Tuesday, March 28, 2006
-"Check On It" - Beyonce & Slim Thug
-(Broke out my 'Design of a Decade' by Janet Jackson - the GOOD OLD DAYS!) "Escapade" - J. Jackson
-"Upside Down" - Jack Johnson
-"Mambo No. 5" - Lou Bega
-"Come On A My House" - Rosemary Clooney
-"Oh Marie" - Louis Prima
Chillin' with the ice on the knees tracks:
Have I mentioned how FABULOUS D'Angelo and Maxwell are? I completely forgot about these gems. God, they're so smooth and...chill. Great for stretching to.
Also, the Amelie soundtrack kicks BUTT for winding down.
Just thought I'd indulge in what's goin' on with the "Most Recently Played" list on my iPod.
Friday evening 3/24 - swam more of a light swim. Got in a little late because I had to finish some stuff at work so I didn't get into the pool until about 6:15 p.m. Still, it was great. I led some sets, and felt fresh.
Saturday, 3/25 - swam at 7 a.m. practice, 1:30 lane, since nobody for 1:25 was there (again). Turned out well, though. The sets were longer sets, and it was just easier to really focus on my swimming. They were 450's - first one broken up, then the other two were just straight 450's. Still, I felt good. Went to the 9:15 a.m. hour-long spinning class and THAT was a great workout. Great instructor (Neena), great tunes, and I felt like I also managed to keep my heartrate from getting out of control.
I had an appointment in the City at 1:30, so after spinning class, I went home and cleaned up (and hung up the DRENCHED sweaty clothes to dry!) and since the Bay Bridge was its usual Saturday afternoon mess, I opted for BART. Turned out well. I got off at Embarcadero, walked up Market to Stockton and through China Town to Northbeach, where I finally hopped on a bus out to the Marina. So, on top of all of the swimming and spinning, I got a fair amount of walking in as well.
Sunday, 3/26 - Met up with Lee at 7 a.m. in Santa Rosa for what turned out to be another 50+ mile ride! Hooray for that!! Managed to have an avg heartrate around 154 or something like that. One thing I'm really noticing as I track my heart rate is that my recovery times are awesome, so that makes me feel good. We had a fantastic ride, and I just LOVE Sonoma County rides. They really do rock. We did parts of the Vineman course, and Lee is going to take me on the full course a few times before the race so that I can get that down. The air was perfect, the ride was great - no complaints here.
Monday, 3/27 - Had a beautiful 6 mile run which I ran slowly - again maintained an avg heartrate of 155. Threw in a few tempo runs throughout, but mostly kept it slow and steady. Probably ran around a 10 minute mile. It felt good, though, and it was nice to feel like I could keep going.
Tuesday, 3/28 - Rest day.
Wednesday, 3/29 - Do a.m. Tunnel Road bike ride; 6 p.m. - swim
Thursday, 3/30 - A.M. - spin class then lift; 6 p.m. - swim
Friday 3/31 - Going to L.A. for a conference for work, but I'm planning on running Friday evening
Saturday, 4/1 - A.M. Run, maybe swim when I get home that evening?
Sunday, 4/2 - A.M. bike ride, maybe swim after that
Hooray for plans. There it is, in writing. I feel better.
Friday, March 24, 2006
I stood in the middle of my room and looked over at my bed. Unmade, but not too messy. The warm flannel sheets exposed with all of their softness, my grandmother's pink quilt still neatly covering the white down comforter, and my nice down pillow, still looking so fluffy and inviting - it was too much. My bed was practically begging me to come back, and as tired as I was, I thought "well, I'll just lie down for 5 or 10 minutes...couldn't hurt." *blank stare*
And so it went. The bed swallowed me whole yet again, and my workout went down the tubes as a result of the bed monster. Honestly though...I don't really mind. I LOVE my bed. The mattress, the pillows, the sheets, the view from my window, which is always just so enchanting (except when there's nothing but fog outside...but sometimes even that can be cool). I've put a picture I took last June, one morning before swimming when the moon was setting over San Francisco at 5:25 a.m. It was GORGEOUS!
