Listening to Your Body

02/28/2012

We all know coaches are there to push you outside your comfort zone to places you wouldn’t normally push yourself, but also to strategically plan recovery to keep you fresh to hit your harder workouts.  But when it boils down to it, we all know our own bodies best.  We all know when we need recovery.

And for me, today was that day….though when I go through the activities of today, I would hardly call it recovery.  The mountain ride post 10-mile race kicked my tail on Sunday and though yoga on Monday morning made my sore muscles feel much better, it didn’t help me fully recover.  My schedule today included a 4,000 swim, a 1 hour run and I had to substitute teach a 1-hour spin class at Charlotte Athletic Club tonight after work.  I did my swim, albeit not my best performance but got (most) of it done.  I set out after work in the beautiful weather for my run.  About 2.5 miles in, I was just NOT feeling it.  Low energy, tired legs, mentally drained.  The hard efforts racing Saturday and riding the mountains Sunday takes so much mental focus that I just felt distracted and not into this run.

So I walked.  I walked almost 20 minutes of my 1 hour run.  And it felt SO good.  I let go of my schedule and just listened to my body, which I needed very very bad.  I ended up running about 4.5 total and walking the rest.  And I don’t feel bad at all.

Because I walked I was able to teach a pretty fun spin class which ended with  5 of my 9 students telling me how much they loved it!  As soon as I got on my bike, I completely forget my own “problems”, how tired my legs feel, how my tummy is growling and how I’m so ready for a good nights sleep and I just teach!  I love being able to focus on my students and help them get in a good workout to feel good about themselves.  Tonight we envisioned a cookie at the top of our 12 minute climb (I had Mt. Lemmon in mind the whole time) and it worked!  I saw cadence pick up every time I mentioned that big ol’ cookie!  There is a calorie burning challenge (of some sort) going on at CAC right now and people hit 700, 800, 900 calories in class!  Go them!

After computrainer class and a short run tomorrow morning I plan to recover pretty hard the rest of this week.  Workouts will be easy in prep for my first bike race of the season on Sunday!  I’m anxious to race, but also excited.  I’ve checked off two pretty successful running races so far this year and now it’s time to break in my bike racing legs.  I’ll be racing at 40 minute crit in Winston Salem.  Wish me luck!

AND….drumrollllllllll……. I think my new “rocket” (a.k.a. bike) should be here and built by the end of NEXT WEEK!!!!  If you can’t tell, I’m jumping-out-of-my-pants-excited!  As everyone keeps telling me…no excuses now.  🙂

Hope everyone is feeling fresher than I am.  Happy almost Hump Day!


Brushy Mountain Ridin’

02/27/2012

Post Jersey Boy, I was in bed at a decent hour, but something wasn’t sitting well. I got progressively more nauseous as I laid there trying to fall asleep. I’ve been thinking for a while now that sweeter white wines don’t agree with me.

My dad and I selected a bottle of Pinot Grigio at dinner that I didn’t think would be very sweet. After a few sips, we realized it was sweeter than a typical Pinot. However, after a long week and a tough race in the morning, I didn’t care (despite in the back of my mind thinking “I don’t think this is a good idea”). I was in the mood for a cocktail or two with my dinner so I drank my 2 glasses happily. 🙂

Bad move.

I ended up being sick from about 11:30 till 12:45. After chugging some water, I was able to fall asleep pretty quickly thereafter out of sheer exhaustion. Not having to leave till 8:15 or so the next day to ride, I still got a decent amount of sleep, but was worried about being dehydrated.

We drove about 45 minuets from Cool Breeze in Mooresville to Brushy and were on our bikes by 10am. It was a cold morning, but sunny which made the cold totally bearable. There were about 10 people which is the perfect amount for a mountain ride. Enough to share the work, enough “skill levels” but not too many that you’re forever waiting on everyone to circle up.

I rode okay. I wouldn’t call it strong, but I wouldn’t call it terrible. I’m not sure if “reason” was Saturday’s 12 mile run, if I was more dehydrated from being sick than I realized, if I’m just not mountain-riding-fit right now, or just not all that “bike-fit”? Regardless, I stuck out the whole ride (a few people decided to turn back after 2 of the 3 planned climbs). Mountain riding is tough to do in a group, for me at least, as I kinda just gotta go at my own pace. Sometimes that’s a bit faster, sometimes its really slow. What I feel good about is the progress I’ve made on my descending. We did one of the descents twice on a road that was really smooth with modest corners. It was so fun to barrel down with little to no brakes, especially the 2nd time!

