Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A Radical Idea

Last summer, I was training to run the Chicago Marathon.  For 18 weeks I ran in the typical humidity poop-fest we southerners call summer.  And then two weeks prior to the race, I developed a stress fracture on the top of my foot.  Yep -- I said two weeks.  To say I was devastated doesn't begin to describe it.  I threw a disgraceful, multi-day pity party.  It was truly a gala affair.

After the party was over, the first thing I did was replace my old mountain bike with a shiny new road bike.  I had used my old bike in the past to fill the running void while nursing sprained ankles and other injuries. Within one week of my injury, I was riding high on Sanity.   Wow, she was mighty fine...and she still is.


About this time, an idea began to form -- a radical one.  Could I train (or stayed trained) for my other accidentally-registered-for-because-I-thought-I-didn't-get-into-Chicago marathon without running?  It was only 3 months away.  What else could I do to stay fit?  After doing a little homework and upon wonderful advice from Marcia, I decided to pool run.  It was said to be the closest activity to running you could do.

With a vengeance, I set out to salvage my Disney Marathon registration.  I rode my bike 3-4 times a week building up to my weekend long ride of 60 miles.  My early morning weekday rides were quite chilly and very dark.  No worries though.  My bike was lit like the 4th of July.  Sanity was radical too.

I jumped in the deep end of the YMCA pool and "ran" once a week working from 30 minutes up to 2 hours 45 minutes non-stop.   Non.Stop.  Karen sweetly mailed me a heart rate monitor I could wear in the pool so I could be sure and maintain the proper intensity.  Others at the pool would look at me like I was crazy.  {People, I'm just radical!}

Long story short, it worked.  I lined up at Disney and had one of the most amazing experiences of a lifetime.  I was thrilled to be there and to be running, pace be damned!  (You can read all about it HERE.)  As a surprising bonus, the side effect of those cycling miles and truly enjoying my Sanity prompted me to throw caution to the wind and compete in 3 Sprint Triathlons so far this summer.  Say What?  Who am I?  Obviously, someone acting radically!

This year, I hope my more conventional marathon training sees me to the start and finish line of the Chicago Marathon.  I guess you'll have to stayed tuned to see what happens.  But one thing is for certain, I can do something radical if I have to!

Tell me one of your radical ideas!

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

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

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Dig Deep Week (WW # 56)

Welcome to the Weekly Wrap!
Click  >>HERE<<  to see rules.

T  - Ran 6 Miles Slow + Strength
W - Ran 6 Miles Slow
T  - Cycled 15 Miles (15.2 mph)
F  -  Ran 7 Miles 
       (2 w/u + 5 @ 9:10 -- Mixed Bag)
S  -  Ran 18 Slow Miles

Total Miles Ran = 37
Total Miles Cycled = 15

I'm tired.  It's still so sickly hot and humid.  I could end this post right here because that would sum up my week {and many of you probably would probably thank me--ha ha}.  I put off speed work earlier in the week because I couldn't breathe in the muck.  It wasn't much better on Friday but I managed a little mixed bag of speed work by tossing in a few tempo miles plus several 1/2 mile repeats.  I did have a nice bike ride on Thursday morning.

Note to self:  Take off previous day's eye shadow before commencing to sweat.

Happy National Dog Day to these two nuts: Mojo and Mini.

Honestly, I was not looking forward to the 18 miles I needed to run over the weekend.  I went ahead with that run on Saturday instead of my usual Sunday.  I.Dug.Deep.  It.Got.Done.  I ran every step in a new pair of Mizuno Wave Inspires.  This is my go-to shoe so I did not break them in.  I had been trying out Mizuno's new Catalyst model but felt there wasn't enough ankle support for me on really long runs.  I'll keep wearing the Catalyst for shorter runs and races as they are comfy and somewhat lighter than the Inspires. 

They'll be a nice shade of light gray very soon!

Our oldest son was competing in Saturday's Dragon Boat races.  This is an all day event including multiple elimination rounds.  It's a big draw for our city with numerous teams involved.  His team took silver in their division.  But icky, it was so unbelievably, unrelentingly hot.   After sweating through my 18 miler, and sweating all afternoon spectating  -- I was toast.

