Thursday, September 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Soren!

Soren turns 3 today.  Where has the time gone?  Here he is at the Flying Dutchess in La Grange, KY, waiting for a modern train to go by.  I love this little boy!  He is my little buddy, and we really enjoy our adventures together while Keira is at school. 

Also, today is a popular day to be born!  I had a neice born this morning in NYC, rockstar triathlete Amy also became an aunt today, and Soren shares his actual birthday with Tiger Toddler over at Secrets of a Running Mom.  She is 3 too.  Finally, it is also Matty-O's birthday.  I am sure his celebration will be a bit different than ours, although pizza very well may be a common entity (we are still deciding).  I also baked a killer cake, and with my 10 miler completed already, you can bet I will be eating it too!

We will put the train and candle on the cake right before it is served. I didn't want to let it sit like that long, so that the icing could harden and hopefully be less damaging to the Thomas Train set.  It also didn't fit under the cake dome.  Well, keeping it short this time, back to the b-day celebrations!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Allied Medal Hanger Review

FINALLY, after 60 days of being in our home, I was able to get my Allied Medal Hanger from Allied Medal Displays hung up and displayed in our home!  Well, I haven't owned it the full 60 days we have been here.  I won it from Leah at Chasing Atlanta, and then got it ordered.  Allied Medal Displays provided this to me free of charge as my prize (the opinions are my own, though, I wanted one super bad before I won her giveaway).  We also had to unpack and hang a few other items in our basement/office area before we could determine the appropriate place for it.  So I am not as bad of a slacker as it may seem.  We also had to go through every one of our over 300 boxes/items by today to review them for damage and submit our damage claim.  This included unpacking and repacking all of our Christmas ornaments.  I finally found the remainder of my Halloween decorations that were missing today too.  Whew!  Sorry to get off track, but I am justifying my slacking here about something that is really AWESOME!

Ryan helped me hang it, and with both of us, it was really easy to hang.  Ryan held the hanger with the level over it, and I marked the holes with a pencil.  He then drilled out the holes for the anchors, and hammered those in.  We threaded in the screws and the spacers, and it went up very easily.  It stands out a nice amount from the wall.  The hardest thing was figuring out where to draw the line on what got hung up and what didn't.  I ended up going with any race where the total distance was 10 miles or more, so this meant 10 milers, half, and full marathons, and all tris.  I wasn't going to do all my tris initially, but then I only had a couple left, and the hanger is sturdy enough that I can overlap some of the ribbons so that they are nested slightly, to allow more room.  It is a bit crowded, but I did not want to have to readjust it a lot.  The edges are a bit sharp, and I did not want my softer/smoother ribbons to be snagged by it or worn out.  All of my medals easily went on, except for my Derby miniMarathon.  This medal has the ribbon purposely sewn with a twist, as it is threaded through the medal and then sewn at the back of the neck, and lays flat, instead of having a seam right above where the medal attaches.  Other than that, I was very happy with the way it looks.  Right now I have left room for the Detroit Half, Louisville Sports Commission Half (I need an acronym for that one!!!), and Boston.  Then I will have to re-evaluate what I want to display for next year.  I'll be broke from going to Boston, though, so perhaps I won't have too much more to add!

Go check out Allied Medal Displays!

Friday, September 23, 2011

What a Difference a Year Makes

A lot has happened this past year.  I feel very very blessed for where I have come both in my fitness and personal life.  Last year, fall was pretty rough and stressful for me.  Partially due to some of my unrealistic expectations not being met, some due to injury creating drama, as well as letting some things that I couldn't control have a large effect on me.  It was not good.  I was not in a good place.

I was very busy this summer with some volunteer work.  I was experiencing a large amount of turnover that I could not control on my committee.  It was driving me nuts.  As a result, I was pretty much the only one who could handle a particular project which I had never intended on doing myself, and was actually told DO NOT DO THIS YOURSELF your first year, delegate it out, it is TOO MUCH.  I was not happy, but plugging away, being stressed about it, and I had brought my concerns to my leadership, and was told pretty much, yeah, that is not ideal, but you're doing great, so keep it up.  Not what I wanted to hear.  Then, enter this lovely ankle sprain:

I took a month off of running.  It derailed my plan to run the Detroit Marathon.  I was too far behind on my training plan to catch back up and do well.  Also, since I could not run, I was having more trouble with dealing with stress.  I was upset all the time, and had developed TMJD and spent a lot of time sick/hungry/tired.  It hurt to eat.  I tried doing the diet I did when I dislocated my jaw in college, but it wasn't satisfying or helping as much as I had hoped.  I went to the dr and the dentist and finally got a mouthguard that started to help.  It was also very expensive.   School was starting, and it was actually tougher on me than I thought, because of all the drama of trying to get 2 kids ready to leave the house at a specific time 3 days per week.  There was too much yelling going on and I felt like a horrible mother.  After much complaining, I was able to get myself relieved of my volunteer work.  We knew we were moving, so it actually wasn't that much earlier than I had told them once we learned about the move.  You would think it would have been easier to stop volunteering, but I guess that is the kind of person that I am.  I hated that I was giving up, and I did finish the project I started, but I honestly felt a bit like a failure when I couldn't hack it.  I  somehow pulled off a PR at the Brooksie Way Half Marathon, but a few seconds.  This was a huge moral booster, and really helped me get ready to start my winter training for the Martian Marathon.

