Friday, August 29, 2008
Figured I might as well throw a post up to state that I made it...one week down, one good solid week of workouts in for the next race, and so far, so good!
I'm not used to standing, talking a lot, or wearing anything other than flip flops, so me poor widdwle toes are quite blistered. And I have not much of a voice left. But it's been pretty fun, nonetheless.
And it's not 90 degrees, nor am I nine months pregnant and scared out of my wits, so that's always good.
Most of my workouts were done early, or while pushing Bug in his stroller. Let me tell you how NOT fun it is to push a 24 pound Bug in a stroller while trying to do 5K pace pickups. He sure liked it, though! I've got about 9 hours planned for this week, and, barring any major disasters, I should hit that. That, in and of itself, is quite a victory for me.
Tomorrow morning I'm super excited to be able to hit the trails and run with another person that can talk to me! Yahoooooooooo! It's not just me and my Garmin! :) I'll be doing 12 miles with Aimee, my buddy and my Iron-Bro Eric's wife, who is training for the Nike Women's Marathon the same day of C-bus. We're about the same pace and have the same goals, and want to start REALLY early, so it works out perfectly! Then later that day I'll take Bug out for a few more miles to get about 14-15 in. Sunday I've got a ride and some weights, and Monday my last swim outside for a while. I really wish the pools were open in September around here, because it's still CRAZY hot here in September! Oh well.
I've been focusing on good nutrition, and it seems to have paid off! I'm pretty pumped about that. Now, I still eat my ice cream, don't you worry....but I just try to do as much whole grains, fruits and veggies, low-fat dairy and lean meat as I can, and--drum roll please--I've lost 4 more pounds, which puts me below my pre-pregnancy weight! Yahoooooooooooooyippeeeee! So now I'm all about maintaining and toning up what I've got, which is (to me) a good place to be.
Tonight, though, it's all about celebrating...a new year, a good start, and cashing in on a gift card from my brother for my FAVORITE restaurant, which happens to be a Mexican place. I sure hope I don't pay for that tomorrow morning... ;)
Oh, and the little Bug started walking on August 17th. I forgot to mention that. And it's been sooooooooo fun. I like to think he did it so that I could be there for it. Thanks, Bug!
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Remember I said I couldn't end this tri season on a du?
We've got these great little local races around here put on by NCN. Small, cheap, and local. Can't beat 'em. So I decided I'd trade in my race voucher from volunteering last year when I was all pregnant and huge and do the international distance today. Signed up online last week, packed my bag yesterday before my friend's wedding, and was all ready to go.
I spent the better part of last night and this morning, um, clearing out my system, so to speak. What?!?! I didn't eat anything that I normally don't eat, so it's still a mystery to me. Perhaps it was a little bug or something. It was no fun. So I decided at about 3am this morning that I could either A) bag the race, which totally stinks, and end my season on a du or B) downsize to the sprint, because, hey, then I'm not too far away if I crash and burn, right? It has been hot, hazy, and humid as HADES here lately and I knew that trying an oly in this weather with the amount of bathroom time I was seeing was a recipe for disaster.
So I got to the race and dropped down a level to the sprint. I'm REALLY glad I did that. I'm fairly certain that the oly would have meant lots of port-o-potty time. Mmmmmmmm. Port-0-potties in August.
So, I also got to thinking, that holy crap, I haven't raced a sprint distance tri since 2005. I sorta think they are too hard, which is kind of how I feel about 5Ks. Because you have to go all fast and stuff, you know? I like to zone out at one speed. Plus, there is no room for error. But I thought, what the heck? I might as well step outside the comfort zone and try something different. So I knew this would be an interesting day.
Saw a ton of my CTC buddies there which was awesome! It made it so much easier to face my tummy. I hit the bathroom not one, but two more times before the start. DEAR SWEET ALMIGHTY THERE CANNOT BE ANYTHING LEFT IN MY GUT, I thought. Turns out I must have been right. Whew! Good timing.
