Sunday, April 08, 2012

here we go

that seems to be the phrase of the week for me. Even the Handyman was saying it this morning. And it always makes me think of that beer commercial (I am incredibly susceptible to all kinds of marketing), which is sort of annoying. Eh.

nothing terribly exciting to report, just here to check in on my goals. And I just realized that I got one wrong already -- I thought I'd made the goal to bike once a week, but here I find out it's actually to work once a week. Sigh.

this week:
  • Monday: sick/allergies, plus a work-dinner to entice newly-admitted grad students to pick us, pick us! (And let me tell ya, shoving a bunch of CS grads, postdocs, and professors into a house together = socially awkward times, all night long.)
  • Tuesday: easy run with new-to-running friend. Apparently I pushed her pace ;) which took it up into the realm of my easy pace. So that worked out!
  • Wednesday: tempo on the treadmill, really slow cool-down. Got in 30 of my assisted pull-ups and (girly) push-ups. Also signed the lease for our new house! Now, for the packing and moving: UGH.
  • Thursday: baked a cake for the Handyman's bday on Friday! And managed to not lick my fingers even once. Thank goodness Lent is over now.
  • Friday: woke up so early I made it to the gym before work for 2 easy miles + a tiny swim (mostly trying to work on technique, and also because I had to get out of the pool in time for the AquaFit class to take it over) = weekly swim goal DONE. Oh and I got in the last 20 of my pull-ups and push-ups, for 50 total = weekly push-pull goal DONE.
  • Saturday: 10 long miles. My mp3 player died at the start so it was just me and my thoughts. And, somehow, there was a headwind both ways. I think I stopped sweating at mile 7, which was very bad, but perhaps it was just because of the wind + it's pretty dry out right now. Saw my running club finishing their 10 miler at about mile 2 of mine...that was fun. Made it back home in time to go to aerial silks dance class with a friend, where I managed to do two moves all on my own which was completely awesome but not at all reflective of my getting stronger (sigh).
  • Sunday: long-ish bike ride with two slow friends - perhaps I should ride my mountain bike next time I go out with them, it's just cheating to be on a road bike when they're on hybrids. This was intended to = weekly bike goal DONE so we'll call it DONEish. ;)
oh, I did sign up for the MCM 10k in October. I was so so so tempted to sign up for the marathon -- they are masters at the social media, got everyone in a frenzy -- so this is my compromise. I still get to race on that day, and get the newsletters building up to the marathon (I assume?), and feel some of that race energy, but I don't kill myself on a marathon. Distance is not my goal for this year (though it's hard to resist the siren call...).

p.s. = weekly blogging goal DONE. ;)

Sunday, April 01, 2012

the months, they fly by...

happy April!

so...March kind of kicked my butt. But, that's a little bit fair because I totally kicked February's butt!!

here's the goals rundown(s):

February goals:
  • blog once per week. Done! According to how I calculate "weeks" anyway. ;)
  • ride my bike to work. Done! Could have done more, but without the goal I probably wouldn't've gone at all. And I've gone a few more times since - weather is ridiculous this winter/spring, I LOVE it.
  • race a 5k. Done! Freaking freezing morning, and I handily beat my time a few weeks later at the St Patty's Day 8k - so now I'm on the hunt for a cheap, timed 5k to make it official.
  • do a swim workout. Done! And I've done a few more since - off of a "sprint" training plan in the Triathlete's Magazine, which keeps me much more amused than trying to just keep swimming...
Butt. Kicked. ;)

I've observed Lent every year since I high school, at least...and those goals have kept me pretty occupied during March. For Lent, I gave up sweet things (including fruit because I am just nutso), and stopped cussing. The cussing was actually much more difficult in the beginning - it's so insidious - but in this final week or two before Easter, avoiding and saying no to all sweets has been incredibly difficult. Also, I'm mad about it because I haven't lost a single pound. Grr.

I also have been avoiding gluten, which has made me feel IMMENSELY better but I'm quickly running out of things I can eat. Sigh.

