Sunday, July 31, 2016

Focused on Chicago (WW # 52)

Welcome to the Weekly Wrap!




This linkup is hosted by yours truly and my good friend Tricia at MissSippiPiddlin.    The purpose of this link is to connect with and support other active women. You can summarize your whole week or just a small portion of it.  It's up to you!  Race recaps are also encouraged!  {See rules}   

We are thrilled at the number of linkers we have each week.  Thank You!  The support and camaraderie are truly priceless.  Please return later in the week and interact with more women. It's an excellent way to make new friends and gain invaluable support, all while holding yourself accountable!  Don't forget to comment on each blog that you read and remember to support your hosts.  

************************************************


M - Rest
T -  Ran 5 MRP:
       (1 w/u and 4 @ 9:38)
W - Ran 6 Easy Miles
T -  Cycled 12 Miles (14.8 mph)
F -  Ran 5 Miles Progressive:
      (10:24 / 9:55 / 9:33 / 9:23 / 8:48)
S -  Waterskied  (2 x 15 miles)
       Swam 25 minutes
S -  Ran 16 Slow Miles



Total Miles Ran  = 32
Total Miles Cycled  = 12
Total Miles Waterskied = 30


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Weekly Highlights


I feel good about this week's marathon training.  I managed to pull my sluggish it's-all-I-can-do-to-move-in-this-heat pace down for a couple of runs.  My July mileage ended at 113.  This is the first month I've exceeded 100 miles since September 2015.  I'm usually treated to a pretty sunrise every morning at my mailbox.  Can you see the moon?



I won a fabulously fierce tank from 73threads!




I'm trying out the new Mizuno Catalyst shoes.




I got some much needed water therapy on Saturday.
PoPo later grilled delicious snapper from our June deep sea fishing trip.



Sunday's long run of 16 miles was OK.  Conquered.  The weather was the typical 75 degrees with 95% humidity at daybreak.  I expected nothing less.   Once again, I kept my Garmin 225 on the heart rate screen and completely ignored my pace.  I did even better this week in keeping my HR on the low end with an average of 151.   The only thing I could think about for the last few miles was a refreshing dip in the pool!  And well...what I was going to eat.  It would be a massive quantity, I was certain -- with copious amounts of coffee.



This week will be a cut-back week after increasing my long run for the past 3 weeks.  Yippee!

And that's a wrap!
 
Are you training in this heat?  Tell me how you cope!
 
 
Do you prefer sunrises or sunsets?


 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Runfessions (July)

How do these monthly runfessions roll around so quickly?

I'm linking up with the lovely Marcia today from Marcia's Healthy Slice
Please stop by and join in with your own Runfessions!




I runfess...

My swim pictures from my recent triathlon pictures are hideous.  Hid-e-ous.  It makes me want to never "tri" another.  Almost.  You could seriously bribe me with them.  They picked the worst possible time to snap them.  They were taken as we crested the ladder we were forced to climb to get out of the river. Awkward.  Thankfully, I'm not recognizable and my race number doesn't show. Whew!


I runfess...

Speaking of triathlons, I'm still on the hunt for the perfect clothing.   Tri suits are not flattering to my body type (aka older and wider).  Here's another thing I don't like about the bottoms.  With their extra compression and sewn in chamois crotch, well umm... they already have a Saharan animal's hoof showing before you put them on.  [Get it?]   I can thank PoPo for pointing that out.    And clearly, now that's all I can think about when I put them on.  Sigh.


I runfess...

You know those add-on items Amazon is always trying to get you to add to your order?  Well, I recently succumbed.  I love this little green bottle with it's blender ball whisk.  I want to blend all the things.  I'll also admit to drinking the contents right out of the shaker bottle.  Who needs a glass?




I runfess...

I'll leave you with one last admission.  I am so irritable I can barely stand myself.  I don't know if it's my body adjusting to marathon training, my twitching left eye, my drippy left nostril, my lack of sleep, my age and gender, a stressful job, or all of the aforementioned.   It's not pretty.  I'm in serious need of my weekend water therapy.  


Got anything you need to runfess?




