Monday, January 26, 2009

January 19 - 25 Update

Weekly Update:

Tuesday 45 minutes non-stop pull w/ paddles
Thursday: 3300m
Sunday: 6000m non-stop (pulled 2k)

Monday: Computrainer 3 hours
Wednesday: Shadow Mountain (63 miles, lots of climbing)
Friday: Trainer easy spin 1 hr. 40 min
Saturday: 2 hour spin

Tuesday: 30 min. treadmill
Friday: 3.5 miles form work
Sunday: 4 miles comfortable pace

Weights/Abs x 2

OK, couple of nights very restless, woke up tired

Massage on Monday; NormaTec ("pants") on legs 30 min Wednesday

Good, positive. Struggled with wanting to ride the trainer Friday and Saturday but was able to suck it up.

Fought a cold through Friday but was feeling well by Saturday. Knee felt great the majority of the week, Sunday a bit sore.

Big bike week for me (12+ hours). Shadow Mountain in January felt great, not overly tired and wasn't sore the following day. I'm sure the "pants" helped.  4 miles on Sunday actually felt great after long swim, could've pushed pace a bit but just kept it "conversational".  

Key Workout Description:
Location:  Carmody Rec Center
Nutrition: 1/2 pb&j about 30 minutes before swim start
Weather: N/A.  Pool was good temp - not too cold.
Distance:  6,000 meter swim
Pace: 1:34/100m  

Comments:  Good effort in the pool.  May have started a bit fast as I was trying to keep up with lead girl but ended up passing her.  Felt like I maintained initial pace through 2k, did a "build" through next 1k pull, build each 1k after.  Had a headache starting at 2k, goggles may have caused it since I didn't notice it after getting out of the pool.  Stomach was OK during swim but never got very hungry afterwards, wasn't that enthusiastic about breakfast.  Very tired arms for last 2k.  

Sanity Check take 2

OK, 6000m on Sunday (see last post) was on the edge of crazy "I got your crazy".....but to follow up on a Monday morning with a Masters distance workout????  I definately got your crazy.  I like Coach Paul's sets as it feels like the big reveal.  You just don't know what's coming next.  So after a 2000y warm-up, he throws the main set up on the board.  I'm thinking to myself.....this could be bad.....and it was.  6x500.  Ouch.  1, 3, and 5 were long and stretched out.  #2 was broken at the 300 (300, 10 sec. rest, 200), #4 was broken at the 250.  #6: 200, 10 sec. rest, 200 10 sec. rest, 100.  And these were fast.  OUCH.  

11,000 over the course of 24 hours.

I am so happy I won't see the pool again until Friday.  

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sanity Check

I know that this may be hard to believe but I passed up a day of skiing Breck with my hubby and friends so go for a swim this morning.  And not just any swim, but the MOTHER of all swims (although the distance will increase next month).  6,000 meters.  Non-stop.  PHEW!  Which does lead to the question, "What in the hell is wrong with you?"  And, unfortunately, I do not have any answers.  

6k in the pool just kind of sounded like a good time.  OK, maybe I've been training too long. Up at 4:35am to drive 30 minutes to swim in a long course pool.  Fun?  But it was with my peeps - lots of the PC gang showed up.  And it was a new kind of swim challenge.  6k in one workout?  I haven't done that maybe ever (OK, it's been a long time but never non-stop).  

The biggest challenge is mental.  It is a long way to swim without a break.  Without looking at a clock (OK, I cheated on that one).  Without talking to anyone during a break.  Without taking any water.  Without kicking.  Without sets.  And, the counting.  You see, I can actually lose count during a 200.  Don't laugh, I just did it on mind wanders and all of a sudden I have no idea where I'm at.  That's the nice thing about swimming long course - counting is easier.  And fewer flip turns which really is something to be thankful for.  

