Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Modern Morning Runner

A long, long time ago, my running partner Jim and I were devout morning runners. And then after I had Sophie we kind of fell out of the routine. We have tried to revive it many times, but have failed. I would shut off my alarm and snooze obliviously while Jim sat in his car in my driveway. Or I would get up and get ready, only to have Jim over sleep (which often would mean I would get my pajamas on and go back to bed. Lame, I know.).

But now we are trying to get back into the morning routine and using modern technology to assist us. At 6:00 yesterday and today, I got a text from Jim: "On my way." That's enough to get my lazy ass out of bed. And in the 10 minutes it takes me to get ready, Jim is at my house and ready to run.

We're two for two so far this week . . . hopefully we can keep it up. The benefits of getting up and running in the morning far outweigh the extra hour of sleep I get by skipping it.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Race Report - Lake Country Trialthlon

This morning I raced the Lake Country Triathlon in Baxter for the second year in a row. Last year, I signed up with two of my friends after we caughter the tri bug and had such a blast at the Chisago Tri. We loved this race so much last year, we decided to do it again. This year, we made a weekend of it and brought the kids - had a great time hanging at the waterpark.

Our hotel was pretty close to the race site, so I was able to sleep in until 6:30, which felt late for a race morning! Once we got to the lake I quickly set up my transition area. It is amazing to me what people drag into transition - a guy near me actually brought a chair! At the Chisago tri, you rack in transition according to race number and I swear everybody has about 3 inches of space. Of course, this forces you to use only your 3 inches and respect everybody's space. At this tri, not so much. People are all over the place, taking up several feet for their transition area. Oh well.

After getting set up, we snapped a quick pic in transition.

We then ventured down to the water to check out the swim course. Yep, looked longer than I remembered.

After a quick pre-race meeting, we were off. Or rather, the 20 to 29 year old men were off. I waited around for about 15 minutes until my wave (wave 6) went off.

Swim - 1/2 mile
Last year, the water was very choppy and the swim nearly killed me. The water today was very calm, so I really wanted to improve on my 27:ish swim time from last year. (I know, slow - I am a very slow swimmer!) I stuck close to the buoys and after the second buoy, was with the "slow" people in my wave. By the third buoy, the fast ladies from the wave behind mine were on me. By the time I reached the fifth buoy (and started turning back to shore), it was just me and the slow pokes. I just kept swimming. Swimming is so weird to me - I feel like I am in a complete time warp and have no clue as to how much time has passed. Could be five minutes, could be six days. Finally I was back on shore and running up to transition. 24:46 - still slow, but an improvement from last year so I am happy!

T1 - 3:21
I am so slow in T1. I should have borrowed that guy's chair and sat down to get my socks and bike shoes on. My post-swim dizziness combined with my usual clutziness makes putting on socks and shoes very difficult. I managed without any head injuries, so I'll call it a success.

Bike - 17.3 miles
Last year, I did this bike in 1:00:40. So my main goal for today was to break an hour in the bike. I started out and felt strong right away. I quickly reeled in some ladies from my age group and from the wave the started before and after me. From about the 6-7 mile mark until mile 12 or so there are some pretty decent hills on the bike course and I picked people off on the hills. During the whole bike, I was only passed twice - once by a guy (who started two waves before me, not sure what that was about) and once by a gal in my age group, who I passed back two miles from the end). I took a Gu Roctane at about mile 13 and really felt a boost. Pretty sure there were flames shooting out of the back of my bike the last couple of miles. :) Finished the bike in 58:08 and met my goal!

T2 - 1:56
Apparently I am not much better changing shoes after biking than I am putting shoes on after swimming. I wonder if I can improve this by spinning around in circles in my driveway and then trying to change shoes?

Run - 3.9 miles
Last year, I sort of died on the run. I remember taking walk breaks. My goal this year was to finish the run without any walking. As I was running out, I saw both of my friends and was able to cheer them on. I stuck my headphones in, listened to music and just focused on putting one foot in front of the other. I had a very steady (if not very speedy) run - never quit running. I picked up the pace as I came around the corner to the finish and was done in 36:51. An improvement of about a minute from last year's time.

