Wednesday, August 31, 2011

wordless wednesday

Yesterday's comment on my workout?  "Your portion looks good, but I think the Garmin was a little lost at the start of your workout..."

"Or maybe less drinking in the morning."

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

3 weeks in

I'm heading into about the fourth week of being coached and my life is pretty different.  I get a schedule for 3-4 weeks at a time, so every night I look at it to see what I need to do the next day and pack my bag, set up my Garmin, etc.  It's nice because I don't have to do the big weekly planning, figuring out where things will fit in and how to rotate myself through swim-bike-run-lift-recover(?).  I know that I'm pretty fortunate to be able to have a coach, so I'm trying to really maximize it by following his schedule as perfectly as possible, no matter how insane it seems to me.  Once I got over being grumpy about ditching a bunch of races, it's been really interesting to see how training is progressing.  

The downside of having a schedule like this, of course, is it makes training a much more lonely place.  Because of the specifics of each workout, I would be a giant pain in the ass to try and run or bike with, so I just do almost all of it alone.  Last week, I was pretty excited to bump into Emily mid-brick at Hains Point, but I eventually had to leave her to keep my HR in the correct zone for the correct amount of time.  Pre-coaching, I would have just hung out and chatted.  It also means that when I see/hear about/get invited to workouts by other people, I have to turn them down.  Normally, if someone would post, "Hey, I'm thinking about swimming 4 zillion yards at this time," I'd get excited and try to find a way to make it work.  But now my life is - sorry, I don't swim on Thursdays, it's not on my schedule.  So to all my workout buddies, yeah.  I suck, sorry about that.  But I miss you, can we go out for drinks?

I mentioned a few weeks ago that the volume is generally the same but the quality is very different.  I don't think that I even, in my entire life, have planned a swim workout before my 500 yard warm-up.  Cycling had an on/off switch.  Fortunately, I've been running with CAR for a while now so my running workouts were less of a mess (while on the track under a watchful eye, any mess I made on my own was certainly not George's fault).  But now every workout is broken down into lots of little pieces, and every little piece has a purpose.  There are some days when I do everything that's on my schedule and then think, "well, now what?" because I don't feel spent from the session.  (Note: this is called "recovery."  I'm learning about it.)  And then there are some days when I can barely drag myself back in the door.  The first week or so, workouts took a little longer to execute because I had to keep checking in with the plan to make sure I knew what was going on, but now I'm starting to get used to the overall structure of each session.  

The best thing about having a coach is that I've handed all the worry over.  I no longer stress when I see or hear about what other people are doing, especially people that are preparing for similar events.  I think I used to spend a lot of time worrying that I wasn't doing enough, and now I don't have to.  I spent a ton of time looking for a coach before I chose mine, and I'm glad I went through that process because I feel like by finding someone that is exactly right for me, I can completely trust that what he's doing will have me ready for race day.  I also don't worry about workouts once they are over.  I don't obsess over missed splits or how slow I had to run to stay in my zones or how much faster I was running last spring.  I upload the workout, I send him a little note along with it about how it went, and then I can let it go.  He always sends me feedback about the workout, usually with part of the workouts copied and pasted so I can see what he is referring to.  I'm sure (I hope?) he is using all of the data to shape my training, but it means that, as awesome as this is, I don't have to analyze it to death to figure out where I am:
I really love HR training because of the essence of what it is.  I'm using my own heart to make sure that I'm training and recovering at intensities that are right from me, instead of trying to hit splits that I think are "fast" and "slow" because of how relative they are to my own history of running and the running that people around me are doing.  So logical.  Why wasn't I doing this before?  I know that it takes a few months to adapt to HR training, and I'm trying not to fret over how slow some things seem, because I understand that it is both completely normal and essential to building the correct base.  To that end, I've taken the "pace" and "distance" fields off of my Garmin, and am only showing lap time and HR zone.  I finished my track workout today and had absolutely no idea what my overall mileage, time, or pace was for the workout until I got home and uploaded it.  I'm a pretty new swimmer so times in general mean nothing to me in the pool, so that's been easy to let go.  One of my big worries about starting to work with a coach was that I'd feel itchy and anxious about letting someone else call the shots, but instead I just feel relieved, because all I have to do is work through what's on my notecard in my jersey pocket or water-pasted to the side of my bottle and then I can roll on with my day.  

