Monday, August 29, 2011

I love summer!

It's been a little bit since I've blogged so I thought I would take some time at lunch today to check in with everyone. First, I'm excited to be actually eating lunch at a normal hour....12:45pm vs 3:30pm or not at all. Last week was NUTS for me at work and it was so hard to stay on schedule. Mucho props to me though b/c I got in all my workouts w/ the exception of one swim over the weekend as I opted to go visit my family instead. The picture above is just a random shot taken after a long ride w/ Keith. My sweet puppy just loves to cuddle w/ me even when I smell like a goat.

So let's see what I have to share. My training continues to make me a happy camper. I have always prided myself in being very disciplined but even I have surprised myself. I think I've been executing my workouts exactly as instructed no matter what. And it's all paying off. I told Ana, my coach, I was feeling stronger & stronger. It's been awesome! I have to tell you all, I have been so stressed at work (what's new) and some things have gone down that have really upset me and in the past, this always had an impact on my workouts but not now. The stress is getting checked at the door and I am enjoying all my workouts so much. I feel like a different person from this time last year. Yay to loving training again!!!!!!!!

So I've included a picture below of my ride. I love my bike, I really do. So the race wheels she's currently sporting were a gift from Keith. After I finished my first 70.3 last year, he gave me a really pretty charm of a swimmer for my bracelet and then told me he wanted to get me race wheels to celebrate my accomplishment. I told him "no way" b/c I had major heartburn over the thought of him wasting money on wheels for someone like me. What does that mean you ask? It means someone who is not a kick ass cyclist. Keith told me I was being silly and asked me to research wheels. I did and went up to Bike Lane to talk to the guys about whether or not it was a purchase I should even make. My theory was that if I'm a slow rider, why waste the money on fancy wheels. I mean, what benefit would they have? The folks at Bike Lane explained it to me. No, I didn't need super aggresive but I could certainly benefit from some. I thought some more and decided to wait. Last month, Keith (with the help of Micah), surprised me with the wheels you see below. But the best part of the story is something I haven't shared yet. When Keith announced at lunch after Iron Star that he wanted to get me race wheels, I remember thinking, "Hmmm, I bet he saw all the bikes w/ fancy wheels and just thinks they look cool". After lunch, I called Stef (my sis) who had been on the course w/ Keith and asked her what the deal was. She said that with every bike that went by sporting Zipps or other upgraded wheels, Keith was in awe and kept saying, "Jenny NEEDS those" or "Wow, did you see how cool that bike looked". My theory was correct. Well, either way, THANK YOU baby!

I think that's about it for right now. I've been eating with one hand, typing with the other and it's almost time to get back to the grind. I hope everyone has an awesome day!!!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Balls off the Treadmill Please!

Can I just tell you I am thoroughly enjoying my new training schedule?!? The swims have been challenging and not boring at all! I’ve been enjoying the cycling more than I ever have before and actually look forward to long rides instead of dreading them. And while I’ve been running slow due to me being back in base training mode and needing to keep the HR low, I’m REALLY enjoying running again. It’s so nice to be eager to open Training Peaks and see what fun my coach has planned for me. Yay!

So with the hot temps, I’ve been forced to venture inside for some of my runs and even my last “long” run. It’s so much easier to control HR on the treadmill (with the AC) and I find I’m able to control my pace much more. While I’ve never LOVED treadmill running, I don’t mind doing it on occasion. I mean, not much can go wrong. Or so I thought. On my long run this past weekend, I was in a zone. I had my iPod on (playing Run DMC and Salt n Pepa of course) and was just enjoying the workout. All of a sudden, I lunge forward, nearly hitting the machine. What the heck? The treadmill sort of started to jerk a bit and so I slammed the giant red STOP button. I literally stood there and scratched my head. What just happened? When I lunged forward I thought MAYBE I tripped as I’m not exactly the most graceful person. But no, that wasn’t it. I started the treadmill, keeping my legs off the belt and just watching. Everything was moving as it should. I thought I could hear someone talking so I pulled one of the earbuds out and turned around to find some dumb lady saying, “Oh, I did that”. At the 24 off Kuykendahl, there is an area behind the treadmills where you can use exercise balls and what not. She was standing behind the railing, reaching for her GIANT BLACK EXERCISE BALL that was next to my treadmill. Being I actually have a brain, I started to put two & two together and figured something happened where the ball that should’ve been on the ground became airborne, sailed over the railing and struck my treadmill, causing the belt to stick and me to lunge forward. I got pissed. I looked at her square in the eye and told her she needed to be more careful b/c she was going to hurt someone if she didn’t learn how to control that ball. She said, “I said I’m sorry. Geez.” Oh hell no. She then had the audacity to ask me to hand her the ball. I looked at her and said, “Are you kidding me”. Her response, “No”, made me even more angry. I got off the machine and shoved the ball to her chest and reminded her to be careful and then vigorously shook my head back & forth as I thought that would adequately convey how annoyed I was. She kept talking so as she looked at me, I put the earbuds back in and got back on the treadmill. I’m sorry but if you are too stupid to control the stability ball, you shouldn’t exercise (or procreate for that matter).

