Wednesday, June 25, 2014

chlorine blue blues

Guys, this morning I thought I was being a genius with my daily breakfast smoothie – it varies from day-to-day, but today it was milk, banana, spinach, avocado, strawberries – and thought I’d add some chocolate in there because that just seemed like a good thing to do at the time.  Plus Mark didn’t want one this morning so I was free to experiment (claims he is ‘kind of burnt out,’ whatever that means). 

Well I found a recipe that told me how to do it and I added some cocoa powder to the mix.  The recipe actually called for cacao powder.  I didn’t realize there was a difference, but apparently there is, because I would never recommend this to anyone.  The horrid bitter taste is still there and I think it will be for the foreseeable future.  I hate wasting things (and the nutrients!) so I made myself drink three-quarters of it before admitting defeat in finishing this thing.  It was awful, never again (unless maybe I get some cacao instead).

I actually purchased a superfood smoothie cookbook awhile back (Superfood Smoothies) to switch up my smoothie game and haven’t made anything out of there yet – those superfoods are expensive.  Although my goal is to get them little by little and eventually start making the smoothies from that book.  But much like everything else in my life, I have good intentions of doing something but I just haven’t found the time to follow through.  Like cooking out of all the other cookbooks I’ve bought and all the recipes I’ve pinned from Pinterest, among other things…

But I am dedicated to my triathlon training, so at least I can count on myself for that.  On Monday evening Mark and I decided to go for a swim after work.  I would have to say that this was one of the more successful swims that I had ever taken – my form was on point and as a result I wasn’t as winded as I usually found myself.  We didn’t swim that far – about 600 to 700 meters in total since we’re keeping the exercises this week short and sweet ahead of Sunday. 

Usually after swimming about 600 – 700 meters I am beat and out of breath, but like I said, not with this particular swim.  Maybe I finally found my rhythm, or maybe I was just having a good day.  Either way I am not complaining.  I often find myself frustrated after swimming, so it was nice to come away feeling really good. 

It’s funny, because of the three events – swim, bike, run – I feel there is the most worry with the swim when I am talking with people or reading about triathlons.  I’ve personally found that I really enjoy the swim aspect, and maybe someday it could be my jam.  Which is, of course, completely opposite of what I would have ever thought for myself.  Yes, there are days I get frustrated with myself and my progress – that I am not swimming far enough, or fast enough, or find myself completely out of breath early in a workout – but then I remember that I didn’t even know how to swim (outside of the doggy paddle) before the end of February.  I have to remember I can’t turn into a champion swimmer overnight, and that many of the people I’m training with have been swimming a lot longer than me!

Monday, June 23, 2014

the final necessities

Given it’s almost race day, that means it is essentials crunch time!  While we have most of what we need, this weekend was time to lock down the final essentials.  During what was easily one of the heaviest torrential downpours I’d ever seen, Mark and I decided to head to Sports Authority to pick up what we still needed.  I should mention that it wasn’t a torrential downpour when we left to go to the store; we just unsuccessfully tried to beat the storm.  Which wouldn’t be a problem if one drove everywhere, but these days we tend to walk most places (not that we have a car anyway) and this place happened to be about three-quarters of a mile away from our apartment.  But at least we had rain jackets!

On the list of things to get was googles and sunglasses for me (my current goggles are terrible – for some reason the left eye just leaks constantly and I hadn’t already purchased sport sunglasses but Mark had), and then fog resistant goggle cleaner and body glide for both of us.  We also picked up some sunscreen, but not from Sports Authority…I still have some dignity and just can’t pay what they want to charge for that!  One thing that is still on our list for this week are race number belts, which Sports Authority did not have, leaving me to decide that they are not, in fact, the Authority on Sports as their name would suggest.

I am also really excited because my wetsuit finally arrived today.  Yeah!  Now I can officially say that I do love this website and they are legit.  I ordered this thing last Sunday and it already traveled all the way from Cali (by ground transportation) and arrived in just one week (well and one day, but can you really count weekends in terms of delivery times?).  So, if you want a referral code, let me know :) But for real, then we can both have $10!

