Sunday, November 26, 2006

Recap of Week 5--struggle b/tw Body and Me.

Phew! I did it. Time to enjoy a week of R&R. How do I do that exactly? I'm trying to figure out how to scale back and recoup without just taking 1 week completely off. Anyhow, my shoulder and Achilles tendon (and knees) will thank me. My left shoulder has been complaining. Nothing serious but enough that I should consider listening. Apparently going from 1-2x/week in the pool of about 2000m/week total to 2-3x/week swimming of about 4000-5000m/week is too much, too soon, according to my shoulder. Fiiiine. Guess my shoulder is a bit of a wimp. In addition, my left Achilles has been complaining. Something about too many hills on the bike combined with bad technique followed by lots of running. Who prescribed that?--my Achilles wants to know. Oh, and my right knee is complaining that I'm running too many "long-distance" runs. My body loves to complain. So, clearly, it's time for an R&R. My body will thank me, although, personally, I think my body is a bit of wimp.

Sunday: Today, we got in our 7.5 mile run. I didn't want to go b/c it was cold and rainy outside but Jason talked me into it. It ended up being very nice. Once we warmed up, it wasn't cold, and there were very few people out and about. We ran on the Los Gatos Creek Trail, which is serene and beautiful. A creek runs alongside the trail the whole way, and it is lined with trees, giving it a forest-like feeling. It runs through several local parks. It's very peaceful. I felt good the whole way. My Achilles felt fine after the first 1 mile, although I've noticed it takes longer to warm up out of it (was 1/2 mile last week) and it hurts more during that "warm-up" period. On the way back, my right knee started aching. Good 'ole patellofemoral syndrome rearing its ugly head. I focused on squeezing my glutes and tightening my core with my foot falls, and the knee pain actually subsided a bit. It felt great to get the run in. I was able to maintain 9 min/miles without a problem and could have gone farther (except for the knee-ache thing). I followed this up with weights and am now enjoying the rainy day inside with family, football, and a fire. Does it get any better than that?

Saturday: Day off. My dad, sister, Jason, and I went to the Deep Cliff Golf Course for a short round of golf. Considering I have played 3x in my life, I convinced everyone we should only do 9 holes. Thankfully, they agreed. After some quick instruction from my dad and Jason at the driving range and putting green, we teed off. It was actually really fun. A bit chillier than previous days (upper 50s), the sun was out, and it was a gorgeous fall day, complete with lush green grass, babbling brook, pine trees, and lots of red, yellow, and orange leaves loosely adorned on half-naked deciduous trees. A nice change of pace from San Diego where the only trees around are palm trees. I was actually able to make contact with the ball and hit it fairly straight on almost every shot. On some of the tees I was able to loft it into the air a bit (on one hole, I got it over a ravine with a creek at the bottom, which I was ecstatic about), although not nearly as nicely as Jason, who hit the ball like a pro 90% of the time. We even golfed by a young mule deer, not more than 20 feet from us, who let us play through. It was surprisingly quite fun, and I would do it again, a statement that shocked my entire family. Afterwards, we had a great lunch, and I promptly took a long, deep nap upon returning home.

Friday: We woke up at 6:30 am to go swimming so that the workout wouldn't interfere with other family activities later in the day. My dad came along for a workout, and my sister joined us too. None of us wanted to do it, and we kept looking around to see whose idea it had been (mine), not that I wanted to do it either. I kept thinking about how good I would feel afterwards. It was F-R-E-E-Z-I-N-G, especially compared to the day before. Mid-40s. Okay, I know that's very pleasant for the rest of the world but when you have to immerse yourself in an outdoor body of water in a two-piece Speedo (my one-piece was still damp), it's cold. Steam rose off the water of the pool, and I was delighted to realize that jumping in the pool felt warm and inviting since the water was warmer than the ambient temperature. One thing about cold temps--it makes you MOVE! I sprinted for the first few minutes just to warm up. We all had a very nice workout, mixing short sprints with longer build sets. My sister swam a solid mile, which is awesome. Afterwards, we enjoyed a nice soak in the hot tub (with jets).

