Thursday, July 28, 2011

No turning back now...

I just registered.  I plunked my money down to sign up for the triathalon.  Saturday morning, 8:00 a.m.  Oh man, oh man.  Yikes!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Try a Tri?

There's a sprint triathalon in Springfield this weekend (500 yard swim, 12 mile biking and a 5K run).  As a matter of fact, it practically goes by my house, and its starting line is only a couple miles away from house.  Shane has registered for it.  I keep getting the urge to sign up, but I haven't done any swimming for distance in I don't even know how long.  Plus I hate biking, and I don't have a road bike.  Plus my running this morning has me feeling crappy about my overall fitness level.  It seems the planets are in alignment for me to skip this challenge.  But why does it keep calling to me?

Yesterday I was stalking last year's results.  I was looking at each leg of the race wondering how I would do on it.  The problem is that I have no idea!  I'm not even sure I could swim 500 yards at this point let alone at a pace that would allow me to finish the race before they made me leave the course.  Okay, so it probably wouldn't be that bad, but it probably won't be pretty.

I also have nothing to wear that will allow me to transition from swimming to biking to running.  I would have to buy clothing.  I would have to buy a bike helmet.  I would have to find a bike to borrow that doesn't require me to clip in.  I can't use my big ol' heavy mountain bike for this.  I mean, I could, but I don't need anything else slowing me down.  I'll be doing a fine job of that without the extra help.

There are so many reasons for me to not do it.  So why do a really, really want to?  I guess I love a challenge.  My next blog entry should tell you whether I did it or not.  Man, now I've talked about it publicly.  If I back down now, I'm a wuss, right?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Good week of running!

Well, kind of a good and bad week all at once.  It was a good week because I finally ran three times, and more than ten total miles, for the week.  It was a bad week because it was hot and in addition to my 12.5 miles, I also played volleyball two nights and did the Jillian Michaels 30-day Shred once.  I think my calves hate me.  Pain is weakness leaving the body, right?

I didn't really feel the fatigue until the long run on Saturday.  We ran 6.3 miles on the Lost Bridge Trail (Springfield to Rochester) beginning around 10:00 a.m.  It was already over 90 degrees and incredibly humid!  This trail is mostly shaded though, which is why we run here on days like this.  I felt good for some of the run, but I felt myself getting winded while talking and we weren't really running a fast pace.  I think first couple of miles were hovering around ten minute miles.  We slowed things down.  At the turn around at 3.15 miles (the bridge), I was ready to be done already!  We slowed down a little more.  I didn't want to walk though.  Man, it was HOT!

We pushed through, sometimes nearly pacing at eleven minutes.  As we were approaching the end of the trail, we decided to walk the last half mile or so that was uphill in the sun.  No reason to have a heat stroke.  The heat is supposed to break soon, which means the "feels like" temperature will probably only be in the 90's instead of 110+ degrees. 

I better get used to waking up early to run because it's July in the midwest.  We probably aren't going to get anything different any time soon.  Four weeks until Abe's Amble.  No goal pace determined yet.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Running again...finally!

I'm back!!  Now that we have gotten all the summer trips out of the way, I'm trying to focus on running again.  I managed to get in a few runs even while on vacation.  Let me tell you, running down a beach boardwalk in Hawaii will get me out!  It was kind of a neat way to tour Waikiki Beach!  There were so many runners up and going every morning in Hawaii on both Oahu and Maui.  It was great to see!  People seemed so much healthier there overall.  I would love to live and run in Hawaii year-round.  It would be amazing to say the least!

Now that I'm back in the "real" world, I guess I'm out of excuses.  I've gained about three pounds over the last month and a half maybe.  I fluctuate in a five pound range though, so I'm not too worried.  It will come off eventually, I think.  I'm back to watching my calorie intake and making sure I do something active every day. 

The hard part is that we've been in a heat wave for weeks it seems!  Today, the high temperature will be in the upper 90's, but around 115 degrees with the heat index.  These are the kind of temperatures that kill people.  So, yesterday I hauled my lazy butt out of bed at 6:30 a.m. and did a morning run for the first time in a long time (see, I told you I was back).  The past two weeks, we've done a Saturday long run of six miles and seven miles.  Unfortunately, those were the only miles I got in those weeks.  I did some elliptical and workout videos, but no other running.  This week, I'm trying to run three mile easy runs twice and the long run on Saturday.  If that goes well, I'm going to switch an easy run with some speed work next week.

My next race is going to be a two-mile parade run for the Illinois State Parade.  Then ten days later will be Abe's Amble.  Abe's is a 10K starting at the state fairgrounds, through Lincoln Park and Oak Ridge Cemetery where Lincoln is buried.  There's some good hills in there!  A lot of the course is similar to the roughest parts of the Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon, so I'm familiar.  We've also done a training run on the course before. 

I'm not quite sure what pace I'm shooting for yet.  With all this time off running, I don't know how much I've lost since the half.  I would hope that I could maintain a similar pace (9:15) for less than half the distance of a half marathon.  I'll see how my speed work is shaking out in the next couple of weeks.  I would probably be happy with that pace, but I haven't ran that pace since in months.

Shane is doing a mini-triathlon at the end of the month.  I've been so tempted to try it, but I'd really like to do a little bit of training before I launched into something like that.  I haven't really done any swimming or much biking.  Plus I don't have a good bike to use.  Maybe next year.  It sure would be fun--everything besides swimming in that gross lake of ours!  That part kind of creeps me out.

On a health related note, today I got the official okay from my doctor to stay off the blood pressure meds I've been on since shortly after my daughter was born three years ago.  One was a diuretic, the other one suppressed my heart rate--both of them not good for people who exert themselves outside in the sun on a regular basis (like someone who runs).  I'm so thrilled about being off of them.  I couldn't imagine taking two pills every day for the rest of my life, which could potentially be another 50 to 60 years or more!  Especially ones that made it harder to run and messed with body functions which are important for running efficiently.  So, YAY for that one!  The doctor took one look at my heart rate (low) while I was showing him my blood pressure history and said that I must be an active person.  I can't help to be a little bit proud of that. 

So, boys and girls, I'm mostly back in the saddle. I'm working on running more and my health.  I'll let you know how speed work goes.  I'm kind of dreading it.