Thursday, May 31, 2007


1,000 yards. total time in the pool, including breaks, was less than 50 minutes.

Warm-up of 50 yards, then timed 300 yards, with as few breaks as possible.

Swam another 250 yards, focusing on breathing, stroke, reach, etc.

Timed 300 yards, with as few breaks as possible, also practicing going under the lane markers.

Swam another 100 yards as a cool-down.

Total time needed for first timed 300 yds: 11:28. Total time needed for 2nd timed 300 yds: 10:34

The estimated time I put down on my entry form for the Grapevine tri on Saturday? 10:30. Close enough.

Need new shoes, and a vote, please

argh. I always miscalculate the new shoe thing. I was on pace for a new pair at the beginning of May, had I not ground the 5X week running thing to a halt. But since I so drastically cut back my running mileage in lieu of that swimming/cycling thing (OK, mostly the swimming, because I can ride a bike well enough to survive, whereas the swimming survival was in question up until a few weeks ago!!), I've only put in about 12-15 miles a week on my feet, if that. So I forgot about the shoes needing to be replaced. But they do. So the question is do I get them now, 9 days out? or tough it out and get them afterward? And if I get them now, will they be broken in enough to run 5K in next Sunday? ah, questions, questions.

Antoher thing is taking up a lot of brainspace this week -- I'm not sure which direction to go with it, though -- so I'm a little torn. Here's the deal. While I was searching for a follow-up tri to put on the schedule after Danskin, I found a little race about 20 miles from home that sounds intriguing. But it's for this weekend. As in day after tomorrow.

  • its' a 300-yd pool swim. Easy-peasy. A nice way to test the waters, so to speak...
  • it's close by. I can drive up and be done by 11:00 am.
  • it's small, which means I'm sure there will be encouraging crowds like there were for Elder Child's race last year
  • it's a 300-yd pool swim. Yeah, I like the sound of that
  • I have the last brick workout of the plan scheduled for Saturday morning anyway...
  • it's small. Almost *guarantees* that I'll pull up the rear. Not that there's anything wrong with that, and it would certainly give me room for improvement, but how ego-shattering would that be for the first go-round?
  • I have no idea what the bike/run course is like from the map. But I know it can be hilly in that area of town, which scares me
  • it's like cheating on Danskin. Like getting all ready for the prom, buying the dress, shoes, getting the hairstyle just right, but then ditching the boyfriend and going to the movies with the new neighbor.
  • $60 entry fee. Sheesh, that's steep for two hours (of course, I'll likely drag it out longer than two hours, just to get my money's worth!)
I really want Danskin to be special, and I guess it will be, since it's larger, scarier and open-water. And it's a big weekend trip, too, so that will make it more of an event. I could just consider Grapevine a training run, right? Or maybe I should just hold out for another week?

Hub is no help -- he said to do it if I want and don't if I don't. What a great supportive guy, right? No, he's been great so far, really, he just doesn't "get" it, being a non-runner kind of guy.

So, I bring it to you, wise internets: Should I do this? I think I know which way I'm leaning, and ultimately, if I get to signups tomorrow and it's full then that gives me a definite answer, but I would *really* like your feedback. Thanks!

Oh, and the Elder Child and I did 45 minutes on the exercise bikes last night (I did 18 miles of hills!! and he did 8) followed by 20 minutes on the TM. I keep thinking he's just coming along to keep me company on these workouts because he likes being in the grown-up gym, but really, I think he's prepping himself for a comeback attempt on the tri course that kicked his butt last year. He's awesome!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

In honor of the Indy 500

I did my own brick. My first real one, if you want to be technical about it. And while I am physically wiped out in a way I haven't felt in a long while, I am emotionally on a serious endorphin high.

I started out on the Purple People Eater, and rode a little over 12 miles in an hour. Slow, yes, but not tortuously slow like last time. This time, it was comfortable (except for one murderous uphill into the wind I had not counted on, but I made it without walking the bike! yippee!!) and I felt much more at ease with the different gears. I also slowed down a bit on corners and turns, seeing as it was sprinkling and wet for much of the time I was out there. But, I hit my top speeds on the straightaway right before I got home, so I felt good that I had a little something left in the tank, and didn't kill myself. I feel like I could have gone faster, but I really wanted to just feel what it would be like to ride for an hour. Again, as with the swimming, especially since I will be on the PPE for this race, I just want to finish this time. Speed will come later (mebbe... heh!).