After running some errands, I wanted nothing more than to sink into the bed for a nap (what is it with me and naps lately? It's like my new addiction) but I convinced myself to get on the bike. My dad's steeds needed to be taken out of the stable so we pumped up the tires, put on warm clothes, and off we went. Jason atop my dad's Specialized Rock Hopper (a tank with really wide tires), and I rode my dad's red Specialized Allez. At 58 cm, the beast was several cm too big for me, which I noticed most in the top tube, and Jason really got a workout trying to keep up with the road bike on a mountain bike.

We cruised down the Los Gatos Creek Trail, laden with families out for a post-Thanksgiving Day jaunt--walking, roller blading, biking, you name it. It was a recovery ride for us anyway, but there were several close calls as I pulled off the path to avoid small swerving children on their trikes. At least I got some good balance and core work in negotiating the turns, curves, and kids. Ironically, it was the lone elderly man on the way back who ended up causing the closest call of the day. I pulled over to the left to pass him, and he decided to turn left at the last possible second. With my stomach in my throat, I didn't have a chance to cry out. I slammed on the breaks, causing the red Allez to buck violently. I jammed my left foot on the ground to prevent the beast from flipping us both over. The man turned around at the last second as the front tired collided with his leg, and he put his arms out to brace himself as the bike came to a stop. Thankfully, he wasn't hurt, and, other than being shaken up, neither was I. He was quite apologetic, and, after making sure he was okay, I reassured him that everything was fine and we were all on our merry little ways. It was a very nice ride, nonetheless, especially for a recovery ride, and we still managed a not-too-shabby 17 miles. However, in the future, I've decided the Los Gatos Creek Trail is best suited for running while road bikes should stick to the roads.

Thursday: Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot (see previous post) 10K run.

Wednesday: 4 mi track run (mile repeats--ugh!) and weights (discussed in previous post).

Tuesday: 7 am spin class (yipee) and evening pool swim.

Monday: 30 mile am bike up the coast that was most awesome.

All in all--an excellent week. I got in all my workouts except 1 swim (but I'm still swimming a good amount at this point), which is excellent, considering the holiday and family interference. Plus, although I have a few aches and pains, it's nothing some R&R can't cure. In addition, the extreme fatigue I felt in Week 4 has subsided. Gotta love vacation!

Swim: 2x; 2.5 hrs; ~4000m
Bike: 3x; 4 hrs; 57 mi
Run: 3x; ~3 hrs; 17.5 mi
Weights: 2x (40 min each)
Total time (weights not included): 9.5

Silicon Valley Turkey Trot

Thursday, we woke up for a 9 a.m. race start, which actually felt like sleeping in, considering how our schedule has been lately. We thought it would be cold up in San Jose but the sun was blazing in the sky as we drove up to the start. It was very well-organized; lots of friendly, helpful volunteers and 3100 runners/walkers showed up. This Turkey Trot thing fever has really caught on! I saw tons of families with grandparents and kids in baby joggers as well as family pooches, joining the event. There was a 5K walk option, perfect for those who want to get in some exercise without being competitive before the Thanksgiving feast. I was able to check my pre-race sweats without having to return to the car--an option I really love. Once that sun came out, it got kind of toasty! Actually, it was in the high 60s when we finished.

The gun went off and we all slowly wadled towards the start. We started too far back and had tons of baby joggers and families, walking hand-in-hand, to negotiate around. I got kind of irritated actually as I weaved in and out for the next mile-and-a-half, feeling like the Grinch, ruining a Rockefeller painting; however, I wanted to run! At mile 1.5, the 5K-ers turned around and we kept going. Lots of us hooted at this point, relieved to have some room to stretch our legs. We looped onto the Guadelope River Trail for the next 2.5 miles; I love trail running, especially alongside creeks; it was really fun. Jason and I both fell into a groove and found a nice pace with a rhythmic cadence. I even felt like I was able to pick it up for the final 2 miles, although I was a bit disgruntled about having to weave, yet again, around ambling walkers upon the return towards the finish. But I totally understand--some just want to go for a fun stroll, while others want to be a bit more competitive. Put these two breeds together, and there's bound to be some sort of a clash.