Naturally as soon as I had package in hand I had to try this thing on.  

I have watched people try these things on before and seenthem struggle, but I don't think I have ever seen anyone struggle like I did.  It was so hard to get on, especially once I had to try to get over the hump that is my butt.  It just did not want to go on.  Then once I got over that hump getting the thing on my arms and up to my shoulders was a whole 'nother deal.  All I can say is it's a good thing the swim is first and you get to start in this thing, rather than have to try to pull it on during the race at some point.  

In the end, I managed to put it all the way on, and man is it tight!  Everything I didn't want to believe about what people said about wetsuits is true - they are super tight EVERYWHERE, and also super constrictive in the shoulder region (but if you want to improve your posture, man is it good at that!).  It is definitely going to take some getting used to in terms of swimming in this thing, but I can definitely tell it will provide some warmth and buoyancy.  It's actually quite heavy, and I was sweating as soon as I put that thing on.  

Bring on the swim.

progress schmogress

It’s finally here – race week (well, race one week!)! Admittedly I am more excited for race week number two in August, but still excited for this race too, nevertheless.  Sometimes I think of the amount of training still to come for the full one in August and I just think that is so much to go – two months, to be exact (give or take a couple of days).  Only have to double my performance, piece of cake, right?

On that note, training the past couple of days for me was a little lax (or a little more lax than I’d have liked).  Since the majority of the rest of the Triathlon Club were participating in the Pleasant Prairie triathlon, last week’s practices were mostly short in duration and high in intensity (like you should do for the race taper, or so I’ve been told).  It also happened to be a recovery week for those of us not participating in that specific triathlon.  So Mark and I had a hybrid recovery/taper/somewhat normal week with this week being our official race taper.  We’ll be focused this week on keeping our exercises short, but with bursts of intensity.  I don’t want to go too hard before the race and risk wearing my performance down, but also can’t just sit around and do nothing this week as well.

I say my training the past couple of days seemed lax, but that is definitely of my own doing.  When Mark and I first moved to Chicago, he got us involved in a program called Chicago Scholars, which is a great organization that pairs volunteers (mentors) up with high school seniors who will be first generation college students.  Our obligation with our group ended once they graduated, but we still keep in touch so had them over for a BBQ on Saturday.  Here’s me manning the grill:

We had a pretty good spread too.

And even a pig platter of brownies, yum!

You’ll notice that nothing on the spread was overly healthy – although I did try my hand at some veggie burgers in the event someone had dietary restrictions I was unaware of (which, they didn’t), which I ate instead of the hamburgers.  They were quinoa and black bean burgers and actually really good.  I think next time instead of buying them premade I’d try my hand at making them myself (Pinterest has plenty of recipes I am sure).

So needless to say, despite the training time put in, the past couple of days of not so healthy food really makes it feel like I didn’t train much at all.  Which has defeated my goal of staying healthy up to race day which I let you in on last week – but what are you going to do, right?  When life says have a BBQ, it also says eat brownies :)

Luckily, it’s summertime and my favorite snacks are in season – fresh fruit!  Aldi even had another sale this weekend, which of course I had to hit up – cantaloupe, plums, peaches, pineapple, and grapes.  They had other fruit on sale too, but this was what I could carry home with me.  Last time my fruit score went in the freezer for smoothies (which I have not even really put a dent in yet, despite making smoothies every weekday since then…so little goes such a long way in terms of smoothie making I guess), but this time it went in the fridge (well, almost all of it).  I just cut it all up and put it in a bowl (or bowls, depending on how much) and then when I want to eat it I just post up with my bowl on the couch and eat it like you’d see someone sitting there with a bowl of popcorn or chips.  Mark makes fun of me for doing this, but I really enjoy my fruit bowls!  Here’s what they typically look like.

