Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Training update: Remembering how to swim

Last Friday was a weird day. I spent the entire day mentally preparing for my return to the pool. About 15 minutes before the end of my workday, I had a very strange interaction via email with someone and it through me completely off balance. I tried to keep my head in the game, but all of a sudden I was in the midst of crazy weird unexpected drama.

I still went to the pool.

Putting on my swimsuit, I was nervous it wouldn't fit.
It fit.

I was worried my goggles may have deteriorated while sitting around over the last two years.
They didn't.

I pushed off the wall, worried I wouldn't remember how to swim.
I felt great.

For two laps.

50 yards.

Then I crashed. Like my muscles forgot how to move. I struggled through 500 yards in about 10 mins.

I posted this on Facebook:

Fortunately, I was quickly reminded that it may take a swim or two to get back into the swing of things.

Sunday I was feeling really motivated and wanted to see what I could do. So I planned on a very quick brick workout.

I swam 700 yards in 20 mins (this is total time in the pool, not necessarily my swim time. I need a watch battery), and felt a million times better in the water than I did Friday. I still got tired pretty quickly, but I felt a huge improvement. Then I changed as quickly as possible and headed to the treadmill for a short 10 min run.

It was awesome.

That is until I got off the treadmill and found my hip flexor in a crazy amount of pain. (This is probably due to the 3 hours of shoveling I did Saturday, followed by my jump to a brick)

Fortunately, with some ice, Advil and rest, today I feel pretty good.

I woke up Monday morning feeling like my old self. I had a surge of energy and wanted to run, bike or anything. But snow had other plans. I jumped out of bed and started working. When I got home from work, I wanted to ride the trainer, but I shoveled snow instead.

Shoveling snow counts as training, right?

I'd like to get on the bike trainer today after work, but we'll see how it goes. If I don't ride the bike today, I'll definitely get on it Wednesday morning. The kids come back home from their dad's Wednesday night. Friday I plan a short swim and run again, hopefully by that time my hip flexor will be back to 100% because I have a new pair of sneakers coming Thursday and I CAN'T WAIT to try them. I haven't had new running sneakers for two years!

I also splurged on a transition bag and a new tri kit/Philadelphia Triathlon Club uniform and a new Road ID bracelet that removes my ex-husband as my emergency contact. I'm actually super excited for the uniform, to be honest. It's so nice to feel like I "belong" someplace.

Now, if only I could get myself to one of their group training sessions or social events!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Don't call it a comeback ... Actually, yes, it is a comeback

I know I've said it before, but this time it's real. I'm back, baby, and I'm ready for the 2015 triathlon season.

It's been a long two years since I've last raced. During that time, I let myself get pretty much completely out of triathlon shape. I've gained a few (7) pounds and let my endurance base drop to zero.

Last fall, I started a beginner 5k running group and ran a 5k in mid October.

Part of my AWESOME 5k group - and me.

While pinning that race number to my shirt - I completely forgot about the novelty that is a race belt - I thought about how much I love the feeling right before a race. The nerves. The anxiety. The excitement.

Yes, those are safety pins. Can you believe I forgot I owned a race belt?

Well, it's time to get back that feeling.

I somehow managed to get a second place trophy. 

This week, I took a couple of huge steps that have created a situation in which I have goal and I've spent some money - two things needed to keep me focused.

First, I rejoined the Philadelphia Triathlon Club.

Part of the reason I've been so apprehensive about getting back in the game is that when I left my husband, I left the triathlon community. Anyone I ran/biked/swam with pretty much stuck around with my ex who had the financial freedom and time to keep up with his athletic endeavors. I learned the very hard lesson about who my friends really were, which really held me back from reaching out to the community who I felt abandoned me. Combine that with the fact that over the last two years my fitness level has dropped to newbie level, it left my pride pretty injured.

But I'm ready to let that go.

Tomorrow, if snow doesn't ruin my plans, I will be headed to the 2015 PTC kick off party to meet me some new training partners.

Fingers crossed.

Next, I renewed my USAT membership for the year. I did this so that I'd be an official USAT member, not just having a one day pass on race day. This made me feel like I was really back.

After that, I registered (gulp) for a race.

Yes, it's a sprint.
Yes, it's right around the corner from my house.
Yes, it's in 114 days.
Yes, I'm nervous.

Finally, I renewed my gym (with a pool) membership. I've been going to a gym without a pool, but there's no such thing as a triathlon that doesn't have a swim.

After work today, I have a Friday night date with the pool. Oh yeah.