So, whatever. I had plans to make dinner with my housemates yesterday evening so I couldn't amend anything by converting to an evening workout. I just chalked it up as a rest day. And you know, good for me. I mean, all day I was in a fog yesterday b/c I was still so exhausted from the day before. What is this saying? Too much too soon? PMS? Actually, the PMS thing is very real. I find the week before 'that time' I am so incredibly tired and it seems like I can never EVER get enough sleep. Some months are worse than others, but this just happens to be a particularly bad one. So, you just learn to roll with it and say "well, tomorrow's a new day."
I slept in this morning since I went to bed kind of late. Did a nice series of sit-ups. I'll go swimming this evening. Tomorrow - well, if it's raining, I was thinking of doing a swim/spin thing, and if I felt up to it, even just doing a short 10 minute cool-down jog after that spinning class. I'd almost prefer that b/c I really wanted to get 3 days of swimming in this week. Then I could go on a nice ride on Sunday.
I'm realizing that this whole process is really about me and discovering what I can do, but it's also about discovering my limits. Not that I'm one to place limits on myself. But I'm often apt to take on TOO much. If I'm doing so many other things, maybe I shouldn't hold such high expectations for triathlon so that I don't get too disappointed. I don't know. I like having goals, I like achievement. I just don't like being a perfectionist because you can't be perfect. I just don't like the intensity of this sport. Or, let me put it this way: if I have to feel exhausted all the time, I definitely don't want to do it. I don't want to be so disciplined that I can't ever go out with friends after work and have a late night. I don't want to eat, sleep, think, dream and live triathlon. My life encompasses so much more than that.
Just yesterday, I had this amazing moment. There seems to be one like this every day of my life. One of those moments where you just...smile from the inside out. You're glad to be in that spot at that time, you're grateful to be alive, you're grateful to be healthy, and you're just grateful for those little things that remind you how beautiful life is, and how every moment is important. I walked out of the BART station, and just as I pulled my BART ticket and began to walk toward the street, "Bolero" began to play on my iPod. My iPod is constantly on shuffle, so I never know what's coming. I looked up, and the sky above was this bright pink. I turned around toward the west to see what was one of the most breathtaking skies I've ever seen: various hues of pink, purple and orange, lit up like a neon sign. Clouds were mixtures of white and gray, lit up by the sky that they were in the midst of.
The combination of this beautiful song and this beautiful sky (with total silence around me - just the music and the sky) made me stop to take a moment to enjoy the sight, savor it and be grateful I could be in that space and time to cherish it.
Yeah, it's cheesy, but we all have our own 'moments' - that was one of mine.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Finally left my house at about 6:08 a.m., and was at the pool at 6:20. Workout technically starts at 6:15 a.m., but that's when the 10 minute warmup begins, and the actual written workout starts at 6:25 a.m. I had just enough time to change into my suit and get out to the pool deck. Upon walking out to the deck as I was putting my swim cap on, I noticed that the 1:25 lane was filled with people...but they happened to be the familiar faces of the 1:20 lane, not the 1:25 lane. I scanned the other lanes. "Hmmm...where is everybody?" I thought. I realized that nobody from the 1:25 lane was in attendance, and there happened to be about ten 1:20 people, so they split the lane up (since I had not yet arrived). Clearly, I was not about to swim 1:20, so I hopped in with 1:30. This turned out to be a good thing, because I had a difficult time even keeping up with them. My arms were KILLING ME. I mentioned this to Kevin, who had a great response: "Pain is the weakness leaving your body!!!!" Well if that's the case, there must be a whole bucket load of weakness leaving my body. Good lord.
I couldn't stand it anymore. We were doing a long set of 2000 yards, all freestyle, broken up into lines of 400 - i.e one line would be 100 + 200 + 100; the next would be 100 + 300; 3rd was 200 + 200; 4th was 300 + 100; 5th was 100 + 200 + 100. Oh my goodness my guinness. I had to put fins on halfway through. The arms were just not having it. Burning, fatigue, moving slowly even though you're moving as fast as you can - that's what it all felt like at the same time.
