Monday, August 4, 2014

Moving right along

Bonus points to anyone who read that post title and thought  of a song from the original Muppet movie. Love Me some Fozzie bear and Kermit.

7/24: Ran 3 miles.  Last day of tennis lessons for daughter.  Cool weather made for a nice outing on Greenway.

Friday rest.

7/26: ran 4 miles.  To Caseys and back. Hot and muggy and just before getting in car for family vacation.  Hiked with family after dinner. 

7/27: spent day in canoe and went for hike after dinner - calling it cross training.

7/28: kids got up early to go trout fishing with dad.  I did another hike with a couple spots of trail running.  Bennett spring state park too pretty for a rest day. "Rested" in truck on way home.

7/29:  3 miles

7/30: 3 miles

7/31: almost blew it off.  Left at 10:45 pm. Did best run pace so far.  Go figure.  3 miles.  Got home in time to register before next price hike.  It is done. 

8/1: rest

8/2: friend Emily just finished c25k and offered to hit katy trail for my 5 miles with me.  There was a fair amount of walking for both of us.  Ended up with 5.4. Then long day working at benefit fundraiser for friend.

8/3: blew off cross training workout.

8/4: got on bike for cross training makeup - 12 miles. Brutal day of school supply and school clothes shopping.  Walked a couple brisk miles in the evening with husband.

8/5: 4 miles with Stacy before work. Way more walking than there should have been.

Getting it done!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Run 2 of 48

I did it again.  Got up at 5:45 AM and drug my ass out the door - into a freaking sauna of a morning.  I decided the same route would be too boring so I went the other direction.  I jogged along even though everything felt tight.  My pace was about 40 seconds/mile slower than yesterday though it was 10 degrees warmer with like 100% humidity so I'm trying not to beat myself up about it.  I walked some of the uphill (and yes, some of the flat) sections.  But I knocked out run #2 of the Hal Higdon novice training plan.  It called for 3 miles.  I turned around at Stacy's house which is 1.61 miles away for 3.22 mi total at 13:20 min/mi pace.  Feel good for getting it done. 

Posted a selfie across from Stacy's house with a bit of a quiz to my Facebook friends:

"Quick quiz: This is the spot on my run this morning where I:
A. Figured out what I forgot last night.
B. Thought "running is stupid"
C. Turned around
D. Almost called Bill to come get me
E. Missed the old days of running with Stacy
F. All of the above"

For those who couldn't guess:  the answer is "F".  I was supposed to drop off some reports I wrote for the County (her husband is the County Engineer) last night which I remembered this morning as I approached her house.  I really should have said "running in very humid weather is stupid".  I did turn around.  I did consider not running back.  I really do miss running late at night with Stacy though she start a new job last spring that has her running around all day long - without me.

The training plan (if I choose to stick with it - still debating the "craziness") - calls for running 4x/week and one cross-training workout a week.  I might also do some strength and/or stretching stuff on the rest days.  So in 12 weeks, that is 48 runs plus probably 12 bike rides.  This was run #2.  We'll see if I can keep this up.  Tomorrow is my usual day to run longer with Susan.  Maybe we can tick off the 4 miles I'm supposed to do Saturday and then I can do another 3 miler then.  We'll see!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Am I Half Crazy?

I may be considering signing up for my first half marathon.  I may be a little jealous that my friend Susan already has 2 medals for finishing two of them (Roots and Blues last fall and Rock the Parkway this past spring).  She may have been urging me to sign up for the St. Louis Rock and Roll Half in October to me for a month or two.  It is just 12 weeks away so I will soon need to "shit or get off the pot" as they say.  Decisions!  Decisions! 
I read in Runner's World the other day that one way to get more motivated is to sign up for a new race distance therefore giving you an automatic PR.  I like the way whoever wrote that thinks!  And I'm not above being a bit of a bling whore.  I did really like my medal from the Show Me State Games last weekend, even if I basically had to show up and finish to get it.

