Archive for July, 2009

Mental Training

Quick post tonight, because I’m exhausted (and fell asleep while writing these few short sentences).  I explored Ottawa during my run today, and did about 4 miles in 45 minutes.  Pretty slow, but I kept running the whole way.  My legs and lungs felt great, but I had a really hard time keeping myself mentally motivated to keep running.  I need to get out of this training funk!


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When Life Gives You Lemons…

…make lemonade?

Hello from Ottawa!  It seems that everything is working against me these days when I’m trying to train!  When I first booked my hotel, I made sure that there was a workout room so I would be able to keep up with my training.  Tonight, after checking in and settling into my room, I headed down to check it out.  Well, it consists of an ancient elliptical-looking thing and a recumbent bike, along with a couple of mats on the floor and something with padding that I’ve never seen before.  Oh, and it was about 95ºF in there because it was attached to the pool/sauna room and not air conditioned.  I decided to risk it with the elliptical, because I wanted to run and felt like that would be closer to running than the bike.  As soon as I got on it, I began to worry it was going to fall apart at any moment.  I couldn’t deal with it, so I decided to try out the recumbent bike.  I got on and got off after about a minute.  I felt like I was in a workout funk.

After the failed attempt at using the “fitness center,” I decided that I would just go back to my air conditioned room and do body weight strength exercises instead.  All these metaphorical lemons led me to a decent BW workout that I’ll be able to use again.  (I borrowed the “body weight matrix” from the NROLW, but instead of resting did some upper body and core work in between sets).  Here’s the workout:

Body weight matrix: 24 squats, 12 lunges each leg, 12 jump lunges, and 24 jump squats

2 x Bench dips @ 15 reps

2 x Push-ups @ 10 reps

2 x Plank @ 90 seconds

2 x Leg lifts @ 15 reps

Repeat Body weight matrix

I’m actually pretty exhausted right now, so normally I would probably be able to do more.  But, I fell asleep on the plane and my eyes are very droopy, so I’m not on top of my game.   I’m glad there is no time change for this trip, and I’m hoping tomorrow is better.  Maybe someone will be able to point me to a good place to run outside while I’m here.  I’m pretty sure that I won’t be able to put up with a full workout in the “fitness center.”

I’m starting to get really worried that I won’t be ready for the Oly in September, especially with all these setbacks.  I think I’m going to have to increase the intensity quite a bit to play some catch-up.  I have to make sure I don’t over do it though, too much training and not enough recovery won’t help either!

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Third Time is Not the Charm.

Yesterday afternoon, I planned to go for a swim, finally.  The last two times I’ve tried to go swimming, something has happened to prevent it.  The first time, I went to the pool close to home, but it was closed for maintenance through 7/26.  The second time I went to the pool close to work, which is an outdoor pool, and it closed after 450m because of rain.  The pool near work had also been closed over the weekend due to a filtration problem, so I decided to go to the one near home.  As soon as I got there, I saw the sign saying the pool was closed until further notice for a “serious maintenance problem”.  This is getting a little ridiculous!  Three times in a row and my attempts at a decent swim have been foiled.  I thought the third time was the charm!

I had another disappointment this morning.  Since I’m traveling to Ottawa for work this afternoon, I decided to try and get in an early weight training session with my trainer.  I knew she did a 6:00AM session and was pretty sure they ran every 45 minutes till 9:00AM.  I planned to go to the 6:00, but when I didn’t wake up till 5:40, I knew there was no chance for me to make it.  I decided I would go for the 6:45 instead.  Well, there isn’t a 6:45.  Go figure.  We did have weight and body fat checks today, which she did anyways since I was there.  Not as bad as I thought…both were a little higher than last time, but not significantly, so that was one good thing.

I ran on the treadmill for a bit, but didn’t last long. I ended up just doing 20 minutes and then getting ready for work.  I’m planning to do some running tonight when I get to the hotel.  They are supposed to have a gym, hopefully the equipment is decent.

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Hermit crabs?

What a crazy weekend!  I ended up taking two days off training (Friday and Saturday), oops!  I had bachelorette parties to go to both Friday and Saturday nights and didn’t get nearly enough sleep either one.  Being out in DC till the wee hours is not something I’m used to, I’m usually much more of a homebody.  Nevertheless, I had a blast!  Although I wish it hadn’t impacted my training schedule.  Such is life.

