Friday, February 28, 2014

Cruisin'

That's what the workouts have felt like this week.  I've just been cruising along getting things done.  For the first time in I don't know how long, I feel like I put together a really solid week of workouts.

Sunday - one hour bike ride, like, outside on my bike in the sunshine and fresh air
Monday - 30 minute swim
Tuesday - 30 minute run followed by some TRX
Thursday - 30 minute bike at the gym
Friday - 25 minute swim in the morning before work in the pouring rain.

I've got another run and another ride - either spin or outside depending on the weather - planned for this weekend.  But the most important thing about this week was the quality of my workouts.  They all felt really solid.  Not too hard, not too easy.  But like they were exactly the right amount of time/distance and the right intensity so that I was still able to perform the next workout at the right intensity.  Solid.  I hope this trend can continue!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Hello, Old Friend

Since the flat tire disaster at the See Jane Run Triathlon in October, I have ridden my bike exactly one time for a grand total of less than 30 minutes.  I spent so much time in the weeks after the tri dealing with the tire - shopping for new ones but deciding against them when the guy at the bike shop couldn't get them on my rims, ordering new levers, practicing changing my tire which left me frustrated because I couldn't get it back on after an entire afternoon of trying.  I had a bike tire sitting in my living room for about a week, and every day both my husband and I would try to get it back on the rim with no luck.  He eventually got it back on but I was left feeling a little pissed off at my bike, and not wanting to ride for fear of being stranded with a flat far from home.

I've been going to spin class once or twice a week since then, but if I'm going to do any triathlons this summer I'm going to actually have to ride my bike at some point.  Waiting until race day is probably not a good idea.

So with the sun shining and temperatures in the 60s, I decided yesterday would be the day.  I dug out my cycling capris, dusted of my helmet, and pumped up my tires.  I then told my husband to keep his cell phone handy in case I needed him to come pick me up somewhere if I got a flat!  All bases were covered.

I headed out to the trail and just started going.  I told myself that in the entire time I've had my bike, I've only ever had two flat tires so the odds were pretty good I would not get one today.  It was the perfect day for a ride - sunny, not too much wind.  And I was so happy!  It was like getting together with an old friend you haven't seen in a long time.




And with daylight saving time less than two weeks away, I see some post-work bike rides in my future!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Bay Breeze 5K

So far 2014 has been the year of the 5K.  I did another one this past Saturday, the Bay Breeze 5K put on by Brazen Racing. 

I've done this one in the past so I knew it was a flat course - always a plus!  I was really looking forward to it.  I've been pretty consistent with my running lately - at least, as consistent as I can be without further aggravating my temperamental hip - so I thought I could throw down a pretty good time.  Not PR kind of good, but at least an I'm making steady progress kind of good.  So what do I go and do?  On Friday, while lifting a bag of groceries from the shopping cart into the car, I felt a pull in my hip.  Like an 'OUCH, what did I just do?' kind of pull.  I spent the rest of the day taking Aleve, stretching, and trying to find a comfortable position while staying off my hip.

I woke up Saturday morning and felt OK so I thought I was in the clear.  But after sitting in the car for 25 minutes while driving to the race, things had stiffened up and I was in pain again.  I really wasn't sure if I was going to head out, but figured since I was already there I might as well pick up my race packet/tee shirt and walk around a bit to loosen things up.

It seemed to work.  I walked around quite a bit before the race and even took a little warm up jog and things felt OK, so when it was time I lined up to start.  I told myself to just do 1:1 run/walk intervals, and I could always take a DNF (did not finish) if things started to go south.

It turns out I had a pretty good race after all.  I held a very consistent pace throughout.  The first mile was a little slower just because there was a bottleneck shortly after the start.  But once we got moving, I stayed steady throughout.  In fact, the only reason I slowed down for the final short stretch was because the course changes from a paved path to wet grass.

Slow but incredibly steady.

Since I haven't been able to run fast, I've been working on keeping a consistent pace during races.  I usually start out way too fast then blow up at the end because I've got nothing left.  It seems that after six year I'm finally getting the hang of this!

I'm still way off the pace that I was running a few years ago, but since I'm only running two times a week I'll take what I can get.  The fact that I'm running at all after last summer makes me happy!