So I first swam 2000, then pulled 1000.  Swam 1000.  Pulled 1000.  Finished up swimming the last 1000.  It's very interesting when you start to think "wow, I only have 2k left" but I suppose that is part of the reason to swim so far.  It sure makes a 1500 seem like a sprint, or a 3000 like child's play.  I managed to pace it the same as the 5000m last month (I did check the clock when I put my pull gear on/off) which felt good.  Although I felt much better during the 5k.....the last 10 minutes or so today I wasn't positive I was actually pulling any water and wasn't confident my arms were actually out of the water.  And then I was a bit worried because it didn't look like the life guards were paying any attention and was wondering who was going to come and get me on the bottom of the pool.  And there was the goggle problem - almost 9 hours later, I still have goggle eyes, and for awhile it seemed like my goggles were actually going to squeeze my brain out of my head through my ears.  (as you can tell, I had lots of time to think about these kinds of things while swimming forever....) Another problem I sometimes encounter in long swims you ask?  When the WRONG song comes playing in my head:  I had a great little playlist going on like Livin' on a Prayer (we're halfway there, yep started singing that about 3k in, and it's Isabelle's favorite song), Gettin Jiggy wit it (I was thinking about yesterday's Will Smith song in our spin group), and then out of nowhere AHHHHHH Madonna's If I Live to Tell.....OMG GET THAT OUT OF MY HEAD!!!!

Anyway, all told it was a great morning for the swimmers!!  Several folks completed 6k, others 5k, 4k, and a 3k in there too.  I'm pretty sure everyone felt great about the effort and especially
the breakfast after.  

Oh, apparently skiing was fabulous today and Whale's Tale was epic:)  Anyone want to sneak up this week???

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Is this really January?

Really, is it January?  In Colorado?  Not that I'm complaining or anything about 70 degree weather, it's just that my body is confused.  And my mind.  70 degrees?  January?  Those words don't usually go together here until maybe March.  So what did we do in January with 70 degree weather and relatively clear roads?  That's right, Princess (AKA Aloha Mahalo) was paroled from the trainer and went OUTSIDE.  A group of us (Sonja, Beth, Nicole, Steve, Andrea, Noell) went for an awesome January ride up Shadow Mountain.  Unbelievable.  All told, 5 hours of riding, 63 miles and only one encounter with a patch of ice.  Princess does not want to come back inside.  I have another ride scheduled for tomorrow but it looks like it will be snowing.  I do have a consolation prize....Robert Downey Jr.  No, he's not riding with me but will be on the TV as I watch Ironman.  I think Princess will be OK with that.  I know I am!  

Monday, January 19, 2009

January 12 - 18 Update

Weekly Update
Wed: 2500 meters
Fri:  Masters, 3700 yards, sprint day

Mon:  1:10 trainer

Tues: 10 miles conversational pace
Thurs:  9 miles conversational pace
Fri: 2.7 miles easy
Sat:  15.7 miles no speed some hills

Weights x 2
Abs x 3
Ski day Sunday

Pretty tired and starting to sleep better.  Feeling relatively rested when I wake up.

Was able to take a couple of power naps during the week which really seemed to help.  Didn't recover well from Friday swim but figured out it was due to nutritional needs (or lack thereof). Very tired after Saturday's run and legs were not recovered to ski on Sunday.

Generally good, positive, happy.  Cranky after Friday swim and Saturday run.

Feel like I am fighting the onset of a cold.  Took herbs at beginning of week and felt better but think it may be coming on again.

Record run mileage week for me - 37 miles!  Legs felt very tired after Saturday but also ran 3 days in a row without major knee pain, good news.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I started this post yesterday and it went something like this:  I feel great!  I've run 19 miles so far this week and my body and mind are on board.  I feel great! Blah, blah, blah.  And I figured I would just finish up the post in the morning after my swim......

Change of plans, here is how this post is going to go:  I feel like crap.  Crap.  Crap.  When I woke up at 4:35 for Masters swim this morning, I started questioning why I am getting up so early. Usually this is not a mind game for me but I suppose now that I am unemployed, 5:15am Masters seems like a silly idea.  Silly.  Isn't there a noon practice somewhere?  The good part about practice was that it was relatively empty this morning so I initially had the lane to myself.  Which was great until I dove in, took a stroke, and thought wow my arms are sore this is going to be a long swim.  But it was sprint day so I was "comforted" by the fact that we would have short sets.  And then Fast Girl #1 showed up and got in my lane.  Of course, I had to chase her.  Swimmers, start your engines....

