Saturday, April 30, 2011
Saturday, April 23, 2011
I had my eye on the pretzel lady because she parked next to us and looked to be unloading some fancy stuff out of her car. I took a break from staring her down and conversed with my comrades. All of a sudden, I see people milling around her tent, holding BAGS. I’m not exactly sure what happened next, but there was yelling, rushing, and clambering out of the car. I don’t mess around when it comes to free stuff. We each got a bag and then walked around to the other tents to check out what they had. We filled up our new pretzel bags with lots of other cool free stuff.
Let’s backtrack. About a week ago, I was looking for a GPS/heart-rate monitor watch to help me keep track of my running activities. I figure I need to see how I’m doing in order to keep getting better. I discovered the Garmin Forerunner 305. It was way too expensive for my paycheck, but after looking around for cheaper models, I found the 305 on amazon for $128. Almost $275 cheaper than what it retails for on the Garmin site. Sold.
As I'm chatting with this woman about our watches, I glance down and see her shoes. They have toes. I'm floored that not only was this the second thing for us to see that we had been talking about, but that she was actually wearing them! They look like slippers. Weird, toe slippers. But I'm not gonna lie. I'm curious
I knew I had to keep myself entertained throughout the race so I played a game of leapfrog with some people around me. I’d run past them, take a break to walk, wait for them to run past me, wait for them to take a break to walk, then run again. It worked out pretty well until I got distracted by the front-runners of the race. They were coming back from the first loop and passed all of us going the other way. Everyone was cheering them on, but all I noticed were three or four of them really giving it their all trying to pass each other. I thought to myself, "Jeez, calm down. It's not a race". Oh wait.
I saw a few people from our group while on the race. We waved at each other and cheered each other on, but for the most part, I was by myself. I expected to be because I'm a slower runner than the people I went with.
Towards the end of the race, right near the last loop, I started a conversation with a woman (Hi Marguerite!!) who I had been playing leapfrog with almost the whole race. We talked for the last half-mile and it absolutely flew by. Next time I'm definitely sticking with someone for conversation!
Of course, me being me, I had to run the last bit to the finish line. Someone said that they were announcing names as people crossed the finish line, but I didn't hear them say my name. Probably because I was pumping my fists up in the air like a fool, trying not to trip over the mats on the finish line. I’m classy like that.
My finish time was 52:07 making my average page 16:31 minutes per mile. An even better time that the other night’s dreadmill run. Things are looking up. I didn't even mind that I came in last among the group I went with, or that I was 840/882. That’s a lie. It’s a little depressing. But, at least I wasn't last! And then Amanda sent me this picture/quote, which really put things into perspective and made it a little bit better.
My waterproof jacket? Not waterproof.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Then, I realized that I had been running at 5 mph for all my intervals. The fastest I’ve ever done on the treadmill. And I hadn't even noticed it. Fistpump.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
My best friend, Emily, recently said to me "I do not find the need to run unless something is chasing me that has to potential to kill me." I normally don't run unless something is chasing me either, in fact I think the last time I ran, I was being chased by a dog when I was in elementary school. Apparently he didn't want me cutting across his lawn as a shortcut on the way home from school. But unfortunately, it's part of this horrific triathlon I signed up for. And the duathlon isn't much better, it's running and biking, then MORE running. Seriously? Where’s the swimming and biking only race? Isn't that a duathlon too? I'd like to hop on board that train.
Here's where it gets weird: Yesterday two of my friends ambushed me on twitter with the premise of doing the Disney Half marathon next February. My first thought? "I can't take a vacation to Florida in February and March!" March is my Red Sox Spring Training month. I can't miss that. I can't. Don't give me excuses, or a way out, I'll rephrase it for you, I won't.
My second thought was "I'm only doing a 5K as part of this sprint triathlon in September. That’s only 3.1 miles of running. A half marathon is 13.1. miles. That extra 10 miles to run with only 5 months of training, is highly daunting." And now that I reminisce about yesterday and my thoughts, it means training during the winter. I hate winter. I try not to go outside if possible. This is not looking good.
Yesterday was a great day though, although cold, and I frown upon that. My co-worker, and great friend, Alyson and I headed down to Rhode Island to bike along the Easy Bay bike path. It was very flat and a very easy path. It was nice for a leisurely ride without any purpose of training. But, man, was it cold.
Before we rode, we went into a store to use the bathroom and I was on the lookout for the Runner's World magazine. See, even though I don't like to run, I'm constantly reading articles online, flipping through magazines and reading blogs by other runners to get ideas on how to become a runner, or advice for my poor form, or to find to why they do it and how far they've come. If they can do it, why can't I? I seem to spend more time researching running than actually running. Works for me.
I found one lone copy of Runner's World and decided it must be fate. While normally this running business wouldn't interest me, I've become obsessed lately. Probably because I can't do it and I have an obsessive compulsive need to fix that. This issue of Runner’s World has a SPECIAL BEGINNER’S GUIDE. See?
I most definitely need a special beginner's guide. Because I’m sure it's different from the 47 other beginner's guides I've read. I haven't read this one yet, but I have started looking through the magazine. That's when I found this:
And I thought "Oh, how cool, I want to do that". WHAT?? Who am I? And why am I having these thoughts. Reminder: I can't run.
So, I Googled the Disney Princess Half Marathon for 2012. It’s Feb 24-26, and it will probably take me that long to complete it. They key about that though; it's over a weekend in February. I can still take my week-long March vacation. Score. And then I Googled "Half Marathon Training Schedules". Dammit.
Well girls, I guess that made my decision for me about the Disney Princess Half Marathon. I'm in.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Oh My God. Payback is a bitch. Never again will I keep score with my bike seat again. Except for now. Bike seat 1, Sara -1.
