Friday, September 24, 2010

TRX - Beginner Style

If you haven't heard of TRX, it's basically a set of fancy cam straps where you use your own body weight for resistance.  Go here for more info.  It sounds simple, but it most definitely is not.  I remember prior to my first TRX workout (despite hearing how dang hard it is!), I showered and did my hair and makeup.  Because, really it's just a set of straps, it can't possibly be that difficult.  I seriously didn't think I would work up a sweat.  40 minutes later I was using every ounce of will power to keep from puking all over Jenn's driveway.

I was sold on the system and after a handful additional workouts, I'm starting to get the hang of it.  Sort of.  I still feel super awkward during some of the moves, but I'm able to figure it out faster.  I can do more reps on some of the exercises, or I'm able to modify them to be more challenging.  That's the awesome thing about TRX.  You can make it as easy (hah!) or as difficult as you want.  No doubt about it though, I am still very much in "beginner territory".  I finally got my own set today.  Since I don't have the anchor set up in the house yet, I attached it to one of our trees.  Unfortunately, the only suitable one is in the front yard.  So I was the entertainment for the neighborhood this evening.

Here is me doing a plank:
And here is me attempting a pike, although I'm pretty sure it's supposed to look like something entirely different:
I owe a special shout-out for Jenn, who has been working with me a couple of times a week.  She's been awesome, and I can't think of a better person to routinely embarrass myself in front of.  Thanks, girlfriend!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hanging On

Yikes, a week has passed already?  Despite all my motivation and vigor last Monday, not much transpired over the week as far as training goes.  Except for managing to squeak out 2 big girl pushups during a TRX workout with Jenn.  Here are my dismal totals:

Swim = 0 meters
Bike = 0 miles
Run = 5.25 miles
Strength = 1.25 hours
Total = 2.37 hours

Those of you who know me outside of the interwebs probably notice the glaringly obvious absence of my long run here.  And most of the short runs too.  And, well, anything else really.  Life.  Whatcha gonna do.

I'll cash in my chips next year for Ironman when training trumps all.  Until then, my focus is elsewhere.  Yes, it will show up on race day, on my results, and sadly, on my hips/thighs/stomach.  But I just can't figure out a way to fit it all in right now.  Maybe in a few weeks things will get easier and I'll have a different story to tell.  Until then, I'll be doing what I can.  And maybe you can say a prayer or two for me on October 10.  Because I think it will be the most undertrained event for me since I started doing this sort of thing.  Good times.

And not surprisingly...
Weight - no change
Body fat - no change
Measurements - no change
I'll just be thankful that nothing increased this week.  Small miracles.

Monday, September 13, 2010

And so it begins again...

November 28, 2010 marks the start of training for Ironman number 2.  Which begins with a rest day.  WOOT!  Yes, I'll be following Don Fink's "Be Iron Fit" 30 week program again.  Likely, a hybrid of the "intermediate" and "competitive" programs.  It worked great for me last year (when I bothered to follow the plan), because it is geared to the time crunched athlete and the workouts/days fit well with my current schedule (when I bother to follow the plan).  A lot of people say to not use the same plan twice, but I'm going to ignore those people.  And actually resolve to follow the plan this time!

In less than 3 months my life will once again be turned upside down and all around.  I had "the talk" with Ken this weekend.  You know, the one where I apologize profusely in advance.  And make sure he's on board, strapped in, and ready to roll.  So, I have less than 11 weeks to build a proper base so that my body is ready to take on the stress of Ironman training.  I suppose that means dusting off my swim cap and goggles and dragging my ass to the pool.  It also means that I need to get through the Portland Marathon (in less than 4 weeks) and the Autumn Leaves Ultramarathon (less than 7 weeks) injury free.  I've been battling a few injuries lately, so that will be a bigger challenge than I'm really comfortable with.  But...I'm ready for the structure again.  I actually like obsessing about Ironman.  I dig thinking and breathing all things Ironman.  People around me may hate me during this time (yes, I am very much aware of the eye-rolls and such going on behind my back, and it's all good), but I really enjoy going off the deep end for 30 weeks.  I know that all of you other type A peeps totally get where I'm coming from here.

Now that I'm back on the wagon, it's time to resume my weekly training summary.  This week was pretty weak.  It can only get better from here...

