Thursday, August 27, 2009


I guess I'm making up for lost time.  I started yesterday with a huge workout at the gym.  I have not done any strength training since before I started running, so I have pretty much forgotten everything I once knew (not much!) about it.  Even though we joined the gym a coupla months ago, with the exception of a few visits for cardio, I have not been.  But this was my third time in a week, as I am trying to establish another routine.  I did 30 minutes on the elliptical, 10 minutes on the stairmaster, and was confident with those activities.  Then, I descended into complete nerd-dom and felt totally self-conscious among all the grunty guys as I picked my way through the machines looking for the machine chest press and rotary lat pull down as outlined in my "Ultimate Body Perfect Workouts for Women" book that I held clutched to my chest along with my iPhone, which I dutifully logged all my lifts into.  I know once I get my routine down I'll sink into the background, but I felt ridiculously obvious as I tried to balance all my gear from machine to machine.  I've got this cool program for the phone that lists every exercise known to man and makes it really easy to keep track of your reps and things, pleasing my geeky heart to no end.

I spent the rest of the day doing who knows what, then went out for a bike ride with Tom and T, a 30 mile ride to Tahoe City and back.   Yeah, the ride kicked my butt and was further and faster than I would have gone on my own.  Yay!  30.3 miles, 2:02 moving time, av. speed 14.8.  Gary goes on to say that we climbed 2124 feet, but that just seems like too high a number.  Maybe 1000, but more than that just seems excessive.

Tom and I left from our house, and met up with T maybe 3 miles into the ride.  She was off the front like a shot, and remained there for the first 1/3 or so of the ride.  Tom (bless his heart) hung back with me, reinforcing tips he's given me on cadence and utilizing my energy smartly, and -- for the first time! -- I worked on drafting.  I think this is the skill for me.  What a difference getting on that wheel makes!  It took lots of concentration, and if I saw something shiny I'd look back up and be way off the back.  This'll need some practice.

T wanted to climb up to Alpine, but I put the caboosh on that because by this point the morning's workout was starting to make itself known.  We continued on mostly flatly to Tahoe City, then turned around for the mostly downhill ride home.  Throughout the ride I paid lots of attention to my cadence (and Tom was there to remind me when I forgot) and shifting patterns to keep me at a high rpm.  These little lessons are starting to soak in.  We blasted on 89, dropped T at her car, then Tom went on ahead to get home (on a huge time crunch, him) while I slowly limped the last bit home -- I was really feeling worn out at this point.  Then, OMG, I actually CHICKED 3 guys!  Granted, it was 3 middle aged-ish Mexican guys on their cholo bikes in street clothes, but I'll take my victories where I can get 'em.  These guys were just amblin' down the road when I passed them going all of maybe 10 mph . . . they all got their macho up when I passed and started hootin' and hollerin' and trying to catch me.  I looked back at them, smiled, said "Mas rapido, andale, amigos" put the hammer down and actually left them in my dust!  Omy!

Then Tom came and picked me up in the truck so I didn't have to ride the big bad ol' hill to our house.  I remain such a loser! ;-)

And we met up with T and her husband at Smokey's for some BBQ and beer, and all was well with the world.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Yesterday I met up with my new friend and training partner T and we went swimming at the kinda ritzy Tahoe Donner Clubhouse. I am really psyched to connect with this woman, who really seems interested in doing some tri training together. She's a total newbie and intimated that she was probably as slow as me. Well, that ain't the truth as she fessed up to running a 25:30 5k last year, thinking that was slow. I had to readjust her thinking and let her know what "slow" really is. Also, she rides with Tom's mt bike group (and in fact this is how we met) so she must be blistering on the bike. On the swim she was faster than me but not embarrassingly so. I am so psyched to find someone to play with!

We swam for maybe 40 minutes, I didn't really keep track. It was probably the most structured swim workout I have done (I *really* lack structure) . . . we'd swim a 50, then use a pull buoy for 50 (I think that's what it's called, the thing you put between your legs so you don't kick -- obviously my first time using this thing), swim 50, use the kickboard for 50, repeat repeat repeat. Using the pull buoy was probably the most enlightening exercise, because it really highlighted the sloppiness of my stroke -- I am all over the place. I could really do with a swim lesson, I think. SO much room for improvement.

We then sat in the hot tub for a half hour, which is a classy way to end a workout, one that must be replicated. We seemed to get along well and are psyched about future workouts, which -- as socially inept as I am -- is something I'm really pleased about. We have both signed up for the Celebration of Life Women's Sprint Tri in September, and suddenly I find myself motivated again.

I've been doing some casual running here and there, and have started to step up my visits to the gym. If this keeps up, soon I will be back on a schedule of some sort. Tom's off to Europe soon, and I'll be on my own for three weeks -- I think I'll try to be really really focused and physical during that time . . .

Oh, and ChicRunner is having another fabulous giveaway. I'm doing my part!

Monday, August 24, 2009

*sheepishly re-entering the blogosphere*

So I'm not really sure what happened. I finished the DLT in all my back-of-the-pack glory, looking forward to my next training schedule, then I just . . . stopped. Stopped running, swimming, biking, exercising and, subsequently, stopped blogging too. I'm not sure why. I've finished other races before and sort of stopped doing things for a day or a week, but pretty much gotten right back on the horse. This time? Nada. I couldn't have been less interested in even the thought of getting off my ass, never mind giving much credence to the thought that I do have some races in my future and maybe 2 regular readers to this blog (hi Tom!). I managed to keep up with the Underground Race series through my little running club ( a little run every other week) but other than that didn't even feel GUILTY about not doing anything. That's a little odd for me, because even in the depths of my laziness there is usually a part of me that's like, you lazy good-for-nothing yadda yadda yadda. Lately? Sure, read a book, sleep late, read blogs (and not even comment!), what was that running thing? Eh, who cares?

Well, finally that cloud of indifference has lifted. I did my usual thursday night run with the running group, and for whatever reason suddenly I'm interested again. I've been to the gym, (at least thought about) spin classes, did another WONDERFUL 5 mile run yesterday, am off to the gym again after I finish this and, potentially best of all, yesterday had a conversation with a woman I had briefly met once before, and she wants to become my training partner for future tri's! We're swimming tomorrow. She is a self-professed slow, lazy athlete (time will tell if she's as slow and lazy as me), though she is apparently quite the cyclist. Hopefully we can motivate each other when we need it most.

So no long race report about the DLT (I suffered on the swim, suffered on the bike and suffered on the run, came in damn near last, and was happy about the whole thing, ok?), no blog posts or much of anything for a month, mustof gained at least 5 pounds, have neglected myself and my blog and god knows how I'll get in shape for the Marin Tri (which I boastfully said I would be 'totally ready' for, ha!) and I still expect that the throngs will be headed over here to Back of the Pack to find out what I'm up to. Deluded much?

Anyhow, what I'm up to is this. I am back on the wagon with regards to what passes as my 'training', hopefully am cultivating a relationship that may turn into a fun workout partner, I'm still a contributing member of my awesome local running club, and the next thing on the horizon for me is a quite low-key sprint tri in September. I will try to keep up with blog reading and blog posts. I will run bike and swim.

I am still on the path.