Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I Wanna Try These...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Triathletes, 40-Somethings, Going for Youth

Published: October 22, 2010

Tough Decisions on Goals

I've made a really tough and reluctant decision, but in the end I know I'll be better for it long-term.  I basically told my coaches I don't want to do the USA Fit Full Marathon; I want to switch to the Half Marathon.

Yesterday's craptastick run in the Houston Half Marathon really only solidified what I've been thinking about doing since probably, well honestly, probably before Redman.

The bottom line is I need to get better at running and truly there is absolutely no rush for me to do a full-marathon right now.  If there is a reason, someone clue me in.

It makes logical sense to me to work on my getting my half-marathon better and more consistent before moving on to bigger things. I'm not afraid of a tough challenge; that's also what gets me into trouble.

Here's my current reality:  Over the last year it's become increasingly difficult to keep my head in the game when it comes to running.  I feel as if I'm just only making backward progress where running is concerned. I see improvements in cycling and swimming all the time, but not with running. I know everyone tries to be encouraging, "the weather is bad."  "It was a hard day for everyone..."  "Don't be so hard on yourself..."  I've been putting in the training and working too hard not to see it pay off.  Maybe part of it is my body doesn't want to "play" under it's hormonal imbalances right now. I have to wonder if moving forward and continuing with the Full might not be the best thing for me physically.  I really feel like the thyroid, hyperprolactenemia and anemia issues are hindering me.  Unfortunately, the protocol for treating and leveling out these imbalances doesn't just happen overnight.  The constant stress I put my body under with training, doesn't necessarily help that either.  Then there's the whole thing with not being able to drop weight. 

At yesterday's half I missed the half-way cut-off by 5 minutes.  I didn't know there was a 3 hour cut-off for the whole race.  They diverted me, which took 1.2 miles off my course.  I crossed the finish with only 11.8 miles recorded, but I chose to bypass collecting the medal and finishers shirt.  Even on the results they posted me as finishing with a negative split! Everyone had a rough day.  It was extremely humid AND it was a tough course. 

The whole reason I started with my first half-marathon last year was because it would force me to run and as a result I would hopefully get better. That's still my goal:  to get better; not necessarily to go a longer distance. Sometimes I lose sight of that with the excitement of looking for the next big goal.

Yes, I want to do a full Ironman one day, but until I decide when that will be (2012 at the earliest). I don't see the need to rush doing a Full Marathon. I really, really enjoyed doing the 70.3 and I want to do more of them, for sure, in the near future -- so getting my half-marathon more consistent would definitely help to that end.

It's a hard decision because I don't want to be seen as a quitter or weak in the mind.  One of my coaches said, "you just need a Win in the running area."  He's completely right.  I need to see I can achieve some kind of reasonable goal with running before I completely throw-in the towel out of frustration.

There are lots of things I can practice doing another half-marathon:
  • Nutrition
  • Pacing -- actually learn what my right pace is and be able to run it without my Garmin!
  • Negative splitting
  • Run a little faster and figure out what the right interval is for me.

I don't need a podium finish to prove that to myself, I don't have to run single digit miles, but I do need to see something positive happen given the effort I invest and, at the least, get back to where I was last year more consistently. Last year I was trying to break 12 minute miles... this year I'm struggling to stay under 15... something is not right. 

I just want to put yesterday behind me and start fresh.

I will still keep USA Fit as my "A" race, but switch to the half.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Things I Love: UnderArmour Catalyst Tee

When I did the Aramco Houston Half Marathon last year, aside from the great feeling of finishing, I got a tech tee that I really, really love. I get tech tees from races all the time... I mean, this has got to be my favorite tee of all time.  I don't even put it in the dryer, because I just don't want to ruin it!

I found out yesterday it's called the "Catalyst" tee.  I also found out you can purchase them from UnderArmour.  I thought they were some special tee only available at the marathon, because they were "eco-friendly", made of plastic bottles. 

I love the tee's flattering fit and wicking properties. Even though it's thin in weight, it does the job well.  The short-sleeved version comes in 9 different colors!  It comes in 7 colors in the long-sleeve too, so I'll probably be picking one up after I check my Winter apparel inventory. :)

Lost at Home!

