Sunday, November 23, 2008

Weekend Update

Ahhh, what an awesome weekend.  It was relaxing, tough, fun, fun, and fun!

I met with StevieP on Friday for a quick swim lesson.  Yes, I know, a swim lesson?  But here's the deal:  I learned how to swim and competed at swimming years and years ago.  So my stroke is "old" school swimming and there is "new" swimming.  Kind of like new math (I am completely frightened by the prospect of my 1st grader teaching ME math).  

So we worked on some drills, I drowned just a little bit, and we did more drills.  This is going to be tough.  I understand where we are trying to go - a more efficient, powerful stroke.  Plus, if I can take another minute off of my 1500, YAHOO!  But really, it is hard to reprogram years and years of coaching on the old stroke.  But we figured out a good couple of drills at the end that I will work on and if I don't actually drown while doing them, maybe we'll see some improvement!

Saturday was a trail run at Lair O' the Bear.  It was an absolutely beautiful Colorado morning: clear blue sky, and a cool, crisp temperature to start.  My goal?  To hang with Steve, Tony, and Sonja for the run.  StevieP wanted me to run the 7.5  miles to the top but I have been fighting this silly cold for 2 weeks and wasn't sure how it would go.  Sure enough, we get going (they had already done 5 miles), set a great slow pace on the first uphill and I feel fantastic!  A few lung cookies coming up but now I felt I could go the entire 15 miles.  I had brand new trail shoes on, my traction was awesome and I really couldn't have asked for a better morning and better running partners.  

We made it to the tee-pee and the rocks above for a stunning view of Mt. Evans and the foothills.  Very cool.  I don't have pictures but my PIC Sonja does.  She even has a cool video of the day check it out here.
 
On the way down I led for a bit and then John, Barry and Steve decided to pick it up.  Hmmm.  I tried to bow out but Finchy was behind me and just pushed me ahead and said you're fine.  Hmmm.  The lung cookies were expanding now and my heart rate was telling me to back off.  I hung out with the big kids for a bit longer and then pulled off the back.  John and Barry had as well so we had our own group on the last downhill and still managed a pretty good pace.  What a cool run.  15 trail miles with a great group of people, we chatted lots, caught up with one another, shared food (thanks Sandy!), posed for pictures and video and just really had fun.  

Saturday night put a nice bright pretty bow on the entire day.  Michael and I went out to dinner - well, not dinner, SUSHI!  It has been awhile since we ate sushi and we sure did eat lots.  It was Yummy!  And how cool to have alone time to just hang with my hubby?  Yep,  it was awesome.  We then found a really cool wine shop and bought a bottle to bring over to our great friends home:  DF and WSM.  We shared the wine, talked, laughed, got cupped, played games, and had a great time!  Cupped you ask?  Well, my friend WSM is in her final year studying eastern medicine and we decided to that it made sense to cup me to get rid of the lung cookies and Michael claims it was to get rid of spousal stress.  Here are the results:


My back, doesn't look too bad today.  And lung cookies??? Pretty much GONE!


Michael's back.  Apparently the spousal stress is pretty bad.

I won't use her real name here because I know these pictures may freak some people out.  But she is VERY talented at her new career and will be opening up her own shop in about 9 months.  It's been pretty cool to watch her go through the process of deciding what she wants to be when she grows up at the ripe age of 39 and then going after it.  

So Sunday rolls around and it's time for a nice LSD ride.  DF Andy led the way and took a few of us on a great ride.  Kudos to Troy (PIC Sonja's hubby) for pulling a burley with a flat tire.  That looked HARD.   It's almost Thanksgiving so here is one thing that I am grateful for:  living in Colorado.  It is November 23rd, and at 10am a balmy 55 degrees for our ride.  We got to ride OUTSIDE!!!  Woo Hoo!!!  

And the rest of Sunday?  A horrible Broncos game, pre-Turkey day shopping, and a lovely dinner with the family.  I mean really, what more could I ask for in a weekend???  

Hope your weekend was everything you wanted it to be too!  

