Not your average suburban mom. I’m more your typical, normal, commonplace, everyday, garden-variety suburban mom. With a thesaurus.

Friday, March 8, 2013

For All My Fitness Homies*

*and by "homies" I mean "fellow nerds".

Many of you started reading this blog last summer at the height of my physical fitness.  I was training for and completed my very first triathlon, and was in full-on Beast Mode. Maybe you've noticed that for months now lately my posts have been decidedly un-health related. There is a simple reason for that.  Winter is my season to get fat hibernate and recover from the constant stress I put on my body during training.

But guess what?  It's almost spring and the time for preparation has come.  This race season is already in full effect.  So buckle your seat belts, kids, Mama's in for the long haul.

(You're all, "Dude, who is this person?")

(And I'm like, "I know, right? It's like I've been replaced with the nerdier version of me.")                        
(To which you reply, "Nerdier version?  Is that even possible?")

I'm a planner.  I love, love, love to plan.  My plans have plans.  (Remember Black Friday?) I'm pretty sure that's why I love Pinterest so much.  It's like the Land of Eternal Plans.

One of my favorite things to do in February is plan my race schedule for the year.  I get out the calendar and commit to a million races that all look like the best.races.ever.  Then I have a bit of a reality check because races cost money. And so do diapers (which I am still buying because I suck at potty training.)(And maybe I stress ate an entire package of Ezra's potty training M&M's yesterday.)(So it may be a while before the kid has any incentive to pee in the potty because Mama is not going shopping for a few days.) A girl can only afford/justify paying to run in a race for fun so many times.  I had to scale back my race dreams considerably.

(Some of the races on my Dream List?
1. Tough freaking Mudder - it's like a half marathon where you can get electrocuted.  Who wouldn't want that?!
2. Color Run - have you ever seen the pictures?
3. Warrior Dash - um, my race recap kind of says it all.
4. Foam Fest - just like Warrior Dash ... but cleaner.
5. Red Carpet Run - a 5k in a prom dress? Totally there.)

Once my races are picked, I set up my training schedule.  I usually train around the biggest races. (Duh.)  This year I am training for three main races.  A 10k in April (due to injury and two weeks of flu I am actually having to be pretty diligent about getting back to 10k form), a triathlon in July, and a half marathon in October.

Determining a training schedule actually takes quite a bit of time for me.  Most triathlon training plans are written for 6 workout days a week, and I know I can only commit to 5. And since they involve swimming, biking, and running I have to factor in pool access, when I have the blocks of time to do long workouts (two hour bike rides, hour and a half runs, and brick workouts - which are usually long bike rides followed immediately with thirty minute runs), and how to follow long workouts with meaningful rest time.  (For example:  running an hour and a half Saturday, biking two hours Sunday, and running intervals on Monday probably isn't the best plan.  Unless, of course, I'm planning for injury.  Then it's a stellar plan.) Since my days off are Tuesdays and Fridays, this means I have to play a bit with any traditional schedules. (I mostly follow the plan(s) by Matt Fitzgerald. He knows his stuff and he's cute.)

For the 10k and half-marathon I just follow good ol' Hal Higdon.  He hasn't failed me yet.  I might modify the half plan slightly to include some speed work, but we'll see.  For now here is a sample of my training plan.  I picked June because it's in the middle to last part of my sixteen week training plan.  It's intense but not crazy sick yet.

A work of art, amIright?  Let me decode it for you.

Run workouts are red because "red" rhymes with "tread" which is short for "treadmill*." (Genius.) (*although I will mostly run outside on a non-treadmill surface.)

Swim workouts are blue because ... dude, really?

Strength training is green because "green" rhymes with "lean and mean" which makes me think of strength training. (Seriously, why wouldn't it?)

Bike workouts are brown because I didn't have orange.  (Orange was my first pick because orange makes me think of creamsicles, which almost kind of has "cycle" right in the word.) I settled for brown because trail riding is by far my favorite (although I train for triathlon on the road) and brown reminds me of trail riding and that makes me happy.

I use black for information like race dates, recovery weeks, and taper weeks.

There are also a lot of codes involved in the training plan which makes it look a lot more hardcore than it is. These are just different drills and kinds of workouts.  It's not that complicated once you know it. (Ex: TRR = Transition Run (a ten minute run after a bike workout to teach your legs to run after prolonged biking); SLI = Swim Lactate Intervals (a fancy way to say 'on a scale of 1-10, 10 being you are about to keel over, swim at a 9 for 75 yard intervals); CLH = Bike Long Hill Climbs (pretty much what it sounds like - a bike ride with a bunch of long hills (five minutes of steady climbing).

I feel so much relief at having a plan.  Following The Plan means I have less chance of mortifying myself by barely stumbling across the finish line. Once I'm entrenched in training I don't have to think about what to do next which is good because all my brains cells are busy convincing me not to quit.

I am so excited to get into tri season.  To all my fellow fitness nerds homies I say, "Happy Race Season! Hurrah!"


  1. You're an inspiration. I'll think of you as I'm doing curls later. Cheese curls, that is.

    1. Lol - the "cheese curls" was actually really unexpected and made me bark-laugh. Well done.


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