Thursday, November 29, 2007

I Feel Good?

Yes, that is a question mark. Mainly because I've felt like crap this week, but right now....I'm feelin' good.

Tonight was run club. Now, I hate running. Despise it. Loathe it. But somehow, once I'm out there, it's exciting when I find my groove. Sometimes I feel like I could go on and on.....but eventually, my cardiovascular capacity catches up to me and I go downhill. Tonight, I headed off with McTrainer (ladies, he is a fine manly specimen, and ALL business) and the new girl, a thin little co-ed newbie triathlete from a swimming background. I was surprised that I could hang with them for so long. In fact, it took them a good 18 minutes to drop me! We were headed up the hill of doom, a one mile climb from HELL that I can run up, but slowly. They lengthened as I shortened, and I watched McTrainer shake his booty in the dark until I could no longer see his flashing light. I did okay on my own, although every rustle in the dark made me more aware of my surroundings. Perhaps it picked me up.....because I cranked out 9 minute miles, baby! Dropped 5 minute off my time from two weeks ago, too. Oh, please let there be hope for me at longer distances.....

Last night was a bit of a disaster. Coach did a trainer session open to the public, so I decided to go. But the Cheeto was in no condition for a spin session, so I had to take my mountain bike which I hadn't ridden since July! Ouch. The handlebars were horribly uncomfortable, standing was impossible because the big ring is a wimp, and halfway through, my toe cramped so bad I was cringing on the floor for the rest of the workout. What a defeat. I felt like such a pansy. A pansy on a mountain bike, no less, amidst all the fancy tri bikes.

Work has been so amazingly stressful. Heck, I don't even know if I'll have a job in the future. Nobody seems to know anything......

And my kitty is sick. Poor baby has an upper respiratory infection and sneezes all day long, launching kitty boogies everywhere. But I think his antibiotic is kicking his rear more than the infection--- he has lost his appetite (trust me, this is huge) and has kitty diarrhea. Hubby is having trouble coming to grips with this, as it means every time my darling sneezes, he leaks. So I chase him around the house with toilet paper and hubby squeals in disgust. It's kind of funny, really.

So there's the update. I'm finally a little more active, just need to hop in the pool. Job is weird. Kitty is sick. But I'm still in that post-run haze where despite all of this, everything is all right.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The cure for fitness

I think I have lost every shred of fitness that I had a month and a half ago. It is with great shame to admit that it's been a week since I've gotten off my duff. In my defense, I did get seriously ill on Friday and Saturday with a horrid fever and nausea, but that is beside the point. I feel wrotten, and I'm technically healthy again!

So I'm racking my brains as to how I am going to recover what little bit of endurance I had over the next week. Spin tomorrow night. Pool on Wednesday night. Run club on Thursday. Perhaps go out with hubby on Friday night (I bet I could find some ways to burn calories there....) That should be a start, at least. If I don't watch out, the other girls from my group may actually be able to keep up with me. And let's be honest-- I love being the fastest. I can't handle anyone beating me!

I was reading some blogs the other day about the differences between all the triathlon distances. They seem to say that Olympic is a good distance for swimmers and cyclists. I don't really get this, because I'm a slow runner......I see a 6 mile run as an opportunity for a good runner to gain 24 minutes on me. Now, even if I kick their rear in the swim and the bike, I probably won't kick 24 minutes of rear. So I don't know how this Olympic thing will go for me. Am I just a sprinter? Is this all that was planned for me? Do I even have any business going longer when I suck so bad at running? Ugh.

I suppose I should channel all this angst into the gym.

Man, all this talk of racing is making me feel fat.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Altitude Schmaltitude

At least that's what I thought when I planned my 5-mile run yesterday. Get up, grab some coffee, eat my banana, and then enjoy a gorgeous Colorado day by hitting the trail outside of the in-laws house. I strapped on my heart rate monitor, slathered on some sunscreen, and off I went.....but holy cow, 0.8 miles in my heart rate was where it is at the very end of my runs. So I changed my strategy--- walk every .8 miles. Which worked great for three or four minutes, but then the heart rate went even higher. What's up with that?! I reassess the situation and decide that I need to perhaps go shorter today and try to bring my heart rate down, as it's now nearing max range. (It's 4 beats below where it is after I've done 3 200-meter all-out sprints!)

