Sunday, June 29, 2014

Week 8 and 9 training for Pigman 70.3

I meant to post on week 8 training on my way to Myrtle Beach, but never got around to it. So here is one post for two weeks if training. Week 8 Total- 75.54 miles Swim- 1.74 miles Bike- 63 miles Run- 10.8 miles I had planned to be heavy on biking miles because I wouldn't be biking my week at the beach. I accomplished that. I would've or should've gotten in another run but I chose a birthday party, and writing group instead of fitting that extra run in among packing for vacation. Week 9 Total - 28.28 miles Swim- 1.53 miles Bike- 0 Run- 26.75 miles My goal was to run 4 times and swim four times. I made the run goal and am happy with the miles I covered in the SC heat and humidity. I only swam twice though. The first day I felt pretty good in the open water of the Atlantic Ocean in my wet suit. The second day we went much farther and we turned around to head back to where we came from it was so crazy. I felt like I was caught in a washing machine tumbling and fumbling, taking in salt water, gagging and being challenged with the inability of my goggles to stay appropriately sealed. Salt water on the eyeballs is harsh. I even tried to just close my eyes and swim in the dark but then I really felt like I was in the drum of a dark washing machine. After that day I just had no desire to tackle it again. So the next day I just said no and the fourth day I was physically expired due to the 12 miler in the heat. So as I travel back home today I look at this week 10 of training- two swims, 3 bikes and 3 runs. That is my goal. Likely toughest week yet- 50 miler bike and 13 mile run plus all the other minor runs,bikes and swims:). Oh and just because I need it going to do the 30 day core challenge from "eat,drink and be skiny". Need this! Onward to week 10.

Friday, June 27, 2014

What if you loved everyone as one of your family...

PartII-the finished product
I'm trying to be all smart and get a post written while driving back from vacation. Unfortunately having technical difficulties and the below got posted unfinished and without edits and iPhone technology just doesn't want to cooperate- so like me- I think is this a sign? Should I not be posting this post or is it ready as is?  Well I will finish but once in back in touch with proper technology. Sorry draft two will be coming. 

