Saturday, February 28, 2009

Going Higher

Today we had planned on going on another long bike ride with friends, but then Pete had his little mishap so that was now out of the question. It also turned out that Mindy had a rehearsal for the ballet performance of Alice in Wonderland she's going to be a "pearl oyster" in. The rehearsal was going to be right during Elle's nap time, and 2 hours long. This seemed to be perfect because I could leave Ethan and Elle with Pete and he could relax while the baby slept, and I could just take my bike with me to drop Mindy off, then do my ride and pick her up after 2 hours. I had this cool rout all planned out too.

Then, we had to take some laptops (yes, multiple, it was our lucky day) into the Apple store to get them looked at. I kind of thought we would just drop them off then have plenty of time to get home and follow our plan. But then they said they could look at them really quick if we just waited 15 minutes so we did that. It wasn't super quick, and we were getting hungry. I figured we would need to eat anyway so we went and got some lunch. By the time we were done with that and got back to the car, it was 10 minutes past when Mindy was supposed to be at the rehearsal. I was kicking myself for sabotaging my own ride by saying we had time to eat. 

We just hurried home, she grabbed her clothes, I put Elle in her bed (fell asleep in the car very nicely), and I took Mindy to ballet. When we got there, the board of directors was still talking to the parents so I went and listened in on that. They ended up talking until there was less than an hour left so I wouldn't have had time to ride anyway.  

I hurried home, packed up my bike, and a few other things along with Pete, Ethan and Elle, then we picked Mindy up and headed for Heber. When we got there, I just hurried and changed, and went for my bike ride so it wouldn't get dark on me. By the time I got up the hill I wanted to do (the one going up to The Homestead), though, the sun was down behind the mountain and it was getting colder so I headed back. Of course, when I got back to the house, the sun was up again. I had just been "in the shadow of Mt. Timpanogos" as we used to say in my highs school broadcasting class. Oh well. It was a good quick ride so I pushed it pretty hard. Pete said I could trade long rides for hard rides. I don't know if it was that hard, though. I rode for about 45-50 minutes and went 10.6 miles. 

The great thing about riding in Heber is that it is at 5,604 feet, and Couer d'Alene is only at 2,188 feet. Here is a quote I found that explains why training at a higher altitude give you an advantage:
Training at a high altitude gives runners a competitive edge over those who train at sea level when placed in direct competition. Whether the high altitude dweller goes down to sea level to compete in a race or his counterpart at sea level comes to a higher elevation to race, the runner who lives and trains at a high elevation will likely have a distinct advantage. This advantage is likely to come in the form of an increased redblood count which enables the body to carry oxygen more efficiently and more quickly through the body. Runners who live and train at a higher elevation typically have elevated red blood cell counts because there is less oxygen available at these higher altitudes. Therefore the runner’s body generates more red blood cells in an effort to make the runner more efficient at circulating oxygen. This elevated number of red blood cells remains for several days after the runner has left the high altitude location. Therefore the runner may travel to a race at sea level and enjoy the benefits of his increased red blood cell count for a number of days.
Floyd Landis, who won the Tour d'France three years ago but was "striped of his victory" because of a drug test, had made himself a little metabolic chamber that he slept in to get his red blood cell count up. It must have worked for him because he did an amazing job! I don't know if I believe all the hubub about him using steroids, but whatever, he did good.

Anyway, when I was living in St. George, and would come and run in Heber, it was a lot harder. I know that for sure. Also, Pete was surprised by how much easier it was to ride in Coeur d'Alene than Heber so I'm hoping I'll feel that too.

Another great thing about Heber is that it is really beautiful, and I really enjoyed it, other than the biting cold coming down that hill. My fingers were numb by the time I got back too. Sorry, I forgot my camera again. I need to get better about bringing it with me!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Flashback - My First Tri

Since I started my blog I've been wanting to have something like Wordless Wednesday (um, by the length of my posts I don't know if this is possible) or Suggestion Saturday or something like that, and I've finally decided to go with Friday Flashback!  You all like stories right? I'm going to tell the story of my first tri.

I guess I should tell you what I did today first. Here's what my training plan said:
S: long day
wu: 200swim, 200kick, 200pull, 200swim
main: 1 x 1500, RPE 4 (alternate 1 x 1000)
cd: 4 x 50, each slower than last
I found myself saying, "I only have to do 30 laps, this should be quick." I think (hope) this means I'm improving. 1500 meters is the distance you swim in an olympic distance triathlon. I thought it would be cool if I finished in under 32 minutes, and I finished at 32 minutes on the dot! I will be so happy if I can do that well in St. George! Of course the fastest guy out of the water last year did it in 21:56, but the guys who placed first overall took about 25 minutes. 

On to my story:

When I tell people that I'm doing an Ironman, I get a lot of, "Wow, I could never do that!" and sometimes I get a, "Why?" I've even been asked if I'm trying to win, and the answer to that is a big NO. Let me start at the beginning, though.

In 2004, I believe it was, Pete came home one day and told me that he was going to do a triathlon with his friend in 3 weeks. I couldn't have been more shocked. This was coming from a guy who couldn't swim, hadn't been on a bike for several years, and, like me, couldn't run more than a few miles consecutively.  He preceded to go buy a bike, and again I was shocked. $800 for a bike?! That's ridiculous! Now I realize that that's actually not a bad price (I've seen bikes for $4,000 - now that is ridiculous!) .

The day for the Jordenelle Triathlon arrived, and it even fell on my birthday. Luckily it was near my Dad's house, so I left my 2-year old and 4-month-old in his care while I went to cheer Pete on. I rushed to the swim exit, not wanting to miss him getting out of the water, but I needn't have worried. I had to wait a long time, every minute I got more and more nervous that he had drowned in that big, dark lake. He didn't drown, though. He arose, victorious, out of the water (never mind he was almost the last one out) and moved on to the bike, then the run. 

The whole thing was still amazing to me, and I couldn't believe he was doing it at first. Then I started to watch all the other participants struggle on to the finish line. I noticed that these people were just people.  There were a lot of really in-shape-looking athletes, but it was mostly just regular people. I couldn't believe this. By the end of the race, I had decided that I wanted to do it too. If all these other people could do it, why couldn't I? And if you could see the looks of pure joy, mingled with sweat and tears, on their faces when they passed that finish line, I think you would understand what drew me to wanting to join them.

For the next year, I went to spin class 2-3 times a week and swam twice a week, while working at the daycare at the gym once a week to earn my keep there. I learned to love spin and slowly worked my way up from being able to do 6 or 7 laps in the pool to 20 (I would need to do 750 meters since I was doing the Sprint distance, and that's 15 laps), but I didn't start running until about a month before the race. I figured I could walk if I needed too. I hated running, and I didn't need to be fast, I just wanted to finish. So Pete and I ran together on the treadmills and worked up to 3 miles! I couldn't believe it when I finally got there.

Race day rolled around again, and I still didn't have a bike. I just rented one for the race, and it was so nice though a little scary to ride on the street as opposed to a spin bike. I was so nervous before the race started, I felt sick. This is something that still happens to me, it seems, no matter how many races I do. The feeling goes away as soon as I start, though. I was especially nervous because I also rented a wet-suit, and it made me feel really claustrophobic.

Here we are waiting to get on the shuttle down to the race. See my lovely rental wet-suit?

