Sunday, March 23, 2014

Be Kind, Please Rewind

I have a new motto post my duathlon meltdown and it goes back to my new found appreciation for self and also my lovely trainer Rachel knocking some sense into me.  I'm going to do a little rewind to get myself some perspective.

"Success is not how far you got but how far you traveled from where you started"

I found that on an instagram page after a chat where Rachel basically told me I need to take a hard look at where I had started and enjoy my accomplishment instead of feeling angry at myself.  She is quite wise :)  When I saw the quote I immediately texted her to inform her of my new motto and needless to say she wholeheartedly approved.

Now for our rewind, or a throwback in the young kid lingo :)

I started running in June of 2012 and I couldn't make it a quarter mile without stopping and feeling terribly winded.  Then as I built up so very slowly I would get about 1.5 miles and I would throw up.  In those early weeks/months I knew I was getting better because I could go farther before puking.  Looking back I bet the neighbors LOVED me, although I did try and spice up my route so I never puked in front of the same house!  My first half marathon which I am sure you have read the race recap for since you are a dutiful blog reader, was in October 2012 and thus I was bitten.  A little over a year later I ran my first marathon, that is a pretty good progression if you objectively look at it.  I wasn't very fast but I put in the miles.

Oh right, biking.  Well I got a bike, oh wait I was supposed to do more than that?  Crap.  So I bought the bike in October and refused to ride it pre-marathon for fear of falling and hurting myself.  Then cue winter and I rode it for the first time in February, that's right, February.  I have been officially bike riding about a month, I have no clue what right I had to berate myself for not doing an awesome 28 miles on my bike last weekend.

Well in my 32 years I have not drown but I am most definitely NOT a swimmer.  My sister was on the swim team, I managed to propel myself from the end of the diving board to the side of the pool.  Don't get me wrong I love water, perhaps I have a healthy respect for the ocean but I do love being in the water.  Swimming technically started in November and then took a little hiatus while my foot surgery healed so back at it in January.  Not a very long time considering I was starting from pretty much scratch and I tell you learning things as an adult is HARD!

I'm turning over a new leaf!

1) I WILL set up my training peaks and I WILL follow it
2) I WILL start swimming at Riverbank in the mornings to take advantage of the 50 meter pool.  Goodbye sleep I was getting, it was nice knowing you
3) I WILL see the positive changes and improvements I have made and recognize them

In January 2013 I started my fitness journey.  I didn't want to just be skinny anymore, I wanted to be fit. Plus I had signed up for a crazy number of running races and didn't want to get hurt and I also needed an outlet.  My life has changed so much since then and I am truly happier than I have ever been and grateful for everyone who has come into my life as a result. I will leave you with a photo of my birthday present from my amazing friend Shawna.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Duathlon Recap

Let's have a little refresher.  Pre-Saturday I had been outside to ride my bike exactly once, two loops around Central Park with no clips.  I had not practice with clips, had not practiced drinking water on the bike, had not practiced eating on the bike and had only done one brick workout.

To say I was extremely nervous going into it would probably be an understatement but I was treating it as training.  A learning experience to feel comfortable with the bike, transitions and the atmosphere.  We arrived a little before 6am after the train gods were pretty good to us.  It was very chilly and I was wearing several layers of clothes.  They were not exactly organized and not much was set up when we arrived which add a little bit to my nerves.  When we were finally able to get our race numbers and my race number was 26.  It almost did not even register at first until I had it in front of me and at that point I felt a little more calm thinking about Packy there with me.

We started late after a brief talk from the USA Triathlon person and the race organizer.  My anxiety was pretty high at this point but I was excited, it was a very small group doing our distance, maybe 30 or 35.  When he let us go the entire group took off RUNNING, I mean so fast they were all almost out of eye sight very quickly.  I tried to stay pace with Jamie for the first several miles and managed to hold on until the first water stop but at that point I realized if I was going make it 7 miles I needed to slow down.  I spent the next several miles beating myself up about how slow I was and how my training was terrible and I should be doing better.  I looked at my watch at this point and realized that I was still under a 10 minute mile which is VERY good for me, I think I was just too focused on everyone else and not just me.  I did have my friend Carl come watch for a lap and also Miss Rose came so those were definitely positive moments when I felt I was doing horribly.

Coming in for the bike transition I was feeling happy to stop running.  My right foot actually did a great job in my new shoes so that was a definite positive but my left foot was not feeling great.  I got on my bike and managed to clip in and get going, of course the first challenge was Nelly Hill right out of the gate.  I felt the first few laps went pretty well although I need to get faster I felt strong and more comfortable with each lap.  Then, I needed to get a drink of water, oh dear the horror.  I managed to get my water bottle out of the cage, then realized I hadn't moved the spout to open.  Boy was that fun trying to open that, the bike was definitely wobbling at this point but I managed to get the water bottle open and get some water.  Then comes the fun part, putting it back in the cage.  I swear I almost threw the darn thing on the ground!!  I finally managed to get in and move on.  At this point I saw Anna on almost every single bike lap!

