Sunday, April 15, 2012

So many things!

I have no better post title because there are just SO MANY THINGS that have taken place since I last posted.

Training wise,
  •  I took two weeks after LBL 50 to kinda recover and just give my mind and body a repreive from so much running. I enjoyed happy hours and a few late nights and some nachos (like, a whole plate of them to myself). Over all, it was refreshing and just really re-ignited the fire in me to train again.
  • I went into a 64 mile week after which I was in Orlando for part of the week (more on that in the "life" section later) and then last week did 72 and another 72 this week...but that was on only 6 days of running.
  • Yesterday I ran 25 miles, most on th Flying Pig marathon course (which is in just three weeks) in 3:13.40 and I nearly crippled my buddy, but not before he actually saved someone's life. No joke.
  • I ran a couple miles before I met him because he wanted to do 22 miles. I wanted to go across the Taylor Southgate bridge into OH, but he insisted on the Purple People Bridge. So, across we went. I was so excited to catch up and run with him that I was chatting and suddenly, he wasn't there beside me. I stopped, and he was running at a woman...straddling the railing of the bridge, crying hysterically, and on the phone, saying she just wanted to go. He held her hands, made sure she wouldn't really make the jump. She declined his requests to get down at first, but then, something he said clicked. I can't tell you what it was. I don't know. I was frozen. Another runner on the bridge was on his phone calling the police. She sat on a bench and he knealed, holding her hands in his and told her that this world needs her, until the police came. We found out she has a husband and two kids, but life just gets heavy sometimes. And when help arrived, he told her to never forget his name and she said thanks and we went on to run another 21+ miles.
  • Just a few days before that, i was out for a run in a neighborhood that's not the best. I passed a little girl and two little boys playing in a parking lot. The girl calls to me "is joggin' fun??" and i said "I like it!". All I could think about for the remainder of my run was how many different things i could have said to her. And whether running really is fun. (Because I wasn't exactly "jogging"...i was doing about 7:20 pace at the time I passed them). If it's not fun, why would I keep doing it? I just love it. Sometimes it's fun. Sometimes not. Hmm.
And in life, well,
  • I moved into a house. With a fenced in yard for my pups and two big bedrooms and more space than I have furniture for. It's pretty cool. Because I just needed a reprieve from the old memories that haunted my old place.
  • And shortly thereafter, I went to Orlando for work. Correction: I went to DISNEY for a lender conference for one of our customers. In case you didn't know, that place is fucking magical!! We got dinner and a private tour in Animal Kingdom. And time by the pool in 80 degrees :)
  • I got a new tattoo. And I didn't pass out (thank you, Rob) and afterward went to a Bell's Hopslam cask tapping. How much excitement can you fit in one night?!?
  • My little tiny Clubber got an infected hair follicle on her eye lid and I took her to the vet, only to discover she had a hernia. Which meant repair. ASAP. surgical repair. Ugh. Totally broke my heart, but she seems to be recovering quickly. She was such a trooper through all the vet visits.
  • And, in general, things are just good!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Land Between the Lakes 50

So….I did my first 50 miler on Saturday in Grand Rivers, KY at Land Between the Lakes. Actually, my first Ultra ever! And I was incredibly nervous. I knew I had put in the training, but life threw me a couple curve balls (like pneumonia and 12 hour work days) in the weeks prior so I was kinda scared.

I was standing at the start line with fellow Cincinnatian, David Riddle,who went on to set a new course record in 5:53, chatting it up and kinda asking advice. It was a four loop course, so he told me to do the first lap easier than an easy run, the second like an easy run, the third, start working and the fourth, race!

I went out SLOW! Partly because the single track trail was so crowded. There was also a 23k, a marathon and a 60k. It thinned out the second loop, so I picked it up (prob a little too much) to recover some ground. I had gels for the first two laps, 3 gels each loop. But I was just drinking water and by the time I was half way through the second loop, my fingers were swelling. I knew I needed salt but they didn’t have any except at the main drop-bag aid station. I started getting a little nauseous, so I just drank coke at every station and tried to shovel down some potato chips.

