Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I'm Not Crazy!

....and if you're ready to disagree, keep your pie-hole shut. And I mean that in the nicest way.  :)

At my swim session last night I had 3x300's.  I decided that for my head, I needed to go all out on them to see what my time was.  I have to know for sure that 8:26 is not right! 

Now the pool is 300 yards, vs. 300 meters, so it's a little shorter.  I also wasn't fully recovered from race day (this was supposed to be a recovery swim) and did a 1,000 yd warm-up first.  My swim was also at the end of a the day.  Still, though, I figured even if I came out longer I would still know what I was capable of!

I just had to know if I was crazy about this time difference!

So after 1,000 yd warm-up I was supposed to do my 1st 300 and the last two should have been the same or faster than the first.  My hams were pretty tore up from the day before but I managed a 6:42, 6:54 7:02 for my 300's.  Even adding 30 seconds for the distance difference between meters and yards, and there is no way 8:26 was possible, unless I stopped pool-side for brunch and a pedicure. 

The timing folks have yet to email me back, but I'm okay with it.  :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Y Freedom Race Report

Swim 300m:  8:26.2  (being disputed... read below - closer to 6:40 something)
T1 1:47.3
Bike:  36:48.5
Avg. Speed:  19.6
T2:  2:21.2
Run:  47:48.5 - 15:56 pace

Total 1:37:11.8
12th of 20 in Athena Category

This is my second year for Y Freedom. I love that it's so close to home. This was one of E's races, because she loved the pool swim!  This year her Son, Austin, decided to do the tri in honor of his Mom and 2 of his friends did it as well.  Everyone finished -- it was great!!!

I got about 6 hours of sleep the night before. I wasn't worried about the race. I was just busy! Cass' recital was this past weekend too, and I had so much to get ready for, that I couldn't get to be timely.

I got up had my cup of coffee and 1/2 of an Ezekiel muffin with Almond butter. Waited for the coffee to prompt my morning "routine", but it never did!?!  I know... more than you need to know, but these are important things that need to happen pre-race!

I got to the race when transition opened to help Austin and his friends get setup and explain some things to them about how it would all roll.  I also like to get there early and get setup; I'm weird like that.  I'd rather have time to sit around than be rushed and forget something.

Here's where the total lack of focus begins:  Turns out they were really short volunteers, so after the kids was setup I grabbed a marker and helped with bodymarking as there was huge line!!! In doing so though, I almost forgot to pick-up my chip AND forgot to tell the kids to get theirs.  Thankfully Doug (E's Husband) asked the kids about it and they picked theirs up.  I dropped the marker and ran to pickup mine.  Ack!  Then, I brought a bottle of water with a Nuun (electrolytes) with me to drink pre-prace and a power bar smoothie to have around 6:00.  I got to the race left the water behind and completely forgot about my power bar until I was standing in line to swim! 

The Swim:  I felt like I had a great swim.  My plan was to control my pace to start and speed up the last half.  I'm glad to say no one passed me, unlike last year, but I did get caught up behind 4 people in the last 25 m.  I swam well, but certainly didn't have the power to muscle past 4 swimmers.  

I had hit "lap" instead of start at the swim start.  I saw the time, when I started and time when I finished, but I realized I had not hit Start when I was in T1.  I know my swim time was 6:40-something... not 8:26 as reported.  Something is definitely not right -- I just know it! With this start, if people get out of order, your time can easily be screwed up.  I'm so sure something isn't right that I contacted the timing folks.  Last year my swim time was 7:20 and I stopped to let people pass and was not nearly as trained as this year! This is the same company that forgot the Athena offset on another race I did last year -- I hear lots of complaints about their timing.

T1 was uneventful, though I was a little unfocused.  I started putting socks on and my visor, when I needed my helmet and bike shoes.  Doh! 

