Slow and Steady

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hump Day--weekend line up.

Ugh, I made it, actually more than made it.... tomorrow is my Friday! So this weekend is the the Avenue of the Giants and surprise, surprise I am a bit undertrained. Not to fret bloggy blog friends, I am just exited to participate. If you haven't scoped out the the website you MUST check it out. Just the views are going to be amazing so why rush it by running so fast :) I plan to run/walk and hope to finish in close to 3 hours. I went out for a walk/run today. After 7 miles I was soooo ready for more. Like, I wanted to keep going until my body said to stop. It felt amazing!! I can only liken it to the "nesting" energy I got with my 2nd pregnancy. The only reason I stopped at 7 was to hurry home to the family, who incidentally didn't need me right away when I got home, so the hubby sent me on a bike ride. Loved it. Loved it. Loved it. I am so thankful for my partner who got me out there, wish I had her for Sunday.

The weekend line up......

  • Grandparents are pitching in and taking care of the kiddos and the animals.
  • Friday's drive will include wine tasting and yummy restaurants & bakeries.
  • Fort Bragg, I love cold coastal areas and fried food so it is sure to be a good time.
  • Saturday, more Fort Bragg and my hubby assures me that he will take a short run with me to loosen up the legs for Sunday's run.
  • Sunday, the big day! Looking forward to finishing, NOT looking forward to the drive back.
Monday, a wonderful day off, with kids still scheduled to go to the sitters/day care. What does that mean for me? It means hopefully sleeping in a little, Starbucks, a pedicure and lunch with the hubby. This is totally a ME weekend, so we'll do Sushi (his favorite).

3-Changes Challenge Update:

  1. Going strong with no eating after 8:00
  2. Getting better with the no more than 2 days between workouts
  3. Need to make a better daily Ab effort
Thankful 3

  1. Thankful for my 2 hours of exercise today with a partner
  2. Thankful for grandparents who like taking care of their grandkids
  3. Thankful for a re-freshed gym bag

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Watch Tan Lines's gonna be a good year!

Yesterday was the club's practice Tri and it was wonderful! Don't get me wrong, I completely sucked it up, but the course was really well marked and was appropriately challenging for everyone. The course was a 400 yard swim (open water/lake about 65 degrees?), then a 15 mile bike, fairly flat/small rolling hills except the 80ft climb at the end that had me doing the walk of shame on two different turns of the switch back, then a 3 mile trailrun on some rolling hills (yes I had to walk). While the times aren't super exact, I finished in 2:04. It is a slower time than I hoped. Here is the rough break out:

Started at 12:00 ish....Warm Sunny Day

  • 11:30 swim (FYI-first swim of the year for me, like first swim at all, no pool, nothing!)
  • T1 3:30 transition (little dizzy from the swim so I sat down to put on my sneakers)
  • 1:07:00 for the ride (WOW, I thought this would be the easiest part for me, but my quads were on strike and I could hardly get my legs to turn over the first 5 miles)
  • T2-all of a 1 minute transition to run. I left my Power Gel at transition in the sun and I had to choke down a hot Caffeinated Strawberry Banana gel & some water before I left transition. I don't use clip ins, so I only switched from helmet to visor, makes for a quick transition usually, the gel thing threw me off a little.
  • 41 minute run-My legs felt good as I left the transition area and headed for the fire roads, the slight climb at the beginning had me walking. This was quite unexpected, but I rolled with it. Ran/walked-had a little Gatorade at the aid station and continued on the rolling hills. I was pretty fortunate to have met a teammate on the run who coached me through some Chi Running. She was just "training" and stayed with me until I feigned needing to walk to encourage her to leave me behind. No she wasn't as slow as I am, she just so happened to double the swim to get the most out of the training day and that is why she was coming in behind me. After she finished, she doubled back to help me through the last 3/4 mile. She is a physical therapist and was able to coach me through some poor downhill form too. Lucky me, training day AND personalized coaching!
While I am not thrilled with my performance I am pretty proud of myself for showing up, finishing, not being completely toast when I got home and only sore in the back from the ride. Did I mention I love being in a Tri club. I can't even tell you how awesome it was to get the season nerves out, find my set point so I can focus and have such awesome teammates! BTW, one of my favorite things about outdoor exercise of any sort is the tan lines. When I was younger and played basketball I used to love coming home with bruises. These war wounds made me feel like I earned each workout. Well that is what my watch tan and ankle sock tan do for me with running/Triathlon. I got the beginnings of both with yesterday's workout and I am on a mission to make them more defined. In the winter, it is the dirt line left after a trailrun that gets me jazzed up.

