Saturday, March 28, 2009

Switcharoo (9 mile tempo)

Since my whole week of training has been slapped up, flipped and turned around I decided that this weekend would be no exception. I had a swim + bike, but swapped it with tomorrow's long/hard 9 mile run. I knew I'd be in better shape to focus on the run today than tomorrow when I'm potentially hungover!

So now that I've moved my "easy" workout tomorrow I have free license to get blackout drunk tonight - whoo hoo! Because nothing spells out class like blacking out at a wine tasting party.

I spent a totally awesome morning TCBing in my apartment. I listened to old school rap most of the time and its kept a smile on my face all day. My roommate also gave me an unsolicited compliment this morning which made me happy too. After 5 years he's maybe starting to get it? I don't need too much coddling, just a little every so often lasts a long time.

So, back to today's workout...9 miles - 2.5 warm up zone 1-2, 4 miles tempo @ 7:25, 2.5 miles cool down @ Z1-2. Here's how the sheeyot went down:

Warm up = 2.5 miles @ 8:04 pace (bpm 135)
Tempo miles = 7:30, 7:29, 7:42, 7:07 (bpm 170)
Cool down = 2.5 miles @ 8:45 pace (bpm 164)

TOTAL = 9 miles @ 8:03

This run wasn't terrible but wasn't great. The first two miles of the tempo were tough - right into the wind. Then the 3rd mile is where I turned around so I figured it'd be much faster w/the wind at my back. Apparently I took it too easy because I went slower @ 7:42. Pissed with that mile I cranked out the last one in 7:07. The last 2.5 were sort of painful; it was cold and rainy out and I just wanted to be home and warm. Anyway, it is done! I think I can and need to do better on my next tempo. It was challenging but I think I can psyche myself up even MORE and hit 7:25 on each mile.

Now I'm back to listening to Ja Rule, about to take a shower, get a pedi, go to Trader Joe's and get this shin dig started.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Me & My Homies

Yesterday I was supposed to do a swim workout followed by 1:15 on the bike. The bike was something having to do with intervals and zones and stuff but I decided to bag any thought going into it and go to spin instead. I had to do the swim first so that I could go home as soon as spin was over with to shower and head to the Blazers game. My work call lasted late so I missed any oppty to swim and had to depend on spin. I got there 20 minutes early and of course the class was already full. I decided to roll the dice and just try to hop on a bike, but hopped on the stair machine first to do something since I had skipped my spin. (Talk about run-on sentences.) I managed to get a bike in spin so that was fortunate. It was a tough workout and I stayed on an extra 15 minutes to make it about 1:15.

Oh yeah, this workout is the one from Tuesday that I missed so decided to do on Thursday.

Then I went to the bball game and drank two huge beers and had 2 soft pretzels with nacho cheese for dinner. I was kinda drunk when I got home. My stomach felt bad and I couldn't get to sleep - when I finally did I was woken up every 15 minutes with snoring from someone else and delirium on my part. I had crazy ass dreams too that I can never share with anyone.

Rewind a second - Tuesday night I took the Ambien and didn't get to sleep as easily as I had imagined. Then I felt kind of groggy all day. Wtf? I thought this was supposed to be a miracle drug.

So then today, Friday, I met up with Shawn to swim together at the community center but the lanes were closed so we caucused for about an hour at his place before going back. It worked out and here is what I recollect from our time in the water:

  • 200 SKIPS warm up - 1000yds
  • 12 x 50 drills (side kicking only, hesitation pulls and skulling?)
  • 4 x 100 free on 2:00
  • 100 any cool down
It was good to have him there to critique my stroke a bit and learned that I need to keep my head down more and not put my hands into the water at an angle. I kept trying to remember that but I don't think I seemed to improve. (Who knew that I wasn't perfect?) The drills were good to do together for the 1st time so I know what is going on. The 100 repeats were friggin tough - my stomach started feeling acidic and my shoulders and back were getting tired. It was another great Bostad-style workout and boy do I feel worked!

Oh yeah, in the locker room after the workout I saw a naked homeless lady doing her laundry.

But of course if you followed me on Facebook and/or Twitter you'd know all of this already. I hate myself.

Other exciting news is that I got my Trigger Point kit - yay! I am going to roll out (think Ludacris) later on tonight so tomorrow I'll be Flexy MacArthur again.

More thoughts later on the fact that I may not be able to hold a job, relationship, training plan and social life at the same time for the next 6 months. But I have my health and a plate of nachos and an Apricot Ale in front of me while watching Lost, so all is good. (PS - did anyone else catch the Ann Arbor reference on this week's episode? Go Blue! And PPS Maritza your MOM is a whore so go suck it.)

Have a lovely, classy weekend.

(PPPS - Maritza you know I'm kidding but seriously...get with the program!)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Training Updates

