Friday, July 31, 2009

Each day a new adventure

Thursday morning swim practice - I'm convinced Coach Aaron wanted to see me drown. After warm-up of 16x50 on :50 where each 4th was non-free, came the main set. Each lane was given an different number of intervals based on the time given. I wanted to be in the 10x150 on 2:15 lane. Aaron moved me to 11x150 on 2:05. That's a 1:23 pace if you assume no rest. That's about what I can hold for 100s. With 5-10 secs rest. Not on this kind of set. After the 6th, we were to get an extra min rest and go on to the remaining five.

I made the first two just fine. The third? A little weak. The 4th? Aaron had me sit for 50 and work back in. Meanwhile, he allowed one guy in our lane drop down to the next slower lane...and let another from the fastest lane drop down to ours. After six and the rest, I made the next two easily...then started to drop off a bit, but only by 5 seconds or so. I felt better on #9 than i had on #4. Aaron did ask at one point if I was doing ok and I just said "um, yeah, i'm just slow..." His response? "Good. You're takin' one on the chin. It's good. Now GO!"

yeah, yeah... I'm going.

After work, I had a two hour brick where I was to push the intensity. Just a short ride - 90 mins and then a z4 run. So, I put on my run shorts that have a spandex short liner and sports bra and took off on my bike. I actually thought about the fact that I no longer had c02 cartridges because I'd given them all to Tom on Sunday, but I'd not had a flat all summer. What are the odds I'd get one on a 30 mile ride now??

Apparently, pretty good. Nearly to my turn around point, I stop at a light and when I start to go again realize I've got no air in my back tire. SERIOUSLY?!? I take my bike off the side of the road and just laugh. And I start making phone calls.

Dad is on his way to IL.
Step-mom is visiting a long lost cousin or something, but willing to come out after running some errands.
Mom is in IL.
Tom won't answer.
Barbie is out in NM somewhere.
It's Judi's birthday. No way am I going to call and bother her.
Rob picks up. He's breathing heavy. He's leaving the gym on the west side to come help me on the east side. I tell him I'll call if I happen to cross any cyclists...

Lo and behold...just then, a guy and a kid on a tandem and another rider come cruising by, ask if I need help. I request air. And they had some! I must've looked like a total novice in my run shorts and bra, not even having taken my wheel off (I figured it wouldn't be gettin' any lovin' anyway). We started chatting as the one guy tookover and just started the repair. Found a large shard of glass in my tire.

They wanted to know whether I'm a triathlete or duathlete. "Tri", I said. They asked where I swim. I told them. They ask whether Aaron is the coach. I raved about how great a coach he is and how they should try swimming out there... That's when the one guy looked at me and pointed at the other guy and said "He's the coach out at Xavier".

Um, yeah. I don't know how competitive coaches are, but I still felt like a total douche.

Soon enough and I was back on the road and headed home as these ominous clouds were rolling in and the wing picked up. My total down time was probably 15 mins.

Once home, I slipped on my Zoots and took off on my run. And my legs felt GREAT!!! And I ran smooth the whole time. Nice easy, quick turnover. And the heavens opened up that last quarter mile of my run, cooling me off nicely.

This morning was an easy 90 min run. I called the weatherline at 5:30am. 67 degrees. 89% humidity. Gross. But it felt good. And before I knew it, it was over....and I had to go to work :(

Big weekend coming up. Tomorrow is the 3-on-3 race and then I'm helping out the local cycling club at my very first crit (just watching, not racing). Sunday morning is when I'm doing the bike leg as a relay at a local tri...before my actual training workout.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Good stuff!

So, there have been some new developments since Sunday...

Training related, Tuesday morning in the pool was kinda brutal. It was distance work, which only means we'll have sprint work tomorrow. We did do 3200 in the hour though and that's difficult with a group of our size. Plus, we got to use paddles!!! But we had to kick :( I still suck.

Then Tuesday night, I went to the Cleves time trial after a week away. I was kinda missing it. I had debated whether or not to go, thought maybe i'd just ride on my own...but Coach put a 35 min TT on my schedule, so maybe he know I'd go anyway? So, I went.

And after a warm-up lap with super speedy Ryan....

I PR'd!! Only by 5 seconds, but still. It was like 22.4mph, which is fast for me. Especially with the wind that beating us. Especially with having ridden so long just two days before. And especially having gone in with no expectations.

And afterward, I was talked into letting loose my "adult" tendencies and joining the group to a little place after. And, admittedly, it was fun. Almost more fun than the actual TT.