I also kept my pineapple core and put that in the freezer to throw in the Vitamix for smoothies.  I love that thing!  I hate waste, and it helps me be even a little less wasteful.

Lately if it seems my posts have been less focused on being this ‘accident athlete’ and more on just my random thoughts and overall health goals, then you would be correct.  I hope I am not boring you by sharing this or it is detracting from the whole point of the blog in the first place.  I really just think that being an athlete embodies more than the training aspect, and want you to experience my thoughts as I deal with the entire process for the first time.  This post focused a lot on health and food (as have several others in recent weeks), and while I have never considered myself unhealthy, I have never made an effort to be more healthy in my choices as I do now.  I think this is an important part of becoming an athlete, and hope you all do too!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

runnin' in the rain

Sooo, I know it looks like this was two blog posts in one day, but it really is two blog posts in two days – I just forgot to post the previous one in last night.  Today is one less day until triathlon numero uno. 

In my post from yesterday (or right now depending on how fast you keep up with me ;) ) I mentioned I ordered my wetsuit finally and it gets here Monday (so far so good with – could be my new favorite website!).  I don’t know why but I am really excited to get this darn thing.  Maybe it’s because I’ve started checking the Lake Michigan water temperature daily and it ranges from about 55 to 62 on a good day. 

Uhm – that is some cold water!  I can’t even go outside not bundled up when it’s that chilly outside (by my own personal definition of the word chilly, which I think is anything under 70 degrees), so I can’t imagine just jumping right into water that temperature in only my swimsuit.  That wetsuit is 100% necessary in my book.  Also I’m just really excited to try it on.

Unfortunately it doesn’t seem like I will have a chance to swim either in the open water or in my wetsuit prior to race day, so I will be winging it 100%.  First off, this entire sprint is just a big practice and trial for the big one in August, so I’m not overly concerned with my time (although my competitive nature wants me to do well).  Second, the ten day forecast for Chicago has a peak temperature of less than 80 degrees (with some days topping out in the 60s) and rain pretty much every day, so even if I really really wanted to (which I don’t), my window of opportunity would be so small.  Not a good idea to be swimming in the lake when it’s lightening all around…

Which brings me to last night’s interval run.  I don’t know what the weather has been like elsewhere, but for the most part here in Chicago it has been chilly (see previously defined definition of chilly in paragraph above) and rainy (the torrential downpour kind) for as far back as I can remember (ok, just being a little dramatic here because on Saturday the weather was perfect).  At any rate, we’ve had a lot of rain and clouds and also a lot of days that have felt like fall from a temperature standpoint.  But back to the run.

Wednesday night practices are at 6pm.  Since I’ve switched jobs I’ve been able to actually go which has been great.  The fact that it is interval run training is not so great.  Nothing like sprinting for miles at a time (again, dramatic because it’s at most ‘mile’, but you get the point).  Yesterday I checked the weather before leaving for work since I just go straight to the gym after. said it should be somewhere in the 80’s around practice time, so I’m thinking shorts and a tank top would be great.  On a whim I bring a short sleeve shirt…just in case. 

It’s after work and I step outside and it is frigid out to me (granted I freeze all day in my office because the temperature is probably 30 degrees in there) so I’m already cold.  But it’s nowhere near the 80 degrees I was promised – probably closer to upper 60’s or 70, windy, and no sun.  So I’m feeling pretty chilly – good thing I brought that short sleeve shirt, should have packed a jacket too!

By the time I get to the gym, the weather is looking ominous, but like everyone else, I’d much rather run in some rain than run on a treadmill (treadmills are the worst).  We make the decision to run outside and as soon as we get hardly 100 meters from the gym it starts to sprinkle.  We keep going and then it finally starts to pour as we make it to the place in the park where we run the drills, and then it lets up.  At this point we are thinking, aha, a quick shower.  Wrong!  We ran our sprints in the rain (or torrential downpour if you prefer), which isn’t so bad, but running turns into more of fast leaping when you’re trying to dodge puddles.  Luckily it was a recovery week and we didn’t have to do too many (I should mention we could have stopped at any point, but what are we, wimps? No way!).  Naturally, on the way back to the gym it stopped raining.