  • Monday - I was supposed to run 5 miles easy + lift + stretch/yoga today. I didn't do that. Instead I ate a quarter of a pizza and ran 3.5 miles easy, following that up by a salad and beer. Needless to say I got a stomach cramp during this easy run. It was nice though, I did it with the fiance and we went to his favorite running spot (which is basically uphill).
  • Tuesday - Today was a swim + bike workout. I didn't do it. My sister was finally feeling up for going out so we went to an early dinner and I spent several hours afterward organizing my to do lists and catching up on online stuff while they slept.
  • Wednesday - I did the track workout I was supposed to do today. It went well, but I'm not sure I did what I was supposed to do. (As a sidenote, the only thing I ate before this run @ 1:30 p.m. were three Pillsbury cinnamon buns that my sister made this a.m.)
  • Track workout was to be 5 x 1000m negative split repeats @ 4:20, 4:17, 4:15, 4:12 and 4:10 with 2 minutes rest inbetween. Mine were actually all over the board. I tried really hard on the first 1 to hit 4:20 exactly but was 1 second slow - I guess I miscalculated. It didn't feel hard though. The second one I tried to go at the pace that I thought would be 4:17 and do it w/o looking at my watch. I missed it by 2 seconds (slow)! The 3rd repeat I was pissed and figured I was going to need to step it up a notch to hit 4:15. Um, I did it in 4:02...geez. This felt harder but I obviously way over-did the 4:15 goal. I decided from there on I was just going to push it and see what happened. My last 2 repeats came in at 4:07 and 4:01. I'm glad that I did a negative split pretty much overall, but I may have blown the whole point of the workout. What was the point, you ask? I have no clue. Anyway, here are the stats again:
  1. 1000m #1 = 4:21 (170 bpm)
  2. 1000m #2 = 4:19 (174 bpm)
  3. 1000m #3 = 4:02 (178 bpm)
  4. 1000m #4 = 4:07 (175 bpm)
  5. 1000m #5 = 4:01 (178 bpm)
It should be noted that I skipped my drills today because of a time crunch - yet another example of the training crunch I'm in!

Other random crap:
  • Twitter - I joined Twitter last night and have tweeted twice. I don't know if its my bag yet.
  • Training woes - I realized this week that training is starting to become a serious time commitment. I'm not sure I'm ready for it. Work is becoming really busy for me and it isn't as easy to get away from my desk in the middle of the day. Some of my initial thoughts are to try to break up workouts - do an a.m., then a p.m. workout and not stress about doing a straight up brick. Another is to maybe focus more time on the weekends. It is scary when I view track workouts as my easier workouts of the week.
  • Food problems - as you can see from above I'm just not following a healthy eating schedule 100% of the time. I'm a little less focused on weight stuff lately so need to re-focus my energy on fuel for training. Something is lacking that causes me to make poor decisions.
  • Guests leaving - tomorrow morning my sister and niece leave after 6 days of being sick and intruding on my life. Just kidding, we had fun, sort of. My sister was literally laid up with the flu almost the entire time she was here so we really didn't do anything (anything!) that we'd planned. I'm really bummed out about the whole thing.
  • Life schedule - Typically I have a master calendar print out of every month of the year that highlights really high level activities in my life. (Ex. races, vacations, visitors, weddings, etc.) I haven't done this yet for 2009 and I'm needing it ASAP. It just gives me a general sense of the ups and downs of activity that I can expect throughout the year. It makes me happy to know that I've thought about the coming 12 months at least once and have documented most of it. My b/f and I used to take the printout to our discounted sushi dinner every Sunday and re-examine it and I miss that. I just want to have a general sense of what's coming up next rather than living day to day like I feel I am right now.
And now I'm done. I took an Ambien about 30 minutes ago that is causing my fingers to slow their typing. I never take sleeping pills but I had been anticipating my 5 year old niece to sleep next to me on the airbed (she was excited about the slumber party) and knew I'd need security against her kicking me all night. At the last minute she bailed out and now I'm all drugged up for no reason and now rambling. I'll update tomorrow on how the pill worked out.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Shamrock 5k Race Photos & Official Time

Here are the highly-anticipated pictures from the Shamrock 5k...

First, I can't believe that I got 10th in my age group - there were like 650 women in my age group. A.) how did they get this many people to sign up let alone run on a shitty race day and B.) I'm not that fast. Whatevs. I'll take it!

Second, I can't believe I'm even posting these godawful pictures. I've never seen my face subjected to gravity this way, but alternatively my legs are freaking me out here. I can't decide whether it is great or gross?

I'll take you through it...

Official screen shot of the results:

I was a dork and started right at the start. Everyone in this photo passed me. (Can you see me right under the first "i"?)

More starting line concentration-face:

Another start shot - I was so pumped on adrenaline here:

This was pretty far into the course - right near the end....when I'd given up hope and before I heard my name being called out:

Hands down the most disgusting shot of this race. What am I in one of those machines that simulates a parachute free fall? Jowl City USA. Gross.

The only semi-respectable photo from this race. I actually like the composition here and think this is right around the final stretch where I was cheered on by my local homies and felt strong enough to start kicking it in:

I always say I'll order pics but I never do. Do you? Why are these so gross? Why can't I be better adept at locating the official race photographers? Why did I pin my bib right onto the nipple portion of my shirt? So many questions and so few answers.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

11 Miles Long

I woke up and did my 11 miles right away this a.m. - after coffee and toast w/jam + one glass of water. I started this run less than 12 hours from my hard tempo run last night. The first four miles were a breeze - time was flying and I had my ipod on shuffle and it was coming up with some good stuff. About mile 5 after my turnaround I started feeling heavy - legs became a little leaden and last night's run was catching up to me. It still wasn't too horrible and I stuck it out until mile 9 when it became a struggle. Hips knees and most everything was sore and I wasn't looking forward to my last uphill mile. I made it home at just 11 miles and was happy to stop. Here are my splits:

Mile 1 = 6:13/146 bpm
Mile 2 = 7:49/164 bpm
Mile 3 = 7:58/166 bpm
Mile 4 = 7:54/169 bpm
Mile 5 = 7:54/171 bpm
Mile 6 = 7:46/173 bpm
Mile 7 = 7:59/172 bpm
Mile 8 = 7:44/175 bpm
Mile 9 = 7:42/171 bpm
Mile 10 = 8:04/172 bpm
Mile 11 = 8:47/171 bpm

TOTAL = 11.01 miles/1:25:54/7:48 pace/168 bpm

The first mile recorded could not have been right. I don't know what happened here unless I was really busting it on the first downhill? Who knows. I'm hoping it didn't skew my final pace by that much. Mile 4 I ran into these gals and had a nice chat and Mile 8 I ran into this one! This is a small town and there is such a high volume of runners here - I love it! You can see that I totally bonked in the last mile, but whatever - I had a good excuse with the recent hard run last night and all the fast miles. I'm okay with it.

