Tuesday, August 29, 2023
Sunday, August 20, 2023
I can't believe another year has passed. August always feels like the beginning of a new year for me since I'm a teacher. What a difference! I love the fitness I've built but the first week of school really got me, even though I've been doing it for 11 years. I was exhausted. Luckily, it was a recovery week, but I hadn't planned on 3 rest days in a row. It happens. My watch indicated that I walk 3-5 miles a day on campus! No wonder my lower back and feet hurt (I'm also standing all day). Anyway, I'm not proud of my crash and burn but I needed the rest.
Today, I felt much better after sleeping all day Saturday. I took the rode bike (Pandora) up King's for a 23 mile ride (2,000 feet of climbing), and I felt fantastic. Great workout. I'm feeling like myself again. I can't believe Santa Cruz 70.3 is in 3 weeks! I'm feeling good. I have a 3-week taper left. This week, I will do all the regular workouts but shorten the distance a bit and focus on speed. I have a sprint triathlon on Sunday (Sandman Tri in Aptos) that I'm super excited about. Should be fun.
Training Tips for Me to Remember:
- Rest days and recovery weeks are important too.
- Swim: 3 times a week really lets me see gains. Keep it up!
- Bike: Focus on pulling up with the hamstrings, as well as pushing down. Pedaling in circles makes a huge difference!
- Run: 3 times a week is necessary to maintain. Track workouts once a week are amazing for strength. Strength workouts 2x a week prevent injury. Trails are amazing. Note: Don't run barefoot, even on sand. I don't have the biomechanics for it!
Highlights from my Summer:
So many and most are exercising outdoors. In addition to joining the Silicon Valley Tri Club, Redwood Half Marathon in Oakland Hills, Marin Century with Alan, and swimming in Santa Cruz, I've posted some pics of Juneau and I at Fort Funston during our final week of summer. We did a mellow 4-mile run (she did more), and I picked up trash and collected some feathers. We went on a week day so very few people and not much traffic. It was heaven!
Sunday, August 13, 2023
On Saturday (8/12/23), I ran the Redwood Trail Half Marathon, hosted by Coastal Trail Runs, in the redwoods of Oakland Hills. It was a wonderful experience. Although it is August, the weather was perfect, sunny and 70s. The trails were cooly shaded by redwoods, oaks and eucalyptus. I rarely get to explore trails in the East Bay so it was a real treat to run on interesting, new trails. We shared the trail with other hikers, dogs, and mountain bikers, but everyone was relaxed and polite. In addition, the trails were not that crowded, even though we started at the late-ish hour of 8 am (did I just say that?). Having both a dog and a mountain bike, I made a mental note to return more often.
I had been worried about my left ankle. I think I've developed some tendonitis from rolling it on trails too many times. After a beach run with Juneau, the pain was flaring up again. My A race this year is coming up on September 10 (Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz). The goal of this half marathon was to build endurance and strength for my upcoming race. My training has been heavy lately, as I push through this final "build" period of my training before tapering. My legs were still tired as a result of the Mt. Tam Century last weekend. Of course, that was kind of the point since running on tired legs will simulate my race conditions.
The start of the race was crowded but informal and relaxed. Many were running much longer distances than me (up to 50k). My goals were to a) not get injured, b) have a positive experience, and c) get a good workout. I started slowly, walking briskly on the crowded trail. The crowd thinned out quickly, and I began jogging, carefully darting around those with a slower pace. The race started with significant downhill for the first several miles, so I was much slower than others as I carefully negotiated roots, rocks, and washouts. Listening to my body, I took it slow for about the first two miles, until I could warm up. I enjoyed some of the short uphills that appeared (those Tri Club run workouts with hill repeats are paying off!). When the trail leveled out for several miles in the middle, I settled into a comfortable base pace and enjoyed the views.
Unfortunately, what goes down must go up when you are running in a loop. The last several miles were uphill with the steepest one about mile 8. I was forced to walk and bend forward, swinging my arms to pull myself up the hill. Eventually, the grade of the hill eased, and I could jog again. I felt strong and steady as I pushed myself to run up the final hills. The end came all too quickly. I was not fast, but I felt fresh and strong, and I maintained a steady pace the entire time.
