Sunday, April 7, 2013

Does Kim Tri? Yes, yes she does!

 I have triathloned! It went very well. I was in the 8am wave, so we got there around 7:30 (my mom came with me to cheer me on). I got marked up with my number and my swim cap and got ready for the swim. I decided to treat that part just like I do for swim practice, since when I do practice, I'm always laying out my stuff so I can get in and out of the locker room quickly (I go before work). So I did that, and it took all of 5 minutes because, well, I'm organized like that. So, yeah, I was way early as usual. But that was all right because there was actually time for me to warm up a little in the pool.

It turned out my wave was really full. This meant I had to share a lane in the pool, but it was okay. I gave the other girl in my lane a 10 second head start so we weren't right on top of each other. 10 seconds is usually plenty enough separation- it's what we do in practice- and it was fine this time, too. She went past me maybe twice, but it wasn't bad. I went out pretty fast on the first 25- too fast, really- but then I settled down and got into my groove. My shoulders burned a little at first, because I wasn't really warmed up as much as I usually am before I start going for distance, but they calmed down. I knew they were calling out times, like, 5 minutes left, but I couldn't really hear what they were saying until they said there was 30 seconds left. I was about 2/3rds of the way to a wall at that point, so I picked it up to hit that one (your score goes by pool lengths). I did 325 yards total, which is about what I had planned- I'd figured on 300, but when we did a trial run in practice on Thursday, I did almost 325, so I was hoping I'd get that last 25 in today.

And then it was on to transition, whereupon I discovered that putting on a sports bra and bike shorts is not easy when you've just gotten out of the pool. But I was on time (a lot of people were not getting through transition on time. The bike people were complaining about that).

The bike part was the hardest part, which I anticipated. The seats were really hard, and I knew I'd slacked off on the training for this part, so I wasn't surprised. But I knew my dupke would get with the program after about 10 minutes, and it did, more or less. I alternated between standing and sitting when it got too much to sit. It seemed to take forever, really. But I did it! I went 12.3 miles in 30 minutes. And called out the guy who asked who was doing a "real" tri this year. I said, "I'm doing a real tri. I'm doing it right now!" Hopefully he changed his vocabulary to outdoor tri as opposed to "real tri", but I wouldn't hold my breath.

And then it was on to the run. My legs were a little tired, although, honestly, I didn't start getting tired until about the last five minutes of the bike leg. If my dupke hadn't been sore, I wouldn't have even started feeling sore at all until then. But I had a couple minutes to stretch my legs back out after getting off the bike before getting on the treadmill, so that helped. I walked the first minute, just to get my legs back under me, but then I started running. I ran for about 4 minutes or so, and my legs started tightening up and the muscle right above my ankle started hurting, so I walked for awhile. Then I ran some more and walked some more. I probably wound up running just about half of things. Here, have a photo:

This is oh, maybe half way through the run. It's blurry- Mom was taking it was a cell phone, and I joked that it was a short person taking a picture of another short person on a treadmill, so yeah. But, you can see I'm still smiling. I smiled pretty much the whole time. The girl taking official photos got several of me, because I was grinning so much. I was just so excited to be doing this and doing it well.

And here's me all done:

See, still smiling!

So, all told, I swam 325, biked 12.3 miles and ran/walked .94 miles. The run part is a bit lower than it maybe could be because I had the treadmill set on 3.0 at the fastest and I think I'd backed it down to 2.8 by the end. If I go much faster than that, I start having balance issues.

But I am very pleased and very proud- I'm gonna take the swim cap they gave me and write my distances on it and put it up in my cube. And I can now cross "do a triathlon" off my life goal list. I don't know exactly if I want to do this again- the swimming part was great, the running part was fun, but the biking part was not so much fun- but I'm not going to rule it out completely yet. I did have fun, and that's the point.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Right, So

So, shortly after my last post, I got walloped by a rather bad sinus infection. And so, I spent about two weeks mostly unable to handle minimal daily activities, let alone training on top of that. The fact that it got super cold here and then warm, then super cold again was Not Helpful, as cold is one of the absolutely worst things for my asthma and flip-flopping weather is one of the worst things for my chronic sinusitis. Therefore, there was a giant chunk of January where nothing happened. I am largely over the infection- I have about three more days of antibiotics to go, but I'm only slightly congested and I can walk around and breathe and I don't need a 4 hour nap after doing such strenuous activities such as baking a batch of brownies anymore. Naps are still a good thing- I'm still getting tired pretty easily, but it's getting better and it'll go away probably by the end of next week.

Since it is still very cold (although, I think it's supposed to be more reasonable this week. Reasonable meaning "above freezing". I can't exercise outside if it's under about 45, but I can manage walking across a parking lot without coughing my head off and wheezing if it's around freezing. Below that is a crap shoot). Ahem. Since it is still very cold and since I am still getting tired easily, I am going to start back very, very slowly. I'm going swimming this week. It will suck mightily, probably, and I will want to cry because I can't do what I want to do (I will probably NOT cry. It's bad for the breathing). But I will do it. Swimming is the hard one- if I can do that, I can probably handle running and cycling. But, one thing at a time. I have about 8 weeks until Triathlon Day. I am really hoping that the base I've built up over the past 6 months will not have diminished too terribly much (I know 2 weeks or so is not a big deal for most folks. My lungs are not like most lungs) and that will get me through. Since it's probably going to take another 2 weeks or so to get up to anything resembling speed, that leaves about 6 weeks of focused training whereupon I should probably, like, do some cycling perhaps. I think it's doable- I just want to finish and that was well within my capabilities when I got sick.