I'd planned to spend the day driving to the gorge w/my sister and niece which is part of the reason I ran so fast. I got home to find my sister totally enveloped in the midst of the flu and not going anywhere. I feel horrible - she's been in bed all day and completely wiped out. She's diabetic so I keep checking to make sure her blood sugar doesn't blow up. In the meantime I'm babysitting a 5 year old and trying to get stuff done. My lovely niece refuses to get out of her PJs and won't put on a jacket so I can't even drive around and run errands. I've totally given up however and let her have ice cream for lunch. I'm not going to lie - I'm bummed out about the way this weekend has turned out and I'm worried I will get this flu next. I am hoping that my current tired state is from today's run and not the start of the flu.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Mini Tri & Tempo

Man, I have been bad about posting this week. Work has been busy, then I had a co-worker/friend in town on Thursday and my sister and niece flew in from Boston on Friday and are here til next Thursday. Lots of action! Here is my recap:


I was supposed to do a swim+bike workout. Swim for 750 yards @ steady state, then get out and jump on a bike quickly to do an hour of steady state ride in zone 1 or 2. My co-worker/friend came down from Seattle with her b/f for the weekend so we worked together from my apt all day then she bought a day pass at my gym. When I used to live in Seattle we'd occasionally workout together and always had fun. Anyway, I jumped in the pool and eeked out a quick 800 meters (or yards, or whatever), then changed and went to spin class. Of course the spin class is way more of a workout than Z1-2 but I like it and I did it. So there! After that I was feeling so good I wanted to see what running would feel like - so I convinced my friend to get on the treadmill next to me for a mile. I started the pace off really slow because I thought it would feel hard, but it didn't so I kept accelerating until the end when I was under a 7:00 pace. The whole mile was 8:40 and felt great. So, I did a little mini triathlon this week - sweet!

Swim = 800 m/14:00ish?
Bike = 1 hour spin class
Run = 1 mile/8:40

After the gym we went out for dinner and drinks and ended up meeting up with her b/f, my b/f and others and staying out waaay too late drinking too many drinks. It was heaps o fun.


Had this been 10 years ago I would have woken up, flicked the lint off my shoulder and gone out to do it again. Fast-forward to my current over the hill state and I'm a goner. Friday morning was painful - I was tired, headachy, forgetful and overall quite dysfunctional. I was supposed to do weight training (which is coincidentally called my "off" day - there is nothing OFF about doing weight training, mister coach man). But guess what. I didn't. I had to work from an actual office that day and had my sister arriving at 4:30 so I didn't make it a priority in my schedule. And I'm okay with that.


Woke up early to work today - moving an office from one part of the city to another. Luckily it was a small move and not too stressful or lengthy. But I worked about 5 hours and any work on the weekend technically sucks in my book. My sister was with another friend for the night and I had an invite to go to the NCAA regional games so I spent 5 hours watching hoops and eating crap! I sort of "forgot" that I had a 6 mile tempo run but when I got home at 8 p.m. I guilted myself into doing it. I'd already missed my Monday 5 miler and am going to have to struggle to cram in 11 miles tomorrow that I figured I couldn't miss this.

This is the latest I've done a run in forever and it kinda sucked. Running late means you've had all day to put crap into your body which means that there's, well, more crap in your body. I had yet another really close call on this run! That's all you need to hear.

I didn't realize until 5 minutes before I left that this run was going to be harder than my past tempo runs: 1.5 warm up/3 miles @ 7:30/1.5 mile cool down. My past tempos only had TWO miles of speed and now I'm going to THREE? Hot.

Mile 1.5 = 13:10/8:46 pace/135 bpm

Tempo Mile 1 = 7:18/168 bpm
Tempo Mile 2 = 7:29/174 bpm
Tempo Mile 3 = 7:22/178 bpm
Tempo Mile 3.1 = 0:44/180 bpm
TOTAL TEMPO = 3.1 miles/5k/22:51/7:22 pace/173 bpm

Mile 1.4 = 14:40/9:41/155 bpm

I decided to make the tempo a 5k to measure it out compared to the race and future races. This was a hard tempo but it felt all right. It was hard running at this time of day and the lack of good food and water in my body. (Today I ate a spinach/feta breakfast wrap from Sbux, tons of Tim's Cascade potato chips [Johnny's Seasoning Salt flavor], a huge soft serve waffle cone, soft pretzel+cheese plus a diet coke. I consumed little to no water. All of this is totally atypical and gross.)

Anyway, I feel good that I was still able to break my goal of 23:00 in the 5k! I didn't really set out to do that, I just wanted to run 7:30s or better. I am excited that these tempos are becoming more challenging. I'm starting to think more about what I want to start doing in races long term and it is exciting. After last week's race I think I've got a lot ahead of me that I want to shoot for and I'm starting to believe that it is possible. Yikes!

Tomorrow is 11 miles in Z3. I have a lot planned for the day so am going to do it first thing in the a.m. I hope I actually do it.

Hope your wknds are going well!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pool and Track Workouts + Mexico Pics


Tuesday I did a swim workout as follows:

  • Warm up: 200 SKIPS (SKIPS are 200 each of Swim [free], Kick, IM [substituting free for fly], Pull and Swim - get it, SKIPS?)
  • 6 x 100 free @ 2:00
  • 6 x 50 kick @ 1:15
  • Cool down: 200 any

This was my first real pool workout and it was hard, but I liked it. This is the first time I've panted and gotten hot in the water in a while. The 100s I finished around 1:40 each time and the kicks in about 1:00. I thought my quads would be sore today but not yet.


