Tuesday, February 18, 2014
This post was inspired by this post courtesy of the awkward happenings of Ty @ TyRunMan
-At YMCA C, I always use a half locker. When I was there for the indoor tri the other week, I had more stuff than normal. After the 10 minute swim, we had a 10 minute transition time to change out of our swimsuits. 10 minutes is a good chunk of time, but its not enough to lollygag in the locker room. I didn’t want my wet swimsuits to get the rest of my stuff wet, so I found a top half locker open close to mine and threw them in there and went to the spin studio. When my ½ hour on the bike, and 20 mins on the treadmill was done, I made my way back to the locker room to collect my things. When I got to my spot, there was an employee mopping the area and muttering about people leaving their wet swim suits in the lockers and that they drip water all over the floor. I open my locker and act nonchalant about it, nodding at the end of every sentence or so that she’s going on. But then she starts opening lockers to see where the water is coming from and finds my swimsuits. She makes a comment “and they’ll probably never comes back for these either!”. Now, I have a REALLY bad poker face, so any normal person would be able to tell that those were mine, but she just kept on rolling. She put them on the bench and I knew she was going to walk out with them after she was done mopping, which was imminent, so I said “uh, actually….those are mine”.
And I told her the reason I had put them in there, etc. So she sits down on the bench, next to my wet swimsuits, and has a full 5 minute conversation with me about the triathlon and triathlons in general. I had everything packed up and was walking out the door of the locker room when she calls out to me – HEY! GREAT WORKOUT TODAY!!! Haha, uh, thanks lady that I just met who wanted to strangle me 5 minutes before!
-I give blood about every 8 weeks or so. I think its really important because if I were to need blood in an emergency situation, I would definitely want it! Luckily, the “bloodmobile” shows up at our workplace once every 8 weeks so I can give blood, have cookies for breakfast, then saunter in to work a little bit late. My iron levels are usually my only issue and as long as I eat spinach and some red meat in the days before I give blood, I usually have a flawless experience. Until Tuesday. I filled out the survey and sat down to do my little iron level finger prick, blood pressure, and temperature. My iron level was 12.8! (has to be 12.5) and the lady put the blood pressure cuff on my and started that machine going and went to put the thermometer in my mouth. She did, but it just hit me in the back of the mouth really funny and I fought the urge to cough so hard, but I did end up taking it out of my mouth and coughing. Then she was all up in my grill and asked me at least 5 times “Are you SURE you don’t have a cold?!?”. Yeah, lady, I’m sure you just jammed that in the back of my mouth weird! But this whole time I’m coughing and responding to her, the blood pressure machine is still going! Then I start laughing because that has to be such a crazy blood pressure reading. She had me do my temperature again – I got to hold the thermometer this time! And I asked if I could do the blood pressure again because I KNEW it said something crazy. She said I didn’t have to do the blood pressure part again, that it was fine. Well, I looked at what she wrote on the paper – 166/93!!!!! Then I was sort of mad because when I log on to the website next and it shows your blood pressure stats from the past year of giving blood, it’s going to show my blood pressure going down every time – and spiking up this time.
I should have taken that as a sign that today was not my day to give blood! So the phlebotomist was a younger than the rest and I did my usual, stare off into space while she's doing the thing w/her needle. And this time, it hurt while going in, never a good sign! So I’m sitting there, squeezing the little thing and the machine starts beeping a few minutes later. I’m usually fast at filling the bag, so I thought I was done. Nope, whatever she did, my blood was starting to clot and I wasn’t filling the bag. So that scenario happened about 3 times and 3 different people came over to “help” reposition the needle/my arm/whatever they could do. I don’t think they even got a pint out of me. At least I got cookies after that! And an ice pack. And now a nice bruise…
-I was really happy that they changed one of our swim practices for our tri group to 6am instead of 7am (I have to be at work at 8). That means I get 2 swim practices a week! Yay! So I go this morning (about 5 minutes late…) and I get to the front door, which is an automatic opening door. But it doesn’t open. So I do my best not to run into it and see a little sign that basically says “sorry our door is broken, we have called someone about it”. But it doesn’t say what to do/where to go. When they were re-doing the from doors over the summer they had us go in the gym door, but that didn’t look promising either/no sign. So I walk back over the front door and stare at it for a second and then this guy (thankfully!) comes out and pries the doors apart, we trade places and then he closes them. I said “soooo…you just have to ‘superman’ it?!?” and he gave a chuckle at my socially awkward comment. Then there was no one at the front desk, so I swiped my own card and walked in the “out” door. I was so weirded out by that experience that I forgot a towel and later had to walk back into the hallway to get one in my wet swimsuit. What a morning!