Thanks for the messages.  I'm okay!

I came down with sinus thing that was bugging me pretty badly.  It took me out of action for about a week.  In spite of it I tried to run anyway, but those runs turned into walks; at least I was out.

This past Tuesday was the first "real" workout I was able to do.  It was track and I had 3 x 1 mile repeats at half-marathon pace. I'm targeting a 5:45 finish so that's about a 13:15 pace.  I ran at my max heartrate on all three and did a 12:05, 12:30 and 13:03.   Nice times for me, but fastermy half-marathon pace.  I know I'll get this pacing thing down... eventually.

This weekend I'm running in the first warm-up race for the Houston Marathon (even though I didn't get in to the actual marathon... no, not bitter... MUCH). It's the Koala/Luke's Locker Houston Half Marthon and Relay.  I'm doing the Half Marathon.  Last year I relayed and I was sick-as-a-dog!  I don't feel like I've been training much coming off Redman, so I'm just praying I won't feel miserable throughout the run.

There's a new course this year, so I'm excited about that.  I prefer 1 large loop, as opposed to multiple loops of the same course when it comes to running.  Guess I'm just weird like that.  

My coaches gave me a plan to use to help figure out my overall strategy for the marathon.  I'lll do the first 5 miles at 5:1 intervals, the next 5 miles at 4:1 intervals and then the last 5k intervals at every 1/2 mile.  I'm supposed to do this at an "easy" pace... faster than a long run, but not hard.   Yeah.... I get it.  Sorta.  I'll take splits and we'll figure out from there what the best interval should be for me.  Recently I started doing all my long runs with a 1 minute walk at the half mile mark, instead of using time.

My Chiro has a strength training facility in her practice, which also hosts a branch of Crossfit.  I met with her yesterday to detect my imbalances and come up with a strength plan I can implement during the week.  So I've got a plan now and will start next week with 2 days a week and will add a 3rd in shortly thereafter.  It's going to be great and will help ensure I remain injury free and strong.  :)  I'm looking forward to adding it in.

Monday, October 11, 2010

And so it begins...

I met with my coaches this weekend to talk about a plan of attack and discuss the approach to the run strategy they are going to have me use.  All-in-all it makes sense and I'm looking forward to learning more and training with an "approach" from the start.  I think that's what was missing for me when I started training with the local running club last year for my first half-marathon.

So I have my plan, my benchmark workouts and my warm-up races all set.  I'll be running 4 days a week as well as doing some biking, swimming and strength training (Yeah!).

What I need to do next is do a lactate threshold test.   I need to accurately determine where my thresholds are, as working in an anaerobic capacity for too long and hinder my weight loss efforts and in order for me to go faster, I need to make sure I can get my Thyroid to cooperate and maximize efforts to lose.

I still have second thoughts, that maybe I'm biting off more than I can physically and emotionally chew.  They needed me to pick a finish time.  I really didn't want to.  I didn't want to set unrealistic expectations for myself.  However, in order to use their plan of attack we need a pace to start with.  If the benchmarks show I cannot obtain that pace we can make it slower, but once chosen, we can't make it faster.  

I chose a 5:45 marathon for at 13:15 pace.  My half was 3:03 and a 13:45 pace and that was with Glute issues the last 6 miles. 

Coming off the full marathon, I'll be in a great place to roll into the Lonestar 70.3 training. 

There will be lots of biking, in the wind, down in Galveston this Winter. :)

Friday, October 08, 2010

Thoughts On Bullying...

Today I saw a former Classmates status set to: "To anyone i ever saw get bullied as a kid, and didn't stand up for, i am sorry. i'd fight 4 you now."  It really got me thinking...

I've read a lot in the media lately about bullying.  In light of recent events it's been in the news, Tweeted, in the status on people's Facebook pages, and subject of general "can you believe..." water cooler talk.  It got me thinking back to my childhood days and how bullying takes so many different forms and from unexpected sources.

I'm certain that at the time I wasn't aware I was being bullied, in many cases, because it was passive-aggressive and by people who I trusted.

