Monday, March 29, 2010

Ramblings from a Forgotten Athlete

Have you ever had to wait for something?

I've been waiting for something since Nov. I'm finally getting down to the deadline. It's one of those things that defines your direction once it's done.

With that one little itty bitty thing at the back of my mind, I've been thinking about the upcoming years from an athletic perspective.

Work has been so busy lately that when I get home or when I'm running....that's what I'm doing. I need to set work aside for a little while.

Have I completely lost you yet?

Besides work and this little itty bitty thing, there is also my family. Well, the boys are older now. In a couple of years, Jordan leaves for college. Next fall, Justin starts high school. when your kids get older.

Where does this leave me?

It leaves me with potential training time.


This year, I'm not doing any tri's. Taking the year off. You can see my "racing" schedule on the right hand side if you're so inclined.

I've been giving serious thought to doing another (full) Ironman. Not this year, not next fact, I don't have a clue when....

In the meantime, I've been giving serious thought to this in 2011.

There are a few things that need to fall into place for me to really commit to the race. First of all, I would like to continue seeing my run times improve. Second, I'd really like to get a new bike. I've put as many upgrades as I possibly can into the one I have. I love my bike. Sometimes you just find yourself at a point where you want to make the jump.

The positives of doing the race...I can ride the course every single weekend....if I so choose. The timing is perfect. August is hot, but the training is during the best months of the year (for me).

The strangest thing is that I miss the training.

I really really miss those long training sessions. They cannot be duplicated when there is no race.

And that's a GOOD thing. For awhile, I didn't think that I would ever ever ever want to do Ironman again. I didn't even want to think about it. Sure, encourage others, cheer everyone else on.

I've done my dance with the devil. Yes siree...I'm not going down that road again.

But time passes and things change and

I just miss it. that's all.

Things are different now. I would even say that things are better now.

So maybe next year, I'll venture out to IM Boulder and see how I feel. Then figure out where I want to go, what I want to do, and who I want to be.

Knowing what I know about training for Ironman and the time committments and sacrifices that need to be made....I want to do it again.

However, this adventure is only for the truly committed because although I say it here that I want to do it could be another 5 or 6 years down the road.

Until that time.....

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Runnin of the Green Race Report

Open water swimming is a contact sport.

Apparently, so is running, Runnin' o' the Green.

Here's your all important history lesson. The last time I ran this race was in 2006. It's ALWAYS cold. The course is difficult. It was never crowded.

That was then. This is now. This race (a 7k btw which is about 4.34 miles) used to be running only. Now, it's open to walkers AND they have a 2.2 mile walk.

That means that it's no longer a little race. WOAH. Registration winds for blocks. At 20 minutes until race start, the RD makes the announcement that althought they are thrilled that so many people came out, they are now at capacity and everyone standing in line (several HUNDRED people) will not be able to race.

Next....this race is always COLD. Yesterday it was 60 in Denver. At the start of the race, it was 90% humidity, 20 degrees with a wind that would just take your breath away. We were expected snow, but it didn't show up until I was driving home.

I trained for this race. My goal which might seem conservative or crazy or just plain weird to some was simple. I wanted to beat my time in the 4 mile race that I did in Nov.

The secondary mission was to set my pacing plan for my half marathon training. As you all know, my BIG goal of the year is a half marathon PR which happened 7 years sea the age of 35.

But I digress.

People started lining up early....mostly to keep warm. We tried to follow the fine example of the Penguins (as in March of, not 'ockey). Everyone had to take their turn on the outside of the circle to warm the people on the inside.

When on the inside, I found 3 other women. We started talking and sharing goal times. It just so happened that we all had very similar goals. One woman was from Florida. She had just moved here. We decided to pace each other. She was probably in her early twenties, so I made sure that she understood to keep going if I fell off the pace.

When the gun went off, it took us about 5 minutes to get to the start. With all the bustling, I lost my new found friend. Then, I saw her camelback. My goal was to keep her in my sights.

Lemme say one thing....I've never run such a crowded race before. It never calmed down. There was never a time where I felt that I could just bust a move. The downhills were particularly frustrating because (as you know) I am training for a trail race and have learned how to take the hills pretty fast.

That was the frustration, but the good was that maybe it forced me to slow down in the beginning and hit a negative split on the return. At one point, I had to stop completely and walk for about two minutes. I couldn't get around the guy with the stroller, the lady with the 3 dogs, the three little girls and mom running holding hands (how freaking adorable).

Still, I was having a good time. I knew my face was completely windburn, and my green beads kept hitting me in the face. But what better way to spend a Sunday morning.

That's when I realized that I had lost my little friends. I figured that they are probably so far ahead of me (with getting stopped and all) that I was just going to try to re-gain my lost time and try to hit my goal.

