So be sure when you step. You step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Whole Foods - Training starts again!

There are few things in life that excite me as much as the salad bar at Whole Foods. Those who know me in real life understand that I am not exaggerating. A few years ago I went to New York. It was an awesome experience - I saw the sights, I ate the pizza, I walked through town square - but the highlight of my trip was the Whole Foods in Columbus Circle. There was not only one salad bar, but a half a dozen salad bars. There was even an entire salad bar dedicated to desserts.

I actually couldn't care less if I never went back to NYC except that would mean I would never return to Whole Foods. That would make me sad.

We live by two Whole Foods, and while they do not hold a candle to those in NYC, they are good enough to satisfy me. There are two salad bars (one hot, one cold) with an array of vegetables, pre-made salads and proteins.

My typical salad is a large layer of spinach and kale, topped with either tuna or chicken, and then layered with every available offering. It is not uncommon for my salad to weigh multiple pounds. And since Whole Foods charges by the pound, I can only afford to go when escorted by my mother. Which is not a bad thing because my mother is my bestfriend. I could not think of anyone else I would rather do lunch with.

The babies have been to Whole Foods many times. In fact, it was their first outing when they were two weeks old. I was so excited to take them to my mecca! However, at 2 weeks old, they rarely opened their eyes so to my dismay, they slept through the entire experience.

Thankfully, as toddlers who keep their eyes open, they do love Whole Foods just as much as me!

Brenna was very confused by that noodle she is holding in her hand. She held it like that for an uncomfortably long time.

I am beginning to fill up my race calendar. I am pretty sure about running a 5k with the babies on March 27 (3 weeks) and doing my first post-partum triathlon in May. The question now is should I start with the sprint distance, or jump right in with the Olympic distance?

I think I will decide once I get my new bike.

YES - I am going to get the bike. However, its a large purchase so I am going to give this a lot of thought. Whatever bike I end up with will be my bike for many, many years. It has to be perfect. Dang, that is a lot of pressure.

Saturday's training - 12.1 mile run w/ friends at 8:30 pace. It wasnt hard, but it also was not as easy as I like it. I have some work to do before I consider myself back in 100% shape.

Sunday's training - 2 hours on the bike. It was cold and windy so I compromised with myself and did only 70 minutes (20 miles) outside. I finished on the trainer - there is no headwind indoors!
I am about to start exploring my options in regards to group rides. I know enough people where I have quite a few options but its about fitting it into my schedule. David's CFA studying comes before my bike riding and someone has to watch the kids.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Wants vs Needs

It's not always easy to distinguish what we want, versus what we need.

In some cases, it's black and white...for example, you need to food. But you probably dont need the sea bass for $10/pound.

However, I think sometimes it subjective because even though we dont necessarily need things for survival, we may need them for life satisfaction and happiness. I wont die if I dont own a good kitchen knife, but I will drive myself crazy trying to dice onions every night if I dont have one.

Using that same thought pattern, I have come to a conclusion.

I need a new bike.

I had to take my jogging stroller tire to the bike shop (again) and while I was there I learned:
1) my bike is too big for me
2) my bike is heavy and clunky compared to all these other awesome bikes
3) I have been biking this entire time on a man seat. How am I supposed to get comfortable riding long rides on a seat meant for BALLS????

I then road my bike (22 miles @ 18.7 mph) and it was chattering a lot. And my gears were sticking. It was as if my bike was begging me to get rid of it.

I realize I presented the idea of a new bike to some of you (*cough*mom/dad*cough*) and I suggested that I needed a $5,000 bike. I stand corrected - I WANT a $5,000 bike. The bike I need costs only $1,500.

It is beautiful.
1) it fits me
2) it is made of carbon-fiber like all the other awesome bikes
3) it has a high-performance FEMALE seat

OK, so perhaps this blog entry is propaganda geared to certain people but just consider it an investment. I will accept partial contributions as a belated birthday present *COUGH*

When I told Brenna about the new bike, her facial expression said it all:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Final Results and Thoughts

Final results for the race were posted and I am pleased with the results. I failed to realize that there was a relay race going on at the same time. So while I thought I was getting my ass kicked on the bike, a lot of those women were part of a relay team (and thus did not do the run).

I came snuggly in the top third, and placed 3rd in my age group. I still didnt have a great race, and certainly not a brag-worthy race, but I do like to win bling. Also, its a boost to my self- esteem; I realize that it may seem as if I am hard on myself.