I allowed my parents to bully me, well, because they were my parents and they were "concerned" about my weight when I was younger.  I had to keep tight-lipped out of respect for them, but I forgot completely about respecting myself!  Looking back now, I wish I would have understood that just because they're your parents doesn't mean they are right all the time.  Punishing a child or taking them out of the extra-curricular activities you love just because you haven't lost the amount of weight they determined appropriate, is not constructive - only counterproductive and reinforces the idea that you'll never be good enough for them.  Or worse, you'll never be good enough to do anything you want to do because people will only see your weight and not YOU.

They were wrong and I know that.... now.  I also know that they loved me and were scared for me, and yes, also embarrassed for themselves.

I was bullied by the girls in my predominately black middle school, where I was 1 of two white girls on the the basketball team.  Make no mistake, I am completely open to diversity and am not prejudiced in spite of having many reasons to decide otherwise as a result of my experiences, but I understand those "mean girls" aren't representative of an entire race, and clearly had their own problems.  Ultimately though, it was my lack of self-esteem which kept me from going to the coach or reporting incidents to teachers or even my parents.

I was bullied because we weren't well off; yeah, I was a welfare kid.  I can remember standing in lunch line on several occasions and having a boy walk down the lunch line tapping everyone's front pockets for loose change.  When he heard it, you had to hand it over.  It was the only time I was thankful I was a "free lunch" kid; I might have given up whatever change I had, but no one wanted to be carrying a free lunch card.

It was like I expected to be treated poorly just came with the not being well off, well skilled or normal weight. 

I gave my supposed best friend the power to bully me over and over again -- all because I didn't have the self-esteem to know and act on the fact that I deserved better.  She did hurtful things to me; things that would shock people, yet I went back for more over and over again.  It wasn't until sophomore year in High School when she started associating with a questionable group of people that I pulled away -- mostly because things she was becoming involved in were blatantly wrong.

I think it was in high school, where finally I realized I did deserve better.  Something about that friendship finally ending was the start of me becoming more self-aware.  I realized that the perception of me in the eyes of others was not MY truth; their perception was THEIR reality.  I can remember, much to my surprise, being befriended by several folks I would have never expected to be friends with, and it opened my eyes.  They were friends who accepted me for who I was and where I came from.  It didn't magically solve everything, but it did make me feel differently about myself and realize that just maybe I was okay, even with my imperfections.  I didn't completly evolve into this person chock-full of self-esteem overnight (I still struggle at 42 years old!), but at least I became aware that in life you have to be comfortable and confident in yourself, in your own skin, no one can give that to you.

So then the question is, "How to make someone else believe it?"  I struggle to believe in myself, but I don't think I ever got my parents on-board, believing in who I turned out to be.  It wasn't until my second marriage and the birth of my Daughter where I could feel a shift in their perception. 

I feel so sorry for these kids who have taken their own lives because they didn't believe they were okay enough for society.  It makes me grateful, I mean I know I have my issues but they're not extreme, that I turned out this way.  I am smart enough to look back and understand what happened in the past and strong enough to work on changing my beliefs.  Who would have thought it would take 20+ years?!?  I'm even more grateful because I know my Daughter will learn to be proud of herself, not because someone told her it's "okay" to be proud of herself -- but rather because she is confident and knows on her own she has reason to be proud.

How do you get a child to start understanding the value of self-esteem?  It's so important -- especially to young girls.  I need Cassie to know that she's valuable, just as she is and that she shouldn't ever compromise herself to be accepted by others.

For the young lives recently lost, initially I thought I could understand their enormity of their self-loathing, but clearly I can't even begin to imagine their complete lack of self-worth, for them to take their own life?  It makes me wonder who were the people around them?  Were they so invisible no one saw signs and could have stepped in?  Or were they like me... too scared it might make matters worse, and became complacent in their thinking, saying "..nothing will make a difference, so why bother?"

So sad for these kids.  So sad.

