Monday, November 24, 2008

more fun

After returning from my little excursion to IMAZ this weekend to be an iron spectator, I needed to get in a workout and decided to venture back to crossfit. I'm having a little internal connundrum about whether or not to break up forever with crossfit, maybe I will talk about that later...or not. Anyway on my way to crossfit AGAIN the secret hope was: puuuleeze no pull-ups.I still had some soreness in funny spots from last week's debacle AND my hands are sorta a mess still. They hurt a bit from the rip I have on my left hand and the nice rip on my right thumb. Yes, i'm weak when it comes to pull-ups...and yes these are assisted...still a weakling and can only do 5-8 at one go. We do kipping pullups so there ends up being a lot of friction on the hands, hence a lot of ripped hands. Here is an example of kipping pullups.

So I was none too pleased when I showed up to see "Helen".

3 rounds for time:
400m run
21 kettlebell swings (men 1.5 pood, women 1 pood. pood ~36 pounds)
12 pullups

When I first grabbed a kettle bell and started swinging it I accidentally grabbed the 3/4 pood size which is only 12kg not 16kg (~36lbs). My instructor was quick to point out the difference and 4kg is 8.8lbs and it made a world of difference when I went to swing it. UG. Really had to focus on core and using the hips to get that stupid thing above my head.

The workout chugged along. The pull-ups continued to hate me and me them. I was slow. That's what being away for 2+ months will do to me. Makes me think a bit. But it got done.

I'm having a connundrum around goals and such and crossfit and triathlon and really a lot of things, but it is too muddled to attempt to flush out here. All in good time...all in good time.

Iron Spectating

When katie brought up the idea of going to IM AZ to spectate awhile ago it sounded like it might be a fun filled weekend. Our friend Chris was doing his first IM and Katie's coach (and soon to be mine) CB were competing. Here are a few tips I picked up from the weekend of being an iron spectator.

  1. Leave early on friday...getting in at 3am just sets you up for not a lot of sleep for the weekend and going out on Sat night makes Sunday even longer on less sleep. Sleeping is key even for a spectator...its a long day.
  2. Bringing a bike along can be handy and fun if you have space to pack it. Granted we rode a loop of the course on Saturday and can i say = boring. I can't imagine 3 loops of that endless boring-ness. To all who have done IMAZ...hats off to not falling asleep on the bike.
  3. If bringing a bike the best kind of get-up would be a ghetto commuter type you don't worry about the bike and get it set it up with toe clips. This way you can just have a simple bike lock if you need to lock it up anywhere and you won't worry about it. We didn't have this set up and then needed to babysit our bikes a lot.
  4. Talk with the athlete (s) you are tracking and have a general idea when they might show up for different loops and parts of the course. Then have a stop watch to click by when they pass so they are easier to keep track of than this constant conversation: Now what time were they coming by again? It's been X amount of time and they should be where now if they are going X speed? Numbers can get fuzzy after awhile.
  5. Don't forget to hydrate, especially in AZ. % humidity = 9%
  6. Carry snacks.
  7. Making t-shirts is fun.
  8. Screaming at the athletes you are following like they are rockstars is equally fun.
  9. Yelling random people's name on the run is fun, especially if they say thank you or even give you a thumbs don't put your last name on your bib. (you have to start making up games when cheering. It can be tiring... cheering deserves it's own t-shirt: Iron-Cheerleader)
  10. Being an iron-cheerleader is hard work but totally worth it when you see the spirit of the athlete you are tracking get lifted just a little bit as they round a corner and head off again.

It was a good, fun, weekend all around.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Exciting things ahead!

No... I am not planning on signing up for 2009...but I will be spectating this weekend for IMAZ! I'm excited. Katie and I are headed out tomorrow after work to make the venture. There are about a zillion and two people from the tri club doing this race...granted I think I know maybe two out of that zillion...but that's ok. (I admit it...I have anti-social takes me awhile to get over my introverted nature...unless you pair me with an extrovert and then they do all the :-) ) We are going to cheer on our friend Chris...and I will get to meet my soon to be coach (hmmm...I haven't talked about that yet on my blog have i?) who has coached Katie for the past few months and I have heard a million tales'll be great...and it will be a great weekend...I am sure of it.

