Monday, August 27, 2012

August N2U CT Challenge - High 30 Xtreme

Yet again I wait until the last week to get my N2U challenge in.  Sunday I realized - crap the month is almost up!  Once again I was perusing the City Y group exercise options for the week.   To make it more challenging, the Y's shut down the group exercise rooms the 3 days before Labor Day so they can refinish the floors.  So that left me with Monday or Tuesday as options.

I settled on High 30 Xtreme at North Side Y.  I liked it since it was only 30 minutes, right next to work & the time worked for me.  Although a half hour before the class started I was really contemplating whether or not to go.  Work was in crazy rumor mode & I just wasn't really in the mood but I went anyway.  yay me.

Here is the definition of High 30 Xtreme—This is an invigorating non-choreographed class that provides a variety of cardio, strength, and endurance components using only your bodyweight. 

The class started off with a quick warmup of jumping jacks, knee ups & squats.  Then we went into the main sets.   We did 3 sets of each & each set was 20-30 seconds each.

The sets were jumping squats, forward & backward lunges, mountain climbers, some other jump exercise, something else I forgot, then we moved to pushups, another arm exercise that I forgot the name of, then some core work - crunches, planks & side planks.  We ended with a couple minutes of stretching.

By the mountain climbers sweat was pouring off me!  The class was awesome!  I loved the intensity & that it was only 30 minutes.  It is perfectly timed at 6PM so it is easy for me to get to.  This one will definitely be added to the rotation!

Sorry no pictures of me from class but here is a completely random picture!  It was taken on Memorial Day when the City Pools opened for the summer.  I am so sad that they are closing this weekend!  No more outside swimming until next year!  boo hiss!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Does a Bear Crap in the Woods? AKA our Summer Vacation

8/26/12 Authors Note - I wrote up this post when we got home at the end of July but apparently never published it.  I just noticed it was in Draft mode.  It is also a posthumous post featuring Karma!  Oh!  I later learned that bear crap is really called scat.  I didn't bother to update the post. 

Usually by January / February we have all our camping trips booked.  This year was a different story.  Since we weren't sure what was going to happen with selling / buying houses we were saving our vacation time just in case.  

Although Steve did sell his house this summer it doesn't look like we are going to move this year so it was time to start burning vacation time.   Thanks to a friend at work selling us his campsite we were able to score a week at Holly Bay.

Redneck camping at its finest
Last year when we spent a week at the lake it was 2 weeks before Lake Logan so every day was spent swimming, biking & running.  It was nice not to have to worry about getting my scheduled trainings in this time.

We got to the lake Monday & got all setup.  Of course it is July, so it was hot.  As soon as we could, we walked down to the lake to cool off.  I am not even sure what we did for the rest of the day.  Probably went something like this, swim, eat, sit around campsite, drink beer, walk Karma, shower, eat, etc.

Karma tried to keep cool under the camper
Tuesday morning we did head out for our one & only trail run.  I planned to do my usual 5 minute walking warm up, followed by 2 miles then a walking cool down.   Steve ran ahead of me & cleared spider webs for me.  He even spotted a snake on the trail basking in the sun & waited for me to catch up to warn me.  Gotta love that!  Chances are I would have been oblivious or seen it at the last second & freaked out.  I ran by it real quick & the sucker didn't even move!  The rest of the run was uneventful.  

Wednesday was our first kayak trip of the week.  Last year we only did short paddles so it was nice to do a couple of long trips this year.  Later that day we broke out the bikes & rode around the campground.  I didn't bother bringing my road bike on this trip - Jake & I are not seeing eye to eye these days but this is for a later post.  Instead I brought my Fuji hybrid to cruise around the campground.   

As we were cruising the campground one of the hosts in another loop stopped us & asked if we had heard about the bear.  Nope.  Hadn't heard of that yet.  Apparently a bear was up in someone's campsite snacking on all the food they left at their site.  After we got back to our site Steve mentioned that he did see some crap on the trail but didn't know it was bear crap.  Nice.  So instead of worrying about local druggies stealing our stuff we had to be concerned about bears.  Honestly, I am not sure which is worse.   

On Thursday while I hung out at the site & read Steve went on a 25 mile bike ride   I may have felt slightly guilty for not riding but I must admit hanging out reading all afternoon was pretty enjoyable.  Before leaving I picked up Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz that has been sitting on my book shelf for years.  It was a good vacation read.  I finished it by Thursday afternoon so I had to spend the rest of the week reading my Swimming Technique book & writing up some blog posts.

Friday we spent the better part of the day kayaking again.  The details of both kayak trips are in my July N2U post.  