So on a bit of a lark last night, I looked up a novice half marathon training plan from Hal Higdon online.  It looked relatively doable.  The biggest issue will be running more consistently.  That once or twice a week just won't cut it.  I need to focus on the fact that not all runs need to be fast (which is good since nothing I ever run could be considered "fast") and that not all runs need to be long (which lately I seem to do ok in getting in one long run, but very few shorter ones - sometimes it is easier to set aside one long chunk of time).

Since the forecast was for "just a hair off the surface of the sun" hot today, I woke up early and did a sunrise run of 3.1 miles at a ridiculously slow 39 minutes (though in my defense, I did the big Wavco hill in the 2nd mile).  Getting out of bed before 6 AM is not my idea of a good time, but it fit in my day better and avoided the worst of the heat (though the humidity was already out in full force).  Now let's see if I can do it again tomorrow and Thursday and maybe run 4 miles on Saturday before I pull the trigger on paying the big bucks to run a race with 2999 other half crazy folks.
About one mile in standing on Moreau River bridge - the oranges and pinks that were so
pretty were not sufficiently captured by the cell phone selfie camera

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Show Me State Games 2014

Seriously, I wasn't all that excited for this race.  I knew I could probably finish.  I knew that the swim would suck.  I hoped I wouldn't be dead last, but was about half expecting to be.  The only saving grace was that the weather forecast was probably 10-20 degrees cooler than in past years.  And my husband was standing there telling me I just "couldn't skip this one" and ruin my streak (this being my 4th time at this race in 4 years).

I didn't even bother to sign up ahead of time still half hoping I could beg off.  But with some more than gentle nudging from husband, I threw my stuff together last night and got to bed at a reasonable hour.  Slept in until 6, rolled out of bed and dressed, grabbed my gear and a peanut butter sandwich (plus a banana that never did get eaten) and loaded the family in the truck for the easy 30 min ride to Columbia.  God bless local races! 

Registration went pretty smooth.  I lucked out and the lady didn't even charge me the extra $5 late fee so I did the race for a mere $30 (which helped offset the fact that they raised the entry fee $5 this year - whoopee).  The line was pretty short and I still had plenty of time to set up transition, take a few pictures, visit with Tara (gal I met wearing an awesome SUAR tee), and hang out before strolling over to the water.

Setting up my transition area

My tallest fan - and the reason I got moving today!  Bless him!

All ready to go on the boat ramp carpet
Thanks to my daughter for this picture of the first buoy
(tiny orange dot in the distance that men are heading towards - never mind the big butt in the foreground!)
This year they let all the men go first and then 5 min later sent out the women and teams.  There was this guy with a teeny, very colorful speedo that cracked me up and went out with us gals as he was on a team.  For a bit I stood next to a lady that was in my age group and she said she would fight me for a medal, but laughed because she said she hadn't seen anyone else in our age group (40-44).  Hey, gotta love small races!  I had another person tell me thank you for my blog at the race which was funny (though apparently I have one of the easier to find race reports out there). 

It was kind of hard to hear the dude say "Go!" so we were all just standing around kind of wondering when we'd start, but finally we all started listening for it.  I suggest they use an airhorn next year.  I was in the middle as we headed out which was dumb, but I didn't want to be up on the ramp knowing I'd have to tiptoe through the rocks at the end of the ramp (plus the lake weeds).  After a few bumps and one good knock to the side of my face, I was solidly at the back and only about 1/2 way to the first buoy (which was more to the left this year).  I made the turn to Buoy #2 and was going into the sun.  Most of the swim I felt like I just couldn't catch my breath.  I would flip to backstroke every so often to breathe it out, but then more than once I would splash water up my nose or in my mouth and cough/choke while the poor folks in canoes would wonder if they should jump in and save me (I told them I was OK - how embarrassing).

