Thursday, June 30, 2016

June’s 1000-meter time trial: Slow and steady doesn’t win any races

Not great, not my worst.
Last night I did the first 1000-meter time trial I’ve done in a while. April’s got cut short when the next shift lifeguard didn’t show up, and was out of town for much of May and didn’t want to depress myself.

I hit my watch in 22:50, a 2:17/100 meter pace, which is about what I was expecting to see. It’s almost two full minutes slower than March, the last time I was getting decent swimming meter-age in. But it’s not my worst time, and it’s still faster than what I was doing this time last year.

I wanted to be sure to do this time trial before my open-water mile on Sunday for a few reasons: 1. To make sure I had it in me, 2. To see where I stood pace-wise and 3. To make sure I wasn’t setting myself up for another hyperventilating fit. For S’s and G’s, I calculated my pace at last year’s open-water mile based on my (PR) time of 36:41 and got…

2:17/100 meters. So I am swimming at exactly the pace I need to be to match last year’s time.

Of course, I’d love a PR, but I’m not going to risk overdoing it. Plus, I really do want to have fun. And, according to my Garmin, I swam 0.99 miles across the lake Sunday in 35:19, so maybe I’m not too far off.

We’ll see on Sunday. In the meantime, I’m heading out to run an odd mileage to make an even number for the month. Triathlete problems.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The road to the pool is paved with good intentions

Hell is actually a place in Michigan and I've been there several times.
I had every intention of swimming after work today.

But, halfway to work I realized I forgot my swim bag at home. Blah.

I figured I would just pop home and grab it. I called the pool before I left the office since it was cool and overcast, and learned that there was a swim meet happening. Blah.

Then I figured I would go to the downtown pool. But there's a ballgame going on and I'd have to deal with traffic. Blah.

I wasn't feeling great, so I laid down for a few minutes. Next thing I know, I'm waking up and it's dinner time. Blah.

I'm still not feeling great so it's going to be a lazy evening of re-watching the season finale of Game of Thrones and eating chocolate ice cream. Blah.

I'd run, but I ran last night and I don't want to overdo my just-getting-back-to-normal IT band. Blah.

I can't win them all, I guess.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Week in review June 20-26: Strong start, blah middle, strong finish

Not a bad split between swim, bike and run.
So, I may have played hooky mid-week with a Tigers game, a haircut and going out to dinner with friends, but last week started and ended with solid (for me) workouts, so I’m happy.

It was hot again over the weekend (it got into the low 90s yesterday) and I managed a ride after my Saturday morning errands in the beating-down sun. I went through a bottle each of Gatorade and water over the 2.25-ish hours and chugged a bottle of ice water when I got back to the car, and it still took me a while to get fully rehydrated.

The only way I could make a run and a lake swim work yesterday was to do my run bright and early, and while it wasn’t HOT hot yet, it was something like 85% humidity. Gross! I stopped to drink every 2.5 miles (and wipe sweat off… everywhere) and chugged a bottle of Powerade when I got back to the house, but again, it still took me a while to get fully rehydrated. I didn’t FEEL thirsty while I was out there, and while I know that’s not a good indicator of dehydration, I didn’t feel like I should be stopping to drink more often. Maybe for my next hot run I will drink every 1.5 miles and see if that helps.

Anyway, by the numbers it was:

Swim: Three times, twice in the pool and once in the lake, for about 7150 meters in just longer than 3 hours. It was kind of a letdown of a week as far as swims go: My first pool swim of the week was sluggish, and I think that was because my arms and shoulders were still sore from an upper-body workout the day before.

During my second pool swim of the week, I was zipping through my fast (“fast”) 100-meter repeats and feeling awesome, but started hyperventilating again on the second-to-last one. Not going to lie, this is making me a bit nervous. BUT, I could feel my breathing getting more ragged and I still (stupidly) chose not to take a break, plus it was outside with all the allergens, so I’m not sure it’s anything to worry about quite yet.

My lake swim went great, considering – I managed a straighter-than-last-week shot across the lake, and didn’t have any panic attacks. Also, someone on the beach I started from was wearing a bright green shirt. Ha! Although it was already really hot, it wasn’t very sunny, so the crowds weren’t too bad.

