Saturday, March 31, 2007

I think I did a bad thing.

So hamstring recovery was going okay. Still a little sore after I ran, but I wasn't having the *days* of soreness after running. In fact, a little stretching and a little ice, and I wasn't sore the next day. I had been sprinkling in about one 3 miler every week (I normally run 1.5 - 2 these days).

Then on Thursday, we did Fartleks (teehee - those Swedes and their funny words!).

(Lisa, if you had moved to Sweden instead, I would have silkscreened you a shirt with Binky on it, so you could wear it with a belt like that.)

It was a pretty low key Fartlek workout, 6 30 second sprints interspersed in a 3 mile run. But my hamstring hurts. Bad. As in "ache all day, keep me up at night" bad.

I'm so stupid.

Back to the cycling and swimming I guess!

Last night I planned on doing a 35 minute swim and it was as if the world was conspiring against me. First, I show up and it is family swim time, which means there is one lane, and this older lady beat me by mere seconds to the one lane that was open. And of course, she wasn't a normal lap swimmer. She was doing all sorts of weird stuff that took up the whole lane. It was only ten minutes until family swim time was over (although after last time, I was thinking "there's no way I am going in the pool after the kids" but I didn't have sneakers or anything so I figured I should do something since I went all the way t the gym).

I started going and my first 100 yds took 3 minutes. Three minutes! I am not fast, but I am pretty consistent at the 2:30/100 yds pace, sometimes down to 2:15. Things didn't improve all night. I had a headache, so I took off my swim cap, then I lost my pony tail holder so I would inhale a breath full of my hair every time I turned to breathe, I was nailing the "swallow a mouthful of water every time I flip turn" thing. I got to 31 minutes and I pretty much was going to throw up if I swam anymore. I couldn't even make myself do 4 more minutes. So I got out.

Note to self: probably should work on that swim thing, since you won't be running for at least another week.

Okay, time to end this Whiney McWhine-a-lot thing.

And now time for some science rambling (because I don't feel like grading statistics homework)!

I have spent the last two weekends encouraging the yoots of Iowa to pursue science. Last weekend I administered the oceanography portion of the Iowa Science Olympiad to middle school and high school kids. The woman who runs it asked teammate Pete if he knew "any oceanographers in Iowa?!" and lo and behold he did. I think they all hated me because I made them figure out questions about salt fingers, when I knew they would definitely not know that stuff, but they should have been able to figure it out from what they did know. And out of the 16 teams (HS and MS), one middle school team, the only all female team I had the entire day, were the only ones to figure it out. Yay girl power!

And I just finished a day and a half of judging the state science fair. I had to judge 6th graders through high school students doing seminars. All I could think was "gees, when I was in 6th grade, I would be freaking out if I had to give a scientific talk in front of judges." In one seminar, I learned that dissolved oxygen can kill aquatic life if there is too much. Sigh. Um, yeah, dissolved oxygen bubbles out of the water once it reaches a relatively low saturation level. For my masters research, we killed some salmon inadvertently by over-oxygenating the water, but that was because we had 4 air bubblers in a contained space and we managed to over-saturate the water with oxygen, which doesn't happen in normal conditions. In even more girl power, the top three places in the high school physics seminar I was judging all went to girls.

But please, if I hear one more talk about ethanol, I might have to shoot myself.

Oh wait, I think my department seminar this week is on water use by ethanol plants.

The joy of living in Iowa.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Ow, my foot...

I got beaten up by a girl on Sunday. I never saw her coming, but she just totally leveled me. I actually thought my foot was broken for about a day. It was a scary shade of purple and all swollen on one side.

I didn't run Monday or Tuesday. Hell, I could barely walk Monday or Tuesday. But, Cherry Blossom is 4 days away, so I tried to go for a little run today. I did 4 miles, and I felt ok, but my foot is still sore. She really messed me up. Luckily, the soccer game I have Sunday after the race is the last game I have until the end of April, which means I won't have any more games between Sunday evening and April 22nd, which is the next 10 miler I'm running.

So, note to self -- soccer is not low impact. I should know that by now, having played for like 25 years. But apparently I'm just a little slow...

Edited 2007/03/29: At Danielle's request, here's the picture of my foot. (All the bruises on my foot and ankle were the result of this one contact)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

California Bike Tire Blues

After last weekend's insane 81-mile ride to Santa Cruz and back I thought that this week I should do a ride that wouldn't take as long and leave me more time for the other stuff I needed to do today. So I chose my 50-mile Dumbarton Bridge loop (it is much easier than the Santa Cruz ride because it's mostly flat, while the Santa Cruz ride makes you climb up and down from 1800 feet twice). It's been a while since I lost an inner tube, and it's always a good idea to carry a spare with you, so I did.