After workout, I rinsed off, got my bike clothes on, and headed out to conquer Tunnel Road. Tunnel Road winds its way up past the Claremont Hotel and goes up, up, up the hill above Hwy 24, and this morning I was able to look down and see all of the bottlenecking that goes on each morning as cars have to go from four lanes to two to get through the Caldecott Tunnel. I smiled and thought about how happy I was not to be in that. As I made my way up to where the climb really begins, I could feel my legs hating me and begging me to turn the bike around, go back down the hill to where I came from, and park the bike in front of Peet's coffee for a nice coffee break. As tempting as it sounded, I decided my legs needed to shut up and quit whining, and that I was on a mission. One guy started passing me as we made our way up to where Old Tunnel Road starts, and I thought "I can't have this. This is bullpuckey." Yeah, yeah, that's my competitive nature coming out. And I wonder how I got to win a race. Uh huh.
But as we got onto the road, I started spinning more and going faster than him, so I nodded and he said "have a good one!" (We had been conversing about the nice weather). I really love the Tunnel Road climb. There are few cars, the grade isn't bad, and it really is a good one for maintaining a certain heart rate and not getting totally exhausted. Did I mention the view yet? I found this picture on the web (link is here - crediting Dr. 'Skip' Morgan of Colorado who took the photo I've put to the right). Granted, this morning was kind of gray outside, but sometimes, it is just truly the most breathtaking sight you'll ever see. I feel so privileged to be able to see this on a regular basis. It is truly stunning. Here's what it's like on a nice day near sunset time: ------->
Once I was up atop Grizzly Peak, it was smooth riding from there. Lots of fast turns, lots of downhill, and I managed to maintain my speed through turns pretty well (still working on that), though I got stuck behind a car at one point.
The whole ride took about an hour and five minutes, and since I live on a hill, there was one last little uphill to conquer as I made a turn at the Rose Garden. My legs really hated me then. Still, I succeeded, and while I felt pretty tired, I also ended up being *really* happy that I got out of bed.
I must say, though, my body feels really tight and I think I should take a good 40 minutes tonight to do some serious stretching. Onward!
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
I'm trying to stay up on this stuff, but MAN! It is difficult to stay on top of things, even with short entries. Before I know it, practically a week has gone by and I haven't written a thing. Here's a recap of what's happened since last Friday:
Friday, 3/17: Swam at 6:15 a.m. in 1:25 lane. Had a pretty good workout, stayed in my intervals.
Saturday, 3/18: Met my dad for breakfast at 6:30 a.m. and ate a hearty breakfast of two pancakes and one egg, plus toast. That's a serious breafkast! However, I was really glad I ate all that food. Met up with my tri team at 8:30 a.m. for what I initially thought was going to be about a 40 mile ride. I thought wrong.
We finally got going over the GG Bridge about 8:45 a.m., and before I knew it, we were in Corte Madera/Larkspur discussing what the route would be. Some were doing Paradise Loop, which I thought would be good since it would amount to about 40 something miles. However, peer pressure is a beautiful and dangerous thing, and I became convinced that I ought to hang on with the rest and go out to Nicasio.
So...with the sun shining and the air crisp, how could I not agree to a longer ride? I also wanted to get to know the group a bit better, and it was a nice bunch of guys, so it seemed like the right thing to do.
I never once regretted my decision. Once you get through
Nicasio is a total cyclist watering hole. We pulled up and there were easily about 20-30 cyclists gathered in different groups, chatting about where their route might take them next, refueling, and taking a quick stretch break. By this time there were only six of us, and three decided to go on to Pt. Reyes and then back, which would add about 10-12 miles to the ride. I know my limits, and I knew I wasn't up for a ride like that at this early point in the season. I knew if I went any further, I might have a difficult time going back. I opted for this to be my halfway point, and Ken and Jim went along with this, too. I somehow managed to gather my second wind about 5 miles from Nicasio, and went back without too much trouble over the climbs.