Nonetheless, the ride still really fun. The group is a blast and its awesome that everyone is there to have a good time, but also work really hard. The guys are riding like CHAMPS. We shared lots of laughs and all came home stronger riders than we left….just what it’s all about.

Since I’d be driving right by Em and Scott’s on my way from Mooresville, I just had to stop by and see this little guy (and his mommy and daddy of course). He didn’t seem to mind that I was quite sweaty, though is mom and dad might have a different opnion!

Little Brax is 6 weeks old and growing up so fast. I’ve seen him 6 times since he was born and he changes so much every time. He gets cuter and cuter by the day! Look for peanut on the tri scene this summer rocking these gems.

Aunt Kim Loves you Brax!

I attempted a yoga class for recovery this morning, made it through the first of two sequences before I succumb to childs’ pose, pigeon, happy baby and several other stretches before conking out in Savasana. I am SPENT! Tanner’s class at Y2 post ass-kicker of a weekend is likely not the best recovery, but I couldn’t resist 🙂 Still felt better when it was all done, though I thought I might die mid-way through!

Hope everyone had a great weekend of training and has a great week ahead.

~CK


Jersey Boys!

02/27/2012

This past Saturday night was finally time to celebrate Christmas with my parents. Dawn and I struggle every year to figure out what to get for the two parents who seem to have it all, and who do so much for us! Each year it seems to get harder and harder to think of a GREAT gift for them.

This year we decided to do a family night out in Charlotte. We got 4 tickets to Jersey Boys playing at the Blumenthal and a fancy dinner at Luce! It turned out to be perfect!

The Eagens' girls at Luce

Our dinner was fabulous! We ate too much yummy authentic Italian food, drank great wine and enjoyed each others company….even if Dad did need the “flashlight app”on my iPhone to see the menu in the dark ambiance 🙂

The show was a blast, actually very funny and kept my attention from start to finish. If you know me, you know that says a lot. I didn’t know much about Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons before the show nor did I ever really feel like I cared to know, but now that I do, I realize just how interesting their story was. If you are in Charlotte and are looking for a good night out, I highly recommend an evening seeing the show. It’s not inexpensive, but it’s so worth it.

My family...can you tell we're all related?

Merry Christmas Mom and Dad. We love you.


Charlotte 10-miler

02/26/2012

I decided a few weeks ago to do the Charlotte 10-miler as a good training race for my first “big” race of the season – Quintiles Wrightsville Beach 1/2 marathon in March. The race was put on by Start2Finish Charlotte Events and Charlotte Running Company and I love to support local businesses too. It was the first year of the event and I was excited for a new course that wound along McMullen Greenway…a great place to run and somewhere that I wish I made it to more often. I convinced my sister to do the race too as she’s prepping for the Corporate Cup in a few weeks.

Friday ended up being a very stressful day for a few reasons and I was exhausted by the end of the week. I was looking forward to a serious night of snoozing.

Seems my mind and my dogs had different plans for me. Sadly, I ended up waking up at midnight when my dog rustled and with so much on my mind, I wasn’t able to doze back to sleep until sometime after 4am…the last time I saw the clock. I debated skipping the race a handful of times while I was laying there tossing and turning but I decided to HTFU and do it on 4-5 hours of sleep.

It was a pretty chilly morning despite it having been in the 70’s the previous 2 days. We bundled up and got to the race site a little earlier than I normally would have for a running race but we warmed up in the car before heading out and getting our pre-race warmups done. I did ~2 miles with some strides and felt just “ok”. I can’t say I felt 100% but I jut tried to ignore it and focus on racing. I had my sister there and two clients, one running the 10-miler and one running the 4-miler so it was nice to be with them before we started the race.

