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Why Rest Days Are Important

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I did some biking and swimming in Maine but precious little running. Walked one day but that was about it.

So this morning, I laced up my sneakers and went for a run. The original plan was 5 miles, but I just couldn't face adding the extra loop, so instead I went for my normal run, which starts with a beastly hill. (I payed the piper with elevation instead of distance - it all works).

Imagine my surprise when I managed to run all the way up the hill. I sailed down the other side and kept running. Run. Run. Run. Run Optimist Run. Felt so good, I added a loop at the end. Even ran up the last hill which routinely defeats me. BUT NOT TODAY!

Final mileage ended up being 4.2 miles in 42 min. (I'm not fast, but I'm out there) Not the 5 miles in the original plan, or the 50 min of the Fancy TriTraining calendar, but I still feel quite satisfied. HRM which usually bounces off of the 165 "Out Of Zone" several times, only gave a half hearted chirp during the final climb. Stayed in the 160s the whole time.

The only reason I can think this was possible is because of the bodily rest I had during the week.

Only negative to the run -- and this is a weird thing that has never happened to me before -- I got chafing in my upper arm from loose skin rubbing together. (Attractive obesity leftovers!) Guess I'll be investing in some Body Glide.

Moral of the story: Rest Days and Vacations are important. If you get to exercise during them - Great! But if you only get 2 of the 5 in. Dont flog yourself. You just might set a PR when you return.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SNEVIL1 8/3/2012 3:21PM

    Woah 4.2 in 42. That's great! That was around my first 5k time! I find it hardest to get started again after a few days out of routine. Way to jump back in there!

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BRAVENEWGRL 8/3/2012 9:57AM

    I totally agree that rest days are important! I think our bodies stall out if we don't give them time to recover, repair and rebuild!

Great job!

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MISSIFISH 8/1/2012 7:51PM

    Good point! I get so nervous that I'll stop fitness altogether that I don't take enough rest days. I do wonder how my progress would differ if I was careful to remember to take breaks!

Congrats on your improvement!!!

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HEALTHYOTTER 8/1/2012 6:56AM

    Cue Rocky's Music: gonna fly now! Feeling strong now! What a great feeling to breeze through a challenge that used to kick your butt. Congrats! Also great from your Maine time: not worrying about the child while you're working out, I'm feeling an extra appreciation for your family from here! Awesome training, keep on keeping on!

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FITFORMYFAMILY 7/31/2012 10:01PM

    Great blog! And for me, personally, 4.2 in 42 would feel like flying! I think you did GREAT!

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MISSG180 7/30/2012 10:16PM

    Rest days DO matter! I'm planning to take a day prior to Pedal to the Point this weekend.

Good job!

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ATHENAPOWER 7/30/2012 8:22PM

    Glide will be your best friend. And you kept your HR under 165 on lots of wicked hills (see what I did there? MAINE REFERENCE) which is awesome. Great job!

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GODIVADSG 7/30/2012 6:59PM

    emoticon emoticon Sounds like fun and a lesson learned!! emoticon

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LESLIELENORE 7/30/2012 11:46AM

    emoticonI have difficulty forcing myself to take rest days, but I know they are important.

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 7/30/2012 11:14AM

    Great job! Congrats!!

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CHARLIESGIRL69 7/30/2012 8:42AM

    Very nice positive thoughts!

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BIGPAWSUP 7/30/2012 8:33AM

    Sounds wonderful! I'm so happy your rest paid off for you in such a big way. Congrats!


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CINERICIA 7/30/2012 7:55AM

    Great run! Those are the days I live for with my running...when it all comes together and just feels natural (Not easy. Never easy.) and right and freeing.

And for the record...a ten minute mile is not slow. Olympic marathon speed? Not so much. But definitely not slow.

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LDRICHEL 7/29/2012 10:34PM

    Rest days are crucial!!! So hard to rest sometimes...but you really do feel so much springier when you get out there again! :)

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Maine & Open Water

Sunday, July 22, 2012

On the spur of the moment last week I decided to hitch a ride with my parents to Maine this week for a family vacation. My cousin will be there with her 2 kids that are the same age as mine. Scowhegan is in the middle of the state, no beaches but its a good old-fashioned no-telephone, no-internet, swimming, boating, hiking kind of place.

For my purposes, the family camp is on a small pond. Tri-ers, you know what that means: OPEN WATER PRACTICE!

