Thursday, March 22, 2012

Rest Week and BIG NEWS!

I don't know if that adage about how if sharks stop swimming they die is true or not, but let's pretend that it is.

I am so a shark in my life. I've talked over and over again about my worst habit: all or nothing, but this week is definitely right there with the NOTHING part of that all or nothing lifestyle.

I should start with a positive announcement. I'm going to Miami next week - Tuesday - Friday early morning. Why, you ask? Oh, I was missing Florida and thought some beach time would be good...and....

CHADD GOT INVITED TO NINJA WARRIOR TRIALS.

My boss very graciously gave me the time off to go watch Chadd compete. I won't be able to tell you what happens at trials until NBC says we can, but I can tell you this - I am so proud of Chadd. If you want to know what true dedication is, all you have to do is look at Chadd. After Metro Dash last May, he went all out. Working out, training, finding opportunities to practice a sport that is still rare. This isn't running, biking, swimming, aerobics, crossfit...it's a specialized practice with huge risk (see: our 6+ hours in the ER one night) and skill beyond my wildest imagination. He's spent countless hours in the gym, beating up his hands, his shoulders, everything. I thought losing toenails was awful...you should see the blood on his hands and fingers after working on the cliff hanger. And it's not just dedication, Chadd has a natural gift for this. To see him go to Miami and be given the time off to go with him is just a dream.

Wish him well next week! When we can tell you what happened, we will!

Back to rest week...

It's been a trip to have a rest week. And, even more strange, is that I think of a rest week being 5 workouts. Monday, I had a second rest day. Tuesday morning, I had to give up a morning workout (pool) because of our crazy thunderstorm. I'm not 100% certain, but at least in Florida, if there is electricity in the air, indoor or out, the pool is closed. I slept in. I had to stay crazy late at work, but I got my swim in.

PAUSE.

I swam...wait for it. 1.25 miles. Y'all, that is my long swim EVER. And it felt GREAT! I left the pool at 9:30, feeling not like I'd gotten my ass kicked, but that I'd OWNED that swim. Is it possible that I'm becoming a confident swimmer? I think so.

Resume.

Yesterday, I was going to sneak in my cycle workout, but by the time I got to my track practice happy hour, I knew it wasn't happening.

Tonight, I did get my 45 minute restorative spin in and it felt good. 45 minutes on a bike these days = nada.

I did an important thing today, though. I took my beautiful bike into a bike shop in Ellicott City - CycleSport. The shop comes recommended from one of the guys in my coach's tri programs who knows the owner. Adam did me a huge favor and reached out to Paul, the owner, and asked him to check out my bike personally.

I rolled my bike in during my lunch break and Paul came to check it out. "Wow" he said "a LaPierre, I haven't seen one of these in a while." OH? I asked if this was a good or bad thing and he said that LaPierre's are a great bike...and that buying it for $500 on Craiglist, especially for the shape it's in and the upgrades the previous owner did...I made out like a bandit.

He's putting white SPD pedals on my bike (TO MATCH) and is going to see if he can track down some pink handlebar tape for me.

If your bike needs a tune up, head out to Ellicott City and ask for Paul. I trust him, my teammates trust him, and when I get my bike back, I know it's going to be in slick shape.

This week may not be the most balls to the wall workout week, but I have my best friend ever, Katie, coming into town, Blair's wedding (!!!!) and Chadd heading to Miami on Sunday.

Unlike my last bust week, I feel good about this one. I'm still making the workouts happen, but this time, with an eye on real life getting in the way...and being ok with it.

Maybe I'm more like a dolphin. Still moving a lot, but I'm learning to not feel like I'm going to die (or slip on my training) when I have a rough week.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon

I don't even know where to start this blog post because I have SO many great things to say about Saturday's race.

First of all, I had SO many friends who were also doing it. Even if we didn't meet up at the race, I got to enjoy the pre-race Twitter and IRL conversations with everyone. Even MORE exciting was that this was Amanda and Alicia's first half marathon and I have so enjoyed watching them train and become strong, amazing runners over the past few months.