What are the markings of a great workout/season for you?

Thankful Three

  1. For finding a last minute hotel room for Avenue of the Giants (1/2 marathon) this weekend.
  2. For sticking with my no eating after 8:00, pat on the back for me.
  3. Getting into the Nike Women's Marathon (SF)...yes I am still on cloud 26.2

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Five

1. This week was my last week in a temporary job. Not this best week to try a new fitness challenge, but there you have it. I committed to the Three Changes Challenge and so far I am only 1 for 3. I am supposed to skip eating after 8:00, tough, but, CHECK! I am supposed to go no more than 2 days between, not so good. Five minutes of abs daily? Well, ok not great there either. Now that this job madness is over it is time to kick it up a notch. I am back to working close to home so I am thinking riding to work a couple days a week and running after work a couple days a week. I have 1 hour of my life back daily (darn commute) and I plan to make the most of it. Trying to reach the end of a never-ending job was not the best priority to set for my last week at this job. What suffered? Workouts, down time, family time etc. Tough lesson to learn, but learned. Now moving on.

2. Tomorrow is practice Tri Day. 400 yd open water swim, 15 mile bike, 3 mile run. Soooo Excited. I haven't done a tri yet this year so I am really ready see what my jumping off point is. My next sprint tri is not until June 5th so I will have plenty of time to start making efforts to improve. I know my bike time is faster, and my run times are coming down since having a baby, but all three sports need more consistent efforts to improve. If you remember a few weeks back I said I have had the mentality of just being a finisher, but now I look forward to racing against myself. I believe you fancy people out there call it a hunt for the next PR.

3. My 18 year old nephew/former swimmer has taken up running. He thoroughly enjoys exploring the boundaries of his small town and his physical fitness. I am bringing him to join my Tri Club and participate in the practice Tri. If I rope him in, I will have a new workout partner & race buddy, even though he is way faster than I am.

4. My friend with a 7 yr old girl and 5 yr old boy just found out she is pregnant. They thought they were done and here they are waiting for baby #3. It gives me hope that maybe my hubby, who for all intents and purposes has declared we are done with our 2 1/2 year old boy and 6 month old girl, might change his mind. I know that I could be convinced, my goodness while I may not be the best athlete, I am damn good at making some good looking kids. Too boastful? I think not, my kids are awesome, already well mannered and the sweetest people you'll ever meet.

5. Ok, enough stalling, here is the news you have all been waiting for, drum roll please.........I won the lottery!!!!!

Yup, this is what I got in my email inbox today. The only way to get into the race without fund raising is by lottery. Now it is time to get super geared up for my official "A" race of the year. Of course there will be the official selection of my Tri "A" race, but for now, I plan to just float on my happy running cloud. I have a feeling I am going to look good wearing Tiffany's.

Monday, April 19, 2010


Ok, nothing super special to report on today, but wanted to get in my Challenge Notes and my Thankful three. Last night was my first night with the whole no eating after 8:00 thing. Wow, so much harder than I thought. First it was mental, like at 7:55 PM I crammed some cashews down my throat thinking I would starve otherwise. I really wanted a Baskin Robin's Mint Chocolate Chip shake (extra thick) at like 9:30. It was hard not to go and get one. Tonight dinner was over kinda late so I couldn't even fit in any food before 8:00 because I was so full, but was actually afraid that I would get super hungry and not be able to eat. It is 9:47 and I have survived 1 hr 47 min after 8:00 without food. I better go to bed before my belly figures it out. As for ABs, well I felt like a cheater but I am counting it, I held a crunch for extended periods while holding my lap top on my belly reading other peoples blogs. Yes, not exactly what I had in mind when I said minimum 5 minutes of ABs, but it worked.

