Sunday, April 29, 2007

8 miles

easy-peasy. I haven't run long in a while, certainly not since I got sick last week. and before then, with the travel, and wanting to maximize time home with the boys, I think it's been two or three weeks since I did anything longer than 5 miles. But today, i woke up early (ish, amazing how things change after sleeping in for a few months...) at hit the street by 6;30. I figured I could go for about 8 or 9 miles, depending on how hot it got toward the end. I set the garmin for intervals, so I could walk a bit after every mile. I'm figuring that's how I'll train for my marathon this fall, using Gallowalking, so I may as well do it now for the long runs. It helps break up the monotonoy of anything over an hour, too.

So, yeah, it was done, and I had mile splits under 10:00 for all but one mile. And that one had a loooong wait at a light. And my last mile clocked in at 9:22 -- wahoo!! so it was a good run. no problems, and it didn't even get really hard ever, so I was working, but not so much that I'm exhausted.

I'm figuring as we go into the summer and I start working on training plans for a fall marathon, along with at least two tris, that I need to dial the overall running mileage down some, but still maintain a good base for when 'thon training starts up full-force in July and August. So I'm thinking I did 8 today, and I'll work back up to 10-12 milers, and keep that as my Sunday long run distance until July. By then I'll know two things: 1) where I'll be working over the summer and 2) whether I got into the NYC lottery. And meanwhile, I'll run another two or three times during the week, for a total of about 20-25 miles weekly. And of course, keeping up with the cycling and the swimming.

Speaking of the cycling, I did a 9.5 miles on Friday (after I changed my tires to thinner Slickasaurus treads ALL by MYSELF!), in about 50 minutes, and then a shorter 6.5 -mile rider in about 35 minutes yesterday. I think I've gotten used to the higher seat position, and the smaller tread on the tires definitely helped me go faster. I actually saw mph readings of 15.X a few times out there, and that wasn't while I was coasting downhill, promise!! So that helps me think that I can actually do this.

I'm at the downtown hotel in Denver for one more week, with the itty-bitty pool, so I'll keep working on the stroke/breathing while tethered, but then next week i move to the Denver Tech Center area, and they have a heated outdoor pool and a real indoor pool. So I should be able to get more realistic work in that week. And Hub's new job offers him a discounted gym membership as part of the benefits package, so we'll be able to do a joint thing and get me into a pool on a regular basis during my "home" days.

So things are definitely coming together. For now, I have to tackle the laundry beast before an afternoon birthday party TDP DinoBoy is attending. And I fly out tonight (Wahhh!) so I want to get in some reading time with him and Elder Child this afternoon before I go, so I really should make sure they have clean clothes for the week before then.

Hope all are having a great day. I also want to give a shout out to my friend Shelly, who is doing her first organized charity ride today up in the Twin Cities. In the past year, she has gone (is going) through a divorce, quit smoking, and lost 60 pounds, and today she's out there riding 62 miles all on her own, the furthest she's ever gone on her own power. Go Shelly!! I can't wait to hear her ride report tomorrow!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Heinz 57

So, what's been going on in Suburbia South lately? I know you've been on the edge of your seat waiting for the next Skatemom update. Haven't got much time today, but here goes the "I really need to jump in the shower and get ready for work, but I really hate neglecting my blog" version:
  • took two days off from running (friday and Saturday) and the world didn't stop spinning
  • ran Sunday and really enjoyed it, even though it was only 3 miles in Texas midday heat (blech)
  • Texas midday heat is better than Colorado spring snow (again!!) WTF???
  • I swam yesterday, and really feel like I didn't spend my time flailing and gasping. I was able to really practice my stroke/breathing. I finally felt somewhat natural doing it, too, and my I let my body figure out the rotation thing on its own, so that I wasn't lifting my head completely out of the water. Huge confidence builder!
  • I didn't run yesterday -- instead I did 25 minutes on the bicycle and 30 in the pool. Go me.
  • 2 miles of hills today, slowly. Slow hills, but we hit some 10% and 12% inclines. Gonna feel that later, I'm sure.
  • It's killing me to see my "Yearly Goal Progress" on my running log go into negative double-digits as I'm not running the volume that I'm used to, but it's OK. It will be OK. I think....
  • I think I'm in love with Mike and Mike in the Mornings. Or mostly just the metro Mike. It's the only decent thing on in the hotels in the morning. Like it's not bad enough I listen to the DFW sports-radio online at the office here in Colorado, I now watch Mike & Mike. Sheesh!
Speaking of the hotels in the morning -- gotta run! There you have it, the 3-minute post. I didn't think it was possible!!!