But, man, if that wasn't really frustrating.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Wait, what? It's January 12th?

When did it get to be January 12th? Buh? 

So, I, like many people, have a list of goals that I want to accomplish in 2013. Or, rather by January 31, 2014, because I always make my birthday my end date for goals like this. I figure, it's the beginning of my year, and it's not like it's all that far off from January 1st anyway. These aren't resolutions, per se- they're goals, yes, but they're specific and they're realistic and they are easy to plan to do. Well, okay, there's a stretch goal in there, but as Robert Browning said, “Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?” The rest of them are pretty realistic. 

2013 Goals: 

  1. Finish the triathlon- this is the primary goal and the one that's getting the most focus until it happens in April
  2. Develop a daily yoga practice- This will be easier once I figure out when the best time for this is. 
  3. Be deliberate about Intuitive Eating or Normal Eating- They're very similar philosophies with different methods and I'm not sure which methods I'm more comfortable with yet. I will say that Ellyn Satter's book Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family is a must read, no matter how your family is configured. 
  4. Try a new class or activity. I'm eyeing Zumba at the moment. Or cardio kickboxing. But that will come after the tri
  5. Run a mile without stopping- this will probably occur as part of the tri training, but I wanted to emphasize it, so I made it a separate goal
  6. Run for 30 minutes without stopping- this will probably also occur as part of the tri training
  7. Improve my 50 time to 1:00- this is the stretch goal. I'm pretty comfortable pacing 1:30 right now and I was making 50s in about 1:20 pretty easily this week, but getting to the point where I'm comfortable at a minute (as in, I'm not sprinting) is going to take awhile and may or may not be possible. But I think it's worth trying. This is also a post-tri goal. 
  8. Try to lower my resting heart rate- This may not be possible, due to my asthma medication which tends to increase my heart rate. And there's also the fact that since I've been tracking it over the past 2 weeks, my average RHR has been roughly 70, with a number of 60's in there, and that's already the low end of normal. 
  9. Track progress on my goals daily- I have a notebook that I'm using to do this. I made myself up a little form to fill in at night and so far, that's going well. And it will help with goal 10, which is...
  10. Post to the blog at least once a week. I'm still mostly going to be talking about the tri, but other things may filter in from time to time. 
So, that's the plan for the year. So far, things are going relatively well. Tri training has been a little shaky this past week because I'm having some issues with an irregular heartbeat and so I'm being really gentle, even though I don't technically have any activity restrictions. It's likely being caused by some chemical issue, not a structural issue and there's probably no blockage, so exertion is probably not going to make a difference one way or another. I did do my swimming this week, because I knew it wouldn't be super-strenuous because we were coming off a 2 week break. And being in the water tends to keep my heart-rate from getting very high most of the time (unless I'm doing a lot of sprinting), so I figured that was pretty safe, even with my inhaler. I should have bloodwork results soon (probably Monday, I think) and that'll give more information (the leading candidates are anemia or a thyroid issue, both of which would be unsurprising). I'm going to see how I feel next week about running, or at least walking. So, we'll see. I'm not extremely worried about the impact on training yet, because there's no evidence that I'm going to need to curtail my activity level (I am perhaps being overprotective of myself, but it's been a little freaky and I was also dealing with sinus ickiness last weekend, so I was on the tired side anyway). But at this point, there's nothing to really worry about- my doctor was not terribly concerned and this may wind up on the list of "annoying, but not dangerous" things that I put up with. 

Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Lest anyone question my commitment to this whole thing, let me tell you a small story:

I went to the gym today to find a sign on the front counter saying that the heater in the pool was broken and the water temperature was 74 degrees. And I just muttered to myself, "Oh, damn, this is gonna be cold", and then proceeded to put my suit on and swim anyway.

I'm a bad updater, but a good trainer. Mostly good trainer, anyway.

December was the month of sprints in swim practice, which nearly did me in, but may have had its benefits. As in, my steady pace may have increased a little tiny bit. Maybe.

It was also the month of discovering that, hey, I can do the Couch to 5K program. I was getting bored with running, mostly because I couldn't seem to get beyond 10 minutes, so I said, hey, let's give the C25K program a try, because at least I won't be bored anymore. And turns out, that yeah, no problem. So I'll be continuing that into the New Year.

I have roughly 4 months to race day (I don't know the official race date just yet. I imagine that information will be available soon). I feel pretty good about this at this point.

I hope your 2013 dawns brightly for you!

Monday, December 10, 2012


It's December, I'm not greatly functional in December. So I have no idea what week I'm working on now.

