Friday, May 30, 2008

My Bike

This is my bike. I picked it up on e-bay for next to nothing. I really should ride my bike. What am I waiting for? I have done a lot of indoor biking in preparation for the triathlon next weekend but I don't need an expert to tell me that is not quite the same. Sigh... no time to ride it this weekend so I will just have to hope for the best. I have so much to think about for the race next week. Setting up my transitions, do I need to wear a wetsuit, what do I need to bring with me, what have I gotten myself into???

Oh! and... if any of my friends would like to chip in and buy me Wii Fit, that would be cool with me :) If you don't want to wait until Christmas, my half-birthday is July 11th. (39.5 years old of course). :D That thing looks so fun! Of course, I would want the Wii tennis game too but can get that myself.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Training Update

Not a lot of interest going on although I suppose that is relative. I have much going on at work that is quite stressful but my friend Theresa proclaimed it "un-blogworthy" and I agreed as I prefer to not think about work while I am not there.

So far this week, I have essentially followed the plan minus the swimming. My week has looked something like this:

Monday: OFF! Much time spent at the pool... in a chair, reading a book.
Tuesday: Individual work out with DJ. Lots of weights & stair climbing.
Wednesday: Spin Class (60 minutes) followed by 2 mile stair climb & ab work
Thursday: 4.5 mile run *Fartlek (my new word for the day) + tennis match

*Fartlek: Derived from the Swedish term that means ‘Speed Play’, fartlek can provide an excellent endurance and strength session, as well as help improve your speed and race awareness. Fart=speed and lek=play

The use of 'fartlek' came about to provide a less structured approach to that of interval training. Its origins and use were developed in the 1930's. Whereas, in interval training the structure prescribes a given distance run in a given time with a given rest, fartlek's approach is to have you run at a given time, 2 minutes for example over undulating terrain or flat wherever your run may take you. The effort prescribed can be at 10k race pace to whatever speed you wish to make your effort. The rest in-between is normally at an easy pace to allow recovery before the next effort.
Now you know...

Instead of running the 2 minutes race pace/2 minutes below race pace, I chose to run race pace and then sprint the alternating 2 minutes. I enjoyed it and it helped keep my mind occupied so I did not get bored with the running. At the time I didn't know I was doing a "fartlek" workout so it was pure coincidence I ran across this word today.

On tap for tomorrow, workout with DJ @ 6.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Repeat Performance

The foxes made a repeat performance tonight. They were up close and personal, right on the back patio. They seemed undeterred that I was standing there watching which is a little disturbing. They are definitely young. The foxes were jumping and biting at each other, leaping on the picnic table, practicing lying in wait for prey. The pictures aren't all that great but you can see them better than the ones from yesterday.

I googled red foxes to see if I should call animal control or let it go. It basically said unless they had rabies, they would not attack. Mostly they are after rodents and my little bunnies that come out to eat the grass. It also said do not touch their droppings as it can be fatal. Something about eggs and intestines. Yesterday, as I was reading up on it, I could not imagine a scenario where I would touch fox droppings but today as they are frolicking on the picnic table I am thinking it could be possible to accidentally make contact and not realize it. YUCK!

So here are the photos. Again, not a professional and still wish I had zoom and/or one of those cameras that can take fast action shots as they were jumping all over the place...

This is probably the best photo of one of them:

This is extremely blurry since it was shot through the window but you can make them out jumping at each other on the right side of the picnic table:

Lastly, in these you can see the foxes practicing their lying in wait skills. One is on the corner of the patio, the other is on the far right by the trailer.

Long Run

I am officially back on track now. Mentally, I was having a hard time getting past 5 miles. I am not sure why but even though I know I can do it and I know I have run over 13 in the past, I was still having a hard time getting back to anything over 5 since I had dropped back my mileage after the ING. Today I ran from LFT to Peachtree Ridge High School back to LFT, around Discover Mills mall and back to LFT. The area can be high traffic in spots but I ran fairly early so it wasn't too bad. The total mileage was right at 8 miles. YAY!

After the run, I hit the 9:30 barbell class and then spent a couple of hours reading by the pool. My own little "staycation". (For those of you who aren't up on urban lingo, a staycation is time off work or a holiday where you don't actually go anywhere but instead you stay around home and enjoy it just the same).