My husband said he saw a couple of guys in the first group swim to shore before the first buoy and quit.  and I saw another guy that got way off course and actually came out of the water after me even though he looked strong and fit.  But overall, I was towards the back of the swimmers - not the last out of the water, but damn close.  I finally made it to the 2nd buoy and turned towards the boat ramp.  That damn boat ramp never seemed to get closer.  I would try to swim a strong front crawl for a bit and then side or back stroke a bit to catch my breath and re-sight only to look and think that ramp was just as far away.  I was pretty much hating the swim.  But I looked at my watch as I got out and was pleasantly surprised to see that I hadn't done that bad.  Garmin says I swam 0.55 mi in 28:07.  Map showed I didn't swim very straight on the last leg of the triangle.
Coming out of the water - not many behind me
Didn't feel quite as bad as last year when I got out of the water though I was breathing hard and choked on some water I took from the station at the top of the ramp.  I took my time this year to dry my feet and put on socks.  Lesson learned!  After 2:22 min in T1, I headed out on the bike.  I felt relatively good compared to the same point last year, but was having a hard time pushing any speed.  I tried to catch a couple ladies ahead of me, but without much luck (until one of them dropped her chain on a hill).  I did catch a dude at the turn around - though he was like 64!  We leapfrogged each other on some hills (him ahead on the downhill and me ahead on the uphill).  We chatted a couple times (great job Mark!). 
Leaving transition
I finally dropped him and tried to chase down a young'un ahead of me (17!).  I finally caught her when she had to brake for a car that was about to block her left turn onto the outer road (I yelled for her to watch out as I thought it was going to hit her).  But she caught back up to me shortly thereafter and we chatted until we were nearly back at the bike.  She was trying to catch her mom (45 - thankfully not in my age group) which she did I saw later.  She had run a half marathon on Thursday at cross country camp (what's a taper?) and blew past me on the run - dropping me like a bad habit.

I forgot to hit the button as I came into transition so my bike time includes T2 and my watch screwed up somehow and didn't record my distance though it was the same as last year so about 15 or so miles for about 14.6 mph for 1:01:44.  As I headed out on the run, I took my powerade with me from the bike.  I had been burned by too little fluids in the past.  It was kinda lukewarm, but still tasted ok.  The cold water at the aid station was a lot better.  I tried to run, but my legs were having none of that.  I did way more walking that I should have and not even the fast walking I normally do with my husband.  It was a trudge.  I tried to run for little bits, but my legs were cramping up (mostly my calves).  My knees hurt and it was starting to warm up.  I realized about here that I didn't put on sunscreen this morning. Ooops!  Such is life.  At least I would be done soon.

After the turn around (this year first run lap of lake was done counter clockwise and the 2nd lap was clockwise), I met Mark as I came back and he said he was going to try to pick up his pace and catch me.  He looked hot and out of breath so I wasn't sure he could do it, but then again - I was walking an awful lot.  He caught me just before mile 2 and we pushed each other to run a little more, but walked and talked some making me think about how much my legs hurt a little less.  We got chicked by an older lady (59) and then passed a dude (60) that was walking.  I think there might have been one or two others behind us, but it was hard to tell as some folks went out for extra laps after they finished so that they could get in more training. 

It was an ugly run, but once again - I finished.  Run pace is a bit of a guess because the watch must have lost satellites and never got them back (shows no distance) and I forgot to hit the damn button again.  Best I can tell, 13:33 min/mi for about 42 min.  When I glanced at the official result sheet, they had 2:14 and some change for the whole event.  This adds up about the same as my Garmin data.  So looks like I finished about 4 min slower than last year and about 2 min slower than the year before. 