Today Jen and I did a track workout hosted by my coach Shawn through Upper Echelon (click here to see their schedule) that was free. I lost my mind a bit today and in trying to organize it, I sent Jen to one track, I started off to another track, while the actual workout was at a 3rd track. I'm glad I realized quickly as I ran from home that I was going to the wrong place because when I returned home to call Jen (I didn't have my phone w/me initially) she told me she was at the other wrong track! She ended up picking me up and driving to the right spot, but we were quite late. Shawn got us started on drills and gave us a workout. There were a couple others there but they were already doing their own thing. I feel bad that we were late, Shawn had to leave to go teach a class so we really didn't get to catch up, BUT it was a fun workout! Here's what we were to do:

  • Warm up - 1 mile
  • 2 x 150 strides (no set time)
  • 2 x 200 @ mile pace
  • 2 x 400 @ 5k pace
  • 2 x 200 @ mile pace
  • Cool dow - 1 mile
Upon conferring with Shawn he said to run at a faster pace than my mile pace (which I was estimating at 7:00 miles) and to do around :40-45 for the 200s and 1:45ish for the 400s. My actuals were this:

  • 2 x 200 @ mile pace: :35 and :39 (HR = 152/174)
  • 2 x 400 @ 5k pace: 1:21 and 1:27 (HR = 172/173)
  • 2 x 200 @ mile pace: :38 and :35 (HR = 163/164)
It was a good workout and fun to run with Jen and go to a new track. It is staying light out later which makes it feel a bit like summer. Weather was perfect today for running on the track - slightly cool, but the end of a nice warm spring day.

I promise to stop with the Peanuts drama.

On to Mexico...

I loved Chichen Itza - the steps were awesome:


Post-swim workout (yes, that is an itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow you-know-what bikini!)

Post run day one (before celebratory margarita that was followed by sickness)

Post run day two

First night drinks on roof deck

My mom and me - two peas in a pod!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Not Feeling It

I woke up in a hopeless mood today. Work is really busy and I'm getting more and more behind by the hour. Ever have those days where you work all day and don't feel like you got anything done? Why does that happen? I should have done some work over the weekend but I just didn't. I'm just feeling kind of blah physically and mentally and thinking maybe I'm getting sick? It is 8:30 and I'm about to crash to sleep and save my lengthy to do list for tomorrow.

I suck.

I did not do my scheduled easy 5 miler, lifting or yoga today. Double suck.

I am so high maintenance - sorry.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

2009 Shamrock Run

Thanks for the pre and post race notes everyone! I am sad that I missed my locals at the start and finish, but after I finished there was no way I could hack it out there in the rain/cold/wind. I was really looking forward to hanging out. I didn't even get my free beer!

Race morning:

I woke up before my alarm at 6:10 and decided to start getting ready. I made coffee and had a small cup, along with a piece of toast with butter and jam. I had about 90 minutes to digest before the race so it was perfect. I didn't know if I should be extra sensitive because of the short race (i.e. maybe not eat anything?) but I'm glad I did it this way. Turned out just fine. Because I'm close to the race site I just packed up a bag and ran down there solo.

It should also be noted that I discovered nasty rain and gusts outside...not boding well for a good day, but what can you do? I was hoping to myself that most people stayed in bed and I could still win my weight in beer.

Race site prep:

I arrived to the staging area around 7:40 (start was 8:05), texted Alisa, then put all of my belongings into the bag check. People were SHOCKED to see that I was in shorts and a t-shirt. I had worked up such a nice warmth on my ~mile run down there that to me it felt great. The little gloves sure made up for any heat loss. I ate a partial chocolate Gu and went to the start area.

Race Strategy:

I did not put much into my strategy for this race. I hadn't run a 5k in several years, but had the experience of running several 5ks in high school cross country. My times in high school were in the 22:00's but I don't remember ever breaking 22:00.

In the Thanksgiving race I finished with 7:37 miles (total miles = 4) and in the half marathon I finished with 7:49 miles. So I thought should at least be able to beat the 7:37 pace. Not only is this race shorter, but I've improved a lot since the other races. And that race was weird with the big downhill and big uphill. 7:24 is what I'd have to do to finish under 23:00. Another measure is my latest track time trial, which was 2 miles on the track in 7:07 avg pace. So based off of that my 5k run (3.1 miles) should be between the 7:07 pace and the 7:37 pace. That would be a 7:22 pace or 22:53 for the entire race.

To state it more clearly I wanted to finish in under 23:00. But my secret A+++ goal was finishing under 22:00.

At the start line:

In the starting chute they had people holding up signs for 5-6 minute pace, 6-7, and so on. I sorta went to the front of the 7-8 group but then realized there were barely any people in front of me. Everyone kinda ended up scrunching up to the start line eventually and I'm guessing my position was about the 15th row back from the start. I did the obligatory checking out of everyone else's gear, legs and age before I decided I better stop mind-f'ing myself! I did a bunch of strides and little drills to get my body warmed up and ready to go.

Mark set go!

You are going to laugh when you see my splits. I'm apparently a schizophrenic 5k runner. This race was so short. The 2nd mile was all uphill and TOUGH. So many people passed me, including a man with a peg leg. I thought I was doing really really horrible. I was pissed and thought I was blowing it. My shorts were flying up and I thought everyone could see my badonkadonk (I've never raced in these shorts and only worn them 2x). I saw my fiance at the halfway point eating a doughnut, but at least he cheered for me. I wasn't expecting to see him there and I yelled back, "nice doughnut." There was nobody along the course making any noise and it felt really weird. I'm serious when I say that hundreds and thousands of people passed me. I don't like to be passed. I like to be the one passing people. This did not help anything mentally for me.

