Why I Do This Sh*t

So I'm trolling my fave WW message board and I'm inundated with tons of "motivate me" posts. Um, unless I have a cattle prod and am yelling "Eat salad or feel the rod of truth", I'm pretty sure I can't motivate you to eat correctly or exercise, you have to do it. But races help.

And that's why I'm here. If I focus on training for the next race, or training in general, then it's much easier to eat better and lose weight. I eat better because I know I perform better when adequately fueled. Now that doesn't mean I'll have some chocolate cake every once in a while (week), but I'm less likely to be hitting up Taco Hell when I know I have 5 miles to run that night.

It's a way to keep me moving, which burns calories. We all know that calories in < calories out to lose weight. (Yes the < is the less than sign, geniuses.) And don't get me started on the endorphins that I didn't realize I was addicted to...

That's why I sign up for 5Ks, 10Ks, 1/2s and triathlons. That's why I think about signing up for a full marathon. It's something for me to focus on that doesn't have to do with the scale. It will be something to help me continue this healthier lifestyle after I reach goal.

Over this past year I've been running I shaved ~6 minutes off my 5K. That's a bit under 2 minutes a mile faster. I HAVE to be skinnier, or even better, healthier. There is no other way I'd have gotten faster, unless it's got something to do with the magic beans that little boy sold me.

You may wonder why I haven't been posting. It's not so much that I've been busy, but I really didn't want to scare people away with the venom I have at the ready for UPS. I have not received my Nike+ sportband yet.

I called Nike today and they told me orders were processed in the order they were received and it looked like I was in the second product shipment because too many people pre-ordered them. Hmm, no email to notify me that my product was not shipping when stated as they didn't even have it yet, but still. Nike pretty much told me the tracking was now in UPS's hands.

So my Sportband is supposed to be delivered tomorrow. Pay no attention to the location on the UPS tracking site, little girl, you know the one that says it's STILL IN TENNESSEE. It's got to be at least in Nevada by now. Maybe even California. Maybe it's hanging out at the truck stop in Barstow, with the train cars, food court and crappy CA souvenirs. That must be it.

Or maybe it's laying out by the pool in Las Vegas. Wants to get a tan before it gets to sunny Southern California. Needless to say, I won't be using UPS ground anytime soon.


Yas: 1; Lake Itch: 0

So I'm semi-excited about my first open water swim in Lake Mission Viejo and I get this email.

"This morning's Lake Swim blessed more then half of our Diva's with Lake Itch.

We will still be holding the swim session at the Lake tonight for those who choose to swim, otherwise come ready to run."

Lake itch. I had never heard of the term before Triathlons. For those who were like me, Lake Itch is:
"During spring and some times of the summer, swimmer's itch, also called cercarial dermatitis appear. It is a microscopic pest that lives on hosts like birds and snails by biting into their skin. Once it bites a human, it dies but leaves an irritated area or bump like a mosquito bite. The itching will be gone as well as the bump in a few days. Swimmer's itch can be prevented by showering thoroughly after swimming."

The evening Divas faired better than the morning ones. No cases of Lake Itch was reported. I'm having sympathetic itching, but no bumps. The wetsuit was different. In some ways it was easier, but in others it was harder.
The suit keeps you buoyant, but my arms felt heavier the longer we swam. I did come out of the lake and go straight to the shower. No stopping at Go or Collecting $200. (Showering is one of the ways to get rid off the lake itch bug.) Also, I used TriSwim's TriGlide lubricant when putting on my wetsuit. It's supposed to make it easy to take off my wetsuit. It did. I didn't even notice any resistance when I peeled it off during my shower.
But back to running, or at least running gadgets.

I think Phil Knight read my blog yesterday. I just got an email telling me my Nike order has shipped. I will be watching it via UPS all the way from Memphis, TN, for what good that will do me. My last shipment never updated itself to tell me it wasn't going to be here on the 18th until after the 18th.
I should be less pessimistic. Of course my package will be here when UPS says it will. They always accurately update their site. Of course I won't be happy until I have the band in my hot little hands.


Cycling and an Empty Inbox

I can ride 10 miles, can I run 3 miles after it? I don't know, I didn't try.

