Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Fun

What a difference a day makes!  I'm still tired but my tummy is almost back to normal. Michael had a bit of the bug too but we both sucked it up and hit spin class this morning for a nice 2 hour sweat fest.  And, only 2 bouts of dizziness so it was good to be inside.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from Christmas:

Christmas wishes:  a camera for Char and a Nintendo DS for Iz


Isabelle on Christmas Eve

What can I say - Christmas Fun!  (is it over yet?)

My sis Nicole and her fiance John

Isabelle and Grandpa in a game of checkers (um dad, you look like you're ready to kick some ass in the game, she's only 6!!!!)

Santa brought a DS!!

Charlotte cannot WAIT to learn to ski like her big sis.  She has been wearing the goggles non-stop around the house.  

Friday, December 26, 2008

Tough Day

I was thinking that this post would be all about the cool things that have happened over the last week.  There was the epic ski day with Michael and our friends, the overnight that my kiddos had with their gparents, and the really cool 5000 meter swim (yes, straight).  There was also seeing all of my Inverness Masters buddies, an awesome 6 mile run, and a party with some neighbors we hadn't seen in awhile.  And, of course, Christmas Eve with my parents and Christmas Day at our house with my family.  I mean, really great stuff to write about!

But no.  I shall blog about the miserable run I had today.  It was supposed to be GREAT!  And I had been looking forward to it all week:  Tyler's Run.  A 17 mile out-and-back in a pretty scenic part of town with a little brunch action afterwards.  Now, I should have listened to my body yesterday.  When my tummy started to do flips and turns and backward somersaults, I should have listened.  And last night, when I couldn't sleep because the tummy wouldn't settle I knew that this could be bad for the run.  And when I got up this morning and had diahrea (tough, it's my blog I'll write about poop if I want), I should have just gone back to bed.  But that is just not what I do.  

So I braved the 6 degree weather (don't get me started on wind chill!), and met up with Tyler, Steve, Andrea, Barry and Laura.  The run actually started out pretty well - a nice easy pace, frozen eyelashes, and relative warmth.  This out-and-back essentially was uphill for 4 miles, and then downhill for 4 miles.  Turnaround and do it again.  And these were tough hills.  As we approached the BIG hill at 3.5 miles, for some reason I was with Steve.  And he gave me the signal to stay with him.   That was probably mistake #182 for me.  I kept with him though and felt OK.  It was only near the top and as we crested that I had the first indication that vomiting could be in my near future.  But we continued on and the nausea faded.  I actually felt great to the turnaround.  Now, I wasn't eating much because my body just thought that was silly but I was drinking a slushee from my water bottle so I thought I was OK.  

At the turnaround we picked up Christy, Rob and Keino and headed up the hill again.  I pushed this hill like I did the last big hill and it was OK, I hurt at the top, but recovered decently.  At mile 10.5 though it all went bad for me.  I was dizzy and really thought I was going to puke.  It passed.  I tried to take in a gel.  Another wave, then another, and then another after that.  I was reduced to walking a couple of minutes and trying to jog a couple of minutes.  My biggest worry now was staying warm:  it was probably only 20 degrees and a bit breezy, and my clothes were wet.  The group had dropped me by then and it was just a matter of getting back.  There were even a couple of times where I thought about taking a nap in the sun???!!!  I had my wits still with me though and knew that was probably a BAD idea.  Finally, finally I could see my finish point and got some words of encouragement from Andrea.  I had just walked/jogged 6 miles to the finish.  YIKES!

I managed to put down a bit of chicken noodle soup at brunch and got warm.  But I just needed to get home to the couch.  I took a nap, watched a movie with the girls, thought about eating, and then just took a shower instead.  I figure the appetite will come back at some point right? And I know that I consumed enough calories over Christmas in the form of (in no particular order) cinnamon rolls (best ever thanks PIC), ham, potatoes, cookies and chocolate that I will not waste away anytime soon.  HA!

It is not always butterflies and roses for my workouts and I can't wait for my next one.  More fun posts to come:)


Monday, December 15, 2008

Jingle Bell 5k

Yesterday Michael and I woke up to a beautiful morning.  Snow was falling, it was just starting to get light out, it was a very peaceful time of day.  The weather-people had said a cold front was moving in and the high would be 16 degrees.  Which would be perfect (kind of) for the Jingle Bell 5k.  The run started at 10:15 so there was plenty of time to warm up to that balmy 16.  But we turned on the TV and saw that it was only 4 degrees.  And with the wind chill?  Yep, feels like -21.  What?  No, no, no....it's supposed to be a toasty warm 16, not 4.  And certainly not -21.  I mean, this is Denver, not CANADA!!!

