Friday, March 30, 2012

Week in Review 3/25 - 3/30

This week will be full of pictures - Pictures of people and places that are a part of my journey.  I will also only be going to Friday on this week's review- I will be going to visit my parents with the kids, so wasn't sure if I could post about Saturday morning.

Sunday- Complete and total rest day!  I earned it!

Run: Killer track workout in the very early morning with Pat-
Warm-up - 1.25 miles
3 x (2 x 1200m) 2 minutes rest; 4 between each set; Managed to do all of them under 5 minutes (average 6:28 mile pace), with the last one at a blazing 4:45 (6:08 mile pace)!
Cool Down - 1.25 miles  Total: 7 miles

I got there a few minutes late, the coach wasn't there, and I was really tired.  So I couldn't think of a good workout to do, and I thought if I only do at 1600m (one mile), then at least that would be something.  So I did about 250m warm-up, then 10 x 100m.  At first I was trying to do them every two minutes (swimming takes about 1:40, then I get 20 seconds rest in between, starting at the end of the two minutes); I could not get my breathing rhythm right, so I gave myself more rest.  I know, I know...such a cheater!  After those were done I just swam until I got to 1600m.  There were about 10 minutes left in the hour session and I asked one of the young women there taking over for the coach if they needed help pulling the covers over the lanes.  So I stayed.  Blah.  But I got a couple more hundreds in and chatted with my friend Jennifer about Millerton.  Total: about 1800m

Ride: 32 miles on the beautiful road I did last Tuesday.  Here are a few snapshots of the view (although they really don't do justice to the real thing!):

Beware: Goofball on the road!  This is my half way point!
The weird thing is that I actually went faster today than I did last week; only by a minute, but I was feeling tired today, and also taking pictures while I went!  My average on the way back was over 20 mph this week! Yay!

Tuesday evenings I coach track workouts for the Team in Training Triathlon team.  Here are a few of them, after they rocked around the track:

Me, Matt H., Matt B., Michelle and Ron
Run- A short, quick tempo run with my friend Jodi.  It's been fun to get to incorporate girl-time with working out!  The first couple months of the year were a little lonely; the kind of lonely where you're surrounded by people, but not deep relationships.  This week reminded me I could have the best of both worlds!
Total: 4 miles: 1 warm-up, 2 @ 7:10, 7:03, 1 cool-down.

Jodi & me after a super run!
 Swim:  I skipped it.  I was tired and Ken was happy to have me home!

Rode to my friend Sarah's house for accountability and then back to pick up the kids from school.  Barely made it in time!
Total: 20.5 miles
Sarah and me before I headed back.  We were roommates for two years in college, and a very special friend!
Bonus training: I had a "play date" with another friend (I know, how many friends do I have? haha...I'm so blessed to have such terrific ladies in my life!) who also was a roommate in college.  We went to Skywalk, a super trampoline arena!  We were all hot and sweaty at the end of the hour, and I was a little sore the next day!

Gia and I at Skywalk!  Sorry it's blurry- my 6 year old was acting as the photographer.  You couldn't tell from this picture, but Gia is such a beautiful woman, inside & out!  She is also Pat's wife!

Two of my kids, Gia and one of hers...we had all the trampolines to ourselves!  Woo hoo!
Run: 10 miles Nope. Ended up being 7 miles.  At around mile 6 I felt like I was going to pass out; so I decided to head home, very frustrated and quite humbled.  Averaged 7:45 pace.

Tomorrow I will be doing a brick with the TNT Tri group.  Should be a lot of fun...and is expected to rain again!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The first Tri "back"

It is now official.  Being official happens when a person actually registers for an event.  The Millerton Triathlon: Saturday, April 21st...This will be my return to triathlon since September, 2010. 

It's been awhile...there are nerves of excitement, anticipation, and of worry (will I remember what to do in transition? Will I make a fool of myself in front of the team I helping coach?). 

There is nothing like a competition to rev up the internal engine, and to set in motion the mental game of fortitude, confidence, and visualizing the course. 