Bryan came into town from Chicago on Wednesday, and after track practice, we got to hang out at my place and chat. Thursday, we met up with Eliot and Alicia to hit the expo, pick up our bibs, and shop a little.

I picked up some more Sweaty Bands. If you need headbands for active use...this is your best bet. I know there are a lot of cheaper imitators, but don't be fooled. Pay the difference and I promise you won't regret it.

They have skull patterns. Clearly, I'm their target demographic.

Then we got dinner in Eastern Market. I had a bit of a snit regarding food and man, can I tell you that you learn who your real friends are when they tolerate you until you stuff your face with chips and salsa. Chadd met up with us for margaritas and dinner then we parted ways and I sat on the bike trainer for an hour. See also: dedication.

Saturday morning, we got up in enough time to use the metro...because my car was locked in the garage (awesome.) Thankfully, the metro was easy to navigate and despite an almost 20 minute wait, we wound up at RFK around 6:15 where we met up with Amanda. After the usual "I have to pee, wait, where did I put my timing chip, can you hold this gu pack?", we ran over to see Coach T so I could get a pep talk, a hug and a high five.


Then we jumped into the corral, and slowly moved forward as the wave starts were released.

Me and Bryan

Me and Amanda

This is the first of many times I'll say how well organized the Rock'n'Roll crew was. The corrals were clearly marked, the releases were adequately spaced out, and aside from slightly annoying announcers, it was a nice way to start the race.


I saw these compression socks while we were waiting...I need these:

The race was a beautiful course around DC - we went out to the Mall, up 18th Street, then on Connecticut and into Adams Morgan, then Columbia Heights, then down by Howard University, through NE into the Atlas District, then back to the stadium. Rolling hills through the course, which is my strong suit. I learned at Ragnar PA that I am an ace with rolling hills. Must be from all the spinning (shameless plug to come to my class). I also enjoy the feeling of cresting the hill and rolling down...it's like mini accomplishments through a race and for me, a good mental check point.


Rolling hills. Lots of them! Source

The first few miles were kind of rough. I tried to stay with Bryan and warm up and get focused, but my mind was all over the place. My calves were in pain and I just wasn't feeling it. But around mile 3, I hit my stride, warmed up/woke up and got moving. Every mile from there out got easier (and faster!)

By the time I got to Chadd at Mile 6, I was feeling amazing. After a quick hug, I powered up the hill and enjoyed the bands, the crowds, the shot of green beer from the friendly spectators in Columbia Heights.

I saw Cyndi on H Street and waved hello frantically. I started to get distracted mentally around mile 9. I was having a good race, but for a split second, got off track, got lost in my thoughts and lost my way. Suddenly, the end felt far away, even though my normal weekend runs are around 13 miles. Then I remembered that Coach T was going to be just past the 12th mile marker. With renewed energy, I charged toward 12. I felt stronger and stronger and stronger and FASTER. I tried to slow myself down because I was afraid I was going to burn out, but I couldn't stop. I waved at Coach, then focused on a strong and controlled finish.

The Rock'n'Roll organizers did a great job with the bands and with the aid stations. Every aid stop was stationed just after the odd miles. I never wanted anything, never felt bored, and thought they did a great job with the course - especially helping people navigate the half/full split. The finish line was great and though it took a while to get out of the shoots at the end, it's only because they had a lot to offer.

I picked up water, gatorade, a banana, chocolate milk (!!), a bagel, a fruit cup, snicker's marathon bars, and had a finisher's photo taken twice. I didn't pick up the yogurt or the apples, but mostly because I was out of hands.

After I grabbed my foil blanket, I strolled out to the main stage and lay in the grass, stretching and waiting for Amanda. The music was blasting, the sun was out, and I got to enjoy my post-race feast. There is no better way to end a race than that, friends. Switchfoot played and though they're kinda meh on the radio/youtube, in person, they were a great post-race show.

video

Once I collected Amanda and Bryan, we headed to the beer tent.

Cheers!