Sunday, July 24, 2016

Run & Ski (WW # 51)

Welcome to the Weekly Wrap!




This linkup is hosted by yours truly and my good friend Tricia at MissSippiPiddlin.    The purpose of this link is to connect with and support other active women. You can summarize your whole week or just a small portion of it.  It's up to you!  Race recaps are also encouraged!  {See rules}   

We are thrilled at the number of linkers we have each week.  Thank You!  The support and camaraderie are truly priceless.  Please return later in the week and interact with more women. It's an excellent way to make new friends and gain invaluable support, all while holding yourself accountable!  Don't forget to comment on each blog that you read and remember to support your hosts.  


*******************************************************

M: Strength
T:  Ran 5 Miles @ MRP (9:54)
W: Rest (Overslept!)
T:  Ran 5 Miles Easy
F:  Ran 4 Miles Easy
S:  Waterskied (3 x 15 = 45 Miles)
S:  Ran 14 Slow Miles

Total Miles Run = 28




Chicago Marathon Training -- Week 3

I was pleased with my marathon training this week.  I intended to cycle Saturday morning but the option of early morning water skiing trumped that.  In this heat, that is a no-brainer.  If I decide to do one more sprint triathlon {famous last words} I will put more swimming and cycling back in the schedule for a few weeks.  I also wasted a morning by oversleeping.  I never set an alarm and on the very rare occasion I sleep in, I figure it's my body's way of saying "Let's take a little break!"


Did you hear I completed my 2nd triathlon last weekend?

I jumped off a riverboat to start the swim!
You can read about it here  >>  Capital of Dreams

No, I don't run with my arm like a chicken wing  --- I'm giving a thumbs up!


I've taken to cycling in my SLS3 Compression Socks.  {I was given a pair at no cost for my honest opinion.}  I think these butterfly socks are perfect for the bike!  An added bonus?  They keep the overgrown poison oak away from my legs when I walk my bike through the woods!  That's actually what gave me the idea to put them on in the first place.  Female ingenuity and all...

Seriously though, I typically get mild cramps around mile 10 on the bike.  So far, these socks have kept those away.  I've also worn them for recovery after a couple of long training runs.  My only complaint is I should have chosen a smaller size.  I wear an 8 regular shoe and 9 running shoe and opted for the S/M.  They are a touch too long.   I just fold the tops over.  The kind folks at SLS3 are still offering these at a heavily discounted price.  Use code YHM5PMSG to pay a mere $12.99.  There are several colors to choose from.  These are Lemon/Lime.

The pop of color didn't hurt on such a foggy morning either!


We went to the lake very early Saturday morning, the perfect time to ski.   Nobody comes out until after lunch it seems.  There was a fishing tournament going on, but I don't mind the smaller wakes of fishing boats.  They only move when they change locations anyway.  It's the pontoon and weighted wake board boats that kick up the big waves.  So, conditions were again ideal and I took full advantage of it by making 3 "runs" for a total of 45 miles (90 total minutes).  It's the only thing that makes me wish summer would stay around forever.   It would definitely not be the heat warnings we've been under all week.  We stopped at our favorite Mexican restaurant and just chilled for a long while on the way home.



Sunday's 14 mile long run was just that...LONG.  Hot.  Slow.  Nothing fancy.  It was noteworthy in that I managed to keep my heart rate in the 150s.  This is something I always struggle with.  So, today was a true win for me to keep it lower in hot summer conditions. 

And that's a wrap!

What was noteworthy about your week?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Being Pragmatic

As you may know, I run in my neighborhood very early in the morning.  There are other people out running, walking, and walking their dogs both in our park and along the streets.  I run here because it's the pragmatic thing to do.  I feel safe.   I never get too far from my house.  I often get comments about how boring it must be.  I find it comforting.   It's sensible and efficient.

I cut through here to get to my preferred bike route.


When I cycle, it's a different story.  I cut through the woods to get to my usual route and get much further away from my house.  I'm pragmatic though, making sure I carry my phone as well as plenty of hydration and nutrition depending on my planned mileage.   If I have mechanical issues, I want to be able to call my husband or one of my kids.  My phone is set where they can find me as well, heaven forbid there was an accident.  No, it can't be all fun and carefree whimsy.

