Monday, July 30, 2007

Detours Along the Way

I think I mentioned previously that my son's soccer team qualified for regionals in 3v3 play. Well, regionals were this past weekend in Dallas. We left Friday after work, checked into the hotel and put the kids to bed. I brought my workout clothes and thought about hitting the fitness center, but it was already 9:30. After being in the car for a long drive, I decided I'd just go to bed as well. I had also thought I'd get up early in the morning for a run before the tournament, but their first game was at 9:00 a.m. That meant we needed to be at the field by 8:15, which meant leaving the hotel by 7:45. Uggghhhh. The morning run got skipped as well.

We were at the soccer fields most of the day. They played four games. Let's just say, they didn't play like they normally do, so we won't be going to nationals with this tournament. His team has also qualified for regionals with another tournament, so we'll see how they do in that one on August 11th.

Since we were already in the Dallas area, we had promised the kids a trip to Six Flags. After the tournament was over, we found a hotel and let the kids hit the pool (after some hotel issues at the first hotel). One of my son's soccer teammates and his dad stayed as well so they could join us at Six Flags on Sunday.

Sunday morning we got to sleep in a little (although sleeping in for my kids is about 6:30 or 7:00 am). After breakfast and packing up, we were ready to hit the park. My husband, daughter and I love roller coasters, but the last time we were at Six Flags (a few years ago) my son was not willing to ride the rides. This time, he said he would try. First coaster up was a coaster called Flashback. You go through three loops forward and then do it all again backwards. He was either going to end up loving coasters, or after this one, he'd be done. We had no wait in line, got on and took off. When we got done, he was ready to go. Wahoo!! Our coaster family is complete.

We had bought a fast pass and used that for a few coasters, but the crowd really wasn't too bad. By 2:00 we had ridden most of the rides we wanted to ride - except for one of the rides the two boys weren't tall enough for. My husband watched the kids while Jim and I hit Mr. Freeze. Then we were headed to Batman and scanned the fast pass - Ride Shut Down. Hmmm. We started walking back to some other rides and saw that several were shut down as well. We looked in the sky and knew why. A storm was brewing. We headed for SpongeBob 4-D, an indoor ride. And when we came out, the sky had let loose. It was pouring. We headed for some shelter. After about 30 minutes and no relief in sight, we decided to call it a day.

Overall it was a successful weekend, but no working out for me. My husband and I both had the day off today, so we worked in the yard (I was drenched in sweat just like when I work out) and then we took the kids to the movies. My husband and son saw Transformers and my daughter and I saw Harry Potter. Then it was time for me to get back in the swing of things. I headed to the pool for a 2,000 meter swim and then came home and hit the treadmill for a 5 mile run.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

What a Week

After the 12 mile run on the treadmill and the 40 mile bike ride this weekend, I knew I would take Monday easy. Normally I swim and run on Mondays, but I figured I would just swim. I also had a meeting Monday night at 6:00, so I only got in 1,500 meters instead of my normal 2,000. That's ok. I didn't feel bad about that.

Tuesday turned into a yoga only day. No running again. I felt a little bad about not running Tuesday because the main reason I didn't run was I needed to read some more of Harry Potter. Between Harry Potter and the rain, my training is suffering a little. I've got to finish that book before someone spoils it for me, but I fall asleep reading it at 10:00 each night.

Wednesdays are normally a bike ride and track practice. However, today brought a big thunderstorm and track practice was cancelled. Thank goodness I got the trainer last week. I put my bike on it, hopped on, and rode for an hour. Then I changed shoes and hopped on the treadmill for a 4 mile run. And the best thing about it all - I'm done in time to get in at least 2 solid hours of reading Harry Potter before bedtime! I'm a little over halfway through. Reading tonight will get me quite a bit further and hopefully I'll be done Friday or Saturday.

