Thursday, July 26, 2012

Post State Meet, Vacation Time, and Celebrity Sighting!

Two posts in one month! It's a miracle!

I thought I'd pop on before I pop off and get busy straightening up and packing for vacation. Tomorrow afternoon we head to Phoenix for a bright and early Saturday morning departure. We'll be heading to Kiawah Island, South Carolina to spend time with my husband's family. The beach... The Olympics... I'm psyched!

In my last post, I talked about how my oldest son was going to the AZ Age Group Long Course Championships.


It was a weekend of major highs and lows, that's for sure. Earlier this week, we were watching the Today Show where Ryan Lochte talked about how he always got kicked out of swim practice when he was 8. He said that he liked competing in meets but hated practice and he also mentioned that he didn't get super serious about swimming until he was in high school. Oh, how I hope some of that sunk into Evan's little brain. Last weekend wasn't fun... For anyone. Evan is still too young to hang with the 10 year-old competitors. He's just not there yet. Explaining how it takes time is futile, however.  After most  of his events, he got out of the pool, asked if he made it to finals (nope-not even close in most cases) and then proceeded to pout for the duration of the day. ((sigh))

At any rate, our 10U boys did snag a win in the 200 Medley Relay! This race truly was the highlight of our weekend. The boys, moms, and dads were all smiles after their win.

Evan is the second leg--swimming breaststroke 


I'm back to 40 mpw and starting to build. My body feels good so far. Our summer schedule is proving difficult for me to get to the gym for strength training. So hard to fit it all in. I am hoping to be able to squeeze in a couple of strength sessions on vacation and then get back to Body Tone class in August. 

Earlier this week I did an 8 X 400 speed session. I did 4 400m repeats (ok, .25 miles on my Garmin because I don't actually do it on a track) with 200m (.12 on my Garmin) rest between sets. After the 4th 400, I rested for 400 and then did 4 more with 200m rest between each repeat. Make sense? 

Anyway, the point of this whole story is that the last time I did this workout (in March), my times were:

1:41, :41, :44, :42, :40, :41, :37, :42

On Tuesday, my times were:

1:38, :38, :37, :39, :40, :37, :36, :36


I'm getting faster, now I just have to build back my endurance with my long runs.

Oh, and I had a celebrity sighting on my run. 

Yuma's Bernie Montoya won the 2012 Adidas Grand Prix Boy's Mile in 4:01.32. Holy Hell.

Totally in awe of that kid. Whenever I see him running around Yuma, I feel unworthy to share the roads with him. Can you imagine being 17 and having that level of talent? He's only a senior in high school! Wow. He's really humble and grounded in his interviews too. 

Till next time!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Blaaaaaaaahg SLUMP

Hello! Remember me? It's been a while. Summer in my home has proved to be just as busy, if not busier, than the school year. How in the world did I make it through grad school? I feel like I couldn't do it now!

What have we been up to since the last time I posted, like a month ago? Sweet Laura left a nice comment on my blog inquiring, so I thought I'd get on and give an update. You can expect another one around summer's end. HA!

Mid-June marked my middle son's 6th birthday. We celebrated with a party at a fancy establishment called "Rodent du Fromage." Quite exquisite!

Rodent du Fromage = Chuck E. Cheese
Happy 6th, Tyler!

Then my husband went away on a training exercise June 13th, and I pretty much lost the will to live. I'm telling you... Raising 3 boys is not a job for 1! The middle to the end of June was ROUGH! I was dragging everyone out of bed at 5 am each morning so that I could get my oldest to 5:30 am swim practice. Good times. And then the rest of the day meant finding time to either get to the gym for a treadmill run or if I couldn't get a sitter, pool run in the back yard while the kids splashed around me.

I survived with the help of my mom, who flew in to help around the 10-day point. I was seriously losing it!

These 5:30 am swim practices for Evan have been a challenge... But as they say, "The early bird gets the worm." And if the worm symbolizes qualifying for 9 events at the Arizona Long Course Age Group Championships, then the worm has been gotten! I'm tremendously proud of Evan. He will be swimming in 6 events at the state meet July 20-22 (*swimmers are allowed a max of 6 events). Again, we're looking at this as a fun experience where he can hopefully snag a few more PRs. His times have been dropping like crazy since he moved up to the more advanced group at swim practice. 

On fire in the water!

RUNNING (in bigger font/bold just in case you wanted to skip the kid crap and head straight to this-Haha.):

I was SO happy to move on to July. June was rough for running with my back recovery and then my husband's travel. Ugh.

With that being said, July is the hottest month in Yuma, and I do feel like a lot of my running this month is being done in survival mode. Take yesterday's run for example:

93 degrees at 5:42 am. WTF?!?!

The day before, however, I had a fantastic speed day! My coach's goal for me was 6 miles with 2 X 1 mile @ 7:10P with .5 mile recovery between miles.  I went balls to the wall and did my first mile in 6:57 and the second one in 6:49. Not bad for 86 degrees at 6:30 am!

I know that I touched on explaining the numbers from my Cardio-Metabolic testing in June in my last post, and I know I could get into it more here, but I hate LONG blog posts. I will briefly discuss some crucial numbers, however, and how I've been putting them to use.

Heart Rate Training: 

After my testing, Ken presented me with a sheet of  personalized HR Zones that I could use to smarten up my training. 

Zone 1 (111 bpm-145 bpm) is what is known as the "recovery zone." I have been trying to stay in Zone 1 for the days after my long run, speed days and hill days. Believe it or not, it's hard to stay in this zone. It means slowing down A LOT. Since my HR is naturally higher than most, it actually doesn't take me long to get to 145. And I'll be honest, I've fudged this number a bit higher because of the higher temps here. Naturally with higher temps, one's HR goes up. On my recovery days, I try to stay below 155 (fudge factor of +10). The past month's running has shown me that this number can range anywhere from 9:20P-10:00P. It actually takes effort for me to slow down to this pace, but I am really trying to honor it. I wonder if some of my injuries aren't happening because I am still not going easy enough on my easy days. It will be interesting to follow this in my next training cycle.

Zone 2 (146-163) is the "endurance zone" and is where one should be spending most of his/her time with running. While I have not been wearing my HR monitor for runs other than recovery runs, I suspect I mostly operate in this zone. If I wander into this zone on recovery days, I don't stress too much because it is a "safe" zone.

Zone 3 (164-173) is for tempos and long intervals...  I'm probably here during *recovery jog* on hill workouts and speed day repeats

Zone 4 (174-179) is for threshold intervals/cruise/fartlek... Speed/hills

Zone 5 (180-187) is for repeats... such as my mile repeats on Tuesday

Zone 5 anaerobic & peak (188+).... I probably got here on my last mile repeat Tuesday. Ken tells me that you should not spend much time in Zone 5 or you're looking at injury/burnout.

There's a ton of information out there about HR training. For me, I'm using it strictly to monitor my recovery paces. I don't wish to become a slave to my HR monitor, and the limited research that I've done indicates that relying solely on HR training can actually hinder performance. Some days your HR might be higher than others (e.g. hotter days), so I think it's good to balance your HR training with perceived effort. 

And with that, I'll probably see you next month! Off to catch up on all of the blog reading that I've neglected!