After we got back from our paddle we went to find a couple of geo caches for Steve.  He found the first one easily.  We were heading along the trail to find the second one when we came upon a bunch of bear poop.  I said heck no I'm heading back to the truck.  We were told the day before that there were now four black bears in the campground foraging in people's coolers & such.

Karma still loves the trail
When we got back to our site we found this on our picnic table.  

This is why we only went on 1 trail run all week.  I had planned to go on 3 trail runs this week but once I found out about the black bears I scratched that idea.  Especially since they are following the trails that we would run.  

Thanks to the Bears we didn't go on too many hikes either.  Basically we hiked down to the lake & back.  We didn't even hike to the marina this year.  We drove there instead for our ice cream.  There is no way Karma could hike that far anymore.  She still wants to go with us but it is too hard on her to hike any long distance.  She did hike down to the lake with us a few times & she went with us to find the geocache which meant she got to smell the bear $hit.   I think that may have been the highlight of her trip.

We started Saturday with a run.  Since the trails were out of the question we ran from the campground to the Dam / Laurel-Whitley county line and back.  A cool front came through over night so the humidity & temperatures were lower.  We started early enough so the majority of the run was in the shade which felt great.  

After breakfast we hauled the kayaks back to the site.  When we got back a couple of camp hosts stopped & told us there was a bear behind our site.  They had been trying to trap it for an hour but no luck.  Around 7PM they came by again & told us that everyone had to be out of the campground by 9AM Sunday morning.  They were going to close it until they could get the bear situation under control.  It was disappointing to have to get up so early on our last day of vacation but it was nice to be home by 10AM.

We never did see a real bear.  Just their poop and that is just fine with me!

I know vacation recaps aren't really exciting for anyone but those involved.  I always forgot the details of the trips.  I have found that it has been super helpful to go back & re-read old posts about race reports, vacations, etc.  

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Honestly, I had no idea there was such a thing as sympathy cards for your pet.  It makes sense, I just never thought about it.  This week I was so touched by all the well wishes received via this blog, Facebook, tweets & yes, sympathy cards.

From Natalie, Rian, Maggi, Mary & Don
We even received one from our vet.  What really touched me were the sweet messages from all the staff.  Even more unexpected, the paw prints!   FYI - If you are in Lexington & need a vet, go to Southland Vet.  They are the most caring group of individuals!  Without a doubt, Dr. Milli gave Karma a couple extra years with her treatment plan.
From our Vet

Lots of kind comments from my FB peeps
Another amazing thing were the folks that made donations to Beagle Freedom Project & Beagle Rescue League in Karma's memory.   Both organizations are dedicated to finding retired research beagles fur-ever homes.  This is very close to my heart because Karma was a retired medical research dog from University of Wisconsin.  Natalie, Rian & Maggi - Thank you!

I had yet another emotional moment while picking up Karma's ashes on Tuesday morning.  Not going to lie - the whole ashes thing creeps me out.  Before picking them up I wanted to take them to Zilpo hiking trail & spread them in one of her favorite hiking places.  Surprisingly, once home with her ashes, I am OK & not creeped out by the fact she is sitting on the fireplace mantel in a box.  It is very possible I am now just nuts.

Picking up the ashes wasn't the emotional bit.  What about turned me into a weepy mess again was when they told me there was a ceramic paw print included.  My response, 'Seriously?!  Karma's paw print? That will throw me over the edge if I look at that right now.'  I waited until after work so Steve & I could look at it together.

Today when I walked out of the grocery store there was a mobile canine adoption unit in the parking lot.  I walked over & petted all the doggies but there was no sweet beagles so I left.  When I later told Steve he said 'thank god!' I laughed since no doubt if they did have a beagle, I would surely have scooped it up to take home with me.

Steve is not ready for a new dog & neither am I really but when the right one comes along it will be hard to resist.....

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Trying to Outrun Grief....

....but all I got was a PR.

This past March we found out Karma was in renal failure.  Last Friday she lost the battle.  She has left us with an quiet & empty house along with very heavy hearts but also with lots and lots of great memories.  She was the best damn dog.  It is such a bummer that she is gone.

I ran last Tuesday morning - my usual couple laps around the block before work.  On my first lap around when I ran by the house I saw Karma sitting in the window.  My heart jumped for joy momentarily.  You see, I always thought the day she could no longer jump up on her stool will be an incredibly sad day for me.  As I got closer, my heart sank because I knew Steve had put her up there because she was too weak to jump up on her own.  She was still actively watching me run by though.  My second lap was run in tears.

Sitting on that damn stool was one of her favorite things to do.  If we weren't both home she would hold vigil on that stool, watching out the window waiting for us to get home.  It was the sweetest thing to come home to - seeing her face in the window, happy as can be that her peeps are finally home.

