Monday, June 18, 2012


My goal was 14 miles.  Close enough for me.  Temperatures were forecasted in the upper 90s and heat indices around 104!  I woke up at 4:00 this morning and started running just before 5:00 to avoid the heat.  It was 76 degrees and 27mph winds this morning when we started.

Rachael and I headed out this morning and I knew it was going to be rough because Rachael wasn't talking.  She was so grumpy and didn't want to get up this morning.  We got about 4 miles into the run and Rachael was by the highway not feeling well.  She got that out and we headed back home.  It was a run-walk after that.  When I saw the grimace on her face or her breathing picking up too much, we stopped and took a walking break.  This was one of those days where we probably should have jumped ship and abandoned the run, but we kept moving forward.

After 10 miles, we were back at the house and I was transferring to run with another partner.  It was a slow run, but kinda what I needed at that point.  She was also having a rough run so I continued the run-walk.  By the end, she was made it farther than she had ever run.  I'd love to get her in a 5k in a couple weeks and then a 1/2 marathon this fall.

today's mileage: 13 miles running
weekly mileage: 13 miles running
monthly mileage: 54 miles running; 127 miles riding; 3.375 miles swimming
annual mileage: 300 miles running; 206 miles riding; 3.375 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 516

running:  28 miles
riding: 15 miles
swimming: .975 miles

Friday, June 15, 2012

Making Progress

I know this is my blog, but I've been doing a lot of running with other people for the Iron Hawks Challenge and am so excited about what they are doing.  One lady who could hardly run a mile with me 3 weeks ago ran 2 miles easily today!  YEAH!  She looked so confident and just smiled the whole way.  How fun to see that.  We also got another lady started running.  She completed a mile with us, too.  She was so nervous, but it was good for the 2-mile lady to see how far she had come watching her run/walk.  :)

There is something weird going on with my Garmin.  I downloaded the runs this morning and only the second run showed up online.  I can't seem to get the first one.  Darn it!

The second run with a 3-miler with an experienced runner.  I think I pushed her pretty hard because she was really huffing and puffing so I slowed down a bit.  The last half mile she said I could just run ahead so I know I was maybe going too fast.  oops.  My shins were still screaming at me from the fast run earlier this week.

I decided if no one showed up for the 5mile run I would just go home.  Yeah, no one showed up.  I got a break.  My goal for today was 14 miles, but I got up and it was soooo hot and humid today.  I figured it would be better for me to take a break and just rest.  I have really pushed it a lot this week so I'm ok with no finishing.

My swimming realization for today:  Yes, I know I didn't swim today, but my mind is still trying wrap itself around getting this right!  I also noticed that when I breathe hard during a run I have a slight pucker and breathe out through my mouth.  I think I do this with swimming, too, when it's working right.

today's mileage: 5 miles running
weekly mileage: 16 miles running; 52 miles riding; 3700m swimming
monthly mileage: 41 miles running; 127 miles riding; 3.375 miles swimming
annual mileage: 287 miles running; 206 miles riding; 3.375 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 503

Thursday, June 14, 2012

More Iron Hawk Clinics

Started my day running - a friend who just started marathon training called me up and wanted to run this morning.  I can't say no to that!  What a beautiful way to start a morning.  For some reason she was all over the place, however.  We started off with a 9:07 pace! and ended with a 9:44 pace.  I think I only looked at my watch a couple times during the run.  I love running with her!  I think I will have some long runs with her this summer.

I just looked at my Garmin stats online.  Wow.  I have 101 entries this year, 672 miles completed, and 51,712 calories burned.  Oh yeah, I love to eat!  This is a great start to my 2012 goals.  While they aren't all running, it's still more miles logged than my first marathon training year 3 years ago!  Yep, I like that.  Not sure where the discrepancy is between the Garmin and what I have logged below, though.  ???  I'm confused.