Here is the transition area. (Taken after the race)

I can't remember many of the specifics of that first race, but I do remember being amazed at what I was doing when I came out of the water and trudged on to my bike after having someone very aggressively help me out of my wet-suit. I remember having to stop at the restrooms in the middle of the run. (Having to go to the bathroom has become my nemesis at that race! I will beat it next time!) I remember running across the finish line! I remember Pete being there waiting for me since he had finished a few minutes before me. And I do remember having tears in my eyes. 

What a wonderful feeling it is to accomplish a goal that seems so impossible when you first start. I never would have dreamt that I would be someone to do a triathlon. It always seemed like that was something other people did. Not me. I just wasn't one of those people. But why shouldn't I be one of those people? Really, if you set your mind to something, you can do it! 

Pete and I showing off our race numbers.

The word "impossible" is used a lot less around our house now. This is something that I really hope to teach my kids. I want them to know that they are special and that they are important. That they can do whatever they want in life. All you have to do is put in the time.

My times were 21:36 swim, 10:32 first transition, 54:17 bike, 3:10 second transition, and 32:04 run with a grand total of 2:01:41. I kind of had a goal of coming in under two hours, and I just missed it! I didn't care, though. I had done it. I proved I had been wrong about myself pretty much my whole life. 

Thursday, February 26, 2009

New Playlist!

Today I followed pretty close to our regular schedule, other than leaving Pete in bed sleeping. Luckily Mindy and Pete were both better today (at least as far as the flu is concerned). I really hope no one else gets it! So I took Min to school then headed up to the gym with Ethan and Elle to deposit them in the daycare while I ran on the track. My training plan said:
R: 90 minutes long run, easy pace. RPE 3.
I am still not quite to 90 minutes, though, so I planned on doing 77 (remember the 10% rule?). Pete was like, "Do you think you can handle doing such an odd number?" Sure, no problem.

The cool thing was that for most of the time I was the fastest person on the track! Lets not think about the fact that the only other people on the track were old people or moms pushing strollers. I'm not trying to dis old people (or moms).  I know there are a lot of old people who are faster than me, but my grandma says that when I'm her age I'll be ready to slow down. I'm hoping that when I'm her age there will be fewer people in my age group and I'll finally be able to win! Yeah! 

I counted laps by holding the number of lap on my fingers. I probably looked a little bit silly doing this, like a hitch-hiker holding out my thumb whenever I was on lap 6. I saw several of the walkers using this method, but none of the runners. Maybe it wasn't too noticeable because I was going SO FAST!

I finally got new music on my ipod today too! I put all my favorite songs and songs I like to run to on and put it on shuffle. It was fun anticipating what the next song would be, and I loved all of them! Here is my playlist for today (I apologize for the repetitive use of the terms "Barenaked Ladies" and "New Pornographers." Neither is obscene as their names imply.):
  1. Seven Nation Army - White Stripes
  2. Dime - Cake
  3. Golden Years - David Bowie
  4. When I Fall - Barenaked Ladies
  5. Electric Version - New Pornographers 
  6. Resolve - Foo Fighters
  7. Failsafe - New Pornographers (This might be my favorite song right now)
  8. These Apples - Barenaked Ladies
  9. The Way You Make Me Feel - Michael Jackson (This will always we an awesome song)
  10. Until I Die - Ben Kweller (Such a great song, and Pete says it reminds him of me)
  11. Commissioning A Symphony in C - Cake
  12. Free Me - Foo Fighters
  13. DOA - Foo Fighters ("It's a shame we have to die my dear...")
  14. It's All Been Done - Barenaked Ladies (Being #1 lasted until about mile 5. Then the fast people arrived. I could tell they would be faster than me as soon as I saw them, and I started to really feel like a hitch-hiker. "Wait, take me with you!")
  15. Zoo Station - U2
  16. Pretty Pink Ribbon - Cake
  17. Take It Outside - Barenaked Ladies
  18. Under Pressure - David Bowie w/Queen
  19. Even Better Than The Real Thing - U2
  20. My Rights Versus Yours - New Pornographers (The song came on at the same time as a shot of endorphins and I felt like I was just grinning as I ran. It probably looked more like a grimace, though. I could seriously feel this nice warm energy run through my body, and I felt like I could run forever, and run faster. Endorphins are better than morphine because they don't make you itchy.)
  21. Vertigo - U2 (I got to 1:17 in the middle of this song. I started walking and kept telling myself that I didn't need to finish the song. That I was to my 77 and I wasn't going to push it any further. I made it about half a lap. Then I ran the song out, and did 2 more laps. It was awesome! I finished my 8th mile right on 80 minutes! YEAH! I guess Pete was right, I couldn't do such an odd number.)
Raise Your hand if you like any of these songs. I thought it was a great playlist, but running playlists are such a personal thing. I could just be in heaven for an hour and 20 minutes with this one, and you could still hate it. What songs do you like to run to?

This run was awesome! Seriously, I really enjoyed it! I am really tired and my legs are a little sore, but, man that was a fun run!

Oh, and guess who's going to Brain Regan in St. George! Me! I'm so excited! It's also the weekend of the St. George Tri (May 9th) so I figured I might as well do it while I'm down there even though I told myself I would never do that one again. Ug, what have I done!? It will be good, I wanted to get one "practice" race in before the Ironman. Any other takers? It's only $90 (gulp). Just go here to sign up, and we'll do it together! There's tons of time, about 2 months so get ready! :)

Hey, what's this little girl doing out of bed? Goodnight all!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Nurse Colleen

I hate to say it, but I did nothing in the way of Ironman training today. If you missed yesterday's crazy-super-long post (sorry about that), Pete broke his collar bone yesterday in a mountain biking crash. On top of that Mindy threw-up first thing this morning so she did not go to school. This was kind of good because I had to run across town to pick up Pete's pain meds as soon as I got up, and I didn't really have to hurry back. 

I spent today playing nurse and getting the house clean (it was a mess from our crazy day yesterday). Pete found this little video that explains how to break while turning, and I thought it would be a good thing to put on here (for all my die-hard mountain biking readers - though I think it would be good to know for any kind of biking):

So, be careful out there everyone! I know I'll be a lot more careful on my cornering. 

Mindy is feeling much better after a day of resting and watching movies, but Pete's not feeling too great. We think the Lortabs he's on are making him nauseous. Either that or he's got whatever Mindy had. Whatever it is, it's not fun, and I didn't want to leave him alone with the kids, even after they were in bed, to go do my long run. I will do it tomorrow morning. 

Tomorrow we also get to go in for the surgical consult so that should be exciting!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Smashing Ride!

This morning it was so beautiful and warm! We made sure to leave early enough for school that Mindy got to ride her bike. She was even wearing a skirt and didn't complain about it being cold! It was so nice!

So, when it came time for me to ride my bike, I didn't even have to think about it, and got all my gear on to ride outside.  As I picked up my sunglasses, I thought, "Hm, it doesn't seem very bright outside." Then I notice that it's actually pouring rain out there! What the heck?  So, I debated for a little while about riding on the trainer, riding later, or just going in the rain. The kids would be pretty protected in the bike trailer... So I finally decide that we're going anyway, and put on my rain jacket just in time to hear Ethan yell, "It stopped raining!"

I kept my rain jacket, thinking it might rain again, but it never did. I was pretty toasty in there by the end too.  I only had about half an hour to ride until I had to pick Mindy up from school so I just road around the neighborhood, delivered a few invitations for the Young Women's program tonight, and we went to the river to see some ducks. It was a nice little ride. Then I got to ride home with Min, and that's always fun!