I have heard how some folks run through grief.  It helps them deal with the sadness.  Honestly, remembering my last run, it was the last thing I wanted to do today.  But I did it anyway.  I put on my run clothes, got out my iPod shuffle, strapped on my Garmin & headed out the door.

Normally, I walk for the first 5 minutes them start running.  Today, I walked three and a half minutes before starting to run.  I ran towards the Arboretum woods, through the woods, around the Arboretum, back through the woods & then home.  3.4 miles in 35m29s.  That's including a leisurely 15 min/mile pace for the first 3+ minutes.  That's about a minute faster than previous best arbo run.   I would gladly trade all PRs for more time with Miss Karma.

Today I ran with music - normally I like running to the fast songs & skip over the slow ones.  Today was the opposite.  I wanted to run to the slow songs & skipped all the fast ones.  Here are a few of the songs I ran to today:

Pearl Jam - Just Breathe

Talking Heads - This Must be the Place (Naive Melody)

The Thorns - Blue

Brandi Carlile - Turpentine

Gomez - Little Pieces

Radiohead - Karma Police

In the upcoming weeks I am going to put together some posts documenting her story (it's a great one) as well as gathering up all her pictures we have taken over the years to create a story book for Steve & myself.  Karma was so much more than a pet.  She was a little buddy to each of us.  She was a member of our family and we will miss her dearly.    

Sunday, August 5, 2012

EP 'Tom' Sawyer Tri -Race Report

After an email exchange with one of my TNT buds Treacy, I signed up for the EP 'Tom' Sawyer Triathlon in Louisville.  I first did this race in 2010.  It is an 800m swim, 14 mile bike, 3.1 mile run.

The wake up was early for this one.  They wanted all athletes to be at the race site by 6AM which meant a 4AM wake up.  Thanks to all the 6AM classes I have been taking getting up at 4AM is not nearly as harsh as it used to be.  Since I really didn't train for this race I was taking it as a fun training day with some of my TNT crew.  With that attitude I wasn't nervous at all so I was able to get a solid 5 hours of sleep.  I felt pretty darn good.

Another difference was my pre-race meal.  I saw this article on Thursday & decided to go to Bob Evans with the lunch crew on Friday.  We all got a big breakfast for lunch.  Steve & I went for pizza for dinner on Friday so I was sufficiently carbo loaded.  

On the way to Louisville we hit a rainy patch.  While driving through the rain, the car did a funny little jerk & then afterwards was having a really hard time maintaining the speed limit.  The RPMs were high & it wouldn't shift.  We limped to the race site & knew we would have to deal with it after the race.

 I racked my bike then went in for body marking.  Check in was uneventful.  If the transition is open to where you can rack your bike my strategy is always to rack it as close to the bike out/bike in.   I was surprised/happy that the rack next to bike out was pretty empty still.
Treacy, Deb & Me - Pre-race pool deck fun
Although it is a seeded swim you don't put down your precise 800m swim time.  Instead, you mark a box that says 12 minutes, 15 minutes, 18 minutes, 21 minutes, etc.  Since I did the Markey 400 meter swim in just under 10 minutes I figured I could swim 800 meters in ~22 minutes.  Considering my last name starts with a 'W' I knew I would be in the back of whatever time I picked.  So I picked 21 minutes.  My number was 521 which I thought was really high but later found out that the lowest number was in the mid - 400s.   Treacy was 520 & Deb was 516.  We all put 21 down for our time.

They started around 6:50am or so.  Every 20 seconds a swimmer started so it didn't take long before it was our turn in the pool.  I have done very few 50m swims this summer compared to last year.  I knew I could swim the distance I just wasn't sure how it would feel.  I did a practice swim at Shillito the Sunday before so I knew my time would be right around 22 minutes.   Overall the swim was pretty good.  I did get passed by what seemed to be a lot of people so I thought I was swimming a lot slower than I had estimated.

At one point I got extremely fresh with one lady & feel pretty bad about it.  I don't swim up on anyone fast so when I felt a foot on one stroke I thought no big deal.  That was until my next stroke found me grabbing her a$$.  We both popped up real quick like!  Apparently she was breast stroking pretty slow.   I quickly passed her & never saw her again so I couldn't apologize properly.  Sorry lady!

Anyhoo, my swim was pretty darn close to my estimate, 22m17s.  That included a short run to the timing mat.

After an uneventful T1, 2m15s, I was out on the bike.  My breathing was under control unlike, Markey.  So that tells me I took it much easier in the swim on this one.

