Monday, September 14, 2009

Personal Victory

Here's where I wax poetic.

Yesterday, I felt like I did after running my first marathon....for those of you who have never run a marathon: imagine getting hit by a truck as you're crossing the street. You stand up and think "WTF?" and it happens again.

That pretty much describes how I felt yesterday. I still hadn't warmed up after drinking 10 or 11 gallons of tea, I couldn't sit, stand, or lay down without something hurting, and I started falling asleep walking from the kitchen to the living room.

Needless to say, the race results really didn't hit me until today.

Everyone who read my blog has been the most incredible group of supporters over the last year. At each point, I quietly dedicated a piece of the road to you.

Cuz I'm nice like that.

Today when I was at the gym doing my "active recovery" swimming, I felt like the weight of the world had lifted. I never really wanted to do the race, but I had to do it.

It wasn't that I had to prove that I could go the distance, I've done it before. It wasn't that I had to prove that I could PR in all 3 events in ONE day. I didn't really even care if I had a little PR or a big one.

I simply had to do the race.

As Billy put it, it was a way for me to overcome the "Idaho Tragedy".

Sometimes you don't realize something bothers you until you have been avenged.

I know that my reasons were ego driven. I know that all y'all would love me know matter what. But it was all about me.

That exact thought hit me when I started running. I was running and running. I was cruising...until I got halfway.

Then I realized that I didn't want to do this anymore. I walked/ran the last half of the marathon.

I knew that the PR was mine and all I had to do was keep moving to get it.

The PR didn't matter at that point. I realized that my heart is no longer in long course triathlon. Maybe in a few years, I'll have the desire to go back and exact revenge on Ironman. Or maybe I'll want to tackle Nationals in the Half Iron.

I just no longer feel like I have to do it.

But for now, I'm done. Today I feel absolutely fantastic about my race. There will always be people faster than me, and there will always be people slower than me. But Saturday's race was all mine.

I felt whole again.

Mike and I are going to sit down and plot out my races for next year but expect to see Oly races, sprints, maybe an aquabike, and most definitely century rides; of course, a couple of marathons sprinkled in (just to keep me honest).

In 5 weeks, I'm running my birthday half marathon. No pressure to perform, just a little birthday celebration with 10,000 of my closet friends.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

70.3 Race Report

Ummm, this is a picture of the finish.
It's here because I can't get it to move to the bottom.

The white sweat shirt is Jordan, I'm in the shorts, and Justin is somewhat hidden. They ran the last quarter of a mile with me.

NOW....let's get to the race.

Here's the spoiler!
I got my PR.

Now it happened is quite the story...isn't it always?

The weather: gonna be a cold, wet, windy day. Since I'm the biggest wuss around, I wasn't looking forward to being cold.

But ya gotta do what ya gotta do to be an incredible athlete comme moi.

In this picture, I am already swimming. If you look out further you'll see what looks like a dark shadow in the water. Somewhere in that dark muck is me. I tried to smile for the camera, but you can't really see it.

uh, I'm not in this picture either.

Or this one, but the sky was pretty wasn't it?

About the swim, I went out too fast, caught myself and starting to regroup. My goal was to negative split, but I was already cold and knew that my body was doing what it could just to keep me warm. Just as I was rounding the halfway point, I noticed that the AG women's leaders and pro's had just come around the corner. I didn't know what my time was, but I knew that if I was a little behind the leaders that I was doing well.

I wanted to negative split the swim. I don't think I did it, but I don't know. My effort didn't decrease but it felt like I had to work harder to maintain my speed.
As I approached the beech, I could see Mike.
I knew he didn't see me, so I stood up to fast to yell MIKE and fell right down on my face.
Yea, hope the photographers got THAT one.

After righting myself, I looked at my watch....thinking that the swim felt slow....and my time had to be around 40 minutes.
No was a 7 minute 1.2 mile swim PR.
I started screaming at Mike.
That's when I remembered that I still had a bike and run to complete....calm down missy....we got's a long day ahead of us. (Oh, this picture IS me. Dude, I'm RIPPED. Look at those shoulders--and ignore the fact that I can't get my wetsuit off). Also note the number of bikes racked. Yea, one of the first out of the water baby.

