach with lots of capital letters and exclamation points, it's a good thing.  I like to read these aloud to Jeff, just to reinforce how tough I truly am in case he forgets.  At which point he usually asks if my head fits through the door anymore. Hey, it's nice for hard work to be recognized and appreciated. So, yes, my bike test went very well thankyouverymuch and I continue to make progress getting stronger and faster.  Which is good, as my first tri of the year has quickly snuck up on me and is a few short weeks away.

I had a consult with the nutritionist this week too and we came to a mutual conclusion that I probably shouldn't drop my weight much more.  Or more to the point, she doesn't think I should go much lower with my body fat.  A little would probably be okay, but she says I'm at the point where if I go too much lower it could start affecting my recovery/performance. And since I've been feeling good and doing well with training and racing, I'm probably at a good point for my body.  Now I just have to convince myself that this is *not* a license to binge and I should be fine.'s not a diet, it's a lifestyle change.  Just channeling the Biggest Loser there for a moment.

That's all the excitement I have for now. Unless you count hitting up the Gap for some new jeans.  And at 30% off too.  With 5% donated back to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Now that's a deal.

Happy Spring! Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Another one in the books

Saturday was a laid back kind of day.  I hit masters swim in the morning and then took my girl for a long walk at Garin.  Well, long time-wise.  Not so long distance-wise. The routine now is that she hightails it to the nearest creek access point and proceeds to spend 10-15 minutes searching around in the water.  Then she comes up, hightails it to the next access point, another 10-15 minutes searching. Repeat, repeat, repeat.  So for me it ends up as a series of 5-10 minute strolls followed by 15 minutes of standing around waiting for her.  Which is okay, it's her time after all, and it's pretty entertaining to watch her slosh through the water.  I had planned to wash the car after that, since we're expecting a pretty good spell of nice weather.  But I decided to nap instead.  Race prep let's call it.  Gotta' rest up the legs.  Yeah, that's it.  After that, just some puttering around the house picking up and then some reading before bed.

After much contemplation about whether our automatic clock would set itself forward for DST, I set the alarm to get my butt out of bed at 6:30 this morning (which is *really* 5:30, I hate DST, but whatever).  I proceeded to wake up throughout the night to, I don't know what exactly, check on the clock?!?  There must've been some subconscious reason niggling at me though, because I eventually woke up at 6:37.  Yeah, no alarm.  Ah well, at least I was up in plenty of time to eat, pack up and head to the race.  We arrived with what seemed like plenty of time to get my t-shirt, do my warm up and head to the start line.  Except that the t-shirt line was ridiculously long.  So my warm up was a little shorter than prescribed, but I felt ok.  A little tired, not great, but ok.  I wasn't sure what to expect of myself today since I didn't feel 100% great, but was ready to find out.

Jeff had headed toward the start line while I did my warm up and I found him hanging out on the sidewalk by the 8:00/mile pace sign.  I thought that might be a bit ambitious, but what the heck, might as well go for it.  I still had about 5 minutes until the start and I realized that there was a small cluster of people by each pace sign with huge empty spaces in between.  What's the point of that?!? So I scooted myself right up behind the first batch of people.  And it's a good thing too. There was no big announcement.  Just someone yelling, without a bullhorn even, "1 minute"....."30 sec".....and then BLAAAAAHHHH, the sound of a horn and we were off.  I can't imagine that anyone even 50 feet back would have heard that.  And with a clock start, but chip finish, that hardly seemed fair.  Maybe they figured anyone serious enough to be worried about their time would have scooted up to the front.  I dunno, but I'm glad I did.

The bad part about starting out there was, of course, that there actually were people who could keep a sub 6 min/mile pace.  And silly me, I felt myself trying to keep up.  And while I felt like I was heading out too fast, I didn't feel too bad.  I tried to pull myself back a little, but still hit the first mile under what I should have.  The timer yelled out 8:01 and I realized I might be in trouble.  But then again, as coach said, from here it's *only* two miles.  Two little miles. 

The second mile felt a little harder, and I was struggling a bit, especially up the small hill that lasted a few blocks.  I was pretty sure I remembered the last mile being downhill into the finish though, so I just tried to push up the hill and through as much as I could.  When I hit the mile 2 marker, it was confirmed by the timekeeper that I was definitely a bit off pace, as I heard something in the 16:30's.  Just after that I hit the start of the downhill.  I worked on moving my feet faster, pushing my legs a little more.  Just one more mile to hang on.  My super-"A" goal was to finish with a sub 8:00/mile average.  I was pretty sure I wasn't going to hit that today, but just kept pushing toward the finish line.  I saw Jeff on the bridge over the path just as a woman I'd been 'targeting' and passed earlier in the race re-passed me.  Are you kidding me?!?!  I tried to get a quick feel for how hard she was pushing and told myself to not go for it too far from the finish line.  Down the tiny little underpass and back up.  I could see the finish line. Now, go for it.  I pushed a little more, and a little more, and managed to pass her again about 100 yards before the finish line.  "Good job" she said as I went by.  "You too" I huffed. 

The sun seemed to be shining right on the finish clock, so I couldn't see my time, but looked down at my Garmin to see 25:11.  Yes!  So even though I didn't quite hit my "A" goal, I was really happy with the run and how I felt doing it.  It's really nice, and exciting, to see the hard work paying off.  I never would have imagined that I'd be targeting a sub 8:00/mile pace for a 5k.  And now......I have a pretty good feeling that I could hit that sometime soon.  Hmmm...any good 5ks coming up?!? :)


Official results are up:

25:10 which is more than a 2 min PR! Wheeeee!