The bike was good!  It was a great ride for me.  I rode in the big ring the entire time, which was a first.  Their timing/distance was off though. I looked better on their paper, averaging 19.6, but my Garmin tells me 18.4 for the actual distance, which I'm completely happy with.  I controlled my effort and made sure I didn't over-do it.  I know it's a Sprint and typically you'd go out harder, but I'm trying to learn to manage my energy to get through a half-iron distance in September, so that's my focus right now. I drank about 16 oz. of Cytomax on the bike.

T2 was a little slow. I actually had to sit to put my socks and running shoes on (I can't run without socks!).

The run was tough. My calves cramped right away.  I'm certain that was the poor nutrition that morning coupled with the heat.  I had a gel with me so I did that with the G2 I was carrying in my bottle.  I had some Gatorade at every water station.  The first half mile was miserable, but I pushed through it. It wasn't until the end of the second mile I started feeling better in that I could maintain longer intervals, but still they weren't where they normally are.  Let's see... what else?  I had to stop and fix my sock hems that were bunched up under my toes and causing some rubbing.  I was afraid if I didn't stop, I'd get blisters.  Oh, and I had new shoes too! 
And then I crossed the finish...that's about it.  :) 

What I did right:
Stuck to my plan; didn't let people passing me bother me. (<--- that's huge!)
Didn't forget any gear... yay!
Felt like I controlled my pace on the bike and swim well.
I wasn't at the bottom of the Athena category!!!

What I need to improve:
Don't lose focus; take care of my race needs first!

Something to Try (not tri!)

Friday, June 25, 2010

This Week

Man, where did the last month go?  Seems like it was June 1st just yesterday!!!

This week was a great week of training for me and I'm starting to feel better about it.  Track was challenging and tough, but I did it and felt so much better after.  My legs were tired for a couple days after, but it's all good.  Apparently it was the 6 minute mile pace I ran for 36 seconds that did me in.  :)  Today is a rest day and I have a 30 minute run tomorrow, then I race on Sunday.

Sunday's race will be bittersweet, I'm sure.  Elysha won't be there, but her Son will be doing his first tri in honor of her.  He is sooooo much like her when it comes to doing new, fun things.  Doug, E's Husband, will be there too, supporting as always!

True to my form these days my scheduling woes and forgetfulness continue.  I thought Cass' recital was Saturday, but no.  It's Sunday.  The same day of the race.  So, if prepping for Race day isn't enough, I have to prep for the recital the night before, go race and quickly (and it better be faster than I race!) get cleaned up and head downtown for the performance!  I'm having to have Darren get Cass there by 9:30 so she can have her dress rehearsal.  It's going to be a long day for those kiddos! I know Mommy will be wiped!

Back to training.  I just think it's ironic how there are such extreme ups and downs.  I mean, I love triathlon, but some days I just hate parts of it.  Obviously Running has been at the top and bottom of my list lately.... and everywhere between, now that I think about it.  It's almost like working through that is part of the training.  I'm so glad I'm feeling better.  Redman will be here before we know it!  Until then I have Y Freedom and River Cities.  I'm going to throw in the Firecracker 4 run, since they have a kiddo run for Cass -- that will be fun.

Oh!  Cass started Karate -- last night was her second class and she loves it. I'm calling her my Kinder-ninja.  She likes being "ninja fast".   I'm so surprised how the instructor has command over those kids.  I know the class is going to be good for her confidence, so long as she doesn't start karate chopping every kid that upsets her.  She needs something to make her feel strong.  She's so sweet and sensitive...

Woah, I just realized... 3 months to the day until Redman.  No time for slackin.  :)

Man, I'm all over the place with this blog entry... I'll quit for now.  LOL

Friday Filli

And...here we go!

1. On vacation, I like to do things I've never tried and see places I've never been.
2. So much oil in the ocean.  *sigh*
3. One of my favorite vacation spots is Italy; it is the best vacation I've had... ever!
4. Cassie loves a full moon.  (she gets all excited and has to point it out!)
5. Up, up and away negative thoughts from my brain!
6. Bananas are chock-full of Potassium; don't fear the Banana.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to doing "nothing" ;-) , tomorrow my plans include getting chores done* and Sunday, I want to enjoy Cass-a-frass' recital and have a great race in memory of Elysha!

