Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Week in review March 16-22: Anything is better than nothing

The basics were there, at least.
Ugh — I’m behind the eight ball, again. I got “volunteered” into a big project at work and while I was flattered to be recruited, there is a LOT more to do. However, this work is short-term and soon I can start doing things like leaving at a decent hour once again.

Anyway. Since I didn’t do jack squat for training the week before, when I was on a mini-vacation, I was happy to get ANYTHING in my log this past week. It shakes down to a couple of runs and the bare minimum of swim and bike, although one of those rides was an enjoyable (although slow) outdoor ride in the sun and warm weather.

Swim: Once in the pool for 2400 meters in a bit longer than an hour. I just Googled “slowest sea animal” and learned that the dwarf seahorse swims at about 0.01 miles per hour. I am feeling like a dwarf seahorse in the pool lately.

Bike: Once on the trainer for 1:15 and once on the road for a leisurely but sunny ride of 36.5 miles in about 2:26, for a total of 3 hours, 40 minutes in the saddle this week. I just Googled “slowest land animal” and learned that the sloth moves at 0.003 miles per hour, which is slow enough for algae to grow on them. I passed one or two people at the park so maybe that makes me a garden snail instead of a sloth.

Run: It actually wasn’t a terrible week running-wise. I logged 15.5 miles in about 2:36, which includes one short and slow run with my husband and crazy dog (although if she were to have her way we’d win the Olympic marathon together), a decent although drinking fountain-free run mid-week, and a comfortable long-ish run at a perfect 10:00 minute per mile pace on Saturday.

15.5 miles is my highest non-marathon weekly mileage since mid-September, 7.25 miles is my longest non-marathon run since mid-September, and I am successfully holding at three runs per week with no knee or IT band pain. Slow forward progress is still forward progress and I’m happy to be out running again.

Total: 6 sessions in about 7:21.

Not bad, not great, but good to be back in a routine again.

Friday, May 20, 2016

The drinking fountain that wasn't

No drink for you!
Now that I'm running decent mileage again, I'm getting back in the habit of taking my running clothes with me to work and running on the way home from the office. I've been doing 5 miles a couple times during the week, max, as I build my stamina and speed back up.

I headed out the other day and as I was coming up to the 2.5 mile mark, where I would have turned around, it was warm enough that I could have used a quick drink. I decided to do 3, take a drink at the water fountain there, and head back.

When I got there, there was a metal knob on the building where the fountain used to be. NOOOOOOOOO! Sadly, I turned around and headed back to the car, without a drink.

The good news was I had a full water bottle waiting for me in the car. And I had done a good 6 miles without any problems. I'm getting there.

But as it gets warmer, I should get back in the habit of bringing a water bottle with me... or get on the Parks and Rec department's case to fix the fountain!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Week in review May 9-15: Tales of a Mediocre Multisport Nothing

Empty training log pages.
Well, it finally happened. I had a week during which I did no triathlon training.

Zero. Nada. Zilch. (And it was most of the reason I've been MIA here... it's a little embarrassing.)

I had a good reason – I was in Toronto for the majority of the week – and even then I wasn’t a TOTAL slug. According to Gmaps Pedometer, we walked at least 25 miles around the downtown area over four days. (Don’t worry, we ate it all back in lattes, baked goods and ice cream.) But walking isn’t tri training so I can’t really count that.

Total: Nothing

I had big plans to train before and after our mini vacation but it just didn’t happen. Monday evening I got caught up in side business stuff, Tuesday and Saturday evenings we transported the mutts to and from my parents’, and Sunday was more side business stuff and visiting with a friend in town. It was the absolute worst weekend for a visitor, but I really wanted to see her so I made it work. It’s a first-world problem to have to skip training and meal prepping for the week to get brunch with a friend, after all.

Another reason for skipping training is that I’m almost certainly going to be out of town (again) for my usual first race of the season, the sprint or Olympic version of which I’ve done every year for the past four. Without that race day breathing down my neck I’m less inclined to get on the bike or in the pool, so I’ve been taking advantage of the nice weather with a run whenever I can.

In fact, I haven’t officially scheduled anything for the summer yet. Part of me is like, “Meh, who cares if you don’t do anything this summer anyway.” Part of me is like, “OMG, you’re going to lose all your triathlon fitness.” Then that first part of me is like, “You never had any triathlon fitness to begin with, LOL.”