In case you didn't know, I have a THING for Michelob Ultra. Marketing works well on me. I saw that series of "active people" commercials where all the hard working office folks hit the bar after a long run through the city, or a weekend biking in the mountains and went "oh, that's me! I too need Michelob Ultra."

Then, Michelob did something brilliant: they sponsored almost all of the major race beer tents in the US. You finish a race and boom, you get a Michelob. Pavlov's theory works very well with me.

Mmm beer. And a nifty banana belt.

Another cool thing that the Rock'n'Roll folks did, aside from awesome medals:
Was that they invited a medal engraver to the post-race area:
Even though it cost $20 - if you pre-made the medals for that to be engraved, I couldn't say no.

After we drained our beers, Amanda was awesome and drove us home. We all grabbed showers, then went to BGR and INHALED our food. I didn't even get the chance to take a picture of my burger. That good.

Of course, since it was St. Patrick's day, we met up later that night with Alicia and Eliot at a sports bar and were lucky enough to snag a table. Reed and some of his friends stopped by. A good time was had by ....I had such a great night, aside from how much I loved my outfit:

Every time I walked back to my table from the bar or the bathroom, I saw my boyfriend and my friends around the table. I had that cheesy realization that I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I commented at some point that it was just like being in a group of friends like How I Met Your Mother...and it was. Laughing, drinking, talking, and really enjoying each other's company. After a couple hours, we wandered down to Flippin Pizza then passed out.

I lay in bed, about to fall asleep and reviewed the day. 

My times:
Finish: 1:58:14
The paces beside them show that interval's pace (i.e. 5k = start to 5k pace, 10k = 5k to 10k pace)
5k: 30:13 (9:43)
10k: 58:11 (9:01)
10 mile: 1:31:43 (8:49)
Finish: 1:58:14 (8:52)

Aside from a 3 second slip in my last 5k, those are some gorgeous negative splits. I was the 4086th finisher of over 1600, putting me in the top 25% range. I ran under Eliot's name, so I haven't bothered to calculate my division stats, but those concern me less.

Those numbers are amazing for me for a couple reasons - I haven't been running this fast in training and I ran without a headset for the first time since my first marathon. 

I learned a couple things: 
- Running in an event with a lot of other friends is fun
- I have a hard time running with other people because I lose focus
- I will definitely run more Rock'n'Roll events
- Trust your training
- I love rolling hills
- I don't need music to love the run
- I have awesome friends

And that is an awesome Saturday.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Songs that Make You Say F*ck Yeah!

In light of the race coming up this weekend, I've seen a lot of requests on Twitter for good running music. I actually made a great playlist for just such an occasion while I was sitting on my spin bike a few weeks ago. While I was cycling (ha) through my playlists, looking for music that would wake me up, help me focus, and make 45 minutes pass...the following showed up and thus was born a new playlist, "Songs that Make You Say F*ck Yeah!"

Gloriana - How Far Do You Wanna Go
Jimmy Eat World - Bleed America
Ou Est Le Swimming Pool - Dance the Way I Feel
Rise Against - Architects
Pretty Lights - Forever Lost
Darude - Feel the Beat
Lucky Boys Confusion - Hey Driver
Cartel - This is Who We Are
Chromeo - Don't Turn the Lights On
Lucky Boys Confusion - Champions
Skrillex - Cinema
Kanye ft. Bon Iver - Lost in the World
Linkin Park - Bleed it Out
T-Pain, etc. - All I Do Is Win
DJ Khalid - We Takin Over
Blink 182 - Easy Target

I don't run with music anymore for long runs, which I miss, but it's for the best since I won't be allowed to use a headset during the 70.3. That hasn't stopped me from using music to drown out the other sounds at the gym or when I'm sitting on the bike.

What songs did I miss? What are your "songs that make you say f*ck yeah!"?

If you're running tomorrow, have a great race! You can find me in the beer garden at the end.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thursday Mountains

Last week was busy for me. When I would say that a few months ago, that meant something much different than it means now. Prior to training I was busy, but after training, I feel like I've put a moratorium on a lot of things. Namely, hanging out with my friends (sorry guys) has been the first thing to go.

