Monday, February 17, 2014

Currently: Love/hate

While this is a bit late, the topic of love (and its opposite) seems timely with Valentine's Day just past us and all.  Despite the fact that I usually feel quite bah-humbug about the 14th and all the clich├ęs that go along with it, I also often find that we celebrate something around mid-February.  Last year, for instance, we signed a mountain of paperwork to close the deal on our house and went out to celebrate that event - it was actually the 15th, but everyone still assumed that we were out for V-day.  Speaking of home ownership, this year, we felt like celebrating something since we wrapped up the last of our 2013 home improvement projects!  Woo-hoo!  And please interpret the 'we' in that statement as loosely as you will - Michael began what seemed to be a simple kitchen painting project back in the summer, but stripping the previous paint and then sanding and then painting and then sanding again became less than "simple".  We finally decided that we just wanted the job finished, so we followed up a colleague's recommendation and hired a guy who finished up the kitchen and also painted the bathrooms.  Done and done!  So, heading out on Friday night to drink a toast to the end of home improvement projects (for now) was a logical move.  We also drank to the fact that we would NOT be embarking on any major projects in 2014.  Shew!  I realize that some people love the challenge and gain a sense of satisfaction when they complete a major home project, but we have learned, over the past 10 months or so, that we are not fixer-upper-types.  I would much rather spend my Saturday outside, away from our house, hiking, biking, running, doing something, almost anything other than staying at home, working on the house.  (General maintenance is something quite different, and Michael tries very hard to keep a tidy house despite the challenges that I present to those efforts of his on a daily basis!)

Now - for the love: well, I wish that I could say that I'm feeling the love in all things swim/bike/run and life in general, but that is probably not the case.  However, I do feel that I've met my goal to be more consistent in February.  I am slowly logging in more hours, at least in the pool and on the bike, and the elliptical and I have become friendly, even though we're not "in love"!  I have yet to try out aqua jogging, but that may very well be in my future once my aqua jogging shoes arrive this week.  I know, I know, aqua jogging shoes?  Apparently they are amazing.  I'm not expecting miracles, but if aqua jogging will allow me to keep up my running fitness, then I will take it!

But back to what I *am* doing - on the bike and in the pool.  I had my first lactate threshold 'test' on Friday and that was a terrible experience!  Only 20 minutes of the test but I seriously dreaded the experience all day long.  Once I started the actual test, the suffering passed by fairly quickly and my max heart rate completely surprised me.  I'm a bit depressed because it's a good wake-up call for me - I just do NOT like to push it on the bike!  I now, unfortunately, know that I could/should be working a lot harder.  And in the pool?  I'm also still feeling slow, but I just hit a new personal distance record of 3300 meters on Saturday.

Running and I are currently on a hiatus, thanks to a bit of quad tendonitis - not nearly as common as other types of tendonitis, as far as I can tell from the Internets.  So, that is a big "hate" at the moment - I feel like a jilted lover or something and I want to yell "Why don't you love me like I love you?".  Okay, that's rather silly, and I'm trying to be patient and deal with this situation like a grown-up.  And I'm also trying to look at the big picture and not panic.

So, that's a good motto for the moment: Be an adult and don't panic.
We'll see where that takes me!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

January flashback

I know, I know, it's February, and I'm actually quite excited about this shorter month.  It already seems to be moving at a faster pace, both for school and also for that training-thing.  But I thought that I would back up to January because I dug around and got some photos and also because it felt like such a strange month.

Not 'weird' or anything truly exciting, but it was not the month that I expected.  What did I expect?  For some reason, I did not think about what I would actually be doing in January but thought of it in general terms as a new year, a time to really focus on training, and blah blah blah.   The reality was that January ended up being more of a challenge and there was way less consistency than I expected, so I did NOT settle into a routine at all.  Some of that was due to things like getting a cold, which I did not anticipate (fortunately it did not wipe out for days on end, so I consider myself lucky because a lot of people were not that lucky).  I also traveled a lot - returning from Boulder at the beginning of the month, going to Carlsbad/Encinitas, and then also taking a quick trip to Texas.  While I tried to be active during some of these travel days, it's not the same as following a plan at home.  Plus, I was super sore following the Carlsbad Half-Marathon - a good sign that I really pushed myself, but I had a light week after that race because I needed to recover.

Here are a few snapshots from the month:

This was an awesome beach around Encinitas - we're actually going back that way in March and we can't wait!

A post-race photo with everyone!  I think that our dogs were officially grumpy and ready for a nap at that point.  I was too!

Ah, the trainer.  I made an "upgrade" to the bike - aerobars!  I thought that I would have to learn how to ride all over again, but it hasn't been that challenging, and I even put in a 50 miler with them!  But a decent amount of my saddle time is on the trainer.  Still, time in the saddle is time in the saddle.

I usually dread February for different reasons, but I'm actually excited about consistent training and getting in the yards in the pool and the miles on the bike.  Running and I are currently on a hiatus, but hopefully we'll make up soon!