This weekend and next week are going to be tough as well though as I will be out of town for some of the time and there are lots of things on the calendar. I'll do what I can. For now, I'm off to the couch with my book!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Country Roads

Today's game plan was a long bike ride with my yoga teacher's husband who does century rides. He showed up right on time at 12:30 ready to head out for a 40 mile ride. We took off straight from my house. I was a little nervous about this because I like riding on nice wide shoulders and today we would be going through our downtown (two lanes of traffic with a center turn lane and no shoulders) out to the country roads (no shoulders at all).

When we hit downtown, I let him lead and just stayed right behind him. Cars passed, but the lane was wide enough that I felt ok. Once we got to the country roads there were fewer cars, but still more than I expected. It didn't take me long to get use to the cars coming by. I'm still more comfortable on shoulders but it was fine. I wouldn't do it by myself, but with him it was good.

We road all along the countryside. I've lived here most of my life and we went on roads I've never been on before. Around mile 20 we stopped for a few minutes at the little country store of the town we were in to refill water bottles, take a gu, and stretch a little. It felt good to stretch. Then we took off for the last 20. More country roads. I had no idea where I was. I did ok until about mile 30 and then I noticed that I was really slowing down. Especially on the hills. But I was getting it done. My back didn't hurt as much today, but I'm still not use to sitting on the seat for that long. My legs and lungs were fine. I joked that I was just going to put my bike on the trainer and just sit on it for 4 or 5 hours just to get use to sitting on the bike for that long. It definitely takes some getting use to.

As I rolled back onto my street I looked at my bike computer. It said 42.17 miles, so that's what is going on the books. 14 more to hit the 56 I'll be doing on race day. Race day is a little less than 3 months away, so hopefully I can get in a few more long rides of 50-60 miles. Doing 40 today really helped. I may not be the fastest person out there, but I'm feeling better about being able to get it done.

On a side note, my son's soccer team qualified for the 3v3 regionals from the tournament they were in this weekend. They've already qualified for regionals from another tournament, but they are two different regionals and will be played in different locations and on different weekends. I like the one they qualified for today. If they place at regionals and qualify for nationals, they'll get to go to Orlando for that and play at Disney's Wide World of Sports. I love Disneyworld, so I'm all about having a reason to go. That's why I've done the Disney marathon the past two years and I'll be doing it again in January! Let's hope they qualify.

My daughter and I went shopping after my bike ride to get her some "collared" shirts. She's taking a junior golf clinic next week and needs to "dress like a golfer". That should be interesting.

As for Harry Potter, well I'm only on chapter 5. I don't seem to be getting a lot read. Hopefully I'll read some more tonight.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Tough Decisions Today

Today was suppose to be a great day. 12 mile run with TNT. Go to my son's soccer tournament. Pick up Harry Potter. Spend rest of day reading Harry Potter.

This was NOT how today happened. Here is how today happened.

Wake up at 5:00 to get ready for my 12 mile run with TNT. Rejoice that the ground is dry and it is not raining. Fix my oatmeal, sit down to eat, hear cell phone ring. Answer cell phone. It's my friend (who also happens to be one of the assistant coaches this season). Coach is cancelling practice because of the rain. WHAT???? We are only suppose to cancel practice if it is lightning or storming really bad. It wasn't even raining at my house.

Log onto the internet. Check radar. Lots of rain is showing, but all to the west of the interstate and all moving northwest. It looks to me like it wouldn't affect us at all. But I'm not the coach. And an email has already been sent out to cancel practice. Hmmm. What to do.

I finally decide that I'll just take the opportunity and go to my son's soccer tournament. I wasn't going to go at all, but I enjoy watching him play. He had games at 8:30, 11:15, and 2:15. We were at the soccer fields until 3:00. Not a drop of rain until about 1:30. It rained hard for about 15 minutes and then was gone.

After the tournament, we headed to the golf club to sign my daughter up for the junior golf clinic next week. She is not going to play soccer next season and is exploring options for what she wants to do in middle school. She knows she wants to play volleyball, but she also wants to try golf, so the golf clinic is perfect.

