Thursday, September 28, 2017

Upcoming changes in my bike routine

It’s been busy at work and I’m feeling overwhelmed generally, so no blog posts for you!

We have a big event this weekend and the past couple of weeks have been go, go, go. Sadly, that means I have to work all day Saturday. Sadly sadly, that means I won’t get the chance to ride my bike on the closed-to-car-traffic route for the last time before May. Super bummer! I did get out this past Saturday and it was enjoyable, even though it was so hot I had to stop by my car for ice water.

I mentioned a few blog posts ago that I had just ridden my fastest ride in a year, which made me both happy and sad. Like my most recent fastest run in the past year, my feelings are a mix of being happy that my overall speed is increasing, yet frustrated that I’m making such slow progress and that I have such a low bar to clear.
That green triangle means it was my fastest ride in a year... sadly.

Because I’m a typical Type A triathlete, I went back and looked at all the other times I’ve logged in DailyMile faster bike rides since 2012. Four of those were races (all sprints, I’m pretty sure) so that doesn’t really count. Of the six other times, my fastest was 0.5 mph quicker and, inexplicably, on a 50+ mile ride. WTF???

So I guess I haven’t gotten THAT much slower in the past few years, but I have still gotten slower, which is pretty darn depressing. I know the problem is that I just don’t ride enough. I struggle with finding the time to get in the saddle more, between working a full-time job, running a few times a week after work, and doing all the healthy food planning, shopping, cooking, and prepping. I already don’t get enough sleep.

One of my goals for October is to find a three-times-a-week TrainerRoad program and complete it. I’m paying for a subscription, so I might as well use it and all the features that come along with it. My bike needs a lot of work, and if I’m dedicated all winter I should have something to show for it in the spring. Right? Right? Please tell me I’m right.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Week in review Sept. 18-24: Back in the game

Not a bad week back.
I'm going to make it quick since I really need to get to bed. But after a week where a bad cold kept me from doing only one 3-mile run, I was thrilled to have a good week of bike, run, and lift.

I had a couple of easy runs on the treadmill to start the week, to make sure I could handle a run and to avoid drizzle and cold. I managed a mid-week trainer ride and weights video and a couple more runs to round out the work week. I ended Thursday's run literally covered in bugs that were apparently woken up out hibernation by the heat.

I had a great bike ride Saturday but, sadly, it's probably one of the last outside for a while. I'm most likely working all day this Saturday, the last day the road is closed to car traffic until May. I started out with an OK run Sunday, but the heat was just too much for me and I called it at 5 miles.

The most maddening thing about the week is I came in a just less than 10 hours. Had I done 10 fricking minutes of yoga I would have hit it. GRRRRR! I need to add up my totals Sunday afternoons just to avoid that.

Anyway, it was:

Run: 5 times, 2 on the treadmill and 3 on the road, for 29 miles in about 4.75 hours. I don't usually do 5 runs in a week but this worked out to a two on, one off rotation.

Bike: Twice, once on the trainer for 11.8 fake miles and once on the road for 35 real miles, in a bit longer than 3 hours.

Weights: 3 sessions, 1 video plus 1 heavy/body routine in two parts (I saved squats and lunges until after Sunday's run) in about 2 hours.

Total: 10 total sessions in a hair shorter than 10 hours.

Overall, it was great to be back after being sick. The heat was a bummer but I still got in some solid training time, and it felt good.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Cutting back on runs and goals

I had good intentions to get in 11 miles today. It would be a nice, round number for the week (35) and get me a big chunk of the way toward my goal of 100 for the month.

I had a commitment in the late morning so I did my food prep beforehand and hit Trader Joe's right afterward. By the time I got outside, the weather looked like this:
I can handle hot, I can handle sunny, and I can handle no breeze, but all three turned out to be too much for me. I tried, I really did, but by mile 4 I was starting to slow down. I could not fathom 7 more miles. So, I swung home to make 5 for the day.

I'm bummed, yes. I hate cutting sessions short because a small part of me feels like a failure. And longer-term, I'm bummed because there's really no way I'll hit 100 miles now.

But, I made the best of it. After I showered and cooled down, my husband and I had a drink by a pool we have access to and hung out in the shade. We made a couple new friends and ended up staying for dinner. It wasn't a total loss.

I know I'll be complaining about 0 degree temperatures before too long, but dang. This "summer" weather was just too much for me today.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Week in review Sept. 11-17: Sick, sick, run, sick, sick

And it took about 6 Benadryl to get me there.
I was feeling about 90% back to normal yesterday, so I spent the evening catching up on everything that got pushed to the wayside while I was sick over the weekend, and neglected to do a weekly wrap-up.

There’s nothing much to wrap up, anyway, as I only managed one 3-mile run all last week. I started feeling sick Monday, felt better and ran Wednesday, and then got actually sick Thursday into Friday. Luckily I was on the mend by Saturday, so although it sucked at least it was fast-hitting and fast-leaving.

