Sunday, November 26, 2006

A little break from training...

For Thanksgiving, and to recover from various back pain - lower back, from jogging and overdoing Pilates, and upper left back and neck from I don't know what. While I was in Ohio for Thanksgiving, I got a massage (thanks, F, for giving me the afternoon off from the kids, and thanks, D, for paying for it!) which helped, some. Large quantities of Advil helped more, and 3 days of almost no excercise seems to be helping most of all. (Just some core work and a little swimming around the hotel pool.) The scale is up, but the pain is down. My triathlon books came in to the library so I'll have something to read tomorrow.

Training for the T gave me a topic for all my Thanksgiving chats with relatives - everyone was Really Impressed. Does that mean I really have to do it now? Not that I"m considering chickening out. And one can always claim an injury if necessary. I just hope I'm not talking too much about it too soon, considering that a 20 minute swim, 10 minute jog (with some speed work) and 5 minute bike ride at the hotel completely wiped me out!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Steady progress

This was a good week for me. I didn't swim, though I've been reading up on Total Immersion swimming, hoping to improve my technique and thus efficiency and thus speed. (At the moment I'm probably the slowest swimmer in the pool at any given time - if not the slowest in three counties.)

But I did 2 days of spinning, yesterday did Pilates, 20 minutes on the elliptical, plus a 7 mile bike ride with A. It was tough going for her, and definitely got me breathing hard in parts - the slow steady uphill coming back into Millerton from Coleman Station. Going slow so she could keep up is almost harder than going fast.

Then today I ran. It was my first time not on the rail trail, thus my first time on hills. Downtown Sharon has a few, and going past the clocktower up Mansion Row there are several steep ones. I was hoping to go for 26 minutes, but worried I couldn't even equal the 24 I did last week. I encountered a new obstacle: phlegm. I couldn't get rid of it and started to feel like I was choking. After I went up a fairly steep hill, coulnd't catch my breath, and couldn't swallow the phlegm, I turned back, figuring I'd just hobble home and drink some water. BUt I rallied, and ended up doing 30 minutes with only 2 very brief (20 second) breaks to walk. Via car odometer I figured it to be 2.4 miles (give or take.) That's - what, a 13 minute mile? But hey, it was hills, I was phlegmy - I feel quite proud of that.

My weight has started to go back down after Halloween hell (though I haven't done myself any favors with this weekend's cookie baking festival.) If I can hang in there through Thanksgiving, maybe I can get a few more pounds off by New Year's. I'm far from where I thought I'd be, but still, far from where I started.

I'll swim tomorrow, spin Tuesday, then travel Wednesday. Thursday and Friday I'm sure I can sneak off to the hotel gym or pool to at least maintain. By Sunday I'll be ready for another run - 32 minutes this time!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Here's a "BEFORE" picture to compare to - it's from last May before I lost any weight. I'd just finished a 5-mile race, which I walked almost entirely.

So I'm trying to amass as much cool gear for as cheap as possible - I bought a $5 nylon swim cap and equally cheap goggles at paragon. So far so good with them. (It's actually my second pair of goggle. My first fit like two tiny monocles and were incredibly uncomfortable. These are cooler looking and even though they leave racoon marks around my eyes (which are already deepset with dark circles - this does NOT help my appearance!)

I've not had as much luck with bike gear. I don't care so much that the grippers on the shorts cut my thighs in half like a balloon being twisted into a dog. But the fact that the seams split after about six wearings is pretty annoying. The shoes are OK - like all shoes they hurt my wide feet - but the cleats are absurd since I can't even attach them to the spinning pedals. I think the chances that I'm actually going to want to clip my feet on a real road are pretty slim because of the fear factor: I read somebody's triathlon diary online and she mentioned hills. Going up hills isn't the problem, it's going down hills. I hate going down hills. I hate going fast and feeling out of control. My stodgy mountain bike is probably going to be pretty sturdy, but I think road training in general is going to be my biggest obstacle - I'm afraid of getting hit by cars, of skidding out, of falling down and getting a boo boo. Hmm... this could be a problem!

So I called this post "setbacks" - why? Oh, right. Back pain...gotta call the physical therapist and get a handle on that. And Halloween. I'd broken the big 2-0-0 barrier (that's pounds, folks) but a sudden inability to stop eating mini-Twix bars has set me back weeks! And Thanksgiving is only 2 weeks away, with Christmas/Hanukah/Solstic/New Year's, etc etc just behind. I suppose if I could arrive at New Year's day weighingt what I do now, that would be accomplishment enough! (But I want more, more, MORE!)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

First Brick...

...sort of. I rode for only about 3 miles, at kid pace - lots of stopping, heart rate never got above mid-80's, really hardly any effort. But then I ran 24 minutes (and a little more, but that doesn't count as I stopped to tie my shoe.) I went about 2 miles in that time. I'm not worried about pace (much) - just time and total distance, right now. I suppose that in six months of concerted effort I could get up to 10 minute miles for 3 miles -that seems a very manageable goal. (To do that after a swim and a bike ride would be just fine!) I feel fine right now (of course I've had 2 cglasses of wine at a little event I popped in to) so why shouldn't I. I am quite concerned in the long term about my lower back - it's been so painful lately I think I should probably check in with my good friends at Nordicare physical therapy.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Slow week

I swam once this week for only 20 minutes. Even with fins on, I was way slower than the woman swimming next to me: she could do flip turns so she's obviously got some real swim training. I read a few tri-reports on - there's a lot to learn about transition technique that I won't start thinking about for months. I should definitely make sure to do some open water swims before the big day, as well as road biking (not just spinning and rail trail) and bricking (combining at least two of the three sports in one day's workout). Tomorrow or Sunday if it's not too cold, I'll go for a run - I'll be shooting for 21 minutes nonstop.