I've been really nervous about getting in open water practice because I cant do it when Child is around and I'm worried that if I get in trouble when I'm out there on my own, I'll drown and there will be nobody that notices or assists me. (Plus, the Hudson River, my nearest Open Water has a wicked current.) But there will be plenty of people around, who will just be looking for an excuse to go out on the water. I returned the wetsuit and wasnt planning on renting one for West Point, so it will give me a chance to get in some decent time trials without one. I'll get to see if I'm as really as good at swimming as I think I am. (1/2 mile, 20 min in the Tri)

And to add crazy on top of it, I'm bringing my bike too (and sneakers, but y'all knew that part). So yeah, other people call it family vacation. I call it DIY Tri Camp.

For your purposes: I wont be around next week. I'm planning on tracking my food the old-fashioned way: pencil and paper. I'll just have to worry about calories later. I love you. I'll miss you. I'll "see" you when you get back.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

XRSIZE18 7/27/2012 5:11PM

    Hope you're having tons of fun in Maine!

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ATHENAPOWER 7/27/2012 1:32PM

    That's awesome! We're headed to Camden at the end of August and I was hoping to get some quality swim / bike / run in too. But the waters cooooolllllld up there!

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DOGLADY13 7/25/2012 9:10PM

    I'm looking forward to your Maine report. You are SOOOO going to kick my butt at Sandy Hook.

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MISSG180 7/23/2012 8:37PM

    You are inspiring me to consider a tri next season. It's great reading about your experiences.

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ANIMAL_L0VER 7/23/2012 2:46PM

    Hey, OPTIMIST... I've been gone for awhile and just catching up myself. Just reading everyone's most recent couple of blogs, and I hope you're having a wonderful vacation. I love how you find ways to make fitness work, even if most others wouldn't. And I surely hope your elbow is feeling better... keep up those PT exercises as they will definitely help! Anywya, hope you're having fun and look forward to hearing all about it when you return!

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FITFORMYFAMILY 7/23/2012 12:01PM

    I hope you have a great time at DIY Tri Camp!
emoticon emoticon emoticon(insert campfire emoticon here)

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GODIVADSG 7/23/2012 8:56AM

    Sound like fun! One of my friends ties a noodle floatie (the kid kind) with a string around his ankle during open water swims. It is a great, cheap idea!! Plus it is something tied to your ankle.... gotta get used to that feeling as well!!! Enjoy your vacation with the family. Sounds absolutely wonderful! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    Make sure you have a "buddy" who is watching out for you!

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SHEILA-45 7/22/2012 7:30PM

    I love Maine! have fun on your DIY Tri-er! emoticon

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 7/22/2012 5:28PM

    I hope that you are having a magnificent time! And yes, do take care of yourself!

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ONEKIDSMOM 7/22/2012 4:40PM

    Have a great time! Practice and feel good about YOU at the same time as soaking up family time! See you when you get back... with full training reports!

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MISSIFISH 7/22/2012 1:20PM

    Have fun!!! I can't wait to hear all about it when you get back!

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KAREN42BOYS 7/22/2012 11:18AM

    Sounds like a great fun plan! Im a west coaster now but I grew up spending summers on a pond in Rhode Island. This summer has had 3 open water swims so far, and it's gotten me wishing to be out swimming and exploring my childhood pond. Go enjoy yours.

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BIGPAWSUP 7/22/2012 11:04AM

    Have a great time! I hope you take some down time in between you training! LOL

Look forward to hearing all about your trip when you get back.


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CINERICIA 7/22/2012 10:45AM

    I love that your vacation is a chance to get stronger and better. Go, go, go! But remember to take some time to relax. It is a vacation after all. Have a great week. Can't wait to hear all the details when you get back.

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LESLIELENORE 7/22/2012 9:15AM

    Sounds terrific! Have fun!

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RIDLEYRIDER 7/22/2012 8:37AM

  Enjoy! Have fun! Stay focused!

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Anatomy of a PreRun

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Night before, check fancy TriTraining calendar to see what I should do: 40 min of running.
2 Child interruptions in the middle of the night, still get up a put on spiffy running shorts, industrial jog bra and cheapy men's tank top.
Bring Child to School. Extract self from Child who is upset that I am leaving him in the same classroom that he has gone to for the past 2 years. Think its going to be hot later, I should get the run in early.
Home, check pool, decided to put in some shock to combat green.
Check Spark. Decide to map out 5 mile route
Check email. Send out address of tonight's hibachi birthday (sister) dinner.
Get email back from sister. Tell her that I am procrasinating on running. She says "go now."
Fetch iPod (DH found it under a pile of junk mail) decide to replace headphones. Decide to put on HRM.
Fetch fanny pack to carry iPod & phone.
Fill bottle of water, cram it into fanny pack. Eat small handful of raisins because "fat burns in a carbohydrate flame."
Walk out door. Walk back in because I forgot sunglasses.
Walk out again. Walk back in because I forgot keys.
Walk out again. Finally start running.