Each element runs through your mind:  Wading in the water at the start, ready for the air horn before your goggles fog up, checking to make sure your cap and the goggle strap are securely on your head.  Air horn goes off; swim, swim, swim!  As soon as you can feel ground, start running up the boat ramp, pulling off goggles and cap, unzip wetsuit, pull it off...still running to your spot in transition.  Pull of rest of wetsuit, put on helmet, socks, cycling shoes, strap on number belt, guzzle a quick drink, grab your bike and head to the "bike out" sign.  Get on, get going, going, going!  Now settle down... there's plenty of time to make it right or make a mistake.  Cycle smart; remember you will have to run when you're done!  Ride is done; dismount and run, run, run to your transition spot again.  Unclip helmet, get running shoes on, take another quick drink of the super juice, put on the visor, turn the bib number from back to front.  Get going.  This is your strength.  You held back in the ride so you could have it in the run.  Run, baby run.  Finish line is getting closer, the crowd gets thicker the closer you get, you can see the clock and you give it all you have left. Done.

That is triathlon, simplified.

Week in Review 3/18 - 3/24

Sunday- Oh, if only I had my camera with me to show the incredible force the clouds I encountered contained!  Well, actually I was able to miss out on the height of the force, arriving home from my ride literally minutes ahead of the storm full of thunder, lightening and hail! 

I needed to get some mileage in and had a couple different options for distance if the weather permitted, and rode home from church.  At the beginning of the ride it was beautiful... no problems at all!  I thought the weather was ok (I could feel it get colder), but when I turned from heading east to going south, I saw the huge, dark clouds that had been behind me (west)!  Suddenly my plans for going farther were dashed and I went with the shortest route home.  I had visions of getting struck by lightening, or having to find shelter under a tree from hail or a downpour...I thought that maybe if I were just a few miles from home I could endure nature's fury and just GET home.  The temperature dropped fast.  My hands were a shade of purple about 7 miles from home.  Soon I felt a light, yet pelting feeling dropping from the sky.  On my arms were what looked like snow flakes.  I pedaled my little heart out, praying the whole way: "Please Lord, let me get home safe...Please Lord, let me get home safe..."  Prayer answered!  I made it safe!
Total Ride: 23.65 miles...but one heck of an experience!

  • Run:  A very fun, different kind of interval was on the half-marathon schedule I've been following.  Pat wasn't able to come, so I was on my own.  Instead of being on the track the entire time, I opted to do the first two intervals on the road, and wind up close enough to the track to finish with the 800's.
  • Warm-up: 1.25 miles
    Interval #1: 1 mile (7:01); 1/4 mile rest
    Interval #2: 2 miles (13:54 /6:57 average mile); 1/2 mile rest
    Interval #3: 2 x 800m (3:11; 3:08) w/400m rest
    Cool-Down: 1.25 miles
  • Swim: I decided it was time for a miles time trial.  I swam the mile in 29:51; a little slower than I thought, but at least now I have a point of reference from here on out. 
Again, I wish I had my camera with me to capture the amazing view I had on my ride!  Such beauty in the foothills that are so close!  A while ago Pat introduced me to Watts Valley Road; a road that is straight down the street from where I live, making it both a convenient and challenging ride without having to drive to it.  I feel so incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to soak in such beautiful surroundings and have a couple of kid-free hours to ride in!  It felt like a worship service out there; my mind was full of scripture and songs of praise. 
Total Ride: 32 miles; Average for first 16 miles- 16.3mph; Average for second 16 miles- 19.7mph.  Yeah, it was fun and downhill a lot on the way back!

  • Run- Easy and short today, 4 miles @ 7:50 pace.  A friend invited me over for some coffee and chat time, so I ran the 2 miles to her house after dropping off the preschooler, and then ran back afterwards.  It was nice to have some time with my friend- something that definitely has not happened much with all the training!
  • Swim- A very fun evening seeing people and a very fun interval workout!
    warm-up 150m
    12 x 75m build (25 easy, 25 med 25 fast)
    2 x 500m (75 easy, 25 fast, 50 easy, 50 fast, 25 easy, 75 fast, 50 easy, 50 fast, 75 easy, 25 fast)
    2 x 150m- First 150 build each 50; Second 150 was at 80% the entire time
    100m Cool Down=   2450m Total
People are more important than training.  When it's possible to combine both, that is spectacular!  After I dropped off my preschooler I rode to my friend's house and then ran with her.  She's working on getting back into running and had an interval training run on the schedule to do; and you KNOW they are more fun to do with a running buddy!  So we did 2 miles warm-up, 2 miles @ 7:30 average pace, 2 miles cool down (mostly walking so we could talk better).  We visited for a while longer and then, whoa!  I had to go!  I was going to be late to pick up the kids!  I sped my way back to the school just in time.
Ride- 18 miles
Run- 4 (w/2 more walking...that counts, right?  I didn't think so either, that's why I am putting them in parenthesis!)

