Thursday, May 27, 2010

More TTT pics and favorite race moments

There are several things about the weekend which I left out. First and foremost, the format of the race, which is as follows:
* Race #1 - Fri, 5pm - Super Sprint - 250m swim, 5 mile bike, 1 mile run - time trial start - no drafting!
* Race #2 - Sat, 7:30am -Olympic AM - 1500m swim, 24.8 mile bike, 6.55 mile run - time trial start, no drafting!
* Race #3 - Sat, 3pm - Olympic PM - 24.8 mile bike, 1500m swmi, 6.55 mile run - teams MUST start and finish together - time trial start - Drafting allowed among each team ONLY!
* Race #4 - Sun, 7am - Half Iron - 1.2mile swim, 55.5 mile bike, 13.1 mile run - teams MUST start and finish together - time trial start - Drafting allowed among each team ONLY!

I was 1/2 of a coed team. We were competing for:
* 1st Place Coed Team - (2 $1500 WheelieFun Gift Card, 2 Hammer Nutrition Packages**)
* 2nd Place Coed Team - (2 Garmin Forerunners, 2 Transition Bags, 2 Hammer Nutrition Packages**)
* 3rd Place Coed Team - (2*wetsuits, 2 Hammer Nutrition Packages**)

I already have a sleeveless and a sleeved wetsuit. We weren't vying for third place.This is me and Scott G., my partner, during the last race.
We also had to wear these hideous jerseys for all four races. And the pockets were on each side (think love handle look when you have gels in said pockets), which did not lead to flattering pictures. And they were not exactly breatheable. And they held water. like. you. wouldn't. believe. Putting on a cold, wet, stinky, jersey first thing in the morning isn't the most pleasant of things.
I had so many friends doing this race. It's only 90 mins from Cincy, so lots of my teammates were out on the course, as well as my new coach, who told me he was "seeing God" as I cheered him on, running in the opposote direction. This is me and my buddy, Ackerman. We train together quite a bit. And I'm gonna miss the crap out of him now that we'll be on different training schedules.
The water was REALLY frickin' cold. I didn't wear a wetsuit for the Super Sprint on Friday since it was so short, but I was prepped to wear it Saturday. It rained (ie- electricity went out, tornado sirens were blaring, and the beach disappeared). I wasn't exactly prepped for the water to be even colder Saturday. Here I am chatting with my friend, Amy, and her partner before race #2. Nice bedhead.
Post race #2. Or #3? This is a redneck's ice bath.
And this is my timing chip stripper. He came for me every time, told me he likes legs after the first race. And after the last one, I was his "other girlfriend". Actually, he also fetched me a Coke and told my mom that he's from Wisconsin and that her "sister or daughter is the sweetest girl!" Yes, folks, I'm moving to WI!
This guy...well, just look.
I love running. Evidenced by the beaming smile.
I was registered for TTT last year, but got sick and couldn't compete. I've worked hard to get back to doing what I love. And to do it as best I can. Out on that run course, I had a few moments where I literally got chills when I heard people cheering for me. Sometimes, it all just feels really surreal. And my mom caught that moment just as the tears began to flow at the end of the race. Because I had something to gain here. I had some closure to attain.
I have the greatest parents. Mom and dad were both there. Mom captured me and dad having a moment.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Race #1 - was over before it even started. And it was just a lot of heavy breathing. That short stuff is for the birds! Time 25:30

Race #2- i was instructed to take it easy cause the real race wasn't to begin until the afternoon oly. Sleeveless wetsuit was a poor choice. That water was frigid!!! feet were numb through the bike and the course got changed because of a downed tree.didn't matter much to me. It was all fun. And i barely remember the run. Probably because i was cheering for everyone i passed. time - 2:39
race #3 - i was afraid i was gonna slow Scott down. But the bike went smoothly. He pulled on the flats and before i knew it, i was trying to put on my wetsuit. Over sweat. I also flirted with one of the volunteers in transition. This came to be very helpful later. Swim was cold, but relatively uneventful. Scott was gettin his shoes on when i ran into t2. and flirtatious volunteer stripped me immediately. So we got outta transition quickly. And out for the run. Which i love! we took it easy on the way out and brought it in quicker. Time - 2:33

race #4- going into this race, we knew we were sitting in second place, but we weren't sure of the margin. apparently, Scott thought the race began at 7:30. not the case. I was panicked because he wasn't around. He rolled up sans goggles as i was on the mat. Again, cold cold water. Out of the water and Scott was already suited up. Yes, he has gills. He stripped my suit and we were off on the bike. That first lOng climb was fun. I was a little concerned about going out too hard on the first loop, but that's the genius of having a partner. The key was to keep taking in calories. We made a quick stop at special needs to fill up on fluids The second loop seemed to go more quickly, but that may be due to the fact that we were playing tag with Scott and andrea Meyer, who were sitting in 3rd place. After bombing down 125 one last time and peeing yet again, it was a quick t2 and out for the run. Strategy: go easy until the last 2.5 miles and take fluids at every aid station. And no walking!! Scott had to talk me through the top of the first hill, but then i found my legs and started smiling again. I loved seeing so many familiar faces, cheering on other e2 and CE peeps and generally just racing. I got a little overzealous on the downhills and the guys were making cracks on Scott not being able to hang, but truly, we were a great match for this race. We won this race time - 5:21.58

we weren't able to make up the time that the first team had led, but we came in a very respectable 2nd overall.(by just 4 mins). And we won hammer nutrition packs, a TYR transition bag and a Garmin 305!!! An AMAZING weekend!! So much fun!!!! Can't believe this is MY life. wow.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Gut check