It was very fun and rewarding, and I couldn't believe what a sweat I worked up by the end. Jason rocked it, finishing in 47:01 (7:34 min/miles). I came in at 57:11, hitting a solid 8:50 min/mi, which I am content with. It was more than rewarding to go home and shower and change for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner--turkey, homemade cranberry sauce (from scratch), sweet potatoes, green beans, cornbread, stuffing, gravy, wine, and apple and pumpkin pie ala mode! Thanks Mom and Dad! It was delicious!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

This week has been unexpectedly pleasurable so far. I think Monday morning's bike ride set things off straight. I was happy all day after my obligatory dose of daily sunshine. I crashed early Monday evening after a much-needed massage, in bed by 9 pm.

Tuesday, we made it to our morning spin class and had a great workout. Is it just me, or is waking up early in the morning getting easier? Going to bed early definitely helps. I have also noticed that I've been crashing in the afternoons because of the early morning workouts. I fixed that on Tuesday with an afternoon nap. I was able to get up, feed the buns, grab a snack, and head up to the pool. We did a descending ladder of a total of about 2000 meters and was out for a soak in the hot tub in less than an hour. It felt great to have accomplished everything I wanted for the day. The rest of the evening was spent packing and getting the house and buns ready for the pet sitter.

Wednesday morning I was up bright and early for my am flight. Not so difficult after waking up at 5:30 several days in a row. 6:30 actually felt like sleeping in. Go figure. The airport was packed beyond belief but I sipped my morning latte and zoned out. I started chatting to the guy next to me. Turns out, he's a swimmer. I got the inside scoop about the UCSD Masters' Swim Program, which we've been considering starting after our spin classes end (one week after Thanksgiving). It's a small world. Seems like everyone in San Diego swims, bikes, and/or runs. It's nice having something in common with everyone.

The plane ride was uneventful, which is always a good thing. The rest of the afternoon was spent shopping with my mom, which usually leaves me exhausted. However, today, I was determined to prevent Turkey Day from sidelining my workouts. 4 pm and laden with fatigue (mental fatigue), I threw on my running clothes and braved the overcast, "chilly" outdoors (mid-60s--aren't I a wimp?). I jogged down to the high school track for an invigorating track workout. I worked on mile repeats (which really suck, by the way), while being entertained by the high school pole vault and football teams, who were practicing all around me. Plus, I also caught a glimpse of the cross country team warming up before their run and the basketball team cooling down after practice. I felt like a jock by association. I never participated in any of the aforementioned activities in high school so it was really fun to pretend. Afterwards, I did weights while watching some trashy show on VH1 about wacky Hollywood celebrity baby names. Entertaining nonetheless. I'm done for the day and can totally relax and it feels great.

Tomorrow, Jason and I are doing a local turkey trot. I love getting in a daily workout. It just sets the tone for positive things to happen. Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Re-cap of Week 4--Verrrry Tired

Thanks for all your advice about the marathon. I just signed up for San Diego Rock 'N Roll Marathon June 3rd, 2007! This is going to be a big year.

Yesterday ended week 4 of half-ironman training, concluding the prep period. I'm definitely feeling it. Cranky, tired, sore...I'm sure glad next week is an R&R. However, I feel very proud of myself for sticking with the workouts and completing Week 4. In addition, I feel very strong and accustomed to the workouts I'm doing, which puts me in a great position for base building.

Monday was an unintentional R&R. I hate doing that but I was very tired and cranky and overwhelmed with lab stuff. I did get totally caught up with housework and errands, which has to count for something.

Tuesday we cranked out another spin session in our 7 am class at UCSD. Those will end soon, and the instructor won't be teaching next quarter so I'm kind of bummed b/c she's awesome. Plus, the spin classes are really helping with my power and strength on the road, although I know I need to do more endurance and base sessions anyway. Maybe it's a blessing in disguise.

Wednesday I was lazy until the evening when, instead of a track workout, I went for an easy 4 mile tempo run just to get it done. I had enough time (and energy) to sneak in 40 minutes of weights before we cruised up the road for a 7:30 pm masters swim class with the club. I swam in the slow lane and focused on form. We did short, fast sets and worked on speed as well. It was really fun and energizing, and I felt great afterwards.

Thursday we showed up for our spin class. Two times this week! I was very proud. Showing up is half the battle. We had a great session and then put our running shoes on afterwards for a quick 3-mile brick run. I felt great, and the brick felt like a piece of cake. I just relaxed the rest of the day, which felt very luxurious.