For some the title above may be hard to understand or agree with because not everyone loves their family members. I have been raised by parents who have instilled in me a love for our family. We aren't a perfect family and don't always get a long but we always love each other. My sister and I are best friends and talk almost daily. Despite living states away from each other we find time to be together in person almost every other month if not monthly. I talk to my parents frequently too and see them about once a month or sooner.
My love and closeness extends past my immediate family. I'm close with my in-laws and feel blessed to have extended pair of parents. Besides my in-laws comes my extended family:grandparents,aunts,uncles and cousins. Despite living states away from my one set of grandparents I grew up knowing them as well as the ones who just lived a 15" drive from my childhood home. The local set of grandparents watched my sister and I growing up and we celebrated many special occasions/holidays together. Again don't get me wrong we weren't "the Walton's", but despite differences and the drama that comes with all families we love each other.
So lately I've been thinking about my faith,religion, and what I believe in. How does this tie into my lov for my family? Well my religion or faith means to me an all inclusive welcoming to anyone, everywhere, who believes in "loving thy neighbor as thyself" and not passing judgement. I'm not saying I am able to practice these two beliefs/actions,but is something I'm trying to instill in my life and my kids' lives.
So what happens when you meet someone who doesn't have the same beliefs or definition of faith or religion? What happens when I meet someone who reads the Bible literally, other than my poor attempt at reading the Bible as a sort of historical fiction or storytelling? Or when someone tells me so and so won't go to heaven because they don't believe in Jesus, but I think some of these non-believers are the most giving, generous, thoughtful people I know- far more than my Christian/Jesus believing self. I struggle with those that state these are going below and mot above. So am I doing the right thing by attending church, raising my children in the church meanwhile asking all the above questions?
All these doubts and questions took me to setting up a coffee talk with our interim pastor. He has been with our church for a year due to illness and eventually death of our head pastor. His sermons and views on Christianity have taught me something or made me reflect on my faith. So I sat down and asked some of my many questions. His initial response made me feel quite not so crazy. He stated that I wasn't falling away from the church or doubting my religion, but acknowledgement that I wanted to go to the next level with my faith. My comments about never having read through the whole Bible and disliking the way in which some people try to enforce their interpretations of the Bible on others were also not strange thoughts or feelings to have- again I'm not a heathen. He felt I was just able to verbalize what others felt about the Bible. I didn't write down all his great comments, but a few of them I did were:
"Love wins" "love your neighbor as thyself" is what faith gives us. Also not judging and passing judgement- it isn't our job but God's. To help me with my concerns about some Christians commenting about those who will and won't get into heaven he said it is not our decisions to be made. (Basically I need not worry myself with it because it is in God's hands). He also suggested the next couple books to help me further discover my faith and possibly answer some of my questions: "We make the road by walking" by Brian McLaren and also "Why did Jesus, Moses, the Buda and Mohammed cross the road". "Pastrix: the cranky, beautiful faith of a sinner and saint" by Nadia Bolz-Weber.
I left that meeting feeling at least comforted by the thought that I wasn't losing my faith by asking these questions. At the end he suggested trying to understand the Bible better by discussing with others and not read it literally, but as if having a "conversation with God"(love that line). He suggested asking to start a "how to read and understand the Bible" group- I know just another thing to add to my "to do" list.
Then a few days later I was at church circle. We were reading about Mary and Elizabeth visiting with each other when pregnant with Jesus and John the Baptist. I really didn't know this story very well or much about Elizabeth so I learned and my church circle members answered my questions. One of the ladies stated " I don't get caught up in all the details when reading the Bible - like how old Elizabeth was when becoming pregnant". I liked that- don't get caught up in the details. Another member again answered my question about who is going to get into heaven... "I don't worry it's in God's hands"- again reminder of not our place to judge and those that think they are certain who will and won't get to heaven really aren't any more knowledgeable than I am on the subject.
Then my last "Aha" moment came with my writing group. We had our writing discussion, exercises, and reading review of our works. Then I asked them some of my "faith questions". The other two ladies at group that night bring to the table knowledge about faith. One is heading off to seminary this fall and the other is head of the "prayer group" at her large church. My friends' words of wisdom and answers were helpful in clearing my "fog on faith". My friend's comments on praying was really helpful. You are thinking of others when praying. You are not being selfish;you are putting others first. I think praying for others helps you see how good you have it. ( all a paraphrase due to not taking accurate notes during discussion).
So all of these experiences occurred in less than a week. I thought it was not just coincidental all these conversations occurring within the same week. I was asking the right questions of the right people. So I went to the library after my coffee talk with pastors and checked out "Pastrix". I will continue to have questions and look to those who can answer them for me.
What does all this babbling have to do with the title of this post. Well if I can forgive and forget some of my family's quirks and my own can't I do the same four those that aren't family- love thy neighbor as thyself. -----
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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Hardest training session to date for 70.3

I left around 8 am. I could feel the heat the minute I left the air conditioned resort. Earlier in the week one of my three water bottles from my hydration belt fell and broke while I was running so going into today I knew I would need to stop and fill up my bottles during run.