Now the Santa Cruz ride involved lots of really bumpy and treacherous roads. I was surprised I didn't blow up a tube on a few of the bumps I nailed. The Dumbarton Bridge loop is all through populated areas, so it should be much smoother, right? That's what I thought, at least. When my rear tire started losing air shortly before getting to the bridge I was a little annoyed, but not surprised; that tube had lasted quite a while, and California street-sweeping crews tend to sweep all the road debris into the bike lanes and just leave them coated in a layer of broken glass and rusty nails, so I must have hit something at some point. But I know exactly the moment when I broke the second tube, on the bridge, on a little black circular piece of something that must have fallen out of some truck heading from its lot in East Palo Alto to a construction site in Fremont. It made a loud popping noise.

So with no more ways to repair the tire (I don't carry a patch kit with me because I can never find the holes in inner tubes) I had to continually fill the tire and ride until it had lost half its air, fill it back up and repeat. This got me about halfway home, at which point it was losing air to fast to even do that. So I walked the last 10 miles back home. The whole time wishing I'd brought two bucks with me so I could catch a bus or something.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Dropping the kids off at the pool...

Today I got all motivated to go swimming. I showed up at the pool and it was closed. I asked the woman at the desk why and she said "We had to shut it down to clean it since it got contaminated."

To which I replied: "Does the contamination have anything to do with the family swim time from 2-5 today?"

To which she said: "It has everything to do with the family swim time."

At least as a responsible pet owner, I pick up doggie droppings - parents should have to do the same.

In other news, I broke down and became a traitor against the revolution and bought a heart rate monitor. I am sort of obsessed now. Pretty pretty numbers! On friday I did a 40 minute bike ride, trying to keep my heart rate up in the 75% - 85% zone and then I did a 1.5 mile run, which sucked ass. I am going to re-emphasize that this biking then running thing is hard!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Lots of bad, then a little good at the end...

I had a bad day at work today. I had one of those days where you honestly ask yourself if your boss was stoned when he hired you because you're so completely and utterly incompetent. By the end of the day, given a map and a flashlight, I don't think I navigated my way out of bed it was so bad.

So I decided to "run it off" when I came home. Cherry Blossom is in 1 1/2 weeks, so I figured 6 miles shouldn't feel too bad. My target time for Cherry Blossom is 95:00, so I figured I'd try to run 9:30s today. When I was about a mile from the end, I realized that I felt like hell. So of course I start panicking. "If I feel this bad now, after 5 miles, how the hell am I going to run 10 next Sunday? Crapcrapcrapcrapcrapcrapcrapcrap..." and so on and so forth for the last mile of my run.

Now, I decided last year that I like running more when I bag the watch, so I don't actually know how I'm doing while I'm running outside of how I feel. But I do have my iPod, so when I got home, I figured out how many songs had played on my iPod, added the times up, and figured out why I felt so crappy by the end of my run. Instead of running 9:30/mi, I averaged just a little under 8:45/mi.

It was totally a bi-product of the shitty day, but it gave me a good laugh. And at least I feel a little better about the race next weekend now...

More schemes and machinations...

Our fellow teammate Jessica is organizing a RAGBRAI team this year. I was thinking that I might try one day (about 70 miles). Then as Kori and I were doing our first serious bike/run brick for our training*, I asked her if she wanted to do it. She has friends in Dyersville ("Is this heaven?""No, it's Iowa.") which is along the route this year, so somehow this got turned into doing two days of RAGBRAI, about 110 miles.

Now, I have never ridden more than 30 on my bike. And the Wild West Relay starts less than a week after RAGBRAI ends. I think this should be interesting.

*Why didn't anyone tell me that it is so hard to run after biking for an hour?

Monday, March 19, 2007

I really need to get over myself.

So it is sunny and 50 degrees and I had a half an hour between two meetings and I immediately thought "I should go for a quick run!" On Mondays I go to spinning class straight from school so I actually just wear a sports bra and my bike shorts under my clothes all day and wear my running shoes. So I thought "Gees, all I have to do is run out the door!"

But I didn't. Why not? Because hanging out in bike shorts in spinning class doesn't bother me at all, but walking around my building and running nearby in bike shorts? Hmmm, I don't think so.

That, and I am wearing these socks today.

I can't even begin to imagine going into public with that bike shorts/socks combo.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Like I need more ways to procrastinate...

