Sunday, June 27, 2010

Week 25 Recap

I had another great week of running, despite some foot ache. I've been icing it and it's no more than a minor annoyance, but I am watching it closely. I only biked to work once this week because I was exhausted and if something has to give, it isn't going to be the running =P So until further notice, I will not bike to work on running days.

My mini vacation did not start out as planned, but it ended great. Traveling by train is awesome, and we'll certainly be doing that again ... soon I hope. Running that 10 miler on my own in the heat was tough, but I felt so accomplished, and a bit hard core. I continue to amaze myself at what I am willing and able to endure to achieve my goals, and I can't wait to tackle my next challenge.

Week Totals (rounded)
  • run - 19 miles (3x)
  • walk - 9 miles
  • bike - 31 miles
  • strength/core - 80 push ups
  • yoga - 15 min
  • exercise hours - 10 hrs
Workout Summary
See details on Dailymile
  • Monday 
    • walked 2.5 miles (bus stop)
    • 80 push ups w3d1c3
  • Tuesday 
    • ran 4 miles (tempo); 
    • biked 30 miles (GMS + Work); 
    • 15m yoga; 
    • walked 1.2 miles (publix)
  • Wednesday 
    • 20m cardio kick
    • walked 2 miles (bus stop)
  • Thursday 
    • ran 5 miles (track)
    • walked 2 miles (bus stop)
  • Friday 
    • walked 1 mile (bus stop/amtrak)
  • Saturday 
    • ran 10 miles in 2h 15m
  • Sunday 
    • biked 1.2 miles (atm/eola FM)
    • walked .6 miles (bus stop)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Determination = 10 Miles in a Sauna

I just came back from a brutal 10 mile run, but I got it done and feel great now that it is over. I am in Ft. Lauderdale with Jason visiting his parents, so I had to run this one by myself, without the comfort of my Galloway group. I could not find my ipod shuffle to keep me company, but since I always carry my phone anyway, I figured I could listen to music on that, and it worked well.

I did this same run alone last winter, but it was cold and thus not nearly as much of a struggle. The heat and humidity adds a whole new level of difficulty and requires some serious determination and mental strength. It was literally like running in a sauna, because I was steamy from the very start. I am glad I brought a towel with me, because I was wiping my face during almost every walk break.

This run really tested my mental resolve, and I am so glad I didn't skip the run like I contemplated ever so briefly. I needed to clear my head, and I feel much better now, even if my feet disagree. My legs felt heavy, and my feet were achy, so I started really slow at 14:20 then gradually picked up the pace as I went to finish with a 13:31 min/mi average. Splits: 14:20 - 14:19 - 13:48 - 13:52 - 13:17 - 13:26 - 13:23 - 12:57 - 12:53 - 12:50.

Funny story ... while I was huffing and puffing during the last few miles, a women pulls up next to me and offers me a pamphlet. I have no idea what it was about, but I am guessing god because I think it resembled the one the Spanish Jehovah's witness tried to give me at the train station yesterday. I waved her off, she wished me a nice day, and drove off. But seriously? Can you not see I am running here? Do you really think I am going to stop to grab your stupid pamphlet and then proceed to carry it with me for the rest of the run? It would be a wet mess by the time I finished anyway. Unbelievable!

Jason asked me last night, as I was complaining about my aching feet and not looking forward to running 10 miles in the heat and humidity this morning alone, that if I am not enjoying running why do it? And I can see how from his perspective it would seem that way. But I was not complaining about the running, I enjoy the running immensely! It keeps me sane. What I don't always enjoy is what it takes -- the aches and pains that sometimes follow, waking up early and thus having to go to bed early, running in a sauna, etc. But no matter what, I always feel 100% better after I am done with the run, no matter how difficult. In fact, the more difficult the run, the better I feel about completing it. I guess we runners are masochists =P But I wouldn't give it up for the world.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Three Things Thursday: No Car Update, Mini Vacation, Running

#1 - Living without a car is going to kill me! LOL All this biking and running leaves me exhausted most nights, and I barely have enough energy or time to blog after dinner before I have to get my stuff ready for the next day or go to bed early. However, I suspect the real culprit is not the extra cycling, but waking up before 4 am twice a week to run with my group because I can't seem to go to bed early enough the night before -- 8 pm is just too early and it is still light out! So I'm going to ride the bus more until my body gets used to waking up so early, and then I may add more biking back in.

#2 - We're going on a mini vacation this weekend (Fri-Sun) to visit Jason's parents in Ft. Lauderdale. It will be a fun adventure as we ride the train there and bike to and from the station with our new bike trailer. I'll be sure to take plenty of photos. In fact, maybe I'll do a "Day in the Life" photo album ... maybe. This means I'll miss my group run on Saturday :( and will have to do my 10 mile long run on my own, but I'm not worried because I've done it before. I really need this mini vacation because all we've been doing lately is exercise, work, eat, sleep, repeat.

