Thursday, April 28, 2011

Team Aquaphor Update & Giveaway!

I am getting settled in Kentucky. Is it a shock to anyone that the first place I took the kids once I was on my own Monday morning was the bike store? Followed by checking out gyms?? And then, the grocery store. Ha. I am actually really glad I did that order because I wanted to talk to some real people about the gyms in the area. Sadly, the one that came highly recommended was out of my price range. I was also able to score a bib to the sold out Derby Mini Marathon from one of the employees at VO2 Multisport. I don't know who I will be running for yet, and honestly, it is a bit nerve wracking to hand over a wad of cash to someone you just met. I am just glad that I didn't have to get up early to wait in line for a charity bib and have to pay extra money. The person I am running for signed up really early, so I am getting the early bird price too! I am debating on going to the expo tomorrow just to check it out. I have always gone to marathon expos, so this will be a new thing for me if I don't.

I was excited that I also was able to get my Team Aquaphor team kit and samples on Monday! I got all dressed up, bike loaded, just in time for the rain to come. I was en route to the ladies ride at VO2 when the rain came down. I drove the rest of the way just to see if anything was happening, and it wasn't. I did get the comment that "I looked too serious for this ride". Ha. If only they knew the poser that I am!!!! They didn't see my mountain bike helmet with visor (the new alien helmet was left home on purpose). While it is obvious that my tri bike is brand new, it was not so obvious that I am brand new to riding a tri bike and group rides. I feel like my group rides with TIA don't count as group rides because I knew everyone from OW swimming first (where they all got to see how bad I am at that), and they witnessed my true beginning on the road. It is more of a word of mouth type thing, and not a public advertised ride. It is also an out and back course where no one gets lost. Being new to the area, getting lost was/is a legit fear. It occurred to Ryan last week as he hung on during a hammerfest because he had no idea where he was. His buddies proposed the solution, a Garmin 800 that has maps in it. Maybe next year.

At any rate, I was bummed that I couldn't ride, being dressed to look so fast and all. Here is the new tri top/shorts.

But, since I had scored the bib to the Derby race, I was justifying being OK with it since I should rest up for that race (sort of). I need to hit the bike hard next week, though, to prepare for R4R. Hopefully the weather will be more condusive to riding. It has rained every day since we got here. I feel like we brought it with us from MI. Also, I can't believe we noticed this AFTER we had our ice creams, but Graeters, my most favorite ice cream ever, has locations here and was running a special that for days that it rains in April in KY or IN, they will give you sundaes buy one get one free. How did we mess that up? I actually almost hoped it would rain today so we could go back and get sundaes today instead of single scoops. It would have been cheaper that way AND we would have gotten more ice cream!

So, here is where the giveaway comes in. I am giving away some of my Aquaphor Samples and one 3.5oz jar to one lucky follower. I do want to welcome my new followers. Most of them are from Team Aquaphor, and I am getting their sites added to the sidebar. I am not sure what to do if one of you guys win though! You already have the samples! Maybe I can dig up some marathon bars or something instead.

Here is what you have to do. Please leave a comment for each:

1. Be a follower of this blog and tell me why you love aquaphor
2. Go to Team Aquaphor on f/b and like them!/TeamAquaphor (sorry, I am having trouble with links on the new laptop).
3. Post this giveaway on your facebook, blog, or twitter. Please comment separately for each.
4. Give me your best, "I wish I had some Aquaphor story". For example, mine was the time I wore a crappy sports bra in the rain for 11 miles and the entire neckline chaffed. I had a smile shaped scab on my chest as a result that was visable above my team Marathon tri top for at least one group ride AND a race. I had people asking me what happened, how did I manage to BURN myself there, was it a cooking accident?? No, a wardrobe malfunction.

The contest will close Sunday night, 5/8, and the winner will be announced on Monday, 5/9. If I can get a lot more followers, I will do ANOTHER giveaway that I am working on!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bunny Hop 5K Race Recap!

I have been having some blogger issues with the laptop. To be honest, I am not even sure how I fixed it, except for turning the "compatibility view" on and off was the most recent thing I tried that allowed me to hit the "publish post" button and have it do something.

This past weekend was the start of the move to Louisville. We stopped in Westerville, OH to spend Easter with my parents. Ryan's parents actually joined us after the race too.