So that's where I am with coached training.  I'm really curious about what's going to happen - both in 5 weeks at Poconos and over the next 10 months on the way to the big beast.

How's your training going?    

Monday, August 29, 2011

in which we are all just fine

Despite the fact that Amtrak ruined my plans to take NYC by storm, I actually ended up having a pretty stellar weekend.  Friday night we made sure to go out and stock up on all the essentials just in case we got stuck in the house for a while.
I woke up early Saturday morning for my short long run with CAR.  I FINALLY managed to convince the poet that running with this group is 328 times more awesome than running alone, so he came along as well.  He ended up running all 16 miles with Allison, who was also there for the first time and is training for Philadelphia as well.  
I had about half of that on my own schedule.  A big chunk of it was Z2 (cue scary music), and then working slowly up into Z3 and Z4 for the remainder of the run.  I actually had a much easier time of staying in Z2, although I did have to take one short walk break to bring my HR down near the end of the interval.  However, the morning was so humid that I couldn't really speed up that much in Z3 or Z4 without my HR zooming up, so I ended up finishing slightly short of the mileage I had anticipated.  The good thing about spending so much time with my HR this low is that, in general, at the end of these "long" runs I don't feel tired or sore or tight or hurt anywhere.  For now, I'll take it.

We went for a round of bagels and then came home for hot showers and naps.  And that kind of kicked off the rest of the day.  This is the first weekend since the poet and I have known each other where neither of us had to work either weekend day, and it was glorious.  We watched some trashy movies, I made some (slightly strange) chocolate-chip cookies, spent several hours minutes playing Fruit Ninja, and we drank an entire bottle of wine.  The puppies watched "Ratatouille" with us and then zonked out early.  Lame.
There's a worrisome drain near our basement back door, so we checked on that every hour or so throughout the day to make sure it wasn't clogged.  We lost power once for about 20 minutes and had lots of flickers and surges, but otherwise it was pretty uneventful.  Several very large branches came down in the wind, so letting the dogs out on Sunday when we got up was basically Christmas morning for them.
I think it's going to take her a while to work through all those sticks, but she is up to the task.
Sunday morning was pretty lazy, as I was hoping that the weather would calm down enough that I could do my long ride outside in the afternoon.  But hearing about all the debris and seeing that the wind was still pretty rough made me finally decide to do it on the trainer.  As we've been working on the basement, I've been slowly putting together a corner for my trainer to live, since I know I'm going to be spending lots of time on it this winter.  A few weeks ago, we bought a pretty inexpensive cabinet, and yesterday we hooked up the TV to the Apple TV so I didn't have to just spin and stare at the wall.  We're still not close to being done in the basement, but I'm pretty excited about this set-up.
I love that it's right by the back door, so in the winter I'll be able to crack that open and let some ice-cold air tickle my sweaty bod.
My coach was kind enough to put together a workout for me so it wasn't hours of mindless spinning.  Lots of technique work, some Z2/rpm work and some intervals broke it up a bit, but by the end I wished I had just gone outside and battled the wind.  This was quite likely the longest trainer ride I've ever done, and it was hard on my hard, hard head.  I feel like I work much harder on the trainer than I do outside for equal HR numbers, which means that even Z2 at a moderate rpm has me sweating buckets.  

We wrapped up the evening by joining some friends for a few beers and cheering on some other friends who were a little busy in the swim-bike-run arena yesterday.
How was your weekend?  Hopefully it wasn't ruined by trees or water or lack of electricity.  

Friday, August 26, 2011

random friday facts

1. I do NOT like coconut.

2. I hate cooling down after a tough workout.  I did the hard part, let me eat something!

3. I would love to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and have someone hand me $5000 for doing something like saying, "No, he went the other way."