Bike: Once on the trainer for 55 minutes (I don’t remember if I was short on time or what) and one road ride for 37 miles in about 2:15. My road ride was another hot and windy day but it was good to get out in the fresh air. I wanted to do an even 40 but I got out a few minutes later than I would have liked – story of my life – and I just don’t like to bike on the road after it opens back up to traffic.

Run: I only made it out twice this week, for one early-morning weekday run of 3 miles and one early-morning Sunday run of 10 miles, which took me a bit longer than 2 hours total. I know I need to run more than twice per week, but it was tough this time around with everything going on.

This is the first double-digit run I have done in a LONG time, since my October marathon; not counting the marathon it’s my first double-digit run since mid-September. I was too in the zone and ready to finish to really appreciate this yesterday, but I’ve come a long way from having to bail on long runs due to my SI joint and IT bands being out of whack. I know I need to be and stay better about doing my pre-hab so it doesn’t happen again, but I think just not running as much is helping a LOT. 15-20 mile per week is a lot easier on the body than 40-50. And while I may not be as fast, at least I am out there.

Weights: One round of upper body lifting: Pullups, pushups, shoulder presses, etc., in about 40 minutes. I had high hopes to do lower body later in the week but that didn’t happen.

I also usually do some stretching during Game of Thrones but this week’s season finale needed my full attention, obviously.

Total: Eight sessions in just shorter than 9 hours. Not too bad.

In other news: I did finally register for a race, the open-water mile and run-swim-run Aquathlon I have done for the last few years. After my minor panic attack in the lake last weekend I made it a point to get back out there yesterday, so I am feeling a lot better about the race. My PR is 36:41 and I don’t expect to beat it this time around. I really just want to have fun at my first race of the season.

Plus: It’s a long weekend coming up, and I might take a few extra days off, so I have that to look forward to. I’m sure among all my barbecuing and fireworks-watching, I can fit in a few extra runs or swims.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Mid-week check-in: Playing hooky

I haven’t been doing great for workouts so far this week. I’ve had a bunch of things scheduled or spontaneously occur during the evenings that have put a damper on my training.

Monday and Tuesday were actually good days. I got on the trainer for a while and lifted some upper-body weights Monday, and Tuesday I got in the pool. My swim wasn’t great, and I’m blaming pull-ups the day before for making my arms sore. But it was still a nice evening and an enjoyable swim.

It was a nice night and we ended up winning.
Wednesday I knew my cousin and uncle would be in town for her student orientation (the same cousin and uncle that have been here a few times earlier this year), and they wanted to go to a Tigers game afterward. I knew I wouldn’t get to run in the evening so I got myself out of bed at 5 a.m. for a nice sunrise run. I haven’t done one of those in a while, and I enjoyed the stillness and birds chirping. I also knew we would be out late Wednesday (it was an evening game) so I didn’t plan on anything Thursday morning.

Cinnamon roasted almonds are my ballpark treat.
Yesterday, Thursday, I got to leave work a few hours early so I got a much-needed haircut. I was so tired I was dozing off during my blowout – I am trying to go a bit easier on my late-morning coffee and I skipped yesterday – and I actually took a 20-30 minute nap with the mutts when I got home. I was debating going for a swim or getting on the trainer and ruining my salon hair, when my husband called to say friends wanted to go out for Mexican food. The service sucked and we were there way longer than we wanted, so I only had time to prep today’s lunch and pack tonight’s swim bag before bed, and even then I was pushing it with a late bedtime.

The beans and bacon were good, but not worth the wait.
But I was determined to make it work on less-than-ideal sleep: I had my alarm set for 5 a.m. to get up and run again before work. But but, I started waking up every 5-10 minutes at about 4 a.m., and I was still exhausted, so I resigned myself to the fact that a morning run wasn’t happening and re-set my alarm for later. I kept waking up to birds chirping and cars driving by, and I remember lying in bed and thinking, Why are the birds so loud? When I finally got out of bed I saw my husband had left a living room window open, hence the loud birds. But when he got up I found out he’d opened the window because he’d felt sick, so I couldn’t even be mad at him.

