Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Catching Up

I'm not yet resigned to omitting Swim #6 since I still have some time today. But I didn't get it done this morning because I'm still doing laundry and trying to clean and arrange and change sheets and stuff. I did get one thing done this morning: 3 minutes extreme slow:
  • Lunge: I don't think I went slow enough, because by about 1:20 my back knee was already on the ground. But when that happened, I just stood up and started over until the 3 minutes were up.
  • Glute ham: I was only in my apartment, so I did standing extreme ham instead.
  • Push up on knees: I don't think I had the right attitude the first time I tried this. I wasn't working hard and didn't really care. But a minute and a half in, I stopped, reset, and started the entire 3 minutes again. I felt way better after having done it a second time.
  • Standing curl with light bar: I used my bike pump...hello, improvising! This one seemed to be super fast.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Group Ride

Today continued my trend of not getting everything done, and that is a trend I don't like. The girls left this morning, and as much as I liked having them here, I like having a quiet house, too. Because of their departure, I wasn't able to swim this morning, so I'd planned to do it at lunch. However, we had to get a bunch of stuff done at work that's now even more time-sensitive since I'll be gone Friday and all next week, so that wasn't happening. Then I left late, had just enough time to eat a little, vacuum, start a load of laundry, and load up my bike for the Cool Springs ride that I am glad wasn't rained out.

This was maybe my second group ride all season. I got dropped on the second hill after Carothers (17 minutes in) but tried to catch the group since I could see them the entire time. I passed two guys who I was hoping would help me, but neither of them would pull and thus neither stayed with me. If I'm not with a group on Gosey Hill I go up it slowly, and I wasn't with a group (although I could still see them and the few stragglers behind them). Therefore, I turned off for the 22-mile route.

As soon as I turned I saw Jay and Marsha and worked as hard as I could to catch them. I wasn't making up much ground, but I wasn't losing any ground, so I kept working hard. After a few miles I realized that Les was with them too, and I finally started making up a little ground. They came to a stop sign and had to wait for traffic, and just after that I finally caught them. We went a different route than we should have (they missed the turn at N. Chapel Road and I knew it, but I didn't want to be riding by myself without my cell phone, plus I liked having a group in front of me that I had to catch. We ended up doing 21.8 miles in 1:06 with a 19.6mph average and a 38.5 max speed.

I got a little workout from Will afterward (which I'll have to do tomorrow) and then headed home for a quick supper, more laundry, and bed (where I'm off to now!). The good news for the night is that Marsha said the Wednesday night crits will likely happen. Woohoo! Now I'll get a real chance to wear my new kit.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Oops! Race Woes :-)

This Monday is a holiday, so this morning I did a 5K race in Nashville since I didn't have to work (so much for my starting Mondays as days off, but I didn't do everything yesterday so it's OK). The race started at Greer Stadium, home of the Nashville Sounds (the Milwaukee Brewers' AAA team)...

Registration at Greer Stadium

...and ended in the Nashville City Cemetery (the proceeds go toward renovation and upkeep to the cemetery). I don't know Nashville, and that was more obvious today than any other day. I'm trying to get the whole warm-up thing down, so I decided to warm up before the race. I turned onto the course and saw the 1-mile marker. I had a little time before the race so decided to run the rest of the course. It would be good to now where the hills were and then I could look around beforehand and not get distracted during the actual race.

That actually worked well—I could look around Fort Negley and the Adventure Science Center and the cemetery before and then not have to think about it later; I could just focus on the race. However, I didn't know that the race was a point-to-point race. When I got to the finish line the first time, I could see the stadium but wasn't sure how to get back to it. I asked a lady there who directed me to the street and said turn right and then right again. So I hit the road running, made it back in time to use the bathroom before the gun went off, and then since I was already in the back I had to fight to make my way up toward the front. But then I just pushed myself the whole way and ran very consistent 7:25s. I missed the first mile split (even though I knew where the mile marker was), but my next and final splits were 14:52 and 8:06.

Some guy (Nathan, I found out later) was really consistent on the uphills so I found his feet and let him pull me up. Another guy (Mike, I found out later), was right behind me the whole time pushing me to go faster (I could hear him breathing down my neck). When I got to the finish time the final time, my time was 22:58. I ended up 5th in my age group, the 13th overall female, and 72nd overall (of 19, 135, and 328 total, respectively). I did not win my age group or really even come close (the AG winner's time was 21:04), but I did win the best prize of the day: $100! The information on Active.com, which many people must have neglected to read, said that there was a cash prize for the person with the best patriotic outfit. I decided to go all out (for me, that is) since it was such an easy thing to do and it had a great pay off if I could win, and I did!

In front of Fort Negley in my red, white, and blue winning outfit—thank you, Endurance Sports and Rec!

I'd like to go back to Fort Negley some day to read through the historical stuff. Maybe when we go for the Sounds game in a couple weeks I'll try to get there early.

After the race I went over to the MFY to stretch a bit, use the roller things (which I hate because it's so boring just rolling on the ground; I don't really feel it in my muscles so I don't know it's benefit for me), and then lay at the pool for the Memorial Day pool party. I love watching kids swim!

The band (Stassis Dei) was playing at Rocketown today, so then I headed downtown to listen. They didn't play until almost an hour after I'd arrived, so I sat outside reading for a bit.

Danielle (bass), Bekah (electric, voice), Ashley (drums), Kara (voice), Hannah (keyboard), and Nick (keyboard/guitar/voice)

Sorry for the picture quality. Eunice was taking pictures, too, and I didn't want to be in the way or annoying or anything. They sounded really good and I was glad I made the time to go watch them.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sacrifice

I'm not getting done what I want to as far as workouts go, and I'm trying to be OK with it. And I'm not eating nearly as well as I should be, and that's my own fault. It's why I don't keep food in the pantry.

We all went to the 9:35 church service this morning, arriving in plenty of time to all sit together. The service was great (and by great, I mean ugh; we were learning about being in God's will [sanctification, satisfaction, submission, salvation, settledness, self-sacrifice, suffering, and Spirit-filling]–—being thankful in everything—and realizing that if you're not in His will, you're sinning). After church, the clan headed to Centennial Park while I ran.

Before I left, I took a picture of my apartment with all the bedding out

I got in one MFY loop, counter-clockwise, plus some (7.65 total) in an hour. I was supposed to have run 1.5 h and ridden :45 and didn't because I didn't have time.


I didn't even have time to complete my 10×30 second manual holds and did only glute ham. But I knew that was all I was going to get done, so I did it like it was the only one. All 10 were reps all the way to the top!

We then met at Anna's house for her to do facials with the girls. They were having so much fun, and Anna did a great job! It was fun to watch her work and great to spend some time, outside of something sports-related, with a good friend.

Hannah, Ashley, Danielle, and Anna


Kara and Bekah

We headed back to my apt where they practiced and then had some pool time.

Here's what the apartment looks like with a 6-man band set up--full drum set and everything!

My toes are still being weird. I have so far lost 2 toenails and am hoping to have a third if not a fourth casualty. The big toe on my right foot has a very weird bruise under the toenail, which is slightly loose as well.

This is a month after the marathon. Yes, the bruise really is green.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Full Morning

I'm really beginning to like Saturday's workouts. Today was less than I'd been expecting after last week's 4.5 hours, and it was only 3 hours on the bike followed by 30 minutes on the feet. I got in 52 miles in the 2:58 I was on the road.

The route, which looks short here but my bike computer says about 52 miles

Unfortunately my HRM wasn't working unless I was really at 90 bpm the entire time. It came back into play about 10 minutes from the end, which was perfect; I was supposed to ride in Z4 for the next 5 minutes and then get the HR back down to Z2 for the remaining 5 minutes. It lasted about 30 seconds, if even that. As I was finishing, I decided to hit the elliptical trainer for the 30-min run. I knew that if I went outside I wouldn't run as fast as I could because my legs were tired. So I forced myself to work hard on the equipment.