When people warn you that the first ride of the season will result in a sore butt, they are lying. My butt is fine. I have enough padding on it for an Iron Man race. It’s the lady parts that are hurting. I think I have chafing in places no one should ever have chafing. I haven't checked, nor do I plan to. I don’t want to know. I feel like my bike seat made an arrangement with my future children and have now made it easier for them to escape at the end of their term. Only, of course, if I am able to have children after today’s bike ride.
I didn't have just a bike ride planned, no that would be too easy. I also had plans for a morning trampoline dodge ball event, as well as an interval run training session this evening. I’m quite glad I doubted my ability last night when I decided that, not only would I probably not make it back from Rhode Island in time, but after biking at least 14 miles, my legs might be too tired for interval running. I was right. The legs are tired, but in a good way. The lady parts, bad.
Today's bike trail was the Blackstone River Bikeway in Rhode Island. Apparently this bikeway also extends all the way up to Worcester, it's just not completely off road the entire way. I might check it out sometime. Maybe. Probably not. We biked from Lincoln to Woonsocket. Although the competed trail for that section is 10 miles, we started part way up and biked 7 miles to the end of the trail, and back. We had the option to bike the remaining 3 miles the other way, if we wanted to. I waved the white flag and headed into Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin' Robbins instead, like any normal person would.
I met a lot of great people today, who I will see again next week for another bike trail ride. It was nice to be surrounded by people of varying levels who all just want to have fun riding. Lately, my mentality has been so focused on training and how to train better that I've been missing out on the fun aspect. I've also been psyching myself out. I needed today to settle myself down and just enjoy the ride.
Next week is the East Bay Bike Path, a mere 14.5 miles. One way.
Someone on the ride today had a split seat on their bike. When someone commented on it by saying "Oh, you have a split seat, that must be really comfortable", I thought, "Split seat? I have splits all up in MY seat". I felt every bump on the car ride home.
This is obviously a "before" picture.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
I got a new bike last weekend.
My previous bike was 15 years old with cracking tires, a broken braking system, and something about the wires. I glazed over at that point. I did perk up when they mentioned the price of fixing it up for my needs of training. $325. Not kidding. New bikes started at $349. It was pretty easy to make a decision.
I took it out for a test run today. Everything was fine until I left the complex and went out onto the street. I switched gears and heard a clunk. My first thought "I’m gonna die out here, all alone, except for that one car that’s about to hit me". After I realized I was still alive, I noticed that the cadence on my bike computer wasn't registering. So then I thought, "Awesome, I just broke my new bike computer". Maybe that’s what the clunk was.
I did a 3-mile loop in about 16 minutes, about a minute and a half slower per mile than my usual pace. I can’t decide if I was slower because I was only doing a test run to check out the bike, if I just need to get used to the bike and the gears and the gadgets and stuff, or if riding on the road is really a huge difference from riding a stationary bike.
I called the bike shop when I got back and told them the cadence was broken. Then as I mounted my bike onto my car, I moved the cadence sensor into the correct position, since it had slipped, and fixed it. But I still wanted to bring it in to see if they could tighten the sensor so it wouldn't slip again. Oh, they fixed it alright. They used electrical tape. Seriously, from the girl who "fixed" a leaky faucet earlier this year with a maxi pad and duct tape, I could have done that myself and saved the bike shop kid in skinny jeans some time.The biggest surprise of the evening though; my butt doesn't hurt. New bike 0, Sara 1.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Saturday, April 2, 2011
It really wasn't my idea to do a triathlon. I'm a member of meetup.com and heard about it through one of the groups on there, "The Discovery Group". I don't know who would want to "discover" a triathlon, but for some reason, I was feeling frisky and I signed up. It took me about 3 minutes total to decide to do this, register myself and pay $94.10 to torture myself with exercise.
After I signed up, I spent 3 days talking excitedly about it, researching gyms, fitness centers, swim and racquet clubs, and Jewish community centers to find the cheapest place I could swim, bike and
I then spent many hours surfing the web for newbie info on triathlons. Max Performance has lots of great links for newbies, which I, of course, dived right into.
Man, if only I applied myself like this in high school!
I found a 22-week program on beginnertriathlete.com and painstakingly put each daily workout into my Google calendar, which synced with my cell phone. This of course meant, I had absolutely no way of forgetting when I was working out and what I would be doing.
For my first scheduled "workout", I walked for 20 minutes and swam 2 laps. I thought, "this is so easy. I am SO ready for a triathlon".
Unfortunately, a non-brisk 20-minute walk and a float in the pool isn't exactly triathlon material.
Since then, I've worked my way up to swimming 600 yards (about 1/3 mile), biking 10 miles and running for 2 minute intervals. It may not seem like much, but I'm pretty impressed with myself.
I already feel confident in the swimming and biking. It's the running that's killing me. In order to keep myself on pace with the running I've signed up for three 5K's in April and May. I'm an idiot.
After "training" too hard, too fast (6 days a week for the first 3 weeks), I slowed down fast. I felt tired and sluggish all the time. But I didn't want to give up. I actually felt bad about missing the workouts. But I didn't do them. I kept researching workout routines, but it didn't get me moving. In fact, I didn't get back on the horse again until I went on vacation to Florida and was able to swim outside. I worked out five days that week. I realized that training for this triathlon inside a gym was what was hindering me.
Once I get some training outside and not in a gym, I'll have a better feel of where I am and what I need to work on more (running, running, running, ew).
I will do this. I have a big goal in front of me and I'm way too competitive to let myself fail. My new motto is: I'm not in it to compete, I'm in it to complete. And not be last doing it.
I also bought a new bike today. But that's a story for another day.