Eating is another story entirely!!  I did have chews with me and the one package was actually open already so those were fairly easy to get into my mouth out of the package.  The problem came when the second package was not pre-opened so I had to use my teeth but couldn't get a big enough opening.  It was VERY difficult to get them out and I know I did not eat enough so that is something extremely important to work on.

8 laps later I was DYING.  Ok maybe not dying but certain parts of me were in definite pain :-P  It was my longest ride to date, when I spin in my apartment I can kind of sit up on the seat and give myself a break but out on the road that is not really an option.  This transition was a little crazy in that I was kind of out of it and totally almost ran out of the transition area still wearing my helmet!

That last 4 mile run was AWFUL, horrible, terrible, oh dear.  I thought that first run was tough but this run was probably the toughest 4 miles I have ever done in my life.  I struggled, my foot was killing me, I was miserable but I never stopped.  At one point I started a very controlled run/walk to make sure I wasn't going to hurt my foot more.   Anna came and jogged the last bit with me which helped a lot.  They were already taking down the ropes around the bikes and Jamie was guarding our stuff while Mike and Anna and a few volunteers cheered me on and gave me a medal.

I did not puke
I did not fall off my bike
I did not die
I did not give up

Opportunities for Improvement
Bike faster
Better eating and drinking
running conditioning is VERY needed
Practice more Bricks
Be nicer to myself, stop beating myself up, focus on the race at hand, commit more to training if I want to be better.

Running: 70 miles
Biking: 16 hours/ 40 miles
Swimming: 11,000 meters
Strength Training: 19 sessions

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Ahh 3 MONTHS until Eagleman

March 8th, 2014.  Holy crap, it is 3 months until Eagleman.  Color me freaked out!

Big plans of workouts for the weekend have been derailed at least for Saturday and I am frustrated, worried and annoyed.   The weather here in NYC is gorgeous today so I was pumped to get in a nice 10 mile run in the morning, head to a 12:30 swim class and then hit the park on the bike later.  I had some errands to run as well because Sunday's plan is even busier!  About 5 miles into my lovely run through Central Park I started having pain in my foot and not my surgery foot but other foot.  Cue annoyance.

I really wanted 10 miles but the pain got pretty intense and I realized my body was trying to tell me something so I stopped at 7.  I then took myself straight to the shoe store to get another fit and test out some new shoes.  My right foot bothered me some during the marathon back in November but at that time it was very overshadowed by my left foot. I did have the podiatrist at least do an xray at that time to make sure there was no stress fracture and he recommended rest.  Obviously with my surgery I had plenty of rest, annoying, long, frustrating, fitness losing rest.

My treadmill runs have been doing extremely well, the 5K last weekend was the first major outside run and that went well.  What is it about 5 miles?  And why on the most beautiful day of training does it have to act up.  I spent two miles of the run not even enjoying the weather but beating myself up about not training well enough, not foam rolling enough, not being in better shape at this point.  Frustration is at an all time high.

I have a pair of New Balance shoes to try now for a couple weeks based off the store's return policy.  I also got some inserts for them and I think I need to find myself a better foot roller because J thinks it could be my tendon.  I also got a recommendation to try Hoka shoes which I think I will go test out one night this week.   I iced it and took a nap instead of my planned activities but I had to walk up to Asphalt Green to get my pass card for the swim class and just the walk was painful.

Things can only get better from here, at least I have some time to get things like blogging and schedule making done.  Tomorrow is a busy, busy day!  Swim at 6:30am then Compu trainer class at 11 and then spin and core class at 2:30pm.

Running: 52 miles
Biking: 12 hours/ 12 miles
Swimming: 9000 meters
Strength Training: 15 sessions

Saturday, March 1, 2014

March 30 day Challenge- CORE

I have to say that these 30 day challenges are intriguing to me because I do think if you actually commit to the 30 days and make a change to your schedule then you can continue it well past the end of 30 days.  For March, we will do a Core Challenge but then we will keep going because I know many of you want to see results and can only commit to short blocks of time in the morning before the kids wake up or at night before they go to bed.

I will include videos from youtube to help show you how to do the exercises and I won't pick anything you can't do easily in your own home.

It is important to understand the difference between core and just abs.  You don't just want to focus on the designer or easy to see muscles because your core is extremely important to your every day life.


Bicycle Crunches- This video has different levels, try to increase up to the hardest level by the end of the month.

Toe Touch Crunch

Plank Hold with Knee Crunch

Legs Raised Crunch
*I could not find a good video to describe this one so perhaps I should do my own.  Lay flat on your back and put your legs straight in the air.  You want to push you legs straight up into the air, go as straight as you can not out. Your hips and butt should leave the ground.


March Core Calendar

*Disclaimer:  I am not a medical professional nor a trainer so please consult a professional if you have a question.