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Getting my run on.

No Need To Yell

I did it.  Night One of Accountability is a success.  I was on the elliptical tonight for 32 minutes.  I still hate the elliptical as I don’t feel it’s a hard enough work out but my legs feel tired and my heart rate was at least a bit elevated (not sure how high as I was not wearing a HRM) so whatever – good enough.  Maybe next time I’ll wear the Garmin just for the HRM feature so I can see if I’m getting a decent work out or not.  However, I think on Thursday I’ll bike on the trainer.  I have to keep my spinning legs – can’t let go of those over the winter or I’ll have a hard time getting ready for duathlons and triathlons next summer!

Speaking of peer pressure…OK, so we weren’t.  Bear with me.  I do like it when my friends try to talk me into doing races together.  It’s fun to all be signed up together, hang out together at the race, etc.  I’m still not sure I’ll sign up for the Monster Dash though.  There’s a local race benefiting our school district the same day with a cheaper entrance fee that I might do instead.  They also have a fun run for kids that I was thinking of seeing if Annika would want to do.  I’ve lost the info on that (maybe I read it in the local paper last week?) so I need to go searching for it.  Anyway, I’ll work out so that I can decide for sure later if I’m doing a race and which it will be.

Speaking of Annika…OK, so I actually was a little bit that time.  Annika keeps asking me why my belly is still big.  This weekend she even asked me if I was pregnant again.  (BTW – I’m not.  Heh.)  Now I know I have about 15 pounds to lose yet to reach my pre-baby weight but I was really hoping I at least didn’t still look pregnant.  Granted, she’s six.  And stomach height.   So I’m not dwelling on it.  I just tell her that it takes a long time for bellies to go back down and that I’m eating healthy foods and exercising to help it shrink faster.  But, you know, it would be nice if her cute, sweet, innocent six year old self would keep her mouth shut! :)

Peer Pressure

After that last post the peer pressure was cranked up a notch!  I have a bunch of friends doing a half marathon, 10 mile run or 5K together at a local race in late October.  And they’d all like me to do the race with them.  Ah, isn’t that sweet!  No!  It’s peer pressure!  :)

There’s no way I’d be ready for a half marathon by then and I’m not even sure I could squeak out a 10 mile run.  I do think I could do a 5K but that’s of course only if I get my butt off the couch.  I have not been working out much lately.  Is it post race let down?  Is it new school year craziness?  Is it the 4 month old who doesn’t sleep through the night and routinely needs me to feed or re-pacifier him during the night?  Like every 1.5-3 hours?  I’m tired people!

Anyway, I need some accountability.  My nutrition is generally fine.  I’m not going too crazy-out-of-control on anything.  However, my weight is holding steady in the low 160′s and I’d like to push it over the edge into the 150′s.  So, I’m going to use you guys.  I’m stating here that I will work out Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturday morning for a minimum of 30 minutes until it becomes routine.  It might be on the elliptical, on the bike trainer, doing a DVD work out, going for a run in the dark with my dog, whatever.  It will be 30 minutes of me not being on the couch in front of the TV or at the desk in front of the computer after the kids go to bed.

And I’ll come here every Wednesday and Friday morning and Saturday sometime to tell you if I worked out or not. And if I didn’t, I’ll tell you why.  Maybe I can use peer pressure for good!

I know three times a week isn’t much but it’s all I can commit to right now.  Three kids, a husband who works in the evenings and Saturday mornings and busy weekends just take a lot of time!  But if I don’t take this time for myself then I won’t get any workouts in – see the last two weeks.  There’s always something else I find to do, even if that is mindlessly zoning out in front of the computer because I’m so tired.  I can do 30 minutes though.  I can.

Next?

Now that the duathlon is over it’s time to figure out what’s next.  I went for a short run yesterday and it went pretty well.  I wasn’t wearing the Garmin at the time so I don’t know my pace or distance.  It wasn’t very far though because I brought my dog (a boxer) with me and he’s pretty out of shape!  If I can bring him with me though and get him in better shape then I think he’ll be a very good running companion for me, especially if I want to run at night when it’s getting dark out.

Neither Kris nor I have any more races on the calendar though.  Sure, I could continue to just work out for the sake of getting healthy, losing weight, be a good example for my children, etc., etc., but what fun would that be!  I like having another race on the calendar so I have a goal to work towards.  Next year Kris and I want to focus on triathlons but I’d like to maybe throw another half marathon in there too.  I like half marathons.  The distance is far enough for me to feel accomplished but not too far that it takes too much time to train.  And I do have that goal up there to complete a half marathon in sub 10 minute miles and another to complete a sprint distance triathlon.  Maybe I can work to do both next summer!