Then I had to finish yesterday's 3×30 second heavy:
  • Lunge: heavy bar only. Since I was doing this after 3.5 hours of work, I decided not to add weight to the bar. I did not have to drop the bar at all, so it was definitely not as heavy as possible. In fact, none of these yesterday or today probably was.
  • Push up: 45-lb plate, all on feet. This one felt hard but really good.
  • Preacher curl: 30-lb bar
  • Crate crunch: 45-lb plate
A few things of note from the morning:
  • I drank 3.5 total water bottles during the ride, ate a serving each of almonds and dried banana chips, had a Luna bar, and had 2 electrolyte capsules. I had oatmeal with honey, cocoa, and a banana for breakfast at 6am and started riding at 7:35. I was starving by 8:22 and started eating the bar then, but I just had a few bites of it as I continued along.
  • On Peytonsville/Trinity Lane, two dogs on the left side of the road ran with and barked at me for about 0.1 miles, but they never crossed the road. I was ready with my open water bottle and would have sprayed them if I'd have needed to.
  • At Judge Jerry Fly Park, I stopped to refill my water bottles. There was a girls' fastpitch softball tournament going on, and I wanted to stop and watch!
  • On N. Chapel road, I nearly got hit head-on by a guy in a red truck. I was less than a foot from the white line on the right side of the road. He was less than 3 feet from me and probably only saw me because I said, "WOAH!"
  • At the Y, I watched some guy do push ups and move only his shoulders and back a little. Will had been telling me a few weeks ago that I was doing the same thing, and I now know what it looks like and what I should do to make it right!
  • While on the elliptical, I found NCAA softball and watched a few innings. Woohoo!
As I'm writing this, I have an apartment full of college-age kids—5 girls and a guy—who are here as a band to play at Rocketown in downtown Nashville.

This is my living room with Danielle, Bekah, Ashley, Eunice, Nick, Hannah, and Kara all set up!

Tonight was a fun night. The kids (I call them kids for lack of a better descriptor; it's more or less what I call myself, too) went out to the pool for a while and I got to catch up with Mike and Eunice a little. Then we just sat around chatting, had some pizza and ice cream, and Mike, Eunice, and Nick left. I was going to head to bed around 9 but the girls were all still awake, so we sat in the living room talking for a few hours. It was so nice to be able to chat with a bunch of girls who love the Lord but who are still learning like I am. I learned a little about each of them
  • Danielle is at TCC for social work; she ran XC in high school and would like to continue if it fits into her schedule.
  • Bekah loves basketball and wants to play at the community college she'll be at for nursing next year.
  • Ashley is the youngest, and she's pregnant but having and keeping the baby, staying home with him/her for at least a year.
  • Kara is the only full-time stylist at the salon she works at and would like to go back to school for something (she doesn't know what).
  • Hannah is in school for sociology and is studying and loves Russian and Russian history.
It was another late night, but it was a great opportunity to mutually encourage one another in the faith.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Swim #11, Run, and More

This is the first time I've done swim #11 (the last time, I only swam 1,000m but don't know why I didn't finish). Today I'll compare times with Swim #6, which was a straight 2,500m during which I timed every 500m.
  • May 22: 9:38 (I might have added 50m, and here I breathed with every left stroke), 8:51 (here and for the following, I breathed with every other stroke), 8:46, 8:52, 8:57, 8:52. Average (counting the first at 8:50): 8:51 per 500. Total time: 53:58.39
  • March 24: 8:34, 8:32, 8:38, 8:51, 8:52 (1:45, 1:47, 1:48, 2:39 [extra 50, so we're going with 1:49], 1:43). Average: 8:41 per 500. Total time: 43:31
  • March 5: 7:58 (I might have missed 50m here), 8:59, 9:12, 9:10, 9:04 (1:51, 1:51, 1:50, 1:50, 1:43). Average: 8:52 per 500. Total time: 44:28
  • February 17: 10:01 (extra 50), 8:32 (missed 50), 9:53, 7:33 (missed 100), 9:26 (1:52, 1:53, 1:52, 1:52, 1:47). Average: 9 minutes per 500. Total time: 45:02
2:24 transition (from locker room to outside—changed into shorts and put on socks and tied shoes)
9:12 first mile +at least 0.2 mi
7:51 last mile
1:53:00 total for the run

3×30 seconds heavy, 3 sets
  • Squat with light bar
  • Glute ham (no weight)
  • Standing ham (45-lb plate)
  • Scap pull up (body weight)
At 11 pm, a band showed up at my apartment. I had been expecting them; they are here to play at Rocketown in Nashville on Monday. Mike and Eunice, Liz's parents, brought their son Nick (who is staying with a couple of my friends) and these girls: Ashley, Hannah, Kara, Bekah, and Danielle. They got set up in the living room (who knew my apartment could house 6 girls?) and headed to bed. It was a late night for me!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Swim #10, Ride, and Softball!

Susanna was playing her last softball game tonight and I wanted to go, so although I could have gone swimming at lunch, I got up early and did my 7×125 @ 20 sec and 7×75 @ 15 workout (times below have the rest periods still in them):

Today:
  • 2:00, 2:28, 2:25, 2:27, 2:27, 2:27, 2:26
  • 1:34, 1:28, 1:31, 1:29, 1:30, 1:30, 1:26
4-24:
  • 2:00, 2:21, 2:24, 2:25, 2:26, 2:25, 1:56
  • 1:35, 1:28, 1:31, 1:30, 1:30, 1:29, 1:27
One second faster per 75 doesn't seem that good, but considering an Ironman swim is 4,000 meters (that's 75 × 53), that would be nearly a 1-minute improvement, which I'd take (actually, I'd prefer more of an improvement but any step forward is just that—a step forward!).

Then after work it was beautiful outside and I hit the road on my bike for an hour ride with at 15 minutes in, 5×5 minutes Z4 @ 3 min spin. I had to cut the 4th one short by 1:20 because I stopped at a stoplight. I thought about continuing it when I restarted, but my heart rate was already way down so I went right into the 3 min spin. My heart rate got up to 180 but stayed around 160 even though I was really trying to push it. Evidence? The 17.71-mile ride took me 54:50, nearly the same as yesterday's ride on the same course when I did not insert five 3-minute spins. Average was about 19.8.

Psalm 141:2, 3 Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.
Proverbs 21:5, 23 The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty. Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Oh, Boy; More Swim Work Ahead

Today, Bree mentioned that she had to do a set of 6×400 on 5 minutes and she was actually getting some rest. Yesterday, I did one 500 in 6:44. So much for my thinking I'd be able to keep up with the big girls in a race! How can I cut 2 minutes off a 500? Perhaps I'd better get into Master Swimming sooner rather than later.

Here's the progress I'm making on my parking lot project (parking in every space except the handicap and pregnant mothers' spots):

Red: I've parked there; Blue: I can't park there

I wish I could remember when I started. I could count the spots, but if I leave during the day and come back (like for lunch), I can park in a different spot, so that wouldn't be the most accurate count.

Today's brick was so good! Even though I'm supposed to do a 45-minute ride, I like my 18-mile route and like timing myself to see how much faster I'm getting. Today's ride was no different. I did the 17.97 miles in 54:30 for an average of 19.7 mph. The last two times I did the route it was 17.71 and it was in 55:48 (5-13) and the week before was 56:56. Then I hopped off my bike, threw on my shoes, and was back out within 38 seconds. I made it 40 seconds farther this week than last week since I hit last week's finish line at 29:20. Another reason for celebrating!

