Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Two very dumb reasons for a slow run

I ran easy after work today, but it ended up being a bit more easy than I anticipated for two very dumb reasons.

1: There was a rain front moving in and it was relatively muggy. Anyone who lives in Michigan can tell you when the humidity comes out, so do the bugs. Whenever I ran hard enough to need to breathe through my mouth, I KEPT EATING BUGS. OMG. No, no, no, no. So I had to slow it down.

2: My Garmin has been full of data and I keep meaning to delete the older runs. Even while I was driving to my run, I thought, "Oh yeah, I need to delete the old data before I start." Did I remember to do that 2 minutes later? Of course not. So when I started back up after my water break, my Garmin wouldn't start recording again at all. I'm sure I looked hilarious running down the trail trying to delete data at the same time.

Also, some hillbilly yelled something at me and it took me a while to figure out what I think he said, but if I slowed down every time someone yelled at me I'd never speed up faster than a walk. WHY do people think it's OK to yell at runners? Seriously.

May your runs be bug-free and your Garmins record all your data.



Monday, May 22, 2017

Week in review May 15-21: Run, bike, and that’s it

Run and bike, run and bike.
A recap of the good news first: I rode my new bike outside not once, but twice. I wanted to take it to the route that’s closed to traffic Saturday, but I didn’t want to get all the way out there before I discovered there was a problem, so I squeezed in a ride after work Thursday to test it out. I can’t even remember the last time I’ve ridden outside – probably last June or so – so it was great to get outside in the fresh air and sunshine. I made sure to take a few moments to enjoy the day and be thankful that I was out there.

Other good news is that I ran four times this week for more than 31 miles. I am a little stiff and sore today from my long run yesterday but other than that, there weren’t any other big aches or pains. Not that 30 miles is the be-all end-all, but it’s a nice goal to shoot for weekly, and there’s a better chance I’ll hit my goal of 100 miles per month if I can crank out 20-30 weekly.

Some kind of good news, kind of bad news is that I discovered my speed run Friday, which included a 5K time trial, was my fastest run in at least the last 13 months, as far back as Daily Mile tracks. The sad thing is it was a 8:45 minute-per-mile pace so no, I’m not going to be qualifying for the Olympic Trials any time soon. BUT I guess I can be happy that I am getting a little less slow these days. It’s been a slow build from my IT band issues two summers ago, and I’m happy that I’m able to do half-marathons and ultra weekends, but yeah, I’m disappointed that it’s a far cry from where I was at my speediest a few years ago. But what else can I do except keep working and take care of myself? Nothing.

Other bad news is I didn’t do anything except run and bike. I took the evening of our wedding anniversary off to go out to dinner, and I did some gardening after my ride Saturday instead of the lifting I had planned, and other than that I just had to prioritize my time. Story of my life.

Anyway, the week was:

Run: Four times, three on the road and once on the treadmill, for 31.65 miles in a hair longer than 5 hours. I did my long run on the treadmill yesterday because it was storming when I started out. It was also getting late, so I hopped off at 45 minutes and 1:30 to move dinner in the oven and do some quick food prep to be ready for the week. I made it work. And I watched Ghostbusters for the zillionth time, so it wasn’t total misery.

Bike: TWICE ON THE ROAD for 42.65 miles in a bit longer than 3 hours. (Apparently 65 is my lucky number this week?) If you’re keeping track yes, that’s a very slow average. I went SUPER slowly Thursday as I was getting used to my new bike (I didn’t even have a chance to swap out the pedal cages) and not much faster on Saturday as I negotiated other people enjoying the closed route. Still, I was pretty proud of myself that I could bang out a 30-mile ride without too much trouble!

Total: 6 sessions in slightly longer than 8 hours. This was the first time in about a month I’ve come close to 8 hours, and the first time I’ve broken it since peak training week for the Gasparilla Ultra Distance Challenge. Again, it’s not like 8 hours is the be-all end-all, but it’s nice to have a round number to shoot for training-wise. I’d love to hit double digits regularly again, but I’m not sure how to do it without sacrificing food prep, work, sleep or my marriage. Still thinking about that one.

It’s supposed to be another beautiful week and I’m looking forward to running in it and hopefully biking in it again. Let’s see if I can do any other training this week, too.



Sunday, May 21, 2017

A 5K time trial, because why not

So, I've said before, I've never actually raced an open 5K. I've done a bunch at the end of sprint triathlons, and I've jogged a few with my slower-than-me husband, but I've never actually RACED all-out, almost-barfing 5K without a swim and bike beforehand.