My hard work paid off with my BQ at the Martian Marathon.  It was great to finally realize this goal after working for it for so long.   I was able to score a last minute bib to the Derby Mini Marathon and have another PR.  I did a lot riding on my new bike to prepare for the goal of mine to complete Steelhead.  I signed up for the Racing For Recovery Half distance tri, and prepared for it.  We learned that I could not do Steelhead due to the timing, and I was able to work through it and sign up for Muncie instead.  Yes, I was bummed when Steelhead rolled around and I wasn't there, but it wasn't near the devastation as not being able to do Detroit since I had already acheived my goals for the year.  It is a fabulous feeling to have your year's goals reached by July!  It worked out really well too, because the move really de-railed my training.  I had that horrible race in July while we were moving, but bounced back to do well in a mini tri just a couple weeks ago.  With my Boston entry confirmed, I can just focus on running and swimming, with a bit of trainer riding/spinning thrown in for cross training until spring and when Ryan's work schedule settles down.  He has been working crazy hours.  I am doing better with getting Keira to school without lots of morning drama, although it is slowly killing me, I think, from lack of sleep.  I am grateful for the bus, because I don't need to get Soren up, and can let him sleep as long as he needs to, since he is no longer napping.  I also knew it would be harder than the summer, so it wasn't such the shock as it was last year.  

The biggest blessing is our new home.  I love it.  We aren't totally done with everything, but I don't know that we ever will be.  Sometimes I wish we could live here forever, but sometimes I want to go back to MI.  It is hard with this being still temporary.  I am meeting friends slowly.

It is such a change from before, and the kids get along better in the house with more space than they did here (don't mind our pile of charitable donations on the porch awaiting pickup).

Anyway, it is amazing what can happen in a year.  We have been very blessed and I am thankful for it!  Here's to a great next year! 

I hope I can do well at Detroit, and have a fun time in Boston.  I am not going to go for a PR there, but just run it to have fun.  I would like to bring my camera, I think, when I run.  I know I am going to want to document it as much as possible, and with the bus ride to the start, I don't know that I will have anyone to give my camera to at the start.  I don't know if I would want to gear check it or not.  That seems risky to me.  I am wondering if I should get a new phone with a nice camera in it and a spibelt to have for Boston?   I am eligible for a new phone per my plan, so that isn't going to be terribly expensive, and I have been wanting a spibelt for a while now anyway.  Any other ideas?  

In the meantime, I am going to send my test shoes back today (bummer!), and then decorate for FALL!!!  Happy First day of Fall everyone!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I got my Boston Marathon confirmation email yesterday late afternoon.  Yeah!  I was starting to stress, as I was getting asked by a fellow team Aquaphor teammate who signed up on Friday too.  She was 1300 people before me, and that was just in a matter of minutes on Friday, but still, it took me over 24 hours later to receive my confirmation than she did.  I was getting worried that since I had moved, it might have caused confusion since my city changed.  I was listed as being from MI on my race results, but my application said I lived in KY.  I don't know if this caused the delay or that if it really took that long to go through 1300 applicants.  The f/b page said that people would be informed on Monday, and it wasn't until pretty late on Tuesday.  I was ready to email them about this potential issue with verification, and when I logged on, it was there! Yeah!

Well, this means for sure I won't be at Deer Creek.  I want to be super careful I don't burn myself out this winter, and I think a tri would be a really bad idea right now.  Keira got invited to a birthday party here that weekend, and Soren's birthday is next week.  With the hours Ryan has been working, we need a Saturday to spend as a family.  I went out of town without him last weekend due to work.  It was sort of an epic weekend.  I got to have my near perfect Saturday.  Had Ryan been able to come, it would have been perfect. It was sort of crazy to be perfect, but we had a blast. It went like this:

 Run 6 miles with Valerie in Novi, drive to Canton for shower and get kids ready for church, attend baptism of neice in Ann Arbor, change, head to Novi again for the Tollgate Fall Open House (a farm run by MSU), hit REI to buy new roof rack, Three Cedars Farm in Salem, Delhi Metropark in Ann Arbor (again) for nephew's birthday party, in laws house for rest of birthday party, and then back to Canton to sleep.  It was sort of nuts, but a blast.

