Thursday, April 29, 2010

Post Race Depression; Over it with a 70.3!

Okay, so I was feeling a little post race depression.  I had been trying to find a full Olympic triathlon to complete, because my recent Lonestar "DU" experience is not working for me mentally.  LOL  I just felt like I had put so much time into training, not being able to execute was eating me from the inside out.

Hubs knew it was coming too... he knew that I would have to find another event to make-up for this one.   He and Cassie have both been so good with helping me meet my goals.  I don't want to seem selfish going further. That said, after a brief discussion this morning and laying down some conditions for my coaches that will help me balance family and trining more, I've gone and done this...

Yeah, it rhymes with deadman... that makes it even more of a challenge.  This is now the blog of a future 70.3 athlete!  :)

Hmmm, maybe this is the more "aggressive" behavior that side affects packet mentioned.  So now I get the chance to swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles and run 13.1.  I'm stupid excited!  Or maybe I'm just stupid. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Official Diagnosis; He Called It!

Went to the doc yesterday... FINALLY got some answers.

It is definitely Hyperprolactinemia.  The good news is, it is not being caused by a pituitary tumor. 

I started treatment last night with Cabergoline, a (generic) dopamine agonist, which is supposed to reduce the Prolactin level in my body.  You have to build up to the full dosage because of the "lovely" possible side effects, so I started with 1/2 of a .5 mcg once a week.  Doc says that the way he implements it, very few of his patients have problems.  Here's hoping.

Been looking for info on treatment and found an interesting study on weight loss when taking the same drug.  It seems logical.  After all, my body thinks it is pregnant without having the actual miracle of life inside me -- lower levels of Prolactin will tell my body, "Nope... no baby in here!  Escape "maternal survival" mode."

I know this whole thing sounds crazy.  I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't experience it. 

Oh, and be sure to keep me out of the Bingo halls and your raffle tickets away from me... it is a possible side-affect that I could decide I need to gamble.  LOL

Still I often wonder (not like it would do any good) how long I have been suffering from this condition.  Is this why my effort to lose weight before I had surgery was thwarted?  I know it does no good to dwell on it. 

Doc says no one would have caught it because my baseline for both my Thyroid and Prolactin levels were normal.  It was only through the TRH test that it was detected.  I would be so thrilled if this medication works, reduces my levels, and lets me lose the last of this weight... finally!

Monday, April 26, 2010

2010 Lonestar Olympic Distance Race Report

So where do I start?  My weekend started Thursday night with packet pickup.  Seems like choosing to go Thursday was the best bet.  Lines and wait time on Friday were terrible from all the frustrated texts I was receiving from friends who were also competing. The expo was a little disappointing for those doing the Sprint and Olympic distances because it was ALL Ironman and 70.3 merchandise.  The IM folks didn't allow local vendors, so the expo was really lacking compared to previous years.  I always looked forward to seeing what I could find/buy a the expos.  There's no way I would ever sport an M-dot or 70.3 designation without having done it.  I even carried my packet pickup backwards because it had a huge M-dot on it!  My friend Mel says Ironman is trying to turn M-dot into the same thing as the Nike Swoosh -- and that's just sooooo not right to any Ironman finishers out there.

On Friday I had taken off from work.  Took my 20 minute easy run -- it was fine.  Legs still didn't really feel good, but I was trusting the taper.  :)  Later that day we had a group lunch with some of the other friends doing the race.  We called it our "Race Day Obsession Lunch"

Before I go further, I have to mention something.  It's just proof that you never know where life will lead you and who you will cross paths with.  So for the 'gee-this-world-is-really-small" file, I give you these two instances...

First, in 2009, while prepping for my return to Danskin to do it as an individual, I signed up for the mentor program.  I was assigned a mentor, Nicki.  Well unfortunately they didn't really mention that the program works best if you were in the Austin area, so having been in Houston I really wasn't going to get a ton of real-time benefit.  That said, Nicki was awesome answering questions via email and we started following one each other's blog -- we're both a fan of geeky race reports, so it keeps us connected.  Well, she was at the race this weekend doing the 70.3 on Sunday, but she was spectating on Saturday and actually gave me a shout out on the run course.  How cool is that?

Then, there's Stacey. Although I keep wanting to call her Cindy.  She leaves me encouraging notes on my blog all the time.  She also does triathlon and we were registered for the same race.  Not only was she registered for the same race, BUT I was number 2081 and she was number 2082.  We were racked right next to one another!!!  What are the odds?  How freaky is that?  It's always nice to meet folks in real-life.  

So on to race day....

I had laid everything out so I needed only to make my hydration and be off.  Right before I left I  had my Blackberry in my tri-shorts pocket.  BEFORE going potty, I pulled my shorts down and the danged thing dropped in the toilet.  Great... no phone for the day, at the very least.  I quickly took it apart and dropped it in a bowl of uncooked rice for 2 days and voila!  This morning it works!!!

