A Few Days of Rest

>> Monday, January 15, 2018

On Thursday morning, I looked like this:


Pic taken 24 hours later (Friday morning) at the gym.

I saw my chiropractor on Thursday, and he checked out my sore left knee. (I know a chiro isn't the BEST person to see regarding running issues, but I trust him, he's close, and he's in-network so it costs me $0. He's my first opinion many times.) The final issue that made me come in to see him was on Friday the 5th, I was doing my normal leg exercises after my run (the same exercises I've been doing for years). And when I did the eccentric quad work and brought the weight up with both legs and then released my right leg to slowly lower the weight with just my left leg, the outside of my left knee would SCREAM at me. So I figured it was maybe time for a break from "weight room legs."

My chiro tested a few things to rule out major meniscus issues (whew!), and after 10 minutes of questions and poking, he said "you're really not giving me much to work with" with a smile. He thinks I just tweaked a little something in my knee (nothing specific that he could name), so I took a few days off. I'd already started some rest when I saw him on Thursday: I hit the trainer relatively normally on Tuesday, but then I skipped my run on Wednesday.

So I rested Wednesday through Saturday, but my chiro told me to try something relatively "normal" over the weekend before I see him again tomorrow. So I ran 4 easy treadmill miles yesterday, and things felt OK. (That was running 1 week after my previous run on last Sunday.) It didn't feel perfect, but I didn't expect it to. And the best news was that it felt OK the rest of the day as well (when it would normally get a bit achy). So I'll go back for a bit more "graston technique" and other tissue work tomorrow:


The glorious, exotic views at the Hennepin County Medical Center.
(This is the door to the "Integrative Health" office where my chiro works.)

Happy Monday! And WHAT A VIKINGS WIN YESTERDAY!! :)

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Baby Henry / Biking Memory

>> Saturday, January 13, 2018

This was my "Facebook memory" from yesterday:



Such a chubby little guy!!

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Friday Funny 1384: Ironic Things

>> Friday, January 12, 2018

#6 has to be a joke. Right?



Lots more funny things posted all day long on SportsAndLaughs.tumblr.com.

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Friday Funny 1383: Parenting















This was us with Henry FOR SURE.


















I have a picture like this of baby Charlie inside my robe as I worked one morning.






YESSSSSSS.















Lots more funny things on SportsAndLaughs.tumblr.com.

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Friday Funny 1382: Realistic Slogans

Here's what it might look like if this handful of companies had realistic slogans:



Remember that Chick-Fil-A story? Whooo doggy, that was a good one.

And the Hidden Valley Ranch slogan is WHY I EAT VEGGIES.

More funny things on SportsAndLaughs.tumblr.com.

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2017 Year-End Training Totals

>> Tuesday, January 09, 2018

- Swim: 140,570 yards (79.87 miles)
- Bike: 1,687.14 miles (20.18 mph ave), only a few miles of that pulling my boys on my MTN bike.
- Run: 800.15 miles (7:15 / mile ave), 83.88 miles of that in the single stroller, 104.71 miles of that with the double stroller, for 188.59 "stroller miles" total out of my 800.15.
- Bike Trainer: 24 hours 28 minutes
- Strength / Core: 232 hours 47 minutes
- Aqua Jogging: 4 hours, 17 mins
- Weight: 161.8 start, 166.4 end, 168.0 high (Dec), 158.8 low (Apr), 162.73 yearly average
- Body Fat: (monthly ave) 14.1% high (Oct, Nov), 13.2% low (July), 13.75% yearly average


SOME NOTES ON THOSE YEARLY NUMBERS:
(With a ranking of where these numbers stack up over the last 12 years of racing triathlons.)

- Swim: 3rd biggest out of 12 years. There was REALLY nothing fancy about this year in the pool, other than I was relatively consistent. That will be a theme here...

- Bike: Biggest year ever! Yes, more than when I was Ironman training 10 years ago. (And I was only training for sprints this year... which helps explain why I did so well this year.) Add in my trainer time (which is NOT counted in my bike miles above), and my 1687 miles of biking turns in to 2,179.40 miles* total on my bike! This is where I made the most improvements in training and racing this year. And it's simply because of the MILES. No fancy workouts. Just MILES.

