Tuesday, June 29, 2010

First, It's Humid Out

This morning Drew and I rolled out of bed and headed to the Park. I was off for my regularly scheduled Terrier run and Drew had to be at work early so he was going to go for a quick run instead of heading to the gym. We walked to the bottom of the Park and then ran north so that I could meet my people. I got to the meeting place a few minutes early and after running for less than seven minutes, I was dripping with sweat. It looked like I had swam to the meeting spot instead of running there.

We did our normal strides plus a couple of extras. I'd guess that today's strides were about 0.70 miles instead of the normal 0.50 miles. After doing the strides, Spencer had us all gather round to explain the workout for today. Again, I went with the Sprint/Olympic group instead of doing anything more. After he explained what we were doing, he said, "First, it's humid out, so your heart rate will be more elevated than usual. Second, be sure to get something in you as soon as you get home to replace all that you'll be sweating out!" I'm not sure that as I was standing there soaking wet I really needed someone to remind me that it was humid out!

The workout for that group was to do a 4-mile interval run with 2:00 running and then recovery jog in place for 1:30 until we got to the northwest corner of the 102nd Street Transverse and then we would switch to 2:00 on and 0:45 recovery jogging in place. I was talking about this with Laura and we were discussing the different types of intervals. Basically, what we did was run for 2:00 hard (at 90%) and then draw an imaginary line in the road and jog in place for 1:30 (or 0:45). Some people use this opportunity to just stand around, but I really did keep moving around during the recovery time, but I didn't make any forward progress.

I started out running with 2 other girls and actually hung with them for the first half of the workout, which was pretty impressive for me (since I'm definitely one of the slowest people on the team). We ended up doing 8 x 2:00 running with 7 x 1:30 recovery, which was 2.15 miles in 16 minutes of running (or a 7:26/mile pace).

Um, hello? What in the hell was I doing running that fast? Granted there were the rest breaks in between, but it was active recovery rest and seriously? Less than 8 minutes a mile? Who do I think I am? Maybe I really was swimming out there after all. It's the only logical explanation for my speediness.

After getting to the corner of the 102nd Transverse where we were supposed to switch to the shorter rest intervals, the other two girls went a bit ahead of me, which was fine. Eliminating that extra recovery was definitely noticeable! I finished up with 9 x 2:00 running with 9 x 0:45 recovery, which was 18 minutes of running (or a 9:13/mile pace). I knew I had slowed down a lot on the second half of the run, but I'm still pretty pleased with that pace. I'm guessing I could have pushed myself harder and kept up for the remainder of the run, but my left calf started to get a little crampy and I figured that I was in need of some electrolytes, so I should just finish at my own pace.

I also timed my walk home, just out of curiosity, really. I had taken my watch off my wrist while doing the intervals because it's a lot easier for me to look at it when I'm holding it in my hand than it is to keep turning my wrist. I also changed the HR setting so that it would show up in percentages instead of numbers so I could really concentrate on keeping my HR up at the 90% mark for the running intervals. So, I was curious to see what my HR would be while just walking home after a hard workout. Still pretty high up there.

Oh, and as an aside, I seem to have discovered a new way of sleeping that makes my left elbow (the formerly broken one) the main pressure point of my body resting on the bed. I've woken up the past few days lying on top of it and then saying to myself, "my elbow hurts." I'm hoping that some of that is humidity related (?) and that when it cools off over the next couple days, my elbow will react better.

Run There
Time: 6:39
Distance: 0.70 miles
Pace: 9:30/mile
Calories: 63
Maximum HR: 186 (88%)
Average HR: 170 (80%)

Interval Run
Time: 34:00
Distance: 4.10 miles
Pace: 8:17/mile
Calories: 561
Maximum HR: 201 (95%)
Average HR: 184 (87%)

Walk Home
Time: 15:04
Distance: 0.80 miles
Pace: 18:49/mile
Calories: 115
Maximum HR: 164 (77%)
Average HR: 149 (70%)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Decision Making Time

Well, I've finally come to a decision about Timberman. I'm not going to be doing this year's race. It was a tough call for me because I think I could do it, but I don't think I should do it. I'm frustrated with myself, but as my mom keeps saying, "You broke your arm, Amy!" I feel so sad that I won't get to meet Kristin, so I'll have to settle for living vicariously through her long workouts leading up to the race!

A couple of people have commented that I should set my sights on a 70.3 race later in the season. Unfortunately, because of my job, that's not a real possibility for me. It's pretty much August or earlier as I can't take any vacation starting September 1 until the New Year. So, there will be no 70.3 for me in 2010.

Thanks to everyone for the support and hanging in there with me while I complained about my predicament. I'm 99% sure I'll be doing the New York City triathlon on July 18. I'm sure that I won't be fast, but I'm always in this for the fun, so I know that if I go in with the right mindset, I'll have a blast.

After New York, I'm not sure what my plan will be. I'm hoping to get through that race and then re-evaluate. I think I'm going to work on building up my base, but don't quote me on that if I decide to become a lazy bum again. Of course, no matter what, I'll be blogging about all the ups and downs!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Front Runners Pride Run

This morning was a big morning in our house (or apartment, if you want to be all technical). It was Drew's first NYRR race and my last NYRR race in order to qualify for the NYC Marathon in 2011! Again, to be technical, I still need to volunteer for a race, but I'm all signed up to volunteer and I'll be ready to qualify for the marathon by the middle of next month!

Drew and I woke up around 7, ate something and then walked to the Park to get ready for the race. It was definitely nice and warm by the time the race started at 9. The NYRR website says that it was 73 degrees, but with 71% humidity, it felt warmer than that. Drew and I both wore our really awesome new technical t-shirts that we got from doing the race. I was a little bit bummed when I got to the race and realized that even though I really liked my new shirt, they must have run out of women's shirts because I was definitely wearing a men's and it was a little wider than I would have liked.

After waiting for a bit through some talking and National Anthem singing, we were on our way on our 5 mile run around the Park. Because of the heat, it seemed like there were more water stations than usual and Drew and I stopped at the first two water stations and had a couple of sips of water. I'm not sure whether or not that helped or hurt me, because after that second cup of water, I felt really sick.

My stomach just started churning and it was not good. Shortly after that I just looked at Drew and said, "I feel like I need to throw up." Mainly, that meant that I had already been swallowing some back (sorry, gross, I know, but this is a workout blog and gross stuff happens). He kept telling me I should just throw up, but I couldn't make myself do it.