Okay... back to the race...

I made it to transition by 5:20 and Melanie, one of my coaches, was there to greet me with a hug and good luck.  Not long after I saw Chris, my other coach (he was excited as usual!).   I setup my stuff... checked and re-checked.  Walked around to find other BAMmers to share well-wishes for a speedy day.  I took some time to find a place to sit and visualize for a while.  Periodically I'd go back to my bike and check everything and then finally met Stacey! 

I couldn't fine my training partner (aka Hombre).  Without my phone I was disconnected from everyone -- which was probably a good thing, but I really wanted to see him off before-hand, as well as my crazy tri-girl buddy Elysha (who was sporting a custom pink tu-tu for her Run).  Elysha says her purpose in triathlon is to "...remind everyone to take it so seriously!"  I think that was a "hint" meant for me, but I do have fun... even if I am focused!

I grabbed my wetsuit and headed down to the swim start.  It had been really windy overnight and the IM folks said they had 75 mph gusts of wind that literally toppled tents and transition over.  It occurred to me that none of the sponsor banners were on the fences any longer and that our BAM! Tent was now gone!  Thank goodness we didn't have to check our bikes the night before!!!  The wind was still hanging around, though not as bad, by 6:30-ish, but I figured my wave wasn't until 9:02, so I still had plenty of time to wait.

I got down to the water, tried to find folks, but couldn't seem to locate anyone.  As the Sprint was getting ready to start I decided to start getting into my wetsuit (which is a lengthy process and difficult for others to watch LOL).

The start time for the Sprint arrived and they announced they would be delaying for 15 minutes. Then after that 15 minutes, they called for 15 minutes more because there was a storm cell passing in the area.  Less than 15 minutes later, and right as I got my wetsuit on and started walking through the sand, they called off both the Sprint and Olympic.  The water was getting rougher as time passed; that much was visible.

I thought it fully appropriate to call off the Sprint, especially because of all the first-timers, but to call the Olympic so soon?  That was a downer for sure.  I understood the need for safety but it doesn't negate the disappointment of having trained for 4 1/2 months and not being able to do the swim.  Phooey.

They told us we'd be doing a time trial start from the bike and that we would be completing the bike and run portions -- so my triathlon quickly turned into a duathlon.  All 2000 participants, plus spectators had to migrate back to transition -- you can imagine how long that took.

On the walk back to transition, I got ticked, processed it and just took it out on the bike. There was no sense in wasting energy on something completely out of my control.  Admittedly, in the end, it was kind of fun being back in transition with everyone -- that said it was a long wait to start and I was ready to bike.  While we were standing talking, I asked one of my friends who has done several half IM events if they would have called today if it was the 70.3 -- she really didn't think so.  It's kind of what you sign-up for when you register. Dealing with and rolling with imperfect conditions is all part of Race Day.

Finally it was my row's turn to start..  They lined us up and started us 3 seconds apart.  I got up to the line but was surrounded by the 4 previous starters who had yet to mount their bikes.  I didn't want to get stuck behind them, so I moved quickly.  I was told I took off out of there fast -- I was up and cranking... I felt good, I could tell I was going to have a good bike. : )

As I crossed the intersection before approaching the seawall, my garmin popped off my easy release strap and hit the ground and shattered; I do not recommend anyone use this strap -- poor engineering and it's not the first time I've had it come off in spite of checking it was secured.  Now I had no heart-rate for the remainder of the race, nor did I have anything to guide me through my intervals.  Cr@p!

I followed my nutrition and hydration on the bike as planned.  There was a tailwind on the way out which helped my time.  I was able to average 20.4 on the way out to the turnaround at the half way point!  On the way back it was mostly a cross-wind (not terrible) and at certain parts of the course where the road turned you were in a head wind, but it wasn't terrible.  I was able to hold on to 18.4 average until I slowed down a little to do nutrition and spin-out my legs the last 10 minutes.  I held on for an 18.1 average... a PR of 1:23 for a 40K race day bike!  Last year at Lonestar my Sprint distance average was 13.8.  I managed to get like 95% of my nutrition in on the bike, but I noticed there was still a little left in my aerobottle.   It wasn't for not trying... I just thought I had sucked it dry!  LOL

I had a < 3 minute transition (as I planned) and was off on my run.  On the way out I saw both my coaches and fellow BAMmers volunteering -- it was nice to see the friendly faces and encouraging shout-outs!. :)  I know I definitely started out too fast (as I always seem to do) and this is where I missed my Garmin.  Knowing my pace is helpful to me to slow things down. On the other hand, maybe I probably rely too much on that.  I just don't "feel" my pacing yet.

