Monday, May 24, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Well, I can definitely say I am not bored being unemployed. I'm not quite sure how I'll get all this tri training in if and when I do get a job, but in the meantime, I'll just plug away.

I'm definitely tired and sore because Coach Kelly has been keeping us busy with her training plan. Six other women have signed up for coaching with Kelly, so I look forward to getting to know them and get some training in with them.

Now, back to everything I've been doing. Last time I wrote, I was recovering from a tumble off my bike. I'm happy to report, my bruised knee didn't turn into anything serious and it is healing nicely. Here is a day by day account of my training.

Wed, May 19
Since I didn't do the run Tuesday because of my knee, I thought about doing it today. Since it was still a little stiff, I decided just to do a 10 min warm up on the elliptical to avoid the pounding. Good decision! I then did 30 min of strength training using a workout from Tosca Reno's book The Eat-Clean Diet Workout. Right after, I had my 1-on-1 with Kelly and discussed some goals in addition to a little drill to get some negative talk out of my head. After, I did my swim which included two drills: 6-Kick Switch (Hated it!) and Fingertip Drag (Loved it!)

Thu, May 20
Did the group ride again and I'm happy to report I stayed upright the entire time. Woo hoo!

Fri, May 21
Today I was scheduled for my heart rate run. My short stubby legs couldn't keep up with the treadmill. Afterward I found out something messed up and I didn't get the correct readings. Ugg! Followed up with another Tosca strength training routine.

Sat, May 22
Today I did my first brick and decided they should be called cinder blocks instead. Went for a ride to Phoenix and back. Had an unplanned break when I had to wait for the drawbridge over the river.

Got home and felt horrible when I had to ignore my son asking me to help him with something. Am I a horrible mom for ignoring him or a good mom for setting a good example by being fit and healthy? I set out for a 15 min run which was more of a shuffle instead of a run. I thought I was going to die, but I made it! Then I remembered that today was kids VS parents at Alex's lacrosse game. Luckily the parents didn't try too hard and I survived. Sore legs, especially shin splints, bothered me the rest of the day. Next brick, I'm trying an ice bath.

Sun, May 23
Ahh! A recovery swim was scheduled for today. Did this at the East Area YMCA so Alex could play on the water slides. Another woman was swimming a couple lanes down and she was going pretty fast. At first I was excited because I noticed we were touching one of the walls at the same time. Then I realized I was doing one lap in the same amount of time she was doing two. Oh well!

Mon, May 24
I was expecting today to be a rest day, but no such luck. Today was another bike/run brick. Bike went well until I was almost home and a neighbor's dog started chasing me and tried to bite my foot. Luckily he didn't get me. I decided not to call animal control to complain that he was unleashed, but next time good old Noodle won't be so lucky.

After I calmed down, I set out for a 30 min run. It was pretty hot out, so I ended up walking part way. Even with walking I was able to do a little over two miles. Slower than normal, but that should get better as I continue to practice my bricks.

After my heart stopped pounding out of my chest, I settled into my first ice bath

(I know...where's the ice? Most of it melted by the time I got the pic taken.)

with some lunch and some Clean Eating cookies

Well, I'm off to bed to rest for another busy day.

75 days until Iron Girl!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Was that a Brick or Pavement?

***Got bored with the original template, so I switched it up with a pop of color!***]

Making lemonade is exhausting! Like I said, with unemployment, I'm trying to make lemonade out of lemons. While trying to find employment, I'm using my free time to get in some tri training. Before I even got let go from my job, I had signed up for the 12-week triathlon training program offered by the YMCA. With all my new free time, I'm able to really put in the effort toward this program. I have to say, in the last 3 days, I'm really starting to feel like a real triathlete...which is probably half the battle.

On Monday, I put in a 1,300 yd swim. On Tuesday, that's when really did a lot. First I decided to join the ride-run brick at 9:30 AM. First was a 10.5ish ride. I was a little nervous because I wasn't sure how I'd do riding with the group. I hate being the last one holding up the pack. Everything started off well and I was about 2/3 back when I came to a red light at a pretty big intersection. I was using my clipless pedals for the first time, but I knew enough to undo one foot before coming to a stop. The thing I DIDN'T know is that everyone tends to put the same foot down every time they come to a stop and the foot I tend to put down (my left foot) WASN'T the foot I unhooked. So, down I went. At that point, my pride was the only thing that was hurting. After some adjustments, I continued on bringing up the rear. Oh well. Live and learn! When I arrived back at the van and started getting ready for a short run, I felt my left knee tightening up. Maybe I got injured more than I thought. So, I went inside for some ice and to change out of my sweaty clothes and discovered a nice raspberry on my knee.