Then we stopped by my parents house to pick up my Harry Potter book that my mom picked up for me. Wahoo. Only problem is that I still had a 12 mile run to get in. By this time, it is raining again. Do I skip the run and read Harry Potter or do I get the run in on the treadmill. I'm resigned to the treadmill - or as most runners call it, the dreadmill. For 12 looooonnnnngggg boooooorrrrriiinnnnggg miles. Ugggh. But I did it. I did walk some the last couple of miles, but on a treadmill I'll take it. Too bad I can't read while I run on the treadmill.

I just took my shower and am ready to go read Harry Potter for an hour or so. Tomorrow I'm supposed to go on a 40 mile bike ride. Hopefully the rain will stay away for that. And I'll try to get in as much Harry Potter as I can. If you've read it, don't tell me what happens. And I promise not to tell you when I'm done.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Bought The Trainer Just In Time

It rained again today. I know you are surprised. And it didn't just rain some. It rained all day. And it rained a lot. The drive in to work this morning took longer because you could barely see in front of you. My son came home very muddy from camp today. He loved it. I love my new trainer.

When I got home from work, I started the wash, paid some bills and did some cleaning, and then we put my trainer together and put my bike on it. I hopped on it tonight for a 30 minute "ride" to check it out. It's a great workout. The best thing is I don't have to wear a helmet. After I'm done riding outside, my head looks like I just got out of the shower. It was a little cooler indoors without the helmet, but not much. I was still sweating and was almost soaked when I got off, even after only 30 minutes. I guess now I need to buy a mat to go under it so the carpet doesn't get stinky.

The best thing about it is I think my husband wants one now. Ha. We can get on our trainers and watch a movie. How's that for a date????? We'll see what happens.

I'm off to bed for now. I've got a 12 mile run with Team in Training in the morning. I'm hoping the rain holds off until we are done. If not, it should be a fun run in the rain. (as long as there is no lightning).

Good night!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Bought a New Toy Today

I am so sick of the rain and it messing up my training schedule. Wednesday, I was suppose to be on the bike. But another thunderstorm rolled through the area and by the time it was gone, it was too late to get on the bike and get in a decent workout before it got dark. I was so frustrated I hopped on the treadmill and ran 5 miles.

I've been thinking about getting a trainer for my bike anyway, but today sitting at work I decided I would run by the local bike shop on my lunch break and check them out. They had four models. I told the guy what I am training for and why I need it and he suggested I get a magnetic trainer. (for those of you who don't know what a trainer is, it is a device that you hook your real bike up to and it allows you to pedal with resistance, but not go anywhere. This allows you to set it up inside your house for bad weather days. Many triathletes, especially those in the north, use them to train when they can't get outside.) I had some money that I had gotten for my birthday that I had planned to spend on bike stuff anyway, so I bought it. I would have preferred the fluid trainer, but it was twice as much and I wasn't ready to part with that much money when I still need to get aerobars.

After work, I headed to the Town Lake trails and ran. There is no longer water over the trails, but the lake is still very high and the water is stilling moving fairly quick. Then I headed to a coach/mentor meeting for Team in Training. I'm a mentor this season and we are trying to figure out who needs help with fundraising and training.

I was hoping to try out the trainer tonight, but I didn't get home from the meeting until a little after 9:00. I'll have to play with it tomorrow. I've asked a friend who is a serious cyclist to do a long ride with me on Sunday if he can, so we'll see. Maybe I'll do the trainer tomorrow, run long Saturday and ride long Sunday. Sounds like fun, huh?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Exhausted - But Not From Training

Sorry I'm just now getting around to updating again. This past weekend my husband was in charge of a 3 day Christian retreat for youth called a Chrysalis. He had left on Thursday to go down for the weekend, so after my 10 mile run Saturday morning, I headed that way to help keep things going on the outside and to help out in the kitchen cooking meals. As soon as I got there, I took a shower and then went straight to work. And I didn't stop working until 1:00 a.m. Sunday morning. Then I was up again at 5:30 to help get breakfast going. We didn't get back home Sunday night until about 8:30. I was in bed at 9:30.