I did, though, have some only-in-my-head goals for March:
  • try a flip turn (I'm terrified of them). Done - did it yesterday! Took 3 tries, plus a few somersaults in the middle, deeper part of the pool, but yay!
  • stand up on my bike (easy on a spin bike, scares me on a real bike). Done - did this a few times this week and maybe last week too? Not hard in the slightest, which is the most exciting part to me.
  • bike to work once per week. Nope. Maybe if I'd made it a written-down goal.
  • keep blogging once per week. Ha. Hahahahaha. Oh well, try again this month?

which brings us to April goals!
  • go back to blogging at least once per week. February redux.
  • bike to work once per week. March redux.
  • swim at least once per week. Figure out how fast I need to be to not embarrass myself at a tri.
  • go on a trail run.
  • push-pull-up challenge! I'm in an aerial dance class that is kicking my BUTT and I need to build my arm strength. I'm making up the challenge on the spot...let's say, do 50 push-ups and 50 (assisted) pull-ups per week. Which is probably low but I want to make it something achievable and hopefully not injury-prone. Breaks down to less than 20 per day.
  • quit dithering and sign up for the May half-marathon and/or an Oly triathlon (currently have my eye on Rock Hall but maybe it's too small and too soon?).
  • sign up for the birthday race.

no foolin fact this is possibly the first year in many that I haven't tried to play a trick on anyone. I myself am incredibly gullible so I've generally been avoiding all links and articles today.

does anyone else have April goals?? Tell me tell me! I love to read goals posts.

Friday, February 24, 2012

on running "long" with a "plan"

this week has been so long. just typing that sentence exhausted me. there are some things going on, mostly at work, that have me feeling like I'm being pulling in 4 different directions all at once, all at the same time, all day long. despite that, I got some stuff done this week.
  1. I set up a little training "plan" for the Shamrock 8k in DC. (yes it's totally ridiculous to have a 4 week plan for an 8k race, shush -- that's why it's in scare quotes.) my first race ever was the Shamrock 8k in Portland, and when I moved to DC last year I was delighted to find that I could continue the tradition. that first race is also my fastest race ever (because I was running with a friend who didn't know I was slow, and I was just hanging onto him the whole race). I have dreams of knocking down that PR during a Shamrock 8k. unlikely to happen this year but never hurts to dream!

  2. said plan "plan" has me running at a specified pace pretty much at all times. this annoys me a little, but it means I get to play with my new buddy the Garmin 310-XT.** 
  3. despite my best efforts, I couldn't keep up the long run pace specified for my 5-mile "long" run last Saturday. after the marathon training, 5 miles seems pretty pathetic as a long run, but wowsers was I tired and sore afterwards. oh well, I am starting entirely from scratch again.
  4. I did hit the prescribed pace for my "easy" run. it did not feel so easy. my heart agrees:
    also I thought I only had to do 3 miles, but remembered after 2 miles that it was supposed to be 4. major sad panda -- I went from being 2/3 done to only 1/2. so I gave myself a little break at the 3-mile mark, that's the dip in HR up there.
  5. I did do 3x800s yesterday, but closer to the McMillan-calculated 800s pace than my pie-in-the-sky beat-my-PR plan prescribed.
  6. and last but not least: yesterday, on the most gorgeous day of the year and despite an early meeting, I BIKED TO WORK! booyah! another February goal, DONE! (I also biked home from work -- an exceedingly bad idea as I discovered that the bike path is unlit for the entirety of the path. and there have been some assaults in the area in the past couple of months, enough that the grad students here refuse to walk there after dark anymore. yeah. won't do that again...)
    light-as-a-feather Heather
meet Heather, my roadbike. I love her. my officemate was less than pleased when I stored her in the office yesterday. but he got over it. :) we are all a little OCD at times around just comes with the territory.

**I'm contemplating naming my Garmin. I name my cars (my first was Tommy Turtle the Toyota Tercel, my current is Cindy the CR-V, hubby has Sami the Suzuki Samurai...), my bikes (I also have Alex the mountain bike because she's a tough girl), and my skis (Flopsy & Mopsy, and Red & Scarlett). was contemplating Hobbes or Snuffleupagus (wow the internet really does not know how to spell that name!) cuz of the orange...but is that taking the naming-things/anthromoporphizing too far?? ;)

Monday, February 13, 2012

race report: love the run you're with 5k any other race report will tell you, this race was freaking cold. 23° when I left my house, with a reported windchill factor of 10°. oww. but, apparently not cold enough to make me forgo the $40 I'd plunked down for this race (WHY ARE 5K's SO EXPENSIVE???) by DNSing. so off I went, dressed in every single warm layer I owned, plus a top layer of (pink, Tweety) fleece -- pj pants and hoodie sweatshirt. yes I looked AWESOME. and I was totally not embarrassed by my own self.

ok I was. totally embarrassed. but I was warm!

thank God packet pickup was inside a building (bar). that was totally brilliant and more races need to do that. (do many races do that and I'm just unaware? I've really only raced a few here in DC...)

this is what I actually raced in.

