Sunday, March 27, 2011

No Posting Means I've Been Training....and Sleeping

Wow, 23 days since my last post. I apologize about that folks, but honestly, I have been really busy. So busy that I have not even had time to read anyone else's blog. Really, I am sorry that I have not been keeping up with what is going on with some of you in blog-land. If I have you on Facebook, I kinda have an idea what is going on with you, but I need to find time to sit down and catch up.

So what have I been busy with? Ironman training, work, and parenting are the top three fillers in my life right now. There are a few other things going on as well. Let me see if I can sum things up in those areas.

Well, if you were able to read the last post, you saw that I had a ton of work to be done on my swim stroke. So on Saturday, March 5th, I headed to Masters swim to see what I could do. Damn! wouldn't you know that by trying to put all of that stuff in place made me speed up? I no longer felt like I was dragging in the pool. I had a powerful swim stroke and somewhere along the way it just got sloppy. Cleaning it up has really helped. After Masters swim, it was time to run. I think that March 4th was our last cold and blustery day of the season. I had my run pants and a long sleeve shirt on and was glad that I had them. It was so windy that that there were waves on Lake Woodlands where the IMTX swim will be. On Sunday, it was a breezy and brisk 80 mile ride on the IMTX course with some fun ride partners. It warmed up well enough to do the run off the bike in my sleeveless tank.

The workouts during the week were good as well. I got my Raindrop Therapy session in and I really needed it. The weekend of the 12-13th, I had to go to San Antonio, which I will talk about later, but I still needed to get my workouts in. I did 5 and a half hours on the stationary trainer to get the long bike workout in and then I drove home to be able to run 16.5 miles on the IMTX course with Coach Carrie, Shawn, and Greyhound. I caught up to Coach Carrie after I had to veer off for a bathroom stop and the last 3 miles were HARD. Carrie was really making me push. I later found out that she was cussing me out and has re-named me MF-ing Liz because she though that I was pushing the pace the last 3 miles. We agreed not to run together at IMTX so we will not kill ourselves.
On my trainer in the corner of a Gold's Gym with gym members looking at me like I'm nuts.

The next week, I got very little done during the week with my training because it was Bud's Spring Break. Enough said. At least, I closed that week up with a powerful training weekend. Coach Tim has made Saturday morning Masters Swim a 90 minute workout so we can get our long yardage in. Last week I did 5000 yards!!! I don't think that I have ever done a workout that long since high school swim team. I put all my good swim form corrections in place and I was the fastest B-TCH in the pool that morning. Well, ok, I was the only gal that showed up and the super fast girly, Lauren, was not there that morning. Anyway, I was faster than all the guys who showed up. My shoulder was a little sore, but I found out that my Bicepital tendon was out of the groove it normally sets in and Dr. H put it back in place when I saw him this week. Yeeouch!!!After the swim, it was time to run. It was a roll back week so only 14.5 miles were on tap for the morning. It was warm and sunny and I got a little tan on my shoulders. On Sunday, a 75 mile ride was on the books but only 60 got done. I had to get home and get cleaned up to go to a basketball game.