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Lions and Tigers and Foxes, oh my!

Today was a great day for being outside! I got up at 6:30 to head over to Peachtree Ridge High School for run club. There was a decent turnout - probably about 10 people. The run was a little disappointing. I am not sure why it was so short but we only ran 2.5 miles. It was pretty hilly and was having a hard time breathing for some reason. My heart rate was definitely higher than normal (around 160 to 170, I usually am in the 145 range for my runs). I am not sure what the issue was, might have been the hills, might have been the humidity. I just felt like I couldn't quite catch my breath.

After the run, I went to the gym for a swim. Today was the first day that the outside lap pool was open so I was excited to swim some laps outside. I honestly don't think I have swam laps in an outside pool since I was a kid on swim team many years ago. We were the Abingdon Aquanauts. Our team colors were brown and yellow. Nothing intimidates like an 8 year old in a brown and yellow bathing suit with a Dorothy Hamill haircut.

When I got to the gym, they were still getting the outside pool ready so I swam 500 inside and then another 600 outside when the pool opened up. I was going to stop at 500 but teh draw of the lovely outside sun was too much to resist so I went out there and did another 600.

As I was leaving to head to the locker room, I heard someone shouting my name. I may be naive, but I prefer to think in a swim cap and swimsuit I am invisible and that no one could possibly recognize me. Not so... It turned out it was someone from my tennis team that I had not seen in over a year.

After a little catching up I headed for a quick shower and change into tennis gear. We had to make up our match that was rained out Friday night. It was extremely hot outside. I think this was the first match all year where we really felt the heat. I am guessing it was around 85 or so. We have been spoiled with cooler than normal weather this month so it had not even occured to me to pack a cooler with ice like I normally would for summer matches. Joan picked up a great tip from another player that really works well. I pack several wrist sweat bands in ice and then swap them out every time I change sides during the match. It really does help keep you cooler. My helpful hint for the day.... Oh. We lost, 3 sets but a decent match. They were definitely the better players.

The rest of the afternoon was uneventful until I spotted two foxes in the yard. I do not know why but I have a lot of creatures in my yard. I live on about about 3.5 to 4 acres with a creek running through it but it isn't like I am in the country. I am in a normal neighborhood. It is not unusual to see rabbits munching on grass, tons of birds, a possum that likes to eat pizza and bagels and cream cheese out of the trash (he is very tidy, he only pulls one item and doesn't leave trash everywhere) and deer from time to time sometimes just one deer, sometimes whole families. Today I looked out the window and spotted two foxes. You can somewhat make them out in the photos.

In this one, the fox is between the three bushes on the left, running towards the left.

I this one, you can see the fox in the driveway next door. I really need a zoom...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

This sure does require a lot of laundry

I realized today that all this fitness has an unintended side effect. I am constantly doing laundry! I either need to invest in 8 pairs of running shorts (the T-shirts seem to be in abundance) or prepare to do laundry every other night when I get home. Hmmm... maybe I need to rethink this marathon thing! :)

This week, the official plan called for the following workouts in order to get me ready for the triathlon on June 29th:

M: Bike 60 minutes, Swim 500 yards
T: Run 4 miles, strength training
W: Run 4.5 miles
T: Swim 600 yards, Run 3 miles, 200 crunches
F: OFF (I have a tennis match and will prob try to work in some biking)
S: Run 7 miles
S: Bike 60 minutes

At this point, I am modifying the plan so that I keep up with the increasing mileage for the marathon as well as work on the triahlon legs. This week has been pretty easy to get the workouts in since I have not had any tennis (I didn't realize it until I looked at my mileage logs!) Next week all of that will change as three of my tennis leagues start for the season. I have done pretty well with the plan so far this week. My goal was to get back on track after vacation. Mission accomplished!