Then I did a fun quick workout. I actually already felt really loose and therefore really good. It was 6 6 6 EDI with 10-second ISOs:
  • Lunge with Russian lunge: I was in front of a mirror and therefore really trying to lift both legs and pop back into the ground. My knee never hit the ground, and I tried to make sure I turned my muscles on at the bottom to keep from hitting.
  • Glute ham with reps to the top
  • Squat with light bar
  • Push up on feet: I did the last 6 on my knees because I couldn't push up any more.
  • Standing curl with altitude drop for each EDI rep
  • Scapular pull up: I used 50 lbs of assistance but did all the reps.
  • Crate crunch
It felt great!

My lunchtime entertainment today was fabulous. I went over to Jack in the Box because I'd eaten my lunch at 10:30 and was still hungry. The delivery truck driver, in a 53-foot semi, had come earlier than usual and was there with the lunch crowd. He couldn't get where he wanted to go and then couldn't get out. I was there maybe 20 minutes, and he hadn't made any progress moving anywhere in the parking lot. One guy who was really nice volunteered to help him get out, and I think it was helping slightly, but it was still amusing!

Jack in the Box in Donelson

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Big Island (Swim #9; Totally Random Complilation of Stuff)

This has to be one of the coolest pictures ever:

Hawaii, courtesy of googlemaps

This is what I do at work all day. Fun times! A comment Amy (the other editor) and I left for a writer, who asked a great question about a sentence we edited:
You are certainly correct that when you have one subject (you) with a compound verb (display and review), no comma is included in the sentence. In such a case, you would correctly say, “You display the Serial 0/0/0 interface statistics and review the traffic marking information.” However, this comes across as a part of a narrative, as if you’re telling a story, not giving directions. In addition, it requires the “you” at the beginning of the sentence.

Here we wanted to convey that the reader is required to do two things; these are commands (“imperative mood” in grammar speak). In such a case, you can remove the you but you still have a compound sentence—two subjects (implied you and you) and two verbs (display and review). To avoid having a run-on sentence, you need a comma as a separator.

The main thing in the original construction is that we required action, and that requirement is the clearest with the you omitted and the comma included.

However, we need to make another change here that will require us to remove the comma. We need to add “On Router2” to the beginning of this sentence since you honored our request to remove “on Router2” from the directions at the beginning of the Task. Thus the sentence should be changed to read

“On Router2, display the Serial 0/0/0 interface statistics and review the traffic marking information.”

Although it’s basically the same situation, with the implied you before each verb, we do not use a comma in this instance, because we want it to be clear that “On Router2” applies to the entire remaining sentence, not just to the first clause (ending in “interface”). A comma after “interface” would imply that “On Router2” applied only to the first action we’re instructing the user to perform. This is definitely an exception to the rule described above, and we realize that this is potentially confusing. Also, this rule is supported in the style guide we use, the Gregg Reference Manual, and may not actually be addressed in other grammar manuals that you may consult.
Reply from writer and programmer Andrew, who I don't think I've ever met:
:-) Thank you! I hope you don’t mind being my grammar teacher from time to time. It makes sense now. I grew a smile while reading this; it felt like one of those eureka moments when you finally nail the crossword, Sudoku, or whatever puzzle you prefer.

The Gregg Reference Manual is awesome. A professor lent me one last semester, and I plan on purchasing one for myself after I sell some off my other books.

Thank you again for explaining this. I have wanted to ask why since the last time this was brought up, but I didn’t want to sound like I was questioning the edits or arguing.
I'll be honest: It made me smile!

Today was not a day off like yesterday was, so I actually did some work: Swim #9 is 200-300-400-500 @ 45 seconds. My times were 3:07, 4:47, 6:44, 8:26 for a total of 25:19. My per 100-m average was as follows:
  • 200: 1:33
  • 300: 1:35
  • 400: 1:40
  • 500: 1:41
Last time I did this was Tuesday, April 21. My times were 3:13, 5:06, 6:59, and 8:55. My per-100 m average was as follows:
  • 200: 1:37
  • 300: 1:42
  • 400: 1:45
  • 500: 1:47
This week, I got slightly slower as I went...bummer! However, I was WAY faster than last time: 1:09 total! I felt strong and efficient, too, and I was really trying to use my muscles right and keep my chest up and keep turning and not take in too much water (I only weighed 1 pound more after, so that's good). It was a fun swim in the Donelson pool next to a lady who actually knew what she was doing. During the entire set, I think we only turned at the same time once and I caught her every time. Woohoo!

The best part of the workout, however, was the run, which I got to do with Craig, Will, Dan, and Emma, four pro XTerra triathletes who are here for a few days. It was great to be able to pick their brains a little about training and racing and just hang out with them for a while. I don't get many chances to do that! We ran about 4 miles and then went back and did a few drills: butt kicks, high knees without the back leg leaving the ground, high knee skips, bounds (or the gazelle), toe walking, and heel walking. Will, who was leading us in this part, was saying that even if you improve 1% by doing drills, that 1% adds up over a day while doing an Ironman. I was happy to hear that since Will and I have been doing drills and skills work for a while; I felt very adept at those!

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Few Fun Poems and Pro Triathletes

Today is a fun day. No workouts, no training, just working my day job and relaxing. So here is some fun reading from Ravi Zacharias, one of my favorite teachers and a fantastic Christian apologist.
Love is like an onion:
You taste it with delight,
But when it’s gone, you wonder
Whatever made you bite.

Love is a funny thing:
Just like a lizard,
It curls up ‘round your heart
And then jumps into your gizzard.

Love is swell, it’s so enticing;
It’s orange gel, it’s strawberry icing;
It’s chocolate mousse it’s roasted goose;
It’s ham on rye, it’s banana pie;
Love’s all good things, without a question;
In other words, it’s indigestion.



Slippery ice, very thin,
Pretty girl, tumbles in
Saw a boy on the bank.
Gave a shriek, then she sank.
Boy on hand heard her shout,
Jumped right in, pulled her out.
Now she’s his; very nice,
But she had to break the ice.

My Monday activity, my rule where I have to do something with someone, was to visit the triathlon shop here in Franklin, Endurance Sports and Rec. I hadn't yet been in the shop because I know that I could spend tons of money there; I'd rather not tempt myself. Today, however, was a special event: six pro triathletes were there for a little Q&A/Get-to-know-you session. They were Dan Hugo (South African with a sweet accent), Jamie Whitmore (amazing number of wins and very positive despite health problems; check out her blog!), Mike Vine, Emma Garrard, Will Kelsay (his passion for tris was evident), and Craig Evans (local guy who works 60+ hours a week and still wins). They are all pro XTerra triathletes, all successful, and gave great advice.

Dan Hugo, Jamie Whitmore, Mike Vine, Emma Garrard, Will Kelsay, and Craig Evans

One memorable thing Jamie said was, "Train your weakness, and race your strength." They had a lot of good stuff to say about training (use a Garmin or HRM or PowerTap [if money allows, it's really helpful on the bike], vary your routes), transition (plan everything out, think about what you're going to do as you're getting out of the water and getting off your bike [put glasses in helmet because it's one less movement], practice, practice, practice), succeeding (even when it hurts, just think that it will be over in a few minutes), and lots more.

The small crowd that was there to listen and learn

Tomorrow is a short run from the shop that I'm going to try to make it to. How could I not run with pros when they're right in my backyard?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ugh (Toes Take 2)

Today might as well have been an off day. After my hard work yesterday, my legs just were not cooperating. I set out for my 1:30 run and made it 15 minutes before I stopped at the GJCC to walk (yes, walk) through the Nashville Holocaust Memorial. It was actually really interesting and I'd love to make it back there some day when I can actually take the time to listen to everything the little man in the box says during the self-guided tour. I then ran 15 minutes back to my car for a grand total of 30 minutes. But during my 10 minutes in the exhibit, I did a few isos—does that count for anything? Later I took a 30–45-minute walk and then stopped to talk to Nancy for 15 minutes, so I did complete 1:30 of outside time. Not the best workout, I'll admit.

