Monday, March 26, 2012

Coming Days....

Since I got a lot of comments about the last post I thought I would share some thoughts...Its Monday. I slept like garbage all weekend. I got my training in and it went really well. I was home all last week. Which as usual equates to me running around like a chicken with my head cut off to get everything done I didn't do the week before and in anticipation of being gone again. I try to squeeze in every appointment and errand I can think of but inevitably I end up coming up short.

I ended up having a long day at work Friday- missing out on dinner with friends. But D and I did get to the Hunger Games on Saturday, I got in a good training run and Sunday we got in some long training miles. I did a 1:50 ride on the bike inside and then a short run. Somehow in there I did get in a nail appointment so that is off the list for the next couple weeks.

I packed a bag this morning for the next few days in DC. I had a plan to run this morning but I couldn't get out of bed. So I'll do it down there tonight. The nice thing is I know the area well. I have a decent gym and pool at the hotel. I have a run, swim, bike and swim planned. I hope I might get to see my Uncle and Aunt while in town. So I'll work Mon thru Thurs in DC. Hop an evening flight home and head home to unpack, do laundry, and pack up again.

Friday morning I catch a flight to California for a training event with a lil vacation tacked on. As a part of the Boston Luna Chix I get to head to attend their summit in CA. Saturday I will be doing running clinics and Sunday I get to go for a 1.5+hr ride. Should be fun. The great chaser is the fact that the girls and I are heading to Wine country for a bit as a lil vacation. I know it will be a good trip once I am in the midst of it but right now it just all seems a bit daunting.

I hope I got all my errands done! I hope I will have clothes to wear! I hope I actually packed the right clothes for this week! I hope I turned off the coffee maker!

The kicker to all of it is the one night I am home- D is gone- he is traveling. Gonna be a whirlwind. Ladies and Gentlemen be sure your seat belt is secure and tray tables are in the upright position.

** Note: I'm getting my notes together for the training on travel and fueling on travel posts but I think the next week or so will help shape those posts a bit more ***

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Triathlete, Fulltime Career Woman, Friend, Girlfriend, Daughter.... URGH so many titles!

Lately I have been thinking a lot about how I somehow manage to keep 10,000 glass balls in the air. As all of you know I train and race. I am a daughter, I am a friend, and sometimes I am a half decent girlfriend. I am also a full time career woman with a career that lately has me on the fast track. I love what I do for my full-time job. I work hard and I am starting to get the punishment (sorry reward) for my hard work.

My job lately has me on the road at least every other week. Looking at my calendar the total days I am home in the month of March is 12! YES folks 12! That includes work trips and then weekend trips of being the half decent girlfriend and trying to be a good friend. This life can be a little hectic to say the least! A friend of mine beyond limitations put it very well in a blog post- the grass is always greener. She suggested I explain my situation since it might help some others.

Honestly do you think I want to be a diamond member at the hotel and have 40K plus miles on 3 airlines under 30? I will be on the west coast not once but TWICE this month. I spend enough time in the DC area for most people in my life to believe I live there. I joke I should just get a hotel when I get home whats the point of paying a mortgage. It is hard to eat healthy when you are rushing through an airport to catch a plane much less fuel your body for training and even harder when you are Gluten Free. I have quite a few pointers if anyone is interested!

All this being said I feel like my life of travel and training and all my other million titles is something VERY few understand. I have a few friends that travel like I do and even less that travel with the last minute schedule I have. I am lucky if I know on Monday where I will be till Friday. Sometimes trips come up with less than 24 hour notice. There have been many things I have missed out on in my personal life thanks to my travel schedule- some of them I am still trying to forgive myself for.

But I keep doing it. Like I said my career lately has been on a fast track and I can't be more thankful- I really truly love what I do. And I am currently staring a season in the face where I plan to tackle not 1 but 2 half iron distance races. Somehow training has become the sanity to get me through all of this. It is the steady thing that no matter what I know there is a plan because lets be honest the rest of my life has little to no plan. I have become pretty adapt at training on the road (another post for another time of pointers). I have done many a swim in a hotel pool getting dizzy with the zillion flip turns, attempted zone 2 rides on recumbent bikes, and mapped run routes starting and ending at my hotel.

The other thing no one really can account for on the road is the "on factor". How utterly exhausting it is to be "on" all day long. Whether you are giving a presentation or intently participating in a meeting the "on factor" takes its toll. And there is the lovely lack of sleep when you aren't in your own bed. I tell ya it gets old trying to get used to a new bed, pillows, temperature, and of course the changing schedule while on the road. Needless to say somedays I am exhausted and a workout is tough to drag myself through but sometimes its just the pickup I need.

Then there is the joy of being home. It is great to be back home- but me- I take a day or 2 to get settled back into life. I also spend the days when I am home (12 this month) doing all the crap everyone else gets to do when they get home from work everyday. The haircuts, nail appointments, paying bills, cleaning my house, and all the other glamorous tasks come rushing in and fill up my time home. I would love to spend my days when I get home just lounging and getting caught back up with friends- but sadly this doesn't happen. Actually a friend of mine who I recently talked to about this was like- "and that's why I don't really have friends. They just don't get it!"