So the gun went off, and I'm not even sure how far this was supposed to be but I think it was a 1/4 mile swim, so we're looking at roughly 400 meters. I forgot what a beach start is like, and it showed. I tried some dolphin dives and got nowhere. I arrived at the first buoy in a complete bottleneck. Poop sandwich. I then was swimming next to someone doing breastroke. I was like, "Okay, no. I'm not staying here." So I tried to turn on the jets, but it didn't seem to work too well. Total time including the run up the hill to T1 was a (for me) VERY disappointing 9:43 (I think). Looking at the results it seemed that the times for most people were pretty slow, so I'm thinking it had to be more than 400 meters. Let's hope, at least!
T1 was uneventful. Got on my bike and took off.
And then realized something was rotten in the state of Denmark.
Why, oh why, was I pushing 300 watts and going 15 miles an hour?!?!?!?!!?? I knew there was a little headwind, but I rode along the lake all summer so I'm used to it and NEVER saw anything like that.
Oh no. I know what happened.
The $%$&%(@ tire is rubbing against the rim. Damn horizontal dropouts that are so tempermental. Arg. I had this problem earlier this week but thought I solved it.
There comes a moment when you realize you should have thought about this earlier, and curse your stupidity. Then, you have a few thoughts go in your head:
"It's not that bad...I can just ride it this way."
But when I couldn't go more than 13 mph up a TINY hill, I knew I needed to stop.
"Damn. There goes your race."
"You know, self, sprints are too fast to make this up."
And then a few other things went through my head that I will refrain from typing, so to keep things PG around here.
Stop #1. Tried to fix it. Got on. Didn't fix it.
Stop #2. Tried again. Watched people whiz by me again. Got on. Still didn't fix it.
Stop #3 This is it, I thought. We don't fix it this time, we're just a' gonna ride it as is and call it a training day.
I fixed it! Hoooooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyy!
Whizzed by quite a few people at this point like they were standing still. :) But as in a 5K, you screw up a little, and there just isn't much time to make it up. I figured at least I might be able to have a decent run.
Got into T2 and still managed about a 19.3 average, despite three stops. I'll take that.
And since I still, yes STILL do not have Yankz on my shoes, spent about 47 minutes TYING MY SHOES LIKE A FOOL IN T2. Note to self: if you are going to do short course stuff, please act like a short course athlete and do a little preparation. Oh well. I was just happy my stomach was still okay, but I was afraid to have anything but water.
Took off on the run and passed a few people instantly. Then got passed by a tiny little thing in my age group who I flew by towards the end of my ride. I remember thinking, "Hmmm, she looks like a runner. Wish I had a few more minutes on her." Oh well. Turns out she was a runner, and she took OFF. She eventually won my age group. Competitive Sara curses having to stop 3 times on the bike because I might have had a shot with a few more minutes on her. Arg!
Got passed by another girl in my age group and let her go, as it was early and I wanted to hopefully pick it up. But it was hot, and I felt a little weak. I saw her about a half mile later, stretching on the side of the road. My goal became to hold her off, and I did. She eventually finished a little bit behind me for 3rd in age group.
Somehow I managed to eek out a 25 minute 5K...hey, not bad! I finished the whole shebang in 1:22 and change. Good enough for 2nd in my age group! I'll take that fo' SHO'!
I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO proud of my girl JenC...that chick flew by me on the bike and had a solid bike (as usual) and then pretty much PR'd her 5K to win her age group! Jen, I tried to catch ya but you were smokin'! GREAT JOB! It was so good to see her do so well, and pretty much everyone in CTC finished strong or even took home some hardware.
So, you know what? Short course stuff is pretty fun. I'm very very glad I did the sprint and not the oly today. I think I could get used to it!
And I guess that's pretty much a wrap on my tri season this year!
What a freakin' blast. :)
Now, onto my marathon goals. Time to up the runs big time. I'm feeling good and I know I've got some speed in me, but do I have 26.2 miles of enough speed? That is the million dollar question.
I also head back tomorrow, so it will be a challenge to fit this in with the first few weeks of school. Here goes!
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
--kick your own arse
--look like a total tool
--make your neighbors think you are nuts
So I got this interesting workout from Coach Emily. She said it was supposed to be "fun." It was! But I looked pretty silly.
