Saturday, March 31, 2012

Too Far

You know how in the middle of your run you feel so good, and it's so nice outside, and you're just listening to your music so you don't want to turn around and you end up running farther than you should?

Yeah, I did that today.

I went out for a 1:35 run, and for some reason I turned around at 1:00? Um, ok, math wizz! To be fair, it was uphill on the way out and I knew the way home would be faster, but not that much faster!

It was a good run. It was so warm and beautiful outside! I ran by temple square at about 7:30am where it smelled heavily of flowers, and people were already gathering for General Conference. It's always cool to see the masses who come from far and wide for this event!

I ran up City Creek, and kept my heartrate around 157-160 most of the time, which is running pretty hard for me. At least for that distance.

I was tired today, and kept having the urge to stop and walk on the way up which I usually don't have. Don't worry, I didn't do it! :)

I think I was extra tired because I did my long ride yesterday and rode up to the top of Little Mountain for the first time in a loooong time! I had almost chickened out and turned around before I got to the top because I was afraid I would run out of time, but I decided to go for it even if it made me a few minutes late since I'd already made it so far.

On my way up the switchbacks, as I was moving along at a very slow and steady pace, a guy with one leg dpassed me! Seriously! That was so inspiring!

I'm so glad I stuck it out and made it to the top!

There's a sign up there about the Mormon Pioneers who crossed this mountain, along with Big Mountain, just before entering the Salt Lake Valley. It boggles my mind every time I think of what they accomplished!

I had dropped Elle off at a friend's house, and George was taking a nap at home while Pete was working so I wanted to get back before he woke up, and had told them I would ride for 2:30.

I got to the top of the mountain in 1:36 so I had about 50 minutes to get back down. I wasn't sure if I'd make it, but I ended up getting back to my car (which was getting it's alignment fixed while I rode) in almost exactly 2:30! Sweet!

It was a hard ride, and the hardest part isn't even the mountain, it's going up 800 South where it is so steep I had to stand up and didn't know if I would make it. But I did make it! And it's so much fun to come back down! So fast!

Even though it was a hard ride, I didn't really think it had affected me that much until I got into bed last night. Then I realized my legs were sore. Then in the morning, I just had a little bit of a harder time on my run.

It ended up taking me 43 minutes to get home from my run instead of 35 which I guess isn't that much longer, but that last mile was particularly hard, and I had to slow down a bit. I just felt like I had given it all I had and there was nothing left. When I caught myself thinking this, though, I forced the thought out of my mind and pushed on. I realized that the mile closest to my house is always the hardest mile, no matter the distance. Crazy how that works!

I ended up doing 9.37 miles in 1:43 which is still a lot slower than I want to be, but I'm going to try to be patient!

Really, if I would have turned around 5 minutes sooner, the timing would have been perfect. Oh well. I was just happy to be home!

Now it's time for bed, and my legs are pretty sore. I plan on doing a lot of sitting around tomorrow since it's General Conference. If you've ever wondered what we Mormons believe, this would be a great chance to find out in the comfort of your own home. You can stream it live from

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Getting Serious & Training With Heart Rate

This getting serious buisness is getting serious! I have to say, I'm starting to get pretty ripped, though! This week has been an awesome week of training. I did miss one swim on Monday and one pilates session on Thursday, but I still logged almost 12 hours of training this week!

And I'm just getting started! Crazy!

The highlight of this week has been getting my heart rate monitor back from getting a new battery!! I used it a little bit when training for Coeur d'Alene, but I don't think I knew what my zones were, nor did my training plan give me specific zones to train in. The training plan that I'm doing this year is all in time and heart rate zones instead of distance and pace, and most of my workouts are in Zone 2. When I first read this, I thought Zone 2 would be really easy, and that I would need to hold back and go a little slower. I've been running really easy the past couple of weeks because of this.

Boy was I wrong!

My first run with heart rate was Thursday morning, and it was just supposed to be an easy 20 minute run. I forgot to check what my zone ranges were before I left for the gym. I had written them down a while ago, but then lost the paper. I seemed to remember zone 2 was around 150 so I tried for that. Turns out I can run at about my average pace at 150bpm, maybe even a little faster! What?!

Then I took the heart rate monitor out on my bike ride with George in the bike trailer and my friend, Ginny. Heart rate zones for the bike are a little lower then with running. I made sure to check before I left this time, and wrote it down on my hand. Zone 2 for the bike is 136-154. Turns out I've been going way too easy on the bike! I was breathing pretty hard to keep my heart rate around 140. Pulling the bike trailer with the heavy boy helped too!