So I texted StevieP Coach Extraordinaire to get his take on the day.  Silly me, he pretty much summed it up by saying that my competition probably was already outside and didn't think it was that cold.  Grrrrrrrr.  Wait, no Brrrrrrrr.  I headed upstairs and took out every single piece of warm clothing that I owned to figure out exactly how I was going to dress for an hour warm-up and then a 5k race.  I decided on fleece:  tights, long bra, inner shirt, outer shirt, overshirt, coat etc.  And handwarmers and toewarmers.  Gloves, mittens.    

The sun came out as I pulled into the parking lot.....it really was gorgeous out.  I just didn't look at my temperature gauge that kept flirting with 0.  Steve, Sonja, Tyler, Rob and Christy were all there too so we left to "warm-up".  Ha.  

I was hoping that I would PR this race and get a good qualifying time for a decent Bolder Boulder wave in May.  But with the snow pack, cold temps, and Yak Trax it didn't look like it would be the day.  After warming up, I stripped down to just one pair of tights, took off my fleece coat, and put on my wind vest.  Then (after consulting with PIC Son of course) I put my Yak Trax (LOVE these things) over my racing flats because it just seemed kind of bad-ass!!!  We lined up and off we went.  

I was off pretty fast even though I knew I was supposed to descend my miles.  But it was cold and I just wanted to get back in the warm car!!  I thought I should back off a bit and started to but then a girl pulled up right next to me - as in touching my elbow - and so I went with her.  And then dropped her.  I checked my watch at mile 1 and saw a 7:18.  Hmmm.  A bit fast but my breathing felt good and I just tried to keep my pace.   In the distance I saw the bogie girl Steve told me to keep up with (white coat) and another girl (blue coat) who flew off at the start.  It actually looked like I was gaining on them - slowly.  At 1.5 miles, I heard some jingling behind me (we were given bells to wear!) as someone was going to pass.  I saw red shoes - it was Boo Yah Tyler!  Man he looked good - strong, steady, and in complete control of his game.  I wanted to hang with him but that didn't seem to be an option for me.  He did, however, pull me closer to blue coat girl.  I pulled up on her shoulder and then she pulled away.  Darn it.  Unsuccessful pass.  I tried it again.  Nope not this time either.  We played cat and mouse like this until the final turn.  In the meantime, we passed bogie white coat!  As blue coat and I made the last turn to the final stretch I could see the finish banner and picked it up.  I finally passed blue coat!! 

My time?  22:37.  Yee Haw and a big Boo Yah - a new 5k PR!!  And this after running 12 miles on Saturday.  After putting on warm clothes we headed back to the finish line because Sonja had placed 2nd.  But then the WEIRDEST thing happened.  I heard my name on the loud speaker....I was 4th woman overall!!!  In a running race!!!!  I am just very excited - what a great morning!  

Me and Sonja drinking hot tea at the finish and trying to stay warm!  


Is  that not the coolest 4th place medal you've ever seen?  Oh and that is a snowflake on my check, not frostbite!

On a side note, I didn't actually descend my miles. I, in fact, ascended each mile. The first one was actually 7:05. Whoops. But I held on and will take a PR any day of the week. Bolder Boulder here I come!!


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

70.3

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here!

Isabelle and Michael decorating the tree.  We are finally getting the ornaments off the bottom branches!

Charlotte managed to hang 14 ornaments on the bottom branch.

Michael and I on a date night.  Clearly, it's been WAY too long since we were out alone..... 

So back to the title of this post.  The 2009 season is really starting to shape up, and I just signed up for my first race!  OK, my second race.....World's already demanded a nice $$ sum. But I'm doing a race and a distance I haven't done before.  70.3.  A half-Ironman and I am excited!  The location?  Kansas!!  

More details to come on next season although sadly it will not include what I was most excited about (Napa marathon).....

Monday, December 8, 2008

18

Saturday morning I woke up bright and early, well maybe not bright and I guess it wasn't all that early - 6:30 (sleeping in for me!),  to run 18 miles.  I had been dreading it just a bit all week, that run and the annual company holiday party Saturday night.  But I did want to run all 18 miles.  I still wasn't sure about the party.  My knee has been giving me just enough trouble to make me think twice about the distance and you never know what the weather is going to bring.  But Saturday morning was BEAUTIFUL.  A balmy 35 degrees to start, clear skies and no wind.  A perfect morning for a long run.  And my knee felt great.  I decided that Highline Canal would be the best place to put in the miles, a gorgeous trail that cuts through what I think is one of the nicest/prettiest parts of Denver.  Plus, it is completely flat and since it's an out and back, it has built-in bail outs if my knee decided to scream.    

