Sunday, July 31, 2011

The next goal

I knew it wouldn't be long before I had my next race planned.  I felt like I left that last post like I had no plans, but that was just because I really had no idea how this move was going to go.  Well, we got moved into our new house.  It is a bit crazy still, but I am super thanful for professional movers who packed, loaded, drove, stored, unloaded, and UNPACKED us.  They just didn't "put away".  We didn't have them unpack everything for this reason, just the essentials and things that we "knew" where they went, like the whole kitchen and dining room.  It was great to have someone else unpack my china, because if THEY broke it, it got replaced for free.  If I dropped it, I had to buy it myself :)  Our new carpet is not in yet, so we are going to have to move everything anyway, except for the kitchen and dining room, so we have been limiting some of the things we are unpacking anyway.

So, things settled down a bit, and I signed up for the Detroit Half Marathon, in October.  I had been waffling on the half or full, but since I took almost the entre week off of working out, I figured the half would probably be a better plan.  I should be OK.  A year ago this week I realized that I had a horribly sprained ankle (from the tree farm relay), and took almost a month off of running, and still had a very nice half marathon in the beginning of October.  Detroit is a couple weeks later than the half I did last year, so I would really like to do well.  I need to get back my running BQ speed.  I really REALLY want a PR from my last half marathon, which was just a month after Martian.  I was in BQ form, so I am hoping I can get it back.  I had a pretty fast half marathon time, I was 1:38:39, but I was in my fastest shape ever.  I would love to break 1:37.  If I do that, I will qualify for the ING NYC Marathon next year.  I really want to do that.  I am getting back to my speedwork and going to work hard to get in some longer runs than I usually do for a half marathon.  Last year, with all of my injuries and everything, I was really surprised that I still managed to do better in my fall half than I did in my spring, but I didn't really train for my spring race last year, so I am not sure if my summer training will affect my fall race this year.  I worked my butt off all winter last year for Martian, but all the tri training and heat have slown me down.  I guess we will see.

In other news, I FINALLY decided what I want my medal hanger for the new home to say.  I figured it out in church.  I want it to say:

Endure to the End

We talked about that in church and I feel like it applies not just in being faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ, but in everything I do, including my sports.  I thought about this a lot when getting ready to BQ as well as before my first 70.3  I need to think about it more in my life too.  I think this will be a great reminder to have hanging in my home.  Since it applies to everything, I don't need to order a tri one and a running one, which makes Ryan happy that I just need one.  I will have to contact them since it is longer than what I can order online, but from what I have seen on my fellow blogger's pages, it should be able to be done.

Here are a few pictures from the tri last week, since I never got around to posting them:
Colleen and I (she was really 5th place in our AG)
 Kari and her husband Gary
 Cristina and I post race.  Don't let my stomach blind you!
 Kari and Monica
 Cristina and I with our awards representing our sponsor
 Bill, Cristina, Gary, Kari, and I
 Chad, sporting Kari's first ever running sunglasses circa 1988.  I think he actually raced in them.  His jawbones (which were also rather loud looking) were stolen at Muncie.  Chad was 3 when Kari got these.
 The temp on the car as I was driving to the race.  HOT HOT HOT!!!
 My ponytail that was cut off and donated to Children With Hair Loss, and MI based charity.  The accept donatations of only 8 inches, and I had not planned on donating this much.  This charity also provides its hairpieces free of charge to those in need.
 After shot
 The front:
Here's to a week of getting back in the swing of things.  Anyone have any tips for training for a half marathon?  I have never really trained specifically for one, or to have a specific time in mind.  They have just sort of fit into my marathon, post marathon, or failed marathon training plans.  Crazy, this will be my 4th one this year, if you count the 2 at the ends of half Ironman races, and I have not really used a set plan for any of these.  I have my trust Hal Higdon "Marathon" book out of storage and plan to use the speedwork sessions from those I think, but I am not sure about how long I want to run for my long runs.  In the past, I have just used 8 and 10 milers, with maybe an 11 or 12, but I think I need to be running further than that to hit my time goal.  Any thoughts?  I was running super high mileage this spring when I had my killer PR, and I am not sure if I need to be doing that again.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Redemption!!!!! Tree Farm Relay Race Recap

I am so excited to be writing about how AWESOME the Tree Farm Relay was this past Saturday!  Yeah!  My trusty mountain bike (who I am soooo sorry I have not ridden since last August) DID NOT let me down.  I was super thankful that I had no blown tires, tubes, or puking this time around!  I was especially happy that I had no bike issues because I realized on Thursday that I left my camelback, which was carefully packed and set aside so the movers wouldn't take it and put it in storage, on the floor at the apartment.  It had my mini hand pump (that works like a charm on those fatty tires), tube, and  HYDRATION.  Thankfully I realized that days in advance, and was able to bum a bladder (how funny does that sound) from Cristina.  Also, since it was a relay race, there was no rule that teammates could not share a bike if we needed to.  It was also relatively short, and the I am not that much slower of a trail runner than I am a mountain biker.  I am sure my bike would have slown me down a bit, since it felt like a tank next to my tri bike.