The more I do this, the more confidence I have that I will complete this thing. I rode hills today, to challenge myself. Who am I kidding, I ride hills because it's easier to power up the hills, as I found out today, than it is to flip down the backseats in my car, remove the front wheel of my bike, put said wheel and bike in the back of my car and drive to some place flat, put wheel on bike, ride for 60 minutes, then repeat process to go home and put bike in the garage.

I am a lazy athlete, after all.

Also, according to my (empty) email inbox, my Nike+ Sportband, that was supposed to be shipped on Saturday, April 19th, has not shipped yet. This is driving me crazy. It's reminding me of that Christmas where Toys R Us failed to ship Christmas presents on time. Why post a date that something should ship, on your website of all places, and then not be able to get your product out within 3 days (and I guess I'm counting the 19th, but not Sunday the 20th) of the date stated?

Hmm... maybe I shouldn't say anything bad until I get my Sportband. Maybe Phil Knight will cancel my order himself.


I Can Do It!!

I swam 500 yards today, in 16 min, 09 sec and 40 somethings that must be hundredths of a second. So basically 16 min 10 sec. It wasn't completely continuous and I had to tread water or touched the ground accidentally (our community pool has 2 deep ends with the shallow end in the middle of the pool).

I was excited. This means I can swim the whole Danskin distance! Or so I thought. I was ~87 yards short. I think I have it covered, though, as I will be in a wetsuit and I did swim about 700 yards in skills and drills before my "time trial". I'll just make it all up in the running...

Here are some random musings:

I no longer have to reapply my lip balm during a 4 mile run. I don't think I had to do it during my 8 mile run. My breathing has apparently slowed down enough not to chap my lips. Whoo hoo for health.

I'm a size 6 in most brands. I've never been a size 6 since I can remember, unless you count shoes. A 16 yes, but not a 6.

Henry's my grocery store of choice, has let me down twice in one week. First there were no fat free refried beans, organic or not. Then there was no whole wheat couscous. Apparently they can do a special order for me, but I don't know how many cans or boxes I'll have to buy. I don't need to be able to build a fort out of couscous boxes and refried bean cans, but if I did, it would be da bomb. (yes I just typed "da bomb")

I'm looking for organic fuel and recovery products. I know Luna Sport has some, and they are marketed/made for women, so they've got less sugar, but I was wondering if there were any other ones out there. I may need to do some research and dedicate a post just to it.

Along the same fuel and recovery product lines, simple sugars like Luna Moons vs complex sugars like Hammer Gel. I know it's what tastes good and how it makes you feel, but if I can easily digest either product, which gives me better performance.

That's all I got for today. I'm probably off to bed. I should be getting my Nike+ Sportband sometime this week. I am ready to kick ass and chew bubble gum on the We Wa Chubby Chat challenge. And I'm all out of bubble gum.


8 is Grrreat!!

Yes, I just channeled Tony the Tiger. I made my goal of 20.5 miles for this week. It was a big goal. Probably more than my Triathlon training would have wanted, but I did it. I wanted to get back on a consistent running schedule.
Due to my rescheduled run from Sunday to Monday, this week's goal of 12.5 miles ballooned into 20.5. My Tri coach told me I should be doing one medium length run and my long run, replacing the other medium length with cycling. She also told me to get rid of the short run, which is listed on the plan as short run or cross. I've been following this advice, but I might reintroduce my short run and swim after it. I want to work on speed or hills and I think the shorter runs would be great to use for interval work.
On to my run. I saw a snake and a vulture. The vulture sighting was on the last half of mile 8. I thought it might be a sign. I walked about 5-8 minutes of the run, a minute or two around mile 4 when I downed my Acclerade, the rest of my walking was on mile 8 when my right thigh area started to hurt. It wasn't just my IT Band this time, so I felt a bit better. Here are my splits:
Mile 1: 10:14
Mile 2: 11:01
Mile 3: ~11:06
Mile 4: 11:49
Mile 5: 12:13
Mile 6: 12:09
Mile 7: 12:19
Mile 8: 13:06
I had technical issues during Mile 3 whilst at my personal aid station, I pushed the lap button on my Garmin. Well I bumped it against the wall of my cooler when I grabbed my propel.
All in all the run was good. I was watching my HR, maybe I should have kept it a bit lower in the beginning. I don't think that would have stopped my right leg pain issues, but maybe.