The ride turned out to be about 57 miles total - the longest ride I've done in a long time! I'm pretty sure that hearty breakfast, along with a Power Bar throughout the ride, saved me. Still, as I said, no regrets. Gorgeous, not really painful (I wasn't even sore!), and it felt good to log some miles. Looking forward to the next one. Now - if you asked me if I was ready to run 13.1 miles after all of that, I'd probably stare at you like you were completely nuts. So I am clearly NOT ready for Vineman. Yet.
Sunday, 3/19: Rest day. Sort of. I stayed up until about 1 a.m. on Sat night getting some last-minute stuff finished for the SCAM meet that I've spent the last 6 months planning and organizing. Woke up at 5:15 a.m. to start the big day. The swim meet went off without a hitch, and I got a number of emails giving me kudos for a well-run and organized meet - talk about a nice feeling! Seeing all of my teammates out there swimming, volunteering, smiling, along with a lot of happy swimmers (some of them from far away!) - it just makes all of that craziness, those months of time-consuming planning all worth it. A lot of people thanked me, but really, to have a successful meet, it had to be a team effort, and it truly was. Go SCAM!!
Monday, 3/20: Definitely rested. Cooked a nice dinner - made edamame salad with Meyer Lemon Vinegarette and a Tilapia Filet. Was in bed by 9:15 and read for 15 minutes!
Tuesday, 3/21: Woke up at 5:30 a.m., go tto the gym by 6:10 a.m. and ran for 40 minutes. I tried keeping my heart rate in the 160 range, but it eventually crept up as I sped up. I can't help it! I know I shouldn't have sped up, but I just...arrrrrgh. I read over and over that the speed will come, but I feel like I ought to practice a LITTLE bit of interval training if I'm on the treadmill and not doing a super long run. The long runs are for going a bit slower, I think. I talked with my friend Eric at the swim meet on Sunday, and he's a distance runner, and quite an accomplished one at that. He's been at it for a long time, so I asked him if he had any quick tips for training for a half marathon. He said he does track runs during the week, and the slower long runs over the weekend. I think I'll keep that in mind as I continue to read and train.
After my run Christine and I lifted weights, focusing on biceps and triceps. I feel it!
So now...what's the plan for the rest of the week? Trying to figure that out.
Wed, 3/22: Ride bike to swim practice at 6:15 a.m.; Ride afterward up
Thursday, 3/23: 6:15 a.m. - spin and lift; 6 p.m. swim
Friday, 3/24: 6:15 a.m. - swim, followed by a 15 minute run
Saturday, 3/25: Provided it doesn't rain, a bike ride? Otherwise maybe spin class with swimming in there somewhere
Sunday, 3/26: Maybe swim and spin? Hard to say. I kind of want to play it by ear based on weather and what I can do outside.
My goal this week is really to get some good short runs in, with a lot of swimming. I feel like I've been slacking on that lately. I also need to get this cough checked out because it's not going away and it's starting to annoy me. I woke up at 12:30 a.m. this morning in a coughing fit. Really not cool, because I have a good feeling that's why I felt so sleepy today.
So, PHEW! That's that. I like writing out my plan. Keeps me accountable!
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
I could go swimming tonight, but Amber's birthday party is this evening. I thought at first that it was at 7 p.m., so I thought 'cool. Get back, go swimming, drive into the city and arrive at 8 p.m.' But I checked the eVite and it's at 6 p.m. Can't go swimming. Arrrrgh. Here's the week:
Monday: 6 p.m., swam 3000 yards
Tuesday: 6:15 a.m. - went to spinning class; lifted weights with Christine (chest and abs)
Wednesday: 6:45 a.m. - ran 32 minutes; avg heartrate 164, max 189 (lots of UP - went UP Spruce and UP Eunice!)