Friday I made myself get in the pool despite feeling very tired. I actually snuck in a quick nap and woke up in time to get in a 70 minute session before the pool closed. Very rare that I wake up from a nap ready to jump in the pool. I didn't question it. I had absolutely no gas. We warmed up and did some drills before doing a few speed sets. I had nothing. Then, we did some longer pyramid sets at a steady pace. I told myself I could quit but I suddenly found my groove and felt great. I was able to finish out the workout no problem. However, I was beat afterwards and tweaked my left shoulder so I know I was pushing things. I was supposed to do weights afterwards but I was too beat.

Saturday I felt tired and cranky all day. We snuck in a late afternoon bike ride as the sun set. I hate how short the days are! Instead of making me feel good, I actually felt worse aftewards. Cranky and irritable. Plus, my left Achilles tendon has been bugging me on the bike. After some thought and experimentation, it seems to be caused by a combination of bad form in spinning class when standing and spinning (something I'm not used to) and pushing harder gears on the bike (since I swapped my triple for compact cranks recently). We were supposed to do a brick run afterwards but I canceled it, giving how crappy I felt. I spent the rest of the evening in a pretty grumpy mood. I was mad for a) not biking earlier and going longer, b) not feeling well enough to do a brick run, and c) being too tired to do weights (again). I rationalized that I was probably feeling the effects of overtraining/overreaching a bit and that it was good to listen to my body. I felt better after this. Plus, we walked to a local pizza joint and got some "healthy" pizza take-out (low-fat cheese, veggies, etc.). Regardless, it was delicious, and it felt great to take a very relaxed evening walk.

Sunday we met our running group for a 7:30 am 7 mile run around Mission Bay and Mission Beach. It was actually very fun. It's a great group, and I love running with them. Plus, I love doing things first thing in the morning. Suprisingly, my Achilles didn't bother me after the first half mile (further supporting that the bike is what's aggravating it). I loved all the great people watching scene, and of course, the waves crashing onto the beach right beside us. There was this fantastic dichotomy of healthy, early morning joggers and couples with their power smoothies and baby joggers juxtaposed next to the late-night partygoers making their way home after a long night with morning hangover beers and cigarettes. It was very amusing and fantastic. It was weird running on the boardwalk when it was so empty. The only downside was that the run was all on sidewalks (ouch) and there was very little shade (palm trees don't give off much). It got very hot by the end (about 80). Afterwards, we went out for breakfast. We then went to La Jolla Shores and digested on the beach before putting on our wetsuits and braving the water for a swim. The water was chilly, but felt nice on such a hot day. The surf was calm and once I got in and warmed up--felt fine. We just did a short swim--the point was to get open-water experience, not to get a swim workout (given how I'd been feeling). Mission accomplished. Sunday night I felt pretty trashed (hence--skipped the 2nd weight-lifting session of the week). I was tired--so tired I lost my appetite and retired to bed by 9 pm. I slept like a baby.

Monday so far--The sleep did me good. I felt good enough to go for an early morning bike ride with Jason up the coast and back. It was lots of fun. I felt fresh and energized and my Achilles didn't bug me too much. I'm glad we fit it in.

Weekly Re-Cap
Total Hours--8
Total Miles: Swim--4500m; Bike--40 mi; Run--15 mi
Overall--Missed 1 weight session; Feeling very tired; need more rest; will need to increase bike mileage once rested.

We're going up to San Jose for Thanksgiving this week. I'm trying to get in some key workouts before I go so I can rest a little while I'm up there. Plus, the following week is an R&R. I'm trying to coax my body into 1 more week before really recovering. Some of the workouts last week were fantastic, while I slogged through others. Sometimes I feel tired but once I start working out, I feel great. I'm going to focus on eating healthy and sleeping a lot this week to recover and make it through my workouts. If I continue to feel trashed, I'll cut back. However, today, I feel great! Go figure. The body is a weird beast.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

1st Marathon in June?

I'm thinking about next season. It's a bit hard to imagine life after March 31st but I'm trying to since it will be very early in the season. The nice thing about doing a half-ironman at that time is that I'll be in great shape to do other races the rest of the season. Maybe even another H-IM later that summer (Vineman 70.3 is in July and the Big Kahuna is in Sept).

