Friday, February 29, 2008

No Such Thing As A Good Excuse

Ok, well maybe a severe injury or a life threatening disease could be a good excuse for missing a workout, but most of the time you really just have a plain old excuse. And there’s really nothing good about it, it just is what it is. So here’s my story, my excuse, my whatever, for missing last night’s long run.

It snowed for most of the day, but nothing heavy and it wasn’t sticking to the roads. I am NOT going to run an hour on the rat wheel, I can run outside. Coach Mike says not to unless I have some kind of traction device on my shoes. Which I don’t have. I call the local running store, “we only have YakTrax in a size medium.” Too big. What to do. Looking out my window at the street below, the roads just look wet, it’s not icy. If I bust my butt home and get ready fast, I can get my run in before the temp drops and it does get slick.

Ok, leaving work as planned…on time…cruising home through minimal traffic, yep the roads are only wet not icy. At home, I go in the house, let out the dog, and begin the process of getting dressed in my cold weather gear. Tights, wind resistant pants, base layer top, wicking layer, illuminite jacket, vest, stocking cap and gloves. And socks and shoes of course. All dressed ready to go. Darn it, I forgot to put on the chest strap for my heart rate monitor. Back upstairs, grab the strap, go to the sink, turn on the warm water, wet the sensors, put on the strap, pull down and tuck in my shirts, zip up my jacket, zip up my vest, put on my watch. Hit the start button…waiting, waiting, waiting for it to register my HR…. ‘00’! UGH! Ok the sensors didn’t get damp enough. Repeat process. Waiting, waiting, waiting…’00’. ARGH! This thing drives me nuts. Third time’s a charm, right? This time I literally run the sensors under the faucet to wet them. Snap it on and BEFORE putting myself back together, tested the connection again. ‘00’. FORGET IT. I’m wasting time. I’m running without the data, I don’t care.

In the garage, stretching…getting ready to go. Step out into the driveway, feel the wind draft around my neck…hmmm, I need my balaclava. Back inside, up the stairs…searching, searching…where did I leave that darn thing? Finally! (under a pile of clothes on the floor in the closet that I have yet to put away. From a week ago. But whatever.) Balaclava on, out into the garage, stretch a little more, hit start on my watch …waiting…waiting…waiting…79! Score, ready to roll. Shut the garage door with the keypad, start my watch and I’m off! Step, step, step, SLIP, step, SLIP, SLIP, step, SLIP. This is not going to work, it’s too icy. *SIGH* Fine, I’ll just go run on the darn rat wheel.

Back in the garage, I see the bag of ice melt leaning against the wall. I should probably put some of that on the driveway. But I can’t put it down with my running gloves on, I have to change them. Inside the house, swap gloves, close the door to the house, back in the garage, spread the ice melt. Done. Ok, time to go change and get to the Y. Up the steps, turn the knob and PUSH…what the?? Turn the knob…not turning! How can that be? Is it stuck? Wait…what? Locked? How could THAT be? I didn’t lock it. Darn it! (Ok, so this isn’t exactly the same words I chose last night, but I’m keeping this G rated. Remember my 1 month old nephew reads this!) No key either. Now what? Maybe, just maybe, I didn’t lock the back door when I let Sunny out earlier. Run around the house, through the snow drifts, up the steps to the back door. Turn the handle and push….no dice. Locked too. Ok, last option, door #3. Back through the snow, around the house, up the steps to the front door. Grab the knob… it turns!! YESSSS! Push…yeah, nice try. The dead bolt is locked. *commence loud and obnoxious swearing*

So now I'm locked out of the house, sitting in the garage on the steps fuming mad. Laura isn’t planning to be home for at least another hour and a half. The garage isn’t heated, and I’m getting cold very quickly. Luckily I have my cell (always a safety precaution when I go on long runs). Dialed the office….”Um, yeah…I locked myself out of the house.” “So what are you doing now?” “Sitting in the garage.” *loud laugh* *grumble from me* “I’ll leave now and come home.” “Thanks.”

Now I'm sitting in my car waiting for Laura to arrive. Since I had just gotten home it was still warm from having my heat on. Good thing I have an emergency blanket in my car...I need it to stop the shivers. So, I’m mad, embarrassed and suddenly starving. Literally, as soon as Laura opens the door, I grab my car keys and do what any mad, starving athlete would do in this situation. I head to Taco John’s . Nothing like calming yourself with a meat and potato burrito and some potato oles. So I drown my irritation in wonderful greasy fast food, and look at the clock. Almost 9pm. UGH, I have to teach kickboxing at 6am and I still need to figure out what I’m going to do. *grumble* I give up, this run just ain’t happening.

And there it is folks…my excuse for last night’s missed workout. Sounds a lot like my dog ate my homework, huh???

Thursday, February 28, 2008

It's Only Been 22 Days This Time!

Funny how you go three months without blogging then all of a sudden you have so much stuff you don’t know which to write about! So, here’s just a list of things mulling around in my head right now about The Race, my training, and other random things.

