Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hectic Times

The end of the school year always brings crazy times for me at work. We are wrapping up one semester, beginning another semester, and preparing for/executing two commencement ceremonies. It is a stressful time (not because the work is not enjoyable or difficult necessarily, just because it feels like there aren't enough hours in the day!) but a really fun time as well. In my office (Registrar's Office) we get to work with people from the time they are a prospective student all the way through until they are an alumni, so commencement is always a special time for us. This year is especially bittersweet because Chad and I have so many dear friends graduating. I am so proud of each of them - it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to earn a 96-hour Master of Divinity degree or one of Asbury's MA degrees. This season is also giving me a glimpse into what our future will be like next year as we prepare to leave Kentucky and head home to Louisiana. We can't wait to get home, but it is going to be harder than I thought to leave our friends and the life that we have built for ourselves here in Kentucky.

I've been able to get in some really good workouts over the past couple of weeks. I'm sticking to my plan and loving it. I feel fatigued most nights, but in a good way. I am sleeping like a rock and wake up each morning at 4:30am feeling refreshed and ready to go. In the past I've woken up anywhere between 4:45am and 5:15am and sometimes struggled with consistency, but 4:30am must be the sweet spot for me. Most mornings I wake up before my alarms go off. I love that I am able to get in at least a 1 hour workout, a walk with Emma, and a semi-leisurely breakfast before I have to really start getting ready and be at work by 8:00am. And getting all of my workouts in really helps with my stress levels, too!

Workout Log
Mon 5/10:
AM: 45:00 "push-run"
-set of 10 squats every 10 minutes

Tues 5/11:
PM: 30 minute swim
-I like swimming in the evening about as much as I like running in the evening, but I wanted to get it done.

Wed 5/12:
AM: 1:03 run
-2k x 6 intervals w/ 2 min. rest in between
-Hoo nelly! These were tough, but fun!

Thurs 5/13:
AM: 40:00 push run
-set of 10 squats every 10 minutes

Fri 5/14:
Rest day

Sat 5/15:
-9.6 mile bike/37:04/16.3 avg mph
-1 hour run
-Planned to swim, but pool closed for cleaning

Sun 5/16:
-No bike due to rain
-40:47 nice and easy run

Swimming has been a comedy of errors (scheduling at the pool is not consistent, and differs daily from the monthly schedule they send out to members...argh!) and the weather hasn't cooperated with me too much lately on the bike. My running is going great, but I have to spend more time on the bike and more time in the pool. Once things settle down and I get into a routine for the summer I know it will be easier to have a more consistent swim and ride schedule. Right now I ride on Tuesday nights, Saturday mornings and Sunday mornings. During the summer I get off at 12:30pm on Fridays (so great!) so I am thinking of adding in an early afternoon Friday ride.

Chad and I are going out of town next weekend (Memorial Day weekend) for my aunt's wedding, Chad's sister's Doctor of Physical Therapy graduation, and a visit to our family in Monroe. I can't wait! It will be so nice to be in Texas and Louisiana for a few days, and we will get to see everyone! My immediate and extended family, and Chad's immediate and extended family! I hope to take lots of pictures to post here. I am going to try to still get some good workouts in, but I mainly want to enjoy the time with family. We normally are only able to head south twice a year, so this will be a really fun "bonus" trip!

One more thing - I'm almost through reading "Born to Run" by Chris McDougal and it is incredibly interesting! I know it spawned the whole barefoot movement a few years ago, but I wonder why it didn't spawn a vegetarian movement amongst runners? I have been thinking about getting a pair of Nike Frees for awhile, and I think I am finally going to get them. My Lunarglides are at the end of their rope, and my sister has had success with her Frees, so I think now would be a good time to try them. I'll be sure to post a review!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Transitioning to Triathlon