Ok, the ride today was, well, windy.  The winds were 22mph straight out of the south.  It was at my side the entire way.  I think I underestimated how much energy swimming zapped from me.  I had a nice easy ride and didn't push it today.  I actually had 5 more miles planned, but I am just exhausted and don't feel like completing it.

today's mileage: 4 miles running; 25 miles riding
weekly mileage: 11 miles running; 52 miles riding; 3700m swimming
monthly mileage: 36 miles running; 127 miles riding; 3.375 miles swimming
annual mileage: 282 miles running; 206 miles riding; 3.375 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 498

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


I did it.  I feel so accomplished!  I went to my Wednesday swim session. My goal was to conquer the breathing.  I knew I could do it.  I thought ok, I'll do a lap practicing the breathing and then a "normal" lap.  Nope, I did a regular lap just to get warmed up and then it was breathing practice the rest of the time.  I brought some Mancala rocks with me so I wouldn't have to focus on lap counting, but rather breathing.  That worked GREAT!

The breathing took a little to get going, but by about the 3rd lap I had something that worked.  I mentally kept going back to pointers from the vardos.   I finally figured out I had to "snort" right before coming out of the water: blowblowblowblowSNORT.  I think that also helped to blow some of the water off my face so I could take a breath.  I had a few times when I accidentally sucked in some water, but didn't panic, just snorted and kept going.  That is a huge step forward!

While I should be taking one breath to every 3 strokes, I think my breathing isn't quite that good yet so I did a lap breathing on the right, then one on the left, with a breath every 2 strokes.  This made me notice something else and I was able to breath without lifting my head straight out of the water.  I had to consciously think about rotating my head to wet the top/back of my head, but it worked.  I know every time I lift it out.  I guess being conscious of it is the first step to making that change.  It's by no means perfect, but definitely an improvement!

The goggles were great!  I think this has made a big difference, too.  I am still shocked that I have a fear of water, well at least drowning.  I'm not sure where this originated, but it still haunts me a bit.  Being able to see where I am and where I'm going is a good thing.   I love seeing the bottom of the pool.  Unfortunately, I also see a ton of floaties in the water.  yuck!  That's really disgusting.  The first few times to the deep end I panicked however.  There was such a huge drop-off!  I wanted to suck in a big mouthful of air, but was underwater so that obviously didn't work too well.   After a few laps, I calmed down and was able to get past that hurdle.

To keep from getting tired, I walked the hump and swam the deep.  The pool is humped and it's more shallow in the middle.  This is when I would walk.  The ends are deeper so I would breath during the deeper ends.  Eventually I was able to go farther and farther into the shallow.  I think I could have gone the full 50m of the pool, but I didn't want to wear out before I was done.

I tried a lap without the kickboard and wow that was different.  I realized I really push down on the kickboard when I'm taking a stroke.  As soon as one arm left the water, the other started downward.  Yeah, even I know I need to keep my arm straight out in front.  This will be my next hurdle to cross.  I CAN DO THIS!

OK wait a minute.  I went to the group swim today for the Iron Hawk Challenge.  Yeah, I was pooped.  I think I'll have a nap.

today's mileage: 3600m swimming (2.25 miles)
weekly mileage: 7 miles running; 3700m swimming; 27 riding
monthly mileage: 32 miles running; 102 miles riding; 3.375 miles swimming
annual mileage: 278 miles running; 181 miles riding; 3.375 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 469

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A slow tri-ing day

I discovered I'm doing a triathlon today - not in the order they were intended, but each event was achieved today.  This morning I ran with someone who wanted to start running so asked if I would help her out.  I was able to giver some pointers and keep her moving.  She wanted to do a run/walk for a mile so we ran 1-2 blocks and then walked a block.  It was a good way to get her moving.  I then went out for a ====fast 2 miles, like 8:42 pace!  Yep, maintained that for a couple miles to the finish line.  I needed that.  It felt great!

I'm 42 years old, have given birth to more than my share of children, and I can't breathe!  Yes, I admit it.  I did go to a support group this afternoon though so I will get better.  Mr and Mrs Vardotrichic - THANK YOU!  Who knew I needed a breathing lesson and not a swimming lesson. lol  I really thought I would be sore and exhausted, but what I learned most was to go slow.  The goggles were a definite bonus!  With running and biking I really try to push myself, but with swimming I have to slow down.  Breathing was hard and I feel like I am gasping for air sometimes, but I think I can do this.  I am definitely stronger breathing on the right than the left, and I need to conquer fear, just like I did in running.  I remember a few posts early running that I was afraid of the Ethanol Loop, or I was afraid of hills, or a 10-mile run.  This is the same.  I'm afraid of drowning.  I would not have ever thought I had a fear of water - I swam everyday as a kid and loved it!  This is good for me, keep pushing me Vardotrichic!