Ooops, out of order...I'm in the center of the picture running uphill. I know, it doesn't look like I'm running. Let's just say I was.

Me JUST out of the water and not yet realizing that I PR'd by 7 minutes. bike pictures, but here's where the story get's interesting. I get on my bike and know instantly something is wrong.
NO....not ONE thing but TWO things.
I will not say what happened, but I will tell you that my bike was sabotaged. One thing can be replaced...the other I managed to fix.
To the person that attempted to ruin my day:
1.) Karma is a b!tch.
2.) I'm flattered that I looked like such a threat to you.
3.) I still managed a PR.
About the bike: AWESOME....I KILLED IT. The biggest PR of the day. I hope I made The Ranch proud. I've worked SO hard on the bike. SO DAMN HARD. Today it paid off with a 53 minute PR. And no, I'm not kidding. I couldn't believe.
I rode the entire distance with a guy from Germany. At halfway, he asked what my goal time was. When I told him, he said, "You keep this pace, and you will easily beat your time." He could climb better than me, but I'd always catch him on the downhills. heh heh. Maybe a little extra weight paid off.
Get this: the 53 minute PR...even beat my AGGRESSIVE goal. The one that I really didn't think I'd hit today.

I pull into transition and see Mike smiling. I found out later that he had just gotten back to the race. He didn't expect to see me for another 30 minutes. (toldya I was fast). He almost missed me.
Here I am making some weird face. sigh....leave it to me to not smile but instead look like I'm trying to decide what to have for dinner. Wait, that's what I WAS doing.

The run....oh's where things take another interesting turn.

Remember the storm? It hit full force on the run. It was so cold so rainy. I just wanted to be off the course. It was the longest half marathon of my life.
Again, another PR by 27 minutes or so....but still awful. My feet were soaked and were squeaking as I ran. It was brutal. Then out of nowhere some guy starts talking to me. We run the second half together. He was doing the relay. He was from NC. The altitude got to him and his family (who did the rest of the relay). We talked and it really made the half marathon go by quickly. It was kinda nice being able to run with a 22 year old.
As we were rounding the last mile, the rain stopped. Wasn't that nice?
Either way, 27 minute PR is no joke. I thought I could do more but given how cold and wet I was, I'll take it.
So I gave away the spoiler at the start, but if you made it this far then there's a little something special waiting for you.
When I finished, there was no food. Apparently, they didn't order enough. I was pretty much starving at this point. I told Mike and the boys that I was going to check results and leave.
The results weren't up. Cold, wet, and hungry was a bad way for me to be. So I left.
Guess what? I'm pretty sure that I got 2nd place. Could be 3rd, but I think I got 2nd. I know I was first out of the water, but I never saw the 1st place woman on the bike. It could be that she went by me and I don't remember. I've been waiting and waiting for the results to come up but so far they aren't posted.
So maybe the saboteur was right in messing with my bike. Maybe they saw instantly how they were going to EAT MY DUST.
Good company, good race, all in all a good day.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Je crois en.....MOI

Almost daily, I have been reviewing my race day strategies.

I feel ready knowing that I have my visual, verbal, and mental cues ready, and my nutrition plan is ready.

2 days before the race:
This is my last carbo-loading day. Eat up little buckaroo.

1 day before the race:
Eat normally, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

Pack up race equipment....and for goodness sakes would you PLEASE remember you RACE HELMET?

Create nutrition baggies: 1 for the swim, 1 for the bike, 1 for the run.

Race day:
Double serving of pancakes with Jelly. (It's my preferred race day breakfast).
Bagel with nutella and almond butter.
Bring a banana with me.

One hour before race, eat banana with 16oz of water.

Set up transition area.

Prior to swim: 1 GU with water.

Pacing: Negative split the entire race and then also the individual segments.
Swim: Start comfortably and pick up speed halfway to the halfway. At the halfway, let all hell break loose. This is your event!

Starting bike: 1 GU immediately with water.
every 20 minutes thereafter another GU.
Calorie goal 250-300 per hour.

Second hour on the bike: Lara bar, bar cut into pieces prior to race + 1 GU.

Third hour on the bike: 3 GU's....making sure that one is taken at the start of the run.

