Thursday, August 30, 2007

School Is In Session and New Schedules

School started on Tuesday. My son started 4th grade and my daughter started 6th grade. Where we live, 6th grade means Middle School (some call it Junior High). Since she is in middle school now, that means no before school care, no after school care, and no "day care" for school holidays. Yikes! Because of this, my training schedule has had to change a bit. I can no longer go swimming after work and have my husband pick the kids up at day care. I have to go straight from work to her school to pick her up on time. You see, we live too close to the school for bussing, but too far from the school for mommy to feel safe with her walking home.

I was off on Monday and we ran lots of last minute school erands. Once we were home in the evening I was able to get in an hour on the trainer and a 4 mile run on the treadmill. Tuesday yoga was cancelled, so I went to watch my son's soccer practice instead. He is at a new location and I need to know where it is in case my husband has a work meeting or is out of town. It was kind of nice to sit and watch and relax. Since I usually only do yoga on Tuesday I figured a day off was ok. Wednesday evening (after homework was done of course) I hopped on the trainer for an hour and then the treadmill again for a 4 mile run. Tonight I just did a 5 mile run on the treadmill. Are you noticing a trend here? I'm able to get in a ride on the trainer or a run, but where is the swimming? I'm one of those people that once I'm home I don't want to get back in my car and drive somewhere to work out. I'll leave from my house on foot or bike, but it just seems to take so much extra time to drive somewhere, workout and drive home. I've got to figure it out though. I need to be swimming at least once a week if not more. Uggghh!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Ups and Downs of Life

Sorry it's been so long since I've updated. I told you in my last post that the week would be a crazy week and it was. I was able to get my yoga in on Tuesday. Wednesday everyone got haircuts which meant we didn't get home until 6:30. I jumped on the trainer for an hour and then ran 3 miles on the treadmill. Thursday brought an ENT appointment for my daughter and a church council meeting that was somewhat controversial. We are thinking of adding a new service and everyone has their opinion on what day, what time, and what kind to add. Friday was my son's birthday party.

Saturday was my long run with TNT. This week's schedule for the Nike team was 14 miles. The route turned out to be fairly hilly, which is good because it gets us ready for the hills of San Francisco; but hills can be tough, especially when it's hot and humid as well. When I left my house at 5:45 a.m. it was already 80 degrees outside. When I am done running, I am completely soaked and look like I just jumped in a pool.

After the run I headed home for a shower and lunch so that I could make my son's soccer game. He's in yet another tournament this weekend. They won both games on Saturday and won their first game this morning. The championship game is in just a little bit at 2:00.

The Downs of Life

When we got home from the second game on Saturday, we discovered something that would change the rest of our day. My husband went to check on our 14 year old Rottweiler. We've known for a while that his days were numbered and when my husband checked on him he came in and said that he didn't think Harley would make it much longer. Just a few seconds later my daughter came in and said that he had stopped breathing. And just like that, he was gone.

Harley was a great dog. We got him 14 years ago Labor Day weekend. My husband and I got married in December 1992 and the following spring decided we wanted a dog. An electrician working in my office building mentioned that his dog had just had puppies. They were rottweiler/doberman mix. I went and picked one out, brought her home at 5 weeks old and named her Aggie (my husband and I both graduated from Texas A&M). When we took her in for shots sometime in August, the vet asked if we wanted another dog. He said they had a rottweiler who needed a good home. The rott had jumped out of the back of a truck and broke his hip. The owner dropped him off at the vet and abandoned him. Then the rott got parvo. The vet treated that and now just needed to find him a home. We brought him home on a trial basis. If he didn't get along with Aggie, we weren't going to take him. But they got along great and Harley never went back. We always thought he would have a short life because of his hip problems and the parvo. He also swallowed some fertilizer many years ago and spent time in the doggie ICU. But he prevailed and lived longer than Aggie. We'll miss him.

The Ups of Life

To help cheer us up, however, is the fact that nine years ago today at 12:21 p.m. (noontime) my son Dalton was born. Sometime today in between all the soccer, we'll take him out for his birthday dinner. It's a good thing he loves soccer since we've spent most of his birthday weekend at the field!

So that's been my week. School starts on Tuesday so we should be getting into a new routine soon.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Crazy Schedules

So Saturday's crazy run turned out ok. I started out with the "Nike" group and ran about 10 minutes and then turned around and headed for the meeting spot with the fall team. After brief introductions, we took off for the 3 mile loop around the lake. When we got back to the parking lot a new couple had just arrived. They were unfamiliar with the trails, so the staff person asked if I would go back out with them. They weren't wearing running clothes, so I asked them if they were walkers or runners. They said walkers. So I gave them about a 15-20 minute head start and then I ran to catch up with them. I got them through the confusing parts of the trail and then sent them on their way. I turned the other way and ran the route backwards to hook back up with the Nike group. For a while, I thought maybe I had missed everyone, but I finally started seeing people. It was kind of cool to be going the opposite way and get to see them. I ran for a while until I determined I could hit my mileage by turning around again and finishing the route as it was intended. I ended up at about 11.5 miles instead of 12, but I figure that was close enough.

