Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Magic

Tonight I set out for a short run.  I did my typical five minute warm up walk, and then started running - very slowly.  I had my interval timer set for 3:1 run/walk intervals.  But when my first three minutes was up, I didn't feel like walking.  I decided to see how far I could go before I felt like I needed to stop.  And it never happened.  I never felt like I wanted to or had to walk.  For the first time in my life, I ran two miles without stopping!  I won't bore you with the details - like how slow I was or how long it took.  It's still two miles no matter how you map out the distance.

Was it Halloween magic?  I'm not sure but I'll take it, whatever it was.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

In the Moment

It was a typical October weekend in the Bay Area - temperatures in the mid 70s, the Giants in the World Series.  You know, this happens all the time.

Yesterday I got up and went for a run first thing.  I love running in the morning - I always feel at my best.  It was perfect running weather - sunny, no breeze, but not hot.  I decided on four miles.  It was the first time I had done four miles since my half marathon in May so I planned to take it slow.  It was such a beautiful morning - tons of runners and bikers out on the trail.  I was completely in the moment - enjoying where I was and what I was doing.

I wanted to go for a bike ride this morning, but I also wanted to sleep in.  I told myself that if I woke up in time, I'd go do the Melo Velo ride.  Turns out I was awake in plenty of time so off I went.  There was a big group this week - probably 10 or 11 of us.  We got our pre-ride instructions and some tips from the leader and off we went.

I must be getting more comfortable on the bike if I dare to take pictures while riding.

I really love this route and should try to go more often - but sleep usually wins out.  Today again I tried to stay in the moment and just enjoy being out on my bike and the gorgeous weather we were having.  

They close this rode for bike riders 10 months of the year on Sunday mornings.
Before I knew it we were at the turnaround and heading back.

Not a bad view!

Overall it was a really good 15 mile ride.  Today's ride leader was fantastic - lots of tips and regular regroups.  And when it was over I felt like I could have gone further, so that is progress.

So I managed a decent length run and a good ride this weekend, and finished both before 11 am.  I feel pretty good about that.  And now to watch the Giants (hopefully) clinch the World Series.  Go Giants! 

Friday, October 26, 2012


Last night I went to the pool for a swim session.  When I say session, I mean swimming back and forth across the pool in between hanging on the wall catching my breath - no fancy sets or drills for me yet.  I'm still trying to get the hang of this whole being in water thing.

My attitude wasn't the best when I got there - it was cold, I was tired, and I really just wanted to be home watching the Giants game.  My goal was to be able to swim 50 yards of freestyle without stopping.  I can do 50 yards, but it's typically something like 35 freestyle and then 15 jungle crawl because I feel like I need more air.  Last night was no different and I left the pool feeling incredibly frustrated and defeated.

But something happened on the way home.  I don't know why, but my thinking shifted from, "I am the worst swimmer in the world.  I'm never going to be able to do a triathlon," to "I think I've made some pretty decent progress in a month.  I can't wait to see how far I can go by the end of the year."

See, here's the thing.  I took a group swimming class in the spring but didn't get the one-on-one attention I needed.  Then I didn't swim for most of the summer because I was training for my duathlon.  So I would say that I really didn't start swimming until my first private lesson on September 26.  That was only one month ago, and I've only taken two lessons total.  Since then, I've been making an effort to get to the pool twice a week.  And now I can comfortably swim freestyle 25 yards - one length of the pool.  And I used to have to rest for a minute in between each 25.  Now I only rest 15-30 seconds.  It may not sound like much, but considering I have absolutely no background in swimming, I'll take it!

I'm making progress, not just with my swimming but with my way of thinking, too.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Rain, rain, go away!

Looks like winter - or at least fall - has arrived in the Bay Area.  Being from the east coast, I'm still amazed at the fact that it doesn't rain at all in the summer - not one single drop.  You can plan a BBQ, a wedding, a triathlon and never have to worry about being rained out from May through October.  

But this morning it's coming down in buckets.  And today I am thankful for spin class.  If it weren't for spin, I would probably be starting from ground zero (again!) with my bike fitness next spring.

Things are going to get interesting when I have to swim in the rain.  Considering my limited (*cough*non-existent*cough*) swim background, it's no surprise I've never swum in the rain before.  But my gym only has outdoor pools.  At least in this area I won't have to worry about them closing for lightning.

