Sunday, August 14, 2016

Balancing life again

Well, guys, I finally feel like my life is getting normalized a little bit and my routine is getting back in place... just in time for it to get all messed up again, but that's okay.

For the past couple months, my younger cousin had been staying with me in my extra bedroom in Atlanta, which was really nice to be able to help him out like that and to have company. I was immediately excited when I learned I would have a family member in Atlanta, and we had a fun time with him staying here until he was able to move into the apartment he found. However, it did throw off my routine a bit.  My TomTom GPS watch had broken and I had been running without it since early July. My iPhone broke last week and I spent half a week phoneless. And I just sort of have felt a little discombobulated since coming back from my time up north. Even though I wrote about my success with the nutritionist, the past two weeks I felt a little off with eating healthy but am trying to recalibrate this week since I know what to do now.

So what have I been up to? Well, chasing that ever-a-struggle goal of having a balance between work, personal time, training, and a social life. And I've been doing a good job!

A snapshot of my past week:

Monday 8/8: AM Swim & PM Yoga. I hadn't been to yoga in quite a while, so it was really, really nice to be back. I was terrified it was going to be really hard since I hadn't been in a regular practice, but I was presently surprised that although I am tight and not super flexible - I am certainly strong right now.

Tuesday 8/9: Morning run with Janet (which proved logistically challenging to coordinate without a phone!) and in the evening I had an awesome time going to happy hour with a coworker.

Wednesday 8/10: In the morning, I started the day with a 45 minute ride on the bike trainer inside. I was supposed to bike on Tuesday night but since I had plans, I moved it to the morning. It wasn't quite as strong a workout as it would have been the night before, but I am glad that I made the shift in the workout.  And oh, that downstairs neighbor of mine that complains about the bike trainer? Well, I completely don't care about her complaining anymore after one of her friends stopped me in the parking lot the other day questioning me about the noise I make walking around in my apartment and asking who the man was living with me.  Apparently my downstairs neighbor has been gossiping about me to all her friends in the complex and trying to figure out who it was who had moved in with me - they thought it was my boyfriend! She complained that apparently my "boyfriend" is a stomper and walks too heavy. After this encounter, I am totally over trying to be concerned about my downstairs neighbor's comfort when I need to ride the trainer because I don't think that there is anything that I could do to make her happy besides silently float around my apartment!

In the evening, was one of my favorite events of the year - the Big Ol Group Run. I haven't run with Movers + Pacers in quite a while, but I still showed up to represent the crew in this event that brings together all of the different running crews in Atlanta for a "big ol' group run" throughout the West Midtown neighborhood, finishing at a local brewery.

I pushed my pace to keep up with the faster group during the 6 mile route and finished with a pounding heart rate and feeling close to throwing up, but unfortunately no real data due to a lack of phone, GPS watch, or HR monitor to track it (if a run happens without any data, is it even really a run!?)

Following the run, had so much fun getting to spend time with other local runners and catching up with friends. I even gave in to peer pressure and stayed out way past my bedtime and joined some of the Run Smyrna group for trivia and wings at the group run after party.  It was a great night.

Thursday 8/11: I started the day earlier than I wanted to, but got myself out of bed to get to the gym for strength training with the small group I work out with. It was a tough upper body workout but I was really glad I got it in and felt good with a couple of the ladies commenting that I looked strong and the trainer complimenting me a couple times.  In the evening, I went out with Atlanta Cycling for a 22 mile group bike ride. Usually I use this ride as a tempo workout and I have to kick my own butt to try and keep up with the faster group of riders.  However, that evening I just didn't have it in me.

I still did the group ride, and my 2 mile brick run immediately after the ride, but I hung back with the 2nd group of riders. I still tried to push myself up the hills, but there were a lot more breaks and stops in the ride for me and my speed was significantly slower than other weeks doing the ride. However, I got it in on a body that is getting significantly more and more tired lately. One of the things I am looking forward to sometime in the next couple of weeks is just waking up without an alarm... I miss that (oh, and I had to go out and buy an alarm clock during the week that my phone was out of commission!)

Earlier in the day on Thursday I had been reading about the three recent murders of women that have taken place when they have gone out for runs. Some of which happened in the middle of the day. I can't explain how much this saddens and scares me and sticks in my mind when I go out for runs. How is it that something that is so healthy and wonderful has to have such fear attached to it? Right by where I bike there is a really pretty trail that goes along the Chattahoochee. However, it is more remote, so I close instead to run along the sidewalk by a highway. Blech. It was less than ideal scenery (except when I crossed over the river, seen above!) but made me feel safer to be visible. My thoughts go out to the individuals and their families.

Friday 8/12: Friday morning was my normal swim practice, where we did some 50 sprints throughout. I was thinking of all the Olympic swimmers and how crazy fast they are. For some reason, I still didn't feel like I could get all the power out of my stroke that I wanted to. I just felt tired. It was a busy week and I'm getting into the heaviest bits of training and I haven't had a day off in weeks, so it makes sense, but I am getting to the "When is taper time?!" mode in training for this race.