And I woke up this morning and went for an easy 3 miles to loosen the legs a bit. (I almost always do this after the TT, even though not prescribed by coach.) I discovered I much prefer running in the rain as opposed to walking in it (as in, I walked Clubber just moments before my run).

And this is how wet and goofy I was after that run...

And then, to procrastinate work a bit, I checked email and FB and all...and Coach had sent an email to all of us that he trains (there are 5 of us - 2 female, 3 male. The other chick is SUPER fast). We're doing a team Oly tri on Sat. 3 on 3. Our team is made of Coach, me (the weakest cyclist) and the weakest runner... the other team is made up of the other female, who swam for Ohio State and who avgs over 22mps for 56 miles and the two guys that are slow swimmers but strong on the bike and run. Teams seem to be pretty even. Coach wouldn't present the opportunity if it weren't a challenge on us all. The rules: Swim is on your own. You must finish the bike together and the run is on your own. First team to have all three cross the line, wins.

Should be fun!

And then work for a few hours and....

Off for my bike fit! And i got a new Cervelo P2 today!!! I'm so excited. Race wheels are being ordered tomorrow. HA!!!

But, seriously, some things were discovered during that fit. My right leg is nice and smooth, left leg? not so much, but more power. And my right hip sits higher. One legged drills. Ugh.

Anyway, I got my bike!!

And then after work, I had an interval run. Legs felt VERY heavy after that fit earlier and not having a cool down, just lactic acid sitting in my quads. Regardless, it had rained off and on all day so it was humid. And this is how I looked after that. Pretty similar to the rainy run earlier in the day!

And, now, it's time for some compression tights and bed!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bloody feet, flat tires and sunburn

I don't do so well with idle time...and that's how the bloody feet come into play, but first, let's re-cap the last few days...

Thursday evening cleared up quite nicely for my ride. It was humid and I was tired, but all in all, good stuff.

Friday morning, I got up and went for a run first thing in the morning. I don't drink coffee every day, but this was one of those days when i needed I put the coffee on to brew while I was out running. This is me pre-run and coffee...

And this is me post-run, coffee in hand...You get the picture.

Anyway, no training Friday night. YAY!!! So, I did some cleaning. Actually, I was looking for my passport. And that required some arrangement of my spare bedroom (aka the room where all my shit is packed away and thrown around - cool weather clothes, excess shoes, trainer, paper work, art work, etc). Anyway, I never found it, and called it an early night so I could get up early for training.

Saturday mornings at Caesar Creek are always an adventure. This time, I nearly died trying to get there. The rain started coming down as soon as I got on the expressway. Being that it's an hour away, I thought maybe I'd get lucky and it wouldn't be a monsoon up there. I sent coach a text. He replied with something either A) smartassed or B) ignorant. I couldn't tell which. regardless, I got the idea it wasn't raining there. But, I was wrong.

After much debate about what to do, Coach and I swam HARD in the lake for an hour while the other boys went out for a ride with the idea that we'd all reconvene in about 90 mins. 95 mins later...boys nowhere in sight and rain coming down a bit harder. Coach had lots of miles to get in, but I only had 30, so I headed out on my own. And it was kinda fun. But cold. Only 64 degrees and wet. I was glad to put on sweats and head home.

It was rainy all afternoon, so I watched a couple movies, did some painting, made some phone calls and just wished Sunday would come sooner than later. I was looking forward to the big training day!!

Sunday morning and I hit the snooze a few times. Hadn't packed any bags or food the night before and needed to leave my place by 6:30. So, I got up and somehow, I had like 15 mins to spare. This is where the idle time proves not good...right before a training session.

I decided I could cut my toenails.

But, I couldn't find my clippers. Idid, however, come across my callous remover, which is basically a shielded razor. I was very careful on my first foot, knowing my feet were dry and susceptible to having the blade dig too deep. Then came foot number two. And I guess I got a little careless. The first swing and....oops! A little too deep. I pull the razor out and immediately moved down the foot. Swipe...ouch. A little too deep again. Crap. Now, blood is dripping everywhere. I try to wrap it in tissues and found some band-aids and headed to Tom's. By the time I got there, this is how it looked.

So, we wrapped it in duct tape and made the drive down to Louisville to ride the IMKY course.

And that's when the fun began. Not 10 mins in, and i looked Tom. So, I looped back and he's on the side of the road fixing a flat. Ok, at leat we were getting it done early, right??

