Monday, July 26, 2010

Two weeks later, still bruised but running stronger!

A week of vacation does the soul AND the workout schedule good. It's amazing how much easier it is to get in my workouts when I don't have to be bothered by work. :) Unfortunately, that's not reality so I need to just get over it.

I spent part of my vacation in Fort Worth and had some really good runs. My favorite was my long run on Friday which I got to do along the Trinity River. Two weeks post bike fall and I'm still sporting bruising, soreness, swelling and a couple of very hard spots on my left thigh. Of course, it has improved greatly and this was the first run where I wasn't limping to start with. I was even back to my old long run pace and was thrilled. I followed coaches orders and elevated and iced after and felt great! With my next race a month away, I was really wanting to start feeling back to "normal". Looks like my wish has been granted.
In other news, I'm officially signed up Ironstar Half Ironman in November. I signed up for this race 2 years ago (before I trained with a coach) and had to pull out due to a stress fracture in my left leg. Basically, I was over training on the run and wasn't giving myself enough days off and blah blah blah. Anyway, I was really disappointed but now will get to do it! This will be an important race for me as I prepare for IMTX.
So yeah, my tentative race calendar is pretty much set with the exception of officially signing up for IMTX 70.3 in Galveston (April 2011). Whew.
I'm sure I'll have more of a post later this week! Happy training! :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Chumbawumba Said It Best

"I get knocked down but I get up again." - Chumbawumba

Despite the nasty spill I took last week, I've been able to get all my workouts in this week with some tweaks. Monday swim was cut short b/c I really couldn't kick or push off the way. I used the pull buoy a lot and just focused on form and my breathing. I lasted a little over 30min and was pleased that I worked out a day after trying to fly.

Tuesday run left a little to be desired but at least I got out there. By Wednesday, my swim was showing great improvement and even though I thought I was done 20min into the workout, I stuck it out and made it the full hour! By Saturday, I was pushing off the walls again and logged my second 2000yd+ swim of the week. YAY!!!!!

My long run Saturday was a short run at 50min. I started out hobbling a
bit and realized I was getting a lot of pain in the right knee (which to the best of my knowledge, I didn't injure). After I settled down a bit, I realized the
pain was kicking in b/c I was compensating for a hurt left leg. Once I focused on form, I was doing just fine. Knowing I would have a long ride Sunday, I knew I had to get my bike out on the road. I had ridden the bike on my trainer earlier
in the week but knew there would be no substitute for the road. I knew I needed to get the bike on the road post fall and pre long Sunday ride. I had sweaty palms before I even got the bike outside and was worried that if I didn't stop & breathe deeply, I was going to make myself fall from the nerves alone!!! Luckily, I had a VERY uneventful 25min ride and made it home without falling. You would think that would have been enough to settle my nerves but not quite.

I woke up at 6am fully expecting to feel rested and ready for my ride. Much to my disappointment, I found I was still nervous! I knew I would be on the bike for 35miles and really wanted to have a good breakfast. The smell of food was way too much for me so I settled on a PowerBar. Yeah, that wasn't happening either. Screw it. Time to head to the park to meet my team. I'm not going to lie, I wasn't in the best of moods. My nerves had clearly gotten the best of me and I wasn't 100%. I got on the bike anyway and tried my best to keep up with the group. After about 25 or 30min on the bike, the main group was pulling away and I was giving it my all but just couldn't keep up. I was annoyed too b/c when I would look at my Garmin, I was doing 16.5 - 17mph and felt like I SHOULD have been keeping up. Oh well, keep riding I thought. At this point I was 40min into my ride and decided it was time to head back. I wasn't at my planned turn around point but I didn't feel comfortable being out there alone. There were a couple folks I had passed about 15 min back and I knew they were riding a shorter distance and had already turned around. If I were to have another fall, I was going to be on my own and just didn't like the thought of that so I turned around too. I figured I could just add mileage on when I got back to The Woodlands. On my way back, I was greeted w/ a light rain. Panic sort of set in as I'm not comfortable riding in the rain at all. I talked out loud to myself and kept going. I was coming up on an intersection that I have never crossed alone and was actually terrified of. Thankfully, I had no issues there and the rain had stopped. Whew!
Not long after going through the intersection, it started to rain again and this time WAY harder than before. Argh! Why can't sunglasses come equipped with wipers?? At this point, I was close to The spitting distance close but the rain was just getting harder & harder. I noticed an abandoned gas station that would offer cover and decided it was time to pull in. I really debated what to do next. Tough it out and ride the rest of the way in or call Keith to come get me and take me to my truck? I have no problem getting wet but did have a problem with the thought of another wipeout. I already had an injured leg and another fall on it probably wouldn't tickle. After a bit of deliberation, I called Keith & he agreed that it was better to be safe than sorry and he came to pick me up. I felt MUCH better after that.

I was glad to get back on the bike today but was a little disappointed in how it went. I really wanted to ride with the team as long as possible but felt pretty much abandoned! I know, stupid to say but today was the day I really needed some encouragement b/c I was really, REALLY nervous. At the end of the day, I know I did the very best I could. I did come away feeling pretty down and have been reminding myself constantly that physically, I'm not 100% and the important thing is I had a mental win!

