Saturday, September 26, 2009

Choo-Choo: Base Training Begins

Well, my version of base training.

What this means is that the 2009 tri season is over; it is "lull" time before training for IM WI 2010 begins in earnest.

My goals for the next three months?
  • Lose some of the stubborn weight gained last WINTER (yes, winter) that would did not seem to budge all summer (yes, SUMMER).
  • Learn to love again. No, not Hubby. I love him all the time, no matter what. Love other stuff again like running; weight lifting; weighing and mesuring portions; limiting (evenutally eliminating) sugar and getting up and going to the gym before work.
  • Have a super solid base and be ready to hit the training in earnest in January so I have a reasonable chance of finishing the Ironman standing up and before midnight.

I am dubbing this the "Little Amy That Could" base building: "I think I can; I think I can; I know I can; I know I can".

The past week was okay for basic base: I rode my bike once; swam once and ran twice.

Currently, I'm least concerned about the biking/swimming pieces. It's been running that has been so tough for me this year. I just could not really talk myself in to a committed pattern of running. So, going out twice this week seemed like a huge victory.

I ran on Wednesday with my friends Gary and Marcia. We did 6.5 miles that included lots of hills. Gary created a route that takes us from our health club to a residenital area with 3 loops of killer hills (we did the middle hill and the big hill) and then we trot over to a bird santuary (with another big hill) and then we trot over to another residential area with more big hills. Then we plod -- becasue we are tired now -- back to the club. I actually really like the course. We get to do hills but not hill repeats, which, of course, serve their own purpose.

Today, Hubby was going to golf with his buddies and woke up before me. I was supposed to meet friends to run, but he neglected to reset the alarm, so I had a nice long sleep instead.

When I got out, I ended up running 8.02 miles, which included looping Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet.

The weather today is perfect! Cool, sunny, just lovely. I got tired, but not in a bad way, just in that "gee, I'm glad I'm out here doing this and I may kind of like you, Running..." kind of way.

I just may go on a date with Running again next week!

Upcoming stuff: Next week, I'm going to interview a potential coach for next year. I contacted a group that has a track record of training people for endurance events. My biggest concern is if the coach is really willing to work with an older, slower athlete. If I'm going to pay the money, I want the attention.

I'll keep you all posted.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Recap and Renew


Square Lake Tri: For the last three year, Square Lake has been my "adieu to summer" event. And, each year for the past three years, I'm completely surprised that it actually IS the end of the summer.

We have such a short tri season here in Minnesota. It really only spans about 3 1/2 months from June until about mid-September. I travel a bit for work and always look up tris and tri club information in the cities I visit. Charlotte's season runs through the end of October. Tempe's season never ends...Minnesota? Fourteen jam packed, filled to the max weeks.

I try to "stretch" the year by including Tri U Mah in to my tri season count. Tri U Mah is the indoor event held at the University of Minnesota every February. It kicks off the new year for me, but there is that long, cold and lonely stretch before open water swimming and official tris.

I tried to get in as many events as I could this year -- signed up for nine; only participated in eight. New Bri Tri was just too dang cold for me to get in to the water...But the other eight were fun and challenging in their own ways, culminating in Square Lake.

This season was not my stellar best. I really didn't train the way I should have or wanted to (see all my thousands of previous posts for my lame excuses as to WHY).. Once I got to the start line for Square Lake, I was a little sad about being so lazy during the season.

My friends Marcia and Gary also signed up for this event and our other friends, Angel and Rick volunteered as kayak supporters for the swim portion.

The water was perfect. The temp was great, it was smooth as glass before the athletes got in the water. I do feel pretty good about my swim progress this year. I felt more comfortable in the water this year than I ever have. I stayed with the pack, only got off course a little bit, but all in all, felt just fine in the water.

Even though I'd done this race twice before, I forgot how hilly it was. The good news is on the downs and the flats, I flew pretty well -- up to 31 mph in a couple spots. The bad part is that shifting the new bike still seems to confuse me and had some issues with it on the up's. At one point my chain fell off and I had to pop it back on. All in all my bike was okay. It will be great once I get my shifting worked out.

I was most fearful of the run, which has been the most difficult for me this year. Once I got out on the course, though I felt really just fine. I had more energy and pep and less stiffness than I had all year. This run was definitely a confidence builder for me. I CAN enjoy running. I DO enjoy running...

So, although no PR this year, I felt pretty good about the race.


Later that afternoon, Nat and I drove to Madison to volunteer/watch Ironman Wisconsin.


We both had been toying with the idea of signing up for IM WI 2010, but wanted to see the race first, from the up-close-and-personal view point of volunteering. I was a wetsuit peeler, Nat volunteered in the T1 area and then we both worked the water stop in Mt. Horeb.


It was incredible to watch the event, the process and especially the athletes.

Once we were done volunteering, we walked along the run course and watched the marathon.


It was amazing to watch the athletes do their thing. Very, very inspiring and invigorating.

So, the day after the event, we joined a long line of volunteers and others waiting for the chance to sign up for a spot in the 2010 event.

We are officially now in training.

I can't wait! Let the fun begin!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Last Tri 2009

I can not believe that my last tri event of 2009 happens this Saturday -- Square Lake Short course.

This year has absolutely whizzed by.

Unfortunately, the same can not be said for my performance at any of my events this year.

All in all, it has been a pretty disappointing physical year for me.

I'm worse shape than I've been in for the last two years.

I've struggled with having much motivation within my personal, professional or physical lives.

The summer was cold and pretty much non-exsistant.

I got involved in not one but TWO disappointing running groups.

I bagged my first outdoor tri of the summer because it was cold (call me "wimpy"); I'm bagging on Twin Cities Marathon because I couldn't get my mojo together to actually train (call me "lazy")

I really understand that I have no one to blane for MOST of the issues I list above except myself.

I ate the chocolate covered peanuts; I hit the snooze alarm over and over and over; I got my undies in a bundle because the Running Groups weren't what I wanted. (I did NOT control the weather, I get a pass on that).

For all my complaints, there were high points:

I did had fun doing the 1/2 iron distances (even through I walked the 1/2 marathon portion of one and did the other as a relay)

I have an awesome new bike.

I am swimming better than ever.

I still have a posse of wonderful tri and running friends who put up with me.

My golf game improved a lot this summer.

So, yin and yang. Ebb and flow. One step forward, two steps (and about 15 lbs) back.

Not one to leave on sour note, or "Well, There's a Way to SNAP my Motivation Back":

After Square Lake, I'm going to Madison to volunteer at Ironman Wisconsin. Nat is coming along too. AND, I'm 99.9% sure I'll be lined up with the other volunteers on Monday morning to register for the 2010 event.

If swimming 2.4, biking 112 and running 26.2 doesn't jolt me back in to Motivation Land, I'll be trading in all my athletic stuff for applique tee shirts, elastic waist band and support hose...