And then we all went to happy hour, soaking wet.  But it had stopped raining, until we got there, and the torrential downpour continued. 

I’m not really sure what you’re supposed to get from all the talk about the rain in this post.  The sprints weren’t really that bad, and the rain certainly made them more interesting, so I’m not complaining that it rained at all.  We just ran in the rain and I thought you should know.  Oh – and it’s probably not helping that temperature in the Lake get any higher.

Until next time!

ten days to go!

Ten days to go!  I don’t really have any training triumphs or failures to share today, but was in the mood to say something, so I thought I’d go on a tangent about something else.  Enjoy :)

In the two weeks leading up to race day, I have been trying to be extra healthy and conscious of what I eat (limiting the junk, no booze, things like that).  My goal is to do this for a month leading up to the full tri.  We will see how that works for me.  While it’s never easy to really watch what you eat, I do notice a difference in my performance on days where I haven’t just been eating junk, so I am trying to give it a go.  Last Saturday was my last day for booze, which normally wouldn’t be an issue, but so many great drinking opportunities have kept coming up the past couple of days – World Cup viewing, happy hours…I’ve stayed strong, though!

Something else that I have tried to mostly eliminate from my consumption is soda (and not just for the races).  For those of you that know me (probably not even that well) you know I love my Coke.  In the summer, especially, I am a constant fountain drink guzzler (hello, Polar Pops for 79 cents).  When I started at Groupon and we had refrigerators full of drinks (literally those cooler fridges full – Coke, Dr. Pepper, Mountain Dew, Gatorade, Powerade, Vitamin Water, La Croix Water in a dozen flavors, Root Beer, Ginger Ale, Sunkist, Fresca, and pretty much anything else you could ever want), I was in Heaven.  I would drink a can of Coke a day at work, and then whatever I drank at home as well. 

Not the most health conscious decision, but I didn’t really care because it was delicious.  I mean, I did care because I care about my health, but at the same time, like I said I didn’t.  So last year (as in 2013) for Lent I decided I would give it up, hopefully for good, but at least for Lent.  On Fat Tuesday I had my final Coke and lasted all the way until Good Friday (we went to NYC that weekend and I didn’t last on vacation, what a day to give into temptation – amirite?).  Surprisingly with no caffeine headaches throughout the almost 40 days and I felt great, like really great.  After we got back from NYC I managed to continue to not drink soda, at least for the summer.  Then eventually I slipped back into my old habits, and out of them, and back in again. 

By this point, I’ve decided I can’t give up soda completely; I just like it too much!  But I can significantly limit my intake.  Now I just try to have it in ‘special’ situations (like vacations and such) or in non-special situations only once a week (which I have termed Soda Sundays, and surprisingly I didn’t even have any this Sunday).  So far this has gone well for me.  Luckily I’ve never used soda for the caffeine (and no I am not a coffee drinker, that stuff is disgusting), so despite getting up at 5am or earlier a lot of days, I still manage to be fully functional (no, I don’t really drink tea either, if you were wondering, and I won’t do anything with artificial sweeteners in them either, because, well, the aftertaste is horrific in my opinion).

The real kicker for me wanting to get off the soda were the studies I started to notice about added sugar (which seem to be everywhere now), which pretty much scared the crap out of me.  It’s so so so bad for you, like really bad (just look it up! artificial sweeteners too!).  And now that I know about added sugar I see that it is in everything (processed, that is).  By the way – have you seen these pictures floating around showing how much sugar is actually in things you eat/drink?  Crazyness!