It was pretty hot.  Doing two races during this midwestern heat wave was probably not the smartest idea, but who knew back when we signed up!  In fact, we had signed up so early that we were team 9, out of 98.    Here is my team, the Tutu Bellas.  This is our third year as a team doing this race.  This race is big on costumes, hence the tutus, taken from Kristel's theme of doing trail runs in tutus.

Since there were so many teams to do a traditional mass start, they do it LeMans style.  Everyone stands at the top of this hill and runs down it, then grabs their bike and bikes up the other side of the hill to help spread people out.  This year, they had a special surprise for us that they wouldn't tell us about until we were lined up ready to go.  We were told to remove our shoes and hold them up over our heads until the start.  Yeah for triathlon experience and velcro mountain bike shoes!  Lots of people had lace up shoes and some just had running shoes.

I opted to run down the hill in my socks and put my shoes on at the bottom.  It was much easier to run that way, and I didn't have to worry about getting knocked down the hill while trying to put my shoes on.  I was able to get fairly decent positioning as a result.

I tore up the the first hill and passed a few more people.  The first lap is always the hardest, as it is crowded and people are wiping out trying to go all out.  We all slowed down due to a bad crash just a short bit into the trail.  I did pretty well, but I did lose control a couple of times and lost some time.  It could be expected since it had been a year since I rode this trail, and I hadn't even been on the bike until this morning.  I did not stop at the crater, which is the in course party stop.  I don't drink, so it was a no brainer to pass up the shots they were offering there.  I felt pretty good about my time, and had us in second place, and handed off to Michelle.

Michelle had a good ride, and handed off to Kristel.

Cristina was our anchor, and had the fastest time for any female (on an all female team).  She made up a bit of time and secured our second place finish.

It felt so great to ride and have nothing bad happen before a race!  I really hope this past week's experience was a once in a lifetime experience, and glad to put in a good race today.  My lap time was around 55 minutes, and we finished with a time of 3:50 and change.
Here are some pictures of some of the other "costumes"

Additionally, I was super stoked that I could fit both my mountain bike and tri bike in the hatch of my car, with the carseats!  I had to put my tri wheels on the package tray, but that was better than having them in the front seat with my luggage!  After my mountain bike treated me so well, I couldn't bear to leave it behind!

It feels pretty good to be done with my summer season.  I should hopefully be able to avoid racing in the heat for a while.  I need to get working on the move.  I am officially in Kentucky now, and need to be a responsible wife and mother, and work on the house now.  Yeah!  I can't wait to be in our own home!

Friday, July 22, 2011

2 blown tubes and one Tire, 100 degrees, and some puking, aka, Pterodactyt Race Recap

From the title of this post, you can guess that my most recent race did not go so well.  It was 100 degrees (according to my car) on the drive to the race.  I get there, I ask to borrow a pump from the guy next to me, and then the disaster started.  The pump would not release from my valvestem.  I pulled and wiggled, and it would not come off.  I returned to the owner of the pump and asked for help.  He proceeded to rip the valvestem right off my tire.  No biggie, I think, I have a spare tube, we will get it changed and be on our way.  The trek tires are pretty much brand new, and did not want to come off or go back on, but we got it changed.  I was hesitant to use the pump again, but by this time, there everyone who had parked near us had already made their way to the race.  I tried the pump again, and I thought we were OK.  It came off, and I had just started getting my stuff together.  A few seconds later, we heard this hissing and then the loud POP of my tube exploding.  Not only did it explode the tube, but it blew out the bead of my BRAND NEW TIRE. 

I was almost crying.  I had abandoned Ryan in our new house that he just got the keys to TODAY to drive 6 hours with the kids to do this race.  Seriously??? I HAD to figure out how to fix this and FAST!  I had lost a lot of time already.  I didn't even have my packet picked up yet.   I called Cristina frantic.  She did not answer her phone.  ARGH.  We spoke on the way about how she had just swapped her "training wheels" for her race wheels.  Maybe she had them in her car.  We both ride 650s, so I thought she might have something that would help me.  I called Kari, who she rode with, and she thankfully answered and handed the phone to Cristina.  She did not have anything, but she was able to run over to the Two Wheel Tango bike support area and ask what they had.  She asked if they had any spare tires and tube.  There answer:  The only spare tire we have is a 650.   YEAH!  I ran over to the tent as fast as I could.  A friend from TIA, Anna, was in the parking lot and helped me wheel my poor bike to the tent.  They let me just drop it off so I could get my packet picked up and do as much as I could while I waited for my bike.  I got my packet and had been put in the elite wave.  Fine.  I had thought I would do this anyway, but with the issue at hand, I wasn't sure if I would need extra time, but I didn't really have time to change it anyway.  I ran into Shelby (who was spectating today) while my bike was being fixed, and asked if Betsy or any of her spare parts were there, and unfortunately, not, and then ran back to check on my bike.  Thankfully, I was able to get my bike back with about 10 minutes before transistion closed, and about 25 minutes to race start.  Whew, so glad I could race, but I had this horrible cramp in my stomach that wouldn't go away from starting to cry when the incident started.  I had great support from my friends and TIA teammates relaxing me, but I still felt like I wasn't really together. 