It's just that I am a runner.

I have always been a runner. It's not what I do, it is who I am. If you take away my running shoes, you may as well cut off my foot.

But I am not a cyclist.
And I am even less a swimmer.

So when I compete in these events, I very easily ask myself, Why am I doing this? Why am I swaying away from my element? Why am I navigating away from what I am good at?

The answer at the end of the day is because the triathlon is fun and triathletes are awesome.

Although I have done quite a few triathlons, I refer to myself as a "runner who dabbles in triathlons" because I have yet to feel like a true triathlete. It's almost like I sit at the edge of the cool table, not feeling like I quite fit in.

But I am determined.

And I think Hayden is determine to follow in my footsteps; he first just needs to figure out the clothing aspect.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Race Report

I was waiting for the results to get posted before I posted my report but I dont know how long that will take. I rather update while the experience is fresh in my head.

My goal was a 2-hour finish and I failed...I finished in 2 hours, 9 minutes. I felt very defeated at the end of the race and spent the following hours coming to terms with how I did. On one hand, I want to own my performance and not make exuses but on the other hand, I dont want to beat myself up.

The race started off as I planned. The first 3.5 mile trail run was a bit hillier/technical than I had gathered based on the course description. I was hoping for around a 7-min/mile pace and ended up with a 7:19. But I was happy with where I stood in the pack.

I get to the first transition and this is wear things started to go wrong. First, I failed to pre-adjust my helmet. I fuddled around with it for what seemed to be forever. Next, I put on my sunglasses and the moisture in the air made them fog up beyond visibility. I cleaned them, put them on. Didnt work. So I repeated. And repeated. In hindsight, I should have just said screw it.

By now, I am noticing a lot of women coming into the transition and leaving the transition. Who cares if you finish the run minutes before most people if you are just going to spend those minutes messing around in the transition.

I take off my gloves to untie my running shoes and decide not to put them back on. At that point, I just felt like I needed to get in my bike and GO.

So, that is what I did.

Oy, my legs felt immediately tired. Although I did do bricks as part of my training (bike, run) I failed to do a single reverse brick (run, bike). In fact, it never even occurred to me! However, by mile 5 on my bike I was in my groove and doing quite well.

The bike course was challenging. There was not a single flat moment. On one of the larger climbs that stretched multiple miles, I decided I needed to go into my lower gear. Remember how I did not put on my gloves? BIG MISTAKE. My hands were frozen to the point of numbness. I was unable to bend my fingers. This made switching gears nearly impossible. It felt like forever before I finally was able to get my bike into the propper gear. I felt good during the hill climb and then it is time for the downhill. I needed to get my bike back into middle gear, if not the big gear but my frozen fingers couldnt get the gear to switch. I decided to just ride my bike in the small gear, which made me slow. So many women passed me on the downhill (which, like the uphill, extended multiple miles).

As each woman passed me, I mentally unraveled. This was my probably my biggest mistake because once you talk yourself down, its really hard to talk yourself back up. I think I told myself I sucked, that I would never be a real cyclist, and that this race was over for me.

21 miles is a long bike ride though (for me, at least) and by the end of it, I was feeling OK. I knew I was not in the front of the pack, but I also knew I was not in the back of the pack. I knew at this point I was going to be a middle of the pack finisher so my goal at this point was just to do that - finish.

My second transition was just as slow as my first. My fingers were so frozen, and so stiff, that I struggled to tie my running shoes. I tried to open a bag of sport jelly beans - that was a big fail / waste of time. It was at this point that I realized I was very, very thirtsy. My had yet to take a single sip of water.

Not properly hydrating is a rookie mistake and once you realize you are thirsty, its too late.

I drank a small dixie cup of water provided at the aide station and it did nothing to quench my thirst. So, I just went onto the second run. The second run was very hilly and very technical, even moreso than I was expecting. I just ran to finish and made sure that no women passed me. Towards the end, I had a second wind and was able to pass two women.

I was very happy when I passed the finish line, even though I didnt do as well as I wanted to do. I was especially happy I was done when it started to rain. At least I beat the rain!!