Friday- 13 mile run with Pat in the very early morning.  We have convinced ourselves that our pace will be better with a little sunshine, competition and later in the morning.  It works, so don't burst my bubble. :)  We also learned that if there is choice between who gets the Gu with caffeine in it, it probably shouldn't be me.  I get super chatty and run a little bit faster than a Pat without caffeine can handle that early in the day.

This morning was a beautiful ride to "Doyle's" with the tri team.  I had heard about it, and am so glad to know yet another route of amazing scenery to roll by.  My plan was to ride to the point we were meeting; it was a mere 7 miles away and would be an excellent bonus to the morning.  Well, one thing after another made me too late to leave on time to do that, so I ended up driving.  I really thought I would get in a ride later with Pat or someone, so I wasn't worried about it. 

It was a GREAT ride!  I didn't notice the slight uphill grade of the road, so at one point I turned around and asked Matt, riding behind me, if it looked like my back tire was low or flat.  Hahaha...nope.  The road was a great mix of rolling hills and sweeping landscape views.  At one point, on the left side was a magnificent green hill spotted with cattle; the right side viewed sharp hills full of bushes and small trees, green as can be.  To the bottom was a rushing creek, the water making a familiar crash over rocks.  The sky was a bright blue, the air crisp, cool and clean.  It was a great morning for a ride through God's beauty!  I kept thinking to myself, "What a blessing to be able to be right here, right now, able bodied to do what I'm doing!"

I took the rest of the day off.  How can you top that? 

The week's totals:
Swim: 4250m
Bike: 100 miles
Run: 28.54 miles
Feeling great, a little tired late in the day, but free from injuries and illness (Thank you, Jesus!)!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tunes in the Noggin

There are some songs that just get "stuck" in your head!  When you're out on the road for hours at a time, or running for miles and miles, it could be a blessing or a curse!  If something annoying is in my noggin, I will listen to something I want to have stuck there before I head out.

Lately these are some of the songs that go through my head.  These are the good ones! 
Usually when one says, "Oh my God!" it is blasphemy.  However, I love, love, love this song as a heart cry to the maker of my heart, mind and body.  It is a cry of being painstakingly weaker than my God;it is a cry of joy for His grace and mercy; it is a cry of thanksgiving that I can be out on the road wherever I am, doing what I am able to do. 

So it's not a spiritually rejuvenating sorry.  This one feeds my inner competitor.  Set fire to the rain?  Sure, I can do that. 

Here are the lyrics:
Oh Great God, Give us Rest/ We're all worn thin from all of this/At the end of our hope with nothing left/Oh Great God give us rest//Oh Great God do your best/Have you seen this place it's all a mess//And I've done my part too well I guess/Oh Great God, do your best//Could you take a song and make it Thine//From a crooked heart twisted up like mine//Would you open up Heaven's glory light/Shine on in, and give these dead bones life/Shine on in, and give these dead bones life//Let it shine, let it shine/On and on, on and on, come to life.

These lyrics are very appropriate for both spirit and body!  Rest...shine...come to life!

A great beat, good lyrics, a bit of a ballad...all a recipe for a great song if you ask me!  I don't know if to "raise the flag" is symbolic for giving up; if it is, I'm not doing it!  So there's a few tears that fall and make a waterfall.  Good thing I can swim!

That guy was brilliant who put the video together with this song as a background.  It makes people like me hope it's playing at the finish line...epic!