We got into Westerville on my birthday, just in time for some dinner at Cap City Diner. They have the best chocolate cake, which was free for the birthday girl! Whoo Hoo! On Friday, I had some Chipotle for lunch and then pizza for dinner. Not exactly the best pre-race foods, but whatever, it was a "fun run". I was more interested in eating food that I can get everywhere, like Donatos Pizza. So Good! Ryan, Dad, and I picked my packet and the kids from the Westerville Community Center. My dad wanted us to check out the place. I must say, the pool scared me. You had to swim across the diving well. SO SCARY FOR ME (or am I just crazy???- Ryan thought I was). I was glad I wasn't swimming and it made me have some new criteria for finding a gym in Louisville. The packets were nice. I got a technical shirt and the kids got cotton tees. We all each got bunny ears, a free loaf of Great Harvest Bread, AND a Cheryl's cookie. Have I mentioned my sugar cookie addiction? I think it started with these cookies, made in Westerville. I used to buy them from the school cafeteria all the time in high school and it killed my lunch budget. They also came in a reusable fabric bag with logo. It was the first year for the race, so I was really impressed with all the swag.

The plan for Saturday morning was uncertain when we went to bed on Friday. Ryan needed to ride, but the weather didn't look good. The 5K was also a lot earlier than the kids race, so I wasn't sure if we were going to ride together or not. As it turned out, the kids woke up right in the nick of time to leave. We needed 2 cars since Big Daddy Diesel sent info to me for a 50 mile ride for Ryan to do, and Ryan would be leaving shortly after the race ended to make it to the ride on time. We needed to stick around because their was an Easter Egg Hunt after the kids race. It was really a great family event.

I had planned to run in my bunny ears, but it was just too windy to keep them on. It was a small group, and I lined up at the start. I learned that the course was a bit short today due to flooding on the course. I was in second place for about the 1st mile, and then passed the first place woman as we hit the wind. My big brick in the wind and cold prepared me well for this run, as it was really windy off and on since the course was sort of an out and back, with a loop around this pond at the end. I can't really count it as a PR, since the course was announced that it was short. We ran through some big puddles as it was, I hate to see what it was supposed to be like. I finished with a time of 21:10 for 2.99 miles according to my Garmin. It wasn't as fast as I have done in the past, but with the wind and the puddles, I have to be happy. It was also good enough to win, and I ran as fast as I had to. I was only 9 seconds ahead of the second place female. I think my prize is just a certificate. I need to have my mom pick it up for me. They also had more Cheryl's cookies on a table for finishers. YUM!

This was my first "official" overal female win, so I was very excited. I received the award at the Salem Rocks 5K in 2008 where I was technically 2nd, but the winner was the race director's daughter, so she did not need the prize- a free race entry into another one of his races.

After I finished up, we had the kids race. Soren was done at this point and just wanted a hug. I think he was tired of being outside, and had no interest in running. Keira was pretty excited about it. She wanted to run in her ears too, but they wouldn't stay on her head either. I ended up carrying Soren while holding Keira's hand for the race. It was fun, and each child got a Cheryl's cookie as a prize. They ate theirs right away.

Also, with all the children's craziness, I had the priveledge to meet BDD! The race was only a few minutes from his home, so he stopped by before the egg hunt. We joked about all the waiting around for a minutes worth of egg hunt. My race was at 8 and I was done by 8:22. The kids race was at 9 and done by probably 9:05 (they had multiple waves and lots of photos before each), and the toddler egg hunt for Soren didn't start until 10, and Keira's until 10:30. We hadn't had the best luck with egg hunts in the past, but my kids got it this year, and with the wet weather, I think it helped up the egg to child ratio. There were a zillion eggs, and it is crazy how fast these hunts. Soren managed to fill his entire egg basket and I stopped him. The hunt finished up a few seconds later. I looked at my watch and it read 10:01:51. Less than 2 minutes! Keira's hunt was on a bigger field and less dense, but it still was finished in about the same time. She finished up with a packed basket too. All in all, it was a great day.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Big Birthday Brick 2011

Today is my birthday (technically, since this post is likely going to be done late at night, while icing).

What a difference a day makes! Thanks so much for all your support! I really apreciate it. While I did "lose it" a few times today, I was able to have a great time at my annual "Big Birthday Brick".

Last year was the first year it was a brick workout, but the whole, go out and see what you can do started when I turned 30 and decided that I needed to run a lap of Kensington just to show that I could do it. Keira was pretty small too, so it was quite the accomplishment for me at that point in my life, especially since I hadn't trained much through the winter that year. I can't remember what I did for turning 31 (we may have been living in Ohio), and I was pregnant with Soren for 32. Last year, to help me prepare for my Oly tri, I did the "Big Birthday Brick" where I biked 25 miles and then ran 6.2, what I needed to do for the tri. This year, with my birthday being midweek and the move, we opted to do it on a Wednesday night to coincide with the start of the TIA Wed workouts. This also meant that time was a concern, and that I could not plan to just ride 50 miles on a wed and run 13.1. I don't know that I plan to do that at all in training for my 70.3, and doing it now in my current condition would just be asking for an injury.