I made a big supper tonight and then Bill and I took off on the bikes for an ice cream ride.  I think I have made some big improvements in the past few weeks in bike handling.  I can take a drink while moving without using the entire lane of traffic!  lol  I can also give a thank you wave to vehicles who move over for me and make hand traffic signals while maintaining a straight line.  I am getting much better at shifting, but can tell I need to get a tune up - the gears don't work the best and I think they're getting stretched out.  The middle gear up front paired with the high gear in the back just won't  work.  That is my favorite combo!
We headed out and were making some good time - 18-19mph for most miles.  When we got to Story we slowed a bit. The winds were in our face and the hills like none we've seen yet on bikes on the return trip.  Somehow they didn't seem too bad going south with the wind.  When we got to Story we ended up at Dairy Queen.  Hmmm, imagine that!  We were at a 1/2 marathon.  Bill was a bit nervous getting back to Jewell because he hadn't been over 20 yet.  We had a good mile that broke 20mph on the way back.  Yeah, that was fun!  When we got back to town, we were at a marathon distance, so we just putzed around town to kill off that last mile.

today's mileage: 3 miles running; 500m swimming (.3125 miles); 27 miles riding
weekly mileage: 7 miles running; 500m swimming; 27 riding
monthly mileage: 32 miles running; 102 miles riding; 1.125 miles swimming
annual mileage: 278 miles running; 181 miles riding; 1.125 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 469

Monday, June 11, 2012

Unexpected run

I called up my friends to go run this morning and one took me up on the offer!  We were out at 7:00 and I thought I'd take a different route to try to confuse her a bit and sneak in 1.25 or 1.5 miles without her knowing.  When we got started, she said, "I think I can do 2 miles today!"  WOW!  SUPER!  I was surprised.  We've run about 3 times and they were both 1 milers at about a 12-min pace.  Today she was under 12:00.  YEAH.

Although my plan was to run 1 mile with her and then 2-3 miles with Rachael, this was a bit thrown off when I met up with Rachael again, but that's ok.   When we got done, I went by and picked up Rachael and we were off again.  It was a good 2 miles.  We started off with a 10-min pace and ended around a 9-min pace! YEAH.  It was really a great running day even though it was an extra mile I didn't anticipate.

today's mileage: 4 miles running
weekly mileage: 4 miles running
monthly mileage: 29 miles running; 75 miles riding
annual mileage: 275 miles running; 154 miles riding
TOTAL mileage: 439

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Early riser

Well, it may not have been an "early-riser" morning, but we did get out before the kids got up so I guess that counts.  I went to bed last night wanting to get up about 6:00 and do a 25-30 mile ride before going to church.  It's supposed to be in the 90s and winds of 25+mph.  The first time I woke up and looked at the clock it was about 6:45.  Nope, I didn't have time to do that ride!

I finally got up about 7:05 and went into the bathroom to do a slow routine.  Bill followed me in the bathroom about 30 seconds later with bike shorts on!  Hmmm, looks like I'm doing a short ride this morning.  :)  I went back into the bedroom and dressed for a ride.

Thinking the winds were going to be out of the west, I took it easy, but found myself doing a sub 3:00 pace.  Hmm, this is kinda easy.  I bet I'm not going to like turning around....  Nope. The winds really starting picking up and we were doing about a 4:20 pace.  Darn it.  It was a relatively quick ride, and we could have pushed it more, but didn't since we had the time to burn.  I didn't even put the HRM on  today.

The past couple days I had a few people ask me about running so I'm hoping to get a few out of bed tomorrow morning and do a few miles running.  We'll see.  I might be on my own.

today's mileage: 10 miles riding
weekly mileage: 12 miles running; 40 miles riding; .8125 mile swim
monthly mileage: 25 miles running; 75 miles riding
annual mileage: 271 miles running; 154 miles riding
TOTAL mileage: 435

Friday, June 8, 2012

Broken Dozen

Today was another set of running workshop.  I didn't figure I'd get too many with the Jewell 5K being tonight and there are a number of people who are doing this for the first time ever!