After my stomach started revolting, I decided not to drink any more water (although who knows if that made it better or worse?). I was so perplexed by what was going on since I didn't do anything differently this morning than I had any other morning before a race. Also, with my stomach in knots, I knew that I couldn't make it the whole way running. I ended up having to do a run/walk mixture instead.

I was really bummed out by that because I wanted to finish up these NYRR races on a good note and not with a bad taste in my mouth (literally!). Even though we ended up walking a fair amount, we still finished with a decent time, I think. I felt bad for Drew because he now has a slow pace for NYRR races, but I know if he does some more, he'll go back to something speedy!

My favorite part of the race was that despite me feeling sick and having to walk and telling Drew to go ahead and run his own race, he stuck with me the whole time, which was really nice. I was so glad to have such a strong support system with me, especially while feeling under the weather!

After the race, we grabbed some Gatorade and popsicles from the volunteers and headed to Whole Foods to get some breakfast supplies. Once I stopped running, I felt a whole lot better and was back to normal by the time we left the store. I'm guessing that it was just a fluke, as I haven't felt like that the other times I've been out in the heat and humidity recently.

Here are the official results. As we were reaching the finish line, we ended up sprinting to the finish. I'm hoping that there are some good pictures of us reaching the finish line! (Poor Drew, he ended up finishing a second after me!).

Time: 52:30
Distance: 5.00 miles
Pace: 10:30/mile
Calories: 547
Maximum HR: 198 (93%)
Average HR: 179 (84%)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Not Just A Prime Number

So, here it is ... my race number for the 3 mile Wall Street Run tonight. And it's a prime number, but apparently it's not just any prime number. It's a primeval number. Not that I knew what that was before Wikipedia told me. But, if you click on that link, Wikipedia can explain it to you too!

That special race number wasn't the only exciting thing about tonight's race. I got to wear my new Terrier technical t-shirt for the race! Here's a picture of the actual shirt. That dog there is Buc, our mascot. And, yes, Buc does exist in real life. He's a Jack Russell Terrier.

After changing clothes at work, I headed downtown for the race. I didn't have any expectations for this race time-wise, I just wanted to run the entire race. When I got off the subway, I was glad to feel the breeze coming off the water. However, that was short lived. As soon as I lined up and waited for the race to start, the breeze was gone and I was standing in direct sunlight. After a while, I was sure that I was going to pass out if we didn't start running soon.

Luckily, a guy came up to me and distracted me! I was wearing my red running hat and he came up to me and said, "You're wearing a red hat. But it's not the right red hat." I explained that I hadn't realized I needed a special one. His had something to do with hearts (it was an American Heart Association fundraiser, this race) and so we got to chatting. He told me that he was 75 and had two stents put in his heart in January and 1/3 of his heart didn't pump. I asked him if he was really supposed to be running today, but he assured me that since January, he'd gotten first place in his age group 4 times!

We then started talking about triathlons. He told me that he had done a sprint triathlon and found it more tiring that doing a marathon. Which I thought was really interesting. But, he definitely looked like a runner, so maybe running just comes more naturally to him. Eventually, he headed towards the back of the pack to look for more of his people in red heart hats. I wished him a good race. It looks like he might have come in first in his age group (if I'm remembering his race number correctly)! I hope I'm doing the same when I'm 75. Although, he told me that it's more about picking the right races. It helps when you're the only person in your age group.

Anyway, on to the race. The start was really crowded and people were walking all the way up to the start line before they started running. The race course takes a quick right turn almost immediately, so after running for maybe 10 seconds after crossing the start line, I had to stop because there was such a large crowd of people trying to make the turn. It was sort-of like getting to the top (or bottom) of an escalator and having there be a lot of people just standing there and you know that more people are coming behind you. Not the best feeling in the world, but luckily after that turn, things thinned out a bit.

Because lower Manhattan is so small, you really have to double back on yourself a few times to make it three miles. Here's the race course:

What I think is really funny is the fact that this is called the Wall Street run and you never actually run on Wall Street. You cross over it three times, but no real running on Wall Street. Right after I had passed Mile 1, I could look over and see what I think was the lead pack. Don't think that I didn't consider just crossing over and skipping most of Mile 2!

The conditions were pretty hot. I just kept telling myself that all I had to do was keep running. It didn't matter how slowly I was going, I just had to keep picking up my feet. I saw the sign for Mile 1, which I passed at 9:53 according to my watch. I was pretty happy with that and knew that if I could just keep that up, I'd be a very happy camper. I never saw the sign for Mile 2, so I don't know what my other mile splits were.

I actually think the course was a little long. Or perhaps I just made it long for myself because I think I was in the vast minority of people who stayed in the street the entire time. It seemed like everyone else was cutting corners and running on the sidewalks when possible, so I think all that corner cutting probably helped those people. Obviously, I'm never going to win anything, so I didn't see any need to break the rules and cut corners.

Despite the heat, it was a pretty fun race. Granted, I was sort-of miserable the entire time. Mental note: probably not best to brick in the morning before a race. My legs were exhausted and there were definitely a couple of times where I had to fight with myself to just keep running. But, I did. It was really this dumb blog that kept me honest. Because I didn't want to have to admit that I took a walking break. I actually even skipped the water station on the run because I didn't want the temptation of stopping to drink something.

All in all, quite pleased with the results. Even though I didn't have any time goals, of course I had a secret goal in mind and I really wanted to finish in less than 30 minutes. I think that given the heat and the congestion on the course (those streets downtown are pretty narrow!), it was a really good time for me.

After the race, I grabbed a bottle of water, a plum and some pretzels and headed home. I ended up picking up dinner before I actually got home, but when I walked in the door, Drew was there! He didn't have to work late! So, I put my take-out dinner in the fridge and we got to go out on a weeknight date! Not the worst way to end the day! I am thinking, however, that tomorrow might be a good day for a rest day. We're both doing a five mile race on Saturday and I think that my legs could use a day of rest. And I'm not even going to feel bad about taking a day off!

Time: 29:55
Distance: 3.00 miles
Pace: 9:59/mile
Calories: 318
Maximum HR: 196 (92%)
Average HR: 181 (85%)

Is That A Triathlon Bag?