My first triathlon is in two weeks. YIKES! I realllllly need to practice the transitions once or twice (going from swim to bike and bike to run). I feel very unprepared for this first race. The idea behind the race in 2 weeks was to make me more comfortable during the Iron Girl at the end of June. I still would like to feel more prepared than I do right now even if this first race is a trial run. I am very confident in the swim and run; the transitions and the bike are the unknown factors at this point. I think I am actually starting to get nervous now that it is so close. Maybe I could calm my nerves by doing some laundry. UGH.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wednesday Night Bike Night

You are probably thinking by the title I *finally* put some miles on my bicycle tonight. Not the case... I went to a bike (as in motorcycle) night event at a local BBQ restaurant. The weather was great and they had a huge turnout - easily 100 bikes there. Bike night basically is an excuse for a ride. You ride to the restaurant hosting bike night to eat dinner, chat with friends and look at all the motorcycles. The picture above is me with one of my motorcycle friends, Bernie. His daughter is a part of Get Fit Atlanta and recently lost 80 pounds and ran her first marathon - WOW! Side note, Bernie told me I had not aged in 10 years. I think I will keep him on my friend roster. :)

On the workout front, I did 4.5 miles this morning followed by a 600 meter swim. I am still contemplating the entry into the Georgia Games. DJ proclaimed it to be "awesome" that I was even considering it so am feeling some pressure. My guess is there aren't that many people that enter so it might not be that bad.

I need to find my niche

That is what I was told this morning by DJ. He is convinced that I should be running Masters Track. Either the mile or the 800 is what he said. Hmmm.... my current mile is around 9 minutes. Don't those people run between 4 and 6 minutes? I don't see how that translates. I suppose if I knew I was only running a mile I could push myself to go faster.

The conversation went something like this:
DJ: You need to find your niche. I really think you could run the mile or 800.
Me: Everyone would laugh me off the track.
DJ: They don't laugh at me.
Me: Right. You were in the Olympics and can keep up with them. Nice try.

He wants me to run in the Georgia Games. I promised to think about it although I am not sure I want to add another goal to my list right now. I am already struggling between the training schedules for the triathlon and the marathon in October.

On the workout agenda, we did a lot of strength training and then 2 miles on the stair climber. Not really enough mileage according to the official "plan" so will have to make something up later this week.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Nothing Better than a Gift with Purchase

Not much to report today... I got up early and went to the 5:30 am spin class at LTF. The class was much better today. The previous times I had gone, it was hard to stay interested. This time the instructor was more engaging, I think, it was early...

After spin class off to work for what seemed like the longest day in history. By the time 9:30 rolled around, I felt like I had been there all day.

I somehow made it to the lunch hour and went with my friend, Theresa, to Gangland Mall. (AKA Gwinnett Place). It is named such because there are reports of a lot of gang activity in the area. The closest thing we saw to a gang was a group of teenagers crossing the street in khakis and white polo shirts. One of them did have his pants riding rather low and I think another might have flashed us a gang sign....or something like it. Tru gangstas to be sure.

We always get the Lancome summer gift with purchase bag so we went over to Macys to check it out. Here is a picture of Theresa with the new bag. She thinks she is French. I try to tell her that just because you use Lancome doesn't make you of French ancestry but she won't listen. It does make her easy to buy for as anything with a picture of the Eiffel Tower on it is the best gift ever as it depicts her homeland (not). If we ever win the lottery we have agreed to go visit.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

and just like that vacation is over...

I had envisioned this shot to have the beach, sun and surf in the background but it is hard to get that from my patio. One too many visits to resulted in cancelling the trip to the beach. Convinced that it would rain more than half the time we were there, it seemed like a better idea to stay home. I was a little disappointed but truly am just as content doing things around here so it was not the end of the world.

Thursday morning, I got up early to meet DJ at LFT at 6:00 am. He was not there only a workout buddy of mine, Meg, and a message from him to hit the stairmaster for 45 minutes and do 200 crunches. If Meg had not been there, I probably would have gone back home and gone to bed. A 6:00 am start is asking a lot from someone on vacation. We managed to make it to end without either of us falling off the stairs which is quite a feat. It ended up being a little over 4.5 miles when the 45 minute mark rolled around.

Later that day, I went over to Fleet Feet and got sized up for new shoes. I never really had been properly fit and was getting blisters on the end of my toes at the end of long runs so I thought it would be a good idea to have a professional opinion on my size. As it turns out, I was wearing a full size too small. I got some more Saucony's which is what I was wearing before but went up a full size in the shoe and in a wide width. At the shoe store I was having flashbacks to the time I quit gymnastics around the age of 5 or so after a fellow gymnast stepped on my toes and proclaimed them to be "fat". Luckily, the salesman didn't seem to be judging me for going to a wide width shoe. In fact, he was very nice and gave me some free samples of the Luna chews (like Clif shot bloks but smaller pieces and less gummy).

