Friday, July 28, 2006
Well, I definitely screwed up my groin muscle. It hurts to lift my leg. Going up stairs is very interesting. To get over the gate that separates Oscar from Taz and Babs, I have to use my arms to manually lift my leg over. I guess running and biking are out right now. That sucks! Especially about the bike. I have been totally missing my bike workouts! At least I can still swim. Maybe it will be for the best since I need to work on that anyway. Also, I'm truly tired and could probably use the rest. I just hope it heals in time for the 1/2 marathon without me losing any fitness (Aug. 20). What timing. Worst part is...I have no idea how I did it.
Ever since, lab has been impossibly crazy busy, and it's been nearly impossible just to keep my head on straight. I somehow have managed to keep the apartment straight, unpack, and go grocery shopping. However, I have had absolutely NO appetite. Whatsoever. Eating has been like force-feeding a toddler cough syrup.
Tuesday, could not "stomach" breakfat. Ate lunch only to have it screw up stomach. Settled it with Immodium and Zantac. Made myself go for a swim after lab, even though I was dead-tired. Actually was a pretty nice swim. Was hungry afterwards. Yea! Ate a nice meal, which promptly sent my stomach into a downward spiral. Settled it with Immodium and Zantac (do you see a pattern here?). Went to bed at a decent time--11. Woke up late (9), which kind of shot my whole day. Got home at 8. Ugh. Could barely get down a bowl of cereal for dinner b/c of stomach issues. Went to bed exhausted at 9:30. Woke up at 8:30. Wasn't hungry and had to force down a banana. Settled it with Immodium and Zantac (I should advertise!). Ran around at lab all day long in circles from 9:30 to midnight before calling it quits.
Begged security to escort me to my lone car in the far, isolated parking lot across the street. He reluctantly called someone else, who reluctantly picked me up and drove me there, grumbling the whole way. Hey! I'm from St. Louis, and I know a thing or two about crime. You don't put yourself in those kind of situations. You just don't. You are SECURITY. So tough it up and escort the lady to her friggin' car!!! And DON'T make her feel bad about it! Where is the chivalry today? Jeez. But I digress...
Bunnies were starved when I got home. Poor things. Oscar was so excited, he pounced on his very full food dish before I could set it on the ground. What do you do when a grunting, 10 lb, large black bunny bouncing around pounces on a dish in your hand? Answer--drop it! Food went everywhere. Of course, he couldn't figure out what happened to it and continued rooting around in the now-empty food dish, grunting, hysterical, and now mad that I made his food "disappear." Bunnies are very near-sighted and can sometimes seem a little dim-witted at finding things right under their nose. Eventually, he realized that my finger was pointing at the spilled food on the floor for him to eat (ooooh) and not to tease him with. At that point, he stopped attacking my finger and began shoveling food down his throat.
Anyway, I'm very behind on my workouts for this week, and it pises me off. I think I have pretty good excuses though. In addition to my totally whacked-out gut (hey, is this a good diet plan?), I somehow managed to pull a groin muscle on Wednesday. Doing what, I don't know. Sitting? I always hurt myself in the stupidest ways. So now I'm limping when I walk. And it hurts to go upstairs b/c I can't lift my leg very well. wtf? Between getting back from being out-of-town, a ridiculous amount of work at lab, my gut (can I trade it in?), and my groin, I guess I have a pretty good excuse for taking the last two days off. Argh. I hate it.
What would make tomorrow a good day? (Er, I guess today). If I could actually get into lab early (not looking promising at this point) and get all my crap done early. Then, go for a bike ride and still make it in time for the swim/potluck thing the club is having at the cove. It's not going to happen, is it? Ack! It's already Friday, and I still need to do 3 bikes, 2 runs, 1 swim, and 1 weight session before Sunday is over. Crap. I'm in survival mode now, I guess. Maybe next week will be a perfect week...
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
In case you are wondering why I'm posting lists of archives from old posts, I wanted to create some new links in my sidebar in order to link to old posts. That way, I can keep everything organized. Note that I've added some stuff there like race photos, race reports, and a tri/exercise training "soapbox" corner (as well as other goodies). Hope you find it useful! At the very least, I can keep track of what I've posted.
Trip from St. Louis to San Diego
San Diego Landscape
St. Louis House
St. Louis Apartment
San Diego Apt
Totally Out There
Triathlon Specific (Funny, Serious, Inspirational, etc.)