In the fall, it is completely dark when I start a morning ride. Being pragmatic about safety, I attach several lights to my bike so others can see me; at the very least a headlight and two flashers in the back. Recently, I was given the opportunity to review the new Running LED Light Belt by Level Up.  I was excited to have another item to add to my visual safety arsenal!   But this time, the lights would be attached to me and not my bike.



I opted for the neon green color as my other lights are red.  The LED light has three settings: steady, flash slow, and flash fast.  Options!  The belt has one large pocket with a wide, comfortable, and adjustable strap.  Because I used the belt while cycling, I turned it around so that the lights were on my back.  My iPhone 6 fit easily in the pocket while still in it's thick Otter Box case. There was plenty of room to add GUs, keys, or whatever you might need to carry.  The belt remained comfortably at my waist.  Even though I'm a heavy sweater, my iPhone stayed dry. 

The lights are bright!

Although it is marketed as a running belt, I found this belt to be a pragmatic solution to both visual safety and phone accessibility issues for my cycling.  As an added bonus, it's always available to me to use while running too!  If you are interested in the Running LED Light Belt, use code RCE5FGY8 to get 50% off at checkout.



In what ways are you pragmatic?



I'm linking up with Deb @ Deb Runs for the Wednesday Word.

Please visit Deb and the other participating bloggers.  It's fun!


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Capital of Dreams (WW # 50)

Welcome to the Weekly Wrap!




This linkup is hosted by yours truly and my good friend Tricia at MissSippiPiddlin.    The purpose of this link is to connect with and support other active women. You can summarize your whole week or just a small portion of it.  It's up to you!  Race recaps are also encouraged!  {See rules}   

We are thrilled at the number of linkers we have each week.  Thank You!  The support and camaraderie are truly priceless.  Please return later in the week and interact with more women. It's an excellent way to make new friends and gain invaluable support, all while holding yourself accountable!  Don't forget to comment on each blog that you read and remember to support your hosts.  


*******************************************************



M - Ran: 5 Miles Easy (10:11)
T -  Cycled: 13 Miles (14.1 mph)
W - Ran: 5 Miles @ MRP (9:57)
T -  Swam: 25 Minutes
F -  REST
S -  Triathlon // Swam: 400m  Cycled: 20k  Ran: 5k
S -  Ran: 12 Miles Slow


Week Two Chicago Marathon Training:

This week was a weird try-to-run-but-also-taper-for-triathlon scenario.  I cut out my double workouts.  For the last month or longer, I've been swimming most nights after my evening meal settles.  I didn't do that this week and took rest days on Thursday and Friday (except for a short swim Thursday morning).  On Sunday, I finally got my first double digit run completed since mid May.  Now I feel much better about my marathon training.  Weekly run miles = 25.


Capital of Dreams Sprint Triathlon Recap:

My Capital of Dreams Sprint Triathlon day started early.  After racking my bike in transition, I had some time to kill.  I scoped out the bike in/out locations, run in/out locations, ate my banana, and went down to check the riverboat and swim area.  I was treated to a gorgeous sunrise.   Racers had to board the Harriett II, an beautifully elegant 19th century riverboat, by 7:00.

The riverboat would take us to the swim start where we had to jump from her lower deck into the water.  Who gets to do that?  Actually, they announced only two races in the US start with a jump from a boat!  This race is always limited to the number of people that will fit on the boat.  Each swimmer would jump in about 5 seconds apart.  The Harriott II would proceed up the river to take the Olympic distance racers to their swim start.




My goal for the swim was to remain calm, breathe in rhythm, and control my heart rate.  I've done so much extra swimming this past month including three open water swims and had high hopes of a great swim leg.  Spoiler...that didn't happen.  I am at ease in river water, lake water, and deep water.  It wasn't that.