So much for my first brick! I continued on with my triathlon themed day by attending my kick-off meeting for the 12-week triathlon training with my new coach, Kelly Covert. Yes! I have a coach! Too cool! She gave us our plan for the week and she and I decided to do our one-on-one consultation on Wednesday (today). I left there sore, yet very pumped that I'll actually have someone to guide me through this journey.

Later on that day, I attended Core Conditioning to tighten up my abs then attended the tri clinic "To Supplement or Not." Needless to say, I went to bed pretty exhausted.

Today I got up and started my triathlon themed morning. After putting Alex on the bus, I headed over to the Y for my half hour of resistance training. I love lifing weights and seeing all the definition in my muscles.

After pumping some iron, I met with Kelly for my one-on-one and we talked about some goals including a test on Friday to set my heart rate zones. NOT looking forward to that!

I wrapped up the morning by doing my swim workout which was the longest one for me yet totalling 1,800 yds. In addition to basic swimming, I had to do two drills: the 6 Kick Switch Drill (didn't like) and the Fingertip Drag Drill (liked a lot). [I'll add links to these when I get on a better computer!] I was a pretty tired girl when I left and I'm still tired as I write to get to bed!

One other cool triathlon thing that happened today was that my GU sample pack arrived. I'll pretend that I'm a triathlete sponsored by them and they were sending me my goodies. Hey, I can dream, can't I?!?!

Well, I think that's it for today. Tomorrow is another group cycle. Note to self: unhook LEFT foot at a red light!!! I don't think I'll have any problem remembering that again...EVER!!!

80 days until Iron Girl!

Monday, May 17, 2010

What Should I do With All This Time?

Today was my first full day of unemployment. With the exception of not getting a paycheck and not having good health insurance, I could get used to this! So far, today I...

* slept in
* put Alex on the school bus
* made a friendship bracelet (I'm hoping to do some triathlon related ones, so stay tuned!)
* made an appointment with an employment agency for tomorrow (back to reality!)
* ran an important errand to the vet
* bought a small fence to protect our veggie garden (planted yesterday) from out 80+ pound lab/shepherd mix, Campbell
* bought window boxes, potting soil, and brackets for our herbs
* Went for a swim: 50 + 50 + 100 + 100 + 200 + 800 + 100 + 50 + 50 = 1,500 yds total
* read back issues of Bree Wee's blog (I wonder if she would consider adopting me!)
* met Alex when he got off the bus

Later today, I will update my resume for tomorrow, check websites for new job postings, watch Dancing with the Stars and Castle (haven't watched Castle in ages because I've been going to bed so early so I could work out before heading to work...don't have to worry about that now!), and experiment with more friendship bracelets.

Tomorrow is going to be a busy one with my first brick and other triathlon stuff and some job hunting.

82 days until Iron Girl!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Head Colds and Unemployment...Can it Get Any Worse?!?!

Today started out like crap. Actually it started yesterday when I developed a sore throat which lead to a runny nose. I hate head colds! I've read that endurance athletes are more likely to get colds, so I'll blame it on that. Yeah! I'm an endurance athlete! In reality it probably had to do with the fact that I visited my son's elementary school two times this week and was exposed to millions of little kid germs...yuck! Anyway, my head cold caused me to skip abs class last night and cycle class this morning. I stopped at Wegman's on the way to work for medicine and figured I could fight it off during the day.

This is when my day got worse

I sat down at my desk then my boss walked in and handed me my "pink slip."

I went numb and really didn's hear much of what he was saying. Although on one hand I was surprised, on the other hand, I wasn't. I was always bored at work and struggled to find something to do to make the 8 hours each day go by somewhat quicker than a snail's pace. And I knew this couldn't go on forever. Although the company is doing well, I knew they couldn't continue to pay me to sit there and do nothing. So, I packed my things and took off befoe too many of my co-workers got there.