Most Awesome Running Songs (as of 3/20/07)
The Adventure--Angels & Airwaves
From Yesterday--30 Seconds to Mars
This Ain't A Scene, It's an Arms Race--Fall Out Boy
Gone Daddy Gone--Gnarls Barkley
The Sweet Escape--Gwen Stefani
Renegade Master--Fatboy Slim
Suddenly I See--KT Tunstall
Race Plans (Half-IM):
General Tri Info:
Science and Triathlon
I managed a few great runs while I was there but that was about it (damn thunderstorms!) although I did get to drool over some really amazing horses and visit the lake, staring at it longingly as the lightning bolts hit it. Sigh. We also did some shopping on State Street and bought some t-shirts, ice cream, and cheese curds. Mmmm. Cheese curds. I love Madison in summer. Sitting on the terrace by the Union looking out over Lake Mendota. I had forgotten how green it gets there in the summer! Rolling prairies, grassland, farms, and tons of wildflowers--Queen Anne's Lace, love-in-a mist, wild sunflowers, black eyed susans--it was so pretty. The corn looked great--already tassling. Lots of farmers out baling hay. Everyone waves to you there, especially when they drive past on a run in the rural back country roads. It's such a friendly area.
The only sad part was that many of the farms are being replaced by developers and houses and residential areas. It's good that Madison is thriving and growing but I hate the suburban sprawl. With it comes more traffic, more people, and you lose that personal touch and character a place has. Also, some of our favorite Mom and Pop stores have been replaced by big chains, which I think should be illegal! Jamba Juice and Ben & Jerry's should not be allowed to move in over the Chocolate Cow (ice cream place)!!! Just my two cents.
It's good to be back (although it's unbelievably hot and humid here--w.t.f?) and sleep in my own bed, crank up the a.c. and have a good shower without well sediment in it. I couldn't live in the old farmhouse my in-laws are in. I'm too high-maintenance. And the damn pigs wouldn't shut up at night!!! The buns are much quieter.
Pics coming soon...
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
blisters on my foot from running in wet shoes during tris!
below--after the Camp Pendleton Tri. I made it!
Well, I'm off to Wisconsin to see the in-laws. I love Madison. I will be staying with my husband's family on their dairy farm for the next few days. I'm bringing my camera and sketch pad! I should have gorgeous pics when I get back. I can't bring Bluebell (sniff, sniff) but I'm hoping to check out a local bike rental shop since biking in Madison can't be beat. Nice, courteous drivers, rolling hills, farmland, lakes, a fabulous biking coalition together with bike lanes, maps, and wide shoulders---sigh---paradise. I'm also bringing my swimsuit. Besides the "Find a Pool" website (check out the link on my sidebar), which allows me to literally find public pools where I can drop in for a few bucks to swim laps anywhere in the world, Madison has some lovely lakes. I'm planning on visiting campus and the old dorms where I can plunge into Lake Mendota for a dip. I also threw in a resistance band. Nothing like some peace and quiet in the background for a good old-fashioned weight session with crunches, push-ups, dips, and a resistance band. And of course, the running shoes and iShuffle. Can't leave home without it. I also threw in my riding shoes, jodhpurs, and half chaps. If I'm verrry lucky, my sister in-law will take me riding--horses that is...the absolutely best way to travel.
Anyway, it's been crazy around here with lab picking up at the worst possible time (of course) and being exhausted from last weekend while getting ready to go so, obviously, I haven't been getting much training in. Bluebell is pouting at me in the corner of our kitchen. I just haven't found time to brush her out and take her out of the stable for a good ride! She'll have to wait until I return. Bunnies are all set up with their excellent sitter (who I'll call just to quiet my anxious mind anyway).
I should have some wonderful stories and pics when I return next week!
Sunday, July 16, 2006
from LAST weekend's race (Carlsbad, NOT Camp Pendleton).
Don't forget to check out the race report from this weekend's race below (Camp Pendleton).
Left--After running up the beach from a fantastic swim. Look Ma, no wetsuit!
Below--Grrr! My focus face on the bike. Center--Making sure no one else is coming on the turn-around. Right--up the big hill at the start of the bike. Smile for the camera!
Left--Great Grrrr face on the bike!
Right--Finding my pace on the run.
Left--Crossing the finish and keeping a stoic face. Look! I have quad muscles!
In a nutshell, a very satisfying and exhausting weekend overall.
The night before:
Very relaxing. I didn't plan any exercise and it was very liberating. I did crosswords until I got sleepy and went to bed. Then, of course, I couldn't sleep. Figures. What was on my mind? It wasn't the race. It was racing about lab--all this buried anxiety--am I working hard enough, am I good enough, etc., etc. I have some big experiments coming up and things have been busier but it's sort of the lull before the storm so I just have all this pent-up anxiety to work through. I actually got up and started reading science papers, which was good in 2 ways. First, I was working so it addressed my guilt and anxiety. Second, nothing puts me to sleep better than an old-fashioned scientific paper. Finally fell into a light, fitful sleep at about 2 a.m. Better than nothing.