Last year, the river current helped swimmers clock some fantastic times.  I was counting on that, maybe a little too much. As I waited on my turn to jump in, my HR rose quickly as the director yelled to signal jumps "GO 89... GO 90... GO 91... "  Whew, the actual jump was not bad.  But once I started swimming, I didn't seem to be going anywhere. My HR was already high and where was that river current?  Nowhere to be found.  In fact, I think we were swimming against it!  The results indicate the swim times were much higher than last year.  And mine?  Extra "not good".  I still can't fathom the length of time I swam!  Swim = 14:40   {Ugh!}
 



It was a loonnngggg way from the end of the swim to the transition area (with ramps and stairs no less) so I knew the T1 time would be high.  I jogged as best I could on bare feet, removing my swim cap and goggles, and fixing my ponytail as I went {priorities, people!}.  I put on my race bib, helmet and Garmin -- remembering this time to wake it up!  I dried my feet quickly and put on my socks and shoes while standing.  I ate a GU, drank Gatorade Endurance, took my bike off the rack and was gone! T1 = 4:59 {Ugh!}

Obviously at this point I can tell I'm way behind.  The whole place was cavernously empty.  I decided not to fret about it, do the best I could and enjoy it.  The bike route was flat except for a significant hill over the Interstate which we had to cross going out and again on our way back.  It was not particularly scenic and on a coned-off lane of a busy highway.  I didn't notice the heat as I was making my own breeze.  I only drank probably 12 ounces of GE on the bike. Thankfully, I passed a handful of racers during this leg. Always satisfying.  One young lady I passed multiple times and she continuously blocked the left side. I later saw she was awarded with several penalties.   I hoped to maintain a speed over 15 mph.  My Garmin reported an average speed of 16.7 mph. Yes!!  Bike = 45:50 {Yippee}


 

Back in transition (which was housed in an old train station -- and thus very LONG), I racked my bike and took off my helmet.  I fixed my ponytail {again, priorities!}, swallowed a salt capsule, drank more Gatorade Endurance, and grabbed a GU to take with me.  T2 = 2:19  {Meh}

I've run countless races downtown and knew exactly what the run would be like.  HILLY.  The route went up over 120 feet, mostly in the first mile or so.  I also knew there would be a nice downhill.  It is pretty around the capital and state buildings so I can report this leg was historic and scenic.  The plan was to go slowly in the first mile, eat my GU, and locate my running legs.  They show up about a half mile in.  I stuck to that plan pretty well.  By this time, the feels-like temp was well over 90 degrees.  I dumped ice in my top at the water stops and tried to make up some of my slow first mile on the downhill section.  Gamin splits: 11:19 / 9:29 / 9:39 / 7:52  Run = 30:58  {Mmm...OK}



My official finish time was 1:38:48.  Although disappointed with the swim, I was quite pleased with the bike leg and the run leg was OK too -- considering what had proceeded it.   I was nowhere near the podium on this race.  In fact, it may be the first time I've placed absolutely last in my age group. Ha!  I did beat some younger folk.  Always satisfying.




I still consider this a win!  * For completing my second sprint triathlon.  * For being able to push myself in different ways. * For being healthy and injury free.  * For enjoying the great outdoors on a beautiful day.   I can't complain.

And that's a wrap! 


Sunday, July 10, 2016

And So It Begins... (WW # 49)

Welcome to the Weekly Wrap!




This linkup is hosted by yours truly and my good friend Tricia at MissSippiPiddlin.    The purpose of this link is to connect with and support other active women. You can summarize your whole week or just a small portion of it.  It's up to you!  Race recaps are also encouraged!  {See rules}   

We are thrilled at the number of linkers we have each week.  Thank You!  The support and camaraderie are truly priceless.  Please return later in the week and interact with more women. It's an excellent way to make new friends and gain invaluable support, all while holding yourself accountable!  Don't forget to comment on each blog that you read and remember to support your hosts.  