Friday I volunteered at the NCAA Division III Golf Championships at Chateau Elan. Apparently, they were somewhat desperate for help. I know this because when I arrived they were asking the parents in attendance if they wanted to volunteer and when I arrived at the first hole some of the coaches questioned my ability to handle the task. I was asked to be a standard bearer for one of the groups. The "standard" for me to bear looks like this one. Imagine me holding it like a flag in a parade of golfers.

Basically, this entails keeping up with the cumulative scores and toting a 5 to 8 pound sign while walking the 18 holes with the players. It would not have been bad except that it was extremely windy. As you might imagine the sign became like a sail in the wind and was difficult to handle. I was actually more worried about getting the scores right. Luckily I knew a tiny bit about scoring from my other volunteer gigs that involved golf so it wasn't as bad as I had imagined. The players were very nice, the parents offered me snacks and water and the NCAA officials were very thankful which is all I really need :) Technically, I was not running but carrying a gi-normous sign in 20-25 mile wind gusts is going in my training log. I am guessing it was about 4-5 miles for the whole course.

Saturday I brought out my inner Annie Oakley.

I went skeet shooting at the South River Gun Club in Covington (yep, you heard me). I had been skeet shooting once before but that was probably more than six months ago. I actually have my own shotgun, a Beretta 3901 12-gauge. It was a nice day, not too hot and had a good time. My best round was 13 out of 25. Not too bad for the second time.

Which brings me to Sunday. My last day of vacation (SOB, SOB, SOB). Maybe I should check the numbers on that lottery ticket I bought last week.... Today was pretty uneventful, I did a barbell strength class this morning followed by a three mile run. Starting tomorrow, I have got to get back on the schedule - three weeks until my first triathlon!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


For vacation days two and three, I participated in a charity tennis tournament called Volleyfest. I have participated in the tournment for the last two years, the first year as a participant and last year as the chair of the event at one of the venues. The event raises funds for breast cancer prevention and awareness but instead of like a Susan G Komen event where the funds are used nationally, all of the funds raised stay in the immediate area, specifically Gwinnett County Medical system for the most part.

The format is fun and a little different, all the participants are assigned to a team for four people and then all the teams play each other over the course of two days. It truly is luck of the draw but someone I have managed to be on a winning team for the past two years.

This year, I had asked the coordinator if I could be placed on a team with my friend, Joan, thinking I had some pull with the head honcho. I showed up bright and early yesterday to find out I did not have any pull! I know, shocking... Joan and I ended up being on different teams. I really do not have much of a competitive drive so I don't do well with partners who take the game very seriously. Luckily, my partner for day one was very easy going and fun. I think we lost 2 and won 3 matches, not trampled but not killing the competition either.

Today before I went to the tournament, I started off with a 4.5 mile run at Lifetime and then did a 600 meter swim. I kind of like that workout now that I have proven to myself I won't drown :) My arms were oddly tired, I am guessing from the tennis the previous day. Instead of the freestyle lap swimming, I thought I would do 75m free 25 m stroke until I had swum 600m. Why I thought starting off with 25m of butterfly was a good idea I will never know. I guess it was too early to think clearly. Butterfly is rarely a good idea even if you haven't run 4.5 miles beforehand. After that one lap of butterfly, I decided to alternate freestyle with backstroke and breaststroke. I keep thinking for the triathlon I might end up doing more breastroke than I realize because of the open water and having to look up frequently to stay on course so I have been trying to mix some of that in to the swim workouts.

After leaving LTF, I headed over to the tournament. Today, we stayed on the same teams and switched partners. I was assigned the top (and most serious) player on our team. As part of her introduction to me this morning, she told me her team not only had made the city finals for ALTA (which is HUGE here) but had also been invited to play in the state championship both of which are this weekend. She is good. You get the point.

