Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Motivational Deficit

Did you know that it's really, really hard to find the motivation to get outside for exercise when:

- it's ~90 degrees for days/weeks and heat can give you migraines
- the PT (with good reason) refuses to let you do the race you're scheduled for in 2 weeks, so you have no reason to do heat acclimation training, and
- it's too hot to take the baby out in the jogging stroller anyway

But on the bright side, I have renewed my relationship with The Calorie Nazi and have taken off about 7 of those 11 pounds I'd regained. Yay! I found I can keep it up better if I do a M-Th on, F-Sun off schedule.

I might not lose as fast, but in the long run it will keep me from giving up so I figure the trade-off is worth it. When you're dealing with losing 150 pounds on a multi-year time frame with a baby thrown into the middle of things I decided it's not worth caring if it takes a couple extra weeks or months at the end.

Injuries are coming along nicely, I hope to ease back into some semblance of scheduled training soon. Definitely planning to do the Thanksgiving Day 5K and am kicking around the idea of registering for an early spring 10K. I've had to accept this season is a wash and if I try to make it otherwise I'll just reinjure myself.

Just for kicks, here's some gratuitous summer cuteness...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Polar Problem

It appears the battery in my HRM died.

Either that, or, well, I'm dead. So let's go with the first theory.

It died in a long, drawn-out way that totally messed with my head. I was having one of my 'hey, it doesn't suck so bad if I can survive the first 30 minutes' days and the HRM started saying stuff like 132 BPM... when I was running my fastest.

I wanted to believe it, but decided not to record those reading in my training log. Sure enough, when I got on the treadmill the next day it was dead. Or, like I said, I was.

So here's my question - do y'all change the batteries in your own polar or do you send it in?

The instructions take a very 'sure, you can DO it, but don't come crying to use when it blows up in your face' attitude about the whole thing and encourage you to mail it into the service center.

I don't swim with it (yet) so am less concerned about the seal than I might be. But I do hope to swim with it at some point in the future, when my training warrants such a step. And I am a redonkulously copious and salty sweater, so maybe I should be concerned about the seal even if I don't swim with it.

Am I thinking about this too much? Should I just change the damn battery? Or am I right in considering the mail-in service center hassle?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Modified Workout

Brisk .75 mile walk

Resistance Set 1 - Upper Body
Controlling 20 lb weight through arced path

Cardio Intervals
Carrying 20 lb weight up flight of steps

Resistance Set 2 - Upper & Lower Body
Control motion of 20 lb weight sliding from shoulder height down to knee height

Core Work
Hold (squirming) 20 lb weight while using swoopy pole-mounted balance seat

Cool Down
Leisurely .75 mile walk

Friday, July 11, 2008

Nuun Swap?

As I've said many times before, I heart the Nuun. It really works for this salty sweatin' endurance girl.

Everyone raved about the Kona Cola flavor when it came out, so last time I placed an order I got 3 tubes of it.


I don't really drink soda (and if I do it's not usually cola) and react badly to caffeine. Duh. Should have known better.

Just got a tip from this endurance blogger that Nuun has a new flavor: Orange Ginger.

(Even though I noticed he also contributes to this blog and I'm assuming it was a pseudo-spam kinda tip...)

My reaction to this information was still OMG OMG OMG. YUM.

(I have several citrus + ginger herbal teas I drink All. The. Time. I know I'll love it.)

Here's the thing - Nuun is a giant PIA for me to get my hands on. Right now I either have to order it online and pay as much in shipping as for a whole 'nother tube, or I have to drive 120 miles round trip to Fleet Feet in Chicago (and blow the operating budget of a third world nation on gas). And there's no guarantee they'd even have the new flavor in stock (some of the staff seems surprised they have Nuun at all when I point it out to them behind the counter).

So, if any of my bloggy peeps likes the Kona Cola and happens to have a couple tubes of the Orange Ginger lying around you're willing to part with, I will happily do a mail swap. I've also got an unopened Tri-Berry I'm not particularly attached to.

Thanks for the suggestion, Wil! It's in the mail to Trisaratops for Pharmie. : )

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Pathetic Poser or Recovering Athlete? You Decide!

It's been 11 days since my 5-miler. Which was also my last workout of any kind. E. Le. Ven.

Point is, my knees finally started speaking to me again. Oy, was it bad. Not as painful as in the past, but stiff enough I could hardly walk for a couple of days and WH had to carry Baby Bear up and down the stairs for me.

It was a pretty nice day for July (80 and sunny with with a nice stiff breeze) and I wanted to do something, so I decided to walk my friend's taco dip bowl back to her place. I happen to know she lives precisely one mile from my house and a two mile walk on a lovely summer day sounded like the perfect way to test my knees.

