Wednesday, February 28, 2007

What "Type" are you?

If you ask every triathlete that you know about themselves, I bet that 90% of them will say they are "Type A"

"Type A personality, also known as the Type A Behavior Pattern, is a set of characteristics that includes being impatient, excessively time-conscious, insecure about one's status, highly competitive, hostile and aggressive, and incapable of relaxation.

[1] Type A individuals are often highly achieving workaholics who multi-task, drive themselves with deadlines, and are unhappy about the smallest of delays. They have been described as stress junkies.

Type A personalities are the leaders, risk takers, and independent thinkers. They don't like to waste time with the details, and often look for better ways to solve problems. A type "A" person can multitask, moving from one thought to another and back without missing a beat. These people dislike routine, but will take on a routine task in order to achieve a greater goal.

The Type B personality, in contrast, is patient, relaxed, and easy-going. There is also a Type AB mixed profile for people who cannot be clearly categorized and have a combination of both types of personality.

I think that I am a combo. On the B side, I am relaxed & easy going. But, I'm NOT patient, that is for sure. As for the A - I do love to multi-task, but I'm not highly competitive (with myself, yes). However, I think I have a better way to describe myself.....

Adult ADD. I swear I have it. I used to think my husband had it because he can't stay on task. He likes to start something, move on to the next, and so on...

Ok, so I do the same thing. I can't possibly be content with the norm. Even training for an ironman isn't enough. I have to plan things. Not just one thing, multiple things. Whether it is a party, or an event, or a trip. Heck, try all of the above! So, for humor I took a quiz: This is what it had to say for my responses:

"The responses you have provided indicate that your symptoms may be consistent with Adult ADD. Only your healthcare professional can make a definite diagnosis. If you have concerns or questions regarding ADD, please discuss your results with a physician and/or healthcare professional."

I love it. Now I have a special diagnosis for my ability to multi-task, as I call it! Too funny.

Anyway, here's a few things that I've got going on at the moment, in no particular order:

  • Work (thank God & momo for my flexibility)
  • Family - I make sure we have food, clean cloths, and a clean house
  • Training - you know that Ironman thing. 10-20 hours of my life over the next several months :-)
  • Group workouts. I plan them. I figure out the route, I say when & where & just about any other logistic you can think of, I've got it taken care of
  • Ragnar Relay. I will make sure we are all registered & have cute matching outfits. We'll know where to be, and when to be there, and how we will get there. Yes, I'm the Team Captain
  • Ok, this is my husbands thing, but I am giving myself the title of Vice President of Fashion. I will make sure that we have the best looking uniforms to advertise ourselves :-)
  • Stacey's Bridal Celebration. That's right. Not a shower, not a bachelorette party... that's all I'm saying about that!

So, these are just a few of the many things I'm working on right now. Every day something else fits in, or I seem to find something new to embark on. Vacation you say? Oh yes, that is my specialty. I am the planner. I have made a couple of wrong turns in the past (HORRIBLE hotel experience in La Jolla), but I learned my lesson.

What type are you??

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Week 3 Recap

So, here we are. The start of week #4, well almost. It is still my "rest" day. I have to admit, I'm feeling pretty darn good for my day off. I feel rested. My muscles are a little tired, but no soreness. I'm actually looking forward to my next week starting. This week was a big running week for me, but next week I back it down a little on the run & build on my cycling. The following week is a build week for swimming. That won't be difficult, because with my shoulder feeling much better, the increase in swimming mileage as never been an issue.

Last night we had a "girls night dinner." It was Sara (also training for IM CDA), Stacey (she's doing the Ragnar Relay with us), Natalie (Ragnar Relay & long run buddy) & me! We met at this fantastic family Italian place, Giuseppe's. It's a small little place with an intimate setting. Best part - you can bring your own wine, and there is NO cork fee! So, Sara brought a fabulous bottle of Pinot Noir that she brought back from her recent trip to Wine Country, Sonoma. Unfortunately, I do not have the details of the exact bottle, but it was from the Seghesio Family Vinyards. It melted in your mouth. It was silky-smooth, buttery & everything you want in a Pinot Noir. I can't find the Pinot on their website, so I'll have to get the details from Sara. If you haven't tried their Zinfandel, it is fantastic as well.

Ok, enough about the wine (although I could go on about this subject FOREVER!). It was a great night - great company, food & wine. And, sweet Natalie came to the dinner with the cutest little gifts all wrapped up for us. Just a little gesture to wish us well in our training. They were Nike running socks (that she LOVES, can't wait to try them) and some Nike hair ties. The best part, she wrapped mine in RED. Nat knows I don't "do pink." She's so funny. She even dresses baby Kate in red when she comes running with us.

I guess I'm kind of backtracking a little. Yesterday started out with a 3:00 ride. It was just 3 of us this week, due to other obligations. So, Sara, Melisa & I headed on a very hilly 3 hour route.

Sara & I did just over 3hrs (3:05) - melisa had a little further to go to get home
AVG HR 144 (I'm very happy with this. My avgs have been like 130-135, I think too much messing around)

I think we did VERY well, especially for an all girl day and SO many hills!

You would think I'd be loving my rest day. To tell you the truth I'm bored. I feel so much better than I did last week. (I'm hoping my effort to increase my protein intake has something to do with it) 'S' has been out of town this weekend, so I think that is also why I'm bored. I'm like an ADD child. I can't sit still... constantly need to be moving around! Usually on the weekends we have "stuff" to do, so I guess I'm just not used to having extra time like this. THANK GOD for the internet!