I did have a focus for the run, though—not making so obvious a heel strike as I've been known to and landing on the ball of my foot rather than on the outside. That was mentally exhausting!

On the plus side, I found a fun new Sunday hobby: Couponing.

My floor after I cut out and organized all my coupons

I went out early to get the Sunday paper (note to self: Walgreens doesn't open until 9am on Sundays) and then spent some time going through the coupons to find good deals on food and anything else. My main goal this week was to find food that will feed normal people. A few highschoolers will be staying with me this weekend, and I doubt they'd be satisfied with eggs and toast, veggies and deli meat, and hamburgers and salad every day for 3 or 4 days. Today was successful to say the least. I now have full fridge and freezer, food in the pantry, and a plan for the weekend.

The coupons I used during this shopping trip

And the best part is that although I spent $74, I saved $44.35, a total of 38% savings. The WalMart grocery bill hardly counts because I'd spend that anyway, so it's more like $53.25 and 46% savings. Woot!

In other news, I finally lost my big toenail. It hung on for about 3 weeks but now I'm down to toe only. Oh, the joys of being an endurance athlete.

My nail before it fell off; the pic is from my phone because I didn't have my camera

I'll soon lose the nail on my second toe on the same foot and am trying every day to pull it off. It's not bothering me nearly as much as the first one was, but it's a pain nonetheless!

This picture is from May 12 and the other nail is the one that is currently hanging on but about to let go; although my toe is now painted, the parts around it don't look much better!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Day in the Life...

Today felt like a day in the life of a pro triathlete. Since it's Saturday, workouts are longer. Today was no exception. I got up early to eat breakfast and then meet Will for a mini workout, our last workout together for a while. We did 10 6 3 EDI, 2 sets.
  • Vertical jump to lunge (the first one was just a step into the lunge): Here I have to work on not letting my right knee come in when I do the jump. And I need to make sure that I'm lifting my back leg as well. He took a video of the second set, 10, but his phone said it was too big to send. If he tries again and I get it, I'll upload it.
  • Glute ham with reps to the top: Here I have to remember to not arch my back but to keep a straight line. I did a lot better aligning myself before I went down, but I shouldn't have to make as big an adjustment as I did.
As we were walking back from the workout room, it started raining. The sky was looking ominous and I had to make a quick decision: ride outside or ride inside, and if I decided to ride inside, ride on the porch or ride at the Y. I opted for the Y, packed up my stuff, and managed to make it there, set up, and begin riding by 7:05. I was pretty happy with that especially since I decided to take my own bike and trainer (I'd had enough of the spin bikes last week). Three hours of class, the first of which was tough, the second, less so, and the third, way hard at high cadence (which was actually good for me). By 10 it had stopped raining, so I did the last hour (well, it ended up being only about 45 minutes) outside and just left all my stuff inside. When I got back to the Y I threw on the shoes and ran 30 minutes. I was nasty dirty!

The first 3 hours of the ride felt absolutely fabulous. It felt like I was riding strong, using my muscles well, and keeping a solid yet high-ish cadence. The 4th hour I just wanted to be done. The run was a little slow (3 miles only) and more of a run/walk. I started out fast and wanted to keep up that pace, but when I'd start to slow, I'd just walk rather than slow my pace. I don't know if that's a good philosophy but it worked today.

By the time I got home it was nearly noon. What a long morning! The rain is back now, but I'm done and don't care any more! I got a nice early birthday present today—socks from Will. They're multicolored which I like, and they were a great surprise!

I didn't eat much either before or during the workouts. For breakfast, I had oatmeal with dark chocolate cocoa, honey, and almonds with 16 oz of water. Then the workout with Will, then the ride. Around 7:45 I had a bite of a lemon Luna bar, but I wasn't really hungry. By about 9:15 I had finished the Luna bar. A little before 10 I had 3 salt/electrolyte capsules. I drank 2 water bottles, then 1 half water/half Cytomax (free and left over from the marathon), then another water bottle while riding. During the run I ate all the almonds (I think I had about 1 serving total and had eaten just a few during the ride, but I don't remember when). When I finished, I drank another water bottle and then came home and had a protein shake.

Angela, who was teaching the 8 and 9 am classes, said that during the 9 am class, which was the high cadence class, we probably burned around 700 calories. I'm sure I didn't consume that many calories until I had some eggs and toast around 2 pm. At 4:30 I ate hamburgers and a salad, and at 6:30 I had some ice cream. So I definitely replenished the calories I burned, but not even close to while or shortly after I was working out. I guess I don't really know why it's important and if it really is for me, especially since I have absolutely no appetite to eat anything afterward and when I try my gag reflex tries to kick in. Perhaps that still needs some work, too.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Swim #8 and Run

Swim #8 (10×50 @ 15 seconds, 4×100 @ 20 sec, 10×50 @ 15 sec) was on the docket for today. I got in the pool before 11:30 fully intending to complete the entire swim. But alas, God sent thunder and lightening (and later and currently rain), and I got kicked out of the pool in the middle of my 4th drill. When they close the pool, they won't reopen it until at least 30 minutes after the last time they hear thunder, and I wasn't going to sit around and wait, so I hit the trail behind the Y for a little run. 1 hour, I'm guessing around 7.5 or 8 miles, with at 45 minutes, 7.5 minutes in Z4. When I wear the HRM I rarely know whether I'm in Z4 or Z2, and when I don't wear it I really don't know. I wasn't wearing it, so I was just trying to pick up the pace.

The good news for this run was that I pretty much ran an even split: 29:25 out, and 30:35 in, but that included a run/walk for the last 0.5 miles to cool down from the Z4 part. After 15 minutes on the trail I turned onto a road. I got back to the trail at exactly 45 minutes.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Still Room for Improvement

Today I slept in instead of swimming; I'll have to make up the swim on Sunday. I did ride the hour, only now my hour ride is taking me less time still. Last week it took me 56:56. Yesterday it took me 55:58. Today it took me 54:48 (avg. 19.3). That's actual ride time. Unfortunately I hit just about every red light and that added time on the road. I wouldn't have cared except that I wanted to make it to Susanna's softball game before it started (I missed the first half of the first inning). She ended up having a double header, so it worked out OK. We (Rob and Sandy, Sara, Mille, Dawson, and I) left early to get some ice cream at Baskin Robbins to celebrate Dawson's graduation from preschool. Hopefully Sandy will post some pictures that I can include here—he's definitely a cutie!

It was fun to watch Susanna play and to watch some softball. She played well, but part of me just wanted to get out there on the field and either play with them or help them; there are a lot of beginners on their team. The Marreros are such a great family and they will be my best fans if I do make my triathlon goals. Although after chatting about it tonight and having been thinking about it over the last few days, I think I definitely have some work to do and need to improve my speed on my feet for sure (if not on my bike also).

Psalm 134:2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord.
Proverbs 14:1, 10 The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands. The heart knows its own bitterness, and a stranger does not share its joy.

I’m really trying to concentrate on pushing and pulling and engaging my muscles while I ride. The last few rides have been faster, and I wonder if that’s part of it. the thing is, though, when I stop at stoplights, I pretend that I’m breathing on the wall and really turn on my muscles. That’s when I wonder whether I’ve been using them and what I’ve been doing. I know I’m getting stronger, so this should translate to more speed if I can train myself to use those muscles.

I’ve also been trying to not let the wind (which has been whipping lately) affect me. I have to tell myself to not use it as an excuse when it’s against me or sideways (higher cadence is my recourse) and then I have to remind myself to use it as an aid when it’s at my back.