The bike course is pretty easy out & back.  There are a few rolling hills but nothing too difficult.  I had some shifting issues.  I recently had my cables changed & they were now stretched & in need of an adjustment.  So that was annoying.  Most of the ride I rode with a Louisville Landshark lady.  We kept passing each other.  Neither of us was strong enough to pass & put some distance between us.  I really appreciated the fact that she warned me of some gravel on one of the turns on the way back so I wouldn't bite it.  That is an awesome competitor.  I wish we lived closer because she would be a great training partner.   Bike Time: 49m49s.

Thanks to an awesome bike rack position my T1 time was 0m57s.

The run is a mix of road & trail.  Until I hit the 1 mile mark the sun stayed behind the clouds.  Fortunately the second mile was shady so I really only had to run the last mile in the sun.   Run time: 32m32s

Total Time: 1h47m52s.  7 minute PR from 2010

Every segment was faster when compared to 2010

              2012   vs   2010
Swim  22m17s vs 25m28s
T1        2m15s  vs 2m43s
Bike    49m49s vs 52m28s
T2         0m57s vs 1m03s
Run     32m32s vs 34m04s

After changing I passed out Clif Bars to the finishers.  I even got one of the Louisville groups to pose for a publicity shot!

We hung out for the awards ceremony because we knew Susan & Phyllis always win.  To my surprise I actually scored 2nd place in my age group!  Not only that, Phyllis won overall female & Treacy won her age group too!  The Lexington Ladies rocked the Tom Sawyer this year!

Treacy, Susan, Me & Deb
Race Results HERE

Not a finishers medal  - That's a 2nd place AG medal!
Back to the car issue.  When we started back to Lexington both the Check Engine & the Oil Light light came on.  We stopped at a Valvoline & had the error code read.  It was a cam shaft sensor failure.  A quick search on Steve's iPhone found that dirty oil can cause this & is usually corrected with an oil change.  Sure enough it did.  We drove home with no problems.

So for all of you out there that is in need of an oil change....go spend the $50 & get it done.  Your car will thank you!!

Being silly while waiting in line at Valvoline
I think it's about time to invest in a medal hanger

Later that day we had a wedding to go to.  Another fellow TNT'er.  Here is proof that we don't always wear workout clothes.  I think we cleaned up pretty nicely!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

July Stats / August Goals

July found me unmotivated.  Not sure if it is the heat or what but I feel like I have been slugging through my workouts.  I love the longer days but I am not a fan of working out in the heat.  It takes a lot out of me & this year is no different.

July Stats:
  • Swim (Goal/Actual) - 10 miles / 7 miles  
  • Spin / Road (Goal/Actual) - 4 / 6  (89 miles)
  • Run (Goal/Actual) - 8 / 11 (26 miles)
  • Pilates Reformer(Goal/Actual) - 4 / 3
  • Yoga (Goal/Actual) - 4 / 4
  • July N2U CT Challenge - Laurel Lake Paddlepalooza - 18 miles of paddling
  • Races (Goal/Actual) - 0 / 0
  • Rest Days (Goal/Actual) - 4 / 7
Total Miles = 140
Total Time = 30.5 hours

2012 Nike Go the Distance Challenge (Goal / Actual) - 200 miles / 77 miles

Injury - My knee is still giving me a little grief.  Nothing terrible but just enough to know it isn't 100% happy with me right now.  I am still having troubles on the bike.  When I ride hard things hurt and not just the usual discomfort that you feel when you are working hard.  The type of pain I feel is my right knee, right groin & right piriformis.  All the issues I had at the end of last summer.  If I back off & ride easy I have no issue.  Very frustrating to say the least.  I am going to look into yet another bike fit.  In the meantime I will keep to cycling easy 1x week.  

Here are my August goals:
  • Swim - 10 miles
  • Spin / Road - 4 (60 miles)
  • Run - 12 (28 miles)
  • Pilates Reformer - 4
  • Yoga - 4
  • August N2U CT Challenge - TBD
  • Races - 1 for sure maybe 2 plus 1 virtual run
  • Rest Days - 4-6
I am registered for the Tom Sawyer Tri in Louisville on the 4th.  I last did this race in 2010.  It is an 800 m swim, 14 mile ride, 5K run.  I believe it was my first race on Jake.  In 2010 I finished just under 2 hours.  I am curious to see if I can finish in the same time or not. 

It is not too late to register for the Run with All Your Hart either as a virtual runner or for the race itself in Russell Springs on August 11th.  There is a group of us running at the Arboretum that morning at 9:30AM.  All are welcome!

At the end of the month there is an adventure race in Versailles that Steve & I will do if we are in town.  It is a 3 hour mountain bike, run & canoe orienteering race.  You have to sign up as a team.  It should prove interesting to say the least.

Happy August y'all!


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