First, I'd just like to pat myself on the back for working out 4 days in a row. Something that hasn't happened in quite a long time. I definitely had to fight with myself to get out of bed this morning. Drew was working late again last night and had to be at work early again today, so it was very tempting to want to stay cuddled up with him. Instead, I got up and got ready for my brick workout.

Of course, when I get there and the first thing that Robert says when explaining the workout is, "this workout is designed to be hard", I just inwardly groaned. My legs already felt like jello just riding my bike to the Park this morning and I'm really trying to save something in them for my NYRR run tonight. Not to mention it was 80 degrees outside at 5 AM.

The format of the workout was 0.5 mile run followed by 4 miles biking. Rinse and repeat as often as you can for the next 90 minutes. I ended up doing three runs and three bikes. I was doing okay for the first run and the first bike. The second run was tough because we were supposed to be thinking about going faster each time, and I really thought about it then. (Please note that I often think about running faster, it just doesn't always happen). By the time I got back on the bike the second time, my legs were just burning.

I decided that in the interest of this run later tonight, I would back off a bit and use easier gears, which would sacrifice some speed, but I'd still get the miles in. Then I did the third run and realized that I should start wrapping things up for the day. I decided to do a third bike, but to really just use the opportunity to spin my legs out and take it easy on the way. So, I did the last 4 mile loop on the bike and then headed home.

As I was doing the last four mile loop on the bike, a guy on roller blades came up next to me and asked me if that was a triathlon bag on my back. I had my bright green Publix bag with me that I got at the Atlanta Half-Marathon Expo. I have to say, it's a great bag! It's got strips of reflective stuff down both sides, which is great for riding in the street and it also has a front pocket.

I was a bit thrown off when he asked me if my bag was a triathlon bag. Yes, I had it with me because I was doing a brick, which is triathlon related. But, I got the bag at a half-marathon expo. To me, it's mostly just a handy bag to cart my running shoes around it. And I guess if I was going to think of a triathlon bag, I'd think about one of those big transition backpacks, not this little drawstring bag that I've got! To me it's just a Publix bag. Not sport-specific.

I did pack my running stuff for tonight in the same Publix bag, so I guess maybe that makes it not a triathlon bag? Either way, I'm excited about this race tonight. It's downtown, so it'll be fun to do a race that's not in the Park. The high here today is 93 and they are saying that we have the potential for some thunderstorms later today, so I'm hoping that I don't get drenched, although that might be preferable to just regular 93 degree weather? My goal for tonight is just to run the whole race. I'm not going out there to set some sort of speed record for myself, I just want to be able to run three miles and have fun!

Time: 13:27 (Run 1: 4:28 / Run 2: 4:24 / Run 3: 4:35)
Distance: 1.50 miles
Pace: 8:58/mile
Calories: 129
Maximum HR: 185 (87%)
Average HR: 174 (82%)

Time: 51:37 (Bike 1: 16:02 / Bike 2: 16:30 / Bike 3: 19:05)
Distance: 12.50 miles (14.87 miles total)
Pace: 14.50 MPH average
Calories: 446
Maximum HR: 176 (83%)
Average HR: 161 (76%)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

On A Roll

Even though Drew stayed in bed this morning (which makes it sound like he was lazy when the truth is that he didn't get home until 1 AM), I managed to get myself up and out of bed for a quick bike ride. I realized as I was pumping up my bike tires this morning that I still really need to take my bike for a tune-up. I kind-of wish that I was good at bike maintenance, but I realize that it's never going to be my strong suit, so I'm going to take advantage of the fact that since I bought my bike at Toga, they'll do the tune-ups for me! The only issue is that in order to take advantage of that fact, you actually have to take your bike there. Maybe tonight. Or this weekend?

I didn't really have a plan in mind for this morning. Maybe I should start thinking about that if I'm really going to put these triathlons back into play this year. And, to answer everyone's questions, I don't know what I'm doing yet. I'm waiting to see how this week plays out and then I'll make some final decisions next week. I just need one good training week under my belt.

So, without a plan, I headed to the Park and went riding. I was hoping that I could keep up the same speed as I had last Wednesday when I rode my bike. Last week I noticed that I could finish each individual mile in 4 minutes or less and I just kept the same mentality this week. It was actually really interesting to see which miles were fastest and which were the slowest. Interestingly enough, the slowest mile is those dumb rolling hills on the Westside. I think they're my arch nemesis. It's sort-of a fun game to see how far under 4:00 I can do each mile. Of course, this might not be the best game on the open road, but in the Park it can get a little boring doing the same old route again and again and again.

I ended up doing two loops of the Park today. My main focus while riding was to (1) stay in the biggest gear possible and try to push myself a little bit and (2) keep my elbows from locking. As far as keeping the bike in a bigger gear today, I think it was really successful. Obviously my speed didn't suffer (I was actually faster than last week), so that was a good boost to the old ego! It turns out, however, that doing this makes your legs pretty tired later on (although that could also have something to do with the fact that this is the first time I've been consistent with my workouts in who knows how long?).

I think I mentioned last week that I've had consistent elbow pain in my right elbow (the one I didn't break) when bike riding. Last week I realized that I was locking my elbow while I was riding and I think it was just getting stiff as a result. Today I concentrated on making sure my elbow stayed slightly bent and I didn't have any pain at all. Hopefully if I do that a few more times it will just become second nature. I'm guessing that moving my seat around might help that, but since I have no bike maintenance skills, I'm just going to go with what I know works for now.

I definitely had time to keep riding this morning and part of me wishes I would have to see how my legs felt after 18 miles, but I decided not to for two reasons: (1) tomorrow I'm going to go to the Terrier brick and I also have a 3 mile NYRR race after work and (2) if I bailed after 12 miles instead of 18, I could still get home in time to spend some time with Drew before he left for work early!

Tomorrow is quite the day, so I hope my legs will hold up! I have to say that they're tired, but it's a good tired feeling. I think I forgot what it was like to be training for a triathlon, but I like it.

Time: 47:52
Distance: 12.50 miles in the Park (14.20 miles total)
Pace: 15.67 MPH
Calories: 434
Maximum HR: 180 (85%)
Average HR: 165 (78%)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

With My People

This morning I started my week of real workouts. To top it off, it started on a very good note! When I was walking to the Terrier meeting spot, I found a dollar on the ground. I was more than happy to pick it up and stick it in my pocket! It just seemed like a good luck sign.