I parked the bike on the front porch (please, someone, anyone, come take her -- that would have given me an excuse to get a new one...sorry, I *know* I shouldn't speak of my bike like that -- I'm just begging for some bad Karma) and ran inside to get my iPod and my visor. It wasn't that I needed the visor for the sun, but rather to keep the rain out of my glasses. Then I hit the road for a 5K run. I was breathing a bit more heavily than I should have been, and it would probably serve me well to get a new battery for the HR monitor, but I didn't think of that today, and I kind of don't want to know. Again, bad, I know, but I'm kind of in this "ignorance is bliss" stage with this tri thing.

So anyhoo, I start the run, and I'm plodding along. Plod, plod, plod. And I feel like my legs are in mud and it's taking all I have to lift them for the next step. I feel like I'm flat-footing it the whole time. I feel like there is no way in the world that I can run 3 whole miles. But then I look down at my Garmin and see that I'm actually on a 9:45 pace. Wha?? Sub-10:00 AFTER a 12-mile ride? Whoa! No wonder it feels so hard -- I can't hardly sustain that on fresh legs! Wahoo! So I slowed it down a bit, although I still managed to keep a sub-10:00 pace for the whole thing. I considered slowing down and actually walking about the 2.3 mile mark, but then decided that this was it. This was my proving ground. I had no choice but to keep running. Because if I could do it today, that meant that I am fully capable of doing the distances involved. I believed it, but I had to prove it to myself. And I did.

Just had lunch and now all that's left to do today is take a nap and enjoy the rest of the day. So that's what I'm doing now. Peace out!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

900 yards

yep, we did it. 900 yards today. "We" as in me and my swimming buddy here:

We went down the new club in the town just south of us, and I signed him up for a free one-month guest pass, so he can come swimming with me whenever. We can bring the little one to the Kids' Club most times of the day, so that should work out fine.

Today, we focused on practicing better form, rather than trying to beat each other to the end of the pool. It was tough, since we left one pair of goggles behind and ended up having to share the one pair between us. I discovered that without the goggles, I ended up zigzagging around the lane, hitting one lane marker then the other. Pretty comical to watch, I'm sure. The good news is that I'm not completely winded at the end of each length like I had been, and the breathing/stroke mechanics are starting to feel more natural and less like a struggle.

I never did make it out to Masters class last week or the week before -- software training ended up taking too much out of me and I couldn't make the schedule work. But it's still part of the plan long-term to take advantage of that resource. Just isn't going to happen before this first race, and that's OK.

I did time myself for the last lap of the day today, just to see where I stand. Two weeks ago, it took me 1:40 to get across the pool and back. Today, it took me 1:24 to do the same distance. Wahoo! Progress is a beautiful thing!

Good luck to everyone racing this week. Me, I plan on either a 10-mile run tomorrow, or maybe an hour-long bicycle ride (outside!! eeep!!!) followed by a little 3-mile run. Depends on how early I wake up, how I feel in the morning, what time Hub wants to go to church and what the weather is like. I'm a complicated gal, what can I say???

As IF there were any questions about it!!

You Are 88% Texas

Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit. This ain't your first rodeo!

heh. I especially love the DQ vs. Arches question. And the burning your hand on the steering wheel.

Workout review:
Swam 850 yds on Thursday night. Took about 45 minutes. This does not bode well for the race -- by looking at last year's results, I will be in the bottom 10% of the swim leg with numbers like that. eh, no matter. The goal for Danskin is to finish, upright and smiling.

Yesterday, I did 12 miles in 35 minutes on the exercise bicycle at the gym (I know, it's nothing close to reality, esp. in Austin, but I did set it to level 9 of 20, and I did a "hill" workout if that counts for anything...), then hopped on the TM for a quick mile run. Jelly legs, jelly legs, good thing I was toast to go with. Sheesh.

Movie Review
Pirates is loud, long, and a crazy mishmash of action and nonsensical double-crossing. The boys loved it!! TDP DinoBoy sat in my lap for most of it and was glued to the screen the whole time. I was afraid after reading the reviews that it would be too confusing for him to follow, but he knew all the characters the moment they showed up on screen, and figured out exactly what was going on. It was a bit long, and I can see several points where you could just cut, snip, and dump in the editing room to make it a reasonable length, but it is what it is, and for that it was just fine.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

yeah, yeah

I know, it's been a week almost. And while I'd love to say that I've been working out, just not posting, it's just not true. We had a long weekend trip Friday to Sunday that pretty much precluded any kind of workout, even a short run, and then I found out that my gym, which is supposed to be open at all hours, kind of like the it says in the name (ahem...), should really be called 17-Hour Fitness on Sundays. Yeah, so that sucked.

