Monday, January 29, 2007

Blog Tag What?

Wow. All these things I never knew about. Deanna blog-tagged me, along with the other TRIgirl bloggers, so I'll try to answer the questions, but I'm afraid I'm breaking the chain...

Yikes. I used to think I had a good memory, but many race details run together for me. From the most recent tri, I remember how cold it was! TRIgirl Anna may be from Canada, but it took a lot of convincing to keep her from dropping out of this year's Richmond Sprint Triathlon. I decided it was worth a ridiculously long T1 time to ensure that I wouldn't lose a limb to frostbite on the bike.

Am I allowed to plagiarize? DB summed it up about Naylor's--the only GOOD thing about that race was finishing with her. I really had a bad race, and I think I may have quit if it weren't for SanDee at the water stop and Deanna pulling me to the finish.

I honestly don't remember much about my first triathlon. It was one of the Shady Grove sprints in 2005. Tri shorts? Who ever heard of those? I wore the Trimom team suit for the swim and then pulled on running shorts and running shoes to get me through the bike as well as the run. If nothing else, I've upgraded my tri-wear since then!

One thing I've discovered, not necessarily about myself, but about physical endurance, is that the body can usually do whatever the mind will let it. Sometimes during a workout, I have to turn my mind off completely in order to get anything accomplished. I realize about myself that I am able to challenge myself, but I sure can be lazy. I have a lot of bad habits that interfere with my training. But I guess that's called life.

My most embarrassing tri moment is pretty well-known. My "girls" tried to make a getaway out the sides of my top coming out of the pool in a sprint tri early in the season. They were fairly successful. Moral: don't wear anything during the swim that you havent't practiced it in (this particular top had been great for bike-run bricks.) Solution: our TRIgirl jerseys (and my turbo top) have been great in every race since. Too bad they hadn't come in earlier!

The big goal? IRONMAN FLORIDA 2007.

Friday, January 26, 2007

And, Yes, My LIfe Is Ruled by TRIgirl

I don't mean for it to be, and I do balance it out occasionally. However, having such a structured training plan does help me better manage my time. I know I'm not the only one with that issue!

This weekend...

Saturday morning we meet at Maramarc to run four timed half-miles. This extreme event (so called because the temperatures will be in the teens) is followed by an hour and a half of cycling class in the aero position. Ahhh... then we enjoy TRIgirl coffee at Starbucks.

Saturday evening brings the Richmond Triathlon Club's annual banquet. Hunter Kemper is the keynote speaker, and I'm looking forward to hearing his address as well as socializing with others in the Richmond triathlon community--TRIgirls and otherwise!

Sunday evening after swim class, we will be meeting back over at Maramarc for the TRIgirl 2007 informational meeting. I'm really looking forward to this since I will not only see my regular partners in crime, but we will be joined by TRIgirls who have been MIA since the official season ended and also apparently by a million new recruits.

In addition to Michelle, I have another little sister, Jennifer, since my last post. My real little sister, TRIgirl Shannon, aka the Beebs, will be returning for 2007, as well. What a great family!

So, within the confines of this tri-structure, I will also attend a work meeting (subject: port wine,) read some student response writing, plan my classes for the week, and maintain the semblance of a social life. Maybe.

Time Flies When You're Training

Okay, okay, okay. Enough about the off-season, the workouts, what-have-you. I realize that we technically haven't ramped up for Eagleman yet, but even these short workouts take time. I was just reading Melissa's recent post where she noted that she couldn't believe it was already Tuesday.

Well, neither can I! Yet, it's Friday.

Then I check my own blog, and Susie's taking me to task for not posting. Here I was thinking I was getting an extra rant in, and it appears I'm behind.

As I've explained to my students, any given amount of time--a week, a year, five years--is a smaller percentage of your life as you age, so the time really DOES go faster as you age, you see.

This lesson is in my English classes.

And I'm still not old.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Back to School

Wednesday was my first day of classes; today is my second. It's always exciting to start a new semester, meet new students, etc. Ahhhh, the feeling you get from a fresh new notebook...

My keywords for the semester are "initiative" and "academic curiosity." My students are probably already tired of hearing them, but I really try to emphasize the importance of being engaged in your own life. This class can't just happen to a student; he or she must actively participate. The rest of us are there to help.

I use many training metaphors for developing good research and writing processes. I am very frequently in the role of coach as a writing instructor. Just as Grandison, Ed, Som, Mark, and Blake can't put my miles in for me, I can't do the research and writing for my students. I am there, however, to help them plan, to suggest potential resources, and to offer extra help in areas of weakness. I am excited by their progress and I learn something new from them every day.

My school schedule is fortunately not interfering with my workout schedule so far, and I even found a time slot to swim before classes on Wednesdays. Kate T and I tried it out this week, and I think I can keep it up...