Then I will get back to work for just a few short some yummy turkey and then I'm headed to Europe for work for a week. Germany...brrrrrr...i will have to break out the winter coat but I will get to tour a little of where I am headed off to. I enjoyed Germany back in '99 when I was backpacking around Europe...although i'm not sure if I will hit any of the cities I saw back in '99. Although...I might actually be able to make it to my most favoritest city that I saw while backpacking...Prague...i'm curious how much it has changed in 10 years. We shall see.

So adventures abound! All very exciting.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I'd like the use of my arms now...please??

It really has been too long since i'd been to crossfit. Between being out of town and races on the calendar, I have not made it to crossfit in a very long time. Sadly...very sadly. But now that it is the off season...back AT IT!! I had plans to go today and was inspired to go after Steve's post just the day before about doing a crossfit workout. I do heart crossfit, even if there are times when it makes me want to walk backwards down the stairs because i have such bad DOMS. Somehow I convince myself there will become a 'point' when this will stop happening, but even the 'seasoned' crossfitters in the gym are tired and sore all the time, so that is just a crazy dream.

In my head today: I really hope there are no pull-ups in the workout of the day (WOD)

As I was getting out of the car I looked in the window of the gym and saw lots of people doing pull-ups....i truly almost just turned around and got back in the car. It's not doing the pull-ups that made me want to turn around, its that doing a lot of pull-ups in a WOD tend to tear my hands and considering how long it had been since I had been to crossfit, i didn't have any callouses, so i knew it could get ugly.

The WOD had two parts, the first part was just a lift
5-5-5 SOTTs press
Here is an example of a SOTTs press...its from the crossfit website, but he isn't below parallel on that squat so I would hazard to argue he needs to squat a little bit more. (At least I was told to squat lower than that.) Let's just say...I found some new muscles on my back today. All the way down to my lower back. That is what stopped me from progressing much with the weight as my lower back started to have a panic attack about what I was doing. That kinda wigged me out. It's not like i would have put much more weight on it. I think in the end I was near 30 lbs...i know...i'm a weakling. This move is much harder than it looks though.

Then it was on to the rest of the WOD. Stupidly I waited for the two other guys who had shown up near the time I had...I should have started with out them. They both ended up with the top times for the day...and my time...well...I was battling it out for the slowest position. Anyway the WOD:
3 rounds of the following
25 burpees
25 chest high pull ups (with an assistance band...i'm not that cool yet not to use one)

Hours later... my arms still don't fully work. I hope I can pick up a pen tomorrow. Oh and I did rip my left an impressive manner too...ick.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger... I only take solace in the thought that maybe by the time a workout actually kills me I will have built up some cool deltoids. In the meantime, trying to get stronger. Some guy 'complimented' me on finishing the WOD...'way to finish it'...all I could think was: is there another option? I figure if there isn't something physically wrong with me during a WOD, then being slow isn't a reason not to finish. How else will I get stronger?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Just because you *think* you can

Ugh...ever have those moments when you think: Sure I can do *that* body feels fine...i'm fine...and then you go to do them and your body says: what are you thinking my friend? That was today for me.

I got down to the velodrome and was very excited to get back on my track bike. Last week my neck was bothering me but I got another spacer put on the stem and it seems to have helped a bit. So as I am headed down to the track initially i don't see anyone on it...which made me concerned that I'll just be by my lonesome and that wouldn't be as much fun. You never know how many people might actually show. Last week the weather was terrible, cold, blustery, looking like rain but something like 8 people showed up. This week was hot and beautiful and as I walked over I didn't know if anyone was actually going to show up. Fortunately there were two other guys from my class and a third who wanted to join in our fun.

We warmed up, my legs felt pretty stiff...very quickly I realized that a lot of times on my road bike I stretch my legs while I a track must keep pedaling or get catapulted off the I had to pull off and stretch the legs out. My legs were making some noises about being tired or something. I stretched them and promptly ignored them. Then me and the two guys from my class started doing flying 200 sprints. You have to understand...these are the two fastest guys in the class and i of the slowest in the class. Besides my legs were quickly telling me that just because I think I can go and do some sprints...they were telling me another story. My legs kept whining about the fact I had done a tri the previous day...and I should be doing something less intense (ok i know this...but I so wanted to be on the I just said 'deal with it!'). So I did a few sprints and then headed in for a bit.

I got back on and rode around for a bit...and in the end we did a lot of pace line practice at a good clip so that I could still have fun on the track with all of them and not die...or have my legs fall off in bits and pieces. All in all...good fun. I heart my shiny new track bike.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Do a what?