Well, that's really all for now. Here's what this week (#4) looks like:
Run 60mins (moderate, low zone 2)
Swim 2500meters (Long, Zone 2)
Bike 2:00 (moderate)
Weight training
Run 45min (Tempo, high zone 2)
Swim 2000meters (Tempo)
Bike 1:15 (Tempo)
Weight Training
Run Long 1:30mins
Swim 2000meters (moderate)
Bike(brick) 3:30/:30run

Friday, February 23, 2007

How NOT to start your morning

I hope everyone gets a little humor out of this post. I'm pretty sure my running buddies from this morning did.

Every morning, the first thing that I do is make my spark. I was introduced to this product by a friend of mine a few years ago. Come to think of it, maybe it has been like 4 years. Wow. I never used to drink any caffeine. No coffee, nothing. But, when I started training like a mad women those 4ams became rather hard to do. Spark did the trick. Not only did it give me the quick morning boost I needed for my runs, but it also helps out with the pre-run bathroom issues. Takes care of everything within 10mins. No need to go any further with this topic. So, my couple times a week habit turned into an everyday morning ritual. I like the way it makes me feel. It makes me alert & happy. It is full of great vitamins & minerals, and the caffeine is not overbearing. You'll find just as much caffeine in this drink as you will in only 1 cup of coffee.

This morning I had made plans to meet momo and my friend Natalie up by 'M's house for my 1:50 long run. Thing is, we needed to meet early enough so 'M' could get her kids to school. This meant a 5am start, begining by waking up, getting ready, taking asthma medicine (serevent), taking care of restroom issues, eating something & driving the 15 or so min trek up to her house. Now, I'm pretty quick in the morning. Especially after my spark. So, I set the alarm for 4:15am (it's 10mins fast).

Well, my body must have been fully rested, because at 4am sharp, I was awake. I turned the alarm off so S wouldn't be bothered. I looked over a few mins later, 4:20 - I'm thinking - ok, I should probably get up now. As luck would have it, the NEXT time I looked at the clock it read 4:45.

Somehow, I lit a firecracker on my behind & jumped out of bed. Next thing I know, I'm in the car - water bottles full, spark on hand, inhaler ready to use (BAD idea so close to the run), shoes in toe (not quite on my feet yet), toast in mouth, and gels somewhere in the mix. Out the garage, ready to GO!! Crap, where's my garage door opener? Agh, of course - it's in my BIKE top from yesterday. No time. Next up, run back into the garage, hit the button and SPRINT out so the sensor doesn't catch me.

HR at this time - Who knows... pretty sure not anywhere close to my resting HR of 45ish... Time on clock - 4:47. Now, as I mentioned above, my alarm is set 10mins fast, so I somehow I got out of bed & to this point in 12 mins! That's right, 12 mins....

Agh, relax time. Or "pep up" time is probably more like it. I drank my spark on the way - followed by the use of my serevent & also while eating my dry toast (how the heck does a girl run out of Peanut Butter, not that I would of had time to use it!). Shoes on at the first stoplight. Or, rather the second - I may have kinda ran the first one... I looked REALLY carefully first - it was in a residential area. Shhh don't tell!

Arrival time #1 - To 'M's guard gate at 5:01, to 'M's house, 5:03. OMG, I can't believe I've made it. In one piece. Kinda....

I'm frazzled, and feeling bad for being late. I planned on getting there at 4:55. I hate being late. I seemed to somehow have gotten into a 5min late rut over the past few months. It's annoying, and I REALLY am trying....

So, I get out of the car - HR monitor on reading 100bpm. Are you kidding me?? Remember the things I mentioned above? Spark and Serevent. Crack on wheels. I have gotten used to giving my body at LEAST 30mins before exercise. It lets my system settle down, and then I have a much lower HR. By like 10beats. Not this time my friends.

So, we're ready to go now, right (I'm thinking)? "Do you have any water?" Momo asks... "Yah, right here," I reply as I look at my hand - where my water bottle should be. Oh shoot - in my car. Hang on, SORRY!! Back to my car, water in hand. Now we're talking. 11miles, bring it on!

We're off. It's dark. So dark, you can hardly see in front of you. Boy was it gorgeous tho. And quiet. Peaceful. I start hitting the light on my watch every few mins to check my HR. As expected, I am at the top of my zone 2, where I stayed for nearly 2hours. I've been really good about sticking to the Low to midpoint of my zone 2 on my long runs, trying to work in my better fat burning zone. Today, just wasn't one of those days. At least I was still in the zone, well in the aerobic range for the entire run. Mission accomplished. I had to pull back a little from the girls a couple of times to do this, but I'm ok with that. I'm working for myself here, not worried about keeping up. It will pay off in the end, I know it. The legs felt great. In fact, they still do quite frankly.

All in all it turned out to be a pretty darned good run. A couple pits stops at porta potties making it a little more interesting. As you can imagine my system was in a little shock from all the craziness!

Oh, and one last piece of humor to the story. I lost my car key somewhere along the route... To be honest, I don't even remember where I stashed it. In my water bottle pocket, running skirt pocket??? It's a mystery to me! So, an hour later - which included picking up baby Kate so Nat's husband could get to work & breaking in my house through the doggy door, I was back to my car - this time ready to get home & refuel for the next workout!!

So, lessons learned? GET MY BOOTY OUT OF BED WHEN I WAKE UP!!!

Now, I just hope tomorrow's ride goes just a little bit more smoothly.