I wanted to incorporate these shorter runs into one longer run today so I was just going to run a little extra.  After looking at the forecast, I realized I better get out there early to avoid the heat of the day.  Rachael wanted to run all of them, too, as she was complaining that she has only done 5 mile runs and wanted something more than that.  The total mileage was 9 miles and I wanted at least 12 today, thus the "broken dozen": 12 miles broken into smaller chunks.

We went up to school a little early, we dropped off our stuff and did 2 miles.  We got back to school and no one showed up for the 1-mile run so we went back out for another 2 miles.  We had a taker for the 3 miler so we did that one, now we were at 7 miles.  All that was left was the 5-mile run.  Again no one was there for that one so Rachael and I took our stuff home, I had a gel because I felt I was out of "gas".  Noelle wanted to ride her bike with me and Rachael thought she could finish off an Ethanol Loop now that she had a break.  Boy those last couple miles bit the big one! but we did finish a full 12 miles.

That's a good feeling to get that one done.  The heat started getting to me and I think I even stopped sweating the last couple miles, which is probably why it was tougher.  We did the run/walk thing so our pace was really slow, especially at the end.

today's mileage: 12 miles running
weekly mileage: 12 miles running; 30 miles riding; .8125 mile swim
monthly mileage: 25 miles running; 65 miles riding
annual mileage: 271 miles running; 144 miles riding
TOTAL mileage: 425

Thursday, June 7, 2012

new high

Did my first 30-mile ride today!  It wasn't continuous, but it was 30 miles.  For the IronHawk Challenge, we set up a group ride: 15 miles, 10 miles, and 5 miles, similar to the runs last week and repeated again this week.  To my surprise, NO ONE showed up!  I couldn't believe it, not a single person biked with us!

My first ride averaged over about 17 mph.  I really pushed it and felt great about that one.  There were ominous clouds moving in so it was good to get the long ride done first.  We had a different route so that helped to change things up a bit, too.    I then had to really work to get the last 15 completed.

Realization #1: I think I also need to think about some nutrition on these rides.  Around mile 18-20ish I start to feel sluggish like I should have a gel or something.
Realization #2: I ride the best at a 3:30 pace.
Realization #3: When it rains, the padding in the shorts works better than a sponge to soak up the water!

today's mileage: 30 miles riding
weekly mileage: 0 miles running; 30 miles riding; .8125 mile swim
monthly mileage: 13 miles running; 65 miles riding
annual mileage: 259 miles running; 144 miles riding
TOTAL mileage: 413

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

first swim of the season

OK, maybe I'm not ready for a tri!  ha.  Yesterday I got myself signed up for a weekly swimming session on Wednesday mornings.  It was great to get in the water with a purpose without having to supervise 4 kids.  I managed to complete about 1300meters.  When I got home looked it up and should have done 3 more laps to complete the mile. DOH!  I was in the water for about an hour and then had to get home to take the babies to their "bus stop" for an event they are doing this week.  Maybe next week I can stay in there longer and complete the first Ironman by the time I leave for Spain.  That would be a good goal for me.

Last summer I talked to Vardotrichic who suggested I get a kick board and practice breathing in the water.  I did that ... not so successfully.  I just need experience in the water with this.  I remember her saying Mr. Vardotrichic struggled swimming one lap when he started training so I mentally go back to that - this is possible I just have to believe and keep working on it.

I tried the kick board a bit and tried putting my face in the water, but I think I subconsciously have a fear of drowning or something.  I just can't seem to make it work.  I get frustrated too, because I know I can go much faster on my back or on my tummy with my head out of the water pushing my hands to the side in a big circle.

About half way through the swim I realized the pool was humped in the middle so I would swim/walk the laps.  I think I can walk about as fast as Vardotrichic can swim!  lol  I kept going back to the crawl trying to work on that, but always went back to the breast stroke because that's my fall-back.  Time to check out some tutorials!

Three realizations this morning: 1) my body rotates in the water with every stroke.  2) my right side is definitely dominate!  I was always running into the ropes.  Once I compensated a bit for this I got a little better  3) I still need lots of practice, but I WILL conquer this!

today's mileage: 1300m swim
weekly mileage: 0 miles running; 0 miles riding; .8125 mile swim
monthly mileage: 13 miles running; 35 miles riding
annual mileage: 259 miles running; 114 miles riding
TOTAL mileage: 383

Sunday, June 3, 2012


This weekend was supposed to be our first duathlon, but we missed the registration and things just got crazy so we didn't do it.  Bill thought we could do our own private duathlon.