I headed over to the water, which was 86 degrees, super warm.  I made the last minute decision to race in my sports bra and shorts instead of my tri top/shorts to prevent some drag.  I had a really bad swim, and can't imaging how bad it would have been had I not made the change!  I was really bummed too because I actually "swam" the whole way again.  Why is this making me slower?  Ugh.

I got on the bike and I was just praying nothing bad would happen with my bike.  Well, my bike was fine, except my water was hot and when I went to grab my gu from my fuel belt, the belt snapped open.  Great, what was I to do with that now?  I couldn't get my gu out and it had my number on it, which meant I couldn't chuck it, so it went down my sportsbra.  I fiddled with it quite a bit, but overall, I had a decent bike.  I did have several "verps", where I swallowed back some puke, but otherwise felt OK.  I did run out of my hot water on the course, so that sort of sucked.  I was just really looking forward to some water at the start of the run and finally getting to run.

I start the run and it pretty much felt like I was in a oven.  There was no water in transition when I came through (there was later!!!!) and I had to run what felt like forever, but was really maybe a quarter or third mile up to the road for the first water stop.  I walked through it, and took my gu that I had meant to take on the bike.  I kept plugging along.  The first mile is uphill, but there was some shade.  I walked through the next water stop and drank too much water.  I did not feel good.  My pace slowed after the two mile mark and we started going uphill again.  I could hear my stomach sloshing around.  Ugh.  It felt bad.  I felt like I was going to puke.  I stepped off the path and dry heaved, and then ran again for another few steps and then this time was for real.  I stepped off the path and puked.  I had a guy pass me and ask if I was ok, to which I answered yes, and continued running.  That only lasted another couple steps before I had to stop again.  This time, the guy who passed me said "that was awesome" and I started running back with him for a bit.  It was amazing how much better I felt.  I wished I would have just puked on the bike for real, and then maybe had a better run, or puked earlier. 

I came accross the finish line looking and feeling pretty good, except my time was not so good.  This was the first tri where I did not get a PR :(  I knew it was bound to happen, and with everything that happened, I am just grateful that I was able to still race.  You can imagine my surprise when the called my name for 5th place AG.  They had some timing problems, so I doubted it.  In fact, I was worried they had me starting in my AG wave instead of elite, because Colleen, who I had raced neck and neck with all last season, beat me today, and she did not recieve an award???  Turns out, they had her with the men, my time was correct, and they let me keep my 6th place AG award.  I felt like I earned it, though, with the day I had.  I will post some pictures soon.  The award was pretty cool.

This was not really how I wanted to end my final tri in MI for a while, and my final tri of the season.  I am not sure what my plans will be for the remainder of the year.  I am looking forward to having fun race on Saturday, the Tree Farm Relay.  It could be equally interesting, as I have not ridden my mountain bike in almost a year.  Yikes!  I have been riding high mileage on the road, so we will see how well my bike handling skills come back.  It should not be a matter of fitness, more of skill.  At least since it is a relay, if I have a major bike malfunction again, I can just use a teammates.  Hopefully I have gotten all of my bike problems out of the way for this week!

Here's the killer, all of this could have been prevented had I brought my own pump OR brought my truck.  I was going to pump my tires before driving in and realized, wait, I have to remove the rear wheel to get the bike in the car.  My car is a mazda, and Ryan and I agreed that it would be a bad idea to have him take it to the Ford plant, even though it was built by Ford UAW workers in MI, and the truck would be helpful to him with moving. I left the pump for Ryan so he could get in a ride as a break for working on the house, figuring that there would be lots of people to help me.  Whatever, what is done is done.  I would also like to give a HUGE THANK YOU to Two Wheel Tango!  They replaced my tire and tube FREE of charge!  It was part of the service they provide at the race.  I stopped in there yesterday to settle the bill and buy a new spare tube and they did not need me to pay for the new tire.  At least that was good.  This "free" race would have been mighty expensive!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Amazing Blogger Award and Total Small World!!!!

Colleen from IronDiva nominated me for the Amazing Blogger Award!  Yeah!  And I actually have internet AND a computer (not just iTouch) to be able to do the post today, so I am taking advantage.  Things may get a bit sketchy over here from a blogging/commenting/f/b standpoint over the next couple of weeks, so please bear with me.  I am trying my best to read up on everyone's blogs, even if I am not commenting.  There are a few of you out there that I still cannot comment on, and some of you I can at least f/b, but some I can't, so I am sorry!

My favorite cartoon character is…Snoopy.  This was the easiest.

My favorite thing to photograph is…my kids.  I try to take their picture doing something everyday, even if it is just standing on the porch before we head out for the day.

My favorite thing to cook is… cookies.  I am not much of  cooker, but I enjoy baking a lot.

My favorite way to exercise is…running, outside, perferably through the woods or on a shaded path in the summer.

