Monday, February 21, 2011

On Flexibility in One's Training Schedule

(I have my grownup computer back! Hooray!)

This might possibly be the happiest dog on the planet. His training remains the same despite weather issues. Mine does not. THIS picture is of the road in front of our house in the mountains where we were this weekend, and where I had planned to go for a long run one day and possibly a ride or ski the other. NOT. But I am proud of my tenacity and creativity with last week's training nonetheless.

We were home during the work week and the weather was unsettled, bringing us our first real rain in weeks. I let the Mister take Sporty Spice to school early on Tuesday and headed up Mt. Diablo in attempt to beat the rain, which I DID. I have a goal of seeing the top of the mountain before Wildflower, and it will be the first time since the broken leg. Today there is snow on top of even this low-lying mountain.

Thursday it rained again and after scrapping plan A of riding, and plan B of running outside (it was pouring! and cold!) I did something never before done by me...I ran on the treadmill at the gym for 2 hours. Yes, 2 hours. The only way this was possible was with the help of those little personal tv consoles on the treadmills there.

The weekend brought the flexibility of training-challenge to a new high. We had never before been to our mountain house on a day where there was that much snow and plows not keeping up. This meant arriving after dark Friday night and actually having to send the Mister down the road to shovel us a path inside; luckily we were able to get the car to the end of our road. But this meant we couldn't leave to go anywhere by car all day Saturday, not the store, or the ski trails, no where. So we strapped on our snow shoes and headed out--onto our own road! There had been some plowing before the last dumping and that was really good snowshoeing, just a foot or so of snow. Not feeling this was adventurous enough, we blazed our own trail over the usually "dirt road", snowshoeing through about 4 feet of powder. Now, if one wants a workout, THIS would be it. I managed to patch togfether 2 and a half hours of this and it was actually very very nice. And the dog was in dog-paradise! Which is so wonderful to see, as our boy has been battling lymphoma and having chemo treatments once a week. He had a perfect day, and it made the last 10 weeks worth it all.

The plow 1:30am on Sunday morning, which was one of the oddest experiences the Mister and I have ever had. We both woke up, sitting straight up in bed yelling--we were both totally sure it was an avalanche! It was so noisy and lit up the house!
My workout hopes were high---until I realized it was 20 degrees outside and the road completely iced over. I had to tippy toe my bike down to the main road, but had had the smarts to bring my mountain bike and managed to get in a 3 and a half hour ride down the mountain to Murphys and back on the road. It kicked my butt.

I did manage to get some other things done on my to do list this weekend!! I finally watched, in it's entirety, my new Swim Smooth Master Catch Class DVD--very very informative and I can't wait to try out my new drills.

I finished the Charles Dickens novels I've been reading for Oprah's book club! Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations. I feel so smart!

I planned my garden for the year and made lists from all my seed catalogs.

And I finished all my training totals from 2010! Ready?
In 2010 I swam 256, 350 yards.
I rode 3,851 miles.
And I ran 997 miles (and if you know me, you would know that if I had known this was the number earlier, I would have been out at 11:30 pm on Dec. 31st to get in the last 3 to make 1000.)
Adding weight training, I spent 814 hours of 2010 training and racing.

Monday, February 7, 2011

On Pushing Your Kids Into Obscure Sports

Sorry. I realize these pictures were just hanging out there with no explanation for a few days. My laptop (the one that wasn't stolen) went over the rainbow bridge last week and I am using Sporty-Spice's itty bitty Nickelodeon computer to communicate with the outside world. I believe it has an actual picture of a Rugrat character on the front. Very grown up.
So, back to our adventure of 2 weekends ago. Cross-Country Ski Orienteering! Orienteering is a very fun sport the mister and I did several years ago when preparing for adventure racing. Basically, you get a map and a compass and have to find checkpoints and it's timed. They have em where you run, where you ski, and even where you ride a mountain bike or horseback ride. We had done this same ski-O and I'd always thought it would be a fun sport to do as a family. Sporty loved it! He especially loved the little finger tip "dibber" you put in the checkpoints--a digital indicator you were there and found it. It took him 147 minutes to complete the course, which in 6 year old time must be like 12 dog-years, and he stuck with it. That surprised me. I am on a quest to introduce my kid to obscure sports in leiu of organized team sports like (shudder...)soccer teams because a)I have my own stuff to train for on weekends and am selfish, b)that would preclude our going to our "happy place" in the mountains many weekends and c) did I mention I'm selfish? Check out orienteering at
Since I can't post any more pictures until I get my other computer back, I will have to forgo illustrating my craftiness of late (I'll catch up later) and talk about training.
It seems like most years, getting started with the "real training" in the late winter/early spring, for me, is like watching a baby bird try and take flight, only to keep falling out of the nest and bashing it's head upon the ground...over and over.....until it finally gets liftoff. I'm still in a bit of the nest falling phase, and hoping for liftoff soon. And I can't even so much blame the weather, which has been great, or health during cold and flu season. I think I'm just adjusting to the idea of moderation and training for halfs. Just an adjustment in thinking, somewhere. I've pretty much put in the training I planned to for base, and it is fine. It's just a little bit of low-enthusiasm factor just yet, not-great focus, and some horrible eating choices during the holidays I'm paying for now. On the upside, I've enjoyed some great mountain biking the last few weeks and a couple of trail runs! I hadn't realized just how little trail running I'd been able to do since my injury and how much I missed it. This is rest week after the last base phase, so tomorrow is the offcial start of Build 1--11 weeks to Wildflower!!
I am taking a very cool online class through Brave Girls Club, called Soul Restoration ( We are restoring our "soul-houses" through collage and journaling. I'm pretty sure my soul house is in foreclosure, but we'll see.