Then we get out on the course and about an hour in and again, I looked Tom. WTF? I looped back again. He's got a slow leak in his front tire, says he's gonna head back because he doesn't have another innertube. Now, I have another innertube, but he doesn't want to take that. And I also have 3 CO2 cartridges...which he will take advantage of. YES!!! I wasn't wanting to ride alone, so he used half a cartridge and we were on our way...again.

We stopped a little over three hours in for more water at a Marathon station. There were mass riders out on the course all day long. Tom got mostly water. I treated myself to a Diet Mt. Dew (for the sodium and caffeine mostly because I was sweating like a banchee).
We left there with about 35 miles to town... and that 35 miles took us 2 hours!!! Partly because of the headwind and partly because we had to stop THREE times!

That slow leak got gradually faster. Finally, I just told him to take my innertube. I had one CO2 cartridge left and we were about 20 miles out. So, I pull my innertube out to give to him...and guess what? I had another in my bag. Ha. So, we could've just changed his tired out long before and not had to stop so much, but well, ya know.

We finally made it back to the truck and were headed out for a run. I changed shorts (because i did practice my peeing on the bike) and pulled on my Zoots and he starts looking around...forgot his shoes! I was feeling weak from the heat and fighting the wind and pulling much of the time, so I headed out alone and left him to load up the bikes.

I was so glad to get back and stretch and pour water all over myself before getting a big ass sub at Jimmy John's and driving back home. ANd that's when the pain started to set into my foot. I peeled off the duct tape and band-aids, which the blood had soaked through...and found this.

And when I got home, I poured alcohol on it because the last thing I want is an infected toe and not being able to do anything...and I nearly convulsed in pain. Ha ha... I'm really not stupid, I just do stupid things sometimes.
Despite the technical difficulties of the day, I had so much fun riding with Tom and catching up and talking about like, bitching about work, laughing about irony...
And now that I'm showered and fed (again), I'm going to bed. Sweet dreams!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bring on the lactic acid!

Ok, so after spending the majority of Tuesday in the car, I was a little stiff. And having trained some on Monday, I didn't mind taking the whole day off...but that made my tempo run on Wednesday a little painful.

I woke up to rain on Wednesday and decided to wait until after work to run thinking it may clear up. No luck. A long day at work and it was STILL raining outside. Usually, this is my favorite weather to run in - 65 and wet. Not today. I opted for the dreadmill at Urban. Yeah, seriously.

Started out with an easy 10 mins and then to the 30 mins in z4. Shit, dude. Doesn't he know I just raced?? I set it on 7:30 pace and while my HR wasn't in z4, my legs couldn't really move any faster. My quads were heavy and my hip flexors tight. I caught a couple glimpses of real focus, where I could hunker down and feel weightless and speedy, but most of it was just concentrating on the music pumping through on my iPod.

Then, on to ab work and some light weights...and stretching. YAY!

By the time I made the five min trek home, I thought I might start gnawing on my arm. I was so hungry!! So ate me some grub and as I walked the pup at 7:30, knew I wouldn't make it more than another hour before sleep kidnapped me.

And good thing! I got up for masters practice this morning and after 1200 warm-up (consisting of 4x{75drill, 75 build swim}), we did 4x100 all out. I went 1:16, 1:18 (totally flubbed a turn), 1:17, 1:17. And then to "work out the lactic acid" we did 10x50 cruise with fins on :50. No problem. Then 4x50 swim on the same interval. Still plenty of rest, but the arms were feeling jello-y by the time Coach called for cool-down.

Another long day in the office. And it's still raining. And I have a ride tonight that I SO do not want to do on the trainer. Rain, Rain, go away. Come again some other day...

Monday, July 20, 2009


Ok, so I kinda fell in love with the little town of Geneva, NY. I got to experience some fun on Friday and then Saturday was lots of rest and race prep. I drove the bike course Saturday evening and found that when the race director said "It's a little breezy out there with the wind off the lakes. If you have disc wheels, you may want to take that into consideration." that he wasn't kidding. There were, literally, trees with a permanent bend. from the wind. Seriously.

Anyway, on to race day...

Wake up of about 5 min before alarm at 3:30. Chug some water. Go next door to Tim Horton's for coffee. Shit. Shower. Shave. Bagel. Banana. Some PB. More water. Suit up. Cover up (sweats! cool. very very cool!)