#3 - I can't think of a 3rd thing. I am sure I had one, but it escapes me at the moment. So I'll just say that I'm really enjoying my running and I'm feeling really strong. Even though I am tired, I still find motivation to run, I just skip the rest. Now I just need to get back in the groove of doing yoga, core, and strength training regularly.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

MBE on Tuesday: The Athletic Family

Monday Brain Exchange (MBE) is sponsored by Jill, who blogs at Finishing Is Winning. This week's topic is The Athletic Family.

Question: Do you come from an athletic family? Are your parents/siblings/spouses/children also involved in your sport(s)?

Post-Race Lunch
Dad, Mom, Me, Jason, Bob (Jason's Dad)
Breast Cancer Marathon Relay
When I was growing up, my dad was the only athlete in the family. I remember going to watch him race and there always being a spread of food to entertain us while we waited. I was there when he ran the NYC marathon, his first, and he was there when I ran my first marathon. Running those last 2 miles with him was priceless. I can't even begin to tell you how awesome it is that I too found the joy of running and can finally share this with him.

The closest my sister and I got to a sport was color guard/dance team, which is not really a sport. After I started running, my dad started again after a 7 year hiatus, and my mom started too to lose weight and get in shape. Now all 3 of us race together often, and it is awesome. We even did a marathon relay, and it's one of my most memorable races. We'll be running the Watermelon 5K on July 4th as a family with matching shirts.

Dad and I at start
Dad and I at the Corporate 5K
Last week it occurred to me that I didn't know how or why my dad started running, so I interviewed him about his running on father's day. He started running in 1987, when he was 37, to lose weight. He was already married with kids (me! and my sis Karen, and half sister Lisa). Him and his cousin ran together, but his cousin didn't keep running; my dad did. He trained and ran a 10K with his company, his first race, and got the running bug.

He kept running consistently for years, mostly racing 10Ks while we were still living in Puerto Rico. He says he rarely raced 5Ks until recently; they were just not as common as the 10K in Puerto Rico. When we moved to the US, he wasn't running as much, but finally got into the New York City Marathon in 1993. He did not get in at first and was put on a waiting list, so he stopped training, but then got in at the last minute and was not as prepared.

His most memorable race is running the NYC Marathon again in 2001, two months after 9-11. Listening to him talk about running the NYC marathon (where he grew up) with such passion is motivation enough for me to want follow in his footsteps. The 2001 marathon, which I did not witness, was an incredible experience because cops and firefighters were running in memory of those lost when the towers fell. The support and energy was unlike any other.

He also ran the Disney Marathon once, but he didn't like it -- maybe this is where I get it from =) Then again, how can any race compete with the NYC Marathon? His favorite race distance is the 10k, but he has now run 2 half marathons (I got to share with him his first half marathon in Melbourne in 2009) and loves that distance since he isn't running marathons anymore. I see many more races together in our future -- by together I mean that we run the same race because he is much faster than me :) On the schedule so far is the Miami Halloween Half, and he'll be running the Space Coast Half while I run the full marathon.

Disney Royal Family 5K
Mon and I at Disney's Royal Family 5K
My mom hasn't been running as long or as consistently, but she has caught the running bug too. Unfortunately, she has class on Saturdays when most races are held, so she's limited until August. She loves to race though, and has improved a lot in a very short amount of time. I was so proud of her for running 5 miles when we did the relay, and think she should train for a 10k but she likes the 5k distance. I'll have to work on her some more ;) We've run a few races together, as in side by side until the end, and I plan to stick with her during the Watermelon 5K.

Muddy Buddy Orlando
Jason and I, team Alice in Muddyland,
at Muddy Buddy Orlando

Jason has been athletic all his life and has probably tried every sport out there. He started running after I did, mostly running 5Ks when I did without any training (yes, I hate him too =P). Although he still claims he doesn't like it, he runs regularly and is currently training for a Half Ironman Triathlon.

We used to run together occasionally at the beginning, but having an athletic background and being a boy, his speed has increased faster than mine and is no longer feasible for us to run together. We've done a couple of races together -- UCF Adventure Race and Muddy Buddy Orlando -- and are plotting a duathlon soon (he'll bike and I'll run). We're also doing the Urban Dare in November.

So that's my running family. I can't wait to see what adventures we share next :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Week 24 Recap

This was a great week! I ran 4 times, a total of 20 miles, which I haven't done since the last week in April. Marathon training is off to a great start; the 3:1 group is working out well, and I'm loving the track workouts! I've been reading the Ultimate Runner, which is really inspirational and makes me itch to run another marathon already -- as if I really needed further motivation :)

Since I am doing 3 runs per week with my Galloway training group (instead of just long runs on Saturdays), I'm adding a 4th run to my training schedule that's just for me and for the joy of running. It will be short, slow, and without walk breaks whenever I feel like it. It may not happen every week, specially when I have a really long run on Saturday, but it'll serve as a nice recovery run and way to clear my head when needed. I did the first today and it was great.

In the food front, I am still not eating chocolate and it is taking every ounce of will power to keep it up for another 10 days. I've already eaten out 4 times this month, so let's hope I can make it another 10 days without eating out. However, even if I eat out once more, that is still 94.4% homemade meals, so that would be close enough.