Today was faster and along with trying to ride faster, I did not go seated/high cadence on the hills—I powered through and stood up as necessary. Otherwise I was aero around 90% of the time.

Often I wish I had someone who cared about what I am thinking, who would listen, and who would give solid biblical advice.

Asleep at 10
  1. 1:00am Something about sewage and draining in Sheboygan. It was on track to be another wet one. Anne was going to walk from whoever's house she, Alicia, M, and I were at to the Y at the Factory or the other one down the road. We said each was about 2.5–3 miles away. Dad gave her his cell to take with her.
  2. 4:56 I was making breakfast on the stove—pancakes in the front and eggs in the back. I was using 2 spatulas but kept switching them. The eggs had broccoli in them. I accidentally turned that burner off once, but they were still done first. They went on my plate, which was in the pancake pan. Then I finished making the pancakes. There were 5 of them and they were thick. They went on the plate on top of the broccoli that had fallen out of the eggs.
  3. Casey from Inversion—I had a huge crush on him. For some reason we were sitting inside because it was raining and he had his hand on my left leg. Sara Marrero was there and had a crush on him too—he was one of Leland’s friends. We were upstairs and she was downstairs. She said something about a TV show he liked and he went down to talk to her. Someone came to pick us up (I think we were where we were for a tennis camp) and take ups home. I was rushing to get my stuff together and left my charger and something else. The driver had a red Mustang. He dropped off Casey first. he lived a few floors up and was walking up the stairs. We were supposed to drive up but couldn’t find the correct way up. After we left, Casey called me to apologize about something and ask me about something else for 4 o’clock the next day. Casey was a lot like Brian my triathlete neighbor.

    The reason I think we were there for a tennis camp is that I had been outside by tennis courts. I was running around the outside when it started to rain. There was a sign saying to stay wide and pay attention. When I got to the back of the court I was watching for balls being hit out. I was one and tried to find it but it was a heavily wooded area and was getting dark. Instead of that ball I found another but it was a softball. It hadn’t rolled too far back because there were ropes in the shape of a V keeping things from rolling down.

    When Casey had his hand on my leg, I kept wishing he would put it on my right leg instead because of the hard stop I have there that I can feel when I shave. I thought it might help to have someone massage it out. But I never said anything, just thought it.

    I think I kept thinking I didn’t know whether I really liked him or just like the attention; I didn’t know whether he was a believer and we didn’t really have much time to talk.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

More Learning (I hope it never stops!)

10×10 seconds, 3 times
  • Lunge with Russian lunge
  • Glute ham with reps to the top
  • Push up with altitude drop to start and then push up and pop up for the rest
  • Crate crunch (to be completed)
I'll be honest—I did not want to finish the push ups. It didn't help that Will left me to do the last 2 sets on my own. After he left, all I wanted to do was go back to sleep. But I finished.

On the Russian lunge, I had a tendency to relax just after each RL. On the glute ham, I had a tendency to relax just before I made it all the way down. I think what I really need to remember is what Will said the other day when we were doing the manual holds. We had 4 reps left, and he said, "You're 2 minutes from your PR." That was something I understood. It put it into perspective because it made me realize that the work I do off the road should translate to speed and mental toughness on the road.

The other thing he reminded me is that you really have to over-emphasize everything. He said he's still learning this—it might seem like you're doing it right (for example, with the RL, I thought I was stopping myself hard at the bottom but he said I looked like I was relaxing and that's especially where I should over-emphasize the action) but it's likely you're not and you're just doing it normally. In a way, knowing that Will's still learning things like this is encouraging. He's already a professional athlete (hockey player), and I have somewhere in the back of my mind the idea that to be a pro, you have to know it all and be all there already. Bree Wee, my favorite professional triathlete, writes a fantastic blog. She openly communicates her successes and failures and tries to let us readers know that she, too, is still learning. Maybe there is hope after all, because I am always learning: how to swim, ride, and run correctly and better, how to use my muscles efficiently, how to be strong mentally, and more. But I know that God has made me who I am and will give me strength to do what I do, whether that be triathlons, work, relationships, or other.

A quick brick was on the schedule for after work (after chatting with Robin and Aunt Renee). I was supposed to do a 45-min ride and a 30-min run, but my 45-min route has been taking only 40 and I didn't want to short myself. Plus I wanted to time myself on a route I had recently done. So I did my hour route, that last week took me 56:56. Today it took me 55:58. Hooray! Every little bit counts! My transition was approximately 45 seconds, and that was even with a few seconds of thinking about whether I wanted to change shirts, and then it was off to run. I haven't really gotten any farther on this 30-min run. I don't know if it's because I'm not getting any faster, if it was the wind, if it's the hills, or what, but I definitely need to work on this. I can't seem to make it past just around the corner. If I could make it farther, I'd end downhill instead of uphill. New goal for next week!

Now that I've looked at this on mapmyrun a hundred times, I should be able to remember that it's 2.11 miles out and another 1.69 miles back to the corner of Moores Lane and the Landings Drive. Total: 3.8 miles (the entire route back to my apt is 4.22 miles). Unfortunately, that's a pace of 7:54. It's still under 8, but it should be a lot faster. Granted it's hilly and yesterday was windy, but that shouldn't affect me that much! After cooling down for 0.3 miles, I ran into Brian, my neighbor who was a pro triathlete for a year before being sidelined by injury after a bike crash. He was driving(!) to go do a tempo run on the path behind the Y. That is a great place to run!

After that brick, I finished the 10×10 seconds, 3 times, exercise by completing crate crunch. Then it was a quick supper (I don't like eating after 7pm and didn't even get home until 7:03; maybe I'll have to change my attitude about that) and off to bed.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Swim #6 and More

Swim #6 this morning was the most race-like of any swim I've done as of yet. I got into the pool at 4:30 and in the six lanes were 6 people. So the water was moving pretty good and I decided to pretend like it was a race. The two ladies on either side of me were similar in pace to me, so I tried to beat them every chance I had. I always beat them off the wall—too bad there are no flip turns in races! The last time I logged this swim was April 14.
  • 500 warmup
  • 8×50 drill
  • 4×200 @ 20 seconds (3:23, 3:26, 3:26, 3:27); last time: 3:18, 3:20, 3:21, 3:21
  • 6×100 @ 15 seconds (1:42, 1:42, 1:42, 1:41, 1:41, 1:38) (26:53 with the last 15-second RI); last time: 1:34, 1:36, 1:36, 1:37, 1:36, 1:36 (25:55 with the last 15-second RI)
  • 8×50 drill (I only did 4 and didn't do the 300 cooldown)
Not the fastest times, but definitely consistent.

5 minutes extreme slow; each was after a little altitude drop at the start:
  • Squat with bar for reference
  • Glute ham, starting from the top
  • 1-leg squat
  • Push up on the ground (starting all the way up)
  • Curl with 15-lb dumbbells
  • Crate crunch (to be completed)

Monday, May 11, 2009

One More Week until Mondays Are Off

We at least waited until the afternoon to work out, so I got a full 24 hours off. But next week Mondays will be entirely off.

I warned before we started that I was really going to have to focus. I didn't really want to work out but knew it would be good to do so. We did 10×30-second manual holds.
  • Lunge: vertical jump to lunge (basically, it's a squat jump--keep shins perpendicular and push hips back--as high up as you can, lifting your legs [back and front] and popping into the ground as quickly as possible) with a manual hold during each 30-second interval

    video
  • Glute ham: no manual hold, but reps all the way to the top
  • Curl with altitude drop and light bar
  • Push up: starting with altitude drop. Ideally, you'd do the first with an altitude drop and then after each 30 seconds, you push up a little, lift your arms, and then pop back down into the ground. I struggled here and ended up sitting up and then doing an altitude drop for the last 6. And that was with a light manual hold (if any).
  • Crate crunch
I went home, got my food stuff ready for the week while watching Monk, and headed to bed. Sort of an off day, but not really...I'm really trying to take advantage of Will's being home for 3 more days.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Run with Anna!