Bonus: I saw the biggest garter snake I've ever seen cross the path just before me at mile 10! It was at least 3 feet long, fat and happily slithering across the trail with a bright yellow stripe running down its side.
I also saw an osprey sitting on top of a post by the 92 Bridge, overlooking the Bay. (Large raptor with black back and wings and a white breast.
Sunday, August 06, 2023
I rode the Mt. Tam Marin Century Saturday (Aug. 5). I didn't think I could do it. It had been 5 years since I had ridden my bike that far. And it was almost 9,000 feet of climbing. My longest ride had only been 68 miles with 5,000 feet of climbing. Was I ready? I knew I had done these before, but that was a long time ago. The only memories I retained was how much pain and suffering was involved. But I had decided if I could do a century, I could do the Santa Cruz 70.3 bike portion more confidently.
The first 8 miles were the worst for me. I felt sluggish, and everyone and their grandma was zipping by me. I'm not a speedy person, and I take a long time to warm-up. I'm also a slow climber, and the bulk of the climbing arrived immediately. Having a riding partner was immensely helpful. We focused on the first aid station, about 30 miles in, which seemed to take forever to reach. We stopped, and I ate excitedly-I was hungry! I immediately felt better, and by the time we reached the next aid station at mile 42, I was finally feeling warmed up.
We formed a mini paceline along the windy flats on Highway 1; there was a mild southbound headwind. I enjoyed our tour of Marin County as we wound around Mt. Tam, Nicasio Reservoir, Stinson Beach, Olema, Marshall and Point Reyes. I couldn't believe how much I was enjoying myself. I had worried about a lot more pain and suffering. The final 3-mile climb up Marshall was my favorite because I still felt good, and I just settled into my well-practiced base pace. I was not fast, but I got a great workout, and I enjoyed myself as well.
“There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask "What if I fall?"
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?”
― Erin Hanson
Sunday, July 30, 2023
I somehow nailed a perfect week despite 2, much-needed rest days. That's 2 weights and 3 of all the sports: run, bike, and swim. I didn't think I would be able to do it. I've been logging some big miles and feeling it. Then I heard a podcast (maybe more than 1) where pros do 80% of their training at base pace or easier and most age groupers spend too much time training too intensely. Then, you can't recover in time for the next work out. In addition, getting out the door is always the hardest. Sometimes, I put too much pressure on the workout to go fast or long. What about just making it fun? Take pictures? Explore a new area?
I had a big training weekend. I swam 1 mile around the Santa Cruz pier to preview the 70.3 course with some buddies from Silicon Valley Tri Club. (I think I've shaved 5 minutes off my mile time! Yay masters swimming!). Then, we rode the 56-mile course, riding out to Pigeon Point and back. Fantastic race day prep. I tried out my clothes, nutrition, bike, pace, etc. There was a brutal headwind on the way out, which played mind tricks on me. I focused on staying at base pace, hydrating, eating and staying mentally positive. I rode in the back of the group, determined to stay in a 2-3 RPE (rate of perceived effort on a scale of 1-10). At the turn-around, since I had taken good care of myself, I felt fantastic and doubled my speed on the return, thanks to a rewarding tail wind. There are definitely a lot of rolling hills on the course but the unpredictable head winds were definitely the worst, in my opinion. However, now I know what to expect on race day so I'm mentally prepared. I will ride using the same strategy. Don't look at my pace, just focus on effort and breathing. Don't go out too hard. Eat and hydrate. Save it for the run. I made some new friends, and we had a yummy lunch at the Picnic Basket afterwards.
Sunday, I met some new friends from SVTC on the Los Gatos Creek Trail. We ran 9 miles at a conversational pace. The miles flew by as my new buddy, and I chatted up a storm. Now, that's the way to do a long run!
After a long nap, I felt very tired but as I woke up, I realized I could sneak in 1 last, recovery bike and nail the 3rd bike workout for the week. Using this new strategy of "going easy" that I've been hearing about from buddies and podcasts, I took my mountain bike for a spin at Baywell Bedfront Park, which is about 2 miles from me. It was such a treat to just get on my mountain bike and go exploring!
Time to stretch...
-At the beginning of the ride with Silicon Valley Tri Club in Santa Cruz.