We had planned for weeks now to bike 30 (2 laps at Island Lake) and then just run some amount. I can't publish an amount because Cristina will hold me to it. Some sounded good to me. The week started rough. We had SNOW!!! The forecast was also really bad all week. Accuweather just started charging (or I just noticed) for chance of precipitation. Are you kidding me? Maybe I don't get the membership thing and it is free, but it was more involved than what I wanted to do today. Everyone was asking me about my backup plan. What?? We are going to DO THIS. Really, I was thinking the back-up might be dinner??? I got tons of calls all day, are we doing this? It was COLD!!!! In the 40s, and it was raining in little pockets everywhere off an on. I was praying for it to not rain so we could have a safe ride. I kept telling myself, I am HARDCORE! I ran zillions of miles in BLIZZARDS for crying out loud!!!! I can spend a couple hours on a bike in the 40s!!! Right?

Well, thankfully, the weather, although cold, onminous, and WINDY, was "acceptable". There was no precipitation on us, and the road was fairly dry. We had a small crew, the same 4 ladies from last year, Me, Cristina, Kristel, and Valerie. We didn't have Ryan or Kent, but Tom, TIA's fearless leader of the Wednesday night workouts came out for the second lap! My pace was not so stellar, but the WIND, OH MY! It was pretty bad. At one point on a downhill I had to switch to a bigger ring in back because the WIND was pushing me so hard uphill! When we did this extra little road north of the Dogde Parking lot it was awful! I screamed. I didn't drink any water while riding for fear of wrecking because of the grip I needed to just stay in control. The forecast called for gusts of up to 40mph, and I am pretty sure we caught a couple of those on that little road. We (I) averaged about 15.5mph. I was the LAST to finish on the bike, and my garmin got full and stopped recording at 20 miles, which meant it beeped at me for the remaining 10. I couldn't make it stop and ride at the same time, I got a bit behind fussing with it and realized I couldn't fix it and ride, so it just BEEPED FOR 10 MILES.

My feet and legs were so cold once we started running. I couldn't feel from my knees down, and then I just felt PAIN in my feet as the feeling came back. It took about 2 miles for them to fully warm up and all of the toe pain to stop. We flew out with the wind over to Kensington to get in a total of 3 miles. That middle section into the wind uphill heading back in Island Lake was tough! I think we finished up in around 25ish minutes from looking at my watch and my paces. My garmin gave me a pace readout but wouldn't let me start the timer.

I am so grateful I have such wonderful (and insane) friends who came out to support me! Thanks so much! You guys are awesome, and I will miss our rides at Island Lake! I have 3 tris on the schedule at IL for this summer, so it is not "goodbye" yet, it is "see you later".

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Big Mess

Sorry I haven't had much to say lately. Everything is a mess. Literally. There is mess all around me right now. Over the weekend, our desktop really freaked out and I spent the weekend backing up files like crazy once we got it to turn on again. That was a scare. Then, Ryan's profile got some virus that won't let it open any programs. Mine seems to be OK, but some of the programs are being blocked right now.

The house is a mess. I am packing up all the clothes I need for me and the kids to take down to our furnished apartment in Louisville. We are going to Ohio for Easter, and then continuing on. More mess, lots of laundry everywhere. How is it that 2 children seem to have more clothes than me and theirs are smaller? I am sure it would have helped it if had not suddenly got cold here and I had to dig out all the winter clothes again that I had not planned on using for months. I have also not had time to sort out last years clothes to see what still fits, so I have all of that to deal with. I guess I will sort it there because it is not getting done before we leave. As long as I have room, it is all coming with me.

Aside from the laundry, the rest of the house is just plain messy too because all I have been focusing on is laundry. I wanted to have everything really clean, but being tidy will just have to do, if I can even manage that.

The weather is a mess, aside from being cold, it is also very wet. I am supposed to go on a 30 mile goodbye/happy birthday to me ride tomorrow, and it is supposed to rain. Ugh. At least the snow is gone.

Finally, I am a wreck. I should be writing about how excited I am that I finally signed up for a bunch of races but instead I am freaking out about the move and being sad. I am going to miss all of my friends here so much! I can't believe that I have to leave them. I wish I could just pack them up and take them with me too! I really hope we can have a good ride tomorrow, because maybe that will help me have one last fun workout before heading out.

I knew that this move was such a blessing, and things were going so well that I was on the lookout for something to be bad or hard, or even fall through (that is still a worry bead of mine, but I can't even bother with that now). I now know the hard part. Saying goodbye. I am in tears writing about this.