My brain turned off and my body went through my getting-ready-to-run routine. Running shoes, running socks, running shorts, technical top, sun visor, sunscreen (oooouch, found the spot on my shoulder where the Bear scratched me this morning), lap watch, cell phone, keys, bottle of Nuun... (notice what's missing? Yep. Running bra. DOH.)

THEN the new half of this little ritual... Slather the Bear with sunscreen, unfold the jogging stroller, get him strapped in, fill a sippy with water, get him a cold teether, put his sun hat on, pick his sun hat up off the floor, put his sun hat on, take his sun hat out of his mouth... repeat half a dozen times, give up, let him chew on the damn hat. Put sunglasses on him so he'll have something to chew on after he gets bored with the hat.

Yes, this process can take longer than the workout itself. But we gots to do what we gots to do.

It was supposed to be a two mile walk, like I said. But I felt really good. And I got more sleep than usual last night. And the voices in my head insisted on pointing out that I was wearing $100 running shoes, an Ironman lap watch, an Ironman sun visor, pushing an Ironman jogging stroller and carrying a bottle of freaking Nuun.

They quite helpfully pointed out that, if I failed to run, I was in fact a giant freakin' poser.

So I turned my 2 mile walk into a 2.5 mile WRWRW in .5 mile intervals. First half mile run felt hard and I was upset with myself until I checked my watch and realized I was running an 11:50 pace (as opposed to my usual 14:00). The second run interval I really misguesstimated and wound up at a 15:00 pace, but the lack of bra was probably to blame. It's hard to run while trying to hold your chest with one hand and push a stroller with the other.

So, there you have it. I keep trying to tell myself today I acted in a manner consistent with an athlete recovering from injuries. But honestly, I felt like a big ol' poser.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Calorie Nazi Hiatus Report

As noted in last week's meltdown, I finally got back on speaking terms with The Calorie Nazi after more than two months. Then I guess fate intervened, because after only three days back on the wagon my old laptop, which has slowly been falling apart, finally decided it was no longer plugged in. Ever. And that's where The Calorie Nazi lived.

It's in for repairs; we're waiting for the estimate before we decide anything. Meantime I'm trying to return to being very serious about eating since I still have to take it easy working out. I've managed to drop two of the 11 pounds I'd gained back, so that's something.

In that spirit, I've been thinking about ways to cut back on my temporarily outrageous eating habits and today I came up with a fabulous one!

Instead of using, oooh, 1000 or so calories worth of blue cheese dressing on my strawberry and grilled chicken salad today, I used maybe 100 calories worth of blue cheese crumbles and drizzled the whole mess with balsamic vinegar.

I'm happy to report it was delicious.

And no, I'm not exaggerating how much blue cheese dressing I use. Sometimes my husband catches me hiding in the fridge with the jar, using crackers like spoon to eat it. I wonder if there's a support group for people like me?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Endorphins Are My Friend

I did the smart/selfish thing and used my babysitter time for a run instead of work. I might have gone a bit overboard - I got a bit too much sun and beat my knees up, but I managed to drive the demons out so its all good.

Less than a mile into it both my knees seemed off, so I renegotiated my route to bring me back past the house a couple of times rather than forcing myself into a no-exit-strategy 5 mile out-and-back when I'd never gone that far before.

I managed to run the first mile without stopping, and at the pace I've been working on the treadmill. I don't love the pace itself, but I love that I've been able to find it and stick to it consistently without a machine.

Since this was only my 2nd workout in the last 4 weeks obviously I can't report that I ran all 5 miles. Or that I even managed to stick with my 2 minute walk break plan - there was muuuuch more walking. But I'm still very happy with how it turned out.

- There was more striding, less plodding
- My legs felt fresh after walk breaks, and I was able to run longer with better form
- Except on one long uphill, my head never felt like it was going to explode
- About 3 miles in things got easier, which is unheard of. I suspect the caffeine in the Kona Cola Nuun I was trying out.
- I had the chance to stop at 4 miles and was happy to feel like I still had another one in me
- It was my legs, not my lungs, that ultimately called a halt to things. Also new and exciting.

The last quarter mile all my toes were on fire in a 'blisters forming here' kind of way (this happens every workout now, ever since I got the plantar fasciitis orthotics). Then I noticed my right ankle was hurting because I was walking funny to take the pressure off my toes. My knees didn't like any of this. I was glad to be a block from home.

I took my recovery drink (mmmm, chocolate), iced both knees and took ibuprofen. By bedtime they felt FUN. KY. This morning they were stiff, but not too bad. Had PT for wrist anyway, so she taped the knee bugging me the worst (and gave me another lecture on doing too much).

Mile 1: 13:58 (only one w/out any walking)
Mile 2:16:17
Mile 3: 16:14
Mile 4: 18:12
Mile 5: 22:43
Total 1:28

Slow for 5 miles, sure, but I'm proud of myself. I'm proud for handling my stress with exercise. I'm proud for going more miles than I've ever gone before. And I'm proud for going for longer time than I've ever gone before.