Woke up with the alarm at 5:30 a.m. Is this waking up stuff actually getting easier? Felt pretty good considering lack of sleep. Why is it I can wake up early for weekend group workouts and races but not for work? Uh-oh. Supress rising guilt...supress rising guilt...focus on race. Okay, I'm back. I felt surprisingly not nervous. Then, I got nervous about not feeling nervous enough. Nerves. Gotta love 'em.
I've gotten in the bad habit of not packing the night before. Surprisingly, it doesn't take me more than 10 minutes to put the stuff in my race bag, and I pack less stuff so it's worked out well. Still, it helps to pack the night before. Jason got up to come with me (to support me for the 3rd race in a row--what a saint). I zipped up to Pendleton in about 30 minutes. Gotta stop thinking it's okay to go 90 mph on the interstate. But it's so nice not to deal with traffic on I-5! (Coming back, Jason drove and dealt with more than an hour's backup of beach traffic while I slept soundly on the passenger side.)
Race check-in was also nice and uneventful. I saw lots of people I've met at previous races and club workouts. So wonderful to have people to talk to in order to quell nerves. Everyone was very laid-back and friendly. The heat was starting to climb. Unfortunately, the first wave didn't go until 8:30 a.m. My wave didn't go until 9 a.m. We were the 2nd to last wave too, which I hate because it always makes me feel like I'm dead-last, even though I'm not. It's a bad place to be mentally. However, my goal was just to finish and not need an IV at the end!
I made my way down to the hidden ocean basin where the swim was held. I waded in up to my waist and splashed around. The water was colder than I thought it would be. Mid-60s. Afterall, the ocean had been 74 degrees the weekend before. I had done the Carlsbad race sans wetsuit and had loved it so much, I wanted to do it again. I feel so free without a wetsuit, and the wetsuit hasn't helped my swim times at all. Plus, the wetsuit seems to restrict my arms a lot, and since my upper body strength is a limiter for me (right now), my arms seem to get way more tired with the wetsuit. Plus, it was going to be so hot. Would I really need the wetsuit? Of course, most others opted for their wetsuit but everyone else seems to like their wetsuit a lot more than me. I thought I could have done it without a wetsuit but chickened out at the last second and struggled to get it on, feeling like a stuffed sausage afterwards. In retrospect, I think I would have been fine without. Oh, well. Live and learn.
I played in the water and waited and waited as the other waves went off. I And waited. I hate the waiting before the gun goes off the most. I wanted to go. I was ready. As I waited, I watched the others negotiate the swim course. It was really confusing and disorienting to me, and I hadn't even started yet. The buoys didn't seem to be in a straight line. We swam out to a far buoy at a weird angle, turned around, and swam back following the buoys in more of a straight line, continuing past the beginning into a hidden section of the basin before turning and heading back. I felt like a snake swimming a serpentine. It would have helped to have better buoy placement.
Swim--Slow like a Tortoise:
We lined up, the horn blew, and we were off. Finally! I took off with the group, this time at the front, unlike most other races I've done, and since I'm pretty slow, had no problem settling into a pace. Plus, I was surrounded by other swimmers which helped in 2 ways--drafting and sighting. As the swimmers spread out, I drifted towards the back (everyone else was so fast), and I had to sight a lot more. I found it difficult to do the bilateral breathing I normally do in the pool since I wanted to see the buoys, which were on my left. Every time I switched to my right, I felt isolated and a little panicky. I have to work on that. Turning at the first buoy was no problem. I felt comfortable and relaxed, albeit a little restricted by the wetsuit. Then it seemed everyone started passing me. Mentally, this deflated me quite a bit. Especially, when the final wave behind me started to pass me as well. They were all just incredible swimmers. I focused on keeping a good pace and even, steady breathing and found my happy place. I also found several swimmers in the wave behind me to draft off of, which was an immense help. This was the first race that I really was able to use that strategy, and it really helped conserve energy. The swim kept going and going. It seemed to last forever. This was by far, my longest swim in a race. 1500 meters is a lot longer than 1000 m, and even though I had been practicing the distance, I just haven't put in enough hours in the water. Plus, I'm used to long and slow, which feels inadequate in a race setting, when I just want to go. By the end, I felt deflated and frustrated as well as fatigued. It seemed I was among the last people out of the water. Later, Jason would tell me I wasn't last in the swim, which made me feel better. I was surprised at how much the swim had taken out of me. I hadn't expected that. For the first time in a race, I felt moments of doubt and worry about how the rest would go.
