Wednesday, February 29, 2012

More Progress?

Tried to come up with a leap year reference title, but no dice... My brain can't produce such a thing today. Leap or no leap!

So, do you remember the progress post from a couple of weeks ago? Today was hill repeat day again.

As a reminder: this was a little over five weeks ago:

My next time doing this workout 2.5 weeks ago:

And this was today:

I am not quite sure, if this can be called a complete success and another leap (HA!) forward in my running, because while the repeats are mostly faster than my last attempt, the heart rate has gone up some too... Either way, it's nice to see a couple of repeats with a 7 something pace! ;-) And obviously, I was running out of steam on the last one... Oh well.

In all three cases, I did the exact same warm up loop, before hitting my designated "hill repeat" hill in the neighborhood. Unfortunately, today once again fell short of the six miles I was planning on, because of tummy troubles. I don't know what it is with hill repeats and tummy troubles. It's also a little frustrating, since I eat super clean these days. The only thing that comes to mind, that today was an unusual time for me to run and that maybe had something to do with it. There is a reason, that I always do the repeats on the same hill, that is just a quarter of a mile away from the house. :-)

Monday, February 27, 2012

First Brick and Other Stuff

And it's Monday again.

This weekend, I felt a little like a weekend warrior... Trying to get everything squeezed into a 48 hours time frame.

But let's start with Friday, even though Friday is technically not part of the weekend.

After feeling sorta under the weather since Monday, I finally broke down on Friday and saw the nurse at work to make sure, that there's nothing too funky going on. After she said: "It's most likely going to clear up by itself, but I'll give you an antibiotic to make sure!" I said: "Let's skip the antibiotic and I come back, if it's not cleared up by next week!". I don't get how antibiotics are the solution for every and anything and it seems nothing is too small to treat it with antibiotics. That afternoon, I had an appointment with my chiropractor again and I walked out of that office with a herbal throat spray that made this whole thing much easier to deal with over the weekend and now I am happy to say, that it has mostly cleared up by today. Take that, antibiotics!

Friday, I was in bed a little after 9pm, because I figured a little extra sleep can only promote the healing process.

When I got up Saturday morning, Terry was sitting fully dressed in his cycling outfit... I ended up procastinating for a while, but around 8.30am we were on the road for a 50 mile bike ride... Yes, it was cold and yes, it was windy, but we still got the job done.... We don't call ourselves "Team Awesome" for nothing! ;-)

We rode from the house towards Highway 11 along some beautiful backcountry roads with only very little traffic. I honestly think, we probably saw more cyclist out there than cars. Pretty neat. On Saturday was also an organized ride from Furman to Ceasar's Head, but we had no intention of actually climbing that mountain, we were good with getting somewhat close and then turn around. I haven't been out in that area for a while and it was fun to show Terry a couple of new roads!

After getting back to the house, we made a fairly quick transition to running shoes and were out for a 2 mile brick in no time. I did that brick run at a 9:14 minute mile pace and it's a pretty hilly course (everything around the house is hilly)... I seriously do my best running off the bike, it's quite ridiculous. And while this was a good run, it's hard to picture having to go 13.1 miles after biking 56 miles in a couple of months.

I have never done a brick workout this early in the season. Every time I see a brick pop up on the schedule I get a little sour and then most of the time it doesn't turn out too bad. I also used this ride as an experiment on how the lady bits perform for 50 miles on a bike in tri shorts and can only say: bodyglide, bodyglide and more bodyglide... And no, I wasn't only wearing tri shorts in mid 40s temps, I had thick tights over the tri shorts... I wonder if that helped or worsened the situation?

After getting the workout done, we did some good refueling and stretched out on the couch. On the topic of refuleing: I am pretty darn proud of Terry and myself to both really buckling down on our nutrition. We massively cut down on the eating out and go through tons of veggies and fruits these days.

Since Karma hasn't gotten any exercise for that day yet, I then ended up taking her for a 2 mile walk.

And if that wasn't enough for one day, I had also planned to attend the showing of "Chasing Legends" at the BMW Zentrum Saturday night with a friend.

After living in the Greenville area for over six years and working in the automotive industry, I finally made it into the BMW Zentrum. I swear, I tried before, but their hours or not very convenient.

The movie was awesome and having the director there setting the mood was really nice! The showing was a fundraiser organized by the Greenville Spinners.

Overall a great movie night and I can only recommend watching it. I am actually thinking about buying the DVD.