So - in hindsight:
- I wish I took the 20 seconds it would have taken to put my gloves on. It was such a small thing and it would have made a huge difference.
- I wish I didnt bother with my sunglasses. That alone would have saved me a minute.
- I wish I trained better. I did very few workouts that went over 2 hours. I did plenty of days that totaled 2 hours but an hour on the AM and an hour in the PM does not equal 2 non-stop hours. This was a scheduling conflict, but I could have made it happen a few times. I did not feel pysically prepared for the length of this race.
- I wish I did reverse bricks during training
- I wish I drank water after the first run and during the bike ride

It was a beautiful race and although it was cold, I cannot complain about the weather. It was a hard race - filled with experienced competitors - I dont think I gave the race the respect it deserved. Next year I will train longer, train appropriately and do it again!

My husband did get some good photos for me.........

Start of the race:

Coming into the first transition:
(I always make a very serious point to look and wave to all cameras)

After the bike ride:
(Note my glove-less hand!!!)

And the token finish photo of me messing around with my Garmin. I dont think I have a single photo of me finishing the race and not doing something with my Garmin:

I think they are flattering photos, my legs look strong.

Although my legs are nothing compared to these lovely stems:


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tapering and Tantrums (and Sweet Tomatoes)


Monday - easy trail run (no watch/no garmin)
Tuesday - 25 min mainetance lifting, 25 minute lap swim
Wednesday - 17 mile bike ride (Pecos loop) @ 19.4 mph!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! bricked with 2.5 miles
Thursday - spin class

Tapering is fun, the only thing missing is quality sleep. On Monday night Hayden woke up (inconsolably) and on Tuesday night Brenna woke up (inconsolably).

Last night was good sleep though - 10:30-6! No wonder I feel so good today.

Tomorrow will be a rest day- I have a massage planned. Saturday was going to be a rest day but my best running friend has a "hurt heart" so I am going to do a few miles with him.

And then.........race day! I am so excited.

I love racing. Love love love love LOVE.
It strange, I am not a competitive person in any other aspect of my life. You're prettier than me? Great, I like looking at you. You're wealthier than me? Great, you can take me out to lunch. You're smarter than me? Great, you can teach me something.
But when it comes to sports its a whole different story.
I'm not elite so I dont race to win, but I certainly look to those on my left, and those on my right, and race to beat them.
But that is the whole purpose of racing, right?

Twins: Brenna has been throwing a few good tantrums lately! She is dramatic (supposedly like me). Yesterday I took her to the mall. She was well-behaved until I started to let them ride the coin operated rides. Once she started riding, she did not want to stop. Of course when I put her back in the stroller, she arched her back and screamed at the top of her lungs. "Please stop," I told her. I hate being "that" mom in public places. But she didnt stop, so we left.

Today she threw another tantrum while walking into the gym. You have to walk past the cafe to enter and exit the gym. When she saw the cafe she attempted to fling herself out of the stroller. She forgot about the cafe once she entered the daycare. But, she threw ANOTHER tantrum when we passed the cafe on our way out. This tantrum lasted all the way home.

I am unphased when it comes to her screaming. But its embarrassing.

We were able to have an enjoyable dinner last night sans tantrums. We took the kids to Sweet Tomatoes. Those who know me understand that I have a deep love for this restaurant. I have gone there for birthdays, date nights, during vacations...
This was the first time taking the kids, though. I am not sure why I waited this long, I guess I thought a buffet-style restaurant would be difficult?

The kids were perfectly behaved ! They had so much to eat. Brenna surprised me by liking jicama and beets.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

End of Week Feb7-13 - End of Training!

Friday's Training: 24 mile bike ride (Pecos road) @ 18.6 miles per hour / briked with a 1.6 mile run (with huge hill). I felt pretty good on this ride. I would love to start seeing my pace break 19mph. My Ironman friend Andy says that my legs are not strong enough to do this. We'll see.

Saturday's Training: 11.3 mile run @ 8:24 pace (included a 1.75 mile uphill). I ran with Suzanne, Andy and Dan - it was so wonderful to see everyone! I also met a new girl named Shelly who told me about an all-womens half ironman in Norcal. Of course now I want to go! It appeals to me for two reasons: 1) I love all womens races and 2) I love Norcal. But I wonder if a half ironman sounds more glamorous than it really is. Do I want to bike 56 miles bricked with a half marathon?? Would I enjoy that? Anyway, it was a super fun run...very easy.

Sunday's Training: 23 mile bike ride with Ron @ 16mph,,,but that inlcuded traffic lights and everything. Bricked that with 1.25 and then rode another 10 miles @ 17mph. This time, I had a headwind...(yes, it was real) and then I bricked THAT with another half a mile. Whew!