Finally, my Thankful Three

  1. Brie & French rolls
  2. Cotton Comfy skirts that are just as awesome as sweats
  3. 3% percent power left on the MacBook to publish this post

Sunday, April 18, 2010

3 Changes Challenge

Ok, I think Challenges are Brilliant and so are blog rolls. Without perusing the favorite blogs of my favorite blogs I never would have found Amanda at RunToTheFinish. Lots of positive things happening for me this past week and discovering the 3 Changes Challenge is one of them. So here are things I will commit to do from now until at least May 13th.
  1. No eating after 8:00, my hubby is on board with this one so I get some encouragement right here at home.
  2. 5 minutes of ABs everyday. Yes I know, what is 5 minutes going to do for me? Well, hopefully it will become the jumping off point. I have to start somewhere and this 5 month post-pardum belly will benefit from any amount of attention at this point.
  3. This one is big, it will be the key to my success in running, triathlon and overall commitment to staying fit, are you ready? No more than 2 consecutive rest days. Big right?! My biggest challenge is consistency and boy do I have every excuse in the book. Baring any major health issues I should be able to stick to this and I know it will have a lasting effect on my health. I just need to remember that a 20 minute run is better than no run. Sometimes I don't workout because the amount of time I can squeeze out on busy days doesn't seem worth it. Here is a change in the though process, every minute of working out counts.
So in addition to finding this fabulous challenge I also found myself in a conversation with a friend of mine. We both live lives we are proud of and know there is no shortage of things to be thankful for. We talked about how sometimes we play down how happy we are because of unhappy people around us. We don't want to seem braggy, just happy, so instead we just don't talk too much about the great things going on in our lives except with each other. I too being an eternal pessimist, usually about my own personal accomplishments (e.g. not good enough), often times take for granted the things that are important to me. When reading about the 3 Changes Challenge, I noticed the author also does "Gratitude Journal" entries. I do this (not consistently) on a Star Wars Dry Erase board that is stuck to my fridge. In addition to the occasional fridge note, I am going to start blogging a "Thankful Three". I am not making this part of the the 3 Changes Challenge because I don't know how long I want or will realistically keep it up, but for the sake of this positive wave I am riding here goes...

Thankful Three
  1. For my 50 bike ride on a perfectly sunny day, not hot, just perfectly sunny
  2. A husband who snores next to me on the couch while I blog, I could be alone.
  3. Two gorgeous kids who took their naps together today, hence my ability to blog in the middle of the afternoon on the couch instead of late at night tucked in bed

50K Zin Spin Ride Report

Ok, the Zin Spin 50K Bike ride was perfect. Good thing it was a ride and not a race because I was running a little late. The weather was just amazing, sunny, but not hot and you could smell the alfalfa in the lush green fields, the vineyards were greening up, I could smell honeysuckles on the last 4 mile stretch. The finish was at an amazing at an Arts & Crafts style house on the beautiful Bare Ranch, owned by Michael David. I ate a light lunch afterward and enjoyed the scent of orange blossoms from the trees. Please note the lovely picture to the right, it is the official image on the 2010 Zin Spin Tee Shirts. Wish I could credit the artist, but there is no info about this picture on the facebook page I took the image from.

There was a rest stop at mile 12.5 where I enjoyed a slice of wheat bread with peanut butter, it took me 49 minutes to get there. Usually this is my pre-run/race breakfast, but I was in a rush this morning and only had a strawberry and a Red Delicious apple...I definitely needed the protein. About 8 miles later there was another rest stop (a winery) where I enjoyed a half of an orange, this segment took me 32 minutes. I wished it wasn't so early, I would have loved to wine taste just, but could justify alcohol at 10AM. The last 10.1 miles were a little harder than expected, I was out of the saddle alot. I need to ride more often, it took me 41 minutes to finish. More good news is that I took a little jog after the ride to loosen up my legs and get them used to the TRI transition. Can I just say Wow! It didn't take much before my legs really felt good. I wouldn't call this a brick since it was less than a mile, but I felt pretty confident about hitting a decent stride in less than 1/2 a mile. It usually takes me longer to loosen up. This is the longest ride I have ever been on and I really enjoyed it. I think one thing that was a little tough was starting and stopping. The first mile after each rest stop seemed like a bit of a challenge. One thing that was amazing is the functionality of gears on a road bike vs. mountain bike. I had an a-ha moment getting over the second overpass and the concept of gears magically made sense. Pretty cool stuff this road bike thing is.