So I Don't Really Suck...

Today was my first actual cycling training with TriDivas and news flash, I don't suck.

I'm getting acquainted with my bike and the gears. During most of today's 6 mile ride I was playing with my gears. I almost didn't bring my nifty bike, because I couldn't figure out how to shift. Luckily the internet came to my rescue and gave me diagrams. (You can learn about anything on the internet.) Once I realized the whole break lever moves laterally, I was a shifting queen.

I also attempted to drink my water bottle whilst riding. This resulted in me slowing down to a snail's pace and wondering if I was going to crash. I'm gonna need to practice that.

I didn't burn out my legs like we were directed, because I was saving them for tomorrow's 8 mile run. I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to fit it in on Sunday, but if the weather holds, it will be cold enough in the afternoon to do my run.

Let's talk about the weather for a bit. When is it okay, or even natural for the temperature to be in the 70s one Saturday, in the 90s the next Saturday, then back down to the 60s-high 50s the 3rd Saturday? Welcome to sunny Southern California.


Back on Track... For Now

I did do my 4.5(+) today. Why the +? Well, Yas was having some left shoe issues. The beginning of the run was start/stop as she was trying to adjust her shoe. She ran about .1-.2 miles with Mr. Garmin off. More calories for me to eat, and did I ever eat them.

I focused on pace for this run. I was planning on doing intervals, but I had forgotten to take my daily use inhaler that morning (Yes I've had asthma for as long as I can remember. I've always had a rescue inhaler, but I just got a daily inhaler last week and I'm not in the groove of remembering to take it) and I was having trouble getting into a stride.

Everything finally came together around 1.5-2 miles. I wasn't in any shape to even think about intervals, and who cares when you get your mileage completed. I think I'm going to add another short run into my schedule, just to focus on speed intervals, maybe 2 miles?
Here are my splits:
Mile 1: 12:38
(I forgot to start my lap when I started to run, so this includes some warm up walking.)
Mile 2: 11:11
Mile 3: 11:22
Mile 4: 11:30
Mile 4.5: 5:48

As for my Tri training, I've been letting the cycling slide. I'll need to jump back in that saddle sometime soon.


I Am Not OP

and I'm owning it.

I'm going to enter all my carpy food into my tracker and send it to Star. I *may* double check where I am if I switch back to flex and do that. But I am not, I repeat NOT, going to sweep my points eaten under the rug in my living room. The program doesn't work that way and I can't either.

I'm back. I did all that math using only my simple computer calculator. What, you think an engineer can do math without a calculator? No, that's a Mathematician. Hate to break it to ya but most engineers can't spell either. Yeah, it's a news flash, I know, but I digress.

I did the math and I'm going back to flex for the 3rd time in as many weeks. I need to get back to basics on Core, but that means actually going to the grocer, something I've only done sporadically the last few weeks.

Back to running... I examined my chub rub today, and it's a full on burn, like rug burn. Nice. Now I know the Brook's running skirt is going. The seams are not in a nice place for my left thigh. I think I'm running my 4.5 in tights tomorrow.


Done and Done

Picture stolen from another blog.

I unfailed today. (Yes, I just made up unfailed.)

At work, I formulated a plan. I checked the weather and it was supposed to be a good 10-15 degrees cooler today than it was yesterday. (Seriously this wacky weather shifting has got to stop. My allergies and sinuses can't take it.) I decided to use my $2 cooler (bargain at the garage sale) as my personal aid station, filling it with some propel and an energy gel or cliff bloks (I chose the margarita flavor with salt cliff bloks.) and leaving it on my porch. I needed to make and drink my recovery drink and drink it as soon as I got home. Then I'd change, get my gear together and go.

I executed my plan to perfection, almost. I didn't leave work on time. Everything else came together. I ran about 4 miles, stopped at my "aid" station, ate 3 bloks , downed 1/2 my propel, talked to my neighbor (she was asking how far I ran/run, etc) and then got back on the road. It probably was a 2-3 minute rest, but I didn't count it, I did stop my timer though (yes I'm a cheater).

