Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Training Log August 21-27

This week I actually ran four times, the most in one week since deciding to back off a little.  The only problem is, those four times occurred in the first five days, and I didn't do much at all this weekend.  But, let's concentrate on the positives, shall we?

Sun: 4 miles, 43:35- felt TERRIBLE
Mon: 3 miles with stroller, 32:50
Tues: Rest day
Weds: 2.62 miles, 25:04- felt pretty good!  Stopped when my pace started to slow significantly. 
Thurs: 3 miles on treadmill, 30:00- I almost didn't run today because I've been feeling a cold coming on since Weds. evening.  I took advantage of a burst of energy, cranked up the tunes and had my best run in a month!  I actually had to keep myself from going faster and I felt great the whole time!
Fri, Sat: Ummm, yeah, remember when I mention not doing much this weekend? 

Weekly totals:
Run: 12.62 miles

I've been having some trouble with fatigue lately (see this post) so I'm heading to the doctor this week to make sure it's just my normal seasonal stuff and not a thyroid or iron-deficiency issue.  I really hate getting blood drawn.  I once almost passed out when they pricked my finger with a lancet (this was before they had the nifty spring-loaded ones).  I really hate needles!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Winter's Coming Early This Year...

Anyone who knows me well, know that I have seasonal depression.  I was diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in college.  Every winter I am any number of negative adjectives- sad. depressed, moody, anxious, cranky, etc... (Bless the people who put up with this every year.)  I can feel it coming on.  Some years it is worse than others.   Most years I take an antidepressant once I feel it coming on, some years it hasn't been necessary.  Most years it starts in October.  This year it's starting in August.

Yep, the telltale signs are manifesting- more trouble than usual getting to sleep, restlessness. fatigue, anxiety, general edginess...the list goes on.  Is this all due to the SAD?  I don't know.  This is also my first fall without a job outside the home.  It's my first fall not having other adults to talk to on a regular basis.  And it's my first fall as a full-time stay-at-home-mom. 

I've also felt a little lost since my 70.3 race in July.  That was my big goal for the year, the climax.  What now?  Also, until the past couple days, my runs have been terrible since my race.  It's hard to get motivated to run when you're pretty sure it's going to feel terrible. 

I've started taking my antidepressants for the season.  And I've started to look for races for next year (and the year after).  Sure, I have a couple coming up yet this year, but after a marathon and a 70.3, they just seem anti-climactic.  I know I want to do Grandma's Marathon again next year, along with at least one 70.3.  I'd like to do two 70.3's but knowing how I'm feeling after this one, I don't know if that is reasonable.  I'm looking for an Ironman in 2013.  (This was always a tentative plan in my mind, but it's becoming more of a reality in an attempt to get me motivated.  Also, to register for some of them, you need to be on-site for registration the day following the previous year's race.) 

On a positive note, my run on the treadmill Thursday was awesome.  The best run in the past month!  I'm hoping that is a good omen for this winter's indoor training.  

Also, my favorite time of year is almost upon us, autumn.  You'd think that with the onset of my SAD occurring in autumn that it would be one of the lesser-liked seasons.  Au contraire!  I love autumn- it's colors, it's smells, it's weather!  The sight of the bright blue sky over a field of golden corn smelling like it's ready for harvest is one of my most treasured sensory experiences of the year. 

Now if only fall didn't go straight into winter...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

An All-New Blog

No, I am not making any changes to this blog.  I am starting a second blog!   I originally intended this blog to be all-encompassing of my life.  It has taken on a focus as my running/triathlon/training blog and when I want to blog about my garden or what I've been busy doing in the kitchen (also passions of mine), it just doesn't seem to fit.  This has led me to start a new blog, "Erin's Edible Adventures".  I intend to use this new blog to journal and highlight my garden and kitchen exploits.  I hope you enjoy reading about my (sometimes mis-)adventures!

