Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Missing Legs....If Found, Please Contact....

Well I made it through yesterday's workouts, although at the end it got a bit messy when I thought my legs were going to just stop working during teaching, but I did it! By the time I got home I was so hyper from all of the exercising I thought Nick was going to try to put me on the back porch like we do to the dog when she needs to calm down. Luckily I was kept inside instead!

I got up this morning for a 1:30 Zone R ride followed by a 45 min Z1/Z2 run. When I got up to do this ride, I had a nice discovery, while I my body was wide awake last night apparently my brain was dead asleep. My coffee pot tried to make coffee, but it is kinda hard to do with only coffee grounds and no water! So now I had to add water and actually make the coffee. So that bought me some more time before I had to start working out.

I made it through what I thought was about 3 hours of the 1:30 ride, when I checked the time and it had only been 50 minutes. That is when I knew I might be in a little bit of trouble. I still had 40 min left on the bike and a run and I was really feeling it. I made it through the ride and had a minor mishap when my legs almost gave out during my dismount, changed my clothes and headed out for my run. The first 25 min weren't too bad. It was around 30 minutes, that I felt like my run had been reduced to walking with only my heart rate buying into the running thing.

Oddly, I still came in at 9:15 min/miles, so I am thinking maybe I wasn't running as slow as I thought I was? Who knows, but man was I happy to be done. Now only one more day of work and 2 workouts to go before I head to Sarasota to tear up the town for the weekend. Please make this day go fast!!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day Off? Whatever do you mean?

Today is supposed to be a workout free day. Well as luck has it my day off always seems to fall on a day where I have to teach and then to add insult to injury, I can't afford a day off quite yet this week, because I will be heading out of town, sans bike, so I need to get in all of my rides before I leave. So instead, I let myself sleep in past the usual 5am workout and will do the workouts tonight. (Why do I do this to myself again?)

I am still feeling pretty positive about my zones and I am down to all time low in terms of my weight. My goal weight for October is now only 4.5 pounds away and I think for the first time in a while, it is realistic! So all in all, this week is moving in a positive direction.

Now let's see how the workouts go tonight....

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Nightmares Have Begun

I am now 1 week closer to my first race and the pre-race nightmares have begun. I am now having a nice reoccurring dream that I get on my bike and I am too afraid to go fast, so I ride the 46 miles at 10mph and the race basically never ends! Now let's hope that is not the case!

The good thing is that I am going away for a girls weekend this weekend in Sarasota, Florida, and it may be just what I need to calm my nerves a bit before race weekend. Things are starting to get a bit intense around here as I begin to react to my fears. I honestly feel bad for Nick for having the endure the roller coaster of emotions, but he is doing ok with it all, for now at least. After I get through the first one I should be ok and ready to go.

I am trying to keep my mind occupied with work, working out and cooking and it seems to be working out ok. This morning I taught my spin class and then did a make up run. It is crazy, my Z1 pace is now between 8:50 and 9:10. That to me is INSANE! I mean for two years my Z1 pace was 9:50 to 10:20 and now it just keeps dropping. Hey, I will take it, I got a marathon goal for this year, and I feel like at this rate, I could very well be on track!

So this week is all training, working and packing. I honestly can't wait to just sit by the pool all day and soak in some sun this weekend. The girls I am going with are the best, they make me feel like I am home with them, no matter where we are. It is nice to have those kind of people in your life, the ones that ground you. And it may be just what I need with my jitters at an all time high! Let's see if it does the trick!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Self Destruction to Reconstruction

So I needed to take a few days off last week and now I am back. And by take some days off, I mean take a mental and physical break. This is something that happens every once in a while with me. I need to take a break from trying all the time. Trying to be the best athlete, trying to be the best fiance, trying to be the best worker on my team. Sometimes all that trying leads to self destruction. I guess it all goes back to my thoughts a few months ago on how I need to relax and let go a bit, but I never seem to have the time (hello irony), so instead I let myself fall apart a little. By fall apart, I mean I skip a workout and sit on the couch. Or I eat what I want to eat one night and forget about my diet and optimal time to eat things. I just let me be Jessica, and sometimes Jessica does not always do what is best in terms of the rules, but instead does exactly what is needed.