So one big hill up, then a sharp downhill, then it evened out. Once I hit Naito Pwky - the final stretch - I didn't even feel inspired to kick it in. I saw my FH again and shouted to him to meet me at the bag pickup. I felt done and really disappointed. Then as I passed under the overpass where most of the 15k racers were crowded I heard "GO EMILY!!!" OMG, it was totally what I needed. I didn't see them but I waved and knew it was one or many from this crew: Junk Miles, The Gazelle, The Ambitious One and Hot Thick Chick. (I also thought it could be Jen and Zach but Jen blew it later saying that she saw me and asked if I was wearing long black tights and a long black shirt - wrong again Barnes!!!) Anyway, the cheering really REALLY helped, so much so that I said screw it and decided to just kick it the F out. I passed a shitton of people on that last stretch, but you know what - they deserved it. Don't pass me and not expect revenge.

So, here are my famous splits:

Mile 1 = 6:54 (HR 181 bpm)
Mile 2 = 7:46 (HR 187 bpm)

Mile 3 = 6:52 (HR 185 bpm)

Mile 3.15 = 0:54 (HR 188 bpm)

TOTAL = 22:27/3.15 miles/7:08 pace/185 bpm

Yeah, I knew you'd laugh. What is up with that slow 2nd mile? That was definitely in the uphill but come on. It is totally off the boards. Anyway...I should be happy because I hit my goal but for some reason I know it wasn't as good as I could do. And that feeling kinda blows. If anything, this is a new benchmark that I can work with. It is a time trial. And knowing that the elevation and weather was bad, knowing that I had energy at the end...well, I'm likely going to do better in the future.

To everyone else out there with Shammy Shuffles today, hope you had a great time and are now rolling around drunk with a pitcher of green beer!


PS - the time is from my Garmin, not the official race time....which won't be posted until later. I am interested to see how I placed w/in my age group.

PPS - there was no man with a peg leg.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Swimming Again

Things I dislike about swimming:
  1. having to count
  2. commissioning and decommissioning myself for a measly 30 minute workout
  3. 24 hour fitness "wet areas" - do you really have to post signs reminding me to stay clothed? And why does it always smell like someone broke open a bottle of cologne?
  4. sharing a lane
  5. no garmins allowed
  6. tight face after I dry off
  7. no context for speed, form...yet
Things I like about swimming:
  1. weightlessness
  2. I'm comfortable in the water
  3. aero- and aqua-dynamicity
  4. using new muscles
  5. I've got lots of room to improve
  6. change of pace
  7. Because I want to look like that when I grow up
Both of these lists could probably go on and on. I did two swim workouts this week in the pool:
  • Friday = Warm up: 100 free, 100 kick; Main: 500 steady state (did it in 9:00 flat); Cool down: 200 anything (I alternated breast/free) TOTAL = 900m
  • Saturday = Warm up: 300 free, 100 kick; Main: 800 steady state (did it in 14:40); Cool down: 100 kick, 300 anything (I alternated breast/free) TOTAL = 1600m
I don't even know what to say about these workouts? I have no analysis, partly because I analyze while I'm actually working out, but with swimming all I do is count. It doesn't really feel hard and I don't think I'm getting my HR up that much. I think once I start focusing less on my running races my pool workouts will become more challenging...along with the dimensions of my traps! (I have this great picture from my sophomore year on the swim team where I'm doing a pull up in the water on the diving board. I'm a squirrely kid at this time but my arms/back/shoulders are downright scary.)

After my short Friday swim I changed into running stuff and ran about 40 minutes outside. I ran into Jen and Zach which was fun because I haven't seen them in a long time. Everyone's feeling fine and dandy for the Shamrock run tomorrow!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Track Workout - mile repeats

Ok, so only TWO mile repeats but that is more than one so...

This was Wednesday's workout and I was fresh off the flight from Mexico, so wore tiny running shorts to show off my tan at the track. Cause I'm superficial like that. Of course the sun had gone down and I froze most of the time but at least the world got to see my legs.

The workout was to be 1 mile x 2 with 3:00 rest in between. Target pace for each mile was 7:05 and I came under on both:

1st mile = 6:48 (182 bpm)
2nd mile = 6:54 (187 bpm)

I had written the 200 splits for a 7:00 mile on my hand so was able to track how close I got. Next time I might hit the lap button on the 200s to check out my splits later and see how evenly I paced throughout the mile. I know I slowed down in the middle then sped back up at the end. Pacing is a constant issue with me. I'm not terrible but I'm not good. I feel good about this workout and ready for the 5k on Sunday.

Thursday's workout was 90 minutes steady state on the bike - staying in Zone 1-2 (under 158 bpm). I decided to incorporate a spin class here so I wouldn't get bored. My real bike needs a tune up and air, so I did it all inside and you know how boring that is. The spin class was about 52 minutes long so I did some more before and after. Unfortunately I blew my HR, even being an underachiever in spin...average was about 162 for the 90 minutes. Not by too much, but oops.

Today is a swim + run, then tomorrow is another swim and Sunday the 5k. I haven't done a 5k in ages and have no clue what will happen. I'd like to finish in under 23:00 but we'll see. No idea.

I've been slow to update here because work is going at rapid fire pace again. There is just too much to do to keep up. I've initiated a no-personal email/internet rule during the day so I can be more efficient with work. It is working, but I'm losing track of my blogs and my own log! I haven't even posted my vacation pics to FB yet...what is wrong with me??

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Vacation Recap

I had a great time con mi madre in Mexico for my "bachelorette party." We spent a day driving to and touring Chichen Itza where I was crammed between two Spanish brothers that didn't speak any English. It was awesome. I took several years of Spanish and now basically know nothing. I kept asking the traditional questions that you learn your first week in Spanish class (Where are you from? How old are you? How much for these bananas?). I did well enough to learn that one of them had run the Seville Marathon and wants to run New York and London and his ex-girlfriend runs professionally. So I guess I'm not that bad but who knows what I sounded like to them. Running is the international language, no?