My first Edible Adventure: Homemade Mozzarella

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Training Log August 14-20

I spent far more time in the kitchen and the garden this week than I did working out.  This is some of what I made with my garden bounty (supplemented by some farmer's market finds):
Eggplant Plop
Roasted Tomato Jam
Revived my sourdough starter
Sourdough scones
Sourdough bread (failed, didn't rise)
Sourdough waffles
Ginger Zucchini Marmalade
Pickled Garlic
Zucchini Relish

I took a jar of my pickled garlic and a jar of the ginger-pear jam I made last week to the county fair.  Each one came home with a blue ribbon!  

Here is what I did manage to get done in the training department:

Sun: 3 mile run, 29:12, Finally a run that felt good!
Mon: Walk 40 min, 33 min. of P90X Core- my back started to fail and I could no longer maintain form on any of the exercises
Tues: P90X Cardio
Weds: 25 min walk
Thurs: No organized exercise, but I walked around the county fair with Liam for 2 hours, carrying him most of that time.
Fri: Rest day
Sat: unscheduled rest day- spent all day in the kitchen until we had friends over for supper

So, the totals are pretty wimpy this week:
Run: 3 miles
Walk: 65 minutes
On the days that I didn't do any organized exercise, my Bodymedia FIT did say that I had from 2.5 to 4 hours of exercise on those days, so it's not like I was sitting around on my butt. 

I've got a few kitchen projects for this week, but not as many (I think I'm caught up with the zucchini for a while!)  I'm hoping that I will be able to get a little more organized with my training.  I do have a 10K coming up in 4 weeks, and a duathlon the week after that so I really ought to stop being a slacker.  Hmmm, I suppose that also means I should get my butt to bed so I actually have the energy to run again tomorrow! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The "Chips Are Down" Virtual Race Report

This past week, Amanda at RunToThe Finish hosted a virtual 3 mile race in honor of her 30th birthday (Happy Birthday, Amanda!)  Of course I signed on early, thinking that 3 miles would be no problem for me.  But if anyone has read my last training log or recovery post, three miles at anything more than a crawl suddenly was a problem for me. 

Sunday was my first real run in 8 days (I had done one mile mid-week just to see where I was at).  I was quite nervous about feeling like crap the whole three miles since that had been the theme of August's first week.  I was pleasantly surprised to run under 10 minutes per mile for each of the three miles!

Now, I had some awesome pictures of my race bib, me pre-run, and my Garmin time post-run, but for some reason my iPhone no longer emails pictures as .jpg files?  WTF????  I now have a camera on my phone that is a completely useless POS unless I can figure out how to fix this.  (Any suggestions or just general commiseration would be welcome!) EDIT: I have determined that this is a problem with Yahoo's new mail.  My new Gmail account sends and receives photos as .jpg just fine!  Adding them to the end of this post pronto!

Happy 30th Birthday, Amanda!  I hope this year is good to you!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Training Log Aug. 7-13

This was the first week of my redesigned recovery plan.  I didn't end up swimming at all.  It was just too nice out to drive all the way over to the pool (30 miles away) to work out inside.  Instead, Liam and I spent most of each day outside, taking a lot of walks and hanging out. 

Sun: Walk 50 minutes with stroller, P90X Shoulder & Arms (with very lightweight band- just trying to figure out how to do the moves)
Mon: AM- Walk 40 minutes with stroller, PM- Walk 20 minutes with stroller, 15 minutes yoga
Tues: Biked to town (mountain bike with child trailer)= about 6.8 miles total, Walked 30 minutes (pushing mountain bike with trailer- into the wind on the gravel while pulling a trailer was harder than I wanted to push)
Weds: Had a terrible headache most of the day.  I was all ready to go to yoga, but my sitter forgot and didn't show up.  That ended up to be okay, the email that was to notify everyone that yoga was cancelled that week got lost in cyberspace somewhere.
Thurs: AM- Run 1 mile, 10:28, with stroller, followed by 20 minute walk.  PM- 30 minute walk with stroller
Fri: Rest day
Sat: No workouts, but I don't think I sat down all day.  Dave was nice enough to watch Liam all day so that I could get a bunch of stuff done.