I finished my last 3 miles by running out, circling a block about 3 times and running back. I didn't want to make a ~1.7 mile loop that lead back to my house. If I saw the front door, I was afraid I'd convince myself that 6 miles was okay.

One thing I didn't plan on was chub rub or that my top would keep riding up. I think it's time to retire my Brooks running skirt. I don't think my legs are big enough to keep the compression shorts down, or I've stretched them out too much. I'm banking on the former.

One thing I did differently on this run was pay attention to my HR rather than my pace. I think that helped get through the mileage. I have come to realize that my 5K pace isn't my 7 mile pace. I kept about a 12 min/mile pace, which is 1-1.5 minutes slower than my short mileage pace.

Thanks for all the encouragement on my last post. I really wanted to complete my run, but I know packing it in turned out to be a better plan. Tomorrow is a DOR. I might do some yoga or pilates. I will watch The Biggest Loser. It's the finale, ya know.



At my 7 mile run today. I failed. Well, I registered a DNF, did not finish.

My legs felt heavy on Saturday night. Today when I woke up, they felt a bit better, so I took my running stuff to WI, so I could change after. I gained at WI, but it was to be expected. I sort of stopped tracking on Friday. Now I'm back on Core, but let's get back to my failed run.

First I parked in the Toshiba lot, but panicked and moved the car when I saw the sign that read it was for authorized personnel only, all others will be towed. I moved it to a parking lot with lots of little companies and the same sign. I had already staked out the route and hidden my water bottle, even printed out some cute stickers to tell other people to keep their grubby hands off my water.
So even though I was worried about my car being towed and I had to go to the bathroom, I set off. There was a strip mall at the turn around, I didn't realize this when I brought my water to hide, and I assumed there would be a Starbuck's and I could use their bathroom.

About a mile out I realized my IT Band was making itself known and that I really had to go to the bathroom. After my previous set backs concerning my IT Band, I decided to head back and find a restroom. My car was still there, and I had already prepared for training, ie ate for training, so I rescued my bottle of water and headed to the gym to do some weights.

At least I didn't totally waste the day.


Work Sucks

Wednesday was swimming with the TriDivas. Thursday was supposed to be running and the Danskin Triathlon Seminar at REI. Friday was actually running and getting prepared for Saturday's garage sale.

Swimming was okay. I think my form and know my breathing is getting better. Oh and I was the slowest one today. I came in last EVERY FRAKKIN' LAP. Every one. I'm not sure what I need to do better. It's just hard to get feedback with the group session. I'll have to make a point to ask the coach about it at the next pool session.

Thursday I was planning on doing 4.5 miles. Work ruined that plan. A major problem was found and the whole team needed to fix it. I didn't get out of the plant until 5pm. Well, really it was a bit after 5, but since I was going to REI, which is sort of close to my work, I decided to play on the internet for a few minutes before I picked up a protein source to eat with my salad.
So I go to REI, with some fellow TriDivas, and listen to a seminar put on by Danskin and presented by Sally Edwards, who is Danskin's spokes athlete. She is actually tasked with coming in last at every Danskin Triathlon, so no other woman will be last. She swims with the last swimmer, cycles with the last cyclist and runs with the last runner. I hope only to see her at the begining and during the awards ceremony, if there is one. I don't want to see her on the course.

It was very interesting, but most of it was stuff Coach Martha has already introduced to me. The one thing I didn't really absorb from Coach Martha, but did at this seminar, was training in different Heart Rate Zones. I think I'm always in Zone 4 or 5, never 2 or 3. I'll have to watch that in the future.
Today I made sure to leave work close to on time. I found the trail I kept seeing from the freeway on my way to work. In fact, the one I see running parallel to the freeway is just an offshoot of the main trail.

It's called the San Diego Creek Trail and it's about 10 miles. It's flat, except for the underpasses that take you across the streets. I did 4 of my 4.5 miles. It was hot. I was not properly hydrated and I think I was tired. I also had pants instead of a skort or shorts. Excuses rein supreme.

