Saturday, July 31, 2010

Top Secret Ride

So, I have a confession to make.

I've been pretty scared to ride outside lately. Especially alone.

I've had quite a few friends either taking tumbles or getting hit by cars this season--way more than usual. And the thing about swimming and running for me is that they are largely in my control. But cycling? You could be the safest cyclist ever, and someone doesn't see you know the rest.

About 3 weeks ago, my friend Laura and I were riding and there was a HORRIBLE crash behind me. I skidded to a stop, and the first thing in my head was, "Oh no, oh no, Laura's going to be lying on the pavement behind me..." Luckily, she wasn't. But a car had tried to turn left right into a huge SUV, and they ended up swerving. Swerving right about to where we had passed 15 seconds before.

It's in my head now. I'm hoping it will stop. Because I could get hit by a car taking the garbage out, you know? The world is dangerous. You can't just live in a bubble.

So I made up my mind that I was going to really just enjoy the ride today. I was not going to think about bad stuff happening, but focus on the sun rising, the heart beating, the legs pumping, and good conversation. I decided to meet my buddy Lapo (no that's not his real name--long story) for a 50 mile ride. But we both have a 2 1/2 year old son, so we know that rides like this are kind of a luxury right now. We decided to start early, around 6:30, and meet at the top of a hill descending down into what we like to call "the Valley." It would be mostly flat, with a few small hills. Nice and quiet.

Good to get my confidence back, hopefully.

Lapo's one of my buddies I've known since elementary school. He and I bought our very first road bikes together back in 2002 and decided to train for Pedal to the Point, the MS150 event out here in the CLE. We did it, too, and had a blast. We don't get to ride together nearly as much as we used to, but he's hilarious and has become a really strong cyclist, so I knew that it would make this morning ride better. At the very least, I'd be laughing too hard to worry about stuff.

I rolled out of my house about 6:35am, alone. It was quiet. Bug and Bean were tucked into their beds, and Matt was still sleeping. Mugsy the Wonder Pug snored in the kitchen.

I'm so used to riding with a partner or in the basement on the trainer with a movie that I rarely get those times alone. There's just something about cycling alone, before the world wakes up, watching the sun rise over the lake and the sky turning pink.

It was just what I needed.

Once I met up with Lapo, we had a nice conversational ride--nothing too fast, nothing too slow. I felt like I could go forever and ever, and the time just flew by. Amazing what riding with a buddy can do. We joked around, vented about stuff, commiserated about life with a 2 1/2 year old who never wants to sit down EVER, and just had a great morning. Before I knew it, we were at the top of the hill and it was time to head off to our separate little corners of the world.

I headed home alone again, and the world was awake by this time. I was defensive, but not nearly as scared. I remembered how much fun it is to just have you and the road for 50 miles, before anyone's up. Before anyone knows you're gone.

I got home, and it was my little secret. 5o miles under my belt, and Bug was still in his PJ's. It's like I never went.

But I did. And I'm so glad I did.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Evotri2: Race Day!

Congratulations to our new triathletes, Samm, Maureen, Maddie, and Megan!

I am so proud of all four of these ladies. They had a rough day to race but didn't let it get them down! Every time I saw them they had BIG smiles on their faces, and they absolutely ROCKED the Huntington Sprint Triathlon on Sunday!

Maureen, Samm, and Megan pre-race

As part of my commitment to Team Evotri, I organize training for area high school girls to prepare for a sprint triathlon. This is my third year, and I wasn't sure if I'd even be able to do this with the baby's arrival in February. However, my friends Anne and Danielle were super awesome about letting me work with their cross country girls. We did weekly bricks and also did an open water swim to prepare for the race. The girls worked really hard all summer, and it was so fun to see their progress!

Fast forward to this weekend...some pretty big storms blew through on Saturday, so I was a little worried about how the lake would look. Sure enough, it had some pretty big chop. I knew that the stronger swimmers would be a little slower, but fine. However, this race attracts a great deal of newbies, and I could imagine how nervous they would be when they saw the water.

These four girls were so much fun to work with this summer. Maureen is an accomplished swimmer and runner, and has a great attitude. Her biggest fear during the race? "Fish...I'm afraid of seeing fish!" I told her that the fish would all be scared away from the earlier waves, and not to worry!