My friend, and fellow counselor in the Young Women's presidency, Ann, called me to see if I could make cookies for the program since she didn't have enough ingredients to make enough. She couldn't get more because her car had been broken into and was un-drivable. Our president wasn’t going to be there for the whole thing because she is having a really dificult pregnancy, and our adviser’s husband got laid of yesterday. What a day for everyone!

I told her of course I would make cookies, and that that would be fun for the kids. First I had to pick Pete up from work, though. Then he headed off to go mountain biking on the hill above the capital (not too far from our house). He's working on getting stronger for a trip to Moab with some guys from work in a few weeks. He went out the door saying, "I hope I can see ok" because he wasn't wearing his glasses. I told him to have fun, then got down to business making cookies. 

The kids helped decorate them with food coloring to look like they had paint splatters on them. They turned out pretty cute, but Elle ate hers before I could cook it, and got food coloring all above her lip. Of course, that doesn't come off easily, and we were running late to help get things set up at the church so I just left it. 

A few minutes after I got to the church to help set up for the program, I got a call from Pete. He said he had had a really bad crash and needed me to pick him up. I asked him if he was ok, and he said he didn't know, but that he couldn't move his arm. I hurried and left, apologizing for leaving, but I said I would try to be back in time. I thought he had just hurt himself bad enough that he couldn't ride home so I would just need to pick him up. But when I was almost there, he called me again, and said he'd been talking to his brother who is a doctor, and he thought he either dislocated his shoulder or broke his clavicle (collar bone). 

Now I'm starting to get more nervous, and I found him a few minutes later just sitting on the ground by his bike. Both very dirty. I helped him into the car, put the bike on the rack and got in the car to drive him to the hospital. I called my president and told her I wasn't going to make it back, then we called our insurance to figure out where we could go and headed to the nearest ER.

After I got Pete all checked in, the kids were already getting unruly, so I took them home. We grabbed some Wendy's then stopped back in at the church. They were just finishing up, and just having refreshments (The part the kids didn't want to miss) so we hung out for a while, and everyone already knew about Pete. I told Ann that I needed to go back and she offered to put my kids to bed and stay with them while I did that. What a life-saver!

When I got back, Pete was in X-ray. Once they wheeled him back in, it didn't take too long before the doctor came in and just showed us this picture:

Not much explanation needed there! Definitely broken. No mountain biking trip to Moab with the guys in 2 weeks, I guess. What a bummer. The doc said that he should have surgery done on it, and that would make the recovery much shorter. We will schedule that tomorrow. Amazingly, we were back home by 9:30 (He'd crashed just before 7), that was the fasted ER visit ever! 

We were very lucky that he didn't break his neck. I'm glad he had his helmet on too. It's always amazing to me how a split second thing like pushing your breaks to hard while going around a turn, can affect your whole life like that. 

Monday, February 23, 2009

Back to the Basics

Today my training plan said:
R: 45minutes very easy run, RPE 3.
Pete was working from home, so I left Ethan and Elle with him, after taking Mindy to school, and I got to run outside! It was nice and warm, maybe 40 degrees, and I just ran in a t-shirt. It was about perfect. I was maybe a little bit cold, but nothing too distracting. I ran 4.6 miles in 50 minutes. It was supposed to be very easy, though, right? I sure can feel the difference in my knees between running on the track and running on the sidewalk. I guess this means I need to start running outside more so my knees can get used to it. I will do it gradually, though. They weren't that sore, but more than when I run on the track.

When I got back, Ethan was spelling out words on and Pete was helping Elle put a puzzle together. They were both doing a really good job! What bright children I have! I had a drink and some Hammer Gel, then I took Ethan and Elle to the daycare at the gym and did this swim workout:
S: speed day
wu: 400 continuous. last 50 in each 100 is kick
main: 8 x 100 EBEH (each 100 = 25Easy, 25Build, 25Easy, 25 Hard)
cd: 6 x 25, each slower than last
This is my last "prep week" so my plan is having me do the same thing as the first week. I don't really know why we're doing this, but it's nice to kind of take it a little easier. On my easy laps, I tried to focus on my form. I tried to reach as far as I could and push the stroke all the way through, not cross my hands over in front of me, and keep my feet up. My 100s were all between 1:50-1:56 so that was pretty good I thought.

I can't say I had any interesting thoughts while I was working out today.  What was I even thinking about? I have no idea. It was nice to run outside, and I'm so excited for the weather to be warming up! I'm sure we'll have another cold spell before the winter's really over, though. I'm trying not to get too excited yet.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

17 Weeks to Ironman - Rest Day

Welcome to all my new readers! I'm so excited to have you here. Just for your info, the first 3 entries in my archive are the last 3 races I've done: St. George Tri, Echo Tri and the St. George Marathon. In case you're interested. That way you can see what kind of a great athlete I am NOT.

A little while ago, I had a friend ask me how long I had until the Ironman, and I told her the number in weeks. She said, "That's like pregnancy counting!" We had to laugh a little at that, but now that I think about it, it is kind of like pregnancy counting. I can see a lot of similarities between the two. For both:
  1. You feel excited and a little bit (or a lot, depending on the day) nervous. 
  2. You have a certain amount of preparation that you want to get done, but if it doesn't get done, the day still comes.
  3. You wonder if you're going to be able to do it.
  4. You know that the day at the end of your countdown is going to be long and painful, but also very rewarding.
  5. You know there is a chance that you might get hurt, but chances are pretty good that you'll be fine.
I don't want to say that doing an Ironman is even close to as amazing or wonderful or challenging as having children, but it seems I can always find some way to compare triathlons to life.  For all you mothers out there who are doing your best to raise children in this world, I salute you. You are wonderful and I think you deserve a trophy. 

But of course, we do get trophies don't we? When you see your little baby smile for the first time, or your 2-year-old hugs you so hard it makes you want to cry (but not from pain), or when your 4-year-old looks at you so sweet and says, "I love you, mom," or when your 6-year- old starts reading books by herself and starts to be a real help with the baby. (I don't have any kids older than this so I can't say what other trophies are awaiting in the teenage years - though the thought of that scares me to death!)

Just because it's not a tangible trophy, doesn't mean it's not real.

Today in Young Women's our lesson was "Attitudes about Our Divine Roles," and I cried through most of the lesson. This is probably why I'm thinking so much about motherhood right now. The teacher shared a poem with us that most of us have probably heard part of before. It was so beautiful, I'd like to share it with you now:
The Hand That Rocks The Cradle Is The Hand That Rules The World
Blessings on the hand of women!
Angels guard its strength and grace,
In the palace, cottage, hovel,
Oh, no matter where the place;
Would that never storms assailed it,
Rainbows ever gently curled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

Infancy's the tender fountain,
Power may with beauty flow,
Mother's first to guide the streamlets,
From them souls unresting grow--
Grow on for the good or evil,
Sunshine streamed or evil hurled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

Woman, how divine your mission
Here upon our natal sod!
Keep, oh, keep the young heart open
Always to the breath of God!
All true trophies of the ages
Are from mother-love impearled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

Blessings on the hand of women!
Fathers, sons, and daughters cry,
And the sacred song is mingled
With the worship in the sky--
Mingles where no tempest darkens,
Rainbows evermore are hurled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

- by William Ross Wallace

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Antelope Island Ride

My training plan for the day says:
B: 120 minutes long bike again this week.
We were very blessed with beautiful weather and a baby-sitter so Pete and I could go for the long bike ride together!  Pete was talking about going on a ride with some friends from work, so I decided to tag along. I also got one of their wives, Tiffany, to come too. I was so excited because I'd never really been on a group ride before, and it was fun to have another girl to ride with. 