Looking back, I think it was hilarious that I was SO ANNOYED with the loud birds this morning, when I had just enjoyed their chirping on a sunrise run the other day. I guess it makes sense to my tired mind that birds can only chirp when I am already awake.

I do have plans for the weekend but I think I can squeeze in a few quality workouts. I have my swim bag packed and ready to go for tonight, and I want to hit the lake again this weekend. I want to ride my bike again tomorrow, but that’s not my top priority. And I’m going to try, REALLY try, to get up early either tomorrow or Sunday for a long run. “Early” on the weekends isn’t as “early” as during the week so I know I can do it, as long as I can get to bed at a decent hour.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Week in review June 13-19: Lots of swimming and lots of heat

Swim, swim, swim.
Last week was a good one overall. I did more swimming than I have in a week all season, and all of it was outdoors. I only got on my bike once, but I ran and even did a weights video, which had been collecting dust.

I did take one evening off to go faucet shopping with my husband. The romance! We made it a date night with a stop for sushi and I was way too full, and it was way too late, to do any training. No regrets; I’ve never met a spicy tuna roll I didn’t like.

Broken down by sport, it was:

Swim: Three times, twice in my beloved outdoor pool and once in the lake for my first OWS of the season, for about 8,050 meters in about 3 hours, 20 minutes. I was embarrassed by the youth swim team lapping me repeatedly early in the week, but when I did the same workout later in the week I was able to take my average on “fast” repeats down by a second, so that was good to see.

My lake swim went… interestingly. It was a hot day and the water felt wonderfully cool. I always do lake swims with a cheapo version of a swim safety device, basically a pool noodle I attach to my race belt with a shoelace, which I tow behind me. Well, about 100 meters in I was getting very small waves in my face, and I started getting intimidated by how far away the beach was, and that led to a minor panic attack. I grabbed my noodle to rest for a minute and get my breathing under control, and after that I was fine – I made it across the lake and back with no problems. (I mean, I’m slow and can’t swim in a straight line without a black stripe to guide me, but no other problems.) I had the beginnings of a few more freak outs, but I would touch my noodle with my foot, and I was able to calm down again knowing it was there.

This isn’t out of the ordinary for me. I usually have at least a minor panic attack during the first OWS of the season, and maybe the beginning of the first race of the season, too. My routine is a little off since I didn’t do my usual May race, and because I didn’t Sunday, and probably won’t at the upcoming race, wear a wetsuit. I wasn’t making another OWS pre-race a priority, but now I think I will do some schedule shuffling to make sure I get in at least one more lake swim just for peace of mind.

Bike: Once, on the road, for 40 miles in a bit less than 2.5 hours. For once in my life, I was out the door at a decent hour and was able to do a full three laps of the closed-off stretch of road. My 5-mile splits were amazingly consistent, with only 46 seconds between the fastest and the slowest. It was hot and sunny, but I was well-hydrated and well-sunscreened. By all accounts it was a good ride.

I did de-prioritize trainer rides this week knowing that my next race is likely going to be swim-run only.

Run: I only made it out twice this week, for one easy-ish run after work and one LSD Sunday morning, for a total of 14 miles in about 2.25 hours. My shorter run was warmer than anticipated but I still held a decent pace. I did take drink breaks every 2.25 miles of my long run and I was dripping, literally dripping, with sweat by the first break, so there was no doubt they were necessary. Overall it was fine, and I am still successfully continuing to build my long runs one mile at a time. Hooray!

Right now I’m hovering at goal marathon pace +0:45, not counting drink breaks. BUT, I haven’t gotten to the point of fast finishes or GMP repeats or anything like that. I’d like to feel the effort come down a bit first before I start doing any marathon-specific pace training. When I get to 10-12 miles and am still feeling OK, I’ll reassess.

Weights: It was a gloomy day Thursday and I had to work later than I would have liked so I did a Jillian Michaels weights video for 55 minutes. Nothing spectacular except to reinforce how weak I am and how bad at pushups I am.

Total: 7 sessions in just under 9 hours.