As I round mile 3, I notice the camelback! She is only about 20 feet in front of me all the way over to the left. I was feeling really good (tired, panting, cold, sore, but good). I decided to push it and see if I could pass her.

A few minutes later, she pulled up along side me and said, "I can't believe you just blew past me. You think I'm ok with that?"

I started laughing....but I think it came out like some kind of grunt at this point. We round the 2nd to last corner. We round the last corner. She says "Kick it!"

I responded....






With 30m to go, I realized that there was a WALL of people right at the finish. I look at my garmin which already read 4.6 miles but I'm beating my pace. I'm not going to run all this way only to not make my time because of a line.

Camelback turns to me and asks "Is that a wall of people?"


I respond.

We are running. She's running. I'm sprinting to keep up with her. With the wall right in front of us, we both see a tiny itty bitty opening. We make a mad dash for the opening and slam our feet down onto the timing mat and exactly the same time.


I didn't see camelback after that.

The flood of people engulfed us and I saw her being pulled off to the left.

With the storm overhead and the buildings of downtown Denver as a backdrop, my garmin wasn't accurately reporting distance, time, or pace. Official results aren't in yet.

I'm SURE I beat my goal time. I'm sure of it. But I don't know yet.

I made my way over to the water station and got my t-shirt. My beads were wrapped around my neck like some sort of choker, and now that I had stopped running....I realized how truly cold it was.

I head toward my car and looked up at the sky just in time to see the first snowflakes falling.

Friday, March 5, 2010

It's like this

When I don't blog for awhile, I have all these unwritten blogs floating around in my head just dying to get out.

They just never make it there. Weeks go by, and I have to try to figure out what interesting little tidbits I can pull from those lengthy unwritten blog posts.

In a way, I present to you THE BEST OF THE BEST. If it doesn't live up to your expectations, well....I am SUPER sorry about that.

Work, work, work. We had a meeting last week to try to adjust our plans for the year. We have been so busy. In some ways, I feel out of control. It's hard to get to the gym. It's hard to find time for anything else. We are re-adjusting our hiring plans and possibly moving up some other plans that we had in place for the next 2 years.

Let's just say we're doing our part to get the economy rolling.

We had to do it without a bailout.

Don't get me started on banks.

Let's see a corporation do that.

Because of the above, we are trying to get a vacation scheduled. Trying isn't the right word. We're comparing schedules yadda yadda and are going to get it booked.

I couldn't be happier.

All work and no play makes Tea a dull girl.

Training while healthy
I have a race on 3/14. I am SO excited for this race. It's a 7k. I've really trained hard for this race. I don't expect to PR, but I am hoping to beat my 4 mile time from Nov. I don't think I've ever really trained for a short race. I done hill repeats, speedwork, tempo runs, long runs, recovery runs. I feel great.

if not a little nervous. I am going to give it everything I have!

After the 7k, I have a number of races starting the end of April. In May I have Greenland followed by my first half marathon of the year.

Training while sick
Unfortunately two weeks ago, I got the cold that was running through the house. Due to lack of sleep, the cold stretched into over two weeks. I'm just about over it now.

But there were a few days (4) that I was completely wiped out and even walking was difficult. No swimming, no cycling, no running. I tried to keep up some fitness by walking but mostly I just skipped workouts.

This week I was back to running and am still amazed at how sore I am from the time off. At the same time, I physically feel really good. The forced rest was really good.

I get so tired of people who do or say thing for the sake of image.


I have no patience for wussies.


Sometimes I am rather wussy.


We took the doggies in for their annual check up. Our stupid-big German Shepherd (Brinks) is probably going to live until he's 20. (He's 6 now).

Our Crazy Bitch....well....she's not long for this life. (She's 4 or 5). Some of you might remember when we adopted her. She was on deathrow as she'd been given up by 3 previous owners. She was malnourished, abused, neglected, dog aggressive and was scared to death of men. This will be our 3rd year with her. She still cries in her sleep, but it's happening less often. She's no longer afraid of men. She's no longer afraid of sprinklers or hoses or haribrushes. She's still dog aggressive, but she's no longer destructive and goes outside to use the bathroom. I doubt she'll ever learn any commands, but she did learn sit and shake. So, maybe one day she WILL learn stay or place, or down. And, she no longer buries my swim caps and goggles. She's come a long long way. She's so happy now. She's not the smartest dog, but she really does try. Besides, she's the cutest thing ever.

Her tests didn't come back good. She has problems with her pancreas and her kidneys are starting to fail. Medications will help and a special diet will help. I just hope she's not in alot of pain. She's such a good girl.

It's hard when you adopt a dog that experienced such a life. Even though she might not live to even 8 years old, I sure hope she is happy and that whatever life she has left wipes out those bad memories.

I guess that covers the last month or so.

Hope you all have been well. I really enjoy reading your blogs. I just don't always respond.