So needless to say, I slacked last week. In every sense of the word, I took two days and just slacked! Work was crazy, so when I had a free moment, I spent it in bed, cuddled up with my dog, watching the Real Housewives, of some unreal location. I went out to dinner and ate pasta, and it was more than an hour after my last workout, and I just didn't care.

The funniest part was, on Friday, while I was still in the self loathing period, I decided to do my hill bounding workout before I taught. I really didn't want to but I figured it would get me to the gym earlier and why not. And about 45 minutes into the run, I had a realization. Why do I doubt myself and let myself self destruct when training is when I feel best? It is the only time when I feel relaxed, like I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. And my answer to that is, who the hell knows?!?! Maybe I need to fall apart to remind myself of that every once in a while.

So I spent the rest of the weekend reconstructing my positive mindset. And it worked. We went down to DC to see some friends on Saturday and on Sunday morning, I made it to the hotel gym right as it was opening. I needed to get in 45 min Tabata drills on the bike, following by a Z1/Z2 1:11 T run. After the bike I was feeling a little sluggish but shrugged it off and got on the treadmill. Now this is where it got strange. I could not get my HR into Z1 forever, and when I finally did, I was at a 8:50 min/mile pace and I was at the bottom of Z1. So after 48 min I had to bring my HR up to Z2. I bumped the pace up to 8:20 min/miles and was able to break into the bottom of Z2 and I stayed there for 23 min. I came out of it with an 8:49 min/mile pace and an average HR of 155, which is 2 beats above the bottom on Z1. I have no idea what happened, but me being me, I figured by Garmin was broken, although it wasn't during the bike ride!

I am not sure if that kind of drop in HR is physically possible, but I am going to just go with it and see what happens this week. As for the next 2 weeks I am gearing up mentally for my first Tri of the season, I will be racing Devilman and I can honestly say I am scared. But there is no turning back, I paid for the event and I am registered and per my dad's advice when I fist started running races, you never sign up and not show up. Once committed you go for it. So that is what I will do!

Now back to my reconstruction.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Who's got the cure for night sweats? I am willing to pay!!

Last night for the second night in a row, I managed to sweat through my nightshirt soaking the pillow and sheets! What the hell? I remember this happening 2 years ago during training but somehow I missed out on it last year. So how do I stop this? I mean I am literally waking up dripping sweat. I thought maybe at first it had to do with drinking a protein shake before bed, so I stopped doing that. It worked for a while, but now I am back to sweating. And I mean nothing says sexy more than waking up next to your fiance every night thinking that she wet the bed and then finding out, phew, thank god she didn't pee, oh but she did sweat through everything on her side of the bed, here's to the years to come! Maybe I should just get those rubber sheets that kids have. Do they make them for full size beds?

Well now that you definitely know too much about me, let's move onto training. Yesterday was easy with a recovery swim and class. So today I got up early again for a BST ride. It was 1:30 with 15 min warm up in ZR, then a set of drills, which last about 45-50 minutes, followed by a 15 min cool down. Then I was supposed to head out for a quick T run, but with my currently work schedule, I decided I would take on the T run tonight after I teach spin. Also, I was so hungry when I was done riding I wouldn't have had the energy to go out and even try to run.

So today will be the same old stuff, just another day. But the good thing is it looks we are finally past all the freezing cold weather. I mean we are still getting rain but I will take rain at 65 degrees over rain at 40 any day. Here's to hoping the rain stops soon and I can get outside on my bike!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Recovery? In More Ways Than One

So Nick had yet another bachelor party this past weekend, this time up in Canada, so I was left to my own devices for the second weekend in a row. I had a plan to spend Friday night in eating sushi after my spin class and then run some errands and play with my dog on Saturday, since it is recovery week and I had Saturday off.