So, that brings me to the end of my third and final week of training:

Running: 38 miles (speed/tempo/trail/stroller/long run)
Biking: 68 miles outside, 3 sessions on the trainer of various lengths, 2 spin classes
Weights: 1
Swim: nothing this week

I think you know you trained good when you feel ready for your taper. And folks, I do feel ready to taper. I may have only trained for three weeks but I packed it in. Don't get me wrong - I had a blast!! But I am ready to sleep in past 4am regularly and workout like a normal human being.

So how will I taper?

1 workout per day - less than 1 hour a day - and at least 2 rest days. What workouts I choose will be based on what I feel like doing.

Twins: We had a nice weekend although it felt like a very long weekend. Maybe because we didnt drink? But oh, so many times this weekend did I want a glass of wine! David is studying very hard for his level 2 CFA so drinking is not in the cards for us right now. The kids had quite a few fussy moments this weekend (hence why so many times I wanted that glass of wine). Still overall, they were very well behaved. And, they took FOUR hour naps both days.

On Saturday, David and I separated them for a few hours. When you are used to always having two babies, having one baby is almost as easy as no baby. Brenna and I went to Alberstons and I let her toddle around the entire store. Then we went to the park.

Normally she loves the park but she didnt seem quite like herself. I think she missed her brother.

Today, we had one of our more difficult grocery shopping outings. Hayden sat in the cart and I wore Brenna on my back. She kept kicking off her shoe and getting upset. So finally, I told her that I was just going to leave her shoe off. I put the shoe in my purse, which Hayden had (he likes to hold it while we shop). He kept opening up my purse, taking the shoe out, and throwing the shoe on the floor.
But we managed to get everything we needed AND we left with the shoe.

They redeemed themselves later in the day when we took a wagon walk to Walgreens to buy my mother flowers for Valentines day. Hayden is her valentine so he picked out a card as well.

I am not sure this picture does justice of the need to imagine Toddler Tunes blaring from the wagon trunk and the wagon crashing into things every timed we turned a corner (wagons make wide turns). Nonetheless, this was a fun trip! The weather today was absolutely spectacular.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Speedwork and Spa day!!!!!!

Training: My third and final speedwork day before my race. Although in some ways, it was really my first speedwork of the season since I ditched the fartlek style getting-back-into-it method and busted out some intervals.
oh, how I missed thee intervals...I love speedwork.

800 x 8 , with .15 recoveries - 3:24 / 3:19 / 3:17 / 3:14 / 3:19 / 3:20 / 3:19 / 3:18

Considering my planned workout was onl 800x4, and considering two weeks ago I struggled to run a sub-7 pace for more than a few minutes, this is a prime example of why I love running: you get out what you put in. If you do the speedwork and you do the tempo runs, you will run faster.

It's not so simple when it comes to biking and swimming - there is skill and technique involved. This frustrates me...I dont want to practice bike handling. I dont want to do swimming drills. I mean, I will - because I also dont want to suck - but I just love how anyone can run and how it makes sense. Tying a shoe is so much easier than changing a tire (which, btw, makes me cry).

Twins: This morning we all wore matching wife beaters. It was definitely worthy of a is getting harder and harder to get the twins to take a picture with me. They dont want to stand still, they dont want to look into the camera and they certainly dont want to smile while being forced to do all this:

This was the best picture I could get. You can tell they dont want to be posing with me:

The reason Brenna was wearing a wife beater instead of her usual feminine outfit was so that she could wear a new jacket...I got it at Kid2Kid for $1. It's awesome, I wish it fit me!

My dad came over to babysit during the afternoon so that my mother and I could go to the spa. We got a manicure (my first) and protein treatment for our hair. We also each got a hair cut, which is a pretty big deal since NEITHER of us have had a hair cut for THREE PLUS years. It's actually kind of embarrassing.

I love my mom.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Doctor Day!

Training: Easy morning session on the trainer, easy afternoon trail run (6.1 miles). It was such a beautiful day today! It was windy AGAIN but the news said that it should not be windy for the rest of the week. I just hope its not windy on race day...oy, biking hills the wind? Torture.

Twins: Today they had their 18-month doctor appointment. They were very well behaved (as always!) They liked sitting in the little chairs in the waiting room.
Hayden = 30 pounds, 34 inches tall....he was in the 90% for weight and 97% for height
Brenna = 25 pounds, 31.5 inches tall...she was in the 70% for weight and 50% for height

They have had a 5-pound difference for awhile and Hayden has been at the top, if not off, the charts for awhile, too. However, Brenna has always been a peanut in the 10-25% She is clearly not a peanut anymore!