Monday, July 24, 2023
Yesterday, I rode 70 miles with 6,338 feet of climbing, which I call the Pescadero Ride. About a month ago, I tried to do this ride in the afternoon without enough nutrition or daylight and bonked at the Bike Hut, having to shiver in the dark for 2+ hours to wait for my partner to ride home and drive back to retrieve me. Severely humbled with a big chunk taken out of my ego, I decided to use it as a learning experience, prepare and try again. Since then, I've been preparing to redo this ride.
Step 1-More training. I wasn't mentally or physically prepared. It had been years since I last did this ride. The last few weekends, I've been riding smaller chunks of the same ride to prepare.
Step 2-Leave earlier in the day. Seems obvious but I forgot that this ride takes me 6+ hours with stops. Unless I'm prepared to ride home in the dark, I need to leave in the morning.
Step 3-Electrolytes & carbs. I've been listening to a few podcasts, and they made me realize I was severely dehydrated and under-fueled. I've been tackling this with a multi-pronged approach in the event that my stomach (famously sensitive) decided to refuse one of my fuels. I've been using salt pills (Thermolyte) and 1 bottle of water. 2nd bottle has 1 scoop of Heed (electrolytes + maltodextrin). I stop to refill as needed. I brought a baggie with more Heed for the refill. I also supplemented with some Cliff Bloks (strawberry-no caffeine and orange-caffeine). Caffeine is great for later in the ride but too much gives me stomach cramps so I can alternate as needed. I also had a taco, Coke, and Milky Way at lunch. However, the solid food takes about 45 minutes to digest.
I rocked the ride! Nutrition was a HUGE part of it, and I feel like I'm rediscovering something I've forgotten. Proper hydration and fueling actually does make a huge difference.
Other notes: I brought a windbreaker and arm warmers for the lunch stop since it's always cool and windy in Pescadero. I also am always armed with my id, credit card, phone and cash on long rides.
I will need Chamois Butter next time. I had serious chafing and swelling afterwards.
It was 95 degrees on Page Mill (57 on the coast side). WTF?! Page Mill is the hardest part of the ride but it comes early.
I practiced drafting off my partner. Wow, what a difference! That was fun.
Stage Rd. is always grueling. I think the fatigue sets in, the hills are long and endless, and the calories from lunch haven't digested yet.
Only 2 banana slugs on Tunitas. Sad noises.
My rim tape blew at the bottom of King's, and Alan used a dollar bill to patch it for the remaining 10 miles home. I lost all my momentum after that, realizing how tired I was. Flats suck!
Thursday, July 20, 2023
I don't have a coach but I do follow a loose training plan. My "A" race is in early September (Santa Cruz 70.3) so I worked backwards from there. I have a good base so I'm working on some speed right now before I do a final build and then taper. This week is supposed to be an "Active Recovery" week.
I hate recovery weeks. I'm an all-or-nothing person. Usually my recovery weeks consist of crashing and burning on the couch for 7 days, feeling fat and depressed. This leaves me lethargic and sluggish the following week. Lately, I've been experimenting with still doing workouts but less. What a concept. I've also been incorporating some fun, slow workouts into these recovery weeks like drills in open-water, a casual mountain bike ride with friends or easy jog with my dog around the neighborhood.
I took a rest day yesterday. No workouts. Mostly napped. I think my recent vaccinations made me tired as well, but I clearly had forgotten how important rest days are. I don't like to take rest days because they can turn into rest weeks. I'm terrified of losing commitment and fitness. But I was so tired. Rest days help me recover. I walked the dog. Did some Yoga. That helped.
I still felt sluggish today until this afternoon. I had just enough time for a quick bike ride before my massage. I took Torch for 18 miles by Arastredero Preserve. I felt speedy and great! I also saw a coyote, casually ambling down the trail. It was so cool!
I'm trying really hard not to beat myself up about an "imperfect" week, especially during a Recovery week, which is supposed to be less by design. (A perfect week for me is when I nail all my workouts. Right now that is 2x weights and 3x swim, bike, run each). I need to learn to let things go and not obsess so much over volume. I'm a perfectionist. It's hard for me. But I love how I feel when I balance training and recovery.
Sunday, July 16, 2023
I will be racing in the Santa Cruz 70.3 Triathlon on September 10th. This is my A-race of the year. I have some key training events/races to help me prepare: Marin Century (Aug. 5th) and the Redwood Trail Run (Half Marathon, Aug. 12).