*******************************************************


M -- Complete Rest
T  -- Ran: 4 Miles Easy
W -- Ran: 4 Miles Easy + Swam: 30 Min
T  -- Swam: 30 Min
F  -- Brick) Cycled: 10 (14.7 mph) / Ran: 2 (9:44)
S  -- Ran: 7 Miles Easy + Cycled: 15 (15.1 mph)
S  -- Water Skied: 30 miles + Swam (Open Water): 15 Min + Strength

Total Run:   17 Miles
Total Cycle:  25 Miles
Total Swim:  75 Minutes
Total Water Ski:  60 Minutes (30 Miles)



When I woke up Tuesday for my first official marathon training run, this was the ticker. Only 96 days!  The feels like temp was already 81 at 5:30 a.m.  Let's do this thing!  My music died during the first mile, so I sang {People smile and tell me I'm the lucky one..... Anybody?}.  The birds were singing loudly too.  I was leaking profusely from every pore of my body when I returned home and left my clothes hanging to drip on the floor.  Every morning this week was a repeat of this one, weather-wise.



Honestly, the amount of sweat is freaky.  Speaking of sweat...I had to take my bike back to the shop because the new handlebar tape unraveled almost right away.  Young-Bike-Mechanic-Dude asked "Are you a heavy sweater?"  Bahahaha.   "Well yeah, duh!" was my reply.  The shop repaired for free {they'd better!} and I promised not to sweat anymore.  Right.

All fixed up again and ready for the next Tri!

My Cowabunga 5k race medal arrived this week.  I chose to run my virtual 5k on June 21st.  I remembered to take a picture of my watch to make it official.  The temperature and humidity were not extreme that day so I had a very pleasant progression run of 9:54-9:32-9:06 around my neighborhood.  


Level Up Virtual Runs is extremely creative with their race themes and medals.   The ribbons are always pretty too.  You also receive a SLS3 $25 gift certificate.  Those have come in handy for me to buy a few new Tri apparel pieces!  This month's Level Up theme is Just Keep Running!

Use SAVE10 to save on registration 
at Level Up Virtual Runs!
You can run from July 15th-30th. 
Just Keep Running With Me !


So this was a weird Triathlon/Marathon training week.  Mentally, it's difficult to do both.  After two great runs and one very satisfying brick workout, I had a horrible long run Saturday morning--well, what was supposed to be a long run anyway.  I just couldn't handle the heat and humidity.  When I bailed at mile 7, the feels like was 98 degrees (at 9 a.m.).   I had decided there was nothing good coming out of that run and it would be foolish to continue.  I felt disappointed and frustrated about my first week of marathon training.  However, I went for a 15 mile ride later than evening after some rain had fallen and that lifted my spirits.



Sunday started with an early drive to the lake for some quiet, morning water skiing.  The water is always calm at that time of day.   I did two 15 mile "runs" with a 15 minute open water swim in between.  Now that's my kind of brick workout!  That open water swim was the last one before my next Tri. The skiing conditions were simply ideal!  {Thanks PoPo!}  The rest of the day was spent doing very little.  I did cook shrimp and cheese grits for supper.



MY HAPPY PLACE


This coming week will be even more weird as I attempt to taper for the Capital of Dreams Sprint Triathlon.  And, somehow run.  I definitely need to get my long run in since I failed at that this week.  At this Tri, I'll be swimming with the current of the river in deep water.  I know the final 5k portion will be brutal, very hilly, and HOT so I can only hope the ride will be easy!

I'm very excited to soon be reviewing products from Skinny & Co
You can go ahead and use code SKINNYCO15 to save now!!   




Tell me about your week!

What are you currently training for?


And that's a wrap!


Sunday, July 3, 2016

I Still Need Water (WW # 48)

Welcome to the Weekly Wrap!


This linkup is hosted by yours truly and my good friend Tricia at MissSippiPiddlin.    The purpose of this link is to connect with and support other active women. You can summarize your whole week or just a small portion of it.  It's up to you!  Race recaps are also encouraged!  {See rules}   

We are thrilled at the number of linkers we have each week.  Thank You!  The support and camaraderie are truly priceless.  Please return later in the week and interact with more women. It's an excellent way to make new friends and gain invaluable support, all while holding yourself accountable!  Don't forget to comment on each blog that you read and remember to support your hosts.  