The Dragon Slay-Oars (boat #2) narrowly wins their 2nd race of the day.

We went to the lake Sunday morning but experienced a minor electrical problem in the boat (it's always something!).  Sadly, there was no water skiing.  Hopefully I can make that up one day this week.  I did capture some great pictures of the cloud formations.  

I've tried hard to stay positive and not whine, but I hope for a break in the weather soon because I honestly feel I'm at my breaking point.   ... If I hear that weatherman say triple digit heat indexes one more time ...

And that's a wrap!

Have you ever been to a Dragon Boat race?

Do you break in new running shoes or just go with it?

Friday, August 26, 2016

Runfessions (August)

Is it seriously the end of August?  That means it's time for RUNFESSIONS! 
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...

I am still loving the fierce body markings you get at triathlons.   Although I was seriously disappointed in the placement of my latest arm number.  Actually, it appears to be saying "Look y'all, she's 80!"  Yeah, maybe not so fierce after all.  I wanted to tell the young girl to do it over!  I also somehow managed to get the permanent marker from one of my numbers rubbed onto the white patch of my new tri top.  EEK.  The horror!  I was very relieved to get that stain out!

I runfess...

Speaking of triathlons, I can't tell you how satisfying it is to pass young whippersnappers (especially males) during the bike leg.  And...on the hills to boot.  Thank you Sanity.  And since we are talking about passing, when I saw the lady with "51" on her calf just ahead of me during the last mile of that hilly run? It was on like Donkey Kong. 

I runfess...

These are my new latest "thing".  Has anyone tried Lock Laces?  I ordered a pair so I could slip in and out of my shoes easily in transition, but I love them for running most of all.  I've put them in all of my running shoes, in neon colors no less.  The top of my foot still gets sore sometimes due to the neuroma I developed after a stress fracture last year.  But the lock laces distribute the pressure on the top of my foot more evenly than traditional shoe laces!  Eureka!  I wonder if I can get away with them in other shoes?  

I runfess...

Two of my worst runs this summer have occurred just this week.  Our morning heat and humidity has been relentless.  I have 18 miles on the plan this weekend.  I'm doing my best to muster up some enthusiasm.  So far, I'm not looking forward to it.  

I runfess...

I was slightly offended by the stereo-typical southern flavor when I saw these at the grocery store.  {Do they think we all sit around eating nothing but biscuits and gravy?}  Well, I guess we do.  Yummy!  Go get you some.

Seriously, don't knock these until you've tried them...

What do you need to runfess?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

I Am Radiant

I'd definitely consider myself radiant this time of year.   No, no...not the dazzling, luminous type of radiant.  And I can't say I'm the overjoyed, ecstatic type right now either.  I'm the subject "from which heat radiates" type of radiant.  I'm talking about the "I'm melting in this heat & humidity" type.  You know, glowing profusely with SWEAT.  Lots of it.  Gallons.  Even on shorter runs around an hour, I'm losing between 2-3 pounds.  I drink 16 ounces during a short run and then more after.  Plus coffee.  Lots of coffee.  Sorry, I digress...

Mr. Dew Point, the perpetrator of my self proclaimed radiance, has been dictating my training runs.  At least I'm flexible enough to swap my days around.  For example, if I wake up and see Mr. DP is a cruel 75 I'm not going to attempt speed.  I'll just make myself sick.  I save that for a lesser DP day. I'm thrilled right now if I wake up to see a 70.  {Whoop!}  If you know anything about this, you'd know 70 is still a sad slog fest of moisture in the air, especially when added to our southern temps. But, it is about the best I can get.  I keep stalking the weather apps just waiting for that glorious prediction that it's going to plummet.  During the coming week?  Please?  A girl can dream...

There's also that female over-50 type of radiance that deserves it's own how to survive manual post.  {I wish there was an app to check the forecast on that!}   But, I won't go there today.  I think I'll save that post for the word IRRITABLE. 