I think it’s time to go figure out which races we’d like to do next summer, find out when registration starts for those races and get everything on the calendar and some training goals made!  How exciting!  I love this stage of race preparation – it’s one of the times when excitement is highest.

Minneapolis Duathlon 2010 Race Report

It’s been a few days since the Minneapolis Duathlon.  I didn’t rush right over here to tell you all about it because, well, I’m conflicted.  I’m still not sure how I really feel.  On one hand – GO ME!  I did a big race only four months and one day after having a baby.  That right there shows that I have some level of physical fitness.  My body bounced back pretty well from nine months of limited activity to riding my bike for an hour, to running a 5K, to not being a complete couch potato.  Those are all good things.  I’m proud of myself, as I should be.

And yet.  There’s always a but, right?  I’m not 100% pleased with my performance.  I had to walk briefly during my first run.  This was a 5K, 18 mile bike, 5K course and I couldn’t even complete the first leg without taking a break.  I may be doing well on my way back to physical fitness but I’ve got a ways to go yet.  The bike actually went quite well.  I completed 12 miles in 48 minutes which equates to a 15mph bike.  That’s actually as fast or faster than I was biking last summer during my first few duathlons.  Woo-hoo!  Go me!

Wait – 12 miles?  Didn’t I just say the race was an 18 mile race?  Yeah, that’s the part that I’m most conflicted about.  I was only allowed to complete the fun course for the bike (six miles out and back) instead of the full course due to time.  They had a 10:35am cut off time (due to closing roads and city of Minneapolis rules) and if you didn’t reach the fun course turn around point by that time then you were automatically asked to turn around and cut your bike short.  The problem is that my wave (Wave 12) didn’t even leave the starting line until after 9:35am.  Wave 12 was supposed to start at 9:30am but the race director didn’t want too many people out on the course in bunches so he was breaking up the waves into even smaller groups of no more than 35 people.  So, my half of wave 12 was not allowed to start until after 9:35am.  I then had to complete 3.1 (actually 3.2+ according to Kris’s Garmin) miles, a big T1 and 6 miles biking in less than 60 minutes.  If this had been last summer I might have had a shot – might – but this summer?  Nope, it wasn’t going to happen.  I mean, let’s look at the facts – a 10 minute mile pace would have meant 31 minutes running.  Kris estimated a fast transition would have been 2 minutes given the area was so large.  Then biking 6 miles at a 14mph pace is another 26 minutes (22 minutes at a 15mph pace).  If you add up 31 plus 2 plus 26 you get 59 minutes.  59!  An average athlete in wave 12 has BARELY enough time to make that cut off time.  An average athlete in wave 12 has a very good chance of being shorted in this current race format.  Guess what?  I’m not an average athlete right now. I’m a slow athlete right now.  My first 5k was 37 minutes long.  I was running  over 12 minute miles.  If I had been able to maintain a 2 minute transition and the 15 mph on the bike I still would have been at 61 minutes.  I would not have made it.  Instead, it was even worse for me.  The bike racked next to mine kept blowing off the rack and into my bike (I witnessed this happen twice while I was standing nearby).  When I got to T1 I realized that my rear tire would not move, probably from this problem bike hitting mine.  It took two race volunteers and 1 bike mechanic (outside of T1) to fix my bike and get me back on the course.  My T1 time was over seven minutes.  At this point I had almost no chance of making the cut off time.  And I didn’t.  I completed the 12 mile course instead.  I was heartbroken and frustrated and my bad attitude carried over to most of the rest of the day.  My poor husband bore the brunt of that.

Sunday night I contacted someone with the race to express my frustrations.  He offered that next year he would guarantee that me and my friends and relatives could all be in wave 2 together to ensure we had a great race experience.   My frustration only mounted.  I felt like that didn’t really address the root problem at all and he was just trying to placate me.  So I wrote him back and laid it out (nicely – I promise I was nice) – the average athlete can not compete in wave 12 as currently structured.  They are going to get shorted on their races.  I offered up alternatives like ask people for approximate paces during registration to put faster people in later waves, don’t have waves start so close to the cut off or even restrict registration (if worried about crowding on the course) so no wave 12 is needed.  I’m sure that last suggestion will be dismissed as they are trying to go as big as possible.  All I got back was a “thank you for your thoughtful analysis.”  Who knows if they’ll make any changes for next year.  I doubt Kris and I will sign up to find out.  Kris is pretty upset at how they screwed up my race and I’m not very happy with the race or feedback either.  I did receive a finisher’s medal on Sunday but I feel like I have to put an asterisk on this year’s race.  Sure, I completed 3.1 miles on foot, 12 miles on the bike and another 3.1 miles on foot.  But that’s not what I set out to do at the starting line.