I got to the meeting spot about 5 minutes early. After doing a little bit of chatting, everyone headed over to do our normal strides warm-up. I didn't really pay attention or count how many we did today, although when I think back on it, I think we did just over a half-mile in strides this morning.

After the strides and drills, we took the short-cut run to the S by cutting across Sheep's Meadow instead of running all the way around on the road. Which, frankly, was fine with me. I was a little bit worried that I'd end up doing too many miles today and I wanted to make sure to keep it reasonable for the time being.

Luckily, today's workout was pretty short. I also decided to do the Olympic workout instead of the half-Ironman workout. I thought that seemed pretty reasonable for my first day back with the team! The Olympic workout was a sprint ladder workout that looked something like this:

200 meters
200 meters recovery
400 meters
200 meters recovery
600 meters / 1:00 recovery
800 meters / 2:00 recovery
800 meters / 2:00 recovery
600 meters
200 meters recovery
400 meters / 1:00 recovery
200 meters
200 meters recovery

Total distance was 4800 meters = 3.00 miles. I didn't time that part separately from the half-mile run to the S this morning, so the total distance (not including strides) was 3.50 miles. With the strides it was more like 4.00 miles. Not the worst day ever, although, ironically, I probably would have been glad to do a couple more.

Of course, I only think that in hindsight. During the second 800, my legs were burning and I wanted them to fall off my body instead of having to keep running. But, I did. The recovery time was supposed to be jogging in place, but whenever Coach Spencer tells us to do that, it consists of most people just standing around. I actually walk around, so I think it's a step above just standing there and a step below jogging in place. All in all, happy to be back to the regularly scheduled workouts. Although I think I might have to start going to bed earlier!

Time: 31:52
Distance: 3.50 miles
Pace: 9:05/mile
Calories: 414
Maximum HR: 198 (93%)
Average HR: 184 (87%)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Back At It

Although last Wednesday was a good day for a quick bike ride, the rest of the week was a bit of a bust. Which ended up being just fine with me. I wasn't feeling well at all Thursday or Friday and then we were away over the weekend, so I didn't get anything in while we were gone. I did spend a lot of time thinking about what my decisions will be about these upcoming triathlons and the truth is that I'm still deciding.

I think what I really need to do is see what I'm capable of this week. All week long. I just need to get one really good week of workouts in and see how I feel at the end of it. I need to decide about Timberman next week, so after this week I should have a good measure of where I stand. In an effort to erase this weekend and get a good start, I went out for a run this morning.

Drew told me afterward that he was really surprised that I actually woke up and went running, but I did indeed! Drew and I signed up for a race this weekend that is 5 miles and I was a little bit worried about it, so I decided to see what I could do today.

I took what is sort-of becoming my regular route. I ran up the road in the Park, heading north, until I got to the Reservoir. From there, I ran on the Bridle Path around the Reservoir and then back south again. Nothing too notable about the run. Except that I didn't run all the way. I ran about 20 minutes and then walked for about a minute. Then when I finished getting back around the Reservoir, I walked again for another minute or two, even.

I had a rough idea of how far the distance was and I was trying to finish up in less than 10 minute miles, even with the walking breaks. And I did! I'm really proud of that fact, especially since I'd estimate that I spent at least 3 (but maybe 4) minutes walking instead of running. Ever since I had been doing some power walking, I think that's really helped me.

Since I started really running again I've decided that if I feel like I need to take a walking break and catch my breath a bit, I should do it, but I should also not drag my heels and do regular walking, I should try to push myself and power walk and remember all the times before when I was power walking and all I wanted to do was run. Something about that makes me pick up my feet and start running again.

In order to try to keep myself accountable for this week, this is my rough plan for the rest of the week right now:

Tuesday: Terrier run
Wednesday: Biking
Thursday: Terrier brick and 3 mile Wall Street run
Friday: Gym day?
Saturday: 5 mile Central Park run
Sunday: Terrier swim

Some of this is dependent on the weather, so I'm going to go ahead and keep my fingers crossed!

Time: 45:30
Distance: 4.60 miles
Pace: 9:53/mile
Calories: 450
Maximum HR: 188 (89%)
Average HR: 174 (82%)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

It's Just Like Riding A Bike

So, today was the big day! Last night I finally got around to putting my pedals back on my bike and pumping up the tires. I never did take my bike to Toga to have them give it a tune-up. I definitely still need to do this, though. It'll just have to wait a week, which isn't the end of the world.

This morning I ate, got dressed and headed out to see how the elbow would hold up on the bike. I got on the bike and nervously rode to the Park. So far, so good. As soon as I got into the Park, a squirrel ran in front of me and as I was braking, I was thinking to myself that I might get into another crash in less than 10 minutes of riding and then I might never get onto a bike again. Except the squirrel changed his mind and instead of continuing to run toward my bike tire, he turned around and ran back to where he came from. Whew.

I knew that I didn't want to be crazy and ridiculous, so I figured I'd do one loop and see how I felt. After doing that first loop, I felt great! I actually thought I had finished pretty fast, which was a good feeling. I figured that I might as well just keep on going at that point. I decided not to do the Harlem Hill a second time (wimpy, I know). Although those rollers coming down the West Side have never been my friend and they weren't today either.

All throughout the ride, I kept feeling my left elbow and moving it to make sure it was doing okay. Of course, my right elbow (the not broken one), in true fashion, decided to start hurting. This isn't anything new on the bike. I actually think that I might have figured out the problem today since I was paying so much attention to both of my elbows. I think I'm locking my right elbow on the bike and then when I go to move it (to get a drink, for instance) it's really stiff and tight. I don't have any solutions for this right now, so if someone else does, speak up!

So, I was trying to figure out what I think about these triathlons I've got coming up. New York still seems like a possibility to me. Doing double today's ride seems like it's doable. It's Timberman that I just can't say for certain. Doing five times today's ride seems like a whole other beast ... one that I'm not sure I can tackle in 9 weeks. Not to mention tacking a half-marathon on at the end!

I'll be away this weekend, so I'll lose a couple of days biking there, but I'm hoping that the weather will cooperate and let me get some longer rides in next week and weekend. No matter what, I'm so happy that today's ride was good. Even better than good, really! Today was my fastest ride in a long time ... maybe ever? Which isn't saying a whole lot about my cycling skills as a whole, but it's still enough to make me happy!