The good news is that the summer is going to be a lot of back and forth, but hopefully it won't make every time I come back harder to say goodbye. I don't want to be an emotional mess every time I come back. We will be back for almost 2 weeks in June and Keira will even go back to her school for that time. I have a lot of races planned for SE MI, so hopefully I can stick to my schedule of coming back once a month for a week and see how it goes.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Guest Post- Negativity by Liz Finch

I am fortunate to have a guest post to share with you from Liz Finch at Feet Dominating Pavement. The topic is very fitting right now considering my last post had "freak out" in the title. I hope to be able to apply this as I shift into full blown tri training. After all, I have a sweet ride just begging to be ridden! PLEASE give me some good weather!

By L. Finch

What do you do when the thoughts in your head scream “NO”, “CAN’T” or even “YOU’RE STUPID FOR EVEN TRYING”? I fight those fights almost daily. Do you?

I especially fight them when I need to go running. It’s almost like breaking a bad habit – not running – and trying to replace it with a good one – running. See, the “voices” liked where I was before, sailing along with my life, not really making a difference or a change.

Let’s try to put this in a different light.

I cry every single time I see videos for the Disney Princess Half Marathon. Guess why. Yep, my little voice of “can’t” starts shouting in my ear, “No, you can’t do that. Running is only for special people, and guess what, you’re not it”. The voice then continues, “you skipped your workout two weeks in a row when you had a 5k coming up that you needed to PR in! Who are you to think that you could adhere to a half marathon training schedule!” and so on and so forth.

Today, though, something was different. As I watched the videos, I silently defeated the voices in my head with, “Next year, that’ll be me. Look at that toned woman running to the finish line – Next year, that’ll be me.” And you know what? The more I repeated it, the more I believed it and the quieter the voices became. After all, the problem wasn’t that I had negative self-talk going on, the problem was that I doubted my own abilities.

Think for a moment. What areas of your running do you doubt yourself? Hills? The final few miles? The preparation leading up to the race? (That’s me!) I’d encourage you to find a power word or phrase to use while you are doing… well, whatever it is that you think you “can’t”. Words like “fighter”, “courage”, or even “Going for Gold”. Google “mantras” for more ideas if you’re stumped.

I really hope this helps you! If it doesn't, please consider leaving a comment below and Melissa and I will do our best to help you out.


L Finch

Liz is an off-and-on runner from Junction City KS. Her other hobbies include noveling, reading, and of course, fighting off the voices in her head. ;) Her next race is the Mother's Day 5k, check out her blog for more running thoughts!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Half Ironman Freak Out

I am getting stressed about doing TWO half Ironman distance tris this summer. I am really worried about the bike. I am glad to have my new tri bike and just need to log some miles! With the upcoming move, I have been attempting to organize and clean once the kids are in bed, but I have been sick since the marathon and just have not been getting things done. I don't have an official training plan, and I probably should have one. A willy nilly training plan I make up entirely myself works fine for sprint tris and even the Olympic tri, but I am not so sure I can "fake it" through a half IM. Well, I am confident I can get through it on my plan, but I want to do more than "get through it".

I need to sign up for Racing for Recovery this week and really decide if I want to Steelhead or Muncie. I can't do both. It occurred to me this evening that perhaps I could do them both if I didn't do R4R, but that is the least expensive of the three races and gives me the most time between the two. I feel like the R4R race will be a good "practice" race. It is fairly local (to MI), and won't require any hotels. It will only require a trip "home" from KY, which I have planned for and already paid for Keira to attend school the weeks following it through the end of the school year and my next race. I can do 2 races on 1 trip home. Bonus.

It will be a confidence booster that will show me that I can in fact do the distance before spending a large chunk of money and causing my mom to drive all over the state to help with the kids. I told her that for her to come with me would only add about 3 extra hours of driving to her weekend. She has a crazy weekend lined up on account of my dad doing a bike tour called the "Shoreline West" that goes from New Buffalo MI to Mackinaw City. My dad will ride through Benton Harbor a few days before the IM. My mom need to pick up my dad in Mackinaw City the day after the IM. The drive there from Benton Harbor is about the same as the drive from my house to Mackinaw, so the only added driving is the distance from my house to Benton Harbor. See, it all works out, right? I have a hotel booked already and it is on the way to Mackinaw to help her out (since I waited to long to get something in St Joseph). But, it requires hotels and lots of gas, which is VERY expensive right now.

My facebook status today was that I finally am over our old Explorer Sport Trac, which up until this afternoon at Meijer getting gas, I missed every time I saw an older one on the road. That tank would cost around $100 to fill up, and we had to do it VERY often when Ryan would drive it back and forth to work. When prices were very high before, he drove my car and I drove the truck. He liked driving that truck, which is why we didn't always do that.

Back to the Muncie race. It is on a Saturday. I usually don't race on Sundays for religious reasons, but I tend to make exceptions for bigger races. I did not want to try to qualify to Boston on a Sunday marathon. I felt I needed all the help I could get. Steelhead was on a Saturday last year, so I had hoped it would be again this year, and TIA has a lot of athletes there. There was also a huge charity event there last year that was organized and supported by members of my club. I will have people there I know, which is always important to me. I don't like going to big races all by myself. Cristina is tentative on it.