Swim, swim, bike, run, swim, repeat. It wasn't a bad week and I hope to build on this to have an even better week next week.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

This season’s loose “race calendar”

Training plan.
I can safely say that I won’t be doing a 70.3 distance triathlon this year. Unless the heavens open and unlimited training time and a perfectly healthy body come floating down to me, I’m going to stick to the shorter stuff.

I haven’t signed up for anything yet because I am paranoid and don’t want to jinx myself and/or waste any money. But my loose “race plan” this year is to do the open water mile and Aquathon I do every year over Independence Day weekend (2015, 2014), and do a couple of sprints or Olympics in August and September. It’s nothing too stressful, but enough to motivate me to get out there and train.

I half-considered doing a triathlon last weekend, but I haven’t even done an open water swim yet this season, and as it turns out I ended up volunteering at one, which was way more fun. I’m swimming at least a mile at a time in the pool, so I know I can do an Olympic swim distance, even if my speed is down the drain (ba dum tsss).

My ultimate goal for my annual open water mile is to get out of the water before a friend of mine who also does this race every year. Ha! My speed lately suggests this would not be possible this time around, sadly. However, we may have to make a friendly wager on the run-swim-run Aquathon, since I could probably beat him on the run parts.

I’ve only been cycling in the 35-mile range lately and, honestly, I’m not missing the longer days and 50-mile rides. 2 to 2.5 hours seems like the perfect range to make it worth getting all my stuff together for a ride, yet not having to dedicate an entire day to one. Plus, I can really only ride long on the weekends, and weekends are for sleeping in, so that limits my time in the saddle to late morning, early afternoon.

As far as running, I have no doubt I can finish a 10K as my “long” runs have been in the 7-8 mile range. But, the question remains to how fast I can go. I’ve had a few fast-for-me-coming-back-from-injury runs, but I’d still like to get those average paces down. Do I want to struggle through a 10K or push through a 5K, which will be over more quickly? Decisions, decisions.

I haven’t ruled out a fall marathon, but I’m going to leave that ball in the air for now. I’m OK with a “wait and see” approach, and I want to get some double-digit miles in my legs – pain-free, preferably – before I make any decisions about training or racing. I’d rather skip a fall marathon if it means I can do the Gasparilla Distance Classic – a 5K, 8K, 15K and half-marathon over two days – in Florida in February. The challenge would be just different enough to shake things up a bit, but it’s still a big goal that would require me to stick to a training plan.

I don’t want to waste all the time I’ve been putting in swimming, biking, and running, so I want to do SOMETHING with my summer. But hey, if I don’t get to do 15 races, and instead only do a few quality events, that’s OK with me too. I mean, even last year I only started four and finished three races, so it’s not like I have been in the habit of racing every weekend anyway.

I want to have fun, keep my legs in check, and stay in shape. If I can collect a bunch of medals doing that – bonus!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Week in review June 6-12: A double dose of the basics

Nothing spectacular.
Whew! Sorry I’m late. I’ve had a busy few days of running errands, prepping food for the week, and, if we’re being honest, catching up on the last few episodes of Silicon Valley.

Last week was a “Just the facts, ma’am” kind of week. I ended up taking two days completely off training, but managed to get in two each of swim, bike and run.

My parents were out of town last week and we dog-sat their Shih Tzu, so I lost an evening to dog shuttling and going out to dinner as a pre-emptive “thank you” from them, as is our routine when we are dog-sitting for each other. On the other dog shuttling night, I talked them into a later dinner so I could get in a swim first. No shame!

I did double up one day and could only fit in a very quick, very late run another day, but I made it work. I spent most of the day Sunday volunteering for a triathlon and while I was too tired to do my own swim and/or run afterward, I don’t regret the great experience.

It broke down to:

Swim: Twice, both in the pool, for 6400 meters total in about 2.75 hours. I am definitely feeling the effects of blowing off my swim for most of May, but I am back in the water and trying to get the work done.

Bike: Twice, one quick ride on the trainer and one 32.75-mile ride on the road, for a total of about 2.75 hours in the saddle. I actually spend only 50 more seconds in the saddle than I did in the pool. Since my next race is (likely) going to be swim/run, I de-prioritized the bike.

Run: Twice, both on the road, for 7 miles in just longer than an hour. This included a “gr8” run after work and a quick 2-miler with my dog at the end of a long day.