For the rest of the week:
Thursday: 6:00 a.m. - run with Christine, lift legs
6 p.m. - swim
Friday: 6 a.m. - bike ride
6 p.m. swim
Saturday: 8:30 a.m. - bike ride with Lombardi (if not raining)
maybe do some good stretching afterward?
Sunday: rest (and deal with the swim meet!!!)
Okay...I feel better now. There's a plan I can stick to.
Still trying to figure out though, why I keep oversleeping on the morning swims. I don't oversleep when I train with Christine. It could be a number of things, but I think part of it is that maybe I set my alarm a little too early so I know I can go back to sleep for a few minutes. If I set it a little later, then I know when it goes off I have to GET UP. Something to try...
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Anyway. I dog-sat Bailey, who is a great dog and we got along quite well. Still, with all of my traverses and then having a swim team meeting on Sat morning, followed by a staff retreat in SF from noon-3 p.m., and working at Monticello Vineyards on Sunday - working out took a back burner. I did get a lot of walking in, though.
What I noticed about working out last week was that I got an A for effort and an F for working out at an intensity that would be 'repeatable.' I was so dead anyway by Thursday. This could be combined with the fact that I had a board meeting on Monday evening, ended up going out to a wine tasting on Tuesday evening, and went out for a drink with one of my evening volunteers on Wednesday. I will say, however, that upon reflection, I actually did a nice job with discipline. Kept the drinking to a minimum AND was still in bed by 10 p.m. Go me!!
Getting back on the circuit after Sunday evening, I intended to swim Monday morning but it just didn't happen. These days, it is SO cold in the a.m. and my flannel sheets have this amazing ability to hold me hostage in their warmth and fuzziness. So, I swam about 3000 yards yesterday evening, stayed in the back of the lane and just tried to make the intervals without letting my heart rate get too high. Same thing for spinning this morning - never let my heart rate get above 180 and averaged 164, which is still too high but practically unavoidable in a class like that. I am sore from all the standing up we did, because I really try to isolate my legs when we do that. Lifted weights with Christine, and we focused on abs and chest. It was good. Made it to work on time.
So how do I feel? My shoulders are sore. My legs are sore. My back is slightly sore. Mostly from the swimming, I'm sure. I was good about making sure I had Accelerade throughout the workout and had a bite of something to eat (Clif makes Z Bars, which sell for $0.39 at TJ's - they're a great combo of carbs and protein and only 130 calories); had another bite of Z Bar after lifting, and ate the rest once I got to my car to drive to the carpool. So, we'll see how it all works.
I titled this "The great balancing act" because it truly is that. So difficult to get everything in sync and make sure you're resting enough, eating right, exercising right, etc. Great challenge, though.
One last note:
I put some new links up of some websites I occasionally visit. I subscribe to Active's newsletters and find them to be very helpful and resourceful, especially if you don't have time to read a ton of books on the subject. The final link is non-related but very worth checking out. We just got the book titled Mom's Cancer by Brian Fies here in the office. It began as a comic blog online as a way for him to cope with everything his mother was going through (lung cancer with brain metastasis), and simply through word-of-mouth, it became INCREDIBLY popular. I read the book yesterday and am so impressed by his representation of everything. It is a must-read, even for people who haven't been personally affected by cancer, because I think it so accurately depicts how cancer affects not just the patient, but the whole family itself. He's doing a book signing on Sat, March 25 at Cody's on 4th in Berkeley. I plan to be there!
Thursday, March 09, 2006
(photo at right is from 11/2/05 - Treasure Island Tri!)
So, here it is again...tri season is set to begin in just a few short weeks. I ended last season on such a positive note, taking second in my age group at the Treasure Island Triathlon (yup, ended up doing it) and having a personal best in my run. You would think that would propel me to be completely gung-ho about the next season...which I was...