I ended up only managing 3.2 miles of running and 1 mile of walking before giving in to my poor heart. Legs felt amazing, but the altitude totally defeated me. How in the heck do athletes come here and do well in games or competitions if they aren't acclimated for a week? I'm flabbergasted.

So aside from the weak workout and abundance of food everywhere, I'm still hanging. Got to visit Colorado Multisports yesterday and pick their brains about organized triathlon training for my cousin in Boulder, so that was fun. I really wanted to shop, but figured I need to focus my attentions on Christmas. For my family, not for me! Today, I'm hitting up the local bike shop down South to ask about all-women group rides for beginners.....I want to get my little sister into something so she can start to feel better about herself. It's now my mission to enroll everyone I know into group exercise programs.

So for now, I'm off to catch up on my blog reading and drink more decaf coffee. (I know, it's the pits....we had to make an emergency coffee shop run at 5pm yesterday because my headache wanted to KILL my husband)

Saturday, November 17, 2007


I'm FREE!!!!

9 whole days of uninterrupted, work-free vacation.....right in front of me. I'm PSYCHED!

Hubby and I are headed back to Colorado to visit our families for Thanksgiving. Of course, vacation is a relative term. Since everyone wants a piece of our time, this vacation is more like "satiation" for our loved ones. We must split our time up into carefully planned segments, making sure that everybody gets their fair share of us. In-laws must get X number of nights and days, which must not exceed the number of nights and days allocated to MY parents. Tricky business, to be sure. What will not be taken into account, however, is history. Never mind that hubby, one month ago, spent nearly a week with his parents whilst on his way back from his failed airline training in Texas. (Skipping my last triathlon of the season, I'll have you) Nope, that time wasn't good enough. I now have to spend the first 3 days of my Colorado trip at their house, doing who knows what.

Oh, wait. There's that running track and rec center not more than a 5-minute walk from their house. Guess where I'll be LIVING for the next few days?

OK, so I am bitter. How could I not be? I love DH, and sometimes I love his parents, but I love them from afar. Being in their plain vanilla house and doing the same exact trips with them every time we visit gets a little old. Oftentimes, we just sit in front of the television for hours and hours. This will happen even more now, as they just renovated their basement into a huge TV room with a mammoth flatscreen. Help me!

My parents' house, on the other hand, is exciting. My sisters will be there. My old cats and dog will be there. My old room. My friends will be home visiting their families, and I can visit them. It's still a little bit of "home" for me. I suppose I'll get my share of it, but that's just never enough.

At any rate, sorry about my Thanksgiving tirade. It's just such a bummer to think that I get all these days away from work, but I can't enjoy them because I'm trying to appease everybody else. The price we pay for following our careers and moving far from the nest?

OK, back to my fun stuff. Bike porn. OMG, I had the best time at my bike fitting the other night. Turns out yours truly is totally, completely comfortable at a 79 degree seat angle. YES! How aggressive is this?! (OK, I think that was referring to the seat angle, but I can't be 100% certain--- I'm a newbie, remember?) I was so pleased with the comfort associated with this position. Compared to my torturous Trek 1000SL, with the bike seat that destroys my precious girl parts, the tri position is like divine intervention. So comfortable. Even my legs felt fantastic. Did I mention I have a new favorite LBS? My FIST-certified fitter was phenomenal, patient, and funny, and I'm running back there on January 1st (gotta get the bonus first!) to order my tri bike.

So if hubby isn't employed by then, I'm going to get the heinous red Felt S32. If he is employed, mama's gettin' the S22. I do hate the color red, but I suppose I'll make an exception here. After all, my least favorite color on the planet is orange and I'm currently riding the Cheeto. Which brings me to the whole name thing. What does one name a red bike? Part of me really wants to call it "Orgasmo," but it's entry level so not quite sure it evokes that in anybody. I suppose I'll have to ride it first to find out.

Other late breaking news: I joined a run club. OK, not quite a club, but an after-hours evening running group that goes out of 24-Hour fitness once a week for 45 minutes to an hour. My coach is the sweep for the group and said that it was open to the public, so I decided to get my rear in gear and attend. I'm a group workout fanatic, what can I say? The lead group goes off at an 8-minute mile pace, which I can only sustain for a mile and a half, so I just did my own thing and ended up with a leisurely 10-minute mile pace for the whole 3.5 miles. We lopped off the last half mile because my hip flexors felt like they were going to die a long and horrid death. But what a fantastic idea! If only they met twice a week, I'd be doing much better with my running.