My daughter totally captured how I felt through most of this run - LOL!
The good news?  The lady that was in my age group came up to me as I finished (she wasn't all that far ahead of me) and told me she had come in 2nd in our group and that there hadn't been a 3rd so that I probably medaled!  LMAO!!  Sure enough - I checked with the race folks and they handed me a 30th anniversary Show Me State Games bronze medal!  God bless small races with tiny age groups.  My very first race medal!  (I actually should have gotten one last year by the same default method, but had left thinking as far back as I was there wasn't any point to checking). 
Bronze Medalist - Even if close to last!
So another triathlon in the books.  I guess it is an accomplishment no matter what, but I feel like I let myself down by not specifically training for it.  I'll definitely be feeling this one for a few days.  Tentatively planning on another birthday weekend of trail running fun at Kicks in the Sticks (Susan and I looking to dominate another small age group though we are torn between the shorter and the longer routes). 

Also need to get the Luebbert Lunatics signed up for another year at the Epic Mud Run (though I think this year my son is going to bow out and man the cooler and lawn chair at the finish).  That is Labor Day weekend.  Hard to believe school starts in just another few weeks.  Still a little vacation time to be had though.  Next weekend we are heading to Bennett Springs State Park to do some fishing, hiking, floating, etc.  Should be fun.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Tri-ing to Train

In hopes of not suffering too much during the Show Me State Games triathlon this coming weekend, I've been trying to get in a few key workouts.  A few weekends ago, I did my first brick workout in probably close to a year.  I rode my bike out to the interchange and back for a little over 11 miles and then just ran about 2 miles in my neighborhood.  Slow, but sure.  Better than nothing.  Then I went over to Stephen's Lake after work in the week following and got my swim on.  I forgot my watch so I just swam until I was totally sick of it - probably about 45 min and likely just under a mile.
Stephens Lake swim area
The weekend after the 4th of July holiday, we met friends down at the Osage River for an afternoon of fun.  I decided to leave early and go by bike (almost 13 miles) and had thought about doing a short run, but really only did about 0.25 mile.  Ugh.  Not much of a brick.

View of the Osage River from the end of my bike ride
I've also been getting in some long, slow runs with Susan on her days off - one shorter one (on a day she wanted to bail, we went around her neighborhood for 3.75 miles) and a couple longer ones (Katy Trail 8.4 miles and MKT in Columbia for 6.4 miles).  But I definitely haven't done enough of the shorter runs (and in the hot weather) that would be good for training for a sprint. 
Katy Trail bridge

MKT Trail Run Smiles

After run drinks at Flat Branch
This last Sunday morning, I was up at 1 AM to head out to try the Tour de Jeff City moonlight bike ride.  I did it in 2011, but the following couple of years the date didn't fit with my schedule.  I rode last time with my friend (surveyor) Ron, but I was pretty much on my own this time.  I did it in a leisurely 2 hours (ish) last time including a pit stop.  This year I rolled out with the first group of 50, was quickly toward the front of the group (WTF is up with that?), skipped the stop and finished in just over an hour (for 15 miles around town).  Even rode up the big JCMG hill that I walked the last time.  Not a bad workout!
Big smile before the moonlight ride

Just before 2 A.M. roll out
 Last night, the weather was insanely nice (low 70's) so Walter, Pranavi and I rolled out for about 21 miles.  A few big hills, but mostly flat or rollers - but glad to be done as none of us were really feeling it.  So the big grin below is because we got it done (and because Walter just didn't see what was such a big deal about getting a post ride selfie).
Does the ride count without at least one pic like this?
I'm not looking forward to the long swim this weekend (half-ish mile in Philips Lake), but the bike shouldn't be too bad and I figure I can always trudge my way through the two laps of the lake for the 3.1 mi run.  Makes me wish I'd swam more.  Story of my last couple of years!  Guess I'll just try to gut it out and finish.  Maybe it won't be so bad.  Of course, we won't even talk about the 15 extra pounds I have to take with me this year.  Ugh! 

Monday, June 23, 2014

MMNW + More Motivation?

