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Archive for January, 2010

2010 is off to a questionable start. While things have been really excellent on the triathlon training and school/teaching front for me, January continued the stress of December in terms of health at home.

First things first: Last week was so great for training. On Saturday the track was closed so I biked and then ran on the treadmill. I managed 1km on the treadmill after my bike, which was an improvement on my previous combination of bike + 600m.

I swam 800m on Monday, the first 500 of which were continuous front crawl. I feel very confident with that aspect of the triathlon. I was tired by the end but not exhausted. I mostly stopped because I get so bored of front crawl. 😀 I did 7 minutes of treading (with a minute of legs only thrown in) as well.

Wednesday was a write-off because the boys were sick (we’ll get there…), and Friday’s workout almost didn’t happen because I was sick. By lunchtime I was feeling a little better though, and I was anxious not to miss another workout (the edge of the bandwagon was perilously close!). So I dragged myself, sniffly nose and all, to the gym. Somehow, amazingly, my bike took me 24:30, my best time yet, and then I ran 1.7 k! I was so shocked and honestly, really proud. If someone had told me on January 1 that I could run 1.7k continuously by the end of the month, I’d have laughed like a maniac. Never mind the 10k bike first! And yet here I am.

I am debating whether I should just do a run tomorrow or do a brick – I am leaning towards just the run because I think doing the 2.4k last week was a bit of a breakthrough for my endurance. 6 laps around the oval is 2.4k – maybe I can manage 7?

With that dutifully recorded, on to other things.

January was a difficult month emotionally for me because my men, both big and small, were unwell. Silas’ main incision took much longer to heal than it should have and occasioned quite a bit of worry (n0t to mention grossness). Thankfully in the last 3 days it has taken a turn for the better and now looks almost as good as the two small incisions which had no issues. Having Si at less than 100% has been an eyeopener for me to say the least! I’ve always known I relied on him, but it’s amazing how much more drained I was. I’ve never stopped being grateful for his strength, but I’ll admit that I am more aware of my appreciation for it now.

My poor Malkie has had a pretty awful month. It started with an emergency ambulance ride to the Children’s Hospital due to hot tea spilling all over him. Thankfully the burns turned out to be 1st degree, but it was terrifying for everyone and very sore for him. Within a week he began running low grade fevers during the day and high grade fevers at night. When they lasted more than 3 days, I headed back to the Children’s. He checked out very healthy and I was assured it was probably a virus and would be gone soon…but to come back in 3 days if it was not. 3 days later, back we went. Exactly the same story. 3 days later with the nighttime fevers unabated I headed back again, fairly sure that they would be adding “Mother possible candidate for Munchausen’s by proxy” to his file. Thankfully  the Doctor was very sympathetic and assured me that although it was almost definitely a 10 day viral fever,   I was certainly right to have kept bringing him in, and that he was quite certain it would break soon.  Which it did, finally, 2 days later.  Breaking the whiny, indulge-my-every-whim-I’m-sick behaviour has taken up most of the rest of the week. Sigh.

Last but certainly not least, Friday night featured yet ANOTHER trip to the Children’s, this time with Dair. His first playground altercation earned him a deep cut just below the eye, which ended up needing 2 stitches.

Thankfully everyone seems to be on the mend now, and this weekend has given us all a lot of much needed rest. I’m fairly confident that February should turn out better health wise. I mean, it would have to really!

On the balance, January was a wash. The health stuff was pretty severely awful, but school is so fascinating and exciting and Silas has a new job and I’m excited about the triathlon. February holds promise to be pretty awesome, so I’m excited to begin.

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Malcolm stayed sick with a fever until today, which meant I didn’t exercise Monday or Wednesday during the day. I was beginning to despair; staying on track with exercise plans is not my strong point, to say the least. So being forcefully thrown off track is tatamount to the universe daring me to quit! Fortunately, Silas came home Tuesday night and was able to help with Malkie yesterday so I did at least get to teach and go to class!

After dinner I was bemoaning my lack of training time over the last week and Si told me he’d take care of bedtime, I should head into town and do it then. My motivation was extremely low though, so I suggested he and the boys come with me. Good plan! We put the boys and the running buggy in the van and headed to the Olympic Oval. The boys were very excited to run. I started and Si lapped me, having the boys “catch” me each time. At 1600m I thought I was going to have to stop, but by telling myself that I could stop any time I was able to keep going. In the end, I made it 2400m! Hurray! Lots of stretching afterwards worked well and I’m not sore today.  I’m still very far from being able to manage all three elements one after the other, but the running was my biggest hurdle so now that i know I can do it I feel much closer to the goal.

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On Friday I went to swim. I checked in at the front desk and the woman gave me a swim bracelet. I went in and changed, got kitted up in my styly new swim cap and goggles (which do not match my styly new swimsuit AT ALL 😀 ). Went to the doors to the pool…and found out there was a grade 6 swim meet (which incidentally explained the millions of children in the changeroom). I didn`t have my running/biking clothes, so my training plans were thwarted. I wasn’t overly upset except I was annoyed that the woman at the front desk didn’t bother telling me the pool was CLOSED.

Friday afternoon didn’t afford an opportunity to do any training, but Saturday afternoon I left Dair with Mama and took Mackie with me to the gym. I ran 1200m straight through, which is very likely the longest continuous run I’ve ever completed in my life. Woohoo! I had to stop though because my lungs were threatening to implode. I am finding that my muscular endurance is quite a bit greater than my lung endurance. I’ll have to look into how you work that up.