Tuesday's workout went like this: the plan was to ride at an easy pace to warm up for 20 minutes, and then run for 10. Then, I was to hammer at about 170-180 watts on a "course" for 10 minutes and run hard for 5. Then I'd do that all over again. Finally, I'd cool down easy on the bike for 20 minutes. Now, the only way I could really think to do this avoiding stop lights and traffic was to do a loop around my block. It's a bigger block and has two sidestreets so I could at least alternate. My own little velodrome, I guess.
So I got all decked out in my IMW outfit and took off. I've been feeling really strong on the bike lately, but it's been a while since I dropped the hammer on the run. My 20 minute warmup was done before I knew it, and then I ran at just under 9s for my run warmup. I stood in my driveway and thought, "Okay...here goes."
ZOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMM! I took off. It was pretty fun! I don't usually ride this hard so I was enjoying it. I had to slow a bit to take the corners but I figured this would be some good handling practice for me. I was eyeing my PowerTap and seeing numbers in the 200s and high 100s, so I knew I was pushing enough. It was really tough, and I started to see a few of the same people several times. I wondered if they noticed me as I flew by their house for the 5th or 6th time.
Then it was time for run number one. I tried to just go at a controlled-fast pace and negative split it. I ran on the same little "course" I made and got a strange look from a little old lady weeding her garden. Finished that little run with a pace of 7:42.
Um...okay. Now I have to do it again.
I know it's dumb, because no one was even noticing me except the little old lady--and only because I made eye contact and saw her quizzical look. But I just felt kinda silly zooming around the block 80 times, you know?
Did it again, and felt really good! For run #2, I was tired as hell, but determined to make it faster. I negative split that one, too, and finished with a pace of 7:28. Now for a lot of people out there that's a nice little stroll but for me that's about my 5K pace, so I was pretty pumped. Did my cooldown, and relaxed the rest of the day.
Fast forward to the Wednesday. I've been feeling really rotten about my eating the week after Steelhead, so I've tried to tone it down and eat better this week. The day after this tough workout, I had egg beaters and soy protein boca sausage for breakfast, and then a grilled chicken salad for lunch.
Then I took Bug for a 5o minute fartlek run in a moderately humid and warm day.
NO. CARBOHYDRATES. AT. ALL.
What was I thinking?
Have you ever BONKED on a 5 mile run? Cuz I have. It was crazy!
I don't think I've really ever hit the wall--even during marathons--but I felt weak and shaking within the first 15 minutes. "What the heck is going on?!!?" I thought. Then, I really thought about it.
I'm in trouble.
I was laboring to hold a ridiculously slow pace. I did have a water bottle with me, but nothing else. Bug sat quietly in his stroller. I tried my first pickup.
I. had. nothinginthetank.
So I decided to scrap the fartlek part of this run, and just sludge through. Ugh. With about 2 miles to go, I stole some of Bug's Cheerios--CHEERIOS!--and chased them with some water. That's how desperate I was. I almost called Matt, but I decided I could get home on my own. Got to my house in a little under 48 minutes, but that's run time only. I didn't factor in the times I had to stop to steal my son's FREAKING CHEERIOS.
So, the moral of the story is, the day after you kick your own butt, HAVE SOME CARBS before you do it again. I know, I know. You can just call me CAPTAIN OBVIOUS.
Or she who hits the wall on a five mile run.
Or she who rides around the same block 87 times.
The things we do, huh?
Saturday, August 09, 2008
- ate more ice cream than any human being should be allowed
- had two great swims, one nice ride, and a two hour hike with the Bug and Matt to celebrate our 4th anniversary on August 7 :)
- decided for my other "30 minute ride" to "spin out my legs" on Tuesday that it was TOTALLY ACCEPTABLE to ride 13 minutes to the nearest Dairy Queen with Bug in tow and Matt on another bike, eat a Thin Mint Blizzard, and then ride 13 minutes home.
- I SAID IT'S TOTALLY ACCEPTABLE SO BACK OFF
- Speaking of which, I'm still trying to figure out...how long is the window to eat ice cream without abandon after a 70.3? One day? Two?
- Probably not six.