This week has been a good training week. I got all my workouts in and they have been quality workouts. Weekday runs are now up around 8 miles a few times a week. I do a bunch of bike work on the trainer. Coach Amy at weekday Masters swim has been pushing me. I am ripping it up on the TRX suspension trainer. Yesterday morning was another 90 minute Masters Swim workout and we had a 45 minute continuous swim set. All in all, I knocked out another 4600 or 4700 meter swim and I felt like I was able to fix things when I could feel like I started to drag. Right after the swim it was time to knock out an 18 mile run. I ran with Greyhound and the goal was to run a pace that I would like to run after 112 miles on the bike. I kept the pace comfortable and with all of our pit stops, we finished in 3 hours and 10 minutes. They have finished up one of the sidewalks on the IMTX run course so now we don't have to slide down a steep and grassy hill to get from the street level down to the Woodlands Waterway. The funniest thing about the run was all the strange stuff I found along the run path. I kid you not, this is true. First was a bowl of spaghetti. Then there was a roll of toilet paper. I also found me a tube of Chapstick. Then Greyhound pointed out a new packet of PowerGel and asked if I needed it. Then I stumbled upon an Indian wedding complete with Bhagra drums. Sadly, no elephant. I found a pair of sunglasses in a bathroom. Too bad I already had my pair. Last of all, I found some dude dressed up in a big red Crawfish costume. Playing scavenger hunt made the miles go by a bit quicker. Today was 100 miles on the bike. This is the longest ride I have done on the bike since Ironman Cozumel. The weather was overcast and cool and the wind was not that bad. I rode the bike comfortably and kept my heart rate at 130 and under. BEST BIKE RIDE IN A LONG TIME!!! I was happy on the bike today. My nutrition and hydration were spot on. I was still snappy at mile 90 and holding 21 mph easily. I have just got to remember today's ride on May 21st. Stay on top of the clock for food and water, smile and sing on the bike, and hold back to save it for the run. I finished today's ride ready to go run and feeling good to run. That is how I want May 21st to play out. Oh well, so much for trying to sum things up.
Ice bath #1...
Ice Bath #2

Work has been work. The week of Spring Break was low since many of my PT clients were out of town. This gave me more time to entertain Bud while he was home. I mentioned earlier that I was in San Antonio. Well, I drove out to Canyon Lake, TX on Friday after work and spent the night with my Dad and Step mom. I had a great time even if the house was gutted out while there were having remodeling done. The next morning I drove into San Antonio to attend a TRX Group Training certification clinic. My Personal Training Director has ordered my more TRX suspension trainers so that I can run a TRX group workout. I think I was the only person at that training that was a PT as well a certified group ex instructor as well. There were a lot of the trainers who had a hard time moving to the beat of the music. At the lunch break, I had one gal come up to me and tell the that I was "BadASS" and asked me if I was training for something. Um, yeah. It's this thing called an Ironman.... Anyway, the training went well and we hope the new TRX class will get rolling as soon as the managerial layers cut all the red tape and can speed up the process of approving the order of said TRX suspension trainers and get them in the club. I have also been working with some of my Pilates colleagues and we have been going over Chair work. We are hoping to get some new Summer mini-sessions with new programing up and running by May.

When I'm not training or working, I am just mom. I have been making sure that Bud gets picked up from band sectionals and tutorials on time and that he makes it to swim team practice on time. Speaking of swim team, Bud has had an amazing short course swim season this past year. So much so that he was able to move up two levels from the Competitive Prep group to the Gold group. This is HUGE! Coach Maryanne was very proud of him and already he has been working hard for Coach Lindsey and Coach John. He has also moved up from wearing jammers to wearing a Speedo cuz all the fast kids in the Gold group wear 'em. Hopefully he will get rid of his goofy tan lines on his legs. He has his first long course swim meet at Texas A&M University in two three weeks.
Bud at his last practice with Coach Maryanne. Coach has made him fast the past three years!
Bud has done really well with his trumpet as well. At Solo and Ensemble contest he received all 1's for his piece that he had to perform and got a cool medal. A few weeks ago he had his Pre-UIL full band concert that we got to see. It was El Esposo's first time to hear the kid play the trumpet....ever. Bud hates to practice when dad is home and El Esposo has always been out of town at concert time. This weekend is the big contest! Hopefully, all the kids are ready and they will have a great performance.

I need a Spring Break from Spring Break. I had to do a ton of entertaining while Bud was off. That was part of the reason I did not get all of my workouts in that week. We hit the Galleria to look around as well as some other shops that Bud likes to check out. We went down to the Kemah Boardwalk where the Gateway to the Bay Kemah Triathlon takes place. There are lots of carnival rides, a roller coaster, restaurants, and shops. It was a mad house. We left there and hit up Monica Pope's restaurant, Tafia, for an early dinner. Yum! I got us great tickets to see Cirque du Soliel's OVO. It was spectacular. And to finish off the week, we went to a Houston Rockets game and saw them beat the Utah Jazz by two points in the last few seconds. I did get more sleep that week than normal and I guess that I needed it. The kid wore me out.
Wearing a banana costume always get you on Fan Cam!
So other than that, I have been cleaning out closets to get ready for the contractor to come and repair some sheet rock and paint the two guest bedrooms so that they are ready for Ryan, Mikey, and Rachelle to come for Ironman Texas! ACK!!! Only 54 more days!!!