Swim = 0 meters
Bike = 0 miles
Run = 21.86 miles
Strength = 1.92 hours
Other = 1 hour (hiking and such)
Total = 7.82 hours

You do the math.  I'm a slow runner.  However, about 5 of those 21+ miles was walking.  But on the positive side of things, my injury has made itself mostly silent and I was able to knock out a 15 miler on Sunday with hardly a whimper out of my calf muscle.  Win!

And for the body composition bit...

Weight = baseline (no, I'm not putting it out there just yet)
Body fat = baseline (nope, not that either)
Measurements = baseline
*The weekly sports bra/tri shorts photos will resume when the 30 week program begins.  How's that for motivation over the next 11 weeks!

Ode to the Ice Bath

While sitting in you, I hate you.
But afterwards I sort of like you.
The next day, I love you so very very much.
The end.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Quick Recap: 2010 Hood-to-Coast

It was another successful Hood-to-Coast this year!  This was my 3rd time participating in the relay, the 2nd year with my company team, and my first time as team captain.  Thankfully, thinks went really smooth and better than expected.  There were no injuries, no one got lost, no one cried (that I know of), and there were tons of tired smiles at the beach in Seaside.  I, personally, went into the event on the under trained side of things.  But that seems to be the theme for me this year.  I would hate to break my streak, you know.

My legs:
Leg 6 - ranked hard, 7.42 miles
Leg 18 - ranked hard, 4.15 miles
Leg 30 - ranked moderate, 5.35 miles
Total mileage = 16.92 miles
Trying to stuff everything into the van at 05:30.  And we had a HUGE van!
Van 1 runners at Timberline, getting ready to start the relay.

Kicking off the relay with an 08:45 start time.

First leg
7.42 miles, 01:19:00, 10:39/mile
(*times are from my watch b/c I'm too lazy to look up the official times from our team score sheet)

This leg was ranked as difficult, although I think it was one of the easier ones I've ran so far.  The mileage is high, but the terrain is moderate.  There are 2 or 3 slight hills, but there is an overall elevation decrease.  The bummer about this leg is that it is entirely along Highway 26 in the bike lane, with tons of loud traffic and semi-trucks buzzing by.  However, it was fun to run through the town of Sandy and wave to the confused onlookers, wondering what the heck was going on with all of these crazy runners and decorated vans.
Somewhere on my first leg.  I think I'm coming into Sandy here. 

Second leg
4.15 miles, 00:47, 11:20/mile

This was my "night-time run".  It was just before 1:00 am and I was jazzed up on one of those enormous canned Starbucks drinks.  Which was great while I was running, but not so great when I was done and it was time for our van to sleep at an exchange station.  I stargazed for about 4 hours, slept for about 20 minutes, and then it was time to hit the road again.  Awesomeness.  But back to the run...

Even though I was over-caffeinated, I ran much slower than anticipated.  I chalk that up to a couple of things.  One, this leg was entirely uphill.  It wasn't steep, but it was all uphill.  All of it.  Second, I dropped my flashlight (turned off at the time) into the bushes and had to get on my hands and knees and scrounge through the brush for it.  That was fun.  All-in-all, not my favorite leg so far.
Our luxurious accommodations between legs 2 and 3

Third leg
5.35 miles, 00:55, 10:17/mile

As you get closer to Seaside, traffic becomes an utter nightmare.  Which means that sometimes, the runner beats the van to the next exchange station.  Which means that the next runner gets to hop out of the van early, and run ahead.  Lucky me, I got to tack on an extra half mile or mile ahead of my last run.  It turned out to be a great warm-up though!

I was on a mission here.  A mission to finish and drink beer.  Sometimes, beer is the ultimate motivator.  This was one of those times.  I hauled as fast as I could, which admittedly is not very fast, and finished up my third leg with my best pace of the weekend.  It's sweet to end on a high note.
A sampling of the views from our third legs.  I LOVE costumes.  I wish we had costumes! 

Team RFB crossing the finish line in Seaside!

We had an agreement that what happens in the van, stays in the van.  So I'll skip over all of the fun details, and just say that we had another awesome year.  And just like before, my cheeks were far more sore than my legs.  Which means that everything went just as it should have!