(yes I love Tweety...) the winning article of clothing that day? totally the green "turtle fur" you see around my neck. kept my breath warm when I needed it and settled down lower around my neck when I didn't. and yes I raided my ski bag for this and other articles of clothing for this race. IT WAS 23 DEGREES OUT!

there was lots of pink at this race.

so much that I don't think I stood out at all -- hubby says he can always find me by watching for the pink shirt, but I'm guessing that would have been hard this time. not that he came out in that freezing weather to watch me run 3 lousy miles...

speaking of which? I totally don't respect the 5k distance at all. I'm just such a slut for distance, all I want to do is go longer. sigh. not that I'm any good at this distance -- I am a sloooooooooooow turtle and I even had to walk twice thrice during this race. sadface. also I had NO goals for this race, which was weird. BUT. this race was meant to give me a baseline to beat over the next few months, to encourage me to work on speed-not-distance. goal achieved. (also? another February goal achieved!)

current 5k PR: 35:00. new goal: 30:xx.

now I just need to find me some more 5k's. oh yes, and the money to register for them. ;)

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

swim, swam, swum

I did it! I got in the pool! I went swimming! sadly, I can't conjugate the verb 'swim' at all:

I'm so embarrassed.

is it cheating to use nose plugs? my tri friend Chris says no, the internet says no, and I can't find anything in triathlon rules specifically forbidding them. seems like a n00b move though...but it also felt way easier than not using them. I think I just never really learned how to plug my nose by pressure, so when I don't wear nose plugs, all of my energy is spent on trying not to get water up my nose/spluttering and getting all flustered when it does.

I am terrified of flip turns. I refused to do them in my workout. that needs to change. someone please tell me they're not really so terrifying/how to do them so I don't bonk into the wall or bottom of the pool...

Wednesday, February 01, 2012


poor, neglected little blog. everyone's February goals posts are making me want to do one too. but first, some updates are probably in order. ;)

1. that little half-marathon that I swore I couldn't finish? you know, the previous post on this blog (omg so long ago)? yeah I totally finished it. 2:45, and my knee twinged a lot, but always got happier after a bit of walking. so I ran-walked the, 7 miles of the half. actually I ran the last mile and passed a few people, it was loads of fun. love love LOVED that race, the course (got to the last turnaround and was yelling my fool head off because at that point I knew I'd finish), the participants (it was so small, and we run/walkers passed each other so many times, that we befriended each other a bit). woo! maybe the next time I'm bored I'll do a proper race report.

2. I ran a marathon. woo! :) this also deserves a race report, sigh. it wasn't the race I wanted. if it hadn't BEEN a race, I'd have quit and gone home at mile 3, I was that miserable. NONE of my training runs were so hard, I don't understand. I blame the extremely cold weather, which kicked off a minor asthma attack until mile 9. :( I finished, though. 6:06. and I cried when the Marine put the medal over my head. as I knew I would. I do plan to do another, but not until I get faster. UGH SLOW TURTLE.

3. I have a blood clot. probably happened a month before the marathon, when I traveled to Colorado to meet my new baby nephew, but diagnosed two weeks after the marathon. doctor says I probably tore my calf muscle, so recovery has been hampered by a) my lower leg being incredibly painful for a month and b) yep something definitely happened to my calf, it took almost 3 months to be able to run on it again. which brings us to...the end of January!

yesterday evening was basically my first run back. I think I had a 3-miler somewhere in January, but it took me 5 days to recover from that. and, perhaps choosing a track workout was not the best bet for my first run back. ;) oh well, it felt awesome to be out there again, and so many people remembered me and said hi, it was great.

so that's...the past 7 months. awesome. let's do a goal list for THIS month, to include more blogging. ;)

  • um yeah, more blogging. let's shoot for once per week.
  • ride my bike to work. this winter has been RIDICULOUSLY nice and in a few months, I'll be changing jobs and won't be able to do so anymore. take advantage now.
  • race a 5k. I've actually never run one before (started at 8k), and with my goal of getting faster, I need to also aim shorter. and talk myself out of all the halfs I want to sign up for now.
  • do a swim workout. I'll tell you a little secret: that link above points to a half-Ironman. yeah. I have the tri bug. it's bad. I've done a sprint but just with the goal to finish. I had SO MUCH FUN doing it too -- the pics of me on my bike during the race show me grinning like an idiot -- but that may have just been because I was SO GLAD to survive the swim. maybe. we'll see. my heart still belongs to running though.
that's probably enough blabbing for back to work!!