Anyway...speaking of radiant, this has been a common treat on my early morning runs this summer. When the sun begins to rise and I see it's going to be fabulous, I quickly run back to the mailbox where my phone is waiting to capture it. 

This radiant makes that other radiant totally worth it.

Tell me about your radiance!

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

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

Sunday, August 21, 2016

I Tri'd It Again (WW # 55)

T  -  Ran 7 miles  (2 w/u + 5 @ 9:26)
W -  Ran 6 easy miles + Swam 25 min
T -   Cycled 10 easy miles + Swam 25 min
F -   Waterskied (3 x 15 miles)
        + Open Water Swam 15 min
S -   REST
S -   Chewacla Sprint Triathlon

Total Ran = 16 miles
Total Cycled = 25 miles
Total Swam = 84 min
Total Waterskied = 45 miles

Quickly, let me show you this.  We went to the lake early Friday morning and the fog was so intense in places we couldn't see more than a few feet in front of us.   That's a little dangerous in a boat. Thankfully, parts of the lake were more like this with the clouds just hanging crazy low.  (This picture was filtered to emphasize the clouds.)

We interrupt your regularly scheduled program...

I decided to forego marathon training and participate in the Chewacla Sprint Triathlon, after having convinced myself that I wouldn't.  The YES won out because 1) I'm trying very hard not to overdo marathon training -- this would keep me from running long but still afford me a killer workout 2) I could check on our college kid and 3) new back-ordered Pearl Izumi tri shorts were scheduled for arrival. Priorities, yes?  Oh, one more... 4) WHY THE HECK NOT?  I've decided I spend way too much time over thinking things and second guessing myself. 

Everyone received a soft T-shirt and very nice visor.

Sprint triathlons can vary in length and this one would be my longest swim yet.   If you read my blog, you know I love the water.  I'm just not a fast swimmer.  I can tread water all day though.  This is the muddy lake we swam in after storms pushed through the night before.  We seeded ourselves and I was happy to be in the back.  We did a horseshoe shaped swim around those orange buoys (which are actually massive).  I only snorted water once (a personal best) and nobody asked me if I needed help -- I could hear them asking others. The swim time includes a long, very rocky, ouchy, hilly climb back to the transition area.  Swim = 18:51

It never seems far until you get in!  Those orange buoys are actually massive!

Back in transition, I put on my watch and helmet, decided against sunglasses, took a salt capsule and drank water.  I washed the small rocks and other debris from my feet, dried them and put on my socks and running shoes.  I removed my bike from the rack and walked it up the hill to the mount line.   My heart was still racing (pun intended) from the swim and climb up the hill.  T1 = 3:26

The ride was outside of Chewacla State Park in a wooded rural neighborhood.  It was quite hilly but otherwise nothing else noteworthy.  I was happy to pass a few people.  Remember, I started wayyy in the back and swam slow.  I carried 24 ounces of Tailwind on the bike and drank about half.  Bike = 46:24

Back in transition, I spent precious time squeezing my bike back into its tight spot.  I took off my helmet, drank more Tailwind and grabbed a GU to take with me.   I forgot to put on my running belt with race number attached, but didn't realize it until later.  T2 = 1:31

The run was described as "running to the top and back".  Umm...I get it now.  The park has a waterfall and we ran up to its trail head and back.  It felt hilly in both directions.  At this point I'm acutely aware of the 78 degrees with 100% humidity.  {That's got to equate to a billion feels-like temp, right?}  Luckily, I didn't get that dead leg feeling when I started the run, probably because I wasn't going very fast.  Run = 30:46

The kid was at the finish and took some great pics for me.

Total Time = 1:40:56 
1st in AG    (1 out of 2 -- Bahahaha!)

I'm very pleased with my third triathlon.  Being only in its second year, I thought it was managed and directed very well.  There were food, drinks and beer at the finish but I didn't indulge in anything but a banana.  The heat and humidity had me feeling a little sick and we were going to breakfast later.  I never dried from the swim due to the excessive moisture in the air.  It was a tough, tough course.  You know, it takes a lot of self talk to get into deep water when you know you are going to be slower that most everyone else. Yet, I like to be challenged.  And "I can do hard things."  I'm happy I went with that YES. 