  1. The swim start of the Galveston race looks to be a deep water start. *panic* Thank god for wetsuits. I hope it’s true you really can’t drown in a wetsuit. It is true, isn’t it???
  2. Salt water. Is it going to get into my goggles and burn my eyes? What if I get my goggles kicked off or they break? What if I take in too much water on the swim and I end up having other issues during the race as a result???
  3. My swimming…*sigh*…Coach Mike took some video last night of my technique. Underwater and above water. I’ve got A LOT of work to do. No wonder I have problems with my right shoulder. And just when I thought I was doing well….
  4. I need to get my bike in next week for a tune up. And probably a new back tire…it looks pretty worn from the trainer this winter.
  5. Is it EVER GOING TO STOP SNOWING???? I just want it to stop, warm up enough to melt the ice and snow so I can take my bike out and get some real road time in. I do not want my first outdoor ride to be in Texas on race weekend.
  6. I really don’t like oatmeal. I thought I’d give it another shot, see if I could stomach it. I’ve had a hard time finding something I can eat pre-race. So far, I’ve only been able to do a banana and a Quaker Oats granola bar (chocolate chip). That’s been enough fuel for my sprint races, but this is a wee bit longer than that. Maybe if I put nuts in the oatmeal, gave it some crunch. Hmmm.
  7. Race Report: Red Flannel run (5 mi) went pretty well. It was cold, but I put on enough gear that it wasn’t too bad (don’t worry I still complained to anyone within earshot that it was COLD). I was stoked to see my TRI running pal, Vick, at the start. We run well together, so I knew she’d help keep me on a good pace. I finished under my goal time by 30 seconds and clocked a sub-8:00 min/mile pace. Not blazing, by any means, but a PR none the less. I’ll take it.
  8. I think I’m obsessed with swim caps. I see a cool one at the sports store, I have to buy it. Pink with skulls, white with retro blue flower print…I just can’t stop myself. I’m weak.
  9. Did I mention that I want it to stop snowing? It’s coming down AGAIN. I’m so over it.
  10. I haven’t seen my nephew in a couple of weeks and my trip to Chi-town this week got nixed. He’ll be one month old tomorrow. It sucks being 5 ½ hours away from him. But at least they will be here for Easter. Hi, Gabe! Auntie misses you!! (yes, my one month old nephew reads my blog. He's a genius baby, it runs in the family)
  11. This blog entry is getting long…I’ve probably lost my two readers already. Maybe I should learn how to insert pictures to keep it interesting. Hmmm, that would entail actually taking some pictures to post….

    Ok, I’m done for the day. Thanks for reading!!! Till next time!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Bad, Bad Blogger...and Other Fun Stuff

"How can I spy on you if you don't write in your blog?"
"You haven't written in your blog since November 15."
" updates for quite a while. :) Nudge, nudge."
"I've seen no blog updates.......I know you are still alive and pedaling, and even kicking and running....."

Ok, ok, I'm here! Sheesh! I had no idea I had such a captive audience! Lots has happened since I wrote in my blog LAST YEAR, but I'll give you a quick summary then get to the most recent stuff.

November/December - Thanksgiving, my sister's baby shower, snow storms, Christmas, New Years Eve. Notice not a lot of training in that list? Yeah that's cuz I slacked off.

Early January - Pain. Soreness. Exhaustion. Notice now I started my training again. It is unbelievable how quickly you lose your endurance when you slack off. I told Coach Mike I wanted no more rest days in my schedule. I have a race in three months! Yeah, well, I didn't expect him to listen to me. But he did. Workout after workout after workout. More and more mileage...harder and longer intervals. Yikes! It's all good though...exactly what I needed to get back on track.

Mid January to late January - Extreme pain. I was in the middle of the first "long" run of the month - I think it was a 6 miler - and I felt a cramp in my right calf. I stopped the rat wheel (aka treadmill) and stretched as best I could. But apparently my cramps are as stubborn as I am and it wouldn't go away. I had to abandon my run after 4 miles. Then for the next two days, I could barely walk let alone think about running on it. I was still able to do bike workouts, but running was out of the question.

Two days after incurring this injury, I packed up my car and headed east to the southern suburbs of Chicago to stay with my sister while we anxiously awaited the arrival of the first baby in the family. The little bugger was due on January 22, so I thought heading out the weekend before was good...she'd have the baby, I'd be home in a week, right? WRONG. The little monster decided to stay in hiding an extra week, so I was there for two entire weeks. Luckily I was able to work out a nice deal at the local Lifetime Fitness facility to be able to keep up my training. I took advantage of the hot tub at the gym to do some therapy on my sore calf muscle. Combined with a nightly regimen of stretching, using The Stick, and applying a generous amount of IcyHot, I was able to get my calf rehabbed and back on the rat wheel, I mean treadmill. I was also able to take some great spin classes while I was there and use the lap pool to get my swimming done. I was on FIRE with my workouts, getting every single one in.

January 29, 2008 - This was, by far, the absolute best day of my life. This was the day my nephew Gabriel Wesley was born. My sister and her husband gave me the most amazing opportunity to be part of the delivery and bringing Gabe into this world. I can't even begin to explain to them, or to anyone else, how honored I was to be part of that. It was truly an incredible experience. He's so cute I had to show everyone...

February - Back to the training grindstone. I took a few days off to spend with Gabe after he came home from the hospital, but I headed home on Saturday. It was time to come back and get focused on my training again. So here I am. No current injuries to report. Nothing to complain about (ok well maybe that 8 mile run Coach Mike has in my plan for this weekend). So, I think my work here is done. I promise I will be back soon...and not two months later!