So I have definitely become an avid nutrition label reader, which I never thought I would do, but I do try to eliminate what I can.  Especially since it is hiding in things you would not expect.  Of course I still eat desserts and such, but at least now I am aware of at least some of what is in the stuff I’m eating.  I wouldn’t call myself a health nut and can’t judge what anyone else chooses to eat (especially since I’ve spent the better part of a decade with regular visits to any and all fast food joints and that won’t change overnight…mmmmmmmm), but I can say that now that I am aware I’m excited to try to change my habits and find other healthy alternates to eat.

End tangent.  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

because i didn't have enough bruises before

Less than two weeks to race day, and for all my fellow Triathlon Club members who are participating in Pleasant Prairie, less than one week! I kind of wish we were doing that one instead of ITU – but no cars means for now we have to do races in the city.  At the same time, I am happy to have one more week.  Really, I just wish it was time for the Chicago Triathlon in August (not sure at this point if I am just ready for it to be over or if I am really excited for it – but I would say I am more along the lines of excitement). 
Heading up to race day, we have begun to make our final preparations and make sure we actually have what we will need for race day. Among the items we were missing were: most things for our bikes (spare tubes, seat pack, changing kit, water bottle cage), a wetsuit, sunglasses (the athletic kind), a race belt, sunscreen, and probably some other things I am forgetting without the checklist in front of me. All the things for our bike came in last week and we ordered wetsuits this past weekend (I ordered mine from an athletic brand flash-sale site I discovered, – which if it turns out to be a positive experience, this website rocks for all things sport-related). 
I had been anxious to get out on my bike for a long ride, but had been avoiding going too far given we didn’t have supplies that would really make that possible (like a flat kit, for instance).  Yes, most places I’d ride to in the city are not a terribly long walk away from a mode of public transportation if I needed it – but I didn’t really want to have to use that option.  We even started skipping our Tuesday morning brick training since it moved outside a couple months ago, and we didn’t want to have to deal with the possibility of a non-fixable flat.  We would just head to the spin bikes at the gym and get our ride in that way (which is like running on a treadmill, you don’t go nearly as far as fast and it is incredibly dull – exception is an actual spin class, those are awesome).  Now that I can take my necessary fixer-upper tools with me, I am back in the game.
In celebration of being able to go for a long ride, I thought on Sunday morning I’d get up and go for one on the lakeshore path.  Mark opted out of this one, so I was on my own.  This was also my first ride where I was going to try out my bike shoes on my actual bike (rather than the usual stationary ones at the gym) and clip in for my ride, so I could get used to it before the sprint. 
Other than the wind being unruly on Sunday, the ride went pretty well.  It was tough going towards the city because of the wind, but once I turned around I flew.  I will, however, never start my ride at 9am anymore because the path is just too packed.  Only early or late rides for me from now on – dodging other bikers, walkers, joggers, skateboarders, rollerbladers…it gets challenging!  I don’t actually know how far I went round trip, but my guess is about eight or so miles.  My sweet new fitness-tracking watch’s battery died as soon as I started out, so I couldn’t keep track.
The only hiccup I encountered from my ride was the end.  I was heading off the path and back on to the road when I came to a stop and forgot that I was clipped in – too late!  I fell right over (but seriously felt like I was falling in slow motion).  I’m not surprised I forgot, though, the people at the bike shop did say this would happen.  And I can’t ever let anyone be proved wrong.  Luckily the most injured part of me was my ego, especially after the few witnesses asked if I was ok.  Only minimal scrapes, but I did add some more bruises to my ever growing collection.   And of course all on my left side, where I’m already the most battered.  I’m adding a wedding goal for myself this summer – only scrapes and bruises below the waist, because at least those are covered by my wedding dress (FYI – my other goal is no tan lines, because wouldn’t that look awful?).  So far I have had success!  Only three months and change to go to make it!

Monday, June 9, 2014

three weeks to go for triathlon test ride

We are down to crunch time.  Not exactly crunch time, but yesterday marked three weeks to triathlon number uno - the ITU sprint distance (750M swim, 20k bike, 5k run).  So naturally to ring in the three week mark, Mark and I decided to do a double today - get up and run this morning and then swim this evening.  We scored 50% for today (and caught a couple extra zzzz's in the process).  One of these days we will be good about getting up early again...maybe if it ever gets warm out!