I barely got my workouts done last week. I managed to double up my Tuesday after work so I could still get to Miriam's Kitchen in the morning, I did my track workout at home before Chadd and I went out to a concert (Anti-Flag!) on Wednesday, but by the time Thursday morning rolled around, I was drained. My alarm went off at 4:45 and I just.couldn't.do.it. I had plans with the girls after work, and I stayed later than I intended at the office, so by the time I got back, it was all I could do to finish cleaning and uncork the champagne. I know, what a rough life.

What I hadn't really anticipated was the extreme guilt and disappointment I felt missing that workout. I'd managed every other workout for the past three weeks. It felt like I'd just knocked down the sandcastle I'd built meticulously. Everyone in my support system assured me that it was probably for the best that I miss a workout at some point in the beginning or I'd have a total meltdown further down the road (with an even BIGGER sandcastle). And they're right...but that doesn't change that FREAKOUTYOUMISSEDAWORKOUT urge I have.

As I've said before, my biggest problem is that I'm all or nothing. I need strict schedules or I just wander around or sit on my couch. As much as I want middle ground, I just don't have it. Diets? All or nothing. New to running? Let's try a marathon. How about triathlons? Half Ironman it is!

The hardest thing for me about this new training has been the dedication that it requires - and not in the way that I imagined. I am fortunate enough to like working out. I appreciate that sweaty, tired feeling you get after a long run or a good class or rocking the weights...but like I said before, when I dedicate to something, I'm pedal to the medal, all or nothing, do or die. Maybe y'all knew that already considering my decision to do the National Harbor 70.3 without having done a smaller triathlon first.... I'm still learning this about myself. But it's the dedication to ease up on myself - to be balanced. You know that person who diets, eats only salads and lean protein for three weeks then splurges at the all you can eat buffet and gains their hard lost pounds right back? That is so me. I have to learn the dedication to not freak out over something as much as I need the dedication to make my workouts, work as hard as I can and following my training program.

I did take some time last weekend to put myself together. I'd complained about this earlier so I made some time to get my nails done, get a pedicure with Rachael, have my hair done on Monday, and bought all the make up I needed. Finally, back to my old self. Sometimes, it's the low-hanging fruit that can make all the difference in the world.

Speaking of Thursdays, it must be a thing. My alarm went off, as planned, at 5 this morning. Bryan was awesome and set my bike up on the trainer last night, but I just couldn't get out of bed. This may have had something to do with the fact that I was up too late and I'm working off a sleep deficit, but Thursdays are my new mountain.

Thankfully, the trainer is still set up and I'll be scaring my cats (i.e. sitting on the trainer) for a bit tonight. The only plans I have involve picking up my race bib and enjoying quality time with Alicia and Bryan (and Eliot!) unless work decides to go nuts in the next 3 hours (which it may well do).

I have to say...after having the bike for a month and not getting to ride it just yet...I'm really stoked to sit on it for a bit tonight!

And with that, if you're going to be at the Rock n Roll expo tonight, let me know!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Four Courts Four Miler

I have a post percolating in the back of my mind, but since it's not ready yet and it's not the kind of tone to start a week, I'll tell y'all about my awesome Saturday.

I had signed up for the Pacer's Four Courts Four Miler a while back, before I lost my mind and signed up for the National Harbor 70.3. My coach rearranged my training schedule a little bit and instead of having to run 12 miles prior to this race (seriously, guys, this was my plan...and this is also while I have a coach), I ran 4 miles around my neighborhood, then popped in the car and met up with Blair and Anne at Blair's house.

We walked to Four Courts in Clarendon, dropped off our bags and took our place in the corral. Here's me in my Ragnar gear!

I was standing next to this guy:
I hope when I'm this old, I'm badass enough to run a race like this, much less do it in wind shorts and a singlet...

The gun went off and though it was a clear, cold and [very] windy day in Rosslyn, I suddenly felt warm and tingly. Running felt like it made sense again and looking down the Rosslyn hill, I felt totally effortless. 