At the race site: Body marking. Transition. x3. Toilet. Chip. Toilet. Transition again. Toilet. Car to lie down and listen to pump up music. Toilet. Transition. Meet fellow blogger Kim. Back to car for wetsuit, goggles, cap...and over to the beach...

Swim 1.2
Wave #2. 7:04 start time. All men and women age 20-29. Strange, right? Crowded in water start. The breeze on the water? Chilly. I duck in the waist deep water. Try to pee. No luck. Dammit! Oh well...and we're off!! Feeling great. Strong. A little concerned as it seemed lots of oothers started off fast. I'd slept so much the days prior that I was concerned that maybe I was still sluggish. Look for buoys. Look for ORANGE. Lots of hands and feet and elbows. Gulpdown some water. Thecrowd thins and we start to catch stragglers from the first wave. I could hear people in front of me kicking. (note: these "kickers" are not triathletes. these are swimmers. Triathletes save their legs. This does NOT, however, mean that swimmers are accustomed to open water and are capable of swimming straight.) Then, an elbow to the face. My goggles splayed across my head. I quickly readjust, with a few choice words. And power on through. one last big belch in the water and I lose what feel slike 5 lbs. Soon enough...carpeted ramp!!! I run out, run to T1...

Holy crap. Heart rate. JACKED!!! Rip off wetsuit. Check watch. 30 min+. Holy crap. Really?? Put on helmet. (they only told us 7x to put on helmet before un-racking bike). Cletes. Very cognizant of time. Need to be faster than 3 min. And run out, bike in hand.

Bike 56:
Um. This hurts. Get HR down. Why won't it go down? Why is everyone passing me? Am I in slo-mo? This wind sucks!! Kim said she rode the course yesterday and the first half wasn't bad. Dear, heart rate. Maybe I'll just quit? 5 Miles. Really? It took me 20 mins and my heart rate must be 170 right now. Ok, calm down. It's this stupid bike race number. Every pedal stroke, it brushes my leg. Swish. Swish. Swish. Drink some water. Take in some shot blocks at about mile 12. Mile 15 - rip off the paper cutting number. What are they gonna do? DQ me? Not like I'm gonna place anyway. Ok. I place the crumpled number half on my bento box, half on my stem. And...sweet relief! Mile 20 and I start feeling good, making comments to fellows racers. I'm having fun. I can do this. I've got this. Just ride. And I do. I come up on some guy with his leg all cocked out like a flamingo...he's peeing!!! I make some comment about how I wanna do that some day. Then, I realize, I never did pee in the water. And haven't since. And I'm about 75 mins into the bike. I read somewhere that it's hard to pee while pedaling. We come to a downhill...I get just up off my seat...and warm wetness. Ahhh.... Will it ever end? I lose what feels like another 5 lbs. Now I feel GREAT!!! Power it in. Over half way. So so so much wind. hunker down. Damn those people with TT bikes. I want one!! (WHAAAA!!!!) I play cat and mouse with a girl in my AG on a pink Scott plasma and another lady on an Elite with wheels in green. About 8 miles left, I come up on pink and say "Let's go get the lady in green". She looks at me and says "yeah" and I keep riding. Not five mins later, I see a streak of pink fly by and catch green. I keep green in sight. More gels. 2 miles remain...Focus. Still on the bike. I so badly want to run. My bum aches. Irritated. this tri suit has only been through a 75 min ride...and home to dismount. I check my watch. Under 3 hours. Um. Ok. Even with a bad run, I'll get under 5:30.

Run the bike back. Some dude with a SWEET cervelo took my spot. I make some comment. Dude in next rack comments back. I move the bike, trying not to damage and slide mine in. Remove helmet. Remove cletes. Pull on Zoots. Same dude asks "no socks?". Um. No. Too much time. Blow my nose on my towel and run out to the course.