Maureen and Samm getting ready!

Samm is also a strong runner, but was very nervous with the swim. She was afraid she'd be "the last blue cap." I promised her that wouldn't be the case, and sure enough, it wasn't! Samm, I swear I saw several blue caps after you. :) Not that it mattered, anyway--I told her she'd catch them all on the run!

Our own little version of the Monona Terrace

Megan was on vacation last week, and wasn't even sure if she was going to race until about the day before. Boy am I glad she did--holy smokes, that girl is fast! She had a fantastic race, and even took 3rd in her age group! Way to go, Megan!

Maureen, Megan, and Samm show off their body marking

And Maddie deserves some major kudos for her efforts! She's not even in HIGH SCHOOL yet! She just has been doing the summer training with the high school girls because she's super motivated and has a lot of talent. She did a fantastic job in the triathlon, too! Nice job, Maddie! I know you'll have lots of great seasons ahead of you.

Maureen, Samm, Maddie and Megan...and some random guy giving a thumbs up.

The girls stood nervously on the beach. Secretly, I was a little nervous for them, too. This was not the calm-as-glass lake they got last year. This was going to be pretty tough.

But luckily, these chicks were FIERCE.

Once they were off, I ran up to volunteer at the aid station. Since I couldn't race due to my shin, Rick, the RD, has a policy that you can take a rain check for up to a year. Pretty awesome, huh? Not only that, but if you volunteer at one of his races, you get a voucher good for any other race he runs! You just can't beat that. So I manned the water station. I figured it would be a great place to help out, but also to see everyone come in! I got to see TriEric, his wife Aimee, and lots of other tri friends. Eric and Aimee both had great days and placed in their age group. Way to kill it, guys! I was pretty bummed to sit this out, but volunteering and cheering was definitely the next best thing to actually racing.

TriEric on his way to a 2nd place AG finish! He also helped out with our Open Water Swim 2 weeks ago. Thanks, Eric!

All four girls were out of the water, and I breathed a sigh of relief! I was a little worried about the was bad enough that they had to delay the last wave about 15 minutes. Seeing all four girls enter T1 with big smiles was the best!

Ominous black clouds in the sky...check.

While on their bikes, the HEAVENS opened up. It absolutely poured. By this time, I moved to T2 and directed runners exiting transition. Again, I knew it would be a place that needed a volunteer, and selfishly I wanted to see all the girls come in and make sure they were okay! I worried about them a bit out in that rain, but was so happy to see them all come in and take off on the run.

Samm and Maureen leaving T2!

All four girls had solid runs and finished the race strong, with lots of smiles! I am so proud of them. Great job, girls! I am already bouncing around ideas to make this program even bigger and better in Year 4. Just wait to see what I have up my sleeves...I have big plans, I tell you! BIG plans.

I do want to take a moment and direct some good thoughts, vibes, and prayers towards a good tri friend, Laura Jones. I cheered my head off for Laura as she ran into T1 with a big smile on her face. I figured she'd be well on her way to another age group finish. Instead, she was hit by a car while at mile 3 of the bike. She remembers nothing except waking up in the hospital. Her bike was totaled. Here's what she posted on facebook last night:

"Keep the energy flowing in: Fractured: right wrist, c6 vertebra, possibly torn left acl, bike in bits and pieces, concussion, staples in the head, driver sited. I'm going to be ok, just not today. Peace.

Laura, you're a great competitor and friend. I am so grateful that you will be okay, and so sorry you're in such pain right now. I know you'll be back out there soon. Hugs to you. And to everyone else, please, please be careful out there.

Monday, July 26, 2010


NO stress fracture.


I was definitely a little worried about that. I'm probably going to downgrade my olympic tri in 2 weeks to a sprint, but other than that, I should be good to go. X-rays were fine and the doc thinks it's just a bit of inflammation probably brought on by a couple of big training weekends.

So, I don't have to lose my mind or be institutionalized from 8 weeks of not running! Yay!


Thursday, July 22, 2010



So, there's been this "twinge." Since about WIBA. Maybe a few days before.

And it seems to be getting a little worse.