Cheers, happy weekend!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Runnin' Ragged "For T___"

Yesterday was a very sad day. It started out great. I met my friends Natalie & Mike for my 50min tempo run. Somehow we miscalculated & ended up going 65mins, but I lowered my HR for the extra, so hopefully it's ok! I'm usually VERY good about sticking to my schedule. That's what it's for right?
Anyway, on this run we were talking about the upcoming Relay we are doing in a few weeks. My friend "T" emailed me several months ago & asked if I would like to be part of this 12 person relay, that goes across about 180miles in 24hours. Of course I was like "sure let me see who else I can get!" So, in about 5 emails & less than an hour we had our team of 12. We are all SUCKERS! It's the whole CDA training group, plus; Stacey, Natalie & her husband Jeff, Mike & our team captain "T".
We decided on the team name "Runnin' Ragged." Not for any reason in particular, but because we didn't come up with anything more creative. So, we are now 5 weeks out from the race, and we really haven't done any planning. I've sent some emails out, but I wasn't getting much feedback. I was beginning to think that something was going on. Then, out of nowhere I received a very sad, email that our Team Captain had been diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I actually cried as I read the email. I've 'know' of people sick with cancer, but I've never been close to one, so I guess it was just kind of shocking to me. Her email was very upbeat & positive, which is just like her. Always finding the good in everything.

I met "T" several years ago through my running group. I immediately just loved this lady. She really knows what running is all about. It's all about the "GEAR!" we'd say. And I tell ya, this gal has the best of it. EVERYTHING matches. Everything looks so put together. And, without a doubt "T" would have the lastest "skinny jeans" version of this season's running wear. Someday, I'd just love to see her closet!

A couple other things. She was in NY when my husband proposed to me. It was right before the start of the marathon. To tell you the truth, I didn't even "get" what was going on. I was in shock, but not "T" - she saw what Shane was up to & just started SCREAMING! Oh, it was a site!

A few months before that, she was there on South Mountain when my IT band froze up. It was a very hilly 20K. She was having a tough day herself, but when she saw me she decided her job was to get me into the finish. She forgot about her race, and just got me there. And at the end, she gave me a push on the back & said you go - and she waited for me to cross the finish line FIRST! Now, how is that for a great friend, person, etc.

"T" even got me a great job interview with her previous company. It was something I'd been looking at for a while, but she no longer worked there. All it took was one phone call & I had an interview set up shortly after that.
These are just a few of the many reasons to love "T" For those of you that know her, I'm sure you've got some stories of your own...
Now, back to her email....

The subject of the email was "Lemonade"

The first line of the email read "Life has given me lemons .............. sooooooooooo with all of my soul (and I'm hoping your good wishes) I'll be making lemonade ......."

And her only request was "As for those shirts it would please me greatly if they were pink .........."

So, this March 30-31st, 12 of us will be running the Ragnar Relay, Del Sol. But there will be a different goal than what we started with. Now, we will be "Runnin' Ragged FOR 'T___'," and the real reward will be to see her bright smiling face at the Finish Line.

And, yes... we will ALL be wearing some PINK in her honor.

So, for all of you reading this, please think of & pray for our dear friend....

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Mom - Don't tell Dad!!, I really am good....

Ok, so nothing too exciting since my last post. Yesterday I swam at my gym rather than go to masters. It was kinda nice. I was able to compare my old times, with some new ones. I'm used to swimming meters, and masters is a yard pool. Yes, the difference is pretty simple ~10%, but when you are trying to compare times. My workout was 2500Meters

200easy swim (3:35), 200 kick (I did drills) & 200 easy swim (3:38)
4x50 :20 rest, 1x400 1:00 rest, 4x50 :20 rest
My 50s were dead on :51seconds, and my 400 was 7:25

2x500, slight acceleration every 4th lap
they were 9:05 & 9:08
100 easy..

I was pretty happy with my times. I think my 500s were about :30-:40 seconds faster than I used to be, so I'm pretty happy with that!

As for today. I did my 1:45 ride with Melisa & Sara. I got a flat. I was having trouble with the CO2, so I just said screw it & rode with it not totally inflated. Well, just out of curiosity I checked the pressure when I got home. It was ~50psi... I have 650's they go to 110 - so they were about half full. Maybe THAT is why my leg workout with Daniel seemed a little hard today :-)

Now, on to the Title of this post.... Yesterday was a real "winter" day in Arizona. It was cold & Rainy. Just one of those days when you should be curled up in your bed...

That's exactly what some in THIS family had in mind - Let me tell you a little story...

Aghh, sleeping so peaceful - Good Dog! (Sara)

What a cute little 'baby' (Abby)

Then there was the 4-legged Red-Human... On the Human bed..

The bed in which he is NOT supposed to be on!

"Uh, Oh..... Please don't tell Dad, Mom... Pleeezzzz"

"See, I'm good.... That other picture, it was EVIL Baxter! Show Dad THIS pic!"

Monday, February 19, 2007

"Girl, What did you do to yourself?" AND Some food for thought...

Those are the words my massage therapist said to me just minutes after my 90min deep tissue TORTURE began. They were closely followed by, "Do you stretch AT ALL?" I chuckled and said, "Of course! Well - maybe not as much as I should, LATELY!" Oops :-) Then, I thought about it, what HAD I done to myself over the last 6 days? Here it goes:

Swim: 7,950 yards
Bike: ~80miles
Run: ~20miles
Weights ~2hrs

Hmm, guess THAT would explain why I was such a mess! Anyway - the 90mins went by fairly quick. Except the 2 hours (or what seemed like) that she spent on my left shoulder area. As I mentioned before, that is the side that has been messed up for a couple of weeks, due to my puppy! Well, I was actually starting to get very worried I was going to be making my way back to my second home, Metro Physical Therapy. Thankfully, the massage helped a lot, and I can now safely say that the injury is muscular. I just need to be VERY careful. It's sore today, but much better, with a lot more mobility!