Run 13.1:
I love running. I start out easy. Chick comes up on my elbow. I speed does she. She gets closer. I know this move. I laugh. So does she. And she takes off. I let her go. I think about the exercise coach had us do about how we would race each other. I must play my strengths. Pace on the run is my strength. No crash and burn. I take water at the first couple aid stations. Just before mile 3, we hit the first hill. Up, up, up...and then a sharp right UP with the option of stairs or grass. I walk up. It's faster and expends less energy. To the top and off again. At mile 4, I pass Mr. Annoying St. Croix dude. He comments about "the catch and pass at mile 4." Then he tags along. At my pace. And wants to chat. I don't do this well. By mile 5, I'm panicked. My heart rate is once again jacked. I don't feeel right. I need to lose this guy. So, I stop for a gel and water. He keeps moving. I immediately feel better for the calories. I focus. Relax. More hills. Around mile 6 we hit a gravel path. And it's on that uphill that I again pass St. Croix dude. He makes a comment about my climbing. I mention something about how we have hills in Cincinnati and keep my head down. Keep moving. A false flat and more uphill. I love this. I finally got my legs. I pass the elbow hugger. She steals my water at the next aid station, which sets me back a couple seconds. I find her. I pass her. She's struggling at this point. More hills. Mile 8, some runner-esque spectator comments on my nice stride and form. This perks me up. I know what I'm doing. I've been running for years. Five more miles and it's all over. Sweet relief in a downhill around mile 9. At mile 10, it's just a 5k left. I pick up my pace a bit. With just two miles to go, you can see the tents at the finish around the bend on the lake. My legs start to feel heavy. But it's just two miles. I have no idea of my pace. I failed to hit the "split" button on my watch, but i'm guessing I can hit 5:11 for my total time. With half a mile to go, the spectators are in full effect. I see Kim somewhere near the finish. All the cheering and I can't help but smile. A big, shit-eatin' grin as I cross the line in 5:09 and some seconds. A PR by like 27 mins.

Someone tells me I am 8th female to cross the line. There were three waves following my start though, so I know this is not truly indicative of my placing.

Soon, results are posted on the wall. I scan the sheet. Just a few females in the sea of males. I'm 10th female. Second in my age group. Holy crap. That means I just qualified for Worlds in Australia!!!! What?!? I'm in shock and tears fill my eyes as I turn away and walk around in a daze. All this crap led me straight to here. Maybe it's not Kona this year, but I'll take Australia any day. :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I heart NY

I met a beautiful boy.
He said he fell for me. Hard.
That I could charm the fuzz off a caterpillar.
A text about being gorgeous.
Another about being a sweetheart.
He called.
Then later apologized for sounding awkward.

Why do the nice guys live so far away?

Day 1 - travel to Musselman

It started out as any other day. Just a lot earlier. Like 3:30 kinda early. But I went to bed at 6pm the night before, so it wasn't a problem. I loaded the rental car and, heartachingly left my little pup, and got on the road.
this is me driving. exciting, huh?

Then the real fun began. My phone battery was low. How? I'm not sure because I thought I had it plugged in all night. Well, I didn't really want to make the 8.5 hour trip to unknown territory alone without a phone, so I brought my car charger...only t o find that for some reason, it wouldn't work. Through deductive reasoning, I figured it was a fuse, so I stop and get out the manual and see what the hell I need to do. Long story short, I bought fuses, but the fuse puller was missing. The Pilot station manager saved the day with a flathead screwdriver and all was well in the world. And back on the road...
I mostly just jammed out, but there were a few moments in time when I really wished I had a voice recorder to record what was going on in my mind. Sometimes, it's scary up there. I had thoughts from my ex-husband to ex-boyfriend to racing, my trip to Belize at age 14, my grandma, my job, friends... it was all there, pretty much. I made a potty stop at this exit off I-90 that turned out to be an Indian Reservation.
Next stop? Niagara Falls! I'd never been before and it was only 20 miles out of the way, so I kinda planned it in. It was raining, so I didn't spend too much time there and after the $10 parking fee, I didn't feel the need to take a tour. Should've gotten souvenirs though.
After that, it really wasn't long before I arrived in Geneva. I checked into my hotel. Ok, motel. Ok, motor lodge. Gross. There's a jacuzzi in my room. It's next to the bed. There are mirrors all around it. I will get a picture before I leave.
Anyway, I dropped my things and went down toward the lake for a quick loosen run. This is where we will swim. The water looks choppy.
Then, I cleaned up and went exploring around town. This is a super cool college town on a lake. Lots of fun. I found the bike shop. I had a reuben at a little pub and came home for some I could get up today and do my little brick.

And now, I have to go find some food. And packet pick-up and maybe some arm warmers!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

just another few hours...

...and I'm through with the office for a few days.

I packed my bags, for the most part, last night. I act like I'm going to be gone three weeks. It's only five days. It's just so difficult to pack gear and three kinds of training shoes and training gear...and then racing gear...and with the temps being a bit cool in upstate NY right now, I have to bring sweats....then there's street clothes and flip flops....and toiletries and all the little 'just-in-case' kinda things! I pick up the rental car this afternoon and take a little loner road trip in the morning. I'm so pumped to explore new territory. Can't youi just feel the excitement?