The Four Courts Four course is very deceptive and a real test of how well runners can adequately pace themselves. The first 1.5 miles fly down the Rosslyn hill and finish the second mile out on 395. That hill is FAST. I checked my watch at mile 1:

Mile 1 Split: 6:50 - w.t.f. Y'all, I have NEVER run a sub 7, ever. This is a huge accomplishment for me and even though I knew in a horrifying mile I'd be regretting is all the way to the finish line, I didn't care. I didn't care that the downhill gave me that ability to get under 7.

I slowed down A LOT at this point because I knew that a bonk was going to come, even if it was only a 4 mile race. 

Mile 2: 8:06(ish): If only I'd kept the first mile all in the tank, I bet I could have managed this pace on the way back up.

Mile 3-4: Roughly a 9 minute mile. Alas. I'm fine with the 9 minute, but it was such a wild swing back from the first mile. And I certainly felt the horrible hill coming back up, to the point where I started to wonder if I needed an inhaler - I felt like I couldn't get a deep enough breath (something I almost never ever experience).

I tried to stay with a guy who was also huffing and chugging up the mountain hill and managed it for a bit, but just couldn't get a breath deep enough to justify it.

I still finished in 33:06, 50th in my division (of 396), and did better than last year (33:32). I also beat the Leprechaun (again) - Robbie Wade is a craycray fast runner/area semi-pro triathlete. They let him go about 20 minutes after the start of the race. For every person he passes, Pacers donates a dollar to a good cause, and if you make it to the end before Robbie, you get a water bottle. Watching Robbie run is a beautiful thing. He was running just over a 5 minute mile and the sight of his fluid, effortless run was just an amazing experience.

I finished the race and waited for Blair to tackle the mountain. We tracked down the Leprechaun!
Check out those awesome hot pink compression sleeves. Love them so hard.

I was flagged down by a couple while we were waiting for Anne who saw my jacket and were interested in running Ragnar! See, guys! I am a good ambassador :)

I told them that they shouldn't "think" about running Ragnar, they should simple sign up today and do it! What was really cool was that this guy's grandfather actually had a major role in creating the state park where Ragnar DC starts! How amazing is the running community? While I was talking to this couple, I happened to see fellow Ragnar Ambassador: Amanda M.


I had an epic brunch with Anne and Blair afterwards:
French toasty goodness. You can't see the beer in that photo, too.

Saturday was a great day for a race, and an even better day for catching up with fellow crazy triathlete, Rachael.  Rachael and I met up for a quick cup of coffee then experienced what is quite possibly the most excruciatingly amazing experience ever: a pedicure with paraffin and a massage chair on crack.

We went with awesome colors:
In case you can't tell, my toes are basically Barbie Neon Pink. And amazing.

I really love spending time with Rachael because, she too, is insane and signed up for an Olympic distance triathlon, despite being a runner (and only a runner!) just like me. We've been tweeting back and forth about our successes and failures (none so far!) and the aches, pains, and bottomless pit of a stomach we seem to have as we learn how to balance three sports instead of one.

Rachael is raising money for Team in Training in memory of her mother. I didn't get the chance to meet her mother, but I can tell you this - she must have been some kind of extra amazing for raising a woman like Rachael. If you have $5, it would mean a lot to me (and to Rachael!) if you could pop over to her fundraising page and let her know you support her.

And with that, happy Monday! Hope my fellow morning workout-doers aren't suffering too much with the time change.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Breaking Through

If I could bottle and sell the way I felt in the pool Tuesday night, I could be a billionaire.

I'll admit, I had some hesitation going into Tuesday night's workout. I had to be at Miriam's Kitchen in the morning, so my normal 2 a day was going to be compressed into one, huge workout after work.

My day was stressful at the office so by the time I left, I was pretty keyed up and already stressing about my workout. Once I got home I realized I was doing exactly what I'd said I wouldn't do in my last post...go into a workout knowing I was going to be miserable.