I have the Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Galveston in less than two weeks and Rachelle is headed down for that. I can't wait to see her new bike. We have a beach house rented and it should be a great time.

Hopefully that sums it up. I am sure I will have more adventures to blog about. Stay tuned!
Mile 50 of yesterday's 100 mile ride. The Texas Bluebonnets are out!
Later Gators,


Friday, March 4, 2011

Stoke Analysis....I SUCK!!!

Well, I only suck a little bit. But how in the hell have I been getting through the water the past 26 years that I have been competitively swimming? How have I not ended up with some shoulder injury? How have I not had anyone up until now ever tell me that it looks like I am floundering rather than swimming? Coach Tim took some video of my swimming and yesterday I got to see it and get some stroke analysis.

Here is what I have to fix:

  1. Get my butt up! I am dragging my lower body through the water because my head and shoulder are too high. I have to get my head down and basically look at my belly button.
  2. Stop crossing over my right arm! It does not feel like I am crossing over my right arm but the video does not lie. I have to start reaching out with my right arm so it feels like I am trying to touch the lane rope.
  3. Stop pulling through with my right arm about 6-7 inches away from my body! I need to pull along the shoulder and hip line so I feel the water pass over my thigh.
  4. Stop aiming my left fingers over to the right side of my body! I have to aim those finger tips down to the bottom of the pool and get my elbow up.
  5. Stop making such damn big scissor kicks with my legs! Keep the kicking tight. I do this when I work with a kick board. Why can't I do it when I swim???
  6. Stop rotating my body so much when I take a breath! I have to rotate in the neck and shoulders and not the hips and legs.
I hope I hit them all. Damn, I have a lot to work on. Back to the pool tomorrow.

Later gators,


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March Madness!

It took me a week to recover from the Austin half marathon. Seriously, why I did not take an ice bath, I'll never know. Oh yeah, now I remember. I had checked out of my 1-star motel and I did not have a tub to take an ice bath in. Anyway, my calves were shredded. I did a little 3 mile run a few days after the half marathon and it felt like my heart was racing. I did a few Yasso 800's a day later and my blister painfully informed me that it was not happy about that. I could feel my calves wanting to cramp up when I pushed off the wall at Master's Swim.

I took a few days off of running and just worked on the bike. I figured that there was more knee flexion than ankle flexion going on when I was pedaling. Last Thursday, my training schedule had what I thought was a mistake on it. After confirmation with my coach, it was no mistake. The day started out with my Master's Swim workout. We did a tough workout that included a 1650 meter swim set for time. I got it done in 29:05. That is a 1:46 per 100 meters. Not bad, I guess, but I felt sooooo slow with the guy who was swimming in my lane and the people in the lanes next to me. I was so slow that my lane partner (who has raced IM CdA) asked if we could swim on either side of the lane rather than circular swimming so that he would not have to wait to pass me. Um, *sniff* yeah, I guess so. He finished a good 350 to 400 meters ahead of me. Total swim workout that day: 3150 meters.

After getting home and feeding my face, it was time for item #2 on my training plan. 6 x 25 minute Zone 3-4 intervals on the bike trainer. Wait.....HOW MANY??!!?? Yup, 6 of those puppies. I set up the bike in the Hot Box, the table for my lap top, my Hulu shows to watch and I got going. Around the third interval, El Esposo came home to drop off one of the cars with adopted daughter #1 and saw me sweating my ass off as they pulled into the driveway. Now he knows for sure that I am not sitting around on the sofa watching "Real Housewives of Miami" and eating ice cream sandwiches when he is at work. I ran out of past episodes of mindless television to watch and had to do the last interval and a half to the iPod. I killed it and pushed some even bigger watts than the earlier intervals. I was 90 seconds away from finishing when Bud walked up the driveway from school. I sent him in the house to fetch a granola bar for me as I finished up. I don't think that I have ever been so sweaty when I finished that workout. I had worked my way through four bottles of water and never once had to get off the bike to go pee. I had sweat it out all through my pores. My had sweat dripping off my rear through the tri shorts, sweat dripping off of the shirt I was wearing from the bottom hem and from the sleeves. Sweat had been running down my forehead and off my nose. I had sweat that was running down my legs and into my shoes. Sweat dripping off my elbows and hands. Later that evening, El Esposo asked me what was all sticky on the garage floor. Um, sweat...