Back to the three week mark - I am ready, I think...I hope.  I am confident in my ability to complete the bike and the run, as I know I've gone that far or further before (either in the gym or in the great outdoors).  The swim I am still iffy on.  

Reading up on triathlons and actual athletes - it seems like the swim has the most questions of ability.  Following this Saturday's swim, I am definitely more confident in my ability to complete the swim, but I know it is going to be rough (oh, and then in August I get to double it for the full triathlon).  Not to mention the projected water temperature in Lake Michigan in three weeks.  We have had less than a handful of days up here that have actually been warm, and it's not been overly sunny as well.  So...good thing I'll have a wetsuit to keep me afloat!  I am hoping that swimming a long distance in the elements is similar to riding a bike versus a spin class and going for a run versus running on a treadmill - you always seem to do better not in the gym.

While I'm taking this sprint distance as more of a warm up and gauge of progress for the main event in August, I do still want to do well.  But, I mostly want to get a feel for the transitions and what it feels like going through the switch from swim to bike to run.  But I would be lying if I said I wouldn't give it my all.  Plus, I have to beat Mark :)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

so many smoothies

Bonus post!

What is this, you ask? Two posts in one day?  Well, I just have so much to say and I didn't want to write it all in just one post - that'd be madness. 

For those of you that know, I finally caved and bought a Vitamix earlier this year, after visiting Gerrard (Felton) and Felton over 4th of July a year ago and being super jealous of theirs.  I'd say it was a successful purchase.  I don't really use it on the weekends, but I cannot remember the last time I have not had a smoothie for breakfast during the week (and Mark too, always make it a double).  I use that thing every single day, and everyday it works like champ, blending through whatever frozen concoction I am whipping up.  

I love it, because I start my day with all the servings of fruits you need in a day, and at least one of veggies.  So whether I follow the food pyramid or not on any given day, at least I know I have something good in me.  Things I like to blend on the regular are bananas, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, mangoes, oranges, grapes, pineapple, avocado, spinach, kale, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and on and on.  I usually just throw some fruit/greens in with some milk (dairy, almond, or coconut, whatever we have) and blend it up - and it is great, every time.

So now we go through a lot of fruit, but that is alright with me.  I just get whatever is on sale and that's what we have until it runs out.  Speaking of which - Aldi is having a crazy fruit sale right now (at least up here)!  I went Friday and got a haul - four lbs of strawberries, two pints of blueberries, four lbs of grapes, four nectarines, and six peaches for $15 dollars.  If you try to do that at TJ's, I think that would be the cost of the strawberries!  Here's my haul (minus the strawberries).

I spent a chunk of my afternoon getting this stuff ready for the freezer.  I freeze all the fruit, except bananas, and use it in my smoothies - when the fruit is frozen, you don't have to add any ice and get more nutrient density in your drink (says me, not sure a professional dietitian says that...but I think it has to be true!).

Here's what four lbs of strawberries looks like all ready to go...

And here's the finished product, freezer ready: 

I kept out one lb each of the green and red grapes just for eating, and couldn't cut up the peaches/nectarines yet because they're ripening up in a brown bag in the window.  Once those are ready I'll cut 'em up too.

I'm telling ya, you should jump on the smoothie train if you're not on it is a worthwhile investment :)

what a week!

Well the title says it all - what a week!  This week I started out sore from previous weekend workouts, had a great Tuesday swim, said my goodbyes Wednesday night, last day at Groupon Thursday (and grill arrived!), first Friday night grill-out of the season, and then a killer Saturday morning workout today.  What a week!

Let's start with the beginning.  As you all know, I was SUPER sore to start the week, so Monday morning we definitely did not get up early to go work out...and we didn't do anything Monday at all.  