My goal is to just keep working at it over the winter and see if there's any improvement. I just have to keep being impressed with myself. I'm the girl that couldn't even run the mile in high school! I would walk, totally out of breath and hating life, around the track with hatred in my eyes. (I was also the first girl in every 1/4 mile sprint we ever did, but that's a story for another day)

So with that, I think I'm going to go on my "vacation." I just hope it doesn't feel more like work.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Of Fit and Fancy

I can't say I've been doing a heck of a lot of anything these days, and judging by my torturous performance in spin class yesterday, I've lost what little fitness I had back in the season. The knees are starting to hurt again (darn you for throwing away thousands of your insurance company's dollars on physical therapy!), and I'm back on the diet. At least I have 3 pounds to show for all my effort. But let's not address the fact that exercise and caloric deficit are not things that work for me.

So, in the midst of turmoil at work and uncertainty with hubby's career at home, I've decided that my Trek 1000 SL is not the bike I'd like to continue riding in my races. Call it faulty tuneups or a faulty bike, but the gearing has never sorted itself out and I had to do my last race STUCK in gear. It was a flat time trial course, and I was stuck in the middle ring, unable to shift in the back. Yeah, it was a real field day and a miracle I was able to go as fast as I did. At any rate, here's my dilemma. I feel like I'm fairly fast on the bike, at least in sprints. I'm a real crap runner. So the more distance I can put between people in the bike and the swim, the better. I need some sort of edge on this darn bike! I had the fastest bike split in my relay group in Long Beach, and I'm one of the faster ones in my age group...but the top girls definitely have a few mph on me. Granted, a lot of that is fitness, but could some of it be that they are more aerodynamic??

My dilemma is this: Do I upgrade my Trek 1000 to a slightly-better road bike and slap some aerobars on it? Knowing that the best I can do is a 2006 Trek 5000 in my price range, but maybe not even that much because I'd still need to get the aerobars and a fitting within that budget?

Or do I take the plunge and get a tri bike? And keep the road bike for practices?

The roadies all say "get a good road bike." The triathletes ask if I have any interest in group rides or being a roadie. I say no. So they say, "get a tri bike!" Why can't this choice be easy?

Coach says that my training will be hill-focused over the next 6 months. Roadies say you can't climb hills on tri bikes. Well, I ask, how the heck can you ride it in a triathlon if it can't climb hills? I don't GET THIS! Totally flippin' confused. It is apparent, though, that I will need a road bike for the easy rides....somehow you can't take it easy on a tri bike? Again, never been on one, so I haven't a clue.

One thing I must say, though, is that they are all very sexy indeed. I have a fitting tonight to check out how I ride and see what frame geometry will be most comfortable for me. My hubby thinks it's a bit excessive to spend an hour and a half measuring me for a bike I may not even buy, but I think it'll be helpful and worth the investment. I hope so!
Here are my sexy bike choices. Any opinions on what I should do???

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Next Year

Our long-awaited training program was just released today, and with it came a number of decisions about next year.

I've been thinking about myself a lot the past few weeks. How I've never really challenged myself to do something I wasn't sure I could do. In fact, I'm the type of person who would rather not try than to fail, because I love being the best at what I do. Why purposely put myself in a situation where I might not succeed? Now, I don't get this in many places in life, because I'm still slightly young, stupid, and believe I can do most anything. But physically? I have no idea if I have a Half Ironman in me. Heck, acknowledging that maybe I could do Olympic distance was hard enough. But after chatting with Sixtwothreetries, my hubby, and myself, I think I've finally decided.

I don't know what the future is going to bring. I know that my biological clock is ticking and eventually I have to face the fact that I ought to have kids. Work may move me to some other coastal city and take me away from my Tridivas! Or I could hurt myself and not be able to race. But these are things that will happen when they happen....but probably not next year. So while I have the time, the body, and the ability.....I think I may just go for it.

That being said, here's the schedule for next year, subject to additions!