Friday, April 20, 2007

The end of the April Challenge

The alternate title for this post was going to be "'roided out" but... anyhoo, my self-imposed April run-everyday challenge is going to be at least one day short this time around, for a couple of reasons:

my friend who was going to attempt her first half-mary at the end of this month hasn't been upping her mileage, so she's not ready to race. My only reason for doing this race (that I hadn't signed up for yet..) was to pace her, so if she's out, there's not a lot of motivation for me to keep up the high mileage
this allergy thing has turned into an ear infection and yucky cough. As in I get dry hacking coughing fits for no reason at all. The doctor (who was nice enough to fit me in this morning before I leave for Denver again next Monday) prescribed antibiotics, an inhaler, prescription-strength Benadryl and a corticosteroid shot in my a$s to control my allergies. I feel like I have the energy to run today, if I really wanted to, but I don't think it's wise
I need to spend more time on the bike and in the pool, so the focus on the running needs to be toned down. If I'm only going to get one workout in on a given day, I tend to go with the running, and that alone is not going to get me through the tri
I'm going to see Blades of Glory tonight, and by the time we get done, it'll be time to snuggle on the couch with Season Two of The Office. So between the morning at the doctor, hockey practice with Hub and picking up the boys, there is no time for a run today.

And that's OK.

The good news from the doctor's visit:
I don't need my BP meds for now. BP is manageable without it (and has been for about four months); changing jobs I'm sure contributed to that!
I'm down another couple of pounds, for a total loss of 10 pounds since the end of February. I'm now only 24 pounds from my goal weight, and only 5 pounds from last fall's best weight. And I've not been really trying to do anything different. Just working out everyday and making logical choices about what I eat.

So, gotta go, but not gotta run! Peace out!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

can't breathe

I woke up yesterday morning with a twitch in the back of my throat, but it dissipated by mid-day, and was gone completely when I was done with my run/bike ride-trial (whole separate post on that, sometime soon!), but it came back by the time I got back to my room with my dinner. I had stopped for some claritin at the drugstore across the street from the subway (yes, very glamourous eats we have on the road -- I could have gone out with the group, but chicken teriyaki sounded good and I wanted to be back in the room to get on webcam with the boys).

All was fine, except that I was very sleepy and had to fight to get through my one assignment last night before turning in. I fell asleep right away when I turned off the computer, but woke up gasping for air at about 11:30 -- I just felt like my throat was tight and I wasn't getting any air. I panicked for a minute, and for some reason decided that I needed to get out of my room. So I grabbed my key and paced the hallway for about two minutes while I struggled to get my breath back. I wasn't stuffed up nasally, it was just a weird tight feeling in my throat. I've never felt anything like that. I came back into the room and got a drink of water, but when I did, I noticed a very, very strong mold odor in my bathroom. I couldn't find it, but it's definitely there. I should have asked for a different room -- I haven't had this problem before this week in any of the other rooms I've been in while at this hotel, so I'm not sure what the deal is.

Today, I took a claritin before I went to the office, and I felt fine until about midday, then I started to get very post-nasal-drippy and weepy eyes and just generally miserable. It seemed like my earbuds from my iPod hurt my head, there was so much pressure in my sinuses. I went for a 4 mile run after work again, and it cleared my head wonderfully while i was running, but pretty much by half an hour after I got done, I was all stuffed up again. My nose is raw from being wiped all day, and I'm sure my office-mate thinks I've got serious sinus issues and am so disgusting -- I spent all day honking and snorting and blowing my nose. I've been drinking plenty -- I started out with a 24 oz bottle of water and refilled it three times during the day, plus what I had with dinner, but I'm not having any luck flushing this crap out of my system. All i can hope for is some good Texas air tomorrow night -- heck, at this point, I'll take some stale airplane air.