We had to take this picture with the rival unmentionable college mascot just to mess with PoPo.

Next week, it's back to regular programming...

And that's a wrap!

Do you (would you) interrupt your training to do something else?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Let's Get Physical

Let's get physical, physical
I wanna get physical
Let's get into physical
Let me hear your body talk, your body talk
Let me hear your body talk

Of course when I saw this week's Wednesday Word, the song began playing in my head...and hasn't stopped yet.  {Thank you Deb!}  It reminds me of headbands and leg warmers.  Yep, I wore those gems, complete with stirrup leotards and a cropped tee, and went to the lunchtime aerobics class at Elaine Powers (anybody? -- you gotta be oldish to remember this one).  I don't even remember sweating in class!  It must have been those super cool headbands.  Back then, we didn't take pictures of everything.  Thank goodness for small favors. 

NOT ME!     Check out the jewelry!

I'm pretty certain nobody wants to hear my body talk, especially since I'm putting it through hell in this steamy summer marathon training cycle.   Some things it might be saying though...

It is still dark outside.  I want to stay in bed with Mini.

If you run one more mile, I'll make you puke.
Let's just fill those precious new shoes with a gallon of sweat.
Stink?  I'll show you stink!
I already said I was hungry.  What are you waiting on?

We are too damn old for this.
Not another hill!  Can we move?

Here's a random side stitch.  You're welcome.

Oh yes, we ARE taking the plunge today.

Where's the ice water?  No, give me coffee.  Where's the ice water?

All kidding aside, I am grateful my body allows me to do the outdoor physical activities that I so enjoy.  I realize some people are not as fortunate.  I try to remember to pay it back with plenty of rest and recovery, although I admit it isn't as easy as it should be.  

I appreciate this...

And this...

And this!!!
What would your body have to say?
I'm linking up with Deb @ Deb Runs for the Wednesday Word.

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

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Dog Days (WW # 54)

T  -  Ran 6 Miles -- Easy Progression
       (11:09 / 10:42 / 10:04 / 9:56 / 9:44 / 9:15)
W -  Ran 5 Miles Tempo [ 1 w/u + 4 @ 9:11]
T  -  Cycled 15 Miles (14.7 mph)
F  -  Ran 6 Miles Easy
S  -  Cycled 20 Miles (14.3 mph)  +  Strength
S  -  Ran 17 Miles Slow

Total Ran = 34 Miles
Total Cycled = 35 Miles

Last week, the Weekly Wrap turned ONE YEAR OLD.
If you missed it, get caught up here >>> Happy Birthday Weekly Wrap!

All in all, it was another solid week of marathon training.  The tropical mess that was spinning around all week in the Gulf of Mexico really added some extra moisture to our air.  [My heart goes out to you Louisiana!]  Consequently, I had a hard time locating said air every morning. Thankfully on Wednesday there was the addition of a slight breeze with misting rain which helped me work on speed, at least a little.  It rained during my 15 mile bike ride Thursday morning.  I intentionally kept it a little slower and watched those corners carefully.  I was soaked thoroughly!
Typical early morning -- hazy, mucky, mess

Saturday, I didn't think I'd be able to water ski due to the weather so I rode my bike for 20 miles in the morning instead.  I didn't ride particularly fast and was just happy to be outside doing something.  I explored a few new streets that I think I'll add to my regular big loop, although they are hilly.  If the weather is nice this week, maybe I'll convince PoPo to pull me skiing on a weekday.  There aren't many weeks left now before the water cools down.   Years ago, I would add to my skiing time by wearing a wet suit, but I just don't enjoy being wet and cold these days.  It's not like running where you can keep yourself warm. 

Riding selfies are quite difficult!