After two nights of debauchery, I was ready to get back in the saddle on Sunday.  Curtis and I wanted to go for a long ride in the evening after we had finished running errands and getting organized.  Curtis also had to fix his rear tire since it went flat during our last ride.  While he was doing that I ran out to stock up on groceries for the week (or longer if possible) at Trader Joes.  That place never ceases to amaze me.  I always find fantastic deals and manage to stock up on various proteins for so much less expensive than any other grocery store.  I can never believe it when I check out and the total bill is so low.  And the food is so good and good quality too!  When I was done there, I headed home and Curtis was just finishing up with his bike.  Unfortunately, it also started getting cloudy and looking like it was going to storm.  I don’t feel safe riding when there’s a possibility of thunderstorms, but I don’t mind running (there’s just something about being on your own two feet and not a partially metal bicycle frame (most of my bike is carbon fiber, but I have no idea how that would react after getting struck by lightning).  So we decided to trade out our bike ride for a long run instead.

I felt fantastic for the first 25 minutes of our run.  My stride felt good, my legs felt strong, and my breathing was steady.  Even my heart rate stayed relatively low for me.  At 25 minutes, my stomach began to act up and I had to stop and walk for a bit to try and let it pass.  I do not do well with food in my stomach during running, and yesterday I had already eaten a couple of dates in anticipation of cycling.  Bad idea.  After about 12 minutes of walking, I was ready to try jogging again.  I felt much better, I still stopped one last time for about a minute and a half, but the walking helped tremendously.  I wanted to try and run for the full 58 minutes of my training schedule, so I went ahead and kept running for awhile (Curtis ran ahead and home around my second break).  I made it!  I felt pretty good the whole time I was running.  I’ll just have to avoid eating prior to running in the future.

Today after work I had my second to last weight training session.  I’m taking a break to try out the plan in the The New Rules of Lifting for Women. My mom wants to start lifting, and asked me to work with her for awhile, so I’m going to do that instead of my normal gym workout.  I’m excited, it should be fun, I can’t wait to see how much stronger I can get by mixing up the plans a bit.

After weights, I got home and finally managed to fit in that bike ride I missed out on over the weekend.  I did a total of 19.8 miles at an average speed of 13.9 mph and max speed at 27.6 mph.  The total ride time was 1:25:07 (planned 1:17).  All in all it was mostly an uneventful ride.  I was slower on the in leg than the out leg, which is something I need to work on.  When I was almost to my house, though, I saw something strange.  It looked like a strip of spikes was laying across the trail.  I managed to dodge them, and realized they were hermit crab shells, and it looked like they were occupied!  After I got home, I grabbed some tupperware and headed back to that area to save the hermit crabs.  When I got there, I found that none of them were alive, they had just appeared to be when I was whipping past on my bike.  Even still, I decided to collect them to at least get them out of the way of other cyclists and runners.

What is the strangest thing you’ve seen while working out?

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Getting into the Groove

Wow!  I can’t believe I’ve been home for two weeks, and I haven’t written a decent blog post yet!  My poor blog, I’ve been neglecting you.  My training, however, is not suffering quite as much, and I’m finally starting to get back into the groove.  I’ve only got seven weeks before Nation’s, so I really need to pick it up.  I’ve put together a very basic training plan with the help of, which I’m going to post tonight on a new “training” page.  I kind of gave up on my “annual training plan” that I put together for the rest of the season.  After this last week and a half of starting up again, I’ve realized how much my fitness deteriorated over the three weeks I took off.  It’s amazing how fast you lose endurance and strength.  Granted, I hadn’t been terribly dedicated prior to the wedding and honeymoon, but I was definitely doing better than I am now.  I haven’t had a great lifting session yet, I feel like I’m lifting lighter and failing more quickly than I had previously.  My running and biking have also suffered.  I’m back to building a base with running, and am going to have to put a hold on working on speed till I get my endurance back into shape.  I’m hoping that I’m able to run a 10K without breaks again by the end of the first week of August.  Cycling isn’t doing quite so poorly.  I biked 31 miles on Sunday, and even though my legs were dead by the end, I think my bike fitness will come back more quickly than the running.

Now before I get into a recap of my training over the past two weeks, I wanted to share a couple of “teaser” photos of Fiji and the wedding.  This first picture is the view from our private deck of our bure in the Yasawa Islands of Fiji.

Fiji - Navutu

Here’s a great sunset picture that Curtis took while we were on Taveuni, the “garden island”.


