Is it weird that if I see this and think about running, I sigh exasperatedly, but if I think about biking them, I get all wiggly with excitement. Maybe I need to run hills once a week in the off season next year like I did with biking.
FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
I usually blather about diet and exercise and races first, but as was pointed out to me by my lovely husband, “there’s nothing more boring than someone else’s diet or workout” (although, that’s why you all come here, right? RIGHT?) so perhaps I’ll lead with something else for a change.
Vacations, I has planned them. Usually, we have lots of little random weekends out of town here or there for races or other reasons, but this year, we just *don’t*. So, since I’m NOT OK with my first vacay of the year being in August, we decided to do a few mini trips:
First up next month – spa weekend here. Looking forward to fancy hotel, dinner, spa, dance lessons?, and just chillaxing over a long weekend.
Then in June – camping. We finally bought a tent, so we’re out to camp at least 2-3 times this year (and this would make it twice). This place is so close to home, but feels like a nice escape away into the wilderness.
True story – I haven’t been camping except for one nighters which were basically just excuses for going out into the wilderness and getting drunk. So I had to ask Zliten what the second day was for. He went into hiking/running trails, swimming, canoe/kayak rentals, and just relaxing with a kindle and this view. After that, I was on board, and yet again, wiggly with excitement!
That should tide me over until August and September vacays – which are San Diego and Alaskan Cruise times, respectively. Don’t even get me started on how excited I am about running my first out of state half marathon in SD, biking and running amongst the glaciers training on the cruise, and going snorkeling in Alaska!
Aight, so now onto real life stuff… training, and food, and races, oh my.
Last weekend, our “long workout” was a practice swim bike run at Lake Pflugerville. We did 13 miles on the bike in about 50 minutes on what could be described as rolling hills, nothing severe but definitely some up and down. I gained a bit more confidence with my new shoes, and figured out a strategy – for the love of all that holy, if I’m riding on a busy street and anticipate turning soon or have any other reason I might need to stop, rock out with one pedal out until I’m onto a straight stretch. We kept up about 15 mph pace, and it felt EZ peasy most of the time. We ran a 5k around the lake, which Zliten PR’d and I took it easy (30:19 and 30:49, respectively), and swam 500m in about 12-15 mins. I wanted to get in open water before the tri next weekend just in case I freaked out, and I’m happy to report that nature’s got nothin’ on me. Last weekend was the first time in a long time I haven’t been exhausted by the intensity or duration of my weekend long workouts (and I did over 1.5 hours). Next stop, half ironman!
This weekend is the second supported bike ride on our calendar, the Georgetown Red Poppy Ride. This one could potentially get us into trouble, as it not only has a metric century (63 miles, which is the plan), it also has an 80 and 100 mile course. Considering the longest we’ve ridden since the last one is 13 miles outdoors and we have a tri the next weekend, I think we’ll be able to control ourselves and just do the 63 we have planned. But we both have that inkling that 80 isn’t that much more than 63….
The real goal is to do the 63, and to get closer to 4 hours than the 5 it took us to do the ride in March. So that would be riding faster, and taking more expedient stops. We’re also loaded up with goodies like pb pretzels, cookies, nuts, candied mango, and the like, so we’ll have better eatin’ without the rest stops.
TRI AND STOP ME
After my feet touch down on the finish line of this bike ride on Saturday, I’m officially calling it TRI SEASON. I’m so full of wiggly excitement about this, I don’t even know what to say. I’m sure that will change soon enough. First up will be rookie – 300m swim, 11 mile bike, 2 mile run. To combat my “that’s all” thoughts since I’m all but primed for about an Olympic distance tri right now, I’m fixing to race this one HARD since it’s the exact course from last year and I plan to PR the SHIT out of this. Wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle, yeah!
In my ongoing quest to find a nutrition plan that works for me, I’ve been trying some smoothie lunches. I’ve accompanied these with a small, savory item (like a greek salad, a cup of soup, etc), and I’ve been saving half of said smoothie for a snack around 4-5pm. Some of my creations have been:
Strawberry Love: Strawberry 110 cal protein shake, chocolate pb2 powder, banana, 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder, frozen strawberries
Spiced Late: 1/2 cup pumpkin, scoop vanilla protein powder, vanilla extract, apple, skim milk, cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg
If You Like Pina Coladas: Tropical protein powder, banana, orange, pineapple, mango, lite coconut milk, coconut oil
Not-In-The-Box Oreo Shake: Skim milk, oreo cookie protein powder. (200 calories of friggin yum, almost just as good as a jack in the box shake)
Creamy Raspberry Lemonade: Vanilla protein powder, frozen raspberries, banana, coconut oil, lemon juice
Really, the ideas are limitless. It really just needs: 1) some sort of protein powder+milk or protein shake 2) some sort of fat – pb or coconut oil 3) a thickener – banana or pumpkin seem to work, without it, it’s ok, it just tastes really ice 4) frozen or fresh fruit. I haven’t gotten brave enough to put veggies in yet. I also put some stevia extract in each one because I like it sweet. Each one (besides the simple oreo one) is about 300-400 calories and is really filling. I plan to continue to do this a few times a week. It’s just so simple and yummy, curbs my snackings in the afternoon, and really kills my need for any sort of desert.
HARDER BETTER FASTER STRONGER
Since they cancelled our weekly Monday crunchtime class, I’ve found a new love: group kick (kickboxing). I’ve always wanted to try kickboxing, and it’s both a great cardio and strength workout. It works muscles I didn’t know I had in my ankles and shins. It’s pretty hard to get my abs to be sore these days, but they were definitely worked over. Also, since I took the introductory class, I have these fun boxing wraps that do nothing, but they make me feel all badass. I think I’ll stick with this one for a while.
I’m going to reiterate this to myself over and over, so just a warning you’ll get sick of hearing this mantra. a) The best way for me to change my body composition is to strength train. A lot. b) The best way for me to improve both my race times and my general happiness is to change my body comp in a positive and healthy way. c) Therefore, I should NEVER want to skip a strength sesh for a cardio.
Enter this week. Two things.
One, I got major cramps on my run Tuesday AM (which is a damn shame because otherwise it was a FANTASTIC morning, and I was feeling GREAT and SPEEDY) so I cut it at 2 miles instead of 5-6. This is making me REALLYREALLYREALLYREALLY want to skip my weights class tomorrow morning so I can make up the run. Because in my sillybrain, apparently I will die if I don’t get at least one 10k run in each week (even though I’m going to be almost triple digis in bike miles, hello…). WEIGHTS ARE NON NEGOTIABLE, silly brain. /sigh
Two, all of a sudden I got freaked out, realizing I hadn’t mashed up any bike hills on the stationary at the gym in quite a while. I figured my hill skillz HAD to be deteriorating with all this ez trainer and outside riding. I hopped on the stationary, and lo and behold, it even felt EASIER than normal. Gotta give weight training credit for that.
So, long story short – the hills, the weights – DO THEM. I need this tattooed on my forehead. Although, it might get me funny looks in mixed company as it might be taken as a suggestion, perhaps?
Questions of the week: what gets you “wiggly with excitement” lately? What do you need to just DO?
Oooh I love your vacay plans! And I’m a huge fan of camping. Although I don’t do it as often these days (camping + toddlers = 3 days of hyperawareness and no sleep) Seriously how did our ancestors do it?! But we are going camping over the holiday and yes this makes me wiggly with excitement too! Love your smoothie ideas as well, it’s that season again!
The medicine ball is a great tool for building endurance, strength and for adding fun to your workouts. Learn some basic medicine ball exercises to add to your core workout.