My favorite movie is…The Count of Monte Cristo

My favorite article of clothing is… my jeans, toss up between my True Religion pair of my Seven for All Mankind.  Jeans are my one and only rediculous splurge purchase.  I get a new pair MAYBE once/year, and try to get them on sale or use a coupon.  Yeah for Piperlime friends and family coupon through Gap!

My favorite flower is…Gerbera Daisy (totally copied this from Colleen, but it is true).

My favorite breakfast is..French toast.  Or waffles, Or Pancakes....This was super hard.  I LOVE a nice carby sugary sweet big breakfast.  The nice thing about french toast is that you get more protein than just sugar/carbs, except I dunk it in pure maple syrup, and top it with fruit and whipped cream.  YUM!  Please note that I only eat this on Sundays or after a workout mid-week.  It is pretty much the worst thing for my stomach if I need to do a workout later.

And now, I am tagging the following people:

Shelby from Postscript
Richelle from Running Toward a Higher Calling
Erika from This Spartan Will
Meredith from This Runner's World

In other news, it is a SUPER SMALL BLOGGY WORLD!  Check out this photo of my newest two followers, Heather O and Matty O that I took at Muncie.  The major bummer is that I had no clue who they were until yesterday when I was reading blogs and realized that my pic was not so different from theirs, except mine is a product sampling shot for the sponsors.  In fact, they took some of the pictures for me that I used on my blog with my camera.  How funny is that?  I was racked just a couple bikes from Heather.  I guess it really was a bunch of us spur of the moment people in my rack.  I wished I would have realized it at the time or especially before the race because it would have been great to do dinner or something.  Hopefully they don't hate this picture, I submitted it to Team Aquaphor as part of my sampling summary.  I usually don't post these pictures to the blog since they are not the most exciting, but in this case, it was too random to not share it!  They have Aquaphor and Odwalla Bars, which are very very tasty!
In other news, my rockstar friends from MI who were at Muncie are in Louisville this weekend, and sent me their training schedule.  Ryan is working, so it is unlikely that I will be able to actually be available to workout with them.  However, even if I could, it was so strenuous that I know better, and I am just too slow for this crew.  They are riding the IM course and then running afterwards on Sat, and then on Sunday, running 20, and then biking 30.  I could MAYBE run with them on Sat, if Ryan was available, as long as I was rested, and MAYBE ride their recovery ride on Sunday if it wasn't on Sunday, and it would NOT be at recovery pace for me at all.  Yes, this is why I am not an Ironman or Kona qualifier right now like them.  Maybe we will grab dinner or ice cream together.  I can handle that, I hope! I just ran today for the first time since Muncie! Yeah, I have been slacking/recovering!

I have 2 small fun races next week, so look for a recap of both next weekend/early the following week.  I'll be at the Pterodactly Tri on Wednesday (my 10th tri of my career!), and then doing the Tree Farm Relay, which is XC mountain biking, and then my season pretty much ends.  I hope to do one more fall mountain bike race, provided I don't sprain my ankle this year at Tree Farm like I did last year, as well as Detroit half or full.  Not sure on anything else, though.  With the move, I have had my hands full, and should be doing more responsible things right now instead of doing this.  I couldn't resist, though!  I hope you have good weekend, and if you plan to log the miles my friends are doing, you are a rockstar too!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ironman 70.3 Muncie Race Recap

I completed the Muncie Ironman 70.3 this past weekend.  Sorry this recap is late.  It was sort of a crazy thing just for me to be doing it.  As you know, from my previous posts, I am in the process of a move.  Not exactly the smartest time to be heading out of town to do a HALF IRONMAN, but on account of the move, it made the one I really wanted to do not an option.  We made a last minute family decision that I would just go by myself to the race.  This freaked me out a little bit, especially since I had never really traveled for a race before (requiring a hotel), but it made the most sense.  I don't usually go with Ryan to his century rides either, for the same reason- what the heck do you do with 2 little kids for HOURS at the race site with only one car.  The hotel was far enough away that dropping me off wasn't really a viable option, and getting EVERYONE up at 4ish and keeping them up near the transition area was also not good.  It also allowed Ryan to get a bit more work on the house preparing for the move and kept the kids out of the car for hours.  We have been doing a lot of driving lately.  Needless to say, it was a bit of a bummer not to have anyone to go out to dinner with or know to watch for me to come out of the water to make sure I didn't drown!