With Muncie, Valerie is planning to do that one since it is on a Saturday. I ran it by Ryan's boss, and at the time, he was told that he would not be able to go anywhere in July due to work. Now, things have changed with the timing of his work. He might be able to go. It will be a lot closer to go to Muncie from KY. The new tri club that I plan to investigate will have a lot of people going there. I am learning about more people going there. It is not a great lake swim, also a plus. It is a tad cheaper, will require only 1 hotel night, and a lot less gasoline. I feel like I need to get this figured out pretty soon because I need to sign up for R4R pretty quickly. Like in 2 days before the fees go up. The entry fee is a lot for a practice race, but before I make some big trip out of a race, I want to know that I can at least finish the distance. I don't want to haul my family all over and make them jump through hoops for me to finish my FIRST half IM. I want to go into the race where I need a ton of help with the confidence that I can do it and have more than just finish in one piece as my goal.

Advice anyone?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

First Ride Outdoors!

I hope Cristina doesn't kill me for this, but here is HER first ride of the season: Shhh, don't tell anyone that the Easter bunny is borrowing storage space in the back of Ryan's truck, so I just happened to have that adorable red bike with me as well. I whipped it out as everyone was oo-ing and ahh-ing over my new tri bike. It is ALMOST as cute as Keira's bike with fairies on it (her first ride of the year was LAST month, I was so jealous!) We have a picture of Ryan riding it in his racing kit covered in mud at a race that is as awesome as Cristina on Soren's future bike, but I KNOW he would object to that one being posted. I picked up a 650 tire last night so I could have everything I needed to change a flat. I am really glad I didn't let those guys at the shop talk me into getting the $20 "bag" that goes inside the $50 black "draft box". It was a tight squeeze getting a tube, C02 cartridge, mini pump for CO2, and a couple tire levers. Oh, and Ryan also included the instructions for the pump, since I have never changed a flat. I have seen it done a zillion times since my dad is a cyclist and former triathlete/marathoner. I grew up with bubbling bike tubes in the sink all the time and think it is totally normal for men to shave their legs. I digress...I also finally put a water bottle cage on the bike since I forgot about getting the aero drink bottle which I really REALLY want since I can barely get my bottle out with the space. I can only fit a 16oz bottle and have the clearance to get it out with the cage I have.

So, getting back to the REAL ride. Shortly after we put the Hotwalk away, Cristina is off puking in the grass. Something she ate DID NOT agree with her, and neither of us has felt stellar since our race. I think I have a sinus infection that is slightly upsetting my stomach and I have just felt off and been coughing all week. We had a nice sized group today, Cristina had invited Kari and Gary, Bill, and Julie to come out. I was a bit unsteady on my new bike at first. We were biking at Island Lake doing our "usual" course. I felt comfortable with the positions, but the bike was so much lighter that I felt like I just didn't have the control when I shifted. It took me a few miles, but then I got the hang of it. We lost Cristina for a few minutes as she had to stop to yack again. Gary got a flat right around the half way point. I stopped and offered to help out with my new "supplies", only no one had a 700 tube. Cristina caught up and she would have been the only one I would be able to help out, aside from myself. Bill was already off to go get the car to get Gary. I had to dodge some vomit from Cristina on the way back, as she was able to puke and ride at the same time! Kari and I got back to the cars first, as Julie tossed a jacket on the way out, and needed to get it, and Cristina probably had to puke again. I think she puked 7 times on the ride. I averaged 17mph for the 15 miles. I was pleased with this, being post marathon week. I also didn't drink anything during the ride. I did not feel coordinated enough, and it wasn't that hot. I'll need to work on that.

We got everything all situated for the run, and Cristina and Kari were OFF. They were flying. Julie and I felt like we were running with bricks for legs and I couldn't feel my feet at all since they were cold. We ran 2.5 miles in under 20 minutes. Cristina stopped ahead of us back at the parking lot, and usually she can't end a run in the middle of a mile. I convinced her to do another half with me and Julie. We ended up finishing our 3 at just over 8pace. Not too shabby! I just can't believe with all the puking, I still couldn't keep up with Cristina on the run! She is hardcore, but also had gotten everything that was offensive to her stomach out, and was feeling a ton better.

Oh, Ryan is watching the end of the Paris Roubauix on TV right now and they just announced that if you are over 5% slower than the winner of the race, you are not even considered a finisher! How sucky is that??? I am glad all of my races I do I just have to beat the course cut-off, not some moving target. I would hate to ride all that way (over 200km) and not even be recognized as a finisher!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Brad Pitt on the Treadmill!