1:15-run with Anna (pray for Rebecca and her family and Anna as she ministers to her)

To the Y for the foam roller (and because I wanted my card scanned :-)

Grocery shopping

Talked to Liz, Dad and Mom, and Lana, and sat outside for 3 hours while on the phone reading my phone’s user guide

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Long Spin and a Little Nutrition

3.5 h ride (spin); HR around 140 the entire time except a few times up toward 180
1.5-min transition. It might have been a little shorter, but that’s when I restarted the timer. All I had to do was switch shoes and hit the road!
30-min run; 5-min run, 5-min walk, repeat; on the trail at Brentwood Y; total: 3.5 mi
Not that I was necessarily thinking about nutrition, but since I paid attention to what I ate, I’ll record it.

Food Summary
Pre-Workout breakfast at 5:45
  • Oatmeal with almonds, dark chocolate cocoa, honey and dried apricots
  • Water: 8 oz
  • Calories: 345
  • Carbohydrates: 58 g
  • Sugar: 28 g
  • Protein: 9 g
Workout consumption from 7am through 11:02am
  • Lemon Luna bar, dried apricots, almonds
  • Water: 68 oz
  • Calories: 450
  • Carbohydrates: 54 g
  • Sugar: 35 g
  • Protein: 17 g
Post-Workout consumption by 11:45
  • Protein shake, banana smoothie
  • Water: 22 oz
  • Calories: 380
  • Carbohydrates: 21 g
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 49 g
I drank an average of ¾ of a bottle of water each hour on the bike but had about 6 oz left over when I got off. Within about 40 minutes of starting, I had some almonds and apricots. Then I ate the Luna bar sporadically and finished it by 10:30. I didn’t finish the bag of almonds and apricots but wasn’t hungry, so I just put it in my back pocket. Within 6 minutes of starting the run, I was hungry and finished the fruit then felt pretty good after that.

In other news, I decided to make today the day I did something with someone, so I headed over to Farkases. Uncle John took a look at my bike and recommended a new rear cassette, front chain rings, and a chain if I don’t get a new bike (that was his real recommendation). Lauren, Luke, Davey and I played a little Monopoly (I had to leave early for church), and I looked over the book about potty training that Aunt Renee is writing.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Thoughts Galore: On Blessing and Cursing; Swim #10

Today's first workout:
  • 1000 swim (500 wu, 2×125 @ 20, 2×75 @ 15, 50 cd), all pull since I couldn't kick (I should have taped my toes) and couldn't put my right flipper on
Today's second workout:
  • 50 altitude-drop wall squat
  • 50 altitude-drop glute ham
  • 50 altitude-drop 1-leg squat
  • 50 altitude-drop push up
  • 50 altitude-drop curl, 10-lb dumbbells (after we decided I wasn’t doing rebounds :-) even though the first two were good rebounds)
Today's third workout:
  • 1 h ellip (at 45, 7.5-min Z4); HR was around 134 and 168; HR between watch and machine were WAY different; at least 10,300 steps; 6.25 miles
  • 50 altitude-drop crate crunch
Today's brain workout:

The Roberts are doing an interesting experiment, and I got to be a small part of it today. We’d been talking a little about how words are so powerful and how there’s memory in everything, and they are of the opinion that you should bless everything. And by everything, I mean everything—house, home, apartment, table and salt shakers and restaurants, the pool, food, everything. I agree that there’s memory there; who’s to say that the guy there before you wasn’t fighting with his girl while they were out, and who knows but that he or she or both weren’t doing the devil’s work. My hesitation is in blessing things rather than God and people. That, and I really don’t know how to bless things.

Anyway, back to the experiment. Will and Nancy made rice and put it in four containers—two containers for the fridge and two for the counter. One in each place received a blessing. Will let me in on that and told me to bless it. Then he pretty much had to tell me what to say to bless it, because 1) I had no idea what to say, and 2) I was thinking, “It’s rice; how do you bless rice?” I told it that it was nutritious and looked good and tasty and then he mercifully took it away.

The two that were being cursed were out on the back porch. Nancy had already cursed them, and it was Will’s turn; I wanted no part in the cursing, and after they experienced my blessing they didn’t invite me to do so. :-) Will shut the door and cursed the rice; I have no idea what he said and although I wanted to ask about it, I refrained. Then he put them with their blessed partners. In about a week, they’ll look at each of the containers and see the difference. I am convinced there will be a difference among all of them.

The really cool thing was that then Nancy prayed for him; the cursing (which if I were cursing it would have been something like you’re the worst rice and you’re going to make everyone sick who eats you and you’ve come from an awful background [perhaps I’d have done better on that part than the blessing; how sad is that?]) had to come from his own thoughts and his mouth and she wanted him to have no part of the curse. Then we talked about how she’d had to talk to the plants on the porch to make sure they knew they weren’t being cursed. And they said that Will would have to bless his hockey stuff; not only because it was on the back porch but also because who knows how many people had cursed him while he was wearing it last season.

The whole idea of blessing and cursing and items holding memory is very new to me. I know that words have a huge impact on everyone. Everything else I’m just not sure of, but that’s not because I disagree that it’s there (honestly, I have no idea; if things have been cursed by others and I’m using it, I don’t want to receive the cursing they put on the item). It’s rather that I don’t even think about an item’s having been blessed or cursed. They’re going back to the manufacturer even, as in who knows who made the shoes you’re wearing? What if it was someone who just was having an awful day and put that negative energy into your shoes? Do you want to be part of that? I definitely don’t, it’s just so far out of my thought process.

So here’s the question of the day: Does it need to be in my thought process? Are there things that I think about during the day that I could do away with and replace with thoughts and prayers about other things? How do I know? How do I find out? I imagine in something like this, I have to listen to the Spirit’s prompting on the whole thing. So is the influence of the Roberts the way the Spirit is prompting me, or am I so interested because it’s the Roberts that are influencing me?

I know that the Bible is full of Scripture on the tongue, its words, the Spirit, His work, and our thoughts.
  • For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.
  • Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love will it eat its fruit.
  • And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind.
  • For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts and their foolish hearts were darkened.
  • Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.
  • The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.
  • With [the tongue] we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so!
  • Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
  • Do not let this book of the law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night.
There are many more, but those are the few I came up with off the top of my head. There’s evidence that spirits can work with and through words, and there’s evidence that God is the ruler of our spirit if we let Him be. We can either use our words to bless God and others and honor Him or to curse God and others and dishonor Him.

After I basically copied Will’s words, Nancy asked me if I never really used my imagination as a kid. I know I did, because we used to play with our Barbie dolls all the time and I’d have conversations among all the dolls in my head. But if I remember correctly, they were all very normal conversations; nothing was imaginative about them at all. They all did normal things, they didn’t go outside of the box, they didn’t do or say anything out of the ordinary. And as I was talking to Karthi last week, I had a very vivid memory of a recurring dream I’d had in middle school; I know my imagination was at work there.