When my partner showed up she announced that she had trouble sleeping the night before and had taken a sleeping pill at 2:30 am. It was 8:45 so you can imagine she was a little groggy. As we started playing, I was a little intimidated because she was a much better player than me and I didn't want to screw up our chances at the big prize! She was so intense sometimes, I couldn't tell if she was just extremely focused or in serious need of caffeine. At one point, I asked her... the answer was both. :)

Somewhere in the middle of the second to last match it started raining so our day on the courts ended early. Tennis was followed by a luncheon and some speakers from the charity as well as the hospital. There were also two ladies who had personal stories of dealing with breast cancer which were very interesting. One of them had two sisters dealing with it and she had gone through the genetic testing to see if she carried the gene (she doesn't). The other was a survivor who had located a tiny lump one month after a mammography. Her doctors told her it was nothing and not to worry about it. She insisted on a biopsy and it turned out to be cancer. As a result, she went through two surgeries, radiation and four rounds of chemotherapy. I think she said she was a 6 month survivor at this point.

And then there were awards.... somehow my team managed to squeak by and win by ONE point! YAY THREEPEAT!

Tomorrow we are supposed to head out to Myrtle Beach. ahhhhhhh. At this point, it looks iffy. There is some question about whether my partner in crime can break away from work and the weather there was looking rainy for the next couple of days. We will give it another look tonight and make a final decision.

Side note... it occurs to me that doing three triathlons in the month of June might be a little on the oveachieving side of things, especially since I haven't officially even done one yet. (I really don't count the indoor one since I didn't have to conquer my ever growing fear of the outdoor bike leg of this event). I may end up backing out of the event at Callaway and focusing on the first triathlon in three weeks and then the Iron Girl. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Training Update

It has been so long since I made an entry I am having a hard time remembering my activities for the past few days...

Day of rest. I definitely need to get on some sort of regular sleep pattern. If I don't go to bed early/on time Sunday night by the time Friday rolls around, I have a hard time functioning. I did get started on my vacation early and took off work at noon. I had a certificate for a massage that was to expire this month so I used it to get some kinks worked out. Apparently, I had a lot of kinks as there was some pain involved - but a good hurt I guess :)

Up early for the next round of the Disovery Point tournament, well, it was supposed to be early. I have to set two alarms because I have been known to turn one off and not get up. This night, the electricity went out so my back up, bettery operated, alarm woke me up. The back up alarm is set for the last possible minute I can get up and still get there on time so it was a panic when I heard it go off.

I made it out the door on time more or less. I had to stop at Burger King on the way for eats (I was desperate). The lady at the drive through must have seen the tennis gear and wished me luck. I took that as a good sign! I got to check in at 7:45 right on time.

There is so much to tell about our match Saturday morning. The short version is we lost in 3 sets. One of our opponents was mentally annoying. A lot of pre-match, during match, after match stretching. Really slow on the changeover and constant talking/strategizing/coaching her partner during every point. We were the better team we let her get in our heads. A little disappointing as we usually do well in this tournament. On the bright side, they do throw a nice player party which we attended that night.

I got up and caught a 9:30 barbell class at Lifetime. You use a barbell and a variety of weights for group strength training. Great class. I would go back if I can fit it into my schedule. I still feel the effects of it as I sit here this morning.

My first official day of vacation! I got up and went to Lifetime. Today's goal was to work in a 10k (it was supposed to be on the 10th but like got in the way). I participated in virtual event hosted by Nancy. On Satruday, I thought about it and for some reason thought it was on Sunday. Oh well, I got it in... late. The plan today (and the rest of this month) is to concentrate on the trithlon training schedule since those are the closer races. The task was the 10k for Nancy's event followed by a 500 swim. I actually think I was supposed to swim first according to the official chart but I don't think Lifetime wanted to see me tooling around the gym like a wet rat on a treadmill.

The plan for the 10k was just to finish it. I don't enjoy treadmill running all that much as it seems to take so much longer than a run outside since there are less distractions. I brought the i-pod, tuned into Regis and Kelly and knocked out the 10k in 58:23.

On to the swim. I decided to stick to lap swimming for the 500. I have a 1000 workout plans for swimming but today it seemed a better idea just to get the laps in. As I started, I was thinking the reason the triathlons start with the swim must be to keep people from drowning out of fatigue. I was hoping the guy next to me knew CPR. Seriously, it was not all that difficult even after the 10k so it gave me some confidence at my endurance level for the triathlons. The worst part as always is just counting down the laps. A good exercise in trying to get the two legs of the race in and I am glad I made myself do it.

Monday night, we had a tennis match for our USTA league. We managed to get a win so Joan is now officially off of suicide watch:) The summer leagues start up in a couple of weeks and I think they are going to be tough as we have moved up to a higher level. There might be more suicide watches in the future...

