Monday, November 22, 2010

Touch and Go... two days at home!

Well, after two weeks in Texas and a week in Venice, Fl, I am back home for 48 hours.  Then I go charging off to SC for a holiday with the family.  My training in Texas was, on a whole pretty dismal.  I trained some but not nearly enough.  I managed to pick the pace back up in Venice, actually completing the prescribed workouts, though they were mostly running. 

I swam this evening and found out what three weeks out of the water means.  It means that while I may run like a duck, at least at the moment, I swim like an elephant.  I certainly did not feel good in the water.  My form improved over the course of the workout and things did feel smoother but I never achieved better than a plodding pace.  I rode my bike this afternoon and totally misjudged the time of sunset (like it comes as that big of a surprise) and ended up shortchanging my ride.  I am going to ride tomorrow (though I should be running.  One of these days my coach is going to knock me in the head with my workout journal!) with a group which will push me effectively.  I miss my group rides and look forward to them whenever I get home.

At least nutrition is simplified at the moment.  I have a pitcher of water, a few condiments and an onion in the fridge.  I am subsisting on protein powder and veggies (yes, ick is the word you are looking for).  Tomorrow I will have to go hunting for a source of carbohydrates before I fall down!  Did I mention that I firmly believe nutrition is the fourth sport in triathlon? 

On a side note, I am getting a haircut and my nails done tomorrow.  It is a bit of a splurge (which I may regret later) for this time of year but I am going to treat myself.  I have found that my overall sense of wellness and relaxation play directly into my ability to push myself into better workouts.  Yes, I run faster with pretty nails.  I dare you to argue with me.  I don't spoil myself with cookies any longer, so hair and nail services it is!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I was without an internet connection for a few days.  I am in a fine part of town where the local motel establishment posts signs informing patrons that they have the canine units sweep for bombs and drugs periodically.  Apparently, people like to use these rooms for such things, particularly meth labs.  It's WAAY better than burning down your own home!! 


At least these dogs are not chasing me down a roadway. 

Regardless, I am inclined to keep my workouts confined to the four protective wall provided by the Large Commercial Fitness Club branch in the area.  Feeling froggy can so quickly turn into feeling like Frogger, and I don't care for that feeling.  Still, I have been good and reporting dutifully for treadmill sessions.  Tomorrow I will contact the local bike shops and try to find some areas to ride.  If not, well, treadmills are nice.  After my last session on the bike I am just a little gun (and redneck and dog) shy.

In being without a connection for a couple of days, I am behind in a reading project that I am doing for a friend.  I need to get to it, asap, before I am stuck having to explain my sorry self.

Excuses, excuses, excuses.... and DOGS.

So, managing  my lifestyle... which is like fugitive meets traveling salesman.... and getting regular workouts and blog posts accomplished can be difficult.  OK, no one said it would be easy.  I missed a few workouts in Dallas last week.  My job and the weather conspired against me!! I swear!  No, in all honesty, no matter how stoic I am, unless I am in a competition there is no point in being grossly under dressed for your workout.  Being from South Florida, my workout clothes are limited to "it's really fuckin' hot", "it's kind of fuckin' hot", "it's hot" and "it dropped below 80 but that is why I have one long sleeved cycling jersey hot".  The thirties to forties and raining that I encountered in Dallas were like the eighth layer of Hell.  So I did what any die-hard wannabe triathlete would do after a long night of working in the weather... I pussed up and crawled into bed!  Hey, I make no apologies here.  Rain, wind, whatever... but temperatures below 65 are toxic to me and I never claimed to be a hero!  You could dangle a gold medal or million dollar prize in front of me and I would probably stay under the covers and throw a shoe at you.

At the end of the week, I was feeling pretty froggy and decided to take a nice bike ride before I headed to Houston.  I had been eyeing the shoulder of rt. 110 all week and it looked like a beautiful ride with gorgeous scenery, rolling hills and autumn colors.  Totally idyllic, enough to temp even the coldest, laziest soul.   That is the fantasy.  The reality went more like this.  I rode out and discovered a few things about Texas roadways. 

One, they apparently pave over mass graves.  The surface rippled so badly, I could barely control the front end of the bike.  They use fist sized boulders instead of little pebbles in the asphalt mix.  By the end of the ride I am fairly sure all of my fillings had been rattled loose.  They also do not feel the need to actually pave the entire overpass.  There was a gap between the plates bigger than my thigh.  I just rolled over it and prayed.  (Prayer works, apparently, because I did not get swallowed up by the Grand Crevice.)  I would write to the appropriate government office, but really, I think they are pretty happy with discouraging cyclists... keep reading.

Two, those beautiful winding roads are full of scary, bristly, gun-toting people in smoke-spewing diesel pickups that either whistle or cuss you out as they try to run you off the road.  The sheriff drives a big diesel pickup too, but he honks instead of vocalizing his displeasure at having to yield a few feet of his road to a cyclist. 

Three, Texans have lots and lots and lots of dogs.  Angry dogs that run in packs.  They also do not believe in fencing or leases.  I am alive today because I peddle REALLY fast when I am scared out of my mind!  Well, my coach had wanted me to do two thirds of that ride fast, I am pretty sure I accomplished that goal.

Yah.  Okay.  Plan B, don't ride on 110... ever again. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween and Hello Dallas.

Yesterday was a disaster, physically speaking.  I turned in an abysmal performance on the bike and (at least in my own mind) humiliated myself in front of better riders.  Note:  self-pity becomes her.

I briefly attended Moonfest, a Halloween street festival, Friday night and didn't get to bed as early as I would have liked.  Still, I wasn't too worried until I woke up at four with stomach cramps.  By the time I left for the ride I was feeling rather lukewarm.  The thirty minute drive to the meeting point required one pit-stop, after which I did feel a little better. 

I started the ride fairly strong and began to feel rather froggy.  I decided to take a turn at the front of the pack.  That worked out well.... for a minute.  Then my stomach came a-knocking.  I ended up fading so badly, I lost the entire group almost immediately.  The thing about cycling is that there is only one way back to the car... pedal.  I settled into a comfortable pace and decided to just finish the ride solo.  Actually, it was kind of a nice mind frame, all pressure was off.  Before I knew it, I had caught up to part of the pack. 

In the end, I deducted ten miles from my planned fifty.  Not terrible. 

Today, I leave for Dallas.  As of today, I will have to let my workouts play second fiddle to my JOB.  Yeah, that thing to which I am beholden no matter how much denial I wield.  I am looking at a 1200 mile drive and have to be there Tuesday night to work.  This is going to be it's own endurance test.  My primary goal... make money.  My secondary goal... don't abandon my workouts completely.  Do something every day, even if I am tired.  If I cannot muster a good workout, a short, easy one will do.  BUT DO IT! 

This is always the test (and the story of my life).  And away we go.  I'll see you in the Lone Star State!!