Here's a way to highlight my increase in miles. 2015 was a really good multisport year for me (only 2nd best to 2017), and here's how my "long" rides stacked up these last 3 years:

2015
7 rides of 25-28 miles
14 rides of 28+ miles (6 of those were in Nov after getting my new bike)

2016
2 rides of 25-28 miles
3 rides of 28+ miles

2017
11 rides of 25-28 miles
26 rides of 28+ miles

* My average outdoors bike speed for the year was nearly 20.2 mph. I figured my trainer time in the spring averaged 19 "miles" per hour, and 20 mph in the fall (I spun easier in the spring, and I've been doing harder workouts this fall and winter). So 8.73 hours x 19 mph = 165.93 miles in the spring on the trainer, and 16.32 hours x 20 mph = 326.33 miles in the fall. For a grand total of 492.26 miles on the trainer in the basement.

- Run: 3rd biggest out of 12 years! This was a SHOCKER - I didn't realize that until I looked it up! I only had more miles in 2010 (when Coach Jen helped get my sub-60 at the TC 10 Mile, and when I set my 5K PR) and in 2012 (when I ran a lot with baby Henry who was colicky and would nap well in the stroller - that year I ran way more than doing any other sort of workout, set my 13.1 PR, and won the year-long Minnesota Distance Running Association's "Grand Prix" series). I ran a lot easier this year just "getting in the miles" a lot of the time, but my TC 10 Mile and my Minneapolis Halloween Half Marathon were still decent races because of the miles. Similar to what I said about my bike miles above. (Oh, and if I were to add in my aqua jogging time at 7:30 pace [which seems about right based on effort], I'd have another 34.26 miles of running, for a 834.41 miles.)

- Strength: 1st out of 12 years! Just a few more hours than last year's total (which was my previous biggest year). The intensity has slowly dropped over the years, and a bigger and bigger percentage has become easier PT exercises, but still, I logged a lot of hours at the gym last year.

- Weight: 11th out of 12 years. I've been slowly getting heavier. I only saw a few weigh-ins last year in the very upper 150s. I would have set a new heaviest year if I hadn't been 8 lbs lighter than I currently am all of last summer. This number is concerning, but the fact of the matter is that I have no changes that I current WANT to make regarding it, so I'll just keep trying to keep my eating habits not TOTAL deplorable.



Monthly TIME spent at swim, bike, run, strength, and "sports" (either aqua jogging or bike trainer).


Monthly DISTANCE. Never have I had such consistent months on the bike!
(Oct is smaller based on taking it easy and resting a weak ankle
between the TC 10 and the Minneapolis Halloween Half.)


Monthly DISTANCE with poorly Photoshopped trainer miles and aqua jogging
miles added in. (BeginnerTriathlete.com doesn't add those in, but I added
those miles based on what I noted above in the "bike" and "run" sections.)


HIGHLIGHTS:
(There are 7 for 2017, so lets count down to #1...)

- SEVEN: lots of miles with the stroller. I noted in this post back in June that I realized I'd hit 1,000+ lifetime miles with a stroller. It happened on May 19th on a run with both boys. And as noted above, I had 188+ miles with the stroller in 2017. I think that's the most since 2012 (when I nearly ran half my miles with it: over 500 miles with Henry and the stroller). In 2016, I just logged 16.4 miles with the double stroller.


A mid-summer run with the boys. Wouldn't trade this view for anything.

- SIX: this is an odd "highlight," but for racing so well this year, I never did a brick workout. Or even a "2-a-day" workout. It was only during duathlons or triathlons that I did more than 1 swim, bike, or run each day. Oh, and there was one day in September that I did a 10 mile run, and then biked alongside of Henry for 2 miles that evening on a little neighborhood ride. So THAT was my only 2-a-day, and that really doesn't count. This seems to prove that just doing good stand-alone swim, bike, or run workouts is enough to do well in a duathlon or triathlon. (For me at least.)

- FIVE: posting my fastest bike split ever. Before 2017, I think I posted bike splits of 21.x mph a few times. But I totally skipped the 22s and jumped right to a 23.1 mph average at the Tri-ing for Children's Triathlon out in WI as I raced with my brother-in-law. That bike split in the middle of a sprint triathlon was the fastest I've ever seen in a race - INCLUDING BIKE ONLY "TIME TRIAL" EVENTS!


Exiting the water before my fastest bike split ever (and 5th place overall finish).

- FOUR: despite minimal running milage for most of the year, I had decent "distance" races at the TC 10 Mile and at the Minneapolis Halloween Half Marathon. I didn't know if I'd be safely able to ramp up my mileage for a TC 10 Mile that I'd be happy with, but I ended up running my 3rd fastest of 8 races at that distance! Then, a few weeks later, I ran nearly the same pace at the Minneapolis Halloween Half Marathon and had a blast fighting for 5th overall at that race. I had been saying all year that I'd be lucky to do a 10 mile but there would be NO half marathons for me, but then I finished a 13.1 with my 2nd fastest time. Couldn't be happier!