4. I broke my ankle when I was in 5th grade.

5. I am pro-choice.

6. Sometimes I don't like that everyone can keep up with my life via the blog.  It would be nice if you picked up the phone every once in a while.

7. I can't remember the last time I ate fast food.

8. My ankle keeps cracking.

9. August will be the first month this year that I haven't raced.  At first I was bummed about it, but now it's okay.  Bigger goals.

10. With MANY exceptions, I think people that hyphenate their last names are pretentious assholes.  

11. I always crave the burrito, but then when I get there, I order the taco salad.  Damn you, Qdoba, and your delicious taco salad!

12. I honk my horn.  A lot.

13. As of today, I've lived in my house for 3 years.  I kind of want to do a "before and after" post, but I feel like the house is still more "before" than "after."

14. Sometimes I wish I was famous so people would close stores for me to shop in and I could be sponsored by Felt and Zipp and TYR.  But that actually sounds like a lot of work, so I think I'll just stick with being cranky.

15. I still can't get enough of the Dubliner cheddar.  Amazing.

16. I'm not a fan of pie.  But I love me a fat cupcake.

17. I'm thinking of doing one of those Q&A post things, but I'm so blunt and raw that I don't think there are any "Q's" out there.  We shall see.

18. The pizza I made last night (homemade, mozzarella, wheat crust, green chiles) is maybe one of the best pizzas I've ever made.

19. When I come home from the pool in the morning, I play game with Molly called, "HUNGRY MONSTER SAYS RAWR!"  She jumps and barks at me.  It's a thing.  

20. I am a huge - HUGE - Philadelphia Eagles fan.  I love the Phillies but they will always come second in my heart to the birds.  

21. I have hidden so many people on Facebook that I forget that I have more than 4 friends.  

22. I hate having long fingernails. 

23. My favorite season is almost here: hoodie season.

24. If I don't reply to an email the second it arrives, chances are I won't reply to it for days.

RFF takes over the world:
Dietitian On The Run
Twice As Hard
Runner In Progress
Welcome To Boston
MCM Mama
Miss Zippy
ohh breathe, just breathe

Have a great weekend everyone!  Stay high and dry!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

three things thursday

1. On and off for about a month, I've had a slightly naggy shin.  At first I thought it was due to a mileage increase mid-July, and then I thought it was due to my new Adrenalines.  Swapping them out for a pair of Ravenna's helped, but then it came back after a long ride.  I realized a few weeks ago that my bike cleat on that side was shifted inwards, so I moved it out and then it went away, but after Sunday's long ride it's back and naggy as ever.  Since it didn't show up after my 7+ mile run on Saturday but did show up after my ride, I'm still inclined to think it's related to my bike shoes or cleat placement.  I'd prefer to not spend the rest of my life wrestling with the goddamn compression socks so hopefully later today I'll get it resolved.  In the meantime, I had it Graston'd last night at PT and, well, my PT learned some new curse words and let's just leave it at that.  

2. Speaking of PT, last night was hopefully my final appointment.  I might go back in a few weeks just to check in if anything starts bothering me, but without a lot of fanfare, it's over.  I'm not completely healed, but the last two weeks have brought huge breakthroughs over and over, and only now that I'm on the other side do I realize how bad it really was, and for so long.  From the day in March when everything fell apart until about 2 weeks ago, I was in constant and relatively severe pain, all day, every day.  I got to the point several times where I told the poet that if it didn't start getting better, I wasn't completely sure that I could continue to handle living this way.  I know that chronic pain sufferers go through this and worse, but I now have an unpleasant and all-too-sharp understanding of what that tastes like.  Being injured and being unable to run is one thing, but it stopped being about not able to run when I couldn't stand, or walk, or lay down.  People have been commenting the past week or so about how cheery I am, and while we've had some great changes happen in our lives recently, I think a lot of it is largely due to the fact that I can now go hours and sometimes even days pain-free.  I'm still working on getting and staying strong in the right places, and I might always have minor twinges.  But I've healed to the point where I can look back and realize, I was in hell, I was constantly in the darkness, all that time.  Now I'm on the other side.  