My big run this week was an 11-mile trail run in Wunderlich Park, a shady but hilly run that begins in Portola Valley, winds up to Skyline Blvd and back down again. These long, solo trail runs are some of my favorite of the week. I love the meditative quality of long, slow runs in the woods, away from the harsh smog and pavement of urban runs. The challenge was the heat-it was scheduled to reach the low 90s on Sunday. Exhausted from daily, challenging workouts from Friday (56-mile out-and-back ride to where Hwy 9 meets Skyline Blvd. and home in Menlo Park. HOT!-90s) and Saturday (1.2 mile Santa Cruz pier swim with Water Dogs and Zone 1 bike-15 miles), I slept in until 8 am. By the time I reached the parking lot, it was full with cars waiting and 72 degrees. I was nervous about the heat so I drove down Portola Valley Road until I could find a place to park (almost a mile away). Then, I ran to Wunderlich to warm-up, stopped at the loo and began my run:
~3 miles to the Crossroads-turn right (Alambique Trail)
1st 3 miles: hilly and hot. most difficult part of the run. steady incline with a few steep sections. beautiful views and shady trees make it doable.
~2 miles to Skyline Trail-turn left
miles 4-5: gentle, scenic ascent to Skyline. My favorite part because challenged by uphill slope but more long than steep, which is my jam. Lots of shade, redwoods, vistas, wildlife.
around mile 5.5, turn left on Skyline Trail. Enjoy a gentle, long descent back down to Alambique Trail. Turn left at intersection to return to the Meadows. Potentially a fast trail, I always take my time due to multiple obstacles waiting to catch a toe (holes, roots, rocks, pinecones, lots and lots of pinecones). Fun to practice technical skills.
miles 6-7: return down Alambique until trail that veers left to the Meadows appears. Last little climb up. Very hot but less than a mile before 3-mile shady descent to parking lot along Bear Gulch Trail. Watch for hikers and equestrians.
I had a fantastic run! It was hot (mid to upper 80s) but the shade helped and the first part was the worst, allowing me to get the hot part out of the way early. I nailed my salt, hydration and nutrition, allowing me to have a great run despite the heat. I had a great time and felt awesome all the way through. Could have definitely run 2x as far.
As I was descending, I stopped and snapped a picture of the view. The entire run was very scenic and shady.
(Pics shown below are to help with identification. They are not my photos):
2 spotted towhees
1 blue-tailed skink
1 cottontail rabbit
4 western fence lizards
1 Nuttall's Woodpecker
Several butterflies (1 Western Tiger Swallowtail, 1 cabbage white, and 1 orange sulphur butterfly each)
several California Sister butterflies (my favorite!)
several small, electric-blue narrow-winged damselflies (Vivid Dancers)
several dark-eyed juncos
amazing reference: Wunderlich
lots of flora too: eucalyptus, oak, bay, redwood trees, manzanita, ferns, monkeyflower, Western vervain, purple thistle.
2 groups of equestrians. several clusters of hikers below the Meadows. 2 other trail runners (1 on each side above the Meadows).
Friday, July 14, 2023
As I prepare for today's long ride in the heat, I am reminded to stop and smell the roses. I see so many beautiful things on my workouts. Here are some of my favorites from the past few months:
Biking up Page Mill this spring, a coyote just calmly meandering by the road (near Palo Alto Foothills Park). And deer in the distance!
Thursday, July 13, 2023
I feel like time is flying. The workouts keep coming. I'm on cloud nine but haven't had much time to post. My days are composed of wake up, eat, workout, eat, sleep, workout, sleep, repeat. I love having summers off. I've been doing 3 swims, runs, bikes and 2 weights weekly with daily stretching and naps. I feel great and am in good shape. I work hard mentally not to beat myself up or compare myself to where I was 10 years ago. I'm doing this for health and happiness. My goals are consistency and sustainability. My big finale this year will be Santa Cruz 70.3 (Sept. 10th). I'm ready. I'm excited. During my workouts, I try to slow down and enjoy the experience. Running on trails is my happy place. Below are some of my favorite photos of workouts and races from the past 6 months.