T1--Everything starts to get better:
The run from the basin to the transition area took forever. It was about 400 meters or more. Luckily, I had been prepared for this so I just jogged and jogged as I went. I actually felt my heart rate and breathing start to come down as I jogged, which surprised me after the hard swim. The jogging seemed to help relax me and loosen me up. I had no problem finding my bike since it was one of the last ones there. I didn't even dry my feet. My transition times are definitely getting quicker!
Bike--Bluebell was flying!
Luckily, my feelings of doubt and worry were unfounded. I took my time the first 3 miles, letting my legs warm up and settle down on the bike. I started to feel better and better. The bike is quickly becoming my favorite phase. I feel so free! Don't get me wrong, I love the run too, but it's a lot harder because it's at the end. And I love swimming too but the bike--well, it's just better. I was able to mentally coach myself and put the swim behind me.
"You did fine. A lot better than you think. Now you know what to work on. It's over. Focus. Focus. Don't worry about it. You can do this. You feel great."
My mental coaching helped a lot, and I began to feel relaxed. I found that happy place. After negotiating some hills, I settled into a 17.4 mph avg. pace, which has been pretty standard for me in races lately (an improvement over last year!), and slowly began picking some people off.
I sipped diluted Gatorade as much as I could as the sun beat down on me unforgivingly. Later this would turn into my first ever sunburn (okay 2nd--but worse than my first--although still very mild) on my shoulders. How do people deal with that? I mean, sunblock doesn't last very long after a swim! I couldn't believe how great I felt after such a deflating swim. My fears and worries were left behind.
Unfortunately, I began gulping instead of sipping the wonderful liquid around mile 16 of the bike. I was so thirsty! It was HOT--around 85 degrees or so (hot for San Diego). My stomach began to complain as the liquid sloshed around. I relized I had drank the contents of almost the entire bottle, which I never do. I usually drink no more than 1/3 to 1/2 of it (on my longest rides). I began to feel weird. Not quite right. Did I have to go to the bathroom? I couldn't tell, which was weird. Usually you know. I felt verrrrry bloated. I immediately STOPPED drinking and spent the last 6 miles in the hoods instead of the drops trying to stretch out my torso a little bit and get more comfortable. It also didn't help that I had my period, which just seemed to amplify every stomach pain, every cramp, and my sore ass. Guys--you don't realize what a handicap this is on race day!!!
The last 5 miles of the 25 mile ride seemed to take forever due to my discomfort. Luckily, I had taken Zantac (antacid) and a pre-emptive Immodium that morning, and I think that was my saving grace. However, little pangs of doubt started to creep in again. Would I be walking this run? Would I be able to even do the run at all?
Run--Feeling Strong Again:
As soon as I got my running shoes on and started jogging, I started to feel better. I think I had stopped drinking just in time. Plus, I could change positions and stretch up instead of being hunched over the bike. I took a cup of water at the first station, and dumped it over my head to cool off, still too wary of liquid in my gut to drink it. After 5 minutes, my legs seemed to feel fresh and light, and I settled into an easy, floating pace. The long runs I've been doing really paid off here! I began passing people left and right. Because it was a 2-lap course, I got to see a lot of other people. Many of them waved and smiled and cheered me on. I actually recognized some of them! They knew my name! That's such a pick-me-up in a race! Right before my 2nd lap, a handsome, tall guy runs up and asks, "Are you Rachel?"
"Yeah," I reply.
"Seamonster." We shake hands. It was SO awesome to actually meet one of my fellow bloggers. That has never happened before. It was way cool. We chatted briefly before parting ways--he to finish, and me to do my blasted 2nd lap.
By this time, it was 11 a.m., and temps were near 90. It felt more like a nuisance to me than anything. After 5 years in St. Louis, I can deal with heat. Plus, my body seems to tolerate it fairly well. I've learned to recognize my heart rate begeins to sky rocket and slow down. Usually, my stomach will begin to cramp up, and that's the first sign the heat is getting to me. My motto for running on hot days? Slow down, slow down, then slow down some more. I walked through the 2nd station and sipped the delicious water. I was so thirsty! I took a 2nd cup and dumped it on my head. The marines volunteering were great. They were cheering us all on and were very motivating. They took extra cups and sloshed it on my as I ran by. One guy had a hose, and I would slow down as I passed him to get doused. This helped a lot. I was soaked by the end. When there was a breeze, I felt wonderful. I felt like I could just keep going and going. Like a gazelle. Then, we would get between some buildings, and there would be absolutely no air circulation. It was like being in a sauna. The heat radiated off the pavement. I felt like I was baking. Slow down, slow down. Water station. Walk. Sip 1 cup. Dump 2nd cup over head. There was 1 steep hill we had to traverse. Of course, it was a 2-lap course so we got to do it twice. Goodie! I actually walked the middle of the hill. I've never done this before. I could feel my heart rate soar as I started jogging up it. The heat was unbearable. I remember thinking, "Pace yourself. It's just not worth it." And I would walk. It helped a lot. I love how I'm learning how to listen to my body and when to hold back as well as when to push it. When I had about 1.5 miles left to go, I did a mental check. Everything felt great. I started to pick up the pace. Met up with a girl and we cheered each other on towards the finish. Turns out, we had met at a race earlier in the season. She remembered my name! It was so nice to have someone I knew to run with. We chatted as we ran. Then, my stomach started bothering me. Ugh. Nothing too bad but I had to shut up and slow down. She ran on ahead. Only 1/2 mile left to go. My knees started bothering me. Guess I was starting to fall apart. I saw the chute and picked up the pace. It felt so incredible to cross that finish line!