3. And continuing in the "things that make me happy" theme, I'm headed up to NYC this weekend for a fabulous girly weekend of getting completely smashed dressing like whores eating and drinking and squealing and generally being incredibly annoying.  I've managed to arrange my schedule so that the only sweaty thing I'll be doing, other than working the dirty dance floor, is a 6-7 mile run Saturday morning.  Other than that, it's a cupcake-beer-martini-short-skirt-a-palooza and I can't wait to get on the train tomorrow afternoon.  I'd promise a great recap on Monday but I'm going to request a no-pictures-after-9pm rule and it'll probably all be a fabulous redheaded blur anyway.

What are your plans for the weekend?  Do they involve a pole like mine?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

wordless wednesday

This project is taking quite a bit longer to complete than I would have liked, but we're almost there...
Yes, I always wear compression socks while caulking.

Also, in case you don't have a twitter account, there was a small earthquake here in DC yesterday.  When the house started shaking, I took the pups out the front door to see what was going on.  They were pretty sleepy.
We sat there for a few minutes so Molly could eat some mulch.
And then I went back inside and cleaned up the glass of water that had tipped over and went back to work.  It's taking the rest of the coast a bit longer to work through their issues.  Sigh.  At least we know how to handle snow?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

drills actually work?

This morning I went to a local track to spend some time running in front of my coach so he could be the 185th person to tell me that my glutes don't work.  He also wanted to demonstrate some additional drills that will keep moving the Glutes Take Action movement forward (heh).

I got there early and did a short warm-up.  The first thing he noticed is that my arms weren't swinging from my shoulder, but instead my shoulders were moving slightly forward and back.  He also said that my arm carriage is good, but my hands have some tension in them while I'm running.  He gave me a drill to work on this, and it felt incredibly strange (like most drills) but after about a lap I felt things start to settle down.  

Now for the bottom half.  I've spent a lot of time this summer concentrating while running - not intentionally trying to force changes, but instead focusing on engaging the correct muscles in my butt.  The major side effect of this is that other pieces of my form are changing.  In the spring, I was very definitely a straight-leg over-striding heel-striker.  When I saw Dr. Maggs a month or so ago, I had transitioned to a bent-leg regular-striding heel-striker.  And now, a month or so later, I am very definitely in the mid-foot camp, which doesn't mean a whole lot but makes me ridiculously pleased.  I've spent zero time trying to change my foot placement on the ground - this has all happened as a by-product of my glutes starting to work.  Now, my glutes are still not fully engaged, and I'm still doing a bit of crunching at the waist, but I'm headed in the right direction.  We focused for a while this morning on working on being fully upright and keeping my shoulders back and gazing straight ahead (all things we should all be doing anyway).

After a bit of this, it was time to take the shoes off.  He showed me three different progressive drills done standing still, and then we add some drills/strides.  And on one of the last strides, suddenly everything clicked and the sun came out from behind the clouds.  I was landing on my forefoot and leaning from the ankles and keeping my chest up and it felt like real, actual, amazing, good running, for just a minute.  

And then I put my shoes back on and it mostly fell apart.  We did some more drills on the track - all short strides - but I could kind of fuzzily start to see how it all fits together.  And on the last drill, I did 20 yards or so of the drill and then 20 yards of running and just once, I was able to hold that amazing perfect forefoot form together with my shoes on for almost the entire 20 yards before I went back to my crunchy midfoot sleepy-glute ways.

The intent of the drills is not to change my form hugely overnight - that's actually the worst thing that could happen.  The intent is to spend time focusing on activating and firing one tiny set of muscles 100% correctly.  Over time, my body will adapt to this and small changes will occur that will hopefully keep moving me closer towards good form and running injury-free.  Which is the point of all of this, because no matter how cranky you think I am now, it's nothing compared to when I can't run.  