Bike: 6.8 miles
Run: 1 mile
Walk: 190 minutes
1 Strength Workout

And the spoiler for next week's log: My 3 mile run this Sunday felt great!  I managed to average under 10 minutes per mile, and while that was pushing the pace a little, I didn't feel nearly as bad as I did running 12 minute miles a couple weeks ago!  Hooray for productive recovery weeks!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Rethinking Recovery

Week one of my recovery plan is now complete.  It did not go well.  Running feels like (and is!) a slow shuffle even if I only go a couple miles.

After feeling worse each day, I realized I needed to do more research on recovery.  I thought that a week off followed by a week of easy would be fine.   Apparently, I was wrong. 

A Google search led me to this document by Gale Bernhardt: "Recovery After Racing", found on ActiveTrainer.com

In this document, Gale lists the recovery time for triathlon as being 3-5 days per hour of racing.  Wow!  Given my 7+ hour race, that means I need to be in recovery mode for 21-35 days!  No wonder I don't quite feel up to snuff. 

I also found another document to support Gale's suggestion of 3-5 days off per hour of racing.  Ironman.com's document, "Post Ironman Race Recovery!", suggests that the typical age-grouper needs 6-8 weeks of recovery following a full Ironman before resuming their regular training schedule.  Cut that in half (my race was a half-Ironman distance) and it matches up perfectly with the number of recovery days suggested by Gale.  

So, I am backing off for a few weeks.  I will no longer be following the Hal Higdon Post-marathon plan that I had originally planned to use.  These next few weeks will have no more than 2 easy runs per week.  In addition to that, I plan to swim at least once per week, do yoga 2-3 times per week, and try to use my foam roller at least every other day.  I also plan to walk every day as a means to fill the time slot formerly occupied by training and to stave off boredom.  Liam and I may take out the mountain bike and child trailer to toodle around the neighborhood, but the road bike will probably remain in the garage for the time being.  In a couple weeks, I will reevaluate how I am feeling and go from there. 

The hardest part of being your own coach is being objective.  Did I know that the crappy runs early in the week meant that I should have backed off?  Yep.  Did I back off? Nope.  I completed my workouts as written, rather than listening to my body or evaluating my performance.  I wouldn't push another athlete like that.  Why do I think I am any different? 

Are you your own coach?  What methods do you use to evaluate your own performance?  Are you able to remain objective?

Friday, August 5, 2011

How To Get Your Kid To Eat Vegetables

I often hear complaints from other parents that their child just won't eat vegetables.  From my experience, although limited, I offer you these tips:

A younger Liam sporting a Green Monster mustache.

1.  Give him vegetables.  At every meal.  If he doesn't like them, keep offering them.  Kids will eat something one day that they wouldn't touch the day before, they're weird like that.  You could also try a different method of preparation, adding a little butter or olive oil, or some spice.  Kids don't like bland food, either.

"Mmmm, broccoli.  My favorite!"
He likes the corn.  How do we teach him not to eat the cob?

2.  Eat your vegetables. I repeat: At every meal.  Don't like vegetables?  Doesn't matter.  No making faces allowed.  If you want your kids to like them, put on an Oscar worthy performance to make them think you do. 

Tonight's supper, straight from our garden.  This was just my first helping!

3.  Buy or grow fresh vegetables.    There are huge flavor and texture differences in canned and frozen vegetables when compared to fresh.  If you can grow your own (or buy them at a farmer's market), you're likely to get an even better tasting vegetable. 

Container gardening in our front yard: Spinach and greens.

4.  Hide the vegetables, but only as a last resort.  The only vegetable I have to hide for Liam is fresh spinach, and that's because he doesn't have enough teeth to chew the leaves yet.  I make Green Monster smoothies for us to share.  They are a delicious way to get picky children (or children with no molars!) to eat their greens.  You can puree carrots and celery into pasta sauce, cauliflower into mashed potatoes.  Or consult Jessica Seinfeld's cookbook Deceptively Delicious for other great ways to hide vegetables. 