*See?  Wouldn't you rather see me biking for 4 hours???

So true!

"It's a very funny thing about life;
if you refuse to accept anything but the best,
you very often get it."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fox Announcement of IMTX

Monday, June 21, 2010

Crazy Brick Weekend

Well, we survived anothe crazy challenge.  This weekend it was a brick.  45 minute run, 2 1/2 hour bike and 30 minute run. 

I'm glad that it felt as good (not perfect) as it did.  It did a lot for my confidence.

I made a few mistakes, prep-wise -- but that's what this is about; learning.

Got to bed pretty late the night before, so I took in as much sleep as possible.  I didn't get up early enough to eat any solid food before, or even in time enough to eat a power bar, so there was my first mistake. I was out the door with nothing more than a half cup of coffee and a 20 oz. bottle of of water with a Nuun (which worked decent for the run)

My run was good, but slow of course. I'm not letting it bother me because it is what it is in this heat/humidity.  If I can hang through the Summer I'll be that much better come the Fall.

Hopped on the bike armed with 3 bottles of Cytomax with a 1 T of whey protein each.  I left my fig newtons in the fridge (mistake number 2), so that's all I had -- no solid food.  My ride was good.  I kept good speed and cadence.  Was easily able to keep up with one of the other folks that coaches with the same folks. That made me feel pretty good. :)

We made a wrong turn had to back track.  No big deal.  Then a road we usually take was completely closed.  We tried to find an alternate route, but the next road was completely torn up.  We were only out 1:07 at this point... needed to be out 1:15 before turning back.  We turned back anyway and with the tail win, made it back nearly 15 minutes faster than it took us to get out there!

At about  2 hours in though, I started to fade and my foot (again) started to ache.  I think it was a combination of things...

1)  Probably should have slowed down my effort to a speed I could more evenly keep. 
2)  Remembered my food/fuel
3)  Not go so hard for so long.
4)  Partially in my head... as I got closer to home and into the traffic, I just naturally slowed down; I still had to make up almost 30 minutes before I could stop!

Averaged about 16mph -- probably should have been closer to 17 to be representative of the majority of my ride, had I not made those few mistakes.

Of course for the second run it was hotter outside.  Legs were spent, but I made it through and that's all I can ask for right now!

3000 yds of swimming today.  :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Fillins!

1. I'm already at work (or should be) by 6:58.

2. It was the reason, of course, I cut swim to see Cass do Karate for the first time.

3. Trying to fix everyone else's problems is something I no longer feel the need to do.

4. I have another errand to run, then another, and another, another... errends are endless.

5. Stop watching TV pay attention and just go find it

6. What were once vices are always vices... though they're memeroies inside my head. 

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to training.  Tomorrow my plans include a crazy brick challenge and a kiddo's b'day party and Sunday, I want to get caught up on all things domestic!

On Step Closer - IM Texas!

Ironman Texas coming to The Woodlands in 2011

by Jon Walk, RTN correspondent

After a presentation by The Woodlands Convention & Visitors Bureau's Nick Wolda at Thursday's Board of Directors Workshop for The Woodlands Township, all that remains for the Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas to become reality - after an additional presentation by Ironman's creator, the World Triathlon Corporation - next May is an affirmative vote at next Wednesday's Board of Directors Meeting.

"The ultimate brand in the triathlon world internationally wants to call The Woodlands home for a brand new Texas event," Wolda told the nine-member Board yesterday.

The 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run competition, which will be one of 23 qualifiers to the World Championships, held annually each October in Kona, Hawaii, is proposed to take place on Saturday, May 21, 2011.

Assistant General Manager for Community Services John Powers said that competitors would complete their swim in Lake Woodlands, entering at Northshore Park and exiting at Town Green Park.

The bike route, which will be presented by the World Triathlon Corporation at Wednesday's Board Meeting, has been studied by various governmental agencies, including county officials in Montgomery and Grimes counties as well as the cities of Magnolia and Montgomery.

