Monday, December 29, 2014

Looking back.....

As 2014 is wrapping up, and a new year is quickly approaching, I have been thinking a lot about this year and season.  Here are some of those thoughts....

FAVORITE RACE:  I will have to say this was probably Age Group Nationals.  Even though it wasn't a great race for me, I loved doing it and having a whole vacation planned around this race.  I loved swimming in Lake Michigan, I loved the run, and the bike course was great too, even though it was probably my worse bike performance EVER in a race.  It was also humbling, but it was a great experience.

LEAST FAVORITE RACE:  I think I am still having PTSD from IM StG 70.3.  I still shake my head at that whole thing. I have such a score to settle with that bike course, I will definitely go back, but not in 2015 as it is only two weeks before IMTX.  But I WILL go back.  

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A RACE:  Hands down Icebreaker Sprint Tri.  Loved this race.  I podiumed in my first race in my new age group (35-39), and it is the race that qualified me for AG Nationals.  Though my run was a little slower than I would have liked, I hammered the bike and the swim, and had a great day.  And, it was also a new PR for me :)

BIGGEST ARSE HANDLING IN A RACE:  The Triple Bypass.  That ride hurt A LOT.  I was not prepared for it for a variety of reasons.  It also killed any and every desire I have ever had to do the whole LOTOJA by myself.  My butt was not made to be in a saddle that long, and as much as I like riding, I suck at and don't particularly enjoy climbing.  

MOST MEMORABLE TRAINING RUN OF 2014:  A trail run I had just a few weeks ago.  It was perfect.  It was beautiful. It was just me and I loved the solo time.  There wasn't anything particularly critical about this run, it was just one of those "all is right with the world moments."

MOST MEMORABLE SWIM: This is a tie between swimming in Lake Michigan at Nationals or the swim at Sand Hollow for IM StG 70.3.  Even though both of those were tough races for me, the swim portions were awesome, and I loved every second of them for different reasons.  The swim at StG was simply gorgeous.  Perfect water temps, perfect weather, perfect scenery.  It was also a 5 minute swim PR for me for that distance.  I loved it.  The swim at Nationals was by far the most challenging as far as it had the dishwasher effect like I had never experienced before.  As much as it was challenging, I loved it.  And it was cool to say I swam in Lake Michigan :)

MOST MEMORABLE RIDE OF 2014:  The Triple Bypass.  As hard as this was for so many reasons, I will never forget it for many more.  It was beyond breathtaking.  It was a challenge, and I did it with my Dad.  I have always been a Daddy's girl, so to do this ride with him was amazing.    

WHAT I DID RIGHT THIS YEAR:  My off season.  I really did nail every thing I wanted to do leading up to my IM Training plan starting.  It was a perfect balance of maintaining a base, working on my weakness (running) and enjoying some down time.  

WHAT I DIDN'T DO RIGHT:  My consistency was not great this year.  It went in spurts and then got derailed.  I think the root of the problem is that I set myself up for failure in biting off more than I can chew, and when I couldn't do it all, I got frustrated and gave up.  I also had some burn out and attitude issues this year.  I wasn't always as positive as I could have been.  I struggled with motivation.

WHAT AM I MOST PROUD OF:  Registering for my first Ironman.  I finally took the leap and I am so excited I can't stand it!

I will do another post later in the week about my goals for 2015.  I know some of them, but I need to nail down a few more.  In the meantime, Happy training and racing!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Two weeks down, 20 to go!