These are just a few of the mental playlist that goes on in my head.  I don't ever wear headphones while I run or ride (for safety, and to not become dependent on it); so I must depend on my own wits to get me through training.  Sometimes it's more of a challenge than others. :)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Week in Review 3/11 - 3/17

Sunday- Complete day off.  I'm practicing Genesis 2:2. [wink, wink]

  • Run: Track workout: Warm-up a mile, then 2x (6 x 400m) w/ 1:30 RI (That would be a total of 12 laps around the track = 3 miles).  We aimed to do each one in 1:30, but we were always a couple of seconds faster!  I looooove 400 repeats!  It's just one time around! Mile cool-down.
  • Swim: 2200m total: 150m warm up; 8x75m fast; 5x (4x 50m in one minute-swim and rest included) about a minute recovery between each set of 4; 450m of just swimming.  The coach originally told me to do 2 sets of the 4x50m, but then he never came back around to check on me, so I did 5.  Then I wanted to get some distance in, so I tried to concentrate on twisting my hips on my rotation.  Otherwise, the good news is that I got a "Hmmm...good" from the coach! 
  • Ride: Rode out Ashlan/Watts Valley Road for about 13 miles (26.5 miles round-trip).  I had a head-wind going out, so I only averaged a 16ish mph speed.  I only had 2 hours, and wanted to make sure I had time in case I had a flat, so I only went out 45 minutes, then turned around.  It was such a beautiful ride!  God did an amazing job when creating the foothills.  This time of year the hills are green.  I can't wait till wildflower season!  Once I turned around I could feel the wind helping to push me, and I averaged a 20mph pace on the way home.  A great ride with no flats, a great song stuck in my head ("After All (Holy)" by David Crowder Band) and beautiful scenery surrounding me.  A glorious morning, thank you, Lord!
  • TNT: A little training jog in the evening with my one and only participant that shows up!  We did some pick-ups in the park; about 2 1/2 miles total.
  • Run: Tempo Run: 1 mile warm-up; 2 miles @ 7:15 pace; 1 mile recovery; 2 miles @ 7:15 pace; 1 mile cool-down.  I was excited to hit each pace; the last time I tried to do this run I didn't have the time to do it right, and wasn't able to get fast enough. 
  • Swim: 1900 total.  I was tired.  As in, I want to go to bed and wake up naturally, tired.  It took the coach about 25 minutes to even come my way to give me a workout, so then I was tired and annoyed.  I don't like getting ignored, or looked passed.  He eventually made his way over, full of apologies.  I was doing 100m repeats, then he gave me 8 x 75m (25m kick, 50m free), then 7 x 50m (25 kick, 25 free).  When he wasn't coming back around, and I still had 15 minutes left, I just did 100m repeats again.  Next week I am going to come prepared with my own workouts, and one of the nights I would like to see how I do with a straight 1600m (one mile).  Then I can check my progress in another month or so every month.  I'd like to work up to doing 3200m in the hour allotted.
Thursday- Complete day off. :(  I was tiiiiiiired.

Friday-  8 mile run, 7:48 average pace.  Felt good, and was nice to have a break from the longer runs; especially since I was by myself!  I know, I sound so spoiled.  But I think I am!  I used to always have to run by myself.  Now that I have the other Ironbird to train with, I have been spoiled!

Saturday-  Lovely 20 mile ride with Team in Training up the back side of Millerton (ok, that doesn't sound right; but that is how we all refer to it!).  It's full of hills, more going up on the way out.  It started raining on us half way through...all I could think of was, "The faster we go, the sooner we'll be done!"  I experienced a rejuvenating facial via the stinging rain pelting my face going downhill at 30 mph.  It was really, truly fun!
The Tri Team Rocks...and rolls, even in the rain!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Week in Review 3/4 - 3/10

Back at it!

Sunday: Recovery day; my last day of "taking it easy."  Time to get to work!