Fear

Have I told you about my knee?  Of course I haven’t.  I hardly ever update this pitiful blog.  Well, Sunday night I did 65 minutes on the elliptical.  I’m sort of trying to get ready for this weekends duathlon you know.  Anyway, 65 minutes.  I was feeling pretty good about myself.  My legs were nice and tired but not shot.  I was a sweaty mess.  I had done something at least.  And then Monday morning my right knee started twinging.  You know, twinging.  That’s a word, right?  Anyway, it sort of maybe hurt a little?  Yesterday it was a bit worse and today it’s maybe slightly worse, veering into hurting territory rather than twingy.  It’s not my IT band on the outside of my knee.  It’s under my knee cap and kind of the whole front of my knee.  Have I iced?  Ibuprofen?  Elevated?  No, of course not.  That would make sense.  Instead I’ve not worked out.  I’m sure that will come in real handy on Sunday when I completely suck at the duathlon.  So, yeah.  I’m a little scared about what’s going on with my knee.

But really?  It’s nothing like the fear I have about this duathlon.  I should have signed up for the fun course.  I didn’t know there was a fun course when I signed up but if I had, I probably wouldn’t have signed up for it anyway.  Sigh.  I’m not ready.  Sure, I can ride my bike for over an hour – on the bike trainer.  On a road?  With hills?  Yeah, not so confident.  And sure, I can elliptical for 65 minutes.  But run on a road?  With hills?  Yeah, not so confident.  And doing a run (with will probably take me 40 pitiful minutes) and then biking (which will probably take me an hour and a half) and then running again (another pitiful 40 minutes) is so going to take everything out of me!  My back to work schedule dictates that I’ll be working out at 5am (unlikely!) or at 8:30 or 9pm at night.  Now that it’s dark out at 8:30pm I don’t really want to run outside and obviously it’s not really a great idea to bike on the road when it’s dark either.  Let’s just say the cars in this part of the cities are not too kind to cyclists.  It’s sad really.

Anyway, I’m scared.  My knee is bothering me and I’m going to suck on Sunday.  How’s that for a downer of a post!  Yikes.

Goals and Races

Thank you Michelle for that comment!  I like it when people tell me I look good! :)   Yes, 135 might seem like an aggressive goal.  However, I was at 147-148 most of last summer and wasn’t quite where I wanted to be.  Areas of my body still had a bit too much cushion, a bit flabby if you will.  I was happy with how I looked but I knew I could still do better.  If I had not ended up pregnant, I probably would have pushed to go lower then.  Now I’m starting over a bit, just a few pounds under where I started early last year.  I went looking for height/weight charts this morning to see if I was being too aggressive.  I found a couple that state that for a medium-framed woman who is 5 ft 6 in tall that she should weigh between 130-144 pounds (or 117 to 143 for small to medium framed women).  The 145 original goal is still outside those recommended limits!  And based on the bod pod measurements, my BMI would still be a bit high if I stayed there.  Based on measurements of my own body plus the recommended height/weight recommendations for my frame and height, I think 135 is a good goal to shoot for.  And of course I’ll be analyzing the whole way down (of course I will…I’m an engineer!) to see if maybe 140 would be better.  If I’m happy with my body, then I’ll stop and work on maintaining.  Now that I’m done having babies, it’s time to get my body in the best shape I can so I can live a long and healthy life with my husband and children.

Speaking of healthy lives, I received an e-mail from someone affiliated with the 13.1 Minneapolis race that’s coming up this weekend (the 22nd).  I had never heard of this race before!  I might have to look into it for next year!  I’m not ready for a half this year…I’m not even ready for the duathlon in 11 days!  But, if anyone else is interested, I might be able to get you a discount code for race registration.  Hurry up though!  Registration ends August 18th (tomorrow!)  Let me know right away!

Spinning

Thursday night I did 30 minutes on the bike trainer.  Aren’t you proud?  I actually got off my butt that evening and got something done.

And tonight, after I’m done posting this I’m going to head back down to the basement for another 45 minutes (at least) of spinning and then at least 20 minutes on the elliptical.  Think of it as an indoor brick workout!

I’ve updated my goals on the upper right of my site.  I’ve added a new one and changed a different one.  Can you pick out the differences?  First, next year Kris and I are going to do a sprint triathlon or two, maybe an olympic distance too.  Of course that mean we need to get a gym membership or something so we can actually do some swim workouts.  But those are just our warm ups.  Two summers from now we want to tackle a half ironman triathlon!  We don’t have a location picked out yet but it will also be the summer of our ten year wedding anniversary so maybe we’ll pick a destination triathlon and make an anniversary trip out of it.  Either way, that big goal is going to take some preparation!  Now, if I can only get myself to like biking!