I kept up with running pretty well while I was there - the only day I deviated was for my 6 miler on the day we toured C. Itza. It took much longer than I anticiapted (13 hours total) and by the time I got home was beat. I tacked on 5 miles to the next day's run and did 10.

Below are some fragmented notes from the paper journal I kept during the trip; my apologies on tense deviations and general blabbiness. Remember this log is mostly for my record:
  • Wednesday - off day for travel
  • Thursday - Today´s run was in Mexico! Weather was hot and I started at 10 am. The first 2 miles were easy and I struggled thru the tempo miles...7:25 and 7:45. The heat started getting to me. The last two miles were really tough and I could not go slow enough to get my heart rate down. It kind of sucked at the end. I ended up feeling really crappy for the rest of the day including now and think its dehydration. I am trying to chug, but basically have thrown everything up that I´ve eaten and nothing sounds good! I will do my best to get healthy for tomorrow...6 miles easy w-some 30 second spurts thrown in. Hasta luego! TOTAL MILES = 6.07 (8:50 avg/176 HR)
  • Friday - More heat today but the run was slow so that was nice. I had to run sooo slow to keep my HR down. I actually had to stop a couple of times. How do people do it in this heat? Seriously. I brought a bottle of water with me this time which helped. Then I drank a huge mango smoothie afterward. I got sick yesterday so played it smarter today. No margarita post-run and plenty of food before and after. I suck. But i´m getting tan...! TOTAL MILES = 6 (9:19 avg/172 HR)
  • Saturday - this was my beach run/open water swim day. Ahhh, so much to say about this as it was quite interesting. I have NO idea how far I ran, but did so for 25 minutes barefoot on the beach. Let´s just say that beach running is awkward! I had fun though, except I didn´t do the full workout. The reason is because I´m a total pussy. I felt really weird in the water and apprehensive. I was supposed to do 5 sets of run-swim but only did 2. I got a massage today which was great! Only $25 for an hour! I might do one again before I leave because...why not? But back to the beach running - I have no business trotting around on the shoreline Baywatch-style, but I actually felt great once I got in the groove. I had on my 2-piece fun bather, then added my speedo top over it to combat bounciness. I knew I would never see any of those people again so it was awesome to just go with the flow and crank out the run. I felt strong and healthy and not as tired on beach runs in past years. Yay! TOTALS = who knows?
  • Sunday - nada
  • Monday - Perfect running weather in the low 70s and a little drizzle. The sun came out right after too! TOTAL MILES = 10 miles (8:40/164 bpm)
  • Tuesday - off day for travel
I spend some good time on the beach although I never really felt like I was in the sun the whole day. I read a book (The Orchid Thief) and got an hour-long $25 massage on the beach. I slept approx 9 hours + every night. I relaxed and "bonded" with my mom. It was fun, but I am so glad to be home.

The last night I hung out with the Georgetown Boys Rugby Team. Yes, I said boys. Commentary from that 20 minute experience as follows:

a. I am ten years older than you
b. I am engaged
c. The words "So, what are you and your mom drinking?" have never been uttered to me before and never shall be again.

They were sweet and having a great time

Then I was roofed and got kidnapped.

(Sorry about the lack of pics - I'm lazy and will have them up sometime later.)

Monday, March 09, 2009


It is my last night in Playa del Carmen and I decided I am ready to come home. I just made the mistake of checking my work email and it bummed me out. However, it is time to face la musica dammit.

I kept up with my workout plan for the most part. Today I ran 10 miles and it was actually cool and rainy and nice out. I did it as soon as I got up, which I´m reluctantly finding out is the best time to run. I managed 8:40 miles with a 163 avg bpm and it felt easy and good. I´m still sore on my calves from running tip toed in the sand a few days ago.

I tried to go out in the ocean to do another swim but it was too rough and the guys on the jet skis were going to too close. I wish I felt more comfortable with swimming in those conditions but I don´t!

I can´t wait to get home into cleanliness and comfort and routine and my peeps. I will be upset when my skin and tan all falls off though. I will have more training tales and stats to report on when I return as well as photos. I may not get to this until the weekend since apparently there is a shit storm brewing at work.

This weekend is also a 5k race! I haven´t done one in years and am looking forward to it.

Friday, March 06, 2009


I´m in Mexico!

I got up early on Wednesday and arrived in Playa del Carmen by 4:30 local time. The weather is nice and I´m enjoying myself. A quick update on training:

Wednesday: off for travel

Thursday: 6 miles with 2 in the middle at tempo pace (7:30), just like last week. I was totally thrown off about where to run but figured I´d make do and figure it out. I ended up running out of town (the touristy part by the beach) and went West into the neighborhoods where the people live. I ran by so many construction workers, stray dogs, etc. I have never seen such polite construction workers! I didn´t take my ipod so I could ensure I wouldn´t get clocked by a speeding truck. All was quite well except for the heat. The first two miles were fine, then my 1st tempo mile was good, and I think I managed to hit it on target, however the next 3 miles sucked. I ran my 2nd tempo mile in 7:45 and could not go slow enough on my 2 cooldown miles. It is so damn hot here, but its not even really that hot - like 80 degrees at the most. I just couldn´t handle it. I couldn´t go slow enough to get my HR down, but I managed to get it done with many breaks.

In my next smart move I went to the beach and had an immediate post run margarita. NO BUENO! I took a long walk along the beach to stake out places for my upcoming swim, but by the time I got back to my chair I was done. I started feeling sick and icky all over. I went up to the room and lost everything. I had to lie down for several hours. I know it was a combo of a lot of things - lack of sleep, the travel, dehydration, sun, heat, tequila, etc. I ended up being able to hit dinner and got some food in me and felt better.