Green Monster smoothie= Delish!

I readily admit that by no means am I an expert in parenting, but these simple rules have worked well for us.  Have a picky spouse?  I have a sneaking suspicion these tips will work on picky adults as well! 

Now let's all raise our Green Monsters and have a toast to vegetable-loving children!

Time to Refocus/Short-Term Goals

Ahhhh, recovery!  Time to sit and plan my next move.  During my time at the lake (and in the car getting there and back), I penciled out a plan for the whole next year.  I plan to run Grandma's Marathon again and am considering Chisago Lakes Half-Iron for a second time.  I know that I want to continue multisport training.

This year's race season seems like it's pretty much over.  I do have a few more races scheduled, but after the "Big 2" I've done already this year, they seem anticlimactic.

It's time to focus on losing some weight and building strength, especially in weak muscle groups, while maintaining my base enough to put in solid performances in my upcoming races.  To achieve this goal, I am planning to do the following (short-term):
1.  Eat clean.  A week at the lake of eating what was served and indulging in what was quite possibly a little too much wine left me feeling sluggish and bloated.  After just a few days back home, I am feeling better already.  I am trying to add even more fruits and vegetables to my diet during this season of bounty.  (Too bad those weeds aren't edible- we've got lots of those, too!)
2.  P90X  I plan to follow this closely with a few adaptations (running will replace some of the cardio) to improve my strength and power.
3.  Hal Higdon running plansI plan to use the Post-marathon plan followed by the Winter Training plan.  This will be adjusted to mesh with my races and P90X plan.
4.  Utilize my BodyMediaFIT.  This device has been an eye-opener for me.  I didn't realize I was burning so many calories in a day.  No wonder I was always ravenous when I tried to cut calories!  I plan to use this to eat back my calories burned within a day to within 500 calories of what I have burned.  This should result in approximately 1 pound of weight loss per week. 

How do you refocus after completing a race or meeting a goal?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

July Training Log

Wow, it's been a long time since I posted a training log.  We have been so busy this summer that I've hardly remembered to log my workouts at all.  Thank goodness for a Garmin that remembers them for me!
Since it's been so long, I'll only list the July totals:
SWIM: 6916yds
BIKE: 168.65 miles
RUN: 46.07 miles

July included two weeks of tapering and a recovery week so the totals are really low.  I raced twice in July: Chisago Lakes Half-Iron and Quad-City Times Bix 7. August is off to a good start, but my legs are still tired.  I'm using Hal Higdon's Post-marathon plan for the next few weeks as I recover and refocus.  But that's a whole other post...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

No Toe-Dipping

"A Whale Of A Challenge" - great little motivational post by Tanya at Everydayfor60.  New rule in my house: No toe-dipping.

I'm on espnW.com!

On a whim, I submitted an article to GOTRIbal.  They liked it enough that they put it on espnW.com!  Here is "What I Wish I Knew Before My First Race"   Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bix 7 Race Report

Finishing the Quad-City Times Bix 7
OK, so I didn't really race so much as just run easy.  I just completed my first 70.3 triathlon six days before Bix and my legs were still tired.  I wasn't even sure I'd run the whole seven miles, as there is an option to run the Quick Bix (2 miles) and you don't even have to decide until you reach the turnaround. 

This race was huge!  18,057 in a seven mile race means you don't ever really get out of the crowd to hit your own stride.  I really need to learn to lie about my predicted finishing time like everyone else so I get a better starting corral.  I had planned on taking it pretty easy, but I hadn't planned on dodging people for 6 of the 7 miles.  I was also forced to take two walking breaks up hills when I was boxed in by other people that had decided to walk up the hill. 

Just before mile 6, I was able to break out of the crowd a little bit and had my fastest mile split of 9:34.  My finishing time was 1:16:48. 
Notice I was 277th in my age group.  Considering Catherine Ndereba won my age group, that's not too shabby!