What is the logical thing to do on Sunday, if you did your long ride on the Saturday? Yes, you are going to run long(er). After church and lounging around the house, skyping with mom and doing some cleaning, I got my stuff together and set out for 8-10 miles. The tummy wasn't happy with me at all, so I am pretty stoked about getting in a little over 9 miles, but was really hoping for 10.

While running through the Furman campus on my way back (potty break), I saw those signs up... I don't know, if this is an ongoing thing or if it was an organized event that day, because I also saw a family wearing the same t-shirts.

Since Terry still can't run... (especially after he tried to run after the bike ride the day before) we took Karma out for another walk once I got back. I was also hoping that my tummy would straighten out on the walk, but no dice. All good now, but boy that was quite something yesterday.

Now reading back, I feel like I need a weekend from my weekend. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Doing the Conga

Here we are at the tail end of February. The weather can't decide if it's winter or already spring, giving the immune system a lot of work. A couple of my co-workers have been victim of some sort of malaise in the last couple of weeks and thanks to central air and heat in the office, everyone's germs go everywhere. Well, maybe not everywhere... since they fixed the A/C in our office a couple of weeks ago, it's not working at all... At least it's not freezing cold, but I sure don't look forward to summer at this point.

Back on the topic... The malaise... I haz it or maybe not... Since Monday I have this funny thing going on in my throat and after initially ignoring it, I now went into full force preventative measures... I am doing the "Conga" again, as in "Congaplex" a whole food supplement that my chiropractor recommended back in December to fight off some stuff that I felt coming on back then. I actually took it, felt better, stop taking it. Felt something coming on a week later, started taking it again, felt better and then stopped. A week later, started feeling something coming on, for whatever reason didn't start on the Congaplex regiment and sure enough was out of commission in the first week of January. I like to think, I learned a little from that and I am popping those babies religiously since then... From now until the end of cold and flu season!

In the meantime, I am getting in a decent amount of training... Good rides, good runs, good swims... I really can't complain!

Last Saturday, we had the pleasure to join a group ride from Tigerville over the watershed up to Saluda to Tryon, around Lake Lanier and ending the ride in Landrum for a total of 35 miles. It was a nice hilly ride at a relaxed pace with a fun group... The weather was close to perfect and the food in Landrum was yummie too. Point to point trips are just really nice, even though the logistics of a trip like that are more complicated. So thanks again for everyone involved to make it happen! And thanks for the cookies! ;-)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Catching Up

Well, let's just start a list and see what we are going to end up with:

  1. We are not on our way to Myrtle Beach. To explain this a little: Terry was signed up for the Myrtle Beach Marathon tomorrow. Tomorrow will also be four weeks, since Terry was on a run. The doc thinks it's tendonitis, but he wouldn't rule out a stress fracture either. Stress fractures can be sneaking, because a lot of the time they are not visible on x-rays. Now we just wait and see... At least he's still able to bike and swim.
  2. First there was talk about going down anyways for the weekend, but then we decided is wasn't worth the money and the time... Now we have some nice alternative plans lined up for the weekend, that I am looking forward to. Quite honestly, I don't care for Myrtle Beach all that much.
  3. This weekend is carneval in Germany. Really carneval crazy areas started with the celebrations yesterday and it normally culuminates in a big parade on Monday, before things settle down again. Having been a part of a carneval club for several years as a teenager and enjoyed the partying, I really miss Germany a little more than usual these days.
  4. Yesterday at the pool, coach and I were talking about why a lot of dudes drag their feet in the water, while girls tend to stay afloat a little better. My reasoning and speaking for me personally: It's the blubber that I have in my butt. It's a floatation device.... That's my story and I am sticking to it.
  5. I am slowly going back to eat normal after the surgery and being on a soft diet for several weeks. Today was the first day back with salad for lunch... While I was able to bite properly before, the chewing still aggravated the area. First salad back tasted yummy and I am just happy that the soft diet days seemed to be over. But I am still chewing mostly on the other side of my mouth.
  6. Follow-up on the surgery in general: I had a check up after two weeks and everyone that looked in my mouth said: "It looks awesome!" It's still tender and will take some extra care for the next several weeks, but things seemed to be doing great. I still can not use my electric tooth brush and still rinsing with a presciption strength mouth wash, but those are obviously only minor complaints. I don't feel it during my workouts except for the swimming. I don't know if it's the head position or what, but it still bothers me quite some in the pool.
  7. Another follow-up: This time on my attempt to once again get a grip on my nutrition. Things are going really well this time around and I have seen consistant results in the last four weeks on the scale, in my clothes, in my workouts and in my general "wellness". One of these days I will share what I did different this time and some new things I learned and some things that I relearned. But it's important for me to stress, that I am not dieting... I am just feeding myself properly again, after months of eating just whatever I felt like.... and that's mostly junk!
  8. I miss CrossFit. It was actually quite funny: Terry and I were sprawled out on the couch last Sunday and I looked something up on YouTube and he said: "Let's watch some CF videos." And then we basically said at the same time: "I miss CrossFit."
  9. With that being said, I did my strength work in the gym (vs only bodyweight exercises at home) this week and loaded up the barbell and jumped on boxes and did pull ups... A regular gym really doesn't facilitate a CF workout, but it was better than nothing.... Being sore all week from it, just felt like an extra bonus.
  10. Yes, I am nuts... No need to comment on that last sentence.
  11. Come Monday, we have one of those wellness challenges at work again. You organize yourself in groups of four and have around 45 days to each log 150 miles (600 miles total for the team) of walking to qualify for the drawing for the main prizes (cash prizes by the way!). There will be milestone prizes too... The smack talking has already started!!!! The boys on my team can be lucky that you just have to complete the mileage within the time frame and it's not about who is first... Otherwise I would be cracking the whip for the next six weeks... Just kidding... No, not really.
  12. DONE! Happy weekend!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Wardrobe Changes