On Sunday I ran 17 long slow miles.  Again, it was the typical southern August morning.  I flipped my watch to its heart rate screen and got to work -- while completely ignoring my pace.  I was pleased to keep my HR on the lower end with a 149 (best yet).   As a point of reference, I usually have a net weight loss of about 5 pounds on a steamy, long run.  That is with the consumption of over 60 ounces of fluid.  One thing I know how to do very well is sweat!  But keeping it real...this run was BRUTAL.

My post run reward (plus coffee)

Our middle son moved to his college apartment, armed with his Star Wars sheets (#kidyounot).  I will miss him dearly.  But, I'm more excited for him than I am sad for me.  He will be studying Biology at the unmentionable rival university.  But, it comforts me that he is not too far from home  The last thing he asked for was Brown Sugar Brownies {sniff sniff}. We baked them together.

Always dream big dreams, sweetie!

I'm sure you know this time of year is called the Dog Days of Summer.  Accordingly it's the name of the August Level Up virtual run.  For every race entry, Level Up will be donating a toy, blanket, or dog bowl to the Second Chance Dog Rescue in San Diego, Ca.  As a dog mama of two rescues, this one speaks right to my heart.   If you've never participated in a Level Up run, just know their medals are spectacular. You can use code SAVE10 on any Level Up race registration!

Level Up is also giving away a FREE ENTRY for this run.  
Enter their giveaway below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Is anyone counting down the days to September like me?

Have you eaten Brown Sugar Brownies?

And that's a wrap!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Happy Birthday Weekly Wrap!

To support active women
Hey Tricia, let's create a link!
The Weekly Wrap was born
With little time to think

Can you believe the Weekly Wrap
Has been around one year?
Nobody will link
Was our very real fear!

The very first week
We were delighted to find
Fourteen ladies
Had been extra kind

Sixty-eight posts...
Our weekly record, we think
But one hundred twenty-three
Have stopped for a link

Five different bloggers
Linked on every WW post
And ten other ladies
Came mighty, mighty close

How many posts
Have come through our door?
Two thousand three hundred
And thirty-four!

We've celebrated PRs
We've watched you train
We've struggled together
Some connected through pain

We are honored you chose
To link with us here
We hope you made connections friends you find dear

Thank you, thank you
From the bottom of our hearts
If you have not linked
Just go ahead and start

Don't forget to use
our badge in your posts
And remember to leave
a comment for your hosts

Many thanks to my partner in crime
No truer friend could I ever find
We do get together from time to time
And our texting? Well...never mind.



M - Rest
T -  Ran 6 Miles (1 w/u and 5 @ 9:17)
W - Ran 5 Miles Easy
T -  Cycled 15 Miles (15.3 mph) + Strength
F -  Ran 5 Miles Progressive
S -  Ran 11 Miles Slow
S -  Waterskied (3 x 15 Miles) + Strength

Total Ran = 27
Total Cycled = 15
Total Waterskied = 45 Miles

I feel like I had another good, solid week of marathon training.  It was a cut-back week on the long run.  I was pleased with Tuesday's tempo run and Friday's progressive run, especially in this on-going swampy icky dig-deep summer heat.  I also had the lowest heart rate so far (150) on my long run -- and my pace wasn't that bad! 

I'm keeping this short 'cause I know that poem was a lot to get through.  [Whew!]  But finally, my good pal and Weekly Wrap co-host Tricia came over to play.  And that we did.  After Saturday's pedicures, swimming and backyard BBQ, we managed to get up early enough Sunday morning to catch a stunning sunrise at the lake.  And we skied...and then skied some more.  {Thank you PoPo!}

Backyard bums!

Tricia captured incredible sunrise pictures while I skied.  I had no idea it was this beautiful behind me.
I'm amazed at the reflection on this one.

After years without skiing, Tricia showed us how it's done!   BOOM!

We hope to see you next week on the Weekly Wrap!

And that's a wrap!

Tell me about your week!

Did anyone get any relief from the heat?

What is your favorite "other" activity?

I'm also linking with the lovely ladies over at Sunday Fitness & Food!
Check out IlkasBlog and Marathons & Motivation