Its hard for me to believe that I have already completed two weeks on my official Ironman training plan.  It has flown by!  The first week I followed the plan as called for, adding in 3 days of strength training and trying to run every day as well because of my 40 Day run streak that ends this coming week.  I will be was a challenge doing all of that!  In all honesty, and for the sake of accountability, I missed my long bike that week, and one run (not one on the plan, but one for the streak) and one day of strength training.  However, if you look at what the plan actually called for, that was only missing one work out from 9 planned, and it was the long bike ride.  It was supposed to be on that Friday, but I was in a massive hurry to get things packed and ready to leave for Denver just after midnight.  So no training that day :)

The second week needed some tweaking since we were out of town  in Denver.  I was not taking my bike, and decided not to mess with swimming.  Instead I would just run every day we were there.  For accountability sake I can say I ran every single day except yesterday, which was our day to come back.  After 10 hours in the car, plus having to unpack, and then buy food for an empty house, it didn't happen.  However, according to Training Peaks, I got 5.75 hours of training (running) this week, which considering we were on vacation, was awesome!!

I had some really good runs this week!  I love running in new places.  Here are some pics I took this week while running around my parent's place.  Below is one I took on Christmas Day while running some new trails around their home.  This was about an hour before a major snow storm blew in leaving about 6-7 inches of fresh powder.  This was one of my favorite runs all week.

The next day this was my attempt at a run.  I didn't get too far but I enjoyed playing in the new snow.  The side walks hadn't been shoveled and the roads were a complete ice sheet, so I only did a mile and a half that day.  My feet are under this fresh powder somewhere!

As far as Christmas was concerned, it was one of the best I have had in recent memory.  I loved being with my family.   My grandmother is now 84 and not in the greatest health, so it was neat to spend time with her.  My uncle was up from Houston and I don't get to see him much.  We had a nice laid back week of playing games, working puzzles, going hiking, and eating way too much food.  Apparently Santa thought I was pretty good this year, because I got some cool running stuff.

I got the running jacket shown above.  In the same color.  It is every bit as awesome as I thought.  No more having to put on 14 layers for cold weather runs.  This jacket is water proof, has reflective strips on it, and the arms are actually long enough I can use the thumb holes!  There is a ton of pockets and even built in gloves.  However, they are not heavy duty, I will still use my regular gloves on really cold runs.  The picture shown where my feet are in the snow it was only 10 degrees out,  I had on this jacket and a thin base layer underneath and was PLENTY warm.  I am so excited about this!  I also got some Gu from my daughter in Salted Caramel and Salted Watermelon, my current favorite flavors.  I also got some Brooks Thermal running tights.  I am one happy girl!

As good as this week was, it is nice to be home.  I am ready to get back on a routine (sort of anyway, we still don't have school for another week), do my training as planned, and get back to eating healthy.

It also occurred to me that with 2 weeks of Ironman training complete, I only have 20 left! The time is going to fly and I am excited to get to work!

Happy Training and Racing all!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Back to the Pool!

I love swimming.  I always have.  I don't even mind lap swimming and don't get "black line syndrome".  Don't get me wrong, I prefer open water swimming any day to the pool, but it isn't always feasible, like in winter time here in Northern Utah. 

I love that I can completely neglect swimming and still do well in that portion in races.  It isn't like biking or running where if I take time off from it, it shows.  So, with all of this, I tend to take it for granted. Even though I love swimming, it is also the least convenient for me to do.  I can run or bike right out my front door.  Swimming requires me to pack a swim bag, be at the mercy of the pool's hours, and get in the car to get there.  I know, I know, those are just excuses, but does involve at least a 15-20 minute drive depending on which pool I go to.  If I skip a work out, it will probably be a swim one, due to all of these reasons above.

Well, excuses be gone.  Enter the new Syracuse Aquatic Center.  This is where Joshua goes for swim team practice 3x a week. It is a nice pool.  It is brand new.  It is only 5 minutes away.  However, I had read on their website that the lap swim hours were only between 6-10 am.  No can do. I have to work at 7:00 here at the high school.  They state that one can come and swim laps anytime during "open swim" time as they will leave one lane open for that.  Well, that hasn't ended well in the past.  Every time I do that I end up either swimming around obnoxious kids playing Marco Polo in the lane, or someone aqua jogging, or have 8 other people in the lane with me.  No thanks. I would rather bag a swim than deal with that. 