I had put out only one or two invites for the run, and I really didn't try all that hard for company.  As much as I love running with all my buddies, every once in awhile I think it is good to just get out there by myself and do it on my own.  So that's what I did.  I also decided to run it based on heart rate and not worry about time.  Michael (awesome hubby) gave me the luxury of not having to shuttle kids around to ballet in the morning so I didn't have that extra time anxiety.  As I started out, I just relaxed and  I felt GREAT.  I also felt like I had to pull the reins in too - I wanted to go faster but I needed to stick with my heart rate to make sure I had a great run.  The miles just kept ticking by.  1.5, 3.5, 7.5 and it was time for the turnaround.  Now there were some challenges in the run:  1/2 mile pick-ups at miles 10, 12, 14 and 16.  First one was hard, second and third were even harder. Fourth not good.  But I did it.  And I never walked (OK, for 30 seconds after the fourth pick-up).  

As I started my last mile, and about the time I was starting to get tired of myself, I saw friend Noell!  I was soooo happy to see her, she was in the middle of her run and we stopped and chatted for a minute.  (OK, that counts as a walk too) And then I was done.  I had figured about 3 hours for the run, but I finished up at 2:47, average heart rate 149, and I felt strong at the end.  My pace never fell off and my pick-ups were pretty quick.  I saw coach/friend Andrea at the finish and walked with her for a bit and caught up.  So, all-in-all a fabulous morning!!  

And then the REAL fun began.  I got home, got showered, ate, and ran off to get my hair done for the party.  After all this, I had approximately 1/2 hour to get ready before the sitter showed up and we were off to downtown.  I have been so unenthusiastic about my company party this year, I suppose the markets may have put a damper on my mood.  But as always, the company puts on one helluva party and we ended up having a great time!!  The bad part?  Getting to bed at 1am......OOPS.  

So, the recap:
Best part of run:  Seeing Noell and Andrea
Second best part of run:  No time constraints (ILU Michael)
Third best part of run:  Knee held up pretty well!!!

Best part of party:  Re-writing and singing "White Christmas" with dinner table.  Words went something like this
I'm dreaming of a bull market
Just like the ones I used to know
Where technology stocks glisten
And Wall Street analysts listen
And IPO stocks (forgot the words, freakin' hilarious)
Second best part of party:  Recycling LAST year's dress by putting a cute sweater on it....nobody knew the difference!!!!  Look at me being thrifty!!  

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Masters part II

It's true, just a few short months ago I actually said that I loved the HR Masters program.  Clearly, I was delusional.  Or was I just that bored from all the alone swimming I had done in the prior five months that any type of group swimming interaction seemed wonderful?  Whatever it was, the feel-good endorphins have worn off and I am stuck with the reality that Masters is a Bitch.  

OK, I admit, HR Masters is a great program.  Very good coach that writes workouts that seem to go on forever but are rarely boring.  And very fast swimmers in the pool - like 3 lanes of quality, fast, talented swimmers.  It/They are kicking my booty.  I have begun to question my fitness every time I show up because I simply have to work HARD to keep up!  That's right, going anaerobic during warm-up.  That makes for a LONG practice.    

Granted, my fitness level should be a bit different now than when I first showed up in August.  I mean, this is technically the off-season right?  Ah yes, LSD in the pool (reminder: Long Slow Distance), I'm thinking nice long sets on a very reasonable and comfortable interval.  But not for the serious Masters swimmers.  Nope.  Their season is about to begin and their intensity is ramping up.  So I find myself in the middle of a brutal 4 x (5x100) set.  ICK.  The first set is breaststroke.  WTF?  I don't DO breaststroke, never have, never will.  And I have a woman in my lane who can actually kick breaststroke with a board faster than I can swim it.  Huh.  Next set, thank goodness, freestyle.  But did I see that interval correctly?  By the end of the workout I can barely lift my arms out of the water and am trying to figure out if breaststroker chick will be offended when I ask her to blow dry my hair for me.....

But here's the good news (I think).  I made all the intervals.  And I didn't take any extra time on the wall.  And I met one of the fast girls in my lane and maybe even made a new friend!!  And, Tyler and PIC Son were there so it was a great morning. 

Happy Training!!