Thursday, May 8, 2008

We finally won!

Quick update since Tuesday...

I ran 5 miles on Wednesday morning. I decided to loop Mountain Park 5 times. When I arrived, there was me and one other woman there. The other woman seemed to be looking for something. She approached me when I was getting out of my car to tell me her purse had been stolen the night before when she was walking around the park and if I saw it to turn it in to the maintenance shed. It was still dark outside so suddenly I was not feeling too comfortable running alone. The sun was starting to come up so decided to make the best of it and just be aware of my surroundings. As a result of being so aware, I discovered that ducks snore. Yes, they do. There are several that live in the pond at the park and they appeared to be in the tall grass growing out of the pond... snoring. All of them. It was quite loud but intersting fact to discover.

Wednesday night, Joan and I had a T2 match. We continued our losing streak. :(

This morning, I worked out with my group. We did 250 crunches then headed outside for a 3 mile run. Easy workout considering I am still having some difficulty straightening my arms out after our workout on Tuesday. (we focused on arms).

Tonight, Joan and I changed our ways. We won one! Tonight was round one of the Discovery Point Classic which is a charity tournament benefitting Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Round two is Saturday @ 8:00 and the semifinals at 2:00. All of which means I will miss my run with GFA again. I am feeling terribly guilty since I have only run withe the group once since joining. I am also going to miss the Race for the Cure although my friend Theresa has promised to pick up goodies for me while she is there.

I am debating whether or not to workout tomorrow. I might do a day of rest.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Do or do not, there is no try

Apparently that is a saying from Yoda in Star Wars. Not being a huge Sci-fi buff, I would not have attributed it to Yoda had I not been told. Although I can quote scenes from Grease, Sound of Music, Dirty Dancing and assorted other movies (including, sadly enough, Balls of Fury as you have seen), I normally do not quote Star Wars unless I am doing an impression of Princess Leia with the bread bowls from McAllister's Deli. Long story, although I will say the bread bowls also lend themselves to an impersonation of Jackie Kennedy. Another story for another blog.

Back to Yoda... he was a wise one... So true, you either do it or you don't, there is no in-between. I am either going to get up in the morning and run 5 miles or I am not. I can't let Yoda down...

I am starting to feel pulled in both directions by trying to get ready for the triathlon and the marathon at the same time. I want to keep up with the running plan but also have to find time for biking and swimming too. As another wise Yoda-like person I know always says to me, "you do this to yourself". Yes, true. I am an overchiever. It is a sickness. I did take myself off of one of my tennis teams this summer so now I am down to two tennis leagues. Baby steps.

Today was nothing out of the ordinary, A.M. weight training with D.J. followed by a short 1.5 mile run around the outside of the gym. I had a steak tonight from Texas Roadhouse, watched American Idol, said a little prayer for Jason Castro to get voted off and now am going to bed so I can get up and run in the morning! The plan is 5 miles. From the house to Mountain Park, around twice and back home by 7:00 A.M.

Smog Alert

Not much to tell about Monday... Joan and I had tennis match tonight for our Monday night BMW league. Butts were kicked. Ours. We are getting tired of losing and are ready for a win. Unfortunately, lately we seem to be in the position of being the sacrificial lambs at the top of the lineup. We hope to change back to a winning streak in our tournament later this week!

We played out of Hudlow Tennis Center in Norcross. It was supposed to be halfway between our home courts and the homes courts of our opponents. Hudlow is located within a huge park; however, someone must live right next to the tennis center and this someone chose to burn leaves during our match. It was really difficult to breathe and I think we all left smelling like we had been around a camp fire. We even moved over one court in an attempt for better air quality. No such luck.

I realized yesterday that I only have 5 weeks until my first triathlon and really don't feel prepared. I think it is the biking that makes me feel that way so I will have to concentrate on some spinning classes in between my weekend attempts to hit the road. I printed the training logs off the internet hoping to inspire myself to get with the program. I got an early morning swim in at Lifetime. I say early morning, actually I was running late so I had to cut the workout in half to avoid being too late for work. I swam 1400 meters which isn't too bad; however, the plan when I went to bed the night before was to run 3 and *then* swim. At least I didn't scrap the plan altogether!