On Sunday, we went to church, and then to Parmenters.  Parmenters has THE BEST cider.  Hands down, no comparison.  I can say this because we did a side by side taste test of Three Cedars and Parmenters, because I brought them both back to KY in a cooler.  We didn't finish our Plymouth Orchard's cider because it was too tart, and Huber's, which is in IN here, is very sweet right now, almost too sweet.  I had a sample of that at the market where I got my mums.  Perhaps we will head out there this weekend.

Anyway, this past weekend gave me that fix of MI fall that I was in dire need of.  We will be back in less than a month for the Detroit half.  I took over 200 pictures of the kids this weekend.  If you want the full run down, you can check out my personal blog, but here are a few highlights:

 This is corn kernels.  Keira LOVED it.  Soren wasn't as enthralled, and spent time on the mini tractor track that went around it. 

 Soren struggled with the heavy tractors, but Keira had it down.

Parmenters had a 30 minute wait for their cider.  The kids were going nuts waiting to play on this train -it is an unpainted version of the 3 Cedars, no idea who had theirs first, but we have been going to Parmenters longer.  A tree fell on this train last year, but it survived.  That was a sad day for the kids.

We need to find a wooden play train in KY, but we have a pumpkin fest coming up at Keira's school.  That is going to help me put off decorating the outside of the house too much for fall, as we can buy our pumpkins through the school, as well as hay bales and cornstalks.  Not sure if we are getting a hay bale, but I NEED some cornstalks for this awesome front porch of ours. 

Finally, Soren totally hates the gym now that Keira is in school.  Anyone have any suggestions?  I don't want to go in the evenings, because the gym is way to crowded, and Keira needs the downtime after school.  It isn't fair to her to be in school all day without me and then go to the playroom without me.  I miss her when she is at school already.  I am going to bribe him with Chick Fil A tomorrow afterwords, since I am doing my long run indoors, hopefully I can get in 12 miles before running out of time.  We ran at home yesterday and today, and I only swam for a short time in the gym today.  We may take Friday off.  I am really bummed because I hate that he is so unhappy, so it isn't so easy for me to work out anymore.  He loved the gym in MI so much, and it bothers me to see him so sad.  I know a lot of it is just because he misses Keira.  We checked out the Y today where my neighbors go, because they have small children his age, but it is almost twice the cost, and he didn't seem overly excited about it either.  When we went, there were no children his age at all.  He can be in the bigger kids room next week, after his birthday, and they have a train table in the toddler area, but I just don't know.  It will save me some gas money, but not a ton, because we drive out towards the old gym to do all of our shopping.  We usually stop at Meijer, costco, ect, on our way home from the gym since they are near the halfway point.  So, we will only cut out about half of our driving, and the Y is a few miles in the opposite direction, so the drive to the grocery store from there is about as far as the house to the gym.  Ugh, what to do?  They are going to send me some free passes in the mail to the Y, but I am almost afraid to use them.  What if Soren LOVES it and we don't switch?  Also, I have to give at least 30 days notice to cancel my existing membership, and I have to do it before the first of the month.  Like, I have until next Friday to have October be my last month there. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Your Boston Marathon Entry has Been Received!

RELIEF!  I can't explain how happy I was to see the above email, and know that I got through this morning.  Now I am just waiting verification, and from what I understand, could take several days.  I am not terribly worried about that part, as the email/confirmation screen stated if there is any problem with the results,  you will be contacted, and they already ran the credit card, so if I had made a mistake there, it would have been caught.  I checked and double checked everything, so it should be good.  When I checked on the application on Monday, it did not list the Martian Marathon in the drop down of races, so I didn't check for it today, and the system caught that I should have used the drop down.  I have high confidence that I am in good shape!  An aquaintaince from my OLD track group before kids posted on his f/b today that the BQ - 10 confirmation emails should start going out today, so I doubt I will get mine before Monday or Tuesday. 

I used the desktop, since the laptop touchpad sometimes makes the curser jump, but I had the faster newer less finicky laptop next to the desktop, just in case.  I pulled up my official results from the Martian Marathon on it, as well as the other sites.  They both run off of wireless (there is no cable outlet near the computer desk), and I was fully prepared to drive to Starbucks, about a mile down the road or bust in on one of my neighbors if something funky happened with our internet connection.  Thankfully, there were no cut cables, internet outages, or major crashes (although there were some interesting noises) upstairs where Soren was watching TV during this.  Yeah, I probably am going to lose my mother of the year award for this, since I let Soren watch TV all morning so I could relieve some stress by doing mindless small cleaning tasks and packing for our trip to MI, as well as keep him out of my hair during the actual registration process.  I will also be pulling Keira out of school for the actual race, she will miss probably 3-4 days of school, since we will be driving and not flying, unless I can either win something and sell it, start ebaying A LOT of random stuff (we already donated a lot of random stuff too), or start selling a product online.  (I've had my eye on a particular company for a while, so please don't pitch me yours.  Ryan doesn't care for that sort of business venture, but he also doesn't care for the price of this trip, so he is starting to entertain me temporarily trying it out to earn some trip money, but still hasn't said yes yet).