So my grand weekly totals are:

Run, once on the road, for 3 miles in about 29 minutes. Technically they were descending miles, taking 2 seconds off from miles 1-2 and 4 more seconds off from miles 2-3, so I’ll count that as an additional success.

Of course I’m bummed I lost a whole week, but in the great scheme of things, I only missed one day of work, I didn’t have any real plans I had to cancel on Saturday, I was mostly recovered so I could enjoy my Sunday and get a few things done, etc. And, if anything else, this is a good reminder that I need to get my flu shot this year.

I hope your week of training went better than mine!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Sick, tired, and now off-schedule

I have been fighting a bug all week. I had a raging sore throat Monday and Tuesday and both days just laid in bed after work. Wednesday I felt better and even went for an easy run in the evening AND made dinner! WOWEE!

Alas, it was not to be. I felt worse and worse Thursday as the day went on, and suffered through as much work as I could before leaving early to lay in my bed once again. I was really suffering miserably yesterday (Friday) and even called out (well, texted out) of work, which is something I only do like once a year. My boss texted back to tell me "Get better and enjoy laying on the couch!" but I literally never made it out of bed longer than to make some tea or use the bathroom.

I am feeling more human today and even left the condo for about 5 minutes to go to Rite-Aid, although I made my husband do all our Saturday morning errands without me, haha. I am not sucking down Benadryls like candy anymore and actually ate real food once already today, so I consider that a mild success. I would like to take a nap but I'm in that weird tired-but-not-really-tired spot. Maybe more tea will help.

To add insult to injury, I'm now way behind where I need to be to hit 100 running miles for the month. I felt OK at 31-ish miles by the end of last weekend, the 10th, 1/3 of the way through the month. Well, today is the 16th, I only ran 3 miles on Wednesday, and it's not looking good for a run any earlier than Monday. That means I'll have to run about 65 miles in 13 days to make my goal. CAN I do it? Yes, assuming everything else goes according to plan. But cramming for my final is not how I wanted to finish out the month.
Ugh - quite a gap I'll have to make up for September.
I know, I know — there's nothing really making me run 100 miles every month except myself. And I'm already ahead about 32 miles for the year. But... I really wanted to hit that milestone.

If there's any good news to take out of getting sick (again) on Thursday, we didn't really have any plans yesterday or today. I can rest up for our plans tomorrow, assuming I feel better, and ease back into things on Monday. I was lax about getting a flu shot last year but maybe this is the kick in the butt I need to get it done this year — I don't want to be feeling this miserable again for a long, long time.

Be well out there, and happy running, everyone.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Week in review Sept. 4-10: Ride, run, repeat

I wish there were more slices, but not bad overall.
It wasn’t a terrible week. Partly because I had the day off work for Labor Day, I managed one workout every day and two on Sunday. That worked out to four runs, three rides, and one weights video.

I don’t remember why I did a trainer ride instead of a run on Monday; I probably needed to do something brainless before doing my food prep for the work week. It was rainy and/or cool for my Tuesday and Wednesday runs, which were a bit on the speedy side (for me) for being easy. During my run Wednesday, I split all my miles within 6 seconds of each other! I couldn’t do that again if I tried.

I decided to go out for only an hour Sunday rather than try a long run. I’m not training for anything and I wanted to squeeze in a weights video, since I hadn’t done any other lifting all week. My runs ended up being a very boring 4 x 6.25 miles, with total times all within 2.5 minutes.

With that extra trainer ride done this week, I actually biked longer than I ran. It worked out to two sessions of TrainerRoad intervals and one road ride that was (sadly) my fastest in more than a year. (More to come on that later.) I feel the same way about the odd fast-for-me ride as I do about the odd fast-for-me run: a combination of elation that I’m getting faster, sadness that I’m so much slower than I was a few years ago, and discouragement that I’ve been training for so long and am still middle of the pack at best.

The rest of the week was mostly boring except for getting breakfast and hanging out with my Mom on Labor Day, and hanging out with some friends and their 2-year-old on Saturday evening. Since he likes to copy and repeat everyone I tried to teach him some amazing dance moves, including the worm. Yes, video exists and no, I won’t be posting it. =)

By the numbers:

Bike: Three times, twice on the trainer and once on the road, for 35 road miles and 58 total “miles” in a bit longer than 4 hours.

Run: Four times, all on the road, for 25 miles in almost exactly 4 hours.

Weights: One 65-minute video.

Overall: Eight sessions in about 9 hours, 11 minutes.

Of course I wish I had the time for a swim, some yoga, and some pre-hab but it wasn’t a shabby week and I’m glad I did something every day.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Stop. Catcalling. Women.