There you have it. Only time will tell how this goes. I'll be posting my progress here. Encouragement is always appreciated. :)

Monday, March 10, 2014

I'm back

Yes, that's right, I'm back. And so much has changed. During the last year, I've been focusing on reorganizing my life. Since my last post I've moved, gotten a divorce and refocused my fitness goals. Today I am living my new normal and loving every minute. I never stopped working out, I just stopped writing about it. With my divorce and subsequent move, I stopped all endurance training and focused on weight training. Today I am stronger and have so much more confidence, but cardiovascularly, I have some work to do to get back to where I was a year ago. But that's why I'm here. Yesterday I went for a run. Outside. It was cold and the trail was full of ice and slush. I managed about 2.25 miles. I felt good, but stopped because I got frustrated by my wet sneakers and slippery ice. In hindsight, I'm glad I stopped when I did because, let's be honest, I don't want to kill myself on my first run in months.

So that's it for now.

If you were sitting up at night wondering what I've been up to during 2013, you can see the highlights from my Tumblr.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New year, new training goals

At the end of September, I made some grand plans for 2013. I stated them loud and proud. Now, a mere three days into 2013, I’m not a shamed at all to say I was full of it.

As it turns out, I cannot dive head first into a year of training while moving (this Saturday!) into a new house, getting a divorce, sorting out custody arraignments and working two and a half jobs. 

Since so much has happened since I last posted, I’ll spare you all the minor details and give you the bullet points.

Austin Marathon
I’m still headed to Austin and I plan to run, just not the full marathon. I just don’t  have the time, mental capacity, drive or desire to train properly for the full marathon, so I will run the half. I had been tossing around the idea of only running the half for a few weeks when I started out on a planned 16 mile run. I didn't feel good about this run from the start and at about mile 10, my body said stop. My hip started bothering me and I realized I just couldn't put myself through another long injury recovery period. Clearly I wasn't treating my body well enough to put it through the rigors of a full marathon. Maybe next year.

The thing about getting a divorce and moving on with your life is that you realize pretty quickly how little time and money you have when half your support system is gone. My free time will now be spent with my children. I have been spending time in the gym working on my strength, but my endurance has suffered since I haven't been logging many miles running, swimming or biking. I just don’t have the time to devote to the hours needed for these endeavors right now. Maybe I’ll change my mind in a few months after life settles down. The desire to race is there, the funds and time just aren't. I promised a friend I’d do a race with her this year, I will keep my promise but my focus will be on fun… not competition.     

Life is good
While so much negative stuff is going on, there is a sparkle of hope and happiness I'm holding on to. Divorce is never easy, no matter how hard you try. There is no easy way out; there is no way to get through it without hurt feelings... but there is hope. I have found  happiness reuniting with friends I haven't spent much time with; I've found that I have the drive to work hard to get the things I need. I've found confidence and I found friends who promise to be there - and actually are there - when needed. Most of all, I've found that my children are strong, resilient and see the silver lining in almost any situation. I am proud of them. I want them to see me as a strong, independent, determined woman who will do anything for them. I want to show them how to live healthy, how physical work equals physical strength. I want to give them peace and security and I want them to be happy, without compromising my own happiness. For me personally, 2012 was a very hard year on all levels. I cried at the stroke of midnight, said good-bye to 2012 and opened the door to 2013. A brand new year with brand new opportunities.  

(btw, if you live in the Montgomery County, Pa, area and want to schedule a free trial MaxOut workout with me, comment below or simply visit the site and request a free trial. Also, if you're interested in any of the hundreds of AMAZING Herbalife products, including the new Herbalife 24 made for and by athletes, visit my website and place an order or comment below and I'll get in touch with you)

Monday, October 8, 2012

What if? Organizing marathon fears

As we embark on the second week of training, I'm struck by fear. Here are my biggest fears about this marathon:

I'm scared out of my mind about re-injuring my hip. It's not like I can stop running and focus on my swim and bike while my hip heals. I cannot, absolutely cannot, inflame my hip. It CANNOT happen. To combat this problem, I'll be doing a strength workout once a week. This, combined with the change in my run gait I worked on this past season, should stave off any injury. If it doesn't work, I might cry.

The timing of this race is a little nerve-wracking for me. The race is Feb. 17. In Pennsylvania, February tends to be very cold. In Austin, it'll be beautiful. However, all of my training will be done here, not Austin. Once it gets cold, I'll only be able to run in the the bitter cold for so long. After about the 35 degree mark, I have to move inside because my lungs cannot handle the cold. Dry, cold air literally closes my lungs and I cannot breathe. I'm pretty sure I'll be doing a majority of my long runs on the treadmill; the thought of which makes me cringe.