April 12, 2008 Irongirl Triathlon, Lake Las Vegas (Olympic distance)
June 15, 2008 Danskin Triathlon, Somewhere in SoCal (Sprint distance)
August 2, 2008 Barb's Race, Vineman (Half Ironman)
August 24, 2008 Santa Barbara Triathlon (super sprint)

I'm shaking in my boots, but I need to test myself. Can't think of a better way.

Got back in the pool today, too. A little slower than usual, but I'm back! With new motivation to not lose my fitness level....

Monday, November 5, 2007

3 More Days

That is how much longer I must wait before I hit the pool and get medieval on my freestyle. Oh, yeah....

I'm happy to report that my shave biopsy is healing nicely. I haven't gotten the results back yet, but I'm optimistic. I received interesting news today that my 2nd sister has now been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Even worse than her twin! So now the wheels are turning in my entire triathlon season with no weight loss, a feeling of constantly being naked in Antarctica, a high body temperature, pale as a ghost, random nausea..... Could it be that I need an endocrinologist and some Synthroid to give me my energy back?

Oh, to be warm and not pale. Is that too much to ask? Rest assured, I'm getting my lazy arse into the endo ASAP to get a full workup. Because if it's in my two sisters, shouldn't I get it, too??! (OK, no need to explain genetics to me....I was a molecular bio undergrad....this was a rhetorical question)

The parents came back from their cruise on Saturday. I think my poor mother nearly cried as we drove out of sight of the boat. They had the time of their lives, and were content to sit on their rears and watch football ALL weekend long. I pryed her away just long enough to do some shopping on Sunday, but that was about it. I also managed a solo run on Saturday, but the coughing and burning in my lungs afterwards proved that I was a total moron for exercising outside so soon.

Work is still frustrating and long. I'm all over the place at this point, as you might imagine from all the chaos above. But I'm here to vent, and vent I shall.

The big news is that I'm going to try to hit a Weight Watchers meeting tomorrow afternoon. It's funny, but watching ER and Abby's struggle with alcoholism has sort of pushed me back to what worked for me in the first place. I owe WW so much for helping me get on track with my weight. I'm not an alcoholic, but I'm definitely addicted to food. I am a mindless, emotional eater. WW grounds me. Disciplines me. Holds me accountable for every lick and bite. I have felt so out of control lately with my eating, despite my intentions to lose weight. But after finding my meeting, I'm suddenly feeling more calm and in control. Funny how that happens! I hope that tomorrow I can find what I'm looking for and can make myself dig deep to continue my journey.

I will not race Athena next year!! Yes, I've joked about it. I could have won Pacific Coast as an Athena. And I rightly qualify, even if only by a few pounds...... But no. I want to make damn sure I'm nowhere near close next season, so there's no temptation to cheat the system. (It's not cheating, but I'm in the top 1/4 - top 1/3 of my age group goal is to get up even higher in the next few years!

So with that, I'm heading to bed. So I can dreaming of swimming.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Activity Breed Inactivity

I think life in general just ebbs and flows. Sometimes you get a breather here and there, and other times you get slammed and can barely keep your head above water.

Work is paying me back, RIGHT NOW, for my triathlon season.

I don't know what it is, but I'm working my tail off! I have absolutely no spare time for anything, and by the time I get home, it's totally late, dark, and I am so spitting mad all I want to do is eat and sleep. What is up with this? I really should expend some of that energy, no matter how late I get off, but I don't even know where to start? It's too dark to ride my bike outside, my arm still has another week to heal before I am allowed to swim, I can't run on the treadmill because it ruins my knees......I really only enjoy spinning, but there are only 2 classes per week I can possibly attempt to make, and I only was able to get to one of them this week!

This sounds more like a laundry list of excuses than a poignant blog entry. But what can you do? This is bothering me!

Oh, and my 10K is this weekend. I never signed up, because I knew my parents would be in town, and then we had these fires. Truthfully, the air quality has been crap for a week and a half now. I did run all last week in Vegas, but haven't kept it up since I've been home. So I think I'm going to have to pick a different 10K for my first, as the stars did not align properly for this one. Bollocks.

Maybe I'll just do the Turkey Tri with no training?

So, that's it. Work, work, work, work, work. Pissed off. Still hungry. Still fat. Hubby still unemployed. (But we have opportunity, and this is better than 2 weeks ago) Now I need to go retrieve my parents from the boat.