So right now I’m going to play it by ear. It’s supposed to be nice again this weekend so I see a bike ride in my future. If I can start getting in some consistent training, maybe I’ll race. If I can’t, maybe I’ll do a few fun 5Ks. If I can’t, well, maybe I’ll just eat ice cream on vacation for the rest of my life.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Week in review May 2-8 (finally): Just happy to be done


This last week was crazypants and honestly, I'm not sad to see it behind me. I'm on a mini-vacation right now to Canada and this time on the train is the only time I've had to myself to catch up on writing, personal reading, posting, etc.

The good news in reviewing this week is that I thought I would have to work a few evenings, but my boss ended up calling me off and I went for runs instead. I did have to work alllllllllll day Saturday, and although I should have gone for a nice ride on Sunday, I went for another short run instead. My knee and IT band were a little sore from the day before, and I knew I would be less mad if I had to walk 2 miles home rather than bail on a ride I had driven an hour to get to.

Another piece of good news was that this was the best running week I've had in a while. I've successfully built up to three runs per week with no IT band pain. Hooray! Plus, 14.25 miles is my biggest weekly total in months. Hooray again! It's small potatoes compared to where I was a year ago, but a few months ago I couldn't run at all, so I'm very pleased with my progress.

Here's last week by the numbers:

Swim: Twice, both in the pool, for 1800 meters + 1750 yards in a bit less than 1.5 hours. This included having to get out of the pool early one night due to a no-show lifeguard, and trying out a new-to-me pool another night. Otherwise, nothing remarkable.

Bike: Only once, on the trainer, for 1.25 hours. I prioritized running during the week to take advantage of the nice-weather days and never did get away for a longer road ride.

Run: THREE times, all on the road, for 14.25 miles in about 2 hours, 20 minutes. Two of these were a bit speedy for where I'm at right now, with a few "hills" (aka southeastern Michigan hills aka bumps) thrown in, and they both felt good. The last was an easy shakeout on legs tired from being on my feet on concrete the entire day before. My IT band was a bit tender but I took it nice and easy, and didn't aggravate it further.

Weights: I managed to get through my entire heavy/bodyweight lifting routine in two sessions, after both of my weekday runs, in about an hour. All of my squat muscles were sore for days afterward, so I obviously needed it.

Total: 8 sessions in just longer than 6 hours.

I'll be surprised if I get in any good training this week, but that's OK — it's a vacation. I'll be home by Saturday night so the most I might squeeze in is a run and some yoga Sunday. Hopefully, with work settled down a bit I can get into a better training groove and start hitting some good numbers soon.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

A new pool and I ain't a spring chicken anymore

Cool pool.
I finally worked my schedule so I could swim after work Friday in the indoor pool of a club I'm a member of. It doesn't have swim team on Fridays so I headed over right after work, fought traffic, and got in a mile before it closed. It has a dedicated parking lot so I didn't have to stalk people leaving their metered parking and pay an additional $2. Yay!

You'd think that once you get in the water, all pools are the same, but they're really not. This was a pretty warm yard pool, so that took a few laps to get used to. I haven't swum yards since August! And it has beautiful tile, which is nice to look at, but there isn't a marker at the end of the lane telling you to turn or risk bashing your head. So that took a bit of adjustment. I also realized on a breath that there's a walking track above the pool. Surprise! People are watching you!

Still, it was a good way to kick off the weekend. We'll definitely do it again. Plus, we had dinner at the club, so no cooking for me. Yay again!

Yesterday (Saturday) was probably the biggest work event of the year. I got to the site at about 9:30 and didn't leave til 5:30. Which isn't a big deal until you consider that 1. I still worked Monday-Friday for 8+ hours and 2. This was standing on concrete all day in dress shoes. The event itself was a lot of fun but I was completely beat by the end of it.

But my day wasn't over. The site was by a mall so I figured I'd pop in and get a gift for my mom. Traffic sucked, and the line to get in to the store was about 20 minutes. After picking out the gift, I waited for another 30 minutes for my turn to check out. I waited to buy this stupid thing for almost an hour. And then my mom texts to cancel our Mother's Day plans. If it weren't Mother's Day and I hadn't waited for almost an hour I would have returned the stupid thing on principle! (I kid, I kid.)