Tell me about drills.  Do you actually do them?  Which drills do you do?  Are B skips really hard for everyone?  

Monday, August 22, 2011

skyline drive

So, normally a day that ended up looking like this would be a pretty rotten day on a bicycle:
But then add in this piece of information:
And then this one:
And it actually starts to look pretty okay.  

Beth and I went out to Skyline Drive this weekend for the first time.  I had instructions to do an out-and-back and then a 30 minute run off of the bike.  I also had pretty strict instructions to stay in Z2 for the entirety of the ride, except for a few very specific climbs where I was allowed in Z3 and one where I was allowed into Z4 if needed.  So I knew it would be a long but relatively easy day.

We parked at the first comfort station in the park and headed out.  The scenery was pretty gorgeous, and as the first climb started about 10 feet out of the parking lot, we had plenty of time to look around.
I spent the whole day keeping my eye on my heart rate and making sure I was spinning as easily as I could.  It meant that the speed I was staring at most of the day was around 8mph, but I was determined to not hammer up any hills and just spin.  This was a different kind of climbing than I had done before - even the Reston loops, which have some long climbs, couldn't touch the grade and length of going up the side of the mountain.  We saw a few other cyclists out there, but mostly I was riding alone.  

There was a "stop at Hogback Overlook and look at the view" line in my instructions for the day at top of one of the longer climbs, so I stopped and stretched for a few minutes.  
After I continued on from Hogback, there was a brilliant 3-mile descent.  I lost about 950 feet of elevation in the 6 minutes it took me to descend, which would take me about 30 minutes to climb on our way back in.  We stopped at the gas station to fill our bottles and did an out-and-back on the flattest part of the day, and then started the climbs back home.  When we got back, we changed and headed out for a 30 minute run (only 300 feet of climbing on the run, sweet) and then changed again and headed home.  

I think I was mentally very well-prepared for the day, so I didn't spend any time being frustrated or cranky about how slow we were covering ground.  I knew it was just going to be slow and easy spinning on long climbs, and I really enjoyed the ride. When I got home I discovered that I had huge heart rate success, spending only 17 minutes out of zone 2.  I also nailed my nutrition - this was the second time I've done a "liquids only" ride, and last week was a burping farting heartburn-y disaster.  This week I got off the bike feeling fine, and worked my way up and down through my zones on the run without any digestive issues at all.  Although this - plus my love, Fritos - did taste pretty amazing on the way home.
Climbing is something I've been working on all summer - something that I started working on last summer, in fact.  It's tough for everyone, and it always means a hard and slow workout, and sometimes it makes me pretty stabby to feel like all I do is sit on my bike going 9mph.  My upcoming races are hilly and hard, but I actually prefer that to picking flat races where I can train on the W&OD or Hains Point all the time.  And I've been toughing it out week after week at the hill ride - either NCVC or Conte's - all summer, but when I line up the elevation maps to compare it to what I did this weekend, I can only laugh.
Skyline Drive

How was your weekend?  Did you climb any mountains?

Friday, August 19, 2011

random friday facts

1.  I think plain water tastes weird.  I always put in a tiny splash of something to make it taste better.

2. I still have my tonsils and my appendix.

3. My foam roller has gone flat.

4. I do not own arm warmers.

5. Except to work, I've almost completely stopped wearing underwear.

6. The temperature and volume in my car must always be on even numbers.  Multiples of 5 are ok in an emergency.

7. I can't sleep if I am even the tiniest bit hot.

8. My glutes are sore.  Sore!  Me!

9. I've run a ton of races, and about 95% of those are 5Ks.  I still have quite a few "by default" PRs.  

10. My favorite kind of grilled cheese is made with Velveeta.

11. I do not like being the person that uses the last sheet of TP.

12. I always change my sheets on Friday.

13. I could eat sliced strawberries forever.

14. I'm worried about how cranky I'm going to be when I'm 90.  I'm pretty cranky already.

15. I think the new-bike lust is dying down a bit.

16. I have a really small washer and dryer.  I don't want them to die because they are only 3 years old, but I fantasize about buying a full-size set.  

