Countdown to Tri

Well, I feel I should give an update since my last (panicked) post about not being able to swim.

Well, turns out I CAN swim!

Granted, it wasn’t in open water, but last week I tried swimming as many laps as I could without stopping. I was able to do 11 laps (~1/3 of a mile)! Considering I’m only going to have to do a 1/4 mile, this made me happy. Also, I swam again yesterday and did 1/2 mile without dying from exhaustion! Combine that with a successful (if slow) bike/run brick, running a couple 4+ milers and one final bike/run brick scheduled for tomorrow, I feel like I’m in really good shape to finish the race without too much agony!

This is GREAT NEWS!

Other than my neurotic packing list-making, I’m ready for this! Woot woot!

* * * * *

The rest of the week in pictures:

AMAZING food truck sushi:

Revisiting an old food truck favorite:

Pulled pork. Pickled onions. Cojita cheese. Salsa verde. Perfection!

Also, my garden has been going INSANE! Here’s one (of many) pickings of strawberries from my garden:

And the first few blueberries off my blueberry bush!

(After I ate 2 of them! ;))

I’m beginning to think I was a bit overzealous in planting four rows of kale this year. My first picking (off only two of the rows!) yielded a grocery bag full of kale and it barely looks like I did anything.

I foresee a lot turkey kale bean soup in my future! 😉

Wish me luck!

Super Freak

No, not THAT kind of super freak!

I’m talking about how I’m starting to freak out a little bit about the triathlon. Mainly: the swimming.

Over the past few days I’ve had these thoughts:

I’m going to drown!

There’s no way you’ll be able to finish!

What if there’s fish?*

I won’t be able to SEE!**

I’m not going to be able to finish!

I’m going to drown!

As you can see…I’m being quite rational about this. By “rational” I mean “irrational as hell.”

Before I did the half-marathon in 2010, I had an epic meltdown on the drive down (just ask my husband) because of the seemingly insurmountable task ahead of me.

Thirteen point one miles?!?! I’ve only been able to run up to ten! (insert hysterical crying and freaking out here)

It wasn’t pretty. Thinking back, I’m usually the calm, level-headed one in times of crisis and I usually don’t freak out. Not like that.
Continue reading Super Freak

Ms. Magoo

I’m really nearsighted. So nearsighted that I joke that I wouldn’t be able to get out of the house without my glasses on!

Some call me “Ms. Magoo” after the Mr. Magoo cartoon character. Yes, it’s that bad.

I also have really dry eyes.

I discovered this about 15 years ago when I was a daily contact lens wearer and was experiencing double vision. Turns out wearing contacts – combined with a natural lack of tear production – was creating “dehydrated corneas”, which were causing the double vision.

Thus, I wear glasses all the time, and I wear contacts only when I’m doing sports activities.

The last time I had a fitting for contact lenses was approximately eight years ago and I had gotten down to the last pair of lenses in my box of “daily” wear lenses a few weeks ago. Since Tim expressed interest in getting contacts for running, I set up appointments for both of us to get fitted for lenses on the 4th.

Except I had an infection. In. My. EYES.

All I had been experiencing (I thought) was my seasonal allergies: dry, itchy eyes! How could I have an infection?

Anyhoo, he put me on an ocular antibiotic and told me that I couldn’t wear contact lenses until this clears up.

(Um…doesn’t he know I’m training for a triathlon?!?)

I was ordered to use the drops three times a day and come back in a week to get fitted for contacts. Over the past week I struggled running and biking with my regular, non-sports compatible prescription sunglasses. Not fun.

Fast forward to yesterday. The infection is only down about a third. A THIRD?!?

The treatment now – in addition to the continued contact lens ban – is using lubricating drops liberally throughout the day and he hopes (HOPES!??!) that it’ll clear up in two weeks. If not, he’s going to refer me to a corneal specialist to see why I continue to have an infection.

ARGH!!

If there are any of you out there reading this, please send healing vibes to not only get this infection licked but to allow me to not do a swim leg of a triathlon blind like Mr. Magoo!

* * * * *

In other news, I got a new pair of sunglasses! I’m so trendy…

My Secret Weapon

2008 Breast Cancer Bike Ride

I’m having a bit of panic over the triathlon, which is in 19 DAYS!

The swimming. I’m not going to be able to swim in a lake (unless I swim the race course the day before) until the day of the event. So, in order to make myself feel better, I’m going to swim as much as possible before the race.

However, I realized this weekend I have a secret weapon in my arsenal: the bike.

After a whirlwind week – one where I had to take ocular antibiotics due to an eye infection (and meaning I couldn’t wear my contacts) – I finally got my new Terry saddle installed on the bike and took her out for a long ride on Saturday in the 90+ degree heat and humidity right around the noon hour.