Monday I went swimming as usual, but I could tell I was tired. I swam slower than usual. I debated on whether to try to get my run in or just relax, but I went ahead with my run, too. Six miles with 6 hill repeats thrown in. And this week the heat and humidity didn't get to me. I ran the whole time. I came home, took and shower, ate dinner and was in bed by 9:30 again.

Today is yoga day and I am ready. Especially for the part at the end - the relaxation/meditation time. I may just fall asleep tonight! We'll see how I feel when I get home and I'll decide then whether to do a short run or not. My guess is probably not. I'll let you know.

Friday, July 13, 2007

New Bike Route

Thursday night was a busy night, so the schedule got thrown out the door. I did get in a 4 mile run on the treadmill, but that was it.

Tonight was time for another long bike ride. I'm tired of riding around the neighborhood and having to stop at all the stop signs and lights. So tonight, I decided to try something new. There is a new toll road that runs close to the lake here. The access roads have wide shoulders and hardly anyone uses them. I have heard from others that they ride on them and I thought I'd give it a try.

I headed out to the lake to park my car. From there, I road to the access road along a road that was part of the triathlon I did a few weeks ago. There wasn't much shoulder on that road, but it wasn't bad. When I got to the toll roads I decided I would just ride the loop until I got my miles in. I was hoping it would be a longer loop, but it only turned out to be about 4.5 miles. But, only a couple of stops to cross the bridge and head back the other way, so still much better than the neighborhood.

On the side heading south, there was a major headwind. And the road is almost all uphill. It's not a steep hill until right before you get to the bridge to turn around, but the whole thing is a gradual incline. Nice practice. I think I did between 13 & 15 mph on this side.

On the side heading north, it's downhill at first, then flat, then a slight uphill back to the turnaround area. I did between 18 & 21 mph on this side.

So it was just me and the road. And a few cars here and there. And a few cows. There was one cow that seemed to watch me everytime I passed. He (or she - not sure) was quite cute. :) I was happy with this ride and ended up getting 30 miles in. I could have kept going, but the sun was going down and I was wearing black. I wanted to get back before it got dark so people could see me on the road. I think I'll be heading back out there for some more bike rides in the future.

Tomorrow morning the team is scheduled for a 10 mile run. Should be fun. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Working Hard on Wednesdays

Sunday was my off day. My aunt and uncle brought my daughter and niece home from church camp and we spent the day at my parents visiting while the kids swam. It was a relaxing day after the hills of Saturday.

Monday's schedule got a little messed up due to my daughter's appointment with the ENT. I didn't get my swim in, but I did try to get in my run. I set out to do a 6 mile run with 6 hill repeats in there. I got the six miles in, but I only got 5 hill repeats in. And I had to walk the last one. My quads were toast after the hills Saturday and my body was rebelling against the heat and humidity.

Since I didn't swim Monday, I went swimming Tuesday after work and got in my 2,000 meters. No yoga Tuesday night as my instructor is still on vacation. I don't think she should be allowed to take vacations during my training! (ha - just kidding)

So today was my normal bike day and track practice day. There is a lady helping out with the run team that I met last spring when I did the CapTexTri with Team in Training. I had mentioned to her that I try to bike on Wednesdays before track and she said she might join me sometimes. Well today was a day she joined me. And it was great. We talked the whole time, so I wasn't focusing on how far I'd gone or how far I had left to go. The only way we knew how many laps we had done was by looking at the mileage on my computer (which actually got started a little late because it wasn't snapped in properly at first and I didn't notice it until sometime during the first lap). Anyway, the goal was to get in 20 miles. The veloway is 3.3 miles around. Six laps gets you real close to 20 miles but we decided to go ahead and do another one. I wouldn't have done it without her there. And that's the thing I love most about Team in Training. I'm sure it holds true for other groups as well. You spend so much time with these people and you are training for the same common goal, so you get to be good friends. The mileage on my computer at the end showed 21.25 miles. It was a little more than that thanks to the computer not working at first, but since I don't know how far, 21.25 is what will go in the books.