This evening, Ryan stumbled upon the movie, Burn After Reading, on TV, shortly before the treadmill part. How on earth did I not know that this movie was about Brad Pitt playing a dude who works at a gym! We realized it is on again later, and will be setting it up to tape on our DVR to be able to watch the rest. I immediately had to search on you tube for a video of this part, and found this really funny montage for you to enjoy! It makes me really want to rock out my next treadmill run!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

Leah, over at Chasing Atlanta has nominated me for the "Stylish Blogger Award". I am glad I got tagged because I was sort of at a loss for posting this week. No one wants to hear how sore, sick, and pathetic I am being after my race! Finally ran today for the first time since the race and was tired. It doesn't help that I am sick too. Here are 7 random facts about me:

1. I used coupons for wants, and not needs, and hate to pay full price for anything that isn't a need. By this I mean if I am going to eat out for dinner or order a pizza, I like to have a coupon. Conversely, if I am at the grocery store and we need toilet paper, milk, or other staple, cost doesn't really enter the equation too much. High gas prices make me angry, but have little effect on my activity aside from driving out of my way to Commerce for Costco gas. I am really bad at using coupons at the grocery store, they seem to be too big of a mess maker at home for what they are worth, I usually buy store brands and stuff that doesn't have coupons anyway, like produce and fresh items. I also shop at Costco who only takes their own coupons (which I do use). I also shop the sale items. The grocery store nearest to us, Busch's, has a super deal that is different every day of the week, and I go WAS going there multiple times to get the $.99/lb boneless skinless chicken breast on Sat and $1.69/gallon of milk on Wed. I have been really good about not buying a ton of extra stuff too each trip. They just changed the deals this week, and I am NOT HAPPY. No more chicken at all and milk is on Sundays. I use coupons and sales for clothing, gear, home goods, and have even successfully negotiated discounts at the car dealership. This is hard for me because with my husband a Ford employee, we usually get a set discount and that is that. I did get a tire for free too once (with purchase of 3) just for crying and doing the "girl thing". It works, I have no shame when it comes to stuff like that.

2. I have a wicked sweet tooth. My biggest weaknesses are chocolate cake, cupcakes, and frosted sugar cookies. I will go so far to eat really healthy all day in order to keep my calories low enough to have a cookie or cake binge. It drives Ryan nuts that I will eat a massive piece of cake but refuse a cheeseburger or leave all the butter and olive oil out of recipes. Priorities. I also can bake just about any treat with ingredients on hand because I enjoy baking. I can't put a meal together without multiple trips to the store. Good thing I go a lot due to reason 1.

3. One of my major vices is "premium denim". I love fancy expensive jeans that are sold in the trendy stores. I don't know why, but I just do. I love going and trying them on. I get a pair about once a year, and am glad that Piperlime is part of Gap and can usually score a pair during their friends and family event, also part of reason 1. I wish they weren't so stinking expensive, because then I usually just wear a cheap clearance black tee that cost about $10 or less with them.

4. I have a degree from The Ohio State University AND a degree from the Univeristy of Michigan. I did gymnastics for OSU for my BS in Industrial Engineering, so that is where my loyalties lie come football season. I got my master's degree from UM through Ford's distance learning program in Automotive Engineering. I didn't have to go to campus on a regular basis as everything was done in the beginning through mailed videotapes and homeworks and then through video streaming online and online submission of assignments. I did go to campus for the library, to meet with professors for help, and to do my final project presentation. I also walked for graduation at both schools.

5. I prefer Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi over Caffeine Free Diet Coke, and that is my pop (we say "pop" here in the Midwest, not "soda") of choice. I am really trying to cut back on pop period since it has been accused of all sorts of bad things, so I only buy it if the 2Ls are $1 or less. Unfortunately, since I made this decision, I have been able to get it more often than I thought I would be able to. For a while it never seemed to be on sale, and now it always is.

6. This is more of an experience, but I wanted to share it. I had an odd experience last year while shopping (not everything in this post is going to be about shopping, but I am surprised at how many things go back to it!) While I was at the mall in a parking garage, I had a bird fly into the car while I was putting my children in their carseats. It was totally freaky! It flew in the drivers side door and tried to get out the closed moonroof. The passenger doors were open as well. I was just getting ready to reach in and start the car to open the moonroof when it flew out the other side. This whole thing must have only lasted 25 seconds, but it seemed forever. I was screaming as well as my two children. Oddly enough, I don't think anyone saw or heard us because I looked around afterwards and no one was there.