Meanwhile, my legs are trashed. My run last night just sucked. And I think the heat index with humidity was somewhere in the 90s. Either that, or I have some kind of sweat abnormality. I couldn't stretch because my legs keps slipping out of my grip. It looked like I'd just jumped in a pool. It just didn't smell like it.

I'm starving too. I just told Judi that I could eat three sushi rolls and a bucket of pita chips (weird combo, i know, but those are a few of my fave things from Whole Foods, which is where i'm headed in about 3 mins) right now. The monster in my belly is screaming for food. And he's belching up that nasty acid and landing it right on the back of my throat just to let me know.

I've got the music collection ready to go and I'm off to grab some snacks for the road.

I'll be sure to update, with pictures, from the road.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


And that is why my training is so dear to me. I get through the work day so I can go play.

Yesterday, I got up and went to swim practice after a Benadryl-induced coma.

Warm-up then 9x50, 4x125 kick set pulled out the stop watch.

This only means a couple things...either we're doing time trials or as many __ as you can on __ in a certain time period. It was the latter.

The rules: 30 mins. 100s on 1:25. If you miss an interval, you sit it out. That is your rest. Goal: miss no more than two.

It started out great. My first few, I had 10 secs rest. That turned into 5 secs. After about 10x100, I missed the interval. By about two seconds. And right back in line. Another five. And I missed by a second. And then another three. That hurt. And then cool-down.

I took a two hour lunch at work, ran some errands, ate with a friend... and then I left an hour early so I could go let Clubber out and still get to Cleves for the time trial.

And as soon as I pulled up to the TT to meet Judi, I sent her a text saying it was stupid of either of us to do it with the weeks we had behind us and the races we have before us this weekend.

But we both did it. And neither of us PR'd. It was fun though. About half way through, my :30 guy caught me. He had a tt bike, disc wheels, a skin suit and aero helmet (compared to my road bike with aerobars, tri shorts and Bell helmet). Regardless, there's my rabbit!!! I passed him back. But not for long. I heard those wheels coming...and he passed me up again. This time for good. Oh well. It wasn't my best time, but also not my worst.

Now it's just time to get ready for Musselman this weekend!!! Looks to be beautiful weather - high of 71 and partly cloudy. Better be some fast run times.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Wind, Bees, Sweat and other random weekend adventures

Saturday morning, I roused out of bed eager to ride, despite the lack of sleep I'd gotten after attending the TdF party the night before. The forecast was calling for severe storms in early afternoon, so I headed out on my own. I hadn't been in such wind since the wind storm that occurred as the remnants of Hurricane Ike. I was being blown all over the road!

I was riding along in aero when a BIG black something with wings and I collided. It deflected off my glasses on must've gotten stuck right in the crease of my hip as I pedalled. I felt the sting and immediately pulled to the side to check for a stinger. No luck. Just a small red dot. I made it 29 years without having been stung...and this one got me good. I went ahead and rode for another few hours and retired after the wind got so bad and the sky was dark.

I went to dad's for dinner and then for an ice cream cone (with sprinkles!) from DQ.

Sunday morning, I went to the lake for an OWS. It was quiet and the water was like glass. I got in a couple miles and changed into my two piece for a little sun bathing. And that's when I saw them...

Two first time triathletes. They were swimming with their heads out of the water. They didn't make it more than 100 yards before resorting to double-armed back stroke. I watched for a while. I heard them discuss the distances of the bouys. They stayed in water where they could touch. I couldn't take it. I went back to the car for my Speedo and goggles and offered some assistance. I'm no coach, but I think I helped them a bit. By the time I left, they were swimming with their faces in the water. And they looked much smoother.

I was soooo sleepy by the time I got home. I had an 18 mile run to do, but I laid down on my bed while I was texting people...and before I knew it, It was 2:30p! I'd fallen asleep for two hours!

So, I dragged my butt up, filled my water bottle, grabbed some gel and went out the door. And it was hot. like, 91 degrees kinda hot. I went up into the ghetto and was nearly hit by a car before heading back to the park by the river to refill my water bottle. The water would turn warm within ten mins, but not getting dehydrated was so important, so drink I did.

When I got home, this is how my hip looked with the sting (notice the nice bike short tan line).

And this is the salt that was caked on my body from all the sweat. That would be my arm.