On that line of money, Ryan did what he considered to be the "inevitable".  He drove into the garage with his bike on top.  I didn't see this as an inevitable to me, as every time I pull into the garage, I do it under the assumption that I am going to hit something, thus, go painfully slow.  My garage in college had lots of holes and chunks in it on account of me hitting it so many times.  He was going slow, but fast enough to put two dents from his brake levers into the wood above the garage.  I am sure that will be easy enough to fill.  He is stressed out about his bike.  I don't blame him, but I think it is fine.  His roof on his truck was fine too, however, we did take a loss on our rack.  Our rack outlived our previous truck, and sat outside all day and all night for nearly 9 years.  We had purchased new crossbars for it this summer, and just hadn't swapped them out.  The old ones were rusted because the plastic covers on them had split open.  We wrapped them with electrical tape when we transferred it from the old truck to this one 2 years ago.    Well, when Ryan hit the garage, it moved the towers back on the rack.  Since they needed to be moved, we figured might as well swap out the crossbars.  Well, if the towers were not so old and seized, it would have been simple and the damage practically none.  Sadly, the roof rack is in a heap on the floor in the garage right now.  We think it was beyond its useful life.  The trays are fine, so that is a major plus.  I am not including a picture because Ryan was plenty mad at himself for this, I don't need to document it further.  Thankfully, we are headed to MI this afternoon, and will be able to go to REI and get new ones.  That is not going to be cheap, though.  Ryan is bummed that there is a baptism scheduled for tomorrow right in the middle of when he would want to ride (there is an organized century that his club does that is tomorrow), but if it was not for the baptism, we would not be going anyway).  We do have another bike rack (that is mine, but doesn't hold my tri bike or fit on my car), if he wants to take his bike (I may encourage this).  I've already said I would take the kids all afternoon to various farms and festivale (HELLO CIDER AND DONUTS), so he can decide if he wants to ride after the baptism (during football) or not.  As long as I bring him cider and donuts, he doesn't mind if I go without him so he can ride/watch football.  I am excited to run with Valerie through the old 'hood.  Neither of us has time to go to Kensington and I did 11 yesterday so I don't need to do a full lap.

Speaking of my 11 yesterday.  I did that on the treadmill.  Yeah, it was boring, but I rocked it out Brad Pitt/Burn after reading style.  I even sang out loud a bit, and didn't care what people thought.  I did my first mile on the treadmill without a TV, which would have been fine except the iPod jack wasn't working, and I didn't think I had enough juice to last the whole run otherwise.  About .8 miles on that treadmill, the guy on "my" treadmill finished up, so I finished out my mile and hopped over.  It has a TV, iPod jack, and better (softer) belt.  I ran 7, then reset it for my final 3, for a total of 11.  I totally spaced on what time I started, and accidently went over by over 10 minutes on my childcare because I thought I had time for abs and a shower.  Oops.  After leaving the gym, we stopped by Keira's school for the Tiger Trek.  I wasn't really sure what this was.  We got one flyer about it at the beginning of the year, with a pledge sheet.  We don't know anyone here that doesn't have a child at her school doing the Tiger Trek, so I had already pretty much planned that we would be making the sole donation.  Then I forgot about it until we got a reminder call to make sure we dressed our kids appropriately for the weather on Wed.  Ryan and I made our donation, and wrote our check.  I mean, what kind of running mother would I be if I didn't support Keira in this, even though I feel like we are asked to send a check for something almost every week to school.  I was not planning on attending the trek, except I forgot to put Keira's snack (which I did pack in its container) into her backpack.  On my way in to the school, I ran into a neighbor who asked if I was there to watch it.  No, but what a fabulous idea!  She said she would be back later too, her son was walking in the morning.  We got there right as it was starting in the afternoon.  It warmed up beautifully, and Keira had a blast.  They had a DJ and the gym teacher was trying to help them pace themselves for the full 30 minutes of movement.  They were to walk, run, dance, ect around the parking lot in a circle for 30 minutes.  Here are a couple pictures.