Saturday afternoon we headed north a little ways to visit some friends who live on a lake. We spent the day taking boat rides and grilling. We didn't get back until almost 10pm, so Sunday I took a nap after church. Sunday night we went bowling and to play laser tag with the youth group. And once again, I got high score at laser tag, even beating my husband's and son's scores from a different game. My husband just doesn't understand how I always win at any game that involves shooting. I guess I just have good aim.

Today the kids and I had dentist appointments after work (no cavities for anyone). My husband took the kids when they were done because I was going to go swim, but I realized on the drive home that my lock was in my other gym bag. No way was I going to leave my purse and jewelry in the locker without a lock, so I changed plans and headed home. I hopped on the trainer for an hour and then went out for a run. My garmin battery went out on me about half a mile into the run. I ran my route to the hill, ran 4 hill repeats and then did a loop thinking I'd get in about 5 miles. When I charted it on just now it turned out to be about 4.5 miles.

We have several other appointments this week as this is the last week before school starts. It will be a crazy week.

Friday, August 17, 2007


Yeah, those of you with kids know what HSM2 is. It's not some new drug or new kind of car, nor is it a new distance for running or some new type of gear for triathlons. HSM2 stands for High School Musical 2. And that is "the" show that tweens around the US have been waiting for. It's been marked on calendars and slumber parties have been planned. It premiered on the Disney Channel tonight at 7:00.

My daughter asked to have a friend over and was panicking when said friend wasn't here at 6:45. She wanted to call to find out where said friend was. And just in time, said friend showed up, popcorn was made, and the kids took over the big screen tv in the gameroom. Being that I had already ridden 1 1/2 hours on the trainer and that the rest of my night was to be devoted to "resting", I decided to join them. And when I say "them", I'm even talking about my soon-to-be-9-year-old son. Yes, even HE was glued to the tv.

I have to say, if my kids are dying to watch a show, I'd much rather it be HSM2 than some other show. It was actually pretty good and had a good story/plot/whatever it's called. Although I'm sure that went right over their heads. I'm sure they will watch it many times again, so maybe it will sink in.

In training news, tropical storm Erin brought us some much UN-needed rain again this week. Being that I had the kick-off meeting for TNT for the fall season, I didn't want to show up looking like a drowned rat (although I will show up all sweaty and smelly - why one and not the other, who knows) so I scrapped Thursday's run. I didn't get home until 9:00 and I just didn't want to get on the treadmill. That's been the theme of the week. Cut workouts short or just skip them. Uggh. So tonight, I made myself get on the trainer (because it's still raining outside) and I rode for 1 1/2 hours. The first time I got on the trainer 30 minutes was hard. It's getting easier which hopefully means my legs are getting stronger and I'll be faster on the road.

Tomorrow morning is going to be interesting. Our Nike team (which I am fundraising and training for) has a 12 mile run scheduled. The fall team (PF Changs, Disney or AT&T) that I am an assistant coach for has their first group run of 3 miles in the morning. Luckily, they both start at the same place and Nike starts at 6:15 while the fall team starts at 7:00. So, I'll show up for the Nike team, run the route for about 15-20 minutes, turn around and be at the start of the fall team run. I'll do the 3 mile run with them, and then I'll go backwards on the Nike group route until I find the team and then finish up with them. Confused yet? I hope it works.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Triple Digits

Yes, folks, we've finally hit the triple digits here. The last three days have been at least 100 degrees. Yesterday, right before I left work to do my bike ride I checked the weather. It was 99 degrees with a heat index of 105. Summer is here. It just took a lot longer this year because all of the rain.

After the long run this past weekend, I was kind of sluggish. Monday I just swam 1,500 meters instead of my normal 2,000. I had a meeting that night at church, so swim was all I did for the day. Tuesday was yoga day. That was it. But yesterday was back to a tough workout. I rode my bike 21.7 miles (in 100 degree heat no less) and then went to track practice where we did a 3 mile route of hill repeats. Tonight is Team in Training kick off for the fall season, so I'm hoping to squeeze a run in after work but before the kick off.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Long Scenic Route

Saturday was our long run with Team in Training. This weekend was a 16 miler. In a hilly part of town. I happened to be the mentor scheduled to sweep this weekend. This meant that I had to be the last person in, even if that meant I had to walk behind our last person. Part of me was glad because I missed last week, but part of me wanted to run the route. I know it sounds crazy, but it's almost easier for me to run hills instead of walking them, so it was challenging at times. But we did it.