A mile into the run course I was light headed and dizzy. I had stuck a package of fig newtons in my fuel belt, but was a little nervous about trying them (since I'd never tried them on a run before).  I took a gamble and tried half of one and it didn't seem to bother me, so I ate the rest of it.  In abut 15 minutes I was feeling a little better on the back-end of the first 3.1 mile loop. This is where I got my shout-out from Nicki!  I didn't know it was her until she shouted, "It's Nicki!"  Still, I think, how small a world it is.

I was drinking 10 oz bottles of water with 1/2 a gel mixed in it for proper dilution, and was getting water from aid stations.  I 'd take a sip and dump the rest on my head and chest to keep cool.  It was definitely hotter than any training day I've had to this point, so I knew I needed to keep cool.  My second loop was definitely better than my first, and I was able to run more than walk.  I also saw my Husband and Daughter 3 times on the loop and lost a few seconds for hugs and kisses each time, but that was worth it.  In the end I finished with a 14:01 pace.  My goal pace was 13:00.

My final time was 2:58.  It is so hard to judge how I would have done, but if I had a decent swim, basing on my 1 mile race swim at Silverlake (40:01), it is probable I would have finished between my "wish goal" and my "realistic goal" -- somewhere between 3:30 and 3:52. 

Lessons Learned:
- I already knew this, but so much of this is mental.  I proved that to myself on the bike.  I was extremely positive (easy, because I felt great) on the bike... now I need to transfer that to my running.  This whole being positive thing will take time to get more consistent with, but I'm improving slowly.

- Don't leave it all on the bike!  What good is a great bike if it leaves you with a sh*tty run, right?  This about enduring 3 sports, not doing 1 really well and being left to dial-in the others.

- Double-check hydration/nutrition on fuel belt from time-to-time.  Make sure I'm on track at the halfway point.  

What I did  right:
- Planning and visualizing helped moving through the race happen more naturally for sure.
- Hydrated well on the bike
- Kept positive (most of the time)
- Didn't forget anything; I had everything I needed. Thanks to checklists!
- Even though it contributed to a cruddy run, I still PR'd on my bike for an Oly Distance!!!
- I smiled... a lot. And even on my run!  :)

What's next?
I was thinking about doing the next local Olympic distance tri, which would be Cap Tex in Austin.  I don't want to let 4 1/2 months of training go, but it's Memorial Day weekend, so that's not do-able logistically.  I need to think about what I'll do.  I was originally going to do a super sprint, but then decided against it.  I might decide to do it again just to get the practice of transitioning from a hard bike to the run?  I don't know. Need to talk to my coaches about it.  Lack of the swim at Lonestar leaves me feeling a little cheated.  I hate to wait until Clear Lake Int'l -- I might consider Sylvan Beach in June again, which I had also removed from my schedule.

After Clear lake, Mel says, it's time for me "to train as a runner", so I can make it through 26.2 at the Houston Marathon, which will help me prep for the 70.3 in April of 2011.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Race Day Prep for #2081

I am so excited for tomorrow.  I'm pretty certain the rain will have moved out by then, but you never know.  Always expect the worst and you can't be let down.

Yesterday I had a quick swim at Anders to check-out my new Wetsuit.  It is perfect! As perfect as I'm going to get right now.  Whew!  What a relief.

Went to packet pickup last night and that was a little disheartening.  The Ironman franchise essentially bought the race from the Race Director last year, though his group is still involved.  I'm not happy about it.  It's like the Olympic and Sprint distances are after-thoughts now.  It's all about 70.3.  More power to those Half'ers.  I respect them for sure, but everyone has to start somewhere.  The expo was so sad; not one thing there for anyone doing less than the 70.3 distance.  Guess that's good.  I didn't spend any money!

Someone also said, "Don't be surprised if the drop the Sprint and Oly all together next year."  That's said... there are big Spring and Olympic fields for this even.  Waves between 150 - 200 each from what I briefly saw.  Next year I'm doing the half-iron distance, so I'll be there ready to buy me well-deserved 70.3 merchandise.  :)

My training buddy and I walked down by the water to checkout the layout of the Buoys on the swim course.  I felt good that I didn't feel overwhelmed by looking at it.  Ironically enough, the Sprint distance didn't look near as scary as it was last year!!!

Today I have taken it easy.  I had a 20 minute run and then did grocery shopping.  I relaxed a little by doing some cooking for after the race tomorrow and got all my goods together:

There's all my stuff... just have to get dressed and mix up my nutrition in the morning. That, and somehow jam all that in that green bag. :)

In about 45 minutes a group of us who train together are meeting at Cafe Express to have lunch and obsess over race day some more. :)

I only need 2 more things... another pair of goggles and some anti-fog stuff.  Oh, and I have to pickup and umbrella for our table in the backyard. Burgers off the grill and relaxing with friends and family for my post-race meal!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pre Race Freak Out

What was it Buttsy said? Oh yeah... "control" my emotions and "keep it together."