- Tried out some new recipes this week and actually had time to read a magazine
- realizing that chasing Bug around ONE ROOM is quite tiresome
- I'm pretty sure my 100 IM is the most HILARIOUS thing around. I might sell popcorn and charge admission next time Coach Emily prescribes it. It ain't pretty
I've also made some peace with the duathlon thing. I was really upset about it for a good 24 hours or so. I think it's just because I feel like I worked so hard all summer and I really was ready to blow this race up. But I have to remember that I did blow it up, just not in my element. Shaving almost 40 minutes off the bike and 23 minutes off the run is nothing to sneeze at, so I'm feeling pretty good. I'm kind of feeling like nothing can stop me right now.
Which is probably not good.
See, I've got this little thing called a marathon coming up. And I haven't been in the marathon mindset for a long time...like, since the Flying Pig back in '05. So I really need to shift a bit and get it in gear. Coach Emily has already informed me of what my training weeks will look like, so I'm ready to give it a go.
Sub-4 ain't gonna be automatic, kids. I need to focus. And put down the ice cream.
I've already had one good solid freak out about going back to work...not because I don't want to, because I love what I do. But I have some real issues with leaving the Bug, because, in my head, HE CANNOT SURVIVE TEN MINUTES WITHOUT ME. It's the same reason why I don't have a good swim when he's AT the pool with my Mom or Matt. Because, the whole time, I'm thinking, "Is he okay? Does he need me? Maybe I should get out."
Seriously. The WHOLE time.
I guess this is sort of just what happens when you have a little Bug, no? You just have to learn how to squelch the irrational thoughts, and realize that YES HE CAN SURVIVE FIVE SECONDS WITHOUT YOU. And a few hours. And eventually college, even.
So, I am going to try and shift mindset a bit. Hopefully the transition will not be as hard on me as it was in January. I am not going to get into details, but I will just say this: I didn't deal well with it. And it took a good 2-3 months of getting used to.
So in the meantime, I'm going to get up earlier, and either do schoolwork or get a workout in...but still have time for the Zoo and the Nature Center and the pool in the afternoon, followed by a walk with Mugsy Pug and maybe a sunset at the beach. And I'll do one more triathlon, because who ends their triathlon season with a du? Seriously.
Because you know what? I might only have two weeks left of summer, but they will be my two weeks.
Sunday, August 03, 2008
1. "A" race report, which now I feel a little stiffed on, because my "A" race was turned into a du
2. Why you should step on a dead fish after you find out your swim is cancelled
3. How much fun I had with friends
4. Holy smokes, pregnancy doping strikes again
Well, I'll give the report here. I don't have any pictures, because why would I take pictures when Steve and James are there? Seriously. So I'll post a few of theirs. Those guys rock! All photo credits to them. Thanks, guys!!
Drove Friday morning to Benton Harbor, Michigan, and pulled into the HoJo parking lot to see a big EvoTri banner and my teammates, Stu and Michelle on the deck! That was good to see. A few minutes later, Pharmie and Steve arrived. It was so good to see everyone again!
Let's just say that, um, the HoJo, is NOT the place you want to stay. Ew. Ewewewewewewew to the max. Like, toenail clippings on the floor nasty. And I'm not kidding. But staying with my buddies made me pretty much forget that!
We met up with the rest of my teammates and a few buddies from CTC at the pre-race pasta dinner. It felt really strange to leave my bike in transition and walk away. I felt kinda naked. But it was sort of nice to NOT have to worry about that the morning of the race.
Rural Girl's alarm clock went off at 4am, and she got out of bed all rarin' to go. Me...it takes me a few minutes. ;) She brewed some coffee so that helped.
Then we packed up, met Stu, Pharmie and Steve, and headed to the race site.
Immediately, Steve warned us the chop was bad. I wasn't too worried about it, because, A) what was I going to do about it? and B) swimming in Lake Erie can get pretty choppy, so I'm used to some chop. I always feel comfortable in the swim, and sort of knew today wasn't about proving my swim anyway, but seeing how far I've come on the bike and run.
So we headed out to the start, walked almost the full mile there, when we heard the swim was cancelled.
I was really disappointed. I mean, damn. That meant I just spent $220.00 on a glorified brick workout. This was my A race. I trained really hard for it. Boo fricken hoo. And I was grumpy.