We met up with them at the entrance to Antelope Island State Park. As soon as we got out of the car, we realized that it was much colder and windier than it had been at home. I was so relieved when Tiffany offered me her extra jacket and ear covers (she was smart and bundled up good), and Pete let me wear the toe covers and warmer gloves (what a gentleman). I would have frozen without them!  

We got started, and I immediately regretted not bringing my camera. It was so beautiful! It was all blue and white: water, snow, sky, and mountains. There were even white birds out on the lake, we thought maybe some kind of crane. It was very nice.

We rode out the "the ranch", and took a little break. The guys were still hanging out, but Tiffany and I were getting cold so we started back. I was just telling Tiffany about how I had been hoping to see buffalo while we were out there because I had heard about them, when we rode past some Antelope. That was pretty cool, and I was content, but a little sad about no camera again. 

The guys showed up after not too long, riding in their pace line. Then we got in the line with them. A pace line is what you see them doing in the Tour d'France where they ride real close and draft off of each other. It's something we're usually not allowed to do in triathlons so I'd never done it before. It was really fun. I was amazed how much easier it was when  you were drafting as opposed to when you were the one in front pulling. Before we got into it, Pete kindly informed me that it is not good edict to ride in the areo bars when you're riding with the pack. Good to know. I was careful not to do that, but I found myself wanting to be in the areo bars a couple times. Also good to know.

Then we saw some dark shapes in the distance, and I was excited to get to see the buffalo after all! I mean, it wasn't that exciting, they just stood there a ways away, and we rode past, but it was cool.

The last few miles were pretty hard. Tiffany and Paul just booked it across the causeway! I couldn't quite keep up, and my toes were numb by the end. We did 37 miles. I don't know how long it took us exactly since I still didn't have my computer on my bike, but probably about 3 hours. It was a really fun ride, though. I'm glad we got to go. It was much more fun than riding on the trainer, and much more challenging. I'm sure I'll do that ride again, and I'll try to bring my camera this time.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Water World

Disclaimer: That title was just the first thing that came into my head. This post has nothing to do, nor is it in any way affiliated with the movie, Waterworld, or the water park, Water World. This post is just a woman rambling about her swimming adventures this morning. 

Now that I've got that straight, on with the post.

So, do you think I got up at 6:00 this morning? Nope, I didn't. Pete talked me out of it last night saying that cutting 2 hours of sleep out is not going to be sustainable and that I'm going to need more sleep as I train more. I'm also having doubts about if I should even do the preschool group I was a part of planning the other day . There are just not enough hours in the day. Maybe if we switched it to Tuesdays and Thursdays. We'll see how it goes next week.

Pete was working from home today so I was able to leave Ethan in bed when I left to take Mindy to school and Elle came with me to the gym. When I dropped her off, she said, "I not have anyone to pay with." She's used to having her brother there so I was worried it would be a problem, but it ended up being fine and she played with the other little girls in there. I was happy to leave Ethan in bed, and apparently he slept in until like 9:45! Hopefully that will help him get better.

My training for the day was a long swim. Here is what my plan said:
S: long day-mental toughness day!
6 x 500, odds are RPE3, evens RPE 5
I usually swim in the little shallow-water lap pool, but today I swam in the deep water pool so that was different. I got to watch all the legs of the people doing deep water aerobics alongside me so that was...interesting. At one point I saw a guy that looked so much like a cartoon frog with a big belly, float belt, and booties that made his feet look kind of webbed. It was kind of funny, and I could picture him suddenly springing out of the water to catch a fly. I tried not to think too much about these people though, because it's great that they're out there doing their water aerobics. It just looks funny from underwater, that's all.

So, 6 sets of 500 meters means 6 sets of 10 laps. I still have to convert it in my mind before I start so I don't get confused. I still was confused when I came home and told Pete I swam 6,000 meters, and he was like, "That's a lot!" But once we went over it again, it turns out I did 3,000 meters which sounds more reasonable, but still a lot mind you. 3,000 meters is 1 and 3/4 miles. The 2.4 miles I will need to do in the Ironman is 4,000 meters (actually, 4,000 meters is about 2.485 miles, so a little less). That is 80 laps. So, I would only need to do 2 more sets of 500. Cool.

My faster sets (evens) ended up being about 10:30 and the easier ones(odds) were around 11:00. I counted laps by watching the digital clock and trying to keep my laps around a minute each. This method works pretty well, and lets my mind wander to things like, "what am I going to write on my blog today?" 

I should swim in this pool more often since it has the digital clock facing it and the other one doesn't. I rested in between sets so I was probably in the water about an hour and 15 minutes total. It was almost 2 hours when I picked Elle up from the daycare. Whew.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Weight Resistance

This morning I got up at 6 am to meet my sister, Katie, on skype. She is in China teaching English for the next 4 months.

If this doesn't make you want to go to China, I don't know what would.

She never showed up.  I actually didn't mind, though. It was nice to be up while the house was still and quiet and have a little time to myself. Then I decided to make breakfast burritos with my extra time, and they were really good! Plus we weren't even late dropping Pete off at his 8:00 meeting for a change, and Mindy had plenty of time before school. I need to start getting up that early from now on. I think that would make my life a lot less stressful and easier to get the training hours in. Come back tomorrow to see if I actually do it.

Anyway, here is what my training plan said for today:
B: solid 90 minutes at RPE3. Middle 30 minutes on aero bars if you have them, but keep easy effort. Notice if the position is comfortable to hold and if you can output the same speed for the same effort as when out of the bars.
Today was a nice sunny day so I decided to do my bike ride outside! I went back and forth on it for quite a while because Ethan stayed home from school sick, and it was still cold out there. What got me to choose outside was that Ethan and Elle both wanted to go, and it did look pretty good out there. I bundled them up good and put them in the bike trailer. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to do it for a few minutes because it was really difficult getting the bike trailer hooked up to that bike. I got it on, though, and off we went!

About 85lbs weight resistance here.

We didn't even make it a mile before my little bike computer fell off. I hurried and stopped, but couldn't see it anywhere on the road when I looked back. I was just thinking, "oh crap," when I saw that it was just in my water bottle cage. Whew. I didn't dare or want to deal with putting it back on so I just put it in with the kids. The nice thing about having the bike trailer with you is you can put your stuff in it - like a camera, extra jacket, gloves, stuff that falls off your bike, toys and kids. You sure can feel that bike trailer though! 85 lbs is a lot to pull up a hill.

The road I like to ride on is a little hidden gem of Salt Lake. It's not even 2 miles from our house (maybe 4 from downtown), and after about 10 minutes you're on this little road among fields, farm houses and cows. I want to take a picture every time I ride by here, and today I brought my camera:

We saw cows, a horse, some Canadian Geese, airplanes and helicopters. The airport is just on the other side of those fields too (I think that's what that tower is). The kids actually had fun, and were really good except for one minor incident with fighting and crying that was easily fixed.