How was your week?

Week Totals (rounded)
  • run - 20 miles (4 runs) 
  • walk - 9 miles 
  • bike - 70 miles 
  • yoga -  1h 47m / 6 sessions
  • exercise hours - 14.5 hrs
Workout Summary
See details on Dailymile
  • Monday 
    • biked 29 miles (work x2)
    • 40 min yoga (2x)
  • Tuesday 
    • biked 29 miles (GMS + work x2)
    • ran 4 miles in 46 min @ 11:27 (tempo)
    • 20 min yoga 
  • Wednesday 
    • walked 1.25 miles (bus stop)
    • 17 min yoga
  • Thursday 
    • ran 5 miles (track)
    • walked 2.25 miles (bus stop + wu/cd)
    • 12 min yoga
  • Friday - walked 4.7 miles (bus stop x2 + dinner)
  • Saturday 
    • ran 8.25 miles @ 12:08 (long)
    • biked 11 miles (GMS + movies)
    • 18 min yoga
  • Sunday
    • ran 3 miles in 38 min @ 12:45  (recovery)
    • walked 1.2 miles (fm + publix)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

New Galloway Pace Group And Giveaway!

New Pace Group 
Today was my first long long run with my new pace group. Ever since starting Galloway training 2 years ago, I've been running with the 2:1 group. I occasionally tried 2:30/1, but didn't want to switch to a new group when training for my first marathon last year. Now that I have that behind me, I'm willing to push myself a little more and see what I can really do. We ran 8.25 miles today at an average pace of 12:08 min/mile. I don't think I've ever ran this distance so fast, but it felt good. I wasn't struggling (much) despite the heat and humidity, so I think this group will workout great for this aggressive marathon season I have planned.

Galloway Love
This week I realized how much I love and depend on this group. I have a friends list on facebook of all the people I've met through the group and it is nearing 40! They are an amazing group of gals that I would have never had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know without this group. In previous years, I always joined the group in October and only for the Saturday long runs. This year I'm joining them from the very beginning for all 3 workouts each week: Tempo/Hills on Tuesdays, Track on Thursdays, and Long Runs on Saturdays. I'm already seeing a difference in my running because I can be more consistent when I run with a group and push myself a tad more than I would on my own. I feel really strong and the walk breaks help me go further and faster without getting injured.

Sharing the Galloway Love Giveaway
As part of our registration fee into the program, we receive a Galloway Book and Training Journal, which is the same every year. Since this is my third season training with the group, I have duplicates of these books that have never been touched. I do not use the journal since I log all my runs online at dailymile, and I only need one book for reference, so I'm sharing the love and giving away the duplicate copies.


Galloway Training Programs Book
This book includes training schedules for beginners and time goal runners for a 10-miler, a half marathon or a marathon. It also has information on nutrition, issues for the "mature" exerciser, motivation and recovery plus some new concepts: Magic Mile, shorter "long"runs between the really long weekend sessions.

Jeff Galloway's Training Journal
As you record your daily efforts in this spiral-bound training tool, Jeff will lead you through the process of setting up a training program, step by step. Not only can you set up and record your progress for a year at a time, you'll be able to analyze the data in tables: logs for shoes, injuries, speed sessions. Graphs for morning pulse will help you monitor overtraining.

How to Enter
Post one comment letting me know why you want to try the Galloway training method (visit for details) and whether you are interested in the training book, the journal, or both (only 1 prize per person, but you can enter both drawings).

For additional entries, spread the word about this giveway in your blog, twitter, etc and post a link (in the same comment) to each announcement (1 additional entry per announcement). Followers of my blog get an additional entry, but be sure to let me know you are a follower when you comment (you can become a follower today).

You have until Friday, June 25th at midnight (eastern time) to enter. The winners will be selected using and announced next weekend. Good luck!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Five: Incidental Exercise

Today's theme is incidental exercise. Here are 5 things I do anyway for other reasons that have the added bonus of sneaking in a bit of unscheduled exercise.
  1. bike/walk to the gym, store, work etc - my main reason for biking/walking to the gym or Publix is because I don't want to waste gas driving a 1 mile, but it's an easy way to get in some extra exercise. 
  2. take the stairs - I've been doing this for a long time and don't even remember when I didn't. I only use the elevator at work when I ride my bike to bring it to my office because it is a bit too heavy and awkward to carry up the store with my bag. However, when I walk to the shower to the 4th floor, I use the stairs.
  3. house work - All that squatting, bending, scrubbing, running around the house adds up. I don't know about you, but I'm usually exhausted after doing a thorough cleaning of my apartment.
  4. carrying groceries - This is great strength training! Instead of using the cart to get your groceries out to your car, and letting the staff do it for you, carry the bags on your shoulders (I use reusable tote bags that are very easy to sling over your shoulder). I have the added bonus that I live about a mile from Publix, so I get to carry them further than just a few feet.
  5. sit on exercise ball at my desk - I started doing this a little while ago, but have not been doing it with any consistency lately. It is surprisingly comfortable and a great abs workout. I think I'll sit on it today. You have to ease into it because your body is not used to it, so I usually do it for 30-60 minutes at a time, then alternate with my desk chair.
bonus: park further away - This is moot now that I'm living without a car, but I'd still do it if we ever get one again (or borrow/rent one for a day). I started doing this when I embarked in my weigh loss journey as a way to get in at least a bit of extra walking everyday. I still do it unless it's raining, crazy cold, or I have a lot to carry. It has the added bonus of not wasting time hunting for a parking stop and always knowing where I parked since the ones in the back are always free.