Well if having to report my MMNW as 173.4 isn't enough motivation for me to reign in my diet then I don't know what is.  Geez - I'm up over 10 pounds from this time last year.  WTF!  Late last year and earlier this year I was the most active (and the most consistently so) that I've ever been and the weight slowly crept on.  I know some of it is less than stellar diet habits that definitely rear their ugly head when I am under stress (life, work, etc).  But my only other guess is that I think I give myself a little extra slack in that department when I burn a lot of calories in workouts (or at least think I do).  So I suspect it was a little combination of those factors and some general laziness that contributed to it.  I'm still way healthier than I have been in the past, but I could stand at least a 10-20 pound weight loss without most people around me even noticing and 30 isn't really out of the realm of what the total loss should be.  Ugh!  Such a daunting task!

For me dieting (both the weight loss kind and the general healthy eating lifestyle kind) has always taken a certain amount of mental energy.  And in the last few months, I've just simply been a little short of that.  I know what to and what not to eat.  I know that if I plan out my meals on paper ahead of time I eat better more consistently.  I know that logging what I eat helps me control the urge to reach up in the cabinet for things that aren't so good for me.  I know that for solid weight loss like I am looking at that I am going to have to create a real calorie deficit (not just the imaginary one I have in my head).  I know that I drink too many calories (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic).  I know that I don't control portions as good as I should.  But for some reason, even though I've done so in the past (and been relatively successful at it), I can't seem to get myself motivated to put all this wonderful knowledge into action.

So what to do? Some days it is simply "do the best I can".  But I've relied on that too much lately and the scale shows that isn't really working.  Just needed to carve out the time and make a plan and then execute the plan.

In the meantime, Monday was not a "win". I sat in the car listening to a book on cd during my daughter's softball practice.  Should have gone for a run like last week.  Last night was slightly better.  Went to healthplex and lifted weights and walked a little.   Decided I would rather walk outside so we did our usual 2 miles at home.  Then today I stopped by Stephens Lake on the way home and put in about a half mile.  Annoyed that my garmin seemed to be shorting my distance in open water swim mode.  Must leave my left arm underwater too long.

So onward I push towards not completely sucking at the show me games in July. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Popping In - Motivation?

Today I read a nice post from fellow Blogger Joe of Rock Star Tri.  He discussed how often a blog is part of our own motivation.  I agree and for me in the past it has been part of my accountability - I don't want to write down that I ate crap or gained weight or skipped a workout.  I want to celebrate my "wins" - whether that be just getting out there and getting it done or stretching myself in a new distance or a new race.  But often, as with many of us, life sometimes gets in the way.  Blogging is just one of those things that falls by the wayside when things get crazy.  The good news is that everything has been relatively positive  for me - busy with work, busy with kids, busy with other family and friend obligations.  The bad news is that sometimes those blessings are double edged swords - business is good, but lots of work means lots of hours to get it done; children active in sports that keep them healthy means chauffer hat on a lot to practices and games and meets and tournaments; and so it goes.

My workout streak continued until March 28th (from Thanksgiving day).  I had to get a lot of work done that day and then leave early to take my kids to the Missouri State Archery Tournament as both our elementary and middle school teams qualified based on previous tournament scores (proud mom!)  It was down at the Lake of the Ozarks and by the time we got home, I just didn't have it in me to squeak out a workout.  I'm ok with that.  But I'm not OK with the fact that I really did struggle after breaking the streak to maintain my consistency in the months since.

I did treat myself a bit by purchasing a brand new cross bike - a Specialized Tricross.  I got it at the LBS (Red Wheel).  It has a little bit of an odd gearing - a triple that kinda makes noise in the lower and upper gears.  I even took it back to the store to see if something was broken!  And while I was hoping to do some gravel grinding with it (maybe try to keep up with Kate, Luke, Bob, etc), my first several rides were on the road.  But I got grumbles from my husband when I failed to take it out very often in the first months of ownership.  So my first try off-pavement was a relatively easy Katy Trail ride to Hartsburg and back to JC and then on home (and past it a little for a solid 30 miles).  This last weekend I met part of a goal from last year to ride a chunk of the Katy Trail - from JC to Hermann (and then back to Rhineland for 50 miles).  My friend Pranavi kept me company and made the miles as enjoyable as could be.