Friday: Today! I woke up after a full night of sleep and felt great. I decided to eat some breakfast this morning (which I didn´t do yesterday) as well as plenty of coffee and water. I went to the beach for a tiny bit, then went out for my run at 11 a.m. It was 6 miles easy with 5 30 second strides. I did a lot better on this run than the day before. I took an entire bottle of frozen water with me which helped a ton. Then after finishing I had a huge blended mango drink (SIN alcohol, fyi!) and that was awesome. I have been drinking tons of water since. Bummer is that I got burned on my shoulders during my run despite slathering on SPF. I have the sweatproof stuff but it still didn´t work.

Tomorrow is another work out that I can´t remember. I think we´re going to head to Chichen Itza to check out the ruins one of these days too. Other than that, just hanging out at the beach and lounging around. It is good. But I really miss my phone and having a computer and internet at my disposal. The cafe I´m typing from is not far away and it is cheap, but I can definitely sense that I´m addicted to the internet and email. I miss my peeps and actually miss Portland. I don´t know when I became such a homebody....!

Having fun though and wish you were all here!


PS - i will enter all my times and stats later, I don´t have my Garmin on me now...

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Casting Video update

I have to report on this nonsense before I leave because this night has been hilarious. I don't want to wait until I come back to write this!

The guy came at 6:30 with full gear in tow and it was awesome. We had some TV guy in our apt! Anyway, he was really professional and worked so hard to get the best shot. He first talked with us for a bit before setting up, letting us know what to expect, etc. I figured he'd shoot us on the couch, but nope, we had to stand, which is totally not as comfortable as being on the couch. So anyway, he did a 1-1 with me first, then Josh, then both of us together. For the 1-1s the other had to be in another room. It was like the friggin newlywed game. I was totally nervous during mine and probably acted completely unnatural. I don't know how anyone can be comfortable in front of a camera like that. Not me. Once the they did the interview w/the 2 of us I was really comfy (one beer and one glass of wine later....) and it made things easier being able to banter w/my honey. I'm not sure if we killed it or what, but we'll see. It was fun but a little weird.

After that he asked if he could record us on the wall. So we suited up and put our harnesses on and I climbed up the wall a bunch while he recorded. It was fun cause he took the camera out of the tripod and moved around while we did our thing. I totally want to see how it all turns out!

We called it a wrap and asked our new friend if HE'D like to climb and he did! We spent the next hour or so belaying him and chatting and it was nice. He is local and I found out he's a runner. We're going to try to meet up after the Shamrock race next weekend! I'm totally pumped.

We found out that about 30 other people are being interviewed for the show right now. I am about 100% sure they won't ask us to do it. And if by any chance they did, we'd probably turn it down. I don't know.... I'll go into the details later on the questions that he asked and how we responded. I'm too anxious to recant all that right now, but it was a really interesting process and I'm happy we did it!

Anywho...I have to wake up in less than 5 hours and I'm no where close to going to sleep. I am going to hate myself tomorrow. I just know it.

Track Workout - 1000 repeats

Probably my final post for a while. I feel like such a brat for going on this trip. I really don't deserve it but I justified it somehow. I am sure I'll stop feeling guilty the minute the first sip of a margarita hits my lips!

Last night I did an easy 5 mile run. My last program had my easy runs at only 3 miles and the difference is significant. Its not that it is harder, it is just more of a time commitment for an easy run. And as we all know, time is money. Anyway, I did it, and here are the deets:

Miles = 5.00
Pace = 9:23
Avg HR = I don't know because I didn't wear my monitor

Today was my first track workout in ages. I missed it. It is always fun to see what kind of activity you'll find down at the public track. Today there was a group that looked like a class learning to sprint? I don't know what was going on....but they had a video camera that I made several cameos on as I ran past. (Do you ever wonder how many times you've been caught on someone else's camera? I wish I could see an archive of every image I've been part of.)

The workout was 4x1000 in 4:20 with 3:00 rests in between. My splits:

4:25/181 bpm
4:15/181 bpm
4:11/180 bpm
4:11/184 bpm

I found that I was not in speed workout mode when I started the first interval. Running fast felt hard so I slacked. I kind of forgot what the speed workouts were all about, but quickly regained and ended up feeling like I got in a good workout. I am still learning how to pace, but after I went slow on the first one I had a good sense of what I should be doing.

New plan: Shawn reworked my schedule and it now includes everything I could hope for on a tropical beach getaway! I am really excited to run on the beach, swim in the ocean and do pushups in the sand. I will take pics and report back as much as possible! I am really excited.

Pains: Blister on my achilles that is causing bleeding - my shoes look disgusting. And it hurts while I'm running. Ankle is still messed up. I think it is a tendon and have a feeling there is nothing I can really do about it. Now I have some weird soreness in the ball of my foot below toe #2. And my left knee hurts.

HGTV: Some dude named Bert is coming over tonight to tape a casting video of us. My SO is NOT happy and doesn't want any part of this. I don't know how I feel. I think it'll be fun to at least do the video and see what happens. I'm sure we'll be flattered if they ask us to do the show, but we may end up turning it down. Did anyone watch the newest episode of "My First Place" on Sunday? The couple was either really dorky ("well, I am getting my MBA so this is a perfect time for me to be negotiating!") or the show made them look like it. I'm guessing it is the former as I doubt the producers asked the guy to dress in chambray separates for 2 different shoots. Come on people! I wonder if they have googled me and are reading this blog now....

Off to pack! My cab to the airport arrives before 4:00 a.m. tomorrow morning so you can get I'll be getting to bed early tonight. Wish me luck! And if my plane crashes I bequeath my blog to all of you.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Can my Garmin Find Satellites in Mexico?