Jason was right there, handing me a cup of water and an orange. Yum. He told me the heat had gotten to some people and one guy had to be carted off near the finish because of heat exhaustion. He had started shaking and spasming, kind of like what you might see at the end of an IM (remember that Gatorade commercial?). I felt happy not to need the ambulance! I did feel a bit disoriented and delirious, however. One Marine asked if I felt alright, which surprised me. Didn't think I felt that bad! I started chatting with people I knew--that's the best part. Unfortunately, my stomach started cramping up, and I realized my body needed ac, water, food, and sleep...ASAP. Damn. I had wanted to stay and chat more! We packed up and headed out. I saw several guys napping in the shade provided by their car...on the ground. That sucks! There was barely any shade there. That's when I realized I wasn't the only one needing some ac, sleep, food, and water. The body wants what it wants!
I've been recovering very nicely. Knees have been kind of achy. Time for a fresh pair of shoes! Ate and slept most of the afternoon. However, was able to dress up and go out for dinner and a movie that night. Then, this morning, dragged myeslf out of bed with Jason for an early low-tide beach run with the running group. We went 10 miles!!! I thought it would be impossible after yesterday bit I was really looking forward to it this morning. Knees actually felt okay! Love running on the sand! We were able to maintain a solid 9 min/mile pace. It felt relaxing and easy. There was a nice breeze, and becasue we left at 7 a.m., it wasn't too hot yet. Afterwards, I stripped down to my sports bra and shorts and plunged into the ocean for a gentle, refreshing swim. That's an awesome benefit to beach runs!!! The rest of the day has been sleeping and eating. Right now, I'm due for some nice, gentle R&R. Especially after the beating my body has taken. All I can say is that it's amazing what the body can do!
Post-Race Results and Analysis:
Total Time: 3:07:41
(Split times not official)
Swim (1500 m): ~33 min (ugh)
Bike (25 mi): ~1:28
Run (10K): ~57 min
What to work on:
Swim: Swim endurance and speed (duh). I feel like I can swim forever but I have no speed. I need more time in the water, that's all. Easy to do! Also, need to work on upper body strength since arms seem to get tired pretty easily.
Bike: Maintain what I have. I've improved here so I just want to keep doing what I'm doing. I've noticed hills have gotten a lot easier for me. Must be all the horrendous hills around here. Yipee!
Run: I'm really happy with the strong base I've built. The long runs and 1/2 marathon training have really helped. However, my times are about 1 min/mile slower than I used to be so I know I can go faster. Incorporating some fartleks and track workouts will help this.
Overall: I'm really happy and satisfied. I've handled a big race load surprisingly well. Now, it's time to back off a bit and enjoy the training a bit more. I'm looking forward to some easy-going training sessions. I've gotten a lot out of the races I've done and learned a ton. Plus, I'm having a blast!
Friday, July 14, 2006
1. Overload yourself with races so you do at least 1 every weekend.
2. After your race, do an additional workout--long runs, marathon tennis sessions, surfing, etc.
3. Make sure it's blistering hot outside.
4. Once Monday rolls around and you're sore and exhausted, take the day off and begin sleeping.
5. Eat as much as you can when awake, including chocolate, pizza, and Big Macs.
6. Take 3 hour naps a day.
7. If you can't nap, sleep at least 12 hours at night.
8. Do nothing else.
9. The night before the race, begin to panic.
This has been me this week. It's similar to how I tapered (unintentionally) for the San Diego International Tri 3 weeks ago. I was in a panic before that race, and it turned out to be a fantastic race. For some reason, I'm less worried this time around. Hope that's not a bad sign.