I'm a little worried. Well, actually, that's an understatement. Because I have access to Google. And as anyone who is a paranoid worrywart, knows...



Because from what my symptoms are in my shin, I might have something that rhymes with "schmtress frampture."

(I'm too afraid to type it)

Because the cure for that? Is no running. NONE. For 8 weeks, minimum.

Needless to say, this might make me lose my freaking mind.

I'm hoping that this is just a little bit in my head and a little bit of a sore muscle or something. But just to be safe, I decided not to race Sunday. I'll just volunteer and cheer on my girls...and that's it. I have a doctor's appointment on Monday just for some peace of mind. And I made sure the doctor was a runner. In fact, her credentials list her as an "avid athlete and marathoner." So, at the very least, she'll get it. And hopefully get me.

Gonna do some icing, swimming, and a little easy spinning in the meantime. And hold my breath.

And stay away from Google.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


*UPDATED WITH PICS, AND HISTORICAL FACTS, 7/18. You know you love it.

WOO HOOOOOOOOOOO I just got back from the Rev3 ride out near Cedar Point this morning!

And I am currently attempting to rehydrate and eat stuff. But I'll get to that in a bit.

Here are my random thoughts in no particular order as I attempt to rehash this ride before I forget all of it. And I am doing this before I even take a shower, people. That's how much I care. And smell.


Anyways, met up with over 100 riders this morning as my rockin' Tri Club and it's stupendously amazing President, DaisyDuc, organized this supported ride on the course. It was phenomenal to see all the support and all the riders! They actually swam before and ran afterwards, but I just headed out for the ride since we have somewhere to be soon.

(maybe I should take a shower? nahhhhh....)

On a sidebar note, I take full credit for getting Daisy into triathlon. When she's a pro, you can THANK ME.

It was fun to see a bunch of tri peeps that I haven't been able to see since I was out of the loop for a while!

We started at the Sawmill Creek Resort, which did an awesome job of hosting us. It's about 10 miles into the ride, so I didn't do the full course. But I still feel like I got a good taste of what the course is like.


Yes, I just made that up. But I felt like this was a great course--lots of country rollers, little lake towns, signs for bait and tackle, and peach groves. I feel like I could really kill it on a course like this. I was killing it, actually, until about mile 40, but that's my own fault and stupidity. I'll get to that.

Random Thoughts Before I Forget:

Rev3 already has a great video up of my buddy George and another CTC member, Tim, talking about the race! They have some great footage of the rollers, too. You can see it here. Also, Heather Gollnick has a nice little video promo of the area and the race--check it out here!

There are a few small climbs--short and sweet--but nothing too bad at all. The rollers are great to break up the ride, and I really could get going on some stretches! The big factor here for this race could be heat (it can get pretty warm in September around here) and wind, but as long as you know that going into it, there shouldn't be a problem.

Pictures courtesy of the Super Awesome TriEric! That's his shoulder there, I think...he was holding the camera up as he rode!

That's me in the red, talking to my buddy Mike in the blue, followed by Daisy's super cool hubby Joey in the dark blue

This is actually one of the hills--see, not bad at all! Everyone out there had a blast--we had a TON of riders on the course!

First Awesome History Geek Welcome Sign: Huron, OH. The sign read, "Site of the highest production of steamboats in the U.S. during the 1830s."

Be proud, Huron. Be very proud.

Instead of going over snakes on the road like I did at IMNOLA, I went over lots of cornstalks. Ha ha!

Second Awesome History Geek Welcome Sign: Milan, OH. The sign read, "Birthplace of Thomas A. Edison." I bet you didn't know that, did you? You're welcome. Now you can sleep at night.

I continually had the song, "All Summer Long," by Kid Rock in my head in the beginning. It always makes me think of the summer trips to the Lake Erie Islands and all the ridiculousness we got into in my twenties out there. If you change the lyrics to "1999" instead of "1989," and "northern Ohio" instead of "northern Michigan" (which is usually how I sing it really loud in my car--don't judge me), it pretty much fits.

I saw lots of signs for cornhole bags for $20! TWENTY dollars for corn filled beanbags?! I think I have found my calling! And if you don't know what cornhole is, you are seriously missing out. I think I'll have to bring up our boards for after the race. We'll have a nice little tournament going.

