Tuesday, March 31, 2009

This and That

Hello, you! Thanks for reading... Work has been really busy, but I notice that I am not as dog tired this year as I usually get. (could it beeeeeee.... Fitness?) I had a really great time at swimming last night and a few times I felt like I was really swimming, everything was easy and working correctly together. If I can string a few more of those moments together, then I'll be on to something. I really love swimming and wish I lived closer to the pool :( There is an open water swim clinic at the end of May that I am looking forward to. This is my big learning year, so I am taking advantage of all the tips I can.

I don't really love biking because I don't know much about it, but I think I will come to love it as I get more confident on the bike. The roads around here are rough and my bike is not nice, but I just think of all that as strength training. When I ride on good roads, I should fly, right? (crossing fingers)

Unrelated to triathlon, I got a saucy new haircut (think Catherine Zeta Jones in Chicago OR the German woman who worked with Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers movies).

GOOD LUCK to all New Orleans 70.3ers!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

New 5K PR!

I wrote a few weeks ago about chasing my PR from 10 years ago and the wisdom (or lack thereof) of trying to beat old times. Well, today I ran in a small, local 5K and had the race of my life! It was cold (40*F is cold for LA in April) with 15-17 mph winds that made it even colder. I warmed up for about 10 minutes and then we were off. My first mile time was 8:48 which is fast for me and that made me feel really confident because I still felt really good. There were lots of hills in the second and third mile that slowed me down a little bit. I also dropped my fuel belt bottle twice for some reason. There was no marker for mile 2, but when I turned into the last section, I knew the finish line was close and that I had my time beat. I crossed the line in 27:11, my fastest 5K ever! I could not believe it. I praised the Lord for having two working legs to run on and a supportive family who indulges my training habit.

The race was sponsored by a local company and many of their employees were there participating. I met lots of nice people, as always, and saw some friends. The race support was great for a small race and everyone had lots of fun. There were photographers all over the course, which I didn't expect for such a small race. I'm sure they got some great pictures of my wiping my nose!

This was my first race ever to place overall (second female). I knew that speed work make people faster, but I did not really believe it would make ME faster. If I can continue to improve my running, there's hope for anyone! If you are thinking about trying a 5K, I highly recommend a small, local race to get your feet wet.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Easy Week in the Big Easy

This week was an easy week for me and it came at a good time. I was lucky enough to get to attend a national conference for Science teachers in New Orleans. That meant four days of travel and eating GREAT food. Our hotel had a small gym so I was able to have a short run one day and to do my strength training one day. Other than that, I just enjoyed the conference. I got lots of great ideas to use in my classroom and am very excited about the rest of the school year. (But, I am always excited about school, that's why I'm a teacher...)

I had three dinners in NOLA and here is a quick review. (I am not a restaurant critic or chef, I just like good food.)

MULATES www.mulates.com This is cajun food, live zydeco band, cajun dancing, very good crab cakes.

CAFE DEGAS www.cafedegas.com This was the best meal I had there. My cousin is a local and took us there. French food, moderate prices, neighborhood feel. I have been to France and I don't remember the food being as good as it was here.

ROCK-N-SAKE www.rocknsake.com I love sushi and my friend had never tried it. She is a convert now! The sushi was good and the atmosphere is great. It's casual and the art is interesting.

Hopefully, my body took this break to build itself back a little stronger because I will be running a 5K next Saturday and I hope to PR. I feel pretty confident because on the treadmill at the hotel, I was doing intervals at around 8:30 pace and to beat my college time of 28:22, I don't need to run quite that fast. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Base 1 Training - Week 3

First of all, I am no expert and nothing I say should be paid any attention to. Consult your doctor before you begin an exercise program. Consult your mother when you want a babysitter. Consult your sister when you need someone to tell you if your butt looks big. Now that the disclaimers are out of the way, here is how my training is going...

Monday - This was an easy day - 30 minutes of strength training
Tuesday - 45 minutes of running speed work Just in case your forgot who you're dealing with here, speed is a relative term. For me it means sub-10 minute miles. 45 minutes easy spin on bike trainer.
Wednesday - 1 hour masters swim. People still nice. Felt smoother in the water this week.
Thursday - This is my really late day at work, so 1 hour strength training
Friday - Took off because it was raining and I had a date with my husband, who is lovely!
Saturday - I got up and ran 5 miles this morning and plan on a two hour bike ride this afternoon.
Sunday - The plan is 30 minutes of speed work and an hour of biking.

This is a heavy training week for me, but I feel really good. Next week will be an easy week, which is good because I am going out of town for work. At some point I need to build some quality miles on the bike on a good road, but I am not comfortable being on the highway by myself and live in a rural area where I have no bike buddies. Until then, I'll stick close to home on my little blacktop road.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Things I've Learned Recently

I have always thought it was sad that people spend their entire lives acquiring wisdom (hopefully) and then each generation has to learn it all over again, the hard way. Books help, but some things you just have to learn by experience, especially if you are a little headstrong. Here are some things that I have learned in the last two weeks, that you probably already knew.

1. Rest when you are tired. I knew this on an intellectual level, but on a personal level I never want to scrap a workout or put off some school work to go to bed early, but a few weeks ago life hit me like a ton of bricks (get it, it's a pun!) and I had to take it easy for a few days. Guess what, I felt great the next week. Lesson learned.

2. There is more to life than carbs. I am working with a sports nutritionist to get a little leaner and be as healthy as I can be. I don't love meat and knew I was not getting enough protein. I am allergic to wheat so I don't eat much junk food, but I really love carbs. Since working with her, my diet is much more balanced and I am recovering so much faster from hard workouts. Maybe I won't need lesson #1 so much anymore.

3. People at Master's Swimming are nice. I went for the first time on Monday. I had not been swimming with a group since college. I was nervous. The coach was nice, the other swimmers were nice, the cashier at Target was even nice when I went there with wet hair afterwards.