The course was a nice winding course with rolling hills and a few challenging climbs and a delightful straight, flat stretch where I got the bike up to ~23mph. All in all, I did 11 miles with little to no effort and had 14mph average speed.

Not bad for the first time out this year, huh? 😉

Now that I have a fantastic bike saddle, those miles will fly by.

If only the swimming would go as smoothly…

Am I A Failure?

New running shoes

I swear the world is fighting against me to thwart my efforts in training for the triathlon on July 1st. I never had this much trouble training for a half-marathon!

I think I narrowed it down to these things:

1. New house/garden.
I’ve never had a vegetable garden before, and the prep work for that has been a lot of work. I also have established plants (asparagus & strawberry patch) that need maintenance and picking on a nearly daily basis. Also, putting the final touches on the house eats up time.

2. Social life.
I know, wah wah wah. I have an active social life. But, having SO many things going on – especially on nights and weekends (my prime workout time) – it puts a cramp in my training schedule.

3. Work stress.
My job – compared to what it was 2 years ago when I was training for the half – has exploded in terms of workload and responsibilities. I’m more mentally exhausted at the end of the day and as a result, it makes it damn hard to get motivated.

4. Eating healthier.
Since the move and due to the above factors, I seem to have less time to cook and plan meals. Which means we’re either eating out or getting takeout a lot more than we used to and I’m getting frustrated with that. Thus, more of my focus is shifting to cooking healthier dinners.

5. Training time.
I can train for running events in a relatively short amount of time on any given day because all I have to do is:

  1. put on workout clothes,
  2. put on running shoes, and
  3. GTFO.

With the bike, there’s:

  1. put on cycle clothing,
  2. put on cycle shoes,
  3. get water bottles filled up,
  4. get bike down from garage rafters and check the tire pressure and address any other mechanical issues,
  5. put on helmet and gloves,
  6. make sure I have my phone in case of mechanical issues, and
  7. GTFO, and
  8. upon return, put everything away.

And swimming?

  1. find swimsuit, goggles and swim cap; pack in gym bag,
  2. find two towels; pack in gym bag,
  3. make sure lock AND KEY for the locker room is in the bag,
  4. drive to the gym,
  5. change into swim clothes,
  6. shower and get hair wet before putting on swim cap (mama don’t need green hair, yo!),
  7. swim (a.k.a. GTFO)
  8. shower to rinse out chlorine,
  9. change into regular clothes,
  10. drive home, and
  11. shower for real.

I don’t count “showering” after running and biking because I usually shower later in the evening after I’ve stopped sweating. No sense showering if I’m still sweating! But with the pool, I can shower once I get home. Why at home? Well, it’s just less crap I have to pack and haul to the pool and frankly, showering (for real) at the gym sucks. But I do need to get the chlorine out of my hair, so I can’t skip it.

Yes, I know the packing stuff with the swimming can be done ahead of time, but it still takes time regardless of *when* I do it. It also doesn’t take that much time. It’s the driving and changing clothes two times that does it.

And I know what some of you are thinking: “Carolyn, why don’t you just work out in the morning?” For those of you who haven’t had the “joy” of seeing me in the morning, I have an alter-ego named GROG who acts a lot like Drunk Hulk over on Twitter and GROG hates getting up early.

Angry Uhu

(not me, but pretty damn close as to my morning attitude – except more grumpy)

Plus, the few times I tried it, I was so stressed out trying to get everything done before work and was tired/ravenous the rest of the day. Mornings + me = bad.

* * * * *

I saw my cousin who is three years my junior this weekend at my niece’s graduation party – the same cousin who signed up to do a half marathon, the Warrior Dash and now this tri and goaded me into doing the same – and she’s in worse shape than I am. I’m not sure when I got or why I have this sense of competition with her, but I do. Having her tell me that she’s “seriously going to die” doing the tri somehow made me feel better.

I’ve swam a quarter mile already. Albeit, not all at once, but I did that my first (and only) time in the pool! I’m pretty confident if I get to the pool at least 4 more times between now and July 1, I’ll be in good shape. Besides, I’m just shooting to finish, not be super-fast or anything.

Once I install my new saddle on the bike, I’ll be stoked to GTFO and put some miles on. Unless my body/fitness has changed dramatically over the past 3 years, I’ll be able to knock out a 13 miler with no trouble.

With the running, I’m up to 30 minutes nonstop running and I did 4 miles on Saturday. Granted, I had a pee break 1.5 miles in and the last mile was more of a 2min run, 30sec walk. So in the next month, I want to get up to 6 miles running (w/no breaks) and I should be OK doing the 5k after the swim/bike. Going to do some bricks of bike/run the week before the race too.

All in all, I should be in good shape.

My goal: to finish.

And beat my cousin. 😉

So am I a failure? Considering, I think I’m doing pretty well.