I luckily have found a coach that is very understanding of my schedule and is supportive. She goes with the quality over quantity principle. I have a very supportive partner in D, who is pretty willing to just go I get it its our job! My friends understand I think as much as they can... to be honest I don't blame them. You don't get it if you don't do it.

I guess I just wanted to get some of my thoughts on this out. It has been a brewing idea for a while. I know my schedule isn't going to change in the coming months. I will continue to travel and continue to train, try to be a decent friend, a half decent daughter, and make my sorry attempt at being a good girlfriend. As I said I will continue to keep the 10000 balls in the air- because that is my life!

*note: Like I said I have some pointers on food and training while traveling. I also think this subject won't be going away- so please let me know what you think.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Celtic 5k- new PR!

Okay so it is starting to seem like every race I run lately is yielding a new PR. I guess that means my training is working, I am getting faster, and I am starting to believe I still haven't found my run pace. I am happy to see my winter training- known to some as "off-season"- is paying off and should be pretty awesome to see the payoffs this season!

So anyway back to the race. D and I did this race last year- mainly because it is maybe half a mile from my house. It seems silly not to sign up for a race we can jog to the start line. The Irish Cultural Center plays a big part in this race and a few other races in the city and they seem to do a GREAT job with their races. This one is big. It takes place the morning of the Worcester St. Patty's Parade. Let me tell you if you haven't been to the Worcester Parade it is second to Southie- HUGE! So the streets are already closed down and the city is ready for it so it is a pretty well oiled machine.

We ran down to the start line running into a friend of ours on the way. The weather was perfect- the mild winter continues. I used the race course as my Lactic Acid run test a few weeks ago and ran a 26 min 5k so I was pretty psyched to see what this race would bring. My coach didn't taper me down for this so I swam and biked Friday and Saturday then raced Sunday. I knew I wasn't going to have a well rested body to have the BEST possible time. I had my previous PR on my hand and my course time for the year before- I had some goals set in my mind. Of course- my coach had on my training plan 5k- take it easy (OOOPS!).

The run down to the start helped loosen up my legs and when we headed off I felt pretty good. I set my watch to stick around a 8:50pace- I hadn't done the math but I knew if I stayed under 9 I would be good to take off my time from the year before. The course is pretty flat and fast. I rolled my ankle around mile 2 but lucky for me I think my ankles are double jointed so I had no issue.

I crossed the finish at 27:32 according to my watch which was a 1 second PR. The official results came out 27:29- so that is a new PR by 4 seconds and a course PR by 29 seconds. It wasn't the 26 something I was hoping for but I'll take it given I wasn't rested and tapered.

We did pop down to the parade after we took a shower so D could witness the insanity. It was a good day. The race also entitles you to free admission at all the parade course bars and free drinks but we decided to skip that. All in all a decent race day. And another PR in my TEAM SPARKLE SKIRT- the purple just keeps bringin the good luck!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Hyannis Half Marathon Race Recap

Hyannis was a race I had run last year- it was my I'm back to Half Marathoning Race. This year I registered EARLY- in November. I trained. I felt ready to go. The only part I couldn't control was how the weekend ended up playing out.

I am in a friend's wedding in mid-March and she decided that Saturday was the only time she wanted to have her Bachelorette party. I hosted her at my house Friday night, leading to me being up late and not getting as much sleep as I should have. Then Saturday was the bar crawl. I successfully avoided drinking but it was not where I wanted to be pre race. The Friday and Saturday combo took a lot out of me. I was feeling ready to run- I told my coach I thought I would PR. I got down to the cape just in time to have dinner with the whole crew. The wind was howling and we all joked that we wouldn't be running in the morning if this kept up.

My plan was to run 10-10:15 pace- giving me a finish time around 2:10-2:15. The weather was rough. The wind was kicking my ass along the waterfront areas then I would get hot along the neighborhood areas. I think the HORRIBLE weather the year before lead me to forget how hilly spots of the race were. I tried my best to keep a 10min mile pace knowing it might be tough to hold.

AND IT WAS! I couldn't hold it. I had moments in the race where I went CRAP I am not even going to do better than I did here last year. So as usual I had the goals in tiers:
1- 2:10-2:15 pace
2- new PR
3- beat time here last year
4- prove that I can run a better than 12 min miles half marathon like I did at my half iron
5- finish

Well I knew 5 was totally going to happen. I know 4 was pretty likely. 3 became iffy at times. I just didn't know if I had it for some reason. 2 seemed almost impossible somewhere around mile 10. I gave myself the pep talk. Come on we can finish this. It may not be the 2:10-2:15 you wanted but lets get going- maybe if I can push I can get close!

I crossed the finish at 2:17. This was about a 2min PR. And when I looked it up 11 min faster than last year on the same course. I should be happy. I should see this as a great finish. But I am hung up on the fact that I didn't perform as well as I thought I should. I really thought I had a 2:10-2:15 half marathon in me. To be 100% honest I am not even all that happy that I PR'd. I fell short of what I wanted and thought I was trained for. I know the weather played into my day and I know the previous couple days I had played into it too.

I know I should be happy with a shiny new PR but I continue to give myself a hard time for what I thought could have been on race day. It was great to have so many friends around at the finish. D ran also- he hadn't trained after some injury- his longest run was 7.5mi before the race. He did well! I would kill to have a time like that with little to no training!