My pace slipped about a minute. I may start getting up earlier so I can run in the cool. I just can't believe the huge shift in temperature from week to week. Not only is it playing havoc with my allergies and sinuses, but now I can't even bring the right clothes for an after work run. I felt horrible on the run, but great afterward. I've decided I'm going to plant water bottles along the route for my long run on Sunday. I've even got a cute idea to tell people to keep their frakking hands off my bottles and that my bottles aren't trash/litter.

My pity party is over for today. Hopefully my report in tomorrow will be filled with wonderful swimming and weight training news. I also want to report back that I've finally gotten rid of that stupid Foosball table at our garage sale. It's a great gift for a college dorm, but takes up way too much room if don't have a dedicated game room in your house, and we don't.

Stay tuned.


Being Lazy on the Bike

Yesterday and today I've been really lagging in the afternoon. I think this is due to me being on the flex program and not eating as much Core foods or balancing the foods I'm eating at breakfast and lunch. Weight Watcher's Flex plan isn't an excuse for poor nutrition. So I must do better.

Since I was feeling a bit sluggish this afternoon, I decided to do my 45 min cycling training on the Stationary Bike in the gym. Yes, I was being lazy, but I did it.

It was probably easier than the route I would have taken if I had actually ridden outside, but I also had to pedal the entire 45 minutes, so it may have been a wash.

This was my second week of modifying Uncle Hal's 1/2 marathon training program for triathlon training as well. The 45 minutes on the bike was about the same time I'd have spent running, although my heart rate was much lower on the bike. I wonder how that will factor into my being ready for the Laguna Hills Memorial 1/2 Marathon.

I didn't register yet. I'm still not committing.


6 Word Memoir

Impossible is nothing, attitude is everything.

Yeah, I know it's lame. I've been racking my brain all day and this was what I came up with and I like it. It reminds me of what I've done and how far I've come.
About 5 years ago I decided to try Weight Watchers. I did online only and didn't change the way I ate, just the quantity and when I ate. It wasn't healthy, I didn't have the right attitude. I didn't exercise more than my company's softball league (not very aerobic). I lost 25lb, fell off the wagon, gained 10 back, decided I was meant to be fat and kept eating crappily.

Fast forward to 2006, I had a better attitude, I started to really think about the program. I realized I needed to change my attitude. In 2007 my weight loss stalled, and here is where the magic happened.

For about 3 months the scale never really moved (this was not the magic). I was getting fed up (ha a WWer getting "fed" up) with not losing and I really wanted to quit, but Pat, the most wonderful leader in the world, wouldn't let me. She told me to switch to Core, shake it up a bit. A leader who filled in for Pat's meeting talked about how she started running as her exercise when she was working the program, I checked out Couch to 5K.

It was magic. Core and running flipped a switch. They have pushed me out of my comfort zone and I've discovered what you want is really possible, when you have the right attitude and are open to new ideas. I've found a lifestyle I can stick with and still be healthy and happy. I signed up for a triathlon for fraks sake. That is proof that my cheesy 6 word memoir is true.

Impossible is nothing, attitude is everything.


Carlsbad 5000 and other stuff

Last night I watched as my friend Leia entered wedded bliss. This morning I ran the Carlsbad 5000. I wish Leia and Rob a lifetime of happiness, but on to me.

Let me just tell you, I don't think I've been to a more stressful event. It was mainly in the parking. Downtown Carlsbad is ate up with churches and it was Sunday. There weren't any signs for parking, although I reread the parking instructions and they do say that it's only street parking, but we parked at the senior center.

The race itself was great. It's billed as a fast course, and it is. It isn't all flat, as I was lead to believe, but there was only 1 hill and we hit the ascent fairly quickly off the start and the descent was on the way to the finish line, which gave me a boost at the end.

My official race time was 31:04, the fastest I've ever run a 5k.

What else has happened since I've last blogged?

More tri and 1/2 marathon training. My run on Thursday was okay. It went as well as it should have, given I didn't really train for a week and a half.

I swam Saturday morning, for about 25 minutes. I think the arm and body motions are starting to click, but the breathing isn't. I'm going to consciously slow myself down next time I'm in the pool and make sure I'm breathing every 4th stroke. It's hard to get through my brain, but I need to try or I'll freak out during the swim.

Oh, and I was tagged to describe myself in 6 words. I'll do that on my DOR, which is tomorrow.