Not so much last night at trackwork. :(

All I had were 2 simple 1 mile repeats at my half-ironman pace (I know I'm not doing a half ironman, but we determined and use that pace for training purposes).

I got to the track, did my warmup and proceeded with the first repeat. My time was 14+. That's 14 minutes for 1 mile. My 1 mile repeats are generally between 12:15 and 12:25. Not fast, but for me, fine.

When I looked at my watch I was like, "WTF?" I was huffing, puffing, breathing like a horse, but I wasn't getting anywhere. I couldn't hit my pace for the life of me. I thought, "the second will be better." Yeah, but by 3 seconds, and still 14+.


Of course my head became filled with negative thoughts.

1) What have I been doing since December? Have I been wasting time for 4 1/2 months?
2) Why am I such a shitty runner?
3) I'm not going to be any faster than I was last year!
4) I'm going to disappoint myself.
5) I'm going to disappoint my family... who sacrificed so much for me to train.
6) I'm going to disappoint my coaches.
7) How can my time be slower than my LSD pace?

Then I started crying. Yeah... not proud of it, but I'm keeping it real. I just don't want to do shitty.

I had been doing well keeping positive, calm and collected, but last night threw me. I really thought that since I was tapering I should start to feel better, feel less tired. Wouldn't you think?

I texted one of my coaches -- her first response was "Yay, youre ready!"

What?!? I'm not sure I buy that. But okay.

She also had a shitty run earlier and couldn't hit her pace.  "It happens and don't be surprised if you want to quit triathlon by Friday!"

Great... just something else to look forward to.
We texted back and forth and she explained that your body and mind know what you are setting out to do, an it's telling you, "No way, are you crazy?"  She swears (as does "Hombre" my training buddy), "Come race day it will all be different."  I have to trust that tapering will do its job." There was more (of everything), but you get the picture. I did pull it together eventually.

This is just the Olympic distance... imagine how I'd be freaking if it were my first half-iron???

3 more days!

I got my wetsuit and it fits great!  I have a sneak at least 1 lap at the lake in it to make sure everything is cool.  I'm almost certain it will be fine; I can tell by the way it fits.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Thoughts on Race Day

The tapering has begun. :)  In 5 short days everything I have been working for since December will come to be.  I know that with the way I'm talking about it sounds like I have just trained for a half iron or more, but training for the Olympic, starting from where I was, balancing home and work life was a challenge for me and my family.  I'll be looking forward to maintaining what I've built up and doing just a couple races the remainder of the year.  Right now I just have plans for Silverlake and Clear Lake International... nothing else until I start training for the Chevron Houston Full Marathon.

My original goals for the weekend were to take my best, swim, bike and runs from last year and beat those times... just to show some improvement.  The closer I get to the race, the more I realize I am likely to finish well below my original time of 3:52, and could conceivably finish around 3:32 -- much of this depends on the run and bike and, not to mention, weather conditions for the day. 

My race plan is as follows:  Get a swim warm-up (which I never do!).  I will start off easy and focus on form.  After the first turn I will pick-up the pace and concentrate on finsihing my stroke. After the second turn I will back off the pace a little and get ready to bike.  Hopefully I will have an easy stripping and quick T1.

For the bike I will ride strong, because I am strong and I will keep reminding myself of that everytime I slack on rpms!  I will start my nutrition once I hit the seawall and push with the tailwind and go a little easier into the wind.  I will remember to get out of the saddle every 15 minutes to stretch, and relax my upper body. Once I am back on the seawall I will finish my nutrition, spin out my legs and get ready to run!

Coaches say for the run I should focus outward and look for familiar faces, BAM! jerseys, and do some people watching. Find some humor on the course, sing along with the band, and cheer on fellow athletes.......And Smile!!!  Stay cool on the run. Use ice, water, wet towels, sponges, etc... break the course into sections and visualize getting faster as each section passes. 

Would love a 3:32 to 3:37 finish; a totally wishful goal.  I would need a :37 swim, 1:27 bike and 1:22 run.  I know I can do it if I can just hang tough.  I've trained hard enough to do it!

Yesterday we had a ride on the course and it went well  I average 17.4 for 19 miles, so if the weather is anything like yesterday, I should be great!  Of course this is Houston... the weather changes ever 2 hours.  My late wave start at 9:02 doesn't help much either, but oh well.  :)

That's it for now.  I'm certain I'll have more thoughts to jot down, but need to get back to work.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Thursday Thirteen

1)  I love my Daughter's artwork; it brings a genuine smile to my face.  How can unicorns, rainbows, butterflies and flowers not make you smile too?