7. I have reoccurring nightmares about tornadoes. I did see a funnel cloud once as a child outside, but it did not drop down from the sky. With all my bad dreams I had before the marathon last week, I was really waiting to wake up in the middle of the night being run down on the course by a tornado. I probably didn't have that dream because I will have it in a month or so in regards to my prep for my half Ironman, Racing For Recovery, in Monroe MI. This will be a valid fear, though, because last year the transition area was hit by a tornado the day before the race, so there were delays with the start. Everything had to be set up again and there was a lot of debris on the course that caused them to shorten either the run or the bike. Thankfully, I wasn't there, I just heard about it. Those are my 7 things.

I must now pass this along to the following people:

Liz at Feet Dominating Pavement
Fancy Nancy at Living the Dream
Colleen at IronDiva

I think most of the regular followers of mine have already done this post or are tagged by either Shelby or Leah. Sorry if you have already done this ladies! On a side note, Shelby is looking for Bonk stories. I don't have any "blog worthy" ones. I have probably given up mentally or had an injury before getting to the point where I am actually bonking when working out. I have got a big workout planned for my birthday this year, and hopefully I don't bonk there. Most of the time I have bonked it has been when I have been watching the kids and been to busy to eat. I was once in a business meeting with my manager and got a bit loopy from low blood sugar and came close to having a tantrum over missing my lunch. He gave me an apple and some cookies of his that I was fixated on the entire meeting, and I was able to make it through the day. I am totally addicted to gu/gels when working out, and overuse them to the point where I get upset stomachs from too much sugar. I also have a spare marathon bar in each of my workout bags and my glove compartment, just in case.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

I did it! Martian Marathon BOSTON QUALIFYING Race Recap

So, from the title of this post, you can tell that I had a great race this past weekend. This has been a long time in the making, and most of my f/b friends have already seen the Garmin photo with my unofficial time. Now I will get into the details for a full blown recap. It is long, I will warn you. I won't feel bad if you just look at the pictures and not read the rest!

I went to the expo on Friday afternoon, and had dinner with my parents and family at one of our favorite carbo loading restaurants, Noodles & Co. The kids eat there really well, and I felt like for a while we were eating here every Friday. I don't know if it is the greatest pre-race meal, but it was something I was used to eating before my 20 milers. I had a bit of anxiety over my breakfast planned for the next morning, especially because I did a bit more reading in Hal Higdon's book about eating 3-4 hours prior to race time. I had only planned to eat 2 hours before race time. I really wanted that extra hour f sleep, and just got about half of my running wardrobe packed up as just in case items. The weather looked iffy and I wanted to be prepared. The weather was supposed to be very cold, in the 30s, and possibly have a rain/snow mix. Please, no rain, anything but rain! I was also worried because I felt like I had hyped up this race too much with my friends and this site.

Thankfully, I woke up all by myself at 4:08, almost exactly 3 hours before race time and downed a Marathon Protein bar, my breakfast choice. It was hard to decide what to eat since I rarely run this early in the morning, but I had been relying on Marathon bars since we had a ton of them still as my afternoon pre-run snack. I drank a bunch of water, and then attempted to go to bed. That didn't really happen, but I laid in bed for another 45 minutes before getting up and getting ready. Cristina came and me and we got down to the race site about an hour before the start. We parked super close to the start and finish lines, as well as the porto potties. We did not heed or care about the warning that we would not be able to move our car until the race was completely over. We just wanted to be as close as possible to the start and porto potties to stay warm. We spent the time before the race deciding what to wear and wearing a path between her vehicle and the porto potties. Cristina thought I should go with my pink top based on the number of PRs I have had wearing it, and I finally got my number belt on and gus stashed in my jacket pockets. I took my Advocare Catalyst (amino acids) and a gu about 20 minutes before the start. We found Colleen from TIA before the race. This photo was taken at about 7:05am. The race was to start at 7:15, and it was at this point that I decided that I was completely overdressed. I did not want my jacket. This meant I wanted to lose the number belt and I had to pull all 5 of my gus out of my pockets and safety pin them ghetto style/old school to my tights and get to the start. Cristina and I have a history of missing the starts for major large chip time events due to staying warm and inside as long as possible, so it really wasn't a surprise that we got to the start line with seconds to spare after our quick change (she lost her vest too, but kept her belt since it contained her gus). We were trying to figure out how far we should move up when the race started. We essentially walked to the start and then we were off. Cristina is fast, and started super fast. I wanted to stay with her, but knew not to. I always struggle with going out way to fast, and today's race was long with a lot on the line. I did not want to ruin it. My first mile I really struggled to keep the pace slow, and got a little slower on mile 2.

7:35, 7:40

Miles 3- 8 felt really good. I felt like I was a little fast, but I just didn't want to slow down, too much. I just kept an eye on my pace and tried not to go too fast. I was glad I was able to bank a little time here for my BQ.