17. Ever since I moved in, there has been talk about a metro stop opening down the street.  I really want it to happen because it would do wonders for the value of my house.  On the other hand, traffic and street parking would become a pain in the ass.

18. We can tell which dog just laid down by the sound of their elbows hitting the floor. 

19. I don't really care about buying organic food, although I do like the organic grocery store around the corner because their raspberries are better.

Happy Friday, everyone!  I've got a longer short long run and 8 billion feet of climbing on a bicycle on tap for the weekend.  What are you up to?

Other RFF playas (drop me a note if I missed you!): 
ooh breathe, just breathe
Lizard Runs
Failed Muffins
Knickers in a Twist
Dietitian on the Run
Fat Biscuit
Runner In Progress
Welcome to Boston
MCM Mama
Caution Redhead Running

Thursday, August 18, 2011

three things thursday

1. I tried a smoothie again this morning.  I used: 1 container of yogurt, 1 scoop of protein powder, 1 overripe banana, half a bag of frozen peaches.  It turned into brown ooge that mostly tastes like overripe banana, but I think I like it and at least my blender didn't catch fire this time.  GAK.  And it just gave me brain freeze.

2. I had an outstanding PT appointment yesterday called "I stopped doing everything you told me do to and suddenly I feel better."  Not really, but in essence, my coach told me I was doing strength work too often, so with a "hrrrmph," I listened to him and cut it all way back.  But suddenly last Friday, after a session with a baseball and an ice pack, my back started feeling about 80% better than it has in 2 months and I haven't been out of alignment once since then.  So I talked about it with my PT and he kind of agreed that I was doing it all too often (this makes me a rarity in physical therapy patient land, I am sure), and cut it back to one thing that I do once a week and three things that I do twice a week, which lines up perfectly with what my coach wants me to do.  I'm so glad we can all get along.

3. Over the past 2 weeks training volume has very slightly decreased - mostly due to the subtraction of three hours of strength training - but the intensity of individual workouts (excluding the long run/long ride) has skyrocketed.  I was still surprised to find that for the first week, I would eat as normal throughout the day and then at 7pm discover that I was bonking and shove as many calories down as I could, which I don't think is what a dietitian would actually recommend (Heather?).  I don't really track calories during the day, although I generally keep an eye on how much protein I'm consuming and making sure that I'm using food as part of recovery.  So I tallied up a day of calories as part of the "this is what I ate today" game and realized that I was shorting myself in the 6am-3pm time period by quite a bit.  I've added a late morning snack and a second lunch (turkey avocado honey mustard brilliance) and it seems to be keeping away the 7pm hungry monster but I do feel like I am eating constantly.  I know, my life is hard.  Too bad beer isn't so great for recovery, and yes, I could have totally pounded one back at 8am this morning when I finished my run.

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

wordless wednesday

After Molly eats breakfast, she likes to come in and roll around on the bed like she's insane.  We call it "fighting off the crazy."  
Sometimes, the crazy wins.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

HR training

So first I'd like to preface this by saying that everything I'm about to say is probably wrong in some way, but feel free to send me angry emails about how dumb I am anyway.