2)  Taxes are done.  I keep repeating to myself... "better to be part of the working class who pays taxes, than the alternative."

3)  I can't even begin to tell you how ready I am to race.  I'm reasonably calm, except for dreams of having to put my wetsuit back on before crossing the finish, and another where I am riding a tandem bike with a super-duper-clyde, to find that we're zip-tied at the ankle when we get into transition.  Really!

4)  Cutting back on coffee and increasing the water... sleep?  Not quite there yet with 8 hours, but will focus more.

5)  Not sure why it took me so long to try Skirt Sports Racebelt Skirt.  I love my moving comfort compression shorts for running/training, but hate wearing them solo. I love that the skirt doesn't have shorts built in.  Another new favorite!  Your race number actually snaps into the skirt.  No need for a separate race number belt, which always seems to ride up to my boobs anyway! 

6)  I changed my mind again when I found a great deal on an '09 close-out wetsuit.  It should get here by Tuesday so I can practice swimming in it.  I hope it is as flexible as the reviews say, as I'm still having some trouble in the shoulders with my current wetsuit.  Keep your fingers crossed.  The good thing is, I can still wear my old one if everything isn't "just right".

7)  Dropping bike off at BB today for adjustments.  Lower gears are "jumping", but I don't think it's a huge deal.  I think its just time for the first adjustment after you get a new bike.  Also, after my fall I messed up the tape on the bullhorns.  In other bike stuff I'm going to try the Cobb V-flow Max Saddle.  This one has a guarantee that if you don't like it after 3 months, you can return it!  I have a brand new ISM saddle I might be getting rid of!  I bought it on Ebay, so I can't return it!

8)  My new favorite Coach bag, as if I haven't mentioned it enough, will be mine.  :)  Just waiting on the PCE to start on 4/29!!!

9)  As much as I'm looking forward to Lonestar, I'm looking forward to a break in training, spending some time with family and getting some things done!

10)  How crazy is this?  I already have Cassie's b'day party reservation made!  LOL

11)  Saw my official race pictures from Race Shots.  For the first time I'm actually smiling in every picture! 

12)  One of the projects we will take care of after my race is moving the play room back upstairs to the game room and reclaiming our office.  We want to paint and try our hand at installing some laminate flooring.

13)  My "Libby", she is getting old with 155k.  She needs good vibes to last through this year.  Oh, "Libby" is my Jeep Liberty.
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Love it: Suogoi Venus Jersey

Full disclosure:  This item was purchased by me and this review is subjective to my experience with the apparel.

I ♥ this jersey. 

No, really, I do ♥ it. 

I love it so much, I have 2 of the 4 colors it comes in and wish it came in more.  It comes in white, lime, magenta and laguna (pictured).

It is perfect for my brick and running training. I hate bricking in a bike jersey (feels so heavy to wear for a post-bike run), so I always feel I have to change my top before my feet hit the pavement. This jersey works well for both and I no longer feel the need to change. The material feels more like a smooth dri-fit type textile than a polyblend jersey.  It just feels good on.  I can already tell this top is going to be a great alternative to a tank, even in the hottest part of the Houston Summer.  I will definitely wear it for my running/marathon training as well. 

The hidden side pocket (though on the Sugoi website they say "rear pocket") is great to hold a key, iPod and gel or two. For a long bike ride you'd definitely need to carry a bento box for your "feed" and carry-alongs.

The jersey is very stylish.  There are 2 princess seams in the back, making the fit very flattering.  I also like the "Mandarin-ish collar" (you see it more when unzipped) and cap sleeves which offer more coverage than a tank, but definitely not as long your typical short-sleeved jersey. 

As a larger, Athena athlete I find it very comfortable and well fitting. I feel the jersey is generously proportioned, but not overly so. My hips are 1" larger than size chart indicates, but the top fits me fine.  I also appreciate the omission of elastic at the bottom of the jersey (yeah!), and did not experience a problem with the jersey riding up during my ride.  I would also have to say this jersey would be great for power walkers and gym rats alike... its just that comfortable!

As far as technical apparel goes, it has a decent price-point.  With my tri club discount at a local retailer I can get this top for less than $40, which is awesome for bike jersey I can wear for both cycling and running. 

I give this jersey 4.75 stars.  Would give it 5 if it really did have a hidden back pocket too!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Gateway to the Bay Olympic Relay - Race Report

I'm a bit late with my race report for Gateway to the Bay.  Having done the bike leg on a relay team, there really wasn't much for me to actually report.  There are some lessons to be learned from the day, so it gives me reason to share them here.

I pretty much spent the weekend volunteering at the event.  Many of our club's members were doing the sprint distance on Saturday and the Olympic on Sunday, so it was nice to be a part of it and see them through their experience.  I worked at packet pick-up on Friday afternoon and Saturday early-morning and it was nice to see everyone so excited about this inaugural event -- I really enjoyed helping out and being a part of everything.