Not that I didn’t already realize that I don’t often use my imagination, but it made me remember that I am a very practical person. I like black and white; I like rules that I can follow. I rarely think outside of the box, but I can usually solve problems practically. I often let others do the thinking and imagining and creating and then I can help with the implementation. Is that a bad thing? It’s the way that God has created me. Should I try to be more creative because I know he’s given me an imagination to use? Is that like Robin saying she should try running a marathon because God’s given her two legs like he has given me? Is it like Michelle saying she should be an editor because God’s given her two eyes and a hand to hold a pen? How different is this from the passage in Corinthians where Paul talks about the body? If everyone were a hand, where would the feet be? If everyone were an eye, where would the sense of smell be? If Robin and Michelle were both runners and editors, we’d have the best connection and the most boring family; we’d talk only about running and we’d only run. We wouldn’t get to go out and enjoy the other things that we enjoy. There would be no softball, no card games, no entertaining others and being hospitable, no leisurely walks, no reading, no nothing that someone does to show that they love someone else even if they hate or are uninterested in the activity.

Yes, God can and does and has been stimulating my imagination; this is evidenced in my dreams. But is he changing me so that I’ll think about every little thing and bless it or ask Him to bless it before I touch it?

It shows how similarly and differently we each relate. He is the same God for all of us; He loves us the same, He sent His same Son to die for each of us who accepts Him, and He has given us His same Spirit to dwell in us and to draw us closer to Him. But that same Spirit gives to each according to His will. This causes us to relate to Him differently; not bad different, just different. It causes each of us to know Him differently and gives each of us a desire to know Him more. But the way we relate to God is understandably different among people. I as an academic worship God when I study. My cousin as an artist worships God when she dances. As a result, I’m going to talk to God differently than she will—I’m going to come to Him with honor and respect and love from the right side of my brain, asking practical questions; she is going to go to Him with honor and respect and love from the left side of her brain, inventing and incorporating new moves into her presentations. And the amazing thing is that God still loves each of us the same.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

More New Stuff (means more to practice)

Here is this morning's workout. We did each pair in sets of three.
  • 20 squat swings—no weight
  • 1-min lunge each leg
  • 20 glute ham raises to arm's length
  • 1-min standing ham
  • 20 deltoid raises—10-lb dumbbell
  • 1-min push up
  • 20 rebound curls—light bar
  • 1-min preacher curl—10-lb dumbbells
After the first set, Will asked what I felt; I said like I was just doing it, not using my muscles. That's what it looked like, too. So on the second one, I tried to actually use my muscles but felt slow (it was supposed to be as fast as you could go). Still not right. So after the second set, we tried shudders where, on his command, I was supposed to turn on and then immediately off all my muscles. We did about 4 before he asked if I was even doing anything. I was, but it was evidently not what he expected. The rebound curls still need some work, and during the preacher curl, he had to remind me to keep driving my chest up and breathe with my diaphragm instead of my chest (something about using your oxygen better?). Anyways, now I have to practice, in front of the mirror, shudders and breathing and fast altitude drop/rebound curls.

In my effort to be slightly more social than normal, I arranged a lunch with the other ladies from work. In my office of 19, 6 are women: Beth, Delana, Kelly, Lisa, Sara, and me. We typically go for lunch when Amy comes but not much more often than that. I found coupons for a free meal at KFC, so I suggested we go. We drove over there and found out that the coupons weren't good until 1pm (it was 11:30), and the parking lot was ridiculously busy; even the local news station was there! Instead of stopping there, we headed to Jalisco, a new Mexican restaurant a block away (Donelson has tons of restaurants!), but saw a sign on the door saying "Opening Soon." So we ended up at Bar-B-Cutie and had to pay for lunch. I had been hoping for a free lunch, but we'll just try again next week, just later in the afternoon (like 2pm when fewer people are out!).

Did my 1-h ride (at 15, 3×5 min Z4 @ 3-min spin). It was actually 56:56, 18.01 miles, 19.1 mph, and felt great. Z2 parts were around 135. Z4 parts were around 168 and up to 180 (but only for a few seconds). I could really get used to HR rides, as long as my HRM stays reliable!

Tonight was the last night of Inversion, and that usually means a party or cookout or something. This year was no different, and we met on the church lawn, prayed over the Peru team that's heading out Saturday, and had some food. It was actually dry, and the volleyball nets were set up, so I was hoping to play a few games. Alas, the courts were always full when I had time to play. I spent most of the evening talking with Jesi and her new friend Ashley and Jonathan. I think that's all I talked to (oh, wait, I also met Emily, who will be helping lead worship in Peru).

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Brick

Wednesdays are brick days, and they are fun. Bricks are the most race-typical and they help me prepare mentally and physically. It was relatively short—45-min bike, less-than-3-min transition, 30-min run.

The ride I did on the trainer, so it was exactly 45 minutes. Since I've been riding on the trainer, I've really been trying to focus on things that I'll need to do while racing: drinking at least every 15 minutes, keeping the HR up (today was supposed to be Z4, and I was between 138 and 164 the whole time), working hard to push and pull on the pedals, sprinting a little, adding in hills here and there. It's been good, because it's keeping me honest and focused.

Today's transition was 45 seconds. I decided to go sockless in the Zoot shoes, so I put on some vaseline and threw on the shoes (no race belt or visor to worry about, nor helmet or sunglasses to take off).

Then it was off to the corner of Franklin Road and Mallory Station and then back as far as I could make it in 30 minutes. Today was supposed to be in Z2; I was between 138 and 164 the whole time—either my ride wasn't in Z4 or my run wasn't in Z2, because the HR was quite similar between the two. I made it to the corner of Moores and Landings 15 seconds faster this week than last--that has been my 30-minute marker. Good news! Especially after not having run much. It wasn't that bad without socks; if I hadn't been thinking about it, I probably wouldn't have noticed a difference. However, more than 30 minutes might not be so good (remember this for sprint distances!).

It's still been raining, and I told the people at work that if it was raining, I'd play the Great Dalmuti with them on Wednesday, so today was game day. Fun times in the conference room!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Rebounds

Something new again today, but Will was home to explain—100 rebounds. Basically it's start around the top, drop down, and then rebound up as quickly as possible. Oh, and don't think of it as 1 set of 100; think of it as 100 sets of 1, so you should be doing each one like it's the only one, and each one should look the same as the previous and the next.
  • Lunge: 100 on the right, 64 and then 36 on the left (the only reason I stopped was because Will said stop [only he didn't mean stand up, but I didn't know that]; I wanted to do all 100 without stopping).
  • Standing ham: We had to do this one twice, because when he asked how many I did as fast as possible, I said probably about 40. It was actually supposed to be glute ham, but maybe next time.
  • Wall squat: I started to get tired around 90, and that meant I was drawing my knees together (not good!)
  • Curl (light bar): This one I still need to work on. First, I wasn't getting the full range of motion with my arms—they should go all the way down to my hips and then back up. I also still am not very fast, and the bar keeps dropping farther than I think it should. The one time I tried the push/pull away thing, I threw the bar toward my face. Oops!
  • Push up on knees: For the last 30, I only did half push ups. But 100 push ups is a lot!
  • Crate crunch: Pretty sure I didn't get the rebound part of this.
When Will first said to do the lunge, he said I might not be able to do it, and that was OK. He said it was going to be hard and if I had to stop, I could stand up and then finish. But I was determined to do them all; it was all in the attitude. I didn't just want to prove him wrong; I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it, and I wanted to use my attitude and determination to push myself even when I didn't know if I was physically able to do it.

When he said to do the push ups, I immediately thought there was no way I could do all 100 all the way. I didn't say it, but I must have looked it, because he said, "Why are you thinking negative thoughts?" I wanted to ask him how he could read my thoughts; he said later he could practically feel my negativity. So I readjusted my attitude and just focused on one at a time, doing it right, and not worrying about the next one. I didn't necessarily do them all right, but I did them all, mainly because my attitude was positive; I COULD do it. Zach was in there with us doing the 3-minute extreme slow; now I know that the second way I did it (starting up and pulling down rather than starting down and going further down) was the correct way!