Happy to even be able to run a 5k!

What?  You didn't think I did a race without Meredith, did you?  She actually did the 10K.  Awesomeness!



Official time:  42:30.



Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What Doesn't Kill You...

...either makes you stronger or leaves you  unable to walk down a flight of stairs.  Or possibly both.  That is how I'm feeling today.

I took the Group Weightlifting class at the gym last night that I had mentioned in my previous post. And I loved it!  But man, are my legs screaming today.

I had gone last Thursday which was upper body day.  Chest presses, tricep dips, battle ropes, lat pulldowns, and so much more I can't even remember.  I didn't think I'd be able to lift a fork to eat dinner when I got home that night.

Last night was lower body.  Back squats, regular squats, bridges, pliĆ© squats, kettlebell swings, and a few others that I can't remember.  Maybe I've blocked it out!

But I am loving this sore feeling!  I am working different muscle groups.  I'm working the muscles that I use regularly but in different ways.  I keep telling myself that this has to be good for me!

And the instructor said something that made me feel really good.  He said he was happy to see that I keep coming back because most people who purchase the Groupon quit after one or two visits.  When I asked him why, he said he thinks that they are just not used to working out regularly so they either don't want to commit to it, or they get too sore and give up.  Not me!  While I really enjoy all of the swim, bike, run workouts, it's nice to do something different - something that makes me feel like I'm getting stronger.  I may never be fast, but I can be strong!

Oh, and in case you're wondering, we did use the TRX in both weightlifting classes.  Glad to see they get some use!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Trying New Things

By the end of triathlon season last year I was feeling like I was in a rut.  Swim.bike.run started feeling a little stale.  So I did next to nothing.  Which is not good.

So in an effort to keep things fresh this year, I am going to make an effort to try something new each month.  For the most part it will be trying different classes at my gym.  But every once in a while, a Groupon deal comes along that I just can't pass up.  A local fitness center was offering 10 group classes at a highly discounted rate.   Now since I've already got a gym membership, why would I need to buy more group fitness classes?

Because this is one of the classes, with the class description taken directly from their website:  "Spin/TRX This one hour class is divided between body suspension training with the TRX system and a blast of cardio on our spin bikes."  Sounds great, right?  I figured I could get in some strength training along with my beloved spin class.  And they promised small class sizes.  And after I used up the 10 sessions, I could use what I learned on the TRX to practice on my own.



So last Wednesday night I went to the class which included four other ladies, and it went something like this:  15 minutes on the spin bike with a warm up and a few intervals.  Then we moved to the floor, where we did some circuits.   I think the first circuit was 30 seconds of bicycles, a 30 second plank, and 30 seconds of mountain climbers followed by 30 seconds of rest.  Then repeat this circuit two more times.  This was followed by two more circuits of exercises which included things like burpees, side planks, leg lifts.  Another circuit of kettlebell swings, and then we were back on the bikes for another 10 minutes or so of spinning.  Then back to the floor for a stretch and we were done.

It was a great workout.  I was dripping sweat.  But, did you notice anything missing from my recap of the class above?  No TRX!  We never even touched it.  I kept waiting and waiting for the part when we were going to use the TRX and it never happened.  I know they had them.  There were at least two hanging from the ceiling and hooks for more.  So I'm not really sure what that was about.

So the question is, will I go back?  Absolutely!  This was the best workout I've had in a long time.  I used muscles I rarely use, and was sore for days afterwards.  But it just goes to show you that you don't always get what you pay for!

Next up at this same facility for tomorrow:  "Group WeightliftingWe like to call this medium group personal training. We use the same general program design for our group weightlifting classes that we do for our individual programs. You will be guided through dynamic workouts that are meant to keep your mind engaged and your body from hitting plateaus. Even though this is a group format we like to keep the classes small enabling us to provide excellent individual coaching and the ability to alter workouts based on your individual needs."

I wonder if they'll break out the TRX for tomorrow's class.


Monday, February 3, 2014

Coyote Hills 5K Race Report - In Pictures

I'm usually so on top of writing my race reports but this one just got away from me.  So, I give you a very brief race report in pictures.
Trucking along.


Still smiling.


And done!