Time: 46:01
Distance: 11.73 miles in the Park (13.76 total)
Pace: 15.29 MPH
Calories: 372
Maximum HR: 171 (81%)
Average HR: 154 (73%)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

You Can Do Whatever You Want

Yesterday was a day off, mainly to rest my left calf. Today it seems to be 100% back to normal, so it was probably the right call. I had set my alarm to go running this morning, but I decided to sleep in instead. Today, as you may know, was the big doctor appointment day and I had pretty much convinced myself that there was no way that he was going to let me return to normal activity, so I figured, what was the point?

So, I went to the doctor's office and promptly waited. And waited. Which is really weird, since the last two times I went, I was seen right away and both visits were on the quick side. So, after waiting for 45 minutes, I was finally taken back to talk to the doctor.

He asked me all about how it was feeling and he asked me to move it around. He said that he was quite impressed with my ability to get it to be straight again without physical therapy. I told him that for the first couple of weeks, I really wanted to hurt him since my arm hurt so much when I straightened it out, but I guess the end results were worth it.

Finally, the moment came and I asked him if I could start riding my bike again. His answer? "You're healed. You can do whatever you want now." What? I really thought he was joking. I thought that there was no way that he would say that. He said that I might still have pain in my elbow when moving it certain ways or doing certain activities for the next six weeks or so, but I can get back to normal working out.

Of course, this now poses a lot of questions. Ones that I'm not sure I've got the answers to right now. What I really need to do is just ride my bike. Hopefully tomorrow morning. Because I need to see how it feels on my arm and if I think I can do it. The problem is that we'll be away all weekend, so that doesn't help with the bike training any. But, hopefully, there will still be some running over the weekend!

So, it's great news that I'm a fast healer. And I'm so glad that I don't have to restrict myself anymore. But I'm not sure that I can be quite as fast of a getter-back-in-shaper ... at least enough to do an Olympic in 4 weeks or Half-Ironman in 9 weeks. I just have to get back on the bike and see how a short ride feels before I can really think about this and make a final decision.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Half Of A Brick

This morning Drew got up to do a brick and asked if I wanted to run along with him for the running part after he dropped his bike off at home. I was nervous that I'd be running to slow for him and holding him back, but I agreed to go along with him.

He got home from his bike ride up the Westside Path, changed shoes and we headed out. I took keys along with me, but he didn't bring any with him. We had planned on running south on the Westside Path together. I figured we'd run to 23rd Street and then turn around and run home, which would be about a 4 mile run.

We started out okay. Or at least I started out okay. I kept asking Drew if we were going too slow, but he said that it was fine with him. I think that since I know he can run so much faster than I can, I always feel like I'm holding him back. Even though sometimes I don't think that he minds.

After we had been running for just a few minutes, I noticed that my calf was still bothering me from yesterday's barefoot expedition. It wasn't that bad. More like an annoying muscle cramp. Enough to say ouch, but not enough to make me stop. I pushed through until we decided to turn around at 26th Street.

At that point, I told Drew that I had to walk for a minute and would he please take the keys and run home by himself? I just really felt like there was too much pressure on me and I didn't want to push myself too hard or hurt my left calf any more than I already had. I mean, yesterday's run of 5+ miles was the longest I'd been running since the triathlon!

Drew really tried to stick around telling me that it wasn't a big deal if I had to walk a little bit, he wasn't in a big hurry, but mentally I just needed him to not be there. I felt too bad about holding him back. So, he ran off and I walked for another little bit and then I managed to run most of the rest of the way home. I knew that since we had cut 3 blocks off our planned run, we'd come in somewhere under 4 miles. My goal since I had been walking some already was to try to get home in less than 40 minutes.

Even though I had to take another quick walking break (I should mention that all my walking was done at my fast walking pace, not regular walking), I managed to make it home in under 38 minutes. I was thrilled at that! Even better? Drew was waiting on our front stoop for me! My leg still felt tight the rest of the way home, but I'm thinking that resting for a day or two might be all it needs. It doesn't feel like anything serious.

We went inside and had a nice recovery breakfast of waffles, strawberries and turkey bacon. I mean, I think those are recovery foods. Maybe I've got that wrong? Especially since I ended up taking a nap and foiling my big weekend plan! Which was to go swimming with Terrier again. But when I woke up from my nap, I really hadn't had much to eat today and even less to drink and I just didn't think that getting up and going swimming was in my best interest. There's always next time.

Time: 37:44
Distance: 3.70 miles
Pace: 10:11/mile
Calories: 394
Maximum HR: 194
Average HR: 179

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I Like To Move It, Move It...

This morning Drew and I walked through the Park up to where he was supposed to be meeting his trainer, Billy, for Billy's Saturday morning Park class. While we were walking, we were watching the 10K that was going on in the Park. There were some little kids with their dad (it was a women's only 10K) and the kids were doing some cheering. And some singing! They kept singing, "I like to move it, move it..." It was really cute and sort-of got that song stuck in my head for the rest of the morning. I dropped Drew off and went off for a run.

I wasn't really sure what my plan was, but I knew I just needed to get out and run. The race was mostly over by the time we got to the Park, but I was dropping Drew off at 86th Street, so I figured I'd just run north and see what happened. When I got near Lasker Pool, I decided to get off the road and run through the North Woods.

So, it was ridiculously nice there. Actually, the whole experience was a little bit ridiculous because as soon as I started running there, it's all these paths and I didn't really know where I was going, but I figured it didn't really matter. At one point I was in the woods running and then came out onto this meadow area, which was filled with flowers and plants. It was just really beautiful. I couldn't figure out if this whole experience was enhanced by the rap music playing on someone's boom box or not?

Eventually, I got out of the woods and ended up on the upper loop of the Bridle Path. The one I almost never ever take. So, I figured, why not? I'll just do that loop too. When I finished that loop, I had been running for 30 minutes. I wasn't quite sure what to do at that point. I was on the Bridle Path, in between the Reservoir Loop and the tennis courts. There is a lot of grassy area there and I figured that it seemed like a decent place to try out this barefoot running stuff everyone keeps talking about.