The other goal I changed is my weight goal.  I got down to 147 pounds last summer.  My goal weight was 145 pounds.  Then I got pregnant and now I’m back up to the low 160′s again.  I’m working my way down and I know that I want to go lower than 145 pounds.  Between my bod pod measurements and how I felt and looked at 145 pounds I think 135 should really be my goal.  I don’t think that’s too unrealistic either.  In high school and early college I was between 120 and 125 pounds and in 2001 when I was at my previously lowest weight I was down around 140 pounds.  I felt pretty good at 140 pounds too!  So, 135 pounds is my new goal.

OK – off to change into workout gear and get to spinning!

Starting Over Again

I didn’t want to come back here until I’d done something.  Sure, Sunday I went for a short “run” but it was extremely hot out and about 1.85 miles into it I started feeling light headed and nauseous so I packed it in and went home for a total of two miles.  It was not my best effort.  But Tuesday night, after several days of bad eating (more on that) I kicked my butt (Kris kicked it too) into gear and went to the basement.  I got on the elliptical, streamed a British comedy (IT Crowd) on Netflix, set the timer for 40 minutes and started ellipting.  There were so many times when I gave myself permission to stop short but I didn’t.  I did the full 40 minutes.  Sure, my legs were tired but I wasn’t exhausted.  I did it.  I did something at least.  That duathlon is rapidly approaching and I am anything but prepared for it.

Now about the eating…I was doing so well!  And I still am during the day at work.  Of course that’s only because I bring all my food with me so I can’t screw it up too badly.  And I’ve done a respectable job at avoiding all the “free food” traps set out around the building.  But at night lately I haven’t done as well.  Some of it is emotional eating.  When I’m upset it’s easier to finish the kids’ uneaten dinners, snack on the now gone bag of chocolate chips, etc.  But I don’t need to sabotage myself.  I’m unhappy with my current weight and body shape.  Exercising and watching my nutrition are the only ways I’m going to be happy again with my weight and body shape.  Last summer Kris told me he liked my back.  It was starting to show some muscle.  I’ve lost that with the baby weight gain.  I want it back.  So, I’m starting over again.  Back to exercising regularly and back to watching my nutrition and holding my calories to under 2200.

And Go!

Saturday I went to a duathlon training session.  Amanda, Jeanette and Mark were also there.  I did not want to go.  I repeatedly told Kris I didn’t want to go.  I came up with alternative work out plans so he could go instead of me.  After my first full week back at work after maternity leave, I really didn’t want to leave my baby for that long.  I wanted instead to go for a run and bike on my own at home in the afternoon when Levi took his long nap.  Kris said no, you’re going.  He knows when to push me just that little bit that I need.  Well, sometimes he does.  Ha.

This time I needed it because if it was left up to me I would have bailed on it for sure.  It was good for me to go though.  It showed me that I have a ways to go to get ready for this race.  Saturday was the first time I had biked for that long (1 hour) and I made it 13.3 miles in that hour.  Combined with a 10 minute run before the bike and a 12 minute run after the bike and my legs were shot, absolutely done.  Seeing as how I’ll have to run about 30 minutes then 1.5 hours on the bike then another 30 minute run during the actual race?  Well, clearly I’m not ready.  Oh sure, I’ll finish.  But at this point I would be finishing with a nice slow walk…which I don’t want to do.  So, my plan that I laid out last week will have to be put into effect.  Tonight – strength training with 30 Day Shred or some basic push-ups, crunches, lunges and squats.  Tomorrow it’s a run or at least some time on the elliptical and Wednesday is some time on the bike trainer.  Hopefully Kris can push me to get these done too because I’m sure that by 9pm tonight when I finally get time to do my training I’ll be very tired and would rather just go to bed.  Such is the life of a working mom though, right?

New Routines

Sunday morning I went for a six mile bike ride.  I don’t bike very often and am pretty worried about the bike portion of the duathlon coming up.  Eek.

Also on Sunday we spent the afternoon with my family playing at the lake and on Dad’s boat.  I took my turn tubing that afternoon, hanging on as much as I could while Dad whipped Kris and I around.  I knew as I was tubing that I was going to be pretty sore the next day.  I don’t often use my upper body in that way!

Sure enough, Monday and Tuesday my upper body was quite sore.  My arms, back, chest, everything just ached.  Maybe I should start some strength training?

I’ve been thinking about training in general now that I’m back at work.  I think I might have figured out a schedule.  I’m thinking something like this:

Monday – 30 Day Shred

Tuesday – run (possibly at 5am before I have to get ready for work – either that or after Kris gets home from work at 8:30pm – there is literally no other time during the day!)

Wednesday – bike (possibly outside or on the trainer indoors but most likely after Kris gets home from work in the evening)

Thursday – run

Friday – 30 Day Shred

Sat/Sun – run and bike on one day and rest the other day

Or, you know something like that.  I need to make working out a priority though or I just won’t do it.  See the last couple weeks as evidence.