I got catcalled and honked at three times on my run Friday, which I think is a record for me. I'm not sure if it was the warm weather, or if people had the Friday Crazies, or what.

I don't understand what the thought process is that goes into catcalling. How many women have been catcalled or honked at and then thought, "You know what? Maybe that is my Prince Charming? I better chase him down."

I want everybody to read this feature, "Running While Female," by Runners World, if you haven't already. This paragraph really stuck out to me:
“The public sphere is [still] a male space,” says Michael Kimmel, Ph.D., distinguished professor of sociology and gender studies at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York. That’s why any woman who leaves her home for any reason—to run, to work, to get the mail—could potentially be harassed, and why this is not just a running issue but a societal one. Honks, innuendos, and so on are a man’s way of saying, “You are present in my space and I’m going to let you know it’s my space.”
If you catcall women, stop. If you're with someone who catcalls women, ask them to stop. It's not cool. It's not funny. It makes you a shitty person. Stop it.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

August in review: Lots of running, little bits of other stuff

Rough hours trained in August.
I’ve been putting off doing a summary for August because I’m not very happy with how the month shook out. I hit 100 running miles again, but I feel like every other goal kind of fell off. I had not one, but TWO weeks where the only workouts I did were some runs.

I had a few days of slacking off, sure, but contributing to that was an out-of-town wedding one weekend and another week with multiple evening work events. And, you know, doing other adult stuff like cooking, walking the dogs, trying to get a decent night’s sleep occasionally, etc.

If there is a silver lining, my overall run pace increased slightly. I ran 100.1 miles in July at a 9:44-ish overall pace. The 100 miles I ran in August were at a 9:38-ish overall pace. I ran fewer times with my (slower) husband, which can probably account for most of that, but it still feels good to see. I also had my fastest run in a year early in the month, which I have mixed feelings about, but at least I am seeing something tangible.

I didn’t fare so well on my other goals, though:

Run 100 miles – Completed!

Lift twice per week most weeks – I only lifted 3 rounds of weights in 4 parts (1 barre class, 1 video, and 1 round of my heavy/body moves over two days). Blech.

Bike outside at least three times – I did this twice which wasn’t terrible, considering my weekend lost to the wedding. Sadly, I got on the trainer only 2 other times, though. Blech.

Use my new swim toys to get comfortable in the pool again – I did this, kind of! I swam once, on the 31st (hey, it still counts) and felt fine, no cramps or panicking. I don’t know if it counts as “getting comfortable again” but at least it was something.

Actually do yoga – I only did yoga twice, so mostly a Blech.

Actually do glutes/core/prehab – Nope. Blech.

PR my 5K – I actually didn’t race at all in August, but I’m sure there will be 5Ks aplenty once the weather turns a bit cooler.

Do some baking – I did make a strawberry crisp and a peach crisp and both were amazing.

Relax, catch up on my shows, read, and learn a new crochet stitch – I didn’t do much relaxing or reading and didn’t crochet at all. I did catch up on House of Cards and am mostly done with Chef’s Table.

I also spent time with family, worked in the garden, and hung out with friends. Those might not have been actual goals but that’s important, too.

So, I’m pretty much copying all my goals from August to try to hit in September. I need to keep being judicious with my time and not beat myself up for not doing 4,286 things per day. And enjoy myself once in a while, too.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Week in review Aug. 28-Sept. 3: Nothing special, but a little bit of everything

Not a bad variety of workouts.
I did a bit of everything last week: two sessions each of run, bike and yoga, and one of swim. Since I hit 100 running miles mid-week, I took it easy for the rest of the week run-wise. But that also meant I hit the pool for the first time in two months, so I consider that a success!

A friend was in town Friday night, so I didn't get a workout in that day. But managing at least one workout every other day meant that I had a decent week overall.

By the numbers, it was:

Bike: Twice, once on the trainer and once on the road, for 35 road miles and 11 trainer "miles" in about 3 hours, 9 minutes.

Weights: Twice, one video and one heavy/body session, for about 2 hours, 15 minutes. I managed to add a rep here and there in my heavy/body routine.

Run: Twice, both on the road, for 12 miles in a bit less than 2 hours. Since I had already hit 100 miles for August and I'm not training for anything, this was good enough for me for the week.

Swim: I MADE IT TO THE POOL! And it was actually a decent swim. A bit longer than a mile in about 52 minutes, mostly drills. This was all about just getting there, getting in the water, and finishing my swim without cramps or panic attacks.

Yoga: Twice, both self-guided sessions, for about 30 minutes.

Total: 9 sessions in about 8:43. Nothing spectacular, but a decent showing.

It was nice not having to go to bed early yesterday, since I'm at the tail end of Labor Day weekend, allowing me to get in an extra yoga session before a late bedtime. But it's back to the grind tomorrow. Here's hoping you all got in some extra training and relaxing this long weekend.