At the end of loop one, I was sitting in 6th or 7th place. At the end of the second, I had moved up to or 4th. I put in my ipod at the beginning of the 3rd loop, around mile 25 and struggled mentally for a few miles. Then, around mile 27.5, I caught another girl. Then about a mile later, I caught another who told me the defending champ was just ahead. I caught and passed her. And I never looked back. She had been walking and the girl behind her told me she’d gone out too fast so she wasn’t going to be a threat. I got s-caps starting the 4th loop… and was still smiling and laughing, making comments as I passed people. I did, however hit a point around mile 37 when I saw three men ahead of me and I was ready to pass them, but I was low on sugar, anxiously awaiting the next aid station for some coke. And BAM! I went down, hard!! The guy directly ahead heard me and turned around and asked if I was ok and I moaned and told him to go on. It hurt so bad and I was bleeding from my hand and knee. I just had to sit there for a minute. But I got up and went on to pass them all quickly. One foot in front of the other.

After exiting the trail the fourth time, they sent us out on this CRUEL out and back (about a mile each way) that was a huge hill on the road. The advantage was that I could see whether there was anyone on my tail. And then they sent us back into downtown Grand Rivers to finish. I found it hurt more to walk or stop, so I just kept running.

I finished first female in 8:11.20. Only 9 men beat me. I’m still in disbelief, really. What an incredible experience! I can't wait to go do another! But i have some recovery to accomplish first.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

untitled was going really great. I was doing 70 mile weeks very comfortably, including hill work and long runs. and then i got up to 80 miles in a week. I did back to back 20 milers. I did a 25 mile run at 7:46 pace.

And then, i got bronchitis....with a touch of pneumonia....and I'm on  a z-pack. and i'm on the mend. But this illness and the time off and the stress inducing causation of it all has really made me take a step back and appreciate the health i do have.

I've gotten mixed reviews on what I share about my personal life on here. And, honestly, that's part of the reason I quit sharing altogether.But, you know what, this is for me...not so much for you, though I do love your support. And i promise I'll talk about training more and I'll post more. but tonight, I just have to share what I've learned through heartache and pain and training and growing into myself....

I wrote this list back in 2006, when a friend asked if I'd learned anything through ,my marriage and subsequent divorce....And we had gone to san Francisco while shit was going down and ironically, I'm going back this week, and going through another transitional phase in which i need a reminder of these things, so, here's what I came up with then..

You asked me what I learned...

that you can love someone without being in love with them.
that it isn't the institution of marriage that is flawed, but the relationship.
that if what i had with him is the greatest thing i will have with someone else, i'd rather be alone.
that love is true and total acceptance.
that consistently putting your friends above your spouse is simply not realizing your spouse is your best friend.
that co-dependency is not love.
that you have to love you to love someone else. If that someone else doesn't allow you to love yourself, they can't be the person for you.
that everything happens for a reason.
that love sees beauty no matter what your clothes, hair, makeup, jewelry...
that once trust is broken, it might never be restored.
that love doesn't force you to unwillingly sacrifice things you love.
that i am okay...good even...maybe great, even if not great for him.
that everyone needs someone (or lots of someones) besides their spouse.
that you should never feel guilty for doing the things you love to do, even if the other person doesn't particularly enjoy those things themself.
that you never HAVE to stop learning about the other.
that sometimes, when you are sad, you don't even realize it because you haven't been happy in so long.
that it is far easier to forgive than to forget.
that sometimes, you should just be grateful.
that you shouldn't have to be afraid of your next wrong-doing.
that time together won't ALWAYS be fun, but it should be some of the time.
that it's okay to admit defeat.
that i don't need acceptance, approval or attention from any man to be acceptable.
that sometimes, you have to give yourself that hug you want so badly.
that you should never give up hope for that right person, but know that it will be fine if you never actually find them.
that independence is liberating.
that time and effort don't always equal success.
that you will know when you've had enough.
that jealousy, control, harassment are not emotions wrought of love.
that you shouldn't say/do things you regret or apologize for in the morning.
that sometimes, it's okay to get drunk and make an ass of yourself, but....
that it isn't okay to do so on a consistent basis.
that you really should never go to bed angry.
that you shouldn't have to cry yourself to sleep when the person that says they love you more than anything is lying right next to you.
that i am strong, i am likeable, i am funny (sometimes), i am beautiful, i am smart, and i can do so many thing that someone else may not be able to. i am me.
that i am amanda, not just so-and-so's friend/girlfriend/fiance/wife.
that you should always follow your instincts.
that doubt is a good indicator.
that someone who doesn't appreciate your time, doesn't deserve your time.
that communication is a major factor in any relationship.
that tough times call for tough measures.
that something in life will show you who your true friends are...and that you are lucky/blessed to have even two true friends in life.
that you shouldn't feel as though your opinion doesn't matter.
that you don't always get your way, but you shouldn't always let them have their way- compromise is key!!!
that if your friends and family don't like him, there is probably a reason.
that being denied too many times will lead to never asking for that same thing again.
that deprivation of even one elemental thing is completely destructive.
that oftentimes the right thing to do is the hardest thing to do.
that everything will be okay in the end. if it's not okay, it's not yet the end