Added after I was done writing this post: Reading back over this, the post could have also been named:
"All the things that you never asked and I told you anyways!"

During a work week, getting in all the workouts starts with packing the night before, unpack when I am finally home and the pack again for the next day. Every workout requires stuff and what I need is mostly determined by what I do and where I do it. Of course, if I am going to run I'll need my running shoes and a good sports bra. If I lift weights I can use my Vibrams and a stretched out bra... Those things are kind of obvious. But it also comes down to where I do my workout. Morning runs are usually done outside somewhere in Greenville (on the track or in neighborhood with a sidewalk and halfway decent lights and other runners) which means I get ready to work at the Caine Halter Y, so I don't have to pack towels and a hair dryer, because they provide it there. If I swim in the morning, I do that at the Middle Tyger Y and that means having to bring towels and hair dryer along.
In the meantime, I do have a pretty good routine down and hardly forget anything... I have yet to forget my underwear and hope I just didn't jinx myself.

So last night I started to get my crap together for a am track workout and a pm weight session. From left to right: on the table is the outfit for the run (tights, sleeveless shirt, long sleeve (very warm) shirt, Garmin plus heart rate strap, Road ID, socks and visor). If it's not on the table, chances are that I'll be forgotten. In a light moment this morning, I swapped out the visor with a hat... Thank goodness. On the chair is my purse. To the left of the green bag my running shoes. In the green bag everything I need to get ready for work (clothes and toiletries). The gray bag next to it contains a gym outfit for the pm weight session, a towel (since I was at the MTY) and some sweats to change into after my shower. After work, I normally repack the green bag with everything I need for workout number two.

The only other bag, that I haul around on top of what you see here, is my food. I fix that bag in the kitchen with breakfast and lunch (if I take lunch, always take breakfast) and then just throw in the stuff that was in fridge before I head out.

By the way... This is our "exercise room"... A spare bedroom that now houses all of our gear except the bikes, shoes, helmets and other bike parts. It is also home to this dining room set that I brought all the way from Germany, but it hasn't been used since I moved in with Terry. Well, at least it has some function still as "staging area"! ;-)

So I got up bright and early (4:30am), got dressed, had a small breakfast and carried all those bags to the car... In the process, Miss Karma squeezed her butt out of the door and took off. That was not planned, but fortunately by the time I had everything stowed away in the car, she was back.

On my way to the track I kept an eye on the temp.... I was not amused!! I know this is nothing compared to the temps up north or in Europe currently, but we are soft around these parts of the country and 26 degrees is dang cold!

I just put this jacket on for my ride over to the track, but ended up running my first couple warm up laps with it... Why do I have such an aversion to treadmills??

Once I finally talked myself out of the car and got warmed up a little, it actually wasn't all that bad. I even got to see a shooting star! And the luck didn't stop there: I had company!!! This was the first morning in several months that I got to see other nuts runners on the track. While I am not really worried about being by myself, I sure feel more comfortable having somebody out there.