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Break

I kind of took a break.  I didn't plan it, it just happened.  Although I know I was thinking about it.  A break?  What is that?  A week with no exercise?  No way.  I'm pretty sure I wouldn't survive that.  And I really don't remember the last time I took time off from working out.  

Some would argue that it wasn't really a break and I see their point.  But fact of the matter is, I went an entire week without swimming (laps), running (except after children), biking, or lifting weights.  As in 7 days.  Why?  Well, I got sick.  First time I have been sick in a year I believe.  That god-awful head, sinus, cough until your stomach muscles hurt and you have to find your lung kind of sick.  And it happened while on vacation in Florida.  It completely sucked.  But, could I hide underneath the covers in bed all day?  Nope.  There was Sea World, the Magic Kingdom, and the Animal Kingdom to explore.  Princess dinners to attend.  Absolutely exhausting.  So maybe it wasn't the break I wanted, but sometimes you just have to accept what is being handed to you.  

Funny thing is, I have felt a bit aimless since Nationals and have had several lackluster workouts and weeks.   My motivation seems to have waned a bit.  I have had trouble concentrating on planning my 2009 race schedule and Worlds seem to be so far away.  Work has been horribly busy for the last 6 weeks and things at home have been a bit off-center.  It seems our family vacation was well-timed.  

So I took a break from working out.  I started watching what I was eating (something I needed to do anyway with all that Halloween junk candy hanging around the house), I started to focus more on next season and set some goals.  And, I enjoyed just hanging out with my hubby and my girls.  It was really nice to not have the pressure of getting up at 5am on VACATION to make sure I get my workout in.  My kids were a bit confused by this odd behavior, and so was Michael.  They are just not used to Mommy not going for "a little" run.  Michael knew I was sick when I didn't get up!

After we got home, and I visited the doc, I couldn't wait to get started again.  My night cough was improving so I decided to head to the pool for a light swim.  2200 meters later and I felt great.  I hit 2 spin classes over the weekend and worked harder than I planned but it was OK, the lungs held up!  

Of course, I paid dearly for my lack of pool time on Monday. It wasn't just from being ill, I really haven't been swimming much in the last couple of months.  So Masters was hard.  I mean, really HARD.  But with the break comes a new attitude, and the excitement to build again.  I'm even going to work with StevieP on my stroke and see if we can make some improvements.  Naturally, there will also be the on-going, never-ending run analysis as well as some fun computrainer sessions to look forward to.  But honestly, bring it on, I can't wait!

The race schedule is being finalized, I'm starting to plan for Australia, work is getting more manageable.  And, life at home has also settled down and feels centered and on-track.  I think the break was just what I needed.

Yep, Life is Good:)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Florida Vacation

We survived our trip to the f-ing happiest place on Earth - yep, Disney World.  And Sea World. It was a really great family vacation!  One of the best moments for me?  My birthday dinner at Roy's.....mmmm.  The best present ever:  the girls behaved themselves at a white tablecloth restaurant for 2 HOURS.  It was the BEST!

Enjoy the pics:

Up close feeding the dolphins at Sea World.  This was really pretty cool, you could "pet" the dolphins and the girls thought it was great.  So did mom.  And dad.



The girls while they still liked Shamu (Charlotte also called him Mashu and Shampoo).  They insisted on sitting in the splash zone (aka SOAK zone) for the Shamu show and thought it was great until Shamu decided our section needed to be hit.  Not once.  Not twice.  But three times with that huge tail.  We were drenched.  Charlotte cried and said "bad whale"!


Hanging with Pluto.


First day of the Magic Kingdom, and a lovely nap.


Isabelle, our Belle, getting ready for the Princess dinner.

Hello, Prince Charming anyone?


The family with Mickey.


Last day at Disney.  What you can't tell in this picture is that we renamed Charlotte "Screaming Bear".  That refers to our overtired, overstimulated three-year-old.  You know what happened after I took this picture?  She pulled up her dress, pulled down her undies, bent over and mooned the family.  And the rest of Tomorrowland.  I love the threes.  





Tuesday, November 4, 2008

We're Off!