Monday, July 10, 2023
Saturday, July 08, 2023
I realize it's been about a year since I posted, but this time is different. I've worked out almost every day since the last time I posted, gained a ton of fitness, and shed 20 pounds! I've been racing successfully and feeling very healthy and fit. I recently joined the Silicon Valley Tri Club and am excited to be making new workout friends!
This morning, I met up with the "Water Dogs" at Cowell's Beach in Santa Cruz. It was early, which means almost no traffic. The water was calm and a balmy 58 degrees. My wetsuit and ear plugs protected me from the brunt of the cold, and I quickly warmed up and found a comfortable pace as we made our way around the pier. I soon found myself in the back, as expected, but I didn't mind. I'm used to swimming by myself. At the end of the pier, I paused to take in the view. It was serene as the morning sun reflected off the glassy water and the fog in the distance began to lift. Too close to the sea lions in the pier, one barked at me and jumped into the water, headed in my direction. Warning heeded, I quickly continued swimming. The group was waiting for me on the beach by the Boardwalk when I exited the water. It was a lovely, must-be-repeated experience.
Yesterday, I enjoyed an 8-mile run through the Redwoods in Huddart Park. I was worried since it had been awhile since I had run that far. Surprisingly, I settled into an easy pace, bracing myself for the grueling 4 mile slog up the switchbacks towards Skyline. It was hard, but not too hard. My feet felt like springs, and I focused on keeping the momentum, bouncing from foot to foot as I trotted short strides up the steep hills. The wind began to sing through the trees, and I noticed a thick mist up ahead. Soon, it began to rain big fat droplets, pinging off the branches around me. Surprisingly, I did not get wet. I saw a large banana slug outstretched on the wet path beside me, antennae curiously outstretched, probing. "Hello, friend!" I called out. I rarely see banana slugs on the east side of Skyline so I took it as a good omen. Soon, I was cavorting down the final 3 mile downhill stretch back to the car, my favorite part. I took my time, wishing it was longer. What an incredible run!
Keep on, keeping on. Lots more to post, including:
Bonking and redemption Pescadero Coast Loop Ride
Lots of races!--Stanford Treeathlon, Tri for Fun Olympic in Rancho Seco, and Sonoma Olympic (Guerneville) as well as some fun trail half marathons--China Camp (several times--the ankle grabber) and Woodside Ramble.
Stanford Treeathlon (March 2023)
Redwood Shores. Very cold (air temp 50 (maybe) and water (52). Swim was cancelled as a result. Bike flat and fast but boring (several out-and-backs). flat and fast 5k run. Long wait time between transition closing (7 am) and my race wave start (10 am).
Santa Cruz Olympic Tri (September, 2023)
I love this race--consistently professional, well-organized, fun and fast.
Swim: about a mile from the Boardwalk to the Pier.
Somewhat of a run from swim exit to transition area (1/2 mile?) but I do it barefoot. Some wear shoes, strategically placed at the swim exit.
Bike: 40k along Hwy 1 and very scenic with gorgeous views of the Pacific to the west. Course is rolling hills. Weather is usually very pleasant (60s-70s).
Run: Flat and fast 10k with scenic views of the ocean.
Saturday, August 13, 2022
Sunday, August 29, 2021
I'm about to start Week 4 of school. School is exhausting. I had forgotten. It seems I can workout most mornings before school but after school is a crap shoot. I've never been able to get up early before. All of a sudden, I'm an early bird? I'll go with it. I've also lost 17 pounds and am maintaining it so far. 3 more to go to reach my goal! Feeling strong, feeling proud.
Week 13: Training Continues
Monday (8/23)-weights in the am. swam about 2300 yds at Burgess after school. Did a descending ladder starting at 500.
Tuesday (8/24)-ran about 5 miles with Juneau before school
Wednesday (8/25)-swam with my friend at the M-A pool early in the am. She said I looked faster! Made me so happy. Did about 2300 yds. Main set was 3x200 and 4x100s at race pace with 20 seconds rest. I was so tired after school, I went home and went to bed at 4pm!
Thursday (8/26)-rest day. Tired and felt out of sorts.
Friday (8/27)-ran 6 miles with Juneau. Pooped my pants. It happens. Had a massage after work and went home and went straight to bed. I've been TIRED lately.