I try to do a rotation of quarter-mile, half-mile, and mile repeats on speed nights, but I couldn't mentally face round after round of quarter-mile repeats Friday night. I just did miles, so why not try for a 5K time trial? I don't remember doing one before, and I was on a route that allowed me to do 3.1 without stopping for traffic, so nothing was stopping me.

Verdict: Not bad, I guess? I clocked miles 1 and 3 at an 8:03 pace, which isn't too shabby for me these days. Hilariously, mile 2 beeped over at 8:27 ... quite a difference. But I was able to rally for a total time of 25:24, ish, with a bit of variance in my Garmin.
Not bad, considering.
I'll try to do another one in a month or so to see where I stand. Maybe I'll actually race one this summer — who knows?



Saturday, May 20, 2017

Not one, but TWO outdoor rides

I had a few hours Thursday after work, and it was a nice day, so I decided to take my new bike out for its first ride with me! Since it was our first ride together, I wasn't sure if there were any underlying problems, so I stuck to a few easy laps around our island park.
This was taken going 0 miles per hour.
Everything went OK! I definitely have to get used to it, but it was fun and I felt pretty comfortable.

Saturdays during the summer, there is a 7-mile stretch of road nearby that closes to traffic, so I headed out today. Everything went OK, again! It was a cool but sunny day, and the headwind about killed me on the way back in, but I did a relatively easy 30 miles. It's nice to see I can still bang out 30 without too much fuss.
Also taken going 0 miles per hour.
Hilariously, this is the second bike I've bought used where the previous owners have thrown in the Cateye computer as a freebie. This is also the second Cateye computer I've inherited that I have no idea how to use.

Also hilariously, I didn't swap out the pedals, so I used cages for these two rides. I know my way around a wrench, but I suspected that since I THOUGHT the job would take me 10 minutes, it really would take me an hour and a half, and I would lose my window of the road being closed to traffic.

Also, my bike needs a name. He needs to be a boy so I can make inappropriate jokes, and he's white and blue. Any suggestions? I was thinking Jon Snow, but Vanilla Ice also made me laugh.



Thursday, May 18, 2017

Mid-week, mid-May check-in

I don’t have a whole lot going on this week, and I’d like to keep it that way after a very busy week last week.

Some good news is the weird pain in my foot is gone. It must have just gotten inflamed or whatever from standing on concrete all day Saturday. Funny that I can run all day long but STANDING is what turns out to be a pain in the foot.

I had some weird knee pain by the end of last week, in the knee that doesn’t have any cartilage, and that is also pretty much gone. I thought I might have overdone it Friday when I accidently ran 8 miles with three fast miles alternating instead of my planned 7 (misjudged the turnaround/water fountain point), but I doubt one extra mile really did anything. I’m guessing it was the combination of working speed back into my runs (finally), being on my feet, the trail being a little slippery and/or cambered in spots – who knows.

I DO know that the days of running 6 times per week are very likely behind me. I have been doing well with two easy days in a row, OR a speed run, OR a long run, with at least a day off after each. I’ve been averaging about 20 miles per week lately, with really good weeks hitting 30, which is fine for me at this point in my life. I’m also on track to hit 100 running miles for May, knock on wood.
May running is pretty good so far.
I took yesterday off training to celebrate with Mr. Mediocre our wedding anniversary, but I want to ride tonight and do a speed run tomorrow. The weekend is looking good too, so fingers are crossed that I’ll get to do a decent amount of training.



Monday, May 15, 2017

Week in review May 8-14: A solid week, but not the weekend

A decent variety of stuff.
First, the good news: I swam for the first time this year, for the second time since summer. It went OK. Slowly, of course, but it felt almost good to get back in the water, and the feel seemed to come back to me pretty quickly.

I also managed three runs, a trainer ride, and a barre class during the week, but Saturday I worked a very long day standing on concrete and I couldn't do much else. I would have liked to squeeze in a run yesterday, but my mom came over for Mother's Day and spending time with her and prepping food for the week took priority.

Of course I wanted to do more, but by the numbers the week was:

Run: Three times, all on the road, for 17.25 miles in about 2:47. One of these runs was a slow lap around the neighborhood with my husband, but the other two were a decently paced easy run and alternating miles of speed work. I would have liked to do a long run, of course, but this was OK too.

Bike: Once on the trainer for an hour.

Weights: One barre class for an hour.

SWIM: Once in the pool for a mile in something like 50 minutes. Ridiculously slow, but I did a bunch of drills and just took my time to ease back into it.

Total: 6 sessions in about 5:37. Eh, that's still more than an hour a day on the days I did get training in, so it's not terrible.

I don't have a darn thing planned all week so I hope to get in it a bit more run, bike, and maybe swim this week. I'd love to ride outside, but we'll see what the weather does. Hopefully the weekend will be mine, all mine.