After the track workout, it was even colder than when I started... Oh well, at this point, what is one degree more or less. While I was fine running, once I was done and back in the car, I couldn't stop shivering... BRRRRR!

And here is the moment, where I have to b*tch about my fellow runners! From the track to the Y, I drive through the neighborhood that I run in sometimes in the morning. When I am out there, I have always a light on me. There are some street lights, but there are some really dark corners too. I see people out there without lights, blinky lights and safety vests all the times and I want to smack them! Two ladies scared the crap out of me this morning, because I didn't notice them until I was almost past them. This is not safe people!!

Quick snap of the morning running outfit in the locker room. Sorry for it being blurry, but I don't want to be pointed out as the creep that takes pics in bathrooms. It's probably pretty hard to see on here, but my nose was bright red when I got there!

Oh well, since we are on the topic of creepy bathroom pictures... Here's one where I am not in workout clothes, you don't see that kind of thing on this channel a lot... I need a hair cut... Bad.

After work, a quick repacking session in the car and off we go to the Y to pump some iron.

Another blurry locker picture taken after I lifted weights. This was my first time really lifting since we stopped doing CrossFit and I have to say, it's just not the same.

After taking a quick shower at the Y. I now notice how crappy that background is... Well, it kind of topped off the cold shower experience... Awesome!

And once I got back home, I had a quick dinner and then packed my lunch, unpacked and then repacked for my swim tomorrow. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


A lot of times, progress is not tangible. That's why I was so happy with my run today, because I was able to see the progress black on white.

This was just three short weeks ago.

Today, I did the very same warm up leading up to the hill repeats and just kept going a little longer after that.

Yay yay yay!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Baby is BACK!

Sooooo.... I was planning on getting back into things this past Saturday and.... I did! Honestly, I didn't quite believe that it will happen, since my mouth was still throbbing on some parts during my treadmill walks.

The weekend started off with oversleeping. Yep, I don't know how that happened, but the track workout was supposed to start at 8am, but I was out like a light and slept until 7.30am... Unheard of. But with this run being my first run back, I didn't plant to do it by the book anyways and left the house a little after 8am to run over to the Furman track to join the team. I can't even remember what I was supposed to do, but I ended up doing 4x400 with 400 RI.... All of them under 8 minute/mile pace. And when I was done, I didn't even feel that tired, so I decided to take the long way home. All and all, I clocked close to 8 miles on my first run back. I am a very happy camper.

While I thought that with this 1.5 week break, I will once again start from scratch, it more feel like I am going back very rested. It sure is a different feeling from the first run after the cold earlier this year. While I felt pretty strong throughout the run, I woke up today with sore quads. Honestly, I can't even remember the last time I got sore from running that wasn't a wicked downhill run or trail run.

Now today was a cycling day. Time to put some miles on those wheels again. I don't know what I was thinking, but while picking out a route last night, I saw the elevation profile, but I guess I was just not paying that my attention after all.

All in all, we ended up with a little over 35 mile (riding from the house) and 2,300 feet cumulative climb. And we ended up with a 15 mph average for it. No reason to complain here.... AND... This weather is incredible isn't it? I sure hope that we are out of the woods and winter is not going to bite us in the butt!

With that I leave you... Time to watch the Superbowl commercials.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Month in Review: January

Well well... 1/12th of the year is already out of the way.

Maybe this sounds a little dramatic, but I am glad January is over.

The year didn't exactly start as I planned... Of course, nobody plans on kicking off the year with a cold. So with being a week out then and another week due to the oral surgery, the January numbers look a little meek.

At least this time around, I am doing the walking thing, which I should have probably done during my cold too... Gotta remember that for the next time.

But it wasn't all bad... Last week, a day before surgery, I had a kick butt swim that left me with jello arms and a glow on my face.

Currently, my goal is to get back into training this Saturday. I am not sure, if it's going to happen, but I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Tonight, I am planning on walking on the treadmill... Something I never thought I would do, but walking in the dark around the neighboorhood in the last two days kind of sucked. So tonight I'll be one of *those* people... If I feel frisky, I might even try the treadclimber or stairclimber thingy... You know, ramp up the intensity and see when my jaw starts throbbing! ;-)

Edit to add: Checking in on my only new year resolution: I didn't purchase any gear in January! Yay yay yay! But I do enter gear giveaways like my life depends on it! ;-)