They got weighed on the big kid scale instead of the infant scale.

I think they enjoyed the doctor. Hayden roamed the office in his diaper for a little bit...he is not modest at all. Which is why I doubt he will mind that I post some pictures from his bath tonight.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Monday and Tuesday

Monday's Training: Tempo intervals, felt good
Interval 1 - 18min running @7:10 pace
Interval 2 - 20min on trainer, 90rpm
Interval 3 - 16 min running @ 7:15 pace

Also did 12 miles worth of hills at Mummy Mountain. 1/2 of that was downhill - I tried really hard not to ride the break but its so scary! Some stuff, like riding downhill and taking fast corners, you just cant learn inside.

Tuesday's Training:
Maintenance Weight Training - 3x10 bench (65#), 3x10 one armed cable row (50#), 3x10 shoulder press (EZ curl bar), 3x10 lat pulldown (50#), 2x15 upright row on shrug machine (#5 each side), 2x12 hamstring curl (60#), 1x20 squat machine (50#), 1x20 peck machine (45#), 1x20 delt machine (35#)
Spin class - hill day! Obviously after Sunday's long ride w/ long hill and yesterday's hill repeats, this is not what I needed nor wanted. But I was a good sport and listened to the instructor.

and many, many hours later, 6.1 mile run with the babies. It was windy again! I really dont like the wind.
It's so frustrating when you just want to go out and do a relaxing jog with your kids and it turns into a full-fledge workout. It's also frustrating when you run a 9:30min/mile even though you are working your ass off. There were some moments it barely felt like we were moving. However, the kids had fun that was most important.

During the run the kids get a snack cup of cheerios. Only half of these cheerios make it in their mouth though. After the run, they like to eat all the cheerios that they left behind:

Yesterday my brother (Uncle Tyler) came over. This is special because he does not come over very often; this was his first time seeing them since Thanksgiving! In the past, the kids have beens shy, but this time they really took to him.

Especially Hayden, he made my brother read him the B Book at least 5 times. My brother was a great sport.

Tomorrow is their 18-month doctor appointment. I am excited to go over the fact that they are not talking. So far, they have said a few words in context ("up", "ball", "cat" etc) but they rarely repeat them. They do communicate with each other using their own special language. Today Brenna made a few interesting noises and they both cracked up laughing. I assume she said something about me.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Photo-Filled End of Week Summary Jan31-Feb6

I have gotten a little bit behind on my posting!

Friday - 23 mile bike ride (moderate hills, slight wind) @ 18mph, briked with 1 mile

Saturday - 10.25 mile run, partly on trails @ 8:58 pace. It was a bit slower than I prefer but trails often do that. Also, it was my longest run since October!
One thing I love about running is the clothing, I wish I could wear running skirts and pink socks every where:

Sunday - 37 mile bike ride (w/ gradual upgrade) at around 17.5 mph, with friends. We left at 7am and it was only 38 degrees. I had on two pairs of socks, and two pairs of gloves, but my fingers and toes froze anyway.

Summery of Week - second week of training:
Running - 30 miles (tempo, speed, trail/hill, jogging stroller and long run - talk about diversified!)
Biking - 60 miles outside + 2 sessions on trainer + 1 spin class
Weights - 1
Swim - 1

I felt great this week. Next week is my last week full week of training! Three weeks wasnt very long, hopefully I see some increased speed next week. Then I will taper.

Twins: We had a nice, calm weekend. They took long naps (4 hours on Saturday!) and there were no major meltdowns.

Today I started to teach them how to clean up their clothing after they decide to empty all their drawers. I think it may take them a long time to learn this lesson.

On Saturday night, Hayden ran out of pajamas. Even though he wears an overnight diaper, he overflows so he needs a clean pair of pajamas every night. So, he had to wear a pair of Brenna's...I think he looks good in purple!

He also spent some time without pajamas on. Or a diaper.
He rode the pony naked:

and then he rode the motorcyle naked:

and then he played the keyboard naked:

We also played outside (dont worry, he had clothing on!) The babies like rocks and sticks:

AND, we went to the grocery store for a few items:

AND, Grandpa came over for a little bit:

I told you it was a "picture-filled" post!

I am excited to start a new week.