I'm also looking forward to meeting my TRIgirl "Little Sister" Michelle. The addition of a mentorship program to TRIgirl this year just makes the organization better and better. Sharing tri experience, excitement, and resources--how rewarding!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

I Feel Good

It was SO HARD to get up this morning for a timed one-mile, two timed half-miles, and an hour-and-a-half ride on the trainer in the aero position.

It was even harder to get up yesterday, so I didn't, really. I didn't have to be at work until six p.m., so I spent this one last day of "vacation" finishing up a novel for TRIgirl Deanna L's book club next week. Ah, the luxury.

I dragged into Maramarc *only* ten minutes late this morning, just in time to start our warmup. I need to remind myself that I will ALWAYS feel better after my workout than I do before. Well, of course there's an asterisk with that statement, but we live in a world where not only TRIgirls are Caution: Very Hot!

Pleased with my times--7:32 in the mile (which Coach Mark graciously recorded as a 7:30,) followed by a downhill 3:41 half mile and an uphill 3:52 half mile, graciously timed by Kate O.

I assumed a leadership position during our indoor cycling, sitting up front with the coaches and facing the rest of the class. The real treat about riding here is that Mark and Ed can't keep a close eye on you. I'm sure Blake would manage to find a way, but he is still in Colorado working on his USAT coaching certification.

Now, after TRIgirl coffee and a long shower, I feel good.

Other reasons I feel good:

*Celebrated my birthday last Saturday with TRIgirls and other friends.
*Swam with Som on Sunday for the first time in three months.
*Made it to 32! Had birthday dinner with Mom, Dad, and Ashley at great new restaurant, Cous Cous.
*Successfully completed two swims, two strength trainings, three bikes, and three runs this week.
*Met with other English 200 teachers--getting excited about the upcoming semester.
*Treated myself to five new books and finished reading one.
*Worked with Grandison on TRIgirl press release and philanthropy.
*Saw an old friend today and met a new TRIgirl!

Life is good.
And thanks, James Brown.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

This TRIgirl in 2007

So, TRIgirl really is influencing my life above and beyond triathlon.

Of course, my big goal for 2007 is IMFL in November, so that entails many hours of TRIgirl training. I have also fallen into the habit of having TRIgirl coffee at least five days a week. At my parttime job, a coworker offered to bet me that I couldn't get through a shift without mentioning the TRIgirls. I looked at her and said, "Why in the world would I want to do that?"

I've been working with Grandison on some planning for the 2007 season as her social coordinator/marketing assistant, and so I've been reflecting on my expereince with the group for things such as testimonials and biographical information. I really have made some of the best friendships of my life with these women. G and I keep coming back to the idea that it is so important to surround yourself with people who improve themselves and the world around them, and that's much of what this organization is all about. I am going out for my birthday tonight (it's on Monday--two more shopping days!) and ninety percent of the people who are coming out with me are either TRIgirls or married to one or the daughter of one. Wow.

I'm also enjoying the potential TRIgirl networking as I focus some on my working-for-money life this year. It's nice to have so much support from such a diverse group.

Okay, I'll admit I also did work out with the TRIgirls this week...

Tuesday--met SanDee and Lynn at the vita course. Ran a warmup mile, than ran two miles at tempo pace. My prescribed pace is an 8:50 mile, but I ran them in 8:30 each. i felt that was a pace I could sustain for a 5K, but should run at 8:50 for a 10K. Need to work on slowing down for those longer runs...
Cycling class that evening.

Wednesday--Ed's Shenanigans. Good to back in the swing after the holidays. Met Kate T at Am Fam for my first swim since October 15's sprint tri. We did a half mile in about sixteen minutes, then joked about our $180 workout, since we've been skipping the gym for several months.

Thursday--met Lynn at UR track for half mile repeats. Either we were both having a particularly hard day or we don't know how to properly use a track... neither of us hit our pace goals. I think I need to take Track 101. Ed's Cycling this evening was obscene. Molly and I were trying to measure our sweat volume. I did have a quarter-sized dry spot on my tank when we finished, however, so obviously Ed went really easy on us. I texted Lynn, who along with the Deannas was at Wine Club, with the following quote from Ed: "Level Nine. Stand Up."

Friday was a rest day (much needed and even more enjoyed) and I slept in a bit today, skipping cycling class, but joining the group for a half hour run afterwards. Friend and new TRIgirl Kay and I went for a hilly walk this afternoon to catch up with each other and enjoy the unseasonably warm day--over 70 degrees!

I'm very much looking forward to an evening out with these great women tonight, and seeing many of them again tomorrow for the inaugural SWS event--Som's TRIgirl Master's swim class, or as I prefer to refer... Swimming with Som.