Saturday (8/28)-rest day. bad air quality and really hot (95 degrees). I could have done weights. I did lots of school work. And napped. Feel much more rested.
Sunday (8/29)-ran at least 13 miles at China Camp to preview the course for next weekend. I got very lost and kept running in circles. It was like the Bermuda Triangle. I'm very glad the course will be marked for next weekend. I still had a great time and am glad I have a bit more knowledge about the course. I was out on the trail for 4 hours!
(EDIT: got sick just in time for this race and decided to bail to race again another day. Unfortunately, I did not resume working out after being sick for the rest of the school year and gained back 12 pounds. Ugh. Frustrating.)
Week 12: Sandman Triathlon
The second week of school kicked my butt even more than the first. I still got my runs and weights in but that was about it. However, it worked out since I had the Sandman Triathlon on Sunday. It ended up being the perfect taper. I had a great race too! Very chilly (54 degrees) ocean swim with some nauseating swells (750 yards). I was surprisingly slow. Maybe because I was against the current? Anyway, it took me over 20 minutes! The bike was only 13 miles but very hilly. I took my road bike and ended up just riding my regular wheels, which was definitely slower. However, it rained, making the roads very slippery. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise. The bike took me 53 minutes. The run was 4 miles in sand. Lots of holes and seaweed to dodge. My shoes got soaking wet. I felt strong but definitely not fast. I think the trail running helped. Overall, I came in just under 2 hours. It was a fun workout. I had a great time and will definitely do that again.
Sunday, August 15, 2021
Despite the first week of school kicking my butt, I still managed to do all my workouts! It wasn't easy but I'm very proud. The trick was not to focus on distance or speed but just doing a workout. I told myself if I didn't feel good after 5 minutes, I could quit. I never did! Plus, I managed to lose 2 more pounds!
Here's how the rest of Week 11 panned out:
Wednesday, August 11, 2021: First Day of School!
I woke up early and did weights! Who is this person? School was hectic and exhausting but so great. I'm so glad we are back in person. After school I was exhausted. By the time I got on the bike, it was 5:30. But the key was that I got on the bike. After a slow warm-up, I felt peppy and killed it for 20 miles on the trip bike! I even included some little hills with Alpine and Arastradero before coming back on Foothill, where I was going 18-20 mph. Smokin'!
Thursday, August 12: I took a nap. I didn't think I was going to work out. Around 8:30, I put on my headlamp, got Juneau and went out for a 5-mile run. It was so much fun! I love night runs!
Friday, August 13: After school, I went to the pool for a swim before my massage. Knowing I was getting a massage right after was great motivation. I did a back-free-breast warm-up, then a 500 free, followed by 3x200, 3x100, and 4x50 to try to work on speed. I'm definitely not faster but felt strong and managed 2100 yds.
Saturday, August 14: Let the hard training weekends begin! I ran in Huddart Park again but this time did 10.4 miles. It was HILLY (1800 feet--all in the first 6 miles) but the return descent was heaven. It was hot too! I drank my entire Camelback, plus 2 salt tabs and 5 orange Cliff Blocks. I think I'm training for a half marathon! The ice bath was heaven.
Sunday, August 15: We did the Coast Loop (51 miles, 4,000 feet of climbing, up to Skyline twice). I basically did the same ride as last weekend but with more added to the middle. I killed it on Tunitas! I'm so proud of myself right now. Just very sore.
Tuesday, August 10, 2021
I am all ready for year 9! Everything is prepped and ready to go. I'm very excited, after a year-and-a-half of distance learning. I'm also motivated to keep up with exercise and healthy eating. I've loaded my classroom with healthy lunches and snacks and am going to bring my workout clothes with me to school and exercise immediately afterwards, instead of going home first.
Here's how the week has been going:
After my very challenging Huddart Park run, we rode a 40 mile out-and-back ride to Half Moon Bay. The Bike Hut was our midway point. I was nervous. This is a very challenging, 4,000 foot ride with two trips up to the top of Skyline. Yes, my legs were tired. And, yes, I nailed it. I was enormously proud of myself. I felt strong (slow, but strong) the whole way and could have even gone farther! Link to Bike Hut Ride.