What are your ideas for making exercise a part of your daily routine?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Three Things Thursday: Dump the Pump, Ultimate Runner Book, Galloway

#1 - Today is National Dump the Pump aka Ride Public Transit Day and you can ride the bus for free in many cities, including the Lynx in Orlando! So of course, we skipped the bike and rode the bus today. I think riding on days when I run is the best option, so we may try biking Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and taking the bus on Tuesday and Thursdays. Fridays will be an optional bus day if we feel we need additional rest and may be necessary when I have a really long run aka early morning on Saturdays. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, check out my previous post on Living without a Car.

#2 - I've been reading the Ultimate Runner on my bus rides to work, and it is so inspirational. The stories get me very emotional, and I am almost on the verge of tears of joy several times. A full review is coming soon, when I finish it, and a chance for you to win your very own copy!

#3 - Marathon training with the Galloway Group is in full swing, and I'm loving it. Unlike previous years when I only joined them for the Saturday long runs, this year I plan to join them for all 3 runs including the 5 am workouts on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I am not thrilled about the early morning wake up call, but I'm loving the workouts, especially the speed work on the track -- am I weird? LOL I also have fellow runner blogger Robin to share the experience and carpool from time to time.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

One Green Thing: Living Without a Car

My car broke down (again) last Monday (June 7), and we're not planning to get it fixed or replace it anytime soon. We've been wanting to try living without a car for a month, but we always had a car as a backup and opted to use it more often than not when things got difficult. Well, now we have no choice so we'll give this a real go.

This will mean LOTS of adjustments:
  • Bike to work more often or take the bus. Trust me, biking is better -- and usually faster -- than the bus; not to mention that it's also cheaper and healthier. On the other hand, I can be productive while on the bus (aka read a book, answer email, etc). But biking to work doubles as exercise, so it's a draw. Although biking has a slight edge because I control the timetable instead of being at the mercy of when the bus comes.
  • Buy a trailer for the bike for when we need to haul stuff, such as the water cooler to the track workouts or camping gear.
  • Take the train when we go visit Jason's parents in South Florida, and bring our bikes to get from the station to their house and around town while there. I am actually looking forward to this. It's been years since I've been on a train.
  • Adjust our sleep schedule so we have enough time for other exercise (running, yoga, etc) before we bike or bus to work. This means going to bed earlier and waking up much earlier some days.
  • Explore other options from this wikiHow article:
  • Another great resource is
  • Keep track of all our transportation and related expenses, and document how we overcome the challenges we face along the way. 
Life without a Car Diary

We've been at this for a week, and plan to stick with it at least through July 15th to get a snapshot of what it would take to do this full time in Orlando. We've already faced and overcome a few challenges. Here's a summary of how we've dealt with not having a car each day so far:

  • Monday 6/7: Car died after work. We used Geico's roadside assistance to get it towed home and got a ride in the tow truck.
  • Tuesday 6/8:  Took the day off from work to figure out what was wrong with the car. Jason biked to the auto parts store a few times, and I biked to Publix for some groceries. These were all short trips of less than 2 miles each. Jason researched buying a TDI.
  • Wednesday 6/9: Biked to work (15 miles each way), which we've done several times before and used to do on a regular basis. This is the day we decided not to look for a new car and try living without one for a month.
  • Thursday 6/10: This is my track workout day, so I biked 4.5 miles there, ran 2.5 miles, then biked 11 more miles to work. It wasn't as bad as I expected. Jason biked to the coop to pick up our produce on his way home.
  • Friday 6/11: Since we had a triathlon on Saturday, we took a break from biking and rode the bus to work. We attempted to take an earlier bus on a different route, but it never came, so we went to our usual route a half hour later. We still made it to work with plenty of time to spare.
  • Saturday 6/12: Our first and biggest concerned when the car broke down was how we'd make it to the triathlon in Clermont. My dad came to the rescue and lent us his truck, which meant him and my mom had to drive to our apartment in separate cars to drop it off Friday night.
  • Sunday 6/13: Jason rode his bike to run some errands in the morning (get some cash and buy produce at the farmer's market). We drove the truck to my parents' house and spent the afternoon visiting with them and my gorgeous niece. My dad was going to give us a ride back, but we opted to take the bus home to see how long it would take since we'll have to go back there next Sunday for father's day. The ride went well and I got some reading done. Since it was really hot, and we were running a tad late, my mom gave us a ride to the bus station 1.25 miles away (well actually, the 7-11 across the street so we could get a slurpee and then walk to the bus station).
  • Monday 6/14: We biked to work, both ways. It was ridiculously hot and humid! Jason rode ahead to ride to the bike shop since his bike was acting up. I did some yoga when I got home, after taking a cool shower, to help ease my tired muscles.
  • Tuesday 6/15: I woke up at 4 am, biked 4.5 miles to run, ran 4 miles, then biked another 11 miles to work. All this activity, and the early woke up, started catching up to me and I was exhausted most of the day. I feared I'd get stuck in the rain on the ride home, but it turned out to be really pleasant since it had just rained so it wasn't hot. I came home, showered, did some yoga, then proceeded to be grumpy the rest of the night. I went to bed early and vowed to sleep in the next day. 
  • Wednesday 6/16: The yoga and extra sleep helped, and I felt much better this morning. I sorta slept in until 6 am, did a 20 minutes of Yoga Meditative Flow, then rode the bus to work. Knowing that I have a track workout tomorrow, I thought it best to take it easy today and recover. Jason biked to the pool, but it was closed, so he biked to work early. It looked nasty out this afternoon, so a coworker gave us and his bike a ride home. 
Thoughts So Far ...