So - heres's what week # 3 looks like:
Run 70mins (moderate, low zone 2)
Swim 2500meters (Long, Zone 2)
Bike 1:45 (moderate)
Weight training
Run 50min (Tempo, high zone 2)
Swim 2000meters (Tempo)
Bike 1:00 (Tempo)
Weight Training
Run Long 1:50mins
Swim 2000meters (moderate)
Bike 3:00

On another note, I wanted to share something very sad that I came across today while out for my run. It's something, or someone rather that I've seen several times before on the same street. The first time I noticed this woman was last summer when I was working one of those Corporate America jobs. I was driving home from work and couldn't help but turn my head and STARE. Not in a "Wow, look at that amazing runner," or "cute running outfit" kinda way. It was in an "Oh my, that poor girl, or wait WOMAN" kinda way. Yes, this woman was so tiny & so frail she looked like an 8 year old girl. It was Arizona hot out, so the cloths she was wearing were minimal. I don't remember exactly what the outfit was, but I do remember that you could easily mistake her thighs for an arm, they were so small. You could see every skeletal bone on her chest. Her elbows stuck out like broken bones. Her cloths hung on her as if she were a little girl, playing dress up and wearing her mothers clothing. Then you moved up to her face & she had the face of a women who has been through a lot. Someone that looked like she was nearing the end. Her face was sunken in, and you could see all the structural bones of her skull. Cheekbones, eye sockets, jaw. And, a sadness. I only saw her in passing but those images had stuck with me for some reason.

Well, today on my run I saw this woman again. There was no mistaking it was her. Only this time, I was right next to her as we passed on the same road I first saw her several months ago. This time we were going opposite ways and I was not in a car. She was wearing leggings, a big bulky sweatshirt & a wide rimmed visor. I could see it in her face though. It was the same women. Her "leggings" hung on her like baggy sweats. Her face still showed all the grooves, dark circles and that same sadness. It made my heart break. Why is it that so many people have to hurt themselves because they can't see the true beauty and character they embody?

I know I'm guilty of it. Always getting on that scale, thinking that all the hard work & healthy eating will eventually pay off. Obsessing about what outfits looks the best, and comparing myself to all the other bodies out there. I know I'm not alone either. Even friends I have, that I would consider having the "perfect physique" are hard on themselves. They are comparing their bodies to others. They are watching what they eat, and pushing their bodies to the limits.

Of course we can do what everyone does & blame the media. All the perfectly posed and groomed celebrities that are supposed to represent us all. But, we also know that these super-humans are blessed with the luxuries of live-in chefs & money to buy the most exquisite products to make themselves "glow" and remain ageless! Now, that's not reality. That's not going to happen to all of us, so why would we let this group set the standard for the rest of us normal folk?

I guess, I'm not really sure what I'm trying to say here. Seeing that poor woman again today just made me think about all of this. And, it also made me pretty darn happy that I am healthy & happy and able to do all of the things that I love. I guess I can get beyond those annoying extra lbs I'm holding on to, if it means having all of those things I really need & want, as well as being able to stay so active & healthy, right?

Natalie & Baby Kate

Here's a picture from my previous post - my friend Natalie & her beautiful daughter Baby Kate. Funny thing, we actually ran into them on Sat night at our favorite pizza place, so we ended up sharing dinner with them!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Week 2: 10 for 10, 1 more to go

It's week 2 & I'm very proud to say that I have made 10/10 workouts, with one more to go. Tomorrow is my long bike ride - 2:30mins. Our group is heading up into "Fountain Hills" to get some practice using those quads! Right now my quads are saying that is a BAD idea, however, I know that I will be proud once we are finished! AND, the best part - I am treating myself to a 90min deep tissue massage on Sunday. Now how's THAT for a day of rest?

Actually, it's not quite as pleasant as it sounds. 'S' & I found this place a couple years ago, and have been going ever since. See, I'm picky when it comes to my massages. After being in physical therapy for 3, yes THREE years with my IT Band issues I became fortunate enough to know what my body needed. I had the most fantastic PT assistant/trainer who also did massage. She new my body, what needed worked on,what was broken, etc. I trusted her, and was afraid to let anyone else work on my frail (at that time) body. Then, life happened. She met a boy, moved to New York & left me & my sore muscles behind. Ok, so that's probably not exactly what went on in her mind, but non the less, I needed to find a replacement for "my Danielle." As luck would have it I did come across a fabulous therapist at The Massage Studio on Frank Lloyd Wright, named Kyla. She is this tiny little thing with hands stronger than you can imagine. She uses a lot of similar "PT techniques," as I call them. So, as I mentioned above, it's not always fun & games when I get my massages. Sometimes, it HURTS. But, of course a day later when all the kinks & knots are worked out, I am happy to have put myself through the torture! So this my friends, is what I'm looking forward to this Sunday. One more workout to go & I'm there!