I just road for 45 minutes, had some Hammer Gel, and turned around at around the spot I usually get to in half an hour.  It took me almost exactly 90 minutes for the entire ride. Elle slept a little bit on the way back, but Ethan started coughing a lot. I felt a little bad for taking him out in the cold when he's sick. It wasn't really that cold, though. In fact, I had to take my gloves off after 10 minutes, and they wanted their blankets off for a while. 

It felt so good to be riding outside again! One of the beautiful things about riding outside is that you're not constantly thinking about how uncomfortable you are or how much time has gone by. There are so many other things to think about like: is that car going to hit me, am I going to make that light, am I going to hit that rock, or how hard is that hill going to be? Plus you get to look at all the beautiful scenery and feel the wind on your face. Ah, it's great!

Also, I felt really comfortable in the aero bars! It was probably 99% better than the first time I tried to ride that bike. The stem is nice and solid now so I actually feel like I'm in control when in the areo position. I don't remember thinking for one minute that I was uncomfortable. I rode in the areo bars for most of the time (probably more than the middle 30 as the plan suggests), other than starting out and ending in town.

On the way back Ethan, who loves to see new places, said, "We should come here in the car sometime."

I said, "Ok, we can do that."

Then he said, "We could go a lot farther." 

Yes, I suppose we could go a lot farther in the car. I didn't tell him that that wasn't the point of our ride. I'm just glad he had a good time seeing some new fun things.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"And let me Please remind you...

we can send a car to find you if you ever loose your way."

Today I decided I wasn't going to have time to do both my long run and swim, so Pete suggested I do the long run. Here is what my run schedule says:
R: 90 minute long run, easy pace. Strides begin at the 40 minute mark. Just like Monday, go for 20 seconds, then return to normal pace. Repeat every 5 minutes until run is finished. Stretch well!
Pete also suggested that I do 70 minutes instead of the 90 because I'm not quite ready for 90. Going from 60 to 70 minutes even breaks the 10% rule, but not by much (only 4 minutes). What's the 10% rule, you ask? Well, when ramping up your running time/distance, it is smart to only add on 10% per week to avoid injuries.

I remembered my ipod today, but I've only got an hour worth of songs on there and I'm getting a little sick of them so I swiped Pete's ipod out of the car to listen to instead. His is bigger so I had to hold it (I have a shuffle that I can clip onto my pants), but it was worth it to get some new music. I listened to Cake the whole time - Comfort Eagle and most of Pressure Chief. If you aren't a Cake fan, then the title of my post will be a mystery to you until you listen to Comfort Eagle. It's a great album. I won't recommend Pressure Chief to you, though, because it does have some explicit lyrics (hey, it was Pete's ipod...). I don't like it as much anyway.

I forgot to put my heart-rate strap on, but I just got started anyway and said, "screw my heart-rate, I'm just going to have fun!"

It was pretty fun. It's always much better running with music, I think. I started my strides at 30 minutes (instead of 40) so I still got in 40 minutes of strides. I love doing strides. It's so fun to get to run really fast for a lap! Plus it really helps the time go by. You'll be recovering from your last stride then realize, "Oh man, it's already been 5 minutes again!"

I brought hammer gel and water, and drank them around the 60-minute mark, and I think that helped me. If not with the last 10 minutes of the run, then with not feeling woosy afterwards. 

Guess what else I did today.... I actually counted my laps! Yeah! I did 7 miles + half a lap in the 70 minutes so that was keeping with my usual 10-minute mile pace. My first mile was closer to 12 minutes, though, so I was a little faster in the end. 

There was a girl who started running just as I started my last stride and I was able to keep up with her until my stride was over. She was fast! I hope it's really possible to get faster. Sometimes it just seems like I'm doomed to run at a 10-minute mile pace forever. I will keep working on it, though.

When I got done, it was 10:00, and that was when I was supposed to be meeting with some other moms in my ward (church group) to talk about starting a little preschool for our kids (because I don't have enough stuff going on right now I guess). I got there half an hour late - no shower, still in my running clothes. It was ok, though, we were still waiting for one more mom for a while anyway. We will be starting the preschool next week and just rotate houses every week. It should be fun!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Fun with the kids

Today the kids didn't have school again because of teacher conferences or something, and I thought we should probably do something fun today because we just stayed at home yesterday. 

When we dropped Pete off at work, we went to the library. The Main Library (Or so they call it.) here in Salt Lake is huge and it's a really cool building.  The children's section takes up most of the basement and they have several different "caves" where the kids can go in and play. They had a lot of fun, and we even picked out a few books. Here's a picture of the library (not mine):

The thing I hate about doing things downtown is that it's hard to find anywhere you don't have to pay for parking. You can park under the library for free, but only for half an hour. I tried to get the kids to come when it was time, but everything always takes forever. We had to check out our books, then I had to get Elle to come out of the little tunnel between the check-out desk and the area we were supposed to be in, then we had to get all the way back down to the car, and of course Elle wouldn't let me put her in her seat. By the time we got going, we were like 10 minutes over the half-hour limit, and I had to pay the whole $1.25 they charge for the next half hour. I almost said, "Ok, never mind, we're going back in for 20 minutes." But I figured we'd just be late again, and didn't want to go through the whole getting-in-the-car thing again.

On the way home the kids wanted to do something else like go to a museum or go get a treat. The problem with a museum was the whole parking issue again, and didn't want to pay for a treat either. I told them we'd make cookies when we got home, then maybe go swimming after my bike-ride. 

We made oatmeal chocolate chip cookie bars and they are half gone by now. I'm going to end up an accomplice in helping Shane win the contest he and Pete are having over who can loose the most body fat. Whoever looses has to buy the other one a climbing harness. 

My training plan says this for today:
B: 60 minutes, easy pedaling on mixed terrain, overall effort still low.
Warm up and cooldown 10:00 in low ring, spinning easy. Use big ring for middle 40.
I did my ride on the trainer so, obviously it wasn't on "mixed terrain," though that term really makes me itch to get riding outside! It was a nice workout, and I felt pretty comfortable. I'm going to keep wearing the tri shorts, they're definitely better for me. I just drank water since it was just for an hour. I'm kind of avoiding the Gatorade because I don't like it. I'm going to have to hunt down some of my lemon power-aid.

After my ride, I picked Pete up and dropped him off at home since he still had some work to do, then the kids and I headed up to the pool. We have a family pass there, and I kind of feel bad because I'm the only one using it. It's fun to go swimming for free! They have a really fun kid pool with a little playground and a lazy river and stuff.  We probably played for an hour, and they had so much fun. They did not want to leave when it was time.  

Another thing I love about this pool is that they have family dressing rooms complete with a shower, toilette, sink, baby changing platform, and a little platform for putting your stuff and your kids so they don't get wet (at least that's what I use it for). It was great fun, and we got home just in time for dinner (leftovers yeah!) and bed!  

I'm glad I got to have a fun day with the kids today. Sometimes I feel like I'm not giving them enough attention with the amount of time I'm starting to be away from them for training. Only 4 more months of this, though. I think we'll make it. :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Winter's Not So Bad

Today the kids didn't have school and Pete worked from home so I just got up at 7 and headed to the gym. Ok, so I didn't really get out of there until 7:30, but I was trying to hurry. In fact, I was in such a hurry, and so worried about waking the baby that I forgot my ipod and a towel. Did I just go home, though? No way!