Total: Six sessions in about 6 hours, 39 minutes.

So, it was nothing spectacular, and there was nothing to supplement swim-bike-run, but the essentials were there. Like every other week of my life, I wish I had more hours in the day, but I made the most of what I had. And I had some enjoyable workouts, which makes it at least a partial success.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

A whole weekend outside

It was a great weekend. Not only did I get in some decent training, but I volunteered at a triathlon for the first time.

Friday night I headed to my outdoor 25 meter pool after work and got in a great 3200 meters before dinner with my parents. Although I was slow, I still enjoyed laps in the beautiful night.
Not a shabby way to start the weekend.
Saturday I got in another outdoor ride on the road closed to traffic. Since I'm incapable of getting out the door at a decent hour I only had about 2 hours to ride, but I made it work. The wind was ridiculous and my headwind laps were depressingly slow, but the tailwind laps were enjoyable.
Who names these things?
Today I was up at 4:30 a.m. to volunteer at what was my first triathlon five years ago. I knew it was going to be a long day but I was excited for it. My first official duty was passing out timing chips. We had a few hiccups with people accidentally grabbing the wrong number, but everyone was reassigned and the missing chips eventually turned up.

I've done this race a total of three times, which was useful when newbies asked me questions: Body marking is at the water. You don't have to wear your number on the bike. Yes I have extra safety pins. I loved talking to the people who were about to do their first tri -- there was a bit of nervousness but a lot of excitement.

After the race actually started, my next duty was to direct bike traffic. I got very good at yelling at the top of my lungs, "LAP TO THE RIGHT, FINISH TO THE LEFT." Bikers were out on the course for several hours overall, so my throat was pretty sore by the end. But it was awesome to see everyone working hard -- from the cyclists at the pointy end to the last woman who slugged it out.

By the time the bike course wrapped up it was time to start breaking down. I spent the next few hours taking down bike racks and run-in arches, and helping load up the trailer. I hung around until 2 p.m. and called it a day. I had been on my feet for 8.5 hours and while it was a great time, I was beat. My only bummer was that it was too late and I was too tired to do my own swim and run. Actually, two bummers: I got sunburned in a couple of odd places, like the tops of my feet.

Ah, the weekends are always too short, but at least I stayed busy and had a good time.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Running re-build check-in: Going the distance

187 miles last July was more than I could handle, but I'm slowly building back.
Building back my running from zero last fall, after I threw out my SI joint and had IT band inflammation in both legs at alternative times, has been a labor of love.

Yes, sometimes I am frustrated that I am “only” doing long runs of 7-8 miles when, at this time last year, I had a good base of a 10- to 12-mile long run several times a month; was about to start bumping mileage up for fall marathon training; and a run pace beginning with an 8 was a fast run, not a momentous occasion. But running 2-4 times a week is still pretty good. Running 5-8 miles at a time is still pretty good. Running anything under a 10-minute mile pace is still pretty good (for me).

Plus, I’m not gonna lie. Going out for “only” an hour run, without having to plan out the whole day to accommodate it, has been amazing.

I haven’t ruled out a fall marathon yet. I just sketched out a mileage plan, and if I continue to increase one mile at a time until a long run of 12, then increase by 2 miles every other week, I could actually get in three or four 20-milers before the Freep marathon in October. BUT, that depends on a lot of things, mainly how my body reacts to increasing mileage again.

I wouldn’t be opposed to bagging a fall marathon, or doing a half, and ramping up later for the Gasparilla Distance Classic in Florida in February. I’m overdue to visit my sister there. And what could be more fun than running a 15K and 5K one day, and a half marathon and 8K the next? It certainly would be a new challenge.

Right now, my attitude toward increasing distance is “Go slowly, and wait and see.” Boring? Yes. Smart? I hope so.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Tonight was a gr8 run.

I went out for an easy 5 after work today and I just felt ON. The air was cool, I was well fueled, my knee felt fine, and I was in a good headspace. When I hit my Garmin, I just took off.