Today I met my good friend Natalie & Baby Kate for my 90min run. I left my kids behind, as Abby's limit is about 7 miles right now, and she'd be crushed if I brought Baxter & not her. So, I did my little routine of being "sneaky" getting out of the house, (like they didn't know I was "cheating" on them) & headed to the park to meet my running partners for the day. I decided to write a little about Natalie today, because every time I see her or talk to her, she reminds me how lucky I am to have a friend like her. I met her, gosh - like 5 years ago maybe? My sister & she were working together at the time, and wanted us to meet. We both were running marathons. So, one night the 3 of us met at Oreganos, for dinner. Natalie & I have been friends ever since. We've gone on countless runs together, swum a couple of masters workouts together, dinner dates, even gone on a long weekend in Rocky Point. She's one of those people that somehow always makes you feel better when you talk to her. Always has something uplifting & positive to say. Recently, her life has changed quite a bit. A little over a year ago she had baby Kate. The best part - she is still the same Natalie. Still wants to get together, still wants to run (she just has to work a little harder now pushing the baby) & still wants to be a part of every one's lives. We all know that when your friends first start having babies, you've got a 50/50 chance your relationship might not be the same. It sucks, but it is true. People's lives change, at no fault to anyone, but as their lives change so do a lot of their relationships. I'm happy to say things are the same with Natalie. She's still an awesome friend, running partner - oh & I almost forgot she's "Aunt Natalie" to my kids. They even get fun Christmas Presents from her every year, and if I bring them to her house, Baxter knows within a mile where we are going!

So, to end this little note. I just want to say how fortunate I am to have such amazing people in my life. I decided to spotlight Natalie today, because she was there on my awesome 90min long run today! So, thanks to ALL my wonderful friends, you are all very special!

P.S. Natalie, if you read this - if you send me an updated pic of you & Kate, I want to post it!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentines Day

Today is February 14th. I used to think there were 3 types of celebration on this day. For some it means a hot date night with their loved one (that's me). For others it's the dreaded day where everyone that is a COUPLE spends a lot of money on food, flowers & presents - while those who are single, dread this day("D-DAY!" as I USED to call it). And lastly for those Retail gurus out there, it is a day of commercial bliss. Every year things get more expensive, more obnoxious and it also seems like everything becomes available as soon as the day after Christmas.

Well I now, after today, have a new appreciation for this Holiday. The funny thing is that I haven't even celebrated it yet with my husband. Today started out pretty normal. In fact, I didn't even think about it being a "holiday." I went out to do my fun, hilly run for the day. I actually drove somewhere, just a few miles from my house - 1. So I didn't have to feel guilty for leaving the dogs behind (I think I'm SO sneaky when I wait to put on my watch, hat & running shoes until after I am out the door) 2. So I could do my favorite hills in the time I had (60mins). Anyway, I parked at a gas station & headed to the corner to start up my first hill. That's when I realized it was Valentines Day. There was the cutest older woman, probably in her late 60s - early 70s camped out at the corner as a volunteer cross-guard for the school up the street. She had posted valentine decorations on the traffic light post, and had Red & Pink heart gift bags FULL of candy. As soon as she saw me, her eyes lit up & she reached into her bag to give me a piece of candy, and say "Happy Valentines Day Sweetheart!" Oh, it was the cutest thing. I smiled and thanked her graciously, but declined the candy by telling her if I accepted it & ate it, I'd never make it up the hill (as I pointed). She just smiled & pushed the cross-walk sign for me, then continued with her task of safely getting me across the street.

So, this was the start of changing my above belief that there are basically 3 types of people & ways to celebrate this "commercial" holiday. This was just a sweet, generous women happy to bring some Holiday cheer to everyone she encountered that day. It sure is nice to meet people like this, isn't it?

I continued on with my run (a good one I might add), and then went home to do some work, eat & prepare for my masters swim (which was a little tough for me). I did 2250 yards, which is equal to about what I had on my schedule for the day (2000meters), but it was hard. I am sore. I think I said something to the effect of "I feel like I've been run over by a truck," as I entered the pool. (INSERT) THANKS DANIEL for the workout yesterday!!!!

After my swim, I stopped at the grocery store for a couple of things. Of course as I walked in the doors of Safeway, all the Holiday bliss was straight in front of me. Flowers, Roses, stuffed animals, chocolates. You name it! But, what I really noticed as I walked around the store were all the little things in peoples baskets. Men of all ages & looks; white-haired, base-ball caps, barely able to drive look carrying everything from single red roses & boxes of chocolates, to the custom made arrangement from the floral shop. Then there were the ladies I saw. They were picking through all the cards (what was left of them) & smiling as they read the sweet, funny & also CHEESY romantic gestures. Today, for the first time, it actually seemed like I was surrounded by a lot more Happy Cupids, then in past years. Now, maybe this change in what I noticed isn't because more people are really happy, maybe - just maybe it's because I am :-)

So, for those of you who are having a not so Happy Valentines Day, just remember you will get your turn. I used to be there; at the bar cursing the Holiday as I enjoyed some cocktails with my girlfriends and swore off men. But now, things are different - and I am hopeful that everyone else will soon fine their Valentine as well. Here's a photo of my Valentine on our Wedding Day!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Hello there, Runner's High!