I got into town on Friday evening without any event and found the convention center.  I was a bit bummed since I got there so late that I didn't get my official Ironman 70.3 string backpack, and got a Muncie Sprint shopping bag instead.  Oh well.  I will probably use the shopping bag more anyway.  I got my packet and stuff.  I got a couple shirts for the kids that say, "When I Grow Up I want to be an Ironman".  They haven't worn them yet, but will wear them to the upcoming Tree Farm Relay.  Hopefully this doesn't go against BDD's guidelines on shirt wearing, ie bringing a gun to a knife fight.  I went to the athlete meeting where I found the question, "how much weight have you lost in training for this event" funny.  I have gained weight since my triathlon training.  I have got some GUNS now!  Also, I was shocked at all the people who raised their hands saying that this race, the 70.3, was their FIRST tri EVER!  I guess I am too nervous of a person to comprehend this.  Heck, I did R4R just so that I could go into this little vaca weekend knowing that I CAN DO THIS, because I did one month ago already!
I found my way to Noodles and Co, and then made it to the hotel with no issues.  I had printed pages and pages of directions for myself.  Ryan usually does this, so this was a new thing to make sure I remembered everywhere I might want to go.  I don't have internet on my phone, so if I didn't map it now, I wouldn't get it.  While I was checking into the hotel, I encountered a couple who was part of that group that I think is crazy and doing their first tris.  The husband was doing his first tri EVER, the 70.3, in preparation for IM Louisville that is in a month and a half.  I think I really did tell him I thought he was nuts.  I can't remember exactly what I said to him, but I sadly was probably not as encouraging to him as I could have been because I think that is totally crazy.  I did tell him that I did R4R before this because of the statement above.  His wife was doing the sprint.  Must be nice to have $100 to drop on a sprint tri!  Not me. 

I got to my room and got all setteled in.  I laid my stuff out and got in bed.  They recommended being their as early as possible to get a good parking spot, like at 4:30 for the 8am start.  I didn't even start until 8:25.

I ended up waking up on my own at 2:15 and couldn't go back to sleep.  I laid in bed until 3:30, and then got up.  I made it to the race site by around 5am, thanks to some other folks from the hotel that led me there.  They didn't go the same way I would have gone, but they had bikes with their numbers on them so I followed them anyway and it seemed a lot cleaner.  I thanked them for showing me the way and headed off to get set up.  I mean, I still had 3.5 hours until my race started!  I got everything set up and ate my breakfast around 5:30, 3 hours before race start and then went to the water to watch the sprint start at 6am.

It was small, and the course looked SO much shorter than ours.  It looked long to me, but that is partially because it was just one big loop, and R4R was an out and back from the shore and the out and back along it, like a T on its side.  I also had Cristina's skin suit checked, and sure enough, it was not legal.  Oh well, swimming in it would have been a new thing, and I wasn't really sure that I wanted to do something like that anyway.  I had worn it last year when I thought about buying it from her, and now I am really glad I didn't.  I spent the rest of the time trying to find people I knew from Aquaphor, TIA, and others that I knew would be out there.  I found Mike from Aquaphor easily.  The uniforms are easy to spot, and he is tall too.

I also racked my bike close to Lindsay from KY.  She was at the VO2 ride where we got caught in the downpour, and recognized me.  I also saw a lot of Landsharks, but didn't really recognize them.  I found Chad, Amy, and Anthony from MI, as well as met Mindy and her husband Eric, who knew Amy. I had recognized her from a tri demo she did in Ann Arbor in the spring at Running Fit.  It was funny, there were a ton of us from MI who had registered last minute, and we were all racked together, but number.  I guess you got your number based on when you entered.  Makes sense.   She was in my wave for the swm start, and she is a very experienced triathlete, so it was fabulous of her to let me tag along until the swim start.   The 3 big close triangle buoys were for the sprint.

It was a beach start, and the water was 81 degrees.  It felt like a bath, AWESOME, and was super calm.  I loved that I didn't have that chilly feeling at all, since the water was a tad warmer than the air, I think.  It was so relaxing!  I had mentioned I felt tense before, I think partially due to being a bit chilly (even though it wasn't cold at all, I just felt a little chilled).  I was very excited that the buoys were on the right, we swam to the left of them, so I had no issues sighting at all.  The water was super calm, and here is the most amazing part:

I SWAM THE WHOLE WAY!  I did not flip over once.  I did break into the breast stroke a few times while making a turn and a few times when I felt like I was being swam over.  I got caught by several waves of swimmers behind me, so I did the breast stroke to just let them pass me quickly.  I just felt like I was in the pool and really in my groove.  I swam right up to the beach, practically.  I couldn't wait to look at my time, and I was bummed that when I touched the sand, my time was 52.  Really?  It felt better than that, especially since my R4R swim went HORRIBLE and was 53, but I had a wetsuit on.  We also had to run up a long hill from the beach to transition before hitting the mat, so that added time to everyone's swim.  Time- 53:32

Transition was big, but I felt like I did a good job running up the hill and to my bike.  I did a much better job getting on my bike than I did at the T-rex tri.

I felt awesome on the bike.  I guess really swimming really helps.  I tried to not worry about how fast or slow I was going, and just go as fast as I felt I could go.  It was great to be doing a big race and I actually welcomed the bike traffic.  It was great to have people to try to catch, as well as little bursts of energy from when I would get passed.  It was windy, and there were a few parts of the course that I just wanted to be done with the wind.  I still do not have the ability to grab a bottle from a person while moving and fill my aero drink, so I did stop 2x to do this.  I figured the short time I was totally stopped made up for the time that I would have been riding very slowly or crashing trying to do it while moving.  I could not believe how well I was doing!  I can't remember exactly how far in I was when I thought I could finish right around 3 hours, but once I realized that, I really pushed harder.  I didn't feel tired on the bike at all, but around mile 48 my bottom was just done on the bike.  I did not want to be on it anymore, and just tried to keep going as fast as I could to be done sooner.  I could not believe my bike time- 3:02:32  Talk about an improvement!  OVER 20 minutes better than my R4R time!  Heck Yeah!