Then Mackie and I did yoga and stretching on the mats at the end of the track, causing no small number of university girls to die of cute overload as they ran by.

My goal for monday is to swim, since it’s now been more than a week since I have. I’ll check the pool schedule first though 😉

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Speed demon

Wednesdays are very busy for me so the only time for a workout is from 9-10. By default that means a brick training session because the pool isn’t open ’til 11. I cleverly wore my gym clothes to school (and brought my teaching clothes to change in to) to save myself time in the morning.

Somewhat astonishingly, the only objection my brain came up with to the workout was that I hadn’t eaten yet. Granted, that’s a reasonable objection and I probably should have eaten when I realized it, but there wasn’t really time to both digest AND exercise before class. (I would like to say that I generally do eat breakfast well before 9, today was an exception). So off I went after dropping the boys off at daycare.

The university gym is lovely mid-morning. The early people have already finished and the lunch crowd hasn’t arrived. There are no games going on in the gyms. The only sounds are the humming of the two or three other exercise machines. I wish I could go at that time every day!

Having remembered both hair-ties and a water bottle, I felt quite energetic and my bike ride went really well. I was able to do a number of 500m intervals at 95 rpm, and I kept my overall pace very quick. Or so I thought. All that extra effort resulted in a 30 second time difference from my first ride last week 😀 Undeterred (although feeling very heavy in my muscles), I hopped off the bike and onto the track. I ran 3 laps quite slowly but without stopping. Hooray! That is a big victory for me! Almost as big a victory was not collapsing with exhaustion at the end, and managing to thud down onto a mat for some yoga.

Here I feel I need to give props to a random girl I’ve never met. She was in a corner across the track from me, and looked somewhat ill at ease. She was wearing jeans and a tank top, definitely not workout clothes. I was wondering what she was doing, when suddenly she busted up a big pink hula hoop and started doing the most amazing dancing with it. She had it flowing up and down her body, around her limbs and up in the air, all very rhythmically. I was suprised and totally thrilled. I had no idea people could do things like that with hula hoops, and was all the more amazed for it appearing seemingly out of nowhere. So good job, random girl. Thanks for making my morning!

After stretching and heading back to the change rooms, I was surprised to feel my body telling me it would actually have liked to do a bit of a longer workout. Obviously I don’t have the endurance yet to lengthen my cardio significantly (although I’ll be working up to it), but I think I will try to add a longer mat workout at the end, rather than just enough to stretch out tired muscles. Unfortunately those thoughts were immediately overwhelmed by “Oh S**t”, when I realized I’d forgotten my bra at home and therefore had to teach in my gym clothes. Blah! Mental note: Keep a spare set of teaching clothes in my office.

So today was  really a success, I achieved the goals I set on Monday and feel like I’ve made some slight progress since I started last Monday. An important and exciting thing for me is that last night for the very first time since my c-section 4 and a bit years ago, I was able to tighten my stomach muscles enough so that when I poked my finger through the top mushiness, they felt hard. Woohoo! I’m sure it’s due in small part to the excercise I started last week and in much larger part to finally having healed thoroughly, but it feels good nonetheless.

Friday should be a swim day, so I’m going to make a goal of swimming the 16 laps relatively continuously and then of continuing the rest of the routine as usual but increasing the final 2 front crawl laps (after the legs only work and the back crawl laps) to 4.

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Try-a-tri

Ok, laugh as you will, but I have committed myself to an introductory triathlon. That comprises a 400m swim, a 10 km bike and a 2.5km run. I can do each section individually, so it seems reasonable that if I work hard, I should be able to do all three  together by May. Right? 😉

So far, I have done two swims and two bike-runs, which are called “bricks” in cheesy triathlon terminology. The first swim was awesome, I was tired but not exhausted after 16 laps. I even did 4 laps of legs only and 2 more laps each of backstroke and front crawl and did treading water for 5 minutes to make up a full half hour swim. The first brick was surprisingly not bad, I did the 10k bike in 27 minutes and although I was tired and sweaty managed to run almost 2 laps.

The second swim was not terrible, but far from awesome 😉 I had to stop for big gasping breaths for about 15 seconds at the halfway mark and it took me 18 minutes rather than 16. But hey, not too bad. I did the rest of the swimming that I did the first time afterwards as well, although I felt much more leaden.

Today was my second brick. I should have been bright eyed and bushy tailed after a two day rest, but I think my body has just begun to realize I might be serious about this and is settling into rebellion, and is apparently in cahoots with my brain. These are the things they came up with to try to make me avoid the workout today (I outsmarted them though. Yeah me 😉 ):

* forgot hair tie – I ran with my hair down. Awkward but possible.

* no water bottle – this one I will have to remedy. At 7 km into the bike I had to stop and go get a drink from the fountain, lest my throat close up fatally

* way too many other January-keeners in the gym. This one will remedy itself. Hopefully I am not one of those it “fixes” 😉

I am going to try to keep this up to date with how my workouts go, so I have a record to show myself of my improvement. So today’s accomplishment:

7k bike, break for water, 3k bike, took about 32 minutes

2.5 laps of the track with 0.5 walking in between.

I’m hoping for Friday to do 10k straight through (gotta remember that water bottle) and 3 laps running straight through. I also want to find out the distances on the track so I can get the running up to snuff.

Hooray for goals – I hope I can keep this one!

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