But I did go swimming Monday, and I meant to do something yesterday, but I'm home for a training class, so I've had to deal with traffic. And DFW traffic sucks. Yes, I knew that, and I dealt for 13 years, but being away from it for just a little bit made it that much more painful. Argh. In any case, I'm running right now, for about 3 miles. I may or may not take the Garmin -- I might be depressed at what it tells me. And tonight, I'll definitely hit the pool again for 800 yards. It's getting easier, and I'm able to turn around at the end of the length much more quickly now.

Oh, and yeah, Elder Child turned 12 over the weekend. That's been monumental around here, but not as monumental as his new cell phone. Ended up being the perfect present for him, and so far he hasn't abused it. There have been times this year I didn't think that kid was going to make it through the end of the week, much less to his birthday, so it's been a good week in that regard.

Gotta run. Literally. Peace out!

Friday, May 18, 2007

700 yards

that's how long I swam last night. 700 yards. Took nearly 40 minutes, and I took lots of breaks at the side of the pool, catching my breath and willing myself to slow down the breathing, slow down the armstroke, focus, relax, focus, relax. It's getting easier. That's the good news. I plan to do it again tonight, before we leave for a weekend trip down to see my parents, and then Sunday afternoon when we return. Then next week, I'll focus on adding the extra 100 yards and do that three times. The week after, I'll add in another 100 yards, so that I'll know that I *can* swim 900 yards at one time. It may take me all day, but I can do it. I may have to go from canoe to canoe to bouy to bouy to catch my breath, but I can do it. I'm starting to be more confident in that everytime I step into the water.

The other thing that helped my confidence is the guy one lane over, who was just finishing his workout when I jumped into the pool. He saw my IronGirl swimcap, given to me by a friend who did it as her first tri last summer to inspire me, and asked if I was a triathlete. My immediate response was "Not yet. Give me three and a half weeks and ask me again." He was so reassuring, so calming and so encouraging. He told me he'd taught himself to swim 3.5 years ago, and was a smoker then, but has since shaped up and is now training for IMFL '07. He said to take it easy on the swim, relax, and take my time. He said I'd see folks out there dog-paddling, breaststroke, backstroke, whatever, and that I should rest as much as I needed to on the first time out. He said I'd be fine. And even though he hadn't seen my pathetic struggling stroke, he meant it. And I believe him. I didn't think to ask him his name, but I'm hopeful I see him again and can thank him for the good words.

Tonight, before we leave out of town, I plan for TDPBoy and I to hit the gym for another swim session, and maybe some time on the bike while Elder Child is at his hockey game. What the rest of the weekend holds for workouts, I can't be sure. Maybe a short run tomorrow or Sunday, maybe not. In any case, have a great Friday and a great weekend, whatever it may hold for you!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

hotel reservations made

using my reward points from work travel, so I don't have to spend actual $$$. King suite about 20 minutes from the race site; complimentary breakfast, although I doubt I'll be able to eat anything beyond my usual oatmeal and banana. I guess I'll have to fine-tune the nutrition for the swim in the next four weeks.

Yes, 4 weeks. Eeep.

Because Vicki so generously offered to provide a training plan, I felt I should publish and request feedback on my plan for the duration, cobbled together from a couple of websites and Triathlon Training in 4 Hours a Week:

Week 1-
Tuesday-swim 35
Wednesday-bike 45/run 30
Thursday-swim 20
Saturday-bike 60/run 30

Week 2-
Tuesday-swim 35
Wednesday-bike 45/run 40
Thursday-swim 20
Saturday-bike 60/run 30

Week 3-
Tuesday-swim 35
Wednesday-bike 45/run 40
Thursday-swim 30
Saturday-swim 20/bike 40/run 20

Week 4-
Tuesday-bike 30
Wednesday-swim 15
Thursday-swim 20
Saturday-swim 15/bike 15

I will be swimming more often than the plan calls for, just because I need all the practice I can get, and I will be running more than it calls for because I need to for my sanity. I also need to incorporate some weight training into there somewhere.

Sigh. Suggestions are welcome.

I have decided, though, that I will take a cue from TriSaraTops and have my own version of a "push present," to be procured AFTER I cross the line. I'll get my new bike as soon as I finish the Danskin race. Trek will be out there at the Expo with test rides and I plan to try as many as possible and see which of them is a good fit. I'll be doing research and trying some other brands before then, but I will actually lay the money down after I cross the line. But before then, I have to actually cross the line.

details, details, details!