I'm through my first week of HR-based training and I actually like it.  My coach first set up my zones based on my, "Hmmm, I did a HR test in January on the bike and I think my max HR was 184? That sounds right."  But then I tried to run in Z4 and almost had a heart attack and my effort level was at 10 and I was 10 bpm under the bottom of the Z4 line.  So I actually went back and looked at the Garmin stats and discovered it was 171, not 184.  It also doesn't help that my HR strap was broken for 2 months so I have lots of rides and runs where my max HR is showing up as 244.  Wheeee!
Anyhow, so my coach very kindly redid my zones but we scheduled a HR test because he's already discovering that I'm a nitwit.  I've been using those zones for the past week and I think that they are close.  I did running intervals in Z4/Z5 that seemed about right for pace/effort, and I had a long Z2 run on Saturday that also seemed about appropriate for long run pace/effort.  My average for the long run was actually at the upper limit of Z2, but hey, Z2 is Z2 and I felt like I could have pretty easily run about 5 more miles at that pace so I was happy.  The thing that I am surprised to like about HR training is that I don't have to pay attention to my pace/splits.  I set up a new screen on my Garmin that is showing lap time and HR and that's all I have to care about.  All of my workouts are designed by time in zone, and it's kind of fun to flip back over to the pace/time screen at the end of a workout and see what it looked like.  Also, to see how "fast" I can go to the bathroom (split 7) when I forget to stop my watch.  But I lapped it and launched into a real recovery split.  Lap buttons save the day!
But, all of this was only rough, so: the test.  I spent the 24 hours or so leading up to this being really terrified about how much it was going to hurt.  I mean, we're essentially trying to find the limit on my suffering, right?

So we did the test this morning and it wasn't that bad, except for the last minute or so where I was wheezing like crazy and wanted to die.  I forgot to ask what my max HR was but I guess I'll see it later on when I get my new zones.  I believe that the goal of this test was to find my lactate threshold and to try and get a max HR, and let me tell you, my heart doesn't actually like it when I run until I feel like I want to explode.  I ended up at 7.6mph at a 3% incline (yes, it has to be done on a treadmill, no, I don't like treadmills) which is a "feels like" pace of 7:18 and yes, it felt that awful because even running at that pace for a minute is far more speed work than I've done this summer.  But then it was over and the good thing about Ironman - and even mostly half-Ironman - training is that you don't spend a whole lot of time anywhere near your max HR.  Z2 FTW.  

He also noticed that I was crunching forward from the waist a tiny bit which means my glutes aren't activating and that my right foot was pointing out a bit which means my right hip flexor is tight, which is a very excellent diagnosis of all the things I thought were improving.  I'm hoping that some of the crunching was due to being on a treadmill because when I run outside, it seems as if my butt is much more involved in the process.  However, I was landing solidly on my mid-foot which is a huge overall win over what was going on back in June.
So, tell me, my fair friends, have you even done HR training?  I'm curious as to how/if/when these numbers change over time, and how it affects your performance, and how you deal with it on race day.  I should probably go buy a book but I'd rather just ask the internet.  

Monday, August 15, 2011

on having a wet butt

So, my training schedule has been flipped around.  Instead of doing my very long ride/run on Saturday and my long run on Sunday, I'm doing the reverse.  Which means that I was home, showered, foam rolled and second breakfast'd by 9:00am on Saturday morning.  Weird!  Saturday morning was quite nice for a run, and I found it actually fairly easy to stay in Z2 for the duration of the run, despite all the "I had to run so slowly I was going backwards" horror stories I've heard about starting HR training. 

Later in the afternoon, I got an email from my coach suggesting that I bag the Skyline Drive ride I had been planning due to a really bad weather forecast.  Weather?  Rain?  Wha?  After we talked, it was decided that I'd either do the familiar 60-mile route from my house (if weather is really bad) or go down to Quantico and ride.  I'd heard about other cyclists riding down there but had never done it myself.  When I woke up Sunday morning, it was pouring.  I checked out the hourly weather forecast and it looked like it was going to pour all day, except for a small window around 8am.  So Beth and I packed up our stuff and headed down.  We were about halfway down when it went from "drizzly" to "hardcore pouring."  Enter: a bad case of the grumblies.
This is the last time I would be smiling for at least 4 hours.
By the time we parked and unpacked, it was only lightly drizzling again but the roads were so wet that we were soaked about 5 minutes into the ride.  I'm pretty cranky on a normal day, but add in a still-healing saddle sore and a soaked chamois and it skyrockets.  The course was a bit boring, but we managed 1:45 at a decent pace and then stopped at the car for nutrition.  As we pulled away from the car, it's started to lightly rain.