However, with the convenience of it, and the fact that I could go earlier (read: the 9:00 pm lap swim time at the other pools is WAY too late for me), and the price is cheaper, I thought with my return to swimming with the start of my Ironman training, I would try it.  Just once.  If it didn't work, I would force myself to stay up later and keep going to the other pools that are farther away.

I waited to get there until 7:15 when I knew the swim team would be cleared out.  There was no one there.  Just me and 5 lifeguards.  Seriously?  You mean I have not just the lane, but the whole place to myself? Yes please!  I got my swim cap and goggles on, grabbed a kick board and a pull buoy, along with my hand paddles and fins I brought.  I happily swam my work out of 1350 meters, all while the lifeguards are tackling that To-do list that only pops up when no one else is there.  It was awesome.  Loved being back in the water!!

When I finished my work out and was ready to leave I asked the head life guard if it is always this dead on a week night.  He replied that occasionally they will have youth groups or parties come through, but not usually.  Even then, he said, they stick with the other pool with the lazy river and the slides.  I asked him what the lap swimming crowd is usually like and he said I may get a couple other people on a given week night, but basically what I saw was pretty true to form.  Sweet!  I am so excited! 

I drove the quick 5 minutes home.  I was home just after 8.  I could still be in bed by 8:30. (I know this is pathetic, but this gal needs her sleep, and I do wake up well before the crack of dawn, thank you).  I thought about how I no longer have any excuses to miss my swims.  No longer late at night.  No longer a 20 minute drive away.  No longer more expensive.  No more super crowded lanes or Tools in the Pool.  I am excited to see what I can actually do with my swim now that I will actually be working at it!

It is great to be back in the water.  I know that this was only my 2nd official day of training, but I am loving it so far.  It is never the same thing, and with there being 3 disciplines, there is always something that needs work.

So, Happy training and racing!  Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.....

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Joshua's First Swim Meet!!

My oldest, Joshua, had his first swim meet this past weekend.  I must say, I am one proud Mama!  He was TERRIFIED.  He seriously was in tears and lost sleep the night before.  Poor kid!  Well, apparently those nerves served him well as he pulled off two second place finishes in both of his events.  He did 50 free and 50 backstroke.  He has some things to work on, but we are all thrilled!  He was too!  His next meet is only two weeks away.

I am so excited that at least one of my kids is into sports!  And one that I do as well!  It is a fun hobby to share with him.  I can't wait to see what the future holds for my fish!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

End of the Off Season - Hello IMTX Training!

Today is officially my last day of my off season.  My official 22 week training plan for Ironman Texas begins tomorrow!

I have been thinking about my goals for the off season and I think that I have done a very good job at doing what I intended to do. I wanted to maintain a good base, while also allowing myself to enjoy the down time and not beat myself up for missed or shortened work outs.  I have done exactly that.  I also had an emphasis on strength training, and that has gone pretty well also.

The only thing that I might have done differently is get into the pool more - meaning, at all.  I have not swam since AG Nationals on August 9.  I am not too worried about this as it is the one discipline of the three that I can neglect and still do well.  It's not like running, where if I even skip a week I feel like a newborn giraffe wobbling all over and having no clue what I am doing.  Especially with the  swim work outs planned in official training, I will be fine.  

I am proud of my increased running volume and consistency.  I have learned to love running again and so far in this 40 Day Running Streak I am doing with friends, I have only missed 2 days..  I plan to continue the Streak into my training plan until it is over, and then I will re-evaluate how much running I want to do.  The plan only calls for three runs a week, and I know that I want more than that, but not necessarily every day like I am now.  We'll see how it goes.

How am I feeling as I start official training?  Awesome!  No injuries, no nagging pains, or fatigue.  I also feel that the work outs I do have been good.  I am in good shape to start this  plan.  Mentally I am pumped to start.  This makes it just that much more real for me! Only 153 more days until GO TIME!