First off...odd things happen to me sometimes...I know San Diego can be the magnet for lots of people to flock to, but to be having lunch outside at a cafe and see one of my roommates from my Sophomore year in college walking down the street? When I didn't know she lived here? When we went to school near Seattle, WA?? And I haven't seen her since 2001? I went to a small school, but this is the second time in San Diego that I have run into someone from my 3000 people undergrad that I knew. Very weird.

And again...what month is it here? I get confused most days. The past few days have been a little on the toasty side so when my friends brought up doing the tri club's monthly club race this week it was something I considered...but only if they were coming. It was a sprint distance ~800m swim, 12 mile bike and 4 mile run.

This morning when I woke up I was worried I wasn't going to make it. Yesterday my stomach had been bothering me and today didn't seem any better. I'd feel ok one minute and the next I wasn't so sure about it. I'd texted my friend and told him that I didn't know if I would actually race, i'd show up...but i was feeling pretty icky this morning.

I finally talked myself into at least swimming and see how I felt (granted that could turn your stomach on its own...the water in Mission Bay is disgusting). I felt decent through the swim and hopped on my bike and just decided to make a go of the day. I'm glad I did. I had a good day. The bike proved yet again that my bike split from Oct wasn't a fluke and it was actually probably true. Riding the track has dramatically improved my bike in a 3mph improvement in speed since May. (And I have not been doing much of much on my bike all summer either. ) This is why I am hooked on the track. (that and it is fun)

The run was pretty uneventful. In sprint races I don't give much thought to 'pacing'...just go hard. The first 2 mile loop was ok for most of it, but then my sour stomach decided to remind me that maybe i should take it a little easier. I came close to meeting my breakfast at one point. One the last lap I thought I was closer to the finish and made a push to pass a woman who was in front of me only to realize I had a lot further to go...and then I didn't have much to push with. Sadly she picked me off as I lost some steam. Maybe if I had played that a little better I would have done better, but no matter. Live and learn. That's part of it.

Overall I was happy with the race. I'm glad my stomach behaved and I had a great morning.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Not feelin it

I don't want to. I'm hungry. It's the off season. What's one more day? Bla. I don't wanna. Who cares?

And a myriad of other excuses floated through my head today as I drove towards the pool. I have done not much of anything this week and while the weekend was full of fun and bikes, and birthday fun...i just have been bla about much of anything off season related. I know I need to get back into a pattern of doing something but today I really just didn't want to. No good excuse. (when is there a good excuse?) So I 500m of the 1500m swim planned and if after 500 you want out...then get out.

100 meters into the swim I was chastising myself for the stumbling block I had created for myself with not wanting to go to the pool. I was happy. Sooooo happy I even made myself do two sets of 5 x 50s on a minute, where I go all out for a 50 and then have whatever is left of a minute to rest until the next 50. I typically sprint a 50 around 45s to 50s so it's not much rest and by the last 50 i have to focus pretty hard on keeping any semblance of form.

But right before my second set of 5 x 50s I had an out. I was being booted out of my lane by the swimming teacher who needed my lane. So I hopped out of the pool and blankly contemplated ditching the last 5 x 50s and my cool down. I mean I had an excuse at that point. AND I was going to have to make some people circle swim which I wasn't sure they would be that excited about. And then...the most unlikely candidate (in my book) to volunteer to make their lane circle swim starting making his lap lane partner circle swim. Yes the 17 year old teenager made his friend start circle swimming so I could join in. I hadn't even asked. When a 17 year old boy sees that this woman has been forced out of her lane and is standing trying to figure out what to do...and takes the initiative to volunteer his lane...that kid has some great manners. And really at that point I had no excuse not to finish. So finish I did and I was so happy I had done it.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

I should actually write a post

I should actually write a post or something...but that funny thing called life keeps screwing up everything and then I don't have any time. Here is a brief synopsis of the past week:

  • Work = good...went to a good conference this week
  • Weekend = awesome...birthday bike ride on Sat (birthday tomorrow)...awesome.
  • Breakfast/lunch after bike ride = awesome.
  • Dim sum with friends today = yummy
  • Maiden voyage of track bike ride on SHINY NEW BIKE = awesome but very windy( diego's velodrome is sadly NOT inside...who's bright idea was that?)and dim sum is a little heavy on the tummy to then go ride the track.
  • Hanging out with friends tonight = good but their new dog-o tried to eat me. I wasn't a fan. (even though i've met the dog before...very weird).
Been an AWESOME weekend aside from the fact it still sorta appears that my apartment threw up on itself. The past two weeks of traveling have left things in a bit of a disarray, but i think i have it under control now. I need those little mice from Cinderella to come and tidy my apartment. That would make things so much easier.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

What is life without a little chaos mixed in?