Bfast 10/8

Fage w/Cherry Yogurt
1 whole Ezekiel English Muffin
Laughing Cow Light
2 T. Dried Cranberries
Lazy this morning; didn't make my eggs and whites.  Greek yogurt is a great source of protein too, especially when I don't have it in my took cook anything.  My allergies have me feeling like kah-kah. :(

Calories:  347, Carbs: 57 g, Fat: 6 g., Protein 18 g

Has anyone else ever notice how much sodium is in cottage cheese?  Holy cow!  About 500 g. in 2/3 cup!

Friday Fill-in

So...here we go!

1. My favorite month is December because I love how the cold weather makes everything smell fresh!

2. Nothing like a fresh breeze.

3. I love to sniff David Yurman's fragrance.

4. Candy Corn is what I like to have as a treat for breakfast. KIDDING (but it was my first thought)

5. The hobby I enjoy most is duh, triathlon.

6. 26 1 mile repeats? oh my!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to Darren and Cass' first duathlons tomorrow my plans include v'teering at packet pick-up and Sunday, I want to watch the Ironman World Championships!

I like it!

Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.

George Sheehan

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Thursday 13

1)  So I get a text from my coach yesterday, "Are you ready to be a runner?"  I'm sorta already throwing up in my mouth at the thought of my first full marathon.

2)  Speaking of running... I have a half-marathon exactly 17 days.  Again, what was I thinking so close to Redman?  I just want some more  downtime.  I think.

3)  The new 5150 Triathlon series -- 5150 = police code for escaped lunatic.

4)  It's been nice being home and not training so much :) 

5)  I came home to a completely clean house yesterday.  Soooo nice!  I'm totally grateful I can have help.

6)  Cassie is doing great in school.  She went 7 weeks all "green".  She came home yesterday with her first "yellow" for behavior (she interrupts the teacher during directions).  You would have thought she lost her puppy (if she had one).  I was both disappointed and proud.  Proud because it was the first thing she told me and she wasn't afraid to tell me the truth.

7)  My food blogging is probably boring.  I just realized what a boring eater I am.

8)  I haven't made chicken parm in years.  I made a "light" version last night and it was awesome.

9)  There is really, Really, REALLY gross stuff on the Internet.

10) My CoQ10 dots don't seem to dissolve like my B12 dots.

11)  Number 10 reminded me to take my Calcium

12)  It's ironic that for someone who only too meds when it was absolutely necessary that I have a menu of meds for this thyroid BS. 

13)  I go home in 27 minutes. :)

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun!

T-Base layer Long Sleeve from Terry Precision Cycling

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

PM Snack 10/6

Fage 2% Greek Yogurt w/Peach
1/4 Large Honeycrisp Apple
Calories:  161
Carbs:  26 g
Fat:  2 g
Protein 10 g

Lunch 10/6

Orrowheat 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Thin
1 oz. Cabot 50% less Fat Lowfat Cheddar Cheese
Sliced Mezzetta Peperoncini's
10 Medium baby Carrots
3 T. Athenos Greek Hummus w/ Lemon juice (YUM!)
1/4 of a large Honeycrisp Apple
Calories:  334
Carbs:  46 g
Fat:  10 g
Protein:  24g

Just Wetsuits!

So for Redman my plan was to RENT a wetsuit, and I did just that.  Well, in the end, not "just."  Unfortunately there was some miscommunication and I didn't receive the wetsuit until the Friday evening before I would leave for Redman on the next Wednesday.  I was supposed to have it a week-and-half earlier, so that if I had any fit issues there would be time enough to resolve them.

When I still had not received the wetsuit a week before my race I followed up.  I got super nervous when the lady stated, "I have you down for a full wetsuit."

To which I replied, "Ummm, no."

I wasn't feeling very warm and fuzzy.

They also didn't have me down for receiving it early, and she went on to tell me she would "do her best" to get it out to me, but that returns were slow.  

I couldn't help but think, "Do your best?"  "WTF?"  "I have the biggest race I've ever committed to... I don't know if your "best" is going to be good enough."

After I got off the phone with them I immediately scoured the Internet for a wetsuit.  I found myself on the phone with Mike from justwetsuits.com.  Mike was super helpful with trying to decide what wetsuit would fit best. 