Here is what my plan said to do today for running:
R: 60 minutes. 10 minute warm up, then do 20 second strides before returning to RPE 3 pace. Repeat strides every 5 minutes until the end of the workout.
I also left my plan in my bag - down in the locker room - so I had to go off of memory, and for some reason I thought it said to start doing strides after 40 minutes. I don't know where I got that from, now that I look at it, but that's what I did.

I don't know what the deal was today, but I just wasn't feeling it. Where were my endorphins today? I had to run down to use the restroom about half-way through. The track is on the third floor of the building, and I ran up all the stairs on my way back. This probably wasn't the smartest thing to do because my knee hurt for the rest of the time. This made me think of how my knee felt for most of the marathon and I was just not feeling excited to do it again. In fact, let me think, yep, I'm still not excited to do it again. It's just not as fun to run without music, so I'm blaming it on that.

I brought Hammer Gel and a water bottle this time so I drank those as I walked my last lap. I think it helped because I felt fine for the swim:
S: speed day
wu: 300 continuous. slowly increasing pace each 100
main: 20 x 50, odds at RPE 4, evens at RPE 9! (They put that exclamation point,  not me)
cd: 150 easy, hold form
This was a pretty nice workout because I got to swim as fast as I could for a lap, then take it easy, then go fast again and so on. My even laps were usually about 1:00 and my fast laps were about :50.

I used their built-in blow-dryer and my running pants legs to get dry - in case you were wondering how that worked out. It actually worked out surprisingly well. I never need to bring a towel again! (Oh come on, you know I'm kidding)

It was nice to go home and not have to go anywhere today, but I think the kids all got a little stir crazy and watched too many movies. Elle took a really long nap, and I had dinner in the crockpot (Orange-Apricot Pork Chops, so yummy!) before she even went to sleep. 

I used all that time to be lazy and read my book. If you're ever feeling like you're having a hard winter, just read Ordeal by Hunger: The Story of the Donner Party. Actually, don't read it if you get squeamish. I'm afraid some of the mental images are going to be in my mind for a while. But it is also such an amazing story of heroism and survival.  What some people went through to save those who were trapped is amazing. And talk about stir crazy - being shut in a little cabin, covered in snow all winter!

Anyway, I'm reading it because I just love history stuff... did you know that they came right through the Salt Lake Valley? They actually kind of made the road that the Mormon pioneers used to get here the following year, and I've actually ridden my bike on close to the same trail. Man, what a hard trip. We are so blessed to have cars and airplanes and sturdier clothes and easier to pack food and warm beds and.... My list could go on and on. I just peeked in on Elle, and I'm just so happy to see her tucked in all snug and content in her bed. We are surly blessed.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

18 Weeks to Ironman!

Man, these weeks are just flying by, aren't they? 

First of all, I would like to welcome all my new followers. I know you've been here for a little while, but I haven't officially welcomed you. So, welcome, and thank you for stopping by! The fact that I have 9 "followers" now just makes me so happy!

I'm going to put a little plug in here for the charity that I'm trying to raise money for with this Ironman. It's called Against Malaria. Here are some facts from their site:
  • 1-3 million people die per year of Malaria
  • 70% of them are children under 5 years old
  • Malaria is the largest killer of pregnant women
  • Malaria is preventable and treatable
  • A net is the most effective means of prevention 
100% of the money they raise goes towards long lasting insecticidal nets (LLIN). Every US$100 they raise equals 20 nets in place and saves the life of one child.

I've never tried to raise money before, and I'm not very good at asking people to do stuff like this, so I really need your help. I hope this blog will end up being a way to save some lives. I've been thinking lately that it would be really cool to raise enough money for 140.3 nets because this is the total distance I will be doing in the Ironman. Each net is $5 so that would be...$701.50. According to their statistics, that would save about 7 lives. That doesn't sound like much, but it sure would make a difference to them. I know I can do it with your help, dear readers!

If  you have any advice for me on raising money for a charity, then I would love to hear it. Also, if you could mention me, my Ironman and this cause on your blog, I think that would help a lot. Just link to (that's easy to remember right?) to send them here, or (almost as easy) to go directly to my sponsorship page.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day should be celebrated every day. What a great holiday where we get to express our love to the important people in our lives and be grateful for those we love. I really am so blessed to have so many people I love and who love me!

Here is what my training plan said for today:
B: Long bike again this Sunday (ahem, Saturday). Try to find couple hills to throw in but keep climbing efforts seated.
As I laid in bed, luxuriously, until after 8:00, I wondered to myself what the weather was supposed to be like today. I thought maybe I'd take my long ride to the streets since I got my new stem yesterday. It's so nice and stable now! Then I got up and looked out the window. It was all white outside and still snowing. Here are the kids waiting to be covered up with snow. Needless to say, they weren't patient enough to let this happen.

Another thing my training plan says for this week is:
Mental Health: Try to get in outdoor workouts in the best and worst weather possible. The more cold, wet, windy, and sweltering conditions you experience while training will carry over to much higher confidence come race day. You can’t prepare much physically on race morning, so confidence and motivation reign supreme.
I do agree with this recommendation, but I think going for a ride in a snow storm is a little extreme. I think I will take my chances that it will not snow on race day in the middle of July. Watch me be wrong on that one! I do hope to get outside soon, though.

I made heart pancakes for breakfast (Whole wheat, of course.), which was fun. 

Pete took Mindy out to lunch and to get her hair cut. She got bangs! Meanwhile, I got Elle down for a nap then did a 2-hour ride on the trainer. I watched Clue while I rode. This is a family favorite and is always fun to watch. Pete and I had planned on watching it on New Years Eve, but didn't get it in time, so I decided to watch it today. The kids watched it with me, but I don't think they were able to follow it very well.

I had a bottle of water that I sipped every 10 minutes and 2 servings of Hammer Gel that I took every 50 minutes. My one bottle of water didn't end up being enough to last the whole time so I had Pete refill it about half way.

I decided to try wearing my tri shorts today to see if it seems possible to wear them, and I actually felt more comfortable than ever before! That was kind of unexpected because tri shorts (for those of you who are unfamiliar with the nuances of triathlon vs. cycling clothing) have much thinner padding so they can dry out quicker and be easier to run in. Maybe the padding on my cycling shorts was getting in the way and making me sit on the saddle wrong or just rubbing wrong or something. I don't know, but I'm happy to know that I should be able to wear tri shorts without a problem. I think Pete just wore his cycling shorts for the long bike ride. (correct me if I'm wrong on any of this, hun.) Pete even said that I looked much more comfortable in the aero bars than he ever felt, and that is really comforting. Maybe I will be able to do this!

After my ride, I stretched, drank some recoverite and had some apples with peanut butter. 

I made lasagna for dinner, and some truffles for desert. We all dressed up to have dinner at a "fancy restaurant." This was all Mindy's idea, and we had the flowers Pete got me as a centerpiece. I love how excited she gets about everything! That girl sure has a lot of energy!

It was a fun Valentine's Day. I hope everyone else had a good one too!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Big Cats

Well, this morning I did NOT wake up at 6 to go swimming before Mindy had to go to school. Are you kidding me? Doesn't another hour of sleep sound so much better than swimming for an hour? Not that I slept good, I was up 3 or 4 times during the night with various children. Luckily they all went right back to bed. It could have been worse.

I went to the pool after dropping Mindy and Pete off, as usual. I love having a gym with a daycare. I don't think I could do this otherwise. 