I still occasionally get out for what Susan and I call our "therapy runs" - where there may be more talking and walking than speedwork, but we come away with having offloaded the worries of our day or week.  And we go with the idea that miles are miles and sometimes the nurturing of our souls and our friendship is more important than the pace.  God bless her!

Spring pretty much came and went without me so much as signing up for a race (since St. Pats).  I was fighting a little bit of a hip issue and bailed on the Maxtrax Duathlon.  Skipped the Cedar Cross (Sapling) because I went to watch my daughter at Little Olympics track meet (she ran the 400 and a relay).  I bagged the Trizou sprint because I hadn't been the pool in ages.  I'm sure there were some other 5Ks and the like that came and went without an entry from me.  Motivation waned as I struggled to juggle it all.  Lately I feel like there is a pinhole of light at the end of the tunnel with work, etc.  Daughter is down to just one sport (softball), Scouts is on summer hiatus (except summer camp in a couple weeks) and a couple big trips are behind me.

Oh, what trips you say?  Yeah, I spent Mother's Day weekend taking my son to the National Archery Tournament in Louisville, KY.  We took off after school on Thursday and drove to a dinner stop in IL (just east of St. Louis) and then on to a hotel in Indiana stopping a bit short of the final destination, but not driving too long in the dark.  The next morning we drove the rest of the way, went to Megacavern and did Megaquest ropes course/mini zipline (geez, what a workout!), ate at Wendys and headed over to the tournament.  My son didn't shoot his best round, but it was amazing to see all these young archers in one place.  The next morning we toured the Louisville Slugger museum and headed back home. 

The other trip was a big birthday treat for my daughter's 10th birthday.  She had never been on a plane so I booked us 2 tickets to Chicago (for after school was out as she wanted to get perfect attendance).  It was a bit of a "Planes, Trains and Automobiles"-type trip, but overall my daughter was a total trooper and a fantastic travel buddy.  We saw great art, went out on the ledge at the Willis (Sears) Tower, looked at all the cool things at the Field Museum, enjoyed a day with my sister at the Museum of Science and Industry (and some shopping on the Magnificent Mile), petted the sting rays and looked at all the fun aquatic animals at the Shedd Aquarium, did a 4.5 mile kayak of the Chicago River on an architectural tour (in a tandem kayak with my daughter doing every bit of her share of the paddling like a freaking rock star!), ate tons of amazing food and walked all over.  Of course, daughter got to swim in the hotel pools and such (always funny how big of a deal that can be to kids!).

So much going in life - building amazing memories, making a little coin and staying somewhat active.  I've gone to the Healthplex here and there and done a little strength training, but not nearly as much as the weather got nicer.  I walk somewhat regularly with my tall drink of water husband when time doesn't allow for much else.  But he has been bugging me to do the Show Me State Games triathlon (in 4 weeks!) - and for the first time in a couple years I'm a little nervous about finishing.  The swim really kicked my ass last year.  A recent run in the heat of the evening during daughter's softball practice reminded me how bad you can feel when not heat acclimated.  So I'm probably going to do it (I mean  it is 30 min away and $25!), but I had better get in the freaking pool or lake!

I've put on a handful of pounds and I need to spend some time soon focusing on diet in the coming months and try to peel it back off.  All in good time.  Maybe some accountability here on the blog will be just the motivation needed to get back with healthier habits and more consistency on the exercise front.  If you want, stay on this journey with me.  If not, I still appreciate the opportunity to share my journey with others who might someday look back at this post and realize it is ok to stumble and get back to it.

Will post this for whoever might be out there with an interest.  Be back soon with some great pictures and more adventures.  Take care and God Bless!