My left knee is a little sore today. I don't think it knows what to do when I walk and I didn't really get to stretch because I had to go straight from the run to a recruitment meeting for next season and then go get my daughter and get her to a birthday party. By the time I got my shower, it felt really good.

Since my knee was still a little sore today, I took the day off. I think the muscle is just tight, so my leg doesn't want to straighten out. I rolled on my foam roller last night and I'll do it again tonight, so hopefully I'll be able to run tomorrow.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Back to the Veloway and Recommitment

Now that the rain has left us alone for a while, I'm back to trying to ride my bike outdoors when possible. So Wednesday, I loaded up my bike and took it with me to work. After work I headed for the Veloway. I wasn't sure how far I would feel like going. After all, the summer we haven't had yet is starting to arrive. Temps have been in the mid 90s this week (which is actually low for us right now). I had a bottle of Gatorade and a bottle of water and figured I'd just see how it went. I felt pretty good for the most part. Legs weren't sore, back wasn't sore and I wasn't huffing and puffing. I did seem to be going slow at times, but then at other times felt I was doing good going between 18 & 21 miles per hour. 18 seems pretty good - until you get passed by a roller blader. Yep. That happened. He just cruised right past me. I thought maybe that was in my "slow" moment, so I made it a goal to pass him! Nope. Didn't happen. That guy was flying. And he had the perfect speed skater form - you know - the Apollo Anton Ono form. Uggghhh.

When I left the veloway, I stopped by the Smoothie Factory for an "energizer" smoothie. I'm kinda liking the smoothies now. My husband has been making different varieties at home for a while, but I've never tasted them. Somehow they just taste better when someone else makes them and you have no idea what they put in it. Maybe I should try making them at home, too.

I then headed for track practice. Tonight was straights and curves. We warmed up first, did 20 minutes of straights and curves and then cooled down. We kept the practice short tonight because we had a recommitment party for Team in Training. Today was the day for people to decide whether they want to continue with the program or not for the Nike Marathon. About 20 people showed up for the party and I think overall just over 40 people have committed to the program. That means we'll have a big group heading out to San Francisco in October. Very exciting.

When I got home today I hopped on the treadmill for a quick 3 mile run. I had an information meeting with Team in Training to begin recruiting for the fall season that I needed to get to. I think we already have about 25 people signed up for that season. The fall season will be training for the PF Chang's Rock-n-Roll Marathon in Arizona, the Disney Marathon in Orlando, and the AT&T Marathon in Austin. I'll be doing Disney and AT&T again, just like always. Disney is always for fun and then I decide based on how I feel if I want to try for time at AT&T.

Should be fun!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Long But Fun Week

I took last week off from work. I needed a break and I was going to be off 3 days anyway, so why not take the extra two, right? Tuesday I took the kids back to their summer care and came home and got on the trainer for an hour and 15 minutes. I then took a shower and headed downtown. I had scheduled myself for an hour long massage to help with some muscle tightness I've been having. The massage felt really good. Tuesday night I headed for yoga for even more stretching.

Wednesday, after dropping the kids off, I got on the trainer for an hour and 15 minutes again and then got on the treadmill for a 3 mile run. After that I showered and then got ready to leave.

Beginning Wednesday night and lasting until Saturday night, I worked a youth retreat (the female version of the one my husband was in charge of several weeks ago). These are 3 day events where the girls hear 15 talks on various aspects of life - priorities, study, prayer, Christian action, marriage, single life, etc. As a worker, you are up before the girls in the morning and you stay up after they go to bed in the evening. You don't get much sleep, much less any free time, so needless to say Thursday - Saturday there was no formal exercise. I say no formal exercise because I did walk a lot, but I don't count that. I was so tired Sunday still (I only got 4 1/2 hours of sleep Friday night) that I had to take a nap.

So, today it was back to the grindstone. A 2,000 meter swim and a 5 mile run with 5 hill repeats thrown in. It felt good. It always feels good for me to get back in the swing of things. There are two more months before my half ironman, so I still have some increases in training to do. I'm not freaking out yet. In my mind I know I can finish. It may just be a lot slower than I want. I don't have any time goals, but I don't want an 8 hour finish either. The weather has been better here lately, although now we are getting our true summer with temperatures in the high 90s. I'm waiting for that first 100 degree day. Wednesday should be good for an outdoor bike ride before track practice.

Our Team in Training recommittment is this Wednesday. That is the day that people have to officially decide if they will continue with the fundraising and training or not. Right now we think about 20-30 people will recommitt and make the trip to San Francisco. With each person raising $4,200 - well, you do the math.

And I'm also very excited because I've been asked to be an assistant coach for the fall season. I always participate in the fall season anyway, so this is great. We'll be training for the Disney World Marathon, the PF Chang's Rock & Roll Marathon, or the AT&T Austin Marathon. The past two years I've done both Disney and AT&T and plan to do the same again this year. We are recruiting for these now.

Go Team!