So, if you need me, I will be pretty occupied until May 17 (the day AFTER the race).  Happy Training and Racing!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

TAGGED! A little known (or at least used to be) Facts about me

One of my favorite running/triathlon blogs is Shut Up + Run.  This week she tagged anyone and everyone that wanted to participate, so I consider myself tagged.  Here ya go:

Four names that people call me other than my real name:
1)  Kate (my Dad and boss call me this)
2) Love (Ken, of course)
3) Mommy 
4) Limb (my students call me this.  Sometimes with the Mrs. attached)

Four jobs I’ve had:
1) grocery store cashier
2) phone surveys (this job totally sucked)
3) restaurant hostess
4) social worker

Four movies I’ve watched more than once:
1) Steel Magnolias (my all time favorite movie)
2) Forrest Gump
3)  Finding Nemo (my son was obsessed as a pre-schooler)
4) Beetlejuice

Four books I’d recommend:
1) To Kill a Mockingbird (should be required reading everywhere)
2)  A Life without Limits 
3)  Divergent 
4)  Where the Red Fern Grows

Four places I’ve lived:
1) Denver, Colorado ( I was born there)
2) Stavanger, Norway
3) Edmund, Oklahoma
4) Missouri City, Texas

Four places I’ve visited:
1) Germany
2) Austria
3) Milwaukee, Wisconsin
4) California a bunch of times

Four things I prefer not to eat:
1) Brussel sprouts
2) lettuce
3) mustard
4) tofu

Four of my favorite foods:
1) Jamba Juice smoothies
2) Eggs and veggie scrambles
3) really good BBQ ribs
4) Snickers bars

Four TV shows I watch
1) Nashville
2) The Biggest Loser
3)  Gatorboys
4)  Duck Dynasty

Four things I’m looking forward to this year:
1) IMTX!!
2) Christmas with my parents in Denver
3)  my son going to Space Camp (he's so excited!!)
4)  lots of snow (one can hope, right?)

Four things I’m always saying:
1) On a scale of 1 to stupid, where does that rank?
2) This isn't rocket science...
3)  My legs are shot!
4)  There are _____ days until IMTX :)

There you have it.  Consider yourself tagged :)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankful Thursday!

Happy Thanksgiving!  I started my day with my own Turkey Trot.  I ran 7 miles on one of my favorite out the door loops.  It was right as the sun was coming up over the mountains and I had one of those running "all is right with the world" moments.

Then we headed to the inlaws for the usual Turkey Day dinner.  I am thankful my mother in law was out of the hospital to join us!  She is currently battling cancer, had surgery just over a week ago, and has had a tough time.  But she was there!

Here's some of the things running wise I am thankful for:

1) My body is amazing.  I am constantly amazed and thankful that I can do what I do.  I constantly keep pushing my body and it bounces back.  I am grateful for the health I have to train, race, and have the experiences that I have in all those endeavors. I don't take it for granted that many people are not so fortunate.

2) I am thankful for Ken, the IronSherpa, who supports me as much as he does.  He is constantly bombarded to me going on and on about races, pacing, heart rate training, sore muscles,sodium intake, all things Ironman, etc.  He never once has complained and has missed very few of my races.

3) I am thankful for my my kids who support me as well!  They are pretty fun!  Joshua is getting into sports and swimming in particular.  It is fun to share this hobby with him.

4)  I am thankful to live and train in a gorgeous place.  I have mountains, Antelope Island,and great open water swimming very close.  I never take these for granted.

5)  I am thankful for great gear too, it may not seem like a big deal, but things like my Garmin 310XT, Smart wool running socks, Blue tooth earphones, and gym memberships.

6) I am thankful for the fact that I am currently (knock on wood) injury free.

7)  I am thankful for the websurfing I did today and landed a great deal on airfare to Houston for IMTX!  Paid a ton less than I had budgeted for!!