Friday I went to masters swimming, but neither my coach nor my swimming buddy were there. I was sad they were gone, but managed to figure out my own workout. I did 2500 yards in an hour, wahoo!

Then I went home and got ready for my 1:30 long run. I didn't quite know what to eat. I usually have oatmeal before my long run, but I had oatmeal before my swim. I usually have eggs after swimming, but would that be too heavy before my run? Well, I was hungry so I made myself an omelet, but only ate half of it.

I dropped George and Elle (she doesn't have school on Fridays) off at my friend's house then headed out. It was cool starting from her house because it put me about a mile closer to where I wanted to run to, and I got to skip my least favorite part.

I ran up City Creek which I thought was fitting because everyone is so excited about the new shopping center downtown that just opened this week, and it's called City Creek. I haven't been there yet, but I've heard it's really cool so I might have to go check it out even though I don't have the time or money to shop in malls.

Anyway, I decided to keep my heart rate closer to 150 on the way up, then 160 on the way back so I could negative split my run which is what BJ Christiensen (my bike trainer class teacher) told me I should be doing. I knew it would be easy to negative split it with pace because it would be uphill most of the way out, and downhill on the way back, but I wanted to negative split it with heart rate/effort too.

I ran at what felt like a really good pace. I felt really good, but I also felt like I was pushing myself a little more than usual. When I got to the hill, I had to really watch and keep my heartrate down, though. The sweet spot seemed to be 153, but it would sneak up to 157 quite a bit.

On the way down, I tried to just breath, and fly down the canyon. I wish I knew how fast I was going, but it was really fun, and my heart rate seemed to stick at 160 really well!

When I got back, I had to run around the block once to get to my time, and I had also stopped at the bathroom on the way down so I definitly negative split that long run! Wahoo!

I was so excited and feeling good, but tired like I had really pushed myself more than usual, so I couldn't wait to look at the GPS app on my phone (Runkeeper) to see how far I'd gone. I was really thinking I might have made it 9 miles this time, which is what I'd like to be doing in 1:30.

When I looked at it, I thought there must have been some mistake. It said 7.92 miles. Seeing a 7 just made me want to cry. Or throw my phone. What the heck? I did 8.5 last week in the same amount of time. I can't beleive I didn't even do 8 this week. I'm really hoping my app just wasn't very accurate. Oh well, it doesn't matter. I'm training by time. It was a good run. I'll get there!

I was so tired for the rest of the day! I was so glad George took a really good nap when we got home so I could get showered then lay down for a while. The trouble with that, though, was that I didn't really eat lunch and I really needed to eat something good after that run! I will work on this.

Today I rode 35.8 miles on the Legacy Parkway Trail and it was a really, really nice day! I wore shorts and short sleeves! It was windy, but not as windy as last week, thank goodness! Last week's wind was insane! Today I knew there was going to be a headwind on the way home because I was just flying out there! It was so fun, though, and I still pushed really hard to keep my heart rate around 140. It was awesome to be crusing along at 20mph, see that my heart rate was too low and push it even harder! Last year I would have just seen that 20 and been content with that. No more, those days are gone. It doesn't matter how fast I'm going, I just need to keep a steady zone 2 effort going!

I made it to Lagoon in a little less than an hour! I'm pretty sure it would take me an hour and a half to get out there last year (I can't remember for sure though...) so that was exciting!

It was windy on the way back, and I thought that would help my keep my heart rate higher, but strangly, it had the opposite affect. I'm sure it was partly beause I was tired, but I think having that wind push against me just made me want to relent and go slow. I worked hard and kept my heartrate right around 136 (the low end of zone 2) most of the way back, until the last 10 minutes when I was back in traffic and let myself relax and cool down. It was such a beautiful day and a fun ride!

I put some chicken on as soon as I got home so it could cook while I stretched, then had a nice big chicken salad before I showered. I feel pretty good now, a little tired, but better then yesterday. I think it's really important to get that food in right away! And, now George is awake from his nap so I must get on with my day.

Here are my heart rate zones just so I don't lose them again:

RUNNING (Max HR 189)

Z4: 170 - 179
z3: 162 - 169 (this is the no-no zone)
z2: 141 - 160
Z1: 122 - 140


Z4: 162 - 170
Z3: 155 - 161
Z2: 136 - 154
Z1: 118 - 135

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Making My Own Training Plan

This month I have officially started Half Ironman training!

