Monday, July 28, 2008

Had 'em. Didn't use 'em.

Excuses that is. I woke up this morning, before 4 am thanks to Hot Wheels, and one of my first thoughts was "Why did I commit to a Monday 6am ride?" I decided before I was even out of bed that I had numerous reasons (or excuses) for why the ride would suck. I'm tired. I'm still sore from splitting wood on Saturday. It's too wet (I'm still afraid of riding with wet tires, I've slipped on the road in the past when it's rained), it's too humid. I met up with my friend, whom I will just call Biker Chik from now on. She took me through the time trial workout again. I didn't have time to give her my excuses for why the ride would suck and you know what? I actually didn't suck. I gained 10 seconds on one leg, but lost it on the second sprint leg. I didn't time the third one again, I'm just too tired by that time. I think it went maybe a little better than last time, although since the triathlon's next week I'm not going to improve much at this point. But, I couldn't just bag it, she was there and she kept me pushed. When I got back to my car, there was a fire alarm sounding in the building, so I did a 5 minute run around the parking lots. Not much of a brick, but better than nothing. Good start to the week anyway.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


My triathlon coming up in a week and a half will be useful to me as a baseline for my fitness in this sport. The realization I came to this week is that I have never done any real training. If I'm swimming, I just swim. Maybe a few drills or speed sets here and there but mainly I just swim, back and forth, back and forth and then get out. My time trial workout on the bike last Wednesday is the first time I have ever done anything on the bike other than just ride straight out for whatever distance or time we're riding. And except for 6 hill workouts I did with the running club back in April and May, my running workouts have just been a run, for time or distance maybe, but just a run. I've got some work to do! I'm going to look into some training plans and figure out what I'll be doing. For a while I'll still do just base work, to build up to the Olympic distance events, I guess. I've got a 10K I hope to complete in October, that's my only event after the August 7th tri.

On a side note, I've found a new strength training routine- wood chopping. I love it. I'm a little sore today from about an hour and an half of chopping yesterday, and I did drop the splitting wedge on the top of my foot, so that still hurts. But it's useful for the family, and it's a good workout in addition. I'm also going to try the 100 push-up challenge after my triathlon, so I've got plenty to keep me busy!

I'll attach a couple pictures from my sister's wedding. She purchased the CD, so I don't think it's copyright infringement to post them. Aren't my boys so handsome? Even if I am a little biased, I thought they looked so adorable. I like the one of me and the boys on the steps. It was taken before the ceremony started and to keep them amused, we were playing the silly stories game. I just like the memory of the moment as well as the pictures itself. And my wonderful husband even requested our wedding song for a dance.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

That's what 22mph feels like- breathe!

This morning I went out for a 12 mile ride with a friend who is an Iron-cyclist, if only she swam she'd kick butt in triathlons. She's an awesome biker and in addition has very good information and pointers. And, she doesn't mind taking an easy day and going out with me. We did a loop with three time trial sections. Well, I time-trialed and she cruised along behind me, I don't think she even broke a sweat. My bike computer needs new batteries, so the speed is the average over the course of the section with my watch time. First time trial section- 7:10 for 2.01 miles, or 16.8 mph- over all a +50 foot elevation. Second time trial section- 6:50 for 2.55 miles, or 22mph (woohoo!), however, there's also a -100 foot elevation, so I was basically going down hill most of the way. I don't have a time for the third time trial section, it felt somewhere in between but it was also after the shorter recovery period. Overall we were just above 15 mph and after the 48 minute ride, I was beat. I did a brick of two laps around the parking lot- probably a quarter mile total and that was all I had. I didn't have the energy in me for a three mile run, which I will have to do two weeks from tomorrow in the triathlon. I was sucking wind pretty good in those time trial sections, that's tough. Good practice, though, I'm hoping to get in one or two more workouts like that before the tri.

I've also decided that since I've failed in my attempts to convince my wonderful husband that one more kid would be great (crazy guy doesn't want to be home alone with four kids six and under), I'm making a plan for an Olympic tri in '09. I realize that many of them are still over a year away, but I like to plan and have long term goals. I think that an Olympic is reasonable given my time constraints, and I'll plan to add weekend workouts to the regime. Or that's the plan anyway.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Pictures, pictures, pictures

Hot Wheels is thinking of being a goalie.

Superman has got his backfloating just about mastered.

It's not a pretty stroke, but Hot Wheels and get around the pool.

A rare moment of Cutie sitting. We've changed her name around the house to Little Miss Daredevil. She's walking, she's into everything, and she's FAST.