Monday, October 10, 2011

The 100 Mile Challenge

This year was an incredible year of training and racing. I learned a lot. And, honestly, I've had a blast learning how to swim and ride these last few years...but there are so many other things I want to do. I had a new PR at IM this year, but I'm ready for a new challenge. This year, I'm going to do some ultras.

After pacing Chuck for Mohican 100, I knew it was something I had to try it. The depths to which one has to dig is unprecedented. The plan is to finish Tecumseh Trail marathon in December, again. And then a 50 in the spring and a 100 next fall.

I know I can do Ironman, but I'm not sure I can run 100 miles.

And after my amazing boyfriend, Marc, did Vermont 50 (in 7 hours 57 minutes)last month, there has been some chatter. After a few too many beers last night, I challened him to a 100 mile run, claiming I can beat here goes...the start of a new endurance adventure..Let the games begin!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

8 Seconds

No, I'm not talking about that bull riding movie with Luke Perry. I'm talking about how many seconds over 11 hours it took me to complete IMKY.  That eight seconds is kinda haunting me.

But let's start from the beginning...

Typical race morning: have some coffee, be sure to poo, eat some food, pump tires and check bags in transition. It all happened. Then to the swim line, where my mom, dad, and Marc all found did some teammates, Val, Cathie, Charlie, Pater and Amy (who was also racing). It was great to have such support so early in the game.

I will say that I was most concerned about my swim time not meeting expectations. I told Marc to not panic if I came out at 1:10 because I was expected to go about 1:05. Just before we were sent off, there was a "medical emergency" and we were stalled on the dock for close to 10 mins. And then they let us go!

I jumped in and just swam. I tried to stay long and I just focused on passing as many people as possible. Obviously, with the huge time lag, there was quite a gap between our group and the people ahead. I gat swam over right at the start but other than that, I just thought about my stroke, how my kick can help some and following through, just like at masters practice. I didn't feel particularly great, so I thought for sure I was going to come in around 1:15 again since it's not wetsuit legal. To my shock and awe, I hit the steps, looked at my watch and saw 1:02 something. wtf? I took 13 mins off my swim time. Yikes. Hooray! official Swim time 1:02.59. Holy crap, and thanks Aaron and the boys at masters.

T1 was uneventful except for the fact that I had no volunteer. I just took off my swim suit, grabbed my tri suit and peed the longest biggest pee of the day :) time 5:32

And onto the bike...and that's where the trouble began. Leading into IMKY, I was feeling good on the bike. I borrowed wheels from a buddy and he told me to get new tires, particularly the back one. Well, I picked up a tire and replaced the back one. I rode it down to transition on Saturday with now problem. Out of T1, different story. The tire was rubbing my frame. Every pedal stroke was a struggle. I pulled to the side right out of transition and tried to pull it away from the frame...and got back on...but every stroke, there was one little portion of the tire rubbing and it sounded GOD AWFUL!! Some girl looked at me and said "that's really loud". No kidding?!! I saw Marc and stopped, I was beginning to panic. Some guy tried to tell me to go back and have the mechanics look at it. Another tried to help, but then said something about not helping. So he just talked me through it...pull the wheel away from the frame, lock it down tight. It's not fully in, but it's fine. After about 4 mins (and the 2 I spent prior to that), some tears, a few curse words, I was back on the bike. Marc just yelled that I didn't lose too much time and to just settle in, which is what I knew I had to do.

I felt good after that, a little worried, but just riding. Then came the first climb...and I down shifted and the rubbing started again! DAMMIT. So, I got to the top, pulled to the side, re-adjusted, again, and went on my way. All in all, I think I probably lost close to 10 mins total. But I try to keep in mind that no race is ever going to go perfectly. I just rode. And then I lost my bottle of G2 and my water was out. I was just praying for the next aid station. I had some lonely moments out there for sure. There were times I thought about the training it took to get there and I may have shed a few tears (I'm super sentimental). And there were some dark points. But just as they'd hit, I would see a teammate or Marc or someone yelling my name and I came back to life. In fact, apparently, I smiled.