I'm currently listening to "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed. This is our book club book for July and since I've already read it decided to listen to it during my long runs. Well I ran for about 5 miles before I realized,sadly, that all the tracks hadn't been uploaded to my iPod and so I could either skip from part 3 to go to part 5 or listen to something else. I had made a Myrtle Beach playlist (I know my playlist titles are so original) and pushed play. It got me going again and I made it to my first water stop (mi 5). I went in and purchased a Gatorade. Went up to pay for it and was standing behind this guy who was paying for his muffin and coffee. His cell phone started ringing and he had to answer it. He pulled it out of his pocket and opened it and in the process managed to spill the coffee all over the floor. Do you think he batted an eye or told his caller "I'll call you back I just made a huge mess". You guessed it -nope. He continued talking while "Jennifer" the Kangaroo gas station attendant cleaned up after him. Meanwhile two other workers came out and they helped her clean up while she let me pay for my drink at another register. I was so infuriated by this man. He never said sorry,but remained on his phone the whole time. I left and gave "Jennifer" a nod of utter annoyance about this rude man. Side note- when stopping at water stops or if stopping to cross street at cross walks I will pause my Nike Tom Tom- GPS watch- so I was out there for longer than my watch above notes- that time is running time. I do however let the time run IC walking and refueling with Gu.

Ok. Back out into the heat I continued on for another 6 miles until stopping again for another water fill up. I had just one more mile to go. I ended my run at the McDonald's where I again filled my water up and then purchased a large diet coke- I love fountain drinks!

Besides my two water breaks I also walked while I took Gu in at two separate times in my run. I'm liking the Salted Carmel Gu with the Yeti on the front. I also realize I need to refuel throughout or else I will "bonk" hard. I felt much better after both these Gu breaks along with two water/Gatorade breaks.

This was not a fast run,but sometimes just getting the miles done is all I need to feel like I accomplished something major or as my son would say "epic".

I've been told Pigman Long-70.3 is tough for the run because there is no cover and you are running mid day mid August. Finishing this run today was a great way to get prepared for what lies ahead.

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Week 7 training for Pigman 70.3

The summer is flying by and I really feel like all time is accounted for now until August 19th, when the kids go back to school.  I feel the same for my summer of training.  I'm at week 8 of my training schedule and looking forward to how to get it all done this week, but I'm getting ahead of myself and need to look back at last week. 

Last week's stats:
Swim: 3200 meters
Bike: 53 miles
Run: 21.4 miles
Total: 65 miles

That is a lot of time working out right?  Well why then did I step on the scale this morning and find I had gained another lb?  Now I'm not a scale person, but I have been trying to weigh myself once weekly to try and keep myself honest about my intake.  So where had I gone wrong last week?  What a way to start a Monday...

I don't want to sound whiny or wimpy, but why oh why would I be gaining weight working out that much?  Well it all comes back to a few things: moderation, intake, and possible being a girl- sorry TMI- "time of the month".  So I've never been great at moderation (which is a theme of most of my life- I can't just read one Newberry Award winner, I think I need to read them all to really say I've done something).  I can't just have one glass of wine I have to have at least two.  Etc, etc, etc.  So what do I do?  I can't go back to the "cleanse eating" I was doing at the beginning of the year- although I really liked the number I saw on the scale, but I just can't risk being not well fueled, low energy, tired, and crabby right now.  I need to find a balance.  I think that is likely a theme for my life- balance. 

I have been putting in the time with swim, bike and run (not perfect). Last week I was supposed to do 4200 meters for swim and only did 3200 meters, but I got the "monkey" off my back when I swam 80 laps of free style straight for 2000 meters.  So if I can put in the time I also have to put in the time for fueling.  I know it isn't rocket science, it is about decision making, but when you are an "emotional eater"/"rewarder" like me you find decision making isn't always logical because of emotions.  I know I'm a broken record, but when I've biked 40 miles and run 15 minutes after that bike I think "wow I deserve some yummy drinks and food tonight".  Or "I'm so exhausted (typically occurs at work about 2pm daily) I need to go get coffee"- well then the coffee turns into a peanut butter cookie, because well "I ran this morning".