Happy Thanksgiving!  Happy racing and training all!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Streaking with Friends

My amazing friend, Toby, has organized a streaking group.  Yep, a run streaking group, I should clarify :)  The goal is to run every day through the new year for a total of a 40 day running streak.  I figured, why the heck not?  I am trying to work on my run anyhow, and it is always easier to do so when you have friends that you are accountable to.  It started on Sunday, but since I don't race/train on Sundays, my first day was Monday.  I'm not going to lie, I skipped it.  It was just one of those days where I didn't fit it in.  However, I ran the last two.  Yesterday was a scheduled trainer day.  I did my hour long brutal Sufferfest video in the comfort of my own warm basement and then realized I hadn't run yet.  Dangit, I was already pooped!  I then look outside and it is cold, windy, dark, and had started to rain. Well isn't that lovely?!?  I decided I could do at least a mile.  Just a couple times around  my block.  I decided to take Milo with me.  He never goes running with me.  He's a 7 pound shitzu Maltese mix.  More of a purse dog (if I ever put him in a purse, shoot me, please) than a running dog.  However, he does like to run and I figured my little Swiffer on legs could handle it.  He was beyond excited and kept up well.  He didn't even mind the weather!  So, I was able to say I got it done.

Today was a scheduled run day so that was no biggie.  Got 5 awesome miles in.  Loved it.  It was cold and clear out, but beautiful.  I really don't mind cold weather running, even with all the extra gear/layers it requires.  Then I got home and went to the gym for some strength training.  Wowzers it was busy!!  Not going there tomorrow for sure!

So, here's to accountability. I have decided that I will run at least 2 miles a day, unless it is a run day anyhow, and I will do whatever is on the docket.  Tomorrow my pre-turkey dinner work out is 7 miles on one of my favorite loops.

I have been thinking lately at how at the end of the summer I was hating running.  And it was hating me.  However, I think that we are over that.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my runs lately, and they are loving me back. Hell, I don't even mind the treadmill that much anymore!  I even did a Sufferfest running video on the treadmill that almost killed me (I literally had to stop it twice because I was going to spew.) I am not hitting fabulous times or anything, but I am enjoying them and not feeling like death as was the case at the end of the summer.  I am really pleased to have gotten over my pavement pounding pet peeve and and am excited for IM training to start with a good consistent base.
So in the meantime, happy training and racing all!  Get out and run!!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Random Training Epiphones 6 months out....

Random Training Thoughts and Epiphones I have had lately.  Some related, others just random:

1)  I need to stretch and foam roll more.  I have had terrible tightness and soreness lately.  One instance was so bad that I skipped a day of training.  I seriously thought I had pulled a quad muscle, but in all reality, it was just really tight.  I have a love/hate relationship with foam rollers.  They are a necessary evil of endurance training.

2)  It got cold here quick!!  I swear we went from 75 to 35 with no in between or  warning.  I went on a cold long run a week ago and the amount of gear/clothing/layering required was NUTS!  Base layer, coat, hydration belt, Gu's, Head phones, iphone, gloves, beanie cap, reflective vest, etc.  Seriously a pain in the butt!  Once I was out there I loved it though!!

3) I am exactly 6 months from IMTX.  Six months from this exact second, I would be thrilled to be in the last loop of the run course.  I have a couple of friends doing IMAZ today and as I have followed their progress I get giddy with excitement.  Though I did want to puke a little from fear watching the mass start :)

4)  I am going to change up my nutrition for IMTX.  I have decided to train with what they offer on the course, so that I can just live off of the course  as much as possible.  The logistics of trying to carry and plan for all of that nutrition got to be too much (and yes, I have already been thinking about this and the details of it) and I decided to KISS and try to go with what they provide.  I have a feeling it will be fine.  My stomach isn't overly sensitive, so I am not foreseeing any problems.  I have already ordered my first canister of IM Perform since I couldn't find any place around here that carried. it.  I'll keep you posted!