My arms and I survived the 3700 yard swim.  I sat in the hot tub for a few minutes, I took my time taking a shower, and then looked at the protein bar in my bag and thought to myself, nah, I'll be home before long and have a real breakfast.  Oh, you'd think I would know better by now! I am clearly not that smart!  My car decided it needed breakfast before me so I made a stop at the gas station (for those of you at home playing the how many mistakes can Michelle make before 8am game, this would be #4). By the time I got home I was in a major food/calorie deficit and, that's right, BONKED.  I ate, but it was too late.  I just wanted to go back to bed.  I drank some coffee hoping that would shock me back into reality but it didn't help.  And, much to my dismay I checked my schedule and realized I had one more workout to go.  AHHHHHH, just an easy 30 minute jog but I was completely unmotivated and exhausted.

With a little help from Michael, I got going on the jog only comforted by the fact that the couch had my name on it for the afternoon.  And then, 12 minutes into the jog?  I felt better.  A little sweat, elevate the heart rate just a bit and all was well.      

Lesson learned.  Or lessons.  5:15 masters is silly.  Keeping up with Fast Girl #1 with sore arms, really silly.  Skipping protein bar after practice extraordinarily silly.  Fueling car before me? Well silly but I might not have made it home without the gas.  I can laugh about it now since I crashed on the couch for about an hour and my belly is full.  When will I learn?  Now, I just need to make sure I am hydrated for tomorrow's 15 mile run.  If all goes well, this will be a record run week for me:  36.5 miles total.  Yee haw!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Random Thoughts

It has been one week since I have left the full-time rat race called work.  And it has been an interesting are some random thoughts:

Laundry:  Are we kidding here?  I mean really, how do 4 people create so much laundry?  And, how did I not notice this before?  (uhhem thank you Michael) It is never ending.  If there isn't a load in the washer, there are 4 more waiting to go in.  And another 2 waiting to be folded.  My life before me is in a laundry basket.

Schedule:  Clearly a schedule is a necessity for me.  It has helped me get through this first week and it is helping me adapt to my new lifestyle.  Without a schedule I find myself in a state of panic:  What do I do now?  What am I supposed to be doing?  More laundry?  Bake cookies? Sit on my ass and watch Oprah? (Side note: I have not yet watched Oprah)

Gym:  I have already figured out that the gym is packed between the hours of 9 - 11 and I should avoid it at all costs if I want to keep my sanity.  It seems that this is the hour that ladies arrive to the gym to workout with makeup on.  And their hair done.  In matching outfits.  And nobody actually sweats.  This is not me.  I sweat profusely and I will neither admit nor deny that I may or may not have missed a shower. Or 2.  And I haven't worn makeup or jewelry in the last week.  I clearly don't fit in with this crowd.  

Food:  As a working girl I had my eating habits down.  Breakfast around 8.  Snack at 10:30.  Lunch at 12:00.  Snack at 3.  Dinner when I got home.  Easy.  Now I don't know when or what to eat.  I am very confused.  I find myself starving at 1:00 only to realize I have consumed maybe 300 calories.  And worked out.  And sweated profusely (see last point).  I didn't realized this was going to be a struggle.  

Snow:  Wow.  I had no idea shoveling snow was so tough.  Monday morning we woke up to one heck of a snow and so I started shoveling as soon as the sun came out.  I immediately felt something strain in my side (note:  work obliques) and within 10 minutes knew I was going to be sore!  From shoveling.  This housework stuff is brutal.  

Workouts:  It is an absolute pleasure to not rush through a workout and skip something because I don't have the time.  StevieP has revamped my schedule and it is kind of exciting! Longer workouts, although not by that much.  Sometimes 2 in one day with a recovery in between.  Very cool. 

Wine:  Yes.  More please.  And how early is too early?  Can you mix wine with laundry?

Cooking:  Planning meals.  Grocery shopping the same day I decide to make something.  I forgot how much I like to cook.  This has been a great re-discovery....potato soup tonight. Chicken and rice casserole (with jalapenos!) tomorrow night.  The girls have requested nachos. I am so into this!  