I have a book called, Be Iron Fit that I've gotten most of my inspiration from for my training plan, but I keep tweeking it. I'm kind of obsessed with it actually. If you must know. :)

I get obsessed with things way too easily. For example, the other night I laid in bed for like 4 hours thinking about wildflowers. Wildflowers! Seriously!? I had just gotten this idea that I'd like to have our family pictures taken somewhere there are yellow wildflowers since I plan on painting our living room yellow (which is a whole other thing I'm obsessed with!) and I could not stop thinking about it! It was crazy. We had also had brownies for our Sunday night treat, and I'm thinking that proably had something to do with it too. No more brownies at night for me! I was so tired Monday morning that I skipped swimming, and I usually am so excited for swimming!

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, my schedule. I don't know if you can tell anything from this picture, but here's what my month has looked like so far (click on the calendar to see it larger):

Basically, I have still been doing swimming 2x a week, and I upped my biking to 3x a week, and lowered my running from 4x to 3x a week.

Wait a minute, what did I do to my running? Now it seems so silly to me that I would do something like run less when running is SO my weakness. It's really what I want to improve most this year. At Utah Half last year, I was pretty happy with my swim time, and very happy with my bike, but I want to cut half an hour off my run! Um, that's a lot.

My friends, Amber and Cheryl, have been running pretty much every day - 5 days a week. They run every weekday, then take the weekend off. I have noticed them getting faster in the past few weeks, while at the same time I've been watching myself get slower. They have totally inspired me to run more! So, I tweeked my schedule, and made it so I'll now be running 5 days a week too! Yay! This is my first week trying it out so we'll see how it goes. I see a lot of miles with the stroller ahead of me. :)

So, basically, here's my weekly schedule:

6am: 1 hour master's swim (2000-2500 yards)
9am: 45 min run + intervals
10am: 30 min strength (Nike Training Club)

6am: 1 hour bike trainer class
9am: 20 min easy run
10am: 30 min pilates video

6am: 1 hour master's swim (2000-2500 yards)
9am: 45 min run + fartleks or tempo
10am: 30 min strength (Nike Training Club)

6am: 20 min easy run
7am: 30 min pilates video
9am: 1 hour easy bike ride

6am: 1 hour master's swim (2000-2500 yards)
9am: 90 minute long run

9am: 2:15 long bike ride

Of course, all these times will be incrementing as I go, this is just where I'm starting out this week. With the added running days, I had to cut down mileage from my usual days too. I'll also be mixing things up a little after my half marathon in June which is right around the time the kids get out of school.

I'm such a creature of habit and just love to have everything planned out like this. I also LOVE that I'm done with all my workouts in the morning. I hate working out in the evening, and almost never do it.

This is really my first time making my own schedule (or at least tweeking one this much) so I'd really, really love to hear what you think about it! Am I doing too much of something, or too little? My A race is 23 weeks away, and you can see my race schedule to the right.

Is it bad to be doing the same things every week? Even if I'm adding on time/intensity?

Also, I'm not sure if a swim and long run on Friday are a good idea. What do you think?

I will try it this week and see how it goes. My friend, Brittany, has kindly offered to take Elle and George Friday so I can do my long run outside and without the stroller! I did my long run early last week. I don't live in an area where I feel comfortable (nor would Pete let me) running outside in the dark so I did most of it on the treadmill and track at the gym, and that just wasn't very fun. Even though it was nice to have it all done by the time the sun came up, I really missed having that long run outside, it makes my week feel more complete!

I feel like I've been doing a really good job so far getting my workouts in, and I feel really good. I'm excited to try this out and see if it makes me faster!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Lovely Anniversary Weekend

Our 11 year anniversary is coming up, but Pete's going to be away on business for our actually anniversary so we decided to celebrate it a week early. My dad offered to watch the kids for the whole weekend! I'm glad the kids went and stayed there one night a few weeks ago so we could kind of have a trial run with George. Since he did so well, I wasn't very worried about leaving him this time.

The plan was to go snowboarding, but it snowed a lot on Wednesday so Pete ended up going with friends Thursday night and Friday morning. On top of that, we knew that everyone would head up there Saturday so it would be really crowded. I don't really like it when it's crowded, it makes me too nervous that someones going to hit me or I'm going to hit someone! So, we decided to go to the climbing gym on Saturday instead. That way, I could still get my long run in too!

I dropped the kids off friday afternoon with my dad. It boggles my mind that there could be anywhere colder than Park City! It was so windy and cold there! I was happy to get back to Salt Lake where it was 17 degrees warmer.

That night, we went to the temple, and had really nice time there. Then we went to dinner at The Copper Onion which is my new favorite restarurant! Thier menu changes depending on what's in season which I love!

When we got there, they told us it would be a 45 minute wait, but that was fine since it's not like we were hurrying back for the baby-sitter or anything.