I've been kicking around the idea of doing a marathon. I think the toughest thing about this type of race is the mental aspect of running for that long. But it's time. I've run 3 half-marathons, and I want to do a full ironman in 2008 if all goes well in 2007. So I'd like to try a marathon by itself and see how that goes. I love running, as well, so this is the next logical step. Next question--which marathon? I'd really like to do the San Diego Rock 'N Roll Marathon in early June. It's local, it's fun, and there's a big, supportive crowd. That seems like the perfect one to do for a first-timer like me. Here's the question: is early June too soon after the half-ironman (March 31st) to be ready for a marathon? I'll have 2 months, including taper. I'll already be running 15 miles for my long run in preparation for the half-ironman. Plus, my base will be beyond this for the half-ironman training. So it's just training my body to run the extra mileage. So it's 2 months to add 10 miles (less since you don't actually run the whole distance to train for a marathon anyway). What do you think? Is this feasible?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Tour de Julian and end of week 3

Phew! I'm exhausted. But in a good way. I have now finished week 3 of training for California 70.3. This racing stuff is great motivation. I was able to complete all but 1 workout (1 of the swims) but still got in the mileage and hours I needed.

Today was an awesome, zippy 10K trail run (hills included). I felt very good and strong. Sunny and 70s in November. Gotta love San Diego. Later, we forced ourselves into the pool for a nice, varied workout. I wrote it up beforehand, motivating me to actually then go and do it. For those of you swim nerds, the workout was:
warm up: 500m free
Form Focus: 50m kick-50m drill-50m back (x2)
Count drill (try to take 1 stroke off each lap): 50m (x3)
Main Set: 4x200 build (50 easy-50 build-50 hold-50 hard)
4x50 hard sprint (:45 sec rest)
Cool Down: 2x75: breast 25-free 25-back 25
50m free easy
Total 2000m
This was actually a lot of fun!

Tour de Julian
We drove an hour east on windy, mountain roads into the dessert, reaching a small town of Julian. It was very cool. Lots of neat antique shops, bakeries, cafes, and other Ma & Pop-type stores. Lots of wineries, vineyards, and apple orchards too. Julian is known for its apples, and the apple harvest just concluded a few weeks ago. The bike was extremely hilly--there was a 28 and 55 mile option. We did the 28 mile option. The longer route seemed extra-masochistic--going up Mt. Laguna (6000 ft.) at the end, which we did a few weeks ago for the Pine Valley Duathlon. Again? No, thanks. Anyway, we did about 1000 feet of climbing, which doesn't sound that bad but there were some wicked ascents (and descents). I definitely am missing my triple chain ring (I swapped them for compact cranks). There were a few climbs I had to fight to turn over the pedals--out of the saddle. Luckily, the spinning classes have really been helping. A couple of times, I wasn't sure if I could make it but I was damned if I was going to get off and walk. The best part was when we passed a bunch of people on the uphill portion, who had all zipped by us on the twisty, curvy, narrow, downhill part. We had ridden the descents more conservatively since the route wasn't closed to traffic. Anyone can go fast downhill. But it was sweet to pass people going up. I saw people get off and rest and get off and walk. I decided that wasn't going to be me. All in all, I felt really good. Fresh and alive. The views were gorgeous. It took us about 2 hours total. There was freshly made apple pie with a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream waiting for us at the end. Best apple pie ever--provided by a local pie shop. Now that's worth riding for.

Normally, this is my rest day but I was so tired on Thursday, I swapped days. That's the beauty of the training plan. Learning to be flexible and work with your body. I woke up early and hooked Bluebell up to the trainer. Popped in a Spinervals DVD and sweated for an hour. My iPod blaring good tunes in my ear made it doable. Lifted weights in the evening as we watched a Lost DVD. I am now completely caught up on all the previous seasons.

Skipped my 7 am spin class for sleep. Felt like crap so decided to take a rest day early.

Squeezed in a 4 mile run during a very hectic day in lab. Rushed to a very nice, long 90 min masage. Then rushed to a 7:30 pm masters swim workout for a very tough, hypoxic workout, completely destroying the benefits of the massage. Oh, well. For the workout, we had to skip breaths, which at first, really help improved my form. But then it got very tough. We had to breathe every 3, 4, 5, 6, and then 7 strokes. I was dying at 5. Then, we had to do push-ups and sit-ups at the end. W.t.f.? Good medicine. Watching Lost afterwards was my reward. I am super pissed about it not being on again until Feb.