7:44, 7:49, 7:54, 7:58, 7:54, 7:54

After mile 8, things started to feel a bit hard. I did see TIA teammates Anna and Mary on the sidelines cheering me on. They had come down for Colleen and Rita, but it made my day. This was an out and back course, and I was starting to wonder when I would start seeing the winners coming back. I don't recall how early I saw them, but then I started watching for Cristina and counting the women. As I approached the halfway mark, I got a second wind. I got a bit nervous because my time for the half was not that much slower than my PR for a half. Hopefully I had not made a huge mistake. Cristina was the second female! I had a man tell me I was 8th! Are you kidding me? I am just trying to race for me, not to win anything today.

7:58, 8:04, 8:03, 8:00, 8:03, 7:55, 7:57

Mile 16 was the longest mile, I think. I just could not wait to have 9 miles left to go! This was single digits. I am not sure why I looked forward to this so much. 17 and 18 weren't much easier. 7:55, 8:05, 8:14 Once I got into the 19th mile, I felt like I was OK to slow down a bit. My cumulative time was 2:30:52, and I was pretty sure I could hang on to a 8:34 pace for the rest. I tried to tell myself I was on the treadmill and just had to do an hour to go. An hour is a long time to think about, but I have run an hour on the treadmill so many times at this pace, it did help to think about it. We also met up with the half marathoners at this point, which in the beginning, was fun because there were more people, but it was also not more fun because they were not running as fast as me, which made it hard for me to hold my pace. I was constantly passing people, and it wasn't as satisfying as it was when it was just marathoners. It was a pain. I also dropped several places here. I did OK until about mile 23. Mile 23 was my first mile over BQ pace.

8:11, 8:16, 8:16, 8:19, 8:24

Miles 24, 25, and 26 were super hard. There were a few hills to deal with and the stupid wooden bridges! Hines drive, where most of the race course was, is located in a valley. This meant in the beginning, we ran down into it, so we had to run up out of it to get back to the start. We didn't take the exact same course because we actually ran on freeway style exit ramp to get down to it, and didn't run back up it and instead went through a more narrow wooded area with these dumb wooden bridges that shake and bounce when you get a bunch of runners on them. It really does feel horrible that close to the end. I was calculating splits in my head. I knew I was going to have to run super fast to pull out a 3:30, which wasn't the ultimate goal anyway, I had wanted to run faster on the first half so that I would have a bit of time to play with at the end. Coming up after the last uphill I needed water so bad, and there was a water stop. I walked through this water stop and took another 30 seconds or so to recover. I looked at my watch and I was roughly 1200m from the end. I could keep walking and still get my BQ, but I sucked it up and started running again. The last .2 got easy again. I finished strong, and was very happy with my time! (official time was 3:33:18)

8:43, 8:57, 9:22, 2:10 (last .2 was at 7.49 pace)

My parents did make it down to the finish, and took these pictures from the end. With it being an out and back course, it is tough to get pictures on the course and still make it back for the finish with the family in tow. Monica was out on the course looking for me, but we missed each other, and I didn't see her until the end. The bad part of the day was that I felt MISERABLE when I finished. Cristina thankfully found me quickly so I didn't have to do too much wandering to find her. I sat on the ground in front of the porto potties and then laid down flat on my back on the cold concrete. It felt really good, as my back was bothering me. I was almost wondering if someone was going to ask me if I needed help, and I wasn't sure if I did. My stomach felt really yucky. So yucky that I had a hard time being excited for how fast I ran. I BLEW AWAY my previous PR and qualified with room to spare! A lot of it was mental and being ready for it to hurt. Believe me, it did, and still does. We were also very blessed that the weather was fabulous for running. It was sunny and the rain stayed away until the afternoon! I finally got up ( I left a huge sweatmark of my body on the pavement-Gross!) and after a few trips back and forth between the car and the porto potties, I finally felt well enough to walk around a bit. Me and Cristina, after changing our clothes. Clothing changes were frequent today due to the changing weather, and made me feel a lot better to be in a dry shirt. Another perk to parking super close. Cristina needed to collect her award for second overall female (she won her age), and as it turned out, I got 2nd in my age group! Here's my "major award". I wished I would have felt better to link up with a few other people. We did find Colleen who ran a sub 4:00 and Rita who also had a PR. Anna and Mary were back at the finish as well. I missed Valerie and her son at the kids race, as well as made no effort to find Erin who ran the 10K or Shelby who ran her first half. I was just ready to go home. We were able to navigate her huge SUV out of the barricades a lot easier this year than last year when I parked along the finish chute for this same race. This year, then had those spots fully blocked off so that mistake wasn't made again by anyone. One last photo: Cristina and I are "famous" on Greg Sadler's advertisement for Sadler Shots. Yeah! Goald #1 for 2011 has been achieved! Now to recover and work on goal #2, Half Ironman!