Then I stepped on a dead nasty Steelhead with fish guts spilling out.
And I freaked out and ran into the water.
So I took that as a slap in the face from the race. Like, get over it, chick. Do your thing anyway. So, I did.
We walked pretty far to get to the start of the uber-lame 2 mile run. (Hey, I was still allowed to be a teensy bit grouchy ;) I decided I'd just use it as a warmup. I knew this was a Clearwater qualifier, so there would be some hard core chicks hauling it. But you know what? It's a long day, and I didn't need to max out myself in the first 2 miles.
Garmin had it at 2.3 for 18:05, race says 18:09 for 2.1 miles. Whatever. Who cares.
You'd be smiling, too, if you got to high five this guy!
So then the real race started in my book. What can I do for 56 miles? Watts were to be held around 150-160, and Coach Emily told me to go rock it, so I did.
It was soooooooooooooooooooooo fun. That is a seriously fast course. A bit of headwinds in the beginning but nothing really too troublesome. And, they were at your back the way back, which is always good! It had some nice little rollers, and I just felt like I really got in a great rhythm and felt AWESOME. Nutrition was good, weather was perfect, and I could hardly believe the mile markers when I got to them. The kind of ride I hoped to have all year, you know? The one that made it worth it to leave my little guy for those rides. I was very, very happy.
Except for one thing.
I have NEVER SEEN SO MANY PEOPLE DRAFTING IN MY LIFE. I mean, we're talking packs of 6-8 DUDES WITH DISC WHEELS all flying by riding TOGETHER like it was a Saturday group ride. Passing people TOGETHER for as far as I could watch them ride away. I know they are probably figuring it's better to risk a 4 minute penalty and get to Clearwater than do it the right way, but you know what? DUDES, THAT IS SHADY. Karma will get you sometime.
Got back to T2, and pretty much did a jig in transition. I was estatic. I almost welled up with tears like a big loser, and I'm not even kidding. It just felt good to know I made that time away from The Bug and Matt count. I know that some of that was the bike I was on, and I'd be curious to see what I'd do on my Trek. I know it wouldn't be the same. But you know what? I think some of that was me, too. I really believe that--I literally worked my ass off this winter, spring, and summer, and I'm very proud of what I did yesterday.
By all accounts, this was a little short. My PowerTap said 54.5 but I had trouble starting it so I thought maybe it was my fault. However, after talking to Pharmie and a few others, most people said it was between 54-55. Another reason I feel a little stiffed, but...a huuuuuuuuuggeeeee PR nonetheless.
My goal on the ride was to break 3 hours. I rode 2:44.34. If we adjust that and say it was 54 miles, I still averaged 19.7 mph. By my calculations, at that pace I would have come in at 2:50.
And that is what I like to call progress.
Seriously, back to T2. I'm just so darn excited. :) I was excited in T2, too. So excited that I left ALL MY SALT TABS IN MY BENTO BOX.
Bad move. It was getting pretty hot, and it was very sunny. I did remember to apply sunscreen SPF 45 for the third time that day, so that was good. I realized I left the salt tabs in the bento box pretty much when I stepped out of transition. I then decided to roll the dice, drink more gatorade than usual, and see what happened.
Goal on the run was to come in just under 2. Like, 1:59 would have been cool. But I have to remember I've never even broken 2:25 in a half marathon at the end of a half ironman. However, I know how well the running's been going lately so I felt pretty confident I could do it.
The first loop was rough. Around mile 4 I was still averaging about 9:10 but feeling the effects of no salt tabs. Took every sponge and cup of ice I could get my hands on at each aid station, and the volunteers were WONDERFUL. The course surprised me with a few hills, including one that made me say a few bad words under my breath and walk part of it. I didn't expect that. My new teammate who is super tall and ran by my on his loop two LIKE HE WAS WALKING, PoohBear, absolutely rocked the course! It was nice to meet him--holy tall lean ball of talent that guy is!!! :)
Still feeling pretty good on loop one!
I was still feeling OK when I saw James and Steve (and Steve was wearing his amazingly awesomely bad outfit, which just cracked me up) but I knew missing my salt tabs was going to catch up to me. I just hoped it wouldn't catch up to me before I hit 13.1.