So, I took off my shoes and started running. I didn't run very far in any one direction. I just kept running back and forth over the same patch of mostly flat ground. I actually couldn't really notice any real difference in how I was running (my foot hitting the ground), but it didn't take very long before I noticed that my left calf was bothering me. I decided that about 5 minutes of that barefoot running stuff was enough for me, so I put my socks and shoes back on and figured out what to do next.

I figured that I was still feeling good, so I might as well just keep on running! Since I was at the top of the Reservoir path, I figured that I'd just run around that Path until I got to the 90th Street exit. From there, I could run South until it was time to meet Drew. I ended up running South, then running around the Great Lawn to see if I could spy Drew and his group. I didn't see them, so I circled back to the meeting spot and they weren't there. I still had some time to kill, so I figured I'd do a couple of 200 meter sprints while I was waiting. I think I got two of those in before I saw his group heading back to where we were supposed to meet each other.

So, I have no idea how far I ran today. I pedometered out the parts I know for sure and I have no doubt that I ran at least 5 miles. Maybe more. But, whatever the distance was, I felt great while I was running. My calf seems to still be a little bit sore after that barefoot business, but it was tolerable. I guess that's why they suggest that you start out small!

After going home and showering, we headed out to run some errands. Both Drew and I got new running shoes! Mine aren't quite ready for use yet. I'm waiting until I really figure out what I'm doing with my summer training wise before I start tracking the miles on these new ones. Here they are:

If you think they look identical to my old ones, that's because they're indeed the same shoes. Except this time I went with navy laces instead of white. Drew ended up getting some Mizuno's as well. I hope that he likes them! We'll have to test out our new shoes soon!

Time: 55:07
Distance: 5.00 - 5.50 miles?
Calories: 563
Maximum HR: 193
Average HR: 177

Friday, June 11, 2010

How To Hang In There

The short answer is to get up and out of bed and to the gym. The longer answer is to have someone who pulls the covers off of you and says, "Let's go swimming!" I think that if my triathlon dreams don't work out for this year, I've got some back-up ideas swirling around in my head. We'll see what happens.

After getting dressed, eating a kid's bar (which I think are good, by the way), Drew and I headed off to the gymnasium. I had made us swimming reservations at 6 this morning and so when we got to the gym, we headed straight for the pool. I'm still a little bit annoyed at this whole 6 am reservation thing means that you really only get 23 minutes of swimming at best, but there isn't anything I can do about that. I'm just trying to remember that there are no junk laps!

Today I mostly just concentrated on myself instead of Drew. (sorry, Drew!) I am feeling better about my swimming today, so I think it might have been worth it. I didn't really give him any pointers, but the couple times I did watch him and check in with him, he seemed to be doing okay with everything. At first I was trying to keep track of his laps for him, but that got too complicated after a while, so I gave up. I figured if he really wanted to know, he could probably keep track for himself.

After about 19 minutes, Drew announced that he was done and was going to get out. I wanted to get to 60 lengths again today (I don't know why, but I just didn't want to be doing any less than before), so I stayed in and finished up really quickly. Funny thing about that? I still beat Drew out of the locker room and downstairs to do some cardio.

Drew chose his beloved Arc Trainer, but I went with the stairs. I decided to do Fat Burner, Level 7 for 40 minutes. It wasn't so bad for the first 27 minutes. Then I finished the book I was reading and I wasn't sure I could force myself to stay on for another 13 minutes without anything to read. Turns out that listening to some Stones will do the trick and keep me occupied. Of course, I felt like I was looking at my watch every two seconds waiting for it to reach 40 minutes, but time just kept passing at the same rate.

All in all, not the worst workout today. At least I did something, which is infinitely better than nothing. I'm trying not to beat myself up about skipping out on all those workouts over the last few weeks, but it's a lot easier to say than to do, as seems to be the case most times in life. Oh well. I've got big weekend plans, which aren't exactly workout related, but they're not completely unrelated either. And there are only 4 more days until I go back to the doctor!!

Time: 21:07
Distance: 1080 yards / 0.61 miles
Pace: 34:24/mile (now we're getting somewhere!)
Calories: 150
Maximum HR: 165
Average HR: 146
* I'm not 100% sold on this HR/Calorie information since at one point I looked down and it was flashing 00 for my heart rate ...

Stair Mill
Time: 40:00
Distance: 3.20 miles / 153 floors
Pace: 12:30/mile
Calories: 363
Maximum HR: 179
Average HR: 165

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Yesterday morning after the alarm went off, Drew declared that he wasn't going to go to the gym. I took that as my cue to settle in for some more sleeping as well. Today, however, he got up and went off to the gym. I told him I was going to wake up, but I didn't. Well, that's not true. I did wake up every 9 minutes to press snooze. And I did wake up a couple of times and thought about getting out of bed. But I just couldn't make myself do it.

Then I started to wonder if I wasn't sabotaging myself? If maybe it isn't easier just to say, "oh, I broke my elbow and now I can't do any more triathlons this year" than it is to get my butt up and out of bed to do something? I also know myself pretty well and I know that the fact that my triathlon plans for the year are slipping away make it less and less likely that I'll actually make myself exercise.

I'm just a person who races to train. I need the fear factor in order to motivate myself to exercise and to push myself just a little bit more than I would otherwise. I think I'm naturally lazy. Which has worked out okay up to this point in my life, since I also naturally seem to eat okay and not have weight issues.

But, I like triathlon. Actually, I really love it. And I can't figure out why I'm doing this now and letting the possibility of doing New York or Timberman just slip away? I think that after running with Drew on Sunday and realizing how hard it was for me to run 4 miles, it all just snapped into place. Not surprisingly, I've lost a lot of fitness over the past five and a half weeks.

So, what do I do now? That's the big question. I'm still waiting for the doctor to give me a clean bill of health, which he'll hopefully do on June 15. Until then, I think I might just be in this weird funk for a few days. I still feel trapped and like I can't make any decisions until I talk to the doctor. In the meantime, I'm going to try to get out there and do some exercising. That's supposed to help with this sort-of stuff, right?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Other Kind Of Brick

First, I should mention that after my run on Sunday with Drew, we got into a big discussion about heart rates and since my 202 max heart rate that I reached on our run was 105% of the max on my watch, he said that I should really adjust it since I didn't keel over and die. We settled on upping my max heart rate to 212. I'm going to see how that works percentage wise from now on. Hopefully it'll be more realistic to how fast my heart is actually beating.