The Camp Pendleton International Tri will be only my 2nd Olympic distance. In addition, the 1st one (San Diego International Tri) was a little short (1000 km swim, 30K bike, 10K run). Tomorrow's race is a "real" Olympic (1500 m swim/40K bike/10K run) so it will be my longest race ever. However, for some reason, I know I can do the distance, and I feel more confident than last time. I trust my body more.
Ideally, I would have tapered down for about 2 weeks and would not have raced last weekend. I would continue my workouts but shorten them and keep the intensity up. This week, I would have scheduled more rest days but also would have short, little workouts in there to keep my muscles fresh. That's what I would have done. Instead, I slept and ate all week (see above). I think I may have needed it after last weekend.
Monday, I had a massage and then took the day off from working out--intentionally. That was all good. Tuesday, I ate well and took the day off from workout out--unintentionally. Still okay (except for the massive quantities of pancakes I ate that morning). Wednesday, my stomach acted up, and I slept all day, taking several 2-3 hour naps. That evening, I felt better and wanted to do some sort of workout but decided against it. Instead, I had pizza for dinner. Last night, I came home from lab, exhausted and starving (bad me for not stopping to eat lunch!!!) and succumbed to the golden arches. I wolfed down a Big Mac, 5 McNuggets, and french fries (with a Diet Coke; isn't that a riot?), followed by dessert--a dark chocolate Hershey's bar, 2 large Pepperidge Farm oatmeal raisin cookies, and some Pepperidge Farm Bordeaux cookies as well. Want to know what's scary? I didn't even feel that full afterwards! WTF? Laden with a belly full of fat and sky-rocketing serum insulin levels, I fell victim to the overwhelming post-prandial fatigue and fell aleep on the sofa, moving to the bedroom at 9 pm where I stayed...asleep...for the next twelve hours. Anway, as you can see, I'm not hurting for carbs or cals!
This morning? I feel great. It's a new day. The day before the race. Gulp. I'm NOT working out today. Maybe go for a walk. Take it easy. My job is to prepare for tomorrow mentally, pack up my race bag, get my bike ready, and eat and sleep well. I'm going to start eating better!!! Plan out my meals, space them out better so I never feel hungry and make smarter decisions. Sigh. So difficult!
Yeah, I wish I'd paced myself more last weekend, but I had a blast last weekend. I wish I had slept less this week and worked out more but I think I needed the rest. I wish I'd eaten better but I probably needed the cals so there's no permanent damage, and I'll get back on track. At least I didn't starve myself, continue to work out, and remain sleep-deprived all week! So I'm just going with it. Keeping my fingers crossed...
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Feeling lots better today. Definitely slept enough! I'm starting to get nervous about this weekend's big race. Can I really do that distance? Gulp. It'll by my first real Olympic distance (San Diego was so short!). I know I will be fine but I'm getting psyched. That's how I know I'm ready. Sleep? Good. Been doing lots of that. Training? Good. Maybe a little too much last weekend but definitely interspersed with rest so okay. Nutrition? Definitely eating enough cals., that's for sure! Could definitely be doing better on the veggie side of things. Too much pizza and too many cookies! I'm definitely not hurting for carbs. Have also recently been trying to up the protein side of things with more eggs, milk, yogurt, beef, fish (mmmmm---sushi), poultry, and low-fat smoothies to speed muscle recovery. Good thing I'm not a vegetarian. Maybe it's just the placebo effect, but ever since I've been trying to up the protein, I've noticed my muscles have started to really "pop", for me at least, which is hard to do. My weight hasn't changed at all but my body fat has dropped a bit so that's a good sign! Hopefully, I'll get a little workout in tonight to keep my anxiety down. It's funny. I think I train more now for my mind than my body. My body is like, "Haven't you had enough already?"
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
By the way, re-administering a contact that has popped out and been doused on sea water really stings. I don't recommend it. Maybe my exhaustion today is just a combination of everything accumulating and finally landing on me like a ton of bricks.
Monday I felt okay. Sore and stiff but okay. The massage therapist told me at the end that she had stayed very light becuase she didn't want to cause more tissue damage. She had? I promptly scheduled another one for the following Monday, anticipating the future punishment my body would take next weekend. Anyway, took Monday off from training, as planned. Tuesday, I still felt sore and tired and decided it would be okay to take yet another day. I hate taking off more than 1 day in a row. It freaks me out. Sometimes, I think I need it though. Today isn't over yet. But it's not looking good.