Oh boy am I slacking on my posts...
Truthfully, it's because while my personal life is rife with excitement, I can't divulge it all publicly. Just yet.
And on the training front, it's pretty much same ol', same ol'. Lots of swim-bike-run. Except now it's taper time. The weekend held the last long bike and run before this weekend's epic Triple T. I'm very much looking forward to it.
I had a bit of a meltdown Sunday night when I got an email from my coach informing me I'm being handed off to another coach. A coach who is a very talented athlete (first amateur at Rev 3 Knoxville kinda talented). But a coach with whom I have not worked. Or trained. Or even conversed. I was feeling more than a little rejected. And deflated.
But I got over myself.
And decided to take the "this could be a great opportunity" and "it's all happening for a reason" attitude.
And, really, right now, I have far too much for which to be grateful. And too much to focus on with the race this weekend. No doubt it will be a total sufferfest.
And my partner is a badass. So, i have that to look forward to.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

what's happening

 - I did my first TT of the season on Tuesday evening. I took 16 seconds off my best time from last year. I had forgotten how much these things hurt. It was like going out and running a 5k after training for a marathon. Completely different zone. There is still much room for improvement.

- I have a pair of earrings of very sentimental value. About a month ago, I was wearing said earrings while out with a friend. We ventured to a restaurant, sat outside, inside, walked around town a bit, went to another venue to play pool...when I noticed one of them was missing. (gasp!) We retraced our steps to no avail. I hoped it would be found in his car. But two days later, he cleaned the car top to bottom (and he's quite OCD) with no sign of the earring. Flash forward to Tuesday evening. 9:30pm. My phone rings and it's my agnostic friend:

"You know how the Lord works in mysterious ways?"
me: "uh huh".
him: "I tucked my boys into bed and I went down to the basement to chill out. I see that my boys had left all their crap lying around. And honestly, I was kinda pissed off because there's shit everywhere. I go to pick up a pair of socks off the end of the couch...and there was your earring....lying on top of the sock"
me: "WTF?!?!? How?" as chills ran down the back of my neck.
Seriously. I have never stepped foot in his house. And I am not really sure how that thing ended up there.

 - Change is in the air. I got one of those "this is better than I could've imagined" kinda surprises on Tuesday evening as I was on my way to the TT. I will divulge more later. Stay tuned.

 - Instictively, I was up at 4:19 yesterday morning. After tossing for a half hour, I just decided to go get my track work done. I was informed just two days prior that someone had a dream in which I was stabbed to death. This is all I could think of as I ventured to the track. That lies under the bridge. Alone. In the dark. How's that for motivation to run like hell?

 - The humidity is back in the 'Nati. Half way through those 2 mile repeats (with a few 300s/400s/1200s thrown in for good measure), I looked as though I'd jumped in a pool. The sweat was flinging off my elbows and hitting the backs of my legs as I rounded the track again and again. And, of course, I was wearing a white sports bra.

 - Triple T is in just one short week.

Monday, May 10, 2010

My couch has a lovely imprint

Of my ass! because that's where it was planted all weekend.

Thursday morning, I wasn't really "feeling the water" at practice, but I busted my ass and made it through. By lunch time, I had this slight sore throat. It was just scratchy enough to be annoying. When lunch got pushed back to 1pm and I realized I only eaten a banana and some oatmeal and I wasn't woozy with low blood sugar (ie - i had no appetite! gasp!). If you know me, you know this last little morsel of information is critical. And should be cause for concern.

What did I do? Yeah, I tried to go ahead and train that evening. I took the P2 bike out for a spin. And my legs didn't have a whole lot of pick up, but I just pushed on through, feeling parched and as though I were sucking air into my lungs through a straw. And I got home, threw on my run shoes and set out for the half hour run, as scheduled.


Seriously. No pick-up-and-go. A measly 12 mins and I was collapsed on my living room floor.
I succumbed to being sick, though I tried really hard to defy the odds. I even got up and went to work. But after about four people told me I looked like death, and nodding off while attempting to type, I decided to call it a day.