Until I got sick. I mean, sicker than I'd been in a long time. Strep throat went untreated and my body absolutely refused to be up to the task of working out at any type of intensity beyond simply 'moving.' It started in December, just after Thanksgiving, when I just woke up one day and thought "mmhmm, definitely getting a cold. I think I'll not go swimming." But by the time the hour arrived for me to start getting ready for work, I still wasn't feeling so hot. In fact, I felt even worse. So I decided to stay home and sleep. Man oh man, did I sleep. I knew I must not be doing well if I slept nearly all day. Things sort of went downhill from there, though I did get to work a couple of days that week. Forced myself to go on a bike ride over the weekend, despite waking up with a sore throat that had all the icky white stuff at the back and ached so bad that swallowing proved difficult. Yeah, that bad. So yours truly (what a DORK!) forged ahead anyway, got my arse up at the crack of dawn to meet up with Lee and Matt in Santa Rosa by 7 a.m., and rode in 32 F weather. Smart, huh? Still went to work on Monday, though.
So began a month-long battle with fatigue and generally feeling 'sick.' I couldn't seem to get up in the mornings. I began telling everybody, "I FINALLY know what it's like to not be a morning person!" Getting out of bed was a battle, and midday coffee became the norm. Workouts were always tough, and I dropped back to the 1:30 lane at the pool, where even that lane felt difficult. At one point I wondered if I had mono, but there were no lingering fevers and the fatigue wasn't THAT horrible.
About four or five weeks later, though, I woke up one day and just felt 100% again. Just like that. I bounded into the office and everybody knew I was back! My energy returned and I was so happy. The interesting thing is that right before that time, during one of our post-ride coffees, I began to cough severely. I'm talking, cough-your-lung-up-and-can't-stop type hacking. But Lee had a cough too, so I was in good company and attributed a lot to the cold air outside. However, as I began to feel better, the cough seemed to stay...and stay...and up until a few days ago, not a day went by where I didn't have at least one good coughing fit, especially if somebody gave me a good belly laugh or I exercised outside.
Knocking on wood here, but I do believe it's finally passing.
So, with all that sick, my body had a lot of time to recover from the long grueling season I endured prior. My muscles didn't feel tight all of the time. I didn't feel stressed out about missing a workout. I wasn't worrying about whether or not taking a day off would cause me to lose valuable training time. That type of thinking sounds pretty sick to me, now that I reflect on it. But that's the way you're always thinking during the season. Always wondering about how you're going to fit in some extra hours. Mad at yourself if you oversleep. Giving up time with friends to work out or go to bed early.
With that realization, why not just not do it again? Because I tasted victory. It made me so unbelievably humble and proud to WIN. To go into a race with the ambition of just doing the best I could, to rely on all of my training efforts up to that point, and then to go out and KICK SOME BUTT feels pretty damn good. I want to compete again, but perform at an even higher level and be more knowledgeable than I was before. I don't want to overtrain this time. I don't want to start workouts feeling tired. I still don't necessarily need to win, considering I've aged up and am now in the super-competitive 25-29 age group. I just want to see some improvement in my training style, I want to be a better athlete, a better cyclist, and have a healthy attitude toward working out. I want to treat my body right. I don't want my life to revolve around triathlon; I want it to continue to be a hobby, not an obsession, which it can so easily become.
So those are my season goals. Well, one addition: I want to be a more involved member with the Lombardi Tri Team. It's a great group of people that I would like to get to know even better and race with. Last season was all about me, which is great, but I am finally beginning to feel like I can share some of it with my teammates. Some. :-) Still a lot about my personal growth and development, but it is nice to have others to swim in the bay with, or do an occasional track workout with.
It feels good to write out my goals. I can go back to them when I'm having a low moment. Remind myself about what this season is about. Who knows if there will be future seasons. Right now I'm choosing to focus on the task at hand. The short-term task is to get ready for Wildflower! 7 weeks away! I've begun base training and have had a pretty full week of training. I may need to scale some of my intensity back - the key here is being able to repeat workouts. I think I may use my blog more often this season as a way to record my workouts. So, if anybody still reads this, look forward to more frequent and less lengthy entries.
Happy Training to me!