This was my first day back, and the endless meetings usually do me in. I forced myself to swim at Burgess and was so happy I did. The warm up sucked. My body was tired and sore. I put no pressure on myself and just kept swimming. Then, my body loosened up, and I found a good solid pace. I ended up swimming about 2300 yds. After a 450 warm-up (free-breast-back), I did a descending ladder (500-400-300-200-100). I ended with some 50s and a cool-down.
I was going to take a rest day, but I'm worried about skipping a day. I was exhausted after school so I took a nap. Juneau got me up and convince me to run. We did 4.75 miles around the neighborhood. I actually felt peppy!
Saturday, August 07, 2021
I've had some great workouts this week. When I look back at where I was 10 weeks ago, I'm very proud of myself. My heart rate is 55, and I've lost fat and gained muscle. I feel stronger when I swim, bike, and run. I've also begun increasing the weights during my weight routine. School starts next week. I know I won't be able to work out at the same intensity that I am right now, but my goal is maintain consistency of workouts. Over the summer, I've been working out once or twice a day most days. I really enjoy it. During the school year, my goal is to maintain 5 workouts a week. In the past, I dive into school and abandon everything else in my life. I'd like to be more balanced this year.
Here's how the rest of Week 10 panned out:
Friday, August 6:
6-mile neighborhood run with Juneau
I ran with Juneau to school. I left the GPS at home. After my last run, I began beating myself up for being slower than normal. It sucked all the fun out of that run. I'm doing these workouts for fun and my health. I decided if focusing on speed wasn't making me happy, I'd just focus on enjoying the run instead. It was a bit more hot and humid than normal. I allowed myself to find any pace that was comfortable. And Juneau always helpful on runs. She is always so happy and eager to run; she helps me keep a consistent pace and motivates me to pick up the speed. If I'm hurting on the run, I just look down at her and see her smiling face and light, rhythmic gait, and I can't help but feel good. She's the best running partner.
At school, Juneau followed me around the classroom as a rearranged desks, climbed ladders to replace old ladders with new ones, and organized drawers. I scrubbed down the desks and wiped down the counters. I even tested out the new SmartBoard. When I sat down at the computer to print out masters, Juneau laid down beside me. Travis used to do that. Afterwards, Juneau and ran home. It was short and fast. We both felt sprightly after our active break at school. In total, I ran 6 miles.
Fun Gull Park Swim
Saturday, August 7:
I have a trail half marathon coming up in a month. I use Trailstompers to help plan my runs (this run is linked in the Title). It's been an amazing resource for me. Last week, I ran the shorter, 6-mile run (1100 feet) in Huddart to begin training. It went well so this week, I decided to do the entire 8.7-mile loop (1600 feet) feet this week. It was very hot and humid at the bottom; at least more than I'm used to. It was a long, slow run, so my goal was to run at any pace that felt comfortable. One rule: just keep running.
There was a lot of climbing in this run. The first half is uphill and pretty steep at times, especially at the beginning on Richards and Skyline, which surprised me. Those hills came late and were super steep. I somehow kept my knees and feet bouncing me up the hill, even if my steps didn't take me far. I know I could walk them, but I wanted to practice running them because I know it will help me get up those hills more easily in the future. So I pushed myself. I wore a Camelback packed with some orange Cliff Blocks. I had only eaten a light breakfast; I was glad I had brought something with me to keep me from bonking. I sipped on my water every few minutes, especially at the beginning, where it was hot and I was already climbing. Somehow, I made it to the top. I was glad I had done the shorter version the previous weekend; that one had been tough too but at least I knew what to expect.
The new section to get to the top of Skyline was just as much uphill with some really steep stuff on the top. I felt like someone was playing a prank on me. C'mon, really? Another hill? Finally, finally the trail that would begin the descent back into the park appeared. I had maintained my pace and run up the entire hill. The downhill would be my reward. I found renewed energy as my feet flew down the single-track trail and around the switchbacks. I focused on keeping my feet under me and landing light on my toes. I use my quads to pick up my knees and keep a high cadence. This is where the cycling helps. It really protects my knees and allows me to be a decent downhill runner. I had an awesome runner's high for the last 3 miles as I zipped downhill. I felt like the old me again.
Post note: I saw 5 lizards and 30 hikers. It was pretty busy. On the way home, I saw a doe with two fawns, grazing in a grassy field along the side of the road.