Sorry no pics, there were a bunch of Delta Tri Club folks riding too, but I didn't wait for them to finish, had a hungry 5 month old waiting for her mama at home, duty called. Thanks for reading & stay tuned for a post later today where I sign up for the 3 Changes Challenge.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I should be asleep

I should be sleeping. But I must carbo load for tomorrows Zin Spin 50K Bike Ride. What's on the menu you ask? Chocolate Chip cookies and milk. I am still working on a name for my bike, but I guess I'll have 31 beautiful miles to think about it tomorrow. Guess I was meant to still be awake as my 5 month old just woke up. Time to go be mama. Before I go, just wanted to mention I had a great time at the local Single A baseball home opener Thursday, an amazing day getting a pedicure then going wine tasting on Friday, hanging out with my bestie & her little ones today and gearing up for tomorrow's ride. What was the perfect color I picked for my toes? A sparkly pink with a flower painted on the big toes. I have dubbed the color Hannah Montana Pink. Everything I have ever seen that is HM is pink or purple & sparkly. If she doesn't already have a nail polish line, she should get one and steal this color. Darn, I just googled her and sure enough she is already on the nail polish thing, but this pink was no where in sight. Miss Miley Cyrus you need to find this pink, it is frick'n awesome. Nothing better than feeling young, like teeny bopper young:) I am on a roll with having a great time these last few days, just gotta keep it going. Hope everyone else is letting the good times roll this spring. Stay tuned to hear about how tomorrow's ride goes.

Nitey Nite Bloggy Bloggers.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday Seven

1. Finally getting some sleep. Cutting out the Bug's dinner time nap has worked wonders.
2. Volunteering this weekend was so much easier than I thought it was going to be. A 3 day workshop was cut down to 2 and we produced 122 cakes, 50 more than last year in less time overall. They are always a hit at the food fair.
3. I got a nap yesterday, goodness gracious it was amazing...I need like 50 more and I might be caught up.
4. This morning I got a nice little run in before the rains came. It was only 2 miles, but it came with a donut shop "aid station" at the half way point. My son enjoyed the run and the donut with sprinkles he got to eat 1/2 of when we got home.
5. Today after a playdate with my former running partners (the cutest married couple ever), I bought a Brand New (to me) used jogging stroller. After the rains cleared my family and I went out for frozen yogurt. I can't believe how easy this stroller rides and it was such a steal on craigslist.
6. Now that I am home and reflecting on the day, I really miss my friends. They moved about 45 minutes away and we just don't get to run any more. L has lost 20 lbs on his own and has already done a 1/2 marathon this year and D is 5 lbs away from her goal and her doctor just released her to run (she is also a new mom to a second child). And here I am squeezing in runs to the donut shop, not quite the right motivation. I really miss their company on runs, support when I wanted McDonald's fries for every meal and just the overall feeling that I had partners. New partner(s) I look forward to meeting you. I have had plenty of one time partners, couple weeks-months type partners, single event and event only type partners, those who have out grown me because they learned they were faster and those who have dropped off because of the time commitment. I appreciate every minute I have trained with someone else because while running can be an individual sport, it feels like social time for me. Here is a pic of me and my partners taking a rest after our first 1/2 marathon back in 2005.

7. On the horizon this week I must log a long run as I did not get one in this weekend, 8 miles should be plenty. Tuesday is Soul Food night with some book club friends, we are discussing The Help, highly recommended BTW. Friday is a big wine tasting day with some friends. Yes the work-a-holic is taking a much needed day off. Sunday is the metric 1/2 century bike ride. I'm really looking forward to this week.

So bloggy blog friends, tell me who your running partners are and why you need them?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

i CaN ReAd!

Ok so I mostly post about some sort of workout, or lack there of, then some complaining followed by promises to do better. Today you get to hear about my amazing book club. So we are a group of women, mostly moms, somewhere between the ages of 25-35 (ish). Some of us are working moms, others are stay at home and all of us have some sort of gift, talent or uniqueness that make each of us marvel at the fact that we have such cool friends. Tonight we added to our group and I was so excited to meet new people and further amazed at how quickly we find connection with each other. One might think we get stuck on stupid talking about our kids, but I promise we have other things to talk about. One thing we inevitably come back to is the 2 degrees of separation. We all have the same connection to a small wine country town in California. If we aren't from this place we know someone or married someone from this place. It is ridiculously funny that we literally can connect anyone we know from this place by no more than 2 degrees of separation.