Saturday morning I got to watch the swim start.  The water looked pretty scary to me, but and reports differ depending on who you talk to.  Some say it was not as bad as it appeared, while others felt like they "cheated death by finishing."  The sprint distance had to go out and back; against and with the waves. The Oly distance athletes were brought out to water on boats and swam back to shore from 1 mile out.  As I stood there watching I could see the change in the water.  After the first 3 waves went the water began white-capping.  Later that day we had some rain, so there was definitely some nasty brewing.

It appeared that the Saturday event was successful.  I heard that they brought 6 or 7 swimmers back in, who didn't make it, and one cyclist was hit by a non-observant driver.  The cyclist must have been okay because he denied medical assitance. 

My race was on Sunday, the Olympic distance.  I completed the bike leg on a relay team.  For whatever reason, I decided NOT to use a checklist.  This is so not me.  I use a checklist for every race, whether or not I have it memorized is not relevant.  I need to know it's crossed off -- done!

I prepped everything the night before and planned on getting to transition timely.  Had my raceday oatmeal for b'fast... I knew where I was going and where I was parking; all was good.  It was open racking in relay corral and I was the first relayer there.  I picked the spot closest to the bike out and next to the pros that were racing (Matty Reed and Andy Potts).  Ironically enough, while I was told how personable each of them were, I didn't go up to them at all.  I guess I was kinda star-struck.  I couldn't even think of anything to say that wouldn't sound so trite.  I simply observed from afar.  Man, both those dudes are a tall drink of water though; I'll leave it at that!

I racked up and realized I had left my aerobottle at home.  Sh*t!  So the question was, do I just use my regular water bottles on the back of my seat?  I'm not comfortable reaching for them while in an aero position, so I knew I wouldn't hydrate enough.  After mulling it over, opted to run back to my car, get my wallet and hit the expo to purchase a new PD Aero bottle.  They didn't have the Aerodrink bottle, but they did have the PD Aqualite bottle which was supposed to work with my bracket.  It was just a few ounces smaller, but I figured I could get the difference in right before starting the bike.  I got my wallet, headed to the expo and dropped $25 on the bottle.  I attached the bottle, filled it and felt good about my choice.

We were in the corral waiting for the first swimmers to come out.  Naturally, as you would expect, the first one out was the pro, Andy Potts.  My coach actually followed him out of the water by about 3 mintues (he was on a relay team too!).  The excitement was brewing.  Slowly athletes were coming into transition and I began to see some familiar faces and chatted with those who were relaying that just had their swim experience. 

I was going back and forth from my equipment getting ready slowly.  I had my shoes on... chatted a bit... put my helmet on... chatted some more.  I fully expected  to have more time.  Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I saw my teammate running to the corral after just having finished his swim!  Woah!!  I was not ready.  nice, loud, "Oh, crap!" A sprint back to my bike was in order.  I buckled up the helmet, loaded the sunglasses, tossed my jacket and carried my bike out of transition. 

Kemah bridge.,.. half of it!  Climbed it 4 times!

My bike mount/start was smooth.  I took my time to avoid any mishaps.  My first climb (4 climbs total!) up the bridge was tough... with no approach, you're climbing the from the moment you turn on 146.  The steepest part is the actual bridge though.  My paln was to go up slow and steady (and I really had the s-l-o-w part nailed) and "big ring" it on the way down, passing everyone who burned up their energy trying to go up fast.  Going North over the bridge this really wasn't doable option since we had to make a hard right before the bottom to go under the bridgeto turnaround to take the southbound bridge climb.  I was looking forward to the Southbound climb though, knowing I could let loose on the downhill through the 146 straightaway.

Well, things didn't go quite that smoothly.  After all, this is me racing.  Something always seems to go unplanned. 

On the first climb I came down the north side of the bridge and safely made the hard right turn, but noticed my new aerobottle was not secure.  This was very curious because when I attached it I really shook and pulled on it to ensure it was secure.  I decided to stop and take the time to fix it right, even if it cost me.  I was afraid I would be unsafe trying to fix it while on the bike.  I pulled-over, dismounted and took the time.  I even felt good about my choice, knowing that the alternative would have been a more risky gamble.

With that I was on my way.  I made the turnaround and started climbing.  "No way?!"  my bottle came loose again.  I was quite ready to toss it, but didn't want to get penalized for abandonment of equipment.  With my luck, the motorcycle official would surely spot me and note it.  I tried to relax and think.  I knew I would need my hydration to have the best ride possible, but I did a decent job hydrating the preceeding days.  By now the bottle was so loose I had to hold it between my wrists and was forced to climb in an aero position -- not the most optimum.  All this and I was only a couple miles in!  I took the southbound down hill (not as fast as I would have liked for fear I'd loose the bottle) and at the turnround around mile 9 or 10 I tossed the bottle of to a volunteer and let them know it was broken and continued riding. 

