Monday, March 30, 2015

Thoughts from a Bike Ride

"Why am I doing this? I'm out of breath and we just started. OK, I'm warmed up now. This isn't so bad. I made it up that hill and I still have two gears left! Downhill isn't as scary as it used to be. Wow, almost done already. That was fun! I should do this more often."  These are all thoughts that went through my head on a less than 90 minute group bike ride yesterday.  

In other news, I've got my first multi-sport event of the year this weekend.  So I guess it's time to start freaking out about it.  It's going to be a long week!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Philadelphia Freedom!

You know I love, love, love you!  Yes, I'm channeling Elton John.  I just got back from a trip to Philly - my hometown - and I'm still feeling the love.

The grade school I attended - and my mom before me - has since closed, but they were having an all class reunion as a fundraiser to make some necessary repairs to the church.  So I decided to go back and have a girls weekend with my friends.

All of us at the reunion.
I think the last time I was in Philly was 2007.  All of my friends have kids, and I think most of them were in the newborn to toddler stage back then so it was much harder for us to spend a lot of time all together on that trip.  But now those kids are much more self sufficient and in school all day, so I got much more quality time with my friends on this trip.

We went straight from the airport to my favorite Italian restaurant in South Philly.

Full and happy.
The next day we planned on doing some sight seeing.  However, we didn't plan on it snowing so much in March.  After getting tired of hopping in and out of the car in the snow, we decided to go to the Philadelphia Museum of Art so we could be inside for a few hours.  I hadn't been there in years.  It was quite a different experience going as an adult than being forced to go on a school field trip as a kid - although without the nuns to keep us in line, we were probably not as well behaved this time around!  One friend who shall remain nameless kept insisting on touching everything in spite of the signs that said DO NOT TOUCH - and we might have almost been asked to leave.  But we got out of there without anyone getting arrested, and we may have gotten a little bit of culture in spite of ourselves.

You can't go to the art museum and not get your picture with Rocky. 
On Saturday I visited with my godparents during the day, and went to the reunion that night.  I saw so many people who I hadn't seen in years.  It was a great time!  Sunday was brunch with the girls again before heading to the airport for the long trip home.

I am still exhausted but it was well worth it.  I always laugh so much when we're together. There is something about having such a history with people that each time I see them the months and years apart just melt away.  We talk and laugh about old times while making new memories.

City skyline.

We've already decided where we're going next year.  Vegas baby!  I can't wait to see my girls again.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Training and frustrations

I joined the the local triathlon club again this year.  I want to have a group to do some open water swims and bike rides with, and I thought I'd give their newcomers program another try.  Not that I'm exactly new to the sport, but I'm soooo slow at everything so I thought it would be good to train with the newbies.

I tried working out with this newbies group for the past two years but they left me incredibly frustrated.  The first year, they put out a schedule which spanned almost four months.  The schedule stated what the workouts would be each weekend - bike, brick, swim clinic, etc. - and whether it would be on Saturday or Sunday  I planned races and golf around this schedule so I could be sure to get to the swim clinics or the bike rides or the course previews that I wanted to attend.  The problem was, each Monday they'd send an e-mail announcing what the upcoming weekend workout was going to be - and often it didn't match the schedule they had originally established.  Frustrating!  Last year, some of the workouts were listed as "uncoached" - so I didn't go.  What was the point?  I could sleep in and ride my bike on my own.

Anyway the first workout this year was on March 7.  It was an open water swim clinic which I attended, and I thought it went well.  There were a ton of support people, a big group of newbies, and I was really excited about it.  At the end of the workout, the coach said the next swim clinic would be in three weeks - March 28.  Perfect for me!  I'd get in another open water practice session before my Splash & Dash on April 4.

So today they sent out the schedule for this weekend - the open water swim clinic which is supposed to be next weekend has been moved up to this Saturday.  Great, you'd think...except I'm going to be out of town this weekend.

Maybe it's just me, but I am a "type A" planner.  But in my defense, you can't just wake up one day and decide to do a triathlon.  There is training involved that takes place for months leading up to the race.  Also, some races sell out so you've got to sign up for them in advance.  And with golf, you can't always decide on Friday that you want to play the next've got to make a tee time.  If you want to play a particular course at a particular time, you've got to make that tee time a week in advance.  Add in social plans with friends, visits with my parents, etc. and my weekends book up pretty quickly.

So it really frustrates me when I plan to attend a swim clinic, only to have the date move to a date I can't attend.   What frustrates me more about this is that I had a conversation with one of the tri club board members about this very issue last year, and she told me she had heard the same frustration from others and they were going to address it.  At the end of last season, the tri-club sent out a survey to anyone who had participated in the newbies program asking what they could do to improve the program.  At the beginning of this year, they sent out e-mails saying how it was improved.

But all I'm getting is the same frustration.  Honestly, how hard is it to make a schedule in advance and stick with it?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Things Are Coming Together

I *finally feel like I've got a plan for this spring.  Here is what I've got on the calendar:

April 4 - Marin Splash & Dash
April 25 - Moraga Tri
May 9 - Mermaid 10k

Thanks to Training Peaks for a free 7 day premium trial, I even put together a training plan and got it all down in writing.  Having a training plan makes it feel more real and also makes me more motivated.

I like having something in all of the boxes.

I've decided to use my free race entry for the See Jane Run Tri in September instead of for the half in June.  There are a couple of other triathlons happening this summer - one in June and one in August -  that also offer aquabikes, so I'm leaving my options open for those.  I also want to leave my weekends free for golf, and my husband and I are talking about re-doing our kitchen - mainly just paint and tile. But that's a project that could span a few weekends so it would be better if I wasn't training for something when we do that.

I'll probably do a couple of 5ks over the summer, and I'm trying to decide on a half marathon for the fall.  I've done the Morgan Hill half marathon and really liked it.  Plus they have a full marathon on the same day, so I wouldn't have to worry about a time limit - something to consider when you're walking.

So I guess now it's time for the formal training to begin instead of me just winging it like I've been doing for months!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Winner, Winner. Chicken Dinner!

You might remember that in 2013 I was chosen to be a See Jane Run Ambassador.  See Jane Run is a local chain of running stores that focuses on women's running shoes and clothing.  They also put on a couple of local running races (5k & half marathon) and a triathlon. I've done the 5k twice, the duathalon once or twice, and the triathlon the past two years.

When I was an ambassador, I started following the blogs of a few of the other ambassadors and still do follow a few of them.  Last week, one of them was holding a contest for a free race entry to any of the See Jane Run events for this year.

I decided to enter and I found out yesterday that I won!  Woohoo for free race entries!

But now, I need to decide what I want to do.  I've seriously considered walking a half marathon this year.  I've made peace with the fact that I can no longer run, but I always liked the challenge of the half marathon distance - in spite of all of the bitching I did during training! And I'd like to give it a shot with strictly walking.  However, I figured if I did one it would be in the late summer or fall, and this one is in June.  But a free entry makes it hard to pass up.

On the other hand, I've done the See Jane Run triathlon the past two years.  I'm familiar with the course, and I've always enjoyed it.  But it's in September, which is when I thought I'd be in training for a half marathon.  But again, free can I resist?

There is also the wildcard of my hip to consider.  Could my hip stand up to the demands of training for and completing a half marathon - even if I'm just walking?

So for now, I think I'm going to focus on training for the races that I've already mentally committed to, including a 10k in early May.  There are six weeks between the 10k and the half marathon, which would put me on a perfect half marathon training schedule.  I can see how I feel after that 10k and decide then.

And for now I'm just going to enjoy the fact that I won a free race entry - and I'll go buy a lottery ticket to see if this luck continues.