What the heck is a Runner's High?? Well, for anyone that runs - you've been asked this question before. There really is NO way to describe it, or at least no RIGHT way to describe it. It's just that feeling that you get while you are out there. Like nothing else matters at that point in time, but taking in everything that contributes to the experience. So, I decided to google "runner's high" and see what the heck came up. I came across this article & decided not to keep looking at the search results. It's very funny, actually. How scientific it all sounds. I decided the best way to describe a Runner's High is really an individual feeling or experience. It's personal. It's related to the reason so many of us continue to challenge ourselves on the road. Why we are obsessed with Pace Calculators, Runners World Magazine,, PRs & cute outfits (insert my new running skirt obsession). They are all related to the experience, and the experience that will hopefully give us that endorphin boost, that emotional state of being! For me, at least today, Runner's High was several things: It was the appreciation for getting over my chest cold. It was the excitement that I was starting week #2 feeling so fresh. It was gratitude towards my new job, and friend momo that offered me this wonderful new job that allows me to run, swim & bike without the stress of time. It's the feeling of overall happiness that makes me think of how lucky I am to have such great people in my life - friends & family. It was looking down at Baxter & Abby & seeing how darned happy they were to be out there on the road with me. And, mostly it was remembering that my life as a runner not only has changed the person that I am today, but it is the reason I met my husband, my best friend.. Shane.

So, why am I going on about this point you might ask? Well, it's simple. This morning I had the most amazing and LONG awaited Runner's High. In fact, I'm still gleaming from it. I didn't sleep very well last night, so I wasn't expecting much when I went out there. I decided to do my 45 Tempo run this am, vs my 60min Moderate Run (I'll save that for Wed). I also decided to do the same route that I did last Wed. You know, the 50min turtle, no make that SNAIL like slow run. I wanted to see if I was really just turning into a VERY slow runner, or if in fact it was just my health slowing me down lately. So, I leashed up Baxter & Abby & away we went. I immediately felt this energy that I haven't had in quite some time. I was able to keep my HR in the upper end of my zone 2 (that's Mark Allen's version of Tempo). It was fun to actually let my legs go like they wanted to - not holding back because the big black numbers on my HR Monitor said "SLOW DOWN." Today, those numbers were telling me, "Speed it up Missy!" So, I did what it said & I sped it up a little. I looked around at the blue sky, the crisp morning air, and also at my dogs who were I think more excited than me that I was moving a little faster! It was like they were saying, "It's about time, MOM!" Maybe all 3 of us were having the same experience. That same Runner's High?

Here's the best part about this run. As I turned on to the last stretch home, I realized that I had 3 mins to spare. So, I went a little further, turned around & landed at my back gate exactly 45mins after I left the house. Wait, it gets better. I did the same loop in 49:00mins. Today, I did it in 42, and had to go a little further. I was so excited I ran inside & mapped out the loop. It was 4.75miles, 45mins even - 9:28min/mile pace. And I thought I had a Runner's High Before??? Oh, that was only the beginning. Not only have I been SLOW lately - and by lately I mean since JULY, but I haven't felt the excitement, fulfillment and overall sense of accomplishment that all add up to the reason I started RUNNING in the first place. So, Runner's High - it is GOOD to have you back :-) Now, it's almost time for my second workout - my LONG swim with Masters. Here's how this week looks:
Week 2/20
45min Tempo Run/ Long Swim (2500 meters)
90min Moderate bike/ Strength Workout with Daniel
60min Moderate Run/ Tempo Swim (2000meters)
60min Tempo Bike/ Strength Workout with Daniel
90min Long Run/Moderate Swim (2000meters)
2:30 Long Bike

On another note, I wanted to share with you a picture of our training group. These are the 7 folks training for Ironman CDA together. We had the group (as well as our other cycling buddies, not pictured - Stacey, Dave, & Matt) over last night for a BBQ to kick off a new triathlon website that my husband is building. We want all of our friends & training partners to be a part of it, so we decided to have them over & give them a heads up as to what the new adventure is all about! The site is not up & running yet, but stay tuned for more details in my blog! So, from left to right we have: Krista (me!), Shane(my husband ), Ric, Troy, Heather, Melisa & Sara. Quite the good looking group, according to Melisa (thanks for the photo momo). So, this is our "before" picture.. We'll be sharing more as the next 19 weeks progress.

Friday, February 9, 2007

This Blog Thing is FUN!

Wow, I never realized how much fun I was missing out on in this cyberworld. I've already had some great comments on my blog from fellow "bloggers," friends, triathletes. It's nice to know that there are people out there interested in the same things that I am, or at least that they are bored enough to read about what I am doing to myself during this IM training journey. Either way, it's fun, enlightening & inspirational sharing my stories, getting feedback & also being introduced to so many others out there who are writing down their thoughts & adventures for all of us to read as well. So, to all of you out there - THANKS!

It's now Thursday, and by the way my body feels, I'm having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that I am THIS sore AND I missed out on 4 workouts due to being sick. What would I feel like had I not missed those workouts. Well, maybe - just MAYBE I wouldn't have done to myself what I'm about to share. So - Wednesday's workouts went well, as you may have read in my last blog entry. Then Thursday came. I drove down to Papago to meet with my friend/trainer Daniel.

A little introduction, I met Daniel several years ago when I was working for one of those "Corporate America jobs" I'm so happy to not be in anymore. Daniel ran the fitness center in the office building I was at. He got me back into strength training while I was there. But, he made it FUN. You know, come to think of it - he's the one who convinced a bunch of us to tri - triathlon racing as well. Look at me now! Anyway, Daniel is still running the gym in that corporate building, and has graciously offered to abuse, oh I mean TRAIN me ...