My overall time was 2:05:01 - more than five minutes faster than last year. After kind of a strange summer training-wise, I am very happy with those results. Better yet, I definitely remembered why I fell in love with triathlon. Today left me excited for the last tri I am signed up for this year - the One Last Tri on September 19th.

Thanks for reading, hope you all had a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tuesday Treats

I love my Tuesday workouts. Usually I run in the morning (skipped this morning because my husband is in the Boundary Waters and apparently three years old is a little young to stay home alone). But my favorite part of Tuesday is my evening workout - kettlebells class followed by a 10 mile easy bike ride. Kettlebells completely wipes me out, so much so that my arms have a hard time holding myself up on the bike. The bike ride is a great way to cool down from kettlebells, plus we are enjoying some beautiful late summer evening weather and it is so nice to soak it up.

See? I don't always bitch about the weather. Just November through May.

Speaking of November, I just booked tickets to Denver to visit my brother over Thanksgiving. That will give me something to look forward to as we enter the season which shall not be named.

Monday, August 22, 2011

It's All About the Silver Lining

Last Thursday I dropped my car (a 2007 Ford Escape) off at the shop for an oil change and to check a problem I have been having. Not even half an hour later, the shop called and said I needed a new transmission. My response? "You better call my husband. I'm not dealing with this." So grown up, I know. The silver lining? I got a new car. :) My 2012 Ford Edge should be here this week . . .

With the car trouble, I nixed my trip to Madison. I was bummed about missing the half marathon scheduled for Saturday. I have run this race the last two years and was really looking forward to it. The silver lining? I came down with an awful cold and couldn't run more than a mile on Saturday without falling on the ground gasping for breath. It would have sucked to be at a race and discover that little problem.

I'm still struggling to find the silver lining with this nasty cold. Maybe a sexier voice? Finally using the mega pack of Kleenex's I bought for the office at Costco? I'll figure something out.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Signs of the Times

A sure sign that the end (of summer) is near is our ladies' golf league tournament. Tonight. Sob. This season has flown by. And with my blogging absence, I haven't been able to regale you with the usual tails of falling out of golf carts, cavorting about the golf course, and such.

It's been a pretty tame golf season. My golf partner is pregnant, so she's been drinking water all season. Since she hasn't been drinking, I haven't been either. A few weeks ago, she and I headed over to Siren National in Wisconsin to golf on a Saturday. The course was pretty busy and we ended up waiting several times behind a group of four younger guys in front of us.

On the 14th green, we pulled the flag to find a ball in the cup. And the ball said "Cougar" on it. We joked that the college guys in front of us left it there on purposes. Sure enough, one of the guys passed us looking for a club and asked if we found the ball his buddy left for us.

Seriously? Erin chose to take it as a compliment, but I was mystified. Don't I look like I am in college? Don't you have to be OLD to be a cougar? And creepy?

A summer full of self-realization . . .

Monday, August 15, 2011


So I guess it's been a while . . .

I had basically given up on blog but found I really miss the creative outlet. Also, writing about working out seems to make me better about actually working out. And actually working out makes me happy and healthy.

What have I been up to for the last two months?

In July, I DNF'd at my very first half ironman. Started in the last wave of swimmer's and swam super slow (which I expected, because I am a super slow swimmer). Actually missed the cut off time for the swim, but did the bike. Then was so far behind the cut off time, didn't even start the run. I will do a half ironman someday, but I think I need to wait until I get a bit faster in the water and until I am at a better place in my life to devote more time to training. Live and learn.

We spent the first week of August relaxing on vacation at the lake. I got in a couple of fun runs and a long bike ride with my father-in-law.

Lots of stuff going on in the next few weeks - the Madison 1/2 Marathon this weekend, the Baxter Tri next weekend, some camping, a baby shower for my sister, a tri in White Bear Lake . . . and before I know, it will be Twin Cities Marathon weekend.

The long and the short of it is (1) I need to get my ass in gear and (2) hello consistency. Working out for three hours one day is great. Following it up by three days of lazing around on the couch eating ice cream? Not so great. Hence the revival of the blog.