(Heat & humidity & distance were very hard, but at least I made it out there!)
5 miles in 1:07

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOGLADY13 7/25/2012 9:08PM

    Great time! My pre-run routine is similar to yours. I find it very effective.

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GODIVADSG 7/23/2012 8:58AM

    You rocked it sister!!!!!!

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    Good job, OPTIMIST's sister, and good job OPTIMIST! emoticon

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ROCKINMOM776 7/19/2012 9:52AM

    Way to go! I procrastinate so much, I totally get where you're coming from. At least you did your run, though :)

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HEALTHYOTTER 7/19/2012 9:48AM

    Stay strong, and thank your sister!

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CINERICIA 7/18/2012 7:50PM

    So true. It's amazing all the really important things we find that need to be done right now when we put our minds to procrastinating. Congrats on the run. 5 miles in this humidity is no joke. Well done.

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LEIAMLOW 7/18/2012 5:00PM

    lol, this made me chuckle. Great job on getting out the door though!

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MISSG180 7/18/2012 1:54PM

    Good for you! Go go go!

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BIGPAWSUP 7/18/2012 12:37PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

You had every opportunity to give up and not go. You pushed and you did it! I am so happy for you. Had to feel WONDERFUL!! You are awesome!


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BUTTERFLY-1976 7/18/2012 12:22PM

    WooHoo!! You went!! Whenever I catch myself procrastinating, I tell myself 'just go now & you'll be back sooner & then can stop thinking about going.'

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LESLIELENORE 7/18/2012 12:14PM

    At least you did it! I try not to procrastinate but it is difficult, and I only have to worry about my dog.

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IRONBLOSSOM 7/18/2012 12:12PM

    Nicely done! I had a long run last night and I did something of the same thing, but I got out there too!


emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MISSIFISH 7/18/2012 11:42AM

    Isn't life with children hilarious? I love 'em, but nearly every day, I have to think about the fact that I'd be so much more productive if I just had to raise myself. :)

Glad you made it out - it sounds like it was a challenge!

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YDAVIS23 7/18/2012 11:18AM

    YEAH you did it! Glad you muddled through all the distractions!

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sorry. Just too funny not to share. Image from HistoricLOLs, via Cheezburger Network.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSIFISH 7/16/2012 9:27PM


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IGSBETH 7/16/2012 6:03PM

    Love it!

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RAINA413 7/15/2012 10:01PM

    Oh lordy!! I haven't laughed that hard in a VERY long time!! Thanks for that!

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CAT609 7/15/2012 12:10PM

    Ha ha ha!

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LESLIELENORE 7/15/2012 10:39AM

    Thanks for the chuckle!

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LENLEN3 7/15/2012 7:59AM

    rofl (^_^)-b

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NYARAMULA 7/15/2012 6:14AM


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NCSUE0514 7/15/2012 5:46AM

    LOL - thanks for this

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Bike/Elbow Update

Friday, July 13, 2012

Since hordes of Sparkers (ok, ONE) have been asking:

My elbow is ... ok. No more swelling and it only aches during exercise. I still do not have full use. I've lost some mobility; I cannot straighten or bend it fully. Since I dont have insurance right now, I did some online research and LiveStrong.com had a series of PT exercises precisely for elbows, so I have been doing them in odd moments. (Its actually a pretty good website for biking information, should you be seeking such.)

Bike is .... depressed but not defeated. I tried the pedals again yesterday for the first time in two weeks. Nothing elaborate, just around the front of the house, but I wasnt able to Enjoy The Motion because I was too busy having anxiety about falling. After about 20 min, I was so disheartened about my mental state that I went inside and spent 3 hours looking at cat videos. (Oh, Cheezburger Network - you timesuck monster!). Finally, I picked son up from school, stapled a spine on, and went to the Bike Store to have them change the pedals and talk about possibilities.

I was almost crying when I talked with him because I was feeling so sh!tty and a failure. Guy was sympathetic but suggested I keep the pedals and shoes for later. "We have to rebuild your confidence." And said they had a group road ride on Thursdays. I think about it and then decide to go. Its at 6. But when I showed up at 6, but they must have left early because NOBODY was there.

Now I really feel awful. Failure at clipless pedals and too late for the group ride?? (One is my fault and the other is his, but net result is craptastic.) Heading home, tears in my eyes, when I spot the entry road to Stewart...some of the paved roads. I ended up on some very easy flat sections, just going back and forth (6 miles in 30 minutes) rebuilding my confidence and feeling out my elbow for stress/pain.

Endorphins made me feel better. I'm off to my parent's today and will either do hills or a 11.7 mi loop that I have done multiple times before.

It's a bit Bionic Woman/ Ben Heck Project-ish "We can rebuild! Stronger! Faster! Lighter!"