We thought we could bike to work 4 days a week, and take the bus on Fridays as a rest day before my long runs Saturday mornings. We're now reconsidering that and may ride the bus at least 2 times a week. If biking to work was our only form of exercise, and we weren't training for endurance races (me several  marathons and Jason a Half IM), we could probably bike to work 4-5 times a week. However, the extra exercise, plus the distance of the commute, plus waking up so early 3 times a week, plus the insane heat and humidity on the ride home, is a bit much for me.

Maybe I'd get used to it eventually, but for now I think I'll bike to work on Monday and Tuesday, ride the bus on Wednesday, bike Thursdays (maybe), then ride the bus on Friday. This is all subject to change on a daily basis depending on the weather and how my body feels. One thing is for sure, I'll need to be more diligent about doing yoga or my legs may revolt. I'll keep you posted on how my thoughts change as the month progresses, but I'm not ready to throw in the towel yet and I'm actually excited for the possibility of making this work on a permanent basis.

New Comments System

A real post is coming soon, but first some housekeeping.

I've been looking for a better way to manage comments on this blog and allow me and users to be notified when replies are posted to their comments. After seeing Frayed Laces implement IntenseDebate on her blog, I knew I had to give it a try.

It allows for threaded comments (yay!) and you can subscribe to be notified of replies to your comments or all comments. I'll also be able to reply to comments via email. You can login using your blogpost url, facebook, twitter, open id, or as a guest.

This is the first post to use this new comment system, so help me test it out and check it out if you have a blog of your own.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Week 23 Recap

This has been an interesting week. My car broke down Monday afternoon, so we biked, walked or took the bus everywhere (details in new post later). This accounts for the higher cycling millage, a trend which should continue for at least a few weeks. Now that my relationship with triathlon has ended, I am going to focus on improving my running endurance and speed. I'm excited for the possibilities.

Week Totals (rounded)
  • run - 14 miles
  • walk - 6 miles
  • bike - 72 miles
  • swim - 1/4 mile
  • hours - 10.5 hours
Workout Summary
See details on Dailymile
  • Monday - rest
  • Tuesday
    • ran 4 miles in 47 minutes
    • biked 1.6 miles (errands)
  • Wednesday - biked 30 miles (work + publix)
  • Thursday 
    • biked 30 miles (GMS + work)
    • ran 2.65 miles (MM+track)
    • walked 1 mile (warm up/cool down)
  • Friday - walked 3 miles (bus stop)
  • Saturday 
    • triathlon = swam 1/4 mile + biked 10.4 miles + ran/walk 3 miles
    • walked 1.5 miles (dinner/errands)
  • Sunday - ran 4 miles in 47 minutes

      Saturday, June 12, 2010

      Triathlon, We Need to Talk (aka Race Report: 2010 CF Tri #1)

      Dear Triathlon,
      We need to talk. I'm sure you've sensed that things have not been the same between us for some time now. As you may recall, I was hesitant to get involved with you last year, but once I got a taste I couldn't get enough. We started spending more time together, and it almost cost me my relationship with running. I came to my senses just in time to give it a real go with running, and we were very happy. But you just couldn't take a hint and lured me back into the pool.
      Even though I was still spending plenty of time with running, he turned on the charm for fear of losing me to you again, and I couldn't leave. I still thought I could make it work with both of you, but today's encounter made me realize that my heart truly lies with running, and I'll never feel the same way about you. I loved the times we've had together, and I never would have realized how much I love running if it weren't for you, but I think it's time that I stop seeing other races and commit to running.
      I hope we can still be friends and hang out from time to time for fun, but that's all we'll ever be. I know you'll find someone who can truly appreciate it you.