I had a really hard time picking just one wedding photo, so…here are three.

K&C (98)

K&C (263) - Copy

K&C2 (198)

What a blur of a fabulous day!  It was wonderful, but I never ever want to do it again!  One wedding is enough for me, thank you very much! 🙂

Now, back to my not-so-regularly scheduled training recap.  After we got back, it took awhile to get over the jet lag and start to feel like we were in the right time zone, so the first weekend I didn’t do much.  I think just a half-hour run on Sunday, if that.  Monday was back to work, and it was all topsy turvy.  While I was gone, my company (a very small company of 9 employees) was acquired by a very large company (40,000+ employees).  So, when I got back to work we had all kinds of orientation things to do.  Needless to say, I didn’t get to do any workout that day.  Tuesday, though, I went to weight training and lifted.  I felt so weak!  And I was very sore the next day, much more sore than I remember being in the recent past.  As a result, I decided not to do anything on Wednesday.  Thursday, I had training again, and ran for about 20 minutes on the treadmill, then came home and ran for another 25 minutes with Curtis, followed by a 10 minute walk.

On Friday, I took a short hour long bike ride and felt like I was going nowhere!  I only managed to do about 10 miles in that 60 minutes.  I accidentally cleared my cycling computer before I got a chance to check my stats.  The way my computer is mounted on the stem, sometimes I grab it when I’m walking with my bike and don’t realize that I’m holding down the computer at the same time.  Oops!  Luckily, I was much more careful on Sunday (day off on Saturday) after my 31 mile ride.  Curtis and I went on a new part of the trail that I rode on at my old house, and it was wonderful!  There were very few road crossings and a lot more trees and countryside to enjoy.  The weather was perfect and it was an altogether fabulous ride.  We were both pretty tired by the end of it, but very pleased with the distance.  The only glitch in the day was that Curtis’s tire developed a leak at the end of the first half of the ride, so we stopped at 15.5 miles for him to put air in it.  There was a huge blackberry bush there, but the berries weren’t quite ripe yet.  I’m hoping they’ll make for a nice mid-ride snack this weekend or next weekend. 🙂  We had to stop one more time on the way home to put air in the tire, and by the end of the ride it was quite flat.  My ride was fabulous though, I had no bicycle problems at all.  Stats: 31.07 miles, 14.6 mph average, 26.9 mph max, 2 hours 7 minutes total ride time.

Monday was back to weight training as usual, I’m still not doing as well as I had been, but it was better.  My abs have been killing me since, though!  I also did a short 20 minute run on the treadmill.  Tuesday was an unintentional day off.  I was planning to swim with Curtis after work, but the pool was closed!  I didn’t have any other workout clothes with me to do anything at the gym, so we ended up going out to eat and relaxing for the evening instead.  More weight training on Wednesday, preceded by a 45 minute run on the treadmill.  I tried to do some faster intervals, but my heartrate is climbing really fast, so I did a lot more jogging than speed work.  I’m hoping my run fitness builds back pretty quickly, otherwise I’m going to be walking a lot at Nations. 😦

I planned another swim today, but unfortunately, my plans were foiled again.  After 450m into my warm-up, the lifeguards kicked us out because of the rain.  I love swimming in the rain, but they have to close the pool if they can’t see the bottom.  Major bummer.  I considered waiting it out to see if the rain would stop, but after about 5 minutes gave up, showered, and went home.  As I was leaving, I was worried that the sun was going to be out and I had just given up a workout for nothing, but then I heard thunder and was glad I hadn’t wasted the time sitting by the pool.

Tomorrow is my scheduled off day, and I’m going to use it even though I didn’t get in all my workouts this week.  I have two bachelorette parties to attend this weekend and the first one is tomorrow evening so I doubt I’d even have time for anything.  Next workout will be Saturday- I have a long run planned, we’ll see how it goes!

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Return from Fiji!

I’m back!  Boy, is it good to be home!  I can’t believe I’ve been gone for almost three weeks.  The wedding went amazingly well and the honeymoon was fabulous.  Now I need a vacation from my vacation!  I got in a little running and a little open water swimming and some cross-training type things over the holiday, but mostly I just relaxed and had a great time.  I’m back to the grindstone as soon as I get over the jet lag though.  Nation’s Tri is in only 9 weeks!

As soon as I get some pics uploaded I’ll do a post on the trip.  I just wanted to say hi!

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