17 August 2011

No More Bike Commuting

So after IMLP, I took a whole week off from working out (and ate lots of chocolate instead). The next week I started bike commuting again and did very little additional exercise. However, bike commuting 18 miles a day did add up - 90 miles that week. The next week, I got back on a regular workout schedule with two-a-days. I bike commuted Monday and Tuesday and by Tuesday evening felt awful. I was tired, I was cranky, I was hungry, and I was sore. In short - bike commuting in no way was helping my recovery from Ironman. Add to that the fact that I (sortofstupidly) signed up to do Timberman (a 70.3 in lovely NH) exactly 4 weeks out from IMLP - proper recovery suddenly became extremely important. Drastic times call for drastic measures - I'm sucking it up and taking the bus/metro as much as it pains me. At least until after 70.3 Galway. Before working with Jen, I didn't fully understand the importance of proper recovery between races and between workout sessions. I'm still learning, yes, and I'm still making dumb decisions here and there (140.6 + 70.3 + 70.3 in 6 weeks) (but hey, it's better than 3 half ironmans in 4 weeks, right?). Racing right, setting myself up for a PR, that's how I need to race from now on. No more "racing for fun" or signing up for an extra race just because my friends are doing it. If I'm investing this much time and energy and money into the sport, then I need to make sure I'm doing everything else right to succeed (i.e. RECOVER). So, next year I will be planning out my season a little more carefully post-IMLP.

However - good news. Within days of giving up the bike commute, I felt much more refreshed, rested, and... recovered. I think we're good to go for this weekend. Cheers to a weekend with great friends, an awesome race, and hopefully a run-in with Chrissie Wellington.

09 August 2011

I'm back!

I fully enjoyed my last weekend without structured workouts. Saturday was a bike ride with Jessie, she is on the USC triathlon team and she will be kicking butt and taking names - I am glad I'm not in her age group! We went out for a leisurely spin around the bike path. Unfortunately, lots of other people had the same idea and not everyone is well-versed in bike path etiquette. That's why I save the bike path for leisurely rides, not training rides. I've become a master at the low-speed bike crash and demonstrated my prowess at this activity on Saturday morning when another cyclist and I locked front wheels and went down. It looked uglier than it was, nothing more than scrapes and bruises, and most importantly the bike was fine.

Sunday was an open water swim down in Luray. Janine and I woke up early (OK, she woke up early, I overslept - stayed up too late watching Battlestar Galactica (that's a sentence I never thought I'd type)) and headed down to Luray. I think the course was marked for about 700m or so. We ended up doing 4 loops, which was 2 loops more than I had initially figured I'd do (I was still on the "I-will-only-do-what-I-feel-like-doing" plan). I need to get out and do more open water swimming - too bad Luray is 1.5 hours away, I'd take that any day over the Potomac.

Guess what was waiting for me on Monday - workouts in Training Peaks! I'm officially back. Swim and TRX on Monday with a swim and run today (along with bike commutes both days). There may or may not have been a little happy dance in my office when I laced up my running shoes and put my HR monitor and Garmin on for the first time since Lake Placid.

The happy dance abruptly ended once I started running. It. Was. Hot. Even though it was past 6pm, the sun was still beating down on the Mall. My legs still had alot of Ironman shuffle in them and the run quickly became a slog. Thank goodness my Garmin battery ran out right about the time things started to get ugly. I'd rather not have digital evidence of the ugly run. But I got it done, got the bike commute done, and I'm going to bed before 10pm. Victory on all fronts.

04 August 2011

Random musings...

- At least once a day when riding my bike to work, the background music for the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz starts running through my head. Da-da-da-da-da-daaa, da-da-da-da-da-daaaaa....

- Today's bike commute was full of pleasant, cordial, polite people. They warned you when passing, people I passed said "thank you" when I let them know I was on their left. Cars did not try to run me over when I was in a crosswalk. The sun was out and the birds were singing. This was in sharp contrast to yesterday's commute where I was almost run off the bike path by some guy who magically veered to the left as I warned him as was passing. I was also almost run over by a lady in a mini van when I was in a crosswalk (WITH THE RIGHT OF WAY) - she then proceeded to gesticulate with her hands, making it seem like it was all my fault, being in her way and all... There were no birds singing yesterday, but a bird may or may not have been flipped...

- I've already started thinking about this year's Christmas card. I KNOW it is only August, but last year's card will be hard to top. Besides, I start listening to Christmas music this time of year anyway.

- I went for my first post-IM swim this morning. Hello muscles I haven't used in two weeks!

- It only took me a week to eat the 1 pound bar of chocolate.

- I like my dog. No, I LOVE my dog. Sound strange? Ask Mark, it has been a long process for me to get to this point. He's a very sweet dog; but, for a time it was hard to focus on his sweet personality when he was eating all of my Banana Republic clothes on a daily basis and my running shoes two weeks before Ironman...

- Hehe, take a look at the labels for this post.

03 August 2011


Does anyone else have odd things they are paranoid about? Alot of mine have to do with appliances. I refuse to leave the house if the dishwasher is running, if the washing machine is on, or - heaven forbid - the dryer is in use. The dryer, especially the dryer - I always picture it getting so hot and catching the lint in the lint trap on fire. Mark says he cleans the lint trap whenever he uses the dryer; but being the paranoid wife that I am, I don't believe him most of the time. I refuse to leave my computer plugged in to the outlet when I'm not home and thunderstorms are in the forecast. Power surge! I don't know how well my Mac would handle it and I don't want to test it and find out. I also don't leave lamps on if we leave the house for any reason (you never know, a cat could knock them over and start a fire). Fortunately, Mark puts up with me and (usually) indulges me in my requests (though, I picture him turning on all the appliances and then gleefully walking out of the house when I'm out of town - freedom! Kind of like how he makes a giant steak wrapped in bacon every time I'm out of town).

We're not even going to touch race-week paranoia or stomach virus paranoia; that's just a WHOLE other can of worms and worthy of several posts of their own.

02 August 2011

Back in the (bike) saddle again

Yesterday I got a sign from God. A sign that said, "stop eating Oreo cake and get on your bike." I dropped a paper on the floor in my office, bent down to pick it up, and... I RIPPED THE LINING OF MY DRESS. Hey, I know I indulged a bit after Ironman, but don't you think that's a little extreme? I burned at least a week's worth of calories on June 24th, right? Can't we save my rear and thighs busting out of my clothes for next week if I continue down this path?
Alas, it's too late. Time to put the cake away and dust off the bike for some bike commuting (and I mean, dust off the bike - I meant to clean my roadbike since it's full of mud from a messy commute weeks ago, but I got lazy).