We rolled down the road about a mile to the fire station to search for hot firemen fill up our water bottles. It was still raining as we headed out, but about 2 miles into the loop, the sky cracked open.  It's been a long time since I've ridden in a downpour like that, but it was awful.  The rain hurt against my skin and I could only manage to go about 14mph since I was worried about skidding out in a puddle, on loose gravel, or just on a slick road.  When we passed by the car again about 7 miles later, I was done.  I couldn't stand to be soaked and miserable for one more second.  I wiped off my bike, packed the car, changed into my running clothes and headed out.  It rained just long enough to completely soak my running clothes and then trailed off.  By the time I got back to the car, the sun was out and the roads were steaming.  

We changed our clothes (that's at least three instances of public nudity, in case you're keeping track) and headed home.  I took a long nap and woke up to....bright and blue sunny skies.  RUDE.  

How was your weekend?  Did you plan around the weather only to end up soaked and crabby anyway like me?

Friday, August 12, 2011

random friday facts

1. I erase my computer every once in a while just because.  Ditto my phone.
2. My second toe is the longest.
3. I love my Garmin.  I hate the noises.
4. I can't remember the last time I read a magazine.
5. I never capitalize things on twitter or in casual emails.  
6. The smell of bleach reminds me of a very inappropriate smell.
7. I love being outside.  I will not sleep in a tent/sleeping bag/on the ground.  Being outside is for play, when it's time to sleep, I need a bed and a pillow.
8. We still have no idea what to do with our basement.
9. I have no visible birthmarks.
10. I've lived here for 3 years and there are still packed boxes.
11. My middle finger is crooked from years of pressing too hard on a pencil.
12. I don't like it when people respell words with numbers in them.  You aren't cool, you're stupid.
13. I really wish I hadn't quit the swim team when I was 7.
14. I hate my dishwasher.
15. I essentially only eat white meat anymore, and not even that often, but sometimes I can't resist some crunchy pepperoni on my pizza.
16. I can't deal with audio books.  I get distracted and realize I've missed half the book.
17. I'm learning that keeping my training volume the same but changing all of my workouts from "easy" to "scheduled intensity" is destroying my calorie in/out.  Starving at 9pm every day this week, party of one!
18. I really want to get Molly one of those little-kid-kitchens to play in.
19. I'm never afraid or worried about bike or swim workouts anymore.  Anything faster than "easy run" completely stresses me out.
20. My cheese intake has dropped.  I'm not sure why.
21. I cut about 4 inches off of my hair last Saturday when I got out of the shower because the ratty muppet look was no long working for me.  I am never paying for a haircut ever again.  
22. I think everyone looks like an idiot in a bike helmet.
23. I haven't bought a pair of jeans that cost more than $20 in about 5 years.
Side note: if anyone would like to purchase my Reston bib, please let me know.  You can ride the 35, 65, or 103-mile options with my bib.  Food stations are delicious and scenery is gorgeous.  The 35-mile version is pretty flat, 65 is moderately hilly, 103 is a disaster.  There are no time limits on the ride.
And, as always, drop me a note if you've put up a RFF post and I'll link you.  Have a great weekend, everyone!

MCM Mama
Dash's Bites
Ab's Pear
My Reason to Tri
Racing Stripes
Lizard Runs
Twice As Hard
Movin' On Up
Failed Muffins
Rooted Practice

Thursday, August 11, 2011

three things thursday

1. I am a drunk crackhead for data, numbers, information in general.  Add that to pretty colors and HOLY CRAP Y'ALL! Check this out!!!
You should click on it to make it bigger.  Wow, Training Peaks!  

2. Head on over to Shape and check out the "Runaway Bride" slideshow that's up right now.  It's about crazy weirdos that incorporated fitness into their weddings.  You might recognize someone!  Maybe next up they'll do an article about surprise weddings?  I'm curious, who else has incorporated fitness into their wedding (or around their wedding)?

3. Since there were no puppy pics yesterday, here's one.  This is when we tell her "there's crazy in your eyes."

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

wordless wednesday

I know there's a way to make my watch do this, but I haven't figured it out yet.
HR training has begun.