In other news, the Chicago Half Marathon is quickly approaching which means, so is the Houston Oly. Woo hoo. Because my new uniform order is not here yet, I decided I would go ahead and buy a cute outfit for the Chicago Half. I mean, if I’m not going to PR, I should at least look cute. Here’s a pic of my outfit which is bright enough for not only Keith, but the legally blind to see. I’m praying my Outrival race gear comes in so I can sport the new team colors for the Houston Oly. That would be swell. Have I mentioned I love the red & black colors? I spent most of my high school years at James Logan High in Union City, California and it just so happened they had the same colors and I LOVE them!

Well, that's all I've got folks. This post has been sitting in draft for several days. Just call me slacker!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Workouts - 2, Jenny - 1

Well, I certainly didn't think I would be blogging again so soon yet here I am! As you know, I was super excited to get started with my new training schedule this week. While I had been updating Training Peaks myself even though I didn't have a coach, it's not like I HAD to do anything. I mean, I was the boss of me (for once). My run last night was like starting over as it was time to start on the foundation again. The whole concept of slowing down in order to go faster is still a little foreign to me but I'm a (somewhat) trusting individual and so here I am again. What an embarrassing run that was! I can't take ALL the responsiblity for the slower pace. I mean, running in Houston this time of year isn't all that different than running on the surface of the sun. And on top of that, I didn't exactly hydrate the way I should have during the day yesterday. Either way, scoreboard to the workout. Nada for JJ.

Tuesday brought two workouts. For the purpose of this blog, let's just focus on the swim. Trust me when I tell you my cycling workout on the trainer was nailed. Ok, so back to the swim. I was very excited when I saw my main set. 4 sets of 4x100 at various speeds. Hmm, easy enough. I mean, this would be way better than my 30x100 prior to IMTX. Ha! Jenny said a funny. So let me just say that the workout kicked my rear just a bit. Once again, I really didn't hold myself to too many interval workouts the past couple of months. Don't get me wrong, I pushed myself from time to time but for the most part, I was just exercising. I finished my workout a little short of breath but feeling good that I stuck to the plan. Regardless of my good attitude, the workout one. Point 2 for you.

The old Jenny would dwell on "bad" workouts and think of all the reasons why it could've (should've) been better. Not the new Jenny. Despite the fact both workouts were tough and somewhat disappointing, I had fun. Yes, as bad a day today was, I enjoyed being in the water and working out with a purpose.

Let's see if this chipper attitude hangs in for the rest of the week!

Monday, August 8, 2011

New Chapter or New Book?

For those of you who are still following my blog, you know that I've been without a coach since IMTX. Long story short, I made the decision to switch back to Kim Hager who had been my original coach (along w/ Bill Dwyer). Shortly after making that decision and having some great conversations/email exchanges with Kim about my goals, tragedy struck her family and she made the decision to stop coaching. Given I didn't have any huge races on the horizon, I decided I would just sit tight for awhile and think about what I wanted to do. Given I had been thinking about leaving Strive for awhile, I looked forward to having the time to do my own thing and just enjoy whatever training I felt like doing (or didn't feel like doing). I really had every intention of just "coaching" myself. I got online, did lots of research and pulled together workouts from the past I knew I liked but then tweaked them to like them even more!