Swimming is going well. Just after Thanksgiving, I did a timed 1000 and completed it in 31 minutes, which is roughly 1:35ish per 50. Not bad at all. Let's see...we're doing a lot of sprint work right now because we'll have two weeks off (the week of Christmas and the week of New Year's), so the idea is to build up some muscle before then because that'll last over the layoff better than endurance will. I will be swimming over those two weeks anyway, but I know I don't push myself as hard as I do during practice because no one's keeping me focused. But the sprinting is going all right- I did a 50 in 1:02 last week, which is darn near close to my race pace from high school (my PR is 48.47. I was generally in the mid/high 50s). It's really hard for me, though, and I've yet to complete an entire workout without needing a time out. We found the exercise induced asthma wall and it's when you ask me to sprint multiple 100s in a short period of time.

Running has gone less well. 10 minutes straight seems to be some kind of limit. I'm thinking it may not be a hard limit- that I can get beyond it- but right now, I don't seem to be able to. So, I switched things up because I was frustrated and bored. I modified the Couch to 5K plan slightly to be a 2x a week plan (which stretches it out past 9 weeks to 12 weeks) and it turns out that yes, I can in fact do the first workout of the plan now, without a problem at all. Which would not have been the case back in August, so hey, I've definitely made progress. So, I'll play with that for awhile and see where I get.

And let's not discuss cycling. Because, yeah. I gotta get on that.

Okay, I need to get myself to bed because 6 am swimming comes awful early in the morning...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Week 14

So, last week, I had intentions of making all 5 workouts last week. That...did not happen. I was exhausted on Wednesday night, so when I weighed getting an extra hour of sleep vs. going running in the morning (since I was working, it was 6:30 am or nothing), the extra hour of sleep won. And then when I thought about going spinning on Friday morning and then needing to sit at a desk for 8 hours, I thought that maybe was not my smartest idea. But I made both swimming practices and running on Tuesday. I only managed to run for 8 minutes instead of 10, but that's okay.

This week, I technically don't have swim practice, but I'll be swimming anyway on my own. And I'll definitely go running on Tuesday and probably on Thursday- we're pretty low key around here for the holiday itself. I will not be spinning on Friday, because the gym is part of an open air mall and you cannot pay me enough to go anywhere near there on the day after Thanksgiving, thank you very much.

Have a happy Thanksgiving! Eat good things!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Weeks 11, 12 and 13

Fear not! I have not given up on things! I just sort of slacked off on the documentation. So, let's see what I can recreate here.

Week 11: I talked with my swim coach and we decided that even though I *can* do a 50 in about 1:20-1:30, dropping the base time to less than 1:40 isn't feasible at the moment, given how incredibly exhausted I was after attempting it. So, we're staying at 1:40 until that gets really easy (I'm estimating somewhere around Christmas at this point) and then we'll see about 1:30. Also, I ran for 10 minutes! All at once! Without stopping. Woo!

Week 12: Three months! I rock. I was also the only person at swim practice on Monday, which was kind of nice because it meant that we did something that was on my personal pace for once (I'm about the slowest regular who comes, so I'm always the last one done with anything). Unfortunately, circumstances conspired to keep me off the treadmill, so I didn't get my running in, but I did hit up my first spinning class. Let me tell you, spinning uses completely different muscles than running or swimming. And those seats are ridiculously hard, even with padded shorts. Ow. The undercarriage was less than thrilled with me for several days. Also, I need to ignore the bike adjustment instructions and adjust the seat slightly higher than it seems like I should, because otherwise my knees get extremely cranky.

Week 13: I did my Monday swimming on my own because I was working the polls on Tuesday. I'm getting better with the flip turns. And if I can manage to stretch out my breathing rhythm a bit, I think I'll be a happier person. Tuesday, I was awake for 22 hours and on my feet for about 16 of those hours, so yeah, there was no additional training going on. But, I did it, and I wasn't in nearly as much pain as I expected to be in, so apparently, all this work has been good for something :o) Then, Wednesday, I went to practice, where we did a sprint 100 for time at the end and I came in at around 2:52, which is not terrible (if we'd done it first, as opposed to after having done 6 100s previous, then, um, I might have done better. I might have also done better if I hadn't been recovering from Tuesday. Swimming Wednesday was kind of a pain in the tail). I gave myself a break on Thursday because I started another temp gig and that was the first day and I would have had to go run in the morning and I was still tired and that just wasn't happening. Friday, I intended to go spinning, but had a smashing headache by the time I left work, so I just came home and slept.

This coming week, I intend to hit every workout. That hasn't happened in several weeks now, maybe about a month. I don't feel badly about this- I certainly don't feel like I've lost any fitness or ability by getting the extra rest. But I want to see how it goes with all the scheduled workouts for a few weeks. If I start getting exhausted again, then I'll rejigger the schedule. At this point, I'm pretty unconcerned about being able to do any of the events in the triathlon individually- I can definitely swim for 10 minutes straight and I can definitely at least walk 20 minutes, and spinning class was an hour and I did reasonably well enough cycling for an hour that I think I'd be fine going for 30 minutes. But all on one day still seems kind of a stretch, which is perfectly fine at this point- I've got about 6 months to go, after all.  I mean, everything is getting easier to some extent. I just still get tired afterwards. So, we'll see.