My life lately = chaos...but then again if you know me then rocketpants = chaos. Or at least that is how I feel most of the time. I run around like a crazy person, trying to keep a zillion plates spinning at any given time and then thrown in a good dose of quirky personality and get = life and a good does of hilarity mixed in with a good does of chaos.

I've been in Houston, TX all week for an experimental trial. After the first day of feeling like an utter failure because I couldn't get my control to work...finally sorted that out and life did look up a bit after that. Good stuff came to fruition and well...i made probably more samples than I know what to do with. It's going to be an interesting time trying to analyze everything.

While in Houston...i discovered that I would be going to Chicago this week for some training. I was surprised I would get to double props to things that help us with our jobs...but...NO TRACK BIKE RIDING!! For a SECOND WEEK!!! ARRRRRRRRGGGGGG. And it is the LAST week of class. I.AM.SO.BUMMED. I missed it last week and now I will miss it this week...and well....i HEART my bike!! I haven't gotten to try now the new steed in all of his glory yet on the track...but plans are in the works for next weekend. sigh

So I got back from Houston on Friday and on my way from the airport I see this guy on a bike...dressed as a...COW. It took me a minute to remember it was would have been way funnier if it hadn't been. After I get home and am trying to sort myself out because I had planned on doing Tour de Julian with a couple of friends of mine the next day. Julian is known for its apple pie (and hills) I just saw this as a great excuse to eat apple pie. A nice bike ride and mix it up with some pie after...right? 55 miles of Tour de Apple Pie. YEA! That is how I had it marked out in my head.

Now all is seemingly fine but I have to make a simple thing like doing a bike ride complicated. It wouldn't be me if I didn' I had to have the added: Sure i'll do the ride but I need my friend Kim to pick me up...totally out of her way...because I had dropped my car off during the week at the shop so they could fix the dumb check engine light. Now I was going to grab the car on the way back from the bike ride...but the car is 20minutes away from my house. I flew in late on Friday and am trying to sort my life out when at 11:50PM i discover...i have no shoes or helmet and my arm warmers and cycling jacket are:! ARGGGGGGGGG!

Desperate text messages, phone messages and emails get thrown at Kim as I am just hoping that somehow my telepathic skills are working and she will get my messages and call me. We somehow manage to get every thing together at a very early time saturday morning...pick up the car (as the shop said I could just grab it when I got back), get the stuff and meet up with our other friend Laura and head out. WHEW.

Now chaos is pretty much the theme of the morning by this point and the beautiful thing about going on a bike ride is you don't have to start with the group...uh...or even close to when they start...yea...we took our time and finally got on the road some 30 minutes after the group left. No matter. We had a group of 5 and enjoyed the day. It was a beautiful ride and all was pretty spectacular weather wise granted the last 20 miles or so the WIND had picked up and was quite the tyrant.

Most of the second half of the ride is downhill...and me...i don't mind going UP the hills...but coming back down them can be another story. If it is a technically curvy just generally a downhill...i'm ok...but i sorta wish I had a little dish of fearless in me a little more coming down a hill. But this time...the wind is hitting us from the front and the side and I am torn between not wanting to go as fast down the hills and the reality that if i don't keep pedaling and in the drops that the wind is going to quite literally throw me off the bike. So I tuck in and keep reminding myself about the physics of the bike when the wind picks up: a faster spinning object is more!

Overall, the ride was fantastic. Great friends to ride with AND...even with our 30 minute later start and the reality we were one of the last groups coming off of the road, THERE WAS SOME APPLE PIE LEFT!! Actually they still had 3 apple pies! Props to the organizers for enough apple pie for everyone. When we rolled in...i just bee lined it for the apple pie...didn't even put my bike away...still had my helmet on..chowing down on the apple pie. It was awesome. YUM...Tour de Apple Pie...gotta love it.

Today I even threw down an 8 mile run and would have done 10 if the dark hadn't closed in and every car on the street suddenly decided they wanted to run over me. After 6 near misses in 5 blocks I called it good and headed in.

A great weekend!