I finally broke out the running shoes again after having been off since April 25—pretty much 9 days off! Ran the MFY loop in just over 47 (not too bad for trying to stay in Z2 except for 2×4.5-minutes in Z4 @ 1.5-minute jog; I don't think I made it up to Z4, and I don't think I stayed in Z2, so I've got some work to do on the HR). Then I swam 300m. I wish I could let things not bother me, but today the guy swimming next to me in the lane was bothering me so I got out. I would try to let him be ahead of me, and he'd wait for me. Then he'd stay right next to me. Then I'd try to get ahead and he'd catch up to me to stay right next to me. Then he'd stop and stay on the wall so I couldn't flip turn. Then I'd had enough and left. Maybe tomorrow, definitely Thursday I'll get back in the water.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Developing Self-Discipline

Monday is a day off, and usually that means doing nothing related to exercise and doing a lot related to thinking and improving in the other areas of life. Some things are important to study and do, and self-discipline is something we all can work on. Dr. John MacArthur has some great advice on how to cultivate self-discipline in your life; this will translate into every area of your life, including your work, relationships, spiritual walk, and everything else. And there are 7 things, which means one for every day of the week (as if you could learn this all in one week!).
Developing Self-Discipline

John MacArthur
Practically speaking, how can a person develop self-discipline in his or her life?

Here are some things that have helped me through the years:
  1. Start Small. Start with your room. Clean it, then keep it clean. When something is out of place, train yourself to put it where it belongs. Then extend the discipline of neatness to the rest of your home.
  2. Be on time. That may not seem very spiritual, but it's important. If you're supposed to be somewhere at a specific time, be there on time. Develop the ability to discipline your desires, activities, and demands so that you can arrive on time.
  3. Do the hardest job first. When you do that, you will find it easier to do the simpler tasks.
  4. Organize your life. Plan the use of your time; don't just react to circumstances. Use a calendar and make a daily list of things you need to accomplish. If you don't control your time, everything else will.
  5. Accept correction. Correction helps make you more disciplined because it shows you what you need to avoid. Don't avoid criticism; accept it gladly.
  6. Practice self-denial. Learn to say no to your feelings. Learn to do what you know to be right even if you don't feel like doing it. Sometimes it's even beneficial to deny yourself things that are acceptable to have, like a doughnut in the morning or dessert after dinner. Exercising such self-restraint helps you develop the habit of keeping other things under control. Cultivating discipline in the physical realm will help you become disciplined in your spiritual life.
  7. Welcome responsibility. When you have an opportunity to do something that needs to be done, volunteer for it if you have talent in that area. Accepting responsibility can force you to organize yourself.
The first small thing I'm going to work on is washing my breakfast dishes (the egg pan; everything else goes in the dishwasher) before I leave for work and washing my supper dishes (the grill or pans and salad bowl) before I go to bed. That shouldn't be too hard, right?

My fun Monday activity (Mondays are my days to do something with someone; broad, I know) was to hang out with Davey (9) and Elijah (13) Masters. Blair was still there when I arrived, so we chatted a little about his recent trip to Korea. Then we played some Phase 10 (Davey picked it up really quickly, and Karthi said later she enjoys card games) and looked at the pictures in a book about birds. Elijah and I watched a little Home Improvement and George Lopez. When Karthi came home, we talked fast, for about 30 minutes, about everything but the kitchen sink. I love godly women who listen, and she is definitely one of them.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Hoping to Run Soon...

The workout from Will was something new: 3 minutes extreme slow. He actually called to explain, so I think I mostly got it.
  • Wall squat: Start just above 90* and pull down to the bottom during the entire 3 minutes. If you get to the bottom before 3 minutes are up, start back up again.
  • 5-min standing ham (still not doing glute ham)
  • Push up on knees, on hands only: I don't think I did this right, because I started down and then didn't have any where to go. See following points.
  • Curl—standing—with 12-lb bar
  • Push up on knees: This time I did it right—I didn’t start at the bottom, I started at the top and worked my way down as slowly as I could, which got faster after 1.5 min and I did about 3 times up and down but kept trying to pull down slowly.
  • Curl—standing—with 24-lb bar: This time I used more weight and tried to pull down slower because on the first, I had 60+ seconds while I was at the bottom and I didn’t know if I was supposed to start again). I really tried to focus on lengthening my biceps.
  • Crate crunch: Again, not sure whether I did this one correctly. I think I did more of a 3-minute iso than a 3-minute extreme slow.
30-min ride on the stationary bike:
  • Farmer’s Bluff (there was a coast and sunshine…it was great because it’s been raining for the last 3 days!)
  • Calories: 368
  • Avg Power: 164.48 (I beat the pacer by nearly a minute; it should have been way more because he was set at 110 watts. It must go by speed, also.
  • Miles: 6.91
I stayed on for an additional minute or so, but the actual 6.9 miles took me 29:40 something. And I kept my cadence at or above 100 for the majority of the time; I never saw it go below 96 and I didn’t let it stay there for long. I saw it get up to 117 on some of the downhills.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

New Trainer Record

I was supposed to have raced today, but I decided not to due to the rain that we've had over the last two days. It rained all day yesterday and was still raining this morning when I woke up. The rain didn't seal it for me, but the fact that I would have been racing with the juniors did. I was not going to risk injury for a 24-mile race with juniors and 3 other preregistered Cat IV women (2 of whom were my teammates and I know that neither of them showed up). Now, if I had gone, a win or place would have pretty much been guaranteed, but it wasn't worth it.

So instead of racing, I rode my bike on the trainer on my back porch, again. Only today was 3 times as long as yesterday. It was 3 hours, with, at 2:50, 5 minutes in Z4. Well, I couldn't just do 2:50 of nothing, so after a 20-or-so minute warmup, I set my phone to go off every 20 minutes. At that interval, I stood up for a minute and made sure to get my heart rate up. It was good because it kept me honest (otherwise I'd have just sat there reading the whole time) and it made me focus on my HR. I was probably around 130-145 for the 2:50, up around 165 for the 5, and then back to 115-130 for the final 5 minutes.

The 3-hour bike was supposed to have been followed by a quick transition and a 30-minute run, but I'm still not wearing tennies. I figure that I'll let the blisters and toes heal as much as I can so that I don't have to deal with my feet all summer.

Praying for healing!

That might be all for the day, but if Will sends me a workout, I'll do it. No workout! After church, I headed over to Farkas' to hang out with Luke and Lauren, but no one was home so I left a message and then saw and talked to Bennett as I was leaving; he said they were out with friends, so I went home and watched a little Monk.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Storms...Thus No Swimming (toes)

I guess I feel safe knowing that the Ys close the pools if it's raining and lightening, but it sure puts a damper on training (I called 2 and both pools were closed). So, due to the storms today, there was no straight 3,000. I'll try it next week, since I can't really put flippers on anyway.

I did ride, though, 1 hour on the trainer on my back porch while I watched the rain. At 15 minutes, it was 2×5 minutes in Z4 @ 3 min spin. I got my HR up to 160–170 during those intervals. I doubt that's Z4 but I could not get it up any higher. It was between 140 and 142 for the rest of the ride.

Here's my setup

Here's the view from my aero bars...through the trees beyond the blue van is a road, so if I need a distraction (which I'm learning not to need) I can be the nosy neighbor, watching who's coming and going

The next few pictures are for the "nasty!" record. This is what happens to some endurance athletes and is now nearly a week after the marathon.

Blisters on the inside of my left foot, under my big toe nail (enhanced in the next picture) and under my third toe nail. I'll likely lose the big one and perhaps the other one as well.

Most people's nail is directly against the skin. I measured it and now after having been draining the blister for 2 days, I still have an extra 3/16-in. protuberance and haven't worn shoes all week (hello, flip flops at work!)