T2 wasn't too bad, I think I did OK here too.

So, to say the run was hard would be an understatement.  It pretty much was the hardest run I have ever done.  I am not sure if it was due to the INSANE heat, the fact that I killed on the bike (for me), or that the course itself was just that hard or a combo of all three.  I had a great pace on the first half of the run.  I LOVED the volunteers and support on the course.  It was amazing what a sports bra full of ice could do for the spirit and the body.  Cold sponges were also amazing.  It was great to have water, sports drink, cola, ice, sponges, hoses, water on the head, ect at every mile, as well as lot of volunteers.  The first half of the run went amazingly well.  Perhaps too well.  I was well below an hour at the turn around. Sweet, I thought, I COULD BREAK 6 HOURS!  Whoo Hoo!  Well, once I turned around, I realized that we had a tailwind going out and a headwind coming back.  It was even hotter, and the ice was doing less and less to cool me off.  It was like I was imune to it.  I just got super tired and by mile 8, I was pretty well exhausted and wanted to be done.  I kept telling myself, just do a 10 min pace, and you can break 6, but I just had to keep walking more and more.  I thought, well, if I walk a bit, maybe I will be able to run faster when I am actually running.  Yeah, that didn't really happen.  I did finish the run with a time of 2:06:19, and it put me over the 6 hour mark.  Had I been able to hit my goal of under 2 hours for the run, it would have been really tight.  My total time was 6:06:50

I was still extremely pleased with this.  It was a tough TOUGH run with lots of hills.  It was rolling for the whole course, so either up or down constantly.  I feel very pleased with how I did overall.  Perhaps I went out a little too fast, I don't know.  I am at least glad I tried to go as fast I as I could.  I wished I could have run more, but really, I had a PR of almost 12 minutes, and that is HUGE, considering the tough run course.  The swim was really the only course that I felt was actually easier than R4R, the bike was not quite a flat, but the roads were in much better condition and I felt like I knew better what I could handle from a speed standpoint.  I didn't feel the need to hold back as much to save myself for the run.  Maybe I should have, but it wasn't really painful, it was just ugly.  I had no stomach issues except for a minute or so when I grabbed a sports drink by mistake and drank it anyway.  I didn't use as much gu on the run because it was so hot, and perhaps I should have used it a bit earlier.  I don't know.

What I do know is that I am almost glad I didn't get under 6, because it gives me a great new goal to work on.  I was feeling a bit burnt out from all the training, and feeling ready to get back to marathon training again.  I am so glad I did this race.  It was a blast, really well organized, and overall a great day!

Once I got my medal and hat, I was in search of food.  I ran into a lot of people.  I found Amy and some of her friends, as well as Mike and Anthony.  I seemed like a lot of the faster people were less than pleased with how they did, and were impressed by my PR.  I was a bit surprised at this, but my pleased.  The better you get the harder it is to improve, though.  Amy got second in her age.  She is such an amazing woman!  I got my printout of results, which was really cool.  I could not believe how well my bike was.  18.4mph!  WOW, a 2mph improvement.  I couldn't wait to get my phone and call Ryan.  I felt like I deserved my bike finally!  I was able to find Shelby at the end, after I had cooled down and enjoyed my Snickers ice cream bar (so good), pasta salad, Sierra Mist, and a few bites of pizza and bagel.  It was so hot we were both ready to head out, but got a quick picture.

Once I got back to the car, I realized that Mr and Mrs First Timers were parked behind me, loading their bikes.  I was feeling pretty good after my resting in the shade and my ice cream.  I was like, "hey, how did it go, ready for Louisville?"  I was not greeting with the same enthusiam.  I got an, "I know what I need to work on", grumble, and then left it at that.  My idea of doing a half IM in the middle of the move seems like a fabulous idea compared to signing up for an IM having never done a tri before ever, and doing my first a mere 7 weeks before.  I wish him the best of luck.  A lot can happen in 7 weeks, and I don't know what his background is at all.  I wish I got their names to check the results. 

Since I was out by myself, the only action shots I have can be found here.  I am #1679 if the link doesn't take you to my specific pics.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Taper Week/Getting Excited

I have been super busy lately, so I am really sorry if I haven't been reading all my blogs or writing much.  My family blog, which is mostly a picture site, doesn't have any pictures on it for about a whole month!  Yikes!  I did do all the text so it is just a matter of plugging in the pics, but that will take HOURS, but at least with the text done, I can figure out where the pics need to go a month after the fact!  Also, this post has no pictures in it, Sorry about that.  You got a lot from vacation on that last one.