Soren had a blast too, and Keira won a door prize.  Both kids were completely tired out after this.  I am so glad I went.  I was pretty dead tired too, because I had run 11 miles and then walked, jumped, and danced with the kids for 30 minutes.  Although, it was a heck of a lot easier to jump around in running shoes to "Cotton Eye Joe" than high heeled boots like the college days :)

I hope you enjoy your weekend!  Any big plans!  I had better finish packing so I can head to MI.  I keep wanting to say "home", but our home is here now.  Hopefully this trip will get me my fix of MI until the Detroit Half, and then when we go back for the holidays (no plans are determined yet, except Christmas morning WILL be in our new home here- I don't want to put anything out there for anyone to try to hold me to), it will likely be cold and yucky, so I won't miss it as much :)  I am going to enjoy being a runner again for a while.  Ryan has been working too late for me to go on my ladies ride anymore, and I skipped my swim to get registered this morning.  I'm going to keep swimming, and need to get my bike trainer set up, but I am thinking I am about done riding outside for a while. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

I think I am going to puke, or cry, or both

So I just went online and can look at the Boston Marathon application.  I am not supposed to fill it out yet.  I am allowed to sign up on Friday at 10am.  HOLY COW is this going to be the LONGEST WEEK EVER!  OH MY GOODNESS!  I am sitting here with an upset stomach and a tear in my eye over the stress of getting closed out and there is NOTHING I CAN DO ABOUT IT! 

Since there is nothing I can do about it, I shouldn't let it bother me, but when have I ever been good at that?  I talked with Cristina, and she is going to be on standby Friday morning waiting for me to give her "the call" so she can sign up. 

What I am going to do about it is pray that I get in.  Also, I am going to make sure that Ryan DOES NOT mow through our underground coaxial cable like he did ON SATURDAY!  This is a really funny story, actually, and he had better not do it again.  I took the kids to the Crestwood Festival after my race so he could ride and mow the lawn.  I get home and he is standing bewildered in the front yard with the mower off.  We walk over and he hands me a piece of orange co-ax cable.  It wasn't buried properly, and apparently the soonest we can get someone out is tomorrow, Sunday, from 10-12.  This meant no phone, cable, or COLLEGE FOOTBALL!  Talk about crisis mode!  I asked where he wanted to go to watch the game, and his answer was we have to get it fixed, NOW.  With no phone or internet, I was a bit perplexed about where to go.  THANKFULLY, I had not  yet recycled our brand new phone book (recycling comes every other Monday, which was today, and it has a picture of a train on the front, so Soren "reads" it), and I actually got it out to look up the phone number for Radio Shack.  Forgetting that the phone doesn't work, I try to call them, since our internet doesn't work and I have no clue where the address was in relationship to my house.  My cell phone worked and the minutes were free since it was a weekend, and the man told me how to get there.  I feel like such an idiot because I don't know where anything is here still.  Anyway, $37 dollars later, I had a piece long enough to get from the cable box outside to our house.  The UM vs Notre Dame game as well as BYU were viewed in our home and all order was restored.  Lets just say that the next time I want to do a race that is in the $35-$40 range I better not get any questions asked.  Since I had to drive to La Grange, I am sure I used about $3 worth of gas, plus a half hour of my time.  Who knows how much the cable people would have charged us to come out.  I don't know if it would have been free or not, since we cut it, but they were the idiots that didn't bury it properly.  I will also be praying that we won't need to mow the lawn before Friday at 10am as well. 

I know this is my second post in 1 day, so please go ahead and scroll down and read my race recap below.  It is a good one!  I just had time to do this extra one here, and am freaking out (plus I forgot the cable story anyway).

Apex Oldham County Mini Triathlon Race Recap

This weekend was crazy busy in terms of races.  My facebook seems to be blowing up with people's race updates.  I don't get the new facebook....It looks like it did a long time ago, but I am not sure how to see the most recent stuff.  Is this everyone or did my kids just do something to the computer?  Soren disable the touchpad on the computer for the entire weekend.  I finally figured out how to fix it this morning.  Perhaps he changed my f/b too?

Moving on, I had the Apex Mini Triathlon in Oldham County this past weekend.  I live in Oldham County, so it was cool to do a race this close to home.  It was technically in La Grange, so not my actual city, but still very close.  The tris I did in Brighton, MI, were not quite as close to the old place as this one was to the new place.  I had to get up super early anyway, though.  They wanted me there at 6:30, even though I was not scheduled to start until 7:46.  It was a 400m pool swim (TT start), 10 mile bike, and 3K run.  It was super cold when I got up, I wore pants and my jacket, but I was glad I got there early, as it was first come first serve for the transition area.  It was shaped like an "L", but the course did not go through the full L, so it was definitely in my best interest to be there early and select an end spot, along the course, so I didn't have to go in and out of the other leg of the L.    Here is my stuff:

Me and my stuff, all set up:

There was lots of talk about wearing wetsuits.  I had mine, as mine goes with me to ALL my races, just in case.  It is my wubby.  I really considered it, because lots of people wore them.  However, since the transition area was on a parking lot, I did not want to risk falling down trying to get out of it onto such a hard surface.  Had it been on grass, I probably would have worn it.  The pool was so cold.  It has a leak, and they just pump water in it so they don't have to shut it down to fix it.  It looks so innocent here:

The first guy, who was supposed to be the fastest, since we were going in speed order, jumped in, swam 1.5 lengths, and stood up and stopped.  It really freaked everyone out.  The water was just so cold you couldn't really get your breath.  He did end up getting acclimated and finished, but it gave everyone a good scare.  I was lined up to go 49th, and we were off every 20sec.  I screamed when I got into the water, it was so cold.  FREEZING!!!!  HOLY COLD!!!!  I only had 20sec to get used to it and dunk myself before I was off.  I don't think I got any air the first length, and took a huge breath at the end before coming back.  It was just so cold I couldn't get my breathing down.  I totally get how that dude stopped and stood.  It was down and back in each lane, for 8 laps, and I swam down the next lane.  I got to the end and attempted to push off the bottom, instead of the wall, and I couldn't touch on that side.  I got a huge mouthfull of water and did an entire length of breastroke trying to stop from coughing.  Then I just kept telling myself "don't push off the bottom", and the rest seemed OK.  It seems like the guy behind me wanted to pass, but when I gave him the chance at the wall, he never took it.  Maybe I was being a jerk (please let me know if I was), but if I pause at the wall and you don't jump ahead, then I am going.  I am not going to "wait" or stop to let someone pass.  I am not used to a pool swim, and I guess in mountain biking, communication is a lot easier in terms of giving someone room to pass, and I do get over when it is safe.  I hugged that right lane line, bonking it a few times, since I tend to swim to the right anyway, and since I had my coughing episode AND still managed to pass a person or two due to improper seeding, the lane in front of me was almost always clear, so there was plenty of room to pass.    It did make me try to go faster anyway.  I am not sure of my splits, because I couldn't find the results online. 

Since it was so darn cold in the pool, it actually felt warm when I got out and ran up to my bike.  It was a little run to the parking lot, since it was in a pool and all.  I had planned to wear a patagonia half zip during the bike and run portion, since it was predicted to still be in the low 60s when I got out of the water.  My hands were so cold and frozen, I didn't really have the dexterity to put on a half zip, and fumbled quite a bit with my garmin.  I almost gave up on it, and if I do this race next year, won't use it.  I can't see it well on the bike and I didn't get it switched over to run so it didn't make a lot of sense while running anyway.

The bike course was HILLY!  I was told it would be hilly, but hills in Oldham County are apparently even hillier than hills in Louisville.  I guess I can ask the Ironmen from here what they think of route 1694.  I haven't ridden there, but apparently it sucks.  Ryan rides it and thought it was mean to do an out and back on it on the IM course.  I digress, I was going all out for the whole bike, and I haven't done that in a long time!  I was pretty much going up or down the whole time, and couldn't stay in my big ring on the front due to this one killer hill at the beginning.   It was fun, though, and I did pass a few people on the bike. I did wear my aero helmet.  I am glad I did, because there were some nice descents, as a result of those hills, and it kept my ears warm.  I was surprised I wasn't colder on the bike, because a lot of people had jackets and long sleeves.  I just had my wet bathing suit and tri shorts.  I skipped my aquaphor top b/c it causes a lot of drag in the pool, and I figured I would be in long sleeves at this point anyway.  Oh well. 

T2 felt pretty quick.  I put on my socks and shoes, hat, and number, and was off.

This was on a rolling cinder trail.  It was fun, and I just tried to go all out.  I passed a few people on the run, so that was fun too.  It was out, a loop, and back.  It was so short that I pushed the whole way.  I finished with a time of 1:01:34.  A PR since I have never completed a race this short before.  Initially, I had wanted to be under an hour, but that was before knowing about the hills on the bike course.  Perhaps next year I can be under an hour.  I hope to do this race again next year.  It was really well done, and they gave away 2 bikes as door prizes.  Ironman had sponsored this race, and as a result, they gave away the bikes.  They also had lots of other prizes to local businesses.  I didn't win any of those, but I did win first in my age group!  I had never won my age in a tri before, so this was super fun.  I was actually pretty close to the overall winner, about 1:40 away.  I don't think I wasted 1:40 between my breast stroke and garmin fumble, but if I can get my overall swimming improved as well as train more on the hills around here, I can really improve on this.  I know that a lot of the big guns may not have been there today, with lots of big races going on all over the place, including an Oly in Louisville on Sunday.  Some people were doing both, though.  I did get a really cool plaque, which was awesome for my first ever AG win!
It was fun to go into my first tri in my new area and do really well.  There were several people from chuch there, and Ryan thought this AG win furthered my "mythology" as some super star triathlete, which I am not.  I still think of myself of a runner who happens to do tris, but that is changing slowly.  I was just happy that there are more people in our ward that are interested in tris.  There was a big crew in my old ward, so it is nice to know I am in good company here.  I wish there were some ladies, but it was fun to have them as support crew watching their husbands and children racing.