Oh, the triathlon puns are just too easy. Last week was Week 1 of my triathlon training for the summer triathlon season. I have two triathlons planned for this summer:
  • Markey Race for Cancer Sprint Triathlon: Lexington, KY - June 27th
    • 400m pool swim, 14 mile bike, 3.1 mile run
  • River Cities Sprint Triathlon: Shreveport, LA - August 1st
    • 800yd open water swim, 18.2 mile bike, 3.1 mile run
I also have some 5ks and 10ks thrown in:
  • Bluegrass 10k: Lexington, KY - July 4th
  • Bluegrass State Games 5k: Nicholasville, KY - July 17th
  • Midsummer's Night Run 5k: Lexington, KY - August 14th (Chad is going to do this one!)
I am really excited about both of the triathlons. The Markey Race is an inaugural race here in Lexington, and I know it will be done very well. Swim Bike Run of KY is involved with the race directing, and those folks know what they are doing. It will be a 400m pool swim, 14 mile bike on rolling hills out by the Kentucky Horse Park, and then a 5k. I am really excited about this race! I have already set my goals high, and I am going to try to place in the top 3 in my age group. I hope this is a realistic goal. I placed 2nd in my age group at the Lame Duck tri last summer without even really trying! My goal was just to finish under 1:30. In my training for the Lame Duck, I mainly tried to focus on being able to complete each leg of the race - namely swimming and biking. I focused on technique and endurance, but not really speed. Since I have a huge endurance base built up from my marathon training this spring, I want to focus on getting faster now.

I am really looking forward to the second triathlon, River Cities, in Shreveport. This race is known as the oldest and largest triathlon in the South. No way am I getting an AG award here! What is going to be so cool about River Cities is that I will be racing with my sister Megan and my aunt Genie! Chad and I go to Louisiana for a week every summer and it just so happened that this race is on one of the weekends we will be home! It will be awesome to do something I love with the people I love on the race course and on the sidelines!!

So needless to say, I am super motivated with my training. I want to get faster and fitter this summer in order to get an AG award at Markey, and to finish well at River Cities. When creating a training plan for this summer I modified and meshed a few plans together from and I am only one week into my training, but I love it so far! Instead of focusing on getting in specific mileage, I'm focusing more on getting in time. Here are a few pictures of my 15 week training plan, which I cut and pasted into a Moleskine 2010 planner. I have the plan at the front of the planner, and then I keep a workout log on the monthly calendar.

Weeks 1-5

Weeks 6-15
(note: the "vacation in LA" days will be right after the River Cities tri, so I will use that week as a rest week, but I know I will still make good use of my in-law's pool and the flat roads of Louisiana!)

Workout Log: May 3rd-10th

My training plan follows the same basic pattern each week, with build-up weeks and recovery weeks built in. For the most part, my schedule will look like this:

Monday: 1 hour push-run*
Tuesday: 45 minute swim (am), 1-2 hour group ride (pm)
Wednesday: 4-6 mile repeat run
Thursday: 1 hour push-run
Friday: 45 minute swim**
Saturday: 1 hour run, 1 hour ride, 30-45 minute swim
Sunday: 1 hour ride, 20-30 minute run

*Push-runs, created by Brett at Zen Triathlon, consist of running for 10 minutes, then stopping to do a set of push-ups, pull-ups, or squats. I've found what works best for me is to do a set of 10 squats every 10 minutes, and then when I get home I immediately do 3 sets each of 10 push-ups and 10 sit-ups. Mixing anaerobic and aerobic really helps to burn fat, plus the squats help with my cycling and the push-ups and sit-ups help with my swimming.

**I realized last week that I didn't build a rest day into my plan...whoops! I think I am going to try to use Friday as a rest day, and get in my scheduled Friday morning swim on Thursday evening.

Last week was my first week on this plan and it was so much FUN! I really love the variety that comes with triathlon training. It is a fun mix of really beneficial workouts, too - I think. I do short intervals during my push-runs, so the whole run helps to build strength, speed and endurance.
  • My Tuesday night rides are with two experienced and fast cyclists, so they always push me to ride harder than I would on my own. We also usually do a pace line (think back to Indian Runs in high school) which helps to keep our average MPH higher and helps to build power in the legs.
  • The swims are pretty simple. I'm working on my form and getting my 100yd time down. Right now it is right at about 2:00, which is dismal. I'm working on getting down to 1:45.
  • Saturdays will be for endurance - spending quality time in each discipline but at nice and easy pace, making sure to keep my heart rate under control.
  • Sundays brick ride and run will be for race simulation. I have a nice 14 mile loop and a 5k route that I will use each week to simulate the Markey distance. I'll work on my nutrition on the bike (probably just diluted Gatorade and a few shot blocks for a sprint) and my transition to the run.
So all that to say, I am excited about the summer race season! I'd like to get back into a semi-regular posting pattern, so I will aim to post a workout log and review each Sunday. To anyone out there training for summer races - have fun and stay safe!