Instead, I pulled together a spin class that I was really excited about. Three huge mountains, some speed work, but mostly strength work. Class looked like this:
Walking in Memphis (Marc Cohn): Warm Up
Sweet Thing (Keith Urban): Warm Up 
Impossible (Anberlin): Climb (alternate 2 minutes in saddle, 2 out, moderate incline)
The End With You (Box Car Racer): Climb (alternate 2 minutes in saddle, 2 out, strong incline)
Think About Me (Goo Goo Dolls): Hill Spikes (seated, 30 seconds fast flat, 30 seconds strong resistance)
Bleed American (Jimmy Eat World): Speed work: 30 seconds fast, 30 seconds normal (1x) 45-15 (remainder)
Injection (Rise Against): Running
Breakdown (Forever the Sickest Kids): Jumps (4 beats, full song) 
Scartissue (Red Hot Chili Peppers): Fast Flat/Recovery
Drive (Incubus): Seated strong incline
This is Who We Are (Cartel): standing strong incline
One in a Lifetime (Talking Heads): seated flat for 15 seconds, strong standing incline 45 seconds
Your Misfortune (Mike Doughty): 3 minutes in saddle with moderate resistance, 1 minute out of saddle, strong resistance 
Forever Lost (Pretty Lights): 3 minutes in saddle with moderate resistance, 1 minute out of saddle, strong resistance
Druken Lullabies (Flogging Molly): 30 seconds surge, 30 seconds running, 30 seconds out of saddle climb
Summer Skin (Death Cab for Cutie): Cool Down
You Are Mine (Mute Math): Cool Down

Aria and I chatted while I closed up the class. She'd stayed for my class, so she'd already done her two hours and I thought "Mia, it's only two hours...this isn't some sort of Mt. Everest. Just go do it." I threw on my bathing suit, rinsed off my sweat, and headed down to the pool.

I strongly suggest hitting up the pool at night at the Y. Around 8:30, no one is in the pool. Even with two lanes reserved for the Masters Swim, I had an entire lane to myself for an hour. The only downer about this whole experience were the foot/toe cramps and the charlie horse that kept flaring up. I get it, bananas, I promise I'll start eating you again.

My swim workout was: 
200 Warm Up
3 x 75 (25 drill, 25 fast, 25 easy)
1 x 400
4 x 150 (odd fast, even easy)
1 x 400
5 x 25 (all fast with 15 seconds rest between each)
200 Cool Down

This was my first time trying out drills. Here's a great video that Coach sent out with basic drills. I tried the catch up drill and the one armed drill and was pleasantly surprised. I will say that maybe I need to take the video's advice and try using an object in front of me to accurately do the catch-up drill. I was constantly starting with my other arm too early.

The first 200 was easy. I mean, it's a warm up, so it should be. But y'all, three short weeks ago, a 200 was a death march. Heart rate up, I tackled the 3x75s and blew through those.

The first four hundred. Talk about a mental hurdle. This is 16 lengths of my pool. For you new runners out there, it's the same mental freak out as me saying "let's do 16 laps of the track!" I got through the 4 hundred with only a few seconds of clinging to the edge here and there. 

The 4x150's took a surprisingly long time, but, for the first time, I FINALLY felt like I had some speed control. And let me tell you, the fast odd lengths were amazing. I kept saying to myself over and over again, "triathlete, triathlete, triathlete" "iron, iron, iron."

I finished the rest of the workout with minimal cramping and headed home. The soreness kicked in halfway through the biggest loser, but it HURT SO GOOD. This isn't the first time I've done two hours of workouts in a row. I've going to Les Mills certifications and gone for 2+ hour training runs, but for some reason, Tuesday night was different. Maybe it was the pool? Regardless.

That accomplishment, that pain I experienced waking up on Wednesday was a great feeling. My muscles were tired, but happy. For the first time, I felt like a triathlete. And that's why it's worth it.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

When Life Happens

For the past three weeks, I've had a lot of flexibility, low work load, and general open schedule for workouts. I knew this was living a pipe dream and that I was bound to wake up in a mess of schedule conflicts, a gym that doesn't open early enough (who knew), and work that will not stay within a 40 hours a week boundary.