Ok, back to Thursday. I went down for my workout with Daniel. 1:20mins of LEGS! Oh yes, legs. You know, while it was happening I didn't feel too bad. He just comes up with some of these "magical" exercises that you don't feel while it's happening, but MAN the next day is a whole different story. Heck..even later that night! So, I had some work things to take care of, so I did my "tempo" bike ride in the PM. It was nice out - so I headed out around 4:30. For some reason, I decided to climb to the top of Via Linda. For those who live here you know what that means. For those who don't, AZ doesn't have a lot of hills - we have to go out and SEEK them. Via Linda is one of them. It's about 6miles straight up, 600ft elevation gain. So, that was my Thursday. Legs, Legs, Legs....

So, then there is today. Long run Friday. Thankfully this is a "short" run week. I only had 70mins. I did it, but BOY did I feel every step in my hamstrings. I swear my legs were tree-trunks. Every step over 7miles, a big, heavy trunk was lifted - even if these trunks were covered in a running skirt, they were still tree trunks! However, I made it home - just in time to eat a little, work a little & head to the pool for my masters swim (2600yard workout).

What now? Well, it's Friday evening. Time to get off this computer, give my family some attention, eat some pasta & maybe even a glass of wine ;-) & watch a movie. Tomorrow is a new day. It's supposed to be beautiful here for our 3hour bike ride (65ish degrees). Have I mentioned how much I love living in Arizona where it's Feb, sunny & warm? Until next time...

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

The new Day 1

So today I woke up knowing I got to get back on the training wagon. What a great feeling that was, especially after 10 hours of sleep! Yup, that's right - 10 solid hours. My body is taking this rest time seriously! It took me about an hour to get my lungs opened up enough to go for a run. So, at about 8:30am I headed out for my 50min EASY run. I left the kids behind today. 'S' took them last night, so I didn't feel to guilty. They are so much fun to run with, but at the same time it's more of a workout. They like to go FAST, and Abby who's not yet 2 is still learning the rules of the road. In fact, my left shoulder is having some issues right now due to her skillful act of bolting to the left, then the right while I'm trying to go STRAIGHT! Anyway, I knew it was going to be a SLOW run today, and I was going to try to keep my HR is the lower end of zone 2.
It was beautiful out today. So nice, I was able to shed the running tights for the first time in a couple months & put on my Red & White runningskirt. The run went well. I logged 49:30 seconds by the route I chose for today. A couple climbs in there too. We don't need to talk about the mileage tho - it wasn't pretty. Either way I'm happy to report I did it, and I kept my HR just where I wanted to - avg 150.

Next on the agenda (with a little work in between) was my masters swim. My training schedule had 1500meters (tempo) on it for the day, so I decided to try to adjust the masters workout accordingly. Usually I'll swim the extra, but just getting back to health I decided to stick with the lower end. So - my workouts was:
4X50 dril
200 easy
Main Set
300 level 4 (I did more of a level 3, not enough energy for 4 yet)
250 level 2
200 level 4
150 level 2
100 level 4
200 choice

1800yards in total. I'm used to doing meters, and my workout is set at such, so I figured 1800yards is pretty darn close to 1500meters. Surprisingly, I felt pretty darned good. I didn't have a level 4 in me (faster than race pace) that's for sure, but I wasn't slow like I thought I'd be. Mostly my struggle was with the little shoulder issue mentioned above. (can you really get mad at a face like this tho? (see right)

I am really trying to work on my swim. I used to think it was hopeless. I'm a decent swimmer, but my race times are all over the place. It seemed like it never really mattered how much I would swim, I'd always get to a certain speed and plateau. This year I decided to do something about it. I went to a local triathlon coach who teaches the total immersion way of swimming and had a swim video analysis done. I actually found out that I have some pretty good potential to get FAST! Fast, really??? For someone who is usually racing in the upper half of her age group, with the possibility of a top % finish - then only to be passed up in the RUN and drop down the charts, FAST is a good word! It would give me a little extra time to get out ahead of all those fast runners. As an aside, I actually started out this crazy endurance life as a RUNNER! Who'd of thought - it's probably my worst discipline now! Anyway, back to the swim analysis. I've got a few things (form) to work on. To list a few:

Head position - need to look DOWN, not forward
Arm position - low elbow on recovery & pull
Slight timing on pull/hand entry

-- I've been trying to download one of the video clips to show you all what I'm talking about, but I'm having a little "technical difficulty" making it work...

All of these are minor, but tweaking them slightly should help my "glide" and overall speed. So, today I practiced the high elbow and timing of my hand entry/pull start. On a few of the laps I really felt like I actually was GLIDING through the water. I just happened to check the clock on one of my hundreds - 1:34! I was pretty excited about that, especially because I wasn't even trying! Now, if I could just manage to do that more often....

So, all in all it was a great day 1. We'll see how tomorrow goes. I'm doing my strength training workout with Daniel in the am, and either suffering thru an hour of spinning on the bike machines at his gym, or doing a later afternoon bike ride. Somewhere in between there I'm heading to momo's for a little "work" training. Hopefully someday I'll be all the way up to speed so I don't have to rely on her expertise & help so much to get the job done!

Oh, and since I couldn't get my video to download & this blog is starting to look a little boring without some pictures added, I'm going to post a couple of "fun" pics just because :-) Enjoy!
"Mom - do you REALLY need to be working?"