And I got high-fives from my boys, niece, and nephew at both races too!
(Mile 9.5 of the TC 10 on the left, and mile 6.5 of the Half on the right.)

- THREE: my overall place at my multisport events has been the best ever! You can find my race reports listed in the sidebar, and my overall place at those 6 events was 1st, 10th, 1st, 4th, 5th, and 2nd. (And I placed in my age group in all of them: 1st in 5 of them, and 3rd at the Cannon Falls Du.) So that means of the 1200 people who raced me this year, I was only beat by 17 of them! (The best placement [besides my indoor triathlon win and the Cinco DU Mayo duathlon win] was my 5th place finish out of nearly 500 at Tri-ing for Children's Triathlon in WI.)

- TWO: racing near the front of the Minnesota Triathlon. That was a highlight a few years ago too. Sure, I won 2 other multisport races (both small, so big whoop), but racing near the front of this race was a great memory. I thought I MIGHT be able to take the lead on the bike, but then this semi-pro cyclist from New Zealand FLEW past me and left me in his dust. I pulled to within 29 seconds during the run as I noted in my race report, but I couldn't catch him after the space he put between us on the bike. Fun race. Great memory. Lots of suffering.


Gutting it out to the finish (as seen in this "race photos" post).

- ONE: having consistent and balanced training. My yearly numbers are maybe the most balanced they've ever been, and that's really what I'll remember when I look back on the year. In 2012, which was my biggest run year (only 1 of 2 years that beat last year), I ran 20% more than I did in 2017. But my swim and bike distances were only about ONE QUARTER as far as they were in 2017. FAR from "balanced." I don't know what the perfect ratio is for swim:bike:run, but I was a lot closer to perfect this year than in year's past.

And the training was consistent. Leading up to duathlon season, I noted in this post that I had a swim, bike, or run in 75 out of 78 days. And then I noted in this post in October that over 230 days over the spring and summer, there were only 20 where I didn't have a swim, bike, or run, and REALLY there were only 7 days that I missed (being the other 13 were days before or after a race when I NEED to rest to prevent injury). That helped me be strong in 2017. And I finished the year strong too: 7 out of the last 8 weeks have had 20.5 - 22 running miles. That's pretty much the best it's been all year.

Oh, and as a random note, I also nearly predicted my yearly mileage in my 2016 "year in review" post. In that post, I said "I would LIKE to swim around 120,000 yards, bike over 1,500 miles combined on the trainer and outside, and run maybe 700 miles." That's not too far off from my actual 140,000 yards, 2,100 miles on the bike, and 800 running miles. At the start of 2017, that prediction felt like a DREAM, and I was able to hit those numbers nicely over the year! #blessed


As for this upcoming year, my main goal is what it usually is: stay injury free, rest when needed, be smart, and race as much as my body (and wallet) allows. I'd LOVE to be able to post similar milage to last year, but 2 years of that in a row would be an absolute dream. So I can't hope for that. I just need to make sure I rest aches when needed (and I write this now as I have a behind-the-knee-slightly-to-the-outside ache for the last 2 weeks on my left leg, and I need to be smart about that!). Here's to a SMART, FAST, and HEALTHY 2018!


Finally, here's my BEST "year in review:" a photo from each month from my Instagram from 2017: (a few months with a few extras because I couldn't resist...)


Jan: building ice forts from pieces of the frozen Mississippi River.


Jan: story time.


Feb: "future me" day at school where he dressed like me.


March: a date with Henry: pizza, pinball, and cracking nuts.


April: Easter family pic outside of church.


May: a date with the boys: a run, pizza, and a selfie at the science museum.


May: our first of many "camper cabins" for the summer. (At Jay Cooke.)


June: a 6th and 3rd birthday for the boys.


July: checking on the veggies with Charlie.


July: biking along River Road with Henry.


Aug: one of many camping trips with my boys (Mama was at this one too).


Sept: first day of preschool!


Sept: a date at the beach with the cousins.


Oct: our skeleton and mummy.


Nov: toothless first grade school photo!


Nov: story time before bed.


Dec: my cuties with Santa at Krueger's Tree Farm.


Dec: camping and exploring with the boys at 16 below (-40 windchill).

Happy 2018!

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