When the “gun” went off, I was positioned about 3rd row back. As expected, a pack of people set out just a bit faster than me, and a pack of people were behind me. I feel like this is the story of my life at running races. I’m always in no-mans-land in the middle. Not the fastest, not the slowest. Mile 1 ticked off about 10 seconds below goal pace which I expected as most races set out a bit faster than I plan. Mile 2 did also. As we headed down the Greenway, the scenery was great, the terrain was 99% flat, but it was pretty lonely at times. Running at a low 7 min pace puts me in top of HR zone 3 / low HR zone 4…which is HARD! Maintaining over an hour that close to threshold is not comfortable, in any way, shape or form. Some days a few miles feels ok, but I rarely do long, consistent near-threshold efforts in my training, which is something I will plan to incorporate. About 3 miles in is when the discussions with myself starting happening. I tried to keep the discussions positive and tell that little daemon on my shoulder to STFU but it wasn’t easy. By mile 5 all I wanted to do was slow down. But I didn’t! “The Hill” at mile 8/9 was one of the steepest hills I’ve ever run up “at race pace” and man it hurt! Nonetheless, I pressed on. My last mile was the fastest of the day which was my goal – 6:56!!

Overall, I ran a 1:11:27 or a 7:08/mile pace. I use the McMillan Running Calculator a lot to determine my paces for track sets and tough interval workouts. Based on my 5k time from last weekend, my goal for a 10-miler was 1:11:39…so I finished just :12 seconds under my goal time….not too shabby! The McMillan Calculator NEVER ceases to amaze me, despite my many attempts to prove it wrong. 🙂

I took a 3rd place AG spot and 9th overall I think. There are some seriously strong runners here in Charlotte and I am constantly blown away at their speed. The winner of the race ran something like :57 and change….or like a 5:30/mile pace which is unfathomable to me. I am pretty sure I couldn’t run a 400 on the track at that pace, nonetheless, 10,11,12, 26.2 miles!?!?

Overall, I’m pleased with my run. I wish I had felt a little more peppy but given I thought I was getting sick, didn’t taper at all, and hardly slept the night before, I’ll take it! Congrats to Dawn, Nicole and Devon who also had great respective races! Girls make me so proud, I think it’s half the reason I wear sunglasses at the finish to hide my tears of joy 🙂 So inspiring!

Devon, Nicole, CK and Dawn post race

Massages and Emergen-C

02/22/2012

I woke up for computrainer class at Uptown Cycles today at 5:53 (to be exact) and felt like I might be coming down with something. Crap.

I went to class anyway as my mantra when I’m sick (not severely) or feel like I’m getting sick is to keep going and trick my body into thinking I’m not sick. Lucky for me, today was the hardest workout we’ve done in the last 14 or so months we’ve been taking class. The middle of the set included something like a 10 minute block of pyramids which ranged from 100% – 165% of threshold. Followed by another block of pyramids that were not quite as steep, but longer and up to 120% or so of threshold. Oh, yeah, followed by yet another block of intervals (thankfully not pyramids) that included 30 on and 30 off of more ridiculously high percentages of threshold with recovery at 90-100%. I don’t typically recover at threshold 🙂 I did the best I could with the energy I had but definitely spent quite a bit of time at 50 rpms and with my thumb on the “-” on the watts button.

I had a little 15 minute t-run after class and it was done for the workout day. I headed to work feeling out of gas and in need of some Emergen-C, a nap and a day off. Sadly, I got neither. I proceeded to work the day I’d planned. Fortunatley though, I had booked a massage a few days ago with Eva at Bliss of Charlotte (THE best, if you’re in need of a good knowledgeable masseuse for athletes) and put on the work calendar to leave at 3:30. I’ve been running quite a bit lately and things just feel knotty. Dr. Greenapple is out of town for a while and I wasn’t able to see him last week, so I thought a massage this week would be just what the doctor ordered.

And boy was it ever!

I did 90 minutes with Eva and she worked out every tight spot on my whole body…my right hamstring, my right shoulder, my left scapula, my traps, my rectus abdominals, and my glutes! Between the the fascia work, the compression (she literally knelt on my butt/hamstrings driving her knees right into them!), the hot stones, the Newdle and her amazing massaging, I’m a normal human again! At one point I almost dozed off, but it’s too heavenly (and sometimes intense) to sleep so I fought it as best I could.