      So I as you can see, things did not go as planned today. However, I'm oddly at peace with it. I met only one of my goals, I finished and had fun, but a comedy of errors netted me the slowest time ever and an epiphany :) Official results are not in yet, so I'll update this post with that info later. So let's take it from the top.

      in transition I woke up before the alarm, and got the last of our gear together (mostly hydration since we packed our transition bags last night). Jason secured the bikes to the back of dad's truck, and we were on our way before 6 a.m. Comedy of errors #1 happened on the ride there as the exit we needed to take was closed for construction (or we missed the detour sign) and we had to make an illegal u-turn or go 20+ miles out of our way. We made it there in plenty of time, found parking, got our packets, and set up transition before heading to the beach.

      I thought I was being silly thinking it would take me 15 minutes to "swim" a 1/4 mile, but in fact it took me almost 18! It was a beach start, with at least 50 yards of running in the water before we could swim. Once I finally started something that resembled not drowning, my garmin wrist strap (without the watch) started coming loose (#2). I was already far enough that I could not touch the bottom, so I had to somehow tread water while trying to fasten it. I quickly gave up that idea and shoved it in my bra. For the rest of the swim I worried it would float away and be lost forever. I managed to hang on to it, but my concern grew when my top unzipped (#3). It's really difficult to zip up your top and not drown. My "swim" stroke was all over the place. I tried breast stroke, something akin to side stroke, backstroke/float, doggy paddle, and freestyle but only breathing on the left side. I am just happy that I kept moving forward and did not need an assist from the kayaks or hang on to a buoy.

      neat and compact transition area (unlike my neighbor) I took my sweet time getting to transition while putting on my garmin wrist strap. When I got there, I realized that I forgot to unbuckle my cycling shoes (#4). I got all my gear on and headed to the mount line. I tried to mount too soon (#5), but they didn't care since there was no one else around. Of course, I could not clip-in (#6) and the start is on a fraking hill! ugh!

      I start riding up the hill with only one foot clipped in. Yeah, that worked as well as you would imagined (which means not at all) and I almost fell off my bike (#7). I  managed to recover in time to unclip and get upright before hitting the ground. So now I am off my bike straddling it as I walk up the few feet left on the hill (#8). As I try to mount my bike again, my gu (which was taped to the bike) falls on the ground (#9). The nice volunteer handed it to me and I was on my way, but my confidence is already shattered due to this stellar start.

      I managed to clip in on both feet just before the first turn up ANOTHER hill. Frak me! I already knew I was not going to meet my time goal for the race, let alone on the bike. I had a hard time getting my heart rate down, catching my breath, and my arms hurt for some reason (oh yeah my "swim"). I gave it my best shot and was averaging around 14 mph for a bit, even passing people for a while, but then the hills began and my speed plummeted.

      The course was 2 extra miles from last year. That doesn't seem like a lot, but those 2 miles had ALL the hills. Frak me! I went nuts on all the downhills not touching the breaks (max speed of 30 mph) to try to make up some time, but I might as well have walked up the hills because I was riding THAT slow. But I was determined to finish this thing without getting off my bike once -- and I succeeded -- mainly because I didn't want to trying to clip-in again. So forget 15-16 mph, I was lucky to average 13+ mph. I finished 10.4 miles in 47 minutes @ 13.3 mph.

      catch! The bike dismount went well. As I was walking to rack my bike, I thought I'd multi-task and move my garmin from the bike to my wrist, and I dropped it on the ground! (#10). Grabbed it and finally get it to snap in place after a few tries. I finally made it to my spot, racked my bike and switched shoes. Of course, I had trouble getting on my running shoes (#11) but I did the best I could, grabbed my water bottle, hat and race belt, and began walking towards the run course while trying to fasten on the race belt which was proving more difficult than anticipated because my hands were full with the damn water bottle (#12). As I grab for my second gu, I too dropped that on the ground (#13), but I swallowed it and chased it with water and was on my way before long.

      I tried running, but I didn't have it in me, so seeing an upcoming hill was excuse enough for me to walk and ease into it. I practically walked the entire first mile and then some. I alternated small bouts of running with walking until the first turn around, then I got my second wind and started running slowly. I ran most of the 2nd half of the race with the occasional walk break. I saw Jason just after mile 2 and took the opportunity to get rid of my water bottle.  I had less than a mile to go, so I tried to run most of it, then sprint to the finish. Garmin says that my "run" took 41:26.

      I saw the clock read just after 2 hours, so I knew I at least finished in under 2 hours (my worse case scenario goal) since I was in a later wave. I was glad to finish, and I knew at that moment that I was done with triathlons (at least for this season). I was not upset at all; I was relieved and at peace. I gave it one last shot and it confirmed that running is the only one for me. I had already registered for the 3 race package, but I'm going to try to switch them to 5Ks instead. That way I can run and still come support and take pics of Jason.