Friday before my spin class I decided to clean the house before leaving so I would literally come back to the house with nothing to do but eat and watch tv. As I was putting away the dishes, a Pyrex casserole dish fell out of one of the lower cabinets turned sideways and landed on the top of my foot. I sat down on the ground without saying a word, and just held onto my foot. I felt like a little kid, when they are in that moment right before they start screaming crying just standing there with their mouth open. Yeah that was me, on the floor holding my foot with my mouth open. Then I remembered I was an adult and so I started screaming and cursing to try and remedy the situation. Once I realized I could still move most of my toes, I hobbled over to the couch with an ice pack and starting icing away. Here is my foot right after it happened:

With a sore foot I managed to get in my 45 minute class and then I nursed the injury with tons of sushi and some crap tv.

Saturday morning I was up nice and early and it was nice out. I started thinking about riding outside and what was stopping me from doing it. I came up with the two main reasons. One, I did not have a helmet, since my head destroyed the last one and two, I was scared. So I decided to fix the first problem since it was the easiest to deal with and I headed out to the bike shop to pick up a new helmet. With the trip a success I figure I am going to leave the helmet around the house for the next week and maybe seeing it all the time will help me deal with the courage issue. When I brought it home, Hailey decided to test it out for me, and per her testing, she thinks I should be all set to ride.

The rest of the weekend Hailey (sans helmet) and I sat around watched bad girly flicks and went on some walks. I finished up the weekend with a 1:55 Z1/Z2 ride followed by a 40min Z1/Z2 run. Then I cooked a fantastic vegetarian meal for dinner and waited for Nick to get home.

This week it is back to the grindstone. And I must admit, as much as I love me some recovery, I am glad to be back to working hard again this week.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ahhh Recovery Week

There is something about recovery week that makes me feel really productive. It might be that I can get up the same time I would during a normal week and get all of my workouts in before work, or that I can use these weeks to go out to dinner and catch up with friends. But I like it!

Last night I met a friend out and we stuffed ourselves full of mussels. We sat had a good glass of Shiraz and ate and talked for a few hours before I headed back to Hoboken full and happy. I got up this morning, feeling great, and settled in for a 1:00 Z1/Z2 ride, spending the first 30 min in Z1 and the 2nd half in Z2. Then I headed out for quick ZR T run and I can say, maybe it is because my Z1 pace is so much faster this year, so I know I am accomplishing something, I didn't mind the slowness of Zone R. I did have to walk a few times after running up a few hills, but only to bring myself back to the zone to start running again.

After my run I hit the showers and started my work day. Tonight, since I am done working out already, I am going to meet up with another good friend, and old coworker. We are meeting up for a cocktail before I head home. The funny thing for me is that going out after work used to be such a normal thing, but since I have completely cut back on my alcohol consumption to maybe 1 glass of wine a week, I feel like a party animal this week! Look at me all wild! Ha!

I will be back again tomorrow with another day of Recovery work outs. Gotta enjoy it while I can, race season is right around the corner!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wednesday Morning Sprint Tri

So now that my post race bliss is beginning to fade, it is back to training so I can revisit that feeling again after my first tri in May. Tonight I am heading out for a delicious dinner of mussels and other fantastic seafood and so I had to get all of my workouts done this morning.

I got up around 5:30am to begin my Wednesday morning triathlon. I hit the pool for a 30 min steady swim, then walked home (we will call this T1), to get on my bike for a quick 45 min ZR ride. After already burning through my 2 Newton morning snack, I ate a granola bar while reading and pedaling away in my living room. After my ride, it was off to change for my 35 min Z1/Z2 run (this can be T2 for arguments sake). I was to start in Z1 and push to Z2 depending on how I was feeling. I ran about 10 min at the top of Z1 then headed into Z2. I averaged a HR 1 beat over Z1 along with 9:02 miles.

Now in terms of how I was feeling, I felt ok. I mean the swim and bike were fine and the run had it's moments but all in all I was ok. My hamstrings are still a little sore and I can feel them mostly when I climb, but other than that, I am pretty much recovered from Saturday.