So its 7:45, I’ve downed finally 2 huge cups of Emergen-C, have taken 2 Advil to hopefully stave off the night sweats I encountered last night (likely a fever breaking) and I’m off to bed. Sleep, hydration and vitamins…the best way (well, the only way) I know to fight a cold! I have a huge weekend ahead (training and non-training) and cannot afford to be sick!


Swimming with the Big Kids

02/21/2012

I realized never provided an update as to if I survived my first swim with the speedsters.

Did I survive? In the literal definition of the word, yep, I’m alive!

Was I able to swim fully swim with the speedsters for most of the main set? Heck no.

I chuckled to myself when I saw the set before jumping in.

500 – WU (“ok”, I thought, “I can swim a 500 warm up”)

10×100

1-4 – all gear (paddles, PB and band) on 1:45 (“no problem, I like these intervals, with paddles and a buoy I’m golden”)

5-7 – paddles and PB on 1:40 (“with all this gear I think I can hit 1:40”)

8-9 – paddles only on 1:40 (“BOY the rest of this set gonna be long, I pretty much lose all feel for the water after taking off my paddles”)

10 – swim on 1:35. (“ouch”)

Ok, so I survived this much. All good.

Main Set:

10×200 on 3:00 or 3:10. This is where the chuckling occurred. I’m having a good day if I swim 1 single 100 on long course in 1:30. This equates to about 1:20/1:21 in the short pool, which is my “PR” if you recall. Never mind holding it for 200’s…and actually it’d have to be slightly faster in order to be any rest! However, since neither of us needed a 4000+ set, we opted for only 5×200 and adjusted our interval to a much easier (::insert sarcasm::) 3:20.

When we started I vowed to just do what I could. I could hang on Jonathon’s feet for the first 45 meters. After the wall, I would find myself about 8-10 meters behind (and these guys don’t even flip turn). By the last 50, I was about 30 meters behind. Rather than get to the wall after they’d already taken off and totally screw up the whole rhythm of the lane, I opted to swim continuous 300’s, finish when they had about 75 meters left in their next 200, and join in as they started their next 200.

It all worked out fine and I don’t think I made anyone “mad” per say, which was my main concern. Long course is long enough that it’s not like I was holding people up. But, it certainly accentuated the fact that I’m a snail.

We finished with 10×50 kick with fins on 1:00 and luckily, I’m a better kicker than I am swimmer and could at least keep up with this. If only I could incorporate some of my kicking into my swim!

I was happy to hear from Jenny later that “this was a tough set,” though I’m certain a tough swim for me and a tough swim for her are worlds apart.


Swimming Update

02/20/2012

I’m currently 4 lessons in with my “swim coach” and I must say (and I think he would agree), I’m making progress!  We’ve done 3 lessons with him on deck, and we swam together yesterday for the first time.  At this point, I get it!  I  know what I’m doing “wrong”, I can feel when I’m doing it wrong, I can feel it when I’m doing it right, and I can even correct it when I begin to start doing it wrong again.  I can maintain it for about 100-125 yards.  After that, things start reverting back to “a cardboard box moving through water” again.  But progress is progress and I’m not going to take that away from myself.

The goal of our swim yesterday was a bunch of fast swimming with lots of rest.

After a 700 warm up, we swam:

3×50’s descend 1-3 on 1:00 (goal of the whole set was fast swimming with lots of rest!)

3×100’s descend 1-3 on 2:00

200 with finger-tip paddles and buoy – negative split.

We did the whole set twice.  I swam the last 100 on the 2nd set at 1:20!  My previous “100 PR” is 1:22 so I’m slowly starting to see the seconds tick off.  I’m hoping that helps me survive tomorrow….

Ms. Jenny Leiser and a group of triathletes swim at MCAC every Tuesday and Thursday morning.  I inquired / she invited me a few weeks back and I’ve been hesitant to join….until tomorrow!  I”ll be attending swim at 6am with the “big girls and boys” and I have my usual swim anxiety.  I’m hoping to at least stay on the same 100 they’re on, but there’s no telling.  I’m just going to do the absolute best I can do and enjoy the workout.

Tomorrow afternoon includes a pretty intense track set.  I’ll check in with the details on how it all pans out tomorrow night.

What kind of workouts does everyone else have planned for tomorrow?