All in all, I think this is a nice course that would make for an EXCELLENT first Ironman or half ironman. In fact, I'm kind of wondering why I couldn't have this as my first Ironman course! No disrespect, Wisconsin. But you're REALLY REALLY HARD and stuff. I was zipping along easily in the 20s for quite a bit of this course. Route 113 was AWESOME. Lots of little rollers and a great stretch of road to really dig in and take off. The race director, Eric, was there to see us off AND ride with us! It was very clear that Rev3 is super excited about this race, too.

My BIG mistake (HUUUUGE. Sersly.) was to pass up water at mile 28 where there was a gas station. See, I am the world's biggest sweater as well as A FREAKING SALT MINE. I have to be really really careful with my hydration--it could (and has) make or break my race. I had already gone through 3 bottles of nuun and water, and thought I could make it to mile 34 where the aid station was.

Except it was almost at 45.

Stupid stupid stupid me! I was pretty mad at myself after that, because going without fluids for almost 40 minutes when it's sunny and 91 degrees is just something my body doesn't really bounce back from. I slogged through the last 15 miles and brought my overall average WAY down. Lesson learned--I won't do that again! HUGE thanks to the CTC folks who manned the station in little Berlin Heights, which looks like a cute little Mainstreet U.S.A. right out of a Norman Rockwell painting.

But before then, I really was feeling great and like this course was suited well for me--someone who isn't the greatest climber in the world but thinks all flat is just plain boring. I feel better about the race in September. I know I need to keep goals in perspective--at 7 months postpartum with Bug, I did a half marathon, and now I'm trying a half ironman. This will be tough, and it might be too early for me to really see a PR. But I know now that I'll get through it, and not suck.

So I've got that going for me. Which is nice.
Anyway, I am very excited to share my old stomping ground of Cedar Point with my teammates and with everyone who will travel up this way for the race. But you won't catch me on those crazy roller coaster things. NO WAY. I am such a baby when it comes to that stuff. I'll only go on the Gemini and Mean Streak...and even that's pushing it. All wimpiness aside, I think this whole event is going to be top-notch, and am SUPER stoked for the race!

My data, thanks to my awesome new Joule--thanks, Cyclops! You guys rock!

Miles: 61.08
Temperature: 91 F
KJ 1602
Average Watts: 129 (don't laugh too hard...I bonked, remember?:)
Max Watts: 452
Normalized Power: 144
Feet Gained: 1821
Feet Lost: 1780
Ride Time: 3:24.48
Average mph: 17.9 (Stupid bonk! At one point I was over 19 though with no trouble at all!)
Average HR: I dunno because I left my band at home AGAIN. DOH!

I think I can do really, really well on this course. Not sure if I can do that this year. But I'm thinking this is a definite possibility for an Ironman someday.

And did I mention that my awesome brother is totally bringing his boat up post-race? Boat drinks!

SO excited to showcase Northeastern Ohio--this will be a fantastic race!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

WIBA, 2010

Made it there...made it back. Had a ton of fun.


Got some great riding on the hills, had some great fun running on the course and major race flashbacks, and once again, wondered...

HOW did I ever finish that Ironman?

Sometimes I still don't even believe it. But then I remember, and I smile.

The best part about Ironman and my journey to it was all the friends I made, and WIBA really represents that. It was so awesome to see some of these friends...or, people who I like to refer to as part of the Class of 2006.

I didn't take any pictures, because, seriously...with Steve, do you really need to take your own pictures?! So as soon as he shares them with me, I'll share them with you.

But nothing, and I mean NOTHING, was better than getting home and getting a huge hug from Bug followed by snuggles with Bean and smelling baby-shampooed hair.

Tomorrow is a rest day, and I do believe I have earned it, my friends!

But up next for next weekend? I am heading to the Rev3 bike course to give you a PREVIEW! I'm hoping to take lots of pics and give you my take on the course.

For now--bed. Followed by lots of smelly, smelly laundry.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Public Service Announcement, Cleveland Style

Dear LeBron,

JUST GO ALREADY. Because if you say anything in your one-hour live televised "special" tonight besides you're staying here--where you built your career, where you grew up from poverty and became a superstar, well then, it will truly be the biggest unecessary jerk move sucker punch in the face ever. EVER. EVEREVEREVER.