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Road to Recovery

So, here we are Tuesday- Day 2 of training. I really think this will be my last missed workout (for now, of course). I had a break-thru last night. Now it wasn't exactly fun, but boy was it worth it. It was a coughing fit that started at midnight, and lasted until about 3am! My lungs were finally breaking free! Today has been so much better than the past few days.. I'm not as fatigue (now that I'm finally getting enough O2), and the 2 day rest has finally turned into boredom! So, what did I do to celebrate? I made it out of the house about 4pm to go get my toes done! Why not, I thought - I had my birthday gift certificate that momo got me & I had not seen the outside of my home walls since - oh, Saturday! So, now my body is on the mend, the weather has turned the page to where I like it (no more COLD days here in AZ) and I now have pretty Red toenails to start the training off with. Of course we all know what happens to those poor toes as the training wears on em - no more pretty red toes, let's just leave it at that.

So, I have decided that tomorrow will be my new Day 1. I will pick my schedule up right where it should be. I won't try to make up the missed workouts, I will simply do as it says - Wed: 50min Moderate run (vs the 40min speed run) & Masters swim. Let's hope my body really is as ready as I think it is!! ;-) I imagine it will be a little slower than normal. As long as I am able to do it, I'll be fine with that!

Thanks to all you who have called & emailed to check up on me. It's so nice to know how many people are out there rooting for me!

Monday, February 5, 2007

Not so good start!

So, here we are Day one of the training & I am SICK! Kinda ironic (if you read my last blog getting sick is one of my fears) if you ask me. Anyway. I did get my long ride in Sunday & I knew something was off. We did a very challenging ride up into North Scottsdale, Cave Creek & then Seven Springs. It was basically 21miles of UP HILL! When we got to the top I was done! My lungs were burning & I started coughing & I had not taken a gel soon enough. Of course I made it back down, but not the same FUN way I would normally enjoy a decent like that!

Thank God for my friend (and training buddy) Sara who is a nurse practitioner. She called me in an antibiotic yesterday to help clear this up. I can't believe this silly little cold went into my lungs!! I went to bed last night at 7:30 & only woke up a couple times between that & 7am this am! How's that for resting my body? So, here I am Monday where I have to put a big RED X on my Monday missed workouts of Run/Swim. I'm keeping my fingers crossed I can just take one more day off (tomorrow) & pick up with my Wed schedule.

Stay Healthy, Sleep well & Listen to your body... Those are my words of wisdom for the day!!!

Friday, February 2, 2007

Two & a Half Days until "It" all begins....

Happy Friday! Not sure how all of your mornings started off, but here's what has happened in my day so far: Woke up, Ran 90mins (thanks for the company Natalie), did some work, ate, went to masters swim (this took some motivation, but I am glad I went!), ate -- do you see a pattern here? Tomorrow it starts all over again. Wake up, eat, go for a 3hr bike ride, eat... However, there is a little fun planned for Saturday night. We are meeting at our favorite wine bar Terroir to celebrate our friend Stacey's birthday. So, not only will it be a fun night with great company, good wine, pizza & maybe even some chocolate - it will also be a nice farewell to life as we know it right now...

You see today is Friday, and come Monday I am in for a big change. Monday is Day 1 of my 20 week Ironman training schedule. Was it really 7 months ago that I registered for this thing? Really? Well, believe it or not I have made it this far with out any big freak out moments, or any thoughts of panic. "S" kept telling me it was going to hit me, as he was freaking out even before he registered for his first Ironman last year (Wisconsin 06' was his first IM). Somehow I have remained neutral about the whole thing. Of course I have fears, but the fears are not about not being able to finish, or doing poorly, they are more about the small things that could happen along the way to that start line, or during the first discipline of the race. So, here are a few of my worries about this whole deal, and why I think I might have them:

1. Firsts and foremost, INJURY. A big fat one... I think this is my biggest fear because after my second marathon I hurt my IT band. This wasn't just a small 3 month long recovery. This was a 2.5 year, followed by surgery, followed by another 7 months before I could even attempt to run again type injury. Honestly, it was probably one of the toughest things I've ever gone through. I don't know that I would have the strength to go through that ordeal again... On the upside it has been just over 2 years since the surgery, and in that time I have raced in 2 half ironman, 2 Olympic distance races (including a 2nd place finish) & a couple of half marathons. So, do I really need to have this fear??

2. Race Day Weather. I watched 'S' suffer through IM Wisconsin last year. Heck, I was suffering and I wasn't even racing... God help us all if we have a day like that in CDA next year. Please mother nature, have mercy!

3. Being sick come race day. I have asthma, when I get sick - and if it's in my lungs it is torture. Walking down the street is a workout when you don't have full lung function. GO AIRBORNE - you will be my best friend for the next 20 weeks.

4. Getting my a@@ kicked in the swim! Don't get me wrong, I can swim, but I fear the open water MASS start. I think I just need to get a mean streak & stop feeling bad when I accidentally kick someone. Ok, this will be my #1 goal. DON'T fear the swim, conquer it!

Ok, so.. maybe those aren't so bad - It's not like I'm going to be alone. I have 6 of my close friends (including hubby) going through this journey with me, as well as what might be the best support crew out there. Some that are even making the journey from AZ to CDA to encourage us AND will be out there on those LONG bike rides along side of us. How cool is that?

So for those of you who are curious this is how Week 1 looks:

Mon: Long Swim 2000 meters (I go to Masters)/Moderate Run 50mins
Tues: Moderate Bike 1:45mins/workout with Daniel (strength training)
Wed: Tempo Swim 1500 meters(masters)/Tempo Run 45mins
Thurs: Tempo Bike 1 Hour/strength training
Friday: Long Run 1:10/Moderate Swim (Masters) 1500Meters
Saturday: Long Bike 3 hours
Sunday: DAY OFF

Ok, so this is doable....Right? :-)