5)  Sufferfest just got more awesome.  I just discovered that they have an app.  You can pay a $10/month subscription and have unlimited access to all of their videos. Are you kidding me?!?  I am so excited about this!  I don't have to buy and mess with downloading and formatting them for my iPad, or worry about the space that they take up on it.  I can just have them streaming through it instead!  I already have grand plans of taking my Ipad with me and doing the run videos on the treadmills at the gym.  I also really want to try the triathlon one with a run/bike brick.  Sweet!

6)  I love my gym membership.  I used to swear I didn't need one.  I have always thought a few videos in my basement, plus my bike trainer and the good old asphalt outside my door would be all I would ever need, and it is all I need.  However, the gym is so nice.  I love all the machines.  I love the convenience to work.  I love the option of an indoor treadmill run if I don't feel like braving the elements.  Yeah, maybe I am getting soft, but it is a nice option to have.

7)  Strength training rocks.  It seriously makes me feel like such a bad a$$.  I am seeing the most progress in my arms, shoulders, abs, and legs.  I still have to find that fine line between doing enough to challenge me and keep progressing and not overdoing it so much that it impacts my tri training.  However, I am determined to find it because I like it so much!

8)  My legs have been hammered lately.  I have always been a fan of my compression socks, but wished they went to my waist.  Hence, I ordered my first  pair of real compression tights.  I will keep you posted on that.  I mainly want them for recovery.

In the meantime, Happy racing and training all!  Enjoying my last few weeks of my off season before my official training plan starts December 15!!!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Countdown continues

I know I haven't crossed the finish line yet, hell, I haven't even bought my airline ticket or started my training plan yet, but this race is unlike anything I have even encountered.  For the record, I am 6 weeks from the start of my official training plan and 194 days from race day.

The reason I am saying this is unlike anything I have ever done, is, because other than the obvious, how I am reacting to it.  I think about it ALL the time.  It is a great motivator to be registered for a race that scares the crap out of you!  It has really become pretty consuming in that I think about it, worry about it, etc, plan for it, All.  The.  Time.

What am I most excited about?  Being able to say I am a freakin Ironman!  Being able to push myself and learn and grow through out the experience and see what I find along the way.  I am excited for the training, even though it will be brutal.  I am excited to go to Texas!  As I have said before, this is a home town kind of race for me.  Can't think of a better place to do it!

What am I the most scared of?  Well, other than the fact it is 140.6 miles, probably the swim.  That may sound weird as swimming is my strength, but it does scare me to start a massive swim like that with 2500 of my new close friends.  I am really hoping they decide to implement the Safe Swim Start to this.  I know, I know, there are people that say if you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen, but everyone has different preferences in racing and training, and this would ease some of my fears and make for a better day.  It is like saying if you have to walk on the marathon you shouldn't do an Ironman.  BS.

I am also scared of being enough.  Will my training be enough?  I am scared of outside factors affecting the race, like the swim being cancelled, or the race as a whole cancelled.  I know this is HIGHLY unlikely with this race, but I pray it isn't the case.  IMFL had the swim cancelled yesterday, IMLT was cancelled all together.  Things like that terrify me.  I am okay with hot and humid, but PLEASE don't let anything freakish cancel the race!

I hear that this kind of worrying and obsessing over the race is completely normal.  And, I must admit, it does keep me motivated and I am missing very little workouts.  I feel strong right now. I am injury free (knock on wood).  I feel like I am ready to tackle the training and then the race at the end of it all if it all continues to go well.  This is already one heck of a journey!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Almost Perfection!

This past week I had an amazing training week.  Quite possibly my best ever.  The main reason behind that is that I only missed one work out, which for me, sadly enough, is huge.  I only missed my swim on Wednesday.  But I don't even care, because I got all 5 strength trainings in, 4 runs, and 2 hard bikes.  And the kicker?  I felt great through all of it!  My body held up well, I felt great physically and mentally I felt like quite the rock star.