On tap for tonight - sleep!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

and that leads me to Sunday...

Again, talked myself out of meeting with the group. This group is the one alllllll the waaaaaay acrooosssssss towwwwwnnnn. Over an hour just to get there. Does anyone blame me for not wanting to jump up early to meet them at 7:30? I know... I needed the experience. I will have to get it another day.

I did accomplish things today! I took my bike out for a spin. Here is a pic. Just kidding... That is me but I don't have a picture of me on my actual bicycle. This is one of those pictures I pull out to motivate myself. You know, positive self talk - what happened to that cool girl? I digress. Here is the photo.

I am really procrastinating on the bike leg of my race. Oddly intimidated by it for some reason. With that said, I forced myself to take the bike out today. I think what has been holding me back is that to get out of my house, you have to start up a hill. I was hoping something a little flatter would magically appear.

I made it up the hill and set out for the main road, went past Mountain Park, down a side road towards an elementary school and back. All in all about 4.5 miles. It sounds wimpy but this was my first ride on a road with cars so I felt good about it and now I have a short loop mapped out that I know works for me. Only one brief encounter with a neighborhood dog. My right hand fell asleep towards the end. I must be applying the death grip. It was a good ride, I am definitely more comfortable now.

I discovered something cool last night called Map my Ride. There is also a Map my Run and Map my Tri. Pretty cool, you put in your coordinates on the map and it calculates mileage (which is how I know I did 4.5 miles).

After stowing away the bike, I went back out and did a 3.5 mile run. This time the dog stayed in the yard. It knew. I also discovered that one street over has a less severe hill so, on the way back, I opted for hill "lite".

One other exciting thing I discovered today. There is a new Disney race next year. Disney's Princess Half Marathon. I think there is a tiara involved... who needs a Minnie Medal? hmmm... registration opens tomorrow.

MC Hammer got me through my run

Or alternately titled... Hammer Time.

As suspected, when the alarm went off Saturday morning to meet with my group, I decided to go with Plan B which was running on my own later in the day. Around 9:45 or so I arrived at Stone Mountain for the 5-mile loop. Stone Mountain has some serious hills so it can be a mental challenge if you aren't fully motivated to run (which I was not). I brought my camera along to entertain myself.

This is my starting point. Check out the heart rate (59). I must have still been half asleep. Oh, and I am not sure why my hand looks like a Shar-pei puppy.

I decided to go around the back side of the mountain first. There were quite a few runners, mostly walkers and a few bikers out there Saturday morning but it is still peaceful. I opted to go without my I-pod this time. My Dad always tells me he gets lost in his thoughs and it helps the miles tick by. Before today, I always thought... ummm right. I think I need some thoughts pumped in my head via the I-pod but, he was right, it really wasn't bad.

A scene from the backside of Stone Mountain. They have traffic diverted in the back so the cars only go one way. The other lane is running and biking. I also saw a roller blader out there which is unusual.

I made a pit stop along the way to take a picture of the "big rock". No, not THE big rock as in Stone Mountain but the big rock that I spent many hours playing on as a kid. It earned its name because it was soooo huge. Well, that is the way I remember it. Today, it is kind of comical because it seems so small. For benefit of family and friends who know the rock of which I speak, here it is:

Here it is again from another angle in case it didn't look big enough in the first photo. I took a picture of myself in front of the rock to give it scale but I am not a pretty runner. I opted not to post it; I have my pride.

By the time you get to the "big rock" you are almost on the front side of the mountain where all the attractions are located. As I am running towards the Antebellum Mansion I noticed all these tents in the yard area. Apparently, they were having some sort of re-enactment weekend. A park policeman was escorting four confederate soldiers across the street as I ran by. One of them was drinking a coke. I am guessing it isn't a 100% authentic re-enactment. I was a little too slow on the camera to capture that one although here is a shot of the tents. You can somewhat make them out I suppose.

Not long after you pass the mansion, there is a pretty big uphill. All sorts of little mantras generally help from chanting "I think I can" to not looking up and just chugging away until you think you are almost to the top to, well, MC Hammer (I am not proud, I am just telling the story). I do not know why this song popped in my head. I promise you it is not on my I-pod. All the way up this mountain (and oddly again as I am typing) Too Legit to Quit is running through my head. I opted not to break into dance. I made it up that hill because apparently I am .... too legit to quit. Who knew?