I'm not going to name the wetsuit rental company because they were super nice and I truly believe they were experiencing circumstances beyond their control, in that people were not returning wetsuits promptly.  They were pulling their hair out trying to make do with what they had.  True, rentals are their business, but if their stock isn't returned timely, what are they going to do, right?

I will chalk my experience up as as a miscommunication, which can happen.  In the end they have refunded my rental fee AND offered me a coupon for a free rental!  Boy am I glad I got a backup!

But back to justwetsuits.com.  Mike was great!  He was real knowledgeable as to how all the different brands of wetsuits fit.  He wasn't comfortable fitting me with what the rental place wanted to give me and really made a strong case of going with the Zoot Fuzion.  I really didn't worry about his choice too much (but I did really want a QR), because my full wetsuit is a Zoot Fuzion as well, just a previous year's model.  Also few vendors make them in lengths.  Orca used to, but QR and Zoot still do.  I definitely needed a men's/short.

Of course it arrived and fit perfectly.  No problems whatsoever.  Mike was prompt about getting it in the mail to me and it actually arrived the same day as the rental.  I took both with me to Redman.

Though the rental 2XU fit super-snug, I knew I could probably get away with it, but there was also a strange rub between the legs. Hmmmm?  When we got to Redman and I saw the water conditions at our pre-race OWS, I decided, "screw it!"  I wasn't going to wear something I was unsure about and have that be a problem as well.  I sucked it up and ripped the tags off the Zoot.  Now I own it!

So, if you're in the market for a wetsuit... please, contact Mike at http://www.justwetsuits.com .  Just wetsuits is a family run business. Two of them are IM finishers themselves, and all are passionate about triathlon

B'fast 10/6

1 Ezekiel English Muffin (whole muffin is 2 svgs!)
1 wedge Laughing Cow Light
1/2 C. Daisy 4% Cottage Cheese
1 C. Nectarines, diced
2 T. Sliced Raw Almonds
2 T. Dried Cranberries
Calories:  374
Carbs:  50 g
Fat:  9g
Protein:  26 g

Monday, October 04, 2010

Lunch 10/4

 Orrowheat 100% whole wheat Sandwich Thin
5 oz. Grilled Chicken Breast
1/4 small Avocado
1 thin slice Cabot 50% less Fat Cheddar
1/3 of Lg. Honeycrisp Apple
1/3 of Med. Cucumber Peeled
Calories:  402
Carbs:  37g
Fat:  12g
Protein:  42g

B'fast 10/4

1 Egg & 2 Egg Whites
1/2 C. Fresh Spinach
1/8 C. Organic Valley Shredded Italian Blend
2 T. F&W Rancho Salsa Verde
1/2 plain Ezekiel English Muffin
6 T. Half-n-Half for Coffee

7 Years :)

October 3rd was my 7 year anniversary.  Everyday I consider myself lucky to have my Husband by my side to see our life together through ups and downs.  There's no one I know, who is more kind, loving, caring and supportive partner-for-life than he is to me.  I love you sweetie!

7 years ago -- Our Wedding

"To get the full value of a joy, you must have somebody to divide it with."
- Mark Twain -

Friday, October 01, 2010

AM Snack & Lunch 10/1

Had b'fast early today; needed snack!
Nature Valley Granola Bar
Calories: 190
Carbs:  29g
Fat:  6g
Protein:  4g

In the end, I really only ate 1/2 of this:

2 Svgs Green Giant Steamer Broccoli & Carrots
4oz. Chicken Breast
1/2 C. Brown Rice
Calories:  325
Carbs:   34g
Fat:  6g
Protein:  36

Breakfast 10/1

1 Whole Ezekiel English Muffin (that's 2 srvgs)
1.5 oz. Boar's Head Low Sodium Ham
1/2 oz.  Organic Valley Shredded Cheese
1/4 of a large Honeycrisp apple (YUM!)
6 T. Horizon Half-n-Half for Cauuffffeeee!
Calories:  379
Carbs:  43g
Fat: 11g
Protein:  21g