Thursday, February 28, 2013

Self Control

As I mentioned, Sunday is race day.

Which means, repeat after me:

"My commute is not a race, my commute is not a race."

What is it about being on a bicycle that can make a person just want to race?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Race Week

First, an update: My sleep mini-challenge is proving to be more of a challenge that I was up for, at least last week.

In my first week I turned the lights off by 10:00 pm 3 out of 7 days (instead of 5). At least three of those were pretty spectacular fails, with two nights when the lights went out at 11:30 and one at 1:00 am (!!! But I was at a fun dinner party in NYC, so I knew that night would be a failure).

But now we are in race week. Backyard Burn #1 is this weekend at Hemlock. It is a 5 mile trail race series and this race is, in my opinion, the hardest. I have been tracking the weather and doing some visualizing and looking at past times and have a few easy days coming up on my calendar. Hopefully I can add some early nights to that list of preparations and will be able to face race morning as ready as I can be.

Looks like 2013 is starting to get rolling - let's go!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sleep Mini-Challenge

It is almost a month until my half-marathon.

Training has been unremarkable but consistent. Runs are getting tougher and faster. I've been tracking food to get a handle on my nutrition and am feeling like that is working.

There is a serious missing link though: sleep.

I go to bed way too late. WAY too late. I usually turn out the lights between 10:45 and 11:30. The littlest one usually wakes up between 5:15 and 6. And even if she goes back to sleep for a little bit, I usually don't really.

So, I was thinking, if I could turn those lights out by 10:00 pm on 5 out of 7 nights per week, that would be a very good thing. It is currently too late to start this challenge tonight, since my computer clock is reading 9:59 pm, but maybe with one month to go I will start.

We'll see how this goes.

Friday, February 8, 2013


I am currently self-"coached," if you can call it that. Sure, I am not sure exactly what I am doing and would love to put myself in the hands of a coach, but my workout schedule is so wacky and I need to have family as a highest priority right now, so it just seems like it isn't worth the expense.

Anyway, in my schedule I don't really have rest days. I wish I could get the volume I want in 6 days a week, but with work and the kids and Dave's workouts to schedule around, it just doesn't seem possible. Instead I have been trying to listen to the body and take the rest day when I need it on a day that doesn't have a critical workout. So far this has been working for me.

But I think I have a rest day coming.

I woke up Thursday a little sore, but Thursday is my bike commute day and I had an important run scheduled for lunchtime, so I did that. This morning I woke up fatigued again, but Friday is the day I go to my strength class at the gym, which I adore (and pay for), so I did that.

I hate making Saturday a rest day, but it might just have to happen tomorrow. At least a very breezy day with windchills in the teens seems like a good candidate for one.

Who knows if this makes sense as a way to train, but it just seems to be a shame to schedule rest days when the body is ready to train. After almost six years of triathlon training (well, minus the two seasons I took "off"), I should be able to hear what my body is saying regarding fatigue, right?

I hope so. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Track

For this winter at least, I have turned Monday lunchtime into my track workout because I work from home on Mondays and there is a track nearby. Now, I love the track.

I'm not sure when I came to love the track. It definitely wasn't when playing lacrosse in college, so I am going to blame my mid-20s when my life revolved around NOVA rugby and getting quicker and fitter and better at 7s. And having some fun. But sometimes you have more fun when you win, so we spent a lot of hours at the track.

We had various programs and met up in the dark of the dead of winter and in the early morning hours in the heat of Virginia summer and, a few memorable times, during rain that turned to thunderstorms. Thunderstorms that were very close.

So, as far as running workouts go, I think that as far as the satisfaction and overall good feeling I get from a workout, the track is my second favorite kind of training run. It pales in comparison to my favorite, a trail run, but it is a solid second. Long runs are nice, especially when there are pace goals attached, but very little compares to checking the watch at the end of an interval that induced and seeing that you are spot-on pace and that you will be able to knock out another one.

But some days you get caught up in something and when you look at the little computer clock it is 12:55. And you haven't eaten lunch because you were going to run. And you make the mistake of sticking your arm outside to see if 34 degrees really feels like 34 degrees today - and it does. And you know the workout is mile repeats. Like, more than a couple.

These are the days I rely on working out as a habit (and guilt) to go upstairs and get dressed and just go do it. I thought about driving .75 of a mile down the street and parking to halve my trip over to the track and back (no parking at the track during school hours), but I didn't. 

So I was very happy to get out there and just start putting them back. I prefer shorter intervals so, mentally, mile repeats are a bit of challenge for me, but it helped the the right times were showing up on my watch as it buzzed me in for each mile. And that I didn't feel cold after the second one and was able to take my jacket and gloves off. And when I felt a mild rebellion at the start of the fourth one, I might have taken some inspiration from Caroline's hill repeats the other day, because I think I know what part of Walter Reed she is talking about and that hill is ginormous.

So I am happy to be able to tell you that I was able to nail every repeat, even the 400 full pace that was tacked onto the end of the last mile. They weren't easy, but I didn't feel totally spent on the run home and feel fine now.

And, as always, the worst part was getting out the door.