But my day STILL wasn't over. A group of us were celebrating our friend's birthday and he wanted to go out. So I put on nice clothes and uncomfortable shoes, and actually did have a good time going to a few different clubs and dancing. But at about 1 a.m. I started falling asleep on my feet. We called an Uber and got out of there.

Today, everything hurts from the knees down. I'm not sure if I'll do anything today — I really wanted to go for an outdoor ride or at least a run — but I may just sit on my butt. We'll see.

Happy Mother's Day to my mom friends out there!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

April in review: Boringly, not a whole lot different than March

Hours trained this month in swim, bike and run.
I guess it’s a good thing that not much excitement happened in April. I had family in town a couple times, which got in the way of my training, but other than that it was a nice, boring month of fitting in training around work, sleep and special events.

One (of my many) knuckle-rapping-worthy thing was blowing off the pool for the last week of the month, but with me planning on skipping my usual early-season race I just couldn’t make myself get there. Sorry! I did appreciate the break, however.

Anyway, the month’s training consisted of:
Swim mileage totals by month so far this season.
Swim: 6 times, all in the pool, for a total of 16,400 meters (about 10.25 miles, how Daily Mile tracks) in a bit longer than 7 hours. I feel like literally nothing special happened in the pool all month. Just meters back and forth, back and forth. Logically, I know I need to get in the pool more than 1-2 times per week to get better, but I really struggle to find the time between other training and work, so this might be where it’s at for a while. (I managed 7 times in March.)

Bike: 10 times, 9 on the trainer and once on the road for 35 miles, for a total of about 16.25 hours. My road ride was still frustratingly slow but, like swimming, I struggle to find additional time in my day. This was the same number of sessions as March, but more overall time, so Yay! Minor victory.

Run totals by month for the past year...
And run totals by week for April.















Run: 7 times, 6 on the road and 1 on the treadmill, for a total of 31 miles in just longer than 5 hours. I have minimal to no IT band pain (knock wood) and my distance is starting to come back to me, even if my speed isn’t quite there yet. This total is 1.5 miles more than March but only 2 more minutes in the same number of sessions, so Yay! Another minor victory.

Yoga: 4 sessions for about an hour. Not great, but a bit more than last month.

Weights: 9 sessions, mostly broken-up body weight moves (I had a lot of 10-minute sessions this month) over about 3.5 hours. I didn’t lift any weights in March so this was a huge improvement. I think breaking up my routine into more manageable chunks is the way to go at this point in my life. Yay!

Pre-hab: 3 sessions over about 1.5 hours. Not great, but I didn’t do any pre-hab in March, either, so a minor improvement.

I’m not where I want to be, but I am making small gains. I guess I just keep making those small gains until I AM where I want to be. It may take a while, but I’ll get there... hopefully before I die.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The April time trial that wasn’t

Not conducive to swim training.
I blew off swimming last week and couldn’t get to the pool again until last night for a belated April 1000-meter time trial. Since swimming has been difficult at best lately and I didn’t swim at all last week, I wasn’t expecting big things. Or even medium things, to be honest.

First off, I had to share a lane – blech – and since I needed to get in and get moving I couldn’t do my pathetic “get wet inch by inch until you are used to the cold water” routine. (I’m always fine after the first lap, but that water is always a shock to me.) I was a bit nervous when I got short of breath right away but was fine after a few slow exhales and some warming up.

I did all my drills and a peppy 200 before kicking off my 1000. I saw an 11:something at the 500 mark and knew I wasn’t going to be close to a PR, but that wasn’t a surprise. On the next lap I saw the lifeguard hanging out at the shallow end. On the next one he flagged me down.

I fished out my ear plug. “I’m sorry, but we have to close down the pool early,” he said. “The 9 p.m. lifeguard didn’t show up.” Ugh. “What time is it?” I asked, looking at my watch. It was 9:01.

I got out. Time trial over.

I’m kind of embarrassed to write down my pace, but my average ended up at a 2:18/100 meters… a far cry from the 2:05/100 meters, and a PR, that I managed at the end of March. I still have a LOOOONG way to go. And having breathing problems and blowing off swims sure isn’t helping.