Look! I have a leg muscle! And an arm muscle, too! Or is that a mirage....?
Started loop two and started to succumb to fatigue. However, I was passing dudes left and right. There were a lot of guys walking on loop two. I was still running, but it was definitely slower. I felt my legs starting to cramp up.
Please, please, legs... Just wait...come on...keep going and you can cramp all you want after the finish line. I promise.
I started counting steps. I started singing songs in my head. I cursed that stupid hill again. And then, I was at mile 12. I knew I wouldn't break 2, but I still knew I was going to be close to 2. And that was good.
Smiling for the camera...just a few more miles!
At the very last stretch, we had to run on sand. I said, laughing to the spectators as I tried not to fall over, "Are you KIDDING ME?!?!?!!?" They laughed, too. It must have been funny to see everyone running like they didn't drink their V8. But I saw the finish line and I did get a little teary, but hopefully no one saw because I AM NO PANSY, AIIIGGGGHT?
Note to RD: THANKS for the sand dunes at the finish line. :)
Total run 2:03.18 (9:24/mile)
Finish time 5:10.39
I wanted to break 6, but what I called my "super secret goal" shared only with those who know me very well was to go under 5:45. By adding my worst 1.2 mile swim ever to this bike, run, and transition time, and adding another 5 minutes onto the bike so it was 56 miles at my pace, I would have finished in 5:41. Which is comfortably enough under my goal that I feel like I sort of did it. (Even though sort of is just sort of....sigh.)
So, when all was said and done, I kind of PR'd my half distance by just under an hour...if we're thinking somewhere around 5:41. I'm no 5:10, that's for sure, so I feel like I can't use that as my half PR. I'll have to wait until New Orleans to see what my "real" PR is. ;)
I am so happy and excited for what I did do, though. I don't want to downplay that. I just feel like I have to add a few asterisks, which is a bummer. But I know, regardless, that this was a big breakthrough for me. My swim is fine, I'm a lot more capable on the bike than I thought I could be, and my run is okay. My next goal will be to knock some time off my run and try to improve on the bike even more. Training less with more intensity has DEFINITELY worked for me.
After the race, I cheered as loud as I could at the finish line for my buddies. And then snarfed down food like nobody's business.
Buddies at the finish line!
But I really, really wanted to get home and see my little man. So I didn't get to stay long enough to see my amazing rockstar teammate ACCEPT A POSITION TO CLEARWATER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But I called her and screamed a little in her ear in excitement. :) Congrats, Rural Girl! We are all so proud of you!
Got home, and wished my little man a happy 10 month old birthday. Saw him, remembered what I did 1o months ago that night, thought more about what I did in the race and how far this body has taken me, and then cried.
Okay. So maybe I am a little bit of a pansy.
Saturday, August 02, 2008
But at the same time buzzed up on caffeine so I could make the drive home.
Got to kiss my little man, who turns 10 months old today, and now I'm going to sleep in my own bed.
Lots to tell, but here's the short version: we all just did a $220 brick workout. I was grumpy and grouchy when I found out the swim was cancelled, because it's my FAVORITE part. I guess I understand why, but I was still pretty bummed out. I'm no duathlete for a reason. But I think I might have a new favorite part....
The bottom line is, despite the snafus and this NOT being a triathlon, I had a ton of fun. It was great to hang with my team and my tri club buddies. And I absolutely shattered my goal on the bike, and pretty much nailed it on the run.
My "time" with a two-mile run substituted for the swim was 5:10. Which means even if I had swam the worst time I've ever swum for a 70.3 distance I would have finished in 5:36. But "would have" doesn't mean much. That and 89 cents will get me a cup of coffee. Oh well....
So I'm going to try not to focus on how this didn't feel like it "counted" as much, and focus on the good stuff:
Previous two 70.3 bike split averages: 16.5 and 15.7
Today: 20.4 mph
Previous two 70.3 half marathons: 2:30-somethin' (I don't know and I can't find it anywhere, but it was in that general vicinity), and 2:25
Today: 2:03 (9:24/mile)
And the best stuff of all was having my buddies there! I wish we had another few days to play around.
More to come, but for now, I'm sleepy. :)