If I can keep up this great momentum, I will be ready for IMTX!  I love it when I get into a good groove, and I am determined to keep it going.  I know that the inevitable will happen, that thing called life, but I am thrilled with such a good week. Not only did I do all the work outs, but they went well.  I nailed the intervals on the runs.  I was able to increase the weight on some of the strength exercises that I do.  I was able to nail the intervals and have a solid Zone 2 bike ride and I didn't feel like crawling into a fetal position and dying when I finished a Sufferfest video earlier in the week.  Yes, I call all of those a success!

So, here's to more great training.  I enjoyed my regular Sunday rest day yesterday and I hit the gym again this morning, both for strength and a treadmill run.  Who would have ever thought that I would enjoy treadmill runs?  Ok, maybe enjoy isn't quite the word I am looking for, but I tolerate them.  I have found that by breaking them up with intervals and good music I can handle up to 45 minutes without wanting to hurt anyone.  And, it is nice to get the entire workout done in one shot, strength immediately followed by the cardio.

That's it for this Monday, Happy racing and training all!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What my off-season really looks like

I had grand plans of running every day, and swimming once a week, and strength training 5 days a week after work.  Well, boy was I stupid to think I could pull all of that off! I mean, it all sounds great, but then I forgot to take several things into consideration.

1) My schedule.  I teach full time and have to be to work by 7 am.  This means that to do morning training I have to do it at 4 am if it means that I can still be done in time to get myself and two kids out the door and be here on time.  And after school is crazy with the kids and their extracurricular activities and still doing all the Mom stuff.  Ken's new assignment has him working a ton more, so he is easily putting in 70 hours a week, so that doesn't give him much of a chance to pitch in either.

2)  My body.  I can keep up that kind of training, but not with the strength.  I have never implemented strength training while tri training, so I have had a hard time finding the sweet spot in doing it with out it effecting my ability to run and bike the way I want.  Any soreness or fatigue from strength training carries over to biking and cycling, so I need to find the way to do it better.  I am not giving up, because I really enjoy the strength training, but I need to work out these kinks.

3)  I hate pool swimming.  And they only have late night hours.  And yes, 9-10 pm is "late night" to someone who is up most days by 4 am.  So, I haven't swam since Age Group Nationals in August.  Luckily for me, swimming is my strong suit, and I can completely neglect it and still do well.  I do plan on swimming tonight though, and have enlisted a friend to meet me there for accountability :)

So what does a typical week training wise look like for me?  I am running about 4 days a week (still way  more than I did all summer) and hit the elliptical a couple times a week, to avoid too much impact.  My IT Band and shin splints can get cranky, so this seems to be working okay.  I also have put my Belle on the trainer, so it is Sufferfest videos or Nashville episodes on the DVR for my bike training.  I am completely ignoring the speed and mileage for these workouts because it simply isn't accurate on the trainer.  I go for time and heart rate.  I forgot how much I love/hate Sufferfest!  It's brutal but no doubt an incredible workout.  I have been doing these workouts 2-3 times a week.

I strength train in that hour between me being done at work and having to pick up my kids.  It usually involves me doing 20-30 minutes of strength and time on the elliptical before I have to get the kids.  I have been following loosely Jamie Easton's beginning Livefit plan off  I thoroughly enjoy this gym time and am starting to see more definition in my arms, shoulders, and abs. 

Pretty much all of this training is happening right after school or later in the evening.  4:00 am sucks.  However, Joshua now has swim practice 3x a week after school and Janae is starting dance, so I will have to suck it up, but for now, it is working and still getting done more days one way or another. 

I am also trying really hard to go easy on myself if I miss a workout or have to cut it short for the time being.  I know that when my official IMTX training plan starts on December 15, I will have to be more disciplined, and I want to for now find a good balance between taking somewhat of a break while still maintaining some fitness and remaining active.  I don't see this being problem as the base expected for the start of the training plan is being able swim 800 yards, bike for 1 hour and run 7 miles without difficulty.  No problem there!  I really want to avoid burning out too, which I have had happen.

So, in the meantime, Happy training and racing all!