Here is what my training plan told me to do today:
Swim: long day
Warmup: 6 x 100, concentrating on different part of stroke each 100
Main: 4 x 500, keeping each 500 (that's 10 laps, just so we're all on the same page) even pace
Cool down: 2 x 150 pull
I must also share my training plan's description of this weeks goals:
This week we introduce Neuro Speed….training the body to move fast and efficient while not stressing the body. 

We'll do this on the run through strides(also called accelerations). Strides are short efforts of running fast by slowly accelerating allowing fast, quick footstrikes and an efficient form on the upper body. These strides only last 20-30 seconds but are not run "hard." 

By slowly accelerating from normal run pace to near top speed, but over a very short time, you should not feel at all fatigued but your body will begin to neurologically what it feels like to be swift--think cheetah!
"Hm," I thought, "Cheetah would be a good one for C in my animal counting game. Much better than Cat." Then I moved on to thinking that it would be cool to think of a big cat for each of the letter up to J (becasuse that's 10, still on the same page?), and I was all excited about this since I already had one for J!

I was stumped immediately by A. Here's the list I finally came up with: 
  1. Aslan (Min and I have been reading the Chronicles of Narnia)
  2. Bobcat
  3. Cougar or Cheetah (yeah!)
  4. Dingo (I know, that's not even a cat, but "Maybe a dingo ate your baby!" I just couldn't help it.)
  5. Elephant (couldn't get away from that one either)
  6. Fast cat
  7. Giant cat
  8. Hungry lion (look out!)
  9. Ice Leopard (Ice is almost the same as snow right?)
  10. Jaguar! 
Pretty pathetic list. Can anyone come up with better ones? I wasn't even close was I?

I realized, while swimming trying to make this list, how helpless I am without the internet right there. Ok, here's my new list with the help of the World Wide Web: 
  1. Aslan
  2. Bobcat
  3. Cougar or Cheetah (yeah!)
  4. Dandelion (Pete came up with that in a split second)
  5. Eurasian lynx
  6. Felidae (this is the Family of big cats)
  7. Great Cat (that's really what they call them)
  8. Hungry lion
  9. Ice Leopard
  10. Jaguar! 
That's better. I also realized, while swimming and trying to come up with these, that this was taking way too much brainpower so I only did 2 of the 4 sets using this method. The last set I actually just counted using numbers can you imagine that!

I was in the pool for an hour and 10 minutes, and my fingers were so wrinkled and getting tender by the time I got out. Pete took an hour and a half for the Ironman, though, so I need to get used to it - and hope to get that good of a time. 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Night Rider

Surprise, surprise, I didn't end up going swimming last night. I was feeling really tired and sore when the evening came around, plus Pete was going to need the car. He reassured me that I am doing really well with my training so it's ok to miss a workout. I ended up staying home and frosting heart cookies!

Today, I decided to try something new and do my trainer ride after the kids were in bed so that I wouldn't have to rush to pick Ethan up from school afterwards. Instead of riding during Elle's nap, then, I spent an hour taping and mudding our downstairs bathroom that is still recovering from a small flood. We will get it finished someday! I actually don't mind doing the work - it's even kind of fun - but I just don't have tons of time to be spending on it.

I don't know if it was worth it to wait until the kids were in bed to ride because I never want to workout in the evenings. (Remember last night?) This is supposed to be my time to just relax a little. But I did do it! Yeah!

My training plan says:
Bike: 55 minutes, on trainer if possible:
Warmup: 10: at RPE 2-3 (RPE is kind of the difficulty level between 1 and 10)
Main: 4 x (8:00 at RPE 4-5 fast spinning, 2:00 at RPE 2)
Cool down: 5:00 work down to RPE3 then RPE2 to finish
I don't know how I could work down to RPE3 if I'm finishing out the set at RPE2, but whatever. I just basically did a 7 minute cool down.

I made myself a bottle of Gatorade to drink every 10 minutes, and this time I only used one scoop. It wasn't as bad, but I still don't like it. It will do, though. I'd hate to waist it. Besides, Pete said that they had Gatorade at every transition in the IM so I should probably get used to it right?

When I got done, I made some Recoverite and stretched then took a bath for WAY too long. I was reading my book about the Donnor Party, and it was just so nice to sit and read, I haven't done that in a long time. I couldn't believe it was 11:00 when I got out! And I was thinking about waking up early for swimming tomorrow. I should be asleep right now!

Goodnight all!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Endorphins and Mean Babies

We were very rushed this morning, trying to get Pete to work by 8, and of course, he was late. After dropping Mindy off, we went straight to the gym. My training plan for today said:
long run again, easy pace
Short and sweet. I just decided to do an hour again. I don't know how far I went because I gave up trying to count laps after I lost track around 5 or 6. I'm sick of counting laps. I decided to just listen to my music and enjoy running for an hour. It was really fun, but I must remind those of you who still hate running, that you have to run longer than half an hour to 45 minutes before your endorphins are released. The feeling you get from your endorphins, I think, is one of the things that make running fun. If you only run for half an hour, you miss out on a great feeling! 

I just looked endorphins up on wikipedia and here are some interesting facts:
Endorphins work as "natural pain relievers"

(The word) consists of two parts: endo- and -orphin; these are short forms of the words endogenous and morphine, intended to mean "a morphine like substance originating from within the body." (Sweet!)

Runner's high
Another widely publicized effect of endorphin production is the so-called "runner's high", which is said to occur when strenuous exercise takes a person over a threshold that activates endorphin production. Endorphins are released during long, continuous workouts, when the level of intensity is between moderate and high, and breathing is difficult. This also corresponds with the time that muscles use up their stored glycogen. Workouts that are most likely to produce endorphins include, boxing, running, swimming, cross-country skiing, long distance rowing, cycling, weight lifting, aerobics, or playing a sport such as soccer, basketball, rugby, lacrosse, hockey, tennis or American football.

However, some scientists question the mechanisms at work, their research possibly demonstrating the high comes from completing a challenge rather than as a result of exertion.
So, I don't know. Whatever it is, running for an hour+ is way better than running for half an hour. It might seem weird, but I've heard this from other people too.

After my run, I was feeling really tired, like I needed something to eat or drink other than water. I should have thought of that. Workouts that are longer than an hour really need some kind of nutrition, at least for me. I will bring some Hammer Gel next time.

I was in the locker room, trying to decide if I should do my swim workout, just swim a little bit or skip it all-together, when I heard "C. Lasko, please come to the daycare" over the loud-speaker. I quickly got dressed (I had already changed into my swimsuit), and rushed to the daycare, hoping there wasn't anything seriously wrong. I got there to find Elle looking like this:

One of the babies had apparently hit her with a dinosaur. Poor thing. She was being very brave, though. She wasn't even crying, just pointed out her "owie" to me. I had to sign a little form so the gym wouldn't get in trouble for this, and I said, "No big deal, this could have easily happened at home." In fact, Ethan did give her a bloody nose yesterday. I never found out what happened either... Anyway, we just came home after that. I couldn't get myself to just leave her after being assaulted by a 1-year old. I will try to get to the pool tonight. We'll see.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Our House a very, very, very fine house.

This morning it snowed again and I really wanted to get a current snowy picture, so here you go. I'm trying to notice the beauty of winter since I hate pretty much everything else about it.

Today felt a little more laid back than yesterday. I was able to get the house pretty much cleaned up, and that's always nice. Also, notice the nicely shoveled sidewalk?