Anyway, I am enjoying my taper for Muncie.  I am feeling a bit nuts for scheduling this race in the middle of a move.  Seriously, what was I thinking?  Here is what I was thinking and you can tell me how silly it is:

Week before Muncie- taper, thus giving me time to pack
Week after Muncie- recovery, thus giving me time to sit around and supervise the movers.

Perfect, right?  WRONG!  We spent all last week recovering from vacation and ramping up training, as well as cleaning.  We spent the weekend celebrating the 4th, which has left us with very little time to organize before the movers come.  We have a whole storage unit full of stuff still to sort and no way to get it to our place (all at the same time).  Ugh.  We have also sold our washer and dryer, and need to get that out too.  Yuck.

Well, at least I learned this bit of good news today:


This is my favorite Friday night carbo loading spot.  This is sounding like a better idea already!

You'll know where to find me on Friday night after I get checked in!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Triceratops Tri Recap and Catch Up

This race recap is LONG overdue!  I almost feel like the summary I posted previously is about all I remember I am so far behind.  We have been working on getting moved (which we are no where near ready and I totally should be cleaning right now) and went on a fun vacation that had a lot of driving involved.  Here it goes:

The Triceratops Tri was on June 15th in the evening.  It was a crazy day.  It was Keira's LAST day of preschool for real, not just we're moving last day, but her last day of preschool for everyone.  Sniffle.  She will be a big bad kindergartener next year.  There was no gradutation, but I was thankful I got there early since I didn't workout because they did call everyone up one at a time and we got lots of pictures.  What did we do next?  Well, we went to McDonald's for lunch because it is every 5 year olds favorite place to eat once school is officially out.  It is fabulous for a pre tri meal, though.  I used restraint, and ordered the oatmeal, so that made it my second bowl of oatmeal for the day, and managed only eat 1 stray chicken nugget and no fries.  We had to eat on the run because Keira had to go to the pediatrician's office for her 5 year check up.  We thankfully finished up on time for the most part, and had plenty of time to get home and get Soren down for a nap before my mom arrived.  However, I received a call while there that my 70.3 magnet was in, and I HAD to get it.  I couldn't show up to my sprint tri without my badge of honor on Ryan's truck!  I had slapped the sticker on my car already, but was not permitted to stick one on the truck, so I had to wait for a special ordered magnet.  Seriously, could I do any more things today BEFORE my tri?  We finally arrived home and I had about an hour to get ready to leave.  My mom, who thankfully arrived right around the time I did, decided to stay home with the kids instead of trying to bring them, and this was a smart choice.   She was there to help while I got changed, loaded, and off.

It was really a crazy experience for me to get in the truck to go to a tri and find it to be the most relaxing part of the day.  It was 4:15 or so when I left, so I got to the race site by 4:30, and full 1.5 hours before the start, and since I was starting elite, I was starting at the actual start.  I usually always feel super rushed.  Not today.  It was so wonderful to just be able to not worry about the house or the kids and get ready for the tri.  I had plenty of time to run around and find my TIA teammates as well as meet Ben from Aquaphor.    I ended up racing in my TIA gear since this race in on our "home turf" and I should be able to meet my Aquaphor quota without it.  Here are a few pics from before the race.  Since my mom did not come and Ryan was in KY, I only have before and after pics.  Greg Sadler from took some amazing pictures and you can check them out here.

The swim was a wetsuit legal swim.  I am going to admit that I merely got through it.  Starting with the elites, I was WAY far behind everyone else.  There was one guy who was struggling with his wetsuit, and he was the only one from my wave that I was ahead of.  I didn't do as much legit swimming as I should and can do, and at the first bouy, it was shallow enough to stand up so I did to push off the bottom.  My swim time was acceptable, and I got passed by a few people in the wave after me towards the end.  My swim for 800m was 18:55.

My T1 was a bit long, I almost droppped by number belt with my gel on it.  I got on the bike, and I had a little trouble getting clipped in on this grass hill.  I had put my bike in the right gear for it, but since I was struggling with the pedal, it didn't really matter.  I finally got up and going.  I was pretty pleased with my bike.  Again, since I started elite, I had the course to myself.  I got passed by a few younger guys, but that was about it.  I didn't stop my Garmin at the end, so it was tricky to get my data, but I believe I averaged 18.9 mph on the bike for the 11.8ish miles.  I am going to have to hit 19 next time around.  SO CLOSE!

My T2 was really fast, fastest ever, but it probably had to do with my number more than anything because I didn't have to go out of my way at all to rack my bike or run out.  I had "rock star parking" for my bike for this leg.  My run was great.  I was very pleased with it.  I was able to pass a few people here, and sprinted really hard at the end because there was a guy trying to pass me.  He just barely did.  I am sure he was in the age group lower than me that started after and was a full 5 minutes ahead and not just a fraction of a second, but it was fun to finish that way.  I ran "naked" so to speak, as I forgot to switch my garmin from bike to run, but I did have my watch going and know the course well enough to know how I was doing.  I had a PR for the 5K run with 23:00. 