There were a few moments on that run where I just wasn't sure I was going to make it. I started out at too rapid a pace and I couldn't seem to keep my legs from churning. But each time the doubt set in, I concentrated on form and it seems the wind would pick up and cool me off a bit. I got through it safe and sound...and only a little thirsty.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I'm working on inventing more time...and a tele-transporter

Training is going great! Work doesn't suck quite as bad as it did there for a while. The weather has been pretty cooperative.

But as training hours and intensity increase, so does the need for food and sleep...and more hours in the day.

Tuesday, I was go go go from 4:40am until 9:30pm with swim practice, a full day of work and then the Cleves Time Trial that night. I slept in until all of 6:30 yesterday and went to the grocery over my lunch break so I could just walk the dog, do my hour tempo run, make dinner and get to bed at a decent hour for the 4:40 wake-up again this morning. I failed to get certain essentials, like eggs and toothpaste. Oops.

Until I leave for Musselman next Thursday evening, my days will just be this way.

So, I'm trying to find a way to stop time so there are enough hours in the day to do things, like sleep and get groceries and play with the dog and go watch the Ault Park crit. And maybe socialize every now and then. Or maybe if I could just patent that teletransportation device...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy Birthday to ME!

A month or two ago, I saw that there was going to be a race at Caesar Creek, where I sometimes train, ON MY BIRTHDAY!!! So, I signed up. Who doesn't want to race on their birthday???

It was so much fun! I have such amazing friends, training partners, and team.

It started raining at noon Saturday. Being that all I had was a 20 mile ride, I thought I'd try to even out the bike short/jersey tan line. Nature had different plans. So, I ran errands, cleaned, took a nap, visited with mom...and thankfully, the fireworks were kept to a minimum!

Then, I awoke to rain. Well, drizzle. But it was over by the time I arrived at CC. And the air temp was left nice and cool.

Judi and I arrived at the same time and went to packet pick-up, set up in TA, body marking (where Barry wrote "B-Day Girl" on my calf) and warm-up together. Before I knew it, dad was there and we were standing on the beach. Surprisingly, no real butterflies, just so ready to have a good time.

The swim was nice. Caught lots of guys ahead. It seemed a little long, but I think I was second woman out of the water. I've had trouble with the swim lately, just getting myself to do it. It's fine when I swim with otehrs, but going alone has been a bit problematic. Today, it was just fabulous. And on to T1...

...where I spent entirely too much time, but it was deserted! And there were sooo many bikes still there. This never happens to me, but whatever. Go with it, get the wetsuit off and the helmet and shoes on. And aother woman beat me out of transition. Crap. Oh well... dad tells me "you'll make up for it out there."

And off on the bike. Those TTs have really helped. I felt great. I think I passed as many guys as passed me. The only women I saw and passed were Oly Duathletes. It was a little windy out there and it took me a god 10-12 miles to warm up. Those first few, my glutes were totally seizing and I was fearful of what might be in store...but they just needed some warming up. Before long, we were just a couple miles from TA and then I knew I'd have some fun!

T2 was quick. Hung up the bike, off with te cletes and helmet, slipped on the Zoots and off to run. My legs were tight, so kept them under me. Quick turn-over. Crossed the first mile marker at 6:30. Oops. Maybe too fast? Just keep going. Don't panic. It doesn't hurt yet. I missed mile marker 2. At mile marker 3, I was at 21:23. Nice. Shoot for 44 min 10k. My new goal. te next couple miles were uneventful. I cheered for the CE guys, the women... I did see the heavy breather behind me. I said something to him, he said he was usuing me for pacing. asked for it!! 1.7miles left and we started kicking. And he stayed right there! Nice work red shorts dude. Even to the finish.

All in all, it was a great time. those guys from CE had the announcer call out my birthday, they kept shouting "Happy Birthday" as I ran by. And Judi kept telling me to go catch those guys:) I couldn't have asked for a better birthday. Or better race conditions - 70 degrees and a little cloudy.

Overall, I finished 4th female and 1st in my AG. Judi medaled with 2nd in AG. We made our own little podium!

And then I went out for sushi with my best buddy! Does it get any better??