After a shower and more food I got a chance to take a little rest before Workout #3 for the day which would be a TRX workout. I got that done when Bud was at swim practice. That workout seemed easy compared to the other two of that day. Even though there was a brick of 40 minutes of cycling and 40 minutes of running the next morning, I decided to just sleep in and rest. Friday was a busy day and I knew that if I did not get that brick started by 4:30 am, it was not going to get done and I did not want to put it in the afternoon only 12-13 hours out from the Saturday long day.

On Saturday, I had Master's Swim at 6:30 am. Coach Tim worked us hard. I was dying to try to hit the time splits on the last 50's at the end of the workout. I hit two at :38 seconds but the other two were a miserable :41 seconds. I was tired after 3000 yards of swimming to eek out those last two 50's at :38 seconds. After drying off and changing into bike gear, it was time for me and Greyhound to begin our 72+ mile ride. The Hound stated that he was going to take it easy and not dig himself into a hole. I said that I would let him set the pace and I would follow along. It was humid and a little cool and foggy when we got going. All I can say is that I guess I was drinking enough because I had to make a mad dash to the bathrooms at all of our normal stops. Around the 40 mile mark, Greyhound had some chain issues and told me that he was getting near the edge of the pit. I took over and pulled us into Richards, TX for a stop and then let him sit on my back wheel as we plowed into a headwind 24 miles back to the school. I was feeling good and took a couple of looks over my shoulder just to make sure that I was not getting out of control and not doing my job as a good training partner to keep the effort under control. Gads it was windy. Once we got to a road that was not going straight into the wind, Greyhound told me to pick it up and we would regroup at a gas station that was about 8 miles or so up the road before we had to maneuver an intersection with railroad tracks at the corner of the school. I just let it fly and it felt really good. Once we got back to the school, Greyhound had to take off, but I still had a 20 minute transition run that I had to get done. I also had to find a secluded area behind the football stadium or the tennis courts to take a leak.

I was so glad to get home, have a tasty lunch of leftover Asian Chicken Soup and some fruit, get a shower, and get a nap. Later that evening, we did movie night and we all went out to see True Grit. Great movie. Make sure you also see the original. Bud was doing some good comparison and contrast on the way to get me some Chipotle soft tacos after the movie.

SLEEP IN SUNDAY!!! Wow, that was awesome! Sadly, 6 am is sleeping in for me. I got two hours of quiet time before everyone else woke up. Greyhound and I had decided that we would take advantage of the warm temps in the 70's to get our 10 mile run in. I also think that by starting our run around 2pm is helping mentally because that is around the time we will be getting off the bike on May 21st. It was warm. Ugh, it was warm. And my legs were heavy. I felt like I was running through mud. We ran a 9:20 pace and it felt hard. Now I know why my coach was questioning why I was going against past years of training and doing my long run on Sunday instead of Saturday with my long bike on Sunday. Frankly, I would like to do it that way, but family time is tricky and that does come first. We got the run done and it was time to race home, get some pizza dough started and get cleaned up before watching The Oscars.

I stayed up way too late watching The Oscars and Jimmy Kimmel, but seeing Tom Hank's "Toddlers & Tiaras" spoof was worth being tired the next day. Monday was a day off. Yahoo! Today begins a new month and a new week in the training. It was an interval ride on the trainer early this morning, a Pilates mat class at 9 am, a 6.6 mile run around lunch time, a two hour nap this afternoon, and a TRX workout this evening. I am heading up to take shower #3 of the day and then it is bed time. Yes, it is March Madness!

Stay tuned to see what kind of craziness this week in the training brings.

Later Gators,