BTW, I'm convincing myself that it's allergies and not a cold. I haven't been sick since the week before MCM 2005, and I certainly don't have time in the schedule to be sick now. harumph.

Well, all I know is one more night and I'm home until Monday morning. I'm sleeping in my swimsuit, so there will be no excuses tomorrow morning. The plan is 25 minutes in the pool and 25 minutes on the treadmill immediately afterward. I need to go to bed now. peace out!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

so tired...

can't be because of that 25 minutes in the "pool" this morning, can it? or maybe the 3-miler I did after work? or because I took my pal Shelly (not that one, a IRL friend and colleague) up on her offer of test-riding her bicycle and went on a 25-minute bike ride afterward?

That might have done it.

That is all. My hotel bed with the too-fluffy pillows is calling my name. g'night.

channeling Dory and randomness

so I got my tether-thingy on Saturday; it's the kind with the feet straps instead of the waist strap. It worked out OK. I kept thinking that this concept might translate into reality a bit better if, oh, I don't know, I KNEW HOW TO SWIM!!! Argh.

Yeah, I've got to just keep at it. I can say that I'm getting better at the breathing stuff, but it's hard to tell if my form is just as whacked as ever while I'm held to the one end of the "pool." I need to get to a real pool this weekend and see where I need to make corrections. I have 8 weeks to go. I'm confident I can do this, even if I go from canoe to canoe to get it done.

I also have determined that I will be getting a new bicycle at the end of May. It has to do with Hub bidding on (and winning) a chance to play on a charity flag football game with his boyhood hero, Roger Staubach. A friend of ours called this logic behind this "Marriage Economics" -- he went and splurged on something, so I make it better by splurging on something for me. The good news is that we can afford them both (for once), and we're each getting something we really, really, really want and will appreciate for a long time to come.

Meanwhile, if you haven't yet, go on over to TriBoomer's and give him some fluids and a hug for finishing Boston yesterday despite some tough weather, some tough physical issues, and a bout of unconsciousness. Tough, all the way around, that one.

And finally, on a serious note that I cannot ignore, I cannot begin to imagine the horror and tragedy of the friends and families of anyone associated with Virginia Tech. Having worked in higher ed for 13 years, I remember thinking how sad it was that we had to have regular "lockdown" drills in the administration building , and hoping that we never had to do them for real. There will be criticism and comments all the way around on this one, on how this could possibly happen and what could have been done to prevent it. But nothing will bring back those students, those people, who were doing nothing more than going about their lives on another Monday morning. My prayers are with them all, especially with those who haven't heard from their children yet, and those who have not been notified about the fate of their loved ones.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Broken, smashed, stomped on

Yes, I know, this is my 3rd post today. I'm home alone with free access to my computer, and not for work, so whaddyagonnado?

I just got back in from my run. ~70 degrees. slightly breezy. a bit of a drizzle, just enough to keep me cool -- I had to strip off the LS tech shirt at mile 2. Lots of good Texas oxygen, which is a change from the thin Denver air. That's a good thing apparently, because on the 4th of my 4 miles, I clocked this:


Yes, people. Not 9 and change. No. 8. Eight. 8. I literally whooped at the end of the street when I stopped the Garmin and saw that reading. My old mile PR of 9:15 has been broken, smashed and stomped on.

Just for kicks, and because my frozen dinner lunch hasn't beeped yet, here's my splits:

Mile 1 -- 9:45
Mile 2 -- 9:43
Mile 3 -- 9:39
Mile 4 -- 8:59

Total time for 4 miles: 38:08.

A Quiz, blatantly stolen

From TriSaraTops, who is amusing me greatly as she makes peace with what her body and unborn child are doing to her Inner and Outer Athlete. It makes me wish I'd been athletically-inclined during my pregnancies, but alas, I was a mongo couch-potato then and only fully discovered this active life after my kids were born, although I'm certain I'll never be at the same level as TST. I'm going to enjoy reading her journey to motherhood and her return to triathlon afterward, I'm sure!