The rest of the ride was good, except the fact I had no hydration.  LOL  My goal was to finish under 1:30.  I felt like I was on track.  I wanted to average 17 or better.  In the last 2 miles I knew I was going to get my goal. I was psyched!  I pulled into transition and my computer told me 1:27:09.   We swaped chips and our runner was off.

As it turns out our Relay team came in last place.  No big deal to us, as many of the relay teams were totally stacked!  We were not stacked at all.  In fact our runner was brand new and never competed in a race before!  She did great though on her 10K.

When the results were posted I was bummed.  My official time was 1:30:01.  I had forgotten my computer stops when I stop.  So when I stopped to fix my bottle, my time stopped too.  I took more than 3 minutes to try to fix it and it broke again anyway!

Lesson learned: 
  • Absolutely, positively nothing new raceday.  I've learned this before, but you know how it is.  Had I just used my regular bottles and not f'd with the new bottle, I would have hit my goal. Seems like something always happens which in the end plays a part in a near miss of my ultimate goal.  Oh well.
  • If I can ride as well as I did on Sunday, at Lonestar (no climbs!), I should be able to manage an average of 17 mph. I need to!  I really want to come in sub 3:30.  I have to have a great swim, an awesome bike and good run to get it.  It's possible though with smooth transitions and being prepared for the unknown.

So, lessons learned;
  • No matter how well you think you'll remember, use your checklist to prep for the race.
  • On a relay team be cognisent of time and be ready; you never know when your teammate will appear.
  • I also thought it was kind of nice to do a relay; being able to leave it all on the course and not save anything for the run had my sweating, spitting and grunting towards the end! LOL

Things I did well:
  • Even though it cost me time, I still made the right choice in light of the adversity.
  • Had a strong ride.  Felt great!

Wordless Wednesday

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Friday, April 09, 2010

Stuff and Crab-o-liscious Style Thursday♥Thirteen

So I went back to the doctor yesterday, expecting to get some answers.  Much to my disappointment I didn't get any.  The good news is I got a period last Sunday (had not since January), which means I'm ovulating. That's good.  The bad news is, on the last blood draw we didn't know if I was ovulating, or when the last time I ovulated was, and now that I got a period, the blood has to be re-drawn again.  Prolactin is still high and I'm obviously not pregnant.  I even experienced a feeling of letting down (as with breastfeeding) -- it was as painful as I remember, though I didn't actually lactate.

Since getting my cycle I feel much better.  Told the doc and he said, "It's no wonder!"

I just want to get right.  I know my prolactin has been high for a couple years now.  I'm tired of being tired and moody.  I'm tired of the frustration  I'm tired of the fact that the process takes so long to find out answers.

So here I wait another 2.5 weeks.  Ugh. Let's just say I'm one  hot mess.

Since I am already in this place of sorta-kinda-crabbiness, here's 13 things I hate or that just simply annoy me. 
1)  Traffic.  Heavy traffic.  I hate when I try to avoid the congestion, yet every choice I make is the wrong one and it takes me twice as long as work.

2)  When I see people being unfair and/or unethical.  I know it's not my problem, but I hate it anyway.

3) When I go to the food store at the wrong time and the produce is completely garbage.  My fault, but still doesn't help a crabby-funk.

4)  Blue Cheese.  Enough said!

5)  Not getting answers from the doc.  Thought I was going to get some answers yesterday; not.  Just more blood taken and an invitation to wait another 2 weeks.

6)  Along with hating when people are unfair or unethical, I hate when others are completely selfish and inconsiderate; when they're clearly only out for themselves.

7) When I follow a recipe that has all ingredients I love, but then I hate it. 

8)  Being late.

9)  Everyone is entitled to their opinion.  However know the real facts and don't base your opinion on nonsensical skewed data.  Nothing is perfect and we're all in this together.

10) With regard to number 9.  We are all in this together, so why can't we just freakin' work together and stop trying to exploit weaknesses and shortcomings and spend that time thinking of constructive ideas that will actually help long-term.

11)  Goggles that leak after wearing them a 1/2 dozen times.

12)  The smell of garlic fries at the Rodeo, when I was pregnant.  Nearly wanted to barf when I smelled them.  Obviously I'm scared for life, since I still remember!


Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Silverlake Swim Race

Scheduling for the family and training this last couple weeks has been a challenge.  Darren has had to put in some extra time, but we've been working together to ensure everything is done, at a minimum, anyway.