So day by day different choices will need to be made/have to be made.  I will have to find a different way to "reward" myself or "comfort" myself. I need to eat or think like my coworker/my good friend who doesn't believe in diets, but believes in healthy eating- making smart choices.  I also got to thinking that another thing I was making a priority during the "cleanse diet" in January was the strength training as part of the exercise program.  Not sure quite how I will fit this in, but I have to find a way.   Some of my tri friends have stated that during "the season" they just can't focus on weight training, but something to work on during "off season".  Strength training also isn't for weight loss only, but also to strengthen parts of my body that need and have to be strong to perform for 70.3 miles.  The muscles most needed strengthening: abs, glutes, back, and arms.  The part of my body that hurt the most after the 39 mile bike and then brick to run for 15 minutes- my lower right back- the area I fell with the "fish tank" injury few years ago.  I tried to do some deep breathing like I learned way back in beginner yoga classes to help ease the pain.  All I could think about when running was in the race I will need to ride 56 miles and then run a 1/2 marathon. I best suck up this pain I'm only having to endure for 15 minutes, because the race will be much longer and harder. 

So although a successful, but challenging week of workouts I continue to feel challenged by this whole training for 70.3. I guess if it wasn't so challenging everyone would be doing it. Each week has brought something interesting or eye opening or something to learn or be taught from.  One week it was the Open Water Swim, one week was the need for a physical Break, and on and on and on. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Training Recap May

Not quite sure why it has taken me this long to post on May's training.

It was quite a month.

Total mileage=158
Swim= 6 miles
Bike= 91 miles
Run= 61 miles

Looking back in my training calendar- log book here are a few thoughts/themes from May's training.

1- time: I didn't always make the appropriate time to get the miles/workouts in. I also mentally wasn't always in tune with time for training- needed some break time here and there.

2- over indulgence: too much food and drink as a way to reward myself. Nothing new. Something I continue to work on, but I have made a decision that I want to incorporate healthy lifestyle/eating that is doable on daily,monthly, yearly basis. As much as I loved the weight I lost with the detox in January that eating lifestyle wasn't something that was going to fit into my life long term. All about moderation which is something that isn't quite me.

3- life sometimes matters more. Grandpa passed away and I had to travel quite far to be there, but I got the workouts in and ended up doing well at my sprint tri despite the "life" that was happening.

4- Open water swims are tough! Just like running outside is harder than running on the treadmill and biking outside is harder than riding on a trainer. Outside makes you do the work!

5- grateful to have friends,family and mentors guiding and supporting me along the way. Couldn't do it without these Peeps!

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Sunday, June 8, 2014

May reads

Here is the list and some reviews... two kids chapter books, one nonfiction and two fiction, both with emphasis on historical fiction/artists Rembrandt and Vermeer (separately). 

Ivy and Bean: What's the Big Idea? by Annie Barrows
Liked this one.  The story's main plot line is focused on Ivy and Bean getting their science project together.  Again, both kids really enjoyed it. 

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
Am trying to read some books on writing as a way to further help me understand written word and the process behind writing.  I love Anne Lamott and this book, like other's I've read of her's was an enjoyable read. I also found some quotes/themes I really enjoyed and connected with or was motivated by.  Here are a few:

"Flannery O'Connor said that anyone who survived childhood has enough material to write for the rest of his or her life." (pg 4)

"To be a good writer, you not only have to write a great deal, but you have to care.  you do not have to have a complicated moral philosophy.  But a writer, always tries, I think, to be a part of the solution, to understand a little about life and to pass this on." (pg 107)

"You wouldn't be a writer if reading hadn't enriched your soul more than other pursuits."

Percy Jackson and the Olympians The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
My son and I read this book separately, discussed and watched the movie- hence we are calling it a book club book.  The book was good.  The movie was OK.  Medusa really freaked him out in the movie, and he's not sure he wants to watch any further movies, but I'm thinking book 2 and 3 will be on our list to read this summer.

The Anatomy Lesson by Nina Segal
This book was a historical fiction based on one of Rembrandt's paintings called "The Anatomy Lesson".  It was an interesting story and told from several different perspectives (broken down into chapters).  The story is about the corpse's body lying on the table being dissected as an anatomy lesson for an audience of men who make up the surgeon's guild.  The corpse is a recently hanged prisoner and the book flashes back to tell you how he got where he did and other's, mainly the woman in his life- Flora, who his actions affected.  I really liked the idea of looking at a painting and then forming a story off of the people who are highlighted in the painting.

Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland
A professor invites a colleague from the art department to his home to view a painting he has kept secret for decades in Susan Vreeland's powerful historical novel, Girl in Hyacinth Blue. The professor swears it's a Vermeer -- but why exactly has he kept it hidden so long? The reasons unfold in a gripping sequence of stories that trace ownership of the work back to Amsterdam during World War II and still further to the moment of the painting's inception.- taken from Goodreads synopsis of the book.  Each chapter was a story in the painting's history.  Started at most recent and goes backward to the inception of the piece.  It was good, but sometimes I wanted more of that specific chapter's story to go onward. 

Only a week late on this post, but have already moved on to books for June.  Currently reading our book club book "The Circle" by Dave Eggers.  It is a thick one, which intimidates me, but I'll get it done.  Going on vacation at the end of the month so already planning what books I will be taking with me love that kind of planning. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Break Week

I'm almost a week behind my normal/regular posts of books I read for the month and training/miles recap for the month.  I jut feel checked out this week- like I need a break.

Maybe it is the post-race recovery week.  Maybe it is the fact that I've had some late nights- one accompanied by quite a few "natalie pours".  I've given myself this week.  Instead of stressing about all that I'm not accomplishing I'm trying to savor this break or brief breathe of a less jam-packed life.

Now don't get me wrong I haven't just been eating bon bons (although I indulged in oreo balls with the "natalie pours").  I've done some workouts, but I also again took them at a more leisurely pace.  I stayed up late finishing a good mystery with the rest of the house sleeping.  Laundry of course is always done and a few healthy meals served to the family, but just a little slower pace.

Staying up late and eating unhealthy and indulging in vino and spending time with friends/books aren't the norm if I want to function fully as mom, wife, professional, and triathlete, but the break week is a good reminder of how we chose our life's path, with of course guidance and all knowing power of "the one/the being". 

So I will get reinvigorated and return to training, better sleep schedule, and ever constant struggle to be the best mom, wife and "fueler of my body" I can be.  Bust just for the next few days I will be a little less "on".  A good way to start the summer life and get recharged for the life ahead.

Off to ride on trainer and watch a movie- I know it is beautiful outside, but I really just want to sit in the basement and be able to watch a movie I've checked out twice now, but too tired to actually watch.  "The years are short, but the days long" (someone famous said this once and I'm pretty certain it was a multitasking woman!). 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Week 5- 70.3 Training

Mileage for week: Ran 12, Bike 25.6, and Swam 2900.

I ended the training week with the Pigman Sprint, which I've already wrote on.  Looking back at last week I swam 3 times (which was the most in one week I have swam- other than those days back when I was a kid and would go to the pool daily), biked twice and ran 4 times.  It was a good week and swimming twice in open water and then once in the pool helped me get my "monkey off my back" for the Sprint on Sunday.

After races I always analyze and talk in my head and sometimes out loud about the would of/could of moments in a race.  Swimming time was o.k., but if I had just kept swimming, how much better could it have been.  I biked faster than I have been biking during the week, but looking ahead (which I love to do) I need to crank in some more revolutions so I'm closer to 18 miles/hour so I'm not on the bike forever during Pigman Long.  Lastly, I need to go back to one long run, one run 1/2 of my long for the week, and then one day of speedwork.  I need the endurance to get me through the end of the race.  I also need the mental experience of pushing myself further or else come race day it will be a challenge. 