      So that's the story of how me and triathlon broke up. I may see him occasional someday, but we just have bad timing right now. If it's meant to be, we'll find each other again someday :)

      Official Results by Gender (out of 168 females)

      • overall place: 153
      • overall time: 1:54:01
      • swim place:  157   
      • swim time: 17:32  
      • t1 place: 131
      • t1 time:  4:08
      • bike place:  145   
      • bike time: 48:03  
      • bike speed: 12.5 (based on 10m, but I biked 10.4)
      • overall place after bike:  151 
      • t2 place:  137
      • t2 time:  2:47  
      • run place: 143
      • run time:   41:32 
      • run pace: 13:23 
      • ag place: dfl (out of 20) 

      Friday, June 11, 2010

      2010 CF Sprint Tri #1 Predictions

      Tomorrow is my first triathlon of the season. I still haven't been swimming, but I am looking forward to it. I had a solid brick workout on Sunday, which helped get me excited about it and led me to believe I won't suck so bad LOL. Let's just hope I don't drown and that it reignites my passion for the sport so I can get back in the pool. If not, I'll just get through these 3 races and then go back to focusing on my running :)

      My goals for this race are mainly to finish and have fun! =) I'd love to finish in under 1:30, but I think 1:40 is more realistic unless I can really push hard on the bike and still have enough left for a decent run. Last year I finished in 1:29, but this year the bike is 2 miles longer.

      Below are some predictions/hopes for each leg:
      • Swim: 15 minutes - I am really hoping this is a gross overestimation and I'll manage something closer to last year's 12:19, but I haven't been swimming lately. Hopefully the work I did earlier in the summer will come back to me, but I am not expecting much here. 
      • Bike: 15-16 mph (40m) - I think 15 mph is very doable if I push hard; last year I averaged 14.8 mph. I rode 11 miles on Sunday @ 16 mph average, but that was on a very flat route. This triathlon is in Clermont with rolling hills, so that will be a little more challenging.
      • Run: 11:30 - 12 min/mile (36m) - I'm aiming high here, but I won't be surprised if I'm slower. On Sunday, the run portion of my brick was 12:24 min/mile for 2 miles. Last year my average was 12:50, but I was being cautious and not pushing myself because of a foot injury. This pace is doable, but I'll have to dig deep. Hopefully I don't destroy my legs on the bike too much, and I can still at least manage to average 12 min/mile. I'll probably use walk breaks to make this happen.
      • Transitions: 5 minutes - This is consistent with my times last year, and I hope I can at least manage the same this time. It will also depend on how far transition is from the beach, and where my spot is.
        • T1: rinse and dry feet, put on socks, shoes, helmet and camelbak. I'll eat a gu roctane as I get on the bike or walk to the mount line. I'm wearing my camelbak instead of messing with water bottles. Reaching for and replacing water bottles in their cages always slows me down more than the few seconds I'll spend putting on the camelbak. I'm debating whether to wear a headband under my helmet, but I think I can suffer through 10 miles without one. Same goes for gloves.
        • T2: remove helmet, move garmin to wrist, change shoes, grab water bottle, hat, and racing belt and put them on as I walk out of transition. I'll eat another gu roctane (stored in my racing belt) as I start the run. 
      I think that covers everything. What am I missing? Anyone else racing this weekend? What are your plans/goals?

        Thursday, June 10, 2010

        Magic Mile in 9:04!

        This started out as a Three for Thursday post but it got too long so I'm making it three different posts.

        Galloway marathon training started on Saturday with our magic mile timed trial. I was still unsure if the foot was healed, so I didn't give it my all for fear of making it worse and jeopardizing my chances to race the triathlon this weekend. I almost didn't even go, but since I was awake I figured I'd go walk and socialize. Once I got there, I did a warm up and then decided to go for it. But I held back a lot and ran the mile in 9:45 -- I didn't feel any pain, but I'm sure the insane humidity didn't help. I was disappointed, but knew I had done the right thing by listening to my body and not rushing into it. 

        I ran the following day as part of a brick workout, and again on Tuesday, without any pain. The foot is all better now. Yay! So I tried the magic mile again this morning during our first track workout, and I ran it in 9:04! I was hoping for something under 9 minutes, but this is still faster than last September so I'll take it. I'm sure it will be under 9 by the end of the year. However, this MM time means that my sub-30 5k goal is well within my reach. Here's what the formula says my pace/times should be for the various distances.
        • 5K = 9:37 min/mile (29:49)
        • 10K = 10:26 min/mile (1:04:39)
        • Half Marathon = 10:53 min/mile (2:22:32)
        • Marathon = 11:47 min/mile (5:08:49)
        • Training = 13:47 min/mile (6:01:13)

        Wednesday, June 9, 2010

        Week 22 Recap

        Last week was a solid week for workouts and getting ready for the upcoming triathlon, except that I still did not swim :( I went to Lucky's with Jason after my run on Saturday, but I wasn't feeling it and turned around after only a few yards. I kinda freaked out a bit, couldn't catch my breath, so I hope that doesn't happen at the tri on Saturday.

        As you can see in the summary below, the week started great with a new milestone -- longest non-stop run yet -- which led to a slight injured foot. It hurt pretty bad on my run Wednesday, so I cut it short and spent the next few days doing RICE. Still fearful of getting hurt, I held back during my magic mile on Saturday, but I more than made up for it on Sunday with a great brick workout. This week is shaping up to be great so far -- workout wise -- and hope the good fortune continues to get me through my first tri of the season this Saturday.