Congrats to everyone else who races this weekend.  I think this is my final tri.  That swim was cold, and that was not fun!  Also, Ryan's work schedule is getting increasingly busy, and it is harder and harder to bike.  With school in, I am tired and have missed a lot of swimming as a result.  I will be missing Friday's swim due to Boston registration opening up.  I might be able to get in a short swim after I get signed up, but that will just depend on how long it takes to get through.

Finally, we had a relaxing day to remember 9/11/01.  I can't believe it has been 10 years!  I remember it like yesterday.  I was a supervisor at Wixom Assembly, running the first trim line out of paint.  One of my line workers who regularly listened to the radio on the line, told me what had happened.  I didn't get it at first, and just kept trying to get more updates on the radio and internet.   We didn't do much car building, and eventually they sent us all home early since the schools were dismissed.  I went to the red cross office in Livonia to donate blood.  I am O negative, the universal donor, and spent most of the afternoon there, waiting my turn.  I think I did leave briefly to get away from the footage and devastation to go to one of the ballet shops to browse leotards and tights, since I was in ballet at the time.  I donated blood, which is really hard for me to do.  Needles give me the heebie jeebies, and I am pretty close to the low weight limit.  I have come really close to passing out before, so I was surprised how easy it was to help in this situation.  I wish it didn't take something like that for me to be able to do it without passing out.  I got home and typical of me, since I lived alone, had no food in my apartment.  I was on my way to the grocery store when my downstairs neighbors found me and had me over for dinner.  I still needed milk and food for tomorrow's lunch, so my neighbors sent their adult son to accompany me to the grocery store so that I would be OK.  I have family in NYC, who work in Manhattan, so time was spent making sure they were OK, and I was thankful they were fine.  It was so devastating, and really changed the course of history.  I tried to do my best to explain to Keira and Soren what had happened without upsetting them.  Keira seemed to understand that it was very bad, and just wanted to make sure it wasn't going to happen here.  We have visited Ground Zero a few times since, but most of my pictures were lost on our hard drive crash a few years ago.  The more recent pics look just like a busy construction site.  My mom has a photo of me as a child standing on the top of the World Trade Center, but I don't have that digitally.

Here is a picture of the kids taken yesterday:

My brother in law, Tyler, took this photo last night.  He did not live in NYC at the time of the attack.

Never Forget!

I hope you have a great week.  For those of you hoping to enter Boston, such as myself, "Good Luck!"

Friday, September 9, 2011

Good Luck Everyone Racing this Weekend!

I spent a bit of time this morning trying to wish everyone I know racing this weekend good luck.  It took several status updates, and I still was missing people.  Whew.  If you are racing this weekend, have a great race! 

Anyway, all of this racing well wishing was making me feel a bit bummed that I am not racing with my good friends in either MI or OH.  I am racing, though, which meant I couldn't do an knee jerk reaction plans to just decide to race at either Tawas or Rev 3 Cedar Point, where the majority of my friends are racing.  I have a mini tri instead.  It will be fun, but the bummer is that it isn't quite enough of a workout for my training plan for the Detroit half marathon.  Oh well.  Keira is sick, though, which means we won't be doing a ton as a family this weekend.  Perhaps I will have time after the race.  That will be fun to explain to everyone, though.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate.  I don't even know what to wear since it will be cooler, but since it is a pool swim, I am thinking that I will not chance ruining my wetsuit over 400m , although from what I have been told, one pool swim won't be the end of it, and I was planning on using my newer one anyway that hasn't had much use at all yet, so it is in great shape to begin with.  I don't love it, though, and have never raced in it, only trained.  The bike is pretty short, as is the run, so I am thinking I might just be cold on those instead of trying to throw on something over my swim attire in transition.  I guess I could put on a tee after the swim and wear a bathing suit w/tri shorts.  That might make me happy.  I don't like swimming in a tri top, so that might be the way to go, especially if it is colder out.  Either way, this is a new distance so that means PR!  Whoo Hoo!