After the bike ride we headed to the Smoothie Shop for a smoothie. I'd never had one from there but decided to get the energizer smoothie. It was pretty good and hit the spot. Cold, sweet and yummy. We then headed over for track practice.

Track practice tonight was a decending ladder. We would warm up a little bit, do our drills and then do our speedwork. Speedwork consisted of the following:
1000 meters fast
2:00 recovery
800 meters fast
1:45 recovery
600 meters fast
1:30 recovery
400 meters fast
1:15 recovery
200 meters fast
2 laps to cool down
core work

The goal of the decending ladder is to get faster toward the end. Yeah right. My goal was to keep a steady pace for each 400 meter lap (1 lap = 400 meters). So here are my splits

1000 meters:
lap 1 = 2:01
lap 2 = 2:07
1/2 lap = 1:04

recovery: 1:43

800 meters:
lap 1 = 2:08
lap 2 = 2:16

recovery: 1:50

600 meters:
lap 1 = 2:09
1/2 lap = 1:07

recovery: 1:51

400 meters:
lap 1 = 2:08

recovery: 1:55

200 meters:
1/2 lap = :55

Not bad after riding 21 miles on the bike! I felt good about it. The more I do well at track practice after riding the bike, the better I feel about the bike run transition for the Longhorn HIM.

All in all, it was a good day.

I also took pictures of the lake near where we run and some of the trail that goes around the lake. And this is after several days of no rain.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Visions of San Francisco

This morning the Team in Training group was scheduled to run 10 miles. After doing 30 on the bike last night, I was curious how my legs would feel. I figured I would be ok on a relatively flat course. That should have been a warning right there.

On the drive down this morning, I witnessed a nice little lightning storm. Would we be able to run? When I got to our meeting spot this morning, they handed out maps. Uh-oh. Hills were on tap. And lots of them. And big ones. Very little flat spots at all. Hmmmm. Would it be a good day or a day gone bad.

We took off running and were told that if it started storming to find a shelter. One of the mentors lived along the route, so we were also given directions to her house - just in case. As we got into the hills, you could see the heavy mist and feel the humidity in the air. Humidity is bad enough, but ad hills to that and you have some very sweaty, heavy breathing individuals. There was one hill on the route that I'm pretty sure got to everyone. I don't think anyone ran up that hill. I became a walker for a brief moment this morning. But we've got to do it. There will be hills in San Francisco and the more we practice on them here, the more prepared we will be.

My legs did much better than I thought they would. They were not sore at all from yesterday. My quads did burn going up some of the hills, but it wasn't the legs that stopped me on the big one. It was the humidity. I'm not sure I'll ever get used to that, no matter how often I run in it. It just makes it hard to breathe.

Toward the end of the run, we did get some of the rain that had been threatening us. It was just a light, steady rain and was actually kind of nice. It helped make the last couple of miles a lot easier. I don't mind running in the rain. It turned out to be a good day afterall.

Friday, July 6, 2007


I saw two things today I have not seen in a very long time - the sun and blue in the sky. There were still lots of clouds, but they weren't the dark, ominous looking clouds that we've had for so long. They were white puffy clouds.

As soon as I got home from work, I put on my bike clothes, grabbed some gatorade and water and hit the road. My goal was to get in as much as I could as dark skies had made their presence known once again. I was hoping to get in at least 15 miles. I ended up getting in 30 miles!!!! Twice as much as I had hoped, and over 1/2 the distance of the half ironman. I'm so glad I got that in.