The run course would be within The Woodlands and the finish area is expected to be, Powers said, somewhere in Town Center.

Approximately 2,500 competitors from all 50 states and approximately 25 countries are expected to compete here.

"They (World Triathlon Corporation) anticipate that the direct economic impact would be in the neighborhood of $16 million," Wolda explained.

Since World Triathlon Corporation will produce the event, unlike the Parks and Recreation-managed CB&I Sprint Triathlon each May, The Woodlands Township would be a sponsor to the event and responsible for $30,000 annually over a five-year agreement.

Monies that the Township would expect to recoup from retail sales and hotel occupancy tax dollars that would be generated by an estimated 10,000 hotel nights during Ironman weekend.

Additionally, Wolda explained that The Woodlands would benefit from what it calculated to be 1.5 million advertising impressions, but more importantly a $100,000 donation from the Ironman Foundation to local not-for-profit charities.

“The volunteer groups would be the beneficiaries for providing man hours and services to Ironman to help produce this event,” said Wolda. “Those charities will have to earn that by their participation.”

Just before Wolda’s presentation began, Chairman Bruce Tough, buoyed by local three-time Ironman TJ Fry’s statement during the Public Comment period of the meeting, called it “exciting news”.

Fry, who competed at the World Championships in Kona in 2006, stated that Ironman’s effect is impressive.

“I’ve seen first hand what the Ironman brand can do for a city and a state,” he said. “It is very exciting. Some of these races sell out in 90 minutes or less.

“(The Woodlands) will become a destination event that will add revenue year-round.”

Director Nelda Blair stated that initially there had been a “lot of skepticism” in bringing the event to The Woodlands.

“There has been a very thorough negotiation of the contract,” she said. “The group that has looked at it is very excited about what it can bring as far as notoriety and money directly to our bottom line.”

The Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, which has made a resurgence of late in its sponsorship of local running and multisports events including April’s Ironman 70.3 in Galveston, is poised to be even more involved in the local community.

"Memorial Hermann The Woodlands, along with the entire Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, are excited about the opportunity to partner with Ironman. While it's not official yet, we will have more information to share later next week," said Steve Sanders, CEO, Memorial Hermann The Woodlands.

A four-time Ironman and two-time Kona World Championship participant himself in 1998 and 1999, Chief Operating Officer Josh Urban and Director of Marketing Linda Nelson of Memorial Hermann The Woodlands were in attendance at today's Workshop.

Thirty-one triathletes from Montgomery County completed Ironmans across North America in 2009

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thursday 13 -- Awesomeness

Inspired by the release of the blog-gone-to-print "1000 Awesome Things", here are just 13 points of awesomeness I personally love experiencing.  I started posting them on FB

1) The moment "it" clicks. 
2) Forgetting you set the coffee-maker the night before and finding a fresh-brewed pot when you wake-up. 
3) Remembering the good childhood memories more often than the bad
4) Getting the perfect position at bedtime with a cool pillow... then rolling over and finding it again!
5) Getting that A group boarding pass on Southwest.
6) The feeling inside as I drive to the airport when I'm going to pickup family.
7) That scared/fun feeling you get when going down the tallest water slide a Schlitterbahn...
8) Hearing a song on the radio and saying to myself, "I need to download that to my playlist", then actually remember to add it.
9) Going to the store and finding out what you planned to buy is on sale!
10) Inpromptu gatherings which turnout to be more fun than anything you could have planned.
11) Of course the love and support from Hubs.  Completely awesome.  :)
12) TXTing or commenting "LOL" and really laughing out loud.
13) Getting eyeliner on right.... the FIRST time.
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!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

In My Noggin'

So where the heck am I in my head these days?  I'm not quite sure, but I am on the upswing.

I know after Lonestar I was a little deflated, having the swim nix'd from the race.  I immediately signed-up for Redman, for my first half-ironman distance and that had me stoked.  Then, we all lost a beloved BFF.  Silverlake didn't pan out the way I hoped either -- I had an improved swim and bike over last year, but my run was way worse -- that f'd with my head. 