All in all...still not as crazy as Ty having a human obstacle in the pool the other week!
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Running: In my last post, I said I had started half marathon training. This is still ongoing, but I'm not following the training plan to a "t". The first 4 weeks was on one physical page (and I was doing the modified plan) and then the one the second page, apparently the modified plan merges with the full plan. This meant jumping straight from 6 mile long run to 8, then to 10 with midweek tempo and even speed runs being at least/around 5 miles. I'm a slow runner - my speed runs are at 4.5 on the treadmill! Those take me over an hour.
Even Tri Coach Jeff said he thought the plan was "aggressive" and that if I feel like doing my long run at 7 miles instead of 8, then to go for it. Duh, I want to do less mileage! The training plan has us running 3 times a week (speedwork, tempo, and long run) and then cross training 3 days. I've been running my required 3 and, depending on the week, cross training 2 or 3 days, whichever I feel like.
I've kept the long run and the speedwork mostly according to the plan, but tempo I have had to make my own and I use it as a time to run a certain distance/time frame without stopping. I still haven't done a 5k without walking, so I'm working up to that and I think I'm pretty close. Last week I ran 1/2 hour without stopping TWICE. Once on the treadmill and once on the indoor track, the latter was 2.75 miles w/o stopping. Math is a lot harder when you are exercising (my excuse!) and I would have done 3 more laps (1/8 mile track) to get a 5k in if I had realized I had been so close.
Basically, my legs are tired most of the time.
Swimming: Ah, my love! I had only been able to go to one of the two practices that my tri team has each week because of work, but they move the second one to 6am on thursdays, so I will be able to go. It is early, but misery loves company, especially in the pool :) On my birthday swim that I did, I did a timed set where I did some 200s on 3:30. I didn't make a single one. Last week we got snow in the evening, so I did my swimming in the morning and was making the 200s on 3:20 and getting plenty of rest. Was it a fluke or did I get faster? I don't know, but I like the trend. I talked to Tri Coach Ellen (swim coach) and she said she would be interested in doing open water races this summer too. She's faster than me at the point, but we are in different age groups. It would be a nice friendly competition!
Biking: They say biking muscles are complementary to to running muscles. Which means I should do more biking. I really don't have an excuse. My bike/trainer is in my room. If i look up from my computer, I see it! I finally was able to make it to a Sunday afternoon bike trainer group ride and when I walked in (late) I was met with cheers. That's embarrassing to know that you haven't been there in so long that everyone cheers when they see you. ha. Of course I set everything up and get riding and they are like "uh, what's wrong with your bike..it shouldn't be making that noise". My bike trainer is apparently not supposed to make that noise, but I had only ever ridden it alone, so I didn't know the difference. Good thing it has a lifetime warranty! Tri Coach Jeff is awesome, so he put my bike on his trainer and he grabbed a spin bike from the adjacent room. I only got in like a half hour ride, but my hammies are so sore! Should have stretched....bad Melissa!
Triathlon: We did our indoor tri on Feb 1. I was tired from my long run 2 days before! And running late. I jumped in the pool, got my cap/goggles on and then they said go! This triathlon is for time, not distance. I did 625 yards in 10 minutes. Slower than I wanted to go, but I was tired by 150 yards! Basically, we did that in practice in December and i got the same distance. Oops! We did a half hour on the spin bikes and I think I got around 13...they said it was miles but personally I think its kilometers. That would make more sense. Then for 20 minutes on the treadmill I got 1.48 miles. I think I was too conservative for the first 15 minutes! haha I never really push it going fast on the treadmill and got up to 5.7, which was doable for a short while, but very fast for me. The good news is that I saw improvements in all areas versus my distances last year. A quarter mile farther on the treadmill alone!
Food: I need to write up my review of Diet to Go that I did in January! I won 5 days of food from Double Chin Diary and the results were great!
I'm currently doing Advo*care's 24 dayy challenge, which is okay. I learned a lot in the first 10 days (cleanse) about my food portions and my food urges (wanting rewards). Now I'm just kind of bored, but will stick it out till the end. But seeing the scale go down is a nice effect as well.
PS I'm cheap and would probably never do these two things on my own. I won the first thing (as stated) and then a friend bought my the second as a birthday present.