Total nutrition: 1 lara bar and 7 GU's.

Bike pacing:
Miles 1-10: Go moderate-hard. The hills aren't as big as they seem.
Miles 10-15: Go easy-moderate. The climb is harder here, but it's no big deal. Save your legs for later.

Miles: 15-30: CRUISE. This section is slight rolling and flats. Here's where you are going to get you speeds up. Moderate-hard.

Miles 30-40: Do what you can here. The terrain isn't bad, but this is the windy stretch. Take it easy. You'll need your legs for the climb.

Miles 40-56: Climbing climbing climbing. You've been here before. Look at that guy...he's wishing he'd trained a little better....maybe he's thinking he should have ridden the course. It's too late now. You own this course. You should be feel pretty good as you climb Tom Bay Road. Once at the top, you can relax on the downhill before climbing the way to the finish.

Before heading out of transition, stuff 9 GU's into pockets. (I won't need all of those, but I've raced enough to know that I will likely lose a couple along the way).

Take one GU at start of run with 16oz of water.

Run Pacing: This is what it's all about, take a few longer faster strides at the begining, then settle into your pace. The first section has the steepest hills. If you're a wienie, go ahead and walk them. It's just a PR you're chasing. No big deal. I'm sure you'll sleep fine tonight.

Walk through aid stations to drink and take GU as scheduled.

SMILE at the other runners coming toward you. They're not smiling back? Well, you probably won't be either when you're at mile 65.

Drink at all aid stations.

GU every 2 miles or so.

I've ridden the bike route no fewer than 6 times in my training.
I've run the run course no fewer than 12 times.

The course I know. Now's it's up to me to believe in myself to make this happen. I don't expect to control the race.

As long as I control my thoughts and emotions, nothing will stop me from getting this PR.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Grocery Store Adventures

Call me naive.

Call me too trusting.

I can take it.

The other day I was cursing all the (almost 1 c. of) water that poured out all over the counters when I pulled out the veggies that I had bought at the grocery store.

That's when Mike said, "Y'know. They do that on purpose."

Me: "Do what?"

Mike: They spray the veggies so they weigh more when you check out. stunned way....why would they do that? Why would they want to possibly charge me more for eating healthy?

"Come on" sez I, "Next you'll be telling me that bags of chips have gotten smaller over the years."

Mike: I'm just telling you.....

Of course, this little conversation stays in my head all day. Since I go to the store every other day for veggies and fruit, I wondered if he could be telling the truth. If so, think about how much money I'm wasting.

I decided to test his theory.

Every day when I get veggies, as soon as I step up to get them, the sound of thunder plays and then the sprinkler system comes on....soaking not just the veggies, but my arm as well.

Today, I put two and two together.

What are the odds that every day at different times, I just so happen to arrive when the sprinklers are coming on? hmmmm.....not likely.

That's when it hit me. The sprinklers are on motion detectors!! As soon as I get close, they wet down the veggies, so the veggies weigh more!

Time to test my theory.

I go to the store. I check out the produce section.

I look left and right to make sure there are no other customers are around who might disrupt my experiment.

I stand 5 feet away from the leafy greens. I identify the one that I want to buy. I run up to the greens, I grab it....the thunder rolls, I back away fast....the rain comes down.

My arm is dry and so are my leafy greens.

I stand back 5 feet for about 5 seconds when the sprinklers turn off!


My theory has been proved correct!

I must retest it.

I walk over to the brocoli. I stand back. I run up, grab the brocoli and step back. Thunder starts and the rain comes down.

My arm is dry and so is the brocoli.

5 seconds later....the rain stops.

Why those nasty little buggers! I think to myself.

Now the true test...the cost savings.

I go up to the register. The items that I bought today were approximately the same size as the ones I bought on Monday. Therefore, they should weigh within a few ounces of Monday's veggies.

Monday's leafy greens weighed 1.5lbs.

Today, they weighed 1lb. Now, you don't have to be a statistician to understand that a half pound difference is WAY outside the bell curve.

AND in fact, my veggies were almost $2 cheaper.

Mike laughed at my little story, but all I know is that I'm $2 closer to buying my tri bike.