So Now What?
I'm going to make the best of it and make lemonade out of lemons. While unemployed, I can...
*sleep in and train during the day
*find a job where I won't be bored
*plant my veggie and herb garden
*clean and organize my house
*take some much needed naps

Of course, I still have to find a job. Hopefully I can find something as flexible and family friendly as Cascade was. I've gotten spoiled in the last year, so hopefully I won't be disappointed with my future employer. I guess time will tell. In the meantime, lemonade anyone?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Nutrition Information Overload!

"You can do all the training in the world and be perfectly prepared, but if you mess up your nutrition then it will all be wasted." - Rinny Carfrae, Ironman Athlete
I give up! I'm waving the white flag because I don't have a clue what, when, and how to eat for my training. Am I eating too many/too few carbs? Too many/too few proteins? Too many/too few fats? I've attended seminars, read books, checked websites, etc. and I'm completely confused. Since January, I've been training 4-6 days a week and I've only lost 10 pounds. I figured the weight would have been melting off. I know the main goal of my training isn't to lose weight, but at the same time, I don't need to be racing with extra weight to carry around.

I do understand the concept of the body going into "starvation mode" when it thinks its not getting enough food and holds onto fat for fuel. Is that what is happening to me? Am I training so much that I'm not consuming enough food to fuel what I'm doing?

I can probably figure it out if I keep a food journal, but I'm horrible at it. I write things down religiously for a few days then I forget and let it slide for days or even weeks. Why can't I have a "mini me" to follow me around to log all my activities and meals each day?!?!

And this is just my daily food intake that I'm confused about. Don't even get me started about fueling for workouts and races! Typically I would just buy good old Gatorade and buy some random protein bar, but NO!!!!! I have to make sure everything has low sugar, the right amount of carbs, some protein, and on and on and..... How am I supposed to figure this all out when I work full time and am the mother of a 5-year old?!?!?!

OK...I'm glad I got that off my chest and vented for awhile. Now, lets get a clear head and think this out. I think what I have to do is experiment. I have a feeling that I'm not getting enough carbs, so lets try increasing them for a week or two and see how you feel. I was able to lose 2 pounds while on vacation in Florida, but I don't have a clue how I did it. Ugggg!! I'm going to do my best to do a log and experiment. I just downloaded an app to my phone that might help. I'll let you know how I do...wish me luck!

Another thing I'm going to experiment with are some products from GU. Yesterday I went on their website and purchased the GU Performance Energy Sampler. It consists of:
  • 9 GU Energy Gels
  • 3 Roctane Gels
  • 2 Chomps Packets
  • 2 GU Electrolyte Brew Packets
  • 1 GU Recovery Brew Packets
Hopefully I can find some combination of these items that works for me. Again, I'll let you know how I do...wish me luck!

Well, I've complained enough for one day. I'm going to play with my new app and see if its something I can work with.

86 days until IronGirl!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

JJ's Makeover

Are You Kidding Me?!?!?!?
This is what I woke up to on Mother's Day:

Why do the moms have to have snow on Mother's Day? Why can't it be the dads? Because we're tough and can take it! Hope all you moms out there had a great day!

Introducing the New and Improved JJ!
First, I need to explain "who" JJ is. Since the cycle leg is the longest, I figured I needed to give my bike a name. We'll be spending a lot of time together and developing a love/hate relationship with each other. And, like Wilson in the movie "Castaway," I might even start talking to it. (When I start hearing it talk back, I think I'll retire from triathlons!) So, why not name it? I came up with JJ because the color scheme of my bike reminds me of the color scheme of the car NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson (initials "JJ") drives. So, JJ it is!

JJ started out as a mountain bike. My husband bought JJ for me about 6 years ago. I'm not sure why I chose a mountain bike since I will NEVER ride it on a mountain, but I guess it was the "in thing" to do. A little over a week ago, I brought JJ over to the Bike Loft in North Syracuse for a bit of a makeover.

First things to go were the bulky tires which were replaced by sleeker ones:

Then, I had the pedals changed out for ones I could clip into:

Finally, I made a last minute decision to add extenders on my handle bars to make climbing out of the saddle easier:

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the new and improved JJ:

I don't have any visions of becoming Lance Armstrong on my improved ride, but I do hope to be more efficient than I would have been without the changes. I'm looking forward to getting to know JJ a little bit better in the near future...maybe I should have gotten snow tires instead?