All that said, I feel like my biking and swimming are doing fine, which is something positive.  Of course there's always room for improvement, but those disciplines aren't suffering like my running is.

My coaches notice I'm not the same as I was over the Winter and they're trying help me find my way, so to speak.  It's no secret to I've had a string of mental/emotional challenges and I've just been trying to bring some consistency back into my training and get my head fully back into the game, believing I am a strong athlete, not a fat, slow, undeserving-to-participate kind of athlete.  
It seemed like after my 2-3 weeks of inconsistency it just all of a sudden turned hotter than Hades here in Houston.  I mean like in the snap of a finger!  My mediocre run pace has increased tremendously (as everyone's has, but I feel like mine just launched to an all-time high!) and my legs just feel like dead weights.  Of course with Redman 20 weeks away, I'm nervous.
So we're changing some things up for a week or two and see if we can inject some life back into these mobile tree trunks of mine. :)

Last week my training log was almost a completely "green" week (my training session blocks turn green if I complete sessions in full), with the exception of cutting my portion of the "Noon in June" half marathon short -- that box turned yellow (ugly!). 

Speaking of the Noon in June.  This was by far one of the toughest challenges I had, and I was more anxious about doing this run than any race I think.  I had myself all worked up!  It's essentially a half marathon run in the middle of the day.  It's not an organized race, it's just a redonkulous training challenge someone thought of, clearly after a few too many drinks.  The real challenge though is to completely the Sylvan Beach triathlon, then do the Noon in June 2 hours after finishing the race.  We had one guy do the race and ran half of the Noon in June.  I wound up relaying with him, only doing the 6 miles.

I've run father than 6 miles plenty of times.  It's not a unique feat for me, but this run had more mental purpose than anything.  I quite literally fought with myself the entire time.  Asking myself where that athlete was who was rip-roarin' ready for Lonestar?  I was talking to E, asking her to show me the fun in Running (she hated running, but still smiled!).  I pleaded with myself to believe I am better and stronger than my mind was allowing me to perform.  At mile 4, I was running through the trails, not a stitch of wind and nothing but thick breathe but thick, hot air.  I took shelter in the pavilion shade for a couple minutes, felt the slight wind and regrouped.  I won't go into details, but it wasn't pretty.  There were some tears, some yelling and some foot stomping. Yeah, I looked crazy in every sense of the true meaning of the word.  I think any anger or sadness I've had about anything but hadn't expressed came out in those few minutes.

After that though, I felt better.  I mean really better.  I won in the battle of  Me vs. My Mind.

I'm a dedicated athlete.
I'm a strong athlete.
I'm an athlete with a shitload of potential which I'll never see if I sell myself short.

Up until Monday, I couldn't find it in myself to register for Y Freedom because that was E's race.  I wanted to do it, but just couldn't  Her son is doing it with some friends, so I really wanted to as it's his first triathlon!  Still I held back.  After Sunday's run I had a change of heart, and registered.  I need to do this race to honor her and for myself.

After Y Freedom is River Cities.

After River Cities -- Redman!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Almost forgot... but never unappreciated!

Just wanted to thank everyone for the kind notes and emails about Elysha's passing. 

I'm always amazed by the depth of caring people I have never met in real life (well most of you) are willing to share.  Each one of you is truly a gift and remember, there was someting about you with which I felt a connection -- otherwise, I wouldn't follow you, so to speak.

All I'm trying to say is, "thanks for caring." 

Friday Fill♥Ins

1 Finishing a tough workout feels great.
2. The solution is to let go of the pain AND allow for happienss.
3. It takes me no time at all to fall asleep.
4. How about dropping the temp in here, eh?
5. Deciding on a goal and moving forward with a plan to achieve it is something I highly recommend!
6. Imagine yourself doing all the things you ever dreamed of.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to Cass-a-frass coming home tonight tomorrow my plans include a long bike ride with my new crank (not to be confused with my training buddy aka "Hombre") and Sunday, I want to make it through the Noon in June run!!!

Get it Together Already!