Sunday, May 14, 2017

Just Garmin things and a hopefully minor injury/setback

I've had my Forerunner 305 for about 100 years and recently I decided to set my pace data field to mile average pace instead of actual pace. Why didn't I do this a while ago? I get much smoother readings now, and they don't go haywire when I run under a bridge or whatever.
Doing my part to keep Garmin in business.
I also can't seem to sync TrainerRoad with my Garmin Edge and its peripherals, no matter if I disable everything else, wake them up, etc. I have a couple more weeks to figure it out before my free trial ends, but it's not looking good. Any suggestions?

Also, I am not a baby, but I worked a full day yesterday (Saturday) standing on concrete in dress shoes, and it was tough on my feet and kinetic chain. By lunchtime I had significant pain in the joint where my pinky toe connects to my foot, and I was limping by the end of the day. It's a bit better today, but I decided not to risk running on it. I hope it's just a weird thing and not an actual injury. We'll see how it feels tomorrow.

I am glad to have this week behind me, the busiest week of the year in my field. I was actually lucky because I didn't have to work last Sunday and only worked one evening this week, Friday. I told, not asked (haha), my boss that I was leaving early Friday to go for a run before my event. This is why I keep a Y membership — for showering between work events! This made for a long day Friday and a long day yesterday. I came home yesterday and laid in bed until my husband had dinner ready. He even brought me potato chips to eat in bed — what a guy.

So, I'm bummed that I didn't get to train yesterday or today, but I definitely needed the time to relax. With the busy-ness behind us, hopefully I'll get to hit it hard in the next few days. I considered briefly getting up early to run today, and even set my alarm for 7:30 a.m., but almost instantly fell back asleep and the next thing I knew it was 9:10. Well. I obviously needed the sleep.

I hope you're having a great weekend and a great Mothers Day if you celebrate! I had a lovely brunch with my mom today, during which I ate way too much bacon, if there is such a thing.



Tuesday, May 9, 2017

I swam.

Doggehs like to swim too, Mommeh.
It wasn't fast, and it wasn't pretty, but I got in the water and splashed around for a mile yesterday.

I just haven't been able to summon the mental energy to get to the pool until now but yesterday was my day. I was (kind of) looking forward to going all day, reminding myself how great it would be to get back in the water.

I almost lost my nerve when every lane was taken but a few minutes and some dangling legs later I had half a lap in which to try not to drown. It was slow, of course, but it started coming back to me by 1000 meters or so.

This was the first time I've swum since December. Before that, the last time I swam was August. Wow. I have a lot of work to do if I want to get any proficiency back.

But I was right — it was good to get back in the water.


Monday, May 8, 2017

Week in review May 1-7: Another not terrible week

Mediocre weeks are my specialty.
It wasn’t a terrible week, training-wise. I got off to a slow start: I had every intention of going to the pool Monday but I was having a rough day and just couldn’t muster the mental energy required. I compromised with myself by doing a little bit of yoga on my own, so the day wasn’t a total wash.

I got in some decent running Tuesday and Wednesday and did a weights video Thursday. I am not a total wuss, but I felt those pushups for DAYS. I tend to get in a funk on Fridays, which I try to relieve with a speed run and/or plans with friends after work, but it was raining and our friends were busy for Cinco de Mayo. We were going to do a fun, local 5K, but driving to and paying for a run in the cold and rain sounded like the Worst Thing Ever. I opted for lazing on the couch instead of getting on the treadmill, even though I was mad at myself later for not doing anything.

But, I rallied for the weekend with an hour and a half on the trainer Saturday and a nice long run yesterday (Sunday). Although one of my usual riding routes closed to traffic on Saturday starting this weekend, I had family coming over and didn’t want to spend the extra hour loading up my bike and driving there when I should have been cleaning. Yesterday I was going nonstop from when my alarm went off at 7:30: Take the dogs out, make breakfast, go to my friend’s kid’s birthday party, grocery shop, run long, food prep, collapse into bed later than I should have. I was stressed about getting it all done, but I reminded myself that if my biggest worry is how to fit in a party, a long run, and food shopping and prep, that is not really a problem.

My “long” run ended up being fine although I think I overdid it a smidge since I am feeling it today. I did 10 miles at an easy-ish pace and tried to run the last 2 fast. I didn’t really have a goal, just “fast,” whatever that was. I finished in 1:54 and change, so next week I am going to try for 12.5 in less than 2 hours. I don’t have a reason to run longer than 2 hours since I’m not training for anything right now, and because today I’m a bit tight in the hips and sore in the knees, so I’ll keep it at 2 hours for a while.