Paging Dr. Ross... Regarding the above two concerns, I will be coming to the Performance Lab again very soon.

What if it snows? OK, so I know this fear is a stretch, but I have a plane to catch. If the weather is bad, will I even be able to get to Austin? Will I have trained so long, spent hundreds of dollars on airfare and race registration for nothing? I will not know the answer to this until the day my plan is set to fly.

Time management
When the going gets tough, workouts tend to fall by the wayside. Let's be honest, I have a lot of things going on right now. Between a full- and part-time job, the kids and my new relationship status, things are getting a little hectic. I think I'll manage to do all my running workouts, but will my swim and bike may suffer? If they do, what does that mean for next year's triathlon season?

What if I can't run 26.2 miles? I'm not even talking injury.. what if I just cannot run 26.2 miles? That's some serious distance. I can tell you that during the last 5k of any half marathon I've ever run I thought my legs would fall off... what happens when I double that distance? First off, I train for it, that I know. It just seems so huge to me right now.

Phew... Now that all my concerns on in front of me in black and white, I feel a little better. Organizing fear, anyone else find comfort in it?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Triathlon is a part-time job I need time to do

Here's the thing, I LOVE that I have a coach to get me through my training, but I hate not knowing the future. When I would get weekly workouts from Joanna while training for Eagleman, they were so packed with goodies that I only focused on getting through each week. Now that it has only running on it, the schedule looks weak. I can only guess that's going to change, but I don't know for sure since I cannot predict what torture training Joanna has in store for me in the following weeks.

This week my schedule includes speed work, an easy run, a tempo run and a long run. Mixed in are a few gentle reminders to get my ass on the bike and swim, which I have woefully neglected. But I have an excuse. A good one: There are only so many hours in the day and I can only be so many places at once.

How did I ever manage to train for three sports? I better figure it out ... and fast.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Triathlon training goals for 2013

My life kinda fell into shambles after Eagleman in June, hence my lack of posts and my lack of miles. My husband and I decided just two weeks before Eagleman that we were going to separate. Not a huge shocker to me, but a life-changing event nonetheless. Two months later I raced Steelman, which I did on Joanna's encouraging so I'd have something to focus on to keep me motivated. I raced, I had a great time, but I really felt pretty down when all was said and done.

But, during this time of flux, I've been reevaluating who I am, who I want to be and what I want out of life. What I've determined is that I'm not going to let a change in my relationships status determine the outcome of my life. So I began plotting out my race schedule.

Every good triathlete has a night of drinking with an equally crazy friend to determine their race schedule for the following year, right? No? Well, that's what I do. Don't judge. Anyway, we started researching Ironman race courses. We wanted a flatter course, but not pancake flat, but shouldn't be major hills, like Lake Placid. We found Ironman Cozumel, and fell in love. But the realist in me knows that with my life influx, maybe an Ironman in 2013 isn't a great idea. However, if I make 2013 a building year, and Ironman in 2014 is a certainty.

Here are my goals:
First, I'm going to run a marathon. Probably a good idea if I'm considering an Ironman, right? This was another decision made during a night of drinking, but this time it was with my cousin, who was up this way from Austin.

She said, "I think you should run the Austin Marathon. It's in February and it's a great time to be in Austin. Plus our condo is 2 miles from the start, right along the race course." While sitting at the bar, I sent a quick email to Joanna asking her if she thought I could be ready for a marathon by February. She said, and I'm paraphrasing, if we start soon, I think you'll be ready.

A few days later, I registered, booked airfare and committed my brain to a marathon. Beginning Oct. 1, Joanna will be helping me train for my very first marathon.

Heaven help me.

Next on the list are a few Olympic distance races for 2013. I'd like to do Red Bank again. It was a beautiful course and I'd like to redeem myself from my terrible showing on the bike. I also want to do Steelman again because it was so much fun. My crazy triathlon friend suggested the Bethany Beach Triathlon, that I'm considering that as well as New Jersey State Triathlon.

As far as another half distance next year... I haven't decided yet. I think it might be a good idea to do one, but I don't know which to do. Eagleman was too hot and really early in the season. Diamondman was fun, but I'm not sure I want to repeat that again. So, I'm open for suggestions. I'm thinking Pocono 70.3, but I'm not 100% sold on it yet.