Also, on a side note, I did listen to SOME of the feedback I got on Boston.  I appreciate all the comments, and I did book the cheapest hotel I could find through Marathon Tours a few miles from the finish area.  It is just a short walk from the subway line, and should hopefully get me to the bus stop in time to ride to Hopkinton.  It is a bit pricier than what I was going to do otherwise, but overall, I think it is a better plan and worth the expense.  I have friends in Boston, and I just did not want to impose on anyone with my entire family because I am too cheap.  I can cancel it up until January something or other with only a $20 fee, and as long as I get registered, I am GOING, regardless of my physical condition come race day.  Hopefully I won't break my leg or have a significant ankle/leg injury, but I am totally prepared to have this be my ONLY race of 2012, in the event I race injured and really mess myself up worse.  That might sound stupid, but since this has been a dream for so many years, I am going to do what I have to do to make it happen.  I can run with a broken arm too, I have already decided.

Anyway, look for a race recap as my next post.  Hopefully I will have some great news to post about all of the firsts that should happen.  Lest I leave anyone out, I am not going to list anyone at all.  You guys know who you are and what you need to do.   Let's get it done this weekend, and for those of you super fast people who can enter Boston next Monday,  please leave a slot for me on Friday!  I will be skipping my swim workout next Friday so I can station myself at the computer, ready to go when my registration window opens.  

Monday, September 5, 2011

Good Weekend and More things to stress about

This weekend was great.  We had family in town, and spent some time exploring and doing touristy things.  We celebrated Ryan's birthday, and his parents brought us some cider and donuts from MI from Plymouth Orchards. 

On Saturday, I did a longish run in the morning, on Old La Grange Road.  It was awesome.  It is still a rather challenging course to get to and from Old La Grange Road from our house, but once I got there, it was great.  Running in the morning meant it was cooler and shaded.  I ran by sheep, and there really are a lot of trees.  It will be beautiful once the colors start to change (ironically, it seems like today, 2 days later, there IS some fall color now), and there were actually other runners there.  It was awesome, and I actually was able to get the 7 miles done in less than an hour.  Whoo Hoo!  No walking up hills, I am getting more used to them, and running in less hot is definitely faster/easier.

My diet got really off track this week, and I have to get it back under control.  Thankfully, the underpants run is over.  However, I do have a mini tri this Saturday.  Initially, I thought I would wear a sports bra/tri short or just a bathing suit, since I don't particularly like swimming in tri tops.  That got me worried about my poor diet.  At least I have 4 days to work on that.  My other concern is now that it is going to be cold!!!  I guess that means I can wear a wetsuit, right?  Yup, I am considering wearing a wetsuit in a 400m POOL SWIM.  I am such a bad swimmer, I am totally not afraid to be that dork in the wetsuit.  Especially if it is cold.  I am totally going to do it.

Finally, it felt like fall here in KY today. It was awesome. I busted out my orange patagonia shirt that means FALL (or ski vacation), to do a short, leisurely ride with a couple of the ladies here.  It felt great and smelled like fall.  Awesome!

Now, onto the real concern.  I can try to sign up for the Boston Marathon on Sept 16th at 10am.  It is going to cost $150 to register.  Yikes.  It is also 17 hours away by car.  Uh oh.  Hotel rooms are EXPENSIVE!!!!  And the have bad cancellation policies if you go through the race site to get the better deals.  The race website also says the only way to guarantee you get to the start is to take a bus from downtown.  I can't afford to stay downtown, and had hoped to stay near the start, because I found a reasonable hotel that I can cancel up until the day before.  There is one place that we might be able to afford downtown through the race site, but I can't book that until I get in.  I am just hoping I get in, and that I can reserve that room.  Then I just need to figure out how to GET there.  I knew it would be expensive, but I guess I wasn't prepared how expensive.  I have been trying to get there for 7 years!!! I think I should have been saving money that long too now.  I am sure we will figure something out between now and then, but I had to look into it before attempting to register.  I am so thankful that Ryan is going to indulge me in this, and honestly, I don't know if I am going to do any other races this year that I have not already paid for since this is going to be so darn expensive! 

Anyone have any tips on getting to Boston cheaply?  Anyone run the Boston Marathon on a budget before?  I have wanted this for so long, I want to have an enjoyable experience, but I know I won't enjoy spending huge sums of money to do it.  I would rather spend huge sums of money on a ski vacation or Alaskan cruise, in terms of money spent on travel.  Does this mean my priorities are messed up and that I don't want it that badly if I don't want to spend the $$, or does it just show that I want a vacation that my family can enjoy and that isn't just for me?  Don't get me wrong, I am not bailing on doing it, I just want to do it affordably.  If I can get signed up, I WILL be finishing the 2012 Boston Marathon, if it is the last race I do for a LONG time.