I bought a ticket today to meet up with my mom in Mexico for 7 days, starting in less than 48 hours! I have never done anything this spontaneous before and am totally excited. She was down there and her friend that was supposed to meet her got sick, so I graciously offered to come down. I'll be gone from 3/4-3/10...perfect.

I am going to continue to train while there - Shawn is going to shift around my training plan for this, so I'm interested to see what he gives me for swimming and running. I'm totally envisioning open water and runs on the beach. Anyone have experience with either that could give me some advice?

I will likely be offline during that time but full updates and reports as soon as I return!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Long Run - 10 miles

I did it. I regrouped and made it happen. Note to self: you always feel so much better when you run! Get out there and just do it, no matter how hard it is, it will be better in the end.

My training plan was to run 10 miles in zone 3 (which is 160-169 bpm/8:00-8:30 pace). Temps were high 40s and rainy/wet. I didn't wear enough clothing, but it was not too terrible; I did wear a hat which kept the water out of my eyes. I decided to not even try to pace myself or look at the Garmin until several miles in. Everything felt quite normal and fine through mile 6, when I decided that my pace had been too easy so I kicked it up a notch. I still didn't analyze my Garmin until mile 8.2, when I realized I was on pace to finish in 8/8:30 miles, which *surprise* was exactly where I should have been. Honestly, I thought that I was running much slower, like 9:00s so this was a nice surprise. I finished strong and that is the end.

The end except that my ankle is still stinging. Bastard.

Miles = 10
Pace = 8:13

February Recap

February for me was a transition month. I had finished my race goal with the Vancouver Lake Half and had not yet made a plan for the next steps. I took some time off, started to regroup, partook in cross training in the form of spin and bikram and finally came up with a plan for the future.

Let's say that I tend to get more done, feel more settled and positive when I have a plan in place. Case in point, here is a sampling of post titles from the month of February:
  • "In 20 Directions"
  • "Worthless-ish"
  • "Disappointment"
  • "Disgusting"
  • "Demise"
  • "Terribilist"
I need to stop being so hard on myself. That is the bottom line lesson learned from the month of February.

My goals for March will take place in my weekly goals to the left. But basically I want to get back into a training program and groove that suits me. There is a lot going on for me right now - wedding planning, house hunting and other pursuits. March will be the litmus test for whether my life and schedule can accommodate this crazy 30-something's hectic ways.

It Gets Worse!

I am really really disappointed in myself right now. Without this sounding like too much of a pity party, I just want to get down on "paper" how I'm feeling and where this is coming from, so I can understand myself better.

I am worried that this first week of training didn't work out. Is tri training not for me? I'm only in the first week and already messing up my schedule? I sometimes over-organize to a fault...I plan out my whole day to a T, then when I wake up 15 minutes late, everything is shot and I don't follow any of the plan. That is not healthy and I thought I'd abandoned those bad habits long ago, but I guess they sneak out every so often. This is the worst training week I've had since last fall, before I started getting serious again. My behavior is making me feel shit-tay, but what can I do?

**Intermission from the Darkness**

Life isn't all bad, right? Here are some things I'm loving right now:
  1. Set design of Practical Magic. This is exactly how I would like the interior of my future house to be...rustic, light, worn, organized, pretty, lots of greenery and botanical stuff. I found out that this house was constructed temporarily and torn down in two days on San Juan island in Washington.
  2. Pottery Barn catalog - I love the house they used in this photo shoot! I want that home office...
  3. Bacon - already mentioned
  4. The public library - although I had to wait 5 months, I finally got the entire 3rd season of Weeds this week. Next up may be Big Love, or maybe I'll revisit SATC, some of the seasons I've only seen 3 or less times. I also have 2 bikram books in my possession, one of the Obama books and several other enticing reads on hold.
  5. Target - I mean, who doesn't? I love stocking up on stuff that I absolutely need (e.g. hair clips in every color you could imagine) and something about the store just soothes me.
  6. Thrifting - I was able to stop by my old thrift store haunts in Seattle last week (Value Village in Capitol Hill I love you!) as well as the Goodwill in Portland and an estate sale at the home we're looking at that's for sale. I should be posting pictures but I'm lazy...I got a an old linen table cloth, some doilies (potential wedding decor), a vintage kitchen scale and some other crap that no one else would probably care about. At the estate sale I found lots of neat old artist supplies; the woman who lived there was an artist. There were old sketch pads and there were tons of paintings/watercolors that were so could anyone let all that go? I only bought one oil painting on canvas that isn't that exciting but it is original and that makes me happy.
  7. 30 Rock - I just can't get enough! Tracy Jordan and Liz Lemon! Can we please hang out for drinks sometime?
  8. Jillian's dress - I found this online after she got the boot by Jason. Who would turn down a lady in this dress!? Unlike Jillian, this dress is now unavailable (even on ebay). I also heard some juicy Bachelor news, but only read on if you don't mind a spoiler... I'm totally watching this tomorrow night FOR THREE HOURS - anyone want to join? I may DVR and start late to avoid commercials. RSVP in the comments box!
Back to the question of what can I do....?

It is gray and cloudy out and I could sit here in laziness and misery all day watching TV, reading, drinking coffee OR I could get active. I think the best thing for me today could be just a long easy run, listening to stories on my iPod and relaxing into a pace. I need to get some fresh air and start this next week strong.

I'm posting some motivational quotes to get me in the mood:

"You are what you think about all day long."
- Dr. Robert Schuller

"It takes no more effort to expect the best, than to fear the worst. It's healthier, more productive, and a lot more fun!"
- Philip E. Humbert, PhD

"The path to cheerfulness is to sit cheerfully and to act and speak as if cheerfulness were already there."
- William James

"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step."
- Chinese Proverb

Wish me luck, send your positive vibes my way and, as always...I'll keep you posted.