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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Skinny Season vs. The Fat Season

Today I went to a sporting goods store and tried on triathlon clothing...UGH!!!  This Holiday season has really put a damper on my waist band.  With all the food, lack of exercise and lack of internal drive, I am definitely noticing the difference on the scale.  I have gained 10 pounds since my last race which was September 19, 2010.  I have new terminology for the "off season."  I am going to refer to it as the "fat season."

I cannot wait for our Ironman training to officially start so I am more conscious of what I put into my body and completing all of my scheduled workouts.  I know I am not going to feel fit again for a month or two, but it is the whole idea of progressing toward the skinny season instead of the fat season!!  With the completion of workouts comes the improvement in internal drive...this is what I am really looking forward to!!

During the skinny season, I feel better about my body, sleep better, want to exercise and want to eat healthy!!  I currently feel fat, don't eat well, don't sleep well and struggle when I do exercise, so I tend to resist going to out the door.  That is all going to change on Monday, January 3rd...our official first day of Ironman training.  WOOT!! WOOT!!  I am going to gear my body and mind up for it on these last 5 days of the fat season and go into the skinny season with full force!!

Fat season...you are history!!  Look out skinny season...here I come!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

This Weekend's Accomplishments

Yesterday I swam 2200 yards.  It was a very challenging swim for me.  I felt like someone had filled my swimsuit with lead!!  I was suppose to have done intervals while swimming, but I decided that keeping my form was more important than speed.  I was very tired and somewhat sore from the previous week's workouts, so I didn't want to sacrifice form for speed.

After swimming, I went straight to the gym and lifted weights.  This was a great workout!!  I was to lift fewer reps with more weight and I really pushed myself beyond what I thought I was capable of.  It was fabulous!!  I love feeling slightly sore the day after...it makes me feel like I did something :)

This morning we had a group ride at our place.  Six people showed up and we rode for 2 hours.  It was a great ride!!  I mostly spun easy, but did incorporate four intervals where for 5 minutes each I lowered my rpm to around 57-59.  I really want to inprove my ride speed.  The best way for me to do this is to incorporate intervals periodically.  I am hoping that by pushing myself on a couple of rides a week, that I will be able to inprove my speed on the bike.  This is exactly what I did to improve my run speed a few years ago.  It is amazing how you quickly I was able to increase my run speed when I was trying to catch the people in front of me...intervals :)  Hopefully the same will happen on the bike...I just hope my speed on the bike improves before Ironman in September!!

I am so thankful I was able to complete all of my workouts this week!!  Total hours of training this week = 12:39:48...I am VERY happy with that for the off season!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A run with Deer, Hills and Mara

Last night the hubby, Mara, and a friend of ours (K) ran for 80 minutes on the hills of Stage Coach road.  If you haven't run Stage Coach road, you don't know what you are missing!!  The scenary is amazing, the terrain is challenging and there are very few cars on the road!!

Our adventure started as we were heading down 13th street toward Stage Coach.  We saw lots of flashing lights in the distance and I said, "I bet someone hit a deer.  I have seen a lot of them down in the river valley lately."  As we proceeded down the bike path along 13th street, we were warned by a police officer that there was a deer on the path ahead.  Someone actually did hit a deer!!  When we got to the dead deer, Mara wasn't really sure what to do.  I told her to "jump" over it and I was shocked that she actually did and didn't try to smell it.  What a good girl!!  :)

As we turned onto Stage Coach road, we encountered our first of many hills.  K made the comment as we got to the top that it was tough.  This was her first outdoor winter run.  Not only is the terrain challenging, but we were also running on gravel that has been snow covered.  The hubby and I both have Yak Traks that we wore, but K doesn't have any, so she was running in her running shoes and was slipping a lot.

It turned out to be a beautiful night for a run.  The sky was clear, so the moon gave us plenty of light to see where we were going.  There was some wind from the west, which made for a little challenge at times, but the hills were the biggest challenge.  We just kept talking and running and forgot about most of the challenges in our path.  As we finished the Stage Coach tour, we got to encounter the deer again.  The officers and fire fighters moved it off the path, but it was right next to the path.  This time Mara decided she was going to smell it...crazy girl!!

After crossing the bridge and turning into the park, we let Mara off leash while we finished the last mile of our run.  She loves to run off leash!!  It was fun to get to see her leap and bound through the snow!!  It is amazing how much energy she still has after completing nearly 9 miles of running!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Clear Your Walks!!

Yesterday's group ride was amazing!!  We had 9 people cycling for about 60-90 minutes in our basement!!  It definitely helps to have so many wonderful people to ride with and keep me accountable.  I can't wait for Sunday's group ride!!  Time flies as well as other things in our basement.

This morning I went for a 50 minute fartelk run with Mara through the snowy streets and sidewalks, after having shoveled our drive and walks.  What a GREAT run!!  It was so nice and peaceful.  There were places where the snowplow had thrown the street sludge up onto the walks that made the run feel like we were running through sand.  Good training, but not my idea of an easy run...oh, wait...the run wasn't suppose to be easy.  Hence the name "FARTLEK." 

Speaking of snow...what's up with people not clearing the walks?!?!?  I ran by many houses that had the driveways cleared, but not the walks.  Come on people...let's not be lazy!!  Get out there and get some exercise...CLEAR YOUR WALKS!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Goal: Complete Every Scheduled Workout this Week!!

I made a deal with myself this week that I would not miss one scheduled workout.  So far I am doing GREAT!!  I haven't missed one yet!!  Monday's workouts went very well!!