And one more thing--this is for all the "analysts" out there: the success or failure of my city will never, ever depend upon the whims of a 25 year old basketball player.



Sunday, July 04, 2010

Best Birthday Present EVER.

So, my goal today was to come in under 28 minutes.

And I ran a 24:56!

I am sooooooooooooooooooooexcited. This proves, yet again, that my mind is my biggest limiter.

It was hot hot hot so I faded a bit, but my first 1.5 miles were UNDER an 8 minute pace!


I guess I should eat some crow now over my last post. I really didn't think I had that in me yet. But apparently I do, and I did, and, well....I am so happy that I feel like I just freaking WON the race. Remind me of this next May when I'm lining up in Cleveland. My mind is the only thing consistently holding me back.

If I can bust this out, 16 pounds over my starting weight and 23 pounds over the weight I plan to be next May...well, that is pretty damn awesome. (If I do say so myself.)

Tomorrow I turn 33--hard to believe it--and I have to say that this was the best birthday present I could have gotten!

More later--right now I need to go play in the sprinkler with Bug.

Happy 4th of July!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

16 Pound Backpack

I had a FABULOUS ride this morning with my friend Laura. She's been my riding buddy the past month or so and it rocks. Funny thing is she was my swim coach on the rec team when she was in high school and I was in middle school--and we both ended up living back here again. Who knew?

The only trouble with my rides is, man...I'm slow. I have to really push hard to hold a decent pace. ESPECIALLY up the hills. That's gonna make riding the IM Wisconsin course next Saturday really interesting.

Speaking of which, can I tell you how FREAKING EXCITED I AM to head to WIBA this year?! The only thing is, it's gonna be really really hard to leave these guys...

But I'm really trying to remember that I have a 16 pound backpack still. I'm super proud that I've lost as much weight as I have at this point in the game, but mentally, I am so ready to just BE WHAT I USUALLY AM when riding and running. And, folks, lemme tell ya. It ain't happening.


So tomorrow Coach Emily wanted me to do a 5k to "see where I'm at." And I am not very excited. I keep thinking of all the reasons why I shouldn't do it. But I can't really come up with any: it's a great cause, they have a carnival for the little kids to play, it's right by my house, etc. etc. The only excuse I can think of is that it's a little pricey. But then there's that whole "good cause" thing.


The real reason is that I know there's no way on EARTH I'll come anywhere NEAR cracking 23 minutes in this 5K. Just not. I'm not being negative here, I'm being realistic. For some reason, I can go forever and ever and ever at a 9:30/mile pace, but going under 9 makes me want to DIEDIEDIE. And I just know what I usually run a 5K in and, well, I don't want to give that up.


That's me trying to hit myself across the face. FOUR MONTHS POSTPARTUM, FREAK. I must CHILL. It will come. I know this, I swear. But you triathletes out there know how we get it, right? Especially the triathletes who have had babies and then expect to just DO IT immediately.

I know I got faster after Bug. I am trying to remember that I didn't really race until Bug was 6-7 months old. I'm doing stuff now that I didn't do until he was more like 8 months old (distance-wise). So it's only fair that the speed will come last.

I actually got home, put my sweet ride in the basement, and saw my 8 pound handweights. I picked them up and tried to run a few steps with them.

Dude. They're heavy.

That's 16 pounds.

So, here's the deal. I'm going to do this 5K tomorrow. I am going to surprise myself, I'm sure. I'd like to average under 9s but if I don't, it's not the end of the world. Because I will be the 1st place overall female in the "I-am-four-months-postpartum-and-carrying-a-set-of-eight-pound-handweights" division.


On a positive note, there is one place where a little extra weight actually helps you...distance swimming! Who needs a wetsuit? I've got hella buoyancy right in my booty! WOOT!

I surprised myself in the pool big time and even pulled off a 1:28/100 meter on Thursday. (That's good for me) :) Now, if the running and riding can just catch up, I'll be back in business.

Anyone want a set of 8 pound handweights? Please? Pretty please?