As I thought more & more about my two primary goals: PR at the 70.3 distance and PR at the half-marathon distance, I wondered if I could get myself there without injury. In 2008 & 2009 I had stress fractures as a result of over training, the first one was when I was training myself. Hmmm. Having been relatively injury free all of 2010, I started to get a little worried.

After talking w/ Keith, as well as some close friends & training partners (you know who you are), I knew I just had to do the best thing for me even if it was awkward or uncomfortable or whatever. And so it began. :)

About 1.5 weeks ago I officially joing Outrival Racing (ORR). I thought maybe I would have some regrets about the decision but I have to tell you, I have absolutely none! After talking w/ Michelle & Ana about where I am right now and where I want to be, I realized the fit was perfect!

Team Strive was my first "team" and I will always appreciate all the hard work that went into getting me ready for my first 70.3, my first Ironman, etc. I met some wonderful people through Strive and I know I'll see everyone out on the road now & again and definitely at races.

I wondered last night if this was a new chapter or a new book. Maybe it's more like a new volume? Regardless of what you call it, I'm very excited!!!!! My upcoming races have new purpose and I completely trust that my new coach & team will help me achieve, maybe even surpass my goals. I think I'm going to be pushed outside my comfort zone and I'm looking forward to it.

This evening will be my first official workout according to the new plan I am to follow. I peaked at my Tuesday swim workout and I'm really pumped to get back in the water and have some challenging intervals to hit (or miss). :) The tri focused blog updates are on their way back. Stay tuned.......

Friday, August 5, 2011

Extra! Extra!

I need to get back to racing so I have exciting and funny things to tell you about! Instead, I'll just tell you a bit about my new blood type.

I'm surprised to learn how many of my friends don't know hteir blood type. The only reason I know is because I used to be an avid t-shirt collector (i.e. blood donor). Because I am O-, I am the universal donor. This means that The Blood Center has reason to leave me harassing messages on a regular basis, reminding me it's my time to do my civic duty and give my blood. I'm proud to say I've donate well over a gallon and have the cool mug and drawer full of t-shirts to prove it. Once I started training for longer races, I hung up my blood donor needle so I didn't run the risk of missing out on any workouts. Like that would've made a difference.

Anywho, I atttempted to donate blood last week only to be disconnected 20+ minutes into the process because my blood simply quit flowing. Holy crap! Did they accidentally drain me of all my blood and I was having my last bit of brain activity before I died? Alas, no. I was told my blood had already started to clot and that was the issue. I was also told (now for the 2nd time) that I have considerable scar tissue built up in that spot b/c the blood suckers use the same spot every time given they can't get a drop of blood out of my right arm (I guess my veins like to roll over and play dead).

So now that I've completely digressed, let's get to the point. I started talking to a friend about blood and she mentioned how O is the original blood type and we were hunter/gatherers, etc. I was intrigued and decided to Google. I never expected what my search would uncover! As I read about the concept of eating for your blood type, I was amazed by the fact that I seem to be your textbook O type. It just so happens that the foods that are "highly benefical" (foods that act as medicines) are the very foods I find myself craving. I was also surprised to learn that so many foods I was eating thinking they were healthy were actually on my avoid list. Yogurt, brussell sprouts, corn, cauliflower, wheat bread and so many more delightful foods are being banished from my diet as we speak. I have learned that my blood type does better with diets high in protein mainly from lean red meat and minimizing me carb intake. Fascinating. I've stuck to the "diet" pretty religiously all week and I feel a difference. While I haven't weighed myself, I can tell you I feel less bloated than I normally do. In fact, I was happy to see this morning that my 2 pack had returned as it's been in hiding most post-Ironman weeks. And don't laugh at me for being happy with my 2 pack. I'm working on the other 4! A few other pluses about this "diet"? Chocoloate and red wine are both on my "neutral" list. Oh THAT'S what mama is talkin' about.

For the time being, I'll continue following this "diet" and hope I see some long term benefits. Losing some weight would be cool but I'm primarily wanting to feel better and have more energy. I'm a simple girl with realistic dreams & desires. Well, maybe except for my dream of being an Olympian (I would of course win a gold medal in the luge).

With that, hope you all had a great week and have a great weekend ahead of you! I hope to get in a nice long bike ride this weekend and cheer on teammates new & old at Bridgeland Triathlon!