The end of 5-miles, back to the car.

Friday, May 2, 2008

I have GOT to get back on the program

Today is officially an OFF day according to my GFA plan. It feels like every day this week has been an OFF day which is a problem! As I sit here now, I feel tired and not too enthused about getting up at 6:30 am to meet the group for a run. I am 80% talked out of going at this point (yes, I have lots of conversations and debates with myself - too many...). I feel confident though that if I do not go with the group I will make it to Stone Mountain. This week's scheduled run is 5 miles which is once around the mountain. I think sleeping in a bit and a nice run by myself (and my 8 other personalities) might be just what I need.

I don't really want to mention work here other than to say it has been hectic and stressful lately and today was no exception. In fact, I am probably going to go in tomorrow to try and get to some level of "caught up". Exactly why a nice, solitary run around the mountain sounds so appealing.

Guess what I did tonight?? Yep - TENNIS! Another T2 match with Joan. So far not much luck this season, we lost in 2 sets (6-4, 7-6). At least I did get some form of exercise in for the day.

I received my copy of Wingfoot this week. Wingfoot is the publication of the Atlanta Track Club. I joined earlier this year so I could get an advance entry to the Peachtree Road Race. They also host several free races throughout the year so it is worth the small fee to join. There were pictures from the Atlanta Women's 5K in the magazine one of which was of my tennis friend, Sarah.

According to the photo which was taken post-race, it would appear that Sarah does not sweat. Not fair! Every strand of hair was in place and not a drop of sweat. I am not sure if we can be friends anymore :) Side note, Sarah is also training for a triathlon. She is the one who told me about the event at Callaway Gardens. Maybe I can catch her sweating there. If not, I will have to pretend I do not know her (or maybe she will pretend not to know me - I will be a sweaty mess to be sure)!

Not only did I miss the Minnie Marathon weekend but I found out that this year is the last year they are having the event! The horror!!! I will never have a Minnie Mouse medal for my collection. (OK, I guess you can't call the one medal I have now a collection but there will be others...) I learned this while blog surfing tonight. It is a terrible addiction. It is surprising how many blogs are out there from self proclaimed non-runners, runner wannabes, and all other assorted categories of runners and triathletes in training. All very inspiring... Some have so many readers that companies are giving them free stuff so they will talk about it in their blog. I want to get in on that program!!!

I had a big DOH! moment earlier this evening. I can't do the Race for the Cure next weekend because I have a tennis tournament that runs from Thursday to Sunday. What was I thinking??? OK, I could do the run if we get eliminated but the plan is to win the finals! *SIGH* Maybe the time for the Saturday matches will be later in the day. The tennis tournament is a lot of fun and a great cause - Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. I was also looking forward to the Race for the Cure. In fact, I just received my number in the mail today. Bummer!

Two weeks to Myrtle Beach! No, not a big race. No, not a tennis tournament. A long weekend at the beach AHHHHHH! Wonder what that will do to my running schedule? It occurs to me now that if I don't go to the group run tomorrow, I will miss at least 3 weeks in a row of group runs. Not good... Maybe I will get up and go with the group tomorrow after all.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

My secret pre-match meal failed me...

I don't know how it could have happened but I lost in the quarterfinals tonight. I had my uncrustable, my red bull, my lucky outfit. What could have happened?? To quote Master Wong from Balls of Fury - I did not finish my lessons, I have no backhand (or didn't tonight anyhow).

Seriously, my opponent was extremely consistent. Very few errors. Did I mention she won the city championship last season? We had a lot of long rallies, it was really a matter of who had the most patience. Clearly she did. :) It was great to get that far; I made it to the final 8 out of 64 players in the playoffs, not too bad.

It took me one hour and forty-five minutes to get to her courts! I left at 5:00 and pulled in to her subdivision at 6:45 - that is Atlanta traffic for you... Luckily the ride home was only an hour (still a long drive but seemed much shorter after the ride out there).

No other activities to speak of today. Hopefully, now that I am out of playoffs, I can get back to a regular workout routine. Tomorrow is supposed to be a day of rest according to the GFA plan so I might take that advice and get back on schedule Saturday with the group run.

Side note, Brooke did get voted off American Idol last night... Jason Castro (dreadlock guy) needs to go next!