Thursday, July 2, 2009

It's a good day

I called in sick to work today. I just wanted to put my head back under the covers. Recently, every day I leave work hating it just a little more. I went out to East Fork for an OWS alone. It was only 68 degrees outside, but the water was warmer. And it was choppy. I felt strong breaking through and my sighting was good despite the waves cresting above my line of sight. Then I went out for an easy hour spin out in the country. There was an annoying headwind on the way out that turned to quite a nice tailwind for the ride back. and a negative split.
[Men, if you do not want to read at all about female "issues", stop now. You've been warned. And sorry, dad. This might be more than what you want to know. But it's just the way the body operates.]

All this is ok. What made it a good day was that I finally started my period. TMI? Well, let me tell you a little bit about how this affects my training. The three to five days leading up to this day are HORRENDOUS! I'm fatigued, bloated, eating my weight in food. My face breaks out. I'm moody. (Ask Judi or Ryan about my attitude at the TT the other night). I cry reading blogs or Runner's World stories. I don't want to train. My pain tolerance is diminished. My speed is non-existant. I'm sluggish. I feel as though I've grown a spare tire around my middle. Being in aero is uncomfortable. I'm self-concious about running in just my sports bra. All I want to do is lie on the couch and eat pizza. or cheesecake. or ice cream. This doesn't help feeling like a heifer.
Of course, I force myself to train anyway. I go out and do speed work despite these things. I get out of bed and go to swim practice...sleepy. I come home and go out for a run and sweat instead of sitting on the couch. And then I eat my weight in fajitas or hummus or baked sweet potatoes. And then, I sleep for nine long hours.
Last year, training for my first iron distance, I learned that there were times when I just needed to take a day or two off. I'd be so testy and exhausted, falling asleep at my desk and reaching for food when I wasn't hungry, my body's way of telling me it's in dire need of energy. You know what I'd find? These days of essential rest always fell within this PMS (men, if any of you are still reading, PMS is PRE menstrual syndrome. so many of you assume it means DURING the actual bleeding) period.
The strange thing is that once I actually start, it's like a release! And while it's a minor annoyance, I regain my strength, speed, energy, pain tolerance...and within a couple days, I feel as though I've lost five pounds.
October 24, 2008 was the day before the Great Floridian Triathlon, my first full iron distance race. FedEx had misplaced my bike and it never made it to FL. I had a donut and coffee for lunch. Two hours before bike check-in ended, I was still being fitted for my rental. I was exhausted, frazzled. On the way to the supermarket to get dinner (takeout sushi. so gross), I commented that the only thing that would really top all this off was if I started my period in the morning. We had dinner at 9pm and I slept HARD that night.
And guess what I woke up to? Yep. Aunt Flo! And I had a great race. There was no point at which I wanted to quit or felt as though I couldn't finish. It just didn't hurt. I had energy and endurance. And I didn't feel as though I needed to shed seven pounds before I could ride well. For my first IM, I finished in 12:11, which left me very satisfied.
So, I guess it's no surprise that the TT on Tuesday seemed to hurt worse. And my time was 8 seconds slower. I guess it makes sense that all I've wanted to do the last couple days is eat and sleep. It's natural that I've swayed between Bitchy Betty and Debbie Downer. I suppose it's only natural that my legs feel better today after riding than they did before. All these freakish hormones pumping through my veins!
Let's just hope this means I race well on Sunday. Especially since it's my birthday :)

what's supposed to be

"It turns out that what you think shouldn't have happened SHOULD have happened because it did and no thinking in the world can change it. This doesn't mean that you condone or approve it; but when these things happen, how can it be healthy to mentally argue with them? When we argue with reality, we experience tension and frustration. We feel out of balance. When we stop opposing reality, action becomes simple, fluid and natural." - Dan Millman

I was having a bad day. Self-pity. Regret. Anger. Fear. Jealousy. I was telling Rob how I was supposed to be at the beach right now. Living, working, playing, training, racing. Away from the stifling heat and humidity of the midwest. Free from the job where I feel imprisoned.
He quite simply reminded me that if I were supposed to be there, I would be.
Sometimes I hate when he's right. But I appreciate he's a good enough friend to tell me when I'm wrong.

So, yeah. I'm right where I'm supposed to be. Training and racing with amazing people here in the midwest. In the heat (and this week, no humidity!!!). I have friends that show me the ropes at the weekly time trial. I have lakes to swim in. I have guys that will make me hammer on the bike. I have plenty of road races in which I can participate. I have a masters swim team with an abnormally great coach. I have lots of runner friendly roadways. I have girls to whom I can bitch and whine. I have a dad who comes to my races. I have lots of hills to climb. Truth is, I have it pretty good, right here...where I'm supposed to be.