Yesterday, I spent as I spend most Mondays -- sleeping in! Something about facing the work week just makes my body want to stay in bed. It's hard to argue with such good logic. This morning, however, was a different story. Drew had made reservations for both of us at the gym so that we could go swimming. I think that you get a little bit cheated if you make a reservation for 6:00. The gym opens its doors at 6:00, then you have to go drop off your stuff in a locker, rinse off and then get in the pool. By that point, 5-7 minutes have elapsed. Not a huge deal for me at the moment to get a full 30 minutes in the pool, but an annoyance nonetheless.

I tried to swim mostly at my own pace. I did stop a couple of times to check on Drew and he also asked me to watch him a few times and give him some pointers, but I was timing myself fairly roughly on the 200s (technically its 198 yards since the pool is so funny) and each one ended up with the 100s on the 1:50, which isn't awesome for me, but it's not too bad. I was pleasantly surprised that I was still swimming about the same pace without pushing myself at all. This was more my relax and swim pace.

Drew looks perfect for the first two strokes that he takes off the wall. And then he sort-of just does whatever he wants, it sort-of looks like to me. I know that swimming is fairly overwhelming with all the things to think about, but I've been trying to remind him to just slow down. Speed can come later. And he'll never make the distance if he can't slow down and relax in the water. I ended up doing 1080 yards (900 swimming and 180 kicking). Finally, over half a mile in the pool! Now we're getting back to business.

After a quick towel dry and changing into tri shorts (the entire time I was wishing I had just worn them in the pool!), I headed downstairs in the gym to ride the spin bike. I haven't done that at all recently and I wasn't sure how it would go. I got my bike shoes on, adjusted the bike, sat down and set-up the program I wanted to do. I decided on something between 35 and 40 minutes and did the Endurance program, Level 7. I chose Endurance because it doesn't have you up and out of the saddle a lot.

I started out like normal, but that didn't last long. I still can't really lean on my arm, which makes me think that my chances for real bike riding aren't that great at the moment. I ended up leaning mostly on my right arm and just having my left arm down for stability, but not putting any weight on it. I'm still hopeful that by next Sunday (the 6 week mark) I'll be magically healed. I kind-of doubt it though.

I think after about 7 minutes, my arm was ready for me to get off the bike. My legs, however, were willing to hang in there and my brain made my body stay on the bike. I think it was good for me in the long run to stay there and stick it out for the full time, even though I wanted to call it quits more than once.

Time: 25:23
Distance: 1080 yards / 0.61 miles
Pace: 41:36/mile
Calories: 151
Maximum HR: 155
Average HR: 131

Time: 35:35
Distance: 13.10 miles
Pace: 22.09 MPH
Calories: 280
Maximum HR: 166
Average HR: 152

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Not A Japan Day Run

Today was supposed to be my 8th NYRR run this year. It was supposed to be a 4-mile run in the Park for Japan Day. Except, I totally forgot about it. In self-defense, I didn't get a handy reminder e-mail from NYRR telling me where and when to pick up my packet, and somehow without that reminder, it just slipped my mind. Oops. There goes $18 down the drain. Plus I'll have to sign up for another race.

Instead, I ended up doing a whole hodge-podge of things. Drew and I went to the gym and decided to go for a swim first. I started out doing freestyle down and breast-stroke back. That way I could watch Drew a little bit and give him some pointers. After a while, he seemed to be doing okay, so I just decided to do some swimming on my own. I think my elbow is almost back to normal now. It definitely still hurts if I try to lock it, but I can stretch it out almost all the way without saying "ouch".

All of that means that swimming seems to be a go for now. I can't even tell you how great it felt to be back in the water and going along at a decent clip. Granted, my times still aren't that great in total, but a lot of that is because I was stopping to chat with Drew and in the beginning I wasn't really testing myself at all. Next time I'll hopefully get in a slightly better swim.

After Drew had reached his tiring point in the pool, we got out and headed down to the weight room. Drew was doing arm stuff, so we did one-armed things. He just did both arms (but separately) and I just did my right arm. I have to say that my right arm was definitely tired by the end of all this. This is what I did:

Right Arm Cable Pulls
15 reps @ 40 lbs / 15 reps @ 45 lbs / 15 reps @ 50 lbs

Seated Row (Right Arm)
10 reps @ 30 lbs / 2 x 10 reps @ 40 lbs

Back Extensions
2 x 20 reps

The cable pulls in the beginning were probably too light for me, but I didn't really feel like overdoing it. I also didn't really feel anything from the back extensions. I felt like I could have done them all day long and still not felt anything. Drew tried to explain that I was supposed to be feeling something in my lower back, but I didn't feel that. He said I could try holding onto some weight to make it harder, but I just wasn't in the mood for all that today.

Truthfully, what I really wanted to do was run. It was so nice outside (okay, it was pretty warm), but when the weather is nice, it just seems like such a waste to be indoors. Drew agreed to go running with me in the Park after some negotiations about how far we would run and how fast we would run. We settled on about a 4-mile course. So, at least I got my run in even if it wasn't how I had originally planned.

We ran along the Bridle Path (for the shade) up to the Reservoir. Once we got there, I said that I was going to continue running along the Bridle Path, but if Drew wanted to do one loop of the Reservoir, that was fine with me. We could just meet up together where we had started from. He said he'd like to the Bridle Path loop around the Reservoir as well, so we both took off at our own speeds. The run itself was fairly uneventful. There is something nice about running by yourself and not having to worry about going too slow for the other person.

When I was making the turn to head back west, the Bridle Path was blocked off, so I had to run along the Reservoir in the wrong direction. Sorry everyone! I'm normally such a stickler for the rules in the Park, so I felt pretty bad breaking them. But, I'm not sure what my other options were, other than extending the run longer, which wasn't really an option for me.

I was definitely getting tired by the time I got back and met Drew. I had also run into our friend, Lisa and then we ran into her again together, so the three of us chatted for a few minutes before we all went off on our runs. Drew and I started running back home. I told him that I wasn't sure I would make it all the way home and I definitely didn't. We ran for about 10 minutes and then I called it quits and we walked the rest of the way home.

I'm a little bummed that running 4 miles was such a hard undertaking. 4 miles used to be a quick and easy little run! I'm realizing that maybe I should have been doing more in the past five weeks than I had been doing, but honestly, at the time, my heart just wasn't in it. I'm sure I'll be paying for that later, but for now, I'm just going to try to rebuild slowly and carefully. Of course, I'm still not technically supposed to be running, so there's that aspect. This was my longest run since the triathlon, so I've got to keep everything in perspective.