I woke up this morning exhausted. I had gone to bed at 11:30 (normal) and woken up at 8:30 (also, normal--guiltily admitted). Is it normal to need 9 hours of sleep a night? I don't know, but I can't function without it. 8 just doesn't cut it. Less than that and I'm a zombie at risk of falling to pieces and sobbing over an untied shoelace. (I have a blood test scheduled just to make sure all my thyroid and iron levels are on par.) Anyway, I dragged myself out of bed and started to get ready for work. Since I had been too pooped to do anything last night, the place was a mess and I started cleaning up. It's nice to come home to a clean place! It clears my head. I hate leaving the apt. with a ton of crap I have to do when I get home.
All of a sudden, my stomach started cramping up. I had eaten a banana and taken my stomach meds but I just felt worse and worse. Maybe it's my period (don't you just love being a woman?). Maybe the tapering off of some nasty meds lately (SSRIs--almost free of them!). Or maybe all the activity I did this weekend catching up to me (ding, ding, ding!). Or a combination of everything. All I know is that I felt like crap.
I lied down for just a minute. When I looked at the clock again, it was noon, and my stomach didn't feel much better. Ugh. I called in sick....feeling very guilty about it. Afterall, since work has gotten busier, I've actually been looking forward to getting in. But, there was nothing that couldn't wait until tomorrow, and I knew it was better to rest and heal now than to be really sick later. I woke up, ate, and went back to bed at around 2. Woke up at 6:30 pm. What the f...? Guess I was tired! It kind of freaks me out but I feel better now and more coherent. My stomach (always the first to warn me when something is going on; thanks!) feels a lot better too. I know it was just my body's way of telling me I needed to slow down, rest, and recoup. Thanks so much body for the announcement! (grumbling) Guess I'm not Superwoman. Hey, I'm not? Still, it's amazing how much punishment the body can take and still be okay.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
I can't believe how busy I've been lately! It's been fantastic. The Carlsbad Tri was this past Sunday. First, in chronological order, all the events this past weekend:
I'm training for America's Finest City 1/2 Marathon August 20th as well, and I didn't want to miss my long run. A group of gals has been inviting me to run with them, and I really wanted to go since I missed the past few group runs due to being out of town and other races. They were nice enough to have the run on Saturday. So even though the tri was on Sunday, I rationalized that it was "just" a sprint and lugged myself out of bed Saturday morning to meet the gals for a 9 mile run. We went early since the heat and humidity was just sweltering--very unusual for around here. We had a great time. I love long, slow, group runs! It's very relaxing. Afterwards, we ate breakfast at this cool local greasy joint, "The Potato Shack" in Encinitas. Ugh. I was stuffed.
My friend called as I was picking up the race packet wondering if she could visit for the weekend from L.A. Again, against better judgement (she's a friend from grade school, and I really wanted to see her!), I told her to "Come on down!" I collapsed at home for an hour while Jason furiously cleaned the apartment. When she showed up, we all went up to Encinitas. She surfed, and I body-surfed until sunset. It was sooo nice and warm. I was able to get in the water in just a bikini! Afterwards, we dragged our tired selves to a great seafood joint in Del Mar. Finally got back home by 11:30 and started to pack up my race gear for the following morning. I had popped a tire (ugh) Friday afternoon and was too exhausted to change it. Screw it. Went to bed, not sure if I was going to get up for the race the next morning.
Actually got up the next morning at 5:45 (pushing it but still doable) to do the race. The race started at 8 but my wave didn't go until 8:30. Changed the tire, inflated it, packed up my gear and was heading out, when Jason volunteered to come and support me. He's a saint. He grabbed my bike. "Aren't you going to pump up the tire?"
"Sh*t!" I quickly threw out the pinched tube and put on a new one. I always get lots of extras since I'm good at flatting stuff. I panicked. Could it be this race wasn't mean to be? No. Threw my stuff in the car and took off for Carlsbad at 90 mph, making it there in about 20 min. Lots of people were still coming in. Kissed Jason and ran off to the transition area, squeezing my bike in between two others. Where's the G*d*mn wetsuit!? In the car. Ran off to go retrieve it but the urge to use the facilities predominated. Everyone was wandering towards the beach. I saw a girl in a bathing suit sans wetsuit and grabbed her. "You going to skip the wetsuit?" She nodded encouragingly and I decided to follow suit. The water was 74 degrees, and it was the best last-minute decision I have ever made.
Got down to the beach and jumped in the water to acclimate and check my gear. Everything felt great. Goggles weren't leaking, water was warm and calm. I walked over to my wave and chatted with the other girls. Everyone was very relaxed and friendly, which was very refreshing. I finally started to relax when the gun went off for my wave to start.