The neighbor lady has been wanting to start running so I called her up and did the first mile with her at a 12:00 min pace.  When we dropped her off, Bill and I did another mile at a 9:38 pace.  We stopped at home for our transition to the bike.  We did an Ethanol Loop and then out to the Kamrar turn and back again.  The transition went pretty smoothly, but I could tell I didn't have fresh legs for biking.

The bike part was good, but we didn't push like we probably would have during an actual event.  I think we averaged about 12-15 mph.  I really felt like my legs were tired and I needed some nutrition with me.  My butt was sore, but it wasn't unbearable.  I can start to feel it in my left knee.  I really know nothing about biking form so I hope I'm not giving myself an injury.

Now, the second transition back at home was a different story.  WOW!  Who knew that would be the craziest feeling on legs I'd ever have.  Holy cow, that was weird.  I don't know that there is anything anyone can say to prepare you for that sensation.  I was running with bricks tied to my legs and feet!  Now I think I can truly understand the term "BRick".  We only had a couple miles so I thought, ok legs, you can do anything now.  Gee this is really weird.  We both had to go potty so bad, too. I just kept telling myself, it's only a couple miles - you can do this blindfolded!  Gosh, pick up your feet!  I was really landing flat-footed, I want to be more on my toes.  Ok, thick, heavy legs, let's' go!

In the end we logged 18 miles.  1 hr 39 min.  Average speed 10.9 mph

They say if you plateau with a sport you need to shock your muscles by changing up your routine.  This is one thing I like about biking.  It's easy to change and I think I'm trying some new things and new combinations with the bike.  I love that I have over 100 miles logged on it.  I'm ready to start some longer rides now.  I will do a 30-35 mile ride this week for the IronHawks Challenge and then another 9-mile run workshop.

today's mileage: 4 miles running; 14 miles riding
weekly mileage: 21 miles running; 35 miles riding
monthly mileage: 13 miles running; 35 miles riding
annual mileage: 259 miles running; 114 miles riding
TOTAL mileage: 383

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Group Ride

Last night an old friend of mine started a chat on Facebook about biking.  I invited her to our weekly 20 mile Kamrar Loop.  It was a casual ride averaging 14.7 mph.  The winds were <10 mph from NW so it was a beautiful ride.  It was the first time I wore a long sleeve shirt so it was a bit cool.  I was glad I put it on at the last minute because I think I would have been cold otherwise.  In all, we were a group of 4, our biggest group so far making this ride!

I think my "post partum" is getting better as I wasn't uncomfortable until about mile 16.  I think the bike shorts help, but I also think I'm getting a bit calloused to the position.

I think I'm ready for a bit longer ride now.  I'd like to try a ride to Williams or Story City.  Bill has talked about riding somewhere, getting a snack/treat/meal, and then coming back home.  He said he'd go about anywhere if ice cream were dangled in front of him. lol We might have to try that!

today's mileage: 20 miles riding
weekly mileage: 17 miles running; 21 miles riding
monthly mileage: 9 miles running; 21 miles riding
annual mileage: 255 miles running; 100 miles riding
TOTAL mileage: 365

Friday, June 1, 2012

Opening Day Ironhawks

9 miles.  3 hours.  Am I crazy?  No, but that's what happened.

Today starts the wellness program at school: IronHawks.  We kicked it off with 3 different running workshops: 1 mile, 3 mile, and 5 mile runs.  We first showed how to stretch correctly, bad habits to avoid when running, and the importance of hydration and nutrition.  When added up, it was 9  miles total - not bad for a Friday, and it was a great way to kick off the new challenge.

The 1-milers had about a 12:00 minute pace (and ran the whole way!!), the 3-milers had about an 11:00 minute pace and the 5-milers had about a 10:00 minute pace.  Good for all!  I hope to have this again sometime.

today's mileage: 9 miles running
weekly mileage: 17 miles running
monthly mileage: 9 miles running; 0 miles riding
annual mileage: 255 miles running; 79 miles riding
TOTAL mileage: 324