the mice will play.
Or they’ll just keep the bike and trainer in the living room for the next two weeks.
Oiselle just launched some of their spring line and I’m drooling over the bright colors, warm weather styles (tank! tops!), and the thought of spring. Though the Happy Hoody might just be what gets me through this snowy night we’re having.
What should I buy first?!
My Garmin is both wonderful and evil. Having the data and being able to track my every mile is enlightening. I can’t lie to myself about how fast I’m going no matter how “hard” running feels. And even if I manage to convince myself that I’m pushing hard enough my heart rate clearly explains when that’s not the case (or is). On most runs I don’t really know how I ever managed without the bugger! During long runs my watch keeps me focused on the task at hand and motivates me to stay strong, but no matter the workout having data makes following instructions more concrete. And one of the few things I love more than running is following instructions!
However, when it comes to speed work, or even just running fast, the evil side of my Garmin starts to show. At a certain pace it takes all of my physical focus to keep striding forward and not fight the run, and when I’ve hit that point it takes all of my mental focus to will myself forward without breaking something that’s supporting forward movement. Checking my Garmin breaks my physical form without a doubt, but even more than that I think it breaks me mentally. Moving forward with speed (aka running fast) is both a mental and physical exercise, and I really think my Garmin does not support doing so successfully.
Checking a watch is just a simple twitch of the wrist in the forward-most position of your arm swing, right? No. Not right. I don’t know about anyone else, but every time my foot hits the ground my arm shakes, and I misread the screen. Then the data field changes (pace to heart rate to whatever) and I have to try to time my next peek right so that I hit the correct rotating screen. Inevitably this takes me 3 tries. All the while I’m probably running funny and am definitely wasting energy, but that’s not the least of it.
When I see my pace, it all falls apart. If I see a pace slower than prescribed all I can think is how impossible it will be to complete the next three sets. Yes, in that moment, I literally feel like it’s impossible. If I see a pace that’s fast – not too fast for what’s prescribed, but whatever my mind thinks is fast, could just be a significantly quicker min/mile than I usually run – I freak myself out. Omigod this is sooooo hard and I am dying! DYING! The fact is sometimes I am dying, but usually I am not. Usually I have already psyched myself out by checking Training Peaks and thinking too hard about how I’ve never run that fast or last time I did this workout I didn’t hit my splits or just in general about how anything below a 7:15 min/mile seems completely outlandish. My mind and my legs aren’t always in agreeance in regards to what’s possible.
So the point of all this is to say that this morning I made a conscious decision to not look at my Garmin during the fast portion of my run. I warmed up, then started my fast set in a place where I could guesstimate the distance. I knew what my pace was supposed to be on paper and rather than accelerating like a bat out of hell I sped up to a pace I know, pushed harder, then tried to hold on to something uncomfortable. I focused on breathing, even strides, heart rate, arm swing, leaning forward, and…
When I got to what I thought was 3 miles (it was 2.8, so kill me), I took a look and had averaged a 6:54 pace. Nothing insane, but my instructions were a 6:50-7 min/mile pace so it warranted a smile. A 6:54 pace for 3 miles is nothing for some, and I was far from the land of sufferfest, but I overcame my brain and allowed myself to just do. Good stuff this morning. It was good stuff.
My Christmas weekend was a long one, and in the 5 days I:
I was feeling pretty lazy about the whole weekend; drinking your weight in wine and eating your weight in food will make you feel like a lump no matter how much you exercise. But seeing that list I feel much better… At least I got my heart rate up and burned off some calories. And a couple of those workouts were pretty good, including the 13 miler.
Over long weekend I got to spend time with tons of family as well as get a little down time too. I think it’s totally necessary to celebrate the holidays with all your loved ones. But when celebrating entails the above workouts + eating and drinking as described some recovery time on the couch is also mandated.
I’m looking forward to spending 2012 playing with all of my new swim/bike/run toys that I collected from my very generous and understanding family, who have learned better than to ask what arm sleeves are for, if I REALLY need another running shirt, or why it’s necessary to have so many pairs of goggles. I’m a lucky girl, because rather, they celebrated my tri-geekdom by taking this photo! Hopefully I can make them all proud with a good showing in 2012.
I saw this infographic on MP3 Running the other day, and though I don’t know why men are referred to as “speedos” I really like it! I work in marketing so infographics are all the rage at my day job* and this is one of my favorites because it covers a topic that I
actually care about love.
Not much is surprising to me here. I think the biggest surprise was the number of running events that the average runner attends, as well as that women purchase less (running) shoes per year than men. Because most running ladies I see have the brightest sparkliest kicks out there!