Had the most awesome spin class ever. Our instructor is great. Hills, sprints, out of the saddle, tempos--it's great. It's all set to music too, and she really keeps you moving. I felt good and really pushed it. Lab was super busy so that was all I got to do that day.

Felt very sluggish after the previous week's unintended R&R (due to stomach bug). Ended up skipping the masters swim, which was bad but did a great 4 mile run on the treadmill, alternating hills and sprints every 1/4 mile with 1/4 mile recoveries. Followed this up with weights so it ended up being a good workout evening.

Overall, I reached all my workout goals this week, despite it being very hectic in lab. I'm happy with it. I swam 2x, did weights 2x, ran 3x, and biked 3x. Total hours=9. Total run mileage: 14. Total bike: 48. Total swim: 4700 m.

Week 4? Bring it.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Pics from Rock'N Roll 1/2 Marathon, Weekend Workouts, Birthday Reflections, First Bike, and More

I realize the title is ridiculously long but I guess I have a lot to post! Here, at last, are some of the pics from the San Jose Rock 'N Roll 1/2 Marathon I managed to do with a nasty head cold Oct. 8. These pics were taken near the end. I was trying so hard to just stay in it and finish. On the left, is my look of utter determination. Yikes.

Sunday, I finally felt good enough to return to training. By the time the afternoon rolled around, I was sluggish and lethargic. I knew I had to try and do something. I had to replace a flat from all the glass I encountered going up Torrey Pines hill last weekend. It was a slow leak. I found the hole and successfully patched the hole with my handy-dandy patch kit. It held. I was very proud of myself. Jason brought his bike back from getting an annual tune-up and we went for a short ride around the neighborhood and UCSD. It was fantastic. Rolling hills and very relaxing. Afterwards, we felt so good we added a 4 mile run to the bike, making it our first official brick in training. Except for the pins and needles in my hip flexors for the first half-mile, the rest felt great. I had a big snack and buckled down for a great weight session while watching a gripping episode of Desperate Housewives. I absolutely love working out while watching t.v. It makes me feel like I'm indulging without the feeling of guilt. I don't feel too sore this morning so I guess I was ready for it.

Thursday, we went to our spinning class but my stomach flu wasn't done with me yet. I did the best I could to get through it without puking. I couldn't do a lot of the standing up spinning we usually do but I did my own thing. Our instructor is really cool. I really hate being pushed by others (I push myself too hard as it is and just blow up when someone else is adding to the pressure), and she's really laid-back. I think a good coach/instructor recognizes who needs a push and who doesn't. Anyway, afterwards, the smell of bacon or coffee made me want to hurl, and I had these really weird leg cramps that got worse and worse all day long. Guess I shouldn't have done the bike. Oops. This has been one of the most drawn-out stomach bugs ever.

As you can see, I'm working backwards chronologically. Jason's parents came a week from last Thursday (10/26), which initiated 5 days of stuffing ourselves with really-bad-for-you food and lots of Mexican. We went for a very nice coastal bike ride (Jason and me) on Friday. Saturday was our day off. He spent it with his folks, and I spent it at a Biotech symposium (all day--ugh) while it was gorgeous outside, and I dreamt of spending it on my boogie board at the beach. Sigh. Sunday, we squeezed in a little 4-mile trail run before having brunch on a boat in the bay. It was very nice but I was tired, cranky, and not feeling all that great. Little did I know, it was the stomach virus from hell brewing in my tummy. Monday, we went up to Temecula and spent the day wine tasting, which was very fun.

Monday night, the stomach virus from hell commenced its reign. I dragged myself into lab meeting on Tuesday, heavily medicated, only to return home to the bed afterwards. Couldn't eat anything but pretzels and Gatorade all day. Wednesday, felt long as I was lying down. Took my 100 degrees F, which explained terrible headache. Took some Tylenol, which helped. Anytime I tried to move, I felt waves of nasuea. Diet was Gatorade and pretzels and some chicken noodle soup. Thursday, went to my spinning class, which was stupid. Spent the rest of the morning sleeping before dragging myself to lab. Felt very dizzy and was seeing double. Couldn't figure out if it was from virus or lack of food. Had a cereal bar and some raisins. Was plagued with unbelievably painful leg cramps from the glutes to the hamstrings, quads, and down through the calves all night. Electrolytes did nothing. Heating pad helped some but wasn't big enough to cover my entire lower body. Fell asleep curled up in fetal position under loads of blankets. I was able to have a decent meal Thursday night for the first time...finally. Kept it down. Friday, went to the doctor 2 lbs lighter. He told me it was (yet another) stomach virus, which explains all my symptoms, and that, yes, IBS does predispose a person to more stomach bugs. Yipee. Mystery solved.

