Bikes, bikes and more bikes.

So this whole tri bike shopping thing has been fun. I’ve tried the Kuota K-Factor SL, the QR Dolce, and the Felt B12. Jack, Thomas and Drew at Jack and Adam’s have been wonderfully patient with me through the whole process. I went in today asking about Guru bikes, thanks to a conversation with Judy about the personalization that occurs with a Guru. Drew gave me lots of good information and basically let me know that I’m looking at great bikes and should only consider Guru if I want to have fun with building a bike and exploring paint jobs and whatnot. Despite Drew’s affirmation of my existing three choices, I walked out of the store half convinced that I needed to spend way too much money on a Guru, so I called my sister Marline for a reality check. By the time I got off the phone with her, I decided to give myself one of the three this time and gift myself a Guru or its equivalent in 5 years after I’ve done 5 Ironman races. Fair enough?

All of that to say that I’m going back in tomorrow to get fitted for the Kuota one more time. I’ll give it a couple of test rides over the next few days. Hopefully by Sunday I will have made a decision and will be the proud owner of a new…something. Fun fun!

What a great morning!

I woke up at 4:50 a.m. to Bread cuddled next to me. In the dark, as I was petting him, I thought he felt rather large. When I turned the light on, I realized that the massiveness I thought was Bread was really Bread with Butter nuzzled next to him. Those cats are way too cute.

Somehow I managed to get out of bed despite the cuddling kitties, and I made my 5:30 spin class. It felt wonderful. Today was the first time in a long time that I showed up for a workout in the morning where I wasn’t meeting anyone. I don’t know why it’s suddenly so hard for me to show up for a workout just for myself, but I’ve found myself talking myself into just a little more sleep most days. But today, I got up and loved it.

After the spin class, I hit the treadmill for 15 minutes for good measure. I was home by 7:15 and ready for work before 8. I love days when I’ve been incredibly productive even before the clock strikes 8.

A new start is on the horizon.

Last week, I had a follow up procedure to my surgery of a couple months ago and basically did nothing much of the week. I rode my bike very briefly Sunday morning to test out the Felt B12, but that was it. Probably the most significant step I took towards training was asking Andrea to set me up for one-on-one training towards Canada. It’ll be expensive, but since I don’t have friends doing this race, I think it’ll help me quite a lot to work more closely with a coach. I’d like to start December 1 to give me a full 9 months of focused effort.

The agenda for this week?

Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: Spin (am)
Thursday: Run (am)
Friday: Run (am), Yoga (pm)
Saturday: Swim (am), Spin (am)
Sunday: Run (am) , Ride (pm)

I’ll be testing out a Kuota K-Factor on Sunday. Then I should be ready to pull the trigger on buying a tri bike. It’s between the K-Factor, the Felt B12, or the QR Dolce/Seduza. At this point, I’m torn. A little part of me would like to try the slightly more decked out Guru just to try a Guru, though I probably don’t want to spend Guru money on my new bike. I may have to talk to the bike shop about that.

Also, the Texas Book Festival is happening this weekend. My favorite writer, Marion Winik, will be in town, so I plan to spend part of Saturday out there taking in her every word. Saturday in particular, I’m working out hard in the morning and then hurrying down to the Capital grounds to sit on my duff and just be. Should be fun.

I’m taking today off after a busy weekend.

This weekend, I managed a spin class and tennis match on Saturday and a 10K race on Sunday. I’m especially proud of my race because I managed to keep better than a 12 minute mile average. I know that’s not terribly fast, but it’s pretty good for me. I know I’m capable of a 10 minute mile for 3 miles, but not for six. I’m working on it though. The race was also just fun because I was out there with Caroline and saw Judy, Ainsley, Kim, Sarah and a host of others also running. I missed Robin, though I know she was out there. It was a good start to the Distance Challenge season.

The next race is a 10 miler, which wouldn’t be too bad except that it’s the day after the Wurst Ride, which I’ve also committed to doing. I don’t know what I was thinking, but that’ll be a test of my endurance for sure. I’d love to keep a 12 minute pace that race too. We’ll see.

I learned something about myself this weekend. I was playing tennis and realized that I much prefer running and triathlon over the stress of tennis. With tennis, you have to gear up for point after point and there’s a constant win/loss element to it. With running, you just go. Or I should say, I just go. For some people, running is competitive and they need to win or place, but at my level, running and triathlon are competitive only with myself. In running or triathlon, the hardest part is showing up. Participating is a lot of fun, even if things don’t feel quite right. I’m definitely better suited mentally for these endurance events than I am for the peaks and valleys of a tennis match.