Our new strength training workout will be splitting this wood. I should have arms and shoulders of steel. Or maybe titanium.
My new training partner. The trail-a-bike is a bit tippier than I was expecting at first, but we've done a couple rides of neighborhood loops. It's fun.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Worthy? Technical bike confusion

Yesterday I went to the local bike shop to buy some clips for my new bike shoes. They had a "ladies night" sale a few weeks ago and I got new shoes. Since having the kids my feet have grown too large for my old bike shoes and I've been wearing my husband's. I decided to treat myself to shoes and ended up spending only $68 for shoes that were originally $120. They're very fancy for me- Louis Garneau, blue and silver, I like them. However, I don't really feel serious enough for them.

Anyway, I had my bike on the back of my car and I asked about switching out the gears from down tube shifters to the front handlebar (STI) shifters. (I know so little about bikes I don't even know what they're called) So I wheeled my Trek 420 into the shop and the two guys working back there got all excited about it. They both said they love that bike- and one seemed surprised that I'm thinking of changing the down tube shifting- and they would recommend I keep it and upgrade rather than buying a new bike down the road. Refreshing to hear from people that want to sell things that I should keep what I have rather than buy something new. However, there's a whole can of worms opened when thinking about upgrading my bike. To upgrade the shifters would run about $200. He said the front derailer will have to be replaced also. The recommends changing out my brakes in the future because I don't have quick release- another $70 or so. Then there's the shifting cassette. My bike has seven gears on the back and apparently that's out of date, and there's a larger chain ring for the front now that would give me more speed because there are more teeth on it. I could also get lighter wheels to decrease my rotational drag or something like that. It sounds like for $400 or so I could have a really nice bike. My question is- do I need a really nice bike. I'm nowhere near top fitness level and before I would even think about buying lighter bike parts I'd need to know that I'm as light as I'll get. What's a couple ounces with heavier wheels when I've got 10-15 pounds extra on me? I'm thinking of just upgrading the shifters and stopping there for now.

Yesterday I rode with a woman that's a pretty serious biker and I got my butt thoroughly kicked for 49 minutes. I think we averaged about 15mph, which was clearly nothing for her, but I was sucking wind big time. Right there was a big clue that three weeks from now, I'm going to get smoked on the bike. Oh well. I also went for a swim last night while the boys were in lessons. I had only 27 minutes to swim but I did get in a set of 4 x 100yd fast repeats. I was quite pleased that going on 2:00, I was able to do all 4 repeats under 1:40. The first was actually 1:28, but I was really pushing it. Unfortunately for me there aren't any walls to push off in open water swims, so I know those numbers don't mean much. An older gentleman in the lane next to mine complimented my form and I was flattered, but he was off on his next lap before I could ask if he had any pointers for me. Lunch time bike/swim/bike today and I'll get in either a run or ride tomorrow morning. Three weeks to go, gulp.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Been awhile

Been quite busy this summer. Swimming lessons for the boys- both are doing awesome. Soccer for Hot Wheels with a local chapter for disabled children, he gets to play on a team with my best friend's son, also a 5-year old, with some developmental delays. We always talked about our kids growing up and playing together and it's so cute to see them in their soccer uniforms together. Watching the other parents that deal with such major health issues in their children on a daily basis is a great reminder at how blessed I am with three healthy, happy children. Cutie is walking all over the place, started at just 10 months, I wasn't quite ready for that. She's still the happiest girl, just very active. And it's wonderful to watch the boys interact with her, they all love each other already. She's very amused by them, and they love to have an audience for their crazy antics.

My sister's wedding and the associated trip to Baltimore both went very well. The boys were on their best behavior and Cutie even got to join us at the reception for a while, which was nice. I'll share pictures when I've got some. Unfortunately I was hit with a major stomach bug just before the wedding- I did manage to lose the 5 pounds I had hoped to lose- but it was all in two miserable days. Fortunately everyone was recovered in time for the trip, but I lost almost a week and a half of training. Even yesterday, I only managed a mile and a half on the treadmill before I was queasy and dizzy again. It's quite a lingering bug. I'm going to be way behind in training for my triathlon August 7th. I'll be lucky to get a total of 10 rides in before the event. But, it's all for fun, I wasn't going to be competitive anyway. I'll just enjoy as best as I can. The other drawback to the bug was that my milk supply for nursing Cutie just tanked. I had to give in and give her a bottle of formula last week. I made it to ten and a half months, but I still feel like I failed a little- her brothers never had formula and I pumped for a year for them. I'm not getting much pumping, so she'll likely get more formula before we switch to milk next month. She's fine and healthy, just a little personal disappointment.

Other than that, not much going on here. I'll be around and I'm checking in on other people's training even if I'm not doing as much of my own as I should.