The result was 5 miles at an average pace of 8:55, which is the fastest I've run since last summer, by a lot. I was so happy when I saw my final pace that I almost cried.
You get an 8, and you get an 8, and you get an 8.
Those miles included an 8:56, an 8:22 and an 8:52. The 8:22 gets an asterisk because I did have to stop for traffic halfway through. But the 8:56 and the 8:52 are mine, all mine.

I have been keeping an eye on my recent "fast" miles and I've had a few at 9:0something over the last few months. My run last Monday included a 9:02 and a 9:05, which also made me want to celebrate.

I still have a long way to go, but for the first time in a long time, I feel like I'm on my way. And moving a bit more quickly.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Week in review May 30-June 5: Back on track, kind of

About a third bike, a third run, and a third swim and other.
I got partially settled back into my routine last week. I didn’t do any traveling, and I had Monday off for Memorial Day. Instead of making it a long training day and trying to deal with biking around the nutso crowds at the state park, I did all my food prep and errand-running then.

I did play hooky one weeknight and slept in a bit later than I should have on Saturday, and I didn’t get in as much swimming and biking as I hoped I would. But overall, especially since my running was on point, I consider this week a mild success.

Swim: Once, in the pool, for about 1750 yards in WAY longer than it should have taken. This non-success wasn’t totally my fault. I drove to my favorite pool Monday morning right when the gym opened at 8 a.m. for the holiday, BUT found the pool closed! Nooooo! And I swam after my run Friday evening, BUT the pool by my office was so grossly warm I had to take a few breaks and do some kickboard sets just so I wouldn’t barf. Sigh. I guess I could have rearranged my schedule to fit in another swim, BUT… I didn’t.

Bike: Twice, once on the trainer for 1:15, and once on the road for 33.5 miles in a smidgen under 2 hours. I played hooky one usual trainer night to go out to dinner and enjoy a nice night outside with my husband. And I would have liked to go longer for my road ride, but morning distractions (sleeping in, making breakfast, hitting the farmers market) meant I clipped in and rolled out almost exactly two hours before the road opened again to traffic. So, two hours was what I did. It was neither my best nor worst average speed for that route, and I felt like I was working pretty hard most of my ride, so I’ll consider it a success.

Run: I am thrilled with my runs this week! After I drove to the pool to find it closed Monday, I headed right out for a run. That set me up for an every-other-day schedule, which means I ran FOUR times this week, all on the road, for a total of 23.25 miles in about 3.75 hours.

In the interest of total disclosure, I did feel a few twinges in my knee on Sunday. I think it was the result of a bike ride the day before and consistent running for the first time in a while. It wasn’t painful, and the discomfort went away after a quarter mile or so. But I will be keeping a watchful eye on it to make sure it doesn’t get worse than a twinge.

Weights: Once through my heavy/bodyweight routine in two sessions, for about 1 hour total.

Pre-hab: Hips and glutes in separate sessions, for about 1 hour total.

Yoga: One session stretching mostly hamstrings and hips for about 20 minutes.

Total: 12 sessions in about 10 hours, 10 minutes. Not too shabby!

I haven’t signed up for any races yet this season, but I want to do the open water mile and Aquathon I do every year over Independence Day weekend. If I want to have any success at that I need to start getting in the pool more than once a week. Hopefully, I can put closed and overheated pools behind me and get some laps in between now and race day.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

May in review: Craptastic swim, meh bike, good run

Well, May wasn't great. I didn't have any races on the calendar to motivate me, and I went out of town a couple times. As a result, I wasn't setting any training records.

I only got to the pool a few times, and I didn't ride my bike a whole lot. But I did have success with running. I built my mileage from April without any IT band pain, got a bit of speed in here and there, and overall enjoyed running outside in the warm weather.

Anyway, May shook out to be:
Swim totals by week and month.
Swim: Four times, all in the pool, for about 5 miles total (according to Daily Mile) in about 3.5 hours. This was two fewer times than last month and a lot fewer meters. Like the title says, craptastic. I DID try a new-to-me pool in there somewhere, so it's not all terrible.