*Want to know what my night job is? Well, actually, let’s call it a morning job. It rhymes with bimming, ricycling, and sunning.
This morning I woke up a later than usual. I usually do a 6-8 mile run plus 1:15:00 of weights on Thursday mornings. It’s generally a big morning for one of the most tired days of the week, but last night I had a good chunk of time to myself so I knocked my weights out a day early to allow myself some extra zzz’s.
Forewarning: Extra zzz’s always throw me off.
hopped out of bed laid in bed for about 5 minutes after my alarm clock went off, and contemplated whether I should really get out of bed. No. Yes. No. Yes. Really? Definitely. I got up, stretched, pulled on my running tights and made it downstairs.
I dawdled for a little bit, checking twitter and my RSS feed while stretching. I got my ear warmer and heart rate monitor and gloves all situated. I realized I forgot my key, so I disassembled myself, pried it off the larger key ring, stowed it in my pocket, got re-situated, and stood at the front door thinking about whether there was anything left to do. Nope, there wasn’t. Just the actual running was left to do.
I closed the door behind me and stood on the sidewalk while my Garmin caught a GPS signal. As the signal reached full strength I went to take my first step and realized.
I was still wearing my slippers!
It’s been a few days in a row of joys like that. I was tempted to just run in them, but decided that my podiatrist, who I was seeing just a few hours later, probably wouldn’t approve. So inside I went to put on my real shoes, and I ran happily ever after.
This morning was my first pool session since Black Diamond. Yeah, I “swam” in Hawaii, but it was so beautiful that it didn’t seem like work. It felt good to be back in the pool with some structure, but was also a good reminder that I have some serious work to do. It’s amazing how much you can lose in just a month. I don’t think I’ve lost much fitness, but swimming is so technical and the smallest change in form can make or break you. Let’s just say this morning I spent much of my time trying to keep from breaking.
Good news is that Fridays are pretty quiet at the pool. I had a lane to myself for a while and then joined a lane with two folks once my drills required more speed. For the first time in a while there wasn’t any dodging or hurrying to avoid fellow swimmers, so I could really just concentrate on myself and try to get in the zone. I’ll be back at the pool on Monday so I’m holding off on judgement until then. I’ll wait to decide if I’ve lost progress until after Monday’s swim.
I’m also in the market for a new bike. One that will give me an edge by saving me some energy on the longer rides, as well as cut some time in race. And it has to be pretty, duh. I’ve proven to be not slow on the bike leg, but it’s still the part that I’m least comfortable with. With what I have coming next season, and some new goals I’m working toward, it’s going to be well worth the investment to upgrade to better equipment that will get me more aero and more competitive. Equipment is only as good as it’s user, but I’m not trying to make up for lack of fitness or hard work. I want to work hard and ride a fast bike, a winning combination.
I test rode some bikes last weekend but didn’t come up with a true winner. The Blue Triad Ex rode like a dream. Truly. I had just finished up a 12 mi run, but I hopped on that bike and just flew down the Burke Gilman as though on clouds rather than a ripped up paved trail littered with small children, drunk students and the occasional squirrel. But due to the geometry and my petite stature I wouldn’t be left with much room for adjustment, even with Blue’s XS size. To get the fit right I’d have to majorly adjust the with a new set of aero bars, sort of a pain when you’re already spending so much. I also rode the Cervelo P2 & P3, and it was pretty significant how different they felt. We were trying our best to make a size 51 work so that I can have 700 wheels, but the size 48 would really be a better option despite the 650c’s. The P3 rode very well too and felt like an extension of my body. It was easy to handle, of course looks great, and even though it was a bit big I really didn’t feel stretched so I can only imagine the 48 will be more natural. Last but not least we tried to adjust the Orbea Ordu to a comfortable level, but the design didn’t allow the seat to come down enough for me to peddle. So I skipped it.
So while I have to wait for the 2012 bikes to get in store so I can re-test everything, I plan to spend the next 2-3 months looking at bike porn and drooling over the countless amazing options. Here are some of my current flames:
I love this bike. Like, really love. The Blue Black SL 2012. If money were no object I’d definitely splurge on this number. So understated and badass. Sort of like the honey badger of bikes. Hopefully between now and when they ship out I’ll win the lottery so I can validate the investment.
This is what I’ll probably end up with, the Cervelo P3. Not that this is really a second choice, because it’s a sexy bike that has a proven track record for being faster than fast. I’m sure I could do some good damage on this little number.
Maybe I should be considering Trek, too. I like the Speed Concept 7.5 okay, but the frames have a tendency to be over-designed visually, in my opinion. I’d rather be a silent killer, but this design is quiet enough for me.
If any readers have bike suggestions that I should be considering by all means shoot some advice my way!