This week has been not so great.

My workouts have been nonexistent except for a 6 mile run with Caroline yesterday. For some reason, on Saturday mornings, I have no problem getting out of bed at 5:15 to make a 5:45 swim, but during the week, 5:00 a.m. comes way too early. Why is that? I need to find my determination again. I’d settle for rediscovering my fear of failure. That certainly got me moving for months on end!

I’m super mad at myself because I have put on every bit of the weight I lost training for Coeur d’Alene. I weighed in at 123 at the race, which still wasn’t tiny, but it was pretty small for me. Funny how it took a year to lose but it came back in a matter months. Hmph. I refuse to turn 35 at this size. With the Halloween candy already in my office, the season of Thanksgiving pies ahead, and the season of Christmas sweets and meals to follow, something must be done. My birthday is 2 months and 5 days away. I have a plan.

The weekend was pretty stinkin’ great.

I did the workouts I had planned, except for yoga this afternoon. Napping with Bread and Butter took priority over that one. But my swim, spin class, and run all happened.

The big set on the swim was a timed 30 minute effort. I did 1775, which was pretty good, but I fell back from the woman in the lane next to me at about 1200 meters. She ended up a full length of the pool ahead of me, so my goal this week is going to be to stay with her during workouts.

The spin class was tough. We need a lot of steady climbing, and I pushed myself pretty hard, probably a little harder than I usually do. I was drenched when it was all done.

My run this morning was at a comfortable pace. I think we were moving a little slower than we usually do, so I’m thinking I might have still been a little tired from yesterday.

Today, once I got home from church, I didn’t leave the house again. I did a bunch of housework, reading, and stuff for Toastmasters. And I spent a lot of time thinking about goals for the next six months. Obviously relevant here are speed goals. I’m not sure what my goals should be, but I know that I need them. I’m not sure what the plan is, but I know I need to get one. More later. But that’s the direction I’m heading.

Run, run, weekend, fat.

I ran with Texas Iron tonight. I’m guessing that in total we did somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 miles. We ran the trails for warmup, did some drills, and then did some loops where we alternated going hard and going easy. It was a pretty good workout, though I felt totally winded much of the time. Even though I’ve been in the pool and am not in terrible shape, I’m certainly not in running shape. I need to get the running in gear, though because the Distance Challenge series is starting in just over a week!

I’m running with Jenny in the morning. I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to push through at a decent pace. She’s a good running partner for me because she is so much faster. And I really do look forward to the time with her.

This weekend, I have a lot planned. On Saturday, I’m going to swim with my masters program and then hit a spin class at my gym. Then on Sunday, I’m going to run with Poppe and possibly hit a yoga class in the afternoon, depending on how my work looks. I want an activity filled weekend. My body craves it. Plus the NYC Half t-shirt I got in July is now a little tight! I need to get back to pre-Coeur d’Alene weight.

Today I had one of my best swims in a long time.

This morning, I went to Nitro. I didn’t go to the usual 5:30 session. I went a little later in the morning, and somehow was the only person there for the masters swim. Essentially, I got a private lesson. Coach Mike pushed me through two sets of 8 100s. I did the first set on 2:00 and was holding pretty consistently around 1:39 each. He had me doing the second set on 1:55, where I continued to hold around 1:39, until the last few. He pushed me down to 1:34, 1:30 and 1:27 for the last three. Granted those are not super fast times, but they are pretty fast for me, especially considering how little time I’m spending in the pool these days. Back when I was swimming 6 days a week, I got to where I could do 10 100s on 1:30, just barely. It was tough, and it was so long ago that I didn’t really think I could get back to that conditioning again. Now I’m thinking maybe I can.

By the way, volunteering for Longhorn was a lot of fun. I ended up really liking my costume. See below.

Think we laughed a bit? Sure did.

I think I’m back.

So last I blogged, I had not yet gone running. But the next morning, Jenny and I did a nice easy run. Then over the weekend, I got up early Saturday and went for a swim and followed my swim with a spin class. Then on Sunday I played tennis. I had twinges of hurt, especially with tennis, but nothing horrible. Then this week, I swam on Tuesday and Wednesday and did the Texas Iron run on Thursday night. That run felt better than my run with Jenny. I was winded, but my body was happy to be moving. I feel like I’m back.

I’m sad to miss the Ironman 70.3 this weekend, but I’ll be working the water stop. It should be fun to gather with my Texas Iron friends and perhaps make some new ones. They were very supportive last night during the run. It reminded me how important it can be to train with and around others. People add quite a lot to the adventure.