I'm slowly getting my head back in the game... everyday is a little better than the last.  :)

Training has been really hard, which is ultimately good.  Swimming and biking have been good.  Running, however, has sucked. 

I've had a milestone with swimming (nearly 2 miles in open water) which was pretty cool.  So I like to think about that.  Not super-fast, but an easy consistent pace -- it's endurance.

Biking was going well too, even with some challenges.  I love my new Cobb V-flow Max saddle. I brought my bike into my LTBS (local tri bike shop) for a refit with the saddle, and as it turns out my crank was too long for me and my hips weren't open enough.  Ugh!  My last 50+ mile I was in misery the last 40 minutes, feeling like I'd been hiking in stilettos all day long; the balls of my feet were killing me!  Could be anything -- the crank, cleat placement.  In any case I got a new Ultegra 165mm crank (for my short legs) and I'm hoping it's the answer to  my prayers!  I passed up a Dura-Ace Crankset deal on Ebay that went just $20+ bucks more than the Ultegra crank did... I only momentarily kicked myself until I remembered it's the same technology only like 200 grams is the difference.  

On my Running, my coaches are going to dial-back my running plan and change approach.  As soon as the heat took a turn to hotter coupled with a rough few weeks both mentally and physically, I just felt so fatigued.  Partially the heat, but I also think my hormonal imbalance with my thyroid and prolactin levels still has me all jacked up -- it's so hard to lose weight for me right now and that doesn't help my running effort in the least bit!

Speaking of the hormonal stuff, I saw the doctor yesterday and it's more of the same... take more blood, check the levels and see.  The good thing is, the Dostinex is not making me sick.  The only thing I notice is that the morning after I take it, I'm so groggy... takes me a real long time to get moving and feeling "normal". 

Boy, this post sounds like a downer. 

I'm getting a little nervous about Redman.  It's my running that has me so insecure. Just 15 weeks until Redman where I'll be running a half marathon AFTER a swim and bike!  I have to remember my only goals are to be physically and mentally prepared to endure and deal with whatever comes my way while finishing in less than 8 hours.  :)

Tomorrow is a long bike for me -- says 3 hours on the schedule, but will probably go 3:30 to get 56 miles in.  Sunday is the Noon in June run.  A half-marathon starting at Noon.  I won't be doing the full distance though -- I'm not exactly sure how far I'm going yet.

New car is great.  I'm enjoying the zoom-zoom :)

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

ANYTHING is Possible...

Anything is possible,
but you have to believe and you have to fight.

Lance Armstrong

River Cities... Here I Come

2 totally new and unplanned events are now on my schedule:

1)  River Cities Triathlon in Bossier City.  This is supposed to be the oldest triathlon in the south.  It's a 1/2 mile swim, 18 mile bike and 5k run.  I'm excited for something new AND it's a road trip (Elysha would approve!)  -- I plan to race in her honor here and sport my pink tutu wrist band. :)

This race also touts one of the best schwag bags -- for their 30th anniversary it's supposed to be valued at $250!  Also, Lance Armstrong raced this course... he holds the course record,  but if I can beat 1:07 I could take it from him.  Ummm yeah... completely unlikely.  LOL
2)   Katy Flatlands Ride -- this will be my first century ride!  Nothing special about this ride, except that it's fully supported so it's a good way to get my first Century in.  What will be truly telling of my performance on this ride is if there is any lunch left by the time I finish!  LOL

I did manage to get a long run in on the holiday and damn it was hot... Already!  It's not even August.  I just have to keep geting out there and getting re-acclimated to running in the heat.  My already snail's pace has dropped by over a minute and my heart rate is stupid-high!  Patience... I know.

My head just isn't in a good place right now.  I just feel overwhelmed.  Everything has been so busy the last month and sometimes I just feel like I'm just moving through the day, not really being present, just trying to get things done.  Yesterday was just one of those days that magnified every single shortcoming I have. I can't even blame training because I haven't been doing anything consistently for the last 2 weeks.  Never mind the venting... just need to get it out and move forward.  Okay, done.