In addition to talking about knowing someone who knows someone, our book club actually reads. There were 5 of us who were all pregnant at the same time last fall and we kind of fell off the wagon, but we are back in full force with a fun new selection of books. Because most of us are moms and some working moms we are a generous book club. We alternate a dinner and book discussion month with movie night month. We never meet at anyone's house because G-d forbid that we have to clean up and feed people. Book club is our escape, a chance to just be girls and it is low key enough that we give ourselves 2 whole months to read a book with a fun movie night to tie our monthly meetings together.

Tonight I got to munch on crazy good blue cheese fries, buffalo wings and a sampler of beer at the local brewery while laughing at some great stories. What more could a girl ask for? Thanks Bookies, can't wait for next month.

So, what do you read? I would love to hear from people about some favorite reads. If you are not a follower now, is a great time to follow my blog and share your thoughts on some good reads...sports related or not.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

NWM Random Drawing

“If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good”

Ok so the Nike Women's Marathon (San Francisco) Random Draw opened yesterday. It is pretty exciting since I have been stalking their website since missing the 2008 drawing (2007 & 2009 I was nice and preggo so no marathons for me). Any hoo, I registered, and now I must wait. Wait. Wait. And did I mention W-A-I-T. I am terribly impatient, but I guess I can wait until the end of the month...ahem I have to other choice. While I appreciate the concept of a random draw, I will be so very disappointed if I do not get in. So disappointed in fact that I am not sure I am interested in doing any other marathon's this year. I have only completed one, San Diego Rock n Roll 2006 and I am positive that I can do better. Maybe the California International Marathon in December if I don't get into the NWM, but I have signed up for this one before (see the missed 2008 year), but didn't run because I didn't keep up my training through to December. I think there might be a trail half in October, I'll have to research. A trail half might be a good alternative for me. I have learned as I write this post with controlled excitement that I better not put all my eggs in one basket.

Cross you fingers & toes, I haven't been excited for a marathon since my first one and this time I am close enough to the race location that I could actually get some training runs done on the course. See map above for course outline.

P.S. Bloggy Blog followers my 25 mile ride rocked on Saturday. I was really intimidated to go.  In the end I felt so good having gone on a nice distanced ride, but also felt bad that my partners had such a  super slow recovery ride by staying with me. A big part of doing the ride was getting over my fear, fear of riding a new bike, fear I couldn't go the distance, fear I would just plain suck at it. My partner said afterward that I did fine and it seemed I was moving along comfortably and probably could've pushed harder. I didn't push harder on this first ride because I was afraid I would bonk so I was just trying to stay steady. That first mile I wasn't sure I could do it, I couldn't find the right gears and my partners seemed to be cruising along so effortlessly...very intimidating. Then all of a sudden we were at the half way point, I was actually shocked when we got there. The return trip seemed to fly by too, the great conversation helped tons to pass the time. I love being on a TRI team.

Club meeting tonight, in search of a running partner for long runs, wish me luck.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday Five

  1. Ok, can I get a high five for surviving the week?! Anyone?
  2. In case you missed my last post, I have a new bike. Like a BRAND NEW road bike. I'm pretty excited for my Tri teams 25 mile ride + run, brick workout tomorrow...stay away rain!
  3. My big boy had his first day of school in big boy underpants...we call them Chonies. I am pretty proud and sad all at the same time. Where does the time go?
  4. This month I have 2 events: a 50K bike ride on April 18th that us fancy folk like to call a metric half century...sounds way cooler doesn't it? I also have a practice tri with my TRI club on April 24th. I feel like I want to do way more, but the weekends just keep filling up.
  5. My big half marathon (Avenue of the Giants) is May 2nd. After my 20K trail run last month, I know I can at least finish, but my new approach to athletics is to compete against myself. Yup you read that right, C-O-M-P-E-T-E. This means more diligent training. Ugh, I wish I was better at prioritizing running as a necessity vs. a luxury! Really, I just procrastinate, then complain. Procrastinate, then complain and sometimes get a workout in. Apparently this does not make for effective and consistent training.
Have a Fabulous Friday and Wonderful Weekend. Swim, Bike, Run and Have Fun!