My plan for today said:
Bike: 60 minutes road or trainer, like last week this is all small chainring work (uh, what?), low effort. 
Like I could even do an hour on the small chainring. Boring! Actually, I didn't realize that's what it said until just now. 

I just did 55 minutes on the trainer because I wanted time to stretch before picking Ethan up. Yeah, I cut it that close. I didn't have it on a super easy gear, but I didn't touch the hardest gears either. I tried to keep my cadence at 90 - 95 the whole time.

I promised a picture of my new seat (it's the one with white on it):

I'd like to say that I got on my bike today with this new saddle and just felt like I was sitting on a cushion, but that wouldn't be completely true. It was still uncomfortable, a little painful even, but I think it felt more manageable because the pain is in a different place. It seems like I should be able to get used to it, or at least put up with it better than the old saddle.  I hope I made the right choice.

I made myself a bottle of Gatorade to drink while riding because that's all our ghetto Smith's had. I usually get Power-aid, and I usually do two scoops per bottle so I just did that with the Gatorade. WAY to strong. I felt almost like I had to chew it, and I wasn't looking forward to it every 10 minutes when I took my sips. Next time I will just do one scoop.

Tonight I went grocery shopping with my friend, Ann, and she's looking at buying a house in Sugarhouse. That is a really cool part of town where Pete and I had originally wanted to get a house, but it was too expensive. Now, lucky for them, the house prices are going down so it looks like they might be able to get into that cool neighborhood. I'm so jealous, so I just need to keep reminding myself how great our house is and that we like our neighborhood and not think about what might have been. I just need to be happy for her, and I am. Plus, look how nice our street is:

Now I have that song in my head! "Our house is a very, very, very fine house...."
"Deep Down I always believe I can win."
Francie Larrieu Smith

Monday, February 9, 2009

Mondays Are Too Much

This morning big, beautiful, fluffy snowflakes were falling from the sky. Here is Elle in our backyard on the way to take Mindy to school. I guess all the talk about snow in Heber yesterday made Salt Lake jealous. :)

I went to the gym today and started out with a run. Here is what my training plan says:
Run: 45 minutes. 10 minute warm up, then do 20 second strides before returning to RPE 3 pace. Repeat strides every 5 minutes.
I would like to say that, doing the strides, I was able to be faster than my usual 10-minute mile, but I was at almost exactly 4.5 miles when my watch hit 45 minutes. I pushed it pretty hard on the strides, but I did try to take it easy and keep my heart-rate down otherwise.

After my run, I got a drink of water, stretched really good, got another drink of water, and headed to the pool. Here's what my plan said to do:
Swim: speed day.
Warmup: 300 continuous. concentrate on form weakness.
Main: 10 x 100 descend 1-5 and 5-10.
Cool down: 200 continuous, alternate 50 kick, 50 swim.
I did my 100s (that's 2 laps remember) at 2:00, 1:55, 1:50, 1:45 and 1:40. I did this twice, and I wasn't always exactly on those times, but I was pretty darn close! When I came up after my second 5 and saw that I had made it on 1:40, I just had to smile.  The lifeguards probably think I'm a little loony. I was pretty happy with how it went. It was a good, hard workout. 

When I got home, I made quesadillas for the myself and the kids, and I drank a recoverite before taking a quick shower and getting Ethan to school right on time.

Then, I went with Pete to pick up his new suit, then he wanted lunch at Pei Wei, but I just had a lettuce wrap to share with Elle. I dropped him off at work just in time to pick Ethan and Mindy up, then it was home to do homework before taking Mindy to ballet. After that, I hadn't made dinner so we went out for family night to Simply Thai (oh, man, they need a new website though!) all the way down at 106th S. It is the most delicious place. If you're ever in the area, you've got to try it out. So good. The owner does a lot of the cooking herself and she comes out to greet all the guests. She makes the best coconut ice cream too! Yum! Last time we were there, we had a really big group and she gave it to us for free because we had to wait so long. We didn't have any tonight, though, because Elle was getting too restless. We stopped at Iceberg on the way home for ice cream cones, and boy did that little girl make a mess! The  kids went to bed like little angels when we got home. That's the nice thing about a busy day.

Today was just a little too busy, though. I've hardly had any time to be at home and relax. Plus my legs are sore from my run, and I'm just really tired. 

Mondays are always such a shock after enjoying a nice relaxing Sunday. The alarm goes off Monday morning and it's just, BOOM! Back to work and school and training and ballet and family night..... It was a little worse than usual today, though. I need to make sure to plan a crockpot dinner next week.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

19 Weeks to Ironman

As I lay in bed last night, thinking that today it would be 19 weeks until Coeur d'Alene, I could feel my heart-rate start to go up and my breathing quicken a little bit. What I think this means is that I'm nervous. Just a little bit nervous. Or, maybe a lot nervous. Depends on when you ask me. I spent last night on the internet looking for outfits I could wear, what would look good but also be practical. I think I've decided on this purple one.  But then, I have a red and gray bike, so that might clash too much. Maybe something black or gray? But then Pete said, purple would make it easier for him to find me than if I wore a black one. Decisions, decisions. Then I laid down and thought about how many weeks I have left. Ok, my pulse is quickening again as I write this. Just breathe....

This morning we got to sleep in. It was so nice! I didn't set my alarm because I thought there was no way I'd sleep past 8, but when I woke up, it was 9:30! We had to be at my Dad's before 11:30 so he wouldn't be stuck taking the kids to church alone. Actually, he wouldn't have even been able to take them since we had the car seats. We were quick, though, and made it there with half an hour to spare. I kind of thought I'd have to get the girls' hair done before we left, but I don't know why I was even worried. My dad did 3 girls' hair by himself for how many years? I can't say I was the most stylish girl in town, but he did a great job! 

My dad is amazing! For those of you who don't know, we lived with my dad in Heber for 2 1/2 years before moving here to Salt Lake so the kids are really close to him. They miss him a lot, and he misses having them around so everyone was excited for the sleep-over last night. His girlfriend even came over with loads of things for them to do. They made their own personal pizzas, heart-shaped cookies, and decorated picture frames. 

They were all pretty sleepy in church from staying up so late, but I think that's ok every once and a while. Elle actually fell asleep in nursery, then woke up, started screaming and ended up staying with me after that. Mindy insisted on staying with me too because she was too tired to go to primary, but Ethan (who is usually the one to put up a fight) went right in to Primary and had a great time! We were excited about that.

After church, we got to see Sabel and she looked really good! She said she was feeling much better too. She just needs to be careful not to get sick because that is what set her heart problems off. Hopefully she'll just take it easy, but not get too bored! Maybe she's reading my blog right now. Hi Sabel! :)

We also visited my grandparents and had a YUMMY dinner with my dad before heading home.

The last 3 times we've made the trip to Heber, it's been snowing. It makes me feel like Heber is constantly in some state of snowyness. Christmas day it was a total blizzard, but today it was just tiny white specks floating around in the air. It was kind of cool. It is always weird how much colder it is there, though. We were starting to feel like it's spring here because the snow is all melting and it's been pretty warm, but it's 20 degrees colder in Heber! It's a cold, but beautiful place. 

Here is a picture from last year when we really got dumped on in Heber. This year is not nearly as bad. Or I should say as good. Depends on who you are I guess. 

This picture was taken Christmas 2005. I think it was Ethan's first time ever seeing snow since we lived in St. George until then.