I'm on vacation next week and am looking forward to some quality workouts. I'm still sporting a nasty bruise and some swelling on my left thigh but it is improving. Slowly but surely. Now, let's go listen to Chumbawumba. What happened to them anyway?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Boom Boom Owwwwwwwww

After taking my bike out on it's maiden voyage last week, I was looking forward to our long team bike ride yestersay. My mileage would "only" be 30 miles but I was glad to take her out & show her off.

The ride started off well. I was getting down in aero a lot and was super happy about it. A few miles later, a handful of super fast riders took off leaving the main pack. A few miles after that, the main pack broke up a bit. I was so excited b/c I felt like I was riding well but not overdoing it AND was keeping up with the likes of Gena, Greg, Colin and others. For me, this was a big deal b/c they are all what I consider to be very strong riders. Don't get me wrong, our team is full of really strong riders. We get to the half way point and it's time for me to turn around w/ Colin as we weren't scheduled to go 50. We waited just a short while for the others and turned back as a group. Little did I know what was in store.

The first few miles back were pretty uneventful. We changed the route up a bit so we could make sure one of our teammates wouldn't have to ride alone for too long. Shortly thereafter, I decided that flying would be much faster than riding and had a major crash. Now, what exactly happened is unclear. I recall there was no shoulder where we were and I felt like I was riding a little to close to the edge of the rode. I think I was trying to move or look at something, moved my arms which in turn moved the bike and then I over corrected. The over correction is what did me in as I then hit some gravel and started off roading w/ my new tri bike. Somehow, I unclipped from the pedals and then flew off my bike. I skid a little ways on my bike (I assume this to be true after seeing the back of my cycling jersey). When I came to a stop, I was laying on my left side. The teammates who were with me at that point all hopped off their bikes and came over to me. Lynn, Chris, Colin, Vanessa & Misty were telling me everything was ok and assuring me my bike was not harmed as that was my ONLY concern. Well that and I didn't want anyone to tell me what my leg looked like b/c it hurt like a mother and I imagined the worst and wanted to be surprised I guess. I dropped the F bomb a time or two and immediately apologized. LOL. Colin put my bike chain back on my bike and examined it while Lynn moved me to the other side of the street to calm me down. I of course was insisting I was fine but she is much wiser and new I needed to sit down for a few. Thanks to my spill, everyone found themselves with empty water bottles too! After a few minutes, we decided to ride to the gas station and refill. I knew I needed to get back on the bike b/c if I didn't, I was afraid I would be "afraid" of the bike. I took it very, very slow and was avoiding the edge of the road as much as possible. At the gas station, the pain was really setting in and I realized just how filthy the rest of my body was. Long story short, we had less than 10 miles left and I convinced the group to let me ride home.

After what felt like the longest ride back, I made my way into the park only to fall again while dismounting. "Not again" is what I yelled from the ground sprawled out! I was assured many times that these things happen & not to be upset. Colin had been encouraging all morning as he kept telling me how good I was doing on my new bike.

Today, I'm proudly sporting a bruised right elbow, two bruised butt cheeks, a scraped up right knee and a deeply bruised left thigh. The pain & bruising on my left leg starts probably mid thigh and runs down about an inch below my knee. I've also got a sore neck and sore abs...likely from the fall and all the twisting I did as I sailed through the air in a decidedly non-aero position.

I took away a few important things. (1) Riding in aero wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. (2) I was doing really well and can't let the fall make me question my abilities and (3) Always appreciate great teammates.

I'm pretty sore today and moving around pretty slow. The bike is doing well and is resting comfortably. I have the a-OK to swim tonight and will have a modified run tomorrow most likely.

Nobody ever said the road to Ironman wouldn't hurt!!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Thank you rain for stopping for a bit!

Here she is!!!! My new bike. I'm not sure if I'll name her or not. I didn't name my Motobecane and she didn't seem to mind.

I got home from work last night and was pleased to see the storm clouds were gone and there were only minimal puddles on the road. I decided I would get my bike out on the road vs the trainer. I have a 30 mile ride w/my team on Sunday and I really wanted to have a little time on the bike first to get acquainted with it. My first (and only) mishap took place in the comfort of my own driveway. As I was mounting the bike, my shorts got caught on the seat and I tipped right over. Yes, I blame the shorts and not my big butt. As I was going down, all I could think was, "please don't scratch my pretty bike"! Because of that thought, I made sure to keep my body between the bike & ground the whole time and sacrificed the skin on me to protect her. My thought is that some day, the bike will remember I did this and will bless me with lots of speed. :)

The rest of the ride was completely uneventful. I found a quiet area with little traffic and practiced getting in aero & shifting. I have to say, the bike is incredibly comfortable and rides terrific. Being in aero isn't as scary as I thought....until of course a car darts in front of you, blowing through the stop sign and you quickly have to hit the brakes. What the heck is wrong with people? The red sign means STOP. Anyway, I digress. I felt really good out there and am looking forward to getting the bike out on Sunday. Thankfully I'm scheduled for an easy ride and I plan to take full advantage of that and continue practice with my beautiful QR.