Then Tuesday we were going to get up, but naturally I set my alarm for the wrong time, so a Tuesday morning bike ride turned into a Tuesday night swim.  Which in the end is ok with me, because I just can't get in enough swim time.

Wednesday Mark made it to training for what everyone says was one intense interval training run.  I, on the other hand, went to Motel Bar (for hopefully the last of those places I have just been to too many times) to say my goodbyes to the great people of Groupon.

Thursday was my last day at work, a bittersweet ending to say the least.  But I am so excited to start a new job on Monday and hopefully enjoy what I do AND have a more regular schedule in the process.  Don't ask me for investment advice yet, though.  When I arrived home, our grill had finally been delivered (after Mark yelling at UPS to deliver the darn thing - we had signed TWO of the slips that they leave for you, and they still wouldn't leave it!).  My workout for the day was helping Mark carry it up the stairs.  It was miserable.  Then we had to put it together - but isn't she beautiful?

The last time we had a grill was when we lived in Columbia (MO, not IL), and I think it was about half this size, that thing has four burners and a side burner.  It's no wonder it was so darn heavy.  All the more friends we can have over now :)

Anyway - Friday came and it was so nice to have the day off without a worry in the world.  I went to the spa in the morning, met Mark for lunch, and then....tried on my wedding dress!!! It came in already (yay!) and almost fits - needs some work in the waist/hips area, but otherwise...bring on October 11.  Then Friday night we had some people over.  Thanks to Kelsey, Tom, and Kelly for the pretty flowers, color coordinated and everything, and they look so nice on our kitchen table.

I'm sure at this point you are wondering...isn't this a blog about athletic feats of awesomeness, why so much about your week?  Well - here comes the athletic feats of awesomeness part...but I had a good week and wanted to share first.

Anywho - last night at our gathering of friends, it wasn't crazy but we all had some adult beverages.  I made some margs in the ol' ('ol?, whichever is the most grammatically correct, you choose) Vitamix (basically the healthiest margs you could have - an orange, a lime, a lemon, sugar, ice, and tequila of course), and that was my drink of choice all night.  I only had two glasses, which made me more tired than drunk, but probably not at 100% for training this morning.  And oh what a training it was!

The usual coaches were all out of town this weekend, so we had a sub.  And it was a rough one (I say rough, but I feel so much better having made it through this workout - nice to see what I can actually do).  Thanks to my handy Suunto workout watch that counts pool meters, impeccably accurate I must say, I swam 1300 meters this morning.  Easily the most I have ever swam in my life at once.  It went like this - about 5 minutes of warm up, 500 meters not stopping, short break, 300 meters faster not stopping, short break, 100 meters faser, some drills, and then 6 laps to finish.  While I had to stop briefly during the 500 meters once, I didn't stop the rest of the times, and considering I could not swim other than doggy paddle at the end of February, I'd say this is progress.  Oh, and then I ran 3.1 miles right after.  Oh, and we had biked to the gym, so had to bike home.  Good stuff.

So I thought I was tired to start the week, but I am finishing it spent.  My legs are like jelly.  But I like it that way.  Also - we have our first tri coming up in just three weeks.  It's a sprint so it's a little shorter, but the swim is still 750M.  Today's practice showed me that I can do that, and then some..even if it is a little slow.  It also told me that I have a long way to go before the olympic distance one we are doing in the end of August.  But that is still a couple months away, and I'm confident I can get there.

Until next time...I'm going to go eat everything in my fridge now.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

where are all these bruises coming from? ...and a bonus **house pics**

My body has never been so tired.  Ok, that is probably a slight exaggeration, but this weekend has been one of little sitting (that's also not true, but of little sitting).  It's about 5:30pm and I think I have been on my feet from about 7am this morning until well, now.  

As with every Saturday, we got up early and went to our 8am swim/run training class.  This past week was a recovery week, so we were taking it easy.  Or so we thought!  While it didn't feel like it in the class, my arms were dead after.  Maybe it was taking a weekend off from Memorial Day weekend spent in KC and then coming back to the pool (but not like this was the first time swimming since two weeks ago!).  I don't know what caused it, but my arms were, and still are, dead after.  