I feel like a little kid every time I get in the ocean. The first wave hit me, and I couldn't help but let out a shrill giggle. Why do I do that? The others looked at me, amused. I took my time getting out past the waves. I didn't want to swallow a bunch of salt water or step on a sting ray. The backwards current was really strong, and it took awhile to get out to the first buoy. Once I was there, swimming down 500m past the 5 buoys was easy. There were lots of guys on longboards to watch us and make sure we were okay. I felt very lucid and comfortable. I loved swimming without my wetsuit. My arms got less tired because they felt less restricted. I didn't get as seasick either, b/c of the decreased buoyancy w/o the wetsuit. On the way out, I took my time as well to orient myself to the waves and hold my breath when they broke over me. It was cool. The volunteers on their surfboards would yell, "Wave!" every time one was coming for us to give us advanced warning. Awesome. A few of the girls stopped suddenly. I looked up at them since they had been going strong. Their faces were ashen white. Oooh. I knew what was going on with them. Yuck. The forward and backward motion of the waves coming in can really make you ill if you keep your head down and don't orient yourself. Hit the sand, got out, and ran up towards the transition area. Photographer took a pic just as I was spitting out seawater. Sexy.
T1: Awesome b/c no wetsuit to get off! On the bike and we're off! Steep hill coming up out of the trans. area.
Bike: Rolling 15 miles of coastline. They closed off Hwy 101 for us. It was gorgeous. Sometimes, it's hard to focus b/c I just want to stare at the sea. The 2nd half, something really clicked for me, and I was able to really center myself and focus on every pedal stroke. It felt great, all-in-all.
T2: Very quick. Threw on shoes and ran off, clipping on race belt in mid-stride.
Run: Ugh. 1st 10 minutes were torture. The heat was beating down, and I was on a sidewalk surrounded by 2 walls on either side along the beach. Then, we ran up this grueling steep (but short) hill to get back on Hwy 101. Luckily, with only a 5K to go, the miles flew by. I focused on finding a pace and staying comfortable. I had no problem accepting my 9 min./mile pace. You can't expect to do better than what you're training! I've been focusing on consistent, steady training workouts to build a base, and with the half-marathon coming up, I felt strong and steady. It was very hot. I actually accepted water at the aid stations, which I almost never do for 5Ks. I sipped some water and dumped the rest on my head much to the amusement of some onlookers. At the last mile, this really nice woman came up and said I was a good pacer and wanted to pace with me. Cool. We egged each other on with supportive comments for the remainder. Stuff like, "Good pace. Keep it up. Only 1 more mile. Almost there. Finish strong. Good job." It was awesome. We ran side by side down the chute and towards the finish. I didn't feel like we were racing. We were doing this together. I've never felt such comradarie during a race. It was sweet. Afterall, it really is a race against yourself. She still felt good the last 100 meters so I told her to kick it and swung in behind her over the mats. She gave me an enormous hug afterwards. We chatted for awhile, and she invited me to train with her and her group in Oceanside. I love these events. I always meet at least 2 or 3 new people. It' s awesome.
Post-Race: They had the most delicious fruit and bagels. OJ and water. Just what I was craving. As I chowed down, a news reporter came up to my new friend and I for a post-race interview. I stuttered awkwardly through the questions with sand stuck to my belly, sweat streaks down my cheeks, and orange juice dribbling down my chin. Sexy.
As I grabbed my stuff and headed out of the transition area, I grumbled about having to walk up that d*mn hill again. The guys in front told me to think of it as training in a joking manner. "I have to taper for the Camp Pendleton International next weeknd," I replied.
"And you did this race today?" they asked in bewilderment.
"Taper starting...NOW!" I replied. Yeah, I guess I'm a little over-zealous and crazy with my race schedule right now. Not my fault they plan all the cool races right in a row.
I actually felt really good after my breakfast, shower, and nap. About when the world cup final was ending, my friend and I went down to Pacific Beach. I bought some bikinis and a boogie board, and we headed down to the beach. I tried boggie-boarding with a bikini for the first time. Actually, the bikini had no problem staying on, much to my surprise and relief. However, my contacts didn't want to stay in. I lost one out on the waves, and caught it with one hand, riding the waves on the board with the other. Jumped up on the beach, popped the contact back in, blinked furiously for a minute (salt water stings!), retied the bikini to insure it would not fall off, and jumped back into the water. The people were so friendly. A couple of guys asked me if I knew how to catch waves.
"No clue. Just bought this board 20 minutes ago."
"Oh. We bought ours like 5 minutes ago."
Played in the water and laid on the beach until sunset. We watched the sun go down. It was incredible. After the last drop of light dipped behind the water, everyone applauded and whistled. It was a free show! Gotta love San Diego! Anyway, needless to say, I've been sleeping like a baby lately.
Swim: ~23 min
T1+Bike+T2: ~55 min
Run: ~27 min