So onto another week of training... Happy Trails to you, until we meet again :)!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Pigman Sprint Triathlon

Pigman Sprint- Done!
I had to write a separate post for this one- the miles will definitely get added to my Pigman 70.3 training quest and I will write on this week's training later, but I just wanted to reflect on this little something I accomplished today.  Pigman Sprint Triathalon in Palo, IA. 
Here are the stats:
Time overall: 1:45:19
Place 439
Gender Place: 131
Division Place 20 (out of 31)
Swim(500m) 11:28
Bike (15.6 mile) 58:43
Run (5K) 29:03
T1 (transition from swim to bike): 4:42
T2 (transition from bike to run) 1:22
What does all of this really mean- well a lot! 
The swim was better than I hoped for, but I didn't do the best I physically know I can.  I swam to much breast stroke and went to my back 3 x's due to feeling like I could get farther going that way instead of sticking and getting in rhythm with my free style.  I needed my coach- AKA Susan "the mermaid" there to be telling me to just keep swimming and focus on reaching out and pulling down instead of making excuses to breast stroke and backstroke.  However, I finished the swim and didn't drown or need rescue help.  I sucked getting out of the water.  I walked out, not ran out. I was so happy to be done with the swim.
I feel like I lost transition time just by not having little things like my fruit chews not open and I was struggling to get those darn kid proofed fruit snacks open :) before hopping on the bike. 
The bike was good.  Well good for me.  This was something I was concerned about, because I historically of late haven't been reaching 15 mile/hour pace like I wanted to, but I did it today.  However, looking at the overall area I could improve in regarding time really was the bike.  I need to just bike more and push it. 
Off the bike I felt good starting my run and my T2 time was fast.  As usual I felt like should've had a faster 5K time based on the few times I glanced down at my watch- was trying to keep my pace under 9 min mile.  However, I finished strong and finished the race safe and sound.
Following the race the only thing that really bothered me was not really my "sits bone" but the left inner thigh area attached to the left butt bone- sorry TMI.  Just another reason I need to "sit in the saddle" for longer periods of time.  Think my butt/inner thigh was just whining about the ride.  Afterwards caught up with hubby- who finished ahead of me (big surprise- not) and members of IA HEAT- the tri group I'm a member of.  I really can't say enough about how lucky I was to come upon these people.  They have been supportive, encouraging, great mentors and many good friends. 
What I learned from this race:
1. I'm in a whole new caliber of athletes.  Walking around getting ready for the race this morning I was surrounded by athletes.  Their bodies were fit, lean, and sculpted.  They are competitors!  I was definitely a "newbe", but like looking forward to aspiring to be like many of them.
2. I liked that they put our ages on our calves (well actually they put the age you will be at the end of the year- so I had a big old 38 on both calves).  I didn't quite get this until I got on the bike and it was motivating to be able to pass 28 year olds,  but at the same time was humbling to be passed by a 57 year old female. Never been so interested in looking at other's calves.
3. I have to swim- not breast stroke, but swim and that will make the swim go by that much quicker- especially when I jump from swimming 500 m to 1.2 mile in Pigman 70.3.
4. Have to somehow get faster on the bike.
5. Pigman 70.3 is going to be TOUGH!  I will need to train during sun and heat to get used to potential race day environment because there is no shade cover on this course and I'm going to be out there a lot longer next time.  I have a lot to work on, but I'm actually feeling pretty good about it. 

This is me after the race.  We didn't have spectators there so made hubby take some pics of me afterwards. 

Left: One of the awesome ladies to help mentor me into my first Open Water Swim Tri.  Above: IA HEAT: look at all those Pigs.  We got 2nd for Club winners. 

Hubby/AKA Coach did great.  He beat me in the swim which I think is a first- darn my mental fatigue and not just swimming my freestyle.  Another goal for Pigman 70.3- don't let hubby beat me on swim.  He passed me on the bike with 3 miles to go- wouldn't be a typical tri if he didn't pass me on the bike :).  I'm so lucky to have such a supportive husband and partner in this crazy "training" lifestyle we lead.  While I was napping this afternoon he was pitcher for the kid's "handball game" in the basement.  He seems to fit all in.