Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sick, sick, sick of winter

February and winter drag on.

How is it that the shortest month of the year always feels like one of the longest?

Oh yeah. I live in Minnesota.

We, like a lot of the U.S., have had a snowy and cold winter. Too bad the 2010 Winter Olympics aren't being held here. There is plenty of cold and snow to make all those winter athletes happy.

March -- and spring-- are coming, I know. Days are starting to get longer. It is actually light outside at 5:30 pm...

I'm very anxious for better weather and to be able to train more outside.

I got in a lot of swimming this week. I like the water, like the workouts that my coach is having me do. I am discouraged that I am just not getting any faster. My coach says that my speed will improve -- and for Ironman, I really just need to be fast enough to not get yanked off the course due to a pesky time cut off...

I did run outside Tuesday night. It was a cold but pretty night. Thursday's run was a speed workout on the treadmill including 3 x 6 minutes pushing my pace in 2 minute increments.

Saturday's run was my favorite: running with Nat at the Plymouth Fieldhouse. We both had to run for about 1 1/2 hours. It was nice to do most of the workout together so we could catch up on life, training and stuff.

Biking: Thank heavens for Comcast on Demand. I got through one ride by catching up on "Damages"; another by watching the Olympics. I'm sure I'll find something interesting to watch during today's 2 hour ride.

Outside of training, I had a very nice Saturday. After running with Nat, I got together with 11 of my old running buddies for lunch. These are the women that I've trained over the years, but with the breakdown of our old running club, we've gone along different "paths".

I'd been feeling a little lonely for them and put out an email to see if any one was interested in having lunch.

They were and we did. It was great to catch up over a great meal. (I'll post pics soon).

After lunch, Hubby and I watched the Olympics, ran some errands and went out for a very nice dinner. He's been traveling a lot so it was nice to just sit, relax, share a meal, catch up and hold hands.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Catching up: Tri U Mah and Valentine's Day 5k

Tri U Mah, held on Sunday, February 7th, was the usual blast of fun that it is. There are usually a number of my friends that also do this event, and although this was true for 2010, we weren't all able to register for the same heat. Marcia, Nat and Cheryl got in a late morning heat and Gary and I got in to a 12:40 pm heat.

This actually worked out perfectly, because Gear West had their Gear West University the same day. This learning event was a w e s o m e.

For a $20.00 registration fee, participants could six lectures of their choosing. (There were 24 lectures in total, four each hour, so participants registered for the sessions they were interested in). They also threw in a group run, lunch and time to meet other multisports nuts.

Nat and I split the registration and the day. I went in the morning -- I attended a "How to Change your Tube" workshop, where I actually changed the tube on a bike. The BACK WHEEL even! This was awesome and the fear of a flat right out of me.

I also attended "Race Preparation", which covered info about things to do during training to get your to race day.

Nat went in the afternoon and got to attend a workshop on bike riding for women; real nutrition, and one other.

Great info; great speakers, great fun.

By the time Gary and I got to the University of Minnesota's Rec Center, our friends were wrapping up their run portion. They all looked very, very strong as they finished up their event.

Gary and I cheered them on a bit and then we went to get ready for our heat.

I covered .879 miles in my 30 minute swim. I was one length off from 2009. I blame the cold that I caught the Thursday before the event.

My bike was very strong, though. I covered 8.23 miles -- my 2009 total had been 6.63 miles. Maybe it was the fact that we got to watch video from Ironman Championships or maybe because I've been spending lots of time on my bike trainer. What ever it was, I cranked out better mileage. Hurrah

My run reached 2.90 for the 30 minutes. This was .20 better than 2009. I was hoping for slightly better, but... all in all, I was very happy.

I ended up covering 12.009 miles versus 10.224 (2009), which put me in 2nd place for my age group. So there are benefits to getting older.

My friends also had good results for the event. It was nice to chalk up the first event for 2010.

Unfortunately for me, I ended up with an infected big toe that reared up its ugly (pus) head on Monday. I had a toenail that split and I cut it off, thinking that I would save myself from snagging the split on my sock or some thing, which would be painful.

What I didn't count on was the nail piercing my skin, allowing bacteria to fester in to the wound, creating pus which was really, REALLY painful.

I went on antibiotics and didn't train much for the rest of this week. My toe is finally better, so I was able to finish out the week following my training plan.

The plan included running the Valentine's Day 5k. Hubby and I ran the 5K together. It was a very beautiful not-too-cold, no wind morning and we finished in fine form.

Hubby is really getting in to running and starting to enjoy it. This is a good thing, has he has registered for Chicago Marathon. (Yikes! -- he is going to ROCK!)

After the 5k, I still had another 50 minutes of running to get in and then today, I rode my bike for 2 hours while watching the Olympics.

You might say that I'm back in the training saddle.