2014 is great so far...minus the 2 times I've had to get my car repaired :) haha
Monday, January 20, 2014
January, January. The year started off with a 5k! It was supposed to be an event where you ran a 5k, got a medal, and then could get an extra medal for jumping in the lake, but apparently they nixed that. I 100% would have done it, but I'm not going to say I didn't feel relieved. My time was 41:08. I was going to stick to my plan to run the first mile, then walk. Well, they didn't have mile markers, only kilometer markers and I ended up running till the turnaround point.
My friend Laura from the bible study/running group that I attended in the fall did the race too and bless her heart she ran with me. When I stopped to walk, she went on ahead and as I was nearing what would have been the 3 mile mark, I saw her jogging back my way. I totally thought she had finished and then just come back as a friendly jog, but she went to the finish, turned around and came back to run it in with me. Super sweet and unnecessary, but I did appreciate it. Fairly certain that was her slowest 5K/however far she ran ever. (That was my second fastest time...first 5K that I had not PRed!). Honestly, my goal was to not to have any bowel emergencies while running. Check!
My tri group had a break over the Christmas/New Year holidays and only had informal gatherings. As YMCA "D" was completed in August, I took it upon myself to set up a little weight lifting routine. I would run/walk on the treadmill for about half an hour and then lift weights. It was a little intimidating at first, but I feel no shame in asking for help or demonstrations from the staff! Because the walls are mirrored and I would rather look at myself than make awkward eye contact with people, I was examining my body and came to this conclusion: chubby, but strong. I don't even like the word chubby (sounds like we're in middle school), but that's what came to mind. Happy with my progress!
My bike had a bolt missing on the crank arm (major uh-oh!) and I went to get it fixed the day before the snow storm/polar vortex. They said they didn't have the part and would have to order it and that my bike was pretty unsafe (on the trainer) without the bolt. Sullenly, I went to swim (which made it a little better!) and when I got home, I had a voicemail that they had actually found the correct bolt instore, installed it, and that I could come pick it up. I was so very thankful! I got in several bike trainer rides while snowed in and I know I wouldn't have lifted a finger to exercise otherwise. Plus, they only charged me for the price of the bolt...$6.75. AND the mechanic put on a spare tire on the back so my red/black one wouldn't get worn down. I was thinking about trying to change it myself, so I'm glad I had an excuse to take it in and have them do it. Pretty sure I learned my lesson about the bike shop - if the manager is not there, the bike mechanics will not charge me labor/tire change fees. And this particular one is not bad looking - always a bonus!
As my tri group is gearing up/changing things this year, there are a lot more opportunities for running. I've never really felt one way or another about running (other than "running is the worst!" when in the midst of the first mile). Tri Coach Jeff emailed us a few weeks ago and said that YMCA "C", where my tri group is based out of, was offering the half marathon training program to tri group members for free. It is usually $85, so I decided to check out the information session. The program is lead by an older gentleman named Cecil (love it!). Cecil told us his story. He used to be 220 pounds, got a YMCA membership for his kids, they didn't go, but he did. He started walking, then running and now he is super speedy and runs Boston every year. Sounds simple, but when he was telling us his story I was like "let's get out of here and go run RIGHT NOW". Inspiring!
The group is training for a specific half marathon in May. I got worried looking at the schedule, which is only running 3 days a week (cross training 3 more). I was so proud of myself for running over 2 miles at YMCA "D" before weight training. The runs in the very first week were all 3 plus. We all know I can't run a 5K. I laid out all my concerns in an email to Cecil and told him I wasn't running the half marathon, but I would give this training thing a shot. He was cool with it.
I did my "long run" of 4 miles last Friday, which was the longest I have run/walked unless you count the half marathon/1 training run I did in the fall. Today, I was supposed to do a treadmill run. Warm up, 3 miles at mid tempo pace, cool down. I wanted to run as much as I could of that 3 miles, but my mind could not get wrapped around the time it would take to do that on the treadmill/boredom I would encounter. I went back to where I did my long run - my local rec center (not YMCA) that has the free indoor track that is 1/8 of a mile. I didn't pay too much attention to my pace, but I can tell you that I walked a warm up lap, ran 12 laps (1.5 miles), walked 2 laps (0.25 miles), then ran 10 laps (1.25 miles), and cooled down with walking 2 laps (0.25 miles).
Holy cow I was so proud of myself! I mean, I've been able to run 1-1.5 miles without stopping before, but never the distance that I did after a walk break. Those 10 laps that I did after the walk break were hard. My legs felt fine, my hip was achy, my diaphragm/lungs were angry, but I freaking did it! The whole thing took me about 46 minutes, which was actually my first 5k time. If I'm ever feeling down about where I am currently, I know I can look back and see the progress I've made. And that my friends, is priceless.