I'm not really in pain. My lower back is a tiny bit sore and my upper back, too. I'm sitting in the massage chair as I type this :) I made the ride an easy ride, now worrying about my speed. I didn't want to get my legs sore. And they are not. They didn't even feel jellylike when I got off the bike. We'll see if they are still ok in the morning when I get up to do my 10 mile run with my Team in Training group.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Rain Drops Keep Falling on my Head

Monday it was back to business. I did my 2,000 meter swim after work and then came home and ran 6 miles. The run was actually quite nice. It was overcast, so it was only in the 80s and it wasn't too humid. I was actually hoping for some rain while I ran. But it didn't come until after I got home.

Tuesday is normally yoga day, but my yoga instructor is on vacation. So, I decided I would run instead. It was raining off and on and I wasn't in the mood to run in rain today, so I did my run on the treadmill. I got in 4 miles.

Since today is the 4th of July, I am off work. I slept in this morning. When I got up, I ate breakfast, read the paper and then checked the radar on the internet to see what the weather was going to do. I woke up in the middle of the night last night and could tell it was pouring down rain. But this morning it was just overcast. Do I ride or do I not ride? That was the question.

The forecast for today is spotted showers and thunderstorms all day. The radar seemed clear at the moment, but there was a big patch of thunderstorms to the south that looked like they might be heading our way. Hmmm. How long would I have? I decided to try.

I got on my bike gear, pumped up my tires and headed out. I didn't even get a mile away from the house and it started to rain. Not heavy at first. I could deal with that. And then it started coming down harder. I turned around. By the time I got back home, it was pouring and I was soaked. I got a whole 1.25 miles in. Wahoo. That's really going to be helpful when I have to do 56 miles on race day.

I probably should have kept riding. I know that on race day if it rains I'll have to ride in it so I might as well do training rides in it, right? But I just couldn't. Maybe if I had a training partner I would have kept going, but I don't. So I took the easy way out. I just didn't feel safe being on the bike with rain coming down and some of the crazy drivers around here. At least on race day, the course will be marked for the cyclists and there will be several hundred other cyclists out there with me.

The rain has got to end at some point. The half ironman is still 3 months away, so I'm not overly concerned yet, but I do need to get in some good long rides - SOON!

I have no idea what we'll do the rest of the day. Like I said, it is going to rain off and on all day. Some of the fireworks shows have even been cancelled. Sounds like a lazy day to me.

Happy 4th of July to you wherever you are!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Being Lazy

On Thursday of last week, I did my usual 2,000 meter swim, but that is all I did. I had plans to meet a friend for dinner and we ended up talking for about 3 hours. I don't do that often, but it's great when I do.

Friday, we left town to go and pick up my daughter from camp at my mother-in-laws. Saturday morning I slept in a little, but still wanted to get my run in. When we are at my mother-in-laws, my husband will ride his bike while I run since I don't know my way around the town very well. Since we had slept in a litte it was about 8:30 a.m. when we headed out. Due to all the rain everyone has had, it was already humid. My goal was to get in 9 miles. I got in 9 miles all right, but it wasn't pretty, and I didn't run them all. When the sun started coming out, I started baking. There was no breeze whatsoever. The part of town we were in is very hilly, so I started walking up the hills and running the rest. When we hit mile 6, I told him we could go back and I'd just walk around the block until I hit 9 miles. By the time I was done, I was soaked.

Saturday afternoon, we took my daughter on to my grandma's house in another town because she will be at camp with my Aunt, cousin, and niece next week. We slept in again this morning and got home around 3:30. I've been washing clothes and doing some cleaning since we got home. It rained on us most of the way home. I'm hoping that the weather clears off this week. I'll get back into my routine tomorrow and am hoping to get in a couple of long bike rides this week (assuming the weather allows - I've got to check into trainers!).