        Workout Summary
        See details on Dailymile
        • Monday - ran 7.5 miles (non-stop) in 1:36
        • Tuesday - walked 1 mile
        • Wednesday - ran 1 mile (foot pain)
        • Thursday & Friday - rest/recover
        • Saturday - ran 1.5 miles
        • Sunday - brick: biked 11 miles + ran 2 miles
        Week Totals (rounded)
        • run/walk - 13 miles = walked 1 mile (1x) + ran 12 miles (4x)
        • bike - 11 miles
        • exercise hours - 3.5 hrs (6x)
        • 06/12 - Central Florida Triathlon #1 

        Thursday, June 3, 2010

        Three Things Tuesday

        #1 - I've been in a bit of a funk since I got back from vacation, and haven't been very motivated to exercise (except running) or blog regularly. I've missed a few of my weekly posts, but I figured it wasn't the end of the world since they are self imposed deadlines, and I'll get back to it eventually. The truth is that some of my last few posts felt forced or rushed, so I'm just going to take my time writing upcoming posts and publish when I'm ready. I'm still blogging more regularly than I used to last year, and I don't want this to stop being enjoyable. I'm sure once marathon training starts I'll have a lot more to blog about, plus there will be plenty of race reports since I'll be doing at least one race each month. Of course, the first of these race reports ought to be very interesting since the last time I swam was a month ago.

        #2 - Writing the One Green Thing series has been a lot more work than I expected, but it has taught me a great deal too, so I intend to start that up again soon. Every time I wrote one of those posts, I wanted to do a lot of research to balance my personal experiences and choices with facts, instead of just throwing up something because it was Wednesday, and that became a bit overwhelming. But as I said, I've learned a lot about how much more I can do for the environment, so I'm going to keep giving them due diligence and just post them whenever they are ready. If you have requests for a green topic you'd like to see me discuss, please post it in the comments.

        #3 - Not being able to run makes me cranky. I'm not talking about skipping a run because I am tired or being lazy or overslept. When I don't want to run and make myself do it anyway, I always feel better than if I didn't run. I may feel guilty when I skip a run out of laziness, but not really cranky like I feel when I want to run and I am unable to because my body won't let me.

        I ran 7.5 miles without a single walk break on Monday, and apparently it broke me :( I was super sore and tired the next day (and that night after spending the day at typhoon lagoon). This was not so much the problem, but when I went to run on Wednesday my foot started hurting. I was afraid I had injured it on Monday, but nothing seemed to hurt when I walked on Tuesday. After only a half mile of running, the bottom of my foot started hurting enough to make me stop running and cut my run short. SO FRUSTRATING!

        I'm  probably being overly cautious (since I wasn't on Monday when I felt a twinge because I was determined to reach this new milestone). I think the real reason I am cranky is because if I am hurt and the foot is not better by Saturday, I won't be able to do the magic mile with my Galloway group and it would all be my fault for not listening to my body on Monday, even though it shut up and let me finish my run letting me think all was well. And if I push through it on Saturday, I may further injure myself and jeopardize the triathlon the following weekend. Arg!

        *BREATH* Well, it felt good to get that off my chest. I've been icing the foot, wrapping it, massaging it on a racquetball, and not running on it, so I'm hoping it will be as good as new Saturday morning. If not, I'll deal with it then and you may have to read another post like this in a few days =P

        Wednesday, June 2, 2010

        May 2010 and Week 21 Recaps

        May was a great month. My training wasn't exactly where I would have liked it, especially my swimming that was non-existence. However, May was my month to take it easy, try new things, and have fun before starting marathon training again, and I sure did that! :) Below is a summary of last week's workouts, May stats, and progress on 2010 goals. But today I'm going to start with my goals for June.

        Goals for June
        • No chocolate
        • 95% home made meals (eat out only 4x)
        • Central Florida Sprint Triathlon #1
        • Run 1 mile in 9 minutes (I hurt my foot on Monday, so this may not be possible, but I'm going to RICE until Saturday and give it my best shot if the pain is gone)
        Week 21 Workout Summary
        See details on Dailymile
        • Monday - ran 3 miles in 36 min
        • Wednesday - 24 min of yoga
        • Saturday - Firefighter Challenge
        • Sunday - biked 18.25 miles in 1h 17min
        May Stats
        • run / walk = 79 (62+17) miles; longest run = 13.23 miles
        • bike = 34 miles; longest ride = 18.62 miles
        • swim = 0
        • total = 113 miles / 27 hrs (avg 52 min / day)
        2010 Goals Progress
        To be on track, percentages should be around 42%
        • run/walk = 412 / 700 miles (avg 82/mo; 19/wk; 59%)
        • cycling = 310 / 1750 miles (avg 62/mo; 15/wk; 18%)
        • swimming = 8 / 60 miles (13%)
        • tri 2010 challenge = 729 / 2010 (36%)
        • total exercise hours = 170 / 365 hours (avg 1.1 hrs / day; 47%)
        • 101 things = 13 / 30 done (43%); 12 in progress
        May Accomplishments
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