And I can't get out of here without a shout out to the San Francisco Giants who are going to play in game 7 of the NLCS tonight - if the rain stops.  Go Giants!

Monday, October 15, 2012

What am I thinking?

I have spent the better part of today with thoughts of signing up for a half marathon running through my head.  Not just some random half marathon, but one that would take place at the end of December and require me to start training yesterday.

Clearly I need something to focus on until I get my first shot at a triathlon next spring.  I'm so impatient.  Hopefully tonight's spin class will wipe some of this half marathon madness out of my brain!

Sunday, October 14, 2012


I'm having a little trouble with my workout consistency lately.  I think it's partially because I'm not really training for anything, and partially because I'm trying to do so many things - swim, bike, run, golf, strength training.  Where do I find the time to do it all?

Tonight I'm going to write out a schedule for the upcoming week, and it might actually include some morning workouts.  *gulp* Now I'm not opposed to morning workouts.  In fact, I prefer them.  But ever since I started working at a job where I have to be at work at 7:30 am, workouts have been officially pushed to the evenings.  But in order to fit in everything I want to do, I think I'm going to need to have a couple of double workout days each week.  I can get up a little early twice a week, right?  Right???

On a happier topic, yesterday was a golf day.  It was perfect weather and great company.

Our weapons

We played at one of my favorite courses.  Don't ask me about my score.  It was not my best round.  But a bad round of golf is still good.

That Bloody Mary was purely medicinal.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up

It was an absolutely gorgeous weekend in the Bay Area - sunny and warm both days.  Perfect workout weather.  And it was one of those weekends were I didn't have too many plans.  I love these kind of weekends!

Saturday I managed to get in a short run.  I love running earlier in the day so much more than after work, but I just can't seem to drag myself out of bed before work during the week.  I just did a few miles around the neighborhood - nothing exciting.  Still loving my new iPod and my new shoes.

Yesterday I did the Melo Velo ride with the Velo Girls.  Velo Girls is a local women's cycling club.  Every Sunday they host a 15 mile ride that is geared towards beginners - an out and back route with some rollers.  I've done this ride with them about a half dozen times over the past couple of years.  Up until recently my cycling had been so inconsistent that every time I would do this route, it felt like I was starting from scratch.  But thanks to my recent like affair with my bike - I can't quite call it love yet - yesterday's ride felt really good.

I can't say enough about what a great leader we had for the ride.  There were a few really new riders, and Amy took a great deal of time to assess everyone's level.  She gave great pointers about shifting, and would alternate between leading the group and dropping back to make sure everyone was doing OK out there.

We all regrouped at the turnaround and I wound up riding with another woman almost the entire way back.  We were talking the entire time, the weather was perfect, the scenery was beautiful.  It was just one of those days where I really felt grateful to be able to get out and ride.  I wish I had remembered to take some pictures, but I'm not too confident I could ride and photograph at the same time.  I'm finally comfortable with riding and drinking/eating at the same time.  Let's not push it with adding photography to the mix!

So aside from a short run and a nice ride, it was a very uneventful weekend.  Swim lesson #2 is on Wednesday.  Can't wait to see what Samantha has in store for me this week.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Out with the old...

I have not run a single step since the duathlon.  I wanted to run on Monday and I wanted to run last night.  But we've been in a bit of a heat wave.  Here's how it looked when I got home from work yesterday.

Really, really hot - especially for October!

So no...I wasn't going to run in that.  But today it cooled off and I was so excited to get home from work and get out there.  I've got a few new things that I've been waiting to try out.

So today was out with the old.

Notice the size of the iPod.

That is my iPod classic that I bought when I started running about five years ago.  I loved it at the time, but it  is so big and heavy and hot.  And those shoes have quite a few miles on them.

And in with the new.

New kicks and a new iPod.
My parents got me an iPod Shuffle for my birthday.  Wow, is it small!  The new running shoes I bought myself but hadn't even taken them out of the box until today.

New shoes on and ready to head out.
I never realize how much I need new running shoes until I actually put them on - like little pillows for my feet.

So did having a smaller, lighter iPod and new running shoes make me run faster tonight.  You bet they did!