First things first, Kelly had surgery today and it went well. As of 6 pm, she was in her room, resting and recovering. This is only step one, she has to go back to finish the reconstruction, but I think it's safe to say the worst is over.

This weekend John and I took the convertible up to WI, which made bringing back our usual beer order a little more difficult. But have no fear, I am the Master of Trunk Tetris and we easily fit 5 cases of 6-packs in the trunk. Ah, delicious microbrews from the land of beer and cheese.

And yes, I have been working out. Other than the trip to WI, I've been pretty consistent lately. Tonight was the first 10 mile run I've done in months. It was probably a little more than I should have done. By mile 8, I was getting pretty fatigued but I stuck it out. I have a feeling I'll be sore tomorrow. Until I'm back to my comfortable weight and usual cardio base, I'm going to try to get 4-5 workouts in a week that are at least 90 min. My blue jeans will thank me.


What next?

I find myself asking this question a lot. Sure, I signed up for the Wakarusa Off Road Challenge, but that is in September. I'm planning on the KC 1/2 Marathon, but I haven't actually signed up for that one yet. And I'm starting to get a little stir crazy. I need a race, some speed, some adrenaline, something.

So what next? Any suggestions? I've been talking with a few friends about a 12-hr adventure race in northern WI in July. A friend suggested a Oly-distance tri in July as well. Since starting the Run Less, Run Faster training program, I'm thinking about a 5k or 10k to try to set a new PR since mine are old and crappy. I'd still like to try a road bike race at some point, but my biking base is embarrassing. I'd also be up for a mtn bike ride/race, but I'm probably not technically good enough for that yet.

I'm still undecided. I'm hesitant since I'm still getting back into shape. I'll admit I like to race for PRs and knowing where I am now versus where I was last year is disheartening. But I'll get back there eventually. Maybe a 5k is a good starting point.


New Wheels! Again!!

I'd like to introduce my newest set of wheel - Moxie! Moxie is a 2010 Specialized Myka Elite Sport. And for the first time in my life, I was able to buy a bike off the shelf, in my size, and on sale! It doesn't get much better than that.

Until I rode Moxie around, I didn't realize that my neighbor's bike I had been borrowing was a men's 17.5" bike. I bought a 17" women's bike. Here's the differences between a men's and women's bike.

  • Dropped top tube - lower stand over height

  • Reach to the front end is shorter

  • Handle bars are narrower (for narrower shoulders)

  • Smaller grips (smaller hands)

  • Women's sized shocks (require less force to activate)

In short, she's a whole helluva lot easier for me to handle. And since she was on sale, I actually bought up a model and got an extra gear, hydraulic disc breaks, and a lighter aluminum body compared to the Myka Disc Sport. I am a true believer in the benefits of a women's bike. I could go on and on, but I'll spare you. John and I went up to Smithville to ride this weekend and I had a blast. I can't wait to get back out on the trails!


Hello Speed Work!

Saturday was the first day of speed work on my new training plan. Kelly and I ran on a paved trails, which meant a few hills and turns, but no interruptions from traffic. The plan called for 8x400 with 400 rest interval. Ugh. I wasn't sure where to start, so I set 7:15-7:20 min/mi as my goal pace.

I set a workout in my Garmin, but I need to manually adjust it. The pre-set paces had a 7:00-9:00 category, but it kept telling me to slow down and we did all the intervals between a 7:13 and 7:47 pace. The 7:47 was a fluke, I was still listening to the Garmin and slowing down. After #2, we decided to ignore the "Slow Down!" warnings and keep running. Other than the one 7:47, the rest were between 7:13 and 7:21. That pace was about perfect. The first few were fairly easy, but by #6 - #8, I was really pushing to keep the pace up. The last one was 7:15 exactly and got my HR up to 180 bpm.

I like the HR graph from the workout. I can clearly see the 8 intervals with the rest in between. Pretty cool. We did 6 mi in 51 min and there was even a little walking. After the last few intervals, I walked until my HR dropped below 170 bpm. So far, so good. We'll see how I fare on my tempo run tomorrow.


Next Adventure: Wakarusa Off Road Challenge

I think I have finally managed to find some motivation in the form of a new race. I just signed up for the Wakarusa Off Road Challenge for September. It's put on by the same people who organized the two Adventure Races I did last year.

This race is somewhere in between a triathlon and an adventure race. There is trail running, mountain biking, and paddling. While there are two-person categories, I decided to sign up for it solo. If I'm in good shape for the race, I have a good chance at placing well. If I'm not in good shape, I don't want to worry about dragging down a teammate.

There are a few minor logistical items I need to figure out between now and September. 1) I need to buy a mountain bike. 2) I need to rent and practice kayaking. Minor details, right? At least that means I will have a lot of new posts related to buying and inevitably crashing a mountain bike, and possibly dumping a kayak. With my new running training plan, I can easily add a few days of biking and paddling, mainly on the weekend.

I haven't downloaded any of the course maps yet, but the race is 2.2 mi running/17.2 mi biking/ 4.2 mi paddling/ 4.2 mi running. The trails where it's at are rolling and fairly smooth, and pretty much protected by trees. So other than the paddling, it should be shaded and low wind. This should be a ton of fun and is just what I need to stay motivated!


Kick in the Pants

Last night I sat down and made up a training plan for the month of May. I'm using the Run Less, Run Faster training plan for a 10k. Sometime in June I'll start the 1/2 marathon plan to train for the Kansas City 1/2.

Tonight was the first day of the plan. 5 mi tempo run with 1 mi warm up, 3 @ pace, 1 cool down. Since I could barely do a mi at an 8 min pace last week, I thought I'd set my sights fairly low. I was hoping for 3 @ 8:15 min/mi pace.

I managed 8:06/8:17/8:08 and when I finished, I had to walk a little just to let my HR recover. It went better than last week but it's still slower than the pace I ran for my current 1/2 PR. Ouch. Oh well, it is what it is. And it was a much needed kick in the pants.