I'm a little concerned with how spot-on this test is for me.

You Are the Index Finger

You are ambitious, driven, and capable.

You aren't afraid to take responsibility for your actions - or place the blame on whoever deserves it.

You are honest, free thinking, and objective. You see things in your own way - and you aren't afraid to let everyone know about it.

You get along well with: The Thumb

Stay away from: The Ring Finger

From Sunday night's baseball game

Freezing!, originally uploaded by ccervant_99.

We went to the Red Sox-Rangers game on Easter Sunday. It was 48 degrees at game time and got colder as we sat there on the 1st base line. TDP always gets a snow-cone at the games -- but we usually go in August, when it's still 90 degrees at 8:00 PM. So he insisted on one that night, even though the rest of us were chugging hot chocolate and wearing sweatshirts, coats and gloves.

The snow-cone girl told Hub they were the 2nd customers that night. 35,000 people at the game and only two bought snow-cones. Imagine. He ate the whole thing and shivered violently for half an hour afterward!! Spaz.

There's a whole lot of new photos up on Flickr, too, if you want to clicky on the photo and flip through. You can see my roses explosion in there somewhere, too. So, the cold here in DFW didn't bother them at all!

Today, we have thunderstorms and possibly tornadoes in the forecast. Which means no bikey-ride for me. But which is also better (I guess) than the snow they expected in Denver. We did get a little flurry yesterday afternoon before I left for the airport. Freakiest thing ever for me, I tell you what. I was out and about at lunch and half an hour later I couldn't see across the street for all the snow coming down. Kee-ray-zee. Now I know I couldn't live anywhere where it snows on a regular basis. Can't handle it.

Gotta go. I *thought* the carpet guys were coming to shampoo the carpets, but that may be next Friday. I don't know anymore. I do have to make dessert for dinner club tonight, though, so I should get cracking. And sometime today I've gotta pound out a 5-miler or so. So I should eat breakfast or something. Later!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Wednesday morning run

it's still below freezing here in the mornings, which is just too cold for this southern gal, so I had to do the treadmill again. phoo. I ended up with just two plodding miles, but it should be about 48-50 degrees and clear this afternoon when I wrap up at the office, so I think I'll hit the trails for a bit before dinner and the last hunker-down work session of the night. I need an outdoor run in a big bad way.

I also apparently won't be swimming tonight per plan since the "pool" and spa are drained for cleaning. Phoo. So I may as well capitalize on it and get some fresh air.

That is all I have time for tonight. Weekdays are tough -- as nice as it was to spend Sunday night at home, squeezing in 40 hours of work into 4 days when the first day doesn't start until noon is tough. I've been exhausted the last two days, barely able to stay awake and wrap up the day's work here in the room. I need to be sure I don't flame out too soon.

Anyhoo, time to go find some breakfast -- I think today's menu includes a cup of crispy raisin bran cereal, a cup of fruit and yogurt from the 7-11. Later!

Updated: I did two miles after work in glorious sunshine and a light breeze. It was just what the doctor ordered. I feel energetic and revitalized. Ready to take on the next 24 hours, knowing that by this time tomorrow, I'll be home! Peace out -- time for the webcam update with the boys.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

My roses finally bloomed!

My roses finally bloomed!, originally uploaded by ccervant_99.

Because I have to go downstairs to the hotel treadmills and run at least three miles and I am NOT feeling the TM love this morning, so I thought I'd get online for a bit before I subject myself to it. But I got nothing, so you get this.

The not-feeling-the-love-of-the-run may have something to do with the 7+ miles I ran last night. It may have to do with the first half of those 7 miles being uphill. It may have to do with getting NO nap at all this weekend, and having a full, packed schedule the 2 days I was home. It may have to do with finally feeling the high altitude here in Denver for the first time on a run yesterday. It may have to do with the fact that I fell asleep before 9:30 last night, even though the team had called me to come out and have dinner with them and hang with them, and I feel like a loner fool for not going (but I'd just run and was eating a low-fat Subway sandwich that for whatever reason just seemed like it would hit the spot (and it did!), so I just couldn't get myself motivated to clean up and be with people).