So, my last week has been interesting to say the least.  But I'm getting the hang of it.  And some pretty exciting things may be happening on the new career front too.  As one of my friends said over the weekend, it's time to find my flower shop!

Thursday, January 8, 2009


For almost the past 48 hours, I have been contemplating my new status.  Laid off.  Laid.  Off.  As in unemployed for the first time in six years.  Not working.  Laid off.  It's a bit mind boggling and I even feel unsteady on my own two feet.  Laid off.  Huh.  It's quite a shock to the ol' mind set but I'm starting to smile a little and even got a few laughs in this morning courtesy of Steve-O.  It is so easy to let the mind wander, the woulda coulda shoulda's.  But in the end it really doesn't matter why.  It just is.  I am no longer employed.  I think I will soon be able to jump up and down with excitement and celebrate.  But I am just going with the flow.  Dropping my kids off, picking them up.  Planning and cooking dinners.  Sleeping in (assuming I'll start sleeping again soon).  And, of course, getting in my workouts.  Which are no longer rushed, another strange feeling.  Time is no longer a limiting factor.  

I am doing my best to not look in the rear view mirror but am focusing instead on the future. It's only been 48 hours so I will allow myself the occasional panic moment but not for very much longer.  Michael has been hugely supportive and I think he is excited for what this may mean for our relationship and our family.  As anyone who is part of a 2 working spouse family knows, it is an incredibly difficult lifestyle to lead.  We have even had conversations over the last month about me phasing to a part-time position.  All this does is speed up the timetable.  My choice to be unemployed?  No.  Something I wanted?  To be honest, yes.  Do I wish it happened on my terms?  Of course.  But it didn't and I am getting OK with that.  

So the question I now get to address is:  What do I want to be when I grow up?  For this next phase of my life? Everyone always talks about pursuing what you love in life and everything will fall into place.  What do I love?  That's easy:  training, mentoring, and racing.   So if you need a training buddy, give me a call (PIC that means you).  If you are looking for a mentor/coach, drop me an email. Race season is almost here:)  

I'm trading in my high heels for running shoes.  My work wardrobe will now consist of training gear.  This could be fun.  

Here's to my re-focus on my existing status:  

Oh the possibilities.  

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year!

Whew, what a week it has been! In between work and workouts, there was an Australia planning dinner, a New Year's celebration with the kiddos, and another party tonight. I think I may be partied more cookies, rich food and wine. Detox begins tomorrow!

Highlight of the week?  Getting my swim in yesterday afternoon.  I know, it is a strange highlight but I was not motivated and I was short on time.  On a Friday afternoon, all I want to do is go home and relax.  Normally, I get my swims done in the morning but with Michael and Isabelle in the mountains, I didn't have that option.  So all afternoon at work, I kept debating:  blow off the swim or get it done.  I was leaning towards blowing it off and then I had a moment of clarity.  My first workout of 2009 was not going to be chalked up to being lazy and not getting it done.  So I drove to the gym, got on my suit, and proceeded to have a great 45 minute straight swim.  I know there will be many other challenges this year to getting my workouts in but am happy to report to getting it done.    

Another highlight of the week?  I signed up for some races!!  This year I have a races in Vegas (I love the "reward" part of this race), possibly Utah, Kansas (yep, my first half Ironman), Alabama, and Australia.  I will also run the Bolder Boulder, a race I have never run so I am very excited about that one.  There will also be a couple of local races:  Loveland Lake to Lake and Boulder Peak and maybe one other.  So 2009 is coming together....

My girlies on New Year's Eve: Anita, Lesa, and me

The kid's table on New Year's (sparkling cider peeps!)

Dave is very excited about his new sushi knife

A big thanks to Anthony for organizing an informational dinner with Dave, an Australian he works with, his wife Shandra, and Dave's parents who were visiting from Brisbane.  They were full of great information and detail and I came away from the dinner VERY excited about our upcoming trip.  I know it is 9 months away, but we're going to AUSTRALIA!!  

The group at dinner

Michael, me, Andrea, John

Happy New Year!!