I couldn't get my open water swim in on Friday, so my alternative was a 1 mile open water swim race.  Oiy!  I signed up and did it.  It wasn't without getting pretty nervous about it.

Here's the thing:  In the pool I swim and breathe bilaterally.  For whatever reason, in the lake, I have to breathe every other stroke.  I don't know if it's because of the murky water that I need to lift my head out to see what's going on, but whatever the reason, that's what happens. 

So I rolled with it.  I would breathe every other stroke and sight on the 6th.  I fell into a rhythm and it worked for me.  My sighting was the best part of my effort.  I was really pleased.

That said, I came around the last turn on the first lap and didn't trust myself.  I saw another swimmer cutting across to go around a different bouy than the one I was sighting.  I paniced and thought I was in the wrong place and started following her.  Then I realized, "No!  I am right!!"  I had to back-track to go around the originally intended bouy, so as to avoid being disqualified.  Anyway, my first lap was 19:55 for the 800 meters.  My full 1 mile time was 40:28. 

Had I not experienced the mis-navigation and trusted myself, I might have finished under 40!  Even if it was 39:59, it still sounds better than :40  LOL

Just for comparison, my 800 m at Danskin last year was :27 minutes.  my 800m split for this race was 19:55 -- I'd say there has been some improvement! 

All in all a good event. I have a 2400 yd time trial on Friday in open water.  Yeow!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Friday Fill-ins

 1. All you need is a good workin'-out.

2. Watching "Modern Family" fills me with laughter.

3. Each generation, as it grows up, will have it's own challenges.

4. Not having full control of things is something I have a hard time dealing with.

5. A trip to NJ to see family is what I need.

6. Give and you get back.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to realxing after I make up yesterday's workout tomorrow my plans include my first open water swim race of 1 mile and Sunday, I want to finish my bike quickly and enjoy Easter with family and friends!
Join in the fun!  Do your own Friday Fill♥In!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Thursday ♥ Thirteen


Totally Random*

1) How is it that sometimes we feel like something has to be "wrong" so that everything seems "right?"

2) I managed to get up and out of bed by 4:32 am today; I haven't been able to do that in about 6 weeks, and therefore have been uber-tardy to work everyday.  Shhhhh!

3) This weekend is Easter.  Cassie is excited aobut wearing her Easter dress and we'll spend time at our friend's house sharing dinner.  I need to make a dessert.  I want to make something really different.  Ideas?

4) Lonestar is 23 days away... I can freakin' wait.  Last night was a tough night.  I got home and felt this wave of fatigue.  I just wanted to sleep.  I texted Darren and told him not to rush home, that I needed a nap before I went to brick.  That's not me.  He was already on his way -- I went, though in my head I was kicking and screaming.  I told him that between now and Lonestar don't let me slump-out of training, unless I am really sick or something.  I'm just in that phase of training where you're always tired and it's even more challenging to find the motivation to beat yourself up.

5) Today I'm going to meet with a sports nutritionist/RD.  I am hopeful she can help me with my special needs.  Not so sure how much we can do before Lonestar with my hormones still out of whack, but I'm willing to try anything. 

6) I desperately want to see some progress with running.  Desperately. 

7) After Lonestar I will relax a little bit and do a few sprints and maintain fitness, probably work on running more.  Darren and I are going to reclaim the now "play room" as our home office.  We're going to paint and lay some new flooring.  It will be a big project, but we do those things well together -- we haven't done anything like that in a long time! 
8) Okay... here's something random.  I received a Zappo's order on Tuesday-- who knew you could buy a wetsuit from Zappo's? It might deserve a box breaking video, including pouring myself into the wetsuit.  LOL  Hilarious?  YES! Probably even painful to watch.  Could be winning material though!

9) Incidently, did you know that the inside flap of the Zappo's box says "Packed with happiness?  I had the flap cut-out and sitting in the window of my office... because, well, I am "Packed with happiness."

10) On more girly shopping notes... Coach has a new bag I ♥ .  It matches the wallet my BFF surprised me with a couple weeks ago. 

11) I made the Quinoa and Chicken Primavera -- pretty good stuff!  It was good as written, but with a little bit of lemon and fresh parmesean, it was even better!

12) My Daughter made the local news.  The local ABC affiliate went to their shool and had the group of 5 year olds test out Easter Egg Dye kits to see how easy they were to use, and how accurate the results were.  Cassie is in the plaid jumper with Glasses, and they show her pink sparkly egg, front and center!

13) I ♥ my Hubs and Kiddo.  As much as they think they might drive me crazy, they are the reason I stay as remotely sane as I do.   :)

* Okay, it was an attempt.  My "random" Thursday Thirteen is not so random after all... guess what's on my mind? Lonestar.

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun!

Remember always...

"Love yourself, for who and what you are;
protect your dream and
develop your talent to the fullest extent."