Or, maybe I just really like this photo of my yellow roses FINALLY blooming. They're still not as full of blooms as they were last year -- I think I may need to feed them when I get home this weekend. I didn't get a chance to last weekend because of the SNOW(!&#%!) over Easter, but I'll have a 3-day weekend this go-round, so I'll be able to actually tend to my roses. Or at least that's the plan.

OK, if I'm going to be dressed and ready to head to the office in an hour and a half, I have to go downstairs now. Really. So. I. should. go. now.


Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Morning

Easter Morning, originally uploaded by ccervant_99.

Very chilly Easter morning, but at least the SNOW is gone! Big boy was a *little* disappointed he didn't get a stuffed bunny this year, but he still enjoyed hunting for eggs with his little brother.

Hope you have a wonderful day with your friends and family.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Is it wrong?

that I'm getting homesick from watching Dallas SWAT on A&E on the hotel TV? Not so much that I miss the scary crime-ridden neighborhoods they go into, but the panoramic shots of downtown Dallas and the Texas sunrises and sunsets they use as transitions are making me miss being at home.

Also, I'm getting one of these to bring to the hotel with me. The "pool" here is only 30 feet or so long, and just a bit more than 5 1/2 feet wide. How do I know? because when I was in there tonight (YES! she went "swimming" today!) I could put my feet on the side wall and reach the other side wall with my arms not even completely outstretched. Sheesh. But if I get one of these things, I should be able to practice my stroke and breathing at least three times a week in Denver (where I'll be for the next four weeks, at least) and twice a week at home when I get my pool membership there straightened out. Not ideal, I'm sure, but I need something and this way I figure I can focus on my form and my breathing and just put the time in. Instead of avoiding it like I've been doing for the last four weeks....

I'm outta here tomorrow afternoon, so as long as DFW weather doesn't go crazy-go-nuts again I should be in my bed at home by this time manana. Gotta get to bed if I'm going to get my 3 and change in first thing before I check out and head to the office. Peace out!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

gotta run, gotta run!!

On the TM Monday at home because it was too HOT by the time I got around to it. On the TM here at the hotel today because it was 32 freakin' degrees outside at 5:00 am. Oy, I'm dying here with the drastic changes. On the flip side, my winter running wear will get much more use with me here in Denver through May!

Still haven't gotten into the pool. It is my goal for the week, though, to get in there twice this week. Even if I do nothing but splash around, it will be progress. tick tock.

I've decided to self-impose another "run every day" month for April. I missed only about five days in March, maybe less, but I definitely feel better when I run every day. So here we go.

Gotta run so I can clean up and meet the team downstairs for the chilly walk to the office. Later!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Spring photos

I cut my run short to 4 miles so I could spend more time with the boys; I'll run long tomorrow while they're at school, before I pack for this week's trip. Also got some laundry done, and cleaned up the joint a bit before we headed out for our annual spring photo shoot.

I try to take the boys' photos as often as I think about it, and prefer casual snapshots to posed portraits, but at least once a year, I get them into their Easter outfits a few weeks early and we find someplace to get something a little more "formal," but with me as the photographer. This year, with all the change in our lives, Easter snuck up on me, so we had to go out today, and I don't think we could have picked a better afternoon. We met up with our favorite aunt for lunch, and then headed over to the lake and the Dallas Blooms! at the Arboretum. We'd never been out there before -- last year we went to the Gaylord and the year before that we went to the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens. All were great spots, with lots of benches and nice floral and foliage backgrounds. My subjects get a little more cooperative every year, but I'm a little rusty with the camera, so I was a bit frustrated today with the technical results. But I did manage to get a few wonderful shots that really did make the day worthwhile. I'm still trying to decide which one will be the wall portrait -- I usually send one to a local lab to be enlarged to 11*14 or a bit larger.

Here are the best of them (click the photo for the slideshow):