*******************************************************


M -- Complete Rest
T  -- Complete Rest
W -- Ran: 4 Miles Easy (10:15) + Strength + Swam: 20 Min
T  -- Ran: 4 Miles Easy (10:11) + Swam: 30 Min
F  -- Swam: 20 Min +  Strength
S  -- Ran: 9 Miles Easy (10:31) + Water Skied: 2x + Swam: 15 Min (Open Water)
S  -- Brick: Cycled 15 / Ran 2 + Water Skied: 2x + Swam: 15 Min (Open Water)

Total Run:  19 Miles
Total Cycle:  15 Miles
Total Swim:  100 Minutes
Total Water Ski:  80 Minutes

This week did not start well.  I had a twinge in my left lower hamstring.  How did I hurt it, you might ask?  Foam rolling on Sunday night.  I kid you not.  It was perfectly fine until then.  Talk about being aggravated!  I did nothing but wallow in self pity for 2 days, lament over the fact my timing with marathon training sucks, and eat fruit dip by the spoonful.  I decided to try an easy run on Wednesday morning even though it was still painful.  I was certain I had not hurt it while running so I thought maybe I could run without pain.  It was OK.   I dodged yet another bullet.

By Saturday, the hamstring issue was completely gone.  The weekend was utterly and gloriously exhausting with triathlon training and two lake excursions...water skiing, running, open water swims and cycling. Add my favorite Oysters Rockefeller, Mexican food, a few Margaritas and it doesn't get any better.  Just ask me what I'm doing Monday.  Nothing!  Actually floating and smoking a Boston Butt would be the correct answer.   Again -- with heat indexes well into the 100s, water is absolutely necessary.

Here's a couple of water skiing pics.  They are never clear as the rope is 75 feet long. 






I hope everyone has (had) a wonderful and safe Independence Day celebration! 

How will you (did you) celebrate?

And that's a wrap!



Saturday, July 2, 2016

Coffee Talk (July)


Welcome to Coffee Talk!

It's a scorcher of a Saturday morning here in Dixie. 
Let's settle in a chat for a while.

Happy Independence Day!


Over Coffee... You'd hear how June was the craziest month.  Between beach travel, My First Sprint Triathlon, Father's Day travel, and weekend water skiing -- WHEW -- I'm pretty tired.  On purpose, my running miles were kept low (66).  I felt the need for a rest and recovery period before training began for the Chicago Marathon.  But, I did cycle in the month of June too (70 miles).  There was a good bit of swimming as well, albeit very amateurish (aka dog paddling).  I hope I wasn't too much of a slacker.




Over Coffee... I'd tell you how shopping for triathlon apparel gave me quite the sticker shock.  Thankfully, I really like my new affordable SLS3 Tri Shorts.  At first I purchased the basic black (with cute butterflies) but then felt like I needed more pizazz.  The Doodle Daisies pattern are certainly spunky.  The SLS3 shorts feel good on the bike, are comfortable on the run, and they work well in the pool!  In case you are wondering, the pad is very soft and not as thick or bulky as traditional cycling shorts.




Over Coffee... I'd ask if you knew about the new Running LED Light Belt from Level Up.  My green one literally just arrived.   The first thing I did was try my iPhone 6 (while still in it's thick Otter Box case).  It fit easily in the zippered pocket.  The second thing I did was try the lights.  There are three settings:  steady, flash fast, and flash slow.  Level Up is running a special introductory promotion this holiday weekend.  Use code FNYEHY9V at checkout to receive 55% off.  [Since I received this belt at no cost in exchange for an honest review, I will be doing a thorough test.  I just didn't want you to miss out on this fantastic discount.]


Aren't these candles cute?  I'll never burn them!

Over Coffee... I would suggest that you eat watermelon over the holiday weekend.  As country kids growing up with a huge garden, we were were taught that watermelon flavor peaked right around July 4th.  I still believe that!   My sweet Dad passed away 26 years ago on July 4th. {He went out with a bang -- and would have adored that joke.}  The last time I saw him, we had a watermelon seed spitting contest in that same country yard.  I think I'll eat a slice in his honor...and spit a few seeds.
     


Have a wonderful July 4th Holiday!  How will you celebrate?

What would you tell me over coffee?


A huge Thank You to our Ultimate Coffee Date hosts!

Please visit and join in too!