I had a short run to do last night as well to keep the legs loose and that went well. Nice easy pace and I'm ready for my long run this weekend! I was going to post a picture of my injured knee but it really doesn't look bad enough to post. It would get me no sympathy at all!!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Umm, it's JULY (and other weekend thoughts)....

So 2010 is moving at lightning speed! I can't believe it's July already!!!!! That means my first 70.3 race is in exactly 4 months. H O L Y C R A P! Enough about that though.

The 4 day weekend was much needed (thank you Ernst & Young for giving us Friday AND Monday off). While there were no big plans on the calendar, I didn't mind one bit b/c I got to relax and workout when I wanted to! Score!!!! I already told you about my soggy Saturday run. Sunday I had a nice 25 mile ride w/ my teammates. Well, half the ride was with teammates....the last half was me & Misty b/c we didn't have the same mileage as everyone else. Needless to say, we were both itching to go further. This weekend Coach will let us do 30 but I think we were both hoping for 40ish. I'm not going to complain though b/c I know soon enough I'll have some big mileage and will be longing for the days of an easy 25 mile ride.

So evidently, EVERYONE in my life thinks they're a swimmer. And when I say everyone, I really just mean Keith & Leia. I have never seen Keith swim (until Sunday night when he showed me some of his mad aquatic skills) yet he still insists he can beat me in the pool. Now, I'm know Dara Torres but I have improved A LOT and have become a lot more confident. Initially he wanted to race 25yds but I had to put my foot down. That's just a waste of gas driving to the pool. I have him convinced we need to race at least 100yds so we'll see.

As if it's not enough that Keith is bragging, Leia decided to show off her pool skills Sunday night. My little 6lb puppy jumped in the pool on the 4th of July and started swimming laps. Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating but she was definitely swimming. I didn't have my camera on me to capture her effortless stroke but did get an after shot. Leia loved drying herself on Keith's very comfy & warm couch. :) Believe it or not, she look like a rat when she came out of the water!
Monday brought 1,000yd time trial in the pool that went pretty well. Honestly, I thought I was faster than what my time showed but hey, I'm not going to complain. I've improved leaps & bounds since October and I will continue to improve.
Last night was BRUTAL. 5x800 was the workout (well, the workout was 4-6x800 but #6 wasn't in the cards for me). Each 800 was to be at sub 5k pace which is pretty tough to maintain when you are doing it alone. Yes, I work out w/ a team but for the next few weeks, my track workouts are solo since I can't get to the track in time to run with my team. Such is life! I was so proud of myself for making it through but secretly wish my pacing would've been a little faster. I constantly remind myself that these temperatures & humidity take a big toll and not to stress. At the end of the day, I ran my hardest and put forth every ounce of effort I had. Yay me!
Well, today is the big day....I pick up my bike!!!!!! Pics to come later and I can't wait. Wish me luck!!!!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Roo Roo Quintana Roo (and other weekend thoughts)!

First thing is first. I went shopping on Friday since I had the day off and picked out my new tri bike (pictured to the right)! The great folks at Bike Lane are putting her together and she'll be ready to come home on Wednesday. So excited to pick her up and start riding her. I should mention that I have the best boyfriend in the world b/c my tri bike was an early Birthday AND Christmas present. He is so thoughtful and so supportive of my crazy desire to do an Ironman. Yay!!!!! Thank you baby!

The weekend started off kind of gloomy. I had hoped to get in my 1.5hr run Friday after bike shopping but with all the storming, I decided to sleep instead. Saturday morning runs are fun too but instead of waking up early to meet my teammates, I decided to sleep in until 7:30am. Well, when I finally did get up, I played with Leia and turned on the TV for a bit. Scream 3 was on and so I knew my plan to get out the door by 8:00am wasn't going to happen. For those of you who know me well, you'll remember I went and saw Scream in the movie theatres oh about 15 times (mainly b/c my then boyfriend worked at Studio30 off Dunvale and gave us free movie tickets). Alas, 10:30am I was out the door for one heck of a soggy run! Before hitting 4 miles I was soaked all the way through (shorts, socks & both sports bras). Half way through my run I took a quick detour at a water fountain to refill with cold water. After doing that, I made my to the YMCA when I noticed the dark clouds in the direction of my house. I figured I was going to have to hustle if I was going to make it home before the storm. But then I realized, "Hey, I'm already wet" and so took my sweet time!

This morning I did get up early (for a weekend) and had a little breakfast before heading out on a 25mile ride. Fun times!!! This was supposed to be an easy ride and even with the rolling hills, it was. I got off the bike and my legs felt like I hadn't been out 1.5hrs. I won't get too excited b/c I've got a ways to go before I'm logging really long rides!

Well, that's all I have! Happy 4th of July to everyone out there!!!! We'll be having a low key night, doing some grilling and trying to keep poor Sophie from going too crazy with all the fireworks. Tomorrow's workout will be a 1,000yd time trial so stay tuned!!!!