That's the saga of the stomach bug. Have to say that I had a pretty miserable birthday b/c I was trying to entertain in-laws and missed out on a lot of the things I wanted to do. Guess that's part of growing up. I'm finally feeling better and caught up and settling back into my routine.

Which brings me to the subject of birthday reflections. I turned 29. This will be the last year I get to enjoy being in my 20s. I have to say I've enjoyed the last half much more than the first. I am really looking forward to my 30s and beyond. I feel like more things are in place in my life, and I'm right where I want to be and sharing it with the person I want to be with. I'm finally at a place where I feel more relaxed and less anxious and stressed out. I feel more in control (which I learned to do by letting go--ironic). Most importantly, I feel I'm really learning what works for me and what doesn't. Other people's opinions and advice matter much less to me now than they did 5 years ago. I'm in a place where I can nod and say yes and in my head realize that one dogma may work great for someone else but not for me. It feels good to be more centered and more aware of who I am and what I want. Guess what? I don't like going out to bars, drinking 5 margaritas and 3 tequila shots and staying up until 4 am (anymore). And that's totally fine. I think my birthday this year has made me realize how far I've come (even though I'm not even halfway there), and I feel good about it.

I want to leave you with one question today to bring you down memory lane:
What was your first bike like?

Mine was my Dad's old Schwinn. It was green and rusty and way too big for me. I had to leap on it from the curb on the sidewalk because my feet wouldn't reach both pedals while in the saddle. There was always that precarious moment where I wasn't sure if my momentum was enough to throw it forward and get going, or if I was going to teeter and crash to the other side. I was obsessed with horses (still am) but hadn't yet had the pleasure of having my own mount so I projected this wish onto my hand-me-down bike. I would urge him on as I raced down the street. His name was "Blackwind." People would ask me why I had named it Blackwind when it was green. With a dead-serious look on my face, I would answer, "Greenwind just didn't sound good."

So there you have it. What's your story?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

2007 California 70.3 Training Plan

Here it is, in all of its gory detail! Obviously, I'll make alterations as I need to but I think having a detailed plan will help make me stick to it.

(I left the last part of March blank to indicate the drop in mileage I will be doing during the taper period.)

Workout Summary:
Weights (W): 2x/week
Swim (S): 3-4x/wk
Run (R): 3-4x/wk
Bike (B): 3-4x/wk
Yoga (Y): 2x/wk (stretching)

Key Workouts (Swim/Bike/Run):
  • Bricks
  • Distance
  • Speed
  • Time Trials/Tempo
  • Hills (more for bike/run)
  • Drills (more for swim)


  • Practice mental visualization skills 20 min meditation on off days
  • Stretch 1-2x/day (morning and pm) 10-15 min
  • Bi-monthly massages
  • Focus on nutrition and sleep as well
  • 1 off day/week
  • Every 4th week, R&R week: 2 off days and reduce training volume by 50%
  • Bike commute for an extra 7 mi/day (40 min) or 35 mi/week!

To help me structure my workouts:

Workout Purpose by Day/Week:

(Workouts may vary from the above schedule but it helps to know what to focus on each day. Basically, this highlights the most important workout of the day.)

Detailed Training Plan:

I just finished week 2. Week 1 was fantastic but I got really sick week 2 (nasty stomach bug). Basically, I'm calling it an R&R week. I will resume week 3 next week but will not take an R&R the following week. This will juggle things a bit but I can just swap out/in the week I need to for convenience.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Still Here...

It's been a very long time since I last posted. Between my in-laws visiting, my birthday, and yet another stomach bug I'm currently getting over, I've been, needless to say, a bit busy. Despite it all, the first week of training went smashingly. I will be posting my fabulous training plan this week. In addition, I hope to catch up on all of your blogs!