Yesterday actually felt as though my training is back on track!!  I got up and did 45 minutes of TRX (a suspension strength training workout) at 5 am.  After having done 45 minutes of TRX on Monday and 90 minutes of core strengthening on Monday, I was a little sore, but it felt good to push myself again!!

At lunch I went to the pool and swam for 50 minutes.  It is really difficult for me to get myself to the pool this time of year.  It is so cold outside that I don't want to strip down to my swim suit and get in the pool.  At least the water was fairly warm yesterday.  The locker room and showers...now that is another story!!  Overall, I had a decent swim.  I am really working on bilateral breathing, so it was good to have some time to practice this!!  It still feels really ackward, but I am hopeful that one day it will just be natural!!

Shortly before 5pm the husband and I went for what was suppose to be a 40 minute run.  It turned out to be about 35 minutes.  My fingers were REALLY cold and I was running low on energy...could it be because I am not use to working out this much and didn't fuel properly throughout the day?!?!?  That is one thing I have to adjust for again.  I always seem to forget how many calories I need to exercise multiple times a day and feel good doing so...I will get it down sooner or later!!

I am definitely looking forward to the day when my workouts feel easier...don't get me wrong...they are much easier now than they were a month ago, but I still have a long way to go before it feels easy!!  Good thing January is around the corner!!  Proper fueling will definitely help the workouts feel easier...

Tonight we have many people coming over for our Wednesday night group ride!!  I am excited to complete today's workout and be 3 for 3 on workout completion for the week!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Group Trainer Ride went on despite the Blizzard

Despite the blizzard conditions across the state last night and early this moring, we had 6 people cycling in our basement on their trainers this morning!!  I LOVE group trainer rides!!  It is fun to have so many people in one location all achieving nearly the same goal...getting in mileage and time on the saddle despite not being able to ride outside.

There were 3 people missing this morning, but still had a great time!!  It is amazing how many bicycles you can cram into such a small space...nice and cozy that is for sure!!  Music blares, conversations often digress, sweat pours from the pores, smells linger, top layers of clothes are shed and good times are had by all!!

This morning's ride lasted for a mere 90 minutes, but it was long enough to get in a great workout!!  I rode mostly on a flat level road, but threw in a couple of hill climbs to get out of the saddle and challenge myself.  This Wednesday, I am planning to challenge myself with a more challenging ride...we'll see who in the group decides to join in the fun!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Schedule of Events for 2011

The following are our scheduled races or "Big Events" for 2011:
Madison Marathon - May 29 (there will be an 80 mile bike ride on the Ironman Wisconsin bike course the day before the marathon)
Ironman Training Weekend - Jun 24-26
Chisago 1/2 Ironman - July 24
Ironman Wisconsin - September 11

There is the potential of incorporating a couple of shorter distance triathlons into the training calendar throughout the year, but they will probably be day of registrations!!

Quality Time with the Hubby

Tonight was an AMAZING night for a run...especially in December!!  Who could ask for better weather?!?!?!  The husband came home from work and we took Marathon Sue for a long run.  Long is relative.  These days long is 80 minutes.  Not too long ago 80 minutes was considered a short run.  It is amazing how a couple of months off changes things!!

We have some of our best conversations while running.  It is time when we are "stuck" together and there isn't anything else to do but talk and breathe.  Some couples need to have "date night" to get enough time to converse with each other.  We just need to schedule time to run together.  :)  Good thing we both enjoy running immensely!!

So far, this unofficial training thing is working for us and we are no where near ready to kill each other.  I just hope it continues through the next couple of weeks until the official training begins!!

This is the husband speaking-My Garmin 310 is now set up to my weight and heart rate zones, so I can now train to HR instead of perceived exertion. It will be a new way of training for me but definitely to my advantage for an ultra-distance event. I am a faster runner, so I get to do more talking for a change and the wife has to listen! :-)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Carefree Spirit

Marathon Sue (our black lab...aka Mara) and I went for a 50 minute fartlek run today on the trails through Brookside and Stuart Smith Park.  Since we were off the beaten path, I decided to let her off leash.  She LOVES being free and running through the woods.  She is such a good dog and listens really well when you tell her to "stop" or "heal." 

To see her run through the woods and chase birds and squirrels made me feel warm and fuzzy inside.  But, it made me question why we can't be as carefree as Mara.  The only things she cares about are food, going potty, cuddle time and running.  I think she likes the running the most :)

Hmmm...to have the life of a dog :)

Let's UNOFFICIALLY start training PLEASE!!!

My husband and I have decided to test our marriage by signing up for Ironman Wisconsin for 2011.  We know training for Ironman is going to require a LOT of our time outside of work, so we decided by training together we would still get to see each other, converse occasionally and spend some time together.

Our training will officially start on Monday, January 3, 2011.  I am getting excited to start this training adventure and feel like I am moving forward toward our goal...hearing those 4 simple words at the finish line, "You are an Ironman!!" 

In September, we both participated in the Ironman 70.3 Branson event, which was our last race for 2010.  Since this time, we have been in the "off season" and have done little "training."  As a result, the pounds have come on, the energy levels have fallen and the endurance we once had has dwindled.  I am ready to reverse these changes and get back to the leaner, more energetic, high endurance athlete I was a couple of months ago.  I know the importance of giving our bodies time to recover and rebuild, but my mind is telling my body, "You have had enough of this recovery and rebuilding time.  Get back out there on the roads and trails and in the water!!"

We have 24 days until we officially start training, but I am saying, "Dear, it is time to unofficially start training!!"  Hmmm...I wonder what his response will be?!?!?!