That wake up was this morning. My schedule SHOULD look like this:
Monday - 1 hour upper body and core workout (with Blair!)
Tuesday -  AM Swim, PM - 1 hour spin class
Wednesday - Track Practice
Thursday - 1 hour of spin and 45 minutes of core work
Friday - 30 minute swim

Instead, my week is going to look like this:
Monday - as planned
Tuesday - AM - Miriam's, PM: Spin and Swim
Wednesday: re-creating track practice on the dreadmill (AM), PM: Concert with Chadd
Thursday: 4 am. I repeat, 4 am, 1 hour on the bike trainer (my first time!) 45 minutes in the gym for weights; Thursday PM - girls' night
Friday - 30 minute swim and total exhaustion.

I suppose it's not as big of a change as I think it is. One of the things I'm struggling most with and simultaneously love is how scheduled my life has become. If you knew me in high school or college, you'd have seen my hard copy planner (oh before google calendar....). I had highlights, check boxes, pages folded, specific instructions, etc. I seem to be able to handle a strict schedule (or diet) or nothing at all. Reminds me vaguely of my swimming issues (full power or sink) So, when the slightest thing comes up, like having to stay late at work, I get totally stressed out beyond reasonable proportions.

I also let things that I need to do on the regular totally slide. For example:
- My roots are horrific. I absolutely must find a new hair stylist yesterday.
- Eye liner. I've been out of make up, most specifically eye liner, for probably a month now.
- Manicure. I know these things all sound super stupid, but my nails are like... my thing.
- Pedicure. A must for distance runners. I don't like losing toenails.
- Taxes. They are literally 75% complete and have been for...oh, a month?
- Writing my grandmother. I used to do this weekly. I've been a terrible granddaughter.
- Making food. I have never eaten out as much as I do these days. I used to love cooking...I still do! But I am so tired/apathetic when I get home from work and training that I care about 0 percent.

I wish I had a solution. Maybe with practice will come some sort of ease of mind. Maybe I'll learn to balance myself out without strict schedule or going hog wild when I have nothing planned. Until then, I'm trying to focus on the wins of the day, remind myself that very few things are ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL and look for enjoyment in the craziness I signed myself up for. Because, really, when is it ever worth being miserable for months just to feel glory in the end? Don't worry. I'm not feeling miserable, more just like I need a vacation.

But as far as wins of the day go...yesterday...

My workout with Blair last night was seriously awesome. We tried kettlebells for the first time and they were excruciating...I should look into a specific kettlebell class. But whoa this morning, hello hip flexors. And my entire right ass check is a knot. BTW, if you don't already, you should follow me on Fitocracy. That link will get you an account (free!) and we can compete and stuff. It'll be fun.

How do you balance all of it? What is your stress breaking point? What were your wins of the day?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Race Calendar

I have a really bad habit of signing up for major races then overbooking myself. I always enjoy the races, always feel accomplished, but sometimes when I'm tired, I look at my calendar and go....fuuuuuuuu

Today happens to be one of those days!

Current race plans:
March 10 - Four Courts Four Miler (thankfully my coach only has me running 4 easy before this race instead of the 12 I'd tried to map out so I could hit my 16)
March 17 - Rock and Roll Half Marathon

April - TBD (anyone have any good recs for fun April races? Nothing too crazy, I'm winding down marathon training this month)

May 6 - Flying Pig Marathon
May 11-12 - Ragnar Cape Cod (formerly, NE)
May 27 - Boston Memorial Half (which I will get to run with my bff Katie!)

June 8-9 - Ragnar Chicago
June 15-16 - Ragnar Wasatch Back (tentative)

July - Nothing on the books - any suggestions?

August 5 - Ironman 70.3 National Harbor
August 17-18 - Ragnar Great River

September 21-22: Ragnar DC
September 28-29: Ragnar Adirondacks (formerly, NY)

As far as major races go, that's:
Half Marathons: 2
Marathons: 1
Ragnar: 6
Half Ironman: 1

There's a duathlon on July 15th that's like...26 miles of biking and I think 6 miles of running. Could be fun.

I'm supposed to send this list to my coach and have her say yes/no...I'm betting she's going to keep me in line :)