I'm taking a step back, but its not worth the anxiety. Right???

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAINA413 7/15/2012 10:05PM

    I am so sorry you are feeling this way. You need to talk to Todd. He also has similar issues and I think you could both use the support right now. It was really nice of them to let you keep the pedals and shoes. I hope you can find out where that group ride is in your area. Sorry it got all screwed up that first time. That said, I am glad to hear the elbow is doing better. If you'd like, speak to my cousin MaddieMom27. She is a PT and she was a HUGE help with my knee. I can send you her email if you like...

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HEALTHYOTTER 7/15/2012 4:36PM

    Keep going, Jamie Summers aka Bionic Woman! Insert sound effects here. Glad the endorphins overcame the crap-tastic feeling. You're amazing, strong, tough, inspirational, no matter what's between your feet and your bike. Finished my sprint tri today! Thought about you many times today and especially last night: I took a quick spin around the neighborhood with bike number, pump, etc in place. Go home, unclipped my right foot, but not the left yet. For some reason, I leaned left and BOOM! gentle crash again. Even my husband said, "are you sure you want clip pedals?" Today at the tri, luckily plenty of room around me as I mounted and dismounted. No pedal issues, good ride. But, what if someone had crashed near me, would I have had the mindset to unclip? I don't know. It's not a step back to use pedals that increase your confidence and enjoyment. I chose clips b/c I think they keep my knees in better alignment. I do still HATE being attached to the bike. And the idea of putting the shoes on the bike, running barefoot through transition, hopping on then tightening my shoes seems as likely as me walking on the moon! Be proud of where you are, especially overcoming the surprise of your elbow! Are you able to swim yet? Wondering if the water resistance would help with your range of motion for your elbow? Take care of yourself, be proud of yourself!

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GODIVADSG 7/14/2012 9:51AM

    Hang in there with the pedals and shoes... it will all work out. And those pedals and shoes and bike for that matter do not and I repeat DO NOT define you or you cycling capabilities. I like the fact that you are picking yourself up and pushing through no matter what. emoticon That in itself deserves a blue ribbon. Get your old pedals back on.... have the bike people teach you how to change them out.. ( Not very difficult and you can do it) and that way you can put em back when you feel like it. emoticon

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    Oh, my dear. You are hard on yourself! I think it's amazing that you're already back on the bike after such a rough injury. That you were even willing to try the clips again so soon is impressive! As for the "lateness" for the group ride... are you sure you weren't early? I've found that 6:00 really means 6:05/6:10 to a lot of people. I'm glad you decided to ride anway so you could enjoy the endorphin rush!
emoticon emoticon

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LENLEN3 7/13/2012 11:46AM

    Yikes. I hope you're able to get that elbow looked at soon . Joint injuries are no joke :(

I join the chorus of others who say "screw anxiety causing fancy pedals". If it makes biking scary and/or not enjoyable then it's not worth it. Good for you to face your fears, get back on the bike, and take it slow.

Rooting for you!

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MISSG180 7/13/2012 10:56AM

    My computer ate my response! Grr!

You are not a failure! It's ridiculous that we can't just do these things for fun and fitness without the equipment-craze that dictates a "need" for the kind of equipment that is really suited to racers. I am staying out of clips, because the injury risk is not worth the extra mile in an hour. Ride the way that makes you happy and comfortable.

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MISSIFISH 7/13/2012 10:03AM

    I'm with Bigpaws - I just bike for fun too, and so I'm thinking "why add to the anxiety?" I do find it occasionally nerve-wracking to be on the road with giant motorized abominations, so that is enough stress for me, I wouldn't dream of adding to it.

I'm anxiety mamma, and I know all too well how a day of good intentions can turn into cheezburger network-esque laziness. I'm sending you hugs and thoughts of building you back. Can you make the "chh chh chh chh" slow motion sounds and movement yet?

Feel better - both shoulder and psyche. I'm pulling for you!

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LESLIELENORE 7/13/2012 10:03AM

    I'm glad the elbow is starting to feel better. I agree that you don't need this anxiety over the pedals. I definitely think you should do what feels right for you, not what someone else says you ought to do. Safety first!

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BIGPAWSUP 7/13/2012 9:12AM

    Ok, my biking is just for fun and fitness so take this for what it it worth. Doesn't seem worth the anxiety for PEDALS! I mean, I don't know why these new pedals are better and/or scary - but if they are causing you stress why use them? If you are happy with your old pedals why do you need to change? Is is because someone ELSE said so? I think you need to just take control and do what makes you happy and comfortable.

I'm sorry you're losing range of motion in your elbow. You need to be careful that this doesn't become serious. Have you had it check out at all?

Worried about you!


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