Whew, these last few days have passed in a whirlwind!  I had 2  days to get at least 5 days worth of work done.  Man, that was tough.  But it is done and now we are on our way out of town!  I have a conference in Orlando and we decided to tack on a vacation on top of it - woo hoo!  So, work until Friday noon, and then play with the family until next Wednesday.  

Happy November!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Colorado Trail

Yesterday was a great day!  My pal Bethie organized a run on the Colorado Trail.  But this wasn't any ordinary or easy task.  There were 3 different legs with running options of 15.5 miles, 11 miles, 27 miles, or the whopper 41 miles.  The pick-up and drop-off points were in very remote locations and the volunteer drivers drove upwards of an hour to an hour and a half to these points.  But she made it happen and it turned out to be quite a day!  

The best part of the day was that Michael was with me!!!  He heard trail run and wanted to join the group and it was awesome to have him with us.  We lined up our favorite babysitter, told her we weren't sure when we'd be home and off we went! Hopefully, he will join us more often from here.  And who knows, maybe there is a triathlon in his future???

Pretty much everyone started the first leg of 15.5 miles together, it was 6 miles up Waterton Canyon to the trail head and then single track until the first stop.  We started out very conservatively and jogged the dirt road.  Everyone was excited and chatty which was a great distraction from the brutal wind that was blowing down the canyon.  My plan was to run the first 2 legs for a whopping 27 miles total.   I felt really good the first couple of miles of  trail, even as I realized I was pacing with Anthony and Sonja (super fast runners).  But their plan was to run 41 miles so I figured I was fine.  

I was trying to keep up with my fueling (Gatorade and pb&j sammie) but my heart rate was getting a bit high for my goal so I dropped off the back of the first group and ended up running alone for awhile.  It was so peaceful and beautiful on the trail, I tried to look up every once in awhile to really appreciate the beauty of Colorado and the day we had.....crystal blue sky, light wind, and only a few clouds off in the distance.  The front group stopped to take in the view and fuel and we all started down the trail to the first stop.  Once again I fell a bit off the back as the major down hill started.  I was really concentrating on my footing (trail shoes are in my future) as there were lots of loose rocks.  I also really don't like the downhill so I was trying to stay loose. 

 StevieP stayed back and waited for me to run with me the rest of the way because people were slipping and tripping on the rocks.  Of course, a minute later, I caught a toe, and went flying onto the trail, tagging a rock with my pubic bone in the process.  Ouch.  Steve was saying, don't worry about your clothes, take an inventory of how you feel.  I felt pretty hurt but I knew nothing was broken.  I wasn't actually checking my clothes but trying to be modest because I thought I had torn my tights where I had hit the rock and wanted to make sure I wasn't showing the world my parts!!!  I kept moving because that's what you do....if nothing is broken you get up, brush off and continue on.  My elbow hurt but it was just bruised and I had a bit of road rash.  But the bone - down there.  OUCH.  There is just no cushioning there to pad against a rock.  Bethie and Son ran with me the rest of the way down and I still thought I could continue on.  

We were greeted with awesome hoots and hollars from the volunteers waiting and from the next leg runners.  We have such a great group - everyone is truly happy for each other's successes and accomplishments.  Michael came bouncing off the trail not long after the first group finished - what a rock star!  He was just doing leg 1 so he was done for the day, but it was time for me to fuel and get back on the trail.  We started again but I immediately felt pulling and tightness in the injured area and felt I was limping just a bit.  Bethie helped me make the right call, hugged me and I turned back to the cars.  

I have a real tough time with these types of decisions.  I actually felt I had an "easy day" because I only did 15.5 miles.  I was disappointed in myself because I didn't reach my goal of the 27 miles.  I felt guilty!!  But Michael (and everyone else) helped me realized I had made the right choice.  

When I got home, I noticed several lovely bruises on my quads and elbow.  And I'm sure the deep bone bruise on the pubic bone is going to be real pretty too!!!  But I am so pleased with the run - I was actually keeping up with group 1.  Yee Haw!  Michael had a great day!  Anthony, Steve, and Son made their goal of 41!!  And everyone else having a great day too - once again a great Practical Coaching day.  And all thanks to Beth and the volunteers!  

Cheers!