I swam for 30 minutes today after we put the boys to bed, while Hub was on the TM watching CSI Miami. Notice I didn't put it in quotes this time. It was sloppy, it was messy, it was less than elegant (way less!!) but i believe it actually counts as swimming now. I timed myself at the end -- 50 yards, with only a breath or two at the turnaround -- 1:40. I really don't want to do the math and see what that means for the 800 yd distance...

I need more help. I looked into the Dallas Aquatic Masters program, and they have an introductory session for 1 week free, and the website at least promises they're inclusive for all levels. I think I drive to Dallas for a few days at lunchtime to try it out. Can't hurt, and I'm sure any help they can offer will certainly help.

peace out, it is WAY past my bedtime now!!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

no guilt

That was my gift for Mother's Day. I got a DVD set of the first season of House, too, along with some nifty peppermint foot lotions and a candle, but the biggest gift was to myself, and it was no guilt. No guilt about being gone from the boys and Hub for a two-hour run. No guilt about having donuts for breakfast and cheesecake for dessert. No guilt about having my kids' godmother in the house even though the place is a train wreck and there are crumbs under the kitchen table. No guilt about the dishes in the sink and the clothes in the dryer. No guilt about anything today. Just enjoying the day (and enjoying not having to go to the airport tonight or tomorrow).

I started off with a 10 mile run (OK, actually only 9.71, but with walking intervals at each mile, total distance covered was more than 10 miles; run time was 1:40:14, with walking segments, total time was 1:49:14) early this morning, before it got too beastly hot outside. Then we ate donuts and read the paper and watched a few episodes of my DVD before Elder Child and I went to church (Hub was feeling logy from his late hockey game last night and TDP DinoBoy had spent the night with his godmother). Then we came home and puttered some more before we met MIL and Hub's family for lunch. Back to MIL's house for dessert (one piece of cheesecake, so very good!), and then home to watch America's Funniest Home Videos and now Survivor.

It has been a good day. I'll deal with the floors and the dishes and the clothes tomorrow. Maybe.

Friday, May 11, 2007


and yesterday was a travel/rest day... and today was a rest day..according to the schedule (so it wasn't like I just bailed on the workout). The same schedule that says this triathlon is exactly one month away...


Holy crap, help me, what the heck have I gotten myself into?

The good news? I'm working from home this week, and maybe next. I have a gym membership with a pool that I can go to every day if need be. I have a fitness assessment at the gym scheduled for after my hour-long bicycle ride tomorrow morning. I have a 10-miler set for Sunday morning --it's Mother's Day and I don't have to leave that night, so I can spend two hours on myself guilt-free.

I need to catch up on reading blogs and on commenting on all my cyber-friends. But for now, the couch, Hub and "The Office" on DVR are calling. Peace out!!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


There is not enough time on the road. Certainly not anywhere close to enough time at home. Wayyy too much time at the airport.

When there is time, there is too little energy. And I've come to the very scary but not all that startling realization that swimming is a hella harder for me than running. and I'm not even that good at the running, folks. But my time to improve in the water (i.e. not drown) is slowly ticking away. Less than 5 weeks now. There is progress, but is it enough?

I will get through this. I will do what I have to get done. I have to. Through sheer force of will. Just like I have every other time I've been up against something that I'm not good at. Like that marathon thing. And that parenting thing.

Forward motion. One foot in front of the other. Keep pushing. all that schtuff. Got it.

that is all. Off to the TM downstairs in the hotel gym; we're in a different location this week and the paths are not so good for running here.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


ok, not really, in the larger scheme of things, with all that's jacked about the world... but I think some of you will understand...

My running log won't open. I have an Excel doc with not only my running totals/stats for the last four months, but my newly-refined last-six-weeks-to-go day-by-day training plan for the tri in it. And it won't open. It shuts down Excel. It gives me that stupid "Notify Microsoft of this problem?" box, as if Bill Gates himself could help me. I've tried saving it as a different file. I've tried opening it from within Excel. I've tried enabling the macros. I've tried disabling the macros. ARGH! I opened it fine yesterday to track my 3 miler and my 30 minute swim, but today, nope.

There are runs to be tracked, people!! Mileage on shoes to be noted (until it hits that magical 400 mile mark where I can buy a new pair, and that was supposed to be this week, so I guess I can get them anyway). Pace to be calculated. How far around the earth I've run this year to be viewed. The freakin' weight log is in there!!!


2.7 miles of hill intervals with 5 minute cooldown. On the TM. Not that you care, but I have to write it down *somewhere*.