With my morning triathlon complete, I hit the showers and headed into work. I am looking forward to some delicious food tonight and great company, along with some pre-dinner shopping. I am on the hunt for some shorter running spandex. I find that now that I have lost a bit of weight, my shorts ride up and essentially become shorter shorts, which seem to be more comfortable for me to run in. So I figure, why not just buy the new ones? Justifying purchases again! Ok fine, fuck it, I just want to go shopping!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Queens 13.1 Race Report

My weekend started off pretty low key with Nick out of town for a bachelor party. On Friday, I got someone to cover my night spin class so I would feel fresh on Saturday for my race, I continued to load up on carbs, but not as much as I would normally have done last year. I did this only because when I would carb load last year, I was left feeling extremely uncomfortable at the end of the night and my sleep usually suffered due to me waking up with stomach cramps and bloating. So I did my own modified version of carb loading. Then I got into bed with a movie around 8pm. I figured that would give me enough time to think through the race and then be passed out by 9. And it worked!

At 6am my alarm went off. I didn't have to leave the apartment until around 7:30, but since I wasn't allowed to have any coffee, due to the intestinal explosion it could have caused, I had to get up and get functional sans my lover, cafe con leche. At 6:45, I pounded my protein shake, 2.5 cups of apple sauce and a banana and got my bag together. Well I am not sure if it was due to the fact that I didn't eat as many carbs the day before but "super breakfast" didn't have its "usual" effect. Now for those of you out there that have eaten this type of breakfast you know what I am talking about, and those who have not, try it some time, then get back to me.

So with no reaction to breakfast I got in the car and headed to Queens. Now I have run in Queens before, but I wasn't the one driving. By the time I got there on Saturday I felt like I deserved to get my passport stamped. I parked right near Citi Field (the new Shea Stadium), and headed to the race start to meet my friend. By the time I got there I thought my bladder was going to explode and lucky the first thing I saw was my old friend port-o-john. So I camped out near there, going to the bathroom about every 10 minutes (the breakfast had kicked in by then, better late than never) and then headed to the bag drop.

The race seemed very well organized up until this point. We got to the bag drop 15 min before the start and there was a HUGE line. Thankfully my friend dropped my bag while I made my last pit stop and then it was off to the starting line. At that point I realized I did not know the course at all. I hadn't studied a map, and I definitely didn't know the area. I decided to use that to my advantage. The gun went off and here we go.

I wanted to try to stay as close to what Coach P had asked (8:35-8:38)as possible in the beginning but I just felt good. So I made it my goal to never go over what he asked. I also told myself that I would not let this be an "I told you so!" moment where I push myself too hard in the beginning and I can't finish where I need to be. So here is how it went:

Lap 1 8:18
Lap 2: 8:22
Lap 3 8:25
Lap 4 8:22
Lap 5 8:18
Lap 6 8:33
Lap 7 8:22
Lap 8 8:36
Lap 9 8:28
Lap 10 8:30
Lap 11 8:31
Lap 12 8:24
Lap 13 8:01

I came in at 1:50:32 (would have been below that by about 30 seconds but there was a sharp turn about .3 from the finish), that is a 6 minute PR for me. 6 whole minutes!!!! And honestly I never felt bad during the race. I actually felt like maybe next time I can go a little faster. And maybe I can, or maybe I can't, but Saturday was my day. Now let's hope I can have those kinds of Saturdays from here on out!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Working on My Game Face

So tomorrow will be my first half marathon of the season. And as always when I do my yearly April half marathon, the weather is supposed to be shit. I swear I have no luck with racing in the beginning of April! Two years ago it was like 95 degrees, last year it was cold and pouring and this year they are calling for rain and snow! Global warming much?

But I digress. I spoke to Coach P and he has set up my race plan. And now I get to work on my own plan, although I am not sure if that is how is it supposed to work, oh well! I figure I will follow his race plan to the second, but after mile 7 or 8 if I am feeling good, I am going to try to pick it up just a tiny bit. And then by mile 12 I want that last mile to feel like it has to be the last. That is where I usually end up being too conservative, so tomorrow I will try to really break that conservative streak.

Now I am off to set up my race nutrition plan and carb load. Have a great weekend!