26 October 2010

Back in the pool

This morning I woke up right on the cusp of it being too late for me to bother going to swim practice. But I knew if I didn't go in the morning, I would regret it later. So, I showed up about 10 minutes late, partway through the first set. Since I'm easing back into it, I demoted myself down a lane, which turned out to be a good choice since my old lane is currently full of VERY fast swimmers. 2000+ yards later, I was extremely glad I swam in the morning - I always feel better for the rest of the day, even if it's a struggle to get up at first. And even though I'm slow as molasses at the moment, I'm just glad to be back on a regular training schedule again.

In other news, this summer Mark and I bought a pasta maker. It. Is. Awesome. We haven't had boxed pasta in months - the fresh stuff is so easy to make and SO GOOD. We had some last night and again tonight with fresh pesto that Mark made and sauteed vegetables. Good, fresh food like that make it easy to eat healthy because it tastes so good. Speaking of good food, I've been reading the book "In Defense of Food." If you're looking for a good read, I highly recommend it. It will make you think twice about opening up that bag of processed "food." It will also make you question what is "real food" and "fake food." I started reading it over the weekend and tried to eat a number of apples to offset the amount of sweets I consumed in celebration of Reagan's birthday.

And now, to bed, so I can get up early and get on the bike. That is, if our house isn't blown away by a tornado tonight, thanks to the strong storms that are supposed to wallop us overnight.

25 October 2010

Day 1

Today, after 23 days of my Training Peaks schedule saying "You Have No Upcoming Workouts," I HAD A WORKOUT! It was a short Z1 run. I. Am. Slow. It took me 40 minutes to cover less than 4 miles while desperately trying to stay in Zone 1. I suppose that means that my 5 mile run yesterday sans watch and sans HR monitor (but my running buddy Tim had his on and we finished with an average pace of 8:14) was probably done in Zone 25. Oh well, eventually the speed and fitness will come back. This isn't the end of the world.

In other news that both more interesting and more uplifting than my slow run, I spent last weekend down in Tennessee celebrating my goddaughter Reagan's first birthday! Erin (Reagan's mom) is my best friend. Four years of living together during college and dining on Easy Mac and boxed wine will bond you for life. Reagan was ridiculously cute in her tutu and pink/orange polkadot headband. Erin did an amazing job with the decorations and the food. She should quit nursing school and become a full-time party planner :).

BTW, kids as young as 3 know what manipulation is. I was watching a 3 year old try to break into the bag of hot dog buns. She told me she was hungry and just wanted the bread, no hot dog. So I stuck a bun on a plate for her and she asked me, very smoothly, for a fork and knife so she could cut it into pieces. I handed her plastic utensils and she went to town. When I asked her if she always cuts her own food, because she was doing a very good job, she says, "oh no, my mommy and daddy NEVER let me use a knife." I made sure I got the knife back before she meandered back to her parents.

I always have a good time down in Tennessee - it was fun to spend time with Erin, Reagan is super cute and I think pretty soon she's going to start remembering me. She's super smart, walking and getting into stuff, and doing baby sign language. I also got to spend the weekend with Erin and Ashley's families, which was great. It was a full house, which is the best kind of house to have.

Now it's back to reality and, thankfully, back to some regularly scheduled training!

20 October 2010

The Offseason...

... Has been going on for the past two weeks. And I'm ready for it to be over. Well, not all of it - I'm ready for the frosting-from-a-can snacks, cupcakes, stay-up-late, sleep-in to be over. But I am not ready to spend 5+ hours on my bike on a Saturday or do 2-a-days quite yet. This week starts the compromise, which I've really enjoyed - nothing structured, but still a reason to wake up early and get moving in the morning. But the unhealthy eating - it has GOT to stop! Sweets are my downfall and I keep thinking of excuses to eat them - "oh, you're having a bbq with homemade brownies, of course I'll have some." Or, "there's a bake-off to raise money for the homeless, count me in!" Or, Mark's dad is in town and we're going out for an early birthday celebration for Mark - yes, I will eat that gigantic apple pie for dessert all by myself... Oh, it's the off-season, that means eat WHATEVER you've been denying yourself all season. But at some point, there's got a be a limit. It's not even Halloween yet, but I'm going to enact my New Year's resolution ASAP - fewer sweets, more fruits and veggies. Oh, and write those IM France and IM Wisconsin race reports before 2011...

05 October 2010

It's been awhile...

... Hasn't it? Far too long. I have a backlog of race reports to publish (IM France, IM Wisconsin, and Halfmax Nationals), and I wasn't letting myself write in my blog until I got those things uploaded. And I'll do that. Eventually. Maybe this weekend. But I missed writing in my blog. So here's a quick post. Two Ironmans in one season was hard, but not terribly hard. I actually enjoyed the training and the racing most of the time. I suppose it was helpful that they were only 11 weeks apart, so I relied mainly on my fitness base from the first one to carry me through the second one, with just a few weeks of intense training and long hours. I would do it again. The only thing I did miss was doing more races - if Ironman makes up two of your A races, it's difficult to fit other races in there on top of quality training. Next year is likely going to be a one Ironman year (Lake Placid) so hopefully I'll be doing more races.

This season was a success, even though I didn't get the types of finish and times that I wanted at both Ironmans. I even ended the season on a high note at Halfmax, even though I was so far out of contention for Worlds, I might as well have been on another continent from the other racers. I was happy with my time, and thrilled that I finally pulled out a decent run.

And now begins the off-season. I spent much of the 6.5 hour drive home from Myrtle Beach contemplating where I would have my celebratory brunch the next day, it being the official Day 1 of the off-season (I went with Boulevard Woodgrill), what I would have (Breaded and fried French Toast), and what I would bake for dessert on Sunday (Apple pie). I'm allowing myself to go a little wild over the next few days - eat things I wouldn't normally eat (frosting - for dinner?!), stay up late writing in my blog, and sleeping in guilt-free. All necessary evils to get the mind and body ready for 2011!