Overall, I had a PR of 1:21:38.  That is good enough to requalify for elite, provided they don't adjust the times.  Cristina had a smoking fast time of 1:08something, taking home 1st overall female, and the winner nearly broke an hour!  This is Ben and I after the race.  It was super cold and had started to rain.  Yet another perk of the elite wave, I did not get much rain on the bike!

 Me and Cristina with her very cool chainring clock award.  It is much more useful than the previous year's big giant dinosaur awards.
It was a super fun day, and I ended up with 5th in my AG!  Whoo Hoo!

After the race, I headed home and the next day got packed up to drive to KY.  Then on Saturday, we started our drive for our vacation to Ocean Isle Beach in North Carolina (near Myrtle Beach).  I had planned to run before we left, but I woke up to thunderstorms.  Ryan wasn't riding, and I would have to run inside.  I didn't feel the best, so I bagged it.  It is unlike me to do this, but I was sick and I probably needed the weather to make me stop since I wasn't listening to my body very well.  We got packed up and headed out for our vacation.  We drove on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which was rainy.  We can't wait to go back and do it in the sun and/or fall.  We saw a few guys biking on it in the pouring rain.  Totally hardcore, as it was through the smoky mountains and not a bit flat! 

Monday felt like the first official day of vacation since we were there an no more driving.  I had a few days of rest and ran on the beach.  It was great to run outside!  I ran for three days on the trip, which was what I had planned.  I did end up doing my long run on Thursday instead of Friday.  We rode our bikes on Wednesday with a local group out of this small shop just off the island called Island Hoppers.  There is no website, but I head about them from a Team Aquaphor teammate, Ginger.  It was early in the morning, because it gets really hot and humid early.  It was a great ride!  I pushed hard to keep up, and we ended up doing just over 28 miles at over 19mph!  It was also the first time that Ryan and I have ridden together since my birthday last year.  He was at a conversational pace the whole time and I was just going all out.  It was fun to go fast and to ride with the group.  It was awesome that we were done by a little after 9am too!  We debated on riding with them again on Saturday, but it would mess up our plans to break up our drive home by stopping in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  That is how I came to do my long 10 mile run on Thursday, just in case.  My long run was 10 miles, and I waited too long to start it.  I didn't get out the door on time and it got SUPER HOT!  I had planned to run across the causeway and back, to the park for water, and then the community center for more water, to another park for water, and then back to the community center, back to our beach house for water, and then the other way and back.  It didn't really work out that way.  I did do the causeway and back, which was not nearly as hard as I thought.  The only scary part is that the guardrail is only knee height or so.. It feels like you could just fall right over!  There are signs stating to walk bikes across for this reason.  If a car were to blow on you, you could probably fall in!  Anyway, when I got back across and to the park, there were no drinking fountains!  Oh no!  It was getting hot, and I was thirsty.  I ran to the community center which was locked!  NO!  I did notice they had a shower outside for rinsing sand from the beach.  SCORE!  I drank a bunch of shower water and rinsed myself off to cool down.  I also opted to run along the road by the beach until the end of the island and stopped at as many showers that I needed.  These saved my run.  When I got to the end and started to head to the other park I ran into my dad on bike.  He had a bunch of gatorade that he shared.  I was so thankful for that, and found another shower at the park and then headed back.  By that point, I just needed to get back to the beachhouse to get in my 10 miles.  It was not fast, but it was super hot.  Hopefully this will be good conditioning for Muncie!  It was such a blast to just run, ride, eat, and hang out on the beach!  The really interesting thing was that I usually have to ice my knees, ankle, and left hip after each run.  Running outside on the beach and even the long run on the pavement didn't seem to phase me!  I am not sure if it was just because the sand running was less impact and I got my required sleep I was OK, but it was amazing.  I had very little aches and pains.  They did come back once I got in the car, though.  Perhaps it is all the sitting in the car that is contributing to some of my pain!  I am very thankful for my parents for inviting us on this trip.  We had a great time.

Oh, and have I totally lost my mind?  I am trying to move, train, vacation, birthday party, AND race an official Half IRONMAN all at the same time!  It is a bit stressful, but by doing Muncie, I am able to build on the training I built up from R4R and then will be able to chill a bit and get situated.  I get to taper right before the movers come, race,  and then recover while they pack.  That works, right?  I  guess we will see.  I had better get back to organizing!  Here are a couple shots from the vacation, not in order:

 Great Smoky Mountains National Park

 The Appalachian Trail.  Almost 2000 miles to Maine!  We took a few steps just to say we walked on it.
 Blue Ridge Parkway:  It was pouring, but I bet this waterfall looks amazing when the sun is out.
 The kids really enjoyed the beach. 
We are sitting in a tree outside a restuarant.  Sadly, the food wasn't the greatest, but we did have fun while we waited for our table.  Keira did not want to sit with us.  It was too high for her taste.
 Ryan, Me, and my sister, Sarah
 My Dad and Keira
 Sarah and our mom.
 Keira on the beach
 Soren on the beach

Thanks for reading!  I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July!