This is a terrible picture taken with my phone while we waited.

While we waited, they brought us appitizers. We had the Braized Pork Belly with Preserved Cherries. Oh. My. Gosh. Words can not describe how deliciously amazing this was! It made my mouth so happy, and I almost wanted to cry it was so good. Seriously. I would highly recommend it! So good.

They seated us at the chef's table which is basically a bar where you can watch them cook. We really loved watching them prepair all this delicious food! Pete ordered some oysters as another appitizer. I had a couple, but did not love them so I let him eat the whole thing. I just have never been a big oyster fan.

I ordered the Pork Chop which came with this crispy cornbread kind of thing, ancho chilis and an egg on top. It was so good! I also got a side of brussel sprouts which were all cut up and in a bowl like a cabbage salad which I thought was an interesting way to cook them. I didn't love them, unfortuantly, but they were ok.

Since it was our anniversary dinner, we had to order desert! I got this lemon corn cake with rasperries. It was so delicate and buttery and just pefect! Pete had the chocolate cardamom pudding which was really chocolatey and exotic tasting with the cardamom. Yum. Such good food!

We were so happy afterwards, but hated to leave! The Copper Onion is right next to a movie theater so we just went to The Artist. It was so fun to just do whatever we wanted and not have to hurry home to the kids. It was a good movie and a perfect end to such a perfect evening!

Saturday morning, I went and got our Bountiful Basket. I got a ton of fruit and veggies for $60, but I don't think I'll so it again since you have to go pick it up at 7:15am, and I found out about The Utah Co-op that you can go pick up Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Plus they have grass fed meat from a local farm that you can buy while you're there. I'm excited to try that out next week!

When I got back from doing that, I decided to do the dishes after eating my usual pre-run banana peanut butter oatmeal. Then I headed out on my run. I ran pretty much the same route as last week up to the mouth of City Creek, only I added in another hill. It was a really nice run. I tried to go really easy so I ended up doing 8.24 miles in the same time 1:30 it took me to do 8.4 last week. I need to keep my long runs in the aerobic range where I can build up my mitocondria. I don't totally understand how it works, but Pete gave me a really good analagy:

If we compare our bodies to cars, fat and sugar are the fuel. Sugar burns really quickly and we can't store very much, but we basically have endless amount of fat which we burn slowly so this is what we want to use when we do endurance events. We burn fat when we're in the aerobic zones, and sugar when our heart rate gets higher and we go into the anaerobic zones. What I need to do is get to where I can go faster while keeping my heartrate in an aerobic zone so I can burn fat and keep that pace up. But our bodies can only burn so much fat at a time.

My body has a 4 cylinder engine. We want the abily to use as much fuel as possible. Remember, we're not talking about prius' here, we're trying to build a race car engine that can convert a lot of fuel to a lot of energy aka speed. How do I upgrade to a 12 cylinder engine? By building a lot mitocondria. Mitocondria are what help us turn fuel into energy so I need more of them. How do I build up mitocondria? From what I understand, I just need to run a lot.
After my run, we hurried and went out to brunch at The Park Cafe which we love to go to for breakfast. We had to wait half an hour, but I felt like I needed something after my run so we bought 3 peanut butter cookies and shared them while we walked about a mile around the park. We got back just in time to be seated! I ended up choosing the healthy option, and getting an omelete. It was really good, and I didn't have to feel sick or bad about it later.

My Half Ironman training plan starts tomorrow! It goes off of heart rate and time instead of pace and distance so I really need to start training by heart rate, but all three of my heart rate straps are dead, along with my heart rate monitor watch so I'm not able to use them yet. We went to REI to see if they could replace the batteries, but they just told me to send them in to Polar. Arg! I will send them in to Polar tomorrow and hopefully it doesn't take too long to get them back!

Later we decided to go to IKEA to get the kids some nightlights. Of course, we ended up spending way too much time there, and planning out all the things we want to eventually buy! It was fun, though.

When we got done there, it was dinnertime so we went to another one of my favorite resaturants: Simply Thai. I got the red curry which is really good there! We got desert again since, after all, it was our anniversary dinner! :) I got the coconut ice cream. Yum.

We ended up just wanting to go home and relax after that so we didn't go climbing. I'm kind of sad we didn't go, but at the same time it was a really good day and we both enjoyed just spending it together.

We enjoyed church today without any kids to wrangle, and are just relaxing now that we're home. We'll be heading out soon to go get them, though. I miss my baby! My dad says he's just been a delight and has hardly cried at all the whole weekend. What a good boy!