Bike road mile totals by month.
Bike: Five times all month, four on the trainer and once on the road, for about 7.5 hours total. This was less than half of what I did for April. Ugh! However, I did get outside, so there's that.
Runs by week this month, and months this year.
Run: This is the only discipline I feel I had any success in this month. I built my total mileage to 40, my highest month since September, with minimal IT band pain. I still don't have any "speed" speed, but my average pace is starting to drop a little bit. Plus, I managed 6.5 hours of running all month, an increase of about an hour and a half. So, finally, Yay! A victory!

I also lifted weights twice, did yoga twice, and did pre-hab once. A big drop from April.

I know I was out of town twice, but I am still feeling pretty discouraged about these low numbers. To make myself feel better, I made of list of things I DID accomplish this month:

- I threw a mini-surprise party for my mom’s birthday

- I had a role in a successful special event at work

- I ate and danced with friends for a birthday

- My husband and I took a significant step forward in our side business

- I took a mini-vacation with my husband to celebrate our anniversary

- I took a road trip to spend the weekend with friends

- I swam in a new-to-me pool

- I rode my bike outside (and was grateful for the fresh air and beautiful day)

- I prepped healthy food to eat during the week and on our road trips

So, while I may not have made huge gains in swim, bike and run, I wasn't a total failure this month. I need to put this behind me and start working on making June great.

Friday, June 3, 2016

A new Friday double workout routine? Maybe.

I had a dilemma today. I try to swim on Fridays because my favorite pool is usually pretty empty. But I wanted to run, since I have been doing well running every other day and my legs are feeling good. Plus, I want to bike tomorrow, and there's a better chance I'll get out of the door at a decent hour if I'm not squeezing in a run first.

Complicating things further, there are several sporting events taking place this weekend near 3 of the 4 pools I have easy access to (including my beloved 25-meter outdoor pool, in which I WILL swim more than last year). So I was in a pickle... I want to run, I want to swim, I don't want to deal with parking and people... what to do, what to do.

First, a run.
I ended up running after work at the trail near my office, then heading to the pool near my office for a swim afterward. Logistically, it worked great! I got my outdoor run done, had a snack, and made it to the pool with plenty of time for a nice swim before it closed. There was Aqua Zumba going on next to me, but I was able to tune out the butt-shaking old ladies and get my laps in...

Then, a swim.
... for a while. Sadly, the pool felt almost as warm as bathwater. While I started out doing OK, I felt sicker and sicker as I went on. I had to take a few breaks to cool down and make sure I wouldn't barf. I mixed in a few easy kick board sets. I was pretty sure I could do a mile without barfing, but as soon I was done I hopped out. I stood next to an open door for a minute just to cool down. Ugh. I swam at that pool all last summer and while I remember the water being warm, I don't think it ever made me sick to my stomach.

So. My plan worked, kind of. But I'm not sure if I would do it again unless the pool gets cooled down a bit. Hopefully, this was just a one-time fluke thing and I can get back into my regular pool again soon. And, if not, I always have this as a very warm backup plan.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

A crappy-turned-good run for Global Running Day and a weigh-in

Today was Global Running Day and I'd be darned if I WASN'T going to run today. I had to work a little later than expected and the skies were starting to turn gray, but I went out anyway.

A bit wet but otherwise unharmed.
For the first 3.5 miles my legs felt 100 pounds each, my shins hurt, and I had trouble breathing. Was it the heat and humidity from the coming storm? Was I dehydrated? Probably a little of both. After my last traffic/drink stop, I felt like a new person and rocked it for the last 1.5 miles. Maybe the Gatorade kicked in or the air cooled down. Maybe the break forced me to re-align my form for the better. Who knows. I could have called it in and walked back, but the coming storm forced me to stick it out and I'm glad it did.

It's the first of the month so I got back on the scale to a disappointing number. I know the scale isn't the be-all-end-all, but I'd still like that number to go downward. Alas, going out of town twice last month wasn't good for my waistline.

Down, then up. Ugh.
Sigh. My husband and I already discussed how we've been eating a lot of junk lately and how we need to clean our diets back up. I've let a lot of sugar back in my diet and it shows. But, I've eaten or made salads for lunch every day this week. And we decided to stay in tonight instead of going out for dinner. Baby steps.

It's frustrating, but I'm trying to stay on track. After all, the better care I take of myself, the more crappy-turned-great runs I'll have. (Hopefully!).