I won't lie, I was glad to see that 100 mile marker. My hooha was hurting and I wanted to run. I  was a little nauseas and i thought my fingers were swelling so I was trying to take in the gatorade perform. But I'd never tried it in training. Um, MISTAKE #1. Official time 5:46.51

Anyway, into T2. Amazing volunteer. I was a little out of it. But she helped so so much. I just grabbed shot bloks and my shoes, wiped my face on a towel and went out the tent. time: 5:30.

The run. Oh...the run. Eddy had told me not to go out too fast. I feeling awful, but I didn't want anyone to know. I knew they were already concerned about my times. I had talked with Eddy the day before about my goals. I have been running really strong this year and I knew a 3:45 wasn't out of the question. But he wanted me to keep even pacing and go go go if I felt string at mile 21. Let's just say my first mile was 7:38, but I felt like I was crawling. And I walked on the bridge and knew then it was going to be a long day. I couldn't even think about taking in food. My stomach was full and revolting. By the third aid station, I couldn't even walk straight. The volunteers were asking if I was ok. So, I put my sunglasses down so they couldn't see my eyes and went off running. Aid station #4, I hit the port-a-potty for a few mins. Let me just say that on a hot day, when you come out of a port-a-potty, it feels like you're walking into antarctica. OK, anyway...until mile 9, I couldn't take in anything but a swig of coke or some water. Then, finally a gel and I swear, I ressurected from the dead!! I found that taking calories every 3rd aid station would be my plan. Then that plan failed me as I made the roundabout through town and once again felt awful.

Bryan ran with me, asked how I felt, talked me through it. I told him I would come back around. I was nauseous and my back was killing me. Once I concentrated on my form, I was ok. Seeing double digit mile markers was amazing!! Particularly mile 16. Not sure why. But I knew I was on my way home. When I passed mile 18, I heard some lady going the other way say she had less than 5 miles. and I almost cried. At mile 20, I knew I only had a 10k left, so I just figured, the quicker I go, the quicker the pain is over. I had been doing this "run til the aid station and then walk through it" pattern.And I kept that up through the remainder of the race. Those last few miles HURT. With a mile and a half to go, I just went. I think I had fire in my eyes. I knew it was going to be so so so close to break 11 hours. I finished the run in 3:59.16.

Total time: 11:00.08. Eight freaking seconds.

Good enough for 6th in my age group. And there were 4 kona spots, all claimed before roll down.

Oh, well, maybe next time.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

There and Back Again

So, there is a reason I haven't posted in a while. It's called IM training and 40+ hour work weeks and firewalls in the cubicles....leaves me way too tired for blogging. Hell, some days, I'm too tired for even sleep. I'm just tired! But I'm getting it in! But sometimes, I'm getting it iin with attitude. And whining. And crying.

Today was a scheduled four hour ride. And I was meeting my buddy, Pater, for some time in the saddle. We started out at 8:30am...oh, wait, he was 10 mins late. And I was, as stated above, not in the greatest of all moods (in his words, "a raging bitch"). We didn't really have a course planned, so we decided on a whim to go out to KY and up toward the airport, which meant lots of climbing...

And my legs were screaming on a run yesterday! I mean, Marc and I went out for this 6 mile run yesterday ay 11:45 (and let me just preface this with saying that it's been BLAZIN' hot here in the 'Nati...we had our 11th day of 90+ degrees for the month!! compared to the 7 we had all summer last year) and after a mile and the two miles and then three and again at 4, I stopped to cry because my legs HURT. SO. BAD. I didn't want to move!!

So, let's just say I didn't have great hopes for today's ride. And all this makes me uber grumpy. Pater made some comment about my chin strp on my helmet, after making a comment about standing and climbing and I'd already had it and went a little nuts, telling him to shut the fuck up...and rode on. I gathered my bearings and my sanity as we rode. And before I knew it, we were at the top of the hill, about 1:20 in...and stopped for more fluids.