Unfortunately, I was scheduled to go ride the TTT course with my race partner on Saturday, as I have yet to ride with him. And the race is less than two weeks away. (sigh). And, of course, Saturday morning, I really really wanted to go. I mean, I'd even set my stuff out to take the night before, like my mental fortitude was going to knock out this bug!

Alas, I did not go to Portsmouth. And it was a wise decision. Because I did allow my mind to talk my body into a run. That ended with black, coffee-rich vomit. And again, a heap on my living room floor.
That taught me a very valuable lesson: REST WHEN SICK!

I finally listened to my body for the remainder of the weekend...except for a quick trip down memory lane with an old college friend at Habanero's. Oh, the dumb things we did back in the day...

Some angel in the darkness brought me some much needed NyQuil, Vick's Vapo-Rub, Vitamin Water, the middle of a hazy sick fog Saturday night. And Clubber provided a great cuddling companion.
his morning, I awoke feeling spry again! And started the day with a great 8 mile hill run. But I'll be relaxing this evening.

Our little tri team put a hurtin' on at Rev 3 Knoxville Olympic, taking:
1st Male Ameteur - Coach Ed A
4th Male Amateur - Coach Eddy W
2nd Female Amateur - Missy K
4th Female 30-34 - Erika W
7th Male 35-39 - Kromer
10th Male 35-39 - Matt M (Squirrel)

AND...on Saturday, my girl (and teammate) Holly broke the women's 40k TT record with a 1:02.

I am with a fast group of people here...Congrats to all!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

more pig pics and getting back at it

The week after a recovery week is always fun. I went to masters on Tuesday morning and made some sets I've never been able before and set a new time in the 200 (2:33). And then Tuesday night, I debated the "race pace" group...but after a little cajoling, I joined. And it turned out, it was just what I needed to spark some life back into my gams.

Yesterday was one of those crazy days where I get up early (gasp!) It was painful. I had a 90 min run on the schedule. And by the time I left work, I was a wreck! Things were just not going my way. People were being rude, my head was messing with me, I was full of indecision and pessimism. I even got called out on my cranky pants attitude. I mean, I was verbally dreading the run due to the 85 degree temps!

But, as I've experienced so many times before, once I get out on the road, with some time alone with my thoughts, maybe some good tunes, the sun overhead and the breeze blowing, my piss poor mood just melts away. And in drifts a softer, more pleasant, appreciative and clear thinking Amanda.

And on that note, I leave you with some photos from the half marathon over the weekend.
I think it had actually stopped raining in this photo. That or the photog's exposure is up.
This one is about a half mile from the finish. I'd had my sights set on her back for a few miles and I finally felt comfortable taking a surge and being able to hold it.
And this one is crossing the finish line. Note the large costumed Pig on the right. The spectators and volunteers were awesome on a very soggy day.
I ended up placing 16th female of 5941 and negative splitting, which was the goal. It was my first half (outside of a 70.3) and I wanted to remain calm for the first 8 miles, as the hills are pretty atrocious. The last four miles are pretty much downhill, so I took the opportunity to pour on some speed for those.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Oh, what a wild ride!

I am not one who likes to dwell on the past. But there are times in which I think it's important we reflect on past events, just to gage progress or even find some gratitude.

Today was the Flying Pig Marathon and Half Marathon. I did the half. In pouring rain. In 1:33.44, with which I'm quite satisfied. What I find more satisfying is that my feet are in pain. And my hips ache. And, well, I got to race.

I was running errands yesterday, feeling the nerves creep in, when I remembered back to a year ago and what I was doing then. I was slated to run the full Pig. But that didn't happen. I ended up getting really sick. And I was in the ER the Saturday before the race. In that instant, the nerves diminished and I was overcome with gratitude.

I can recall my dad being devastated, but also telling me that he didn't know how, but he just knew I would come out of that stronger. And in the last year, I've come to really appreciate the people that truly care about me, in a way I never knew before. I've come to find my real friends.

There have been highs and lows scattered about over the past year, but there's something to be said about going through something you really think might break you...and coming out on the other side. I'm, in no way, saying I'm some superstar. There are those who have seen tragedy I can only imagine. I'm simply saying there are events that occur that can really put things into perspective. It's not always about how fast a race is run. Or how many hours go into training. Or where we rank on the finish line. Sometimes, it's just getting across that finish line that is so gratifying. And sometimes, I'm actually grateful for those dreadful, painful, gut-busting experiences...because they build character. And strength. And they provide a very wild ride. Because at the bottom of every valley is an incline to get out. And once you've stumbled and rolled down that hill, kicking and screaming and crying, thinking your spirit is broken, never to be recovered, you find you actually have the strength to pick yourself back up and charge the hill.

So, today's race was one that didn't really matter for the books. It was one that was wet. And rough. for everyone. And it was one I was glad to be able to do. Even with the downpour and lightning, I never once thought of skipping it or sleeping in. What we do is a priviledge. Making it hurt, putting in the hours on the road and in the water and on the saddle are things we get to do. And today, I was grateful just to do that.