Time: 28:03
Distance: 720 yards / 0.41 miles
Pace: 68:24/mile
Calories: 158
Maximum HR: 178
Average HR: 128

Weight Lifting
Time: 20:39
Calories: 126
Maximum HR: 162
Average HR: 121

Time: 46:09
Distance: 4.20 miles
Pace: 10:59/mile
Calories: 620
Maximum HR: 202
Average HR: 187

Thursday, June 3, 2010

183 Things!

First things first ... the title of this post comes from the fact that this is my 183rd post on this blog. Not a momentous occasion for you, I'm sure, but for me it means that I've now done the same amount of posts on this blog as I did on my old blog. From here on out, it's all new territory in the blogging world for me! And it really seemed like we did 183 things at the gym this morning, so it all works out.

We started out with some swimming. Drew had made himself a reservation at 6:00 this morning. They said that there wasn't enough space in the reservations for both of us to have a spot, but it wasn't a problem. They take reservations for 4 of the 8 available slots. I figured that since we'd be there at 6 on the nose, I could be one of the first people in the pool without an issue. Drew and I snagged our own lane and got down to business.

For me, that meant a combination of aqua jogging and kicking. For Drew, that meant some swimming. I really tried to keep track of how far we went today. I'm thinking somewhere in the 30-40 lengths of the pool range, which would be about 540-720 yards range. I think 40 lengths is a bit on the high end, so it's probably somewhere more around 600 yards total.

Drew does seem to be looking a bit more comfortable in the water, but I don't think he's feeling a lot more comfortable. He was swimming on his own at first and then I had him switch to use a pool buoy and he got a lot more confident once his kick was taken out of the equation. His kick is definitely not his strong suit, so it makes sense that it would help him. I actually think what happens is that he gets a little frantic about making it to the end of the lane and starts kicking harder, which would be helpful if he had a good kick, but all it does is tire him out and then he gets a little panicked about breathing since he's feeling tired. I'm not sure what the solution is to this. I've tried to have him slow down and relax in the water, but I just think that some people might never relax completely.

After our swim (I'm not really sure I can say that it was real swimming ... my hair didn't even get wet under my swim cap), we changed into gym clothes and headed downstairs for some cardio. Drew suggested that we do the stair mill and I was fine with that. I knew I'd have to pick a slower level than I'd probably like to do since I can't really hold on that well (or at least I shouldn't be holding on). I decided to do the Fat Burner, Level 8.

After about 7 minutes, I was ready to lower the level and wimp out, but since I know that won't get me anywhere, I hung in there for the full 30 minutes. I really just concentrated on reading my book and not falling off the machine. Drew tripped a little bit at one point on his stair mill, so it wasn't completely out of the realm of possibility that someone would fall off!

When our 30 minutes were up, Drew said he wanted to do some lifting. I wasn't 100% sure I wanted to do that too, but I figured what the heck? This is what I ended up doing:

Leg Press:
10 reps @ 135 lbs / 2 x 10 reps @ 180 lbs

Calf Raises:
10 reps @ 135 lbs / 2 x 10 reps @ 180 lbs

Body Weight Circuit:
3 x 10 reps right leg lunges
3 x 10 reps left leg lunges
3 x 15 reps squats

Drew did the leg presses and calf raises as well, but then he did real squats with the bar on his back. I would have liked to have done those, but I don't think I can lift the bar onto or off on my back right now with my left arm and I was too afraid that I'd hurt it if I did something like that, so I opted just to do my body weight circuit. I think it worked out just fine.

We finished up in the weight room and Drew said he was going to do 15 more minutes of cardio. I said I'd do it too if we could use the treadmill. He's on the anti-running-Amy plan, so he was a little skeptical at first. I said I would just walk at a high incline. Which I did, for 10 minutes. I walked at 4.0 or 4.2 at level 9 incline. Turns out that is very boring.

All I wanted to do was run. So you know what? I decided just to go ahead and sprint my little heart out. I put the incline down to 1 and the speed up to 10.0 and just had at it. I think I sprinted for about a minute and then did a little bit of walking, another sprint at 10.0 and then did about a 2 minute walking cool-down. Definitely very satisfying just to get that sprinting under my belt. Reminded me of training for the half-marathon!

We finished up with some stretching and I headed home with a very hungry tummy. Even though I didn't really swim, there is something in the water that just makes me starving, I think. I know I'm not the only person that this happens to ... or am I?

Time: 23:20
Distance: ~ 600 yards
Pace: 68:35/mile (we will never discuss this again)
Calories: 117
Maximum HR: 143
Average HR: 111

Stair Mill
Time: 30:00
Distance: 2.57 miles (153 floors)
Pace: 11:40/mile
Calories: 285
Maximum HR: 167
Average HR: 154

Weight Lifting
Time: 23:57
Calories: 121
Maximum HR: 152
Average HR: 112

Time: 15:00
Distance: ~1.25 miles
Pace: 12:00/mile
Calories: 169
Maximum HR: 193
Average HR: 169

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


This morning I headed off to the Park to do some walking and some running. I also wanted to avoid seeing the Terriers. Somehow, I just feel bad when I see them in the Park and I'm not working out with them. Like I'm cheating somehow. Even though I'm obviously injured and there isn't really anything I can do, I just feel weird about it for some reason.

I walked to the Park and then once I got there, I decided that I would do a mixture of running and walking today. I started out with 10 minutes of running. While I was running, of course I happened to run by the Terriers as they were on their way to the S to do some speed work. I tried to keep my head down and just keep on my way. When I got to Cat Hill, after just about 10 minutes of running, I decided that 10 minutes of walking would be in order!

After the walking, I went back to 10 more minutes of running and finished up the whole thing with some walking. I decided to cross the street so that I wouldn't have to walk by everyone doing speed work, which might be lame, but I just feel bad that I'm out there doing my own thing instead of participating with the team. Because it's not that I don't like them! I miss doing the team workouts, but I know that if I go to them, I'll push myself way too hard, which wouldn't be good at all.

Time: 38:08
Distance: 3.60 miles
Pace: 10:35/mile
Calories: 427
Maximum HR: 189
Average HR: 169