We figured we had about an hour to roll around up top before heading back down toward the river. So, we went out and rolled. And baked. And sweat our asses off. We stopped after about an hour, far from where we'd come up...and I had ridden this area before, but not in about 2 years...and I ALWAYS get myself turned around out there, but when we stopped and Pater check GPS, I glanced, saw the river on the map to our left, told him we needed to go left. We went down, down, down..winding, and up and down, and up and down..and wound round and round. We stopped again, I checked my GPS...thought I knew where we were...and then, as we came to this construction section o the road where we were stopped for several minutes, realized we were headed toward Petersburg. WHERE THE FUCK IS PETERSBURG????

We were in dire need of fluids, so it didn't really matter. We rode, DOWN to get there. And found a store, where we spoke to the clerk and he let us know we were about 20 miles from where we wanted to be, and that it was pretty much all uphill. hahaha.

Did I mention that where I wanted to turn left, Pater had wanted to turn right? But I had won? Oops :)

We grabbed some snacks, some fluids, and a toilet. (notice the puddle under Pater's chair. That would be sweat...that is dripping from his shorts?)

Oh, and did I mention that just as we rolled into Petersburg that the thunder started rumbling?? hahaha...

I expected Pater to HATE me. Luckily, he's more patient than I. And he didn't get upset at me. We just rode the loooooong long way up the hill and into town. I mean, who doesn't need a little extra smileage? :)

Stay tuned for what's been happening the last few weeks, including races, wins, achy legs and lotsa lotsa training updates.

Monday, June 13, 2011


It's been a stressful week or so...lots on the plate. So, tonight, despite having a plan of meeting up for a dinner party with some tri friends, i'm unplugging. I have turned off the phone, the TV, music...I picked up a book and I'm catching up on blogs.

I had a pretty successful weekend. Saturday morning was a local 5k. I have not raced a 5k on the road in quite some time. But the owner of Bishop's Bicycles (for whom I ride) wanted us to come out and represent in Milford. I pre-registered. And let me tell you, had I not, I'm pretty sure I would've slept in. After a night of hoppy brews and chicken nachos, I awoke to pouring rain!

Luckily, it let up just before the race and led to nearly perfect conditions, except for some screaming humidity. I lined up after a couple mile warm-up with some svelte girls who looked a little serious and at the sound of the gun, I took off. I kept it under control and clicked away the first mile in 6:16. That's when the girl I was running with dropped back. I knew my second mile was slower (6:30) and I tried to pick it up again the last mile, but it was much like doing track work alone...there was no one around. Last mile was 6:26. Total time of 19:49 and good enough for the win.

This race was to benefit St Vincent dePaul, so there were all kinds of goodies being raffled away at the end. I took home my trophy, 4 vouchers for free DQ cones AND I won a $50 gift card to Applebee's. Not a bad return on a $15 race entry.

I had a long run on the schedule for that day, so when I got home and walked the dogs, I went back out for another 10 miles. 7:40 pace. Legs were feeling good, but it was sweltering by noon...

Sunday morning was Ride Cincinnati!! It's a ride to raise money for breast cancer research. Amazingly, they raised over $1million. Quite a few from our team were out there and we all stayed together until the turn around at mile 31 and then we kinda split up on the way back into town. I got to catch up with friends and gain some new ones...and I got in 62 miles before 10am. Not a bad way to start the day. (i;m the short one in the middle acting goofy. go figure)

Today was back to work...and work is getting a little crazy. Nearing end of quarter. And I've been battling some things, mentally, with training and family and relationships. And I've had my fair share of run-ins with being ill already this season, so I'm taking care of me, trying to reduce the stress level that makes me feel on pins and needles with a million little obligations or hurtful words or critical remarks. Because I want to be well and I want to do well. I have goals for the season and if I allow others' wants and needs come before mine, I'm losing sight. And sometimes, maybe I do that as a means of distraction from accomplishment?

"Each time I follow my deepest desires, fear is there wringing her hands, cautioning me with her litanies of what-ifs. I do not try to counter with reasonable arguments about acceptable risks. I no longer try to shame myself into action with admonishments to stop being the wimp, nor do i pretend to be unafraid. I simply move in the direction I have chosen to go, taking care to do the things I know will help me keep the fear at a level that allows me to continue to feel it and yet still keep moving. I put myself to bed early, eat well, sit with friends, take long walks by the lake. I have learned that doing things the hardest way provides no currency to be traded for greater future rewards."  - Oriah