Friday, March 12, 2010


After last week's blah-ness, I am happy to report that this week the workouts have come a little easier.  There hasn't been nearly as much, if any, coercion required to get my butt moving.  And the bike and run seem to be coming along nicely.  Both will be 'tested' in the next week.  A 5k run on Sunday to see how fleet my feet may be.  And a bike test next week to see how fast my wheels can spin.

The swim.....ah, the swim.  While I haven't had a problem getting to the swim workouts, or keeping myself there, I am still quite frustrated.  There's an additional component to the frustration however.  All these shoulder problems I've been having, I *think*, are affecting my swim.  Or my swim is having an effect on my shoulder.  I'm not sure seems to be a chicken and egg kind of thing.  Is my swim form "bad" and therefore causing shoulder issues?  Or do my shoulder issues cause a hitch in my swim?  Most likely it's a feedback loop.  There are issues with the shoulder joint, which in turn affect my swim stroke, which in turn affects the shoulder.  *sigh*  Google has only served to confirm what the PT is already working on....shoulder impingement.  Slouched posture when sitting + hyper-mobile shoulder joint + underdeveloped lat strength compared to pec strength =  bad news for shoulder socket.  So I continue to work on strengthening the rotator cuff, sitting up straight, etc.  The tingling down the arm is much improved, but obviously still a ways to go.  So, yeah, frustrating.

But it's FRIDAY, and so we shall eat, drink, and be merry...oh, well, maybe I'll save the drinking for after the 5k.  That would be a fitting finish to a St. Patty's race, no?  Happy weekend!

Monday, March 08, 2010

At least it ended well

Last week was an off week.  No, not a rest week.  It was week where pretty much everything seemed 'off.' A bad case of the blahs.

Run....blah.  Bike....blah.   Swim.....triple blah.  At least once I got moving the run and the bike were ok.  But I had serious bad swim attitude last week.  It was a struggle to get my arse into the pool and a struggle to keep it there for an entire work out.  Yes, I managed, but it was not pretty.

Somehow I made it to the weekend and the last workout of the week.  I had asked Coach for a trainer workout because the (lame, stupid, incompetent) weatherman had been predicting rain for the weekend.  Saturday dawned, while maybe not sunny, at least it wasn't raining.  So instead of hopping on the trainer,  T and I packed up our bikes and headed to Sunnyvale to ride.  We started out at Sports Basement, where they were having tri-fest later in the day, and where I was due to be dunked at 2:00.  We left ourselves plenty of time to get our ride in and get back for some shopping.  Or so we thought.  Stupid mapmyride anyway.  We were following the route sheet pretty well when we pulled up behind a couple of guys on bikes at a stop light.  T and I were talking about the route and one of the guys starts asking us where we're riding, are we with a group, yada yada.  Before we know it he says something like, "We can show you that route", and basically escorted us through the first half of the ride.  Of course, these guys looked like they were barely pedaling while I'm back there pushing my legs to spin, spin, spin.  At one point, T tells the guy that we don't want to hold them up, or mess up their ride.  His response.....he's recovering from the flu so no worries.  Great, I can't even keep up with a guy with the flu!  Oy.  Anyway, we get to the point where we should have been heading back towards the car, but *somehow* we were quite far from the car.  We decide we need to take the most direct route back, and between the guy's directions and my iPhone we do eventually make it back.  But not before spending a considerable amount of time riding on a 3 lane (in each direction) road with no bike lane.  Exciting, no?  Nothing like a few near death experiences to get the pulse racing.  Okay, so there wasn't anything *that* dramatic, but I definitely wanted off that road.  We eventually made it back with about 20 minutes to spare.  Did a little tri-festing and made sure to enter the raffle.  I hope we win something good.

I presto-chango'd into my swim suit at the dunk van and hopped into the tub.  For those not familiar with this form of fat test, you're basically laying in a tub of warm water.  The tub has a scale suspended over it, with a rack you rest your feet and hands on.  As you blow out *all* the air in your lungs, and you have to get it *all* out for an accurate test, you sink into the water held up only by the scale. The more fat, the more you float.  So sinking is least in this case.  My last test was in May 2009, and after all the measurements were complete my stats were:  down 8.6 pounds (6.3# of fat, 2.3# of lean mass), and body fat is down 3.6%.  While I'm not thrilled with losing that much lean mass, I was told it's pretty difficult to lose that amount of weight without losing at least some lean.  At least it was mostly fat loss, so all in all *great* results. Or "excellent" according to the range of body fat for my age.  Why, yes, I am quite pleased with myself, thankyouverymuch.

After the dunk test (and a bit of shopping), it was home to shower up, get my 'volunteer hat' on and head into the city.  Jeff and I were volunteering at Camp Okizu's Art Inspires Hope again this year. While it seemed like turnout was a bit lower this year, and there wasn't a big name entertainer, it was still a great night for a great cause.  It always amazes me how generous some of the attendees are. Yes, I'm sure they can afford it, but it's still heart warming.

Sunday was rest day (thankyouthankyou) and I decided to try out a new cupcake recipe.  Dark chocolate cupcake with Irish cream filling and a vanilla buttercream frosting.  Due to an impatient chef, the frosting didn't set up properly and I ended up turning it into a glaze.  And I overfilled the cupcakes and the tops were too heavy.  So, it needs a little refinement before it makes a general public debut, but I've promised some work folks that I'll have a rematch and make some that are suitable for viewing.

I did pawn a couple off on T, and one on our trainer, since even if not pretty they still taste good.   Yes, I brought cupcakes to the gym this morning.  What?  Is there something wrong with that?  What's even funnier is that T brought the trainer a cookie today too. Funnier still is the threat the trainer hurled at us as we were walking out today, "You better bring me another cupcake and another cookie next week or else you're doing more push ups."   We've decided we should oblige her and fatten her up.  The plot is hatched.