By the numbers, it worked out to:

Run: Three times, once on the treadmill and twice on the road, for 23.5 miles in about 3.75 hours.

Bike: One trainer ride for about an hour and a half.

Weights: One 55-minute video.

Yoga: One quick 15-minute solo session.

Total: 6 sessions in about 6.5 hours. That works out to one rest day and more than an hour average for the other days, so I can’t be too mad at myself.

I still struggle to balance training with work and other Being An Adult stuff: Errands, cooking, keeping a house just clean enough that it isn’t condemned, etc. But I feel good about getting in some solid sessions this past week and hope I can launch that into another good week. Here we go.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

April in review: Improved run and bike, but not anything else

April training by hours.
I’m a couple days late and always a few dollars short, but here’s my April training-in-review anyway.

Overall, the amount of training time was a bit higher than March, 26.5 hours compared to 24.5. If you go by number of total training sessions, I took an average of one day off after four days on, training 80% of the days in April (just an average – there were a few two-a-days in there). 24 sessions in 26.5 hours means I usually worked out for just longer than an hour each session (again, just an average – long runs of 10, 11.75, and 12 miles during the month skewed the numbers a bit).

I ran significantly more mileage in April, 100 miles in 16 hours, a 9:35 minute per mile average pace, compared to 75 miles in about 12.5 hours, a 9:55 minute per mile average pace, last month. (Although, to be fair, I was recovering from a big race weekend and doing a lot of slower mileage with my husband, so March was a kind of recovery month after big-for-me mileage in January and February.) Also, all but one of my 14 runs in April were outside, which was nice.

I also logged more time on the bike, from 3 sessions in 2.5 hours (one was just a quick warmup to a weights workout) in March, to 6 sessions in about 7.25 hours in April. No doubt, the reason for this was buying a cool new bike computer, which inspired me to get on there and log some fake trainer miles.

But, I don’t have much more good news beyond run and bike. I only did three weights sessions vs. six last month. Ugh, that’s not even once per week on average. Also, I’m frustrated and borderline embarrassed to realize that I didn’t do a single bit of yoga or pre-hab for the entire month of April. Really? Not once? And I still haven’t swum this year, and only once in December since last summer. Sigh.

What I can deduce from this is, is that time is a finite resource and I have to prioritize! And right now my training priorities are run, bike, lift and maybe some yoga, pre-hab and swim if I can ever find the time.

But I’m not going to end on a down note: I made some decent running gains, enjoyed a lot of fresh air, and didn’t get injured. My cool new bike toys are inspiring me to get back in the saddle and have me looking forward to riding on the road again. I can go to a random barre class or do some weighted squats without feeling like dying. My body and marriage are still functional. (Or does that mean I haven’t trained enough?)

I’m looking forward to getting outside and moving my body more as spring turns into summer, so let’s see what May will bring.



Monday, May 1, 2017

Week in review April 24-30: Decent running

Not a bad week for running. Other stuff, meh.
This past week was a decently solid week of training, for once, as far as running goes at least.

The weather held most of the week and I was able to get in four solid runs outside, including an almost-12-miler. I got on the bike trainer once and went to barre class once, which I’m happy with.

I am still finding it hard to fit in much else. I haven’t done any yoga or pre-hab in a few weeks, I haven’t swum yet this year, and I definitely could be doing more biking and weight-lifting. I shoot for one solid workout every work day evening and maybe doubles Saturday and Sunday if I have the time, and that’s about where I’m at right now. I’m trying to make the most of what I have time for.

It helped that I didn’t have too many commitments this past week. I had to spend some time food prepping Monday since I had something going on the previous Sunday, and I had a family event this Saturday night. I spent some time working in the garden on Saturday, which is another thing to be competing with my free time in the coming months.

By the numbers, last week was:

Run: Four times, all on the road, for 31.75 miles in a bit longer than 5 hours.

Bike: One trainer ride for about 1.5 hours. The Edge put that at 18.75 miles.

Weights: One barre class of about an hour and another session of abs that I had run out of time to complete last week. Barely counts, but I logged it separately in Daily Mile.

Total: 7 sessions (counting that abs session) in about 7 hours, 41 minutes. Still averages out to more than an hour a day, so it can’t be that bad.

This week will be interesting. There’s a nearby 5K Friday I want to run, and one of my usual summer cycling routes closes to car traffic on Saturday. BUT it looks like I’ll have a family event Saturday night and a friend event Sunday afternoon, so I may have to do some schedule finagling yet again.

UGH! I really struggle with finding the time for everything. I have to be happy with getting in what I can and maybe win the lottery some day. How many tri bikes can I buy with Mega Millions?