So someone sent me a link to this today. If you sign up, add me as a friend :-)

In other news, I ran three miles yesterday because it was gorgeous out and there was peer pressure. My hamstring ached last night but it has been okay today. Hopefully that is a good sign!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

There's a runner coming... We think he might be British!

Lisa just informed me that our favorite Brit is getting married this weekend! That probably explains why he hasn't been hanging around the blog lately :-)

In other team news, I am hamster sitting for Chrissy this week. She has two. The one in the ball is named Basedow, after John Basedow ("Here's John Basedow! He's gonna show you how to meet your potential and turn your whole life around! Fitness made simple!" I hope I got that song stuck in your head for the day.) Keeping Lucky away from the hamsters has been quite a challenge - he has been going insane!

And in running news, I tried to run two miles on Sunday and my leg hurt a lot afterwards :-( That didn't stop me from running yesterday though! It was in the fifties! Running outside is so nice! I wanted to run forever! Until I hit a mile and realized I am not at all in shape enough to run forever.

And my morning laugh (apparently I am not the only one who tools around with a blinky red light attached to their helmet):

My favorite band from college riding around on Segways in Members Only jackets, terrorizing Boston (I had a ginormous crush on the one in the blue jacket in college):

Friday, March 09, 2007

Because the other race was too popular...

I am registered to run in the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler on April 1st. However, as this race is pretty popular, and the 10,000 slots fill up in the 12-15 hour range, a lot of people I know didn't get in. None of these people know each other, but they all apparently independently decided to register for the George Washington Parkway 10 Miler, which is 3 weeks after Cherry Blossom.

In the past week, 5 people, none of whom spoke about this amongst themselves, all asked me if I was running the GW Parkway. So now I am feeling almost guilted into running it.

The last day of early registration for the GW Pkwy is the day of Cherry Blossom, so I can always register for the GW Pkwy right after after I've run the other one.

But jeez, so much guilt...

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Free money!

So I just got my dividend check from REI this week. Now, I actually don't spend that much money there in a year, but my wonderful mother buys a lot of stuff there for herself and especially for gifts and she puts all her purchases on my membership number so that I get the dividend at the end of the year. So now I have $50 that I have to spend on something fun! Because it is not like I can take the money and put it in my wonderful ING account (Get one if you don't already have one! 5% interest!)

So... what to buy, what to buy... Laurie and Audrey have inspired me to finally break down and buy a heart rate monitor. Also, I really do fear that I am pretty lazy and am not pushing myself as much as I should. Some people are good at gauging this stuff naturally, but I am a numbers person. Now, the horrible dilemma of which one to buy! REI also has a 20% off one item coupon for members until April 1st, so that will help to minimize the amount of money over the dividend that I have to spend.

Decisions! Advice would be appreciated!

In other news, our dog now has a blog: Livin' La Vida Lucky. I need to clarify here that I am in no way responsible for this blog - it's all my roommate. Gees, she is a constant source of entertainment!

<-Look he's already a pro at this blogging thing!

Anyways, time to mentally prepare myself to make thirty 20 year old guys think that I am da statistics bomb and that they should hang on my every enthralling word about standard deviations. Sigh.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

I'm pooped.

I just got back from a two hour spinning class. Normally my spin classes are never longer than an hour, but they did a special two hour session today with two of the instructors, including the hawt spinning instructor. Gees, it's like my gym is trying to motivate me with eye candy! If his class wasn't at 6:50 in the morning normally I would totally go to it. But that's about the time I get up, and even cute boys won't get me out of bed any earlier.

Well, anyways, the point of this was not to talk about cute boys but rather to say that I forgot how much I miss doing long workouts! I often go to the gym for two hours, but I never do just one thing - I usually do a mix of running, biking, swimming, etc. But it is not the same. There is something about chugging at the same thing for two hours. You have that beginning part which kinda sucks, but then you get that middle part where you feel great and you're all warmed up and your muscles are moving and you feel like you could go forever, and then the end part when you are beat but you push through to the end.

I just miss the long run. This morning I met some people from my running group for brunch after they ran ten miles outside on a beautiful snowy morning. I ran a mile and a half on the treadmill. That still didn't stop me from partaking in a big old brunch :-) But I was so jealous. That "Gees, I'm exhausted, but I feel so good" feeling that just doesn't happen with shorter workouts. I am so ready for this hamstring to be better so I can go at training full throttle again!

In other news, at brunch this morning, I think I may have hooked three more scientists (including an Ironman) to run with us this summer. Good times...