  • Run- 6 x 800m Track workout.  We (Pat and I) thought we would be nice to ourselves and set our pace at 3:12 (which would be a 6:24 mile pace) with a 1:30 rest interval.  Well, turns out all the break we took last week was really beneficial, as we were able to do all of them around 3:08!  What was even more remarkable for Pat is that we were able to do so with such a short rest.  Usually we "fudge" a little on our recovery time and go a little longer so we can hit our pace.  But not this time!  We stuck to it and did better than we were aiming for!
  • Swim- I cannot recall the workout we did, but I do remember that the total yards was 1800.  It felt awful until about halfway through.  Then coach had me do 100 meters where I do 50m kick, then the next 50m "holding the leg" which means to swim with arms too, but keeping your legs kicking as much as when they were only kicking.  It felt great.  I'll have to remember to use my kick more often!
  • Bike- "Spinervals" video (Troy Jacobsen) while on the trainer.  It was a video that my brother, who lives in Tucson, gave me with the trainer.  The video has a few different virtual rides on it, all in Tucson.  Makes me wish I was really there and could be with my brother!  Today I did the climb to Summervale.  I don't think it's over 20 miles, but it takes 1 hour, 22 minutes of very difficult climbing.  I found myself REALLY appreciating his coaching and encouragement!  He repeats at the end when you're going 100% for what feels like forever: "C'mon, c'mon, c'mon!!  Let's go, let's go, let's go!!! C'mon?  Ok, here I come.  Let's go?  I'm going, don't leave without me!  Ha ha ha...I enjoy Coach Troy.
  • I was planning on doing something running and drills oriented at the training for TNT tonight, but the only person who usually shows up let me know she was sick.  So since no one was planning on going, neither did I.

  • Run- A semi-easy 5 miles.  It takes me a couple of miles to feel warmed up, but right when I was rocking a 7:20 mile pace, I turned the corner and experienced the gust of wind that has been blowing in the valley this week.  Oh well.  I still gave the same intensity for the rest of the run, just with a slower average time.
  • Swim- 10 x 75m; 25m easy, building to a fast last 25m. 10 x 25m fast; 10 x 50m, last 25m faster than the first 25m; 3 x 100m same as the 75m repeats.  With warm-up and cool-down, my total tonight was a personal record of 2250m in an hour!  That also includes my rest time in between each interval.  It gives me hope that I can do 3600m (the distance for the swim in the Ironman) around an hour and a half.  Someday I'll try to just swim the entire hour straight and see how far I get.  I just keep putting it off because I lose count of laps so easily.  Whoops...

Yoga, P90X style.  An hour and a half of almost torture, and me looking at the clock ticking sooooo slowly.

Run- 12ish miles ("ish"...which means just short of 12, but gave a valiant effort) @ 8:15 average mile pace.  Our last two miles were both under 8 minutes! 
What I learned from this run:
Lesson #1: Make sure I take care of bodily functions BEFORE leaving.  Then the stop at the gas station to use the facilities will be unnecessary.  TMI?  Probably, but if you've been there, you know exactly how monumental this is.  If you haven't, then maybe you can learn from my mistakes and not make them yourself.
Lesson #2: Point out dark, foreboding curbs to Patrick.  Otherwise we could have a bleeding person, and broken phone. Or vice-versa. Ha!  I am happy to report that he is fine and no injuries to person or phone were sustained! (Seems like I've said this before...yes, in last week's review with my bike/trainer "fall" of my own.)  Good Lord, help us get safely to the race in November!

Ride, total miles of 50.66!  My first ride that far, but I also know it's not even half what I'll be doing at the Ironman.  Still, it was quite monumental for me!  Getting passed all those cognitive road blocks, one at a helps!  The first 20 miles were with TNT, then a couple teammates wanted to do about 10 more, and then I rode up to Sheri's (by Millerton Road) and back on my own.  "Big Baby Hill" got me at the end, but I know I was tired and by myself.  I will conquer that hill someday! 
Here is my proof:

Friday, March 9, 2012

Recipes: Cookies & Energy Bars

In case you don't know, I love to bake!  I like to cook too, but there is just something about making something thought to be a delicacy, comfort, or treat that makes the process of making it from scratch all that more enjoyable!

Here are a couple of my most recent discoveries (via Pinterest!).  My comments about the recipes follow in red:

Marty’s Triathlon Cookies II
(makes approximately 30 cookies)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 dark brown sugar
  • 1 large (59g) egg
  • 1 2/3 cup whole meal spelt flour
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), sifted
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2/3 cup rolled spelt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (see note)
  • 2/3 cup dried blueberries
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped candied peel
  • 1/2 cup blanched roasted hazelnuts, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  Any combination of fruit and nuts can be substituted for the ones listed above.
  • Dan Lepard’s original recipe used rolled oats and whole meal wheat flour, so either could be substituted if you can’t find spelt.
  • If I’m baking these cookies for our own consumption, I use 70% dark chocolate, but if I’m baking them for Marty, I use Callebaut baking sticks (44% cacao), broken up into pieces. The latter keep their shape when baked, and are much less likely to melt in the heat of competition.
1. Preheat oven to 350º to 375º with fan.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sifted bicarbonate of soda, and salt.  Add the rolled spelt, chocolate, hazelnuts and dried fruit, and stir to combine.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until combined, then beat in the egg and vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
3. Roll the dough into 4cm balls, and place them on a parchment lined baking tray.  Flatten each cookie slightly and bake for  15 – 20 minutes. I find that 20 minutes gives a harder, chewier cookie which is how Marty prefers them.
4. Allow to cool on a wire rack.  These cookies will keep for quite a while in an airtight container, or they can be sealed in thick plastic bags and frozen until needed

I have no idea who Marty is, but he sure has a nice friend to bake him up some cookies!  This recipe was from a country who uses the metric system, so I had to convert the measurements.  When I made them I used rolled oats in place of the whole meal wheat flour, and did not add the candied peel.  I couldn't find either without having to drive across town to Whole Foods, though I think I maybe making a trip there anyway.  Next time I make these I would like to swap the butter for applesauce and the egg for egg whites.  These were super yummy, kept their shape, and were easy to bring in my bento box on my bike.

Lemon Date Energy Bars

(makes 8-16 depending how how small you cut them!)
  • 1 1lb. pitted dates
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (zest of 1 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon oil extract
In a food processor mix pitted dates, almonds, cashews & lemon zest until a thick paste forms. Add in the lemon juice & lemon oil extract and pulse a few times to combine. (If you want a few bigger chunks of nuts in your bars, pulse the nuts first and set some aside. Then incorporate the chunks into the final mixture)
Take the the bar mixture and press into a parchment lined 8- inch brownie pan, cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Cut the bars into smaller rectangles (or any size you prefer). Wrap them up in plastic wrap. Foil is kinda tricky- it sticks to the bar too much. Keep the bars covered, in the fridge for up to a week.

Umm...WOW!  These are super delicious.  I've always been a fan of lemony foods.  I have to remember that these are high in calories, or I'd eat the whole pan!  Doing the type of training I'm doing though, my body needs nutritious calories like these provide.  I used all almonds, and next time I will add a bit more zest or extract to intensify the lemon flavor!


Raw Chocolate Chia Walnut Energy Bars

 Makes 10 bars
Prep time: 15 minutes
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted dates (Warning:  pinch each date carefully to be sure the pit has been removed!  An errant pit will stop your food processor cold!)
  • 1/3 cup raw usweetened (& undutched) cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup whole chia seeds, such as Salba (use the white ones--it looks prettier)
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract, optional
  • 1 cup raw walnut pieces
  • Oat flour for dusting
1.  Place dates in bowl of food processor; puree until thick paste forms.  If the dates are on the dry side, you may need to add small amounts of warm water to moisten them up--and make it easier to mix in the other ingredients.  But, be careful to do this slowly, and not overdo it.
2.  Add cocoa powder, chia seeds, and vanilla, if using.  Pulse until all ingredients are combined.
3. Add walnuts; pulse until nuts are finely chopped and well distributed through date mixture.
4. Spread large sheet of wax paper on work surface, and dust with oat flour, if using
5.  Transfer date mixture to wax paper, and press mixture into 1/2 inch thick rectangle.  Wrap tightly with the waxed paper, and then with foil.  Chill overnight.
6.  Unwrap block, and cut into 10 bars.  Dust edges and sides with oat flour, if using, to prevent sticking.  Wrap each bar in waxed paper & store in the refrigerator.

 My kids LOVE these!  I have to be careful or else they will eat the whole pan!  I was unable to find chia seeds at the Winco on my side of town.  So, looks like I'll "get" to make a trip to Whole Foods after all!  Chia seeds are really good for you, so I wouldn't mind having a sack of them to sprinkle here and there on other foods.  I replaced them with ground flax meal, and used almonds in place of walnuts.  I can't eat walnuts because they make my mouth hurt!  The last time I made these I used almond butter and the kids loved them even more!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

"It's Only _______...."