After the swim, we set out for our run.  Pretty much everyone stuck to three miles this time.  I was feeling really good for the first half, and then the second half something switched and it got real hard real quick.  And my legs were killing me after.  So my arms and legs are dead at this point.

Naturally, Mark and I thought yesterday would be a good time to go do some shopping downtown.  I really wanted to find some wedding shoes, and he just wanted to get out for a bit.  Well, I am sure I did not find any wedding shoes, but I did come back with a dress, four shirts, a pair of shorts, and a different pair of shoes.  One of the shirts is even flamingo print (Sarah - you would love it I am sure :).  But besides the haul I came home with, we did some killer walking while we were out - and we were out for a long time.  So we spent the night watching some movies instead of doing anything else.  I'd recommend Secret Life of Walter Mitty, but you should skip Wolf of Wall Street - it was about three hours long and after I watched it I was confused why it even was a movie.  Good think Leo didn't get his Oscar for this one, because if he ever does end up winning one, I would like for it to be an actually good movie!

But I digress.  Back to being tired.  Since yesterday we didn't wear ourselves out enough, we thought it would be a good idea to get up at 7am and head to the gym for some strength training.  So we did.  Also - did I mention we bike to and from the gym, just for a little extra.  Well the three flights of stairs up to my apartment after that was just awful.  

But I wasn't done yet.  Still had to go grocery shopping (and I swear I just bought only heavy things), and then I cleaned for about three hours.  But I had to clean, because I wanted to show you pictures of the apartment!

In a completely random order because I took them as I cleaned....

Here's a picture of our second bedroom/current office.

A second view of the office/bedroom.  Side note: the light fixtures in this place are super fun - all of the main rooms have different ones, and they are all very unique.

Master bath.  Also, I don't have a picture to share of the master bedroom.  Today was laundry day so there are currently a lot of unfolded clothes on the bed, and I thought you might not like to see that :)

Shot of the living room.  Yeah, we hung that TV last weekend.  It only took one trip to Home Depot and about four hours of my life.  But not a bad job, right?  Might need a bit higher TV stand now...

A view of the living space.

The kitchen - my favorite place so far.  Also - see that pan on the stove - everyone should have that exact pan.  It will change your life.

View of the balcony and our lovely view of the back alley and parking lot.  It might not be the best view, or a front street view (duh, since we are unit 3R), but at least we have a pretty open view and aren't staring at two separate brick walls like we were at our last place (also, we get a killer breeze in this place - which has been a lifesaver since our A/C is not functioning properly at the moment (the one thing that the home inspector couldn't inspect in the dead of winter!)).

Here's another view of the living area, with Mark lounging on the couch watching some soccer game, of course.

View down the hallway - yes, the hallway!  All the doors are no longer off of a one room square :)

View of our shared back deck, and yes, that is TWO outdoor spaces in case you were counting.  Grill to come on our area later this week, yum.

And last, but certainly not least, our second bathroom.  I lied earlier when I said the kitchen was my favorite.  The fact that there is a second (full) bathroom is my favorite.  Did I also mention we never run out of hot water because our building has a shared boiler water heater? Don't all come visit at once :)

So there is our apartment.  I kind of like it :) and the area - I thought I was happy where we were before, but this place is so different and in such good ways.  So really - come visit!

At this point, you're probably wondering why the title of the post, I have not read anything about bruises.  Well, here is what happened:

Yesterday I was looking at my legs and talking to Mark and noticed my left leg is especially bruised up lately, and not getting any better.  So of course I wonder out loud, "Wonder where all these bruises are coming from?" To which he replies, "Well, you're pretty clumsy, so I'm not really surprised."

Today we go get our bikes to head to the gym.  As I am getting on, I hit my left leg on the pedal, right where all my bruises are located.  Mystery solved.

Until next time, friends!