In the evening, I joined my cousin and met some of his friends at the Sweetwater Brewery for happy hour and had an awesome time meeting some of his coworkers and friends, and enjoying a couple Sweetwater Blue beers before meeting another friend for dinner. Unfortunately, dinner was a bit of a bust and I ate my weight in rosemary garlic fries before my meal even came out, which wasn't that appealing anyways. I still have the entire meal in my fridge as leftovers that who knows if I will ever eat.

Saturday 8/13: I was worried about this workout all week. Two weeks ago I did a 45 mile bike ride followed by a 5 mile run, which felt like a lot. Five miles was the most I had ever run after a bike ride during training, and is only the 3rd time I had ever run that distance following a bike ride (with the first being my Olympic triathlon and the second being Chattanooga 70.3)  This Saturday I had scheduled a 65 mile bike ride and a 5 mile run!

Rather than go to the Atlanta Triathlon Club group rides as I have been doing lately, I decided to just go out on my own. I didn't want to feel any pressure from pace (especially since I had been feeling tired), I didn't have good experiences riding where they were going on Saturday, wanted to start earlier than the group ride, and don't know the distances/routes of that location well. On my own suited me and I started by ride around 7:20 a.m. Throughout the ride, I did pause a few times throughout the ride to have something to eat or stretch OR go to the bathroom... Yup, that's right, for the first time in my long distance running and biking experiences, I had to stop in the middle and pop a squat to pee. Well, unless you count the beginning of the Paris Marathon, but let's not get back into that.

Knowing the porta potties were 15 miles-ish away, I stopped in a remote place and trekked into the woods behind a tree to go to the bathroom at about 45 miles into my ride.

When I started running, it was dead noon and the temperature read 92 degrees without factoring in humidity. The run route has zero shade and it was HOT. I was really worried about overheating, so I paid close attention to my heart rate, trying to keep it at 150, which I successfully did by running a 10:00 min/mile pace. I was shocked at how good I felt at the end of the workout. Tired? Yes. Hot? Absolutely yes. But, I just rode my bike for 4:20 hours and then ran for 50 minutes... a 5:10 hour workout, the longest I have ever done in my LIFE, and I felt good.

It was a little scary as I was leaving, there was actually a woman who had collapsed due to overheating and the ambulances arrived just as I was about to head out to get some ice. The others that were there helping, myself included, only had warm water that had been sitting in our cars. Hopefully she ended up okay! I came home, showered, ate, stretched, did some errands, took a nap, and then met a friend out for dinner and Olympics before heading to bed.

P.S. Yes, I mentioned that I went out biking by myself, after saying how it makes me nervous. That being said, where I bike is out in farm country and always there are lots of bikers around. There are always homes around where we bike (except where I peed) and rarely ever any traffic. Yes there is always some risk, but what am I supposed to do? I try and be as safe as possible always.

Sunday 8/14: On the schedule for this morning was an 8 mile run. I joined the Atlanta Triathlon Club for this workout, through Midtown Atlanta.  I ended up running the whole thing with just one other woman as we were in between two of the pace groups and lost where we were supposed to go. It was nice to have company on the run and I felt really good running, despite the huge workout the day before. It is crazy to see myself improving and recover quicker than when I first started biking. I know I need to be better about stretching and foam rolling these next few weeks, but I am happy with how I have been feeling (aside from just being all around tired.)

I won't say I wasn't a little bit disappointed however when I looked at my pace after the run. We ran about a 9:30 pace, which is fine, I just felt like we had been running a little faster. Last week when I ran 10 miles on Sunday, I did it at a 9:15 pace. I wasn't paying attention to my pace during the run today, and just looked at it afterwards and had been hoping it was more at 9:15 than 9:30. One of the things I have been worried about over the past few weeks running without my TomTom watch is that the paces and distances on my RunKeeper app would be inaccurate. At the beginning of July, I did an 8 mile run in New York City and had both my RunKeeper app and my watch calculating it. My app told me that I ran a FULL MILE more than the watch.

My paces have been good over the past few weeks, which I wasn't sure if it was me getting stronger? Or the small weight loss? Or an inaccurate GPS signal just telling me I am going faster. Seeing my pace today made me feel like maybe I haven't actually been improving as I thought. Oh well, nothing I can do now.


I'm trying really hard to focus on the one week I have left of tough workouts before training starts. I am trying to balance my social life and my training life. I am trying to have some really good days of eating healthy that I am proud of.  Today was one of those days until about 10 minutes ago when I was really hungry and felt like I could still eat a little more and ate the leftovers from Friday night that I mentioned I wasn't even sure I was going to eat. It was pretty oily, which probably wasn't needed, and now I feel sick. I am fine with eating it, but don't like how I feel in general right now from having eaten it. The past week or so I have been feeling nauseous after I eat certain things and I'm trying to track down what it is to figure out what I am doing to make me feel this way. Hopefully I can talk about it with my nutritionist when I see her next.

Hope you had a great weekend and start to the week!


P.P.S. I am also super obsessed with the South African runner who won the 400 m and his 74 year old coach and his mom who wasn't able to compete internationally when she was younger but wants her son to be a champion.  LOVE!!

No comments:

Post a Comment