Tempe Arizona, November 2011:  Jason, Pat and I are touring the course, talking training, expectations, etc.  We were trying to figure out a training plan.  And then our reoccurring phrase began: "It's only November."  Once it was the month of December, Pat and I were meeting at least once a week to do a long ride together.  We'd run through how our individual training was going.  We weren't into high miles yet because, "It's only December."  

Before you know it, we're saying "January" then "February", and now..."March".  Woah!  It's crazy to think that the Arizona trip was almost four months ago!  At the time we signed up, we had 360 days until our race.  I figured out how to put the countdown widget here on the blog, and it's been frightening how the numbers keep getting lower and lower.  I remember when it got below 300 days and I wondered, what just happened to the last 60 days?

Well, our "It's only ______" has continued.  It's quite the inside joke now, so I thought I'd let you in on it.  When we want to make ourselves feel better about the lack of volume there is in our training still, that is what you'll hear us say.  It's a very convenient saying, since it is both an excuse and a reason.  Let me explain.  I am not lazy.  I am taking this Ironman training stuff very seriously.  However, I am also mindful of the very most basic and important things in my life as well. 

I have responsibilities in my daily life in the form of human beings.  They are reasons.  I have a husband who doesn't like to be ignored or treated like a babysitter to his children.  He is a reason.  I have an innate need for friendships and fellowship.  My body needs proper fueling, rest and recovery (and the occassional ice pack).   

It's called LIFE and we should all have one.  I highly recommend it.  So, here's to the months to come and to the end of the "It's only _____".  Because official training (aka, the training manual we downloaded and made into a nifty 70 page spiral-bound notebook) begins Sunday, March 18th. 

The Ironbirds are about to get kicked out the nest and expected to start flying.

258 days and counting...

Week in Review 2/26 - 3/3

Fast 20 miles on the bike.  I was trying to do 20 miles in an hour until I turned around to do the last 10 miles.  Then I discovered why I thought I could do 20mph...I had the wind at my back!  Once I turned around my average went down a bit, leaving me with a 18.5mph average pace for 20 miles.  Oh well, I'll try again in a couple of weeks!

  • Run:  Track workout in the early a.m. with Pat.  Warm-up, about 1 1/2 miles, then 2x1200m w/ 2 minute rest; 4x800m w/2 minute rest;  Cool down, about 1 1/4 mile.
  • Swim:  Did I say I was feeling good on the last swim post?  I should really learn.  If there were such a thing as "jinxing" oneself, then I did it.  I went feeling fine, really rather being bundled in a warm blanket on my bed, reading a book.  But I knew I would feel better afterwards if I just went and swam.  After my warm-up the coach said he wanted to tweek my form.  I wasn't twisting my hips enough.  After getting instructions, I headed out, feeling like an epileptic eel wriggling down the pool lane.  After a few 50 meter intervals, I was feeling more confident in the technique, but not very fast.  So I sped up.  Coach caught me, and reminded me what I was supposed to do, even if it slowed me down.  Boo.  So, I kept at my twisting and shouting for as many 50 meters as I could muster.  Finally the clock turn to 8:20 and I decided I had had enough.  I'll do better intervals on Wednesday.

  • P90x Core Workout
  • 30 minutes riding on the trainer.  I successfully tipped my bike over while trying to unclip when I was done.  The bike fell off the trainer, with my feet still secured in the pedals.  Fortunately my couch broke my fall.  No injuries to me, bike or trainer were sustained!
  • Evening training with TNT: Warm-up about a mile, six hill repeats, a mile cool-down.
Short run (4 miles) at a pace that was slower than the schedule said to go.  But I was tired.  So there.
[Skipped swim]

Complete day off

Early morning 10 mile run with Pat.  Felt great!

First Brick workout with Team in Training!  I LOVE BRICKS!  A brick is combining two or more elements of the triathlon into one session.  We did an 8 mile ride; changed into running shoes, etc. for a 2 mile run; 12 mile ride.  Not much in miles, but we were flying for the run and the second ride!

That isn't much, but this was an "off" week for me.  Most experts who have written about training have written about a 3 week on, 1 week off routine.  You still train that fourth week, it's just at a lower intensity.  This helps ward off injuries, burn-out, fatigue, and other adverse conditions.  I'll be ready to rock the next three weeks!